First Published: Unity and Struggle, Vol. VII, No. 1, January 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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At the last National Steering Committee meeting of the African Liberation Support Committee (ALSC) held in Washington, D.C., the Workers Viewpoint Organization, “administratively” (opportunistically and bureaucratically) purged all members of the Revolutionary Communist League (RCL) from ALSC. At this meeting the WVO read a resolution on the RCL which reads,
Since, the National Conference in July 1977, the RCL has intensified their obstructionist and splittist activities in ALSC. They have attempted to hold back and obstruct the work of ALSC by constantly arguing and filibustering the meetings, failing to carry out the work of ALSC and trying to undermine ALSC’s attempts to push the work forward.
We, therefore, resolve that members of RCL and those who support their obstructionist activities be removed from ALSC nationally and that the National Steering Committee (NSC) inform the chapters in writing of this resolution immediately.
It is interesting that just over two years ago RCL (then CAP and all other chapters) were purged for not accepting the line of the so-called “Revolutionary Wing” and now here we are again getting purged again except this time we are being purged by another of the members (at that time) of the “Wing”. In fact even more interesting and slimy is the fact that the same people who were in the “Wing” then are now in the leadership of WVO, pulling the same thing as the “Wing”. WVO was an active member of the “Wing” during the time they were trying to liquidate ALSC as a mass organization and make it into “Wing” cadre.
What the WVO has done in terms of purging RCL and friends is almost identical to the “Wing” because they both attempted to squelch real line struggle; both attempted to “absorb” other organizations into their organizations as part of their “Party building motions”; both had no understanding at all of how Communists conduct themselves in mass organizations. Though here they differ because the “Wing” made “left” sectarian errors by trying to make every one in ALSC instant cadre and the WVO made right errors BECAUSE they have tried at every turn to downplay the role of Communists in mass organizations, except for earlier this year when they were running around mouthing the idiotic “left” line that “ALSC should be built under the leadership of WVO”. This line was struggled against in meetings with them and in RCL propaganda. Perhaps in their resolution this was what they were talking about when they said RCL was “constantly arguing”. Well, if that is what they mean when they say “arguing”, then RCL must plead “guilty” as charged because the RCL does not uphold the bankrupt line of WVO’s that they are the “basis for the genuine Communist Party” or that they have the “overall most correct line”. Pure subjectivist trash.
Objective history here in the US has shown that WVO (including open and hidden ones like the ones on the NSC of the ALSC) are right opportunists of a despicable ilk and this latest “trick” exposes them for what they really are: cowardly “communists”. We say this because the WVO wants no real line struggle, in practice the line struggle they want is only through fantacized articles in their newspaper, to a certain extent in stacked forums and in closed “behind doors” meetings. Objectively what WVO and the Dangerous Duo before them have done is to serve imperialism in a very spectacular way by liquidating ALSC and keeping it in a state of chaos so that it cannot do revolutionary propaganda around the nature of the situation in Southern Africa and its relationship to the revolutionary struggle here in the US. This opportunist line has consistently sabotaged ALSC’s efforts to work for a revolutionary united front between the revolutionary struggles in the US and the revolutionary struggles of the peoples and nations of the Third World.
Unity and Struggle will run a series to clarify some of the things we have just said here, and we will lay out the recent history of WVO in ALSC case by case (this is after they were kicked out of the “Wing” and reappeared at the ALSC conference in September in Atlanta, Ga.) so it will be clear why RCL and sympathizers were “purged” by the cowardly “communists”.
In October RCL initiated a conference on the International Situation held in New York City. This conference and many more are needed to do revolutionary propaganda to give the masses more clarity around today’s complex world situation, especially in light of the sharpening of all the fundamental contradictions in the world and the raging polemic in the international communist movement around who are our enemies and who are our friends. Questions of the basic orientation of the revolutionary forces in the battle against imperialism which must be answered so that the international proletariat can guide these revolutionary struggles through to the end.
This is a question of first importance for the revolutions throughout the world and we must do much more work around this burning question. Several communist and anti-imperialist organizations were invited and participation in this joint effort was very good. But we can always do better and RCL is right now in the process of summing up our work around the conference so this can be printed in the next issue of this paper. But we have some initial criticisms and self-criticisms we have already discussed. Concerning WVO, we invited WVO to participate in one of the workshops so they could present their line as well as engage in line struggle. The holders of the so-called “most correct line” REFUSED, mumbling about “that was not the way they see Marxist-Leninists uniting”, that “LPR was not recognized as genuine”, and that they see the way they ”are working with RCL as the correct way for uniting Marxist-Leninists”. The way they are referring to is behind the doors meetings and through their newspaper (where they can distort without any interference at all). This clearly shows the blatant opportunism of WVO. If they have the “overall most correct line” why won’t they put it out so that other communists and advanced forces can unite with it? Or is it so incorrect and raggedy that it could not stand up in a forum?
And even before this we knew that the Anti-Imperialist Cultural Union (AICU) had asked the New York ALSC to give a message of solidarity at their rally in support of the Ethiopian peoples struggle against the two superpowers. WVO dominates this chapter, but instead of sending one of the chapter leadership there, they sent someone else in the chapter, so that they would not have to be there and engage in the discussion and line struggle. Let us note here that no one from WVO was present at all at the program. And they are continuing in this error because at a recent film showing of a film on Chinese liberation and the woman question at NYU, members of WVO attended the showing, but at the end of the film when the narrator announced that they would take a short break and come back for some discussion, ALL OF WVO QUICKLY EXITED AND NEVER CAME BACK! Are they still going to the bathroom (?) or is this another example of their running from line struggle? The former is possible, but the latter is what happened. One comrade from WVO even had an armful of newspapers and didn’t even wait to sell any, why?
RCL has criticized itself internally for several presentations we made at the conference, they were not well prepared and speeches were not lively. Another error that we made was informing LPR of a time limit on their speech for the evening workshop, but not editing our own presentation so that we ended up making a speech twice as long as LPR and LPR has commented that they edited parts of their speech that would have clarified their positions.
The League for Proletarian Revolution’s appearance at the International Conference, while positive in some ways, was marred by their lack of firmness. And how much too the Gang of Two (Wing) reflects the Gang of Four’s lines and how much the rest of us must do to understand and rectify the insidious, dangerous mark the Gang has made on all of us.
At the conference, ex-wingers raised the anti-Three Worlds Theory most vocally. Some ex-wingers purged by the Gang of Two have made rectification and now oppose the totally bankrupt line of the wing, but these opportunist flotsam in the movement represented at the conference, now aligned with the U.S. clone of the reactionary “Canadian Communist Party M-L”, show that they will hook up with any “Left” opportunist sectarian line, just as they pushed in the “wing”. But LPR must show that it has repudiated the “left” phrasemongering of the Wing – who also “supports” the CPC, but pretends the Gang of Four purge has not happened– meanwhile picking up all the anti-Three World, and anti-CPC lines. Perhaps, if the comrades would actually STUDY the lines of the Communist Party of China, Three Worlds Theory and what the Gang of Four actually represented they would be able to take a firm stance in support of the Three Worlds Theory and abandon centrism and “left” errors.