Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Central Organization of U.S, Marxist-Leninists

Mao Tsetung Thought Versus Opportunism

Against the Revisionist Yellow Journalism of the “Guardian” (Part 1)

This article was originally published The Workers’ Advocate, Vol. 6, No. 6, September 1, 1976

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In the past year Soviet social-imperialism has opened another offensive against Mao Tsetung Thought and the international communist movement, as well as stepping up its aggression around the world. With the attempt of Russian imperialism to take over Portugal via its fifth column, the revisionist party (treacherously calling itself “Communist”) of Portugal, and especially with the Soviet-Cuban invasion of Angola, international opportunism has again revealed its rotten nature, acting as the public relations spokesmen for this Soviet aggression. Thus international opportunism has once again capitulated to the world system of imperialism (of which social-imperialism is one part). International opportunism, following the baton of Brezhnev and Kosygin, created a “debate” on which liberation organization in Angola was “socialist” and which “reactionary”, refused to support the national liberation struggle of the Angolan people as a whole and in fact vilified it with the aid of slanders, rumors and gossip from the Soviet KGB rumor-mills. And today the opportunists see fit to be silent on the continuing heroic resistance of the Angolan people led by UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) to the Soviet-Cuban army of occupation during the ongoing Second Anti-Colonial War of the Angolan People.

The revisionist “independent radical newsweekly” the Guardian has earned particular notoriety with its support for Soviet domination of Portugal and Angola and its repetition of Hitlerite lies against the Angolan people. The Guardian has shamelessly used all the tools of revisionist yellow journalism, relying on emotionalism, sensational lies concocted by the KGB and CIA, forged documents, saying one thing today and another tomorrow, making rabid chauvinist attacks on communists as “flunkeys”, etc. The Guardian has drawn out the political implications of its stand on Angola very clearly, so all can see, by coupling its coverage of Angola with a campaign to “criticize” China and replace Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought by “independent radicalism”. The Guardian is thus seeking to undo the gains of the last decade of revolutionary struggles in the U.S., during which the clearest and most consistent activists came to the view that only Mao Tsetung Thought can light the path forward for the American revolution. The Guardian will thus serve as a useful teacher by negative example in learning about the nature of international opportunism and revisionism. With this article The Workers’ Advocate is beginning a series to take up in detail the features of the pro-imperialist stand of the Guardian.


In order to attack People’s China and communism, the Guardian has started a “debate” on “China’s Foreign Policy”, mainly centered on Angola. Imagine that! The Soviet-Cuban invaders trample Angolan soil, massacre the Angolan people with rockets, jet planes and artillery, and set up a neo-colonial government of national betrayal in Luanda. The Soviet-Cuban-MPLA neo-colonial government makes a deal with the racist and fascist Union of South Africa and promises to protect South African interests in the Cunene Dam and to hunt down Namibian freedom fighters in Southern Angola. And the issue for the Guardian is . . . China’s (not Russia’s) foreign policy! China’s supposed “mistakes” and not the brutal Soviet-Cuban aggression! Why the Guardian is behaving just like the rabid American chauvinists and anti-communists who disrupt mass meetings denouncing U.S. aggression with shouts of “What about Tibet!” But this is not all. Having itself defined the subject of its attention as “China’s Foreign Policy”, the Guardian then refuses to discuss this question and instead promotes a stream of gossip, slanders, lies and sheer fabrications. The Guardian wishes to totally mystify what proletarian internationalism is in order to be able to present the Soviet fascist aggression as fraternal “aid” and as “internationalism”. Actually the basis of China’s consistent foreign policy has been repeatedly stated in public documents over the years – but you won’t find it in the pages of the Guardian.[1] The Guardian, having insisted on opening a “debate” on “China’s Foreign Policy” rather than denouncing Soviet aggression, is hiding the revolutionary line of Chairman Mao on foreign affairs. This exposes the desire of the Guardian to throw mud at Mao Tsetung Thought.

“Independent Radicalism” Means Slavish Revisionism

The Guardian wishes to replace Mao Tsetung Thought with “independent radicalism”. Guardian Executive Editor Irwin Silber believes in the revisionist theory of “polycentrism” (many centers, i.e. no center) and he writes of “. . . the absence of an agreed-upon center to the world revolutionary movement . . .”[2] When the politically experienced Guardian talks of “independence” it is just political deception. The Guardian says that it is “among China’s foremost supporters”[3] while actually it is attacking China and Chairman Mao, and similarly it says on every masthead that it is “independent” while actually it is a public relations agent for Soviet social-imperialism and follows Khrushchovite revisionism. In today’s world, there are two forces in contention. On one side are the forces of world imperialism. These forces have definite leadership and are led by U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism. On the other side are the forces of the world proletarian socialist revolution. These forces include the socialist countries, the proletarian movements in the capitalist and revisionist countries, and the national liberation movement of the oppressed nations. These forces also have definite leadership. The international communist movement is leading the forces of socialism, and it is lead by the Communist Party of China and Chairman Mao and the Party of Labor of Albania and Comrade Enver Hoxha. This movement is guided by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought. Comrade Enver Hoxha has put it very well:

The Albanian people and all the people of the world nurture an ardent love and place deep trust in great socialist China, in her glorious Party and in Mao Tsetung, the great and beloved leader not only of the Chinese people and communists, but also the dear and respected leader of all the peoples and communists of the world. This infuriates modern revisionism which, with the Moscow renegades at its head, and in collusion with U.S. imperialism, is waging a fierce and diabolical struggle to oppose the peoples and China , . . The greatest enemy of U.S. imperialism and of Soviet social-imperialism are the peoples of the world, with great Mao Tsetung’s China at the head. The struggle is being waged between freedom and socialism on the one hand, and slavery and aggressive imperialism of the two superpowers on the other. All the peoples of the world have pinned their hopes of liberation, independence and well-being on their efforts and on Mao’s China . . . The peoples of the world who feel and suffer on their back the oppression of the two superpowers, see and feel that Mao Tsetung, the great Marxist-Leninist, is on their side. They see socialist China stands then in good stead with sincerity and fraternal love . . . Old and young should feel and realize that socialism, revolution, and the liberation of the peoples makes headway because great socialist China marches unswervingly along this road.[4]

The Guardian is part of the fierce and diabolical struggle that Comrade Hoxha denounces, a struggle by modern revisionism in collusion with U.S. imperialism to oppose the peoples and China. The Guardian nourishes bitter hatred against People’s China and Chairman Mao, and is too much of a great-power chauvinist to even take notice of “tiny” Albania!

What does the Guardian’s “independence” mean in practice? Another glance at the content of the witches’ brew of lies and concoctions that the Guardian calls a “debate” on “China’s Foreign Policy” will be instructive. The Guardian officially opened this “debate” in its issue of May 5, 1976 with the two sides represented by W. Burchett and W. Hinton. The two positions were: capitulate to Soviet social-imperialism under the hoax that U.S. imperialism is “the main enemy” or capitulate to U.S. imperialism under the hoax that Soviet social-imperialism is “the main enemy”. The Guardian promotes this “debate” because both positions are basically consistent with the Guardian’s outlook. For a political prostitute like the Guardian, the only “real” debate is which imperialist power to sell out to. The two “sides” in this debate are not fundamentally contradictory, but are simply aspects of the same position of capitulation to world imperialism. It is very significant that both champions of capitulation, with which the Guardian starts its debates, advocate that the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was “ultra-left”. It simply never enters the minds of these revisionist slaves to take the side of freedom and socialism – revolution is “ultra-left” and there only remain s the eminently practical business of calculating whose imperialist Patron Saint offers the best deal! The essence of the campaign against China and Mao Tsetung Thought is capitulation to imperialism.


The Guardian’s “debate” on China has revealed its anti-communist, rotten nature to many activists. This anti-communism is of long-standing. The Guardian has always apologized for Soviet social-imperialism on all crucial issues. The Guardian has a consistent hi story of Khrushchovite revisionism and capitulation to U.S. imperialism. For reasons of lack of space and time, we will restrict ourselves to the period after April 29, 1967 when the Guardian re-organized itself into an “independent radical newsweekly”. What role has the Guardian played since then?

During the ’60’s many revolutionary mass movements surged forward. There was the youth and student movement, the Afro-American struggle against racial discrimination and violent repression, the movement against the U.S. imperialist war of aggression in Viet Nam, the workers movement against capitalist exploitation, and others. But there was tremendous confusion on all fundamental questions. There was no communist party to provide proletarian leadership to the mass movements: the so-called “Communist” Party had long-since degenerated into a revisionist, bourgeois party, and the Progressive Labour Party, which was the first anti-revisionist center in the U. S., proved unable to rise to the tasks before it and degenerated into the Trotskyite sea it is today. In 1967 the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution broke out in China and brought the brilliance of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought to the whole world. The question of which path forward for the American revolution, of whether there should be a real Communist Party or not in America and whether Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought should be its theoretical foundation, was agitating the minds of the revolutionary activists. There was sharp struggle on these questions and it was not until 1969 that the First Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists (the Regina Conference of May 1969) ushered in the period of applying the lessons of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution to the U.S., and gave rise to the first national center for the dissemination of Mao Tsetung Thought, the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist), a predecessor of the COUSML.

The Guardian fought as hard as it could on the question of what path for the revolution. It promoted Castro and Castroism (Guevara-ism, Debray-ism) as the new “revolutionary” theory and alternative to Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought. During the late ’60’s the Guardian printed dozens upon dozens of articles promoting Castroism. In 1967 in a “Special Issue” on Cuba and Castroism the Guardian wrote:

“For the peoples of Latin America, the capitals of the world – are Havana and Hanoi.“[5] In 1968, Castro praised the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, an aggression so blatant that even most of the “pro-Soviet” revisionist parties denounced it. The Guardian lavished praise on this shameful act of Castro’s and slandered the heroic Cuban people in an article entitled “Cubans proud of Fidel’s Czech stand”.[6] Since Castro had betrayed the Cuban people and turned Cuba into a client-state of the Soviet New Tsars, the Guardian praised him as “independent” and printed an article on Cuban-Soviet relations entitled “Cuba displays independence” in which they wrote “They (Cuba and the New Tsars of the USSR – ed.) have created the type of relationship that is honest and mature, rejecting both slavishness and enmity.”[7] So to see what “independence” means to the Guardian one need only look at Castro! Actually, of course, Castroism is not an “independent” ideology in the least. Castroism is a liberal bourgeois ideology that is utilized by the Soviet New Tsars to undermine Marxism-Leninism. Castro himself is just a miserable lackey and fawning yes-man of Soviet social-imperialism. Since Khrushchovite revisionism was getting exposed and the reformism and parliamentary cretinism of the revisionist parties was getting notorious, the New Tsars needed a militant-sounding front. The mystique of Castroism served their purposes. Castro had seized power through armed struggle (although not by people’s war) and talked much about armed struggle; in this way Castro had gained prestige among many activists. Yet as Castro became a traitor to the Cuban people and betrayed the Cuban revolution, he broke relations with the Marxist-Leninists in Latin America and collaborated with all the revisionist, pro-Soviet parties that opposed armed struggle. Castro’s betrayal was so thorough that he forced Che Guevara to rely on the revisionist parties in Latin America when Che Guevara started his guerrilla band in Bolivia.

The revisionist parties, following their long-standing practice of “peaceful” betrayal of the people, betrayed information about Guevara to the political police and CIA, and this was the immediate reason for Guevara’s tragic martyrdom.[8] Thus in promoting Castroism the Guardian was doing the dirty work for the Soviet revisionists in their campaign against Mao Tsetung Thought, China and communism.

While the Guardian enthusiastically obeyed the Soviet baton and promoted Castroism, it printed only a small handful of articles about the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, refused to print the important statements of Chairman Mao, and viciously slandered Mao Tsetung Thought and People’s China. Irwin Silber poured forth his hatred for communism and clearly showed the connection between following Soviet revisionism and being an American great-power chauvinist by writing the following in 1968:

It has become almost fashionable on the left in recent years to dismiss the Chinese revolution. We know that ping-pong matches aren’t won by reading the appropriate passages from The Thought of Chairman Mao. Certainly, based on the little we know of the cultural revolution in China, there seems to be a senseless deification of Chairman Mao and an attack on the individuality of the human being which is a violation of both our western and our own revolutionary sensibilities. (Yes, I think our revolution will be western, when it comes.)[9]

This tirade trumpets forth Khrushchovite revisionism with its idle chatter about the “cult of the individual” or “senseless deification of Chairman Mao”. It positively revels in fascist “western” chauvinism with its talk of our “western” sensibilities and “western” revolution and its parroting of the stock fascist line that communism is an “attack on the individuality of the human being”.

But mainly the Guardian ignored the Cultural Revolution in the late ’60’s. In 1970 Irwin Silber published his book entitled The cultural revolution: a marxist analysis. This book is all about the Woodstock rock concert and the bourgeois cultural counterrevolution and never mentions the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution at all. And in 1973 Irwin Silber compiled and edited with Fred Silber the Folksinger’s Wordbook[10]. Irwin Silber wrote the introduction, which discusses cultural problems again without mentioning the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, and states: “It is for them – the doers, the carers, the militants, the singers of conscience and motion – that we have compiled this collection”.

This book is full of the decadent bourgeois culture, especially its most degenerate aspects, and includes such American chauvinist favorites as “The Star Spangled Banner”, “America the Beautiful” and “Dixie”, as well as songs of allegiance to the bourgeoisie, like “Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Back Again” and “Fair and Free Elections”. Thus the Guardian served its modern revisionist campaign against Mao Tsetung Thought by negating the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and reveling in bourgeois decadence.

The Guardian Supports the New Tsars Out of Hatred for Socialism

The Guardian does not support modern Soviet revisionism because of confusion as to whether the Soviet Union is still following the path of Lenin and Stalin. There are indeed some people who still are, confused about the difference between the Soviet Union of the days of Lenin and Stalin and the Soviet Union of the New Tsars and support revisionism out of misplaced loyalty, but the Guardian is not one of them. The Guardian supports the New Tsars and revisionism out of its burning hatred for communism and the legacy of Lenin and Stalin. Khrushchovite revisionism was a god send to all sorts of hidden agents corroding the communist and progressive movements from within that allowed them to openly “bloom” and spew out their anti-communism. The Guardian has consistently attacked Stalin in the most violent language. For example: in January, 1968, the Guardian printed an article by Cedric Belfrage promoting that each country has its own road to socialism (“Czechs and Hungarians finding their own way”) in which the most vulgar, fascist “jokes” about Stalin and Beria are praised.[11] In 1969 the Guardian editorialized: “. . . we deplore the resurrection by some of ’Comrade Stalin’ as a positive figure in communist history . . .”[12] There are dozens of such examples. They continue to the present. In January 1974 Irwin Silber reviewed a book by Solzhenitsyn and stated: “even though Solzhenitsyn himself is a reactionary mystic, I was prepared to defend The Gulag Archipelago if it offered us reasonable documentation let alone punctilious proof, of the gross violations of socialist legality of the Stalin era.”[13] Now just imagine that! Irwin Silber would defend arch-fascist Solzhenitsyn, but Solzhenitsyn was too obvious. Irwin Silber goes on to say “It will not do, however, to shut our eyes to the fact that Solzhenitsyn and other reactionaries are basing themselves in part, on genuine disorders that seriously compromised the course of socialist development in the Soviet Union.” The Guardian’s hatred of Stalin extends to the entire socialist camp of Stalin’s time. Irwin Silber summed up dozens of articles in the Guardian by stating:

“. .. For the most part, the ’socialism’ of East Europe has been imposed upon it by the geopolitical needs of the USSR rather than the seizure of power by the working class.”[14] Thus Mr. Silber is repeating the fascist lies about “Red imperialism” and the ”captive nations” of Eastern Europe. According to the Guardian’s slanders, the Soviet Union was strong enough after World War II to act as an imperialist power dominating all of Eastern Europe, but today . . . well the Soviet Union is such a meek, weak country that to establish “a neo-colonial military outpost in West Africa bears little resemblance to anything the Kremlin could realistically hope to achieve”[15] while in Portugal “the USSR’s own immediate preference is for a nonaligned Portugal” since “. . . their capability (to dominate Portugal – ed.) is not the same as their hopes...”[16] According to the Guardian Stalin’s supposed “crimes” were enormous, Czechoslovakia was pretty much a Soviet puppet in 1948 . . . but the New Tsars are merely giving some “aid” to a truly independent and liberated Angola! Clearly the Guardian is very conscious to distinguish between the glorious communist leader Stalin and the inglorious fascist dogs Kosygin and Brezhnev. All the Guardian’s whining and wringing of hands over whether capitalism has been “fully” restored or not in the Soviet Union is just so much clowning about to fool the naive and inexperienced. The Guardian supports the New Tsars precisely because it knows that the fascist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie has been restored in Russia.

Taking Up Sham Marxism-Leninism In Order To Oppose Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought

Despite the efforts of the Guardian, Mao Tsetung Thought gained great prestige among revolutionary activists. The work of the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist), the first center for the dissemination of Mao Tsetung Thought, in favor of building a new Party on the basis of Mao Tsetung Thought was bearing fruit. The Call for a (Second) Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists issued in November, 1972, played a key role in showing many activists the importance of party-building. In these circumstances, the Guardian refused to do self-criticism and give up its opportunism. Instead it took up “Marxism-Leninism” in order to oppose Marxism-Leninism from “within”, so to speak. It thus took up Lin Piao’s line of “waving Chairman Mao’s banner to strike at Chairman Mao’s forces”. The Guardian expressed its new policy with comical brazenness as follows: “Today when the Guardian has opened up the question of the debilitating effects of revisionism in the ranks of the world revolutionary movement, still others have decided that ’this is the last straw’.”[17]

With incredible arrogance, the Guardian pats itself on the back for “opening up” the very new question, of criticizing revisionism in . . . don’t laugh . . . 1972. Thus the Guardian with a sweep of the pen wipes out the history of the struggle against modern Soviet revisionism that has been raging since the late ’50’s and is led by the Communist Party of China and Party of Labor of Albania, to say nothing of wiping out the history of Lenin’s struggle against old-style revisionism. And note carefully that the Guardian does not ally itself with the international communist movement in the struggle against the counter-revolutionary forces of modern Khrushchovite revisionism. On the contrary, the Guardian called for papering over the defects and imperfections of the revisionist movement, of taking up the thankless task of removing the “debilitating effects” from its revisionist movement, which it euphemistically calls the “world revolutionary movement”.

How was the Guardian able to pass off this sham “Marxism-Leninism” as genuine? It was due in large part to certain national neo-revisionist organizations such as the October League. These organizations, led by certain student leaders who had made serious errors in the ’60’s, adapted New Leftism to Marxism-Leninism. They set “building the mass movement” against “building the party” and practiced a form of “left economism”. They built alliances with the Guardian. Of course, there is nothing wrong with temporary alliances in and of themselves. The basis of the alliance is the crucial question. The basis of their alliances with the Guardian was the unprincipled policy of “unite with the bad elements to oppose the communists” which included, more specifically, “unite with the Guardian and other anti-communist riff-raff to oppose the ACWM(M-L), the dissemination of Mao Tsetung Thought, and the Call for a Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists. Who can forget the spectacle of their parading around in the Guardian “party-building forums” at that time! Who can forget the sorry sight of their lavishing kisses and caresses on the ultra-rightist Irwin Silber while they denounced the upholders of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought as “ultra-left” and “CIA agents”. Now these same worthies are morally offended by the Guardian. One of these groups, the October League (Marxist-Leninist) raises its hands to heaven and sighs that the Guardian “covers up the real nature of Soviet social-imperialism”[18], a fact which the OL(M-L) apparently didn’t notice until 1975. Why don’t these neo-revisionist gentlemen perform a service for the whole movement for once and expose the real history of the Guardian and its long-standing opportunism? No, they will never do that! It is their own small-group interests that lead them to a falling-out with the Guardian, just as these small-group interests lead them into the alliance with the Guardian. Therefore they have refused to do self-criticism and have instead attempted to mislead a number of activists and groups by concocting the view that the Guardian was progressive up until the time it broke off with their own circle. This vividly confirms that the Guardian does not suffer from some special, dread disease peculiar to itself, but instead reflects the ugly features of opportunism as a whole.


In the course of its opportunist history, the Guardian has taken up the lines of the capitalist-roaders in China. This is no accident. Opportunism is an international bourgeois trend. The Soviet New Tsars, the Chinese capitalist-roaders, and the American opportunists are all united by their revisionist and opportunist lines and give mutual support to each other. Below we show how the Guardian has taken up the lines of Liu Shao-chi, Lin Piao and Teng Hsiao-ping in its frenzied struggle against Chairman Mao’s revolutionary line.

China’s Khrushchov, Liu Shao-chi, was a bitter opponent of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. His counter-revolutionary bourgeois headquarters was overthrown in the Cultural Revolution. The Guardian not only opposed the Cultural Revolution, as we have shown above, but praised Liu Shao-chi. In December 1967, for instance, the Guardian printed a book review that stated: “China’s international isolation ... threw into question, according to Schurman and Karol, the whole Chinese foreign policy of the late 1950s and early 1960s as well as the men who formulated it – Liu Shao-chi, Teng Hsiao-ping and especially Peng Chen. They had led the split with the Soviet Union . . .”[19] This is the usual bourgeois and revisionist song and dance about China being supposedly “isolated” because it refuses to capitulate to the Soviet New Tsars and about China, not the Soviet revisionists, allegedly splitting the communist movement. But look who is identified as leading China’s foreign policy: Liu Shao-chi himself; Teng Hsiao-ping, who was Liu Shao-chi’s chief assistant; and Peng Chen, who was criticized by name for his revisionist views and underhanded actions in the May 16, 1966 Circular of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, which ushered in the Cultural Revolution. Thu s the article turns truth on its head and makes white into black. The article opposes the struggle against modern Soviet revisionism and supports Liu Shao-chi’s line by mystifying everything and saying that Liu Shao-chi and Teng Hsiao-ping were criticized for leading the struggle against modern Soviet revisionism. And the article thus recommends Liu Shao-chi and Teng Hsiao-ping as heroes to anyone who wishes to oppose the Soviet revisionists. This support for Liu Shao-chi continues to the present day. In 1973 the “Guardian Pamphlet” entitled Unite the Many, Defeat the Few, China’s revolutionary line in foreign affairs appeared, written by Jack Smith, the Guardian’s present managing editor. The Guardian still claims that this pamphlet is “generally conceded to be one of the most useful summations and explanations of China’s revolutionary line in foreign affairs in the English language and one of the best exposures of the revisionist and Trotskyist slanders of China’s line.”[20] This pamphlet can find no one better qualified to explain the significance of Chairman Mao’s work than . . . China’s Khrushchov, Liu Shao-chi. Liu Shao-chi is approvingly quoted in pp. 6-7, part of this quote being: “Mao Tsetung’s great accomplishment has been to change Marxism-Leninism from a European to an Asiatic form. Marx and Lenin were Europeans; they wrote in European languages about European histories and problems, seldom discussing Asia or China ... He (Chairman Mao –ed.) has created a Chinese or an Asiatic form of Marxism . . .” This passage is a chauvinist slander of Marx and Lenin, who always paid great attention to the liberation movements of the colonial and oppressed peoples, and slanders Mao Tsetung Thought, which is presented as a revisionist “Chinese road to socialism”, as “Asiatic Marxism”, which certainly could be of no value in Europe or North America. The Guardian expresses its own revisionist and chauvinist line through the mouth of Liu Shao-chi. This is indeed, “one of the best (self-) exposures of the revisionist and Trotskyist slanders of China’s line.”

The Ultra-Rightist Guardian Praises the Ultra-Rightist Lin Piao

Lin Piao was characterized by The Political Report to the Tenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China as an “ultra-rightist” and a “superspy” for Soviet social-imperialism. Lin Piao regarded the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution as “ultra-left” and criminally tried to assassin ate the great leader, Chairman Mao. We have already shown how the Guardian took up Lin Piao’s line of “waving Chairman Mao’s flag to strike at Chairman Mao’s forces” starting in the early 70’s. The Guardian, being ultra-rightist itself, enthusiastically propagated Lin Piao’s theory that the “Maoists” were “ultra-left”. The Soviet social-imperialist agent Wilfred Burchett wrote in the Guardian in 1971 an article entitled “Mao’s Problems with the Maoists”. This article stated: “It is probably difficult for the outside world to grasp that the ’Maoists’, as they are called abroad, were a major problem here at the height of China’s cultural revolution.

“Officially designated as ’ultra-leftists’, the ’Maoists’ acted as if violence itself was the supreme expression of the ’thoughts of Chairman Mao’.”

Exactly who was Burchett attacking as “ultra-left”? If there is any doubt, Burchett clears it up by always putting the phrase “thought of Mao Tsetung” in quotes to make it more ironical. Burchett was attacking Mao Tsetung Thought and its followers, both in China and elsewhere. Burchett added: “In discussions with Chinese official son the analogy with some Maoist groups abroad, a frequent dry reaction was that perhaps they should get down to studying the ’thoughts of Chairman Mao’ instead of just pinning on Mao badges.”[21] Burchett further attacks Mao Tsetung Thought one week later when he writes: “To convey his ideas, Mao has fused Marxist dialectics with classical Chinese Confucian concepts of austerity, . probity, social responsibility and patriotism.” According to the Guardian, Chairman Mao is a Chinese Ronald Regan and a supporter of the reactionary Confucian philosophy! In its frenzy to support Lin Piao’s line that Mao Tsetung Thought is “ultra-left”, the Guardian goes so far as to falsify its account of China’s Tenth National Congress. In its issue of Sept. 12, 1973 it prints excerpts from The Political Report to the Tenth Congress. It leaves out the entire section “On the Victory of Smashing the Lin Piao Anti-Party clique” which refers to “the Ultra-Rightist nature of the Lin Piao anti-Party clique”. In the “Guardian Viewpoint” it then states: “The main tasks of the Chinese people, the party has stated, are to combat revisionism, expose ultra-leftism and rectify the style of work.” (emphasis added.) Thus the Guardian commits a gross forgery to identify the struggle against the “ultra-rightist” Lin Piao as a struggle against the “ultra-left”.

The Guardian has coupled this parotting of Lin Piao’s line with the most extravagant praise of Lin Piao. lack Smith, present Managing Editor of the Guardian, wrote an article entitled “Decline and fall of Lin Piao” in which he describes Lin Piao, the super spy for the New Tsars, as “a leading exponent of the struggle in defeating revisionism within China during the 1966-69 period” and Lin Piao’s policies as “in regard to foreign affairs, largely continue the tactical policy of the cultural revolution, fight both enemies (U.S. and Soviet imperialism – ed.) at the same time with equal force and spread revolution and ’Maoism’ on the basis of supporting revolutionary struggles wherever and whenever they break out...”[22] What shameless praise for the ultra-rightist who plotted to assassinate Chairman Mao. The Guardian was so sorrowful over Lin Piao’s downfall that the second part of Jack Smith’s article states: “The Lin Piao affair, in contradiction to conventional struggles between two lines in the CCP, is an unfortunate page in Chinese history.” Only a rabid agent of capitalist restoration who wished to turn China into a Soviet colony would find the downfall of Lin Piao to be “an unfortunate page in Chinese history.”

The Guardian also supported Teng Hsiao-ping. Jack Smith’s article, after mourning the death of Lin Piao, hurries on to give Teng Hsiao-ping’s line that class struggle is over. It states: “But it is a page that has been decisively turned. A new page, with China stabilizing itself internally and exercising extraordinary influence externally, has replaced it.” The Guardian reemphasized this in its article referred to above reporting on the CPC’s Tenth National Congress. The Guardian’s first sentence points out: “Political stability characterizes the People’s Republic of China today.”[23] The Guardian has also been feverishly promoting the idea of capitulation to imperialism under the guise of receiving “aid” for the revolutionary struggle. This too is in complete agreement with Teng Hsiao-ping’s line. Red Flag, the theoretical journal of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has recently denounced Teng Hsiao-ping’s line on foreign affairs as follows: “In foreign affairs, he (Teng Hsiao-ping – ed.) practised capitulation and national betrayal, and vainly attempted to turn China into a colony and semi-colony of imperialism and social-imperialism.”[24] The Guardian is in complete agreement with this line and has been promoting capitulation to imperialism.


While the Guardian is an agent of Soviet social-imperialism, it has also capitulated to U.S. imperialism. The Guardian is well-known for promoting the deception of the “liberal bourgeoisie”. We have also quoted above many examples of the American chauvinist and fascist lines which abound in the Guard/an; for example, there is Irwin Silber’s 1967 call for “Western” revolution, his inclusion of “America the Beautiful”, “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Dixie” in a folksong book for activists, the Guardian’s championing of the revisionist, chauvinist theory of “each country’s own road to socialism”, the Guardian’s taking up the fascist theory of Stalin’s supposed “Red imperialism”, etc. Another example, the Guardian’s fascist theory of “flunkeyism”, is worth noting. In a 1972 “viewpoint” the Guardian put it this way: “The U.S. left has historically come to grief as a result of blind allegiance to other parties and movements. The failure of the Communist party in this country is inextricably bound up with its flunkeyist relation to the party and state leadership of the USSR. We do not propose to correct this error of the past by substituting for it a dogmatic loyalty to any other revolutionary party – whether in Peking, Havana, Pyongyang or anywhere else.”[25] Here the Guardian is giving the stock fascist line that the communists in Lenin and Stalin’s time were “agents of Moscow” and today the supporters of Mao Tsetung Thought are “agents of Peking”. That the Guardian has capitulated so abjectly to the U.S. bourgeoisie is not surprising. It is simply marching in step with revisionism internationally. For example, the French “Communist” (read: revisionist) Party and Italian “Communist” Party are tried and true betrayers of the working class and followers of modern revisionism, and it is well-known that both these parties are wringing their hands and protesting their loyalty to the big bourgeoisie of their own countries. The Italian “Communist” Party, already “compromised” many times over with revisionism, now wants a “historic compromise” with the Italian bourgeois political parties in which the big bourgeoisie will let the revisionists join the national government and share the spoils of exploiting workers. While the French “Communist” Party, not to be outdone, at its 22nd Congress has written the dictatorship of the proletariat out of the Party program, ridiculed the very term “proletariat”, and General Secretary Marchais asked for the prohibition of the clench-fist salute because the revisionist Party “is not the party of the raised fist, but the party of the outstretched hand” (begging the bourgeoisie for alms, no doubt).[26] Indeed Khrushchov himself set the example of representing the new bourgeoisie in the Soviet Union, while developing the “Camp David” spirit and collaborating with the supposedly “reasonable” U.S. imperialists.

Thus those who capitulate to either one of the superpowers have also abandoned the struggle against the other superpower. They are too weighed down with the terrible burden of being a traitor to the people’s cause and of having deserted to the camp of imperialism. Take the question of Angola for example. The Guardian is being widely condemned for having sold out to the Soviet New Tsars in its support of Soviet aggression in Angola. Not so widely known, however, is that the Guardian has also abandoned the struggle against U.S. imperialist interests in Angola and against the racist and fascist Union of South Africa. In fact the Guardian has become the fig-leaf hiding the new blatant imperialist acts of the U.S. imperialists, who are exploiting the Soviet neo-colonial government in Luanda for their own ends.

For example, the Guardian has shouted itself hoarse, become hysterical, and spewed forth many Hitlerite lies concerning who gets “CIA funds” and is backed by Western funds in Angola. Does that mean that the Guardian stands for independence from U.S. imperialism? Not at all. Right now, today, right in front of everyone’s eyes and boasted about in the bourgeois press, the Gulf Oil Co. is helping to finance the Soviet-Cuban-M PLA government of national betrayal in its slaughter of the Angolan people, who are fighting back heroically under the leadership of UNITA. The U.S. bourgeoisie prefers a Soviet neo-colonial government to a liberated Angola. The defeat of Portuguese colonialism was a defeat for U.S. imperialism, which was thrown out of Angola. It is only the Soviet aggression that allows the U.S. to put its dirty hand back into Angola. And the Guardian, that “great opponent” of U. S. imperialism and neo-colonialism, is . . . silent about this funding by U.S. imperialism! Irwin Silber mumbles along about “Gulf’s obligation (enforced by the MPLA) to pay royalties on its oil to the Angolan people . . .”[27] So U.S. imperialism has become a kindly old businessman who respects obligations, at least if his business partner squawks a little! What happened to the U.S. imperialism that had conducted total economic boycotts at various times for years against the People’s Republic of China, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania, Cuba, and other countries? The Guardian has become an apologist for U.S. imperialism, representing U.S. imperialist blood money as a mere commercial transaction.

Even more striking, however, is the pact signed between the neo-colonial government in Luanda and the fascist, U.S. imperialist-backed Union of South Africa. In this pact, the MPLA guarantees to respect the main South African interests in Angola, namely those in the Cunene Dam, and to deny southern Angolan bases and sanctuaries to the Namibian freedom fighters fighting against the South African occupation of Namibia (“South West Africa”). In exchange for diplomatic recognition and money, the Soviet-Cuban-MPLA government has sold out the Angolan people, betrayed the national liberation struggle in Namibia, and become the collaborator of the Union of South Africa. Cuban and South African troops now live together and jointly hunt the “rebels” in southern Angola! As is well-known, the Guardian sensationalized endlessly on the South African aggression against Angola during the civil war. The Guardian turned truth on its head, condemned UNITA for its non-existent collaboration with South Africa, and hid the real issues in Angola under a flood of emotionalism. Does that mean the Guardian is a staunch opponent of South Africa? Not at all. Today the Guardian is... silent about the notorious pact with South Africa!

Irwin Silber’s Love Affair with Congress

In fact, the Guardian has united on the issue of Angola with the overwhelming majority in the U.S. imperialist Congress. On December 19, the Senate voted by 54-22 (i.e., almost 2 1/2 to one) to ban the so-called “(overt aid” to the alleged “pro-U.S.” forces in Angola. On January 27 the House upheld this resolution by a huge margin of 323 to 99 (i.e., well over 3 to 1). Now, Congress is a talk-shop, where corrupt politicians make speeches for the sake of fooling the common people. It is easy to pass a resolution against aid to UNITA because the U. S. imperialists have never given any aid to UNITA anyway. Thus Congress kills two bird s with one stone – it further slanders UNITA and it passes itself off as “peace-loving” and humanitarian at a time when U.S. imperialism is preparing to kill hundreds of millions of people in an imperialist world war against the Soviet New Tsars for world domination. This pious declaration by Congress hides U. S. preparations for world war as well as the real facts on the U. S. imperialist “involvement” in Angola, such as: that the entire U.S. capitalist press is waging a determined campaign against UNITA; that the U. S. imperialists are the backers of the continued South African aggression against the Angolan people; and that the U. S. imperialists are already making deals with the neo-colonial government in Luanda. And what does the Guardian do in the face of this blatant attempt by the Congressional war-mongers to pass themselves off as “against war” and taking a “hands-off” stance in Angola? The Guardian praises Congress and sings songs of thanks!

The Guardian wrote in its article entitled “Congress blocks Angola policy” that: “the White House has been slapped down hard on Angola” and “the Congressional decision was a stunning setback for the Ford administration’s plans to defeat progressive forces in Angola”.[28] According to the Guardian, there is a reactionary Republican president Ford and a peaceful, reasonable Congress. The Guardian goes on to praise the Congress’ motives: “The principal reason for the congressional action was to avoid another ’Vietnam-type’ war in Angola and to prevent the social dislocation that would result within the U.S. were a mass anti-Angola war movement to develop.” According to the Guardian, Congress is scared of two things: a) a “Vietnam type” war, and b) protest by the American people. During the long years of U.S. aggression in Viet Nam, Congress was faced with: a) the war in Viet Nam, and b) a massive revolutionary movement of the American people against U.S. aggression in Viet Nam. But Congress never stopped the war on this account. In stead Congress a) savagely pursued the war until the U.S. aggression was utterly defeated, and b) committed fascist repression of the American people, combined with lying pacifist speeches from the Congressional “liberals” to soothe and deceive the people. Today U.S. imperialism is indeed worried about a “Vietnam-type” war in Angola. That war is going on right now. It is the heroic Second Anti-Colonial War of the Angolan People led by UNITA and guided by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, a war directed against Soviet neo-colonialism. U.S. imperialism has been weakened by defeats, but any imperialist power grows more and more vicious, not less vicious, as it enters its last, desperate death-bed struggles. U.S. imperialism is replying to the liberation struggles of the African people with the same hatred as it did to those of the Indo-chinese people. So what exactly is the Guardian up to with its love songs to Congress? Irwin Silber blabs it out again as follows: “As mentioned earlier, the Pentagon’s perennial crusade for larger and larger armaments expenditures clearly requires the promotion of a fear psychology. The political pressure on a Congress which, for a period of time, was beginning to reflect popular aversion to U.S. military aggression in other parts of the world has had its effect.”[29] (emphasis added). What shameless boot-licking and belly-crawling before the bourgeoisie! At the very time Irwin Silber was speaking of, U. S. imperialism was: backing the fascist Phalangists in their slaughter of the Lebanese and Palestinian people in the civil war; growling at Panama over the Panama Canal; backing the racist “Rhodesian” regime to the hilt in its struggle against the Zimbabwean people; constantly making provocations in Korea; etc. But, we are to believe, this is not Congress. Oh no. It is the Ford Administration and the Pentagon. The U.S. big bourgeoisie is stepping up fascization and preparing for war, but Congress “.. .was beginning to reflect popular aversion to U.S. military aggression . . .”! Why, anyone who can believe that might just as well believe that Congress is run “by, for and of the people”, that the Russian-Cuban army of occupation is killing and torturing Angolan patriots in order to give “fraternal aid” to the Angolan people, and that Santa Claus is going to drop down the chimney next Christmas!

The Guardian is giving the stock revisionist theory of the “two opposing power centers in Washington”. Opportunists do not wish to oppose the monopoly capitalist class and its tool, the entire government apparatus, but express their desire to capitulate to the class enemy under the hoax that one section is “liberal”, or “reflects the popular will” or “is opposed to the ultra-rights and fascists”, etc.

Oh yes, the Guardian “officially” recognizes that U.S. imperialism exists, it even styles itself as exceptionally bold when it calls U.S. imperialism the “main enemy” ... but the Guardian says that “Congress” was “beginning to reflect” the popular will! Imagine that... the entire Congress (after all, the vote was 3 to 1) has begun to repudiate imperialism ... if only the Pentagon would stop pressuring it! During the polemics against modern Khrushchovite revisionism in the’60’s, the Chinese paper People’s Daily replied to the vile attacks of the “Communist” (revisionist) Party of the USA, the party of class traitors of the Gus Hall type, as follows: “Some leaders of the CPUSA will probably say that they do not deny that U.S. imperialism is perpetrating the crimes of aggression and war in various parts of the world. When they mention these criminal activities, however, they always hasten to add that these evils are not the work of the president of the United States, but of the ’ultra-Rights’, or are done by the president under the pressure of the ’ultra-Rights’. . . . These leaders of the CPUSA often speak of’ two power centers in Washington, one in the White House, the other in the Pentagon’, and speak of ’the Pentagon generals and admirals and their coalition partners among the ultra-Rights, the Republican leaders and Wall Street’ as forces independent of the White House. We should like to ask: Do the leaders of the CPUSA still accept the Marxist-Leninist theory of the state and admit that the U.S. state apparatus is the tool of monopoly capital for class rule? And if so, how can there be a president independent of monopoly capital, how can there be a Pentagon independent of the White House, and how can there be two opposing power centres in Washington?”[30] Irwin Silber gives the same theory, except that for now he is in love with Congress rather than the president. In this way Irwin Silber denies that Congress is a tool of monopoly capital for class rule, gives credibility to the bourgeois fairy tales about Congress representing the people, and actually takes seriously the rhetoric and sophistry of the lying speeches of bourgeois politicians. Thus the Guardian prettifies the nature of U.S. imperialism in general, as well as covering up its specific crimes in Angola, and capitulates to the U.S. monopoly capitalist class.

To be continued.


In the notes below, “NPC” refers to the National Publications Centre, P.O. Box 727, Adelaide Station, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

[1] For China’s foreign policy, see: A Basic Understanding of the Communist Party of China, Shanghai, 1974, available from NPC. Also A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement, 1963; the Political Reports to the Ninth and Tenth National Congresses of the Communist Party of China, etc.

[2] Guardian, Dec. 24, 1975, in “. . . fan the flames . . .” by Irwin Silber.

[3] Guardian, April 16, 1975, ”Viewpoint”.

[4] Comrade Enver Hoxha, Speech on Oct. 3, 1974, reprinted in The Workers’ Advocate, Dec. 15, 1974.

[5] Guardian, Aug. 19, 1967, “Viewpoint”.

[6] Guardian, Aug. 31, 1968. This also shows that the Guardian’s “official” stand against the invasion of Czechoslovakia was from a completely revisionist standpoint and quite compatible with carrying articles praising the Soviet aggression.

[7] Guardian, Jan. 11, 1969.

[8] See The Bolivian Communist Party Replies to Fidel Castro, available from NPC.

[9] Guardian, Oct. 19, 1968, in a film review by Irwin Silber of Edgar Snow’s film One-quarter of Humanity.

[10] Folksinger’s Wordbook, 1973, Oak Publications, A Division of Embassy Music Corporation.

[11] Guardian, Jan. 4, 1968.

[12] Guardian, July 5, 1969, “Viewpoint”.

[13] Guardian, Jan. 30,1974. This is completely consistent with the article “Books: Svetlana reflects crisis” in the Nov. 11, 1967 Guardian which takes Svetlana Stalin’s book for the truth and raves “This is not to mitigate his (Comrade) Stalin’s – ed.) crimes, which were undeniable and appalling.”

[14] Guardian, Dec. 13, 1972, “... fan the flames. . . ” by Irwin Silber. This article also talks of “socialism with a national character”.

[15] Guardian, Feb. 11, 1976, “. . . fan the flames . . .” by Irwin Silber.

[16] Guardian, Aug. 20, 1975, “Guardian Viewpoint”.

[17] Guardian, Oct. 18, 1972, “Viewpoint”.

[18] The Call, April 1975.

[19] Guardian, Dec. 9, 1967, a book review by Leonard P. Liggio entitled “China: ’to rebel is justified’”.

[20] Guardian, April 16, 1975, “Guardian Reply to OL”. Also see Guardian, May 26, 1976 ”Guardian views China discussion” which also praises this pamphlet.

[21] Guardian, May 12, 1971.

[22] Guardian, Aug. 23, 1972.

[23] Guardian, Aug. 30, 1972.

[24] Hsinhua News Bulletin, July 31, 1976, Red Flag Article on Teng Hsiao-ping’s Comprador Bourgeois Economic Ideas.

[25] Guardian, Oct. 18, 1972, “Viewpoint”. Also see Dec. 24, 1975 “...fan the flames...” by Irwin Silber and numerous other references.

[26] Quoted in: Social-Democratic Congress of the French Revisionists, Editorial of Zeri i’ Popullit, organ of the Central Committee of the Party of Labor of Albania, Feb. 21,1976, available from NPC.

[27] Guardian, July 14, 1976, “. . . fan the flames . . .”

[28] Guardian, Feb. 4, 1976.

[29] Guardian, June 30, 1976, “Is the U.S. a second rate power” by Irwin Silber.

[30] “A Comment on the Statement of the Communist Party of the U.S.A.”, Renmin Ribao Editorial, March 8,1963. It was printed both in pamphlet form and in the collection Whence the Difference.