Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Committee for Scientific Socialism (M-L)

Smash Scholasticism and Bolshevize Our Ranks! Expose the Petty-Bourgeois Careerism of MLOC!

1. Grasp the Key Link Of Political Line!

A. Dialectics of War and Revolution

Let us examine the leadership the MLOC offers to the communist and workingclass and national minority movements. What does MLOC tell us about the world situation today? Are they using MLMTTT as the basis of their thinking, directing us in determining our actual tasks in the thick of class struggle? Comrades, beginning with this most basic of all questions MLOC jumps out in clear opportunist fashion.


In the August 1975 issue of Unite!, MLOC proclaims, “Revolution is the main trend in the world today!” (Unite! Vol.1, #1,p.1) They cite the danger of war and fascism as arising from desperate strategies of the superpowers “to preserve the rotten hegemony of monopoly capitalism worldwide,”

Historically, all reactionary forces on the verge of extinction carry on a last desperate effort against revolution. It is the nature of every dying and decadent class to become every bit more ferocious as it sings its final swan song. (Unite! Vol.l, #l, p.l)

They make no distinction between the superpowers nor call either by name. The Soviet Union as the main danger to the world’s people and the main source of war is belittled and the contention between the superpowers is lost in what appears to be a united front of the superpowers against the people of the Third World. Buffered by theoretical generalities the MLOC abandons the task of using MLMTTT to reveal to the working class the truth of the rising danger of world war and the necessary preparation for the struggle already unfolding.

At that time they also stated:

But which of these contradictions is principal?

Which one pushes all the others forward? Comrades and Friends, Indochina provides the clearest of all possible answers to this question. It is the contradiction between the oppressed nations of the world and imperialism and social-imperialism which is the main contradiction in the world today–the contradiction which is pushing history forward. (Unite! V01., #1, p.20)

By February, without a word of self-criticism MLOC’s line on the international situation had begun to reflect some recognition that it is contention between the superpowers that is sharpening the contradictions resulting in a rising danger of world war, not simply a “final swan song.”

We must recognize that certain characteristics of the new system of Soviet-Social Imperialism have made it the most dangerous source of war today. Locked in fierce battle for the redivision of the world, the two superpowers are bound to go to war some day. (Unite! Vol. 2, #1; p.l)

By April, they politely chastise “certain friends in our movement (who) have recently advanced the view that revolution is no longer the main trend in the world today and that there are now ’two contending trends’.” (Communist Line, #5, April 30, 1976, p.17)

While there must be no mistaking the fact that revolution is the main trend in the world today, an objective analysis of the second stage of the General Crisis of capitalist regimes recognizes that both the factors for war and revolution are increasing... (Ibid, p.18; emphasis added)

In August, 1976, at the National ALSC Conference MLOC would neither repudiate nor uphold their line that the principal contradiction in the world today is between the superpowers and national liberation movements, from which the position revolution is the main trend flows.

By October, 1976 in their paper Unite! (Vol.2,#5) and in a reprint on “The Struggle against Imperialist War and the Tasks of Communists” the MLOC dares breathe not a word about revolution being the main trend in the world today! Instead they present us with a war-conscious image.

This pamphlet is put forward as a contribution for promotin (sic) a correct line on this strategic question, so as to prepare the proletarian vanguard to lead the struggle to seize state power. (Preface, p.VI)

Comrades, we have laid out the above mutations of the MLOC to expose how their scholastic methodology is a slick game so they can put themselves forward as communist leadership without ever touching a concrete analysis of concrete conditions. And even in all its generality, one can never tell when MLOC will refuse to uphold or repudiate their line!

Comrades, MLOC is a most dangerous, sham small circle. We cannot polemicize their line on the basis of incorrect ideas alone. We must also explode their “Marxist” cover to reveal their philistine stupidity and petty bourgeois careerism. Prostituting MLMTTT in the pages of Communist Line, and Unite!, they squelch the living soul of Marxism in the generalities of their own ignorance.

In true sophist fashion, the MLOC upholds that

To promote the view that ’there are two contend-tending trends in the world’, or that ’war is the main trend in the world today’, or that ’we cannot know what the main trend is today’ is to deny the fundamental teachings of Lenin and the nature of the four basis contradictions in the world. (Communist Line, #5, p.17; “Proletarian Revolution and the General Crisis of Capitalism”)

Comrades, the fundamental teachings of Lenin also tell us that war is inevitable under imperialism and that as long as there is class society there will be revolutions! Revolution has been the main trend in the world since class society began! To take a vacillating position and cover it up with Lenin’s great name is a slimy sophist trick. Does repeating these general theoretical principles help us provide leadership to the working class in their daily struggle against the bourgeoisie?

Genuine Marxists-Leninists always have to make assessments on the basis of the strategic periods and the present situation; always have to be cognizant of time, place, and conditions, versus the lazy-bone and inevitable opportunist approach of endless generalities. (WVO, newspaper, Vol. 1, #6,p.26)

To genuine Communists lines are questions of truth, not scholastic games. To say that revolution is the main trend in the world today is to obliterate the contending trend of war and fascism which is also on the rise. We cannot belittle the danger of world war.

Whether war gives rise to revolution or revolution prevents war, in either case the international situation will develop in a direction favorable to the people and the future of the world will be bright, so long as the world’s people are prepared against the growing danger of war. (Growing Danger of World War, Peking Review, #3, 1976.

In failing to bring forth the danger of world war, the MLOC has demonstrated an inability to provide genuine communist leadership to the working class. Instead, MLOC self-righteously proclaims themselves the true defenders of Marxism while negating the power of the wisdom of MLMTTT in their “epoch” abstractions.

There are two ways that comrades can approach the question of what is the main trend. One is to play around with vague and ambiguous phrases, which cover up the essence of the epoch and the main trend in the world. The other is to make a concrete analysis of the specific circumstances, class contradictions, and the General Crisis, to utilize scientific definitions and to clearly present the nature of imperialism and proletarian revolution in the present epoch. (Communist Line, #6, p.7; emphasis added)

With statements like this MLOC exposes their bankrupt outlook and stand. This statement shows how world outlook and methodology are identical. The eclectic MLOC, knowing that it is good to be “concrete”, bravely lays claim to “concrete analysis of specific circumstances”. But from this or any other general statement, they must gravitate in the direction dictated by their outlook. If they were Marxist-Leninists they would back up their brave words with actual analysis of some “specific circumstances” having to do with the world situation. The MLOC eases from “concrete and specific” into “the General Crisis”; from there to “scientific definitions”; from which point it is an easy transition back to “the nature of imperialism” in “the present epoch”! In other words, their idea of being “concrete” is to “concretely” quote something out of a book. Careerism and sophistry must necessarily replace genuine communist leadership, as MLOC tries to keep figuring things out so everybody else (including our Chinese comrades) are “vague and ambiguous” and MLOC’s the one who is concrete!


In May of 1975, in their initial party building statement, WVO stated:

...the rapidly growing revolutionary trend is racing fiercely with the trend of fascism and war which the present conditions of capitalism inevitably brings forth. (WVO Vol. 2, #1, p.26)

In their paper and propaganda they have consistently raised two contending trends of fascism and war and revolution. Only this kind of leadership, which is grounded in upholding theory as the basis of our thinking in trying to reflect actual problems of class struggle can lead the proletariat to victory.

We are against imperialist world war for it will cause a great deal of suffering for the working class of both sides who will be slaughtered in defense of capitalist interests. But world war and proletarian revolution are not mutually exclusive because under certain conditions we can turn a bad thing into a good thing, an imperialist war into a civil war to overthrow the bourgeoisie. We put this forward at the same time we put forward our line on two contending trends. (WVO Newspaper, Vol. #1, #3 p S-2)

It’s not just the petty bourgeois outlook of the MLOC which jumps out on this question but also their petty bourgeois stand.

Our philistines cry “revolution is the main trend” to cover their own fears, doubts, and pessimism. Communists apply MLMTTT to concrete conditions. In the event of war, we must turn it into a civil war... What our philistines cannot possible understand is that world war can be the most opportune path to proletarian revolution if the superpowers are to unleash it.” (WVO, September 1976, p. 26)

Now what does MLOC say about those who are applying MLMTTT to concrete conditions?

To hold that we cannot know what the main trend is in the world, let alone to hold the arch reactionary line the ’reaction and war are the main trend in the world’ can only serve to dampen the revolutionary spirit of the masses, underestimate the historic mission of the proletariat and provide aid and comfort to the bourgeoisie. (Communist Line #5, emphasis added)

MLOC exposes themselves as ones whose “revolutionary spirit” is “dampened”! As WVO so clearly states, it is you, MLOC, who is filled with fears, doubts and pessimism. “The future is bright but the road is tortuous.” The working class does not have to be told of the brutality of the class struggle. It is only the petty bourgeoisie that freaks out when confronted with the realities of the rising danger of war and fascism and quickly looses track of the invincible rising power of the working class.

Once again, we see how MLOC must necessarily distort reality into their own petty bourgeois image.

...one must not form the narrow-minded notion that the petty bourgeoisie on principle wishes to enforce antagonistic class interest. Rather, it believes that the special conditions of its emancipation are the general conditions within the frame of which along modern society can be saved and the class struggle avoided. (The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, Karl Marx, SW, Vol. 1, p.424)

Only communists, steeled in class struggle and facing objective reality with a proletarian stand, viewpoint, and method can possibly lead the proletariat in smashing the bourgeoisie. MLOC is certainly not this kind of leader.


Although in their theoretical pieces MLOC quotes abundantly from Dutt and Dimitroff, not anywhere in the pages of Unite! or Communist Line can you find that understanding applied to the actual conditions of class struggle in the US today. In fact, when it comes to exposing the reality of a fascization process unfolding right now, MLOC becomes an appendage to the bourgeoisie by contributing to the confusion and bourgeois democratic illusions which only serve to mask class contradictions.

Inseparable from the question of world war is the question of fascism. In order to stem the tremendous resistance that will arise from the working class in the event of a new world war the bourgeoisie will be forced to impose fascist rule, not allowing any dissent, ruling by open terror and force. A key question to be confronted is whether or not the bourgeoisie will be able to develop a base among the masses for this fascist rule, and usher in fascism, or will only be able to impose fascist rule from the top. The answer to this question greatly affects our efforts to overthrow fascist rule, turning the situation brought on by world war to revolution. With all the contradictions in the United States, that between the working class and the bourgeoisie, between the oppressed nationalities, women and the bourgeoisie, sharpened by the strain of a war, the question of how strong an ideological base the bourgeoisie has, how strong their fascist base is, is very important. (WVO Journal #4, p. 34; emphasis)

A striking example of how the MLOC in not grasping the above, serves the development of an ideological base for fascism is their position on the National Question and their “no line” line on busing. All the theory in “the world can’t help them when they talk at length about the national oppression of Black people in the Black Belt South as terroristic fascist dictatorship and totally neglect to say anything about how busing (a concrete focus of questions of oppressed minorities and the Black nation) is serving the consolidation of fascism from below!

We see the essence of the busing plan in the dialectic between splitting of the working class by the reformists and liberals who push the plan, and the rise of the fascists, fueling racial hatred encouraged by the plan. It is this fascization process that is so crucial to grasp, for it makes the difference as to whether the bourgeoisie will have a mass base under fascist rule which they will be forced to impose in the event of a war. (WVO Journal #4, p 33, emphasis added)

Dimitroff is empty words if MLOC can’t use the science to show the working class in the concrete how fascization is presently unfolding! In combatting the dogmatism of the “wing”, WVO said:

PRRWO’s mindless throwing around of slogans memorized from another period and condition while bypassing the actua1 development of the situation and present tactics of the bourgeoisie, puts them on the side of the bourgeoisie and narrow nationalist forces to further divide our class. (WVO Journal #4, p 33)

We saw how this holds true for the MLOC also.

Another example of MLOC objective role as an appendage of fascization is their petty bourgeois stand on the woman question. With token recognition to the woman question as a class question, MLOC later exposed the depth of their own bourgeois democratic illusions when they end Communist Line, #5, “On the Woman Question”, saying:

In New York, petty bourgeois women have taken an active role in getting the Commission of Human Rights to pencil into affirmative action programs some protection against “unfair abuse of sexual privacy,” but this is clearly a first step which has little effect on most working women. (Communist Line #6, p 7)

Not only will this have little effect on most working women, but in giving credence to the Commission of Human Rights as a first step in gaining genuine democratic rights for women, the MLOC provides the bourgeoisie with a better defense than they, themselves, are able to offer.

The minds of working people are wide open. Working people have begun to throw away their illusions about the capitalist system. The masses are looking for alternatives and leadership. (WVO Journal, Vol. 2, No. 1, p. 55).

Only staunch communist leadership in the thick of class struggle, clearly putting forth the necessity to smash the bourgeoisie and dispelling all illusions of possible gains from bourgeois democracy can make possible fascist rule short lived, if not prevented by proletarian revolution.

The bourgeois democratic revolution can never be continued or finished. Bourgeois democracy turned reactionary long ago. (WVO, July, p. 24).


Although MLOC pays lipservice to the role of communists in preparing the subjective conditions, they are completely unable to do so with their line, “Revolution ąs the main trend in the world today.” Besides putting a blinder over their own eyes, they disarm the working class by belittling the danger of world war.

In their distorted usage of the half-slogan, “revolution is the main trend in the world today” (the other one-half from the statement of comrade Chiao Kuan-hua’s United Nation speech in 1971 was “At present, the danger of a new world war still exists”), RWL, PRRWO, and ATM [and MLOC] actually cut out the soul of Marxism, that is, concrete analysis of concrete conditions. In doing so, they dupe the masses with high-sounding phrases by covering up the actual content of imperialist preparations for war. Thus, they disarm and blunt the necessary preparations by the working class to turn a world war into a civil war, if world war comes before proletarian revolution. (WVO, June, 1976, p.S-2; emphasis added)

It’s impossible to derive actual tasks and provide concrete leadership to the spontaneous upsurge when you’re stuck in the realm of epochs and the world is unfolding in the immediacies of months. However, MLOC in good student fashion does lay out 7 general tasks of how to combat imperialist war. If you read through all 19 pages of Communist Line, #6, “General Crisis and Proletarian Revolution”, you’re bound to see some mention of the necessity to overthrow the bourgeoisie and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat; but when it comes to actually telling people straight out that the only way to combat imperialist war is to smash the US bourgeoisie they retreat into more theoretical vagaries! Check this out.

In the broadest sense, the struggle against imperialist war is the struggle for the complete destruction and abolition of capitalism on a world-wide basis. This is our proletarian internationalist duty. (Communist Line #5, p 19)

They then say that the “struggle must be directed towards several fronts in the forthcoming years(!)” This list is dangerously broad and makes a mockery of the MLOC putting themselves forward a genuine Communist leadership:

(1) ...We must patiently explain the restoration of capitalism and Soviet Social-Imperialism to the masses. A massive campaign of education, propaganda and agitation will be required to carry out this task in the years ahead...Our objective is to achieve a recognition of the imperialist nature of the Soviet Union and its reactionary role as the superpower rival of US imperialism...
(2) Actively take up the task of building the broadest possible united front against the two superpowers on an international basis...
(3) Opposition and struggle against all imperialism, not just the two Superpowers...
(4) Concrete material support for all national liberation movements which oppose imperialism...
(5) Consistent and deep-going mobilization of the broad masses in support of all genuine socialist countries...
(6) Complete and total self-determination for the Black nation...
(7) Reconstitution of a vanguard communist party ... (Communist Line #5, p. 19; emphasis added).

Comrades, “building the broadest possible united front”, “opposition and struggle against all imperialism”, and “mobilization of the broad masses” plus “recognition of the imperialist nature of the Soviet Union” hardly suffice for leadership that will be able to turn world war into civil war! Just as revolution is the main trend in this epoch so are the above tasks necessary until the proletariat is victorious! MLOC has definitely lost track of the forest for the trees!

As communists we must bring the science of MLMTTT to the working class, applying it to the object lessons of the day and developing the kernal of revolutionary consciousness of the workers under the leadership of a genuine communist party. This is part of our task for the immediate preparation of the dictatorship of the proletariat. (WVO, Sept.-Oct., 1976, p. 10).

Only by raising the danger of world war in the concretes of the spontaneous struggle of the working class and national minorities, by teaching the masses through their own experience the truth of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the necessity of smashing it and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat, can we genuinely combat imperialist war. When the Chinese say, “Either revolution will prevent world war or war will give rise to revolution” they are talking about the decisive role of the subjective factor.

Compare the sophomoric listing of the MLOC to the communist propaganda of WVO:

The thirst to build a revolutionary communist party, which has the strategy and tactics to lead the struggle for our demands which surpass reforms and press forward toward socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat, becomes greater as we see how Gotbaum and his cronies sold out our strike by trying to fool us with the bourgeois line that racism is the root of DC 37’s struggle with the EFCB and the monopoly capitalist class. But our struggle against the EFCB has broader implications. We understand the fierce contention between the warmongering Soviet Union and the U.S., and the heated revolutionary struggles of oppressed classes, nations and peoples throughout the world today create the conditions for world war giving rise to revolution or revolution preventing world war. Therefore, our fight with the EFCB and layoffs and cutback is part of the U.S. proletarian offensive against the danger of world war and the fascist rule it will bring and for socialist revolution. (WVO, Sept.-Oct., 1976, p. 11)

Comrades, the shallow sham MLOC pales in the light of genuine communist leadership!

Again, we must return to the question of the emerging Party, the emerging revolutionary vanguard of the proletariat. Once again we must get beyond the theoretical “correctness” of the MLOC’s vague proclamations and ask, are they providing the most overal1 correct leadership to the development of party building and proletarian revolution in the U.S.? Are they providing any genuine communist leadership to our movement? Comrades, the MLOC are misleaders of the working class and communist movements.

The question of leadership is a question of quality not quantity, just as line is a question of outlook not accumulation of ideas. MLOC clearly displays the stand and outlook of the petty bourgeoisie and is therefore unable to provide vanguard leadership to the working class and national minority movements. We must judge MLOC on the basis of their objective relationship to the emerging party and the surging class struggle.

Here we have exposed how their scholasticism can not address the actual tasks presented to communists in this period of two rapidly rising trends. It only serves to trick honest comrades who are seeking genuine communist leadership. SMASH PETTY BOURGEOIS SCHOLASTICISM! EXPOSE THE PETTY BOURGEOIS CAREERISM OF THE MLOC!


Although the CSS never reached a point where we were issuing voluminous reprints of Comintern documents and calling them our international line and communist leadership for turning world war into civil war, it was only a matter of months before we would have been doing the same thing as we’ve just exposed MLOC for.

Like MLOC, we could not grasp the actual relationship between our theoretical tasks and the practical class struggle. Like MLOC, our stand was that of the petty bourgeoisie, just barely being touched by the rising motion of the class struggle and shoring up our libraries in preparation for the storm.

The most serious self-criticism we must do is that while we pursued months of theoretical commission work in order to formulate the CSS line on the international situation, we abandoned the concrete tasks of addressing the actual needs of the working class in their day to day struggles with the bourgeoisie. Grasping in our heads the rising danger of world war, we absolutized the pursuit of this analysis and virtually negated all activity which raises this scientific consciousness so it can serve the working class, the only class which can combat the bourgeoisie’s world war. This is the treachery of petty-bourgeois scholasticism. It raises the science of MLMTTT only to liquidate its service to the working class.

We must also criticise our petty bourgeois strivings for position and importance in the emerging Party. Because an international line was central to our scholastic scheme for the development of the programme, we decided to “specialize” and do that chunk of work for the communist movement. Very subtle careerism peeked through all admirable intentions as we imagined that the international line would be “our” contribution to the programme.

Just like the MLOC who proclaims that party building and the Black National Question are the 2 legs upon which the Party will walk, and thinks they’ll hop inside the Party on the “theoretical” merits of their line on the National Question, so did the CSS choose a burning question for our own calling card.

The contradictions of “developing” an international line while accepting leadership from the CPC and PLA inevitably resulted in our almost publishing a verbose document of “theoretical” generalities and huge sections of the Peking Review in lieu of “our” international line (very much like MLOC’s Communist Line #5, “Proletarian Revolution and the General Crisis of Capitalism”).

Petty-bourgeois proprietorship, wanting our piece of the pie; it all inevitably blinded us to the objective needs of the class struggle and the genuine emerging leadership in the communist movement.

The contradiction between the CSS line and the WVO line was certainly more than a “theoretical difference.” Protracted struggle internal to CSS as well as with the WVO resulted in our grasping the thoroughly petty-bourgeois stand and outlook of our line and ourselves as class forces.

Comrades, we can only serve the working class by aligning with the objective motion of the class struggle and by providing genuine communist leadership there. We repudiate the CSS line because it failed to grasp and reflect this truth.

All our tasks must be seen in the context of the rising danger of world war and fascism as well as the rising trend of revolution. We must begin preparations for the dictatorship of the proletariat immediately. We must defeat all petty bourgeois scholasticism and careerism in our movement so we can soundly confront these, tasks.


B. Fuse Communism With the Workers Movement

In the context of the two contending trends of world war and revolution *the question of fusing communism with the workers movement assumes immediate, vital significance. We must grasp firmly that only the working class, armed with the science of MLMTTT, can prevent world war or turn it into civil war. Clearly, since our communist forces are limited, a firm grasp of the overall motion of class struggle and a corresponding plan for the disposition of our forces is absolutely indispensible.

We must expose the MLOC by this standard. What is the objective motion of class struggle in the U.S., MLOC? Concretely, what is going on now, how is the present motion developing from the past and where is it leading? What are the ebbs and flows? What are the communist tasks and tactics which develop in relation to this objective motion? These are the kinds of questions the MLOC never answers and cannot answer, because their scholasticism and petty-bourgeois stand are the negation of the living soul of Marxism – the concrete analysis of concrete conditions.


The late 60’s spontaneous struggles of the oppressed minorities against national oppression and of the revolutionary youth against the war in Viet Nam began to ebb in the early 1970’s. The advanced elements of those movements, under the leadership of the international communist movement and the handfull of genuine Marxist-Leninists in the U.S., have become communists and, for the most part, are now consolidated organizationally into one or another ideological trend in the U.S. communist movement.

During this ebb period U.S. imperialism suffered intense defeats at the hands of successful national liberation struggles in Viet Nam, Kampuchea, Laos, Mozambique and Guinea-Bisseau, and began to shift the burden of the loss on the U.S. working class. At the same time, the Soviet social-imperialists, beset with increasing economic and political difficulties at home, began to intensify their contention for world exploitation with the U.S. imperialists. As a result, the U.S. imperialists find themselves forced to further intensify exploitation and oppression in the U.S. not simply to shift its losses, but increasingly in order to prepare for the inevitable showdown (world war) with the Soviets.

With the very first ruling class attacks, the U.S. working class began to resist. Since 1974, the ebb in the spontaneous struggle against U.S. monopoly capitalism has turned into a flow, but a flow qualitatively different in class content then the flow of the late 60’s. The U.S. working class is on the1 rise! As WVO correctly stated last spring:

The workers upsurge today is not just the end of another short ebb and the beginning of another short flow. The ebb of the early 70?s was an ebb between two different kinds of movements. The upsurge today, in the context of the two contending trends of revolution and war and fascism, is the end of the entire post-war period of relative “peace.” This is the return to another big cycle of world ’capitalist crisis and revolutionary struggle. (WVO Journal #4, p. 101).

This, comrades, is a concrete analysis of concrete conditions and is basic to the determination of communist tasks in this period. From the MLOC we have nothing of this. Not one word on the ebbs and flows, not one word on the qualitatively different character of the present flow, not one word on the return to “another big cycle of world capitalist crisis and revolutionary struggle.” To MLOC, things are as they always have been and always will be, because this is the epoch of imperialism, “capitalism has seen its last big splurge,” and its just a simple question of “the second hand ticking off the last 400 years of bourgeois rule.” (Communist Line #5, April 30, 1976, p.14).

Since they have no concrete analysis of the concrete conditions, it is no wonder that the MLOC has no firm grasp of communist work in this period. As a result, their petty-bourgeois stand and scholastic world outlook are blatantly revealed in all their political lines–fusion, advanced worker, propaganda and agitation, trade union, national question, united front tactics and strategic view–all of which we will polemicize momentarily. First, however, we must briefly explain the correct line on communist work in this period.

In the context of the revolutionary upsurge of the U.S. working class and the two contending trends of world war and fascism and revolution, communists must make full use of this objective situation to accelerate the development of our political line– our grasp of the objective reality of class struggle in that realm most directly linked to the question of state power. In this period, rapid development of political line requires that our theoretical work be linked more closely than ever to the concrete, practical class struggle of the proletariat. In the course of addressing the day-to-day practical problem of the masses–especially the advanced workers, by providing genuine communist leadership through linking the particular to the general, using MLMTTT, always, as the basis of our thinking, and developing communist tactics in practical class struggle, we will most readily develop our political line and, at the same time, most correctly advance the fusion of the communist movement with the steadily developing working class movement.

Theory remains the principal aspect in the relationship between theory and practice. But now it’s possible to learn theory in new ways, in much closer connection with the class struggle. (WVO Journal #4, p. 101).

This view of the tasks of communists is a consistent development of WVO’s line first stated in May, 1975, before the MLOC had even emerged publically in the communist movement:

Objectively, the working class movement in the U.S. is surging forward. Underneath the M-L movement and propelling it forward is the intense spontaneous struggle of the working class. In this period communists must participate in these struggles to provide Marxist-Leninists leadership, to win over the advanced elements, sharpen the focus of our theory and submit our line to the test of class struggle...It is of particular importance that communists should take part in the immediate struggle and transform the subjective world in the process of transforming the objective world. This is a strategic component of the Bolshevization of the pre-party formations and thus of the future party itself. (WVO, Vol. 2, No. 1, May, 1975, p. 34).

This is the kind of clear-sighted view of our tasks that the science of MLMTTT, conscientiously applied, as the basis of our thinking, in doing a concrete analysis of concrete conditions, can provide for communists who have grasped the correct relationship of the science to the concrete class struggle. For our petty-bourgeois intellectuals, glorifying their “rational” grasp of reality divorced from concrete class struggle and standing firmly on the crucial importance of their own small circle, this kind of clear-sighted line is an impossibility. And with no such line, they provide no genuine leadership. Instead, we find confusion, generality, mis leadership – in short, opportunism from front to back. Comrades, join us in smashing petty-bourgeois-scholasticism in our movement. Expose the MLOC.


The task today is to carry out communist propaganda and win the advanced to communism. And we can do these fully and correctly only by providing real communist leadership in the thick of class struggle. (WVO Journal #4, p. 102).

Here succinctly, is the Marxist-Leninist view of the task of fusion. What is most evident and important to stress is the absolute necessity to win the advanced to communism “by providing real communist leadership in the thick of class struggle.”

This revolutionary line thoroughly exposes the MLOC’s one-sided scholastic approach to fusion which, on the one hand, absolutizes “ideas” and “theory” of communists against the necessity of concrete leadership in practical class struggle and, on the other hand, absolutizes the role of the vanguard party and negates the role of the proletariat in revolutionary struggle.

According to the MLOC,

The extent to which theoretical clarity is gained on the correct application of Marxism-Leninism to our struggles here today...is the extent to which substantial advances will be made in winning the vanguard to the side of communism and the masses to the side of the vanguard. (MLOC, Unite!, Vol. I, No. 1, Aug, 1975, p. 6).

This view completely fails to bring forward that “clarity” is the product of theoretical work undertaken in the course of giving leadership in concrete, practical class struggle.

...the task of the socialists is to be the ideological leaders of the proletariat in its actual struggle against actual and real enemies who stand in the actual path of social and economic development...You cannot be an ideological leader without the above mentioned theoretical work, just as you cannot be one without directing this work to meet the needs of the cause, and without spreading the results of this theory among the workers and helping them to organize. (What the “Friends of the People” Are, 1894, LCW, Vol. 1, p. 297).

The MLOC thinks they can sit back reading the classics, reprinting this and that Comintern document, publishing Unite!, developing theoretical “theses” on the broadest possible general questions of proletarian revolution, and thereby achieve fusion between the workers movement and the communist movement. This is the petty-bourgeois stand and scholastic methodology of the radical intellectuals.

Fully consistent with the absolutizing of line and the belittling of the concrete tasks of bringing the science to the working class movement, is the MLOC’s position that the working class has only an insignificant role to play in proletarian revolution by comparison to the vanguard party. Their newspaper is full of statements which glorify the party to the detriment of the masses, but this one is one of the clearest:

Armed with a correct ideological, political and organizational line, the vanguard communist party of the U.S. proletariat will surely “fell the wild beast, capitalism....” (MLOC, Unite!, Vol. 2, No. 1, Feb, 1976; emphasis added).

It’s not the proletariat led by the party which is going to “fell the wild beast, “but the party alone. Comrades, is this a slip of the tongue? A minor indiscretion by the MLOC? No, it isn’t. This tendency runs throughout their line. This is the self-glorification and class stand of the petty-bourgeoisie.


The CSS knows alot about these particular tendencies of the MLOC. That’s because the CSS, until recently, upheld the same petty-bourgeois scholasticism which characterizes the MLOC. Like the MLOC, we arose in struggle against the old practice trend of our movement (RU, OL) and tried to “independently” express our views, ignoring the already-emerged, genuine leadership in the movement (principally the WVO). Thus, grasping firmly the necessity of the conscious element in building proletarian revolution, we absolutized it. We saw our only task as the development and consolidation of the “vanguard” subjective factor for only through knowledge of objective conditions could we transform them.

We said,

To accomplish this mission (the dictatorship of the proletariat) the party must, first of all, possess a firm and clear knowledge of the objective process of social development. Then, in light of this knowledge the party elaborates specific lines of conduct and organization to change society in accordance with its own laws and process of development. This knowledge and practice is the very essence of the party. (CSS, Forward!, June, 1976, p. 17; emphasis added).

This is scholasticism through and through. The entire emphasis is on knowledge apart from social practice. Then this knowledge will be taken into practice to change the world. Here is revealed the same glorification of ideas and the role of the vanguard which is so evident throughout the MLOC. The CSS repudiates these views.

Our line on advanced workers was fully consistent with our general view of fusion as essentially a process of ideas. Since we were pursuing the development of the conscious element, our definition of advanced was one-sidedly determined on the basis of someone’s “understanding,” liquidating their specific class stand and relation to actual class struggle.

Advanced elements are those who clearly and firmly understand the class nature of capitalist society, those who have knowledge of the antagonistic nature of class struggle, who earnestly desire to study and who understand the necessity of fundamental change. (CSS, Forward!, June, 1976, p. 4).

Two crucial things are missing here, both interrelated. One is historical origins of advanced elements. The old CSS line could not grasp that advanced elements are products of concrete class struggles, not ahistorical, accidental, self-contained elements that you happen to find here and there in class struggle. A vanguard, even in the realm of ideas alone, is the product of a mass struggle; without a mass struggle, there is not vanguard, no advanced elements. The second missing point is closely related – that is, the advanced are not simply those who “understand” class struggle and are willing to study, but, also crucial, the advanced are staunch and consistent fighters for the class in actual, practical class struggle. Without actual, practical class struggle in progress (or a history of class struggle) the conditions for identifying the advanced do not exist. To ignore the reality that advanced elements are the staunch and consistent fighters for the proletariat in real, practical class struggle, and to advance only the importance of ideas and openness to ideas, is a “left” opportunist line which absolutizes consciousness and belittles class stand. Inevitably, for the CSS this tendency led to distaining the day-to-day struggle and the importance of identifying and winning the advanced in the course of providing real communist leadership in that struggle. It, also, allowed us to work anywhere that workers would listen and take-up our ideas, regardless of the objective motion and needs of the overall class struggle. Thus, the right essence of our “left” line is revealed in our consistent pattern of failure to grasp the strategic view of proletarian revolution and, instead, to take the path of least resistance, working wherever we happened to be working and thinking not of changes. This is the class stand of the petty-bourgeoisie in our movement which is in no rush for proletarian revolution because, on the one hand, it has illusions about the present state of affairs and on the other, it has a certain vested interest in the status quo. As leadership this stand serves the interests of the bourgeoisie and must be smashed. The CSS repudiates its line on advanced workers and fusion and is carrying forward rectification in practice.


The MLOC has addressed the question of advanced workers only twice, the second time to “re-do” their initial position. In the process of the second statement MLOC put forward that Lenin’s 1899 definition of advanced in Russia is applicable today in the U.S., but then sidestepped by saying, “...it is through the leadership of communists that advanced workers come forward...” (Unite!, Vol. 2, No. 1, Feb., 1976, p. 5). MLOC has said elsewhere that fusion has not yet developed significantly in the U.S., and, thus, by their own words they negate the possibility of the existence of any significant number of advanced workers. They end up, therefore, with no practical, usable definition of the advanced.

What the MLOC has done is muddle two questions together: one, the level of development of advanced workers as we find them before communists have worked and studied with them and, two, the level of political and ideological development they achieve after studying and struggling with communists. This muddle means MLOC fails to address either question properly, and as they try to get by without a concrete analysis of concrete conditions, they must resort in true sophist fashion to quoting Lenin out of context.


The political level of the advanced is historically conditioned by the level of fusion between the working class movement and the communist movement. (WVO Journal #4, p. 2).

This is a question the MLOC never addresses. In typical scholastic fashion, cutting the living soul out of Marxism, they ignore any analysis of the state of fusion in the U.S. In Russia in 1899, fusion had already developed. As Lenin said,

The fusion of the advanced workers and the Social-Democratic organizations was altogether natural and inevitable. It was the result of the great historical fact that in the nineties two profound social movements converged in Russia: one, a spontaneous movement, a popular movement within the working class; the other, the movement of social thought in the direction of the theory of Marx and Engels, towards the theory of Social-Democracy. (A Retrograde Trend in Russian Social-Democracy, LCW, Vol. 4, p. 260).

A serious analysis of concrete conditions in the U.S. demonstrates clearly that the movement of the working class, which has emerged fresh and headed toward revolution only since 1974, has yet to converge with the communist movement. This is concrete. Do the MLOC comrades have facts to adduce to the contrary? If so, a genuine struggle would be possible. But to begin by quoting Lenin on advanced workers in the concrete conditions of Russia in 1899 and to go no further, is blatant dogmatism, the last resort of petty-bourgeois intellectuals isolated from the class struggle and therefore unable to lay out any view of objective reality in the U.S. in 1976!

The WVO, which has consistently led the line struggle in the communist movement, not only because it has able theorists but also because it has always upheld the proper relationship of theory to revolutionary practice in the thick of class struggle, has put forward a clear line on advanced workers in the U.S. in 1976 which can guide our work in this period:

Our definition of advanced workers is that they must be open to studying MLMTTT and must be independent leaders of the working class, staunch and consistent fighters who are able to win the confidence and trust of the class. Being advanced elements, they are active, and have a critical mind and combative spirit. So they are not passively open to socialism or indifferent towards it. They actively seek it out and take a stand on it through contact with communists. Their scope is broad so they are able to generalize, have a “philosophical” mind so they can theorize and see beyond their own oppression, link it up with other oppressed workers, oppressed nationalities and oppressed people around the world. In seeking out solutions to their oppression, some elaborate Utopian socialist ideas but not all so ...(WVO Journal #4, p. 2).

MLOC’s line ignores all this and claims that no advanced workers come to the fore until communists work with them. This line objectively belittles the concrete struggle of the workers which produces the advanced elements. What it seeks to do is glorify the role of communist “ideas” and the vanguard party. This kind of line might “sound good,” but what is its practical worth? Zero! It fails to give any concrete leadership to cadre about where to work or with whom. MLOC’s line leads to the same policy CSS upheld: work wherever you are, put out your “ideas” and see who takes them up. Inevitably, the MLOC is unable to grasp and give leadership on a strategic view of communist work towards fusion in this period.


Propaganda is our chief form of activity in this period. It is our vehicle for bringing the science of MLMTTT to the working class, the chief activity through which we win the advanced workers to communism. In this it is crucial to grasp propaganda as an activity, not merely a sheet of paper or a newspaper. Propaganda is the chief thing we do; it is our regular activity within the factories and mills and outside at the factory gate.

Propaganda means seeking out the advanced, initiating struggle, and following-up. It means persistance in daily work. It means finding the advanced where we currently have no contacts. Propaganda is always closely linked to agitation and both are developed, always, in the course of actual participation in concrete class struggle, providing consistent communist leadership.

The CSS didn’t always hold this view. Our petty-bourgeois scholastic line divorced propaganda from day-to-day struggle, reduced it to fine words on a page and never linked it up to regular communist agitation. Under the leadership of scholasticism we were impotent in propaganda work, and we never won a single advanced worker on the strength of it.


The MLOC, suffering mightily under the same bourgeois baggage which held us back, is also unable to grasp propaganda. In general their line on propaganda is a “no line” line. Typical is their initial statement on party-building, a 24-page paper which reserved only the very last sentence to mention tasks of communists in the workers’ movement:

E. Development of propaganda and the communist press, with focus on political exposures.(Unite! Vol I, No I, p 24)

Since that time, the MLOC has “dropped the word” in several occasions that Unite! is being developed into a genuine form for propaganda work among the advanced workers. So far, all we’ve seen is fancy lay-out and red ink, a regular box on “The Struggle Against the Labor Aristocracy, Pivot of Our Tactics in the Labor Movement,” and more re-prints from the CI than ever before.

Actually, it’s just as well because if the newspaper develops into the kind of propaganda the “Angola” and “Free Gary Tyler” pieces represent, it will be of no use anyway. These two “propaganda pieces” are particularly revealing of the MLOC. In both the MLOC neglects to mention the necessity of struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat in the US, the role of the vanguard party and the science of MLMTTT, or the vanguard role of the working class. This perfectly reveals MLOC’s petty bourgeois world view and class stand.

In the Angola piece MLOC says:

...All progressive and revolutionary people should pay close attention to the current world situation, the rising danger of Imperialist war which goes hand in hand with domestic fascism, and get prepared. (page A13; emphasis added)

The people of the US must be mobilized to understand the growing threat of war between the two superpowers, and the fact that imperialist war ahead means fascist war at home; they go hand in hand...

The correct stand for progressive and revolutionary people of the US, an Imperialist superpower is to oppose both US and Soviet superpower aggression in the internal affairs of other nations ... (Angola! p. A4; emphasis added)

Nowhere do they mention the necessity to fight imperialist war with proletarian revolution, to make immediate and universal preparation for the dictatorship of the proletariat. MLOC’s stand and viewpoint is purely petty-bourgeois – “oppose” war, vagaries like “get prepared”, and grasp the idea of the danger of war. No concrete, practical revolutionary leadership. Comrades, it’s okay to not grasp what must be done, but don’t parade as the leadership of our class. The only class you lead is the petty-bourgeoisie.

And what about this “Free Gary Tyler” flyer. This should be your strong point having been the first (and only) in our movement to proclaim the Black National Question as one of “the two legs upon which the revolution will walk in this country” (the other is the nature of the party; Unite! Vol.2 #1, Feb.1976, p.3)

While proclaiming loudly the right of self-determination, up to and including succession for the Black Belt Nation, the MLOC completely neglects to mention that in order to ever dream of exercising such a right, the working and toiling masses, and especially the advanced workers, must embrace the science of MLMTTT, the leading role of the proletariat, the leading role of the communist party and armed struggle for national liberation. In failing to raise and provide communist leadership in the struggle for national liberation the MLOC liquidates the right to self-determination.

As usual, pretty words, but pretty meaningless to the MLOC.


MLOC’s tailest line on the question of national liberation in the Black Belt South (as well as their “no line” line on other aspects of the national question, most notably, busing) is fully consistent with their general strategy for revolution in the U.S. – “The United Front Against Imperialism.”

This strategy seeks to unite all those who can be united against imperialism or monopoly capitalism, under the leadership of the vanguard party of the working class, the communist party of a new type. (Unite!, Vol. I, No. 1, Aug., 1975, p. 2)

Subsumed under this “strategy” are “three strategic tasks:”

A. Building and defending the vanguard party of the proletariat...
B. Building the actual forms of struggle which constitute the United Front Against Imperialism...
C. Building the armed political struggle of the working class... (Ibid., p. 2)

First, we must note that MLOC has “building the united front” as a sub-task of the united front. This is a contradiction on its face. Only the most academic radicals, manoeuvering get Mao’s “three magic weapons” together as our “three strategic tasks,” could resort to such blatantly pointless statements.

Second, we must note the MLOC’s unscientific use of the term “strategy.” This term has precise meaning in Marxist-Leninist classics (see below) and requires a statement about the objective, main blow, main and secondary reserves, and plan for the disposition of forces. All this the MLOC ignores and speaks, therefore, with the effect of saying nothing. It’s alright to have no clear strategy, but it’s a sham to substitute what the MLOC puts forward.

But such errors are not surprising for opportunists who have yet to grasp whether the united front is a strategy or a tactic. MLOC’s confusion on this question demonstrates that they have yet to grasp the objective nature of proletarian revolution and still think that the vanguard subjective factor determines the course of world history.

The fact of the matter is that proletarian revolution is unfolding objectively, independent of human will. However, the forces of reaction will not fall without being pushed and in their desperate efforts to evade the shove, they will resort to any available means as a last defense. The task of the subjective factor is to properly grasp the objective process as it is unfolding and adopt correspondingly-correct strategy and tactics to overthrow the bourgeoisie.

In this sense, MLOC’s “strategy” is not strategy at all. Rather, it is the subjectivist desires of the petty-bourgeoisie to get everyone with any kind of a grudge against monopoly capitalism together to defeat it. As a Marxist-Leninist strategy this is the height of absurdity. Comrade Stalin said,

Strategy is the determination of the direction of the main blow of the proletariat at a given stage of the revolution, the elaboration of a plan for the disposition of the revolutionary forces (main and secondary reserves), the fight to carry out this plan throughout the give stage of the revolution. (Foundations of Leninism, FLP, p. 84; emphasis added).

Strategy is determined upon an objective analysis of the development of the mode of production. In given conditions, certain classes and class strata are rising and revolutionary; others are dying and reactionary. For us in the U.S., our objective must be firm and clear – the dictatorship of the proletariat. Our class analysis is still in a process of development, but it is clear that our main blow is directed against the labor aristocracy and its political and economic representatives. Our main force is the U.S. multi-national proletariat; the immediate reserves are the revolutionary classes of the oppressed nations. This, comrades, is our best grasp of the strategy for revolution in the U.S. at this point in our development of the class analysis.

Tactics, on the other hand, account for ebbs and flows in the spontaneous struggle and the vacillations in particular conditions, of various class forces.

The united front is not a strategy; it must be viewed properly as a tactic. This is because the objective conditions of U.S. monopoly capitalism at this particular stage of development dictate our strategy. This strategy will NOT be changing in the course of ebbs and flows in the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat. Nevertheless, our tactics, and the class forces with which we work, must and will vary according to ebbs and flows and the tactics of the enemy, and must be taken into account. This accounting is our united front.

Comrades, this is basic Marxist theory. What the MLOC puts forward as “strategy” is nothing but a vague vulgar generality. It serves the revolution in no way whatever, and in their efforts to seem profound nevertheless, the MLOC betrays both their supreme, egotistical pomposity and their crude, petty-bourgeois populism. This kind of vagueness allows the MLOC lots of room to swim in the wake of genuine communist leadership, first slipping “left,” then right to try to pick up some new followers.

This is evident in MLOC’s persistent focus on coalition practice. These comrades have yet to grasp that the united front from below is fundamental and that the united front from above is relative and conditional. Without a base in the proletariat, work in the united front with other class forces is counter-productive because only the proletariat can consistently steer the united front toward the dictatorship of the proletariat. Communists must establish the united front from below in this period; it is fundamental. This implies doing united front from above, or with other class forces, when it will develop and serve the united front from below, but not in isolation.

All this is foreign to the MLOC. They do just the opposite and encourage other communists to adopt their tactics. A few examples:

1. MLOC spent long hours working in the Puerto Rican Solidarity Committee tailing the PSP, then finally withdrew without a word of self-criticism.

2. MLOC joined the organizing drive for the OL’s Fightback Conference in Dec, 1975, urged others to attend, built up the opportunist OL before the workers, and then dropped out weakly polemicizing the OL, but doing no self-criticism.

3. MLOC has recently pushed the Gary Tyler Defense Committee, dominated by the OL and encouraged interested persons to contact SCEF, an OL mass front.

4. MLOC has done the largest share of its “theoretical work around the Woman Question and has concluded:

The present character of the women’s movement is its domination by opportunism. The main responsibility for this is the lack of proletarian initiative on the part of Marxist-Leninists to involve themselves in the women’s movement and provide clearly differentiated alternative to existing non-proletarian leadership... (Communist Line #6, p. 6).

In all of these cases the MLOC fails to develop an analysis of the class forces involved and instead, jumps on in, encouraging others to do likewise. This is the grossest, strategic misleadership at a time when our forces are few in number, when the spontaneous revolutionary upsurge of the working class is massively on the rise and when we must struggle to fuse communism with the workers movement according to a strategic plan. MLOC is simply a shotgun-style method; ”Scatter to the wind, comrades, and wherever you land sow communism among the progressive people.”


Aside from simple repetitions of leading lines which emerged long ago in struggle led by WVO and others within the communist movement (trade unions must be taken back from bourgeois misleaders, factory nuclei is the basic unit of party organization in the working class, and we must expose, isolate and defeat the misleaders of the labor bureaucracy and labor aristocracy), the MLOC has no position on trade union work. Their newspaper reveals a paltry involvement in genuine working class struggle and a consistent inability to draw from whatever struggle they are involved in the lessons which can push ahead the development of political line. Instead, we get an essentially bourgeois reporting of events, on many struggles no deeper than the Call or Revolution.

On questions of united front tactics, the MLOC is even more without a line. Without involvement in day-to-day struggles, providing communist leadership in tactics, it is impossible to formulate a view on united front from above and below and “unite to expose” tactics. As Chairman Mao said,

It is only when the data of perception are very rich (not fragmentary) and correspond to reality (are not illusory) that they can be the basis for forming correct concepts and theories. (On Practice, Selected Readings, FLP, p. 74).

This is the MLOC’s plight. Isolated from the class struggle they can only have a “no line” line on class struggle.

The lack of line also starkly reveals MLOC’s lack of practice in the concrete class struggles around busing and the ERA, two issues of fundamental importance in developing our overall line on “liberals and fascists”, fascization, reformism and bourgeois democracy. And in their latest paper (Unite! Vol 2 No 5) we see for the umpteenth time the scholastic explanation that “we are developing our line and will soon be publishing it”. Comrades, this is so characteristic and so revealing of MLOC. Their “lines” are always “developing” in the library, mainly relying on their set of Communist International reprints and always in isolation from the practical needs of the class struggle. The busing issue erupted over two years ago as a decisive question for communist leadership! The ERA has been a fundamental issue at IWD events (and elsewhere) for over two years! Is this what the MLOC means when they say,

Marxist-Leninists must scientifically respond to each and every demand raised by the proletariat. The greater the progress made by Communists in elaborating this theory, the greater the movement toward socialism by the working class.” (Unite! Vol 1, No 1 p6; emphasis added)

Comrades, think about the MLOC’s “no line” line on trade unions, united front tactics, busing, the ERA, and fascization and try to reconcile this lack of line with this statement:

Theoretical work must never be separated from political and economic work. Theory can only answer the questions raised by economic and political struggles. The study of Marxist theory is, as Mao Tsetung described it, a process of “practice, knowledge, again practice and again knowledge...” The whole point is to know how to unite theory and practice, to provide the historical unity of the subjective and the objective, and of theory and practice. (Unite! Vol 1, No 1, p 6)

There’s only one way to reconcile it; they have no line because they have no practice. Self-exposed, the petty bourgeois revolutionary professors trying to build themselves a career as the “theorists” of the emerging communist party. Comrades, smash MLOC and smash this entire petty bourgeois scholastic trend wherever it exists in our movement.


The CSS was part of the same petty bourgeois scholastic trend that the MLOC now proudly leads, It’s not surprising therefore that we, too, failed to develop positions on the same fundamental questions the MLOC neglects.

The CSS has many deep roots in the student and radical intelligentsia politics of anarchist and utopian “alternatives”– back to the land, “anti-profit” food stores, cooperatives of various literary persuasions, bourgeois feminism, etc. The pervasiveness of this petty-bourgeois ideological superstructure, especially in its unconscious aspect, has had a profound effect upon our efforts to change the subjective world in the process of changing the objective world; to assimilate the class stand, viewpoint and method of the proletariat in the process of doing rank and file work in the trade union struggle, making united front from below fundamental and united front from above conditional. The original CSS line on trade unions and factory nuclei reflected our overall scholastic deviation in a most acute form. As a part of the line that mass practice (a very hazy concept for us at the time) was not “principal”, while theorizing, joint theoretical work, and in general, thinking were our chief form of activity, we did not think it necessary to mention factory nuclei or trade unions, except in the most general terms. We were at the time trying to solve the movement’s “problems” by the rationalist method of “cudgeling our brains on our own,” rather than by engaging in the practical struggle to change reality.

Objectively, we “used the party building tasks to justify abandoning our duty of providing Communist leadership to the struggles of the working class in the trade unions with the strategic outlook of taking over the trade unions eventually.” (WVO Journal #4, p. 14).

We had no such strategic conception.

Our struggle to unite with the overall most correct line, the line of WVO, is to go beyond the phrases “we must make the trade unions fighting organizations of the class” and “factory nuclei are the basic form of organization of the party.” We must actually carry out our duty to the working class by developing rank and file work, building factory nuclei and the united front from below as fundamental, and building the united front from above in conditions which serve “from below,” always making all our tasks serve the central task of building the party on the proletarian ideological plane.

Our founding document, GL, mentions trade unions only once and factory nuclei not at all. This line mainly reflects our unconscious petty bourgeois outlook, bodily transferred into the struggle of the communist movement. In places, this outlook jumps out blatantly, as when we sum up our goal as “democracy” rather than stateless communism and when we repeat the old phrase “we want control over our own lives”. These are throwbacks to utopianism and anarchism. But the more serious reflection of our old world outlook is the unconscious reflection of it in our avowedly-Marxist independent theories. Our methodology was to concoct these theories out of book-learning and deductions alone – a rationalist methodology which “skipped” the stage of perceptual, concrete knowledge-from-experience. Hence, we lectured the communist movement in a bourgeois scholastic fashion and in very abstract terms about theory, trends, stages, steps, history, science, etc., but without having any perceptual base in class struggle. It is this lack which is reflected in not mentioning (having nothing to say about) trade unions and factory nuclei. All we could do was belittle their significance:

Through its control of the superstructure, the bourgeoisie confines the workers’ economic struggle to the trade union struggle, everywhere concealing any connection whatever to the state and political power. The connection is first discovered by the radical intellectuals. (GL, p 2)

We now understand that it is just the opposite, that the bourgeoisie and its props in the workers’ movement do everything in their power to draw a connection between the unions and political affairs and channel all the rank and file’s political activity into it. Our line was a primitive and naive ’left’ position which liquidated the role of the masses and their class organizations in making history, while worshipping the great “discoveries” of the radical intellectuals.

We have struggled to assimilate and apply the outlook that correct and incorrect, the new and the old, Marxist ideology and bourgeois ideology are always co-existing in our thinking, presenting us with a constant struggle. We must conclude, in summing up concrete experience, that in spite of our revolutionary enthusiasm and in spite also of our conscious efforts to follow the example of the theory trend in the movement, we only succeeded in first turning theory on its head, absolutizing our own incomplete grasp of it, and cutting it off from its roots in the class struggle of the proletariat. Our largely erroneous line at first pushed us forward in our struggle to banish eclecticism and consolidate ourselves as disciplined forces, but soon it began to drag us back as we began to practice the two-steps methodology we were preaching. Our ideological errors led to the practical errors of “only investigating” the workers’ and national movements in DC while we continued to do scholastic theoretical work only on a grander scale. Our practical errors, in turn, reacted upon our thinking, the low point of which is represented by the much-degenerated ideological and political level of Forward! by comparison to the GL. In Forward! we objectively renounced the leadership of the theory trend in favor of continuing to fly our own well-insulated-from-struggle flag.

Our task now is to develop rank-and-file work in trade union struggles, thus making factory nuclei and united front from below fundamental. The way to carry this out is to gain direct access to the masses at mass meetings and events as well as through united fronts from above and unite to expose where conditions permit it to serve united front from below. We should pursue doing topical, lively propaganda and agitation which links up the workers’ spontaneous struggle with the struggle for Socialism. It is vital that we identify the advanced workers by their staunch and consistent character in the struggle and work hard to win these individuals to communism. We must not watch with folder arms as the Social-Democrats and Trots swoop down to suck these comrades’ blood and turn them into lackeys of the bourgeoisie like themselves.

At the same time as we win the advanced we must begin to work out of the strategic conception that eventually we will take over the trade unions themselves, that our struggles there do not begin and end with the beginning and end of a strike or job action or organizing drive. Rather, we must entrench ourselves in carefully selected vital unions and begin to build factory nuclei of a secret nature; in addition to the above work in the struggle against the bosses and the government. These nuclei will become the basic form of organization of the Party which will be. From them will come the leadership which will turn American factories into fortresses of the Proletarian Revolution, united behind a tried and true revolutionary center. Out of them will come the working class heroes and model workers of revolution and socialist construction. We must not belittle the fundamental task of building factory nuclei.

In the process of winning the advanced and building factory nuclei, the key link to our communist work is grasping political line which forges the link between theory and practice, party building and the trade union struggles. We can never hope to win the advanced to Marxist ideas or economics in the abstract: the link to both economic and political struggles must be entirely concrete and topical. The trade union struggle serves party-building because it forges political line in the heat of class struggle where all the social forces and contradictions of advanced capitalism are at their most intense level and in their most concrete form.


We now understand that all but a tiny fraction of our work has objectively been aimed at building the united front above, i.e. trying to win student, radical-intelligensia elements away from the practice trend or even out of stone eclecticism or Trotskyism. The principal social circumstances of our work have been either old personal friends or else sham socialist/Trot fronts such as July 4 Coalitions In both contexts, we understand that it may be correct for communists to work but this depends on the conditions (i.e. freedom to propagandize, win the advanced), and that such work must be made to serve rank-and-file work.

In general, CSS has never succeeded in linking with honest national movement forces in struggle against the bourgeoisie. This is partly because of conditions in DC and the staggering diversity of sham fronts of all shades and descriptions, but it is mainly due to the fact that we have had no line or policy which linked united front from above and united front from below, or distinguished clearly between the masses of honest forces and the sham misleaders. Therefore, we have tailed a number of sham and reformist fronts, working secretly from without, objectively just spying on them, without the slightest degree of clarity about what to do.

Our task now is to do vigorous and well focused investigation of the actual struggles of the multinational working class movement and the national movement by giving communist leadership to those struggles, always tirelessly seeking the honest, the struggling and the advanced and always separating them from the sold-out, the corrupt and the backward who merely leach off of the people and their struggle. Our failure to build the united front from below as fundamental is, of course, our fundamental problem but we are also struggling to recognize the scope of the proletarian revolution as a whole, the range of tactics which we must employ and the role of the united front from above in the overall struggle.