Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Workers Committee (M-L)

RWL: Building the Party on Bourgeois Ideology

A call to struggle against ’left’ opportunism

Cover Letter

Communist Workers Committee July 1976

Comrades in the Communist Movement, and especially Comrades in RWL:

How do we explain the rapid degeneration of the RWL national line in the last few months?
–The sudden and frenzied labelling of comrades with principled differences as bourgeois agents
–Unprincipled, sophist, and demogogic methods of struggle in open forums and polemics
–The dogmatic and one-sided formulation of tasks in the communist movement (only party building, only propaganda, only the advanced, only political line, only struggle and no unity, only RWL/PRRWO)
–The refusal to struggle, to accept criticism, all under the guise of democratic centralism
–The attempts to force mass organizations to follow the RWL/PRRWO party building line
–Purges of cadre without ideological struggle
–The June issue of Palante and the bankruptcy of both the editorial by PRRWO and the article by RWL.

Comrades, it is in the spirit of strengthening the unity of the Communist movement on the basis of the principles of MLMTT and the correct application of these principles, that we put forth this polemic against the “left” opportunism of the RWL. We want to call on comrades in the Communist Movement, and especially those genuine Marxist-Leninists in the RWL to take up the struggle against this bankrupt line!

We think that it is important to share with comrades some of the circumstances which led to the writing of this paper. The Communist Workers Committee (M-L) (CWC) is a communist organization actively striving to arm itself and the masses with the science of the proletariat, MLMTT, and struggling with Marxist-Leninists and advanced elements from around the country in the effort to build the necessary Communist Party that will lead the proletariat and the masses towards socialist revolution. We have shared common practice with the RWL for two years and had a liaison with several districts of the RWL for one year. Since last summer we have been pushing to have political struggle with the RWL in order to move the struggle for the Party forward. RWL proposed an “all day meeting to fully discuss political line.” Since then, RWL has repeatedly cancelled and postponed this “all day meeting” and refused to struggle over Party building at any other time, saying this struggle would take place at this “all day meeting”. This meeting has never taken place.

Through much of this time, we looked to the RWL for ideological and political leadership. Especially in the last 6-7 months, we have pushed ourselves to develop an independent understanding of the burning questions facing the communist and workers movement. Several months “back, we leaned towards the Revolutionary Wing (when it consisted of WVO, PRRWO, ATM, and RWL). When WVO was “purged” from the Wing, we united with the line put forth by RWL and PRRWO, uncritically. For numerous reasons which we list below, we increasingly had doubts and questions about the line being put forth by the RWL. During this time, we had continued calling for a meeting with the RWL, and saw this as a more urgent question because of the view we were coming to take of their organization. This meeting was finally scheduled to take place on the weekend of June 19. In preparation for this meeting we prepared a presentation which, in fact, was a point by point polemic against the line of the RWL as put forth in the Bolshevik and other places, and with the practice we were familiar with.

The day before we were to meet, the RWL comrades informed us that this meeting was off! Moreover, they would not give any explanation for the cancellation. Comrades, it has been a year since we have been trying to sit down with the RWL to identify areas of unity and struggle, over a year of joint practice in the mass movement with no communist political discussion to guide it. And especially, recently, we have been particularly anxious to get together with the comrades to struggle against the raggedy line being put forth by their organization.

We don’t know why the meeting was called off. We cannot think of one reason that would make it acceptable. The only reason given was that it had been an organisational decision and that it would be a breach of discipline to meet. If the national leadership made this decision, this is a thoroughly bankrupt and opportunist use of democratic centralism. Democratic centralism is not to keep comrades from hearing their raggedy line exposed and criticized! This same “organizational discipline” line has kept RWL comrades from accepting polemics, open letters criticizing them, etc. Comrades, this so-called use of democratic centralism has nothing in common with MLMTTT. If the local leadership decided not to meet because whey did not have enough unity with the national line and therefore could not defend the raggedy “left” opportunism of the national organization, we say that this is also opportunism and a serious misuse of democratic centralism. Comrades, truth, the correct line that will move forward the struggle of the proletariat only comes out in the course of struggle. It is your responsibility as communists who claim to uphold the revolutionary interests of the proletariat above all else, to put forth your line so that it may win out if it is correct, and so that it may be smashed if it is not. We think it is not. We think that it is a thoroughly bankrupt line that is causing great harm to the movement. But as it causes harm, it is also bringing forth communists who are set on defeating it, and thus the whole movement is pushed ahead.

Comrades, the out-and-out “left” opportunists who are “leading” RWL and those other comrades who are providing a cover for the trash being put forth will not prevent ideological and political struggle. We have written this polemic from the notes we had for the meeting, and if RWL won’t come to struggle, we will take the struggle to them!

The hurried circumstances in which this polemic has been written may mean that some formulations may not be made as clearly as possible or that some of the points may not be drawn out fully. It is our view that, in the main, our view is correct, and that, it is important to put it out quickly in order to sharpen the struggle which we hope is going on internally in the RWL, and the struggle that is clearly gaining momentum in the Communist movement against this bankrupt line.

One area we have not developed a full view of is the question of periods in the recent development of the communist movement in the US. While our grasp of the specifics of this history, is at this point weak, this paper lays out a general characterization of the current period we are in: developing political line is the key link pushing Party building ahead. At this point, as at all points in Party building, Party-building must be conducted on the ideological plane.

Comrades, RWL’s “left” opportunist line must be smashed! And more significantly, those honest comrades who are conciliating or who may temporarily have been drawn in by this line, need to examine their vacillation and its underlying roots. It has come to be our view that the underlying basis of unity in the RWL throughout its history has been bourgeois nationalism. It is our view that this form of bourgeois ideology in the communist movement has been at the bottom of the errors of the RWL and at the bottom of its flip-flop from Right opportunism to “Left” opportunism. While bourgeois nationalism has been recognized by the RWL on several occasions, the necessary sharp struggle has not come down in order to resolutely consolidate a deep break from this form of bourgeois influence in our ranks.

The comrades from the CPC teach us that, “When confronted with issues that concern the line and the overall situations a true communist must act without any selfish consideration and dare to go against the tide, fearing neither removal from his post, expulsion from the Party, imprisonment, divorce, nor guillotine.” (Documents of the Tenth National Congress of the CPC, 1973, p. 48)

Comrades, we call on you to heed these words! It is the interests of the international proletariat that we are talking about and there can be no wavering by communists on this question.

We are determined to sharpen the struggle, to run after the line of the RWL and expose it as it runs from struggle and we plan to go to the comrades in the RWL and those close to the RWL to struggle, point by point, point by point, tit for tat, and struggle against the RWL “protecting” their cadre from hearing their bankrupt line exposed and defeated.

Comrades, it is only in struggle that our movement will be steeled and that the correct line that will lead the proletariat and the masses in their historic mission will come forth. Let us expose and defeat all and any opportunists in our ranks who would keep struggle from coming down.

We urge that comrades raise all and any struggle and criticisms they have of the views we have put forward.


11 11