First Published: The Call, Vol. 5, No. 1, May 1, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Many groups and individuals have responded to the call for Marxist-Leninist unity. In this and future issues of The Call, we will reprint these statements. They reflect the unity trend in the struggle to forge a single Marxist-Leninist party in the U.S.
In the statement below, W. Jean Pierre, a former leader of the Black Workers Congress and the Revolutionary Workers Congress sums up the experiences of those organizations and declares his support for the May Unity Meeting.
In face of the ever-growing danger of world war between the two superpowers and the deepening crisis of capitalism, the most urgent and pressing need of the working class in the U.S. is a united and consolidated communist movement. Only by building a Marxist-Leninist communist party can such unity be achieved, solidified and turned into a material force capable of leading the masses in their struggles.
The present situation puts a tremendous responsibility on all communists. The actual formation of the party can no longer be an item of endless debate over coffee and tea. The organizational formation of the party must also go hand-in-hand with the following:
–continuing to uphold Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought in opposition to modern revisionism, centrism and all forms of opportunism.
–continuing to develop a correct political line by applying Marxism-Leninism to the concrete conditions of the U.S.
–continuing to develop deep ties with the working class and oppressed masses, leading their day-to-day struggle and winning the advanced to communism.
The Unity Meeting of communists around the country is a great leap forward in the direction of enabling us to sum-up the gains made on the above tasks as well as to press forward with the job of laying a firm foundation for a Party Congress. The Unity Meeting, called on the initiative of the October League and Marxist-Leninist groups is more than timely–not only because the need for unity has never been more pressing, but also because the majority of the communist movement wants an end to the scattered, disorganized and sectarian activity of the past.
The party-building process in this country has been long and tortuous. But it has also allowed us to distinguish words from deeds–to distinguish between those groups and individuals who preach party building and Marxism but practice sectarianism and revisionism, from those who combine theory with practice. This becomes clear when we examine the lines of various party-building forces around the country.
The right/centrist line, which is proving to be the main danger in the present period, preaches spontaneity in regards to party building. In essence they believe that the party will arise automatically out of the mass struggle rather than being built by the most conscious representatives of the working class, i.e., Marxist-Leninists. They belittle ideological struggle as “sectarianism” while advocating unity with the modern revisionists–the most dangerous enemies of the working class movement. In organizational matters they advocate that each and every little circle and collective should “strengthen their own independence” thus condemning the communist movement to continued amateurishness and vulnerability to the state apparatus.
The “left” opportunists on the other hand, the so-called “Revolutionary Wing” are part of a rapidly sinking trend of dedicated sectarians. Their principle motto is: “split and do not unite.” You cannot even be a part of this “Wing” if you have not had some splits. In regard to party building, no group has talked more and done less, except in the negative sense. Considering themselves on a “high theoretical level” they spend their time branding genuine Marxist-Leninists as opportunists, but themselves as “most correct” and “most honest.” While they pretend to be great Marxist theoreticians” they have no political line on many important questions such as the national question. They raise isolation from mass struggle to a principle, defining mass work as “reformism.” Because of the extreme backwardness and confusion of their views, their ranks are dwindling rapidly. Though no longer the main danger, they still constitute a very disruptive force and must be resolutely struggle against to win the remaining honest elements from their ranks.
Whether coming from the right or ̴left” singing praises to Soviet social-imperialist or waving the red flag in order to oppose the red flag, neither the centrists nor the “leftists” can seriously take up the task of party building. These groups represent the past and not the future of the new communist movement. As Enver Hoxha states, “Their former situation is shaken, but the new situation has not yet entered their heads, so they carry on in the old spirit outside of and away from what is developing and progressive.” (Vol. I, Selected Works, Enver Hoxha).
Despite the antics of the opportunists the main trend is unity based on Marxism-Leninism. The proletariat will have its party in spite of them. As a former leading member of the BWC/RWC I know many other former cadres of this and other groups have arrived at the same conclusion I have presented here. We were once part of the “leftist” tendency in the new communist movement. We experienced first hand how an erroneous political line and isolation from the masses can destroy an organization. Being a part of an all-Black organization, we had to wage a long struggle against narrow nationalism especially in regard to the need for a multi-nation; organization of communists. In regard to the communist press, we had to wage struggle against a line which saw a communist newspaper as a theoretical journal which addressed itself to the “advanced of the advanced” and separated propaganda from agitation.
In regard to party building we had to wage a fight on two fronts – first in regard to a “leftist” line which isolated party building from mass struggle, theory from practice, and put forward all struggle and no unity – then later, against a right centrist line which wanted to forget about party building altogether, and “go to the masses” but without taking Marxism-Leninism to them. That is why we are determined not to allow the errors of the past to persist. We no longer want to be part of a small circle, or an “independent collective,” or a “national form organization,” but a truly unified, multi-national communist party with a correct political line, supported by the proletariat and thus capable of influencing and changing the real world.
We urge all comrades, inside and outside of organizations, those still active and those temporarily on the “retired” list, to participate in the Marxist-Leninist unity efforts and help lay the foundations of a communist party which will lead the proletariat to final victory.