Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

William Gurley

Polemics: RCP flails OL

First Published: The Guardian, August 18, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The Revolutionary Communist Party has broken a long silence about the October League.

The July issue of the RCP’s newspaper Revolution responds to the account in the OL’s paper the Call of the July 4 “Rich Off Our Backs” demonstration in Philadelphia initiated by the RCP (not to be confused with the July 4 Coalition Action).

The article states: “The universally disappointing thing about the October League is that all they come up with to attack us with is lies and slander, with little relation to the real world, and about the only thing we can learn from them is more about the nature of OL and similar reactionaries. Their article ’reporting’ on the July 4th demonstration, however, is a new low, even for them.”

One of the main criticisms the OL raises against the RCP’s demonstration is that it didn’t “prepare people for the inevitable world war which lies ahead” and “failed to educate people about where the danger of a new world war is coming from–the two superpowers and especially the Soviet Union.”

The Revolution article responds by saying: “It’s true . . . that the demonstration did not focus ’especially’ on the Soviet Union, but rather on America’s rulers, the ones who are trying to line the working class here up behind their war preparations and, when war does come, will send us to fight and die to preserve their profits. . . .

“You have to be pretty out of it not to be aware that today American workers are much more likely to understand that the New Tsars are pushing towards war than our own capitalists are–our rulers are doing plenty of ’education’ on this point.” While defining the USSR as having a capitalist class nature, Revolution states: “We must concentrate our main fire on the enemy we face directly–our own rulers.

The article sums up the OL’s position that the U.S. left should “strike the main blow at the Soviet Union”: “Once again the OL’s warped view of the world mimics the bourgeoisie’s. Lenin, the great leader of the world’s working class, singled out for particular attack in the midst of the imperialist First World War the October Leaguers of his day, who, he said, ’help their respective imperialist governments by concentrating attention principally on the insidiousness of their rival and enemy, while throwing a veil of vague, general phrases and sentimental wishes around the equally imperialist conduct of “their own” bourgeoisie.”