First Published: Resistence, Vol. 8, No. 7, August 1977
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In the style of a Jehova’s witness (God is coming, God is coming, repent before it’s too late) the “Workers” Viewpoint Organization (“W”VO) is running around the country announcing that “the party is a settled question” (we sent our 50 cents months ago and are still waiting) and that groups have to slaughter themselves before it’s too late.
This trend of building parties through fraud, by merely changing names – is really very strong among the petti-bourgeois intellectuals. We have already three “advanced and organized detachments” of the petti-bourgeoisie (the “C”“L”P, “R”“C”P and “C”P (“M-L”) that have read a decree proclaiming them the party and very soon we will have the U.S. “Bolshevik” Party (PRRWO-RWL) and the “Anti-revisionist Communist Party” of WVO. All these parties, and would-be parties share many common characteristics. Right opportunism, sectarianism, national chauvinism (RCP,CLP, CP(M-L)) or narrow nationalism (“wing”, WVO). All lack a real base among the working class and the oppressed nationalities. All substitute “wishful thinking” for the concrete analysis of concrete conditions and believe that we can force things into being (the party) by just our intellectual exercises.
Today we want to focus our attention again on the WVO. Since February 1976 we have consistently exposed these demagogues’ right opportunism in many questions. In the pages of Resistance, in open forums in New York, Los Angeles, California, and Washington, D.C. in mass struggles, in hospitals, schools, (not in factories because they are not there), coalitions, etc., their thoroughly bankrupt line has been exposed. This is part and parcel of the struggle to build the multi-national communist party of the U.S. And as Lenin said, the struggle against imperialism is a sham and a humbug without the struggle against opportunism.
Our consistent exposures contrast sharply with WVO’s attitude towards us. These demagogues not only believe that it’s enough to think and talk about the Party and the party is built; but also that if you don’t talk about something, if you don’t recognize its existence, it will cease to exist. Based on this, they announced in their paper that LPR “was never part of the communist movement” (WVO supplement on ATM, Jan. 1977) and that supposedly takes care of answering the many correct criticisms of their opportunist line. This is wishful thinking on the part of those who think that their typewriters are capable of erasing eight long years of arduous revolutionary struggle on our part.
This “I don’t recognize you” is a very popular weapon among revisionists and opportunists. The soviet revisionists “erased” Albania from the socialist camp in the early 60’s. To that comrade Hoxha responded:
Tell Khrushchev that whether Albania is a socialist country, or not, this does not depend on Khrushchev, but has been decided by the Albanian people themselves through the wars they have fought and the blood they have shed. This has been decided by the Party of Labor of Albania, which has marched and will always march on the Marxist-Leninist road. (Albania Today, No.6, 1975, Nov.-Dec.)
By the same token, it is the U.S. proletariat and oppressed masses; it is the genuine Marxist-Leninists, who can legitimize any communist organization based on its correct theory and practice, and not WVO.
We have experienced these tactics many times in our development. The revisionists of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party say that we did not exist back in 1969-72 but we were tearing apart their revisionist thesis of the divided nation. The Young Lords –forerunners of PRRWO – denied our existence but copied from us all the arguments against PSP. Later on PRRWO referred to us as “honest and in motion” (Party Building in the Heat of Class Struggle) and its chairperson made a public “self-criticism” for their sectarianism towards us (joint forum with WVO in November 1975, New York); only to later echo the unprincipled attacks, rumor-mongering and gossip with which the PSP tried – unsuccessfully – to stop us back in 1972. PRRWO resorts to these tactics now that they find themselves unable to answer our thorough exposure of their neo-trotskyite line. WVO learned a lot from PRRWO and it’s now using it all the way down the line; but as the opportunists, double dealers and demagogues that they are, they cannot win. They are doomed to fail and their time is running shorter and shorter despite all their bragging.
WVO has conveniently forgotten that we were part of the Budget Cuts Coalition in 1975 from which we withdrew in opposition to the alliance between WVO and the trotskyites who were jointly pushing “a general strike” line to deal with the budget cuts in New York City. They conveniently forget that we opposed their line of UNITED FRONT with the revisionists of the CPUSA in IWWD 1975 (WVO marched behind the CPUSA and in front of the Girl Scouts). They conveniently forget our participation together with WVO and PRRWO in the Day Care Contact Committee (N.Y. 1975), in a memorial for Premier Chou En-lai (called by us), in January 1975. They also conveniently forget our struggle against the right line of WVO and the neo-trotskyite line of PRRWO-RWL in IWWD 1976 (see Resistance, #2,3, Vol.7). All this and many other struggles have to be conveniently forgotten, denied, by “writing us off” the communist movement in order not to answer our polemics, in order not to be accountable for their opportunist theory and practice in all the above-mentioned struggles and many other questions that we have criticized WVO for. But we repeat, they are doomed to fail.
WVO’s “credibility” among genuine forces basically stems from their polemics with PRRWO-RWL. We have called the attention of comrades to the danger of confusing any discussion or polemic with two-line struggle, in which one holds the correct line and another the incorrect one. We have always opposed the opportunist conception of WVO that in every discussion we have to be with the “overall most correct line”. We oppose it because many times both arguments, both lines are incorrect and when that happens we have to oppose both, not select from the “lesser of two evils”.
In IWWD 1976, we were called centrists by both PRRWO-RWL and WVO. Why? Because we opposed both PRRWO’s “only propaganda” and WVO’s “mainly agitation”; both PRRWO’s “only genuine communists in the coalition” (to hell with anti-imperialists and other revolutionaries) and WVO’s free-for-all unity with revisionists, trotskyites, lesbians, etc. He did not recognize the struggle between PRRWO and WVO as a two-line struggle because it was not. It was one line – the bourgeois line – coming out in two different forms and as such we treated them. We took the correct stand of criticizing and fighting against the incorrect positions of both. (See Resistance Vol.7, #9)
For us it is clear that WVO represents a thoroughly consolidated right opportunist line. However, we understand that other comrades have yet to sum this up. WVO still has credibility among honest comrades and revolutionary-minded people. It is our responsibility, therefore, to use each and every opportunity available to us to expose WVO in front of these forces. And this is precisely what our consistent practice has shown.
Recently, we had one of these opportunities. A group of Boulder students, a group of developing M-Ls as they have summed-up themselves, invited us to participate in a forum together with WVO. We accepted the invitation with the only condition that we were allowed to invite other comrades and friends to the forum. WVO, who as a matter of fact were the ones that put forward the need for the forum, also accepted the invitation. Two days before the forum and after all the arrangements were made the WVO announced that they would not participate. In a leaflet distributed that same day – A DOG THAT BARKS DOES NOT BITE – WVO’s ACT OF SELF-EXPOSURE, LPR-ML states the following among other things:
Whoever is familiar with the Workers Viewpoint Organization should be tired by now of their continuous bragging and their self-proclamations as the “vanguard”, the “overall most correct line” and the many other eulogies used to praise themselves. Doubtlessly, the best business deal of this century is to buy WVO for its real price and sell it for what they believe they’re worth.
...WVO is running away in a frenzy, hiding, scared of being thoroughly exposed in front of those students and other genuine Marxist-Leninists and advanced forces that were invited to the forum. This is not the first time that they use this kind of bourgeois manuever to avoid polemizing with an organization that knows WVO’s words and deeds.
But all the running and hiding, all the slanders behind our backs, will not help WVO at all. As one of the students correctly summed-up: ’In the long run opportunists always loose. If they come to the forum you can expose them in front of everybody if they don’t come, they will be exposing themselves.’ This time it happened the second way. The very weak ties that WVO has in this area are becoming weaker and weaker. It’s time for them to pack their bags. It’s time for them to go to an other region of the country to tell their fairy tales of how they organized the struggle at Boulder, of how they led the Chicano national movement in this area, etc., etc.
The cowardly action of WVO will not save them from exposure, but on the contrary give more validity to that exposure. Only those who have something to hide, who cannot defend their line, who are afraid of having their true colors show, run away from the struggle. It’s ironic that the champions of the “Unite to Expose” line refuse to polemize with us in front of forces that they themselves have, defined as honest, genuine, advanced, etc. This clearly shows the disdain WVO has for these students that they attempted to recruit. This is telling those students that they have to follow WVO blindly. That they have to call LPR-ML opportunist because WVO says so. Instead of “exposing” us in front of those students and the other forces invited to the forum, they opted for running away. Following their long-established tradition. Unite to Expose has changed to “Hide” to Expose. And it is precisely WVO who is really exposed.
Later on we found out what were the flimsy reasons they gave (which we anticipated in the flyer). (We ask comrades to read the letter from some Boulder students that appears in the Communist Forum. The students, we feel, were capable of understanding and thoroughly exposing the bourgeois maneuvers used by WVO to try to justify their running out on the struggle. We don’t feel its necessary to make any further comments in this respect as we unite with the thrust of the students position.)
The struggle against all forms of opportunism in general, and against the main danger of right opportunism and WVO in particular, is a very important aspect of carrying out the central task of party building. Carrying out this struggle in the most correct way, integrating it with all the other tasks and duties of true communist fighters, is what all genuine Marxist-Leninists have to strive for in order that we can have a real “advanced and organized detachment of the working class” in this country, a genuine Marxist-Leninist, Communist party. This does not exist, nor is it a settled question, nor a matter of a couple of months.
Win the advanced to communism!