First Published: Unite!, Vol. 3, No. 9, October 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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With the sharpening contention between the two superpowers, and the move toward imperialist war, forces that claim to be Marxist-Leninist have begun preaching support of their own bourgeoisie.
In the U.S. this is the stand of the recently founded Communist Party (ML). The CP(ML) calls for the U.S. working class to direct its main blow at Soviet social-imperialism.
This strategy, they say, is justified because the Soviet Union is not only the most dangerous of the two superpowers; it carries out aggression under the signboard of socialism. In time of imperialist war, this logic will lead the CP(ML) to rally right behind the flag of the U.S. bourgeoisie. Already it has led them to scold the Carter wing of the ruling class for its “illusions” about appeasement. How did the CP(ML) arrive at such m openly chauvinist position? They claim that their conclusions flow from the strategic considerations on an international level of Stalin’s theory of the “main blow”. According to the CP(ML) Soviet social-imperialism is the main compromising force or social-prop of world imperialism, and therefore, we should direct our main blow at the U.S.S.R. Seldom has a correct theory been so distorted and put to such dangerous purposes.
To expose the utter chauvinism of the CP(ML), we need to look briefly at what Stalin said on the main blow:
The most important function of strategy is to determine the direction which ought to be taken by the working class movement and along which the proletariat can most advantageously deliver the main blow at the enemy.... (Stalin, Vol. 5, page 166).
...the Bolshevik strategy...called for the isolation of the compromising party in order to facilitate, to hasten the victory over the principal enemy. (Stalin, Vol. 6, page 402).
In these passages and their discussion, Stalin makes it extremely clear that the party of compromise, though in the enemy camp is not the main enemy. It is not the ruling force. Taking up a concrete case, Stalin discusses the Cadets, a Russian bourgeois parliamentary party, that prior to 1917 was the compromising party between the ruling czar and the majority of the people. But, says Stalin, once the czar was gone, “The Cadet Party had been transformed from a compromising force into a governing force, into the ruling force of imperialism.” (Stalin, Vol. 6, page 403).
In the early 1960’s, on a world scale the revisionists of the U.S.S.R. were exactly such a compromising party. Marxist-Leninists referred to them as the Soviet revisionist clique that compromised with and did the bidding of U.S. imperialism. Equally clear, today the social-imperialists of the U.S.S.R. can in no way be considered a compromising force or a social-prop. Like the U.S. imperialists, they now demand and get others to do their bidding.
But what of the U.S.S.R.’s lie that they are socialists? Claiming to be socialist while actually being imperialist means that they are social-imperialist. But, that has nothing to do with being a social prop or compromising force. After all, earlier czars claimed to be the “little father” of the Russian people. And the rapacious U.S. bourgeoisie claims to stand for freedom and human rights. The U.S.S.R. still are not compromisers. The compromisers are those that back up such claims, that tell the working class to go along with the ruling forces and to put aside revolution.
Here in the U.S., it is the trade union bureaucrats and the false parties like the CP(ML) that do that. They claim to fight the enemy but actually prop it up. They are in the enemy’s camp. They are compromisers and not honest forces that often vacilliate in the face of the schemes of the props. We must unite with honest middle forces and help them to become steadfast. We must strike the main blow at the enemy in the direction of the compromising forces.
If it is not Soviet social-imperialism, who are the compromising forces on an international scale? Many are ruling forces in one country or another. Though bosses and lords at home, they are bought and allow themselves to be bullied by U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism.
How do they compromise? These forces preach detente, say that they are non-aligned, claim that they can achieve a new international economic order without the need for revolution. Some back up the U.S.S.R.’s claim that it is socialist and the natural ally of the national liberation movements. Others rally to the U.S.-dominated NATO against the U.S.S.R. which they pose as the main danger and the greatest source of war.
These forces that compromise with the two superpowers are allegedly some of the main leaders of the “third world” and of the “non-aligned”.
The real purpose of all these social props is to crush true national liberation movements and mislead honest democratic forces that have come to power but are not steadfastly upholding the real interests of the people.
The CP(ML), like the rest of the followers of the theory of the “three worlds” will not even point out and warn the working class and the national liberation movements of the true role of the international social props, much less suggest that the main blow must be struck at both superpowers along the direction of these compromising forces.
No, according to the CP(ML) we must uphold them as the main forces against the two superpowers. More to the point, the CP(ML) is hoping to line up these lackeys and the smaller imperialist powers on the side of the U.S. bourgeoisie and strike the main blow at the U.S.S.R.. It is this goal and not an innocent blunder that is back of their crude distortion of Stalin’s theory.
The CP(ML) has scolded the U.S. government, especially the “Carter circle” as they put it, for appeasing the U.S.S.R. They warn, “Like the Western imperialists who made concessions to Hitler before World War II, Carter’s wing of the ruling class hopes to sidetrack the Soviet Union’s aggressive drive by appeasing it. But the experience of World War II shows that appeasement only hastens the pace of the opponents aggression.” CALL editorial, July 11, 1977.
Returning to the theme in September they write: “Carter and other appeasers of Soviet aggression are under the illusion that not “offending” Moscow is the best way to check the social-imperialists bid for world hegemony.” CALL, September 5, 1977, p. ll. The CP(ML) puts forth the Hitler analogy as devastating, but in fact, it is a false one. As Mao noted, the appeasement policies of the U.S. and British bourgeoisie did not come from “illusions” but from the U.S. imperialists’ schemes to gain by turning the Germans toward Eastern Europe and the U.S.S.R. The claim that Carter is appeasing the U.S.S.R. is itself the illusion. This is transparent in the July editorial of the CALL where they chastise Carter for dropping the B-l bomber. Along with the most reactionary U.S. sabre rattlers, they glossed over the simultaneous decision of the U.S. bourgeoisie to pick up on the production of the cruise missile.
The CP(ML) is well along the road to a militaristic united front centered around NATO against the U.S.S.R.
Such plans obviously can not but help affect their view toward revolution. In M. Klonsky’s political report to the founding congress of the CP(ML), he asserts, “The rate of war preparations is so rapid now that there is no possibility of civil war and the victory of socialism heading off the war. Therefore our task becomes one of transforming the inevitable superpower war into a revolutionary civil war.” (Documents, CP(ML), p.44)
Marxist-Leninists recognize that imperialism breeds imperialist war, but it is wrong to conclude that war between the two superpowers is inevitable. This denies the basic teachings of Lenin that this is the era of proletarian revolution. As for the possibility that the revolutionary forces in other countries may significantly delay the outbreak of imperialist war or even prevent it, for Klonsky this merits no consideration at all.
While Klonsky is absolutely sure that superpower war will break out before revolution can stop it, he is not sure when the war itself will come. As he puts it, “The imperialist war may not break out right away. In the meantime we must get fully prepared. The key is bringing our correct stand on the war to the masses through our revolutionary Party. Our slogan of “turn the imperialist war into a civil war” must be transformed from a propaganda slogan into an action slogan.” Documents, CP(ML), p.45.
Clearly what the CP(ML) is preparing itself for first and foremost is war. It is a party geared towards war preparations and not a party of revolution.
AS to its supposed and sometime future task of transforming “turn the imperialist war into a civil war” into an “action slogan”, just how does the CP(ML) expect to reconcile that with its other “reaction slogan” of strike the main blow at the Soviet Union?
The CP(ML)’s call to strike the main blow only at the U.S.S.R. justifies the most social chauvinist stand and is a call to deliver the U.S. working class into the hands of its main enemy, the U.S. bourgeoisie. It is nothing but the most deplorable posturing to then suggest that it will undo the great harm and turn the superpower war into a civil war. The CP(ML) is saying let us forge our alliance with the U.S. bourgeoisie now, so that we can better attack them later! This ruse is exactly the betrayal by the forces of the Second International that Lenin attacked so fiercely.
Against this kind of plan that is developing worldwide, the working class and its chief allies are forging a great alliance that will crush both superpowers, and the rest of imperialism and the compromising forces like the CP(ML) that mislead and attempt to split the working class and separate it from its true allies.