First Published: Unite!, Vol. 3, No. 7, August 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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After months of on again, off again rhetoric, the October League formed the Communist Party (ML) (CP-ML) – adding itself to the opportunist parties claiming to serve the interests of the working class – the Communist Party USA, the Progressive Labor Party, the Communist Labor Party, the Revolutionary Communist Party, and now the Communist Party (ML).
The formation of the vanguard communist party represents nothing less than a declaration of war against the bourgeoisie. It would be the recognition of a general staff existing in the center of the working class movement of the U.S. to guide, lead and teach the workers the science of proletarian revolution. It is the vanguard party which boldly raises the banner of class against class, notifies the bourgeoisie and their social props – the reformists and the revisionists – that a major battle in the class war has been won by the proletariat. Marxism-Leninism teaches and history confirms that the vanguard communist party is the advanced detachment of the working class, the highest form of class organization, that will, with the seizure of state power by the working class, serve as the instrument of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
All political parties represent one class or the other. There exists today in the U.S. no party of the working class. Nothing more reveals this to be the case, and exposes such reactionary claims of the CP(ML) than its stand towards the U.S. bourgeoisie, and its views on the international situation. The formation of the CP(ML) comes at a time when they are in the midst of an intense social-chauvinist campaign against the working class, trying to convince the workers that we must direct our “main blow” not against the U.S. bourgeoisie, but against the Soviet Czars!
The CP(ML) is social-chauvinist because they preach socialism in words, but defend in deeds the imperialist aims and ambitions of the U.S. bourgeoisie. By aiming the “main blow” against Soviet social-imperialism, the CP(ML) defends the interest and collaborates with the U.S. imperialists, because, the CP(ML) says, the U.S. bourgeoisie is a lesser danger and evil in the world. Such logic, in the event of imperialist war, would lead the CP(ML) to rally behind the flag, rather than turning the imperialist war into a civil war.
This road of class collaboration abandons the class struggle and historic mission of the U.S. working class of smashing the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in this country. The position of the CP(ML) distorts the basic teachings of Marxism-Leninism to such a point that they make the ridiculous claim that the Soviet Union is the main prop of imperialism, rather than one of the two imperialist superpowers that has its own props, just as the CP(ML) acts as a compromising force to prop up U.S. imperialists.
U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism are both the greatest enemy and greatest danger to the people of the entire world. Internationally, we must direct our main blow against both imperialism and social-imperialism. Our aim is to build the united front against the two superpowers. However, in a given country at a given time, one of the two superpowers may be a greater danger, which then makes the main task of the proletariat in that country to defeat that enemy.
In the U.S., we will carry out our internationalist duty by directing our main blow against the U.S. bourgeoisie.
Unless this fundamental truth is grasped, it is impossible to lead the proletarian masses into anything but the lap of the bourgeoisie. The U.S., after years of imperialist rule, is a country in which the proletariat has been subjected to the poisons of nationalism and chauvinism. This is a fact that cannot be ignored. That is why we must insist on internationalism in words and deeds.
In the U.S., in particular, with a long history of revisionism and Browder conciliation, “Internationalism means breaking with ones own social-chauvinists (defense advocates) and with ones own imperialist government; it means waging a revolutionary struggle against that government and overthrowing it...”
Breaking with social chauvinism and revisionism is a question which affects all aspects of the program of the proletariat. The basic program of the CP(ML) on all major questions reflects its class collaborationist and revisionist stand. The OL, for over half of its existence, denied that modern revisionism and right opportunism are the main danger in the U.S. working class movement. They said “left” opportunism was the danger – a position which completely negated the history of the proletariat in this country and ran straight into the face of the international communist movement. Traveling this road put the OL in the service of the CPUSA and Soviet revisionism. With such a start, it is not surprising that the CP(ML) set out to rewrite the history of the CPUSA itself, claiming in its recent political report that the CPUSA was taken over by a clique in 1957 – as if its abandonment of its revolutionary position on the Black National Question, trade unions and many other questions years before, did not in and of itself deprive the CPUSA of any semblance of Marxism-Leninism.
In fact, the entire effort of the CP(ML) to form a communist party is a mirror of revisionism and opportunism. The OL began its campaign for the party by claiming that the party in this country did not require, at its formation, a party program or a party congress. This was revised when it suited these “misleaders”, as a “minor modification”. The OL turned out to be all too correct. Even after the call for a program and a party congress, the OL did not essentially modify its motion towards revisionism.
The organizing committee formed by the OL had nothing in common with Marxism-Leninism. Rather than placing the party program as the cornerstone of its work, the program was revealed in the closing months of the organizing committee with limited discussion. There was no nation-wide effort to take the program to the working class for discussion and correction.
On the Black National Question, the great nation chauvinism of the CP(ML) has been consistent. The OL, and now the CP(ML) has historically opposed secession of the Black Belt Nation. The work of the OL in the Black Belt Nation has completely ignored the plight of the poor white workers, and the development of work in the rural South. Its work in the Black Belt Nation has turned the Southern Christian Education Fund (SCEF) into a petty arm of the CP(ML)’s Fight Back Organization, purging all those in SCEF who in any way oppose the CP(ML). Rather than build SCEF as a genuine mass organization, they took a sectarian stand towards it in order to build their own organization. One recent event around the Gary Tyler case also illustrates this point. The CP(ML), in New Orleans, was recently placed on probationary status because of its sectarian and unprincipled wrecking and splitting of the People’s Defense Coalition to Free Gary Tyler and End Injustice. In this case, in JoAnn Little’s case or in its activities in turning SCEF into its club, the OL has a history of wrecking and splitting every major effort to build such mass organizations.
These examples should point clearly to the fact that the CP(ML) is not a party which is capable of, or interested in leading or uniting the proletariat in class struggle. The stand of the CP(ML) represents the stand of a revisionist party of the bourgeoisie who revises and distorts the basic teachings of Marxism-Leninism on the questions of the vanguard communist party, the national question and the international situation, to cite major examples. The CP(ML) is not a party of the working class, but a social prop of the bourgeoisie. Its objective mission is to mislead and divide the working class.
Many before the CP(ML) have burst upon the scene and claimed to carry the bright red flag of revolution. No doubt there will be others still. But claims do not make revolution. Only in pursuing the course of proletarian internationalism, staunchly upholding and defending Marxism-Leninism and in combat against modern revisionism, in all its forms, will a genuine vanguard party be built.
In this struggle, there no doubt are many forces within the CP(ML) which will be won over to the cause of communism – but only by rejecting the social chauvinist, revisionist and corrupt leadership now commanding the CP(ML).