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Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee

Documents of the First Congress of the MLOC – Political Report from the Central Committee


The Deepening of the General Crisis

Comrades, what we would like to do now is report to you on the state of the class struggle and how it has developed in the period in which we have been working. Since the founding of the Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee, there has been a definite deepening of the general crisis of the imperialist era, an intensified effort by the reactionary bourgeoisie to place the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the workers and oppressed people, to breed disunity in the proletariat, to fan the flames of national chauvinism and to split the ranks of the working class movement. Lenin pointed out that every political crisis, whatever its outcome, is useful in that it brings to light things that have been hidden, reveals the forces operating in politics, exposes deception and self-deception, catchphrases and factions, and affords striking demonstration of “things as they are”. Comrades, the crisis over the last 2 and a half years has revealed those kind of things to the working and oppressed people of the world. The crisis has revealed itself in terms of unemployment, rising prices, the falling rate of production, the deficit spending. It has been demonstrated that the economic crisis is deeply intertwined with the social, political, ideological, military, cultural and agrarian crises of capitalism. This all round crisis can be seen on a political level around Watergate and the CIA; on a social level by the spread of pornography, child pornography and every form of degenerate activity; in the military with the disintegration of U.S. imperialism’s military alliances; in the deepening agrarian crisis by the ruin of small farmers and of the rural areas of this country. These all reflect the efforts on the part of the bourgeoisie to place the burden of this crisis onto the backs of the workers.

Comrades, more and more we are told by workers in plants that they are not able to afford the very products which they are producing with their own hands. More and more workers report to us the growing poverty, the increasing inability to purchase the daily necessities for life, the growing efforts on the part of the bourgeoisie to place that crisis on the backs of working people.

Comrades, how well do we understand the laws of motion of the general crisis? Is it the case that in each and every factory in which we work, we are able to explain to workers why there is unemployment? why there is inflation? Can we explain the questions of surplus value and the general crisis in a way which will connect their particular experience to the theory of Marxism-Leninism? Can we then raise this to a general level, mobilize those workers, and bring them into the ranks of our organization? It is obvious, comrades, that we are not yet able to do that in a consistent way. In order to do that we have to become political economists in the tradition of Marx. We have to study political economy, keep track of the general crisis, and train our cadre to be able to do that. The general crisis takes place on many fronts, and we must wage the struggle against it on many fronts. We must be careful never to separate the economic, political and ideological fronts of the class struggle.

We always want to point out to the workers that capitalism is like a sick man condemned to die. The general state of health is getting increasingly worse, even though it may feel better for a brief moment. This reality has to be brought home to the workers in this country. Comrades, in one plant where we are working, we heard the ridiculous garbage put forward that our organization was the main danger to the working class. Why? Because in that plant we linked the political and the economic struggles. What did these opportunists want to do? They said that anybody who raises the questions of politics and state power was ultra-“left”, and that all we should do is focus on the questions of the economic struggle. This kind of degenerate thinking must be combated.

Comrades, we also want to point out in this Report that based upon an examination of the conditions of the general crisis, we may well be on the verge of an extreme sharpening of this crisis, a sharpening which will bring to light the contradictions on a much deeper level than we have ever seen before in the capitalist world. We are not prophets and we cannot predict the time, the date, the place or exactly how this will happen, but all indications in the U.S., all indications in other parts of the capitalist-imperialist world point to this fact. The increased instability, the extremes of capitalist economy, the increased efforts to crush the revolutionary movements – these all point to much greater dangers and a much greater intensification of the class struggle.

The Danger of Imperialist War and World War

Comrades, we believe there is also a danger of imperialist war. We do not belittle this danger, but on the other hand we do not sit with our arms folded and talk about how it is inevitable and do nothing to prevent it. Comrades, we make a distinction of course between imperialist war, which Lenin taught us is inevitable in the era of imperialism, and World War III, which is not inevitable. We state, comrades, that we will fight all preparations for imperialist war, and we will do all we can to build the revolutionary movement to prevent U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism from waging that war. But we will never tell the workers, never preach to them the doctrine that there is nothing we can do to prevent it. We will never sit around and tell them that a world war is coming and that “look out, it’s going to be terrible, and that all we can do is hope for the best in the outcome”. That, comrades, is the essence of the revision of Lenin’s teachings on the questions of war and peace.

We recognize that there are various kinds of wars. We firmly and resolutely support wars of national liberation. We firmly support civil wars against the bourgeoisie, but we will oppose all imperialist war. Lenin pointed out that imperialist war is the eve of the socialist revolution and that this is not only because the horrors of war give rise to proletarian revolt, but also because state monopoly capitalism is a complete and material preparation for socialism, the threshold of socialism. There is no intermediate step between our present situation and the victory of socialism. There is no limited struggle against the two superpowers. Our struggle is the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The Fascist Menace

While the international danger of war is very great, and while this represents the external line of imperialism, we must also link it to the internal line of imperialism. Lenin said that imperialism is reaction all along the line. Imperialist war is its external policy, and fascist reaction is its internal policy. Fascism is not simply a state of affairs in which you see a tank sitting on the corner. Fascism is not simply something which happened in the 1930’s in Germany and Italy, and cannot happen in the U.S. We believe that if you look at the conditions of the class struggle today, there is a real growing development of the fascist forces. In Europe, we can see the spread of fascist ideology on an unprecedented scale for the first time in many years. We can also see the growth of fascist organizations, and similar conditions which we pointed out in the November issue of UNITE!

In the United States, this growth can be seen in the rise and development of the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazi Party all over the country, and in the recruitment into their ranks from the police forces. These developments are the tip of the iceberg, in comparison to what is going on. The spread of national chauvinism, the spread of chauvinist campaigns such as the import campaign in steel, are all elements of the preparations for fascism.

While bourgeois democracy is preferred, with the deepening of the general crisis fascism will become the more dominant method of capitalist rule. We are saying that more and more fascism is on the agenda for the bourgeoisie, that there is no progressive capitalism, that there is no non-aggressive capitalism. There is only reaction all along the line.

Comrades, in many countries, and in Europe in particular, we believe that fascism presents a real danger to the proletariat. The real possibility for a fascist seizure of political power is not an abstract question in Portugal, Spain, in Germany, or in countries such as France. The situation which is developing is similar in some ways to the situation in the mid-1930’s. Obviously it is not exactly the same, but in many ways we can see fascist forces maturing. The forms that this fascist rule is taking are very subtle. Here in the U.S. many of the steps Mr. Jimmy Carter is taking as president are preparing the ground for fascism. It is not just a question of calling up the troops and stationing them in your community, it is a question of preparation of the police, the preparation of the legal apparatus, the increased oppression on all levels of the class struggle. And comrades, frankly we have to point out that when we compare the working class movement today with the situation in Europe in the 1930’s, we stand in a relatively weaker situation. We are not as strong as we were in the 1930’s. We are not as militant and as organized as we were in the 1930’s. This means that we must take every precaution, mobilize our efforts ten fold in order to prevent the rise of fascism. To do this we must first build the militant activity of the working class itself, to mobilize it as a class. Second, we must establish a vanguard party in the U.S. Third, we must correctly identify our policy towards the middle forces and make sure that they do not side with fascism. And fourth, we must exercise the proper vigilance to make certain that we take advantage of every contradiction, every rupture, every secondary reserve and utilize them in the interests of the proletariat. Comrades, we are not only concerned with the fascists, but also with the social-fascists, with those who preach socialism in words, but defend capitalism in deeds. We are talking about the Revolutionary Communist Party with regard to its stand on the national question; we are talking about the “C”PUSA; we are talking about the CP(M-L); we are talking about a variety of opportunist forces who in deeds are helping to bring fascism into being in this country. They too must be opposed.

So, comrades, in summing up this point, we are saying that while there is a danger of imperialist war, and it is very great, and while there is a danger of fascism, neither are inevitable. What is inevitable is the victory of the proletariat and revolution. And that is why we have defended from the outset and will continue to defend the view that it is revolution which is the main trend in the world, not modern revisionism, not counter-revolution, not bourgeois reaction.

The Enemy, the Main Enemy

Our enemy is the entire system of imperialism: U.S. imperialism, Soviet social-imperialism, the capitalist countries of Europe and Asia, the fascist rulers of South Korea, Indonesia, Chile and Brazil, the fascist reactionaries in Israel and Iran. They are the enemies of the people of the world. The main enemy of the people of the world clearly is the two superpowers, U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism. We stand firmly on the proposition that both are aggressive, that both are capable of waging a world war.

We have been attacked from all corners for the view that both of these superpowers are equally dangerous and that we must base our strategy against both, not simply against one. They say our theory is the “theory of equilibrium” which “denies the uneven development of the two superpowers.” In reality this theory of uneven development as applied to the two superpowers has nothing to do with the theory of uneven development as Lenin talked about it. I would like to refer comrades to a passage in which Lenin speaks to this question. He said that “present day democracy will remain true to itself only if it joins neither one nor the other imperialist bourgeoisie, only if it says that the two sides are equally bad, and if it wishes the defeat of the imperialist bourgeoisie in every country. Any other decision would in reality be national liberalism and have nothing in common with genuine internationalism” (Lenin, LCW, Volume 21, p. 144). This is the view on which we stand, and that is the view we will fight for. It is the line of the international communist movement and the line which has been proven to be correct.

Our main internationalist duty is the overthrow of the U.S. bourgeoisie. Since World War II, it is definitely the case that there have been many changes in the development of U.S. imperialism. After the Second World War, it sought to seize the intermediate zone which lay between the imperialist powers and the socialist countries. It sought to crush the national liberation movements all around the world, and to wipe out the socialist camp. By and large, comrades, U.S. imperialism has failed on these accounts to carry out this policy since World War II. It has attacked Korea and Vietnam, but it has suffered defeats there.

If we look at the present period, since World War II, while the U.S. imperialists have suffered many defeats, there is nothing to indicate that U.S. imperialism is no longer aggressive, no longer capable to waging aggression. We can point clearly to the thirty year presence of U.S. imperialism in Vietnam, to the coups in Iran, Indonesia and Chile. We can point to the invasion of Lebanon and Santo Domingo, to the bombing of Hanoi, to its stand with the fascists of Israel, with Pinochet in Chile, with Vorster in Azania, with Pak in South Korea, with Geisel in Brazil, and with the Shah of Iran. We say resolutely that U.S. imperialism is not a shabby old dog that has lost its teeth. Anybody who preaches that garbage should be thrown out of the working class movement once and for all! Comrades, U.S. imperialism has not given up its ambition for conquest. U.S. imperialism has not changed its nature.

It is based upon this recognition that we will form our party in complete opposition to those who talk about the changing nature of U.S. imperialism. We have heard this question of the changing nature of U.S. imperialism before. We heard it from Mr. Earl Browder in the 1940’s; we heard it from William Z. Foster even in the 1930’s. What did they put forward? They put forward that communism is 20th century Americanism! They put forward that U.S. imperialism is no longer so completely reactionary and aggressive, and therefore we have to liquidate the Communist Party and side with the U.S. bourgeoisie. This is the course which these social-chauvinists today will follow if they pursue their theory that U.S. imperialism is no longer aggressive.

Direction of the Main Blow

In order to fight against our enemy and our main enemy we must direct our main blow along the line of the social props of the bourgeoisie, those who prettify U.S. imperialism, and defend it. First and foremost are the reformists and the revisionists, the trade union bureaucrats, the labor aristocracy, the revisionists such as the “C”PUSA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, the CP(M-L) and others. Comrades, this direction of the main blow is a scientific analysis of our line of struggle in this period. We must grasp it firmly, mobilize the organization far more than we have done in the past.

We have taken up the battle against the trade union bureaucrats and the labor aristocracy, but it has not been deep enough. We have made some headway in exposing the “C”PUSA, but not nearly what we are required to do. This task must be carried on in a much more profound way.

We have been talking about the camp of reaction–their work and their role in the world today. That is why those who say that the camp of imperialism no longer exists are talking through their hats. Those who say that the camp of imperialism was destroyed, that the conditions have changed and that the imperialists no longer work together, that imperialism is not reaction all along the line, these people are siding with the bourgeoisie. They prettify the bourgeoisie, and do their dirty work for them. With all of these efforts, can we say that opportunism has crushed the working class movement? Can we say that the spread of the general crisis has lessened the revolutionary vision and fighting capacity of the proletariat? Can we say that our movement has been relegated to merely collecting forces? We do not believe that this is so.

Growth of the Revolutionary Forces

We believe that there has been a tremendous upsurge in the revolutionary working class movement in this country, and all around the world. We believe, as we have pointed out, that we are moving from an ebb period in the class struggle, to a flow period. Small skirmishes are growing into big battles. More and more of the proletariat will be united, led by its political party, to wage struggle of class against class to defeat the bourgeoisie.

We have pointed to the indications of this spontaneous development of the working class movement. The strikes and the wildcats, the political character of the strike and wildcat movements, the increasing struggle against the trade union bureaucrats and the labor aristocracy are some of these indications. The struggles of the workers has an increasingly political nature, in all of the forms it takes. The rejection of bankrupt leadership in all the various reformist organizations has begun. These are the same phenomena we can see in many other parts of the world. We recently had the opportunity to hear the International Secretary of the Front of the People in Chile speak. The Comrade explained how in the mines in Chile today, when agents and informants are spotted, they are often executed right on the spot. This is an indication of the level of class consciousness and militancy of the working class movement. These are historic developments, which certainly point out that the period ahead is one in which we must make every effort to unify the working class, to heal the divisions which exist in the working class, and to mobilize our class as a class conscious of itself to wage these battles.

We are no longer satisfied with simply repudiating imperialism through our propaganda efforts. Every place we carry out our work, workers say to us that they want leadership on a day to day basis. They want practical leadership from communists in the day to day struggle, to lead this strike, to mobilize that campaign for democratic rights, to take up the battle against the Klan. This is not simply a question of propaganda and exposure of imperialism, but of the mobilization and leadership of the proletariat in the battle against imperialism.

The militant proletariat is not interested in small circles. The proletariat is not interested in those misleaders who claim the banner of communism and pursue their own careers, refusing to unite. The proletariat is not interested in those who think the workers cannot understand the final aims of our movement, and never speak of the dictatorship of the proletariat, never speak of communism or Marxism-Leninism. The proletariat is not interested in those who preach national chauvinism, or think the masses will not support the right of self-determination for oppressed nations.

Comrades, the workers want genuine revolutionary leadership. They want leadership which boldly holds aloft the flag of Marxism-Leninism and the class struggle, leadership which truly seeks to unite the working class in battle against the bourgeoisie, leadership which routs modern revisionism from the ranks of the workers.

Comrades, there must be no denying the reality that imperialism has sown a basis for disunity among the workers. As a result, there are real divisions in the multi-national working class. First, there exists no real trade union unity in this country. The trade unions are completely controlled by the reactionary trade union bureaucrats and are under the influence of the labor aristocracy. In all regards–elections, committees, dues, etc.–this bourgeois apparatus centered in the AFL-CIO must be smashed and the working class must rebuild genuine proletarian fighting unions, led by the vanguard party. The result of this misleadership today is that the union bureaucrats have only organized 26% of the working class in this country. The result is that the United Auto Workers and the Teamsters stand separate from the AFL-CIO. The lack of trade union unity plays directly into the hands of the bourgeoisie. This is a condition which must be overcome by throwing out the trade union bureaucrats, isolating the labor aristocracy and its influence, and building a united proletarian trade union movement.

Second, imperialism has bred national chauvinism and racism, built upon the oppression of nations. The multi-national working class is not united today. The recent steel import campaign by the United Steel Workers and the growing presence of the Ku Klux Klan in many plants is an indication of the long, difficult road ahead to build genuine multi-national unity.

We are working to heal this wound. But the divisions which exist are very deep going. It will only be healed by a party which mobilizes the proletariat to fight against white chauvinism. It is not going to be solved, comrades, by mobilizing the Black, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Chinese, Japanese, or Filipino workers to fight white chauvinism, although those workers must be mobilized. It will be defeated by fighting within the ranks of the white proletariat against white chauvinism. That is the essence of the fight on the national question we face. As long as that is not taken up as a deep going struggle, there will be no possibility of multi-national unity in this country.

We also recognize that the struggle against the labor lieutenants, the trade union bureaucrats, is not going to be a small struggle. It will be an armed battle, and in many unions they will fight until their death to regain control of those billions of dollars of capital, those membership cards, the reins of those organizations. We must prepare our trade union work to wage that kind of battle.

We have to fight not only the lieutenants of the bourgeoisie, we have to fight the enlisted soldiers of the bourgeoisie, the opportunists such as the ”C ”PUSA, the RCP, the CP(M-L), who enlist in the service of the bourgeoisie. We have to say frankly that we have not yet prepared ourselves adequately to carry out that struggle. What we are pointing to, comrades, is that we have to pay very close attention the working class movement, study its development, understand its moods, its currents, and what is happening within it. We have to break out of the situation where some of our cadre after months in a plant still have no deep ties with the workers in that plant. We have to break with a situation where some of our cadre are not intimately familiar with the daily workings of their trade union, and do not understand the pressing questions of the trade union movement.

In the AFL-CIO, we are now approaching a discussion of a merger between the UAW and the AFL-CIO. This is an extremely important question in the trade union movement. Communists must speak to that question, must mobilize the workers around a correct program on a question like that, and cannot allow such an activity to go on without fighting for a Marxist-Leninist position.

There was a conference just recently, for instance, of a union district which spoke to that question in the trade union movement, but we did not even attend that conference. What does that reflect, comrades? That reflects that we are not really in touch with the daily pulse of the trade union movement. To wage this battle, this state of affairs must be overcome.

We have to look to the situation in steel, for instance, to the ease with which the bourgeoisie has mobilized this campaign against imports, and the completely reactionary nature of this campaign. We have to examine concretely why did the Sadlowski campaign come out the way that it did? Why has our organization not summed up our views on Sadlowski? Why haven’t we published an analysis of that campaign and our work in it? Why haven’t we educated steelworkers and the entire proletariat to the significance of that campaign? We have only to look to the auto industry. Clearly the most pressing issue in auto today is the question of overtime. It is the question on the minds of the workers overwhelmingly in most of the auto plants in this country. Do we have a serious pamphlet which we can use for agitation to mobilize the workers around the question of overtime? No, comrades, we do not! And as long as we do not, we will not make any qualitative headway in work amongst auto workers. Or look to coal. We have made some important steps in all three of these areas, in steel, in auto, in coal, as the Report from the Central Committee will point out later on. But still in such a vital area as coal, where a strike is coming up in a matter of days, for instance, where it is absolutely essential to the bourgeoisie to maintain the development of coal as an energy source necessary for imperialist war, we have not taken the steps necessary to lead this strike, even in a single United Mine Workers district.

We have made forward motion. Unlike a lot of other people who have ignored these tasks, who have never taken up this work, we have gotten our hands into these battles. Relative to our size and our youthfulness, we are taking important steps. But still, relative to the necessity to mobilize support for the Stearns coal-miners who are waging an armed struggle, in essence, we have done very little.

What do I point to here, comrades? Not that we have done nothing, not that our work in trade union matters is all bad, but compared to what we must do, there should be no illusions about where we are now.

Every Factory a Fortress

What we have to do then, comrades, is to direct the main focus of the work of the organization at the factories. The efforts of the leadership of our organization must be geared to training cadre to carry out the class struggle in each shop, mill, mine and factory. This has to be where the center of attention is in the organization, where everything that happens in the unit meetings and in the nuclei is centered on solving those questions of leading the class struggle right in the shops and plants where we are working. Definite policies need to be adopted, policies which require shop papers to be carried out and initiated within perhaps six months of working in a plant. Policies which require that every cadre who distributes the newspaper have names of contacts and build relationships with workers. This is a policy which points to the fact that even though comrades join our organization, you do not get a blank check to stay in it. You must carry out communist work.

Comrades, lastly on this part we want to speak further to the question of the trade unions. We have made many declarations about the importance of trade union work, and in every issue of the newspaper we speak to this question. As a policy we have stated that trade union work is the most important work of the organization. Have we carried that out in reality? And the answer, comrades, is clearly that we have not. We have not grasped firmly that task and placed the center of our. work there. All we have to do is look at the words of Comrade Stalin on this question. I would like to present a rather lengthy passage from Stalin because it in a vivid way represents exactly what is involved. Stalin once said that,

The trade unions in Western Europe developed under entirely different circumstances. Firstly, they arose and became strong long before working-class parties appeared. Secondly, there it was not the trade unions that developed around the working-class parties; on the contrary, the working-class parties themselves emerged from the trade unions. Thirdly, since the economic sphere of the struggle, the one that is closest to the working class, had already been captured, so to speak, by the trade unions, the parties were obliged to engage mainly in the parliamentary political struggle, and that could not but affect the character of their activities and the importance attached to them by the working class. And precisely because the parties there arose after the trade unions, precisely because the trade unions came into being long before the parties, and in fact became the proletariat’s principal fortresses in its struggle against capital–precisely for that reason, the parties, as independent forces that did not have the backing of the trade unions, were pushed into the background.
From this it follows, however, that if the Communist Parties want to become a real mass force, capable of pushing the revolution forward, they must link up with the trade unions and get their backing.
Failure to take this specific feature of the situation in the West into account means leading the cause of the communist movement to certain doom.” (Stalin, Selected Works, Vol. 7, p. 104-105).

The Struggle for Democratic Rights

In addition, there are many other areas of class struggle that we have to speak to. We work in a variety of organizations which uphold the question of democratic rights. It is our task to link the struggles on a day to day basis for democratic rights to the final aims of the movement. We must bring up the questions of housing, police brutality, equality of language, and the question of undocumented workers in a manner which points out the necessity for the struggle for democracy, but also links it to the cause of socialism.

There are other areas of work, comrades, where we have hardly begun to do what is necessary. While we can point with pride to our accomplishments, we have to recognize that we have hardly even scratched the surface when it comes to work among students and youth. This is a real shortcoming which must be corrected. The youth of this country cannot be left to the domination ideologically, organizationally and politically to various forces, whether it be the “C”PUSA or the Nazi Party, who are both taking up the question of youth and making real inroads. Nor have we taken an active role in the women’s movement in this country, sought to give it real active political leadership. The recent conference in Houston is a good example. We did not participate in that conference. Why? Not because we thought it was wrong, but because we did not recognize that it was even happening! We were not even in touch enough with the struggle on a Central Committee level to understand that it was going on until a few days before hand. What does this reflect? That means that a line on paper is absolutely nothing unless it is carried into practice and deeds. There are other questions as well, such as the question facing the aged in this country. Millions of workers who are no longer able to carry out productive labor suffer brutal oppression and exploitation at the hands of the capitalists today. Those are the real problems which must be addressed.

Lastly, while we have correctly focused our attention in the urban areas of the country, in the main industrial centers, we have to understand, as we spoke before, that the crisis of imperialism is also an agrarian crisis. All we have to do is look at the situation of the farmers to recognize that there are allies amongst the farmers of this country for the struggle we are waging. The ruin of the small farmer, the destruction of the small farms, is a pressing question of the general crisis, and our organization has to take steps to deal with that.

The National Questions–The Fight Against White Chauvinism

Finally, comrades, on this question of the general course of the class struggle, we want to speak to the national question. The national question in essence is a class question, but it cannot be glued together as a single matter. There is both national oppression and class oppression. They are not indistinguishable from one another; they exist as separate realities. We in no way mean to suggest that the essence of the national question is not a class question, as it obviously is. But in places such is the Black Belt South, where there is an oppressed Black Nation, the cutting edge of our struggle is against national oppression, while at the same time we raise the class question.

Even in the Chicago area, or in Los Angeles, or in Houston, or in any other city, clearly national oppression is a reality and we have to take up our work and point out the class basis of national oppression, but never liquidate the special national oppression which masses of people face in this country.

We have correctly done that in the struggle we are leading around the Dawson Five, and as a result we have made some progress. But it is not the case that in all areas of our work amongst national minorities and oppressed nations, that this work has been taken up adequately. We have to recognize that there are some people in this country, who claim to be Marxist-Leninists who say that there is a right for self-determination for oppressed nations, but who attack us for being sectarian for raising the right of self-determination. The CP(M-L) does that, in the Gary Tyler work in New Orleans, in Chicago, and elsewhere.

We have always held that the stand of any organization on the national question in general, and the Black national question in particular, tells a great deal about their stand, viewpoint and method. The “C”PUSA has a long history since the late 1930’s of betraying the Black masses and bolstering the imperialist domination of the Black Nation. Such personalities as Angela Davis, Jarvis Tyner and Henry Winston are completely bought, sold and paid for by the imperialists.

The RCP, offspring of the “C”PUSA, has revised Lenin and Stalin so frequently on this question, stood so often with the most chauvinist and reactionary forces, as on the question of busing, that their program and deeds drip with great nation chauvinism.

The RCP is not alone in its denial of democratic rights to the oppressed masses, for the Worker’s Viewpoint Organization and others have taken this same beaten path.

Some circles, such as the August Twenty-Ninth Movement (M-L) and the Workers’ Congress (M-L) preach self-determination in words, but carry out virtually no work in the oppressed nation or genuine agitation and propaganda among the masses for self-determination. In deeds, they practice national chauvinism. Neither, for instance, had the “resources” to carry out work on the struggle to free the Dawson Five!

Comrades, these opportunists and small circles are not our main concern. While the fight for the right of self-determination for oppressed nations is a strategic question, the heart of our work to carry this out must be the struggle against white chauvinism, which is the main obstacle to multi-national unity. We want to repeat this again and again, because when we look around in our districts we do not see the struggle against white chauvinism being placed in the forefront of the struggle for multi-national unity. We see that there is no hesitation to mobilize the Black workers around the Dawson Five question, there is no hesitation to mobilize workers around other oppressed minorities. But when it comes to going into the ranks of the white working class, and there waging the struggle against white chauvinism, that is where comrades get weak knees. And no doubt, it is because there you deal with the Klan, the Nazis and every other counter-revolutionary force in this society. But that is where the center of our work on the national question must be placed.

Place Our Future in the Hands of the Proletariat

Comrades, in order to carry out our mass work against the general crisis and in all areas of our work, what has to happen is a shift in the direction that we have been going somewhat in the past. The line of our organization must be made the line of the masses, and not kept our private property. It must be aggressively taken to the masses and seen as their line.

If we look back at the criticisms of the Marxist-Leninist movement in the U.S. historically, what did Marx and Engels, what did Lenin and Stalin point to in this country? They said that the communists were isolated from the working class movement. They said that the communists had weak knees in bringing Marxism-Leninism to the working class movement. When we look at the history of the “C”PUSA what do we find? Their failure to recruit workers, their failure to build nuclei, many other things indicate the isolation and distance of Marxist-Leninists historically from the working class movement.

That is the center of the ideological rectification for our work. We must recognize the slogans and tactics of our organization must be put forward in order to really lead, not simply to declare our good intentions. They must be put forward in a way that will light up the path for the working class, show the correct direction and way out of the crisis, show the way to liberation and the defeat of the bourgeoisie.

This means that each cadre really has to be linked to the daily life of the workers. Not in form. Going out and selling the newspaper in front of a plant gate does not mean, comrades, that we are linked to the workers. Going out and selling a pamphlet, or simply even raising a resolution in the trade unions, or distributing the Dawson Five leaflets does not mean that we are linked to the daily life of the workers. A comrade who has done all of those things and today has no real contacts which they are moving towards our organization is not linked to the lives of the workers. What is behind this kind of viewpoint? What is behind the fact that some comrades in our organization have not grasped this, have not moved to correct this?

What is not recognized is that revolution is made by the ordinary proletarian. Not by us, comrades, but by the ordinary millions upon millions of working people, that they will make the revolution in this country. And if we should carry out our work correctly we will have the honor to stand in the forefront and lead that struggle. But we alone will not make the revolution.

Any kind of cynicism, pessimism or fear of the workers, reluctance to aggressively take our program and line to working people, any kind of hesitation, standing out there handing out papers like we were a robot, not talking to anybody, any failure to really get to know working people that we have contact with, spells the doom for our struggle. And it spells the doom for the party which we are going to build. You cannot win advanced workers to communism if you do not know them. You cannot win advanced workers to communism if every day you are not talking to workers, if they are not in your homes and you are not in their homes; there is no way the revolution will be won. This is a problem, comrades, and we must not deny it. Not to belittle what has been achieved; our ties with the masses are real. But they are a fraction of what would be the case if every comrade in our organization was doing this kind of work.

This question has to translate itself not only into the mass work that we do, but into the internal life of our organization and our party. Comrades, it is a battle to keep the proletariat in the lead of our organization. It does not happen automatically. It is a battle to insure that the majority of the cadre in our organization are definitely from working class backgrounds. Now we have made some steps on this ground, and we have made some mistakes in the past. We are moving to correct these mistakes in our recruitment policy and other matters. But the internal life of the organization must be such that normal working people can be part of it.

Look at the situation in our districts, it is outrageous! In every district! How many meetings do comrades go to? Yet we have a policy which says, no more than three to four meetings a week at the outside. We have a policy which says that 50% of our time in each unit meeting must be directed towards the plants, towards solving the problems of practical work. Does this happen? It does not happen. We have comrades running around like chickens with their heads cut off, five,six, seven meetings a week. That is an organization which will not make revolution, because the normal working person cannot be part of that organization.

Comrades, we have to come out of this Congress absolutely clear about that question, that is fundamental. The internal life of our organization must reflect the external reality of the daily lives of the working class. The working class must be insured hegemony through recruitment, through promotion to leadership, through training, and through the daily activities of the organization.

We believe that in assessing the class struggle, not since 1944 with the dissolution of the Communist Party of the U.S.A., has there been such great opportunities for the advancement of the revolution. We believe that there is a thunder brewing in the ranks of the working class and oppressed people, and that where there is thunder, there is definitely lightning. Our task is to direct that lightning bolt at the bourgeoisie.

In order to do that, it is important in this Political Report to speak next to the question of the leadership of our organization in the class struggle, to its development, how it has grown up.