Published: Unite!, Vol. 3, No. 7, August 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The history of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) from its inception as the Revolutionary Union (RU) in California has been marked by national chauvinism toward the Black masses, denial of the struggle for democratic rights, and revisionism of Marxist-Leninist theory on every major question. The program of the RCP is not a program of a communist party, but a textbook of revisionist and chauvinist teachings.
By its negative example, the RCP has taught the working class many valuable lessons. This is especially true on the Black National Question, which is the question of the existence of a Black Nation and the right of self-determination. It was over these issues that the former Black Workers Congress broke with the RU in 1973. It was largely over these issues that leading Black and white cadre left the RU in 1974. The revisionist theory of a “nation of a new type”, (Red Papers 2 p. 12), the assertion that Marxist-Leninists no longer have to uphold Stalin’s criteria for a nation, stood behind the RCP’s defense of segregation and its stand on busing in Boston. This position put them in opposition to the Black masses.
Since the end of last year, the RCP has sought to overcome the resulting isolation. It has done this not by correcting its own chauvinist line, but in collusion with the Revolutionary Workers Congress (RWC), the faction most responsible for wrecking the Black Workers Congress.
The first action of this duet this last spring was to join with the Workers Viewpoint Organization (WVO) in pulling apart the African Liberation Support Committee (ALSC). Their next step was to wrap themselves in the mantle of African Liberation Day as the leading organizers of the ALD coalition. As participants in that coalition, we have noted in the pages of UNITE!, both the positive role of the demonstration and the unprincipled tactics of the RCP, such as deciding which Iranian Student Organization would be allowed to march. For the RCP-RWC, the importance of ALD was the role it played in positioning them to move on ALSC and the Black masses.
In recent weeks the RCP has been swinging around the country aiming its organizing efforts toward a new ALSC at the Black masses in an effort to recoup the tremendous loses and isolation from the Black masses resulting from its national chauvinism over the last several years. Assisting and promoting this campaign has been the RWC.
The RWC carries out practically no work in the trade unions, does not build factory nuclei, has not stated a program on party building, trade unions and other questions, and issues no regular newspaper or other agitation and propaganda. To this day they are not clear whether an oppressed nation exists in the Black Belt or not. Recently, several of its cadre left for these and other reasons. The current RWC leadership has proven over the years to follow a self-serving, careerist and unprincipled course. From the outset, the RWC has not followed the path of Marxism-Leninism, but social democracy.
At the time of the Black Workers Congress split, the MLOC publicly stated that the RWC was heading into the laps of the RCP, and that is where they have wound up.
On May 29, a closed gathering of RCP-RWC forces was held in Baltimore to plan for a new ALSC, to be called the “Organizing Committee for a new ALSC”. The plan is to build chapters of the ALSC in cities where the RCP has a presence, tie the ALSC to the RCP’s Revolutionary Student Brigade through a variety of campus activities, plan a tour of Africa by the new ALSC/RCP representatives, and hold a conference next year to consolidate work. Vickie Garvin of the RCP was selected national coordinator. Danny Brown and Askia of the RWC are National Organizers, and Abdul Akalimat is National Political Secretary.
In a letter of 6/19/77 to the Organizing Committee for the new ALSC from the Atlanta ALSC, a series of criticisms are raised over the line that pulled together the new ALSC, the selection of leadership, and the course that has been charted. The letter asks, “Why weren’t all expelled ALSC chapters invited? ... Who selected the national leadership and how?” Correctly criticising the RCP-RWC manipulations. Atlanta ALSC concludes. “We need to build the spirit of proletarian internationalism among the masses of the American working class now. That is why we oppose the subversion the principles of a democratic mass organization as we see it in the dynamics of the May 29 conference and the OC’s plans for the organization.”
Many, such as the corrupt WVO, have stated that the struggle against the RCP is a “settled question”. We do not see it that way. In the working class movement, among the masses, the RCP is actively pursuing its revisionist and national chauvinist line. They are recruiting workers into their organizations, have achieved some presence in steel and other industries, and are building their National Workers’ Organization on a broad scale. The RCP, like all revisionists, will be defeated and exposed in the course of day to day class struggle; not just on paper.
At the same time, there are indications of trouble within the ranks and resistance against the RCP command. After nearly 10 years of existence, REVOLUTION their party press, is still a monthly and appears irregularly. There is no surer sign of weakness in an organization than the irregularity of its press.
But the RCP, like other social props of the bourgeoisie, will not go away or fall of its own corruption, it must be swept aside in the heat of the class struggle. Though a smaller obstacle to the unity of the working class than its big brother, the Communist Part USA, it must be recognized as a significant force among the ranks of the workers and one against which we must direct consistent exposure and struggle.
By defending the principles of Marxism-Leninism and waging protracted struggle against modern revisionism, the working class will sweep aside the RCP and other social props. The gains of the RCP among the Black masses in the short run may be significant, but in the long run, the RCP, like all revisionist factions, will be expose and destroyed.