First Published: The Call, Vol. 5, No. 26, November 1, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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This statement of unity with the Organizing Committee was written by the New York City Party Building Collective-We are uniting with the Organizing Committee for a Marxist-Leninist Party because we agree that the “ideological and practical struggle has developed to the point where it is now possible to identify and to unite the Marxist-Leninists around a general line for the U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement.”
The spontaneous struggles of the 1960s– the civil rights, anti-war, women’s and student movements and the upsurges of workers–gave many people, including ourselves, an understanding of the need for a correct political line to guide our work. We believe the general line of the U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement is sufficiently developed at this time to draft a party program which can guide our work.
The general line starts with a correct understanding of the international situation, particularly that the factors for both war and revolution are on the rise. Our understanding of the international situation has been heightened by the heroic struggles fought by the Communist Party of China and the Party of Labor of Albania against the CPSU and social-imperialism.
Within the U.S., the struggle against monopoly capitalism must be based upon the organization of the working class under the leadership of the party. To establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, the party must win the trade unions to its leadership and transform them into revolutionary organizations.
We recognize the fight against monopoly capitalism will be won by uniting the working class and its strategic ally, the oppressed nationalities. All progressive forces must be organized to fight for the right of the Afro-American nation to self-determination.
There is clarity on the form the party must take to implement the political line developed–a truly Marxist-Leninist party which, as the advanced detachment of the working class, based in the factories, will be able to lead the working class and its allies in the fight for the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The October League’s call for unity and the declaration of the Organizing Committee, “Marxist-Leninists Unite!,” have advanced the struggle to build a party. The polemics written against this unity effort have clearly exposed the two-line struggle around party building. We unite with the Organizing Committee because we believe that unity developed around ideology and political line must be expressed at this time in organizational form. Those people who refuse to unite are objectively denying the working class its most important weapon, the party.
Genuine Marxist-Leninists who refuse to unite with this party-building effort are practicing the line “Split, don’t unite.” They base their refusal to participate in the unity trend not on any disagreement with the eight points of unity, but instead say the eight points do not serve as lines of demarcation. Yet none of these forces put forward alternative lines of demarcation or concrete proposals for building the party.
This political line is right in essence in that it liquidates the need for political line to be expressed in organizational form.
In this period of ideological struggle between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism, centrism emerges to unite with revisionism and sabotage the struggle. The centrists consistently side with the revisionists on every issue of importance to the working class and its allies. In our practice in New York, we have seen this unity develop consistently. We have participated in many struggles in which centrists supported revisionist positions while loudly claiming they understood and disagreed with revisionism. In each struggle, the centrists argued revolutionary slogans should not be supported because they were “divisive,” that the international situation should not be discussed because it was “irrelevant” to the particular issue and that Marxist-Leninists who raised these issues were “sectarian.”
We have come to understand through these struggles that in fact centrism sees Marxism-Leninism, not revisionism, as the main danger.
There is objective unity between centrism and the anti-party forces on the question of building a new communist party. Centrists objectively deny the need to build a new party, through conciliation with and support of the revisionist CPUSA. The logical extension of the anti-party forces’ view of party building is that political line will never be sufficiently developed to unite in organizational form. Both lines leave the working class without a party to provide leadership. This common line is particularly dangerous now, when the economic crisis is deepening and when the danger of war between the two superpowers is increasing. Marxist-Leninists must be judged today by their stance on uniting.
There are many vital tasks facing the Marxist-Leninist movement now and in the future. By uniting into a single communist party with the correct political line, we will be able to take up these tasks and strengthen our ability to provide leadership to the revolutionary struggle.
We believe that further development of the general line is necessary, especially in areas where the two-line struggle has not been sufficiently sharpened, for example, on the woman question.
The unity trend must sum up the history of the CPUSA and understand why it came under the hegemony of a revisionist political line, so our party can be built into a force that can withstand opportunism and defeat revisionism. We must examine the errors of the CPUSA, particularly its weaknesses in developing factory nuclei, recruiting cadre from the working class and training cadre in Marxism-Leninism. It is not sufficient to know these errors were committed; we must examine their roots and use this understanding to build our party on a solid foundation.
We are optimistic these and other important tasks can be accomplished based upon ideological, political and organizational unity. We urge all Marxist-Leninists to unite around the eight points of “Marxist-Leninists Unite!” and to enter into principled struggle for the correct party program and the new party.