First Published: The Call, Vol. 6, No. 21, May 30, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Since the Draft Program of the new Communist Party (M-L) was published in April, more than 15,000 copies have been distributed to communists and workers throughout the country. The document is being widely discussed, serving to unite the ranks of all the groups in the Organizing Committee. It has become the focal point of numerous workers’ study circles, and several new collectives and communist groups have expressed support for the Organizing Committee after studying the program.
These developments are feared by the opportunists and anti-party elements of our movement, like the Guardian centrists and the leaders of the so-called Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). They oppose the Program because, in essence, they oppose the formulation of a correct Marxist-Leninist line, the exposure and defeat of modern revisionism, and the actual founding of a party capable of leading the working-class struggle.
The efforts of these groups to blunt the struggle against revisionism and shore up their own faltering ranks could be seen in articles written by each immediately after the Draft Program’s publication. (See the April 27 Guardian and the May issue of Revolution.)
Significantly, both groups chose to polemicize against sections of the Program which most sharply condemn the revisionist CPUSA and the social-imperialist Soviet Union. Both articles specifically attacked the Program’s reference to the CPUSA as an especially dangerous capitalist political party and fifth column of social-imperialism. With polemics of this type, the Guardian and the RCP are only unmasking themselves as apologists for revisionism and opponents of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought.
The Guardian tried to couch its frail polemic in the form of “straight news reportage” about the Program’s contents. But the sections of the Program reported on by the Guardian focus precisely on those key principles and points of Marxist-Leninist analysis which the centrists have been attacking for several years.
Among the points singled out by the Guardian for attack are the statements that the Soviet Union is an imperialist country and the most aggressive of the two superpowers; that the Democratic Party liberals, along with all other existing political parties, are defenders of the capitalist system; that the Afro-American people constitute an oppressed nation within the borders of the U.S. with the right to self-determination; and that Puerto Rico is threatened not only by U.S. imperialism, which presently dominates the island, but also by social-imperialism, which is trying to get a foothold there.
In substance, the RCP’s attacks on the Program are the same as the Guardian’s, once again demonstrating the RCP’s continuing rightward drift and conciliation to revisionism.
The RCP begins its article with an open show of sympathy for the CPUSA. They accuse the Program of unfairly “dumping” on the Gus Hall clique. The RCP writers then go on to say that the Program’s exposure of the CPUSA is nothing but “invective.”
These attacks reveal the RCP’s consistent underestimation of revisionism’s danger. In its own program, the RCP portrays the CPUSA simply as a “decayed” revolutionary party that fails to “rely on the masses.” Summing up the history of the once-revolutionary CPUSA, the RCP portrays its transformation into a revisionist party as a process of gradual “degeneration” based on “failure to apply Marxism-Leninism” and “failure to apply the mass line.”
What the RCP covers over is the two-line struggle between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism that exists in every communist party, a reflection of the classes that exist in society. This two-line struggle was waged very sharply within the CPUSA for many years.
The transformation of the CP into a revisionist party came about because the modern revisionists inside the Party seized hold of the organization, attacking and driving out the Marxist-Leninists. These bourgeois agents, headed by Gus Hall, transformed the Party into a revisionist and social-fascist organization existing to serve imperialism.
The real lessons that must be drawn from the history of the CPUSA is the crucial importance of waging a consistent struggle against revisionism within the ranks of the Marxist-Leninist party. Downplaying the importance of the struggle against revisionism and the danger it poses can only open the door to the penetration of the Marxist-Leninist ranks by revisionism.
This is exactly the case with the RCP. While calling itself Marxist-Leninist, the RCP has adopted a political line of conciliation to revisionism on every major question. One of the most telling examples of this is their stand on the Afro-American national question.
Like the Guardian, the RCP article attacks the CP (M-L) Draft Program’s stand in support of Afro-American self-determination. The Draft Program’s statement on this question, says RCP, is another example of ”pandering to and promoting narrow nationalism.”
As for its own program on the national question, the RCP has adopted the same racist theories as the revisionists and centrists. They falsely conclude that industrialization under imperialism has changed the basic character of the national question in the U.S.
Like the revisionists, the RCP gives only lip-service to Afro-American self-determination, calling it a “correct, but not central” demand. In fact, it is this demand which articulates the fight for the political power denied the Afro-American people under imperialist rule and cements the unity between the workers of the oppressed and oppressor nation.
RCP’s talk of “pandering to narrow nationalism” is just a smokescreen to cover the fact that they have completely submerged the struggle against white chauvinism and liquidated the struggles of the Afro-American and other minority peoples.
The RCP does not confine its attacks on the Marxist-Leninist view of the national question to the U.S. The article in Revolution goes on to repeat the RCP’s standard slanders against the third world struggles.
Like the revisionists and Trotskyites, RCP promotes the view that the third world movement against superpower hegemonism has little or no significance, because its leadership is comprised of what the Revolution article terms “imperialist lackeys” and “reactionary butchers.” This is an out-and-out attack on the strategic concept of the three worlds, formulated by Chairman Mao and firmly upheld in the Draft Program. RCP’s chauvinist view negates the profoundly revolutionary character of the third world movement against imperialism.
Finally, the RCP, like the Guardian, tries to spread the view that the OL’s party-building efforts are a failure and that there is little unity among the supporters of the CP (M-L). But here again, the opportunists are turning truth on its head.
In reality, it is the opportunists who are in disarray. The Guardian, for example, has suffered setbacks in its attempt to form a national organization around its centrist line. It has now opened up polemics with its former allies in groups such as the Philadelphia Workers Organizing Committee.
The RCP is also facing significant internal strife. This is due especially to the RCP’s tacit support for the reactionary “gang of four” in China and its refusal to support the present leadership of Chairman Hua Kuo-feng and the Chinese Communist Party.
It is clear that the attacks of the opportunists on the Draft Program are being made from a position of weakness. The RCP and the Guardian are forced to attack the Program’s consistent exposure of revisionism, because they know that such exposure hits hard at their own line as well. Their polemics against the Program only make the lines of demarcation between Marxism and revisionism sharper and clearer.