Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

October League (Marxist-Leninist)

Hinton’s Folly: A ’Neutral’ U.S. Imperialism?

First Published: The Call, Vol. 5, No. 14, August 2, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In this world dominated by two rival superpowers, anti-imperialists are constantly being solicited by various “friends” who propose an alliance with one superpower against the other.

In our movement, the most dangerous and strongest tendency of this type is that of the CPUSA revisionists and centrists like the Guardian, who prettify the Soviet Union as a socialist country and call on the revolutionary movement in the U.S. and around the world to ally with the USSR to fight the U.S.

But another dangerous tendency has now appeared, hinting at alliance with U.S. imperialism to fight the Soviet Union. This line is being suggested by William Hinton the national chairman of the U.S.-China People’s Friendship Association (USCPFA) and others within that organization. They hold the view that US. imperialism should be “neutralized,” rather than be the target of all-out class struggle.

In an article in China and Us (March-April) which was reprinted by the Guardian (May 5), Hinton writes, for example that the correct policy today is to “neutralize the U.S.” He incorrectly attributes this policy to China and then goes on to make his own appeal for “American leaders” to “choose the broad highway of a united resistance, of collective security.” He further speculates that U.S. imperialism could enter a united front with the countries, nations and peoples of the world and abandon its striving for world hegemony. He suggests. that U.S. imperialism play the role of “friend and ally to the people of the world.”

Furthermore, the published minutes of the National Steering Committee meeting of the USCPFA (April 9-11, 1976) record Hinton as stating that there is “an important possible basis of unity with the big American leaders,” and that reaching out to the working class and minority nationality peoples in the U.S. “is a bad yardstick” for judging the Association’s work. All these statements and others reflect a political line leading to the view of a united front with U.S. imperialism against the Soviet Union.

Since the revisionists are using Hinton’s view of “neutralizing the U.S.” to attack China and the U.S. Marxist-Leninists, it is necessary to affirm that under today’s conditions, both superpowers remain the main enemies of the world’s people. Both aggress, bully and exploit internationally. They are the only powers capable of launching a new world war. It is impossible for either to remain “neutral” as the U.S. did for a time at the start of WWII.

Neither the Chinese Communist Party, nor the October League, nor any Marxist-Leninist party we know today calls for “neutralizing” the US. or allying with the U.S. to build a united front against the Soviet Union alone.

The correct policy is to build the international united front against imperialism headed by both superpowers. In the course of building this united front, it is also correct and essential to deal the main blow at the Soviet Union.

The USSR is the main source of war. It is a superpower on the rise, while the U.S. is on the decline. It now possesses the largest military fortress, especially in Europe, which is the focus of the rivalry and is expanding its military strength at the greatest pace. It disguises and hides its imperialist actions under the signboard of socialism. In order to expose the Soviet Union and strengthen vigilance against it, we must deal it the main blow.

But aiming the main blow of our exposure at Soviet social-imperialism in no way constitutes any kind of alliance, objective or subjective, with U.S. imperialism, nor is it in any way contradictory to our immediate strategic aim of overthrowing U.S. imperialism and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat. On the contrary, it is centrism and revisionism, with its line of reformism, which tail the bourgeoisie and practice alliance with U.S. imperialism; and it is only by aiming the main blow against the revisionists and their Soviet social-imperialist masters that the fight to overthrow U.S. imperialism can be brought to a victorious conclusion.

Today, the conditions for a united front against the Soviet Union which could include the U.S. imperialists do not exist. This is not to say that they will never exist in the future. But in any event, Hinton’s view of such a united front, which puts the bourgeoisie in leadership and abandons communist independence and initiative, is never applicable on principle. In this sense there is an historical parallel between Hinton’s emphasis on unity with “big American leaders” and the revisionism of Earl Browder during the Second World War.

During the war years, when a united front including the U.S. imperialists against the fascist Axis was the policy of the whole world communist movement (1941-45), Browder, as leader of the Communist Party in the U.S., liquidated the class struggle for the sake of closer “unity” with the U.S. imperialists. Even after the war was over and the conditions for the united front against the Axis no longer existed, Browder continued to peddle a line of working class submission to the imperialists.

The struggle to smash the revisionists, who urge us to “rely on the Soviet Union” in the revolutionary struggle must be intensified. But in dealing the main blow at the Soviet Union, we must never forget that we are still living in a world in which both superpowers constitute the main enemy.

Within the U.S.-China People’s Friendship Association, Hinton’s line of reliance on the U.S. imperialists represents a danger that could harm the cause of friendship between the peoples of the two countries. USCPFA must promote friendship between the broad masses of American people, who are overwhelmingly workers and minorities, and the Chinese people. Such friendship is part of the worldwide struggle against both superpowers.