Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

October League (Marxist-Leninist)

RCP Drifts Rightward, Covers Up for Revisionists

First Published: The Call, Vol. 5, No. 18, September 6, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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While paying lip-service to the fight for socialism and the worldwide struggle against the two superpowers, who are the main enemies of the world’s peoples, the RCP in fact belittles the growing danger of Soviet social-imperialism. Like the Guardian centrists, they try to cover up the role of Soviet social-imperialism as the more dangerous of the two superpowers and the main source of a new world war. They have also openly attacked the stand of Marxist-Leninists on Angola by downplaying the role of the Soviet Union as the main promoter of the civil war there.

In the August issue of Revolution, the RCP analyzes the recent events in both southern Africa and the Mideast with only a passing mention of the Soviet Union. While using the slogan “Superpowers out of Angola” in some past issues of Revolution (which is distributed only among other communists), their so-called “workers papers” raised only “U.S. out of Angola.”

In another article in the same issue of Revolution, the RCP attacks the entire communist movement in the U.S., Western Europe and other countries. Says RCP: “Unfortunately a tendency has arisen among some Marxist-Leninists in several imperialist countries within the bloc headed by the U.S. to make an incorrect and one-sided analysis of the present situation and, as a result, to view the Soviet Union as the main enemy of the world’s people.”

Nowhere does RCP quote from any articles by these Marxist-Leninists “in several imperialist countries.” lf they did, it would be clear that the parties and organizations referred to view both superpowers as constituting the main enemy although they also correctly point to Soviet social-imperialism as the more dangerous and main source of a new world war.

The realities of today’s world are the basis for the Marxist-Leninist analysis of the USSR. Today, the Soviet social-imperialists are the most dangerous because they are the strongest militarily, and because they cloak their fascist rule and their aggression in Czechoslovakia, Angola and elsewhere behind a “socialist” mask. They are the main source of a new world war because, like pre-WWII Nazi Germany, they are on the rise relative to old-line imperialists and, therefore, must take the position of the most aggressive.

It is for this reason that the main blow internationally must be directed at the Soviet social-imperialists. “Striking the main blow” means that, in the international struggle against imperialism and the two superpowers, the revolutionary forces have the basic task of exposing the real character of revisionism and social-imperialism, isolating them and clearing the path for victory. Social-imperialism is not only the most aggressive superpower, but it is also the center of world revisionism, and revisionism today stands as the most important prop for imperialism.

Striking the main blow in this direction is bound up with our task of overthrowing the U.S. monopoly capitalists and establishing socialism. Today, in the era of imperialism, the revolutionary struggle inside this country must be directly linked to the international struggle against the two superpowers. As Stalin wrote in Foundations of Leninism:

“Now the proletarian revolution must be regarded primarily as the result of the development of the contradictions within the world system of imperialism,” and not “exclusively as the result of the internal development of a given country.”

The RCP abandons its revolutionary duty in building the international united front against Imperialism. The Revolution article explicitly denounces all the Marxist-Leninists in the Western countries who “strike the main blow at social-imperialism” in the course of the struggle against both superpowers.

The centrist Guardian, which has openly defended the Soviet Union’s aggression in Africa and other countries, recognized its new-found commonality with the RCP and recently excerpted a polemic the RCP wrote against the October League (see Guardian, Aug. 18, p. 9). Calling the OL “reactionaries,” the RCP article defends the position of conciliating with the Soviet Union’s expansionism by saying: “You have to be pretty out of it not to be aware that today American workers are much more likely to understand that the New Tsars are pushing towards war than our own capitalists are–our rulers are doing plenty of ’education’ on this point.”

Nowhere before has the RCP more clearly abdicated the responsibility of exposing the role of revisionism and social-imperialism. Their conclusion is that the workers are already familiar with the social-imperialist character of the USSR and need no “education” from communists.

The RCP has not only abandoned its task of educating the workers about revisionism, but has equally abandoned the task of teaching about genuine communism. RCP Chairman Bob Avakian, speaking in Philadelphia July 4, said: “Communism. They try to make it scary. Communism doesn’t mean anything but ’in common.’”

Well, isn’t that pleasant. While the bourgeoisie “tells the workers about social-imperialism,” Avakian reduces education about the final aims of the working-class struggle to sharing. This abstract talk about socialism is just a cover to hide RCP’s opportunism.

Communism is much more than “in common.” Communism is also class struggle, political struggle to overthrow the system of capitalism. RCP’s view of communism is no different from that of the revisionists, who wish to liquidate the class struggle and build more in common with the bourgeoisie. “Outside the class struggle” Lenin said, “socialism is either a hollow phrase or a naive dream.” (“Petty-bourgeois and Proletarian Socialism”).

The worldwide communist movement was born and has grown strong precisely in the struggle against such opportunism and revisionism.

It is in this context that the OL and Marxist-Leninists throughout the world have raised the danger of a new world war and have been carrying out special education about the role of Soviet social-imperialism. To counterpose this to waging the domestic class struggle or to call this “class collaboration” and equate it to defense of U.S. imperialism as RCP and the Guardian do amounts to the worst type of opportunism and political cowardice.

RCP is trying to reconcile Marxism with revisionism. They fear launching an all-out attack on revisionism and barely mention the revisionists by name in their propaganda.

Whether it be in their coverage of the Milwaukee meatcutters strike, where the CPUSA has long been influential in the union, or in their coverage of the miners’ strike, where the revisionists openly supported the UMW leadership who scabbed on the wildcat, RCP is uncritical of the revisionists. Instead, the RCP has seen fit to direct its blows at the genuine communist forces in this country and internationally.

Obviously embarrassed by the unity it has found with the Guardian, Revolution tries hard to put some ground between itself and the centrists. But, like a drowning man tangled in seaweed, the harder they fight, the more tightly they are drawn in.

RCP’s objection to the Guardian is that it did not “thoroughly take on the line of the RCP on Angola” but instead “implied that anyone who opposed the Soviet/Cuban aggression in Angola shared the October League’s class collaboration.” The main thing that RCP is worried about is that they will be lumped together with the communists of the world who are consistently exposing the interference and continued occupation by the Soviet Union in Angola. The RCP is in fact uniting with the Guardian’s attack on the OL and other communists.

The RCP has joined the chorus of opportunists who cover up the role of revisionism and social-imperialism with the claim that they are “fighting U.S. imperialism.” Their open attacks on the Marxist-Leninists of other countries is reminiscent of the Guardian’s earlier break from the revolutionary ranks.

RCP’s continued march along this line will mean its final, inevitable degeneration and isolation from the growing Marxist-Leninist movements throughout the world and from working-class revolution in the U.S. which continues striding forward.