Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

“Workers Viewpoint”: Spreading the Viewpoint of the Bourgeoisie

First Published: Class Struggle, No. 2, Summer 1975.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The ruling circles of imperialism have never had a minute’s rest as long as Marxism-Leninism has been on the scene. Sensing that their vast empire is drawing to an end and that the ideas of Marxism-Leninism are winning out in the world today, they have desperately tried to use every means possible to smash this ideology of the working class and to destroy the movements of the working class in each and every country.

Their main weapon has been violent suppression, guns in hand, through the state machinery (police, courts, etc.) and through fascist organizations which they support indirectly or directly as the case may be. The other weapon, which is especially effective in advanced capitalist countries like the U.S. is revisionism and opportunism which they spread within the ranks of the working class through their agents like the Communist Party USA and others.

Within the growing ranks of the young communist movement in the U.S., the ruling circles are now sending their ideological agents to spread confusion and division to a movement that is just in the process of finding its ideological Rearing. They go so far as to form their own groups in order to mislead the honest revolutionaries and split and wreck the organizations of the masses and hold back their efforts at building a unified communist party on the foundations of Marxism-Leninism.

As the party comes closer to being a reality, these “ghosts” and “monsters” begin to jump out of the woodwork in places where they have never been seen before, suddenly becoming more vocal and bragging about their “theoretical expertise” and talking about how “backwards” and “stupid” the masses are. Turning Marxism on its head, they try their best to separate theory from practice, to spread national chauvinism and attack internationalism and to spread revisionism while dressing up as the most “left” revolutionaries in the world.

An example of such a group of ideological agents of the ruling circles is so called Workers Viewpoint. Despite their pretentious name, Workers Viewpoint is in reality spreading the viewpoint of the bourgeoisie and is an ideological enemy of the working class and of Marxism-Leninism. In the most recent issue of their magazine, Workers Viewpoint launches a barrage of invective and slander against the October League and against Marxism-Leninism in general while at the same time attacking the liberation struggles in the Third World and in particular the liberation movement of the Palestinian people. This has caused a little more confusion among some progressive forces because this opportunism is being pushed under the red banner. But don’t be misled, there is nothing red about these attacks on the revolutionary movements of the people.


Workers Viewpoint is a relatively small group which has its ideological and organizational roots in a group called Progressive Labor Party (PL). Its main spokesman, Jerry Tung, is a former leader of PL from the days when this opportunist group was attacking the heroic struggles of the Vietnamese people and in particular the National Liberation Front in that country as being “sell-outs.” This attack was made because in the course of their long struggle the Vietnamese patriots at times made tactical compromises which were suited to the many twists and turns of their revolution. Following his departure from PL, long after it was clearly seen by most honest revolutionary forces as the bulwark of white chauvinism and great-nation chauvinism that it was, Tung and his little band stayed in the woodwork for as long as they could, timing their wrecking efforts to coincide with the great gains and advances being made in our movement and the world-wide struggle against imperialism.

While claiming to uphold “Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought” Workers Viewpoint shows its anti-Marxist bent in its big-nation chauvinism and its abandonment of the struggle for the right of self-determination for all oppressed nations, which is a Marxist principle (especially important for those like Workers Viewpoint who operate in the heartland of the U.S. imperialist superpower).

How do Jerry Tung and Workers Viewpoint (WV) abandon this principle? First in their opposition to the concrete struggles of the oppressed people against all forms of national oppression. Lenin, while explaining that the right of self-determination meant the right of an oppressed nation, such as the Afro-American people in the U.S., to secede or separate, also pointed out that upholding this right implied “a consistent expression of struggle against all national oppression.” (The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination). A recent testing ground for Marxist-Leninists in defending this right was the Boston school integration struggle about which WV has been most vocal, while doing nothing in practice to defend the rights of the minority people in Boston.


According to WV, the present struggle for school integration, which has turned thousands of Black people as well as people of all nationalities out into the streets of that city, has no support among the people. They go so far as to claim: “The fact is that a ’broad spectrum’ of Black and white working class people in Boston never struggled for ’busing to achieve integration of schools.’ ” (WV, May 1975, p.2)

According to these dogmatists, who claim to study a lot of books but seem to know nothing about the real struggles of the people, the hundreds of young Black children who fought back against the Hicks and Kerrigan-inspired racist mobs in order to attend integrated schools did not constitute a genuine “struggle.” Likewise, the tens of thousands who marched on December 14, demanding the right to be bused if they chose, don’t constitute a ’broad spectrum.’ We would ask our dogmatist friends, where is the ’broad spectrum’ of Black and white working people standing with them in opposition to integration and busing? There are none but the fascist-led mobs along with their friends in the Revolutionary Union (RU), demanding that the busing be stopped. This is precisely who is served by WV’s attacks at the present time on the movement of the people in opposition to segregation.

The October League’s support of the right of minority children in Boston to attend integrated schools attracted the ire of WV in their latest publication. According to this voice of theoretical expertise, the reason for WV’s opposition to this struggle is that the busing plan in Boston was engineered by the liberal bourgeoisie and they therefore reject the present movement in that city, which has witnessed the mobilization of tens of thousands of people, including workers of all nationalities, as being reactionary. Like the out-and-out racists in ROAR and the racist “revolutionaries” of the RU, they have directed their main attack against busing and “forced integration.”

WV asks, “Do we consider the forced transfer of a Black student from a mostly Black slum to a mostly white slum school (as in the case of Roxbury and Boston High Schools) really a case of democratic rights for Black students? Can progressives, let alone communists, consider the shuffling of students back and forth between one bad and another worse school (typical of working class neighborhoods) a cause to be taken up by Blacks and other minorities while the whole educational system is being squeezed and under-budgeted? NO! ” concludes WV. (WV, May, p. 47)

This abandonment of the struggle for democratic rights and the fight against racial discrimination because “the whole educational system is being squeezed” is parallel to the racist union leaders who refuse to take up the special demands of minority workers because “all workers” are having their wages cut.


Following in his own PL footsteps, Tung liquidates the national question, referring to the question of education only as a class question (WV, p. 48).

“Integration is progressive as a democratic demand, but is treacherous as a revolutionary strategy,” he says, as the basis for WV’s pro-segregation stand.

Lenin, however, long ago pointed at the preferability of integrated schools as compared with segregated ones.

But to WV, the struggle for democratic rights is reduced to a plot on the part of the bourgeoisie to “whip up division of the class along national lines...” (WV, p. 48), making no distinction between oppressed and oppressor nations. While it is true that the busing plan in and of itself presents no real solutions to the plight of Black or white children in their fight for a quality education, the general struggle of the people to defend their children’s rights to attend an integrated school is a part of the overall fight for democratic /rights and should be supported by all progressives and communists. Just as progressives and communists had the duty to work in the fight for voting rights for Black people in the South (although certainly the vote can in no way bring about any real solution to the oppression of Black people in the South or any other place), the fight for equality in education also deserves support. This “left” attack on the movement for Afro-American self-determination is reminiscent of PL which, with Tung as one of its leading spokesmen, opposed as “nationalist” every concrete struggle for Black liberation, putting them off until “after socialism.” The struggle for equality in “unbudgeted” schools or the struggle for equality in hiring was beneath these super-revolutionaries, since it would only be equality under capitalist exploitation. There is an element of truth in this since in reality, only socialism can bring about decent education for Black and white students and the elimination of the exploitation of man by man.

But as Lenin said:

The socialist revolution is not a single act, it is not one battle on one front, but a whole epoch of acute class conflicts, a long series of battles that can only end in the expropriation of the bourgeoisie. It would be a radical mistake to think that the struggle for democracy was capable of diverting the proletariat from the socialist revolution or of hiding, over-shadowing it, etc. On the contrary, in the same way as there can be no victorious socialism that does not practice full democracy, so the proletariat cannot prepare for its victory over the bourgeoisie without an all-round, consistent and revolutionary struggle for democracy. (The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination).

While WV also tries to distinguish itself from the PL chauvinist gang, it can only pick on “PL’s pragmatism.” Not a word is mentioned of their abandonment of the struggle for Afro-American rights, which was perhaps the clearest example of pragmatism or sacrificing revolutionary principle for the immediate gains of the moment.


Another justification for WV’s anti-integration stand on the busing question is that busing is being pushed by the liberals like Kennedy, the Boston Globe and the Kerner Commission. Perhaps it is the liberalism within the WV group itself that makes them so frightened of the liberals. They accuse the OL and by implication all the other groups that participated in the anti-segregation movement in Boston of “allying with the liberals” and viewing the liberals as “allies in the fight against fascism.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. Our participation in the anti-segregation movement in Boston is based upon a proletarian line and opposed to the line of the bourgeois integrationists. Their hope is to assimilate all of the oppressed minorities under capitalism without resolving the fundamental contradictions in society which have led historically to national oppression.

Without dealing with the basic contradictions of class oppression and defending the right of all oppressed nations to self-determination, the bourgeois calls for “freedom” are empty and hollow. Their reformist schemes can only intensify the antagonisms between the various sections of the working class. Furthermore the liberals in the final analysis capitulate inevitably to the fascists.

As we pointed out in The Call:

The Kennedy liberals as well as the liberal press have also been trying to push busing as the answer to all the problems. Busing, at best, can only partially integrate schools which exist in a racist segregated society where housing, jobs and all forms of discrimination are woven into the fabric of capitalism. (The Call, December, 1974, p.4)

Further we state:

The phony stand of the liberals like Garrity and Kennedy is increasingly being exposed before the people. Kennedy while making a few speeches on behalf of the busing program, has only been using the program as a way of building his political base, using unprotected Black children as cannon fodder in the process. The liberal politicians and judges cannot be relied on to stand up to the fascists and ultimately will side with them. Garrity’s approval of the white boycott ’tutorial program’ is another clear example of this fact. (ibid.)

These articles in The Call have consistently opposed and exposed the liberal liars who preach equality in the abstract. To these liberal preachers of “Freedom” we must repeat Lenin’s fine words:

Equality between what sex and what other sex?
Between what nation and what other nation?
Between what class and what other class?
Freedom from what yoke, or from the yoke of what class? ’Freedom for what class?’ (Women and Society)

Lenin added: “Whoever speaks of politics, of democracy, of liberty, of equality, of socialism and does not at the same time ask these questions.. .is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, is a bitter opponent of the workers and peasants, is a servant of the landlords, tsars, capitalists.” (ibid.)


This is our response to the liberals and phony “friends of the Negro people.” Does this make them sound like “allies” in the struggle against fascism? This is the line that we took into the struggle in Boston. This was the basis of the Fred Hampton Contingent’s staunch opposition to the liberal leadership of the December 14 march. But where was Jerry Tung and WV? They were standing along with the die-hard racists in opposition to the march and to the general struggle for integration. Their line was so “left” that it ended up to the right of the rightists. Left in form–right in essence.

Fascism and democracy are both forms of bourgeois dictatorship which are both used at different times, often in combined forms. But the victory of fascism in this country would be a terrible setback for the working class. Tung and WV show a blase attitude towards the anti-fascist struggle and the fight for the democratic rights of the Black people in Boston which is a component part of the anti-fascist struggle. They turn up their noses at it and see anti-fascism as confined to mainly a cultural struggle against certain “fascist ideas.” (WV, p. 54)

They claim that to oppose the growing fascist threat is simply a matter of supporting the “lesser of two evils,” and “capitulating to the liberals.” But opposition to the fascist danger is a central task for all Marxist-Leninists. We must expose the empty words of the liberal politicians by championing the cause of anti-fascist resistance as an integral part of our efforts to build an anti-imperialist united front. This front is directed at the imperialist bourgeoisie as a class, including the Kennedys, Rockefellers and all the rest.

As to the question of school integration, which Tung and Co. oppose, we refer them to comrade Lenin who said: “The proletariat, however, far from undertaking to uphold the national development of every nation, on the contrary, warns the masses against such illusions, stands for the fullest freedom of capitalist intercourse and welcomes every kind of assimilation of nations, except that which is founded on force or privilege.” (Critical Remarks on the National Question).


Of course, the struggle for integration cannot be waged apart from the consistent defense, as we have often said, of the right to separate–to self-determination. It is Tung who has refused to uphold this right, either in words (claiming that WV “has no line on the Afro-American question”) or in deeds (in the day to day fight against all forms of national oppression). It is only on the ;’basis of viewing the Afro-American people as a nation and the oppression of Afro-American people as national oppression, that the Boston busing question can be resolved correctly. It is this failure that earlier led PL and Tung down the road to chauvinism and opportunism in the 60’s and it is the same failure that is leading Tung and WV down that road today.

Another feature of WV’s chauvinist and opportunist line can be seen in examining their views on the international situation and on the struggles of the peoples of the Third World in particular. Like all the present petty-bourgeois “left” opportunists (RU, CLP, etc...), Workers Viewpoint takes as its starting point, the divisions and aspects of disunity among the people, rather than stressing the growing unity of the people’s struggle against imperialism and the two superpowers. They view their duty as being one of a sideline director of the Third World struggles, peddling wrong advice to the people of those countries and feeding on gossip and rumors about which faction of which organization is really worth supporting. This big country chauvinism has a long history within certain sections of the movement within the imperialist countries. In WV’s own words about chauvinism and revisionism: “Kautsky and other misleaders of the Second International, for example, have viewed national-colonial struggles as being dependent upon the ’proletarian struggle’ of the ’civilized countries.’” (Worker’s Viewpoint, Insert to May 1975 issue)

Yet how does WV differ from Kautsky in making hay off the internal contradictions within the national liberation movements? WV spreads gossip, misinformation and attacks when discussing the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). This is in spite of the fact that it is the PLO which has won the recognition of the Palestinian masses and people all over the world as the representatives of the Palestinian revolution.


The main thrust of WV’s attack on the PLO is around the question of the so-called “mini-state” which has been proposed on the West Bank of the Jordan River. The establishment of such a state has been the subject of much debate and discussion within the Palestinian struggle as well as in the international arena. While some forces, especially the two superpowers view the “mini-state” as a bone to throw the Palestinians in order to get them to abandon their just struggle for their homeland, other forces recognize the possibility of such a state as a compromise and as a base from which to further the struggle for final victory. Opportunistically using the split-off organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) against the PLO, the WV group attacks PLO as “sell-outs.” This is similar to the way in which Tung and other PL leaders attacked the Vietnamese as “sell-outs” following the NLF’s willingness to negotiate with the U.S. imperialists. Says Tung now: “The revisionist stand of the OL-Guardian led to their unconditional support of the class collaborationist Arafat; furthermore, to their condemnation of the PFLP’s withdrawal from the PLO executive committee. They said, ’we could find in it (the UN speech) nothing that the PLO leadership intends to retreat from its stated goal of liberating the entire Israeli-occupied land of Palestine from top to bottom’ ”. (WV, May, p.79)

While these opportunists are fond of lumping OL and the Guardian together, even though our differences with the Guardian newspaper have been clearly brought out,(the OL, for example, has never condemned anything PFLP has done) in this case we find we must agree with the Guardian’s appraisal of Arafat’s UN speech. There was no indication of any abandonment by the PLO of the organization’s stated aims of liberating Palestine. In their disgraceful attacks on Arafat and PLO, Tung and Co. offer no facts to back up this claim that the PLO is “selling-out” the Palestinians or that Arafat was “chosen by the imperialists” to be head of the PLO.(ibid.)

What really comes out clearly in the attacks on the PLO is WV’s disdain for any compromises in the struggle. This was also characteristic of PL’s own purism. As Lenin said: “Of course, to very young and inexperienced revolutionaries, as well as to petty-bourgeois revolutionaries of even a very respectable age and very experienced, it seems exceedingly ’dangerous,’ incomprehensible and incorrect to ’allow compromises.’ ” (Left Wing Communism-An Infantile Disorder, p. 50) And further:

It would be absurd to concoct a recipe or general rule (’No Compromise’) to serve all cases. (ibid).

This is exactly the kind of rule that WV is concocting in order to launch their unprincipled attacks on the PLO and the October League. These attacks play right into the hands of the imperialists and social-imperialists who thrive on this type of splitting and wrecking activities on the part of great-nation communists.

Another example of WV’s sectarian tactics and wrecking activities in regards to the Third World, is their claim that “reactionary forces” have taken “leadership of the Arab forces.” (WV, P. 77) This is nothing but an attack on the OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) which has played a role of major importance in the anti-superpower struggle of the Third World countries. WV claims that these “reactionary” countries have bought off Arafat through “financial aid” to the PLO.(ibid.) Says WV, “Arafat has been promoted by the Arab regimes, as well as the imperialists, as the sole leader of the PLO.” (op. cit.)


It is easily seen that these are slanderous attacks on two fronts. First of all, they undermine the progressive stand of the Arab countries in the past period which has served as the motive force behind the movements of the entire Third World. Again this plays right into the hands of the reactionaries. Secondly, they try to drive a wedge between the PLO and Arab countries under the banner of “class struggle.” This is a well-known tactic of the Trotskyites who suddenly become champions of the “class struggle” when it comes to sabotaging the unity of the Arab and other Third World peoples. Class struggle takes on many different forms in different countries. At present in the Third World countries the struggle for independence from the domination of the two superpowers is a central form of class struggle and it has united broad sections of many classes of these oppressed countries into one mighty fist which is pummeling down the walls of both imperialist superpowers. This is the “class collaboration” which WV hates so much–the kind of unity that is directed against the imperialists. Of course within this unity of the Third World there is still class struggle and contradictions. But the task of the U.S. communist movement is not to serve as the broker for sectarian intrigues and speculation upon these contradictions. This is how WV thrives. It has done nothing to support the struggles of the Third World countries in their opposition to the superpowers (regardless of how much Tung wants to pat himself on the back over a speech he once made) but instead spreads disunity between the peoples of various countries who should be won as a bulwark of support for these struggles that are directed against our very own ruling class.

The purism of Workers Viewpoint could also be seen in their opposition to the mass struggle to “Dump Nixon.” At the height of the political crisis that the bourgeoisie found themselves in previous to Nixon’s resignation, WV refused to take an active part in the mass demonstrations which were aimed at the corruption, the fascist attacks on the democratic rights of working people and other anti-people policies that grew out of the Watergate crisis. In a halfhearted self-criticism at the time, WV “criticizes itself as well for its failure to play a more active role, especially in the areas of propaganda and education.” (WV, Sept. 1974).


But even with this, WV’s idea of participation was limited to that of a sideline “propagandist” whose intentions were only, in their own words, to “expose finance capital’s interconnections” and “explaining the crisis.” But as Marx long ago pointed out, the duty of communists is not simply to interpret the world but to change it.

The ’Dump Nixon’ movement held demonstrations around the country under communist and revolutionary leadership calling for Nixon’s ouster. Through this mobilization, this leadership, including the OL, was able to do broad propaganda about the character of the system itself and to show how it was this system that stood behind the Watergate affair and that furthermore, getting rid of Nixon could in no way resolve the basic contradictions within capitalism.

As The Call wrote at the time of Nixon’s resignation: “The resignation of Richard Nixon is but a symptom of a sick and dying system. The sickness of the capitalist system presently wracked by crisis on a world-wide scale, has sharpened the contradictions to the point where Nixon was forced to quit.”

At best, Ford, the successor, will be able to cover over a few of the superficial sores that have emerged on the body of the system, but he will in no way represent any attempt at curing the underlying cancer. . . (WV+, Sept. 1974, p. l)

Lenin pointed out long ago that: “We would be very poor revolutionaries if, in the proletariat’s great war of liberation for socialism, we did not know how to utilize every popular movement against every single disaster (emphasis ours) imperialism brings in order to intensify and extend the crisis.”

It was WV’s inability to utilize all of the various contradictions which the crisis has brought that has left them isolated from the main struggles for minority rights and against the effects of the present economic and political crisis of imperialism. It is WV’s failure to recognize that the working class, as Marx said, “cannot free itself without abolishing the conditions of its own life. It cannot abolish the conditions of its own life without abolishing all the inhuman conditions of life.. ”(The Holy Family). In other words, the working class is the leader of the fight against all oppression.

There are many examples of Workers Viewpoint’s line which sound “left” but in essence are reactionary. Perhaps the clearest example these opportunists have given us was on International Women’s Day where Tung, despite all his protestations about the “danger of reformism” was the first one to go scampering into the arms of the CPUSA by firmly supporting their reformist IWD demonstration. This demonstration was built clearly in opposition to the anti-imperialist IWD demonstration which was held outside the United Nations building, condemning imperialism and the two superpowers as the cause of women’s oppression. This UN demonstration drew a clear line of demarcation between itself and the chauvinist, sell-out line of the CPUSA, Tung and the rest who sloganeered about “Peace, Equality and Development” in the abstract.


Tung opposes building an anti-imperialist united front in this country as the strategic road to proletarian power. Instead he is content to remain a voice of “opposition” within the CP’s “anti-monopoly coalition.” This coalition was well represented on International Women’s Day as the CP united with the Gay Task Force, Bella Abzug and the Democratic Party, as well as Workers Viewpoint to attract a sizeable crowd. But the genuine Marxist-Leninists and anti-imperialists would have nothing to do with this opportunist coalition.

He repeated his disgraceful actions again on May Day. The revisionists have a good friend in Jerry Tung and a loyal ally in Workers Viewpoint whether they know it or not.

Workers Viewpoint is daily exposing itself as an opportunist force within our movement. It is characterized by sectarianism and dogmatism in its style of work and thrives upon the divisions and splits within the movement. Its aim is driving a wedge between the various nationalities by spreading chauvinism and nationalism as well as a wedge between the democratic and progressive movements of the people (eg. Boston) on the one hand and the communists and revolutionaries on the other. Internationally they are wreckers of the unity between the working class and the oppressed nations and countries fighting for freedom. Naturally this group would find itself in opposition to the OL and our efforts to build a new communist party based upon proletarian internationalist principles and upon Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought.

These opportunists have little chance of succeeding, however. Just as their forerunners in Progressive Labor Party found out, the people will never unite behind opportunism. WV will find out once again that this maxim still holds true.