Published: Palante, Vol. 6, No. 5, May 1-June 1, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In the April issue of the Call, Vol. 4 #7, the treacherous Menshevik line of the O.L.-“menchevik liberals”, is further revealed.
Forced to recognize that the Marxist-Leninist line on party building is gaining strength as we test it in the heat of struggle, as genuine Marxists-Leninists unite and as advanced workers are being won to the side of communism, as we grasp hold of the link to party building hammering out the political line and program of action of our party coming into being, through bitter, determined, and uncompromising struggle against opportunism, the O.L. tries a nickel-slick attempt to slander the genuine wing of our movement; all in an effort to take it off the two line struggle and by doing so, come, forward more blatantly than ever in their treason to the working class.
As Lenin punished Martov and Axelrod in One Step Forward, Two Steps Back by quoting them, we, learning from Lenin, the brilliant leader of the international proletariat, must punish the October League by quoting from the latest example of opportunism on ideological, political and organizational questions of principle. We’ll take it from the horse’s mouth in what they say in the April issue of The Call.
After stating that “Several Communist organizations” will be represented at a May unity meeting, the O.L. never once specifically says who are these “Communist Organizations”, but, we know its got to be more marsh forces – W.C.?, R.W.C.? I.W.K.? M.L.O.C.? (comrades can refer to Party Building in the Heat of Class Struggle for P.R.R.W.O.’s position on these forces). In a cowardly attempt to hide from the proletariat who they aligned with, they just make a sweeping statement that they have summed up the level of unity that exist among the majority of Marxist-Leninist forces in the country.
We must keep in mind O.L.’s consistent failure to engage in open, above-board polemics so that naturally this “unity” has been, we can bet, built behind closed doors, bourgeois maneuvering, thriving on opportunism, careerism, slandering of genuine Marxist-Leninist, squashing struggle that may arise under the guise of “we can now move to organizational “unity”.
In our pamphlet, “Party Building in the Heat of Class Struggle”, we make our stands on the O.L. “Call” to “Party” Building.
Take the O.L.’s disgraceful attempt at building the Party from the bottom upwards. They have stated that they will build their party now, struggle over the line for a year, and then call the “Party Congress.” Any striker, any “militant trade unionist”, any unstable elements, the police, whom they say is part of the working class, can join their party. The O.L. wants to render Martov and Axelrod more profound, A quote, from Lenin will illustrate the O.L.’s opportunist line.
And we quote Lenin once again –
As a matter of fact, comrade Axelrod and comrade Martov are now only deepening, developing and extending their initial error with regard to Paragraph 1 (of the rules – editor). As a matter of fact, the entire position of the opportunists on organizational questions already began to be revealed in the controversy over paragraph 1. Their advocacy of a diffuse, not strongly welded party organization, their hostility to the idea (the “bureaucratic” idea) of building the party from the top downward, starting from (PRRWO’s emp.) the Party Congress and the bodies set up by it, their tendency to proceed from the bottom upwards, allowing every professor, every high school student and every striker to declare himself a member of the Party, their hostility to the ’formalism’ which demands that a party member should belong to one of the organizations recognized by the party, their leaning towards the mentality of the bourgeois intellectual who is only prepared to ’accept organizational relations platonically;’ their penchant for opportunist profundity and for anarchistic phrases; their tendency towards autonomism, as against centralism... (“One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”, Vol. 7, p. 206)
Here is where O.L. must be punished; we quote from their Nov. 1975 issue of the Call:
we propose that the new party be established around a temporary leading body which can survey the organizational forces represented in the Party, establish democratic centralism, and prepare us for our first Party Congress, to be held within a year of our founding.
Lenin makes no bone about it. He states clearly that the Mensheviks are hostile towards the idea of building the party from the top downward; starting from the Party Congress and the bodies set up by it!
O.L. however, who is maneuvering with other sham forces, admits openly that it will set up a leading body to survey the “organizational forces” represented (our emp.) in the Party, establish democratic centralism – without calling the Party Congress until a year later.
O.L., you must come out with your attack on Lenin openly and stop hiding behind your sophistry.
In an attempt to cover up their opportunist tail, tuck it between their legs – they say “good criticism” has already led to some corrections (our emp.) in the O.L.’s approach to the organizational formation of the Party. For example, in a recent meeting of O.L.’s Central Committee (see March issue of the Call), section 5 of “Marxists-Leninists Unite....” was modified (our emphasis), to call for the Congress and leadership elections in the immediate future. “The previous view, calling for a temporary leading body and a year-long pre-Congress period was rejected.” (The Call, April issue, Vol. 4, No. 7)
In the first sentence of the above-quoted paragraph, the blatant opportunism of the O.L. is revealed, saying “good criticism” has led to corrections. First of all, struggle against errors leads to repudiation, disclosure of their ideological and social base, analysis, ruthlessly scientific, mercilessly expose all defects, and laying down the method for rectification. The Leninist method in training the party cadres and working class in the Revolutionary Spirit of learning from our mistakes.
However, these petty-bourgeois radicals once again prove their utter bankruptcy and incapability of applying the Leninist method, in the formation of the Leninist Party, the Party of a new type. It is no surprise, therefore, that they treat the matter as a question of approach which they can “modify”, cover up, and move on to do exactly the same thing they said they were not doing. To cover their Menshevik tracks, exposed in the ever-intensified two-line struggle in the communist movement, a struggle led by the genuine wing struggling for Bolshevism in the face of treachery of the sham wing, hiding and trying to sneak around their Menshevism. Calling it Marxism-Leninism, they then have the bold-faced nerve to say that they will call for the Congress and leadership elections in the near future. O.L., don’t try to act dumb! You know damm well that the essence of the struggle didn’t boil down to whether you were calling your temporary leading body and then the Congress in a year or a month.
Your Party Congress will be sham, whether you call it before. or after your final open proclamation of being the “Party”. O.L. never went to the essence of the struggle: to build the Party from above is the question – not a matter of organizational approach, but a matter of principle! Or does the O.L. want to finally come forward and state openly that they oppose Lenin – in his brilliant summation of the Second Party Congress – “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back!” We know O.L. doesn’t apply the Leninist principles of Party Building. Their deeds have proven the falsity, the utter hypocrisy of the O.L.’s words.
So bankrupt have been the deeds that more and more the harmony between their words and deeds is coming forward, clearly manifested.
“The May meeting will operate on the basis of democratic centralism” – then they slide – “at least to the highest degree attainable.”. O.L., we must ask you to put your real viewes foward.On the one hand, you claim to be calling this “unity” conference to “plan and coordinate the discussions and work leading to the founding of the new Marxist-Leninist Party.” On the other hand, they claim to be setting up democratic centralism. So here we have it – the setting up of the “temporary leading body” that they so-called rejected in their Central Committee meeting.
Building the Party from below, maneuvering and bourgeois politicking, again making it possible for anyone who claims to support the “General Call” in their November issue can become a “Party” member. The view will come up again and again, no matter how many times they modify it – because its basics is on their line – their whole system of views: the Menshevik line on party building.
More bankruptcy follows:
In other words, once political unity is solidified and decisions are taken, the minority is subordinate to the majority– to those who would accuse O.L. of practicing. “organization hegemonism” in this matter, we can only “say “take part in the work (our emphasis) and judge for yourselves”.
First of all, anyone but the unenlightened, or a fool can see that the O.L., in fact, believes to be the “Party” but are too opportunist to come out and say it, until they are absolutely sure that they have a “majority” under their “democratic centralism,” to then come out and proclaim themselves – “in the near future” – as the “Party” – no different than R.U. or the CLP, – same line – same treacherous essence.
So classical of Menshevism is their line that they once again put forward their views of a loose-knit,type, petty-bourgeois, anarchistic sect; anyone, they say, “can take part in the work and judge for yourselves”.
Autonomism – and against centralism – this is why O.L. attacks Lenin, when he states clearly “building the Party from the top downward, starting from the Party Congress and the bodies set up by it.” This is why October League, rather than deal straight up with the fact that they have no intention of building a Bolshevik Party, in fact, never did, foolishly tries to pull this slimy maneuver. We say to you, October League, like Chou En Lai put it, “Schemers can never win!”
Part of this scheme is to accuse the genuine wing of our movement of “frantically attacking the efforts of the ’Marxists-Leninists’ to unite.” These conniving liars try to blunt the two-line struggle by lumping together the Guardian and the Revolutionary Wing. It is the O.L. and the Guardian who have stood shoulder to shoulder, in the swamp, competing for their, petty-bourgeois social basis. It’s no secret O.L. had cadres from all levels – Carl Davidson included, on the Guardian staff; their unity: line.
Now, after the genuine wing has waged polemics, with the Guardian for years around its consistent right opportunist line, the O.L., to cover up its own right opportunism, says that the Guardian is centrist.
The October League’s slanders, demagogy and absolute anti-Marxist-Leninist views is further revealed, after phrasemongering about the fact that Marxism-Leninism has always stood for a decisive break with opportunism, they ask us to capitulate to their opportunist call in the November issue of The Call which we took our stance on – in the April issue of Palante speech by RWL in Boston – but rather than deal with what we raised, rather than openly coming forward with their attacks of Marxism-Leninism, they say “This anti-Party opposition demonstrates how one opportunist tendency can cover for another. Neither the ’left’ sectarians nor the centrists can accept even the basic principles of unity in the November Call,” etc, Why is it that the O.L. doesn’t take it to line? Not once has the October League, on the basis of our line, been ahle to prove “left sectarianism” of the revolutionary wing. On the one hand, they say we’re opportunist, and on the other hand, try to overcome us by their so greatly exaggerated “hundreds of communists throughout the country.” They mean other sham forces like themselves.
So then, who is it that has been playing the role of splitters and disrupters. It has been the O.L. that has stubbornly persisted in the policy of no open polemics, of slander and gossip so characteristic of the frenzied petty-bourgeoisie.
Another maneuver on the O.L.’s part is to try and split the revolutionary wing, as seen by the fact that they quote Palante, but omit the fact that the article which appeared and which they quote was a speech delivered by comrades of R.W.L. in Boston. Such is the O.L.’s treachery that their cadres have raised to R.W.L. cadres, “Why do your articles appear in Palante? Can’t you afford a newspaper?”
Then they have the gall to call for “unity”! Nothing that the O.L. says or does can change the growing unity based on principled struggle of the revolutionary wing – Bolshevik. It is as Chairman Mao says, “New forces are invincible by nature.”
Our struggle against the bankruptcy of the O.L. is on line, and it has clearly manifested itself in our analysis on every question – on party building.
Genuine Marxists-Leninists have consistently maintained and struggled against right opportunism as the main danger. O.L. and the sham wing,the Mensheviks we just purged, argue that the main danger is left opportunism to cover up the main danger; They, therefore, see the direction of the main blow against the genuine Marxists-Leninists who they have characterized as ultra-leftists, as they go around building united front with the bourgeoisie, e.g., uniting with Ford to dump Nixon, and with Hosea Williams, a thoroughly bankrupt element of the Black bourgeoisie; with Imamu Baraka, another staunch opportunist, who apparently O.L. has had a falling out with – a falling out among thieves.
As to the analysis of the development of the Communist Movement, flowing from how they, the O.L., view the question of the main danger, then its all been a history of ultra-leftism, no Marxist-Leninist trend, except for themselves, who have, in fact, represented a consistent right opportunist line; no analysis of periods, line struggles, no analysis of the tasks which flow from the central task. A clear position on the chief form of activity as they have bowed, raising economist agitation, recording events in their rag sheet, belittling the role of the advanced workers, therefore, not concentrating on propaganda as the chief form of activity to train the cadres and the class in Marxist-Leninist education and the Bolshervik Party spirit.
The O.L. line on the key link to party building is that they, another so-called leading circle, are the key link; their rag sheet going weekly; Renegade Mike Klonsky basing their “successes” in the numbers that they publish The Call and not around what line they are peddling to the masses the essence of their drive to increase and propagate their hourgeois line to honest forces whom they divert and corrupt.
They believe that by swamping the masses with their rag sheet they will stop the inevitable doom of their line and the O.L., as a force representing intrigue, conspirators, bourgeois careerists.
On the tactics of party building – here as in all questions, the opportunism of O.L. is once again revealed. Never analyzing the question of fusion of the communist and workers’ movements, their call is for Marxists-Leninists to unite on the basis of some general principles. The O.L. holds to no Marxist-Leninist principles in fact, but, they claim, in words, that these are their principles. As to the question of winning the vanguard to communism, and assuring that the social base of the Party is the proletariat by winning the advanced in this pre-Party period, training the life blood of our Party to take on the leadership, responsibility at all levels of the Party – No, the October League has never fought for the Leninist line on the advanced. They have been busy building the mass movement, worshipping, leeching on to the struggles of the masses; in S.F. they had the audacity to drop a struggle they had leeched on to because the brothers and sisters involved in the particular struggle wouldn’t join the Fight Back Organization.
So, all this call for the Marxists-Leninists to “unite” on the general principles is the O.L.’s way to accommodate their petty-bourgeois social base into their Menshevik Party – while pretending to the class that they are fighting in their interest.
In fact, the O.L., and all who call for the “primary tactic ’Marxists-Leninists, Unite’” are continuing the traditions of the Second International in an attempt to change the social basis of the Party, relegating a question of principles – that is, the social base of the Party, to a secondary position. In fact, we will be polemizing with Resistencia who represents such Menshevik views as crystallized in the April issue of Resistencia.
The Menshevik line therefore, of the the O.L., and all sham forces, can be clearly drawn out on the crucial question of party building; periods key link, fusion, two tactics, and main danger.
Answer to these questions O.L.; continue to shown your bankruptcy as you do clearly when you take it to line. You quoted from Palante and in fact, attacked a Marxist-Leninist principle – “The Party becomes strong by purging itself,” Lenin – October League – Listen – Lenin, fought for “In order that we may unite we must draw definite lines of demarcation.” Does this make Lenin a splittist and wrecker – from O.L.’s stance – yes – O.L. is attacking Marxism-Leninism openly and all honest comrades must make a break with these marsh leaders, a thorough break with the line they represent and sum up conciliation to it, root it out and repudiate it by developing genuine unity with the Bolsheviks and advanced workers, develop Bolsheviks based on unity on line, fight for the line on party building; we in fact are not pessimistic at all about party building, but are being steeled in the struggle against opportunism, steeling the ranks of our Party, which, in fact, we’re building – its features outlined, the struggle bringing forward the best that the class has to offer, as opposed to the sham that the O.L. and the sham wing represent.
As to the O.L. attacks on our organization, we view it as pin pricks; to be attacked by the enemy is a good thing. Their attempts to single out and attack P.R.R.W.O. is a maneuver on their part to try and present a view of splits and divisions in the revolutionary wing.
But in fact, the revolutionary wing, who purges itself, has become stronger, more welded as one man; purging our ranks of W.V.O., has been a good thing – revealing, in fact, the hidden Mensheviks within the revolutionary wing; proving in our deeds, that we don’t believe that the wing is pure and that in fact, one of the fundamental distinguishing characteristics that clearly demarcates us from the sham wing is the question of active ideological struggle, the struggle between the two lines, criticism and self-criticism, learning through our own errors, a principle we will fight for eyen more determinedly as we forge on forward – a Leninist principle.
We stand with the interest of our class, as an organization, we are subordinate to what is coming into being; the mighty Party of the proletariat.
As to the O.L.’s claim that we, the PRRWO are “these intellectuals are afraid of proletarian methods of organization and democratic centralism” (April issue of the Call) just look over on the left hand side of the same page and what do we find, a stipulation to compromise over the principles of democratic centralism. “The May meeting will operate on basis of democratic centralism at least to the degree attainable.”
To the petty bourgeoisie, democratic centralism is something to play with to accommodate to the vascillating, factionalism, ultra-democratic nature of the leaders of O.L. It is they who are hostile to principles of democratic centralism and in deed, never practice it. You can’t practice democratic centralism without the Marxist-Leninist line, without the class conscious discipline emhodied in unity of will and action. It is O.L.’s cadres who contradict each other openly at the drop of a hat, and the O.L. leadership, who blames the cadres for any exposed errors to cover up their own treachery.
So then, O.L. viewing democratic centralism as an approach and not a Marxist-Leninist principle – it’s no wonder you attack the Leninist principle of building the Party from the top downward, starting at the Party Congress, establishing firmly the principles of democratic centralism based on unity on line, binding its members together as one man, with iron discipline, free of the corrupting hippie elements like Klonsky & Co,, who are neither deaf, dumb or blind, actually none of these just too opportunist to admit that, in fact, the revolutionary wing has been testing the line, and it is being proven correct gaining strength and moving forward.
Throughout though the opportunist leaders of O.L. try to play on honest comrades’ empiricist views.
“Why are they (P.R.R.W.O.–ed.) afraid to test their line before these cadres?” Testing line to the O.L, means organic contact, flowing from how they see organizing the masses, leeching on those organic contacts.
Again and again, it has been the O.L. who has run away from polemics, but they cannot deny that, in fact, what has happened is precisely the testing of the line. One wing adhering to Marxism-Leninism strictly, applying it and building a Bolshevik Party; the other revising, attacking Marxism-Leninism building Menshevik Parties in the name of Marxism-Leninism, O.L., rising to the leadership of the sham wing, a position they very well deserve; we will assist you, O.L. to further propel yourself into the quicksand of your Menshevik Party, where you will join the antiquities – the “CP”USA, “RCP”,“CLP.”
So you see O.L., your numbers mean little to us other than you corrupt some honest elements, and we struggle to win them over.
The hegemony we fight is of your bourgeois line which we will fight against to the end. Fighting for the hegemony of the Marxist-Leninst line, by fighting to build the vanguard communist party – guided by the teachings of the leaders of the international proletariat – Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Enver Hohxa. Calling for the study of State and Revolution don’t get you over, O.L. – check out the deeds.
O.L.’s party is an open party – social democratic to the bone, publizing their May Unity Conference open to all bourgeois agents, exposing the minority of honest working comrades who have fallen political captives to the swindlers of October League.
Then they invite us to attend. They must be crazy – We have no unities with the October League – all we insist upon is that you let go of our hands – we will give you all the assistance to help you into the marsh, your proper place, as Lenin taught us.
BOLSHEVISM ON THE RISE IN THE U.S. AND IN THE WORLD.