Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Revolutionary Communist League (M-L-M)

RCL Editorial

First Published: Unity and Struggle, Vol. V, No. 7-10, October 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In the late 1950’s the working class of the US suffered a great setback. The Communist Party of the USA, once the proud vanguard of the class conscious workers in this country, betrayed the goals of armed struggle, revolution, and socialism. The traitors who led the CPUSA into the swamp of revisionism were following the lead set internationally by the traitor Khrushchev in the Soviet Union.

Since that time the central task of all genuine Marxist-Leninists in the US has been to rebuild the revolutionary party of the proletariat, the anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist communist party.

The 1960’s were a decade of upheaval and revolution, but also in many respects a time of great confusion. Through all the turmoil of the 60’s, a powerful polemic was waged against Soviet revisionism by the Communist Party of China led by Chairman Mao Tsetung. This stood out as a beacon to people all over the world seeking guidance in struggles against all types of social evils. Many new Marxist-Leninist formations sprang up in this period in which the reaffirmation of the leading role of Marxist-Leninist ideology was the key to progress toward the new communist party.

This is only part of the story, however, Marxism-Leninism Mao Tsetung Thought must be concretely applied to reality in the US. In other words, the task of unifying the scattered Marxist-Leninist organizations, individual Marxist-Leninists, and advanced workers must rest upon a basis of unity in political line.

Every attempt up to now to unite Marxist-Leninist organizations and build the party has disclosed deep differences of political line. None was entered upon in a genuinely principled fashion; each previous .attempt therefore yielded fragmentation and sectarianism rather than unity and the party.

For example, there was the National Liaison Committee (NLC), which was made up of the Revolutionary Union (RU), the Black Workers’ Congress (since split into factions), and the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization.

The NLC soon split, primarily due to errors in the line of the RU. The RU took what is called an economist line in its approach to the working masses, i.e., RU opted for a “dollars and cents” approach essentially the same as that of liberals and trade union bureaucrats. RU also dished up a “nation of a new type” theory which was in reality revisionism of an old type, an attempt to deny the right of self-determination to the Afro-American nation.

Rather than correct its errors and unite on the basis of Marxism-Leninism, RU soon after declared itself to be the party, calling itself the Revolutionary Communist Party. The transformation of RU to RCP was really only a flip-flop from economism and open right opportunism to off-the-top-of-the-head, super-revolutionary “left” subjectivism. RCP has since sunk even further into outright revisionism; it has made a Trotskyite repudiation of socialism in the great People’s Republic of China, and now openly upholds the disgraced counterrevolutionary Gang of Four.

Other examples of sham party-building motion include the National Continuations Committee which was led by the Communist League, now the Communist Labor Party, into the arms of Soviet social imperialism; the extreme left-sectarian Revolutionary Wing led by the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers’ Organization; and the Unity Trend led by the October League before it erroneously declared itself to be the party.

Setbacks of this type are unavoidable during this period of struggle to build the party. After the complete decay of the CPUSA bourgeois ideology penetrated every corner of the workers’ movement. Hence the struggle to expel this influence from the anti-revisionist communist movement is lengthy, full of twists and turns.

On the one hand, sham party-building efforts are bad things because they are entered upon in an unprincipled way. On the other hand they are good things because, by revealing errors and shortcomings they show the correct path forward.

An immense revolutionary storm 1s building all over the world. The two superpowers are headed for war; the general crisis of imperialism deepens every day, as does the revolutionary struggle of the Third World. All of this makes party building a task of utmost urgency. Genuine Marxist-Leninists must base themselves firmly upon principle and make every effort to unite.

It is in this framework that RCL (M-L-M) views the recent statement on Marxist-Leninist unity from the Communist Party Marxist-Leninist (CPML), August Twenty-Ninth Movement Marxist-Leninist (ATM), and I Wor Kuen (IWK). RCL welcomes this development.

These organizations have included agreement upon Chairman Mao’s Theory of Three Worlds as part of their basis of unity, along with other questions. RCL has previously stated that:

the scattered political lines on the burning questions of proletarian revolution in the US must be formed into a party program through ideological struggle in propaganda, forums, joint theoretical and practical work, exchanging theoretical materials and waging the theoretical and practical form of class struggle to achieve a correct and comprehensive system of views that is, a system of answers to the revolutionary struggle, which Marxist-Leninists and advanced unite around, and also upon which a party organization can be formed. – U & S, May-June, 1977

However, we must raise that we still have major line differences with CPML. In our past relations with CPML, formerly the October League (OL), we handled line disagreements incorrectly. RCL has criticized itself and repudiated the “jumping on the bandwagon” approach to criticism of OL. Our method of criticism certainly did not contribute to Marxist-Leninist unity.

RCL raises the following questions to CPML:
1) Does CPML believe that it should have made stronger efforts to unite Marxist-Leninists prior to its first party congress?
2) Does CPML still call itself the party, or has it repudiated this?
3) Does CPML still say that the Afro-American nation has no right to secession in the Black Belt of the South? Does it still hold that the BLM is a “struggle for integration”?
4) Does CPML still refuse to demonstrate against the Shah of Iran?
5) Does CPML still hold its “official optimist” position on not explaining to the working class the connection between imperialism and opportunism, point out the bribed sector of the class itself?
6) Does CPML have any self criticism for its method of arriving at a “program” for its “party” and the loose “Martov”-like organization that was a result of this?

RCL and CPML also hold opposing lines on the role of trade unions in the destruction of capitalism, differences over the question of the key link in party building, differences over the relationship of the party to various classes. These questions and others should be raised in meetings to be held. We raise them not to block unity, but in order to advance the struggle for principled unity among Marxist-Leninists. This level of unity is now very low in the anti-revisionist communist movement. RCL (M-L-M) views ideological struggle over political line as the correct way to demarcate the genuine from the sham, the correct method to unite Marxist-Leninists and build the revolutionary communist party based on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought in the USA.