First Published: Unity and Struggle, Vol. V, No. 7-10, October 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.
Right opportunism is the main danger in the Communist movement and liberalism and other right errors are the main danger in the Revolutionary Communist League’s development particularly the party building committee which has taken over a year to formulate a position on the central task of party-building. And this Menshevik practice has caused the organization serious criticisms in the Anti-Revisionist Communist movement. Absence of our position on the central task can be ascribed to this Menshevik practice which caused us to make other serious right errors. Even after the poorly developed paper presented by the committee in 1975, this committee did not break with liberalism. As Chairman Mao points, out “Liberalism rejects ideological struggle and stands for unprincipled peace, thus giving rise to a decadent, Philistine attitude and bringing about political degeneration in certain units and individuals in the Party and the revolutionary organizations.” Particularly the type of liberalism, “to let things slide for the sake of peace and friendship, when a person has clearly gone wrong, and refrain from principled argument because he is an old acquaintance, fellow townsman, a schoolmate, a close friend, a loved one, an old colleague or old subordinate or to touch on the matter lightly instead of going into it thoroughly, so as to keep on good terms. The result is that both the organization and individual are harmed. This is one type of Liberalism.” And another form that the committee’s liberalism took was, “To work halfheartedly without a definite plan or direction; to work perfunctionily and muddle along so long as one remains a monk, one goes on tolling the bell.” (Mao, Selected Readings, p. 134-5)
Liberalism is a form of opportunism which is extremely harmful and its effects are deadly in any revolutionary collective, in fact, Mao says, “Liberalism is a manifestation of opportunism and conflicts fundamentally with Marxism. It is negative and objectively has the effects of helping the enemy. That is why the enemy welcomes its preservation in our midst, such being its nature, there should be no place for it in the ranks of the revolution” (Mao, Ibid., p. 136) The disorganization of committee work in its report to the Central Committee was based on Menshevism and individualism which manifests itself in the lack of discipline of the committee (no meeting no clear division of work, etc.). With this Menshevik practice how could we expect to put forward revolutionary lines on party-building? And in the absence of this line on party building we made errors like “Strategy 76” that can be ascribed to this. The right errors of the organization must be ascribed also to the pragmatic and empiricist approach to our work inherited from earlier stages of our development. (See June Edition of Unity & Struggle, “History of CAP”, 1976).
Strategy ’76 as a tactic of party building was incorrect and its proposal based on our empiricism. By this we mean, ”Using partial experience as an unalterable formula and applying it everywhere, using old experience to look at new things which have developed and changed or overrating our partial experience and underrating or even denying the correct experience of others and the masses.” (Study Philosophy, page 19.)
Because of the pragmatism based on our past work, we thought that the work around electoral politics was a key element in mobilization of the masses. (See June, Unity & Struggle, 1976). But the central task is party building and not building a mass movement. Every task must be seen in relationship to the central task, especially in the pre-party period, the period of the formation of the party, our task is to unite Marxist-Leninists and win the advanced to communism.
We understand as Stalin pointed in the Foundations of Leninism that the logical basis of all opportunism is the theory of spontaneity. The ideology of tailism and belittling of the role of the conscious element. Lenin in What Is To Be Done? ”. . .laid bare the ideological roots of opportunism, showing that they principally consisted in worshipping of the spontaneous working-class movement and belittling the role of Socialist consciousness in the working-class movement; 2) Brought out the great importance of theory, of consciousness, and of the Party as a revolutionizing and guiding force of the spontaneous working-class movement; 3) Brilliantly substantiated the fundamental Marxist thesis that a Marxist party is a union of the working-class movement with Socialism; 4) Gave a brilliant exposition of the ideological foundations of a Marxist party.” (History of the CPSU(B): Short Course, 1939 Edition, page 38). Specifically Lenin says “That all worship of the spontaneity of the working class movement, all belittling of the role of the conscious element, of the role of Social Democracy, means, quite irrespective of whether the belittler want to or not, strengthening the influence of the bourgeois ideology over the workers.” (What Is To Be Done, page 45).
And this is why we criticize the line of Strategy ’76 which sought to unite Marxist-Leninists around building a popular front without the formation of the vanguard of the proletariat, its revolutionary Communist Party. The building of a popular front and united fronts (as one of the three strategic weapons needed for the proletariat to seize political power, a Marxist-Leninist Party, United Front, and Armed Struggle), must be based on strategy and tactics worked out by the Party, based on its class analysis of the United States to see who are our friends and who are our enemies. The proletariat cannot lead these united fronts without its vanguard, its Communist Party! “Only the Communist Party is at bottom the initiator, the organizer and the driving force of the united front of the working class.” ”The united front of the proletariat brings to the fore an army of workers which will be able to carry out its mission if this army is headed by a leading force which will point out its aims and paths. This leading force can only be a strong proletarian, revolutionary party.” (Dimitroff, The United Front Against War and Fascism, Gamma Publishing Co., page 31.) This is why party building is the central task of genuine Marxist-Leninists and advanced forces in the United States., because we have no genuine Marxist-Leninist vanguard party.
We are not doing idle self-criticism, but self-criticism in the spirit of Leninism, “The attitude of a political party towards its own mistakes is one of the most important and surest ways of judging how earnest the party is how it in practice fulfills its obligations towards its class and the toiling masses! Frankly admitting a mistake, ascertaining the reason for it; analysing the circumstances which gave rise to it, and thoroughly discussing the means of correcting it – that is the earmark of a serious party: that is the way it should perform its duties, that is the way it should educate and train the class, and then the masses.” (Foundations of Leninism, p. 19.)
We have made serious right errors, but with serious struggle these errors could be as Mao said, “The precursor of what is correct.” (Selected Works, Vol. 3, p. 24.) We know that we must intensify the line struggle within the Revolutionary Communist League against opportunism, specifically liberalism, pragmatism and empiricism, and in the struggle continue to remould our world view to the world view of the proletariat, dialectical and historical materialism.
At the present, the objective situation throughout the world and inside the United States is one which is marked by great disorder, as our Chinese comrades state. Of the four fundamental contradictions of imperialism; 1) labor vs. capital; 2) imperialism vs. imperialism; 3) imperialism vs. 3rd World ; 4) imperialism vs. socialist countries; the sharpest of these are the contradictions between imperialism vs the 3rd World and between the imperialists themselves. This has given rise to the world situation being distinguished by the two rising trends, today, revolution, which is the main trend, and war. That is, on the one hand we can clearly see the rising tide of revolution throughout the world, most intensely in the 3rd World, as for instance, in Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and southern Afrika where U.S. imperialism is getting its behind kicked out of Afrika, Asia and Latin America. At the same time that U.S. imperialism is being put out the front door, the Soviet Social imperialists are desperately trying to force their way in the back door under the signboard of “natural ally of the 3rd World” to set up more exploitative relationships with these heroic people. But the clumsy schemes of the social imperialist Soviet Union are being exposed and struggled against by the peoples of the Third World, further intensifying the contradiction between imperialism and the 3rd World to the point where revolution can clearly be seen as being the main trend in the world today. The abrogation by the Egyptians of the Egyptian-Soviet “treaty of friendship and cooperation” exposed the social imperialist role of exploitation in that country and the Egyptian’s determination to safeguard their national interests against foreign aggression. And even many 2nd World countries are openly opposing the superpowers, which confirms the correctness of the international communist movement’s strategy of the united front against the superpowers. The struggle of Japan to regain their four northern territorial islands which are illegally occupied by the social imperialists is gaining momentum and is bound to triumph. Egypt and other struggles by 3rd World people against social imperialism, particularly, the tragic situation in Angola which was single-handedly ignited by the Soviet Union, has given the world full view of the real intentions of this “natural ally.” And on the other hand the contradiction between the imperialists themselves, especially the two superpower imperialisms, U.S. imperialism and Soviet Social Imperialism, is sharpening to the point of the danger of a third imperialist world war.
Our Chinese comrades further state, “the danger of a new world war still exists, and the people of all countries must get prepared. But revolution is the main trend in the world today. The danger of a world war and revolution are the two aspects of an entity – the world situation. . .the world is changing in a direction increasingly favorable to the people of all countries. This is one aspect, a principal aspect. But we must also see the other aspect – the aggressive nature of imperialism will not change. The danger of a new world war still exists. This is another trend in the development of today’s world. (our emphasis). It is dangerous if we only see the raging flames of the revolution without noticing the enemies sharpening their swords and think we can lower our vigilance because of the excellent situation.” (Study Philosophy, “Theory of Two Points,” p.8.) Imperialism takes the contradictions of capitalism to their extreme beyond which revolution breaks out.
The first contradiction, the contradiction between labor vs. capital in capitalist countries heightens to its extreme limits under imperialism. That is the contradiction between the proletariat, the class of workers’ who own no means of production and who are compelled to sell their labor power to the capitalist in order to live, versus the bourgeoisie, the capitalist class who own all the means of production (machinery, factories, land, raw materials, etc.) needed for the production of subsistence. This is an irreconcilable contradiction between the two major classes in capitalist society, that cannot be resolved without socialist revolution, which will bring the dictatorship of the proletariat and socialism.
This contradiction, the fundamental contradiction in capitalism between the social character of production and the private character of ownership has been distorted by the revisionists who are agents of the bourgeoisie in the working class movement, who say that this contradiction can be resolved by peaceful means. But according to Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, the contradictions in capitalism cannot be resolved by any such nonsense as “peaceful transition” but will be resolved by “the seizure of power by armed force, the settlement of the issue by war,” which is “the central task and the highest form of revolution.” This Marxist-Leninist principle of revolution is universal, and we will uphold this principle in making proletarian revolution in the U.S. In fact, under imperialism the capitalist yoke becomes more and more oppressive and the revolt of the proletariat against the foundations of capitalism grows, and the elements of a revolutionary outbreak accumulate in capitalist countries. It is imperialism that actually brings the working class to the point beyond which there is only socialist revolution. Take the U.S. where the sharpening of the contradictions in imperialism create a crisis in capitalism where the relative stability of capitalism ended a long, long time ago. Imperialism suffers defeat with every passing day while the revolutionary forces are mounting. With the vast contraction of the markets open to U.S. imperialism, which is hated throughout the world, and which has suffered defeat after defeat at the hands of the revolutionary movements in the Third World, the U.S. is clearly on the decline. And internally the crisis of capitalism poisons every aspect of life for the working class and the masses as the bourgeoisie shifts the brunt and burden of the imperialist economic and political crisis on the backs of the whole multinational working class and oppressed nationalities. With the massive layoffs, financial crises and budget cuts, the cutbacks in vital social services, the education crises, etc., we witness the fact that the contradictions between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in capitalist countries has become more and more acute. Moreover, the periodic economic crises in the U.S. that used to come once every 8-10 years or so has quickened to once every 3 to 4 years and the present crisis is provoking a revolutionary situation in the U.S. This shortening of the interval between capitalist economic crises is a continuing phenomenon and its further sign that the world capitalist system of wage slavery and national oppression is drawing nearer and nearer to its doom. “Today the greatest crisis ever since the second world war has broken out in the world capitalism, and particularly in U.S. Imperialism. . .This is a general economic, political, ideological and military crisis of all the capitalist states, their structures and their super-structures, it is a crisis of their regimes and alliances. And this great crisis has just begun; the catastrophe will come later.” (Albania Today Nov.-Dec, 1974, quoted from Unite Vol. 2, No. 1, p. 11). “The typical feature of the present crisis of capitalism is the further disintegration of the cycle of economic development. Before one cycle of capitalist reproduction has properly ended the other begins. . .As a consequence it has passed and must pass, from the phase of enlivening the economy to that of crisis, with out passing through the phase of economic build-up as has occured in the classical crisis of capitalism. This phenomenon is very obvious in the present crisis in the U.S.A. and other capitalist countries.” (Albania Today, January-February, 1972, “The Monetary Crisis of Capitalism”, page 51, quoted from Unite, Vol. 2, No. 1, page 12).
The second contradiction in imperialism is the contradiction between imperialism vs. imperialism. “Imperialism is the export of capital to the sources of raw materials, the frenzied struggle for monopolist possession of these sources, the struggle for a redivision of the already divided world, a struggle waged with particular fury by new financial groups and powers seeking a ’place in the sun’ against the old groups and powers, which cling tenaciously to what they have seized. This frenzied struggle among the various groups of capitalist is notable in that it includes as an inevitable element, imperialist wars, wars for the annexation of foreign territories.” (Stalin, Foundations of Leninism, pg. 5). The highest expression of this struggle for hegemony is the superpower contention between U.S. imperialism and Soviet Social imperialism. Throughout the entire world U.S. imperialism and USSR social imperialism are contending for world hegemony for new sources of raw materials, new spheres of influence, new sources of cheap labor and new sources of foreign investments. The U.S. is steadfastly declining in its imperialist domination of the world, and as the U.S. imperialists are being forced out of different countries and regions of the world, in particular, Afrika, Asia and Latin America, the Soviet Union is aggressively like a hungry fox trying to gain control of these new markets under the banner of socialism. The more rapid the decline of U.S. imperialism, the more aggressive the new tsars of Soviet Social imperialism become. Because of this decline and aggressiveness the contention between the U.S. imperialists and the revisionists of Soviet social imperialism intensifies. The main point and focus of this contention between the U.S. imperialists and USSR social imperialists is Europe. (But also both of the spheres under the two superpowers’ influence are struggling against the U.S.-USSR hegemony).
First of all, Europe is a strategic military and economic stronghold for the two superpowers because of their “security alliances” (i.e., the Warsaw Pact and N.A.T.O.). Economically the N.A.T.O. countries gold and foreign exchange reserves are the highest in the world as well as their production of steel. One-third of all U.S. finances are in Western Europe accounts. On the other hand the Soviet social imperialists from 1955-1965 “swindled 15,100 million dollars” from the Eastern European countries and as much as 88 per cent of their foreign trade is with Western Europe. Because of this economic and military importance this contention is sharpening with the Soviet social imperialism being the most heavily armed. The countries of Western and Eastern Europe are uniting politically “against these hegemonic powers, particularly the Soviet social-imperialist expansion.” The Soviet social-imperialists because they are the most aggressive, are the main source of war. The Soviet Union, the first socialist state in the world has become social imperialist (socialist in words, imperialist in deeds), as a result of the usurpation of the party and government leadership by a handful of representatives of the bourgeoisie who sneaked into the party, the government, the army and various spheres of culture. The dictatorship of the proletariat has been turned into a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie by this bunch of counterrevolutionary revisionists. “Being the first state of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the Soviet Union lacked experience in consolidating this dictatorship and preventing the restoration of capitalism.” (Red Flag, Leninism or Social Imperialism, p. 13).
In order to understand why Soviet Social Imperialism is the most dangerous source of war clearly, one must first understand the truth that, “Having placed itself among the ranks of imperialist states, the Soviet Union inevitably comes under the basic law of imperialism and is enmeshed in a multitude of inherent imperialist contradictions. Social imperialism, is, therefore entirely the same as capitalist imperialism in nature. Lenin pointed out on many occasions that imperialism is war itself. Modern war is born of imperialism.” (Peking Review #5, “Social Imperialism the Most Dangerous Source of War”, p. 9). Soviet Social Imperialism is a latecomer to the feast of world imperialism and has taken the offensive in the struggle for hegemony.
The bogus lie of ’detente’ can be seen in the fact that the imperialist governments talk about ’détente’ but yet both super powers are spending enormous amounts of money on arms. “Stalin pointed out: the bourgeois states are furiously arming and rearming, what for? Not for friendly chats, of course, but for war.” (Peking Review #44, “Soviet-U.S. Contention for Hegemony, p. 2). Lenin goes on to say, “the imperialist governments pay lip service to peace and justice, but in fact wage annexationist and predatory wars.” (Two Different Lines on War and Peace, p. 3).
Only revolution can stop the war, and revolutionary people and countries all over the world are heightening their vigilance and making preparations.
The third fundamental contradiction of imperialism is the contradiction between imperialism and the 3rd World. This contradiction, the great heroic struggle of the people of the 3rd world against imperialism is the mighty and historic and irresistible torrent which is the main trend in the world situation today. The various fundamental contradictions in imperialism are concentrated in the 3rd World and these are the weakest links in the chain of imperialist domination and the stormcenters of proletarian revolution. What was once the reserves of imperialism has been transformed by imperialism into reserves of proletarian revolution. “Imperialism is the most barefaced exploitation and the most inhuman oppression of hundreds of millions of people inhabiting vast colonies and dependent countries. The purpose of this exploitation and this oppression is to squeeze out super-profits. But in exploiting these countries imperialism is compelled to build there railways, factories and mills, industrial and commercial centres. The appearance of a class of proletarians, the emergence of a native intelligentsia, the awakening of national consciousness, the growth of the liberation movement – such are the inevitable results of this ’policy.’ The growth of the revolutionary movement in all colonies and dependent countries without exception clearly testifies to this fact. These circumstances are of importance for the proletariat inasmuch as they sap radically the position of capitalism by converting the colonies and dependent countries from reserves of imperialism into reserves of the proletarian revolution.” (Foundations of Leninism, Stalin, pp. 5-6). “Leninism has proved, and the imperialist war and the revolution in Russia has confirmed, that the national question can be solved only in connection with and on the basis of the proletarian revolution, and that the road to victory of the revolution in the West lies through the revolutionary alliance with the liberation movement in the colonies and dependent countries against imperialism. The national question is a part of the general question of the proletarian revolution, a part of the question of the dictatorship of the proletariat.” (Foundations of Leninism, Stalin, p. 73, FLP). . .“October 1917 marked a breach in the world social front and created a turn in the whole of world history.” (Stalin, On Strategy and Tactics, Resistencia publication, p. 58). “Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought points out that the purpose for the imperialist export of capital to the 3rd World is to squeeze superprofits out of the labor power, sources of raw materials, and markets. And the peoples of the 3rd World struggling against the yoke of imperialism constitute a revolutionary motive force propelling the wheel of history and are the main force combating colonialism, hegemonism and particularly the superpowers.
Currently there is some confusion about the objective analysis of the national liberation movements in the oppressed nations against imperialism. (Some caused by theoretical unclarity of comrades like RWL & PRRWO, some caused by enemy lines of conscious revisionism like the “CP”USA, R“CP”, and “C”L“P”. OL in its swift motion towards consolidated revisionism adds to this confusion.) Some comrades think that a national liberation movement struggling against imperialism, is not revolutionary if it does not have a communist party or proletarian elements in its leadership. This is not true. The truth of the matter is that in the 3rd World extremely broad sections of the population refuse to be the slaves of imperialism, and whether or not a national liberation movement is led by the proletariat or a communist party, the essential question is whether or not the national liberation struggle is objectively weakening and disintegrating imperialism. If that national liberation movement is undermining imperialism and dealing its deathblows, objectively, whether it be led by kings, princes or aristocrats or not, it is revolutionary and the international revolutionary movement hinges on the results of these revolutionary struggles. We are not saying that we must support every national movement, but we are saying that as communists, we must support the revolutionary struggles of those national liberation movements that objectively weaken and disintegrate the imperialist system. But this question did not just come up today, in fact Comrade Joseph Stalin addressed the same question in the Foundations of Leninism, when he guided us to the truth of Leninism on the National Question.
The revolutionary character of a national movement under the conditions of imperialist oppression does not necessarily presuppose the existence of proletarian elements in the movement, the existence of a revolutionary or a republican programme of the movement, the existence of a democratic basis of the-movement. The struggle that the Emir of Afghanistan is waging for the independence of Afghanistan is objectively a revolutionary struggle, despite the monarchist views of the Emir and his associates, for it weakens, disintegrates and undermines imperialism; whereas the struggle waged by such ’disparate’ democrats and ’Socialists’, ’revolutionaries’ and republicans as, for example, Kerensky, and Tsereteli, Renaudel and Scheidemann, Chernov and Dan, Henderson and Clynes, during the imperialist war was a reactionary struggle for its result was the embellishment, the strengthening, the victory of imperialism. (J. Stalin, Foundations of Leninism, p. 75-6).
In the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, the 3rd World’s struggle against imperialism is a component part of proletarian revolution!
The fourth fundamental contradiction of imperialism is the contradictions between imperialism and the socialist countries, the contradiction between two fundamentally different social systems, socialism and capitalism. Based on the law of uneven economic and political development of capitalism, it was possible in several countries for the proletariat to break the imperialist front at its weakest points, where the imperialists’ strength is undermined by imperialist wars. In the contradiction between imperialism and the socialist countries, the socialist countries are the irresistible force on the rise while imperialism suffers defeat after defeat with every passing day, as it suffers the doom of those reactionary forces who attempt to stop the advance of the wheel of history. The struggle to build a revolutionary Marxist-Leninist Communist Party in this country is part of the irresistible trend of revolution in the world.
As Marxist-Leninists we understand our central task to be the building of an Anti-Revisionist Vanguard Communist Party in the USA. A Leninist Party of the new type, steeled in the principles of Bolshevism! Although we recognize the 3 strategic tasks which must be accomplished if we are to make proletarian revolution in the U.S.A.: 1) Building a Vanguard Marxist-Leninist Party; 2) Building the United Front; 3) Armed struggle, even though these tasks are interrelated, we are clear now that only one can be the central task in this period. Comrade Stalin in summing up the essence of Leninism, put it this way when talking about the importance of recognizing the central task at each particular moment:
The point here is to single out from all the task confronting the Party the particular immediate task, the fulfillment of which constitutes the central point, and the accomplishment of which ensures the successful fulfillment of the other immediate tasks. (Stalin, Foundations of Leninism, p. 5).
Dealing with the same question, and adding to the treasury of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, Chairman Mao said:
In any given place, there cannot be a number of central tasks at the same time (our emphasis). At any one time there can be only one central task, supplemented by other tasks of a second or third order of importance. Consequently, the person with over-all responsibility in the locality must take into account the history and circumstances of the struggle there and put the different tasks in their proper order; he should not act upon each instruction as it comes from the higher organization without any planning of his own, and thereby create a multitude of ’central tasks’ and a state of confusion and disorder. Nor should a higher organization simultaneously assign many tasks to a lower organization without specifying which is central, for that will lead to confusion and thus no definite results will be achieved. It is part of the art of leadership to take the whole situation into account and plan accordingly in the light of the historical conditions and existing circumstances of each locality, decide correctly on the centre of gravity and the sequence of the work for each period, steadfastly carry through the question, and make sure that definite results are achieved. This is also a problem of method of leadership and care must be taken to solve it when applying the principles of combining the leadership with the masses and the general with the particular. (Mao, Selected Readings, p. 292-293).
For U.S. Marxist-Leninists the struggle to build a new Anti-Revisionist Vanguard Communist Party, the Party of the new type that Lenin spoke of, free of the ”soiled shirt” of Social-Democracy, began with the consolidation of revisionism in the “Communist Party” USA, at its 16th National Convention held in 1957. In our view at the time of the reconstitution of the Party in 1945 under the leadership of William Z. Foster, after the revisionist Browder had disbanded the Party in 1944 in favor of a “Communist Political Association” revisionism had not fully consolidated, yet genuine Communists were still in the Party struggling against the revisionist line. In July, 1945, Chairman Mao Tsetung sent a telegram to William Z. Foster:
We are glad to learn that the special convention of the Communist Political Association of the United States has resolved to repudiate Browder’s revisionist, that is, capitulationist line, has reestablished Marxist leadership and revived the Communist Party of the United States. We hereby extend to you our warm congratulations on this great victory of the working class and the Marxist movement in the United States. Browder’s whole revisionist-capitulationist line (which is fully expressed in his book Teheran) in essence reflects the influence of reactionary U.S. capitalist groups on the U.S. workers’ movement. These groups are now doing their utmost to extend their influence in China too; they are supporting the erroneous policy of the reactionary clique inside the Kuomintang, a policy which is against the interests of the nation and the people, and are thereby confronting the Chinese people with the grave danger of civil war and jeopardizing the interests of the peoples of our two great countries, China and the United States. Beyond all doubt the victory of the U.S. working class and its vanguard, the Communist Party of the United States, over Browder’s revisionist-capitulationist line will contribute signally to the great cause of carrying on the war against Japan and building a peaceful and democratic world after the war. (Mao Tsetung, Selected Works, Vol. 3, p. 287).
However, the revisionist line which Browder carried was not defeated in the “CP”USA and in fact this line gained strength and was consolidated by the 16th National Convention held in 1957 with such revisionist lines as: 1) revisionism was not the main danger in the international communist movement but “left sectarianism”; 2) “American Exceptionalism”, saying the U.S. is outside of the laws of imperialism; 3) liquidated the role of the vanguard party by declaring the Democratic Party was an “anti-monopoly coalition” to lead working class and farmers, not the vanguard of the proletariat, which is its Communist Party (“Our Reply to the Conciliators of Revisionism”, P.O.C. document, 8/1/59); 4) liquidation of the Afro-American National Question; i.e. they no longer upheld the slogan or fought for self determination of the Black nation in the Black Belt South and they began to put forward the backward pro-imperialist view that the Black nation had been integrated into U.S. society by the productive forces of U.S. imperialism, a view like O.L.’s “the Black Liberation Movement is a struggle for integration”, and 5) united with revisionist “Communist Party” of the Soviet Union in slandering Comrade Stalin and united with N. Khrushchov’s renegade line of the 3 peacefuls – peaceful transition to socialism, peaceful co-existence with imperialism and peaceful competition with imperialism. Genuine communists left the “CP”USA after the 16th Convention and since then Party Building has been the central task for all genuine Marxist-Leninists and advanced forces in the U.S.A.
We need a genuine Anti-Revisionist Vanguard Communist Party to lead the class in the struggle for proletarian revolution, establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, building of socialism and eventual emergence of communism. “Why must there be a revolutionary party? There must be a revolutionary party because the world contains enemies who oppress the people and the people want to throw off enemy oppression. In the era of capitalism and imperialism, just such a revolutionary party as the Communist Party is needed. Without such a party it is simply impossible for the people to throw off enemy oppression.” (Mao, Sel. Works, Vol. 3 pg. 35). We must view all aspects of our work in relationship to our central task in this period and the key link at this stage of political line, we must determine in summing up our practice, does this work aid or stand in the way of party building? Summing up all work on the basis of integrating theory with practice, maintaining close ties with the working class and broad masses and practicing self-criticism and criticism is the touchstone of all genuine Communist revolutionaries. Our central task is to build the Party of a new type because as Comrade Stalin said: The Party constitutes the officer corps and general staff of the proletariat, who direct the struggle of the latter in all its forms and in all spheres without exception, and combine the diverse forms of the struggle into one whole. To say that a Communist Party is not needed is equivalent to saying that the proletariat must fight without a general staff, without a leading core, who make a special study of the conditions of the struggle and work out the methods of fighting; it is equivalent to saying that it is better to fight without a general staff than with one, which is stupid. (Stalin, Strategy & Tactics, Pg. 15)
Now our task is “To win the vanguard of the proletariat to the side of Communism (i.e., build up cadre, create a Communist Party, work out the programme, the principles of tactics). Propaganda as the chief form of activity. Our work must be aimed at winning the best elements of the working class to the side of Communism, those who are the most devoted and most active to the cause of the proletariat, hammer out our line and programme, form our ranks in order to put our party firmly on its feet, to paraphrase Comrade Stalin.
We need a proletarian party, free of all opportunism, able to lead the U.S. multinational proletariat and oppressed nationalities in the struggle for power. This strong leadership can only be given by a genuine Anti-Revisionist Vanguard Communist Party, a Party steeled in the principles of Bolshevism.
We must study Comrade Stalin on this question of Bolshevisation:
To achieve Bolshevisation it is necessary to bring about at least certain fundamental conditions, without which no Bolshevisation of the Communist Party will be possible.
1. The Party must regard itself not as an appendage of the parliamentary electoral machinery, as the Social-Democratic Party in fact does, and not as a gratuitous supplement to the trade unions, as certain Anarcho-Syndicalist elements sometimes claim it should be, but as the highest form of class association of the proletariat, the function of which is to lead all other forms of proletarian organizations, from the trade unions to the Party’s group in parliament.
2. The Party, and especially its leading elements, must thoroughly master the revolutionary theory of Marxism, which is inseparably connected with revolutionary practice, (our emphasis).
3. The Party must draw up slogans and directives not on the basis of stock formulas and historical analogies, but as the result of a careful analysis of the concrete internal and international conditions of the revolutionary movement, and it must, without fail, take into account the experience of revolutions in all countries.
4. The Party must test the correctness of these slogans and directives in the crucible of the revolutionary struggle of the masses.
5. The entire work of the Party, particularly if Social-Democratic traditions have not yet been eradicated in it, must be reorganized on new, revolutionary lines, so that every step, every action, taken by the Party should naturally serve to revolutionize the masses, to train and educate the broad masses of the working class in the revolutionary spirit.
6. In its work the Party must be able to combine the strictest adherence to principle (not to be confused with sectarianism) with the maximum of ties and contacts with the masses (not to be confused with Khvostism!); without this, it will be unable not only to teach the masses but also to learn from them, it will be unable not only to lead the masses and raise them to its own level but also to heed their voice and anticipate their urgent needs.
7. In its work the Party must be able to combine an uncompromising revolutionary spirit (not to be confused with revolutionary adventurism!) with the maximum of flexibility and maneuvering ability (not to be confused with opportunism!); without this, the Party will be unable to master all forms of struggle and organization will be unable to link the daily interests of the proletariat with fundamental interests of the proletarian revolution, and to combine in its work and legal and illegal struggle.
8. The Party must never cover up its mistakes, it must not fear criticism; it must improve and educate its cadres by learning from its own mistakes.
9. The Party must be able to recruit for its main leading group the best elements of the advanced fighters who are sufficiently devoted to the cause to be genuine spokesmen of the aspirations of the revolutionary proletariat, and who are sufficiently experienced to become real leaders of the proletarian revolution, capable of applying the tactics and strategy of Leninism.
10. The Party must systematically improve the social composition of its organizations and rid itself of corrupting opportunist elements with a view to achieving the utmost solidarity.
11. The Party must achieve iron proletarian discipline based on ideological solidarity, clarity concerning the aims of the movement, unity of practical action and an understanding of the Party’s tasks by the mass of the Party membership.
12. The Party must systematically verify the execution of its decisions and directives; without this, these decisions and directives are in danger of becoming empty promises, which can only rob the Party of the confidence of the broad proletarian masses.
In the absence of these and similar conditions, Bolshevisation is just an empty sound. (Stalin, Works, Vol. 7 as quoted in Party Building in the Heat of Class Struggle, p. 84)
This comrades is what we mean when we talk of steeling ourselves in the principles of Bolshevism! In order to create the Leninist Party of a new type free of the evils of social-democracy. To create such a Party it is a must that all revisionist and opportunist lines on this question be broken with.
Revisionism, right-wing opportunism, which mirrors the bourgeois ideology in theory and practice, distorts Marxism-Leninism, emasculates its revolutionary essence, and thereby paralyzes the revolutionary will of the working class, disarms and demobilizes the workers, the masses of the working people, in their struggle against oppression by imperialists and exploiters, for peace, democracy and national liberation, for the triumph of socialism. (Statement of 81 Communists and Workers Parties, p. 29).
Right opportunism is the main danger to the international communist movement advanced, inspired and supported by revisionism in state power (“CP”SU). This revisionism was led by the “Soviet revisionist renegade clique” under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchov in 1956 at the 20th Congress of the CPSU.
During the 1930’s many capitalist roaders of the Khrushchov-type had wormed their way into the Party in many key leadership positions. In this period and especially the post-WWII period many honest cadre began to degenerate and lose their revolutionary firmness, a circumstance on which Comrade Enver Hoxha speaks graphically: “In general”, says Comrade Hoxha, “there is nothing mysterious about this occurrence. . .Stalin, at the head of the Bolshevik Party, fought correctly, vigorously, with deep understanding”. . .“on the road of the working class, relying on the Leninist Party, on its norms, for the aims of the class and of its Party, which were the building of Socialism, and of Communism in the Soviet Union and in the world.”
However, the question arises: if this is so, then why did the Bolshevik Party degenerate, after Stalin’s death, into a revisionist party? This is a reasonable question to pose, and in order to be able to answer it, one must discover the objective and subjective reasons. (In Battle with Modern Revisionism, p. 418).
Basically, there were 3 major tendencies in the “CP”SU(B) which enabled the ”emergence of revisionism and the seizure of power” by the Khrushchov revisionist clique, (a) “Surprising as this may seem, the political and ideological education of the Bolshevik Party was not always carried out at each stage at the intensity and depth required by the circumstances.” (Ibid, p. 413); (b) “The implementation of the norms of the Bolshevik Party or, to put it better, their deep ideological and political understanding and their actual carrying out in a revolutionary way, were not up to mark.” (Ibid., p. 414); and, (c) because of self-complacency, the worship of past successes, bureaucratism, intellectualism and technocratism, the Marxist-Leninist unity among the Party’s leadership and the Party as a whole, and between the Party and the working class had weakened.
. . .it turns out that gradually, without being aware of it and relying on the great successes of the realization of the socialist construction, there was created among the parry cadres and among those of the socialist State a certain self-complacency and legitimate pride, which made them, inadvertently and without knowing it, turn from their correct forms towards distorted, incorrect inclinations which were basically iincompatible with proletarian morality. Marxist ideology and education condemned them in principle and in practice, when they manifested themselves in a flagrant and dangerous way, but in general these trends were developing and were not considered as dangerous. They were interweaving with the party norms and gradually gave the latter also such an anti-Marxist tinge. They intensified later and, interwoven with other non-proletarian customs, promoted the dangerous complex. (Ibid. p. 419).
Successes at work nourished the feeling of self-complacency and, parallel with these successes, the Soviet cadres began to lose their proletarian simplicity, raised unjust claims, which they considered ’politically legitimate’, because these people had worked and fought. With their rise to responsibility there was taking shape in them the feeling of ease and complacency and they were ever more infected by bureaucratism, intellectual-ism and technocratism. Thus, gradually, between the cadres of the Bolshevik Party and Soviet State, on the one hand, and the masses of the Soviet people and working class, on the other, there was created a separation and inequality. (Ibid, p. 420-421).
Fundamentally because these errors made by the cadres of the Bolshevik Party, the Marxist-Leninist unity which is necessary to carry on the vigilance needed in the class struggle against the bourgeoisie and the revisionists, and carry forward socialist construction was weakened and the revisionists led by Khrushchov took advantage of this separation (disunity) to seize political power.
As long as Stalin was alive “one thing was certain,” as Nicolaus states, “the newly engendered bourgeoisie and the capitalist readers knew beyond a doubt that they were living under the dictatorship of the proletariat. They might have had a certain status and some minor material benefits, they might sun themselves on festival occasions in the party’s praise for work well done, but let them take one step out of line and they were done for. They did not have and could not achieve the most important thing, political power.” (Restoration of Capitalism in the USSR, p. 55). To paraphrase Comrade Hoxha, it has been proven that “Stalin forged the Leninist unity and fought for it, not withstanding the stagnation.” After his death it was also “proved that in the leadership and in the Bolshevik Party this unity was split and the revisionists seized power.” (In Battles with Modern Revisionism, pg. 424-425).
Following the death of Stalin, on March 5, 1953, there immediately occurred an intense interparty struggle between his potential successors for leadership. Though much about this power struggle is obscure, the following are some key facts which are known: By dawn of March 6, the State security policy, commanded by L.P. Beria, had placed under house arrest, the commanders of army units guarding Moscow. Stalin’s private secretary, General Poskrebyshev, disappeared this same night and was never seen or heard from again. Also, before the day was over, according to Nicolaus, “five of the 10 members of the party secretariat and 22 of the 36 members and candidates of the presidium elected by the central committee in October, 1952, had been dismissed from their posts. Of the 52 government ministries, 27 were abolished.” (Restoration of Capitalism in the USSR, p. 58). Beria became first deputy prime minister behind G.M. Malenkov, who also was named first secretary of the “CP”SU. It was in this top position of party leadership that Khrushchov became second-in-command. Marshall G.K. Zhukov, an embittered covert enemy of the people, was rescued from the depths of oblivion and made co-deputy minister of defense. Before the year was over, Beria was shot after being accused of careerism. On this move “control of the state security police went to a crony of Khrushchov’s.” Malenkov, who held the leadership of both party and government, resigned from the party leadership within weeks after assuming these positions. Later that same year, Malenkov began to advocate his “New Course” policy of producing more consumer goods. This policy was exploited by Khrushchov, who denounced it as belittling the development of heavy industry and defense. Malenkov was forced now to resign his State position. Labeling Malenkov and his followers as the “anti-party group”, Khrushchov now went after the “implacable old Bolshevik”, Molotov, who was foreign minister. But to do this required Khrushchov’s exposing himself ideologically. Khrushchov himself, now had to take up a “New Policy:” The first of these steps came in 1955 with Khrushchov’s recognition of Tito’s revisionist Yugoslav regime as a socialist country. This was followed by Khrushchov’s developing of a close relationship with Nehru of India, who strongly opposed the People’s Republic of China. At the end of 1955, he began to put forward his bankrupt general line of “peaceful co-existence” between socialist and imperialist states, which distorted Lenin’s line on state to state relations, between states with different social systems and tried to liquidate proletarian internationalism and the responsibility of the proletariat and oppressed peoples to make revolution. The “secret speech” denunciation of Stalin did not come until February, 1956, at the end of the 20th Congress of the “CP”SU. Khrushchov had nothing but praise for Stalin in his general report at the Congress’ opening session. About this special-closed-session ”secret speech”, even William Randolph Hearst, of the U.S. ruling class, said, “Nothing anticommunist writers had ever said about Joseph Stalin equaled the charges leveled at him that night by his successor.” Immediately following this traitorous act, many members of the party and government were implicated as having participated in “unspeakable crimes and atrocities.” Khrushchov used his control over the files of the secret police to invent evidence for this cause.
In June, 1957, Khrushchov was voted out of the presidium, but he regained Party leadership with the aid of the bourgeois military coup under Marshall Zhukov who flew in supporters “from the remotest provinces” to cast votes in the presidium.
One of the most crucial aspects of this whole situation lives in the fact that the masses of Soviet people were not involved in this power struggle. This was a most costly error by those who opposed Khrushchov. And Khrushchov dared not reveal himself to the workers and masses of Soviet people.
Upon consolidating its own revisionist line the “CP”USA found counter-revolutionary unity with the Khrushchov-led revisionists, social-imperialists and social-fascists of the “Communist Party” Soviet Union and also united with Khrushchov’s criminal slander against Comrade Stalin who had held high the banner of Leninism against undermining by its class enemies, such as renegades like Trotsky and Zinoviev who attempted to prove Lenin’s analysis of imperialism as incorrect. It was Comrade Stalin defending the dictatorship of the proletariat and first successful Socialist Revolution of October 1917 led by the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik), who dealt death blows to these Menshevik rats and defeated them one by one.
At the 21st Congress, the Soviet revisionists led by Khrushchov raised up that wars under imperialism were not inevitable, which again ran counter to Lenin who asserted that “Imperialism means war”; Lenin said that imperialist politics is war mongering. Today just as during pre and post World War One when England and Germany were competing for the control of the world’s resources, the Soviet Social imperialists and U.S. imperialists are competing for world hegemony that is rapidly leading to World War III. Lenin points out this basic characteristic of imperialist contention and exposes the sham of peaceful competition in his analysis of World War I “War and Revolution” –May 14, 1917; mentioned in the following volume, “. . .This war was caused inevitably by that development of enormously big capitalism, particularly banking, which led to the situation where about four banks in Berlin and five or six in London dominate the whole world, taking everything to themselves, bolstering their financial policies with all their armed forces and finally, coming into conflict in an unexampled and ferocious struggle because there was no way of further advance by the method of free seizure. Either one or the other must give up the mastery of its colonies. Such questions are not decided voluntarily in this world of capitalists. This can only be decided by war.” (Lenin, On War and Peace, pg. 25) (our emphasis)
It was in 1971 at the 24th “CP”SU Congress that Brezhnev tried to create a mania for war; he put forward a so-called “peace program” using it as a camouflage to step up the contention for world hegemony arid development of rocket nuclear weapons and expansion of conventional armament, i.e. war preparations. In the Middle East and Angola it can be seen clearly that the Soviet Social Imperialists under the banner of “peace” is contending against U.S. imperialists for the power to exploit these peoples’ resources and further their hegemony; Soviet Social imperialists, in this contention, are the main source of war.
In the 1957 Moscow Declaration and the 1960 Moscow Statement, which the “CF’SU had agreed to, the International Communist Movement put forward that; “unity among all the Communist Parties and Socialist countries must be based on Marxism-Leninism and proletarian- internationalism and that in their relationships with each fraternal parties and countries must follow the principles of independence, complete equality, mutual support and attainment of unanimity through consultation.” (The Leaders of the “CP”SU are Betrayers of the Declaration and Statement) but, the U.S.S.R. in collusion with U.S.A. practices superpower hegemonism. This contention will lead to war. This is not the only M-L position the social-imperialists continue to betray. Brezhnev was Khrushchov’s accomplice in the counter-revolutionary coup d’etat and later replaced him. “Brezhnev’s rise to power is, in essence, the continuation of Khrushchov’s counter-revolutionary coup. Brezhnev is Khrushchov the second.” (Leninism or Social-Imperialism).
While declaring they (“CP”SU) are building “Communism” in the Soviet Union they have in reality consolidated the RESTORATION OF CAPITALISM in this once Socialist state of international proletarian revolution. At the 23rd Congress of the “CP”SU. (1966), after Khrushchov’s ouster in 1964, Brezhnev defined the restoration of capitalism as the “new economic system” to be established in the Soviet Union – One example is the recent wheat deals between the Soviet Social-Imperialists and the U.S. imperialists.
The Soviet Union must import wheat (food) into its country because the Social-Imperialists direct the economy into the production of arms for imperialist war preparation instead of production for the needs for the people. Secondly, the revisionists of the Soviet Union made a profit off the wheat that was purchased from the U.S. bourgeoisie by selling it to the Eastern European countries at exorbitant prices.
Also those revisionists liquidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and proletarian revolution by proclaiming that the “state as an apparatus of the dictatorship of the proletariat was beginning to wither away,” (in the transition from socialism to Communism, the proletarian states does wither away, but this is preceded by a long period of class war under the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. “Socialist society covers a considerably long historical period. In the historical period of socialism, there are still classes, class contradictions and class struggle, there is the struggle between the socialist road and the capitalist road, and there is the danger of capitalist restoration. We must recognize the protracted and complex nature of this struggle.”, Mao Tsetung quoted in “Marx, Engels & Lenin on the Dictatorship of the Proletariat: Questions and Answers,” reprinted from PR by Books New China) Along with this position, the Khrushchov-led revisionists in 1956 (20th Congress) adopted the position that ”socialism can be achieved through a peaceful transition from capitalism.” This was the basis for the liquidation of the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism: class struggle, proletarian revolution and dictatorship of the proletariat even throughout the entire period of socialism. As Marx has pointed out and as substantiated by concrete reality “the motive force of history is class struggle.” We know that the world revolutionary experience of the working class and oppressed nationalities of all countries in our struggle against U.S. imperialism and Soviet Social-Imperialism has proven this “peaceful transition” bit a BOGUS lie!!
The traitorous revisionist “Communist Party” of Soviet Union, the leaders of modern Revisionism, also uphold the other bankrupt Khrushchov revisionist lines of (1) “the state of the whole people” and (2) “the party of the entire people” (22nd Congress, 1961). The line “the state of the whole people” is an anti-Marxist-Leninist distortion because both Marx and Lenin proved that the State is an instrument of class rule; the state is used by one class for the suppression of another. Lenin in the State and Revolution put forward very correctly that “the state is not an instrument for class reconciliation.” Proclaiming “the state of the whole people” means there is no class dictatorship (no ruling class) and more fundamental that there is no class struggle which means there is no state but this only occurs during communism, therefore as long as there exists class struggle there will be a state controlled by the political class in power. “Party of the entire people” liquidates the party as the vanguard of the proletariat and the instrument for the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the continuation of proletarian revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. At base both these lines liquidate the inevitable reality of class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat and ensures the dictatorship of the Bourgeoisie. These lines of the bourgeoisie of Soviet Social Imperialism must be exposed as well as their agents who push them.
Soviet-Social Imperialism’s (“CP”SU) main agents of their revisionism here in the U.S. is the “Communist Party” USA. It was in 1957 at the “CP”USA’s 16th National Convention that revisionism was consolidated in the “CP”USA around lines such as American exceptionalism and the liquidation of the Afro-American National Question and support for the assimilationist comprador wing of the Black bourgeoisie (Roy-Wilkins-NAACP). However, before 1957, the “CP’USA had (1) abandoned the call for Black self-determination in the 40’s (2) dismantled the militant sharecroppers union in the Black Belt South and (3) dismantled itself as a Communist Vanguard Party in 1944 to pursue its aggressive partnership with the “liberal” bourgeoisie and the Black comprador bourgeoisie; though it was reconstituted in 1945 but, it was in 1957 that the “CP”USA consolidated around these opportunist lines as well as the revisionist lines (the 3 peacefuls) of the “CP”SU. In fact, its later liquidation of the Afro-American National Question ended with the “CP”USA tailing Roy Wilkins and the NAACP throughout the Civil Rights Movement and supporting this bourgeois directed assimilationist leadership as the chief fighters for Black Liberation, and simultaneously declaring “Black people had already exercised their right to self-determination and chose integration under imperialism.” They even went as far as to say “the Nationalism of Malcolm X was exactly like the nationalism of the Klu Klux Klan”!
The “CP”USA is the traitor to the American working class and Oppressed Nationalities. The “CP”USA has betrayed the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism, upholds the “CP”SU Khrushchov-Brezhnev revisionist lines, as well as upholds the “CP”SU as the leadership of the International Communist Movement, liquidating the need for a Communist Vanguard Party and armed struggle right here in the United States. The “CP”USA advanced the line that the Democratic Party at the helm of an anti-monopoly coalition is the vanguard in America and not an anti-revisionist Communist Party that will lead the working class in armed struggle against the monopoly capitalist ruling class. The “CP”USA also declares that the more advanced American technology becomes thereby producing “better and more” goods the less the proletariat will need to use armed struggle to overthrow the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. (New Program of the Communist Party USA, pp. 46-50)
There is much struggle by the International Communist Movement against the betrayers of Marxism-Leninism; but Marxism-Leninism will be upheld and all revisionists will be exposed and crushed.
Standing at the helm of this struggle against the revisionists has been the Communist Party of China and the Party of Labor of Albania, leaders of the International Communist Movement, who have taken the lead on the international level, summing up these rich revolutionary experiences and further creatively developing Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, in the course of struggle against modern revisionism, U.S. Imperialism, Soviet Social Imperialism and all forms of Opportunism.
In the American anti-revisionist communist movement, right opportunism is the main danger as well. The chief present day spokes organization for this menshevik line is the October League which represents this main danger of right opportunism in the American anti-revisionist communist movement.
The October League has called for the party in their organ, The Call, where they are saying that, “1) party building has become a question of immediacy and 2) the present period calls for the actual organizational formation of the new party.” (The Call, Nov. 75) But anyone who is actually in the revolutionary movement here today and who understands exactly what is happening here, i.e., what is the state of our movement, cannot unite with this call!
We cannot unite with the October League on its call for a Party Congress because this call is a right opportunist call, a call to pull together, not the Leninist Party of a new type, but a reformist Martov type of “party”. OL wants the type of party which swells its ranks with any and every student and striker that will holler “fight back” and in doing so liquidates the necessity for the vanguard party of the proletariat, its Anti-Revisionist M-L Party. And this is the reason for a call from OL without a program, for the “party congress”. This is their incorrect way of skipping the necessary ideological struggle over political line that lays the basis for the Party Program. Instead they pose the lie, that organization is the key link now, and use their “traveling salesman” approach to pull off an unprincipled unity i.e., unite under the organizational hegemony of OL. OL refuses to take a Marxist-Leninist stand on this, refuses to draw clear lines of demarcation between the genuine and the sham based on the ideological struggle over political line.
In our view, political line is the key link today because we must hammer out a correct line so that we will have the sound ideological and political basis for a program for socialist revolution in the U.S.A. How can we as communists, skip over this fundamental reality in our movement today? We must unite at this time based on correct ideological and political lines, seeing political line as key at this stage in our movement’s development. In fact, we have some very serious criticisms of OL’s erroneous revisionist political lines, many of which we have not made public until recently because of the menshevism (which unites with OL’s line which is also menshevism) and right errors that have marked our organization’s development, and which are being struggled against.
In the same issue of the Call, where OL calls for the party congress, they characterize the Revolutionary Union (now the “Revolutionary Communist Party”) as a “left” deviation to further substantiate OL’s opportunist line that “left” opportunism is the main danger in the anti-revisionist communist movement in the U.S.A., but the only reason that OL characterizes R“CP” as a “left” deviation is to cover the right opportunism of the October League, the cancer of revisionism. OL’s November call for the party was criticized and exposed as a Menshevik call that excluded the struggle over political line to develop a party program, and also left out of the entire call any mention of Mao Tsetung Thought, even though Mao Tsetung Thought is the main weapon for combatting revisionism. In typical opportunist fashion, OL mutated their line in the March report from their Central Committee, to include the need for a program and also to make mention of Mao Tsetung Thought. This was done in true opportunist style, no communist self-criticism, or repudiation, but instead just mutate the line and act as if it was never anything different. This is right in tune with the OL’s whole opportunist line on party building and seeking hegemony over the movement, to the point of mutating their line to appear as genuine communists, when in essence their opportunist line remains the same!!
Let’s deal with the opportunist line OL takes on the Afro-American National Question: “While supporting the rights of the Black Nation to self-determination we, at this time, oppose secession.” (For Working Class Unity and Black Liberation, October League, 1973). While OL pretends to uphold the Leninist (Comintern) Stalinist line on the Afro-American National Question, they openly withhold the recognition of the right of secession by the Black Nation. But the Comintern clearly stated about secession that communists should not oppose secession as long as the Afro-American Nation is dominated by Imperialism.
In particular, some misunderstanding has arisen from the failure to make a clear distinction between the demand for ’right of self-determination’ and the demand for governmental separation, simply treating these two demands in the same way. However, these two demands are not identical. Complete right to self-determination includes also the right to governmental separation, but does not necessarily imply that the Negro population should make use of this right in all circumstances, that is, that it must actually separate or attempt to separate the Black Belt from the existing governmental federation with the United States. If it desires to separate it must be free to do so; but if it prefers to remain federated with the United States it must also be free to do that. This is the correct meaning of the idea of self-determination, and it must be recognized quite independently of whether the U.S. proletarian dictatorship has already been established there. . .
If the proletariat has come into power in the United States the Communist Negroes will not come out for but against separation of the Negro Republic from federation with the United States. But the right of the Negroes to governmental separation will be unconditionally realized, by the Communist Party; it will unconditionally give the Negro population of the Black Belt freedom of choice even on this question. Only when the proletariat has come into power in the United States the Communists will carry on propaganda among the working masses of the Negro population against separation, in order to convince them that it is much better and in the interest of the Negro Nation for the Black Belt to be a free Republic where the Negro majority has complete right of self-determination but remains governmentally federated with the great proletarian republic of the United States...
But the question at the present time is not this. As long as capitalism rules in the United States the Communists cannot come out against governmental separation of the Negro zone from the United States, (our emphasis) They recognize that this separation from the imperialist United States would be preferable, from the standpoint of the national interests of the Negro population, to their present oppressed state, and therefore, the Communists are ready at any time to offer all their support if only the working masses of the Negro population are ready to take up the struggle for governmental independence of the Black Belt.” (Resolution of the Communist International 10/26/28, p. 117-118).
“The weight of emphasis in the internationalist education of the workers in the oppressing countries must necessarily consist in their advocating and upholding freedom of secession for oppressed countries. Without this there can be no internationalism. It is our right and duty to treat every Social-Democrat of an oppressing nation who fails to conduct propaganda as an imperialist and a scoundrel. This is an absolute demand, even if the chance of secession being possible and feasible before the introduction of socialism be only one in a thousand.” (Stalin, Foundations of Leninism, page 80) So. O.L.’s and R“CP”’s line on Afro-American National Question is line of scoundrels and imperialists.
And in our view, OL’s opportunist line, a bourgeois line on the busing in Boston, must be exposed. OL’s open support of bourgeois organized busing plans must be exposed. OL tails the “liberal” bourgeoisie’s outright tricks to confuse and divide the working class. This right error is right in tune with OL’s belief that the Black Liberation Movement is a struggle for integration”! which is outright chauvinism. This hooks up with the chauvinism of denying Blacks the right to self determination by denying the right of secession. The Black Liberation Movement is a struggle for self-determination in the Black Belt and democratic rights everywhere else in the USA and to see the Black Liberation Movement as a movement simply to be next to white people is to miss the essence of black people’s struggle by a long shot, and to totally dismiss communist theory in the same manner that the “CP”USA dismissed Marxism-Leninism in mad rush for revisionism! That is, confusing bourgeois integrationism (with its attendant denial of the self-determination for the Afro-American Nation as well as democratic rights of Afro-Americans and its open attempt to limit the political power of Afro-Americans) with the voluntary union of the multinational working class.
And on the international question, OL takes the right opportunist line of collaboration with the Shah of Iran. Slandering the correct line of the People’s Republic of China and the international communist movement that places Iran in the United Front Against the Superpowers because of the objective contradiction between the superpowers and Iran as a country of the third world. October League says in their opportunist fashion that since the Shah is the head of state of Iran he cannot be demonstrated against. This is a gross violation of proletarian internationalism, refusing to help the Iranian people’s struggle against their “domestic reactionaries” of whom the Shah is chief. The Chinese have laid out the fact that: “Modern revisionists seek to confuse the peaceful foreign policy of the socialist countries with the domestic policies of the proletariat in the capitalist countries. They thus hold that peaceful co-existence of countries with differing social systems means that capitalism can peacefully grow into socialism, that the proletariat in countries ruled by the bourgeoisie can renounce class struggle and enter into peaceful cooperation with the bourgeoisie and the imperialists. . .Peaceful co-existence of nations and peoples revolutions in the various countries are in themselves two different things not one and the same thing; two different concepts, not one; two different kinds of questions and not one and the same kind of question.” (Long Live Leninism, Peking Review ” 1960, as quoted from Essential Works of Marxism, pg. 542) The fact that the Shah is opposed to the USSR is one thing, that is positive, in the same way that the U.S.A. being opposed to the USSR is positive, but this does not make these regimes progressive nor mean that we must not support the peoples of these countries’ revolution against their own bourgeoisies.
In our summation of our practice with the OL around International Working Womens Day, we raised criticism of OL’s opportunistic way of dropping slogans. We spoke of what this means in terms of OL’s hegemonist designs on young communist organizations and their whole “traveling salesman” approach to “party building”, i.e., being “personable and agreeable” gathering any and whoever around them for their coming announcement that they are “the party!” We are against this all unity and no struggle over principles – approach of OL, but at the same time we oppose the other side of the subjective coin of opportunism, which practices all struggle and no unity, like Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization and Revolutionary Workers League.
OL upheld the slogan, “Oppose Superpower War Preparation” until we both left the coalition called together by Workers Viewpoint Organization around IWWD (CAP had originally called IWWD, IWD which is incorrect. IWWD is a day of celebration and mobilization for working women.)
OL instantly “got word from their Central Committee” before the week was out that they had to drop that same slogan. And after a brief struggle from us, where we pointed out that as the Chinese say, “The danger of a new world war still exists and the peoples of all countries must get prepared. But revolution is the main trend in the world today,” (Study Philosophy “Theory of Two Points”) and that anti-imperialist unity must be based on struggle against the two superpowers, they said that the slogan could stay, because it didn’t make any difference to them, as long as they did not lose “friends”. But they still didn’t uphold the slogan and later on a flick appeared in their newspaper that alleged that they had. More foul opportunism! Comrade Stalin makes the point that we must not change agitational slogans because of petty bourgeois vacillation. The slogan in question to “Oppose Superpower War Preparation” was a propaganda slogan, and there certainly was no situation that turned around so severely that it was necessary to change it! “The slogan ’All power to the Soviets’ was a propaganda slogan at the beginning of April (the “theses”); in June it became an agitation slogan; in October (October 10) it became an action slogan; but at the end of October it became an immediate directive.” “Vacillation of the petty bourgeoisie especially during intensification of political crises...; this must be carefully studied, taken advantage of, taken into account, but to yield to it would be dangerous, fatal to the cause of the proletariat.” (J. Stalin, Strategy & Tactics, p. 9). What can we say of the petty bourgeois socialists who even vacillate around a propaganda slogan!
This does not exhaust our differences with OL around line, and these questions have been raised in discussion with OL months and months ago in a comradely manner to get them to repudiate these lines. But OL’s line on opportunism goes to the essence of the problem and show how OL and Martov can unite on their refusal to see the relationship between Imperialism and Opportunism, so they also unite with the Martov type of “party building” – loose and fast and dangerous for the proletariat. OL opposes Leninism on the question of party building and opportunism. OL says it cannot see the link between imperialism and opportunism, which is historically linked with a right opportunist view on party building. As we have said on these two points OL and Martov unite! Lenin points out that this economic fact, this “shift in class relations, will find political form, in one shape or another without any particular ’difficulty’”. (Imperialism and Split in Socialism, Progress Publishers Moscow pamphlet 1972, p. 14). The political expression of this opportunism on party building is the bourgeois labor party! And this shows where OL is going with their right opportunist party building plans, with its deviation from Marxism-Leninism on the question of the party and on the question of the struggle against opportunism! We can understand now that they have not intended to build a vanguard communist party of a new type, but a bourgeois labor party, that will be the agent of the bourgeoisie inside the working class movement. OL would rather say that organization is the key link, a question of immediacy, rather than struggle out the correct political line to build a Bolshevik party here. OL has said at a public forum that “opportunism was a cover for revisionism”. But the fact is opportunism is revisionism! “Opportunism, or revisionism, is a faction and school of thought in the workers’ movement which represents the interests of the bourgeoisie. It special feature is betrayal of the fundamental interests of the proletariat and capitulation to the bourgeoisie.” (Peking Review, March 1976). It seems that OL puts out the line that opportunism is a cover for revisionism because they are already comfortable with the title opportunists and see opportunism as errors which cover for revisionism rather than as revisionism itself. But in fact, all along the line, OL’s opportunism is simply revisionism pure and simple. And their attempts to camouflage this revisionism is so bogus it is insulting!
For example, in line struggle OL continuously pointed us to Capital when we raised the question of the relationship between imperialism and opportunism. Saying we should study Capital rather than Imperialism: The Highest State of Capitalism. Under this sophist game, we detect the same deviation as people that put out that Marxism and Leninism are opposed to each other, instead of seeing the only correct relationship is that Leninism is Marxism in the era of Imperialism and Proletarian Revolution!
Any look at the writings of Lenin, would demonstrate that Lenin developed the line that Marx and Engels put forward on the first signs of opportunism in England during their own lifetimes: “Neither Marx nor Engels lived to see the imperialist epoch of world capitalism, which began not earlier than 1898-1900. But it has been a peculiar feature of England that even in the middle of the nineteenth century she already revealed at least two major distinguishing features of imperialism: (1) vast colonies, and (2) monopoly profit (due to her monopoly position in the world market). In both respects England at that time was an exception among capitalist countries, and Engels and Marx, analysing this exception, quite clearly and definitely indicated its connection with the (temporary) victory of opportunism in the English labour movement.” “. . .why does England’s monopoly explain the (temporary) victory of opportunism in England? Because monopoly yields superprofits, i.e., a surplus of profits that over and above the capitalist profits that are normal and customary all over the world. The capitalists can devote a part (and not a small one at that!) of those superprofits to bribe their own workers to create something like an alliance (recall the celebrated ’alliances’ described by Webbs of English trade unions and employers) between the workers of the given nation and their capitalists against the other countries.”
The bourgeoisie of an imperialist ’Great’ Power can economically bribe the upper strata of ‘its’ workers by spending on this a hundred million or so francs a year, for its superprofits most likely amount to about a thousand million. And how this little sop is divided among the labor ministers, ’labor representatives’, (remember Engels’ splendid analysis of the term), labor members of war industries committees, labor officials, workers belonging to the narrow craft unions, office employees, etc., etc., is a secondary question.
Between 1848 and 1868, and to a certain extent even later, only England enjoyed a monopoly: that is why opportunism could prevail there for decades. No other countries possessed either very rich colonies or an industrial monopoly. (V.I. Lenin, “Imperialism and the Split in Socialism”, Vol. #23 pg. 115)
But the struggle against OL’s opportunist line in the anti-revisionist communist movement is part and parcel of the struggle against the right opportunist baggage of social democracy that the “CP”USA carried until it consolidated into out and out revisionism. For example, the OL’s newspaper (The Call) displays their incorrect views on legal and illegal work. In one issue of the Call they exposed comrades to bourgeois terror by printing the details of peoples personal backgrounds which is a serious example of this social democrat attitude by thinking the state is neutral. For communists not to take seriously and pay strict attention to the relationship between legal and illegal work is definitely a social democratic hangover that has nothing to do with building a Bolshevik Party. Not to take seriously the question of the struggle against bourgeois terror is dangerous and plays into the hands of the bourgeoisie. “The basis of underestimation of the importance of the fight against terror, of the adaptation of Party organization to illegality is legalism, the glossing over the role of the bourgeois state as a class apparatus of violence.” “Too little attention is devoted to the work of safeguarding and protecting the ranks of the Party from the blows of the enemy, there is still too little care and thought in this sphere.” (The Communist International, “On the Question of Illegal Work” 1933). In terms of this essential relationship that the bolshevik organization upholds, Lenin said, “. . .Our organization consists of illegal nuclei surrounded by as wide and as ramified a network of legal societies as possible.” (Against Liquidationism, Progress Publishers Moscow) And, “In terms of the form of the organizations, the illegal ’adapts itself to the legal. But in terms of the content of the work of our party, legal (Ibid, p. 217) And Comrade Enver Hoxha reminds us that”.. .the members of the party and its high organs face the important task of guarding, secrets, of shaking off liberalism and negligence as well as ridding themselves of the idea that now everything is going alright, that we are strong.” (The Party of Labour of Albania on the Building and the Life of the Party)
The basic unit of the Bolshevik organization is illegal, which is the factory nuclei. We must make a clean break with social democratic forms of organization that have been passed down, and correct the kind of incorrect social base that plagued the “CP”USA and acted as a corrosive factor in its degeneration into revisionism. The social democratic form of organization based itself on electorial districts rather than factory nuclei, and this is incorrect for Bolshevik organization, which is based on the science of Marxist-Leninist party organization. Lenin, is “A Letter To A Comrade” says, now a word about the factory circles. They are of extreme importance to us: the main strength of our movement lies in the workers’ organizations in the large factories (and works) are concentrated that section of the working class which is not only predominate in numbers, but still more predominate in influence, development and fighting capacity. Every factory must be our stronghold.. .” (V.I. Lenin, On Organization)
October League is a retrograde trend in the anti-revisionist communist movement and therefore represents the main danger of right opportunism in the anti-revisionist communist movement. Many of the concilliatory revisionist lines of the October League such as the party of all classes (“everybody who hollers fightback can be in the party”) will bring it closer and closer in tune with the revisionist lines of the “CP”SU which are supported here in America by its 5th column, the “CP”USA. However OL is not alone in this action of proclaiming revisionism and right opportunism at the same time they are declaring they are anti-revisionists and communists. For example, R“CP”’s position of “Nation of a New Type” is very much so related to the “CP”USA’s line of liquidating the national question which is that “nations do not have the right to self-determination.”
To show more concretely, on page 118 of R“CP”’s Program and Constitution they lay out five demands for struggle against national oppression: “.. .the working class and its Party raises and fights for the following as demands 1) End all discrimination in hiring, promotion and firing. 2) Equality in education and all social services. 3) Smash segregation in housing and the extortion of higher rents, taxes, prices and credit and insurance rates in the minority communities. 4) Equality of culture and language, no privileges for one nationality over another. 5) End police terror against the oppressed nationalities, stop police murder, brutality and harassment.’’ They categorize these as “bask demands” of struggle against the national oppression “of all minority nationalities” but no where do they visualize the demand of self-determination of secession as “basic”.
R“CP”’s bogus position on ”the right of self determination, up to secession is as follows: “The proletariat and its party in the U.S. upholds the right of Black People to self determination, the right to secede from the rest of the U.S. and to set up a separate state in the general area of the ’Black Belt’. But at the same time the right to form a separate state is not the same thing as the obligation to do so, and upholding the right to secede is not necessarily the same thing as saying secession is correct. The proletariat and its party does not advocate this separation for Black people not favor it under present and foreseeable conditions.” (Ibid, p. 123). R“CP” holds as the basis for this position that ”the majority of Black people have been dispersed from the ’Black Belt’ and live in the North.” This further liquidates the right to self-determination and secession as well as further liquidates the Afro-American nation.
But to complete their revisionism they proclaim ”self-determination is a legitimate demand for Black people, but it is not the main demand. ”The main demands” (those cited on p. 118) are those common to all oppressed nationalities in the U.S. R“CP” does not uphold the right to self-determination or the right to secession as a main demand, but as something trivial. White chauvinism, which is the political and ideological supporter of racism and Black national oppression has affected the objective division in, the multinational working class, and has caused many would be Marxist-Leninists to belittle the Black Liberation Movement in particular and national oppression in general as a minor detail in their “big revolutionary picture,” and take totally incorrect, bourgeois positions on the national question.
Another example of R“CP”s white chauvinism and revisionism is their counter-revolutionary line “Smash Busing” in relationship to the Boston Busing Crisis which objectively supports the bourgeoisie’s attempt to divide the working class along national lines, further obstructs party-building just as the chauvinism and opportunism of the “CP”USA drove oppressed nationalities and Marxist-Leninists away when it turned revisionist. We must also be aware that situations like the Boston Busing conflict are conscious efforts by the ruling class to prevent multi-national unity and obstruct the creation of a Revolutionary Anti-Revisionist Communist Vanguard Party.
All over the United States at this stage, we see the reemergence of racial conflicts like Busing and etc., the reappearance of the all but forgotten Klu Klux Klan, who are many times federal agents and policemen, whose role is to turn the multi-national working class against each other so that they will not join forces to smash capitalism and build socialism. The various busing conflicts for instance do not solve the question of quality education (that the R“CP” bogusly declares that it upholds – see p. 118 of R“CP”’s Programme and Constitution) which the bourgeoisie do not intend to solve.
In their book Programme and Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party U.S.A. R“CP” opportunistically speaks throughout of “The Proletariat and its Party” as though they are the “genuine Communist vanguard” of the working class and have won over the advanced; but, this only exposes their out and out right opportunism to the “max”. The Revolutionary “Communist Party” declares they are the new anti-revisionist vanguard Communist Party that the working class must have to lead them in the seizure of state power and the turning of the means of production into publicly owned state property under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
This is a blatant lie! The Revolutionary “Communist Party” does not represent the multi-national working class; R“CP” is not the ”advanced detachment of the working class.” It is not ”armed with revolutionary theory, with a knowledge of the laws of the movement, with a knowledge of the laws of revolution. It does not stand at the head of the working class.” It cannot “see father than the whole working class”, on the contrary it tails the more reactionary sector of the working class.
There are some so-called Communist organizations who opportunistically have declared themselves a party or the party (R“CP” and “C”L“P”) or a hegemonic center for the formation of the party (the so-called “Revolutionary” wing). ”We hold that at this time there is no overall most correct line, no ’Revolutionary Wing’, though there are organizations with lines that seem more developed, clearer in their ultimately revolutionary intent (if that is their direction) than others.” (Unity & Struggle, June edition).
Comrade Stalin said in summing up the lessons of another period: “It should not be forgotten that rights and ultra-lefts are actually twins, that consequently both take an opportunistic stand, the difference between them being that where as the rights do not always conceal their opportunism, ’the lefts’ invaribly camouflage their opportunism with ’Revolutionary Phrases’. We cannot allow our policy to be determined by what scandalmongers and philistines may say about us...” (Stalin, Speeches Delivered at the Presidium of the Communist International). Both of these right and “left” sectarian lines of opportunism must be exposed and defeated in order to defeat U.S. imperialism and Soviet Social Imperialism.
In the struggle against the OL which represents the main danger of right opportunism in the anti-revisionist Communist movement today, we must be vigilant and not overlook the danger of the “left” sectarian tendency also developing in the anti-revisionist Communist movement today. We must remember the lessons summed up by the Communist Party of China in Chou En-Lai’s report to the 10th National Congress of the Communist Party of China where he said, “Chairman Mao has constantly taught us: It is imperative to note that one tendency covers another. The opposition to Chen-Tu-hsiu’s right opportunism which advocated ’All Alliance, no struggle,’ covered Wang Ming’s ’Left’ opportunism which advocates ’All Struggle, No Alliance.’ The rectification of Wang Ming’s ’Left’ deviation covered Wang Ming’s Right deviation. The struggle against Liu Shao-Chi’s revisionism covered Lin Piao’s revisionism. There are many instances in the past where one tendency covered another and when a tide came, the majority went along with it, while only a few withstood it. . .And when a wrong tendency surges toward us like a rising tide, we must not fear isolation and must dare to go against the tide and brave it through. Chairman Mao states ’Going against the tide is a Marxist-Leninist principle’.” (10th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, pg. 19). Another form of opportunism, the “Left” sectarian tendency in the anti-revisionist Communist movement is the infantile sectarian line developing represented by PRRWO and RWL on the question of party building, the self-appointed “Revolutionary Wing”. We believe it is positive that they have raised the question of party building so emphatically, but in doing so the ”Revolutionary Wing” has committed serious errors. Also we feel they must be more conscious of exactly the method the state would use to split the anti-revisionist movement, in the same way or similar to the methods used to split the BLM. Yes there is a basis in reality for sharp disagreement, and in some cases even antagonism, but never is there a need despite sharp critical differences to play the fool for the bourgeoisie by blindly emotional positions and methods.
The ideological root of all sectarian left deviation is subjectivism and idealism. At base the same subjectivism and idealism that gave rise to some organizations impatiently declaring themselves “The Party”, characterizes, the pronouncements by PRRWO and RWL that they are the so-called “Revolutionary Wing”. Not wanting to come out and declare themselves “The Party”, they have gone so far as to elevate agreement with this self proclamation, to one of the criteria for being a genuine communist organization in the U.S.A.! And comrades, like Resistencia, (now the League For Proletarian Revolution) who we think are genuine and principled, have self-criticism and criticism, have been labelled “Mensheviks” by PRRWO and RWL because they do not hold to a “Revolutionary Wing” in our movement today. (Our unity with Resistencia is based on the following: 1. Theoretical and ideological affirmation of M-L-M and major questions affirmed in the first stage of pre-party period; 2. Resistencia laying out their self-criticism and criticism in a systematic method (Vol. 7 #3 pg. 5); 3. Unity with them on aspects of the international question – Soviet Union as the main danger of the trend of war, independence for Puerto Rico, struggle against the superpowers, are some; 4. Unity on general aspects of party building – seeing M-L unite, win the advanced to Communism as simultaneous tasks, with M-L unite as principal; 5. Stating ideological basis of political line being key link, 6. Resistencia’s criticism of OL, of the “Revolutionary Wing”; 7. Their principled practice at CAP’s forums, i.e., S-1 & Angola.) But the question that Resistencia raised in their political organ still needs to be answered: 1) “To say that there exist genuine organizations and to say that there exists a genuine wing in the Communist movement are two different things. The first is an objective fact, which is undeniable. The second will not withstand a concrete analysis of concrete conditions of the Communist movement in the U.S. What does the concept of a revolutionary wing signify? If means that the genuine wing is the organizational center for the party that is to be built. This absence of a clear and defined political line of the so-called genuine wing on fundamental issues such as strategy and tactics, the national question, the woman question, the trade union question, the struggle for reforms (such as ERA and busing) seems to us to rush ahead of the situation, to substitute reality for illusion, to view reality as we would like it to be and not as it is. Yes, the genuine wing is in the process of formation, but it is not formed yet.” (Resistencia)
2) Resistencia also questioned how the WVO was in the “RW” just recently but in a very brief period they are out of the “wing”, but WVO’s line has not changed fundamentally in the last year.. .“Those who put forth that WVO was part of the genuine wing helped to give credibility to that organization and thus allow it to push their opportunist line among our ranks.” (Ibid.) And they raise the question of the Revolutionary Bloc being in the “RW” since this organization has not published its position on the split in BWC, from which it arose and ”the ideological and political basis on which they constituted themselves as an organization.” (Ibid.)
3) “It seems to us, that it would be incorrect to point out as lines of demarcation between genuine and opportunist Marxist-Leninists the acceptance or rejection of the existence of a genuine wing in the Communist Movement.” (Ibid.)
RCL puts forward the following questions which we were not able to ask at the May 1st forum sponsored by PRRWO, PRSU, RWL, and FFM:
1) What is the measurable means of your having evaluated yourselves the “revolutionary wing”, what concretely, is it based on? What is the class base of the ’revolutionary wing’? 2) You accuse WVO of being hegemonistic by saying they say they have ”the overall most correct line in the movement”. Why are you criticizing them when you do the same thing? 3) If as you say political line is key link, how can both you (RWL, PRRWO, & c.) be in the same wing as August 29th Movement (ATM) [ATM according to the “wing”, has been purged from the “Revolutionary Wing” – See Palante, Vol. 6, No. 7] who supports the ERA and you oppose it and further say that “only social reformers, pacifists, liberals, opportunists, Trotskyites and revisionists support the ERA”. Why is ATM in the “revolutionary wing”, and if political line is key link how can there be a “RW” if there is no unity of political line. Also, RWL had an asterisk on the flyer for the May Day forum saying that regarding the slogan “Self Determination for the Black Nation”, they were still struggling that out. In other words, some of their cadres hold the opportunist “CP”USA line of liquidating the Afro-American Nation, do the rest of the “RW” hold such lines, they say they don’t, then how unity with RWL who admittedly has struggles about whether to take the “CP”USA line or not? 4) You say “Revolution is the Main Trend”, but imply it is the only trend saying that “the line that there are two trends in revisionist”. If the Chinese wanted to say outright, Revolution is the main trend, why couldn’t they? The current line in Peking Review #19, May 7, 1976 is, “The world situation today is characterized by great disorder under heaven, and the situation is excellent. All the basic contradictions in the world are further sharpening. Countries want independence, nations want liberation, and the people want revolution–this historical trend is moving forward irresistibly. The world is advancing amidst turmoil, and the numerous small and middle countries are playing an ever greater role in international affairs; the world situation continues to develop in a direction favorable to the people of all countries. On the other hand, however, the rivalry between the two superpowers for world hegemony has become ever fiercer and covers the whole globe, with Europe as the focus of their rivalry. The continuation of their rivalry is bound to lead to a new world war someday. This is independent of man’s will.. .In face of the stark reality of the growing danger of war, the people of the whole world must heighten their vigilance, strengthen their unity and resolutely oppose superpower hegemonism.” Don’t you think that merely saying Revolution is the main trend, is one-sided without showing in fact, even though “countries want independence, nations want liberation and the people want revolution” is a “historical trend moving forward irresistibly”, as we know through M-L-M that inevitably revolution throughout the world is certain. . .to lay out that revolution is a straight line, that there are no twists and turns because this is the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. . .that this in itself means that the only trend at every moment then is revolution, is idealism and subjectivism, a kind of “official optimism”. ( As Lenin said of the opportunist Martov, see p. 261, Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism, Selected Works in one Volume.) (“All revolutionaries are entirely correct in their revolutionary optimism. They strive to be thoroughgoing materialists and thoroughgoing materialists are fearless.”) Some Articles on Striving for Marxism-Leninism in Australia. We are not saying that revolution is not the overall main trend, but can you, by saying that, deny there are indeed two trends, though revolution is the main one. Listen to this, “The danger of a world war and revolution are the two aspects of an entity–the world situation. What are the conditions regarding these two aspects? Chairman Mao pointed out: “The former still exists and the latter is the main trend.” (Study Philosophy) The article goes on “The danger of a new world war still exists. This is another trend in the development of today’s world. (Even though we maintain Revolution and War are two sharpening trends with revolution the main trend, we must criticize ourselves for putting out (U&S, Vol. 5. No. 5) that revolution and war were “two main trends”. This comes from simple lack of clarity on the issue. This clarity came from struggle against PRRWO-RWL’s incorrect line that revolution is the only trend. We also received comradely criticism from MLOC on this issue.) It is dangerous if we see only the raging flames of revolution without noticing the enemies sharpening their swords and think we can lower our vigilance because of the excellent situation.” (our emphasis, RCL) It goes on, “To uphold the theory of two points, it is imperative to oppose the theory of one point. The latter means idealist metaphysical methodology; it means thinking in absolutes and a one sided approach to the problems. Chairman Mao has pointed out: “The metaphysical or vulgar evolutionists world outlook sees things as isolated, static and one sided.” (Ibid.) If we merely maintain that ”revolution is the main trend” therefore, and refuse to politicize the people about the “two points” of contradiction in the single entity the world situation, we are therefore not alerting people to the danger of war, which even if it also brings revolution, nevertheless might occur before revolution, and which we must be, as the Chinese say, prepared for. If we do not prepare for it we will suffer.
In their political organ, Unite the comrades from MLOC put forward some questions that must be addressed by the “RW”: “What has been the history of the Revolutionary Wing? How did it emerge? What are the bonds of principles which hold the Wing together?” (Vol. 2, No. 2) And, “What are the concrete plans of the Revolutionary Wing to build a vanguard party? How do you see this happening, step by step? Without such clarity, how can comrades offer unity or leadership to the movement as a whole?” (Ibid.) Another example of the “Wings” “left” sectarian errors is the almost complete non-functioning of ALSC a once active organization. We will have a further analysis of the “Wing’s” attempt to destroy ALSC and other criticism of the “Wing” in the near future.
After the Second Congress of the RSDLP, in his celebrated work One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, Lenin makes reference to the development of two wings in the Party, a revolutionary Wing (the Bolsheviks) and an Opportunist Wing (the Mensheviks). The Bolsheviks upheld the party program which called for the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, against the objections of the opportunists who also opposed the correct line on the Peasant Question and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination.
But, what does it mean for some of our comrades to speak of a “Revolutionary Wing” in this sense of the word, at this stage in our movement. In the absence of a program for revolution in the USA, in what sense does one call themselves the “Revolutionary Wing”?? “For it is not enough to call ourselves the ’vanguard’, the advanced detachment; we must act like one; we must act in such a way that all the other detachments shall see us, and be obliged to admit, that we are marching in the vanguard. And we ask the reader: Are the representatives of the other ’detachments’ such fools as to take our word for it when we say we are the Vanguard?” (Lenin, What Is To Be Done, pg. 163). We are serious about making socialist revolution in the U SA; this is not a sophist word game for many of us. So when people declare themselves the “RW” of the communist movement, and say that the rest of the movement should accept their leadership–we demand to know what is it based on? Has the “wing” produced a program that can unite Marxist-Leninists and win the advanced to Communism? Comrade Stalin taught us “Unity of program, tactical and organizational views is the basis on which our Party is built. Only the unity of these views can unite the Party members in one centralized party.” (Stalin, Vol. 1).
At this point in our movement in the USA, there is no “Revolutionary Wing” in any Marxist-Leninist sense. And those comrades who have rushed to declare themselves the “wing”, just as those who have rushed to declare themselves “the Party” and others who hurl at us that they have the “overall most correct line”–have their feet implanted in the quicksands of subjectivism rather than the solid foundation of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought. And with subjectivism they deviate from Marxism, back into the empiricism and dogmatism (which are flip sides of the same subjectivist coin of petty bourgeois world outlook) in declaring themselves the “RW” of the anti-revisionist communist movement.
What is the criteria for getting into the “wing”? On paper it is declared political line, since this is the key link in the motion toward the party at this stage of the pre-party period. But in reality, based on practice, the “wing” pushes the struggle over political line in the background, and in practice the “RW” has been saying to other communist organizations that the real criteria for getting into the “wing” is to accept the false notion that at this stage in the Communist movement in the USA that a “Revolutionary Wing” has been constituted that will lead the whole communist movement. But at the very same time this “wing” does not have a program, which must be put together through ideological struggle over political line and be the basis for the deepening polemics of party building. We must unite around the correct line embodied in the program for socialist revolution in the USA, not around the concept of a wing–which is infantile sectarianism, an ill wind in the party building motion today. And in practice when the Resistencia did not accept the notion that certain groups constitute the “Revolutionary Wing”, i.e., the hegemonic center from which our party will be built–when Resistencia questioned this notion, they were declared “Mensheviks” for asking! What this sounds like is the struggle characterized by character assassinations which sectarians like POC fell into. We are building a fighting party, not a “religious sect” based on articles of faith! ”Moreover, our party is not a school of philosophy or religious sect. Is not our Party a fighting Party?” (Stalin, Vol. 1, pg. 66). We don’t need idle wingbags, we need the unity of revolutionary theory and practice to lead our movement! Can we accept anything less and serve the people?
As of this writing, PRRWO and RWL have not yet responded to the questions raised by comrades in the anti-revisionist communist movement, and are hostile toward polemics around the questions that they themselves have raised to such a level! And the use of character assassination rather than line struggles, especially in dealing with people who ask questions on this line, is rooted in the same sectarian deviation that the POC fell into on the way out to lunch. Purging, though sometimes necessary, is no substitute for line struggle or for the repudiation of incorrect lines, in fact, the “CP”USA would always purge certain persons, but never criticizing the incorrect line and transform the organization with the correct line, based on Bolshevik criticism and self-criticism!
Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers’ Organization-Revolutionary Workers League (PRRWO-RWL) in their typical lopsided method say, “Party Building is the Central and Only Task” (Palante, Vol. 6, No. 7, p. 1 and repeatedly in other places) and by this reveal the essential onesided and exaggerated trend of their thought. In general we united with Resistencia in summing up and objecting to PRRWO-RWL’s “onlys”, which they summed up as, “They have a ’left’ opportunist line characterized by their ’onlys’: only party building, only propaganda (rejecting agitation), only line struggle (discarding all other forms of class struggle) only political line (ideology and organization are not important for them), only the advanced (it is incorrect to pay any attention to the intermediate or attempt to raise the general level of consciousness of the masses according to them), only theory (all practice is economism according to them.) Only the proletariat, p. 1 Vol. 6, No. 7 (denying the existence of allies of the proletariat like poor farmers, lower sectors of the petty-bourgeoisie, Ac.” Although we agree with these characterizations, we think Resistencia should have given specific references to when and where specifically PRRWO-RWL have made these “onlys”, and given specific refutation of them. We also understand that in most cases PRRWO-RWL’s practice gives clearer words, because they tend to give lipservice to some concepts but completely liquidate them in practice, or so distort the meaning of other concepts that they have no semblance to that practice in real life. Or else they will so distort what they claim to be somebody else’s “erroneous” practice but in reality they will be merely putting forth their own misunderstanding of what that concept is in the first place.
PRRWO & RWL say, “Party building is the central and only task”. But we have three strategic tasks to make socialist revolution, smash capitalism and bring the dictatorship of the proletariat and socialism, they are:
A. Vanguard Party
B. United Front
C. Armed Struggle.
And while we have no party, and since the tragic degeneration of the “CP”USA to revisionism, party building has been the central task of Marxist-Leninists and advanced forces, but the building of the party itself is involved with the two other tasks. They are not totally separated and isolated, they are related , to each other in a dialectical way and each one can only exist because of the others, separately they have no meaning. The party is basic and key, that is understood. But by saying ”Party Building is the Central and only Task”, PRRWO-RWL really mean stay away from the mass movement, have nothing to do with the spontaneous struggles of the masses, just come to our narrow little forums stacked with all our cadre and “advanced” (really PRRWO-RWL “hidden cadre”) and we will argue about party building in the abstract. We will polemicize about theory in the abstract, about propaganda incorrectly academically and in the abstract. We will never deal with either the major issues that effect the working class and the masses, that would be too topical and bowing to spontaneity. “Only Party Building” or “Central and Only Task” is different from Central Task among a number of other tasks and related to a number of other tasks. But their line has it that there are no tasks in their period in relation to the united front or armed struggle. But trade union work, any work in the mass movement, giving conscious character to the spontaneous uprisings of the masses, is partially party building, propaganda and agitation aimed at the advanced, but partially united front, giving leadership to the entire movement in which are the intermediate and the backward, the petty bourgeois and masses of working people, giving leadership to all, but in this period aiming at the advanced. What we are doing specifically and as the central or leading task is trying to build the party, but that is not an isolated quasi mystical task. The very fact that we must become schooled in legal and illegal work, develop open and closed cadres is related right now to the fact that socialism will come through armed struggle. The party we are building is a party of armed struggle. The essence of its ideology, political line and organization are created to wage armed struggle, and this character this capacity is developed with its construction not afterwards.
Yet the way “central and only task” is formulated it becomes the one sided hallmark of the decomposing “wing”, as Lenin said, “Rectilinearity and one-sidedness, woodeness and petrification, subjectivism and subjective blindness–voila, the epistemological roots of idealism. . .” (CW, Vol. 38, p. 363 “On The Question of Dialectics”). “Idealism is one sided, exaggerated.’. .development (inflation, distention) of one of the features, aspects facets of knowledge into an absolute, divorced from matter, from nature, apotheosised” (Ibid.)
Party building is itself a process in this period of Uniting Marxist-Leninists and winning the advanced to Communism.
How do you win the advanced elements of the labor movement, without some direct relationship to it. For instance PRRWO-RWL say Propaganda only, but do not understand what propaganda is. To them, propaganda is only written and mainly distributed in newspapers and journals, and otherwise it is put forward only in narrow forums. They say in Vol. 6, No. 7, p. 3, ”The mensheviks have frantically called out ’Stop the propaganda agitation should be the chief form’. But we have stood firm and responded. We must do more and better propaganda.” First the problem is that PRRWO-RWL [and in this the classic, Dogmatist-Leader, Empiricist-Follower that Mao mentioned in summing up the three “left” lines that plagued the CPC in its early days, is how the PRRWO-RWL dangerous duo breaks down (p. 7“Our Study and the Current Situation: appendix”]. They actively distort all calls for agitation because they oppose agitation, but any call for agitation or any call to work among the masses they call economism or accuse comrades of making “Agitation the chief form”. But they never mention the kind of agitation they favor, and in practice do none. International Working Women’s Day (IWWD) they finally did no agitation but had a narrow forum at Hunter College, a real working class bastion! May Day + Afrikan Liberation Day (ALD) no agitation at all and by ALD they did no propaganda either but just we would suppose, mis-studied & purged each other. During the International Working Women’s Day, after one of the RWL comrades claimed they forgot to raise the question of opposition to the superpowers, so that struggle could go down in earnest in the coalition Workers Viewpoint Organization (WVO) had put together, and the demarcation be made. Since many of the folks in the coalition, were Trots, “CP”, Lesbians, & c. and that line of demarcation around the opposition to the superpowers sorely needed to be made. But after this process instead of struggling out further lines of demarcation PRRWO-RWL and WVO return to the meeting next week and run down a list of principles and do they call for line struggle? No, Accept them or get out they say! Just like RWL’s practice in ALSC, a mass organization [even though the national principles of unity have established ALSC a mass organization, RWL have their cadre declaring in New York and D.C., for instance, that ALSC is no longer a mass organization in those towns, that they have “adopted the science of MLMTT” (D.C.) “We Unite With The Line Of The Revolutionary Wing On Party Building”, and purge everyone else instantly who question this “left” sectarianism. (See D.C. ALSC leaflet put out by RWL cadre, “Opportunist and: Reactionary Nationalist (sic) Combine To Hold Back Development Of A Genuine Communist Party”.]
As for PRRWO-RWL’s bankrupt “left” sectarian line on mass organizations, it can be summed up as, “either accept the backward line of the Duo, become infantile ’leftists’, or leave”! Most leave. RWL, particularly, has been a party to attempts to destroy the African Liberation Support Committee for the last two years, first because of their empiricism (“we got to go build RWL and sink roots deep in the class.. .in some wholly mechanical and idealist way”) and liquidation of the National Question and belittling of the role of the Liberation struggles against Imperialism, and now with more empiricism, tailing the PRRWO’s “left” dogmatist line.
The Duo attempted to destroy ALSC (and FFM as well) with their “Left” sectarian distortion that instead of fighting for the correct line in mass organizations and anti-imperialist organizations communists must dogmatically impose the line or else purge, physically assault, to try to turn all in the organization into instant RWL/PRRWO cadres and destroy the organization.
Listen to this “superlefts”, “As Communists we believe in socialism but we do not demand as a condition of our participation in and support for workers and students’ struggle adherence to socialism. So long as a given struggle serves the cause of the people against imperialism (even if that be fairly remote) we participate in and support it.” (Australian Communist No. 52 June, 1972, p. 27). “Message of Communist of Australia (M-L) signed by E.F. Hill, C.L. O’Shea, N.L. Gallagher & E.A. Bull.”
The leadership of the Party in the mass organizations must be insured by the organization of communist fractions. . .Our leadership in the mass organizations must be secured by conviction and winning the confidence of these masses, and not by compulsion and command.” (“Material for a Course on Organizational Questions”, pt E. The Party is the Highest form of Class Organization, from the Party Organizer, CPUSA, 1932, reference Resolution of the E.C.C.L, Feb. 1924, on Fractions)
This is said even with a party, so where does some largely pontificated “revolutionary wing” get off imposing lines or shouting “get out” (purging people from mass organizations and thereby squelching real line struggle) this raggidy band of “left” hegemones who are so eager to join with R“CP” and “CL” (and even OL) in declaring the party in existence based on subjectivism and idealism that they pop up with a fictitious hegemonistic title for themselves, “the revolutionary wing”, based largely on partial truths and a propensity for selling woof tickets!
In speaking about the relationship of the party to the mass organizations and especially to the trade unions:
The ’left’ opportunist deviations reflect the pseudo-radicalism of uprooted petty-bourgeois elements which, isolated from the masses, have no understanding of the conditions of an organized mass movement. They demand measures and methods which isolate the Party from the masses (sectarianism).” (Ibid). Although throughout the entire period in the struggle for power the right deviation is the main danger.
The difference between the trade unions and the Party is: the trade union is an organization of all workers who recognize their conflict of interests with the boss and the necessity of a common struggle together with their fellow-workers. They fight for the immediate day to day life interests of the workers. The Party is the organization of the most class-conscious and advanced elements of the proletarian class”. And quoting Lenin On The Trade Unions, where he said, “The organization of the wage workers must be brought about on the basis of their mutual economic interests. . .Membership in the trade unions must not be made dependent on the acceptance of any political or religious principles.” They go on, “The members of the Party are those who accept Communism in all its phases. The trade unions, on the other hand, must accept all workers, regardless of their political outlook, their religion, Ac.”. . “Therefore the leadership by the Party of the mass organizations of the proletariat, which include the trade unions, is necessary.
But we have no party, which means that genuine communists must make certain that their presence in the trade unions and mass organizations contributes directly to our central task in this pre-party period, Party Building. And we cannot do that by liquidating these mass organizations by sectarianism and trying to impose by force political lines of certain organizations. At this stage of party building, in the pre-party period, we hold that Political Line is key line, which means that the theoretical form of class struggle, the ideological struggle over the correct political line, that is the application of the theories of M-L-M to the concrete conditions of the U.S.A. in the concrete practice of making proletarian revolution in the U.S.A. must take precedence, and that our chief form of practical activity is propaganda. Communists did not form the ALSC, it was an organization that developed as a result of the spontaneous struggles of the masses of Black people against colonialism in Afrika. In the condition that exists in the world today, with colonialism still existing in Afrika and other places in the world, and the principal contradiction in the world today being the third world versus imperialism, which is the motor of revolution in the world, organizations like the ALSC will spontaneously come into being. As our Australian comrades say, “Traditionally the ruling circles have striven (and still strive) to steer people’s activity into parliamentary or trade union circles. By doing this they seek to impose their own control over movements which are, or potentially may be, directed against them.
The people, however, have increasingly experienced the futility of parliament and the trade unions in solving their problems. Their very purpose is to maintain the existence of capitalism by deception.
(Our emphasis) Because of their experience of the futility of these institutions the people have sought their own solutions in struggle and in their own organizations. The process has steadily developed so that today, on countless issues such as pollution of the environment, destruction of natural resources, preservation of the historic sites, defense of specific liberties, against particular wars and imperialist war in general, for better wages and working conditions, for better social services, better education, peoples organizations have come into being. These organizations arise from struggle and promote struggle. They show boundless initiative. The people have inexhaustible enthusiasm.
All this activity falls in with, is part of, is influenced by, and influences the world-wide trend among the people towards revolution.
A matter of fundamental importance is the subjective factor of Marxism-Leninism. In Austrlia, the Communist Party of Australia (M-L) has systematically worked to expound the theory of the Australian revolution, anti-imperialist peoples democratic struggle and socialism. This too has had a profound effect. It has had such a deep effect that it is incalculable. Without this systematic criticism and exposition the movement in Australia would not have developed to the height that it has. Communists are against the theory of spontaneity. Without revolutionary theory there can’ be no revolutionary movement. But theory without practice is sterile just as practice without theory is blind. (“Many People’s Organizations Emerge In Struggle For Independence, Democratic Rights”, p. 50-56, The Australian Communist No. 75).
The leadership by the Party of the mass organizations of the proletariat including the trade unions, is necessary. (Or leadership by communists in the absence of the Party, struggling for the correct line, and as part of the polemics that must be waged in the communist movement with the aid of the advanced workers to put together the strategy and tactics maximum and minimum demands, i.e., program, for the coming vanguard communist party. And it is these polemics aimed at producing such a program which will unite the genuine Marxist-Leninists, demarcate them from the sham, and win the advanced to communism. The so-called “Revolutionary Wing” believes^ that they can just pop up in meetings and say “accept this truth or split”, what this means is that they cannot possibly be aiming such line or tactics at advanced workers, or advanced anybody, since they will end up invariably talking to themselves.
The “Material for a Course...,” goes on outlining under the section B. “The difference between the organizational forms and methods of work of the Party and the proletarian mass organizations.”
These tasks, as laid down in the previous section, in connection with the relation to the Party and to the trade unions, hold good also for the other proletarian mass organizations. . .they embrace the broadest sections of the masses of workers and must have a different, less rigidly disciplined, organizational form than the Party, which requires iron discipline and rigid organization.
In the building and leadership of the trade unions, more democracy must be expressed than in the Party. Our chief weakness consists in the fact that we have far too few non-Party members in the leadership of the trade unions.
In other proletarian mass organizations, such as the labor, sports, tenants, cultural organizations, labor defense, relief, &c, the organizational forms must be still more flexible, since the strata of membership of these organizations have only made the first steps in the direction of the class struggles, and these organizations conduct only partial tasks in the various spheres of proletarian class struggle. Therefore sections of these organizations must be organized in the form of committees or in the form of a federation (Our emphasis) We must guard ourselves against mechanically imposing the rigid centralized organizational form of the Party, with its iron discipline, on the other proletarian mass organizations.
So disdainful of the spontaneous struggles of the people, the mass movement, that they go so far in this one-sided document [D.C. ALSC leaflet] as to say, that the ALSC itself in the past “DID NOT MOVE OUR STRUGGLE FORWARD” because it actually educated and agitated among the masses about colonialism in Africa and got a large and enthusiastic response. The truth is, were it not for the work in that mass action of ALSC these very “superlefts” would not even be able to claim M-L-M, since it was ALSC that got many of the RWL (and CAP too!) moving toward M-L-M in the first place!!!
But no real line struggle, so another “only” is, in practice, “only our line, only us, no real line struggle”, just run in and make the proclamation from on top of their proposed hegemony and run out. So in practice the line struggle they want is only through their newspaper and journal, and to a certain extent in limited forums, but never in the practical mass struggle which they disdain. Why should advanced workers respond to such nonsense as being threatened and talked down to? And even in the forums, the New York City May Day forum seemed more like a mandatory religious conversion for inmates in Bergen-Belsen than a communist forum. They actually refused to let CAP (RCL) ask questions, but confined the dialogue to accusations and shouts. While their “security” prowled the aisles woofin at people in a style much worse than any cultural nationalist (with the possible exception of the Nation of Islam) ever thought up!
Propaganda and agitation are linked up, Stalin in Volume 1 Works, p. 12, says, “In the initial stages, Social-Democracy was unable to spread its activities among the masses of the workers and it therefore, confined its activities to propaganda and agitation circles. The only form of activity it engaged in at that time was to conduct study circles. The object of these circles was to create among the workers themselves a group that would subsequently be able to lead the movement. Therefore, these circles were made up of advanced workers – only chosen workers could attend them.”
First, Stalin says during this period Social Democracy “was unable” to spread its activities among the masses just as we in the anti-revisionist communist movement are largely unable to spread our activities now broadly among the masses. But the study circles were propaganda and agitation circles, and they did penetrate the mass movement where they could, to recruit the advanced workers for the circles. But the spontaneous movement at that time was itself at a low ebb. But Stalin also characterized the period when Socialists had no roots among the working population.. .“their activities were abstraction, futile”. The Social Democrats were unable to spread their activities because of the complete separateness of the socialist movement and the working class movement in the 70’s and 80’s. It was the action of combining those movements which begins as Stalin says, “The Russian Socialists established contact with the masses of workers only at the beginning of the 90’s. They realized that salvation lay only in the working class, and that this class alone would bring about the socialist ideal. Russian Social-Democracy now concentrated all its effort and attention upon the movement that was among the Russian workers at that time. (Ibid).
“And so, Social Democracy set to work upon this unconscious, spontaneous and unorganized movement. It tried to develop the class consciousness of the workers, tried to unite the isolated and sporadic struggles of individual groups of workers against individual masters to combine them in a common class struggle.. .it tried to give this struggle an organized character.” (Ibid – our ital.) It tried to combine the movement with socialism to give it a planned and conscious character. It certainly didn’t shrink away from that movement crying “don’t bow to spontaneity!” the bowing to spontaneity meant not giving that movement a planned conscious character but just letting it continue to be spontaneous! And that is exactly what PRRWO-RWL (Dogmatist leader-Empiricist-follower) do.
And as for Stalin saying the working class alone would bring the socialist ideal, he meant the working class is the only class that can lead, it is the only class whose objective position in the production process is thoroughly and resolutely opposed to all manifestations of capital. He says elsewhere (Ibid p. 22), ”Only the working class, and the people generally, who in the struggle have nothing to lose but their chains, they, only they, constitute a genuine revolutionary force.” But this does not dispute Lenin saying that propaganda and agitation are done among all classes [What Is To Be Done, p. 98], or that finally the dictatorship of the proletariat is an alliance of democratic classes under the leadership and domination of the proletariat. “This power”, (the dictatorship of the proletariat, ed.) “the power of one class can be firmly established and exercised to the full only by means of special form of alliance between the class of proletarians and the labouring masses of the petty-bourgeois classes, primarily the labouring masses of the peasantry.”
This special form of alliance consists in that the guiding force of this alliance is the proletariat. This special form of alliance consists in that the leader of the state, the leader in the system of the dictatorship of the proletariat is one party, the party of the proletariat, the Party of the Communists which does not and cannot share leadership with other parties. (Stalin, On the Opposition, “Concerning Questions of Leninism”, p. 281-2).
Lenin says in a quote Stalin makes in the same volume, “The dictatorship of the Proletariat is a special form of class alliance between the proletariat, the vanguard of the working people (the petty bourgeoisie, the small proprietors, the peasantry, the intelligentsia, etc.) or the majority of these; it is an alliance against capital, an alliance aiming at the complete overthrow of capital, at the complete suppression of the resistance of the bourgeoisie and of any attempt on its part at restoration, an alliance aiming at the final establishment and consolidation of socialism. It is a special type of alliance, which is being built up in special circumstances, namely, in the circumstances of fierce civil war; it is an alliance of the firm supporters of socialism with the latter’s wavering allies and sometimes with ’neutrals’ (then instead of an agreement for struggle, the alliance becomes an agreement for neutrality), an alliance between classes which differ economically, politically, socially and ideologically.” (Lenin, Foreword to “Deception of the People with Slogans of Freedom and Equality”, Vol XXIX, quoted op. cit. p. 381 Progress Publishers 1965 ed.). It is a Trot or Social Democrat line to liquidate allies as Stalin in “Foundations of Leninism” pointed out (p. 55), Revolutionaries are interested in allies, the clowns of the second international didn’t have to be interested in allies because in the final go down they weren’t interested in making revolution.
But PRRWO-RWL, the Dangerous Duo, because they have an academic understanding of propaganda, and disassociate it with agitation are left with their newspaper which has drawn away from all occurences in the world except their super “left” diatribes, a great many of which are now aimed inside their own ranks and keeping score on the departing members of the “wing” which has now become a Dangerous Duo. The whole newspaper Palante in the last issues is like public self cultivation and focuses on no issues or topical exposures as Lenin advised (WITBD, p. 86). Just a score card of the recent purges, and badmouthing and distortions about everyone else in the anti-revisionist communist movement. There are fewer than a couple gross of communists in the U.S.A. they imply.. .we know that makes the rulers feel just fine!
But lets deal with M-L-M for a second and point out their “left” dizziness! Every time they speak of agitation (except for brief obligatory mentions) it is putting it down, and trying to distort other people’s position by claiming they are “building the mass movement.” We don’t have to build the mass movement in order for struggle to be going on, it is spontaneous. We have to give conscious leadership, to the extent which we can in this period, to it. The Duo also use a quote from the Party of Labor of Albania (PLA) incorrectly, but show their lack of real understanding of what the spontaneous working class movement is, and their disdain for the masses. We don’t “build the mass movement,” we try to give it conscious planned character. Not to do that is to bow to spontaneity! In slandering the August Twenty Ninth Movement (ATM) for instance, (Vol. 6, No. 7, p. 11) implying that by the agitation around the arrest of Gregg Jones, Revolutionary Cause Vol. 1, No. 5, headline, “Free Gregg Jones”, which was an example of combining agitation, around the freeing of Gregg Jones, and communist propaganda, explaining the Afro American National Question. . .PRRWO-RWL slander ATM by saying ATM’s work in the Gregg Jones committee shows they are “competing for the O.L.’s base, who is competing for the R.U.’s base, who is competing for the CPUSA’s base, and all of you are competing for the position of most loyal lackies of the bourgeoisie”. This because ATM tried to give conscious, planned, communist leadership to a spontaneous struggle that arose in the community. ATM DIDN’T ARREST GREGG JONES SO THEY COULD START THE COMMITTEE, THE STATE ARRESTED HIM AND THE PEOPLE RESPONDED AND ATM TRIED TO LEAD THEM! So the incorrect use of the PLA quote, “The Party accompanied its propaganda and militant agitation, its political and military actions with its work for the organization of the people. It did not begin to work with the creation of mass organizations, because the masses had to be politically prepared beforehand for such organizations” (History PLA, p. 106). But the point here is, as our Australian comrades have pointed out, and we have indicated in our polemics elsewhere against the due for their incorrect position on mass organizations, the people create organizations in their spontaneous struggle and communists must try to give leadership to them. “Many peoples’ organizations emerge in the struggle for independence, democratic rights” The Australian Communist, #75, p. 50-56. That’s why these hegemonistic sectarian dogmatists belittle the ALSC, saying it “contributed nothing to moving our struggle forward” because it wasn’t put together by the “U.S. Bolshevik Party” and why they first tried to liquidate it and now try to destroy it with “left” sectarianism. The people create organizations, mass resistance in their spontaneous opposition to capitalism. And the communists where possible must give these a conscious and planned character. To do otherwise is to turn our backs on our basic responsibility and task as communists, not to do this, is to obstruct party building by separating the communists from the day to day struggles of the masses, and risk talking “futile abstractions” while the people are trying to deal with concrete oppression and concrete exploitation in this capitalist death society. ”Because of their experience of the futility of these institutions (parliament, trade unions, &c.) the people have sought their own solutions in struggle and in their own organizations.. .All this activity falls in with, is part of, and influenced by, and influences the world-wide trend among the people towards revolution.”
A matter of fundamental importance is the subjective factor of Marxism-Leninism. In Australia, the Communist Party of Australia (M-L) has systematically criticized parliamentarism, trade unionism and legalism and systematically worked to expound the theory of the Australian revolution, anti-imperialist peoples democratic struggle and socialism. This too has had a profound effect. It has had such a deep effect that it is incalculable. Without this systematic criticism and exposition the movement in Australia would not have developed to the height that it has. Communists are against the theory of spontaneity. Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement. But theory without practice is sterile just as practice without theory is blind. (Op. cit.)
We don’t have to “build the mass movement” for it to exist spontaneously, our task, is to the extent we are able, in the present period, give it planned and conscious communist leadership! Yes some work in that mass movement is unavoidable (except for “left” sectarian closed doorites and hegemones). We know that during this pre-party period, propaganda is the chief form of practical activity but even the spreading of propaganda involves contact with the mass movement. The advanced workers are part of the spontaneous mass movement. Their being that, advanced, has no meaning otherwise. Agitational literature and agitation in the form of demonstrations, & c, are a part of genuine communist work even during this period. In the “Principles of Party Organization” from the 3rd Congress of the CI, 1921 “The Principal forms of Communist Propaganda” are listed as:
(i) individual verbal propaganda
(ii) Participation in the industrial and political labor movement
(iii) Propaganda through the party press and distribution of literature.
Every member of a legal or illegal Party is to participate regularly in one or the other of these forms of propaganda.” Lenin, (What Is To Be Done) p. 70 “The question arises: what should political education consist of? Can it be confined to the propaganda of working class hostility to the autocracy? Of course not. It is not enough to explain to the workers that they are politically oppressed (no more than it was to explain to them that their interests were antagonistic to the interests of the employers). Agitation must be conducted over every concrete example of this oppression”. Agitation, political exposures, topical issues all linked to the Marxist-Leninist explanation of society, its classes their role and the need for socialist revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Not just closed door navel searching self cultivation with a few purges thrown in to make it spicy!
To polemicize against relating to the mass movement, the spontaneous working class movement, is in fact, to bow to spontaneity, i.e., allowing that working class movement to remain without conscious character under the false line that characterized the so called “theory of cadres” that the PLA puts down. The “theory of cadres” was a Trotskyite trend, which “adopted the Trotskyite theory of educating and preserving cadres,” exclusively. “They considered connections and work with the masses as dangerous, for that would endanger the cadres” (History of The Party of Labor of Albania, p. 75). By the time the meeting was held which brought the PLA formally into being, “The meeting denounced all the erroneous views alien to Marxist-Leninist ideology which had existed among the ranks of the communist groups. The ’theory of cadres’ was particularly stigmatized as defeatist and opportunist for it isolated the communists from the masses, kept them as a sect trailing behind the masses, and would finally lead to the dissolution of the party.” (Ibid. p. 88) And this was during the period of Italian fascism in Albania, this line was put out allegedly to keep the cadres safe from fascism. But even during those times, the role of communists was to give conscious leadership to the spontaneous working class movement! Their role broadening as they objectively developed a program and organizational capabilities – at their highest form as the Marxist-Leninist Party!
So that when PRRWO (dogmatist leader)-RWL (Empiricist-follower) put out the line that “Party Building is the Central and Only Task”, they mean clearly to pull away from the spontaneous movement altogether, forgetting that the advanced come from that spontaneous working class movement too. There is no third movement between the communist movement and spontaneous working class movement (including the national struggles), where the advanced issue from.
They say “only propaganda” not directly, but by implying again and again that anyone who says agitation is correct during this period as well, is putting forward that agitation is the main form of activity. Well, we do not, we say propaganda is the chief form of activity, but that it is inextricably bound up with agitation. And we refer you to the CPs definition of what constitutes propaganda in the first place!
When the dangerous duo say “only the advanced”, which we hold is the secondary aspect of the entity, “Marxist-Leninists Unite Win The Advanced To Communism”, they really say this by inferring only propaganda can reach the advanced, as in the slander of the ATM in Vol. 7, No. 6, p. 4 “The Revolutionary Wing has been carrying out the chief form of activity, propaganda, aimed at Bolshevik party cadre, at Marxist-Leninists and advanced workers”. Yes, that is who the propaganda and agitation are aimed at, but it will move even more, and the advanced being the leaders of the spontaneous working class movement, when they are drawn into motion draw the other strata into motion as well. Also, whoever mentions agitation or giving leadership to the spontaneous movement, the Duo slander by saying they are aiming propaganda and agitation at backward and intermediate workers, as if the advanced disdain agitation as much as Dogmatist-PRRWO-leader/ Empiricist-RWL-follower.
The Duo’s only class struggle is written which they put forward is line struggle, but as we said they have lines on very few issues recently. And when they draw the net in so tight as to say not Marxist-Leninists Unite, but now “Bolsheviks Unite”, (Vol. 6, No. 7, p. 15) meaning only them, they are moving toward absolute solipsism an extreme form of subjective idealism. There is no program being put forward, none of the polemics embrace program, the strategy and tactics, minimum and maximum program, yet they have already drawn the lines of demarcation so clearly they can say “Bolsheviks Unite”, clear subjectivism of dogmatists and empiricists. But as we said their idea of line struggle is like the godfather, offering you a line you can’t refuse, no struggle at all, either accept this (dogma/empiricism) or get out!
The emphasis of Political Line being key link is necessary but again the Dangerous Duo (Dangerous to M-L-M) so confuse and make things onesided and exaggerated, that it ends up seeming that to hold political line is key link means to exclude all other considerations and tasks. Political line does not drop from the sky, nor is the mere proclaiming of it enough to make the change we seek. This is the implication of the almost mystical chant of political line is key link, which is taken to such exaggeration that recently when the ALSC was readying for a national conference, a reading list was sent out by the national office (controlled by RWL) which listed Marxist-Leninist classics to read, to ready for the forthcoming meeting. But a short time later, apparently at some directive from the duo, another set of directions came forth which, incredibly, suggested dropping the classics and only reading Palante and Bolshevik as preparation, since to put the M-L-M classics on the list was saying that Ideology was key link! And they want to criticize ATM for telling its cadres to study the lead article of their newspaper, Revolutionary Cause “to ensure we have full consolidation of around our line”. Why is this incorrect? Or aren’t the cadres of the Dangerous Duo allowed to read their newspaper and journal to consolidate around the line or is the line put out the same way it was in the IWWD and ALSC, “either accept this or split”?? And how can the Duo hook up ATM to RU’s line when the madness that issued out of the ALSC substituting Bolshevik and Palante for the M-L-M classics is out RU-ing RU.
Political Line is key link because now that we have affirmed the theory and ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, we can only confirm that we have ideological unity through the struggle around the political line. That is, now we must see if our use of M-L-M theories applied to concrete situations based on concrete analysis, corresponds to dialectical and historical materialism, the ideology of the proletariat, i.e., the stand, worldview and outlook. It is only around the ideological struggle over political line, the application of the theories of M-L-M to the concrete practice of making proletarian revolution in the U.S.A., that we can gain ideological unity, and hence at another point, organizational unity.
It is this ideological struggle around political line, which unifies Marxist-Leninists and wins the advanced to communism. And this line struggle must be waged in front of, and with the participation of, the advanced. But this is also why Marxist-Leninists Unite is the principal aspect of this entity, because it is the act of Marxist-Leninists uniting through the ideological struggle over political line, that in fact does win the advanced to communism. Even though these two tactical tasks are carried out simultaneously but they are not in equilibrium as the Duo say (Vol. 6, No. 7, p. 13 Palante). This is why Marxist-Leninists Unite is principal, plays the leading role, because this is the lever that sets in motion the second part, win the advanced to communism. That makes the whole process happen simultaneously. And this can only be accomplished in the struggle over political line, and that is why political line is key link. (Also there is a contradiction between Palante-PRRWO Dogmatist leader saying these are tactical principles, Palante Vol. 6, No. 7, p. 11 and Bolshevik-RWL-Empiricist Follower, calling them “strategic principles” p. 34.
But this does not mean that this is separated from ideology; ideology has almost become a dirty word to the Duo, and this leads to the moronic behavior of the ALSC misdirective. Uniting around the correct political line is an ideological task and an ideological struggle. Just as uniting organizationally will be an ideological task and an ideological struggle. As even the affirmation of the theory of M-L-M and ideology was an ideological task and involved ideological struggle. Plus we have ideological tasks at each stage of party building as well as organizational tasks, and always ideological struggle.
When the Duo say build the party on the ideological plane, this seems a compromise from their earlier position which brooked of no ideological task at all as if political line was unconnected with ideology. But a correct political line is correct because it demonstrates a dialectical materialist view of reality and method for dealing with it as opposed to a bourgeois view, and methodology for dealing with it. “The question of building the Communist Party is in the first place an ideological question.” (E.F. Hill, Australia’s Revolution: On the struggle for a Marxist-Leninist Communist Party p. 70 “As has been said, until Party building is put on the ideological plane there can be no real Party building. The great enemies of Party building in Australia were subjectivism, sectarianism and a style of work characterised by repetitions of quotations from Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin without really seeking to master independently the integration of the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the actual conditions in Australia. Mao Tsetung in speaking of China (and its principle is applicable in Australia) said: ’Speaking specifically, people engaged in practical work must at all times keep abreast of changing conditions, and this is something for which no Communist Party in any country can depend on others.’ (Mao Tse-tung: Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 13)” (Ibid. p. 84) “The question is – does one proceed arbitrarily from quotations from the classics and ready made schemes or does one proceed from the facts and a knowledge of the general essence of Marxism-Leninism? Proper style of Communist work rejects the former and adopts the latter.” (Ibid., p. 85)
Subjectivism and sectarianism were recognized as errors. But their real character was not understood. Political subjectivism is the rejection of respect for facts, and the substitution for the facts of ideas invented in the name of Marxism-Leninism in the minds of the kind of ’theoreticians’ spoken of a moment ago.” (Ibid.)
When they say only theory this is completely confused because political line is the application of M-L-M to concrete conditions, and as Stalin said, “Some people think that it is sufficient to draw up a correct Party line, proclaim it from the housetops, state it in the form of general theses and resolutions, and take a vote and carry unanimously for victory to come of itself, spontaneously, as it were. This, of course, is wrong. It is a gross delusion. Only incorrigible bureaucrats and red-tapists can think so. As a matter of fact, these successes and victories did not come spontaneously, but as the result of a fierce struggle for the application of the Party line. (“On Problems of Organizational Leadership”, Stalin, p. 5, On Organization, New Book Center, Calcutta).
And as far as the relations of theory to practice, Mao Tsetung’s “On Practice” should have squashed the theory only, rationalist line. We know that theoretical class struggle over correct political line is the essence of this stage of party building, in the pre-party period. But even so the line must be proven in practice, the theory must be verified by practice. The line, in and of itself, means little. It must be applied. “Anyone who thinks that rational knowledge need not be derived from perceptual knowledge is an idealist”. . .“The rational is reliable precisely because it has its source in sense perceptions, otherwise it would be like water without a source, a tree without roots, subjective, self-engendered and unreliable.” (“On Practice,” Sel. Readings, p. 74) “If the dialectical-materialist movement of knowledge were to stop at rational knowledge, only half the problem would be dealt with.
And as far as Marxist philosophy is concerned, only the less important half at that. Marxist philosophy holds that the most important problem does not lie in understanding the laws of the objective world and thus being able to explain it, but in applying knowledge of these laws actively to change the world. From the Marxist viewpoint theory is important, and its importance is fully expressed in Lenin’s statement “Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement”. But Marxism emphasizes the importance of theory precisely and only because it can guide action. If we have a correct theory but merely prate about it, pigeonhole it and do not put it into practice, then that theory, however good, is of no significance.” (“On Practice”, p. 76).
The problem of whether theory corresponds to objective reality is not, and cannot be, completely solved in the movement of knowledge from the perceptual to the rational. . .The only way to solve this problem completely is to redirect rational knowledge to social practice, apply theory to practice and see whether it can achieve the objectives one has in mind.” (“On Practice”, p. 77).
But the weird flip flop is that in running backwardness like substituting Palante and Bolshevik for the M-L-M classics, even though the Duo prate about theory, in fact they are belittling it. So weird is their “understanding” of political line that they think it is something that leaps up without theory and has nothing to do with ideology. But the Duo should dig this, “Ideology politics and organization are at once a unity and division. They serve each other. Ideology on its own is of no importance. Marx said: ’The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point however is to change it.’ Marxist-Leninist-Mao Tsetung ideology leads to particular politics, the politics of class struggle, the struggle of class against class. . .Ideology and politics demand organization to serve them.” (“Party Organization”, Some Articles On Striving For Marxism-Leninism In Australia, p. 39-40, The Communist Party of Australia (M-L). And also, “The World Outlook of Communism enables the Communist Party organization to see clearly the social forces, it enables a correct political grasp and the working out of correct political tactics.” (Ibid. p. 40). It is only a correct political line, and only a correct organizational form which allows these to have full meaning.
We say the Duo says theory only because they demean all practice as tailing the mass movement, bowing to spontaneity, party building from below, Central task is to build the mass movement, winning the broad masses, agitation is the chief form (see, e.g., p. 2, Vol. 6, No. 7, Palante). They also distort their own practice by saying “Application of this line is revolutionary practice. To put forward we must build the mass movement is sheer poppycock, treachery to the proletariat.” (Ibid. p. 10). But their actual practice is to “apply” the theory in journals, newspapers, and an occasional propaganda piece only the constant diatribes against any agitational work or against any work in the working class movement generally points out the exclusivity of their practice being the narrowest form of line struggle. I.E., journalistic and in a decreasing number of forums. IWWD, May Day agitation, demonstrations were cancelled. On ALD, NY ALSC (controlled by RWL) did no work at all. Their practice was to do nothing. Not even issuing printed propaganda, or a forum. In D.C. another RWL controlled ALSC distributed about 300 leaflets, leaving the ALD agitation, demonstration and even propaganda to petty bourgeois Pan-Afrikanist All African Peoples Revolutionary Party and Howard University neo-academics who were pushing their collaboration with Soviet Social Imperialism in Afrika. Likewise during the recent outburst of Azania against the degenerate South Afrikan colonialists, the Duo did nothing, nor did its ALSC chapters peep! (On ALD, CAP set up information tables on the sidewalks in downtown areas across the country, and not only circulated propaganda, but spoke directly to the passing crowds over loudspeakers. This was preceded all week, by passing out the propaganda at factory gates, and inside the shops and factories. In the Newark area alone, 10,000 pieces of propaganda, each leaflet about 4 pp each, were distributed in this manner, the majority inside the factories and shops and at the factory gates.) Lenin says in “What The Friends of The People Are” p. 297-98, CW No. 1, “the practical work of propaganda and agitation must always take precedence, because firstly theoretical work only supplies answers to the problems raised by practical work, and, secondly, the Social Democrats, for reasons over which they have no control, are so often compelled to confine themselves to theoretical work that they value highly every moment when practical work is possible.”
Lenin goes on to say, and this is critical and the exact relationship of theory and practice, theoretical work with practical work. “You cannot be an ideological leader without the above mentioned theoretical work, just as you cannot be one without directing this work to meet the needs of the cause, and without spreading the results of this theory among the workers and helping them to organize.”
Such a presentation of the task guards Social Democracy against the defects from which socialist groups so often suffer, namely, dogmatism and sectarianism.”
There can be no dogmatism where the supreme and sole criterion of a doctrine is in its conformity to the actual process of social and economic development” (the theoretical) “there can be no sectarianism where the task is that of promoting the organization of the proletariat, and when therefore the role of the ’intelligentsia’ is to make special leaders from among the ’intelligentsia’ unnecessary.” (the practical) (Ibid. p. 298).
The Dangerous Duo took the last part of this quote, the last paragraph (p. 6, Vol. 6, No. 6) beginning, “There can be no dogmatism. . .”, leaving out the entire first part and foot note, which we quote here, trying to make it seem that Lenin was also taking Party Building in a vacuum of isolation like the Duo, and saying the Duo couldn’t be dogmatic and sectarian cause they were building the party. But Lenin states clearly, “theoretical and practical work merge into one aptly described by the veteran German Social Democrat, Liebknect, as Study, Propaganda, Organization” (Ibid p. 298) or Studying, Propagandizing, Organizing.
There is no doubt that our theoretical tasks are enormous in this period, and the theoretical form of class struggle and these tasks must predominate here and now, but also these theoretical tasks must go hand in hand with certain practical ones, which are chiefly propaganda, and appropriate agitation.
We cannot even recognize the correct political line except by deepening of our theoretical work, that’s why to make political line key link unconnected with ideology or ideological line is nonsense. “If one is confused theoretically one is not able to distinguish and resist an erroneous line, nor is it possible to consciously implement a correct line.” (Peking Review, No. 31, Aug. 1, 1975, “Raise the Ability to Differentiate Between Correct and Wrong Lines”, p. 19).
Only when a Communist Party member establishes a dialectical and historical materialist world outlook can he firmly and consciously implement Chairman Mao’s proletarian revolutionary line. . .If he does not remould his world outlook and lets idealist and metaphysical ideals remain in his mind, he will not be able to recognize sham Marxism and resist erroneous lines.
The dialectical and historical materialist world outlook does not drop from the skies, nor is it innate in the mind. It comes from prolonged and bitter tempering in practical struggle under the guidance of Marxist theory. (our ital) (Peking Review, No. 12, Mar. 23, 1973, “Party Building Must Be Closely Linked With Political Line”, p. 8)
That is critical, ideological soundness comes from “practical struggle under the guidance of Marxist theory”. The political line must be applied, otherwise we have no way of seeing if it is in tune with the world outlook of the proletariat, dialectical materialism. It is here we see the unity between the theories of Marxism-Leninism and the practice of the Proletarian Revolution in the U.S.A.
In an article describing cadre training in the Peoples Republic of China, training in the May 7 Cadre School is described, “the primary task of the school is to educate the students in the ideological and political line. To this end, we have organized them to study Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought in the light of class struggle and the two-line struggle in China and in our province today. The students are required to integrate their study of theories with the criticism of revisionism, with the summing up of historical experience and with the remoulding of their own world outlook, so that they can really learn and master Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought by combining theory with practice. The criterion for judging the standard of a student is not their ability to memorize and quote phrases from books but their ability to distinguish the Marxist line from the revisionist line in actual struggle and to use Marxist stand, viewpoint and method to solve practical problems.” (Peking Review No. 21, May 21, 1976, “An Important Way To Train Proletarian Cadres”)
In addition, to the other onsidedness and lopsidedness, the idealist road to clerical obscurantism, the approach to Revolution is the Main Trend, as polemicized against elsewhere also denies that War is a Trend. Bolshevik says that, “the theory of two contending trends is revisionist”, but the trends are contending, it is just that revolution is the main trend but it is not the only trend, that would be metaphysical! Plus they say that they repudiate the line and their “error was rooted in spontaneity, our seeking external solutions, like, the fully developed line of WV, but this is still what is going on, the new band wagon being PRRWO. As Mao said, ”On account of their limited and narrow experience, most of the empiricists lacked independent, clearcut and systematic views on problems of a general nature and therefore they usually played second fiddle in their association with the dogmatists... (Mao Tsetung “Our Study And The Current Situation, Appendix: Resolution On Certain Questions In The History Of Our Party”, p. 71). In analyzing the. three “Left” lines in the Chinese Communist Party during the period, The 2 Li Li San “Left” lines and the Wang Ming line, Chairman Mao said these left lines “reflected the ideology of the Chinese petty-bourgeois democrats”. He said these lines were characterized by “The petty-bourgeois method of thinking manifests itself basically in subjectivism and one-sidedness in viewing problems that is, it does not proceed from an objective and comprehensive picture of the balance of class forces, but takes subjective wishes, impressions and empty talk for reality, takes a single aspect for all aspects, the part for the whole and the tree for the forest. Petty-bourgeois intellectuals, being detached from the actual process of production, have only book knowledge, lack perceptual knowledge, and so their method of thinking is apt to manifest itself in the dogmatism discussed above. Those petty bourgeois elements associated with production, though they have some perceptual knowledge, suffer from the limitations characteristic of petty production – narrowness, diffuseness, isolation and conservatism – and so their method of thinking is apt to manifest itself in the empiricism discussed above.
.. .The political tendency of the petty bourgeoisie is apt to manifest itself in vacillation between the Left and the Right because of its mode of life and the resulting subjectivism and one-sidedness of its method of thinking. Many representatives of the petty-bourgeois revolutionaries hope for an immediate victory of the revolution in order to bring about a radical change in their present status; therefore they lack the patience needed for protracted revolutionary endeavour, are fond of “Left” revolutionary phrases and slogans and, in their sentiments and actions, are given to closed-doorism or adventurism.
. . .But the same petty-bourgeois revolutionaries when placed in a different set of circumstances – or another section of the petty bourgeois revolutionaries – may become pessimistic and despondent and express Rightist sentiments and views, tailing after the bourgeoisie. (Ibid. p. 76-7).
Sectarianism is an expression of subjectivism in organizational relations; if we want to get rid of subjectivism and promote the Marxist-Leninist spirit of seeking truth from facts, we must sweep the remnants of sectarianism out of the Party, and proceed from the principle that the Party’s interests are above personal or sectional interests, so that the Party can attain complete solidarity and unity. (Mao Tsetung, Selected Readings)
In reality, the movement has been characterized by the twists and turns, we have gone through on the road towards building the party. In fact, the history of PRRWO and RWL, from their own account, has not been the history of straight line development, the road to revolution is tortuous and full of “submerged” rocks, but “the future is bright.” We view the struggle to build the party as part of the irresistible trend of revolution in the world. “Cast away illusions, prepare for struggle”!
The 81 Communist and workers Parties who met in Moscow 1960 stated:
Dogmatism and sectarianism is theory and practice can also become the main danger at some stage of development of individual parties, unless combated unrelentingly. They rob revolutionary parties of the ability to develop Marxism-Leninism through scientific analysis and apply it creatively according to the specific conditions; they isolate Communism from the broad masses of the working people, doom them to passive expectation or leftist, adventurist actions in the revolutionary struggle, prevent them from making a timely and correct estimate of the changing situation and of new experience, using all opportunities to bring about the victory of the working class and all democratic forces in the struggle against imperialism, reaction, war danger, and thereby prevent the peoples from achieving victory in their just struggle.
They also declared: “The further development of the Communist and Working-class movement calls. . ., for continuing a determined struggle on two fronts – against revisionism, which remains the main danger, (our emphasis) and against dogmatism and sectarianism.” (Statement of 81 Communist and Workers Parties, p. 15). Right Opportunism “remains the main danger”, and the “CP”SU revisionism in state power are the leaders and main perpetrators of revisionism in the world and their agents, its 5th column in the U.S.A., the “CP”USA, and in the anti-revisionist communist movement in the U.S.A., by the October League.
Recently, PRRWO-RWL in the organ Palante, implied that the Revolutionary Communist League is a “front organization” for the FBI and even slandered our comrade in struggle, Amiri Baraka, the Chairman of the RCL with the following provocation:
Many times they do this by setting up front organizations, like in the first period of Party Building where the US Organization under the leadership of the notorious gangster Ron Karenga, an old croney of the thoroughly bankrupt element Amiri Baraka, serve as a front, where the secret political police could at random provide external provocation measures to get the BPP involved in confrontations with the aim of destroying the BPP by getting Panthers killed, demoralizing its members, sowing confusion and fear, analyzing each step of the way the tactics or combinations of tactics to use to accelerate the attacks and repression on the Panther Party. (Palante, p. 2, Vol. 6, No. 6).
One of the real mistakes of the 60’s which PRRWO-RWL are glossing over in this passage, is that the Black Liberation Movement did not distinguish correctly between contradictions between ourselves and the enemy and the contradictions among the people. These are resolved two entirely different ways. The bourgeoisie is always at work dividing the ranks of the revolutionary movement. This was true in the 1960’s and it is certainly true today. But what revolutionary communists must do is to critically and properly sum up the lessons of the past experience gained in the crucible of struggle. Whose interest does it serve to gloss over the errors of the Black Panther Party of US Organization in the 60’s? Certainly not the proletariat! We have summed up cultural nationalism and surely if we look at the reformism of the Black Panther Party today, we know that the internal contradictions in the BPP produced the present line.
But our duty as communists is the prevention of any actions which may undermine the unity of communists and every genuine communist must take on the responsibility of defending this principle of communist relations, (refer to Statement of 81 Communist and Workers Parties,, 1960, p. 30). Otherwise we are deviating from M-L-M and the interest of the proletariat and objectively aiding the bourgeoisie in its tactics!
The correct method of resolving contradictions between Marxist-Leninists is unity-criticism-unity and this method based on the international experience of the proletariat:
In criticizing “Left” dogmatism, we discarded this old method and adopted a new one, that is, one of starting from the desire for unity, distinguishing between right and wrong through criticism or struggle and arriving at a new unity on a new basis. This was the method used in the rectification movement of 1942. Thus within a few years, by the time the Chinese Communist Party held its Seventh National Congress in 1945, unity was achieved throughout the Party, and as a consequence the great victory of the people’s revolution was won. The essential thing is to start from the desire for unity. For without this desire for unity, the struggle is certain to get out of hand. Wouldn’t this be the same as “ruthless struggle and merciless blows”? And what Party unity would there be left? It was this very experience that led us to the formula: “unity, criticism, unity”. Or, in other words, “learn from past mistakes to avoid future ones and cure the sickness to save the patient.. .(Mao, Selected Readings, pp. 439-40).
This method is the method of the proletariat that comes from summing up experience based on the world outlook of the proletariat, dialectical and historical materialism. But what about the erroneous method employed by the “Revolutionary Wing”, the pretentious re-writing and romanticizing of past mistakes to make some look like they were the heroes and others like they were the villains? And rather than genuine polemics about our different summations of the movement, PRRWO-RWL employ character assassination and intrigue. This is the method of infantile sectarianism and not Marxism-Leninism. These attacks are acts of provocation and political stupidity at its worst! Where is the BPP at now? Did the ideological errors fall from the sky, no, they are based on contradictions internal to the development of the BPP. We communists must take a dialectical approach and not a onesided, subjectivist approach to reality!
This tactic of the Dangerous Duo has been summed up already by Mao Tsetung, where he points out the class base for this method:
It is the tactic which the exploiting classes and the lumpen-proletariat habitually practice, but for which the proletariat has no use. For the proletariat the sharpest and most effective weapon is a serious and militant scientific attitude. The Communist Party lives by the truth of Marxism-Leninism, by seeking truth from facts, by science, and not by intimidating people. Needless to say, the idea of attaining fame and position for oneself by pretentiousness is even more contemptible. . .(Mao, On Literature and Art, p. 99).
We can conclude only from these attacks that PRRWO-RWL suffer from infantile sectarianism and it is clear that an incorrect line is coming out that is designed to lead to the same confrontations as in the 60’s. But the RCL understands how the state attempts to turn contradictions between Marxist-Leninist groups which are non-antagonistic into antagonistic contradictions. And we will resist this design in a Marxist-Leninist fashion!
The attacks on Comrade Amiri Baraka have been a standard design of the bourgeoisie to sow seeds of mistrust and discord within our ranks and in the ranks of the communist movement. But the incorrect methodology used by the Dangerous Duo further prove they are no “Revolutionary Wing” and with these provocations, they demonstrate the incorrect worldview that is the ideological source of these tactics. What we are getting in these tracts is criminal gossip, character assassination, and the spreading of rumors, but not ideological struggle over political line. And these loose accusations and irresponsible statements which abuse the purpose of propaganda and betray the central task of party building actually reflects ideological and political weaknesses in the Duo. “Marxism holds that world outlook and methodology are identical.” (Study Philosophy, p. 37). On the surface, PRRWO-RWL talk about the danger of bourgeois state, but in practice they are opening the very same door to bourgeois terror as we have seen in the 60’s by fabricating an excuse for the police!
Rather than slander (CAP) RCL with garbage about our “connections” with the state, the Duo should begin paying closer attention to just where inside their own organization the mad “left” lines and calls to assault, mount lumpen like verbal and physical attacks, publish information that enables the state to better analyze the holes in their organization, emanate from? Just who is pushing Neo-Cleaverism and legitimatizing frenzied supra “left” closed doorism as Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, and why?
In summing up the history of the Congress of Afrikan People in the June issue of Unity & Struggle 1976, we outlined the fact that we actually broke with US Organization around that time of the 1970 CAP conference where CAP was formed in Atlanta, Georgia. We have repudiated these incorrect lines of cultural nationalism and will continue to criticize the cultural nationalism we had held to in the past, and we have published a more extensive self-criticism of these errors. But no one-sided view of the past can substitute for the revolutionary science of M-L-M.
PRRWO and RWL have made concrete contributions to the anti-revisionist Communist movement, but in the present period, despite these contributions, they are in deep error, and principally a menace to themselves.
Their recent line mutations Palante Vol. 6, No. 8, which we will analyze in future polemics, demonstrate clearly that even they know something is wrong. Perhaps they will find out that Dogmatism and Empiricism, Mechanical Materialism, Idealism, Subjectivism, One-Sidedness, Sectarianism, Character Assassination are no substitute for Marxist-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought. Mao has said, “three aspects of petty-bourgeois ideology. . .subjectivism in ideology, the “Left” and Right Deviations in politics and the sectarianism in organization”, these are principally what the Duo manifests. And the only way out is to overcome this petty-bourgeois ideology and transform it into proletarian ideology. But in the struggle against their errors, like the struggle against the Right opportunist views of OL, the entire anti-revisionist communist movement can only become theoretically and ideologically clearer, and therefore politically and organizationally stronger. The correct line develops in the struggle against what is incorrect.
1. We began with the overall world situation, outlining the four fundamental contradictions of imperialism, the two sharpest contradictions which give rise to two rising trends, revolution and war. We held that revolution is the main trend in the world today and Soviet Social Imperialism the main source of war, although they try to cover their rapacious designs with the sign board of “socialism” when capitalism has been restored there, and with the bogus cry of “Détente.”
2. That the central task of Marxist-Leninists and advanced forces in the U.S. at present is party building, and has been since the historic tragic consolidation to revisionism of the “CP”USA in 1957. But party building is the central task not the only task as the “left” sectarians hold. The main danger to the Communist and workers movements is revisionism and right opportunism, coming principally from USSR-“CP”SU revisionism in state power, and in the U.S.A., their 5th column “CP”-USA.
That R“CP” and “C”L“P” are no longer in the anti-revisionist communist movement, and main source of revisionism in anti-revisionist communist movement is O.L. who is rapidly consolidating to revisionism – manifested clearly by its menshevik call for a party of the Martov type.
Clearly we see the main danger as revisionism from the right, led by OL in the anti-revisionist communist movement, but at the same time a rising danger has been the “left” infantile sectarianism of the Dangerous Duo – PRRWO & RWL. Both of these lines have been manifest inside our own organization, put forward in essentially menshevik, i.e., hidden and underhanded methods, but we are struggling against “left” and right mensheviks.
3. We held that this is the second stage of the pre-party, party building period. The first being the stage emerging from eclecticism, in which the affirmation of the theory and ideology of M-L-M was key: The second, the present stage, in which the ideological struggle over the correct political line, i.e., the application of the theory of M-L-M to the concrete conditions of proletarian revolution in the U.S.A. is key, and by means of which we will be able to confirm whether comrades are actually practicing M-L-M ideology, i.e., the stand, viewpoint and methodology of the proletariat, dialectical and historical materialism. But we see this key link as an ideological task and we see that there are also organizational tasks even at this stage of the party building period such as study circles, factory nuclei, fractions in mass organizations.
4. We also waged a polemic against and tried to correct the vagueness and misuse of the term ”the 1st period was when ideology was key link”, because it tended to lead to a misunderstanding that the struggle for correct political line was not an ideological task. Just as in the next stage in which organizational tasks of party building will be key, ideological struggle over those tasks will play a crucial part of the completion of those tasks.
We stressed that by theory we meant the summed up experience of the working class movement taken in its general aspect and as put forward chiefly by 5 great teachers – Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao. By ideology (though at times these are used interchangeably) we meant the stand, worldview and methodology of the proletariat, i.e., dialectical and historical materialism.
5. We pointed out how the question of political line being key link had to further the development of a program [i.e., maximum and minimum program and strategy and tactics for carrying them out] around which genuine Marxist-Leninists through ideological struggle can demarcate themselves from the opportunists and therefore principly unite.
And that one clear relationship of the dangerous O.L. party building motion, which was programless, and the erratic “leftism” of the Duo was that neither had or gave priority to program!
6. On the question of advanced worker we held to the essence of Lenin’s definition of 1899 in Russia, but paraphrased it thus: “one who is class conscious, politically active, can win the confidence and trust of the masses, educate and organize the proletariat, studying and actively seeking answers to questions thrown up by the movement and society, consciously accept socialism and will become a communist based on their contact with M-L-M and their active study to turn themselves into Communists”.
But at the same time we recognized the differences in concrete conditions between Lenin’s Russia and the degree of fusion between Revolutionary Marxism and the spontaneous working class movement at that time and in the U.S. today. We held that the productive forces of the U.S. had produced more advanced workers but that because of the absence of a genuine CP and the level of opportunism created by imperialism and the scattered state of the anti-revisionist communist movement, fusion was low.
7. We held that the two most important tactical tasks of this period were “Marxist-Leninists Unite – Win the Advanced to Communism”. We held that Marxist-Leninists unity versus Marxist-Leninists disunity was the principal contradiction among a number of contradictions in party building generally. And that in the entity Marxist-Leninists Unite – Win the Advanced to Communism, the basic initiating form of fusion, which is a fundamental principle of Communist parties, Marxist-Leninists Unite was principal.
Marxist-Leninists unite was principal because it played the leading role, it was the lever, the initiating factor and catalyst that made the entire process Marxist-Leninists Unite – Win the Advanced to Communism happen simultaneously, (though we rejected the equilibrium theory put out by the “left” sectarians, or the separation of the tasks put out by the right.)
8. We held that propaganda was the chief form of practical activity, in this period, but that it was inseparable from agitation. And we put forward that we recognize not merely written propaganda, but uphold all forms that the CI. put forward, i.e., 1. Verbal 2. Participate in workers movement. 3. Written.
In general we raised struggle against the main right danger and the rising “left” sectarian deviation. We tried also to make self criticism for the slowness, and right deviation of our practice around taking clear positions on party building.
During this period in which we put together this paper, RCL (M-L-M) has undergone extremely significant changes. Not only the change from CAP to RCL and what that implies and entails, but because of intensified internal struggle, we saw the crystallization of certain Right lines (tailing O.L.) and “Left” (tailing the Duo) tendencies which have resulted in the ejection and flight of some opportunists and mensheviks. This is a good thing, it is part of the process of bolshevization, a formidable and lengthy process, involving intensive study and training and revolutionary practice and the remoulding of world view in the development of a party which is “fully consolidated ideologically, politically, and organizationally” and comes not merely by proclamation as some of our “instant bolsheviks” seem to think.
People of the World Unite to Smash U.S. Imperialism and U.S.S.R. Social Imperialism – the 2 Superpowers!
Marxist-Leninists Unite – Win the Advanced to Communism!
Defeat Right Opportunism, the Main Danger – Intensify Struggle Against the Rising “Left” Sectarian Deviation!
Build a Revolutionary Marxist-Leninist Communist Party Based On Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought!