First Published: The Call, Vol. 5, No. 27, November 8, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In a recent issue (October 18) The Call exposed the fact that the conference on the international situation which the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) is promoting in New York this month is designed only to cover up the crimes of the two superpowers and the growing war danger.
The October League firmly opposes this conference which initially purported to be a debate among “the three general trends that presently exist” on the questions of “war, revolution and the internationalist tasks of the American people.” The OL opposed it because all three of these “general trends” are opportunist trends which lend support to either one superpower or the other. The conference cannot be considered as a conference to “clarify and debate the main trends on this most timely issue,” among “revolutionary-minded peoples and organizations,” as the RCP claimed (Revolution, Oct. 1). It can only do so by negative example.
The “three general trends” at first identified by the RCP consisted of one line which held that the U.S. is the main danger internationally and should be targeted for the main blow (the line of the centrists like Irwin Silber of the Guardian); a second line held that both superpowers are contending but the main blow should still be directed at the U.S. (presumably this is RCP’s line although in all their muddled writing about this conference they never identify who holds each of the three lines); and a third line held that the Soviet Union alone is the main enemy of the world’s people (represented by William Hinton). Apparently Irwin Silber has now chosen not to participate, fearing exposure of his line. The latest issue of the Guardian tried to put as much distance between the Guardian and the conference as possible. But Silber’s centrist line is still represented with or without his participation.
None of these three lines express the correct assessment that the two superpowers together constitute the main enemy and should be consistently opposed, while striking the main blow at the Soviet social-imperialists who are the more dangerous and the main source of war.
Now the conference has taken a new turn. The October 15 issue of Revolution announces that “to make it easier for some groups to participate, the three lines that the conference was structured around were changed to four.”
What is the new fourth line of the conference? Has the RCP at last seen the bankruptcy of all three formulations and put forward a Marxist-Leninist position?
Hardly. The new fourth line is nothing but an open statement of the views of the Soviet social-imperialists and their CPUSA lackeys: “The Soviet Union is a progressive force and natural ally of the world’s people.”
Under the guise of “broadening the forces” and “making it easier for groups to participate” the RCP is now making it easier for open social-fascist spokesmen like the CP to participate. The debate among what is now termed the “four lines” deliberately obscures the correct Marxist-Leninist line while promoting and giving a platform to revisionists and pro-imperialists of all stripes.
That the conference is pro-imperialist and not anti-imperialist has been made all the clearer with the addition of the social-imperialist line openly stated. Added to this exposure is the list of conference endorsers printed in the October 15 Revolution. The list includes a variety of bourgeois academic Figures as well as spokesmen for notorious imperialist-sponsored groups like the Institute for Policy Studies.
The OL is not opposed to debates with imperialism’s spokesmen and apologists when they are clearly identified as such. We also favor debates among Marxist-Leninists. We challenge the RCP to come out openly and debate the OL on these questions instead of keeping their cadres from reading The Call or attempting to attack the OL by lumping our line with that of William Hinton as they have done around the New York conference.
Merging the four opportunist lines of this conference on the same platform, however, and pretending that they are all “progressive and revolutionary” only serves the interests of imperialism and social-imperialism.