First Published: The Communist, Vol. II, No. 4, December 15, 1975.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In the October 1975 issue of THE COMMUNIST we said:
Both in the BWC and also in the WC(M-L) there have been blatant manifestations of bourgeois ideology around the woman question. There has been blatant male chauvinism and gross failure to meet the standards of proletarian morality...Shameful views and practices as regards to the women question were tolerated if not encouraged in our ranks, buttressed by liberalism and female passivity. (p.3)
The struggle against right opportunism has gone deeply into our own ranks. Shortly after the formation of our organization, we discovered that two leading comrades, a man and a woman, were involved in a hidden adulterous relationship that had existed over a long period of time. This bourgeois decadent relationship had:
1. Destroyed the family of the male comrade.
2. Compromised both comrades in the course of the struggle against petty bourgeois opportunism, limiting our ability to win over honest forces, and leading to mistrust of the leadership of the WC(M-L).
3. Contributed to a lack of confidence among the masses in our leadership, restricting our influence and ability to win the advanced.
4. Stifled the initiative of comrades throughout the organization, promoted liberalism, distrust, and cynicism within the organization.
5. Undermined the struggle to build a multi-national organization as the comrades were of different nationalities.
The facts were fully disclosed, discussed and debated. The two comrades were removed from leadership and placed on disciplinary status within the organization. Full self-criticism has been required and the comrades have been placed under the direction of a district within the organization, to integrate fully with the working masses and to transform their outlook through study, self-criticism, and struggle. Within the organization as a whole, a struggle has been unfolded to deepen our grasp of the woman question and proletarian morality and to root out bourgeois views and practices around these questions, having fresh in our minds the damage we reaped from failing to take up these questions thoroughly in the past. We recognized that this question is of fundamental importance in winning the advanced of the working class in our efforts to build a genuine communist party.
In the course of unfolding this struggle in the organization we have uncovered similar errors which have been sharply struggled against. In all the cases we have found common factors: political dishonesty with the individuals involved as well as with comrades in the organization, ideological backwardness in regards to the woman question, and the use of violence and force against women–an extension of a slave owners mentality.
It is in light of this struggle that the Central Committee of the Workers Congress (M-L) makes a full self-criticism, as it was our own liberalism, our belittling of the woman question in theory and practice, and our capitulation to petty bourgeois democracy which tolerates degeneracy, individualism, and other forms of opportunism, that gave rise to these shameful practices and views, and that served to lower the prestige of revolutionaries in the eyes of the masses. This struggle has had a profound impact on our organization, pointing to the hard and arduous work we face in building a genuine party composed of those who objectively can stand at the head of the mighty working class. We have learned that we must root out all vestiges of bourgeois ideology within our ranks. We have begun to grasp what comrade Stalin meant when he speaks to training cadres and leaders on the basis of their own mistakes and of the Leninist method of self-criticism and ruthless exposure of shortcomings.
It is necessary to fearlessly apply the Marxist scientific method to ourselves, knowing that to discover our shortcomings and mistakes, rather than weaken us internally or in the eyes of the masses, will steel us internally and win the confidence of the working masses.
We have learned that in revolution it is not individuals but Bolshevik standards of leadership that are indispensable.
In making this self-criticism we know that words alone are not enough so we expect that comrades and fellow workers will hold us accountable.