Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Workers Viewpoint Organization

ATM: Social Democrats from the National Movement

Competes with OL to be the Vanguard of the Petty Bourgeoisie


Out of the spontaneous movements of the 1960’s, the salvos of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China and the nine polemics against the modern revisionists, there arose a tremendously powerful movement for the building of the genuine communist party of the proletariat in this country.

But out of many groups, from all backgrounds and histories of struggle, not many made it – not many continue to uphold proletarian revolution and Marxism-Leninism. For those like the WVO, the only circle capable of forming the party of the U.S. proletariat, forging the genuine Communist Party of a new type is of tremendous importance and a great responsibility.

In the past years, we have sorted out the right opportunist Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), the October League (OL), as well as the “left” opportunist Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization (PRRWO) and the Revolutionary Workers League (RWL). Today, because the petty bourgeois ideologists in the August 29th Movement (ATM) refuse to change and instead engage in the worst type of dishonesty, open lying, distortions and other anti-communist activities, they too are being sorted out and discarded by the proletariat.

While some groups like the League for Proletarian Revolution (LPR-Resistencia) and I Wor Kuen (IWK) were never really in the communist movement, and their development in the last year or so is clear evidence of that, some others such as ATM struggled for a time to build the party of the proletariat, the way we did.

Lenin once remarked that some bourgeois intellectuals, (like the ATM leadership and membership and most of the communist movement in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s) “began to study in earnest, to study Marxism and to learn persistent proletarian work – they will always remain Social Democrats and Marxists ...”(Lenin, “The Faction of Supporters of Otzovism and God Builders,” Lenin’s Collected Works (LCW), Vo1. 16, p. 59-61).

But because the ATM. leadership has now-resorted to engaging in lying and other anti-communist activities, even to the extent of uniting with a backward worker in denouncing communism in the molders’ strike, they cannot but be abandoned by the proletariat.

What does some of this dishonesty consist of? What are their stubborn petty bourgeois aspirations, which are hopelessly consolidating into revisionism? They have lied to the entire communist movement in the revolutionary trend concerning the existence of the agreement to build the party based on the revolutionary theory trend. The ATM leadership itself, along with the “old PRRWO” (sic) leadership (as distinct from the “new PRRWO”, as the leadership of ATM would have their membership believe), drafted the principles of unity and proposal for the Party Building Commission, which consisted of PRRWO, ATM, and WVO during the Thanksgiving weekend of Nov. 1975. They have publicly lied about the non-existence of the objective trend based on the 7 points of unity, which resulted from the study of Marxism and criticism of opportunism and revisionism in the U.S. communist movement.

They are drifting hopelessly into the international centrist trend by refusing to believe in the danger of Soviet Social-Imperialism, and refusing to take up the science of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought. They refused to remould their petty bourgeois outlook in the course of class struggle and are now drifting hopelessly into becoming the representatives of the petty bourgeoisie of the Chicano oppressed nationality. They are looking for a piece of land, instead of leading the multinational U.S. proletariat to make proletarian revolution, and, in that context, fighting for the demand and right of secession of the oppressed nations and nationalities.

But ’it is too late,’ as Stalin remarked to the same kind of petty bourgeois nationalists disguised as “communists.” The international and national class struggle has forced them back to what they consider the “safe enclave” of petty bourgeois nationalism, abandoning the real content of the struggles of the oppressed nationalities. Class capitulation will inevitably lead to national capitulation. There is no other course for the ATM.

In the past the comrades in the WVO have greatly respected and learned from ATM comrades. We have tried to struggle with them, though far from consistently and vigorously. The ATM leadership knows our intentions but has ignored the desire for unity-struggle-unity. What has taken place instead is incredible sophistry and desperate maneuverings. We have tried to give the ATM leadership another chance to save themselves. In our last West Coast forum we asked over and over to meet with ATM comrades to try to save them from the marshy road they were travelling. But they essentially refused thru lies and distortions (e.g. raising OL’s favorite PL spectre, quoting from alleged “minutes” of our joint meetings, accusing our chapters of being autonomous, motivating the state to attack WVO), and what’s more, are now in a hopeless and rapid drift into political right opportunism all along the line – for example: busing, ERA, reformism, and the national question. Today, it’s crystal clear to all communists, and even comrades and friends who are just taking up the science of MLMTTT and doing persistent work in the working class, that ATM, in fact, in words and in deeds, is to the right of the thoroughly right opportunist October League. The ATM is the same right, social-democratic trend: social-democrats from the national movement.

It’s no wonder that all genuine communist collectives, one after another, in disdain and contempt, are abandoning ATM and following the leadership of the WVO! (For example, see the statement of the Harriet-Tubman/Nat Turner Collective, as well as others in the future issues of the WVO newspaper.)

The ATM leadership is lying about WVO’s being “imperialist-economist,” it is known to all that WVO has led mass movements of tens of thousands among different oppressed nationalities ATM leadership charged that WVO liquidates the national question, while it is they themselves historically that have not worked or at least worked sporadically and inconsistently in the Chicano national movement or in other national movements. The ATM leadership “quoted” from the alleged minutes “that we think it is narrow to concentrate among the industrial proletariat,” while the real content was precisely to combat the imperialist-economism of ATM, which a year and a half to two years ago held “factory nuclei is key” to party building and when ATM did no work in the Chicano national movement – not a single soul working and no attempt to give leadership to the Chicano movement – and had to get the line on attacks on undocumented immigrant workers from the WVO, who then had no work among the Chicano national movement.

The real struggle was over the importance of the task of Marxist-Leninists unite, to unite genuine M-L forces from all “four corners of the country” from all struggles, all nationalities and all backgrounds, which the ATM leadership consistently belittles. That was one of the main contents of our struggle with the ATM leadership. It was the struggle over their petty bourgeois narrow mindedness, which lacks the proletarian “largeness of mind” that Chairman Mao refers to. It is not by accident. It’s from the same basis that the ATM leadership is adopting the RU’s self-cultivational line on “go to the masses” now, three years after the line was abandoned by genuine Marxist-Leninists, and it is the same basis which is leading the ATM leadership to “confuse” the long term task of party building and the key question on the agenda today – the formation of the Communist Party of the U.S. proletariat.

The ATM stood up and flew a clear banner on the Busing question by laying out an equivocal position, verbally feinting “left” and right and engaging in double talk on this question. Can some “communist” organization who is so “concerned” about the “democratic tasks” and is so “concerned” about the national question, have no position on the busing question, which is splitting up the workers of different nationalities right now?? What does ATM know about the Afro-American national question, Chicano national question, and other national questions except Comintern resolutions and bourgeois history? What do they know about the concrete conditions today!!

The WVO, as all communist organizations, initiated our work among the industrial proletariat as soon as we were formed. Three years ago, even when we were still in the days of the Asian Study Group, we allocated the overwhelming majority of our forces to do work among the proletariat, and secondarily in the national movement itself, but nevertheless doing good work in it taking a vanguard role in some national movement struggles. We would not stoop so low as to pat ourselves on the back, the way ATM does, by claiming how deeply entrenched they are in the industrial proletariat and even help the state by identifying the places and unions comrades belong to.

WVO, like other communist organizations, had a good start. WVO, however, has not flip-flopped in the manner of ATM, which first had no work in the Chicano national movement at all a year and a half ago, while now everything is the national movement and “white skin privilege.”

This “flip” is nothing but ATM’s retreating from the multinational working class struggle; ATM is now increasingly becoming a nest for “white skin privilege” creatures and narrow nationalists. In the past period, as is known to all around the country, organizations based on “white skin privilege” fell apart. But nationally specific revisionist ideological winds still continue to blow. This trend has resurrected itself in the body of ATM. And ATM is increasingly becoming a nest, the comfortable co-existence of narrow nationalists and “skin privilege” white-guilt types.

ATM’s like the scared petty bourgeoisie, who can’t cope with the complex and intense class struggle internationally and nationally and is now looking for a “safe” enclave to hide in the national movement. This is essentially the content of ATM’s line drift, i.e., that party building is a “protracted” process, white skin privilege, narrow nationalism, etc.

Comrades, this is the state of the ATM today, despite their “industrial proletariat” and “national movement” talk. Comrades, industrial proletarian organization plus work in national movements is not in itself Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought, or the party of the proletariat. It can be and is a very convenient cover, a hide-out, for petty bourgeois elements who have been chased out of the most intense class struggle today, the formation of the genuine vanguard party of the U.S. proletariat, in the course of line and actual struggle against the bourgeoisie.

After this over-view of the ATM, comrades, we will in the following go into ATM’s slime, aspect by aspect, line by line, to dissect these thoroughly narrow-minded petty bourgeois ideologists.