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


II. Party Buildng

One year ago, in the late fall and winter of 1975, several communist organizations, including the WVO, RWL, PRRWO, and the ATM, proclaimed the existence of the revolutionary wing of the communist movement, as a concrete manifestation of sorting out between genuine and opportunist Marxist-Leninists. The developing unity between these organizations was to be the basis and core of the future genuine communist party. Then in February and March, 1976, this wing openly broke up as the PRRWO/RWL made their rapid slide into consolidated “left” opportunism.

The formation and break-up of the revolutionary wing is undoubtedly a sharp, complicated, and historic turn in the history of the U.S. anti-revisionist communist movement and the struggle to build the genuine communist party. This sharp turn has caused a number of comrades to lose their bearings temporarily; it has caused a great many opportunists to expose themselves more thoroughly than ever, but it has also consolidated the correct line of the WVO more than ever before.

How should we sum up the revolutionary wing? From our different world outlooks, representatives of different classes and strata will sum it up in diametrically opposed ways.

The PRRWO/RWL, as we stated in July-August, having become a politically dead clique with no ties to the proletarian, national, or any other mass movements, maintains that the revolutionary wing still exists and that they, the “true Bolsheviks,” naturally are it.

The right opportunist OL, who never dared to struggle against the revolutionary wing when it existed nor again PRRWO/RWL’s “left” opportunism when they were not yet defeated and exposed has now come forward to try to pick up some of the pieces, declaring that the revolutionary wing was never anything but an unprincipled “anti-OL” bloc, and that they, the OL, led the struggle against PRRWO/RWL.

To the WVO, the break-up of the revolutionary wing was certainly a bad thing, but by correctly summing it up and successfully waging the fight on two fronts, against right and “left” opportunism, the WVO has definitely emerged as the leading circle in the U.S. The WVO turned the bad thing into a good thing, and the break-up of the revolutionary wing and the ensuing struggle has bought the formation of the genuine communist party nearer than ever before!

And what does the ATM say? As we will see, they have summed up that the revolutionary wing never existed, it was all a big mistake, and there never was any real basis of unity! And this all-round philistine backsliding is washing them straight into the arms of the OL and all the other right opportunists and revisionists, who have summed it up in exactly the same way!

REVOLUTIONARY WING

The ATM says:

ATM and PRRWO struggled out an analysis of the development of the communist movement since the betray of the CPUSA. Our analysis was correct and sharpened our views on a number of questions including the question of ’political line is the key link!’ But, after making this analysis, we draw (sic) some incorrect conclusions, specifically, that two wings existed in the anti-revisionist communist movement. This position, a ’left’ sectarian subjective and idealist view, lead (sic) to a number of errors. By overestimating the development of the subjective factor, the clarity and unity within the communist movement on the basis of line, we concluded that two clearly defined wings had crystallized – one an opportunist wing, the other, the revolutionary wing. Having arrived at this conclusion, what naturally followed was to determine who was in the ’revolutionary wing’ and who was not. This then lead (sic) to sectarian errors on our part. The fact that each organization in the ’revolutionary wing’ had different ’criteria’ for defining who was in the ’wing’ and that the ’wing’ seemed to have a revolving door with organizations going in and out, all attest to the idealist conclusions we drew.

To begin with their methodology, the ATM does not even know how to approach the question of the revolutionary wing’s existence. To answer this, we have to begin with a concrete analysis of the U.S. communist movement in 1975, to determine the key link in the movement at that time and see what correct or opportunist trends were developing around that key link and around other questions. The ATM does not at all begin with a concrete analysis of concrete conditions, which is the soul of Marxism. They do not even try to analyze the state of the communist movement in 1975, the struggle against right opportunism, the struggle for the principal task of party building and for the importance of Marxist theory, and see whether these gave rise to a revolutionary wing. As they describe it, they first “concluded that two clearly defined wings had crystallized,” and then, “having arrived at this conclusion, what naturally followed was to determine who was in the ’revolutionary wing’ and who was not.” First, they declared the existence of their two abstract categories or wings, and then they started looking around in reality to see who would fit into them. That is pure metaphysics, the exact opposite of Marxism. Now they want just as easily to forget about the two wings and deny that they ever existed. The ATM’s consistent method which ignores the concrete time, place, and conditions, whether they happen to be declaring or denying the revolutionary wing’s existence, is the channel for their denial of the rich struggles and the victories we won in the battles of the time.

The revolutionary wing did not come out of nowhere. It was a concrete product of the struggles in the communist movement between 1972-5. As we’ve explained a number of times before, the years 1972-5 were the second period in the communist movement. Party building was the principal task and a correct grasp of the role of Marxist theory was the key link to building the party and moving the whole proletarian struggle forward. It was the struggle over this key link that gave rise first to the revolutionary theory trend in 1974 and then to the revolutionary wing in the next year.

1974: THE REVOLUTIONARY THEORY TREND

Why did the role of theory come to the front as the key question in those three years? It was not by anybody’s whim, or by chance, or because we preferred to read Marxist books, as the right opportunists claimed. It always was not by accident or because of any body’s subjective desires but because of the totality of the objective conditions of the time, which forced to the forefront questions and tasks that demanded answers - the need for revolutionary theory.

The period of the 1960’s, up until 1972, which was the first period in the U.S. communist movement, was a time of tremendous and heroic spontaneous mass struggle and a time of tremendous theoretical confusion and eclecticism. The Communist Party, USA had degenerated into total revisionism in the late 1950’s. Without a genuine communist party to lead those movements and bring Marxism to them, all kinds of revolutionary and seemingly revolutionary theories flourished, from revolutionary nationalism and the theories of Nkrumah, Fanon, and Guevara, to “student vanguard” and “lumpen vanguard” theories and Trotskyism and revisionism. All these contended at the time, and the rising trend of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought had to fight fiercely for its right to exist.

Led by the Revolutionary Union, the advanced elements from these movements, mainly the national and student movements, broke with revisionism and the various petty bourgeois eclectic theories and began adopting some of the fundamentals of Marxism, including the need for armed struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat, the leading role of socialist China and Albania, and the contributions of Stalin. Above all, the young communist movement grasped the key link of that period, which was to uphold the leading role of the proletariat in the U.S. socialist revolution.

By 1972, this break with the cruder aspects of revisionism and acceptance of some of the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought had been in the main consolidated. At the same time, the great mass movements of the previous years dropped to a low. It was these objective conditions that brought the importance of Marxist theory to the forefront.

The task at this point, in the second period, was to use the temporary lull of the mass movements, to take advantage of the “respite”, to sum up the rich lessons raised in practice by the past movements and prepare for the even bigger future mass struggles. The communist movement faced scores of burning questions, including the Marxist class analysis of the U.S., the strategy and tactics for proletarian revolution, the Marxist view of the national question, the women’s question, the international situation, the principal task of party building, the importance of Marxist theory, and so on.

The problem was to sum up all these questions correctly, on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought, and on no other basis. But our communist movement, which had come out of the mass struggles, was relatively rich in practical experience but had little or no training in Marxist theory. This is why we had to raise the importance of Marxist theory as the basis to sum up and solve all the other questions we faced. In this sense, training in the fundamentals of that theory in the process of applying it to the concrete conditions of the U.S. was the pre-condition and foundation for solving all the other burning questions, whether class analysis, party building, the international situation, or any other problem.

The issue of the role of theory did arise in connection with all these problems, and most of all in relation to the principal task of party building. And beginning in late 1973 and continuing through 1974, a broad struggle broke out over this question between Marxism and American pragmatism, and the revolutionary theory trend emerged in struggle against the right opportunists and pragmatists.

The RU, which had played a vanguard role in ending the first period, here came forward as the ringleader of all the right opportunists. The war-cry of these action-freaks against the principal task of party building was their notorious slogan: “Build the struggle, consciousness, and revolutionary unity of the working class and its leadership in the anti-imperialist united front.” The RU glorified the narrow direct experience of the U.S. communist movement, going so far as to deny that the Party Program would not come out of applying Marxist theory and the experience of the international working class to the concrete conditions of the U.S., but would be “fleshed out of the experience that has been accumulated in the last period.” Blinded by their pragmatism, the RU slandered anyone who upheld the importance of Marxist theory and the principal task of party building as “dogmatists” and “sectarians” and countered it with their line of building the mass movement and “practice practice, practice.”

In 1974, the Black Workers Congress (BWC), the PRRWO, WVO, and the ATM all fought the RU’s right opportunism, their distain of theory and blind worship of practice. In that year, these organizations, and some other collectives and comrades around the country who also fought out this line struggle, emerged as the revolutionary trend in opposition to the right opportunist, pragmatist trend headed by the RU. This revolutionary theory trend was no invention, and it did not exist only in peoples’ imaginations. It was a potent material force that saved a good-seized section of the U.S. communist movement from marching into the right opportunist marsh, with the RU, and with their junior partners, the OL, the Guardian, and I Wor Kuen, and all the rest.

1975: THE REVOLUTIONARY WING EMERGES

As the revolutionary theory trend continued and deepened the struggle against right opportunism, the unity of the trend also deepened. The struggle broadened far beyond the central question of the principal task of party building, and in 1975 the two trends had become two wings, the revolutionary and opportunist wings. The revolutionary wing had drawn a correct and absolute line of demarcation against the opportunist wing.

It was the ATM and PRRWO who, in November 1975, proposed to the WVO the formation of a joint Party Building Commission (PBC) in the concrete form of a draft proposal. The basis of unity of this proposed commission was to have been seven points, which reflected the wing’s absolute line of demarcation against right opportunism:

(1) Party Building is the central task of communists.
(2) Political line is the key link.
(3) Right opportunism is the main danger in the workers and communist movements.
(4) Marxist-Leninists unite.
(5) Win the advanced to communism.
(6) Factory nuclei are the basic form of organization.
(7) The right of self-determination for the Afro-American nation.

In addition, the PBC was to carry out joint theoretical work around party building, the domestic situation, the national question, trade union work, the international situation, the history of the communist and workers’ movements in the U.S., and on the program of the party. The PBC was also to organize joint political education for the organizations and joint leadership training conferences. In fact, there was additional unity not mentioned in the seven points, such as propaganda as chief form of activity, the role of theory, nationally specific forms of revisionism, etc. (see PRRWO’s “Party Building in the Heat of Class Struggle.”)

Yet today, trying to exploit people’s ignorance of these facts, the ATM is backsliding miserably, claiming that the revolutionary wing never existed, straight lying, stating it never had a principled basis of unity, that the attempts to unite the WVO, PRRWO, ATM, and later RWL never got anywhere. They are trying to deny their role in proposing the PBC, and later siding with the PRRWO/RWL clique in “kicking” the WVO out of the PBC, when the WVO had already declared its desire to pull out of the PBC after the PRRWO/RWL Menshevik organizational line jumped out.

In 1973, the RU initiated the National Liaison Committee, which also included the BWC, PRRWO and the IWK. While they were publicly telling the communist movement to build the mass movement and the united front, the two-faced RU was trying to knock together their party in the style of capitalist politicians, in the “smoke-filled rooms” behind closed doors. This double dealing and private scheming was the concentrated expression on the organizational front of their right opportunism.

But the PBC proposal was at first a principled party building motion, first of all, because all the organizations involved openly and seriously upheld party building as the principal task, and that is exactly what we were trying to do. We meant what we said. Secondly, it was a principled effort because all the organizations continued to struggle openly over the differences that existed between us.

Most important of all, the unity of the revolutionary wing and the PBC, like the unity of the revolutionary theory trend before them, was principled unity because it was based on the correct struggle between Marxism and pragmatism of the second period, the struggle which drew an absolute line of demarcation between the two definite trends and its organizational representatives (wings), the struggle which reflected the objective conditions and the objective needs of the U.S. proletarian revolution in 1972-5. The revolutionary trend and wing were the representatives of the most advanced and correct direction and line in those years. They were the cream and the concentrated expression of the proletarian struggle that emerged from the second period of the U.S. communist movement.

Deviations, differences, and open struggle never stopped, either in the revolutionary theory trend in 1974 or the wing in 1975. This was one of their great strengths, not their weakness. The line of the revolutionary wing was a product of the class struggle, based on the objective demands of the revolutionary movement and only political swindlers would have tried to promise that struggle would stop.

In the summer of 1975, one of the most dangerous “left” swings occurred. After suffocating under the RU’s “practice, practice, practice” line, the BWC, PRRWO, ATM and others entered the Trotskyite “Communist” League’s party building motion, their National Continuations Committee. The WVO struggled fiercely and openly with the BWC and PRRWO against this deviation, helping them make the break from it.

Later that fall, the PRRWO refused to enter the Puerto Rican Solidarity Day Rally of 17,000 people in support of Puerto Rican Independence, on October 27, 1974. They made this “left” deviation this refusal to go and do communist work, wherever the masses are to be found, on the grounds that the rally was dominated by the revisionist “C”PUSA and the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. The WVO struggled against PRRWO’s “left” deviation of boycotting the rally. The WVO, throughout the course of building the rally, repeatedly struggled with PSP’s international centrism and revisionism, and also spoke at the rally, condemning both U.S. imperialism and Soviet Social-Imperialism and revisionism.

Again in the spring of 1975, in the course of the New York City budget cuts struggle, the WVO polemicized against the PRRWO’s “left” deviations, the “left” line on advanced worker, their separation of party building from the spontaneous mass struggles, their isolation of factory nuclei and fractions from the trade unions and mass work, and their substitution of “left” phrase-mongering for patient, consistent, and concrete exposures of reformist misleaders (see WVO Journal #3, May 1975, p. 36, 44-5). At the same time, in struggling against “left” deviations, we ourselves committed some right deviations and criticized ourselves for them.

These are only a few examples of the constant, open struggle that went on within the revolutionary theory trend and the revolutionary wing during 19 74-1975, a struggle that went on in numerous forums, tours, demonstrations and in daily open class struggle against the bourgeoisie.

The revolutionary, theory trend and the revolutionary wing had a principled, correct, and objective basis of unity, and the open struggle we waged within was principled struggle based on that principled unity. That is the whole point. That is the whole difference between the unity of the revolutionary trend and wing and the sham unity of the RU, OL, and all other opportunists. Yet today, after the wing has broken up, all these opportunists, including the ATM, are trying to deny the principled basis of the revolutionary wing, taking cheap pot-shots at it and trying to wipe it out of history.

The spineless liberal OL never dared even once to struggle against the revolutionary wing in the winter of 1975 and in early 1976, although the wing waged constant polemics against it. The OL never dared to raise their heads. It was not until the wing was openly breaking up in spring 19 76 that the OL sensed the new direction of the wind and started coming out. Only in the summer of 1976, after the WVO had thoroughly routed the PRRWO/RWL’s “left” opportunism, did the OL finally issue their Class Struggle #4-5. And what do they claim? That the revolutionary wing was a “left sectarian”, “unprincipled bloc,” based on “opposition to the OL.” They posed themselves as having led the struggle against PRRWO/RWL’s “left” opportunism, when PRRWO/RWL were already an exposed, isolated clique by the time the OL came out. All this is the OL’s opportunist attempt to pick up whatever pieces they can find after the battle is over and the smoke has cleared. They are correct about only one thing, which is that the revolutionary wing was certainly based on “opposition” to the OL’s revisionism.

The ATM now follows in the OL’s tracks with the very same arguments. They call the entire revolutionary wing only a “left sectarian, subjective and idealist” mistake, which “overestimated ...the clarity and unity within the communist movement on the basis of line.” So we had not drawn an absolute line of demarcation against right opportunism? They negate the struggle led by WVO against the ultra-leftism of PRRWO/RWL and also cover up their own opportunist siding with the “left” opportunists, in the face of the correct line of WVO. And now what does it mean when the ATM says that, “we should have recognized that the revolutionary trend was still young and developing and that while it was our duty to draw lines of demarcation with the leading exponents of opportunism, it was just as much our duty to dedicate ourselves to the theoretical, political, and organizational development of the revolutionary trend. The struggle against opportunism must take place in the process of answering the questions raised by the communist, workers, and national movements and by giving revolutionary leadership to those struggle.”? The ATM means that the revolutionary wing existed only in “opposition” to the opportunists, but had no positive basis of unity. They mean that the wing only waged polemics and fought the opportunists but did not answer the questions raised in the mass movements.

In fact, what kept the revolutionary wing from slaughtering itself into the greater whole – the genuine Communist Party – was mainly our struggle to “answer the questions raised by the communist, workers, and national movements,” our principled ideological struggle over political line in the concrete! Why did we raise the questions over united front from above and below, and its relation to building factory nuclei? Precisely to answer the questions which arose from the workers and national movements – that is, in what instances would we unite to hang the trade union misleaders to serve the factory nuclei in the base, should we unite to support the PSDC and “hang” (expose PSP) to win leadership in the Puerto Rican national movement. Why did the questions of forced busing plans and the ERA come up? Again because these were questions to be answered in order to lead the national and working women’s movements in a communist way and not into the dead-end of the bourgeoisie’s subterfuges. Advanced workers, fusion, the character of the party, etc. – all were questions which the genuine Marxist-Leninists (i.e. the revolutionary wing, at that time) were faced with, and to which we applied MLMTTT to build the genuine Communist Party and push the fusion of MLMTTT with all the spontaneous movements. ATM’s distorted, warped implication that the revolutionary wing didn’t “answer the questions raised by the communist, workers, and national movements” is the same OL slander hurled a t the revolutionary wing(when it existed), that it was all theory and no practice. This is a fundamental unity of the right opportunist ATM and the OL, their total lack of understanding of the necessity to have Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought (as opposed to petty bourgeois nationalism, bourgeois democratic illusions, etc.) always guide our thinking and practice on every question. Where is there one shred of difference between ATM’s claim and the OL’s claim that the revolutionary wing was an “unprincipled anti-OL bloc”?

After the defeat of the 1905 revolution in Russia, the revisionist liquidationist trend arose in the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, a trend of petty bourgeois demoralization that tried to replace the Party’s revolutionary program with reformism, and liquidate the Party organizationally. Criticizing this revisionism, Lenin showed that following the revolutionary period of 1905-7, which brought questions of political strategy and tactics to the front, the objective conditions of the period of bourgeois counter-revolution of 1908-10 inevitably brought the defense of the fundamentals of Marxist theory to the front, the defense of these fundamentals against the liquidationists who were trying to throw it overboard. He showed that these conditions created an objective basis of unity between the Bolsheviks and those Mensheviks, called the pro-Party Mensheviks, who defended Marxism and the Party against the liquidators.

The theory of Marxism, ’the fundamental principles’ of our entire world outlook and of our entire Party programme and tactics, is now in the forefront of all Party life not by mere chance, but because it is inevitable. It was no mere chance that since the failure of the revolution, all classes of society, the widest sections of the popular masses, have displayed a fresh interest in the very fundamentals of the world outlook, including the questions of religion and philosophy, and the principles of our Marxist doctrine as a whole; that was inevitable. It is no mere chance that the masses, whom the revolution drew into the sharp struggle over questions of tactics, have subsequently, in the period characterised by the absence of open struggle, shown a desire for general theoretical knowledge; that was inevitable. We must again explain the fundamentals of Marxism to these masses; the defence of Marxist theory is again on the order of the day. When Trotsky declares that the rapprochement between the pro-Party Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks is ’devoid of political content’ and ’unstable,’ he is thereby merely revealing the depths of his own ignorance, he is thereby demonstrating his own complete emptiness... It was precisely this rapprochement on the question of the fundamental principles of Marxism that constituted the real basis for really harmonious work between the pro-Party Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks during the whole year following the Plenary Meeting. This is a fact – not words, nor promises, nor ’well-meaning resolutions.’ And no matter what differences divided the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks in the past, and will divide them in the future (only adventurers are capable of attracting the crowd with promises that the differences would be set aside, or that they would be ’liquidated’ by this or that resolution) – this fact cannot be expunged from history. Only the internal development of the principal factions themselves, only their own ideological evolution, can provide the guarantee that the factions will really be abolished as a result of their drawing closer together, as a result of their being tested in joint work. (Lenin, “The State of Affairs in the Party,” 1910, LCW, vol. 17, p. 34-5, emphasis in original.)

There was an objective basis for the unity of the revolutionary theory trend and the revolutionary wing, which were the inevitable products of the line struggle of the second period between Marxism and American pragmatism. The wing has since broken up; the internal development of the PRRWO/RWL has turned them into an isolated “left” opportunist clique, while the internal development of the ATM has carried them to right opportunism and social democracy.

And certainly one crucial basis for the revolutionary wing’s disintegration was ATM’s own opportunism in first lining up with PRRWO’s otzovist clique’s “left” line in opposing WVO’s correct line, and then thru appeasing that opportunist line getting purged themselves, and then denying the entire basis of unity and flipping to the right (to the right of even OL’s revisionism on most questions now). This is consistent with ATM’s opportunist leadership’s joint Central Committee contract with the notorious salesman, MLOC, in Sept.-Oct. 1975. On that question, WVO and PRRWO struggled with ATM. Later, the ATM leadership made a “self-criticism” for their marriage to MLOC, which they described as another ”impetuous move.” Is the ATM leadership consistently “impetuous”? With one party building plan after another, first “C”L, then MLOC, then the wing, and now a so-called “protracted” party building plan? Honest cadre in the ATM must answer this question!

But no matter what differences existed between the WVO, PRRWO, RWL, and ATM before the revolutionary wing formed, during its existence, or since, the principled, correct, objective basis of unity that existed in 1974-5 cannot be wiped out or denied, either by the OL’s revisionism or by the repeated, spineless, opportunist backsliding of the ATM.

REVERSING THE CORRECT VERDICTS OF THE SECOND PERIOD

The OL’s and LPR’s attacks on the revolutionary Wing and their attempts to discredit it come as no surprise at all, and is nothing new for them, because both of them were always in the opportunist wing. But for the ATM, who was in the revolutionary wing, their attacks and attempts to discredit the wing take the form of attempts to reverse the correct verdicts of the second period.

Beginning in 1975, in China, the capitalist-roader Teng Hsiao-ping whipped up the Right Deviationist Wind. His attempts to overthrow the proletarian dictatorship in China took the form of reversing the correct verdicts, the correct lines, that were developed and consolidated during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960’s.

The ATM plays the same opportunist backsliding role today. Their denial of the revolutionary wing is the denial of the representatives of the correct line in the second period of 1972-5, and the entire struggle against RU, OL, and other right opportunists. This is just the beginning, which leads them to deny all the correct verdicts of the second period, to deny the absolute line of demarcation against right opportunism, and to backslide straight into the pragmatist arms of the RU and the OL. This is inevitable. Today, the ATM has swallowed hook, line and sinker, the pragmatist line of these opportunists, and is in fact now sinking to a level lower than RU and OL ever attained. The ATM is indeed a “better defender of the RU and OL’s line than the RU and OL themselves!!”

ATM PICKING UP THE ABANDONED GARBAGE OF THE RU AND OL: SOME LESSONS OF THE SECOND PERIOD

The key link in the second period was the correct grasp of the importance of Marxist theory. The struggle against pragmatism went to the very root of the Marxist theory of knowledge, of Marxist philosophy, to the question of the relationship of theory and practice, of being and consciousness.

Today we can sum up the whole pragmatist philosophy pushed by the opportunist trend in the second period as the rejection and vulgarization of the following statement:

The Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism has two outstanding characteristics. One is its class nature: it openly avows that dialectical materialism is in the service of the proletariat. The other is its practicality: it emphasizes the dependence of theory on practice, emphasizes that theory is based on practice and in turn serves practice. (Mao, “On Practice,” Selected Works, vol. 1, p. 297)

First, Marxism has a definite class nature, serving the proletariat and no other class. In class society, every philosophy, world outlook, idea, emotion, etc. serves and is stamped with the brand of a definite class. In modern society, every ideology in the last analysis serves either the proletariat or the bourgeoisie. Or as Marx first put it, man’s social being determines man’s consciousness. This is the cardinal rule of Marxist materialism.

All opportunists and revisionists must evade this cardinal rule, for a clear analysis of the class nature of their line, outlook and actions would expose their bourgeois character. Revisionists around the world push “above-class” ideology and politics, such as “art for art’s sake,” “above-class love,” “pure science,” “non-class, neutral government,” and similar trash. These are only a few examples of revisionism’s cruder forms. In a far more sophisticated way, revisionists in every country appeal to those bourgeois trends of thought, theories, slogans, tendencies, insinuations, and rumors that are the most deeply rooted historically. These deep-seated bourgeois ideological trends are the hardest for the masses to recognize and struggle against because they are “second nature” and their connection to property relations, class interests and class struggle is most obscured.

In China, all revisionists use Confucianism. This slave-owning ideology has been passed down and “enriched” by every reactionary ruling class in’ China, and today the revisionists propagate this deeply rooted ideology, with its ideas that women should serve men, manual labor is inferior to mental labor, the rulers are born to rule, and the oppressed should be benevolent to their oppressors, etc., in order to weaken and overthrow the proletarian dictatorship. No other ideology in socialist China serves this sinister purpose so well.

In the U.S., the RU built themselves up on American pragmatism, and their slogans of vulgar “practice,” “experience,” and “sum ups”. Faced with Marxist criticism, they immediately invented whole fake theoretical systems and even fake periods in the communist movement to justify their right opportunism, their downgrading of the importance of theory and party building. Here is one of their sinister inventions, to justify their quick flip in 1974 from building the mass movement to building the party for the “brief period ahead.”

Several years ago and right up to this historical point, building the new Party was not the main task because the young communist movement in this country had not accumulated enough practical experience in mass struggle, and also didn’t have enough experience in applying Marxist-Leninist, theory to summing up this experience in order to advance the mass movement. Now there is enough experience. Now we can apply Marxism-Leninism systematically to that experience in order to sum it up, draw the correct lessons from it through principled ideological struggle, and in that way unite around the correct line for making revolution in the U.S. and create a concrete programme that can serve as the basis of the Party’s work. (Red Papers #6)

Without the slightest analysis of the progress and content of the line struggles in the communist movement, or of the ebb and flow of the mass movements, and resting entirely on their blanket claim, that before we “had not accumulated enough experience” whereas “now there is enough experience”, the RU invented two periods in the communist movement to justify their maneuvering. The RU gave us their slogans of “experience,” “sum ups,” and “practice,” along with “historical points” and “periods” for that needed “theoretical” touch, all rolled up into one to cover up their rampant bourgeois pragmatism.

As we will see, in their analysis of the periods in the communist movement, the ATM shows the same total inability to grasp the actual content of the movement’s line struggles and the actual key link, and to reveal their connection to changes in the mass movements. The ATM is absolutely unable to show why the periods in the communist movement inevitably advance on the basis of the changing objective conditions. The ATM uses the same philistine method when they speak of the “old PRRWO” and the “new PRRWO”, while being totally unable to show the class and national trends that PRRWO represent ed and which caused PRRWO’s degeneration.

Chairman Mao’s second point was the practicality of Marxist philosophy, its emphasis of the dependence of theory on practice. In the Marxist theory of knowledge, practice is the sole criterion of truth.

True to their mechanica1 materialism, the RU vulgarized Marxism’s practicality and absolutized the dependence of theory on practice, claiming that theory could never play the principal role in the contradiction between theory and practice. They were completely blind to the feature of dialectical materialism that distinguishes it from mechanical materialism:

True, the productive forces, practice and the economic base generally play the principal and decisive role; whoever denies this is not a materialist. But it must also be admitted that in certain conditions, such aspects as the relations of production, theory and the superstructure in turn manifest themselves in the principal and decisive role...The creation and advocacy of revolutionary theory plays the principal and decisive role in those times of which Lenin said, ’Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement’... (Mao, “On Contradiction,” Selected Works, p. 336)

The RU came up with gems like this:

Lenin stressed that ’there can be no revolutionary movement without revolutionary theory.’ But he also emphasized that there could be no revolutionary movement without the ’real moving force of history the revolutionary struggle of classes.’

Arguments like “Lenin stressed... But he also emphasized...,” which seem innocent enough at first glance, are actually pure eclecticism aimed at pitting the importance of theory and party building against the importance of practice, denying the former, and leading to bowing to spontaneity and blind practice.

As we will see, the ATM has now picked up the RU’s old banner. From PRRWO/RWL’s degeneration into “left” opportunism, the ATM has concluded that they only had “paper unity,” “unity in words” with PRRWO/RWL, and that from now on “unity must be based on line and practice.” Like the RU’s eclectic trick, the ATM statement actually pits practice as the sole criterion of truth against Chairman Mao’s thesis that “the correctness or incorrectness of the ideological and political line decides everything,” with the sole aim of undermining the latter.

THE ATM’S PERFECT TRIADS

Speaking of the party building task, the ATM wrote:

This task can be broken down into three component parts – ideological, political, and organizational.

ATM views this period as one in which Marxist-Leninists, with the party-building movement, have in the main, made an ideological break with revisionism. We have reaffirmed the principles of Marxism-Leninism and arrived at unity and clarity on the question of the state, armed struggle, the nature of imperialism, etc...the primary task facing us now is the application of the principles of Marxism-Leninism to the concrete conditions facing the proletariat in the USNA – the further development of political line. ATM sees that at this stage – Political Line is key!

We therefore view the lie that ’Ideology is Key’, as a right deviation...

The line that holds ’Organization is Key,’ is a left deviation (Revolutionary Cause, Vol. 1, No. 1, Nov. 1975, p. 1, 4)

And so, for the ATM, the entire struggle to build the genuine communist party falls into this perfect triad, the flawless sequence from ideology to politics to organization. Today, we have in the main made an ideological break with revisionism, and “therefore”, to say that ideology is key, is a right deviation and to say that organization is key is a “left” deviation.

Beyond the article’s opening sentence which mentions the betrayal of the “C”PUSA, there is not one word on the real world, on the actual development of the communist and mass movement. There is not one word on the actual content of the line struggles on party building, on the importance of theory for a nascent communist movement, on the national question, or any other, nor on the ebbs and flows of the mass movements, which are the real basis for determining the key link. The key link to party building is the principal contradiction in the process, which sums up the actual development of the struggle and which, when grasped tightly will advance the whole process. Apart from an analysis of these objective causes, all talk about the key link remains phrase-mongering and playing with words.

The ATM rejects Lenin’s view that objective causes, independent of peoples’ will, give rise to ideological and organizational bases for unity, as well as to changes in the working class and communist movements, to the tasks of the communist movement and to inevitable deviations from those tasks, and that the recognition and struggle against the danger of those deviations paves the way to real, principled unity:

...long ago, a number of profound objective causes, independently of the particular composition of the ’given persons, groups and, institutions’... began to bring about and are steadily continuing to bring about in the two old and principal Russian factions of Social-Democracy changes that create – sometimes undesired and even unperceived by some of the ’given persons, groups and institutions’ - ideological and organizational bases for unity... These objective conditions simultaneously give rise to inseparably interconnected changes in the character of the working class movement, in the composition, type, and features of the Social-Democratic vanguard, as well as changes in the ideological and political tasks of the Social-Democratic movement. Hence, the bourgeois influence over the proletariat that gives rise to liquidationism...and otzovism... is not an accident, nor evil design, stupidity or error on the part of some individual, but the inevitable result of the action of these objective causes, and the super-structure of the entire labour movement in present-day Russia, which is inseparable from the ’basis’. The realisation of the danger, of the non-Social-Democratic nature and harmfulness to the labour movement of both these deviations brings about a rapprochement between the elements of various factions and paves the way to Party unity ’despite all obstacles.’ (Lenin, “Notes of a Publicist.” 1910. Against Liquidationism, p. 79. Also LCW, Vol. 16)

The Russian communist movement, which the ATM is trying to mimic, did not follow their perfect triad at all. From 1884-94, the struggle against Narodism centered on the development of capitalism in Russia, on questions of political economy. From 1894-98, and 1898-1902, the struggle against Legal Marxism and Economism focused on the relations of spontaneity and consciousness, on the importance of theory, on questions of philosophy. From 1902-04, the struggle against Menshevism turned on opportunism on the Party rules, on organizational questions. From 1904-07, the struggle shifted to political strategy and tactics of the 1905 revolution. And after the revolution’s defeat, attention returned to questions of theory and philosophy.

“OLD” AND “NEW” PRRWO??

The ATM shows the same total ignorance of the objective class and national bases for political trends and deviations when they claim that the former and present PRRWO are two different organizations, due to the purging of the honest cadres:

...the PRRWO we will be polemicizing with and the ’old’ PRRWO we had ’growing unity’ with are two distinct organizations...

When PRRWO purged them [the honest cadres in PRRWO] they purged their revolutionary history, their revolutionary practice and their ties to the masses. And this is precisely why we speak of the ’new’ PRRWO, for it has nothing in common with the PRRWO of recent history, that history of struggle has been purged. (Revolutionary Cause, Vol. 1, No. 7, July 1976, p. 1, 8, emphasis in original)

What “two distinct organizations”! Our task is to explain the process of degeneration of PRRWO from good to bad, the growth of PRRWO’s former incorrect tendencies into dominant trends that turned it into its opposite.

The germs of all of the PRRWO’s “left” opportunist lines of 1976 were manifested as “left” deviations of one form or another by PRRWO in 1974, during the struggle against right opportunism. Their “left” swing into the Trotskyite “C”L motion, their “left” deviations on the definition of advanced worker, on the relationship of party building and factory nuclei to mass work and of theory to practice, on the task of exposing the misleaders, and so on, all matured in 1976 into a consolidated “left” opportunist trend. The ideological basis for this growth of opportunism from childhood to adulthood was the PRRWO’s petty bourgeois nationalism and dogmatism. Instead of constantly criticizing and repudiating these bourgeois trends, the PRRWO built on them in their hustler style and degenerated into a “left” opportunist clique. (See WV Journal #4). The “two distinct organizations” do not exist! There is only the growth of opportunism in one and the same organization that finally turned it into its opposite. The ATM scratches at the surface, the external appearance, and completely evades the internal development of the trends PRRWO represented.

“Purges,” too, do not explain a damn thing about PRRWO’s degeneration. Here the ATM again stops short at the appearance, because the purges and PRRWO’s “left” anarchist method of struggle were only some of the results and manifestations of the PRRWO’s degeneration. The whole question is, why did PRRWO degenerate in the first place? What internal basis and external conditions existed for this to happen?

The ATM tells a story of how “Trotskyite elements assumed complete control of PRRWO” (RC, Vol. 1, No. Oct. 1976, p. 3) then “purged” all good elements and destroyed the organization. First of all, who are the “Trotskyite” elements who assumed control?? PRRWO has had the same chairwoman, their main “ideological leadership”, as before! But without criticizing the ideological and class and national trends that caused PRRWO’s degeneration, it remains a false, catchy story. This is nothing but catering to some ex-PRRWO cadre who themselves are unable to use Marxism to explain the degeneration of PRRWO, who themselves carried out the PRRWO’s line but who still sum-up the degeneration of PRRWO as the evil work and design of certain individuals. No. ATM still can’t explain it. This is all from some ex-PRRWO cadre.

In the one place where they deal with this, the ATM says:

Throughout its history, even at its highest level of Marxist-Leninist development, the PRRWO had only weak connections with the industrial proletariat. Moreover, the social basis of their organization, as they once explained to us, was of people from families new to the working class – in it for only a generation or two...This, combined with their coming out of a movement of an oppressed nationality, provide the fertile social base for ’leftism’. (RC, Vol. 1, No. 9, October 1976, p. 8)

Why “leftism”? Why not right opportunism and revisionism? Why didn’t PRRWO degenerate, say, in the direction of the revisionist PSP or the OL? In their petty bourgeois nationalist and mechanical materialist manner, the ATM has always held that a basis in the oppressed nationalities is a solid proletarian basis “...the leading communist organizations are primarily made up of oppressed nationalities coming from the national movements in country. (RC, Vol. 1, No.12 1976, p. 8)

Isn’t this the same gem that the PRRWO clique themselves claimed is the basis of their “100% Bolshevism”?

What this “old PRRWO, new PRRWO”, the fake analyses of PRRWO’s social basis and the ATM’s denial of the revolutionary wing all confirm is that the ATM cannot explain whether their former “growing unity” and their present break with PRRWO are on a principled basis. This “old PRRWO, new PRRWO” is an evasion of a real settling of accounts with PRRWO, which exposes the ATM’s analysis of their former unity and present split with PRRWO for what they are: opportunist maneuvering and infighting.

ALL INNER-PARTY STRUGGLE IS TWO-LINE STRUGGLE

A last example of the ATM’s above-class view of struggle is their view of inner-party struggle:

...not all struggles which occur in the course of our work is ’two-line struggle’. (RC, Vol. 1, No. 9, Oct. 1976, p. 3)

This is not opportunism, but barefaced revisionism. In class society, every idea is stamped with the brand of a class, and every difference and struggle between ideas is two-line struggle, reflecting the class struggle between the proletariat and bourgeoisie in society. There are no exceptions.

Every difference in men’s concepts should be regarded as reflecting an objective contradiction.

Opposition and struggle between ideas of different kinds constantly occur within the Party; this is a reflection within the Party of contradictions between classes and between the new and the old in society. (Mao, “On Contradiction,” 1937, Selected Works, Vol. 1, p. 317}

This example alone shows that when the ATM criticized PRRWO’s absurd “left” opportunist method of struggle through purges (which views all differences which objectively reflect different class views, between old and new, and view all these contradictions among comrades as antagonistic and thus resolve them through purges) the ATM, however, in a flip, was coming from their own revisionist viewpoint, their consistent denial of the class nature of ideology and line struggle.

DECISIVENESS OF LINE

The main lesson the ATM has drawn from PRRWO’s “left” opportunism is unity must be tested in practice:

How can unity of Marxist-Leninists, on the basis of line, be hammered out in the absence of practice – in the absence of matching words with deeds? We hold it cannot. (RC, Vol. I, No. 7, July 1976, p. 12)

The most important part of this process [of party building] is the TESTING of the political line in practice.

It is this testing of views, of stated unities, in the crucible of mass struggle which will allow us to develop the solid basis of programmatic’ unity. This component must be taken into account and made a central part of any real viable plan for party building. (RC, Vol. 1, No. 8, p. 7)

A party can be forged only through the principled ideological and political struggle and the forging of unity on the political line – WHICH UNITY IS TESTED IN PRACTICE OVER A PROTRACTED PERIOD OF TIME! (RC, Vol. 1, No. 9, Oct. 1976, emphasis in original)

We hold that in the building of the genuine communist party, the correctness or incorrectness of the ideological and political line decides everything, which in no way contradicts the primacy of practice but follows from it. But the statements of ATM, which seem to reaffirm the Marxist view that practice is the sole criterion of truth, are actually aimed at undermining the decisiveness of the correct line and theory. Chairman Mao explained the whole relationship between the correctness of the line and the test of practice:

Marxists hold that man’s social practice alone is the criterion of the truth of his knowledge of the external world. What actually happens is that man’s knowledge is verified only when he achieves the anticipated results in the process of social practice (material production, class struggle or scientific experiment). If a man wants to succeed in his work, that is, to achieve the anticipated results, he must bring his ideas into correspondence with the laws of the objective external world; if they do not correspond, he will fail in his practice. After he fails, he draws his lessons, corrects his ideas to make them correspond to the laws of the external world, and can thus turn failure into success... (Mao, “On Practice,” 1937, Selected Works, Vol. 1, p. 297)

Precisely because practice is the only test of truth, our success in our work depends entirely on the correctness of our line, the correspondence of our ideas to the laws of the objective world. The truths that “practice is the sole criterion of truth” and “the correctness or incorrectness of the ideological and political line decides everything,” which the ATM eclectically counterposes, are two sides of the single, integral Marxist theory of knowledge. But the way ATM understands it, the view that the “...line decides everything” must be an idealist statement!

Since the break-up of the revolutionary wing, the ATM has been singing “the test of practice” in every tone. For them to be doing this today is to divert us from developing programmatic elements, the lines of the party program, and return us to the narrow empiricism of the old RU It essentially blocks the unity of genuine communists based on agreement on political line and correct orientation. It reduces to the same old opportunist maneuvering of the OL and IWK, who see “joint practice” as the basis of unity in attempt to straightjacket genuine communists’ struggles for correct orientation and correct tactics to guide our work as well as to sum up our work to move steadily forward, step by step. The ATM further confuses the fact that correct link up of theory and practice struggles against the two-pole deviation of empiricism and dogmatism; organizational amateurishness is itself part of the question of the correctness or incorrectness of ideological and political line. By viewing “practice” as something separate from the line itself, this is no doubt another new height of right opportunism for the ATM, right after their Menshevik line of “not all struggle is line struggle.”

THE PARTY PROGRAM AND THE ATM’S “TEST OF PRACTICE”

Take any of the political issues of the party program we must develop, lines that guide the future course of our revolution, such as the class analysis of U.S. society, and the strategy and tactics for revolution, includes the main force of the revolution, the national movements and other direct reserves, the use of indirect reserves, the direction of the main blow, etc. The unity of Marxists, around such lines is a burning practical issue in building the genuine Communist Party. What will the ATM’s “test of practice over a protracted period of time” amount to here?

It will mean putting off the formation of the genuine Communist Party until after the revolution, because such programmatic lines will be fully confirmed in practice only by the success of the revolution itself. For example, as early as 1905, on the eve o the first Russian revolution, Lenin formulated the strategic line for the two stages of the Russian revolution, saying that the proletariat would accomplish the bourgeois democratic revolution by allying itself to the mass of the peasantry to overthrow tsarism and feudalism, and then would accomplish the socialist revolution by allying itself to the poor peasants and semi-proletarians to overthrow capitalism. When can we say that the correctness of this line was fully confirmed in practice? In the 1905 revolution, which was unsuccessful? No. During World War I? No. It was not until 1918, after the success of both stages of the revolution, that the correctness of the line was fully proven in practice and Lenin wrote:

Things turned out just as we said they would. The course taken by the revolution confirmed the correctness of our reasoning. First, with the ’whole’ of the peasantry against the monarchy... Then, with the poor peasants, with the semi-proletarians, with all the exploited, against capitalism... (Lenin, “The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky,” 1918, FLP)

In 1905, on the basis of Lenin’s theory, the Bolsheviks split with the Mensheviks, united their own ranks around this strategic line and strove to direct the revolution in that direction. But the ATM would have to say that in 1905 the Bolsheviks had no basis to unite or do any of this because Lenin’s theory had not been “tested in practice over a protracted period of time”!

In our revolution, take the concept of the direction of the main blow, which holds that in advanced capitalist countries, the trade union and other militant misleaders of the masses, the representatives of labor aristocrats and militant petty bourgeois misleaders, are the most dangerous social props of the monopoly capitalists, and that to achieve the revolution communists must direct our main exposures not only against the ruling class, but against these misleaders and show their connection in the U.S. Communist movement, the WVO has fought the revisionist line of the OL, who has held that the liberal and militant union misleaders are “direct reserves” of the proletariat and not dangerous agents of the bourgeoisie in the workers’ ranks. We particularly struggled in 1974-5 against the OL’s total trust in Arnold Miller of the United Mine Workers, who is now thoroughly exposed to the mass of mineworkers as a militant company agent for his opposition to the wave of miners’ wildcats over the last year and a half.

The results of the struggle over Arnold Miller is certainly some proof of the correctness of our line. But first of all, the idea of the direction of the main blow will not be fully confirmed for the U.S. until the U.S. proletariat achieves the dictatorship of the proletariat by following this strategic line. Second, and more important, the task for the communist vanguard is to fight the revisionism of the “C”PUSA and others like the OL and RU before everything is clear to everybody from practice, for that is the whole role of a real vanguard (to wrest the mass influence and advanced workers away from them, that is, if the misleaders have any).

On the basis of the theory of Marxism, with or without the experience of Arnold Miller or any other individual misleader, we know that the strategic concept of the direction of the main blow is absolutely correct, and we unite our ranks and guide our work along this line, in full confidence that our practice will confirm this line’s correctness. That is the only correct approach to developing these programmatic lines, which bring the correctness of the line and the universal truth of Marxism to the front.

The extreme tailism and empiricism of the ATM’s approach is crystal clear. It is extreme tailism because it essentially says that the party program cannot be written and the party cannot be formed until after the revolution. It is extreme empiricism because it narrows the scope of the program to the scope of that which can be directly “tested in practice,” a line which the RU is even trying now to abandon in their latest flip to “theory in its own right.”

No wonder, then, that while the WVO is focussing on developing the strategy and tactics for our revolution and beginning to test them in our practice, the ATM sums up lessons from their practice like “the training of party cadre is a long and protracted process” (RC, Vol. 1, No. 8, p. 9). The training of cadres to implement the line is certainly a long-term process, but to be raising such things as the main lessons of their work, while the ATM has an incorrect political line, is to backslide right into the RU’s blind practice line, drawing extremely harmful conclusions such as “the program can be fleshed out” of the “immediate experience” of the last few years.”

In 1974, the RU claimed that the party program would be “fleshed out of the experience that has been accumulated in the last period.” Today, the ATM says the “most important part” of the party building process is “the TESTING of the political line in practice,”, “which will allow us to develop the solid basis of programmatic unity,” and that this must be “a central part” of party building. The identity of their views is too obvious.

FROM ATM’S ’OLD PRRWO’, ’NEW PRRWO’ TO ATM’S UNITY WITH ’OLD CL,’ ’NEW CL,’ AND ’OLD MLOC,’ ’NEW MLOC’

In 1974, the ATM entered the “C”L’s National Continuations Committee, which was based on the “C’L’s Trotskyite revisionist line. In late 1975, they tried to bring the Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee (MLOC) into the revolutionary wing, but were defeated by the WVO and PRRWO, who opposed them. Between 1974-6, the ATM had very close relations with the PRRWO and nearly merged with them at one time. At various times, the ATM nearly consolidated its unity with all of these opportunist and revisionist forces, and they have since summed up that the problem was that they only had “paper unity,” “unity in words but not in deeds.” For example, the ATM claims that they and PRRWO drew this line of demarcation with the MLOC:

That communists who did not match words with deeds were not communists at all, that unity must be based on line and practice, which also included but was by no means restricted to the theoretical and political struggle against opportunism, and it has been precisely on this basis that we [PRRWO and ATM] had united on the fact that MLOC’s line was opportunist. MLOC writes and speaks very pretty but one thing they cannot address themselves to is any history of struggle nor any current practice – they have none! Only polemics and ’line struggle’ in coalitions – so this is the only ’practice’ they can speak of, and then act as if that is enough testing of genuine communists. (RC, Vol. 1, No. 7, July 1976, p. 9)

First, in retrospect, in November 1975, the ATM did not at all “unite on the fact that MLOC’s line was opportunist,” but actually tried to persuade the WVO and PRRWO that the MLOC should be in the revolutionary wing, and it was only the WVO and PRRWO’s struggle against this that won them away from the MLOC. This fact alone, and the ATM’s attempts to evade it today are enough to expose their opportunist maneuvering and lack of principle.

But more to the point, is it MLOC’s problem that they “write and speak very pretty,” but have no “history of struggle nor any current practice”? Absolutely not! The WVO thinks the MLOC writes and speaks in the ugly manner of revisionists who are trying to cash in on the correct struggle against right opportunism, as well as having a total lack of roots in the working class or national movements. In 1975, the MLOC mouthed a few slogans, such as “Theory is decisive” and “Party building is the central task,” and tried to sneak into the revolutionary wing. At the same time, they exposed their opportunist nature by raising their cry to “Unite!” above the need for unity based on Marxist principles, and defended everybody, even opportunists, by saying that “everybody stands abreast” in the struggle to build the party. (For this and more, see “MLOC: Intriguing and Conspiring for a Revisionist Clique,” WVO newspaper, Nov. 1976).

The problem was never that the MLOC said the right things but had no practice, and that this “paper unity” fooled the ATM. The MLOC said and believes in revisionist things, and that is exactly what they did in action later by trying to unite with every conceivable form of opportunism, the OL, IWK, etc., etc. And the reason the ATM almost united with the MLOC is because they could not distinguish the correct line from incorrect lines, real Marxism from the MLOC’s revisionism!

The same goes for the “C”L and PRRWO. The “C”L’s line in 1974 showed them to be a bunch of Trotskyite revisionists, and that is exactly what they proved to be. The PRRWO committed “left” deviations and they degenerated precisely into a “left” opportunist clique. All these opportunists practiced the very opportunist things they said and wrote! The reason the ATM almost united with all of them is not because these opportunist managed to cover their opportunist practice with “pretty words,” but because the ATM did not grasp Marxism well enough to see the opportunism of both their words and deeds!

The ATM’s statement that the MLOC is opportunist only because they have no practice is exactly in the style of the RU, who in 1974 said the “C”L was reactionary not because they were Trotskyite, but because they didn’t link theory and practice. At that time, we asked the RU: if the “C”L did link their Trotskyite theory with Trotskyite practice, would they be any less reactionary? The RU was trying so hard to convince everybody that theory was never important and only one’s practice was, that they went so far as to judge Trotskyites by their ability to link theory and practice!

A NEW LOW

In the latest issue of their newspaper, the ATM’s struggle against the WVO, the leading circle, has forced them to a new low, which fully confirms the depth of their betrayal of the proletariat:

WVO has said that they are now the ’practical center’ of our movement. Let’s look at some of their practice.

In the United Autoworkers Union in Northern California, the WVO has not led a single struggle, although they are members of that union in the area. Rather, they have contented themselves with putting out an 8-page propaganda leaflet...

The ATM cannot even pretend that this is a theoretical criticism of the WVO’s line. Such rumor-mongering about the unions WVO is supposed to be working in or our “autonomous” cadres in California are nothing but police work, pure and simple!

The ATM accuses us of focussing on the communities and schools and not on the factories. From our earliest days, we have always put the bulk of our cadres in the factories and workplaces, for this is an essential aspect of the bolshevization of communist organization. But we have never liquidated our work in the national and student movements, and we continue to lead many struggles. We struggled against the ATM, who in 1975 had completely eliminated all work in the national movements and had all but wiped out work in the student movement.

We have never said that factory work and factory nuclei “narrows the outlook of communist organizers,” or any such nonsense. We did struggle against the ATM’s worship of “factory nuclei as the key link to party building,” which they practiced at the expense of uniting Marxist-Leninists from all parts of the country and from all nationalities. The ATM’s downgrading of this task of uniting Marxists nationwide and multinationally definitely was a form of economist narrowness.

The ATM has sunk to these depths because their renegade backsliding on the importance of theory and the decisiveness of line forces them to try to “expose” the WVO for its “lack of practice.” “Let’s look at some of their practice,” disdainful remarks about “eight-page propaganda leaflets,” accusations of “windbagging,” snide remarks about “insufferably boring newspaper,” “not leading the working class or any national movement,” “intellectualist academics who take pride in conferring generalships on each other,” and so on.

We have heard it all before, from the RU and the OL, vintage 1972-5. For three years they railed against the “dogmatists” who have “no practice,” who sit “in closets,” read too many books and write “boring long leaflets and newspapers,” who talk only in the “abstract.” The RU and OL could not say the word “theoretician” without sneering. And every word the ATM utters today reeks of the same right opportunist renegacy!

The style of work of linking theory and practice is one of the three great styles of work summed up by the CPC, which all communists must strive towards, and which also includes the styles of maintaining close ties with the masses and of being bold in making criticism and self-criticism. The WVO holds that mastering these three styles of work is a long-term task of every communist party.

Anyone who upholds the importance of these three styles of work will certainly maintain vigilance against our weaknesses in them and strive to correct all deviations from them.

PARTY BUILDING: “PROTRACTED STRUGGLE” OR NEARER THAN EVER BEFORE?

The inevitable, grand-total conclusion of all the ATM’s right opportunist backsliding:

...party building, like our revolution itself, will be a protracted process in the U.S. (RC, Vol. 1, No. 8, p. 7, emphasis in original)

The ATM can draw no other conclusion, for it is the only conclusion anyone can draw from their backsliding on the existence of the revolutionary wing and the struggle against right opportunism.

Stunned by the sharp turn in the party building struggle, by the formation and break-up of the revolutionary wing, the ATM totally lost their bearings and drifted to the extreme right, to their extreme underestimation of- the situation, until now they see the formation of the genuine communist party as a distant end in itself, instead of as a means to the goal of proletarian revolution.

This confirms their extreme petty bourgeois pessimism more tersely and boldly than anything else.

The WVO has drawn another conclusion. We initiated the struggle against the “left” opportunist PRRWO/RWL and defeated them, while we continued the struggle against the right opportunist RCP and OL, and now against the ATM too. The success o this fight on two fronts has confirmed that the line of the WVO is the correct line in the U.S. communist movement and that the WVO is the leading circle, the only organization that can serve as the base of operations for the formation of the genuine communist party!

The PRRWO/RWL are a politically dead clique. The best elements from the break-up of the revolutionary wing have rallied and are rallying around the WVO and liquidating themselves to join the leading circle and form the communist party. Despite temporary vacillations or loss of bearings, despite all obstacles set up by all the right and “left” opportunists, these honest comrades are rallying more and more tightly around the WVO. Anyone who is not totally blinded by right opportunism can see that these comrades, some of the best elements from the communist movement, are helping to form the basic core of party cadres, the core of professional revolutionaries we have been striving to unite for so long!

In this way, we are turning the bad thing into a good thing. In this way, the revolutionary wing’s break-up and the ensuing struggle have brought the formation of the genuine communist party nearer than ever before!

No force, neither the OL’s revisionism nor the ATM’s miserable backsliding, could wipe the revolutionary wing out of history. And no force will be able to prevent the consolidation of the WVO and the formation of the genuine party of the U.S. proletariat!

THE FORMATION OF THE GENUINE COMMUNIST PARTY IS NEARER THAN EVER BEFORE!