First Published: Workers Viewpoint, Vol. 1, No. 2, April-May 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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On Wednesday, April 28th, the New York May Day Organizing Committee scheduled a program at Brooklyn College to build for its May Day event. A member of Workers Viewpoint Organization and a member of the Boston Chapter of the February First Movement (FFM) had been asked to speak. The program included a film and discussion period to struggle for the correct line on student work.
As the first part of the program began (the showing of “Finally Got the News”), an RWL member (also a member of the New York FFM chapter) who was sitting between the film projector and the screen, screamed: “The first thing we’re going to talk about is FFM! This Program won’t go on! The former Boston Chapter of FFM is Menshevik of the WVO type! I just called the FFM Committee of Correspondence in D.C. and we have purged you right now.”
The chair of the program instructed the individual to be seated in order to let the scheduled program resume and stated that enough time would be allotted for the two-line struggle to unfold (the hall had been reserved for 4 hours).
But the New York FFM member continued to curse and scream. When security attempted to remove the disruptor, RWL, PRSU and PRRWO members ran to attack the security comrade, and a fight began. Several students from the audience rose to defend the comrade on security and were drawn into the fight. RWL, PRSU, New York FFM and PRRWO members shouted “WVO Mensheviks” and cursed the program. After 10 minutes, security and several students put a firm halt to the disrupters’ attacks. Even then the chair of the program comradely asked the RWL, PRSU, New York FFM and PRRWO members to stay and struggle over line, but they refused, leaving the hall in a frenzy.
This event signifies the rapid degeneration of the “left” opportunist line, methodology and world outlook of PRRWO and RWL and its wrecking and splitting effect in the student movement (see the latest WVO Journal article on PRRWO). These “left” opportunists displayed their philistine attitude toward ideological struggle by refusing to let the program resume so their bankrupt line could be exposed. Furthermore, when the chair of the program comradely asked them to stay and struggle over line, they didn’t dare but left! Their philistine methodology was further exposed when comrades later learned that the New York FFM chapter had purged half of its members for being “right opportunists” and by the proclamation that the entire Boston FFM chapter had been kicked out on the spot. The “left” opportunist is characterized by philistine style of line struggle, and structurally by kicking people out to attempt to enforce their opportunist line.
In the course of the disruption, their hustlerism and lumpen mentality jumped out when they shouted “How can you come to Brooklyn College? This is our territory!” When some PRSU women pushed and scratched out at some students and were pushed back, the opportunists screamed, “They hit our women!”
Clearly this shows their lumpen turf mentality and male chauvinism. Narrow nationalists to the core, the disrupters attacked a white comrade the hardest.
Clearly, on a small scale, this event typifies PRRWO’s and RWL’s hustlerism, the ideological degeneration of their “left” opportunist line. To avoid principled ideological struggle, to push forward principled line resolution in the interest of the working class and struggle for revolutionary socialism, they seek expedience, fast results, shortcuts through demagogy. These philistines think kicking out people before line struggle has started can resolve line differences. That’s why they tried to disrupt the program and halt line struggle at any cost. They think that’s how they can get it over!
Ensure your bankrupt line’s survival by jamming it through bureaucratic centralism, by kicking out members who have principled line differences before the line struggle even gets started in the FFM.
The Wednesday afternoon program should be viewed as a good thing. It shows that sharp two-line struggle is unfolding within FFM, and that honest comrades are struggling against the bureaucratic rule of RWL’s flip-flopping and centrism which has slipped and slid to PRRWO’s “left” hustlerism.
All FFM comrades nationwide should deepen the line struggle to defeat, expose and beat back this attempt by the “left” opportunists to reverse the verdict by wrecking the FFM and splitting a revolutionary student movement!