Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Tucson Marxist-Leninist Collective

Statement on the Letter from the Committee of Five and the Response of the Proletarian Unity League

Issued: n.d. [1976].
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The TMLC is in general agreement with and support of the joint statement of the PWOC, EC/MINP, DMLO, and SUB delineating the two major trends within the anti-revisionist communist movement and proposing the organizing of a conference on the two principles of unity. We agree with these two principles that dogmatism and sectarianism are the main forms of opportunism (i.e. bourgeois ideology) within our movement and that U.S. imperialism is the main enemy of the world’s peoples.

We believe that the anti-revisionist communist movement con be divided into two opposing trends: the developing Marxist-Leninist trend, and the degenerating dogmatist trend. The existence of these two trends can be seen in the approach of and the positions taken by the groups in each trend, such as on the question of the international situation. This is why it is of such importance that the view that U.S. imperialism is the main enemy of the world’s peoples be a principle of unity because it is upon this crucial issue that dogmatism has become so apparent. We must not only oppose dogmatism in the abstract, but also in its concrete manifestations such as the position of the dogmatists that U.S. imperialism is not the main enemy of the world’s peoples.

Put this does not mean that the anti-revisionist and anti-dogmatist trend is “founded in opposition to the international line of the CPC” as the PUL suggests. This principle of unity is broad enough to include groups which have not yet taken a position on the nature of the Soviet Union, but is still narrow enough to be a clear rejection of the dogmatist view of the international situation.

Concerning the three points of unity suggested by the PUL for organizing a party building conference, we do not believe they are adequate enough to serve that purpose. The first two points are concerned with the dominance of “leftism” within our movement which we do not believe is entirely true, but in either case they are too broad to be points of unity for a party building conference. The third point is concerned with the developing of a “common literature” which is of course an important step, but this is primarily an organizational question which is also too broad to be a point of unity for a conference. These points of unity would not really advance the theoretical struggle within our movement nor advance the building of a new revolutionary communist party.

The important point is that dogmatism and sectarianism are the main form of opportunism within our movement, not whether or not it is the “left” or “right” form which is dominant. The position that it is “leftism” is an extremely minor point which if it were a principle of unity would only further the sectarianism in our movement, We believe that the main form of dogmatism in our movement is not of the ”left” form, that is “theoreticism” which, is the complete separation of theoretical knowledge from practical experience.

We believe the main form of dogmatism is of the “right” form which is characterized by pragmatism (the emphasis on “practice, practice, practice”) and empiricism (the overemphasis of practical experience). The party has to be built on the theoretical, ideological, political, economic, and organization levels, of which “theoretical practice” is the determinant practice of our movement. Most dogmatist groups assume that there is already agreement on Marxist-Leninist theory and ideology, and that now the party has to be built on the “political” or “organizational” levels. In a way those dogmatist groups are correct in assuming that they are united ideologically, that is united around vulgar “Marxist-Leninist” ideology or dogmatism.

Finally, we believe that the PUL has taken an important step in furthering the theoretical struggle within our movement by the issuing of this pamphlet, although we are in general disagreement with their specific proposals.