Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Report from the 6th Session of the Central Committee of the Communist Party U.S.A. (Marxist-Leninist)

First Published: In two parts in Unite!, Vol. 6, No. 18, October 1, 1980, and Vol. 6, No. 20, November 1, 1980
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The following report is a summary of some of the main discussions held at the recent Sixth Session of the First Central Committee of the CPUSA/ML.

* * *

Since the last plenum of the Central Committee a number of intense developments have occurred internationally and domestically which mark a definite sharpening of the crisis of imperialism. The world situation is fraught with many difficulties and dangers for the revolutionary movements of the working class and oppressed people. The clearest signs of this are the deepening of the periodic crisis of capitalism and the growing danger of imperialist world war and fascism. But at the same time, the world situation is marked by a definite growth and strengthening of the revolutionary struggle against imperialism.

Economic Crisis and The Danger of War

The world imperialist system is once again plagued by a periodic crisis of overproduction. This crisis, which began one year ago in the U.S., is now shifting rapidly to the other capitalist and revisionist countries. The European and Japanese economies are now entering a period of rapid decline in production and rise in inflation.

This periodic crisis inevitably brings with it a sharpened effort among the imperialist powers to place the burden of the crisis on the proletariat and oppressed people. In this task, the capitalists have succeeded in attacking and lowering the standard of living of the working class and oppressed worldwide, and have pushed the laboring classes to the edge of starvation. In addition, the periodic crisis brings with it a sharpened struggle among the imperialist powers over who will bear the brunt of the crisis, from among their own ranks. The U.S. seeks, and to a large extent is succeeding, in making its allies pay. Japan recently agreed to curtail auto imports to the U.S. European steel imports to the U.S. dropped 30% in June alone. Within the Common Market, the strife between the imperialists is flaring up as well.

But the increased contention between the imperialist powers goes beyond the struggle over imports or quotas. All the major imperialist powers have greatly increased their preparations for war, as a temporary solution to the economic crisis. Since the last Session of the Central Committee, the U.S. has reinstituted draft registration, the Soviet Union has invaded Afghanistan, NATO and the Warsaw Pact have conducted fall maneuvers, and now war has broken out between Iraq and Iran. Undoubtedly the two superpowers lurk behind the scenes and attempt to utilize this and other conflicts to their own advantage, where they do not actually foment them.

The Ideological Offensive of Imperialism and Revisionism

In preparation for war, the ideological offensive of U.S. imperialism against the working people of the U.S. and the world has assumed massive proportions in the recent period. First and foremost is the pervasive myth of U.S. inferiority to the Soviet Union. In fact, there is bountiful evidence to demonstrate that within the world imperialist system, U.S. imperialism is recovering many past losses, and does compete favorably with Soviet social-imperialism militarily, economically and politically for world hegemony. Together, U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism present the greatest danger to the peace, prosperity and future of the people of the world.

Further, U.S. imperialism, together with its reactionary Chinese handmaiden, is spreading the fatalistic illusion that a new imperialist world war is inevitable, that there is nothing the proletariat and oppressed people can do to prevent it. The aim of such imperialist ideology is to win the masses to support a new imperialist war as inevitable, and in fact as desirable. In this period, efforts must be stepped up by the proletariat to oppose and expose all preparations for imperialist war.

The World Revolution Advances

Another major factor which deepens the crisis of imperialism is the advance of the revolutionary forces around the world. This summer, the Polish proletariat waged a significant battle which struck a profound blow against Soviet social-imperialism and its Eastern European lackeys. The strike revealed that the conditions of the Polish proletariat are essentially the same as those of the working class in the western capitalist countries, despite the socialist pretensions of the Gierek regime.

The struggles occurring in Turkey and El Salvador are also important battles being waged against both U.S. imperialism and the local reactionary regimes. The Central Committee adopted special resolutions regarding these two struggles.

The world Marxist-Leninist movement has also won fresh victories in the recent period. In Togo, Africa, a new Marxist-Leninist party was formed in May, called the Communist Party of Togo. In the recent period, many Marxist-Leninist Parties convened sessions of their Central Committees, which have served to clarify the road of the class struggle ahead. Under the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist parties, both the revolutionary trade union oppositions and revolutionary anti-fascist forces in many countries have advanced. In October and November, bourgeois elections will occur in several countries, which will provide fresh indications of the mounting influence of the Marxist-Leninist parties.

The Central Committee made special note of the outstanding contributions in the recent period by the Party of Labor of Albania and Comrade Enver Hoxha. The continued building of socialism on all fronts in Albania and the unrelenting struggle against imperialism, reaction and opportunism by the Party of Labor of Albania, constitute today a rallying point for the revolutionary forces of the entire world. In particular, the CC applauds the new work of Comrade Enver Hoxha, Eurocommunism is Anti-communism. This outstanding Marxist-Leninist polemic offers profound assistance to all revolutionary people and Marxist-Leninists in exposing the all-round counter-revolutionary strategy and tactics of opportunism today, and the basis for its final defeat. This is a Marxist-Leninist work of immense theoretical and practical value.

In the period ahead, there are many critical tests for the forces of the revolution. The working class must fight to make the bourgeoisie bear the burden of the economic crisis; the revolutionary masses must step up the fight against imperialist war. Where there are particularly sharp conflicts, as in Turkey and El Salvador, the revolutionary struggle must be advanced and consolidated. Through these battles, the proletariat and the revolutionary masses, with the Marxist-Leninist parties in the lead, will become more steeled and prepared to move toward the seizure of political power.

Domestic Struggle Sharpening

Within the context of analyzing the current world situation, the CC reviewed and discussed the current balance of forces in the U.S. The bourgeoisie has proclaimed that the current economic crisis is over in the U.S., that it is a tiring of the past and now only plagues Europe.

But there is little comfort to be taken from the words of the greatest promise-makers in the world. There is no light at the end of the imperialist tunnel. The crisis is not over. In fact, there are many indications that despite the few signs of upswing in late summer, winter will bring even greater crisis. Inflation is once again picking up steam, with food prices rising 30% this past month. Interest rates are climbing again. No significant improvement has taken place in the unemployment picture. While auto has moved ahead toward production of 1981 cars, the problem of overproduction remains unsolved. Hence, once completed, the 1981 cars will join 1980 models in the vast holding lots.

Recognizing this, the CC pointed out the importance of stepping up Party work in the economic struggles of the masses. In the movement to defend living standards, the fight against plant closings and layoffs is an important pivotal point. However, the CC firmly recognized that in such a period of capitalist offensive, a great danger lies in limiting the struggle of the working class to only economic issues, and in belittling the political front of the class struggle. In this light, the CC pointed out that its decision to build the No Vote November 4th campaign was an entirely correct decision.

The bourgeois presidential elections have provided the bourgeoisie with ample opportunity to step up its preparations for war and fascism, and to escalate its offensive against the working class. The emergence of the KKK as a campaign issue has been used to publicize fascist programs and to test the sentiments of the masses regarding these issues. The imperialist election campaign, while revealing the definite motion toward fascism, also reveals that at this moment, fascism is not guided by a clear and precise program, nor has there emerged a single unified center. One of the single most important indicators of the pace of fascism in the U.S., the Reagan campaign, has been forced to advance and retreat in its process of testing the waters. The CC agreed that developing a thorough understanding of fascism in the U.S. is the central political and theoretical question in the U.S. today.

Regardless of the outcome of these elections, there will be four more years of crisis, a growing danger of war and fascism. Carter, Reagan and Anderson have all utilized the elections as a platform to promote war hysteria. Carter has released “secret information” regarding a new weapons system. Reagan continually chastizes the Carter administration for a “vacillating” foreign policy which has led to the “downfall of America”. Anderson feigns a liberal stance of being opposed to draft registration but advocates increased military spending.

Despite all the promises, the millions of dollars spent, all the gimmicks used, the sentiment among the masses of people in the U.S. is still that of growing rejection of the candidates. The majority of people will not vote this November 4th. This lack of confidence remains a critical aspect of the bourgeois political crisis.

The Central Committee stressed the importance of stepping up the Party’s work around this campaign. In particular, the CC discussed the importance of combining revolutionary agitation and propaganda with action against the bourgeois candidates and platforms. At the same time, while focusing efforts against the main imperialist politicians, the CC recognized the importance of exposing the reformist and revisionist candidates and platforms before the masses.

The Tasks of the Party

Since the formation of the CPUSA/ML on December 23, 1978, experience has demonstrated the need for persistent ideological, political and organizational struggle against all external enemies of the Party and the proletariat, and against all internal violations of Party policy and norms. This lesson is particularly important in the U.S., where the political experience, traditions and ties with the masses of veteran communists have largely been lost to the present generation of Marxist-Leninists. Given the liquidation of the Party in 1944 and the immense influence of modern revisionism in the class struggle since that time, the social and ideological conditions of life in U.S., together with the counter-revolutionary legacy of Browderism and Mao Tsetung Thought, present major difficulties in the life and development of the Marxist-Leninist Party. The failure to adequately assess the danger of external threats and consequences of internal violations of Party policy; the failure to adequately maintain a vigilant defense of the Marxist-Leninist purity of the Party Program and Constitution in the last two years, resulted in setbacks. Today the Party is assimilating the lessons of this period and preparing new advances.

One year ago in October 1979, an ultra-left faction emerged in Southern Region of the Party, headed by Albert Thrasher of Birmingham and Malcolm Suber New Orleans. Subsequent events have demonstrated that they were counter-revolutionary infiltrators who entered the Party for the sole purpose of destroying the Marxist-Leninist Party. Unable to successfully accomplish this goal, the Thrasher clique succeeded in accumulating forces and resources and engineered a split in the Party, moving to build a Maoist, ultra-left nationalist party, based mainly in the South, abandoning the majority of the industrial proletariat.

In the U.S. today, there is a profound mood of liquidationism. It is manifested in both ”left” liquidationism which isolates the Party from the masses, under the cover of revolutionary sounding phrases, and from the Right, in outright denial of the need for a Marxist-Leninist party. The emergence of an ultra-left liquidationist faction within the Party cannot be viewed merely in terms of the activity of a few individuals. It must be viewed in terms of this social basis.

Liquidationism is encouraged at every turn by monopoly capitalism, which is quite distressed that after four decades, a genuine Marxist-Leninist party has been reconstituted. Furthermore, the legacy of Browderism and the rise of Chinese revisionism have yielded a flowering of countless opportunist currents.

In addition, the sharpening contradictions between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and the mounting national and racial oppression, are resulting in an unmistakable polarization among the people, along both class and national lines. Liquidationism, the denial of the historic mission of the proletariat and the role of the Marxist-Leninist party in the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat, thrives in such an atmosphere.

These are some of the main factors which laid the basis for the split in the Party, confirming the truth that the course of the class struggle within the Party reflects the actual conditions of the class struggle in society as a whole. The infiltration and attacks mounted against the CPUSA/ML reflect the aims of the capitalist class and state to destroy the Party. Working both from outside and aiming to undermine it from within, these attacks target the abandonment of the Marxist-Leninist Program and Constitution, strategy and tactics of the Party.

Since the split in the Party one year ago, various aspects of the Party’s work have been curtailed, in accord with the actual material conditions and in accord with the necessity to root out remaining remnants of alien ideological trends. Important headway has been made on several fronts which confirms the correctness of the Party’s campaign to defeat the ’Left’ in order to fight Right deviations from Marxism-Lenin-ism. In particular, Party basic units have taken up struggle against sectarianism in their relation to the masses and the revolutionary mass organizations. New efforts to increase the ranks of the Party, to conduct Marxist-Leninist study groups and to increase the influence of the Party have yielded results. The No Vote November 4th! campaign in particular, has advanced the understanding of how to implement the united front and popular front policy of the Party.

The Sixth Session of the Central Committee concluded that while advances have been scored, still further steps must be taken to consolidate these advances and prepare for further gains.

The Party is analyzing the concrete conditions in the U.S. today, and deepening its understanding of how it is that the Party will successfully win large numbers of the most advanced fighters into its ranks while ensuring the proper development of both the united front of the working class and the popular front of the working class and its allies.

In the months ahead, the Party will take new initiatives to expand the Party press, to resolve outstanding political questions concerning the application of the Party’s tactics for the period ahead, and to strengthen ties with the international Marxist-Leninist movement.