Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Joint Editorial by ATM (M-L) and IWK: Marxist-Leninists Unite! Forge a single unified party of the U.S. working class!


First Published: Getting Together, Vol. IX, No. 6, June 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The August Twenty-Ninth Movement (M-L) and I Wor Kuen have been conducting talks for some time to forge greater unity between our two organizations. We have engaged in common work in several areas, and have achieved unity on a number of questions of principle. We are also in the process of merging our two newspapers, Revolutionary Cause and Getting Together. Until the merger is finalized, for the time being, both organizations will, be building and distributing Getting Together beginning with the July, 1978 issue.

We view our growing unity within the context of the growing unity of Marxist-Leninists internationally and within the U.S., and see this as another step on the road to Marxist-Leninist unity.

* * *

The struggle of countries, nations and peoples around the world for independence, liberation and revolution is moving forward daily. The danger of war is also increasing day by day. Here, in the U.S., the struggle of the working class and oppressed peoples is intensifying. And everywhere Marxist-Leninists are organizing and uniting. The objective situation and the proletariat demand no less. Just this past month in Japan, the Communist Party of Japan (Leftist) and the Japanese Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) held a joint congress and announced their plans to unite. In France, two Marxist-Leninist organizations, the Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary Communist Party of France and the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of France, have also entered into discussions towards merger. In the U.S., too, the unity of Marxist-Leninists is making progress.

It is important to root this struggle for unity firmly on Marxist-Leninist principles, proceed from the interests of the broad masses and the entire proletarian revolution and move on firmly to establish the single, unified communist party of the U.S. proletariat at the earliest possible time. We must have as our goal no less than the unification of the overwhelming majority of Marxist-Leninists into one party on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, the drawing of clear lines of demarcation with all opportunism, and the winning of the broad masses of revolutionary-minded activists and advanced workers to the banner of this party.

IWK and ATM look forward to waging a principled struggle for communist unity in this very crucial period of time. Looking back at the history of the anti-revisionist communist movement since its formation, many advances have been made and today the conditions for moving ahead are very good.

Proceed from a concrete assessment of the present situation in the U.S. communist movement

In order to succeed in making further advances it is important to proceed from a concrete assessment of the present situation in the U.S. communist movement and more firmly move ahead on a path of principled struggle for unity.

At this time there are several Marxist-Leninist organizations, groups and collectives, and many individual Marxist-Leninists who are not in any group. Certain important common views characterize the Marxist-Leninist forces, such as upholding Chairman Mao’s theory of the three worlds; upholding the dictatorship of the proletariat, including giving active support for socialism in the People’s Republic of China and supporting the Communist Party of China under the leadership of Chairman Hua Kuo-feng; upholding the need to unite Marxist-Leninists into a single party as the central task; recognizing the revolutionary significance of the alliance of the proletariat and the oppressed peoples; and other points of principle.

Yet important differences still divide our movement. Some of these are differences on questions of political line, such as on the national question, the trade union question and our analysis of the history of the U.S. revolutionary movement. Others are differences on tactical questions. It is our view that in the process of forging unity, the major differences among the groups must be assessed and resolved through struggle, and criticism and self-criticism. The history of the anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist movement should also be evaluated, pinpointing strengths and weaknesses and learning from the positive and negative experiences.

Present U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement forged in the heat of struggle

The anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist movement in the U.S. has its origins in the revolutionary movement of the late 1960’s. After the Communist Party, U.S.A. (CPUSA) degenerated into revisionism in the 1950’s, it has been the central task of Marxist-Leninists to reconstruct a genuine communist party. The present anti-revisionist movement draws its fighters from the ranks of the old Marxist-Leninists who broke with the CPUSA, but mainly from the great revolutionary struggles of the 1960’s. The revolutionary forces of this period made a break with the revisionist CPUSA and the Trotskyites, and in the early 1970’s, a young Marxist-Leninist movement emerged. Several Marxist-Leninist organizations and groups formed and began to take up the struggle to integrate Marxism-Leninism with, the concrete realities of the U.S. These organizations developed from different sectors of the mass movement and in different cities and regions of the country.

Every step of the way in developing their political line, they had to wage a sharp battle against the opportunists, including the Communist Labor Party, the Revolutionary Communist Party, the Workers Viewpoint Organization, and the Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee, all of which in recent years have tried to build their own “parties” based on revisionism, Trotskyism and opportunism. While the young Marxist-Leninist movement matured through these struggles and dealt blows to the opportunists, due to their inexperience and weaknesses, the struggle against the opportunists was not thorough.

Over the past several years, the communist forces, including the national organizations, local collectives and individual Marxist-Leninists, have been able to deepen their ties to the masses, and have developed their ability to lead mass struggles. Through these struggles, they are winning increased numbers of advanced elements to Marxism-Leninism. While these are important steps, much more mains to be done. Furthermore, some of the communist forces have developed important differences over the conducting of this mass work.

As a result of the historical development of the U.S. Marxist-Leninist movement and differences in line and practical work, there remain various Marxist-Leninist organizations which have outstanding differences with each other. A characteristic of our movement is that while all of these forces have made contributions to the revolution, there is still no single, leading center for our movement. Such a center inevitably emerges through the party-building struggle, providing theoretical and practical leadership to the movement through the correctness of its line, its demarcation with opportunism and its ability to give consistent practical leadership to the revolutionary movement.

In this country to date, no one group has been able to demonstrate such a role as the single, leading center. A single unified communist party still has to be forged. The major Marxist-Leninist organizations and the majority of genuine communists remain not unified. This situation makes it urgent for all genuine Marxist-Leninists to intensify the struggle for unity. It also places great demands arid responsibilities on the shoulders of all Marxist-Leninists to deepen their grasp of Marxism-Leninism, develop an in-depth struggle against opportunism, and sink deeper roots among the masses.

Forge a Single, Unified Party of the U.S. Proletariat

We believe that the recent joint statement by the ATM, CPML and IWK on the initiation of joint efforts to form a Committee to Unite Marxist-Leninists in consultation with other Marxist-Leninist forces is an important step in forging communist unity. The announcement in the June issues of Getting Together and the Revolutionary Cause that beginning in July, IWK and ATM will be distributing one newspaper is another step forward. Genuine unity can be forged by waging a principled struggle over differences, drawing clear lines of demarcation with opportunism and practicing criticism and self-criticism keeping in mind the necessity to unite with the broad majority of Marxist-Leninists. By “practicing Marxism, not revisionism; by uniting, not splitting; and being open and above-board, not intriguing and conspiring,” we are confident that greater advances will be made in the coming period and one vanguard party of the proletariat will be forged.