Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Bolshevik League of the United States

RCP’s May Day: Not Revolutionary But Revolting!

First Published: Bolshevik Revolution, No. 4, June/July 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Only the few individuals who read the ragsheets of the “Revolutionary Communist Party”-USA were aware that May 1, 1980 was the “beginning of a revolution in the U.S.” Most of us missed “the first salvos of a new decade of revolutionary upheaval” which “echo (ed) across this land.” (Revolutionary Worker, March 14, 1980, p. 2) These “salvos ”consisted of throwing paint on a U.N. ambassador and inciting a crowd of office workers in Cleveland to attack the “revolutionaries” with sticks.

These RCP antics were just a replay of their “organizing” activities for a mythical May Day rebellion. On March 28, 1980, three members of their “Revolutionary May Day Brigade”, complete with red flag and bullhorn had scaled the wall of The Alamo in Texas. With no way down except via police helicopter, the three were certain to be arrested – a favorite past-time of the Brigade. Their “organizing” consisted of haranguing people below through the bullhorn until an enraged crowd gathered. One man shouted, “It’s lucky for them that the police got them or they would’ve had to deal with us!”

A few days earlier, a group of May Day Brigaders with red flags and upraised fists had marched through the main street of the mining town of Beckley, West Virginia. Shouting slogans like, “The lines are drawn, which side are you on? Pick up the red flag!” (RW, March 21,1980, p. 6), they provoked a riot. The RCP paper quotes the UPI report, “... the matrons waded in, umbrellas flying. They were joined by old men throwing punches and young ones grabbing red flags from the badly outnumbered demonstrators.” (Ibid., p. 8) Just as the bourgeois press account dramatizes the attack on the RCP, the RCP account dramatizes the provocation: “Coalfields of West Virginia: ” Slaves raising the red flag struck like a cross to a vampire. Thirty one are arrested.” (Ibid.,) It makes no difference to these social-fascists if the hatred they are whipping up is from the Left or from the Right. Their banner reads “Weld all who hate this shit into a class conscious force!” (RW, April 11, 1980, p. 15) They encourage the most backward elements among the working class to participate in anarchy and disruption, including attacks on their own RCP cadres. As RCP Chairman Bob Avakian told the Brigade volunteers, “A lot of us don’t realize how lucky we are when the masses curse us.” (RW, March 14,1980, p. 9)

Are Avakian and Co. simply a bunch of kooks or is there a method to their madness? To answer this, we must remember that the bourgeoisie has spread confusion and hostility against socialist ideas amongst the working class to keep it enslaved. RCP’s social-fascist antics reinforce this. Thus, the bourgeois media publicizes these parodies of “communists” from coast to coast. Furthermore, openly fascist vigilantes respond to RCP’s provocations with increased terroristic attacks on workers and oppressed nationalities.

RCP’s Views on the Working Class

Despite its claims to be the vanguard of the U.S. proletariat, the RCP has nothing but contempt for the working class. Instead of scientific analysis, the workers are treated to childish and vulgar demagogy in the pages of the RCP press. In actuality, the RCP appeals to the lumpenproletariat and to these middle class elements who find these criminal elements attractive.

To the RCP, there is nothing potentially revolutionary in the organization and discipline of the proletariat. Proletarians should give up the “regimentation” of their jobs and run in the streets. If not they are portrayed as “lunkheads”. (RW, March 14,1980, p. 8)), “grunting cavemen,” (RW, March 21, 1980, p. 7), and “backward fools.” And of what do these workers remind Chairman Avakian? “They remind me of a goddam prostitute who goes out here night after night and can’t say nothing bad about her pimp.” (Ibid., p. 16)

Contrary to the claims of RCP, those who rally to this nauseating line are not workers, least of all advanced workers. Lenin describes the advanced as those with “so much character and will power that they study, study, study and turn themselves into conscious Social-Democrats – the working class intelligentsia, who can win the respect of the laboring masses.” (“A Retrograde Trend in Social-Democracy,” LCW, 4:280-1) It is only genuine Marxism-Leninism, scientific socialism, which will satisfy such workers. What the RCP offers is not Marxism-Leninism, but Mao Zedong Thought.

Maoists – Not Marxist-Leninists

Mao Zedong, idol of the RCP, provided the forces of opportunism internationally with a revision of Marxism-Leninism. Lenin had warned that revisionists would learn better and better how to hide themselves: “An ever subtler falsification of Marxism, an ever subtler presentation of anti-materialist doctrines under the guise of Marxism – this is the characteristic feature of modern revisionism.” (Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, FLP, p. 400) Mao was such a modern revisionist.

Maoism feeds the provocative tactics of social-fascists. Mao put forth the ridiculous assertion that “It is good if we are attacked by the enemy ... It is still better if the enemy attacks us wildly.” (“To Be Attacked by the Enemy Is Not a Bad Thing but a Good Thing,” FLP, 1966, p. 2) The RCP uses this to glorify repression and martyrdom. Their propaganda boasts about self-provoked beatings and jailings. (e.g. “over 160 arrests of May Day organizers in the last 5 weeks!” (RW, March 21, 1980, p. 8)

Along with this goes the para-militarism so beloved by the social-fascists. The very program and constitution of the RCP are advertised as “A Call to Battle, a Challenge to Dare.” A huge picture in Revolutionary Worker shows a “Time for Milk?” billboard that has been amended to read, “Time for M-16?” (RW, March 7, 1980, p. 8)

Whether this provokes a few workers or high school students into beating up or joining with the RCP Brigades, the bourgeoisie is given an excuse to step up repression in general. In this light the Comintern explained phenomena like the RCP May Day campaign:

The United States is particularly ingenious in provoking strikes and various other movements of the proletariat at the most inopportune moments in order to disrupt them and demoralize the masses. This provocative method is often used by the social-fascist parties to disrupt the growing labor movement.” (“The Struggle Against the Provocateur,” The Communist International, No. 2, 1932, part III)

In other words, social-fascist activity results in repression on the working class at a time when it is not organized to deal with such attacks. It also provides the government with excuses to outlaw the work of genuine communists.

Thus, the work of the social-fascists is police work. These enemies can be paralyzed only through the heightened vigilance of the workers. We call on all working men and women to reject the endless bourgeois demagogy of the RCP and not be fooled into believing that this is the work of communism. The reason the news media pushes the RCP is to give the workers the misconception that communism equals madness. RCP truly benefits the interest of the capitalists.