Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists

Against Social-Democratic Infiltration of the Marxist-Leninist Movement

A study of the origin, history and present role of the social-democrat Barry Weisberg and his MLOC/“CPUSA(M-L)”


Published: In the pamphlet, Against Social-Democratic Infiltration of the Marxist-Leninist Movement, May 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In the February 15 issue of the MLOC’s (“CPUSA(M-L)’s”) paper Unite!, the MLOC pours down a torrent of disgraceful anti-communist abuse upon the COUSML. The MLOC says that “for ten years” the COUSML (and its predecessor, the ACWM (M-L)) have been “more anti-Leninist” than anyone else. Thus the MLOC vents its hatred against the ACWM(M-L) and COUSML for its ten years of consistent work in defense of Marxism-Leninism, its uncompromising struggle against modern revisionism and its place in the forefront of the struggle against social-chauvinism, “three worlds-ism” and Chinese revisionism. The MLOC denounces all revolutionary Marxist-Leninists by calling for the struggle to be directed at the “infantile left”. For the MLOC, there is nothing good in revolutionary Marxism-Leninism, but quite a bit that is good in the social-chauvinists, “three worlders” and anti-Marxists of all types.

What lies behind the MLOC’s constant war against revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and their opposition to the movement against the social-chauvinists and “three worlders”?

In the MLOC’s attack against the COUSML in the August 1978 issue of Class Against Class, there too the MLOC raises the question of the history of the ACWM(M-L) and the COUSML. The MLOC negates the revolutionary struggle for Marxism-Leninism of the ACWM(M-L) and COUSML altogether, calls it “irrelevant”, says it can’t be taken seriously, etc. Of course, the MLOC raises the question of history in its typical anti-communist and totally non-serious fashion. The MLOC calls to its aid the worst American big-power chauvinism and presents Marxism-Leninism as something imported into the U. S. “from another country”, while in the February 15 article the MLOC reiterates the reactionary notion that the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists have nothing to do with the proletariat and oppressed people in the U.S. But the COUSML, following the Marxist-Leninist teachings, takes the study of history of the Marxist-Leninist movement in the last ten years in a serious way. We therefore looked into the history of the MLOC and its leader, Mr. Barry Weisberg.

We found that the MLOC is a social-democratic sect injected from the outside into the Marxist-Leninist movement. Mr. Weisberg is a long-time, hardened social-democrat, and he has a long history of anti-communist writings against Marxism-Leninism. He was trained in social-democracy and anti-communism at the Institute for Policy Studies, a social-democratic “think tank” centered in Washington, D.C., funded by the big bourgeoisie, and led by social-democrats who float in and out of the government. Mr. Weisberg’s mentor was Marcus Raskin, a co-director of IPS and former staff member on the National Security Council under President Kennedy. Mr. Weisberg was the co-founder of the Bay Area Institute for Policy Studies (BAI). The BAI, originally connected with IPS, specialized in Asia in general and China in particular and included early advocates of the U.S.-China alliance. Mr. Weisberg infiltrated into the Marxist-Leninist movement along with the big influx of dubious elements, adventurers and alien class elements during the development of the U. S.-China alliance and while the “three worlds” theory was in fashion among the opportunists.

Thus “for ten years” the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists and Barry Weisberg have been at war, with Mr. Weisberg fighting the “infantile left” from back in his IPS days. This war is the struggle between Marxism-Leninism and social-democracy. Today the basic politics of the MLOC are the same in essence as Mr. Weisberg’s earlier politics. They are both social-democratic. They both combine revolutionary phrasemongering with the most timid, ultra-reformist practice. And they both direct their hatred at revolutionary Marxism-Leninism. Only Mr. Weisberg’s earlier open denunciations of Marxism-Leninism, the dictatorship of the proletariat and the proletarian revolution are now replaced by mock respect for Marxism-Leninism, combined with the most vicious wrecking activities against the Marxist-Leninist movement and the most utter contempt for the history of the development of the Marxist-Leninist movement.

Below we reproduce a speech, edited for publication and somewhat revised to include the newest available facts, from an internal conference of the COUSML. This speech calls for the defense of Marxism-Leninism against social-democratic infiltration.


In 1975, at the time of the disintegration of the Black Workers Congress, one of the fragments thrown off was a local clique in the Bay Area which came to call itself the MLOC. At that time the MLOC was chiefly distinguished by the fact that it could offer no explanation of its existence. A number of years later its chieftain was to make the claim that the MLOC came out of struggle against opportunism in the BWC, but in fact, at the time of the splits MLOC held no positions distinguishable from those of another BWC grouping. The reason for the coming into being of the MLOC is to be found elsewhere than in the struggle against opportunism. The strife in the BWC was seized upon to launch the career of yet another opportunist chieftain – on the basis of combat against Marxism-Leninism.

During the years which followed the MLOC tried hard to establish for itself a distinguishing feature which would demarcate it from all others. This is a hallmark of petty bourgeois socialism, the eternal search for a principle, above the class struggle, for sectarian principle, for interests “separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole”[1]. At one time the MLOC insisted upon being the only Marxist-Leninists in the U.S. who upheld Romania as a socialist country and insisted upon this as a matter of principle; but this card castle soon collapsed[2]. At yet another time they attempted to challenge OL as to who could give a more “Marxist” cover to the theory of “three worlds” and to the theory of the Soviet Union being the “main danger”[3]. And they have a continual campaign to distinguish themselves as the foremost “Knight of the National Question”. Time after time the MLOC twisted and turned in the quest for its Holy Grail, but could not distinguish themselves save by this unprincipled quest itself.

For the MLOC was at the same time afflicted with another disease which is a hallmark of social-democracy. This is the compulsion to attach themselves to whatever appears to be the prevailing trend while never giving up their reactionary essence. Thus, MLOC’s Holy Grail proved almost invariably to be – nothing but the prevailing trend. Comrade Lenin analyzed this phenomenon long ago:

... as a trend, the Mensheviks (Russian social-democrats – ed.) have displayed in 1918-21 the two qualities that characterize them: first, the ability skillfully to adapt, to ’attach’ themselves to the prevailing trend among the workers; and second, the ability even more skillfully to serve the whiteguards heart and soul, to serve them in action, while disassociating themselves from them in words. Both these qualities are the logical out come of the whole history of Menshevism ... The Mensheviks ’attach’ themselves to the Russian Communist Party not only and even not so much because they are Machiavellian (although ever since 1903 they have shown that they are past masters in the art of bourgeois diplomacy), but because they are so ’adaptable’. Every opportunist is distinguished for his adaptability (but not all adaptability is opportunism); and the Mensheviks, as opportunists, adapt themselves ’on principle’ so to speak, to the prevailing trend among the workers and assume a protective coloring, just as a hare’s coat turns white in winter. This characteristic of the Mensheviks must be kept in mind and taken into account. And taking it into account means purging the Party of approximately ninety-nine out of every hundred Mensheviks who joined the Russian Communist Party after 1918, i.e., when the victory of the Bolsheviks first became probable and then certain.[4]

Thus it was that in 1976 the MLOC snuggled up as closely as possible to the October League, but then, in September 1977, when it became evident that Marxism-Leninism would not be blown away by the huffing and puffing of a Klonsky, the MLOC hastily denounced the “three worlds” theory in words, in a vacilating way, while clinging to its reactionary essence.

Despite its misguided efforts, the MLOC was nonetheless to establish a distinguishing feature for itself, and a fascinating one at that. This is their utter hostility toward the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists. From very early on the MLOC displayed a hostile attitude toward the COUSML and its revolutionary activity. It has been our assessment – and this has been openly admitted by the MLOC in their polemic against us this past year – that from very early on the MLOC has been fighting us[5]. And moreover, that it is this which is their main mission in life. What is fascinating about the MLOC, in light of their alleged allegiance to Marxism-Leninism, is that the more the struggle against Chinese revisionism has advanced and the more the MLOC has been forced to disassociate itself – even if only in words and in a vacillating manner – from the positions of the OL “three worlders”, the more hostile the MLOC has become toward the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists.

In recent weeks the MLOC has renewed its public attacks against the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists. In the February 15 issue of Unite! – very tellingly, on the international page – appears a venemous attack upon the COUSML. This article states: “no one in the U.S. has taken a more anti-Leninist stand, or more infantile left position than COUSML”[6]. For MLOC to raise this attack, to confess that they regard Marxism-Leninism as “anti-Leninist” and “infantile left”, speaks volumes about the essential politics of MLOC, its history and basis, its view of Marxism-Leninism and of the Marxist-Leninist movement in the U.S. What MLOC opposes as “anti-Leninist” and “infantile left” is the history of COUSML, the course of the struggle against Khrushchovite revisionism, Chinese revisionism and opportunism of all hues, the entire glorious history of consistent defense of the Party, of the proletariat, of the revolution and of Marxism-Leninism.

Our investigation shows that this is not the first time such accusations have come from these quarters. In 1971 Barry Weisberg, now chieftain of the MLOC, wrote: “There is considerable infantile worship and illusion about China amongst the Left today, but this must not blind us to the deeper lessons of Chinese Communism.” (Beyond Repair: The Ecology of Capitalism, Beacon Press, Boston, 1971, p. 149. Subsequent unreferenced quotations are to this book.) For comrades to understand what it is that Weisberg regards as “infantile” and what are “the deeper lessons of Chinese Communism” we will provide some additional quotations from the same work:

Much of Marxist thought today clings to that historical period in which Marx formulated his original teachings, without realizing in fact the dawning of conditions which must of necessity temper the contemporary Marxist view of history. (p. 161)
This vision entails a view of historical development which could not forsee the possibility that the realm of necessity might be incorporated into the realm of freedom within the developed capitalist world. (p. 161)
In other words, Marx did not envision a situation in which the necessity of scarcity might be eliminated before the elimination of capitalism ... Such a possibility is today evident with the advent of a liberating technology in which the conditions which for thousands of years required alienating labor might be abolished. (p. 161)
Such a historical reality would call into question many of the most fundamental conceptions of contemporary Marxism... (p. 162) and
The Eastern world view departs radically from that of the West regarding man’s relationship to nature. The domination of nature has never been a primary occupation of the Chinese people, as it has of Europeans or Americans. (p. 155)

As opposed to the “infantile” Marxist-Leninists, Mr. Weisberg also found socialism in the social-imperialist and revisionist Soviet Union and in the “self-determination and workers control” for which Mr. Weisberg praises Yugoslav revisionism and the militarist communes of Israeli Zionism.

When Weisberg in 1979 attacks the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists as “infantile” it is on the identical basis to 1971. The sole difference is that today he is parading as a Marxist-Leninist and is dressing up his attacks accordingly. Weisberg is no more a Marxist-Leninist today than he was in 1971.

In our Reply to the Open Letter of the MLOC we pointed out that MLOC denies the connection between open social-chauvinism and the opportunism that preceded it. We demonstrate that MLOC holds common ground with neo-revisionism on a series of questions in the proletarian revolution in the U.S., including on the workers’ movement, the Afro-American people’s movement and on party building. But MLOC’s origins are not identical to those of the principal neo-revisionist organizations, whose leaders come out of a long history of combat against Marxism-Leninism within the revolutionary mass movements of the 1960’s while MLOC came upon the scene miraculously in 1975, like the goddess Athena springing full-blown from the head of Zeus. MLOC is an agency of social-democracy, and its chieftain is a professional anti-communist, trained by the social-democratic instruments of the big bourgeoisie. Its origins lie, not in some illusory struggle against opportunism in the BWC, but rather, in the halls of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D. C.

As an agency of social-democracy, MLOC carries thoroughly liberal-labor politics. On account of these liberal-labor politics MLOC tends to merge with Browderism and neo-revisionism. This is the secret to the distorted and reactionary views of the MLOC.

And this is the key to MLOC’s view of the history of the Marxist-Leninist movement in the U.S. Weisberg’s present-day disdain for the history of the struggles of the Marxist-Leninists (including the history of the struggle against Browder and Browderism) is the continuation of his open disdain in 1971 for Marxism-Leninism and for the revolutionary mass movements. Weisberg’s newly found thesis is that nothing which precedes him counts because it is all tainted with “Mao Tsetung Thought”. Now, however, there can be an end to this period of “infantile leftism” and a return to business as usual. And what is business as usual? Social-democracy. He holds the fascinating belief that to repudiate the revisionism of Mao Tsetung will mean to become conservative, i.e., social-democratic. When MLOC cries “anti-Leninist” it is a case of “Denounce most of all those vices which you yourself possess”[7].

It is also the secret of MLOC’s peculiar combination of “revolutionary” phrasemongering with ultra-rightist practice. The MLOC prattles on about building the revolutionary trade union movement while supporting the Labor Law Reform Act and condemning the wildcat strikes of the coal miners. The MLOC talks about “armed struggle in the pre-revolutionary period” while denouncing active resistance to fascism and raving wildly against anything they fear might actually be revolutionary action. The MLOC mouths fine phrases about the struggle for democracy, but it turns out that the MLOC regards the “essence” of democratic struggle as “us(ing) the court system to force it to uphold laws which objectively improve the conditions of the working class in their struggle for socialism”[8]. The MLOC has no conception of the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist idea of democracy and the utilization of the democratic struggle to train the masses in revolutionary actions and as a part of the socialist revolution, but instead reduces democracy to parliamentary cretinism and belly-crawling before the courts. It interprets the most minor readjustments of the bourgeoisie’s terrorist rule as “reforms” which are the goal of MLOC’s struggle for democracy. MLOC’s conception of democracy is not the class stand of the proletariat but the philistinism of the social-democrat. The secret of MLOC’s peculiar combination of “revolutionary” phrasemongering in general with the wildest rightism on all concrete questions is simply that as an agency of social-democracy they are so gripped in the mire of the liberal-labor politics, that they literally are unable to conceive of the existence of revolutionary politics, and believe all talk to that effect to be so much eyewash. This combination of “revolutionary” phrasemongering with extreme rightism in practice is a classical feature of social-democracy, repeatedly exposed by Comrade Lenin.

This is the basis of MLOC’s hostility toward the COUSML. The hostility held by MLOC toward the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists, cloaked in “Marxist” sounding phrases, is a continuation of the open hostility toward Marxism-Leninism and the proletarian revolution held by the Institute for Policy Studies.

Barry Weisberg was trained and nurtured as an anti-communist publicist by the Institute for Policy Studies. (Editor’s note: This part of the speech went into the IPS. The Institute for Policy Studies is a social-democratic “think tank” centered in Washington, D.C. and run by social-democrats who float in and out of appointed government positions. It is financed by the big bourgeoisie. Its purpose is to infiltrate the revolutionary mass movements, subvert them with social-democracy, destroy their revolutionary character and direct them into paths harmless to the bourgeoisie, and above all to fight to the last breath against communism. Opportunism and social-democracy in the U. S. are not just matters of some “wrong ideas” or spontaneous confusion, but are consciously sponsored by the big bourgeoisie.)

One of the “major functions” of the IPS has been the training of anti-communist ideologues and publicists[9]. Toward this end, soon after its founding, the IPS began to accept a selected number of full-time students, averaging about one student per resident fellow. The IPS describes this program:

The Institute has begun to build relationships with several colleges and universities: Antioch College, the University of California (Berkeley), Cornell University, the University of Illinois, and Reed College. The relationship differs from case to case, but most of the Associated Universities and Colleges send students to the Institute, some of whom receive credit from their home colleges for work done at the Institute.
All students, whether from the Associated Colleges and Universities or from elsewhere, have an individual tutorial relationship with a Fellow and also do field work on a policy program, either in an Institute seminar or social-invention project or in governmental or private policy program.
... any Fellow who is prepared to become the academic tutor to a particular student is obligated to raise his name for discussion in a meeting of the Fellows. The decision as to whether to accept a particular person as a student is then up to the Fellow who proposes to be his tutor. If he decides to do so, the student is appointed in a letter from the Director of the Institute.[10]

While he was an undergraduate, presumably at the University of California (Berkeley) where he earned his degree, Barry Weisberg was accepted as a student at the Institute for Policy Studies. At IPS his mentor was Marcus Raskin, co-director of the Institute and former staff member of President Kennedy’s National Security Council. In his book Being and Doing, Marcus Raskin acknowledges the “special help from... and Barry Weisberg, students of mine in the beginning years of the Institute”[11].

After completing the program at IPS, Weisberg returned to TJC at Berkeley for his BA. One year after his graduation from Berkeley the Bay Area Institute for Policy Studies, known generally as the Bay Area Institute, was founded, “organized by Barry Weisberg and Franz Schurmann”[12]. Weisberg was both an associate fellow of IPS as well as a co-director of the BAI. The BAI was founded to specialize in Asia in general and China in particular. At the time of its founding it was funded by the IPS until it received tax-exempt status and was able to receive grants directly from the foundations. The mainstay of the BAI was senior faculty members at Berkeley, and veteran China-watchers such as Franz Schurmann and Orville Schell. The outstanding exception was Barry Weisberg, who was lacking in academic credentials (possessing only a BA) and whose field of study was ecology. Weisberg was the go-between for IPS.

In 1971 there was a dispute between Franz Schurmann and Marcus Raskin over the orientation of the BAI. Schurmann won. Weisberg resigned from the BAI. He was not, however, inactive. In 1971 Weisberg travelled to Southeast Asia on a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism. In 1973, as an ecology expert, he associated himself with the Bay Area Shell Strike Support Committee, and was also a staff member of United Front Press. In early 1974 he published a series of articles in the revisionist Guardian on the energy crisis. In late 1974 he joined the Black Workers Congress after it went “multinational”. A few months later, in May 1975, he split from the BWC and formed the MLOC. Thus, Marcus Raskin’s protege became chairman of his own sect.[13]

That such an element was accepted into the ranks of the Marxist-Leninist movement in the U. S. teaches a serious lesson. The metamorphosis of an anti-communist, social-democratic publicist into a “Marxist-Leninist” correlates closely with the development of the U. S.-China alliance. In early 1972 Nixon went to Peking. It was after this that Weisberg developed his credentials and ties in “left” circles. In 1974 Teng Hsiao-ping spoke at the UN and gave his notorious speech elaborating the “three worlds” theory. It was after this that Weisberg joined the BWC. Only months thereafter came the disintegration of the BWC and the formation of the MLOC. During this period, through such instruments as “China friendship”, the “left” circles rubbed shoulders with diverse sorts of bourgeois elements. Under the conditions of the confusion bred by opportunist influence, such elements were able to parade as being “progressive” and “revolutionary”. As well, the neo-revisionist theories on the “pre-party collective”, the “pre-party situation” and “the party springs spontaneously from the mass movement (or from the united front)” had resulted in factionalizing and scattering the Marxist-Leninist movement, making it easy for all kinds of dubious elements, adventurers, and alien class elements to infiltrate the Marxist-Leninist movement. The neo-revisionist opposition to the struggle against revisionism and opportunism, expressed with such theories as that the struggle against opportunism “disrupts the united front” or that “opportunism is a middle force to be united with”, also created favorable conditions for infiltration into the Marxist-Leninist movement. And the neo-revisionist negation of the Marxist-Leninist teachings on the party and on fighting opportunism was fostered by Chinese revisionism. On the basis of the political corruption introduced by Chinese revisionism, the corruption of the ranks of the Marxist-Leninist movement grew also, with every sort of political swindler being able to pose as “Marxist-Leninist”. Defense of the integrity of the revolutionary movement requires the maintenance of a revolutionary stand against imperialism, the vigilant upholding of the party concept, and the carrying out of a resolute struggle against revisionism and opportunism of all types.

What type of element had thus succeeded in infiltrating into the Marxist-Leninist movement? To see this, let us examine the writings of Barry Weisberg.

Beyond Repair is Barry Weisberg’s magnum opus. Published in 1971, it manifests the character of Weisberg’s work as a publicist for the Institute for Policy Studies. This work is, in the first place, a diatribe against Marxism-Leninism and the proletarian revolution. Set in the framework of a consideration of ecology, and veiled in “leftist”-sounding phrases, this work rehashes the anti-Marxist-Leninist arguments of the principal schools of social-democracy and anarcho-syndicalism in the U. S. at a time when the revolutionary mass movements – and the turning of the advanced elements toward Marxism-Leninism – had reached their peak. For this Weisberg received the highest praise of the bourgeoisie. This book received favorable reviews from many bourgeois sources, including the leading bourgeois daily, The Washington Post, which stated: “Weisberg has really created more than a book; he has created a mental exercise for the conservation movement”[14], Richard A. Falk (Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice at Princeton; Director, Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy Association) cites Weisberg as “one of the most perceptive analysts of the ecological situation”. (This Endangered Planet, 1971, pp. 89-90)[15]

We will now go into this “mental exercise” in some detail... (Editor’s note: This portion of the speech reviewed the line of Beyond Repair on the class struggle, the proletarian revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat, the party of the proletariat, the critique of contemporary society, Weisberg’s alternative, models and tactics, and view of socialism.)

Thus we find:
1) Weisberg is opposed to Marxism, the class struggle, the proletarian revolution, and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
2) He provides a bourgeois critique of the “consumer” or “post-scarcity” society.
3) His utopia of “self-determination” or “liberation” means: neighborhood and regional autonomy.
4) What he dislikes in socialism: socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat (“centralism” and “hierarchy”). What he likes in socialism: autonomy, as found in – the kibbutzim of Israel, the factories of Yugoslavia and the communes of China.

His basic thesis is “today throughout the capitalist world... liberation becomes not the object of struggle but the struggle itself (p. 164). This, stripped of its finery, is nothing but Bernstein’s infamous dictum: “The movement is everything, the final aim is nothing.”

It is significant to take note of Weisberg’s tutors. The rhetoric of this work is taken from such well-known anti-communists as Herbert Marcuse and Andre Gorz, both of whom are repeatedly referenced, principally in Chapter Six. Also extensively borrowed from is the theoretician of “post-scarcity” anarchism, Murray Bookchin (cited in Chapter Six, n. 13, 14, 16). Bookchin, whose earlier works are published under the name Lewis Herber in German and in English, was a contributor together with Weisberg to an ecology issue of the journal Motive. The ravings of this lesser light of anti-communism in his article “Listen, Marxist!” are cited by Weisberg as “a provocative critique of Marxist thought” (Beyond Repair, p. 188). To give some idea of the trashy anti-communism of Bookchin, we will describe the cover of this pamphlet and quote its first sentence. In the original edition, the cover pictures Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and... Bugs Bunny. The first sentence reads: “All the old crap of the thirties is coming back again – the shit about the ’class line’, the ’role of the working class’, the ’trained cadres’, the ’vanguard party’ and the ’proletarian dictatorship’.” Need more be said?

These ideologues provide Weisberg his semi-anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist rhetoric. However, his basic theses come from other sources. Weisberg’s critique of contemporary society comes from the outstanding reactionary obscurantist Lewis Mumford, author of Technics and Civilization and a host of other works, and recipient of the highest accolades of the bourgeoisie. Of this reactionary obscurantist Weisberg states: “The works of Lewis Mumford over a fifty-year period stand unrivaled as a definitive study of the origins and development of technological society.” (Beyond Repair, p. 185) For his liberal bourgeois critique of U. S. imperialism (Chapter Four), Weisberg relies upon Richard J. Barnet, co-director of the Institute for Policy Studies. Seven of the nine citations for Chapter Four are from fellows of the IPS or associates of the Bay Area Institute. Weisberg’s Utopia of “self-determination”, i.e. autonomous neighborhoods, comes from Milton Kotler, author of Neighborhood Government and the federal government’s Handbook on Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and who was from 1963-74 a resident fellow of IPS. Finally, never cited but present throughout the work is the hand of Marcus Raskin, co-director of the IPS and Weisberg’s mentor. Weisberg’s basic theses, as well as Weisberg himself, can also be found in Raskin’s Being and Doing, published the same year as Beyond Repair.

Beyond Repair is not even a serious work of bourgeois scholarship. It is a rehash of the anti-Marxist-Leninist arguments of the principal schools of social-democracy and anarcho-syndicalism in the U.S. Weisberg’s sole contribution to this is to elevate environmental questions from a subordinate consideration, in Mumford and Raskin, to the context of the work. But even this is borrowed from various writings of Bookchin. Beyond Repair is simply the hack work of an anti-communist, social-democratic, publicist. It is this yeoman’s service to the bourgeoisie which wins Weisberg the praises of the likes of The Washington Post and Richard A. Falk.

In Beyond Repair, beneath the semi-anarchist phrases, Weisberg advances the line of municipal socialism. This school of social-democracy was a product of the degeneration of the Socialist Party on the eve of World War I. It was also known as “gas and water socialism”, because municipal ownership of the public utilities was the highest aim to which municipal socialism aspired. Municipal socialism was resurrected in the 1960’s by the IPS against Marxism-Leninism and the revolutionary mass movements. It became the banner of the Ford Foundation and the rationale of “community control”.[16]

The politics of the MLOC are a continuation of the politics of Beyond Repair. Today, beneath the “Marxist”-sounding phrases, Weisberg mutes the peculiarities of municipal socialism in order to promote reformism in general. The reformism of Unite! closely corresponds to that of the mainstream of social-democracy, as can be found, for example, in In These Times, weekly newspaper of the IPS. It is this reformism which the IPS is today raising up, against Marxism-Leninism and against the coming upsurge of the workers’ movement.

Apart from a vast difference in rhetoric and minor differences in line, the social-democracy of Weisberg’s Beyond Repair and the social-democracy of Weisberg’s MLOC are at base the same. Both are dedicated to the infiltration and subversion of the revolutionary movement with the most rightist social-democratic reformism and both harbor an undying hatred against revolutionary Marxism-Leninism. They both even give the same slogan of struggle against the “infantile leftism” of Marxism-Leninism. It is the responsibility of all Marxist-Leninists to maintain vigilance against the infiltration of the Marxist-Leninist movement with social-democracy, to uphold the purity of Marxism-Leninism and the integrity of the party’s ranks.


[1] Marx and Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party, Foreign Language Press, Peking, 1970, p. 47.

[2] The MLOC journals Unite! and Communist Line (now called Class Against Class) carried a multitude of articles. For example, see the Unite! articles “Training Successors to the Revolution”, Vol. 2, No. 4, August-September 1976, pp. 8-9, and “Uphold Proletarian Internationalism – Build the United Front Against the Two Superpowers”, Vol. 2, No. 6, December-January 1976-77, p. 3.

[3] MLOC’s thorough-going “three worlds-ism” and “main danger-ism” reappear repeatedly. For example, see the Preface by the Central Committee of the MLOC to the pamphlet “The Struggle Against Imperialist War and the Tasks of the Communists”, October 1976. Another typical example is the article ”Africans Unite Against U. S. S. R. Backed Invasion of Zaire”, Unite!, Vol. 3, No. 5, June 1977, p. 13. Even after the MLOC denounced the “three worlds” theory, it continued to write “three worlds-ist” articles. To this day it vacillates on the significance of the thesis of “directing the main blow against Soviet social-imperialism” and prefers to avoid the question whenever possible.

[4] V.I. Lenin, “Purging the Party”,Collected Works, Vol. 33, pp. 40-41.

[5] See “Reply to the COUSML Pamphlet ’Reply to the Open Letter of the MLOC ”, Class Against Class, No. 11, August 1978.

[6] Unite!, “COUSML Gets in Step”, Vol. 5, No. 3, February 15, 1979. See page 24 of this pamphlet.

[7] V.I. Lenin,Collected Works , Vol. 14, p. 88. Lenin is referring to the behavior of a character in a literary portrait drawn by I. S. Turgenev in his prose poem “A Rule of Life”.

[8] Unite! , “Defend Bennie Lenard! All Out for October 11th!”, October 1977, p. 7, col. 2. This passage is discussed in the COUSML pamphlet Reply to the Open Letter of the MLOC, pp. 16-17.

[9] IPS, The First Three Years, 1963-66.

[10] IPS, The First Three Years, 1963-66, I. “The Role of the Institute”, and V. Apendices, A. “Information for Prospective Students”.

[11] Marcus Raskin, Being and Doing, Random House, New York, 1971, p. viii.

[12] Ibid., p. 420.

[13] Research by the COUSML; Nation, January 10, 1972, pp. 51-52; Our Lives Are at Stake, United Front Press, 1973; June 19, 1975 untitled publication of the MLOC.

[14] The Washington Post, Jan. 29, 1973, p. 6.

[15] Richard A. Falk, This Endangered Planet, 1971, pp. 89-90.

[16] For a description of the IPS’s work for municipal socialism see the IPS publication entitled The First Three Years, 1963-66. Municipal socialism can be found in the writings of a host of IPS fellows. For example, see the writings of Kotler, Alperovitz and Raskin for municipal socialism with “democratic socialist” garb, and the writings of Hess and Weisberg for municipal socialism with semi-anarchist, “libertarian socialist” phrases.