Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists

Does the “RCP-USA” Oppose the Theory of “Three Worlds”? (Part 2)

First Published:The Workers’ Advocate Vol. 9, No. 3, March 29, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.


After the publication of Comrade Enver Hoxha’s brilliant work, Imperialism and the Revolution, the “RCP”leadership has come out with the most savage anti-communist attacks against socialism in Albania. (See the article “Down with the ’RCP, USA’s’ Shameful Anti-Communist Attack on the Glorious Party of Labor of Albania” in the February 12th issue of The Workers’ Advocate.) This attack on the land of the dictatorship of the proletariat, on the solid fortress of world revolution and beacon of socialism, marks the complete bankruptcy of the “RCP”and of its chief revisionist “theoretical” hack, Bob Avakian. With these attacks on Albania, the “RCP”leadership has come out as a commando squad for “three worlds-ism”.

Why is the “RCP”leadership in such a frenzy over Imperialism and the Revolution. It is because this book demolishes Chinese revisionism and exposes its roots in Mao Tsetung Thought, while the “RCP”is a fervent follower of Chinese revisionism. The “RCP”leadership is a diehard defender of the “three worlds” theory, that typical product and most disgusting example of Chinese revisionism, that theory that is universally condemned around the world as the concentrated expression of counter-revolutionary revisionism and open reaction. The “RCP” leadership knows that the spirited repudiation of the “three worlds” theory is key to the denunciation of Chinese revisionism, that once burning hatred is aroused against this theory, that then everyone will start looking into the questions of the origins of “three worlds-ism”, into the question of the roots of the “three worlds” theory and into the history of the struggle in the U.S. between revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and neo-revisionism.

Because of the powerful polemics against the “three worlds” theory by the world’s revolutionary Marxist-Leninists and because the consequences of the “three worlds” theory are being worked out in such an unmistakable fashion by the social-imperialist ruling clique in China, the “RCP”cannot defend the “three worlds” theory in a straightforward fashion. Therefore they twist and turn, caught in a false position. They try to deny the importance of fighting the “three worlds” theory and to shift this way and that. In the July 1977 issue of Revolution they concocted the view that as “opposed” to the Klonskyite open “three worlders”, they regarded the ”three worlds” theory not as the “whole!” strategy for world revolution, but only as “part” of the strategy or even just a “tactic”. This was too pitiful to last. Therefore the “RCP”leadership promised right and left to come out against the “three worlds” theory and finally produced an article in the November 1978 Revolution entitled “’Three Worlds’ Strategy: Apology for Capitulation”. But, upon examination, this article has made no advance at all over the previous article. It still says that the “three worlds” scheme is not revisionist in itself, but only When taken as a “strategy”. And it concocts the view of two different “three worlds” theories – the good one before Mao Tsetung’s death and the bad one afterwards.

In this article we analyze a few of the many opportunist positions taken by the “RCP”in its recent writings which allegedly “oppose” the theory of “three worlds”. This analysis will show that the “RCP”is nothing but another “three worlder” sect.

In the first part of this article, two points were dealt with:

1) The “RCP”denies the Marxist-Leninist teachings on the division of the world into two camps and instead substitutes for this the division of the world into two big imperialist blocs. In this section we showed that the “RCP”claims to oppose the division of the world into three with a division into two. But the two parts “RCP”recognizes are the U.S. imperialist war bloc and the Soviet social-imperialist war bloc – i.e. in short, the exact division made by the mast rabid Chinese revisionists and “three worlders” like Teng Hsiao-ping. It is this division that is the basis of the theory of ”directing the main blow at Soviet social-imperialism”. And thus it isn’t too surprising to find that the “RCP”then turns around and says that the division into three according to the “three worlds” scheme isn’t revisionist, in and of itself.

2) The “RCP”negates the existence of socialism in the world and the role of the only genuinely socialist country, Albania. The “RCP”ignores the existence of socialist Albania in its discussion of the world situation, and as well it ignores the entire world proletariat as a world force. Hence its division of the world into two is simply a division into rival imperialisms, not into the forces of world revolution versus the forces of counter-revolution and imperialism. Hence the “RCP”ignores the greatest achievement of the proletariat... socialism. And this ignoring of socialism is not “forgetfulness” but hostility, as shown by the “RCP’s” anti-communist attacks on Albania.



The “RCP”regards the basic formulas of Chinese revisionism and “three worlds-ism”, or a cleaned up version of them, as the only guide to the international situation. Therefore, for the ”RCP’’, to deny the “three worlds” theory means to deny the existence of any strategy at all for the world revolution and the international proletariat. In the July 1977 article the “RCP”twisted and turned and tried to clean up the “three worlds” theory by saying that is was OK so long as it was interpreted correctly and only taken as “part of”, rather than the whole, line for the international situation or perhaps as a “tactic” rather than a “strategy”. In their November 1978 article the “RCP”pretends to have gone further and the conclusion of the article states that “The ’three worlds’ theory is a counter-revolutionary line of capitulation and betrayal.” (p. 16, col. 3) But this is just sham. Actually there is no real advance from July 1977, only more huffing and puffing and hot air. For in the November 1978 article the “RCP”is very careful to only denounce the “ three worlds’ strategy”, both in the title of the article and over and over again in the text, while stating, as we have quoted above, that there is nothing wrong in the formulas of the division of the world into three when taken as “a description, in and of itself.” And the “RCP”cannot even denounce the “three worlds” theory as a ”strategy” without choking and coughing painfully and immediately adding that there is no international strategy at all for the proletariat. That is, if the “three worlds” theory isn’t the strategy, nothing is!

In the November 1978 article the “RCP”states:

“.. .But the ’three worlds’ strategy is being put forward as an overall global strategy... The first question that inevitably comes to mind is, a strategy for what? And once again the answer emerges – for anything but advancing the revolution worldwide.

“Indeed, one is treading on thin ice as soon as a ’strategy’ for the international proletariat is advanced. Historical experience has shown that such strategies, even where correct, have but limited and short-term usefulness. From a world-historic viewpoint one basic strategic alliance emerges in the epoch of imperialism – the link between the struggle of the proletariat of the advanced countries for socialism and the liberation struggles of the oppressed peoples of the colonial countries as the two component parts of the world proletarian revolution.” (p. 3, col. 2)

Here we see the “RCP”talking out of both sides of its mouth, denouncing ”strategy” but upholding “strategic alliance”, etc. But the central point in this proletariat is advanced.” In short, if the “RCP”can’t have the “three worlds” theory as an “overall global strategy”, then there is no “strategy” whatsoever, and to hell with the basic principles of Marxism- Leninism! Following this central point, the “RCP”goes on with a sentence about “basic strategic alliance”. The “RCP”wants to discredit Marxism-Leninism by denouncing “strategy”, but to leave a loophole to bring back in the “’united front against imperialism’ strategy” as a “strategic alliance”, a loophole which will be big enough to allow back in ail the basic theses of “three worlds-ism”. After all, the “RCP’s” own Party Program contains a section “The United Front Against Imperialism Is the Proletariat’s Strategy for Revolution” and Avakian’s speech “Revolutionary Work In A Non-Revolutionary Situation” contains a subhead entitled “Our Strategy – United Front Against Imperialism”. (See Revolution, June 1977, p. 25, col. 2) We shall return to the question of “RCP’s” “basic strategic alliance” but for the time let us examine what it means to denounce the international proletariat having any strategy.

The “RCP”Negates Marxism-Leninism by Ridiculing Strategy

What does it mean to ridicule “strategy”, to denounce it as of “limited” and only “short-term” value, “even where correct”. It means to write off the revolution, to leave the revolution without any prospects at all, without a line of march, an activity to be pursued blindly, without science, without hope, without conviction. It means to write off the proletariat, to condemn it to give up its historical mission and its class independence and to instead trudge along hopelessly while regarding “the principal and determining factor” as which imperialist bloc to line up with.

In fact, to deny “strategy” is to deny Marxism- Leninism. The strategy and tactics of the international proletariat are firmly based on Marxism-Leninism. Marxism-Leninism teaches the proletariat the universal laws of revolution and shows the proletariat the inevitable course of world history. As well, Marxism-Leninism provides the only truly scientific stand, viewpoint and method with which to study the concrete features of any particular situation, the only way to allow the proletariat to find its bearings in the midst of complicated situations. The “RCP”is attacking Marxism-Leninism under the pretext of denouncing “strategy”, shamelessly mocking the universal Marxist-Leninist laws and the Marxist world view as of little value “even where correct”.

The “RCP” tries to hide its negation of the strategy of Marxism-Leninism by counterposing “international” strategy to domestic strategy. We will deal with this sophistry later in more detail in the section of this article entitled “The ’RCP’ says that the ’three worlds’ theory is not important because it is only the ’international’ line of Chinese revisionism”. For now, two points will suffice. First of all, by counter-posing international strategy to domestic strategy the “RCP” is aiming especially at negating the universal character of the Marxist-Leninist laws, laws that hold true all over the world. And secondly the “RCP”is guiltily hiding the fact that the theory of “three worlds” is not just a question on some high, ethereal international plane, but also a question of the strategy and tactics in each individual country. The issue is not “international” strategy versus domestic strategy– but the revolutionary strategy of Marxism-Leninism versus the counter-revolutionary, social-chauvinist strategy of the “three worlds” theory.

Marxism-Leninism teaches the proletariat to follow a very definite strategy. For the proletariat can either have a conscious strategy or an unconscious one, can either have an independent, revolutionary strategy and tactics or bourgeois and revisionist strategy and tactics, but it cannot be without strategy altogether as the “RCP”implies. Thus a central point in the Marxist-Leninist strategy and tactics is that in all countries the proletariat seeks to organize itself as a class, to come out onto the historical process as an independent class force, and to establish its own political party, the communist party. Without a genuine Marxist-Leninist communist party, the proletariat cannot develop its own independent political action – that is, politics truly independent of the bourgeoisie and the opportunist lackeys of the bourgeoisie. Yet, strangely enough for a group that claims to be a “party”, the “RCP”has forgotten this basic principle of proletarian strategy. This is because the “RCP”opposes the Marxist-Leninist strategy with the basic neo-revisionist and Chinese revisionist theses that form the basis of “three worlds-ism”. First the “RCP” (then called the Bay Area Revolutionary Union and later the Revolutionary Union) opposed the unity of the Marxist-Leninists into one proletarian party and instead advocated forming “pre-party collectives”. This “pre-party collective” strategy scattered and factionalized the Marxist- Leninist movement and left it easy prey for infiltration by opportunist theories and dubious elements. Then the “RCP”concocted the theory that party- building was only important for a brief period of time prior to the founding congress. To this day they have never adhered to the basic Marxist-Leninist strategy on the constant building and strengthening of the party. According to them, the party, like strategy in general, is just some general dogma, of limited value “even where correct”. They counterpose the mass movement to the party, and the “united front” strategy to the party. The “united front” was allegedly concrete analysis of concrete conditions, while the “party” was allegedly abstract dogma. This example shows that the “RCP”denies strategy as a cover for negating Marxism-Leninism and replacing it with the neo-revisionist and Chinese revisionist strategy, the “three worlder” strategy.

The “RCP”Negates Marxist-Leninist Strategy in Order to Uphold the Strategy of “Three Worlds-ism”

This brings us back to the “RCP’s” “basic strategic alliance”. It is typical of the celebrated theoretical genius and political consistency of Mr. Avakian and company that the “RCP” denounces “strategy” but upholds a “basic strategic alliance”. The “RCP” has to continually contradict itself because it is in a false position – it is trying to present itself as “against” the “three worlds” theory without giving up any of the basic ideological theses of “three worlds-ism”. What is behind the “RCP’s” “basic strategic alliance”?

First of all, the “RCP” would have us believe that it simply wishes to uphold the alliance between the proletarian revolutionary movement and the national liberation movement as “the two component parts of the world proletarian revolution”. Here we won’t bother to discuss “RCP’s” particular formulation of this question, but we will pass on immediately to the key issue. To uphold the world proletarian socialist revolution – the forces of which include the world proletariat, the socialist country Albania, and the national liberation movement – means to uphold the division of the world into two forces, the forces of revolution and the forces of counter-revolution. But the “RCP”does not regard this as the correct division of the world. In this article the “RCP”stresses that the world is divided into two, but according to them these two are the U.S. imperialist war bloc and the Soviet social-imperialist war bloc. In short, the “RCP” divides the world into two rival imperialist blocs – while leaving the world revolution completely out of the picture – exactly like Teng Hsiao-ping and company divide the world. Since the “RCP” denies the world proletarian revolution any role in international politics, then clearly it has raised the question of the component parts of the world proletarian revolution simply as a diversion, in order to throw sand in the reader’s eyes, and with an ulterior motive.

The “’United Front Against Imperialism’ Strategy”

The ulterior motive is to promote the “’United Front Against Imperialism’ strategy”. Right from the start Mr. Avakian and company have used demagogy about the united front in order to fight the Marxist-Leninist teachings and to promote neo-revisionism, which in the main is the American expression of Chinese revisionism. The neo-revisionists hid behind the “united front against imperialism” in order to promote a number of basic opportunist theses, theses which in fact are basic premises of “three worlds-ism”. These original theses of “three worlds-ism” included such things as the following:

a) The united front was counterposed to the party, as part of the general neo-revisionist counterposing of the mass movement to the party.

b) The irreconcilable struggle against revisionism, cultural nationalism and all opportunism was denounced as a disruption of the united front.

c) The revolutionary capacity of the proletariat and its ability to rally all the toiling and oppressed masses around itself and to merge all the currents of revolt into one great torrent of socialist revolution was negated. The masses and especially the proletariat are presented as “backward”, and it was held that the “third world peoples in the U.S.” are more revolutionary than the proletariat. The proletariat is alleged to be interested, at best, in reformism.

d) The proletarian socialist character of the revolution was negated. Under the pretext that “imperialism is monopoly capitalism”, the socialist revolution inside a superpower is presented in national liberation colors. This is part of the skepticism towards the proletariat, which is pointed to in (c). It also reflects blatant reformism – the attempt to separate the question of opposition to imperialism and imperialist aggression and of various “immediate” issues from the question of the “ultimate” socialist revolution.

Thus “the ’United front against imperialism’ as the strategy of the American revolution” has always been a key component of “three worlds-ism”. It has all the same basic ideological theses. It is no wonder that all our domestic American “three worlders” swear by this strategy. For years, arch-renegade Klonsky’s chief complaint against the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists has been that they negate his idea of “united front”. For example, during the sharp debate in 1973 in the Marxist-Leninist movement over how to build the genuine communist party, The Call sputtered that “Most importantly, the present-day ultra-’leftists’ oppose the strategy of the united front against imperialism.” (The Call, “Building a New Communist Party in the United States”, March-May 1973)

The Revolutionary Union (predecessor of the “RCP, USA”) started out by upholding the “united front against imperialism” strategy and the notorious 𔄢five spearheads”. In fact, the RU was the original theoretician of neo-revisionism and domestic “three worlds-ism”. And today the “RCP”still upholds the “’united front’ strategy” and the basic theses of neo-revisionism, suitably modified and adapted over the years without altering its real essence. The “RCP” declares in favor of the “’united front’ strategy” in such basic documents as “Revolutionary Work in a Non-Revolutionary Situation” and the Party Program. The “RCP” is so anxious to preserve the “’united front’ strategy” from the fiasco of the “three worlds” theory that it resorts to a crude fraud. The “RCP”admits that a good deal of the demagogy of the “three worlds” theory revolves around the question of the “united front”, but the “RCP”asks “United Front for What?” (subhead on p. 12, col. 3) The “RCP”answers, “for building a world-wide united front against hegemonism”. (p. 13, col. 1, emphasis as in the original) The “RCP” stresses the word “hegemonism” as the point that allegedly distinguishes the “RCP’s” “united front against imperialism” from the “three worlders”’ “united front against hegemonism”. But this is nothing but a crude fraud and a slimy trick as in fact all the “three worlders” talk about the “united front against imperialism”. Look in Klonsky’s Political Report to the Founding Congress and you find a section on the “united front against imperialism” and not at all on the “united front against hegemony”. Klonsky is quite willing to talk about the “third world” allegedly fighting “resolute battles against imperialism, colonialism and superpower hegemonism” and not just against hegemonism alone. Why does the “RCP”resort to this crude fraud? The “three world- er” sophistry about “hegemonism” should be exposed, but such exposure has nothing in common with the “RCP’s” shallow word-games. The issue is not whether you fight imperialism or hegemonism – the revolution fights both imperialism and all its reactionary features including hegemonism. Nor is the issue the “united front” in itself either, for the Marxist-Leninists are in favor of the proletariat rallying its allies around itself, establishing correct united fronts, etc. The issue is the whole core of neo-revisionist and “three worlders” theses which have gone under the general heading of the neo-revisionist type of “united front against imperialism”. The “RCP”wishes to preserve these theories and concocts the crude hoax that everything was fine until the “three worlders” replaced the word “imperialism” with the word “hegemonism”.

In the course of the “RCP’s” adventures with hegemonism, the “RCP”blurts out that the problem is that “The proponents of the ’three worlds’ strategy never claimed it to be a strategy for revolution, but rather for building a world-wide united front against hegemonism”. (p. 12, col. 3-p. 13, col. 1) Of course this is a straightforward lie, as both the Chinese revisionists and the domestic Klonskyite “three worlders” have claimed that the “three worlds” theory is “a great strategic concept for world revolution”. But here the main issue isn’t “RCP’s” lie in itself, but the following fascinating contradiction:

a) The “RCP”in the first page of its article denounces the ’“three worlds’ strategy” for being an “overall global strategy” for revolution and goes to the extent of denying the existence of any useful strategy for the world proletariat.

b) Two pages later the “RCP”then turns around and denies that anyone ever claimed that the “three worlds” theory was “a strategy for revolution”. What conclusion can one draw from such absurd contradictions ? There is one obvious conclusion: that Mr. Avakian and his cronies are a bunch of professional confusion-mongers. And there is also another conclusion: that Mr. Avakian and company have no serious opposition to the “three worlds” theory – and simply want to tone it down a little and change this or that formulation in order to cover over the complete bankruptcy of Chinese revisionism and “three worlds-ism”.


We have already seen, in the last section, how the “RCP” ridicules the world revolution by denouncing the very idea of a strategy for the international proletariat. The “RCP”goes further to negate the proletarian revolution through its incessant preachings about the “non-revolutionary situation” in the advanced capitalist countries. With this theory the “RCP” is preaching that the proletariat is allegedly backward and that the objective conditions for revolution do not exist. They are joining in the chorus of the “three worlders”, a chorus which may sometimes pretend to support the national liberation movement or the anti-imperialist revolution, but which has totally written off the world proletariat, the socialist revolution, and the proletarian revolution in the “advanced” capitalist countries.

The denial of the revolution is at the center of social-chauvinism and “three worlds-ism”. Once the revolution is thrown out the window, what is left ? Only an “international situation” consisting solely of imperialist war blocs fighting for world domination, where the “principal and determining factor” is with which imperialist bloc someone aligns. And these arguments of the “RCP”are just a repetition of the basic ideas of the Klonskyite Pentagon-socialists. Klonsky himself puts aside the revolution and then divides the world into two in the “RCP” manner, i.e. into U.S. imperialist lackeys and Soviet social-imperialist lackeys. In the words of Klonsky’s Political Report to the Founding Congress of the CP(ML):

“A concrete study of concrete conditions shows that a new world war is inevitable. As long as the two superpowers continue to contend for world domination, one must either defeat the other or be defeated by the other. It does no good to talk in abstractions about peace being possible.... The rate of war preparations is so rapid now that there is no possibility of civil war and the victory of socialism heading off the war. Therefore, our task becomes one of transforming the inevitable superpower war into a revolutionary civil war.” (p.44) In this quote the arch-renegade Klonsky denounces proletarian revolution and the mass revolutionary struggles against imperialist warmongering and aggression as “abstractions about peace being possible”. Klonsky rules out the revolution in order to get down to the real business, the “practical politics”: either the U.S. imperialists win or the Soviet social-imperialists win, so choose sides. Of course, all this is covered over with talk of revolutionary civil war in the future, after the imperialist war breaks out, after the Klonskyites have helped the U.S. imperialists build more B-l bombers and Trident submarines and preserve a quiet home front for the whole period prior to the war.

The “RCP”however indicates that it has an allegedly fundamental difference with the “three worlders”. They state: “The ’three worlds’ theory makes the assumption (and insistence!) in analyzing the ’second world’ countries that a revolutionary situation does not exist nor can one conceivably arise.” (p. 3, col. 2, emphasis and parenthetical remark as in the original) Here the “RCP”shows its utter skepticism about the proletarian revolution and its utter impotence in the face of the Klonskyites. Their only difference with the Klonskyites is that the “RCP”holds that one should not “insist” too hard on the negation of revolution and that it is “conceivable” that a proletarian revolution might take place. The “RCP” uses the parenthetical remark “(and insistence!)” and italicizes the words “nor can one conceivably arise”, because that is their only difference with the “three worlds” theory, at most a difference of shade, over how much to insist on this or that point and over how active one’s imagination is. The difference between Mr. Klonsky and Mr. Avakian is over whether one can “conceive” revolution – if one tries hard enough, with one’s eyes closed, in a dark room and a deep trance.

The “RCP”Puts Off the Revolution Until the Outbreak of World War

Furthermore, the,’.’RCP.” “conceives” of this revolution mainly in regard to the threatened world war. Thus it turns out that even in “conceiving” the revolution the “RCP”is quite close to Mr. Klonsky, who also phrasemongers about revolutionary civil war in a world war. The “RCP” states: “The ’three worlds’ strategy takes as its premise the non-revolutionary situation existing in the imperialist countries and the weakness of the (pseudo- and genuine) Marxist-Leninist forces. (The “RCP” agrees with this premise!–ed.) Lenin, however, stressed repeatedly, especially with regards to war, the possibility of a very rapid change in the mood of the masses into a revolutionary one. He pointed out the outbreak of world war can bring with it the embryo of a revolutionary situation.” (p. 12, col. 2) Thus the “RCP” agrees with the “three worlds” theory on the “premise” of the non-revolutionary situation. And, just like Mr. Klonsky, the “RCP”identifies the advance of the revolution with “the outbreak of world war”, only Mr. Avakian is somewhat more cautious than Mr. Klonsky and he only says that world war will bring the “embryo” of a revolutionary situation. The “RCP”, never before known for modesty, generously attributes this idea to Lenin, rather than claiming it as another one of “RCP’s” celebrated theoretical breakthroughs. But the “RCP”is being far too bashful, because this idea–that proletarian revolution is only possible during a world war – has nothing to do with Leninism and everything to do with writing off the proletariat and with the feverish warmongering of the “three worlders”. The “RCP” tries to bolster this “three worlder” thesis by immediately quoting a fragment from a sentence by Lenin. Apparently Lenin “stressed” the idea so much that “RCP”couldn’t even find a complete sentence from Lenin with this idea. The fragment goes “...no socialist has ever guaranteed that this war (and not the next one), that today’s revolutionary situation (and not tomorrow’s) will produce a revolution. ” (Lenin, “The Collapse of the Second International”, Collected Works, v. 21, p. 159) But this fragment has nothing to do with the “RCP’s” thesis – it simply explains that not every revolutionary situation necessarily gives rise to a revolution and no socialist would be so foolish as to give a guarantee in advance. Lenin singles out the question of war because the article was written in 1915, in the middle of World War I and the fierce struggle against those social-chauvinists of the Second International who had taken the side of “their own” bourgeoisie in the inter-imperialist slaughter. In this important article, “The Collapse of the Second International”, Lenin, as if slapping the “RCP” in the face in advance, lists examples of revolutionary situations having nothing to do with “the outbreak of world war”, such as Germany in the 1860’s and Russia in 1859-61, 1879-80 and 1905. None of these examples are connected with a general or all-European war. The 1905 Revolution in Russia was of course connected with the defeats of Tsarism in the Russo-Japanese War. But this was not a world war. On the contrary, the situation with regard to that war is far more reminiscent of the repeated defeats of U.S. imperialism in Indochina, which was one of the factors creating favorable conditions for the revolutionary upsurge in the 1960’s, a revolutionary upsurge in which the mass movement against the war of aggression played a major role. It seems that the “RCP”reads Lenin a la Klonsky. All the “RCP” theoreticians learned from “The Collapse of the Second International” was that proletarian revolution requires world war – an idea that isn’t present in that work at all – and they missed entirely the fact that the article was written to stress the absolute necessity of an irreconcilable struggle against and a total break with the social- chauvinists and opportunists. As opposed to the “RCP”, Lenin did not consider the struggle against revisionism and opportunism as a mere side issue nor did he consider the opportunists “middle forces” to be united with.

Thus both the “RCP”and the open “three worlders” of the “CP(ML)” write off the proletarian revolution. They both attempt to cover up their denial of the revolution by phrasemongering about how the situation will change during a world war. The “CP(ML)” promises that it will then convert the imperialist war into a civil war, while the “RCP”says that it can “conceive” of the possibility of the “embryo” of a revolutionary situation arising. But Mr. Klonsky and Mr. Avakian are certainly mistaken if they think that serious revolutionaries will be so naive as to believe that those who scoff at the proletarian revolution before a war and follow the opportunist positions of the “three worlds” theory are likely to turn into ferocious revolutionaries and orthodox Marxist-Leninists during a war. Those who are in a fit of the blues over the “non-revolutionary situation” of today will not suddenly be invigorated by a war. On the contrary, all history goes to prove that if a world war breaks out, the “quiet revolutionaries” will throw up their hands in despair, complain of how strong the government is in times of war, whine in the face of the white terror of the bourgeoisie, shrink in horror at the executions for “high treason” – and evaluate the situation as far, far worse than the presently existing one. Perhaps some clown will start pontificating on “revolutionary work in a counter-revolutionary situation”. And that is only what the better section of the opportunists will do. The bulk of the social-chauvinists will step up their collaboration with the bourgeoisie and continue to cheer for the victory of U.S. imperialism. They will actively help the government hunt down “subversives”. Marxism- Leninism teaches that war is a continuation of politics by other, i.e. violent, means. The Klonskyites who today support the B-l bomber, Trident submarines and civil defense programs, who today are volunteer advisors to the State Department and public relations men for the Pentagon, will continue their path of class treason in wartime too. And meanwhile those who today can’t see the wave of revolt building up in the proletariat, who can’t evoke a revolutionary mood from the masses, will be twice as blind and impotent in the wartime conditions of capitalist white terror.

The “RCP” Preaches that There is a “Non-Revolutionary Situation” in the U.S.

So far, on the question of the alleged “non-revolutionary situation”, we have only quoted the “RCP’s” article on the “second world”. But in fact the “RCP” is well-known for its view that the situation in the U.S. too is “non-revolutionary”. In the major article “Revolutionary Work in a Non-Revolutionary Situation”, Mr. Avakian gives a whole barrage of complex arguments in order to blame everything on the allegedly unfavorable objective conditions. As a matter of fact, if the “RCP”really took seriously the study of Lenin on the objective conditions necessary for a successful revolution, then it would have learned something about the relationship between the deepening all-round crisis presently gripping the entire capitalist and revisionist world and the revolutionary ferment throughout the world. But all the “RCP’s” allegedly “scientific” arguments are just window dressing. The point at stake is not a disagreement with the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists on the precise timing of the revolution, on whether the insurrection should be launched now or not, or on the exact speed of the development of the objective factors0 The issue is that the “RCP”is writing off the socialist revolution and laying the ideological basis for social-chauvinism. The “RCP’s” real arguments for the “non-revolutionary situation” are the most commonplace, vulgar arguments of the neo-revisionists: namely, denouncing the masses as backward combined with just plain sneering at the revolution.

First of all, the “RCP”boils the whole question down to the alleged backwardness of the masses. In the November 1978 article, allegedly writing “against” the “three worlds” theory, the “RCP”reduces the question of the creation of the “embryo” of the revolutionary situation to “a very rapid change in the mood of the masses into a revolutionary one”, (p. 12, col. 2) Thus at one stroke the “RCP”negates all the Marxist-Leninist teachings about the objective factors for revolution, factors independent of the will and mood not only of individual groups and parties but even of individual classes, and one-sidedly reduces everything to the mood of the masses. In so doing, the “RCP”reveals its own deep pessimism about the proletariat and the toiling masses. The “RCP”always uses this alleged backwardness of the proletariat as the excuse for the “RCP’s” own opportunist politics. But in fact it is not even enough for the “RCP”that the masses be in a revolutionary mood. Unless the masses are absolutely clear about the revolutionary path and the Marxist-Leninist strategy, the “RCP” will still denounce them and deny the revolutionary nature of their struggle. Thus that bible of neo-revisionist whining and impotent intellectualism, namely the article “Revolutionary Work in a Non-Revolutionary Situation”, states: “This is a difficult period – for the masses and for the Party. It is not a period like the ’60’s and early ’70’s, a period of high tide of struggle, mainly based among non-proletarian forces and mainly based on expectations of some vague notion of ’radical change’ (sometimes even posed as ’liberation’ or ’revolution’) which, ultimately, would leave the foundations of imperialism unaltered and which, therefore, proved in the end illusory.” (Revolution, June 1977, p. 3)

This is turning truth on its head. It is the Marxist-Leninist Party which must fight to lead the revolutionary movement and imbue the proletariat with Marxist-Leninist consciousness. In the ’60’s and early ’70’s it was the longstanding betrayal of the “C”PUSA, the collapse of the Progressive Labor Party and the neo-revisionist strategy of the pre-party collectives that was responsible for leaving the mass movement confused and leaderless. To blame the masses and denounce the revolutionary movement on this account, to deny its revolutionary character and present it as not antagonistic to imperialism, this is an activity worthy of a renegade; it is to spit on the heroic actions and the self-sacrifice of the masses. Just imagine that! Mr. Avakian, who has never yet been correct on any fundamental question of the American revolution, is up on his high horse about the confused ideas of the masses! The only possible conclusions that a Marxist-Leninist could draw from the widespread damage done to the revolutionary movement by opportunism, social-democracy, New Leftism, cultural nationalism, Trotskyism and revisionism, are quite different. Marxist-Leninists hold that this history shows that it is absolutely necessary to reconstitute the Marxist-Leninist Party as the decisive subjective factor of the revolution and as the only way to fight revisionism and opportunism. And one could also draw the further conclusion that any thought of the Marxist-Leninist party spontaneously coming from the mass movement was the sheerest wishful thinking.

Actually, the “RCP’s” theory of the backwardness of the masses is the same as that of the Klonskyite “CP(ML)”. Mr. Klonsky explains his version of the “non-revolutionary situation” as follows: “... a revolutionary situation does not presently exist in the U.S. and the consciousness of the broad masses does not yet center on the need for revolution and socialism... ” (Political Report to the Founding Congress of the CP(ML), p. 30) Thus Klonsky too reduces everything to the question of the correct “consciousness”. The “CP(ML)” draws from this the conclusion that the masses must be “educated”. By education, the Klonskyites do not mean education in the Marxist- Leninist sense of advancing the revolution, but in the sectarian sense of teaching the masses the opportunist formulas by rote. This fits in well with the “CP(ML)’s” being organized as a loose Browderite educational association.

However, let us return to the “RCP”. In actual practice, the “RCP” passes from blaming the masses for backwardness to straightforward mockery of the revolution. They think that it is the height of wit to sneer: “Hey COUSML, where is your insurrection?’ This sneer is the height of reformism and social-chauvinism. It is the concentrated expression of denial of the revolution. Listen, Mr. Avakian, gentleman sir, most learned savant, the “COUSML insurrection” is developing right in front of your eyes. The “COUSML insurrection” can be seen in the irreconcilable struggle against social-chauvinism and Chinese revisionism and in defense of Marxism- Leninism, a struggle which is proving to be a veritable insurrection of the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists against the opportunists. Our “insurrection” can also be seen in our protracted organizational work in the factories, where we build the Party right in the midst of the working class and imbue the proletariat with the idea of revolution. The “COUSML insurrection” can also be seen in the training of the proletariat through revolutionary actions, in the resistance movement against the attacks of the state, and in the struggle against the fascist anti-busing movement.

The World Today Is Revolutionary

The truth is that the world is not at all the way the “RCP” presents it. Today the world in general is revolutionary. A revolutionary situation has matured or is maturing in many countries while elsewhere the process is developing. The revolution is not just a distant prospect; it is not an icon to be put on the wall and prayed to on ceremonial occasions, but a problem taken up for solution. The world is moving towards great outbursts. There is no area untouched by the revolutionary ferment, no area which remains as a stable base area for imperialism. The collapse of the 2500 year old feudal monarchy in Iran is a tremendous verification of the power of the revolution.

And this situation exists in the U.S. too. The deep crisis of world capitalism has the U.S. in its tight grip, and the discontent of the masses is stirring. The objective conditions are developing. The proletarian movement has been steadily deepening and broadening. The problem is that the subjective conditions, the decisive one being the Marxist-Leninist party, are lagging. The problem is not that the masses are backward or opposed to revolution. On the contrary, the problem is that the revolutionaries are unable to guide and utilize all the currents of revolt and anger that are breaking out among the broad masses. And this lagging behind of the subjective factor, this lagging caused by the revisionist and neo-revisionist disruption of the party, is a great danger. For the situation is developing rapidly, great clashes lie ahead, and the class enemy will not stop and wait for the proletariat to get organized but will instead seek to take maximum advantage of the backwardness of the subjective factor. The class enemy will use every means to disorganize and demoralize the proletariat. Therefore there can be no complacency, no lying around dreaming that “a very rapid change in the mood of the masses” will solve all the problems of the revolution. It is only through the active role of the Marxist-Leninists, through the organization of the proletariat and its vanguard, that the objective situation can fully develop and be utilized for the revolution, as the objective and subjective factors are closely intertwined.

The Struggle Between Marxism-Leninism and Social-Chauvinism Centers on the Question of Revolution

Thus the “RCP’s” sermons about the “non-revolutionary” situation mean that it has written off the revolution, that it is skeptical about the socialist revolution and deeply pessimistic about the revolutionary capacity of the proletariat and toiling masses. And this “non-revolutionary” mood of the “RCP”is in fact one of the basic attitudes underlying the theory of “three worlds”. For the struggle between the social- chauvinist theorists of the “three worlds” and the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists centers on the question of the revolution. The theory of “three worlds” writes revolution off the agenda. The “three worlders” are mesmerized by the power of the imperialists, by the glitter of the money and the “culture” of the capitalist moneybags, and by the sight of the armies, bombers and missiles. They have no faith in the revolution and they scoff at the revolutionary mission of the proletariat. They hold that the masses are “backward”. Their “Marxism” is a “Marxism” without revolution, a “moderate”, “reasonable” “Marxism”, a “Marxism” with its revolutionary soul cut out, with its revolutionary content obliterated. A so-called struggle against social-chauvinism and “three worlds-ism” that does not center on the question of revolution, that does not oppose the basic theses of the “three worlders” on the backwardness of the revolutionary masses, that does not mean strengthening and advancing the revolutionary movement and inspiring faith in the revolution, is nothing but a fraud, a meaningless squabble over formulations, a debate over how best to deceive the masses. And we have seen that it is just such a “struggle” that the “RCP”is waging when it “fights” the “three worlds” theory by emblazoning on its banner the social-chauvinist writing off of the socialist revolution.