Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists

Does the “RCP-USA” Oppose the Theory of “Three Worlds”? (Part 1)

First Published:The Workers’ Advocate Vol. 9, No. 2, February 12, 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.

It is of crucial importance for the advance of the proletarian socialist revolution in the U.S. that Chinese revisionism and its theory of “three worlds” be repudiated and the truths of Marxism-Leninism be upheld against the attacks and distortions of this latest variety of revisionism. The Marxist-Leninist Party, the decisive factor for the advance of the revolution, can only be built in the struggle against revisionism and opportunism of all hues. The “RCP, USA” has always opposed and disrupted the struggle against opportunism and revisionism. In theory, they have opposed the crucial role of the struggle against revisionism and followed the Chinese revisionist theory that revisionism and opportunism are “middle forces” that can and should be united with. In practice, they have conciliated the Klonskyite social-chauvinists on all issues, been fervent advocates of the basic ideological theses of social-chauvinism and “three worlds-ism”, and upheld the entire arsenal of Chinese revisionism.

Today the “RCP,USA” has come to complete bankruptcy. Its anti-communist gangster attacks against the Party of Labor of Albania and Comrade Enver Hoxha have shown the meaning behind Bob Avakian’s constant “creative” revisions and negations of the teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, and especially his scorn for and constant attacks on Stalin. Why has the “RCP,USA” been so hurt by the very announcement of the publication of Enver Hoxha’s new book, Imperialism and the Revolution, that even before reading the book the “RCP” leadership issued its gangster attack on Enver Hoxha and the PLA?

The reason for the “RCP”s” frenzy is that the “RCP” is a diehard defender of the theory of “three worlds” and of all the basic theses of social-chauvinism and Chinese revisionism. The sharpening of the struggle against revisionism therefore inevitably leads to their bankruptcy. The question of their stand on the “three worlds” theory is a vivid example of this. The “RCP” was right from the start thrilled by “three worlds-ism”. Back in the late 60’s, when the Castroite and New Left aspects of this theory were most apparent, the “RCP” supported this theory. Today the “RCP” still supports this theory. They have strived by one subterfuge and trick after another to stop the ever-deepening criticism of it. When the struggle against the blatant social- chauvinism of “directing the main blow against Soviet social-imperialism” began in late 1976, the “RCP” wanted at all costs to stop this struggle from going to the root of the question and repudiating the theory of “three worlds”, to say nothing of stopping it from proceeding to the repudiation of the whole basis of neo-revisionism, the American expression of Chinese revisionism. The ’RCP’s” only quarrel with social-chauvinism is that its Pentagon-socialist theses are too blatant and should be toned down for the better preservation of the main theses of neo-revisionism and opportunism. Therefore the “RCP” adopted the creative Avakian interpretation of a sanitized “three worlds”, allegedly stripped of the theory of the “main blow”. As this proved bankrupt, they advocated that the “three worlds” was just an “international line”, not a full-scale counter-revolutionary doctrine for class collaboration on all questions, and that the problem was that while it correctly described the relations of countries on a world scale, it was not the full description of the international situation. So, they advocated that, as “opposed” to the Klonskyites who held that the “three worlds” theory was the strategy for world revolution, the “three worlds” theory was merely “part of’ the strategy for world revolution or perhaps merely a “tactic”. (See “On the Three Worlds And the International Situation”, Revolution, July 1977) finally, in November 1978 the “RCP” ran an article in Revolution entitled ’“Three Worlds’ Strategy: Apology for Capitulation”. But, upon reading the article, it turns out that the “RCP” leadership has not denounced the “three worlds” theory, but only a version of it. They have concocted the subterfuge that there are two “three worlds” theories, one before Mao Tsetung’s death and one after it, and of course they only regard as counter-revolutionary the most recent version of the “three worlds” theory. They stress that it is “absolutely wrong, and quite dangerous, to see China’s international line (here “RCP” is referring to the “three worlds” theory–ed.) as a direct continuum of development since China’s ’opening to the West’ in 1971”. (p.16, col. 3 of the November 1978 Revolution) Finally, in an utter panic, even the “RCP” talks of “some errors made by Mao and the Four in regard to the international situation, especially the analysis of the Soviets being the ’main danger to the world’s people’”, (same reference as above) but says that it doesn’t matter too much because Stalin allegedly made similar errors, namely the “error” of leading the world’s people against the fascist Axis. (Revolution, November 1978, p. 14, col. 3)

In short, when all is said and done, the “RCP” is a diehard defender of the “three worlds” theory. Avakian is twisting and turning to deny the connection of the “three worlds” theory with the warmongering U.S.- China alliance that has been in preparation since 1971, to deny the connection of the “three worlds” theory with the whole arsenal of Chinese revisionism, to deny the central role of “three worlds-ism” in the development of neo-revisionism from the late 60’s, to deny everything. The “RCP” must do this because it is precisely the resolute and uncompromising exposure of the theory of “three worlds”, precisely the burning indignation and towering outrage this theory has called forward, that has proved one of the sharpest tools in opening people’s eyes to the danger of Chinese revisionism and the utter rottenness of neo-revisionism. This is the crucial role played by the denunciation of social-chauvinism, by the denunciation of ”directing the main blow against Soviet social-imperialism” and by fighting the theory of “three worlds”. Take away or blunt the burning hatred for social-chauvinism and the theory of “three worlds”–and you paralyze the whole movement against Chinese revisionism and U.S. neo-revisionism. And that is the whole point of “RCP’s” policy–to blunt the struggle against “directing the main blow against Soviet social-imperialism” and eliminate the struggle against the “three worlds” theory. But denounce the theory of “three worlds” and carry the struggle against social-chauvinism through to the end–and you are sure to rouse the masses on the questions of the roots of the theory of “three worlds”, the questions of its origins, and on the whole history of the struggle between revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and neo-revisionism.

In this article we will 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 “RCP” is nothing but another “three worlder” sect. These points will be grouped under three main headings.

The first heading consists of those positions of the “RCP” which are directly and precisely the basic theses of the theory of “three worlds” or which directly praise this theory. These points include:

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.

2. The “RCP” negates the existence of socialism in the world and the role of the only genuinely socialist country, Albania.

3. The “RCP” writes off the revolution. I. – the “RCP” denies the existence of strategy for the international proletariat and thus denies both revolution and Marxism- Leninism.

4. The “RCP” writes off the revolution. II.– the “RCP’s” view of the “non-revolutionary situation” denies the proletarian revolution.

5. The “RCP” holds that the “three worlds” theory can correctly define the tasks of the revolution inside the USSR.

6. The “RCP” holds that there are two “three worlds” theories, the good one before Mao Tsetung died and the bad one after.

7. The “RCP” holds that the good “three worlds” theory correctly defines China’s state to state relations particularly with regard to defense against the Soviet Union.

8. The “RCP” supports U.S. imperialist domination of Western Europe, Canada and Japan by agreeing with the “three worlds” thesis that struggle against imperialist domination means abandoning the proletarian revolution and siding with one’s “own” imperialist bourgeoisie.

9. The “RCP” agrees with the slanders of the “three worlders” against Stalin that the struggle against fascism is an alleged precedent for the thesis of “directing the main blow against Soviet social-imperialism”.

The second heading is those points which show how the “RCP” denies the importance of struggle against the very “three worlds” theory which it allegedly condemns. These points include:

10. The “RCP” says that the “three worlds” theory is not important because it is only the “international line” or “external line” of Chinese revisionism.

11. The “RCP” says that the “three worlds” theory is not important as it “did not become the focus of the struggle and split within” the “RCP”.

12. The “RCP” directs outrageous slanders at those who fight “three worlds-ism”, such as the COUSML and the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist).

The final heading is that the “RCP” is opposed to the struggle against revisionism altogether. This point is as f


13. The “RCP” opposes the Marxist-Leninist teachings on the question of the struggle against opportunism and regards opportunism and revisionism as “middle forces” to be united with.

Now let us go through these points. (Page references are to the November 1978 issue of Revolution unless otherwise indicated.)

1. The “RCP” denies the Marxist-Leninist teachings on the division of the world into two parts.

In its article of November 1978, the “RCP” refers back to its earlier article of July 1977 and quotes the passage: “This three worlds analysis gives, in our view, a correct appraisal of the general role that countries, or groupings of countries, are playing on a world scale. As such it is one important part of the more general worldwide united front line. It is part of making use of all contradictions and for isolating to the extreme the two superpowers, who are to the same degree and the same extent the main enemies of the world’s peoples.” (p. 15, col. 3)

This passage shows that the “RCP” enthusiastically supported the “three worlds” analysis, the only difference with Klonsky being over whether the “three worlds” theory was the whole or only “part” of what “RCP” gives as the “international line”. In the November 1978 article, this passage is “corrected” as follows:

“The above quotation contains a serious mistake. It maintains that the division of countries into three ’worlds’ is the fundamental way of describing the various alignments among states, when in fact the actual alignment of states in the capitalist world is much more, and increasingly, a question of lining up ’ in two rival blocs headed by the superpowers.” (p. 15, col. 2)

The “RCP” goes on to stress this point and states: “Our mistake in this regard was, as reflected in the Revolution article, that even in describing the role of countries the ’three worlds’ analysis could at best describe only an aspect of the situation, and one clearly secondary to what is the principal and determining factor in the conduct of regimes in today’s international arena: the lining up of imperialist blocs for war.” (p. 15, col. 3)

Thus according to the “RCP”, the principal and determining factor” in world politics is the lining up of the world into imperialist blocs. This straightforward “three worlds-ism” is what the “RCP” describes as opposition to “three worlds”, on the wonderfully profound grounds that there are two big imperialist blocs and not three worlds, i. e. two does not equal three and therefore the “three worlds” theory is demolished.

The issue however is that the Marxist-Leninist division of the world into two camps is not to divide it into any two camps, but only in a very particular way. Marxism-Leninism teaches and life itself confirms that there are two forces in contention. On one side is the world proletarian socialist revolution. The world of labor, consisting of the world proletarian movement, the socialist countries (at the present there is only one – Albania), and the national liberation movement. And on the other side are the forces of world imperialism, the world of the reactionary bourgeoisie, the feudal landlords and all reaction.

The division into rival imperialist blocs only applies to the forces of world imperialism and, the Titoites and other revisionist renegades to the contrary, it does not apply to the world of labor.

Thus the “RCP” in fact denies the division of the world between the forces of revolution and the forces of world imperialism by completely denying the forces of revolution. The “RCP” by sleight of hand identifies the “international arena” with simply countries or ruling regimes (and among countries it forgets about the existence of a socialist country, Albania). The quotations in themselves try to give the impression of very carefully and scientifically restricting themselves to one limited area of world politics, the war alignments of ruling regimes in the capitalist world. But that is where the whole trick lies. For the “RCP” discusses no other aspect of the “international arena” in those articles – “RCP” reduces the “international line” to a discussion of how to align various regimes in either the imperialist bloc of the West or the imperialist bloc of the East. Thus the “RCP” is in total agreement with the “three worlders” in denying that, on a world scale, the forces of revolution play any role at all, in denying that the proletarian movement is a world factor of first class significance or that the dictatorship of the proletariat plays a powerful international role as the beacon of socialism.

According to the jokesters of the “RCP”, the division of the world into imperialist war blocs contradicts “three worlds-ism”. But on the contrary, such division of the world is the very quintessence of “three worlds-ism”. The “three worlders” hold that to fight one superpower one must ally with the other. The “three worlders” hold the revisionist and imperialist lackey view no one can survive without a patron or master from among the big powers, without meekly and humbly, hat in hand, seeking refuge under someone or other’s “nuclear umbrella”. They do not oppose the view that what is going on today is “the lining up of imperialist blocs for war”. On the contrary, the “three worlders” are criminal warmongers who are busily building up such blocs. The arch-revisionist Teng Hsiao-ping, in his recent tour, was not reticent in the slightest about supporting imperialist war blocs, but openly called for building a big bloc with U.S. imperialism against Soviet social-imperialism and his tour marked a new stage in the development of the aggressive U.S.-China imperialist alliance. For Teng Hsiao-ping and Co., “the principal and determining factor” in judging regimes, no matter whether they are led by diehard fascists or by ex-Nazi generals is how they line up in the imperialist war blocs. Does the Shah of Iran line up against the Soviet Union? Then in the opinion of the “three worlders”, that is the “principal and determining factor” to be used in judging Iran’s role in international politics.

Thus when you divide the world into “two” the way the “RCP” does, you are not at all in any fundamental disagreement with the “three worlders”. On the contrary, you are expressing “three worlds-ism” in a more concentrated form. And sure enough, the “RCP” itself says that its “new” division of the world into imperialist war blocs does not at all deny the existence of the usual division into “three worlds”. The “RCP” explains that: “We understood Mao to have made a general description of countries as dividing into “three worlds” and we did not and do not today feel that such a description, in and of itself, is revisionist.” (p. 16, col. 3, underlining added) In brief, the “RCP” says the world should be divided into two parts, both of which are world imperialism, but they are careful to contradict themselves by adding that if you divide the world into “first”, “second” and “third” worlds, then you are not revisionist. What a staunch struggle “RCP” is waging against the “three worlds” theory! Everything is reduced to petty doubts, equivocations and differences of a shade here or there, while the main theses presented so proudly as opposition to the Klonskyites turns out to be a more concentrated form of the same old tired-out these of “three worlds-ism”!

2. The second point is that the “RCP” negates the existence of socialism.

We have already seen that in “RCP’s” description of the “international arena”, socialism does not exist. The entire six page article neglects to mention Albania and its role in world politics. In describing the “international arena”, at times the “RCP” will simply leave out socialist Albania, while at other times they openly state that they are only dealing with the “capitalist world”. And it goes without saying that if the “RCP” refuses to discuss the land of the dictatorship of the proletariat, even though it claims to be discussing relations between countries, then it is certainly clear that the “RCP” will leave out the role of the socialist proletariat and the world proletarian movement as a factor in world events.

Of course, the existence of socialist Albania is a striking proof of the fallacy of the “RCP’s” view of the “principal and determining factor” of the conduct of a regime is to which imperialist bloc it belongs. The fact is that Albania does not belong to any imperialist war bloc nor does it allow even one penny of foreign imperialist investment. Albania stands forth as a beacon of socialism, as a bastion of world revolution, and as a constant reproach to all those who have departed from the Marxist-Leninist principles. The existence of socialist Albania is a dramatic proof of the decay of world imperialism and the coming triumph of world socialism.

By ignoring the existence of socialism as a world system, the “RCP” is united with the other “three worlders” in ignoring the greatest historic victory of the working class. The “RCP” in one part of its article engages in some phrasemongering about “class analysis”. But what type of “class analysis” is indifferent to the role of socialism, which is the inspiration and guiding light of the proletariat, the embodiment of the victory of the revolution, the homeland for the proletarians of whatever nationality ? What type of “class analysis” forgets that the struggle between the proletarian revolutionary forces and world imperialism constitutes the main content of the entire epoch of transition from capitalism to socialism? What type of “class analysis” leads one to forget that the first and foremost duty of the Marxist-Leninists with regard to the “international arena” is proletarian internationalism? And today proletarian internationalism is a sham unless it includes staunch defense of the land of socialism, the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania.

Naturally neither the “RCP” nor the other “three worlders” have really “forgotten” socialism. Their silence is not forgetfulness nor absentmindedness, but instead is part of their hostility to socialism. China’s treacherous tearing up of its agreements with socialist Albania and their plots against Albania, and the “RCP’s” recent shameful anti-communist attack on the Party of Labor of Albania (denounced in another article in this issue of The Workers’ Advocate) prove that the “three worlders” leave socialism out of their world schemes as a reflection of their practice of rabidly attacking socialism. To be continued.