Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)

Training New Writers: Call Workshop Criticizes Revisionism


First Published: The Call, Vol. 7, No. 3, January 23, 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Some people seem to think that criticizing revisionism is mysterious or hard to do. They leave it up to other people. We tried it though, and we found that we could do a good job.

This was how one person summed up a recent Washington, D.C., Call workshop criticizing the revisionists’ view of repression.

Over the last period, the D.C. Call Committee has organized several work-shops to help develop new writers for The Call. A central theme of all our work-shops has been to learn to distinguish revisionism from Marxism-Leninism.

The repression workshop, held in Spanish and translated into English, included workers of several nationalities. The workshop compared two articles one from Voz del Pueblo, the Spanish- language supplement to the revisionist CP’s Daily World, and one from El Clarin, newspaper of the CPML.

The Daily World article reported on the convention of the revisionist-led National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. The article we studied from El Clarin was about the June 4 Puerto Rican rebellion against repression in Chicago’s Humboldt Park. Our aim in comparing the articles was to examine the question, “Which class does this newspaper serve?”

“There is one thing I want to get to right at the beginning,” said a waitress who participated in the workshop. “Look how the revisionist papers are written – in a sort of phony ’objectivity.’ You can tell The Call is written by the people because of all the letters and reports right from the factories. The Call takes a stand with the working class,” she concluded.

Looking at how the revisionists approached the question of how to fight repression, we noted that the article in Voz del Pueblo called for the passage of two laws, the repeal of another, and three or four other adjustments in state policy. It held up two capitalist politicians and a labor bureaucrats as “leaders” of the anti-repression movement. The revisionists’ own spokesman, Angela Davis, was quoted as urging reliance on the government to “protect” the people from fascist groups like the KKK.

“This just hides the fact that behind the government and the KKK you find the same capitalists,” said a Latino worker. “The revisionists try to tell us that the government is ’above’ classes and the class struggle,” the workshop leader pointed out. “The truth is, the state is a weapon in the hands of the capitalists, and its main purpose is to keep us down.”

We agreed that this becomes especially true in times like these as the ruling class tries to put down the growing fightback against unemployment and other effects of the crisis.

“There were probably some honest people at the Alliance convention,” said a hospital worker. “But the ones who led it, the revisionists, push reformism, not revolution. When you get down to it, you have class collaboration disguised as ’revolution.’ ”

The Clarin article, on the other hand , took a clear stand against the government and the capitalists as the enemy of the people. “Es correcto contraatacar!” (“It is right to rebel!”) declared the headline.

El Clarin supported the people’s struggle in Humboldt Park. It gave some examples of how the politicians are out to betray the people, and it pointed out that spontaneous rebellions like this one are not the end of the struggle but only the beginning.

“Look at what it says,” said one veteran worker. “We should rely on the workers and oppressed nationalities, organize and take our struggle to a higher level, and attack the capitalist system as the enemy. That is a whole different strategy from the revisionists”.

At the end of the workshop, the group discussed putting together this article for The Call/El Clarin summing up our discussion.

One person said, “Point out that we want other people to analyze revisionism, too. Once they try, the differences are easy to see.”