Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)

Avakian Holds 2nd Congress: Future is gloomy for RCP’s gang of China-haters

First Published: The Call, Vol. 7, No. 20, May 22, 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The latest issue of Revolution, the newspaper of the opportunist Revolutionary Communist Party, gives more insight into the recent splits that have shattered the RCP’s revisionist, chauvinist bloc.

It appears that RCP leader Avakian has hastily held a “2nd party congress” following his faction’s split from former RCP leaders Mickey Jarvis and Leibel Bergman. In the congress communique, published on page one of Revolution, the Avakian clique reports that “somewhat less than one third of party members” have left the RCP. This estimate is far below the 40% claimed by members of the Jarvis-Bergman group.

But while quibbling over numbers, Avakian’s communique, and in fact his whole newspaper, continues to hide the question that stands at the heart of the split in the RCP; there is still not a word about the current situation in China. True, Avakian uses half the issue of Revolution to spout quotes from Mao Tsetung. But like his bed-pals, the Trotskyites, Avakian likes socialism everywhere but where it exists.

Avakian is the model of a petty-bourgeois radical, still filled with the liberal idealism that marked his early history in the reformist electoral struggles of the Peace and Freedom Party. He loves to phrasemonger Chairman Mao’s quotes, but detests the very revolutionary, socialist society that Chairman Mao helped build, the society that he led and died fighting for.

In one article, Avakian tries to refute charges in The Call that the RCP in fact has the same line as the “gang of four.” But his response only serves to cement him and the “gang” closer together.


This “second congress” of the RCP was simply a charade rigged-up by Avakian to consolidate the remaining band of misfits, goons and careerists around his anti-China line and to have himself “unanimously” reelected “chairman.” Despite the silence of Revolution on the China question, it is widely known that Avakian has joined the opportunist anti-China chorus, claiming, in internal documents and a well-publicized “whisper campaign,” that “China has turned revisionist.” The only difference between Avakian’s anti-China stance and that of the Trotskyites and revisionists is that Avakian wants to keep the Red Book waving in his hand and a Mao button on his collar.

While the RCP chastizes the leaders of the opposition faction for their failure to “practice Marxism, not revisionism; unite and don’t split; be open and above board, don’t intrigue or conspire,” Avakian and his clique are themselves afraid to lay their anti-China views before the masses. It is the RCP which practices revisionism, foments splits and hides its views from the masses. Avakian and his clique expect the readers of their silly little rag to pretend the China question will go away.

Furthermore, in all the Mao quoting that went on at the RCP “congress,” it seems there was no mention of Chairman Mao’s profound theory of three worlds, which today is providing the strategic and tactical direction for genuine Marxist-Leninists and revolutionary fighters throughout the world. Previously the RCP paid lip-service to this theory while opposing it in essence. Now apparently another mask has been dropped.


The rest of the report on the RCP “congress” is like the rest of Revolution–a long-winded pep talk aimed first and foremost at the rank-and-file who are no doubt badly shaken by the split and the long series of defeats under the RCP leadership. The fact that the important differences over China were covered up even within the RCP’s own ranks cannot leave the Avakian-ites nor the Jarvis-Bergman group brimming with confidence in their leadership.

But, even according to Avakian’s own backwards sum-up, pep talks won’t help. Avakian’s view is that the revolutionary situation in the world is bleak– and no wonder. To him, China has gone “revisionist.” The bourgeoisie, says Avakian’s communique, is making “gains” both “in this country and internationally.” Thus the RCP is left viewing themselves as the remaining little band still faithful to Marxism.

The road out, according to the Avakian plan, is to make the frantic attacks on genuine Marxist-Leninists which appear in nearly every article in Revolution. Because of the “gains” for the bourgeoisie and the backwardness of the workers, Avakian’s strategy is to “shock the workers” into struggle or simply to rant at them with abstract propaganda and phrase-mongering.


Still another article in the latest Revolution goes so far as to favor the terrorist Red Brigades in Italy, whom Revolution claims are only “being labeled as “terrorists.” Actually, says the RCP, the Red Brigades are leaders of the masses who “perform such functions as carrying messages and lending them houses for protection.’’

This glorification of opportunism is an outright lie. It is well-known that the Italian workers have no use for these terrorists any more than the U.S. workers do for the “Weathermen.”

Despite a puny criticism of terrorism (“the road offered by the Red Brigades will not lead to revolution”), Avakian is ultimately left with no other alternative than to lead his band of movement dregs down this same road.


The “second congress” has even dropped the infamous RCP strategy of “taking economic work as the center of gravity,” long after it has been exposed by the Marxist-Leninists for what it always was–economism, pure and simple. From the looks of things, the RCP has given up completely on tailing the economic struggles of the workers and is now flipping over in frustration to tailing the spontaneous struggles of the petty-bourgeois intellectuals.

So while around the world– from China and across the third world, to the growing workers’ movement in the industrial countries–the future looks bright and the situation excellent, the RCP’s congress makes things look gloomy. And indeed things are gloomy for those who continue to travel down the low road of revisionism.