Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)

Attack on Mao quoted in Daily World

Silber Scores with Revisionists

First Published: The Call, Vol. 7, No. 15, April 17, 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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If you attack Marxism hard enough, you can win a nod of approval from the Daily World, mouthpiece of the revisionist Communist Party U.S.A.

The latest to receive this distinction is none other than Irwin Silber, editor of the centrist Guardian. Silber’s series attacking Chairman Mao’s theory of the three worlds (Guardian, Feb. 1, 8 and 15) did such a good job parroting the revisionists’ view of the international situation, it merited a series of its own in the CPUSA newspaper (Daily World, March 18, 21 and 22).

Why do the revisionists use Silber to explain their own line? For one thing, the Daily World finds Silber’s “indictment of Maoism” as good or better than anything they could come up with themselves.

Echoing the revisionists’ attempts to promote the myth of “detente,” Silber attacks the idea that war between the U.S. and the USSR is inevitable. He claims to be “shocked” that China “sees the Soviet Union as the chief source of war,” excusing the massive military expenditures of the USSR as “Pentagon and CIA” propaganda.

To the delight of the CPUSA, Silber even joins in the worldwide revisionist chorus which said that China, by condemning Soviet intervention in Angola, was making an “objective alliance with the U.S. and South Africa.” But China has never promoted reliance on one superpower to defeat the other. On the contrary, the theory of three worlds clearly shows that the people of the world must unite to defeat both U.S. and Soviet imperialism.

Like the CPUSA, Silber also denies that the second world countries of Europe are threatened with bullying and aggression by the two superpowers. He says not a word about the thousands of Soviet troops massed on the borders of European countries, much less Soviet domination in Eastern Europe.

The revisionists, of course, lap all this up. Silber’s confusing enemies for friends and friends for enemies is just what the revisionists need in order to disarm the people of the world and keep them unprepared for the approaching imperialist war.

But their praise for Silber’s revisionism is not the only reason the Daily World comments on him at such length. They also take the opportunity to bawl him out. “How account for the Guardian’s peddling of Maoism through the years,” they complain, “in the light of the betrayals that Silber has described?”

Even more “shameful” to the revisionists is the fact that Silber doesn’t come right out and call the USSR “socialist.” If you’re going to attack China, they reason, why not go all the way?

Behind this scolding is the real service Silber and other centrists render to the revisionists. The CPUSA must explain the international situation to many revolutionary-minded people, including some within the CPUSA, who still love China and have serious doubts about the Soviet Union.

To these people, Silber is a far more respectable critic of Chairman Mao’s analysis of the world than those who have openly attacked China for years. “Look,” gloat the revisionists, “even the Maoists have to admit Mao was wrong.”

But, for all his claims to “independence” and “Marxism-Leninism,” Silber’s line shows that centrism is nothing but a particular form of revisionism. The fact that the Guardian hasn’t jumped openly into the revisionist ranks makes Silber’s defense of Soviet aggression even more dangerous and despicable.