Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Workers Group (Marxist-Leninist)

More “Great Disorder Under Heaven”

First Published: Forward, No. 4, August 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The recent founding of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) and triumphal journey of its Chairman to meet and exchange compliments with Hua Kuo-feng came as a surprise only to those who were naive enough to think that what occurs in China is one thing, and what happens here is something else. The visit of Chairman Klonsky with Chairman Hua, however, drew the international connection between these two Parties so starkly that it will soon put an end to such opportunist illusions. For years the ’ML’ movement shared a common allegiance to the CPC and PLA, a loyalty that was kept intact partly by the apparent harmony between the CPC and PLA and partly by their neutrality towards the domestic disputes in the US ’ML’ movement. So long as the CPC and PLA withheld support from any particular ’ML’ organization, each ’ML’ circle could cherish the hope that eventually they alone would rise above the local opportunists and receive the blessings and praise of the ’two great parties’. Now, however, everything has fallen through. Not only are the CPC and PLA at odds, but the CPC has laid the ’crowning touch’ on the head of the arch-opportunist Michael Klonsky! The ’great disorder under heaven’, which all the pro-CPC ’ML’s cite in such a ’knowing’ way, has at last come home to roost.

It has laid, in the view of the pro-CPC but anti-CP-ML circles, a rather rotten egg. It is so rotten, in fact, it will be difficult for the RCP, Revolutionary Wing, WC(ML), New Voice, PUL, M. Nicolaus and others to even mention the CP-ML’s new favored status without, on the one hand, attacking the CPC outright, or on the other, making themselves look even more ridiculous. The CPC’s recognition of the CP-ML is not, after all, an inadvertant mistake or simple tactical maneuver. It is the CPC’s view, as expressed by Politbureau member Li Hsien-nien, that “...The founding of the CP-ML of the US has reflected the aspirations of the proletariat and the working people of the US and also marked a new victory for the ML movement in the US...” (quoted in The Call 8-1-77 p.8). The American proletariat aspires, in the CPC’s view, to have a nitwit at its head. This will take some rather ’refined’ explanations on our ’ML’s part. The RCP et al. cannot continue to support the CPC and at the same time take the CPC’s obedient follower, the CP-ML, to task for class-collaborationism, social-chauvinism, dishonesty, stupidity, and all-round opportunism. In welcoming the CP-ML, the CPC has in fact shown that it approves of the CP-ML’s social-chauvinism, that it supports its all-round opportunism and wishes it godspeed. It has in effect given Chairman Klonsky a license to liquidate the remaining pro-CPC ’ML’ circles via the challenge: put up or shut up. Either join the CP-ML or break with the CPC altogether. And if the pro-CPC ’ML’s are going to continue basking in the CPC’s prestige, they cannot avoid the former course.

The untenable position of the pro-CPC ’ML’s is expressed most sharply by the present predicament of the RCP USA. The RCP has done absolutely everything in its power to avoid open criticisms of the CPC and assure it of its faithful intentions. The RCP does not, as does the Guardian, defend the pro-Soviet movements, and so supports the CPC’s line to the extent that it opposes both superpowers. In addition, the RCP fully supports the CPC’s ’right’ to make the USSR the main enemy so long as this applies to China’s defense alone. The RCP does object however, to the CPC’s focus on the USSR being used as an international strategy. The RCP has somehow convinced itself that the CPC does not advocate an international alliance against the USSR, but that it is only ’certain followers’ of the CPC, i.e. Mr. Klonsky, who have distorted the CPC’s position to this effect. The RCP thus vehemently denounces the CP-ML’s emphasis on the ’greater danger’ posed by the USSR stating that “...This is poison enough in the US, but they (CP-ML) have the nerve to preach that revolutionaries in other countries, where the situation is even more volatile and complex, should take up their stand irregardless of the particularities of the r situation, and deliver their ’main blow internationally’ to the ’main danger’ the Soviet Union....”. This is, states the RCP, “...a disgraceful exercise in social-chauvinism and class collaboration...” (Revolution, August 1977 p.14). Disgraceful indeed. It is disgraceful that the CP-ML, Workers Party of Norway, the Canadian Communist League (ML), the CP Belgium (ML) and innumerable others advocate a social-chauvinist alliance with their own bourgeoisie to ’defend the fatherland’. But it is even more disgraceful to attempt to conceal the fact that it is the Communist Party of China that is fostering and giving ’official’ prestige to such social-chauvinist alliances. The CPC does in fact advocate an international social-chauvinist alliance against the USSR, does in fact urge the workers of the imperialist and developing capitalist countries to unite with ’their own’ bourgeoisie against ’the main enemy’, does in fact directly support and approve of the activities of the CP-ML et al., and does this moreover strictly from the standpoint of its own bourgeois/revisionist ’national interests’. In attempting to denounce the most overt expressions of the CPC’s chauvinist line while attempting to defend the CPC itself, the RCP is in fact providing a better cover for the CPC than the CPC itself could provide. The CPC at this point, however, has no need of opportunist cover; it wants a bold offensive. It therefore welcomes, not Chairman Avakian, but Chairman Klonsky.

The RCP’s true service to the CPC will no doubt be recognized only at some later date. It is precisely with that date in mind that it has refrained from openly siding with the PLA (a small Party and hence small prestige) in its dispute with the CPC. The PLA has attacked the concept of ’three worlds’ only because the CPC is presently employing it to the PLA’s detriment. Unity with the imperialist countries of the second world means, in the PLA’s view, the sacrifice of Albania to NATO. And they are quite right. The CPC does not give a fig for Albania when its own national interests are at stake. The PLA thus advocates a different social-chauvinist alliance, one which not only safeguards Albania from the Warsaw Pact, but from NATO as well. As far as the RCP is concerned attacking the concept of ’three worlds’ is going a bit far. It reminds the PLA that the second world countries are “...part of, but not the heart of...” (it repeats this little jingle twice in its article) the “...worldwide united front against imperialism...” and that “...This three worlds analysis gives, in our view, a correct appraisal of the general role that countries, or groupings of countries, are playing today on a world scale...” (Revolution, July 1977 p.5). On the other hand it reassures the PLA that it recognizes the danger of the NATO alliance and states that the US and USSR are ”...to the same degree and the same extent the main enemies...”(ibid), a direct quote from the PLA’s 7th Congress. The RCP cannot side openly with the CPC’s position on the USSR, since under the present circumstances, it feels, that position is too exposed. Nor can it side openly with the PLA’s dispute with the CPC (Mr. Avakian is not, after all, Albanian) since the PLA’s position is based solely on its own narrow national interests. It therefore attempts to stand in between and provide apologies for both.

This position is now being eroded by the PLA’s attempts to find open and reliable support among the ’ML’s (with the MLOC or COUSML as the potential ’beneficiaries’ in the US) and the CPC’s attempts to do the same. Chairman Klonsky has already employed his mandate to threaten the RCP, accusing it of maintaining an “anti-China stand” and calling on “...the honest Marxist-Leninists inside the RCP to break with this revisionist line and take up the struggle for unity around the genuine Marxist-Leninist line embodied in the Program of the CP-ML....” (The Call, 7-25-77 p.2). Similar appeals will no doubt be made to the other pro-CPC circles as well.

The RCP’s response to this offensive has been to launch its own campaign, the ’National Workers Group’, as an effort to both provide its cadre with ’activity’ and deflect their attention from the CP-ML’s appeals. The ’NWG’ will be, the RCP hopes, an “historic advance”, a “qualitative leap forward”, a “new stage”, etc., and it thus calls on its cadre to “...make this (founding) convention a shot heard around the country...” (Revolution, August 1977 p.12). A very cheap shot, to be sure, but given the RCP’s defensive position it is the most that Mr. Avakian can muster. The RCP will learn soon enough that in attempting to cultivate its own garden in lieu of open criticism of the CPC, it is in fact only preparing a rich harvest for the CP-ML.