Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Communist Workers Party

“C”PML Works with Cops in Feb 2nd Demo

Calling for “Peaceful Transition to Socialism”


First Published: Workers Viewpoint, Vol. 5, No. 6, February 23, 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The February 2nd Anti-Klan/Nazi demonstration in Greensboro proved an overwhelming success that welded together diverse progressive groups. It was historic in launching the struggles of the masses into the 80s. The Communist Workers Party worked tirelessly to rally the broadest sectors of the U.S. people for a peaceful, non-violent demonstration. At the same time the Party fought successfully for the masses’ right to armed self-defense in the period of the growing danger of fascism and World War III. The bourgeoisie attempted to disarm the demonstration as part of stepping up its repressive measures for the 80’s. Even more, it saw Feb. 2nd as a trial of strength. On the bourgeoisie’s side, it was a fight to maintain its rule by having the masses rely on its police apparatus. On the revolutionary forces’ side, it was a fight to smash all illusions in bourgeois democracy and train and rally the proletarian forces for the final countdown when the question of armed force to seize and consolidate state power against the U.S. bourgeoisie becomes immediate and practical.

“C”PML Calls for Peaceful Transition to Socialism

Under the cry of not being “sectarian” and “divisive”, the “Communist” Party (ML) worked for the bourgeoisie inside the people’s movement by demanding that workers and other progressive people disarm on Feb. 2nd and rely on the bourgeoisie’s police and the good nature of the Klan/Nazis. The “C”PML argued that in general, they agreed with the people having the right of armed self-defense, but for Feb. 2nd it was a “tactical question”. This is exactly what the bourgeoisie said: “Groups have the right to uphold their own ideologies and in general, North Carolina citizens have the right to armed self-defense. But due to the particular circumstances of the threat of violence, that right has to be taken away.” This is the line the North Carolina state and city officials put out for denying the masses this right on Nov. 3rd, Nov. 11, Nov. 18, and Feb. 2nd.

Thus, despite all of “C”PM-L’s rhetoric of attacking the “Communist” Party, U.S.A.’s cruder political aspects of revisionism, like its open call for “peaceful transition to socialism”–despite the years of struggle to draw firm lines of demarcation against the “Communist” Party of the Soviet Union and the urgent need to build a new anti-revisionist communist movement–the “C”PML are themselves revisionists under the cover of Mao Tsetung Thought. For them, just as the communist principle of upholding the right of armed self-defense is a “tactical” question, so is the need to use armed force to overthrow U.S. monopoly capitalism a “tactical” question. Their revisionist “tactics” extend to a whole system of views that longs for a “peaceful transition to socialism” through the ballot box. This is the same line they pushed when they called for the national guard to “protect” black children in the Boston Forced Busing Plan. This is the same betrayal they pushed when they supported Kennedy and Senator Ervin against Nixon during Watergate.

Political Speculators Break Coalition Unity

On the weekend of Dec. 14 to 15 at the Atlanta Conference of the Anti-Klan Network, it was agreed as a tactic not to make the right of armed self-defense an issue for the coalition. This was done because there were hundreds of groups in the united front who held different ideologies; and if it became an issue for the united front, the state would use it to try and provoke violence and use scare tactics. A package tactical unity was reached: 1) the coalition would not discuss the issue of arms; 2) there would be no searches of anti-Klan/Nazi demonstrators, and; 3) groups would privately encourage members not to bring arms. This agreement constituted a “peaceful, non-violent demonstration”. It hinged on point one, “no public discussion of arms by the coalition”. Several weeks later, Joe Lowery of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) broke all the agreements by calling an individual press conference, and in it, trying to impose his reformist, turn-the-other-cheek philosophy on the entire coalition. This gave the bourgeoisie and other political speculators in the coalition (i.e. “C”PML) the green light to attack the CWP as the source of violence. This is the same pro-fascist view of the bourgeoisie and the Klan/Nazis on the assassinations of the CWP 5 on Nov. 3, and on the CWP since then.

Bribed by Bourgeoisie, “C”PML Sells Out Working Class

The limp-wristed “C”PML tried to make the CWP swallow (!) disarming the masses. They shouted in a petty bourgeois frenzy that we have to keep in the national leadership of the SCLS, NAACP and the Urban League, so CWP has to hold a public national press conference calling for the masses to be disarmed and rely on the National Guard and the good will of the Klan/Nazis. The “C”PML gnashed their teeth and whimpered “disarm the masses, so the state won’t have an issue to split the people’s movement!” They, along with other political speculators, threatened (!) the CWP in an attempt to force it to make the public statement then and said, don’t worry about it because communists can maneuver around it! In defeating those who were better defenders of the bourgeoisie than the bourgeoisie themselves. Lenin wrote, “An opportunist will put his name to any formula and as readily abandon it, because opportunism is precisely a lack of definite and firm principles” (What Is To Be Done?).

Cringing at the strength of the CWP’s mass support, the “C”PML demanded the CWP be purged from the Feb, 2nd mobilization committee because Party sympathizers smashed Ted Kennedy with rotten eggs. “C”PML shamelessly stated that they couldn’t get money from white liberals if CWP continued to attack the liberals’ national symbol! First of all, exposing bourgeois politicians (both “liberal” and conservative) is the Party’s independent work and the united front has nothing to do with it. Second, if “C”PML’s work depends on not antagonizing the Kennedy family and other bourgeois liberals, they may as well drop “communist” from their name. This is precisely what revisionism is–being bought off for a few crumbs by the bourgeoisie in exchange for selling out the long term interest of the working class. “To determine its conduct from case to case, to adapt itself to the events of the day and to the chopping and changing of petty politics, to forget the primary interests of the proletariat and the basic features of the whole capitalists system, of all capitalist evolution, to sacrifice these primary interests for the real or assumed advantages of the moment–such is the policy of revisionism.” (Lenin, “Marxism and Revisionism”) Despite all their posturing as anti-revisionist communists, the “C”PML are just sons and daughters of their mother, the “C”PUSA. Serving the right wing strata among the petty bourgeoisie and leading the bourgeoisie’s fascist attacks inside the people’s movement, the “C”PML has abandoned the principle of the right of armed self-defense, and is preparing for a “peaceful transition to socialism” in the U.S.