Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Bolshevik League of the United States

Greensboro: Political Suicide With No Condolences


Issued: Bolshevik Revolution, No. 1, December 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The recent shooting of five supposed “communists” in Greensboro, North Carolina, by an armed band of Ku Klux Klan and Nazi Party fascists has been the subject of wide attention and commentary. The articles appearing in the bourgeois media have generally been sympathetic to those slain, who were all members of the so-called “Communist Workers Party” (CWP), until recently known as Workers Viewpoint Organization (WVO). Virtually the entire opportunist “left movement” of the petty bourgeoisie and labor aristocracy painted CWP in a similarly sympathetic light, from the reformist “Guardian” newspaper to the Maoist Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) to the various Trotskyite sects to even the pro-Russian imperialist CPUSA. Most also sent condolences. After the shootings, Carter dispatched a team of FBI agents to Greensboro to do an investigation. So the bourgeoisie and the opportunists were united as one in directing their main fire at the Klan.

But the Bolsheviks arc sending no condolences to CWP. We are not seeking to unite with them or support them. Instead, it is our responsibility to expose how the activities of CWP objectively aided the fascists and the bourgeoisie, how CWP is not anti-fascist but actually social-fascist (socialist in word and fascist in deed), and how they stand directly against the fundamental interests of the proletariat.

The facts are that CWP has been actively seeking to provoke the Klan for some time. This past summer, a small armed band of CWP’ers broke up a Klan meeting, in China Grove, N.C., and declared them a bunch of “cowards”. For the rally that ended in the shootings, they put out leaflets inviting the Klan to come to their rally for a showdown, again taunting them as “cowards” and “punks”. The main slogan of this small march was “Death to the Klan”, a strange twist of events, indeed, given the death of five CWP members! Clearly their intention was to provoke a confrontation with the Klan. And all the better, their leaders felt, if some CWP’ers get shot, for then they would have some martyrs struck down in battle with the hated Klan scum. This could serve to give their newly-founded “party” much publicity. So CWP asked for what they got. That is a fact.

But what CWP has done has actually assisted the fascists. As the general crisis of capitalism worsens, the bourgeoisie is turning more to promoting open fascist and chauvinist groups. Witness the recent rash of cross burnings. The likes of CWP are helping to whip up an anti-communist and fascist hysteria by portraying communists as provocative fanatics who needlessly endanger the lives of the working class and oppressed people and even spill the blood of their own members in the street to gain a little publicity. At the same time, such provocations are actually a call to arms for the fascists. They serve as “justifications” for whipping them up and for the fascists to flex their muscles. The bourgeoisie uses such incidents to prohibit public demonstrations on the grounds of avoiding “violence”, as they did in Greensboro and elsewhere. And those opportunists not directly engaged in the provocations aid the fascists by demanding “police protection” from the Klan, when it is well-known that the police and the Klan are one and the same.

All this adds up to a conspiracy of intrigue that objectively aids the growth of fascism and takes place at the expense of the working class, the Black nation in the Black Belt South, all oppressed nationalities, and all communists and progressive people. For these reasons, CWP is not anti-fascist at all, but actually assists (knowingly or unknowingly, it does not matter) the growth and development of the fascist movement.

The cause of this incident is not accidental, but rooted in the entire opportunist history of WVO, and now CWP. WVO had a long history of reformism and economism. Its base was almost entirely petty bourgeois (three of the five shot in Greensboro were doctors, for example). More recently they have been ardent supporters of the social-chauvinist theory of the “three worlds”, and the “gang of four”. They hailed China’s aggression against Vietnam, and praised Khomeini and OPFC as “anti-imperialist”. To promote their own anti-Leninist cause, they carried out social-fascist actions in the so-called “anti-revisionist” movement. In Boston in 1976, WVO brought shotguns into an open, public meeting to intimidate those exposing their opportunism. Also in 1976, in both Oakland and New York, they provoked fights at public forums with their rival opportunists, the October League. And more recently they attacked another rival “three worlds” group, the League of Revolutionary Struggle, with baseball bats and chains.

The last few years have not been good to WVO. After a period of growth, they began to shrink and lost members to RCP. They dropped all theoretical pretense, being mute on key international questions. Their trade union activity got some members positions in the trade union bureaucracy, but their “party” did not grow. All their reformist calls to “nationalize the oil companies” did not help them either. Faced with a deepening crisis, they formed their “party” in October 1979 (without even bothering to put out a program, so they could conceal their real program of social-fascism). But they still needed a gimmick to grow. So they merely took the experience in social-fascist activity they got in the “movement” and brought it to the Klan. Yet even with all this, CWP remains in a deep crisis. The small turnout of a few hundred at their funeral march in Greensboro, after all the nation-wide publicity, is evidence of that.

Those opportunists who “criticize” CWP at all generally see “ultra-leftism” as CWP’s problem. This conceals their reformist and social-fascist history and essence. What they demand is that CWP be more openly reformist.

There is no contradiction between CWP, social-democratic reformism and their social-fascism. As Stalin pointed out, the social-democrats and fascists assist each other and “... are not antipodes, but twins.” (“Concerning the International Situation”, Sept. 20, 1924. Works, Vol. 6. pg. 294)

These events show the criminality of the Maoist dictum of “to be attacked by the enemy is a good thing.” And hence, the Bolsheviks look with disdain on this political suicide and send no condolences.