Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

’Our Party Stands for Class Struggle and Revolution’

Speech by Michael Klonsky, Chairman of the CPML

First Published: Class Struggle, No. 10, Summer 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Comrades and friends,

On behalf of our Party, I would once again like to welcome all of you here on this happy occasion. Without you and the millions of others out there struggling against oppression, fighting imperialism and its wars, fighting against racism and for freedom, our Party’s work would not amount to anything.

Today we meet at a crucial turning point in world history. Our movement has many new prospects and is advancing steadily. Throughout the world, especially in the third world, the revolutionary struggle is moving full steam ahead. But there are also many problems. In the U.S., for instance, those who stand for socialism and defend Marxism-Leninism are still badly divided. The great turmoil characterizing the world today is reflected and even magnified inside our own movement.

As is our custom, we should meet these problems head-on, in the revolutionary style. Today all the contradictions in society are sharpening. On one side stand the two imperialist superpowers. They are contending with each other to recarve the world and are preparing to go to war to do it. On the other side stand all the peoples and countries of the world. It is they who suffer the consequences of the activities of these two biggest exploiters and oppressors.

It is precisely at such a point in history that the need for working class unity is greatest. Yet there is no getting around the fact that the divisive influence of the bourgeoisie and its stooges, the trade union misleaders and the revisionists, has done a great deal of damage.

Even when the general crisis of world capitalism is deepening more rapidly than ever before, even when the working and oppressed peoples are being thrown out on the streets by the hundreds of thousands with no hope of getting jobs–even with all this, the trade union movement is still shackled by these corrupt misleaders.

Who will ever forget how the UMW traitors, the Miller clique, actually withheld $4.5 million in strike funds so badly needed by the heroic miners during their record-breaking struggle? While the miners fought scabs and company gun thugs with arms in hand, Miller and his boys drove around in Cadillacs concocting one sellout contract after another with the coal bosses and government agents. Is it any wonder that Miller had to round up a goon squad of his own to protect himself from the anger of the miners whenever he dared to show his face in the coalfields?


President Carter, furthermore, has now enlisted these AFL-CIO misleaders in a phony new “campaign against inflation.” We have seen these kinds of 𔄢campaigns” before. It simply means the capitalists will campaign against the rights of working people to organize and fight for higher wages and better working conditions.

The oppression of Black, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Asian and Native American peoples in this country is especially worsening. But while this goes on, the liberal leadership continues to work hand-in-glove with the FBI to eliminate any real leadership from the ranks of the people.

The capitalists and their agents will use every weapon they have to do this dirty work. We should never forget what happened right here in the city of Chicago nine years ago. Comrade Fred Hampton was shot to death with Mark Clarke as they lay asleep in their beds. We must learn from this. They hated Fred Hampton because he was a revolutionary, because he stood for the unity of the working class with the oppressed nationalities. They will never sit back and peacefully allow these two great revolutionary forces to merge, because this merger will bring about the death of capitalism as surely as I am standing here today.

We must be careful to assess the present conditions in our country objectively and scientifically. This is what Marxism-Leninism teaches us. Here in the U.S., the working class movement has suffered badly from the betrayal of the revisionists, from the treachery of the Gus Hall clique.

They robbed the working class of its greatest weapon. They destroyed its once-great party, the CPUSA. They seized power in the party from within, wrecked it, and transformed its remnants into a counter-revolutionary party, a mouthpiece for social-fascism and social-imperialism. Without its party, the working class was crippled in defending the gains of the 1930s or in consolidating the gains of the high tide of Black liberation in the 1960s.

Every revolutionary movement develops through twists and turns. None develop without setbacks. Within every victory there are aspects of difficulties and problems. Inside of every setback are also seeds of victory. The betrayal by the revisionists has left the advanced workers and genuine Marxist-Leninists no choice but to work towards reforging a communist party under new revolutionary leadership.


After more than 20 long years, this attempt has now taken on a concrete shape. An energetic and rapidly-growing trend has emerged in our country. A trend of regroupment. A trend of unity based upon the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought. This trend is also developing in nearly every country where the old parties followed the path of Khrushchev and Brezhnev into the swamp of social-fascism.

It is in this context that the founding of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) took place one year ago this week. Before the party could be founded, a long period of struggle had to take place. The party’s cadres had to receive their initial training and experience in various class battles. Enough forces had to be organized around a Marxist-Leninist line, especially in the period of the 1960s and early 1970s when so much ideological confusion had been spread by the revisionists.

This period of struggle was directed in particular against revisionism and various forms of opportunism and chauvinism. This was required so that the Party could be founded on a firm basis. Through one ideological struggle after another, against revisionism, against Trotskyism, against sectarianism and chauvinism, the line and program of our Party was forged.

The line of anti-party blocs and the small-circle mentality had to be defeated along with the various dead-end “plans” for reconstructing the Party around opportunist lines.

Without this struggle, wouldn’t the revisionists have a free run of things today? Would their line of “peaceful transition to socialism” be as discredited among the class-conscious workers as it is today? Without this struggle, would the various anti-China “Marxists” be as divided and on the defensive as they are today? Without our struggle would the chauvinists who sided with the anti-busing movement under the banner of “communism” and who opposed the principled stand of self-determination for all oppressed nations be as discredited as they are today?

This should stand as a lesson to those who argued initially that this important fight in defense of Marxism was “sectarian.” Certainly there has been a strong counter-current of sectarianism and for a while this severely weakened and sabotaged the early efforts to form the party.

Even now we must guard against the sectarian current which works so hard to split and wreck the Marxist-Leninist unity efforts. But the sectarian ultra-“leftist” trend that characterized many of those groups from the Provisional Organizing Committee to the “Revolutionary Wing” has met with defeat time and time again. It is right-opportunism, revisionism, that stands today as our greatest internal enemy.

Revisionism tears at the very guts of Marxism. As Lenin said, it helps the capitalists “tame, fool and disunite the working classes of various countries.” Not only that, revisionism is not just a set of ideas which aims to mislead the people and disorganize them. It also has an organized form and state power in the Soviet Union, making it even more dangerous.

Today modern revisionism has merged completely with social-chauvinism and social-fascism. It spreads white chauvinism in the ranks of the working class under a “Marxist” mask. It defends the domination of big powers everywhere in the world. It covers up aggression and war preparations with talk of “detente.” It sets the people in Chile and other countries up for fascism by disarming them in the face of imperialism. Today it is playing the old colonialist game of using mercenary troops in Africa and slaughtering thousands in its effort to dominate the continent. Yes, revisionism is imperialism’s Trojan Horse working right inside the workers’ movement to poison it and wreck it. In this wav it is like a growing cancer that must be cut out and destroyed.


Those who play its games–even those calling themselves “anti-revisionists,” who placate revisionism, who call for “united action” with revisionism or who stand in the way of the fight against revisionism–are themselves on a collision course with the revolution.

The only real test of any party’s line is its practice. The masses have often heard fine words and phrases from so-called “revolutionaries” only to see them turn into traitors. After the destruction of the CPUSA, many revolutionaries placed their hopes on several groups that claimed to be the “new party.” One by one they showed themselves to be opportunists, turning on the working class and socialism and going back into the arms of the revisionists.

Most recently we have seen several new pretenders to the name of the party. Some claimed that the “party was already a settled question.” Others claimed that their party was the “Revolutionary” communist party. Now they have all slithered down into the anti-China swamp, playing the Trotskyite game of loving “socialism” everywhere but where it exists.

Following the death of Mao Tsetung, these phonies jumped out of the woodwork and launched a sneak attack on China. They were confident that their friends, the “gang of four,” would win their counterrevolution and seize power.

While Mao’s death left us stunned with tears in our eyes, it was the signal for some to try and form a faction within the international communist movement and to sabotage the growing unity trend. Their common bond was a hatred for the ideas of Mao Tsetung, the greatest Marxist-Leninist of our time. In particular, they lashed out at his brilliant theory of three worlds, which provides us with our strategic and tactical direction in today’s complex world.


But their efforts are amounting to little more than nothing. Schooled for so long in factionalism and splitting and wrecking, and ingrained with such a deep hatred and mistrust of the masses, it was only a matter of time before their bloc would shatter, the honest forces leaving their sinking ship in search of real Marxism. Their international factional efforts degenerated into a traveling circus parading from country to country in search of the most corrupt agents and careerists who could form their cadre.

But on this great day we can truly say that Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought is alive and well, while opportunism is growing more diseased and decayed. Socialist China is the marvel of the oppressed countries of the world, making gains since the defeat of the “gang of four” that no other country in history ever dreamed of in such a short period of time.

Also our comrades who just returned from socialist Kampuchea report that country is doing fine. If it weren’t, would the bourgeois press be working so hard to attack and slander it? Even the enemy has had to admit that Kampuchea is the most “radical of all revolutions.” What is it that has the mighty imperialists of both superpowers so frightened of such a little country of only eight million? The answer is self-evident. Marxism-Leninism is a powerful medicine. A small country of eight million with guns in hand has stood up to and defeated invasions and sabotage by the biggest reactionary powers in the world.

Doesn’t this tell us something? Can’t we see from this what the power of 100 million workers in our own country can do with guns in hand and unified into one mighty list and led by a genuine Marxist-Leninist party? We should draw lessons from the victories of our brothers arid sisters around the world and organize active support for their struggle.

At the same time we must make our own revolution, based on the concrete conditions in our own country, led by our own Party.

Now such a Party has been born. It is different from those who are parties just in name. It is guided by a revolutionary program. It is organized along Leninist lines, that is, organized for class struggle and making revolution, not for studying or simply running candidates for office.

This is the most important thing to understand about our Party. Because of its internationalism, it has been claimed by the revisionists that the CPML forgets class struggle. They try to make us believe that to fight both superpowers means “class collaboration.” Just as in a similar period 40 years ago, the Trotskyites tried to attack the Soviet Union and communists for forming a front against imperialist war and the Hitler fascists.

But today, it is the defenders of Soviet social-imperialism who have proven themselves to be the same sort of fraudulent “Marxists” who promote the “peaceful” road to socialism. The same revisionists who defend the Soviet-inspired invasion of Zaire under the banner of “supporting an armed uprising of the people” are those who previously attacked rebellions of the Afro-American people in Watts and Harlem and the liberation movements in Indochina. Wasn’t it the Khrushchev-Brezhnev clique who claimed that a “single spark could cause a nuclear holocaust?”


They defend the armed occupation of Czechoslovakia, now ten years old, while at the same time they oppose every real armed revolutionary struggle of the people from Kampuchea to southern Africa.

Who are the real class collaborators? Our Party with its short but outstanding history of combat against the ruling class cannot be made to fit that charge. Our Party has no reason for being except to wage class struggle.

It is also important to point out that our Party is truly a multinational Party. A multi-national party is the only way the workers of various nationalities can be united in struggle. The CPML is multinational not only in its makeup, but because it is actively fighting for liberation of all oppressed nationalities as a component part of its socialist program.

It has raised the banner of self-determination for all oppressed nations and has made this demand a part of the struggle of the masses again, for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Finally I would like to say a few words about building communist unity. By unity, I mean unity around a revolutionary line, in opposition to revisionism. I mean unity in one party as opposed to the continued existence of many circles. By unity I mean principled unity as opposed to opportunist blocs.

Never before in this period has the necessity nor the conditions for unity so strongly been so evident to so many. Our Party has not done enough to push forward this motion. We are still too narrow in our efforts and, as I said, sectarianism is still with us.

But some important efforts have been made. There is still a long way to go and many problems to be solved. But today’s meeting demonstrates that forces exist to broaden the ranks of the communist movement. There are many here, though not in our Party, who have made important contributions to the working class struggle, and in many areas we have much to learn from them. We must all take responsibility to turn this motion into a reality, for the masses demand it.

One important effort is the Committee to Unite Marxist-Leninists. This has been jointly initiated by August 29th Movement, I Wor Kuen, and our Party and hopefully will attract even greater numbers to its ranks. Its purpose is to unite all the separate forces into one single, unified party.

The principles of this Committee have been jointly formulated and reflect the minimum basis for unity discussions possible in the present-day communist movement. No one group is necessarily the leader of this committee, but rather it is a joint effort.

For our part, we will work on all levels to unite with Marxist-Leninists. Whether it be through this Committee, or on a bilateral basis with various groups and organizations, or party-to-party, the CPML is open to each and every real and sincere unity effort.

We understand that there have been in the past and still are very real differences which reflect the two-line struggle in our movement. I have already made our views known on that question.

But for too long, the leaders of the opportunist groups such as the Avakian anti-China clique, made discussion between Marxist-Leninists impossible or at least very difficult. This situation at least should be changed.

Comrades, the world today is a very good place to make socialist revolution. Imperialism and social-imperialism are being fired upon from without, everywhere that oppressed peoples and nations exist. Now let us take the momentum from this great occasion to further unite our forces and fire from within.

The road ahead may be difficult. But the Party of the proletariat will keep us strong. Working and oppressed people of the world unite! Long live Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought. Long live the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)!