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League for Proletarian Revolution (Marxist-Leninist)

Progress Report: Forward COReS-LPR merger!

First Published: Resistance Vol. 11, No. 2, March 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Since our last progress report on the merger (see Resistance vol.10, no.10), our two organizations have decided to complete this work by Spring 1980. During the last few months we have continued to sum-up our line and practice and have stepped up coordination of the organizations’ tasks. From this process, a series of articles are being drafted detailing our positions on the woman question, the trade union question (in this issue), the national question, party building and the international situation (the latter appeared in Resistance vol.10, no. 10 & vol.8, no. 10).

Although we have not identified any fundamental differences, secondary differences, both old and new, have arisen in the course of merging. For some time we have handled these in the spirit of unity—struggle—unity with discussions and position papers circulated among rank and file, as well as liaison meetings between our respective leading bodies.

One of the lessons we have learned that we want to share with others is on the level of unity we should strive for in merging groups. This of course varies according to the concrete conditions in the movement and the level of development of the organizations themselves. In our particular case we found that we were taking too long in completing our merger, considering the high level of unity that exists between us.

In the course of summing up the progress of the merger we found that we had been falling into tendencies of wanting to make the line ’fully developed’, the tendency to view all differences or new positions which came out of the summing up as questions that had to be struggled out before the merger. These tendencies concretely meant that at times we lost sight of our main focus. Rather than proceeding on the basis of our unities, which were fundamental, we got deviated into trying to settle all of the differences immediately.

Although contradictions and line differences will always exist, not only between organizations, but within a single organization as well, these differences should not constitute an obstacle to merging unless they are fundamental. In our case, they were differences that could be resolved within the new organization, given our fundamental unity on all important questions.

The roots of these errors we have identified as our amateurishness, inexperience, and internal “left” tendencies (as described above). We proceeded to correct these errors by better implementing our original merger position and goals (see merger statement in Resistance, vol. 10, no 5) in order to better practice what we had already agreed upon on principle.

Many in our movement have warned about ’endless debates’ in the process of uniting Marxist-Leninists. Though the warning is well taken, we also understand that many times such a warning is made in order to cover for the liquidation of struggle over differences. In our case, the realization of our error led us, not to the liquidation altogether of the struggle over differences, but to the differentiation between fundamental and non-fundamental differences, seeking unity on the fundamental and leaving the non-fundamental to be resolved after the merger as a single organization. In this way, secondary differences that have arisen in the course of our merger process will not prevent us from working in the same organization and from collectively solving the problems of getting two previously separate organizations to function as a single democratic-centralist organization.

Among the non-fundamental differences that we have set aside to be dealt with after the merger are the re-evaluation of our positions on ERA and super-seniority, some tactical problems on the woman and trade union questions, mass work, etc. These differences will be resolved through the process of principled struggle, though the forms may vary. For example, differing positions on some of these issues will be circulated among cadres and also among friends from whom we welcome participation. The IWD/IWWD question is being handled in this manner. (See Resistance vol.11, no. l)

Again, we want to reiterate to all comrades and friends to openly take part in the process of merger between COReS and LPR, to criticize, make recommendations, raise questions, etc. that can help clarify the issues and move forward the process, not only of the unity between us, but of all Marxist-Leninists as well.