Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Promoting Soviet imperialism and class collaboration: CPUSA holds convention

First Published: Unity, Vol. 2, No. 18, September 7-20, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The Communist Party USA (CPUSA) will do even more to promote Soviet expansionism around the world and to undermine the revolutionary struggle in the U.S.

Detroit – These were the messages that came out clearly at the CPUSA’s 22nd National Convention held in here on August 23-25!

Some 450 delegates attended the meeting which passed several resolutions and heard a five-hour long speech by Gus Hall, given in his absence by Mike Zagarell. The general line presented was little different than the one passed at the last convention in 1976. There were, however, some noteworthy points.

One of these was the attention given to international affairs. The CPUSA emphasized its complete support for Soviet imperialism’s aggression in the world. It proclaimed, in the main political resolution, that the fascist Soviet Union was the “pacesetter” in the “world revolutionary process.” It hailed countries which have fallen under Soviet domination such as Viet Nam, Ethiopia, Laos, Kampuchea and Afghanistan as positive examples for the rest of the world.

At the same time, the CPUSA directed its most vicious words against socialist China, calling the Chinese leadership a “Maoist gang.”

The international focus was also reflected in the presence of over 30 observers from foreign revisionist parties around the world. This was a first for the CPUSA. Leading this group was Peter Fedoseyev, member of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. The puppet leader set up by Viet Nam in Kampuchea, Heng Samrin, also sent a greeting to the Convention.

The CPUSA decided to continue to make a big push for ratification of the SALT II treaty in the U.S. The CPUSA has pushed the treaty as a way of covering over the growing danger of war between the two superpowers and, in particular, the war preparations of the Soviet Union.

On domestic issues, the CPUSA promised to become a more vigorous force in the mass movement. It recognized that the U.S. economy and society were in trouble. The main political resolution noted “the rumblings of a new wave of mass struggle are clearly evident” and that the CPUSA should take advantage of this situation. The Convention reaffirmed the CPUSA’s strategy of building a liberal reformist movement within the context of the capitalist system.

In the labor movement, the CPUSA reiterated its “left-center” coalition line which advocates handing over the rank and file movement to big labor bureaucrats such as Doug Fraser of the UAW and William Winpinsinger of the IAM. The CPUSA also hinted that it may become involved in third party efforts, as talked about by Winpinsinger and others.

Regarding the national question, the CPUSA Convention also devoted considerable attention to talking about the Black, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Asian, Native American and other oppressed people’s movements. The CPUSA noted the growing influence and importance of these movements in the U.S. Like their line on the labor movement, the CPUSA’s strategy in these movements is to keep them acceptable to the capitalist system.

On the one hand, the CPUSA advocates that the oppressed peoples should emphasize work in the electoral process, electing minority politicians and passing special legislation. On the other hand, the CPUSA treats the national question as just a “class issue.” For instance, it specifically condemned Black nationalism under the excuse of calling for “class unity.”

Overall, what emerged from the CPUSA’s convention is its intention to do even more to promote its reactionary line and practices in the U.S. under the guise of “Marxism” and “communism.”

The CPUSA’s desire to step up its activity in the mass movement was seen at a mass rally, culminating the convention on August 26. Several thousand people there listened to speeches from CPUSA leaders, including Angela Davis. The rally’s main themes included SALT II and the proposed closing of Dodge Main, the Chrysler auto plant in Hamtramck, Michigan.