Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee

How Can Your Enemies Be Your Friends?
RCP Vacillates on Theory of the “Three Worlds”


First Published: Unite!, Vol. 4, No. 2, February 15, 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Who are the friends and enemies of proletarian revolution and national liberation? The answer to this question has historically provided a line of demarcation between Marxist-Leninists and opportunists of all shades. Today, proponents of the theory of the “three worlds” blur the strategic alliance between the international proletariat and the national liberation movements of oppressed nations and peoples. In all of the second-rank imperialist countries, they aspire to have the proletariat ally with the bourgeoisie and with the U.S. bourgeoisie internationally. In this fashion, they liquidate the struggle of the proletariat to overthrow bourgeois state rule and establish socialism.

In the U.S. several revisionist organizations uphold the theory of the “three worlds”. Among them is the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), which states “This three worlds analysis gives, in our view, a correct appraisal of the general role that countries, or groupings of countries, are .playing today on the world scale. As such it is one important part of the more general world wide united front line.” (Revolution, July, 1977, p.5). This organization presents an analysis of the friends to be united with and the enemies to be fought that is wrought with vacillation and revisionism.

The RCP exhibits its vacillation most clearly in analysis of the “second world”, the second-rank imperialist powers of Europe and Japan. Consistent with the revisionist theory of the “three worlds”, the RCP places the “second world” in the united front, “...to the extent that these Second World countries resist superpower contention for domination, they aid the world wide struggle...there is a trend of uniting to strengthen this resistance....” (Revolution, p.19 and 5) According to this analysis, the second-rank imperialist powers are part of the united front against imperialism.

The RCP tries to cover itself by saying “...the ruling classes of these (“second world”) countries are part of, though not the heart of, the target of the world-wide united front against imperialism ...it is clear that these Second World imperialists must also be fought by the people of the world.” (Revolution, p.19)

How can the second-rank imperialist powers at the same time be friends to be united with and enemies to be fought against? The RCP supports the “second world” in one sentence and withdraws support in the next.

Such opportunism cannot give the proletariat the vanguard leadership it needs and desires on the question of the friends and enemies of proletarian revolution. Such leadership in the U.S. comes only from the MLOC, which does not stoop to prettify imperialists of any size.

In the struggle for the triumph of the revolution and socialism, it is necessary to take advantage of the contradictions between capitalist and imperialist states on the one hand, and the two superpowers on the other. But here we are talking about contradictions within the ranks of the enemies of the revolution and socialism because these capitalist and imperialist states are not the allies of the people in struggle against the superpowers. (UNITE!, Supplement, Dec. 1977, p.2)

The contradiction between imperialists is a secondary reserve of the proletariat, which we will use, while never forgetting that our “...main power lies in the alliance of the working class with the oppressed nations. Together this force will defeat the entire imperialist system through armed struggle.” (Revolution Will Surely Triumph!, p. 36.)