Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

The truth about the relations between the Marxist-Leninist Party of the USA and the Communist Party of Canada (M-L) Part 2

SECTION VIII: More on the “special relationship”

In the last section. Section VII, we examined some features of how the “special relationship” has worked in practice. There are definite theories and ideological ideas that lie behind the “special relationship.” In this section, we will examine the ideological basis behind your concept of the “special relationship” between our two Parties.[1]

VIII-A: The leadership of CPC(M-L) is striving to replace the Marxist-Leninist norms with the “special relationship”

To begin with, in your letters of December 5. you advocate that the “special relationship” should replace the usual Marxist-Leninist norms for relations between fraternal Marxist-Leninist parties. For this reason, you write:

5. You assert: ’The norms and relations between these contingents are regulated by the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism.’ But what are these norms and relations’ in concrete terms? ... You are using these phrases for demagogic purposes to mystify your real objectives of disrupting the relations between CPC(M-L) and COUSML. There can he no other reason for this sophistry. (p. 2. emphasis added)

We find it astonishing to see a Marxist-Leninist party, such as yours, ridicule and mock at Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism as being allegedly not “concrete.” The Marxist-Leninist norms are not only concrete, they are obligatory in the relations between parties inside the international Marxist-Leninist communist movement. The upholding of these norms was one of the central points in the fight against both Khrushchovite and Chinese revisionism. But you hold that support for the norms dictated by Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism could have “no other reason” than the “objectives of disrupting the relations between CPC(M-L) and COUSML.”

When you ridicule these Marxist-Leninist norms, you are not simply making an empty rhetorical point. On the contrary, you are led to mock at the Marxist-Leninist norms as part of your view that a “special relationship” should govern the norms between our two Parties. You regard the “concrete” norms between our two Parties as being those of the “special relationship,” while you have relegated the Marxist-Leninist and proletarian internationalist norms to the realm of mere “phrases.” You yourself recognize that your view of the “special relationship” contradicts the Marxist-Leninist norms. That is why you say that raising the issue of the Marxist-Leninist norms can have no other purpose but “disruptingf the relations,” that is, to be more precise, to disrupt the “special relationship.”

In the discussions of May 1978 between our two Parties you admitted that your conception of “special relations” was that of relations that “are not part of the international movement.” You stressed that such special relations were in your view the actual relations then existing between CPC(M-L) and certain other parties such as ours. You hypocritically talked about wanting to “normalize” this situation. Your representative stated:

“I think you comrades are not understanding this correctly. We need to have normalized relations among the four parties [XXX, Canada, YYY and the U.S. – ed.), relations that are part of those of the international movement and not special and apart from it. [i.e., you are stating that presently the relations are special and apart from the international movement – ed.] But these special relations do exist. You cannot shut your eyes to it. You have to deal with this fact and discuss it a lot. Then we can hold a meeting to resolve these questions. ... [Your representative then went on to briefly discuss this question with respect to the Marxist-Leninists in ZZZ – ed.]” (From our minutes, emphasis added) But, as we shall see, despite your talk about “normalizing” the relations, in your letters of December 5 you are still stressing that to say that the relations between our Party and the CPC(M-L) are part of the international relations is “intellectualist balderdash.” Thus your talk about “normalizing” the relations was just hypocrisy, just an excuse to insist on your idea that the real relations at the present are the “special relations.”

Thus the following passage from your letters of December 5 stresses that, in your view, the relations between our two Parties are not part of the general ties between the parties in the international Marxist-Leninist communist movement. You write:

Joseph Green writes: ’The proletariat is an international class, and its parties in the individual countries are fighting contingents of the one international party of communism, of the International Marxist-Leninist Communist Movement.’ This is an intellectualist balderdash to cover up the entire history of the fraternal relations between COUSML (and before it, the American Communist Workers Movement) and CPC(M-L) (and before it, the Internationalists) which have been based on Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism.... This intellectualist hyperbole is dished out for the purposes of insinuating that there is nothing whatsoever between the CPC(M-L) and COUSML, no history and no common struggle, all with the ulterior motive of rewriting this history and disrupting the relations between CPC(M-L) and COUSML. (p. 2. emphasis added)

Thus you denounce in the strongest terms the view that our two Parties have fraternal relations because they are both fighting contingents of international communism. You regard this as a denial of the “history” and “common struggle” of our two Parties, as “insinuating that there is nothing whatsoever between the CPC(M-L) and COUSML, no history and no common struggle.” This is an extremely negative view towards the glorious fraternal ties between the different contingents of the international Marxist-Leninist movement. This is an extremely negative attitude towards ties based on sharing a common Marxist-Leninist ideology and on representing the interests of the same class, the proletariat. This passage from you shows that you have stopped regarding the relations between our two Parties, our history of struggle in the same trench together, as a manifestation of the ties between two fighting contingents of the international Marxist-Leninist movement. Instead you have replaced this conception with something else. According to you, the real history of relations, its actual significance, lies in something else. In short, you are insisting on some sort of “special relationship” with us, apart from and distinct from the ties in the international Marxist-Leninist movement.

VIII-B: We do not agree with your theory of “two (or more) trends” in the international Marxist-Leninist communist movement

Since the fraternal ties between our two Parties are not in your view supposed to have been part of the general international ties in the international Marxist-Leninist movement, then what are they supposed to have formed part of? You hold that they are part of a separate, special “trend.” This brings us to your theory of “two (or more) trends” inside of the international Marxist-Leninist movement. With this theory of several trends, you are not referring to the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist trend versus the various revisionist trends. On the contrary, you are denying the existence of the trend of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and dividing up the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists into several different Marxist-Leninist trends.

Thus in your letter you separate off the “Internationalist Movement” as something distinct from the Marxist-Leninist movement.[2] You write: “...this concept that we have advanced that the Internationalist Movement came up as one movement and merged with the International Marxist-Leninist Communist Movement, with no exception. This is a very important issue.” (p. 20)

This is literally all that you say on the issue in your letters of December 5. despite the fact that the question of the “two (or more) trends” in the international Marxist-Leninist movement is one of the crucial ideological questions behind the theory of the “special relationship.” Nevertheless, from this passage it is already clear what you mean when you charge us with “cover(ing) up the entire history of the fraternal relations” between our two Parties and with “insinuating that there is nothing whatsoever between the CPC(M-L) and the COUSML. no history and no common struggle.“ You are angry because we consider ourselves as a contingent of international communism, as a part of the Marxist-Leninist trend, and do not agree to any special trend or any special discipline. You are angry because we do not recognize the Internationalists as a special trend inside of the Marxist-Leninist movement. You are trying to use the memory of the Internationalists to justify the “special relationship.” You are counterposing the “Internationalist Movement” to the Marxist-Leninist movement. That is why you say that the “Internationalist Movement” had to “merge” with the international Marxist-Leninst communist movement. Since it had to merge with it, it follows that the Internationalists were distinct from the Marxist-Leninist movement.

Actually, in the above passage you are not direct and straightforward. You hide the fact that you hold that there is presently, and not just in the past, an Internationalist “trend.” And the crux of the matter is that you hold that today, at the present, there are several different Marxist-Leninist trends inside the Marxist-Leninist movement. Indeed, you are trying to enforce the discipline of a separate trend upon us with your letters of December 5. In Section VI-5 we already showed that you both advocate and take actions on the basis of the concept of several trends in the international Marxist-Leninist movement. We shall come back to this question in a moment. But first we shall finish up some of the questions of history that you have raised in the above passage.

What can it mean to say that “the Internationalist Movement came up as one movement and merged with the International Marxist-Leninist Communist Movement”? Does it mean that the Internationalists in various countries were separate from and fought against the Marxist-Leninist parties in their countries? Or that they were separate from the Marxist-Leninist parties in their countries and then merged with them? No, neither of these two things is true. The Internationalist organizations in various countries gave rise to the genuine Marxist-Leninist parties. But then does it mean that the Internationalists arose as a movement with an ideology separate from and distinct from Marxism-Leninism and only later adopted the Marxist-Leninist ideology, thus merging with the international Marxist-Leninist movement? If this is what you mean, we also disagree. The only “Internationalist Movement” which we acknowledge any relation to are the Internationalists who were loyal to Marxism-Leninism. Or do you mean that there are many different varieties of Marxism-Leninism, and the Internationalists were one such variety that later merged with a number of others in the international Marxist-Leninist movement? But we don’t accept the idea of different varieties of Marxism-Leninism, whether national brands or international cartels. There is only one scientific ideology of Marxism-Leninism, which is an integral revolutionary theory that is valid all over the world.

Thus it is no wonder that you have so far not dared to elaborate your views on the Internationalists as a trend. Put forward consistently, such an idea inevitably leads to the concept of different varieties of Marxism-Leninism or to the concept that this trend is not based on Marxism-Leninism but on something else. You take actions based on your view that the Internationalists are a separate “trend,” but you refuse to elaborate this view of yours.

We do not agree with your concept of the Internationalists as a “trend.” We supported the Internationalists and we still support their memory because they were Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries. They were loyal to Marxism-Leninism, to revolution and to the international communist movement. We regard any attempt to set the Internationalists apart as distinct from being loyal contingents of the international communist movement as opposition to the real spirit of the Internationalists. And this is the view that we have held ever since we came into contact with the Internationalists, over ten years ago. You demagogically accuse us of “rewriting this history.” But it is you who are going against the previously accepted views on this question with your theory of an Internationalist “trend.” You yourself admit this indirectly when you write that this idea is a “concept that we [the leadership of CPC(M-L) – ed.] have advanced.” You had to advance this concept to us because it was a new concept, one different from the previously accepted views on this question. At least, one separate from the views that we have always accepted and advocated.

Furthermore, you do not define at all what you mean by the “Internationalist Movement.” For example, unlike the situation in certain other countries, there was never in the U.S. any organization by the name of the “Internationalists.” The roots of our Party and its predecessors go back deep into the revolutionary mass movements of the 60’s and 70’s, and these roots are distinct from the Internationalists. Our relationship to the Internationalists comes about on the basis of the unity of the Marxist-Leninists. In May 1969 the Canadian Internationalists organized the Regina Conference, which was the first Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists. As a result of the encouragement and correct orientation given by this conference, the American Communist Workers Movement (Marxist-Leninist), a predecessor of the MLP,USA, was founded by the comrades of the Cleveland Workers Action Committee. The ACWM(M-L) was built and functioned as the single nationwide center for the U.S. Marxist-Leninists. The ACWM(M-L) was eager to learn from the experience of the Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries in Canada because it regarded them as Marxist-Leninists, not as members of some distinct and separate trend. Therefore the ACWM(M-L), the COUSML and the MLP,USA have attentively studied the experience of the Internationalists and the various parties descended from them, supported them against the neo-revisionists, fought side by side with them and cherished them. We have paid special attention to the experience of the CPC(M-L), the first party to be reconstituted on the Marxist-Leninist basis in North America. It is a tribute to the proletarian internationalist spirit of the ACWM(M-L) and COUSML that they united so closely with other fighting contingents of the international communist movement such as the parties descended from the Internationalists to the point that the ACWM(M-L) and COUSML were themselves regarded, and correctly so, as “Internationalists.” The MLP,USA has a high valuation of the historical role played by the Internationalists. But it is clear that the relationship between the ACWM(M-L) and COUSML and the parties descended from the Internationalists was based on common adherence to Marxism-Leninism and common dedication to the revolutionary struggle and to the resultant mutual support and cooperation. It was not based in any way on adherence to any trend or ideology or special sectarian principles apart from revolutionary Marxism-Leninism. It was not based on developing some special relationships apart from the international communist movement, but on the ACWM(M-L) and COUSML taking up their role as contingents of the international communist movement.

But, for that matter, even as regards the parties which are descended from organizations called the “Internationalists,” it still has to be defined in what sense these parties can be grouped into an “Internationalist Movement.” This is not at all obvious and you refrain from any explanation. The Internationalists were loyal to Marxism-Leninism and to the international Marxist-Leninist communist movement, not to a separate trend or sect. It is against the whole spirit of the Internationalists to counterpose them to the other Marxist-Leninist parties. The unity of the Internationalists of different countries was also a manifestation of unity of the Marxist-Leninists. In this serious question of principle, vague phrases and hints don’t suffice. It is not sufficient to refer to the history of relations of the various parties that considered themselves “Internationalists,” or to use the phrase “parties that came out of the Internationalists,” a phrase which, as we have pointed out above, excludes us. It is necessary to analyze that history deeply and correctly.

Now we will return to the fact that, despite the deceptive words in your letters of December 5, you are advocating that at the present time the Internationalists are a separate trend within the Marxist-Leninist movement. In the discussions between the representatives of our two Parties at the time of the 6th Consultative Conference, you put forward the following:

In practical terms, not political, there are the Marxist-Leninist parties that came out of the struggle against Khrushchovite revisionism led by the PLA and those who come out of the Internationalists. There is a question of merging them as one trend. The historical significance of the Internationalists and the work we have done shouldn’t be underestimated: 1) common struggle; 2) relations and unity. Should utilize this as a force to develop strong relations in the International Communist Movement. In the present situation, the parties coming from the Internationalists can make a big contribution, utilizing the existing strength in the struggle against revisionism and opportunism. While I [CPC(M-L)’s representative – ed.] was in Albania, I came to the view of the need for a joint statement of the Parties from the Internationalists. I went to XXX and YYY to propose one or two informational meetings to exchange views, particularly regarding the international situation and the international Marxist-Leninist communist movement, and a joint statement of the Parties, ... (continues with further discussion of the joint meeting and joint statement) (From our minutes)

Thus you are putting forward the theory of the existence of different Marxist-Leninist trends in the international Marxist-Leninist movement. Once again we stress that the central point of this thesis of yours is that you are clearly not referring to the question of the Marxist-Leninist trend versus the revisionist trends, but to different Marxist-Leninist trends. You put forward the idea of strengthening the trends as trends as the alleged path of strengthening the international Marxist-Leninist movement. We, on the contrary, think that such a theory of “two (or more) trends” inside the Marxist-Leninist movement is in fact fraught with the danger of unprincipled splits and wild factionalism.

It can also be seen from your description of the trends that you have a great deal of difficulty describing the basic features characterizing the two trends. In order to do so, you counterpose the parties from the Internationalists to those that came up in the struggle against Khrushchovite revisionism. Even aside from the historical and factual points that we have raised earlier in this section, this classification is utterly astonishing to us. The Internationalists themselves came up in the struggle against Khrushchovite revisionism and supported the struggle of the Party of Labor of Albania. Indeed, it is one of the many repulsive features of this theory of “two (or more) trends” that it places the Internationalists into a separate trend away from the Party of Labor of Albania. But where would we all be without the historic struggles against revisionism waged by the Party of Labor of Albania and without the Party of Labor of Albania’s trenchant ideological work! How can one avoid feeling extremely close to the glorious Marxist-Leninist fighters from Albania! We find it a source of great and inexhaustible strength that we are in the same trend as the Party of Labor of Albania, the trend of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism. The triumphant advance of the Party of Labor of Albania and the construction of socialism in Albania is a victory for the proletarian trend everywhere, for the trend of Marxism-Leninism, and it is precisely this feeling that should be inculcated in the working class of the whole world. This is the only proletarian internationalist conception of the issue of trends!

You raise the issue, as the basis of the concept of an Internationalist “trend,” that there is a history of having developed relations over the years. But if that is taken as the basis of a “trend,” then the issue inevitably arises that the other parties too fall into several or many groupings. This is not to mention the tremendous difficulties that would accompany any attempt to divide the international Marxist-Leninist movement on any kind of objective basis into groupings based on historical relations. It is impossible to do so. Nevertheless, it is clear that your theory of “two trends” inevitably becomes a theory of quite a few trends, if it is elaborated with any consistency. That is why we call it a theory of “two (or more) trends,” a theory of “many trends.” Once Marxism-Leninism is given up as the common bond uniting the world’s Marxist-Leninists, but instead something else is taken as the basis of developing “trends,” then many different groupings or “trends” can be brought into existence. Still, you divide the whole movement into two, but that is because you are simply dividing it into “us” versus “them.” We do not agfee with this attitude towards the other Marxist-Leninist parties of the world. It is not Marxist-Leninist nor proletarian internationalist, but an ugly, corrosive sentiment opposed to the spirit of fighting under the inspiring banner of world Marxism-Leninism.

We are opposed to the idea that the way to consolidate the international Marxist-Leninist movement is to consolidate “trends.” We are in favor of the internationalist rallies of Marxist-Leninist parties, of bilateral and multilateral meetings and of the further strengthening of the various forms of cooperation, consultation and joint action between the Marxist-Leninist parties. But the strengthening of the relations is not for the sake of consolidating new “trends” of various sorts, and such an idea of establishing various “trends” will in fact harm the process of developing closer relations. Furthermore, a unified international Marxist-Leninist communist movement cannot be regarded as an alliance or merger of different trends. As far as the issue of “trends” goes, the task is to develop the trend of revolutionary Marxism-Leninism in struggle against the various revisionist and opportunist trends. The relationship of the question of trends to the question of unity was expressed well by Comrade Enver Hoxha when he wrote:

unity will be re-established in the communist movement and the socialist camp, but it will be re-established by the Marxist-Leninists without revisionists and traitors and in resolute struggle against them.” (Report to the 5th Congress of the PLA as cited in The History of the PLA, Ch. VII, Sec. 2, p. 605)

The same conception of the relation of the issue of trends to the question of unity was stressed by Comrade Agim Popa at the Scientific Sessions in Albania of October 1978. He stated:

Real unity in the Marxist-Leninist communist movement is possible only on the basis of unwavering loyalty to Marxism-Leninism which shows the proletariat and the peoples the only correct road to their social and national liberation. ... It is precisely deviation from the principles and teachings of Marxism-Leninism that is the main cause of the split in the workers’ and communist movement. As in the case of the betrayal of Marxism-Leninism by the Second International and that by the Khrushchovite revisionists in the 50’s and 60’s, the emergence on the scene and crystallization of the present-day Chinese revisionism with its counterrevolutionary theory of ’three worlds’ has caused a split in the Marxist-Leninist movement today....

Experience shows that only on the basis of a merciless struggle against opportunism and revisionism of all hues is it possible to preserve, strengthen and continuously temper sound Marxist-Leninist unity. ... They [the PLA and the other fraternal Marxist-Leninist parties – ed.] have waged and are waging an uncompromising principled struggle against all those who betray Marxism-Leninism and thus split the revolutionary unity, be they Soviet, Yugoslav, Italian, French, Spanish, Chinese or others. (“The Marxist-Leninist Parties – the Leading Force of the Revolutionary Movement Today,” Problems of Current World Development, Tirana, pp. 103-104, emphasis as in the original)

In your letters of December 5 you try to tone everything down and slur over the issues involved by such things as talking of “the Internationalist Movement” instead of the Internationalist “trend.” But this makes no difference. Call it what you will – trends, groupings, movements, headquarters – it makes no difference. The basic fallacy remains: the idea that not Marxism-Leninism but something else is the basis of unity between the Marxist-Leninist parties. There are only two choices. Either: the consolidation of different “trends” in the international Marxist-Leninist movement. Or: the vigorous development of the Marxist-Leninist trend in life-and-death struggle against the opportunist and revisionist trends. Those are the two possible conceptions of the matter.

Your thesis of “two (or more) trends inside the international Marxist-Leninist movement” is a dangerous and fallacious one. And it is closely related to and intertwined with your theory of the “special relationship” between our two Parties. These theories of “special relationship” and “two (or more) trends” explain why you on one hand deny that the fraternal ties between our two Parties are part of the usual fraternal ties between fighting contingents of international communism, while on the other hand you insist that these fraternal ties have great international importance everywhere. In Section VIII-A, we showed how you insisted that to regard our ties as part of the general ties between the parties of international communism was just “intellectualist balderdash to cover up the entire history of the fraternal relations between COUSML...and CPC(M-L).” In this way, you negated the Marxist-Leninist norms and insisted on a “special relationship” outside these norms. However, at the same time, you also write:

19. Then yet another shameless and demagogic example of ’American exceptionalism’ with which you want to bedazzle us. ’We believe that the cooperation of our Parties in the struggle against imperialism and revisionism has great significance for North America’. You can believe whatever you like because you are hell-bent on provocation, but the genuine and revolutionary cooperation between CPC(M-L) and COUSML has inestimable significance everywhere for the struggle for revolution and socialism.... But such is your peculiar analysis and exceptionalism that you want to carve out the proletariat of the United States and the proletariat of Canada and the proletariat of Mexico from the international proletariat and isolate and detach it from the struggle of the international proletariat...all those who wish to smash this cooperation under the pretext of creating a private ’Marxist-Leninist’ movement of North America will come to no good end.(p. 7, emphasis added)

You stress the “inestimable significance everywhere” of the “special relationship” between our two Parties because you view this “special relationship” as part of building up a “trend” which should play a big international role. As usual, in trying to defend this idea you fall into contradiction after contradiction and come out with astonishing positions. You bludgeon us with the term “American exceptionalism” for refusing to take part in any trend except that of Marxism-Leninism, while at the same time you yourselves are the ones insisting on the “exceptionalist” position of advocating a “special relationship” between our two Parties outside of the scientific Marxist-Leninist norms. You are painting regional cooperation in such ugly colors as a “private ’Marxist-Leninist’ movement of North America” and as “peculiar analysis and exceptionalism” – at a time when regional cooperation including regional joint statements and regional multilateral meetings is one of the methods being used to strengthen the ties between the parties in the international Marxist-Leninist movement – while you yourselves are advocating the division of the international Marxist-Leninist movement into different “trends.” And the difference between regional cooperation and the division into “trends” can roughly be compared to the difference between having party bodies based on a production and territorial basis and having party bodies based on each having its own ideological platform. Your thesis of “two (or more) trends” inevitably boils down, when put forward consistently, to the idea of the legitimate existence of different varieties of Marxism-Leninism, one for each trend. The fact that you want to create and use a “special relationship” between our two fraternal Parties as a model with “inestimable significance everywhere” in the international Marxist-Leninist movement goes to show how extremely important it is for our Party to insist on its principled stand against the “special relationship” and against the theory of “two (or more) trends” in the international Marxist-Leninist movement.

VIII-C: The double standard and the question of equality

You have insisted on a double standard in the relations between our two Parties. Part of your theory of “two (or more) trends” is your conception that the leadership of CPC(M-L) has special prerogatives and rights within its “trend.” This indeed is central to the “special relationship” between our two Parties which you are fighting so hard for. This is the heart of the “special relationship.”

Thus it is not surprising that in your letters of December 5 you openly complain that we have given up the formulation that CPC(M-L) is the leading party in North America. You write:

“...but it is we who are astonished at your 180-degree turn against our Party. From being the Party which is leading in North America, CPC (M-L) now ’underestimates the struggle against American opportunism.’ What a fraud!” (p. 5, emphasis added) As we have pointed out in Section VI-E, you are accusing us of a “180-degree turn” because it is you who are taking a hostile stand against our Party. What this passage does is to complain and protest against our giving up the formulation that you are the leading party in North America. Perhaps you may be trying to imply that allegedly our Party has swung from one extreme to the other, while you allegedly oppose both extremes. But this would not be true. For not only have you never protested against such formulations as CPC(M-L) being the leading Party in North America, but you have insistently urged on us exactly this idea expressed in a number of different ways. And your actions with respect to us have been such as could only be regarded as an assertion of the most strict, draconic sort of “leadership” over us. For example, it is notable that in this passage itself you equate any criticism of you at all, such as that you have “underestimate(d) the struggle against American opportunism,” as a “180-degree turn” to a hostile stand against your Party! Let us examine some of your formulations of your leading role in North America. For example, in discussions with our delegation to the Third Congress of the CPC(M-L), you put forward the following view in reference to the situation in the U.S.: ’ ’The opportunists are finished.... “Anyway, CPC(M-L) is on the agenda one way or another. All of the fears of these guys came true. They were scared that the American proletariat will follow CPC(M-L) – now it will come true. For us this is a matter of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism but for them it is a petty thing.” In the same discussion you came back to this point and said:

“In North America there must be very strong unity between the Marxist-Leninists. This will be created on the dead body of American chauvinism.” You elaborated this as follows:

“The key point is American chauvinism is on the way out. It will work this way: anywhere COUSML takes its line they say that this is CPC(M-L)’s line. The question then arises, why don’t you follow CPC(M-L)? This is a straightforward question, why are you not following Marxism-Leninism. CPC(M-L) is the party which has consistently advanced Marxism-Leninism. They have to fight this and they are lost, they have already lost.” (From minutes of discussions of February 6, 1977) This is an amazing idea. For the issue that was fought over intensely in the U.S. in 1977 was Marxism-Leninism or “three worlds-ism,” it was the fight against social-chauvinism, and it was the fight in defense of socialist Albania. It was not over whether or not to follow CPC(M-L).

In the discussions of January 11-13, 1978, you put forward the idea that “when Albania recognized CPC(M-L), they recognized the whole trend.” This is another astonishing statement! This type of statement begins to draw from the theory of “two (or more) trends” the conclusion that the affairs of the international Marxist-Leninist movement will be decided by the relations between the heads of the “trends.” Furthermore, you attribute your conception of “two (or more) trends” to the Party of Labor of Albania. But there can be no doubt about the opposition of the PLA to this conception of’ ’trends.’

And in the discussions of November 1978, you said the following:

“He [the representative of CPC(M-L) – ed.] spoke about the diminishing role of CPC(M-L), PCDN and NPC in the U.S. Slowly and slowly these things are coming to an end. They played an important role at one time, but now it is COUSML (which is) more and more giving the line and CPC(M-L)’s role must come to an end.

They [the leadership of CPC(M-L) – ed.] (stated that) they know this and they are not unhappy about this.” Far from being happy about giving up a “special relationship” with our Party, you are fighting for it. But the main point about this statement is that it clearly shows that you have given yourself a role in the U.S. outside the proper norms of fraternal relations between parties. That is why you view this role as diminishing with the growth and strengthening of your fraternal party. This speaks volumes about what type of role you are talking about. The role and influence of the international Marxist-Leninist movement in the U.S. grows tremendously, and does not diminish, as its fighting contingent in the U.S., our Party, develops and strengthens itself. Indeed, one could say that the influence of the international Marxist-Leninist movement in any particular country is manifested mainly through the growth and development of its fighting contingent in that country. But you have counterposed your role in the U.S. to the development of the Marxist-Leninist Party in the U.S. This shows that you are talking about a role outside the Marxist-Leninist norms and opposed to the application of the party principle in the U.S. And it is notable that you are still talking about this role in November 1978, over nine years after the formation of the Marxist-Leninist center in the U.S. with the founding of the ACWM(M-L) in May 1969.

We could quote many more statements of yours on this theme. Nevertheless the general drift of your conception is already quite clear. It is clear that you believe that you have special rights with regard to the parties in your “trend,” or, in any case, with regard to our Party. That is why you are upset over our dropping the formulation of CPC(M-L) as the leading party in North America.

It is very significant that the current series of problems in our relations did not arise as a dispute over the phrase “leading role of CPC(M-L) in North America.“ They arose over our defense of the organizational integrity of our Party and our insistence on the necessity to apply the party principle consistently. For irrespective of whether or not we have given the formulation of the “leading role of CPC(M-L) in North America,” our view was always that the proper Marxist-Leninist norms should be upheld. Far from going from one extreme to the other, we have shown iron consistency on this issue for the whole period since the start of the current series of problems in our fraternal relations in late 1975. The meeting of March 4, 1978 is a good example of this. You walked out of this meeting and exerted great pressure on us, as we have detailed in Section VII-A-5. But at that time we still upheld the phrase of “the leading role of CPC(M-L) in North America.” But in our written speech, which you did not let us present, we explained that “In order for CPC(M-L) to exercise its leading role, the correct norms of relations must exist between the CPC(M-L) and the COUSML.” Thus we only recognized leadership within the Marxist-Leninist norms. But for your part, you walked out of the meeting as soon as you saw that we were bringing up for the agenda the questions of your violations of the norms of relations between fraternal Marxist-Leninist parties.

In order to insist on your special prerogatives and special rights, you have gone against the Marxist-Leninist norms. That is why you ridicule our assertion that the norms and relations between fraternal parties are regulated by the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism and sarcastically write: “But what are these ’norms and relations’ in concrete terms?” (p. 2) Having raised this question, you then refuse to answer it. You raise this question solely to mock the Marxist-Leninist norms as allegedly not “concrete.” But in fact these norms are vital for the development of proper relations in the international Marxist-Leninist movement.

Comrade Agim Popa elaborated on these norms at the Scientific Sessions in Albania in October 1978. He wrote:

Proletarian internationalism today requires that every fraternal party and genuine proletarian revolutionary give full support to the Marxist-Leninist movement in other countries and do everything within their power to strengthen sound militant unity in the Marxist-Leninist communist movement as a whole. This unity is based on rigorous respect of the principles governing relations among fraternal parties and socialist countries – principles of independence and complete equality, non-interference in one another’s internal affairs, consultation, talks and mutual comradely criticism in working out common views and overcoming differences which might arise, mutual help and fraternal internationalist support. Violation of these principles, attempts to impose the views of one party on others and the use of pressure to force others to submit to its chauvinist dictate, the use of ’aid’ as a means of pressure and dictate,divisive activities and brutal interference in the internal affairs of fraternal parties, etc., are all actions which have nothing in common with Marxism-Leninism and gravely impair unity.(“The Marxist-Leninist Parties – the Leading Force of the Revolutionary Movement Today,” Problems of Current World Development, Tirana, 1979, pp. 105-06, emphasis as in the original)

Comrade Popa vigorously denounced the Chinese revisionists for their violations of these norms. Among other things, he pointed out that:

Many facts, well-known to both the PLA and the fraternal Marxist-Leninist parties prove that for the Chinese leadership, the fundamental criterion for recognizing these parties and establishing relations with them is not adherence to the principles of Marxism-Leninism, but adherence to the Chinese line. (Ibid., p. 106)

These norms not only have great importance in the struggle against Chinese revisionism, but they also played a big role in the struggle against Khrushchovite revisionism. Commenting on the publication of the nineteenth volume of Enver Hoxha’s works, Zeri iPopullit discussed the role of the norms of relations:

The violation by the Soviet revisionists and other revisionists of the norms regulating the relations between the Marxist-Leninist parties, is seen in the violation by them, from the beginning, of the principle of equality, which is one of the main features distinguishing these relations. The Marxist-Leninist parties are equal in the relations between them. The strict observation of this principle is a condition to ensure their real and unbreakable Marxist-Leninist unity. Being aware of the content and importance of the principle of equality, the Party of Labor of Albania (and) Comrade Enver Hoxha, at the Moscow Meeting and on other occasions, exposed the view and stands of Khrushchovite revisionists who divided the parties into mother and daughter parties, into parties that have the baton and parties that obey blindly to their will, into big parties and small parties, into old parties that as such have privileges and into young parties, into parties that can submit to no principle and norm and into parties that should accept the arbitrariness and chauvinism of the big party, into parties that have the monopoly in the ideological interpretations and into parties that should accept and blindly apply these interpretations, even if they are anti-Marxist. (As quoted by the Albanian Telegraphic Agency and cited in the Norman Bethune Institute edition of Through the Pages of Volume XIX of the Works of Comrade Enver Hoxha, Canada, 1976, p. 46)

These norms are quite “concrete.” The issue is that you are violating these norms and replacing them with the “special relationship.” The “special relationship” is an utter negation of the equality between parties, and in practice it includes the violation of the organizational integrity of our Party and opposition to the application of the party principle in the U.S. By threatening our fraternal relations and taking a hostile stand to our Party on the basis of fighting for a “special relationship,” you are judging our Party not on the basis of adherence to Marxism-Leninism, but on whether or not we disagree with you on anything, on whether or not we are agreed to be part of a special “trend’ inside the international Marxist-Leninist movement. In this letter, we detail your violation of numerous of the Marxist-Leninist norms governing relations. It is this violation of the Marxist-Leninist norms that lies at the root of the problems in the practical relations between our two fraternal Parties.

In the rest of Section VIII, we will go into various more particular aspects of your denial of the Marxist-Leninist norms.

VIII-D: On the epithet “peculiar”

In your letters of December 5 and elsewhere you have taken to denouncing our views as “peculiar.” With this epithet, you show that you regard it as wrong in principle for us to ever give any views different from yours. It is not a question of whether these views are right or wrong, based on Marxism-Leninism or not, in accord with the concrete situation or not, but simply that they are “peculiar” as they differ from yours. You seem to feel that this label of “peculiar” is an irrefutable and crushing refutation of us. You do not have to elaborate why this or that thesis of ours is wrong. Horrors! You even have developed whole theories denouncing such elaboration as allegedly being “polemics” or “two-line struggle” or “ideological struggle.” All you feel that it is necessary to do is to brand our views “peculiar.”

Thus on page 15 you brand the phrase “idealist anti-revisionism” as “peculiar jargon.” And on page 22 you write that “’U.S. neo-revisionism is the American expression of the international opportunist trend of Chinese revisionism’ is another peculiar theory.” On pages 22-23 you denounce our arguments in favor of struggle against the “RCP,USA” as the “peculiar theory of ’weak link’.” Indeed, you denounce our struggle against domestic opportunism in the U.S. as both “peculiar” and even a manifestation of “American exceptionalism.” You go to the extent of summing up that the problem between our two Parties lies in our coming forward with peculiar theories. You write:

“It is this strong opposition of our Party to the concoction of various peculiar ’theses’ and pet ’theories’ which has put the damper on this worm to the extent that he is wildly swinging his head in all directions.” (p. 23) In the meetings of early August between our two Parties, you also sounded this theme. You denounced the movement against social-chauvinism as a “peculiar movement” and claimed that it was a “different preoccupation” than the international movement. For example, you raised such issues as whether or not the Party of Labor of Albania has a movement against social-chauvinism and so forth.

Thus you try to make a pretense that by “peculiar” you mean different from the accepted theories in the international Marxist-Leninist movement. In Section X we shall therefore go through a number of our allegedly “peculiar” theses and compare them with the theses given by Comrade Enver Hoxha. by the Scientific Sessions in Albania of October 1978 and other such sources. We shall see that generally speaking the very theses you denounce as “peculiar” are the ones which are the most orthodox. Your raving about our “peculiar” and “exceptionalist” theories is just demagogy, emotionalism and a big smoke screen. The bitter truth is that behind this smoke screen of outcries about “peculiar” theses, you are seeking to force us to adopt various theses of yours which either are genuinely and truly “peculiar” or are outright opposed to the orthodox theses of Marxism-Leninism.

Indeed, one cannot help but notice that it is at least a little strange that you are raving on about our “peculiar” theses and about theses allegedly different from those of the international movement, when at the same time you are advocating the division of the genuine Marxist-Leninists into “two (or more) trends.” On the one hand you are trying to enforce a “special relationship” with us and to negate the international norms, while on the other you rave against “peculiar” theses. This would be comical if it wasn’t such a tragedy. In fact, it is the most disgusting, revolting and repulsive hypocrisy.

Thus all your cries about “peculiar” mean is that certain of our theses are different from yours. Your crushing irony about our “peculiar concoctions” simply means that you refuse to deal seriously with our views and that you prefer to use the method of dictation. With this epithet of “peculiar,” you are insisting that we should support your views independently of whether they are correct or not, just because they are your views. The epithet “peculiar” shows the brutal dictation inherent in the “special relationship.”

VIII-E: The leadership of CPC(M-L) vehemently rejects any and all criticism

Another striking feature of the “special relationship” is that you vehemently oppose any criticism of the leadership of the CPC(M-L). This is clear from your letters of December 5. You justify your entire hostile stance against our Party as an allegedly legitimate response to our letter of fraternal criticism of December 1. You call comrades “agent-provocateurs” and “national and social chauvinists” on the basis that they have criticized or even simply disagreed with you. You accuse us of campaigns to damage the relations between our two Parties on the basis that we have maintained over a period of time our views in the disagreements between the Parties. You demand a split in our leadership and you boycott our Party all because we criticized you. This is not just opposition to criticism, this is all-out war on your part against any criticism of your views.

You explain your stand by stressing that criticism of yourself is incompatible with the maintenance and strengthening of fraternal ties. You write:

18. Having reduced the relations of our two Parties to this level, you carry on with your demagogy – ’We stand for strengthening the relations between our two Parties.’ Do you really? What does this mean in concrete terms? Is this putrid and foul letter of December 1, 1979, a model example of your windbaggery of your ’stand for strengthening the relations between our two Parties’? With such a stand of ’strengthening,’ you do not need any wreckers, splitters or disruptors at all. These ’strengtheners’ will amply do the job for you.” (p. 7)

According to you, criticism is an activity of “wreckers, splitters or disruptors.” Well, we firmly declare that our letter of December 1, 1979 is indeed a good example of proper, principled, constructive and comradely criticism. We, who had good reason to be angry and outraged with your actions, maintained a calm and patient stand. Our letter of December 1 is constructive and fraternal. It takes great pains to develop the analysis of the issue at stake and to seek to explain to you the issues. It is entirely lacking in threats or ultimatums or insults of any kind. All it takes is the briefest comparison of our letter of December 1 and your letters of December 5 to see the wide gulf between fraternal criticism and brutal pressure and dictation.

You also stress your view that criticism of yourself and friendly relations are incompatible by denouncing the fact that we invited you to send delegations to the Preparatory Conference for the Founding of the MLP,USA and to the Founding Congress of the MLP,USA in our letter of November 29, 1979 while we criticized your sale of the English translation of the Palacios book to the “RCP,USA” in our letter of December 1, 1979. You rage against how such things could be done in letters only a few days apart. You denounce this as “the tricks of the entire lying trade” and as having a “forked tongue” (p. 4). But where is the contradiction between the two letters? There is only a contradiction if you believe that criticism is incompatible with fraternal relations, if you believe that our absolute agreement with you, right or wrong so long as it’s your views, is essential for fraternal relations. Later, in Section VIII-G, we shall also see that it is hypocrisy, as you yourself have even denounced us in provocative and brutal ways and invited us to meetings in the very same letter. But this only shows that your opposition to criticism is part of your double standard. You are not opposed to all criticism in our relations. Oh no. You are only opposed to criticism of yourself.

You have gone to the extent that you have developed various theories against criticism. You call criticism of yourself “provocations.” You denounced views separate from yours as “peculiar.” And you have maintained the view that letters between parties and the elaboration of views concerning the disagreements are “polemics.” For example, in our discussions of January 11-13, 1978 you denounced our letters, saying:

“Anyway I [the representative of CPC(M-L) – p3.] told “(the COUSML representative) when he was here that we do not accept these letters. They are wrong and their language is not correct. Comrades do not polemicize against each other.”

You gave these views repeatedly. Thus in the discussions of early September 1978 you stated: “We have your letters and views. It seems that what you want is to make a polemic against our leadership....” (Minutes of the discussion of Friday afternoon, September 8, 1978) It was in these discussions that you refused to speak to our NEC and insisted on speaking to only part of our delegation. You also used the device of denouncing every disagreement with you as a “polemic” in order to justify your opposition to the integrity of our party committees. When our delegation decided that the NC would have to decide on a certain proposal of yours, you withdrew the proposal (which had not been made seriously but on the spur of the moment) and stated:

“Why does everything have to go to your National Committee? You must have some plan. You want to polemicize against our leadership.” (September 8, 1978) This entire theory of criticism as “polemics” is wrong. The Party of Labor of Albania explained the fallaciousness of this theory in the Letter of the CC of the Party of Labor and the Government of Albania to the CC of the Communist Party and the Government of China (July 29. 1978). This letter states:

Among the Marxist-Leninist norms which regulate relations among communist parties there exists also that of the correct and reciprocal, principled and constructive, criticism of mistakes which are observed in the line and the activity of this or that party. Such a comradely criticism cannot be called polemics, as the Chinese leadership interprets this norm. Polemics, as the word itself indicates, means a state of ideological and political struggle, it is a state in which non-antagonistic contradictions are transformed into antagonistic contradictions.

...Whenever it [the PLA – ed.] has seen that the Communist Party of China adopted stands and took actions in opposition to Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, in opposition to the interests of socialism and the revolution, it has pointed out the mistakes to, and criticized it in a comradely manner. This is borne out by written documents of our Party and State, which are in your possession. And what has the attitude of the Chinese leadership been? While it welcomed and highly praised the Party of Labor of Albania and the Albanian Government for their support for, and defense of, People’s China, the Chinese side never welcomed the correct and principled remarks of our Party. ... Reasoning and acting according to the concepts and logic of a great power, of a great party and a great state, which considers itself an infallible genius, it has demonstrated that it knows no other way apart from dictate and imposition of its views on the others, especially on the smaller parties and states.” (pp. 20-22)

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China did not reply to the principled and correct letter of our Party. The Chinese leadership never gave our Party any explanation on this question of so great importance. Mao Tsetung limited himself to a verbal statement to the effect that ’we will not reply to your letter because we do not want to stir up polemics’. In our view, which is in keeping with Leninist norms, the exchange of opinions, comradely criticism and each other’s enlightenment are normal things between two communist parties. They can by no means be considered polemics. (p. 30)

We hold that you are committing a major error of principle when you oppose criticism as allegedly incompatible with fraternal relations. You have called criticism of your views and actions “polemics” and you have sought to impose the norm that views different from yours are “peculiar.” But we think that the experience of the struggles against Chinese and Khrushchovite revisionism proves yet again the burning necessity of upholding the Marxist-Leninist norms on these questions. The truth is that, by opposing principled, fraternal and constructive criticism of yourself, you have violated the equality of our two Parties, imposed a double standard and posed as the leading party of a “trend,” disagreement inside the “trend” with its leading party being considered a “provocation.”

VIII-F: Opposition to the Marxist-Leninist norms on consultation and cooperation

We have already seen in Section VIII-A that you mock and ridicule the norms regulated by Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism for the relations between fraternal parties. You denounce them as not “concrete.” As well, in your letters of December 5 you also single out the Marxist-Leninist norms on consultation and cooperation in particular. You write:

In the final paragraph on page three of his Part Two, Joseph Green again uses demagogy in the most shameless fashion in order to serve his pragmatic ends. He writes: ’This question of consultation and cooperation is, in our view, one of the most important questions of principles involved in the issue of the selling of the rights to Palacios’ book to the ’RCP,USA’. Why is this ’one of the most important questions of principle? It is because this worm has found out through this so-called ’consultation’ a ’fact’ through which he can wriggle with to nail the CPC(M-L). There is no other reason whatsoever.” (p. 13, emphasis added)

And earlier in your letters you denounced as “demagogic nonsense” (p. 6) our assertion that “the building and strengthening of our cooperation require that the problems that emerge be dealt with straightforwardly, calmly and openly, they must be looked at squarely in the face.”

It is a sad thing to see a Marxist-Leninist party such as yours denounce the Marxist-Leninist norms. International cooperation and consultation is one of the most important principles involved in fraternal relations. By denouncing the importance of the norms governing consultation and cooperation you are showing once again that you are fighting to replace the Marxist-Leninist norms with the “special relationship.” Indeed, as long as you uphold the “special relationship,” as long as you regard any criticism of or disagreement with your views as simply “provocations,” “polemics” or manifestations of “national and social chauvinism,” then what possible value can you put on “consultation and cooperation”? According to the “special relationship,” the issue is that we should simply implement this or that proposal of yours and adopt this or that view of yours, not consult and cooperate with you.

Look at how you describe bilateral discussions between our two Parties! You write:

This worm pays lip-service to the norms and forms in words because for him these bilateral discussions are ’one of the most important’ instruments for his own sinister ends, to pick up information like a garbage collector which he can then hurl back against the genuine Marxist-Leninist and revolutionary forces.” (p. 13. emphasis added)

What a grudge you have against consultation and cooperation! Thus it is not surprising at all that your opposition to the norms governing consultation and cooperation has been one of the important factors creating many problems in and putting many obstacles in the path of our practical relations. This has manifested itself in a number of ways.

One of the key issues is that you have opposed the proper revolutionary formality in our practical relations. In Sections II, VI and VII we have described various features of the methods of discussion you have insisted on in opposition to Marxist-Leninist formality. We have stood for revolutionary formality, for the use of party methods in the relations between the two Parties and in favor of the integrity of the party and of the party committees. For this reason, you have denounced us for years as “formalists.” You have done this repeatedly. A typical example comes from the discussion of January 1978. In talking about the problems in our relations, you denounced formality. Our minutes of the discussion contain the following views put forward by you: “He [the representative of CPC(M-L) – ed.] said that this formality is wrong. That it is now coming up internationally to use this business of non-interference in other parties to develop national and social chauvinism. These things look very innocent at first, but it is here that opportunism will attack.” And you drew the following conclusion:

“He [the representative of CPC(M-L) – ed.] charged that elements [in the leadership of COUSML – ed.] were using this formality to promote social-chauvinism.” Thus you converted the issue of revolutionary formality into the question of the norm of non-interference into the internal affairs of other parties. Very well. But you then denounced this Marxist-Leninist norm and described it as the source from which opportunism will attack the international communist movement. Indeed, you called this Marxist-Leninist norm a source of national and social-chauvinism.

In your letter you denounce us for having a “grocery list mentality.” (p. 15 and elsewhere) This is another way you have invented of presenting the norms of consultation and cooperation in an ugly light. With this ugly and rather puzzling name, you defend your practice of holding casual, spur-of-the-moment and offhand discussions by castigating delegates who come prepared to deal with various issues as having a “grocery list mentality.” As well, you are using the expression “grocery list mentality” to denounce us for asking you to carry through with your obligations. You feel free to promise this or that and to propose agreements involving mutual responsibilities. But when we ask you to carry out your commitments or to take responsibility for your acts, you call this a “grocery list mentality.” This devastating expression, “grocery list mentality,” is another expression of the double standard of the “special relationship.” a double standard which gives us all the obligations and gives you the freedom from any responsibility for your words and actions.

One of the most serious ways you oppose the ordinary norms of consultation and cooperation is through not elaborating or writing down your views. In Section VII-B we showed how over years you have failed to elaborate your views in documents and opposed even examining our documents. In this light, it is quite interesting that you try to deny the various theses you have very insistently urged on us over the years against the struggle against the domestic opportunists by saying:

“There is neither official nor unofficial documents of CPC(M-L) which can ’verify’ the ’accuracy’ of his wild slander and intellectualist hyperbole....” (p. 22) This makes it clear that you oppose elaborating your ideas in documents not just because certain of these ideas are half-baked and undeveloped, but so that you can deny responsibility for them. This is an ugly, repulsive, unprincipled practice. This is why you have sometimes asked our delegates not to take notes and have conducted discussions in ways that make it difficult to keep good records. That is also why you curse so hard against being what you call “NAILED” to any definite position. It is a major cause of problems in our practical relations.

Nevertheless, the facts are that there is abundant documentation of your theories against the struggle against opportunism. We have our minutes of the discussions, which show you consistently developing such theses. There is your opposition to our struggle against opportunism. There are your public statements denouncing the struggle against opportunism as “two-line struggle.” And many other sources. However, we cannot say exactly what “official and unofficial documents of CPC(M-L)” you have. If it is true that these theses of yours are not contained in such documents, then that shows that you are not only violating the Marxist-Leninist norms concerning fraternal relations, but you are also violating the Marxist-Leninist norms concerning the inner-party life of your own Party. Such key theses on the burning questions of the world Marxist-Leninist movement naturally should be thoroughly discussed in the appropriate party committees and elaborated in party documents. To fail to do so means to subject the Party to grave dangers and to flagrantly violate the Marxist-Leninist norms on party-building.

While you are opposed to revolutionary formality, you make an astonishing fetish out of the technicalities of form. Instead of elaborating your views, you have repeatedly used the method of submerging everything in a mass of trivialities over form and trying to trip us up in this Alice in Wonderland maze of form independent of content. This maze of technicalities is used both to oppose and dissolve the actual questions of revolutionary formality and to try to put us in the wrong over our disagreements on various issues w ithout actually taking up the issues involved. It is quite striking that in your letters of December 5 you replace elaborating your views on the key issues at stake by instead raising all sorts of questions about whether or not we agreed to this or that proposal for discussions, whether we did or did not reply in precisely this or that form, and so on and so forth. You even reach the point of denouncing us as a, “worm”* and as refusing to talk openly to you because – we used a pair of parentheses in our letter to you of December 1! You write:

“And, like the worm he is, he sneaks in a parenthetical comment.... Now why did Joseph Green not bare himself to his ’dear fraternal comrades’ and write this comment without parenthesis?” (p. 16, emphasis added) This complaint is the last word in pettifogging sophistry and empty juggling with forms! In Section VI we showed that your picture of our discussions and agreements was a fantasy picture, full of outright lies and incredible distortions. But with these fantasies about form, you try to tie things up in a thousand technical points.

Let us examine an example of your method in action. On page 20 you give your conception of formal and informal discussions. Therefore this passage has some importance in giving your ideological views behind the way you conduct discussions. You write: “among other things, our representative communicated to them [the representatives of the COUSML in the discussions of early October 1979 – ed.]:

Thirdly, we think that we should be very vigilant on international developments. We would like to have formal discussions on this question. Of course, by this, we don’t mean these discussions are not formal. For us, formal means that with preparation on very definite topics and informal means just the exchange of views on already known and adopted positions. We propose, if you like, and whenever you like, whenever it is convenient, to discuss this concept that we have advanced that the Internationalist Movement came up as one movement and merged with the International Marxist-Leninist Communist Movement, with no exception. This is a very important issue.... Further on in this talk, our representative requested: ’You should discuss this question. We have very important views on this matter. At the same time, if I for some reason am not available, then any comrade on the Central Committee can discuss this question with you.

CPC(M-L) has received to-date no answer to our formal request to COUSML, except this wild ’off-hand’ provocative letter against our Party.” (p. 20, emphasis added)

In Section VI-S, we have already shown that it is you who have been evading discussion on the question of your theory of “two (or more) trends” in the international Marxist-Leninist movement. And it has been you who has fought against formal meetings. As well, we neither agree with your account of this “proposal” nor that any “formal request” was made. Even by your own account, it was just another one of your casual, offhand proposals that you make in great numbers. You didn’t even bother to put it in writing or to address it to any party committee of our Party or from any party committee of your Party.

But here we are interested in the rationale you give in your letters of December 5 for your alleged “proposal.” This will give an example of how you play with forms, pulling norms and forms out of a hat, in order to mystify and oppose genuine revolutionary formality and to avoid dealing with the questions of content. You say that you want “formal discussions.” But at the same time you insist that “we don’t mean these discussions are not formal.” Is it possible to make heads or tails of this? If you said that the discussions of early October were informal and that you wanted formal discussions, then at least one might be able to understand your “proposal.” One could agree or disagree with such a proposal, but at least one could understand it. But you both insist that you can’t talk in early October because you want “formal discussions” and simultaneously hold that the discussions of early October are indeed “formal.” Charming, is it not? This shows that this entire “formal request” was just playing with forms in order to avoid discussion of the question of “two (or more) trends.”

Furthermore you define “formal” in the passage we have quoted. You write: “For us. formal means that with preparation on very definite topics.” That is, you say that formal discussions are those with preparations and informal discussions are those without preparations. This is rubbish. While preparations on definite topics can be an important, even an essential, part of a successful formal meeting (but also of a successful informal meeting), preparations are not the definition of formality. It is quite possible to have a “prepared” meeting that utterly violates party formality. For example, the composition of the meeting may be illegitimate, or the meeting may have been convened to circumvent the authority of the appropriate party committees, or the meeting may be conducted informally and so forth. You are raising the issue of “preparation on very definite topics” one-sidedly as the criterion of formality in order to justify your negation of revolutionary formality and various Marxist-Leninist norms, such as your repeated attempts to circumvent the authority of our party committees.

Furthermore, it should be noted that your concern for “preparation on very definite topics” is blatant hypocrisy. You have continually held casual, offhand meetings with our delegations. Even at the formal meeting of delegations of our two Parties of March 4, 1978, you admitted that you were not prepared. Indeed you have even insisted on methods that make preparations rather difficult. For example, you have persisted in and defended the method of sending us urgent requests for a delegation to visit you, without notifying us of what the meeting is for, to say nothing of the subjects that you wish to take up for discussion. But of course your definition of “formal discussions” can serve as a prettification of this practice. For since you were asking for “informal discussions,” hence preparations would go against your very definition of such discussions.

But in your passage you are not content to give only one definition of formal and informal discussions, that it depends on whether there are preparations on definite topics. You immediately proceed to give a second and totally different definition. No wonder you are so emphatic in denouncing the very idea of consistency that you curse the very thought of being, to use your own words, “NAILED” to a definite position. You say that “informal means just the exchange of views on already known and adopted positions.” This is rather ambiguous. Nevertheless, it is also astonishing. One might think that “allready known and adopted positions” were indeed a good subject for formal agreements, joint statements and so forth. But you insist that “allready known and adopted positions” are for informal discussions, while presumably not yet adopted positions are for “formal discussions.” Since it often happens that formal meetings are used not just for “the exchange of views” but for formal agreements – and indeed you emphasize this by putting “exchange of views” in the definition of “informal discussions” – it follows that your definition would presumably imply that formal discussions and agreements can be concluded on positions not yet adopted by the appropriate party committees. Such a definition clearly serves as a prettification of your practice of trying to circumvent our party committees and violate the organizational integrity of our Party.

For that matter, compare this last definition of “formal” and “informal” to the discussions of early-October 1979. Both Parties had “allready known and adopted positions” on the theory of “two (or more) trends.” The NC of the COUSML had already discussed this theory and rejected it. You were informed of this and of the reasoning and views of the NC on this question. For example, in the discussions of mid-September 1979 you were informed of our stand on this question, while we already knew as much of your views on this question as you have revealed to us to this day. Hence both sides had “allready known and adopted positions.” Hence why couldn’t there be an “exchange of views on allready known and adopted positions”? According to your definition, such an exchange of views not only could occur in an “informal discussion,” it was literally your definition of “informal discussion.” Yet you insisted that you could only engage in such an exchange of views in a “formal discussion.” This blatant contradiction shows once again that your alleged “request” had nothing to do with providing you the opportunity to elaborate your views on “two (or more) trends.” These contradictions show the unprincipled character of your quibbles on form. Your definitions of form are as flexible as a rubber band. They are not designed to be taken seriously, but to confuse and to put up a smoke screen.

Thus the only purposes of your concoction of a “formal request” is to hide your actual opposition to formal meetings and to allow you to curse us without ever dealing with the content of the disagreements between the two Parties. You do your best to distract from the issues involved and instead to shout very loudly about nonsensical quibbles. Thus you rave on in your letter after bringing up this alleged “formal request” as follows:

“CPC(M-L) has received to-date no answer to our formal request to COUSML, except this wild ’off-hand’ provocative letter against our Party. This further reveals the hypocrisy and demagogy of this Joseph Green with regard to his preachings on ’discussion and consultation’ and ’notification’ and ’approval’, etc. Joseph Green claims that he speaks ’for the’ National Executive Committee of the Central Organization of the U.S. Marxist-Leninists, but how can it be that he does not once mention in his provocative letters the request of CPC(M-L) for ’formal discussions’? If Joseph Green had such ’deep love required to tell the truth’, which he hypocritically and demagogically claims to have, then how is it that he does not tell the truth concerning our request for ’formal discussions’? Furthermore, if Joseph Green had such concern about what he asserts to be the ’logical conclusion’ of our Party going to bed with the ’three-worlders’, then how is [it] that he refused to avail himself of our request for ’formal discussions’ where he could have presented his views and warned his ’dear fraternal comrades’ for whom he professes his ’deep communist regards’ as to the consequences or so-called ’logical conclusion’ of the principles you are urging on us’ if errors are allowed to grow’?” (p. 20) What nonsense!

What dramatic conclusions you can reach about us on the basis of your concocted “formal request” without bothering to discuss the content of our disagreements! You raise the issue of whether the “Internationalist Movement” can be regarded as a “movement” or “trend” distinct from the international Marxist-Leninist movement. You call this “a very important issue.” And then you discuss it in a total of one-half of a sentence. You refuse to discuss it! Instead you waste paper on fantastic complaints about trivialities.

At this point, we would like to recall what actually happened at the discussion of early October. At those discussions you stressed your opposition to the slogan “Build the Marxist-Leninist Party Without the Social-Chauvinists and Against the Social-Chauvinists.” To back up your opposition to the “without and against” slogan, you also put forward that the international communist movement cannot, by definition, be split. Those discussions also dealt with the question of whether the RCP of Chile should be publicly attacked by name in the press and with certain other matters. The main proposal that you made on discussion was as follows:

On October 22 we will send you a document. It is against Mao Zedong Thought and is part of our preparations for the conference against Mao Zedong Thought.... The document specifically takes up two erroneous concepts:
(1) ’At this time the most important struggle is against Mao Zedong Thought’;
(2) ’The basis of unity is in opposition to Mao Zedong Thought.’
These are an indirect answer to you on our opposition to ’without and against’. It will be a theoretical document. If you feel it is useful you should approach us for discussion before the Conference. However, we are very busy from October 24-October 30, but if necessary we can organize to have discussion.

Needless to say, we never received this document, presumably because it was never written. Behind all your denunciation of us for not having accepted your alleged “formal request” for “formal discussion” stands the reality: you never prepared the promised document. And. according to your own account of your proposal, “formal means that with preparation on very definite topics.” This is your method in action, your method which you put forward in opposition to the Marxist-Leninist norms on consultation and cooperation.

VIII-G: A double standard in everything

The double standard and utter hypocrisy pervade the “special relationship” through and through. Here we shall give some final examples of this.

In your letters of December 5 you denounce us up and down as having a “forked tongue” and engaging in “the tricks of the entire lying trade” (p. 4) because the NEC of the COUSML sent you two letters within days of each other, the letter of November 29 inviting delegations of your Party to come to the final conference of the COUSML and to the Founding Congress of the MLP,USA. while the letter of December 1 protests your sale of the English-language edition of the Palacios book to the “RCP,USA.” In Section VIII-E we pointed out that there is no contradiction between these letters unless you hold that any criticism of yourself by us is incompatible with the maintenance of fraternal relations. Here we point out that your complaint is utter hypocrisy as you yourself have combined the most brutal provocative denunciations of us and invitations to us for delegations to attend this or that in the very same letter.

For example, consider your letter of September 9, 1977. We have already quoted from this shameful letter in Section VI1-A-3. We point out there that this letter actually taunts the NEC of the COUSML to break relations with you. It threatens the relations between our two fraternal parties, holds that they are so bad that “a meeting of the delegations of the fraternal parties will be of no use whatsoever....” and says that “We had not expected that the situation would deteriorate to this extent.” But the next to last paragraph of the letter invites us to the 5th Consultative Conference of the CPC(M-L).

Nevertheless we did not accuse you of having a “forked tongue.” We denounced this letter of September 9 to you, but we accepted the invitation to the 5th Consultative Conference.

Another example is your letter of November 5. 1977. We have already discussed this letter in Section VII-A-4. This brutal letter announced that you had decided to return our letters, to receive no further letters from us and not to reply to our letters.

But it again repeats the invitation to attend the 5th Consultative Conference.

But your hypocrisy concerning our letter of invitation to you to attend the Preparatory Conference and the Founding Congress goes further. You also sarcastically denounce our letter of November 29 because “this letter also stresses several times that this ’possibility’ of ’get(ting) a remarkable picture’ is uniquely available to CPC(M-L) because ’no other organization is being invited’ either to this conference or to the congress.” But what were your views about who should be invited? In the discussions at the 6th Consultative Conference, you stated:

“(In response to a question) It will be better to have just CPC(M-L) at the Congress. Unless you can have BBB there, then you can have everyone. Without a major party from the continent, it will not be good, it will look like you are developing a faction....”

Our decision to only invite CPC(M-L) may have been right or wrong, but you have no right to find sinister motives in it or wax sarcastic over it. For you urged this idea upon us. Once again, your actions manifest an amazing double standard.

Another example is that you denied that we launched a vigorous polemical struggle against the American opportunists in the latter part of 1976. You call this “the language of this charlatan replete with all the tricks of the lying trade.” (p. 22) You write:

Listen to the language of this charlatan replete with all the tricks of the lying trade: ’First of all, we wish to stress that time has shown that the polemics we launched against the domestic American opportunists were well-chosen and did raise the burning international issues.’ However, this worm has simply forgotten in his frantic haste to villify CPC(M-L) with a devastating political-ideological denunciation |in contrast to your letters of December 5. which no one could accuse of being “political-ideological” in the slightest – ed.] that he has already written and confessed that it is not these elements who ’chose’ to ’launch’ the ’polemics’! he has already ’recalled’ to us earlier, on page four, ’that at the end of 1976 our two organizations agreed, on your suggestion, to a certain tactical co-ordination in the struggle against Chinese revisionism.’ What he has written here is inaccurate itself, but this is not the central point here. [The content of the disagreements is never the issue put forward in your letters. For you, the issue is that we disagree with you, not what the disagreement is. Here you write that you disagree with us but can’t even hint at what that disagreement is. – ed.| The point is that Joseph Green forgets to mention that it was ’on your suggestion.’ that is, it was our Party which advanced these proposals.” (p. 22. emphasis added)

How can it be denied we launched and carried through a glorious, vigorous struggle against the Klonskyites and then extended the polemics to the conciliators and so forth? Oh no, for you, “this is not the central point here.” For you, the central point is that allegedly everything which is done is done by your direction.

Consider the founding of the ACWM(M-L) as a result of the inspiration and orientation springing from the First Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists held in Regina. Canada in May 1969. If some American opportunists were to deny that ACWM(M-L) was the Marxist-Leninist center for the U.S. and to call this a “lie” or a “half-truth” or “not the central point” on the grounds that the founding of the ACWM(M-L) was inspired by a conference held in Canada and organized by Canadian Marxist-Leninists, then we would castigate such an opportunist as a chauvinist in the sharpest terms.

But you are giving the exact same argument when you deny that we “launched” polemics on the ground that we cooperated with you in this struggle and accepted various suggestions from you. And you are using this argument for the purpose of creating the opinion that allegedly our Party is incapable of giving leadership to the revolutionary struggle and that it cannot take a single step or avoid the most serious errors without directives from you. Hence it is not enough that we mentioned your suggestions “on page four.” and on page five also but we must write and sing praises to it on every page. And hence our Party should dedicate its entire struggle and the results we have achieved to you. For you, the ideological and political issues are “not the central point here.” “The point is that...it was our party which advanced these proposals.” In short, you have replaced proletarian internationalism with attitudes more suitable to the “special relationship.”

But what a fraud your posturing is! Not only is this posturing opposed to proletarian internationalism in theory, it is ludicrous in practice. For you have been fighting tooth and nail against our struggle against the American opportunists and you have been denouncing up and down the movement against social-chauvinism, while at the same time you want to claim all the credit for its successes. This reveals once again the dishonesty and hypocrisy that permeates your whole conception of the “special relationship.”


[1]This issue of The Workers’ Advocate contains Part Two of the letter of June 16, 1980 in its entirety. Part One of this letter was reproduced in The Workers’ Advocate of June 30, 1981, which also contains the letters of the CC of the CPC(M-L) of December 5, 1979 and other relevant correspondence.

The above letter is reproduced as in the original. Typographical errors have been corrected, however, and quotations have been verified with the original sources. All parenthetical and bracketed remarks in the text, including those marked “– ed.,” are as in the original, except for those marked “– W.A.” As well, we have removed the names of certain Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations.

[2]The leadership of CPC(M-L) uses the phrase ”Internationalist Movement” to denote some or all of those that it considers inside the “trend” grouped around CPC(M-L). Strictly speaking, the name “internationalists” is a reference to three organizations composed mainly of university students and faculty that existed in the 1960’s. The first to appear was the (Canadian) Internationalists, which was originally “a completely student and faculty organisation founded on March 13th, 1963” (Mass Line, Journal of CPC (M-L), March 13, 1971, p. 2, col. 2) at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. According to a journal founded to implement one of the decisions of the Necessity for Change Conference in London, England of August 1967 organized by the Internationalists, “The Internationalists developed from an ’informal discussion group’ in 1963 to a ’centre-left’ organisation based on opposition to imperialism in 1966, anti-imperialist youth and student movement in August 1967 and Marxist-Leninist youth and student movement in 1968.” (World Revolutionary Youth, Organ of the Preparatory Committee to organize the “First International Congress of Marxist-Leninist Youth,” February 1969, p. 6) In two other countries in the 1960’s besides Canada, similar organizations were formed. But the (Canadian) Internationalists, on the basis of the activity of its founder in the creation and shaping of the other two organizations, is described in the documents of the Internationalists as the center and inspiration of the entire “Internationalist Movement.” By January 1970, all the organizations of the Internationalists had been supplanted by their successors. But the leadership of CPC (M-L) continues to make demagogic use of the phrase “Internationalist Movement” in order to indicate various forces over whom it claims a “special relationship.” The fact that this term has more to do with the pretensions of the leadership of CPC(M-L) and their need to find a pleasant-sounding screen for their international factional activities than to any genuine concern for history is shown, among other things, by the fact that the “Internationalist Movement” is supposed to include the Marxist-Leninists in certain countries where the Internationalists never existed. For example, there never was any organization of “Internationalists” in the U.S. Hence 10 years after the demise of the Internationalists, the leadership of CPC (M-L) is still trying to build up a mystique around these organizations of the 1960’s as one of its justifications for its attempts to build up its own factional “trend.” – W.A.