Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Revolutionary Workers’ Headquarters

Red Papers 8: China Advances on the Socialist Road: The Gang of Four, Revolution in the US, and the Split in the Revolutionary Communist Party

Rush to Judgement

This letter is one of the early documents of the split in the RCP. It was written by a veteran comrade speaking to the deterioration of line and principles that Avakian’s paper on China represented and the “rush to judgement” method by which this line was pushed down the throats of the RCP membership. This letter appeared with the original documents that were sent to all Party members during the period of rebellion within the RCP.

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The Revolutionary Communist Party and its predecessor, the Revolutionary Union, has a proud history and devotion to the struggle of the US working class. It has led many important individual struggles and made important theoretical contributions to the development of the ultimate revolutionary victory. It has in the past period been dealt a number of severe self-inflicted blows which must be vigorously rebuffed. What had distinguished the RCP from the many so-called Marxist-Leninist sects? Essentially, it had been its concentration in the major battles of the working class, the oppressed peoples and their allies, and its summing up of these struggles through applying the world-wide experience of the working class, Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tsetung Thought. In the ideological battle with these sects, it has distinguished itself by demolishing the right and left dogmatism and stressed the fundamental duty of Marxist-Leninists to link up with the masses in struggle. As the Party Programme puts it:

The central task of the Revolutionary Communist Party today, as the Party of the US working class, is to build the struggle, class consciousness and revolutionary unity of the working class and develop its leadership in a broad united front against the US imperialists, in the context of a worldwide united front against imperialism aimed at the rulers of the two superpowers.
...In carrying out its central task today, the Revolutionary Communist Party takes part in, learns from and brings leadership to the struggles of the working class and its allies, unites all who can be united, consistently exposes the enemy and points to the final aim of overthrowing imperialism and building socialism. To do this it bends every effort to fulfill three main objectives in these struggles: to win as much as can be won in the immediate battle and weaken the enemy; to raise the general level of consciousness and sense of organization of the struggling masses and instill in them the revolutionary outlook of the proletariat; and to develop the most active and advanced in these struggles into communists, recruit them into the Party and train them as revolutionary leaders.
Through this process the Party leads the masses of workers in fighting against the capitalists and in developing this into an all-around battle against the capitalist system.

Of course, there has been shortcomings and errors, and at least some of them have been summed up and corrected. We still have a long way to go, but shall we in silence reverse our correct stand. Shall we, who as the RU exposed Progressive Labor as Trotskyite counter-revolutionaries follow their footsteps down the road to hell? Shall our comrades trained in toe-to-toe struggle with the bourgeoisie cave in to petty bourgeois degeneration and despair throw up our hands and forsake the struggle? Shall we join the Trotskyite anti-China chorus do the job of the bourgeoisie from the left, that the bourgeoisie needs to supplement its attack from the right? Our comrades are used to battle and will certainly resist and defeat this counter-revolutionary deviation.

While the battle to resist this trend away from working class concentration, towards a safe but harmful left idealism and Trotskyite interventionism has been going on for quite a while Inside the Party, it has not been general knowledge among the cadre, although many cadre have resisted and protested. But it has come to a head over the China question, and as such has both concentrated a trend into a gallop, and has demanded that we make common cause with Progressive Labor, Workers Viewpoint Organization, the Spartacist League and other Trots. This rush to judgement forced on the RCP by a willful and disruptive few stands to turn our honorable history around unless the cadre make it forcefully clear that they refuse to follow the Judas goat to the slaughter house. This carefully orchestrated rush to judgement developed under a barrage of pyramiding Bulletins escalating the stakes at each turn.

Bulletin 1: Simply raised certain questions.
Bulletin 2: Did not sum up the questions raised in #1, discussed three other questions and said, “don’t draw conclusions.”
Bulletin 3: Came out before most had discussed #2, did not at all discuss the Gang of Four, except to practically make it impossible to oppose them.

And Then, this last Central Committee report which enshrines the Gang as revolutionary saints and condemns the Chinese masses to capitalist restoration.

This line, based on selected conjecture and flying in the face of a mountain of contrary evidence, needs to be reversed by the cadre if our record is to be upheld and if our future is to be fought for.

It is important to note that both the two highest standing bodies of the Central Committee were evenly split on this matter. And on the basis of the correct stand of those who opposed the frantic head-over-heels rush to catch up to the Sparticist League, all opposing have been removed from their posts. This not inconsiderable purge (only the beginning) of those who proved themselves in past struggle and proved themselves anew in this battle consolidates the attempted sectification of the RCP.

The question of China is a question of principle, the question of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tsetung Thought vs. Trotskyism, or one should say shame-faced Trotskyism because the ridiculous stand of maintaining it only internally and orally upholding China as a socialist country is both ridiculous and nothing but a creeping escalation to fullblown betrayal. We are told to lie to the masses, and tell close forces the truth only if they promise to lie to the masses.

This dubious tactic is already a public failure and bound to be even more thoroughly so in the immediate future.

The China question needs to be reversed, the purge needs to be reversed, and above all the central task of the RCP has to be reaffirmed. And the three main objectives have to be reaffirmed and stuck to. Otherwise how can the RCP be maintained as the Party of the working class? This reckless disregard of the needs of our Party and of the US masses will certainly be denounced by the overwhelming bulk of the cadre and this counter-revolutionary line will surely be defeated.

Written by a veteran comrade who has been through this kind of thing before.