Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Announcement of the Formation of the Committee of U.S. Bolsheviks


Issued: May 1, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Despite phrases like “revolution is the main trend in the world today,” ‥1978 has also seen great advances for the cause of revolution” (Unite!, Dec. 15, 1978, p. 2), “The MLOC has significantly contributed to reviving many of the revolutionary traditions of Marxism&-Leninism in the U.S.” (Ibid., p. 6), and the euphoria of other self-proclaimed “communist parties,” it has become impossible for honest forces to ignore the fact that a deep and serious ideological crisis exists today in the communist movement internationally. The principles of Leninism which the Bolshevik Party in the Soviet Union established and fought for and which guided the international communist movement in the time of the Comintern, have been trampled upon, ignored and distorted.

This ideological crisis is exposed by the absence of genuine Bolshevik parties in most countries of the world, by the absence of an International which can provide leadership to the entire communist movement, and by the reigning ideological confusion and backwardness. The opportunist ideologues who oppose and retard proletarian revolution also have to be evaluated in terms of international trends – not simply in terms of countries, organizations, or individuals. The Bolshevik trend must be developed as an international trend in opposition to these smiling enemies of the proletariat.

During World War I, Lenin defined the trends in the international communist movement as the outright social-chauvinist trend, the centrist trend (‥whose whole policy consisted in embellishing the opportunism of the Rights with Left phrases, and subordinating the Lefts to the Rights” – Stalin, “Industrialization and the Right Deviation in the C.P.S.U.(B.),” Works, Vol. 11, p. 293), and the genuine Left trend. Lenin made it clear that the Left trend had to direct its main fire at the centrists, “who were trying to subordinate the proletarian elements to the interests of the petty bourgeoisie”, “for otherwise the proletarians could not have organized their own monolithic revolutionary Marxist party.” (Ibid.) Thus, he called for the setting up of the Third International which would exclude those rancid elements, who otherwise would have submerged the genuine forces.

In our time, with the exposure of “Mao Tse-tung Thought” as a revisionist current, we are seeing that the opportunist trends have held hegemony for some time now, and that the Marxist-Leninist trend – the Bolshevik trend – has been subordinated. Both the avowed social-chauvinists and centrists have trampled Leninism underfoot to the point where “Bolshevik” has almost become an unspoken word in the movement. Today, as the left masks are being ripped off the revisionist forces, the attacks on Leninism are becoming more open in an attempt to whip up an anti-Leninist current even more.

What is happening internationally is, of course, reflected in the movement here. Have you ever wondered why there are so many self–proclaimed ‥vanguard parties” and still no party of the proletariat in the U.S.? Again, we have to cut through the confusion of the self-proclaimed “differences” between these opportunist organizations, and instead evaluate what trend they belong to internationally. The “RCP”, “CPML”, “LRS(ML)”, “RWH”, “WVO”, “LPR”, “PUL”, etc., are openly social-chauvinist. These Mensheviks-Maosheviks call themselves “anti-revisionists”, yet they are in reality thoroughgoing anti-Leninists, propagating such social-chauvinist, revisionist theories as the theory of “three worlds”, which calls for an alliance with their “own” bourgeoisie a united front with U.S. imperialism against Soviet social-imperialism. The centrist trend, which also calls itself “anti-revisionist”, is represented by the so-called “anti-three worlders” – the “CPUSA(ML)” (MLOC), “COUSML”, and a number of smaller circles. These groups manage to give themselves a left cover, upholding proletarian internationalism in words, but when they are examined against Leninism, their opportunism and social-chauvinism stand exposed.

The abandonment of the essential principles of Marxism-Leninism has reflected itself in the abandonment of the Bolshevik Party as the model for the revolutionary party of the proletariat. All opportunists, no matter how “left” their phrasemongering, cringe from the very thought of following Leninist norms for developing ”the organization of communist leadership in the proletarian revolution.” (Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Comintern) The centrists have no more desire than the outright social-chauvinists to betray the interests of the petty bourgeoisie and the labor aristocracy whom they serve and who constitute the social basis for opportunism. The “communist parties” they build are not Bolshevik parties, the parties of A New Type that Lenin called for. The construction of social-democratic parties of the old type is not an accident or an error. On the contrary, when confronted with Leninist principles of party building, the opportunists either distort his meaning, or openly assert that “that aspect of Lenin” doesn’t apply to these conditions. For example, instead of Lenin’s famous dictum that “Before we can unite, and in order that we may unite, we must first of all draw firm and definite lines of demarcation.”, they propose uniting first in order to demarcate, and accuse us of “sectarianism” and “small circle spirit” for refusing to do so. We too are for unity:

Unity is a great thing and a great slogan. But what the workers’ cause needs is the unity of Marxists, not unity between Marxists and opponents and distorters of Marxism. (Lenin, “Unity”, CW, Vol. 20, p. 232)

Indeed, the danger of these forces posing as Marxist-Leninists when no Marxist-Leninist trend is visible to the working class is obvious. They have discredited and made a mockery of the science of Marxism-Leninism and the name “communist”. They have fed into the anti-communism and anti-intellectualism fostered by the U.S. bourgeoisie to keep the U.S. proletariat alienated from the science of proletarian revolution.

In order to put an end to this wretched state of affairs, and end to the present ideological crisis, and in order to carry out our principal task of party building, it is incumbent upon all genuine Marxist-Leninists and class conscious workers to re-group and take the offensive against all shades and variants of opportunism and revisionism, aiming the main blow at the centrists, who, as Lenin taught, camouflage their opportunism and are thus even more dangerous than the avowed social-chauvinists. We must set about the work of reestablishing, in an organized way, the hegemony of orthodox Marxism-Leninism internationally, of scientific socialism, the only theory which can guide the proletariat to victory in its revolutionary struggle to overthrow the bourgeoisie. In a time of ideological crisis similar to our, Lenin said:

Nothing is more important than to rally all Marxists who have realised the profundity of the crisis and the necessity of combatting it, for defence of the theoretical basis of Marxism and its fundamental propositions, that are being distorted from diametrically opposite sides by the spread of bourgeois influence to the various “fellow travelers” of Marxism. (Lenin, “Certain Features of the Historical Development of Marxism,” CW, Vol. 17, p. 43)

It is for this purpose that some forces from Demarcation, the U.S. Leninist Core and some other Marxist-Leninists have come together to form the Committee of U.S. Bolsheviks. We see the Committee of U.S. Bolsheviks as a temporary organization formed for the purpose of rallying the genuine Marxist-Leninists “who have realised the profundity of the crisis and the necessity of combatting it” into a compact group which sets itself two specific tasks: 1) to work out the tactics-as-plan necessary for the construction of an authentic Bolshevik Party in the U.S.; and 2) to create the organization necessary to carry out this Marxist-Leninist plan.

This is in direct opposition to all the Menshevik-Maoshevik schemes, past and present, for building parties of the petty bourgeoisie and labor aristocracy, those who call for the “freedom of criticism” with their cries of “developing party building theory”, those who espouse any and all models for building the party – from the “CPUSA” to the “CPC” – any, that is, except the Bolshevik model, the party of Lenin and Stalin. This is in direct opposition to the avowed social-chauvinists and centrists–the camouflaged social-chauvinists–who have built and will build their “parties” on a platform of economism and reformism, on the basis of “tactics-as-process,” those who have consistently opposed and stood in the way of working out a scientifically elaborated tactics-as-plan for party building in the U.S. And it is in direct opposition to all the right opportunist forces of the marsh, whether of the “three worlders” or “anti-three worlders” stripe, who have, without exception, opposed the Leninist teachings on the necessity for revolutionary theory – “without a revolutionary theory there is no revolutionary movement”; those who have, without exception, fostered and promoted the utter disdain for theory, who “cannot pronounce the word ’theoretician’ without a contemptuous grimace, who describe their genuflections to common lack of training and backwardness as a ’sense for the realities of life’,” (Lenin, What Is To Be Done?, FLP, p. 130), those who propose the utter absurdity that what is necessary for party building is more bodies, a solely quantitative growth from smaller organizations to big organizations, obstructing, delaying and avoiding like the plague the necessary theoretical work to make a qualitative leap, refusing to even outline what the theoretical questions are which insistently demand an answer.

We call on all genuine Marxist-Leninists and advanced workers who stand opposed to the marsh of opportunism, those who agree with us that it is high time to put an end to the disgraceful situation which the international social-chauvinist and centrist trends have brought about, to rally to the Committee of U.S. Bolsheviks and assist in the crucial work we have outlined above. Proletarian internationalism demands a resolute struggle, not only against our “own” opportunists, objective agents of our “own” bourgeoisie, but first and foremost a struggle against opportunism from the standpoint of the international proletariat, upholding Marx’s great teaching that “The workingmen have no country.”

In order to elaborate on this further and engage in discussions with interested forces, we will be holding a series of forums around the country. The first of these will be in honor of May Day and Marx’s birthday on the first weekend in May. If you are interested in attending, please contact us immediately at: Demarcation, Box 873, Cathedral Station, N.Y., N.Y. 10025, for further details.