Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Star-Spangled banter

Maoists Debate: All the Way With the USA?

First Published: Young Spartacus, #85, October 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

The Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) (CP-ML) recently opened the pages of its newspaper, The Call, to a controversy that exposes the pro-imperialist bankruptcy of Maoism. The spat began with a Call (30 June) book review entitled Sooner or Later. Questions and Answers on War, Peace and the United Front by an obscure, obscene, social-patriotic Maoist collective, the Communist Unity Organization (CUO). This was followed by two irate letters from CUO supporters in the 4-17 August issue, and then by a CUO reply to The Call’s original review in the 8-21 September issue.

What is amazing is not the spectacle of Maoists debating whether they should support the draft, American colonialism and no-strike pledges – all in the service of the U.S.-China anti-Soviet alliance. Rather, the obscenity is that they can carry on this “comradely discussion” and still call themselves “leftists.”

“C.E.,” the Call reviewer, heaps praise on the CUO for its “important statement” which “zeroes in on the role of Soviet aggression and on the grave danger to world peace it presents.” C.E. agrees that “the U.S. does have a role to play in resisting Soviet aggression” and calls for drawing the U.S. into “some kind of a front” (sic). He begs to disagree, however, with the conclusions the CUO draws from that “united front”:

“The CUO also goes much farther than present conditions call for in proposing support for American military preparations, generally supporting U.S. military expansion and the draft. The authors go so far as to oppose the struggles of the Puerto Rican and Philippines independence movements .....”: (emphasis added)

“The concrete results of such an approach,” C.E. sagely remarks, “would be to isolate the communists from the masses.... ” In other words, anti-Sovietism isn’t popular enough – yet. As the CUO notes, “The Call even printed an excerpt from a Beijing Review article which supported a tougher U.S. stance against the Soviets, but cut out the sections supporting increased U.S. forces and the draft!” The CP-ML’s criticisms of the CUO are drenched with concern for the element of timing; there is no principled disagreement here. The Call just doesn’t like having the upstart CUO holding up a mirror reflecting the CP-ML’s future.

As the U.S.-China alliance against the Soviet degenerated workers state has been strengthened, the CP-ML has marched more and more in step with Carter’s wardrums: fronting for the South African invasion of Angola in 1976, hailing China’s invasion of Vietnam, calling for the strengthening of NATO, supporting Islamic reaction in Afghanistan. By extension the CP-ML should re-evaluate its position on the Vietnam War: North Vietnam and the NLF now turn out to have been dupes of the “new tsars,” while the U.S. was waging a struggle to “liberate” the Vietnamese from “social-imperialism”! It’s only a matter of time before these sycophants of the Peking bureaucracy join the CUO in denouncing every struggle of the oppressed as playing into the hands of “Soviet hegemonism.” As the CUO so aptly put it, sooner or later!