Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Summary of the June 1980 OCIC National Steering Committee Meeting

Issued: n.d. [August 1980].
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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I) Chairperson’s Report

A) State of the OC

There has been relatively little progress and development in the last quarter. In particular, the NSC has been very weak in following through on its plan of work.

1. The task forces are lagging. The activity of the OC Centers Task Force has declined. The Anti-Racism Task Force has yet to complete the bulletin and other materials for the campaign against white chauvinism. The Ultra-Leftism Task Force is in the worst shape and still has not taken up its work; it remains a task force on paper only.

2. Regional development is weak. The Midwest, West, and South are together and meeting but behind the workplan schedule. New England is faltering. The Mid-Atlantic Region has not yet gotten off the ground.

The cause of this general weakness of the NSC is the poor leadership given by the task force chairs and the regional coordinators. They have not given sufficient attention to these tasks.

There are two aspects of overcoming these difficulties. On the one hand, the task force chairs and regional coordinators must assume more individual responsibility and initiative. On the other, the NSC as a collective must demand more accountability and exercise more control in these areas. The key is for the task force chairs and regional coordinators to seize the initiative and stop tailing the base of the OC in developing the work.

B) State of the tendency
1) Rectification

Rectification has also faltered in the past quarter. Their journal, Line of March, has not been a particular success. The first issue was very general and made little impact on the tendency. The Soviet Union Study Project has done no independent work and continues to attempt to pass the work of The Myth of Capitalism Restored off as the work of the project. The National Anti-Racist Organizing Committee has had little success. On the whole, rectification has made almost no organizational progress over the pact quarter.

Tactically, Rectification’s approach to the struggle with the OC has shifted. The effort to penetrate the OC’s ranks by jamming the OC with multiple “initiatives” has failed and been abandoned. The main tactic now is to attempt to separate the PWOC off from the OC by pushing the view that the PWOC is sectarian.

One development should be closely followed. Rectification will attempt to capitalize on the defense of white chauvinism which is emerging in response to the growing struggle against white chauvinism. Not only will they seek to enlist those who have chosen “white flight,” but they will also push the view that the NSC’s approach is “moralistic,” “idealistic,” etc. in order to encourage divisions in the OC.

2) TR current (TMLC, Boston Political Collective, BAWOC Minority, etc.)

This current is attempting to broaden its political base by appealing to racism and federationism but has shown no particular growth in the last quarter. Their opportunism is revealed by their downplaying of the conciliation of ultra-leftism which is at the core of their political perspective. In order to expose this, OC comrades should insist that the basis of discussion for struggle with these forces should be the NSC’s response to the Minority Platform: Conciliationism in Command, NSC Bulletin #1. These comrades must not be allowed to avoid responsibility for their platform or responding to the NSC’s critique of their line.

C) Ideological initiatives

The current period should be mainly characterized as one in which the ideological foundation is being laid for adopting a scientific approach to theoretical work rather than as actually taking up independent theoretical work. The focus is on sweeping away white chauvinism and anti-working class bias, central aspects of bourgeois ideology within the tendency and key obstacles to adopting a scientific approach.

1) White chauvinism and anti-working class bias

The ideological struggle against white chauvinism and anti-working class bias must be stepped up in the coming period. The struggle in the OC has just scratched the surface. A failure to seriously take it up and deepen it implies a clear choice, a choice to maintain petty-bourgeois whites as the prime material of the movement over national minorities and white workers.

Because white chauvinism and anti-working class bias are so deeply entrenched among the white petty bourgeoisie, genuine ideological struggle will be needed to make a significant advance. A capitulation to bourgeois methods of struggle is therefore a choice to maintain white chauvinism and anti-working class bias and, therefore, to maintain the white petty-bourgeois character of the OC. Only genuine ideological struggle can accomplish the task of transforming petty-bourgeois intellectuals into leaders of the working class. In the past, even the most advanced OC forces have only viewed transforming the workers into proletarian intellectuals, not transforming petty-bourgeois intellectuals into proletarian intellectuals.

Anti-working bias is pervasive in the tendency. Working-class people are viewed as dumb, disorganized, and politically irresponsible. The underlying view is that working-class people are not capable of any significant intellectual activity. It is strongest among white comrades but also has a significant impact on national minority comrades, most of whom in the OC cither have petty-bourgeois origins or have been at leant partially declassed through higher education.

White petty-bourgeois comrades view Black workers as “noble” and long-suffering (at the hands of the white workers). The view is a missionary view that Black workers must be “uplifted,” not that their leadership should be promoted. White workers (particularly male), on the other hand, are viewed as hopelessly backward. In contrast to the supposed anti-racism of the white petty bourgeoisie, the white workers are viewed as racist Archie Bunkers.

There is a strong connection between anti-working class bias and white chauvinism, on the one hand, and the rectification line on the other. The rectification line is designed to defend the class position of white petty-bourgeois intellectuals. Rectification views the working class as the enemy of Marxism-Leninism while white petty-bourgeois intellectuals are seen as the defenders of its purity, if the working class is allowed into the party-building movement, they will disfigure and distort this purity. Their conclusion is that the “general line” must first be established by the petty bourgeoisie, and fixed in concrete, before it will be safe to allow the workers in.

Significantly, the NSC’s own white chauvinism and anti-working class bias dovetails with the ideological basis for the rectification line. This has led to a conciliation of the rectification line. The NSC must more aggressively take up manifestations of rectification within the OC. Two recent examples of the conciliation of rectification within the OC are the proposed amendment to the Draft Plan by comrades from Louisville (taken up later in this summary) and the view which emerged at the recent Midwest Regional Conference that “practical worker” (as used on page 12 of the Draft Plan) referred to comrades from the working class. As used in the Draft Plan the term reflects only the division of labor in the tendency and indicates those comrades whose main focus is mass practice. The anti-working class bias of some comrades in the Midwest, which expressed itself in the view that petty-bourgeois comrades should provide the ideological leadership and the working class the practical workers, caused these comrades to interpret “practical worker” as meaning “people from the working class.”

As a component of rectifying the past practice of the OC, the NSC will have to review how, while it has said that workers must take part in the theoretical struggle, obstacles have been placed in the path of their participation. Such matters as the 18 Point Study Program, the way meetings are chaired and organized, the way the theoretical struggle is conducted, etc. will have to receive attention to overcome weaknesses of anti-working class bias.

2) Right opportunism

The shift in the main danger within the anti-revisionist movement (see later in this summary) will lead to a rise of right-opportunism within the OC which the NSC will have to devote increasing attention to combatting.

The South is one area, in particular, in which the struggle against rightism should be intensified. In the South, there is a general rightist tendency expressed in a narrow practical focus and a downplaying of the theoretical struggle.

II) Secretary’s Report

A) Unity with the 18 points and OC membership

The practice of ensuring adequate unity with the 18 points has been liberal and has Jed, in some instances, to OC membership for some comrades who have basic disagreements with one or another principle of unity. In particular, there has been a conciliation of anti-working class bias around Point 5. Some present OC members, for example, raised in their applications that although they had no “consolidated” disunity with the point, they thought that a “class analysis” must be done before they could take a position. In other words, the present level of theoretical work is not adequate to convince them of the leading role of the industrial proletariat. In the NSC’s view, this is only a cover for opposition to the leading role of the working class in general (a position which a self-proclaimed Marxist cannot openly question) and an unacceptable level of unity with the 18 points.

In order to rectify this situation of covert opposition to the 18 points and the introduction of bourgeois ideology into the OC, the level of unity with the 18 points which is required for OC membership must be strengthened. Comrades cannot use the absence of a stated “consolidated” opposition to obscure their basic disagreement with a principle of unity. Therefore, the OC must demand that all OC members at least “tend to agree” with each of the principles of unity. This positive unity can be accompanied by a lack of consolidation around the point, questions, reservations, etc., but it is unacceptable for OC members to “tend to disagree” with one or more of the principles of unity.

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General agreement with building a single center is also required for OC membership. At this point, the level of unity demanded is minimal. The level of unity that should be required can best be determined after the significance of various differences is determined through discussion of the Draft Plan.

III) EC Report

A) Federationism

1. It should be made absolutely dear that there is no group membership in the OC, only individual membership. All organizations will be removed from the mailing list unless a local center has not yet been established in the locality. In this case, the NSC and the relevant RSC will push hard to establish a local center distinct from the local organization.

2. The NSC was guilty of a federationist approach to establishing several local (center) steering committees. Rather than selecting the most advanced leadership, LSC’s were constituted in some localities by selecting at least one representative from each of the local organizations. Aside from denying the local process the most advanced leadership, this played into the tendency for the process of establishing a local center to be seen as a process of negotiation between various circles.

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F) Decision making within the OCIC

In order to ensure that the OC functions in a centralized and democratic fashion, lower bodies within the OC must be subordinate to higher bodies. The various bodies within the OC as it is presently structured, from highest to lowest, are:
National Conference
National Steering Committee (NSC)
Executive Committee of the NSC (EC)
Regional Conference
Regional Steering Committee (RSC)
Local Center Meeting
Local Steering Committee (LSC)

Any body can overrule the decision, policy, etc. of a lower body so long as it acts within the framework of the decisions, policies, etc. of higher bodies. The lower body is free to struggle around the decision, appeal it to higher bodies, agitate for convening a National Conference, etc. But until the decision is overturned, the decision must be carried out.

For example, a regional steering committee can overrule a policy or decision of a local center. The local center could appeal this decision to a regional conference, the EC, the NSC, or even agitate for the convening of a National Convention to overturn the decision of the regional steering committee. But the local center must carry out the decision until it is overturned.

IV) Communications

A) Waffle (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada)

Waffle wrote and asked for a clarification of the ambiguous relationship which they have had with the OC. Waffle emphasized that they have essential unity with the OC process and it basis of political unity and that there is mutual benefit in maintaining an OC-Waffle relationship. On the other hand, the party-building processes in the US and Canada are distinct with their own theoretical and organizational questions.

The NSC agrees that the distinctness of the two party-building processes does place a limit on the extent of Waffle-OC unity which it had not fully grasped. The NSC is self-critical that it adopted an unrealistic view of the participation of Waffle in the OC and agreed that full membership is not appropriate.

Waffle will be removed from full membership but will continue to receive all documents and be invited to send observers to national and Midwest regional conferences.


The NNMLC responded to the NSC’s letter of 17 January 1980. Their letter continues to attempt to place the blame for the split in the tendency on the OC’s supposed sectarianism. In essence, they argue that what is needed to build the unity of the tendency if for the OC to bow to the approach of Rectification and accept “joint work” between competing centers as the path to unity.

The NSC refuses to conciliate the circle warfare line and promote the idea that genuine common work can be developed by negotiations between competing centers. LR was asked to draft a reply.

V) Organizational Relations

A) Guardian

No new developments.

B) El Comite-MINP

El Comite-MINP has not responded formally to the NSC’s letter of 25 February 1980 (enclosed). This letter was self-critical of the NSC for failing to struggle with El Comite-MINP in a consistent way and, in order to lay the foundation for ongoing discussions, asked El Comite-MINP to clarify its objections to the OC process and its reasons for remaining outside.

Although there has been no formal response, El Comite-MINP has criticized the letter informally to members of the NSC (and other comrades in the tendency) as “arrogant” and an attempt at “political intimidation.” El Comite-MINP has also been very reluctant to set up a meeting to pursue the question and the broader issue of relations with the OC.

The NSC’s perspective is that El Comite-MINP is using the letter to avoid struggle. When it left the process after the Founding Conference, El Comite-MINP promised to rethink their view of the OC in light of the practice which the OC generated. The letter, even if El Comite-MINP views it as arrogant, should not stand as an obstacle to a meeting. Further effort will be made to take up a series of discussions with El Comite-MINP.

C) Rectification

What follows is an update on the activity of Rectification in Seattle, Boston, Washington DC, and the Bay Area.

The Soviet Union Study Project forums on the capitalist restoration thesis had much the same character in all areas. In the first place they were dishonest in that a deliberate attempt was made to pass the work of Goldfield and Rothenberg off as the “product of the rectification line.” In the second place, even under sharp questioning, the various speakers refused to address the question of the ideological roots of the restoration thesis. The reason is that the one-sided exaggeration of the political over the economic which underlies the restoration thesis also is a basic feature of the rectification line.

1) Seattle

a. A joint forum is planned around the Draft Plan.

b. The Line of March study groups have taken on a very petty-bourgeois character.

c. Seattle OC comrades have gone on the offensive against the rectificationists around their absurd views on the accountability of leadership, elections, etc.

d. It is noteworthy that only national minority rectificationists push the critique of the National Minority Marxist-Leninist Conference. Rectification is banking on the white chauvinist attitude of many white comrades that national minority comrades are the ultimate authority on questions of race.

2) Boston

The main exposure of the rectification forces in Boston is coming in the arena of mass practice. While arrogantly proclaiming their understanding of the “correct general line,” the rectificationists have contributed little in the way of concrete guidance to the anti-racist violence and Southern Africa work they are involved in. Their failure to provide concrete guidance is made even sharper by their failure to actively take up the nitty-gritty of the practical work so that they are gaining the reputation of “all talk and no action.”

3) Washington DC

a. The rectificationists’ Race/National Question Study Group has about 10 people in it, including 8 national minority comrades.

b. NAROC is falling apart.

c. The rectificationists agree with the feminist line in the OC that the struggle against sexism should not be subordinated to the struggle against racism.

4) Bay Area

a. The rectificationists have shifted to recruitment primarily through the journal and to a focus on real intellectuals (teachers, lawyers, etc.)

b. NAROC has had some success in drawing in the left, but only the left. It has the character of petty-bourgeois solidarity work.

c. Some center forces, the BASOC in particular; are moving toward the rectificationists.

d. The rectificationists are giving more attention to trade-union work. They are pushing two political differences which they have with the bulk of OC comrades–their ultra-left conception of who the advanced workers are and their white chauvinist belittling of the significance of taking up the struggle against racism with white workers.

VI) OC Investigation Summation

The summation done by the OCIC Secretary, called Initial Overview of the OC and dated March 1979 which was distributed last year in a limited way (one copy to each OC group, not to be reproduced) was reviewed by the NSC. The NSC decided that it was still a very sound and useful document which gives a good analysis of the state of the OC and should be distributed more broadly. It will be strengthened in a few places and prepared for general OC distribution.

VII) NSC Response to Letters about the Second National Conference

A draft document was discussed and approved for inclusion in the Bulletin of the Second National Conference.

VIII) Draft Plan

A) Practical experience with the DP

The guiding principles of the local center process–centralized ideological struggle, anti-federationism, creating the context for leadership to emerge, leadership accountability, connecting the leadership to the practical workers, national leads the local–are principles of the DP. In this light, the NSC examined the practical experience of the OCIC in order to determine the extent to which it confirms or denies the DP.

The Detroit Local Center provides the most advanced experience. Centralized ideological struggle and the importance of local centers in organizing this struggle have demonstrated that they are key in moving the tendency forward. The process has shown its ability to break down circle barriers and bring advanced forces from outside of the circles into the ideological struggle. An open process of centralized ideological struggle has shown itself to be a very favorable context for the emergence of the most advanced leadership as advanced comrades have stepped forward in the process and others have fallen to the rear. In particular, it has allowed for the emergence of advanced national minority leadership and (secondarily) white working-class leadership.

It is important to recognize that the leadership which has emerged has been through the local process and through the process of ideological struggle, demonstrating the importance of an open process of ideological struggle. The forging of leadership in the OC has not come “from above.”

At the same time the leadership which has emerged locally has been able to exert a broad influence in the OC because of the national centralization of the process and further develop its leadership potential. The Midwest regional process, for example, allowed the leadership which emerged in Detroit to take broad leadership in generalizing their experience in a way which has had a significant regional and national impact.

The importance of ensuring that the national leads the local is demonstrated by the current campaign against white chauvinism. Without concentrating the lessons of the most advanced experience nationally and leading the whole OC with this perspective, many forces would not have even begun to take up the struggle to break with white chauvinism.

The relation of directing centers for practice to the process of centralized ideological struggle has also received preliminary confirmation. On the one hand, the view that directing centers for practice should be primary has everywhere exposed its backwardness–the circle spirit, white chauvinism, anti-working class bias, anti-theoretical prejudice, economism, and opposition to ideological struggle. On the other hand, directing centers for practice have shown that they have an important role to play in party-building and can have a positive impact on the OC process. The role which the struggle against white chauvinism and anti-working class bias within the PWOC played in developing this struggle in the OC is a good example. While the NSC must continue the struggle to make the national centralized ideological struggle primary, it must also struggle against an either/or attitude toward building local centers versus building practical centers.

It should also be noted that it has been demonstrated that the absence of a practical center in a particular locality is not an obstacle to initiating a sound local center process.

The role of the national process in breaking down organizational boundaries should also be noted. It has been demonstrated in practice that the ideological struggle does not break down along organizational lines as significant groupings within the OC which have developed in relation to various struggles cut completely across organizational boundaries. The role of the OC in freeing the ideological struggle from the distortions of circle contention has therefore been demonstrated.

Related to this is the positive role which the national process has played in breaking down the unprincipled political alliances which have been the foundation for some local organizations – SOC, DMLO, and DSC for example.

B) Louisville amendment

Comrades from Louisville have proposed an amendment to the DP (enclosed). They propose that the DP’s statement that directing centers for practice “should be generally encouraged on a local, regional and national basis” (p. 12) should be amended to emphasize the importance of national pre-party organizations. Two reasons are given–the ability of national organizations to test theory more thoroughly and systematically, and the role of national pre-party organizations in “winning over advanced workers and fighters of the oppressed nationalities who are not presently Marxist-Leninists.”

The NSC’s view is that this amendment represents covert opposition to the party-building strategy of the Draft Plan and is rooted in white chauvinism and anti-working class bias. At bottom, it represents a pessimism that national minorities and workers can be won to taking up the ideological struggle and the view that they first must be won to practical centers. This view holds, in essence, that the advanced workers (largely national minorities) must first receive an “education” by the present petty-bourgeois leadership (predominantly white) of the practical centers before they can “graduate” to the ideological struggle.

It is true that advanced workers are initially attracted to communism largely on the basis of practical work and that, therefore, practical centers have an important role to play in the party-building process. But is false and a reflection of racist and anti-working class paternalism to conclude from this that the advanced workers need practical centers to “ease the transition” to the ideological struggle.

The effect of this line is to foster petty-bourgeois dominance of the OC and the tendency. Unless this anti-working class bias is confronted, the OC will maintain a double standard which works to the advantage of petty-bourgeois control. While in order for workers to become part of the party-building movement they will need a level of unity sufficient to join a practical center, a level much higher than the level of unity needed to join the OC process, petty-bourgeois intellectuals can simply join the OC at its lower level of unity.

It is important to note the unity between the line advocated by the Louisville comrades (and many others) and the rectification line. Both are based on white chauvinism and anti-working class bias and seek to promote petty-bourgeois dominance of the party-building movement. Rectification, which is “left” in form, openly belittles the role of the advanced workers in the party-building movement. The right-opportunist “fusion” line of the Louisville comrades proclaims the importance of the advanced workers in party building, but in essence belittles it by assigning them a second-class status in the party-building process.

A fuller reply to the proposed amendment will be made at a later date in the context of the Draft Plan discussion.

IX) OC Workplan

The OC is lagging behind in carrying out the plan of work. It is approximately one month behind on the major topics and secondary topics have been liquidated.

The main problem is a lack of consolidation around the primacy of the OC. More commitment to the process and greater discipline is called for. Local centers should do whatever is necessary in order to carry out the plan. This will require longer meetings or other steps. One long meeting (perhaps 6 hours in two 3 hour segments with a break), once a month, should be sufficient.

The NSC concluded that, while the struggle for the primacy of the OC must be intensified, some adjustments in the workplan must be made, (revisions enclosed)

X) Anti-Racism Task Force

A) Report by the Chair
1) Campaign against white chauvinism

a) Bulletin on white chauvinism

The bulletin is taking shape and it is tentatively planned that it will contain:
– a paper by the ARTF on white chauvinism in the OCIC
– the paper Racism in the PWOC
– readings from Harry Haywood’s Black Bolshevik and from The Narrative of Hosea Hudson
– some examples of self-criticisms which have been done which are particularly instructive.

b) Responsibilities of regional coordinators

In order to ensure the success of the campaign, the NSC regional coordinators will have to take leadership in their regions in making sure that genuine ideological struggle against white chauvinism is taken up in every locality. The ARTF will develop guidelines for giving leadership to the campaign.

The regional coordinators will also have the responsibility of promptly reporting on regional developments to the Chair of the ARTF. In particular, the development of opposition lines to the campaign (i.e. it is “moralistic,” “ultra-left,” etc.) should be closely followed and reported on.

2) Initiatives from DW

The ARTF discussed the work of DW (of the SCALC) aimed at advancing the campaign against white chauvinism. Overall the work is positive and it is particularly encouraging that local initiative around the OC’s national effort is being taken. But the work has some serious weaknesses. Two criticisms were made which have general applicability to local work being generated nationally.

a. The leadership of the ARTF and, in particular, its Chair is not being recognized. The work is being developed without any real attempt to seek direction from the Chair so that the work can be properly integrated into the national process.

The “Resolution on an Ideological Campaign against White Chauvinism” which was submitted to the NSC by DW, for example, should have been discussed with the Chair of the ARTF while it was being developed to get her point of view on the need for such a resolution, what it should contain, etc. (in spite weaknesses in the way the resolution was developed, however, it was positive and served a useful purpose.)

In another example of the individualistic approach which DW has taken, a specific request made by the Chair of the ARTF for work in a particular direction (annotating the extensive bibliography which DW had drawn up) was refused.

b. The focus of the campaign against white chauvinism as conceived of by DW is study as opposed to ideological struggle. While study is certainly important and DW has some important contributions to make in developing study materials for the OC, it is an error to fail to stress the ideological struggle aspect of the campaign. The needs of the current period are not primarily education (in the sense of study) but rooting out bourgeois ideology.

3) Self-criticisms

a) TV for white chauvinism

TV was self-critical of her failure to accept LR’s leadership as Chair of the ARTF. The essence of the error is TVs white chauvinist attitude of superiority which causes her to refuse to recognize that LR is more politically advanced than herself.

TS was defensive in making the self-criticism and resisted deepening it so the NSC asked her to prepare a written self-criticism.

b) JF for white chauvinism

JF was self-critical of the attitude he has taken toward LR in preparing a document the task force was working on. In spite of the fact that he was having a great deal of difficulty in preparing the section he had responsibility for, he failed to seek guidance from LR, the Chair of the task force.

The error is white chauvinism. In essence, JF thinks he has nothing to learn from Black women, even about racism.

JF was very defensive in resisting struggling around the self-criticism and deepening it. He was criticized for not taking the preparation of the self-criticism seriously and for assuming that a superficial self-critical posture would satisfy the NSC. This not only demonstrated a failure to grasp the centrality of the struggle against racism, but a thoroughly disrespectful attitude toward the NSC. Fundamentally, it expressed an unwillingness to attempt to break with white chauvinism. He was asked to prepare a thorough written self-criticism.

c) LR for individualism and capitulation to white chauvinism

LR was self-critical of her holding back in her leadership of the ARTF and in her participation in the NSC. The weakness is based on individualism and a capitulation to white chauvinism.

LR’s fear is that if she does put herself forward, she won’t be able to live up to her expectations of herself and that white (and male) chauvinist attitudes toward, herself will be confirmed. Instead, she lays back and speculates on white and male chauvinism.

The key to rectification is to grasp that communists must treat themselves as communists and take full responsibility for their own actions.

LR will make a fuller written self-criticism.

XI) National Minority Marxist-Leninist Conference Planning Committee Overview

The NSC discussed a document (enclosed) written by the Planning Committee (PC) of the National Minority Marxist-Leninist Conference (NMM-L Conference) which advances their perspective on the tasks of the OC, the relationship of the NMM-L Conference and the OC, and the responsibilities of the OC in relation to the NMM-L Conference.

The NSC fully united with this perspective. The ARTF will give leadership to taking up the OC’s responsibilities with respect to the conference–consolidating the OC around the correctness of the basis of unity of the NMM-L Conference and the “National Minority Conference Resolution” passed at the Second National Conference, generating the study and. discussion of the NMM-L Conference documents which is called for in the resolution, and encouraging the participation of OC members in local and regional follow-up forums to the conference.

XII) OC Centers Task Force

A) Western Region

Travel expense is a serious problem in the Western Region. Regional conferences are a severe financial drain and participation is limited by the expense. More importantly, it limits both the ability of the Regional Steering Committee to consolidate (because of relatively infrequent meetings) and to actively guide the development of local centers.

The perspective of the NSC is that sufficient leadership exists in the Western Region to divide the region. The gain in broadening the base of the OC which a more active regional leadership and easier access to the regional structure will make will more than offset the somewhat lower level of regional leadership which will be available in the smaller regions which will result from the division.

Two new regions will be created from the Western Region:
1. Northwest: Washington and Oregon (Seattle, Portland, and Eugene at present)
2. Southwest: California, Hawaii, Arizona, and New Mexico (Bay Area, Southern California, and Tucson at present)

B) Midwest

The recent Midwest Regional Conference was reviewed. The NSC thought that the conference should be considered primarily positive and that real strides were made in the struggle against racism and federationism.

Serious errors were made, however, in the selection of a regional steering committee–primarily white chauvinism and secondarily narrow nationalism. The NSC decided that the election should be overturned because of the racism involved in its selection and because it resulted in a regional steering committee which was not well qualified to carry out the OC’s plan of work.

The NSC asked the former RSC to select a new RSC in conjunction with the Midwest Regional Coordinator. Two particular comrades were named by the NSC for inclusion in the new RSC. The region can, of course, appeal this decision to the NSC or consider it at a regional conference.

PF was asked to write up a detailed summation (enclosed) of the errors of the conference and the NSC’s decision.

C) Sexism and Federationism

The NSC reviewed a struggle which took place in the Baltimore/Washington Local Center over the role of sexism as an obstacle to party building. A resolution on building OC centers was introduced which set forth the basic line of the NSC on the strategic importance of local centers, targeted the circle spirit as the main obstacle to building such a process, and went on to say:

In our movement racism prevents the participation of most national minority Marxist-Leninists from the existing organized circles. The struggle against the circle spirit is concretely a struggle against racism and a struggle for the intervention of national minority Marxist-Leninists in the centralized process of building an ideological center.

The following amendment was then proposed:

The unequal development of women and the failure of M.L.’s to take up the struggle against sexism in a serious way has locked many M.L. women, national minority and white, outside of existing circles. The struggle against the circle spirit is therefore also a struggle against sexism and the struggle for the intervention of M.L. women, particularly national minority women in the centralized process of building an ideological center.

The view of the local OC leadership was that this amendment was profoundly racist. For the following reasons:

1. The amendment is proposed from a standpoint which counterposes the struggle against racism and the struggle against sexism. This standpoint sees racism and sexism as two more or less equally oppressive and divisive features of capitalism rather than seeing them concretely in their interrelationship. This standpoint therefore urges that whenever racism is raised, a failure to raise sexism as well amounts to the liquidation of the struggle against sexism.

2. The amendment essentially elevates the struggle against sexism over the struggle against racism by incorrectly focusing on sexism as the primary reason why national minority women comrades remain outside of the existing circles. (The elevation of the struggle against sexism over the struggle against racism was brought out even more clearly in the defense of the resolution which was put forward.)

3. The obstacle which sexism poses to participation of women in the existing circles is of a qualitatively different character than the obstacle which racism poses to the participation of national minorities.

4. The amendment exposes its racism by the racist and opportunist way it uses national minority women to lend credence to an amendment which is meant for white women.

The NSC unites with this view and rejects the amendment as thoroughly racist. The amendment stems from a feminist perspective. Feminism puts the sexual contradiction on a par with or elevates it over the racial and class contradictions and is therefore a racist and anti-working class ideology. Feminism recognizes neither the centrality of the struggle against racism nor the leading role of the working class. Its material base is the class position of white petty-bourgeois women.

The NSC asked TV to draft a fuller statement of its views.

D) Federationism and anti-working class bias

The NSC adopted the following position:

Although sexism is second only to racism as a division within the working class and the US people as a whole, anti-working class bias plays a more important role than sexism in impeding the advancement of the party-building movement.

Concretely, it is not mainly sexism which keeps working-class women out of the party-building process but anti-working class bias.

XIII) The Main Opportunist Danger

The NSC reviewed recent developments in the anti-revisionist party-building movement and concluded that the OC’s present formulation of the main form of opportunism in the party-building movement is obsolete.

The NSC asked CN to draft a set of theses (enclosed) which sums up this discussion.

XIV) Ultra-leftism Task Force

In view of the altered situation in the party-building movement, the NSC decided that the focus and priorities of the task force should shift. While it is still important to complete a summation of ultra-leftism in the US party-building movement and a summation of the idealism of Mao Zedong Thought, these projects should be scaled down and be less ambitious and a real push should be made to complete them in the coming period. The workplan of the ULTF will therefore be narrowed to finishing these two papers.

Ultra-leftism within the tendency will be taken up concretely mainly through the struggle to expose the ultra-left idealist underpinnings of the rectification line.

XV) Self-criticisms

A) TV for racism

TV made an extensive self-criticism of how her racism plays itself out concretely by focusing on her racism toward several comrades in the OC– of racist paternalism toward Black comrades in Baltimore which reduced their role to providing anti-racist credentials; of rudeness to a Black woman OC comrade which was based on thinking that she had nothing to learn from her; of a racist underestimation of TS’s abilities and contribution to the NSC; and of a racist fear (based on the racist stereotype of the violent and aggressive Black man) of a Black male OC comrade which stands as a bar to her taking up sharp struggle with him.

TV also criticized her complacency in the struggle against racism and her defensiveness. This defensiveness mainly takes the form of “hiding out” so that her racism will not be exposed. The key for TV to overcome it is for her to give up the false idea that she is less racist than other white comrades since the defensiveness is bound up with her image of herself as particularly anti-racist.

The NSC thought that the self-criticism was a big step forward for TV and represented a real break with her defensiveness around white chauvinism.

An extensive written self-criticism along these lines was also done by TV.

B) TS for individualism

TS made a self-criticism for his continued individualistic approach to NSC work. Two features were brought out:

1. TS fails to push himself in areas of work in which he lacks confidence. Because of the white chauvinism and anti-working class bias of the NSC, he knows he can get away with it.

2. TS’s individualism is bound up with sexism. His sexism makes it difficult for him to accept the leadership of the local leadership in Seattle (which is mostly women) and thus makes it difficult for collective pressure to be brought to bear in Seattle in helping him overcome his individualistic approach.