Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Bay Area Workers Organizing Committee “Minority” and Tucson Marxist-Leninist Collective

“Minority” Speech on Federationism Presented at OCIC Western Regional Conference, July 4, 1980

Prepared and Delivered: July 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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On behalf of those of us who share serious criticisms of the line and practice of the Steering Committee, in general, and particularly in this case of its “campaign against federationism”, I would like to thank all the comrades here at the Western Regional Conference for this opportunity to share our analysis and perspectives with you. We encourage comrades to take up the struggle objectively and in a serious fashion. Only in this way, will this conference be truly an open and democratic one where genuine ideological struggle is the central goal.

In my presentation I intend to cover the following points:
1) How the Steering Committee has viewed the unification of the OC apart from and in spite of the unification of the tendency.
2) Historical lessons on the struggle against federationism, and the relationship between unity on politics and organizational unity.
3) Lessons of the new communist movement. How the drive for organizational hegemony layed the basis for circle warfare and why we believe the Steering Committee is essentially reproducing the same errors.
4) How the errors of the SC flow from the fusion party building line which attempts to narrowly constrict the theoretical agenda of our movement.
5) How the SC’s incorrect understanding of the correct relationship between organization and politics leads to an incorrect view of forging the party spirit.
6) The links between federationism and racism and the links between the errors in the campaign against federationism and the errors in the unfolding campaign against white chauvinism.
7) And finally, our alternative program for rectifying the errors of the SC.

Consolidating the OC vs. Unifying the Tendency

When it was founded in 1978, the OC set out to unify our tendency and create a single ideological center which would express that unity. The Draft Resolution for a Leading Ideological Center (DRLIC), the document which led to the OC’s founding, insisted that the level of unity of the OC “would have to be sufficiently broad so as to encompass the most important elements in the trend.” (p.11). Today, two and a half years later, we can’ begin to assess the full extent to which the OC has failed to create an organizing center achieving this degree of unity, and in fact the degree to which it has contributed to the disunity and division which presently exists. Significant organized groups have decided to remain outside the OC. These include MINP-El Comite, the rectificationists, and locally BASOC. Other important groups which were once in the OC have either left or been expelled. These include SOC, NSSO, and the Red Boston Study Group.

The central issue at stake in the struggle against federationism is not a narrow issue of whether or not local groups will subordinate themselves to the OC process. In fact, at stake here is something more important: the very nature of the OC process itself.

The campaign against federationism put forward by the SC poses the question of the unification of the OC–the transformation of the OC from a federation to a unitary formation. But the campaign, as put forward by the SC, has two fundamental flaws. First, it presents the question of organizational unity as a precedent to theoretical and political unity, and secondly it presents the question of the unity of the OC independently of the problem of the unification of the tendency as a whole.

We will take up the issue of organizational versus political unity in a moment. First, I would like to speak about the relationship between the OC and the tendency as a whole. For a long time now, we have made clear our position that the line of the SC toward non-OC forces in our tendency was sectarian and unprincipled. If the OC, with its presently limited base in the tendency, is unified under the hegemony f this sectarian SC line, then the result will not be the unification of our tendency but the creation of a new circle. Instead of posing the question of unifying the OC in the context of unifying the tendency, the SC is posing the question so that the end result can only be two things: a strengthening of the SC line within the OC and also an intensification of sectarianism between the OC and other forces, most importantly rectification.

The SC can do this because it has replaced objective analysis with blind subjectivism. It continues to speak as if the OC were the center of our tendency. It continues to talk about opposing circle mentality, while all the while it is promoting a campaign to turn the OC into a new circle, before the theoretical and political conditions for this unity have been laid.

The SC has never analyzed the real reasons for the failure of the OC to unite our tendency, preferring to blame it all on the so-called splittism of rectification. It continues to think that the OC can be substituted for the tendency as a whole; it continues to think the OC can, by itself, do the work that only a united tendency can accomplish. This substitution of subjectivism for an objective analysis of the state of our tendency is the central error of the “majority” position, an error which goes to the heart of their campaign against federationism.

Federationism vs. Democratic Centralism

In order to properly orient ourselves for this weekend’s discussion, we need to understand what we are grappling with. The struggle against federationism, also historically referred to as federalism, is a key aspect of the struggle for democratic centralism and the Leninist conception of the party. Federationism historically has attempted to undermine the Leninist form of the party, arguing that the party should be built through federating or joining various organizations which are independent of each other and whose relations are based on negotiations and agreements. Under such a conception, there is no single party center and party program, which inevitably leads to anarchism in the party, with minority views not bound by majority decisions and no unity of action. The party is based on equal representation from the independent federated organizations and only those decisions agreed to by all the independent organizations are implemented.

Such views are antithetical to democratic centralism and Leninism. Under democratic centralism, there is one single party center; lower bodies submit to higher bodies, minority views submit to majority decisions. Likewise, under democratic centralism, line and policy of the party is based not on agreements among representatives of independent organizations but rather through democratic and open ideological struggle in the party by all members. Under democratic centralism, there is one party program, while at the same time there is autonomy as to the different methods of carrying out the program in practice and agitating for it depending on local, racial, national, cultural, and other differences. Thus, democratic centralism provides the greatest democracy and flexibility of organization, while at the same time unity of action.

The SC has launched this campaign against federationism based on its mechanical application of the lessons from Lenin’s One Step Forward, Two Steps Back, which was written when the RSDLP was struggling to reform in 1904. Our conditions are as different as night and day. And yet, the SC argues that this work is the best single source of an analysis of circle spirit. We are forced to ask the question, “Does the SC see the OCIC in the same light as a Party?”; if so, “Does it see itself in the same light as a Central Committee?”

If the SC carefully read this valuable work by Lenin, it would find passages within it which do reflect more our own present conditions and which shed light on our situation. Lenin states very clearly:

As long as we had no unity on the fundamental questions of programme and tactics, we bluntly admitted that we were living in a period of disunity and separate circles, we bluntly declared that before we could unite, lines of demarcation must be drawn; we did not even talk of the forms of joint organization, but exclusively discussed the new...problems of fighting opportunism on programme and tactics. At present... this fight has already produced a sufficent degree of unity, as formulated in the Party programme and the Party resolution on tactics; we had to take the next step...working out the forms of a united organization that would merge all the circles together. (LCW, #7, p. 387-388)

Lenin goes on to state:

We fought opportunism on the fundamental problems of our world’ conception, on the questions of programme...We fought opportunism on the tactical issues...We must now vanquish the opportunism... on questions of organization, which are, of course, less fundamental than questions of tactics, let alone programme, but which have now come to the forefront in our Party life. (LCW, #7, p.404)

We think Lenin’s argumentation is crystal clear. A careful reading, a non-mechanical reading, of this work clearly shows that in a period of disunity on fundamental questions, Lenin admitted it was a period of separate circles. Does this not correspond to our present conditions? Lenin argues that once unity on fundamental questions is arrived at, then the question of organizational opportunism comes to the fore. This is a correct understanding of the relationship between organization and politics.

Our assessment of our present period is that we are in a period of disunity on fundamental questions, without agreement on how to develop programme and tactics, much less unity around them. Our emerging trend is, to be blunt, a grouping of separate centers and circles which stand apart not just organizationally, but politically. If the SC wanted to go back to the Bolshevik experience for some lessons, we think the period in Russia from about 1899-1902 is more similar, although certainly not identical. During that period, Lenin argued that:

...unity cannot be decreed, it cannot be brought about by decision, say, of a meeting of representatives; it must be worked for...In the first place, it is necessary to work for solid ideological unity which should eliminate discordance and confusions that–let us be frank!–reign among Russian Social-Democrats at the present time. (LCW, #4, p. 354)

Circles, Centers, and Combatting Circle Warfare

Circle spirit is certainly something that must be combatted if we are to unite our tendency. The history of circle spirit is unfortunately something we are all too familiar with. The anti-revisionist movement has been racked by a deeply entrenched spirit circle spirit and sectarianism among the communist forces. Each circle or grouplet or even national center has put its own interests above that of the movement as a whole, often by making the two synonymous. Ideological debate was reduced to unprincipled polemics and mud-slinging. Charges of opportunism or conciliation with opportunism were thrown about in an attempt to defeat “enemies”, resulting in endless splitting of the ranks. And worst of all, the struggle for organizational hegemony took center stage while principled ideological struggle and theoretical-political clarity was scarce, if not nil. Each succeeding party building effort was accompanied by a demand for all “genuine” Marxist-Leninist to subordinate. Those who refused, even if for principled political reasons, were labeled opportunists or conciliators with opportunism. Such is the legacy of the anti-revisionist movement– the key being the substitution of organizational hegemony for the struggle for 0ideological unity and the result being circle warfare.

We need to further elaborate this point about circle warfare given the manner in which the SC is using the term circle and center. We believe the SC conveniently adopted the use of the term circle in a self-serving manner. All local groups, collectives, and organizations are dubbed circles. But the SC does not stop here. All national formations who stand outside of the OCIC and all other theoretical-political views which enjoy a national presence, regardless of whether they are organizationally consolidated in a national organization, are also labeled circles. Thus, the only process characterized as center is the OCIC. How convenient! In this way, the SC attempts to delegitimize the existence of other centers, most notably the Line of March Editorial Board. The SC uses such semantical trickery by arguing that a center is defined primarily in an organizational sense, i.e., a national formation which is composed of local circles and is trying to draw in other forces. We reject this whole approach and find it to be another manifestation of the SC’s organizational fetishism.

We distinguish the term center from circle in that, a center is a political and theoretical entity, while a circle is an organizational entity. That is, a center is a theoretical and political force developing and propagating a defined perspective which enjoys a following and influence beyond immediate organizational boundaries. A circle, on the other hand, is a defined group of people united around a particular perspective who may or may not lead in its development. In other words, centers are not defined based on membership or statistical data. As such, we find several centers in our emerging trend including the Steering Committee of the OCIC, the Line of March Editorial Board, the Theoretical Review, and to a lesser degree MINP-El Comite.

Because of the low level of theoretical development and political unity among us, we have the de facto existence of several distinct party building centers based on distinct interpretations of Marxism-Leninism in general and the nature and tasks of party formation in particular. The existence of distinct centers does not inevitably have to result in circle warfare as the SC would lead us to believe. Circle warfare can be avoided if the different centers, in pursuing their tasks, also pursues the maximum degree of respect and mutual cooperation, always aiming for clarity and conducting struggle on the basis of unity-struggle-higher unity. However, when centers instead place the narrow interests of gaining and consolidating their own following above the interests of the entire trend, the result is circle warfare.

The SC, instead of combatting circle warfare, is promoting it–like throwing gasoline on a fire. Its struggle for a single center at this time, while sounding virtuous, is objectively a smokescreen for organizational hegemony. It flies in the face of objective reality, which is a reality of separate centers as well as circles.

Before we conclude this part of our presentation, we would like to present our analysis of the SC’s creative theoretical formulations of “left” federationism and right federationism. Let us be blunt. We reject both as useless formulations and urge all comrades here to reject them as well. A careful analysis will show the SC is employing the term “right federationism” in place of localism, which is in actuality the essence of its criticism of the Socialist Organizing Committee in Southern California. Clearly the heart of the SC’s critique against SOC is the fact that it puts its own local work over the needs of the national work. In the same fashion, a careful analysis will show the SC uses the term “left federationism” in place of the term circle spirit or circle warfare, which is the essence of its criticism against rectification and forces associated with the Theoretical Review. The question we must consider is, “Why is the SC putting forward these bogus theoretical formulations?; What is the motive here?” We are forced to conclude that the main purpose is, objectively, to label such forces opportunists and lay the groundwork, particularly in the case of rectification and Theoretical Review, for the SC’s future thesis which will claim that these forces are no longer within the anti-“left” opportunist trend. We are forced to come to this conclusion because the formulation “left” federationism conveniently implies that only forces standing outside of the OCIC are guilty of circle warfare. Thus, by substituting “left” federationism for circle warfare, we are all led to believe that somehow the OCIC is automatically immune from engaging in circle warfare. Such theoretical trickery will not work, however. The practice of the SC has unfortunately shown that the SC is anything but immune from engaging in circle warfare.

OC Centers and Theoretical Work

The SC’s notion of the strategic importance of OC centers has serious implications for our tendency’s theoretical work. Significant forces, who are doing important theoretical work, especially those forces following the rectification line, do not participate in OC centers. Yet, the SC can still say, “OC centers will be the primary arena for the tendency’s theoretical work.” This is the key aspect of the strategic conception of OC centers according to the SC.

The clear implication of this view is that non-OC forces are not necessary for the primary arena to do the tendency’s theoretical work. Rectification has repudiated this exclusionist approach and we reject it as well. Our own position is clear: the theoretical work of the tendency cannot be carried out by one circle within the tendency. That is the first fact. Certainly, the theoretical work of our tendency cannot be carried out with the exclusion of rectification and primacy of theory. That is the second fact. The line of the majority, if implemented, can only have the affect of blocking tendency wide theoretical production and reducing theoretical work to the narrow confines of the OC circle.

We stand ready to join in tendency-wide theoretical activity but we and others cannot subordinate our own theoretical agenda to one circle, which excludes all others, even if that circle is the OC.

The Chinese have an expression about picking up a rock only to drop it on ones’ own feet. That is how we view the majority critique of our position. The SC accuses forces of refusing to subordinate their circle to the national process. In fact, it is the SC who refuses to recognize that the OC is not identical with that national process. It is they who refuse to subordinate themselves; to subordinate the OC to the tendency as a whole.

We said before that the majority position would relegate theoretical work to the narrow confines of the OC. I would like to elaborate on this point for a moment because it demonstrates to what extent the OC, by itself, cannot do the theoretical work of the tendency as a whole. The OC has been in existence for two and a half years, yet the theoretical basis of its unity has not been significantly deepened beyond the general ideological unity around the 18 principles.

What kind of theoretical work has the OC done so far, most importantly in the last year? The TMLC, with far less resources, has been publishing a theoretical journal consistently for nearly three years. Rectification, with fewer resources than the OC and a late start, has put out a theoretical journal and has established a number of important study projects, as well as the Marxist-Leninist Educational Project. By comparison, the leading forces of the “single center” have done little, if any, leading on important theoretical questions in the last year.

We do not consider the theoretical poverty of the SC to be some accident. ALL SC members adhere to the fusion line of party building a line which has a particular perspective on the nature of theory and its production; a perspective which is clearly distinct from other leading party building lines in our movement. We think that line, despite claims to the contrary, has clearly affected the theoretical practice in the OC. It has led to elevating organizational questions and objectively to the serious downplaying of the theoretical struggle on the key questions facing our emerging trend.

In the last year the SC has sidestepped every major theoretical question with which it was faced. It tried to avoid the issue of party building line by first denying that the OC even had one, and now by putting forward the unique notion of a partial party building line. It avoided presenting a theoretical defense of its position on the one movement/two movements debate, and the question of the nature of the CPUSA before 1956. This is hardly the kind of practice one would expect from the leading center of our tendency.

Not that the leading OC forces do not have a position on these issues. The PWOC-inspired national fractions, and the pre-party which looms in the future, demonstrate that fusion has a fully developed party-building line, one that it prefers to implement quietly in practice, rather than debate openly before the whole tendency.

Yet, without theoretical clarity there can be no real political unity. The DRLIC makes this clear:

Without clarity, any unity developed will be fictitious; it will be unity on paper only, unity that is incapable of leading to coherent practice. In fact, our nominal unity would serve only to conceal real differences and impede their elimination, (p.6)

Furthermore, without this political unity there can be real development of theory. The DRLIC also makes this clear: “Without political unity any national organization would serve to obscure real differences and retard the development of revolutionary theory.” (p.7)

Given the campaign against federationism seeks to achieve organizational unity before theoretical and political clarity is achieved, it can only lead to fictitious unity, and this fictitious unity can only retard the development of theory. Such a process and a corresponding lack of critical judgement among OC forces is a serious problem. We think the comments of the DRLIC have great relevance for us concerning this point as well:

One of the most significant problems in our movement has been the uncritical adoption of the line of larger organizations by various local collectives. Because of their limited resources, these collectives are unable to engage in sufficient theoretical work to develop a really critical attitude to important theoretical questions, and thus fall prey to what sounds good rather than what truly conforms to the actual process of social development. (p.l0-11)

It is our opinion that the campaign against federationism will only aggravate this problem. The majority of OC groups are too small and undeveloped for them to continue to maintain their mass work, participate in local centers, and do their own, independent theoretical work. And since local centers will exclude all non-OC forces and at the same time subordinate its own members to the SC agenda, the possibilities for the development of a critical attitude toward the dominant SC line will be even further restricted.

This is the organizational picture of the theory-practice relationship in the majority position. The SC will make up the theoretical agenda, local centers will study the SC line, and local groups will carry out the line in practice. The central feature of traditional communist practice is reproduced: the line of the leadership is structured into an organizational framework which insulates it from political struggle and political criticism. The function of the rank and file is not to make policy, but to study and implement it. This is not a plan for overcoming backwardness by developing advanced, critical cadre–it is a proposal for institutionalizing the backwardness of the OC base by increasing their dependence on the SC. Given the majority’s position that loyalty to the SC line is the highest virtue of OC membership, this result should surprise no one.

The unity of theory and practice cannot be achieved by mere organizational means. In fact, it is a political process, one based on the fullest development of cadre at all levels and the constant struggle to ensure that the separation between mental and manual labor, between leaders and led, and between theory and practice, which is organic to bourgeois politics, is not reproduced in the communist movement. The mere organizational panacea proposed by the SC, namely the campaign against federationism, will not advance our tendency, but rather intensify its contradictions.

Substituting Rules for Politics

On the question of forging a party spirit among the forces in our emerging trend, the SC presents us with yet another organizational solution. In its paper, “Forging the Party Spirit”, we are presented with a set of rules and organizational guidelines which are stated as the “concrete form in which the party spirit develops.” Simply put, according to the SC, rules and policies deepen the party spirit. We reject this argument and all other like it. Rules and policies are the reflection of the party spirit, a reflection of the conscious commitment and subordination of individual communist cadre to the collective unity of will and action based upon the unity of politics. However, the SC has the relationship between rules and communist party spirit standing on its head, because they state the imposition of rules develop and deepen the party spirit. Such thinking is classically bureaucratic. In this case, the rules are being presented to us from above by the SC and we are asked to take them very seriously from below. Since the SC makes a fetish of organization, it cannot comprehend that adherence to rules must be a conscious process and forging the party spirit primarily a theoretical and political struggle.

At this point, the majority may throw up its hands and claim we are advocating anarchy and spontaneity. But one would only be inclined to make such a conclusion if they saw the solution to anarchy and spontaneity through organizational means. Anarchy and spontaneity are not combatted through rules and policies or constricting all forces to one uniform theoretical agenda. Anarchy and spontaneity are combatted on the basis of having a collective conscious analysis of the questions that must be addressed to move a process forward. We reject any charges by the SC of promoting anarchy and spontaneity.

Federationism and Racism

We would now like to turn our attention to the question of the relationship between federationism and racism. The SC has correctly recognized that the racism in the organized party building movement generally, and in the constituent groups of the OC in particular, has discouraged the participation of many minority Marxist-Leninists. Therefore, the struggle against racism is objectively bound up with the struggle against federationism. In this regard, we support the idea that the OC must be open to individuals who presently stand outside local collectives, since many such independents are likely to be minority comrades.

However, the SC does not stop simply at this understanding. The manner in which the SC is presently pursuing its campaign against federationism implies the reorganization of the OC on a non-federationist basis will remove the major obstacles to the struggle against racism and significantly transform the racial composition of the OC. That is, we have another manifestation of the elevation of organizational form over political content. While this is simply another manifestation, we think it has particularly serious consequences in the struggle against racism. Marxism-Leninism correctly understands that racism can only be combatted through the development of a clear theoretical understanding of racist ideology and racist practices, and the creation of the political program to organize the political struggle against it. Only on this basis can we build a genuinely multinational communist movement, win minority revolutionaries to Marxism-Leninism, and combat white chauvinism.

Unfortunately, the communist movement in the US has always looked for short cuts to achieving these goals, and the SC is no exception. Its solution to the problem of a lack of minority members in the OC is to start an internal witchhunt and organized campaign against individual errors of racism by raising the spectre of a white chauvinist conspiracy. Such organizational rituals, carried out in the name of “real ideological struggle”, have lacked political content, a theoretical understanding of racism, and therefore are incapable of mounting an effective struggle against racism. Additionally, the SC hopes that minority Marxist-Leninists can be won over by these practices, and OC dissidents intimidated by them. We are confident that Marxist-Leninists will hot be misled by this approach.

Just as the campaign against federationism is an organizational shortcut to the difficult process of the political unification of our emerging trend, it is now accompanied by the campaign against white chauvinism which circumvents and substitutes for the difficult and lengthy task of developing sound anti-racist theory and practice.

The SC’s campaign against white chauvinism is modeled after the campaign conducted in the CPUSA in the late 40’s and early 50’s–a campaign which has been thoroughly repudiated and rejected as “left” sectarian and destructive to the party. William Z. Foster had this to say about the campaign:

There is, in the Party, however, a strong Leftist sectarian tendency to evaluate white chauvinism as a uniform political disease and to lump together and to throw into one pot as white chauvinists all those who are in any way, however slightly, tainted by this weakness. The sectarian tendency also sharply condemns as conciliators of white chauvinism, if not as outright chauvinists, all those others who see any difference in degree of contamination with white chauvinism. This sectarian definition of chauvinism practically eliminates education as a corrective measure and puts the whole stress upon organizational measures. Consequently, not only have comrades been unjustly disciplined, and even expelled, but the whole fight against white chauvinism has been confused and weakened. (“Left Sectarianism in the Fight for Negro Rights and Against White Chauvinism”, Political Affairs)

Let us be clear–we think it is an integral part of communist practice to pursue ideological struggle and combat individual errors of racism; or sexism, or any other departure from proletarian ideology. However, when such struggle is permeated with moralism and a crusade-like atmosphere, when such struggle is conducive to the development of a particularly paternalistic and patronizing form of white chauvinism, and when such struggle serves the purpose of stifling opposing political viewpoints, we emphatically state that we will not participate in such practices.

Concluding Remarks

At this point, we would like to begin to bring our presentation to a close. As we have made clear, we think the manner in which the struggle against federationism is being pursued by the SC is destructive to our emerging trend. The call for subordination in the face of fundamental differences is objectively a drive fore hegemony. If other groups were not required to subordinate their theoretical work to that of the SC, if OC members were to recognize that the SC was one center among others, then the SC line would be constantly challenged to prove itself against the others in the theoretical-political struggle. If, on the other hand, all OC members are subordinate to the SC’s agenda and OC members hold the view that the theoretical work of the entire tendency can be primarily done in the OC, then the SC line is structured into an organizational framework which virtually assures its uncontested hegemony.

The OC itself cannot become a line of demarcation whereupon all our efforts are solely directed to win others to it. We cannot ask for blind loyalty to an organization in the absence of conscious unity with the politics that embody it. Instead, we can only demand adherence when an advanced line has proven its superiority. Organizational unity presupposes political unity.

The SC could only make such demands if it could lay claim to a leading and all-sided perspective which is uniting the tendency. Since it cannot, and in fact refuses to take up party building line in an all-sided fashion, the call for subordination of circles and other centers is without political justification.

For the SC to argue that party building line as a whole is not on our immediate agenda flies in the face of reality. What the SC cannot see because of its political blindspot is that the situation with the SOC, for example, represents political differences with the SC’s “partial” party building line. This partial party building line has never been debated and discussed OC wide and yet it is clear SOC was expelled because of differences with this line. While we do not necessarily agree with the SOC’s party building views, we think their situation is not an anomaly, and many others, including ourselves, have similar and related questions.

The SC cannot have its cake and eat it too. The SC invokes its partial party building line in order to ride roughshod over OC members, and then refuses to debate party building line with forces outside the OC because it says that will divide the movement. To be blunt, such maneuvering is classically opportunist. The SC could only get away with some of these antics as long as it argued the OC had no party building line, which until recently was the official OC line. Now that the SC at least admits to having a distinct partial line, it is absurd to argue that party building line as a whole is not on our immediate agenda.

The dependence of the SC on the use of organizational maneuvers to create political unity has resulted in serious bureaucratic tendencies to appear in the OC internally. The line of the SC has so far been developed in a commandist fashion, with the SC simply putting forward its lines and gaining the hasty approval of the membership. The correct method would be for the SC to promote a broad discussion and ideological struggle over key questions, like party building, within the OC and our movement as a whole. In this way, the OC can live up to its intended role–to promote genuine debate and discussion so as to advance the political unity and not simply the organizational consolidation of one view.

In order to rectify these various problems I have outlined, we offer the following program. We are confident this program will restore the correct relationship between politics and organization, placing politics in command:
1) We support the building of the OC which does not restrict participation to local democratic centralist groups, but allows individual participation and the maximum input of the various theoretical-political line which emerge in the course of the national ideological struggle. Binding organizational instructions must be transcended by conscious commitment to principled political line. Individuals must vote according to their political conscience, not according to organizational instructions.
2) The SC must recognize that it is one center among others. The SC must end all tendencies towards sectarianism. We should develop principled and comradely relations with organizations and individuals which choose to remain outside the OC for political reasons, while not concealing the differences that exist. We must realize the OC is not synonymous with the tendency as a whole. Relations with all forces within our emerging trend must be based on unity-struggle-higher unity. The ideological struggle must be central and all manifestations of organizational hegemonism ruthlessly eradicated.
3) Internally, the OC must truly become a broad process where all points of view are heard and are encouraged to develop. Democracy and principled struggle must be in the forefront. Tendencies towards commandism and bureaucracy must be eradicated. Additionally, premature labeling of “majority” and “minority” (or “minority bloc” which raises the spectre of factionalism) on different views, which has been the practice here in this struggle, must cease. Such labeling objectively tends to prejudice the struggle and conveniently encourage a self-fulfilling prophecy.
4) Fourth and lastly, given the key difference dividing our emerging trend is party building line, as exemplified by the differences with rectification, SOC, MINP-El Comite, Theoretical Review and others, the SC should end the charade of blocking such debate and defend its full line before the movement.

In conclusion, we urge the SC to recognize that the political conditions which will render the circle existence obsolete do not yet exist, but have to be created. The SC can contribute to this process by ceasing its circle warfare against others who stand outside the OC, most notably the rectification forces, and initiate joint campaigns to develop collective national theoretical and political study and struggle. At the same time, internally the SC must organize the dissemination and discussion of various lines on what can be collectively determined to be central political issues. Organizational decisions and exclusions should follow clarification rather than proceed it.

As long as the hegemony of the SC line within the OC went unchallenged, it continued to adhere to the perspective embodied in the DRLIC. However, in the last year, in particular since Labor Day Conference, the growth of rectificiation and primacy of theory forces have threatened that hegemony, if not in the OC itself, within the tendency as a whole. The response of the SC has been the intensification of circle warfare against its external opponents and the campaign against federationism within the OC. The purpose is to accomplish organizationally what the SC cannot achieve politically, the subordination of the tendency as a whole to the SC line.

The SC’s campaign against federationism means the abandonment of the founding perspective of the OC, a perspective which recognized the vital importance of differing views within the OC and their freedom to develop and put forward their views without being subordinated to another line. This conference can approve this abandonment, or it can go on record against it. The choice is up to us. Thank you.