Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Organizing Committee for an Ideological Center

Racism in the Communist Movement


Preface

On the basis of this summation of the OC, the following tasks are on its immediate agenda...
Strengthen the OC’s grasp of the centrality of racism, particularly in relation to the forms in which racism expresses itself in the communist movement. (The SC should develop a detailed and thorough study plan which includes a review of the historical weaknesses of the communist movement in relation to the struggle against racism. And further, the SC should implement any special means necessary to analyze and give guidance to all facets of the struggle against white chauvinism in the OC.) – Pt. 4 in the “OC’s First Year” Resolution (adopted September 1979)

Comrades,

The Organizing Committee for an Ideological Center adopted the above resolution at its Second National Conference on Labor Day weekend in 1979. It represented a recognition on the part of OC forces of the centrality of racism and the profound impact of white chauvinist ideology on the U.S. communist movement. This impact had been discussed at several points during the National Conference, and in fact the agenda was altered so that a lengthy struggle could take place around a racist error that was made in the logistical planning for the conference. Comrades’ recognition of the serious weaknesses within the communist movement in general and the OC in particular in understanding the centrality of racism prompted them to mandate that the National Steering Committee of the OCIC place on its immediate agenda the development of a plan to strengthen the OC’s grasp of this question and “implement any special means necessary to analyze and give guidance to all facets of the struggle against white chauvinism in the OC”.

This mandate came at a time when the tendency was suffering from a severe lack of understanding of the influence of white chauvinism in the communist movement and how it serves to impede the development of multinational unity in the tendency. The history of our tendency has been one of small circle existence, and the bulk of national minority Marxist-Leninists stand outside of those circles due to the failure of the mostly and all-white circles to address racism from a Marxist-Leninist standpoint at all, much less take up a struggle against white chauvinism among themselves, or due to taking it up sporadically, spontaneously and lacking any systematic approach based on a recognition of the centrality of racism and the need for white communists to play the leading role in the struggle against it on all fronts. In addition, our movement was imbued with a federationist perspective on party-building which necessarily meant the exclusion of national minorities from organized expressions of the party-building movement. This is the history of communists in the tendency. This history represents a profound deviation from Marxism-Leninism.

Since the national conference sharp struggle against racism has taken place within the tendency. Another mandate of the national body was to consolidate the OC’s opposition to federationism, and to develop OCIC centers both local and regional. In the context of the struggle against federationism and for the building of OC centers, the struggle against racism within the OC has intensified. Comrades have struggled around the inherent racism in the federationist approach to party-building and the multitude of racist errors that have been made in the effort to build local centers.

The NSC, as a part of its response to the mandate of the national body, is initiating a campaign against white chauvinism which will be the primary focus of the third period of the national workplan. We view this campaign as an intensive struggle for comrades’ grasp of the centrality of racism and its impact on the communist movement. Correctly, the struggle against racism has taken place within the OC since its inception, and it must continue after the conclusion of the third workplan period. This campaign is meant to heighten comrades’ understanding of the role white chauvinism plays in impeding the development of multinational unity in our movement, and sharpen comrades’ ability to take up the struggle against white chauvinism whenever and wherever it manifests itself.

In the context of the struggles that have ensued since the National Conference, some opposition to the struggle against white chauvinism as expressed within the OC and tendency forces has emerged. It is the NSC’s view that while this opposition has developed a number of theoretical justifications for opposing the campaign, the ideological root of their opposition is their own white chauvinism - their refusal to look at and struggle against it. Comrades who unite with the necessity for taking up the struggle must struggle sharply with those in opposition to it. We cannot tolerate any opportunism in our movement which attempts to obstruct and destroy our efforts to wage the struggle against white chauvinism and for Marxism-Leninism. Marxism-Leninism is incompatible with white supremacy. Our movement has no room for those who consider white chauvinism more important than Marxism-Leninism.

If we are going to proceed with our task of building a multinational revolutionary vanguard party, if we are going to be successful in developing an independent elaboration of Marxism-Leninism for the party, comrades must consistently strive to deepen their understanding of the centrality of racism and wage a vigilant struggle against white chauvinism within the communist movement. We cannot expect to forge a genuine leading ideological core without first taking up a struggle against the ideology that is behind the errors leading to our mostly-white movement.

It is time for all those who consider themselves to be Marxist-Leninists and who are serious about building a party to take a communist approach to the process of party-building. That means identifying and struggling against all obstacles to that process. White chauvinism is the main obstacle to building multinational unity in our movement. And without multi-national unity, there will be no genuine ideological center, and no genuine revolutionary vanguard party. We will have a mostly or all-white process isolated from the real world because it won’t be reflective of the multinational working class. More importantly the party-building movement will be shackled by the absence of the advanced leadership of national minorities. Furthermore, without a genuine struggle against white chauvinism in our movement, we cannot advance the theoretical struggle, the struggle for an independent elaboration of Marxism-Leninism in the United States, because our theoretical work will be tainted with bourgeois ideology in the form of white chauvinism. Finally, taking up the struggle against white chauvinism in our movement will greatly enhance comrades’ ability to struggle against the central division in the working class. It will advance their ability to take up mass work in a principled way and test the theoretical developments from the IC and bring summations of their advanced practice to the IC for the further development of the theoretical struggle.

Thus, any “communist” who opposes taking up the struggle against white chauvinism is actually opposed to communism. No genuine communist can oppose taking up a struggle against the ideology that is the central division in the working class, keeps the working class from uniting against its common enemy. No genuine communist can oppose taking up a struggle against the ideology which represents the main obstacle to building multinational unity. Comrades, we are calling for a thorough rooting out of opportunism, and the advancement of Marxism-Leninism. The struggle against white chauvinism is central to that process.

The NSC of the OCIC
December, 1980