Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

National Steering Committee Sum-up of the Second National Conference of the O.C.I.C.

Issued: n.d. [1979].
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The National Conference in September of 1979 marked the end of the first period of the Organizing Committee. It represented the first period of a nationally organized effort to consolidate the developing anti-left “tendency” of the anti-revisionist movement.

The Anti-Revisionist Movement

This first period of the OCIC’s development took place within the anti-revisionist movement, where ultra-leftism still had hegemony, and in Which a minor centrist current exists. (This current is characterized by an anti-“left” definition of itself on the one hand, and a refusal to break with “left” internationalism on the other.)

Unlike our ultra-left comrades who have a consolidated system of left opportunist views, the anti-“left” tendency during this period has no system of consolidated views which could guide its work or answer the important questions facing our movement.

In addition, during this period, the anti-“left” tendency saw the growth of yet another deviation, one that promotes the circle spirit. The circle-spirit grouping is characterized by the failure of a few comrades and organizations–those comrades grouped around the rectification line, notably, the National Network of Marxist-Leninist Clubs (NNMLC)–to subordinate their short-term interests to the long-term interests of the anti-“left” tendency as a whole.

The OCIC led the struggle to establish the principle that our tendency must have a single ideological center. Further, the OCIC took up the struggle against federationism and localism in our tendency and popularized these struggles.

Prior to the National Conference the OCIC had given lip service to, but had not in any significant or systematic way taken up the struggle against racism within the OCIC. The OCIC had failed to develop a program to strengthen its members’ grasp of the centrality of racism.

The question of democracy takes on a more important character in this embryonic period of our development. In this period where no system of guiding views exists, and our development is characterized by its unevenness, there will be majority and minority views on most issues. This condition pushes to the fore the democratic question in the form of the right and the responsibility of the majority and minority. Yet the OCIC and the NSC had done little work on this important question. The importance of developing a party spirit among OCIC members and establishing rules of conduct and responsibilities of individuals had not been developed.

It was under these objective conditions that the OCIC convened its second national conference.

NSC Objectives for the Conference

The NSC put forward six major objectives for the Second National Conference:
1. To situate our tendency within the history of the Marxist-Leninist movement in the U.S. This process would sum up the U.S. communist movement historically, including the OCIC’s first year. It would summarize the struggles within the OCIC, as well as the OC’s struggles with other currents and groupings in our tendency which stand outside the OCIC. This process in the NSC’s view would clarify the character of our movement (an anti-revisionist tendency).
2. To draw a clear line of demarcation with left opportunism. Our movement is also characterized by its opposition to ultra-leftism. Ultra-leftism’s principle manifestation is its left opportunist international line at this time. Unity with Principle 18 of the OCIC’s 18 Points of Unity demarcated the OCIC from the left internationalist. Making this point of unity necessary for membership would draw a firm line with left opportunism and their “shame-faced” supporters (who were “not sure which imperialists represented the main danger to the world’s people”).
3. To unite with the process and objectives of the National Minority Conference, and to place on the theoretical agenda of the OCIC in the next period the content of the National Minority Conference discussion and its resolutions.
4. To unite the OCIC around the acceptance of a draft plan for an IC document to be used as the basis for debating the question both within the OCIC and the broader movement. This important work had taken a back seat to the need to demarcate with the left opportunists on the issue of left internationalism.
5. To establish the strategic role of the Local Centers in the process of building the OC and IC.
6. To strengthen the leadership of the OCIC by electing the NSC on the basis of a process of criticism and self- criticism.

The Discussion on the OC’s First Year Discussion of Rectification

The discussion on the OC’s first year followed a presentation by the NSC. The early part of the discussion centered on the characterization of the NNMLC and whether or not the leadership of the NNMLC represents the headquarters of leftism in our tendency. This conciliationist view by a comrade from Detroit was to continue throughout the discussion of the OC’s first year and the conference itself.

I think that when we read the proposals for joint work that the clubs have put forward to the OC, I think a little more of the essence will come out. The reason why I say this is the clubs, as I understand it, is now stressing the fact that unity is primary, that differences are secondary between themselves and the OC, they are stressing the need for joint work, the summation of practice, joint work in ideological struggle, joint work on theoretical work, they want to have conferences such as Point 18. on the question of party building line, they want to organize exchange of papers–all the things the OC would do, yet they don’t want to join the OC. What they are saying is we don’t want to be members of the OC, but we want a special relationship with the OC. I think it’s outrageous, actually. I think that if the Milwaukee Societies and Union put something like that forward, people would laugh. I think that kind of thing gets at the essence.

In this statement this comrade captured the essence of the rectification force’s opportunism. However, the failure on the part of many OC members to break with a dogmatist methodology blinded many comrades. Their view was that the questions we were discussing were organizational and “as everyone knows, politics is always primary over organizational questions.” These comrades fail to see that it was the politics of organization that was in command of the rectificationists’ circle spirit. This led us to view the principle error as organizational opportunism and indeed politics were in command.

The question of whether or not the tendency was a part of a single anti-revisionist movement was the center of a lot of discussion. Often comrades expressed the view that we had broken with the ultra-left after Angola and this is expressed in their absence from our meeting and most of our mass work. This view was shown to be one of looking only at the question of having made the break organizationally. In the case of Angola, the break was a political one. However, we had not gone to ideological roots of these errors and made the break at that level. This position of two separate movements downplays the need to take up the question of ultra-leftism.

The steering committee put forward the view during these discussions that the final break with ultra-leftism would be accompanied by the development of a set of ideas and views that would represent a system of politics to guide our communist work not just in clarifying what we are opposed to, but also in what we stand for. In other words the struggle against ultra-leftism is bound up in the struggle for a strategy for revolution in the U.S.

The single movement characterization of our movement was opposed by the Red Boston Study Group, TMLC, MSC, and an individual from K.C. Their perspective differed with the comrades who saw the break as one that happened after Angola. This group’s view was that the break with right revisionism has not been made and that our left comrades were in fact making errors of revisionism from the left. These comrades view that there is an ideological complacency in our movement in regards to the struggle against revisionism, and that both deviations come from the left is another way of saying that we should liquidate the struggle against ultra-leftism or that we are soft on revisionism. This leftist posture represents another position for ultra-leftism to spring from. The NSC position is that the anti-revisionist movement indeed has not deepened the critique of revisionism, that each effort has failed and the root of these failures are found in ultra-leftism. The NSC view is that revisionism cannot be critiqued from the standpoint of ultra-leftism, and that we must be able to identify the principle deviation from M-L in each period, focus on that deviation and rectify the error to move forward.

The weakness of the OCIC and particularly the NSC in the First Year document and discussion was a failure to go deeply into the weaknesses of the first year process, i.e., the failure to pursue sufficient ideological consolidation within the OC.

The failure on the part of the NSC to include an evaluation of its own role as a part of the First Year Sum-up was an error that could have helped to move along the first day’s discussion. Many questions about what it means to strengthen the NSC were made clear in the evaluation.

Resolutions on Point 18

The National Steering Committee presented three resolutions on Point 18. These resolutions were approved but a great deal of debate developed around them. The resolutions were:
1. Point 18 as a line of demarcation.
2. Point 18 and OCIC membership.
3. Summation of the struggle on Point 18.

The line of demarcation resolution passed without any discussion although two votes were cast in opposition to the resolution. These comrades when asked why they opposed the resolution raised no opposition to the content of Point 18, but they had differences with this point being a line of demarcation and the NSC view that Point 18 meant the rejection of the three worlds theory. These comrades think that we need to do much more study of the three worlds theory and the role of the CPC in the world internationally.

The NSC resolution on OCIC membership as it relates to Point 18 provoked the greatest amount of discussion. Many comrades, intent on struggling against conciliationist views, put forward the sectarian view that unity with the content of Point 18 as well as upholding this line as a line of demarcation was necessary in order to maintain membership in the OCIC. This view was held by many comrades and led to the largest split in the vote, 49 for, 28 opposed and 1 abstention. The NSC position is that to have rejected this resolution and required unity on the line of demarcation would have constituted a serious sectarian error and would have violated the right of a minority to hold its view in the OCIC. The NSC holds that only the main danger question constitutes a need to draw the line of demarcation.

The resolution summing up the struggle over Point 18 drew out in the clearest way the conciliationists and their unwillingness to examine Mao Zedong Thought. Some rejected it straight out, while others tried to hide their opposition behind the “vulgarization of Mao Zedong Thought.” The vote on this resolution however was 83 for, no opposition and 1 abstention. The NSC view is that the vote does not accurately reflect the real unity of the tendency given the prestige of the CPC in our movement.

Presentation on the Draft Plan

The NSC presentation on the draft plan was for the purpose of seeing if the document was sufficient to begin discussions throughout the OCIC, leading to the development of a plan for building a leading ideological center. The discussion that followed the presentation showed there were areas where the document needed to be strengthened as well as areas of misunderstanding throughout the OCIC on the concept of building an ideological center.

The principle area that needed strengthening in the document was on the relationship between the ideological center process and directing centers for practice. The NSC position was that the OCIC should support the development of higher forms of communist organization as a good thing. However, the NSC does not see this as a task for the ideological center. The NSC believes that sufficient political unity does not exist to allow the formation of an organization that is really capable of meeting the needs of all-sided guidance to communist activity. In order to maintain clarity on this question, it is necessary to clearly outline the separation between an ideological center and the directing centers for practice.

Some comrades viewed the process of going from an OCIC to an IC to a leading ideological center as a three-step process and were confused as to how leadership would emerge or assert itself.

Comrades concerned with how leadership emerged lost sight of the main process, our present task, that is, the development of a program and strategy for revolution in the U.S. This process will allow for forces that will play a leading role in contributing to this elaboration to emerge, concentrate themselves at the center, and establish the leading core of our movement. Again, this process must be viewed in contrast to the left view of self appointment, or the ultra-democratic view of elections based on a shallow assessment of individuals who may be popular in our movement for various reasons.

During this discussion confusion surfaces on what questions we should take up and how these questions are chosen. Some comrades viewed both the question of party building and the question of ultra-leftism as equally important, failing to look at them dialectically, i.e., which question is holding back our progress at this time, and how its resolution brings the next question to the fore. On the one hand, the party building question must be taken up to lead us forward. However, we must confront the danger of ultra-leftism. Party building cannot be done prior to critiquing ultra-leftism lest we build another ultra-left party. We must assess our movement in order that we take up the principle task facing us as well as the problems that impede our carrying out that task.

The draft plan discussion served as a forum for clearing up other questions such as would the ultra-left line on party building be taken up. The NSC response, that this question was already being addressed in relation to the party building line of rectificationists served to concretize the task for many conference participants.

One comrade wanted the process of a critique of ultra-leftism laid out in advance. The example in this case was, “How can we say we are going to have an all-sided summation if you are not going to say what composes all sides, which of these sides leads, etc.?” This comrade was incorrect. In the context of ultra-leftism international line is the principal manifestation at this time and could be considered the “leading side.” However, this approach has a tendency to ignore the dialectic of going from the shallow to the deeper. We have already identified a form of organizational opportunism on party building, the circle spirit. This deviation surfaced not as a result of our taking up the question of party building per se, but during the struggle to demarcate with left internationalism in our efforts to establish a single center.

Prior to this period we identified the principle manifestation of the left error on party building as reducing the task to uniting the existing stock of Marxist-Leninists. While both these errors have a history in the anti-revisionist movement and both have surfaced in the tendency we must now look at both to see which is principal. All this has emerged as a result of intense struggle rather than as a result of having developed a theoretical shopping list. So while the comrade quoted above may have sounded thorough, in actuality he was guilty of making a two-sided error, that of ignoring dialectics and the other being a mechanical approach to the theoretical struggle.

While the conference discussion served to draw out the main ideological weaknesses of the OCIC members around the process of developing the ideological center, the discussion also exposed some weaknesses in the draft; such as the relationship between the IC and directing centers for practice.

The vote to accept the plan as a place to begin speaks to the high level of unity. The one vote in opposition was based on our assessment that we exist as a single anti-revisionist movement and the historical role of the CPUSA.

Racism Discussion

The question of racism in our ranks was not formally on the conference agenda. It emerged after a comrade raised a criticism of a flyer produced by the conference host group. The flyer directed conference participants to a party, warning them to be careful, to “walk swiftly,” and described the neighborhood of the conference as “unsafe.” It was argued that, as the neighborhood was Black, the implication was racist, and could only serve to increase racist fears. It further implied that only white participants’ safety was being addressed. No mention was made of what Black or other national minority comrades should watch out for in terms of police harassment, for example.

The criticism was not directed specifically at the Chicago group which made the initial error, but at all White comrades at the conference who had not recognized the need to draw up the struggle of the White chauvinism that characterizes the statement about the neighborhood.

The discussion that grew out of the criticism further demonstrated the racism and paternalism in the OCIC as a whole. The Chicago comrades reacted defensively to the criticism and attempted to deflect it by speaking to their intent and not to the objective effect of their actions, as if intent were primary. One national minority comrade from Philadelphia was interrupted twice while trying to make a point. The high level of emotion and defensive-ness in this discussion had not occurred in the OCIC since its Founding Conference, and that, too, was during a discussion of a racist occurrence at that conference.

Many comrades from other parts of the country ignored the fact that their own reaction (or lack of reaction) to the flyer showed that they too, did not see the error of racism and the objective effect of bourgeois ideology on their thinking. Many comrades recoiled at the criticism and saw it as an unnecessary over-reaction to the situation. Yet other comrades, who had been vocal on almost every other agenda item sat in silence throughout the discussion. Their silence reflects a view of racism as a question to be taken up by national minority comrades, while other questions, such as the OC’s First Year, and the critique of ultra-leftism, as issues for White comrades. This attitude among White comrades is akin to the bourgeois attitude that sickle cell is a problem of Blacks so we need not study it.

The discussion around racism was in many respects the high point of the conference. It showed the depth of misunderstanding of this question, and many comrades vere convinced of the need to take up the struggle against racism in the OCIC in a serious way.

The greatest strength of the discussion was that it stemmed from a concrete situation and was not allowed to go off into the abstract. Some comrades were able to show that it is objective results that count, rather than the intentions of an action or statement. The main weakness of the discussion was the lack of understanding shown by many, of the effects of bourgeois ideology, and their failure to see that the issue for us at this point is to understand what racism really is. This would have removed the tension and defensive reactions from the discussion and allowed us to make greater gains. The discussion placed the question of racism high on the agenda of the OCIC for the coming period.

National Minority Conference

The conference also heard and discussed a report on the National Minority Marxist-Leninist Conference held in Detroit. The conference goal was to draw into the party building movement independent Marxist-Leninists who were open to the process and willing to take up party-building tasks. It further had the purpose of introducing advanced national minorities unfamiliar with party building, but who were open to and interested in the science of Marxism-Leninism to the party building process. It was not a national call for national minority Marxist-Leninists in the party building movement to unite. The planning committee which guided the conference invited minority M-Ls and advanced minority individuals on the basis of the criteria above. In addition participants could not have opposition to the single center process or to Point #18 of the 18 Points of Unity of the OCIC. Those individuals who held to the rectification line were not invited on the basis of their sometimes hidden, sometimes open opposition to the single center process. The report explained that this conference had united around two resolutions, one on party building, and the other on racism, sexism and the particular tasks facing national minority Marxist-Leninists in this period.

The party building resolution situated our tendency in this period as part of a single anti-revisionist movement whose central task is party building, and whose main danger is ultra-leftism.

The second resolution had five points: (1) the struggle against sexism among national minorities, (2) uniting the struggle of oppressed nationalities and the working class, (3) winning advanced national minorities to communism, (4) building unity among national minorities, and (5) taking up the struggle against narrow nationalism.

Sexism among national minorities was identified as the principal contradiction. The need to unite the struggles of oppressed nationalities and the working class movement was seen by the conference as an important task, given the advanced character of both of these movements. The position of each remains weak in part as a result of their separate and sometimes seemingly conflicting goals. The resolution on winning the advanced to communism grew out of views put forward that national minority men and women, as a result of their super-exploitation, are often much more advanced than their white counterparts. These advanced forces must be won to the science of Marxism-Leninism.

National minority communities often take up struggles against the state apparatus, such as police brutality campaigns, struggles for basic services, etc. These struggles not only have a progressive content but often put forward objectively revolutionary demands. However, they are led by petty bourgeois (often opportunist) leaders who stop short of pushing for the demands that conditions call for. Communist leadership is needed to unite these minority community struggles and to push forward and clarify the true character of these movements.

Finally, the reaction to racism has created among national minority communists, and workers, a narrow nationalist perspective. This perspective fosters the separation and weakening of our movements and struggles. The conference adopted a resolution criticizing narrow nationalism. In doing so the conference demonstrated its understanding that narrow nationalism in the long run serves only the bourgeoisie.

The purpose in adopting the resolutions was not to identify where only national minority communists should be carrying out work after the conference, but to: further identify our tendency’s theoretical tasks, to place these tasks on the agenda of our entire movement, so that the movement as a whole can critique the problems, both their roots and manifestations, and develop the theory for solving them.

The NSC’s resolution on the NMMLC had four points. First, it endorsed the development of an independent planning committee, the criteria for the selection of participants, and rejected the charge of sectarianism around the demand for unity with the single center process.

The second point supports the high level of unity reached at the conference on: (a) the centrality of party building, and the identification of the danger of left opportunism; (b) the special tasks of national minority M-Ls; (c) the role of racism as an obstacle to multi-national unity in the communist movement; and (d) the role of sexism in undermining contributions of national minority women.

Point 3 states that the conference process served to expose important weaknesses in the struggle against racism within the OC’s ranks. Many groups in the OCIC viewed recruitment as the primary way to solve their weaknesses in multi-national composition. This view overlooks the more basic need to build political unity with advanced national minority comrades. Further, the NSC’s failure to follow up on several important criticisms of racist errors in relation to the conference weakened the entire process.

Point #4 supports the continued necessity of all-national organizational forms during this period, which is discussed below. The need was recognized for the OC to utilize the gains of the conference. This is accomplished in part by the OCIC participating in local and regional forums reporting on the discussions and content of the conference, and by focusing in each presentation on a discussion of racism and its divisive role in the communist movement.

The response at the OCIC National Conference to the NSC resolutions was generally favorable. Some questions were raised around supporting the conference without benefit of the conference’s documents. However, it was pointed out that the National Conference was not being asked to endorse the full content of the National Minority Conference. The motion was more limited: to adopt the NSC resolutions as summarized above.

A discussion arose over NSC resolution #4, whether all-national minority formations are correct during this period. The NSC and other comrades responded that as communists we see narrow nationalism as the reaction of national minorities to racism. As long as racism continues to divide our movement, there will be a need for all-national minority forms. The key to this question is combating racism in our movement.

The NSC resolution on the NMMLC was adopted by the OCIC Conference. However, the discussion for the National Minority Conference had its weaknesses. These were particularly significant around the questions of racism, and its manifestation, paternalism. A comrade from Detroit proposed that the observers from El Comite and the NMMLC, both of whom were national minority comrades, be allowed to speak during the discussion of the National Minority Conference. The suggestion was put forward even though this comrade had not felt it was important to change the observer rule, allowing these same comrades to speak on other agenda items. Notably, neither this comrade or anyone else suggested that they speak about the Draft Plan, which embodies the NSC’s most developed view on party building, or during the previous discussion of the NMMLC. The position was one of the clearest statements of an attempt to “ghettoize” the role of minority comrades. Further, this comrade’s unwillingness to see his error was another blatant example of a lack of understanding of racism and paternalism.

Another comrade put forward that the National Minority Conference had made tremendous theoretical breakthroughs. This statement was made in spite of the fact that he had not had the opportunity to read the conference documents. Although the comrade’s statement may be true, it is not based on knowledge of concrete facts. The Planning Committee of the NMMLC, which is composed of Marxist-Leninists, put forward that the OCIC should reserve its opinions about the content of the conference until they can be based on a study of the Conference documents and not on paternalism.

A good example of how national minority comrades capitulate to racism took place during the vote on the national minority M/L conference resolutions. A member of the National Minority Conference Planning Committee voted against the resolution. The reasons given were that this comrade did not want the White comrades to make a racist error by approving the resolution when they did not know the content of the Conference, because there were no supporting documents. This capitulation to racism becomes obvious when we understand that in this comrade’s view the white comrades could only vote for the resolution out of racist paternalism, this despite a 45-minute presentation given by two members of both the Planning Committee and the Steering Committee.

Section on Local Centers

The local center presentation was an important part of the NSC’s perspectives. A few OCIC members who had grasped the NSC view of the local centers had moved forward to quickly develop local centers in their localities as vehicles to carry out the ideological struggle at the base level of the OCIC. In 1978, the NSC had viewed local centers as a tactical means of preventing the isolation of national tasks from the base, and as a way to nationally coordinate practical work among OCIC adherents. Now, however, local centers are viewed by the NSC as an integral, and strategic, part of our overall party building approach.

The weaknesses in the initial NSC perspective were: (1) lack of a fully formed conception of an overall non-sectarian party building approach, and (2) a gross underestimation of the role of federationism-localism, and racism in our ranks. The NSC conceives of OCIC local and regional centers as: (1) the local and regional arms of the national center in takinq up our theoretical tasks, and (2) outreach to the tendency in that locale or region.

The need to draw all who will unite with our 18 Points of Unity into the struggle for political line and to carry on with them the party building debate, must, and can only, be taken up correctly at both the national, regional and local levels. It must constantly draw in new forces. While it is indispensable to have a strong, leading national center, it is also critically important to involve the local base. This can only be done through local and regional centers.

The NSC would be remiss if it failed to contrast this conception with that of the rectificationists. The latter views recruitment to a fully developed political line and a self-appointed political leadership as the correct party building approach for our tendency.

In summary the NSC view put forward a task for local and regional centers that mirrors that of the national center. The NSC presented its view of the local center’s role in the struggle against federationism and racism and the relationship between the two. We hold that federationism can be broken down in local situations by demanding that comrades from local cadre organizations participate in the ideological struggle as individuals not bound by cadre organization discipline. This would allow white and national minority comrades to engage in ideological struggle together, without minority comrades having to join all-White cadre formations prior to taking up the struggle against racism in the communist movement. We note that racism is often the reason why these minority comrades leave or remain outside existing local cadre formations in our tendency.

The NSC view on the organizational task of local and regional centers is the following: unite the most advanced comrades in a local area around the need to build a single national center, and the 18 Points of Unity. After establishing a leading core, these individuals must reach out to the broader tendency forces. Local OCIC members then will take up ideological struggle in which they all carry the same weight. Regardless of membership in other cadre formations each person would be judged on his or her contributions to the party building movement.

Southern California Local Center Experience

The National Conference heard a report on the Southern California Local Center experience by a member of the Southern California Local Center (SCLC) Steering Committee. The SCLC began with very little guidance from the NSC on the role of the local center. The need to unify around the local center as a center for uniting tendency forces and through which to conduct ideological struggle was never agreed upon. The local center went forward lacking a concrete plan, and conducting a two-line struggle within it, sometimes open, sometimes closed. The minority line was federationist and stated that local organizations should determine the local center’s perspective. The other line was consistent with the developing NSC perspective. Initially the SCLC Steering Committee failed to understand the need to involve individual members of the tendency in the Southern California area in the Local Center. The federationist minority lacked a grasp of our task for this period. Their perspective showed concretely why there must be unity around a common perspective before moving forward with organizational questions. Pushing the ideological struggle into the background led to the problems of the SCLC.

The failure on the part of the NSC to pay close attention to and guide the Southern California situation had the effect on the surface of allowing the group to flounder. However, a closer look reveals a much greater loss to the entire OC. Had the NSC been more vigilant, the development and resolution of the only two-line struggle in the OCIC on the question of federationism could have been clarified earlier, resolved more positively and shared more broadly with the entire OC.

Democracy and the Rights and Responsibilities of a Minority

The previous summation of the Local Center Experience in Southern California was strongly protested by a representative of the minority perspective in Southern California. These comrades stated that they had differences with the report’s content, as well as the form that was taken in developing the summation. They also objected to the fact that no provision had been made to put forward or integrate into the report the minority’s view.

The NSC accepted the responsibility for not paying more attention to the Southern California situation nor making provision for the minority view to be put forward, either in the same or a separate report.

The NSC error of failing to take up the Southern California questions represented an error of the rights of the minority. When the NSC proposed at the Conference that the Southern California minority state its views of their Local Center’s history, the minority responded that they couldn’t state their views.

The discussion of the local and regional concept was postponed at this point and the Conference took up the struggle with the Southern California minority around their duty to put forward their perspective. The NSC’s view was that the minority had both certain rights and responsibilities. The minority has a responsibility to make its view known to the majority.

The minority also has the right to have its views considered seriously, to have those views respected and discussed, and to continue struggling for those views after the discussion. The majority of the Conference delegates agreed with the NSC that the democratic rights of the majority would be violated if the minority refused to present its views.

While the OC must pay particular attention to not suppressing the. minority views, the minority must be clear on its responsibility to put forward the dissenting view and struggle to put out the most advanced minority positions. Not to take this responsibility up has the same effect as the suppression of these views: premature splitting and federationism. This question is particularly important when our movement has no system of politics to guide it and when the majority is having its ideas tested for the first time. This is a period when premature lines of demarcation should be guarded against most vigorously. The anti-revisionist movement has a history of violations and suppression of minority views, and premature splits. One of the cornerstones of the OCIC and the ideological center must be its rules governing the rights and responsibilities of the minority, and the practice of how those rules are implemented and upheld.

Election for NSC

The process of the Election nearly compromised when two NSC members informed the chair that there were to be no nominations from the floor. The result of this would have meant that only the slate proposed by the NSC would have been put forward, the result being totally undemocratic. However, this error was corrected and the nomination process was open to all delegates. The NSC made a serious error in not renominating one of its members. The error was to put the question of geography before other criteria, i.e., ideological consolidation, etc. The election process was further compromised by the two nominees of the NSC who held back throughout the Conference. This period of the organizing committee especially call for leading comrades to step forward in regional and national meetings particularly when most comrades are not known. Almost throughout the Convention, speaking only a few times, not many comrades knew of this comrade’s work outside of her local area and the Planning Committee. Yet comrades were asked to vote for this comrade. This error of hiding out on the part of this comrade is particularly glaring when we look at the problem of racist paternalism and how this error fed it. The process of holding back violates the rights of the majority. The NSC slate was elected by a unanimous vote including the comrade who has been removed earlier due to the geography question. The NSC believes its composition ended up correctly but that these errors must not be repeated.

The National Steering Committee Evaluation

The NSC evaluation of the OC centered primarily on the weakness of the NSC. The primary shortcomings were identified as a failure to pay sufficient attention to the development and consolidation of the OC and the NSC. This error was made across the board in terms of both the NSC and the membership in all areas from racism to developing local centers. Insufficient time was spent on consolidating people’s understanding (including NSC members) of the strategic overview of the goals and task of the OCIC in this period. The NSC believes this error has its roots in capitulating to spontaneity. The NSC laid out ten items for future work. All include waging the struggle against spontaneity by developing a more systematic approach.

The NSC Weakness Around the National Conference

The weakness that emerged during the process of organizing the National Conference and the Conference itself were organizational. However, the manifestations were to politically weaken the Conference. The main errors were: (1) the NSC did not prepare for and organize discussion and struggles around key points that should have been anticipated, (2) the NSC did not discuss and consolidate around the objectives for the conference, (3) the NSC did not plan for and prepare people for the discussion around the national minority Marxist-Leninist Conference, and (4) the NSC did not have a full political discussion and consolidate around the Point #18 discussion (around membership). While these errors are organizational, in particular when they take on a political character the impact of which is to weaken the OCIC process. Shades of differences at the point that they first develop often seem unimportant, i.e., the question of membership at the first Party Congress. Yet as time passes and differences emerge, we see the importance of these questions. The errors of not circulating documents earlier and providing time for fuller discussion prior to the Conference can allow for those kinds of differences to go unnoticed. Delegates having to make a decision without all the information is a dangerous process, while the NSC’s view is that all items where decisions were required were fully discussed. More could have been accomplished had each delegate been better informed through a regular bulletin.

Finally, our failure to have in place the local and regional centers and in circulation our discussion bulletin contributed to our lack of preparation and consolidation prior to the Conference These errors are clear and will be rectified. Our victories were few but the proper summation of them and our errors are clearing our path.