Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

UNITE! Marks 5th Birthday


First Published: Unite!, Vol. 6, No. 14, August 1, 1980.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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August, 1980, marks the 5th anniversary of the publication of the first issue of UNITE! The paper was first issued by the Marxist-Leninist Organizing Committee, which was formed out of a struggle in the former Black Workers’ Congress. Since that time all of the other organized forces formerly associated with the BWC have either abandoned revolutionary work or have become parrots of Chinese revisionism in one form or another.

The 5th anniversary of UNITE! is an extremely important achievement for the working class movement, both because of the changes in the world in this period, and the changes in UNITE! itself. In the last five years, the split with Mao Tsetung Thought has greatly served the struggle against opportunism. In this struggle, UNITE! has played a very important role in bringing the views of other Marxist-Leninist parties to revolutionary workers and in defending the purity of scientific socialism against various attacks.

In addition, profound changes have occurred in UNITE! since August, 1975. At first, UNITE! did not even approach the format or composition of a newspaper, but was an entirely theoretical publication. It essentially lacked a correct view of either propaganda or agitation and their proper relationship.

Since that time, and particularly since the Founding Congress of the Party, which adopted UNITE! as its official publication, the paper has developed through two periods. First, directly after the Party was formed, we believed that UNITE! should be mainly agitational in content. As the struggle against Right and ’left’ deviations in the line of the Party and in UNITE! proceeded, we recognized the incorrectness of this view, given the conditions of the U.S., where we have yet to win over even a significant section of the most militant workers to the side of the Party, and where various opportunist currents daily contend for the allegiance of the workers.

In the last two years, UNITE! has moved from a monthly to a twice-monthly publication. But at the same time, its size has been reduced from 12 to 4 pages. This is a reflection of three major factors.

First, since its inception, UNITE! has been the subject of consistent attacks from outside the Party and from infiltrators within the Party who sought to destroy the Party press. Because UNITE! has taken a consistent Marxist-Leninist position against all varieties of modern revisionism, Trotskyism, social-democracy and Mao Tsetung Thought, various bookstores have refused to carry UNITE! Distributors of UNITE! have been attacked by reactionaries and revisionists. Numbers of absurd polemics have been written attacking and attempting to discredit UNITE!

In addition, a band of infiltrators led by Al Thrasher and Malcolm Suber, surrounded by a circle of lawyers, worked within the Party to destroy UNITE! In cities such as New Orleans and Birmingham, we find that long-standing contacts of ex-Party members were never shown copies of UNITE! – even when it directly addressed struggles they were involved in. These ultra-leftists also argued that UNITE! could not be publicly distributed in the South, due to the repressive conditions.

Second, for 5 years there has been a struggle to overcome incorrect ideas regarding the Party press. These views denied the importance of placing UNITE! on a self-reliant basis, belittled the importance of public distributions, and are reflected in economist tendencies in the content of the press.

Third, the periodic crisis has also obviously caused hardship. Costs associated with the press have escalated dramatically.

Today, UNITE! is fighting to strengthen its ideological and political orientation to respond to the actual needs of the class struggle.

Here we are guided by the views of V.I. Lenin, who established the basic guidelines for the Marxist-Leninist press. He wrote:

The formation of the Party – if the correct representation of that Party in a certain newspaper is not organized – will to a considerable extent remain bare words. An economic struggle that is not united by a central organ cannot become a class struggle of the entire (Russian) proletariat. It is impossible to conduct a political struggle if the Party as a whole fails to make statements on all questions of policy and to give direction to the various manifestations of the struggle. The organization and discipline of the revolutionary forces and the development of revolutionary technique are impossible without the discussion of all these questions in the central organ, without the collective elaboration of certain forms and rules for the conduct of affairs, without the establishment –through the central organ – of every party member’s responsibility to the entire party. (CW, Vol. 4, p.218.)

Today, the Party press has not yet achieved the stature of work Lenin outlined above. This must be the concrete objective of UNITE! Lenin pointed out that only a central organ could create a common Party experience, tradition arid continuity. Without such a Party press, all the other activities of the Party will lose 9/10ths of their significance.

Many readers have expressed their regret that UNITE! today only publishes four pages every two weeks. Naturally the Party is dissatisfied with this situation and is working to recover the losses suffered for the reasons described above. But given the conditions in the U.S. ahead, the task of placing UNITE! on a truly mass basis will be increasingly difficult. It will require that UNITE! strengthen its ties to its readers and greatly expand its networks of distribution, both secret and open. The ability of the Party to advance on this front depends upon the support of its readers. As in the past, we urge you to vigorously take up the distribution of the Party press and to send financial contributions to UNITE!

Today, after five years, we have established a reliable and dependable compass in the class struggle, which is read with interest by workers and progressive people in the U.S., and by Marxist-Leninists and revolutionaries all over the world. UNITE! will continue to overcome shortcomings and strive toward fulfilling the lofty objectives of the Marxist-Leninist press outlined by Lenin, and already achieved by several other Marxist-Leninist parties internationally.