Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Barry Weisberg

Revisionism: The Trojan Horse of World Imperialism


First Published: Unite!, Vol. 8, No. 7, August 1982.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

Since Karl Marx and Frederick Engels first elaborated the doctrine of scientific socialism, and gave conscious direction to the struggle between labor and capital, the contest between revolution and counter-revolution has taken many twists and turns. Few weapons of reaction have taken as heavy a toll as opportunism and revisionism. They have spread profound confusion about the nature of the class struggle and the character of genuine socialist society, held back the unification of the working class, and prolonged the life of the world imperialist system.

The struggle of the world’s proletariat must therefore be waged with the recognition that the fight against imperialism and social-imperialism goes hand-in-hand with the fight against opportunism and revisionism. The Party of Labor of Albania has understood this problem well. In his report to the Eighth Congress of the PLA, Comrade Enver Hoxha said, “The revisionist betrayal and the restoration of capitalism in a series of former socialist countries have created great confusion about the problem of socialism, which is the nub of ideological struggle going on in the world today.”

In numerous countries – the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba, and Poland, among others – the triumph of revisionism over Marxism-Leninism either prevented the construction of socialism in the first place or has led to the restoration of capitalism. Revisionism in power – masquerading as socialism – explains why the Soviet Union can carry out imperialist aggression against Afghanistan and China can likewise invade Vietnam. It explains why the U.S.S.R. can engage in nuclear blackmail, threatening the world’s people with annihilation, and why the leaders of China can fan the flames of war and welcome the likes of Richard Nixon and Alexander Haig to Peking with open arms.

But revisionist betrayal can be seen elsewhere, as when the “socialist” President of France, Francois Mitterand, embraces Ronald Reagan and urges the rearming of HATO. All the capitalist countries have counterparts to Mitterand, who, in hollow words, proclaim their allegiance to Marxism and socialism while sitting down to dine at the imperialist banquet table.

In the U.S. one finds every shade and hue of opportunism and revisionism. Some organisations, such as the Communist Party U.S.A. (CPUSA) or the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) have existed for decades. Others come into being and then disappear rather rapidly. Like the dust of a prairie storm, they cover the landscape. In such a climate, it is not surprising that the American proletariat has had such a difficult time finding its way.

Opportunism and revisionism occur as a result of the objective processes of the class struggle: they are a weapon of the proletariat’s class enemy. That is why Lenin said in 1920, “It has been shown in practice that working class activists who follow the opportunist trend are better defenders of the bourgeoisie than the bourgeoisie itself. Without their leadership of the workers, the bourgeoisie could not remain in power.” Revisionism is the Trojan horse of world imperialism within the communist and workers’ movement.

Today Ronald Reagan has unleashed a new round in U.S. imperialism’s ideological campaign to, as he said on his recent European tour, “consign Marxism–Leninism to the trash heap of history”. This new crusade against communism perpetuates the illusion that the Soviet Union is still a socialist country. It furthermore attacks socialist Albania and the genuine communist and workers’ movement, and steps up direct and indirect support for the forces of opportunism and revisionism.

In this situation it is abundantly clear that a protracted, intense struggle against these agents of the bourgeoisie is part and parcel of the proletariat’s struggle against the bourgeoisie itself. There is no other road to victory. In the U.S., where the social and material basis for opportunism exists in direct proportion to the strength of U.S. monopoly capitalism, it is particularly difficult to “get rid of the disease”.

At present, the struggle between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism is growing in intensity in the U.S. New forces are arising which seek to perpetuate disunity, cause confusion, and discredit the triumph of socialism in Albania. Thus it is particularly important now for the CPUSA/ML to take further steps and new initiatives in the complex ideological struggle against opportunism and revisionism, translating these steps into concrete political and organizational advances. To aid this effort, this article reviews the roots of opportunism and revisionism, explains what main forms they take in the U.S. today, and outlines what steps are required to sharpen the struggle against the Trojan horse in our midst.

The Origins of Opportunism and Revisionism

Opportunism and revisionism are born in the contest between revolution and counterrevolution. They arise as a result of the objective laws of development of the class struggle and the subjective strategy and tactics of the capitalist class to maintain its exploitation and oppression of the working class.

At the time Marx and Engels published their pioneering studies of capitalism, they were also engaged in a series of battles against anti-scientific economic and social theories hostile to Marxism. From the l84o’s through the 1890’s the European Marxists scored theoretical and practical victories over Utopian socialism and such opportunist theories as anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism. The formation of the First International, by Marx and Engels, was an important instrument in this battle.

By the 1890’s, as a result of this victory over anti-proletarian philosophical and theoretical trends, the adversaries of Marxism were forced to seek new paths. A definite trend hostile to Marxism within the ranks of the Marxist movement appeared. In Marxism and Revisionism, Lenin explained, “Pro-Marxist socialism has been defeated. It is continuing the struggle, no longer on its own independent ground, but on the general ground of Marxism, as revisionism.” Where previous opportunist trends existed as currents against Marxism outside the Marxist movement, the rise of revisionism signifies the attempt to infiltrate the movement in order to revise its revolutionary content.

Infiltration of the Marxist movement in the early 1900’s by the defenders of the bourgeoisie undermined the Second International founded by Engels. Lenin led the successful battle to reject the revisionism of the Second International and the Third International was formed. Then with the victory of the Russian revolution in 1917 and the development of communist parties in several countries, revisionism suffered defeat on many fronts. The lessons of the October Revolution made clear which road led to victory.

Because revisionism is bred from the soil of imperialism, both imperialism and revisionism found new forms of expression suitable to the changed conditions. Prior to World War II, new revisionist currents (known as “modern revisionism”) emerged in several Marxist-Leninist parties, chief among them Browderism in America. Proclaiming that “Communism is 20th Century Americanism”, Earl Browder led the CPUSA to adopt a strategy of class collaboration from which it never recovered.

Modern revisionism reached its most systematic, highest form of expression under the tutelage of Khrushchev and led to the take-over of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union after the death of Stalin and the restoration of capitalism. In country after country, Soviet revisionism spread its tentacles, and the road of revolution was abandoned. In Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Bulgaria and East Germany, the communist parties followed the Soviet revisionists into infamy. In the capitalist countries many parties likewise succumbed. Modern revisionism today takes many forms, including Soviet revisionism, Titoite revisionism, Chinese revisionism, Eurocommunism, social democracy, and Trotskyism.

These developments are not accidental. Following World War II, U.S. imperialism emerged as the unrivaled world imperialist power. The entire world imperialist system faced the threat of a growing socialist camp which also emerged triumphant in the anti-fascist struggle. U.S. imperialism undertook two main tactics in its efforts to liquidate the socialist countries, Marxist-Leninist parties and workers’ movement. It carried out open aggression and military intervention in all parts of the world, and it organized an intense ideological campaign to subvert, from within, the forces of revolution. Thus through various pressure from within and without, U.S. imperialism achieved its most decisive victory in the post-war period when modern revisionism seized power in the Soviet Union. Today the defeat of revisionism is an acute problem facing the proletariat in every capitalist and revisionist country.

In summation, opportunism constitutes anti-proletarian, anti-Marxist theoretical and political currents outside the Marxist movement. Chief among them today are anarchism and Trotskyism, although numerous ultra-left sects abound in the U.S. As often described, opportunism sacrifices the long-term, strategic interests of the proletariat for short-term, momentary gains.

Revisionism constitutes anti-proletarian, anti-Marxist currents within the existing Marxist movement which revise and destroy the revolutionary content of Marxism. Both opportunism and revisionism join together with existing reformist tendencies promoted by the liberal representatives of the bourgeoisie in attempt to divert the working class movement from its revolutionary objectives in order to prevent revolution and the establishment of socialism. With this historical understanding of the origins of revisionism and opportunism, we can now examine the social and material basis for their growth and development within the working class movement under imperialism. There are three main factors.

First is the logic of the crisis of capitalism itself, which forces growing numbers of the petty bourgeoisie into the ranks of the working class. This is very evident today with the destruction and bankruptcy of many small businesses. These merchants, small shopkeepers, intellectuals and other bring into the ranks of the working class their vacillating outlook and aspirations of bourgeois success. They become very susceptible to appeals from the capitalists, small bribes and incentives, and other factors which encourage them to adopt the outlook of the capitalists while residing within the ranks of the workers. Another element of this problem was the tendency for large numbers of students from petty bourgeois backgrounds during the 1960’s and 1970’s to take Jobs in factories to “organize” workers. Because of their advanced education and other traits, many of these people Joined Marxist organizations and other formations which claimed revolutionary objectives.

A second element has been the tactics of the bourgeoisie itself, which has promoted reforms and concessions as a means of sidetracking revolutionary struggle for immediate gains. In the U.S., starting with the New Deal, monopoly capitalism employed a very sophisticated program of reforms and concessions which promoted class collaboration among the upper sections of the working class and the bourgeoisification of workers in general. The long periods of relative prosperity of the U.S. economy after World War II likewise provided an atmosphere which promoted concilliation and collaboration.

Third, and most decisive, has been the use of the superprofits of U.S. imperialism to bribe the upper stratum of the working class, or the labor aristocracy. The labor aristocracy is the social and economic base for revisionism and opportunism. Its existence reflects the objective link between imperialism and these two plagues.

Lenin considered the question of the labor aristocracy an essential one. He pointed out that the bribe which occurs from the superprofits of imperialism is achieved in “a thousand different ways”: by raising culture in the largest centers, creating educational institutions, creating thousands of soft Jobs for the leaders of co-operative societies, for the trade union leaders and parliamentary leaders. This is done “wherever modern, civilized, capitalist relations exist.” Here Lenin was referring to England. But the extent of the superprofits and the character of the bribery achieved by U.S. imperialism has far surpassed anything ever previously achieved by capital. In the U.S., the influence of the labor aristocracy and therefore the social base for opportunism and revisionism, is greater than in any country in the world.

Considering these factors, we must concur with Lenin when he pointed out that the “culture of the advanced countries has been, and still is, the result of their being able to live at the expense of a thousand million oppressed people.” (LCW 31:230) We must conclude that an entire culture has emerged in the U.S. which has deeply affected the consciousness and independent organization of the working class. While major differences exist in the consciousness and organization of different strata of the working class, from the highest to the lowest, the fact remains that the U.S. proletariat is shackled with reformist, opportunist, and revisionist chains. Both the economic base and the socio-political superstructure of society in the U.S. have worked intensely since WW II to intensify the disunity within the proletariat, mislead its spontaneous struggle into strictly reformist channels, and dampen its enthusiasm for socialism.

Moreover, revisionist leaders such as Earl Browder have played an important role. It is no accident that when Browder was in prison, Roosevelt chose to commute his sentence. Browder was more helpful to U.S. imperialism out of Jail than in. But what is fundamental to understand is that Browderism was a consequence of powerful social and material factors of the class struggle in the U.S., and these factors will exist as long as capitalism exists and remain powerful as long as the U.S. remains the center of world capitalism. Therefore it is important for us to consider the main expressions of revisionism and opportunism which exist in the world today.

Watchdogs For U.S. Imperialism Today

The history of the Left in the U.S. since the formation of the old Socialist Party in 1901 has been one of vacillation, divisiveness, weak ideological foundations and wavering tactics. Because formations such as the CPUSA, SWP and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) thrive in such a climate, the Marxist-Leninists in the U.S. have continually faced an uphill battle of an intense, protracted nature against reformism, opportunism, and revisionism. The poison of opportunism and revisionism in the U.S. explains why the largest, most industrial proletariat in the world has failed to unify its ranks and emerge as a class for itself.

Various pseudo-Marxist theories on the changed nature of the working class in the U.S., the possibility of the peaceful transition to socialism, the bribery of the entire working class and other counterrevolutionary ideas have greatly retarded the development of Marxism-Leninism in the U.S. Moreover, three main currents of opportunism and revisionism have secured a significant position in the workers’ movement: Soviet revisionism, social democracy, and Trotskyism have become the main watchdogs for U.S. imperialism. To illustrate this point, we will point out their basic view of the class struggle, and how this reflects itself in their strategy and tactics in the trade unions. Finally, we will speak of their view of socialism.

Soviet Revisionism and the CPUSA

The apparatus of Soviet revisionism within the U.S. workers’ movement today is extensive, varied, and growing. Led by the official mouthpiece for Moscow, the CPUSA, parties and groups such as the Communist Labor Party (CLP), Communist Workers’ Party (CWP), the Guardian, Line of March, and others – who may differ on particular points with Moscow – objectively represent the ideological and political line of Soviet revisionism. Among the, the CPUSA is the major force in the workers’ movement and the main enemy of Marxism-Leninism.

Since the 1930’s, the CPUSA has set out to revise the fundamental tenants of Marxism-Leninism on the class struggle. For the CPUSA, the proletariat is no longer the only revolutionary class. Instead, it has become merely a “decisive force for social progress? (New Program, p. 13). The bourgeoisie, on the other hand, is to be seen as composed of two wings, the monopoly end non-monopoly sectors. On this basis they urge a “non-monopoly coalition” in which the working class, its allies and a section of finance capital conduct a struggle against the monopoly section of finance capital. Thus the irreconcilable contradiction between labor and capital is obliterated, and the door is opened for the peaceful transition to socialism. On this basis it seeks to construct a “people’s party” which is neither anti-imperialist nor anti-fascist, but merely anti-monopoly. The aim of the CPUSA then emerges as competing for bourgeois political power through a third party, leaving the bourgeois state intact.

The trade union policy of the CPUSA follows directly from its line of class collaboration. It seeks to build a “left center coalition”, an alliance between the center and the left to move the trade unions to the left. But recently, they have even offered to include the right wing sections of the trade unions, given the “success of Solidarity Day” and the “new conditions” it has created. They embrace the view that the trade unions are neutral in the class struggle and therefore can be transformed into democratic organizations for the workers under state monopoly capitalism. They hope to make the trade unions the foundation for the new peoples’ party.

This means that in the spontaneous struggle of the workers, the CPUSA always seeks to channel this struggle into reformist corners, relying upon the reactionary trade union leaders. They therefore seek to undermine the development of militant, rank and file activity which relies upon direct action. They furiously oppose the development of any revolutionary trade union opposition. In the June, 1982, issue of Political Affairs, Gus Hall even requests that rank-and-file workers abandon any struggle as opposition to the reformist trade union leaders and merge with the mainstream. He states, “Wherever possible the rank and file groups should work as a force within the mainstream majority and less as an anti-establishment minority.”

Given the social basis for revisionism, the influence of the CPUSA in the trade union movement is significant. They control unions such as the United Electrical Workers and the Leather and Fur Workers, and have major influence in some districts of other unions, such as District 31 of the Steelworkers. From this base they seek to mislead the struggle of militant workers in all unions and the unorganized, the fight of women workers and minorities for equality, and to divert the unions from opposing the imperialist activity of both superpowers.

Finally, it is clear that the CPUSA plays a major role in service of U.S. imperialism by promoting the Soviet Union as the leader of the “socialist camp”. The pseudo-socialism of the U.S.S.R. can be seen by many progressive workers. And if the U.S.S.R. is an example of socialism, then it is not surprising that many workers remain cool to the prospects for socialism in the U.S. Its support for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the deployment of Soviet nuclear bombs targetting the American peoples offers a ready-made target for anti-communism. In this way it is obvious that the stand of Soviet revisionism toward the class struggle, the workers movement in the U.S. and the goal of socialist society works actively to thwart the revolutionary consciousness and organization of the working class. Based on the CPUSA’s 60-year organizational history plus massive material and ideological aid from the Soviet Union, Cuba, and elsewhere, Soviet revisionism in general and the CPUSA in particular represents the most grave danger to the working class and the paramount enemy of Marxism-Leninism in the U.S.

At the same time there has emerged in recent years of flock of “left” critics of the Soviet Union and CPUSA, who use this “critical approach” to mask their service to Moscow. Such groups as the CLP, CWP, Line of March, the Guardian and others aim to retain in the Soviet web many elements who are unhappy with the most onerous examples of Soviet social-imperialism or the class collaboration of the CPUSA. The flowering of such caricatures of the CPUSA plays an important role for Soviet revisionism, combatting the growing recognition of the imperialist character of the Soviet Union and directing activity directly against the Marxist-Leninists in the U.S. The conversion of new forces to the Soviet camp in the recent period represents not merely a waivering or vacillation of petty bourgeois elements but the active intervention of the KGB and other Soviet agencies in the democratic movement in the U.S.

Social Democracy and the Democratic Socialists of America

Social democracy in the U.S., as elsewhere, is the direct inheritor of the counter-revolutionary tradition of the Second International, prior to World War I. Its view of the class struggle has centered on its conviction of the harmony of interests of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and the possibility to reform the existing state apparatus and peacefully transform it into an instrument of social progress. In essence, social democracy is a trend within the workers movement that seeks social reforms only, and rejects the necessity for the revolutionary seizure of state power by the working class and the creation of a new, proletarian state.

Since the middle of the 1950’s, social democracy has increasingly merged in font and content with the existing bourgeois political parties, elaborating its so-called “democratic socialism”. In this sense, they have come to play an increasingly important role in the U.S., to try to capture those who left the Democratic Party and return them to a strictly bourgeois fold.

The recent merger of the New American Movement and the old Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee resulted in the Democratic Socialists of America, led by the long-time anti-communist, Michael Harrington. Around its perimeter exist a variety of organizations and institutions including In These Times, Socialist Review, The Nation, and The Progressive. Recently there has been a conversion of many prominent liberals to social democracy, such as Robert Heilbroner, John Kenneth Gailbraith, Robert Lekachman, and Walter Dean Burnhmam.

The tactics of this opportunist current is well-illustrated by their role in the anti-plant closing movement in California. Here they advocate that workers should buy the factories they have been put out of! To do this, workers should become capitalists themselves. The foundation of this absurd theory is the notion of “economic democracy”, which argues that the capitalists should and would share the wealth in the U.S. This reformist policy is at the heart of the “peoples government” that has been elected in Santa Monica, California. Here a few corporations have installed child care centers in exchange for doing business. This, the social democrats proclaim, is “economic democracy”!

The view promoted of socialist society is the complete negation of scientific socialism. It is a “democratic socialism” based upon a protracted form of capitalism, rooted in its projected “democratization” of the economy. Social democracy in the U.S., as elsewhere, represents the attempt by the labor aristocracy and petty bourgeoisie to exercise their domination over the working class as a whole. Of all the existing opportunist or revisionist currents, the social democrats represent the true agents of the bourgeoisie in the workers’ movement. Their appeal to bourgeois “democracy” and their avid anti-communist stance, buttressed by their international organization through the Socialist International, make them a major force in the workers’ movement to contend with. Even so, as such “socialists” come to power in France or Greece and fail, still greater evidence is presented that in reality, they are nothing but bourgeois political parties with no intention of opposing imperialism.


Trotskyism emerged as a major opportunist trend with the expulsion of Leon Trotsky from the Soviet Party in 1929 after 26 years of internal struggle within the Party. In the U.S., James Cannon, a follower of Trotsky, was expelled from the CPUSA in 1928. After a decade of splits and factions – characteristic of Trotskyism – the SWP was formed in 1937. Later splits led to the formation of the International Socialists and the Workers World Party, in addition to these, there are the Progressive Labor Party (PLP), the Journal Against the Current, and ultra-inflammatory groups such as the Sparticist League and the Revolutionary Socialist League.

The Trotskyite view of the class struggle stems from the fact that Trotskyism is in essence a variety of petty bourgeois ideology within the workers’ movement. It always reflects the vacillating, splitting and obstructionist nature of the petty bourgeoisie as a class. Its view of the class struggle is to reject the necessity for alliances by the working class with other oppressed strata, and to focus on those sections of the working class most aligned with the petty bourgeoisie as the only genuine revolutionary elements of the struggle. Thus the concept of the proletariat as the only consistently revolutionary class is rejected, and with this the leadership of the proletariat in the struggle against capital. At the same time the Trotskyites maintain that progressive aspects of capitalism still exist, and therefore, the capitalist state plays a neutral role in the class struggle. A revolution, they claim, could arrive as a result of various classes and various political parties capturing political power through parliamentary means.

It is therefore not surprising that the Trotskyite trend places relatively little emphasis on work in the trade unions. Where they do, such as the IS-controlled Labor Notes, they view the trade unions as merely platforms for agitation and opportunities for reform. In this work, as with the revisionists, they aim to thwart the militant direct action of the rank and file and channel all discontent into reformism.

Their view of socialism historically has rejected the construction of socialism in a single country, and instead called for a “permanent revolution”. For this reason they have always opposed socialism where it existed, such as in the Soviet Union when Lenin and Stalin were alive, and now, in Albania. Moreover, because they always stand in opposition to national liberation movements, they rejected support for the Peoples Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam. Instead of supporting the representative political leadership of a struggle, they often – as in El Salvador – merely select a military faction for their support.

Trotskyism received major impetus with the rise of modern revisionism, and has been organised into the Fourth International. Also with a long organizational history and major material and ideological support internationally, Trotskyism plays an important role in definite sections of the progressive movement, and increasingly in the trade unions.

“Ultra-Left” Formations

In addition to the three major tendencies outlined above, a variety of “ultra-left” revisionist currents have arisen to play a new, important role for U.S. imperialism. They find their origins in the “New Left” of the 1960’s and 1970’s, and proclaim their arrival as a result of the struggle against Khruschevite revisionism or Maoism. This new generation of imperialist watchdogs are not aimed at the actual disorganization of the workers, as are the CPUSA, DSA, or some Trotskyite groups. Rather, their main objective is to block the development of a successful Marxist-Leninist party in the U.S., and to weaken and subvert the growing friendship movement between the progressive people of the U.S. and Albania.

One wing of this movement – which has rapidly disintegrated as an organized political force in the last decade – is Maoism. The Communist Party/Marxist-Leninist (CP/ML), Workers Congress, and Revolutionary Headquarters have all gone out of business. Maoism’s remnants include the League for Revolutionary Struggle/ML (LRS/ML), the most recent recipient of Peking’s favor. More important is the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). Their “ultra-left” antics – the red flags, Mao caps, offensive slogans on highways, etc. – all fuel the fires of anti-communism. Furthermore, with vast financial resources, they have conducted an extensive theoretical campaign of slander against Marxism-Leninism and the Party of Labor of Albania in particular. Their defense of Maoism has also had considerable influence among national minorities, encouraging narrow nationalism and “Third World-ism”.

On the other hand, there is an eclectic, semi-Maoist, semi-Trotskyite tendency which arose in the late 1960’s with the American Communist Movement (1969-1973), the Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists (COUSML) (1973-1980), The Marxist-Leninist Party (MLP) (1980) and the newly-formed U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization (USMLO) (1982), a split from COUSML-MLP. They have been joined by the Revolutionary Political Organization (RPO/ML), which was a faction led by provacateurs purged from our Party in 1979.

For some time the main mission of the COUSML and then the MLP was to prevent the formation of a Marxist-Leninist party in the U.S. through a variety of wrecking and splitting activities domestically and internationally. After these attempts were defeated, new formations arose, such as the RPO/ML and the USMLO to take their place, seeking new tactics and avenues of attack against Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. (See the statement of the CPUSA/ML on the 5th International Anti-Fascist, Anti-Imperialist Youth Camp for a description of the activities of the USMLO in UNITE!, July, 1982).

The growing kinship between the USMLO and the RPO/ML today represents yet a new attempt to block the growth and development of the CPUSA/ML by sowing further confusion about the existence of a Marxist-Leninist party in the U.S. and working to split the friendship movement for Albania and the Committee to Form a U.S.-Albania Friendship Association.

Both of these organizations have a similar ideological, political, and organizational anatomy. Ideologically they constitute an eclectic mix of Maoism and Trotskyism, rooted in subjective idealism and dogmatism. Politically they believe fascism exists in the U.S. They substitute the organization and mobilization of the proletariat for their own “party formation”, isolating themselves from the working class and rejecting the Marxist-Leninist tactics of direct action combined with propaganda. For them, the struggle for socialism is everything, the fight for democracy is nothing. Organizationally they reject the necessity to combine the illegal party with legal work, and to fully use existing bourgeois democratic rights.

These two groups, along with the MLP, promote confusion on the actual Marxist-Leninist movement in the world, presenting themselves as fraternal organizations with Marxist-Leninist parties who completely reject them as revisionists.

Such ultra-left formations, and those yet waiting to be born in the caverns of the CIA and FBI, cannot be belittled. Unlike their big brothers, the major currents in the opportunist and revisionist movement, their main aim is to prevent the development of the CPUSA/ML in the U.S. – and in this way, play a very important complimentary role to the counterrevolutionary activity of the CPUSA, DSA, and SWP.

How the CPUSA/ML Combats Opportunism and Revisionism

The CPUSA/ML, together with other Marxist-Leninist parties formed around the world in the last two decades, came into existence because of the class betrayal of Khruschevite revisionism and Maoism. Its origin, history and development depends upon the struggle to liquidate the influence of opportunism and revisionism in the workers’ movement and upon the Party, to unify the proletariat on a revolutionary basis, lead it in the successful overthrow of the old imperialist order, seize political power, and carry forward the successful construction of socialism. When this occurs, it will greatly alter the entire course of history.

Contrary to the cynicism of petty bourgeois Marxists, scientific socialism and genuine socialist society are not only possible, but inevitable. A party which adheres to the doctrine of scientific socialism and applies it in a revolutionary manner to the concrete conditions of its own country, can both prevent the destruction of the party and successfully construct socialism. This has been vividly demonstrated by the Party of Labor of Albania and the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania. Their experience, and the experience of the proletariat worldwide, demonstrate that the struggle between Marxism-Leninism and opportunism and revisionism is a life and death battle. There can be no bargaining of principles or concessions in theory. There can be no possibility of mutual coexistance, no conciliation toward our class enemies.

The struggle against bourgeois influences in the workers’ movement and against the Party, fighting in hostile conditions under capitalism, is constant and protracted. There is no rest in this struggle. For the Marxist-Leninist party, these are questions of principle, strategic questions which guide the entire revolution.

But the history of the proletariat in the U.S. has demonstrated that this stand has not triumphed. The liquidation of the CPUSA in 19hh and the proliferation of opportunism and revisionism demonstrates that the proletariat of the U.S. has yet to settle accounts with Browderism and other counter-revolutionary currents. The CPUSA/ML and its predecessors have, over four decades, gained valuable experience in countless clashes against opportunism and revisionism and can offer some important conclusions.

First, a definite relationship between the struggle against monopoly capitalism and the struggle against opportunism and revisionism must be established. The correct dialectic is fundamental. The victory over revisionism and opportunism depends upon the ability of the Party to properly educate, mobilize, organize and lead the workers against capital. There is no such thing as the “purity of Marxism-Leninism” separate from the actual organization and mobilization of the workers against capital. Yet we recognize that the successful struggle against imperialism requires constant combat against every alien ideological influence among workers. In the U.S., in particular, this means the constant effort to expose and liquidate the CPUSA, DSA, SWP and related currents. Neither the rightist approach which neglects the struggle against opportunism and revisionism, nor the leftist approach which concentrates its attention mainly on revisionism and opportunism can be tolerated.

Second, it is necessary to adequately prepare the Party, its friends and supporters, and the masses to successfully wage this battle. This means the regular attention to both theoretical and practical training and education. Furthermore, this knowledge must be tested in the crucible of class struggle. It must be based on a constant quest to understand the main contours of this history at home and abroad. That is why it is particularly important to study the history of the CPUSA. This is a struggle which must be conducted inside and outside of the Party, with equal determination. In reality, the triumph over opportunism and revisionism is a victory which the proletariat must achieve through its own experience, with revolutionary leadership by the Party.

Toward this end the Party must step up its efforts at cadre education, party schools for working people, and other ideological, theoretical and political activities which prepare the Party and the masses to combat the watchdogs of U.S. imperialism.

Third, the main content of the struggle against opportunism and revisionism must be seen as the necessity to root the party among the proletarians, what Lenin referred to as going down “lower and deeper”. (LCW 23:120). The actual meaning of this lesson is not easily grasped in the U.S.

In discussing this problem, Engels drew a distinction between the privileged minority of workers, and the lowest masses, or the “real majority”. This is not the same thing as those which are today most oppressed, or the poorest section of the workers. The real majority of the working class must be the center of the work of the Party.

Two points are essential here. First is that this must be understood to mean those workers engaged in manufacturing primarily. Second, while this real majority is definitely composed of workers of all nationalities and races, the real vital center of this majority, that section which more than any other determines the mood, direction, and character of the motion of the proletariat in the U.S., is the white manufacturing worker.

Therefore the CPUSA/ML firmly believes that the main content of the struggle against opportunism and revisionism in the U.S. centers directly on our policy of industrial concentration and the struggle to insure the proletarian character of our Party.

Fourth, while insuring the stable strategic orientation of the Party, great attention must be paid to the elaboration and implementation of fighting tactics, tactics which insure that the Party actually mobilises and organizes the workers in sharp class conflicts. These tactics must recognize that the path to socialist revolution in the U.S. is the struggle to maintain the existing, limited democratic rights, and to gain greater democracy. Moreover, the tactics of revisionism and opportunism must be countered with Marxist-Leninist tactics. This is very evident in the movements against plant closings and concessions, where our ability to successfully combat the social democrats and modern revisionists depends in large measure upon the kind of tactics presented to the workers to counter the proposals to buy the factories.

Fifth, we believe that the success of the struggle against opportunism and revisionism in several countries requires the international unity and organization of the proletariat. It is well known that the Soviet revisionists, social democrats, Trotskyites, and even the Maoist forces tied to the RCP, have their international forms of organization and Journals. These currents do not hesitate to take advantage of this international organization in their combat against Marxism-Leninism. Yet the Marxist-Leninist parties today have n not achieved the forms of unity required for united action, let alone assistance to particular parties. The absence of an international forum for the Marxist-Leninist parties today increases the tendency on the part of some parties to act unilaterally on questions of great importance to the entire movement. Precisely what steps should be taken and how to proceed on this matter is a very complicated question. Nevertheless, far fewer complications will exist if an international forum is established, than if the various Marxist-Leninist parties pursue solutions to international problems on their own.

Unity of Action With the Revisionists?

Finally, there is one other important question which frequently arises. Recognizing the various parties and groups which exist, militant workers often ask the CPUSA/ML why it cannot unite with these organizations. This is an important question of Marxist-Leninist strategy and tactics which must be considered both on the principles of scientific socialism and the concrete conditions in particular countries, which differ greatly.

The strategic view of the CPUSA/ML starts from the conviction that whatever maneuver they may attempt, the “opportunist trend can neither disappear nor ’return’ to the revolutionary proletariat.” There exists no possibility of any strategic alliance between the Marxist-Leninist party and opportunist or revisionist parties. The leaders of such parties are traitors to the world proletariat and scientific socialism. Therefore we cannot consider any deals or agreements between our Party and the leaders of opportunist parties or groups. These are strategic questions. We reject the proposal for unity of action from above, or any united front from above.

If the strategic viewpoint of the CPUSA/ML is the liquidation of opportunist and revisionist groups and parties, what is the pivot of our tactics? How do we ensure that our tactics serve our strategic aims?

The principle aim of our tactics in this struggle is to win the workers away from the influence of the opportunists and revisionists. Sometimes this may include some of the ranks of these organizations –but mainly we aim at those under the influence of opportunism and revisionism. In such situations, which are quite frequent in the U.S., the Party operates so as to ensure its independent ideological and political positions and its ability to criticise and combat opportunism and revisionism. This is mainly achieved when the Party Joins actively in the various progressive coalitions and fronts in accord with the interests of the proletariat and its allies. Such are the tactics of the united front from below, which is a question of tactics, not a strategic alliance.

We reject both the policy which would sacrifice the ideological and political position of Marxism-Leninism for unprincipled alliance, and the “ultra-left” policy of groups such as the Trotskyites, MLP, USMLO, RPO/ML and others which rejects the united front from below as a question of principle.

The line of the CPUSA/ML is based both upon resolute Marxist-Leninist principle and a concrete appreciation of the real conditions of the class struggle in the U.S. It takes into consideration the actual status of the opportunist and revisionist parties and groups as they serve U.S. imperialism, and calculates our tactics in accord with this actual balance of class forces. Always our concern is to work aggressively and boldly, based upon the tested principles of scientific socialism, to alter the balance of class forces in actual class conflicts. We view this question of strategy and tactics in a revolutionary manner, devoid of either rightist or leftist tendencies.

Conclusion: Marxism-Leninism Will Triumph In the Heartland of World Reaction

The historic betrayal by the CPUSA in the late 1930’s opened the door for modern revisionism, social democracy, Maoism, Trotskyism and countless “ultra left” circles in the U.S. For decades the class conscious workers and Marxist-Leninists of the U.S. have fought to settle accounts with this legacy and establish the foundation for a nation-wide political party of the proletariat, a party fully prepared and committed to fulfill its world historic mission and lead the U.S. proletariat to victory over the most barbaric, powerful Imperialist country in the history of the world.

The revolutionary struggle of the CPUSA/ML against revisionism and opportunism is important insurance that the revolution In the U.S. will not again be sidetracked by class collaboration. But experience teaches us well, that this is a struggle which requires constant attention and direction, and one in which the CPUSA/ML is only beginning to fulfill its obligation to the U.S. proletariat.

Today, many militant workers recognise the existing balance of class forces and wonder about the prospects for the CPUSA/ML to fulfill its proclaimed objectives and establish socialism in the U.S. That this situation exists after four decades of betrayal should come as no surprise. In the U.S. today, the revisionists and opportunists appear relatively entrenched compared to the Marxists-Leninists. Viewed from the surface only, this is not surprising. But when viewed from the standpoint of scientific socialism, it is evident that a festering poison exists within their ranks which is certain to engulf them. It is they who have built their house on a foundation of sand, and we, the Marxist-Leninists, who are securing a solid foundation.

Though Albania is the only socialist country in the world today, we work to change this. Though the U.S. is today the bulwark of world imperialism and reaction, the greatest hangman of the 20th century, this too will end one day. Each step taken for the defeat and destruction of revisionism and opportunism in the U.S. is a step toward the end of world imperialism. When properly armed and organised, the proletariat of the U.S. will sweep away the shackles of revisionism and opportunism, strike a decisive blow against monopoly capitalism, and help to usher in a new world.