Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Jim Jacobs

“The OCIC’s White Chauvinism Campaign and its Lessons for U.S. Marxist-Leninists”

PART III: The Future of the OCIC

The path ahead for the OCIC appears grim. Not only have most of the experienced cadre left the local groups, but the newer people are held back in development through guilt, and the endless criticism of racism. The appearance of another working class campaign which will follow the white chauvinism campaign and will only reduce ranks even further. Finally, the campaign is also having an effect upon the mass work of Trend individuals and groups. The process is so time consuming, so undermining of confidence, that little other political work is being done in any cohesive fashion. The highly touted fractions – organized last Spring and Summer – appear paralyzed.

Perhaps most revealing is the fact that the struggle against racism had initiated little changes in the class or race composition of the local OCIC. No significant black Marxist-Leninist groups or individuals have been won to the process. Perhaps a handful of black activists may he recruited but they probably will be a small number. Some who were recruited are already leaving (which the OCIC of course takes to indicate how rampart racism is in the struggle.) There appears to be three possible paths open: a.) the development of the OCIC into a smaller group of loyalists who might in the near future declare themselves a party and remain an isolated grouplet in the Marxist-Leninist spectrum; b.) the process could disintegrate, as the depoliticalization of cadre continues, and the stress of and more intense sessions becomes too much for individuals to bear; or c.) with a greater emphasis upon race and class guilt tripping, coupled with the intensification of racism in America, we could see the emergence of a terrorist sect who will avenge the racism of America. This will be the logical outcome of the “fewer but better line.” This last alternative is less likely because, fortunately at this point (unlike the Weather people), the OCIC possesses no consolidated position on the political line around racism.

Whatever, the final fate of the OCIC is hard to predict. But what is clear is that a state of siege mentality has developed. In the December 1980 issue of the Organizer, Clay Newlin summarizes the results of the white chauvinism campaign thus far:

The campaign against white and petty bourgeois chauvinism has taken up this task. It is indeed only in its initial and beginning stages. In the short run it is clear that the ranks of the opposition will continue to grow and that their defense of white chauvinism will become ever more bold. It is also likely that there will continue to be doubts and vacillation within, and even defection from, the ranks of those pushing forward the campaign.

Instead of losing heart as a result of these developments and being swept away by them, they should be seen as the inevitable result of a movement compromised by both its history of toleration of white and petty-bourgeois chauvinism and its class composition. Our recognition of the extent of these weaknesses should only cause us to become even more determined to overcome them.

Our only hope is that defections continue, and the rest of us provide personal and political support for the causalities that will emerge. Moreover, our task is now for us to define what our new role should be.