Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Rafael, Scott and Norman

Line of March and the Anti-revisionist, Anti-“left” Opportunist Trend


Line of March’s misunderstanding of the class-roots of fascism is part and parcel of their overall weak and vacillating class stand. Their targeting of the struggle against war and racism, rather than the struggle for class consciousness and solidarity, as the “axis around which all mass struggles of this period must revolve” is a further symptom of their confused class stand. Their sloganeering about the so-called “white” ideological consensus demonstrates graphically where this confusion leads. In short, they are unable to target the main blow of the working class movement at the capitalist class, but end up misdirecting our fire into our own ranks. This is done with a certain sophistication and subtlety, but it is the essence of their position nonetheless.

Therefore, it is hardly surprising that we should witness such a spectacle as the recent struggle in MLEP, focusing on the alleged racism, sexism and elitism of three working-class members of MLEP, served up in the traditional sectarian style of the new left and the new communist movement.

Ironically, one of the best summations we have encountered of the process which overwhelmed the Bay Area MLEP this year is laid out in the pamphlet by the Line of March Editorial Board critiquing the OCIC’s “campaign against white chauvinism”. We quote, from pages 28 and 29:

Any ideological campaign without a strong political anchor is headed for trouble – an invitation for unleashing subjectivism and petit bourgeois moralism of all sorts. An ’ideological campaign’ of this nature concentrating on contradictions as volatile and complex as racist dynamics and errors is an invitation to double trouble. Communists who narrow the struggle against racism to an ’ideological struggle’ to root out incorrect attitudes, both conscious and subconscious, are essentially practicing a bourgeois line on racism. The resulting ’encounter’ and emotional catharses and breakdowns are qualitatively no different than the antics of guilt-ridden bourgeois liberals, regardless of whether or not the spectacle is carried out in the name of Marxism-Leninism.

We could not have put it better.

We genuinely wish that there was not so much dirty laundry hanging around needing to be aired. We expect to be told, among other things, that this is all just sour grapes, and merely a “theoretical cover” for our own allegedly racist, sexist, elitist and anti-communist practice in MLEP. This is a judgment which the readers will have to make for themselves. So be it. Politically, however, a far more important task is for the reader to make an objective assessment of the state of the anti-revisionist, anti-“left” opportunist trend, and the present role being played by Line of March.

Originally we had hoped that our summation of the struggle in MLEP night be printed in Line of March, accompanied by whatever comment the Editorial Board deemed appropriate. This was before the proposal for a United Front Against War and Racism had been made public. However, the Editorial Board has nixed this suggestion. Their response was that “it is generally inappropriate to publish such material in the pages of a theoretical journal such as Line of March.” In addition, just to make sure we got the point, the Editorial Board reversed an earlier decision to print a letter from one of the authors critiquing their analysis of the nature of fascism.

We think that the evidence is overwhelming that Line of March has in recent months betrayed a startling weakness in their class stand, and moved towards a dangerously sectarian approach to struggle. We were at first honestly surprised at this, given the quality of the theoretical work on which they have so far staked their reputation. But, as three individuals at least, we have had this flung in our face. This can only have a negative effect on the further development of the anti-revisionist, anti-“left” opportunist trend, unless it is corrected in short order. We earnestly hope that the leaders of the rectification movement will be willing to engage in a little more rectification, and respond to our criticism in a forthright and principled manner.