Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Marxist-Leninist Party

’CPML’ on the Verge of Dissolution

First Published:The Workers’ Advocate Vol. 11, No. 3, March 10, 1981.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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As we go to press, the March 1981 issue of the “CPML’s” newspaper, The Call, has just arrived. This paper provides further striking evidence of the acute crisis which has gripped this pro-Chinese revisionist sect. It shows that the “CPML” is on the verge of dissolution.

This is yet another sign that Maoism is in ruins. Heading down the road towards dissolution is the inevitable logic of the blatant liquidationism that has become the hallmark of neo-revisionism today. The “CPML” is preparing to join a growing list of Maoist groups worldwide which are outright dissolving themselves. The situation with respect to the “CPML” completely confirms the correctness of the call of the Marxist-Leninist Party that the struggle against liquidationism is on the order of the day.

The Total Bankruptcy and Crisis of the “CPML”

In its March 1981 issue, The Call reports further on the crisis which has afflicted the “CPML” over the last several years. For over a year now they have been moaning and groaning about their pitiful condition. They have been shedding tears about how they have been losing members, how the circulation of their paper has dropped astronomically, how they have had to disband their youth and other “mass organizations,” and so forth. Now The Call has come forward to openly acknowledge that in fact their sect has basically fallen apart and that their leadership including their Chairman, Klonsky, has altogether collapsed!

They write: “A serious situation developed in the Standing Committee, the national body charged with giving leadership on a day-to-day basis.... Unable to work together, the Standing Committee became incapable of...maintaining the organization. Exactly why this happened still needs to be summed up. Three members of that body have now left the CPML. The chairman resigned his position.”

They further confess, thus completing the picture: “At the same time, organizationally things had begun to disintegrate in many ways.” (The Call, “CPML holds special meeting to rebuild organization,” March 1981, p. 2)

This is in effect a confession of the present-day near-dissolution of the “CPML.” Disintegration overall, collapse of the leadership at the top – such is the magnitude of the crisis of this miserable “three worldist” sect.

The Call reports that in this situation, some unknown heroes have stepped in to revive the corpse. They report: “Because of this, some leading members took the initiative to call for an Emergency Delegates Conference, which took place at the end of January. This conference was a step toward rebuilding organization, an organization that serves its membership and reflects their experience.... Decisions of the conference included election of an interim political committee (IPC) to organize the debate and other preparations for the Congress. This body will replace the former Central Committee.” (Ibid.)

Thus things have reached the point where the “CPML’s” Central Committee has been shunted aside. Despite the promises held out by the new leadership everything is quite clearly in a shambles. This new leadership claims that it seeks to rescue the “CPML” from its miserably situation. This is quite a tall order indeed. It is a task on the order of bailing out a ship which has already sunk. No matter what words it may mouth, everything in the March 1981 issue of The Call confirms that the “CPML” is headed down the inclined plane of liquidationism.

The “CPML” Is Mired in Renegacy, Liquidationism and Merger With Social-Democracy

For some time The Call has been printing articles “summing up” the work of the “CPML” over the last decade. It has run a continuing crusade against “ultra-leftism.” In their February 1981 issue, they opened up an even wider “discussion” on this question with an extreme right-wing anti-communist renegade article by Jim Hamilton. Hamilton put forward the most renegade and liquidationist views on every single question facing the revolutionary movement. He sneered at Marxism, mocked at the idea of revolutionary struggle and revolution and denounced the very concept of a party. Now in their March issue, The Call is continuing the “discussion.” Their report on the “special meeting” of the “CPML” confirms that Hamilton’s views are in fact characteristic of the ideas being thrown about in the current discussion in the “CPML.”

The various articles in the pages of The Call provide a vivid exposure of how the “CPML” is mired in renegacy, liquidationism and merger with social-democracy. The issues raised regarding the current “discussion” in these circles confirm the importance of the analysis of our Party on how it is these precise questions which have come to the fore in the struggle against revisionism today.

Under the banner of struggle against “ultra-leftism” and “dogmatism” the “CPML” is openly abandoning the pretense of adhering to Marxism. Hence they write with regard to their “summing up” campaign against “ultra-leftism” that their members “wanted to sum up where those errors came from – to what extent did they represent dogmatism in applying our guiding principles, and to what extent were they caused by the principles themselves? Where the latter was true, were we wrong in calling those principles Marxism-Leninism or wasMarxism-Leninism wrong on certain points?” (Ibid., col. 1, emphasis added)

In renouncing Marxism, the “CPML” especially curses at the Marxist-Leninist conception of the vanguard party. This is at the very heart of their present-day liquidationism. Hence they write: “For example, many CPML members feel our mistakes of sectarianism flowed from our conception of ourselves as the vanguard party. But there is disagreement over whether the whole concept of vanguard party is invalid, or whether it was misapplied.” (Ibid., col. 1-2, emphasis as in the original)

They reveal that they are in fact in the process of building another social-democratic federation. So while discussing the role of their “nationality commissions” they give up even the idea of a unified and centralized organization. They flagellate themselves for the“ultra-left” error of seeing these commissions only as “...’advisory’ (not policy-making) bodies.” They proclaim that the “CPML” is seriously considering the “calls for organizational autonomy” for their national minority members. In other words, the “CPML” is not just giving up the idea of a centralized organization in general, but they are even mocking at the idea of a single unified organization of communists of all nationalities in favor of a social-democratic federation with factions segregated according to nationality! Interestingly enough, elsewhere in this issue of The Call they openly advocate splitting the student movement according to nationality as well and sneer at building unity of the students of various nationalities as “rainbow coalitions.”

The Debate Among the Various Factions in the “CPML” Is a Debate Among the Liquidators

The “CPML” has launched a “debate” within its ranks for some time, and now it has reached the pages of The Call. But this debate which has certain actors playing the “right” and others playing the “left” is not a debate between revolutionaries and opportunists. It is not a debate between Marxists and opportunists, but a squabble among different liquidationist factions. The articles in The Call confirm that all the factions in the debate have the common features of liquidationism and renegacy. The only difference is that on the one hand, there are those who seek to merge with social-democracy and adopt all the accompanying trappings while on the other side, stand those who seek to maintain a “Marxist” pretense while engaging in exactly the same sordid practices.

Let us examine, for instance, the views of one of the “militants” who have written into The Call on Jim Hamilton’s disgusting “Message to the Movement.” There is Susan K., who claims to disagree with Hamilton’s cruder attacks on revolution and socialism. She’s even willing to huff and puff that “I believe that revolution in the U.S. will be bloody. Hard fought. Violent....” But then she turns right around and proclaims, “In any case, we’re not even in a pre-revolutionary situation and the actual manner in which revolutionary crisis will arise here can’t be predicted.” So, in the meantime, “We should discard all our old student- movement notions like contempt for electoral politics. Work inside all the political parties, not just those on the left.” (The Call, March 1981, p. 4, 11) Thus Susan K. agrees with Hamilton down the line that for the present we must throw out the idea of revolutionary work and struggle, we must go for electoral cretinism, etc. In fact she advocates not just merger with social-democracy and the Democrats, but seeks to work with all the parties, presumably including the Republicans, Libertarians and who knows. The only difference with Hamilton is that Susan K. demands that the old Klonskyite cover must not be abandoned, i.e., the combination of the most extreme rightism with the pretense of standing for revolution tomorrow, in the distant, very distant future.

Forward in the Struggle Against Renegacy and Liquidationism

The crisis and near-dissolution of the “CPML” is a sign that Maoism is in ruins. It shows that neo-revisionism has completely failed to meet the test of the revolutionary movement. The collapse of the “CPML” is a significant event, for this rotten sect has been the official standard-bearer of Chinese revisionism in the U.S. for years. It received the support and open endorsement of the ruling Deng/Hua clique in China. It even proclaimed itself as the “Marxist-Leninist party” in the U.S. in 1977. Only three years have gone by and it is on the verge of dissolution. This is testimony to the allround bankruptcy of Chinese revisionism.

The collapse and crisis of the “CPML” is also the victory of the resolute struggle waged by the revolutionary Marxist-Leninists against social-chauvinism and neo-revisionism. But the collapse of the “CPML” is not a time for complacency. The present-day ravings of the “CPML,” its attempts to promote liquidationist and renegade ideas into the revolutionary movement are treacherous deeds. They are aimed at continuing in new ways the war on Marxism-Leninism, the war on the party concept and against the revolution and socialism. They are aimed at disorienting the activists coming up in the revolutionary movement. The struggle against revisionism remains a life and death question for the revolution.