Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

The ORGANIZER Responds

First Published: The Organizer, Vol. 7, No. 8, August 1981.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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J.B. and C.B. raise a number of points. First, while we agree the quality of debate in relation to the capaign in the Organizer leaves much to be desired, we disagree that we have failed to offer the opposition a hearing in the paper. Since the beginning of the campaign we have printed twice as many letters critical of our views than letters which have supported them. Indeed every letter that we have received that raised new or substantive criticisms has been printed. We also printed an article, at our own initiative by the rectification forces critiquing the campaign. It remains our policy to publish articles critical of the perspective of the PWOC on the campaign or any other important question. The plain fact is that we have not received a single article for publication from any opposition forces, inside or outside the OCIC, even though on a number of occasions we have made it clear we would welcome such an article in order to advance the struggle. Thus unless the comrades believe we should write the opposition’s articles for them, it seems to us the responsibility for the paucity of such articles in the Organizer rests with the opposition and not ourselves.

Secondly we do not believe the Organizer has made any secret of the losses in membership suffered by the OCIC, the PWOC, or other “fusionist” forces. In Just the last issue we discussed our problems in meeting our production schedule as a “result of resignations from the PWOC” and characterized these resignations as “one aspect of the split in our movement over the campaign...” No one denies the fact or the extent of these losses. The question is what is their political significance.

Thirdly we have the charge that the PWOC are the “new dogmatists,” degenerating into ultra-leftism and sectarianism. This has become the rallying cry of the opposition. But where is the evidence? Comrades J.B. and C.B. cite a number of things but fail completely to be concrete. Where does our view of the worker’s movement misunderstand objective conditions? How have we overestimated the development of the communist movement? Why is our view that right opportunism has become the main danger incorrect and ultra-left? These questions go begging. Then comrades turn around and critisize us for failing to revaluate our political line. Since this line was developed during the period in which these comrades believe the PWOC was playing a leading role in the struggle against ultra-leftism, we wonder what they think stands in need of rexamination. In our view the fact that the political line of the PWOC has not undergone any major shift gives the lie to the charge of a going over to ultra-leftism. The one area where we have significantly revaluated and elaborated our line is in relation to party building, where we think the absence of a recogntion of the importance of a concerted ideological struggle against white and petty bourgeois chauvinism was the Achille’s Heel of the fusion perspective as we held it in the past.

As for the charge of “sectarian intolerance” we think this also is empty of content. Where have we refused to enter into debate over the perspectives of the campaign? Who has run from this debate? Why did opposition comrades in New England write a lengthy document critisizing the campaign and then fail to show up at a meeting called to discuss it? Why have the leading comrades of the opposition refused to meet and struggle with the leading comrades defending the campaign? While the PWOC continues to see itself as part of both a tendency and a movement much broader than itself and the OCIC, the opposition, sometimes in words and consistently in deeds, has chosen to write us off as a degenerate sect, somewhere between the RCP and the People’s Temple.

The emptiness of the criticism of our alleged ultra-leftism and the hysteria of the opposition in heaping slander on the supporters of the campaign confirm how deeply rooted our movement’s defence of white chauvinism in its ranks realty is. The campaign has touched a raw nerve, exposing the racist conceit and complacency of a movement composed predominantly of white, petty bourgeois intellectuals. This is the reason for all the sound and fury and not some imagined slide into “left” opportunism on the part of the PWOC. Significantly J.B. and C.B., like the opposition generally, fail to even address what should be the main point of debate in relation to the campaign – How do we build principled multi-national unity? That this question is low on the agenda of the opposition, to say the least, is a concrete exposure of where their concerns really lie.

We have not addressed the criticism around the merger with FTP because we will be running a whole article on the issues and events surrounding the merger. Finally we want to acknowledge that while we regret that J.B. and C.B. are cancelling their sustainership and take issue with their reasons, we appreciate that they have put their views forward in writing in at least a beginning way and that they will continue their subscription. We urge them to reply to our response to these views.