Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

The Future is Bright
A Response to the Communist League


First Published: The Call, Vol. 2, No. 10, July 1974.
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.


What is the character of the present world situation? This is a basic question which different class forces answer in different ways.

To the ruling classes of imperialists and feudal lords around the world, the situation is terrible. Their centuries of rule over the people are rapidly coming to an end, and Mao Tsetung said, in his famous statement of May 20,1970, “.. .revolution is the main trend in the world today.”

Among the Marxist-Leninist forces within the movement in the U.S. today, there are those who, along with the ruling classes, spread pessimism and defeatism within the ranks of the people. They refuse to admit that the world situation is rapidly changing in a favorable way for the cause of socialism, national liberation and revolution, but instead can see only the dark side of things.

A group of such defeatists are presently forming a block around the so-called “Continuations Committee to Form a Marxist-Leninist Party.” While supposedly opposed to the revisionist Communist Party U.S.A. (CPUSA) with its treacherous history of defeatism, capitulation and betrayal, the leading forces in this “Continuations Committee” are content to merely parrot the same nonsense as the CPUSA, only dressed in a “leftist” cover.

The main caller of this new party-building grouping is the Communist League (CL) who recently published its International Report, called “May Day 1974” (People’s Tribune, May 1974) This is the clearest statement they have made yet exposing their opportunist line and distorted view of the world. The article is a thinly veiled attack on China and Mao Tsetung as well as on the entire worldwide united front against imperialism. It is in fact an apology for imperialism which is today being led by the two biggest imperialist superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

PASSIVE MAY DAY?

The article begins with what is supposed to be an analysis of May Day 1974. But how do they view this May Day, which reflected the rapid growth of the working class forces internationally? (7 million workers marched in Japan while in Mexico one million paraded under the slogan “Transnational corporations are agents of imperialism!” In Europe, Marxist-Leninists led the biggest May Day demonstrations and strikes in many years.) Says the CL, “.. .throughout the world this May Day was the most passive May Day in history. There were hardly any speeches, plenty of May poles and dancing, but very little concerning the leading role of the proletariat.”

The fact that the CL pessimists are blind enough not to have witnessed the millions of people marching under the banners of national liberation and socialism all throughout the Third World, nor to have seen the millions gathered in mass rallies and cultural performances throughout the People’s Republic of China and dozens of other countries, many of which were holding May Day celebrations for the first time under the leadership of Marxist-Leninists-that is one thing. But far more important than the marches and rallies themselves are what they reflect, which is the most acute revolutionary situation in the history of mankind.

This is a situation in which the enemies of the world’s peoples, the two superpowers, are more isolated than ever before, and when the vast majority of the world’s people, especially in the countries of the Third World, are rising in strong opposition to imperialism.

In a profound speech to the Special Session of the UN General Assembly studying the problems of raw materials and development on April 9, Teng Hsiao-ping, Vice-Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, summed up the present situation in the world:

The two superpowers have created their own antithesis. Acting in the way of the big bullying the small, the strong domineering over the weak and the rich oppressing the poor, they have aroused strong resistance among the Third World and the people of the whole world.

How do the leaders of CL view the accurate assessment made by the Chinese comrade? Says, the Tribune article:

Marx liberated mankind’s mind from such subjective and shallow, historical, populist conceptions as the struggle between the rich and the poor, between the big and small, between the advanced and the backward, etc...

What do these dogmatists mean when they call the words of the Chinese comrades, “populist,” “shallow” and “subjective”? They mean in fact that they will not stand on the side of the small and medium sized countries, whose growing opposition and resistance to imperialism is the most striking manifestation in the world today of the class struggle. Yes, it is true that as Marx said, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” But Marx was a firm supporter of the rights of the colonial peoples to liberate themselves from the yoke of foreign domination as all Marxists must be.

It is not enough to quote Marx, but rather it is necessary to apply Marxism to the concrete conditions of the world today, when imperialism is heading for its final collapse and socialism is on the rise and is heading towards its world-wide victory.

As it heads for its grave, imperialism has heightened its aggressiveness, its plundering and its war efforts. It is a very dangerous beast, similar to a wounded tiger. But this fact should not blind people to the fact that it is dying. While the struggle is often torturous and difficult, the future for the world’s people is bright, while for the imperialists it is dark.

Since the end of World War II, when U.S. imperialism replaced Hitler Germany as the most aggressive and dangerous imperialist power, it has met with defeat after defeat. In Korea, the U.S. imperialists met their first direct military set-back, which was followed by the victory of the heroic Vietnamese people. In the last decade, many Third World countries have won their political independence and are now struggling for economic independence as well. The emergence of the People’s Republic of China and several other socialist countries since World War II has provided encouragement and a reliable rear area for these countries.

In the May 20th Statement, Mao Tsetung sums up the lessons of this experience:

Innumerable facts prove that a just cause enjoys abundant support while an unjust cause finds little support. A weak nation can defeat a big. The people of a small country, can certainly defeat aggression by a big country, if only they dare to rise in struggle, dare to take up arms and grasp in their own hands the destiny of their country.

Is Chairman Mao’s talk about “big and small,” and “weak and strong” populism and subjectivism or is it Marxism-Leninism applied to the world situation today? We think it is the latter.

What do the writers of the Tribune article, who claim to be more Marxist than Mao Tsetung, say about the position of U.S. imperialism in the world today? Here are their words:

A concrete analysis by the leadership of the Communist League disclosed that far from entering into its immediate doom, USNA (United States of North America – ed.) imperialism was expanding its hegemony and tightening its grip on the dependent areas of the world.

ERASES THE VICTORIES

By saying that U.S. imperialism is stronger than ever and that the oppressed nations are weaker than ever, CL has liquidated in one sweep of a pen, the great victories that have been won by the countries fighting for independence. They claim that there is no such thing as countries of the Third World fighting for their freedom. They write in the May Day article:

As the struggle for the hegemony of the world proletariat becomes more and more intense, the maneuvers of the revisionists become more and more difficult to unearth and refute. There is a concept arising today that we are in a new era, an era of the sundering of the world into three separate worlds or as some are now proposing, four worlds.

Who are the CL’ers poking at here? Of course it is China again. Premier Chou En-lai, in his Report to the 10th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, said, “The awakening and growth of the Third World is a major event in contemporary international relations.”

In his address to the U.N., Vice-Premier Teng Hsiao-ping stated:

As a result of the emergence of social-imperialism, the socialist camp which existed for a time after World War II is no longer in existence. Owing to the law of the uneven development of capitalism, the Western imperialist bloc, too, is disintegrating. Judging from the changes in international relations, the world today actually consists of three parts, or three worlds, that are both interconnected and in contradiction to one another. The United States and the Soviet Union make up the First World. The developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America and other regions make up the Third World. The developed countries between the two make up the Second World.

What is also under attack here are the national liberation movements which haven’t yet reached the stage of socialist revolution, but are carrying out their national democratic revolutions. These united front movements of people from nearly every class within the oppressed nations are in fact a component part of the world proletarian socialist revolution.

It is this democratic revolution of the hew type, which CL and the CPUSA have violently attacked in the past. And in the May Day article, CL quotes Marx, once again to oppose Marxism in this era:

One of the lessons taught by Marx in the Manifesto is, ’The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.’ History has fully confirmed their thesis.”

There is a good lesson here about the use of dogmatism to trick the people. There is no mention made that Marx was writing these words before there was imperialism and when the world had not yet been completely divided into oppressed and oppressor nations.

Marx’s words were correct for that period but following World War I, the world changed radically and the imperialist chain was broken for the first time by the Russian revolution. These conditions made it possible for a united front movement in the colonial and semi-colonial countries to be built against imperialism but not yet for socialism. As Mao Tsetung wrote in “On New Democracy”:

SOCIALISM NOT YET POSSIBLE

If the road of capitalism under bourgeois dictatorship is not to be taken, will it be possible then to take the road of socialism under proletarian dictatorship? No, that is also impossible.

Mao continues:

The present task of the revolution in China is one of opposing imperialism and feudalism; until this task is completed, socialism is out of the question.

Of those like CL, who opposed the two-stage revolution in the oppressed nations and who called for, as CL does, the “single revolution” that is the overthrow of one’s own bourgeoisie first, Mao Tsetung said, “Certain malicious propagandists deliberately mix up these two different revolutionary stages, advocating the so-called ’theory of a single revolution’.”

The theory of skipping stages is familiar to all those who have had experience with the Trotskyists and other ultra-“left” opportunists. CL puts forth this Trotskyist line to try and drive a wedge in between the Third World struggles against imperialism and the socialist revolution for the working class. These two movements are in fact the closest of allies.

For a communist group, here in the heartland of U.S. imperialism to advocate such an anti-Marxist theory is, in fact, great-nation chauvinism. Any party that is built here in the U.S. must be based firmly on the principles of proletarian internationalism. Concretely this means rendering the most consistent support to the oppressed peoples of the Third World who are struggling against imperialist domination.

But the leadership of the “Continuations Committee” can only find vicious, slanderous words for the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America and their leaders. Every gain, whether large or small, by these countries in their fight for independence, is called a “defeat.” Political independence is branded as “neo-colonialism” while the weakening of imperialism is never mentioned. What kind of aid is this?

CL is not the only one to attack China on this view of the world. All those afraid of the developing unity between the socialist revolutionary movement and the developing nations, which contain a majority of the world’s people, are frantically trying to undermine this unity. Michael Zagarell, leading spokesman for the CPUSA, in his latest diatribe against Marxism-Leninism and against China attacks those who support Third World struggles against the imperialist superpowers. Says Zagarell:

“In developing the revisionist theory of ’superpowers’ the Maoists have rejected a class approach and have instead aligned themselves with the bourgeoisie.” Says Zagarell: “.. .all concepts of a ’third course’ inevitably mean capitulation to imperialism.” (Political Affairs, Jan. 1974)

Both the revisionists of the CPUSA and the “left” revisionists of the CL, try and cover up the crimes of the Soviet social-imperialists, by hiding one fact that the world today has been divided into a handful of imperialist superpowers living off the exploitation of the vast majority of the people in the oppressed countries and nations.

CL goes so far as to say that, “such terms as superpowers are perfectly acceptable to the U.S. N.A. rulers because it tends to shield the class character of the most ruthless imperialism the world has ever known.”

To both the CL and the CPUSA we must respond that the term “superpowers” is not classless. Superpowers have a very definite class character, the character of the imperialist class. It is not the “Maoists” who have invented a term, but rather the actions of the Soviet Union itself which have led the countries throughout the Third World to consider it a superpower. At the U.N. session, it was President Boumedienne of Algeria who pointed out that, “In the regions of the Third World great powers’ rivalries are increasingly transferred and the security of peoples is particularly threatened.”

Why do these opportunists fear us telling the truth about the superpowers, who collude with each other to oppress the world’s peoples while at the same time contending for world domination? With the CPUSA the answer is clear. They are in fact the agents of social-imperialism within the working class movement in the U.S. We hope the CL will explain their own motives for their vicious attack on China and their taking the side of the revisionists.

We ask why there is no mention made in the “concrete analysis by the leadership of the Communist League” of the social-imperialist nature of the Soviet Union? Why didn’t they call the Soviet Union by its right name, imperialism in deed–socialism in name only? Why isn’t their international report directed at exposing the modern revisionists rather than attacking the fraternal comrades in China, who CL deceivingly calls “the leader” of the revolution, while at the same time slandering that country’s revolutionary line and great leader Mao Tsetung.

More importantly, we ask those who have blocked with CL in their Trotskyite attack on Marxism-Leninism and on the anti-imperialist united front, where are your principles?

PARTY BUILT ON OPPORTUNISM

If you really believe in the need to build a new Marxist-Leninist party, do you think it can be built on a foundation of Trotskyism and revisionism? Do you think that the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung thought can be voted in or out at a “Congress” democratically?

It is our view that the leadership of this so-called “Coninitiations Committee” is a group of proven splitters and wreckers, determined only to sabotage the genuine communist movement and push their line of pessimism, defeatism and capitulation to imperialism. It is a course no different in essence from the path being taken by the CPUSA revisionists.

Their line of pessimism comes from their view of the world–that imperialism has grown stronger and more consolidated; that the Third World movement against the superpowers is not a powerful ally of the working class, and that no party in the world is politically sound, except the little band around the Continuations Committee. Chairman Mao is a “populist” and the line of the Chinese Communist Party and the line of Marxism-Leninism is this era is “subjective.”

No wonder they are pessimistic. No wonder they are trying to retreat from the revolutionary movement of the masses rather than braving the storm. Just because their retreat is done under the banner of “party-building” doesn’t change the fact that they are calling for a retreat and that they are leading this Continuations Committee into the swamp of opportunism.