First Published: Revolutionary Communist Youth, Vol. 1, No. 1, March 1978.
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.
This was the rallying cry for more than 600 youth and students at the founding convention of the RCYB last November. It was the spirit of Kent and Jackson States, the spirit of the ghetto rebellions, and most important, it was the battle cry that the only real future for youth lies in standing side by side with the working class in its fight to end the foul and funky system of super-rich capitalism.
In other words, to turn the world “rightside up,” because now it’s upside down! To put an end to the present system of capitalism, where the first and last issue is profit. Profit and more profit–it’s as American as Nelson Rockefeller. Today profit rules, not the needs of the people, which are put in first place under socialism, the rule of the working class.
Capitalism is a system where those who have ownership of the factories, the mines, the mills, the land they sit on, the machines, and so forth have everything. It’s a system where those who have no other way to make ends meet except to sell their ability to work to the bosses, must labor to enrich the capitalist, and can work only so long as they do so. When the capitalist finds no further use for a worker, when he finds it unprofitable to continue paying his workers, the wage slaves are thrown out into the streets as additional figures on the unemployment lists.
Under their system, democracy is for the rich, justice is for the rich, a good education is for the rich, and medical care is based on your pocket book.
And this is exactly why people gathered together last November to form the RCYB; to build an organization which would help get rid of this system, and build socialism where the people’s needs will be in the first place.
They came from the neighborhoods of more than 15 cities and from almost 70 college campuses from New England to Hawaii. Many had been members of the Revolutionary Student Brigade or different youth groups called Youth In Action. Others had recently gotten involved in such battles as Kent State, African Liberation Day, and the Bakke Decision. And for some, the organizing for the convention itself had been their first contact with communists. But over the weekend of November 19-20, something new and greater than all its parts was created. A national organization with its roots in the most important struggles of youth today. An organization which firmly stated it was communist and stood with the working class, and that the only road out of this hell hole was revolution, socialism, and finally communism (classless society).
But at the same time this giant step was being taken there was represented at the convention a small group of clowns drunken with feeling important. They thought of themselves as the supermen and wonderwomen of the people’s struggle, and that without them, this struggle could not even go around the block. They began backstepping, and working overtime to sidetrack the high road laid out at the convention of fighting for socialism, and ultimately communism. They began a downward exit so low it wouldn’t be possible to slither under a snake with a top hat on.
But what were the issues of the struggle? Was it simply a matter of “left” groups always in-fighting, was it personality clashes, a power struggle? A word war?
The great leader of the Russian revolution, V.I. Lenin pointed out that the struggle to end exploitation is a sham and a humbug unless it is linked to the struggle against opportunism, against easy-way-outism.
What the struggle was about was a matter of life and death issues, and when all was said and done it boiled down to whether or not you wanted to stay on your knees your whole life and make the whole struggle the demand for knee patches. The struggle should be for much bigger and more important things, turning the whole system rightside up, making working class revolution.
The struggle centered to a large degree on the nature and tasks of the organization, what kind of organization it would be and what it would do. These clowns tried to narrow down the goals and activities of the organization, making the main glue holding it together the particular struggles youth at any given moment are waging. And what did the RCYB say and do? The RCYB has always stressed in both word and deed the importance of joining with and leading the growing struggle of youth under the miserable conditions they face under capitalism. High unemployment, dead-end jobs with lousy wages, discrimination, police brutality, terrible schools, and the constant threat of being foot soldiers in yet another rich man’s war.
But this in itself is not enough, because fighting for merely partial “solutions” or a few piecemeal reforms never has and never will end these conditions, and it doesn’t answer the most basic problem youth face under capitalism–that it is completely unable to offer them a life with a purpose.
“Years in a factory or some other job making some capitalist richer, or devoting their life only to raising a family and house, fighting to stay ahead of debt and with nothing their children except life in a system based on exploitation and oppression.” (from the Programme of the Revolutionary Communist Party) This is the future the ruling class offers youth, and what youth have to look forward to in the years ahead so long as the capitalists rule.
The only solution to this most basic problem is to overthrow the existing system–a revolution. This is exactly why the main glue that holds the RCYB together is that is an organization to turn the system rightside up, not just to fight particular problems of capitalism. Indeed, it does wage such fights, but most importantly it recognizes that to wipe out this mad house system requires not piecemeal solutions but one major thorough-going solution.
These jokers claimed that if the name communist was in the name, if you tried to educate people about communism boldly at every step of the people’s struggle, you would scare people away, turn them off. “Wait until people are ready to hear this stuff,” was what they squealed. When all was said and done, it was like telling a man dying of thirst that he’s not ready for a drink of . water–not quite yet anyway.
It is indeed true that most of our lives we have been preached to about the horrors of communism, in the schools, in the newspapers, in the rattles of lying politicians. But who, or better yet, what class has been doing this; what class has been trying to poison our minds with anti-communist venom? And what has been their purpose in doing this? It is none other than the rich ruling class, the source of al exploitation and oppression. It is the same class of people who try to present their system, where the masses of people catch hell each and every day, as the best of all possible worlds.
They tell us it is natural for some people to get over on other people. They say the best Thing in the world is looking out for Old Number One (yourself), and to hell with everyone else. After all they say, that’s just the way it has to be.
The ruling class hates communism, they say it’s bad for the people. For the ruling class it is indeed bad, because communism will wipe their blood-sucking ways off the face of the earth. For the people, on the other hand, it is the beginning of a new day. It is not hard to see what the motive lying behind the anti-communism is. The capitalist class has about as much interest in promoting the spread of communist ideas, as a rat has in the spread of rat traps.
In fact the ruling class works overtime, so to speak, in misdirecting youth from revolutionary struggle and ideas–trying to keep them under, lost in drugs, sex, alcohol, Jesus Freaking, devil worship, horoscoping, and all forms of pleasure seeking. And they try to keep youth lost in the maze of “just trying to make it.”
The imitation communists’ line of “Wait until people are ready to hear this stuff,” (and they preached that this was especially true for working class youth, who they think of as especially backward-thinking and taken in by the capitalists’ ideas) unites dead-on with the ruling class’ attempts to try to keep these ideas away from the people by any means necessary. If your enemy is patting you on the back, you can be sure you are not doing any real fighting–against them that is. It is exactly here that the Rockefellers, Mellons, and Jimmy Carters could reach over and pat them on the back, and say, “You are going about this thing in just the right way.”
No matter how well-intentioned these opportunists claimed to about communism being presented–at some supposedly magically right moment–they never did anything about it. After a “breathing space,” as they called it, communism could be brought out. What they really wanted to do was hide communist politics behind a “militant” smokescreen.
One thing is certain, something as serious as revolution, as turning things rightside up, must be approached in the most scientific manner. Communism–Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tsetung Thought–is the science of revolution, the science of the working class. It is the science which has guided the working class in other parts of the world to stomp capitalism dead on its ass, and has changed the miserable conditions of billions under the rule of a handful of bloodsuckers, and opened the door for freedom under the rule of the working class.
But didn’t these opportunists claim to be revolutionaries, even communists? After their line and their wrecking and splitting activities could not move the majority of the RCYB off the Marxist path laid out at the founding convention, they then took to graverobbing, ressurecting the old RSB. But don’t they even now talk about revolution, some may ask? Is what is being laid out in this article simply a matter of crediting them with insane arguments and then wiping them out? Or is this a matter of just plain old verbal overkill? Indeed these people do pay lip service from time to time to revolution, but if one is going to disguise oneself, he must dress appropriately. The difference between who is revolutionary or not is not determined by an occasional statement about revolution every now and then. Lots of groups and people talk about revolution, the difference is who is really going to be scientific about it, who is going to take a communist approach, and link theory with practice.
But here the cat jumps out of the bag all the way. For they did not regard this as a question of a scientific approach, although they talked about it every now and then. What was really important was to “get the truck moving and then it is easier to steer,” as one of their leaders put it. No serious person would approach any problem in this manner. No one would just start taking all kinds of pills and then say that it is easier to find out how to get cured. It is even less true in dealing with the struggle to turn the system rightside up. Their ideas are nothing but pragmatism–an American ruling class philosophy which says it is not really possible to know the laws that govern society; if something seems to work, never mind the reasons, do it! This is really nothing but the immediate interests are everything and the long range goal of revolution is nothing.
Now these people fancied themselves great builders and leaders of the day-to-day struggles of youth, but what this really boiled down to was more like a dope dealer advertising a physical fitness program. When it came to building the struggle it was gimmicks, theatrics, and techniques were everything. But correct methods of leadership mean arming the people with line and methods, for once the people have grasped line, then a truly powerful force is unleashed.
In one major struggle of students last year, Kent State, when immediate victory was not in sight, when the struggle began to ebb to some degree, what did they do? Try to lead the struggle through the twists and turns? No! They called for “One Last Hurrah.” One last big march. They called it “throwing a punch while stepping away.”
In the last year the struggle at Kent to stop the building of a gym on the site where four Kent State students were killed in 1970 was an important battle and a broad social question. Thousands of youth, almost entirely college students, rallied at Kent various times to show their determination to “Remember the Past, Continue the Struggle!” Instead of helping to build the struggle about Kent among all youth (in other words, among both college students and working class youth from the cities) our Graverobbers’ RSB decided that the Kent issue was one which only college students would support. Supposedly only college students would be interested in broad social questions like the murders at Kent. But as for youth in the neighborhoods, as well as working class youth who go to commuter colleges like many of the New York City colleges, these people would supposedly not be interested. So these schemers only mobilized college students and when some working class youth did come to Kent, every attempt was made to see that they didn’t participate in the “long, abstract discussions” held by the students to plan how to build the struggle.
Is this leading the masses of youth in struggling against the outrages of the imperialist system? Hell no! It is saying that youth, in this case working class youth can’t be united to fight any attacks unless they are personally affected by them. Is this saying that there were no differences in how youth from college campuses and from the streets looked at the Kent struggle? Absolutely not. But those who knew about it were sympathetic to the struggle, and this was something that could have been and should have been built on.
Throughout this country people are being messed over in a thousand and one ways by the capitalist system. Are we to fight the capitalists individually, or even at most are the workers supposed to wage their fights, youth wage their fights, and so on? First of all, in those battles that in the short run mainly affect one group of the people, think how much the strength and power is increased when all the people take them up. Like the coal miners’ strike now raging in the coal fields. This fight of the miners must be supported by all the people, because what the miners are fighting against is the coal owners and the whole capitalist class, and all of us have an interest in dealing as powerful blows as possible to these chumps. But more than this, the most important thing for people to understand is that the only way to do away with the misery and oppression which capitalism breeds is to build a united and organized movement “against the capitalists and for revolution.” And beyond this, we have to ask how can this movement be built? Only with the working class and its Party, the RCP, developing the ability to lead the masses of people, clearly targeting the capitalist system as the problem, and pointing to the solution, socialism, where the working class rules and completely changes society in their interests.
What our dearly departed said was that people are only interested in those issues which affect them personally, that people will only support a struggle if it can be proved that they will gain some immediate return on their invested support. But unlike this group of narrow-minded reformists, people can see a bigger picture than what’s happening on their block or in their neighborhood. Not only do people support the struggles of other people, but people support the broad struggles being waged against the capitalists by all different kinds of people. If is the task of communists to take this even further and point to the broadest and biggest fight of all: that against the capitalist class for control of this society, which can, must, and will be led by the working class and its Party.
In closing, it is true to say that if their line had held sway in the RCYB it would have turned it into a plaything as opposed to being a revolutionary weapon in the struggle of youth against capitalism under the leadership of the working class and its Party. No one should be disheartened on hearing the news. It is good news, like removing a cancerous tumor. The situation in the RCYB is excellent!