The following article is being posted here not as a full endorsement of the views expressed therein but rather to share some insights on the Right opportunist line in the old Communist Party USA. It is originally from the website Marxism-Leninism Today:
CPUSA Executive Vice Chair Jarvis Tyner speaking in front of the flag of U.S. imperialism at the 29th CPUSA convention
[ML Today editor’s note: a number of delegates to the recent CPUSA convention have forwarded to MLToday the following document, reflecting their considered, collective opinion of the 29th CPUSA Convention.]
Many friends and comrades have asked us: what really happened at the CPUSA Convention on May 21-23, eleven weeks ago, at Party headquarters in New York City?
So far, there are only the self-congratulatory appraisals, one by Party chair Sam Webb and another by his supporter John Case. Both are champions of the social reformist trend in the Party.
“The dialectics of history were such that the theoretical victory of Marxism compelled its enemies to disguise themselves as Marxists.” – V. I. Lenin, The Historical Destiny of the Doctrine of Karl Marx
The following article is a response, by Professor Toad, to an article polemicizing against the Marxist-Leninist study guide on this site, called “Marxism is Not a Layer Cake” by Mike Ely of the Kasama Project.
First, I would like to clarify one point to avoid confusion. When the article Marxism is Not a Layer Cake was first posted, it was stated that it was a comment on the official Freedom Road Socialist Organization reading list. It has since been clarified that the reading list under discussion is not an official Freedom Road Socialist Organization list, but merely a study guide produced by a person who is a member of FRSO. Similarly, I am not writing this article on behalf of Freedom Road Socialist Organization. The editor of the Marxist-Leninist blog has, of course, had an opportunity to discuss it with me, and I have listened to his input, because he is a respected comrade. I have had some input from certain other comrades as well, in the US and abroad. But this article is solely my own responsibility.
The following is a discussion article for the upcoming Communist Party USA national convention. I am reposting it here from ML Today as an exploration of the development of Right Opportunism in the CPUSA. As Comrade Stalin has said, “Under capitalist conditions the Right deviation in communism signifies a tendency … of a section of the Communists to depart from the revolutionary line of Marxism in the direction of Social-Democracy.” For an important analysis of the historical roots of Right Opportunism in the CPUSA, see Harry Haywood‘s article, “The Degeneration of the CPUSA in the 1950s.” See also the section on antirevisionism of the Marxist-Leninist Study Guide:
The Old Bug of Right Opportunism Returns
by Mark Anderson
Although Marxist-Leninist terminology has fallen out of vogue with the top leadership of our Party, there’s no avoiding the use of precise, scientific language if one is to analyze contemporary phenomena from a Communist point of view. To do so would be like trying to have a discussion of Newtonian physics without using words like force or matter.
For several years our Party has been suffering from the corrosive effects of what Marx, Lenin and other Marxists called opportunism, specifically right opportunism. This was not name-calling on their part, but was instead an attempt to define a historically determined phenomenon that persists to this day.
The following article is an excerpt from Harry Haywood’s Black Bolshevik: Autobiography of an Afro-American Communist. It is reprinted here from the theoretical journal of the October League (Marxist-Leninist), Class Struggle: Journal of Communist Thought, Spring/Summer 1976 #4-5. It is being posted here, as part of the Harry Haywood Internet Archive (for the time being hosted by The Marxist-Leninist blog) for the first time online.
October League (Marxist-Leninist) Introduction:
At what point did the building of a new anti-revisionist communist party become the principal task of Marxist-Leninists? What were the main features of the ideological, political, and organizational degeneration of the Communist Party, USA in the 1950s that made it necessary to do so? These are some of the questions discussed in this article by Harry Haywood, a veteran Black communist who has led and been active in the movement for more than 50 years. The article is a slightly condensed version of a chapter [Chapter 22: “Revisionism Takes Command” in the final published version] from the unpublished manuscript of his autobiography, “Black Bolshevik.”
The Degeneration of the CPUSA in the 1950s
The April 1956 National Committee meeting saw the Communist Party in its most serious crisis since 1944. The meeting itself was historic in that it was the first time the top party leadership had met together since 1951. With the exception of Gil Green, Bob Thompson, Gus Hall and Henry Winston who were still in jail, the National Committee was up from underground and out of prison.
Right opportunism, which had been thriving and undergoing continuous growth in the ’50s, erupted here into a full-fledged liquidationist line whose only logical conclusion would be the complete destruction of the Party as a revolutionary force.