Tag Archives: revisionism

MLToday on the 29th Convention of the old CPUSA

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.

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What about Slavoj Žižek?

“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

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In Response to Mike Ely: The Elephant in the Room

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.

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Right Opportunism in the CPUSA

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.

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Post-Soviet Russia: Death of a Nation

The following documentary film (in six parts) explores the consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union for the Russian people. Whatever problems existed for Socialism in the Soviet Union, even during the period of revisionist leadership from 1956 to 1991, people were clearly better off. As Keeran and Kenny put it in their book Socialism Betrayed:

A brief review of the Soviet Union’s accomplishments underscores what was lost. The Soviet Union not only eliminated the exploiting classes of the old order, but ended inflation, unemployment, racial and national discrimination, grinding poverty, and glaring inequalities of wealth, income, education, and opportunity. In fifty years, the country went from an industral production that was only 12 percent of that in the United States to industrial production that was 80 percent and an agricultural output 85 percent of the U.S. Though Soviet per capita consumption remained lower than in the U.S., no society had ever increased living standards and consumption so rapidly in such a short period of time for all its people. Employment was guaranteed. Free education was available for all, from kindergarten through secondary schools (general, technical and vocational), universities, and after-work schools. Besides free tuition, post-secondary students recieved living stipends. Free health care existed for all, with about twice as many doctors per person as in the United States. Workers who were injured or ill had job guarantees and sick pay. In the mid-1970s, workers averaged 21.2 working days of vacation (a month’s vaction), and sanitariums, resorts, and childrens camps were either free or subsidized. Trade unions had the power to veto firings and recall managers. The state regulated all prices and subsidized the cost of basic food and housing. Rents constituted only 2-3 percent of the family budget; water and utilities only 4-5 percent… State subsidies kept the price of books, periodicals and cultural events at a minimum.

To look more closely at the causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union see Ludo Martens’ article, “Balance of the Collapse of the Soviet Union: On the Causes of a Betrayal and the Tasks Ahead for Communists“. This documentary clearly demonstrates what the complete restoration of capitalism has meant in a very concrete and material way.

Harry Haywood: The Degeneration of the CPUSA in the 1950s

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.

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Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Central Committee: Theses on Socialism

The following is a document summing up the experience of revolution and counter-revolution in the USSR submitted by the Central Committee f the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) to the Party’s 18th Congress. I am posting the theses here as an important Marxist-Leninist summation worthy of discussion and debate in the international communist movement. I would also encourage folks to read the review  of the theses by the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist).

memorial2A. The contribution of the Socialist System

1. The development of capitalism and the class struggle inevitably brought communism to the historical limelight during the middle of the 19th century. The first scientific communist programme is the “Communist Manifesto” written by K. Marx and Fr. Engels 160 years ago in 1848. The first proletarian revolution was the Paris Commune in 1871. With the 20th century came the success of the October Socialist Revolution in Russia in 1917, which was a starting point for one of the greatest achievements of civilization in the History of humankind, the abolition of exploitation of man by man. Following this, after World War II, state power was seized, in order for socialist construction to take place, in a series of countries in Europe, Asia, as well as the American continent, in Cuba.

Despite the various problems of socialist countries, the socialist system of the 20th century proved its superiority over capitalism and the huge advantages that it provides for peoples’ lives and working conditions.

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Nepalese Maoists on Dogmatism and Revisionism

The following is a very intersting theoretical article from the newspaper of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the Red Star. Originally called “On Dogmatism“, it is singed by Laxman Pant. I have made some very minor formatting changes to help clearify things for the readers.

Ever since the advent of revolutionary Marxist philosophy the revisionists and opportunists of different shades and colors in the international communist movement have labeled as dogmatists against the partisans of class struggle and dictatorship of proletariat, the cardinal principles and two pillars of Marxism. It goes without saying that being a revolutionary social science, Marxism, like any other branch of science has to pass through the series of application and practice to prove itself. As the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism are not like the arithmetical formulae nor these are biblical sermons, merely memorizing or chanting the same will not bring about the revolution in the nations. These formulations have to put into the furnace of class struggle, of the revolution in order to attain the liberation of mankind. Marxism-Leninism-Maoism develops constantly with the practice. That is why practice is called the acid test of revolutionary theory. Necessary changes or adjustments in certain features i.e. tactics are needed as per the changed space and time in a given country in order to carry out successful revolutions. But “under no circumstances is a Marxist-Leninist party allowed to use the pretext of certain new social phenomena to negate the fundamental principals of Marxism-Leninism, to substitute revisionism for Marxism-Leninism and to betray communism.” (The differences between Com. Togliati and Us-The Documents of Great Debate, Antarrashtriya Prakashan, Vol- Page-77 )

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Socialism Betrayed: Behind the Collapse of the Soviet Union

Lenin and Stalin, the architects of socialism in the USSR before the revisionist turn following Stalin's death

Lenin and Stalin, the architects of socialism in the USSR prior to the revisionist turn following Stalin's death.

The following interview with authors Roger Keeran and Thomas Kenny is from Marxism-Leninism Today and is a very interesting interview on the causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union. I have not yet read the book that this interview is discussing, but from the interview it seems that the authors ignore the ideological basis for capitalist restoration. In my opinion the authors miss a very important issue by not specifically addressing Khrushchev’s revisionist program of the two wholes (party of the whole people and state of the whole people) and three peacefuls (peaceful co-existence, peaceful competition, and peaceful transition), which forms the firm ideological basis for the total collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The interview nonetheless does well to discuss the two-line struggles that have characterized the entire history of the USSR. I would suggest that people see also the videos from Harpal Brar’s talks on Khrushevite revisionism and my article, Some Points on Stalin (and Mao).

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Harpal Brar on Khrushchevite Revisionism and the Collapse of the Soviet Union

It is important to learn the lessons of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Harpal Brar, Chairman of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), in this series of 11 videos, gives a talk on the destructive role of Khrushchevite Revisionism at a party Study School held in Leeds. These videos are an excellent contribution to the summation of these experiences. Basically an outline and overview of the Polemic on the General Line of the International Communist Movement, but with the view from today, these videos serve well the purpose helping to popularize that seminal work of the anti-revisionist movement. The CPGB-ML has also released these videos on China.

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