The singular most pressing problem of the Communist movement in the US is its lack of unity. Currently there are dozens of (usually tiny) organisations that claim to be Communist (or Socialist), none of them making common cause. The more “well-known” groups have, by and large, abandoned Marxist-Leninist theory in favour of amalgams of American style pseudo-democracy and the, usually, non-Marxist teachings of some pedagogue.
The Workers World Party, for instance, has as its pedagogue Sam Marcy, calling him: “one of the leading Marxist thinkers of the post-World War II era.” In reading his “works”, it quickly becomes clear that, not only is he incredibly derivative, but that the few areas in which he expresses any sort of opinion at all prove him to be a man that does not understand Marxism-Leninism.
Take, for instance, these statements from his Czechoslovakia 1968: The Class Character of the Event.
“In an internationally publicized press conference on May 14, Deputy Premier Ota Sik told reporters that Czechoslovakia would accept Western capital for industrial “joint ventures” with state enterprises, and that it would be up to each state enterprise to negotiate with the capitalist companies.
This almost amounts to giving up the state monopoly of foreign trade and undermining socialized property altogether. Wherever foreign capitalist production is more efficient, due to greater wealth, machinery and more intensive exploitation, its product will compete directly with the socialist product and socialist labor will be indirectly exploited by Western capital.
Inviting private capital from the West does not in and of itself destroy socialism. But under conditions of decentralizing the economy, establishing more and more friendly relations with capitalist countries and individual capitalists, permitting these capitalists to negotiate separately with the individual factories and factory combines, it certainly tends to batter down the socialist economy.
The Czechoslovak government also announced flatly that it would cooperate economically with the West, break away from the economic pattern of the socialist bloc and try to make its currency convertible with the dollar instead of the ruble”
All of these statements, used to bitterly denounce the revisionism and opportunism of the Czechoslovak government, equally apply to China – a country that Marcy, time and time again, praises!
The West was invited into China in the 1970’s. The leadership of China since then have not tried, even slightly, to remove the Capitalist influence but have, instead, increased it! When we see images of twenty-something Chinese enjoying the nightlife in Western-style clubs in Beijing, it should be clear that the Chinese government only pays lip-service to Marxism.
The Revolutionary Communist Party, led by Bob Avakian, is a Maoist (non-Marxist) organisation. Avakian claims a “new synthesis” which is, in reality, nothing new. Avakian has only transferred the worship of Mao to the worship of himself and Mao.
The main issue here, of course, is Mao. The man that is described as “the greatest Marxist-Leninist”, was nothing but an Imperialist dictator. To seriously believe that Mao was above (or even near) Marx, Engels, or Lenin, is completely ludicrous! The man that was accused in his pre-power days, by many Chinese Communists, of not understanding Marxism – was charismatic and nothing more. The Current Chinese government still harps on “Mao Tse-tung Thought”, but does not follow it (thankfully!). If modern Chinese “Communists” discount Mao (to read from the Selected Works of Jiang Zemin is like reading from an American political handbook), why don’t American Communists?
American Communists, in order to be effective, need to avoid organisations that glorify China or Mao (like the RCP and the WWP), that seek to compromise with the Bourgeoisie (like the Webb led “C”PUSA, and numerous others that seek Socialism through collusion), or any group suggesting that a leader that claims to be Communist is a Communist (like the WWP in its unswerving support of China [past and present], and North Korea). What we must do is follow orthodox Marxist-Leninist theory – as laid down by Marx, Engels, and Lenin.