- Category: Communist Organization
- Created on Tuesday, 12 August 2008 14:21
- Written by Mike Ely
Nando replied to a series of questions about the RCP's newly published Constitution. Because of the length and substance of those comments, we are reposting them here. Nando uses the remarks by a poster called "Questions" as a jumping off point.
By Mike Ely
Why RCP Discarded Term "Marxism-Leninism-Maoism" in this Document
"Questions" writes: so long as it takes this correct line as the foundation of its internal life and its work among the masses." [bold added for emphasis] This is whistling past the graveyard. It is meant to comfort a party that is staring straight at its own impotence, and that has been losing ground steadily. It is a call to faltering party to cling to its own new orthodoxy as its only hope.
This passage is (as JB Connors pointed out) a window into their preoccupations. And it is no mystery why:
Make a list of the RCP's projects over the last few years, which are clearly conceived as a kind of interconnected series of initiatives for leaping to a new stage:
* repolarize politics between proletarian revolution and Christian fascism (this whole scenario was aging and outdated from the moment the idea of "CFs as stage managers of revolution" was raised.)
* Develop the Engage project to rather heavy public intellectuals around Bob Avakian as a historic thinker. (This project is clearly stillborn, and the plans to take it into a public arena were abandoned. Is there a single non-party activist among the public intellectuals for this project? No.)
* Develop a defense of science under the party's leadership (nowhere. stillborn.)
* Use the "mass initiatives" like NION and WCW to repolarize society and act as a mainstream force contending for power and influence. (WCW has gone from mass demonstrations to small guerilla theater involving orange jumpsuits, and is scrambling for its existance outside the backbone of party forces.)
* Promote the newspaper in a radically elevated way. (Instead they have cut back, and the paper is no longer weekly.)
* Create the RC4 tour as a way to develop leaps in inroads for Avakian and his views within the Black community (stillborn, disasterous and abandoned.)
* Promote the RCP as a radical defender of evolution and science using the publication of their Evolution book. (Book published, little notice taken.)
And so on.... the balance sheet of their very hyped plan over the last years is not good.
And they have (typically) moved on to their next plan, without (obviously) linger too long (or materialist) over any summation among cadre or the public.
And then add to all this the intense and ongoing struggle within the party (which produced the impetus to write the 9 Letters.)
Guidelines for a Permanent Purge
One of the startling reflections of continuing struggle is the degree to which this Constitution codifies a rolling purge and clampdown. Those of us who were long among the party supporters can see the changes in the previous constitution, procedures and rules (that we once lived by.
There is the emergence of a whole system of constantly demanding write-ups of every thought (especially dissident thought) within the party and its periphery. There is a heavy new emphasis on "chronic" or "repeated" violators of party discipline. Including elaborate details of how to force them out of the party, when they don't want to leave.
Those who consistently oppose "leadership of the party" and who intend to fight for a different course within that party -- are now put in a category with "actual counterrevolutionaries" and "agents."
These are the rules for an institutionalized state of purge -- for a heavy club of discipline and an active use of expulsion for many degrees of internal opposition.
It is an example of why it is wrong to think that the struggle for a new revolutionary and communist path can be successfully carried out within the RCP. And IN THAT CONTEXT the promise is made that if this party clings to its current line, however small it becomes, it "will still be able to advance toward revolution."
Aside from the fact that this is a metaphysical promise marked with inevitablism -- it avoids the fact that this line is wrong, and will not advance toward revolution.