Proletarians of All Countries, Unite!
COMMENT ON THE DRAMA OF THE AVAKIANISTS
It is well known that the Revolutionary Communist Party of the United States (RCP) has an incredible capacity to intervene in the matters of the different parties of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) in particular, and of the International Communist Movement (ICM) in general. They have curious detachments in different places on the international level, and they never get tired of fomenting situations in which they would have the possibility of such intervention. It is a party that, presumptuously, all over the world, tries to find different positions (that they call "lines") inside the Parties and organizations, in order to try to divide them and get their own dividends, thus aiming against the leadership of these supposedly fraternal Parties and organizations. That is why now, when a noteworthy member of the RCP leadership, a Mike Ely, along with a group of important Party cadres, have taken with them one of the principal bases of the RCP and have split from their party, many have been inclined to state: "what goes around comes around" - to use an expression that the friends from the United States can easily understand. Even so, we are not going to ask the comrades of the RCP to explain how it can be that noteworthy members of their leadership capitulate, or how many cadres, Party members and masses they have lost, or what are the roots of this in the history of the RCP and the ideological conception that has permitted the emergence of this "line within the Party"; or to which internal documents Ely is referring. Neither are we going to ask what his post was, nor are we even going to ask why all their Party members in New York are new faces or why they have had to close their library in that city and open a new one etc. To be nice, we are not even going to demand a meeting with comrade Avakian for him to explain and argue for his position. We are not going to ask, because of the simple fact that we are not the RCP. Instead, we are going to put forward a few short points concerning the ideological and political positions exposed in the quarrel between the Cain and Abel of avakianism (the reference is made in order to be understandable among those who believe in the visions of Avakian - they love to discuss the Bible).
Economist avakianism vs. the legend of the wise old man
Ely and his group, as well as Avakian and his apostles, have publicized their positions and arguments, although one may note that it seems to have been a little hard on those from the RCP to discuss their "internal matters" publicly - since they feel more comfortable discussing what concerns other Parties - and since Avakian even tries to close the debate by resorting to a quote from an authority of such magnitude as Bob Dylan. We do not think it is necessary to here copy the positions seen in the debate - those who are interested can refer to the published documentation - but instead we will put forward some cardinal points.
The starting point for Ely as well as for those faithful to Avakian, is the negation of Maoism as the third, new and higher stage of Marxism, i.e. that to be Marxist today is to be Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, principally Maoist. Both parties consider that Maoism is not sufficient: Ely says that one must discard everything that "does not work" and Avakian says that one must "re-envision", i.e. revise. In this discussion, there is no one basing themselves on Marxism; Ely's criticism is based on what he considers correct in the former positions of the RCP/Avakian, and attacks Avakian's "new synthesis" - and Avakian defends himself by resorting to what has been attacked. It does not occur to any of them that the duty of a Communist is to apply the ideology of the proletariat, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism, to the concrete conditions in order to solve concrete problems of the revolution. The subject that Ely brings up for debate is the crisis in the RCP's mass work, and he uses the situation with the CPN(M) - whose capitulationist politics he embraces - as his weapon of choice. At the same time he brings up a few of Avakian's innumerable idealist positions in order ridicule him. The solution he puts forward is not that the communists in the United States assume Maoism and apply it, but that they are going to "reconsider" everything and take Nepal as their example. The solution according to those who defend Avakian is to fall deeper into their positions and focus on Ely's negation of the role of theory. On the subject of Nepal they simply do not answer, they have nothing to say, in order to continue trafficking as it suits them. It is a quarrel inside the right, not a struggle between the proletarian line and the bourgeois line; they are two shades of black, not of red.
The matter could have remained a curiosity, a simple indication of the ideological crisis of those who follow Avakian's positions, if it were not for the dirty laundry that is being brought to light. For Avakian, what hurts the most is being accused - wrongfully, on that we agree completely with RCP's answer - of having something in common with Chairman Gonzalo. After having put forward that there was a "negative resolution (…) of the revolutionary struggle in Peru" (the question is which: are they upset because the people's war continues?), they rush to state that "that there is a very real, and decisive, difference between what the RCP is actually saying about the role of Bob Avakian and what is embodied in the PCP's line on 'jefatura.'" It is obviously correct that the PCP bases itself on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo thought, principally Gonzalo thought, and the foundation of Chairman Gonzalo's Great leadership is his thought, proven in theory and practice in the process of reconstituting the PCP and in 28 years of people's war, while the RCP bases itself on Avakian's "new synthesis" that has no foundation in practice whatsoever. The PCR-ians emphasize that not only is Avakian not a Great leadership, but that their Party is totally against the thesis of Great leadership, which comes from Lenin - who they, by the way, consider to be a Mafioso - and that "the RCP's line not only does not agree with, and does not apply to Bob Avakian, but which once more Bob Avakian has argued and polemicized against.". What is interesting is not that the RCP and its little chief are against Great leadership - the whole world knows this - what is interesting is that it is the first time they dare to say it publicly. So, where does that leave their hypocritical game of "not making the criticisms public", when they have always been arguing against the just and correct positions of the PCP? Where does that leave their false calls to "not making the differences public"? It leaves them where we all knew, a trick of the hegemonists to try to silent the left while they lose control of the right. Avakian has always argued against the line of the PCP, and now he and his own people have said it.
We must comment briefly on Avakian's "new synthesis", that is neither new nor is it a synthesis, but an amalgam of old revisionist positions, now not so much in content as in how it has been fertilized and bred into the world. According to reality and his own declaration, Avakian's "synthesis" is not based on any revolutionary practice, but everything came from his enlightened head. No revolutionary party in the world can argue for such an affirmation, and there is not a communist in the world that could say such a thing without dying of shame - but for those of the RCP it is not so, instead they even want to justify it with a heap of nonsense. They say "the principal aspect of Marx is that he spent a decade in the Reading Room of the British Library." To them, this is Marx: a wise man that spent a decade in the library! So it is only logical then, that for them there is no reason why Avakian should be any different. In which library Avakian would have spent his years, the story does not tell, and nor is it that important. They only thing one can conclude is that he must have brought his "walkman" there to be able to listen to his beloved John Lennon, who gave him the inspiration for his visions of communism.
There is not much more to comment on this drama that perhaps will make some proletarians in the United States laugh until they cry. We will never know it, because the North American workers have no idea who is this Avakian.
New Peru Friendship Association
United States of America, June 2008