Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe: Political Extremism in America

By John George; Laird Wilcox | Go to book overview

14 Communist Party USA (Marxist-Leninist)

Formed in 1965 by people expelled from the Communist Party USA, the Communist Party USA (Marxist-Leninist) immediately claimed 1,500 members. This is a highly inflated figure, since the group probably never had 10 percent of that. Contending to be the true voice of the People's Republic of China in the United States, the CPUSA (M-L) took a staunch Maoist position on every issue, challenging other leftists that "we are more Mao than thou." The CPUSA (M-L) is not to be confused with the essentially similar Communist Party, Marxist- Leninist of Michael Klonsky and Lyn Wells which evolved out of the October League and the Georgia Communist League in the late 1970s. Theirs was basically the same game but with different players.

The group's weekly publication was People's Voice ( "The Voice of All the Oppressed and Exploited"), which featured such articles as "U.S. Imperialist Plot Uncovered," "Mao Tse Tung on Guerilla [sic] Warfare," and "Marxist-Leninists Oppose Cuban Revisionism." An article on "Cuban Revisionism" stated:

The CPUSA (M-L) . . . fully condemns the vituperative anti-China slanders of Castro's capitulation to revisionism reveals to the world a betrayal of Marxist-Leninist principles in the anti-imperialist struggle [sic]. Castro has fallen into the pit of hypocrisy and capitulation and his revisionist prattle only serves to separate him further from the revolutionary people of the world. 1

The CPUSA (M-L) monthly publication was Red Flag, which was almost certainly too expensive ($1 in the mid-1960s) for the "oppressed and exploited" of the United States--much less the world--to afford. (The nonviolent leftist Catholic Worker, in contrast, cost one penny.)

Although possessing a New York office, the CPUSA (M-L) was originally based in Los Angeles and had the Workers International Bookstore there. They urged the "oppressed and exploited" to subscribe to all manner of periodicals, including Peking Review, Vietnam Courier, New Albania (the Albanians were still chummy with China in the sixties), and other journals of the same stripe. It became evident that the "oppressed and exploited" should somehow put aside a rather tidy sum each month so as to be able to acquire the proper reading matter.

Many of the items distributed by the CPUSA (M-L) were printed by the Foreign Language Press in Peking and were characterized by long, unwieldy titles. A typical example is one written by Lo Jui-Ching (who not long thereafter fell

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