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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 24. 26th September 1973

Long Live the Communist Party of New Zealand (V.G. Wilcox. General Secretary)

Long Live the Communist Party of New Zealand (V.G. Wilcox. General Secretary)

Dear Sirs,

When Terry Auld writes about events in Chile, he writes a good article. He indicates the class forces behind Allende. He even goes to the extent of discussing such fundamentals as working class State power. In all this, he holds himself up as a Marxist-Leninist. He even makes a bow to Mao when he suggests that 'Political power grows out of a barrel of a gun'. He goes the full distance in his final paragraph. Khrushchev,' he says, 'has his Allende. The revisionists around the world will bury their Chilean dead with the usual hypocritical psalms of peace.' Then comes the punchline thus - But will they bury their counter revolutionary ideas?'

In that last line, Terry reveals the basis for his opposition to the CPNZ. For here he is saying that thinking is primary. In his article, 'Pact threatens world peace' ("The Paper" No. 2) he performs the same gymnastic feat when he points to 'a flaw in Soviet theories' relative to imperialism and war. The implication here is that if the leaders of the CPSU could correct their theories, then things would change and the Soviet Union would again become a revolutionary force. The truth of the matter is that the fact that revisionist ideology has been embraced by Khrushchev and his successors, demonstrates an already existing, non-proletarian class orientation which was proved by the adoption of this revisionism. It was the class position of Allende which was the primary motive force in bringing about his political demise. The fact of his holding revisionist ideas was a secondary, though active, contributing cause.

In both these cases, Terry is smuggling in the completely idealist, anti-Marxist concept that thinking determines being. Why? I discuss this later.

The only correct Marxist-Leninist approach to this question is to ask our selves 'Why do these idealist ideas occur?' and the answer must come up in time that these ideas arise from the class position of the people putting them forward. Allende, Khrushchev, and Terry Auld. For "in a class society everyone lives as a member of a particular class and every kind of thinking, without exception, is stamped with a brand of a class" Mao Tsetung, 'On Practice'.

From this it follows that it is in sufficient for a person to change his ideas, for this creates a new contra diction needing solution. Thinking gets out of kilter with the actual class position of the person whose thinking is changed.

In Terry Auld's case, his position as an academic instructing the children of the working class, places him firmly in the camp of a petitbourgois intellectual. Thus, his acquisition of some Marxist-Leninist book learning still leaves him to identify him self with the proletariat for which Marxism-Leninism is a weapon in the struggle for power against the bourgeoisie. This Terry Auld consistently re fuses to do. For instance, the suggestion that the anti-apartheid movement is essentially a movement of international working class solidarity against common business interests has met with his violent opposition whenever it has been put forward. Instead, Terry Auld on these occasions consistently propagates a humanitarian, non class, moralist approach to the questior He opposes apartheid on the grounds that it is morally wrong.

There is one other conclusion to be drawn from the way Terry formulates his ideas. The whole tenor of his article places the question of social organization in the lap of the ruling clique and he sees the ideas of this clique as being decisive. Power, according to Terry, is exercised by Governments which are personalized in Khrushchev. Allende. Dubcek, Hoxha. Mao Tsetung etc. He sees Marxism as having been applied in ways of which he disapproves and have failed on that account. The implication here is clear: rulers should first submit their ideas to Terry Auld for examination and approval and thus avoid the embarrassment of his criticism when the results of their administration collapse as have those of Khrushchev, Dubcek, Allende etc.

The reader of 'Salient', of 'The Paper'will search Terry Auld's articles in vain to discover just what he understands by, for instance, the dictatorship of the proletariat.

I hope that the above sets out in understandable terms our differences with Terry Auld. In a word, we, being Marxist-Leninists, are of the opinion that being determines thinking, and Terry consistently asserts the opposite point of view, namely, that thought determines being. I suggest that his strictures on the CPNZ and its leader ship nationally and locally, stem from this anti-Marxist approach. I further suggest that our Party can look to the future with confidence because of its absolute confidence in the NZ working class to grasp the weapon of Marxism- Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and use it to make revolution.

Yours fraternally,

S. Devereux