David Hungerford

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David Hungerford joined the Revolutionary Communist League in 1975 or 1976.

The organization’s unrelenting struggle for rigorous adherence to communist thought was what decided me.
The time was one of intense struggle to form a new communist party. Many new Marxist-Leninist organizations had emerged in opposition to the line of Nikita Khrushchev, who had renounced the revolutionary heritage of the Soviet Union in 1956. He also proclaimed a path of “peaceful transition to socialism” in opposition to everything Marx and Lenin had to say on the subject. The Soviet Union under Khrushchev had little to none of its former appeal to a generation that had come to maturity in a time of worldwide revolutionary struggle. The Communist Party - USA followed Khrushchev into the swamp of revisionism and likewise met intense opposition with its “anti-monopoly coalition,” a fancy way of dressing up its tactics of trying to dragoon people into becoming the left wing of the Democratic Party.
There were a lot of organizations in the new communist movement. There was a lot of struggle. Amiri Baraka fought ‘right’ opportunism when that was the thing to do. He fought ‘left’ opportunism when that was the thing to do. There were indications of ‘left’ provocations that resembled those used by government agents earlier in the Black liberation movement. They caused harm again, but not as much as before. The movement to create a new party hung fire and did not succeed. But it came close. A full discussion of it is beyond the scope of this writing, but one day there will be success.[1]

LRS

In 1980 the Revolutionary Communist League merged with the League of Revolutionary Struggle (LRS).

The League of Revolutionary Struggle continued the work of its constituent organizations through the 1980s. However, ideological and theoretical work was almost completely neglected after 1985 or so. By 1988 the LRS leadership had virtually become an appendage of Jesse Jackson’s presidential aspirations. Amiri resigned from the organization in protest. I didn’t agree with him about Jackson at the time but he proved to be right. But I think it would have been better if he had stayed in and continued the fight.
Gorbachev’s “glasnost” and the following crisis caught the LRS leadership completely unprepared. They refused to respond to demands of cadres to say something about the Soviet breakup. Instead they surrendered to bourgeois ideas and repudiated Marxism-Leninism. An attempt was made to continue the organization on a reformist basis, but without the discipline and sense of purpose that comes with Marxism-Leninism it simply faded away.[2]

Unity & Struggle

Amiri Baraka, another comrade and David Hungerford restarted the publication of Unity & Struggle, which had been the name of the publication of the RCL.

It was an outlet for his and other voices at a time when many were in retreat.
Some years ago Amiri and I came to a parting of the ways. It was painful. I never forgot my immeasurable debt to him, though.[3]

References