Unitary Road Update

2020 began with reports from Maoist Road of a successful International preparatory meeting held in Italy in January before the lockdown.

Arguing for a method of unity-struggle-unity and against the spirit of faction and division, the PCm has striven through the Maoist Road sharing of information and campaigns and other avenues, for organizations “to arrive at the widest possible unity of the MLM movement”. [i]

There discussions were developed regarding the conditions, the need and possibility of holding a Conference grandly envisaged as a Unified International of Marxist Leninist Maoists of all countries.

The main organising sponsor the PCm Italy issued a message that spoke of

“The battle for the unity of the MLM communist movement, the struggle between the two lines within it, the definition of a common platform, the organized form with which to continue this work require, as we know, a prolonged work which demands preparatory meetings, new bilateral and multilateral meetings, as well as the exchange of documents, initiatives aimed at the masses, on the tortuous but luminous path of the realization of a Unified International Conference of the communist movement MLM that wins over the fragmentation, surpassing the effects of the collapse of the Rim and responds to the need to unify MLM on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, on the basis of a critical-self-critical assessment of the general experience of the RIM and other attempts to formation of an international organization.”

Previously the PCm had said “let’s work together for an International Conference of mlm parties and organisations in the world against revisionism, opportunism and pretty bourgeos leftism masked by ‘maoism’.” No names named this time.

Internet commentator, Harsh Thakor [ii] (coincidentally after interviewing exiled Philippine communist Jose Maria Sison) was not so circumspect arguing comrades must make a distinction between the positive practice of Communist Party of Peru (PCP) under Chairman Gonzalo and the most sectarian interpretation, naming Gonzaloists like RGA groups in America, some of which are now defunct , the German Committee Red Flag associated with Dem Volke Dienen website and those around Tjen Folket Media. He references Kenny Lake’s critical exploration of the debate around the universality of protracted people’s war (PPW) [iii], and the scathing criticism in Andy Belasario in PRISM blog, On the so-called University of Protracted People’s War and thethe dubious genius of a Gonzalo….his flip-flop from “Left” opportunism to Right opportunism, which has caused the people’s war to decline and nearly total defeat in Peru”. [iv]

Even before the enforced pause brought about by Covid 19, the conditions for convening the unified international conference have been absence with 2020 the year of alternative planning for separate developments on the unitary road in the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist tendencies.

Sison is involved in a big call for the new decade in what was set to be a year of competing “internationals”. Issued jointly at the end of December 2019, after months of discussions and exchanges between the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) and the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), two international anti-imperialist formations, the organisations entered the fray inviting others to join them in part of a new global alliance: The Anti-Imperialist Anti-Fascist United Front (AIAFUF), or simply United Front. [v]

What is envisaged is that the United Front shall be a movement of allied organizations without democratic centralism and a costly and expensive apparatus, so not a new Comintern-type arrangement. A challenging timetable was set with the promise that “The Front will be launched before the end of June 2020.”

The problems of establishing and agreeing a general orientation involved in uniting on a common platform was illustrated in an article ‘Maoism as in itself: against the idealism of the “mainly Maoist” current’ from the Canadian PRC-RCP – the Quebec Continuator group – that lays into the Communist Party of Brazil (Red Fraction), Struggle Sessions group, the Maoist Communist Party in France (despite its ambivalence), and domestically swipes at “intellectual revisionist Joshua Moufawad-Paul”. Factional fighting and name calling are milestones on the road to demarcation but can the direction of travel be to a unitary destination? The conclusion in the reassuringly-named ISKRA is hard to reject:

Currently, there is no, such a thing as an international Maoist movement per se. What exists are Maoist parties and organizations with more or less strong links between them, and in many cases without links at all. For a movement to exist, there must be unity, even if it is relative: common objectives, regular exchanges of experience, close collaboration and solid organizational links. If there is no unity at all, there is no movement. In history, the only time that an international Maoist movement actually existed was when the Internationalist Revolutionary Movement (RIM) was in place. Ironically, this experience, the partisans of the idealist tendency reject it under the pretext that the RIM defended a “disjointed and eclectic” conception of Maoism. The PCB (FR) declared last year that “in today’s world, unlike the founding or existence of the RIM, a revitalized international communist movement has flourished and developed”. This is a mind-blowing statement totally disconnected from the real world situation.” [vi]

Indeed dismissive of the whole engagement in the international project of communication, co-operation and co-ordination – they were never members of RIM – the Canadian group reflects a fundamentalist stance that

If we want Marxism to once again become a powerful weapon in the hands of the popular masses, we will have to put an end once and for all to literary leftism and petty-bourgeois pseudo-Maoism. That said, it is in the material world, and not in the world of ideas, that the idealist and postmodern currents will be swept away. It is through real practice, and not through an endless ideological struggle to reach the purest concepts, that the problem that these idealist currents represent will be resolved.

It is not likely they will be engaged in the debates and manoeuvres or overblown rhetoric on the road to establishing a durable structure for international relations with like-minded comrades. The advice from the Maoist era was clear: “the CPC, to its credit, refused a hegemonic role…and constantly drummed into overseas Maoists the need to think independently about their own conditions” [vii]


[i] https://maoistroad.blogspot.com/ January 2020

[ii] On the Theory of International Proletariat Military tactics of Mao and Chairman Gonzalo    http://ottoswarroom.blogspot.com/2020/02/on-theory-of-international-proletariat.html February 12, 2020

[iii] https://kites-journal.org/2019/12/11/on-infantile-internet-disorders-and-real-questions-of-revolutionary-strategy-a-response-to-the-debate-over-the-universality-of-protracted-peoples-war/

[iv] https://www.prismm.net/2019/09/02/universality-ppw/

[v] https://ilps.info/en/2019/12/30/call-for-building-the-international-anti-imperialist-and-antifascist-united-front/

[vi]   ISKRA   https://www.iskra-pcr-rcp.ca/2020/01/26/le-maoisme-tel-quen-lui-meme-contre-lidealisme-du-courant-principalement-maoiste/ January 26, 2020  

 [vii] Biel, Robert (2015) Eurocentrism and the Communist Movement. Montreal: Kersplebedeb p162.


Chile: An Attempt at “Historic Compromise”

Chile: An Attempt at Historic Compromise-The Real Story of the Allende Years, by Jorge Palacios (1926-2004).

Published in Spanish language edition in 1977, the first in English was produced by the Canadian-based Norman Bethune Institute connected to Hardial Bains-led CPC (ML), as well as an English translation of the RCP Chile: Open Letter to the Communist Party of China .

Its National Publications Centre assisted in other Spanish language publications of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Chile produced by its Ediciones Marxista-leninistes publishing house in Toronto. One such text was the collection, “50 issues of EL PUEBLO clandestinely” covering the years 1974-1977 of the Chilean paper. There was also the use of material from ANCHA, monthly of the Chilean Anti-Fascist News Agency, produced by the external section of the Frent Del Paeblo (People’s Front) established by the RCPC.

However the relationship faded as the RCPC, although aligned with the anti- three worlds position of the Albanian party, gradually moved away as Albanian criticism expanded to encompass condemnation of Mao Zedong. The organisation’s paper, El Pueblo carried its view in the article “Comrade Mao Tsetung was a great Marxist-Leninist and a great internationalist” (#101 October 1978). Such an appreciation differed from the trajectory in Enver Hoxha’s book Imperialism and the Revolution , first published [in Albanian] in April 1978 for distribution within the PLA, then multi-language editions distributed internationally in the December.

The Chilean party did not become part of the Albanian grouping but joined with the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) led by Avakarin in efforts to establish an international alignment of Maoist parties who rejected the successors of the Mao Zedong as they drew up a joint declaration with the RCP setting forth, “Basic Principles for the Unity of Marxist-Leninists and for the Line of the International Communist Movement.” The RCP-Chile played an important formative role in the regroupment of Maoists after 1976 (according to one participant)

“presenting a form of communist thinking and politics that was marked by its both creative and fiercely revolutionary character. A few of the RCP-Chile’s writings have been broadly available. In the crucial period around 1980, the RCP-Chile (and its leading figures in post-coup exile in Europe) actively helped regroup Maoists internationally, in the project that would give rise to the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement.” [i]

Chile speaking tour

The RCP run Chicago publishing house, Banner Press took on Chile: An Attempt at Historic Compromise and published its English language edition in November 1979. The book was made available in the U.S. in conjunction with a nationwide tour by the author being sponsored by El Frente del Pueblo, a mass organization of the Chilean resistance abroad as well as in Chile. It helped pave the way to the U.S. tour by Jorge Palacios with the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA actively building support for the tour.

The favourable RCP, USA review of “an excellent Marxist analysis” notes: “The book documents in painful detail the efforts of the CP to restrain and derail the mass movement of the workers and the oppressed, all the while protecting the bourgeois state and other reactionary institutions from the attack of the masses. As Palacios points out, this was a policy which the CP had pursued for many decades and for which it was rewarded by being allowed to be one of the few Communist Parties in Latin America that enjoyed a long period of legal, open activity…. While An Attempt At Historic Compromise correctly concentrates on unmasking the falsifiers of Marxism and the revisionist CP, it also serves as excellent material exposing the U.S. imperialists’ crimes and intrigues in Chile.” [ii]

An academic review thought that,

“This is by no means a scholarly work. There is no pretense to objectivity. This should not deter scholars from using Palacios’s work, however, in order to learn still more of the inside story of recent Chilean political history. As an inside view, it is quite valuable.” [iii]

And indeed, there is a section in the book where Jorge Palacios also discusses the views and activities of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Chile all during this period. The account Palacios provides found expression in English,  French  and Spanish editions.

There was another consequence in the appearance of the Banner Press edition as it was the focus of a letter from Joseph Green, for the leadership of COUSML, the Central Organization of U.S. Marxist-Leninists, to their fraternal comrades in the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). Dated December 1st1979 raised their astonishment and register protest at

…. the recent action of the CPC (M-L) in selling the rights to the book by Jorge Palacios entitled Chile: An Attempt at “Historic Compromise” to the utterly corrupt and rotten to the core American neo-revisionist and “three worlder” sect known as the so-called “Revolutionary Communist Party of the U.S.A.” ….was carried out without consultation with us. Indeed, it was carried out without even notifying us. It in fact amounted to a violation of the most elementary norms of fraternal relations between parties. ….” [iv]

In their exposition of some of the issues involved in the sale of the rights of the book by Palacios to the “RCP, USA.”, the aggrieved comrades argued that Hardial Bains led CPC (ML) had failed to foresee the difficulties that have come up in this question of the selling of the rights to the Palacios book involve a major tactical blunder as well as a violation of principles.

The points these slighted comrades made were that the Palacios tour had great significance. With it, RCP of Chile unilaterally and by surprise, broke its relations with the COUSML in a very unprincipled manner and publicly concluded an alliance with the “RCP, USA.”. Although the reason behind the break was clearly understood:

“… it has broken relations with us because we stand for carrying the struggle against Chinese revisionism through to the end, because we have denounced Mao Zedong Thought, and because we defend socialist Albania.”

“Instead of carefully sorting out the issue of Mao Zedong Thought, it has instead gone onto a very dangerous anti-Marxist path…..We are in no hurry to come to a final conclusion on the RCP of Chile, and we hope that they desist from the path they have taken. It would be a pity and a loss to the international movement if this Party which has shed its blood in the struggle against reaction, does not stop and reconsider this very dangerous and slippery inclined slope that it has set foot on.”

Joseph Green told his Canadian allies they did not regard the selling of the rights to the book as just a run-of-the-mill business dealing related to the routine commercial operations in the book and pamphlet trade which are part and parcel of the operation of the National Publications Centre. They saw it first and foremost as a political act.

With the rights to the Palacios book in the hands of CPC(M-L) it had been “a definite thorn in the side of the “RCP, USA” a political embarrassment for them, instead COUSML faced the aftermath of the action of the Chilean party, its “unprincipled dropping of relations with us and the establishment of relations with the “RCP, USA” and what that signified”.

“….the “RCP, USA’s” publishing of this book was used as a way to make it appear that the “RCP, USA,” which in actual fact had never done any work at all for the support of the resistance movement of the Chilean people, was actually a supporter and enthusiast of the solidarity movement.”

“Helping the “RCP, USA” to find a way to promote itself internationally, especially among certain forces in Latin America which are still considering the question of Mao Zedong Thought and which have respect for the RCP of Chile, although they do not presently follow the position of the RCP of Chile.”

“…. furthermore the CPC(M-L) puts itself in the apparent position of having worked with the “RCP, USA,” even though only on this transaction, even though for the present apparently neither the “RCP, USA” nor you yourself wish to publicize this particular transaction.”

COUSML complained this act violated the elementary norms of fraternal relations which were to deteriorate and eventually broken off.

“You did not even notify us about it. Finally it came up in discussions in early November between our two Parties because our delegate, asked you a direct question about how the “RCP, USA” got the lights to the book.

To us, this lack of consultation is truly astonishing.”

…. Our two Parties may not always agree on certain tactical issues, but that does not give you the right to unilaterally undertake actions such as the selling of the rights to the Palacios book that affect us first and foremost and undermine our stands and struggle.”

… This question of consultation and cooperation is important in itself in the strengthening of the relations between our two Parties. But it is also important in particular in the question of the struggle against revisionism and opportunism.”


[i] Mike Ely of the now defunct Kasama project (2007-2013) highlighted the theoretical work of Chile’s Revolutionary Communist Party as they summed up their experiences in the Allende years, the Pinochet coup, and the international communist movement. These essays are from the period of the late 1970s to 1981 when the RCP of Chile was seeking to help regroup the international communist movement, and thinking through the implications of events in China in the post-Mao period. Kasama, thanking those who did the work of making this material available and Rosa Blanc, provided pdfs in Spanish of several issues of the organization’s theoretical journal Causa Marxista-Leninista.

Causa Marxista-Leninista, Issue #27

Causa Marxista-Leninista, Issue #28

Causa Marxista-Leninista, Issue #29

Causa Marxista-Leninista, Issue #30

[ii] Reviewed https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/periodicals/revolution/rev-4-9.pdf

[iii] Frederick M. Nunn Hispanic American Historical Review (1981) 61 (2): 330–331.


[iv] The truth about the relations between the Marxist-Leninist Party of the USA and the Communist Party of Canada (M-L)




Bank Holiday Fun

The photograph is of a man in mid-flight from a chasing policeman. This is his tale of being arrested.

tron-grim-April 6, 1968ogrim

Flanked by a younger Tron and detail from the cover of Tron Øgrim the revolutionary fireworks by Bo Brekke, Tron Øgrim runs from a policeman during an illegal demonstration against the Vietnam War in April 1968.

Tron Orgrim’s reminiscence are taken from a posting made in February 2004. Enough time has passed to safely transgress the reticence of disclosure particularly as it contains no revelations, no implications of damaging reputation or betrayal of trust. It is a familiar activists’ memory, a minor element in a mosaic of a revolutionary life lived reproduced out of fond memory and respect for the man from the north who, in equal measure, enlightened and entertained and infuriated an audience of “leftist trainspotters” before his untimely death in 2007.

If you live in a glass house
You shouldn’t throw napalm!

We were about 10, all from the (then Maoist) SUF youth union of the SF party (about to break with it 45 years ago in March 1969) and the SOLIDARITETSKOMITEEN FOR VIETNAM (SOLKOM) the absolutely dominating solidarity movement in Norway which we lead from about 1967.

On the other side of the street (to the left in the picture, you don’t see it) it’s the park of the royal castle. We came down the street on the backside of the royal castle, and our predetermined tactic when the small police guard would follow us after the attack, was to divide our forces in every side-street in order to give the police as few to follow as possible.

We ran forward and threw our stones {at Oslo’s American embassy]. Some windows shattered (I have never been a good thrower and I gotta admit that I probably smashed nothing…)

  • Hey! Shouted the police (they were possibly only 3, maybe 4).

The first side-street was downtown from the enemy and away from the town. I was in the group running away from the town.

A girl I knew ran towards the town. A thin, long-legged comrade (later for many years RV parliamentarian in the county of Nordland) ran past her, as she had rather short legs… when a policeman ran past her too, following in his heels, she understood she could slow down.

For us running away from the town centre, there was immediately a side-street, straight ahead and to the left.

Some comrades ran straight on, as I was behind them, it was my task to run to the left. At this time together with one comrade – as he had diabetes he was of course called “melis” (icing sugar).

Two policemen behind us and we being (at the time) young and fleet, we ran away from him. Then came a bloody traitor of a taxi driver and picked him up.

Next side-street, straight ahead on the street on the back of the royal castle or to the left. “Melis” took the left side, and I ran straight on.

One of the policemen jumped out and followed “Melis” running.

The policeman in the taxi followed only me, and got me after 20 metres.

Having arrested me, he waited for his colleagues, who had followed “Melis” into a building of flats. (As the outer entrance of Oslo apartment houses were usually not locked at this time, this was open).

We waited for a long time, and then he came back: “I followed that guy into the backyard. As he wasn’t there I ran up all the stairs but couldn’t find him. I really don’t know where he has disappeared.”

“Melis” at the time was in a trash can in the back yard, having pulled the cover over his head. So he got away too.

So I was the only one arrested that night.

And got a month. Had my day in court too, political defence and some funny details. That’s another story.

Still feel well about the whole thing, including out running that cop, and mildly irritated about the stupid reactionary taxi guy.

And of course, NOW the US imperialists got their OWN armed guards in the embassy – armoured glass in the windows – and are putting up a HUGE BERLIN WALL around their fortress – and even the TORIES in Oslo dislike them openly:

We got them on the run comrades!


Research Note: Tron recalls……

Tron Øgrim (1947–2007) was, during the 1960s and 1970s, the International Secretary and political ideologue of the Norwegian AKP(m-l), Arbeidernes Kommunistparti (marxist-leninistene). He left the organisation in 1984. He died on May 23rd 2007.  Still fondly remembered.

hqdefaultBEWARE fifteen years have passed, these rough working notes are digests of internet postings & email musings, “was there, remember some of it. [This] only very rapid jottings of the type I would never publish – more like talking in the bus…”  So not fair to attribute this as a source to Tron, not a quote but more or less what he said as it is an edited version of what Tron was understood to be saying, and he can’t be held responsible for any misinterpretation and the linguistic tiding up. Links and Italics are added working notes otherwise the rest derives from my man in the north. Postings were largely date from 2003/4 and gathered here ( and download)  as notes on

Maoism and the World Communism Movement