Ajith’s polemical demolition “Against Avakianism” is more than a good critique of erroneous positions and muddled theoretical constructions. In exploring what was fundamentally flawed in packaging a “new synthesis” in the cultist degeneration and revisionism promoted by the RCP,USA, Ajith raises a fruitful exposition of observations and speculations on many topics and questions that constantly face the international communist movement throughout its historic process.
Even in the briefest of treatments – like the section on socialist democracy [102-124] – there is a condensed focus on the lessons drawn and alternative approaches to take in addressing the challenges on the party and socialist state and their operations.
(A more complete presentation on the matter of the party can be found in, The Maoist Party an essay written by K. Murali, also known as Comrade Ajith, from his book Of Concepts and Methods.2020 Foreign Languages Press Collection “New Roads” #9)
Ajith’s critique provides a more inspiring springboard than the work he dissects. In his application of the many insights and observations offered in Mao Zedong’s writings, Ajith corrects Avakian’s distortions and reasserts the creative purposefulness of Maoism.
Amid the discussion around the ideological and theoretical aspects of truth and understanding Marxism as a science, what is clear is the centrality of both the intention and experience of the Cultural Revolution to contemporary MLM. In many of its practices it raised phenomenon and issues that shape an universalist understanding of principles and practices that contribute to human liberation.
Avakian’s claim to go beyond and exceed that experience lies like an image of a by-gone age, a half-ruined folly in the political landscape.
Whereas Ajith pushes forward, not necessarily with complete answers but the interesting questions.
The aim of clarifying the struggle within RIM around Avakian’s attempt to foster upon it his “new synthesis”.
The ambition and vision of RIM as a correct manifestation of internationalism was both attractive and deceptive and other groupings of political allegiance have similarly appeared. The journal “A World To Win” was a platform for organisations providing news and information, reinforcing that sense of internationalism and being part of something much much bigger than parochial concerns. It could raise awareness and organisational abilities, generating international solidarity, co-operation and co-ordination; all powerful elements in sustaining an organisational allegiance to RIM (and the idea of it).
[While Ajith quotes from the (not yet in the public domain) internal journal Struggle to clarify the process that led to RIM’s disintegration, and the subsequent drive to establish a unified international MLM body, important elements are outside the scope of this critique.
But then that is for a different format and publication encompassing a definitive account of the failings of RIM, a political summation, including the input of the PCP after the arrest of Chairman Gonzalo, and the weakening of the “embryo” by the internal struggles over Peru and Nepal, the absences of other major active parties, like in the Philippines etc
A separate website containing links to quoted articles in Against Avakianism has been made available by FLP:
Ajith begins with setting the circumstances of the early 2012 Special Meeting of the parties and organisation of RIM convened by
Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan
Maoist Communist Party of Italy
Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Naxalbari
An original invitee, the PBSP – Proletarian Party of Purda Bangla [Bangladesh] – was absence, later explaining this was due to political differences with the contents of the Special Meeting. were involved in the consultations during the drafting of the invitation, a delegation of the Red Faction of the Nepalese UCPN( M) – struggling against the Prachanda/Bhattarai revisionist line – joined as observers .
[The resolutions adopted at the Special Meeting are available on the Maoist Road website]
The background to the need for the Special meeting had been laid out as
“… the present collapse of the RIM is the result of the paralysis of the Committee of the RIM (CoRIM) arising from positions, serious ideological political differences that emerged among some members of the CoRim.”
RIM – RIM Documents and Statements (bannedthought.net) – had emerged in the 1980s as a Maoist grouping, a self-described “embryo” of a new international. Organisationally, an administrative function was based in London, the CoRIM taking on communication and co-ordination duties, overseeing the publication of the multi-language journal, “A World To Win!”.
The pre-discussion to the Special Meeting had identified the disparaging effects, negatively infecting a line struggle that affected the operation of RIM specifically paralysing the work of the CoRIM. It identified the revisionism of Bob Avakian’s post-MLM new synthesis course and the once lauded Prachanda/Bhattari line that disarmed and disrupted the progress of the Nepalese revolutionary struggle.
Summarising Avakian’s positions and criticisms, Ajith’s “Engaging with the Chairman” defend Mao’s contributions against the view that Avakian’s ideas must be made the basis of the international communist movement. [ pages 12-28] Drawing lines of demarcation as asked, Ajith wrote of the “new synthesis”
“ It has liquidated its ideological moorings by declaring that MLM is outdated and must be replaced with Avakianism.” This was the crutch of the dispute. Furthermore Ajith argued that it was insufficient to simply reactive RIM minus RCP,USA and others that had fallen by the wayside. The original Declaration of RIM was no longer an adequate basis to continue as before, even with a new constituted CoRIM. This did not lessen the need for an international organisation to convey a united revolutionary message and facilitate the development of collective wisdom.
What discernible impact in the real world?
The RCP,USA has failed as a revolutionary project in its social practice. The RCP,USA was flattered by its association with an international grouping that belied its own domestic weakness on the margins of the American left. Its similarities with the Trotskyist cult, the WRP led by Healy, becoming more pronounced with the orchestrated cult of leadership personified in Avakian. A network of bookshops, publishing and newspapers as well as international reach, sustained appearance of organisational strength All these elements partially explain an emphasis on internet-based Leftist news sites as modern equivalents of Lenin’s Iskra approach as the propaganda produced seeks to inspire or produced the desired political effect of building the movement. Far from securing the glow of leadership, Avakian’s well-deserved obscurity reflects the value of the contributions of his RCP’s ruminations-and wranglings.
Foreign Languages Press 2017 “Colorful Classics” #9
Another brick in the wall from the supporters of Gonzalo Thought in the battle for the unity of the MLM communist movement as the Communist Party of Ecuador-Red Sun published a polemical piece on September 16, 2020 entitled, SOME COMMENTS ON THE DOCUMENT “ON MAOISM ITSELF” FROM THE RCP OF CANADA.
It was reproduced on the Spanish language Marxist-Leninist-Maoist blog, RED DAZIBAO .
Some time ago the comrades of the RCP of Canada published a document “ON MAOISM ITSELF” launching a severe and subjective criticism of the Communist Party of Brazil Red Fraction [PCB-FR] and other parties which it vaguely branded as its “satellites”.
In the first instance, we think that the document, due to its content, support and objective, did not deserve to be refuted because it contributes little or nothing in objective terms to the ideology; However, with the idea that the pronouncements do not “remain in the air” and generate confusion, with a certain imbalance in time we allowed ourselves to issue a response to try to clarify some errors and disagreements of the comrades.
It is important to point out (self-critically) that we know very little about the comrades of the RCP of Canada; therefore, we do not have the necessary elements and political arsenal to be able to analyze their future, work, struggle; but rather focus on his document and based on it, try to argue -without hasty and adventurous academic pretensions- some responses and observations from a unilateral position of the Communist Party of Ecuador Sol-Rojo.
The comrades of the RCP of Canada published a document entitled: MAOISM AS ITSELF: AGAINST THE IDEALISM OF THE “MAINLY MAOIST” CURRENT, and the virulent attack on the PCB-FR and other parties that uphold the Marxist thesis is still worrying. Leninism-Maoism, mainly Maoism, and that we recognize the universal contributions of Gonzalo Thought.
Something that draws the attention of this extensive, dispersed, subjective and eclectic document is the forcefulness with which they assert certain information:
“Currently a small group of organizations active in a few countries”; “Some satellite groups in Latin America”; “Handful of organizations constitute a very small, even insignificant fraction, whose actual practice is limited”; “The PCB (FR) and its supporters”, and thus a series of terms that in addition to showing a certain contempt for this group, falls into the dangerous error of underestimating us; expressions that are repeated repeatedly throughout the text and that account for the little or no seriousness of these comrades as a result of either the serious ignorance they have of the parties in the process of construction or reconstitution that make up an important current within the MCI, as well as the strange and equivocal handling of the revolutionary theory of the proletariat.
If the PCR starts from a quantitative analysis, it would be good to ask how much does the ideological rise of communist parties in Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, the United States, Germany, Austria, France, Ireland and the United States represent for Canadian comrades? others who are joining this red line with an important impact on the ICM ?, apparently little or nothing, without considering that Latin America has become a land of storms, of struggle, and that in Europe the awakening of the class and the masses is transcendental in the ultimate aims of the international proletariat: communism.
But let’s see, if to the quantitative aspect we add a qualitative assessment of the work and struggle of the PCB-FR “orbit” in the ICM, what does the fact that this group strengthens the international proletariat’s struggle to crush in a determined way to revisionism, opportunism and centrism?; What does it represent for the RCP of Canada that this group has had as a transversal axis supporting and defending the people’s wars carried out by the international proletariat in various countries of the world; support from the perspective of proletarian internationalism organizations, parties, whether constituted or in reconstitution processes; sustain and develop the two-line struggle, in addition to applying, developing and defending Gonzalo Thought as a dialectical leap of MLM, to the revolutionary theory and practice of the international proletariat? It is obvious that nothing, and what is more, he rants at a gallop, he does not apply a two-line struggle but rather loses his strange fixation on the comrades of Brazil and to some extent on the rest of the small, precarious and dysfunctional parties that support him.
The comrades are unaware of the conditions in which this red line was generated within the ICM. With their precipitations and infancies they threaten a process that has only been able to be lifted after a strong ideological struggle as corresponds to the historical tradition of those who believe that unity in ideology is forged in criticism-self-criticism-unity; endorsed in countless meetings held in various countries, even defying the threat of reaction; historical events in which delegations of parties and organizations have also participated, with which there have been serious disagreements within the framework of the necessary and unavoidable two-line struggle.
The ideological struggle with the comrades of the UOC or GCR of Colombia (spearhead of Avakianism in the region) has not been alien to us; at certain times with comrades from Italy, France, Spain, Panama or Afghanistan; In fact, within the collective we have also had many and deep disagreements where the criterion of unity has prevailed, without this referring to having avoided the ideological and political contradictions presented between us and we have ended up handling eclectic positions or becoming a shameless political and ideological submission .
It is important to point out that although it is true, the communists of Latin America recognize the achievements that the PCB (FR) has had at the levels of organization in order to assume the responsibility of undertaking the New Democracy revolution in Brazil at the service of the international proletariat ; the important impulse that has given him to fight to impose the red line within the ICM, we have never established a relationship with the comrades under the figure of the “father party”; In fact, throughout this journey it is important to remember that it was from the joint statement between the Revolutionary Front of the Bolivian People, MLM and the Communist Party of Ecuador-Red Sun issued on December 26, 2008, where it was alerted about the inexistence of a correct direction within the ICM before the bankruptcy of the RIM; Prachanda’s betrayal of the People’s War in Nepal or the need to combat the new scourge of the peoples, especially in Latin America of the so-called 21st century socialism; Declaration that established, -to some extent-, the starting point that coincided with the efforts that the PCB-FR was developing in the ideological struggle in the international arena, to generate the ideological and political discussion group on the problems that afflict the ICM , the World Proletarian Revolution and the struggle for a new and superior communist international.
Comrades, “there is no worse blind than the one who does not want to see”, in that sense we cannot refuse to recognize the efforts made by the PCB-FR, its correct leadership, leadership and militancy to sustain the ideological struggle and the unity of the international proletariat. ; the hard struggle made by the comrades of Peru to reorganize their leadership in the midst of the people’s war, confronting not only the armed enemy, but also the ROL and the winners of imperialism who permanently deny its development today. The very important leaps that the comrades of Chile have taken in the reconstitution of their Communist Party or those gigantic efforts of the comrades of Colombia that reconstitute their party in the midst of many difficulties, among others, a society plagued by armed revisionism. Impossible not to greet and approach the struggle that the communists are undertaking in Mexico where proposing the revolution is in itself an extremely courageous and stoic fact. Never underestimate the struggle of the comrades of Germany to sow a party where it did not exist in objective terms; not different in Austria, Ireland, in the bowels of Yankee imperialism, where US comrades, particularly in Austin, have put their levels of struggle and organization in tension; and thus, others who apparently do not want to be seen by you.
It is impossible not to recognize the constitution and reconstitution of communist parties of a new type that are emerging all over the world in the midst of the 2-line struggle, which is the only thing that at the end of the road will allow us to strengthen the ICM and create the conditions for a new international that inexorably It will be MARIST-LENINIST-MAOIST.
But not fed up with their myopia and ignorance, the comrades of Canada brand us as “insignificant” organizations. For them, our complex process of building the instruments for the revolution, which has had to confront and overcome many vicissitudes, represents nothing; in fact, even our errors of interpretation and application of the correct ideological line, a weakness that led us to experience a defeat that, without being definitive, cost us a high price in lives and, of course, political. Construction that also, faithful to our line and conception for applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Gonzalo Thought to the particularity of the country, has taken place by mobilizing the masses, and not necessarily in a peaceful way, but in a rebellious, belligerent, combative way, applying and developing revolutionary violence.
And it is that in Ecuador, the process of construction of the instruments for the revolution we have not undertaken “accumulating forces in cold”, as the PCR suggests; in silence, with its back to the requirements of the class and the people or the international proletariat. We have done it in the course of an active, combative militant practice, mobilizing masses and even carrying out acts of violence not only in the framework of treating the existing contradictions in the country, but also in support of the people’s wars that are being advanced in the world and other struggles of the international proletariat. We have done it not only by militarizing the Party but also by all its organizational instances at the level of generated organisms, penetrating each other and coming decisively closer to unleashing the people’s war. Obvious, The enemy’s response has been correlative to our armed proposal to demarcate all the camps with him and the old State: prisoners, kidnapped, tortured, dead, aspects that are not unrelated to what the comrades of Brazil have also had to live where they still the blood of Comrade Cleomar Rodríguez and many others shivers; or from Mexico, where the morning still awaits the return of Dr. Serna or the void left by the premature death of Luis Armando Fuentes by the enemy; the persecution to which comrades from Germany or Austin, USA are subjected. But no, for Canadian comrades we are insignificant and with limited practice, just like the rest of the parties that “orbit” in the PCB-FR and that have similar histories. In any case, it is important to point out that the Maoists of Ecuador and their Party are not followers of the PCB (FR) or any other organization; but they are followers of the correct ideological line, the one committed to sweeping away opportunism, revisionism and centrism in the ranks of the international proletariat.
Contrary to what the RCP has shown throughout its lengthy document, the PCE-SR’s style of work fully conforms to what Chairman Mao pointed out: “the communists have to ask the why of all things and make use of of his own judgment to carefully examine if they correspond to reality and if they are well founded; They must not blindly follow others or advocate slavish obedience at all ”. In fact, comrades, carrying out this practice, not only for us but for all those who have propped up this “orbit” has led organizations such as the FRP-MLM of Bolivia (co-managers of the creation of this group) years later to disdain of some aspects that consolidated this unity in ideology (MLMPG) and has taken a step aside to support theses that varied over time and that, Like you, they deny Gonzalo Thought and the existence of a people’s war in Peru, an aspect that reflects the political maturity and seriousness with which the ideological struggle has been handled. By the way, that decision of the comrades of Bolivia does not mean that we put them on the side of the enemy, of those who reject MLM, the people’s war, the New Democracy revolution in semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries, since of all ways for now the basis of unity in the ideology of the international proletariat is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!!
It must be remembered that at a certain moment we signed joint declarations with other organizations that have nothing to do with the “idealistic orbit” of the PCB-FR. Without having tried to endorse positions that by conception the UOC, from Colombia, a sector of comrades from France, Panama and others have; Perhaps sinning as pragmatic, we adhere to the one that called for THE INTERNATIONAL UNITY OF COMMUNISTS DEMANDS THE DEFEAT OF REVISIONISM AND CENTRISM! and that by the way brought us serious contradictions with some organizations and parties in Europe, especially with the comrades of Italy and Spain, thus demonstrating our sovereign decision-making capacity. And we did it because we considered it appropriate, correct; because the document proposed by the comrades of Colombia expressed the need for the international proletariat to struggle against revisionism, opportunism, but also against another enemy of the international proletariat, centrism, which remains alive in the shadow of the contradictions existing in the Nepal. Suffice it to say that under no circumstances could we fold any document that comes loaded with the ink and content of any expression that approaches Prachandism, even less, Avakianism or that denies MLM and / or the people’s wars in Peru, Turkey, India and the Philippines.
(…) The comrades of Canada also refer to an alleged “shameless attack” carried out by the “followers” of the PCB-FR against the most active and advanced Maoist organizations in the world: the Communist Party of India (Maoist) .
In this regard and for the exercise, in the very specific case of the Philippine comrades, we are going to present some arguments from our experience.
A few decades ago, the Maoists of Ecuador were ready to develop people’s war, and we did so under difficult conditions where an opportunist left line prevailed. It’s the truth, and those mistakes cost us a lot. We were weak, we were not well equipped with MLM, nor with Gonzalo Thought and therefore we gave the initiative to the reaction in very difficult circumstances.
In summary, we better understood how much the New Democracy revolution loses in the country and in the world (or socialist revolution where it belongs) when we communists give the enemy a small space to establish negotiations, conversations, agreements, truces, etc. .; and based on our meagre experience we hold with vehemence and determination; There is no reason or condition whatsoever to establish agreements, pacts or negotiations with the enemy except to define its final defeat or its capitulation.
If we offer a truce (bilateral or unilateral) to the enemy, the class and the people lose. In Colombia, armed revisionism is champion in this type of behaviour. Truce for Christmas, for Easter, for winter, for the national day of Colombia or because they are surrounded by the enemy troops. In fact, comrades, by the way, the Philippine comrades made a unilateral truce over the Covid-19 pandemic. The enemy took advantage of the truce to inflict heavy blows on the comrades.
It is in this context in which we have particularly dared to criticize the Philippine comrades and their recurrent calls to “negotiate” truces / cease-fire with the enemy, because even, saving the distances in favour of the Philippine comrades in the development of the war, we understood that this is atrocious for the interests of the class and the revolution, and not only that, but also for the international proletariat, therefore it is worth noting the danger they are incurring.
At this point it is difficult to know, but if the comrades of Nepal had considered and assumed the timely alert and criticism in this regard, Prachanda would probably be where it should be: underground, and the people’s war: close to victory.
But without going beyond that, there is another aspect that is important to highlight. The tremendous impact that certain erroneous behaviours of Philippine comrades have in their international line of work, especially in Ecuador.
One of the most recalcitrantly revisionist, opportunist and harmful parties that exists in the country is the PCMLE (Popular Unity); that from Hoxhaism, they have become Bolivarian; perhaps one of the main obstacles to be destroyed in order for the people’s war to develop in Ecuador.
Some years ago, in a joint action between armed elements of this Party (PCMLE) and the national police, they captured party militants who, basically armed with brushes and paint, were carrying out a campaign of paint in support of the people’s war in Peru, India, Turkey and the Philippines in a public university in the capital (Central University); In addition to the detained comrades, their torture and their subsequent imprisonment, we had to confront the loss of a very important arsenal and the repressive escalation of all the armed apparatuses of the state against the Party that had its climax with the siege of a populous neighbourhood from Guayaquil (48 and K) where with 1500 soldiers, tanks, boats and helicopters concentrated the population, they raided house to house until they shot 4 people in front of their relatives (literally), 3 of them members of the Party. Of course, our response against revisionism was bloody to make them understand that under no circumstances were we going to tolerate or allow this and other types of attacks.
This same organization participates in all electoral processes, including in alliance with the most recalcitrant sectors of national politics (they called to vote for the banker Guillermo Lasso- buyer bourgeoisie and today, facing the 2021 elections, they support indigenous reformism) and They repeatedly traffic in the struggle and pain of our people. Staunch enemies of Maoism.
Every year the PCMLE organizes the International Seminar on the Problems of the Revolution in Latin America, which on some occasions has been attended, in a curious and inexplicable way, by the Philippine comrades who, after that conciliation, end up defining “strategies” for the called revolution in Latin America with organizations such as: Círculo Jaques Roumcin de Montreal – Canada, an organization that you surely know; the PCR of Argentina, of Bolivia; Popular Unity for Socialism of Brazil, Revolutionary Communist Party of Brazil; American Party of Labor of the USA, George Grunental, Red Star Editions – United States; Revolutionary Socialist Party of Peru and obviously the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and other organizations.
Those are the alliances of the Filipino comrades in Ecuador. Questionable, more to the extent that through different channels we have issued letters to comrades warning of their error.
From the above, it is obvious that this type of political decisions by the Philippine comrades contributes nothing to unity in the ideology of the international proletariat and to the need to reconstitute the Communist International; However, there are countless campaigns of support that our party has developed in favour of the people’s war in the Philippines, the historical value that we have given to its martyrs, including Comrade Ka Parago, because we do not let this correct criticism make us lose the perspective and ignore the fundamental aspect of the Filipino comrades. So, for the comrades of Canada, is it better to keep silent? In honour of the unity of the proletariat stuck with slobber and not in ideology, is it better to look aside every time the comrades make truces with the enemy of class, of the poor peasantry and other exploited masses of the Philippines putting at risk the vital effort for the revolution in their country ?; Should we, the communists of Ecuador, look complacently as the comrades of the Philippines sit at the table to draw up “revolutionary” strategies with the most revisionist sector of Ecuador and that on many occasions, openly, has destructively criticized the people’s war in the Peru, ridiculed Chairman Gonzalo and openly declaring itself anti-Maoists?
Comrades. As we pointed out initially, years ago we were wrong, we fell into the ravine, we were beaten by the enemy, and many Maoist organizations and parties were harsh in criticizing us, and we assumed it; We do not take it as poisonous darts that seek to annihilate us, nor (in the pure Modavef style) do we change our strategic course, on the contrary, along the way we have been reconstituting better equipped with ideology. We learned to criticize ourselves, because we use this method as a form of partisan catharsis and, given the historical trajectory of struggle that the Philippine comrades have, we believe that they will know how to accept criticism in that order, as a two-line struggle, as “medicine to save to the sick one”.
(…) In truth, comrades, you have lost all objectivity to assert that we “oppose the people’s wars” that are taking place in the world. The comrades go astray, launch any infamy at the gallop of a mule. Without detracting from the important campaigns carried out by the communists of the world in support of the people’s wars that break out in Filiadas, India, Turkey and Peru, it has been precisely the organizations that wield MLM, mainly Maoism and we recognize the universal contribution of thought Gonzalo, who have carried out the strongest and most decisive campaigns in favour of these wars. Just look at the fabulous and internationalist work done by Dem Volke Dienen’s comrades; the Red Flag Committee at Tjen Folket in Norway, New Peru from Germany;
Read comrades, investigate, absolutely all the pronouncements, statements and publications of these Parties, whether individually or collectively, we revive the people’s wars, the same ones that even in the framework of setbacks, twists and others have had the militant and internationalist support of our parties; Quite the contrary to you, who at the first blow of wind come out to deny the People’s War in Peru. Apparently their accusations are nothing more than a projection of what they feel, what they think about this and other topics addressed in their document and surely in their practice.
(…) Continuing with the document, the Canadian comrades return to what has become a true tirade: that we support an “imaginary war” in Peru. The comrades, like other organizations that proclaim the same fallacy, end up being subservient and functional for the counterrevolutionary strategy of the CIA. Likewise, they join the chorus of the Peruvian reaction; they grab onto Modavef’s tail and from that dump they shout, they maintain: there is no people’s war in Peru because it has already been defeated!
In this regard we must say, denying the existence of the people’s war in Peru has become a counterrevolutionary act. Canada’s comrades do not want to understand how just wars are played out today as opposed to unjust wars; how the reaction in Peru hand in hand with the imperialist strategy considered, according to its plans to neutralize and defeat the people’s war, that it was not enough to murder the prisoners of war, unleash the “white terror” massacring entire communities, support of the bases of support in the field; they were clear that they had to attack Chairman Gonzalo directly, cut his line of command; dynamite the leadership, but it was also peremptory to go for ideology, and there they used Movadef to distort the basic foundations of Gonzalo Thought and New Democracy; that is to say, to face the fact that the war was defeated, and not only that, but there is no longer semi-feudality, that the war resolved that contradiction; that in that journey or stage, Peru became from semi-feudal to dependent capitalist, consequently the revolution must be socialist. Of course, what is sought is to take away from the proletariat its strategic ally: the poor peasantry, in the course of the New Democracy, and in this way dismantle the people’s war. But no comrades, you, imperialism, reaction and the ROL have skinny dog dreams if you believe that the people’s war was defeated; obviously, he lives a corner that is already being overcome; it is not easy in the course of the war to reconstitute the leadership, but in the same way, The People’s Liberation Army, despite combat difficulties, generates new Power; it recovers strategic spaces, keeps the enemy at bay, demonstrating the strength of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Gonzalo Thought.
Lacking in knowledge the comrades from Canada fire their shots into the air with wet gunpowder, they want to make waves by throwing a handful of lentils into the river. That is what they want, it cannot be otherwise, they get angry and from their most abject ignorance, or worse, from their demobilizing role they want to deny everything. In truth, the comrades should get closer to Latin America, get to know its people, the communist parties, above all try to better understand what is happening in Peru and under what conditions the people’s war is taking place.
(…) In their document, the Canadian comrades also point out that we have no respect for the people’s war in Nepal.
The comrades recreate shadows. They do not know the support that was given to this process in Latin America; what was not done is to support those like Kiran and others who were involved in contradictions with Prachanda for the sharing of power, who wanted to be shown to the world as the red line in Nepal and were timely fought not only by those whom the comrades of Canada brand as “idealistic line”, but by other organizations with which they now sign joint statements. In fact, comrades, there are countless campaigns of pints and mass mobilization that we have undertaken in support of the reorganization of the people’s war in Nepal.
By the way, In a letter sent to the comrades of Dazibao Rojo on September 8, 2012 we pointed out the importance of supporting the reestablishment of the people’s war in Nepal and why we openly opposed the support given to Kirán. And history, both to us and to other Maoist organizations, unfortunately proved us right; and we unfortunately say because we consider that both you, some comrades from Spain who fell into the trap of Kiran, and we, we would have liked the impulse to be different, that in truth Kirán and others have had the ideological arrests to correct and resume the people’s war until the triumph and maintenance of the New Power in Nepal. Like other Maoist organizations, he unfortunately agreed with us; and we unfortunately say because we consider that both you, some comrades from Spain who fell into the trap of Kiran, and we, we would have liked the impulse to be different, that in truth Kirán and others have had the ideological arrests to correct and resume the people’s war until the triumph and maintenance of the New Power in Nepal. Like other Maoist organizations, he unfortunately agreed with us; and we unfortunately say because we consider that both you, some comrades from Spain who fell into the trap of Kiran, and we, we would have liked the impulse to be different, that in truth Kirán and others have had the ideological arrests to correct and resume the people’s war until the triumph and maintenance of the New Power in Nepal.
(…) And yes, the Canadian cameras are not only clinging to the tail of the ROL, they are also holding onto the revisionists and other opportunists who at the time criticized and branded the Chinese comrades revisionists and opportunists when you held the VII Congress of the CCP (1945) that the guiding thought of the party is Mao Tsetung Thought and that it was specifically – by then – the application of Marxism-Leninism to the reality of China. Today they reply, today it is the Khrushchev’s of the ICM who howl and oppose Gonzalo Thought. And like it or not, Mao Tsetung thought despite having several detractors who clung to the hands of the dog Deng Xiaoping, Khrushchev, Hoxha and others, there were also some parties and organizations that began to value Chairman Mao’s contributions for consider them to have worldwide validity. In Colombia, the PLA ML Thought Mao Tsetung; in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Spain and other parties and organizations in the world they were renamed ML Mao Tsetung Thought and to propose New Democracy and others. Of course, the historical evidence tells us that none of these organizations and / or parties came up with defining Mao Tsetung Thought as Maoism, why? Because that definition had to be subject to certain historical conditions that allowed deepening its study and application.
The comrades of the RCP, consider that even before the People’s War in Peru there was already a universal recognition of Maoism without being Maoism (¿), however, the comrades refuse to recognize that Maoism, as such, was defined, recognized, wielded and defended as such, as the third and superior stage of Marxism-Leninism with the beginning and development of the people’s war in Peru.
The comrades, in a clear idealistic manifestation, refuse to understand how and under what conditions Mao Tsetung Thought was generated and how it came to be defined as Maoism; initially within the framework of the revolution in a country like China with different characteristics from those that existed in Russia before the Bolshevik revolution; on the basis of inter-imperialist contradictions (USA_URSS); world wars, cultural revolution; international proletarian movement, national liberation movement, struggle between Marxism and revisionism and later the development of the GP in Peru.
The RCP points out that: Before the people’s war in Peru, did Mao Tsetung Thought already have the same weight and meaning as what we now know as Maoism? No comrades; after the Cultural Revolution the Chinese Khrushchev, Deng Xiaoping and his clique took pains to distort it, besides attacking it, they always tried to show it as unfeasible; Nor was it put in tension in Vietnam or in any other place on the planet, as indeed it was done in Peru in the process of reconstitution of the Party and other instruments for the revolution; where Chairman Gonzalo, Gonzalo Thought and the Party had a deeper understanding of Mao Tsetung Thought initiating and developing people’s war, otherwise it would have been impossible for this to happen and with it the recognition of what today we communists of the world,
And no comrades, when the PCP and particularly Chairman Gonzalo systematizes Mao Tsetung thought, it does not do so “in a vacuum” regardless of the practice – as you point out – it certainly does so by analyzing the experience of the Chinese revolution and Furthermore, in the course of preparing, initiating and developing the people’s war in Peru, that is, validating the theory in practice, in fact, of course, without underestimating the important two-line struggle that was generated at the time. MRI.
As a means of arguing its presentation, the RCP points out that Stalin “did not systematize Leninism. He defended Leninism”. Yes, it is true, Stalin defended it, but they ignore a fundamental fact, which before that defined it as such, as Leninism and applied it in a new context, in that of the Cold War, in the counter-offensive of Yankee Imperialism with the support of the imperialist and capitalist powers of Europe in and after World War II, and do not forget comrades that it was precisely Stalin in 1924 who affirmed that “you could not be a Marxist if you were not a Marxist-Leninist”, just like us, In particular, the communists of Ecuador say it with force, determination and without ambiguity, at present you cannot be a Marxist-Leninist without being a Maoist and in a particular way, To be a Maoist today is to recognize the contributions of universal validity of Gonzalo Thought, in such a way that we consider Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Gonzalo Thought! considering that this is the correct ideological line to develop the people’s war in our country and put it at the service of the World Proletarian Revolution.
(…) The comrades of Canada have an inexplicable disagreement with the most elementary Marxist, historical materialist, dialectical analysis; in fact, it easily reminds us of Avakian’s vain pretensions. No comrades, you cannot compare the contributions Lenin made to Marxism, or Chairman Mao to Marxism-Leninism; We are not there for that, although it is true it is a whole, as you well point out, they are also a dialectical sequence that becomes a synthesis, although it is true that it begins with Marx and Engels, we cannot think that it will end with Chairman Mao and Maoism. That is idealism, comrades, mechanism of the grossest;
We even find it rude, comrades when they point out that “how is it possible that the Communist Party of China, several decades before the emergence of “Gonzalo Thought”, managed not only to lead a people’s war but to lead it to victory? How is it that the Vietnamese communists, several years before the so-called “synthesis” of Maoism, managed to do the same? “in relation to what was sustained in one of the statements in which we pointed out the impossibility of a people’s war without having assimilated the contributions with universal validity of Gonzalo Thought.
They want to compare and oppose the People’s War in Peru with other historical processes. They again throw a handful of lentils into the river, this time pretending a tsunami: “even the Vietnamese resistance wars against French and American imperialism (…) had a much greater influence than the People’s War in Peru in the world and that unlike the latter resulted in victory.” What an analysis! What a comparison! Comrades, analyze the context; the characteristics of the war in Vietnam were of national liberation, they did not consider the possibility of developing a New Democracy revolution; Furthermore, in 1967 they chose to follow the Soviet social-imperialism led by Khrushchev and implement in Vietnam a bureaucratic dictatorship over its people, alien to the leadership of the proletariat. However, and undeterred, the comrades countless times accuse the comrades of the PCB-FR and “their satellites” of being idealistic, petty-bourgeois, of ignoring historical materialism. (?)
(…) People’s War until communism
The comrades of Canada also give each other ways to point their rifles on the slogan: People’s War until Communism!
Likewise, they qualify it as wrong; as a “reduction of what means people’s war”, they consider that the people’s war is a “form of revolutionary action and a strategy to dismantle the military forces of the class enemy and take power” (…) “that once the power is conquered throughout the country and the enemy armed forces have been crushed, the military confrontation ends for the simple reason that there is no longer a militarily organized adversary to confront”.
Comrades. The seizure of power alone does not represent anything; nor does the destruction of the military apparatus guarantee that the enemy has been totally liquidated. In fact, to some extent he regains his strength because imperialism is going to support him more and better. Power is expressed not only in the arrest of the means of production; Power is no longer only expressed in the military apparatus, it is also shown solidly in the field of consciousness and in another aspect that has become very strong today: the militarization of societies.
Today’s imperialism is obviously not the imperialism of the last century; deploys new strategies, they have been recreating them for decades in Colombia to combat armed revisionism using alternative apparatuses, paramilitary groups or opposing masses against masses. They have done it in Peru, where imperialism put its greatest effort. Let’s see what happens in Syria, they continue with that line of balkanization; they instrumentalize the masses of the same countries to weaken or overthrow governments or states. Comrades, it is not enough to defeat the old military apparatus, it is important to develop people’s war to defend the new power. It is fundamental, and that defense has long since ceased to be the responsibility basically of the new apparatus, the new army, it is up to the armed sea of masses to do so; As Marx and Engels said, without that “armed sea” of masses, there is no possibility of defending Power and bringing it to communism. We insist on the need to recognize and rescue the experience of the international proletariat in the Paris Commune, or of the USSR, where the lack of militarization of the party and of arming the masses contributed to the leadership apparatuses of the party and the professional army being easily assaulted by restorative revisionism.
Comrades, the People’s War is much more than an army made up of guerrillas organized into local forces, main forces, and armed militias destroying the enemy’s living forces until they take power, and having achieved this purpose, going to lock up in the barracks. The war that the proletariat and the poor peasantry raises is an integral, systemic, dialectical war, where every vestige of the old Power is destroyed, that is, its old armed apparatus, its old productive structure, its old relations of production, its old culture. and the masses, under proletarian leadership, have that task, but on the same premise and with the same vehemence, they must defend the new Power that will try to be undermined and destroyed by the bourgeois and landlord remnants with the support of imperialism in the same spheres. .
Chairman Mao points out the importance of arming the masses even after victory has been achieved: “As the imperialists commit so many outrages against us, we have to treat them seriously. We must not only have a powerful regular army, but also organize contingents of popular militia everywhere, so that the imperialists, if they attack us, can hardly move to a single point in the country ”, “If imperialism dares to unleash a war of aggression against our country; the people’s militia will operate in coordination with the People’s Liberation Army and will reinforce it at all times to defeat the oppressors”. And not only that, comrades, but Chairman Mao considered the militias and the armed forces as an instrument of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Today, in the absence of the socialist camp (since 1976), the Yankee imperialist superpower is much more daring, violent, it feels itself owner of the world despite the counterweight that Chinese and Russian imperialism tries to apply. It shows it in Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen. Precisely in recent times it has not ceased in its threat to invade Venezuela, to position itself more solidly with its armed contingent in Colombia and other countries where it has puppets, lackeys, all armed, just as violent, because imperialism and reaction in general know that Power defends itself with violence. Should we communists invent another way to defend Power outside of violence that must necessarily be expressed as people’s war?
It is that surely the comrades of the RCP think that we communists, with Power in our hands, become humanitarian souls, that we must treat the bourgeois remnants with white gloves, with cowardice (¿). No, we are not going to make that mistake again! The problem with Power also lies in how to defend it. We well know that it is accessed by war and is defended by war, the limits of which can only be established by the capacity it has to decisively and definitively annihilate or neutralize its enemy, that the problem is ultimately defined by who “uses force without regard, without economy of blood”. Clausewitz maintained this and also warned of what you draw regarding how to handle the bourgeois remnants in socialism; “The mistakes made out of benignity are precisely the most damaging”; And if to wield the defense of the New Power with people’s war is to want to show a radicalized vision of it, well, that’s why.
No comrades, they can’t, in fact, they don’t have the right and make mistakes that way; In the current circumstances in the world there is a certain tendency towards a greater fascism and reaction of the old states; waging war to destroy the old power becomes a much more bloody, harsh, complex strategic exercise that does not necessarily conform to dogmas or formulas that must be replicated mechanically, not comrades, the conditions are different; today it is necessary to militarize the communist parties, militarize the masses to defend the new power with people’s war, understand that people’s war is “a strategic perspective to guarantee the dictatorship of the proletariat” as Chairman Gonzalo points out.
Chairman Mao says well: “the proletariat aspires to transform the universe according to its conception of the world, and the bourgeoisie according to its own.” Although it is true that the proletariat and its allies destroy the old bourgeois-landlord power (in the semi-colonial), are not the old bourgeoisie and the big landowners going to organize the recovery of power by armed or violent means ?; Is their military apparatus defeated, will they resort to “democratic” means to destroy the new power? In both New Democracy and socialism, antagonistic classes survive and as long as societies are made up of antagonistic classes, war is to the death!
The maintenance of the people’s war until communism establishes, as a basis, the absolute predominance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-mainly Maoism until a new thought emerges and is consolidated worldwide as the development of MLM.
One of the brilliant contributions that Chairman Mao made to Marxism, and which would establish itself as one of the starting points that would mark the emergence of Mao Tsetung thought, was the study of the correct treatment of contradictions within the people. In fact, within the people there will be contradictions that must be resolved in this order, of the two-line struggle, such as the one we propose will develop with you to the extent that they do not become antagonistic; However, with revisionism raised directly to a restorative strategy or that prevents the revolution from unleashing, it must be a fight to the death; against the bourgeois-feudal remnants it must be driven to death, and not because one wants to show a version of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a new “radical” version, as you point out, but because the history of the class struggle has taught us that it must be that way. If the enemy does everything it considers doing to be able to hold the old Power, why shouldn’t the proletariat do that, and more so to hold its dictatorship?
Comrades, basically the criers of a bourgeois military line can think that way, focus on the idea that the popular army as a vertical, unique, bureaucratic, professional armed structure, divorced from the masses; it is thinking like Khrushchev, Peng De-juai and Luo Rui-ching who promoted the idea of a professional army, separated from the people, from the masses. Why did they think and act in this way? Because in this way the leadership of the army could easily be assaulted and turned into an instrument to usurp the leadership of the party. History let us see that this line is opportunistic, rabidly anti-dictatorship of the proletariat. In fact, to some extent it also happened in Peru,
Lenin alerted him by pointing out “that the bourgeoisie remained stronger than the proletariat even after the latter had seized power, and that it will always try to make a return to power.” Stalin was weak in that regard; This is one of their mistakes, not to fully recognize and in its true dimension the existence of antagonistic classes in socialism and how to resolve these irreconcilable contradictions.
Comrades, the class struggle is a struggle for Power and the fundamentals of Maoism is that, Power, Power for the proletariat. The fundamental thing in Gonzalo Thought is Power, but also how to sustain Power in the framework of new contradictions where an imperialist superpower such as the US survives; imperialist powers that enter into the division of the world, but also, in a scenario where the petty bourgeois reformism puts us new scenarios and where a neo-revisionism has clearly emerged that has given ways of raising a battle to the correct ideological line of the international proletariat .
(…) The comrades of Canada also consider that those of us who uphold the Marxism-Leninism-Maoism thesis, mainly Maoism, give it an equivocal assessment of what the Cultural Revolution represented.
No comrades. We start from a fundamental premise that our comrades do not seem to understand correctly. The cultural revolution is above all CLASS STRUGGLE.
In Chairman Mao’s China, after the seizure of power, the structural transformation did not occur mechanically and in the midst of a sacrosanct peace. That is, the productive forces were developed, private property over the means of production was suppressed, and exploitative relations of production were eliminated. Not comrades, an ideological revolution was also necessary because it was necessary to root out the conceptions that tied the masses to feudalism, to the old structure, to the bourgeois conceptions that survive and of which the restorers take advantage to undermine the new power. These leaps occurred in the midst of confrontations, some, antagonistic, to the death; others, within the people, one, red line, Chairman Mao, the other, the other, the Chinese Khrushchev, Deng Xiaoping and his clique,
The cultural revolution did not respond to operating basically in the field of consciousness, as you suggest; Through that revolution, the consolidation of proletarian power had a notable impact. It is important to recreate what Chairman Mao pointed out in this regard: “the social being of man determines his thinking. The correct ideas characteristic of the advanced class, once dominated by the masses, become a material force that transforms society, the world”. Without the Cultural Revolution, the teachings of Marx and Engels that the emancipation of the workers is the work of the workers themselves would not have been evident; consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat, strengthen its class consciousness and advance production.
We must not forget comrades that Chairman Mao did not see the revolution isolated from the central problem that appeared in the structure, but rather saw it in a systemic, related way, making the cultural revolution was a problem of the class struggle that was linked to the tasks of also fighting for scientific production and experimentation. In fact, Chairman Mao considered that “we often find incomprehensible leap phenomena in everyday life in which matter can become consciousness and consciousness into matter”, so we cannot be banal and not consider this dialectical relationship that is expressed as a contradiction.
Comrades, if in some way we, the communists of Ecuador, the nobodies, the little ones, the tiny satellites of the PCB-FR could define the cultural revolution, we would do so by arguing that this was, above all, class struggle; weapon for the consolidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat, but above all the way in which the absolute predominance of Mao Tsetung thought was established in China.
(…) Comrades; We believe that today to be a communist is to be a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, mainly a Maoist, because we are living a turning point determined by the conditions in which the inter-imperialist contradictions develop in which there is no longer a socialist camp; where the new division of the world is between the Yankee imperialist superpower and the other imperialist powers that seek to establish a certain counterweight to the Yankee empire; where the development of Chinese imperialism, which, apart from the dictatorship of the proletariat, disputes markets with the United States; where the MCI is dispersed by the presence of neo-revisionism exposed by currents such as Avakian; the crumbs that Prachanda has left scattered in some places;
We are mainly Maoists because we consider that we are entering a stage of inflection and leap, where in countries, particularly in the third world, the weight of Gonzalo Thought is ceasing to be incidental to becoming decisive in politics and ideology.
Let us remember what happened in China, which became the centre of the world proletariat after the October revolution; that Mao-Tsetung thought was a touchstone for Khrushchev’s revisionism, Deng Xiaoping; against reformism and even against those parties and organizations that hand over the responsibility of undertaking national liberation struggles to the national bourgeoisie or the petty bourgeoisie. It was constituted in the centre of Marxism-Leninism until before the People’s War in Peru and that from there, becoming Maoism, opened gaps for the deed of a new impulse, a new leap, Gonzalo Thought, today constituted the most effective touchstone for distinguishing revolutionaries from counterrevolutionaries;
(…) And yes, comrades, without pretending to be pragmatic and eclectic, we can also agree with you on the need to fight against the communist parties and organizations that have distorted the class struggle, that have changed the course to follow in relation to create subjective conditions for people’s war and revolution by getting bogged down in “postmodernist” struggles that contribute nothing to the revolution and that on the contrary distract the proletariat from its fundamental struggles. In any case, it must be understood that postmodernism not only becomes the subjective management of the struggles of the masses and the distortion of the class struggle, it is also revealed in the new forms of struggle that they intend to print within the masses.
In Ecuador it has been enough that a dynamic group that, hiding behind a Maoist claim “The rebellion is justified” and sustaining an eclectic discourse, has developed and to some extent contaminated the forms of struggle of the class and the masses. Drums, mimes, clowns, whistles, dancers, are the actors and methods of struggle that seek to replace the determined and combative action of the proletariat, peasantry and other exploited masses.
Comrades, with the above we do not refer to the fact that we agree with you in pointing out that this is the line of struggle applied by the comrades of the United States whom we respect and value in a way and that you attack with so much vehemence, but because evidently, many communist parties that define themselves as Maoists have fallen into this game of dispersion, becoming real obstacles to the revolution.
Comrades of the RCP of Canada, an internationalist call to get out of that small world to which they are shackled by a subjective vision of reality, of the contradictions that arise within the international proletariat. It is not for us, as communists, to lean on a materialism tainted with idealism or to merge dialectics with metaphysics to rant with those who, even with errors typical of those who tirelessly try again and again to unleash the people’s war for conquest and defence of Power for the class on that inevitable path to reach communism.
You have to get out of that platonic cave that only lets you see shadows and false realities. With ideology and its correct application, it is necessary to explore, interpret and transform objective reality; It is urgent to accept criticism in a constructive way, as “medicine for the patient” and avoid or discard those false academic claims that do not contribute to the two-line struggle and that end up being instrumentalized by imperialism and other enemies of the class and the people to conjure up the revolution.
Comrades, if we do not fight against revisionism, we will have done nothing.
LONG LIVE MARXISM-LENINISM-MAOISM, MAINLY MAOISM!
LONG LIVE MARXISM-LENINISM-MAOISM, GONZALO THOUGHT!
IF WE DON’T FIGHT AGAINST REVISIONISM, WE WILL HAVE DONE NOTHING!
FOR UNITY IN THE IDEOLOGY OF THE INTERNATIONAL PROLETARIAT!
LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE’S WAR IN PERU, INDIA, THE PHILIPPINES AND TURKEY!
LONG LIVE THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF BRAZIL RED FRACTION AND OTHER COMMUNIST PARTIES COMMITTED TO THE WORLD PROLETARIAN REVOLUTION!
“The World’s Revolutionary People Love to Listen to Radio Peking”
1966. Overseas listeners, Peking Review reported in the hyperbole of the time,
“listen attentively to the voice of Mao Tse-tung’s thought being broadcast from Peking. They say that they love listening to the Peking broadcasts and they regard this as being as important as eating.”
Throughout the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese media outlets would carry reports quoting foreign friends as testimony that “We, the oppressed people, place on China our hope for the victory of the world revolution”. China’s propaganda, thus, espouses both a nationalist and an internationalist spirit.
How did Maoism reach such a global audience at a time and when China’s withdrawal of diplomatic missions marked an inward period? It still reached out and found willing political tourists, its messages beamed across the airwaves and propaganda was airmail worldwide as demonstrated in Evan Smith’s survey “Peking Review and global anti-imperialist networks in the 1960s” and in Cagdas Ungor’s ‘Reaching the Distant Comrade: Chinese Communist Propaganda Abroad (1949-1976). The word and the deed inspires vanguard aspirations in others, for example, as discussed in Megan Ferry’s article China as Utopia: Visions of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in Latin America. Modern Chinese Literature & Culture Vol.12 No.2 (Fall 2000) pp236-269
Frequent articles appeared that informed the Chinese people that the world shared their love and admiration for the Chairman. This material supported China’s claim as the legitimate inheritor of Marxist-Leninist Thought and China as the world leader of revolutionary Marxism as enhanced by Mao. The main themes, expressed through the articles headlines, emphasized the international relevance and revolutionary advance that Mao Tse-tung’s Thought had as an ideological “spiritual atom bomb”. As People’s Daily editor argued “Mao Tse-tung’s Thought [was a] Beacon of revolution for the World’s People”
“People throughout the world, and particularly the Asian, African and Latin American peoples, are passing through different stages of revolutionary struggle. They see in the brilliant example of the Chinese revolution their own future and firmly believe that Mao Tse-tung’s thought is the guide to world revolution. The revolutionary people in different countries earnestly desire to grasp Mao Tse-tung’s thought and to apply Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s revolutionary theories to their revolutionary struggles. Mao Tse-tung’s thought is having an even greater and more profound influence throughout the world, and the world revolution will win still greater victories.”
[Peking Review #24 June 10th 1966]
There were frantic efforts to support the phenomenal propaganda in the struggle to build the dissemination and distribution of knowledge. Often formulaic in tone incorporated textual and visual propaganda – China Pictorialand China Reconstructs alongside Peking Review, the revolutionary images in posters and papercuts, and whilst not unique to any one political tendency the use of iconographic embolismic images to signal political allegiance resonates into the contemporary world. Mao idolised in a doctrinaire way, at the expense of a revolutionary engagement, to be ‘on message’
Circulated by overseas groups and radical bookshops, not only as an act of solidarity but , as the 1977 slogan for London-based New Era Books put it, as “a propaganda weapon to build the revolutionary party” as it sold the ideology of the Chinese revolution as its own.
Chinese publications market internationally the unambiguous idea of revolutionary leadership and ideology rooted in the Chinese experience and achievement – at that time its highest expression was the Cultural Revolution.
The radical rhetoric of Ch’en Po-ta (1904–1989 : Chen Boda) personal research assistant and secretary to Mao Zedong, editor of the party journal Red Flag, Politburo member ludicrously denounced at the 10th Party Congress in 1973 as a ‘revisionist secret agent’ for his associations with Lin Biao, promoted all those elements associated with contemporary Maoism. The report delivered by Lin Piao in 1965 “Long Live the Victory of the People’s War!” championed the global peasantry taking on the industrially developed world recasting the world revolution in third wordlist terms.
Figure 1 Mao’s Gang of Four: Zhou, Lin, Chen, Kang
Julia Lovell, Maoism A Global History (Bodley Head 2019) challenges the side-lining of global Maoism and its enduring appeal beyond China. Adherents outside China took seriously the message that China was the political centre of world revolution. For some militants it proved also to be its military and technical centre through the training they received.
Promoting revolution, the CPC’s International Liaison Department globalisation of Maoist thought under Kang Sheng oversaw the provision of revolutionary ideas, strategies, money and weapons to revolutionary insurgencies; he met worshipful western Maoists in Beijing and funnelled cash through Albania, and according to Lovell’s reading of secondary sources, provided intelligence to the communists in Cambodia .
China provided Radio stations – Voice of Thailand/Malaysia set in southern China and championed anti-imperialism defiance of colonialism through the institutions of Nanjing Military Academy – guerrilla training –for Zanla’s outstanding military leader Josiah Tongogara and the Tanzania camps with Chinese instructors, and Beijing’s Yafeila Peixun Zhongxin – the Asian, African and Latin American training centre near the Imperial Summer Palace – Lovell suggests its graduates include Saloth Sar and Abimael Guzman. There was Soviet precedent: the Communist University for the Toilers of the East in the Soviet Union had trained activists from the region, among them Ho Chi Minh.
“October 1949 may prove more significant that October 1917”
“the thought of Mao is the most powerful ideological weapon to defeat the enemy, and Mao Tse-tung is the Lenin of the present era.”
Common sentiments expressed were that Mao was “the greatest Marxist-Leninist of our time”, “Chairman Mao has carried Marxism-Leninism forward to an entirely new stage”, as for Mao Tse-tung Thought: “It is living Marxism-Leninism at its highest. Standing in the forefront of our epoch” in fact “a work of genius”. Back in 1966, the only thing it wasn’t called was “Maoism”.
One of the points hammered home in Julia Lovell’s “Maoism: a global history” was demonstratively obvious at the time:
“Maoism contains within it ideas that have exerted an extraordinary tenacity and ability to travel, that have put down roots in terrains culturally and geographically far removed from that of China.”
The transnational dimensions of the revolutionary visions that came out of China in the 1960s/70s have an enduring appeal still seen in the revolutionary hotspots in the contemporary world but still people talk in terms of the theme of ‘global Maoism’ in the absence of coherent institutional structures or programmatic unity. Lovell argues that the global spread and importance of Mao and his ideas in the contemporary history of radicalism are only dimly sensed as existing secondary material fails to synthesis and explain the legacies of Maoism throughout the world. Her engaging narrative aims to recast Maoism as one of the major stories of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. However this is not an account by a Marxist sympathiser or Maophile:
Maoism in this book is an umbrella word for the wide range of theory and practice attributed to Mao and his influence over the past eighty years. … this term is useful only if we accept that the ideas and experiences it describes are living and changing, have been translated and mistranslated, both during and after Mao’s lifetime, and on their journeys within and without China.
Line struggles involving American Maoist collectives
Documentary material on radical themes & occurrences
Returning to a subject explored in America’s Maoist Mushrooms, not just Facebook entities as with the impression given by third Worldists trend, but small activists group, network building involving Maoist pre-party formations. They have drawn some local media comment along the line of Red Guards and the Modern Face of Protest and varying degrees of criticism from the Left:
“Our political development mirrors that of the entire contemporary Maoist movement” – RGLA-4-year-summation (2017)
The contemporary Maoist movement began roughly around 2012/13 mainly in the east coast, particularly in New York City – with the NCP-OC’s first congress being held in 2013. But the Maoist movement back then – with its centre in student organizing – only now exists as a memory and contains valuable lessons on not repeating those errors. Today the U.S. Maoist movement is an integral part of the countrywide antifascist and anti-gentrification movements. U.S. Maoism, as it is now, sparked in the heart of the proletarian urban centres, mostly populated by oppressed nationalities.
RGLA – Red Guard Los Angles -was founded in October 2014 as a Maoist pre-Party cadre/ the first Maoist collective to start up, was immediately followed by our comrades-in-arms RGA – Red Guard Austin -, and then followed by and under their leadership Red Guards Philadelphia (now defunct), then Red Guards Pittsburgh, Red Guards Kansas City and most recently Red Guards Charlotte. While no summation as of yet exists for the liquidation of Red Guards Philadelphia, the Red Guards principally Maoist movement continues to be growing. This network of like-minded autonomous collectives remain ideologically connected whilst organisational independent. The publishing programme of Fourth Sword publications reflective of their define Maoism, the Maoism brought to the world principally by the Communist Party of Peru (In Spanish, the acronym is PCP) and Chairman Gonzalo. There was a lot of struggle within the 2018 inaugural Maoist Conference for Line Struggle held in Kansas City and by the end of the conference it was eventually agreed upon by all collectives that it is not yet the appropriate time to form a National Organizing Committee.
In the aftermath of the conference there has been intensified polemical interventions that have taken on an international dimensions on websites. They sided with criticism that emerged of Sison, founder-leader of the Communist party of the Philippines. They took sides in the split in the Canadian RCP. They repost the joint statement from various parties and groups in defence of the life of imprisoned PCP Chairman Gonzalo which appeared on the website Dem Volke Dienen . Organised co-ordinated protests in November 2018 against the disappearance, Dr. Sernas—a professor of constitutional law at Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca—in the midst of defending twenty-three Maoist militants of Corriente de Pueblo Sol Rojo, a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organization based in Oaxaca.
The RGA Summation tagline includes a reference to the forthcoming protracted people’s war. This was the topic of an earlier collection of documents focused on an element in the construction of what constitutes “Maoist” amongst the fragmentary groups who self-identify as such, and the physiology of twenty-first century Maoism, by identifying arguments and positions attempting to shape the political strategy for the decades to come.
Emergence of co-ordinated internet sites posting statements and news, reflective of a push to consolidate a MLM “Gonzaloist” trend, has seen momentum towards a United International Conference, which would make possible to reconstruct an international organization based on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, after the collapse of the RIM. The unity based on the defence and application of maoism as the third and superior stage of the ideology of the revolutionary proletariat and its universal character (with an emphasis on people’s war) for the different revolutionary processes in the world. This would be something very different from the proposition of an anti-imperialist international front which is advocated by organizations such as ILPS and ICOR sponsored by the MLPD, and in opposition to new revisionism, such as avakianism, prachandaism and the Right Opportunist Line in Peru.
A leading element, in this largely Latin American based trend, the Communist Party of Brazil (Red Faction) has been critical of what its described as the “rightist line that works for the split of the ICM” and “revisionist line that intends to undermine the People´s Wars” coming out from the International League of Peoples’ Struggle led by veteran communist Jose Maria Sison. Warning that so called “peace agreements” “demonstrated how an efficient liquidating road of revolutionary movements by the imperialists and their revisionist lackeys, with the example in the case of Nepal”.
The criticism brought a strong rebuke from Dan Borjal, Political Consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, for “the remarkable ignorance of Dem Volke Dienen about concrete Philippine conditions and about the Philippine revolutionary movement, and its audacity in exhibiting its idealist, ahistorical and un-Marxist way of thinking.”
More recently there was a flurry of condemnation, carried on the website Dem Volke Dienen – Serve the People, of the aggression that the Committee Red Flag suffered during the 2018 May 1st demonstration in Berlin from elements of the Jugendwiderstand [“Youth Resistance”] .Rather than explain it off as a ‘turf battle’, CRF supporters raised suggestions that it was stirred up by prompting from Utrecht.
The May 2016 meeting of marxist-leninist-maoist Parties and Organizations of Latin America set out the contours of the trend in three joint declarations, for debate and as contributions for the development of the two lines struggle in the International Communist Movement to draw the demarcation line: “Thesis on the international situation and the tasks of the International Communist Movement”, “Celebrate the 50 years of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution with People’s War until Communism” and “Resolution of Class Solidarity with the Communist Party of India (maoist) and the People’s War”.
“In these documents we advanced on the questions of utmost importance for the Proletarian World Revolution, such as the understanding of Maoism as the new, third and superior stage of the development of Marxism, the defense of the necessity of the concentric construction of the three fundamental instruments of revolution, of the militarization of the Communist Parties, the understanding of great leadership and guiding thought of each party and the revolution it struggles and leads – among other contributions of universal validity of Gonzalo Thought.”
Beside individual organisations’ websites and publications, the news site https://www.newepoch.media/ seems the main blog channel for international solidarity in the emergent trend.
Not all MLM “Gonzaloists” are on board for a United International Conference e.g. the grouping around the online magazine Communism or Red Sun magazine of the Peru People’s Movement.
This year’s campaign on the bicentenary of Karl Marx’s birthday illustrates the activities and political positions taken by the organisations involved:
Communist Party of Brazil (Red Faction)
Peoples Movement Peru (Reorganisation Committee)
Communist Party of Ecuador – Red Sun
Red Faction of the Communist Party of Chile
Maoist Organization for the Reconstitution of the Communist Party of Colombia
Revolutionary Nucleus for the reconstitution of the Communist Party of Mexico
Committee Red Flag – Germany
Committees for the Foundation of the (Maoist) Communist Party – Austria
It doesn’t get that much coverage in the British mainstream media but there is material out there on the complex contemporary revolutionary struggle that has been sustained in India for half a century ~
Communist Party of India (Maoist) Documents, Statements, and Interviews of Leaders
“Revolutionary Writings” by Seamus Costello, the INLA Chief of Staff assassinated October 1977 by the Official IRA, is one of the latest volume in the “Colorful Classics” Collection published under the stewardship of Chris Kistler. He issued a call in August 2016 For a New International MLM Media that resulted in the website Redspark.
It was argued that while all Maoists could not agree on the question on universality of PPW – protracted people’s war – there was a demarcation line, an agreement on the necessity of armed struggle. “The news and articles we would post would be those from MLM, MLMZT and ML movement waging or having the strategy to wage an armed struggle to grasp the power.”
Besides carrying reports and news of international struggles, it has built a good library of 970 online articles, documents or books and collection of films and documentaries from throughout the world.
While co-ordinating the operation of the website ( and editor of Nouvelle Turquie website) and other social media outlets like facebook, Kistler is acting as the public face for a major publishing project referred to initially as Redspark and now apparently called Foreign Language Press.
A former militant of the PCmF, he now resides and works in the Nederlands, and seems suitable qualified to be at the centre of a developing International MLM Media. Kistler works for National Democratic Front (NDF) chief political consultant Jose Maria “Joma” Sison as a translator and active within the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS). It was in this capacity, at the April 2018 meeting organised by the Seamus Costello Memorial Committee’s 1916 Commemoration in Bray, Christophe Kistler read a solidarity statement from the International League of Peoples Struggle written by Jose Maira Sison founding Chairperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines. There is no conflict in interests when Specific Characteristics of our People’s War by Jose Maria Sison was reprinted in May 2017 as part of the publishing project.
Costello, an Irish Republican Marxist Leninist, joins a pantheon of maoist revolutionaries and advocates of armed revolutionary action. The most readily available material by Costello has been in the pages of Starry Plough archives and scattered around the internet.
Many of the issued titles have been available on the internet but the book remains a powerful icon and portable study material. The range of material published after a year of publishing (or rather republishing) MLM books has seen 14 different titles printed with around 1400 books distributed (from more than 1600 book printed) in close to 20 different countries.
Distribution has been via an informal contact network that maps out a particular correlation of global maoism.The collection “Colorful Classics” is distributed in the USA by Fourth Sword Publications, an initiative of Red Guards Austin.
Fourth Sword Publications is a small press publishing effort based on an interest in creating and distributing Maoist related literature. We exist to propagate and spread Maoism by making hard to find books available in print as well as publishing new Maoist books. We wish to make these books affordable to the working class. US orders only. Email email@example.com.
Reflecting the political impulse behind the series, book launches with Kistler have the character of political public meetings as in London in October 2016, co-hosted by Revolutionary Praxis, when a talk about the situation of the most advanced revolutionary movements in the world and of the history of the MLM movement in Britain, was followed by a book launch of the 1st volume of the first edition of “Collected Works of Communist Party of Peru” (1968~1987) and new editions of three important documents : “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism Basic Course” (CPI maoist), “Philosophical Trends in Feminist Movement” (Anuradha Ghandy) and “Minimanual of Urban Guerrilla” (Carlos Marighella).
The following week in Germany there was a book launch organized by Jugendwiderstand & Redspark in Berlin-Kreuzberg, talking about the needs of a revolutionary press publishing in the 21st century.
Latest news from April 2018 is the announcement of a Spring Thunder Tour supporting people’s war in India during which three publications will be made available: the 5th printing of the popular study text, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism Basic Course by the Communist Party of India (Maoist), Urban Perspective (an explanation of the work in the urban areas of CPI (maoist) and Post-Modernism Today by Comrade Siraj. Facebook https://en-gb.facebook.com/redspark.nu/
If you cannot buy direct, the most readily available place to obtain copies may be at the forthcoming London Radical Bookfair on Saturday 2nd of June. Revolutionary Praxis will have a stall. The fair will be held for the third year running at Goldsmiths University, South East London. https://londonradicalbookfair.wordpress.com/
With 19 separate national sections providing information on and primary documents from anti-revisionist movements, organisations and parties, the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line is the first web stop for any historical investigation of global maoism. EROL maintains this history that had faded into obscurity. In providing the source material from the movement it provide documents so that those studying them can draw their own conclusions on that period.
Other useful sites to explore include the MLM library provided by Redspark website that provides a developing collection of documents and author specific writings from the maoist perspective.
For many varied reasons (explored here) there was for self-identifying Maoists a distinct lack of an international experience similar to the structure and authority of the Comintern. Following the death of Mao Zedong however the identity of Maoism outside China splintered under ideological offensives launched from Albania and by organisations quickly critical of developments within China that principally grouped in RIM.
There were concerted efforts to unite global maoism into embryonic international associations like the (now defunct) Revolutionary Internationalist Movement and the broader International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) both in its pro-Hoxha and maoist variants http://www.icor.info/about-icor .
There is an online posting of a collection of materials by and about the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement [RIM], including their official documents, statements by the Committee of RIM [CoRIM], and issues and articles from their unofficial and now defunct magazine A World to Win.
These sites are purposeful, in the words of a committed blogger:
“it is important to examine the strengths and limitations of revolutionary organizations that were once significant so as to avoid repeating past errors. Often we tend to repeat the past’s mistakes, even when we think we are forging a new path, and there is sometimes little to know historical memory over an experience that can and should teach us something about how to organize as communists now.”
Learning From Documents of Past Struggle (continued) May 31, 2013
Contemporary Maoist organisations across the globe engage in the slow process of rebuilding an internationalist constellation on a shared understanding. In the aftermath of the demise of RIM, there were interventions on the need for a regrouping of international co-thinkers. Here is a selection of documents on the debate in the international communist movement at that period that provides the broad outline of the arguments of the varying self-declared competing Maoist trends.
The interest in Maoism outside of China and beyond the Global South has also attracted an academic interest and growing body of literature. Some of the more accessible commentary on various aspects of global maoism include:
Dr Julia Lovell The Uses of Foreigners in Mao-Era China: ‘Techniques of Hospitality’ and International Image-Building in the People’s Republic, 1949-1976.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 25 (2015): 135-158. Downloaded from: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/13758/
Dr Julia Lovell. Global Maoism Podcasts / produced by Simon Brown, 29th March 2017
Dr Julia Lovell of Birkbeck, University of London, discusses the role and significance of Global Maoism in the development of the Cold War
Arif Dirlik (2014) Mao Zedong Thought and the Third World/Global South, Interventions, International Journal of Postcolonial Studies Vol 16 No. 2, 233-256. DOI: 10.1080/1369801X.2013.798124
The Chinese Revolution and Latin America: The Impact of Global Communist Networks on Latin American Social Movements and Guerrilla Groups http://worldhistoryconnected.press.uillinois.edu/7.3/rothwell.htmlDr Alpa Shah • Judith Pettigrew Windows into a revolution: ethnographies of Maoism in South Asia. Dialect Anthropol (2009) 33:225–251. DOI 10.1007/s10624-009-9142-5
Ahmed, Ishtiaq. (2010) “The Rise and Fall of the Left and the Maoist Movements in Pakistan.” India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs 66.3: 251-265.
Hirslund, D. V. (2017). Urbanising Maoism: Reconceptualising the transformation of revolutionary movements. Paper at SASNET Seminar, University of Lund, Sweden.
Miguel Cardina (2016) Territorializing Maoism: Dictatorship, War, and Anticolonialism in the Portuguese “Long Sixties”. Journal for the Study of Radicalism, 11.2, Fall 1, 2016. DOI: 10.1177/0022009415580143
“Before 1988 Maoism did not exist” is JMP’s opening for his Continuity and Rupture. The bookseller in Waterstone described it as ‘niche reading’ when he failed to locate any copies. But then Foyles underlined its reputation (damm it!) by having two copies of its shelves. Indeed, JMP’s exploration of ‘philosophy in the maoist terrain’ is unfortunately a minority interest, and this post reflects one engagement with a text that implies a challenge to the existing approach to an understanding of what one had been schooled in as Mao Zedong Thought.
The object is not a sematic shift, but emphasis on the significance of the anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist politics that arose in opposition to a politics that had reached its limits. JMP may be over generous in his description of the RCLB being “temporarily able to pull the masses into its orbit” as it launch one of the first significant critique in Eurocentrism and the Communist Movement; it certainly did not feel that churning out the duplicated pages of its first edition in the 2nd floor stock room of New Era Books – its improved revised 2nd edition arguing to a newer generation, with a tighter universalist relevance.
There were, of course, references to ‘maoist’ and ‘maoism’ prior to the 1980s – these were “conceptually incoherent” associated with a vague understanding of the Chinese Revolution – a Marxism practiced by the Chinese Revolution led by Mao Zedong. Portrayed (initially by supporters and opponents alike?) as Stalinism with Chinese characteristic and limited (geographically and) historically to the first half of the 20th Century.
Inside China, Maoism was never a term promoted or sanctioned; at best, the continuity with western Marxism was expressed in the formula of Marxism-Leninism-Mao (TseTung) Zedong Thought. The idea of universalist relevance saw a vogue for the term in the 1960s/70s but many who employed it – self-identification with it – “erupted only to spectacularly disintegrate or slowly degenerate” – 20th Century International Maoism proved to be a term (or aspiration) more than a constructed movement of like-minded activists and organisations.
JMP argues that it was at the end of the 1980s – and outside of China – when Maoism began to merge as Maoism proper. The provocative birthdate is suggested as the ideological moment of rupture is given as 1993. The statements of the Peruvian revolutionaries signposted the acknowledgement and recognition as a “third stage” of revolutionary science.
The Communist Party of Peru (Spanish: Partido Comunista del Perú), commonly referred to as the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), produced a theoretical statement that is drawing a line, a boundary, signalling a perception between the previous usages of Maoism and a concept of Maoism that is supposedly new: a theoretical tendency guiding revolution in Peru.
In this account, the onus is on JMP to establish that prior to this “watershed”, those who spoke either of Mao Zedong Thought , or Maoism did not conceptually regard it in terms that had saw it as a higher stage of Marxism. The initial reaction is that it was precisely during the Cultural Revolution that Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong though was promoted, advertised and regarded in that manner.
Having identified key moments in the chrysalis process of the conceptualisation of Maoism as the third and highest stage of Marxism-Leninism, it would need further exploration, certainly as part of a summation, as how far the ideological recasting and categorization of Maoism is an innovation of the theoretical line of the Communist Party of Peru led by former professor of philosophy, Abimael Guzmán, also known by the nom de guerre Chairman Gonzalo.
The conceptualisation of Maoism as the third and highest stage of Marxism-Leninism was evident in the positions of some anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninists, and there was the self-identity as a distinct Maoist trend even without, what JMP considers, the theoretical coherence.
“Maoism” was not only identified with the Chinese Revolution but was seen as having a relevance, indeed a model for particular Third World struggles – it was in the “peripheries” that it had its strength. First World adherents and supporters would draw on aspects of their understanding of the struggle in China – key link, criticism-struggle-unity, one divides into two etc. – few adopted “People’s War” perspective – that engagement on a theoretical level was to emerge in the 21st century Maoism.
The point made is that Maoism is not simply an addition to Marxism-Leninism. Its relationship is both as building upon, and critiquing that results in a development of the science achieved through a theoretical rupture that redraws the paradigm for revolutionary advance in the new century.
“Maoism, as a theoretical terrain, is in continuity with the radical kernel of Marxism by the very fact of its theoretical rupture.”
Diversion to one – not untypical – article illustrates the point JMP is arguing.
“The great thought of Mao Tse-Tung is developed Marxism-Leninism; it is Marxism-Leninism at its highest level. It has solved a series of important problems facing the international communist movement, problems which earlier Marxist-Leninists either never encountered or having encountered left unsolved, or were unable to solve in their time. In particular, Mao Tse=Tung Thought has solved the question of continuing to make revolution and preventing the restoration of capitalism under the dictatorship of the proletariat. It has ushered in a completely new era in the development of Marxism-Leninism – the era of Mao Tsetung’s thought.”
This article reflects the excessive personal praise of the time describing Mao as “the very red sun that shines most brightly in our hearts” and places him as “the authority of the world proletarian struggle in the present era.”
Furthermore, whilst still written within the boundary of ideological continuity, it says of the individual who was Mao Zedong that:
“He has inherited, defended and developed Marxism-Leninism with genius, creatively and comprehensively and has brought it to a higher and completely new stage….. and has scale new peaks in the history of the development of Marxism.”
Again it is the personal, note the apostrophe;
“Mao Tse-Tung’s thought is precisely the theoretical basis which guides the thinking of our great, glorious and correct party … it is a universal truth that holds true for the whole world.”
Lin Piao is most associated with promoting the notion that “Mao Tse-tung’s thought is Marxism-Leninism of the era in which imperialism is heading for total collapse.”
Such sentiments and formulations were to be found throughout the heights of the Cultural revolution in China, and echoed internationally by anti-revisionists of (what was termed in America as) the new communist movement.
It was a standard view from China, and accepted outside of it by revolutionary practitioners, that
“The struggle of the world’s revolutionary people in the present era also proves that only when tasks are done in accordance with Mao Tse-tung’s thought can victory be won. For China to be prosperous and world’s people liberated, we must rely on the great, invincible thought of Mao Tse-tung.”
It was for a relatively brief period that this judgement was proclaimed in Chinese publications and towards the international communist movement. The ‘red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought’ was most prevalent during the ultra-left excess of the Cultural Revolution. While the thought of Mao as the “theoretical authority of the communist movement in the present era” was disseminated, indeed regarded as “our most fundamental and important support” given to the revolutions of the peoples of all countries, the guidance it provided was attributed to the Chairman alone:
“Mao Tse-tung’s thought is one and identical with Marxism-Leninism; it is Marxism-Leninism at a higher level of development. In our era, the study of Mao Tse-tung’s thought is the best way to study Marxism-Leninism.”
It is personal as Lin Piao called upon people to “learn and master Mao Tse-tung’s thought truly without fail, study Chairman Mao’s writings, follow his teachings, act according to his instructions and be his good fighters.”
Sentiments repeated by Hua Guofeng seeking to consolidated his position after Mao’s death in 1976. Sentiments that appealed to a personal loyalty rather than a theoretical canon.
The description of the “great thought of Mao Tse-tung” as a spiritual atom bomb reflected the context of the time. It was a call to unleash the political consciousness to transform society, and underpin those who proclaimed support for Mao.
That propaganda onslaught, ritualised and formulaic, ultimately failed to develop creative study and application of Mao Tse-tung’s thought because it was an instrument in the political task of “establishing absolutely authority of the great supreme commander.”
The benefit to closest-comrade-in-arms, Lin Biao, was to inherit that militarist compliance to hierarchical commands. The dissemination of the red banner of Mao Tse-tung’s thought all over China and the world may have introduced the revolutionary experience of China to those outside the country, it may have inspired revolutionary aspirations, and it may have illuminate the danger of revisionist degeneration and initiated new revolutionary upsurges – however at that time it was building through the personality cult of Mao something to overcome in the appraisal of late Mao’s theoretical contributions on classes and class struggle during the period of building socialism.
Hsinhua correspondents would frequently report on Mao Tse-tung’s thought as the “beacon light of the world revolution”. The experiences of the Chinese Revolution as recorded in Mao’s writings provided the grounding theory for the revolutionary wars in progress; indispensable textbooks for revolutionaries, the works of Mao were earnestly studied with priority given to study the thought of Mao Tse-tung’s. It is this background and context which JMP (in his prologue) refers to the underdeveloped nature and understanding of ‘Maoism’ prior to 1988.
In 1976 the memorial messages sent on the passing of Chairman Mao by foreign ML parties commonly described him as “the greatest Marxist of the contemporary era.” He was praised as the “great continuer of the cause of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin”.
V.G.Wilcox. Peking Review September 30th 1976
The tributes noted “of special significance has been his contribution to the theory of continuing class struggle under socialism in order to bar the door to a revival of capitalism in new forms.” – the struggle against revisionism “to preserve the purity of Marxism-Leninism theory” was equally emphasis. That attribution reflects the understanding that of world historic importance was that he guided the work of building socialism in China by “brilliantly integrating the principles of Marxism-Leninism with the practice of the Chinese revolution.” The Burmese party said of Mao that he “inherited Marxism-Leninism, defended its purity and developed it with Mao Tsetung Thought.” (The lack of apostrophe signifying an upgrade in theoretical status?) (Peking Review September 30th 1976)
Nils Holmberg, veteran communist and translator of the Swedish editions of the Selected Works of Mao TseTung, said that Chairman Mao had made very important contributions in developing Marxism-Leninism. Pal Stegian told a memorial meeting in Norway that Mao’s work “are an eternal contribution to the theory of communism.” (Peking Review 44 October 29th 1976).
The red banner of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought had been raised by the international movement, yet still seen in terms of expressing the revolutionary line of Chairman Mao. That was the Maoist paradigm in 1976.
Elsewhere “Maoism” was a term that had been used by political opponent like Trotskyists and particularly in attacks from Russian publishing houses on Mao and China’s policies such as Y. Semyonov’s The Bitter Fruit of Maoism – Cultural Revolution and Peking’s Policy in International Affairs (September 1975). But as a term, Maoism was not used, or encouraged within China, and uncommon within the international communist movement during Mao’s lifetime.
When Canadian anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist republished the 1952 “Reader’s Guide to the Marxist Classics” they included an additional section dedicated to Mao Zedong.This volume was originally produced in 1952 for the Communist Party of Great Britain.
A new section was added to the 1980 Canadian edition on Mao Zedong Thought and a subject guide to the works of Mao Zedong.
“Today it has become clear that Mao Zedong has made significant contributions to Marxist-Leninist theory and to the practice of socialist revolution and construction… It is recognition of the importance of Mao Zedong’s contributions that the revolutionary theory of the proletariat is today called Marxism-Leninism-=Mao Zedong Thought.”
Likewise with the Study Handbook produced by the Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist), consisted of excerpts from the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong.
“Its aim is to bring Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought to all workers who are conscious of the historical mission of their class. This science is the result of 130 years of analysis of the workers’ movement. It sums up the principle lessons and thus serves as a guide for workers in all countries in their struggle for revolution.”
It explained that
“Marxism-Leninism-Mao TseTung Thought has always developed through the struggle against revisionism, which is the attempt made by the bourgeoisie’s agents to pervert communist theory, to deform the basic principles of Marxism and have the workers’ movement follow passively behind the capitalist class.”
Of the Five Heads:
“The principles they formulated are universally applicable to the concrete conditions of the revolution in every country… on the basis of their contributions communist theory is called Marxism-Leninism Mao Tsetung thought.”
In the transitional period that saw Maoism adopted as the preferred term there were the argument over whether to use Mao Zedong Thought or Maoism – particularly engaging were the contending views expressed by Indian communists. However even when adopted, the concept of Maoism was described in the following terms by CPI (ML) (People’s War),
“Marxism, Leninism and Maoism are thus not separate ideologies, but merely represent the constant growth and advancement of an integral ideology. Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is the universally applicable and scientific ideology of the proletariat.”
History of Marxism Leninism Maoism (2002) New Delhi : New Vistas Publication : 4
The basic premise remains that Mao Zedong Thought is an extension and development of Marxism-Leninism to the present era. This formulation was kept in the publication, Basic Course in Marxism-Leninism-Maoism republished by the Norwegian Tjen Folket in 2011, and again online in 2014 by the progressive anti-imperialist collective, Massalijn.
In the realm of internet Maoism there were declarations of “the fourth and latest stage of revolutionary science, Maoism ThirdWorldism” that emerged in the blogosphere around 2008. Associated with Monkey Smashes Heaven/ Prairie Fire (again drawing on the rich and variety maoist iconography) it initially build upon Lin Biao’s analogical strategy of the ‘countryside’ surrounding the cities underpinned by a theory of Labour aristocracy applied to the entire Global North. This view metamorphosed into the positions of the Leading Light Communist Organisation that, after advancing the argument that “to be a real Maoist today requires going beyond Mao”, came to renounce Maoism. JMP has come nowhere near spinning out of orbit like these individuals. Instead he has argued a case for a Maoism that is not rooted in a kind of seamless succession but a science that responds to the contradictions within life processes and seeks to address them. Reading Continuity and Rupture will not provide you with exam answer solutions but in its intellectual challenge, it can point you in the right direction.
Observers of the revolutionary Left in the USA saw around 2016 a flourishing internet presence by the emergence of nearly a dozen collectives in the U.S. which aspire to promote Maoist politics. The newly emerging forces of mainly student and young people organising in local collectives . Far greater details and named individuals are discussed in the polemical documents from the myriad of organisations that have sprung up throughout the US. This post provides the broad contour of developments and issues that have engaged these newly emerging Maoist forces.
The founding congress of the East coast based New Communist Party (Organising Committee) had been held in early 2013. It described itself dramatically as “inside the belly of the U.S. imperialist beast”, a new group of US-based communists established to struggle for the construction of a genuine proletarian revolutionary party guided by the theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and equipped with the basic programme of socialist revolution.
These new Maoists drew upon the symbols and iconography of the Chinese Cultural revolution. Clearly internationalist in outlook, it expressed its desire “to learn from the revolutionary and peoples’ struggles presently in India, Nepal, Peru, the Philippines, Turkey, and other countries”.
The Congress Report (released May 1st) stated, “Delegates began with a sober assessment of the present numbers and minimal influence of communist revolutionaries among the proletariat and oppressed masses in the US.” The NCP (OC) identified the necessity for “the coalescence of the dispersed advanced elements of the class into a revolutionary party”. It clearly saw the need to build the party, and it had national aspirations: “Rather than engaging in wishful thinking for a future party to arise spontaneously out of the mass struggles, every communist has the responsibility to immediately take up and share the effort in the central task of party construction. This is possible only with the organized accumulation of subjective forces for a proletarian revolutionary party guided by MLM.”
It placed its birth within the context of “the decisive defeat of the 1960s-1970s wave of class and nationality struggles. The New Communist Movement, unable to produce a genuine proletarian revolutionary party or at least set the course for the construction of such a party, was co-opted into the left-wing of the state apparatus and dissolved into today’s brokers of capital in Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Fragments of the New Communist Movement also ended up in self-marginalization, as a result of their lack of a mass line practice. Other leading elements of the nationality struggles, as well as groups of anti-imperialist guerrillas, without a clear guiding theory, proletarian party, political strategy for revolution, practice of mass line, and military strategy for People’s War were separated from the masses and easily smashed by the state, leaving in their wake only a scattering of prisoner support committees.” [ Document | Political Resolution, April 30th 2013]
Drawing upon the conceptual heritage expounded most systematically upon in Moufawad-Paul’sContinuity And Rupture and Marxism Leninism Maoism and Mao Tse Tung Thought are not the same by Comrade Ajith , the organisation’s self-identification argued that “to be a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist is not to ‘add up’ the achievements of Marx, Lenin and Mao. Rather, MLM draws out lessons, in the form of ruptures, from the practical experience of the proletariat and the people, concentrated in the events of the Paris Commune, the October Revolution and the Chinese Revolution, in particular the sequence of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. In the uniform cloth of history, these events constitute knots of accumulated and intensified contradictions.” There was a conscious stress on the ideological basis for guiding the organisation’s practice, and within the year the founding text, Principles of Unity, was criticised for containing :
…an empiricist distortion of Maoism, in which we conceived Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as a simple and undifferentiated addition of the various historical achievements of Marx, Lenin, and Mao. This descriptive—that is, ideological—account of Maoism …. We are now approaching the problem of constructing a genuine theoretical concept of Maoism via the opposite path, namely: what are the ruptures through which Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is constituted? [Document | Maoist Communist Group Founding Statement 2014]
In an echo of the “Fight Revisionism, Fight Self” subjective line that was evident in the Cultural Revolution, and the recognition that the “personal is political”, the organisation adopted resolution against patriarchy, and ratified its Principles of Unity upholding a proletarian feminist position, and a resolution on the queer struggle.” Its involvement in identity politics and around the campaign for Trans rights identified the continuing tread of western Maoists involvement in the “personal is political” that initially surfaced in the Ninteen Sixties Women’s Movement and Gay Rights campaigning. The caveat to support was that while “identity politics names real forms of oppression, because it lacks a materialist analysis, identity politics cannot formulate an effective practice to challenge the basis of oppression. Thus it lapses into liberalism, proscribing recognition and reform where we need revolutionary advance.”Course_Correction (2016)]
In 21st Century Maoism the intensity of the line struggle was more to the fore and given an ideological importance that had been underplayed in earlier organisations and parties. The inability to address the liberatory rhetoric with the practice of individuals came to paralysis and split the new Maoist trend in the US. [ The positions against patriarchy were explained in a text accompanying the Anti-Patriarchy Rectification Campaign, July 13, 2013: and Self-Criticism and Summation on Patriarchy March 2014. ]
Following the First Congress, the NCP(OC) was involved in two major contradictions;
that with a student organisation it influenced, and within ten months, the organisation “expelled multiple founding members in multiple cities for male chauvinism. The expulsions and related discussions consumed much of the internal activity of the organization. This rendered the central organs and particular units otherwise dysfunctional for substantial periods of time”.
The error of commandism was said to be applied with the New York based Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee, although this was explained as: “the problem of our lack of effectiveness was referable to a bureaucratic-technical separation rather than so-called ‘militarization’ or ‘authoritarian control.’”[ On Rectifying Past errors: Document by the New York City branch of the NCP(OC) Regarding the recent split in our organisation. March 2014]
Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee – RSCC Document – was founded in February 2012 as an organization uniting revolutionary-minded youth and student activists throughout the City University New York’s 24 colleges and graduate schools located across New York City’s five boroughs. It identified as an anti-capitalistic, anti-imperialist and Proletarian Feminist organization. Its activism included CUNY student protesters filmed confronting former four-star General and Director of the CIA, David Petraeus on the streets in September 2013. In the midst of internal patriachical struggles, the RSCC secretariat disintegrated as four out of five members got suspended from CUNY. It dissolved in April 2016.
In February 2014 a faction resigned its membership in the New Communist Party (Organizing Committee). It charged the NCP(OC) leadership with an inability to resolve the issues without reverting to a bureaucratic suppression of the isues e.g. “an ex-member of the OC harassed several Maoists in the US, for which the OC only issued apologies to the victims they were favorable to, neglecting to take responsibility and apologize to those they personally disliked”. The party building orientation and exercise of mass line was set aside for “it acted as a clandestine organization and objectively set on the path of building a militarized party”. There were charges bad political practices, of violating democratic procedure and respect for organisational independence e.g. “An OC member sat in on and participated in an entire RSCC meeting without being a member with democratic rights in the organization.” The contradictions between those, who would work as the Liaison Committee, and the NCP(OC) had been “careful to identify the principal contradiction so as to avoid making these mistakes in the future. The issue is that the mass leaders, all of proletarian background, were subjected to the incorrect line of the formal leadership, who are of petit-bourgeois backgrounds. While we all constitute the vanguard of the proletariat, our social classes will inform our political lines. Thus, the leadership put into command the politics of a Gonzaloite deviation (which failed in Peru).”
[Preliminary Statement of the NCP(LC) Regarding The Split With The NCP(OC) March 7th 2014]
March 2014 , Maosoleumwebsite declared itself an organ of the New Communist Party (Liaison Committee), NCP(LC) Documents “ formed after a split with the NCP(OC) on the basis of a line struggle between a Gonzaloite deviation and Maoism proper… We now span several cities and are leading mass work in NYC guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism through our student mass organization, the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee (RSCC) and internet mass organization, Maosoleum.” There was National Liaison between the NYC Branch, Kansas City and Red Guards – Los Angeles.
Liaison Committee was said to be formed due to fundamental differences over the question of party building: “Our main difference was that whereas the OC chose to pursue a path of clandestinity with an insular focus, we argued for a need to be open to the masses and to have an outward focus to uniting the advanced.” NCP (LC) Document TOWARDS A MAOIST PARTY
When challenged it was the PCP who first put forward Maoism as a higher stage of Marxism, and were struggling for a decade for the RIM and later others to take that position, so “What exactly do you mean by gonzaloitedeviation?”
maosoleum replied, We have described Gonzaloism thus:
1) Commandism – “Jefatura” line
2) Armed Monolithic Party – Party argued as clandestine by nature under all conditions and the armed struggle as the primary organizational goal of the revolutionary party – no separation between army and party, and no separation between politics and gun, but a unified command. This is opposed to Mao’s “politics in command” perspective, and Lenin’s criticism of Blanquism, which is the origin of the idea of the unification of the military and political.
3) Unified People’s War – the Hoxhaist perspective, counterpoised to protracted people’s war – we touch upon this in our article “What is Protracted People’s War?”
4) Third period revivalism without the actual social force – a form of left opportunism. Most clear in the declaration of governments like Venezuela’s as social-fascist.
Interestingly, Chairman Gonzalo rejected the universality of Pensamiento Gonzalo making it clear it was an application of M-L-M to Peruvian conditions and nothing more, and indeed Gonzaloism is more identified with the Proseguir line in the PCP, the line that Gonzalo and Asumir rejected.
While the internal matters of the PCP are their and only theirs, we do feel that the application of these principles as universals is an error. Of course, some of the Gonzaloites deny they are Gonzaloites, but for us it shorthand for that set of politics which we consider not to be a correct application of M-L-M to the conditions of the USA today.
Gonzalo and the PCP stand in our history as shining examples of struggle, but ultimately, as we point out, defined principally by historical failure. While even in historical failure there are successful and positive experiences, it is dogmato-revisionism to embrace without summation and criticism those experiences. A full summation of the Peruvian experience has not been made, but we have made a partial summation of its application to our conditions, and identified Gonzaloism as a left opportunist deviation, and we would be liberal if we didn’t combat it.
PAPER POLICIES Vs REAL LIFE PROBLEMS
A critique of the internal life of the NCP(OC) summarised the dysfunctionality of the organisation and political liberalism:
The NCP(OC) has been decimated and rendered invalid as a real Organizing Committee, and instead has alienated and isolated itself from the masses, including the masses of women, queers, and other people directly oppressed by patriarchy, not principally because it incorrectly handles the contradictions among the people, but because it has assumed a line of whateverism and commandism in its internal functioning, refuse to make self-criticism in good faith, and uses the communist struggle against patriarchy as an opportunist shield to avoid dealing with all other questions, including the patriarchal behavior on the part of its leadership on the basis of alleged allegiance to proletarian feminism.
[NCP(LC) A response to the NCP(OC): Gender Whateverism is not Proletarian Feminism. March 2014 ]
The NY Branch was said to have sought to promote its initial admonitions against patriarchal behaviour, issued in 2014 as the correct basis for resolving the contradictions that surfaced in the LC prior to its dissolution. [NCP (OC) “Self-Criticism and Summation on Patriarchy,” March 5, 2014.]
The remnant of the NCP(OC) quickly become rebadged as the Maoist Communist Group. From its perspective, the primary contradiction driving the split of the “Liaison Committee” from the New Communist Party-Organizing Committee (NCP-OC), which led to the formation of the Maoist Communist Group (MCG), was the refusal of the LC to accept the expulsion of individuals guilty of misogynist violence.Clearly, in the experiences of the NCP(LC) and MCG(NY) was illustrated the phenomenon of self-declared leaders of the movement , divorced from the actual needs of organizations and of the class struggle. For a while the NCP(Liaison Committee) seemed to be the more relevant, effective organization. However, after a polemic authored by an autonomous Marxist-Leninist-Maoist collective based in Texas, the Red Guards Austin, Red Guards Austin DocumentsWe Will Not Integrate into a Burning House: Polemic on Bad Gender Practice in the Liaison Committee for a New Communist Party (NCP-LC) April 2016, it became clear that the some members of the Secretariat were clearly guilty of sexual assault while others covered for them. It came out the organization was being run in a commandist, patriarchal, and dogmatic direction. This formed only the most apparent aspect of a fundamentally reactionary and patriarchal political and ideological line, which resulted in the implosion of the Liaison Committee. The NCP(Liaison Committee) disbanded.
In April 2016, following the dissolution of the New Communist Party – Liason Committee (NCP-LC), the Boston and Richmond branches of the Maoist Communist Group (MCG) published a document titled “The Externalization of the Anti-Revisionist Struggle is the Negation of Proletarian Politics”. Although this document was an attempt to sum up the disagreements that the Boston and Richmond branches had developed with the New York branch, further criticism from Boston MCG of the Richmond contribution to the joint text drew attention to its opposition to ‘Left Adventurism’ and concern of drawing upon the anti-maoist politics of the Brigate Rosse.
[The_Externalization and Self-Criticism: Unprincipled Struggle and ‘The Externalization’ Piece July 2016]
Following these experiences, the NCP (OC) was dissolved upon the founding of the Maoist Communist Group, the “new name reflects the central task of the moment: ideological consolidation, and in particular, the forging of a principled unity regarding what we mean by ‘Maoism.’ Only in this way can we lay the foundation on which a Maoist Communist Party can be built.” MCG in action : “Our tactical slogan, Struggle Committees Everywhere!, guides our mass work. We support the organization of struggle committees – autonomous people’s organizations – in neighborhoods, buildings, workplaces and schools, everywhere that the people are engaged in struggles against the class enemy. We seek to unite the broad masses in mass organizations under proletarian leadership. The development of the advanced into communist cores will form the basis of a future party.”https://maoistcommunistgroup.com/about-mcg/
To summarise , and draw upon Revleft cyberchat : it suggested that while it may have appeared that the work of NCP(OC) and -(LC) was leading the development of Maoist politics in the US, the adoption of Maoist theory had gained momentum beyond what either of those organisations had accomplished, as many of the self-identified communists out of this new generation were also self-identified Maoists.
The largest Maoist presence was in NYC however their network of mass organizations and fronts extended far beyond. RSCC Philly had a network of probably around 30-40 people in its various organizations (SJP, Students Without Borders) while it had a core membership of about a dozen people. NYC RSCC alone had 40 members which commanded the SJP’s and SWB along with a number of other organizations and network, at their height the total amount of students in organizations controlled by the NYC branch was at least 100 probably more. The Red Guards in Austin, LA and also the Kansas City Progressive Youth Organization was affiliated with them. Saying it was one of the largest US party building attempts in the 21st century is not inaccurate.
The split between LC & MCG saw repudiation of NCP(OC) practice by both organisations, as well as polemical criticism by the city collectives. A Summation of the Kansas City Revolutionary Collective’s Experience with the Former NCP(LC) was published as Bury the Ashes .
It may be sad that the NCPs are gone, but given the behaviour of some of the leadership, the organisations needed to die and it is clear that the Maoist movement lives on without them. While there may be no single Maoist national organization, there are developing organizations in different parts of the country: the Progressive Youth Organizations in Kansas City [ StP Kansas City Document ] or St Louis (both founded by Maoists), or the Red Guards in LA and Texas. Although relationships between these groups have seen deterioration with polemical exchanges between Red Guards Austin and Saint Louis Revolutionary Collective .
The Red Guards Austin do not seem to have many problems with misogyny but within RSCC and the LC-NCP it more or less allowed people with enough charismatic authority to claim a mastery of feminism while very few people were educated in what misogny actually looked like on an intrapersonal level. For example there were constant comments from the male comrades about how the woman comrades “Weren’t politically developed enough” . One Philly RSCC comrade noted that although RSCC had near gender parity (for those not familiar, a close to 50/50 ratio of men and woman) strangley the woman comrades would almost never talk. In an observation – not restricted to the US left experience – the reluctance to talking in political circumstances because of male cultural dominance. It is not an uncommon remark for ex-rscc woman to make.
The Red Guards Austin operate a Serve the People programme which consists in providing people free things and trying to get them to read communist literature. When described as red charity, RGA comrades will respond that it is all quite political and that also they interview residents to ask what their concern is.
The anti-gentrification work targets small business owners who are perceived as gentrifiers for example they are targeting a cafe for offering cat cuddling services.
Red Guards Los Angles has similar efforts and have similar practice in that they have Serve the People programs and their anti-gentrification work “Save Boyle Heights” which largely consists in disrupting art venues which open up in the area and propagandizing against “bourgeois art” and artists.
RGLA , like other groups elsewhere are challenging the settled Left – the youthful idealism, energy and crass militancy and ideological fervour is reminiscent of their role models from the Cultural Revolution , and they evoke similar responses. Hence the ‘Right To rebel’ entitlement to challenge existing politically forces e.g. the political attacks in Boyle Heights expressed in the article Be with the people, stand against Carlos Montes! By Red Guards – Los Angeles:
“Long-time Chicano activist, former Brown Beret, current member of Centro Community Service Organization and supporter or member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back) (FRSO-FB), Carlos Montes has repeatedly attacked members and supporters of Red Guards – Los Angeles (RGLA) through slander, libel, consistent snitch-jacketing (which appears to be standard protocol within FRSO-FB) and even sending his supporters to physically intimidate our supporters and wreck RGLA-affiliated events or actions.”
One cybergossip opinion was that “They are active that is no doubt and they orient towards the correct people, the working class neighborhoods of Austin. However their political work is crude volunteerism maintained by hyper discipline which I can not imagine is healthy. Some of these comrades do political work from 8 in the morning till 6 or 7. All work and no play does a good gonzaloite make apparently. Speaking of such I’d argue that most of their volunteerism stems from their gonzalo admiration. All of their organizations are bent to propagating towards people and recruiting them yes but I don’t see attempts at organizing the working poor. Organizing on behalf of them yes, by giving them free food and harassing gentrifies but not organizing them into tenant unions, solidarity networks, trade unions, or any other form of organizations where average people fight for their issues by themselves for themselves.”
Maoist Communist Group, the other attempt at building a Maoist Party. Unlike the LC-NCP and to a lesser extent the Red Guards and even a lesser extent the Progressive Youth Organisations, they are quite quiet about themselves. The other branches accused them of not communicating with them: “ the NYC chaps are a bit recluse”. Yet in their defence, the largest concentration of members in NYC MCG did put a great deal of emphasis on summing up experience, engaging in protracted mass work, and forging a mass political line out of that mass work, rather than simply undertaking propaganda around a pre-existing political line. see Maoist Communist Group’s Three Documentsthat briefly reviews the split.
The MCG Richmond branch had ran the now defuncted website blog signalfire.org that publicised struggles worldwide, particularly the CPI(M) in India, and were involved in prison support work . And the MCG Boston branch evolved into “Mass Proletariat” Mass Proletariat Document . It published a document which was a veiled jab at Red Guard Austin. RGA responded and they have remained quiet ever since disdaining online communication as they do.
Other city collectives such as Kansas City Revolutionary Collective self-identify as Maoist propaganda group. This is the cadre formation that formed after the dissolution of the LC. Previously the Progressive Youth Organization was led by a person who was supposed to be the local liaison to the national LC although the LC did not have a branch in Kansas.
May 1st, 2016.
“Today we are excited to announce the formation of a new Marxist-Leninist-Maoist collective in the Kansas City metropolitan area: The Kansas City Revolutionary Collective (KCRC). This is no small announcement as Kansas City has been without a Communist movement for some time now.”
The St Louis Progressive Student Organization formed a Revolutionary Collective instead of an Red Guard grouping. It is suggested that the choice of group name partly reflects a political orientation in that ‘Revolutionary collectives ‘ are perceived as generally not holding as high an esteem for President Gonzalo as the Red Guard Austin and Red Guard LA have. The Red Guards – Philadelphia even include an excerpt from the Fundamental Documents issued by the Communist Party of Peru in 1988, along with Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism! as representing the basis for ideological unity of Red Guards – Philadelphia.
“Like other bourgeois and reactionary ideologies that must be continuously defeated through two-line struggle, the patriarchal values and male chauvinist practices that dominate this society have their reflection inside the communist movement and within communist organizations. They must be confronted and overcome through class struggle, inner-organization struggle, and inner-struggle. Like those who “wave the red flag to oppose the red flag,” groups, tendencies, and individuals can pose intellectually as feminists while at the same time failing to politicize women, commodifying and objectifying women, and engaging in abusive male chauvinist behavior.
Maoists are not afraid of criticism. Truthful criticism from others should be embraced without anger, in order to strengthen oneself, to improve one’s practice, and to better serve the people and the proletarian revolution. Self-criticism should be made openly and willingly whenever one has done wrong, without prompting by comrades and the masses. There is no place for the individualist ego, a belief in one’s own self-importance that throws up a defensive barrier in the face of truthful criticism, refuses to conduct genuine self-criticism and hides one’s mistakes, and evades rectification.
Practicing criticism and self-criticism, communists in general are guided by the principle that we do not fear criticism “because we are Marxists, the truth is on our side, and the basic masses, the workers and peasants, are on our side” (Mao Zedong).
For our anti-patriarchy rectification campaign, the NCP (OC) in particular is guided by our Resolution Against Patriarchy stating: “We call upon communists who have made patriarchal errors in their lives to carry out honest accounting, self-criticism, and rectification of their mistakes.”
In the inner-organization struggle and inner-struggle against patriarchy, we have noticed several manifestations of liberalism that must be identified and rooted out. We point these out here because they prevail among many communists in the US and are also by no means exclusive to communists.
-Failing to criticize male chauvinism among comrades when it appears that there are no immediate political consequences for lack of criticism or that there are negative social consequences for making criticisms.
-Consistently giving lower priority to the struggle against patriarchy, especially to the inner-struggle to transform oneself in practice into a proletarian feminist, even though this is a central and strategic question for the socialist revolution in the US. The communist movement in this country largely exists as a scattering of committees and advanced individuals. In such a landscape, unremolded male chauvinist thinking and practice in even a single individual has an exaggerated effect and can function as an obstacle to the immediate advance of the movement.
-Discussing the need for revolutionary women’s organizations in the abstract, or pointing to women’s mass organizations in other countries as models of what need to be built in the US, when the main problem in a particular situation centers instead on the thinking and practice of individual communists. This involves reducing the women’s question from a political matter into simply an organizational matter. It is an easy way to avoid the difficult process of reflecting on individual beliefs and actions, their origins in social practice and life experiences, and what needs to be done to consciously transform them.
-Posturing as a militant against women’s oppression and even verbalizing extreme positions when there is a broad injustice in society against women, but becoming guarded when one’s own practice is questioned or one’s own patriarchal privileges are at stake.
-Resting content with areas of political work that have over a period of many years achieved little to nothing in the development of women’s participation and leadership as communists. Justifying this prolonged stagnation with the notion that politics is traditionally an arena for men of the ruling classes and that it will take a long time to change this situation, failing to recognize that Maoists struggling in far more unfavorable conditions have made far greater advances.
-Failing to study the Marxist position on the women’s question, despite years of being a communist and gaining a theoretical and historical grasp of many other subjects.
-Resting content with having a familiarity with various contemporary feminist theories, which have little to do with the mobilization, organization, and politicization of the masses of toiling women from a Maoist perspective. Believing that theoretical familiarity with different feminist trends makes one a feminist in practice. Paying lip service to feminism while still using male chauvinist language.
-Promoting images of women engaged in militant struggles far away in other countries, but doing little to nothing to develop the capacity of the women around oneself to take up more and better political work.
-Viewing organizational work, planning, and logistics as “bureaucratism,” preferring informality in their place. Using social settings for political strategizing and decision-making, leading to a “boy’s club” of the self-selected. Consistently failing to follow through on organizational tasks in a timely fashion and being unable to meet deadlines. Consistently conducting work in a frenzied and last-minute manner, without the advance preparations necessary for those who have little experience in political work, have domestic responsibilities, etc. to become full participants.
-Finally, using the process of rectification, and its emphasis on remolding rather than strictly punitive organizational measures (e.g. suspension, expulsion), as a way to in fact evade rectification.
Each of these manifestations of liberalism must be identified by communists and uprooted through inner-organization struggle and inner-struggle. Some of them are likely to be familiar to other revolutionaries, such as anarchists and revolutionary nationalists. Problems of liberalism are compounded by amateurishness, a major shortcoming among communists in the US, many lacking developed experience in revolutionary struggle.
This is not an exhaustive list. It addresses only some of the main types of liberalism among communists and within communist organizations. It is not meant to assess the contradictions confronted in mass work among women, which have their own particularities and deserve a separate summation in their own right, investigating for example how the notion of “sisterhood” in capitalist society often covers up the reality of competitive individualism among women of the oppressed classes and determining how to fight against this.
As its first major internal campaign, the NCP (OC) carries out its Anti-Patriarchy Rectification Campaign to strengthen our organization along the line of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and proletarian feminism. It involves regular criticism and self-criticism that examines individual thinking and practice, behavior in personal relationships, the impact of patriarchal values and male chauvinism on our lives from childhood on, the division of domestic work, and the division of different types of organizational work, e.g. administrative work vs. theoretical work. It also involves a renewed focus in the fields of theory, propaganda, agitation, and struggles on the strategic importance of the battle for women’s emancipation.
As stated in the Resolution Against Patriarchy of our founding congress, “Women of the exploited and oppressed classes must be politicized and organized into a proletarian feminist movement. A revolutionary movement of women must emerge to play a decisive role in the struggles of the proletariat and the oppressed masses, and these struggles must make themselves into indomitable weapons for women’s emancipation.” None of this can be achieved if the initial accumulation of forces is carried out on a basis that allows patriarchal values and male chauvinism to fester and does not continuously wage struggle against liberalism in this area.