Boycott the Ballots! Statement from Red Guards Kansas City

voterevolt

Under capitalism the exploited masses do not, nor can they ever, really participate in governing the country, if for no other reason than that, even under the most democratic regime, under conditions of capitalism, governments are not set up by the people but by the Rothschilds and Stinneses, the Rockefellers and Morgans. Democracy under capitalism is capitalist democracy, the democracy of the exploiting minority, based on the restriction of the rights of exploited majority and directed against this majority. Only under the proletarian dictatorship are real liberties for the exploited and real participation of the proletarians and peasants in governing the country possible. Under the dictatorship of the proletariat, democracy is proletarian democracy, the democracy of the exploited majority, based on the restriction of the rights of the exploiting minority and directed against this minority.”

-Joseph Stalin, The Foundations of Leninism

The bourgeoisie is a master at deception when it comes to masking it’s rule over the proletariat. Their very existence relies on the masses of people contending ourselves with fake, capitalist democracy, and seek to stave off any revolts against their putrid system by every once in a while giving the masses a “choice” as to who rules over them. We are told that somehow one billionaire warmongering, imperialist rat or another is going to deliver a fatal blow to inequality, segregation and gentrification. This stands in stark reality to the situation of continued exploitation, ever increasing poverty and decrease in living standards in many cities where “progressives” and “friends of labor” dominate in city and state governments around the nation. We are told that this vermin represents the interests of the workers, that if we vote enough of them in we shall achieve a state of nirvana. This is all said as these “friends” line their campaign war-chests from developers that steal the land from under the feet of our class, those slimy slumlords who bleed tenants dry and then snatch the roof from over their heads, and little dictators in the workplace who lord over the workers as they toil to fill their pockets with the fruits of their labor for nothing but crumbs in return,  and to the pigs who creep around every corner, joyous at the chance to rob the working class of the very air in our lungs, all of these very real enemies represent these grotesque figures. This is the reality for every proletarian person in our city and many cities around the country that are controlled by a Democratic Party machine that does absolutely nothing to actually fight on behalf of the working class.

The proletariat has never and can never win anything worth having by pleading with the ruling class. The people can’t be deluded with fantasies of equality and freedom won through the ballots. The people know that this “democracy” isn’t for them, which is why only 58% actually voted in the 2016 presidential election, excluding millions of others not eligible to vote. The truth is that we live in a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie as the ruling class. And when has a dictator ever fallen willingly? Contrary to what the reformists who claim an election of New Deal Democrats masquerading as socialists, who praise dead warmongers; the masses must rise up and overthrow this dictatorship, replace it with one that has the interests of the proletariat in mind. To these “socialists”, socialism is merely free healthcare, free school and $15 dollars an hour, it is completely divorced from the political exercising of the proletariat’s power to end exploitation; the original and only definition of socialism.

Electoral politics are a dead end approach and have historically failed to win anything for the people. Even when progressive laws are passed, it is due to the masses rising up to demand something and fight for it and anything won without power can easily be taken. For example, the very right to vote was won through intense struggle, which is why this right still stands today and why we should support peoples right to vote as a democratic demand, even then because it was won as a concession rather than from a position of power it is being attacked through voter ID laws and other measures not seen in 50 years. Should we protect our hard-won right to vote from reactionary forces? Yes.  Does this mean that this right is a method through which the people can gain power? No!

Take, for example, the Civil Rights movement, which addressed voting rights and segregation among other things. Out of those struggles, de jure segregation ended and Black people won voting rights protections. In practice, segregation emerged in a new form: white flight and then gentrification. Voting rights came with continued assauts from the right, in the form of continued pushes for voter ID and literacy tests. We cannot vote national oppression out of existence, the Bourgeois will always find ways to oppress the proletariat along national and racial lines. For this purpose, the dictatorship of the proletariat is necessary.

As Lenin says in The State and Revolution, “In capitalist society we have a democracy that is curtailed, wretched, false, a democracy only for the rich, for the minority. The dictatorship of the proletariat, the period of transition to communism, will for the first time create democracy for the people, for the majority, along with the necessary suppression of the exploiters, of the minority,” (1917).  In what facets of life can one point to a democratic process for the proletariat class? When the boss starts harassing workers for taking water breaks in a 100 degree warehouse, it isn’t the majority deciding how things get done, it’s the one or two bosses that force the workers to break their backs to squeeze the maximum amount of profit from them. The workers are disposable rather than the other way around. Democracy is utterly absent from the lives of workers.  Are the workers able to recall their bosses for being propelled by selfish greed? Are tenants able to replace the landlords who neglect their homes, allow vermin and bug infestations, or deadly mold to grow, all while collecting obscene amounts of money for it? Do community members get to topple developers who shape their community in ways antithetical to the needs of those who live there? There exist many poor communities contending with a reality of virtual food deserts. Yet, instead of building grocery stores, developers set up yoga studios, art galleries, coffee shops, and expensive boutiques and restaurants. Bourgeois democracy, or the dictatorship of the bourgeois, leaves the toiling masses no chance to meaningfully structure society around their needs nor creates solutions to the problems their own communities face.

What then is to be done to rid our class of this fraudulent rule of law? What strategy and tactics should revolutionaries turn to? It is our analysis that the only way we can defeat this rule is through People’s War which is universal to all nations including our own. In the preparation phase for the initiation of the People’s War we will begin to carve a space within territory through pushing out the enemy and their lackeys, represented through the revisionists and the reformists. We know that any real dual power is won through the forceful route of the enemy in tactical victory, and the consolidating of this new terrain to create what will be the basis for a new state. In this new state will exist a new way of rule, one of which the majority will control their way of life in all aspects: economic, social and political. These base areas cannot be constructed by “building” them through legal methods, as the reformists and revisionists contend, they must actually be conquered by the masses and enforcing their dictatorship over their class enemies: the landlords, the bourgeoisie, the police, the crime lords and other exploiters and enemies and the establishment of new relations in production.

As such we have no illusions that the bourgeoisie will give us more than they are willing to, and we are under no illusion that they will do so through their own intricately designed system. Rather than participate in the spectacle of bourgeois democracy, we are also initiating a campaign to turn the passive electoral boycott of over 40% of the electorate that already exists into an active one. In the coming weeks we will be targetting areas of the city encouraging the participation in an active electoral boycott, transforming the passive disapproval from the masses into one that is proactive. We shall distribute propaganda and take part in discussions about the sham of bourgeois democracy with the stated goal of constructing the united front in the city which will drive a wedge against the reformist attempts to corral the masses into a stable to assuage real grievances which can be channeled into revolutionary rage and offer milquetoast phony solutions. We know that every movement which calls itself revolutionary and radical must declare revolutionary and radical positions and it is neither to say those come from a bourgeois ballot box.

ELECTIONS NO! REVOLUTION YES!

BOYCOTT THE BALLOT!

VOTE REVOLT!

– Red Guards Kansas City, October 2018

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The New Line of Red Guards Kansas City

[Note: This is an edited version of a presentation that was initially given in January of 2018 at the inaugural Maoist Conference for Line Struggle held in Kansas City, MO. Portions have been edited out for security purposes. This is the same revised edition that appears in the book, “Documents of the US Maoist Conference for Line Struggle,” which you can purchase here, with proceeds going to support the US Maoist party building effort.]

Form the Cadre Organization

“Whenever I find myself in a difficult situation I strive to look for its positive aspect or for what potential for development may still exist within that situation, because nothing is completely black, nor is anything completely red. Even if there were to be a big defeat, even though we have not had one yet, there would always be a positive aspect. The point is to draw out the lessons, and continue to do our work based on the positive aspect. You will always find someone to support you, to lend their ardent enthusiasm and assistance to the struggle, because communism unites people. “


-Presidente Gonzalo

Historically all revolutionary movements started from mass struggles and mass organizations as well as struggles against a Rightist line. We can trace this historically with the Bolsheviks against the Mensheviks in the lead up to the October Socialist Revolution. The formation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) led by Charu Mazumdar, out of the Naxalbari uprising and from a split with Communist Party of India (Marxist). The reconstitution of the Communist Party of the Philippines brought forth from the struggle against the Lava-Taruc revisionists and from the First Quarter Storm. To the Revolutionary Union/Revolutionary Communist Party from SDS here in the US as well as the reconstitution of the Communist Party of Peru led by Chairman Gonzalo against the revisionist-reformists led by Saturnino Paredes.

At some point the Red Line had to formally consolidate and form a revolution party and from this party generate organizations that could be the vehicles for mass struggle. The explosion of mass activity necessitates a clarification and consolidation to sustain this momentum to a critical mass. At the same time the revolutionary line must contend with a revisionist one as well as a reformist counterrevolutionary line that also emerges from mass uprisings. At all levels the cadrefication of mass members should be the goal, replacing our numbers inside the mass org with mass members and eliminating the contradiction between cadre and the mass organization. Our past work aimed to win hearts and minds with political transformation as secondary. Our conception calls for concentric construction on a miniature scale. That everything flows from cadre and without initiation of this cadre there cannot be a true Maoist pole.

1. Start Your Maoist Collective with 3-5 members

If you already have a consolidated core there is no reason why you cannot have a cadre organization. This necessitates democratic centralism in the formal sense as opposed to the informal sense. The cadre in the mass orgs should capture leadership in the mass organization by seeking to form a maximum and minimum number of 3 cadre who will form a cell within the mass organizations, while still upholding that the Maoist organization must be composed of 3-5 members initially. This cell forces the cadre organization to replace our ranks with mass members with as little overlap as possible. This cell must present written reports at cadre meetings to inform the cadre of political work that is occurring in the mass organizations. The cell should be assigned to the mass organizations and their criteria as the most active members of this organization. They must also be initiators of all mass work within the organization and take a role of leadership.

A cell implies a unit with direct orders from the large cadre organization that operates through formal democratic centralism. The dangers of not replacing mass members with cadre is that cadre work, in turn, becomes secondary at best or at worst, and all work is done through the mass organizations. Thus, frontism becomes the practice of the Maoist organization in relation to its mass organization. When all cadre belong to the mass organizations there are no free hands available to carry about party building and the cadre work. Here overlap has seriously hampered the task of party building, ideological development and consolidation which should be the task of all Maoist collectives.

2. Generated Organism and Structure

 “Their [the three instruments of revolution] construction is guided by the principle that a just and correct ideological line decides everything, and it is on this ideological-political basis that the organizational construction is simultaneously developed in the midst of the struggle between the proletarian line and the bourgeois line and within the storm of the class struggle…”

-On Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, Communist Party of Peru.

Once the cadre have been united in a stable organization, and have committed to carrying out mass work, the construction of a mass organization should begin immediately. The mass organization thus becomes a “generated organism” meaning that it is initiated by cadre. This serves the basic twofold task of organizing the masses to bring them into open conflict with the class enemy and training the masses in administration. Through generated organisms we organize the disorganized masses for the struggle against the organized power of the ruling class.

The cadre cell generating the organization ensures that the correct ideological line forms the basis for the organization. Viewing the mass organization as a primarily multi-tendency organization, which had an informal Maoist hegemony is a mistake. This forms a tenuous situation, which rests more so on the numerous Maoists inside the organization exerting pressure on members to transform politically rather than Maoism being the political orientation of the organization in general. The result of this is not only that oppositional political trends can grow and gain a significant foothold in the organization without violating any organizational documents or discipline, but also that it undermines the work of cadre in creating new communists by fostering non-revolutionary and eclectic political orientations that seek to combat Maoism internally. This is an especially dangerous situation in the initial stages of the organization, for if the Maoists do not gain a foothold and conquer ideological hegemony, which is merely informal, then the organization rests on an incorrect ideological line and its political work will necessarily suffer.

The generated organization resolves that issue by establishing the ideological-political basis of the organization as Marxism-Leninism-Maoism in a formal manner, stamping out the eclecticism of the multi-tendency approach and replacing it with a formal Maoist oriented mass organization. This is of the utmost necessity for our work, of which the end goal of conquering power is our primary aim, of which the question of proletarian political power in Maoism is of fundamental importance. If we are serious in our work of building towards that goal then we must develop the masses politically to that goal through Maoism. This cannot be accomplished through wading through the mire of ideological-political eclecticism, and we should be open and honest in our desire to steel and develop the masses through these generated organisms in Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

It would be a mistake to give one inch to consensus democracy as the basis for the structure of the organization. This is a rightist conception of an organization that is to be a fighting organization of the masses, and a practice that is foreign to Maoism, but right at home in the movementist Left in its various anarchist, social-democratic, and revisionist formations. In promoting this one succumbs to “ultra-democracy” (where individuals are free to subvert organizational discipline, and this in turn actually negates the democracy that it seeks to promote) and horizontalism in that one’s Maoist core is actually negated on several cases because centralism is not present from the beginning. This can hamper one’s ability to carry out tasks and actually increased the amount of time wasted on meetings and deliberation rather than expediting it. In essence, one is not only negating democracy but also centralism as well. Ultra-democracy and horizontalism negate leadership, in theory as being an “authoritarian” imposition, and in practice by bogging the organization down through a lack of fidelity to discipline and collectivism to where even informal leadership becomes ineffective.

In the storm of the class struggle, leaders and leadership, are produced. As communists we understand this not as an evil to be combatted but a necessity that we should not shy away from recognizing, steeling, and developing. To negate the necessity for leadership erases all pretenses of democratic centralism, and negates genuine proletarian leadership, and thus the necessity for the Communist Party itself. A weak leadership, even from the beginning, means an ineffective organization. The corrective is to implement democratic centralism in the mass organization, so the lower bodies (general membership) are subordinate to the higher bodies (secretariat). The formulation of democratic centralism should not be mistaken for democracy being primary (and indeed this was our previous error) but rather, that centralism is primary. Democracy is merely the base, or the road, by which we arrive at centralism.

Numbers do not negate democratic centralism. Even when the organization is under 10 members the organization should operate along democratic centralist lines to both establish a proper Maoist culture and discipline, and to also foster effective leadership and participation from general membership. During this stage the cell should formally assume the role of the secretariat of the organization. The secretariat should never be more or less than 3 positions (Chairperson, General-Secretary, and Education Officer) no matter how large the organization grows. The work of leading and maintaining an organization should be able to be carried out by three individuals as long as the secretariat initiates committees and/or tasks mass members to carry out tasks, which are binding, and the cell is vocal in pushing a revolutionary line of action and ideas openly. In the event that the organization grows but then regresses to 10 or less members, the cell must again assume all leadership.

The cell should work to overcome specialization in organizational work. We should not discourage an individual doing a lot of tasks, but we should not let that person become overburdened or allow other cell members to shirk their responsibilities. Leadership is collective, not individual.

3. Identify a Fixed Site of Struggle to Recruit From

We initially recruited from a local university (a fixed site of struggle) among a club within that university (a fixed community) who were already familiar with radical political ideas. They formed a consistent core within our mass work early on. We also recruited from students studying in the humanities, as they too were also familiar with progressive and radical ideas. We challenged these sections to put their ideas into practice.

By focusing on a fixed site of struggle with a substantial, stable, and consistent concentration of people we were assuring that our presence as a group was established and strenthened. This allowed for a concentrated organizing base area as opposed to a more diffuse area of organizing in the city in general. By focusing on a fixed community within a fixed site of struggle and propagating revolutionary politics to sympathetic people, but also challenging them to put ideas into practice, We were thus able to form ourselves as well as integrate ourselves into struggle on campus, as the club’s members also interact with members from the student body in general.

4. Identify The “Leaders”

It is important to identify and win over the leaders in the particular community you are working in. The revolutionaries must take advantage of recruiting from fixed sites of struggle from fixed communities by winning over their leaders, who will in turn recruit and mobilize from within those same communities. This is a universal truth in many people’s wars in which a village is won over by winning over the village elder or tribal leader. By winning over the leaders we switch from recruitment on an individual basis to recruiting on a more mass basis.

5. Organizational Procedure

All meetings must be purposeful. It is not productive to hold meetings for the sake of holding meetings if no real work is being accomplished. Members should also be expected to be familiar with organizational documents, as new member orientations should cover all relevant documents, and members are expected to remain familiar with these and uphold them as long as they retain membership in the organization. In the beginning points of unity are sufficient as they unite and draw in a broad base of people from the recruiting site/section, but once the organization grows and develops over 10 people the immediate goal is to develop a political line for the organization to replace them.

Points of unity reflect a lower level of political development and only loosely bind members ideologically around broad core principles (e.g. anti-imperialism, anti-racism, socialism etc.). This is unfitting if an organization seeks to reach the masses on a large scale as these will be seen as idealistic fantasies in the absence of a political line. Depending on the organization the political line may differ but it should be borne out of the mass work the organization is conducting, from its own investigation and its own political experiences.

The cells should report, in a written fashion, to the cadre formation their political work inside the mass organization and any relevant updates at each meeting. This keeps all cadre informed to the goings on of the mass organization, and can also help identify mass members politically and ideologically developed enough to be moved up to cadre.

6. Hold Regular Collective Studies and Collect Mandatory Dues

Regular collective studies are a mandatory part of the mass org. Since mass orgs are initiated by the Maoist political line, mass org members must undergo the political transformation of learning the thought behind its existence and applying this line in their political work. Regular studies ensure a measurable standard to grow the organization ideologically.

Monthly dues are mandatory and must be seen as a necessary part of maintaining the printing of flyers as well as other materials necessary for outreach or propaganda. Dues should be a fixed minimum amount and members should be allowed to give more but not less. If a member is unable to contribute the minimum amount, assign them one or two additional tasks per month, but only on a case by case scenario. The treasurer should keep track of who is paying, and discipline should be applied by the Secretariat in the case of members neglecting this duty.

The collection of dues in a democratic organization also ensures a sort of personal investment in the organization. Dues used to be voluntary due to concerns about alienating members that are not able to pay. However, we abolished the voluntary dues line because it was liberal. Mandatory dues encourage a higher level of investment within membership. We also uphold this line because we value quality over quantity and believe that truly dedicated members will contribute to the material needs of their organization.

True believers in revolution have been willing to become martyrs for liberation, a few dollars would be nothing for them if they were truly invested in proletarian revolution.

In revolutionary collective studies we demarcate between liberal ideology and tactics with militant ones, with the latter meant to raise the overall ideological level among mass members and the population they organize with. Education is centralized within the secretariat so that liberal and erroneous ideas do not take a hold in the mass organization, and when they are encountered they must be struggled with through a process of criticism and tying back to the political line of the mass org.

7. Build Up an Authentic Maoist Culture

Authentic Maoist culture fosters a strictly political culture as well as a normalization and regular practice of principled criticism and self-criticism. We must foster a culture of solidarity, serving the people and serving comrades but politics must be in command.

Here we must also utilize a stance that there can be no “long breaks” for cadre and mass members in our organization, so long as they wish to remain inside the organization. We must also follow organizational discipline and always outwardly promote the Maoist political line within the mass org. Every member must feel free to express their criticisms, taking caution never to blunt criticism, but to also engage in a principled manner with the essence of the criticism taking precedence.

Revisionism and liberalism should be openly challenged right then and there, not allowed to fester as non-antagonistic contradictions will be allowed to deepen and will erupt antagonistically. Belonging to a political organization should take precedence over liberal notions of friendship over politics.

8. Stay Organized

It is important to establish a calendar and always take notes in meetings and to review them. Encourage members to do this and enforce it if need be. Every printed agenda should contain events for that month with important dates at the end. Establishing some discipline is good in the organization. After events, summarize them as soon as possible, typically the next regular meeting or if you can immediately after.

Leadership cannot be expected to know everything just off the top of their head. By forming a calendar it allows one to plan events ahead. By keeping in mind important dates (or as the Filipino Revolutionaries call them “Red Letter Dates”) such as May Day, International Working Women’s Day, organization anniversaries etc. a month or a few months ahead of time, the organization is not caught planning things as they come. Similarly, by expecting members to also keep calendars, take notes etc. it prepares them to also take up roles of leadership when the time comes.

9. Do Not Orient Towards “The Left”

Left unity does not build a Maoist movement, but instead dilutes the possibility for more militant organizing. We have observed this in our own work, whether working with anarchist “organizations” like Food Not Bombs, IWW, or the Democratic Socialists of America. For instance, when we contacted other organizations to show up in mass for the protest to the fascist anti-sharia law march, DSA and other liberal organizations split off to occupy another portion of the park to give speeches, testimonials, and talk to the media, whereas our mass organizations stayed put and directed our attention directly at the fascist, rather than “ignoring them”.

The splitting represents an ideological antagonism, as it is an appeasement to the crushing brutality of fascism, for the sake of peace and “being the bigger person.” Such left unity falls into the error of tailing and opportunism, an anti-communist idea. We can see this error in our own work, as left unity incentivizes ideological concessions for the hope that such favors will be returned in the future and we build mass support via uncritical tailing of the “masses”. When it was rumored ICE was going to be doing raids in Kansas City, a call was made by Kansas/Missouri DREAM Alliance to bring out people to do patrols. The call was made at midnight and participants were to report to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at 6 am. 40 people volunteered that day with over half comprising of our mass organization members. Those who did not always agree with us repeatedly remarked positively to the showing up, consistency and discipline of mass members.

Although we comprised over half of the individuals who had responded to the call, and although we were amongst the few willing to forcibly stop any detainment observed, our tailing of organizations like KSMODA did not result in favors being returned, but in fact limited our own work. When we attempted to organize a sit – in at a local community college in response to raising rates for undocumented students, KSMODA dropped out of attendance a few days prior, citing they were uneasy with our methods, as they were too “militant”.

When criticized for breaking their commitment, they took principled criticism as a personal attack and responded hostilely, severing all communications, although our members had been integral in volunteering for their DACA clinics, even when their own members could or would not. This again exposes a set of inherent contradictions, namely, how does an organization with the intent of creating Maoists organize alongside organizations who actively reject Maoist principles, why take up faulty alliances that dilute our political line when we still serve as the most devoted to the work, and how can a “unified left” agitate the masses, when such approaches are antagonistic to one another. The end point of left unity then falls into the logical conclusion of tailing; opportunism, and revisionism. The highest example of this was our “membership” in the Kansas City Grass Roots Network, an assortment of garden variety leftists led chiefly by the DSA, the KC Green Party, and local anarchists, in preparation of the ACT for America sponsored white supremacist rallies on 9/9. Again, our resolve for membership was rightist in form, as it put concessionary alliances for broad left support over Maoist politics in command for mass support. All preparations for the event, including propaganda, flyering, and even bodies on the ground ready to confront the fascists fell solely on our shoulders, although the KC – GRN sought to take credit for the action.

Our reliance on their goodwill led only to missed opportunities to fully commit ourselves to agitating amongst the working class of Kansas City. Such alliance s as the KC – GRN even harbored known wreckers and abusers, with no means to discipline or rectify their behavior, due to their garden variety ideologies and their inherent horizontalism. To forge such alliances with anti – Maoist elements is to allow liberalism and revisionism to permeate into our work. For these reasons, we denounce left – unity, and will forge no alliances nor work alongside any organization that opposes our political line. We welcome those who support our political line, and forge alliances only with those who actively take up that political line. As Maoist, we must win over the masses. We cannot be won over by the “left”.

10. Do Not Engage in Unprincipled Attacks and Squabbles

Principled criticisms are encouraged over petty and personal disagreements. In our attempts to remain above the bullshit, we sometimes erred on the side of allowing incorrect lines to go unchallenged to avoid arguments. We attempted to ignore and run from contradictions that arose both from within and from our relationships with other organizations, in the hope that they would resolve themselves.

In both our handling of the post-modern clique and of the divide between us and the STL revisionists, we chose unprincipled peace over struggle. But, failure to resolve these contradictions was inevitable due to our approach. We must remain principled in our debates so that we can be understood, but we should not shy away from open struggle. Reactionary ideas will continue to thrive unless we attack them directly. We should not mistake valid criticism for unnecessary squabbling and the essence of an argument takes precedence over its form or “perceived” form. With a political criticism we can make no concession in seeing out two-line struggle until the end.

11. Build the National Organizing Committee*

 “As we see in the world, Maoism is marching unstoppably to lead the new wave of world proletarian revolution. Listen well and understand! Those who have ears, use them. Those who have understanding – and we all have it – use it! Enough of this nonsense. Enough of these obscurities! Let us understand that! What is unfolding in the world? What do we need? We need Maoism to be incarnated, and it is being incarnated, and by generating Communist Parties to drive and lead this new great wave of the world proletarian revolution that is coming. Everything they told us, the empty and silly chatter of the famous “new age of peace.” Where is it now?”

-Presidente Gonzalo

All existing and new Maoist political collectives must place the question of the Party as primary and incorporate mass work into the creation of this party through a formal process via the pre-party formation. After the collapse LC, many collectives including our own, advocated for the Autonomous Maoist Collective model, pushing the thought of party building to an undetermined future time. The LC’s bad political lines and the backwards culture it curated understandably left a bad taste in the mouth of US Maoists. Subsequently, many collectives took up the task of “building up” locally instead of a true party-building effort. This position has hindered collectives’ ability to unite wholly, and our unity is only based on our commitment to Maoism, but this approach lacks any way to facilitate true line struggle.

Individuals and collectives have no real accountability to each other and in the past, this has turned attempts at line struggle into personal conflict, and outright ridicule. As the US MLM movement grows, potential new collectives could be forced to choose which of the existing collectives to align with should these current alliances dissolve, and this could fracture the modern MLM movement much like the “communist” movements in the US before it. This position also leaves these collectives susceptible to collapse, as they have no larger system of support to help them weather the ebbs and flows of revolutionary work, regardless of their political line. This pre-party formation would assist in helping new MLM collectives to form, and a pole in which autonomous MLM collectives spring up can gravitate towards. It would seek to consolidate those collectives through ideological struggle, set some standards at what constitutes mass work, coordinate where to concentrate resources to work, generate mass organizations and help existing mass organizations consolidate, the STPs for example, initiate resources and concentration to penetrate the labor movement etc.

To further our unity and advance the revolutionary situation in the US, now more than ever it is necessary to take up the task of building a Maoist party, beginning with furthering the principled unity that we’ve established with collectives of dedicated Maoists across the US. We cannot begin to seriously discuss people’s war or how to take advantage of the impending capitalist wars without the formation of a party, which is why we fully support the beginning of the construction of a Maoist pre-party formation. We’ve continued this process with the MCLS 2018 as we all seek to develop ideologically and further unite the US Maoist movement. A pre-party formation could unite the political lines of the current MLM movement, guide new collectives in their formation, and create a nationally united MLM movement as we build towards revolution in the US.

We are at a point in history where it is very likely that a World War could happen within the next 5-10 years, the international bourgeoisie has expanded rapaciously across the globe with the dissolution of phony Communism and the imperialist powers that have emerged are in competition for global influence and markets. What exists now in the United States is one that can be called Cold Civil War that could very well become hot. What separates us from the other revisionist parties is the question of People’s War, this is how we will resist the Empire. ALL mass work that is conducted and initiated by the Party will be tailored to constructing the capacity to wage People’s War. This can only be possible through the construction of the Party with the current Maoist collectives congealing and forming a pole.

As Always,

DARE TO STRUGGLE! DARE TO WIN!

*There was a lot of struggle over point 11 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.

Kansas City Stands with Igor Mendes and His 23 Comrades

Comrades and supporters of Red Guards Kansas City gathered on a hilltop overlooking the city to show our support and solidarity for Brazilian student organizer Igor Mendes and his 23 comrades, who were imprisoned by the reactionary Brazilian state. Read about Mendes’ struggle in detail here.

 

igorprop

Lately we have experienced state repression of our own, and Comrade Igor’s strength and perseverance in the worst of circumstances has provided inspiration to help us carry through in this struggle.

As communists we are internationalists, and we recognize that Mendes’ struggle is also our struggle. A speech was delivered in the park, then flyers were distributed explaining why we were there, details about Comrade Igor’s struggle, and why it is important for us to take our duty as internationalists seriously. We plan to follow it up with more flyering across the city to educate the masses about Igor Mendes, his struggle, and the importance of internationalism.

To Igor Mendes, his 23 comrades, and the Communist Party of Brazil (Red Faction), we  send a militant red salute.

Solidarity with Igor Mendes and his 23 comrades!

Solidarity with the Communist Party of Brazil (Red Faction)!

 

 

 

Freedom for Comrade Igor Mendes – Libertad para Igor Mendes

[Español debajo]

Note: This article originally appeared on Red Guards Austin’s blog. We are reposting it here because we are in complete agreement with the contents, and want to express our solidarity with and admiration for Comrade Igor Mendes and the Communist Party of Brazil (Red Faction). Kansas City stands with Comrade Igor and his 23 comrades!

Igor

Igor Mendes, son of the Brazilian people, fighter of the international proletariat, is not alone!

a slogan painted on the walls of proletarian neighborhoods all over the world.

Who is Igor Mendes and why do we support him?

Comrade Igor Mendes is a student revolutionary and Communist Leader from Brazil. The reactionary Brazilian state arrested him for helping to mobilize and lead the masses of people against the FIFA World Cup. He was criminally charged for attending a demonstration on 10/15/14 and recently sentenced to prison along with 23 of his comrades.  Leaders emerge in class struggle and Comrade Igor Mendes is such a leader. By honoring him we honor all 23 of the arrestees. Igor is a Communist and a revolutionary, a true son of our class.

In his own words he expresses that:

“I answer for a single “crime”: criminal association, article 288 of the Penal Code. Draconian law, whose new wording was approved in 2013 and used increasingly to persecute popular movements, especially those that do not lend themselves to being mere conveyors of projects of class conciliation.”

The Maoists of Brazil have been unrelenting in their class struggles hailing from the rich tradition of the Araguaia Guerrilla, an armed struggle that took place in the 60’s and 70’s. Because of the severe poverty and conditions where the police, military and landlords kill whomever they want state repression and white terror there are very high.

FIFA destroyed the houses of the working poor and violently pushed the masses from their own city to make way for tourists. The reactionary state treats the youth of the Favela as sub-human pests. Our city, Austin is familiar with how the rich and tourists funnel into our city and push us out, while calling our people “roaches”. Gentrification has devastated former working-class Black and Chicano communities in Austin, portraying a free-for-all to outsiders. Thanks to this voracious selling off of our city, Austin even has attracted its own bourgeoisie sports hustlers who are pulling a con-job to bring a Major League Soccer team here. They are scheming our community into handing over public land to build a Soccer Stadium for the US’s own rookie version of the world’s sport.

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Police attack anti-FIFA protesters in Brazil

In Brazil, as outraged youth gathered in mass to protest the world cup, the state agents of the Dilma government, part of the so-called left pink tide, responded with reactionary violence and white terror to imprison the youth.  This phony “socialism of the 21st century” constantly shows its reactionary face. They are no different than that the reformists and revisionists of our country who constantly serve the bourgeoisie.  When in crisis, the bourgeoisie and phony socialists alike oppose the proletarian dictatorship; if you do not hit them, they will not fall.

All 23 arrested activists were sentenced to between 5 to 13 years in prison without parole for attending the anti-FIFA demonstrations. After going to prison, Comrade Igor was unwavering. In true revolutionary spirit he remarked:

“I will leave here more convinced that Brazil needs a great revolution!”

While in prison he has authored a book titled “Small Prisons”. The title references how capitalist society in crisis comes to resemble the large prisons more and more, with an even more acute ‘small prison’, which the masses and their revolutionary leaders suffer. His book details prison abuses and focuses on the struggles of the masses that are locked up. In an act of revolutionary solidarity, Comrade Igor dedicated his first book to the League of Poor Peasants (LCP). LCP is a revolutionary mass organization that operates in the Brazilian countryside to organize the poorest of the countries peasantry in the struggle for New Democratic revolution and Socialism.

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League of Poor Peasants (LCP) rallying to defend Chairman Gonzalo of the Communist Party of Peru

Brazil has a long history of proletarian internationalism and one of the best developed and most advanced Maoist-led movements in the Americas. Their struggle is our own, as we are fighting on different fronts in the same war for our class—the international proletariat.

Igor has never once seen himself as a victim but as a revolutionary, he is a true child of our class. The revolution produces leaders and heroes and Igor is deserving of both titles. All prisoners face horrid conditions which breed a sort of miasma; to elevate themselves above this misery, the revolutionary must have unshakable faith in the masses and the revolution. To keep his moral high, Igor would write Maoist slogans on the walls like, “Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win,” and draw hammers and sickles as a reminder of his revolutionary commitment and as a statement of defiance to the prison authorities.

The US Maoist movement is familiar with state repression and the targeting of revolutionaries, we have seen incredible support for our own Comrade Dallas, who has stressed to our movement the need for continued struggle and a refusal to capitulate in the dungeons of the state.  From Austin to Brazil, we are one struggle.  We must all show our gratitude for the international support Comrade Dallas has received by honoring and supporting Comrade Igor.

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Comrade Igor giving a speech next to some of the 23 comrades sentenced

While being a political prisoner, Igor has never sought special treatment and is one with the imprisoned masses, still serving the people of the class he lives and fights for. We have seen this same resolve among our movement’s best revolutionaries and recognize it as a true sign of the indomitable spirit of our class.

We call on all the activists and collectives in our movement to take solidarity action and to educate the US proletariat on the struggles of their 23 brothers and sisters being persecuted by the Brazilian state. It is disgusting that when Americans think of Brazil, they think of white sand beaches and clear blue water, forgetting the plight of the people. The Brazilian masses will one day rise like a tidal wave and reclaim said beaches and every Favela will fly the red flag as the hammer and sickle blazes from the mountainsides. The Communist Party of Brazil (Red Fraction) will initiate The People’s War and will forever change the face of South America as it marches shoulder to shoulder with other Parties toward world proletarian revolution and Communism!  When we think of Brazil, let us think of these comrades. Let us think mainly of Comrade Igor Mendes and let us make trouble all over the imperialist nation of the US  in his name!

Igor Mendes, presente en la lucha!

Freedom for Igor Mendes and his 23 comrades!

Long live the revolutionary youth of the international proletariat!

Long live international solidarity! 

-Red Guards Austin, 7/28/2018


 

Libertad para Igor Mendes

Nota: este artículo apareció originalmente en el blog de Red Guards Austin. Lo volvemos a publicar aquí porque estamos completamente de acuerdo con los contenidos, y queremos expresar nuestra solidaridad y admiración por el Camarada Igor Mendes y el Partido Comunista de Brasile (Facción Roja). ¡Kansas City apoya al Camarada Igor y sus 23 camaradas!

Igor

Igor Mendes, hijo del pueblo brasileño, luchador del proletariado internacional, ¡no está solo!

Un eslogan pintado en las paredes de los barrios proletarios en todo el mundo.

¿Quién es Igor Mendes y por qué lo apoyamos?

El camarada Igor Mendes es un líder revolucionario y Comunista de Brasil. El estado reaccionario Brasileño lo arrestó por ayudar a movilizar y dirigir a las masas en contra de la Copa Mundial FIFA. Fue acusado penalmente por asistir una manifestación el 15/10/14 y recientemente ha sido sentenciado a prisión, junto con 23 de sus camaradas. Los líderes emergen en la lucha de las clases y el camarada Igor Mendes es uno de ellos. Al honrarlo, también honramos a los 23 que fueron arrestados junto a el. Igor es un Comunista y un revolucionario, un verdadero hijo de nuestra clase.

En sus propias palabras, él expresa lo siguiente:

“Respondo por un solo “delito”: asociación criminal, artículo 288 del Código Penal. La ley draconiana que fue reescrita y aprobada en el 2013, se usa cada vez más para perseguir movimientos populares, especialmente aquellos que no se prestan a ser simples transmisores de proyectos de conciliación entre clases. “

Los Maoístas en Brasil han sido implacables en sus luchas de clase provenientes usando la rica tradición de la Guerrilla Araguaia, una lucha armada que tomó lugar en las décadas de los 60s y 70s. Debido a la severa pobreza y las condiciones en la cual la policía, el ejército y los propietarios matan a quien quieran, la represión estatal y el terror blanco se han puesto severas.

La FIFA destruyó las casas de los trabajadores pobres y expulsó violentamente a las masas de su propia ciudad para dejar paso a los turistas. El estado reaccionario trata a la juventud de las Favelas como plagas subhumanas. Nuestra ciudad, Austin, está familiarizada en la forma en la que los ricos y los turistas invaden nuestra ciudad y nos empujan, mientras llaman a nuestra gente “cucarachas”. El aburguesamiento ha devastado a las antiguas comunidades negras y chicanas de la clase trabajadora en Austin, representandoles a todos los forasteros que nuestra comunidad está en venta. Gracias a esta venta voraz de nuestra ciudad, Austin ha atraído a los que no viven aquí, Austin incluso ha atraído a sus propios estafadores deportivos burgueses que están haciendo transas para traer a un equipo de Major League Soccer aquí. Están manipulando a nuestra comunidad para entregar terrenos públicos y construir un estadio de fútbol para la versión inmadura de fútbol que practica los ee.uu.

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La policia ataca a los manifestantes anti-FIFA en Brazil

En Brasil, mientras la juventud indignada se reunió en masa para protestar contra la Copa Mundial, los agentes estatales del gobierno de Dilma, parte de la llamada ‘marea rosa’ de la izquierda, respondieron con violencia reaccionaria y terror blanco para encarcelar a los jóvenes. Este falso “socialismo del siglo 21” muestra constantemente su cara reaccionaria. No son diferentes a los reformistas ni los revisionistas de nuestro país que sirven constantemente a la burguesía. Cuando están en crisis, la burguesía y todos los falsos socialistas se oponen a la dictadura proletaria; si no los golpeas, no se caerán.

Los 23 activistas arrestados fueron condenados a servir entre 5 y 13 años de prisión sin libertad condicional, solo por asistir a las manifestaciones en contra de la FIFA. Después de ir a prisión , el camarada Igor fue inquebrantable. En espíritu revolucionario comentó:

“¡Me iré de aquí más convencido de que Brasil necesita una gran revolución!”

Mientras estuvo en prisión, escribió un libro titulado “Pequeñas Prisiones”. El título hace referencia a la manera en la que la sociedad capitalista bajo crisis se asemeja cada vez más a las grandes prisiones, con una “pequeña prisión,” aún más aguda en la cual las masas y sus líderes revolucionarios sufren. Su libro detalla los abusos en prisión y se centra en las luchas de las masas que han sido encerradas. En un acto de solidaridad revolucionaria, el camarada Igor dedicó su primer libro a la Liga de Campesinos Pobres (LCP). LCP es una organización de masas revolucionarias que operan en la área de campo en el país brasileño para organizar a los campesinos más pobres del país en la lucha por la revolución y el socialismo de la Nueva Democracia.

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La Liga de Campesinos Pobres (LCP) hacen un mitín para defender el Presidente Gonzalo del Partido Comunista de Perú

Brasil tiene una larga historia de internacionalismo proletario y uno de los movimientos más desarrollados y más avanzados de la América guiado por Maoístas. Su lucha es la nuestra, ya que estamos luchando en distintas frentes de la misma guerra por nuestra clase proletaria internacional.

Igor nunca se ha visto como una víctima, sino como un revolucionario, es un verdadero hijo de nuestra clase. La revolución produce líderes y héroes e Igor merece ambos títulos. Todos los prisioneros se enfrentan a condiciones horribles que generan una especie de miasma; para elevarse por encima de esta miseria , el revolucionario debe tener una fe inquebrantable en las masas y en la revolución. Para mantener su moral alta, Igor escribiría consignas Maoístas en las paredes como, “Atrévete a luchar, Atrévete a ganar” y dibujar martillos y hoces como un recordatorio de su compromiso revolucionario y como una declaración de desafío a las autoridades de la prisión.

El movimiento Maoísta estadounidense se está familiarizado con la represión estatal y el ataque contra revolucionarios, hemos visto un apoyo increíble para nuestro camarada Dallas, quien ha insistido a nuestro movimiento la necesidad de continuar la lucha y la negativa a capitular en las mazmorras del estado. Desde Austin hasta Brasil, estamos en la misma lucha. Todos debemos mostrar nuestra gratitud por el apoyo internacional que ha recibido el camarada Dallas al honrar y apoyar al camarada Igor.

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El Camarada Igor pronunciando un discurso al lado de los 23 camaradas sentenciadas

Siendo un prisionero político, Igor nunca ha buscado un trato especial y es uno con las masas encarceladas, que sigue sirviendo a la gente por la que vive y lucha. Hemos visto esta misma resolución entre los mejores revolucionarios de nuestro movimiento y la reconocemos como un verdadero signo del espíritu indomable de nuestra clase.

Invitamos a todos los activistas y colectivos de nuestro movimiento a tomar medidas de solidaridad y a educar al proletariado estadounidense sobre las luchas de sus 23 hermanos y hermanas perseguidos por el estado brasileño. Es repugnante que cuando los estadounidenses piensan en Brasil, piensan en playas de arena blanca y agua azul y clara, olvidando la difícil situación de las personas. Las masas de Brasil un día se levantarán como un maremoto y van a recuperar dichas playas y cada Favela va a volar la bandera roja mientras el martillo y hoz triunfará entre las laderas de las montañas. ¡El Partido Comunista de Brasil (Fracción Roja) iniciará la Guerra Popular y cambiará para siempre la imagen de América del Sur mientras marcha hombro a hombro con otros Partidos hacia la revolución proletaria mundial y el Comunismo! Cuando pensemos en Brasil, pensemos en estos camaradas. Nosotros pensamos principalmente en el compañero Igor Mendes y haremos problemas en toda la nación imperialista de los EE.UU. en su nombre!

¡Igor Mendes , presente en la lucha!

¡Libertad para Igor Mendes y sus 23 camaradas!

¡Viva la juventud revolucionaria del proletariado internacional!

¡Larga vida a la solidaridad internacional!

A Critique of the KC Anarchist Milieu

Tensions between the Kansas City “anarchist” milieu and communists have reached a boiling point in recent weeks. At this point we will no longer work or cooperate on any level with the small counter-revolutionary clique of so-called anarchists, or any local group or organization that is connected to them or supports them in any manner. This document will clearly lay out the events that have led us to this point, and why the radical liberals – represented by the local chapters of IWW and the John Brown Gun Club/Redneck Revolt, which have much overlap in terms of membership – are a detriment to local revolutionary organizing and to the people of Kansas City.

The anarchists in Kansas City are not even anarchists, they are radical liberals who like black flags and reduce anarchism to the most annoying and reactionary form of identity politics imaginable. They have no plans to smash the state, no revolutionary political program, are regularly involved in failed attempts to undermine actual revolutionaries, and prolong the suffering of the masses under capitalism by shilling for reformist efforts and electoral politics. We will not be laying out our critique of anarchism as a political philosophy in this document, because these groups do not even meet a rudimentary definition of anarchist politics. They are sham anarchists and sham revolutionaries, so when we talk about anarchists or anarchism here we are not referring to the political philosophy as a whole or its adherents but to these imposters.

Undermining Antifascist Work

It is indisputable that Maoists are the dominant antifascist force in Kansas City. We do not say this to pat ourselves on the back or out of a sense of pride, but because it is objective reality. Anyone who’s paying attention and being honest with themselves will have to admit this fact. We have been training seriously to take on fascists for over a year, building our comrades into disciplined fighters and partisans skilled in martial arts and a variety of weaponry. We recognize that fascism means death for the working class, especially dually oppressed sections, so we approach this struggle with the seriousness that it deserves.

On the other hand, the radical liberals in Kansas City IWW and Northeast Kansas John Brown Gun Club (JBGC) do not approach antifascist work with any level of seriousness. While our comrades are on the frontlines keeping fascists pinned in, they’re off sitting in the grass having a picnic or standing around like geese in a park. While we’re working day and night to go toe-to-toe with the 3%ers and other right-wing militia, they’re off making nice with them and trying to find areas where they can collaborate.

It recently came to our attention that a Norwegian black metal band with Nazi sympathies called Taake was scheduled to perform in Kansas City at a venue called the Riot Room. We first heard about this event after rapper Talib Kweli cancelled his show at the Riot Room, prompting a series of news articles from both the local and national press. That day (a Wednesday) we set to discussing our strategy for dealing with this event and eventually settled on a plan to shut it down.

The following morning (Thursday) we published an event on Facebook and made sure that the event page was brought to Riot Room’s attention. In the event description we called on antifascists to show up the day of the concert prepared with the necessary materials to shut down the Taake show by any means necessary.

Five or so hours after publishing our event the Riot Room finally cancelled the concert, citing safety concerns. We cannot read the minds of the Riot Room’s management, so we cannot claim that it was our event that led to the cancellation, and we don’t care to. We did intentionally schedule our announcement for early Thursday morning, to keep the heat on the venue going the day after the national news picked up on Talib Kweli’s cancellation. Either way, we are happy with the results.

Unfortunately a prominent representative of the KC IWW, who goes by Brianna Dobbs online, was not happy with these results. Here’s what she had to say about it:

 

 

 

In this little rant, she refers to the concert as “Nazi shit,” says that the owner of Riot Room is “neutral on the topic of Nazis” (thus would not cancel Taake even after Talib Kweli backed out), and admits that the Taake concert would attract fascists, but then she goes on to bemoan how we went too far by using physical intimidation against Taake, their fans and the venue.

This luke-warm take would be fine from your average liberal, but coming from a person who claims to be an antifascist and is somewhat of a leader who “thinks she’s an anarchist” in KC, makes these statements abhorrent and dangerous. These claims are also completely disingenuous and hypocritical as the fliers she is referencing, the fliers that KC IWW was allegedly handing out the day earlier, blatantly referred to Taake fans as Nazis and implied that they be scalped!

 

 

 

After our supporters brought this hypocrisy to their attention, the KC IWW deleted the flier from their facebook page. We are scratching our heads trying to figure out the motives for this pathetic hypocrisy, and the only thing we can come up with is that they have an axe to grind with us, or they have fragile egos and were upset we took away their thunder. It’s clear from their flier that they aren’t actually concerned about the safety of Taake fans. Any organization that exhibits such cowardice and hypocrisy when it comes to confronting fascists does not deserve to call itself antifascist, anarchist, or to invoke the name of the IWW. They are liberal cowards who do nothing but undermine antifascist work in this city with their pettiness and utter lack of principles.

We have written at length about fascism and antifascism since the ascendency of Trumpite nationalism a couple of years back. We make the case that fascism in the United States would amount to untold suffering for the international working class. We make the case that it is imperative to smash fascism in its infancy with the utmost brutality. Acknowledging all of this, we do not have any sympathy for Taake and their fans and do not regret a single thing. We can back up every threat we make. We are ready and prepared to no longer simply pin fascists in, but to actually shut them down with force and drive them from our city when the need arises. We are fearless because we have taken up the ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. To be a Maoist means to conquer fear.

As Presidente Gonzalo put it:

“The point is to take up our ideology, and unleash the courage within us. It is our ideology that makes us brave, that gives us courage. In my opinion, no one is born brave. It is society, the class struggle, that makes people and communists courageous–the class struggle, the proletariat, the Party, and our ideology. What could the greatest fear be? Death? As a materialist I know that life will end some day. What is most important to me is to be an optimist, with the conviction that others will continue the work to which I am committed, and will carry it forward until they reach our final goal, communism…”

We see antifascist work not only as a means in and of itself, but as a training ground for revolution. Unfortunately for these liberals, revolution is not a tea party or a hobby or something they can’t attend because of a concert or because they are practicing “self-care.” We must learn to fight by fighting; we must learn revolutionary violence by wielding revolutionary violence; we must learn combat by engaging in low-intensity combat operations against fascists, gentrifiers and other counter-revolutionaries. We will not learn how to make revolution by having picnics or standing around like geese in a park, we will learn how to make revolution by shedding our blood and that of the enemy. We live and breathe revolution and devote our lives to serving the people and initiating the destruction of capitalism and the smashing of the state.

But how do these liberals LARPing as anarchists expect to ever smash the state if they already are trembling in fear at the prospect of violence against fans of what they themselves refer to in their flier as a “nazi metal band.” Surely any revolutionary understands that if we take our task seriously it will result in massive civilian casualties. Capitalism will not simply wither away, it will fight to its last dying breath, and in the course of revolution there will be innocent people hurt and killed. This is undoubtedly a shame, but the revolutionary must weigh this against the untold suffering and the hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths caused by capitalism right now, and the impending threat of environmental collapse, and wholesale fascist barbarism. These liberals LARPing as anarchists insult the idea of revolution and deceive the masses by blasphemously proffering themselves up as revolutionaries, when they are anything but.

These liberals like to refer to us as “dangerous” and like to say we make antifascist work “unsafe.” To make it perfectly clear, we have no concern for the safety of these fence-sitting cowards who have never accomplished anything. Antifascist work endangers antifascists. It comes with the territory. If they don’t want to feel “endangered” or “unsafe” they need to stay at home. Trying to dampen the efforts of militant antifascists who have been training seriously for over a year, and confronting fascists for almost three years, is actually dangerous and a disservice to the people of Kansas City. In fact, it is they who put people in danger and make people “unsafe” with their false promises and their watered-down and defanged antifascism.

We have absolutely made errors in our antifascist work in the past but these errors have been critically assessed and rectified and have not been repeated. One of these errors occurred during an encounter with police at our first open carry event. We will not detail the entirety of events, but it was covered extensively in the local news for those interested. The short of it is, our legal contact had assured us that open carry was allowed in this park where the fascists gathered (almost six months back on 9/9/2017). We still believe that our legal advice was sound, but the pigs insisted that our partisans could not have ammo or magazines in their firearms.

Tensions were high at this point, and the incorrect call was made to remove the magazines and the ammo and pocket them. It should be noted that this all happened well before the rally was scheduled to start, as we intentionally showed up early in case there was a confrontation with the pigs. We realize now that the partisans should have taken the charges and not ceded an inch to these pigs, but at the time we were anxious about the potential for an armed standoff with the reckless KCPD. God forbid we make errors during the first organized open carry demonstration that KC has seen since possibly the 70’s. These errors have informed the practice of our partisans and they have addressed them with the utmost seriousness, we can confidently say that these mistakes have not been and will not be repeated ever again.

Not long after this event, the Northeast Kansas John Brown Gun Club came to us with some criticisms, which we were thankful for. We took their criticisms seriously, gave them written responses and began the process of self-criticism and rectification. They were on the other side of the park a ways away from the confrontation, and so there were some inaccuracies in their accounting of events that we happily corrected, and they acknowledged the corrections. After discussing things with them, we reached agreement and it seemed there were no lingering antagonisms. But we learned just recently almost six months later, that members of JBGC were spreading rumors and gossip behind our backs, going back on their word, and sharing the same inaccuracies that we had previously addressed with them. Inaccuracies that they had acknowledged were inaccuracies. Inaccuracies that aren’t reported in any of the news stories surrounding the event, news stories that paint us in the most negative light possible.

This backstabbing demonstrates a shameful lack of principles when it comes to engagement with other organizations. At this point we can never trust the JBGC leadership, and we will never work with them in any capacity. We will actively discourage their efforts and inform everyone we come into contact with of their deceit, opportunism and other bad practices. We reject any claims that our partisans lack firearms training or don’t handle their weapons with seriousness. The errors made had everything to do with our handling of the pigs and nothing to do with lack of firearms training or knowledge. They are lying to themselves and to their friends and they know it.

It is odd that this club would hurl insults at us and spread rumors, since they don’t have a leg to stand on. In fact, they actually backed out of open carry at the rally in question. They were planning to open carry, but got cold feet just a few days before like the cowards they are. We still asked them to help us with security at this event, but instead of taking this task seriously, they stood at the back of the crowd in their little circle and offered nothing of any substance to anyone, this was another mistake we will never make again. This was in the immediate post-Charlottesville atmosphere, and it was incumbent upon us to take security as serious as possible, which they failed miserably at.

This lack of seriousness was on full display just a couple weeks ago. This chapter of JBGC was started up in Lawrence, KS (about 45 minutes outside of KC) and their leadership is still based there last we heard. Just a few weeks ago, white supremacists and fascists marched up and down the main thoroughfare in Lawrence with no organized resistance. The JBGC had advance notice that this was happening and did not lift a finger to put their people in the streets. They did not even call on us when we were readily available. We do not keep up on what’s happening in Lawrence, so we did not find out until reports started streaming in. These cowards actually let fascists march up and down the streets in their city, terrorizing the people and starting fights. They throw stones from their glass house.

Our antifascist work speaks for itself. Just prior to 9/9 there were a couple of liberal rallies that were surrounded by organized 3% militiamen who were armed to the teeth. White supremacists had also rallied earlier that summer in downtown Kansas City. It was clear that the far-right was becoming emboldened, and we didn’t hesitate to respond. We launched a two-prong attack at the 3%ers, one part psychological and the other part physical. It was clear to us at the first event that the 3%ers were suspiciously cozy with the KCPD, so we set out to gather evidence on this. After the next event they showed up to, we promptly exposed their ties to the KCPD with damning video evidence that showed they were clearly working together. We then showed up on 9/9 with our own firearms and weapons, ready to fight back. Since that open carry demo not a single fascist or white supremacist group has held any sort of public event in Kansas City.

After the debacle in Lawrence – a town with a rich abolitionist history, that today is known as a liberal oasis in Kansas – it was clear that the area fascists had scored a huge moral victory. They waltzed up and down the streets of a supposedly leftist college town, on the same ground that the actual John Brown – who’s name the JBGC disgraces – once treaded on. It became clear at that point that the next time fascists or white supremacists tried to gather near our city, that we would have to deprive them of another victory at any cost. When fascists feel safe, fascism snowballs. This is why we could not hesitate to shut down the Taake show with the utmost ferocity. We do not feel any sympathy for Taake, for their fans, for the Riot Room, or for black metal. What we did was right and correct, and the fact that these alleged antifascists can’t recognize that is damning to their credentials.

The most recent and perhaps the saddest display of cowardice from JBGC occurred just a week and a half ago, when according to our sources, they had to cancel their meeting out of fear of being confronted by Maoists for their lies and slander. The armed wing of the local “anarchists” can’t even secure its meetings! Why are they so scared of us? While they cancel their meetings and cower in fear, while they continue to slog along and accomplish absolutely nothing, we continue to rack up victories for the people of Kansas City and all they do is flap their jaws. Cowards like this are not fit to carry guns in any circumstances, let alone antifascist events.

As Marxist-Leninist-Maoists we are always sharpening and fine-tuning our work through the Maoist method of criticism and self-criticism. We are not the same collective as we were when we were founded almost two years ago, nor are we the same collective as we were one year ago or six months ago. The class struggle propels us forward, and criticism/self-criticism is how we are able to constantly acknowledge our errors and improve on our work. On the contrary, the liberals are allergic to criticism, even when it’s given politely they balk and whine like petulant children. They muddle along in their work and don’t ever attempt to better themselves. They ignore the universal laws of dialectical and historical materialism, and instead prefer a simplistic black and white worldview that hinders any hope of progress. They promote anti-intellectualism and mediocrity as virtue and as revolutionary. Instead of sharpening their practice and ideology, they have slid steadily to the right over the past couple of years. They have transitioned from supporting militants into a group of lazy and banal identity reductionist fools. They reject class struggle in favor of class collaborationism.

Brianna says herself in the screenshots above that, “takees fans are no more likely to be nazis then any other section of white people.”

While it is true that white supremacy is at the base of American style fascism, Brianna’s statement completely ignores the class character at play for a simplistic and inaccurate analysis. Even the most rudimentary analysis of American fascism must acknowledge that fascism has more popular support among the white petty-bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie than it does with the white working class. Lumping all these classes in together does a disservice to antifascist work and demonstrates a sore lack of political education around the subject of fascism, further demonstrating that these groups are not cut out for antifascist work.

Perhaps the weakest arguments we’ve heard from the psuedo-anarchist camp is that “Taake isn’t actually German-style nazis” and “by protesting them you actually hurt the cause and emboldened the right.” What antifascist hasn’t heard these arguments before? These are the same pathetic and laughable arguments that liberals make about every antifascist action. We are very aware that as we ramp up our antifascist work and our work generally in KC that there will be a reaction from the far-right, this is the basic laws of science. We’ve prepared steadily for this. If these liberals can’t handle the heat they need to stay out of the kitchen! We’ve all had plenty of time to prepare, but unfortunately for these anarchists being a revolutionary is hard work that requires discipline and sacrifice.

Against Left Unity

“Unity is a great thing and a great slogan. But what the workers’ cause needs is the unity of Marxists, not unity between Marxists, and opponents and distorters of Marxism.” – V. I. Lenin

We can already hear the moans about “left unity” that will inevitably result from this document. So let us be clear: we couldn’t care less about unity with these liars and cowards. Our comrades have put up with slander and badmouthing from these clowns for months, with an incredible amount of patience, and we didn’t hear any complaints then from the so-called left in Kansas City. We reject left unity as a dead end, and don’t seek any form of unprincipled unity with the likes of KC IWW and Northeast Kansas John Brown Gun Club.

Left unity liquidates revolutionary theory by smoothing over the very real disagreements that exist between different left tendencies. The disagreements between Maoists and Trotskyites, social democrats, revisionists and anarchists are substantial; each trend represents different class interests. For instance, revisionism is a bourgeois ideology, as it hastens the restoration of capitalism and dismantles the socialist economy and dictatorship of the proletariat. Anarchists reject the party, the mass line, and protracted people’s war, all of which Maoists see as critical to emancipating the working class. We cannot sacrifice our principals for the sake of temporary alliances.

Liquidating revolutionary theory is a huge mistake when there is an overall crisis in revolutionary theory. The left has been picking up the pieces ever since revisionism hastened the collapse and the betrayal of Marxist-Leninist parties. There is no longer an international base for the working class, and all leftist tendencies have a small and in many cases stagnating appeal.

Marxism-Leninism-Maoism was forged in the struggle against revisionism and social-democracy. When the Communist Party of Peru (PCP) waged it’s peoples war it was in the context of rising popularity for the social-democratic party APRA, and a government alliance with the social-imperialist Soviet Union. At the start of the war the PCP was a relative minority compared to the various social-democrat and revisionist parties and organizations that were operating in the Peruvian countryside. They rallied people around them by developing and advocating a correct political line and developing MLM as a coherent ideology, and by demonstrating the correctness of their politics and ideology to the masses via the earth-shattering successes the peoples war brought to bear. If we can prove the effectiveness of our politics then inevitably we will rally more and more people into our ranks and “the left” will become even more irrelevant than it is now.

The struggle against revisionism and other false left tendencies only strengthens the resolve and sharpens the politics of communists. History clearly demonstrates this over and over again – when Marx split from the idealists, when the Bolsheviks broke off from the Mensheviks, when Stalin kicked Trotsky out of the Soviet Union – all of these events may have had temporary downsides but the losses were quickly recouped to the long-term benefit of the working class. We’ve experienced this in our own work after the collapse of the NCP (LC) and after our split with the revisionists in Saint Louis. These breaks ultimately pushed us to sharpen and develop our politics and our work to a greater degree. Now there is more strength and a higher level of unity among the MLM movement in this country than ever before, and we will only keep getting stronger.

The utter lack of principles and revolutionary politics among groups like KC IWW has clearly demonstrated the futility of left unity as a strategy. Over the course of the past few months PYO (an organized group of communist students and youth) has undertaken a militant anti-rape campaign at the University of Missouri Kansas City. The UMKC administration is guilty of covering up multiple sexual assault cases, and these students have mounted multiple actions targeting the perpetrators and the university administration, including picketing in front of the administration. In the midst of all this, the KC IWW effectively crossed this picket line and held a film screening at the university sanctioned by the pro-rape administration.

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In what world would uniting with these scabs benefit the working class, if they’re even willing to throw student victims of sexual assault under the bus. Only the most despicable and unprincipled leftists could unite with such an organization. Those worried about the KC left can take solace in knowing that even if these organizations ceased to exist, it would only serve to strengthen and benefit the working and dually oppressed peoples of our city.

In the course of revolution the devoted adherents to these other tendencies who cannot be won over must be swept away along with the rest of bourgeois society. We do not shy away from violence against leftists and leftist organizations who would get in the way of our work, or actively lead our class astray. Revisionism and reformism are sugar-coated bullets aimed at the head of working class. If we allow these class traitors to gain any foothold in a revolutionary society they will lead our class to its doom and betray the memory of our martyrs. Our aim is to unite the working class, not the ineffectual and subcultural left.

This goes without saying, even though we reject loose horizontalist coalitions because they are ineffective and a dead-end, we uphold the Maoist strategy of the United Front. We are not opposed to working with different organizations on common ground issues like antifascism, but we will request that these organizations adopt the leadership of experienced and capable communists. This will produce better results from any angle, and ensure that revolutionary politics are kept firmly in command.

Against Identity Opportunism

The politics of the local IWW and JBGC can best be described as a type of postmodernist identity reductionism. Anytime the members of these groups are pressed on any political question they resort to a slew of personal attacks based in identity, regardless of whether these attacks are accurate or not, because they have no clear political ideology and lack any semblance of a political education. The postmodernism that they ascribe to rejects objective truth and historical materialism, so they are left with a mishmash of eclectic politics with no anchor in material reality.

Instead of analyzing the systemic basis for oppression (e.g. the contradiction between bourgeoisie and proletariat, the contradiction between oppressed and oppressor nations) they individualize oppression. The source of oppression then becomes based in personal interactions, such as “microaggressions,” and whether or not an individual feels “safe” or “unsafe” at a given time. However there is no safety for anyone under capitalism, at any given time.

As long as capitalism continues to exist, racism, sexism, homophobia and other oppressions will continue to cause suffering and divide our class, regardless of how many individual people get called out. In class society all oppressions are rooted in the fundamental contradiction between the bourgeoisie and proletariat. This is not to say that these types of oppressions didn’t exist prior to the advent of capitalism, but that capitalism subsumed them and made them subject to the will and benefit of the ruling classes. In class society all identity groups are stratified among various classes, so you end up with revolutionaries, centrists, and reactionaries among any demographic.

For all the lip service these so-called anarchists give to “anti-authoritarianism,” it’s ironic that their vulgar identity politics tend to replicate many of the types of authoritarian thought control that they claim to oppose. Whereas Maoists will struggle with individuals to help them overcome the backwards ideas or habits that bourgeois society imparts on everyone, these identity reductionists will simply throw someone in the trash for saying a word they deem offensive. They are constantly “cancelling” individuals for various slip ups, in some cases destroying their social lives over minor disagreements that could be struggled out, and constantly crying to the internet about microaggressions. When they are asked why they are so impatient, they claim that they are not obligated to teach or struggle with people because it is too much “emotional labor.”

In our organizing experience, we have found no enthusiasm among the working and oppressed people of KC for these types of politics. When we are out on the streets doing agitation and propaganda and talking to people, concepts like “lived experience,” “safe spaces” and “fatphobia” come off as foreign to the average worker, whereas they are able to relate to and understand Marxist concepts because these concepts are rooted in their material existence. While Maoists practice the principle of “from the masses, to the masses,” these identity reductionists situate themselves on their high horses above the rest of us, playing gatekeeper and denying salvation to those with dirty mouths or unclean thoughts. They are so blind by their self-righteousness that they can’t see how ridiculous and phony they look to the average working class observer. These sham politics are anti-masses to the core.

These organizations that ascribe to strict identity politics often cultivate a stressful atmosphere for the people involved with them. At any point saying the wrong thing can result in your cancellation from the social club. Or if an individual member some how gets on the bad side of a popular identity opportunist, for reasons that could be unknown to them, they are suddenly subject to being thrown away and branded a racist/sexist/etc.

Identity opportunists, like those in the IWW and JBGC, often treat dually oppressed people as if their identities are nothing more than a political football to throw at individuals and ideas they disagree with, in the most patronizing ways imaginable. They like to treat oppressed people like some fragile untouchable little children, stripping them of their agency and reducing their identities to accessories to opportunistically exploit for political or personal gain. For us communists, it is the content of what person is saying not their identities that determine whether they are correct or not.

Even though we don’t publicize the identities of our members, because this would put them at risk, we will say we have worked closely with people from all backgrounds and identity groups, and we can say firmly that dually oppressed people are some of the strongest and fiercest fighters that the working class has. These identity politicians reject discipline and self-improvement and encourage people to wallow in their suffering and oppression. We have found that all comrades are capable of putting in work, of developing their politics, of self-improvement, of being disciplined, even if they aren’t capable of participating at all levels of communist work.

Conclusion

We want to acknowledge that there are some principled individuals among the membership of the local IWW and JBGC, who are kept in the dark or lied to about the issues discussed in this paper. We encourage these people to step up and hold their organizations accountable, hold their leadership accountable, and demand a rectification process. This is the only way that we will ever consider working with these organizations, or the individuals associated with these organizations, in any capacity ever again.

We hope that this document has cleared up any lies that have been lobbed at us from these corners, and we encourage anyone with lingering questions or criticisms to reach out to us via email to get anything we missed cleared up. These opportunists know that we practice strict security culture, and so they exploit this by making all sorts of claims about the actions or identities of our comrades. The fact is these reckless fools have no proof of who any of our membership is and can only speculate. This speculation has actually brought heat on individuals that they publically claim are in our collective, when they are actually not. This is nothing short of pig work and there will be a steep price to pay if they continue this baseless speculation.

As it stands, the counter-revolutionaries in the local IWW and JBGC represent a threat to everyone involved in local revolutionary organizing and to the people of Kansas City. We will not sit by and let these unprincipled swine gain any foothold in our city. We will throw everything we have at snuffing them out, at frustrating their efforts, and if need be dismantling their organizations. We urge people who do not want to get caught up in the mix to stay away from these organizations, at least until the dust settles. We will confront them at every turn because it is the correct and principled thing to do, not because we have an axe to grind or are vindictive. We have given them too many chances to count, and they have worn out their welcome. If they are stupid enough to try and attend any events where our comrades are present, or share space with our comrades in any regard, we will make sure they are confronted.

March, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Politics of Resistance: The Maoist Approach to Protest

In Strategy: One Against Ten; In Tactics: Ten Against One

trump

Donald Trump is set to speak in Springfield, Missouri this Wednesday in an attempt to energize his base for his so-called “tax reforms”, this at a time where he has polarized the nation with his inflammatory comments in support for white nationalists who converged on Charlottesville and that left one person dead and 19 wounded. It was asked by a community member what will be the response of our United Front in dealing with the visit of Trump to our state. It was correctly stated by one of our comrades that should our contingent go to Springfield we will be surrounded by reactionary forces and have no base of support, that all our political mobilizations are done with careful planning and minimizing the worst predictable outcomes. In reflecting on this position it is necessary to critique a trend in the “activist” circles in their method of protest. A main tactic is one of “disruption” that typically occurs without an active support base. We are seeing this in the response of this visit put on by Indivisible St Louis and other dissatisfied liberals who are sending people into a crowd which practices barbaric violence but calling for “non-violence”. It literally is just as simple as accepting a Facebook invite and showing up to the staging area (which is publicly stated). 

For Maoists, our principles in politics and war is a recognition that strategically we are on the defensive in the initiation stage and how to use our forces effectively to tactically overwhelm our opponents. We support all forms of rebellion against the powers of white supremacy, capitalism and all oppression, but we want to do so in a manner in which we can win, rather than a showcase of exhibitions. The essence of Mao’s strategy of concentrating a superior force to destroy enemy forces one by one is also applicable to politics and rallies. This allows us to decide when to engage in political encounters and that we do so where we stand a great chance of winning or showing formidable resistance. Continue reading “On Politics of Resistance: The Maoist Approach to Protest”

Discard the Phony Resistance, Build Up the Militant Resistance to Fascism

Collusion between far-right militias and the KCPD demonstrates the need for real community self defense

Fascism is death — this is a truth all communists know. However, there comes a time when knowledge of the truth alone is not sufficient, a time when it is necessary to grasp that truth and wield it in the name of self-preservation. Fascists and their organizations are bubbling up from every crevice in this country, emboldened as they are by their demagogic leader Trump, and the pacifist nature and indifference that characterizes much of the resistance to Trumpite fascism.

Yet a more militant resistance is emerging, one that we wholeheartedly support and seek to enrich. A resistance based on the immense power and determination of the working class and oppressed masses, increasingly being led by their most conscious and militant defenders, communists.

The duty of every communist is to serve the people regardless of personal gains or losses. This is the lifeblood that sustains a revolutionary movement and truly makes us invincible, namely, the trust, admiration, and love we have for the People, and the People for us. It is because of our communist duty, and our understanding as Marxist-Leninist-Maoists that fascism will only crumble when struck, that we must take self-defense seriously, both the armed and the unarmed type.

Recently a march for prisoners was held in Kansas City to protest the vile and criminally torturous prison system that imprisons our class, and particularly the Black and Chicano Nations en masse. Spirits were high as many people passed by a recently vandalized Confederate monument, an act that dedicated communists took upon themselves based on the overwhelming desire of the masses to see it removed, yet for all the successes of the march there was one glaring problem.

A small detachment of armed Three Percenters had positioned themselves on the perimeter of the march to, in their words, “protect” and “ensure the safety” of the march. Knowing the political character of Patriot groups like the Three Percenters, and having directly confronted them at a recent counter-demonstration of the fascist group ACT for America, we know that those words are hollow.

Their role, like that of the police, is that of the foot soldiers and ideological partisans of this decaying reactionary order. Their presence was a clear political statement of their intent to work hand in hand with the Kansas City Police Department to corral and harass the People and to continue their clamp down on local communists.

The following day provided more damning evidence of the direct collaboration between the police and local Patriot groups. An anonymous source emailed us a video showing the militiamen and the police debriefing each other before Sunday’s action to protest the Confederate memorial, which had already been prepped for removal thanks to the direct action of communists.

Many ordinary people at both events were noticeably alarmed and shaken by the presence of the Three Percenters, which turned to outrage and righteous anger once their alliance was exposed. Since the videos have been exposed they have spread like wildfire, with numerous new outlets picking up the story, yet KCPD has remained largely silent beyond issuing a pathetic statement denying their collaboration with armed fascists. Of course the video and picture evidence proves the lies of the pigs for what they are, a lot of hot air.

In this context we recognize the importance of self-defense, not only to resist local fascist goons, but their friends in the KCPD. Pigs and fascists are cut from the same cloth, and perform the same political function, that of crushing mercilessly the working class and its most militant and revolutionary detachments. Now this reality is being exposed to the masses in Kansas City. In their eyes the pigs and fascists have now become indistinguishable.

Objective reality is transforming the consciousness of thousands of people, and it is the duty of us communists to mobilize and organize the masses into a fighting force. This is why we encourage members of our class to attend collective self-defense classes, to familiarize themselves with the techniques of street fighting and disarmament. These are techniques that are necessary when engaging in any combat with fascists. But we must also now insist on training with arms. We should never fall behind the enemy, in fact we should be several steps ahead of them, and our enemy has always been armed. If we wish to protect ourselves, our class, and defeat the horrors of organized fascism then we must pick up and familiarize ourselves with the gun.

Every protest should be viewed as a school of war, and every war requires disciplined self-defense without exception. We mean to make war on capitalism, imperialism, and fascism. We learn war through making it, just as we learn the gun by picking it up. Practice has served as our greatest teacher, and will continue to do so. We see no greater service to the People than by propagating, strengthening, and broadening self-defense programs and training, both armed and unarmed, to stave off fascist terror. We will not fail in our task.