So You Want To Start an FTP?


What Is For The People?


For The People (FTP) is a nationwide network of organizations initiated by cadre of the Maoist Communist Party – Organizing Committee (MCP-OC). All of our branches are under the direction of the MCP-OC; if you want to start the process of building up local work in your area, unite with us!

For The People is an intermediate organization. By that, we mean that FTP is organization which aims to unite people who are in the process of developing themselves, growing their theoretical & practical skills to a level befitting disciplined communists while also sharpening the practice and line of the MCP-OC itself!

By building up new organizers through real work among the people, FTP branches help to grow the MCP-OC and direct our local projects – things like food gardens, tenant organizations, or community self-defense groups. We expect these branches to focus on practical programming which serves the people and strengthens their trust in communist leadership.

The Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada describes an intermediate organization this way in ‘The Mass Line and Communist Methods of Mass Work’:

Intermediate organizations have a higher level of political unity than a mass organization generally does, for instance they may be consciously anti-capitalist. However, intermediate organizations generally do not require agreement on a unified revolutionary strategy.

In our current context intermediate organizations are especially important: while there are a number of parties that have set themselves the task of becoming the vanguard of the proletariat, no party (including our Party) has yet achieved this. As such, there is not a vanguard organization to which new communists will “naturally” flock. An intermediate organization allows new communists to get involved in political work with a lower level of commitment than party membership would entail, but still under the political leadership of the party.

Intermediate organizations are themselves transitory; as the class struggle develops and a singular vanguard emerges, the utility of intermediate organizations decreases. Similarly, as the political level of the masses is raised, intermediate organizations should be subsumed into mass organizations.

We know that we can unite the various people who call themselves communists and socialists, get them studying theory, and start moving them towards becoming revolutionary Marxist-Leninist-Maoists. But most importantly, the goal of FTP is to initiate large scale mass work, under the leadership of the MCP-OC.

To be a member of an existing For The People branch, or start your own, you must adhere to our national points of unity. These points were agreed upon in 2018 by all then-existing branches of For The People nationally.

Unity is important! Without asserting that we are moving towards a common goal, united by a common revolutionary framework and outlook, we risk being beset by infighting and confusion, among the countless other problems that have wrecked so many formations in the past.

For The People’s broad basis is simple – meet people’s needs & organize around them. A successful program not only serves the community’s immediate needs – any charity can do this – but develops community members into advanced class partisans who can lead the struggle for change in their own right.


What Are Our Points of Unity?


We Are Anti-Capitalist Organizations

Capitalism perpetuates class society, which gives rise to many types of exploitation and inequality. We believe that a new system has been long in-order.

We Are Firmly Committed To Combating Food & Housing Insecurity

We support the work of those who have developed networks to entire that the most vulnerable victims of capitalism do not freeze and starve in the streets.

We Maintain & Expand Community Garden Projects

To address the fact that swathes of our communities are food deserts and to foster small-scale socialized, self-sustaining models of food productions, we maintain food distribution programs. Neighborhood by neighborhood – community by community.

We Establish Tenant Organizations & Protection Programs

We firmly believe nobody should be without a home. Working & underclass communities face constant threats from landlords and corporate enforcers. In order to combat this, we strive to build deeply-integral tenant organizations, setup protection programs, and help provide legal aid resources / support.

Through these and other initiatives, For The People chapters function as essential organs of political power for the proletariat, and contribute to the long-term project of sharpening militant class consciousness for building revolution.

We Follow the Mass Line

Our leadership ultimately comes from the people and the people alone. We are not condescending saviors who’ve come to save the people from themselves. We unite and organize the people to save themselves from their exploiters. We are from the people and for the people.

We Are Rooted in the Concrete Experiences of Revolutionary China, the Soviet Union, and within the American Empire – the Black Panther Party.

We are also inspired by currently-existing liberation movements in India, the Philippines, Mexico, Greece, Ireland, Palestine, and Turkey, among many others.

A revolutionary movement that wishes victory is understands the necessity of synthesizing & processing the experiences of all peoples who have sought liberation in order to develop a strategy for their own area.

We Hold Political Education Classes

Where we discuss how to apply our knowledge to our work; where we summarize everything we do in order to sharpen ourselves & divorce ourselves from bad or inefficient styles of work.

We Are Proletarian Internationalists

We seek principled relationships with all revolutionary forces around the world and within the United States of America who have a real commitment to constructing a new, revolutionary society.

We seek unity first – struggle later. We are not interested in vacuous ideological debates and quarrels before establishing working relationships. Those who share our goals will inevitabley find themselves an open spot welcomed at our table.

We unite with the people of Palestine in their struggles against colonialism. As such, we are an anti-Zionist organization.

We unite with the Filipino people against the bureaucratic capitalism fomented by the United States & the Fascist State regime.

We unite with the peoples of India against land theft, neocoloniailsm, and hope them well-wishes in their revolutionary struggles.

We unite with the peoples of Papua against Indonesian colonialism, and with the people of Ireland against continuing occupation by British Imperialism.

We unite with the peoples of Africa, Latin America, and of all other regions of the world who are beset by imperialism. We present our case to all who are oppressed and suffering with words, deeds, education of the masses in our areas, and defend the people with firm action.

We Are Fundamentally Anti-Settler-Colonial Organizations

We believe that the states settled / developed by Europeans outside of Europe are completely and totally illegitimate. This includes, but is not limited to, Canada, Australia, and the United States of America. Our internationalist approach extends to the many unrecognized and oppressed nations within America as well; and as such we recognize their eternal right to self-determination.

We Are Anti-Racist & Anti-White Supremacists

White supremacy is the major threat to the development of a militant revolutionary organization within the United States. We seek relentlessly to combat and destroy vestiges of white supremacist thinking within ourselves and within others. Naturally, we actively struggle against and seek the destruction of racist organizations and institutions; including the police, military, and prison systems.

We Are Irrevocable Working & Underclass Feminists

Early into human history, women were the first dispossessed and exploited group. We oppose all forms of male chauvinism within our organizations and within our communities.

We Are Dedicated to the Revolutionary Liberation of LGBTQ+ Peoples

We should encourage the prioritized membership of the class of people living in contradiction to the hetero-patriarchal system of gender and sexuality in our self-defense curriculum and strategies.

We Are Dedicated To Learning, Practicing, & Teaching Both Armed and Unarmed Self-Defense

An unarmed community is a vulnerable community. We encourage all For The People members to be familiar with methods of defense for themselves and others; including the operation and handling of firearms and other weapons, alongside hand-to-hand fighting.


What Is Mass Work? Why Do We Do It?


Mass work is the core of local communist work. Contact with the masses is where we sharpen our skills in the field, where we educate and are educated by the people. Without mass work, there is no serious reason for our existence. Through it, we broaden the mass movement, identify new contacts, and agitate around existing struggles. Eventually, the connections we build in this way can be mobilized for the task of making revolution!

Comrades from the Philippines produced this excellent summary on “Mass Work” in the 1990s:

The broadening and the strengthening of the Party organization among the masses ensures that their revolutionary actions will persevere and advance along the correct direction. The overall Party leadership of the mass movement becomes firmer and sturdier. The line and policies of the Party are given a more concrete life in the struggles and actions of the masses. The consolidation of the Party results in the expansion and the advance of the mass movement, and the consolidation of the mass movement results in the growth and development of the Party. The Party is composed of the most advanced elements of the class which possesses advanced revolutionary theory, knowledge of the laws of class struggle, and experience in revolutionary movement. Therefore, it has the capacity to guide all the organizations of the working class and other sectors of the people.

In all of our work, we adhere to the mass line. The principle, “from the masses, to the masses,” isn’t just a platitude, it’s a scientific approach to building popular struggle that came from the largest mass movement in the history of the world – the Chinese revolution. We go among the people and learn their ideas, needs and demands, then sharpen them into a fighting political line which we can organize around.

That doesn’t mean that everything “the people,” think is correct – tailing behind the masses or assuming that we can’t struggle against their backwards ideas (like when the “Revolutionary Communist Party” fought against the busing movement because they perceived that the “workers” were opposed to busing) is a serious error. However, adventurism – going too far ahead of what the masses are currently ready for – is a serious source of error, too!

How Do We Build A Mass Base? How Do We Know that We Have a Mass Base?

When the people – specifically, people outside of the activist or organizer milieu – are consistently engaging with you and your activities, informing you of the goings of the community, offering advice and criticisms on actions, or joining your FTP chapter, you can be fairly confident that you are on the way to developing a mass base of support.

A Party Cadre wrote this summation, “On Developing Organs of Political Power“. She writes:

The ‘For the People’ (FTP) mass organizations across the country offer great insight into how organs of political power can be developed. The advanced masses are already beginning to take leadership positions, call for further action, and get people organized. If the revolutionary organization can provide the means, the space, and the education- then the masses will take the initiative. What follows is the general strategy for how we intend to develop organs of political power.

Serving the People

Food, clothing, hygiene products, baby care products, books, bike repair, home repair, education, medical care, skill training, youth services, and child care will be raised, organized, and distributed regularly at events. Additionally, once a month there is a larger cookout event, in which hot food, canned food, books, hygiene products, clothing, and free bike repair are given out. These larger events serve to conduct social investigations, engage with the people politically, and recruit new leaders for the construction of an Organizing Committee.

The Formation of Organizing Committees

Organizing Committees are comprised of the politically-advanced, those who volunteer to help, and those who assume leadership positions at events. They are well-known by the community, already active in their own pursuits for change, and have an acute political understanding of the problems their community faces. They will be eventually given full control over the FTP branch in their part of the city, as they are gradually trained to become leaders with a higher revolutionary consciousness. They listen to the needs and ideas of the people; and decide what material needs must be organized and distributed by FTP. Eventually, they will be tasked with helping to draft a list of demands against an institutional power; and will be primarily responsible for moving the people to mobilize. They will be given constant political education and will serve as the primary basis from which the revolutionary organization will recruit new cadre.

We build up our mass base of support through forging tactical unity with left and non-left community based formations, providing tangible benefits to the masses, and uniting them to make revolutionary chapters of their own. Ultimately, you and the organizers you’ll work with know your city and its conditions better than we could; as a result, it’s important that you not try to directly imitate the work done in other locations, and instead apply what has been learned through the work of other branches to the concrete problems that the masses face in your area. This is part of why we encourage consistent and thorough summation of all aspects of every For The People branch’s work and the making of these summations available to sister branches for analysis, criticism, and learning.


Where to Start?


Building a For The People branch is not just a matter of making a Facebook page and hoping people will suddenly flock to you. It’s essential that you study the work done by other comrades, and, most importantly, carry out a thorough study of the conditions faced by the masses in your area. We call this necessary preparatory work ‘social investigation and class analysis,’ or SICA.

A MCP-FTP cadre has written several pieces on developing urban base areas which should be kept in mind when conducting a SICA:

The initial base areas will be at least partly in built up, developed areas. Better yet, look to places that were once industrialized but have been gutted by neo-liberalism. Or, areas that are in parts of the South and West that never saw massive industrialization in the first place.

The first category — places like Gary, Indiana, East Saint Louis, Detroit, Allentown PA. Your Rust Belt cities are where the lowest and deepest masses can be found and, by and large, these cities have been glanced over by the revisionist and reformist left. City services have been gutted, police are hopelessly corrupt, trash stacks up for so long that the only recourse is to burn it. These are areas where there is very little wool over the eyes of the masses, where the contradictions of capitalism are sharpest, and where the masses are not just rapidly lumpenizing workers but are largely of oppressed nationality as well. Furthermore, the youth of these areas by and large do not fear armed struggle and revolutionary violence, considering that they have not had petit bourgeois training in pitiful pacifism and seen their politics degenerate down to soft reformist and revisionist levels.

Base areas are secured and developed by armed struggle and armed struggle alone in the final analysis. Revolutionaries working in these areas should avoid pretensions or coming on too heavy with rhetoric. You will never get a mass base. Standing on a corner chanting about things going on halfway around the world when the masses don’t have clean water to drink and are being murdered by pigs in their communities right now will result in you being laughed at or considered just another band of street preachers and lunatics on the local scene.

It is necessary to hang out where the masses hang out. If you’ve just moved to an area get to know your neighbors and establish a reputation for yourself as a helpful and genuine person, free of arrogance and pretension. If you see someone in need of assistance with a task, help them.

Mao taught that everything we do is propaganda. Every word from our mouths and every action we take is propaganda and to ensure that our Maoism leaves a good taste in the mouths of the masses we must be useful to them from the very beginning. Make friends in every circle. Talk to people. If you can not make friends with the people and get them to open up to you, they will not trust you wandering around talking about armed struggle.

Engage in social investigation and class analysis. This means find out the basic class character of your apartment complex, your block, your neighborhood, and your city as a whole. Who are friends? Who are enemies? Who can be won over? Who can’t be won over? Who are the main employers? Can you get a job there? Who is advanced politically, who is in the middle, and who is backward? What can you work with people on, tactically? Who should you be building with strategically?

These are questions that every organizer should ask themselves. You can only do SICA by going among the people every day. Get a cheap pack of cigarettes if you’re a smoker. People will ask you for them. Go to meetings. Hang out at popular spots and soak up and engage in conversation. This is how you really pick up on what problems are in your area and the other questions you should be asking. Learn how to use public transport even if you have a personal vehicle.

In urban areas, the lowest and deepest masses ride the bus and train. Make friends with your coworkers. Visit their homes and invite them to yours. All of this is essential to build your personal network and base of organizing contacts. Without this, the question of building a base area is settled against you from the get go. Without people, we are nothing.


The First Step of Building An FTP is to Go Among the People

Mao taught us that it is the masses, and the masses alone, which make history; if you want to start an FTP branch and carry out mass work for the MCP-OC, the most important step is to go among the people.

Since all of our FTP organizations are under the direction of the MCP, you’ll need to start by uniting with us. Our FTP programs are carried out with the objectives of serving the people and building the party, so all of them should be headed up by a local MCP-OC branch, even if that’s just you at first! Reach out to us at MCPOC@protonmail.com if you’re ready to start getting involved.

You’ll also need two or three comrades who are already at a semi-developed understanding of Maoism – we often describe such comrades as ‘Mao-ish’ – to start an FTP branch. Politics must be in command at all times. It is essential that a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist political line guides your leadership, to ensure that the organization doesn’t get bogged down in backwards or revisionist work. For help with political education, contact us, or consider starting a reading group around some of the documents listed here.

From there, you should start to develop a constitution and rules for your membership. As an example, included below are the Rules of the St. Louis Branch of For The People:

  1. To uphold the prestige and line of FTP-STL in public and in private.
  2. To not gossip and lie on comrade FTP-STL members.
  3. To maintain the highest standards of organizational secrecy and practice security culture.
  4. To assist and aid comrade FTP-STL members in times of distress to the highest of their ability.
  5. To recruit new members to FTP-STL.
  6. To serve the people through adherence to the mass line.
  7. To not take actions to objectively harm the people, and when such actions are committed, to make adequate recompense through submission to discipline from both FTP-STL and the wronged party.
  8. To represent a militant, revolutionary line at work, school, and demonstrations and not submit to liberalism, revisionism, and reactionary tendencies.

Our predecessors in the Black Panther Party used the Three Rules of Discipline and 8 Points for Attention as their code of conduct when relating to the masses. These are:

The Three Main Rules of Discipline:
  1. Obey orders in all your actions.
  2. Do not take a single needle or piece of thread from the masses.
  3. Turn in everything captured.
The Eight Points for Attention:
  1. Speak politely.
  2. Pay fairly for what you buy.
  3. Return everything you borrow.
  4. Pay for anything you damage.
  5. Do not hit or swear at people.
  6. Do not damage crops.
  7. Do not take liberties with women (or men).
  8. Do not ill-treat captives.

It would be a good idea to have new comrades study and memorize the rules. Especially if you are working in a city where there have been various forms of “messiness” among the Left. Your behavior as distinguished from theirs is a good model and will generate esteem in the eyes of the masses. Trust is everything — if you want to be trusted and develop a mass base, you must be a role model in every aspect of your public behavior. Respect the customs, traditions, property, and feelings of the masses at all times.

Who should you work with? In contrast to “Maoists” who distinguish themselves by publicly and stupidly punching left (to the glee of the police and fascists), FTP and MCP-OC comrades base ourselves on the principles of unity-struggle-unity. Meaning, we go into every relationship with the desire for unity. “Who are our enemies, who are our friends?” In most cases, other left formations are not your enemy. If they’re not macing you at a demo, they are not your enemy. If they aren’t charging you exorbitant rent or prices for food, they are not your enemy. If they aren’t shooting you down in the street, they are not your enemy. Distinguish yourself through principled conduct, respectful disagreement, and struggle for tactical unity. If there is a disagreement, do not immediately run to social media or other public forums and spill your business or break up coalitions. Messiness is not appealing to the masses of people who you seek to organize, and they don’t care about inter-left spats. Unite for rallies, panels, and other things of benefit to the masses on the educational and material front. Build decent working relations with all left groups in your city if possible.


Security


As you expand and develop your programs, you will inevitable make enemies on both the left and the right. These enemies will attack you or seek to wreck your work.

Ultimately, the best security is a strong base – your enemies will have a hard time reaching you if you’re surrounded by the armed sea of the masses. Nonetheless, the Black Panthers had a mass base and even they still suffered attacks from enemy formations.

We find that a two-handed approach is important – mass-oriented and security conscious. When recruiting a new member, we recommend arranging a face-to-face meeting with at least two current FTP branch members. Use these meetings to get a feel for the individual and test their level of political commitment. Carry out some light check-ups – consider trying to find them on social media, for example, and always take care to ensure that nobody gets access to secure organizing channels without being properly vetted. Bad elements – from local fascists to law enforcement and other enemies of the people – will invariably try to mine your network for information, so properly securing yourself against their attempts is of the utmost importance.

Consider avoiding services like Google Drive or Slack – they’re helpful organizing tools, but also major security risks. We recommend installing Signal as a secure alternative to other messaging apps; use this to keep your communications encrypted, and rely on Protonmail or Riseup for email. Don’t post about illegal or less than legal work on social media ever and work to lock down your privacy settings on all public facing social media sites. When it comes to repressing social movements, cops and fascists generally don’t just like to target individual organizers; they work to map our networks, and, once they’ve identified leadership, they’ll make arrests or counterattacks aimed at crippling our work. By making sure that your whole branch adheres to what we call “good security culture,” we can mitigate some of that risk, keep our comrades out of jail and build resilient movements.

On the topic of social media, it’s worth noting that many people love to talk about revolution, especially online, but tend to shy away when asked to do real political work. It’s fine to keep these people in your broader networks – having extra help publicizing an action or campaign is always important, even if you can’t always mobilize them to show up on the ground – but be cautious about integrating less-than-dependable comrades into your local organizing if you don’t trust them.

Appreciate that everyone’s skills can be useful for our work; nobody’s contributions should be made to feel less meaningful than others, so long as they’re demonstrating proper discipline and committed to carrying out the work that they are able to do. At the same time, we’ve found that people who are over-involved online can sometimes be more interested in picking petty ideological fights or starting drama than developing a unity of practice; those attitudes can really harm our efforts and it’s important to curb them as soon as possible.

Study gun laws in your area. If your city doesn’t allow open display of loaded firearms, don’t publicly display firearms! Under no circumstances are FTP members to display unloaded firearms in public. Our principle is “if you have it, be ready to use it”. We’re very committed to the principle that guns aren’t toys for show – after all, we aren’t playing at revolution. Improper or adventurist use of firearms can result in expensive court cases which will burden the greater movement resources, or worse, land you or your comrades in jail.

Maintain a database of fascists, harmful business owners and landlords in your area. Be creative in how you handle them. Most importantly, carry out your clandestine and open operations against these individuals in a manner least likely to result in retaliation. Don’t rush to claim credit – all they need to know are that people are pissed off and willing to take action.

Keep all lists of members and other contact information in secure locations or encrypted platforms – we recommend Cryptdrive as an alternative to the Google Drive suite. Never divulge unnecessary information to individuals outside of our network. Don’t tag yourself or others in photos at actions or meetings, or talk about your political work on personal social media. Keep locations of meetings on a need to know basis. Maintaining strict operational security should be the responsibility of your branch’s security officer, in addition to coordinating things like having security teams at demos and meetings, watching the door at events, and running self-defense trainings. This comrade is also responsible for identifying and developing tactics to deal with infiltrators, wreckers, and other bad elements.


Programs


Revolutionary organizations gain the trust of the people through their mass work programs; through these, we can agitate and push for a militant line in ongoing struggles, sharpen class consciousness to a razor edge and build for revolution. But what kinds of programs should be be operating?

To answer this, we can look to the Black Panther Party. The BPP was known for its free shoe distributions, free grocery distributions, liberation schools, and sickle cell anemia clinics – these programs, which they called survival programs (as in, ‘survival, pending revolution,’) or ‘Serve the People!’ work, met the masses’ definite needs and, in so doing, built up the party’s mass base. Helping the people survive is important in its own right, of course, but we know that, in the last analysis, any solutions we provide will only be stopgap unless we’re able to throw off the capitalist yoke, and we can only do that by mobilizing the oppressed masses for revolution.

The work we expect our For The People chapters to carry out is meant to build up our capability to do exactly that! Each FTP chapter has a niche. Omaha has distinguished itself through tenant organizing. STL has distinguished itself through development of food production capability and theoretical work. Bloomington works regularly with revolutionary prisoners. Atlantic City and Philly have distinguished themselves through creatively developing new models of organizing and recruiting many potential cadre for the MCP-OC.

Learn from these comrades and develop your own area of expertise (but don’t forget to sharpen yourself in areas where your skills are lacking!) Thoroughly investigate the needs of your community, hold meetings with and recruit interested members of the intermediate masses and develop a program to help demonstrate the capacity of the people to solve their own problems without relying on the old, rotten bourgeois state. It is also possible to use the State’s resources against it as described by Revolutionary Initiative in this piece.

Gúzman’s efforts at the National University of San Cristóbol de Huamanga thus did not simply result in a general communist ideological influence. Within an ideological state apparatus (ISA) that was not yet fully formed and far from the centers of power, communists managed to gain a foothold and eventually, in Althusser’s words, “conquer combat positions.” Gorriti characterizes the University of Huamanga as being virtually under the control of Sendero Luminoso in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Sendero was involved in the daily routine of the students, including room and board and administrative control, and most of the Party leadership taught at the university. Thus a combination of organizational control and ideological influence brought Sendero its membership. Strategically and tactically, Gúzman’s healthy disrespect for the procedures of bourgeois politics and organizations enabled Sendero to make the most of situations in which it gained the upper hand. Gorriti states that Sendero used its organizational control to purge its ideological opponents from the university, and quotes Gúzman that, “you either use power or they will use it against you.”

Use whatever weapons you can in this fight. Ignore sectarian ramblings – there hasn’t been a pure revolution in human history. As long as your programs are regular, dependable, and actually serve the people, you’ll start to develop a real mass base of support, which is the first step towards establishing revolutionary political power.

It’s equally important that you avoid falling into economism; focusing on economic work without a real plan for making revolution (what we call struggle on the political terrain) is a major error. We can’t lose sight of our real task. Root yourself in the lowest, deepest masses of the working and semi-working class, and study encourage them to Marxist-Leninist-Maoist texts collectively at every opportunity. Political education is key to transforming the passive class consciousness of the people into a revolutionary consciousness which can sweep away the enemy. Keep Maoist politics in command at all times and fight vigorously against reformist and economistic tendencies.

Tenant unions are popular mass organizations that should be developed whenever possible. Omaha Tenants United is a mass organization of tenants initiated by comrades in that city and their summation offers helpful tips and pointers in regards to developing a step-by-step campaign against landlords.

This was a truly impressive victory against one of Omaha’s most infamous slumlords. A massive amount of credit and thanks is due to our supporters who turned out and even more so to the tenant who was brave enough to go through with this action. It can be daunting for ordinary people to attempt to confront figures such as landlords who they have been told possess all the power, and we applaud our fellow tenant for possessing the courage to stand up to Landmark Group and Dave Paladino. We are proud to have been a part of this victory, but Omaha Tenants United recognizes that the real power lies in the exploited masses and their initiative. Through education and organization, we simply act as a cipher through which the masses can express the class power and unlimited potential they already possess. The masses truly are the real heroes. Without them, we are nothing. This is certainly not the last Landmark has heard from us. Dave Paladino and his co-conspirators at Landmark Group have proven that, despite what they would like us to believe, they are not invincible. We hope this victory serves as an inspiration to all tenants exploited by Mr. Paladino and other parasitic slumlords to stand up, get organized, and wield the power possessed by the working class to take back what is rightfully owed to us.. Dave Paladino is not a boogeyman, he is simply a particularly notable example of the inherently exploitative nature of landlords. You can stand up to your landlord and take back what already belongs to you. If you’re having issues with a slumlord such as this, and would like assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out and we can do our best to help. Remember, your landlord works for YOU. Slumlords in Omaha, get scared. Your tenants are coming for you next.

Seattle Solidarity Network’s guide is also a useful resource. But, we reiterate, developing a fighting mass and intermediate organization is ultimately based on your own SICA and the development of revolutionary programs in your area. We offer resources, a framework, solidarity and advice.


Propaganda


Every branch should have a comrade or several comrades assigned to making propaganda. The task of this work is to develop forms of agitational materials, whether fliers, slideshows , murals, etc. Assign a percentage of your organization’s funds to propaganda activities. The purpose of propaganda is to educate, agitate, motivate, and recruit. Comrades who have training professionally in art, music, cinema, etc. should all be utilized and assigned to this work.

Social media activity (Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, etc.) should also be considered propaganda. We’re in the 21st Century and many people are radicalized online. Creating a social media following is a helpful way to expose thousands of people at a time to your activities, propaganda, and line, as well as identify potential new comrades.


Self-Criticism


Self-criticism is not a Communist “sorry”. Criticism is a gift, not a weapon. We are only able to grow and improve if we identify our errors, so criticism is an integral tool in the development of our work.

Self-criticism is done with the knowledge that no human being or organization is perfect. Without constantly reviewing, summing up, and criticizing our own and our comrades’ work, we will not be able to serve the people as we really should.

Communists criticize each other because we love each other and the masses. When you engage in criticism and self-criticism, you have to get to the ideological roots of your mistake; you have to find the errors in your understanding of Communist theory and practice which led to your mistake. Recount the incident, what went wrong, and how you plan to fix it. Comrades help you throughout the transformation process. The order of criticism/self-criticism is unity-struggle-transformation-unity. Meaning we start out united, a contradiction occurs, we struggle through this and transform ourselves through this struggle, and are united on a higher level.

Unity and struggle are interconnected, and there can’t be one without the other. Don’t fear giving or receiving criticism. Constantly work to transform the bourgeois thoughts and practices in your head through practice and study.


Politics & Final Words


We’ve already said that politics must be in command. Regular study groups on Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory must be held, with effort made to involve the broadest sections of the Left and masses. Remember, our job is to turn people into revolutionaries, and there can be no revolutionary movement without revolutionary theory. For advice on what to read or how to conduct study groups, feel free to contact us. Your politics guide everything else – as long as you are firmly committed to applying the revolutionary science of MLM to the concrete conditions of your area and learn from the previous work of revolutionaries in the so-called u.s.a., you will remain on the right path towards revolution.

Building a revolutionary organization from the ground up requires resolve, tenacity, and patience. Constantly read the news, network, talk to people, build informal coalitions with a variety of groups that are of concrete, demonstrable, tangible benefit to the masses. Avoid sectarianism, pride of place, ego and arrogance – people can detect this and they won’t want to have anything to do with you.

To avoid embarrassment or relegation to the status of “that weirdo sect”, avoid doing things for shock value or to get a rise out of people. Stay out of activist drama and adhere to the line “all words are propaganda”. Every word out of your mouth must be with the intention of making people want to unite and work with you. Purge from your mind all negativity and anything that is not 100 percent in the service of the people.

With this start, you’ll be equipped to develop a fighting revolutionary organization.

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