The course of the George Floyd Rebellion has demonstrated unequivocally that the principle task of the communist movement is the work of party building: the provision of revolutionary organization forged in the fires of class struggle and capable of providing proletarian leadership to the mass movement. It would be pure delusion to suggest that any contemporary communist formation has the capacity to provide that leadership and shift the objective situation we now face in the direction of a revolutionary break – the spontaneous rebellion which continues to rage across the country, most recently stoked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI, is entirely outside of the control of the revolutionary movement, which now exists only in small-group form. The questions facing the communist camp revolve around our path forward and overall strategy: how to construct a fully constituted revolutionary communist party in our context, in the face of sharpening reactionary paramilitary aggression and a nearly unprecedented (at least in recent memory) wave of anticolonial uprisings.
The overall failure to seize upon the current juncture is an indictment of a left which has neglected to take seriously the anti-imperialist character of the popular struggle for black liberation, that is, the struggle for national liberation of the New Afrikan internal colony. Allowing the black liberation movement to be subsumed by a chauvinist politics of “class unity” has obfuscated the transformation of the white proletariat into a labor aristocracy which reaps a portion of the gains looted through superexploitation of the colonized. We have addressed the dialectics of this transformation elsewhere, but in short, any meaningful class analysis of the so-called u.s.a. context reveals a proletariat cut across by imperialist contradictions which must be resolved through struggle against white supremacy and settler colonialism. The fight against white supremacy must be considered as much a question of principle as of strategy; the liquidation of either component amounts to the liquidation of any practical path to revolutionary struggle itself.
Recognizing the practical limitations of the contemporary communist movement within the so-called u.s.a. – consequences of decades of sectarian squabbling, the hegemony of revisionism and white chauvinism, and the complete absence of a truly mass-oriented politics guided by a strategic revolutionary program – means also recognizing that the only path forward is one of constructing mass organizations with a burgeoning party formation at their core, and of uniting the struggle for black liberation with the struggle for socialism by putting politics, rather than dogma, in command.
The following theses summarize the general strategic orientation of the Maoist Communist Party – Orgnizing Committee in this regard:
i. The fight against white supremacy must take on a strategic priority. Recent events have demonstrated to the world at large what the black revolutionary movement and the agents of the settler-state apparatus have both recognized for decades: the oppression of the New Afrikan internal colony is the principal contradiction in the contemporary u.s.a. context. The intense repression of the black revolutionary movement – indeed, the construction of all new repressive apparatuses for this singular purpose – speaks to the fear which the old bourgeoisie rightly feels in the face of this national liberation struggle. Lenin, during the Third International, changed the course of the international communist movement by correcting its slogan, from the famous lines of the Manifesto (“Workers of the world, unite!”) to “Workers and oppressed peoples of the world, unite!” Communist unity with the struggle of oppressed peoples for their liberation is not solely on the basis of national liberation struggles’ ability to ‘detonate’ the broader class struggle, but because the anti-imperialist struggle is the leading force in the world revolutionary movement today. A communist movement which is unable to unite the worker’s struggle with the black revolutionary struggle on the basis of anti-imperialism is destined for the dustbin of history. The MCP-OC directs its cadres to unite wherever possible with formations which organize for black liberation, principally the New Afrikan Black Panther Party and the United Panther Movement.
ii. The spontaneous uprisings across the country, in response to repressive violence against black people, are circumscribed by the overall level of mass organization existing in a given city. The broad success of the state apparatus and its nonprofit wing in recuperating the energy of the George Floyd Rebellion into nonthreatening (and even counterrevolutionary) programs is a direct consequence of the absence of mass organizations capable of transforming the struggle for immediate demands into a political struggle for power. Even the most militant rebellion will be limited to achieving only minor concessions from the state without the presence of revolutionary leadership armed with a political program. The task of our cadres in this context is not only to recruit for their own organizations, such as our For the People programs, which is ultimately a secondary objective. Instead, we instruct local cells to work towards the construction of organizations composed of the masses themselves, leading alongside militants. Such organizations must be made capable of resisting recuperation through ongoing and explicit political education and two line struggle; they must be made with the objective of protracting the fight against the class enemy, organizing for concessions from the enemy and operating as a “school of war.” Ultimately, they must be united with other mass organizations into a front under communist leadership.
iii. The experience of Kenosha – in particular, the murder of two demonstrators by the brownshirt Kyle Rittenhouse – not only speaks to the truth of the old adage “cops and Klan go hand in hand,” but provides an implicit critique of the liberal “abolitionist” line. We cannot be fooled by the illusion that the racist violence of the state is an anomaly of “policing” or the “carceral state.” Such rhetoric disguises the real class character of the repressive apparatus and its structural role – the amelioration of class struggle to defend the rule of the owning class. The repression of black people as colonial violence plays a structurally necessary role in the maintenance of capitalist domination – this will never be conceded so long as the capitalist system and its state apparatus continue to exist. Whether through traditional police officers or fascist paramilitaries, Capital will always defend itself. Thus, the fight for abolition must be connected with the revolutionary struggle and the initiation of people’s war. We reject the rightist line demanding “police abolition” as a political reform.
iv. As repressive violence escalates, the communist movement must respond by preparing the masses to defend themselves and their gains by any means necessary. The construction of community self-defense organs under the command of the mass organizations is an urgent task for our militants.
v. The rejection of the ballot as a tool for political struggle is a tactical necessity, not a metaphysical principle. The broad masses have already demonstrated their distaste for the electoral sham carried out by the bourgeois class dictatorship and have never attended the polls in high numbers; the passive electoral boycott of the masses must be transformed into an active electoral boycott that rejects the whole capitalist state system. Particularly as the electoral terrain is offered up by the class enemy as a site of struggle for “social justice” in order to recuperate the creative energy of the masses unleashed by the current uprising, our cadres must agitate around the electoral boycott and fight for revolutionary struggle. Elections, no! People’s war, yes!