*Update: a few short hours after we released this polemic, PRUC was renamed to “Charlotte Revolutionary Collective”. They also made a fake Twitter in our name.*
It is commonly asserted that “opportunism” is just a label charged by one side to make the other look bad. Contrary to this belief, opportunism is not just “whatever we want it to be”, it is a countercurrent that develops within every revolutionary movement seeking to nullify and destroy it from within. PRUC (People’s Revolutionary United Collective Charlotte) is still not welcome to organize in this city. Now more than ever, we encourage active boycott of this opportunist organization.
We posted our first polemic against PRUC here. It detailed why their founder and so-called leader, “Joey Steel” is not only someone we won’t work with, but who no one should work with. Since then we received intelligence that some anarchists arrived at the same conclusions about “Joey” unrelated to ours. This was based on an incident in which he displayed reckless behavior in a coffee shop when talking to people he had just met.
Copjacketing is the reckless labeling of someone as a cop, done with no evidence nor thorough investigation. We do not engage in copjacketing as PRUC has accused us of doing via their Facebook page. In fact, we have been copjacketed for standing up to abusers, and we understand that getting copjacketed may incorrectly befall anyone who shows an ounce of militancy.
Being against copjacketing does not mean we have to tolerate insecure behaviors which could objectively serve us up to state and non-state enemies. This is true regardless of whether someone is a state agent. Such behaviors are: name-dropping people and confirming you saw them engaged in illegal action, name-dropping suspected members of an illegal clandestine cadre organization, and speculating on the number of members in a cadre organization (especially one that purposely obscures such information). To make sure these behaviors cease is not copjacketing but responsible guidance of the revolutionary movement.
As we have been saying, “Joey” refused rectification for lying about felonies and bucked discipline on the matter. He also name-dropped people that according to him had been engaged in illegal activity in a room full of people among other things we won’t say here. We still have not seen any evidence to disprove that “Joey” was lying about his arrest history, nor have we heard of anyone else having seen such evidence. He is a lifetime enemy of the revolutionary movement in this city, a movement which we have built.
PRUC has failed to respond to our polemic, probably because their decentralized structure does not allow for publication to be spearheaded by one person lest they be labeled too close to a leader. Like all opportunists, their support is built in direct competition with the revolutionary leadership of the given time and place. In the process of doing this PRUC has disposed with the idea of leadership entirely. Aside from the security concerns around “Joey Steel”, we oppose PRUC on the basis of their political opportunism.
You arrive at a traffic light at which you must go forward to reach your destination. The lights–both the arrow light to take a left turn, and the circle one to go forward–are red. You must wait until the forward light turns green. While you are waiting the left-turn arrow light turns green first while the forward light remains red. Those who are impatient and impulsive, rather than waiting at the traffic light to continue the correct path to their destination, may take the first turn that makes itself available. This is done in haste to appear like they’re going somewhere regardless of how much further it will put them off from their destination. Even if because of their left turn they end up having to circle back to this same stoplight, they would rather drive in circles than be patient and strategic.
This is the essence of opportunism. PRUC is taking the first road that makes itself available– the capitalist road. Rather than having revolutionary proletarian principles and sticking to them firmly, they are doing whatever will gain them the most “likes” and popularity. Rather than remain on the road to Communism, which is painstaking and difficult, opportunists capitulate, taking the line that will make them the most immediate allies, no matter how many principles they must discard in the process! Their organizing is circular because they use the same tactics which have been not working for decades. Meanwhile Maoism has been applied and sharpened through class struggle, and its developments have been the continuation of the path laid firmly by Marx and Engels with the release of the Communist Manifesto in 1848. There is only one road to liberation. It is forward and it is Maoism.
For anyone who still is engaged in centrism on the PRUC matter, we wish to dissect even more reasons they are far from “Revolutionary” by using words from their own platform. Their main attention span seems to extend to their Facebook page, where it is quite clear they are thirsty for likes and post for the sake of posting. With no set political line to guide their organizing, they operate based on “big tent” principles. They post anything and everything that appears “left” but almost all of it is right in essence.
On August 7th, PRUC posted this description along with the graphic below to their Facebook:
“We do not advocate for contributing to the bourgeoisie electoral political system. The options are capitalist imperialist or capitalist imperialist as capitalist imperialism oppresses, manipulates, subjugates, and controls everything under its thumb…
However, occasionally, we have a chance at effecting direct democracy even within this rigged system built for the wealth class and their representative puppets. Direct democracy is also central to proletariat dictatorship in revolutionary society. (Emphases ours -RGC)
Voting against the proposed amendments to the NC constitution in November is an example of direct democracy. The work towards revolution to dismantle all of these bourgeoisie state systems and give all power to the people is central to our beliefs however direct democratic vote against these proposals does not change this, it does shout a voice against the reactionary system. Comrades should voice their opposition to these amendments and vote them down”
The above is a clear example of saying one thing in theory and doing the opposite in practice. In the first paragraph they seem to be on somewhat of a correct track. In the redacted two paragraphs they encourage people to “join in making revolution” rather than “being pacified” by the electoral system. However, in the last two paragraphs they go on to apologize for this. They then direct the attention of whatever masses they may have attracted towards the exact same system they just claimed to be against!
It is not possible to enact “direct democracy” of the people under capitalism. Capitalism, in which the primary contradiction of society is between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, will always impose the will of the bourgeoisie on the people even in cases of referendums and voting for amendments. Even when people are voting “directly” for laws rather than an elected bourgeois representative, they are still in essence voting for choices which are laid out on the bourgeoisie’s terms. This is because the bourgeoisie is the class with the power—voting for or against amendments does not change who has the power, and it therefore cannot constitute direct democracy. PRUC by claiming “occasionally, we have a chance at effecting direct democracy even within this rigged system” is pandering to the bourgeois definition of democracy. In essence they are claiming that direct democracy under capitalism and direct democracy under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (DoP) are the same thing. Under the DoP the proletariat is the one with the power, where representatives of the people who are recallable at any time impose the will of the proletariat upon the bourgeoisie and all of society. To act like “direct democracy” is the same in bourgeois society as it is in proletarian society is to gut the notion of democracy of a class character altogether, painting both bourgeoisie and proletarian with the same brush. It is the job of Communists to expose reality as it is, and not how the bourgeoisie defines it!
Something similar to “direct democracy”, the masses imposing their will upon society, occurred during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR). During the GPCR the masses of Chinese people were given directives to rout all capitalist roaders from the party. As masters of the new Socialist society, the masses rose up in rebellion—enacting the truest form of democracy, directly participating in the continuation of Socialism on the road to Communism. This democracy never cancelled out the Great Leadership of Chairman Mao but deepened it along the political lines he had carved out.
In the picture below, “Workers and cadres of the engine workshop of Changchun No.1 Motor Vehicle Plant in Northeast China criticize the line of ‘taking the 3 directives as the key link’ which put economics ahead of politics. Mao and the Four launched this campaign in 1976 against Teng Hsiao-ping and other Party leaders promoting this line.” (Source 1)
What we see from PRUC is centrism– not a cohesive stance on bourgeois politics but an opportunist plea. They pay lip-service to boycotting bourgeois politics but in practice hop on the bandwagon of whatever is popular to be talking about right now. This tails capitalism rather than leading to Socialism.
We could go on countering the Facebook posts PRUC has made shading us, as there have been a handful. It all boils down to opportunism: they have taken our principles, borrowed the aesthetic, but removed them of their essence. Their attacks on Red Guards have not gone unpunished. One thing is certain: PRUC is not welcome to organize here openly! We encourage the masses to shut them down any time they attempt to do so.
Educate the masses in the dangers of opportunism!
Eradicate bourgeois notions of democracy!
Up the Red Guards!