Solidarity with the Palestinian Land Day

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On March 30th, 1976, thousands of Palestinians marched from the northern region of Galilee all the way down to Negev in the south, protesting the Israeli government’s decision to steal a massive amount of Palestinian owned land. Before the decision had been made to forcibly displace the remaining Palestinian population, Palestinians already faced discrimination and intimidation for taking up space that the Israeli government wanted to steal for settlements. During this fateful demonstration, six Palestinians were murdered by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). The anniversary of this demonstration is celebrated every year as Land Day, a reminder to Israel and the world that Palestinians are still fighting for their right to their ancestral home.

This past Friday, March 30th, 2018, over a thousand Palestinians returned and marched towards the illegal settlements occupying their land in a march of return. The day before the demonstration, the IDF set up barbed wire fences to lock the protesters in. Around 200 Israeli snipers shot live rounds into the crowed of marchers, shooting 400 people, many of which are in critical condition, and killing 16 people. The number of casualties will continue to grow as time passes and more people are discovered or pass away due to their wounds. The names available of those martyred are:

Wahid Nasrallah Abu Sammour, age 27

Mohammed Kamal Najjar, age 25

Mohammed Naim Abu Amro. Age 27

Amin Mansour Abu Moammar, age unconfirmed

Ibrahim Abu Sha’ar, age 22

Abdul-Fattah Bahjat Abdul-Nabi, age 18

Mahmoud Sa’adi Rohmi. Age 33

Sari Waleed Abu Odah, age unconfirmed

Hamdan Ismael Abu Amsha, age unconfirmed

Jihad Ahmad Freina, age 34

Ahmad Ibrahim Ashour Odah, age 16

Abdul-Qader Merdhi al-Hawarjri, age 42

Jihad Zoheir Abu Jamous, age 30

In Charlotte our supporters are involved in Palestinian solidarity organizing, engaging in education events about the incarceration of Ahed Tamimi, al-Nakba, the history of Zionism, and the history of Palestinian resistance. This is important to do on a campus where Zionism is rampant, and organizations recruit students to attend birthright trips to Israel. Currently, our solidarity with the Palestinian people is on an educational basis but their struggle deserves for our solidarity to be taken to stronger levels of concentration. Communists in the imperialist core need to be leading the active boycott against buying Israeli made goods funding the occupation, make distinct connections between the plight of Palestinians and all oppressed, colonized and displaced people around the world to awaken the masses for revolution in this country.

Every year since 1976, exiled Palestinians commemorate and remember the martyrs of their struggle for land and national liberation. Every Land Day demonstration Palestinians have been murdered and attacked by Israeli forces. Palestinians still come out in the thousands, knowing that their fight for return to ancestral lands can end in death. To many Palestinians, death is freedom; freedom to die on their land while fighting the occupation in a final act of resistance, to die for the struggle of your people’s liberation. The Palestinian people’s connection to their homeland is the driving force behind their national liberation struggle. Survivors of the first acts of occupation and al-Nakba are still fighting for a free Palestine. There are people who were born and raised by the dead sea, now barred from setting foot on the beach, not able to get close without risking being shot by the border or outside of check points. These are justifications of why the Land Day demonstrations have not and will not stop until every Palestinian refugee and descendent can enter their homeland as a free independent nation of Palestine.

FREE FREE PALESTINE!

FREE GAZA AND THE WEST BANK!

SUPPORT THE RIGHT TO RETURN!

FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA PALESTINE WILL BE FREE!

–Red Guards Charlotte, April 2018

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Defend Comrade Dallas and Fight for His Freedom!

defendourcomrade

Photo sent in by a supporter.

For the comrade who has sacrificed his freedom for Maoism.

For the comrade who carries the burden of the oppressed and exploited worldwide.

For the comrade who has spilled blood, and broken bones.

Our comrade Dallas has been locked up in the dungeons of the state. He was jailed on March 9th with bullshit charges and remains incarcerated as we write. Our comrade Dallas means to the world to us. He lives every day knowing that his life is not his own, and instead dedicates it to the masses of people, who ache for political power. He teaches us unceasing struggle against our enemies, and the art of transformation of our friends. He shows us how to defend our women and LGBT comrades like our lives depend on it. Our comrade Dallas has shown us what it means to be a servant of the people.

Anyone who genuinely serves the people can experience a fate like Dallas, but he has never cowered. He fights every day against the terrorism our class is facing and is being punished by the state for defending our class. In these hard times while our comrade is locked up, we need more defenders of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to rise from the seeds he has planted in all of us. Until he gets out and we can rejoice in his freedom, we will fight tirelessly in the same struggle he carries in his heart every day. This comrade’s example has given our hearts tremendous purpose. Many of us are recovering drug addicts, who have wandered through life aimlessly for years, yearning for a reason to live. To live and to die for our class—there is no greater purpose. To live among a person so unflinchingly dedicated, we are sincerely grateful.

Dallas is an expecting father; his fiancée will be left alone to raise their child if the state keeps him kidnapped. Now the impetus is on all of us. Comrades, if you like and follow our work, please write any inspirational or kind words you would like sent to him and send them to freedallas@protonmail.com. We urge you to donate generously to the cause by sending money to PayPal: avantiguzman@gmail.com. Study the work of the organizations he supports. Learn from them and our great teachers, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Gonzalo.

Become the fighter that Dallas is!

Nothing less, freedom for Dallas now!

#FreeDallas

#FightRepression

– Queen City Maoist Collective, March 2018

FREEHIM (2)

 If you have not already, please read this piece from RGA detailing what’s going on with comrade Dallas.

If you’ve already read the one above and want to be even more up to date on the campaign for his freedom, read this update.

Fly high the red flag for Comrade Pierre!

Comrades,

From the Queen City we send our solidarity and condolences to the Parti Communiste Maoiste (PCM) as they lost comrade Pierre. He was a tremendous beacon of revolution for all Maoists throughout the world, and this loss is huge.

Comrade Pierre’s passing happened on the birthday of Presidente Gonzalo, the greatest living Maoist in the world, and the 48th anniversary of the FBI murder of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. Fred Hampton was one of the greatest revolutionary to come from the US.

Comrade Pierre was one of the most dedicated revolutionary communists in Europe. Right before the accident leading to his death, he had been attending a protest. Though we never knew him, his loss hit us hard. The loss of a comrade dedicated to the liberation of humanity is a loss for all. From the grand stories of his unwavering dedication to Maoism, to his mentoring of revolutionary youth throughout Europe, without a doubt the loss of comrade Pierre is a loss for the entire international proletariat.

Our collective deeply cherishes the lives of those we have lost serving the people, comrade Pierre among them. His uncompromising dedication should serve as a lesson to all revolutionaries across the world. The fight for world communism must now be sharpened. Comrade Pierre was a militant until the day he died, and we must continue his struggle for the liberation of the world proletariat. 

Words from a comrade on comrade Pierre:

Today, a great comrade is gone. It was a man that inspired generations of communists, that gave his whole life at the service of a greater idea of mankind, at the service of a future of justice and freedom. He represented the transfer of knowledge, and he transmitted the fire from the Proletarian Left to the Maoist Communist Party with a tireless energy, being the living memory of struggle. More than a comrade, many of us saw him as a brother, a father or a grandfather, smiling and sharing good advices. He struggle against all kind of deviations, against renouncing, sometimes almost alone against the tide. Comrade, we wont forget you. For us, you’re an example, and you’ll live forever in our struggle. You’re is still among us, wherever flies this flag you loved so much, this red flag with the hammer and the sickle on it.

Long live marxism-leninism-maoism.

Comrade Pierre, present! Honor and respect

Comrade Pierre is immortal!

Fly high the red flag in his memory!

Long Live the PCM!

For revolution in the imperialist centers!

– Queen City Maoist Collective

 

  1. PCM, “Comrade Pierre is immortal!” http://www.redspark.nu/en/imperialist-states/comrade-pierre-is-immortal/
  2. Red Guards LA, “What, to the Maoist, is the significance of life and death?” https://redguardsla.org/2017/12/04/what-to-the-maoist-is-the-significance-of-life-and-death/

Ready or Not: Now Is The Time To Eradicate Fascism

SethChristopherVitcoFascist

Seth Christopher Vitco, fascist in charge of Anti-Comm. This picture was uploaded here months after the original publication of this article.

Fascists under the guise of “anti-communism” have discussed plans to come to the Queen City on December 28th at Marshall Park. This is in the wake of an emboldened fascist movement across the country, which is due to the crisis of decaying imperialism. Fascists have started doing protest-type actions ranging from another torch lit rally in Charlottesville to a banner drop of Vanguard America’s slogan “Blood and Soil” at an anarchist book-fair in Houston, to a “White Lives Matter” protest in Shelbyville, TN—these fascists are increasingly on the offensive. If we don’t hit them, they won’t fall! If we don’t deny fascists a platform and organize them out of power they will continue to breed, but we will not allow this to happen.

There have been conflicting reports about the status of their rally. The original “anti-com” page has stated that the rally has been cancelled due to “safety concerns.”

1

A little later in the thread, an account called @anticomskrrt said the rally wasn’t cancelled but moved from Marshall Park and to stay tuned.

antiskkrt

Regardless of what they say, we need to be prepared at the highest level. Whether the enemy shows up or not, we cannot let our every action be determined by them.

Fascists have a track record of attacking when our side is least prepared. As anti-fascists in an imperialist country, where imperialism is resorting to its most chauvinist element: fascism, preparation is vital. Lack of preparation in these times leads to the loss of lives. Fascists, by the virtue of their existence, directly endanger Black, Brown and Jewish people. Because communism is the only real threat to fascism, communists are also a target of fascist violence. Therefore, fascists have tried to disguise this march as a “march against communism”. We must defend communism in the face of this attack.

The death of martyrs shouldn’t be merely a source of inspiration, but a wake-up call for all antifascists. Heather Heyer is immortal. She was killed by fascist terrorists; her death must not go in vain. Martyrdom is a fact of making revolution, we have lost Norman Bethune, Edith Lagos, Justin Carr and countless others – they too, like Heather Heyer, are immortal. The bourgeoisie and fascists are after us, to see the revolution through, we need a strong and fighting force to destroy fascism with the highest level of preparation.

“Civilize the mind and make savage the body.”

Mao

Even if the official twitter has said that they won’t be in Marshall Park anymore, we should not be deceived so easily.

 

We must understand why there is fascism and how we fight it.

 

“We revolutionaries and communists must not let ourselves be surprised by fascism, knowing that the repression, the counterrevolutionary violence and the negation of democratic rights are not exceptions, but are inevitable and inherent in imperialism…. What must be done is to combat the class dictatorship of the exploiting classes with people’s war as the main form of struggle. All the experience of the world proletarian revolution shows us that we must reject and crush the idea of only “using legal and peaceful methods” until the enemy starts to apply fascism, i.e. until the moment when it is no longer possible.” (On Fascism—Reaction All Along the Line, Red Sun/Sol Rojo #36)

Whether these nazis show up ready or not, now is the time to eradicate fascism. Humanity doesn’t have any other choice. In the US, anti-fascists have historically tailed Nazis, following them at every step. While deplatforming them is necessary, as Maoists we must utilize our understanding of contradictions to analyze the situation at hand.

“When imperialism is threatened it responds with fascism, the contradictory and antagonistic opposite of communism.” 

(IT WILL NOT FALL UNLESS YOU HIT IT, Red Guards Austin)

Today, we see the imperialists have lost their hold on global domination. Though the rise of fascism is created by the bourgeoisie, it needs a mass base to continue to grow.  Many in the white working class have resorted to fascism as a relative reprieve to the issues they face, out of a fear of losing what was once supposedly theirs.  RGA sums up how imperialism in its most reactionary stage recruits a mass base:

“In a reverse of the Maoist method, it seeks to consolidate the backward, win over the intermediate, and isolate (or exterminate through genocide) the advanced. It consistently frames itself in plain talk, where it appears to shoot from the hip, and it aims right at the frustrations of the largest sections of the working class and appeals to their short-term interests. It is no good for them, but just like drugs it does, on the surface, seem to solve problems and (very) temporarily cause them to feel better, and like drugs it comes at the expense of others.” (RGA)

Maoism knows the issues that most fascists are indignant about are a result of capitalist exploitation. Here we have a major contradiction: imperialism in decay has resorted to the development of fascism. Fascists attempt to penetrate the white working class by prodding deeply at their anxieties (the opiate crisis, the contradiction of rural and city life in white flight areas, etc.)  and providing solutions that will, supposedly, remedy these ailments at the expense of all those who oppose these solutions. The sharpening of the contradiction between the proletariat and bourgeoisie leads to a sharpening of contradictions within the proletariat, between the white members and the oppressed nations members of the working class. The frustrations that lead many white workers into the arms of the fascists are the same issues communists should be agitating around. Liberals will scoff at any talk of defending the white working class, but communists cannot resort to identity politics and must correct incorrect ideas amongst white workers.

Liberals will ambulance chase and attempt to de-platform Nazis wherever they go—which as stated above is a crucial tactic but only one part of resolving the contradiction of decaying imperialism. We must leverage contradictions to qualitatively resolve the issue of emergent fascism, to develop more revolutionaries for our side, because the only real solution to ending the rise of fascism is socialism. White working-class neighborhoods must become bastions of anti-fascism, not a breeding ground for white supremacy. A mass-based antifascism includes de-platforming and organizing the white working class for revolution—in these times this is the bare minimum for any true anti-fascism.

That must be our goal in calling all antifascists to Charlotte on December 28th. Right now, communists and revolutionaries are losing the fight against fascism. The ruling class and fascists fear a strong revolutionary communist movement. So, we must build it! No amount of voting, sloganeering, protesting alone can defeat it – only the masses armed with guns and the immortal science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism can swiftly, brutally crush imperialism and emergent fascism. We must be among the masses to turn the crises of the ruling class on their heads, and with communist leadership, show that fascism can be defeated.

 

Only with communist leadership can we defeat fascism!

Anti-fascists come to Charlotte on December 28th!  

Preparation cannot be sidelined!

No Nazis in Charlotte!

— Queen City Maoist Collective

 

Sources:

  1. Red Guards Austin, “It Will Not Fall Unless You Hit It” https://redguardsaustin.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/it-will-not-fall-unless-you-hit-it/
  1. Mao Tse-Tung, “A Study Physical Education” https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-6/mswv6_01.htm
  1. Red Sun/Sol Rojo “On Fascism—Reaction All Along The Line” http://www.signalfire.org/2012/12/15/on-fascism-reaction-all-along-the-line/

 

WITHOUT CRITICISM WE CANNOT IMPROVE (2)

Earlier we had posted this piece with a supposed video from the Movmiento Femineno Popular (MFP). It turns out it was a bourgeois college student attempt to satirize the women in the Peruvian Communist Party. So we have taken out the video and replaced the numbered steps of criticism because they came from that source, but the rest of the article is the same. 

Our first understanding of criticism self criticism (CSC) was as a tool for internal sharpening within a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (which today is principally Maoist) cadre organization. Some of our members are also members of a local mass organization. A couple months into the development of this newer mass organization, CSC was brought into the org. The following is a clarification of some of the things we’ve learned about criticism through practice.

“Conscientious practice of self-criticism is still another hallmark distinguishing our Party from all other political parties. As we say, dust will accumulate if a room is not cleaned regularly, our faces will get dirty if they are not washed regularly. Our comrades’ minds and our Party’s work may also collect dust, and also need sweeping and washing. The proverb “Running water is never stale and a door-hinge is never worm-eaten” means that constant motion prevents the inroads of germs and other organisms. To check up regularly on our work and in the process develop a democratic style of work, to fear neither criticism nor self-criticism, and to apply such good popular Chinese maxims as ‘Say all you know and say it without reserve’, ‘Blame not the speaker but be warned by his words’ and ‘Correct mistakes if you have committed them and guard against them if you have not’ – this is the only effective way to prevent all kinds of political dust and germs from contaminating the minds of our comrades and the body of our Party.” – Mao Tse Tung*

  

CRITICISM: A LIFEBOAT AMIDST A SEA OF LIBERALISM  

The fact that criticism is usually seen as an inherently bad thing comes from the reality that in today’s “left”, criticism is non-existent. In order for comrades to want more criticism and not less, it should be given in the best way possible. But most importantly, criticism should follow a correct Maoist political line. When comrades come from more liberal backgrounds, any sort of pushback is seen as an attack. Any sort of correction or directed thought at a particular person is seen as a personal attack. Liberals in this country cannot separate personhood with politics and therefore do not see the ability for transformation. We do not want to mechanically separate the person from their politics, however through struggle many people can transform out of their incorrect ideas and into revolutionaries. The liberal essentializing of every person with where their politics are right now is a view that negates transformation. In practice, this looks like getting very defensive when one’s incorrect ideas are criticized. For example, how many times have you been completely shaken to your core because somebody assertively corrected you for using incorrect pronouns to describe a trans person? How often did that manifest in the belief that the person correcting you was doing it out of spite? How often has that lead to feeling like you were just attacked and feeling like your intentions were totally misconstrued? Many of us in the past mistakenly felt this way. This is one example but what’s being described is the initial shock at political criticism in a left that allows incorrect practice to run rampant. This is the state of politics in this imperialist country, where Maoist criticism is objectively discouraged because the liberal left is very cozy in its current practice. Without CSC we will frankly drown in the dominant liberal left because our practice will become static.

When a criticism is correct and is united with and rectified, it is a tool for principled unity. But when criticism is always associated with negative reactions, objectively it discourages comrades from giving criticism because they view it as something bad that they would like to experience as little as possible. In this situation where comrades hold back criticism, “unity” within an organization can easily become unprincipled. Unprincipled unity is not unity at all because it puts political line on the backburner. Principled unity necessitates raising consciousness and correcting mistakes. Without correcting mistakes of individuals within an organization, we are doing nothing to raise people up to make qualitative breaks with their liberal or otherwise mistaken ideas. Criticism should be encouraged because we need it in order to improve. Criticism is a tool for principled unity which is why it is not an inherently negative thing. The principled unity that we get out of correct criticism is positive because it can only help us grow.

The following is from a document written by a mass organization in Charlotte:

“Specifically to address what was said here about criticism/ self criticism, not every criticism is correct and that’s why we don’t hold our members to any and all criticism given by another member. Criticism, like everything, has a class background. For example, one comrade could receive two contradictory criticisms about the same situation from two different people. Based on the fact that it is criticism alone does not mean it should always be wholly united with. To unite with any criticism just because it is said as criticism is liberal and does not sharpen practice because criticism propagates ideas about work and not all ideas about work are correct.”….”CSC for a mass organization is a way to hear the truth about our work from people we trust so that as a whole we become better. We do see the importance of this tool and we have standards for members but CSC for a mass organization is not a way to address antagonistic contradictions and should be done in good faith.”

The quote above was written a couple months ago and as we have developed as Maoists since then we encourage people reading this to criticize it where it needs to be.

 

THE NECESSITY OF DIRECT CRITICISM 

Some comrades, including ourselves, have shied away from direct criticism, scared that it would push people away. It does make sense to have a strong relationship based in some uniting principles before giving direct criticism to a person randomly, to avoid doing call-out culture and calling it “criticism”. However, practice has shown us that when direct or fundamental criticism is concealed for too long it makes things much harder and just makes more work that we have to make up for later to correct mistaken ideas. Timing and patience are important but when we take that too far and use it as an excuse to not give a comrade a needed criticism, it sets the wrong political precedent, encourages political mistakes, and also encourages the idea that criticism is a punishment and a “bad” thing to be avoided. On the contrary, criticism is not just something we should add on every once in awhile, but actually a vital tool that should be cherished and used to sharpen our practice. Trying to avoid the matter of direct criticisms causes confusion and harms practice. The leap from theory to practice, specifically from Maoist theory to practice in mass work, means that criticism and self-criticism are necessary. Recently we started doing mass work CSC sessions in public, so that mistakes can increasingly be corrected as soon as they come up, and also because there is a propaganda element to doing this in the open.

We understand that in a left in which call-out culture has hegemony, criticism is at first seen as a negative. This is because the postmodernists often give “critiques” that are not geared toward actual political unity, and are instead intended as ways to gain social capital and an individual following. Most importantly, though, the political character of postmodern “critiques” is bankrupt because even if the intention were to foster unity, it would be for unity of identity politics. Identity politics can never make a revolution but this document lacks the scope to be able to go into this topic deeply.

With regards to the fear that honest criticism will turn people away, we have learned through some difficult lessons that this fear truly harms us. As communists we value subjective intervention of a revolutionary force, a vanguard party, to come in and lead the proletariat to change their objective conditions which are caused by capitalism. This line of thinking leads us to the conclusion that the mistakes of those who we aim to transform are, to an extent, our own mistakes if we fail to make the subjective intervention of criticism. One comrade cannot complain about a mistake another comrade made, if they knew this mistake was a pattern and did not work to transform the other comrade’s thinking on said issue. Only with a revolutionary theory can we have revolutionary practice, like Lenin said, and criticism is the tool that represents that vital theory. To fail to criticize when necessary is to unite with incorrect ideas, and uniting with incorrect things for too long represents a compromise in politics.

 

“Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it’s cowardice.”

―George Jackson

This cowardice represents the modern revisionists who do nothing to work with the masses and prepare for actual revolution. The revisionists adhere to an insurrectionary line that in practice is cowardice. Insurrection today is most commonly conveyed with the phrase “it’s not the right time yet”. It also applies to holding back criticism for too long and not defending the revolutionary proletarian line against the bourgeois line. This is why the revisionists don’t practice CSC, because they do not understand the urgency of political line, and even if they appropriate the Maoist tool of CSC they hollow out its politics, rendering it useless. With rejection of the insurrectionary thinking that accompanies unprincipled unity we want to bring criticism into our practice every day.

We have also made the mistake of saying criticisms generally when the particular criticism was aimed at one person. This is liberalism and is not effective becuase it is sugar-coating. It does not make sense to criticize the entire group when only one person needs the criticism. Also, to prevent incorrect lines from spreading to hold influence with multiple people, the source of the incorrect line must be confronted directly.

 

ON THE QUESTION OF “NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT” 

Within the mass organization it has come up that communists should devote just as much time to the “good” things in a systematic way as we do to “bad” things, and systematize positive reinforcement. Yes, credit should be given where it’s due, but in essence this is a liberal argument because it stems from the idea that criticism is a negative thing. First, we must attempt to analyze this using dialectical materialism by ‘analyzing concrete reality from concrete conditions’, examining the living contradictions that move the world. Would mistakes exist without correctness? Indeed, the basis of Maoist criticism is the correctness of Maoist politics. Is there a dialectical unity of opposites between lines that emerge in two-line struggle? Would the bourgeois line exist without the proletarian revolutionary line to oppose it? Would the bourgeoisie exist without the proletariat? In the attempt to resolve a contradiction, two lines emerge. For example, the fundamental question of how to resolve the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeouisie. The line of using revolutionary violence to overthrow the bourgeoisie separates from the line of “voting in socialism”. Some contradictions are harder to analyze than others but in general there is usually one line that objectively helps the bourgeiosie and enforces the status quo, and another line that sharpens practice for aims of proletarian revolution.

The argument surrounding positive reinforcement claims that since criticism is a negative, there should be a positive to balance it out. This represents a liquidation of criticism because it aims to redirect. For us to say that we do just as many good things as we do bad things would be mechanical and incorrect. To say that we should devote just as much time to rewards as we do to punishment not only comes from an incorrect understanding of criticism (as punishment), but also understands CSC in a very quantitative fashion. Quantitative factors place primary importance on the amount of something, in this case on making equal the amount of time spent on praise as that spent on criticism. When we view criticism in a quantitative fashion we hold back from giving necessary criticisms with the excuse that we’ve already given our comrades “enough” criticism in a given unit of time. It is true that leadership should not be overbearing and should work to give criticisms that foster transformation and do not overwhelm a person in a commandist manner. At the same time, our time devoted to the study of Maoism (ideological training) should be the positive reinforcement we seek. We must be ruthlessly critical and embrace the struggle to, every day, create an internal revolution against our old ways of thinking. Without the struggle between dominant bourgeois ideas and revolutionary proletarian ideas Maoism would not exist. Struggle should be a constant in our practice because everything communists stand for aims to destroy the current system in every way. We should not give criticism for the sake of criticism, we should give it for the sake of making a revolution against the practice that’s being criticized and the idea that reflects it. Similarly, we should not give praise for the sake of praise but only when it is absolutely represents revolutionary ideas in practice.

————————

‘The correct line is born out of struggle with the incorrect line.’ Within a mass organization obviously not everyone will be a Maoist and it is by no means a prerequisite or requirement to be one in order to be a mass org member. For this to be a requirement would mean that no one transforms into a Maoist through practice in the mass organization because no one would come in unless they already knew the ins and outs of MLM. However, within every organization there will be a particular set of politics that gain dominance. Disagreements and the decisions that follow them determine which politics gain power. We are clear from the beginning that in every organization that we devote large amounts of time to, we seek for Maoism to be those politics that gain dominance. Without understanding that everything has a political background, vaccuums of power are made and anyone can come in and fill that vaccuum with some other set of politics. And in today’s political climate, if Maoist politics are not in power, then the politics that are in power will objectively help capitalism remain in place. Without capitalism, Maoism would not exist, and without criticism against capitalist ideas, revolution cannot exist.

 

DON’T SHY AWAY FROM CRITICISM!   

HAVE THE COURAGE TO CRITICIZE DIRECTLY!   

EMPHASIZE IDEOLOGICAL TRAINING!   

USING CRITICISM, PROPAGATE MAOISM. 

–Queen City Maoist Collective

 

* https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/works/red-book/ch27.htm

 

WITHOUT CRITICISM WE CANNOT IMPROVE

Our first understanding of criticism self criticism (CSC) was as a tool for internal sharpening within a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (which today is principally Maoist) cadre organization. Some of our members are also members of a local mass organization. A couple months into the development of this newer mass organization, CSC was brought into the org. The following is a clarification of some of the things we’ve learned about criticism through practice.

In a CSC meeting of members of Movimento Femenino Popular (Popular Women’s Movement) in Peru, criticism was outlined with these steps:

1. Point out the error committed by one of the comrades.

2. Ask if it’s true or not.

3. Analyze the error to be able to overcome it.

4. Look for ways to overcome the error so the comrade will better herself.

In the same video it was also stressed that the reasons for criticism must be understood deeply and particularly here they were talking about overcoming individualism. 

CRITICISM: A LIFEBOAT AMIDST A SEA OF LIBERALISM 

The fact that criticism is usually seen as an inherently bad thing comes from the reality that in today’s “left”, criticism is non-existent. In order for comrades to want more criticism and not less, it should be given in the best way possible. But most importantly, criticism should follow a correct Maoist political line. When comrades come from more liberal backgrounds, any sort of pushback is seen as an attack. Any sort of correction or directed thought at a particular person is seen as a personal attack. Liberals in this country cannot separate personhood with politics and therefore do not see the ability for transformation. We do not want to mechanically separate the person from their politics, however through struggle many people can transform out of their incorrect ideas and into revolutionaries. The liberal essentializing of every person with where their politics are right now is a view that negates transformation. In practice, this looks like getting very defensive when one’s incorrect ideas are criticized. For example, how many times have you been completely shaken to your core because somebody assertively corrected you for using incorrect pronouns to describe a trans person? How often did that manifest in the belief that the person correcting you was doing it out of spite? How often has that lead to feeling like you were just attacked and feeling like your intentions were totally misconstrued? Many of us in the past mistakenly felt this way. This is one example but what’s being described is the initial shock at political criticism in a left that allows incorrect practice to run rampant. This is the state of politics in this imperialist country, where Maoist criticism is objectively discouraged because the liberal left is very cozy in its current practice. Without CSC we will frankly drown in the dominant liberal left because our practice will become static.

When a criticism is correct and is united with and rectified, it is a tool for principled unity. But when criticism is always associated with negative reactions, objectively it discourages comrades from giving criticism because they view it as something bad that they would like to experience as little as possible. In this situation where comrades hold back criticism, “unity” within an organization can easily become unprincipled. Unprincipled unity is not unity at all because it puts political line on the backburner. Principled unity necessitates raising consciousness and correcting mistakes. Without correcting mistakes of individuals within an organization, we are doing nothing to raise people up to make qualitative breaks with their liberal or otherwise mistaken ideas. Criticism should be encouraged because we need it in order to improve. Criticism is a tool for principled unity which is why it is not an inherently negative thing. The principled unity that we get out of correct criticism is positive because it can only help us grow.

The following is from a document written by a mass organization in Charlotte:

“Specifically to address what was said here about criticism/ self criticism, not every criticism is correct and that’s why we don’t hold our members to any and all criticism given by another member. Criticism, like everything, has a class background. For example, one comrade could receive two contradictory criticisms about the same situation from two different people. Based on the fact that it is criticism alone does not mean it should always be wholly united with. To unite with any criticism just because it is said as criticism is liberal and does not sharpen practice because criticism propagates ideas about work and not all ideas about work are correct.”….”CSC for a mass organization is a way to hear the truth about our work from people we trust so that as a whole we become better. We do see the importance of this tool and we have standards for members but CSC for a mass organization is not a way to address antagonistic contradictions and should be done in good faith.” 

The quote above was written a couple months ago and as we have developed as Maoists since then we encourage people reading this to criticize it where it needs to be.

THE NECESSITY OF DIRECT CRITICISM

Some comrades, including ourselves, have shied away from direct criticism, scared that it would push people away. It does make sense to have a strong relationship based in some uniting principles before giving direct criticism to a person randomly, to avoid doing call-out culture and calling it “criticism”. However, practice has shown us that when direct or fundamental criticism is concealed for too long it makes things much harder and just makes more work that we have to make up for later to correct mistaken ideas. Timing and patience are important but when we take that too far and use it as an excuse to not give a comrade a needed criticism, it sets the wrong political precedent, encourages political mistakes, and also encourages the idea that criticism is a punishment and a “bad” thing to be avoided. On the contrary, criticism is not just something we should add on every once in awhile, but actually a vital tool that should be cherished and used to sharpen our practice. Trying to avoid the matter of direct criticisms causes confusion and harms practice. The leap from theory to practice, specifically from Maoist theory to practice in mass work, means that criticism and self-criticism are necessary. Recently we started doing mass work CSC sessions in public, so that mistakes can increasingly be corrected as soon as they come up, and also because there is a propaganda element to doing this in the open. 

We understand that in a left in which call-out culture has hegemony, criticism is at first seen as a negative. This is because the postmodernists often give “critiques” that are not geared toward actual political unity, and are instead intended as ways to gain social capital and an individual following. Most importantly, though, the political character of postmodern “critiques” is bankrupt because even if the intention were to foster unity, it would be for unity of identity politics. Identity politics can never make a revolution but this document lacks the scope to be able to go into this topic deeply. 

With regards to the fear that honest criticism will turn people away, we have learned through some difficult lessons that this fear truly harms us. As communists we value subjective intervention of a revolutionary force, a vanguard party, to come in and lead the proletariat to change their objective conditions which are caused by capitalism. This line of thinking leads us to the conclusion that the mistakes of those who we aim to transform are, to an extent, our own mistakes if we fail to make the subjective intervention of criticism. One comrade cannot complain about a mistake another comrade made, if they knew this mistake was a pattern and did not work to transform the other comrade’s thinking on said issue. Only with a revolutionary theory can we have revolutionary practice, like Lenin said, and criticism is the tool that represents that vital theory. To fail to criticize when necessary is to unite with incorrect ideas, and uniting with incorrect things for too long represents a compromise in politics. 

“Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it’s cowardice.”

George Jackson

This cowardice represents the modern revisionists who do nothing to work with the masses and prepare for actual revolution. The revisionists adhere to an insurrectionary line that in practice is cowardice. Insurrection today is most commonly conveyed with the phrase “it’s not the right time yet”. It also applies to holding back criticism for too long and not defending the revolutionary proletarian line against the bourgeois line. This is why the revisionists don’t practice CSC, because they do not understand the urgency of political line, and even if they appropriate the Maoist tool of CSC they hollow out its politics, rendering it useless. With rejection of the insurrectionary thinking that accompanies unprincipled unity we want to bring criticism into our practice every day.

We have also made the mistake of saying criticisms generally when the particular criticism was aimed at one person. This is liberalism and is not effective becuase it is sugar-coating. It does not make sense to criticize the entire group when only one person needs the criticism. Also, to prevent incorrect lines from spreading to hold influence with multiple people, the source of the incorrect line must be confronted directly.

ON THE QUESTION OF “NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT”

Within the mass organization it has come up that communists should devote just as much time to the “good” things in a systematic way as we do to “bad” things, and systematize positive reinforcement. Yes, credit should be given where it’s due, but in essence this is a liberal argument because it stems from the idea that criticism is a negative thing. First, we must attempt to analyze this using dialectical materialism by ‘analyzing concrete reality from concrete conditions’, examining the living contradictions that move the world. Would mistakes exist without correctness? Indeed, the basis of Maoist criticism is the correctness of Maoist politics. Is there a dialectical unity of opposites between lines that emerge in two-line struggle? Would the bourgeois line exist without the proletarian revolutionary line to oppose it? Would the bourgeoisie exist without the proletariat? In the attempt to resolve a contradiction, two lines emerge. For example, the fundamental question of how to resolve the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeouisie. The line of using revolutionary violence to overthrow the bourgeoisie separates from the line of “voting in socialism”. Some contradictions are harder to analyze than others but in general there is usually one line that objectively helps the bourgeiosie and enforces the status quo, and another line that sharpens practice for aims of proletarian revolution. 

The argument surrounding positive reinforcement claims that since criticism is a negative, there should be a positive to balance it out. This represents a liquidation of criticism because it aims to redirect. For us to say that we do just as many good things as we do bad things would be mechanical and incorrect. To say that we should devote just as much time to rewards as we do to punishment not only comes from an incorrect understanding of criticism (as punishment), but also understands CSC in a very quantitative fashion. Quantitative factors place primary importance on the amount of something, in this case on making equal the amount of time spent on praise as that spent on criticism. When we view criticism in a quantitative fashion we hold back from giving necessary criticisms with the excuse that we’ve already given our comrades “enough” criticism in a given unit of time. It is true that leadership should not be overbearing and should work to give criticisms that foster transformation and do not overwhelm a person in a commandist manner. At the same time, our time devoted to the study of Maoism (ideological training) should be the positive reinforcement we seek. We must be ruthlessly critical and embrace the struggle to, every day, create an internal revolution against our old ways of thinking. Without the struggle between dominant bourgeois ideas and revolutionary proletarian ideas Maoism would not exist. Struggle should be a constant in our practice because everything communists stand for aims to destroy the current system in every way. We should not give criticism for the sake of criticism, we should give it for the sake of making a revolution against the practice that’s being criticized and the idea that reflects it. Similarly, we should not give praise for the sake of praise but only when it is absolutely represents revolutionary ideas in practice. 

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‘The correct line is born out of struggle with the incorrect line.’ Within a mass organization obviously not everyone will be a Maoist and it is by no means a prerequisite or requirement to be one in order to be a mass org member. For this to be a requirement would mean that no one transforms into a Maoist through practice in the mass organization because no one would come in unless they already knew the ins and outs of MLM. However, within every organization there will be a particular set of politics that gain dominance. Disagreements and the decisions that follow them determine which politics gain power. We are clear from the beginning that in every organization that we devote large amounts of time to, we seek for Maoism to be those politics that gain dominance. Without understanding that everything has a political background, vaccuums of power are made and anyone can come in and fill that vaccuum with some other set of politics. And in today’s political climate, if Maoist politics are not in power, then the politics that are in power will objectively help capitalism remain in place. Without capitalism, Maoism would not exist, and without criticism against capitalist ideas, revolution cannot exist.

DON’T SHY AWAY FROM CRITICISM!

HAVE THE COURAGE TO CRITICIZE DIRECTLY!

EMPHASIZE IDEOLOGICAL TRAINING!

USING CRITICISM, PROPAGATE MAOISM.

–Queen City Maoist Collective

The Movimento femenino popular video which was referenced in the first section and screenshotted for the cover photo can be found here:

Opportunism vs. Maoism: St. Louis as a Lesson for the US Maoist Movement

Queen City Maoist Collective is hosting this public criticism of the St. Louis Revolutionary Collective. We hope this document will serve to shine light on the many errors of the “Maoists” in STL. Revolutionaries MLMs in STL we encourage you to link up with the genuine Maoist movement and build for revolution.

Opportunism vs. Maoism: St. Louis as a Lesson for the US Maoist Movement

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