Up in Smoke: A Few Thoughts on Drugs

Fratricidal street-gang fighting is a direct manifestation of a self-destructive behavior pattern. It is also a form of escapism by which Black youths vent their rage, frustrations and despair on each other rather than dealing with the true enemy. Pathological religionism or the fanatical indulgence in religion is essentially escapist because it encourages the victim to concentrate his attention, energy and hope for salvation and freedom upon a dubious, mystical force. It discourages confronting the actual causes of our misery and deprivation. It encourages the focusing of attention upon pie in the sky, rather than the securing of more lamb chops right here on planet earth. It also serves as a source of profits for those religious charlatans, preachers and ministers who exploit it.

Alcoholism is both self-destructive and escapist. It is also a source of tremendous profits for the capitalists. The amazingly high number of bars and liquor stores in the Black communities testify to this tragic fact. The capitalist liquor industry could prosper just on the business it does in the Black ghetto alone. – Cetewayo Tabor, 1971

The Black Panther Party had no way of predicting the new plague that would sweep Black and Brown communities beginning in the mid-1980s, that of crack cocaine. This plague would claim its leader, Huey P. Newton, who went from meeting with Jiang Qing and Chou Enlai and being recognized as the leader of the vanguard formation of the revolutionary liberation struggle in the United States in 1971 to lying dead in the street outside of a crack house in West Oakland in 1989, murdered by a drug dealer and a drug addict himself. This was a situation shared with many former Black Panther Party cadre, the internal contradictions that eventually antagonized into a split between the Cleaver (left-adventurist) and Newton (social-democratic) factions in 1971 would wreck lives, demoralize people, and generally sow an atmosphere of discord, paranoia and hatred within the Black Panther Party, as would the constant pig harassment. Sending of anonymous and forged letters to cadre and improper handling of such materials (brown mail), introduction of FBI and local police informants into branches of the Party like the pig O’Neal who played a direct role in the murder of Illinois BPP Chairman Fred Hampton, and outright murder of BPP affiliates and cadre all helped drive people to drink and drugs as mechanisms to help them cope with this situation, despite the fact that drug and alcohol use by cadre was expressly forbidden. This helped lead to fights, murders, beatings, and a general atmosphere of hopelessness and hatred all around that ultimately exacerbated to the point that the Party, once the most advanced group, the vanguard, admired by many, loved by the masses, and recognized internationally, was destroyed. The role of broken discipline and use of alcohol and drugs can not be simply swept under the rug. The overall negative relation of the masses and the revolutionary to drugs, the harmful relation of drugs to their communities, and the class nature who sell them as a sort of vocation must be consistently raised and concrete examples must be given to truly uphold a proletarian revolutionary line on drug and alcohol abuse and trafficking.

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Huey P. Newton. Co-founder of the Black Panther Party, revolutionary theorist, and eventual victim of the drug plague.

Who loves drugs? Who really, really, really loves drugs? Imperialists do! The British strung almost every Chinese official from the emperor on down to the lowest and pettiest official out on opium in the 1800s, the First Opium War began because Lin Zexu seized and burned 1,016 tons of the noxious chemical at Humen in 1839. The British then went to war, defeated the Chinese, and got most favored nation status and Hong Kong out of the deal. The Second Opium War opened China to imperialist missionaries, the use of Chinese as indentured servants for the Americans and British, access to new treaty ports, and general right to abuse and loot the Chinese nation. Drugs in relation to the Chinese people, just as they are in relation to the Colombian, Peruvian, Mexican, and New Afrikan peoples, are imperialist tools for our oppression and domination. The CIA dumped drugs into our community with the complicity and assistance of the Mafia, street gangs, and other lumpenbourgeois elements. They aided drug trafficking to enable them to assist right wing death squads in Central America in the 1980s. On our streets, on the streets of Colombia, on the streets of Mexico, they work with the police and routinely wheel and deal to enable themselves to escape bourgeois punishment, and bribe bourgeois politicians. In Mexico, they have cops on their payroll, and oftentimes it’s the police who do the killings. The Zetas were former Mexican Army troops.”El Chapo”, whose freedom was incorrectly demanded by some elements of the masses at my city’s anti-Trump protest that my mass organization helped organize, is an anti-people element who, if he were captured doing his dirty work in a revolutionary base area, would be executed after being denounced by the masses for what he is.

 

Drug dealers have an antagonistic relation to the masses of people that we Communists strive to organize, and the bigger they are, the more reactionary they are, the more lives they’ve ruined, the more people they’ve killed, and the more blood debt they’ve accumulated. The petty dealer can be struggled with and, hopefully, transformed and learn to serve the people. Individuals such as El Chapo who have cultivated and built ties to the reactionaries, fascists, and imperialists have cast their lot on the side of the enemy, and the masses simply will not allow them to remain unpunished for their thousands of crimes. These are the big lumpenbourgeoisie and compradors (whose illicit profits have allowed them in many cases to join the ranks of the regular bourgeoisie through money laundering and “legitimate investments”) who will be destroyed and wiped out just like any other imperialist or big bourgeois, they assist and serve the destruction and massacre of their people. There are millions of reasons why revolutionaries execute drug deals, why the Chinese Communist Party banned opium trafficking after driving the (opium soaked) KMT troops off the mainland, why the PCP, CPP, and the CPI(Maoist) and Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) took and take hard lines against drug trafficking and use in their base areas. To sell drugs is counterrevolutionary, to use them is to open yourself up for a myriad of health problems and an individual that is addicted to drugs or alcohol is prime for being brought into the web of police infiltrators, snitches, spies, and wreckers, and subsequently introduced to the revolutionary movement, where they can get revolutionaries arrested, killed, or turn the masses against us. A revolutionary who uses intoxicating drugs freely, disregarding all discipline except that of the pipe or the needle, is a threat to themselves and to others, and will sooner or later get themselves and many others killed, arrested, or isolated from the masses. The higher the particular cadre is, the more dangerous drug use is. See Huey Newton as an example. This is the line on drugs on those who are currently making revolution today and those who have made it in the past.

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This said, as long as capitalism exists and the bourgeoisie hold state power in the United States, Communists do not push for further criminalization or support the ratcheting up of the already destructive, wasteful, and harmful so-called “War on Drugs”. Like I’ve already said, the bourgeoisie love their drugs, both to use themselves and to use to bring discord and death to our communities. Everybody knows that criminalization does nothing to stop the flow of drugs, the imperialist do not want this. What they do want is a justification to snatch our mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, cousins, neighbors, and friends away and introduce them to the prison slavery system. What they do want is for our communities to remain destabilized and destroyed by fratricidal gang wars, fighting over “turfs” that are in reality owned by developers and slumlords who live in condos downtown. What they do want is potential comrades wandering through the back alleys of every metropolitan area in this country with a pistol ready to blow someone’s head off to obtain money for their next fix. They don’t want to ban drugs, they want to suppress, sow discord, and oppress. Those who sell drugs play right into their hands. Some know this and do so willingly because their lumpen outlook prohibits them from looking out for anyone but themselves, some don’t. The 18 year old who sells shit on the side while working at McDonald’s is not an enemy, they are a victim of circumstances and, if they are given the opportunity to work and produce in a meaningful way, I believe they will. The vested drug dealer who sells large quantities of such drugs as methamphetamine, heroin, and crack cocaine to anyone who comes along, forces people into prostitution and sex slavery for drugs, is on record as a confidential informant and is responsible for many killings and incarcerations, is indeed an enemy and the masses view them as such.

That being said, legalizing drugs raises a new set of contradictions. Legalization doesn’t necessarily mean that oppressed nations people still won’t be locked up or arrested for dealing or using a certain drug, it does give Marlboro and other corporations the opportunity to experiment with selling them, though, and it gives their kids who use drugs an out. There is a law for the masses, and there is a law for the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie, as individuals and as a class, can do things that you can not. Marijuana or cocaine being legal doesn’t mean that you still can’t find yourself lying dead in a gutter, shot by a pig. I’ve also noticed that the triumphalism and celebratory atmosphere around the legalization of one drug in Colorado, Illinois, or some other state is generally the province of petit-bourgeois single issue activists who simply want to smoke weed without getting hauled into court and getting their parents upset. After it’s legalized, there’s no more activism forthcoming from these quarters. The Communist always asks first, “For Whom”, and these meaningless laws and bills and petitions are not for, from, or to serve my people. What does serve my people is making and building a party for revolution, and said Party will not be wandering around gentrified neighborhoods with petitions begging the bourgeois government to legalize marijuana in our hands or holding “free the weed” rallies where we smoke and play hacky sack. This is petit bourgeois degeneracy at its finest and a stopover on the road to a nice $190,000 a year position at a law firm or a position at a university where you can wow your students with stories from your “activist” career and glory days.

Drug users are, generally, not the enemy. They’ve got an illness. Of course, they shouldn’t be privy to confidential information, trusted with secrets, or trusted in any way until they have been treated for their illness and have been educated regarding the dangers of using these drugs, not in a pig type DARE way, but in a genuine way that shows concern for their well being, the role of drugs in our communities, and the broad benefits of not using drugs. Of course, these tasks are not just for individuals to strike out on themselves and try to attempt to do, this can only lead to demoralization and frustration, these tasks are for a collective of committed and experienced revolutionaries, many of whom may have once struggled with substance abuse issues themselves. We listen to those who have shared our experiences and have gone through what we’ve gone through and who treat us as equals, not those who come down from the church or the university to preach.

 

 

 

Saint Louis: A Brief Investigation and Analysis of the Western Hole on the Rust Belt.

Saint Louis: A Brief Investigation and Analysis of the Western Hole on the Rust Belt.
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North vs. South/West

I was born at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Clayton, Missouri on Bastille Day, 1994. My mother was a 19 year old medical assistant student that worked at McDonalds, born at a de facto class and race segregated hospital (Homer G. Philips) in the winter of 1975. My father was born in the same hospital in the winter of 1971. All 4 of my grandparents and their broader generation within my family were born in Mississippi (3) and Texas (1), and all 4 went from the landless peasant/rural proletarian class to industrial proletarian (several of my great uncles worked in East Saint Louis steel mills or on railroads) or service proletarian positions (restaurant, cleaning and domestic service positions were held by women). So, I’m like most Black people of my generation, the second generation raised entirely in an urban environment, with grandma and grandpa’s memories of rural hardship, knowledge of our rural roots and status as a peasant nation bound to the land (reflected in the Haywood/Comintern Black Belt Thesis developed in the 1920s, when most of us still lived in the South and worked the land as peasant sharecroppers and peons) existing, fundamentally in the back of our minds, still there, still driving us forward in anger, still remembered, but not tangible or concrete enough for us to fight for a nation in the rural South, since we are no longer peasants and are thoroughly urban, to the point where “urban youth” is synonymous with “Black youth”. I’ve never touched raw cotton in my life, and only picked greens once as punishment. This is a social and class investigation and analysis of the city that I’ve called home for my entire 22 years of life from the perspective of the class, race, stratum and generation that brought you the Ferguson and Baltimore rebellions, and from the ideology (Maoism) that will bring you revolution. It will attempt to detail the contradictions of the city that has been under a national and international magnifying glass since August, 2014, and will spend most of its time trying to detail how I think revolutionary organizations can best organize here.

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Protest after the police murder of Mansur Ball-Bey, Page Blvd. and Walton Ave. August 19, 2015. This is located in the major working class/lumpen Black section of the Saint Louis metropolitan area.

Saint Louis City proper is home to 315,685 people (2015). The Greater Saint Louis MO-IL metropolitan area, which is comprised of Saint Louis City and Saint Louis, Saint Charles, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington and Warren Counties in Missouri and Saint Clair, Macoupin, Madison, Jersey, Monroe, Clinton, Bond, and Calhoun Counties in Illinois (Metro East) has a population of roughly 2.7 million people. This investigation and analysis will focus mainly on Saint Louis County and City, and the areas in the Metro East closest to the river, particularly East Saint Louis. These areas are where I believe that the greatest revolutionary potential lies and where the greatest and most special attention should be paid by revolutionaries.

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Accurate.

 

Saint Louis City is divided into class and race segregated halves. North of Delmar Boulevard is the mass of the black proletariat and lumpenproletariat (categories that more often than not overlap) while South of Delmar live Mexicans, Bosnians, and native born Euro-Americans of all classes. Of course, there are many poor Black people on the South Side as well, but for the most part they live on the North Side in their masses. This segregation is known to those who live here as the “Delmar Divide”, and the tangible difference in living standards and class composition of people above and below Delmar can’t be understated. You can literally stand on Delmar, throw a rock, and hit a huge, turn of the century mansion on one side (South) and a crumbling, vacant building on the other (North). The bourgeois Black people with degrees have fled, leaving the lowest and deepest masses concentrated on the North Side. Most of my family grew up north of Delmar, particularly in the Mark Twain district. This neighborhood is, like all of the North Side, overwhelmingly black, overwhelmingly populated by the lower stratum of the proletariat that are only a hairbreadth away from full time lumpen/unemployed status at any given time (as opposed to being split between working a main job and selling DVDs, scrapping junk found in the alleys, recycling cans, fixing cars, cutting lawns, etc. as a sideline), many of whom work in minimum wage or slightly above minimum wage service positions obtained through “temp agencies”.

The commercial corridors in North Saint Louis City (Kingshighway, Natural Bridge, Broadway, Union) are full of liquor stores, check cashing places, secondhand stores, used car lots, churches, convenience stores, cheap Chinese food restaurants, and other such places. There are also vacant lots by the hundreds, some sections of street having more vacant lots than buildings.  The area is a veritable food desert, with the grocery stores in the area being few and far between and selling inferior products. Schools here are defunded with the tax base having fled West, and many students are bused to schools in the county or sent to charter schools. Deindustrialization stripped the heart and soul out of this area, for the overwhelming majority of the Black people of the North Side, there is no out. They’re basically trapped in crumbling housing, dead end jobs, and an endless cycle of debt and despair. Politically, this area is under the domination of the crooked Democratic Party machine which brings no benefits to the masses of black people that live here, both at the state and local levels. The alderpeople that represent the area get up to shenanigans like being shitty absentee landlords or installing decorative gates on city streets while people are shot to death in the streets. They keep getting reelected because they’re rarely challenged and nobody cares enough about their shitty political spectacle to waste energy struggling against them at the polls. Barely anybody my age votes. Virtually all of these politicians, most famously Alderman Antonio French of Ferguson Twitter fame, endorse the neoliberal war criminal and enemy of black people Hillary Clinton.

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When I refer to North Saint Louis City, I’m referring to the neighborhoods of Baden, Penrose, Mark Twain, Fairground, Carr Square, College Hill, the (Greater Ville), Jeff Venderlou, Hamilton Heights, Kingsway East and West, Old North Saint Louis, Hyde Park, Walnut Park, North Pointe, North Riverfront, and O’Fallon. These neighborhoods are united in several aspects, namely, they’re literally contiguous, almost everyone there is black, poor, and dissatisfied in one fashion or another, whether it be over the constant fratricidal murders, police brutality and harassment, bone and soul crushing poverty, exploitation of the community by those who don’t (and do) live there, debt, high rent, difficulty in finding employment, especially if you’re a convicted felon like many people, abuse and killings of women, insufficient transit, and general poor quality of life. In other words, this area is prime for mass organizing, and it is fertile terrain for the growth of Communist cadre to lead that organizing. Tenant organizations, bus/train riders’ unions, unemployed organizations, felons’ rights organizations, self-defense organizations, anti-police brutality organizations, vacant land/building reclamation organizations, community dispute resolution organizations, womens’ organizations, neighborhood organizations, single mothers’ support groups, and youth/student organizations like that which I am a member of, PYO-STL (Progressive Youth Organization – Saint Louis), all have a place and must be set up as soon as possible on the North Side, preferably by those that live or have roots and links there.  People embrace and unite with politics and people that relate to and unite with them, listen to them, and meet their needs. Mass organizations don’t just to march, they exist to unite and lead. They also exist to offer material support to the masses in their area and under their purview, hold cultural and educational activities, conduct mass meetings and deep going investigations into the welfare of the masses. This is not just feel good organizing, handing out food and pamphlets, this is the building of people’s power and a step in the direction of building urban base areas and Red political power.

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Protest over the closure of a Schnucks grocery store on the North Side. Imagine if this was led by a Communist led mass organization!

 

There are very few grocery stores in North City where people can go to get cheap and healthy fruit and vegetables, and the stores that are in that area such as Walgreens or the convenience stores that are on almost every corner keep necessities such as baby formula behind lock and key and keep hawkeyes on black children, because they’re afraid the people will come to steal their overpriced products. I went into a store up the street from my old house once and the owner of the store was cursing at and threatening to call the police on a boy that couldn’t have been any older than 12 years old because he supposedly stole a bag of chips. Mass organizations under the leadership of Maoist cadre developed from among the masses are needed to not only organize punitive and enforced boycotts of such stores that abuse, cheat, exploit and mistreat the masses, but offer material assistance and support to both alleviate the masses’ situations, check up on the lives of and listen to/gather the scattered ideas of/be held responsible to the people, and carry out the mass line leadership and organizing practice well, to ensure the development and heightening of struggle and political development and advancement of the masses in a thorough and all around way. North City is, most likely, where the majority of the yet to be formed Saint Louis cadre organization’s base of membership is going to come from. Oppression, poverty, and depredation breeds Communists, and my city’s contributions to the future CPUSA (Maoist) are going to come mostly off the streets and out of the run down buildings of North County, North City, and East Saint Louis.

 

These are the lowest and deepest masses, those who, in Marx’s words, have nothing to lose but their chains. South City is going to be a bit of a tougher nut to crack and organize, and the presence and active participation of white comrades will be of utmost importance, namely because of the reactionary and anti-people world outlook of many of the working class whites that live there. When my grandmother first came to Saint Louis, black people simply didn’t go to the South Side out of fear. Yet, there are strata there that can be united with and will respond well to organizing, particularly working class Bosnian immigrants in Bevo Mill, Latinx people in Benton Park West, and pockets of Black and working class white youth that live there as well. The Black and Bosnian communities have on and off contradictions, particularly in the wake of anti-Bosnian attacks by Black youth after the Mike Brown murder in 2014 and riots at Soldan High School in the 1990s, but these are contradictions among the people and should be handled as such. Unity must be developed through struggle, petty divisions and quarrels stirred up by reactionary elements and the bourgeoisie must be struggled against and put to bed, and comradely relations between progressive elements of different ethnicities and races must be built if there is to be Red political power in Saint Louis. In terms of school organizing in the city, special attention must be paid to the community college (Forest Park), technical schools, and high schools on both the North and South Sides, especially in light of the winding down of the court ordered school desegregation program in the coming decade. The local HBU Harris-Stowe, can also be a site of struggle and support, but the heavy influence of petit-bourgeois ideology and cultural nationalism at such schools (buy black campaigns, elect x black leader, etc.) must be accounted for. Saint Louis University and Washington University are heavily petit bourgeois institutions, and Saint Louis University in particular sits on the site of a former Black district, Mill Creek Valley, that was demolished. It also is a Jesuit, Catholic school, but is somewhat malleable when overwhelming popular force is applied, as shown in the OccupySLU situation in 2014. Certain progressive elements at this school can be united with and support can be obtained from certain groups and individuals, the same goes for Washington University, but these schools should not be seen as potential mass bases of support.

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The area in and around Downtown is also the site of sharp struggle and contradictions between the masses of the city’s houseless population and gentrifiers and developers, backed up by the city government, particularly the police, with progressive individuals such as Rev. Larry Rice and other individuals and groups who feed and offer clothing and other services to the houseless being oppressed and threatened with fines, arrests, and other punishments. The houseless themselves are constantly subject to such outrages as spikes to prevent them from lying or sitting down in comfortable spots, police harassment, and locks and bars over vents to prevent them from keeping warm at night. Revolutionary and progressive forces should constantly point out the contradiction between money being spent on senseless projects such as fixing up the area around the monument to settler-colonialism and genocide, the Arch, and the fact that thousands of buildings in our area, the property of parasitic developers and criminals like Paul McKee, who owns 1500 acres of property on the North Side, go to rot and waste while people live without a roof over their heads. Everything is a political struggle, and the struggle must be for more than reforms, the struggle must build people’s power, raise awareness in a real way, and make Communists out of and orient towards the expressed needs and desires of the masses in a given area, not what college activists and academics think they need and want. Meeting basic material needs, giving out clothes, food and blankets to the masses of houseless people is only one step of the struggle, and does not build people’s power. If that were the case, the Salvation Army and the Baptist Church would be mass organizations. Uniting revolutionary and progressive forces in solidarity with and support of their struggle in an all around way does.

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Petit bourgeois see blight. I see a base.

What of Saint Louis County? As in the City, we must look North. We have Ferguson, the material conditions of which have improved little to none since August, 2014. The police still occupy, the masses of black working class people still live a precarious existence, the city is still controlled and dominated by people who don’t represent their interests. Beyond Ferguson, we have majority black enclaves. Next door is Kinloch, an all black shell of its former self run by criminals where the police do not even have insurance or registration for their vehicles. The communities of Bel-Ridge, Country Club Hills, Black Jack, Cool Valley, Normandy, Pine Lawn, Vinita Park, Jennings, Moline Acres, Pagedale, Flordell Hills, Beverly Hills, Wellston, Velda City, Northwoods, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Velda Village Hills and Berkeley got their start as suburbs built for returning white GIs and their families after World War II, and were once majority white communities. The housing stock in these communities is mostly from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s. After the demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe and other housing projects, Black people began moving into these communities and whites began fleeing in droves further west. Now, these communities are overwhelmingly black with double digit poverty rates, particularly among the youth. Spanish Lake, Hazelwood, Florissant, and Ferguson are more mixed both in terms of income and in terms of race, but struggle still exists in these communities, particularly centering around schools and police abuses. The police departments and city administrations of this section of the county are funded in major part by multi hundred dollar fines pressed out of working class Black people for such offenses as “manner of walking along roadway”, littering, and motor vehicle offenses. The police, prosecutors, judges and other officials in these communities do not live there, and function as an especially oppressive force. The contradiction between the people and these pigs has become especially sharp after the 2014 uprising, and the organizing in this area will be heavily targeted against police abuses. There is also the West Lake Landfill issue, where a landfill that stores nuclear waste from the 1940s is on fire and is responsible for countless cases of cancer and other diseases in Bridgeton, along with an extremely noxious odor.

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The movement that grew up around the police killing of Mike Brown, Jr. has been continuously engaged the in two-line struggle that has been the hallmark of the Black Liberation struggle for decades, with petit-bourgeois neoliberal elements such as DeRay McKesson pushing accommodationist lines, lunching with Hillary Clinton, pushing “buy black”, meaningless “peaceful protests”, holding exclusive events and fundraisers, running for office and seeking to channel the energy of the masses into their own rising political stars. These comprador elements and lines are rejected by the advanced masses, who see this nonsense for what it is, exploitation and abuse of the death of Mike Brown, Jr, Vonderrit Myers, and Kajieme Powell for the compradors’ own nefarious and self-serving ends and goals. This makes revolutionary mass organizing in Ferguson and the surrounding area all the more easier, because the revolutionary does not seek to sell something, get elected, or boost their own fortune at the expense of the masses, and the masses already know how to say “Fuck the Police” and fly the flag upside down. It’s the petit-bourgeois activists who roll off campuses who need to be reminded that it is right to rebel. Several mass leaders of integrity and revolutionary outlook, a sizable chunk of whom are non-men, have come forth from the masses of Saint Louis in the wake of the Ferguson uprising and are seeking to unite revolutionary forces to wage actual mass struggle with teeth, and these forces and contacts are to be linked up with in regards to building strong mass organizations and Maoist cadre to lead them in North County. Schools to be targeted and developed for Progressive Youth Organization branches are the high schools, particularly in the Ferguson-Florissant and Hazelwood School Districts and the Florissant Valley Community College in Ferguson, which has a sizable number if not a majority of black working class youth as students.

 

South County is the most homogeneous (white) working class area of Saint Louis County. The communities of Affton, Oakville, Mehlville, Lemay, Fenton, and Sunset Hills are going to be tough nuts to crack, they are influenced heavily by reactionary, white/American chauvinist, racist ideology, to the extent that neo-Nazi and Ku Klux Klan type groups feel comfortable enough to flyer there. Thus, organizing here is probably going to fall heavily on white comrades who are experienced in antifascist/antiracist work, and are also capable of not falling into petit-bourgeois/exasperated “hate the masses, fuck white people” type thinking that serves to alienate themselves and push them further into the enemy camp. Patient explanation and mass work is needed to effectively organize and build something here, and it should start with working class youth who can be won over to anti-capitalist thinking and perspective through education and struggle. This is going to be a source of much valuable experience and practice (which leads to theory) in terms of winning over and struggling with the white working class. Many will remain enemies and stick with enemy thought, but a sizable chunk must and will become friends and comrades through struggle and patient. STLCC Meramac is located here as well.

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East Saint Louis.

Finally, Illinois. East Saint Louis is basically the left-behind debris of deindustrialization, with the steelmills that made this area known as the Pittsburgh of the West and that drew people from the South to this area long gone, slammed shut and remaining as polluting husks. Buildings are in such states of disrepair in ESL that people have to often dodge falling bricks. East Saint Louis is a sad shell of itself, with chemical plants spewing poison into the air, possessed of the highest child asthma rate in the United States, and full of decaying lead and asbestos filled buildings. If you want to see the end game of capitalism, book yourself a Greyhound bus and catch the Metrolink over here. The city and its steadily declining population that sits now at 26,000 people is virtually all black and all poor. The struggle here is all around, the masses don’t have trash pickup, Monsanto and other toxic companies pollute their air and soil as they damn well please, the city government basically behaves in a fashion similar to that of Chicago, and violent crimes (murders, rapes, and robberies) from the violent and anti-people segments of the lumpenproletariat, organized into fratricidal gangs (dual powers) run by nascent and vicious lumpenbourgeoisie, are fairly high, as are burglaries and car thefts. Teachers at schools are frequently on strike, and the city is generally begging for organization and prime for struggle. Contacts and mass links in this area should be developed, deeper on the ground investigation should be conducted and cadre developed through struggle in this area will definitely be among the most advanced. If you come from and can develop, organize the masses, and wage vigorous struggle in East Saint Louis, you’re an asset to the revolution, the masses, the Communist movement, and probably should be listened to.

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In sum, my city is a complex maze, full of contradictions. We’re home to Boeing, the corporation responsible for the death of countless tens of thousands of people whose names we’ll probably never know. We’re home to Monsanto, whose wicked and nasty deeds can fill a book. We’re home to a smouldering landfill that threatens to set fire to 70 year old nuclear waste. Many people come here just to take pictures of the urban ruins. But, the people that live here, the masses, showed in 2014 and continue to show that they’re willing to make history and wage vigorous and to the bitter end struggle against that which exploits, oppresses, locks up, and even kills them. With the weapon of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organization, theory, philosophy, and practice, we will storm the gates of heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flying the Red, White and Blue to Strike at the Red: On White/Right Opportunism

“Lifting a rock only to drop it on one’s own feet” is a Chinese folk saying to describe the behavior of certain fools. The reactionaries in all countries are fools of this kind. In the final analysis, their persecution of the revolutionary people only serves to accelerate the people’s revolutions on a broader and more intense scale. – Mao Zedong

RATPAC-ATX (Revolutionary Alliance of Trans People Against Capitalism – Austin) is probably one of my favorite organizations today. Here is a militant group of transfolks who are struggling hard as fuck against unbelievable odds and are leading red struggle in Austin, Texas. They hold political education programs, they’re organizing material assistance to transfolks, they’re working hard as fuck. They’re an example for all who call themselves revolutionary, they’re developing Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory though practice, and the time will soon come when there will be RATPAC like groups in every city and town. So, naturally, I was very upset, so upset, in fact, that I was basically forced to respond with this addition to my future Selected Works (I should really work on my ego issues) when someone calling themselves a Maoist took it upon themselves to “critique” them. The piece, written by a Steiner in Ohio, has the title “A Criticism of The RATPAC-ATX Program: Flag-Burning, Ultra-Internationalism, and Anti-Nationalism”. Let’s take a look and chew this up bit by bit. Be warned, this is probably the worst thing you will ever have the misfortune to read, and there is consistent use of the slur “transgendered”.

The piece starts out with a halfhearted congratulations on the fact that RATPAC-ATX was able to raise $600 for the emergency housing network and political education program, and an equally halfhearted acknowledgment of the necessity to “as humans, rise up against the repression against an individuals gender identity”. Steiner then goes on to quote Lenin’s What Is To Be Done: “Without revolutionary theory, there can be no revolutionary movement.” He then states:

But yet what components does our revolutionary theory entail? Of course we have the vanguard party which is used to organize the strength of every working class individual to overthrow the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and replace it with the dictatorship of the proletariat. A goal of stateless communism which is the unlimited goal of our socialist program. The defense of the working class, along with building/maintaining the worker’s state and so on. But most American communist movements are void of one crucial feature in regards to revolutionary theory. This detail will most likely shock most American communists, but the missing ingredient to our revolutionary praxis is Nationalism.

What role has American nationalism played in regards to the masses of people of the whole world? Is America no longer a settler-colonial, capitalist-imperialist state? Steiner quotes Lenin, yet either forgets or disingenuously omits mention of Lenin’s firm stand against imperialist countries’ nationalism, including that of his own! There can be no progressive American nationalism, just like there could be no progressive German nationalism under the Kaiser or under Hitler, no progressive Russian nationalism under the Tsar, and no progressive British nationalism while it was looting Africa, India, and the Caribbean! Why should we wave the Stars and Stripes while Syrians and Omanis die at Yankee hands? This is criminal. The task of the revolutionary in the imperialist world in 2016 is to struggle against and reject their country, and work for its destruction. After a proletarian revolution in the United States, there will be no United States. The United States is a criminal entity, steeped from head to toe in the blood of oppressed, captured, and enslaved peoples! When it enters war, the task of the revolutionary is to wish for its defeat. We are first and foremost proletarian internationalists, this is the ABC of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. 

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These are not toys.

Steiner continues:

Yes, Nationalism! A hindrance on our movement is ultra-internationalism brought on by a black and white view on what nationalism is. For when a large portion of the left thinks of nationalism, it’s usually in the spirit of the GOP and Donald Trump appealing to a crowd with nationalism. But yet this is bourgeois nationalism, not proletarian nationalism. Proletarian nationalism is when nationalism works together with internationalism, not fight it.

The aim of proletarian nationalism is to take pride in my country while upholding progressive communist values, socialist nation in existence or not. The character of proletarian nationalism also aims present an international mentality of charity and whilst reaching a helping hand to oppressed nations. This is in contrast to the character of bourgeois nationalism which takes reactionary bourgeois values. Such as the doing of the German Democratic Republic during the Vietnam War(3). During the Vietnam War the SUPG(4) held rallies against the war to strengthen the socialist values of the GDR, while also providing military support to the Veit Cong(5).

What is ultra-internationalism? Yes, we Marxist-Leninist-Maoists are internationalists, this is no insult and no crime. We stand with the people of the whole world, against Yankee depredations and crimes against them. We know as Communists that the struggle of the working class of the whole world is our struggle, that a victory for the working class in the Philippines is our victory, that a loss in India or Nepal is our loss as well. There is no such thing as ultra-internationalism. You can never be too internationalist in your outlook as a Communist, when we get up in the morning we read and analyze news from our comrades around the whole world. Revolutionary theory comes from practice, and where practice is happening, theory is being synthesized and added to our arsenal. American nationalism can never work in conjunction with proletarian internationalism, because America the state is the enemy of the whole world. American nationalism, in and of itself, is bourgeois nationalism. America sends weapons and money to the Philippines, Israel, Saudi Arabia, India, Nepal, and other such places to kill our comrades. America has captured, wiped out, massacred, exploited, looted, raped, burned and bombed for a century and a half. Steiner then goes on to natter and stutter about pride in his country, and an “international mentality of charity”. What is there to be proud of? To love America is to love death, to love jail, to love genocide, to love massacre, to love crime, to love hatred and death. To hate America is to love life, to love liberty, to uphold and stand in solidarity with the struggle to the death being waged by our comrades all around the world. The NGOs send much charity, strings attached, to the Third World. Is this what he is proud of? Is he proud of the death of Michael Brown, Jr.? Of Freddie Gray? Of Trayvon Martin? Of Berta Caceres? Of Neo-Nazism? Of Ku-Klux-Klanism? Of the hundreds of trans comrades murdered by the police and by pig men every year? If he is, he is no Communist, but a reactionary revisionist with a fading red flag, the child of Earl Browder and Leander Perez. He then goes on to praise the revisionists in the GDR, who, while they were staging demonstrations in support of the national liberation struggle of the Vietnamese people, was also engaging in attacks on People’s China and its own people who rebelled against revisionism and the fact that the country was a satellite of Soviet social-imperialism.

Steiner continues:

This is in contrast to the character of bourgeois nationalism which takes reactionary bourgeois values. I Also must return to Vietnam for a brief moment, for many comrades seemingly forget that nationalism was a key part in Vietnam’s victory against American imperialism. It was Ho Chi Mihn who said that nationalism ,not communism, inspired him to take up arms. This is an attitude the american radical left must take up if we are to win over the American working class. In fact through their revolutionary experiances Lenin and Mao all agreed that nationalism is a key facet to communism.

Before cherrypicking and abusing Lenin and Mao to “back up” his chauvinist and reactionary conclusions, the reactionary revisionist Steiner compares his reactionary American nationalism to the nationalism of Ho Chi Minh, the subject of French imperialism in what was then known as Indochina. America has subjects, America has colonies. The Vietnamese people were oppressed and ground down like dogs beneath the French colonial regime, thus, as all Communists know, their nationalism and their national liberation struggle was progressive and revolutionary, and thus had the support of the revolutionary and freedom loving people of the whole world. That which fights against imperialism and colonialism is revolutionary. American nationalism is the enemy of Communism, not a “key facet”.

Steiner goes on to quote Lenin on Russian national pride. He then adds his own words:

For the flag burning, ultra-international and anti-American attitudes are overall alienating to the average worker. This approach is no different to when an communist goes out in public in full Soviet military regalia.(6)

Alienating to the average worker? Alienating to white chauvinists and petty bourgeois labor aristocrats, yellow labor, and the vast slew of reactionaries and bad elements that Steiner so very desperately seeks to unite with, is more like it. The task of the Communist is to advance the understanding and consciousness of the average worker through struggle, and to patiently explain things to them if they have backwards and uneven understanding. To simply orient ourselves to the most backwards elements, the jingoists, the reactionaries, the racists, the fascists, the police, and others is to commit tailist and right opportunist errors. Lenin writes in Imperialism and the Split in Socialism:

And it is therefore our duty, if we wish to remain socialists to go down lower and deeper, to the real masses; this is the whole meaning and the whole purport of the struggle against opportunism. By exposing the fact that the opportunists and social-chauvinists are in reality betraying and selling the interests of the masses, that they are defending the temporary privileges of a minority of the workers, that they are the vehicles of bourgeois ideas and influences, that they are really allies and agents of the bourgeoisie, we teach the masses to appreciate their true political interests, to fight for socialism and for the revolution through all the long and painful vicissitudes of imperialist wars and imperialist armistices.

Mao tells us:

Tailism in any type of work is also wrong, because in falling below the level of political consciousness of the masses and violating the principle of leading the masses forward it reflects the disease of dilatoriness. Our comrades must not assume that the masses have no understanding of what they do not yet understand. It often happens that the masses outstrip us and are eager to advance a step and that nevertheless our comrades fail to act as leaders of the masses and tail behind certain backward elements, reflecting their views and, moreover, mistaking them for those of the broad masses.

To go lower and deeper means to not orient ourselves in our mass work towards or unite with those who take offense at the burning of a symbol of oppression and hatred the whole world over, but rather go into the ghettos, into the barrios, into the trailer parks, into the sweatshops, packing plants, underserved and underfunded schools, and unite with the advanced to win over the intermediate through struggle. The backward are either to be isolated and struggled against if they go over to the side of and serve the enemy, or won over. To tail the backwards is to commit a fatal mistake and make some nasty bedfellows. The “average worker” in oppressed nations communities does not care about flag burning, they care about police brutality, deportations, grinding and grating taxes and fines, hypodermic needles laying around and murders happening on the block every day. Real shit. Not pig shit. Steiner then goes on to abuse Mao on patriotism, and I reiterate that the nationalism of oppressed and colonized countries is in no way comparable to reactionary, white chauvinist, American nationalism. Mao’s nationalism was to free China from the grinding oppression of imperialism and colonialism. Steiner’s nationalism can only be to oppress. He then goes on to yammer about how flag burning is “terrifying to the average (backwards) American worker”, and how the Fourth of July, when slaveowners got their independence, is a “holiday of class struggle, and up until the Civil War it remained the largest class struggle within the United States”. I guess my enslaved ancestors were simply an inconvenient afterthought, while the armed struggle waged by the planter and merchant class was simply the greatest thing since sliced bread. African descended people in Texas celebrate Juneteenth instead of the Fourth simply because it’s less hot?

Steiner then begrudgingly says that oppressed nations have the right to burn the flag, and then goes on to say that “American communists should refrain from it”, as if Communists don’t come from oppressed nations. Should we cease being proletarian internationalists to preserve the feelings of the labor aristocracy and the petty bourgeoisie? Who will lead the Proletarian Revolution if not the most exploited and oppressed, the oppressed nations? The white working class will not, many of them will fight for the enemy. The petit bourgeoisie certainly will not, and the lumpen will not either. These classes are vacillating, some will join us, many will not as their outlook is reactionary and counterrevolutionary. Unite with all that can be united with, indeed, but don’t be a damn fool and certainly don’t delve into the reactionary!

Steiner then concern trolls and engages in further mockery here:

The anarchist will smash the shop window of a petty-bourgeois store owner, not thinking of how the petty-bourgeoisie is an important class in any political situation. In the case of flag burning you’re not only alienating petty-bourgeois shop owners, but potential comrades. I don’t need to tell anyone in RATPAC that the transgendered have a target painted on their back.

I do however find it necessary that actions like this only help worsen the hate that exists for transgendered people across the United States. For example, the reactionary website Breitbart ran an article detailing a Trans group burning the US flag. I also most note the online hate storm that came after a similar event was carried out of which I believe had taken place in Kansas. The following resulted in threats of death and arson being hurled at an attendee. In these cases it has only made transgendered comrades an even worse target for an already hateful populous.

While you do blur the faces of your attendees, it isn’t going to do much against the reactionaries. The hate group against you is already composed of shut-in NEETS who could on their own wage a cyber war with the Federal Reserve. Messages and communications can easily be logged leading to all attendees being doxxed and having to worry even more than they have to.

Through online anonymity you cannot fight back. Psychical confrontation would be possible. Fuck The Forth only adds a flashing neon sign to and already targeted group of people

Yes, the “transgendered” have a target painted on their back, not because they burn the flag. Most trans comrades have never burned a flag in their lives, yet still find themselves crushed between several mountains. The neon sign has always been there. Yet Stein continues to argue for the enemy, and strike fear into the hearts of my comrades. To be a revolutionary is to be doomed. Communists can never be scared. If they come, we will fight them. The revisionists, social democrats, Trotskyists and others may run and hide, but Maoists are never afraid to struggle to death or to victory. Let the petit bourgeoisie be alienated, if the masses demand window smashing struggle, to hold them back is right opportunism and reactionary.

Steiner closes his ridiculous, reactionary, counterrevolutionary, and all around horrible attempt at an “article” by claiming that flag burning is associated only with ISIS, alienating “average workers” from Communism, and once again concern trolling. In sum, Steiner owes RATPAC-ATX comrades a full and thorough self-criticism, a thorough apology, and should also stop toying with the words and struggles of Ho Chi Minh, Mao Zedong, and Vladimir Lenin, and certainly stop calling himself a Maoist. Holding up the red, white and blue to strike at red forces is a criminal act and an affront to the masses of people the world over.

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Burn the Flag, Serve the People!

 

On the Fried Bacon in Dallas.

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We been at war.

From what we know, a lone individual named Micah Xavier Johnson (the media shortens it to X, how very subtle of them) clambered into a sort of snipers’ nest and used a rifle to mow down 5 of Dallas’s dullest (pigs) and injure several others, including a couple civilians. This was in the context of a “peaceful” Black Lives Matter march that was organized by the predictable array of NGOs and church groups, and many participants in the march were shown later to be posing with pigs. Johnson’s actions were, from a Maoist viewpoint, adventuristic. Armed actions are to be carried out by disciplined units of a people’s army and not by scattered “lone wolves”. Violence is a tool to be wielded in the people’s interests and from the viewpoint of the masses of people, with their consent and participation. During the period of the revolutionary war, the protracted people’s war, violence is used with the intent of seizing control, first over liberated zones and base areas and then over the whole country. Demonstrations, as well, are not just for demonstration’s sake, they are also a tool, used by the mass organizations and the Communist Party to show strength, to threaten, and to show force, also to build a red mass culture. After the capture of power and the establishment of the proletarian state, violence is used to suppress the bourgeoisie and other alien elements that would seek to subvert the new power. But that’s neither here nor there in this particular situation, Johnson wasn’t a Maoist and obviously didn’t behave as such. What he represents is 400 years of rage, the spectre under the bed of every pig, the radical nigger, the Nat Turner sneaking into the bedroom after dark to chop off massa’s head. I don’t fault him, I just wish he had found Marxism-Leninism-Maoism instead of the racialism and NOI/NBPP type cultural nationalism that he expressed on his Facebook page and apparently made up his ideology.

 

Actions like that which he took are to be understood as “revenge actions”, people who’ve had enough and can’t take anymore. If you feel like that, please don’t pick up a gun and start shooting at pigs, it can’t help the masses at this stage. We don’t need more martyrs, the pigs help us enough on that front. We need revolutionaries, we need cadres, we need disciplined people that are really serious about revolution and acknowledge the protracted nature of the struggle. The objective is to smash the pig system, not chop heads off the hydra so that 20 more can grow back. If you live in the Saint Louis or Kansas City Metropolitan areas, join or form mass organizations like Progressive Youth Organization – STL and Progressive Youth Organization – KC. If you’re in Austin, DC, Portland, or Los Angeles, join the Serve the People groups there, and also develop your theory and practice. Research Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and study the practice of people’s wars and Maoist revolutions the world over, then get with others that think alike, or help develop others’ politics. Start or join a revolutionary collective like KCRC (Kansas City Revolutionary Collective) or the Red Guards collectives in Los Angeles and Austin, if you’re theoretically developed and willing to dedicate a shitload of your time to making revolution as cadre. Help build organizations and collectives that can struggle for unity into a Maoist Communist Party, and build dual power apparatus in your city. Make it so that people don’t have to call the pigs. Make it so that people realize that there’s a better way and this hell is only temporary. Study and train in self-defense. Serve the people and apply the mass line. The people’s army and the people’s party will take a long time to build, and won’t drop out of the sky, but without it, we have nothing.

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Without a People’s Army, we have nothing.

I don’t mourn for pigs. The whole bourgeois apparatus, ranging from the flag outside the post office to the media to the chief pig sitting in the White House the bourgeois/petit bourgeois operating within the Black Lives Matter movement swung into action before the pigs’ bodies were cold, calling for healing and prayer and “coming together”. No real revolutionary cries for the deaths of their enemies. Neither do the masses. The pig from its very inception has been an enemy of the people. The pig caught my ancestors when they fled the plantations, bashed our heads in to keep us as sharecroppers, joined lynch mobs, broke up strikes, and encouraged the spread of drugs in our communities. As for the “few good cops”, some snakes don’t bite, but they’re still snakes and have an antagonistic contradiction with the mice. The people rejoice when they hear about their enemies’ deaths, and mourn the losses of their own. 4 black men were killed by these pigs last week, that is who I mourn. Revisionists that excised the Leninism out of themselves long ago with a rusty dagger are now bawling about “adventurists celebrating the events in Dallas” and digging out Lenin and Trotsky quotes about the folly of individual terrorism while running presidential campaigns (and their mouths), tailing left and right, the CPUSA is “condemning the deaths of the police officers in Dallas”, and much of the petit-bourgeois BLM “leadership” exemplified by DeRay McKesson (who was recently arrested in Baton Rouge, I feel for the guy but he’s a neoliberal petit bourgeois shill that will end up being a more stylish version of Al Sharpton) is currently falling over themselves distancing themselves and writing things that other academics will read and generally engaging in the worst displays of handwringing, spineless liberalism that I’ve ever seen. Let them, they’re irrelevant and the masses don’t give a shit anyways. There’s a class struggle brewing in BLM, and the petit bourgeois who disown and attack a black person who thought his life mattered will be overthrown by the masses who continue to storm the gates of heaven and wage militant struggle against the pig. Be the pig or fuck the pig, these are your options. No middle ground. What’s it gonna be?

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Alton Sterling and Philando Castile: Two More Snatched by Thirsty Pigs

Make trouble, fail, make trouble again, fail again . . . until their doom- that is the logic of the imperialists and all reactionaries the world over in dealing with the people’s cause and they will never go against this logic. This is a Marxist law. When we say “imperialism is ferocious”, we mean that its nature will never change, that the imperialists will never lay down their butcher knives, that they will never become Buddhas, till their doom. Fight, fail, fight again, fail again, fight again . . . until their victory; that is the logic of the people, and they too will never go against this logic. This is another Marxist law. – Mao Zedong, “Cast Away Illusions, Prepare for Struggle”

 

America has an insatiable appetite for the blood of the people. It bombs weddings in Yemen, it dragged hundreds of thousands of Africans here to build it, it ethnically cleaned the indigenous people, eradicating or viciously subduing entire tribes and nations of people. It’s made coups, enslaved or driven into peonage and penury hundreds of millions of people. The direct and indirect blood debt of America is undoubtedly in the tens of trillions, and the list of every one of its individual victims, if written on a single piece of paper, would twist and wrap around the world a thousand times.. Such is the nature of capitalism-imperialism and settler colonialism. This week, it claimed two more. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The first, killed on July 5th in front of a convenience store in Baton Rouge while selling CDs to feed his family. Apparently, he had a record of sexual abuse in the past, and this has led many comrades who are survivors of such crimes to refuse to struggle in his name. This is their right. Those who have not been through such have no right to demand or order those who have experienced this type of abuse to subject themselves to struggle in the memory of someone who may have been an abuser.  No buts or debates with those who refuse. Sterling, in the broader scheme of things, was not killed for his past anti-people activity, however, he was killed by an institution and a state that is in a state of antagonistic contradiction with the toiling masses of people and with the nations of oppressed people that it has captured and imprisoned. He was brutally murdered on the ground by the Baton Rouge pig-police officers (overseers) Blaine Salamoni and Howie Lake II while selling CDs to feed his family. He was 37 years old. This activity, selling mixtapes, is reproduced countless thousands of times by people who live in ghettoes and barrios across the country and world, and is part of the fabric of social, cultural and economic life of the New Afrikan masses in this country. Capitalism drives us to take up many diverse activities to survive, whether it be doing hair or tatto0s, selling CDs, or fixing cars. No bourgeois training or certificates needed, this is learned through practice. The masses have unlimited and boundless creativity. The police use their pig powers against loitering, etc. to suppress and oppress the masses in the process of making their living.

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Candid Selfies.

Castile was killed on July 6th, a day after Sterling, in front of his girlfriend (who recorded the whole thing, which I will not share here) for a broken taillight in Falcon Heights, Michigan, He notified the pig that pulled him over that he was a concealed carry firearm owner, and went to reach for his ID. The pig proceeded to shoot him 4 times, and he died at the hospital. He was 32 years old, a week and a half before his 33rd birthday. Castile was a well loved and remembered supervisor at a local school and was a role model for those youth who came in contact with him. Even the bourgeois pig governor of Minnesota admitted that he would not have been killed if he were white. Two lives were taken, a day apart from each other, for simply being black. This is nothing new, and will continue to happen.

The pigs have power over us, material power, and the only antidote, history shows us, to pig power is people’s power, Communist power. Even then, incorrectly and toothlessly displayed people’s power operating within the ideological and structural confines of the bourgeois system can not combat and defeat armed pig power with a state behind it. Darren Wilson and the police apparatus of Saint Louis were objects of vigorous, nonviolent struggle for months after he murdered Michael Brown, Jr. on August 9th, 2014. I and thousands of others marched and organized and planned and showed our displeasure and yelled about how our lives matter until our feet and voices were tired, and Wilson still got off, and the material situation in North County still hasn’t changed. The police are the most visible representatives of the bourgeois state in the United States. We see them every day, they harass, fine, steal from, beat, and kill us. A state is simply an instrument, backed by violence, for exerting the rule of one class over another, and over the oppressed nationalities within its borders. The United States is an instrument to dominate and oppress the working class and the captive Chicano/Latinx and New Afrikan nations. It cannot be reformed, it must be destroyed. When two classes struggle and are locked in a combat to the death, this is an antagonistic contradiction. An antagonistic contradiction is resolved only through the destruction and subduing of one or another of the elements, or sides, of the contradiction.

Build people’s power institutions, offer self defense training, copwatch programs, and neighborhood/community conflict resolution teams. The cops have no business or purpose in ghettoes and barrios, and when they come, somebody goes to jail or gets shot. Build revolutionary mass organizations, tenant unions, women’s unions. Study examples of these from the past and present, look at what comrades across the world are doing and  learn from and adapt them to your situation. Investigate the needs of our people and figure out how we can meet them ourselves. Thieves, robbers, rapists, and other parasitic individuals will continue to exist and plague the masses, and there’s nothing saying that they can’t be dealt with ourselves. People call the police because they think they can solve their problems. To get people to stop calling the police, build effective and active institutions in the community to negate the necessity of having alien elements invade our communities and harass our people. Activists and “woke” people: Stop channeling the energy of the masses into pointless exercises and displays of street theater. Stop calling the cops to protests. Stop calling the cops to demonstrations. Stop calling the cops to actions. Stop calling the cops, period. The nice cop is still a cop. The police are one hundred percent enemies. They have nothing to offer, they won’t listen, they won’t and can’t help. Their function is to arrest and kill us, and protect the wealth and hegemony of the class that this State serves. Stop forcing your nonviolence and academic constructions and concoctions on the masses. Stop running for office and using the struggle to build up your campaign and your resume. Listen more, learn more talk less. Realize that on the police question and on the question of building people’s power, the masses are far ahead of you. The masses want and must have power. They don’t want to roll around in the street and play dead. A demonstration is useful as a show of strength and a threat, showing the full force and militancy of the people. It’s not an opportunity to get on television or push your own opportunistic ends, the masses should be the focus. After all, they’re the ones that will resolve this shit once and for all.

 

What to Do With White People?

I’m a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist. As far as making revolution and liberating the masses of the oppressed the world over goes, it’s the best we’ve got. I uphold Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and the experiences of the masses united in struggles led by Maoist parties the world over. Maoists learn from our mistakes, and real Maoists don’t engage in idol worship. Each and every revolutionary theorist, fighter, and leader we uphold made mistakes. The PCP (Communist Party of Peru, Sendero Luminoso) shouldn’t have killed 69 people in the town of Lucanamarca in 1983. That sucked. Bad. People’s fighters don’t kill the people. The people tend to get mad at you if you do, and fight you, for good reason. Stalin shouldn’t have treated comrades like the enemy and blamed everything that went wrong on foreign spies or wreckers. That led to some nasty excesses. And Mao should have thought twice before he said this:

Among the whites in the United States, it is only the reactionary ruling circles that oppress the black people. They can in no way represent the workers, farmers, revolutionary intellectuals and other enlightened persons who comprise the overwhelming majority of the white people.

We criticize our theoreticians and leaders, realize that they lived in vastly different circumstances and struggled under different conditions than we do today, and were humans that didn’t know everything. But, we uphold and apply to our own conditions the universal parts of their lessons. Everything that our ideological ancestors said wasn’t correct. This is an example. In terms of actual experience with the conditions of the United States, Mao had no knowledge excepting that which he got from Americans with various agendas and who probably didn’t know much of anything themselves, and newspapers. He never came to the United States. As a matter of fact, he left China only twice in his lifetime, both times in the 1950s and both times to the Soviet Union. Simply put, Mao talking about the conditions for black people and who oppresses who in the US is not exactly as light as a feather, but easy enough for me, not exactly a champion weightlifter, to pick up.

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You really should have added some American history to your library.

There’s a nasty habit in America in general, not just on the left, to bend over backwards to somehow absolve White people as a whole and the white working class in particular of complicity in the national oppression of New Afrikan (Black) and Chicano people, of genocide and destruction committed against the indigenous people, and criminal violence against individuals who came from Asia to work. If Mao Zedong found himself in the United States in the 1880s, he would have fallen victim to the numerous pogroms committed against individuals of Asian descent, and, if he escaped with his life, probably wouldn’t have felt so compelled to make his statement regarding who oppresses who. Reactionaries yammer on and on about how their great-great-great-great-great grandpappy Seamus O’Neal came over from Cork in 1840 and worked harder and harder and the Blacks really just need to shut the fuck up, as if anybody works harder than a damned literal slave! That’s what those leftists sound like to me. On the left, there’s an equally incorrect tendency to claim that the white working class is inherently and irrevocably racist and an object of struggle and destruction. I can see where those who hold the latter view come from. This is where a lot of the Black masses are at, this is part of our historical experience and material reality. Slaves hated poor white trash more than rich planters, poor white trash would catch us running away and chop our feet off, castrate us, or whip us to within an inch of our lives. Overseers would rape us, beat us, or torture us in a thousand and one different ways. Sometimes, when they got land, poor white people would buy slaves and work them to death. Being sold to a poor white farmer was basically death. For all the reading that Communists do, slave narratives and histories of slavery don’t seem to figure among them. History shows us that the white working class, as a class, more often than not has been a detriment and a scourge to the masses of nonwhite people in this country, and an ally to the white bourgeoisie. Through our struggles, their support has not been something to count on, while their opposition and hatred has been something to be taken for granted. Their presence and identity in this country from the very beginning has been that of settlers. Settlers are not good people that do good things. They came here from Europe to better their own economic situation at the expense of others. Their immigrant stories, of coming here, working hard at the factory or mill, saving their money up, fighting in WWI and WWII, getting their GI Bills, and moving to the suburbs are spit in the eye to the black and brown masses of this country’s ghettoes and barrios. African people were dragged here in chains, forced to lay the foundation of this country’s economic success at whip and gun point, ridden over and chased like animals by members of the white proletariat, and then moved North to be rioted against by this same white proletariat, who had just got off the damn boat and had the nerve to say we were taking “their jobs”. Sound familiar?

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Class War?

 

In East Saint Louis in 1917, W.E.B DuBois laid out the rationale for the rioting and massacre committed by white workers against black workers. The anger expressed by white workers at what they perceived as black workers driving down their wages, turned into race struggle and race war. In East Saint Louis during the riots, nothing mattered but black or white, materially. White bourgeoisie were spared, black workers, even unionized, were massacred. This scene repeated itself over and over again for the next few decades. Yes, it’s true that race hatred against blacks and other nonwhite people, as DuBois said in his piece, is deliberately used and drummed up by the bourgeoisie to divide the working class. This is an age old tactic that stems from the earliest days of this country, when black and white indentured servants united to struggle against the exported English aristocrats in Virginia. Even then, this struggle had a reactionary character to go along with the progressive one (as progressive as you can get in a nascent settler-colonial project, at least), as the clamor was in part for a militia to go against neighboring Native Americans and snatch more land for the settlers. The punishment for this and other similar rebellions (running away, etc.) was to enslave the black offenders for life and extend the terms of the indenture for the white offenders. This was the beginningof the codified oppression of black people as blacks, by whites as whites, and the peculiar institution of American white supremacy. That’s the history that we all know. Unity is possible among black and white workers, this has been shown many times, from the Sharecroppers’ Strike of the 1930s to the IWW organizing all races of workers. Nobody denies this. Blacks and whites are not natural enemies. But, in the United States, this sort of class unity has been the exception, not the rule. If bourgeois order broke down in this country tomorrow, it would resemble Yugoslavia, and would be replete with ethnic cleansing. The South would look something like Rwanda in 1994. At this stage, there would be no proletarian revolution in this country.  We’ve already seen a preview of the behavior of the white proletariat in relation to the black masses in a chaotic situation. After Hurricane Katrina, working class white people shot black people to death in New Orleans. If this happened on a countrywide scale, the battle cry of the white proletariat wouldn’t be “Workers of the World Unite”, it’d be:

“Get away from this truck, nigger. We’re not gonna help you. We’re liable to kill you ourselves.”

Anybody that tells themselves and others anything different is engaging in dangerous and deadly lies. This isn’t a static or irreversible thing, but it sure as hell is more entrenched than Communism and class unity. Go to rural Pennsylvania or some parts of South Saint Louis County talking about Communism and Presidente Gonzalo and you’ll get shot or worse. Anti-communism and white supremacy go hand in hand, and since white supremacist thought has such standing among white workers, it’s not a stretch to say that anti-communism has even more standing.

It’ll be necessary to win over as many elements of the white proletariat as possible to ensure the success of any revolution in this country. This is a simple numerical question. But, it would be simple right opportunism to not struggle against or even acknowledge racist and anti-people attitudes among the white proletariat. We don’t want racist communists who’ll fight the class war and then fight a race war! At this stage, and at every stage in American history, it is not incorrect at all to say that the white proletariat, in the United States, is for the most part, racist, upholds white supremacy in various forms and degrees of intensity, is willing to kill nonwhite people for little to no reason, and is more backwards, as a group, than nationally oppressed working classes. It doesn’t take a lot to stir up the white proletariat to violence. Emmett Till was castrated and thrown in a river because he supposedly whistled at a white woman. A black man supposedly accosted a white woman in an elevator in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921 and white people burned the whole black part of the city down. Black people raised up in rebellion in Ferguson and a white kid from the working class went into a Black church and murdered several people, and white people have been buying up guns left and right since 2014 in expectation of a race war. After 9/11, white working class youth joined the military in droves to destroy the Middle East, and those that didn’t join the service stayed at home and voted for Bush in 2004, just like their parents and grandparents voted for Nixon in 1968 and ’72, and broke up anti-war demonstrations with hard hats on. Not a class war to rise up against the bourgeoisie, fucking ethnic cleansing.

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Making revolution?

This is not an attack on the white proletariat. Like I said, this group will play a major role in any revolution made in the United States. I don’t hate white people. You’re not devils, you didn’t come from a UFO, you’re not the result of a science experiment gone wrong. Many black people do hate white people, working class or not working class. I don’t blame them. All over the world, from Africa to the United States, wherever large numbers black people and white people have existed in relative proximity, white people have beaten, lynched, shot, enslaved, raped, disenfranchised, tortured, terrorized, and generally dogged the fuck out of black people. I’m not here to tell black people that it is wrong to hate those who do things to them, or who sit back and watch while things are done to them. I’m not here to tell my people, Black people, anything about white people. That’s not my job. Historically, it hasn’t been the white proletariat driving history and doing most of the heavy revolutionary lifting in this country, although y’all sure as hell benefit from shit we’ve struggled and fought for and you fought against us for. The thing is, we’ve never had any problem uniting with white people, it’s you that have to be won over to unite with us on a class basis. The black working class doesn’t need anybody to tell it not to be so racist that it fights against its own class interests. You’ll never hear a black worker say that they’d rather let fascists win a war before they work alongside a cracker on the assembly line. We’ve never gone out on strike because white people got hired somewhere. The white proletariat has always been hired, somewhere, at better wages than we get, and fought like hell to keep us out!

 

I go to a rural area trying to explain anything to white people, I’m liable to be shot for being a smartass nigger. White people don’t like smartass niggers. We make them feel bad about themselves. I exist to make revolution and to liberate my people. The job of white communists and revolutionary minded white people is to struggle against racist and otherwise reactionary attitudes within the white proletariat. This is your mess, these are your very own parents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, and cousins. This is what should be done. Other black freedom fighters and revolutionists have called for it. Instead of sticking your nose into and criticizing liberation struggle and liberation around the world because it doesn’t mesh with what you think a revolution should look like, thumbing your nose at Maurice Bishop because he didn’t uphold the illustrious revolutionary line of Chairman Gonzalo, as if that dead man really gives a shit and the masses of Grenadian people care what some two-faced toubob in the US who can’t point to Grenada on a map thinks about him and who has never met a single Grenadian, run your mouths and do some work with your people. Struggle with your people. That is how transformation comes, through struggle. Black people can’t work, fight the pigs, burn down out own neighborhoods, struggle with our own reactionary tendencies, sing, dance, play football, work magic, clean your toilets, take care of your elderly, get locked up, get shot to death on the streets by pigs drawn from your proletariat, and explain to you why not to be racist, or try and conduct mass work in your communities to win you over to revolution. Even if we had time, you’d just shoot us, call the cops, say we should stop complaining, or ignore us like you’ve been doing for the past 200 years, in and out of the Communist movement. Hold the mirror to yourselves. We are going to be alright. You may not be. Clean up your mess and take out your trash, the last time we did it for you was in 1804 in a little place called Ayiti.

 

 

 

Muhammad Ali: Not for Pig Consumption

 

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Twin banes of white supremacy.

During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred, and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their deaths, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names, to a certain extent, for the ‘consolation’ of the oppressed classes. Lenin – The State and Revolution

Muhammad Ali, in the prime of his life, was a despised man as far as the United States was concerned. He aroused the ire of the white supremacist system when he dared to convert to the Nation of Islam, joining officially in 1964 and changing his name from Cassius Clay to that by which he was known for the majority of his life. He had been attending Nation of Islam meetings for much longer, beginning in 1961, and was frequently in the company of Malcolm X. When he officially changed his name, only a few commentators honored his right to do so, the overwhelming majority continued to call him by his dead slave name. In the mid 1960s, joining the Nation of Islam was, fundamentally, a revolutionary, anti-American act. Of course, the organization was rife with issues from the start, being founded by a traveling rug salesman of dubious background who began propagating a bizarre theology that claimed that the Earth was trillions of years old, that Europeans were literally descended from the products of a science experiment gone wrong, and that Africans were the true founders of civilizations in China, Japan, and the Americas. Of course, this type of thing objectively isn’t any more bizarre than some of the things that the Mormons believe. Elijah Muhammad was also eventually outed as a hypocrite, having children and sexual liaisons with several of his secretaries, a direct contradiction to the standards of conduct for NoI members. Issues and all, this organization was, to the broad masses of black people in cities such as New York City, Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles, one that gave them a sense of cultural pride and helped give voice to and express the deepest feelings that come from centuries of oppression and exploitation. The Nation of Islam acquired its prestige mainly through the presence of the revolutionary and ever so brilliantly blunt Malcolm X, who inspired millions of black people, including the soon to be founders of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense (who worked as a security detail for widow Betty Shabazz when she visited San Francisco), to take militant action and work actively against and struggle against the United States, first at home and, as the US imperialist project in Southeast Asia heated up, abroad as well. Millions of black people realized that the enemy was at home, not abroad. One of these millions was Ali.

 

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Ali and Malcolm among the people

“You headin’ for jail. You headin’ straight for jail.” I turn and an old white woman is standing behind me, waving a miniature American flag. “You goin’ straight to jail. You ain’t no champ no more. You ain’t never gonna be champ no more. You get down on your knees and beg forgiveness from God!” she shouts in a raspy tone…”My son’s in Viet Nam, and you no better’n he is. He’s there fightin’ and you here safe. I hope you rot in jail. I hope they throw away the key.” – Muhammad Ali, The Greatest

Muhammad Ali was called to put his black body and soul on the line in the pig war in Vietnam in 1967 (having filed conscientious status the previous year), and on April 28th of that year, refused 3 times to step forward when his name was called at the induction center. He was warned that he was committing a felony punishable by a harsh prison sentence and fine, yet still refused to go. That day saw him stripped of his title and banned from the ring. Death threats poured in, and the ire that had been simmering exploded into full blown rage. He refused to fight in the war not because he was selfishly afraid of death, but because, in his own words,

“My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people or some poor, hungry people in the mud, for big, powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger. They never lynched me. They didn’t put no dogs on me. They didn’t rob me of my nationality, and rape and kill my mother and father. Why would I want to—shoot them for what? I got to go shoot them, those little poor little black people, little babies and children, women; how can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.”

This was not a selfish act, it was an anti-imperialist act. Ali united with the people of Vietnam in their heroic struggle for national liberation, reunification of their country, and the expulsion of the American imperialists and their corrupt South Vietnamese running dogs from the country. He went further, expressing his intention to go to prison for his refusal to kill those who were waging a righteous struggle. To this day, he has great prestige and standing among the people of Vietnam. He appealed the pigs’ decisions and struggled for his right to make his living and eventually won in 1971, and continued to put forth anti-imperialist positions and popularize them with his celebrity and his prestige among the masses of black people. He visited Palestinian refugee camps and pledged support to the liberation struggle against the Zionists. He visited several countries in Africa, claiming them as his true home and denouncing and cursing the United States. All in all, Ali told the US to go fuck itself in various ways. He was the people, not the pig. His stand inspired thousands of others to stay right here in the US and struggle from within all throughout the 1960s. He didn’t go to the pig war, and he didn’t flee to Canada like the wealthy petty-bourgeois LSD and peyote mushroom crowd did out of selfishness. Not wanting to fight in a war doesn’t necessarily mean anti-imperialism or correct politics, this was confirmed by the New York Draft Riots of 1863.

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The devout Muslim and servant of the people

When Ali died Friday, the bourgeois media, politicians, and other such hacks spun into overdrive, claiming him for the USA. Donald Trump claimed him, Chris Hayes and his ilk started yammering about how Ali “transcended race”, whatever the hell that means, and warlord Obama, the man who kills Ali’s brothers and sisters in faith the world over, praised him. This is par for the course, but this recuperation, frankly, isn’t working, at least not in the minds of the masses of people of the whole world. The Vietnamese still love him. Unlike Martin Luther King, who was in life despised and relentlessly psychologically tortured by the FBI, but played by the LBJ era White House as a sort of “lesser evil” compared to people like Malcolm X and Huey Newton, Ali was a brash, bold, resolutely and firmly anti-American figure. He wasn’t a Baptist pastor, didn’t have a college degree, never mind a PhD, and was willing to go to jail for telling America to fuck itself and hoping the Vietcong won the war. He wasn’t a man of peace, he beat people up for a living. He didn’t transcend race, he went to Africa and claimed it as his own and threw in his lot with the struggling black and brown masses of the whole world. He wasn’t a “good American”, he spent several years as a member of an organization that wished for the demise of America. He insulted and demeaned America’s allies and embraced and was warmly received by its enemies. Ali didn’t eat pigs in life, and pigs won’t eat him in death. That’s how he would have wanted it. He wrote this poem for his brothers dead in the 1971 Attica Prison uprising, and this is how he is best remembered.

Better than with prayers and pleas
Or in the clutch of some disease
Wasting slowly by degrees

Better than of heart attack
Or some dose of drug I lack
Let me die by being Black

Better far that I should go
Standing here against the foe
Is the sweeter death to know

Better than the bloody stain
On some highway where I’m lain
Torn by flying glass and pane

Better calling death to come
Than to die another dumb
Muted victim in the slum

Better than of this prison rot
If there’s any choice I’ve got
Kill me here on the spot

Better far my fight to wage
Now while my blood boils with rage
Lest it cool with ancient age

Better vowing for us to die
Than to Uncle Tom and try
Making peace just to live a lie