A lot of people new to the left, or to Maoism, make a pretty forgivable mistake and assume that Maoists and “Maoist” Third Worldists are the same. The cheetodust fingered sadsack Jason Unruhe (AKA “Maoist Rebel News”) dresses up like a Red Guard, despite being in a perfect position to have been struggled against were he alive in China during the Cultural Revolution, and horrid cults and scam organizations like the Leading Light “Communist” Organization also claim Mao’s mantle for their own. To the untrained eye, TWism and MLM are the same thing. This is a dangerous shell game that the TWists play, and it hurts and inhibits the work of actual Maoists. The TWists don’t give a fuck, they do no political work and most crawl back into the ether from which they came sooner or later. Basically, TWism is predicated and developed based on various misreadings of theoreticians and revolutionary scientists and, in many instances, is elevated to the level of dangerous farce verging on outright fascism by individuals like Unruhe and people associated with the LLCO/RAIM sphere. TWism isn’t Maoism at all, as a matter of fact, they uphold lines laid down by the renegade Lin Biao, who in 1971 attempted to wage an armed coup against Mao (Project 571) and ended up dying in a plane crash while trying to flee to the Soviet Union. The LLCO agitates (if the internet screeds it puts out can be called agitation) for a “Global People’s War”, a theory taken directly from Lin Biao’s “Long Live the Victory of People’s War“:
Taking the entire globe, if North America and Western Europe can be called “the cities of the world”, then Asia, Africa and Latin America constitute “the rural areas of the world”. Since World War II, the proletarian revolutionary movement has for various reasons been temporarily held back in the North American and West European capitalist countries, while the people’s revolutionary movement in Asia, Africa and Latin America has been growing vigorously. In a sense, the contemporary world revolution also presents a picture of the encirclement of cities by the rural areas. In the final analysis, the whole cause of world revolution hinges on the revolutionary struggles of the Asian, African and Latin American peoples who make up the overwhelming majority of the world’s population. The socialist countries should regard it as their internationalist duty to support the people’s revolutionary struggles in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
This is wrong for more than one reason. In our time, Yankee imperialism, is the number one enemy of the world’s people. The struggles of the people of Latin America, Asia, and Africa are extremely important in regards to driving the forces of imperialism out of their own countries, but the killing blow to Yankee imperialism will come from us Yankees ourselves. Lin Biao and the TWists expect the people of Palestine, India, the Philippines, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, and the rest of the places where people are today struggling against the imperialist ravage in their own countries to also handle the burden of making revolution here. Surround the cities of the globe from the countryside. What are we supposed to do? Are there not strata within strata in this country? Are we all parasites? Yes, we as first world workers do indeed benefit from imperialism in the form of lower prices, higher wages, etc, this is true, but this is not the only aspect. TWists believe that there is no oppressed proletariat in the United States, Canada, or Western Europe. What of the New Afrikan people, the Chicanx people, the indigenous people, and our proletariats? What of the enslaved and exploited prisoners? What of the immigrants living in the United States who come here and obtain citizenship, and end up driving cabs, scrubbing floors, cleaning hospital beds, or all three? Are they sucking the blood of their own people? What of the white working class? Although it leans backwards, is it not exploited as well? There is revolutionary potential wherever an exploited person lives and toils. The cause of world revolution depends on all of us. Our comrades making revolution today in the third world call on us to destroy imperialism. That entails destroying the United States as it stands, liberate the oppressed nations, and build the socialist order. This means that there are revolutionaries here, and there is revolutionary potential. Things are destroyed from the inside, internal contradictions lay the basis for change in the final analysis. America, if weakened from the inside, will collapse. If a building is undermined from the inside, its girders and support beams melted and compromised, it will collapse. If I collapse and die right now, something inside of me has been transformed and laid the basis for my body to fail and for my heart and brain to stop working. We can not rely on struggling people to make our revolution for us. To help the world, we must wage class struggle here, make revolution, and destroy this country in toto.
TWism has been pieced apart and punched full of holes by various Maoist theoreticians, including the most advanced MLM theoretician in the United States, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, Minister of Defense of the New African Black Panther Party – Prison Chapter (NABPP-PC). Last year Rashid released a devastating polemic against Jason Unruhe, (who is a white Canadian, by the way, most are white I have only known of one black TWist), titled “Third Worldism: A Fanciful World Where the Privileged Play at Revolution“. It reads in part:
Unruhe embraces the Third Worldist line which claims to ally itself with Third World workers and demonizes First World workers as corrupted enemies of the Third World because they share in the spoils taken by the Imperialists from the Third World.
Well, if enjoying the privileges of the First World society renders one an enemy of the Third World, what the hell are Third Worldists like Unruhe doing here? What’s more, the Third Worldists are predominantly petty bourgeois (middle class) folks who enjoy even greater privileges and wealth than do general First World workers; yet they’re somehow the friends – no, leaders! – of the exploited Third World peoples! How it is that they can rise above their own privileged lifestyles and become the friends, allies, and even the professed leaders of the peoples on whose suffering their comforts depend, yet they argue that First World workers can’t, is a contradiction in their line that goes unanswered…“It’s amusing that the LLCO and their ‘Commander’ who goes by the name Augusta Luz (and is a white dude from Denver) claim that they are the vanguard of the Third World proletariat even though they are in the First World, and still find need to raise money and ask for items like computers and cars to support their ‘efforts.’ [Yet] they say there is nothing First Worldists can do in the First World except maybe oppose imperialist wars, that all First World workers are actually exploiters themselves, and that to struggle to improve people’s living conditions in the First World is ‘fascism.’”
Comrade Rashid lays bare the arrogance of white (like I said, nearly all of these people are not only white, but of petit-bourgeois class origin) TWists. They, from the First World, claim ability to lead struggle in the Third. On what basis? To lead, to be someone’s vanguard, one must be accepted as such. Groups like the LLCO, RAIM, and people like Unruhe have no basis to claim leadership over people in Bangladesh, or India, or Mexico, because they can’t even lead their own people! No comrades making revolution anywhere today acknowledge TWism as a valid theoretical framework for looking at the world, and reject its preposterous assertions that “there is no First World proletariat”, “there is no exploitation in the First World”, etc., etc. If you can not make revolution in your own country, if you can not get down to the grassroots and unite with people who look just like you, you can not claim to be a revolutionary, you are just a bag of hot air with a microphone and a camera and a platform. You arrogate titles for yourself, you write long screeds that come not from reasoned research, study, and analysis, but from whatever strikes you and whatever lackeys you’ve managed to cobble together as sounding good. This is not how Marxism, nevermind Maoism, is done. Rashid continues:
“V.I. Lenin denounced these sorts as “petty bourgeois revolutionists,” people who are left or ultra-left in words, but right in essence. They’re fond of spouting militant sounding rhetoric, fancying themselves as the only “enlightened ones,” and regard those who make their clothes, their cars, and comforts with disdain and contempt. They want to go on record as being “anti-imperialist,” but are unwilling to integrate themselves with the masses to do what is actually needed to make revolution, and recline in reformist forms of “protest” that don’t threaten their privileges.”
I’ve known more than a few TWists, and this is also spot on. They view white workers, their own proletariat, and all other “First Worldists” as “white trash” and “garbage”, and workers overseas as just pawns, people to hold guns and accept leadership from them who have never raised a finger to smash anything in these United States except a “like button” on a nonsensical Facebook rant. They criticize any manifestation of class struggle, calling the Fight for $15 movement in which Black and Brown workers are the driving force “parasitism”, degrading the struggles of people in the South and Appalachia, and even going so far as to wish the Taliban would attack the United States. These people have serious issues and certainly can not in all good conscience be called “communists”. Communists love their people, all of their people. I love talking to and learning from working class people, I had a 15 minute long conversation about Trump with a worker at McDonald’s yesterday. The masses give us life, we are ready to lay down our lives for their liberation. To hate the people is to join the fascists. It doesn’t matter if you couch your utter disdain and hatred for my people in words like “global slum”, or try to shame us like Unruhe does:
There are no First World victims in imperialism. No minority group, based on race, gender, or otherwise can consider themselves the victims of imperialist empire. All First World people who refuse to acknowledge their advantageous global position, who instead see themselves as victims, must be seen as enemies of revolution.
You are an enemy. No right-thinking Communist in the First World refuses to recognize that we are in an advantageous position. No matter how low I or anyone else here falls, we will never reach the level of the poorest person in India, or Peru, or China, or Nepal. But, for you to say that people who are being sprayed with freezing water so they develop pneumonia, or being murdered in the streets by the police, or who are being incarcerated en masse, are not victims of this imperialist empire, is to cross over to the camp of the enemy. You offer no support to the masses, here or abroad.You are worthless. Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is useful, the most useful thing on Earth, while your Lin Piaoisms should crash and burn like their renegade architect. Maoism and Third Worldism are not the same thing, the first will destroy imperialism, the second will be destroyed along with imperialism.