If the People Don’t Trust You, they Gon’ Shoot You: AKA Why You Should Make Friends and Influence People

 

 

maotea

 

The job of a Communist is to swim among the people like the fish in water. Not walk on water, swim. The people are our life, our reason for existing, our bastion of iron and steel. If you cannot gain the support of the masses in oppressed communities, you will not make revolution. How is support gained? You can’t just barge your way in, especially if you’re white and from a college campus. Believe it or not, these communities already have established institutions. Churches, groups like the Hebrew Israelites and the Nation of Islam. Gangs. White college kids aren’t just going to barge their way in and take over shit. Maoists should develop ties and links, contacts, in a community in which they want to begin operations. Even if you don’t live there, you need people that do live there on your team to introduce you to people and vouch for you. Once you have the trust of people in the community who are known for various reasons, you will get to know more and more people and people will open up to you.

Many Communists make the mistake of sequestering themselves in libraries and among their own clique or circle of friends, using them as a sort of stand in for the masses. Then they are confused and disoriented when their actions, meetings and other things fall flat or do not garner enough people to make any difference in a situation. If people don’t give a shit about what you’re talking about, or if they don’t know you, or if you’re too couched in theoretical jargon, they’re not going to risk life and limb to go to your demonstrations, they’re not going to attend your meetings, they’re not going to fuck with anything you do. Approach people where they are. Don’t condescend to them, but don’t talk over their heads in a boss-like tone either. If you’re white and in a black neighborhood, be humble and listen to people. If you’re working in an area and nobody from said area joins your organization, you have a problem. Either they don’t trust you or they don’t see your method of organizing as being appropriate to the needs of their community. Either way, the fault is yours. In Saint Louis we have had people open up their homes, schools, and churches to us, express solidarity with us, and ask us how to get involved. We have developed a network of contacts among various political groups and in neighborhoods that we can call upon for a myriad of things. This was built through patient base building, uniting with people on issues of importance to the community, attending events and making inroads among the people. I go to everything that I can, I recruit everywhere I can, I make it a point to talk to at least 20 new people a day. If you are in an organization, 10 or 20 people need to know about it per day. What can you do for the people. What is your organization’s line and take on various issues? What have you done in the past? I carry literature with me from my orgs at all times. The building of a base area can not be done without the conscious and thorough involvement of the masses. Mass organizations must be living organizations with a truly mass character that serve the people, are constantly growing, building new things, and helping people. If your interpretation of theory forbids you or obstructs you from helping people, there’s something wrong with it, and you, and you will not be a successful organizer? Don’t believe me? Shut yourself up among your crew of 5 people, gabber about theoretical minutiae, avoid everything the people do or other orgs do because they don’t conform to your own little dogmatic-sectarian interpretation of things, get a bad rep for yourself in town, and see where you are in 6 months. Quit being a damn nerd and make some friends.

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