Bullets Beat Ballots: Getting Power vs. Playing at Power

Black Like Mao
5 min readOct 12, 2017

“I will tolerate no opposition. We recognize only subordination — authority downwards and responsibility upwards. You just tell the German bourgeoisie that I shall be finished with them far quicker than I shall with Marxism… When once the conservative forces in Germany realize that only I and my party can win the German proletariat over to the State and that no parliamentary games can be played with Marxist parties, then Germany will be saved for all time, then we can found a German People’s State.” — Adolf Hitler

Fascism, if studied thoroughly as it has been practiced on German, Italian, Japanese and American terrain, is ultimately an ideology of merciless force. For all its pretensions, use of brute force to expand, repress and suppress the enemies of the fascist state is the summation of fascism. We saw this in the way in which the Fascist Reich swept through Europe, the way in which Imperial Japan devoured the Pacific and East Asia, the way in which the Italian fascists mercilessly suppressed or co-opted all opposition, and the way in which the United States was built on stolen bodies and blood. We continue to see this in the rise of the alt-right and their immediate predecessors in the fascist movement in the 1980s and 1990s. Works of fiction such as those written by Harold Covington and Chittum (both of whom fought in wars on behalf of dying settler colonial states in Africa, namely, Rhodesia) portray the “rebirth” of the white settler class in the US through merciless and cruel race war and Yugoslavian style ethnic cleansing. Thousands, if not millions, of reactionaries are currently in the process of arming, organizing and training themselves for a war, for massacres. Again, force is fascism. Their slogan is “Might Makes Right”. While might may not make right (the US is mighty but it certainly ain’t right), they have a point. The only thing which beats fascism and its organized, merciless, cruel reactionary violence is the use of organized, disciplined revolutionary violence on the part of the left, the masses, directed by a correctly guided Communist Party rooted in the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the summation and continuing theoretical/practical development of 150 years of class struggle and socialist construction.

While the fascists sharpen their knives and commit/plan to commit more and more violent attacks on the people such as those we saw in Charleston and Charlottesville, as the police become more and more murderous and the laws supposedly restraining them (hint: a fascist settler-colonial state never truly “restrains” its domestic force for suppression of the people) have more and more holes bored into them, liberals and the legal left (the left which eschews all possibility of revolutionary violence, toying instead with notions of “peaceful coexistence and transition to socialism) continue to play the electoral shell game. Bernie Sanders, Kshama Sawant, Elizabeth Warren, so on and so forth. Elections are, under a capitalist-imperialist social order, ultimately a farce. The Black Panthers had their own right deviation after the Newton-Cleaver split and Newton’s rightist faction ended up merging in practice with the California Democratic Party, helping get the city’s first black mayor elected and playing a critical role in statewide assembly and gubernatorial races. What did the masses of Oakland get from this? Not much. Can elections be tactically be engaged with? Sure, as examples and lessons. Do the masses vote? Depends on which masses you’re referring to. The lowest and deepest, poor working class black people my age (23) do not. Most voters in black neighborhoods are older and working class, and as their position becomes more and more precarious and things become worse and worse regardless of who they vote for, they will also avoid the polls. Black and brown voting turnout has been consistently in decline every electoral cycle because we see that regardless of who wins we are still in the same shit. Will change, fundamental change, come from a ballot box? Of course not. Even if we do what Chile did and elect an open Marxist, the imperialists and reactionaries will kill them before they get a chance to swear into office. More and more people realize this and less and less people are voting. Meanwhile, the police, the forces of fascism that don’t wear badges but are tied up with those who do ideologically, and other filth are sharpening their knives to kill us.Nobody gives a shit about your votes and your ballots and which candidate you support. They serve the same class and will bring the same results in the grand scheme of things.

The guns of the Soviet Red Army, the Chinese Red Army, and the NLF/NVA in Vietnam beat fascism and imperialism. Force yields only to greater force. Mao Zedong, J.V. Stalin, Ho Chi Minh, Napoleon, Chiang Kai-Shek, Hitler, Clausewitz, Frederick the Great and others who dealt in the process of getting and wielding political power all realized this. Even the lowest drug dealer realizes where power comes from. If you want power, stay the fuck away from the polls. If you want power, study those who have had it and you will realize that they have all unanimously agreed that it comes from the barrels of cannons and guns. If you do not realize the necessity of calculated organization and wielding of violence in the interests of the world you would like to see birthed, you are never going to see it. Red power comes from base areas secured through military force and mobilization of millions of armed masses among whom the Party and its army swims like a fish. Not from electoral kicking the can down the road. Cast away illusions and learn where power comes from.