Towards Building A Black Maoism in the US
When you look at the followers of Maoism in the world today, one thing that will strike you is the general…nonwhiteness of them. Maoism is and always will be a thing that, when picked up by the masses of people that are actually colonized, exploited, and oppressed, will lead to their liberation. The squabbling sects of anarcho-trotskyites in the imperialist world calling themselves Maoists are about as serious about making revolution as the Trotskyite cults they resemble. Huey Newton went to a meeting of the Progressive Labor Party before founding the Black Panther Party, he never went back. This was one of the first “China-line” parties in the US. Why? Because it was a bunch of crackers sitting around talking about nonsense while doing nothing. Dogmatists and book worshipers. To white people, revolution is not a necessity, it is a game, a stage for them to occupy for a moment until they get tenure or a better job. Then they bury the Mao in the basement. Later for them. Let’s talk about us, meaning the majority of people in the world.
Why was Mao Zedong and his Party successful? Mao was, first and foremost, interested in the development of China, the liberation of China from imperialist occupiers, and the eradication of bureaucrat-capitalism and the grinding up of his people by landlords. In achieving this success, he struggled against his own party leadership and the Comintern. Mao was not a “Stalinist” in the sense that people tend to throw the word around. He was an adherent of Marxism-Leninism, but Stalin did not “invent” Marxism-Leninism. Mao and Stalin clashed on many occasions. Stalin considered Mao an insubordinate upstart, Mao considered Stalin a dogmatist and a distant person who didn’t know what he was talking about. Stalin had a few loyalists in the Chinese Communist Party called the 28 Bolsheviks, led by a guy named Wang Ming, who was notable for studying in Moscow. His faction saw Stalin as an infallible leader and tried to apply, blindly, dogmas from the Comintern and also sought to isolate Mao Zedong, who continued to make a correct and concrete analysis of actually existing Chinese conditions. Under Wang Ming’s leadership and the erroneous guidance of the Comintern, the CCP and Red Army suffered terrible losses. Even earlier, Stalin’s advice had gotten CCP members massacred after advising them to enter the Kuomintang and set up a Communist bloc within. Chiang Kai-Shek knew what they were doing, used them up, and then slaughtered them. In essence, letting other people, especially those outside your nation, do your thinking for you is generally a bad idea. Mao was successful because he realized that nobody, in the final analysis, could think for Chinese, but Chinese.
“If thoughts bring about our deaths, let them at least be our own thoughts, so that we will have broken, once and for all, with the flunkeyism of dying for every cause and every error, except our own.” — Ideology of the Black Panther Party
Black people are the most revolutionary people in America today, because we are the most oppressed people in America. Nobody else has to face the all around, thorough, and all encompassing fascism, racism, and exploitation that we have faced. As a result, nobody has the complete understanding of the utmost necessity of destroying this country that we do. I’d even venture to say that a black janitor who has never read Marx or Lenin is more revolutionary than a white person who can quote both. Why? Oppression is not a real, tangible thing to white people in this country. Sure, there are many poor whites. There have always been poor white people in the United States, yet they have never been a revolutionary force. The settler aspect of their identity pulls them backward and their consciousness is twisted as a result. No matter how white Communists deny it, this is material, historical, fact. They may delude themselves, but they can’t delude us. Du Bois — “Slavery bred in the poor white a dislike of negro toil of all sorts. He never saw himself as a ‘worker’ or part of any ‘working class movement’. If anything, his ambition was to become a planter and own ‘niggers’”. They have never had a class consciousness that can be termed either proletarian, or revolutionary. They see themselves as having a vested stake in America, and as being denied their share of the spoils. So, to get their share, they continue to sink, deeper and deeper into whiteness, and further and further away from revolutionary consciousness and practice. This is why every white dominated revolutionary formation not accountable and subordinate to black people has, undoubtedly, degenerated in line. Take Redneck Revolt, which works with Oath Keepers and other formations, and refuses to identify as a Communist organization. They allow Capitalists, Communists, and even “Anarcho-Capitalists” to coexist within the same organization, and see nothing wrong with this. Their political line lacks breadth, development, thoroughness, and a concrete, hard analysis of actually existing conditions in America, or history. Myself and other Black Communists have criticized the dangerous political line and practice of this organization in detail, and usually we’re told in various types of jargon to get back in the corner and shut up. That’s cool, white people never listen until they’re in front of a firing squad. The point is this. Unity is possible with certain strata of the Euro-American population. But, demonstrated proof of use is necessary. Willingness to follow orders and take direction from Black political formations is necessary. Settlers deserve no political or organizational autonomy or rights. Joe Slovo was subordinate to the ANC and Mkhonto we Sizwe, an African political organization and armed formation. He did not campaign for rights for settlers within the organization or within South Africa because he was a revolutionary Communist. He did not argue for the rights of the useless Boer “working class”, either, because they were enemies of the people of South Africa.
We have a revolutionary tradition as Black people in this hemisphere, a tradition that needs thorough study and analysis. It was Africans who defeated the French and liberated Haiti through force of arms, the first colony in this hemisphere to do so. It was Africans who formed maroon colonies and united with the indigenous all across South America, North America, and the West Indies. It was Africans who picked up the gun in the 19th and 20th centuries to defend their homes, lives and properties from settler reactionaries. We have our own revolutionary intellectuals, culture, traditions, and processes. The Black Panther Party. Nat Turner. Nanny of the Maroons. Toussaint L’Overture. Jean-Jacques Dessalines. R.F. Williams. Denmark Vesey. Frederick Douglass. Angela Davis. Harry Haywood. W.E.B. Du Bois. C.L.R. James. Malcolm X. Paul Robeson. Rashid Johnson. All of these came forth from the masses of our people and spoke to real conditions. These represented a rupture with the old ways. Haywood ruptured with the revisionism and white opportunism of the CPUSA. Malcolm X ruptured with the bourgeois pacifism and opportunism of the mainstream Civil Rights Movement and relentlessly polemicized against white opportunism, hypocrisy, and attempts to hijack the revolutionary struggle. The Haitians ran Napoleon’s army out of Haiti. R.F. Williams was received by both revolutionary Cuba and China. These are who need study. Enough poring over the mediocre writings of white dilettantes. What were their errors? What were their good points? What can we learn to sharpen our own practice? What practices should we discard? Where have erroneous lines appeared before, and how were they dealt with? What has been the relationship of white people to the Black revolutionary struggle throughout history?
Fanon — “It need not astonish anyone to notice that a large number of natives are militant members of the branches of political parties which stem from the mother country. These natives fight under an abstract watchword: “Government by the workers,” and they forget that in their country it should be nationalist watchwords which are first in the field. The native intellectual has clothed his aggressiveness in his barely veiled desire to assimilate himself to the colonial world. He has used his aggressiveness to serve his own individual interests.”
An error that many of us make is squeezing ourselves into a narrow-minded, dogmatic box and parroting the same positions that white people say. If you are Black and a Communist, your goal is to secure for your people a nation and to destroy America. Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is our vehicle for this because it is most effective. We will wage protracted people’s war and we will win. To do so, we must do what Mao did. Break with all that is irrelevant to our situation, and develop our own analyses relating to the development of the New Afrikan revolutionary struggle on American terrain. We are Black people in America. We are Black Maoists, and revolutionary nationalists. How the hell are we going to wage revolution without having conducted a thorough and concrete analysis of our people, their conditions, their history, and their development? The target is the Black revolution, the arrow is Maoism. You are not a theoretician unless you can apply the most advanced theory as proven through practice to the concrete conditions of your country. Black revolutionaries have no real business in organizations, movements, or spaces dominated or led exclusively by white people.
White people should only be admitted into majority-black organizations or spaces if they have demonstrated a capacity to adhere to firm political principles and struggle in good faith. They should be made to earn their presence. Very, very few white Communists, especially Maoists, belong around black people right now. First of all, most of them are playing. Wear a tracksuit, talk like a wigger from 1996, wave around a gun. Do you actually think this is how we act? Do you honestly think this is how anybody outside of a movie acts? That’s fine if you’re 16, but people in their late 20s and 30s should know better and be more serious. Second of all, they’re racist as shit. Third of all, they’re useless. When they do something, they immediately brag about it. Good for you, you did something not fascist. Fourth of all, they worry about the irrelevant and ignore the substantial. Venezuela is on fire, they are asking “is Gonzalo the fifth head”. No, he’s not. He served a useful purpose in forcibly presenting Maoism and was defeated. Black people are being sold as slaves in Libya, they are still going on about a gathering of Neo-Nazi skinheads that they want to interrupt. Syria is half destroyed, you’re running around in a park playing with guns that you won’t use. No wonder revisionism and reformism are the main tendencies on the American left and Communism has no prestige among people who can actually use it!
How can we build a Black Maoism in the US? Why should we? We should because the most advanced theory for the waging of revolution does not belong in the hands of those who don’t know what to do with it. When we pick up things, it becomes serious business, because we are the biggest threat to this country, we have always been the biggest threat, and we always will be. One black man who had decided he had enough and got tired of this shit in Dallas, Texas, did more material damage to the pigs than any white Communist since Weatherman. We are who will destroy this country, but we must be on the right theoretical and practical footing. There is no revolutionary movement without revolutionary theory. The book in one hand, a pistol in the other, a pencil behind your ear, a pad of paper in your pocket. Maoism, in our hands, entails applying the theories worked out and applied by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Sison, and others who have taken part in the revolutionary struggles for liberation guided by Marxism. Learn from Cabral, Nkrumah, Sankara, Bishop, Castro, Che, Ho, and others. White people reject everybody that is not to their own subjective personal liking. White anarchists don’t want to study Lenin because they’re anarchists. White Mao fans don’t want to study Bishop because he wasn’t throwing people into the Caribbean Sea for drinking alcohol. White Trots whine about Mao. Good for them. Let them whine, complain, moan, denounce this and that. Pull away from them, and get together with those who are serious. Analyze the concrete conditions of our people. Investigate everything. When you see something happening, look deep into it, don’t just accept things on face value. Develop a united front of black community institutions. Churches, progressive minded small businesses, political organizations. Keep white people and white led organizations that you did not personally develop and who are not accountable to you the fuck out of our business and communities. They will try to wreck or co-opt it for their own purposes. Consistently educate Black people on revolutionary struggle, history, and practice. Learn from other people as well. Link up with progressive organizations that are connected to overseas struggles, particularly Palestine and the Philippines. If they allow it, join them. Not only do you develop firm ties of international solidarity, but you can learn useful lessons that you can apply to our own conditions and help us here.
Mao did not study Marxism-Leninism for its own sake. We need to learn from this example. He was not afraid to lead his country in rupturing from the Soviet Union and its revisionism and chauvinism. He was not afraid to criticize Stalin while not throwing him completely in the trash. He was not afraid to say, first and foremost, that he was Chinese, and he was here to run the crackers and their dogs out. That is why Huey picked up Mao. That is why every nonwhite person with a gun in their hands and a chance at winning is a Maoist. This is why, when Black people in the US develop a Marxism-Leninism-Maoist framework for our own revolution and our own concrete conditions and apply it, we will win. While the crackers are arguing over trifles and tripping over their own feet, we will be using Maoism as Mao intended. As a weapon. The world is waiting for us and has been waiting for a long time. I say it’s time we answer.