Recently, Fourth Sword Publications released a book on the growing Maoist Movement in the U.S., “Documents on the U.S. Maoist Conference for Line Struggle.” The book, a collection of position papers written for and presented at the conference, is nothing short of historical.
Red Guards – Los Angeles, for several years, has been working on various political lines and theoretical positions. One of which is the Chicano Nation. So much study and research has gone into this that the following document is merely an abridged version of a much larger work – due to be published by Fourth Sword Publications soon.
Prior to the conference, our line on the Chicano Nation was that it would move toward a national liberation revolution prior to socialist integration with its own distinct Maoist Communist Party. The Chicano national liberation would consolidate itself with the establishment of an Indigenous Republic of the Southwest governed by a Joint Dictatorship of the Proletariat of the Indigenous & Chicano nations. During the conference we received a lot of criticism, of which we united with the majority. After the conference we continued line struggle with comrades in Austin and also united with much of their criticism. We have, since that time, changed our position to uphold RGA’s “Sunbelt Thesis,” which calls for a countrywide Maoist Communist Party, with a launching of Protracted People’s War in the Sunbelt region of the U.S., principally in the Black Nation.
Because “Documents on the U.S. Maoist Conference for Line Struggle” has already been released (and is currently sold out) and being read and studied, we feel obligated to release the updated paper in its entirety available as a downloadable PDF. This version will be available in the second edition of the book.
Below we post our updated theses on the Chicano Nation, as it appears in the larger document:
… But most importantly, and our gravest error, was that the Chicano Nation would move toward national liberation prior to or during socialist integration into a countrywide dictatorship of the proletariat. While we did not idealistically wish for a Communist Party of the Chicano Nation or Aztlán, we now warn that it would be dangerous to the countrywide socialist revolution – precisely because it would abandon the rest of the oppressed nations within the prison house U.S.
We say that the fundamental and antagonistic contradiction of national oppression exists and continues to rack up national casualties, deaths, imprisonments, deportations, economic and political repression.
RGLA operates in the Chicano Nation. We understand our national context. We are part of the Chicano Nation’s up-and-coming leading Maoist revolutionary organizations. We have consistently maintained Chicano leadership in the organization and in all mass projects and organizations. There is a growing Maoist presence and leadership growing. Inside our nation there exists intense line struggle, with nationalism representing the capitalist line and Maoism representing the proletarian line.
We take lessons away from the Kurdish national liberation movement and the liquidation of proletarian theory and leadership (at the time Marxism-Leninism) and the capitulating to petite-bourgeois leadership by the PKK (which now calls for democratic federalism). We must uphold and represent a Communist line. Nationalism poses a reactionary threat to the national liberation movement of the Chicano Nation. The nationalists would lead the nation through a bourgeois national liberation movement. Like revolutionary China with its Communist Party leading their national liberation movement, so to must the countrywide Maoist Communist Party led but not exclusively focus on one nation at the expense of others.
Precisely because of the criticisms we have received, namely from RGA over our subjectivism and incidental chauvinism – of putting the Chicano Nation as the center of our analysis without contextualizing its relation to the Black Nation – both nations making up the country’s Southern Sunbelt region – we have revised our position on Chicano national liberation by theorizing two possible scenarios or theses as detailed below, one of which is RGA’s “Sunbelt Thesis,” of which we unite with. We are not laying out two options but rather possibilities as a warning and urgent push into immediate theorizing and struggling over the countrywide national question.
For Chicanos, as a colonized nation, self-determination is of the utmost importance. The question of national self-determination, at its most profound essence, is really a question of freedom. There are several positions on the national question and specifically the Chicano Nation, but generally there are two possible outcomes, or theses, in the movement toward Chicano national liberation. They are:
- The separatist line: that the liberation of the Chicano Nation may exercise its right of secession from the U.S. and establish an indigenous republic of the Southwest governed by its own national Communist Party before, during or after countrywide PPW.With this trajectory of the Chicano national liberation struggle, the nation could take the form of an independent indigenous republic of the Southwest. But even though it could be governed by the proletariat of the oppressed indigenous nations and the Chicano Nation of the Southwest, it would effectively abandon the entirety of the rest of the internal colonies such as the native nations outside of the Southwest and especially its immediate neighbor to the east, the Black Nation. That sort of prioritizing of Chicano national liberation over all other oppressed nations – even if governed by the proletariat of the Chicano and indigenous nations – is counter-revolutionary for its abandonment of the countrywide proletariat. We would effectively abandon revolutionary (continental) internationalism and say with this secession and construction of the independent republic, you are all on your own, come what may.The size of the indigenous population and nations in the territory and their kettled reservations must factor into any national analysis, even if it’s only speculation. Educated and informed speculation is not a hindrance to a revolutionary movement. It enables revolutionaries to strategize for possible outcomes – even though those ideas are truly only tested when applied.
Indigenous revolution is part and parcel to the history of the Chicano Nation and its Southwestern territory, but revolutionary class struggle also has a place in the heart of the Chicano Nation history, as laid out in the book – miner, port workers, railroad workers, and agricultural and industrial proletariat struggles in and out of California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Colorado, Utah, and parts of Kansas, Oklahoma ad Wyoming.
However, we are against a federation model giving separate oppressed native nations complete autonomy without a centralized body of leadership. We are against federalism, not for wanting to dominate the Chicano, Black or native nations or its people (contrary to what nationalists or Third-Worldists would idealistically criticize us for) but rather for arming them – us – with the weaponry to guard the revolution and defend it against counter-revolutionary forces.
The secession of the Chicano Nation, while a right for any oppressed nation in exercising self-determination, would support a dividing up of oppressed nations in the country and not uniting the oppressed nations as the strongest weapon against their principal enemy: U.S. imperialism.
An enemy surrounded by one army under one centralized command is far easier to topple rather than several autonomous armies surrounding the enemy. War calls for discipline and hierarchy – especially the greatest war on earth, PPW against the U.S. – an army capable of annihilating the enemy from the face of the planet with revolutionary vengeance.
As Communists, especially operating within the Chicano Nation, our aim ultimately is to unite the people and the proletariat, not to delineate unnecessarily oppressed nations from one another. That would be bundism, which we reject. The principal national enemy of the Chicano Nation, other indigenous nations and the Black Nation is the oppressor White Nation, the U.S. So, then, a more effective strategy is uniting the proletariat of all oppressed nations against the U.S.
The Chicano Nation is oppressed by the U.S. Our complete freedom, beyond national freedom, will only come when the U.S. is destroyed and reconstructed under socialism administered by the dictatorship of the countrywide proletariat.
- RGA’s sunbelt thesis as generally summarized in “Condemned to Win”: That PPW will initiate in the sunbelt region – the Southern half of the U.S. mostly following the Northern borders of both the Chicano and Black nations – specifically in the Black Nation region; that both the Chicano and Black nations will not secede but integrate, without their own separate national parties, into the countrywide project of socialist construction under one multinational Communist Party. The multinational countrywide Communist Party is a necessity for the destruction of the S. and the liberation of all people, all oppressed nations, from national oppression and capitalist-imperialist exploitation. To advocate for one oppressed nation to be liberated while the rest are still being held captive in the prison house of nations is treacherous. The nationalist line is: we matter firstly. The Communist line is: all of us or none of us – but not as a moral choice, rather a political-military strategy.National liberation is not being liquidated in this thesis but rather it is integrated into the socialist revolution because anything other than a centralized militarized Maoist Communist Party leading a countrywide PPW will guarantee colossal failure. The Party’s role would be to form and lead national liberation-specific organizations to win over and militarize the oppressed nations’ masses under a Communist line and reject a nationalist line. Nationalism leads to capitalism. Internationalism leads to communism.
In the past, the national question has been poorly theorized – with either capitulating to Great White Nation Chauvinism and liquidating national liberation struggles entirely or abandoning socialist revolution in favor of nationalist-capitalist segregation. These two lines have been well documented in the New Communist Movement. But even as far back as the 1940 and 50s, the arch-revisionist CPUSA led by Earl Browder had pushed the liquidation of oppressed nations, namely the Black Nation as theorized by Harry Haywood, in favor of a more patriotic American (chauvinism) trajectory toward socialism. This has plagued the national Communist movement into the present and is embodied in the revisionist Chicano national minority line.
And so a line must be clearly demarcated by Maoists that we must not liquidate the right to self-determination of oppressed nations, in our outside of the U.S. The oppressed nations/internal colonies of the U.S. require painstaking dedication of theoretical study – especially the native nations lightly touched upon in this book. Failing to treat the right of self-determination for oppressed nations seriously is a rejection of Leninism. Maoists must not tail national liberation struggles; when we are nationals of those oppressed nations in question, we mustn’t merely be critical supporters but instead be active participants – to win over a proletarian line from a nationalist-capitalist line.
Whatever scenario is to come to fruition, a central truth that cuts through the two theses presented is that the Chicano Nation has played and will subsequently play a crucial role in the coming PPW in some resemblance of unison with the Black Nation. The Maoist forces within these nations, namely RGLA in the anti-gentrification movement and RGA in the antifascist movement, have already planted the seeds to grow the most advanced pre-Party formations in the Sunbelt region. Following that premise, a Communist Party must be leading the Chicano national liberation movement ensuring that a nationalist hegemony capitulating to capitalism does not win out. Whereas the first thesis called for a separate national Maoist Communist Party of Aztlán, the second thesis still gives priority to Chicano national liberation but working in unity with the Black Nation and all-around priority given to concentric construction of the countrywide Maoist Communist Party, the People’s Army and the United Front.
Because each of the two theses uphold the Chicano Nation as an oppressed nation and internal colony and does not dispense with its necessary liberation and freedom, these theorized trajectories all fall under the Chicano National Liberation line. The theses are not options. We are not arguing that we can pick and chose one over the other; we are theorizing of a future where the possibilities revolving around the oppressed Chicano Nation and a Maoist Communist movement will produce one of these two possible outcomes, and we will move toward the realization of the second thesis, that is, formally adopting RGA’s Sunbelt thesis.
National liberation is a permanent aspiration of an oppressed nation throughout its continued oppression; but if the oppressor nation – in our case, and most of the world, being the U.S. – is destroyed, then the oppressed nation ceases to be oppressed. Both theses are predicated on a revolutionary war – PPW – intended on destroying the U.S. For our people, our class and our nation to be free, the U.S.’s domination over our lands must cease to exist.
We are experience a growing hegemony of the Maoist movement in the country, but principally in the Chicano Nation with RGLA and Red Guards Austin, the latter being the principally-Maoist leading pre-party force. We must seize the time.