Skip to main content

Full text of "Main Line 1 (2017)"

See other formats


MAIN LINE 


TRANSFORMING THE CRIMINAL MENTALITY 
INTO A REVOLUTIONARY MENTALITY^ ■issu 






Introduction 

Main Line is a project of the New Afrikan BPP-PC, that aims 
to give practical meaning to the concept of "transforming 
the criminal mentality into a revolutionary mentality." This 
means our principal although not exclusive focus is on 
that social strata known as the lumpen proletariat (LP), 
aka the ‘criminal’ element or the underclass. In 'developed' 
societies, like Amerika, the LP is largely concentrated in and 
around impoverished urban centers, prisons, and 'White' 
rural poverty pockets like Appalachia and trailer parks. 

By revolutionizing the criminal mentality, we mean 
remoulding this mindset with the class values and morality of 
the proletariat, which is the class of organized wage workers 
from which many of the LP originate and are integrated with, 
especially in the oppressed communities. 

Advances in technology and automation have undermined 
the security and availability of employment for the masses 
of working and poor people. In many cases this has made 
growing numbers of people permanent unemployables 
who must survive by any means possible. This produces 
increasing numbers of people who live outside the bounds 
of 'legality' and prey upon other victims to survive or as a 
lifestyle. 

This condition has led to many in the oppressed communities 
developing or having imposed upon them social and 
cultural norms and values that encourage and glamorize 
competitive, predatory, individualistic, and exploitative 
behaviors and values. This is the "criminal mentality.” 
A mentality that actually reflects the values of the ruling 
class in capitalist society, but with less sophistication, and 
without the adornments and pretensions that class projects 
pretending to act in the interests of the masses of working 
and poor people, when actually they acquire their wealth 
and power through devising and maintaining a system 
that exploits the wealth-producing labor power of the lower 
sectors which produces their poverty, insecurity and misery. 

We in the NABPP-PC recognize, like many 
revolutionary movements that have gone 
before, that if we don't take seriously the task of 
revolutionizing the criminal mentality, the enemy 
establishment and its pig enforcers will manipulate and 
use the LP and its tendencies toward socially destructive 
behaviors to justify their own increasingly violent containment 
and repression against our oppressed communities. They 
will also infiltrate, instigate and organize the LP to act as 
disrupters, agents and violent reaction against those of 
us struggling to fundamentally change and improve the 
conditions of our communities and capitalist society. 

We see them using these very tactics right now in response 
to the masses' exposures and protests against systemic 
police murders of people in communities of people of color 
and the poor. Their response has been to instigate waves 
of violence, crime, and anti-social behaviour to render our 
communities less secure for the people. This by admittedly 
targeting and arresting the leadership of the various 
urban street tribes (so-called gangs), and inciting the then 
leaderless younger elements into violent splits, competitions 
and conflicts which is egged on and glamorized through a 
deformed subculture manufactured by the entertainment 
industry. We've seen a textbook case of this in Chicago in 
the wake of protests that followed the exposure of the police 
murder of 17 year old Laquan McDonald by Chicago cops 
in latter 2015. The cops in turn engineered a spike in gun 
violence and killings in the city unlike any seen in decades. 

The establishment has used these same tactics in our 
communities and in the prisons over and again, then 
mocked the communities when they are forced in the 
absence of their own independent security forces to turn 
to the cops to quell the violence that they created, after 
protesting the cops' own criminally violent behaviors and 
coverups. The cops then arrogantly portray themselves as 
the only answer to crime and insecurity in the communities 
- conditions they have never solved anyway. They in turn 
use the violence and crime they've generated to vilify 
the communities, advance a self-serving 'law and order' 
agenda of promoting increased police funding, and even 
larger and more militarized police forces and power; and of 
course continued mass imprisonment targeted especially at 
communities of color. 

To counter this and the lumpen culture that glamorizes 
the criminal mentality among us and fuels the oppressive 
designs of the system, we need again to transform this 
mentality, by developing genuine revolutionary culture and 
leadership within our own ranks, and organize our city blocks 
and cellblocks into base areas and schools of revolutionary 
ideological, political, cultural, and economic struggle. 

A failure of correct leadership has been a major factor in 
the setbacks and obstacles we've faced in struggling to 
overcome this oppressive order. This has especially been 
the case since the decline of the original Black Panther 
Party and allied formations. Since that time there have been 


a number of groups and individuals who have presumed to 
give leadership, but have only advanced at best subjective, 
revisionist, and/or idealistic lines, and some have only 
encouraged competitive individualism; militant, ego- 
oriented and provocative posturing; and other less-than- 
revolutionary tendencies that do not put the interests of the 
masses first and politics in command. Over the years our 
Party has struggled with a number of these tendencies and 
elements, and will continue to. 

In fact, in Main Line, we will also present a forum where 
these and other lines can be printed side-by-side with our 
own, so our readers can themselves study and compare 
and determine which line prove most correct and consistent 
with the interests and needs of the oppressed masses. Our 
aim in this regard is to build greater unity through struggle 
with serious folks, expose false leadership and lines, and 
present and advance our own and others' political and 
ideological lines. 

In closing I'd like to give a revolutionary salute to Comrade Ed 
Mead, who's been hospitalized recently in critical condition 
battling advanced cancer and reactions to medications. Ed 
as an experienced prison writer and publicist, encouraged 
me in this project and gave me some logistical pointers. 
We'd both agreed for some years on the dire need for 
an explicitly political periodical aimed at advancing the 
revolutionary consciousness of prisoners and developing 
cadre of genuinely revolutionary leaders from among us 
to ally with the broader proletarian struggle against today's 
globally destructive capitalist imperialist system. 

Dare to Struggle Dare to WinlAII Power to the People! 

Kevin “Rashid" Johnson 


On the Present State of New Afrikan/Black Crisis 
in Amerika: an Interview with Comrade Rashid by 
Anthony Rayson (2010) 

Anthony Rayson: As you know Amerika does not want 
people to know what you know and are busy articulating. 
We’re told the “civil rights struggle” of the 1960s took care 
of racism and that Blacks are cool with capitalism (Snoop 
Doggism). Tell us what the deal really is and the place the 
vast gulag system plays in society today — particularly with 
Black people. 

Rashid: We both recognize that the last major wave of New 
Afrikan/Black struggle against this imperialist (monopoly 
capitalist) system, racism and national oppression here in 
Amerika, occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. This struggle 
took place on two fronts, reflecting the aspirations of two 
opposite class poles in Black Amerika. The first was the 
pro-monopoly capitalist pole (these elements sought an 
accommodation with and integration into the U.S. capitalist 
system). The second was the revolutionary national 
liberation pole (these elements sought independence 
and separation from the Amerikan capitalist system or 
fundamental socialist reconstruction of Amerika’s political- 
economy as a condition to Black integration). 

The first tendency was most strongly represented in the 
Civil Rights Movement. The second tendency by the Black 
Power/Liberation Movement. Because the second tendency 
represented a direct challenge to the U.S. imperialist 
system, it was feared the most by the Establishment. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began as an accommodationist 
and pro-integrationist. His major gripe with Amerika was that 
white racism was a major obstacle to Black integration. That 
the U.S. government in openly fostering racism was not living 
up to the rhetoric of all people being equal as expressed in 
its founding creed — the Declaration of Independence. 

As a middle class (petty bourgeois) Black, MLK initially held 
the same class values as the U.S. capitalist ruling class (big 
bourgeoisie), so he had no beef with capitalism itself, only 
with the conditions of white racism which prevented Black 
integration into capitalist Amerika. But MLK became more 
class conscious toward the end of his life, and ultimately 
came to realize that the wealth-worshiping capitalist system 
was the very cause of social inequalities and exploitation, 
including white racism. At this point he became an advocate 
of socialism. But initially, he was an advocate of capitalism. 
MLK’s major presence as a civil rights leader spanned from 
the late 1950s until his assassination in 1968. 

Now at the opposite Black Liberation pole were revolutionary 
thinkers like Malcolm X. Malcolm’s early political 
understanding was stifled by what I call “reverse racism” — 
the subjective idea that Blacks are by nature superior to 
whites and whites are the embodiment of “evil.” This view 
was initially behind his support for Blacks to separate from 
Amerika. But he wasn’t exactly anti-capitalist. In fact, as a 
leading member of the Nation of Islam, he belonged to an 
organization that itself promoted Black capitalism. Despite 
this, his voice was a beacon to New Afrikans who opposed 


integration into Amerika and accommodation with its white 
ruling class. 

The power structure repeatedly maneuvered to block both 
trends of our movement, prompting New Afrikans to fight 
back physically against both racial oppression and enforced 
poverty, and a broad grassroots movement of poor Blacks 
spontaneously organized to March on Washington, D.C. 
in 1963, with the intention of shutting the capital down — 
stopping all movement in D.C. Including shutting down 
government operations, traffic, airports, commerce, etc. 

This is when President John F. Kennedy decided to open up 
the Democratic Party to Blacks as a “supporter” of us getting 
basic civil rights and “equality” within the capitalist system, 
Kennedy and his big money backers financed King, (who 
was not broadly known then, but was a prominent pacifist 
civil rights leader in the South), and used him to rein-in and 
control Black militancy, and the spontaneously-planned 
1963 march, which initially MLK had nothing to do with. He 
became the face and the voice Kennedy and Co. used in the 
mainstream media, the churches and elsewhere to speak to 
the riled-up Black masses and contain their festering rage 
that was threatening to militantly besiege the U.S. capital. 

The U.S. government was compelled to use King and the 
Democratic Party — which was previously rabidly opposed to 
racial integration and Black civil rights — to avert what would 
have been a major political and economic crisis that would 
have shattered its world image. At that time, I believe that 
MLK, confused by his pro-capitalist class interests, naive 
faith in the federal government, and his avowed pacifism, 
was sincerely opposed to Black racial oppression and felt 
he was doing the right thing. 

So King was used as a political pawn to convert what was 
going to be an angry Black militant siege of D.C. into a 
government-controlled, passive, one-day march where 
Blacks — manipulated into a pacifist spirit with “things will 
get better someday” speeches — marched, sang, and cried 
out their frustrations, pain and misery, with a few white 
sympathizers on the fringes. It was a general repeat of 
what we’d done for centuries during and since slavery in the 
Black churches. 

Now Malcolm X witnessed this entire farce, saw it for 
the trick it was, and bitterly criticized King and his allies. 
Malcolm pointed out that Amerika had repeatedly stifled, 
subverted, tricked and infiltrated every Black struggle for 
genuine freedom from oppressive conditions, government 
brutality and neglect, endemic poverty and white racism; 
and that the 1963 march was just another example of this. 
He predicted that the Black masses recognized this too, 
were fed up, and as a result Amerika was in for a “long hot 
summer” of Black revolt. And just as he predicted, beginning 
in 1964, (just months after the 1963 march), and continuing 
through 1968, Black ghettos across the U.S. exploded in 
continual revolt. 

Meantime, after being excommunicated from the NOI by 
Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm began traveling across Afrika, 
studying their liberation struggles, working to build Pan- 
Afrikan ties between the oppressed New Afrikan masses 
in Amerika and the newly liberated Afrikan nations. From 
the 1950s through the 1960s, Afrikans were fighting for and 
winning political independence from European colonialism, 
and establishing new formally independent Afrikan-led 
nations. With the European colonizers being expelled 
from Afrika, and Afrikans taking over the governments, 
Amerika sought to establish ties with the new heads of the 
Afrikan countries, so it could secure access to and control 
over Afrika’s abundant natural wealth. However, racism in 
Amerika presented an image problem that could prevent 
the U.S. ruling class from winning the “hearts and minds” 
of Afrika’s new Black leaders, and their diplomats who were 
visiting or living in Amerika. This was actually the motive 
behind federal government efforts to outlaw segregation in 
the southern states, beginning with the landmark ruling in 
Brown v. Board of Education in the mid-1950s. 

Even during the most rabid periods of racial oppression, 
Amerika always projected a patently false international 
image of the U.S. being a racial and cultural “melting pot” 
where all people lived and were treated equally. Malcolm’s 
efforts threatened U.S. imperialist ambitions in Afrika, as 
he was actually exposing the true racist face of Amerika to 
Afrikans and showing them that their own sistas and brothas 
were just as brutally oppressed in Amerika, as they had 
been under the European colonial systems they had just 
struggled to break free of in Afrika. 

Unlike MLK, Malcolm X at this stage was a strong advocate 
of our right to struggle for political independence and 
separation from Euro-Amerikan rule — as Afrikans were 
doing in Afrika — and to defend ourselves against racist 
violence, “by any means necessary,” which included by 
use of arms. Malcolm’s views became more and more 
revolutionary and less rooted in reverse racism, as a result 
of his international travels. His pilgrimage to Mecca exposed 
him to the reality that whites were not inherently “evil,” but 


2 


that the brutal racism that he witnessed in Amerika was the 
result of conditions created by those who ran and “owned” 
society. 

His closer study of U.S. imperialism led him to reject 
capitalism. The major government fear of Malcolm was 
that he was winning the support of the nations of color in 
Afrika and Asia, who were coming to identify Amerika as 
an imperialist power that was colonizing the Blacks within 
its own borders, and Malcolm was seen by Afrikan and 
Asian leaders as the legitimate leader and representative 
of the oppressed New Afrikans. This threatened to win 
international support for our right to struggle for national 
independence from Amerika, just as Afrikans and Asians 
were doing against European colonialism. Malcolm was 
also maneuvering to formally present the grievances of New 
Afrikans against Amerika, including charges of genocide, 
before the United Nations through a petition he’d drafted. 
But before all the pieces could come together, the CIA had 
him assassinated in 1965. 

Inspired by Malcolm’s revolutionary nationalist and Pan- 
Afrikan internationalist visions, Huey P. Newton and Bobby 
Seale founded the Black Panther Party (BPP) the next 
year to lead this struggle. The BPP openly adopted an 
anti-capitalist and pro-socialist platform, and implemented 
socialist [Serve The People/Survival] programs in the 
ghettos to organize and serve the needs of the people free of 
dependence on the imperialist system. This quickly earned 
the Panthers — and the Young Communist Movement they 
helped inspire — the label of being the major threat to the 
U.S. capitalist system. 

Meantime, King became more and more exposed to the 
fundamental contradictions in capitalism and became 
disillusioned with it, and blind faith in the U.S. government, 
and the idea of Black integration into the U.S. Empire as 
it existed. He thus broke ranks with the middle class, pro- 
capitalist, civil rights agenda and came out in support of 
the poor and working-class, and bitterly opposed the war in 
Vietnam as an adventure in imperial conquest against Asian 
people struggling for liberation from imperialism. 

King became a closet socialist, knowing he’d be killed if 
he openly championed socialism. But as a devout pacifist 
he had no concrete ideas on how to pursue a struggle to 
empower the oppressed poor and working-class people to 
transition Amerika into a socialist society. 

Realizing that he’d been used by the U.S. imperialists in 
1963 to stifle the Black movement for fundamental change, 
MLK planned a new march on Washington to occur in 1968 
as a Poor People’s Encampment. This campaign would lay 
siege to the capital as planned in 1963 until subverted, but 
this time on behalf of all of Amerika’s poor and oppressed 
peoples. King’s “betrayal” of capitalism and radical change 
of politics could not be tolerated by the imperialists, who’d 
made him a widely recognized leader whom they knew 
multitudes of Black people across the nation respected 
and would follow. Therefore, the U.S. government had 
him assassinated just months before the Poor People’s 
Encampment was set to occur. 

Another factor in his assassination was that, beginning 
in late 1967, MLK became increasingly vocal that he was 
losing faith in passive resistance and growing tired of being 
repeatedly brutalized and arrested by the government. The 
FBI admitted its aim to “neutralize” (government-speak for 
murder) King for fear he would ultimately abandon his views 
on passive resistance and openly embrace a genuinely 
revolutionary line that included the right of the oppressed 
masses to defend themselves against official violence and 
pursue fundamental change through methods that included 
armed struggle. 

When, in latter 1967, he began expressing the need to 
“fashion new tactics which do not count on government 
good will, but instead serve to compel unwilling authorities 
to yield to the mandates of justice,” I believe Dr. King was 
beginning to struggle — even if only unconsciously — with the 
inherent contradictions of pacifism as a political strategy. I 
think he was coming to realize as well that he was not really 
a pacifist at all. Since, for example, he had embraced the 
government’s use of violence as “legitimate,” while rejecting 
that of the people acting in self-defense as “illegitimate.” 
Indeed, while he counselled the people to practice 
pacifism in the face of racist and oppressive violence, he’d 
long looked to the federal government to provide armed 
protection to him, his colleagues, and their followers during 
southern marches and protests. 

He came to realize that it was Amerika’s “very own 
government” that was actually “the greatest purveyor of 
violence in the world,” which left him with the realization 
that no such power could be looked to by the people to 
genuinely provide protection and that he was likely to meet 
a violent end himself at the hands of the government — and 
he did. Hence his fear to openly promote and lead a mass 
movement for socialism in Amerika. 


A thorough investigation into the role played by the various 
U.S. government agencies in King’s murder in 1968, and the 
cover-ups that followed, can be found in William Pepper’s 
An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King (2003). 

After MLK’s death, the liberal wing of the U.S. capitalist 
ruling class’s political vanguard (namely the Democratic 
Party), used the 1963 pro-capitalist, integrationist version 
of MLK and Black-capitalist civil rights leaders like Jesse 
Jackson, Sr., (in his final years King was opposed to 
Jackson’s Black capitalism), to project the Democratic Party 
as Black Amerika’s friend and champion, and the channel 
through which we should pursue social justice. “Black 
capitalism” was promoted by the imperialists as the key to 
Black progress. In fact, a plan was promoted, since 1967 by 
FBI assistant director William E. Sullivan, to destroy MLK 
and other influential, independent, Black political leaders 
and activists, and then handpick a “new national Negro 
leader” to replace them. Sullivan wrote of his plan to destroy 
such Black leaders: 

“When this is done, and it can and will be done, obviously 
much confusion will reign, particularly among the Negro 
people .... The Negroes will be left without a national leader 
of sufficiently compelling personality to steer them in the 
proper direction.” 

He promoted that Samuel R. Pierce, Jr., a Black, capitalist, 
corporate lawyer, be groomed to replace the destroyed 
Black leadership. However, a new leadership emerged from 
amongst the people to fill the void, before the imperialist 
scheme could take root. 

This new leadership, namely the BPP, came under all-out 
attack by the U.S. government at all levels. Its key members 
were openly assassinated by police and/or jailed on obvious 
frame-ups, the government attempted to manipulate and 
even financed violence-prone street gangs and street-level 
Black capitalist groups into “gang-warfare” against the 
Panthers. Government agents and “friendlies” inside the 
media were used to publish articles and air reports slandering 
and demonizing the Panthers to the Amerikan public. Agent 
provocateurs were infiltrated into the BPP to incite and carry 
out acts of violence that would make government counter- 
violence appear justified. BPP supporters were harassed, 
slandered, attacked and arrested, Panther community 
service programs were disrupted, and so on, all carried out 
as a counter-intelligence program (COINTELPRO) of the 
FBI. 

Because of a flawed internal organizational structure, and 
because it came to be wrongly “commanded” by Huey 
instead of correctly led collectively by genuine democratic- 
centralism, the BPP rank and file were unprepared to 
handle and to counter government instigations that caused 
the Panthers to split into two factions; one wing adopted a 
rightist-accommodationist, liberal-reformist line [like running 
Bobby Seale for mayor of Oakland as the Democratic Party 
candidate], while the other wing adopted an adventurist, 
ultra-leftist, militarist line. Under continued government 
attack, while pursuing these flawed and incorrect political 
lines, the Panthers were unable to combat the government’s 
campaign, and the Panthers ultimately self-destructed, with 
no suitable leadership in the Black community to replace 
them. 

Although several attempts have been made to regroup and 
rebuild a revolutionary party to lead and organize the Black 
masses in our struggles, each has failed or disintegrated 
because none have correctly summed up the lessons of 
our previous failures and applied this knowledge. So in this 
void, the Empire has been able to push Black capitalism 
on the people free of opposition, challenge or alternative, 
as the only viable solution to our oppressed condition — but 
capitalism is the very cause of our oppression and all of our 
problems. Indeed, it was the lust for profits and the dollar 
that was behind the kidnapping and enslavement of our 
Afrikan ancestors to begin with: Capitalism is the enemy! 

The cities, where New Afrikans and other oppressed 
nationalities are concentrated in large numbers, were and 
are seen as an area of continual threat by the Empire. 
Deep-seated mass insecurity and desperation still lie just 
under the surface. Therefore, if ever organized and united 
in struggle for fundamental change, the U.S. ghettos and 
barrios could easily transform into revolutionary fronts and 
base areas here inside the “Belly of the Beast.” 

But this cannot happen spontaneously. It demands a 
conscious and committed revolutionary leadership. The 
Establishment realizes this, and this is why it has remained 
committed to undermining and destroying every persyn 
or organization that threatens to take up the torch of the 
original BPP and lead our people in this direction. To stifle 
urban revolutionary potential, the system has implemented 
policies to foster and perpetuate instability in the urban 
centers, flooding them with narcotics (first heroin and then 
also crack cocaine, PCP and other addictive and deadly 
drugs) and military-grade weapons (like AK-47s and Uzis) 
which generated severe social degeneration, fratricidal 


gang wars and genocidal implosion. 

Stripped of revolutionary leadership and organization, the 
urban youth have only had their neighborhood gangs (which 
have been manipulated and used by the oppressor). In 
place of political purpose and cultural pride, and the self- 
respect the revolutionary leadership gave the urban youth — 
which united them in struggle against oppression and for 
liberation — the Empire and its entertainment media have 
promoted a self-destructive subculture of “gangsterism,” 
(Black and Brown imitations of earlier movie images of 
expensively-dressed, luxury car-driving, Italian Mafioso 
and other white hoodlums devoid of social consciousness), 
vulgar materialism, crass consumerism, moral depravity, 
rampant individualism, self-gratification at the expense of 
the community, nihilism and an illegal, ghetto version of 
Black capitalism in general. 

Under these government-created conditions, the youth 
turned their poverty-driven frustration and potentially 
revolutionary rage againstthemselves, with inner-community 
violence, street crime and drug-peddling. The Establishment 
then used these conditions they had created and facilitated 
to justify increasing their own violent repression of the 
urban communities under their declared “War on Drugs,” 
“War on Crime,” and “War on Gangs.” The result has been 
enhancing of the militarization of the police occupation of 
these communities and incarceration of the cream of our 
potentially-revolutionary youth inside the massive, and ever- 
expanding prison-industrial complex. 

In a 2006 report entitled Cracks in the System: Twenty 
years of the Unjust Federal Crack Cocaine Law, even the 
ACLU admitted that the “Drug War” is targeted at Blacks 
and has in effect turned U.S. prisons into mass disposal 
sites for Black people. We can see this scheme was greatly 
enhanced with the added “War on Gangs.” And make no 
mistake about it, Black youth are the principal targets. The 
CIA has acknowledged that the largely, youthful, urbanized 
ethnic populations present a danger of “regime-threatening 
unrest.” A 1984 CIA report stated: 

“The youth of a growing population may very well play a 
major role in pressing for change. They are among those 
who are usually disproportionately disadvantaged: They 
have less at stake in the existing structure of authority, more 
idealism, more impatience, and in a society with a steady or 
rising rate of growth their proportion to the total population 
increases. The density of the number of youth relative to the 
total population may thus be a clue to strength of pressure 
for change.” 

Malcolm X also observed that it was the youth who made 
up the greater portion of the rank and file forces leading the 
struggles against colonial oppression in Afrika and Asia. And 
it was the New Afrikan youth who rose up in revolt against 
neo-colonial oppression in the urban centers here in Amerika 
from 1964 to 1968. It is this dense, growing population of 
urban ethnic youth that the strategy of mass incarceration 
is designed to deplete. The U.S. prison-industrial complex 
is a fascist tool of social containment, a weapon evolved 
to a level of sophistication that makes the concentration 
camps of Nazi Germany appear crude and amateurish by 
comparison. 

The Establishment fears nothing else as much as it fears 
these disadvantaged and oppressed youth developing a 
revolutionary consciousness. California governor Arnold 
Schwarzenegger made this quite clear when he refused 
to commute Stanley “Tookie” Williams’ death sentence 
in 2006, not because “Tookie” was a founding member of 
one of Amerika’s largest urban youth gangs, but because 
he dedicated his book — Life in Prison — to New Afrikan 
revolutionary leaders of the 1960s and ’70s, specifically 
George Jackson — the founder of the original BPP prison 
chapter — who was assassinated at San Quentin by prison 
guards in 1971 . 

The prisons were a major front in our liberation struggle in 
the ’60s and ’70s. It was in an effort to crush this aspect of 
our movement and the outside support for our movement 
after George Jackson’s murder and the Attica Uprising that 
followed, that the system began the proliferation of “control 
units” and “supermax” prisons, beginning with the Marion 
control unit established in 1972. The strategy was to weed- 
out and isolate potential leaders while the remainder were 
pitted against each other with instigated racial and gang 
violence. 

They want us to be divided by racial hatred and to kill each 
other off with “gang-bangin’,” to shoot-up and peddle dope in 
our neighborhoods to weaken and harm ourselves and our 
communities — just as they used alcohol to destabilize the 
Native American tribes and imported opium to undermine 
the Chinese in the 1800s. They want us engaged in and 
degraded by a pimp-ho subculture, objectifying our sistas 
as commodities and selling their bodies on the block like 
we were sold into slavery, and catching and spreading 
deadly sexually-transmitted diseases, like the HIV/AIDS 
and hepatitis, furthering the strategy of genocidal disposal 


3 


of our youth. That’s how much they fear us becoming 
revolutionaries and uniting and struggling for liberation 
and to pull down this predatory capitalist system that is the 
cause of our poverty, insecurity and misery. 

Another component of urban population control is “spatial 
deconcentration,” a policy implemented since the ’60s 
revolts of breaking up large concentrations of poor Blacks, 
which includes “urban gentrification” of neighborhoods, 
closing down housing projects, and pushing poor people 
into the suburbs, smaller cities and towns. It also includes 
integrating other ethnic poor into formerly all-Black 
neighborhoods. 

Our conditions of poverty, lack of job availability, security 
and accessible basic services that are essential to survival 
for urban people, are worse today than they were back in 
the '60s. So we exist as a perpetually threatening (to the 
Empire) dependent population with little value to the wealthy 
elite. Therefore, we face a very real and ever more intense 
official policy of genocide calculated to spread us thin and 
pick us off by increasing our death rate, decreasing our birth 
rate and lowering our life expectancy. 

There is a deeply-rooted capitalist logic behind this policy. 
If we look back to capitalism’s early development out of 
European feudalism, we find capitalist economic theorists 
like Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo openly advocating 
the need to mass exterminate populations who couldn’t be 
put to profitable use by the rising capitalists. In his 1798 
treatise An Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus 
suggested that if surplus population groups couldn’t 
“go somewhere else,” they should be killed off through 
artificially-created famines, wars and plagues. 

Under the feudal system that preceded capitalism, 
government policies recognized the need for supporting and 
providing the poor with basic necessities in order to maintain 
stability and avoid rebellions. Yet the monarchs still found it 
necessary to seal themselves away from the masses whom 
they plundered from inside walled and fortified palaces. 
Under capitalism, however, Malthus and others held that 
providing for the poor would cause an unacceptable loss 
of profits for the rich, therefore the poor should be removed 
to “somewhere else” or exterminated. These “Malthusian” 
concepts were and remain a basic tenet of capitalist logic in 
a system that puts profits over people. 

It could be no other way in a system that turns on taking and 
hoarding the wealth produced by the labor of workers, with 
the result of rendering them dependent and poor, making 
mass revolt inevitable. So those in power must contain or 
deplete this potentially rebellious population to prevent their 
coming together to pull down the system that exploits them 
and put things under their own control. This is the hidden 
logic behind the schemes of displacement and depopulation 
that threaten Black people and poor and oppressed people 
everywhere and are most apparent in the 3rd World. From 
imperialist-instigated tribal, ethnic and gang wars through 
which we are induced to kill each other; to economically- 
induced famines, such as the one devastating the Sub- 
Saharan region; to the unchecked spread of the HIV/AIDS 
virus that is destroying millions of Black lives on every 
continent; to flooding our communities with narcotics; to 
mass incarceration of our young men and wimyn in prisons 
where they cannot reproduce, we are under genocidal 
attack! 

The latter condition basically replicates the same system 
of using armed lower-class whites to guard and dominate 
masses of enslaved Blacks that we were subjected to under 
chattel slavery before the Civil War. The “New Slavery” of the 
prison-industrial complex shows that “history repeats itself,” 
but as it was then motivated by a shortage of necessary 
labor to work the land, it is today motivated by a surplus of 
labor that cannot be profitably exploited by the capitalists. 
Because we have no value today — as we did on the old 
plantations — we find ourselves facing genocidal policies 
much like those historically aimed at the Native Americans. 

Also, our conditions become more desperate by the day: 
with growing mass urban concentrations, and a continuing 
“Great Migration” of industrial and manufacturing jobs away 
from the cities, the working class is shrinking fast and Black 
workers everywhere are being marginalized, even as the 
urban proletariat keeps growing. They can’t find full-time 
jobs at decent wages, and here in the U.S. there is a cap on 
welfare. The ghettos have become dead ends leading only 
to early graves or prisons. 

So the power structure has had to feed us false hopes in the 
form of a “Black” President — a hand-picked Black capitalist- 
serving President — to mislead us in the face of a genuine 
leadership vacuum. They now have us chasing dreams of 
Black capitalism, while we are caught in a crisis of deadly 
competition with each other and other poor folks for five 
minutes of fame and a temporary shopping spree, through 
channels that have destroyed our culture, destroyed our 
history and collective memory, destroyed our communities, 
and are ultimately destroying us. 


And it is no grand conspiracy. It is the simple logic of the 
globalized capitalist system which operates only to enrich 
a tiny, super-rich elite class at the expense of everybody 
else. Just like the dopeman on the block who doesn’t care 
whose lives he destroys or who he uses to turn a profit and 
gratify his wants. This is the logic we’ve learned from the 
capitalists. 

The first to get the axe are those the capitalists value least — 
those considered most expendable — and those least able to 
defend themselves. In other words: us. That is our situation 
today. 

Anthony Rayson: I am astounded by the complexity and 
subtlety of your artwork. Seeing one of your originals, one 
cannot but be amazed — especially as you are accorded 
such rudimentary materials. Can you explain to us how you 
developed as such an accomplished artist (and what your 
driving motivation is)? 

Rashid: In your introduction to this interview you mentioned 
that my drawing tools consist of pen and pencil. Actually, the 
only tools I use are five inch long ballpoint pen and standard 
typing paper. 

While I appreciate the compliments I often receive on my 
art, (which acknowledges that it reaches people on more 
than a superficial level), I think we all have particular skills 
and talents — or can develop them — and if driven by a certain 
level of determination, we can evolve them to exceptional 
levels. 

My art is driven by my determination to contribute what I 
can towards educating and inspiring the common people to 
collectively build the struggle to crush imperialist oppression, 
which is the cause of all other forms of social oppression. A 
major front in this struggle, as I’ve already pointed out, is the 
cultural front. This front — which relates directly to raising the 
consciousness and resolve of the masses — must directly 
challenge and counter the dominant bourgeois culture, 
which reflects and promotes the corrupt values of capitalism 
and conceals and stifles mass culture. Art (imagery and 
sound) is a major form of cultural expression. With my art, I 
aspire to produce images whose quality is both aesthetically 
pleasing (to capture and hold the eye and emotions) while 
educating (even if only initially on a subconscious level). 

The vast majority of people are affective decision makers 
rather than cognitive decision makers. Meaning, they 
base decisions more on emotion than calculated reason. 
This is especially the case in a society like this where the 
reasoning faculties of the masses are kept in suspended 
animation. This is a reality that seems to be lost to most 
academic “Marxists” and Anarchists alike, and it is why they 
fail to reach and inspire the masses. (They spend most of 
their time talking to themselves and going over the common 
people’s heads). 

The ruling class realizes this and in fact promotes forms of 
“education” that basically train the people to function on the 
spontaneous emotional level rather than cognitively. The 
masses of Amerikans function without thinking much at all. 
This is why the capitalists are so successful at manipulating 
public opinion through media that is targeted almost 
exclusively at the basest and most primitive emotional 
levels. They don’t call their communications media an 
entertainment industry for nothing. So a big part of our 
struggle is, as George Jackson recognized, to teach people 
how to think instead of what to think. This is a struggle 
carried out in the ideological and educational fields, and is 
targeted at awakening the conscious mind. 

Whereas artistic imagery both captures and informs the 
emotions, many may be unwilling or unable as yet to grasp 
the ideas in print or spoken word form. Artistic imagery 
reaches another, deeper, level of the psyche — often 
involuntarily and unconsciously. Therefore I try to educate 
using both words and imagery and reach both the rational 
and emotional levels of the mind. This allows a dialectical 
balance in consciousness raising, reaching large numbers 
of people despite the limitations of my physical surroundings 
and availability of materials. In fact my art has been copied, 
circulated and seen by people on a vastly larger scale than 
my writings. Art makes knowledge accessible across class, 
race, gender, educational and state boundaries. 

I’m also a particularly determined persyn. When I commit 
to something, I invest my all into it, often to the point of 
exhaustion or injury. We all have that capacity, it’s just 
where our interests lie and where we are motivated to 
invest our energies. I’m no different from anyone else. I’m 
really not exceptional. Most people’s limitations are self- 
imposed: The result of self-doubt or lack of interest. The 
same factors I believe are behind New Afrikans and other 
oppressed peoples having remained oppressed for so long. 
We’ve been conditioned to doubt ourselves and our ability 
to overthrow our oppressors, or we’re distracted to the point 
of lack of interest in pursuing liberation. 

I don’t doubt myself, although I often question myself and 
self-criticize (and by extension I don’t doubt the masses), 


because I know that we/I have the same capacity to do 
what anyone else can. It just requires correctly analyzing 
problems and devising correct solutions. This awareness is 
what often allows me to devise ways to counter or overcome 
adversity and maneuver around external restraints. 

We’ve been so conditioned to self-doubt and therefore have 
become so consumed with idolizing others that we forget 
we can each become or do the same things. For example, 
since 2006, and as part of a campaign of repression, I’ve 
been indicted on some sixteen criminal charges — 3 times 
for attempted capital murder of a prison guard. In each case 
I represented myself and got the charges either withdrawn 
or dismissed. That’s pretty much unheard of, but I didn’t 
approach these cases with self-doubt. I know I have just 
as much sense as any lawyer, and with the right tools and 
time can do just as well defending myself. Plus, I planned 
ahead. Before all this came down, I’d already spent years 
collecting pertinent legal materials and learning law. This is 
how I approach most problems. 

I study, critically analyze material conditions and evaluate 
what others have done, and what I’ve done. I investigate 
mistakes and successes, looking at things from both sides, 
pro and con, and I search for play in the joints. I use what 
tools I have at hand and I improvise. I’ve done this for so long 
that it’s become natural. In this regard, I was a Marxist — a 
practiced dialectical-materialist — long before I ever heard of 
Marx, Engels, Lenin or Mao. Studying them just gave me 
more clarity and a philosophical and ideological explanation 
of my practice. And my practice, like genuine Marxism- 
Leninism-Maoism, is anything but dogmatic and mechanical. 

As you recognize, I get results. It all boils down to applying 
practical judgment, determination, flexibility and also 
audacity (the will to act) to change material conditions. It’s 
the scientific approach to solving problems and is why Mao 
called Dialectical Materialism a “living science.” This is why 
“intellectuals” and “academics” who’ve become conditioned 
to trying to solve problems inside their heads instead of in 
the real world don’t comprehend Marxist theory and can 
only perceive it mechanically as a dogma. 

And I’m determined. This struggle means a great deal to me, 
so I will find ways to contribute my best to it. Period. Until I 
stop breathing, that’s what I’ll do. 

I suppose I’ve always had an inclination towards art, but 
never much pursued it. As a child, I used to draw, although 
infrequently. While I was never consistent with it, I could just 
do it at will, unlike a lot of “natural” artists I’ve known who 
have to be in a certain mood. Between 1990, when I began 
my present term of imprisonment, and 2001 , 1 probably drew 
no more than about 15 pictures total. It wasn’t until I began 
studying the struggle that I really set into drawing regularly, 
creating images that expressed and depicted themes of 
struggle and oppression and those who organized against 
oppression, which continues to develop, as does — I feel — 
the quality of my art. 

Anthony Rayson: You’ve poured a lot of your energies 
lately into building up your Panther Prison Chapter. Can you 
tell us what the main tenets are, who the principal activists 
are, what you hope to achieve, and how it relates to other 
Panther formations and other anti-imperialists? 

Rashid: Yeah, the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison 
Chapter (NABPP-PC) has been my main energy focus since 
Comrade Shaka Sankofa Zulu and I co-founded it in 2005. 

The major tenet is “Pantherism” as elaborated by the original 
Black Panther Party (BPP) during its most revolutionary 
stages. Specifically, Pantherism is revolutionary New 
Afrikan/Black nationalism, pan-Afrikanism and proletarian 
internationalism illuminated by the “Science of Revolution” 
(Historical and Dialectical Materialism). We identify with 
the BPP because in our analysis it was, when at its best, 
the most revolutionary and successful organization on 
Amerika’s Left, and made the greatest all-round gains for 
New Afrikans in our struggle against national oppression 
and white supremacy. 

Before the BPP was split into two factions by government 
attacks that left each pursuing opposite erroneous lines, 
(one of ultra-leftist militant reaction and the other of rightist- 
reformism), the BPP was breaking new ground in building the 
struggle for revolution in Amerika. Through applying HDM, 
we aspire to rebuild the BPP, learning from and applying 
the lessons of its advances and mistakes and learning from 
the lessons of the struggles of today. Especially we are 
focused on studying and correcting its errors, because we 
are determined that this time we shall win. 

Our work is at this time focused on transforming the “Razor 
wire Plantations” into “Schools of Liberation,” to educate, 
uplift and organize those within the prisons and convert 
these humyn warehouses into revolutionary universities 
which will produce Panther cadres and activists of all 
nationalities and races. 85% of all those incarcerated in 
the U.S. will eventually return to society. Our goal is to see 
many of them empowered to return to their oppressed and 


poor communities and play a role in transforming them into 
revolutionary base areas. The next step is to replicate this 
process on an international level. 

At this point in time we have Party collectives in many U.S. 
prisons. But unlike other formations people can’t just join 
our Party, but are instead recruited based upon proven 
commitment to the struggle, and they must adopt and 
adhere to our Rules of Discipline and Ten Point Program. 
This is required because we fully understand that talk is 
cheap, and many folks who claim aspirations and dedication 
to push the struggle forward don’t have a full understanding 
of or the resolve to sustain the difficulties of the work, the 
hardships and self-sacrifice that is required. Some who 
approach us will be working for the enemy. 

So we are setting it up so that commitment and sincerity 
must be proven through service in a mass organization 
like the New Afrikan Service Organization (NASO) before a 
candidate is recruited into the Party. NASO operates under 
the leadership of our Party and has as its basis of unity 
support for the Ten Point Program, but it is building its own 
leadership structure under a National Steering Committee. 
Folks can join or start new NASO chapters very easily. 
NASO operates on democratic principles (as opposed 
to democratic centralism), and we seek to include a wide 
spectrum of ideological and political orientations within this 
organization. 

Contrary to bourgeois propaganda and bourgeois 
“leadership style,” a genuine vanguard party, such as we 
aspire to become, doesn’t lead the people by compulsion or 
“commandism.” Its leadership must be voluntarily accepted 
by the masses based on its proven commitment to serving 
their genuine welfare and interests, and demonstrated 
ability to organize and lead the people in solving their own 
problems. As Mao pointed out: 

“Every comrade ... should help the masses to organize 
themselves step by step and on a voluntary basis to unfold 
gradually struggles that are necessary and permissible 
under the external and internal conditions obtaining at a 
particular time and place. Whatever we do, authoritarianism 
is always erroneous because, as a result of our impetuosity, 
it makes us go beyond the degree of the masses awakening 
and violates the principle of voluntary action on the part of 
the masses.” 

In its practical application, this style of leadership is based 
exclusively on the principle “from the masses to the 
masses,” which means we take the ideas of the masses 
(raw, unorganized and scattered ideas) and concentrate 
them (through study and transform them into organized 
systematic ideas) and return them to the masses in the 
form of slogans and programs. And we rely upon collective 
leadership. 

As an illustration, take for example a mass of people confined 
to a barren land. The overall group doesn’t know how to 
work the land so it will become productive and produce 
food or sustain livestock and are therefore on the verge of 
starvation. There can be no doubt that the masses want to 
produce sufficient food to eat and survive. Problem is they 
don’t know how. Now there are a couple of their members 
who have managed to study the ecological factors of their 
given environment and learned techniques to transform the 
barren land into a virtual paradise of production. So they 
go about showing the people by example how to do it and 
organize their collective power to produce this result. 

Now they don’t force their leadership on the people, the 
people embrace them voluntarily because of their proven 
example and ability to help them help themselves, and 
because they are themselves of the people. Instead of 
standing above the people giving orders and punishing their 
errors, the comrades work alongside the people and share 
their knowledge freely, encouraging collective leadership, so 
that ultimately the leaders and the people become one in 
understanding and practice. In essence, this is how a mass- 
based vanguard leadership works — though my example 
may be a bit oversimplified. And this is what the Chinese 
Communist Party under Mao’s leadership strove for during 
China’s revolutionary years, contrary to bourgeois lies and 
propaganda — that are often uncritically parroted by many 
“Leftists.” 

Under this leadership style, the masses’ disorganized 
and unsystematic ideas are organized and systematized, 
returned to them as programs, explained and popularized 
until they embrace and implement them. Then they are 
tested and refined through summing up practice. This 
process is repeated over and over in an ongoing spiral of 
practice-summation-practice. The ideas thereby become 
more and more correct and useful — connected to life and 
productive. 

This is the scientific method which reflects the Marxist- 
Leninist-Maoist Theory of Knowledge. Through proof of 
its correctness in theory by practice in serving the people, 
the Party continuously earns the support and confidence of 


the masses. It makes no claim to leadership except by the 
consent of the masses it serves. 

It takes an organization of people who share a certain level 
of consciousness, commitment and discipline to provide 
this sort of leadership, and an organizational structure that 
facilitates the maximum degree of inner-party discussion 
with the maximum degree of unity in action. It requires 
constant struggle to check corrupting influences and 
tendencies. In this context, the New Afrikan masses and the 
Party must be able to expect a high degree of commitment 
and dedication to the cause of revolution and social justice — 
even unto death. 

We Panthers must put the highest interests of humynity 
above self-interest and endure hardships and self-sacrifices 
when they are called for. The oppressed masses have a right 
to expect us to be consistent and not vacillate or sell them 
out — no matter what — to build strength and not weakness, 
to be honest and humble and never dishonor ourselves or 
the Party. Our duties as revolutionaries are many, among 
which I think are: 

To embrace Historical Materialism (HM) and Dialectical 
Materialism (DM) and not sentimentalism, romanticism or 
any kind of idealism. 

To proletarianize ourselves and be loyal to the class of the 
future (the proletariat) and not the petty bourgeoisie and 
their petty (and less than revolutionary) concerns over 
bourgeois rights and privileges. 

To be all-the-way revolutionary thinkers and leaders in the 
fight against all oppression, all forms and manifestations of 
racism, sexism, ageism and any other divisive prejudices 
harmful to uniting all who can be united to overthrow 
capitalist-imperialism and build socialism. 

To reject sectarianism while at the same time standing 
firm for proletarian ideology and struggling for a correct 
ideological and political line to lead our movement forward. 

To combine unity with struggle and be principled and 
aboveboard. 

To oppose liberalism (see Mao’s Sept. 7, 1937, essay 
Combat Liberalism) and rectify incorrect styles of thinking, 
work and conduct. 

To be open to criticism by comrades and the masses and to 
practice self-criticism. 

To struggle for objectivity, seek truth from facts and learn 
from the masses and the struggle. 

To be fair-minded, to listen to the people’s concerns and 
suggestions and apply HDM to deepen their understanding 
and raise their level of consciousness and ability to solve 
problems. 

To be loyal to the Party and regard its life as your own, 
to defend it, build its strength and influence and strive to 
perfect it as the vanguard of the people’s struggle. 

To respect, uphold, build and defend the democratic 
centralism of the Party, the subordination of lower bodies 
to higher bodies, the minority to the majority and the whole 
Party to the Central Committee or a sitting Party Congress. 

To be united in spirit and action and to speak with one voice 
and act as one body. 

To be self-disciplined, to live by the Party’s Rules of 
Discipline, uphold proletarian morality and represent the 
bright future in the struggles of today, striving always to be 
the people’s pride and a credit to the Party. 

To have courage and dare to struggle and dare to win all 
power to the people, to die for the people if necessary and 
endure any oppression as a true red-hearted revolutionary. 

To practice and promote revolution and not reformism, 
Pantherism and not cultural nationalism, and revolutionary 
optimism and not cynical defeatism. 

To uphold and defend and work to extend revolutionary 
intercommunalism and unite all the people in all the 
oppressed communities on the planet through the United 
Panther Movement. 

I think these sixteen points should be kept in mind at all 
times and serve as a basis for further discussion throughout 
the Party and our movement. 

Now, there are a lot of misconceptions and distortions about 
democratic centralism, some of which I addressed in On 
the Roles and Characteristics of the Panther Vanguard 
Party and Mass Organizations. These misconceptions are 
largely the result of bourgeois-propagated disinformation 
about the role and character of communist parties, but 
also they reflect historical misapplications of the concept 
by groups on the Left where commandism was substituted 
for the mass line while claiming to be practicing democratic 
centralism either out of ignorance or revisionism. Also many 
critics have seized one-sidedly on errors made by various 
organizations on the Left and presented those errors (while 


ignoring their correct aspects) as the essence of these 
organizational forms and practices. [I explain and discuss 
DC in greater depth in “On the Vanguard Party, Once Again” 
and “The New Afrikan Black Panther Party’s Organizational 
Principles, Policy and Practice: The 3-P’s”] 

As Dialectical Materialists, we recognize and understand 
that nothing proceeds in a straight line, that every positive 
has a negative side (and vice versa), and that humyn error 
is inherent in life. We simply aspire to honestly evaluate 
things from both sides, to identify and correct errors instead 
of throwing out the baby with the bath water. If we fail to 
act for fear of making mistakes then we give victory to our 
oppressors by default. 

The NABPP-PC includes the White Panther Organization 
(WPO) and the Brown Panther Organizing Committee 
(BPOC), which are arms of our Party being set up to 
represent our Party among and give ideological and political 
leadership to oppressed white and all other people in the 
prisons and oppressed communities. Our Party unites 
with all anti-imperialist forces, including other Panther 
formations — such as the Black Riders Liberation Party, 
the National Alliance of Black Panthers, the New Panther 
Vanguard Movement, the Anarchist Panthers, etc. — even if 
we have disagreements with their line and practice. 

There have been some inquiries and assumptions made 
regarding ties or similarities we might have with the New 
Black Panther Party (NBPP) which came out of the Nation 
of Islam (NOI) in the 1980s. We began as an autonomous 
chapter of NBPP aspiring to change the orientation of the 
outside NBPP into that of a genuine vanguard party in 
the New Afrikan communities, however, we soon realized 
it was better to separate ourselves from NBPP’s narrow 
nationalism and reverse racism. We also changed our name 
to the New Afrikan BPP-Prison Chapter to further distinguish 
ourselves and reflect our orientation towards revolutionary 
New Afrikan nationalism. 

Information and some of our publications can also be 
obtained through the Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) network. 

Lastly, we feel the U.S. prisons are an important front in 
the struggle against imperialism. Prisoners are among 
the most oppressed sectors of the U.S. population, and 
because many have a good deal of time and opportunity to 
read and study, we stand to be potentially one of the most 
advanced sections of the people. This is why prisons are 
sometimes called the “poor man’s universities.” Comrade 
George Jackson once stated that only two types of people 
ever leave these concentration camps — the rebels and the 
broken. But there’s one other type he overlooked, namely 
the revolutionaries. The oppression inherent in these 
expanding humyn warehouses by nature breeds rebels, but 
infused with proletarian revolutionary theory, prisoners can 
make the qualitative leap from rebels to revolutionaries. 

Comrade Lenin said, “Without revolutionary theory there can 
be no revolutionary movement.” And it is these revolutionary 
prisoners who, upon their release, can hit the streets like 
paratroopers, joining and building the outside movement to 
educate, organize and lead the less advanced masses in 
determined struggle to deal this dying capitalist-imperialist 
system the coup de grace. 

We don’t plan to build our Panther movement just in the 
U.S. but wherever poor and oppressed Black people (and all 
oppressed people) are concentrated throughout the world. 
We plan to build WPO wherever there are concentrations of 
poor whites and BPOC where all other poor and oppressed 
brown people are concentrated. Half the world’s people 
now live in urban settings, jammed together in urban slums 
or shantytowns, and we aspire to transform these into 
revolutionary Panther base areas throughout the global 
capitalist empire. 

We aim to create and build people’s power from the 
grassroots up, and to organize Serve the People (STP) 
survival programs, People’s security forces and liberation 
schools. And we aim to link these urban revolutionary base 
areas into an inter-communal network through the Party and 
our own media and United Panther Movement. Between our 
work in the prisons and the oppressed communities, we 
aim to raise up a revolutionary generation schooled in the 
Science of Revolution, trained and tested in class struggle 
through the Party and the mass organizations, so that we 
will not be dependent upon petty-bourgeois intellectuals 
to lead our revolutionary movement. There will of course 
be a role for these types who are willing to commit “class 
suicide” and dedicate themselves to becoming all-the-way 
revolutionaries and remold themselves to adopt the class 
stand of the revolutionary proletariat. 

Anthony Rayson: As you know, I am a serious Anarchist, as 
you are a dedicated Communist. At this point, we are on the 
same side of the barricades. The fundamental difference of 
course, is the Communists want to take state power, as the 
“leader” of the oppressed, and the Anarchists have as their 
goal the elimination of oppressive state power altogether. As 


5 


international capitalism, led by the voraciously murderous 
U.S., gets more and more desperate to retain its empire, 
the world’s people will suffer through more hellacious wars, 
occupations, enslavements, lack of life’s basics such as 
food, water, health, safety, etc. People will become more 
and more politically polarized. Some will be suckered-in as 
fascist dupes (or outright agents and killers of the criminal 
state). Others will look for truth, protection, and involvement 
in revolutionary opposition — Communist, anarchist, New 
Afrikan, or otherwise. 

Anarchists believe that state power is the epitome of evil — 
the ultimate corrupter. Now let’s assume that through a 
worldwide effort we are able once-and-for-all to destroy the 
centuries’ old nightmare of capitalism. Let’s also assume we 
were also able to stop them from dragging all life on earth 
down with them. 

So, there’s a chance at “Socialism.” Anarchists believe in 
the equitable distribution along anti-authoritarian principles. 
Communists want to assume state power and orchestrate it 
all from a “Central Committee.” Every other time Communists 
have attained power, they’ve repressed Anarchists, other 
revolutionaries, etc. What would be different this time? 

Rashid: I think this question offers the opportunity for 
an important discussion in the ongoing debate between 
Anarchism and Communism. Also, it exposes a common 
tendency I’ve observed of critics of Communism, namely 
that their critiques are often pretty inaccurate and just 
repeat charges based on superficial stereotypes. In fact, 
when one pushes Anarchists to the wall, and compels 
them to give concrete answers to concrete problems, 
instead of abstract criticisms, they begin to sound a lot 
like genuine Communists. Otherwise, they don’t go deeply 
and thoroughly into solving the real problems that arise in 
struggling to defeat an oppressive class system such as 
capitalism. But many of their criticisms are valid and worthy 
of consideration. 

You begin with placing emphasis on the fact that Anarchists 
want an equitable distribution of social wealth and to abolish 
the state, but, by implication, you suggest Communists do 
not. Even the “mainstream” recognizes these implications to 
be untrue. Take for example this definition of “Communism” 
given by the Merriam Webster Collegiate Encyclopedia 
( 2000 ): 

“Communism: Political theory advocating community 
ownership of all property, the benefits of which are to be 
shared by all according to the needs of each. The theory 
was principally the work of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. 
Their Communist Manifesto (1848) further specified a 
‘dictatorship of the proletariat,’ a transitional stage Marx 
called socialism; communism was the final stage of which 
not only class division but even the organized state — seen 
by Marx as inevitably an instrument of oppression — would 
be transcended. That distinction was lost and ‘communism’ 
began to apply to a specific party rather than a final goal ...” 

This summary of the nature and goals of Communism 
sounds pretty similar to what you state are the goals of 
Anarchism: equitable distribution of property and abolition 
of the state. Indeed, both Communists and Anarchists 
agree that the state is an “instrument of oppression.” But it 
seems, just as the mainstream reference book points out, 
you’ve embraced the erroneous view that Communism is a 
“specific party” rather than a “final goal.” Can it be that the 
imperialists have a more accurate and fair understanding of 
what Communism is than the modern Anarchists? 

However, prominent Anarchists of the past have conceded 
that the goals of Anarchism and Communism are much the 
same. Indeed, Alexander Berkman in his ABC of Anarchism 
(1929) saw the goals of Communism and Anarchism as 
synonymous. In fact, he used the term “Anarchism” to 
describe Communism: 

“The greatest teachers of socialism — Karl Marx and 
Frederick Engels — had taught that anarchism would come 
from socialism. They said that we must first have socialism 
[the dictatorship of the proletariat], but that after socialism 
there will be anarchism, and that it would be a freer and 
more beautiful condition of society to live in than socialism.” 

So the “fundamental difference” between Anarchism and 
Communism is not in their views on equal distribution of 
wealth and abolishing the state. The fundamental difference 
is on how to go about achieving these ends and their 
class basis. Anarchism promotes an idealistic approach 
rooted in a petty-bourgeois class perspective, while 
Marxist Communism promotes a materialist and dialectical 
approach rooted in a working-class perspective. 

Now Communists and most Anarchists agree that armed 
struggle will be required to compel and wrest control 
of property relations from the bourgeoisie (or capitalist 
ruling class) and to overthrow and smash the state it 
rules through — because the essence of state power is a 
specialized armed force of men (and now also wimyn). The 
capitalists aren’t going to relinquish their power and wealth 


without a fight — never have, never will! 

So essentially, it is a question of what to do after the 
bourgeois class is overthrown, and when do we lay down 
our arms? Because that is what state power is all about. 
So by resorting to arms in the first place, the Anarchists are 
taking part in the exercise of dictatorial power and the use of 
authoritarian means to repress the bourgeois class. Here’s 
how Frederick Engels made the point: 

“The anti-authoritarians demand that the political state be 
abolished at one stroke, even before the social relations 
that gave birth to it have been destroyed. They demand that 
the first act of the social revolution shall be the abolition of 
authority. 

“Have these gentlemen ever seen a revolution? A revolution 
is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is an act 
whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon 
the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon, all 
of which are highly authoritarian means. And the victorious 
party must maintain its rule by means of the terror which its 
arms inspire in the reactionaries. Would the Paris Commune 
have lasted more than a day if it had not used the authority 
of the armed people against the bourgeoisie? Cannot we, 
on the contrary, blame it for having made too little use of 
that authority? Therefore one of two things; either the anti- 
authoritarians don’t know what they are talking about, in 
which case they are creating nothing but confusion, or they 
do know, and in that case they are betraying the cause of 
the proletariat. In either case, they serve only reaction.” 

So we see an inherent contradiction in Anarchism that 
renders it fundamentally either pro- or counter-revolutionary, 
namely, whether it supports or opposes the armed struggle of 
the proletariat and consolidation of people’s power. In either 
event, overthrowing the state power of the bourgeoisie won’t 
in one stroke abolish the bourgeois class and its aspirations 
to regain state power. The Communists’ goal is to smash 
the state power of the capitalists right away, to do away 
with their army, their police, their courts and their prisons. 
But, we cannot get rid of the bourgeois class so easily, nor 
the petty bourgeoisie, nor the bourgeoisified workers and 
lumpen proletarians. 

If we were to put down our guns at this point — if we did not 
maintain our own army, police, courts and prisons — these 
elements would turn right around and rig up a new bourgeois 
state. They would rig up a bourgeois state and use it to 
repress us — everyone connected with the revolution and 
the masses. This is exactly what happened in the Mexican 
Revolution when Emiliano Zapata listened to his Amerikan 
Anarchist advisors and gave up state power after victory 
and went home. The new reconstituted bourgeois state 
quickly hunted him down and murdered him like a dog — and 
Mexico has been under a bourgeois dictatorship and U.S. 
imperialist domination ever since. 

This is also what happened in the very short-lived Spanish 
Revolution, the revolution the Anarchists claim to have been 
successful at. The bourgeoisie overthrew it overnight and 
immediately reasserted their rule. This occurred because 
the Anarchists opposed establishing a workers’ state 
and the Communists who were trying to create one. The 
Fascists reaped the victory and ruled Spain with an iron fist 
for decades after. 

In Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell's memoir of the 
Spanish Revolution, he gave an account of how instantly 
and completely bourgeois rule reasserted itself in Barcelona 
only months after it had been overthrown by the working 
class. In the beginning of his memoir, Orwell gives a glorious 
account of Barcelona when the popular revolution was still 
underway in latter 1936. He then contrasts how only months 
later the revolutionary successes had vanished without a 
trace. Here is his description of conditions in April 1937: 

“Everyone who has made two visits, at intervals of months, 
to Barcelona during the war has remarked upon the 
extraordinary changes that took place in it. And curiously 
enough, whether they went there first in August and again 
in January, or, like myself, first in December and again in 
April, the thing they said was always the same: that the 
revolutionary atmosphere had vanished. No doubt to 
anyone who had been there in August, when the blood was 
scarcely dry in the streets and the militia was quartered 
in the small hotels, Barcelona in December would have 
seemed bourgeois, to me, fresh from England, it was liker to 
a worker’s city than anything I had conceived possible. Now 
the tide had rolled back. Once again it was an ordinary city, 
a little pinched and chipped by war, but with no outward sign 
of working-class predominance .... The officers of the new 
Popular Army, a type that had scarcely existed when I left 
Barcelona, swarmed in surprising numbers ... [wearing] an 
elegant khaki uniform with a tight waist, like a British officer’s 
uniform, only a little more so. I do not suppose that more 
than one in twenty of them had yet been to the front, but all 
of them had an automatic pistol strapped to their belts; we, 
at the front, could not get pistols for love or money ... 


“A deep change had come over the town. There were 
two facts that were the keynote of all else. One was that 
the people — the civil population — had lost much of their 
interest in the war; the other was that the normal division of 
society into rich and poor, upper class and lower class, was 
reasserting itself.” 

Communists simply recognize the state for what it is — 
namely an instrument by which one class asserts its 
power over another. Unless the proletariat overthrows the 
bourgeois capitalist state and replaces it with a proletarian 
socialist state, the bourgeoisie will maintain its dominance. 
Only under working-class state rule can massive Cultural 
Revolutions take place to purge bourgeois thinking and 
practices, which, once this process succeeds, will bring 
about the egalitarian stateless social order. So our object is 
to create a proletarian state with our own special bodies of 
armed wimyn and men, our own courts and our own prisons 
for those who commit crimes against the people. Under 
this system the armed workers will defend the revolution 
and use their power to transform all of society to eliminate 
classes and lay the basis for advancing to the kind of society 
both the Anarchists and Communists want. 

It is at this point, and not a moment sooner, that we will lay 
down our guns and move forward to advance the stateless 
society, because only then will it be possible to do so. Any 
other approach is just pipe-dreaming idealism. We believe 
in the principle of from each according to their ability and to 
each according to their needs — that is, doing away with the 
whole concept of commodity exchange. In short: abolishing 
money. But there has to be a whole lot of cultural revolution 
and transforming of society to make that possible. There has 
to be basic changes in how production and distribution of 
goods are organized. People have to be willing to participate 
in socialized production without being forced to by economic 
necessity, and we have to produce enough of everything for 
everybody to be able to get what they need to survive and 
be happy. 

Another factor is that you’ve got to do it in such a way as 
to preserve and protect the natural environment so future 
generations will be able to get what they need and be able to 
keep society running. This calls for revolution in the cultural, 
social and political realms and also in science, production 
and ecology. This all has to be planned, organized and 
done on a global scale as well as regionally and locally. 
A stateless society must by definition be a global society 
without borders. And we can’t have one section of humynity 
hogging all the world’s resources, like we do now, which is 
just what would happen if we didn’t start with a worldwide 
dictatorship of the proletariat. 

As to who will get repressed along the way, well, that’s 
up to the proletariat, isn’t it? We advocate a step by step, 
planned transformation of society rather than anarchy. We 
believe the masses can be won to understand the logic of 
this and support it. In this way, repression can be kept to 
a minimum and democratic methods of persuasion will be 
the primary focus and means of the struggle. But counter- 
revolutionaries will be repressed at every stage, and the 
proletariat will decide how and when and who — no matter 
what the counter-revolutionaries call themselves — through 
the organs of people’s power and the people’s courts. 

One thing we’ve learned from past revolutions is that the 
greatest threat of capitalist restoration will come from within 
the upper ranks of the Party and state from those who 
betray the class stand of the proletariat and assume that of 
the bourgeoisie. As socialism is a stage of transition from 
capitalism to communism, it is relatively easy for those at 
the top to rig up a state capitalist system under the cover 
of building socialism and take the country back down the 
capitalist road. This is what happened in the Soviet Union 
after Stalin, when Khrushchev came to power, and in 
People’s China after Mao died in 1976. 

The lesson here is for the proletariat to keep a firm grip 
on its Party and to exercise all round dictatorship over the 
bourgeoisie — and especially on those in leadership positions 
in the Party and the workers’ state. Cultural Revolution is the 
weapon to prevent capitalist restoration and to keep moving 
society down the path of socialist revolution. 

The working class must arm itself with a thorough 
understanding of the Science of Revolution and increasingly 
take power into its own hands directly to revolutionize every 
aspect of society. When we say “All Power to the People!,” 
we mean that literally in an ever deepening and all-round 
way. So long as classes exist, it is the proletariat who will be 
exploited and oppressed, and it is the proletariat who must 
play the leading role in waging class struggle to overcome 
it. The class struggle leads inevitably to the elimination of 
classes and communist society. But at every step it will be 
a struggle — against idealism and those who would sidetrack 
and derail the class struggle to preserve and enhance their 
own privileged positions and keep on exploiting the masses 
of people. 

There is no way to avoid this protracted struggle, and 


6 


certainly not by disarming the proletariat as soon as the old 
bourgeois order is overthrown. It certainly can’t be done by 
substituting anarchy for a rational strategy. Only the petty 
bourgeoisie — anxious to replace the old bourgeoisie — would 
intentionally propose such a short-sighted “solution.” The 
true solution is for the petty bourgeoisie — including those 
who become upwardly mobile through the revolution — 
to be won to a position of committing class suicide and 
aligning themselves with the oppressed and exploited 
masses struggling to end all oppression and exploitation 
by revolutionizing every aspect of society — in a planned, 
organized and disciplined way through the application of the 
mass line and the illumination of the Science of Revolution. 

Do we see the contradiction between ourselves and the 
Anarchists as inherently antagonistic? No, we do not. We 
believe that it can be resolved non-antagonistically so long 
as it remains a contradiction within the people. We do not 
want to repeat the Stalinist errors of treating contradictions 
within the people the same as contradictions with the enemy. 

For many people, as it was with me, Anarchism is a starting 
place, because it is fundamentally an emotional response 
to the evils of capitalist-imperialism. This was the case with 
Mao Tse-tung, who self-identified as an Anarchist before 
becoming a Communist. Throughout his political career he 
was accused of still being an anarchist by both dogmatists 
and revisionists alike. Three times he was kicked off the 
Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), 
but he maintained that it was a Marxist-Leninist principle 
to go against the tide and stand firm for revolution. At the 
Lushan Conference, he threatened to quit his post as 
Chairman and go back to the mountains and start a new 
CCP and People’s Liberation Army if it was necessary. 

As Chairman of the CCP Mao was not the Head of State and 
was constantly at odds with the state bureaucracy. During 
the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, he suspended 
the democratic centralism of the Party so that lower bodies 
were no longer subordinated to higher bodies and he issued 
the call to the youth, workers and peasants to “bombard the 
Headquarters!” 

Does this mean he was not really a Communist? No, it does 
not! It means that as a Communist his first and foremost 
loyalty was to proletarian socialist revolution and the class 
struggle. “A revolution is not a dinner party,” he said, “it is the 
violent overthrow of one class by another.” “By any means 
necessary!” was the way Malcolm X put it. 

Many of the criticisms of the Communist movement made by 
Anarchists or others are right on. But they are also usually 
non-dialectical and one-sided. Often they obscure the 
criticisms of the proletariat who look at the same problems 
differently. Mao was a firm believer that Communists should 
openly reveal, criticize and struggle against their “dark side.” 

We can’t do without a proletarian state any more than we 
can do without smashing the bourgeois state. Does this 
mean we love violence or love authority? No! It means we 
are serious enough about ending wage slavery, and all of 
the evils of capitalist-imperialism, that we are willing to be 
scientific about revolution and go beyond an emotional 
response. 

As a New Afrikan and a condemned slave of the state, I can’t 
afford not to be serious and scientific about the liberation 
of my people — and all oppressed people everywhere — 
through socialist revolution. Our fates are intertwined. Only 
by carrying the class struggle all the way to Communism 
will there be a bright future for our posterity. For us, there 
is only slavery or liberation, so we can have no hesitation 
when it comes to applying Brother Malcolm’s dictum to our 
struggle. Step by step, stage by stage, we shall advance 
the revolution through all the twists and turns, setbacks and 
victories until full liberation is won. 

As I said, we can’t do without a proletarian state, but there 
is a tendency for it to turn into its opposite — and we are wise 
to it. Power does corrupt, and the inevitable continuation 
of old class relations — particularly in the lower stages of 
socialism — and the deeply-rooted ideology of the past will 
nurture the tendency for capitalist restoration. Commodity 
relations — even under socialist state control — do regenerate 
capitalism and bourgeois ideas. Non-proletarian class 
forces — who are necessary to keep the economy and social 
services going — are going to demand concessions, such as 
higher wages, personal power and retention of bourgeois 
rights. 

Technicians and professionals in all spheres will defend their 
privileged position in society and resist the encroachment 
of the common people in their business. And only when 
the proletariat can do without them can we move from 
the lower to the higher stage of socialism. The struggle 
between “Reds” and “Experts” was a major aspect of the 
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. We all know 
that after Mao’s death, the “Reds” were defeated and that 
the “Experts” now live “high on the hog” in China and the 
so-called “Communist Party” has become a fascist party of 


“Experts” and capitalists. 

Mao predicted that this outcome was “very possible,” but he 
also predicted that their rule would be short-lived and that 
they “would know no peace,” and we see that today there 
is a resurgence of Maoism in China and internationally, and 
we see that China’s masses are waging sharp class struggle 
against their exploitation and oppression. 

We also see a resurgence of Anarchism today, and 
particularly among the youth of the imperialist countries. 

I should say among the white petty-bourgeois youth and 
students, because there is a class and race basis to this 
resurgence. Anarchy extols the supremacy of the individual 
and individual freedom, which is also a way to separate 
oneself from identifying with one’s skin and class privileges. 
One can say, “I am not responsible for racist and class 
oppression or for global imperialism. I reject all that. I am 
an Anarchist.” But that neither threatens the ruling class nor 
helps the oppressed class. It’s merely a lifestyle choice, a 
fashion. You can dress up for it, dye your hair black and 
get a “bad” haircut, eat vegan food, ride a bicycle, pierce 
your nose, nipples or tongue, dumpster dive and make the 
scene. 

Then there are the Anarchist careerists, which brings to 
mind admissions made and the example set by Greg Wells, 
an Anarchist journalist out of Richmond, Virginia, with whom 
I was corresponding a few years back. At a time when I 
was facing a high-point of repression from prison officials, 

I proposed a few ideas to him about consolidating discrete 
activists into a practical support network for prisoner 
activists and other oppressed individuals. He replied that 
my proposals definitely needed doing, and that “as much 
as” he’d “love to” help he was “simply too comfortable to do 
any such thing.” He added, “I’ll tell you something that other 
Anarchists won’t admit, but it’s true. You know that most 
Anarchists are comfortable white middle-class and aren’t 
going to do much more than a little protesting and critical 
writing.” 

Greg is a prolific writer who has made a career out of railing 
at capitalism, racial and gender oppression, U.S. imperialist 
wars, etc., yet he concedes his unwillingness to jeopardize 
his status and comfort level by allying himself in practice 
with the oppressed. As he confessed, this is typical of most 
of the milieu of petty bourgeois Anarchists. Indeed, I would 
say it is typical of most radical intellectuals on the Amerikan 
Left. As I stated in a previous unpublished article: 

“99% of the radicals are divorced from the masses. They 
attend rallies and protests but lock their doors when driving 
through oppressed neighborhoods. They don’t know how 
to do mass work, how to agitate and organize. They think 
it’s their opinions that matter, that they fulfill their political 
duty by expressing them. Whereas, they need to create a 
presence on the street, amongst the oppressed workers and 
nationalities, and time is of the essence.” 

Of course, there are some Anarchists like ABC, whom we 
consider to be comrades, who actually do play a role in 
assisting the struggle in the prisons and are groping with 
the question of making revolution. We are, as you say, 
“on the same side of the barricades.” The question is can 
we build a higher level of unity and what would that take? 
Well, we’ve created the White Panther Organization (WPO) 
as an arm of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison 
Chapter (NABPP-PC), so white comrades can fully unite 
with us and represent our Party among the oppressed white 
people. They do have to accept the democratic-centralism 
of the Party and its rules of discipline, the same as the Black 
Panthers. They have to study and apply the Science of 
Revolution and commit to being all-the-way revolutionaries. 

NABPP-PC is not a Communist Party per se. We are 
revolutionary nationalists and internationalists. Our 
ideological and political line, “Pantherism,” is illuminated 
by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and we are committed to 
fighting for proletarian socialist revolution. We see the key 
alliance in the United Front Against Capitalist-Imperialism to 
be between the oppressed nations and nationalities and the 
multi-ethnic, multi-national working class. 

For New Afrikans, the solution to our national oppression is 
socialist revolution. As long as Black people are oppressed 
because we are Black, there needs to be a Black Panther 
Party to lead the Black Liberation Struggle. We need to stand 
together as a Nation under the leadership of our proletarian 
vanguard. To fight most effectively against white racism, we 
need white comrades to stand with us — as fellow Panthers 
or as supporters. We also need to stand in solidarity with 
all other oppressed peoples and have them stand with 
us. This is the basis of the United Panther Movement. We 
believe that the Nation of New Afrikans in Amerika must play 
a vanguard role in this revolution because of our historical 
oppression and because we are in a position to do so. 

We live in the “Belly of the Beast.” We are concentrated in 
the urban centers of the sole imperialist superpower, and 
we are infiltrated throughout the oppressor’s military and 


political-economic infrastructure. We are everywhere, even 
if only pushing a broom or a mop. 

We are also part of the Third World, and we are kindred to 
all other sons and daughters of Afrikan descent. Everywhere 
we are oppressed because of our black skin under white 
world domination. As Mao said: 

“The evil system of colonialism and imperialism arose and 
throve with the enslavement of Negroes and the trade in 
Negroes, and it will surely come to its end with the complete 
emancipation of the Black people.” 

He said, “The Afro-American struggle is not only a struggle 
waged by the exploited and oppressed Black people for 
freedom and emancipation” but that it is a “clarion call” to 
all the oppressed peoples. This history and this positioning 
gives us the opportunity to play a vanguard role in the 
world revolution, not exclusive of others but in dialectical 
relationship to all people of color and all who suffer 
oppression. This does not negate the leading role that must 
be played by the international proletariat as the class of the 
future, for it is the ideology and worldview of this class that 
guides our struggle for liberation. 

The New Afrikan Nation is primarily a proletarian nation — 
on the whole, we own nothing and are forced to sell our 
labor power to survive or otherwise to survive by any means 
necessary. Even most of our lumpen proletariat has an on 
again off again relationship with wage slavery. Our Party 
must work ceaselessly to ground our cadre and comrades 
in a thorough-going proletarian class stand and struggle 
resolutely against lumpen and petty-bourgeois influences 
and tendencies. 

For several decades now the ruling class has been pursuing 
a strategy of criminalization of the poor and our mass 
incarceration — particularly of our Black youth — and we must 
counter this with proletarianizing and revolutionizing our 
young wimyn and men by teaching “Pantherism” and raising 
up a generation of revolutionary warriors. 

But let me return to your question and your point about 
Anarchists wanting nothing to do with state power and their 
accepting nothing short of its instant abolition. Well, the 
foremost modern Anarchist intellectual, Noam Chomsky — 
affectionately known in Anarchist circles as “Uncle Noam” — 
is both a proponent of using state power (and bourgeois 
state power at that) to address social ills, and he conceded 
that Anarchism is not an instantly attainable social order. 
Were it not for his speaking in support of bourgeois state 
power, instead of promoting proletarian state power, one 
would think Chomsky was a Communist espousing the 
need for the rational use of state power to transform society. 
“Uncle Noam” put it like this: 

“Well it’s true that the Anarchist vision in just about all its 
varieties has looked forward to dismantling state power — 
and I personally share that vision. But right now it runs 
directly counter to my goals: My immediate goals have been, 
and now very much are, to defend and even strengthen 
certain elements of state authority that are now under 
severe attack. And I don’t think there’s any contradiction 
there — none at all, really. 

“For example, take the so-called ‘welfare state.’ What’s called 
the ‘welfare state’ is essentially a recognition that every child 
has a right to have food, and to have health care and so 
on — and as I’ve been saying, those programs were set up in 
the nation-state system after a century of very hard struggle, 
by the labor movement, and the socialist movement, and so 
on. Well, according to the new spirit of the age, in the case 
of a fourteen-year-old girl who got raped and had a child, her 
child has to learn ‘personal responsibility’ by not accepting 
state welfare handouts, meaning by not having enough to 
eat. Alright, I don’t agree with that at any level. In fact I think 
it is grotesque at any level. I think those children should be 
saved. And in today’s world, that’s going to involve working 
through the state system, it’s not the only case. 

“So despite the anarchist ‘vision,’ I think aspects of the state 
system, like the one that makes sure children eat, have to be 
defended — in fact, defended very vigorously. And given the 
accelerated effort that’s being made these days to roll back 
the victories for justice and human rights which have been 
won through long and often extremely bitter struggles in the 
West, in my opinion the immediate goal of even committed 
anarchists should be to defend some state institutions, 
while helping to pry them open to more meaningful public 
participation, and ultimately to dismantle them in a much 
more free society. 

“There are practical problems of tomorrow on which 
people’s lives very much depend, and while defending 
these kinds of programs is by no means the ultimate end 
we should be pursuing, in my view we still have to face the 
problems that are right on the horizon, and which seriously 
affect human lives. I don’t think those things can simply 
be forgotten because they might not fit with some radical 
slogan that reflects a deeper vision of a future society. The 
deeper vision should be maintained, they’re important — but 


dismantling the state system is a goal that is a lot further 
away, and you want to deal first with what’s at hand and 
nearby, I think .... 

“So I think it’s completely realistic and rational to work within 
structures to which you are opposed, because by doing 
so can help to move to a situation where then you can 
challenge these structures.” 

Chomsky’s proposing that radicals work within bourgeois 
state institutions to address social needs actually conforms 
to a strategy of absorbing and controlling dissidents and 
activists within government structures, which was proposed 
by the U.S. National Security Council in the late 1970s. 
This reflects how the confused class stand of the petty 
bourgeoisie leads to erroneous approaches to opposing 
imperialist oppression. But, that Chomsky recognized 
the need to use state power along the road to ultimately 
abolishing the state shows that Communist and Anarchist 
theory is not so irreconcilable. Anarchists must simply 
recognize the role of the proletariat as preeminent in the 
struggle against capitalist-imperialism and the advance to 
a classless society. 

I want to add that we reject the nihilism that is so often 
associated with both Anarchism and gangsterism. We base 
ourselves on Panther Love. As both Che Guevara and Mao 
pointed out, love is the motivation of a true revolutionary. 
Our love for the people, for liberty and justice, and for the 
unborn generations for whom we stand ready to sacrifice 
our lives, is manifested in everything we do and say. 

On the question of who should legitimately coordinate the 
application of state power and lead society in general, again 
“Uncle Noam” promotes the need and role for a leading 
structure very similar to our concept of a genuine vanguard 
party operating with committee structures and democratic 
centralism. He opposed the ultra-democratic approach to 
running even a basic community as impossible. Indeed 
there has never existed a society without some form of 
leadership. Here again is Chomsky: 

“No, I don’t think [a large mass of people could actively 
participate in all the decisions that need to be made in a 
complex modern society]. I think you’ve got to delegate some 
of those responsibilities. But the question is, where does 
authority ultimately lie? I mean, since the very beginnings 
of the modern democratic revolutions in the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries, it’s always been recognized that 
people have to be represented — the question is, are we 
represented by, as they put it, ‘countrymen like ourselves,’ 
or are we represented by ‘our betters’? 

“For example, suppose this was our community, and we 
wanted to enter into some kind of agreement with the 
community down the road — if we were fairly big, we’d have 
to delegate the right to negotiate things to representatives. 
But then the question is, who has the power to ultimately 
authorize those decisions? Well, if it’s a democracy, that 
power ought to lie not just formally in the population, but 
actually in the population — meaning the representatives can 
be recalled, they’re answerable back to their community, 
they can be replaced. In fact, there should be as much as 
possible in the way of constant replacement, so that political 
participation just becomes a part of everybody’s life. 

“But I agree, I don’t think it’s possible to have large masses 
of people get together to decide every topic — it would be 
unfeasible and pointless. You’d want to pick committees to 
look into things and report back, and so on and so forth. But 
the real question is, where does authority lie.” 

Now compare Chomsky’s emphasis on the legitimacy of 
representative committee structures lying in the election and 
recall by votes of leading members and such organizations 
being accountable to the masses by full exposure of their 
activities, with this 1905 Bolshevik summary of democratic 
centralism: 

“Recognizing as indisputable the principle of democratic 
centralism, the Conference considers the broad 
implementation of the elective principle necessary, and 
while granting elected centers full powers in matters of 
ideological and political leadership, they are at the same 
time subject to recall, their actions are given broad publicity, 
and they are strictly accountable for these activities.” 

Also, consistent with Chomsky’s point that political power 
should be vested in the common people and not with “our 
betters,” the struggle which Mao initiated during the Great 
Proletarian Cultural Revolution between the “Reds” and the 
“Experts” was to displace political power from those who by 
virtue of their technical expertise considered themselves the 
“betters” of the common laboring people, and to have that 
power spread broadly amongst the working people. 

This is one of the reasons why the petty bourgeoisie cannot 
lead all-the-way revolution — or even the struggle to defend 
the humyn and democratic civil rights of the oppressed — 
as their class conditioning has them seeing themselves as 
the intellectual “betters” of the masses towards whom they 


have a “superior” attitude. George Jackson demonstrated 
that you don’t have to be middle class or attend a university 
to become a revolutionary intellectual — a “Red” who is also 
armed with intellectual expertise. Some would say that I 
demonstrate this myself. 

Those of us who have nothing to lose but our chains, who 
have no reason to hesitate or vacillate and every reason 
to be serious, dedicated, all-the-way revolutionaries have 
a responsibility to be in the vanguard and to struggle 
relentlessly against every form of oppression to build the 
mass-based revolutionary vanguard party to unite and 
lead the masses of oppressed people to rise up and end 
oppression at its source through proletarian socialist 
revolution and proletarian cultural revolution. 

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win! 

All Power to the People! 


AT THE END OF THE DAY: 

COMMUNISM IS ABOUT SURVIVAL 

By Tom “Big Warrior” Watts 
11/24/2016 

At the end of the day, communism is about 
survival. It is about everybody getting to eat - and 
eat well. It is about everybody getting decent 
housing, health care and education. Communism 
is about community, people living together, working 
together, struggling together to create a brighter 
future for their children and generations yet 
unborn; a world without wars, without boundaries, 
without bosses or prisons - a stateless, classless, 
egalitarian society that serves the people - in which 
“..the free development of each is the condition for 
the free development of all.” 1 

Communism is the negation of class society, or rather the 
negation of the negation that is class society, as humanity 
existed in classless communities for tens of thousands of 
years before class divisions took place. Class society was a 
radical rupture with the original egalitarian basis of human 
communities. Under primitive communalism, each gathered, 
fished, hunted and so on to contribute to the survival of the 
group and shared in the fruits of the collective labor and in 
the hardships of the tribe’s struggle to survive. Class society 
was predicated upon the conversion of communal property 
to private ownership. This included ownership of people, 
and slavery was the first stage of class society. 

The exploitation of man by man and woman by man are 
historically linked with the creation of private property. 
Under primitive communalism, there was a communal right 
to access of basic resources, and because people lived 
essentially hand to mouth, little or no surplus was created. 
Only with the increased productivity associated with 
agriculture and domestication of animals was it possible 
for class society to develop along with an authoritarian 
governmental structure based upon force. Civilization is 
all about hierarchal stratification and privilege based upon 
class exploitation and oppression. 

Where there are classes there will be class struggle and 
ultimately class war because of the irreconcilability of 
class interests and the struggle for survival. Where there 
was slavery, there were slave revolts, and where there 
was feudalism there were (and still are) peasant revolts, 
and feudalism was itself overthrown by capitalist forms of 
exploitation and bourgeois revolution. Bourgeois capitalist 
society produces its own gravediggers in the form of the 
modern proletariat or wage slaves, who are compelled by 
survival needs to sell their labor power to the capitalists and 
be exploited by the bourgeoisie to make profit and increase 
the wealth and power of the bourgeoisie. 

All class-based societies are empowered by a state, and all 
states are class dictatorships. This epoch of history allows 
for either a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie or a dictatorship 
of the proletariat regardless of the form of government. 
Democracy and dictatorship are not mutually exclusive, 
in fact, for many practical reasons the form of dictatorship 
that best serves the bourgeoisie is liberal democracy. Lenin 
summed up fascism as “Capitalism in decay,” and reflective 
of the imperialist stage of capitalism, when capitalism is 
“rotten ripe” for proletarian revolution and the monopoly 
capitalist ruling class cannot continue to rule in the old way 
any longer. 

As R. Palme Dutt elaborated in 1935: 

“Within this period fascism represents the 
desperate attempt of the doomed capitalist 
class to maintain its power and overcome the 
contradictions by extreme violent means, and thus 


1 Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto, Chapter 2, 
(1848), Marxist Internet Archive 


to maintain the existing social forms at the expense 
of the development of the forces of production, 
in particular: (1) to throttle the class struggle by 
suppression of all working class organizations; 

(2) to overcome the economic contradictions by 
active state intervention, so-called “planning,” 
subsidies, restrictions of production and trade, 
etc.; (3) to overcome the inner contradictions 
of the bourgeoisie by the unification of a 
single governmental party replacing the older 
political parties and divisions; (4) to overcome 
the international contradictions by intensified 
organization for war and world conquest. ’ 2 

In Lenin’s words: “ Marx said that the revolutionary 
dictatorship of the proletariat lies between capitalism 
and communism. The more the proletariat presses the 
bourgeoisie, the more furiously they will resist.” 3 Harpal Brar, 
Chairman of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist- 
Leninist), elaborates: 

To make a proper assessment, it is essential to 
see fascism in relation to the whole character of 
modern social development, of which fascism is an 
expression, and to get down to the basic movement 
and driving forces of economy and technique, 
which have reached a point at which the existing 
capitalist forms are increasingly incompatible 
with the further development of production and 
utilisation of technique. 

There is war between them - one must end the 
other. Either the advance of the productive forces 
must put an end to capitalism. Or the continued 
existence of capitalism must bring the advance of 
production and technique to a grinding halt and 
plunge billions of people on this planet even further 
into poverty, misery and war. 

These are the only two paths - capitalism or 
socialism. There is no third alternative. All 
hopes of a third alternative, which will guarantee 
the realisation of peaceful and harmonious 
development without class struggle, through 
the forms of capitalist ‘democracy’, ‘planned 
capitalism’, etc. are nothing but pipe dreams. 
These dreams of peaceful development are merely 
the echo of past conceptions, belonging to the era 
of liberal free-competition capitalism, an era which 
disappeared a whole hundred years ago, never to 
return. 4 

It is precisely the illusion of “peaceful and harmonious 
development” that creates the conditions for fascism to take 
over, or to put it another way, it is the fear of the dictatorship 
of the proletariat and the weakness of the working class’ 
misleaders; the petty-bourgeois “Left”-liberals and right 
opportunists, that make fascism a real threat. At the 
end of the day; it is the dead-end of reformism and class 
collaboration of the false “Left” that empowers the fascistic 
“Right” to kick aside the facade of bourgeois democracy. 

It is the duty of the revolutionary Left to represent the bright 
future of communism in the struggles of today. Only by 
building real strength among the real proletariat can the Left 
build a strong vanguard party and lead a broad united front 
among various strata of the masses. We must particularly 
and vigorously oppose revisionism in all its manifestations. 
As Chairman Mao counseled: 

Both dogmatism and revisionism run counter to 
Marxism. Marxism must certainly advance; it must 
develop along with the development of practice 
and cannot stand still. It would become lifeless if it 
remained stagnant and stereotyped. However, the 
basic principles of Marxism must never be violated, 
or otherwise mistakes will be made. It is dogmatism 
to approach Marxism from a metaphysical point 
of view and to regard it as something rigid. It 
is revisionism to negate the basic principles 
of Marxism and to negate its universal truth. 
Revisionism is one form of bourgeois ideology. 

The revisionists deny the differences between 
socialism and capitalism, between the dictatorship 
of the proletariat and the dictatorship of the 
bourgeoisie. What they advocate is in fact not 
the socialist line but the capitalist line. In present 
circumstances, revisionism is more pernicious 


2 Rajani Palme Dutt, “The Question of Fascism and Social 
Decay,” The Communist International, Vol. XII, No. 14, July 20, 
1935, Marxists Internet Archive (2006). 

3 V.l. Lenin, “Speech At A Rally And Concert For The All- 
Russia Extraordinary Commission Staff,” November 7, 
1918, Collected Works, Vol. 28, pp. 169-70, Marxists 
Internet Archive (2006). 

4 Harpal Brar, “Bourgeois Democracy and Fascism,” The 
Marxist Leninist: a revolutionary communist website, April 
13,2010 


8 


than dogmatism. One of our current important 
tasks on the ideological front is to unfold criticism 
of revisionism. 5 

And further: 

Revisionism, or Right opportunism, is a bourgeois 
trend of thought that is even more dangerous 
than dogmatism. The revisionists, the Right 
opportunists, pay lip service to Marxism; they 
too attack dogmatism.” However, what they are 
really attacking is the quintessence of Marxism. 
They oppose or distort materialism and dialectics, 
oppose or try to weaken the people’s democratic 
dictatorship and the leading role of the Communist 
Party, and oppose or try to weaken socialist 
transformation and socialist construction. 6 

Vladimir Lenin wrote in his Philosophical Notebooks ; “The 
splitting of a single whole and the cognition of its contradictory 
parts ... is the essence ... of dialectics.” 7 In contradiction to 
this, the philosopher Yang Xianzhen, originated the idea of 
Two Unites into One, which he said was the primary law of 
dialectics. In other words, that capitalism could be united 
with socialism. This became a major point of contention 
between the Maoists and revisionists during the Great 
Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. Significantly, after 
1976, when the capitalist-roaders seized power, Yang was 
rehabilitated as well as the concept of two uniting into one. 8 
Revisionists have repeatedly attempted to render Marxism 
“more profound” by concocting new syntheses between 
Marxism and bourgeois or petty-bourgeois ideologies. 
Most particularly at this time with “Left”-neoliberal ideology. 
Neoliberalism has become the dominant form of bourgeois 
ideology in this, the final period of capitalist-imperialism. 
“Identity politics” are a manifestation of neoliberal ideology. 
Neoliberalism is a reflection of the downward spiral of 
capitalism and the concentration of wealth and power to 
the top 1%. Initially, neoliberalism worked pretty well for 
the middle and upper strata of the petty-bourgeoisie, but 
increasingly over the past 10-15 years, their upper mobility 
has stagnated, and the Tea Party and the Trump Movement 
are reflections of their reaction. However much their 
rebellion is characterized by a tendency towards a more 
classical fascism, they are very much within the neoliberal 
camp. 

Liberal neoliberals want to characterize this trend as simply 
“white racism,” but that is simply because they choke at 
the idea of actually blaming the trajectory of capitalism 
which would require an actual revolutionary response. It is 
so much more comfortable to play the “blame game” and 
reaffirm to themselves that they are morally superior to the 
common folk. As Walter Benn Michaels writes: 

The differentiation between left and right 
neoliberalism doesn’t really undermine the way 
in which it is deeply unified in its commitment to 
competitive markets and to the state’s role in 
maintaining competitive markets. For me the 
distinction is that “left neoliberals” are people who 
don’t understand themselves as neoliberals. They 
think that their commitments to anti-racism, to anti- 
sexism, to anti-homophobia constitute a critique 
of neoliberalism. But if you look at the history of 
the idea of neoliberalism you can see fairly quickly 
that neoliberalism arises as a kind of commitment 
precisely to those things. 9 

Neoliberal identity politics capitalism has become a 
hegemonic ideology in replacement of overt race and racism 
in the past century. As Andrew Stewart has recently pointed 
out: “Identity has never had a progressive aim, it has always 
been an instance of capitalism co-opting the grammar of 
liberation to promote imperialism. We should not return the 
favor by associating a vile system like neoliberalism with our 
liberation efforts.” 10 * However, the “Left” has become totally 
entwined with neoliberal identity politics both in its own 
minds and in those of the proletarian masses that reject it. 
At the end of the day, winning the masses to a revolutionary 
proletarian consciousness cannot be accomplished without 
drawing a clear line of demarcation between it and “Left”- 
wing neoliberalism. 

As the Black Panthers pointed out almost half a century 


5 Mao Tse-tung, “Speech at the Chinese Communist Party's 
National Conference on Propaganda Work” (March 12, 
1957), 1st pocket ed., and pp. 26-27. 

6 Mao Tse-tung, “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions 
among the People,” (February 27, 1 957), 1 st pocket ed., pp. 
56-57. 

7 V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Volume 38, (Philosophical 
Notebooks, 1895-1916) 

8 “One Divides into Two, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

9 Walter Benn Michaels, “Let Them Eat Diversity: On the 
politics of identity,” Jacobin 

10 Andrew Stewart, “Donald Trump, Enoch Powell and 

Neoliberal Identity Politics,” Counterpunch, September 2, 

2016 


ago: “You don’t fight racism with racism, the best way to 
fight racism is with solidarity.” 11 The inescapable fact 
about identity is its unity of opposites: “White identity, .... 
needs black identity in order to define itself, and therefore 
cannot exist without it.” 12 With white Americans facing the 
prospect of becoming a numerical minority, “Right”-wing 
neoliberalism has fertile ground to plant itself in and “Left”- 
wing neoliberalism does nothing to promote working class 
solidarity. As Jodi Dean expressed: 

Identity politics weaponizes the feeling that 
one has to hold on to what is in them more than 
themselves. It highlights one specific feature out 
of a given set of demographic features, turning this 
feature from a base to be defended into a launcher 
for new attacks. Weaponized identity politics lets 
me insist that this time I will not be sacrificed, I will 
survive. Even more, it helps assuage some of the 
guilt of the privileged — they are on the correct 
side of history, for once. The added bonus of the 
weaponized identity politics is how the privileged 
can use [it] against each other even as they 
leave communicative capitalism’s basic structure 
intact. We see this when we look at the arsenal 
of identities — sex, race, gender, sexuality, ability, 
ethnicity, religion, citizenship — and recognize 
what is missing: c/ass. 13 

Proletarian class consciousness does not need to be 
“rendered more profound” because the proletariat is the only 
“all-the-way revolutionary” class in history. As expressed in 
the Communist Manifesto : 

Of all the classes that stand face to face with the 
bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a really 
revolutionary class. The other classes decay and 
finally disappear in the face of Modern Industry; the 
proletariat is its special and essential product. 

The lower middle class, the small manufacturer, 
the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all 
these fight against the bourgeoisie, to save from 
extinction their existence as fractions of the middle 
class. They are therefore not revolutionary, but 
conservative. Nay more, they are reactionary, 
for they try to roll back the wheel of history. If by 
chance, they are revolutionary, they are only so in 
view of their impending transfer into the proletariat; 
they thus defend not their present, but their future 
interests, they desert their own standpoint to place 
themselves at that of the proletariat.... 

All the preceding classes that got the upper hand 
sought to fortify their already acquired status by 
subjecting society at large to their conditions of 
appropriation. The proletarians cannot become 
masters of the productive forces of society, 
except by abolishing their own previous mode 
of appropriation, and thereby also every other 
previous mode of appropriation. They have 
nothing of their own to secure and to fortify; their 
mission is to destroy all previous securities for, and 
insurances of, individual property. 

All previous historical movements were 
movements of minorities, or in the interest of 
minorities. The proletarian movement is the self- 
conscious, independent movement of the immense 
majority, in the interest of the immense majority. 

The proletariat, the lowest stratum of our present 
society, cannot stir, cannot raise itself up, without 
the whole superincumbent strata of official society 
being sprung into the air. 

At the end of the day, it is only by leading the fight against 
all oppression that the proletariat becomes fully class 
conscious and fit to exercise its class dictatorship to 
revolutionize every aspect of society. Only the proletariat 
can bring together such a broad united front as to defeat the 
bourgeoisie and resist every attempt to effect a restoration 
of capitalism. This is precisely why phony “Leftists” fear and 
hate the very idea of the proletariat exercising all round 
dictatorship over the bourgeoisie. 

Historical experience shows us that whether 
the proletariat can triumph over the bourgeoisie 
and whether China will turn revisionist hinges 
on whether we can persevere in exercising all- 
round dictatorship over the bourgeoisie in all 
spheres and at all stages of development of the 
revolution. What is all-round dictatorship over the 
bourgeoisie? The most succinct generalization 


11 Bobby Seale, Seize the Time: The Story of the Black 
Panther Party and Huey P. Newton, (1970) 

12 Laila Lalami, “The Identity Politics of Whiteness,” The 
New York Times Magazine, November 21, 2016 

13 Jodi Dean, “Not Us, Me,” Verso Books, November 26, 
2016 


is found in a passage from a letter Marx wrote in 
1852 to J. Weydemeyer, which we are all studying. 
Marx said, "...no credit is due to me for discovering 
the existence of classes in modern society, nor yet the 
struggle between them. Long before me bourgeois 
historians had described the historical development of 
this struggle of the classes, and bourgeois economists 
the economic anatomy of the classes. What I did that 
was new was to prove: 1) that the existence of classes 
is only bound up with particular historical phases in the 
development of production: 2) that the class struggle 
necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat: 

3) that this dictatorship itself only constitutes the 
transition to the abolition of all classes and to a 
classless society ." In this splendid observation, Lenin 
said, Marx succeeded in expressing with striking 
clarity the chief and radical difference between his 
theory on the state and that of the bourgeoisie, and 
the essence of his teaching on the state. Here it 
should be noted that Marx divided the sentence on 
the dictatorship of the proletariat into three points, 
which are interrelated and cannot be cut apart. It is 
impermissible to accept only one of the three points 
while rejecting the other two. For the sentence 
gives complete expression to the entire process of 
the inception, development and withering away of 
the dictatorship of the proletariat and covers the 
whole task of the dictatorship of the proletariat and 
its actual content. In The Class Struggles in France, 
1848-1850, Marx deals in more specific terms with 
this dictatorship of the proletariat as the necessary 
transit point to the abolition of class distinctions 
generally, to the abolition of all the relations of 
production on which they rest, to the abolition 
of all the social relations that correspond to these 
relations of production, and to the revolutionizing of 
all the ideas that result from these social relations. 

In all the four cases, Marx means all. Not a part, a 
greater part, or even the greatest part, but all! This 
is nothing surprising, for only by emancipating all 
mankind can the proletariat achieve its own final 
emancipation . 14 

The proletariat tends to be more socially conservative and 
slow to accept leftist ideas, particularly when it associates 
these ideas with the intellectual elite of the professional 
class. In many ways, it has stronger antipathy to this strata 
than to the capitalists, and this is something the “Left”- 
neoliberals fail to grasp and which the Trump movement 
capitalized on effectively. The “politically correct” neoliberal 
has no qualms about slandering workers (particularly 
white males) and calling them “rednecks,” “crackers” and 
“deplorables,” and blaming them for racism. This is quite in 
contradiction to Mao’s position: 

Racial discrimination in the United States is a 
product of the colonialist and imperialist system. 

The contradiction between the Black masses in 
the United States and the U.S. ruling circles is 
a class contradiction. Only by overthrowing the 
reactionary rule of the U.S. monopoly capitalist 
class and destroying the colonialist and imperialist 
system can the Black people in the United States 
win complete emancipation. The Black masses 
and the masses of white working people in 
the United States have common interests and 
common objectives to struggle for. Therefore, the 
Afro-American struggle is winning sympathy and 
support from increasing numbers of white working 
people and progressives in the United States. The 
struggle of the Black people in the United States 
is bound to merge with the American workers’ 
movement, and this will eventually end the criminal 
rule of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class.' 15 

And: 

In the final analysis, national struggle is a matter 
of class struggle. Among the whites in the United 
States, it is only the reactionary ruling circles who 
oppress the Negro people. They can in no way 
represent the workers, farmers, revolutionary 
intellectuals and other enlightened persons who 
comprise the overwhelming majority of the white 
people.'' 6 

To listen to white or Black “Left”-neoliberals, or Black 
nationalists, you would never get the idea that white 

14 Chang Chun-chiao (Zhang Chunqiao), “On Exercising 
All-Round Dictatorship Over the Bourgeoisie,” Foreign 
Languages Press, 1975 from an article in Hongqi 

15 Mao Tse-tung, “A New Storm Against Imperialism,” (April 
16, 1968) 

16 Mao Tse-tung, “Statement Supporting the American 
Negroes In Their Just Struggle Against Racial Discrimination 
by U.S. Imperialism,” (August 8, 1963) 


working class men fought against slavery, voted to end it 
and to enfranchise Black men, that even in the South there 
were poor whites that opposed slavery, the Confederacy 
and Jim Crow segregation, and that the KKK terrorized 
poor white communities and anyone suspected of being a 
“race traitor.” You would never get the idea that worker’s 
unions like the Knights of Labor, the IWW, the UMW and 
the CIO accepted Black workers and that there is a rich 
history of proletarian solidarity, even if few know about it. 
You don’t hear about it because the white petty-bourgeois 
are too busy patting themselves on the back for being 
“color blind” and “progressive” and Black nationalists have 
historically opposed working class solidarity. Whenever 
there has been an economic recession, the capitalists 
have historically shifted the anger of sections of the white 
workers to scapegoat the Blacks. Significantly, in the “Great 
Recession” (December 2007 to June 2009), there was very 
little backlash and instead, masses of white workers voted 
for America’s first Black President. From then to today, the 
Republicans and white nationalists have been working 
overtime to incite racist reaction, particularly among rural 
white workers. 

The feeling among poor whites that they were betrayed and 
abandoned by the Obama administration is not baseless. 
They have been, by the Democrats, the “Left”-neoliberals 
and “social justice warriors.” In contrast to this is the ignored 
legacy of the original Black Panther Party: 

One of the bitterest parts of looking back into the history of 
American radicalism is imagining what Illinois Black Panther 
party chairman Fred Hampton might have been had he not 
been killed by a police tactical unit in 1969 at age 20. At 
the time of his death, Hampton was organizing a multi-racial 
political coalition that included members of the Young Lords, 
a Puerto Rican nationalist organization, the Native American 
Housing Committee and the Young Patriots Organization, 
which worked with white migrants from Appalachia — 
members of the sorts of communities J.D. Vance explored 
in his memoir “Hillbilly Elegy, ” which has been embraced as 
a sort of diagnostic manual for Trump voters. 

In “The Black Panthers, ” Nelson included footage of one of 
those coalition meetings, which lingers on a middle-aged 
white man declaring “I’ll stick with the Black Panthers if 
they’ll stick with me, and I know they will.” It’s a scene that 
carries with it the terrible sting of a foreclosed opportunity. 
Other radical ideas from the era have evolved, and perhaps 
improved with age. Cellphones with cameras have replaced 
the rifles the Black Panthers used to carry and display 
when they patrolled the streets, looking out for incidents of 
police misconduct. Phones may not have the advantage of 
acting as a reminder that African Americans have Second 
Amendment rights, too. But they are distinctly useful for 
producing visceral video records or allowing Americans 
to stream misconduct and violence as they occur. The 
Panthers may have been first to let the police know that they 
personally were watching, but everyone with a cellphone 
who makes sure the police know that the whole world will 
soon be watching, too, is a descendant of the party in this 
small way.'' 7 

In the wake of the recent election, even mainstream liberals 
are realizing that weaponized identity politics have drowned 
out their core message and rendered it impotent, as 
expressed by this college professor in The New York Times 
Sunday Review: 

One of the many lessons of the recent presidential 
election campaign and its repugnant outcome is 
that the age of identity liberalism must be brought 
to an end. Hillary Clinton was at her best and 
most uplifting when she spoke about American 
interests in world affairs and how they relate to our 
understanding of democracy. But when it came to 
life at home, she tended on the campaign trail to 
lose that large vision and slip into the rhetoric of 
diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, 
Latino, L.G.B.T. and women voters at every stop. 

This was a strategic mistake. If you are going to 
mention groups in America, you had better mention 
all of them. If you don’t, those left out will notice 
and feel excluded. Which, as the data show, was 
exactly what happened with the white working 
class and those with strong religious convictions. . .. 

But the fixation on diversity in our schools and in 
the press has produced a generation of liberals and 
progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions 
outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent 
to the task of reaching out to Americans in every 
walk of life. At a very young age our children are 
being encouraged to talk about their individual 
identities, even before they have them. By the time 
they reach college many assume that diversity 


17 Alyssa Rosenberg, “What we can learn from the Black 
Panthers about how to survive Trump,” The Washington 
Post, November 16, 2016 


discourse exhausts political discourse, and have 
shockingly little to say about such perennial 
questions as class, war, the economy and the 
common good. In large part this is because of high 
school history curriculums, which anachronistically 
project the identity politics of today back onto the 
past, creating a distorted picture of the major forces 
and individuals that shaped our country. (The 
achievements of women’s rights movements, for 
instance, were real and important, but you cannot 
understand them if you do not first understand the 
founding fathers’ achievement in establishing a 
system of government based on the guarantee of 
rights.) .... 

We need a post-identity liberalism, and it should 
draw from the past successes of pre-identity 
liberalism. Such a liberalism would concentrate on 
widening its base by appealing to Americans as 
Americans and emphasizing the issues that affect 
a vast majority of them. It would speak to the nation 
as a nation of citizens who are in this together and 
must help one another. As for narrower issues 
that are highly charged symbolically and can drive 
potential allies away, especially those touching 
on sexuality and religion, such a liberalism would 
work quietly, sensitively and with a proper sense 
of scale. (To paraphrase Bernie Sanders, America 
is sick and tired of hearing about liberals’ damn 
bathrooms J 1B 

Of course, from a communist perspective, Hillary Clinton is 
not “great” on foreign policy and neither is Bernie Sanders, 
they are bloody imperialists and supporters of Zionist Israel 
and genocidal war. Sanders was more sympathetic to the 
concerns of white workers than Hillary, and probably could 
have defeated Trump had she not rigged the primaries, 
but socialism would not have been the result - far from it! 
A President Sanders, like Obama and FDR, would have 
been all about “saving capitalism.” At the end of the day, 
“everything reactionary is the same!” As Dutt explained: 
Lenin noted the tendencies of decay as the main, decisive, 
defining characteristic of monopoly capitalism, and added 
the proviso that this decay should not be misunderstood 
as “excluding” the “possibility of rapid growth” of particular 
“branches of production,” “strata of the bourgeoisie” or 
“individual countries. ” 19 

We cannot overemphasize that monopoly capitalism 
is capitalism in decay, and the excesses of bourgeois 
decadence, so personified by the vulgarian President Elect 
and his gold-digger trophy wife, in their gilded penthouse 
atop the mirrored-glass Trump Tower, perfectly reflect 
this decay and rot. Capitalism is rotten ripe for revolution, 
but the phony “Left” is rotten with revisionism, and a new 
vanguard party must be built from the ground up composed 
of the finest sons and daughters of the proletariat and 
oppressed masses. At the end of the day, “we must be our 
own liberators!” 

Panther Love! 

All Power to the People! 


18 Mark Lilia, “The End of Identity Liberalism,” The New 
York Times Sunday Review: Opinion, November 18, 2016 

19 Rajani Palme Dutt, “The Question of Fascism and Social 
Decay,”... 


10