"loons in RCP"

Matt Davidson afn02065 at freenet.ufl.edu
Wed Apr 19 10:54:31 MDT 1995

Justin Schwartz writes:

> Rakesh Bhandari cites Mattick against the old New Left enthusiasm for Mao
>and other third world revolutions. Broadly speaking I think the sentiment
>is right. I ceased to be a quasi-Maoist (sinceI was always and
>anti-Stalinist I was never a good Maoist) when the significancxe of the
>fact that there are no peasants in America became clear to me, which in
>fact didn't take very long in my early Marxist education. But apart from
>the loons in RCP third-worldism is a target of the past.
>(Chris: RCP= Revolutionary Comminist Party, the remaining American Maoist

Whatever the party's faults (the cult of Chairman Bob and its line on
homosexuality being two glaring examples), all the "loons" I've known in and
around the RCP have been genuine communists and revolutionaries, who have
dedicated their lives to changing the world in the face of overwheliming
odds.  They certainly are laying more on the line than most academic
Marxists.  In any event, it's completely unfair to dismiss them as
third-worlders.  They're very much conscious of the fact that their task is
revolution right here at home.  And why shouldn't the international
proletariat have international leaders and heroes?

(BTW, the Maoist International(ist?) Movement, the Progressive Labor Party
and the Marxist-Leninist (Workers?) Party also call themselves Maoist, I
think.  Or are the latter Hoxaist/Albanians?)

>  Ralph and some others have disparaged, as I take it, solidarity worlk
>with third world revolutions as irrelevant to American concerns. This
>seems a failure of internationalism. The working class and its problems
>are international and capital is globalized. The struggle requires support
>for the Chiapas rebellion and opposition to the PRI partycrats for the
>common interests of North American and Mexican workers. This is not the
>same as waving the Little Red Book or holding up, e.g. Subcommandante
>Marcos as the new Great Helmsman. Still internationalism requires us to
>support the Zapatista struggle, the Haiti democracy movement, the Party of
>Labor in Russia, etc. Self-interest too.
>For what it's worth recall that Marx helped form the first Internatioinal
>around solidarity with Polish revolutionaries. Each working class m,ust
>settle with its own bourgeoisie, as he says, but internationalism and
>class struggle are the twin poles of Marxism.

The real "third-worldists" are people in CISPES and other "solidarity"
groups who see revolution as something that happens "over there" where all
the poor, oppressed people are, people who head to the polls to vote for the
"good" Democrat who'll make "peace and justice" the cornerstone of his
foreign policy.

What's so great about the Zapatistas?  They've already abdicated any
responsibility to become the state.  Are they hoping Bill Clinton will run
for President of Mexico?  Is their program to pressure the criminals whose
boots are on their necks to not press down quite so hard?

If you want solidarity with revolutionaries, how about the Communist Party
of Peru?  Or is actual people's war too messy?  Gee, if only the "good"
Peruvian politicians would get voted in instead of the "bad" Fujimori.  If
only some Peruvian Zapatistas would form a pressure group.  Maybe they could
hook up with some Catholic "liberation theologians" and we could get
together a Commitee to Support the (Nice, Friendly, Non-Communist) People of

For revolution,

--Matt Davidson

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