[Marxism] Maoism, Mao Thought, and the RCP

joseph briggs joseph.briggs at lycos.com
Fri Apr 30 08:22:54 MDT 2004

Hello, I've been a lurker here for a while and thought I'd drop in my $0.02.

Coming from the RCP-school of recruitment in the mid 80s, and having moved further to the "left" in the direction of "Gonzalo Thought", I'm since trying to mend my sectarian ways and dispense with ideological Marxism (as opposed to the scientific variety) altogether.

Anyway, to the poster (RosaRL) who suggested the RCP is really a worthwhile organization, I would respectfully suggest that while there are good, dedicated people in that group, and some good work gets done (e.g. around police brutality), they are not now, have never been, and will never be a "proletarian vanguard".  It is unlikely they will ever be more than radical journalists and booksellers.  The sooner you realize that the better off you will be.  They have no real contact with the masses and no clue how to organize a mass movement, much less a revolution.

As an example, I recall the story a young Anarchist working in Brooklyn told about the spontaneous mass demonstration among the Haitian community against the NYPD at the funeral of Patrick Dorismond, killed by the police.  While the masses were in a shoving match with the cops, the RCP paper vendor on the scene was overheard on her cell phone to headquarters frantically asking "what do I do?".  Perhaps the cadre who "lead" the L.A. riots from behind could give some advice?

On the question of "Mao Tse-tung Thought" vs. Maoism, it was Chairman Gonzalo of the PCP who argued Mao represents the new, universal stage in Marxism; his 1988 essay "Fundamental Documents" sets this centerstage and this conclusion was ultimately adopted as doctrine by the RIM in 1993.  It is a dividing line question among those who followed China after the 1960s.  Maoist trivia, perhaps, but a doctrine of central importance to my old comrades.  Ultimately "Maoism" is testimony to how easy it is to turn the ideas and practices of a flexible, original thinker and revolutionary leader into the narrowest of religious dogmas.

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