Statement on the Buffalo Massacre

This past weekend, a white nationalist terrorist carried out a massacre in Buffalo, New York. The killer’s own published manifesto makes crystal clear the genocidal zeal and demographic panic induced fanaticism which motivated this base act of public murder, which he live-streamed so as to strike fear into the targets of his hate and for the amusement and inspiration of other thugs like himself.

The manifesto’s obsession with the white nationalist “great replacement” theory is particularly disturbing in its timing with the impending Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, as while believers in this theory rejoice at their chance to turn everyone they understand as a “fertile white woman” into a baby factory for their deranged racialist worldview, fascist militias are stepping up deadly attacks on groups they consider “racial enemies” with the same underlying motive. Biden’s election, much touted as an antidote to the fascist trends encouraged by Trump and those close to him, has self-evidently not changed their goals or means or confidence in pursuing both.

It goes without saying that in our analysis this latest attack cannot be viewed as some aberration but part of a growing trend of attacks with an aim to defend the white supremacy which has been hegemonic in the United States since the genocidal foundation of the settler colony.

Consequently, we seek neither explanation nor solution in the lessening of the availability of firearms in the US. While the question of what laws should govern firearms need not be as absolute as right-wing 2nd Amendment fundamentalists claim, we recognize the violence of mass shootings, racist terrorism and even everyday armed robbery as varying symptoms of the overarching capitalist system. White nationalists who carry out such terrorist attacks are the number one source of such murders even according to the state’s own definitions and statistics. They are disproportionate in their presence in the police and military, they already privately own large stockpiles of firearms and accordingly under any legal arrangement the state can provide they will remain more heavily armed than the peoples’ own capacity to arm themselves.

More pertinently to us is the question of what the masses are to do, especially in light of the last fact. We do not see revolution as a process of steadily arming the masses to where they can outshoot the state and its increasingly panicked reserve army, fascist militias, which elements of the state oppose in word but do not wage war on in deed.

Rather, revolution is a social process by which the masses become organized in such a fashion as to be able to bring down the state and totally reshape society in the conscious image of a liveable future for all. In the final instance, this is the only solution and defense of this goal by any means necessary is a condition of its success.

However, in the first instance, all progressive, popular democratic, oppressed nationality and oppressed gender forces must take such attacks as the threat they are and a wake-up call to action: the state is no genuine safeguard, we have no means of defense against the violence of oppressors but our own self-defense. As collectives, we must be armed and trained accordingly.

We call in particular on socialists reading this to get organized in broad-based, country-wide left-leaning firearms organizations like the Socialist Rifle Association. Socialist theory and practice cannot be done on one’s own, and self-defense and community defense are no different. In situations like this, many people go straight into panic-buying a firearm; the advice offered by gun stores to new firearm owners reflects their interest in sales more than their desire to offer sound firearms (or financial) advice. The best place to learn is with the guidance and experience of politically like-minded individuals, not ex-military YouTube LARPers, gun store salesmen and old men who still think rock salt in a shotgun is an adequate “nonlethal” home defense option.

Workers and oppressed peoples of this country and the world must unite, before it is too late. Any of us could be next.

Abortion, the Supreme Court and the Socialist Movement

On the evening of May 2nd, POLITICO published a shocking leak of a draft majority opinion of the Supreme Court in the upcoming case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, showing the court poised to strike down their previous ruling in the famous 1973 Roe v. Wade case that abortion was constitutionally protected at the federal level. The news is infuriating, a triumph decades in the making for the reactionary Evangelical anti-abortion movement, and a terrible blow to women everywhere who already fight daily against all manner of assaults against their bodily autonomy, but the unplanned and premature manner in which this news was delivered is most welcome indeed, for it has given movements and the masses something that has previously not been present at the top level of judiciary politics: space and time, however limited, to act.

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The Ukrainian Crisis and the Imperialist World System

The entire US left is reacting to the shocking invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The reactions are varied and reflect a vigorous discourse which we are pleased to see includes many positions not constrained by Cold War biases and “campism”. There is a broad consensus that Russia’s behavior, no matter the pretext, went far over the line, as is the view of many Russians who identify with the communist movement, even many we might analyze as right opportunist.

Unfortunately, not all on the US left are able to take a similarly circumspect position of condemnation of US imperialism, which has been and remains the most powerful imperialist center in military and economic terms alike. We have witnessed prominent representatives of the left call for sanctions against Russia, which would have an escalating effect, when as purported socialists and internationalists their immediate practical duty should to call for the disbanding of NATO and other actions that would have a deescalating effect.

In the midst of the practical discussion, there is also a theoretical discussion over whether Russia today qualifies as an “imperialist country”. In general, the trend is for those who advocate sanctions against Russia to assert that it is, so as to position Russia and the US on equal footing. For those who take a revolutionary defeatist stance on US imperialism, there is also a trend to assert that Russia is not an imperialist country, which naturally is partially motivated by a need to provide extra theoretical justification beyond revolutionary defeatism for opposing US escalation.

We have already said that many of the latter category none the less correctly join their Russian comrades in condemning Putin’s aggression, and we of course emphasize that it is not only wars carried out directly by imperialist centers which we condemn, but all wars except wars of defense and liberation on behalf of the poor and oppressed, which in fact serve to secure real and sustainable peace.

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Nontraditional Unionism (part 1)

by Kurt Marlin

The communist movement in the United States faces no shortage of problems, but in recent years the most glaring is a lack of vision. Many left tendencies have big dreams and no qualms articulating them, but then engage in practices wildly insufficient to the world-historic tasks they claim to work toward. The theoretical connection between houseless mutual aid or tenant organizing and the mythical “revolution” or “general strike” is often no more substantive than the link between dream and waking. We cough up short term plans when we need to, for a particular campaign or movement, but long or even medium term plans resemble the get rich quick schemes we shun more than a coherent, practicable strategy that can be carried out to advance the struggle for liberation.

Many communists see this deficiency but, in a classic error of sectarianism, they too often respond with broad criticisms of the tactics or practices being employed rather than concrete criticisms of ways to do it better. Some of these so-called communists stand aloof and criticize mutual aid as “red charity” that will never lead to working class power, which fortunately shields them from ever organizing an event that puts them at risk of speaking to a worker. Others offer up the same criticisms while dutifully doing the work they criticize as not “revolutionary” enough or saying it can only be done by joining their “vanguard” with its very real authentic mass base. This leaves the masses unlucky enough to be in contact with them with the impression that communists are nothing but scolds and haters. At least the anarchists have a utopian dream; all the communists do is whine about how it’ll never work.

If any of these vanguards do truly have a road map for their political practice, they don’t do much to share it beyond the confines of their own group. Some of these are small and local enough that the apparent lack of strategy can almost be excused, but others are big enough that they must either be hiding their strategy’s deficiencies from criticism or, worse, have none, moving forward with whatever they have been doing without attempting to educate their members on the importance of understanding the struggle in its totality and working consciously toward a real goal along a solid path. This latter issue is certainly the problem for smaller formations. The general rule for this kind of organizing has been:

To work half-heartedly without a definite plan or direction; to work perfunctorily and muddle along–“So long as one remains a monk, one goes on tolling the bell.” This is a ninth type.

Mao Tse-Tung, Combat Liberalism

We speak here from a position of guilt: much of our own practical work has involved this vague sort of popular but uncritical mutual aid, or aimlessly pushing forward community organizing projects similar to what we see in other places but largely disconnected from them. We have struggled to “do the work” and we have struggled to promote an anti-revisionist communist theoretical line, but rarely do we manage to combine the two. Far easier, more comfortable, to muddle along, than to truly stare the behemoth of capital in the face and dare to struggle and defeat it, to formulate a clear, concrete, present day plan for victory and subject it to the ordeal of scientific testing in the laboratory of social practice.

Enough! We have seen a million calls for unity with no substance, for action with no thought, and a million more criticisms of the same. Developing a long term strategy for the final victory over global capitalism-imperialism requires a revolutionary vanguard party, a real one and not a cliquish pretender to the name, but we will not develop this vanguard via short term activist campaigns and endless coalitions. Only by concretely organizing among the masses with a clear, successful and articulated strategy for the medium term will we achieve this goal.

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Fascism in the Contemporary US: Definition and Action

For the past four years, ever since the rise of Trump, political analysis and popular discourse in the United States has been consumed with the question of fascism. Is Trump a fascist? Is the US becoming a fascist state? Has it always been a fascist state? How do we fight fascism? What does fascism even mean? These burning questions, which have been hotly debated everywhere from the most Marxist to the most liberal circles, deserve critical discussion. What follows is our small contribution to this vital debate.

What is fascism?

The original rise of fascism in the inter-war period, first with Mussolini’s movement in Italy and later most notably with Nazism in Germany, prompted a series of debates among the radical left as the socialist and workers’ movements tried to define and contend with this new enemy. The Communist International (Comintern) played a leading role in this debate. The German communist Clara Zetkin and Bulgarian communist Georgi Dimitrov put forward two separate but interlocking analyses, which we take as our starting point.

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Juneteenth and the Ongoing Rebellion

As the George Floyd/#BlackLivesMatter protests show no signs of slowing since late May, we have just observed Juneteenth, the national holiday of the Afro-American people celebrating the news of their legal emancipation from chattel slavery. The significance of this day, in light of their ongoing oppression in all parts of the US, and the historic betrayal of the Union of the people they ostensibly fought to liberate in the South in particular, can hardly be overstated. 

Generally, Juneteenth is overwhelmingly celebrated by Afro-Americans, and is largely unknown by the rest of the US. Any official acknowledgement of the day has generally been confined to Texas, which is where it originated. However, in light of recent events, Juneteenth 2020 was commemorated on a massive scale. Thousands upon thousands marched from coast to coast, union dockworkers organized by the left-wing ILWU shut down every port on the West Coast, and a bill to make Juneteenth a countrywide holiday was introduced in the Senate. In this we see the tension between the powers that be and the insurgent masses. While our rulers are forced to acknowledge Juneteenth and try to turn it around and co-op it into a whitewashed summer version of MLK Day (a day for fine speeches and mattress sales), the masses tore down Confederate statues in the heart of the South and shut down a vital point of the global economy. Once again, the gap between their boardrooms and legislative chambers and our streets and communities has been shown. They attempt to pacify, but find themselves outpaced by events. We must not let them close this gap. We must continue to push the struggle forward.

Our people in New York, North Carolina, and Massachusetts have been out among the masses shouting for justice for Afro-American people in the face of police violence, the continuation of historic slave patrols. Since the initial #BlackLivesMatter protests in 2013, however, there has been a quantitative and qualitative increase in the prominence and political capital of these protests. Accordingly, now is the time to begin to speak about the implications for revolutionary organization in this country.

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Statement on the Lynching of George Floyd and the Minneapolis Uprising

Struggle for a New World strongly condemns the brutal and inhumane police murder of George Floyd, committed by Officer Derek Chauvin, with the aid of other officers of the Minneapolis Police Department, on May 25, 2020. This on-camera murder of an Afro-American man, already handcuffed and on the ground, is only the latest in a long line of legal lynchings. We salute the ongoing popular resistance and community self-defense actions being carried out by the Afro-American people of Minneapolis and their allies. On May 26, thousands defied the restrictions of the coronavirus to peacefully protest George Floyd’s murder, only for the MPD to attempt to viciously repress them. These heroic protesters resisted the attacks of the police. This protest and resistance has continued now into the following days, and will not stop until police murders stop. While the bourgeois media engages in “both-sides” rhetoric and condemns “violent riots” and “looting” in the same breath as they cry crocodile tears over George Floyd, we recognize the legitimacy of resisting, in the words of Malcolm X, “by any means necessary” the attacks and repression of white-supremacist US imperialism, in this instance represented by the MPD.

Let us be clear: it is right to rebel. It is right for the people to storm a police station, as just happened on the night of the 28th. The police are an occupying army who must be kicked out of every Black community, every working class community, every community of the oppressed and exploited. It is right to storm the Targets and ever other store, to seize the capitalist institutions that suck the money out of us and give nothing but starvation wages (with wage theft) in return. Which side are on? Are you on the side of the people, or the pigs? There is no middle path.

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Statement for International Workers’ Day 2020

Struggle for a New World sends revolutionary greetings to the working and oppressed peoples of the world on May 1st, 2020, the first International Workers’ Day of this decade.

We observe the holiday of the working class in unique conditions. For many of us, particularly in the US but also across the world, we will spend today inside our homes due to COVID-19. The big rallies and marches that have traditionally marked this day are on hold, as we all try to weather the pandemic and capitalism’s COVID crisis. Yet, today is still “the day we raise our voices loudest in our struggle against capitalism, imperialism, and fascism, and for socialism, peace, and democracy.” The class war has not been put on hold by the pandemic, but exacerbated by it.

With this in mind, we greet our comrades in every corner of the world: this year and decade have been rung in by US imperialism’s threat of imperialist war against Iran, and the burning fires which sweep across our society’s southern hemisphere twin: Australia. These are but two fitting reminders of capitalism’s threat of world-destroying war and climate crisis. And now we face this pandemic, which has impacted every corner of the world, a fitting reminder of our interconnectedness.

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COVID-19 and Capitalism

2EB417B5-1AAA-4F61-B7C7-CA4322AEEF85Right now, the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the US and UK are more rapid than in any other country, despite a clear head start in China, Iran, and Italy.

This is due to the flagrant mismanagement by the Trump and Johnson governments, each of them tied to the most extreme of “market freedom” economic ideologies, which as we can see in practice, means more profits at the cost of human needs.

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Feminism and Nationalism

by Muhsin Yorulmaz

In the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union, most of the remaining “socialist states” have been those which came into being through the explicit form of a national liberation struggle: Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, China, and Korea, all are united by the fact that a (at the time) Marxist-Leninist party led a popular front to victory against the forces of imperialism and fascism, and continue to stand as the de facto engineers of “socialist statehood”. Because of this, many people, particularly young people without any particular theoretical training, over-identify with national liberation as the defining feature of Marxism-Leninism.

From the other side, there are those, particularly left communists and Trotskyites, who accuse our entire ideology of being nothing more than a series of nationalist commitments. If one defends the national rights of the Kurdish people, one has fallen victim to “Kurdish nationalism”. In the United States, those who continue to uphold Afro-American liberation are accused of being nothing more than “Black nationalists”. The most troubling form of this comes, not from armchair critics of “nationalism” who would never say anything that could be accused of some sort of “nationalism”, but from members of the aforementioned first group, who imagine their perspective to be broadly “anti-imperialist”, but in fact use their own, unacknowledged, uninvestigated, uncriticized nationalism to attack the basic demands for rights by other nations.

In other words, the crux of our problem, as I have stated before, is how to distinguish between being a “nationalist” for oppressed peoples and simply defending oppressed nationalities.

This distinction is important, as the nationalist places at the centre of their world a nation, ignoring its internal contradictions, an error we must be very careful not to fall into. Although I am often accused of ignoring, for example, class contradictions among nations whose bourgeoisies are not hegemonic within a given state, I do consider this quite frequently, it’s simply that, in many contexts, a more powerful nation’s bourgeoisie has forced some sections of certain nation’s bourgeoisies into a progressive historical position, however temporarily.

So, given that I have spoken about this before, and noting the title at the top, the reader may wonder: what does this have to do with feminism?

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