Red Guards Charlotte stands for unity of the proletariat and its allies against capitalism-imperialism. That unity does not, however, extend to the left. There is only one proletarian ideology: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism.
In response to our decisive stance against “left unity” The People’s Revolutionary United Collective-Charlotte (PRUC) was formed. They were founded on May 24th , according to their Facebook profile they are a group of “…revolutionaries of various leftist ideologies under the banner of advancing socialist liberation through class consciousness & proletarian struggle.” This is a revisionist thesis.
Conditions of PRUC’s founding
PRUC was founded by “Joey Steel” (his name only on a Facebook sock account). “Joey” sought to find any and every point of contention among our supporters and isolate us from our mass contacts. He sought to take the enemies we’ve made through the class struggle and build himself an organization out of our enemies. In doing this, he has also used certain street tactics that before Red Guards Charlotte had never been used in an organization in Charlotte. He sought to use our tactics and claim “socialism” while gutting this facade of our ideology which is revisionism. He became the rightist pole in this city.
PRUC’s sorry excuse for leadership is our enemy. We will give the back story. For a short time, “Joey” was very sympathetic to Red Guards Charlotte. We met him at D28. He made food for a serving for Serve the People Charlotte, came to the Revolutionary Study Group, and also committed to help organize events with us. He has an extremely loud mouth, bragging about doing illegal actions, even name dropping the people he had “done” things with. He kept talking about starting his own organization yet he wouldn’t come canvass working class communities with us once. We were patient and still had good faith that he was just cocky and reckless, but could improve.
Through this course he claimed he was arrested at two different protests. He claimed he was arrested during the Baltimore Uprising and that he was arrested in the Charlotte Uprising resulting from the police murder of Keith Lamont Scott. He claimed he was given a felony “Inciting a Riot” charge in Charlotte, which was the same charge actually given to a handful of political prisoners here. This was very curious to us as our collective was formed as a result of the Charlotte rebellion, and we had never heard of him. We asked him to delve deeper because things didn’t add up. He was notified that we would investigate it deeper. We did our own thorough research to find no evidence of him being arrested on anything political, let alone in Baltimore or Charlotte.
Lying about past arrest history in political work is an alarm because it begs the question–why lie? At best it is bluffing to look cool and at worst it is a sign of pig work. In either case, lying about arrest history is a good reason not to trust someone. So, with our research done, we confronted him and gave him the chance to explain. We told him what we had not found and asked if he had any proof of his own–court papers, etc. He had previously offered to show us his court papers but this time he flipped shit spewing consistent attacks of all our work, and left every group we have influence in. He used the excuse he doesn’t show his ID to pigs, even when they have their hand on their gun. He called us suspicious for having asked for this. He claimed the charges had been expunged and that’s why they weren’t showing up, but there are certain paper trails that even expungement doesn’t erase–in this case there still was not any evidence to support his story. An arrest of that magnitude during the Charlotte rebellion being completely scrubbed from all records related to arrests and media sources is impossible for any regular person no matter how good their legal team is.
He has never been called a cop by us. We can’t substantiate that–as heavy burden of proof is required. Instead of jumping to the worst conclusions we gave him a chance to explain, or to come clean, and he squandered it. With him failing to give us proof we have no choice but to conclude that he is lying about his arrest history. We must take security seriously. Let us be clear that being arrested is not what we are concerned with, but that dishonesty around this history is an alarm.
On the very off-chance that he was in fact arrested in these two cities for protesting, he should definitely be willing to show the members of his “organization” this proof. However even if he does produce proof and it turns out he was telling the truth, our position that he is an enemy will not change. His reaction to us was unacceptable behavior that he can’t take back. If he had taken the chance to explain himself we would not be taking a hard line–but it is far too late for that.
This culminated in “Joey” trying to poach our supporters. In forming PRUC he reached out to many people that he only knew through us and the organizations we have influence in. He opportunistically presented himself as the alternative “revolutionary” leadership in this city.
He sent this to one of our supporters who had commented on our Facebook page. This was right after the release of “Postmodernism is bourgeois ideology and we support violence against It.” It was before the formation of PRUC and makes it very clear that he intended to be organized opposition to us. Note that he was never an RGC member, nor does he have any clue who is in RGC. This form of speculation is pig work.
For the first meeting of PRUC once again RGC supporters were invited, behind our backs, yet of course RGC was not invited. Every single post relating to our work, “Joey” would concern-troll. We blocked him from our page.
The PRUC organization is thoroughly revisionist. Their founder is an enemy of the revolution, and we call on comrades who take revolution seriously to disband the organization and dedicate their time to mass work.
Occupation of ICE in Charlotte to Stop Deportations
During the writing of this piece PRUC called for an occupation of the ICE office in Charlotte. Many of our supporters showed up in support of a worthy cause. We live in a state of increasing fascism in the US and immigrants are one of the enemy’s first targets. Deportations are on the rise and we stand with the people resisting the capitalist-imperialist state and resisting ICE. Many of the people who came out to the event are future comrades and are looking for something to be plugged into.
We firmly believe that calling for the abolition of ICE is an infantile methodology of fighting a government institution. It didn’t work with the “Occupy Wall Street” movement so we wonder why it would work now. The abolition of ICE without the overthrow of capitalism is a social-democratic solution to the problem of the criminalization of immigrants. ICE is a part of the old state machinery, which means that in order to “abolish ICE” the state under capitalism must be destroyed. Not only is it not possible, as ICE is part and parcel of the capitalist state, but demanding ICE themselves cease to exist is an erroneous falsehood equivalent to asking cops to hand over their guns of their own volition. We don’t ask anything from our oppressors, we take what is ours, and make no apologies for it.
Occupations serve the purpose of demanding the oppressors and exploiters choose to fix their oppressive and exploitative way, instead of attacking the enemy and forcing them into submission to give up what we are demanding. An occupation places the onus on the ruling class themselves to change their ways. With all our disagreements, we still chose to show up in solidarity with immigrants and their families during this difficult time for all oppressed people.
This was found in Charlotte. Photo sent in by a supporter.We salute the bravery it took to do this as spray paint is a propaganda tactic we support. We have no idea who did this or what group it was affiliated with and we won’t speculate on that because it would be pig work. But for whoever did do this, we must criticize that an opportunity for great propaganda was squandered. “U.S. Department of Ho-land Security” hardly lives up to the task of taking the enemy seriously and sending them a message.
This joking attitude is the same thing we criticized in some of the chants that anarchists were bringing to our action at D28. It reads more like a leftist inside joke than a serious message to the masses. This kind of lackadaisical attitude towards propaganda is the default for today’s left which helps us understand why the “left” is so useless. It makes a mockery of the struggle that needs to be waged against ICE who are ruining people’s lives.
Propaganda is designed to send a specific audience a specific message. Regardless of intention, everything exists as propaganda. We ask, who is this intended to reach? Other “leftists”? And what message does it send? Aside from the whimsical tone we wonder why women have to be the butt of the joke. The term “ho” at this point is close to an anti-woman term as it’s used to describe many women who are not prostitutes. It’s used to put women a step below men which as proletarian feminists we can’t allow.
While clowning the enemy is not inherently bad, the time to clown them is when we’ve already defeated them or at least made sizeable gains against them–which we can hardly say for the struggle against ICE as it stands today. When clowning instead of working is the default groups get comfortable with the movement as it exists.
In the past we have been ridiculed for our emphasis on seriousness and labelled the same old anti-communist tropes–“robots” who don’t joke and don’t act like “real” people. These same types espouse what we call friendship politics–being in political spaces primarily because of friendship instead of primarily because of politics. We refuse to unite with this bullshit because it’s coming from a left that is more of a friend group than an organized body with specific goals.
This was found in Charlotte. Photo sent in by a supporter.
PRUC: one big tent
“Between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.” – Karl Marx
PRUC unites themselves around principles we have unabashedly rejected since our founding. We reject “left unity” not on the premise of it being impossible to carry out, since we know unprincipled unity among the left is possible–we all are drowning in it as we speak! Instead, we reject it because the masses make history, not the left. What good is unity of the left when our ultimate goal: communism, can’t be attained through its application? The class character of the majority of the “left” today actively aids the bourgeoisie and hurts the revolution. The left’s anticommunism stands in the way of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.
The incongruity of the beginning of PRUC’s founding statement, “revolutionaries of various leftist ideologies” leading toward an abstract “socialist liberation” must be highlighted– there has never been a socialist revolution that occurred under a ‘big tent’ leftist coalition. PRUC wants to be the big tent that puts “unity” (hence their name) above politics–above the class struggle. Having the numbers is cool until it’s time to advance and unprincipled unity will hold you back.
Continuing on, they claim that “socialist liberation” will come through “class consciousness” and “proletarian struggle”. This is more abstract description that in practice amounts to idealism. The conclusion of class consciousness is the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (DoP). Of course PRUC omits this because this decisive line would alienate them from their opportunist support. Socialism can only be established through Protracted People’s War (PPW). Socialism must exist as state power before we can advance to a stateless and classless society–communism. Socialism needs a state in order to break the anarchy of production through centralized state planning, mass education campaigns, cultural revolutions and defending the gains of the revolution from enemies abroad and domestic. Of utmost importance in the state’s role is the continuation of the class struggle through to communism–the application of antirevisionism.
Other than their erroneous “left unity” mantra we see another key unifying point in PRUC’s program: their hatred for Maoism. Particularly they attack PPW. This is seen all over their Facebook page. As we know, this group was a rightist pole concretely formed in response to Red Guards Charlotte. They share fraternity with the likes of Marxist (Menshevik) Center, featuring prominent groups like: Philly “Socialists” and Austin Social (Fascist) Collective.
Historical precedent set by the Bolsheviks
In Charlotte, many “leftists” have criticized RGC for being alienating for “splitting” with other radical or left formations. We hold that splits are a necessary part of the Party’s development in the class struggle. The clarification, and demarcating, through splitting is a vital role in the struggle against all incorrect trends–principally revisionism. We hardly consider it splitting with PRUC as we never had principled unity with any random assortment of leftists. They completely lack understanding of how the Party is built and this translates to confused practice.
From their mission statement, we can read a total neglect of any understanding of the history of socialism. There have been two completed socialist projects to date in the world: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the greatest of all the People’s Republic of China, and an honorable mention to the short lived but earth shattering Paris Commune. Both the Bolsheviks and the Chinese Communist Party had one decisive factor in common: the revolutions they led were headed up by a single unified vanguard Party with a specific program and constitution dedicated to building communism, guided by Marxism and Marxism-Leninism, respectively. Both did unite with non-Marxist organizations, but only temporarily to advance the revolutionary struggle. Never did they sacrifice their leading role as the definitive guarantors of the revolution. Instead, they split or cleansed themselves of the rotten, revisionist elements, leading to stronger cohesion and less eclecticism. The Party consolidates more and more with its course of development but the big-tent organizations do the opposite and spread out more, consolidating less. That unity doesn’t mean anything if it hasn’t been won through intense struggle.
In 1903, the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) split into two factions–the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. They split over very key political issues namely who should be a member of the Party. The Mensheviks said it is enough to simply be an advocate for the Party but not a member/professional revolutionary in one of the Party organizations. Lenin sternly disagreed and said only those who are in total agreement with the Party programme, those who help fund the Party and those who work inside it as their life’s duty shall be a member. As history unfolded, we know that Lenin and the Bolsheviks were successful in ousting the Tsar and the bourgeois democratic government ushering in the first great socialist state: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The Mensheviks reside in the dustbin of history just like all those who attempt to recreate their erroneous organizational method. PRUC are the Mensheviks of today but worse–PRUC is trying to mix a whole, eclectic array of ideologies into one organization. These eclectic ideas range from Trotsky’s social chauvinist idea of “permanent revolution” to Che’s failed focoist method of guerrilla warfare to postmodernist revolution of the Zapatistas in Chiapas (they have claimed to be at war with the Mexican government since 1994 but haven’t fired a single shot yet).
Maoism is the only proletarian ideology
Many “leftists” take our unwavering devotion to our ideology and mistake it as a refusal to work with non-Maoists. This is simply not true–we do work with non-Maoists whether at street demonstrations or in mass work. We seek to build a revolution with the masses who are not Maoists yet. Our allegiance belongs to the Red Guards movement who are the continuators of the International Communist Movement (ICM) in what is today the US. Therefore, we stand in the tradition of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, the Four and Gonzalo—and the organizations they led (The First International, the Bolsheviks, the Chinese Communist Party, and the Communist Party of Peru). In the same vein we stand resolutely against revisionism. That means we cannot be in one unified organization with programs that represent a diametrically opposed world outlook, strategy for revolution and overall ideology. For example, we cannot say that regarding the Sino-Soviet split we see correct elements in both parties and choose to remain neutral on the issue. No, we firmly stand with the Chinese Communist Party led by Mao in the struggle against Khruschevite revisionism. We do not reconcile two opposing lines into one organization.
Two lines emerge in the process of class struggle, a white (right) and red (left) line. Two-line struggle is the motor to develop all forms of struggle to the highest point. However, that does not mean that those two separate lines converge into one–instead it means one line divides into two, and the red line must impose itself on the white. If those two lines were to be combined into one then we would blend revisionism with Marxism, when in reality revisionism is the negation of Marxism. The idea that you can blend revisionism with Marxism or even be soft on it is a revisionist idea itself.
Revisionism is when a group claims to be Marxist but cut the fundamental core out of their theory and practice–the class struggle. Revisionism is “socialist” in name but capitalist in practice. Any organization claiming to be socialist that isn’t organizing the development of the class struggle into PPW in the most immediate sense is revisionist. Revisionists fire sugar-coated bullets. It sounds sweet and easy but is actually the enemy to revolution. It is our duty as communists to fight revisionism tooth and nail, whether they be external to our organization, revisionists inside the Party or the revisionist ideas we must struggle against daily. Struggling against revisionism means upholding and defending PPW. In light of all our criticisms of what does not work, we have the true answer of what does.
In Defense of Protracted People’s War (PPW)
PPW is the only strategy of making revolution. PPW is the process by which the militarized communist Party arouses masses to conquer areas of proletarian power (“red base areas”) and builds a People’s Army to smash the existing state. These red base areas become what is referred to as dual power. Dual power is the process where, before the capitalist state is destroyed, communists and the People’s Army exert direct political power over many base areas. This is literally controlling a territory militarily. These pockets of socialism become what will replace the capitalist state after the People’s Army destroys it. These base areas will be in working class enclaves in which daily life is no longer dictated by the capitalist ruling class but by the future Maoist Communist Party. Our class will engage in economic production, participation in political life, propagating (and participating in) the struggle for PPW to gain state power. A base area becomes the materialization of the deepest desires of the proletariat.
PPW moves through three distinct stages on the path to liberation: strategic defensive, strategic equilibrium and strategic offensive.
- Strategic defensive is the stage when the capitalist armed forces and political power remains dominant over the communist forces. This is the beginning stage when revolutionary forces begin to be consolidated, the people’s army is built and guerrilla actions are taken against the bourgeoisie.
- Strategic equilibrium is the stage when the forces of exploiters and the communists are nearly equal or in a stalemate. Red base areas are living examples of dual power, the people’s army rivals that of the imperialist army both qualitatively and quantitatively. In this stage there will be an equal amount of defending conquered base areas and attacking the bourgeoisie. During this stage the slogan ‘preserve yourself by destroying the enemy’ becomes a vital call to arms for all friends of the revolution.
- Strategic offensive is the finale stage before the conquering of state power. In this stage the communist forces have reached a far higher level of politico-military power than the existing capitalist state. This is when plans for the final assault on the remaining strongholds of the bourgeoisie are made and executed. As comrade Mao teaches us, the enemy must be annihilated in its totality with not one person escaping our cast net. After this stage is completed the former base areas now become the new socialist state power, and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat is established.
Our great teachers, millions of proletarians and the masses that came before us laid their lives down to provide us an overall guide for how to make revolution. We would be naive, petit bourgeois fools to toss out their lessons in favor of ‘trying something new.’ In the process of class struggle new leaders, new ideas, advancements of Maoism will be born but they will not discard of the classic teachings. Instead our future leaders will apply those teachings so masterfully that the “new ideas” will actually just be the continuation of Marx, Lenin and Mao in the 21st century.
-Red Guards Charlotte, July 2018