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Open Letter on Maoism and Revolutionary Syndicalism

To the Kasama Project, by Punkerslut

From RadicalGraphics.org
Image: From "Revolution" Gallery from RadicalGraphics.org

Date: June 9, 2009


     While researching Maoist and Leninist ideology online, I found myself at your webpage and reading the delightful ideas of revolution. However, I don't share your same type of thinking in Maoism.

     The political party, in our century and those past, has either been the people's greatest enemy, or our greatest traitor. Liberal governments prohibit torture in their constitutions, and then fly prisoners to other countries to expose them to burns, hot iron, and other inventions of the Inquisition. [*1] A shoplifter of a $2 loaf of bread serves more time in prison than a CEO responsible for stealing millions from the public. America and Europe engaging in wars that actually make the civilian populations less safe. [*2] And everywhere, there is the rule of Capitalism. At one point, the land beckoned humanity, told us to come to it, to pull wealth out of it, and to make it our own -- but today, it simply says "No Trespassing. Violators will be prosecuted." This is the situation of our factories, our mines, our farms, and our entire world. No longer do men and women work these lands, because someone who owns them doesn't see enough profit in it. Instead, they starve in the street, waving a sign that says "Will Work For Food." This is the language of our modern era: right next to empty fields, there are those begging to farm and create their own sustenance.

     This has been the tragedy committed by all Liberal, Authoritarian, Fascist, and Monarchical governments. But when we look at the political parties that have tried to oppose this, the record is even more dismal. The Labour Party of Britain threw their laborers into the Capitalist war. [*3] During World War 1, the Socialist Parties of France and Germany were supportive of their own governments. [*4] It was worker-of-the-world slaughtering worker-of-the-world! In the 90's, the Hungarian Socialist Party took public assets and privatized them [*5] -- once again, the reds are looking out for the cause of Capitalism. In the 1970's, Portuguese Communist and Socialist Parties worked together to rewrite the nation's constitution, which urged the state to "socialize the means of production and abolish the exploitation of man by man." [*6] After a few years, though, Conservatives gained power and completely scrapped the "ideological language," -- language which existed only as an abstract, unworkable concept; it was not something that they even attempted to bring into reality. [*7]

     And then look at Authoritarian Parties of Socialism, from the Chinese Communist Party, to the one in Cuba, or Russia, or Vietnam, or Laos. We should be very aware that these places are the worker's hell. The right to organize, to form unions and strike, is completely prohibited. And those who do, in spite of the laws, are executed, imprisoned, and given harsh sentencing. According to Marx, I have been alienated by the means of production by not being able to work it. [*8] But in his governmental systems, I have become even more alienated -- I can't unionize, I can't strike, I can't speak, I can't read, or write, or think. And now I'm told that this is freedom. Whether it was Mao or Xiaoping, Lenin or Stalin, these political parties have always hunted and abused the people. Why would the Bolshevik Party, under Lenin's rule, abolish the right for Jews to use the Hebrew language? [*9] Why would the Chinese Communist Party, under Mao's rule, burn books and prohibit certain styles of music? [*10] It is an absolutely maddening system. In every way, the good, common people have been disarmed by a government that seeks to become their new Capitalist class. I do not look to Maoism as a solution; it is just another attempt to use "the right ideas" in enforcing government.

     If you are genuinely interested in the workers, the common people, and our struggle for liberty, then look to the past where we have succeeded. Workers in Barcelona, 1919, went on strike and achieved the first National Eight Hour Day. [*11] Strikes in Syria overthrew French rule there in the 1930's. [*12] Similar activity of unions in Algeria accomplished the same goal by the 1960's. [*13] Polish trade unions went on strike and eventually achieved self-governing autonomy in 1989 from the Soviets. [*14] And much earlier, in 1917, even the General Strikes of St. Petersburg convinced the military to defect to the side of the revolution [*15] -- it was striking that brought down the Tzar, and Lenin's coup against the worker-managed society that brought up a new one. Massive unrest and General Strikes against governments and Capitalism in Bolivia, [*16] New Guinea, [*17] India, [*18] Korea, [*19] and every spot of the globe. This is what has brought governments crashing to the ground; this is what has bent the Capitalist at their knee.

     The workers' union, and the General Strike. This is the tool that has achieved our liberty in the past, and it will be the tool the achieves it in the future. There is a piece of yours I read: "We need to sum up a century of revolutionary strategies and attempts, victories and defeats instead of the conventional wisdom and facile verdicts that paralyze our movements." Well, there is a quote that fits political parties perfectly: "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten." (Anthony Robbins) [*20] If we know what has worked, and what certainly doesn't, why would we waste any more time on Mao or similar butchers of the people? Their revolutionary party never changed anything -- it only brought about a new, Capitalist class that continued to exploit and oppress the people. Of course Mao banned unions and worker organizations -- he fears us, because he's one the greatest Capitalists of history, and we're the only thing that could've stopped him.

     One quote of yours was interesting: "To take this road, we need a fearless, open-eyed debate, discussion and engagement. We need fresh analyses of the rapid changes shaping the world around us." I am ready to engage in any discussion on creating liberty -- that is, real, true freedom, that allows you to work the ground and be the possessor of what you've created, that makes every person their own governor and liberator -- we need Anarchy.

     Please, we should discuss Anarcho-Syndicalism as a revolutionary path for creating a society managed by the workers, without the state or the capitalist. I patiently await your reply...

Andy Carloff,


*1. TruthOut.Org, "The CIA's Torture Flight Travel Agent," TruthOut Page.
*2. New York Times, "Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terrorism Threat," New York Times Page.
*3. HistoryLearningSite.Co.Uk, "The Labour Party and Iraq," History Learning Site Page .
*4. The French Socialist agreement was known as L'union sacrée ("The Sacred Union"), Wikipedia Page . The German Socialist agreement was known as Burgfrieden ("party truce"), Thorpe, Wayne: Keeping Faith: The German Syndicalists in the First World War in Central European History 33 Volume 2, pg. 195.
*5. "Hungary: What accounts for the success of the extreme right?" by Markus Salzmann, 17 June 2009, World Socialist Web Site, World Socialist Web Site Page.
*6. The 1976, Portuguese Constitution; Constitution Available Online.
*7. The Portuguese Constitution was revised with the 1st review (1982), as well as the 2nd review (1989), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Constitution.
*8. "The Holy Family," by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Chapter 4.
*9. Banned by the Narkompros (Commissariat of Education), (Russian) ????????? ????????? ???????? ???? ??????????? ? ??????????? ? 1930-? ???? (The Jewish Soviet Culture Was Doomed Since 1930s) by Nosonovski, Michael.
*10. "Cultural Revolution Memories Fade," by Dan Griffiths, BBC News, Beijing, Tuesday, 16 May 2006.
*11. "1919: La Canadiense and Barcelona general strike," by Steven, Sep 10 2006, LibCom Page.
*12. Commins, David Dean. Historical Dictionary of Syria, page 113. Scarecrow Press, 2004, ISBN 0810849348.
*13. Helen Chapan Metz, ed. Algeria: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1994. Section: "History - Conduct of the War."
*14. "Pushing back the curtain." BBC News, Poland 1984 - 1988, BBC Page.
*15. "The Russian Revolution," by Alan Moorehead, chapter 9: the Rising, March, 1917; Harper and Brothers Publishing, New York, 1958.
*16. "Bolivia sees anti-reform protests," BCC News, Saturday, 9 September BBC Page.
*17. "Guinea police clash with strikers", BBC News, January 22, 2007, BBC Page.
*18. "'The Tribune: RIN Mutiny - The lesser known mutiny," Trilochan Singh Trewn, Sunday, February 24, 2002, Tribune India Page.
*19. Cumings, Bruce. Korea's Place in the Sun: A Modern History. New York: W.N. Norton and Company, 1997.
*20. "Anthony Robbins Quotes," Anthony-Robbins.org Page.

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