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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Understanding World Can't Wait and the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP)

The rise of the most recent RCP front group, The World Can't Wait, provides a good opportunity for me to offer some links to criticisms of the RCP, it's strategies and leader, Bob Avakian. In the past, the RCP has attempted to utilize front groups like Not In Our Name and the October 22nd Organization (O22).

Its strategy is similar to that of another Stalinist sect, the Workers World Party, which for several years has operated through its front group International A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now To Stop War and End Racism). Both groups hope to use their fronts in order to maipulate folks who honestly oppose the policies of the Bush regime and the war. In the case of World Can't Wait, the steering committee - apparently self-appointed - is stacked with RCP members, disproportionate to their numbers and influence in the anti-war movement as a whole.

People who care about the future of the anti-war and other movements are right to start looking for alternatives to the stale, boring local scene, dominated as it is by Democratic electoralism and liberal candle-holding. But World Can't Wait brings us nothing that we can't do for ourselves. And it brings several disadvantages we can ill afford.

Four things we can do instead: (1) Break out of the vigil, anti-Bush rut - let's start picking meaningful targets that get to the root of the problem; (2) Focus on militant direct action aimed at targets that have a real impact on the war and its supporters; (3) Link up and support local struggles, especially those of the poor and people of color; (4) Ditch the political parties - our demands are clear and can be articulated and accomplished without the mediation of a third party.

For some good reading on the RCP and its history, consider the following articles:
This October 22, the RCP follows the anarchists
This short piece, from the Anarchist People of Color website, looks at some of the current changes in the RCP and why they may have made them. It also cautions anarchists and others to be skeptical of coalition work with them.
Mythology of the White-Led "Vanguard": A Critical Look at the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
This is a classic piece, though it focuses on the RCP as it was a few years ago. It's is worth reading to see where the RCP came from. Highlighted are its homophobic roots, amongst others. Though the RCP has reorganized some since this came out, most of the criticisms are still very valid. In an interview here, the author updates his criticism.
The Maoist cultism of the RCP is anti-Marxist
This is a pretty good analysis, though it comes from another authoritarian communist group. Not all of it's criticisms are valid, especially the more sectarian ones. However, the points about the cultish nature of the RCP and its pro-middle class orientation are worth reading.
These are three good places to start. In the end, though, the RCP is a deceptive, centralized and authoritarian organization. If we want to bring the war to an end and, eventually, bring about revolution in this country, we need to stick to decentralized and democratic forms of organizing because those reflect the world we want to replace the current one. And we need to keep our eyes on the real cause of the war, which goes beyond particular politicians or particular business interests. It's time to start talking about capitalism, the State, white supremacy, imperialism, patriarchy and the other systems that have brought us this and every other war. To stop them, we need a new direction in Phoenix, but we don't need World Can't Wait or the RCP.

There's an old anarchist saying, "If you want to know what a communist is saying, look at his hands." That means, the rhetoric is just that - rhetoric. Forget the words, look at what they are doing if you want to know what they really mean. We need to keep an eye on the RCP and WCW.


For the book readers out there, check out Daniel Cohn-Bendit's "Obsolete Communism: The Left-Wing Alternative" for a good treatment of communist parties as they operate in modern technological societies on the verge of revolution. Cohn-Bendit was a major player in the May Days of 1968 in Paris and had plenty to say after the communists sold the revolutionary movement out in France.


Blogger Pedro said...

...or people could actually check the "deceptive" agenda of the RCP, USA themselves, and form their own opinion based on that.

It's all laid out at: http://www.revcom.us

Sun Nov 06, 04:26:00 PM 2005  

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