February 27, 2010

Revolutionary Spirit, Vol. #1, Issue #1


The Central Committee of the American Party of Labor has long planned to publish a theoretical journal. Today that plan has finally bore fruit. When a revolutionary organization dies ideologically, it is only a matter of time before it ceases to be truly revolutionary.

Such a theoretical journal is entirely necessary for building up a true proletarian movement and a true proletarian party which is national in scale, connected with the working masses and is fully consolidated in organization, in political line and in practice. This necessity is even more closely felt by all our comrades given the present situation—on the one hand, there is the eternal threat of global imperialism, led by US imperialism, and on the other, we have modern revisionism, phony Marxism that acts, at home and abroad, as agents of imperialism.

The American Party of Labor’s new theoretical journal is called Revolutionary Spirit. What is its purpose? How will it differ from other left-wing journals of the same type?

The building of a thoroughly scientific and Marxist-Leninist party is essential to our task of waging revolution in the United States. For this, we must have a thoroughly scientific theory to guide that party. This is why Revolutionary Spirit is being published at this time.

Revolutionary Spirit will be different because it breaks with all phony Marxism and revisionism. We uphold the line of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin, and we label ourselves Marxist-Leninists. This name is not meant to take away from the developments of Engels or Stalin in any way. In fact, the American parties today have thrown the teachings of Lenin and Stalin into the dustbin, whereas we have reclaimed their works as living, breathing texts.

Traditionally, stages of developing Marxism are named by adding a suffix of the latest theorist or leader to the name “Marxism.” For example, Lenin was added to Marxism by calling it “Marxism-Leninism.” We are breaking with this tradition of seeking to endlessly add suffixes, like “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism” or “Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism,” since it is unnecessary in many cases, and in most cases it is a sign of a revisionist tendency, such as with Prachanda Path, the Juche Idea and Gonzalo Thought.

As well, though we follow the line of Enver Hoxha of Albania in most things, we are not going to explicitly call ourselves “Hoxhaist” or “Marxist-Leninist-Hoxhaists,” since Enver Hoxha’s developments of Marxism are not substantial enough on their own. Hoxha’s famous work Imperialism & the Revolution merely pointed the way for non-revisionists to act.

The American nation is plagued on all sides by revisionist organizations watering down and distorting Marxism by putting forward liberal, Trotskyist, anarchist and overall capitalist ideas and trying to fuse those ideas with Leninism. Since the collapse of Albania, there has been no further development of revolutionary theory, or any socialist states. There has sadly been a trend of retrogression internationally. We hold that Marxism-Leninism is the most revolutionary science alive today.

What breakthroughs are at the core of Marxism-Leninism?

• That the transition from capitalism to socialism requires the revolutionary overthrow of the exploiting classes and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

• That the transition between capitalism to socialism and from socialism to communism can only be brought about under the dictatorship of the proletariat.

• That the dictatorship of the proletariat shall be under the leadership of a vanguard party made of the working class.

• That the socialist period must take the form of a centralized state-planned economy to replace profit motive.

• That the liquidation of socialism in the Soviet Union and Albania was not due to the failure of Marxism or communism, but rather due to its distortion by revising key elements of the ideology—this distortion we call “revisionism.”

• That revisionism presents a very real danger to the anti-imperialist and Marxist-Leninist movement internationally, and that all parties should attend to the political education of their members with publications such as this, so that any future revisionism may be eliminated before it sabotages socialism once again.

• That the continuing global warfare being waged by the imperialist countries with US imperialism at the head must be opposed, as should all imperialist wars waged against the peoples in developing and colonial countries.

• That movements of national liberation that fight imperialist war, occupation and annexation in oppressed nations must be supported.

• And finally, that the current world situation reflects the continuation of decaying global capitalism and imperialism, and must be used by the working people to advance the cause of socialist revolution.

It is to uphold these principles of Marxism-Leninism that the CC of the American Party of Labor has chosen to begin publishing Revolutionary Spirit at this time.

The Marxist-Leninist Guide to Leftist Factions

[This article has been revised and updated - Editor, 2010]


Marxism is a political, social and economic ideology based on scientific doctrine and the materialist interpretation of history. Marxism was developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels as a radical and revolutionary position on how to achieve socialism. Whereas the earlier socialists of the time believed in reform movements, Marxism called for a revolution of the proletarian class. One of the foundations of Marxism is dialectical and historical materialism. Marxism states that humanity’s history is related to class struggle, the struggle between social classes, and these struggles have changed throughout time. In present form, class struggle is primarily between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, the bourgeoisie being those who own the means of production and control society and the proletariat being members of the working class who must sell their labor power merely to be exploited, having no access to the means of production. Production relations evolve overtime through class relations, and society itself becomes led by whichever class takes the upper hand. Society itself follows the “stagist” theory of historical periodization in which the order is primitive communism > slave society > feudal society > capitalism > socialism and the final epoch being communist society. Marxism also calls for a scientific criticism of capitalism, and asserts that capitalism is exploitative and essentially privatized tyranny. One of the central tenets of Marxism and communism is the abolition of private property; Marx argues society cannot fully develop until private property relations are abolished. This means that productive forces of capital such as factories, land and the other means of production must be socialized. To do this, Marxism calls for revolution and a dictatorship of the proletariat in which the people themselves, members of the working class, democratically run a socialist society until classes are abolished and there is no need for the state. Marx and Engels helped to develop the theories of materialist dialectics, the labor theory of value, the theory of alienation in capitalist society, commodity fetishism and so forth, and the two provided highly detailed economic works to back their political and social beliefs. In regards to Engels’ contribution to Marxism, after Marx’s death Engels continued editing and expanding upon their work. Marxism would later be expanded even further by Marxists such as Lenin.


Marxism-Leninism is the extension of Marxism through Lenin’s ideas, but also through Stalin. This calls for a vanguard party, or a revolutionary party of highly organized revolutionaries to help spearhead class consciousness and organize the people in order to better achieve a socialist society. Lenin knew that Russia’s conditions were not suitable for a “pure Marxist” approach, and therefore scientific correction to Marxist theory that could be applied to better suit changing conditions of society was necessary. Like “pure” Marxism, Leninism is against reformism as the means of achieving communism because of its inherent contradictory nature. Only through revolution can communism be achieved under the leadership of the vanguard party. In the Soviet Union, the dictatorship of the proletariat was governed through decentralized direct democracy practiced through councils called Soviets. The workers themselves retained political power in the form of Soviet/proletarian democracy. As Lenin called it in The State and Revolution: “An immense expansion of democracy, which for the first time becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the rich… Suppression by force from democracy for the exploiters and oppressors of the people.” The Bolsheviks took the leading role in the struggle for the working class. They were against nationalism and exploitative elements. Stalin would further expand on Lenin’s ideas with the belief of socialism in one country and the theory that exploitative elements can arise within socialism and must be combated against via the theory of aggravation of class struggle under socialism. Not only did Stalin show how socialism in one country could work, but Hoxha of Albania did as well. Marxism-Leninism marks the most scientific and correct theory of Marxism/communism, and in practice it meant an increased focus on agriculture and industry in order to sustain a socialist state.


Anarchism, like communism, calls for the abolition of monopolies and imperialism and for a more socially-based system. Therefore, the end goal of anarchism is essentially a communist society (unless we’re referring to anarcho-capitalists of course) but how communism is achieved is where Marxists and anarchists differ. Historically, Bakunin, an anarchist, and Marx were initially close comrades. The two split because of differing viewpoints; Bakunin disagreed with the notion of dictatorship of the proletariat. Many anarchists may well disagree with the theory, but their conceptions are false and inaccurate. Anarchism, like communism, has broad implications. Mutualists for example support market socialism, which of course is revisionist and contradictory and not truly socialist. Most importantly, anarcho-communists may believe immediate transition to communism is necessary, which demonstrates a lack of understanding and maturity; the results of attempting to jump ahead into communism without first establishing a proper revolutionary party, a proper socialist nation, and then expanding socialism throughout nations, and all without understanding Marxist theories (e.g. dialectical materialism) will result in potential failure. Anarcho-syndicalists believe that labor unions are the organizations that help achieve communist society. Communists and anarchists have been seen cooperating in riots, protests, strikes and so forth to weaken capitalism. The vanguard party ultimately suppresses anarchism as a left form of petty-bourgeois ideology, however, and ultimately anarchism remains immature and idealistic when compared to Marxism.


There is essentially no such thing as “Stalinism.” The term is used primarily to discredit supporters of the line of Joseph Stalin and the USSR. The proper term for Stalin’s beliefs is still Marxism-Leninism, as he expanded further on Lenin and Marx’s ideas. Sometimes the bourgeois try to argue that “Stalinism” is a form of government in which rapid industrial and agriculture development occurs, or even that “Stalinism” is an ideology or even a mindset, but this is a falsehood. On the subject of his personal works, Stalin’s “Marxism and the National Question” of 1913 provided insights into the Marxist theory of the nation and national struggle and was praised by Lenin.


Maoism is a Marxist-influenced ideology developed by Mao Tse-Tung, also known as “Mao Tse-Tung Thought.” Maoism differs in numerous ways from Marxism-Leninism. Mao stated that revolution can be made by the rural peasantry in colonized countries and by the proletariat in alliance with the peasantry within imperialist countries. This is to say, Maoism isn’t necessarily the idea of alliance between workers and peasants, but the alliance of classes that would benefit from the revolution, which include national bourgeoisie. Maoism essentially states that everyone can become a part of the Party regardless of their social class; this leaves room for opportunism and those who have not developed class consciousness to infiltrate the Party, unfortunately. Maoism calls for rural guerrilla warfare via protracted people’s war, in which the people themselves fight for the development of socialism. Maoism upholds the idea of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, which furthermore states that people should spread communism and join the Party to influence the culture from a capitalist/feudalist society into a socialist era. However, masses of people who are not class consciousness can weaken the communist base of such an idea. In China, this happened when violence broke out and the Party began to lose control.

Maoism also calls for the theory of New Democracy, according to which the socialist stage of development is reached through a decades-long period of state-capitalism and the collaboration between several classes. Some supported this approach, upholding it as a new development of Marxism and the application of Marxism to colonial, neo-colonial and semi-feudal countries. Others were more criticial of the long-lasting nature of such a theory as well as the theoretical possibility of several classes being in power or state-capitalism peacefully transitioning to socialism. Enver Hoxha notes in Imperialism & the Revolution: “According to ‘Mao Tse-Tung Thought’, a new democratic regime can exist and socialism can be built only on the basis of the collaboration of all classes and all parties. Such a concept of socialist democracy, of the socialist political system, which is based on ‘long-term coexistence and mutual supervision’ of all parties, and which is very much like the current preachings of the Italian, French, Spanish and other revisionists, is an open denial of the leading and indivisible role of the Marxist-Leninist party in the revolution and the construction of socialism.” Maoism has as its outlook an anti-dogmatic viewpoint and throughout the 1960-1976 period subtly traded knowledge on Marxism for knowledge on Mao and his "outstanding" contributions to Marxist theory. The rightward shift and pro-US stance of the Mao and the Chinese Communist Party in the early 70's (which went into full swing after Mao's death in 1976), split the international Maoist movement into revisionist yet progressive sections, social-democratic sections and a Third-Worldist section. The Cultural Revolution, however, is generally supported by all Maoist lines even though it liquidated the CCP and went against the proletariat. There are reasons to support Maoism because of its correct stances, but also because of Maoism’s incorrect and unique stances it can become negated with error.


“Hoxhaism” as a distinct ideology does not exist, but is rather a word sometimes used to describe the supporters of the line of Enver Hoxha, the Albanian leader who portrayed himself as a defender of Marxism-Leninism. Seeking to uphold Marxist-Leninist theory, Hoxha defended Stalin from revisionist attacks and expressed his disdain for Brezhnevism, Titoism, Eurocommunism, Maoism, "anti-dogmatic" movements and other covers for revisionism and social-democracy. “Hoxhaists” refer to themselves as Marxist-Leninists.

Historically, one may have called themselves pro-Hoxha or pro-Albania, but Hoxha himself rejected the label of “Hoxhaism.” Marxism-Leninism in practice in Albania meant strict anti-revisionism; therefore Albania became rather isolated from the rising revisionism of Soviet Union and post-Maoist China. There was much focus on the development of industry and agriculture within Albania. Essentially, “Hoxhaism” is the same as Marxism-Leninism without the revisionist trends taken by the Chinese leadership. Although “Hoxhaism” does incorporate some of the same developments that Maoism does, such as more mass involvement with the political party, ultimately it sticks to Marxism-Leninism. Nonetheless, "Hoxhaists" and Maoists have often worked with one another or joined in the same parties.


Another colloquial word, "Brezhnevism" is a blanket term for supporters of the later Soviet Union and the pro-Soviet line. This form of thinking is a revisionist yet at first alluring ideology based around the belief that Khrushchev was a rightist deviator from Marxism-Leninism but that Brezhnev put a halt to this continued trend and consolidated socialism. It has come to mean basically “Pan-Socialism,” which can be aptly defined as “if a world leader claimed to be socialist and [probably] wasn't named Tito, then he or she probably was, and if he or she claimed to lead a socialist nation under Marxist-Leninist guidelines, then so much the better.” Of course, even this definition is not comprehensive, since many pro-Soviet parties have begun rehabilitation of Tito and Yugoslavia. Brezhnevites generally state that Leonid Brezhnev, Joseph Stalin, Hugo Chavez, Deng Xiaoping, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, Nicolae Ceausescu, Enver Hoxha, Mao Zedong and many others were all genuine in their communist views, but that the latter two specifically made mistakes and/or moved too far towards the ultra-left when they split with the USSR. They condemn "Hoxhaism" and Maoism as “sectarian” and its analysis of state-capitalism as ultra-left and en route towards the road of rightism. Similarly, they deny the concept of social-imperialism and defend the invasions of Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan in particular as fully justified, while also defending present-day China as socialist. They respond to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 with disdain, supporting the government's move against the students.

Brezhnevism is strong as a movement primarily because it allows for the acceptance of virtually all communist lines as acceptable and adopting an appealing "call to arms" towards all segments of Marxism-Leninism to unite towards revolution. In the process however, it ignores the fact that Marxist-Leninists do call for unity, just not unity for the sake of unity. Brezhnevites are also engaging in meaningless talk when they discuss "sectarianism," since the issue of whether China is socialist or not (among many other things) can in no way be viewed as a minor issue. Brezhnevism also has at its basis a welfarist appeal to emotion. What makes a country "socialist?" Well, first it claims to be socialist, and it is led by a communist party of some sort. It also provides for the people (however varied the "provisions" be, from the DPRK to Cuba to China). Clearly, the "great concern" a country has for its citizens magically makes it socialist when such is backed up by socialist rhetoric, if we are to believe the Brezhnevites. When this fails, of course, they go into a Trotskyist-like "defense of the gains of the revolution," condemning all criticisms of a "socialist" country as attempts at "counterrevolution."  

The Cuban Revolution of 1959 has produced a specific, inclusionist tendency which was open to both Brezhnevites and (most) Trotskyites, known as Castroism. Not dependent upon the USSR for its rise to power, the Cuban "Communists" pushed forward progressive reforms, but US suspicions forced the Cubans into the Soviet camp, and Castro became a committed Soviet ally. The fall of Soviet state-capitalism in 1991 allowed for a flourishing of Castroist ideology, which is a mixture of idealism, pro-social-imperialist Soviet Brezhnevism and a "humanist" outlook. Most Castroites delude themselves with grandoise visions of guerrilla warfare in the manner of Che Guevara, and tend to be open to revisionist regimes and leaders while shying away from "dogmatism" and "Stalinism." Castroists can also be semi-Maoists, and oftentimes their love of Foco merges with Maoist ultra-left phraseology. In the end, however, Castroism is the most clear example of petty-bourgeois mentality within the left today; of a person so disconnected from the proletariat that he must mythologize him and have dreams of epic battles between himself—on the side of the proletariat—and the exploiters.  

Castro took on the line of Khrushchev and Brezhnev, even making liberal capitalist reforms similar to Gorbachev. When Castro first explained his theories in 1953, nationalism and social justice were stressed, but not socialism. Castro merely “became” a Marxist in 1961 to gain the support of the revisionist Soviet Union, which led to him being merely a puppet. Progressive forces were encouraged by Castro to participate in anti-imperialism, but without the will for a vanguard party. The revolutionary movement was successful in removing the Batista regime, and the people gave and still gave high support to this revolution. From there, the goal of Cuba was not truly to achieve socialism. In regards to the economic policies taken by Castro, Guevara himself argued against these capitalist policies and was critical of such actions.

As for Che Guevara himself, it is the opinion of the APL that unlike Castro, Guevara was a Marxist-Leninist who merely made mistakes, particularly his theory of foco. Through proper organization against a country's army, Che states, the conditions that make a revolution possible can be put into place by the vanguard movement and popular forces, which retain the advantage in a non-urban area. "Focoism" is the theory of guerrilla techniques by small armed units launching attacks from rural areas in order to incite dissent and form fronts from popular discontent. Che had support for both Mao and Stalin's methods. Sadly, when Guevara attempted focoism in African countries, it failed, since it was not suitable for a universal model and was dependent on extremely unique conditions within Cuba.


The key theoretical points of Trotskyism are that socialism in one country is an impossibility and opposition to “Stalinism” is paramount within the movement. The theory of permanent revolution also inherently assumes all nations develop on the same route, which they clearly do not. Internationalism is acceptable by Marxist-Leninists, but we recognize the possibility or necessity of building socialism strongly in one country first. Regarding historical figures and previous socialist societies, according to Trotskyists Stalin represented the interests of the Soviet bureaucracy and was the gravedigger of the revolution. However, Trotskyism is by no means entirely hegemonic within its own ranks, and there a number of different lines and disagreements that need to be examined and kept in mind. On the right-wing, Trotskyists of the Sam Marcy type (called “Marcyite”) generally defend the USSR and other states as "degenerated" (the USSR) and/or "deformed" (the Warsaw Pact), meaning that these states were led to some extent by bureaucracy, but remained basically within the dictatorship of the proletariat. The “left-wing” of Trotskyism, Cliffites broke with orthodox Marcyite Trotskyism on the issue of supporting the Soviet Union and condemned the "Stalinist" USSR, Eastern Bloc states and China all as state-capitalist for their entire existence, rejecting both the "degenerated" and "deformed" analysis. In the middle there are also various anomalies like pro-Cuba Trotskyists. Trotskyism is arguably the most noticeable current in the Western world due to its appeal among sections of the petty-bourgeois youth and due to misinformation about Soviet history.

Utopian Socialism

This label may also include generally progressive academics and non-Marxists who claimed to be socialists, including "champagne socialist" historical figures such as Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde. It is used historically to refer to movements in the time of Marx and Engels that identified as socialist. The notion of Utopian socialism is grounded in idealism, or the belief that thought creates reality and not the other way around. Utopian socialists essentially ignore class struggle and ultimately tailor their visions of society to the aristocracy, not the working class and the people themselves. The notions of Utopian socialism are reminiscent of Marx’s primitive communism; Utopian socialism becomes too grounded in nostalgia and petty romanticism and not scientific doctrine. It wasn’t until the 1700s that Utopian socialists began realizing the need for scientific development, but even these changes were less radical and again less scientific than Marxism. Marx and Engels noted the positives of Utopian socialists, and there was without a doubt some influence of this movement within communist literature, but ultimately Marx and Engels denounced the Utopians as too idealistic. Engels wrote extensively about the subject in his work Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Left-Communism & Council Communism

Council communism as a theory argues for democratic worker councils to be established in the workplace. Left-Communism is against reformism, but also inherently anti-Leninist and anti-vanguard party. They oppose the idea of planned economies and are considered "ultra-left" by Marxist-Leninists, with more similarities to anarchism rather than Marxism. Lenin criticized the council communists in Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder. It should be noted that the word "soviet" means council in Russian and that the worker's councils in the Soviet Union retained high levels of political control. In fact, these workers councils, or soviets, retained high levels of political influence throughout the Soviet Union’s existence. The movements of council communists that arose within the Soviet Union and Europe were often divided and unorganized themselves; council communism is rejection of Leninism and is by its nature unorganized.

Why the CPUSA is Revisionist & Why There is a Need For the American Party of Labor


It has been asked of the American Party of Labor (APL) many times why we felt that there was a need for yet another communist party in the United States. After all, there is the nominally Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA), the nominally Maoist Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), and of course dozens of Trotskyite factions in the U.S. The Central Committee of the APL felt that there was a need to explain why a new Party is necessary. We do not think that anyone needs to have the differences between ourselves and the Trotskyites rehashed here yet again, but rest assured that in this first volume the APL will write an article in that direction. The question that is most pressing is, why is there is a need to break with the other traditional parties in the U.S.? In this article, Revolutionary Spirit will attempt to briefly examine the CPUSA, which is the largest ostensibly communist party in the U.S. and has been around in one incarnation or another since the 1920's.

The CPUSA has a very long and varied history. In fact, it was at its peak in the early 1930s. Since World War II the Party has slid into severe revisionism and reformism. Some of this can be blamed on the Khrushchevite revisionism coming from Moscow, which caused problems not only in the Soviet Union but also in most of Eastern Europe, and some can be summed up in an examination of Browderism as a form of revisionism in the United States. A full discussion of this would have to include a great deal of discussion on the concepts of revisionism, social-imperialism and the contributions of comrade Enver Hoxha of Albania to the post-Stalin era of Marxism-Leninism. This article shall not delve too deeply into that arena, as comrade Hoxha wrote about it extensively and his works can be located on the APL recommended readings list. Instead, we will discuss the homegrown revisionism of the past, present and future within the CPUSA and show why the CPUSA is leading itself down a path toward liquidation and is in fact currently aiding imperialism and capitalism at home and abroad.

Earl Browder, Gus Hall & the Beginnings of Revisionism

The first question that is usually asked when someone hears an individual cadre or group calling the CPUSA "revisionist," or phony Marxist, is where did the revisionism start? For the CPUSA, the revisionism began earlier than in most other parties around the world. In the mid-1930s, Earl Browder was elected to the position of General Secretary of the “Communist Party of America,” as the CPUSA was then named.

The policies started under Earl Browder play a key role in the rise of revisionism in the CPUSA, since Earl Browder paved the way for Gus Hall, who in turn paved the way for Sam Webb, who runs the CPUSA today, and the future liquidation of the CPUSA, much like Khrushchev and Brezhnev paved the way for Gorbachev and the counter-revolution in the Soviet Union.

Browder had backed the inclusion of large sections of the petty-bourgeoisie into the party. While that in and of itself does not necessarily cause revisionism, it does open up a party, any party, to revisionism. Marx and Engels stressed over and over in their writings that the petty-bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeois cadres could not be trusted to bring the revolution fully; in fact they were vacillating and might eventually come to a point where they would hinder the revolutionary mission of any communist party. Lenin stressed repeatedly in his writings that too many petty-bourgeoisie in the vanguard party would, over the course of time, dilute the revolutionary fervor of the party and they could not be relied on in revolutionary situations. Marx, Engels and Lenin were all right in this area.

Under the leadership of Earl Browder, the Communist Party of America started to include all manner of petty-bourgeoisie within itself and slowly purged the working class elements. It also began implementing a “new strategy” of trying to simply win reforms through the bourgeois democratic process. While this is fully supported within the context of tactics employed by Marxist-Leninist parties, this has can never be a strategy of a revolutionary party. The end goal of a revolutionary party must be revolution and not mere reforms. The Party also began supporting a tactic of working entirely within the imperialist bourgeois parties of the United States without the benefit of a communist party as a proletarian vanguard. This eventually culminated in the liquidation of the Communist Party of America in 1946 and the transformation into the Communist Political Association.

Beginning in the 1950s, however, the need for a communist party reasserted itself and the CPUSA was born around the person of Gus Hall, whose ideology was at best weak and at worst revisionist. To illustrate, there are many articles by Gus Hall where he asserts that the CPUSA’s revolution will be by the ballot box. Even though Hall in words placed this as the end goal of a revolutionary party, there is neither now nor has there ever been in the past any ruling class that has willingly given up its status as a ruling class without violent overthrow. This was true of the feudal aristocracy of old, and this will be true of the capitalist bourgeoisie. Indeed, many would go on to call this an iron universal law of class dictatorship, as this has been the case from time immemorial.

We must also point out that using bourgeois elections to campaign for congress, president or on the state/local level is not, in and of itself, completely at odds with Marxism-Leninism or even a dialectical analysis of history. Rather as Lenin himself pointed out, elections and running of candidates by communist parties are only useful insofar as the masses view the elections and the candidates elected by them as representative of themselves. However, this line of thinking was not on the agenda for Browder, and most certainly is not on the mind of Sam Webb today.

Sam Webb & the Modern CPUSA

Having covered both Browder and Hall now we must turn our attention to the CPUSA as it exists today. Why is it necessary for Marxist-Leninists who are in the CPUSA to leave? Why is it necessary for those who are being introduced to Marxism-Leninism to reject the CPUSA as a viable vanguard party for the American people? Why is the APL necessary for an American socialist revolution? Since the election of Sam Webb as General Secretary (later changed to National Chairman) in 1999 there has been an exponential increase in revisionism in the CPUSA. What is the basis of that revisionism? First and foremost the CPUSA itself is moving away from the Leninist principle of the vanguard party.

In Political Affairs, the CPUSA’s “theoretical journal,” Sam Webb claimed that:
“Both in the transition to socialism and in its construction, I don’t foresee Communists being the sole decision makers. We will be one political force within a much larger coalition. We are getting away from the notion that the Communists are the ‘top dog’ in the struggle for socialism while other political forces will either merge or come in behind us. In our view, we will be one component of a very diverse coalition, at the center of which is the working class, the racially and nationally oppressed, and women. Of course, in such a varied coalition, there will be competing views and we will forthrightly express ours, but our emphasis will be on cooperation, on finding common ground, on unity” (Webb 2004).
So then one must immediately ask: who will be the proletarian vanguard if not the communists? We have seen repeatedly that, as Lenin said, the working class on their own can at best obtain a trade unionist mentality. We have also seen throughout world history that a hodgepodge of movements generally does not create a revolution. Were the opposite true the petty-bourgeois and upper-strata proletarian movements and radicalism of the 1960s and 1970s would have culminated in revolution. Having a collection of groups as a vanguard for anything except a united front has never shown any historical merit. The vanguard party is absolutely vital and essential for revolution, be that revolution in a comparatively backward state like imperial Russia in 1917 or in a comparatively advanced state like imperial America in 2010. Without the vanguard party at its head, the proletariat is leaderless, teacherless and helpless. It has become painfully obvious throughout the course of the 20th century that without a revolutionary party led by a revolutionary ideology, revolution is impossible.

Sam Webb has taken the theories of Gus Hall involving bourgeois democracy to its logical conclusion. Instead of communists participating in bourgeois democracy by running communist candidates and relying on a “victory through the ballot box,” Sam Webb calls for communists to not only vote, but throw their weight behind bourgeois candidates. The Democratic Party and the trade unions are the vanguard of Webb’s movement, not the communist party.

In one of Webb’s many revisionist writings in the People’s World, Webb expressed his disturbing views of Barack Obama. It goes beyond just “liking” the imperialist candidate—Webb seems to have joined the all-pervasive cult of personality around him.
“President Obama is a brilliant politician, but his election victory was as much the doing of the broad coalition that supported him, as it was his own brilliance. The alliance of candidate and coalition was mutually dependent, dynamic, and decisive in the end” (Webb 2009).
Webb continues in what is quite possibly hiss most disturbing article in the People’s World, entitled “A Ragged Process”:
“Slightly over a year ago, the American people elected a young African American to the presidency and increased the Democratic majorities in the Congress. President Obama's victory represented a repudiation of the right-wing ideology, politics and economics. It constituted a serious setback for neo-liberalism in both its conservative and liberal skin” (Webb 2009).
What should strike a Marxist-Leninist here is that he has transferred the class enemy to this nebulous “extreme right-wing” and not the bourgeoisie itself, which is the key component of both parties. In fact, the APL rejects both the Republicans and Democrats as bourgeois imperialist parties which are incapable of any long term reform or even the construction of socialism. Webb continues however:
“The defeat of right-wing extremism was a long time in coming, but when it finally happened it did so not only because of the brilliance of the candidate, now president, but also due to the broad wings of a people's coalition. Not in our lifetime have we participated in such a movement” (Webb 2009).
So the selection by the bourgeoisie of a black man to be their figurehead is a “victory over right-wing extremism?” It would be interesting to hear Mr. Webb explain to people how there are Tea Party protestors running around, how racist extremism is stronger than ever, and how capitalism is still continuing to become more openly terrorist than before. Obama’s electoral victory, while historic due to his “race,” constitutes neither a fundamental change in the policy or politics of the bourgeois republic nor a step forward in the construction of a socialist state—or for that matter even social democracy. Even the bill that will be presented for his signature regarding health care reform will amount to little more than a handout to the insurance companies, which themselves make profits denying workers the health care they need.
Webb’s sheer love for the Democrats is apparently without bounds however, as upon the death of Ted Kennedy, Webb wrote:
“Two ‘lions’ died last week. One was known, adored by millions, and a life-long Democrat. Born to a privileged life, he could have done anything, including choosing a life of relative leisure. Instead, he turned into a tireless liberal warhorse for justice in all its many forms. […] On Saturday a Catholic mass, included a eulogy by President Obama, celebrated his life of public service to the commonwealth. I am obviously speaking about Senator Ted Kennedy” (Webb 2009).
Further, in “A Ragged Process,” Sam Webb explained his support for Obama and his departure from Leninism. It was, as we suspected, wretched, outward reformism and nothing more or less than a complete departure from class struggle and Marxism altogether.
“The notion of the capitalist class on the one side and the working class on the other may sound ‘radical,’ but it is neither Marxist, nor found in life and politics. Pure forms exist in high theory, but nowhere else” (Webb 2009).
For a so-called “Marxist” to try and state that there is not a bourgeoisie and not a proletariat in the US is absolutely absurd and idealistic. There is not and never will be absolute agreement as to which particular strata of people constitute the bourgeoisie, petty-bourgeoisie and proletariat due to constantly changing circumstances. There is, however, very clear and scientific evidence that there are defined classes in capitalist society. One that lives by the labor of others (the bourgeoisie), those who sell their labor power for sustenance (the proletariat) and those that own small means of production and may or may not employ the labor of others (the petty-bourgeoisie). To deny this is to deny class struggle, to deny how capitalism works and to deny all of Marxist science.

The fact that there exists a proletariat and a bourgeoisie may sound “radical” to Sam Webb, but an analysis of society would tell us that it is an accurate assessment of the conditions we find under capitalism. This basic condition has not changed since Karl Marx first proposed it nearly over a hundred years ago.

On Smashing the Capitalist State

Again in Political Affairs, Sam Webb expressed his views on the capitalist state. Contrary to Leninist principle of tearing down the bourgeois state, the CPUSA wishes to “improve” this state, by creating a “Socialist Bill of Rights.”
“I don’t think that the political structures that currently exist will be dismantled. Nor do I think that a socialist movement will sideline the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence or a system of checks and balances on concentrated political power. It may want to extend, deepen or modify them based on both experience and the needs of socialist construction” (Webb 2004).
So Webb, and by default the CPUSA, rather than working toward a revolution and its necessary consequence of the abandonment of the bourgeois constitution and smashing of the bourgeois political organizations, instead seem to think that the inclusion of some bill of social rights will result in socialism. Webb must be deluded if he thinks the bourgeoisie will ever agree to a socialist bill of rights that actually protects the social rights of proletarians—that is, the right to be educated to their highest ability, the right to have a place to live, the right to have food to eat, the right to get medical care when sick. The bourgeoisie by their class nature has no interest in providing such rights to the proletariat. It goes against their class needs, wants, aspirations, and in fact would even weaken their position as the ruling class.

Since 1973, the American bourgeoisie has worked to prevent full employment and economic security for the proletariat. They have learned what results from this among the proletariat and even the petty-bourgeoisie, even in the absence of a strong Marxist-Leninist party. The result of course was the Civil Rights movement, the Women’s movement and the Native American’s movement just to name a few. They are not about to jeopardize their power if they can help it. That is the nature of how ruling classes operate and America is no exception.

Furthermore, the US Constitution itself, while it does not directly mandate the capitalist system in words, does reinforce it, and the entire edifice of bourgeois democracy, which is the single most effective tool at the disposal of the imperialist bourgeoisie to maintain their political power. One need only look at the actual existence of states, which are little more than administrative districts in the US rather than national territories or semi-autonomous regions. Most states are completely and totally dependent upon the Federal Government to make up the difference between their revenues and spending. The inclusion of the Electoral Collage in the Constitution itself is one of the most anti-bourgeois-democratic instruments in the US Constitution. It has been used dozens of times to protect the interests of reactionaries and unpopular politicians in the bourgeois republic. This is not even to mention the US Senate, a body directly responsible for and in fact created for the purpose of a check on the democratic power of the population at large and the working class in particular. There is a joke on Capitol Hill that “the US Senate is where mediocre legislation goes to be made terrible.

A socialist revolution cannot rely on a “Socialist Bill of Rights.” A socialist revolution must sweep away the old order forcefully and replace it with a new one. This includes the Constitution, its so-called “Bill of Rights,” the Declaration of Independence and all other manifestations of the bourgeois dictatorship. Before some begin to wax apoplectic over the “Bill of Rights,” let us say that rights in and of themselves have a class character, as does everything else. In the US, the freedom of the press is restricted to those who have the means to own a press. The people at best have the “freedom of talk,” which can be and is frequently taken away when the bourgeois dictatorship deems it necessary. As Lenin rightly pointed out concerning the concept of freedom: “Freedom, for whom? And to do what?"

The construction of socialist relations on the press alone requires that there be an abolition of bourgeois control over the press organs be they radio, television, internet or the traditional press. To establish a proletarian dictatorship the revolutionary state must extend rights to the proletariat and their allied classes to the exclusion of the exploiting classes.

Support of “Market Socialism” & Revisionism

Sam Webb and the CPUSA have gone so far into revisionism that they have described countries such as China, Vietnam and Cuba as “socialist” and have also described the way in which the CPUSA would employ “market mechanisms” in socialist construction in much the same manner as those revisionist countries have.
“Many countries that have a socialist orientation are in the developing world: China, Vietnam, Cuba. Several have adopted a concept of socialism called market socialism. I know we have said there are no models, but is the socialist market economy the new model?” (Webb 2004).
“These countries are in the early stages of socialism – they are developing countries and the productive forces are at a low level – so they are employing market mechanisms to assist in their economic development. This doesn’t contradict the thinking of Marx, Engels or Lenin. Even if we were dealing with more advanced countries – take our country for example - if this were the day after, the week after, the year after, the decade after the socialist revolution, we would employ market mechanisms in the construction of the socialist economy” (Webb 2004).
First off, if Webb considers “market socialist” revisionism as his model for socialist construction he is deluded. The Peoples’ Republic of China has never been a socialist country. It is a consistent criticism of the APL that the Chinese Communist Party not only included some elements of the bourgeoisie within its ranks but actively during the industrialization phase permitted these same bourgeoisie to appropriate some 25% of the surplus value created through the production process. This continued even up to the death of Mao Zedong and since the premiership of Deng Xiaoping has actually increased. Combined with their imperialist foreign policy, this would make the PRC a clear example of state-capitalism and social-imperialism.

The Cuban Revolution is a complex matter. The APL stands, first and foremost, against U.S. imperialism and in support of the Cuban Revolution, praising their victory in the Bay of Pigs and their struggle against the blockade, as well as their progressive and national liberation characteristics. An analysis of the class nature of Cuban reveals it to not be a dictatorship proletariat or a socialist state. Cuba itself was a supporter of Soviet social-imperialism up to the very end and even today. Castro helped espouse Soviet revisionism, including Khrushchev’s imperialist “International Division of Labor” that hindered Cuban industrialization by specializing the economy to produce sugar cane to export to the Soviet Union, turning it into a colony of the Soviets. The APL recognizes the strategic location and importance of Cuba to both U.S. and Soviet imperialists. It is arguable that Cuba was left with the choice between being an U.S. or Soviet colony on pain of military intervention. It is also arguable that Cuba chose the less brutal option, and the blame for Cuba's lack of self-reliance is the doing of Moscow more so then Havana. This also does not mean we can simply forget the errors of the past, nor excuse the continued support of the Khrushchev–Gorbachev line of social-imperialist Soviet Union to this day on the part of the Cubans.

Vietnam is perhaps the only country which Webb listed that has had anything approaching socialism, although their progressive government as it existed under Ho Chi-Minh is long gone and the introduction of a market mechanism has resulted in the rise of a state-capitalist bourgeoisie.

Support For Imperialism & Imperialist War

If the almost complete rejection of Marxism-Leninism seen so far were not enough, as if the liquidationist tendency of the CPUSA were not enough, there are still more disturbing trends in the CPUSA to list, namely the rejection of even Marxist economics and the taking of decidedly pro-imperialist war stances. We will deal with the latter first. According to Marxism-Leninism Today, the following resolution was shot down by the CPUSA National Committee (the organ of the CPUSA that acts as a Central Committee) by a vote of 34-2. It reads:
“Whereas, the Bush Administration launched a war on Afghanistan in 2001 for the purpose of controlling the Central Asian region's oil, natural gas and other resources, and to gain strategic geopolitical advantage over U.S. rivals in Europe and Asia; and,
Whereas, this mercenary, imperialist war of aggression was sold to the U.S. people and the world public on the basis of brazen lies, first as a bid to protect the U.S. people from terrorism and then as a project to bring democracy to Afghanistan; and,
Whereas, over 918 U.S. troops have been killed since the war began, and at least three times that number have been seriously injured; and,
Whereas, at least 28,000 Afghans have been killed directly or indirectly as a result of this war, over 3.7 million have been displaced, and their economy has been shattered; and,
Whereas, corporations linked to the military-industrial complex have obtained obscene profits from this war; and,
Whereas, the cost of waging this war and occupation – $200 billion by conservative estimates – has led to the starving of badly needed social, jobs and education programs in the U.S.; and,
Whereas, the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is now 68,000, more than twice the number when George W. Bush left office; and
Whereas, there are at least 70,000 U.S. private contractors and mercenaries in Afghanistan, many of whom are directly involved in prosecuting the war by helping to load bombs on drones, provide "security services," and the like;
Therefore be it resolved, that the Communist Party, USA, calls for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. forces, including military troops, contractors and mercenaries from Afghanistan; and,
Be it further resolved, that reparations be paid to the Afghan people from the U.S. to restore their economy to its pre-war state and as restitution for the injuries and suffering inflicted upon them; and,
Be it further resolved, that such reparations come from the profits of U.S. war profiteers in the first place; and,
Be it further resolved, that the responsible officials in the U.S. government, starting with President George W. Bush, be prosecuted for war crimes before an international tribunal; and,
Be it further resolved, that the content of this resolution be communicated to the mass media. December 12, 2009” (“MLToday”).
This, in essence, means the CPUSA has adopted a pro-Afghan war stance in support of their new leader, Barack Obama. Their support of imperialist aggression goes further when it comes to their position on the nuclear programs of the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea, otherwise known as “North Korea.” In a People’s World article appallingly entitled, North Korea: NO WAY TO ACT!, the CPUSA came out hard against the right of the Korean people to have access to nuclear technology:
“North Korea's recent nuclear test, as well as its subsequent test firing of two missiles, represents a grave threat to peace and stability in the region, the fight to eliminate nuclear weapons from the world and, more generally, the fight for peace and social progress. […] We condemn these reckless and provocative acts” ("People's Weekly World").
Not only do they condemn these acts as provocation on the part of North Korea rather than the US imperialists, but, in this particular article refuse to acknowledge that the DPRK is the victim of imperialist aggression at all. They say:
“North Korea has claimed that it has been the victim of imperialist aggression, specifically from the United States” ("People's Weekly World").
Despite what the CPUSA may think, it most certainly not a “claim” that the North Koreans are being targeted and victimized by the United States, but a simple fact that is obvious to even the most dunderheaded of individuals. In their article, the CPUSA avoids at all costs confirming American imperialism to be a fact and end up aligning themselves against the anti-imperialist government of the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea.

It should be obvious to anyone who is a mature Marxist-Leninist that we must align ourselves against imperialism even if that means supporting unsavory and even reactionary politicians and characters in foreign countries. Indeed, without the freedom from foreign occupation and imperialism, bourgeois-democratic and socialist revolutions are made exponentially more difficult. Lenin’s thesis on the Right of Nations to Self-Determination is still relevant to all those who have not strived to come under the wing of the bourgeoisie.

Just when you thought the CPUSA couldn’t possibly make a bigger mockery of even the smallest basic tenets of Marxism, they have also set about abandoning Marxist economics. While Sam Webb and his bourgeois economics degree on “financialization” do not help, the worst of the worst has to be CPUSA “economist” John Case. Case has done perhaps the most ridiculous thing ever in the history of economics—he has created an economic theory based on a Bob Dylan song (Case 2009).

Aside from being flat-out incorrect almost all of the time, Case has decided to create what he calls “Lonesome Hobo” economics, in which every article he writes begins with and is focused on an excerpt from the lyrics of the Bob Dylan song “The Lonesome Hobo.” You cannot make such tripe up!

On Breaking From Vs. Reforming the CPUSA

The blatant revisionism coming from the leadership of the CPUSA could not be made more crystal clear. These factors alone necessitate a clear break from the CPUSA and the formation of a new anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist Party.

There are those well-meaning Marxists out there who imagine that we can “take back” the CPUSA from the revisionist leadership currently running it. Aside from pointing out in no uncertain terms that there is no reason to paint the house because the structure is too rotten, the APL can only say that dissent in the CPUSA, especially Marxist dissent, is resolutely crushed. Marxist-Leninist parties always have a great deal of debate and discussion as to strategy and tactics, but in the CPUSA the policy and politics are set nationally and then enforced locally. Any who wish to criticize the leadership of the CPUSA are usually pressured to either conform to the official revisionism de jour or are expelled from the party.

Secondly, those that are allowed into the CPUSA usually try and tackle the problems within the CPUSA through usual party channels, which are controlled by reformists and revisionists themselves. People are unable to make a fundamental break with the CPUSA and continue to support the CPUSA without regard to its clear revisionism, simply because it is named the “communist” party and it still presumably has a large size. This is in direct imitation of the failed tactics of William Z. Foster when he combated liquidationism in the Browder era. William Z. Foster failed in his reformist tactics, and doubtlessly these cadres will too. These well-meaning individuals ignore the fact that the material conditions today are different then they were then, and hence a victory against the CPUSA leadership is highly unlikely.


All of these factors make one see the need for an organized break from the CPUSA. Not just individual cadres leaving, but a large number of cadres rejecting the CPUSA and coming together to form a new anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist Party. This will both cripple the CPUSA revisionists politically, and set the right conditions for the establishment of a new vanguard party, much like Lenin's split with the Social Democrats or the national-chauvinist Second International. The Party already in formation is the American Party of Labor. It is the mind of the author and his comrades that only this new party can attract the non-ideological workers and bring in the experienced Marxist-Leninists to create the conditions necessary for socialist revolution, and be the vanguard party of the proletariat and the proletarian dictatorship following the socialist revolution.


"Another Dark Day in CPUSA History." MLToday. 12 Dec. 2009. Marxism-Leninism Today, Web.

Case, John. "Reforming CEO Compensation - How Much is Enough?." People's World 29 Sept. 2009, Print.

"North Korea: No Way To Act." People's Weekly World 27 May 2009, Print.

Webb, Sam. "A Ragged Process." People's World 29 Oct. 2009, Print.

---. "Democracy Matters: An Interview With Sam Webb." Political Affairs 07 Jan. 2004: n. pag. Web.

---. "Obama Needs A Little Help From His Friends." People's World 02 Sept. 2009: n. pag. Web. 18 Feb 2010. .

---. "On the Passing of Two "Lions"." People's World 30 Aug. 2009, Print.

Refuting Maoism Third-Worldism

Introduction: Against Chinese Revisionism and the "Three Worlds Theory"
 In the 1970s, when the Chinese Communist Party put forward the so-called “Theory of the Three Worlds,” Albanian leader Enver Hoxha denounced the anti-Marxist nature of the theory, labeling it as a new form of revisionism. Such a division of the world into three, Hoxha said, liquidates class struggle within nations and instead focuses on their level of development. In February 1974, Mao Zedong set forth this theory. At the 6th Special Session of the UN General Assembly in April 1974, Deng Xiaoping expounded the strategic thinking of Mao Zedong on the division of the three worlds. Briefly, what does the Three Worlds Theory mean?
According to Mao's theory, the “First World” consisted of the leading imperialist powers, the imperialist USA and the social-imperialist USSR. The “Second World” was formed by capitalist states that were lower on the global rank, such as the European states. Finally, the “Third World” consisted of poor, underdeveloped colonial and semi-colonial nations. In this theory, the “Third World” is seen as the spearhead of a global revolution against the “First World,” or more specifically, the Soviet Union, which was spuriously seen by China as the stronger of the two “First World” superpowers. As Hoxha stated in his volume Imperialism and the Revolution:
“The Chinese revisionists claim that there is only one contradiction in the world of today, and that this puts the 'third world,' the 'second world' and half of the 'first world' in confrontation with the Soviet Union” (Hoxha 278).
The "Three Worlds Theory" as applied by Mao stated that United States imperialism was less of a danger than Soviet social-imperialism, attempting to justify an alliance with the US. The anti-Marxist nature of the “Three Worlds Theory” should be obvious, as well as its break from the theories of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. These days, the Maoists marginalize the struggle of the developed countries' proletariat by pointing to the “Third World” as the only struggle currently existing. This formulation today makes the “First World” proletariat the conscious and willing accomplices of the imperialist bourgeoisie in the rape and exploitation of the “Third World.” Essentially, this theory completely destroys and ignores class struggle. Hoxha states that:
“The Chinese leadership takes no account of the fact that in the 'Third World' there are oppressed and oppressors, the proletariat and the enslaved, poverty stricken and destitute peasantry, on the one hand, and the capitalists and the landowners, who exploit and fleece the people on the other. To fail to point out this class situation in the so-called Third World, to fail to point out the antagonisms which exist, means to revise Marxism-Leninism and defend capitalism. In the countries of the so-called third world, in general, the capitalist bourgeoisie is in power. This bourgeoisie exploits the poor people in its own class interests to make the largest possible profit for itself and to keep the people in perpetual slavery and misery” (Hoxha 261).
Despite these warnings, the “Three Worlds” became official Chinese foreign policy. The practical consequence of this “theory” was the formation of alliances with the most unsavory elements worldwide, justified because they were in the so-called “Third World.” Enver Hoxha denounced the support of the Chinese government gave to the world's worst reactionary and pro-US regimes:
“Social-imperialist China, too, is making great efforts to penetrate into the former colonial and semi-colonial countries. An example of how China intervenes is provided by Zaire, a country ruled by the clique around Mobutu, the wealthiest and most bloodthirsty clique on the African continent. In the fighting which flared up in Zaire recently, the Moroccans of the Sherifian Kingdom of Morocco, the French air force, and China, too, all rushed to the aid of Mobutu, the murderer of Patrice Lumumba. […] What do the Chinese revisionists want in [Zaire?]” (Hoxha 208)
He continued,
“Even the United States of America dare not assist Pinochet, the fascist hangman of Chile, so openly as China is doing” (Hoxha 209).
Indeed, most of the states supported by China have not any shred of a claim to being even progressive, much less opposed in any way to American imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism. Another consequence of the “Three Worlds” was seeking to establish China as a superpower. This culminated in Mao meeting with Nixon and Kissinger in China to discuss plans:
“Chairman Mao Zedong pointed out during his meeting with Henry Kissinger in 1973 that as long as we share the same goal, we will not do harm to you nor will you do harm to us and we should work together to counter Soviet hegemonism. We hope the United States would strengthen its cooperation with Europe and Japan and draw a parallel line linking the United States, Japan China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Europe. This is unity against the Soviet hegemonism or the 'Strategy of forming an alliance against an opponent'” ("Chairman Mao Zedong's Theory on the Division of the Three World and the Strategy of Forming an Alliance Against an Opponent").
Mao once declared that China was not and would never be a superpower in the future. China's acts of pursuing hegemonism and power politics speak otherwise.
“There Are No More Classes”
To this day there is still a small faction of the global communist movement that upholds this theory, now called “Maoism Third-Worldism,” as the highest stage of revolutionary science that has been achieved. Despite fierce line struggle against such gross revisionism, this tendency continues to assert its anti-scientific and anti-Marxist claims about “global class analysis” and in addition now “parasitism” by “First World” workers and bourgeoisie alike. Essentially, as this version of the theory argues, “all First Worlders are bourgeois.” The claim has been made by Maoist Third-Worldists that no one has been able to scientifically prove anything about the question of the existence of a proletariat in the “First World” countries, such as the United States, to justify rejecting the Three Worlds Theory.
The American Party of Labor thinks that these statistics point to the correctness of the analysis that there is a multinational proletariat including a lower section of workers, numbering some 30 to 40 million, whose conditions of life and work are those of an oppressed proletariat and that large sections of the proletariat work in segregated, caste-like conditions. They are slotted into and stuck in low-paying and less desirable occupations and jobs. Owing to the history of oppression by the American ruling class, in various forms down to today, Black, Latino and other oppressed ethnic groups and immigrants are disproportionately represented in the lower rungs of the proletariat and suffer high rates of unemployment, including high levels of more long-term unemployment.
Poverty Level & Occupation
(Sources for the following are Stephen J. Rose, the United States State Department, the Census Bureau and Marian Edelman.)
In a 2000 Census in the United States, out of 193 million white people, 7.5 percent or over 14.5 million people live in what the census defines as poverty. 18% of white households that are headed by a woman are below the poverty level. Over 8 million white people live in extreme poverty, making only 50% of the poverty level income. The poverty level income is low—$17,000 for a family of 4 with two children. This is equivalent to an $8.17 an hour wage for a full-time employee working a 40-hour week.
African-Americans and Latinos in the United States have much higher poverty rates than whites—22.1% for African Americans and 21.2% for Latinos. Out of 35.7 million African Americans, 7.9 million are in poverty and out of 33.7 million Latinos, 7.1 million are in poverty.
For white people, 11.6% are in less skilled blue collar and service jobs, 16.6% are skilled blue collar and supervisors, 10.7% are in clerical or sales occupations, 24.5% are doctors, lawyers, managers or other professionals, 1% are farmers or farm laborers, 2% are unemployed and 33.6% are not in the labor force.
For African-American people, 23.3 are in less skilled blue collar and service jobs, 12.2% are in skilled blue collar and supervisors, 14.5% are in clerical or sales occupations, 14.4% are doctors, lawyers, managers or other professionals, .1% are farmers or farm laborers, 4.8% are unemployed and 30.7% are not in the labor force.
For Latinos, 25.6 are in less skilled blue collar and service jobs, 15.4% are in skilled blue collar and supervisors, 10.4% are in clerical or sales occupations, 11.6% are doctors, lawyers, managers or other professionals, 1.7% are farmers or farm laborers, 4% are unemployed and 31.2% are not in the labor force.
Facts About Poverty in the US
 44.3 million (16.3% of US population) are without health insurance. Another 50 million are under-insured, the worst performance since records have been kept.
Child poverty has increased 33% since 1970. In the U.S. today, 1 out of every 5 children are poor – almost 2 out of every 3 poor kids are white, 3 out of every 5 Latino kids are poor and nearly half of all Black children are poor.
Suicide rates among the young are 36% higher than in 1970, and triple the rate in 1950. Suicide rate between 1984-1996 for those aged 15-19 years old increased 95%.
The wage increase of 1996 up to $5.15 an hour made up slightly more than half of the ground lost to inflation in the 1980s. Thus the real value of the minimum wage in 1997 was 181% less than in 1979. Full-time minimum wage earnings currently equal 84% of the estimated poverty line for a family of three. 71.4% of minimum wage jobs are held by people age 20 and over.
A survey of 30 US cities found that almost 1 in 5, homeless people work full-time (in one county in the San Francisco metropolitan area, over 50% of people in the homeless shelter work full-time). Black people make up 12% of the US population but are almost 50% of the homeless, followed by whites at 32%, Latinos at 12%, Native Americans at 4%, and Asians at 3%. About 40% of the homeless are veterans. The fastest growing segment of homeless are women and their kids—they’re 40% of the total homeless population. 45% of homeless have earned more than a high school diploma.
34 million people in the US are regularly hungry or are “food insecure,” with 32 million seeking emergency food assistance during the course of a year. In the US 1 out of every 3 people seeking food relief has had to make a choice between buying food and paying rent. The director of a major free food assistance outlet that feeds 300,000 people a day in a major city explained “What we are seeing is more and more what we call the working-hungry—families with children who don’t make enough to eat…” 70% of poor families with children include a person who works, and 2/3 of those who are unemployed are actively looking for work.
Class Analysis
Many of those examining Maoism Third-Worldism have identified some of the false methodological assumptions of their arguments, in particular that they seem to define the Marxist perception of class only in relation to income. For a Marxist, the key factor to look at in doing a class analysis is position in the relations of production.
The entire argument of Third-Worldism rests not on a material analysis, but rather on two false assumptions. The first false assumption is that one can tell the revolutionary potential of a class or section of a class merely by studying their income and position within the international income ladder. In fact, revolutionary potential is determined by specific conditions and history. Some predictions can be made, but not based merely on statistics.
The second false assumption is that “benefits” from imperialism are like a “taint,” where even a small amount sends one to political hell. Class interests are more complicated than that. That is why Marxists talk about some privileges being “crumbs” from the table – in a scientific sense, that popular phrase means that there are benefits, which come to sections of the masses by virtue of their gender, nationality, skills, etc., that are very small by comparison to their larger, historic interests.
In short, the Maoist Third-Worldists insert income“data” into a framework built on bourgeois logic—where a false verdict arises from false assumptions. A homeless person in the U.S. gets to pick through better garbage than a homeless person in Manila. Does this mean the homeless have a material interest in defending the society that makes them homeless?
This is quite an anti-materialist and anti-Marxist analysis. There are poor and exploited people in the US, and even the employed ones also have miserable working conditions and, most importantly, are not paid the full value of their labor. Coming from a rich or imperialist country does not automatically make one worker “bourgeois,” just like a capitalist exploiter coming from an exploited country does not make him “proletarian.” Classes exist between people, not between countries.
Liberal Critiques of Consumerism
Third-Worldism is a bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideology. As such, they share much in common with common liberals when it comes to the fixation with “consumerism.” Frequently, Maoist Third-Worldists condemn “First-Worlders” for buying decadent products produced by capitalism, sliding into the camp of Eric Schlosser and Naomi Klein. This is a manifestation of petty-bourgeois guilt. It is not an accident that Maoist Third-Worldists, anarchists, primitivists, hippies, social democrats and basically all of the “left” who become political within a country under the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and are not members of a party of the working class, share common features. Paramount among them is a feeling that “consumerism” is the enemy.
A scientific communist understands that “consumerism” is not the issue. Only the most foolish person would deny that the working class (and all human beings in general), require food, clothing, medical supplies and other items. Under capitalism, these items and all fruits of social production are manufactured by private companies and distributed through private retail outlets. One must buy or starve—there is no alternative mode of accumulation and distribution, and upstart Utopian projects of idealistic survival agriculture by the petty-bourgeois, who feel guilt for consuming such products, always lead to ruin.
The conclusion that the petty-bourgeois comes to is that it is the fault of the workers for gathering the goods that they need, and that the “solution” is limited to lifestyle choices: boycotts or a bright new world of survival agriculture. Meanwhile, the conclusion that the revolutionary workers and communists come to is that the blame lies upon the ruling class, the bourgeoisie, for appropriating the products of social production and distributing them in this way, and that the solution is to mobilize the working class to overthrow capitalism, and replace it with a new kind of socio-economic mode of production and distribution, socialism and communism.
Here is Marx on the subject:
“We by no means intend to abolish this personal appropriation of the products of labor, an appropriation that is made for the maintenance and reproduction of human life, and that leaves no surplus wherewith to command the labor of others. All that we want to do away with is the miserable character of this appropriation, under which the laborer lives merely to increase capital, and is allowed to live only in so far as the interest of the ruling class requires it” (Marx, Engels 236).
And again:
“Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labor of others by means of such appropriations” (Marx, Engels 238).
 Criticizing “consumerism” is idealist nonsense that ignores the real needs of the working class and humanity, and ignores the fact that commodities and materials necessary to the sustainability of human life have to be procured somehow, ignores the class relations to political power, the underpinnings of why the dominant system of accumulation and appropriation is capitalism, and substitutes lifestyle choices and personal whims for dialectics and material conditions.
On top of all of this, from the binary “First Worldists are parasites and Third-Worldists are revolutionary” outlook, need we remind the various petty-bourgeois ideologues that being as almost the entire world is currently capitalist, the same mode of accumulation and distribution is employed in the First World and also in the Third World. There are markets in Seirra Leone where the third-world proletariat exchanges currency for commodities, otherwise known as “consumerism.” The fixation on “consumerism” does not challenge class relations, address why the current modes of production arose in the first place, or address the practicalities of meeting the needs of sustaining humanity. It is pure petty-bourgeois idealism without material basis.
Exploited Groups in the “First World”
The most significant political line of Third-Worldism varies somewhat among factions, but most either argue that “there are no exploited social groups in the first world,” or argue that “there are no white exploited social groups in the first world.” The former is the one that we shall address first, as it is the most absurd. There are clearly oppressed Native American and Aboriginal peoples in the “First World” countries, particularly the US and Canada. In the US alone there are 2.5 million registered, with perhaps as many as 4 million existing. There are also many temporary foreign workers and immigrants, workers who have come over to a program of indentured labor. The population of “illegal” immigrants, who are targeted for the worst exploitation by the bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeoisie, number an estimated 11 million in the US alone.
Ethnic minorities, including millions of Black people, must also be added to this list, since the number of African-American bourgeoisie in the US must be considered relatively low. According to Third-Worldists, “non-white” proletarians born in the “First World” are just as bourgeois as the actual imperialist bourgeoisie. This is nonsense if one looks at the racist oppression and terror built into the imperialist system in the US, and yes, in the “First World.” Prisoners must also be added to this grouping of the exploited, last numbering over 7 million on probation or parole and over 2 million behind bars, again in the US alone. Homeless people number in the millions in the US, perhaps up to 3.5 million, and trafficked sex slaves are estimated to be around 600,000 to 800,000.
The “Woman Question” must also be touched on here. Despite what the Third-Worldists say, women are still nowhere close to equal with their male counterparts anywhere on the planet Earth, but certainly not in the “First World.” Even Third-Worldist grandaddy MIM recognized the social gender inequality, which lead them to take the extreme stance that “all sex is rape” under capitalism. The average American woman earns 32% less than the average man. 1 in every 6 women is regularly attacked or raped in North America. Every single minute there are 1.3 forcible rapes of adult women in the United States. Women are continually objectified and forced into positions of servitude (Kilpatrick, Edwards, and Seymour).
Despite many of these facts, some Third-Worldists take the standpoint of enlightened patriarchy:
“In the First World, gender is less and less connected to biology. Due to the high standard of living made possible through imperialism and advances in technology, First World women are less and less confined to traditional social and reproductive roles. First World women have access to a high degree of life options that are not strictly limited by reproduction as has been the general situation for women in the past. For this reason, inequalities between First World men and First World women should not be confused with traditional patriarchal oppression which is centered around biology and reproduction. [...] It is likely that over time, these echoes of traditional oppression will become less pronounced” (“MonkeySmashesHeaven”).
As to the charge of there being no white proletarians, the American Party of Labor does not have the time or resources at this moment to do an exhaustive research of the racial makeup of American workers. We can only say that 35 million Americans faced hunger in 2006 (Doering), proving that not all “First World-ers” benefit from imperialism. Third-Worldists have actually argued before that going without food is much worse in the Third World than in the First World. To some extent this may be true, but starvation is starvation. From these facts alone we can see there are many millions of proletarians, oppressed people and oppressed ethnicities, even within the US borders.
Liquidating Class Struggle in Favor of the National Struggle
Third-Worldists claim that the principle contradiction of today is not between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, but between the First World and the Third World. So in essence, there are no classes, only countries. According to the Third-Worldists, the “Third World” countries have no national bourgeoisie, and the “First World” countries have no working class. It was this anti-Marxist line that lead the People's Republic of China to support Mobutu Sese Seko, Augusto Pinochet, Suharto in Indonesia and the Mujahideen in Afghanistan. This theory manifested itself as shameless proliferation of weaponry and aid in the aim of expanding the social-imperialist sphere of the People's Republic of China. Like the Chinese revisionists who came up with the “Three Worlds Theory,” Third-Worldists see the world revolution happening as a flood of Protracted People's Wars to encircle and surround the “First World” from the “Third World.” This is a misinterpretation of legitimate national-liberation struggles, padded with the hopes and dreams of the guilty petty-bourgeoisie. Expanding on this, we move on to one of the fundamental Third-Worldist concepts.

International Joint-Dictatorship of the Proletariat
The imposition of a “joint-dictatorship of the exploited nations” and their allies over the exploiter populations of the First World is the latest theory coming from the Third-Worldist camp. As was previously stated, to the Third-Worldist there are no classes, only nations. This is akin to the fascists, who see “race” as a unifying bond. If any of these petty-bourgeoisie ever found themselves in a revolutionary situation, they may be disappointed to see that national identity counts for very little.
Some even embrace the concept of a “white nation” in addition to a “black nation” and call for the disbanding of the “white nation” as a whole. To demonstrate the absurdity of this, in Canada there are two distinct “white” nations, one of which is subservient to the other, even though the Maoists take the line that the Quebecois were also a settler state (ironically, they only seem to recognize “nation on nation” clashes, but not in this case). While it is true that they were a culture that settled from across the ocean, and under different circumstances they also could have been genocidal conquerors, in Anglo-Canada they were generally referred to for the longest time as “white niggers,” much like the Irish in the US and abroad, which speaks volumes about the socio-economic position they occupied in their home country.
As well, Canada and the USA do not have a homogenous ethnic makeup in their population. There are millions of non-white people in the First World who, by Third-Worldist standards, are also guilty of the Maoist “Original Sin” (aka, living in an imperialist country), and therefore also profit directly from the exploitation of countries by imperialism. What happens to them when the “Global Peoples' War” comes? If they fit the same “exploiter” criteria as the “white” proletarians, why are they spared the impending genocide that is apparently reserved for millions on the basis of skin pigmentation?
It is next to impossible to examine the Third-Worldist's views and not conclude that national identity determines whether or not a people is revolutionary. On the one hand, Third-Worldists preach from a pulpit of “one nation politics” and class conciliation, while on the other hand they embrace convenient amnesia, pay lip service to Marxism-Leninism, and all of the sudden acknowledge class divisions after attributing all struggle in the world to narrow national identities and the political boundaries of countries.
Overall Analysis of Third-Worldism
The American Party of Labor does not deny that to some extent the peoples of the advanced imperialist countries do live off of the backs of the “Third World”; this is imperialism. The ruling class does part with some of its profits to create an environment where they won't get lynched in public. However, there are many flaws with the Maoist Third-Worldist outlook on this.
1) Proletarians in imperialist countries have no say in this. Proletarians can't exactly refuse the bribe, or else they would starve. If you acknowledge the need for a dictatorship of the proletariat, conversely you must acknowledge that a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie exists in the imperialist countries and most countries today. If you acknowledge the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, you need to acknowledge that workers in imperialist countries have no say in the politics and governance of a country.

2) What today an imperialist country might be a “Third World country” in a century or less. A neocolonial possession can also become an imperialist power in its own right in a century or less. Turkey used to be the pinnacle of a powerful empire up until 1923. Now, they are an impoverished country with mandatory military service and a minimum wage of €302.61 per month (around 474$ US). As with the fallacy of Third-Worldists refusing to acknowledge dialectics, they cannot understand that the economic situation and balance of geopolitical power is constantly in motion, hence using nations and countries as a basis for class struggle is flimsy.
As Enver Hoxha said,
“Marxist-Leninist dialectics teaches us that there is no limit to development, that nothing stops changing. In this process of unceasing development towards the future, quantitative and qualitative changes occur. Our epoch, like any other, is characterized by profound contradictions which Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin defined so clearly. It is the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolutions, hence, of great quantitative and qualitative transformations which lead to revolution and the seizure of power by the working class in order to build the new socialist society” (254).

3) Revolutionary content is not based on skin color, nor race, nor geographic location. Tin-pot dictators like Pinochet and Mobutu were from the glorious “Third World,” and Maoist hero Norman Bethune was from the “First World.” Whether or not you are a revolutionary has nothing to do with racialism or geographic location.

4) No proletariat is “more deserving” of revolution than others, and it is not “national-chauvinist” to have a revolution. Here is an excerpt by Hoxha from Imperialism & the Revolution:

“Marxist-Leninists always bear in mind that in all countries, with the exception of those where. the revolution has triumphed and socialist order has been established, there are the poor classes with the proletariat at the head, and the wealthy classes with the bourgeoisie at the head. In every capitalist state, wherever it may be, and however democratic or progressive, there are oppressed and oppressors, there are exploited and, exploiters, there are antagonisms there is merciless class struggle. The varying intensity of this struggle does not alter this reality. This struggle has its ups and downs, but it exists and cannot be quelled.
It exists everywhere, it exists in the United States of America between the proletariat and the imperialist bourgeoisie, it exists, likewise, in the Soviet Union, where Marxism-Leninism has been betrayed and a new bourgeois-capitalist class which oppresses the working people of that country, has been created. Classes and the class struggle exist also in the second world., as in France, Britain, Italy, West Germany, Japan. They exist also in the "third world", in India, Zaire, Burundi, Pakistan, the Philippines, etc.
Only according to Mao Tsetung's theory of "three worlds", classes and the class struggle do not exist in any country. It does not see them, because it judges countries and peoples according to bourgeois geo-political concepts and the level of their economic development...But the class struggle, the struggle of the proletariat and its allies to take power and the struggle of the bourgeoisie to maintain its power can never be extinguished. This is an irrefutable truth and no amount of empty theorizing about the "worlds", whether the "first world", the "non aligned world", the third world, the nonaligned world., or the umpteenth world, can alter this fact. To accept such a division, means to renounce and abandon the theory of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin on classes and the class struggle” (Hoxha 255-257)

5) “Why won't the First World workers rebel then?” asks the Third-Worldist. His/her answer is that they must benefit from imperialism and be a huge bought-off labor aristocracy. The true answer to this lies in basic Marxism-Leninism. On the one hand, workers work, hence the reason for a vanguard party. The most advanced elements of the working class are generally those who have a bit of time to acquire the consciousness to play a leadership role. The rest are stuck in the daily grind, and when you are consumed with your material existence, social change is rarely on the radar. On the other hand, as Marx said, “the ruling ideas in society are the ideas of the ruling class.” National-chauvinism, racism, sexism, homophobia...these are learned behaviors propagated by the dissimenators of bourgeois ideology.

The same reason many “First World” workers display jingoistic imperialist support and ethnocentrism is the same reason that I have met other women who aspire to be submissive housewives—they have no “stake” in being a housewife, it is simply the dominant ideology and social norms that they have been indoctrinated with.

The entire theory of “Third-Worldism” is ridiculous. While the American Party of Labor acknowledges that exploitation and oppression is relative, one has to keep in mind that even in the dawn of the industrial revolution the oppressed and starving masses of Dickensian England were living in a country that was profiting off of undeveloped colonies abroad. In the Third-Worldist's opinion, that would make even the most wretched of English street paupers a “labor aristocrat,” because they live in an imperialist country. The theory strikes one as the Maoist version of “Original Sin.” Just as a Catholic baby is born “sinful,” a child born in the first world is a “parasite” in the eyes of the petty-bourgeois ideologues of Third-Worldism.
In the end, it becomes an issue of tactics, because while recognizing imperialism, the question becomes, “what are we going to do about it?” Now, we can either join a Marxist-Leninist party and prepare the workers for revolution, or we can follow the lead of MIM, MonkeySmashesHeaven, IRTR, Shubel Morgan, etc., and simply sow defeatism and disorient the revolutionary movement rather than build it. Imperialism will be smashed by the working class rising up and defeating their imperialist governments, not by saying a few “hail Mao's” and seeking forgiveness for being born in an imperialist country.

"Clarity On International Women's Day." MonkeySmashesHeaven. 08 Mar. 2009. MSH, Web.
"Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China." Chairman Mao Zedong's Theory on the Division of the Three World and the Strategy of Forming an Alliance Against an Opponent. 17 Nov. 2000. Communist Party of China, Web. .
Doering, Christopher. "Over 35 million Americans faced hunger in 2006: USDA." http://www.reuters.com/. 14 Nov. 2007. Thomson Reuters, Web. .
Edelman, Marian Wright Edelman. A Children's Defense Budget. 1st Ed. Children's Defense Fund, 1989. Print.
Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution, “8 Nentori” Publishing House, Tirana, 1979, English edition, p. 208-278.
Kilpatrick, Dean, Christine Edwards, and Anne Seymour. Rape in America: A Report to the Nation. Arlington, VA: National Center for Victims of Crime, 1992. Print.
Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. The Communist Manifesto. New York, NY: Penguin Classics, 2002. 236-38. Print.
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