Basic Political Statement on the Current Situation and Crisis
at the Time of the Founding of the Single Spark Collective

May 1st 2006

The world is in a period of tremendous crisis and upheaval, and it is the duty of communists to struggle to wrench the best possible outcome for the masses of people out of this horror. Faced with unprecedented opportunities, but also unprecedented dangers, the U.S. imperialists have embarked on the dangerous course of reworking international relations to ensure their dominance for decades to come. The key to their plan is to win uncontested control of the oil resources in the Middle East, and in the process use their one-sided military and economic advantages to stamp out opposition from revolutionary people’s movements and those countries that are trying to assert their independence of U.S. control.

The heroic resistance of the Iraqi people has created a great obstacle to the imperialists’ plans. As the imperialists become overstretched militarily and face increasing economic difficulties, they will find themselves unable to effectively intervene and enforce their interests in other spheres. This backlash from their imperial hubris, combined with the successful struggles of revolutionary people’s wars and other people’s struggles, and the emergence of more assertive capitalist rivals, will create a cauldron of contradictions that will allow the revolutionary communists to come to power and build socialist societies in many parts of the globe, potentially even right within the United States.

Realizing the risks they are running, and facing economic difficulties that do not allow them the freedom to accommodate the demands of the oppressed in the ways they were able to in the recent past, the imperialist bourgeoisie has been moving to institute more and more repressive laws and policies. They have created a repressive climate, and suppressed progressive ideas even to the point where they are suppressing basic scientific knowledge about the world. There are limits to how far they can proceed in this direction, without shattering the foundation on which they are standing. While some members of the imperialist bourgeoisie may dream of instituting theocratic fascism in the United States, they will find it impossible to implement their full program. However, things can get a lot worse, and in fact the imperialist bourgeoisie of the United States will have to come down harder and harder to maintain its wars abroad and economic offensive against the proletariat and middle class at home in the face of the opposition that inevitably erupts, in various forms, against these policies.

In order to make communist revolution, there must be a revolutionary people, there must be a crisis where the bourgeoisie loses the legitimacy and ability to rule that it has in normal times, and there must be a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist vanguard party, that is, a party which is actually capable of leading growing sections of the masses in their day-to-day struggles while at the same time bringing revolutionary ideas to them. The principle task of communists in the United States today is to work in an all-sided way to bring about the creation of such a vanguard party.

There is one fairly small group in the United States which claims to be such a Party. That is the Revolutionary Communist Party. However, the RCP has displayed a lot of idealist errors. Their most recent plunge into idealist mania is their dogmatic simplification regarding the threat of Christian fascism. They claim that a Christian fascist theocracy is the order of the day in the United States, without explaining how the Christian fascists might actually implement their program despite many structural difficulties in doing so in the United States. While the influence of Christian fascists is both large and disturbing, the RCP does not recognize the many material obstacles to the implementation of a Christian fascist programme, one-sidedly emphasizing ideology without reference to material conditions. This dogmatic simplification has led to alarmism in their approach to fighting the fascists, leading them to initiate actions through the World Can’t Wait organization that accuse all the masses who do not immediately join in the anti-fascist struggle as complicit in the plans of the fascists.

On the other hand, a variety of formerly Maoist forces have degenerated into rank economism. Others, while maintaining a Maoist orientation, argue that the Maoist forces should not organize themselves until a Maoist vanguard spontaneously emerges from the masses themselves. There are also those who entertain the vain hope that a vanguard will be forged by gently nudging revolutionary nationalist organizations toward a Maoist position. These are examples of wishful thinking that do not face reality as it actually is. The development of a genuine Maoist vanguard party in the United States is a necessary prerequisite for a genuine socialist revolution. For this reason, all those who understand this—however weak our forces may initially be—must come together in an organization, or organizations, which have the central goal of creating this Maoist party.

There are large numbers of masses coming forward to oppose the wars and occupations of the U.S. imperialists. These forces are generally on the defensive, and the proletarians are especially feeling beat down right now. But, there is tremendous mass sentiment against the imperialists and their system. The potential for revolutionary work among the masses is enormous.

This is the case among the United States’ large progressive petty bourgeoisie as well as among the proletariat. One of the main problems is that many progressive forces, such as the women’s and environmental movements, cannot see any alternative to the Democratic Party for defending even the most basic of the victories they have won, such as the right to abortion and basic environmental protections. It is the task of revolutionary communists to show that, even as we represent the basic interests of the revolutionary proletariat, we are also the most staunch defenders of the interests of what are presently middle class movements.

One major problem that the revolutionary communists must face is the declining state of the labor movement. By and large, the unions have been corrupted and rendered ineffectual. And because the unionized working class disproportionately encompasses more privileged sections of the working class (with major and significant exceptions), the unions and the unionized workplaces are by and large not major sites of struggle for the proletariat at this time. Indeed, many of the struggles that the proletariat must take up are not at all suited for union struggles, which spontaneously tend toward economism. However, the overall lack of unionization in most U.S. workplaces has left the working class extremely vulnerable to the current offensive of the imperialists against the few protections the proletariat enjoys. A major task for the revolutionary communists is to find a way to engage in struggles to win better conditions for the proletariat as part of the overall revolutionary process, including through union struggles, without succumbing to economist errors.

While the subjective forces for revolution in the United States are currently weak and disorganized, they need not remain so. The Bolsheviks went through a long period as a small and seemingly insignificant force. The Chinese Communist Party found a way to go from very small in 1921 to become a large and significant force that eventually won power. In Peru and Nepal, the revolutionary forces began small, and initially were not taken seriously, before becoming large and significant. So, from a historical materialist perspective, there is no reason for the current size and weakness of our movement to discourage us. As Mao said, “When the Party’s line is correct, then everything will come its way. If it has no followers, then it can have followers; if it has no guns, then it can have guns; if it has no political power, then it can have political power.”

The immediate problem of the Maoists in the United States is to forge a mature cadre through practice, study, and ideological struggle. In particular, we must work hard to learn from the most advanced experiences of the Maoist forces worldwide, in particular we must learn from the advanced experience of our Nepalese, Filipino, Indian, Turkish and Peruvian comrades. Our initial steps will be small, but we must have patience and persevere. As we grow, we will participate in and lead the struggles of the proletariat, and other struggles that serve the interests of humanity and the proletarian revolution, in a deeper and deeper way.

The Single Spark Collective

Single Spark Documents Page on MASSLINE.ORG

Single Spark Home Page on MASSLINE.ORG