Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

American Communist Workers’ Movement (Marxist-Leninist)

Working People Need Mao Tsetung Thought

A Spiritual Atom Bomb of Infinite Power

Published: The Workers’ Advocate, Vol. 1, No. 4, December 1969.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Fellow workers and oppressed people of the U.S.:

The ruling class of monopoly capitalist parasites has gone on the offensive against the working and oppressed people in recent months, in an attempt to increase its profits and preserve its position of rule.


In the economic field, inflation has cut the paychecks of every American worker, as the bourgeoisie tries to make up for every hard-won pay raise by increasing profits. Imperialist flunkey Nixon maintains the surtax, which is the final straw of a backbreaking tax burden intended mostly for military expenditures. Unemployment is on the rise, hitting Black and Brown workers and certain sections of the building trades most severely. Finally, as we have documented in past issues of The Workers’ Advocate, the ruling class is undertaking a major campaign against workers’ right to union organization. A bill in Congress would reduce the already-weak powers of the National Labor Relations Board, General Electric is attacking the electrical unions in full-page newspaper ads and refuses to give an inch, and locally the Stokes administration attempts to destroy the militant union of city water workers. These repressive blows are admittedly just warm-ups for the rulers, who expect a storm of trouble during contract negotiations next year.

In the political field, the ruling class continues its war of aggression in Vietnam, while preparing to draft American working class youth for further wars, possibly against Socialist China. Open fascist violence is used against the working people of the Black and Brown communities and especially against the Black Panther Party, which has picked up the gun in self-defense. All kinds of legal cases are underway against rebels of every sort. Vice-President Agnew has paved the way for fascist news censorship with his attacks on the news media, in which he used the Wallace-Hitler tactic of blaming a few of the big shots while letting the capitalist system and its government off the hook. Finally, in its handling of the Song My Massacre, the imperialist government is attempting to blame the enlisted (working-class) youth and not the warmongers themselves for perpetuating a war which can lead to nothing but slaughters on the part of the aggressor troops.

In the cultural field, the ruling class publishes, broadcasts and teaches all kinds of slander of the people of the world in their efforts to organize and dĽal with their oppression in a mass democratic manner. Imperialist propagandists portray Black people in their just struggles as a howling mob, striking workers as an irrational powder keg, struggling progressive students as drug-crazed mindless hippie freaks, and revolutionary leaders as calculating puppeteers (the despicable slanders of the great leader Chairman Mao in the movie “The Chairman” is the best example). In addition, in the natural and social sciences, all kinds of uninvestigated, anti-people theories are being spread (racial superiority, violence instinctive to man’s “nature”, the theory of ”overpopulation” as the problem in societies whose ruling parasites roll in plenty while the people starve) in order to lay the basis in ideas for continued imperialist exploitation and future open fascist control of the U.S.

The imperialist ruling class is, as always, trying to transfer the burden of expanding its empire of exploitation onto the backs of the working and oppressed people of America. The draft, taxes, inflation, suppression of rebellion – this is the policy of this handful of parasites. Chairman Mao has recently stated that in order to continue to unleash wars of aggression against the people of the world, the U.S. imperialists must impose fascism on the American people. He said that the American people must stand up and stated that he knows that they will.

What can explain these frenzied policies on the part of the U.S. big bourgeoisie? They can only be explained, first, by the rising mass protest and revolutionary movements at home and, second, by the success of People’s War against U.S. imperialism in Vietnam and its rise in fifty countries, and, third, by the consolidation of Socialist China as the fortress of world revolution as a result of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.


The principal contradiction or struggle in the U.S. has long been the struggle of the Black people against the imperialist ruling circles, a struggle which for the past decade has played the leading role and has influenced and called forth all others. This struggle reached a high point in the Detroit rebellion of 1967 and in the rebellions which followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, and is now engaged in “learning warfare through warfare” in-preparation for People’s Anti-Fascist War. Furthermore, the Black liberation movement, just as Chairman Mao stated in his 1967 “Statement in Support of the Just Struggles of the Afro-American against Violent Repression”, is merging with and taking leadership of the struggle of the entire working class against the bourgeoisie. Militant strikes in Memphis, Newport News, Mahwah (N.J.), Chicago, and Cleveland and the formation of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers in Detroit are just a few examples. Struggles of Mexican-Americans for national liberation in the southwest and of Puerto Rican-Americans for national liberation in Puerto Rico and for democratic rights in the northern cities have also contributed heavily to the growth of the workers’ movement.

The struggle of the American working class against the monopoly capitalists has recently played a secondary role in strength to the Afro-American struggle but is now rising in power and in the near future will become the principal form of struggle in the U.S. In addition to the above mentioned struggles of black workers, we have seen the largest political strike in years in the miners’ black lung wildcat. In Ohio alone there have been violent struggles of the (mostly white) steel haulers against the steel companies and the Teamsters’ Union bureaucrats, and a series of violent strikes among, rural and small-city workers in mid-Ohio, many of whom work for large plants which have moved to the country to escape Black workers. In short, the struggles of the Black and Brown workers, the rulers’ anti-union offensive and the spread of large industries into the countryside has spread militancy into the white sections of the working class and from the cities into the countryside, preparing the ground for powerful workers’ struggles everywhere.

Finally, the struggles of the students and progressive petty bourgeoisie (teachers, social workers, and other white collar workers), while in great ideological turmoil, have reached a new level of numbers and militancy, especially among Black and Brown students. Opposition to imperialism, racial discrimination and the call to overthrow the imperialist state have all emerged from the student and middle-class struggles. These struggles have been fleeting and inconsistent, reflecting their participants’ class status as a wavering grouping of people torn between serving the working and oppressed peoples and being flunkeys for the imperialists. Only when these struggles come under the direct leadership of the working class and serve the working class will they strike consistent blows against imperialism. But the ruling class justly fears them for they strike many sparks, any one of which could start a prairie fire.


These internal contradictions within the U.S. are the fundamental cause of the imperialists1 increasingly repressive policies. The external conditions which have strongly influenced them have been the loss by the U.S. of its war against the Vietnamese people the rise of revolutionary movements elsewhere, and the consolidation of Socialist China. In Vietnam., as we described in the last issue of The Workers’ Advocate, the U.S. forces have been decisively defeated and Nixon is frantically seeking ways to keep a foothold there to avoid losing the whole of Indo-China to the Indo-Chinese peoples. Fifty liberation struggles raging elsewhere in the world, especially in Palestine, India and Quebec, threaten the imperialists with the loss of their profitable investments nearly everywhere. Thus the imperialists will necessarily have to carry out wars of aggression against these peoples in the near future as a matter of survival, and will attempt to convince the American people that the survival of America is at stake, not just the survival of their own parasitic lives of luxury. They will attempt, as always, to persuade and force American working class youth to fight these wars for them. Since each war will be less popular than the one before it, the rulers will definitely need the o-pen violence of a fascist state in order to control the people.

The second external condition strongly threatening U.S. imperialism is Socialist China, which, under the correct leadership of Chairman Mao Tse-tung, has shown the revolutionary peoples of the world exactly how to prevent the degeneration of the socialist revolution back into capitalism. This has taken place in Russia, where a new set of “educated” bureaucrats has arisen out of the petty bourgeoisie and has re-established the profit system and put political power in the hands of a new capitalist class. Mao Tse-tung summed up the Soviet experience and gave guidance to the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, a mass revolutionary movement of workers, peasants and students who removed from various positions of power the “educated” bureaucrats who were spreading the same capitalist ideas and practices in China that led to the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union. The victory of the people’s revolutionary forces in this struggle was a great disaster for the U.S. imperialists and the Soviet social-imperialists (socialist in words, imperialist in deeds) who had been hoping for a new generation of “reasonable” (ready to bow to the oppressors) leaders to take power in China. Instead, China is taking the lead in calling on the people of the world, including the American people, to defeat the imperialists and all their running dogs.


We have shown the offensive the ruling class has launched against the American people, the people’s resistance, and the successes of the ’revolutionary struggles around the world. What is the main lesson we must learn in order to carry our struggle through to victory in the U.S.?

Everywhere that the struggles of the oppressed people have succeeded or are nearing success, the people have united theory and practice, have used revolutionary theory– Mao Tsetung Thought – to guide practice, and have not groped blindly around in the dark. The struggles of the American people have as yet failed to do this. No party or movement has yet come forth to give the correct call and practice a correct method in organizing the masses. Neither the Black Panthers’ heroism, the Weatherman’s kamikaze tactics, nor the Trotskyite’s opportunist collaboration with the liberal bourgeoisie and the police, can provide the guide. Chairman Mao states, “the creation and advocacy of revolutionary theory plays the principal and decisive role in those times of which Lenin said, ’Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement.’ When a task, no matter which, has to be performed, but there is as yet no guiding line, method, plan or policy, the principal and decisive thing is to decide on a guiding line, method, plan or policy.”

We hold, therefore, that the application of Mao Tsetung Thought scientifically to American conditions is the central general task of American revolutionaries in, this period of struggle.


Mao Tsetung Thought did not drop from the sky, nor was it dreamed up in Chairman Mao’s head. It is a scientific summation of Marxism-Leninism at the present stage of history, the stage in which, as Lin Piao states in his introduction to Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung, “imperialism is heading for total collapse and socialism is advancing to worldwide victory.” It is the summing-up of the lessons of the struggles of the working class and oppressed peoples of the last hundred years, and carries on creatively the work begun by Marx and Engels and continued by Lenin and Stalin.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels scientifically analyzed capitalist society of their day and demonstrated three things: that classes had not always existed in society and could be abolished, putting an end to parasites; that the working class would of necessity rise up and overthrow the capitalists and establish its own dictatorship against the former rulers, the dictatorship of the proletariat, in order to prevent them from restoring capitalism? and that the dictatorship of the proletariat through out the world would be the last stage of society before the abolition of classes and the establishment of communism.

Marx and Engels lived to see their theories put into practice only briefly, when the workers of Paris rose in 1871 and established the Paris Commune, which failed to organize the French peasants and was crushed by the army. It fell to Lenin, the creator of the Russian Bolshevik Communist Party, to see Marx’s theories put into practice. “Lenin’s principal contributions to Marxism were two: he showed how to build a Communist Party as the instrument of the proletariat’s struggle for power; and he showed that capitalism had passed its free-competition stage and had entered the monopoly stage, outgrowing national borders and dividing the undeveloped areas of the world among a few imperialist powers, oppressing nations and calling forth national-revolutionary movements against imperialism which would be strong allies of the proletarian revolution.

Stalin gave guidance to the international communist movement in the problems of leading the oppressed nations against imperialism, in constructing socialism in one country and in organizing anti-fascist war against the Nazis. He failed to show how to prevent the restoration of capitalism from within, and after he died the Soviet Union degenerated into a dark bourgeois dictatorship.

Chairman Mao Tsetung led the Communist Party of China from the early 30’s to the present, during which time the Chinese people successfully fought the Chinese big bourgeoisie, Japanese imperialism, defeated the Chinese big bourgeoisie (supplied by the U.S.), constructed socialism and carried out the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Chairman Mao creatively applied Marxism-Leninism to Chinese conditions, summed up the struggles and made three major contributions which justify calling Mao Tsetung Thought the Marxism-Leninism of our era. He showed, first, the correct road to revolution in the undeveloped, oppressed nations by uniting the peasantry under proletarian leadership and carrying out armed agrarian revolution against the imperialists, the feudal landlords and the comprador (pro-imperialist) bourgeoisie; he created the theory of People’s War which, as in Vietnam, enables an unorganized and unarmed people to organize and arm itself and grow in strength until it can defeat the most modern army; and he showed the importance and the method for carrying out struggle of ideas on the cultural front, to prepare for revolution and to prevent revolution from degenerating after power has been seized.


If we are to creatively apply Mao Tsetung Thought to American conditions we must show how this can be done and how it can aid the revolutionary struggle.

In the first place, we too, although we live within the main imperialist country, must learn to “unite with the many to isolate the few”, that is, to “unite with real friends to attack real enemies.” We must make a class analysis in order to discover our real friends and our real enemies, and we must put forward the principle that “the working class must exercise leadership in everything.”

The American Communist Worker’s Movement (M-L) holds that the industrial proletariat is the most revolutionary class in America, especially Black and Brown workers and workers recently from rural areas. The allies of the proletariat are the small farmers (peasants), the petty bourgeoisie (white-collar workers and small owners) of the Black, Mexican-American and Puerto Rican peoples, and large sections of the white petty bourgeoisie. Mao Tsetung Thought teaches us the importance of having a clear policy in dealing with these petty bourgeoisie, who naturally import capitalist ideas into the revolutionary movement. Mao teaches, and the practice of the Canadian Communist Movement (M-L) shows, that the petty bourgeoisie must come under the leadership of the working class, renounce and struggle against the oppression it carries out against the working class, and in order to become truly revolutionary it must betray its class background and integrate with the productive labor and class struggle of the workers and peasants and serve their interests. This is the analysis we have made of our real friends (in the U.S.) and our real enemies.

In the second place, we must apply Mao’s theory of People’s War creatively to the United States. This means organizing where we are the strongest and imperialism the weakest (selecting base areas), relying on the masses and following the principles, “political power flows out of the barrel of a gun,” and “the Party commands the gun.” This is opposed to the Che Guevara line of all army, no party, do-it-yourself, don’t-rely-on the-people, which is widely advocated in the U.S. and leads to disaster. In general, we will have the advantage over our comrades in the oppressed nations in that we will be too close to the imperialists for them to use major weapons against us, and we will be most able to win over the U,3. Army, since it consists of our closest class brothers.

In the third place, the question of struggle on the cultural front in the realm of ideas and the superstructure (the legal, political, educational and cultural institutions that rise above the economic base) is of extreme importance for us. Imperialism, as we have shown, has promoted all sorts of pro-capitalist ideas (competitiveness selfishness, sensualism) through these institutions and through the largest section of the petty bourgeoisie, those mental laborers who work in the superstructure and whose job it is, in one way or another, as teacher, social worker or bureaucrat, to teach the working and oppressed people to be tame and docile and not to organize to change the world. Imperialism has promoted two forms of bourgeois ideas in particular, racism and anti-communism, which together form the basis for fascism, divide the working class and oppressed peoples and attempt to prevent them from developing their highest form of organization, a Marxist-Leninist Communist Party that follows Mao Tsetung Thought.


The American Communist Workers’ Movement holds that this question of class struggle in the superstructure, class struggle in ideas, is primary at this time, in order to prepare the ideological basis for uniting with real friends to attack real enemies in order to carry out People’ War. In particular, this problem takes the form of propagating communist ideas among the working class in order to organize the working class and take leadership over the petty bourgeoisie. We hold that propagating communist ideas among the working class and thus fighting for the right to organize a militant Communist Party is in fact attacking imperialism where it is weakest and we are strongest. Masses of workers are looking for an alternative. The circulation of The Worker’s Advocate in Cleveland is just a sample (over 1000 of a single issue sold to workers). We hold that this is carrying out the mass line (relying fully on the working class) in ideological work.

On the basis of this analysis, the ACWM sets forth the following specific tasks for itself and for the American proletariat:

1) Attend the North American Anti-Imperialist Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dec. 26- Dec. 31, in order to discuss applying Mao Tsetung Thought to American conditions and to learn from the movements in Quebec and Canada.

2) Establish Marxist-Leninist and anti-imperialist units on a coordinated basis in several cities across the country and produce The Workers’ Advocate on a national scale.

3) Go deep into the working class in a few key places and make breakthroughs in leading mass struggles against the imperialists and rising fascism.

These are the tasks we have set for ourselves. Discuss them in the light of the quotations provided in the following article and apply them to your own experience. Remember Chairman Mao’s principle that making a revolution is like eating a meal: we know we can finish it, but we cannot take it down in one gulp. Therefore, we eat it mouthful by mouthful, we fight the battles one by one.