Back to homepage

Raise the Red Flag of Maoism!

By L.J


A short introduction to Maoism

“The correctness or otherwise of the ideological and political line decides everything. 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. If its line is not correct, even what it has it may lose. The line is a net rope. When it is pulled, the whole net opens out” – Mao Zedong, Talks with responsible comrades at various places during provincial tour

The rising sun of revolution spreads its rays over Britain, not yet covering the country in a truly revolutionary situation, making it clear that it is not just inevitable, but it is only moments until it is day. The workers cannot stand fetid capitalism any longer, organising themselves to the highest extent they have in years. Every slave has a choice: work, die or kill their master. People are increasingly unable to exist in wage-slavery, and are only held from death by the weakening bourgeois safety net. Welfare cannot be maintained due to the increasing inefficiency of capitalism and imperialism, and all can see that when the net drops, they might be forced the next day to choose between death or revolution.

This is the situation. Marxism is without a doubt proven correct again and again. Yet, none of the supposed communists are ready. Is there one party in this country who could seize power, in areas or in the whole country, if the bourgeois disappeared tomorrow? Where are the dual-power structures? The supposed Leninists are doing as bad a job as anarchists. The answer is that these parties are following outdated political lines. For example, the ‘communist’ party with the highest membership is the CPB. But in their British Road to Socialism they don’t speak much of socialism, just a sort of distorted New Democracy that makes no sense in our advanced capitalist country. Not only that, but they constantly speak highly of ‘small businesses’ and ‘breaking up monopolies’. Are they Leninists? Did they read Lenin? (Lenin Quote). This party can be at most be considered radical social democrats. As for the others, the CPGB-ML are Marxist theologians and the CPB-ML are dogmato-revisionists. The Trotskyites and ‘Orthodox Marxists’ are even more anti-scientific, to a comical degree. In general, none would be able to seize control over a single block. Movements take a long time to build up, but these movements have had their time. We need Bolsheviks who can take that block before the bourgeois forces even know it is not theirs, and then move on to take the suburb, then to take the city district, then the city, then the country.

Capitalism is not static, it constantly advances in order to counter revolutionary forces. The revisionists don’t understand this, and work with outdated or faulty weapons. Trying to wield revisionism against the British state is like picking up a broken longbow to face a chieftan tank. But if not them, what?


“materialism must assume a new aspect with every new great discovery” – Engles, Ludwig Feurbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy

There are three main stages in scientific socialism. The first was the stage during the time of Marx and Engels. This stage was characterised by the world historic revolution of the Paris Commune. Second came Leninism, characterised by the October Revolution, Lenin and Stalin. Third, and most advanced, is the stage of Maoism, understood through the world historic Chinese revolution and Peruvian People’s War. Marxism is a science; this is well known to Marxists. Maoism is the highest stage of this science, having arisen dialectically from Leninism and bringing it to a new universal height. It is not a break from Marxism, but it is the only scientific form of it, encompassing all that came before it, so you cannot be a scientific Marxist without being a Maoist. The revisionists have stopped at the stage of Leninism, either choosing the path of blatant revisionism or dogmato-revisionism. They are no-longer scientific socialists; they are Marxist theologians and idealists. They never brought the science forward, nor disproved it in any way by engaging in class struggle, meaning their position not falsifiable. Maoism is Marxism.

Maoism, unsurprisingly, arises from Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China. Their work was known as Mao Zedong Thought (MZT) and represented an evolution of Leninism. Whilst Mao Zedong Thought spread, it was not truly the next stage in Marxism, just the most advanced form of its Leninist stage. The evolution only happened through the Peruvian People’s War, which allowed the Communist Party of Peru (PCP) begin the synthesis Maoism through works such as Maoism. On Marxism Leninism Maoism. By 1993, Maoism was fully formed, as the Revolutionary International Movement (RIM) helped make it truly universal. From here, the two most important MZT parties waging the most advanced people’s wars (in the Philippines and in India) have most of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. The main difference is that the Communist Party of the Philippines rejects People’s War as a universal strategy.

Ongoing People’s Wars represent the basis of our material understanding of the world. Engaging in struggle is necessary to understand Marxism, you cannot really know it unless you take part in revolution. Through the correct ideological line we engage in People’s War, and only through People’s War can our movement evolve and real analysis be made. This is what concretely sets it above backwards tendencies who don’t partake in revolution. How can they understand revolution if none of them have taken part in it for 70 years! As Mao wrote in On Practice, “If you want to know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself. If you want to know the structure and properties of the atom, you must make physical and chemical experiments to change the state of the atom. If you want to know the theory and methods of revolution, you must take part in revolution. All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience”. Of course, this doesn’t mean all who partake in revolution will necessarily hold the right line. Despite their experience, all communist countries fell to revisionism despite their living experience. Revisionism and rightism are the most dangerous thing to Marxism in the modern era.

There are also many deviations of Maoism, mainly Third-Worldism, and ‘Gonzalo thought’. Third-Worldism is ironically an entirely First-World phenomenon, stating that the working class in the First-World are not exploited in the Marxist sense (not being paid the full value of their labour) since they are re-imbursed by the spoils of Imperialism. This means that they are no longer revolutionary. They have conflated Super-Exploitation with Exploitation, that just because workers in the Third-World are exploited more, the workers in the First-World aren’t exploited. They take the reasonable concept of the labour aristocracy and twist it into a false winding path. They are in many ways liquidationists and mix ultra-leftism with ultra-rightism, and we should avoid falling into their trap. Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Primarily Maoists (MLMpM), or Gonzalo Thought, is a left deviation which rejects the RIM and follows the line of the PCP doctrinally. They are extreme dogmatists who uncritically follow the PCP exactly, including parts of their line which were only particular to Peruvian conditions and are likely worthy of criticism, such as Jefatura and their acceptance of the Theory of Three Worlds. Their rejection of the RIM is absurd, since the PCP was in fact a signatory of the RIM’s declaration. The above deviations are extremely sectarian, though we must remember not to fall to that level, instead employing diplomatic strategies to convince them.

simple introduction to important Maoist advancements might include:

As dialectical materialists, to understand any situation we must first understand its primary contradiction. Class struggle is always by default contradictions. Other contradictions may temporarily become the primary one, such Imperialism which rises to be the primary contradiction in Third-World countries. This is the merger of finance capital and national capital, and is characterised by the export of said finance capital. In the modern day the largest Imperial forces are the United States, China, EU and Russia, using tools such as the IMF. Combatting imperialism must always be a part of a socialist programme.

Looking at the contradictions in British society, perhaps can list them as:

Some are much less important than others, but all must be analysed in order to formulate the correct Marxist line.

Firstly is the conflict between American and European forces. This takes the form of Brexit. This contradiction is often mischaracterised as one between national and finance capital. However, this is not its true nature. Brexit was really a struggle between the ruling European aligned forces, who want to have the British market open to the EU, and the American aligned forces, who want it to be open to America. In this case, the national bourgeois was America-aligned, and were not progressive in any way. Brexit must be seen as just the transfer of Britain from the European sphere to the American sphere. Still, it was a somewhat progressive event as the country now less legally dominated. Whether this can translate to a better revolutionary condition needs proper inspection. As a whole, revolutionary defeatism is the correct path for this situation.

The contradiction between the English Parliament and the nations of Ireland, Wales and Scotland, or that between the oppressor nation and the oppressed, makes up the 2nd most important contradiction in Britain. Its severity varies between regions, with Occupied Ireland historically being where the conflict was the greatest, however it is present in all three. At times this has been the primary contradiction in Ireland. It is also seen in Scotland, where most people want to leave the Union, though they are not yet willing to rebel violently to achieve independence. In all three countries, these movements are republican and progressive. They should be firmly supported on the basis of how Northern Ireland is an occupied colony, and Wales and Scotland have not been allowed to develop through national self-determination. On the other hand, Imperialism is not the factor here. Even occupied North Ireland, even though imperial capital is why it is maintained, is not characterised by Imperial relations. Wales and Scotland have also, contemporaneously and historically, taken part in imperialism as much as England has. The situation is more complex, and depending on the situation it might be right to support national democratic forces or, if possible the foundation of union of socialist republics based on equality.

Principally there is the class contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeois. There is also the contradiction between social progressive liberal forces and social conservative liberal forces. This is often grossly misidentified as the imperial bourgeois supporting progressivism against the national bourgeois and proletariat supporting conservatism, but this is very far from the facts. Both sides have a range of class elements supporting them, and the progressive proletariat is of course to be supported. This is a common contradiction solved by the application of the Mass Line by elevating the progressives and winning over the conservatives, whilst cutting both off from the bourgeois liberals. All of these contradictions must be inspected properly in great detail if we are to effectively apply Maoism. We must also not forget that the United Kingdom is a powerful imperialist state, even if it has recently been sidelined. Ending imperialism must be our central goal, coming hand in hand with eliminating the upper sections of the bourgeois, immediately upon establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Protracted People’s War

Protracted People’s War is the most effective military strategy in the modern world. All imperialist militaries know this and have stated it many times. It has been applied worldwide, from China to Latin America. The strategy levels the field between an army superior in weapons, technology, international backing and money and a less trained guerrilla army. The only thing which is needed is popular support, at least among certain sections. Maoism posits that this strategy is universal in the 21st century. It is applicable to every country, including the imperial core. It must be applied differently in every different circumstance. It also, as mentioned earlier, cannot be used without support from the peasantry or working class. Trying to enact People’s War without it is known as adventurism, or an application of revolutionary violence without direction or purpose. A common myth is that People’s War is impossible in the first world due to the urban proletarian population. It posits that the strategy is only possible as an attack of the peasantry from the countryside, which focuses on the countryside in the defensive, villages and small towns in the equilibrium, surrounding and finally attacking the cities in the offensive. This was certainly true in the Chinese revolution, but we can’t just view Maoism through the lens of a single struggle. Protracted People’s War is a global strategy. We can read what Mao wrote about the People’s Struggle, and critically understand that he was talking about both Chinese conditions and global conditions. In Britain, instead of the reductive view of rural People’s War which is not useful here, we can instead think of an Urban People’s War, fought by the proletariat instead of the peasantry.

In our state we have unique experience of People’s War in the form of the progressive national liberation struggle of the IRA against the imperialist UK state. The myth that Protracted People’s War is impossible in the First World is dispelled by this struggle. The economic conditions in Northern Ireland are comparable to those in Britain. The main difference that lead to this struggle was that the contradictions were much more heightened in Northern Ireland than they are in Scotland or Wales. It was also not a socialist struggle but a national liberation one, and it eventually degraded to the point it has gone underground. An early-stage People’s War in Britain might look similar the war in Northern Ireland. In our country we must focus on organising the disenfranchised sections of the working class in the suburbs and outer cities. For example, Ely could be targeted as a revolutionary base area. We must develop and apply the strategy of Urban People’s War. The IRA failed in the struggles due to the fact they weren’t a true proletarian force. We can succeed where they did not by a true theoretical understanding of the struggle. We must understand the contradictions of Britain and the theory of Protracted People’s War, uniting the proletariat, lumpen-proletariat and the progressive petit-bourgeois, building up popular support until we can initiate the armed struggle.

Build the party!

Now we have a plan of theory we will develop, we can firmly say that the next step is to build a party to apply the theory. This is the most difficult phase; the actual formation of the party. There are not many Maoists in the country. Therefore, the first step is proletarian education and the building of a revolutionary base. Revisionist Communists can be won over through strong critique and polemics against their programmes, which is something I am working on. We need to educate anyone who joins to elevate the Maoist vanguard into a truly effective force. Then, we can build base areas in suburbs and disenfranchised towns. Once this point has been reached, we can initiate Protracted People’s War. This is the strategy I have identified.