The WWP is splitting

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Uncreative
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Feb 6 2019 17:36
Reddebrek wrote:
A Maoist group in Texas Red Guards Austin (who I thought had disbanded but I guess not)
They probably wanted to go under the radar so they could hoard grain for Peoples War, or so they could get the drop on some unsuspecting sparrows that were eating a hardworking Texan peasants grain or something. Maoists are bizarre.
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May 16 2019 09:49
Reddebrek wrote:
Yeah I've seen that doing the rounds. Its good that a large percentage of the membership of such a group are willing to walk over sexual harassment,

But that letter in particular was written by someone whose been very active in many harassment campaigns themselves, dredging up identifying information of critics and assumed critics. Hopefully this is the start of the turning of a new leaf, but certain passages in that letter don't give me much hope.

Bit of an update, the author of the medium article recently started posting images from dating apps of people she's fallen out with, so it looks like the online harassment and exposing of personal information continues.

Also apparently there are now accusations that she raised ten thousand dollars apparently for cancer treatment, and then took the money and moved to Europe. https://twitter.com/genefriendby/status/1128881747058417666?s=21

Its a bit hard to get details, partly because the online members/supporters of the PSL, WWP and its splinters are currently embroiled in a number of other strange scandals and feuds. This seems to be what the WWP/PSL is about nowadays.

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May 16 2019 18:34

I just had a look into that world and I feel like I'm trying to catch up on a very long-running, very bizarre soap opera when I've not watched an episode for about six months. I've still never seen an episode of GoT, but I imagine watching the series finale and trying to guess everything that's gone on so far would probably be slightly less taxing and dramatic than trying to catch up with the world of online tank beef.

Mike Harman
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Jan 31 2020 12:41

A few of the younger members of the Communist Party of Canada, (including one of their better known members at least on twitter, Clara Sorrenti) just publicly resigned. Explicitly citing lack of internationalism (i.e. support for the Chinese state) as one of the reasons they resigned.

The CPC is closest to the WWP/PSL in the US and the CPGB-ML in the UK.

As always very happy to see individuals get out of the worst possible groups, and hopefully help other people find things to do other than join them as well as finding a better trajectory themselves. No long-form written statement that I've seen yet.

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Feb 1 2020 10:13

In other Stalinist news, the Communist Party of Australia had a split last year, with some shearing off to create the creatively named Australian Communist Party. From what I can tell the differences were more personal/organisational as opposed to strictly ideological, it had something to do with the soup kitchen programme they run and a group of young people around the (now former gen. sec. Bob Briton), but I did see some comments on reddit from members on both sides mentioning extra things like dissatisfcation with the CPA's "united front" approach with the Labor Party and a somewhat more critical line on China.

One of the few people the ACP follows on twitter is the Sorrenti woman you mention, interestingly they've retweeted one of her more anti-Chinese govt. tweets:

https://twitter.com/auscommunist

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Feb 3 2020 06:19
Mike Harman wrote:
No long-form written statement that I've seen yet.

There was a podcast released by Sorenti that was about the resignation, I didn't listen to it, but It was on "The Communist current" which used to be the official podcast of the Canadian communist party.

https://podbay.fm/podcast/1472789025

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Mar 31 2020 13:35

So I realise this isn't about the WWP or its adjacents, but I think this thread has broaden slightly. Recently Incendiary news wound down with its last editor posting a self criticism that is so filled with Maoist jargon I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be an early April fools.

https://incendiarynews.com/2020/03/26/to-my-comrades-of-the-former-incendiary-editorial-board-the-tribune-of-the-people-incendiary-support-committees-and-the-revolutionary-movement/

Incendiary where from what I can tell the main media platform for the Red Guards Austin.

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Mar 31 2020 14:53
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I am not demoralized, although I confess I suffer from a disorientation. My world has been turned upside down. What I once thought correct is incorrect. It is a painful thing to grasp that I am a rightist, especially because I have longed struggle against other rightists as well. This just shows a deficiency, my fundamental error of not grasping Maoism. I cannot “cure” or rectify myself of rightism. Rectification can only happen with a collective that upholds the correct line.

It reads like the testimony of someone in a religious cult

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Mar 31 2020 15:45
Reddebrek wrote:
So I realise this isn't about the WWP or its adjacents, but I think this thread has broaden slightly. Recently Incendiary news wound down with its last editor posting a self criticism that is so filled with Maoist jargon I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be an early April fools.

https://incendiarynews.com/2020/03/26/to-my-comrades-of-the-former-incendiary-editorial-board-the-tribune-of-the-people-incendiary-support-committees-and-the-revolutionary-movement/

Incendiary where from what I can tell the main media platform for the Red Guards Austin.

...who officially claim that they no longer exist, so Incendiary's Austin-based coverage just featured various "organizations" whose membership may or may not overlap 100% with the supposedly-former RGA. Anyway, any hopes that this is the end of the road for that particular cult are premature, since it also seems to be announcing a new project, Tribune of the People (not to be confused with Tribune).

Also, I wish I could be totally, 100% confident that there wasn't another Maoist - sorry, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, principally Maoist - in the room pointing a gun at Ruiz while he was typing that out, but I'm not sure that I am.

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Mar 31 2020 17:13

OK, first of all damn you Reddebrek for sending me down this rabbithole, but secondly the new Tribune has come out with some incredible solid gold galaxy brain takes, possibly even beating the high standard we've come to expect from the Red Guard lot:

Quote:
If Maoists are correct to insist that imperialism itself is a paper tiger, then these views must also extend to COVID-19.

From another article:

Quote:
there is not a single community-spread COVID-19 case in Austin, and there is no reasonable fear of it spreading among mass gatherings as long as basic sanitary precautions are observed.

I think... I think the rightist deviation the Incendiary editor had to apologise for might have been saying that COVID-19 is real and it's a good idea for people to wash their hands?

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Mar 31 2020 18:20

From my understanding RGA, and other "Red Guard" organisations, dissolved as "Red Guards" to start some form of party building committee. There is still a bunch of maoist-styled activist groups(one is a women's group and the other a "workers organisations") in Austin that post on social-media that are clearly just the same people as RGA.

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Apr 1 2020 20:56

They "dissolved" on the same day the FBI announced it no longer had funding due to a government shutdown, which was wonderful timing. But shortly after that the same number of people in red ski masks and bandanas started showing doing exactly what the Red Guards did in the same places they had a presence.

I suspect given how hostile the reception has been to them the decisions to dissolve were just attempts at rebranding and distancing, which quickly fizzled out since the core people were the same and were now stuck. And given the statement by Incendiary news it looks like they've started to burn out amongst their only constituency.

Quote:
Also, I wish I could be totally, 100% confident that there wasn't another Maoist - sorry, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, principally Maoist - in the room pointing a gun at Ruiz while he was typing that out, but I'm not sure that I am.

Well Laski was another anti-revisionist who had a habit of brandishing his gun when meetings didn't go his way. https://libcom.org/blog/putting-it-all-red-michael-laski-story-14072018

So there is precedence.

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Dec 15 2020 02:32

So there's been a bit of an update on the PSL, currently (as in right as I'm typing) several other ex members have come forward to denounce a senior member (Steven Powers) of the party for sexual abuse, currently the PSL leadership has put several statements attacking the credibility of the accusers and in the process have published the name and location of at least one of the accusers in their responses so I'm not going to link them. Multiple blog sites have pulled the articles for doxxing violations so they're hosted on PSL owned sites.

At least one of the responses is a joint letter from women in senior part positions including their presidential candidate.

Because of the doxxing I'm just going to link to the account of one of victims which has been documenting the PSLs responses and other pretty disgusting behaviour with its own members.
https://twitter.com/GAclarado

Keep the doxxing in mind and a content warning, there's a growing number of accounts of abuse, manipulation, sexual violence and threats.

Edit: I've found a thread that includes most of the background information but has edited out identifying information https://twitter.com/fash_busters/status/1338539536184389637

Black Badger
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Dec 15 2020 05:51

even if only a fraction of these allegations are true, it's despicable. can't really expect anything else from hierarchical cults where information and power is stratified and contained. doesn't matter if they self-identify as leftists or not. secrecy, behind-the-scenes decisions, status and prestige... all the trappings of social capital (even among alleged anti-capitalists) are to be expected when the party form isn't questioned or challenged. in the respect political parties are no different from corporations run by byzantine boards of directors or a one-person business.

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Jan 5 2021 19:53

A very long, bitter pair of articles from someone who's been on both the WWP/PSL and the Red Guard Maoist side of the milieu and is now heavily disillusioned with both:
Pigheadism: The U.S. Maoist Milieu & Their Problems
Failing Upwards: The AmeriKKKan Marxist Parties & Their Problems

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Jan 6 2021 18:14
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At some point, Cosmonaut published some bullshit article comparing the Maoists to “Sorelian fascists,” which caved to the Maoists’ mystique by inventing a threat that literally didn’t exist. This article, in particular, pissed me off so much that it provided the impetus for writing “Pigheadism”. While this is a kind of comprehensive critique of US Maoism, it’s also in large part written against the organized left and its self-inventions.

I mean, Cosmonaut weren't entirly wrong.

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Jan 6 2021 19:37

I'd have to go back and read/re-read that [Cosmonaut] article to fully decide what I think of it, but I have a fair bit of sympathy for this line of argument:

"To legitimize the Maoists as a threat to all progressive organizations is to be provoked, to essentially agitate and propagandize for them. On the ground — let me tell you — this not only inspires the Maoists more to fall into their idiotic and juvenile brutality but enables their delusions of grandeur...

The other function that the anti-Maoists embrace is far more critical and useful, in deriding and mocking these actions as the pathetic stunts that they are. This does far more to liquidate the Maoists’ gains in the long run because it flattens their cliche “any PR is good PR” line. Ultimately, the organized “Left” vacillates between these two approaches, opportunistically and frivolously, which leaves them at a loss to comprehend or counter the Maoists from a political standpoint."

I mean, I wouldn't personally call anyone an opportunistic vacillator, but then that's probably directly related to me never joining a Maoist group.

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Jan 7 2021 17:43

Currently reading through pigheadism, initial thoughts, it confirms a lot of what we'd suspected about the red guards and the current us maoists, but the author seems just as bad. Also its good to get some confirmation that maoist jargon is in fact often just fancy jargon for mundane things. Like the Line struggle which was just making a complaint to a leader who just shrugs it off.

Quote:
The other function that the anti-Maoists embrace is far more critical and useful, in deriding and mocking these actions as the pathetic stunts that they are. This does far more to liquidate the Maoists’ gains in the long run because it flattens their cliche “any PR is good PR” line.

Personally this is good news since I stole the two vids from incendiary of the Red Guards to make fun of them. And also the WWP/PSL in that one video.

Quote:
On the other hand, STP-KC went about organizing marginal charity events and searching for leads on tenant struggles, utilizing the same tactics and methods of work employed in PYO. They were limited significantly by their reliance and engagement of only one tenant and one landlord at a time, then launching attacks with little to no support but amongst themselves. It was around this time that they, for some reason, had the ill-advised idea to “develop” their contacts “ideologically,” trying to hold study sessions with them one-on-one, isolated from any of the groups or their activities. Ultimately, the tenants they tried to “develop” didn’t really give a shit about their ideology, which frustrated the KCRC. One by one, here and there, they lost every contact because, in every case, they had appointed just one person to keep in touch with tenants. If the member charged with communications fucked up or just dropped out, boom, that was the end of the “struggle.”

Am I reading this correctly? They got involved in tenant struggles but restricted to one individual tenant per landlord and spent most of the time just trying to convert them into Maoists?

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Jan 7 2021 19:44
Reddebrek wrote:
Currently reading through pigheadism, initial thoughts, it confirms a lot of what we'd suspected about the red guards and the current us maoists, but the author seems just as bad.

Yeah, some of his critiques are really good but there's other stuff I would definitely disagree with. Then again, I dunno what else you could expect from someone who looked at the US Maoists and thought "hmm, these seem like people I want to get involved with?"

Quote:
Am I reading this correctly? They got involved in tenant struggles but restricted to one individual tenant per landlord and spent most of the time just trying to convert them into Maoists?

I think so, the other "mass organisation" he was involved with sounds equally mad:

Quote:
It was then that Fellow-Worker started to describe a then-unannounced, and unorganized, project called the Revolutionary Workers Movement, which I immediately jumped on. The intent behind it was essentially to extend and adapt STP’s program to workplace struggles and conduct mass work between the major industries in KC; the goal in the long term was to produce and develop an organization resembling something like the Red Brigades. I was ecstatic about it all, I expressed my interest in conducting social investigation/class analysis and actually, politically, engaging with other workers, and I told him I would love to keep in touch about it. This was how I was organized into the Revolutionary Workers Movement...
RWM was a vanguard formation but it didn’t lead; it presumed to have already engaged with the proletariat but its premises were never rooted in the practical needs of the working class movement; it claimed to implement social investigation/class analysis but, like any old Trotskyite group, it favored recruitment and retention over engagement and development.

What we intended to do was preside over the organization of politico-military brigades at the point of production; what we actually did was pontificate over the formation of propaganda teams at bus stops. Considering Fellow-Worker’s year-end, maximum goal of “having 30 people supporting each brigade leader,” I feel more than comfortable treating our failures with the contempt they’re owed, as a product of ideological platitudes more than political realities...

As two other committed Maoists later joined us, our main core at its height was comprised of about seven people. The gist was that Fellow-Worker expected us to raise ourselves up to the level of professional agitators and organizers within a year. Just one part of this process required a rather rudimentary system of reports on our coworkers and workplaces, sent to cadre leadership on an initial, bimonthly, and annual basis. They were attempts, in only one aspect, to conduct SICA in our workplaces, but it wasn’t the principal one. The primary aspect of reporting work consisted of monitoring our coworkers and identifying the advanced among them. In practice, this meant we would pick out the most seemingly “radical” of our coworkers and inculcate them with propaganda via study groups on Struggle Sessions and Incendiary pieces. The object was to convert them wholesale into good little US Maoists, which would of course lead to recruitment and cadrefication.

I think there's a theme starting to emerge here.

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Jan 7 2021 20:07

Okay just finished the maoist blog, its good to get the dirty laundry out there, but I have a hard time taking the author seriously, despite the pessimistic final paragraphs this isn't the clean break with the "left" the author thinks it is. My eyebrow raised when after describing an organisation set up explicitly so the core of four maoists would lead unquestioned was followed up with "I have no objection to this kind of authoritarianism in principle". A lot of the objections seem to be largely just reflections on this particular group of US Maoists being arseholes, presumably if KC had its own Zhou Enlai and PLA nucleus a lot of the objections wouldn't be made.

Also what I found alarming and to be a fault with the author as well as the US Maoists is their shared fixation on "Military" actions, even though neither really seem to understand what constitutes military action despite a fetishisation of the Shining Path and the Red Brigades. This is a person whose sole reason for joining the red ski mask brigade was because they wished to build the Red Brigades in Kansas, but they only had seven people in their "mass" organisation and couldn't even sticker bus stops.

Military groups are some of the most intensive and consuming of resources and personnel, for every one combatant you need between 50-100 supporting them in all kinds of roles, from safe houses, information gathering, fund raising etc. The Shining Path at its peak had a fighting strength of 4,000 and that was with a national organisation backing it up. This is just delusional and it alarms a little that one of the grudges against the Maoists is that they prevented the author from really committing to trying to get this setup.

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Jan 7 2021 21:53

Yeah, I'd pretty much agree with that - similarly, there's a lot of really worthwhile critique in the piece on the M-L groups, but then somewhere in there he also comes out with the complaint that PSL/WWP weren't enthusiastic enough about the North Korean nuclear programme(!) Still, interesting to learn more about these groups from the inside, even if both pieces could really use editing and trimming down.