In recent years a lot of leftist have written about protracted people’s war (PPW), a major emphasis of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist writers and theoreticians of today. PPW is a major theory and it is being used successfully in some third world countries, such as
Today the most successful use of PPW is in Philippines . India
But PPW is not possible in all countries. PPW has been promoted as a universal strategy for revolution by many organizations and writers. Chairman Gonzalo has written extensively on the use of PPW and many of his supporters have called PPW to be universal.
According to the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) of
as an introduction to an article on this subject: Canada
“A DISCUSSION ABOUT THE REVOLUTION IN IMPERIALIST COUNTRIES
Protracted people�s war is the only way to make revolution.”
And not everyone agrees with this statement. A lot of people disagree with this and they have written about it. That would include a group calling itself Mass Proletariat:
“Protracted People’s War (PPW) has been promoted as a universal strategy for revolution in recent years despite the fact that this directly contradicts Mao’s conclusions in his writing on revolutionary strategy. Mao emphasized PPW was possible in
of the semi-feudal nature of Chinese society, and because of antagonistic
divisions within the white regime which encircled the red base areas. Basic
analysis shows that the strategy cannot be practically applied in the China or other
imperialist countries. Despite this, advocates for the universality of PPW
claim that support for their thesis is a central principle of Maoism. In this
document we refute these claims, and outline a revolutionary strategy based on
an analysis of the concrete conditions of the U.S. state.” U.S.
Theorists have been developing PPW in recent years in contrast to the now outdated focoist theories utilized by Che Guevara. The big difference between these theories has been the emphasis on including the people in PPW. Maoists rely heavily on the support of people in areas where PPW is put in use. The problem in some countries is the reliance on military weapons and places to hide the revolutionaries. No matter how much PPW is developed and improved on, there are some places it just won’t work.
For a person living in the
it seems very obvious why PPW won’t work here.
There are a number of reasons we don’t see any guerrilla organizations taking on the US Government with arms, here in the
. The two best examples of past
Marxist insurrection, here in the US , were the Symbionese
Liberation Army (SLA) and the Weather Underground. The Weather Underground
aim was more for pressuring the government to end the Vietnam War than it was
to overthrow and replace the US
SLA was probably the best left-wing guerrilla group this
country has ever had. There have been a
number of US guerrilla groups, which our government always refers to as
“terrorist groups.” The SLA eventually
collapsed. Its leaders were all captured and jailed, bringing the group to an
end. Since that time American leftists have avoided any kind of armed
insurrection. For one thing the
government has made a special priority of being able to capture such groups.
There are now vast networks of spies all across the country trying to break up
and arrest military groups before they get started. The government used its
experience breaking up such groups and the Whether Underground and the US SLA as practice for any future groups. They are using all
their tactics against Al-Qaeda and ISIS (supporters of the Islamic State) cells
today and they have been very successful. With the exception of 9/11 most of US ISIS and Al-Qaeda attacks have been disrupted.
One example of their tricks is to plant a person in a dissident group and this person just happens to know someone who can deliver a truck full of explosives. The group of people buy the truck, which is actually full of fake explosives that won’t work. Then they are all arrested and charged with attempting to bomb various targets. After the fist few times this was done, people should have known better than to fall for that scam again. But it has worked to capture lots of Islamic people and groups. But it was also successfully used against three anarchists with the Occupy Cleveland movement who wanted to blow up a major bridge, which would have been a major traffic disruption. We can see what would happen if groups on the left tried such tactics. Many of them would be in jail.
Since the 1980s the
government has waged a so called “War Against Terrorism” which includes
developing a massive
network of spies, and the use of police and military tactics to watch nearly every dissident
organization in this country. There is little privacy in this country and
anyone who does anything suspicious can be assured that some government agency
is spying on them. US
The question of what we can do is not clear. We already know that using elections alone will not create a revolution. The Occupy movement from 2011 was an example of trying to use people power to change the system. That was not very effective. Keeping up a momentum just wasn’t possible. But that event did teach us some things about revolutionary tactics. One they we realize is just how much out government doesn’t care if “the whole world is watching.” Our government relies on brute force and cares nothing what those in other countries think. Maybe a combination of various different tactics might work. Red Guards - Los Angeles (NCP-LC) has claimed to be starting a PPW, but from what I read it may just mean using more militant tactics than launching an actual war with guns and bombs. The same thing may be said of Canada’s RCP. But right now, relying on a PPW, with real guns and bombs, is just not the answer.
Pix by MLM Mayhem!
 See Brian Glick, “War At Home,” (South End Press,
1989. This book explains the covert action the FBI used against legal political
groups of the 1960s and 1970s. While these “dirty tricks,” were exposed and
denounced. It is likely such tactics would be used today against any political
group that dissents against the US
government today. Everyone on the left should have a copy of this book.