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Staying Relevant

An Analysis of U.S. Marxist-Leninist

Organizational Activities in a Post-Soviet

Kyle A. Johnson
California State University of San Marcos
Dr. Garry Rolison, Chair
Dr. Sharon Elise
Dr. Kristen Bates

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We stand as Lenin did prior to the revolution, with nothing but

steel in our minds and passion in our hearts.
-Kyle A. Johnson

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Dr. Garry Rolison: You have been a mentor, a professor, and a comrade. You have
inspired me to become a better scholar and a better person. Your ability to make me
answer my own questions has turned me into a person I would take seriously had I ever
met me. I thank you for all you have done for me and showing me what an
uncompromisingly principled and ethical teacher should be. I know you will continue to
inspire countless students.

Dr. Sharon Elise: Knowing you over these years has changed my life forever. You have
consistently challenged me and made me a much stronger, far more intellectual
student. I cherish the time you have given to me and will never forget all the lessons you
have imparted onto me. Whenever I had an idea that I couldnt fully comprehend, I
knew it was you that could take it and make sense of it. You will always be legend to me.

Dr. Kristen Bates: Since the day I met you, I knew that you were a supportive and
creative teacher that would always encourage the best in her students. You have driven
my creativity through the roof and have inspired to look at one idea from so many
different angles. Thank you so much for all your help, this wouldnt have been possible
without your structure so early in the program. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

To my cohort: You have been some of the most interesting and accepting people I have
ever met in my life. I have found friends, colleagues, and comrades. I hope to always
keep in touch with you and will remember all of the perspectives you have shown me.
Special shout outs to my comrade Yolanda, you have challenged me and pushed me to
become a great student and a great leader. I am lucky to have a friend like you.

To my family and my lady: Thank you for helping me get through this process, a process
which would have overwhelmed me without you. You have calmed me when I was
stressed, brought me up when I was down, and gave me the strength to keep going
when I thought I had no more. This thesis is a part of you as it is a part of me. I am
forever grateful. I love you.

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Table of Contents
Statement of the problem.5-7
Literature Review.13-19

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Write in such a way as that you can be readily understood by both the young and the old, by
men as well as women, even by children.
--Ho Chi Minh
Within the last two decades the world has seen a tremendous shift in the global
environment with respects to economic, political, and social hegemony. These aspects have
much to owe to a few events that have had a massive impact upon the world social setting.
Two main paradigm shifting events that changed the course of uninterrupted globalized
capitalism were the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. These
two monumental events spawned two separate styles of world activity, each event bringing in a
new era of world policy and power relationships. With the dissolution of the Soviet Bloc in
1991, many have thought the idea of socialism to be dead and the inevitable intrusion of
capitalism restored. Along with the ever expanding global economy, dominated mainly by the
sole remaining superpower, the United States, and its allies, the political landscape has looked
singularly linear, with resistance coming from popular revolts and national attempts to resist
global capitalist integration instead of previous endeavors to join the communist bloc. With the
end of the Cold War and the collapse of the U.S.s rival super power, the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics aka the Soviet Union, the prospects of alternatives to Western style
capitalism seems marginal to say the least. With the grip of global capitalism seizing the last
remaining bastions of non-U.S. supported economic and political policies, what are activist
organizations; specifically Marxist-Leninist activist organizations, to do to counter this newly
unrivaled economic hegemony?

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Marxist-Leninist organizations have been active in the United States for nearly one
hundred years, with a history of being victims of government persecution and occupational
blacklisting. Forced to recover from often devastating consequences, these organizations have
continued to give a voice to the victims of crimes committed by the United States and to
promote alternatives to the current capitalist economic policies that are in place right now.
With the events mentioned above unfolding slightly over the last two decades, most hardline
Marxist-Leninist nations have disappeared, forcing the remaining anti globalized capitalist
countries to adopt some market reforms. In this time of near absolute domination of globalized
capitalism and the near political impossibility of electoral change occurring in the United States,
how will modern Marxist-Leninist organizations attempt to reach out to the public and mobilize
for change? By critically analyzing the content promoted by these organizations and observing
the activities of public outreach, the potential for movement building will be discovered.
Statement of the problem
Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? These are the questions of primary importance for
the revolution
--Mao Tse Tung
Since the fall of the Soviet Union and the restoration of capitalism in formerly socialist
nations, the U.S. dominated ideology of free market, globalized capitalism has portrayed itself
the winner of the cold war and the rightful heir to the top of the global hierarchy. Alternatives
to the U.S. dominated world system, especially alternatives that were communist sympathetic,
were seen as fundamentally anti-American and worthy of political and social persecution.
Whether the first red scare of 1919-1921, the second red scare of 1947-1954, the witch hunt
that was McCarthyism, or the continual blacklisting from occupation for communist or Marxist-

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Leninist supporters, the United States has made anti-communism a central pillar of its
existence. While the USSR existed, many found strength in knowing there was a bulwark against
Western imperialism and based their actions and parties off those of the Communist Party of
the Soviet Union. That continued to last until the years of Soviet revisionism and ultimately, its
dissolution. Without the presence of the Soviet Union and the isolation imposed on remaining
socialist/communist nations, many Marxist-Leninist activists have had to adapt to the new
environment of dominant, relentless, U.S. economic, political, and social power. Whereas
defense of the Soviet Union, not wholly uncritical, was seen as a main pillar of Marxist-Leninist
organizational activity, nowadays seems irrelevant to organizations hoping to enter the realm
of mainstream political audiences. The need to reconstruct the foundation for these
organizations has been the driving force behind their adaptations both internal and external.
Now that defense of a now defunct nation is no longer a sound tactic to recruit new
members to the Marxist-Leninist cause, activist organizations must now focus on new topics
that they deem as fulfilling and necessary as the previous tactic was. Many of these new focus
points have to deal with very hot social issues that have sharply divided U.S. politics and their
impact on the U.S. economy. Issues such as immigration, workers rights, racism, healthcare,
education, gentrification, imperialism, and their link to their main struggle against the capitalist
economic system have further evolved the ideology of Marxism Leninism and the organizations
following it. Many of these issues were debated in previous times, but, as a lot of organizations
did at the time, they looked to the Soviet Union to guide them in their fight against the ills in
American society and attempted to replicate Soviet social gains in the U.S. With that function

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no longer existing, Marxist-Leninist organizations are being forced forge their own path, often
mirroring the revolutionaries who faced similar situations prior to their nations revolution.
With the eruption of popular revolts around the world and here in the United States,
Marxist-Leninist organizations have had to adapt to movements which shelter large amounts of
different ideologies. Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring have inspired mass mobilizations
around the world, often finding themselves leaderless, splinted, and highly sectarian. (Greene &
Kuswa 2012) Marxist-Leninist organizations attempting not only to incorporate themselves into
these popular movements, but ultimately steer these movements through the idea of a
vanguard party is a differentiating factor between Marxist-Leninist organizations and the
myriad of organizations participating in often international popularized revolts. (Galia 1987)
Internationalization, also a foundational pillar of Marxism-Leninism also has posed these
organizations problems regarding the relationship their presence has in the United States with
the popular revolts occurring in the Middle East. (Greene & Kuswa 2012)
In addition to the mass mobilization of the Occupy and the Arab Spring movements, the
increase in the use of mass media by the movements has spawned an ability to organize at a
much quicker scale and react to the changing reality that is the world of protest and resistance.
(Juris 2012) Given the dialectic relationship between organizational ability to resist vs. states
ability to repress forms of popular discontent, (Greener & Huswa 2012) the tactic of mass
mobilizations in the forms of popular revolts have spurned the a new era of technological
struggles both virtual and physical. (Juris 2012) Marxist-Leninist organizations are going to have
to incorporate these new technologies into their arsenal of struggle in order to become the
leaders they have fashioned themselves out to be, but with conditions changing at the send of a

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text or an update of a Facebook page, how will Marxist-Leninist organizations adapt their
activities to this post-soviet, technologically advanced world while maintaining their connection
to the public?
Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement
--Vladimir Lenin
After careful consideration of which theories would best describe and enlighten this
phenomenon, I have chosen four main theories with subtle influences of many others. These
theories will be Marxist conflict theory by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the theory of
Hegemony by Antonio Gramsci, the combined work of systems and social development
theories of Jurgen Habermas and Michel Foucalt, and the Worlds-System theory by Immanuel
Wallerstein. These four theoretical approaches, while working off each other, produce the best
analysis of the current environment U.S. Marxist-Leninist organizations find themselves in.
Detailed analysis of the three theories will help illuminate the creation and adaptations of the
various organizations in this post-Soviet environment.
To start, one must understand Marxist conflict theory, the basis for much of the to-be
discussed theories. This theory covers the overall struggle of the international working class
against worldwide system of capitalism governed by the bourgeois capitalist class. This struggle
is seen as inevitable in Marxist theory as stated in the works of dialectical materialism. (Wolff &
Cullenburg 1986) This work states that each system creates its own destruction. In the current
capitalist world, to create the super profits that it obtains, it must also create a mass of
exploited laborers with no control over the system. Eventually the bourgeois will turn on
themselves until an absolute monopoly is created, making the mass majority of the world the

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proletariat and peasant class. With these conditions, the working class is going to unite and rise
against the bourgeois and reconstruct the system to work for them instead of the ruling class.
This theory has dominated sociological thought for years and has inspired countless
revolutionary movements around the world. (Wolff & Cullenburg 1986) As in the past, any of
these movements have taken the form of Marxism-Leninism. Marxism-Leninism is the
application of Marxist conflict theory to real life conditions, basically making it the vehicle for
the revolution purposed in Marxist theory. (Hoxha 1978)
Marxism-Leninism is described as the vehicle because of its use by
revolutionaries around the world to overthrow the capitalist system in their respective nations
and establish socialism. According to Marxism-Leninism, the capitalist system has entered a
stage of imperialist, neo-colonial capitalism, becoming internationalist in aspects, thus
replacing nation state capitalism. (Louw 1991) To counter this growing menace, the
communist movement must become internationalist itself, a Leninist concept known as
proletarian internationalism. The internationalist movement is to occur not in a classical
Marxist idea of spontaneity of the oppressed, but by an organization of leaders. MarxismLeninism is the application of Marxs notion of working class revolution with the direction of a
vanguard party. That is one of the most important differences between classical Marxist theory
and Marxism-Leninism. The vanguard party is to become the guide, the leader of the working
class forces against the capitalist system. Marxism-Leninism is also important due to its ability
to be molded to best fit the characteristics of the situation it finds itself in. (Carmichael 1973)
That model is still in place today, with many of the organizations that are being created are
designating themselves as the new vanguard for the 21st century. Classical Marxist theory will

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still be used as the main analysis theory because of potentials it has to create evolved moments
based upon an individual or organizations location in both place and time.
With Antonio Gramscis theory of Hegemony, the importance is in strive to look at the
relationships members of society have within the institutions and culture they find themselves
in. How is their society set up and what types of relationships does it produce/reproduce? The
theory of Hegemony, or more specific, Cultural Hegemony, states that society from top to
bottom, institutional and cultural, are devised intentionally to secure and reinforce Bourgeois
control of society. This expansion of classical Marxist theory is essential when analyzing
Marxism past the simplicity of pure economism. (Hawley 1980) Wrestling control of the
economy and putting it under worker or party control is but a piece of the puzzle, or revolution
in their sense, the other piece of to reject the cultural hegemony and practices that were
pressed upon them by the previously dominating classes. From values and ethics, to cultural
practices and relationships, the entire thought pattern of the proletariat would need its own
revolution alongside the economic revolution in order to secure the proletarians gains and
prevent internal counter revolution. (Hawley 1980)
If the art and science of a revolution was a giant glass container, classical Marxist
thought would be seen as the giant stones that fill up most of the container. Gramscis theory
of hegemony can then be seen as the sand that is poured into the container to fill the gaps
between the giant stones, thereby completely filling the container and ensuring an Absolute
Revolution. Whereas Marx focused almost exclusively on the economy and power, he
neglected to fully understand the other forms of social control, from the ruling class to the
proletarians own forms of personal control. Gramscis additional level of depth into the various

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forms of control; such as frames of thought, educational paradigms, individualism, language,
brought Marxist thought from a cold, rigid, almost robotic concept of revolution into a flesh and
blood, fiery, flexible revolution encapsulating the totality of what constitutes a revolution.
Habermas and Foucalt bring a complexity into this study of Marxist-Leninist
organizations in the United States by analyzing the changes and tactics of struggles that have
been ongoing throughout the Marxist world movement. Habermas and his understanding of
the capitalist systems evolution and its continual protection of its system has been crucial into
understanding why the classical Marxist notion of capitalism imploding in and of itself has not
occurred already or doesnt seem likely to occur in the near future. (Isenburg 1991) Habermas,
along with Foucalt describes power relations and the survival of the capitalist system based
upon two main foundations, the interventionist welfare state solely in regards to the economic
sustainability, and the destruction of social associations crucial to the development of social
movement based on social, political, or economic justice. As Vladimir Lenin said, People vote
with their feet, the need to liquidate any forms of social movement by maintaining a neoliberal, individualist, consumer system has thoroughly negated the power of once strong social
institutions based upon trade unions, ethnic organizations, and liberation movements of
women and the LGBTQ communities. Habermas describes these actions as intentional
displacements of the class struggle and conflict into areas where potential success of any
relatively strong movements will have no overall effects of the capitalist system, focusing
resources on human relations outside the economic sphere. Key to rebuilding the anti-capitalist
movement would be to shed barriers imposed upon them, realize their artificiality, and regain
a sense of shared class conscious (Isenburg 1991) in the more advanced area we find ourselves

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in today. With the myriad forms of oppression many people find themselves today, social
association and relationships based upon acknowledged lack of power are necessary to change
abhorrent social conditions. With globalized capitalist oppression must come globalized
organizational resistance, a form of dialectic to counter the devastation of capitalism on a
global scale.
The World-Systems theory explains in detail the power relations of capitalist entities in
the globalized economy. This theory has extended the analysis presented by the dependence
theory in the realm that the World-System doesnt rely on the state as the primary unit of
analysis. In the World-Systems theory, the state is taken into serious consideration, but is
coupled with international corporations, non-governmental organizations, and governmental
alliances such as the European Union. This theory argues that these organizations mentioned
above constitute powers in certain geographical areas that allow for greater control of the
world system, and those organizations are grouped into three sections, core, semi-periphery,
and periphery. The core organizations are the entities who are the exploiting, economically
directing groups. (So & Hikam 1989) They acquire the raw materials required for production,
the low wage labor that manufacture the products, and reap the surplus value. Periphery
organizations are the exploited areas of the world that are dominated by the core
organizations, they must give up their low wage labor, their raw materials, and are forced to
extreme poverty in order to keep the living conditions acceptable for the core organizations in
order to maintain population pacification. The semi-periphery organizations are the middle of
the poles, usually the up and coming groups or groups that have invented a new way to acquire

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This theory can be used as an identifier for organizations based upon the antiimperialist/colonization and immigration struggles. Individuals may desire to see the United
States military out of foreign nations, an end to the economic exploitation of a foreign nations
labor force, and the fair treatment of immigrants whether documented or not. This theory has
done a remarkable job at applying a classical Marxist theoretical analysis of a single societys
power relations to the most macro levels. But, I would argue that this belongs in the middle of
the other two theories as classical Marxist theory has always had an internationalist tone in its
analysis of the capitalist system. While the World Systems theory does look at relationships
between entire nations or geographical areas, it is still under the globalized capitalist system
that Marx critiqued. That capitalist system could be argued as the creator of many of those
states in the first place, rendering Marxist theory the most overall macro theory.
Bringing these three theories together not only enlightens us to the current state of the
Post-Soviet world environment, but how organizations evolve with this changing world
environment. The world has changed tremendously since the fall of the Soviet Union, and with
that change, a new form of struggle must be conceived. The struggle against new enemies such
as globalization, neo-colonization, and ever expanding imperialism must be fought with a solid
theoretical understanding. These organizations, combining the three theories discussed above,
display an understanding that is solid enough to produce serious change. Building upon years of
social, political, and sociological understanding, the theories depicted in this section have
chronicled the development social movements for over a century.
Literature Review
The writer is the engineer of the human soul.
--Joseph Stalin

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Concentrating on the works of Galia, Carmichael, Louw, and Mandel in regard to Marxist
Leninist organizations and the beginning of social movements, many commonalities became
clear. The study of people turning to a leftist radical orientation has been well documented and
researched. Whether through a lack of social mobility (Portes 1971 & Louw 1991), lack of
representation in mechanisms of change, (Carmichael 1974) or desire to contribute to an
organized movement (Mandel 1983 & Galia 1987), members of oppressed nations have
attempted to project their grievances through the work of organizations. Various studies have
been conducted throughout the world, mainly in third world nations where the matter of
exploitation and oppression leave little else for solutions. A commonality that many of these
articles present is a feeling among the oppressed populations that the current
political/economic system isnt working for them, and the approved means for change will not
create legitimate change, necessitating the creation of alternatives (Galia 1987). Alternatives,
which Carmichael expressly simply as change which incorporates the human in totality within
the confines of social design and social change. (Carmichael 1974) This feeling resonates in a
different way in the United States, where the distrust of legitimate change might be similar, but
the immediate need to generate change might not be as present. (Geschwender 1968)
Alejandro Portes, while conducting research in the slums of Santiago Chile, found that
many people with disbelief in existing leftist parties joined organizations or expressed
opinions more radical than the already established Communist Party of Chile because of its
perceived lack of revolutionary potential. In his research he found that:

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In Chile, as in many other nations, the Communist party played a crucial role in
developing radical political consciousness in the working classes; yet, today, new
extremist groups, especially those following the Castro-Guevara traditions,
regard the Communists as representatives of a traditional, "institutionalized" left
incapable of effective revolutionary action. (Portes 1971)
There are several arguments against why revolutionary attitudes in the United
States havent developed and matured compared to other nations, namely political
ignorance, social integration/isolation, economic insecurity, objective economic
hardship, and subjective deprivation. (Plutzer 1987 Portes 1970) These conditions are
in addition to the subjective experiences of radical leftist activist, including MarxistLeninist. With a perfect example being the COINTELPRO program targeting radical
organizations beginning with the Black Panther Party and the CPUSA. (Cunningham
2003) These types of reactions come from many sides, including some members who
would consider themselves radical leftist, a main discrepancy culminating upon the form
of leftism, in this case Marxism- Leninism.(Donoso 1979). This main discrepancy
between members in the far leftist spectrum is usually over the view held of Joseph
Stalin. This is based on their analysis of Marxism, with only scientific Marxist viewing
him in somewhat of a positive light. (Donoso 1979)
Many revolutionaries studied in Chile were attracted to the potential
totalitarianism of structured revolutionary movements, reminiscent of Stalinist
movements, to avoid the instability and chaos of more unorganized struggles. (Portes
1971) An idea that was essential to the Stalinist movements was the concept of the

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Vanguard party, a core foundation of Marxist Leninist Principles. The Vanguard party
was to be the leader of the revolutionary movement, composed of organic
revolutionaries from the progressive classes. (Golan 1987) The vanguard was seen to
revolutionaries as a structure that was necessary to the revolution, a power to protect
the revolution from the potential of social anarchy. (Golan 1987) Structure is deemed
necessary as many people engaged in the process of revolution are often times the most
disadvantaged and are forced to be at the front lines of the struggle, making the fight
seem more likely to be successful. These revolutionaries in Chile have been ascribed
similarly to U.S. radicals to what Portes describes, Uneducated, un-informed, nonparticipant, and socially isolated lower-class individuals are, the stronger their
tendencies toward leftist radicalism (Portes 1971) Regardless of the make-up of
revolutionary recruits and activist, the necessary of the vanguard party was wholly
required, even if not fully composed of a Marxist-Leninist ideology. (Goland 1987 &
Portes 1971)
Both lack of mobility and status inconsistency are serious factors in leading to
explore leftist ideologies for members of highly oppressed/disadvantaged populations.
(Geschwender 1968) Of the two, the method discussed more often is social mobility,
with the lack of opportunities to improve the quality and position of their lives. As
observed by Geschwender, not only is the position of their lives of large concern, the
closing of the social status gap between their group and the group these people
consider inferior. The danger that could be found when looking at that the latter of the
concerns is the danger of an initially leftist movement turning far right and adopting

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fascism. The main characteristic defining the direction of the movements is the direction
of mobility and where the people in that environment are located. (Foursov 1996) If the
populace has lost the inability to move upward, the direction will usually be left, if
people have been continually brought down socially, the movement may bring on a
right turn. (Geschwender 1968)
In one unexpected finding, vastly different from the work conducted by Portes
and Carmichael, John Kosa and Clyde Nunn (1964) found that the black population is
more intolerant than the white population toward the idea of communism, namely due
to their connection with religion. They found that across the SES spectrum, blacks were
more resistant to the idea of communism than whites, with the lower class and more
religious blacks being the most resistant. (Kosa and Nunn 1964) This was very surprising,
as Portes will attest to the most oppressed sections of the populations being the most
sympathetic to the communist cause, but that didnt prove to be true. Some people
have attempted to understand this and deposit this understanding into a theory, the
main theory being the Privileged Worker Theory. This, which is based off the work of
Franz Fanon, states that the working class proletariat and its presumptions of
communism dont fit the mold for the more oppressed sections of society, meaning the
lumpenproletariat. (Gordon 1978) This has not been proven and even has been hotly
debated as other studies in Chile by Alejandro Portes have professed the opposite.
(Portes 1970 & Foursov 1996)
The changing of topics and how movements are being formed has thoroughly
changed with the times, especially after the 1960s. While the earlier research focused

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on the lack of mobility, the longer I searched, the more the research focused on
exclusion of other marginalized groups. As social movements sought to further attack
the status quo, more populations of different demographic were required to be
incorporated in order to mount a successful offensive on said status quo. The primary
emphasis for U.S. Marxist-Leninist organizations been struggling for the protection and
expansion of civil rights for the LGBTQ community, women, ethnic minorities, and the
end of U.S. imperialism. (Edelman 2001) These are the main type of resistance
movements in the United States; unlike in Third World countries were the struggle is
more often anti-capitalist or simply anti-imperialist. With a particular concentration on
electoral politics, militancy has been expressed primarily by members of populations
usually left of out the mainstream political process. (Ryan 1994) That is one of the
aspects that are beginning to change in the United States, especially with the lessons
that were learned from transitioning to democracy too early in various movements.
This lesson, which was wonderfully described in Jeffery Ryans work The Impact of
Democratization on Revolutionary Movements, shows the impact of premature
introduction of democracy to a successful revolutionary movement. It can be even
more devastating than a powerful enemy because of the introduction of a pluralist
vision, instead of a unified militant vision. (Ryan 1994)
One of the many concerns that plague people thinking about joining or people
that have already joined a revolutionary organization is the repression they will face
from the state. It is hard for many people in the Marxist Leninist scene to forget the
devastation caused by the COINTELPRO program that was instigated by the FBI from the

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1950s to the 1970s, yet is still in effect today. The task of that program was to
misdirect and destroy these organizations ability to influence the populace.
(Cunningham 2003) Many times these instances of harassment became very serious,
and in the case of the Black Panthers, they became lethal. J. Edgar Hoover declared the
Black Panther Party to be the most dangerous internal security threat to the United
States because of their combination of Black Power along with Marxism-Leninism,
leading to the assassinations of Fred Hampton and the arrest of numerous members.
(Cunningham 2003) These groups were targeted because of the threat they represented
to the power of the status quo, especially the threat of charismatic leaders, whom they
believed were more capable then moderate activist to sway the populace. (Van Hiel
2011)Regardless, whether knowledge of these risks is known to the individual prior to
involvement, the possible effects of repression will endanger them the same.
These newer Marxist Leninist organizations have learned from the lessons of the
previous generations, making them that much more dangerous to the current power
structure. One big influence in the development of new organizations was the work of
theorist such as Antonio Gramsci, who combined the notion of cultural hegemony with
classical Marxism. This changed the way people went about promoting change, namely
the separating of themselves from the culture of the bourgeoisie and understand that
charge will not be completely linear. (Salamini 1975) This type of mentality has been
very effective, not only on the left scene, but has been adopted by many far right
organizations, usually in an attempt to sway moderates to their cause. (Lowndes 2002)
All of these changes contrast to how the left used to promote change in the United

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States, mainly by the use of legitimate political parties focusing on electoral change,
typically revolved around voting for the Communist Party USA to alleviate the income
disparity between the two main classes in the 1930s-1950s. (Korpi 1971) With the
experiences of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the mass mobilization of people as a
demonstration of the need for serious change (Calhoun 2013), the need for a leadership
party, a Vanguard party in the Marxist-Leninist sense is often seen as necessary (Ryan
While it concept of a Vanguard party may be necessary, evolving the concept of
Marxist-Leninist struggle is necessary due to the evolving nature of social movements. In
the tradition of Habermas and Castells, classical Marxism fails to prioritize struggle of a
non proletarian nature. (Buechler 1995) In this post-industrial environment, the
competing interest of different populations makes a unified struggle around class seem
improbable. (Buechler 1995) As many social movements are reactions to social systems,
movements have the possibility of being reactionary or progressive. The structure of the
movement and the appeal of a guiding party can be seen as a defense against reaction.
(Ryan 1994 & Buechler 1995) Along with the ability of parties to engage in mass
communication due to technological advancements, the connection between a party
and the masses involved in social movements can prevent deviations or splits within the
movement. (Das 1981) The main concern of the necessity of a Vanguard party is the
potential for detachment from the populations they were intended to lead. The
contradiction between leading the oppressed who may not have obtained

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consciousness and having a party comprised of the most conscious may lead to elitism
or an actual obstacle to real liberation for the oppressed. (Mandel 1983)
I think that our Marxist-Leninist parties and the progressive elements
ought to look at this situation realistically and, on the basis of the theory of Marx
and Lenin, find such means and forms of struggle that will turn the situation in
favor of the revolution. This requires the creation of new Marxist-Leninist parties
and the strengthening of the existing ones, of course, adhering firmly to the
teachings of Marx and Lenin. They alone are able to make detailed analyses of
the situation in the country, the ratio of classes, the strength of the working class,
its strong and weak points, as well as the forms and methods which the
bourgeoisie employs to subjugate the workers and the people. Such a study will
serve each party, in its specific conditions, for struggle, for action, and not for
sterile discussions which do not bring the liberation of the working class or the
country, but, on the contrary, bring disruption and subjugation.
-Enver Hoxha, Marxist Leninist Revolutionary
Bringing about a qualitative approach to the analysis of contemporary Marxist
Leninist organizations, I used a series of two main techniques to acquire data. These two
qualitative techniques were selected specifically to capture all aspects of the
presentation and implementation of contemporary Marxist Leninist activities both
physically and materially. With the desire to capture different scopes of actions, in a
manner very similar to my selection of theories, I based my methods according to the
micro/macro paradigm.
The setting for this research would be based in Southern California, specifically
San Diego. The chosen orientation was determined by being the most recently formed
Marxist-Leninist organization to be present in San Diego. I conducted a critical content
analysis of this organizations literature and mass media, specifically looking at the public
connectedness potential. Next, I conducted a complete observation of the public

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outreach activities of the organization by focusing on a variety of different size
engagements and the potentials to attract public support. As this organization puts on a
large amount of activities due to the large population of San Diego, opportunities were
never lacking. Observations took place from the beginning to the end of April 2014, with
a total of six engagements, three discussion sessions focusing on prison relations within
the capitalist system, and three rallies focusing on Saving Chicano Park with the last of
the three being the actual main rally. Discussion sessions consisted of two hour speaking
blocks with a Q&A session, and rallies occurring as long a permissible, with the main
Save Chicano Park rally operating from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
A critical content analysis would be absolutely necessary to understand the
adaptation of these organizations to this new, post-Soviet environment. Much of the
activities of these organizations are based upon media presentations of ideological
materials, a Marxist Leninist news service, and media recruitment tools. Especially with
the recent technological revolution creating an ever expanding social media culture and
the development of a new form of social connection based upon this culture, the
content expressed by these media is of utmost importance for analysis. Many of these
organizations have websites and blogs, they participate on social connection websites
such as facebook and twitter, and finally, they participate on various chat forum
websites that allow them to impart their ideology upon others. This new access to far
reaching technology has allowed organizations to develop in ways that are much
different from previous organizations. The fact alone that these organizations are
recruiting members who have no actual physical contact with the organizations they are

Johnson 23
a member of, simply an online presence, is enough to show the adaptation of these
organizations in this contemporary setting.
Next, a complete observation within these Marxist Leninist movements
concludes the duet of methodological approaches when analyzing these organizations. I
have chosen complete observation over interviews due to the nature of these
organizations. With a collective, often grass root organization, the individual members
are often obligated to repeat a series of set responses, with deviation often silenced
(Bree 2013) With the potential to marginalized voices within the organization, the
potential amount of gathered information actually raises without performing interviews.
(Bree 2013) The chosen organization that I have looked at performed a series of
activities in the public sphere with the hopes of generating a heightened awareness of
social, political, and justice consciousness, with the desire to create social change. Many
of these activities range from small to large; from small educational sessions held at
members homes or public locations, to full scale rallies and marches. Many of these
events are fully open to the public, which allows me easy access to analyze their events
in addition to giving me tremendous access to the members of these organizations. In
addition to the public, many of these organizations belong to umbrella groups
advocating for mass struggle in various areas. These umbrella organizations allow for
further connection to the public and similar organizations. After meeting many of the
members of these organizations in previous social events, I was invited to numerous
events that have allowed me to determine the frequency and duration of these events.

Johnson 24
I observed each type of event in order to parallel the micro/macro theme that I
have been maintaining during this thesis. Micro events would be categorized as member
only meetings or intimate settings of small public gatherings, usually at coffee shops or
members homes. Macro events would be considered public speaking engagements,
film showings, all the way up to full scale rallies. Covering the entire scale of activities
would demonstrate not only the potential effectiveness of their chosen activities, but
the intentional reason why these activities were chosen in the first place.
It is especially important to note the connection these methodological
approaches have in regards to the public, their effectiveness is one of the most
important functions of these organizations regarding their desire to grow. The content
analysis and the participant observation aspect of this methodological approach
emphasize the connection and outreach by the organization to the public. By critically
analyzing the activities of this organization, especially in the area of public connection,
the understanding of the adaptations of Marxist-Leninist organizing in a post-Soviet
environment becomes clear.
Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have
nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all
countries, unite!
--Karl Marx

Technology as a connection to the public!

Beginning with the content analysis of the organizations website and literature,

observers can immediately identify a target audience which the organization is

Johnson 25
attempting to attract. This particular Marxist Leninist organization features a particularly
in your face attitude, stressing action and militancy. In regards to those qualities, the
youth, particularly oppressed youth are targeted for recruitment. Unlike other
organizations which tend to stress theory and consciousness building, whilst not
completely ignored by my organization in question, tends to prefer, marches, rallies,
and protest of corrupt business practices in the hopes of drawing out people who want
to vent frustration with the our current system physically.
Immediately upon entering the website, the brightly colored red
background with the words Liberation next to a list of What We Stand For, serves to
draw readers into reviewing their party platform and positions. Along with certain news
features of exploits either by their organization or world events, various tabs relocating
the readers to different organizational functions allows the reader to travel where they
seem most interested. One of the strongest aspects of the join section is the personal
testimonials of various members of the organization, with the overwhelming majority
being oppressed youths of color, class, or sexual orientation. Both simply text
testimonials with pictures of the youths and complete video testimonials are present in
the effort to connect with similar youths who are looking for answers. In continuing the
tradition of adding photos next to all text, various photos of youths fighting these
campaigns, typically in large numbers, are present throughout the campaigns
sections, especially youths of color and women. The photos are definitely an attempt to
showcase their large presence in the scene of the struggle, although membership
numbers are not present and, as with many other leftist organizations, highly classified.

Johnson 26
Present next to pictures and tabs were features allowing visitors to follow the website
and the organization. The organization is active in many popular social media outlets,
such as Facebook and twitter, and allows the visitors to subscribe to messages and
alerts on their mobile device, allowing a constant stream of communication.
As with the literature presented, the website is also fully available en Espaol, a feature
which allows them to connect with a vast amount of populations that dont speak English or
enough to fully understand the message being conveyed. With a main campaign of the
organization being immigrant rights, having a press completely en Espaol is tremendous in its
ability to attract a completely different section of oppressed youths. In addition to different
languages, the website is also available for different computer formats, particular older or less
powerful computers which may not be able to process the totality of the website, prompting a
text only, low resolution version of the website. This is also a very sound tactic in reaching out
to members of society which may not have access to newer and more powerful technology.
Finally, the website allows all people, not just members, to print and distribute pamphlets,
posters, and flyers from the website free of charge, allowing even non-member to spread the
message of the organization.

Campaigns, a call to action!

Within the website, tabs such as campaigns take the visitor to the various

departments of struggle the organization have devoted itself to. The campaigns listed
were Stop U.S. Imperialist Wars! End Colonial Oppression!, Full Rights for All
Immigrants!, Labor: Better wages, benefits, and working conditions!, Community
Activism: Stop racism, bigotry, and attacks on social programs!, Defend Revolutionary

Johnson 27
Cuba!, and Free Palestine! Further investigating of these campaigns exposed a
calendar of planned events and contacts to supporting organizations. A noticeable
feature of the website was an absence of specific Marxist-Leninist material and theory.
The lack of theoretical material present on the website is seemingly intentional, serving
the Pan-Socialist, Marxist-Leninist ideology expressed by the group, gathering the
largest amount of potential recruits possible without being overly sectarian.
Connecting the focus on campaigns both international and local, such as the
action taken to Save Chicano Park has allowed the website developed by the
organization to generate a form of collective understand and responsibility to be in the
know about various causes and actions of the organization. With the ability to know
approximate times of public outreach sessions, what will be required, and what each
individual member or sympathizer of the organization can do to further the specific
campaign. The ability to mobilize populations for a cause becomes greater the stronger
the connection with technology and the netter understanding of the campaign in the
first place.
The desire to conduct campaigns, especially campaigns in solidarity with other
social justice organizations is seen as more than just a tool of recruitment or bringing
attention to a certain cause. The explicit intention to create campaigns to introduce
populations to the necessity to physically struggle for justice, in a manner that
thoroughly mobilized mass amounts of people, in a more structured form than Occupy
or the Arab Spring, was a factor not overlooked due to the promoted idea of the
necessity of a vanguard party. Through the focus on campaigns, the intention to connect

Johnson 28
one campaign to the overall capitalist struggle is present on the website through
attached links to the campaign tabs and through physical interactions with the public
through discussion session and larger scale events.

Connection on a small scale and the impact of testimonials!

Next, the organization likes to put on public gatherings of all different sizes, ranging

from intimate discussion sessions, usually no more than 20, designed to attract intellectuals
and youths who may not be fully aware of what the organization is completely about, to full
scale rallies and marches, often attracting hundreds. Starting with a more intimate setting, I
was invited to a discussion session titled, Prisons and Capitalism: A Relationship of
Exploitation. This was held at a coffee shop in downtown San Diego, CA, near the Gas Lamp
district. Upon walking into the shop, there had been a flyer on the window near the front door
inviting people from the streets to engage in dialogue with the organization. There was no fee
per say to enter into the dialogue session, but the moderator did ask all who attended, if they
could afford it to purchase a beverage from the shop in return for letting them use the space.
Since I could afford it, I purchased a drink along with a coffee for the bank, which was a term
used for free coffee for people who couldnt afford it.
Once the session began, the members of the organization introduced themselves,
thanked us for coming, and proceeded to speak in a very inviting, calm manner, possibly
detecting a form of reluctance of being there. Along with a pedestal with a projector, a table
full of books and other literature for sale, and the table with the moderator and two other
members, the room was casual and low key, which I believe lent itself successful to combat any
forms of reluctance. The members began giving personal testimonials about themselves, with

Johnson 29
many different actions bringing them into the organizational structure. One member stated
that he was a farm worker who had worked for under minimum wage due to being young and
tricked by the owner about commission pay being better than hourly pay. He described his life
as hopeless and saw no prospect for his future but strived to find a solution to his problem.
After being dissatisfied with any traditional unions or labor associations, he met a person from
this organization while on a trip to San Francisco. He was given free literature which he read
and distributed to his co-workers. He described a feeling of being enlightened, of knowing what
he had to do. He then moved to San Francisco where he worked at a printing press so he could
distribute organizational literature while providing himself with an income. Next, a Latina
woman approached the pedestal and began speaking about what brought her to the
organization, and that was the womens struggle for equality. She was born into a very
traditional household and described he life as being constricting and depressing. She left her
home at a young age and felt discriminated against for being Latina, a woman, poor, and largely
uneducated. While living in a homeless shelter she came across a rally held by the organization.
She describes herself connecting with the reality that only revolutionary change will bring an
end to oppression for herself and many others like her. The stories of the members allowed the
audience to connect the struggles of working conditions to the struggles of discrimination
based upon demographic differences. She has since dedicated herself to her organization as a
literature distributor and discussion session organizer. After the testimonials concluded, the
session began digging deeper into the subject matter of the prison industrial complex and the
overall exploitive nature of the capitalist system, the slowly but surely call for action was being
introduced. This began a series of question and answer segments where the members of the

Johnson 30
groups began asking members of the audience, who came out to be around 14 people, what
they thought were the necessary tactics or strategies in order to combat these forms of
dominance and exploitation. A few members of the audience stated plainly, Revolution?
Socialism? to which the organization members who say, Yes of course, but how do we do
that? To get the ball rolling I suggested, Building a party of the working class to lead them
against the capitalist system, with the party being the vanguard of the working class.
Immediately I received a series of positive laughs and a reply of Someone has been reading
their Lenin! The speaker soon continued on the course of Leninist ideology and the need for a
Vanguard party based upon unity and leadership of the workers movement.
After a series of further questions and information delivery, I began to focus less on the
material being presented and more on the reactions of the public. What began as neutrality
and some reluctance turned into enthusiasm, a desire to speak up and ask serious questions
instead of remaining reserved. I began to become excited myself, especially when people all
around us, people of completely different backgrounds began laughing and high fiving each
other, telling their stories or their experiences with prison and greatly adding to the material.
By creating an open space for potential members to feel comfortable to share their own
experiences and thoughts allowed a more connective environment, precisely the intent of
encouraging a collective nature for potential recruits. As the encounter became more in-depth
and reflective, I began connecting this passionate, fiery style of engagement immediately to the
literature and website this organization produced.
Once an apex of enthusiasm was reached in the room, the call to action was fully
disclosed, a revolutionary call to action. Memberships were offered to all who attended and

Johnson 31
grand series of thanks was given to everybody for attending. All were encouraged to attend the
next discussion session and the bigger rally happening at Chicano Park later in the month
alongside many other activist groups. The overwhelming majority of attendees immediately
agreed, with only a few stating that they would have to check their availability in regards to
work and family concerns. In summation, the connectivity of the discussion sessions was
extremely successful in regards to getting acceptance of the organizations ideologies and
potentially recruiting a slew of new, energetic members.

Generating critical mass, building solidarity of movements!

The larger rally which I was to attend more closely resembled the message being

conveyed by the website than the more personal discussion sessions. I purposefully arrived
early enough to see the organization along with numerous other collaborating organizations set
up speakers, platforms, and tables for literature distribution for easy rally transition from one
set of speeches to the next. Since this rally was dedicated to Saving Chicano Park, many
immigrant rights groups, along with trade unions whom had members living in Barrio Logan,
community rights activist groups, and three other socialist organizations of different tendencies
(Trotskyist, Democratic Socialist, and Maoist) in addition to the Marxist-Leninist organization in
research. With my organization in research speaking in one of the last segments of the rally
before the actual march around Chicano Park, I was able to see a performance put on by the
organization in front of a large crowd that had collected in front of them. Many of these
organizations had belonged to the umbrella group that is run by my organization in research,
which was named A.N.S.W.E.R. or Act Now to Stop War and End Racism. This group was a big
tent organization which covered a multitude of topics, from ant-war issues to immigration,

Johnson 32
welfare rights, Palestinian justice, and justice for victims of U.S. imperialism. Connecting the
struggles of labor/socialism to the liberation of oppressed populations made the umbrella
organization unique in its orientation but powerful in its ability to attract multitudes of different
people. All the various groups had tremendous charisma and speaking abilities, getting the
crowd fired up and cheering each new speaker. When my organization began speaking, the
militancy and the in your face approach which the organization had been known for erupted
into a passionate damnation of the capitalist system and its division of workers based on race
and immigration status. Various members of different backgrounds came to the podium and
brought up their own experiences and how they came to the realization that revolution was the
only way forward. Since the organization allows duel membership with other trade unions or
community activist groups, many of the organization members were also laborers at the various
hotels or restaurants in the area.

The New Wave, re-imagining Marxism-Leninism of the 21st century!

This organization began speaking about the significance of Chicano Park, not just for

Chicanos in general, but for what it stood for, for all people facing oppression. Due to the large
number of Chicano/as and other Latino/as along with a great number of Filipino/as, the park
was seen as a place where oppressed laborers of color along with oppressed youth could come
together in solidarity with one another and show the white, American, capitalist that they
would not lay over and take the beating they were given. Together with the unions and the
organizations movement, they could reinvigorate the power that the unions once had. That last
statement seemed very reminiscent of the old school socialist movements of the early 2oth
century. Another member of the organization had then came to the podium and chanted

Johnson 33
Obama! Escucha! Estamos en la Lucha (Obama! Listen! We are in the Fight!) repeatedly, a
slogan which generated a thunderous roar from the entire crowd. This statement reflected the
refusal to support a Democratic Party regime due to its apathy toward the struggles of the
working class. The connection to what can be labeled a first wave of the 1920s labor
movement could be easily identifiable. The connection of the organization to trade unions in an
attempt to re-radicalize them is a tactic that has been used since the early 20th century by
Marxist-Leninist. I immediately turned and focused on the policed officers who had surrounded
us once we arrived. While at the beginning many had been walking around, with the roar came
a complete seizure of movement and a tense stance while thoroughly eyeing the crowd. Soon
the roar faded down and the speaker again began addressing the crowd with a statement of
connectivity, Thank you comrades for your presence, thank you for your support, and thank
you for your patience. (After he spoke a he repeated everything in Spanish, which continued
throughout his speech) I am from Barrio Logan, this is my home, this is my Barrio, but today,
this is all our Barrio! What I see is many different faces, different backgrounds, but comrades
none the less! We are here because our system has shorted us, our system has abandoned us
and our system has lied to us! We are here to seek justice, not just for ourselves, but for
everyone! So today! Lets save this park, this park of my Barrio, but after, we must save all
parks! All Barrios! All our people everywhere! Viva la Revolucion! (Repeated several times
over). Again the crowd roared up in applause and I soon saw the organizations banners and
flags being waved throughout the crowd, they were also being handed out to crowd members
along with their fliers and membership application forms. This speech formed the bridge to
what can be described as the second wave or new left of the 1960s and 70s to the first

Johnson 34
wave. While maintaining a strong dependence on the working class and unions as the principle
vehicle for change, the organization incorporated the second wave elements of national
liberation, self-determination, and liberation for oppressed populations. This inclusion of
various aspects of struggle combined the two waves of movement into a coherent movement
which had the potential to attract the largest amount of populations possible. In a move similar
to the smaller discussion session I had ventured to earlier, the organization invited members to
a film festival and forum they were putting on the next month, with all people welcome and all
films being simultaneous shown in English, Spanish, and Tagalong.
Soon various forms of entertainment were beginning to start, such as Salsa dancing,
Mariachi music, Native American tribal dancing, and people singing the famous union song
Solidarity Forever. It was truly amazing to see the composure of these mass of people;
workers, activist, youth, and the people who had simply heard the commotion and wanted to
know what was going on. I counted fourteen membership forms being filled out for the
organization in research, with a line being formed at their table. People were buying their
clothes and accessories, along with simply making donations to the organization. As I
approached the table, I could hear members of the crowd telling the organization members
how they were looking for a Marxist-Leninist group that would fit their taste for a while and
were very happy to find one, being particularly put off by the CPUSA and describing them as the
Democratic Partys lap dog. The separation between this organization and the lap dogs
were the refusal to support the Democratic Party by any means whether through funds or
campaigns, which other avowedly Marxist-Leninist organizations had been performing. The
entertainment had continued for an hour after the speaking until we were told that we have to

Johnson 35
leave the premises, which sparked the mass exodus of people back toward downtown San
Diego or neighboring Logan Heights.
To accept anything on trust, to preclude critical application and development, is a grievous sin;
and in order to apply and develop, simple interpretation is obviously not enough
-Vladimir Lenin
The results of these findings were interesting the fact that they seemed to constitute a
new wave in the U.S. left, following the New Left of the 1960s & 70s. All the features of the
New Left were there: the struggle for self-determination of oppressed peoples, the struggle
for LGBTQ rights, the struggle for immigrant equality, and continuing of the advancement of the
womans struggle. All the struggles that had been fought for in the New Left had been
continued in to this new wave, but in a very interesting change of direction, many elements of
the original leftist movements from the late 1920s thru 40s had been serious revamped. Many
of these elements were making the workers struggle and the alliance with the trade unions
their serious foundation for continuing the legacy of this new Marxist Leninist movement. The
re-militarization of the trade unions and the working class alongside their alliance with other
oppressed populations was the central preoccupation of the organization. While many of the
members of this organization where also in unions themselves, they sought to rebuild the
original Marxist-Leninist notion of merging the workers movement with the socialist movement
in order to combat the Business Unionism that was spoken by rank and file union members
and the organization members.
The connection this organization had was spectacular, especially with their relationships
with the various trade unions and community activist organizations that that supported them.

Johnson 36
The connection between race, gender, immigration, and sexual orientation was made a central
priority by this organization and the connection they had with the capitalist system. The need
they had stressed for the population of oppressed people to be militant and join their
organization had been derived from the quote The proletariat must be organized, must have
strict organization, or they will fall. Unity forms organization and organization forms strength.
(Lenin 1917) The composition of this organization and its alliance with other unions and
community groups had combined the prominent features of both previous waves of socialist
movement, the worker/union movement of the first and the self-determination/liberation
movements of the second.
Their forms of connection, while varied, catered to almost every type of person within
the population they were attempting to reach. From small gatherings which brought a sense of
ease and intrigue to potentially reluctant persons, to full scale rallies showcasing alliances with
numerous other activist which drew hundreds of people. Combining the physical presence the
organization had on the ground with people in a face to face manner with the online presence
in the cyber world, the potential for growth seemed very plausible. With the ability of this
organization to connect with people who are not able to establish physical connection with the
organization is an advantage that only recent groups have been able to take advantage of. One
could only imagine what the CPUSA of past times or the Black Panthers could have done with
the advent of the internet. The websites ability to allow people to print off literature, become a
member, make donations, and import their own story of their own personal struggle have a
quality that is indicative of this new wave of leftist movements, particularly for this new sect
of Marxist-Leninist organizations. The ability to compete for recruits, establish new services

Johnson 37
established from a Marxist Leninist point of view, connect viewers with a coalition of numerous
supportive groups, most notably its A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition which it steers. Forming coalitions is
not a new phenomenon, but the availability to connect with groups from across the country
that may have no physical connection with each other, much like potential members
themselves; its a feat to marvel at itself. With the level of technology growing at an ever
expanding rate, the possibility for reaching even more and more people becomes and ever
growing possibility.
In addition to the social connection of the internet, the ability for people to start their
own chapters in locations not yet already within incorporation to the organization gives the
members or potential members a sense of empowerment and self direction as long as
allegiance to the partys line is maintained. After passing the introductory period of
membership, members could start building their local chapters where ever they desire and
begin the party building work which was reported as the mainstay of their time and resources.
With the relatively open interpretation of Marxism-Leninism expressed by the party in order to
gain the largest growth possible, the freedom for individual chapters to organize and struggle
for Marxism-Leninism within their specific regions characteristics and qualities allows them to
grow into region orientated chapters lead by a national chapter which combines those
experiences and those of the rest of the world. Local experiences also allow the unique new
services that are produced by the organization to have a grassroots feel since most of the
information they express is either reported by members themselves or from affiliate groups.
With a news service seemly an essential piece of a growing political organization, the presence
which can serve to greatly increase the reputation of the organization.

Johnson 38
I am a Marxist-Leninist and will be one until the last days of my life
-Fidel Castro
With technology progressing society at an ever changing pace, the adaptations of
political parties, especially Marxist-Leninist political parties must become a central priority for
survival to prevent being left in the dustbin of history. For these parties or organizations
created more recently, this has been an easier task, but attempting to learn the lessons of
previous organizations along with the perils of new forms of social control, the level of danger
may be yet a great as the previous generations. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and
many other socialist/communist nations, new organizations have had to greatly change the way
they connect to the public for growth and consciousness raising whilst continuing to focus on
combating the death of Marxism strategy of globalized capitalism that accompanied the fall
of the Eastern Bloc. The organization in research took many of the adequate steps to keep up
with the challenges of this new internet and information age, a step which has ensured its
successful alliances with other numerous organizations and its ability to span coast to coast,
often with members having absolutely no physical contact.
The level of unity between peoples of such demographically unique backgrounds is also
an aspect that is required for an ever growing and ever merging social movement.
(Geschwender 1968) As different people move into different areas, often with long established
populations, the ability to create an environment of cooperation and understand is one of the
most important functions for an organization attempting to lead people out of a classical
Marxist notion of false consciousness. With the demographics of the organization expressing
a great devotion to multiculturalism and an obvious need for members to fight racism, sexism,

Johnson 39
and homophobia, the incorporation of Marxist-Leninist class struggle lens and the structure of
this type of party allows a greater potential outreach for new recruits in their attempt to
rebuild the ideal type of Marxist-Leninist party. With the hopes of including undocumented
immigrants, prisoners, unemployed persons, and people of every type of background save the
upper-middle and upper classes, the days of a new Marxist-Leninist organization have arrived.
Involving oneself with an organization dedicated to combating every form of oppression
allows an organization to be at the forefront of many struggles at the same time whilst creating
a bridge between social resistance movements between them. Along with their umbrella group,
the relationship this organization has with various trade unions, community activist groups, and
immigrant rights groups allows information to be shared both ways and allows members to
gain insight into various movements which only creates a stronger party and a more competent
and consciousness membership and community. Compared to the observable size of this
organization to other avowed socialist organizations, the success of the organization seems
easily visible to the eye.
Further research which could continue the analysis of post-Soviet Marxist-Leninist
organizations in the contemporary United States would be deeper personal interviews with the
individual members throughout the various ranks and positions. Analyzing what brought them
to these organizations, what they wish to contribute, and what change they hope to make
would be phenomenal in terms of connection better their personal interviews within the
context of Marxist-Leninist ideology. In addition, a cross comparison could be made within the
various different groups/organizations within the broad leftist movement in general whilst
maintaining a Marxist-Leninist viewpoint when analyzing the various other forms of potential

Johnson 40
resistance and growth. Studies regarding a persons level of political acceptance could
showcase the level of understanding and allowance of leftist political ideologies, specifically
Marxism-Leninism and its potential to reach a wider, more mainstream population in the
United States. Along with the research provided in this thesis, the understanding of the
adaptations of Marxist-Leninist organizations in post-Soviet United States is a topic that will
garner continued interest throughout these unstable economic years.

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