Recently there have been some profound attempts to bury the struggle of the Chicano Moratorium of August 29, 1970. The whitified Wikipedia entry refers to the Chicano Moratorium struggle as "Mexican-American" and even for "civil rights."(1) It is possible that there is no battle more important to have right now in North America than over this question. There is nothing more internationalist than the Chicano Moratorium struggle and nothing more objectively chauvinist than the idea of integrating one working-class in the united $tates.
In actuality, the Chicano Moratorium referred to a group of people organized against the Vietnam War on a nationalist basis, an objectively revolutionary nationalist basis whatever its organizers might have thought. While followers of ex-Maoist PLP were complaining that "all nationalism was reactionary," the nationalists were trying to deprive the U.$. army of a portion of recruits; thus the nationalists proved yet again that Mao was right about "applied internationalism," a strange but true paradox in most situations opposing imperialism.
Chicanos realized that they were only 6% of the population inside u.$ borders, but over 20% of all Vietnam casualties.(2) This created a basis for even the coconuts to realize that there was some kind of discrimination or oppression. In this struggle, we have to understand that the national struggle is the root and backbone, not the class struggle as depicted by the multiracial or multinational class struggle advocates. For this we must absolutely learn the difference between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King--a question of theory.
If the class struggle is decisive in this context it must be interpreted correctly. The class struggle AGAINST super-profits is decisive, not for increased super-profits or increased super-profit sharing.
Today the U.S. Army is much more careful about creating an impression of discriminatory combat fatality patterns. The Pentagon is not going to let as big a gap develop today as it did in the 1970, unless of course it absolutely has to under future pressure. Nonetheless, the Pentagon is still disproportionately a drain on oppressed nationalities, simply because Euro-Amerikans have a declining portion of recruitable-age youth. Whites are a disproportionately high share of the elderly and a disproportionately low share of the people who can go to the front lines. In just four years, between 2000 and 2004, Latinos went from 10.4% of new military recruits to 13.0%.(3)
The "civil rights" approach will settle for having Chicano youth being treated the same way as white youth. The "civil rights" people are going to give up the anti-militarist struggle.
In fact, the "civil rights" approach improves Uncle $am's recruiting ability. The "civil rights" approach is the same as the "multiracial" or "multinational" working-class approach to class struggle, one that fantasizes a commonality between the white petty-bourgeoisie and migrant workers for instance. The integrationists want Third World people to think of themselves as Amerikans and identify with white people. It should be a no-brainer that that is going to contribute to Uncle $am's global wars of oppression.
In contrast, the nationalist approach is what keeps the international proletariat in this game of power struggle against the imperialists. At first it seems like what can the international proletariat offer that compares with super-profit sharing in the form of u.$. citizenship in return for war. Then we look at what nationalism is based on and we realize that the international proletariat is still in this power struggle. It is not a hopeless loser. People are still bound by culture, territory and economics to a Third World that has no interest in Uncle $am's wars.
It is not an accident that the leading proponents of fake Maoism called the RIM are for a "multinational approach" and favor defeat of the Iranian government by U.$. imperialists. If these people are going to be for a U.$. occupation thousands of miles away in Iran, there is no point in being surprised when they favor the white settlers' taking over Aztlán too.
No matter what they say or what they think, oppressed nations people and alleged communists fighting for a one working-class or "civil rights" view are fighting to boost Uncle $am's military recruitment. That is why the "anti-racist" struggle is not the key. The key is the struggle of the oppressed nations, and not just to join a multinational entity with the whites.
Today the Chicano share of the military gets higher and higher. We must boost the nationalism of the Chicano people both to prevent recruitment and to influence people who are already in the military. Aztlán's nationalism may be the most important internationalism there is right now, because Aztlán is adding the greatest increases in new troops to Uncle $am's occupation forces. Most of the troops are still rural whites, but the growth is from Aztlán and other oppressed nationalities. In a prior article, MIM has already proved that national liberation is more than eight times more effective in denying Uncle $am troops than the integrationist approach.
The battle between revolution and counterrevolution is being fought in Aztlán and Iran. The fates of the two are linked together. The nationalists do not want Aztlán's people to serve Uncle $am in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan etc. They want Aztlán's people to serve Aztlán. The proletarian camp in the Aztlán struggle wants a socialist republic of Aztlán, not an integration into imperialism.
Three views in politics
The two main views in u.$. politics are the right-wing of white nationalism and the left-wing of white nationalism. Patrick Buchanan is the leader of the right-wing of white nationalism. He wants to preserve Western culture. Yet as aggressive as he is, he knows he needs a left-hook, so he appeals to unions about closing borders to preserve jobs. He also admits that the united $tates is overly burdened with international military obligations, just as Hitler did in his early career. Buchanan correctly understands where things are going: if he does not succeed in cutting back U.$. imperialism's overstretch, it is going to admit more and more Third World people to use as cannon-fodder. As a visceral racist, Buchanan and a large chunk of Amerikkka cannot stomach the result.
The left-wing of white nationalism including everyone from Bu$h to Progressive Labor Party says that the united $tates does have to push integrationism. Around the world, offers are going out to make u.$. citizens out of people who serve the united $tates in Iraq--just as happened centuries ago in Roman times. Over 24,745 people have become u.$. citizens since 2002 by serving in the u.$. military.(4) So, we need to understand these are 24,745 people Bush admitted to the united $tates. As racist and chauvinist as he is, Bush is not taking the Buchanan line; even though, they competed for the same white votes in the presidential election in 2000. The idea underlying the politics from Bush to PLP is simple: use super-profit sharing for integration; thereby boost u.$. military recruitment. Exploit the rest of the world hard; pay the best salaries inside u.$. borders and occupy any country daring to get out of line.
This is important for the scientific communists to understand. Yes, right now, rural whites are the basis of the u.$. military, but each year the trend is downward. Buchanan and Bush both understand this. They are also fighting at the margin and not relying on their stalwart rural whites. Left to themselves, the white oppressor nation would eventually run out of gas, especially once the Chinese working class finally pulls the plug on the U.$. dollar. Bush is actually racing to open the Republican Party to Latinos, the same as he is racing to recruit new citizen material to the military. Meanwhile, our side of the struggle fails to hoist the banners it needs to hoist thanks to people who recently took up Maoism to fly the red flag to oppose the red flag.
There is an important battle of the margin between Bush and Buchanan. There is an even more important battle of the margin between PLP and MIM. It has to be admitted that PLP won the first round of the battle back in the day. While the PLP fell off in size, its line proved more influential than the Maoist one, especially once the state smashed the Black Panther Party. The proletarian side was not well-prepared. What can we say? The Amerikkkans of the 1960s had to do a lot of heavy drugs just to get over the 1950s and consider communism. Today, the MIM line is better-read than the PLP line, but the PLP line still has the numbers behind it.
High treason against Maoism
It's often said that people are entitled to their opinion. Actually MIM does not agree. People are not entitled to their opinions denying the survival rights of others. Nonetheless, there are those who have looked at Maoism eyeball to eyeball and decided they were not Maoists. Progressive Labor Party (PLP) is a good example. We welcome them to adopt our position and change their minds, but right now they are not Maoists and they admit it.
PLP used to meet with Mao and his comrades regularly. Then PLP realized it opposes the national bourgeoisie and revisionists in a systematic way, so that it can conceive of no united front with them. In other words, it saw some merit to Trotsky's criticisms of Stalin without calling it that.
Next PLP realized it was different than the Black Panther Party (BPP). So not only was PLP opposed to united front, but also it did not share the lumpen-oriented, national liberation approach of the BPP. PLP came up with "all nationalism is reactionary" as their main thrust; even though it said right in Quotations of Chairman Mao that the nationalism of the oppressed nations is "applied internationalism."
PLP did the right thing and broke with Maoism and took up the Martin Luther King integrationist approach to fighting racism, and one working class. We say it was the "right thing," because otherwise PLP would only be lying its way through politics. It's much better to realize one's differences and put an accurate label on them.
There were others who also had Trotskyist ideas, however, but they did not really realize what was going on. These were the slowest sectors of the student movement to take up Marx, Lenin and Mao. They were essentially after-effects of the PLP and BPP--copy of a copy type stuff designed for white worker identity politics. Foremost among these are the followers of Bob Afakean, who took all of PLP's main theses and then vacillated on them when necessary. These slower-moving sectors failed to notice that all the main battles of line had already been fought out between the PLP on the one side and Mao and the BPP on the other. Typical of this is that Afakean formed an organization in 1975, long after everyone else had decided their stands. It was not till 1993 that Afakeanists called themselves "Maoist."
When we speak of the Chicano Moratorium question, we must also add Jose Maria Sison to the list of people who are involved in sabotaging Maoism from within. During the upsurge on migrant rights, Sison peddled the same Afakean/RIM line opposed to Aztlán's liberation. There are few questions today with such immediate practical importance of "applied internationalism."
Learn from practice Joma Sison: there was no multinational or multiracial proletariat for migrant rights rallies in the millions this spring. There were oppressed nations marching.
Learn from practice Joma Sison: There is no successful integrationist one-working class struggle defeating U.$. military recruiting, of course not, and you of all people should know it. PLP is the leading recruiter for Uncle $am and RCP=CIA is the leading organization confusing the ranks of the proletarian struggle.
Joma Sison ought to know that he is under organizational pressure from super-profits. It is what makes some of his people seek separate U.$-based organizations. They rally like nothing else for "immigrant" rights--to heck with the Philippines. Sison sees this, but he does not grab hold of the struggle at the margin. Indeed, he has gone over to the other side completely with his echoing of RIM on Iran.
Here is what even the "Justice 4 Immigrants Filipino Coalition" said back on April 14th in a message spread by email:
New York-- More than 100 Filipinos and immigrant allies joined at least 250,000 more in a New York City immigrant rights rally as part of the April 10th national day of action across several US cities, calling for comprehensive immigration reforms amidst the ongoing immigration debate in Capitol Hill. The Justice 4 Immigrants Filipino Coalition (J4I), a broad formation comprised of Filipino organizations and individuals from New York and New Jersey, raised their banners and flags high in a sea of multi-national representation in front of Manhattan's City Hall. The Justice 4 Immigrants Filipino Coalition is an active member of the Steering Committee of the April 10 Coalition.From the very name of the organization, the struggle has been abandoned. It's called "immigrants." This sort of thing does nothing but promote the Martin Luther King line and aid the Pentagon in recruiting. It is bourgeois integrationism.
"We are the third largest immigrant group, and second largest Asian population in the US. Over 60,000 Filipinos migrate to the US every year. We migrate not because we have dreams or illusions of luxury.
Even worse was Sison's own statement of April 3. Here we were hoping for a scientific communist approach. Instead we got more Martin Luther King reformism:
ILPS EXTENDS ITS SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF THE U.S.While we expect the masses to have some confusion about the integrationist versus nationalist roads, it's not acceptable in our international leaders. If the communists are not firm against u.$. military recruiting, no one is. Sison's whole piece mentions "oppressed nationalities," but it does not favor liberation of Aztlán. We fail to see how he could not mention that given the context he himself decided to comment on.
AGAINST THE CRIMINALIZATION OF IMMIGRANTS
AND INTENSIFICATION OF THE U.S. WAR OF TERROR
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
April 3, 2006
The International League of Peoples' Struggles (ILPS) extends its firm solidarity with the people of the US, especially the millions of immigrants and their supporters who have taken to the streets in order to oppose the "Border Protection, Homeland Security, and Illegal Immigration Act, also known as HR4437. We salute and congratulate you for your resounding success in mobilizing yourselves and standing up for human rights against the criminalization of immigrants and the intensification of the US war of terror against the oppressed nationalities of the Americas and in other parts of the world.
The massive rallies that surged up in the last few weeks in various US cities, signals the waking of the sleeping giant that is the immigrant communities and oppressed nationalities within the belly of the imperialist beast. It is a just cause to defend and fight for the human dignity and democratic rights of twelve million immigrants and their supporters against imperialist oppression, racism and the looming monster of fascism. Such a just cause enjoys abundant support throughout the world.
House Resolution HR4437 or the Sensenbrener Act, named after US Congressperson F. James Sensenbrenner would have made routine immigration violations "aggravated felonies" and having routine contact with an undocumented person a felony. The measure would have criminalized whole immigrant communities, as well as individuals or organizations that provide basic social services to the millions of undocumented individuals residing and working in the US. Immigrant advocates, lawyers, priests, service providers and employers would be subject to heavy fines and prison time if they refused or otherwise failed to report their client to the authorities.
While these provisions would have been totally unworkable given the millions of people it would criminalize, it would have no doubt led to intensifying immigrant scapegoating, racial profiling, and providing the license or legal device for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to go after critics, political opponents, and advocates of immigrant and civil rights. Congressman Sensenbrener, the author of this bill which passed the House of Representative in December 2005, is the same person who in June 2005, shut down the House Judiciary meeting on the Patriot Act when his congressional colleagues began to raise tough questions about the curtailment of civil rights in the US and the Bush administration policy on the use of torture.
Besides the egregious attacks against immigrants, the bill also includes billions of dollars for the construction of a wall between the US and Mexico border and billions more just to study the feasibility of building a wall on the border of the US and Canada. These provisions surely were pushed by US corporate interests that stand to benefit through billions of dollars worth of government contracts. These proposed walls promise to further isolate Americans from the rest of the world, and will burden generations of American taxpayers. Surely, this boondoggle will misdirect public funds away from the basic services that the American working people need.
The unprecedented mobilizations of the immigrants and their supporters during the last few weeks have definitely jolted members of the House Judiciary Committee into putting out a version of the bill with a few of the most punitive sections left out. The bill is still replete with provisions that are obnoxiously punitive, biased and discriminatory. Moreover, the bill being considered by the Senate is still fatally packed with extreme provisions that would effectively bar millions of people from the chance to earn legalization, take away the right to a fair hearing, legalize the indefinite detention of non-citizens, and allow domestic military bases to be used for immigration detention.
Since the major mobilizations in Chicago, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and the million-person Gran Marcha in Los Angeles, there has been continuous mobilization of communities-from high school walk-outs to hunger strikes, and now the call for a 40 city national mobilization on April 10. These are promising signs for the further development of a sustained movement for democratic rights against imperialism, fascism and racism. While some are calling this the new civil rights movement, ILPS hopes that the rising consciousness, broad mobilization, and alliance building are revitalizers of a much-needed anti-imperialist movement in the heartland of the number one imperialist nation in the world.
This latest attack against immigrants in the US is an intensification of the US War of Terror on all oppressed nationalities. Your struggle is one with the struggle of people around the world against US imperialist aggression and outright disregard for human rights. We fully support you in refusing to be scapegoated and labeled as terrorists and criminals. The real terrorists in the world are the imperialists and their local reactionary accomplices that oppress and exploit the people and force an increasing number of them to emigrate, especially to the US, which has aggrandized itself with resource-grabbing and superprofits under the auspices of neoliberal globalization and the US permanent war of terror against the people of the world.
The International League of Peoples' Struggle looks forward to your ever greater success in organizing and mobilizing more millions of people on April 10 and in subsequent actions to further condemn and isolate the crisis-ridden and increasingly repressive US imperialism, particularly under the aggressive and rapacious Bush regime. We call on the ILPS participating organizations in the US to join in the forthcoming mass actions, as they have done since last month. We also call on the ILPS participating organizations all over the world to make manifest their fervent solidarity with and militant support for all the oppressed nationalities in the US and the millions of immigrants who have risen up to oppose the ever hateful anti-people policies of the US monopoly bourgeoisie.
Yes, there it was. "Oppressed nationalities" he says. "Anti-imperialism," not "civil rights" he says. Yet then he slides back into a "multinational" one working-class approach by talking about "immigrants" from the very title of the article. We cannot speak of the migrant movement in the united $tates without Aztlán. If we want "anti-imperialism," we need to name nations instead of talking only about the U.S. Congress. If Filipinos do not want to claim a piece of North American territory, then the least they can do is side with Aztlán. In fact, Sison has already surrendered the question inevitably, because he cannot come out and say that super-profits are generating a massive petty-bourgeoisie including Filipino aspiring petty-bourgeoisie willing to dump the anti-imperialist struggle for the "civil rights" struggle. He ends with the target of the "monopoly bourgeoisie," while leaving out the role of the integrationist petty-bourgeoisie in recruiting for the monopoly bourgeoisie's military. In case he did not notice, monopoly capitalist Bush actually was taking a more moderately chauvinist line than the majority of u.$. public (a.k.a. labor aristocracy) opinion. This same Sison refuses to condemn the fake Maoist RIM's call for Iran's government to be defeated by u.$. imperialism. The treason against Maoism goes together in one piece of conciliation with U.$. imperialism.
1. www.wikipedia.org, an online encyclopedia