[The following is from the party rules and regulations guide called the "primer" for 1998.]
Tasks and goals of the People's Internationalist Rear-Area Organization (PIRAO)
The PIRAO is the rear area support organization of the Maoist armed struggle. We will also refer to the PIRAO as the "army," "revolutionary army," and MIM-led army" in short. As in some parts of any rear area, the tasks of the PIRAO do not involve weapons. Instead, the PIRAO proudly takes up the mundane tasks that need to be carried out for the fight at the proletarian front in the semi-feudal and semi colonial countries throughout the world. This requires taking advantage of some organizational aspects of armies and integrating that with the condition in the imperialist countries that armed struggle is not yet appropriate. The MIM-led army is not something prescribed precisely in previous Maoist science, but rather it is a specific creation for the imperialist countries.
We in the PIRAO recognize the non-negotiable human-rights of the starving, homeless and ill. We accept into our ranks anyone who will not deny the rights of the Third World peoples to take up arms to secure necessary food, clothing, medicine, a livable environment and shelter.
In real armies, much time is spent in the barracks, not every day is a day of decisive battle. Likewise, in the rear area, we aim to build an army of people with long-run goals, vision and discipline. The goal of the army is to speed up victory, not bring fast and easy glory.
At the front, the leading means of obtaining weapons is through armed struggle--seizure of arms of defeated enemies. In the imperialist countries, we cannot utilize such methods appropriately. What we obtain--books, medical supplies and other concrete aid--can usually be obtained with money. A key element of the army will be systematic financial work. Other elements will include intelligence, technical aid and medical advice.
7.1.2 Social basis of the PIRAO
We of the army led by the Maoist party of the English-speaking imperialist countries--MIM--will say bluntly to our recruits: "it is not our turn yet for armed struggle." We follow the teaching of Mao who said that the people have nothing if they have no army. Mao also said that the imperialist country communists must engage in long, legal struggles. We must realize that this means we behind enemy lines have nothing ourselves yet, but we can support the armed struggle of the semi-colonies external to the imperialist countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa.
We say bluntly to the Black, Latino and Asian-descended peoples of the imperialist countries: "it is not your turn yet; instead seek to hasten the blows of the oppressed peoples of the Third World: take up your tasks in the rear area and do not seek armed battles until the imperialists 'are really helpless' as Mao said we should do where the imperialists have their modern transport and communications ready for battle on their own turf." In the work of the army, internationalist material aid is the most important. The small neighborhoods where armed struggle can be carried out successfully are the exceptions at this time. Even in those circumstances where armed struggle does break out spontaneously and successfully our task is to guide it into more organized unarmed forms. Armed struggle in the imperialist countries can be much like taking drugs--a momentary thrill unattached to a real political plan. It is mainly the fault of the middle-class intellectuals for isolating the truly oppressed that such struggles do break out and secondarily it is the fault of the lumpenproletariat and other angry oppressed peoples for not seeking out more systematic forms of struggle.
We say to the First Nations: where you have overwhelming support of your peoples for the defense of your borders, we support your ongoing armed struggle. It is time to utilize the Maoist party idea to fight imperialism, because the white man understands nothing but the gun and because you must communicate with your allies in an internationalist and coordinated way.
To the lumpenproletariat, we say, if you are willing to sacrifice your lives in a shoot-out or go to prison, why aren't you willing to spend 60 hours a week for the revolution? We will help you to gain middle class camouflage. If you are already in prison, you must help to keep people out of prison by getting out the word on MIM and the army.
To the students and petty-bourgeois intellectuals we say, if the people are dying in the Third World and going to prison in record numbers in the imperialist countries, why are you advocating compromise and "toning it down?" Why are you not linking up with the oppressed and doing the work of militant creation of public opinion to tap the energies of the peoples already so angry with the system but improperly channeled into crime and gang violence amongst the oppressed?
7.1.3 Types of army members
Irregulars are the most basic elements of the armed force, because they are most like the people themselves. In the imperialist countries, an irregular is someone who lends timely aid to the struggle in passing, for the instance.
B. Infantry: systematic fashion
A member of the infantry is someone who does sustained work on concrete tasks. The infantry member scours the earth regularly for a stash of books, a thousand dollars or medical supplies and figures out how to obtain them legally. The infantry member does not regard preparation work as a "waste of time," and works hard without instant gratification. Rather the infantry is thankful not to sacrifice blood in taking small but persistent risks that a certain percentage of the time will lead to victories.
C. Commissioned officers: full-time
Commissioned officers combine the planned and professional aspect of the infantry with one difference. The officer has arranged his or her material life so that it is possible to work full-time for the revolutionary army. The officer will tend to be the main organizer of the irregulars.
7.1.4 Distinctions amongst organizational types: RAIL, MSG, PIRAO, MIM
The question arises, how does the army differ from other organizations of the oppressed, such as MIM, MSG and RAIL? Comrades should be familiar both with the descriptions in this section of the primer and with those in the party-led and non-party led organizations section.
Army leaders must be party members, but most army members will not be party members. It is extremely difficult to get into the party. Army recruits need not wait at all before they begin their work as army members. The army will serve as a recruiting ground for the party.
MSG is for people with worked out differences with the party who are nonetheless close to the party. The members will tend to be intellectuals and may believe that vanguard parties, MIM in particular or just MIM's leadership is overrated. In contrast, army members don't make a big deal of their differences with the party if any. Army members tend to think MIM's ideas are the most correct or plenty close enough to being correct and the leadership of the party is if anything underrated, so there is no problem with proceeding to concrete action under the leadership of the existing MIM line.
RAIL members acknowledge party leadership like the army, but RAIL members are under limited obligations of discipline and they focus their work on building public opinion. The army's work is the furthest removed from building public opinion. As a natural consequence, in the army, there is less focus on arguing over line and winning public debates. Army members may be quiet but decisive actors. People may belong to both RAIL and the army, but while carrying out army functions, they will follow army procedures. MSG members will not be allowed in the army.
The army will have its share of right opportunists who simply avoid political struggle, but it will also have its share of people who simply don't like working with the intellectuals necessary for building public opinion on a continuous basis. The army's work will support the work of those building public opinion and the army will defend the party, but its main task will be concrete and logistical support to building the independence and material presence of the institutions of the oppressed. To carry out this task effectively it is absolutely essential that the army member accept the leadership of the party. The army member will be content to carry out action and will not demand constant political struggle and explanation. The pride of the army is that it will carry out actions more quickly than any other organization and with less talk. At the same time, the army member will realize that no pace of action is ever fast enough for the genuine revolutionary.
There will be less emphasis on learning from discussion and more emphasis on learning from years of concrete activity. Every legitimate revolutionary is impatient with the pace of action here in the imperialist countries. We must not become so impatient as to lose our heads or burn out. One way to do that is to follow a leader who will keep us in check. The army member understands that the party may not be able to lead fast enough for anyone's likings including the party's, but the more people there are willing to follow leadership without question, the less time is spent bogged down in political details.
Relative to other organizations, there is less emphasis on all pervasive study in the army; although all organizations of the oppressed require some level of political struggle. Army members will be able to follow directives of the head of the army quickly and without question, by focusing on an area of concrete agreement if necessary before joining the army. The party leader of the army will be the final decision-maker and there will be no jostling for leadership or political votes for leadership. The army's leader will certainly consult with the irregulars, infantry and officers, but the army member can be assured that such discussion will be cut to the barebones minimum.
It will be the head of the army's decision whether or not someone is working within army discipline or should be in another organization or no organization of the oppressed at all.
The PIRAO is especially organized for the many people ready to recognize MIM leadership and stop wasting time in political debate. They have made up their minds in the short-run and they seek to do concrete work with less emphasis on building public opinion and more emphasis on building independent institutions of the oppressed. Some people concentrate on writing books and struggling over the content; in a nutshell, the army will focus on getting the money to print the books and then the means to lug them around--concrete needs.
The army is inconceivable without an already established party leading the
creation of public opinion. Now that we have a core of people carrying out
the tasks of the party it is possible to form the army to do supplemental
work. Without a party the first task would not be to form an army but to
engage in political struggle over the formation of a line. Now that there
is a Maoist line embodied in the MIM party, there are further gains to be
had in concrete work. Army members will learn from practice their personal
capabilities for contributing to the struggle at the front and making a