Politics In Command (PIC) is a US-based, but not US-centric, people’s journal using multi-media to focus on revolutionary communism, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
There is no such thing as non-political art, non-political philosophy. Everything is political in a class-divided, nation-divided, sex/gender divided world. PIC is a simple guide to remind us that everything is political.
PIC is a journal to keep proletarian politics in command as a guide to all of our organizing efforts. Our society is divided by class, nation, sex/gender, philosophy and every other possible category. If society is divided, everything else is divided. PIC is a term to remind us of this reality and to keep us on the correct path, to assist us in staying on the straight course towards the emancipation, liberation and eradication of all social oppression.
Keeping proletarian politics in command is the approach in which we utilize a powerful method of leadership: the mass line. Revolutionary communists – dedicated theorists, organizers and revolutionaries – rely on the conscious activism of the masses to participate in the overthrow of the capitalist-imperialist class. Without this method, we are nothing but pseudo-revolutionaries.
With many revisionist lines being put forth from the United States (US) by pseudo-Marxists who are in actuality all about achieving social clout rather than engaging in class struggle, we need more content providing the correct political analysis (theory) so we can develop a proper strategy for the dearly needed change of society. This people’s journal will use as many means as possible to provide education, theory and history of revolutionary communism, an ideology dedicated to the overthrow of the global capitalist-imperialist system.
Where does the ‘Politics In Command’ term come from?
Mao Zedong and the proletarian section of the Communist Party of China, along with the millions of proletarians in the country, used this term in opposition to the rightist-revisionist section of the country. The revisionists placed emphasis on the economy, namely economism, while the proletarian headquarters pushed to keep politics in command. Keeping ‘Politics In Command’ (PIC), the proletarian headquarters understood that all economic, cultural and social decisions must be derived from political decisions. It has become the ‘unofficial’ guideline of the Marxist-Leninist-Maoists of the world to adopt in all communist organizing.
We live in a class-divided society and a class-divided world. Therefore, all work is political. As Mao said, “Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.” Politics isn’t the battle between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, it is the battle between classes: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. In a settler-colonial system, such as the US, the contradictions between nations also play an important factor. Another contradiction is the world’s oldest oppression known as sexism, perpetuated by the patriarchal institutions dominated by the capitalist-imperialist system. Many other social oppressions exist but these are some of the main contradictions that must be addressed in our organizing capacity. To achieve this end, we must keep politics in command.
PIC is part of our ideology, our worldview. It simply reminds us that we are in a class-divided society and that everything can be divided into two. This is the universal law of contradiction. If we are to understand the law of contradiction, we know that all things and processes may be divided into two: society, movements, and even our own thinking. Our society can be divided into two: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Thus, our thinking can be divided into two: liberalism and materialism, specifically dialectical materialism. PIC is the rule which guides us in this understanding. To keep politics in command is to understand our ideas and organizing efforts lead into one or the other direction: backwards in continuation with capitalism or away from it towards communism.
The Role of Ideology
Everyone has an ideology. To deny this is to deny reality. Since we live in a class-divided society, our worldviews are shaped accordingly. If we are to stand for the majority of the world who are oppressed and subjugated by the capitalists, we must understand how this reality impacts the way we think. To combat the ideology of the bourgeoisie, which is ever-present and everywhere, we must keep politics in command. That is to say we must understand the concrete conditions with a concrete analysis.
Marxists must understand the role of ideology concretely. Our ideology guides us in all things. This is the reason the ruling class has incorporated a significant section in their superstructure to focus primarily on the indoctrination of their ideology: liberalism. The repressive state apparatus not only consists of the army, police, and political establishments but also academic institutions with the intention to promote anti-communist ideas, as they understand the implications of such consciousness. Attaining proletarian consciousness with revolutionary aims changed the entire world in the 20th century. Within a matter of decades, proletarian consciousness transformed the social, political, economic and cultural systems which have existed for thousands of years.
Proletarian consciousness contributed to the end of the first inter-imperialist war, “world war one”. It certainly ended the second inter-imperialist war, “world war two”. The Soviet Union improved the lives of millions upon millions of working class lives in the 1930s and 1940s while the capitalist system went into crisis, driving the working class millions in the capitalist world into poverty, depression and homelessness. China drastically changed the lives of their millions while continually perpetuating proletarian revolution around the world, spreading revolutionary influence on all continents. Proletarian consciousness is the weapon for the oppressed masses to overthrow the capitalist bloodsuckers; it is the antidote to the virus which has infected our planet. Therefore, keeping politics in command reminds us of what is at stake, the importance of ideology and to guide us towards proletarian consiousness; the weapon to free us all.
Social Media or People’s Media?
In the past decade or so, revolutionary communists saw the exponential rise of social media platforms and the significant role they play in influencing the people. At one point, more people in the US received news updates through Facebook. Google’s search engine became the dominant way to find information online, followed by the second largest search engine, YouTube, also owned by Google. It was an organic path to take when revolutionary communists sought to use these platforms to spread theory. Yet, we still ask: has any of our efforts contributed to the building of a revolutionary movement? Highly questionable.
PIC wants to take a new direction. We understand that the internet has a potential – and has already proved itself as a new communication medium– to change the world. What we should remember is that the majority of the world wide web is dominated by the capitalist class, and so are all social media platforms with the exception of alternative social media platforms which barely anyone has used successfully to challenge the dominant social media platforms. So, whatever revolutionary communists intend to do on a capitalist-dominated virtual platform will have little impact as the rules, algorithms and all forms of behavior are dominated by the capitalist class. In addition, this also highlights the issue of right-wing and fascist content producers dominate these social media platforms.
As capitalist-dominated social media platforms are ultimately in the hands of a particular class, that does not translate to an absolute rejection of the entire internet. We can still utilize the web to spread theory but it requires a precisely focused aim with a higher degree of control. Rather than striving for the most subscribers or the most followers to a social media account, which ultimately has proven as meaningless to the building of a true revolutionary movement, we want to focus our attention the most dedicated and most committed organizers. We should know that ten deeply devoted organizers can have a larger impact than one hundred apathetic participants.
When we write, the people should own and have access to that writing. When we produce content, such as a video-article, audio podcast, or another form of content, it should be owned by the people and we should all have access to it with little to no outside force having any authority over it (let along suffering through advertisements before accessing the content!). PIC seeks to provide a roughly new method for spreading theory to the masses, using multi-media but in a more narrowly focused and controlled way. PIC will still be using videos, podcasts, blogs and other forms of content to spread theory over the internet without the dependence on capitalist-dominated social media platforms.
It has been understood more clearly as experience grows that our engagement with social media actually produces depression, anxiety and leads us towards defeatism. Taking control over our production and distribution, at least to a greater degree, can provide more engaging and intentional methods of spreading and receiving theory, history and news about revolutionary struggles. PIC intends to focus on using the web without the adverse effects as much as possible.
Our intention is to produce revolutionary art and to spread revolutionary theory and politics to the dedicated comrades out there searching for reliable resources, as well as finding a community to build. Revolutionary art has proved itself a powerful weapon to spread communist ideas, it will never wither away.
The Necessity of Communist Revolution in the United States
Since 1945 and the establishment of the ‘American World Order’, it is now upon us to see this empire crumble. It will not crumble softly, but only with catastrophe. The empire is currently in a perpetual state of crisis, as we have seen for over a decade now, and will continue to do so while the world changes from the previous mono-polar world to a multi-polar one. As the empire weakens, and as we approach environmental destruction on a global level, it becomes more urgent to develop a concrete political line in order to establish appropriate strategies and tactics to achieve the goal of proletarian revolution.
The empire crumbling isn’t the only factor in our current reality. Since the capitalist-reversal of the Soviet Union (1956) and China (1976), revisionist has been spread across the globe by both the bourgeoisie and revisionists. The bourgeoisie has successful infiltrated and influenced former communist revolutionaries, transforming their world outlook towards a liberal, dogmatic and/or eclectic one. The revisionists promote ‘communism’ while waving the red flag but ultimately serve as class enemies to the people. As the old saying goes, ‘waving the red flag to bring down the red flag’. Keeping politics in command helps guides us towards anti-revisionism, a necessity in today’s world.
Let’s face it, everything else has failed to some degree or another. We may grab bits and pieces of the lessons learned from previous failed attempts but we must continually update our analysis, continue to use our creative abilities to experiment, and to understand this is a protracted struggle. One piece of history that has stood the test of time is proletarian revolution and the advancement of Marxist theory.
Communist revolution is the most powerful, and possible the only, process which can transform the world in a relatively expeditious time frame, proven to be the biggest threat to the capitalist class, and resolute in the goal of liberation of the oppressed masses.
Content and the Correct Political Line?
Despite the minor benefits from utilizing social media platforms, it has ultimately turned those benefits into disadvantages. Social media personalities have flourished and bamboozled the masses towards an incorrect analysis of the world. While promoting revisionist theory in return for a handsome paycheck from the corporate advertisement industry, these personalities have derailed the movement in serious ways. PIC is intended to ameliorate this contradiction by putting forward more accurate analysis and theory by adopting new practices with media content, relying less on major social media platforms. We believe movements are forged by social relationships, not online subscribers.
Within the content produced at PIC, we will be placing forward the political line held by the most concrete weapon of theory developed thus far: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM). This theory and its application has been and is currently being engaged with by revolutionary forces around the world, mainly in the Third World. As they are in a revolutionary movement and we are not, we are limited in our understanding and we must acknowledge this reality. The internet does do one thing that may benefit our movement here in the US, it provides us with stronger links to the revolutionary communist struggles in the Third World which helps us understand revolutionary politics at a higher level.
PIC will dive deep in the long history of Marxism up to today, the origins of each stage (Marxism, Leninism, Maoism), and breakdown the concepts as well as the history of this theory. If there ever was a time more urgent to develop a theory of societal change, this is the century to do so.