Amongst Marxists, it is widely recognized that specific classes and groups play leading roles in movements, social struggles and revolutions. The recognition of these leading forces, one that proceeds from historical record and inference, is often described in terms of the vanguard. As well, those revolutionary struggles which, when faced with reactionary violence, coalesce into a highly disciplined and centralized cadre fighting force are more likely to be victorious against reactionary/imperialist intervention. Hence, in situations involving proletarian struggle, the vanguard must assume specific forms according to such conditions.

These broad constructions of objective realities are just that, i.e. broad conceptual overlays on top of general historical realities. Thus, such conceptual overlays within Marxism have always been subject to additional review based on changes in social-historic circumstance and experience. It is worth mentioning that notions such as class warfare, revolutionary violence and the vanguard of struggles are not those selected by the masses, but rather terms imposed on them by the exigencies of the struggle against oppression and capitalist-imperialism. If it were up to the average person, individual will and action would be enough to correct social problems and inequality. Yet because these problems are social and not individual or inter-personal, they necessitate solutions of wide social implication. Because the bourgeoisie will not peaceably alter social relations and give up their hold on the reigns of power, it becomes necessary for the proletariat and its allies to organize themselves for class warfare. Various classes and social forces play different roles, some leading and some not, and different forms are used as part of such struggle in which revolutionary violence is used to combat reactionary violence.

The point of such a struggle can only be to seize power for the broad masses, to secure a reasonable climate for the transition of social and economic relations for the broad empowerment of oppressed people and to act as a plebiscite through which territorial defense and revolutionary foreign policy can be conducted.

What is notable about the above is not its narrow prescriptions, but its rather broad implications. Through such a broad, non-constrictive interpretation, it is possible to seek additional truth through practice toward socialism and liberation, and to better act as an agent of revolution. The vanguard, applied to classes and social forces, such as intellectuals and groups, is a broad conceptual idea, universal in many aspects when speaking of leading forces, which gets narrowed down through practice.

As a broad conception, the notion of vanguard is applicable in many ways. As some leading comrades noted during the early 2000’s, radical Muslims were playing the role of a vanguard in the anti-imperialist struggle by doing more than other forces in pinning down and depleting the forces of imperialism. The possibility certainly exists, outside a proletarian-led struggle, that the national bourgeoisie will continue to play a vanguard role (albeit a poor one) in securing concessions for the global South against North-based monopoly capital.

Should we recognize where we differ from others in movements, assert our own insights, offer our own contributions and try to win over those part of peoples’ movement as conscious revolutionaries? Of course, but we can only do that as part of the broad struggle against imperialism. Do we view our line as superior to the vast majority of the First World nominal ‘left’ as well as in some regards to many ‘vanguard’ parties globally? We’ve said so repeatedly.

We should not hesitate to note ourselves, specifically the ideas we present and the potential they bring to people’s movement globally, as a vanguard, but along with many others as part of a broad conception and within the specific social-historic circumstances we face.

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  1. Who, or What, is “The Vanguard Party”?

    1. The “party” is an intentional organization that attracts and groups together “the vanguard”.

    The “party” is a term given to whatever organizational form the “vanguard” actually is.

    The “vanguard” are those who are the most directly and disproportionately effected by the negative effects of global capitalism, imperialism, and white supremacy, who are acutely and openly aware of this fact; and any and all who are the most ready and willing to see this system of global capitalism, imperialism, and white supremacy end in their lifetime and take action to “…define matter and make it act in a desired fashion (Newton).”

    1. The “vanguard party” is a specific and particular instrument of struggle, a headquarters of the worldwide anti-capitalist/anti-imperialist revolution.

    One does not become a member by purchasing a membership card or by having someone offer them one; as is the case with Republicans, Democrats, other ‘mainstream’ imperialist political parties, religious organizations, or secular ‘pray-to-our-divine-all knowing/all-seeing leadership’- type political cults.

    Membership is based upon open displays of self-discipline, personal integrity, consistency, and commitment over a period of years. Membership in the vanguard party has few benefits, thousands of risks, and great rewards only if the most deeply exploited and oppressed win decisively around the world, and the vanguard doesn’t become a new class of exploiters and oppressors.

    1. Genuine revolutionary vanguard leadership is:

      Taking personal responsibility for the political and tactical direction of a particular struggle, ad-hoc grassroots organization, the party itself, and the revolution generally.

      Taking criticism and making criticism of the party and others.

      Being fair, friendly, firm, honest, principled, and patient with all proven allies and potential allies.

      Strict adherence to the rules and regulations of the party and its related organizations.

      A willingness to commit revolutionary suicide in the pursuit of real freedom, justice, and equality for the entire human family of the planet Earth.

      A willingness to commit class suicide in the pursuit of real freedom, justice, and equality for the entire human family of the planet Earth.

      Maximizing collective decision-making and overall ‘hands-on’ participation of those who are the most deeply, directly, and disproportionately effected by the negative effects of global capitalism, imperialism, and white supremacy; both generally and in the context of a particular struggle.

    The majority of those who claim to be “THE” revolutionary “vanguard” leadership in the U.S. today are NOT the real proletariat (as defined in point #1): they are the radicalized petit-bourgeois/labor aristocrat descendants of those whose current wealth as a nation was obtained by the free labor of African people utilized on the stolen land of oppressed Indigenous people throughout the western hemisphere.

    Additionally, at this time, a majority of persons from oppressed nations and internal colonies in amerikkka ally themselves with capitalism and white supremacy against the interests of the world’s poorest people, as well as against their own collective material interests.

    Based upon the real-world implications of this fact alone, as well as the real-world implications of the social/political/economic/gender inequality between the “vanguard” element(s) and the most directly effected by exploitation and oppression(s), those who are the most directly effected individuals have every right (and in fact a duty) to sharply interrogate, criticize, and if necessary, ruthlessly punish any and all who proclaim themselves to be “the vanguard”, “the leader of the revolution”, “the messiah”, “the Mahdi”, “the prophet”, “our lord and savior”, “the chairman”, or otherwise claim to be in sole possession of “the truth”!

    1. To be a member, one must be an involved, committed activist and advocate, be active in a local grassroots organization, take part in both tactical and theoretical discussions, study groups, the larger internal life of the party, contribute to the financing and realization of its short-term and long-term goals of the party, including and especially the expansion of the party to the point where the party and the whole of the people may be separate in name, but are in fact one and the same.
    Reply

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