Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), or Revcom, is an anti-capitalism, Maoist Communist party formed in 1975 within the United States. The RCP states that the only way for people to liberate themselves is through Communist revolution. The Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party is Bob Avakian.
The RCP has roots in the New Left of the 1960s and 1970s era and has active chapters in at least 15 population centers. RCP leaders believe “elections are not the arena where decisions are made about the future direction of the society” and do not participate in them.
Origins of the Revolutionary Union
Students for a Democratic Society met in June 1969 in Chicago. By this time, S.D.S. had more than a hundred thousand members, making it the largest leftist organization in the United States. Its politics were anti-imperialist and somewhat Marxist, although anarchist currents existed in the organization, as well. During the convention, three ideological groupings became clear. One was led by the Progressive Labor Party faction and espoused a Maoist philosophy, another was the Weatherman faction, also Maoist, but also a follower of third-world revolutionary nationalism, and the third dominant grouping was Marxist-Leninist. This latter grouping was originally known as Revolutionary Youth Movement 2 (RYM 2). As time progressed, RYM 2 splintered into smaller formations, with one of the largest organizations calling itself the Revolutionary Union (RU).
Arrest and exile
Prominent supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party include;
- Bob Avakian, leader
- Carl Dix, national spokesman
- Mary Lou Greenberg
- C.Clark Kissinger
- Raymond Lotta
- Sunsara Taylor
- Joe Veale
- Lenny Wolff
Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America
The RCP is calling for resistance to the ‘capitalist-imperialist system.’ The Revolutionary Communist Party USA has announced a “Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America,” and members say they are planning for a “revolution” against capitalism, with violence if necessary.
- The “present capitalist-imperialist system” should be replaced with a “radically new economic system.”
Carl Dix who is a founding member of RCP, has made the statement that the federal government bailouts, under both Bush and Barack Obama, are just one example of the government supporting the “capitalist class.” His party is “building a revolution” and under the proposed constitution all “natural resources would be collectively owned,” with the goal of a “classless, communist world,” he said.
- “We have to move to a point where people can work in common for the common good and get back what they need to live a life worthy of human beings. … The competitiveness and the looking out for No. 1 that’s promoted in this society – that kind of thinking has to be broken,” he said after the “constitution” was announced this week.
RCP has facilitated numerous activist organizations, including Refuse and Resist and the October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality. They also have demonstrated their willingness to engage in violent confrontation, most notably with their support for and involvement in the Los Angeles riots of 1992, in which more than 50 people were killed and 4,000 were injured.
- "The revolutionary people will have to meet and defeat attempts at violent suppression," said Dix. "When you look at this government. … it's not going to act non-violently to maintain its position. So it would be wrong for the movement for revolution to say that it's going to be non-violent, because that would be saying to them, 'You can come and crush us.'"
RCP's leader, Bob Avakian, has faced multiple charges for confrontations with police, and he applied for refugee status in France, claiming political persecution, but was rejected. To place the legal standing of the organization's activities in further doubt, Dix, who served jail time for refusing orders to serve in Vietnam, would not divulge member numbers. His fear is that such "information would be very helpful for the government to come at us."
He would say, though, that he believes his movement is gathering momentum and bringing "forward a determined core of fighters for this revolution." On Oct. 29, 2010, Dix participated in a public discussion with Cornel West, a prominent socialist professor of Princeton University, and the sellout 650-plus crowd at the Harlem Stage boosted his optimism for the movement.
- "They accomplished a lot of good things there, and we uphold that, but we also saw that there was a tendency to marginalize and attempt to silence opponents. … That's something that Bob Avakian, the leader of the [RCP], has strenuously brought forward as a different approach."
The RCP also titled their constitution with "North America," as opposed to the United States, to make clear that it is "not bound by the current borders." The group is open to returning parts of the country to Mexico, providing autonomy for parts of the indigenous population and even allowing an "independent African American republic in the south eastern United States."
- Harlem Stage
- New Manifesto
- October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality
- Princeton University
- Refuse and Resist
- Revolutionary Communist Party Website
- Refuse Facism Homepage, accessed June 3 2017
- Bob Avakian, A Life of Revolution in a Country of Reaction, By Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch, February 5/5, 2005
- Free Bob Avakian! Boston Globe.com, Mark Oppenheimer January 27, 2008
- ‘New Socialist Republic in North America’ Constitution Logistics Monster, Nov. 17, 2010
- Unveiled: Constitution for New Socialist North America WorldNetDaily, Nov. 16, 2010