Class 6: LRNA’s Tasks
Reorganizing the League to Carry Out its Tasks (LRNA Newsletter, September 2005)
Excerpts from the opening remarks to the Strategy Conference 2006
LRNA’s Style of Work
From Class 5:
Katrina, the Rulers' Strategy and the Tasks of the League: Politcal Report to the Steering
(LRNA Newsletter, March 2006)
New Conditions Call for New Tactics (Rally, Comrades Vol. 16 #3)
1. Our task is to provide the whereiwthall for the subjective side, which won’t necessarily
happen. Our style of work is to introudce and concentrate on new ideas.
2. To unite the revolutionaries into the League, its members have to be active in the
developing movement. But we can’t build the League if we’re simply doing what the
movement is already doing. Our activity has to bring direction and consiousness. These
committees will aim their outward work att he agitation, the propaganda and the poltiical
tactis that will the break the ideogical, political and organizational connections between
our class and the capitalist class.
3. The first stage of the movement is the mass awakening. The objective process creates
the conditions for this mass awakening. But it’s the subjective process that brings it about
and brings it to fruition. ... What brings about a revolution is to use that objective
situation in order to develop the intellectual cpaacity of the masses to be abel to grapple
with the significance of this oppression and starvation.
4. Can the American people be won over to a non-ideological concept of communism?
Yes, they can. It has to be done on the basis of a patriotic defense of the country as well
as the class. It is commonly accepted today that corporate economic and political power
is undercutting what democracy remains in our country. The fight to transform these
giant corporations into public property is a patriotic fight. The ruling class has linked
capitalism to patriotism through the highly paid section of the working class. This
organized, bribed section of the class, which is the mass base of the Democratic Party,
has been the major bulwark against communism within the class. We must challenge
them on moral grounds. 82, 000 homeless in one city is cause enough to challenge the
system. This challenge has to be made within the framework of the particular history, not
only of the American people in general, but within the history of the area and region they
5. To align our policies and propaganda to this developing movement, we should discuss
what is referred to in the communist movement as the line of compromise. That is, what
is that “line “ between the scientific abstractions that guide the conscious revolutionaries
and the actual perceptions that motivate the unconscious “mass“ at any given point? That
is, along what lines can we connect with the thinking of people in order to develop the
consciousness and ideology to show that communism is the solution? What is the point
where we can connect? What might be such a line of compromise today?
6. There is a seething anger at the corporations and the government. From lobbyists to
laws, the huge corporations and the government are one — reconfiguring the economic,
social and political landscape. Focused anger at the corporations is the ground on which
we stand to develop class identity and class ideology. By connecting with the perception
of the corporations as the “enemy,“ we can get across that capitalism is the source of the
problem — and that these problems can be resolved if society is reorganized to put an
end to private property and exploitation. Anger at the corporations is also the starting
point for people to do something. “Doing something“ is decisive to the development of
class ideology. Ideology is more than what you know. It's what you do about what you
know. It's how you see your relation to the rest of society and what you see as your role
in doing something about it.
7. The People’s Tribune and Tribuno del Pueblo and related propaganda organs will help
develop the level of ideology and consciousness against capital that is possible at this
time. In this way, we can begin to unite the revolutionaries around a strategy and
ideology of the revolution. The new class is unaware that they form a a class and that
they have different political and economic interests than the capitalists. To become a full-
fledged, conscious movement, they need a press to both educate them and be their voice
to one another and to society. This is why it is so imperative that we emed the press in the
movement and that it emerges as the press of the movement, i.e. the political
spokesperson for the new class.
LRNA'S style of work
Consciously or unconsciously, every person and every organization develops a style of
work. An organizations or individual's style of work, in the final analysis, determines not
just how a person does something, but what it is they do. These are inseparable. One is an
extension of the other. Therein lies the importance of describing and then implementing a
style of work that reflects and is united with our goals
What do we mean by style of work? We mean a combination of distinctive features that
characterize our work as LRNA. These features, in our internal life, can be summed up as
collectivity in decision making and individual responsibilities in carrying out the
Our external work is characterized as teaching rather than agitation. Why? We have
spent a lot of time on this subject. I will only say in the form of summary that agitation is
on the objective side of the political movement. That will happen. Our task is to provide
the where with all for the subjective side, which won't necessarily happen. Our style of
work is to introduce and concentrate on new ideas. There has never really been a
communist propagandistic organization in this country because the objective situation
never called for one. When organizations attempted it they were scoffed at with such
phrases as "that's pie in the sky"
Style and tactics are also inseparably. Our tactic is to fight on the level of morality. We
strive to maintain the offensive on the fronts the bourgeoisie cannot defend. No matter
the issue, we strive to concentrate on that area where the enemy is morally weak.
With this as our base, we move on to our style of work amongst the masses. LRNAS
style of work is the campaign. a campaign is a relatively short, limited, systematic course
of aggressive activities for an achievable goal. "Systematic" means that all arms and all
resources are employed in an organized manner toward a single goal.
Our campaigns are characterized by planning, by preparing the comrades
organizationally, politically and ideologically for the campaign and then throwing all
resources into the effort to achieve our goals.
Campaigns are efforts by the entire organization, not just a committee.
Excerpts from the Opening Remarks to the Strategy Conference
ROLE OF THE REVOLUTIONARIES
Up until now the entire revolutionary movement has been based upon what people
think. Are we able to win them over to these ideas? So we pass out leaflets; we challenge
people morally, we do all these kinds of things. What we’re trying to do is win them over
to the ideas that we believe to be the truth. I think first thing that history teaches us is
that as the masses awaken, it doesn’t mean a damn what you think. You have to drop
your ideas; you have to crystallize and consolidate the ideas of the emerging mass
movement and make that your program. No longer do you go to them with your program,
which we’ve always done because we didn’t know anything else. We would go from our
thinking; from our meetings; from conferences to the masses with a program we believe
is in their interest.
Everything has changed. All of a sudden the world stands on its feet and the
revolutionaries have to drop their program and adopt the program of the mass movement,
no matter how diffuse and disorganized these demands are.
The role and art of the revolutionary is to be able to take these inarticulate, scattered
demands of the masses and consolidate them into a political demand that they can be
organized around. You cannot do that with your idea. … The 6th Congress [of the CLP]
was the congress to liquidate the CLP and form the National Organizing
Committee/League of Revolutionaries for a New America. We’re changing from an
organization that was from the apparatus to the masses to an apparatus that is a vehicle, a
transmission belt of from the masses to the masses. They are two completely different
… The establishment of LRNA was our attempt to conform to the law of revolution —
that the revolutionaries have to drop their own program at that point when the masses
themselves begin to put forth their demands. We have to drop our demands, consolidate
their demands into a political program and fight like hell for the implementation and
acceptance of this kind of a program. This is crucial.
The first stage of the movement is the mass awakening. The objective process creates
the conditions for this mass awakening. But it’s the subjective process that brings it about
and brings it to fruition. Oppression and starvation have never brought about a revolution.
What brings about a revolution is to use that objective situation in order to develop the
intellectual capacity of the masses to be able to grapple with the significance of this
oppression and starvation.
…We have to move before the masses move in order to guarantee that that mass
movement is in the direction that’s going to be a reflection of the process of history as a
whole. Every revolution shows that that first step of awakening the mass is propaganda.
You cannot avoid this stage. I don’t care what revolution you’re looking at — the
German revolution, the Irish revolution, the Mexican revolution, the Soviet revolution —
you’ll see that widespread propaganda preceded the mass movement. The masses could
not collect themselves without having some kind of direction that comes in from the
outside. We are talking about the introduction of a new element in order to changes the
processes. The changing of the process of the mass movement is the introduction of new
ideas. Without the introduction of new ideas, the mass movement just continues doing the
same thing over and over and over and over again.
WHAT TYPE OF ORGANIZATION DO WE NEED?
The demand for LRNA, as tiny as we are, is to disburse amongst the masses and begin
that process of propaganda that will begin giving some direction to where this movement
is going to go to, not just getting it going. Everything has its place. I remember reading
about Big Bill Haywood (an IWW leader) in the early 1900s going around the country
screaming “fan the flames of social discontent.” That’s fine, fan those flames but fanning
the flame isn’t going to do anything. You’ve got to do more today than just simply fan
the flames. You’ve go to have some idea of why you’re fanning the flames, what it’s all
about and what it is for. Because we’re small and because we’re disjointed and because
we’re not totally 100 percent clear, there’s a real danger in dispersal. That danger is that
we liquidate ourselves in the process of dispersing out amongst the masses, especially
under conditions where the bourgeoisie are going to crack down. How do we guarantee
that we have an organizational structure despite communications being disrupted.
We are trying to visualize the kind of an apparatus that can get out there and that can
function under these given conditions and at the same time guarantee the organizational
integrity of the League. It is correct to talk in terms of moving to create rather small,
self-sufficient committees of the League that operate on a very narrow but decisive front
of struggle within the whole social process of the United States. Where you recruit and
build the League, these little committees of 3, 4, 5 members are the League in an area.
They do everything that the League does. They write articles for the press. They
distribute the press. They collect dues. They do everything that’s necessary that makes an
organization an organization.
This takes discipline and commitment. Discipline and commitment takes clarity. If
you’re not clear, you swear you’re doing the right thing and you’re doing the wrong
thing. The fight for clarity within the organization is one of extreme importance. All of
you know that the fight for clarity always means a fight to readjust under changing
circumstances. You don’t have to fight for clarity if nothing is moving. You have to fight
for clarity when things move. The League, in a sense of the word, is like a little
superstructure on top of the objective social motion. When that social motion changes
direction, that superstructure either is shattered or it must change direction in accordance
to that spontaneous reassessment of the mass. This is where the problem comes in. We
are going to have to guarantee that the clarity of what we’re doing and why we’re doing
We visualize each of these self-contained committees as operating quite independently
so they can be the League wherever they are. In this way we will be omnipresent amongst
the masses. We have to do is build an organization that’s a Medusa, an organization of a
thousand heads that the bourgeoisie can’t destroy. If they stomp on one head, the rest of
them will turn around and bite him. That demands commitment. It demands clarity. It
demands the ability to move independently and have the confidence that we’re moving in
the right direction and at the right time.