On Building the Revolutionary Party: The Lumpenproletariat as Class Vanguard

On April 27, 2005, Andrew Mickel, a.k.a. Andy McCrae, was sentenced to death for the November 19, 2002 assassination of a Pine Bluff, California police officer in an act of insurrection against the police state and the empire of imperial state-capitalism that pulls its strings. The action in question was a classic “hit and run” guerrilla maneuver, one that Andy may well have learned during his days as a US Army Ranger. Andy is twenty-six years old, a veteran not only of the US Army but of various movements of the Left, including anti-globalization and Palestinian solidarity. He is now at San Quentin on California’s death row.

Of course, Andy is the Left’s perfect counterpart to Tim McVeigh. The similarities are certainly obvious enough. The question before us involves the relevance of individuals such as these to the struggle to come. Both the United States as a nation and the world as a whole are entering into a new political phase. For the US, the remants of the Old Republic are rapidly giving way to the peculiarly unique form of fascism represented by the neoconservative/Anglo-Zionist/Straussian cabal that has seized the apparatus of American foreign policy. For the world, the consolidation of a global superstate under an international ruling class centered in the Atlantic nations, perhaps operating in collusion with their junior partners elsewhere, has never been nearer. US Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has pointed out that a motion brought before the United Nations by the US regime would effectively make revolt against any state anywhere on earth into an international crime, to be prosecuted by international courts and enforced by international police and military forces. The enactment of such a provision would essentially be the final building block in the creation of a global government, with each of the previously sovereign nations being reduced to mere provinces within the global superstate, with resistance anywhere on earth to any sort of regime being tantamount to an act of treason against the global superstate. Of course, the global superstate would in reality be a mere front for the US regime and the senior partners in its global empire (England and Israel), now having achieved complete world domination, and pursuing revolutionaries everywhere as part of its generic misnomer, the “war on terrorism”.

It is a certainty that if the US continues its current program of imperial aggression and global warfare under the cover of the ideology of revolutionary democratism, the revival of military conscription within the domestic United States will be a necessity. This will in turn be quite likely to produce a good deal more of the likes of Tim McVeigh and Andy McCrae, angry young men with military experience who turn their guns on the System. This phenomenon will also be fueled by the drastic rise in recent decades of persons prone to lethal violence of either a random or retaliatory nature (school shooters, “road rage”, “disgruntled postal workers”, etc.). Thus far, such incidents have mostly occurred independently of one another and have been directed towards random or personalized targets. However, rising political discontent fueled by an unpopular war (or series of wars), economic decline, increased repression, and an increasingly alienated and frustrated population of youth and military veterans will likely trigger not only an increase in incidents such as the forementioned but also the carrying out of such actions in ways that are more organized and with more specific political objectives. In other words, as the US continues to degenerate politically, economically and culturally to Third World levels, resistance efforts in the US will begin to mirror those of the Third World, i.e., overt armed struggle.

It is highly significant that those who have taken up arms against the state in recent years have originated from both the Left and Right, often involving similar if not identical issues, particularly police repression. The next phase in the natural evolution of this phenomenon would be a type of political coalescence of the radical Left and radical Right into a new radicalism that defies the old, stereotypical categorizations. Examing the history of radicalism, we see the rise of the industrial bourgeoise with eighteenth century classical liberalism. The Old Left, with its focus on the industrial proletariat, and the New Left, with its focus on traditional minorities and outgroups, have, like the bourgeoise before them, become a part of the status quo, of the Establishment. The contemporary Left’s incessant condemnations of “racism, sexism and homophobia” render impotent the Left’s claims of radicalism when minorities occupy high positions among the imperial overlords.

If the vanguard of the new radicalism is neither the traditional proletariat nor the traditional minorities, then who is? If both the bourgeoise of classical liberalism and the proletariat of classical socialism have been effectively incorporated into the mainstream of corporate-social democracy, what class then emerges as a revolutionary class? The peasantry, as the Maoists would insist? There is no peasantry in modern societies, though the rural underclass, as will be shown, often comes close. Instead, the obvious class vanguard of the new radicalism becomes the lumpenproletariat, what Marx called the “social scum”. We might think of the lumpenproletariat of modern societies as existing on a number of different levels. Several incidents from recent American history illustrate this. During the decade of the 1990s, three major acts of rebellion against the US ruling class transpired. The first of these was the so-called “L.A. Riots” of 1992, involving members of the urban underclass, primarily though certainly not exclusively ethnic minorities. The lumpenproletarian nature of this uprising is further illustrated by the fact that the leadership of the insurrection was often provided by urban street gangs, the closest thing to an actual infrastructure that exists in many urban underclass communities. The second such incident was the militia phenomenon, circa 1994-1998, involving members of the rural underclass, often dispossessed traditional farmers (akin to similarly dispossessed Third World peasants), and composed primarily, though not exclusively, of members of traditional, even reactionary social groupings, including religious fundamentalists, ethnic preservationists, traditional patriots, racialists, cultural conservatives, constitutionalists and populists. The hysterical reaction to the militia movement on the part of the Left establishment, who shuddered at the thought of armed rural ruffians scurrying about, once again illustrates the irreconcilable differences between the liberal cultual elite and the lumpenproletarian underclass. Indeed, much liberal hysteria over private firearms stems from an unarticulated fear of urban minorities among affluent liberals who wear their phony egalitarian credentials on their sleeves.

Lastly, we might consider the possibility of nothing less than a suburban lumpenproletariat, composed of student radicals and bohemian, countercultural and rebellious youth of the type who populated the anti-globalization movement that came to prominence during the famed “Battle of Seattle” in 1999. It is these three sectors of the lumpenproletariat, certainly distinctive from one another, drawn from across conventional geographical, cultural, ethnic, religious, ideological or even class boundaries, that form the foundation of the new class struggle, the new radicalism to come. The next logical step in the evolution of this new radicalism would be the emergence of intellectual and political leadership within each of these sectors that collectively understands the necessity of combined efforts among the various subsets of the lumpenproletariat against the common class enemy, i.e., state-capitalism. The primary divisions among the lumpenproletarian class are cultural in nature. This necessitates an authentically multi-cultural approach to the class struggle. Not a monocultural totalitaria
sm of the type offered by much of the fake “multiculturalism” of the modern Left, but a genuine multiculturalism that actually allows for real and distinct differences in cultural identity, even those that are in conflict with one another. This will necessitate that those in leadership positions be of sufficient caliber as to be able to reach across cultural boundaries for the sake of constructing effective revolutionary coalitions. As militant resistance builds, armed actions against the System will evolve from the level of isolated individuals attacking random targets to the level of organized groupings carrying out authentic military/guerrilla actions within the context of a more coherent strategic agenda. It is the nature of both war and politics that shifting tactical alliances form as new enemies arise. One need only to think of the alliance of the ultra-capitalist United States and the ultra-Marxist Soviet Union or the Aryanist Germans and the decidedly non-Aryan Japanese during the Second World War.

During the early phase of the domestic armed struggle, the insurgent forces will originate on the Right from the ranks of the militiamen, survivalists, common law advocates, sovereigns, neo-secessionists, radical Christian separatists, jural societies, “pro-life terrorists”, tax resisters and, of course, the entire umbrella of white supremacists/separatists/nationalists. On the Left, the insurgent forces will originate from among the anarchists, communists, ethnic minority separatist/nationalists, radical environmentalists and “animal rights terrorists”. At some point, formal outlaw organizations may also become involved. Joint actions by all of these forces against the common enemy, the System, would put the System on the defensive as the overlords of the New World Order found themselves under attack from all sides, both domestically and internationally. An effective military struggle can serve as a foundation for an effective political struggle. An initial step in this direction might involve a common pact among the insurgent forces to support one another’s fugitives and prisoners, regardless of ideology. This would in turn create the foundation for mutual collaboration both inside and outside the state’s gulags, and between politicized lumpenproletarian and conventional underworld lumpenproletarian elements. As the political struggle evolved, newer, less armed struggle-oriented elements would begin to formally join the ranks of the resistance, for example, libertarians and paleoconservatives from the Right or Greens and Socialists from the Left.

Up to this point, the political resistance would largely be limited to issues-prisoner support, resistance to repression, anti-imperialism, etc. However, at some point it would be necessary to create a formal political party drawn from the disparate revolutionary ranks. Several prototypes for this kind of effort exist. From American history, there is the convergence of a number of minor parties to form the Republican Party prior to the US Civil War. From anarchist history, there is the anarchist-led Revolutionary Front of 1930s France, a coalition of radical groups (anarchists, Trotsksyists, socialists, cooperativists, unionists) united against both the Fascist and Stalinist enemy. Perhaps the most interesting example of this type from the contemporary world is the National-Bolshevik Party of Russia, which maintains an curious mixture of socialist, nationalist and anarchist ideology and symbolism, but acts largely as an underground opposition party in defense of civil liberty and ethnic minorities against the state, with a strong orientation towards youth.

The battle lines in the international struggle against the New World Order are essentially drawn to pit the forces of state-capitalism and monocultural universalism against the insurgent forces of lumpenproletarianism and multi-cultural, or cross-cultural, particularism. International class solidarity among the lumpenproletariat will require a strategic outlook that is capable of accommodating the immense diversity that exists within the class. The traditional Leftist approach of proclaiming that “the workers have no country” is inadequate, as demonstrated by the way workers rallied to their respective national causes during the First World War, with the working classes of the contending nations pitted against one another on the battlefield. Nor is the contemporary Leftist insistence on glorifying select Official Minorities and denigrating disfavored groups (“straight white Christian males”) sufficient. Instead, the ideological superstructure of the lumpenproletarian class must take into account the persistent national, cultural, ethnic and religious loyalties to be found among substantial sectors of our people, as well as the divergence of opinion among our class concerning matters of gender, sexuality, controversial social questions of virtually every type, personal lifestyle interests and so on.

On the national question, the most effective ideological framework would likely be to proclaim individual nations to be in revolt against the imperial system of the New World Order, a type of national revolutionism. This should by no means be confused with old-fashioned nationalism of the conservative variety, which typically tends toward chauvinism and glorification of the state. Instead, the new radicals should emphasize solidarity with other nations in the common struggle against the common enemy. Also, the states and ruling classes within each nation should be denounced as traitors to their respective countries and national causes. While the new revolutionaries would depict themselves as patriots defending their countries against the imperial overlords, they would simultaneously attack their respective governments and state-capitalist elites for their lack of patriotic virtue. This should be done in such a way as to appeal to the traditional culture, history, myths and symbolism of each respective nation. Within this theoretical amalgam, the struggle for the nation simultaneously becomes a war against the state and the corporate classes. Within each nation, the New World Order is met with opposition from both the far Left and the far Right. The next logical step would be the creation of tactical alliances between the two for the purpose of attacking the common enemy, the center-left and center-right NWO elites. Eventually, the far Left/far Right coalition will be joined by the radical Center, the alienated masses likely to be attracted to populist-nationalist, libertarian-socialist rhetoric and programmatic paradigms generated by the revolutionaries. The cultural differences between the far Left and far Right can be worked around through implementation of a cease-fire concerning these matters, and the subsequent development of institutional systems capable of accommodating everyone’s interests to some degree. Such arrangements would naturally involve prioritizing the venerable traditional anarchist and libertarian ideals of decentralism, federalism, voluntarism and mutualism. For example, on the immensely controversial question of immigration, authority on this matter could be devolved to the provincial, regional or community level, with “left-wing” communities allowed unlimited immigration and “right-wing” communities allowing zero immigration. A similar approach could be adopted on the matters of abortion, gun laws, drug laws, the welfare state, “gay marriage” and many other things.

Each particular nation usually contains within itself numerous, distinctive regions and localities, each with their own myths, histories and cultural identities. A decentralized organizational structure for the revolutionary party would allow the revolutionaries in each particular community to best ulitilize the cultural flavor of that community, in addition to creating the means to achieve harmony among otherwise incompatible cultural elements within the lumpenproletarian class and within the context of the broader populist revolutionary struggle that transcends class boundaries. Indeed, the classical anarchist labor movement o

f the pre-World War One era was often organized in such a way, with distinctive American anarchist groups often existing for Germans, Italians, Jews, and other ethnic populations. How might a similar approach be adopted for the modern revolutionary struggle? First, anarchists need to abandon their current positioning of themselves as simply another branch of reactionary liberalism. It is not enough to simply denounce “racism, sexism and homophobia”, pollution and animal cruelty. To do this, we can join the Democratic Party. Instead, anarchists must position themselves as the intellectual and activist vanguard of the New Radicalism, the ubermenschen, or aristocratic cultural elite of the insurgency. The present day cultural elite remains deeply attached to reactionary liberalism, and has therefore expired its historical utility. Consequently, it is time to give them the boot. Instead, the function of the anarchists as the revolutionary vanguard of the New Radicalism is to pull together the disparate elements of the lumpenproletarian class and to “whip into shape” the broader array of resistance forces on an international scale.

Initially, the natural allies of the anarchists are the various separatist movements of either a territorial, cultural, ethnic or religious nature, each of whom seeks independence and sovereignty from the existing nation-state. Within the United States and its immediate territories, these include independence movements in New England, Texas, California, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the former Confederate states, Vermont and others, along with various local independence movements among cities and towns, ethnic separatists such as the Nation of Islam, Aztlan Nation and Christian Identity, religious separatists such as the Christian Exodus movement and the Christian Jural Societies, cultural or ideological separatists like the Green Panthers or Free State Project, and on and on. A positive working relationship between the anarchists and the leadership of each of these tendencies would be the first step toward the realization of a political coalition against the common ruling class enemy. We might think of the structure of such a movement as a pyramid where anarchists are at the top as the intellectual and activist vanguard, operating as “mediating coordinators” of a broader radical coalition of disparate anti-System elements. It would then be the function of each of the separatist tendencies to rally their own rank and file in the common struggle. Particularly advantageous would be the respect commanded by the various ethnic leaders among overtly lumpenproletarian elements, such as street gangs, prison gangs, motorcycle clubs and so on. Indeed, it was elements of this type that were often among the earliest recruits into the revolutionary militia tendencies of the 1960s, such as the Black Panthers, Brown Berets, Young Lords and others.

Once such a radical coalition was firmly established, the next step would be entry into a larger organization with the aim of conquest of its leadership. The best targets would be one or more of the larger “minor” parties. For example, a simultaneous colonization effort of the Green, Constitution, Socialist and Libertarian parties by proponents of the New Radicalism, and the resulting conversion of each of these parties into vehicles for the new radicals, would create the opportunity for a federation of dissident parties combining the internal resources of each. From this point, numerous constituent groups could be cultivated, everything from homeschoolers and firearms enthusiasts on the Right to advocates of medical marijuana on the Left. A decentralized infrastructure for the Revolutionary Party would allow party activists to orient their propaganda and recruiting efforts towards their respective local cultures. In “red” areas, the New Radicalism might adopt the accoutrements of right-wing populism. In “blue” areas, the adornment of left-wing populism. The inner circle of activists and revolutionary leaders would coordinate their activities on a national scale, but with each group of these focused on their own respective communities. Many anarchists will no doubt look askance at the idea of a formal party formation. However, I believe this approach is necessary given the nature of modern states. At the time of the classical anarchist movement, most states were monarchies rather than democracies, with only America, Switzerland, France and, partially, England and Holland, falling into the latter category. While I agree with critics of mass democracy on the question of this type of regime’s proclivities toward tyranny, it is also true that electoral action is of a somewhat greater, if still limited, viability in the present era. Therefore, the Revolutionary Party should be comprised of a political as well as military and economic arm, with the principle aim of electoral action being the election of secessionist regimes to local and regional offices, with these in turn reflecting local culture.

The foremost ideological obstacle to such an effort is the orientation of much of the conventional Left and Right alike towards ideological universalism, the idea that one particular political, cultural or philosophical system must prevail on universal scale. Much of this can no doubt be overcome on the Right, given the Right’s traditional provinicialism, parochialism and nativism. However, the utopian-egalitarian-humanist universalism of the Left is more problematical. I am consistently amazed at the number of leftoids who dismiss my own position as “fascist” even though, in all of my published writings, I am persistently anti-statist, anti-totalitarian, anti-imperialist, reject racial supremacist ideologies and consistently defend pluralism and decentralism. Yet much of the Left, including its so-called “anarchist” wing, persists in hurling the “fascist” epithet in my direction. I can only conclude that the mainstream of the Left, including the “anarchist” contingent, are simply totalitarians intent on erecting an authoritarian cultural Marxist state. We would do well to guard against these in the future. I predict that at some point in the future there will be a major split on the Left between the egalitarian-humanist-universalist wing and the radical post-modernist/radical multicultural/cultural relativist/overtly Third Worldist wing, as these two are obviously incompatible with one another. For example, it makes little sense to demand the universalization of left-wing cultural values like secularism and feminism while championing overtly patriarchal, typically religious Third World or ethnic minority cultures. Most likely, the cultural universalists will eventually join the Establishment, as their ideology is not fundamentally different from the revolutionary global democratism of the neoconservatives. In the US, the cultural Marxist-neocon alliance, currently symbolized by the likes of Christopher Hitchens, will come about through the neocons granting the cultural Marxists everything they want in the social realm (expanded affirmative action, the continued legality of late-term abortion, same-sex marriage) in exchange for the Left’s signing on to the neocon’s foreign policy agenda, a not-too-difficult marriage, really. Meanwhile, the cultural relativist Left may well drift towards the “beyond left and right” camp and eventually find they have much in common with the Third Position, European New Right, national-anarchists, etc.

In analyzing what went wrong with the modern Left, we have to look as far back as World War One. Previous waves of radicalism, whether classical liberalism or classical socialism, were class-based, with classical liberalism oriented towards the industrial bourgeoise and classical socialism oriented towards the industrial proletariat. During “The Great War”, the abandonment of the international class struggle by the working classes in favor of their respective nations threw Marxist theory into turmoil. Out of this came two new tendencies. One was Fascism, which shifted the focus from one’s class to one’s nation as the focus of the struggle again

st international capital. The other was the intellectual ancestor of the New Left, the cultural Marxism of the Frankfurt School, which argued that radicals must first capture the cultural institutions as a prelude to Socialist revolution, so as to inculcate workers with the proper level of revolutionary consciousness. Hence, the Left’s shift in focus from the working class to racial minorities, feminists, homosexuals and other groups viewed as potential allies against mainstream culture. A leading theorist of the Frankfurt School, Herbert Marcuse, was the intellectual godfather of the student rebellions of the late 1960s, which largely mark the beginnings of the contemporary identitarian Left as an actual movement. Additionally, two other factors come into play when tracing the roots of the modern Left. One was the failure of Communism and Socialism to produce an egalitiarian utopia of unlimited liberty and abundance. While early Socialists like Fourier fantasized about a world where lemonade would run in rivers, real-world socialism, even in its Western non-Communist form, produced little more than a new managerial bureaucracy of the type described by Max Nomad, Lawrence Dennis, James Burnham, George Orwell and others. As a result, the New Left drifted away from proletarianism towards vaguer ideas like “participatory democracy”.

The last factor involved in the Left’s drift away from class-based politics was the backlash against Fascism and National Socialism, and the racialist or nationalist content of these. The Holocaust no doubt had a traumatizing effect on the mostly Jewish leaders of the New Left. Additionally, the racial upheavals in the US during the 1960s, and the ongoing conflict between the US and Third World “people of color” in Vietnam and elsewhere, provided additional ingredients to a new ideological stew that amounted to a full abandonment by the Left of class struggle in favor of a type of racial/cultural revolutionism that in many ways was the mirror image of the classical Fascism that it was a reaction against. Nothing could be more destructive of class struggle itself. What have been the fruits of the New Left’s embrace of identity politics? The cooptation of the bourgeoise elements within these factions by the corporate establishment against labor and the poor and the emergence of pro-abortion, pro-gay, pro-affirmative action corporate politicians like Bill Clinton, Albert Gore and John Kerry as the alleged leadership of the “Left”. In other words, the identitarian Left has actually been a subversive force within the class struggle, playing right into the “divide and conquer” strategy of the bourgeoise. In recent years, there has been some realization of this on the Left, as evidenced by Howard Dean’s pathetic remarks about “God, Guns and Gays” dominating the politics of the white working class in the South, and the analysis put forth by Thomas Frank’s recent work. Predictabilty, the minority of the Left that is aware of this problem responds by condescendingly insisting that the full body of the working class simply become good cultural Leftists. However, a better approach is simply the re-establishment of a class-based radicalism, focused on the lumpenproletariat as the new ascendent class, organized in such a way as to accommodate the wide cultural diversity within the class. Indeed, the emergence of such a movement would expose the Left establishment for what it is, a new brand of totalitarianism, and in the process push the vested interests of the US ruling class closer together.

One can only imagine what the reaction of the bourgeois academics, social service bureaucrats, litigation attorneys, liberal politicians, professional “anti-hate” charlatans and other sordid riff-raff who comprise the Left establishment would be if an authentically revolutionary movement were to emerge. A radical, revolutionary party that favored boycotting federal elections and instead focused on organizing separatist movements at the local level. A party that was decentralized in its internal structures, allowing for a left-populist approach in some communities, a right-populist approach in others, an overtly libertarian approach in still others. Such a party could reflect the values of the contemporary Constitution Party in “red” areas and the contemporary Green Party in “blue” areas. A party that maintained a private confederation of militia, paramilitary and guerrilla forces drawn from the ranks of street gangs, ex-convicts and ethnic minority nationalists in the cities, militiamen, survivalists and disaffected veterans in the rural areas and heartlands, and rebellious or disaffected youth in the suburbs, high schools and universities (perhaps modeled on something like Mao’s Red Guards). Left-liberal hypocrites would be shitting in their pants if such a phenomenon emerged. Call it the new radicalism, anarcho-populism, third-positionism, national-anarchism, paleo-anarchism or neo-classical anarchism, whatever you will, such an insurgency would mark the greatest moments in class struggle since the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist uprising of 1936 and the most dramatic event in US history since the Union/Confederacy showdown of 1861. Ironically, we would be utilizing the methods of the early Republicans, formation of an alliance of minor parties for the sake of a revolutionary ideological outlook, in order to achieve objectives similar to those of the Confederates: decentralization and local sovereignty in the face of creeping statism and imperialism. Can the regime be defeated? Of course it can. If the regime can be defeated in the mountains of Afghanistan, it can be defeated in the Ozark Mountains. If the regime can be defeated in the streets of Baghdad, it can be defeated in the streets of New York and Los Angeles. Let’s do it!

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