Revolutionary Communists Recruit On The Prairies: "A Single Spark Can Light A Prairie Fire"
It’s not out of the ordinary to hear the promotion of communism within the university system. After all, the university is perhaps the only societal institution remaining where communist thought still survives as a legitimate choice for the political and economic organization of a society, notwithstanding its repeated failure when implemented in numerous different countries. However, something caught my eye one morning as I passed a billboard typically cluttered with posters advertising for a variety of different groups and events. It was a poster calling for people to “join the fight” and get an “upper hand” over bosses, landlords and “pigs.” It was a poster for revolutionary communism.
Firstly, it should be said that there is a world of difference between “regular” communism and revolutionary communism, not that either should be taken lightly given the atrocities committed by both forms. The father of communism, Karl Marx, believed that capitalism was an inherently unstable system, that when given enough time, would implode. Marx never discussed the need to bring about an organized revolution or use force to implement communism. Its rise was inevitable, given capitalism’s alleged failures and unsustainability. While the process of the downfall of capitalism itself would be violent, there was no need to use violence to bring about a communist regime according to Marx, as it would come about on its own. Revolutionary communism, on the other hand, advocates the use of violence in order to overthrow existing governmental and societal institutions. Revolutionary communists don’t believe the system will implode by itself, instead, it needs a controlled demolition.
I attended the event hosted January 29, 2017, right here in Calgary, and recorded what transpired. A video highlighting the event can listened to here. It should be said that there is a value in people on the political right attending events like these, and I recommend we do it as often as possible—when safe to do so. We can’t fight an enemy we know nothing about, and our knowledge about those who advocate for violence is power. This meeting provided several key insights into the mindset and tactics of the hard left, which are detailed below.
Violence As A Necessary Evil
There isn’t a problem in advocating for political beliefs, in recruiting people, or in working towards implementing your political goals, but there is, however, a big problem in advocating for violence in order to implement your political visions. After a detailed history of communism and what revolutionary communism stands for, "Martin McAwshum", one of the event’s co-hosts, gave the usual “I’m not a violent person, but…” and then proceeded to advocate for violence. While discussing the self-admitted "controversial" aspect of their movement, McAwshum said the following on the strategy of the Protracted People’s War, which they endorse:
“…the revolutionary strategy that we think can overthrow capitalism in this country. At its base, Protracted People’s War consists of a few points. First, is that revolution unfortunately is a violent process. It sucks, I’m not a violent person, I don’t like violence, but the bourgeoisie has the army, the police, racist gangs, things like that. They have all these tools, they have force, they have organization. And so what that means, is that in order to defend ourselves and build the world that we want we also need to be organized and use force. And so we see that the party doesn’t just respond to crises, but has a role in creating them.”
Apart from being frightening, this statement evidences how deeply held this ideology is. The hosts of the event, in addition to most in attendance, truly believe every government body in society is out to get them. As we know, this paranoia is unfounded, if anything, our institutions have grown increasingly left within recent years.
But I don’t blame them for feeling this way. It was, after all, one of their own, namely Antonio Gramsci, who advocated for the infiltration of societal organizations in order so that they could work towards the communist cause. Gramsci devised the strategy of what would later come to be named "the long march through the institutions", by recommending to communists to enter into governmental and other societal institutions and “…make certain the men who form them are communists conscious of the revolutionary mission that the institution must adopt.” If that’s a contribution to your ideological heritage, then again, I don’t blame the attendees of the meeting for their irrationality. For what its worth, however, I’ve yet to meet a ‘racist gang.’ I have, however, witnessed many violent and angry mobs of leftists who viewed violence and destruction as the only legitimate means to effect their ends. Something tells me as well, that if one of these communists was having their home broken into and called the ‘racist pigs’, those same ‘pigs’ would attend and gladly help them.
“Go Lower And Deeper”
Equally disheartening as having a group that advocates for violence in order to effect political change here in our city, was their strategy of recruitment. I’m certain this event was advertised in many locations all over the city, but I don’t think it’s insignificant that these posters were found at the University of Calgary. It turns out the people best suited to take great risks are those who either haven’t had the chance to know better yet, or who have nothing to lose. It is a well known fact that risk taking behaviour decreases the more we become invested in things, which is why it’s rare to find a married father of three with a mortgage out lighting fires or participating in a protest that turns violent. It's by design that university students haven’t been advised of all of communism’s carnage, nor do they have much to lose in embracing the revolutionary lifestyle.
It should also be noted that the strategy of preying on the weak extended beyond students. This event was held at the Village Square Library in northeast Calgary. There’s really no polite way to word this, but it’s also relevant that this event was held in an area traditionally known for being low-income and multicultural. While factually inaccurate, the northeast in general, has a reputation for having the highest rates of violent crime in the city. However, we don’t need to speculate as to the reasons behind the location chosen, as the hosts spelled it out for us. The meeting involved a discussion about Lenin’s revolutionary strategy, namely that when recruiting, one should “go lower and deeper.” It is believed that the ‘lowest’ amongst us have the most to gain by revolutionary successes. The ‘lowest’ they were referring to were named directly by the events co-hosts, specifically, “…women, indigenous people, people of colour, immigrants, youth and other marginalized groups”.
On the topic of Canada’s First Nations, one of the co-hosts named ‘Nick Marlatte’, spoke about the First Nations of Canada in terms of revolutionary recruitment. I agree that they have the most to gain by an effective system, but that certainly isn’t coming to them by way of communism. For what it's worth, the First Nations in this country had communist operatives aiding them in order to provide them with tactical means for achieving their ends in movements like Idle No More. I think we only need to look at the current conditions of Canada’s First Nations, specifically places like Attiwapiskat, in order to conclude that whatever the hard left believes they can offer First Nations people, has yet to manifest itself in any actual change in their conditions.
Comrade Nick advised us that there were 1.4 million First Nations people in Canada who needed to be “worked with” in terms of achieving gains. What he was really saying was that the First Nations, in addition to the other groups listed above, would make great revolutionaries; that these demographics can provide the hard left with a resource of bodies that should be tapped into. Of interest, the recruitment strategies of these communists are not unlike that of ISIS, in that they provide the fantasy of an egalitarian utopia to people with grievances, who have literally nothing to lose and everything to gain. What this means for those of us on the political right is that we need to be more effective at outreach to these communities specifically, and sell them on what we have to offer before the hard left can.
Riots And Civil Disobedience As A Science
Something very interesting was discussed regarding protests, riots and boycotts. Even if an objective failed to bear the sought-after fruit, the attempt was still regarded as valuable. We were advised that an act of civil disobedience should be studied like a science. Even when revolutionaries fail to meet the objectives, an event is analyzed in terms of where they went wrong. Reflecting on both successful and unsuccessful events allows the hard left to determine which variables should be changed which then allows them to rework the formula until success is achieved. It tells us this-failures will not deter the revolutionary communists. So for all of us thinking the lesson was learned by those who attended the Occupy Wall Street protests, for example, that protests of that nature do not work, think again. These people have no intention of tiring regardless of failure. They’ll be taking notes on where exactly they went wrong and strategizing about what they can do to improve.
In addition to activism being studied as a science, another thing to consider with respect to these types of events is this- those averse in Saul Alinsky’s teachings will know that strength isn’t in what you actually have, but in what your enemies perceive you as having. In this regard, a strong showing at one-time events like the Women’s March, for example, give the perception that the hard left is more numerous, stronger and more widespread than it actually is. While events like this can appear intimidating on their face, remember that a large number of the people in attendance wouldn’t actually bring themselves to commit violence, nor do they actually want full scale communism. Some attend for belonging, some the day off work, and others still, have no knowledge about the objectives of the hard left, but agree with the statement that things should be ‘more fair.’ Its important to remember, however, that only a small fraction of these people pose an actual danger. To put this into perspective, the Women’s March held here in Calgary took up Stephen Avenue and a large portion of the surrounding area, but the Revolutionary Communist meeting also held here in Calgary managed to attract only about 25 people. Again, while we should always be vigilant, the power is in what your enemies perceive you as having. I’d hate for any of our own to lose the fighting spirit because they saw a large gathering of leftists and began to lose hope.
On the topic of protests and public gatherings, there was constructive advice given to the attendees of the event regarding personal security during events of civil disobedience. During the question and answer period at the end of the meeting, a girl asked the hosts of the event what precautions they take (the Revolutionary Communist Party itself as an organization), to ensure the anonymity of people who agree to aid in the cause. McAwshum answered by saying that he was reluctant to disclose the inner workings of the organization, but did advise that it was wise to use aliases, in addition to wearing face coverings while out working for the cause.
Not All Lefties Are Against Guns
The website for the Revolutionary Communist Party links an article in its suggested readings column entitled, “Marxism, the Left and Gun Control”. It is essentially an open call for the hard left to arm themselves, channelling Vladmir Lenin’s sentiment that it would amount to a crime should the workers of the world not be armed. As someone on the political right, I fully support responsible gun ownership, wherein trained, licensed people own and operate registered firearms. This is not what the Revolutionary Communist Party wants, however. Their intent isn’t to use these firearms in lawful ways, but to disarm both the political right and overtake the state:
“With an eye on the future, on a future revolutionary situation, our capacity to arm ourselves and disarm the right is central. In a revolutionary situation, if workers are able to acquire weaponry, workers militias will be far more capable of disarming and seizing the weapons that the right wing possesses.” (emphasis mine)
The above justification for left-wing gun ownership was provided in anticipation of a revolutionary situation presenting itself, but in addition to this, the author of the article put out a call for the hard left to cease advocating for gun control on other grounds:
“The state isn’t neutral, the state isn’t going to disarm the ultra-right for the left. The state isn’t going to bust into homes and take weapons from members of the KKK and right wing fanatics, they’re going to use stricter control to put another 15-20 years on the sentences of latino and black gang members.”
This article showcases the hard left’s tired claims that the political right and the government are in bed together, and that systemic racism and over-policing are large-scale problems in our societies. I recommend you read it. While the topic of guns was not specifically addressed at the meeting, one can assume this article received its endorsement on the Revolutionary Communist Party’s website as it reflects the sentiments of its members.
A Bit Of Good News… Maybe?
At first I was relieved to hear the admission that the revolutionary communists boycott elections by refusing to vote for the NDP. On its face, this was comforting news. Let’s be honest that the NDP needs as few votes as possible. But the scary part is that these communists are dissatisfied with the fact the NDP isn’t left enough. They’re hopeful that by boycotting elections they’ll create a sense of urgency within the party, which will react by going further to the left in order to recover their lost base. In the meantime, we can reasonably expect that the revolutionary left won’t be voting in elections, but where does this leave the non-revolutionary left? Still voting for the NDP or possibly the Liberals out of strategy. Is it a matter of time until the NDP takes up policies that are further left in order to pick up votes? I guess we’ll see. In the meantime, we can be happy knowing that not everyone on the hard-left votes for the NDP. Let’s hope this remains the case for 2019. It would be nice to get our province back, after which time we can shift our focus on the country.
If we are to believe Saul Alinsky’s position that true power isn’t what you actually have, but what your enemies perceive you as having, then I have another piece of good news for you. The hosts of the event themselves acknowledged that the day where the revolutionaries would be in the position to actually implement their plan was actually far away. I believe the term actually used by McAwshum was “a long way off.” The general thrust of the portion of the talk relating to strategy and planning was essentially this: it’s a far away goal, but in the interim, the revolutionaries need to be trained, ready and organized for the day when revolution can actually be achieved. In the meantime, its good to know that even the revolutionaries see their influence and power as being minimal. Having said all this, they might of said something very different had they known someone from the political right was amongst them. The fact that our enemies themselves don’t recognize their own gains, however, doesn’t mean we should let up on the fight.
I want to end with this: this is the first event outside of my own political affiliation that I have attended, besides working towards a Bachelors of Arts, that is. It was freeing entering enemy territory, because despite this particular event being a one-time deal, there was much to be learned. I think going forward the strategy of those on the right should be to attend events like this. Not to disrupt them, nor to shut them down, nor to be violent, but to learn. We can’t develop a coherent counter-strategy on something we know nothing about. Sadly, events like this happen all the time, in all areas of the city. We aren’t moved to go, because let’s face it, if we’re going to take time out of our schedules for anything, we’d incline to make time for our own people with our own views first. I think this is an exceptionally poor idea. We lost control of this province for a number of reasons, but perhaps one of them was that left-wing outreach through events like this were underway while we slept. We now know the level of organization the left can actually have. We should know what the people who intend to disrupt our way of life are up to and we need our own science of tactics. We can achieve this by attending events like this, taking notes, voice recordings and video, and then publishing same. Our first step towards an actual effective counter-strategy to both communists and the left is to know our enemies as well as we know ourselves.