27 March, 2019
The RDP is hard at work, trying to hammer this wild thing out and are making slow but steady progress. As you know from our last update, we have a solid basis of principle from which to work from which makes our path a lot clearer. We have a basic flag design which we are going to get polished into a final draft to show to you all.
The major thing we’ve been working on are the materials for the course system. The first two courses build a foundational understanding of general Marxism and Leninism. After establishing introductory theory, subsequent courses cover topics that are critical for Marxist-Leninists to have principled knowledge of. These include analyses of colonization, imperialism, historical and contemporary socialism, and so forth, always holding in mind the place of Marxism-feminism and LGBTQ support in all of our courses. There will be more specific courses in the future, but this is the shell of what we believe is necessary for launch. The courses will be in simple video format with subtitles and supplementary reading materials that cover fundamental works. The RDP hopes to launch the bulk of the course materials by September/October. While the initial creation of these materials is currently in English (not necessarily by choice), there are plans to have them translated in as many languages as possible. It may be a slow process, but it is an important one. If you or anybody you know has proficient translating skills for course materials, please reach out as we may need your assistance. These courses will not only be a resource for those interested in Marxism-Leninism, but vital for those seeking to start branches in their local communities. In addition to watching and reading materials, discourse and discussion will be integral to the courses. We have not quite determined how we will ensure digestion of materials, whether we want to use a testing system, have them write an essay or summary, or have conversations (which are obviously ideal, but perhaps unrealistic with the regards to the amount of time it would cost leadership).
We know that a lot of you have reached out through email with specific questions, and we want you to know that we have read them all, and will begin replying to the ones that have not been answered in these updates. We have had a lot more interest than we initially expected, so there’s a lot to go through, but we plan on doing so over the next few weeks. For those that have reached out and offered your services: thank you. We plan on taking you up on those when it is appropriate. We will begin integrating all folks specifically interested in starting a branch into conference calls in probably July or August. We also have a map and pins and will begin mapping out where all of the interested groups are in relation to each other. As we said before, it’s REALLY exciting how many of you are close/in the same area.
Folks in the non-US/Canada, please reach out to us again at email@example.com because now that we have a solid principled basis from which to move forward, we very much need your input in how to make this effective, and how to ensure that we don’t make serious mistakes while trying to create an international ML party.
Thank you so much to everyone for your support, kind words, and interest. We will get another update out late next month. Again, if you haven’t sent your location in your initial post/email, please do so. We don’t need your street address, even a region will help us know where our strength areas are.
25 February, 2019
First of all, we would like to thank you and say how floored we are by the overwhelming interest in what we’re attempting to build with you all here. There are several of you that live in the same areas, and we are beyond excited for you all to connect with one another as we understand how isolated we can feel sometimes. We have a ton of details and things we’re working on currently, which we will share in the future, and ask for your feedback and help in developing this party. Most recently, we have begun gathering and organizing materials for education. In the meantime we wanted to send out a short letter to address some of the main concerns we’ve been hearing.
“Why an international party? Shouldn’t parties focus on local issues to rally folks? Is this going to be a small group of americans telling the world what to do?”
The RDP will never come from a place of ethnocentric, West hegemonic chauvinism. The role of the RDP is not to give orders to our comrades around the world from a false sense of American superiority, but to support the each other in building and fomenting revolutionary movements. The RDP seeks to do this by providing educational, material, financial, structural and emotional support. Time will be spent specifically focused heavily on local issues and solidarity events.
Yearly global meetings will ensure that all branches are communicating progress, addressing concerns, and learning from on another. Bi-yearly regional meetings will ensure that regional issues are handled from your local region. The RDP does not exist to find pre-existing revolutionaries although they are of course welcomed but exists to teach and train new revolutionaries and alleviate the alienation. If you live outside of the imperial core, and a strong, dual-power socialist organization exists in your local area, obviously this party will serve only to help and strengthen in whatever ways you need. If there exists a revolutionary government already in your local region, we will not open a branch there, but will use our party to raise awareness in the struggle of anti-imperialism.
“I noticed a lack of addressing of LGBTQ folks in your first statement, this is concerning.”
The party, in planning, has explicitly agreed upon prioritizing marginalized people in positions of leadership, always being mindful of the dynamics of privilege and power (no exceptions will be made, even for those taking part in the planning of the party itself). People of privileged groups will not be permitted to maintain positions of power when those of marginalization have voiced the desire to step up. Furthermore, those that are in a position of power will use their resources to try to raise of the voices of marginalized communities. Members of branches who come from marginalized backgrounds and have the potential to lead will be given guidance to develop that position of leadership if there is a desire to do so.
“I’m not part of a marginalized group in my local area, but I am still interested in joining and starting a branch. Am I discouraged from doing so?”
We welcome all interested in joining RDP, regardless of socioeconomic status and privilege. Those interested in starting branches will have contact with us to evaluate your situation, such as your ongoing outreach to local marginalized populations, prospective members in the branch, the current activities in your area, and so on. It is important for branches to reflect Marxist-Leninist principles in the group and to avoid upholding white male leadership.
“Even with those built-in safeguards, how will you address conflicts and accusations that will inevitably come up?”
The RDP has a zero tolerance stance on party misconduct and will approach accusations with sincerity and promptness. Anyone accused of anything bordering on serious will be immediately suspended from all party activity, contact from party members, especially leadership, and will be investigated by a tribunal that will then assess the situation. The details of lesser accusations will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
“There are already several ML parties. What makes this one different?”
Aside from the information listed above, the RDP believes that revolutionary education is an important factor towards creating sustainable movements. We have analyzed the ways in which other parties have made compromises or placed the impetus on the potential members to try to educate themselves with texts they may not be familiar with. The RDP will take the stance that it falls on leadership to teach and uplift. The party program will include a well-structured, tiered system of education, available in multiple languages, which will be addressed in the future.
The RDP plans to address the issues that often gate entry to party apparatuses directly. Child care will be provided free of cost to every branch, with the understanding that a rotating volunteer system will ensure that all adults will get to participate in party functions. When/if funds are available, the folks operating the daycare service will be paid accordingly. Materials will be provided to run activities based on age groups, and that will try to promote the ideals of solidarity, empathy, as well as socialist concepts. Furthermore, the RDP will dedicate time and resources to reaching out to youth and teens, particularly from marginalized communities, to help teach them revolutionary thought in a digestionable way, as well as to lend them material support through food, clothing, and community activities.
The RDP will furthermore give materials and plans to branches which will be heavily encouraged to host fundraising events specifically geared toward providing relief to those that cannot afford/struggle to afford mental health visits and medication in areas where it is not provided free of cost.
“What will the dues system look like?”
Dues will be based on cost of living in the region, income status, and of course sponsorship will occur for those who cannot pay dues. It will never be a hindrance. The RDP is still developing a dues system and will update with finalized plans. Any suggestions will be welcomed. Branches in need of more funding will have assets redirected to their local organization for radicalization and community building.
These are obviously not all of the concerns, nor especially detailed, but feel free to reach out to us personally to ask for clarification on any of these points, or any other concerns you might have and we’ll do our best to answer them and add anything that needs discussion to our notes. For those of you who filled out interest forms, but didn’t list your location, please do so so that we may start to map out what this might look like and who we need to work on connecting with each other in the future. We are currently in the process of writing the curriculums for the teaching programs that will be run, and we’ll update as we go along. Thank you so much again!
-The RDP planning group