The massive rise in leftist activism post-Trump has not benefited old-school communist groups much.
While the Democratic Socialists of America hosts major Trotskyist and anarchist factions, they have successfully served as gatekeepers keeping Marxist-Leninists and Maoists excluded and contained. Both Trots and “antifa” anarchists see “tankies” – defenders of the USSR and China – as no different than Fascists and Nazis.
Another interesting distinction between Maoists specifically and the rising DSA and anarchist scenes is that the former tend to have many racial minorities and urban poor in them, while the latter are uniformly white or Jewish and members of the cosmopolitan Professional Middle Class (PMC). “Democratic Socialists” may try and claim Huey Newton and Fred Hampton for themselves, but ultimately, the Black Panthers were dogmatic Maoists and would be shunned at a modern DSA event.
Protracted People’s War Against Revision
In Kansas City, a Maoist organization called Red Guard raided a DSA/Anarchist event titled “Antifascist Day of Unity” on October 12th. According to Open Source Intelligence obtained by National Justice regarding the clash, the Maoists condemned the DSA as a trendy liberal organization and began to chant slogans. Afterwards, they started to take propaganda the DSA and anarchist groups had laid out for the event.
At this point, a DSA host confronted the masked Red Guards and was beaten down as his “comrades” stood back and watched. He is currently in the hospital for a serious head injury.
It remains to be seen what will happen in the aftermath, or if Antifa will now begin attacking the Red Guards in retaliation. One anarchist on twitter, using the pseudonym @Makhno20, is claiming that the Maoists are part of a secret GLADIO conspiracy.
Now that nationalist groups have been essentially banned from participating in public demonstrations by the FBI, the shared enemy keeping the fragile alliance on the left together is nowhere to be found. The DSA’s project of trying to “unite the left” by hosting anarchist street gangs in the same movement as middle aged liberals is doomed to fail. The Tankies shut out in the cold, who see the socialist left’s ideological pivot towards becoming a tool of neo-liberalism as a way to control the opposition.