A critical assessment of the state of RAIM, along with an assessment of conditions in the imperialist countries and of the communist movement there, has led RAIM to adjust its structure and clarify its aims.
What is RAIM?
The Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement (RAIM) is a collective of revolutionary communists based primarily in the imperialist countries of north amerika and western europe.
We aim to build support for a broad front against imperialism, while simultaneously confronting opportunism and chauvinism in the First World left. We recognize that our location within the “belly of the beast” has presented us with a unique set of conditions, around and against which our practice must be constructed. Confronted by a complacent working class, served by an opportunist left, and alienated from the proletariat through the reception of surplus value drained from the Third World, we must understand the ideological and strategic implications of struggle from within the parasitic core. It benefits neither the left in the oppressor or the oppressed nations to pretend that the condition of the working class around the world is the same.
If the condition of the workers in the oppressor and oppressed nations is not the same, it stands to reason that the practice of the left in the oppressed and oppressor nations cannot be the same. In view of this, we strive to create a community of interests with the revolutionaries and the Third World rather than First World imperialism; support the struggles for national liberation among the internal colonies rather than the chauvinist movements of the colonial labor aristocracy; push forward a program of Decolonization, Global People’s War and of the Joint Dictatorship of the Proletariats of Oppressed Nations, against the idea that the stolen wealth of the overdeveloped countries is to be used to enrich the lives of their citizens alone; and towards the internationalization of the wealth and means of production captured by the oppressor nations. To be a Third Worldist, in our view, is to be a principled internationalist.
On cell structure
We want to take the recently increased interest in RAIM and in Third Worldism and translate it into practice. The way in which we organize must however be based on a concrete assessment of conditions. We have decided that the best way forward for RAIM presently is to grow the organization “at the nodes”. Thus, we have decided to implement cell-based organizing.
Practically, RAIM exists as a collection of cells. These cells can be divided into two categories: media-based cells and on-the-ground cells. Media cells are, as the name implies, primarily involved in media projects. On-the-ground cells are involved in building public opinion in support of Third Worldism through practical work and agitation, working toward building independent institutions of the oppressed which challenge the material and cultural hegemony of the bourgeoisie, and building coalitions with other like- minded groups and individuals with worked-out line differences.
RAIM cells are somewhat independent and are responsible for making decisions for themselves without needing to wait for orders from a central command. All RAIM cells are, however, united around RAIM’s cardinal principles.
Additionally, a central RAIM cell exists which manages the RAIM website and RAIM’s theoretical journal, Seize the Time. These resources serve both to publicize our politics and as a point of reference for local cells. Though the central RAIM cell does not have command over other cells in a strict sense, the central RAIM cell is responsible for keeping in contact with local cells, providing feedback and helping local revolutionaries improve their skills, and concentrating the experiences of local organizers into coherent theory.
Why not a more traditional structure?
Historically, revolutionary Marxist organizations have implemented a more centralized structure. Party members gathered periodically at congresses where decisions were made democratically. Once these decisions were made, they were binding on everyone in the organization. Additionally, a central committee was elected to lead the party between congresses. The decisions of this central committee were binding on all lower organizational bodies. This structure was called democratic centralism.
We think democratic centralism is still a good way to structure a revolutionary organization that is based in a single nation and has a wide base of support. RAIM is, however, an international collective whose members are relatively few and spread out at this time. To implement democratic centralism at the level of the whole collective would be cumbersome and stifling. It would also likely result in cadres being forced to make decisions regarding conditions they do not have sufficient knowledge about.
Instead, while RAIM cells are united around a common set of principles, they have the freedom to make decisions for themselves, to do things differently than other cells, etc. We feel that the ones most qualified to make most practical decisions at this time are those organizing on the local level. Using the general principles RAIM lays out as a guide, it is the responsibility of local cells to assess their own conditions and to determine how best to implement our principles in practice. And, each cell has the freedom to implement democratic centralism in their locales if they so desire.
Through our various on-the-ground and media cells, RAIM provides a number of ways for people to get involved. We strongly encourage those who find agreement with our cardinal principles and are looking to do something to get in touch with us.