Immediate Action

The murder of the children in Atlanta and the other extreme acts of tyranny against Afro-Americans demand a stern and immediate rebuff. The Afro-American people and workers of Atlanta are compelled to organize armed self-defense to repel the klansmen and other fascist thugs. It is the immediate duty of Marxist-Leninists, militant workers and progressive people to build self-defense groups made up of Black and white workers. No amount of delay or procrastination can be tolerated if this work is to be successful. All the advice of the meek reformers that the oppressed must "turn the other cheek" and pray for their persecutors must be ignored. These people are enemy agents (conscious or unconscious). Their line of debating the klan and of "respecting the rights" of fascist murderers is only aiding the enemy. It leaves the workers and Afro-Americans disarmed in the face of the heavily armed lynchers.

So long as capitalism exists, mass, collective self-defense is the most effective means to combat the klan thugs who are working on orders from the authorities. At the same time, mass demonstrations and political strikes are essential, especially those which militantly confront the government. We must demand that the government try the klansmen responsible for these crimes and disband the klan and the other fascist groups. To wring these immediate demands from the capitalists, the mass movement has to keep its revolutionary banner in the forefront of the struggle. Only a powerful revolutionary movement can possibly force the capitalists to rein in their bloodthirsty klan killers by even a small amount.

This is all that can be done in the short run. But what can be done to eliminate forever white chauvinism, racism and the klan pogroms against the Afro-Americans? Only revolution can accomplish this.

National oppression cannot be done away with through reforms because the wealthy reactionary classes and their lackeys remain in power despite reforms. The rich whites depend on national oppression to stay on top and therefore will not and cannot give genuine freedom to the Afro-American Nation.

Marxist Leninist Program on the National Question in the U.S.

The Afro-American Nation can only gain its liberation if the U.S. imperialist state in the Black Belt is destroyed and a new revolutionary state power is set up. Then, certain basic revolutionary demands arising from the concrete situation will have to be realized.

1. The property of the white landlords and big capitalists in the Black Belt must be taken (seized without compensation) and placed in the hands of the revolutionary state to be used for the benefit of the working people.

2. The present administrative boundaries (state, county etc.) dividing the Black Belt region must be dissolved and the Afro-American national territory comprising the old plantation region and the border areas must be combined into one governmental entity.

3. All state authority in the Black Belt must pass into the hands of the masses of Afro-American people. This means that the Afro-American majority would exercise governmental authority in the entire area of the Black Belt. All questions of state authority (judicial, administration, legislation, taxes, education, police power etc.) must now be determined by the Afro-Americans. They must now be free to secede from the United States if they so choose and form an independent republic. A considerable white laboring minority will remain in the Black Belt and their equal rights will be protected by law. But the revolutionary and democratic changes will require the suppression of the former white rulers and their lackeys.

4. All U.S. imperialist troops and police forces must be withdrawn from the territory of the Black Belt.

These revolutionary changes can be brought about in two ways: as a direct product of a national democratic revolution of the Afro-American people of the Black Belt that then passes over to a socialist revolution; or as a by-product of a victorious socialist revolution throughout the U.S. which recognizes the right to self-determination for the Afro-American Nation.

Given the raging and growing national oppression of the Afro-Americans of the Black Belt, given the deep wedge that has severed the workers of this area, given history and current sentiments of the Afro-American masses to wage a mass struggle for their national freedom and given the presence of semi-slave, semi-fascist elements in the economic and political system of the area that greatly retard the immediate preparation of the socialist revolution, it is most likely that the proletarian revolution in the Black Belt will be preceded by a national democratic insurrection by the Afro-Americans and their allies. A genuine Marxist-Leninist party of the U.S. workers will seek to lead this revolution; such a party is the only force that is capable of keeping it free of compromise and on the path of victory. Once completed, this revolution will quickly grow over into a proletarian socialist revolution.

Socialist Revolution and the Right of the Afro-American Nation to Self Determination

Ultimately national equality and freedom for the Afro-American Nation is bound up with the socialist revolution. This means an all-out attack on capitalism, the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the establishment of the dictatorship of the working class in the U.S. By suppressing the rich parasites and drawing the overwhelming mass of exploited people into state administration through workers' councils, the workers' dictatorship will establish the most democratic state system this country has ever known. This new political system will ensure the oppressed nations (Afro-American, Dineh, Puerto Rico, Chicano, etc.) the right to political independence. All troops and state forces of the former oppressor nation will be withdrawn from the territories of the oppressed nations and peoples, and the new socialist state will not interfere in any way with the decision of the formerly oppressed nations to either remain a part of the emerging socialist state or to secede and form their own state power. The people in these areas will decide this question through a democratic referendum. Should they choose to remain a part of a common government system, the political party of the workers would propose the formation of a federative system.

Children playing in the Atlanta shopping center where Lubie Geter was kidnapped. Afro-American children will only be free from racist terror once the system of national oppression has been abolished by means of revolution.

Federation of Socialist Republics

Experience has shown that a federation of independent socialist republics for each nation is the best form of transition to a socialist centralized state. The territories of each of the republics within such a socialist federation will correspond to the territories of the current nations within the U.S. (Anglo-American, Afro-American, Chicano, Dineh, etc.) The boundaries of each of these republics will be drawn up by the local populations, and will contain a majority of the base nationality. Each republic will, of course, contain national minorities, as these regions do today. But in each republic people of all nationalities will enjoy equal rights. Each national republic will populate the state apparatus with its people (especially the courts, militia, schools, etc.). Each republic will conduct all state affairs in the language of the local nationality. And to ensure that the union of federative socialist states remains voluntary, each national state will retain the right to secede at any time.

An All-Union central authority will be granted jurisdiction over trade, military defense, foreign affairs, post, transport etc. Self-government, national, economic and cultural development will remain the purview of the contracting republics.

At the same time, this new state system will provide wide local autonomy for the national minorities now chained up in the ghettos of the big cities. Autonomous regions of distinct national composition would be formed where national minorities are now concentrated (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit etc.). The national minorities (Afro-American, Puerto Rican, Chicano, Native, etc.) will enjoy autonomy in administering all the local organs of state power (schools, militia, bureaucracy, etc.).

This two-fold program is necessary in order to bring about a conscious and principled unity between the workers of different nations inhabiting the U.S. in their fight to capture state power and hold it. This is the form that was developed and implemented by Stalin in solving the national question in the Soviet Union. So long as Stalin was in the lead, these measures brought national freedom and peace to the many oppressed peoples of the former Russian empire. These tested and correct methods are the way to freedom for the oppressed nations of the U.S. today.

The new socialist society will provide the foundation for building new social relations. White supremacy, racism and national chauvinism in all forms will be vigorously combated with the full strength of the workers' state. The advocacy or practice of racism and national privilege will be a crime with severe penalties. All of the cultural resources of the workers' state (the press, schools, theater, television and movie studios, etc.) as well as the workers' mass organizations (trade unions, youth and women's organizations, etc.) will be mobilized to build the unity of all nationalities, develop the culture of the formerly oppressed natio.ns and provide the means for their unfettered growth.

National oppression can only be done away with after the power of U.S. imperialism in the Black Belt South is overthrown.

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