On with the struggle!
For the rise of the people!

For a true Democracy, Freedom and Justice, National Independence, and the creative Reconstruction of our countries!

1-     The Arab World needs a new stage of revolution, based on upholding and really thoroughly learning from the past achievements and on that basis analyzing shortcomings and mistakes, and carrying things forward in new ways, to new peaks.

2-   The Arab World needs a unique political and intellectual critique when reviewing the past experiences of the Arab National Liberation movement including its successes and failures.

3-   We need in Lebanon and the Arab World to present the youth with new hope. This youth has always been the heart of every true “leftist” activity.

4-   We live in an age where much is changing fast and in surprising ways. We want to contribute in such a way that the great upheavals go in the right direction: that they lead to equality, emancipation of humankind and the conservation of nature’s resources for humanity, so that our descendants can experience a society without suffering and poverty.

5-    In the last century, the rivalry of the imperialist nations and their urge to expand their areas of interest led to the two world wars. In the long run, the potential danger of new large wars between imperialistic superpowers is a continual threat to people all over the world.

6-   Since the Second World War, the rivalry between the major powers has usually taken the form of proxy wars in and against less developed countries; either to remain in control of them or to expand the attacking country’s area of influence. This has damaged several societies and caused incredible suffering for their population.

7-    The inter-imperialist contradictions move into the foreground again because of the uneven economic development and different impact of the world economic and financial crisis: the contradictions within the EU on sharing the burdens of the economic and financial crisis, also the contradictions between the EU and the USA on the one hand and between the EU and the USA versus Russia and China on the other hand.

8-   A struggle for Freedom, Justice, and Democracy progressing from country to country developed as one of the most striking phenomena of our time. The history of the Arab mass movements teaches us that in military Arab dictatorships and in Arab countries with very limited democratic rights and liberties, the struggle for Freedom, Justice, and Democracy is a necessary preliminary stage of the revolutionary struggle for the toppling of imperialism and the construction of a new democratic socialist society.

9-   Although the main tendency in the world is the struggle for freedom, justice, and democracy, the continuing and intensifying world economic and financial crisis aggravates the general danger of war. Presently the escalation between the USA and Iran is in the focus. The struggle for the defense of world peace has become an immediate task of the international revolutionary movement.

10-                        The nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, Japan, in March 2011 plunged the imperialist energy policy into an open crisis. A worldwide anti-nuclear movement came into existence and was stimulated. Internationally the awareness of the danger of an environmental catastrophe has been strengthened and struggles against the destruction of the foundations of human life are developing. To stop the global environmental catastrophe a force has to be developed which is superior to the dictatorship of finance capital. The present environmental movement does not yet represent this. Today we need an international front of resistance and an upheaval of the whole societal relations of production and conditions of life which lastingly opposes the imperialist profit system. Such a gigantic task necessarily is society-changing. Therefore, the struggle against the imminent environmental catastrophe must also become a struggle against imperialism and for asserting socialist relations.

11- The emergence of a global mass movement for freedom, justice, and democracy is a qualitative leap in the development of class consciousness… The revolutionaries of the world are challenged to contribute to raising class consciousness to a higher level. That requires an international process of coordination and revolutionization of the mass movements. We are looking for close cooperation with all revolutionary forces on the basis of equal rights. We call on all class-conscious workers, the oppressed peoples, the militant women, the rebellious youth and the broad masses to make the building and the strengthening of a New Arab Revolutionary Movement their very cause through material and practical support and to strengthen organization building.

12-                       We support people and nations that fight against occupation and oppression, and we recognize the right to self-determination for nations. At the same time we reject violence against civilians, the curtailment of democratic rights and suppression, no matter where it happens in the world or by whom.

13-                       The New Arab Revolutionary Movement and the New Arab Democratic Front should be in fact inheriting and continuing previous democratic, national and revolutionary experiences that have characterized Arab groups of leftists (especially Marxists-Leninists-Maoists) activists who have been opposed to party stereotypes (that are called Stalinists while in fact these are Trotskyites par excellence) and to canned ideological frames (which some secular leftists share with Nationalist Fascists and neo-Islamists Salafists).

14-                       Over the past two decades many groups of leftist activists have launched several initiatives and have organized themselves in more than one style, the most famous of them in Lebanon (even though not the only one) were the Democratic Forum in 2001, and the Democratic Left Movement in 2005.

15-                        Over the past two decades many transparent and audacious self-criticisms were made in Lebanon, among them we cite especially that of the Organization of Communist Action in 1992, and the brave experience of the democratic opposition inside the Lebanese Communist (Revisionist) Party (1992-2005), and that of the Permanent Congress for Lebanese Dialogue (1992-2005), and finally the personal experiences of a number of leftist intellectuals in the fields of journalistic and cultural writing and activism, and their contribution in defending social Arab mass movements, civil society experiences , New Democracy ideas and theories, Freedom and Justice struggles, human rights issues, and above all: the Palestinian cause.

16-                       We have to include here another branch, which is also democratic and  leftist, embodied in the development of the rational and enlightened Islamic line in expressing itself within the framework of Arabic, International, as well as Lebanese internal Dialogue and post civil war reconciliation and reconstruction movement.

17-                        These branches came to represent a unique case in the past two decades as they were characterized by a kind of solid revolutionary enthusiasm against campaigns aimed to bring back the civil war, and against Arab leftist and Marxist impotence, as well as against ultra-Islamic and ultra-Nationalistic movements, and all aspects of corruption and tyranny.

18-                       All this was not to be realized easily, it required awareness, maturity, commitment and cooperation but first and most essentially a vision and a dream. This puts on us today the revolutionary urgent task of launching a new movement and to call for its backing and improving its theoretical tools and organizational structures so that it becomes capable of touching the thoughts and initiatives of all youth, leftist and democratic moves that are likely to expand and develop in the next upcoming future, in regards of the Arab revolutionary Spring.

19-                       The Arab Marxists-Leninists-Maoists groups didn’t undertake any self-criticism of their last 45-50 years of struggle and organization; they were over-passed by new Islamic Resistance Movements, and they didn’t have any word to say in any political development in their countries…They are now at the back of the stage, some new so-called Maoist tiny sects are making fuss on some face book pages or blog spots. Unfortunately they have not learned anything from the past experiences or the present situation.

20-                     This is why we need to study the experience of the New Left in the seventies, especially the Maoist movement, and the experience of the New Islamic Movement in the last 2 decades, as well as the international revolutionary experiences.

Here are some guiding points and remarks:

1. Avoiding the logic of ideological classifications or the bragging about belonging to the ‘nationalist’ rank and other forms of ideological blindness and political short-sightedness, the New Revolutionary Movement and the New Democratic Front have to take a daring step here in view of the nature of enthusiastic youth who are constantly looking for slogans and leftist revolutionary principles that serve more their personal aspirations than the actual needs of the country.  Having made this observation, I expect that the new movement will suffer from schisms (even if small or marginal) as it advances in practicing this revolutionary responsibility in formulating a national political democratic thought that is rational, open-minded and diversified and adopting a proper organizational structure for this attempt.

2. The revolutionary ability to try and capture reality as it is and to describe it without deforming it or expressing nostalgia about the past or belittling the achievements made possible by the sacrifices of average people in Lebanon and the Arab world. Putting the slogan “Serve the people” first – something that old leftist movements failed to recognize- should be a major commitment. Accordingly, the movement has to tackle the sensitive issue of Lebanese confessionalism by realizing that abandoning sectarianism and tribalism and adopting institutions and the rule of law is achieved first by coexistence and second by sorting out differences through dialogue and third by civilized settlements and by adopting a culture of openness and mediation and moderation as well as democratic values (justice, human rights) and achieving harmony between state and religion and between justice and freedom and between individual rights and groups’ rights and between Lebanon’s independence as an entity and its Arab belonging.

3. The serious attempt at looking for common factors that permit the formulation of a dynamic program, allowing everybody to put history behind them once and for all and build for a true national reconciliation based on healthy democratic development. This constitutes a departure from previous ultra-leftist (Trotskyites and pseudo-Maoists) movements with their decisive and radical standpoints where settlements and reconciliations used to signal concessions that bring its people to the ‘right’ of the political spectrum.

4. A simple, honest and clear discourse that is not too pretentious yet one that does not avoid raising realistic questions, all in a transparent and modest language that does not take people for granted. Rather, it acknowledges their rights and roles and aims at involving them in seeking answers and solutions. In raising the issue of liberties, sovereignty and independence and principles of Arab cooperation and the proper Lebanese-Palestinian and Lebanese-Syrian partnership, the New Democratic Front has to find good response from Arab leftists who value justice. It is the historical return to the real meaning of Revolutionary Leftism and Arabism in forging a real Arab Democratic path towards liberation and change.

5. Bringing back what’s good and valuable in the local and international leftist traditions especially in striving for the best and the most just, in line with local Islamic, Christian, and Universal Humanitarian values; and the abandonment of single party mentality and inherited leadership similar to Russian or Arabic Baath despotic traditions.

6. To launch a new form of intellectual dynamism through debate, interaction, honesty and accountability in order to formulate a clear, humane, just, and open democratic leftist discourse that tackles vital issues of nation, society, identity, sovereignty, freedom, democracy, and equality. The movement should incorporate all these issues within the framework of the national democratic struggle for a new Lebanon and a new Arab world and a better world.

7. The mass line is the basic political/organization method. Although the term mass line was coined by the Communist Party of China, the basic method of reliance on, and the mobilization of, the masses of people has been utilized by all successful revolutionary parties. As a topic, discussion of the mass line encompasses aspects of many things, including philosophy (the relationship between theory and practice, between knowing and doing), Marxist-Leninist-Maoist strategy and tactics (united front work, correct methods of leadership), and organizational theory (the construction of revolutionary organization).

8. Our starting point is this: “the people and the people alone are the motive force in making world history.” (Mao Zedong) Not only is this historically true, but for us it hits on the basic issue of on whom do we rely and how to get stuff done. Perhaps it is self-evident that without people, very little can be accomplished, but this has been the subject of more than a little debate among revolutionaries in the past.

9. People’s thinking is largely determined by the sum total of social relations that they enter into, or find themselves in. Conditions, in the main, determine consciousness. However under the right conditions, consciousness can impact in a big way on conditions – this is an important point. People learn through experience, through practice. Practice is the source of all knowledge.

10. Correct theory is when our ideas about how things work accurately reflect reality and its inner motion. How can we be sure if our ‘correct’ theory is correct? We put it into practice and check the results. By doing this we not only find out if the theory corresponds to reality, but we often can learn something new and further enrich the theory.

11. In our society there are many contradictions. We have some experiences and have read a few books so we have an awareness of them. People learn through struggle. For revolutionaries the fundamental way that people need to learn (and this includes us too) about society and how it works is through the fight to change it. Like Mao said, if you want to know what a pear tastes like, you have to change it by eating it.

12. Start from where people are at. Since building the struggle is at the core of our agenda, we can then proceed to outline some key principles and methods of work. The first is that our starting point needs to be the felt needs and wants of the masses of people. Good intentions will not do in this case. They might bring us to the demonstration, but we are likely to be lonely there. So to build struggle, we had better have a handle on what these felt needs are and what people are likely to do in order to achieve them. We need to start from where people are at.

13. From the masses, to the masses. “In all the practical work of our Party, all correct leadership is necessarily ‘from the masses, to the masses.’ This means: take the ideas of the masses (scattered and unsystematic ideas) and concentrate them (through study turn them into concentrated and systematic ideas), then go to the masses and propagate and explain these ideas until the masses embrace them as their own, hold fast to them and translate them into action, and test the correctness of these ideas in action.” (Mao Zedong)

To put this in another way, we use Revolutionary Theory to sum up where people are at. Basing ourselves on what people are concerned about, on what folks actually want, we develop slogans, policies, plans, ways to fight back, that people will take up as their own. It is in this way that revolutionary theory becomes a material force, i.e. when people are acting on it; it moves out of the land of ideas and becomes a material factor in the class struggle. And this is the only way to test whether the theory, analyses, plans, etc. are correct – while creating the basis to deepen the theory.

14. Unite all who can be united to fight the enemy. Leaving aside the strategic question of the united front, in any given struggle we want to unite all who can be united to fight the enemy. Frequently there are other organized forces in the field. Some of these forces are good and honest. Some are led by people who are confused or not entirely stable. And others are lead by straight-up opportunists. Clearly, it should not be that hard to unite with those that are honest and good. And while it can be challenging and at times painful to deal with the confused and vacillating, bringing these forces into a united front should not be that mind bending either. However, opportunists and wreckers require special treatment.

15. By applying the mass line in united front work we can undermine and isolate these elements. The keys are to have a firm line or program that corresponds to the felt needs of the people, an analysis which draws a sharp line of demarcation between the opportunists and the masses (i.e. draw a line between the misled and the misleaders) and policies and plans which are sharpening the contradictions in the opportunist camp. Sometimes this process can be quite simple. In the welfare work we say that no progressive organization should support legislation that is fundamentally harmful. Honest people, people who want to fight, agree with this. Dishonest people, opportunists, on the other hand are trying to tinker with the legislation to get a piece of the pie and can be isolated.

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