The Organization for the Liberation of Oppressed Peoples (LOOP) is happy to publish the second edition of our collection of essays from the Maoist Internationalist Movement (MIM), an anti-imperialist Maoist organization that emerged from prisoner solidarity and anti-apartheid work in the 1980s, going on to operate for over twenty years in the belly of the beast. This second edition is significantly expanded, running almost three times the length of the first edition. Its publication also marks a few shifts in LOOP’s work.
But, first a brief word on MIM. MIM’s theoretical innovations were a significant contribution to the political economy of imperialism – and the development of a communist political practice based on that analysis. Against the settler stream of the American left, MIM’s politics were based on a commitment to the liberation of oppressed nations within and without the United States. MIM did not flinch from analyzing the white working class in the American settler colony as a settler working class – the working class of the oppressor nation – and its existence as a privileged labor aristocracy distinct from the proletariat and oppressed peoples of the world. Distinguishing themselves from virtually all Marxist organizations seeking a “decolonization” only on settler terms, MIM not only upheld the right of Native nations to self-determination, but also the right of the colonized to expel the colonizer from their homelands.
Despite its importance and insight, much of MIM’s body of work remains understudied. While LOOP does not agree with every jot or tittle in these essays, they remain – even decades later – a cut above the staid and delusory writings of the First Worldist left. As with our republication of essays from the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Movement, we are reprinting these essays primarily for our own use in education and organizing. But we do hope that others find them useful as well.
Onto those mentioned shifts: In late 2019 and early 2020, a number of anti-imperialist and Maoist organizations saw significant, debilitating setbacks. Some have dissolved. We are not here to offer an autopsy of these developments, as their work was separate from our work.
What is important is that certain tasks these organizations were doing now do not have anyone working on them. So we have become interested in picking up some of these tasks, some of which will make this website – a very minor part of our work so far – a bit more active. For example, one consequence of these changes has been that the production of revolutionary theory and political economy seems to have stalled out. We can help out with that, and toward that goal we have begun discussions toward starting up an original theoretical journal, with the first issue focusing on an analysis of settler colonialism, particular deformations in the class structure of settler colonial societies, and the consequences these have for organizing.
Similarly, there is no active media project with our political perspective (or one close to it) highlighting important political developments, be it current events, theory, or empirical research on imperialism. LOOP is not going to start up a newspaper or even a newsletter. Fight4LOOP will not become a current affairs or commentary website, but we will be making regular posts here collecting these kinds of materials and offering insight on them.
These developments have also shifted the goals of our republications. We have a number of these lined up, from a second edition of our RAIM pamphlet to collections focusing on Alexandra Kollontai, the Black Liberation Army, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Robert Williams – and others! There are a lot of things out there worth reading which aren’t read enough. It is useful to our own work to pull these writings from obscurity, put them together, and make them more accessible. We hope this also helps others with their political education and development. We have gotten better at doing these pamphlets and books over time, which also opens up new opportunities: some of these future publications will also be physical books, not just e-books.
And in light of that, we are exploring how to move forward with this MIM collection. Our course might be to commit to a long-term project: a “Collected Works” of sorts that puts together all the work from MIM that we think is useful, with a wider scope of themes and issues, and available in a physical edition. This is a big job that will move forward in stages, and we would like a few of our book projects (including some original ones) to reach fruition before this one. But we can say a third edition is in the cards.