EROL Note: Joe Burton was an FBI informant who created the Red Star Cadre (Marxist-Leninist) as part of a government effort to infiltrate and disrupt the anti-revisionist movement.
North America News Service: Daily Release has received for publication the following News Release of the Red Star Cadre (Marxist-Leninist), Tampa, Florida, May 27, 1973. The News Release is a speech delivered by Comrade Joe Burton on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Red Star Cadre (Marxist-Leninist).
Comrades, we are honored to be one of the sponsors of the upcoming Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists, to be held August 18 through September 2, 1973, in Chicago, Illinois. We consider it a great privilege and a serious responsibility to also be seated on the Preparatory Committee of the Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists. We have actively and with great enthusiasm, democratically participated and voted on all occasions when the Preparatory Committee has met, as you have heard on the most recent occasion from our report to the Red Star Central Committee.
We are most grateful to the Communist Parry of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) and to its leader, Comrade Hardial Bains, for the assistance they have given us. We consider the party building task our most primary objective. Without a Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), guided by Mao Tsetung Thought, in the United States of America, the revolutionary drive of the working class cannot move forward. Only with a Communist Party, united on correct political line of Marxist-Leninist Mao Tsetung Thought will the highest aspirations of the proletariat be established. This is our goal. This is our task. This is what is to be done! This is the challenge to which our answer is. . . We Can, We Will!
And how do we find ourselves today? Facing the storm of fascism, the raging torrents of revisionism, the ever present gluttony of imperialism, and the exploitation of the masses by monopoly capitalism and the exploitation of our friends over much of the world, by either social or capital imperialism. We find ourselves a little wiser, a little more mature, a little more experienced, and vastly more dedicated. And how has this come about?
This has come about as a result of our bruises, our scars, our infectious feet, acquired from walking into the marsh with those we trusted, those whom we believed (because they called themselves communist) would not mislead us! This has all come about as a direct result of our honestly striving to put info practice political line that we most enthusiastically wanted to believe was correct, based on the words and quotes of our friends. And how have we determined the correctness of line? By taking it out to the masses. And Comrades, in all honesty, the masses have rejected much of it. Comrades, we have made gross errors, we have walked deeply into the marsh. . . while thinking we were on the revolutionary path. And who shall we blame for all of these costly and time consuming mistakes? Shall we blame those who authored this counter-revolutionary action, or inaction as the case has often been? No Comrades, we will not let ourselves off this easily. Yet the day will come when they will be held responsible before the people for all the pseudo Marxist-Leninist direction. But today we will put the blame squarely where it belongs, on the shoulders of the leadership of the Red Star Cadre (Marxist-Leninist), squarely where it belongs on the shoulders of the State Secretary, myself, and others who did not protect the organization, to the point of near annihilation! Squarely on the shoulders of we who caused all of us to call friends enemies and enemies friends on the word of others! Of those who would manipulate us to their own advantage, we advocated trust. This was erroneous and irresponsible on our part, as was to lay down the Red Book on which Red Star Cadre (Marxist-Leninist) was founded, and to attack our Afro-American friends’ struggles as though they were counter-revolutionary. To sum it up, Comrades, we shall bring the blame home where it belongs, to those of us who are still here! To those of us whose revolutionary action came in the final analysis and summing it up to he this (Don’t unite, Don’t fight, just stay up and read books all night!). This summation may sound silly and juvenile, but it clearly puts us in perspective! And how shall we correct these mistakes, how shall we rid ourselves of this infection of the marsh?
We shall study, oh yes, Comrades, we shall still study, but we will apply our studies to the concrete conditions that exist here, and we shall enthusiastically read Mao Tsetung Thought with particular problems in mind––! Then put into practice what we have learned. We shall, with the revolutionary spirit that the Red Star Cadre (Marxist-Leninist) was founded on, expose the capitalist to the masses. And how is this to be done? By wide dissemination of Mao Tsetung Thought applied to the situation!
As you know, we were in the past deeply involved in the exposing, repudiating and fighting the capitalist exploitation of the masses and especially the exploitation by capitalists of the low income proletariat, as regards to housing here in Tampa. We shall once again take up this fight, statewide, guided by the revolutionary spirit of Chairman Mao Tsetung. We shall carry on the wide dissemination of Mao Tsetung Thought, we shall adopt the slogan INTERNALLY as well as EXTERNALLY, (No investigation, no right to speak). This will end our past problem of too much informal talk and feeling that we must answer every abstract supposition presented to us! We shall also build the strength of our resistance movement so as to guarantee our democratic right to enthusiastically disseminate Mao Tsetung Thought amongst the masses. We shall once again endeavor to disseminate Mao Tsetung Thought statewide, to be untiring in our efforts to put out the call to any and all honest Marxist-Leninist to join the fighting forces of peoples revolution and the Red Star Cadre (Marxist-Leninist), to unite with any and all on correct political line based on Mao Tsetung Thought, who are willing to put into action the dissemination of Mao Tsetung Thought and aid in the fight against this fascist state, temporarily controlled by capital, so as to end its exploitation of the masses and cause it to cease and desist from its glutonous imperialistic adventures of exploitation, death and destruction abroad.
Comrades, we are aware that to many we have been the freak of the South, as far as well organized groups go, we know we have been called names, and accused because of our backwardness, but not once, Comrades, has any one individual or organization attacked our revolutionary spirit. We realize that we have made gross errors and we have now set ourselves on the path reputing these incorrect views, correcting our mistakes. We are aware that when our group was but an infant, some said, “Look it can barely crawl,” or “it doesn’t even know how to read”, or “They can’t quote much Lenin”, or worst of all, “Let’s see how we can use this backward group of rubes from Florida.” Well Comrades, thanks to our faith in the masses and our only way of proving correct line is by tailing it to the masses, those who would have used us, found us not to be quite as manipulative as they would have liked and they failed!
But let us not get caught up in boasting, there is a long struggle ahead though we still admit to the kernel of truth that we are backward, let us enthusiastically strive to remedy this situation in the future by studying the works of Marx, Lenin, Stalin and the great Chairman Mao Tsetung. We are no longer infants, we have to shoulder our responsibilities and carry forth the tasks set before us. We must march straight forward with great strength and dedication and take our rightful place in the fight to overthrow Capitalism and smash imperialism.
And lest we should ever forget our experiences of the past year – remember our slogan for the second year – “Depend on; trust in the masses!” The politics of the capitalist is based on cliques! The correct politics of the Proletariat is their absolute faith in the masses.
Long live Chairman Mao Tsetung – who has taught us to serve the people!
Published: North America News Service: Daily Release, June 4, 1973.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba