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Utah FRSO hosts Marxism-Leninism day school

By Nick Godfrey |
July 12, 2016
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Some of the participants in FRSO Marxist-Leninist day school in Utah
Some of the participants in FRSO Marxist-Leninist day school in Utah (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Salt Lake City, UT - Members of Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) presented the basics of Marxism-Leninism to a group of 30 community members, students, and local organizers on July 9. The presenters focused on the fundamentals of capitalism and socialism, the struggle of oppressed nationalities in the U.S. and abroad, and the need for a communist party of the multinational working class.

The first presentation gave an overview of Marxist-Leninist theory, starting with the emergence of capitalism and the exploitation inherent to it. The speaker, Sean Taylor of SDS at the University of Utah, highlighted the importance of the vanguard in building the revolutionary struggle in the U.S. and in combating U.S. imperialism abroad: “The vanguard has the duty of going among the people. Socialism cannot be instituted from above.”

Theresa Nielson, a member of FRSO and lead organizer of SDS, followed with a presentation on the struggle of oppressed nationalities - the Chicano people of the Southwest - Aztlán and African Americans in the Black Belt of the U.S. - as well as the ongoing fights in the Philippines and Palestine. Nielson gave warnings against white chauvinism and narrow nationalism in the revolutionary movement, and called for all instances of chauvinism to be fought “from the shop floor to organizing spaces.” Her presentation finished with the conclusion that in the final analysis national liberation cannot be achieved without socialism, as exploitation and oppression are inherent to the capitalist system.

Ian Decker, also with FRSO, finished the school with “The Strategy for Revolution,” in which he discussed the practical methods of building a communist party under late capitalism. He specifically outlined the need for a strategic alliance of the multinational working class and the oppressed nationalities. Decker also reiterated the danger of white chauvinism and necessity of fighting against it: “The working class as a whole has common interests. It’s not just principle, it’s practical. We need to stand against white chauvinism. ”

Questions were fielded after each presentation, which sparked discussions on unions, local organizing, and the future of the socialist movement in the U.S. Afterwards, the presenters and the majority of the attendees joined the protest against police brutality being held in solidarity with Philando Castile and Anton Sterling.