New Communist Movement

New Communist Movement

New Communist Movement

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The New Communist Movement (NCM) was a Marxist-Leninist political movement of the 1970s and 1980s in the United States. The term refers to a specific trend in the U.S. New Left which sought inspiration in the experience of the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Chinese Revolution, and the Cuban Revolution, but wanted to do so independently of already-existing U.S. communist parties.


In the 1960s, student activists gathered into the Students for a Democratic Society. The SDS grew to over 100,000 members before splitting in 1969. One of these splits, Revolutionary Youth Movement II, quickly splintered into a large number of small Maoist groups. These groups collectively became known as the New Communist Movement.

Developments in the 1970s and 1980s

As one of its last initiatives, SDS had begun to leave its campus base and organize in working class neighborhoods. Some former members subsequently developed local organizations that continued the trend, and they attempted to find theoretical backing for their work in the writings of Lenin, Mao and Stalin. Maoism was then highly regarded as more actively revolutionary than the brand of communism supported by the post-Stalin Soviet Union (see New Left in the United States). As a result, most NCM organizations referred to their ideology as Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought.

Similar to the New Left's general direction in the late 1960s, these new organizations rejected the post-1956 Communist Party USA as revisionist, or...
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