- 1 Early radicalism
- 2 Origins of Line of March
- 3 NNMLC Leadership
- 4 Line of March/CrossRoads
- 5 Line of March leader
- 6 LOM Gay and Lesbian Conference
- 7 Frontline
- 8 Institute for Social and Economic Studies/CrossRoads
- 9 Committees of Correspondence
- 10 Opposing the "War on Terror"
- 11 Socialist Scholars Conference
- 12 Center for Political Education
- 13 War Times
- 14 Sacramento Marxist School
- 15 YDS convention
- 16 Beyond Chicanismo
- 17 "Strategies For Revolutionary Change"
- 18 "Revolution in the Air"
- 19 Vietnam
- 20 Iraq War "teach-in"
- 21 Study & Struggle
- 22 War Times Staff
- 23 Ad-Hoc Left Committee
- 24 "Third Reconstruction?"
- 25 "Towards Collective Liberation" editorial crew
- 26 Catalyst advisory board
- 27 Ear to the Ground Project
- 28 Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward
- 29 Community defense in the time of Trump
- 30 War Times crew
- 31 OU Editoral Collective
- 32 China re-alignment
- 33 References
Max Elbaum a former memberof Students for a Democratic Society, was active in the new communist movement in the 1970s and 1980s and was the managing editor of CrossRoads magazine in the 1990s. He is the author of Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao, and Che (2002).
His partner is Ellen Kaiser.
Max Elabaum became radicalized in the mid 1960sand was active in Madison and Milwaukee Wisconsin, before moving to San Francisco.
- By 1965-66 when was 18-19, I considered myself some kind of radical, in 1967 I went to my first meeting of Students for a Democratic Society, in spring 1968, shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King, I decided that working for revolution would be my life's central thread.
- From then through the mid-1970s, in Madison and Milwaukee Wisconsin and then San Francisco, I was involved in antiwar organizing, a hospital worker unionization campaign, radical educational work, all within the general milieu of activists who were inspired mainly by that era's "two, three, many Vietnams."
According to Elbaum;
- Thousands from my generation were drawn to the versions of Leninism then espoused by the Communist Parties in China, Cuba, Vietnam and other Third World countries because they foregrounded the struggles that were animating our passion for revolutionary change. They put opposition to racism and imperialist war at the center of analysis. They riveted attention on the intersection of economic exploitation and racial oppression, pointing us toward building a base in the most disadvantaged sections of the working class. They promised a break with Eurocentric models of social change and offered a framework for building a multiracial movement and breaking down segregation within the left.
- Leninism seemed to offer a mechanism to build grassroots-based, participatory organizations, with accountable leadership and able to resist state repression and infiltration. In the 60s many of us had become frustrated with chaotic organizations which ended up being led by media-selected or self-appointed individuals, mostly from privileged backgrounds, not accountable to the rank and file and not able to deal with sophisticated police infiltration. And Leninism inspired us to study history and political economy, to push ourselves to take broad responsibility for all dimensions of the class struggle, to set our sights on influencing millions and not be satisfied with self-marginalization in a small corner of the society.
Origins of Line of March
Leading the initial effort to found the rectification network in December 1976 were Union of Democratic Filipinos leaders Bruce Occena and Melinda Paras and Max Elbaum, then a leader of the Northern California Alliance. Soon thereafter, Third World Women’s Alliance leader (TWWA) Linda Burnham joined the group. Believing that the organizational side of party building needed to be conducted mainly in secret, the network was initially clandestine and had no formal name, its members and supporters becoming known loosely as “rectificationists.”
In 1978, rectification leaders built close ties with two members of the Guardian staff – Executive Editor Irwin Silber and former Third World Women’s Alliance leader Fran Beal who were subsequently recruited into the rectification network. At their urging, other network members joined the just-being-formed Guardian Clubs. And Silber – who had authored many of the Guardian’s ideological polemics – began to propound key elements of the rectification perspective in his Guardian columns and in debates in the Club Network.
By late 1978 differences over the Clubs’ direction and the party-building line of the Guardian led to a split, with the Guardian Club membership – supported by Silber and Beal – breaking away to form the National Network of Marxist-Leninist Clubs (NNMLC) in March 1979. This new group enabled the rectificationists to go public and publish the first comprehensive statements of the rectification line. But as Max Elbaum notes, the NNMLC’s “public attacks on the Guardian were extremely harsh, as were its broad-stroke criticisms of the OCIC. This did not auger well for the Rectificationists’ capacity to establish friendly relations with communists who held differing views.”.
Line of March/CrossRoads
In 1976 Elbaum was a founder of a one of the "second wave" new communist groups, the Line of March - (referred to by rivals as "March in Line").
The Line of March theoretical journal was simply named - Line of March:A journal of Marxist-Leninist Theory and Politics. It was published by the Institute for Social and Economic Studies, PO Box 2809, Oakland California.
Line of March disbanded in 1989 after a collective, two-year self-critique of vanguardism and ultra-leftism.
Line of March's remaining resources were used to help start CrossRoads, a magazine of left dialogue. Elbaum was managing editor of CrossRoads from 1990 until 1995, when he resigned to start working on his book Revolution in the Air.
The magazine folded around 1996.
Line of March leader
LOM Gay and Lesbian Conference
The invitation list for a mid '80s Line of March gay and lesbian conference included these names;
- Max Elbaum - Oakland.
Institute for Social and Economic Studies/CrossRoads
In the mid 1990s Elbaum servedon the Board of Directors of Oakland based Institute for Social and Economic Studies- sponsor of CrossRoads... which sought to promote dialogue and building new alliances among progressives and leftists... and to bring diverse Marxist and socialist traditions to bear while exploring new strategies and directions for the progressive political movements.
Committees of Correspondence
In 1992, Max Elbaum endorsed the Committees of Correspondence national conference Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s held at Berkeley California July 17-19.
Elbaum joined the Committees of Correspondence and was still active at the organization's formal founding in chicago in 1994.
- The Founding Convention of the Committees of Correspondence successfully concluded a two-year process of constructing a new socialist organisation. It also signalled the end of a longer period during which organisational upheavals and “left regroupment” initiatives were a central dynamic in the U.S. socialist movement.
- The last decade's roller coaster ride has reshaped the left around the world. One of the most welcome changes is the willingness of once-warring camps to rethink traditional formulas and engage in dialogue.
- Discussion aimed at hammering out a renewed socialist vision and strategy will certainly continue; hopefully it will probe even more deeply. But in the US, momentum toward further organisational realignment has at least temporarily receded. We are now at a certain resting point, as the major groups (the Committees of Correspondence is only one among several) pause to consolidate themselves and stabilise their relationships with one another.
Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s
The Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s was the Committees of Correspondence's first national conference held in Berkeley, California July 17-19, 1992.
Workshops that were held at the conference on Saturday, July 18 included:
Socialist Crisis What is the meaning of the crisis of socialism in the World today? Recent events in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and their implications for the left in the West. Looking at China, Vietnam and Korea. The threat to Cuba: How to respond?
- Carl Bloice, former Moscow correspondent, PWW
- David Englestein, Marxist scholar and teacher, SF
- Daniel Rubin, CoC Implementation Committee, NY
- Leon Wofsy, UC Berkeley faculty, retired
- Carol Esteves, Berkeley community activist
- Max Elbaum, managing editor, CrossRoads, SF
- Erwin Marquit, prof., Univ. of Minnesotta, Minneapolis
- Margrit Pittman, journalist, NY
- Yvonne Golden, retired principal, Alamo Park HS, SF
Opposing the "War on Terror"
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 supportersof STORM and the Bay Area Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism established Ad Hoc Committee 'On Poitical Strategy' to fight against Bush's war against terrorism.
The group issued an October 5, 2001 statement to other activists;
- As we immersed ourselves in the fightback to Bush's war against terrorism, we felt the need to get our political bearings as leftists. So we organized a discussion attended by 27 diverse left activists in the San Francisco Bay Area on Sept. 30.
- September 11, and the Bush administration's reaction to it, is a defining historical moment, ushering in a new and dangerous period in international politics. Washington's agenda is to entrench the national security state and a new level of international dominance on the basis of a permanent war on terrorism--bringing the "new world order" to fruition.
- The defining political axis of this new period is Washington's international war on terrorism--and the fight against it...The political and ideological balance of forces, demands, and outcomes of all struggles will be affected by this central issue, to one degree or another.
- Given this, the fight for peace should be the central demand for the people's movements...However, peace is not a centrist, liberal demand, but in fact is central to an anti-imperialist agenda. Its main content is that of staying the hand of imperialist war and fighting U.S. militarism in all its forms.
Socialist Scholars Conference
David McReynolds, Socialist Dialogue, Max Elbaum, CrossRoads, Carl Bloice and Judith Pasternak, Committees of Correspondence and Annette Rubinstein, New York Marxist School were speakers on the Crisis and New Directions of the Organized Left panel sponsored by CrossRoads and Socialist Dialogue at the Tenth Annual Socialist Scholars Conference. The conference was held April 24-26, 1992 at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York City.
Elbaum also spoke alongside Ellen David-Freidman, Progressive Vermont Alliance; Robert Fitrakis, Columbus Democratic Socialists of America; Irwin Silber, Editorial Board, CrossRoads and James Steele, Breakthrough Political Consulting Services on the The '92 Elections & Left Electoral Strategies panel sponsored by CrossRoads.
Center for Political Education
In 1999 Elbaum, editor of Crossroads Magazine gave two talks entitled "Where’s the Party?" and "Where’s the Party? Part Two" at an educational forum on the history and legacy of Marxist and Leninist Parties. The talks were sponsored by the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism linked organization, the Center for Political Education.
In 2001 Elbaum, author of "Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che" gave a talk entitled: "Lessons from the 1960s-70s Anti-War Movement." The classes were held at the San Francisco based Center for Political Education.
In 2001 Elbaum and Cindy Weisner of People Organized to Win Employment Rights and STORM gave talks entitled: "Post 9-11 Analysis and Strategy." The talks were held at the San Francisco based Center for Political Education.
In 2003 Max Elbaum, Signe Waller, author of "Love and Revolution: A political memoir/people’s history of the Greensboro Massacre", and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of "Outlaw Woman, A Memoir of the War Years" gave talks entitled: "Love and Revolution: Three activists/authors discuss lessons from the 1960s-70s." The classes were held at the San Francisco based Center for Political Education.
In 2003 Max Elbaum led a study group entitled: "Left Strategies Study Group". The study focused on a strategy formation for organizers on the left, looking at historical models from the 60’s and thinking about how the work can be informed by lessons learned from the past. The classes were held at the San Francisco based Center for Political Education.
In 2006 Max Elbaum of War Times and Claire Tran of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization gave talks entitled: "The Anti-War Big Push & the New Political Moment", on the challenges and opportunities for the anti-war movement following the November 2006 elections. The talks were held at the San Francisco based Center for Political Education.
- The pilot issue of War Times, a new biweekly newspaper opposing the "war on terrorism," will roll off the press on February 14... Featuring an exclusive interview with Danny Glover and a letter to President Bush from Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu, the premier of this bilingual, free publication will be distributed in several dozen cities across the country.
Serving on the War Times Organizing Committee were;
Max Elbaum, former managing editor, CrossRoads magazine
Max Elbaum served as a War Times editor.
Sacramento Marxist School
At the August 2002 18th Young Democratic Socialists Summer Institute and National Convention at the University of Illinois at Chicago, author of the recent Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to Lenin, Mao and Che, Max Elbaum spoke on anti-war and anti-occupation organizing. Max Elbaum is a member of the War Times Organizing Committee, which puts out the bi-lingual, non-sectarian newspaper War Times every six weeks as a means to inform and organize people (the newspaper is geared towards working class and of color communities)..
Colorado based Beyond Chicanismo ran a Conscious Journey speakers series, mainly featuring veterans of Colorado's Chicano/a movement. But it has also included figures from the Puerto Rican, Black and Chicano/a freedom movements, and Anglo radicals from outside the state including Max Elbaum and Betita Martinez.
Beyond Chicanismo launched a Women of Principle Speaker Series in February 2003. Participants have included Georgia Congress-woman Cynthia McKinney, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and locally based Dr. Mary Lou Salazar, daughter of the former head of Colorado's Communist Party, Robert Trujillo.
"Strategies For Revolutionary Change"
Los Angeles, March 9, 2004? "Strategies For Revolutionary Change:An Inter-Generational Dialogue and Debate with Six Revolutionary Activists and Thinkers"
- Max Elbaum: Given New Conditions, What Should We Carry Over from the Past, and What Has To Be Left Behind?
- Warren Mar: One Struggle, Many Fronts : Linking the Anti-War Movement with Our Struggles at Home: Why the Global South Leads the Way!
- Bill Gallegos: Why a Chicano Revolutionary Became a Communist, Why We Still Need Revolutionary Organization: What It Could Look Like
- Lian Hurst Mann: "Women Hold Up Half The Sky": In the Workplace, in Communities, & at Home: What We Want to Teach Our Daughters about Imperialism
- Manuel Criollo: In Search of an Anti-Racist/Anti-Imperialist Left in a Right Wing Era; The Challenges and Strategies for a New Generation!
- Simmi Gandhi: Building for a Future of Grassroots Democracy as We Organize Our Fights Today; Models, Reflections and Necessary Questions for Today.
"Revolution in the Air"
Saturday, May 7, 2005 University of California, Santa Barbara UCEN Conference Center.
Roundtable: Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals Turn to the Factories, Steel Milles and Auto Plants
Moderator: Kerry Taylor, University of North Carolina Roundtable:
- Max Elbaum, author of Revolution in the Air
- Steven Pitts, UC Berkeley Labor Center, former Houston steel worker
- Mark Masaoka, Community Activist, former GM Van Nuys worker
- Myrna Donahoe, SWLSA, former Progressive Labor Party member
- Paul Krehbiel, SEIU Local 660, Los Angeles, former Buffalo radical
This event is part of the 31st Annual Southwest Labor Studies Conference sponsored by the Southwest Labor Studies Association and the Labor and Working Class History Association. This year’s conference theme is "Labor in Protest: The Legacy of the 1960s for the U.S. Labor Movement."
San Francisco Monday, December 22, 2005 "Impressions from Vietnam"
- They will share their impressions from time spent in Hanoi, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City and at the Memorial Park at the site of the infamous 1968 My Lai massacre. The program will include comments on the importance of a strong antiwar movement in the U.S. - then and now - and donations will be requested for War Times/Tiempo de Guerras, the country's only nationwide, bilingual newspaper primarily devoted to opposing Bush's so-called "War on Terrorism."
Iraq War "teach-in"
1968 The Great Rehearsal was a " Symposium and Week of Events on the Long ‘68 " held at the University of California, Berkeley September 17-25, 2008.
The revolutionary upheaval of 1968 was seen as a 'rehearsal' for the looming revolutionary events of the coming era.
The "National Teach-In on the Iraq War" event was run by a Working Group, consisting of;
- Max Elbaum, War Times
- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Historians Against the War
- Roberto Hernandez, Ethnic Studies, UCB:
- Daphne Taylor-Garcia, Ethnic Studies, UCB; UCSB
- Dalida Maria Benfield, Ethnic Studies, UCB
- Rick Ayers, educator, UCB graduate student:
- Tom Reifer, University of San Diego Associate Fellow of the Transnational Institute: Consolecb@aol.com
- Carole Travis, community organizer
- Steve Tappis, Sixties activist in Chicago
Study & Struggle
Catalyst Project "Study & Struggle" sessions range from small, intimate, study series, to public panel discussions and presentations. Past sessions have included:
Burning Questions: What is it going to take to get Revolution out of the Air and Onto the Ground? A discussion with Max Elbaum on lessons from the New Communist Movement and the strategic role of United Fronts. Followed by Rahula Janowski from the Heads Up Collective, Claire Tran from Freedom Road Socialist Organization and Steve Williams, an organizer with POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights), on left organization, strategy and movement building. Co-hosted with the School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL).
War Times Staff
In 2009 voluntary War Times staffincluded:
Jan Adams, Karolo Aparicio, Mariana Bustamante, Ruth Warner Carrillo, Jung Hee Choi, Max Elbaum, Arnoldo Garcia, Rebecca Gordon, Felicia Gustin, Hany Khalil, Rachel Kahn, Lynn Koh, Gerald Lenoir, Burton Li, Betita Martinez, Samuel Orozco, Ricardo Ortega, Sushawn Robb, Kerry Taylor and Bob Wing.
Ad-Hoc Left Committee
POLITICAL HIGHS, ECONOMIC LOWS: MANAGING U.S. DECLINE
Featuring Gary Younge, Author of "No Place Like Home: A Black Briton's Journey Through the Deep South"
THURSDAY, APRIL 30 2009 St. John's Church, San Francisco
- Like previous events sponsored by this Ad Hoc Committee, this program is aimed at fostering dialogue and debate among leftists who see themselves operating within the left-wing-of-the-Obama-motion political space. If there are people sharing this broad viewpoint who you believe would be interested in participating in this conversation, we encourage you to extend this invitation to them.
August 2, 2013 Bob Wing published an article in Counterpunch, on organizing in the South "Rightwing Neo-Secession or a Third Reconstruction?"
- Special thanks to my lifelong colleagues Max Elbaum and Linda Burnham and to Jon Liss, Lynn Koh, Carl Davidson, Ajamu Dillahunt, Raymond Eurquhart and Bill Fletcher, Jr. for their comments, critiques and suggestions.
"Towards Collective Liberation" editorial crew
Chris Crass', 2013 book " was "Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy..." was edited by a team consisting of Chris and Molly, Rahula Janowski Lydia Pelot-Hobbs, Nisha Anand, Sasha Vodnik, Cile Beatty, Danni Marilyn West, Amie Fishman, Jeff Giaquinto , Sharon Martinas, Gabriel Sayegh, Clare Bayard, Z. Lula Haukeness, Cindy Breunig, Jardana Peacock, Betty-Jeane Ruters-Ward, Betita Martinez, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Paul Kivel, Ingrid Chapman, Dan Berger, Josh Warren-White, Rachel Luft, Kerry Levenberg, Johnna Bossuot, Leah Jo Carnine, Berkley Carnine, Leah Close, Vivian Sanati, Dara Silverman, Helen Luu, Pauline Hwang Nrinder, N.K. Nann, Marc Mascarenhas-Swan, Max Elbaum, Keith McHenry, James Tracy, Alice Nuccio, Laura McNeill, Azedeh Ghafari, J.C. Callender, Nilou Mostoufi, April Sullivan-FitzHugh, Michelle O'Brien, Joe Tolbert, Tufara Waller Muhammad, Karly Safar, Jayanni Webster, Joshua Kahn Russell, prof. Laura Head, Andrew Cornell, Harjir Singh Gill, Emily Thuma, Rami Elamine, Chanelle Gallant, Charlie Frederick, Amar Shah, Alicia Garza, Elandria Williams, Carla Wallace, Ernesto Aguilar, Lisa Albrecht.
Catalyst advisory board
Ear to the Ground Project
- We would like to express our deep respect and appreciation for everyone who took the time to talk with us, and the organizations that generously hosted us during our travels. Interviews were confidential, but the following people have agreed to have their names listed for this publication:
Most of those listed were connected to Freedom Road Socialist Organization.
Max Elbaum was among those on the list. 
Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward
Now What? Defying Trump and the Left's Way Forward was a phone in webinar organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization in the wake of the 2016 election.
- Now what? We’re all asking ourselves that question in the wake of Trump’s victory. We’ve got urgent strategizing and work to do, together. Join Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson of the Movement for Black Lives and Freedom Road, Calvin Cheung-Miaw, Jodeen Olguin-Taylor of Mijente and WFP, Joe Schwartz of the Democratic Socialists of America, and Sendolo Diaminah of Freedom Road for a discussion of what happened, and what we should be doing to build mass defiance. And above all, how do we build the Left in this, which we know is the only solution to the crises we face?
- This event will take place Tuesday November 15, 2016 at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central/6pm Pacific.
Those invited, on Facebook included Max Elbaum.
Community defense in the time of Trump
Fernando Marti January 14, 2017.
War Times crew
In 2017, the "War Times Crew" consisted of Rebecca Gordon, Sasha Wright, Jan Adams, Hany Khalil, Clare Bayard, Lynn Koh, Rami El-Amine, Jen Soriano, John Trinkl, Gary Hicks, Carlos Martinez, Christine Ahn, Francesca Fiorentini, Felicia Gustin, Greg Hom, Max Elbaum, Nathan Paulsen, Michael Reagan, Sarah Lazare, Alicia Garza, Elvis Mendez, Becca Tumposky.
OU Editoral Collective
In early 2019, Organizing Upgrade editors Calvin Cheung-Miaw and Max Elbaum published an article at In These Times on U.S.-China relations. In it, Cheung-Miaw and Elbaum outlined their case for the left to prioritize the fight for a 180-degree turnaround in the U.S. stance toward China, demanding that diplomacy and negotiation replace trade wars and military encirclement.
- FRSO Family Tree: Exchange — Max Elbaum 12/20/2000 Posted on Wednesday December 20th, 2000 by Freedom Road Socialist Organization
- The Rectification Network – Line of March
- LOM, Vol 1, No 1, May-June 1980
- LOM, No 20, Winter 1987/88
- Crossroads March 1996
- CCDS Background
- "US left settling in for a long haul" 21 September 1994
- Conference program
- Proceedings of the Committees of Correspondence Conference: Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the '90s booklet, printed by CoC in NY, Sept. 1992 (Price: $4)
- SSE Tenth Annual Conference Program, 1992
- Center for Political Education website: Past Classes (1998 - 2007)
- WAR TIMES January 29, 2002
- New Ground 84, September-October, 2002
- Strategies For Revolutionary Change: An Inter-Generational Dialogue and Debate with Six Revolutionary Activists and Thinkers
- Revolution in the Air
- [http://www.revolutionintheair.com/pastevents.html Impressions of Vietnam, San Francisco Monday, December 22, 2005 "Impressions from Vietnam"
- & Struggle sessions, accessed November 2015
- War Times Staff
- From: Ad Hoc Left Committee To: adho...@earthlink.net Sent: 4/16/2009 9:41:33 PM Subject: Invitation for April 30: 'Political Highs, Economic Lows'
- Towards Collective Liberation Acknowledgents XV]
- Catalyst Project advisory board, accessed November 25, 2015
- Ear to the Ground, About, accessed Nov. 12, 2015
- War Times Crew, accessed February 14, 2017