At the end of the 1960's and the beginning of the 1970's in Western Europe and the USA, it was clear that the revolutionary process would not come to a point where the masses would come to join revolutionary structures.
In France, because of this, the Gauche Prolétarienne (Proletarian Left) dissolved itself, after having theorized partisan struggles in a capitalist country. But others organizations having learnt of the Gauche Prolétarienne decided to continue the process.
The Red Army Fraction, in Western Germany, began the struggle but soon did orientate its struggle mainly on the field of anti-imperialism, considering that the main aspect was the struggle of the masses of Asia, Africa And Latin America.
A new word was used to speak about those three continents: “trikont”, and the “anti-imperialist” scene considered that their aim was to weaken imperialism “in its backyard”, so to say. The line of the RAF was that the USSR played a positive passive role, that the foundation of “national states” was a progressive event, and that armed struggles of liberation front (PFLP, FSLN, FMLN...) played the most positive role.
The Red Brigades in Italy were mostly based in the factories, but the line was also “anti-imperialist”, because the Italian state was considered as an “imperialist state of the multinationals” (Stato Imperialista delle Multinazionali).
The Red Brigades did not consider that the revolutionary process could happen in Italy only. Nevertheless, Italy was considered as the weakest element of the imperialist chain, and so armed struggle had an anti-imperialist content.
After the “strategic retreat” at the beginning of the 1980's, the Red – Brigades for the construction of the fighting communist party (br-pcc) did not support the thesis of the Stato Imperialista delle Multinazionali, but joined the RAF on the consideration that the USSR played a passive positive role (before, it was social-imperialist) and that the “north-south” contradiction was very important.
Many actions of the br-pcc came in the struggle for the building of a “fighting anti-imperialist front”; the RAF used the same concept of “anti-imperialist front” in its famous document of 1982.
In France, the guerilla group Action Directe did join this line in the middle of the 1980's.
But it received a strong criticism from Spain (the PCE(r) with the famous document “Two lines”), who attacked the anti-imperialist line as a form of petty-bourgeois radicalism. In Belgium the Fighting Communist Cells (CCC) practised an “urgentist” line like it was called in Turkey, with nurerous actions as armed propaganda, but they criticized also the anti-imperialist line as forgetting the most basic points of the construction of the Party.
Indeed, if the CCC produced many documents easy to understand and touching all the classical points of building the revolutionary party, the documents of the RAF and the br-pcc were extremely technical and absolutely non understandable by somebody not already involved in their “scenes”.
The anti-imperialist line did not have many followers. It had many followers in West-Germany, despite the repression, for example of the article 129a: only speaking of the RAF could be considered as a support. But the anti-imperialist scene disappeared from one day to another in 1988-1989.
In Italy despite the total repression the br-pcc carried a tradition until the end of the 1990's, but it is true that their line was not only “anti-imperialist” and that their conception of the “attack in the heart of the state” was merely based on the understanding of Italian society and its social balance.
In France, there were absolutely no anti-imperialist scene, apart the review “l'Internationale”, and after that Action Directe was destroyed by the state, the reviews “Guerilla” and “Front Social”, totally marginalized by a left and a far left wanting to have totally nothing to do with Action Directe.
It is important to stress here that pseudo “maoist” groups existed in West Germany, Italy, France, Belgium during those times, but that they all considered urban warfare structures as “terrorists”, petty-bourgeois, etc.
One last strange avatar of this “ML” position was created in the USA, with the MIM – Maoist Internationalist Movement, which had an apparently “anti-imperialist line”, but with the total reject of urban warfare and in fact being totally linpiaoists.
Anti-imperialists did not reject the working-class in their own imperialist countries, they considered it only as being paralysed because of the international situation. Anti-imperialist armed struggle was suppose to unblock the situation and liberate the forces of rebellion.
It was not all the position of the MIM, which considered that the US white working-class was integrated in capitalism, and that only counted the struggles in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Revolution would happen in the USA at the end of the process, and revolutionaries in the USA had to “wait”, building a nucleus until this time, because all was “frozen” in their own country.
This anti-dialectic view – MIM rejected dialectical materialism – is now carried by the “Leading Light Communist Organisation”, on the same line as the MIM, but not pretending to be marxist leninist maoist, much more marxist-leninist-maoist third worldist.