‘My people’—the people who knew about oppression, discrimination, prejudice, poverty and the frustration and despair that they produce– were not Irish Americans. They were black, Puerto Ricans, Chicanos. And those who were supposed to be ‘my people’, the Irish Americans who knew about English misrule and the Famine and supported the civil rights movement at home, and knew that Partition and England were the cause of the problem, looked and sounded to me like Orangemen. They said exactly the same things about blacks that the loyalists said about us at home. In New York I was given the key to the city by the mayor, an honor not to be sneezed at. I gave it to the Black Panthers. –Bernadete Devlin.
This is the first of a series of notes that will be relatively short, and by no means exhaustive, but are put forth as both a summation and intervention of the theoretical and practical context of gender liberation in general and proletarian feminist struggle in the particular, both within the context of the United States, and the global context – taking on the particularities of gender formation, as well the universal aspects of patriarchy.
Let us take opportunity in the annual remembrance on the International Working Women’s Day to raise a necessary definition in the ongoing development towards a Proletarian Feminist conception of gender liberation.
First, a necessary comment: while we do not mention trans women as separate subjects, when we say women in this article, we are including trans women as the issues we touch upon are common to all proletarian women, whether trans or cis, and while we recognize that cis women and trans women have differences, for example cis women and reproductive health choices, and trans women’s exclusion from women’s spaces or lack of access to hormones – we understand these differences as within the umbrella of women, as the subjects of oppression by patriarchy. We also recognize that the struggle against patriarchy is not solely a women’s issue, or a sexual or gender issue, and that gender is not a binary, nor is sex free of social and cultural construction. However, we will address this in subsequent notes and a series on Queer Maoism that has been almost two years in the making. Non-men, people who are neither women nor men, but still suffer patriarchal oppression, and thus for the purpose of this discussion are treated the same as women – both cis and trans – however, we want to keep the discussion centered on feminism as an expression of women’s politics whether cis or trans, not genderqueer struggle – which includes besides trans women and non-binary people, men, like trans men, whose experience of patriarchy is different from that of cis or trans women, and which has its own separate history from feminism, even if indeed proletarian feminism is queer struggle. This article has a narrower focus, but we feel these overlaps needed addressing for the sake of clarity and to make clear that we speak firmly for trans and genderqueer inclusion in feminism, and that trans women are women.
Proletarian feminism: more than just proletarian and feminist together
Proletarian feminism is the theoretical and practical development of the struggle against patriarchy from the perspective of the proletariat and revolutionary communist politics. Continue reading
This Sunday, March 8, join us for the 101st commemoration of the International Working Women’s Day. International Working Womens Day was created in the early 20th century by revolutionaries (revolutionary women in particular) such as Clara Zetkin, Aleksandra Kollontai, and Vladimir Lenin. The day was set to mark the fact that a revolution against capitalism and imperialism is incomplete if it does not address half of the population, women, who are exploited under capitalism and imperialism, national oppression, and have to suffer patriarchal oppression at home, in the street, and their work place.
Despite the explicitly anti-capitalist sentiment of International Working Women’s Day, liberal feminists still use the rhetoric of women’s equality and deprive it of class consciousness. In this type of feminism, it is conceived that laws addressing equality for men and women are adequate to ending women’s struggle as women can take…
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Last week Mike Brown’s murderer, the cop Darren Wilson was not indicted by the St. Louis grand jury, for the execution of Mike Brown. Not only is he now a free man, he has become a millionaire because of donations from racists and payments for television interviews. Today, the grand jury in NYC did not indict the cop Daniel Pantaleo who executed Eric Garner in a chokehold. The United States permits and rewards the genocide of Black lives. The New York City branch of the NCP(LC) will be mobilizing to protest these killing.
ALL OUT FOR ERIC GARNER!
SMASH THE WHITE SUPREMACIST, CAPITALIST STATE!
THERE IS ONLY ONE SOLUTION, REVOLUTION!
Support our troops! Happy Veteran’s Day!
Some articles of interest:
Question on the Indian Maoists – War is not a good thing, but it is an inevitable thing.
What is Protracted People’s War? – Revolutionary war is not the same as reactionary war.
Smedley Butler: Hero of the People – Veterans of imperialist war can come to the people.
Do transportation and retail labor add value to a commodity? If so, why?
My inclination is to say yes, but I can’t really explain why.
We need to understand that “productive” in terms of the abstracted model of Capital is not a moralistic or political proposition. It is a mathematical one. Productive labor is the one that according to the formulas in Capital, adds quantitatively to value. Retail is unproductive in these formulas because it doesn’t quantitatively add anything to the variables for value. It is beyond the scope of this short answer to go into a long discussion and exegesis of Capital (although the comments are open) but let’s try to briefly discuss assuming a reading of Capital.
The social relation to the commodity in retail work has no capacity to add value as understood in Capital. More so, it also speaks to the levels of alienation from production, something that is subjective and not easily expressed mathematically, but does affect the necessary description of value as a mathematical formula. Continue reading