The Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People

What is Proletarian Feminism?

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.

Adavasi women with the Indian Maoists.

Adavasi women with the Indian Maoists.

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

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Revolutionary Heroism

Serve the people proper just like Yuri Kochiyama!

yuri-kochiyamaWe have published before on Yuri Kochiyama, last time a few weeks ago. With the sad news of her death, we revisit these writings as well as repost one of our videos with the song “Yuri Kochiyama” by the Blue Scholars.  She remains the deepest example of the revolutionary wing of the Asian-American movement in the United States – someone who confronted imperialism whenever it reared its ugly head, even when it took the form of Japanese imperialism, but also recognize the necessity for a deep internationalism in the context of the United States. As the song goes, when we grow up – regardless of our age – we want to be just like Yuri Kochiyama. Rest in power!

From M19: Celebrating the Lives of Ho Chi Minh, Malcolm X, and Yuri Kochiyama!

Yuri Kochiyama is a figure less well known then the last two [Malcolm X, Ho Chi Minh], and she is still alive today at the age of 91. We recommend for those unfamiliar with her life to read the interview conducted by the Revolutionary Worker , the former paper of the Revolutionary Communist Party-USA. Mrs. Kochiyama spent a good portion of her young adult life in a concentration camp of Japanese people in the US, 70% were citizens.

Yuri moved with her husband to Harlem in 1960 and was already active in human rights work. She met Malcolm X and began working with him around human rights projects, was a member of his Organization for Afro-American Unity, and was present when Malcolm was murdered. Yuri was also a participant in  taking over the statue of liberty with Puerto Rican independence activists. She was pivotal in the movements to free Mumia and end nuclear proliferation. She has been a consistent friend of the people. She has prominently defended the revolutions in both the Philippines, Peru, and elsewhere and is keeping it strong approaching her 90s.

Despite the very small active base of Japanese-Americans involved in struggle for liberation, Yuri is an important figure and worker for liberation precisely because while jettisoned  by the persecution and internment of her own family and community, she actively took up the struggle of the world’s majority.

Where today much of AAPI work and discourse is based in quite petty-bourgeois identerianism – issues of microagressions, visibility, etc. – she stands as a figure that breaks from the superficial and aims towards the core of imperialism. Particularly her relationship to other national liberation  organizations fighting for self-determination, as a working active figure within this milieu, set her apart from many others.

[…]

While these three figures are mere individuals, remarkable figures they’re in history, precisely because of their dedication of their life in fighting colonialism and imperialism concretely. But this means one needs to prepare for struggle and emulate characters by virtue of revolutionary practice, not mere idolization. How many young people we know today who laud these figures but yet actively do nothing with their relative freedom to conduct work for liberation?

This idol culture must be changed and it can only be done so by looking reality in the face with them about our position today. These figures had no special caliber above anyone else and are made of flesh and bone.

[…]

Yuri Kochiyama has spent all her decades fighting alongside the people, driven by her solidarity with those who face the harsh repression of the state. It is hard to brave such things and harder to stay committed towards transformation which means liberation for the world’s oppressed and exploited majority. There are of course  many questions that need be answered; however it is certain that we won’t win anything if we keep to an impoverished line that refuses to ultimately commit to the prospects of losing one’s life in this struggle.

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Political Work

Report from New York City Demonstration to support Dr. Saibaba and the Indian People

 

Under pouring rain, more than two dozen people from different political, student, and social organizations congregated on May 23, 2014 in front of the Indian Consulate in New York City to demonstrate their support for Dr. G.N. Saibaba, all political prisoners, and with the Indian people in their struggle against imperialism and fascism.

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The endorsers at the time of the demonstration, called by the Liaison Committee for a New Communist Party-NCP(LC) and maosoleum, included:

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Guest, Study

Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is Our Shining Path for World Revolution

The following is a brief exposition of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and is part of a larger theoretical work outlining Marxist-Leninist-Maoist philosophy in the United States. It was compiled by Maosoleum Guest Writer Neftali, the author of “Notes on Mass Line, Communist Organization, and Revolution”, On Marxist Philosophy. and The Materialist Conception of History. Views here are thus those of Neftali, and do not necessarily represent the entire views of the writers of Maosoleum. If you would like to have a dialogue with the author on this piece please address Neftali in the comments below. NOTE: The section “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is Our Shining Path for World Revolution” skips over two entire sections on Capital and the proletariat which the author still has in rough form.
-Stradacero

 

Marxism-Leninism-Maoism [MLM] is the banner of world revolution today, it is our guiding light which has synthesized past proletarian revolutionary experience in relation to guiding proletarian universal science of historical materialism. It is the most correct universal and scientific approach to making revolution. The banner of MLM marks three significant points of rupture and continuity in the practice of proletarian revolution in its scientific mode, they correspondingly adopt the name of significant figures which represent through merit of both theoretical elaboration and political work were able to capture essential features of the class struggle at their moments and raised the universal features to light for us. It takes upon itself in sequential order of history Marx, Lenin, and Mao. Each phase which took upon it new universal significance also took upon itself both a continuity and a rupture, hence Marxism transformed to Marxism-Leninism which correspondingly transformed to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. They are at this stage in the course of development of revolutionary science and in relationship to the whole course of development and experience of proletarian revolution inseparable and packed as the meaningful name which is in essence the political line of world revolution.


ON MARXISM

"Marx and Engels are able to produce the most thoroughgoing radical critique of bourgeois political economy still in our possession and, moreover, give to the whole of the working class movement the ammunition to sink the bourgeois ideology that mystifies economy."

“Marx and Engels are able to produce the most thoroughgoing radical critique of bourgeois political economy still in our possession and, moreover, give to the whole of the working class movement the ammunition to sink the bourgeois ideology that mystifies economy.”


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Revolutionary Heroism

Smedley Butler: Hero of the People

Gen%252BSmedley%252BDarlington%252BButler[1]Smedley Butler was instrumental in the repression and colonization on the part of the USA of large areas of the world. He was one of the inventors of waterboarding and advocate of its use in prosecuting the freedom fighters in the Philippines. He was part of robbing Haiti blind and setting the first Black republic in the world into the disaster the 20th century was for it. His heroism in the service of US imperialism was such that to this day he remains one of the most decorated combat officers ever, a recipient of two Medals of Honor, a complete hero of imperialism.

He was also a Hero of the People.

This might sound odd, given what we just explained about him. Yet that is only half the truth. Smedley Butler is the highest ranked defector from the US imperialist machine in its history – someone who in the cusp of their career, having reached the highest rank possible in the Marine Corps, having the gratitude and support of the ruling classes, threw it all away in the service of humanity. His treason to all that he had built his life around is a remarkable example of the ability for people to transform, to abandon their anti-people and imperialist fortunes to join the ranks of the vast majority of humanity.

Lets quote from a speech by him based on his book “War is a Racket“, part confession of guilt, part self-criticism, part denunciation of imperialism in the harshest terms possible:

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

For those of us that live in the USA – by birth or by circumstance – and fight for proletarian revolution and against empire, Smedley Butler needs to be a symbol to reclaim from relative obscurity. When we see family members and friends being recruited into the military, or we see veterans, or active, reserve, or National Guards soldiers who begin to see the racket, it is important to bring Butler up to them. This man quite literally is the very definition of a Soldier’s Soldier: the very embodiment of the mythologies of Loyalty, Service, Honor, Personal Courage, etc, that the military proclaims to instill and uphold. And he was able to break through the smokes screen and join the camp of the people.

We need more Smedley Butlers, and we need them to not just become propagandists and confessors, but active builders of the revolutionary movement. Without the people’s army, the people have nothing – and we will need soldiers of the caliber of Smedley Butler if we are to win. There is no dishonor in realizing one works for racket, that all has been a lie. The only dishonor lies in knowing this and doing nothing about it.

Be like Butler, bust a racket, join the people!

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Methods of Thinking and Methods of Work

Fall 2013: The People Strike Back

102113-CUNY-PROTEST-DM-7.jpg.jpegComrade Taffy, one of the two Revolutionary Students Coordinating Committee comrades recently summarily suspended from the City College of New York and the City University of New York, wrote an interesting article on the global context of the CUNY protests:

The nature of CUNY is undemocratic, as a reflection of the class structure of NYC being undemocratic and exploitative (as part of the capitalist system that discriminates against oppressed-nationalities). The entire public education apparatus of NYC discriminates structurally against oppressed-nationality people. Secondary schools are highly segregated, since they are funded by property taxes and in proletarian neighborhoods, this means less funding and resources. Oppressed-nationality proletarians are thus concentrated in secondary schools that are highly militarized and push them into either the ranks of a lumpenproletariat as dropouts or unskilled low wage workers. Those that make it to CUNY do not have a fair and democratic public education system awaiting them. CUNY is increasingly being stratified into the two tier system that is serving a specific social function: it is taking the top performing students from underserved oppressed-nationality proletarian communities, funneling them into the community colleges and training them to be a lower to mid-level managerial class that stands opposed to the interests of its own community. By challenging the entire undemocratic nature of CUNY, students are creating the possibility of building a revolutionary movement that challenges the entire oppressive class structure of NYC. Such a revolutionary movement would take up the call for open admissions and the abolishment of tuition.

However, it is important to emphasize that the subjective possibility of building a revolutionary movement is exactly that: a possibility. In order to actualize that possibility, revolutionaries must be prepared to put politics in command, which means an explicit rejection of the narrow-focus approach that overemphasizes a legalistic approach to negotiating for space. To put politics in command means to mobilize the community and student body to challenge the existing power dynamics that oppress black and brown people and exploit the working class in NYC.

Read the full text here:
Fall 2013: The People Strike Back

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Revolutionary Heroism

Anti-Petraeus protesters: Heroes of the people!

The arrest during a police riot of members of the Ad-Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY and their subsequent indictment comes as no surprise – much less to themselves. It is what the repressive capitalist regimes everywhere do: try to destroy the voices of the people with violence and repression, while claiming that there is a right for free speech – when this right is only extended to those ideas and actions which the regime determines are acceptable. They are illusions and will remain illusions as long as those in power represent the exploiters and the oppressors.  As we said earlier, confronting war criminals with protests is not only right, but vital to develop the forces of struggle for freedom.

Fighting imperialism in the belly of the beast is not only possible, but necessary. These young people show to all of us that that no matter the repression, no matter the lies, no matter the police state, dignity and humanity shall overcome.  One wonders why the same forces so keen on supporting “revolutions” elsewhere, are silent and inactive about doing it at home. We need to emulate and publicize their example – in a time when the imperialist war drums beat loud, it is up for those who believe in a better world to stand up and confront the enemies of the people.  It is incredible that almost the entire leftist and far left press is silent about this, while the far-right and reactionary media gives all the attention in the world.

These young people are heroes of the people – their example a shinning one, their sacrifice worthy of emulation and admiration – not of silence and reproach.

EVERY CLASS DAVID! CUNY IS NOT A WAR COLLEGE!

Here is the video of how vigorous protest turned into a police riot:

Some pictures of our heroes in court, examples of dignity and courage:

court-cuny[1]court-cuny[1]

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Study

Full pamphlet: El Líder de la desesperación – Juan Antonio Corretjer

We are making available in Spanish, the text of the political summation by Juan Antonio Corretjer of Puerto Rican Nationalist Party leader and revolutionary Pedro Albizu Campos. We hope to be able to translate this text sooner or later, but in the meantime, Spanish readers can take advantage of this.  Please click here to view: El Líder de la desesperación – Juan Antonio Corretjer (The Leader of Desperation)

Clemente Soto Velez, Juan Antonio Corretjer, and Pedro Albizu Campos, at the time when Corretjer was a leader in the Nationalist Party.

Clemente Soto Velez, Juan Antonio Corretjer, and Pedro Albizu Campos, at the time when Corretjer was a leader in the Nationalist Party.

This document – published in the early 1970s (a few years after Albizu’s death), as a result of a series of lectures Corretjer gave on the topic, is still one of the best communist summations of Albizu, as well as being a communist critique of the limitations of the Nationalist perspective for the liberation of Puerto Rico. Juan Antonio Corretjer was uniquely placed to make this critique: he was for many years the Secretary General of the Nationalist Party, and his organic break with the Nationalists happened as he served a 10 year jail sentence as part of his work in that position. Thus, he had been second only to Albizu in being instrumental in developing that Party from a debate club for middle class nationalists, into one of the defining political organizations of the middle of the 20th century Puerto Rico, and the initiator in the 20th century of the Puerto Rican revolutionary movement.

Corretjer does a masterful synthesis of both the need for revolution (as expressed by the Nationalist Party) and the need for this revolution to be proletarian in nature (as advocated by Puerto Rican communists). His correct analysis of the class basis – petty bourgeois and bourgeois – of the Nationalist Party as part of its ultimate failure – which titles the text, referring to the desperation of the middle and upper class nationalists – still remains a powerful deviation in the context of the Puerto Rican revolutionary movement, even among forces that were led by Corretjer and his followers. (A good criticism of this failure of line, from a 1982 document by the Movimiento Socialista de Trabajadores, translated from Spanish, is available here: The Attack on Muñiz Air Base: On the Question of Armed Struggle in Puerto Rico).  As analysis, this text is a foundational basis for the communist criticism of Puerto Rican Nationalism, and thus essential reading for North American Maoists and communists, for whom the struggle for the liberation of Puerto Rico – as one of the few remaining open colonies in the world – should be a central component of their struggle against imperialism in general, and US imperialism in the specific – and who contains among its ranks some of the most advanced elements of the diaspora and Puerto Rican heritage proletariat in the United States.

Corretjer’s closing argument, which we translate here, holds true today, as it did then:

“Albizu remains a great teacher as he, by his actions as well a omissions, laid out the basis of the revolutionary path for Puerto Rico. We should look at his experience in the direction of  where he pointed, and at the same time, rectify the errors of the reformist, counter-revolutionary, and anti-proletarian “workers movement” in Puerto Rico; substituting Albizu’s revolutionary nationalist ideas for the communist ideas of [Irish revoltionary James] Connolly and of [Russian revolutionary V.I.] Lenin. In doing so, we shall organize the forces of the liberation movement not from outside of the proletariat, but from inside the proletariat itself.”

Corretjer in full uniform giving a speech, a few years after writing this text.

Corretjer in full uniform giving a speech, a few years after writing this text.

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