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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Political Work

All Out for International Working Women’ Day! Smash Capitalism, Imperialism, and Hetero-patriarchy!

Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee

Comrade Denise in IWWD Comrade Denise in IWWD

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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Classes and Class Struggle

Short Answer to a Question on Productive and Non-Productive Labor

Dock Workers
A comrade (A.M.) in an online forum asked:

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

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New Communist Party (Liaison Committee)

A response to the NCP(OC): Gender Whateverism is not Proletarian Feminism

claudia-jones[1]

Claudia Jones: The original proletarian feminist in the USA.

Recently, the New Communist Party (Organizing Committee) NCP(OC) released a declaration named Self-Criticism and Summation on Patriarchy, which is apparently part of their previously declared Anti-Patriarchy Rectification Campaign. We republished the  Anti-Patriarchy Rectification Campaign here, as well as the connected On Standards of Feminist Conduct by the Center for Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Studies. We stand in unity in the spirit and words of these last two documents, and consider them to be significant contributions regardless of their shortcomings in theory, a result of the lack of real summation of proletarian feminism at the level of theory (something we will address in unity with the topic of the lack of a Party soon).

As we approach the emergence of a split from the NCP(OC), the New Communist Party (Liaison Committee), we must place this document in that context. The NCP(LC) is a split from the NCP(OC): the rump leadership and membership are the ones publishing this material, not the organization who started the rectification process, and none of the comrades who lead the NCP(LC) were the target of this rectification in any harsh way. They were not expelled, contrary to what the purposeful obscurity of the “Self Criticism and Summation” seems to imply. Continue reading

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Repost, The Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People

On Black Men Showing Up for Black Women at the Scene of the Crime | The Crunk Feminist Collective

An incident of misogynistic violence happened Wednesday, October 23 at the Brecht Forum in New York City. This is what the victim explains:

The brother shared his thoughts about the need to “liberate all Black people.” It sounded good. But since we were there to talk about allyship, I needed to know more about his gender analysis, even as I kept it real about how I’ve been feeling lately about how much brothers don’tshow up for Black women, without us asking, and prodding, and vigilantly managing the entire process.

In a word, I was tired.

I shared that. Because surely, a conversation about how to be better allies to each other, is a safe space.

This brother was not having it. He did not plan to be challenged, did not plan to have to go deep, to interrogate his own shit. Freedom-talk should’ve been enough for me.

But I’m grown. And I know better. So I asked for more.

I got cut off, yelled at, screamed on. The moderator tried gently to intervene, to ask the brother to let me speak, to wait his turn. To model allyship. To listen. But to no avail. The brother kept on screaming about his commitment to women, about all he had “done for us,” about how I wasn’t going to erase his contributions.

Then he raised his over 6 foot tall, large brown body out of the chair, and deliberately slung a cup of water across my lap, leaving it to splash in my face, on the table, on my clothes, and on the gadgets I brought with me.

Damn. You knocked the hell out of that cup of water. Did you wish it were me? Or were you merely trying to let me know what you were capable of doing to a sister who didn’t shut her mouth and listen?

Read the full text here:
On Black Men Showing Up for Black Women at the Scene of the Crime | The Crunk Feminist Collective
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Repost, The Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People

On Standards of Feminist Conduct-CMLMS « Signalfire

Excellent statement from the Center for Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Studies. From the concluding paragraph:

Those who imagine that a communist organization with proletarian feminist politics at its core can be built or that a revolutionary proletarian feminist movement can be developed today from the ground up – without first confronting the pressing issue of male chauvinism in the existing organizations and circles, including determining the proper guiding principles and policies to do this – are thoroughly deluding themselves. This view amounts to the liquidation of the struggle for women’s emancipation and a kind of economism that refuses to address the real political question at hand of the involvement of women in organizations. We welcome dialogue with feminist-oriented collectives and individuals who are working on this issue in practice and interested in mutual learning through the discussion of organizational principles and policies.

Read the whole article here:

On Standards of Feminist Conduct-CMLMS « Signalfire.

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Political Work, Repost

Anti-Patriarchy Rectification Campaign

From the New Communist Party (Organizing Committee), Maoists in the USA.

Documents of the NCP (OC)

For release in July 2013

At our First Congress earlier this year, the founding delegates of the NCP (OC) adopted a Resolution Against Patriarchy and ratified our Principles of Unity upholding a proletarian feminist position. However, the passage of organizational documents is only a formal first step. They remain only words on paper if there are no actions to back them up.

Like other bourgeois and reactionary ideologies that must be continuously defeated through two-line struggle, the patriarchal values and male chauvinist practices that dominate this society have their reflection inside the communist movement and within communist organizations. They must be confronted and overcome through class struggle, inner-organization struggle, and inner-struggle. Like those who “wave the red flag to oppose the red flag,” groups, tendencies, and individuals can pose intellectually as feminists while at the same time failing to politicize women, commodifying and objectifying women, and engaging in abusive male…

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