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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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)

International Working Women’s Day: RSCC and NCP(LC) Comrades Speak for Proletarian Feminism!

RSCC and NCP(LC) present at the IWWDC rally and march.

During International Working Women’s Day on March 8, 2014, the comrades of the Revolutionary Students Coordinating Committee – RSCC and the New Communist Party (Liaison Committee) – NCP(LC) gave speeches in the different events they participated in, speaking to necessity and reasons for proletarian feminism as the guiding theory on anti-patriarchal struggle, woman and queer liberation, and how the struggle against patriarchy must be a struggle against capitalism and the struggle against capitalism must be a struggle against patriarchy. 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 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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