Political Work

Red Guards Austin – A Year Summation of the Life of a Militant Maoist Organization in the U.S. Central South

 

We received this summation of the Red Guards Austin collective and are publishing it with their permission. We are in fraternity with these comrades and think this is a contribution worth sharing, however the views expressed here are their own, and do not necessarily represent the views of maosoleum or of the Liaison Committee for a New Communist Party or any of its branches.

Prologue: The Liberalism of the Austin Left

2014 November

The earliest configuration of what was to become Red Guards Austin (RGA) was no more than three comrades who were gradually gravitating towards Maoism at various levels of development. We were still in the process of searching for an outlet for our revolutionary longing in the form of a preexisting “party.” Through careful study and consideration of both local and countrywide leftist groupings, we came to the conclusion that no such organization existed that could constitute a party, let alone one that had firm ideological anti-revisionism, mass work, and the clear participation and leadership of women and people of oppressed nations. We were adrift, leaning on our past experiences as anarchists, animal rights activists, and workers to help us develop into active communists. The first hurdle we faced was due in part to our class backgrounds: none of us had finished high school, let alone received a college education, unlike most of the white middle-class left we had encountered in Austin. We became revolutionary communists out of a dire need for revolution spurred on by our low social status and difficult economic conditions. We were quickly disillusioned by the pomp of local university leftist organizations and had experienced nothing but alienation from them in the past. Continue reading

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Reflections

Sandra Bland was Murdered for her Activism

sandrabland4

We have what seems to be yet another case of a black woman dying while under police custody. Sandra Bland’s death seems on the surface to be tragic, but just one more body to the body count of the genocide of black people in the United States.

However, given the history in the United States of how local, state, and federal law enforcement colludes and is often indistinguishable from explicitly white supremacist terrorism, we cannot harbor any illusions as to what is the actual situation: a political assassination. 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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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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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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New Communist Party (Liaison Committee)

Preliminary Statement of the NCP(LC) Regarding The Split With The NCP(OC)

This an official statement of the New Communist Party (Liaison Committee). We will publish more statements in the coming days.

On February 17th, our faction resigned its membership in the New Communist Party (Organizing Committee). Our resignations came with the sharpening of the line struggle in the OC to its sharpest point, in an attempt to resolve contradictions which we believe will not allow for the NCP(OC) to become a party. While we share unity on many matters and questions with the NCP(OC), the areas of our demarcation from them are fundamental and warrant a critical summation.
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Guest, Study

The Materialist Conception of History « Neftali

The following is a draft piece on Historical Materialism 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”  and On Marxist Philosophy. 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.
– Stradacero

"Marx has opened up to scientific knowledge a new, third scientific continent, the continent of History, by an epistemological break whose first still uncertain strokes are inscribed in The German Ideology... Obviously this epistemological break is not an instantaneous event. It is even possible that one might, by recurrence and where some of its details are concerned, assign it a sort of premonition of a past. At any rate, this break becomes visible in its first signs, but these signs only inaugurate the beginning of an endless history. Like every break, this break is actually a sustained one within which complex reorganizations can be observed.  - Louis Althusser, Lenin and Philosophy

“Marx has opened up to scientific knowledge a new, third scientific continent, the continent of History, by an epistemological break whose first still uncertain strokes are inscribed in The German Ideology.- Louis Althusser, Lenin and Philosophy

 

“History is nothing but the succession of the separate generations, each of which exploits the materials, the capital funds, the productive forces handed down to it by all preceding generations, and thus, on the one hand, continues the traditional activity in completely changed circumstances and, on the other, modifies the old circumstances with a completely changed activity.”  Marx and Engels, The German Ideology

We have paradoxically put forward a Marxist philosophy but there is no philosophy in the classical sense at all. It is the wasteland of such conjured thought that proceeds neutrally, but in fact with all the blood of history upon it, to claim a universality. The Marxist standpoint denies such universality in its metaphysical taint that presents itself immediately from philosophical egoism and humanism. It drops this in order to approach the matter from the sweep of a scientific analysis, with only attention paid to its background to which it still taints such scientific postulations. Therefore all pretensions to look at the subject as an individual self-consciousness evaporates into nothingness, a failed project of the secular systems-makers to be buried alongside the whole of the lie of the bourgeois epoch.

Rather, the Marxists bring the science of the bourgeoisie to the realm of history itself, a science it of course revolutionizes (which will be discussed further). The legitimation of the bourgeois system rests upon the secular myth making of their period of Enlightenment in which the hordes of political theorists conceived of various variations of the social contract. Such a contract was thought to be the basis of civilization and civil society. The error of course of our professorial clerics (Rousseau, Hobbes, Locke, etc) laid in their matter of fact understanding of social-relations based in a rather erroneous extrapolation, abstractly, of their the current mode of production and selectively of course between the freemen of their country. That is they naturalized the emerging bourgeois social relations of capital rather than scientifically account for the development of history via its different modes of production. Such naturalization arrived in much of its own developed brand through the work of the bourgeois economists, Adam Smith being foundational and cemented in the classic modern liberalism of new philosophers such as John Rawls. [1] Continue reading

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