documents of the proletarian feminist research group
A BLUNT KNIFE DRAWS NO BLOOD
TOWARD A REVOLUTIONARY LINE IN THE WOMEN'S MOVEMENT
Real freedom for women is possible only through communism. The inseparable connection between the social and human position of the woman, and private property in the means of production, must be strongly brought out.
Lenin on the 'Woman Question,' interviewed in C. Zetkin, My Memorandum
The anti-revisionist camp remains in crisis; the task before the communist current is the reconstruction of the communist party, which means to articulate the proletarian class line - to synthesize with our scientific outlook the mass initiative released over the course of concrete struggles against the enemy class - and to place it firmly in command of the mass movement. Primacy of political line: the question of party construction depends upon the development of a revolutionary program which unites the demands of the masses with Marxism-Leninism-Maoism - this, in turn, requires a thorough mastery by our tendency of Maoist ideology (understood as the body of scientific knowledge concentrated from the sequence of previous proletarian revolutionary movements) as well as its creative application to every terrain of mass struggle against the bourgeois dictatorship.
In the current conjuncture, that demands the further development of the Maoist line on women's oppression, the related question of transgender people, and their relationships to the class struggle of the proletariat. As comrade Adrianzen argued, "[the importance of the women's struggle] is greater now because actions are intensifying which tend to mobilize women; a necessary and fruitful mobilization from the working class viewpoint and in the service of the masses of the people, but which, when promoted by and for the benefit of the exploiting classes, acts as an element which divides and fetters the people's struggle." We believe that this remains the case today, and that the development of a revolutionary line to smash opportunism and liquidation is an urgent task.
The threat of bourgeois co-optation of the women's struggle takes two main forms:
- that of the liberal-reformist response to out-and-out reaction, which has escalated its attacks on the democratic rights of women and transgender people; the liberal-reformist trend sees the solution to the oppression of women and transgender people to be found within the system of bourgeois democracy;
- that of the revisionism which dominates the International Communist Movement, and whose backwards lines have crept unopposed into the Maoist tendency itself; this trend wears a variety of masks, but always fails to present a dialectical materialist approach to the women's struggle or provide a proletarian class line capable of leading it, and thereby liquidates the vanguard role of communist politics;
We consequently see the urgent need for a theoretical intervention to disambiguate the correct line for the women's and transgender struggles, and to oppose the wrong ideas which inform the mechanical-materialist, chauvinistic and petit-bourgeois postmodernist positions which have been taken up by a wide set of so-called Maoist groupments across the ICM (and which are exemplified by the German and Swiss milieus, respectively). We are also aware that variations upon these lines have become commonplace within other sectors of the Maoist tendency here in the so-called United States, especially in those groups concentrated around the Struggle Sessions leadership and the eclectics of the former MCP-OC.
One divides into two: the task of today is to draw a dividing line between Maoism and revisionism, between chauvinism and the proletarian class line in the women's movement.
The stakes of the problem are clear: the articulation of the Maoist position on the the struggle of women and transgender people - an articulation which we abbreviate as proletarian feminism - is a precondition to the development of the general political program of a communist party which remains to be constructed, and which must mobilize the broadest and deepest masses behind the revolutionary movement. But such a task cannot be accomplished in isolation; it demands the systematization of the mass practice of women in rebellion, sharpening their scattered ideas on the whetstone of Maoist ideology into a razor sharp class line to organize and lead the struggle.
We are not equipped for the full realization of that task yet - we are equipped, we think, to provide the theoretical tools which our comrades can use to deepen and broaden this research, and to work towards the development of a proletarian feminist mass line through practical work in the struggles of women and transgender people.
Therefore, we see the objectives of this project to be:
- to sketch out the concept of proletarian feminism through a political-economic and ideological analysis of the conditions of women and transgender people, recognizing the practical limits which that project faces at this time;
- to refute the revisionist lines of bio-essentialism and postmodern identitarianism, particularly as expressed by forces internal to our tendency;
- to render provisional materials for further investigation into, and class analysis of, the ongoing mass struggles of women and transgender people.
Unleash the fury of women! People's war until communism!
THESES ON THE ABORTION STRUGGLE
The following document diverges briefly from the primary thread of this project in order to respond to the rapidly shifting political terrain with which the women’s movement is currently faced (namely, the impending Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade). We see political intervention on th...
THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF WOMEN'S OPPRESSION
We believe that the development of a concrete proletarian feminist line must be rooted in an analysis of the objective forces which motivate the oppression of women in the capitalist-imperialist context, from a clear picture of the actual oppression of women as a function of the specific demands of...