Break with Old Ideas

This document was circulated within the Party in advance of its 4th Congress, where many of the contradictions in the current line struggle within the Party came to a head. It is published here to give context for the ongoing line struggle.

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There currently exists a contradiction within the Revolutionary Communist Party. In the process of preparing for this Congress, the contradiction has made itself apparent. We welcome the opportunity provided by the Congress to debate this line and to unify the Party around a better perspective and better style of work. The resolution of this contradiction will allow us to become truly integrated with the masses.

This contradiction currently centres around three political questions: Proletarian Feminism and the Trans Question; the Mass Line, Mass Organizations and the Small Movements; and Workplace Organizing. We believe the positions put forward by the FFPR Montreal and by the Montreal chapter on these questions to reflect erroneous perspectives which have held back the Party’s growth and expansion and we intend to debate them at the upcoming congress. It is our contention that the differences over these political questions constitute a single contradiction, a line struggle, between the ideas of the old leadership group on the one hand and newer styles of work that have been advanced in the last half-decade on the other.

Proletarian Feminism and the Trans “Question”

The politics of the document put forward by the Comrades from the FFPR Montreal are non-Maoist, mechanistic, Marxist Feminism – a relic of the 1970s heavily influenced by petty-bourgeois Radical Feminism. The FFPR in Montreal has substituted Proletarian Feminism for Radical Feminism, changing only its name but not its content. In so doing, they have not only missed out on an important advancement in the struggle against capitalism and patriarchy, they have actually sided against trans people. Communists are supposed to be tribunes of the oppressed. However, comrades adopting this perspective have made themselves complicit with gender-based oppression of trans comrades.

It would be a mistake to treat the oppression of women in general as identical to the oppression of trans people. The two are different in character and in the dynamics internal to them. That difference does not negate the existence of systematic oppression of trans people, nor the ways in which the two are related, overlap and reinforce one another. A feminism which does not take this into account, and worse one which reduces trans people to practitioners of a postmodern subjectivism, holds itself back from an important avenue of struggle against patriarchal oppression. Such a line would also unjustly preclude us from organizing any potential trans comrades, not to mention anyone sympathetic to the struggles of trans people, who are disproportionately poor and working class, and their allies.

The error here does not just pertain to trans people. One of the great advances of MLM is identifying that ideas can become a material force when they are put into practice. It also identifies the need for the continuation of class struggle under socialism, not least of all against the ideas of the old society, which remain partially intact among the people and, when practiced, become a material force which can undermine the new society. When the document specifies argues that: “the very idea that the proletariat can take power and leave in place the oppression of women is nonsense,” it fails to integrate an MLM perspective on building socialism. To imagine that sexism would not be reproduced under socialism is not only a fantasy, it is against the historical experience of building socialism. The FFPR fails to integrate the advancements made both by MLM and Proletarian Feminism in understanding the question of women’s oppression. It gives the impression, intentionally or not, that we do not think we will have to struggle against gender-based oppression after establishing socialism. Proletarian women and trans people will surely see this as a grievous error, one which will often preclude them from rallying to the party.

The Mass Line

At the last congress, the CC identified in its assessment of the previous work that, particularly in Montreal: “It is like if we were not able to grasp and apply the through meaning of the direction we nevertheless stand for with a lot of conviction in the Chapter 13 of our Programme (“Unleash the fury of the masses as a mighty force for the revolution”) and like if we are paralysed by the thoughtless fear of economism. This prevents us from really act as a people’s vanguard.”

Lest we forget that the Party, despite proclaiming itself the Vanguard, has been virtually absent from all of the major struggles of the Canadian working class in recent years. We here can include: Occupy, The Maple Spring, Idle No More, and Black Lives Matter. While our practice is improving, we should be a leading force in these movements. We are not.

We believe that our failure to engage the masses concretely is due to a fear of economism inherited from the worst practices of the Marxist-Leninist movement of the 1970s. This same fear of economism has produced a style of work which has cut the Party off from the masses. In practice, organizations and campaigns which should have a mass or intermediate character are conceived of as subordinate units of the Party, organizationally subordinated to the Party, rather than groups which should have their own internal democracy and where the Party should exert political leadership. In our internal documents these mass organizations are referred to as “small movements,” which we believe constitutes an erroneous conceptualization of the role of mass organizations vis-à-vis the Party.

In practice, the expansion of the RSM – an intermediate organization with its own internal democratic structure and where the Party wields tremendous political influence, and indeed where most of the organizational leadership is made up of Party supporters – has allowed the Party to expand across the country in a way that would have been impossible by other means. This has allowed us to rally comrades who would not have joined the Party from the outset, and to win them to our perspectives by applying them to concrete political questions.

In this way we have gone from having no presence in the Prairies or the Maritimes just two short years ago, and now have both RSM chapters and RCP OC’s in Halifax, Charlottetown, and Saskatoon. This is without considering the other cities in Ontario where similar processes happened – Sudbury and Peterborough.

The development of the RSM shows our perspective to be correct. Initially formed in 2012 in Montreal to respond to the Maple Spring, the initial incarnation of the RSM was a failure. Comrades from Ottawa advanced a criticism that the level of political unity required to join the RSM was too high: there was no reason why someone would get involved in the RSM and not the Party. It was only after the style of work advanced in Ontario was adopted by the comrades of the RSM in Montreal in 2014-2015 that the RSM grew and became self-sustaining. The methods advanced by the old leadership group in Montreal were incapable of drawing new forces into the orbit of the party, and they were incapable of conceiving how organizations could exist under the political rather than organizational leadership of the Party.

We believe that the “Short thesis on the construction of the small-movements” is an affront to a Maoist understanding of the mass line. Instead of synthesizing and building on the experiences of the Party’s expansion throughout Canada, the document harkens back to the former, incorrect conceptions and methods of work. Particularly egregious are the theses which state that the creation of a centralized RSM was an accident not to be repeated (#10), that the “small movements” are used to avoid line struggle internal to the Party (#17), that the internal democratic structures of the “small movements” constitute a breach of democratic centralism (!!!) (#19), and that the Party has had difficulty recruiting from and exercising political leadership over chapters of “small movements” (#27). We think that this entire resolution is incorrect, and we urge comrades to vote against it. It is only through a correct understanding of the mass line that we can actually concretize our politics and expand.

Workplace Organizing

The same fear of economism identified above manifests itself in the conception of how workplace organizing fits into the process of building the revolutionary movement, and here combines with an incorrect understanding of labour history to produce a perspective which precludes a potentially fruitful area of mass organizing.
It is true that when workplace struggles stop short of abolishing capitalism – which undoubtedly is the vast majority of them – what’s left is at best a reform, an economic gain for the proletariat. Workplace struggles are not unique in this regard, though – any struggle, for example the struggle to prevent the racist PEGIDA from organizing will ultimately result in a gain for the proletariat which is not total. This is obviously not enough to preclude that kind of work, provided it is carried out correctly, in a way which build the objective forces of the revolutionary movement and increases the subjective appreciation of the situation among the workers being organized. The decisive factor here is the presence of the party and the revolutionary united front as active participants in the struggle, and the recruitment of the organized workers to the revolutionary movement.

Furthermore, while it is true that the current unions are yellow unions, are class collaborative unions, it is incorrect to say that unions are necessarily class collaborative in nature. The fundamental site of class conflict under capitalism is still the workplace: it is the location where surplus value is literally pumped out of the working class. In the process of production, struggles over the appropriation of surplus value (conscious or not) spontaneously arise. Unions are not signs of class collaboration, but rather represent the organized manifestation of the natural spontaneous class struggle that emerges out of the process of production itself.

The proposal put forward in “On revolutionary or “red” unionism” actually represents the worst of all possible choices on this question. It limits intervention in workplace struggles to propaganda actions, and effectively cedes the leadership of workers-as-workers to reformists and revisionists. The conditions for concerted workplace organizing are better than they have been in years, and the reformists are unable to capitalize on these conditions: there is no reason why we should not.
The communist movement in Canada had a great deal of success historically in organizing workplaces, even during a time when labour unions were formally legalized. The idea that legal unions are necessarily class collaborative is not born out by history: unions were legalized in Canada in the late 1800s, and the decisive shift towards reformist unionism did not begin until 1945 with the passage and embrace of the Rand Formula.

It is possible, at this early stage in the development of the RWM, that workplace organizing is not the most viable course of action, but at the same time, to preclude it at this early stage would be an error as well. In any case, the arguments presented against this do not do justice to the history of communist union organizers in Canada or to the position in favour of workplace organizing as it’s been presented.

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We believe that the disagreement over the positions presented here constitute a contradiction within the Revolutionary Communist Party, between the ideas of the old leadership group, and new practices. We urge comrades to break with these old ideas, and embrace new ideas and practices which will carry the party forward as we advance in our current stage of the plan.

Statement of support for the Central Committee

Over the past week, sections of the PCR-RCP have engaged in internal discussion and debate over the current situation in the Party. Sections were asked by the Central Committee to either affirm or deny support for the current legitimate leadership of the Party. The following sections have voted unanimously in support of the legitimacy of the current leadership of the PCR-RCP, and the current Central Committee’s ability to lead the Party. We want to emphasize that these votes do not indicate support for one side or another in the ongoing line struggle, but rather represent support for the unity of the Party and the legitimacy of its elected leadership.

RCP Saskatoon Branch
RCP Sudbury Branch
RCP Ottawa Branch
RCP Peterborough Branch
RCP Toronto Branch
RCP Hamilton Branch
RCP Kitchener-Waterloo Branch
PCR Quebec City Branch
RCP-OC Winnipeg
PCR-CO Outaouais
PCR-RCP Rectification Project Montreal
RCP-OC Wolfeville
RCP-OC Halifax
RCP-OC Charlottetown

-PCR-RCP Secretariat

On the PFF and the Oppression of Women

This document was submitted to the Fourth Congress of the PCR-RCP in November 2016 by some comrades from the FFPR Montreal. While it was rejected at the Congress, we republish it here to give context for the ongoing line struggle.
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The analysis of the specific oppression of women is historically crossed, in theory and practice, by two irreconcilable conceptual currents: the materialist current and the post-modern current (queer). These two currents do not identify the same social contradiction at the root of women’s oppression: materialists highlight the contradiction between men and women, while queer feminists consider the contradiction between the individuals who perform gender normatively and individuals who perform gender in a transgressive manner.

Proletarian feminism is a theoretical and practical materialist framework. However, as Marxists, proletarian feminists do not address the oppression of women from the same analytical framework as that used by radical materialists feminists, which conceived the contradiction man / woman as a relationship between a exploited class and an exploiting class. On the contrary, proletarian feminists believe that women’s oppression does not benefit men as a whole, but rather it benefits the ruling class, and that the contradiction man / woman is subordinated to the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.

The Proletarian Feminist Front (PFF) adopts a proletarian feminist conception of the oppression experienced by women. The existence of this small movement generated by the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), based on the firm belief that the seizure of power by the working class cannot occur without the participation and the leadership of women, who make up the majority of the working class, and that women’s liberation is inseparable from the socialist revolution.

These arguments will be developed in the arguments below. First, radical materialist feminist conceptions will be considered and opposed to postmodern conceptions (queer). Then the proletarian materialist feminism – which, being materialistic, also rejects queer conceptions – will be distinguished from materialist radical feminism. Finally, once the theoretical foundations of the proletarian feminism will be exposed, the purpose and the tasks of PFF be recalled.

A) Radical Materialist Feminism VS queer feminism

1. Radical materialist feminists as queer feminists reject “sexual difference” based on biological essentialism. In fact, science has shown that human behavior escapes the biological determinism, both at the neurological level and the hormonal levelI.

2. Radical materialist feminists, like the queer feminists, analyze gender as a social construction. But, the latter introduce the concept of gender, a heteronormative social construction that is superimposed on sex and, by extension, supplants it’s in their analysis. According to their understanding, gender is chosen individually and freely, either by accepting the binary standard, either by transgressing voluntarily this standard. This means that to be a man, a woman, or belong to a gender group that does not fall into this binary division, depends on agency.

3. On the contrary, radical materialist feminists believe that being a woman or being a man is the result of an inculcation made throughout life that is called socialization.

4. For radical materialist feminists, this socialization is the product of social gender relation, within which the class of men exploits the class of women. This operation is induced by the existence of patriarchy, understood as a mode of production.

5. For queer feminists, what determines gender identity is its performativity, that is to say, repeated practice of gender norms. Gender is not the product of a social relation, but rather a relationship of power. Indeed, in the post-modern paradigm, power is not concentrated in a class or in the state apparatus of this class. It is rather distributed diffusely across all institutions and individuals who make up society. Power is what both produces and represses subjects. For example, the heteronormative family is a unit of power that usually produces men and women called on to maintain heterosexual relationships, which traps these individuals in rigid gender roles of male and female. On the other hand, these individuals are in turn power units that choose to either comply with the standard or subvert it by transgressing the rules in order to transcend the repression of their own subjectivity. This last process is what is called agency or self-practice. For queer feminists, it is the study of the standard (the norm) that allows individuals to have a normative or transgressive performance of gender, regardless of the socialization to which they have been exposed.

6. Thus, queer feminists put the contradiction between the normative performance of gender (cisgender women and man, heterosexuals women and men) and the transgressive performance of gender (transgender women and men, queer, gay women and men, bisexuals, pansexual, non-binary people “gender neutrals”, “gender fluid” berdaches, drags, etc.)

7. For radical materialist feminist, the contradiction is rather between two separated and hierarchized social groups called man and woman. The perpetuation of male dominance is caused by a socially constructed order. They consider that the male / female division was established on the basis of the anatomical difference between the sexual organs as perceived at birth and reproductive functions (biological and social) that are distinct and systematically associated with them. The body is constructed by the social world as a gendered reality that finds its ideological justification “in the natural order of things.”

8. Radical materialist feminists believe that work is the main object of gender differentiation and prioritization. Indeed, it is the domestic work which is the economic and social base of the patriarchal oppression of women. The sexual division of labor organizes the distribution of wealth and social status in favor of men. For example, domestic work assigned to women is disqualified compared to paid work.

9. For queer feminists, labor is not the main object in the issue of the oppression of women, or rather, people oppressed by gender. For them, it is sexuality that is relevant. Here, sexuality includes the construction of gender identities which are indivisible of sexual orientation and sexual practices. Male domination, as social gender relation, is then replaced by the heteronormative prescription as gender power relation. In this sense, for the queer feminists, heteronormativity deletes natural similarities between individuals designated as male or female strength and forces the repression in men of their “feminine” traits and women, their “masculine” traits these traits (physical or behavioral) corresponding to the idea we have of what masculinity and femininity.

10. In contrast, radical materialist feminists, when they address the issue of sexuality, still analyzed it through the prism of the sexual division of labor. Sex is designed as a work done by women and owned by men. Femininity instilled as an expression of vulnerability and the subjugation of women in order to meet the sexual desires of men. With respect to heteronormativity, it derives from the sexual division of labor that assigns different tasks to men and women and who wants them to be “naturally complementary.”

11. While the radical materialist feminists want to abolish gendered roles established on a socially constructed binary, queer feminist favor the multiplication of categories of persons not covered by gender norms, and therefore the perpetuation of the differentiation that inevitably behind a hierarchy.

12. The radical materialist feminists do not linger in philosophical discourse on subjectization, but rather on the observation of social practices and material conditions in which women evolve.

13. For queer feminists, it is sufficient to define oneself and to have a constantly performed activity in correspondence with this self-identification to reverse the gender norm. This is an individualistic approach.

14. On the contrary, for radical materialist feminist, the class of women must collectively wage a political struggle against the class of men.

B) Proletarian materialist feminism VS Radical materialist feminism

i) Points of convergence

15. Proletarian feminism, as radical feminism, rejects queer theory because it derives from postmodernism. Its articulation with materialism cannot occur without tension because it is intrinsically idealistic. Materialists and postmodern approaches are, in many respects antagonistic. The Queer theoretical perspective is alien to Marxism and is expected to remain so because it is bourgeois.

16. Proletarian feminism, as radical feminism, identifies a contradiction between men and women, and rejects the idea of a contradiction between individuals with a gender normative performance and individuals with a transgressive gender performance. As radical feminism, proletarian feminism conceives gender as a social construction. The latter is generated by a differentiated and hierarchical socialization between men and women. Socialization is based on the appearance of the genitals observed at birth.

17. Proletarian feminism, as radical feminism, is interested in labor as being at the root of women’s oppression.

18. Finally, proletarian feminism, as radical feminism, pursues the goal of the abolition of gender roles, unlike queer feminism which by liberalism, calls for the proliferation of gender identities and individual freedom to choose one here and now.

ii) The divergence

19. The Radical feminist analysis as a whole, is not compatible with Marxism, because it conceives the present society as patriarchal, that is to say as being controlled by men as a whole, or at least, to be managed in the interest of all men. On the contrary, Proletarian feminism argues that the oppression of women, as important as it is, does not benefit the people as a whole, but to the bourgeoisie. If male dominance in society is undeniable, it is wrong to claim that all the men hold power.

20. Marxism analyzes the capitalist mode of production from the point of view of material interests of different classes. Radical materialist feminists wanted to give a materialistic basis, modeled on Marxism, to the theory of patriarchy by claiming that there is a domestic mode of production. All women, regardless of their class affiliation, constitute a single class including domestic work would be despoiled by the class of men.

21. Proletarian Feminists believe that the relationship between men and women cannot be considered analogous to the relationship between capitalists and workers. Exploitation and oppression are two different phenomena. Domestic work done by the proletarian women does not allow their proletarian comrades to accumulate capital. In wage labor, every minute saved by workers is a minute lost for the profits of the capitalists. In domestic work, men do not require of women to prepare more meals and do more laundry as they have the physical ability to do more. In wage labor, machines that could improve the lot of the workers but do not serve to increase profits are not introduced in the work process. In domestic work, the introduction of machinery and new products that improve women’s living conditions is not fought against by men. Time spent on education and care of children is not a job that benefits the proletarian men; the absence of a man does not reduce the workload of the many single mothers who raise their children alone. It is capitalism that imposes, by the privatization of this work, long grueling hours to women. Those who benefit from the work of women are the same who benefit from the work in general: the capitalists. This work of reproduction allows them to have workers fed, bleached and healthy, ready to get to work each day. The capitalists do not socialize all the work of reproduction because it would hurt their profits by causing considerable costs. To facilitate the reproduction of labor power, the bourgeoisie has retained an existing institution, the family – in which women were considered inferior – while transforming and subordinating its relations of production. Thus sexism is reproduced in the present society and generates inequalities between men and women, particularly with respect to the sharing of domestic tasks.

22. Some radical feminists do not separately analyze class relations and gender relations. But they analyze conjointly the individual interest of every man to be served at home by a woman and the collective interest of the ruling class to perpetuate the sexual division of labor – which assigns to women the majority of domestic duties and their extension in the wage world.

23. For proletarian feminists, domestic work does not represent an antagonism of interests between men and women of the working class. To be less exploited than women does not mean exploiting them. The proletarian men do not have a vested interest in maintaining the privatization of reproductive work. They would lose nothing with socializing this work.

24. Radical feminists argue that the patriarchal mode of production is also socially structuring, if not more than the capitalist mode of production. Proletarian feminists, as Marxists, believe that this analysis is wrong.

25. Indeed, one might say that the family, the root of domestic work, has the same historical weight, political and economic that the capitalist market? The market and the accumulation of capital done and redone and all aspects of the world in which we live; have caused wars and famines, literally transformed the landscape, created cities, destroyed and recreated monarchies, dictatorships, democracies; created the conditions for the mass entry of women in industrial work; created education and universities. The family did not have in world history this dynamic of progressive and in the same-time-that-destructive role. Rather, it is an institution that contributes strongly to the survival of capitalism, without constituting one of its reasons for being. The organization and carrying out of domestic tasks depend on the prior existence of industrial production, its products and its impact on the division of labor. When the needs of capitalist accumulation change, major changes may take place in the family, while the reverse is not true. The expanding capitalist economy needs the female workforce – and now millions of women join again the strength of labor. Capitalism needs a more educated workforce? – The children all go to school instead of going to the factory. In periods of crisis, it is even more striking. In peacetime, bourgeois ideology states that the family home is the only place where you can develop balanced human beings. Arrive a world war and capitalist send men per million in the killing fields and women by the millions to the factory to replace the work of men workers. The family as life is destroyed until the end of the war. In short, capitalism needs the family, but the family in last ultimately subordinated to it.II

26. Proletarian feminism, unlike radical feminism, analyzes the man / woman contradiction as a non-antagonistic secondary contradiction, a contradiction among the people. Proletarian feminism considers that the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is the main social contradiction. The oppression of women is subordinate to the class struggle.

27. Unlike radical feminists, proletarian feminists therefore consider that there is no possible unity between the proletarian women and the bourgeois women, but there is one among the proletarian women and proletarian men, despite the persistence of sexist attitudes among the people. It is in the interests of the proletarian men to participate in the struggle against sexism and women’s oppression. In all countries, women make up a significant portion of the workers. The very idea that the proletariat can take power and leave in place the oppression of women is nonsense. This idea suggests that millions of workers, having engaged in a struggle without mercy to overthrow the bourgeoisie – struggle involving all the transformations of consciousness that arise from this kind of experience – subsequently decide to maintain the oppression of women. A takeover by the workers if the majority of the proletariat is ignored is not one. This does not mean that after the seizure of power, the millennia gender bias and contempt towards women will disappear suddenly. It only means that the elimination of the material basis of oppression, coupled with the revolutionary consciousness of millions of women and men, will weaken this oppression will begin its rapid decline to disposal.III

iii) For a proletarian feminist small-movement

28. PFF was formed on the basis of the recognition of the objective existence of a contradiction between men and women, and the need 1) to organize proletarian women for revolution, and 2) combating sexism now in order to form a genuine alliance between the men and women of the proletariat.

29. The fact that the PFF is for women – the oppressed group that justifies its existence – does not reproduce the oppression of minorities that are also oppressed,  categories that have a material existence in society (gay, trans people, racialized people, etc.), or whether strictly ideological categories, such as those advanced by the queer. The fact that only the word “women” is used in chapter 8 of the RCP program and in the Manifesto for a proletarian feminism is in nothing problematic. There is no need to add phrases from the queer feminism like “people oppressed by gender,” “non-binary people” or “non-male”. That would betray the mission of PFF. Indeed, queer feminism occults the oppression of women. It claims that by changing the words and ideas, we change the material world, denying that gender roles continue to exist objectively. The queer feminism, through the promotion of agency, ends up erasing the need for the collective struggle for emancipation of proletarian women.

30. Proletarian feminists recognize the objective existence of trans people, but understand their situation as being determined by the man / woman contradiction, and not an imaginary contradiction between normativity and gender transgression. Socialization engenders gender roles through all the ideological apparatus of the bourgeois society. However, this socialization is not performed consistently and uniformly on all individuals, since the pressure of the different social environments is not the same everywhere. Trans people do not violate or do not subvert gender or gender roles; they simply change sides. Note that men are also subject to the requirements of the roles associated with their dominant sex that was assigned at birth. This can cause serious malaise that can explain men transsexuality, causing them to expose themselves to gender-based violence experienced by women.

31. The oppression of trans people by supposedly cisgenderIV women is a divisive invention of the bourgeoisie. Even a woman who would match perfectly the female gendered roles would still be a dominated woman who would not have chosen her sex, but for which society would have assigned one that would maintain her in a inferior position. That said, there are no women or men in perfect correspondence with the gender roles incumbent on sex because sex is socially constructed.

32. This to say that the PFF considers the oppression experienced by trans people and homosexuals, while conceiving these oppressions as arising from the contradiction between men and women. Homophobia and transphobia are extensions of sexism.

33. PFF says that the revolutionary organizations and the revolutionary people must also act against the effects of the oppression of women in daily or organizational life.

34. In conclusion, the PFF advocates for the emancipation from the sexualisation of bodies and gender roles that result from it. Communist classless society will be marked by genuine equality among individuals who will not be placed in categories of sex and will be able to freely express their preferences.

35. The RCP, as communist vanguard, gives to proletarian women’s movements (against sexual exploitation, sexism, etc.) its full support, while placing this support in a political work to make these movements aware of their natural surroundings – that is class struggle – and thus to qualify them for the revolutionary struggle.V What should be the attitude of the communist vanguard vis-à-vis the bourgeois and petty bourgeois feminism, queer feminism and radical feminism? An uncompromising criticism of their anti-proletarian character.

PFF Comrades from Montréal

NOTES:

I.    We rely on the writings of theorists like: Catherine Vidal, Joëlle Wiels, Gaid Le Maner-Idrissi, Pascal Picq, IE Sommer et al, KM Bishop and D. Walhsten, SJ Gould, D. Benoît-Browaeys, etc.

II.     Extracted almost entirely taken from the text “Do we live in a patriarchal society? Who benefits oppression? “By John Mullen.

III.     Idem.

IV.    According to queer feminism, cisgender people are those whose gender identity matches the gender that was assigned at birth based on the appearance of their genitals. In other words, it is the great majority of individuals.

V.    Excerpt almost entirely with the text “La flèche et la cible” by the prisoner’s collective of the Fighting Communist Cells (CCC).

Réponse à la déclaration du district de Québec

Récemment, le District du Québec du PCR-RCP a fait une déclaration sur l’expulsion de quatre membres de Montréal. Le Comité Central dénonce cette déclaration et la déclare nulle et non avenue. Le Comité Central considère que les quatre membres sont effectivement expulsés.

Pour ceux qui ne seraient pas encore au courant des circonstances autour de l’expulsion de ces quatre membres : le 4 mars dernier, le PCR-RCP a tenté d’organiser un lancement pour le livre « Continuity and Rupture » de J. Moufawad-Paul à la Maison Norman Bethune. Pendant le lancement, il eut une altercation physique qui mit fin à l’événement prématurément. L’altercation fut entre les quatre membres de la branche de Montréal d’un côté et trois supporters maoïstes de l’autre. Les trois qui ont été attaqués on été marqués comme des « éléments anti-Parti » par le branche montréalaise – évaluation que le Comité Central ne partage pas et qui ne fut pas émis par l’organisation comme entité. Alors que le lancement prenait place, les quatre membres du Parti sont entrés par grand éclat dans la Maison Norman Bethune afin de s’attaquer aux trois individus catégorisés « anti-Parti » et les ont été éjectés de force en dépit des protestations de l’auteur du livre et des membres de l’audience. En aucun moment ces trois individus ont tenté de perturber la tenue de l’événement. Les lunettes de l’un des trois individus furent même délibérément écrasées et cassées. Ces derniers furent escortés et injuriés, ceci incluant des insultes chauvines. Les quatre membres ont subséquemment été expulsés par une décision du Comité Central.

De retour sur la déclaration du District du Québec au sujet des expulsions, nous souhaitons attirer l’attention sur plusieurs questions :

Premièrement, dans la déclaration, le District du Québec renverse la décision du Comité Central d’expulser les quatre membres. Le District du Québec est aucunement en position d’autorité leur permettant de renverser les décisions du Comité Central. Les quatre membres sont sans aucun doute expulsés du PCR-RCP. Tous les membres et les sympathisants sont tenus à respecter ces expulsions. Nous notons, qu’en dépit d’accusations du contraire, ceci fait partie d’un schéma alarmant de comportements où le District du Québec du PCR-RCP, malgré le fait qu’il n’a ni la majorité du membership, ni la majorité des positions de leadership, tente de se substituer au Centre du Parti. Une telle situation n’est pas soutenable dans un Parti opérant sous le centralisme démocratique.

Deuxièmement, la déclaration suggère que dans le développement de la lute de ligne ce qui est à l’ordre du jour c’est « la conception marxiste-léniniste-maoïste du travail de masse, de la ligne de masse et du féminisme prolétarien, … la centralité ouvrière, de l’action révolutionnaire dans un pays impérialiste comme le Canada et de la stratégie de la guerre populaire prolongée ». Nous rejetons cette conception et accusons que cela est l’esquisse d’un portrait délibérément malhonnête de la nature du débat de ligne : le PCR-RCP est uni sous les notions de la centralité ouvrière, de l’action révolutionnaire dans un pays impérialiste comme le Canada et de la stratégie de la guerre populaire prolongée. Cependant nous réaffirmons que la lute de ligne est au sujet des conceptions de la ligne de masse et spécifiquement sur le sujet du féminisme prolétarien, de la libération trans, du travail du sexe et des orientations du Parti envers les syndicats.

Troisièmement, la déclaration fait référence à une « clique anti-Parti » qui aurait pris contrôle du PCR-RCP, et qui aurait pris à cœur la mission de rejeter les conceptions du PCR, le Programme et sa pratique. Nous trouvons que cela est une déclaration absurde et condamnable. En effet, il semble que le District du Québec marque tout le monde avec qui il n’est pas d’accord comme étant « anti-Parti ». Le Comité Central duquel 9 de ses 11 membres seraient dans cette « clique » ainsi que 80% du membership du Parti demeurent dévoués au PCR-RCP, aux concepts généraux contenus dans son Programme et à une pratique maoïste correcte historiquement caractérisé dans le travail du Parti. En même temps, en dépit d’un commun accord sur les conceptions stratégiques ainsi que les idées contenues dans le Programme, nous relevons que certains aspects du Programme nécessitent une mise à jour et un dépassement : le Programme tel qu’il l’est a 10 ans alors que notre pratique s’améliore depuis 10 ans. Ceux qui s’opposent à examiner les limites du Programme après 10 ans le font avec une profonde arrogance anti-masses ce qui, pour être honnête, ne pourrait être plus détachée de la réalité et des profonds courants du capitalisme depuis 2006. Qui plus est, contre les charges où la clique anti-Parti aurait pris le contrôle du Parti, nous dénonçons la soit-disante « direction historique » telle qu’identifiée et critiquée à notre Troisième Congrès comme tentant de prendre le contrôle de la direction du Parti par une méthode antidémocratique et illégitime à l’extérieur des structures légitimes de leadership dans le Parti.

Nous sommes confiants que ce ne sont pas tous les supporters du PCR-RCP à Montréal qui partagent les perspectives du BO du Québec. Tant que le BO du Québec ne fait qu’obstruer toute tentative du leadership de contacter les supporters du Parti à Montréal, nous faisons appel à tous les supporters du Parti à Montréal qui reconnaîssent le légitime leadership et structure du Parti de tendre vers nous à cette adresse :

En conclusion, le Comité Central réaffirme sa légitimité de mener la direction du Parti. Nous réaffirmons que les quatre membres sont expulsés. Nous condamnons le District du Québec de tenter de saboter le centralisme démocratique du PCR-RCP. Nous faisons appel à tous les supporters du PCR-RCP de se rallier derrière le leadership bien-fondé du Parti et des conceptions maoïstes légitimes et de continuer à œuvrer à bâtir la Révolution au Canada.

– Le Comité Central du PCR-RCP

Response to the Statement of the Quebec District

Recently, the Quebec district of the PCR-RCP made a statement on the expulsions of four comrades from Montreal. The Central Committee denounces this statement, and declares its contents to be both false and void. The Central Committee considers the four comrades to be expelled.

For those who have not yet been made aware of the circumstances around the expulsion of the four members: On March 4th, the PCR-RCP attempted to hold the book launch of J. Moufawad-Paul’s Continuity and Rupture at Maison Norman Bethune. During the book launch, there was a physical altercation that ended the event prematurely. The altercation occurred between four members of the Montreal branch of the PCR-RCP on the one side, and three other PCR-RCP supporters on the other side. The three who were attacked have been branded “anti-party elements” by the Montreal branch, an evalutation that the Central Committee does not share and which was not made by the organization as a whole. In the midst of the presentation, four party members stormed into the Maison Norman Bethune, physically assaulted the three individuals classified as “anti-party”, and forcibly ejected them despite the protests of the author and others in attendence. At no point did any of the three individuals attempt to disrupt the book launch. One of these three individuals had their glasses stomped on and broken. They were all followed to the nearby Metro station and called a variety of names, including some chauvinist slurs. These four were subsequently expelled by decision of the Central Committee.

Turning now to the Quebec District statement surrounding the expulsions, we wish to draw attention to several issues:

First: the in the statement, the Quebec district overturns the decision of the Central Committee to expel the four comrades. The Quebec district, in no uncertain terms, does not have the authority to overturn decisions of the Central Committee. These four individuals are, without question, still expelled from the PCR-RCP. All Party members and supporters are required to uphold these expulsions. We note that, despite accusations to the contrary, this is part of an alarming pattern of behaviour where the Quebec district of the PCR-RCP, despite having neither a majority of members nor leadership positions, attempts to substitute itself for the Party centre. Such a situation is not sustainable in a Party operating under democratic centralism.

Second: the statement suggests that in the developing line struggle what is at stake is “the MLM conception of mass work, the mass line, and proletarian feminism… the centrality of the working class, revolutionary action in an imperialist country, and the strategy of protracted peoples’ war.” We reject this conception, and charge that it is a deliberately dishonest portrayal of the line struggle: the PCR-RCP is unified on the centrality of the working class as the makers of revolution, and we are unified on the strategy of PPW. We re-assert that the line struggle is about: conceptions of the mass-line, and specifically: proletarian feminism, trans liberation, sex work, and the Party’s orientation towards unions.

Third: the statement makes reference to an “anti-party clique” which has taken control of the PCR-RCP, and which has made its mission the rejection of the PCR-RCP’s conceptions, Programme, and practice. We find this to be an absurd and condemnable statement. Indeed, it seems that the Quebec District labels anyone who disagrees with them as “anti-party”. The Central Committee -of which 9 of its 11 members supposedly belong to this “clique”, alongside 80% of the Party’s membership- remains committed to the PCR-RCP, to the broad conceptions contained in its Programme, and to a correct Maoist practice which has historically characterized the Party’s work. In turn, despite full agreement with the general strategic conception and outlines contained in the Programme, we note that there are aspects of the Programme which need improvement and updating: the Programme is, after all, over 10 years old, and our practice has improved during those 10 years. Those that oppose even examining the limits of the Programme after 10 years do so with a profound anti-mass arrogance, which, to be frank, is detached from reality and the profound shifts in capitalism since 2006. In turn, against charges that an anti-party clique has taken control of the Party, we charge that the so-called “historic leadership group”, as identified and critiqued at our Third Congress, is now attempting to control the direction of the PCR-RCP in an undemocratic and illegitimate manner from outside of the Party’s leadership structures.

We are sure that not all supporters of the PCR-RCP in Montreal share the perspectives of the Quebec OB. Insofar as the Quebec OB is obfuscating any attempt for the Party leadership to contact the supporters in Montreal, we call on supporters of the Party in Montreal who uphold the legitimate leadership and structure of the Party to reach out to us at: pcr.rcp.canada@gmail.com.

In closing, the Central Committee reasserts its right to lead the direction of the Party. We reassert that the four comrades in question are expelled. We condemn the Quebec district for attempting to undermine the democratic centralism of the PCR-RCP. We call on all supporters of the PCR-RCP to rally around the legitimate leadership of the Party, and legitimate Maoist perspectives, and to continue the work of building revolution in Canada.

-Central Committee, PCR-RCP

Communiqué du Parti communiste révolutionnaire (district du Québec)

(Montréal, le 11 mars 2017) Il appert qu’un communiqué sera publié, dans les prochaines heures sinon les prochains jours, pour annoncer «l’expulsion» de quatre camarades membres de notre parti dans la région de Montréal, sous prétexte d’un incident survenu le samedi 4 mars à l’occasion du lancement d’un ouvrage à la Maison Norman Bethune, quand trois éléments hostiles, qui n’ont cessé de mener une activité fractionnelle basée sur la diffusion de rumeurs et de mensonges et se sont exclus eux-mêmes du parti, ont été invités à quitter les lieux.

Le district du Québec du Parti communiste révolutionnaire condamne et rejette avec la plus grande fermeté cette décision illégitime, qui origine d’une clique qui s’est donnée pour mission d’en finir avec les prétendues «vieilles idées», les conceptions, le programme et la pratique forgées à travers 30 années de lutte pour établir un centre prolétarien authentiquement et pleinement maoïste au Canada.

Cette décision est d’autant plus illégitime qu’elle intervient dans un contexte où le parti est traversé par une importante lutte de lignes depuis maintenant plusieurs mois, apparue au grand jour lors de son plus récent congrès. Cette lutte de lignes touche une variété de questions, dont la conception marxiste-léniniste-maoïste du travail de masse, de la ligne de masse et du féminisme prolétarien, qui ont trait en dernière analyse aux conceptions stratégiques qui sont celles du PCR à propos de la centralité ouvrière, de l’action révolutionnaire dans un pays impérialiste comme le Canada et de la stratégie de la guerre populaire prolongée.

La «rupture» ouvertement souhaitée par la clique antiparti et ses supporters, c’est précisément une rupture avec ces conceptions et le retour à une ligne pragmatiste, qui abandonne toute initiative politique à l’ennemi et aux aléas du mouvement spontané et ouvre toute grande la porte aux points de vue révisionnistes et démocratiques bourgeois. L’«expulsion» de quatre camarades connuEs pour leur dévouement militant et leur défense éloquente du programme du parti, alors même que le débat est ouvert et censé se poursuivre au cours des prochains mois, témoigne de l’absence totale de principes des supporters de cette clique.

Conscient de sa responsabilité historique et déterminé à défendre l’intégrité du parti et de son programme, le district du Québec du PCR a donc rétabli les quatre camarades dans leurs pleins droits et pris les dispositions pour assurer la continuité de son travail, appliquer les décisions et les plans adoptés par son congrès et mettre fin aux activités fractionnelles et aux provocations ayant pour but d’affaiblir le programme du parti, de miner sa cohésion et d’écarter les militantes et militants qui ont été et sont au cœur de sa construction et de son développement idéologique, politique et organisationnel.

Dans les prochains jours et les prochaines semaines, des textes et contributions variées seront rendus publics, notamment sur le site Web pcr-rcp.ca et d’autres plateformes, qui permettront aux camarades de tout le pays, aux militantes et militants dédiéEs à la cause du communisme et aux partis et organisations maoïstes fraternels de prendre la mesure du débat, de s’en approprier les enjeux et de se joindre au combat pour incarner et matérialiser le maoïsme et les conceptions stratégiques qui en constituent le fondement.

Le district du Québec du PCR appelle l’ensemble des camarades du parti à s’unir autour de son programme, de ses orientations stratégiques, de ses plans et des décisions prises par son congrès depuis la fondation du parti il y a 10 ans. Alors que la bourgeoisie a déjà commencé à «célébrer» le 100e anniversaire de la glorieuse révolution d’Octobre en attaquant le communisme et l’idée même de la conquête du pouvoir par les masses prolétariennes, relevons le défi avec toute l’audace et la détermination qui caractérisent les prolétaires révolutionnaires! Déployons et faisons rayonner la propagande et l’action du parti partout et dans toutes les sections du peuple! Mobilisons-nous pour faire un succès du 1er Mai révolutionnaire – ce glorieux 1er Mai, qui n’est pas autre chose qu’une journée de lutte et de solidarité de notre classe, unie contre la bourgeoisie! Au combat, camarades!

Statement from the Québec District of the Revolutionary Communist Party

(Montréal, March 11, 2017) It seems that a communiqué will soon be published to announce the so-called “expulsion” of four members of our Party in the Montréal area under the pretext of an incident that took place on March 4th at a book launch at the Maison Norman Bethune, where three hostile elements, who had separated themselves from the Party and had carried out for several months a fractional activity while spreading rumours and lies, were invited to leave the bookstore.

The Québec District of the Revolutionary Communist Party condemns and rejects with the utmost firmness this illegitimate decision, originating from a clique whose mission is to put an end to the so-called “old ideas”: the conceptions, programme and practice forged through 30 years of struggle to establish a genuine and fully Maoist proletarian center in Canada.

This decision is all the more illegitimate because it comes in a context where the Party has been engaged in an important two-line struggle for several months now—a struggle that became obvious at its most recent congress. This struggle is related to a variety of issues, including the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist understanding of mass work, the mass line and proletarian feminism, which ultimately boils down to the strategic orientations of the PCR-RCP about the centrality of the working class in the revolutionary process, revolutionary action in an imperialist country like Canada, and the strategy of protracted people’s war.

The “rupture” openly desired by the anti-party clique and its supporters is precisely a break with these conceptions and a return to a pragmatist line, which abandons all political initiative to the enemy and to the vagaries of the spontaneous movement, and opens the door to all revisionist and bourgeois democratic points of view. The “expulsion” of four comrades known for their eloquent defense of the Party’s programme as well as their militant dedication, at a moment where the debate was open and expected to continue over the next few months, testifies to the total lack of principles from the supporters of this clique.

Aware of its historical responsibility and determined to defend the integrity of the Party and its programme, the Québec District of the PCR-RCP has reinstated the four comrades in their full rights and made all necessary arrangements to ensure the continuity of its work according to the plans adopted by its congresses, and to put an end to the fractional activities and provocations aimed at weakening the Party’s programme, undermining its cohesion and dismissing the comrades who were and are at the heart of its construction and its ideological, political and organizational development.

In the coming days and weeks, a series of texts and contributions will be made public on the pcr-rcp.ca website and other platforms, which will enable comrades across the country, activists dedicated to the cause of Communism and fraternal Maoist parties and organizations to take stock of the debate and the issues at stake, in order to join the struggle to uphold and materialize Maoism and the strategic concepts that comprise it.

The Québec District of the PCR-RCP calls on all Party comrades to unite around its programme, its strategic orientations, its plans and the decisions taken by its congresses since the founding of the Party 10 years ago. While the bourgeoisie has already begun to “celebrate” the 100th anniversary of the glorious October Revolution by attacking communism and the very idea of the conquest of power by the proletarian masses, let us take up the challenge with all the audacity and determination that characterizes revolutionary proletarians! Let us spread the Party’s propaganda and actions everywhere and in all sections of the people! Let us mobilize to make a success of Revolutionary May 1st—glorious May Day, which is nothing but a day of struggle and solidarity of our class, united against the bourgeoisie! To the front, comrades!