“Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.” – Frantz Fanon
The Organization for a Free Society (OFS) is excited to announce its unaninmous decision to affiliate with the network provisionally known as the Marxist Center (MC). We believe this network can operate as a hub for synthesizing lessons learned in the trenches of grassroots struggle, a space of encounter for partisans committed to a protracted revolutionary struggle for communism, and a vehicle for assembling and coordinating our struggles against the world-system and world-ecology of imperialism – a social system premised upon the interlocking subsystems of heteropatriarchy, capitalism, colonialism, and the state.
If Marxism has utility in our historical conjuncture, it is as a living unity of revolutionary theory and practice that remains permanently open to transformation in accordance with the situations encountered by the real movement for liberation. A 21st century communist politics inspired by the Marxian tradition should strive to assemble a hybrid fusion of Indigenism, decolonial liberation, queer and trans feminism, political ecology, and participatory democracy with the praxis of proletarian class struggle waged within and against capital on the terrain of social re/production.
We acknowledge that the articulation of a communist politics is a dynamic process, arising from the complexity of needs and desires articulated by the global working class and all oppressed social groups in the struggle for liberation. For OFS, this acknowledgement has important implications for how we relate to the MC network. We remain unconvinced that the complexity of proletarian needs and desires can be embodied or represented by a singular party organization; nor do we think a monolithic mass party is capable of waging a protracted revolutionary struggle for communism. Rather, the promise of the MC is the construction of a becoming-party composed of a multiplicity of comradely parties, rooted in and attuned to the micropolitics of local conditions, learning how to assemble and swarm on the hyper-complex battlefield of the class war. We concur with Nick Dyer-Witheford that if in previous cycles of struggle the centralized mass party built networks of cells, today “the networked cells must create the party.”
While we leave the particularities of organizational form open to future contingency, we think it is crucial that we keep our eyes on the prize, and stay focused on what the MC has consistently emphasized: building a popular base for social revolution, and creating grassroots infrastructure independent of the non-profit industrial complex, capital, and the state. From organizing rank-and-file workers to building tenants’ unions, the construction of autonomous working class institutions has been the unifying principle and practice for the MC, and we believe it should continue to guide the everyday praxis of all affiliate organizations. It is time for communists to return to our roots by making our home in the hinterlands of empire. There is no substitute for mass self-organization and self-activity: it is from the real movement of this multitude of workers and oppressed people that a communist alternative will arise, and it is through a base-building approach that we can set our movement on the path to playing an active role in the political recomposition of the class and popular social groups, ultimately culminating in a revolutionary dual power situation and the formation of a territorial commune in the belly of the beast.
One of our primary concern with the MC, a concern which was also expressed by our comrades in Red Bloom, pertains to developing our collective understanding of white supremacy within the settler-colonial context of the U.S. empire. We must learn from the mistakes of the Eurocentric, white chauvinist currents of the communist movement that failed to ground their politics in a critique of white skin privilege, resulting in systematically ignoring, downplaying, or downgrading the centrality of autonomous decolonial liberation struggles. It is the responsibility of all communists to uphold, defend, advance, and build connections with struggles for sovereignty waged by Indigenous First Nations, New Afrikans, Xicanxs, Puertorriqueñxs, Pacific Islanders, and all communities oppressed by white supremacist (neo)colonial domination. However, we believe political education and the development of a praxis of material solidarity and self-critical assessment and summation will enable us to grow and develop as committed anti-racist, decolonial communists.
Paulo Freire has said that “no one is born fully-formed: it is through self-experience in the world that we become what we are.” It is our hope that the MC will take this lesson to heart, recognizing that our movement is still in the early stages of formation. Through our collective self-experience as a network, we can enhance our ability to coordinate grassroots struggles and promote the self-organization of the class. Our success will be contingent upon the ability of affiliate organizations to develop concrete analyses of concrete conditions, and craft comradely bonds among all affiliates. The actualities of climate change, imperialist wars, racist police and mass incarceration, transphobia, misogyny, capitalist exploitation, and resurgent fascism leave us no choice. We have rediscovered our historic mission. Now we must choose to fulfill it, or betray it.
Hasta la victoria siempre,
The Organization for a Free Society (OFS)