Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: Aid vs International Solidarity

img-20161011-wa0026The root of the disease was political. The treatment could only be political. Of course, we encourage aid that aids us in doing away with aid. But in general, welfare and aid policies have only ended up disorganizing us, subjugating us, and robbing us of a sense of responsibility for our own economic, political, and cultural affairs. We chose to risk new paths to achieve greater well-being.

Thomas Sankara on Western aid 

Class Struggle and International Solidarity

As soon as people heard of the ravages done by Hurricane Mathew, mostly in Southern and Northwestern regions of Haiti, many were volunteering to send support. Some even posted online what they perceived as reputable NGOs. But for us, whether or not some NGOs are reputable, the point to ask is whether or not sending money to NGOs, even reputable ones, is in the best interest of the Haitian popular masses. This is especially the case after the earthquake of January 2010, in which millions of dollars poured in for the same reasons of support and Haiti today remains in even worse shape. We hear the arguments that quick-fix support is important for the immediate survival of people, but we face the facts already proven in previous catastrophes that, for the long term, those quick fixes have become part of the problem and only represent a bail out for the Haitian dominant classes, the State Apparatus and imperialism.

As those catastrophes continue to occur internationally, other dominated and exploited classes from their respective societies will also manifest their spontaneous need to support and be interdependent with the most affected victims, with a total spirit of abnegation. This solidarity is a precursor, although limited, of the need for solidarity and internationalism, which under the leadership of conscientious social classes could become a powerful force underpinning the construction of new societies. But to realize this positive spirit of interdependency, progressive and revolutionary forces must promote a correct conception of internationalism and of solidarity based solely on the interests of the popular masses. We must demarcate ourselves from bourgeois conceptions that finally end up bailing out the dominant classes, the state apparatus and imperialists. Under capitalist direction, humanitarian aid is a bourgeois conception that inevitably serves bourgeois interests.

Haiti is Not a Poor Country

Haiti is a rich country. Much of our wealth has been stolen or is being stolen. The Haitian dominant classes should not be viewed as part of the popular masses in any scientific or materialist class analysis. In any social formation, the capitalist class and feudal classes are not part of the popular masses. Their nationalism is based solely on the interests of the power block exercising its class dictatorship over the popular masses, especially the proletariat.

Humanitarianism supports a parasitic form of capital accumulation

In fact many fractions of the capitalist class, especially the bureaucratic bourgeois and imperialist institutions such as NGOs are using the donations of well-intended people as a parasitic form of capitalist accumulation. This has even been documented as a growing trend of “disaster capitalism.”

Humanitarianism Promotes Dependency

We are not arguing that acts of solidarity, even humanitarian, are not warranted. On the contrary, they are necessary, but not under the dictatorship of capital. Capitalism only uses them to create a condition of dependency. Effective solidarity needs to be practiced within a revolutionary perspective of self-determination: COUNTING ON OUR OWN STRENGTH. In the response to the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, there was no attempt to promote self-determination. The politics of misery were used to guarantee capitalist accumulation. Aid, even humanitarian aid, has become one of the central forms of accumulation for the reproduction of capitalism in Haiti. As Thomas Sankara said of Western aid: “The root of the disease was political. The treatment could only be political. Of course, we encourage aid that aids us in doing away with aid. But in general, welfare and aid policies have only ended up disorganizing us, subjugating us, and robbing us of a sense of responsibility for our own economic, political, and cultural affairs. We chose to risk new paths to achieve greater well-being.”

A Quick Overview

It would be irresponsible and ultra-leftist not to ask for aid. We do support the need for donations. But the devastation of nature can’t be uncoupled from the reactionary political line of Haitian capitalism and imperialist domination. The way we deal with the devastation of nature must be determined in the field of class struggle, and now in the field of class struggle, capitalism is calling the shots. Haiti is a social formation that is rotten to the core. The inter-class struggles among the ruling classes in Haiti are secondary contradictions that provide no solution to the degradation of Haiti’s social structures. As long as capitalism is in control, as long as the policies of capitalism dominated by imperialism are in effect, exceptional crises caused by nature and the perpetual ongoing crisis caused by the anti-national and anti popular policies of the power block, the social formation will continue to deteriorate and reach a barbaric state in which the unacceptable becomes the norm of the day.

What Is to Be Done?

Although support is necessary at this time, progressives and revolutionaries must always denounce the role of the anti-national, anti-popular politics of capitalism in Haiti and demarcate themselves from the alternatives given to us by capitalism and imperialism. We must offer our own alternatives. Haiti is a failure of capitalism and imperialist domination. Our alternatives should be based on two aspects:

1] International solidarity and internationalism should start with progressives and revolutionaries organizing against their class enemies in their respective social formations, especially in the belly of imperialist social formations. Our future, in all social formations, can’t be based on whom we vote for but rather on our own capacity to organize in our interests and under the perspective of classes that have the most interest to rid humanity of capitalism.

2] Identifying organizations and movements we can support, from the perspective of unity and collective struggle for the conquest of popular democratic rights and the elimination of capitalism and feudalism. The more we organize and struggle in our own social formation, the more our vision of international unity and solidarity and internationalism will sharpen and consolidate. The more we demarcate from populism and opportunism the more our international unity will consolidate.

In Haiti, the MayDay Batay Ouvriye Federation of unions is a combative movement of laborers and workers that is organizing to struggle for the conquest of popular democratic rights. Batay Ouvriye [BO] is organizing workers and has worked to set up to unions in the garment industries in Port-au-Prince, Carrefour, Ouanaminthe and Caracol. BO is also organizing poor peasants in rural communal sections of Haiti as well as agricultural workers. Most recently, the Organization of Laborers and Landless Peasants [OPTST] held its first general assembly. Under the leadership of the most advanced workers, BO is constructing a combative path to conquer popular democratic rights battling feudalism and capitalism.

Compounding ruling class repression, Mathew has hit BO as a movement among the popular masses. Some of our members in rural areas have lost their homes and the means to sustain themselves. In the face of this crisis, we urge progressives and revolutionaries to extend their solidarity directly to BO in support for the continuing struggle for popular democratic rights.

The devastation Hurricane Matthew left behind is yet another proof of the anti-national and anti-popular nature of the Haitian ruling classes, their state apparatus and imperialism. As global capitalism fuels growing environmental disasters, dominated and exploited masses all over the world must organize to build political organizations and movements to confront directly the mother of all catastrophes and disasters: CAPITALISM.

Some Basic Reflections On The US Electoral Process

trump hillary favorabilityBoth the Republican and Democratic conventions are now over. It is time for some additional reflections. First, as per the period of McGovern, the rainbow coalition, Jesse Jackson’s attempt to run and now Bernie Sanders, the reformist and populist left is left holding an empty balloon, deflated by promises to build a movement or a political revolution. These promises are nothing other than demagoguery. Some of these people will hibernate till the next election, hoping that we forget this election experience.  Some will hop on the bandwagon of other insignificant candidates, still pushing their opportunist/populist political line.


Class Analysis to Define Historical Tasks and Alternatives




By Jan Makandal

December 8, 2015


[This was written as part of a debate about defining the working class].


I will argue that the definition of unproductive worker is quite a secondary point, since all will have to be organized in the struggle against capitalism. For us, whether an unproductive worker is considered a worker or a petit bourgeois in the social category of laborers, either way they need to be organized under the leadership of the productive workers—because the surplus value produced by productive workers is the source of all capital.


Our only difference in this case will be which class among the social category of laborers (or which fraction of the working class) is to construct that leadership role, and which class (or fraction of class in the social category of laborers) will be the fundamental allies of the proletariat. We have seen such orientation in Russia and China. It requires an analysis of the social formation we aim to radically transform.


A very interesting thing happened in Vietnam—due to a lack of working class presence in the Communist Party there, the party changed its name from the Communist Party to the Party of Labour, and then later went back to the Communist Party. Ho Chi Minh pointed out the irony of a Communist Party with no workers.


A synthesis of past practices, either of socialist revolution and/or national liberation movements, is enough to construct a theoretical framework that takes into consideration the limitations of these struggles and revolutions, at least so far as to determine the central role of the working class, and the role of intellectual petit bourgeois radicals and the need for their objective transformation into proletarian revolutionaries. One commonalty of those struggles is the heavy role played by petit bourgeois radicals, with a lesser role of leadership played by the workers (or no role at all).


We want to learn from these experiences in their respective social formations. In Russia, the Bolsheviks conflated leadership with control. And Mao attempted to introduce the working class into a party dominated by the rural petite bourgeoisie [sectors of the peasantry] in the revolutionary transformation of China. Only dogmatists will take these experiences as cast in stone, and will refuse to see the need to learn from them for the future. In fact, this is why we identify this moment as a moment of stagnation and ossification of proletarian theory. This period will continue as long as the petite bourgeoisie thinks they are Marxist.


2015 Elections in Haiti




By Kiki Makandal
November 18, 2015

premyemebo2015.inddSince 1986, after the popular uprising that led to the ouster of Baby Doc Duvalier and ended the 29-year Duvalier totalitarian regime, there has been, at times, a widely held position in “left” political tendencies in Haiti that elections under imperialist domination should be denounced and opposed because they could only serve to impose a pro-imperialist political solution to the political crisis in Haiti. Even Aristide and the Lavalas movement once held those positions. But, as election dates have drawn closer, inevitably, this consensus has fallen apart as populism and opportunism have teamed up to engulf the majority of these “left” political tendencies.

2015 is no different, although anyone with any sense of objectivity could easily draw conclusions from the failures of earlier attempts and realize that the objective conditions are even worse this time around. This time, the ruling faction in power is openly taking its directive from the American embassy, it has managed to gain control of the electoral apparatus, particularly in terms of vote counting and tabulation, and its armed thugs are brazenly beating down and killing political opponents. Never mind that the OAS, the “Core Group” (US, Canada, France, Brazil, Spain and the EU) and the UN MINUSTAH occupation forces have the final say in validating election results (that they have financed).

With a voter turnout maxing out at about 25% and rampant brazen ballot stuffing, only those completely sold out can lend any legitimacy to this masquerade. The low voter turnout makes the manipulation of results even easier.

It is not hard to understand how “left” populist opportunism predictably makes a recurring resurgence around election time, particularly in Haiti. With about 70% unemployment, job opportunities for petty-bourgeois intellectuals are limited mostly to NGOs and government jobs. Elections are like a desperate mating ritual for the few available positions of political patronage that depend on personal connections to winning candidates. How many so-called “left” militants have we seen jump ship to take on government positions, from minister to president? This is a class phenomenon of political opportunism, and government jobs are one-time opportunities to make a racket.

The Haitian popular masses have paid for their election lessons in blood: in 1988 massacres put an end to the first attempt at elections after the ouster of Baby Doc. In 1991 a violent coup and subsequent massacres put an end to the first Aristide populist government. In 2005, the popular masses once again showed their ability to thwart the most openly right wing pro-imperialist candidates by voting in Préval, only to see this Préval government enact the same neo-liberal reforms they had voted against… The 25% voter turnout shows how much disdain the Haitian masses have learned from these experiences of massacre and deception.


Why Does Terrorism Occur and What Is the Proletarian Response?





Jan Makandal

November 14, 2015

All terrorist acts, whether from the left or right, are in the final analysis a reactionary political practice. Terrorist acts are blind populist isolated acts in which an enemy is not well defined, and all are being terrorized.


Genuine anti-imperialist progressives need to denounce them, since these acts usually benefit the dominant classes, who recuperate them to serve their interests and justify narrow nationalism (another version of right populism). Proletarian revolutionaries also need to denounce them since they are not in the interest of the proletariat, and ultimately benefit the capitalist class and imperialism by giving them ammunition to intensify their internal acts of aggression.


The most recent acts by ISIS should be exposed and denounced along with all such isolated reactionary acts like the planting of bombs by the freedom fighters and the CIA in the port of Nicaragua, the planting of bombs in Israel, and the occupation of Vietnam by a minority force.


The isolated acts by ISIS in the imperialist social formation of France should not be considered progressive simply because they happened in the belly of an imperialist beast. The popular masses in imperialist France are being terrorized sporadically by these acts while being simultaneously dominated and exploited daily by their dominant classes. Those who commit these isolated acts do not seem to make a fundamental distinction between the masses and the dominant classes. This is why they are populist. All classes are dealt with as a potential enemy. Any unity with the popular masses of France becomes impossible since they too are targeted as a potential enemy.


To think that the struggle against terrorism should be directed against Islam is very limited, and is only looking at a tree but not the forest. Islam, like many other religions, is a sub-ideological component produced by a mode of production, mainly feudalism. As a sub-ideological component of religion, Islam, unlike Catholicism, is one of the few tendencies very difficult to adapt to capitalism.


Because of imperialism and capitalism, the feudalist mode of production (which is totally antagonistic to the capitalist mode of production) is in a process of decomposition. In many social formations this is a deformed process of decomposition, in which we will find the co-existence of two antagonistic modes of production. This inherently creates a constant contradiction: reproduction alongside and inside the dynamic of that decomposition. One of the effects of that complex problematic is constant political instability. One must appropriate that complexity in order to offer a solution that will not become feudalism or capitalism.


Sanders and the Debacle of the Left




by Jan Makandal

October 24, 2015


The left’s coup de grace certainly did not originate with Sanders. Its degeneration is the result of persistent and long-term opportunism and populism. Bernie Sanders is simply one additional element accelerating the debacle of today’s petit bourgeois radical left, a pertinent effect pushing it into an abyss of its own creation.


This radical petit bourgeois left is expert at quoting dead proletarian revolutionaries, tuning their valuable contributions into verses frozen in time. But they are totally inept at using these quotations as a guide for the future.


They refuse to acknowledge or use proletarian theory (Marxism at its core) as a science. Marxism can’t stand still in time, but is in a constant mode of rectification and consolidation. The insistence of using quotes, making others speak for them, is not a sign of political unity with these previous revolutionaries, but is instead an exemption freeing them from elevating the quotes to a theory which can eventually guide them in their own practice.


For proletarian militants, practice is a validation of theory, whether it proves a theory is incorrect (indicating the need to rectify the theory) or correct (from which follows the need to consolidate). But we can observe that even when these petit bourgeois radical leftists cite quotes, their content is far apart, very far apart from their own political practices. In other words, for them there is no dialectical relation between theory and practice. Instead, these quotes become ossified and inevitably contribute to the stagnation of proletarian theory.


Greece: Another Failure of the Radical Left Petit Bourgeoisie


We Need a Game-Changing Strategy: Working Class Leadership

Jan Makandal
July 11, 2015

LimitedVisionColorOnce again the failure and the bankrupt political line of the radical left petite bourgeoisie is manifest. [The petite bourgeoisie is the so-called “middle” classes, who are part of neither of the two fundamentally contending classes in the capitalist mode of production, capitalists and workers].

The ongoing negotiations in Greece are not about a total abolition of the debt and for the popular masses of Greece to take their destiny in their own hands, counting on their own strength to rebuild this social formation under the leadership of the working class. They’re not for a totally new mode of production (rather than an updated capitalism) led by the working class of Greece and the popular masses, under the leadership of the working class.

Once again the radical left petite bourgeoisie has failed.

This is not particular to Greece. It is a general tendency of struggles in many other social formations as well, wherever the petite bourgeoisie instead of the working class is leading the struggle. One lesson to learn is that whenever we persist in hoping that something positive will come from petite bourgeois leadership, however radical they might seem, THE RESULT WILL BE THE SAME: A TOTAL CAPITULATION TO CAPITAL.

The experience of Greece has once again confirmed a theory developed by previous revolutionary militants that the petite bourgeoisie is incapable of challenging capital, no matter how their radicalism is manifested in their political practice. In the end, this non-autonomous class will inevitably show its impotence and capitulate to capitalism/imperialism. Over and over again, they will always offer all the popular struggles of the masses to capitalism on a silver platter—as they have done in Peru, South Africa, Nepal, the social formations involved in the Arab Spring, and many others.

The international radical left will shove these dismal experiences under the rug of their historical failure and hop onto new experiences, hoping to get lucky. But however persistent they are, we can be sure it will be another failure, another manifestation of their bankrupt line.

A Brief Note on the Minimum Wage Struggle




Jan Makandal

July 5, 2015      


Struggling for a minimum wage adjustment is a political battle at its initial point: the economic front.


Since we are talking of a political battle, one of the rules of that struggle is the relation of forces. At this moment in our conjuncture, our forces capable of forcing our class enemy to concede are weak and dominantly disorganized.


At present, the alternative to offer us a minimum wage remains in the hands of bourgeois organization and the state apparatus, and if they do so it will be for their own interest. We must admit now that the struggle for the $15 minimum wage is not an autonomous struggle of the working class and laborers. It will transform into an autonomous struggle only when the proletariat in particular owns their destiny, along with the masses under the leadership of the proletariat.


In the hands of the bourgeoisie, mainly bourgeois labor organizations [i.e.: AFL-CIO and SEIU], it is a struggle to secure their primary form of capital accumulation through the enlargement of their membership base to collect dues.


It is a struggle for them to deal with a very complex contradiction: mobilizing the rank and file while at the same time making sure that orientation doesn’t create an overflow that will push the struggle beyond the bourgeoisie’s desired limits. These bourgeois organizations are politically heavily leaning on the petite bourgeoisie’s activism, pragmatism and radicalism to not only help them realize the goal of maintaining a social base, but at the same time to keep the masses at bay. It is a very contradictory orientation since the petite bourgeoisie is dominated as well, and does have demands as well. This contradictory element is creating a constant condition for the possibility of overflowing. The bourgeoisie is well aware of that. Their leaning on the petite bourgeoisie is accomplished through the non-profit, CBO and NGO, structures controlled and funded by them, and they could terminate the lifeline of these organizations at any time.


A second orientation is that the struggle for the minimum wage is a gross marketing ploy, being presented as a moral issue capable of being brought into a legalistic battlefield, while attempting to keep all the classes antagonistic to capital at bay (since the petite bourgeoisie domination under capital is not antagonistic, they are naturally and instinctively reformist—with all their radicalism, they are the most natural allies of the bourgeoisie in that struggle).


The state apparatus is the political organizer and administrator of bourgeois democracy/dictatorship, so they too will intervene in the wage issue. They understand they have a powder keg ready to ignite with any little spark from the plurality of the political spectrum. Their decisions to reform the minimum wage or unpaid overtime are political ploys in the interest of the bourgeoisie (even if some members or fractions disagree)as a way to keep water ready to douse the powder keg. The main objective of the State in giving us crumbs is, in the interest of capitalism, to keep us disorganized.


What do we do?


At this time, though we are in a structural crisis of capitalism, our forces are weak, dispersed and dominantly disorganized. But we will not raise the white flag simply because we are strategically and tactically in a position of weakness. We should certainly not raise our hands on the air and say, “Thank you for the crumbs.” We need to understand our weakness and define a strategy to overturn the balance of power in our favor.


How do we start?


  • Use the internal contradiction of the bourgeoisie in our favor.
  • Use the contradiction between those fractions of capital interested in the minimum wage hike on the one hand, and the masses (including the petite bourgeoisie) on the other hand—push it in our favor to realize a shift in the balance of forces.
  • We should not unite with one fraction of capital against the other, but use the contradiction among them to further weaken them all.
  • At the same time we need to construct our own base, our autonomous organizations. This is the primary material condition necessary to shift the balance of power to our side.


The struggle for the minimum wage adjustment is, at this time, an alternative that will benefit a fraction of the capitalist class and the capitalist class, as a bloc, even if the crumbs are good for us. We should take the crumbs if it happens, but our demands should not be restricted to what they decide we need. WE SHOUILD NEVER BE SATISFIED.


Racism as an Element of Fascism, a Political Tendency of Capitalism




By Proletarian Alternative

June 21, 2015   


fascismOn Wednesday, June 17, 2015, a 21-year-old man walked into a church, prayed with the parishioners, and opened fire, killing nine people. All were Black. Subjectively, he thought that African-Americans are soon going to take over an imperialist social formation—so killing nine of them was apparently for him an initial step of slowing down the process of realizing that transfer of power.


This was an act motivated by racism, but it was also more than that. We must analyze the conditions underlying incidents like this one, if we are to combat and overcome these conditions effectively, and to transform society in a way that eliminates them forever. Let us draw the connections between racism, fascism, and the current structural crisis of capitalism. Understanding the fundamental dynamics of our conditions as deeply as possible will allow us to delineate a way forward out of this US-American capitalist/imperialist hell.


In reality, Dylann Roof committed a political act. Because it was a political act, we need to interpret it in the realm of class struggle. No political act is committed outside of the reality of classes and class struggle. This is true even if one does not even recognize that his/her action is a political act, and that it is in the interest of particular classes. Each of our actions, committed over our lifetimes, usually benefits one class or another. Since our political acts are in the interest of specific classes, then they are INEVITABLY against the interest of other classes, either antagonistically or non-antagonistically.


So it would be insufficient, and very limiting, to reduce this event to the act of a crazy person or even to an act of terrorism. Acknowledging it as a terrorist act is an upgrade from merely attributing it to mental illness, but to limit our thought process even to that is in this case (as in all cases) also a political approach that will benefit particular classes, mainly the dominant classes.


The memorization of theory: A revolutionary approach or a dogmatic approach




by Jan Makandal

May 18, 2015


2015-05-11-more-valuableIn one of Stephanie McMillan’s Affirmations (at left), she offers an alternative to memorizing existing theory: that instead we do our own homework and produce our own theory.


Is that specific affirmation correct? Can theory really be learned? Do we really need to memorize theory to understand concepts such as autonomy?


The first question is, where do ideas come from? Ideas, organized thought, are theories. A good point of reference is a text and a movie produced in the period of revolutionary China titled: “Where Do Correct Ideas Come From?” In fact, Stephanie’s affirmation is in unity with the line of thought in that text.


Theory is not reality, but an interpretation of that reality. That simply means that what we have inside the complexity of our brains is not reality. It is subjective thought process which can be a materialist interpretation of reality or a metaphysical (idealist) interpretation of the reality.


So far, humanity has produced two main fundamental fields of interpretations of reality: 1] a materialist interpretation 2] an idealist interpretation. The materialist interpretation is based on the attempt to interpret phenomena from their internal contradictions. The idealist interpretation is the attempt to interpret the external contradiction and confuse it with the internal.


Populism at the level of the working class




Proletarian Alternative

(January 2015)

Populism is a very important object of struggle in the ideological and theoretical development of the working class. The struggle against populism is and will be a very important component in the struggle of the working class for immediate demands and for the long-term objective of the class. It is indispensable that we have a clear-cut conception of populism and its nature.

What is populism?

  • Populism is a political, theoretical and ideological approach in which we look at the masses (or the oppressed, or the people) without looking at class. It is to talk about the masses or the oppressed without attempting to understand the differences among them, even if there is an attempt to lean on particular classes or fractions of classes.
  • In the moment of imperialism, in the US and internationally, there is a strong tendency to look at people or oppressed as an amalgam without, once again, making a class distinction. In reality, it is an approach of looking at the non-proletarian dominated classes as a political alternative, because they are more numerous, or even poorer than the working class, or may play a conjunctural and immediate contextual or historical cultural role. This approach is not innocent. It is rooted in the classes that practice populism.


A few reflections on a brief history of New Direction Caucus in NYC Transit (1980’s – 2005)




by Kiki Makandal

(January 23, 2015)

First, it’s important to note that I was not a NYC transit worker, nor was I a member of New Directions. These are mainly reflections of what I remember on observations and conversations I have had with different New Direction members over the years, coming from my interactions with them in the course of various labor solidarity actions in NYC while New Directions was in struggle and after it eventually dissolved. Please bear in mind that there may be some factual inaccuracies.

New Directions came about as a result of a confluence of factors:


On Leadership: Vanguard or Vanguardism?


by Gerye Proletari

(February 22, 2015)

In our political organizing it is important that the most advanced sections of the working class are organized and that they organize the rest or as many as they could. To be clear, there is a difference between leadership connected to the masses and a select group which imposes itself as the “vanguard”. We must differentiate between the two and understand that the advanced leadership connected to the masses with a base in the masses is the actual vanguard, this is not a bureaucratic relation. When a select group of people or organizations proclaim themselves to be the vanguard without an organic base sprouting from the masses or the classes they claim to lead, this is a bureaucratic imposition on the people.


If for example, there is a group of workers in a factory that has organized into committees or councils based on the interests of the workers, this is in fact the leadership of the worker’s struggle in that factory and they are a vanguard. It does not mean that their relationship to the rest of the workers is undemocratic, it is rather the fact that they took the initiative to organize based on their interests, that they are working towards organizing the rest of the workers that makes them to leadership or vanguard. If however in the same factory, a union for example, sends union organizers into the factory to tell the workers what to do, declaring itself the representative of the workers and stops autonomous worker organizations, this is a bureaucratic relationship. In the latter case, there is no actual organic base in the factory and if there is some support it is typically not democratic and based on the worker’s interests. It is typically not the workers of the factory that control these union locales or councils or committees but professional union organizers.


A Contribution to the Ongoing Debate on Racism




Jan Makandal

(January 7, 2015)

We need to understand police brutality and racism, from a proletarian perspective.

The police force, in any social formation, is a part of the repressive institutions of the state apparatus for asserting the interest of the bourgeoisie. It is their job to repress us. They are objectively brutal when dealing with the popular masses. This brutality is an integrated part of class struggle. To argue that police brutality is simply a racist act is, for us, reformism. The police intervene to break strikes, infiltrate political organizations (like the Black Panthers, Weathermen and many others), and restrain marches not because of the dominant pigmentation of these groups, but because the police are there to keep the masses disorganized in order to allow the reproduction of capital. The police and all the other repressive institutions of bourgeois democracy are the guardian angels of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.


Notes on Class Analysis


by Jan Makandal

“The proletariat, the modern working class, developed – a class of laborers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital. These laborers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.”
(Communist Manifesto, Marx & Engels)

The question of classes is one area of historical materialism that has not been developed. This has created confusion, and sometimes very erroneous political lines, in particular populism. Mao made some very important contributions to the concept of classes, but these were very limited due to his own populism and opportunism.