Social Formations & Conjuncture

Haiti’s crisis: the ruling classes have failed; we need an autonomous alternative!


(The leaflet, in English and Kreyol, follows this introduction)

February 24, 2016


The Haitian masses have been mobilizing in the streets for the past 6 months or more to derail the sell-out alternatives of the Haitian dominant classes to imperialism. The most recent political election was derailed by massive popular mobilizations. The Haitian masses thwarted the imperialist plan under the slogan “WE WILL NOT OBEY”—even if only for a short time.


Unfortunately, the combativeness of the masses has been limited, and has been mostly co-opted by various sectors of the petit bourgeois linked to a consortium of the capitalist power bloc, against the political sectors represented by the anti-popular and anti-national government of the bourgeois bureaucrats’ Martelly, linked as well with a consortium of the capitalist power bloc.


There is an intense competition within the Haitian ruling classes. Cliques of petit bourgeois elements, ranging from left to right populists, are offering their services to sectors of the Haitian dominant classes and imperialism. That is the main plot of the political crisis surrounding these failed and trumped up elections. These cliques are offering themselves as either a new potential bureaucratic bourgeoisie (rural and metropolitan petit bourgeois) or a recycled bureaucratic bourgeoisie (represented by the “Fanmi Lavalas”, the political party of Aristide, or the Duvalierists, former “macoutes”). But the masses, even under the leadership of those forces, are still coming up with their own demands.


Some Minimum Reflections on Our Situation in the US Social Formation

By Jan Makandal

It is the task and role of any political organization at either the mass level and/or revolutionary level to constantly both understand and appropriate the situation we are in. We need to do that to constantly formulate a theory, and simultaneously a political line, to guide us.

Even when we don’t fully understand the systemic structure of capitalism, at least we need to understand particular moments in the structure of capitalism. These moments are conjunctures in capitalism.

The Imperialist Domination of Haiti

by Jan Makandal
(February 2010)

Since capitalism reached the stage of imperialism, many imperialist countries have initiated and developed relations with Haiti. From the onset, these have been nothing but relations of domination.

This analysis divides that history into three periods, with an emphasis on the third:

1) The period from our independence to 1915
2) From 1915 to the 1960s
3) From the 1960s to the present

Social Formation (Definition of Concept)

(December 7, 2012)

A social formation refers to a society (a social structure at any level such as a nation, city, business, university, or even a family) with all its complexities, as it is historically constituted. It includes all the internal contradictions that exist in a society, all emerging and disappearing tendencies in the economy and superstructure, in the social relationships that comprise these.

One defining element of a social formation is the emerging tendency of mode of production (what is arising vs. what is declining).

On Social Formations

By Kapab

The concept of Social Formations attempts to scientifically represent societies in their historical specificity, at a certain point in time, taking into account the complex relationships between the classes and various social categories they contain and also taking into account the complex relationships that these social formations have with other social formations, particularly at the stage of capitalist imperialist globalization.

In order to grasp these complex relationships, we are proposing some analytical tools within the realm of historical materialism (the philosophical problematic and ideological framework of the proletariat in its scientific approach to the theoretical development of its political line). (more…)

On Conjuncture

By Jan Makandal
(December 2012)

One of the objectives of revolutionaries and proletarian revolutionaries, among many, that are imperative in our struggles to defeat capitalism is to constantly popularize knowledge, revolutionary knowledge for the masses to appropriate objective reality in order to be more effective in their struggle against capitalism and imperialism.

We are in a very particular historical period of capitalism and imperialism. Without systematic theoretical work and outside a correct conception of struggle of the popular masses, under the leadership of the working class, where the emancipation of the masses is being constructed in the struggle, there can’t be emancipation without appropriation. There can’t be emancipation without direct fundamental participation in the struggle at all levels by workers and the popular masses. There can’t be the theoretical development of proletarian theory outside the struggle of the working class.