POLITICAL REACTION ALL ALONG THE LINE: A Letter to the Editorial Board of “Struggle Sessions”

To the Editorial Board of Struggle Sessions

Dear colleagues,

The editorial board of our website has decided to reply to your recent article, „Letter to the Editor: Class Struggle or Sexual Liberation?“. Our response comes in the form of an opinion article, which will be published on our website (the-red-flag.org) in three days. We are sending it to you in the hopes that you will decide to publish it first, as part of your „100 flowers“ project, and are hereby giving you the chance to do so.

This is because we find your recent article, to which we are replying, to be erroneous. We conceive of the queer question as being a significant new question which marxism has not yet resolved. All previous attempts by communists to answer this question have resulted in incorrect policies and antagonism against the masses of queer people.1

We believe that your position, while containing some correct aspects, also suffers from the incorrect position on the queer question which is present in the international communist movement today. In short, we believe this position to be extremely harmful, and even if you do not share it in its entirety, you have adopted certain aspects of it.

We can summarize this incorrect, dogmatic and queer-antagonistic position, which is present in the international communist movement, as follows (we are quoting a polemic against one particular group acting in the international communist movement, which has developed these positions to a high degree):

1) The existence of queer people is viewed as a product of patriarchal oppression within class society, in particular imperialist society. Queer people are viewed as individuals who choose to live in a certain way, because they could not bear the responsibilities that come with fulfilling a certain role in patriarchy. In this way, queer people are degenerated elements, made to degenerate by patriarchy, and being queer is alien to the proletariat.

2) It is a democratic right to be queer, but communists are not allowed to, since they must be the vanguard of the proletariat, and the class is not queer. In this way, being queer is viewed as similar to being religious.

3) Since queer people are alien or degenerated elements to the class, the class and the masses do not like or respect them. Therefore, those comrades who have responsibility cannot be allowed to be queer, since the masses will not follow them.

4) Transgender people have capitulated in front of combatting patriarchy and instead chosen ‚the easy way out‘, an individualist solution, so as to not be oppressed by patriarchy or having to oppress others within patriarchy. However, they cannot change their biological sex, and as such, they end up ruining their bodies and become degenerated elements alien to the class.

5) Marriage before the party or the new State is between one man and one woman, since that is the proletarian conception of romantic relationships. Queer relationships are cultural degeneracies alien to the proletariat.

6) There is no special ‚queer oppression‘ within patriarchy, only the exploitation and oppression of women and the pressure on men to oppress women.“

Of the above points, we believe your article reaffirms point six to a large degree. This is very harmful. It does not serve to unify the proletarian vanguard (or vanguard in formation) with the queer stratum within the working class, masses and people — rather, it serves to continue to push parts of this stratum away from the proletariat, into the hands of the enemy. It is to allow the masses of queer people to continue to sink deeper into the swamp of degeneration, pauperization and postmodernism.

In particular, you make the mistake of believing that imperialism can somehow create social progress for the masses of queer people, instead of simply more oppression. Imperialism is, as Lenin expressed, political reaction all along the line. It does not bring social progress for any section of the people. Our response should serve to clarify this point.

Our position can be summarized as follows (quoting the same polemic mentioned above):

1) LGBT+ people exist across every mode of production and every nation, people and tribe in the world. They are viewed and treated differently according to the content and form of each society. There is a biological, genetic basis for being LGBT+, and whether/how one chooses to live as LGBT+ depends on the concrete conditions of society. Many proletarians and masses are LGBT+. In imperialist patriarchy, LGBT+ people are oppressed, which makes them ‚queer‘.

2) Queer people are a trench of combat in the masses. They have their specific democratic demands, such as combatting discrimination, fighting for the right to marry and adopt, fighting for the right to free medicine for transitioning, etc. Communists can be queer and the parties and organizations must open their ranks to queer comrades and ban discrimination and harassment of such comrades.

3) The masses do not disrespect or hate queer people. Progressive masses support them, centrist masses accept them and even backward masses accept them if they know them personally. It is only the most reactionary elements and the lumpen who hate or disrespect queer people. By taking up the view that ‚the masses would not be led by queer people‘, [the organization in question] is tailing the most reactionary sections of the masses.

4) Transgender people have a medical condition which creates an antagonistic contradiction between their psychological view of themselves (which is physically located in the body map of the brain, or Homunculus) and their physical body, on which basis a contradiction to societal gender roles is also established. Since ideas can be turned into material reality through practice, it is possible to change one‘s sex and gender roles (philosophically speaking). With hormones and/or surgery, it is possible to change one‘s secondary sexual characteristics (fat distribution, hair growth, voice, breasts, bone growth etc.) completely and even parts of one‘s primary sexual characteristics (genitals, chromosomes). Of these, the secondary sexual characteristics determine what role one occupies in society. For this reason, transgender people materially become their desired gender when they transition, and it is sexual metaphysics to suggest otherwise.

5) LGBT+ marriages have existed since primitive society and were always an established institution within the queer section of the proletariat. The purpose of proletarian marriage is not having children, but serving the revolution and communism. Thus, queer people must be allowed to marry before the party and the new State.

6) Patriarchy has two aspects: The exploitation and oppression of women, and the oppression of queer people. Queer people are those who diverge qualitatively from the patriarchal roles of man and woman. The pressure men face to be oppressors is not relevant in this regard, since it is only based on quantitative divergence.“

We believe this position to be the most correct one on the queer question in the international communist movement of today.

Furthermore, it is in the interest to discuss this question. Previously, a brief polemic was conducted between the Propaganda Department of Tribune of the People, also part of the U.S. maoist movement, and the Editorial Board of Struggle and Criticism, a now-defunct maoist website from Switzerland. The polemic was cut short by Tribune of the People. We have received these and reproduce them in the interest of giving clarity on this polemic. Besides — to share them publicly should be no problem, since Tribune of the People sent their response without any form of encryption, meaning the reaction already has these documents.

And as your own Kavga wrote recently, it is in the interest of the international communist movement to unfold polemics in order to clarify differences and struggle for unity based on principles:

There are not enough polemics, not enough direction, not enough organization and certainly not enough ideology. The polemic is perhaps the most revolutionary discourse on the intellectual terrain, outmatched only by armed struggle on the physical terrain. This is enough defense in itself, submitting only to the law of contradiction and never bowing before polite society’s ingrained liberalism. It is important here to demarcate between the polemic as a high expression and a rant as a low tirade. Polemics at their best are brave acts of intellectual violence, an overthrow of incorrect ideas; and, at their worst, they act as an exposition of feeble defense for the rot and clutter of the bourgeois mind. Both are useful in drawing the correct conclusion from a struggle. […] To hell with the squeamish. Long live polemics, and let there be more, you damned cowards!“2

We send you this article alongside a graphic banner in your very unique style, which we encourage you to use.

We await your response with optimism and eagerness.

With firm revolutionary greetings,

Switzerland, 16.07.2021

EDITORIAL BOARD
THE RED FLAG


Proletarians of all countries, unite!
There is one goal, the conquest of power!

POLITICAL REACTION ALL ALONG THE LINE

A LETTER TO THE EDITORIAL BOARD OF STRUGGLE SESSIONS

This opinion article is a response to a recent article published in the U.S. marxist-leninist-maoist journal Struggle Sessions, titled: „Letter to the Editor: Class Struggle or Sexual Liberation?“3. It is, at the same time, a public response to a polemic which was sent by the Propaganda Department of Tribune of the People to the Editorial Board of the former Struggle and Criticism website in January 2021 — a polemic which expressed many of the same views as those put forward in the Struggle Sessions article, although in a less developed form. This polemic received a response by the editors of Struggle and Criticism, to which no response was issued by Tribune of the People. We have received both of these polemics (the original and the response) from the former editors of Struggle and Criticism for use in this article.

We write this article in response to the views of our U.S. colleagues due to the fact that these views constitute part of a dangerous and dogmatist trend within the international communist movement. This trend, while disguising itself as marxist, is in reality deeply subjectivist and resorts to negating basic principles of marxism and ignoring concrete conditions in order to peddle its poisonous weeds.

Our U.S. colleagues are affected by this anti-proletarian trend, but by no means are they full adherents to it. Its full adherents cannot be found merely by reading publicly available documents or articles. Those who peddle these views hide them, even to the point of lying to their own members and supporters about their policies. It is not our place to reveal them — they will do so themselves with time. But it is our place to do everything we can to put our U.S. colleagues back on the right path, away from this dogmato-revisionist swamp which surrounds the Left of the international communist movement.

We do not deal with the question of nonbinary people in this article. Our U.S. comrades and colleagues know very well what the position of the Swiss communists and proletarian revolutionaries is on this question, as has been outlined in the document „Marxism and Queer Emancipation“ by the Red Star from December 2020. Neither we, nor anyone else, have changed their belief in the existence of nonbinary people as a result of your half-baked arguments. We will soon issue a separate article on this very issue, although it is not the subject of discussion in this one.

With these brief words, we will start to address the claims of the article by Struggle Sessions.

CAN IMPERIALISM CREATE SOCIAL PROGRESS FOR QUEERS?

The central, revisionist aspect to be found in the article is in the following paragraph, which we quote at length in order to let our readers judge for themselves. It reads:

Contrary to postmodernism, Marxism places politics as primary and rejects the view that issues affecting a minority population without a key role in production is determinate in politics. LGBT people are not a distinct social force and do not have a decisive role in politics as such. Imperialism does not depend on the discrimination of LGBT people, and today ‚pink-washes‘ itself by giving LGBT people a large degree of legal equality in order to create a false image of progressivism—the productive forces are developed enough in the imperialist countries that capitalism has lost its pressing need to reproduce the oppressed class as not every family needs to produce children to maintain a socially-necessary proletarian population. The most advanced revolutionary movements have arisen in the less ‘developed’ countries, and thus the question of reproduction plays a more prominent role. We should look at these phenomena in the context of economic development and remember that the new is born stamped with the old, and never as a ‚pure‘ new thing.“

The claims made here are many, and we will address them one at a time. It is necessary to distinguish between what aspects are directly revisionist — that is to say, which contradict the principles of marxism — and what aspects are incorrect attempts to answer new questions not yet solved by marxism.

We will begin with what we believe to be openly revisionist. When our U.S. colleagues write that „[…] imperialism […] today ‚pink-washes‘ itself by giving LGBT people a large degree of legal equality in order to create a false image of progressivism […]“, then what they are actually doing is falling for the very lie which imperialism is using rights for bourgeois queers to promote: that imperialism is capable of creating social and economic progress for the people. Lenin defined imperialism in its three general characteristics:

We have to begin with as precise and full a definition of imperialism as possible. Imperialism is a specific historical stage of capitalism. Its specific character is threefold: imperialism is monopoly capitalism; parasitic, or decaying capitalism; moribund capitalism. The supplanting of free competition by monopoly is the fundamental economic feature, the quintessence of imperialism.“4

As part of this definition, he also put forward:

[…] ‚finance capital strives for domination, not freedom‘. Political reaction all along the line is a characteristic feature of imperialism.“5

In the polemic sent by the Propaganda Department of Tribune of the People to the Editorial Board of Struggle and Criticism in January of this year, one can read:

The double oppression of queers in capitalist society: we do not find this formula scientific or comparable with our ideology. It is women who are doubly oppressed, as workers in the form of cheaper labor, and as reproductive labor due to privatization of child care; this condition is not that of queer people (men and women) who face discrimination. Discrimination itself does not constitute a dual oppression as it is based on interpersonal social interaction and not exploitation—it is a contradiction among the people, made use of by the enemy. An end to discrimination against queers would not impede or disrupt capitalist production, this is why the superstructure in the imperialist countries, and the monopoly media are all defenders against anti-queer social discrimination. The lower status of the proletarian woman however is essential to the function of capitalist production, which is why the emancipation of women can only be realized with socialist revolution—women serve as cheap labor and fulfill the socially necessary role of socially reproductive labor, and are better workers, with families are less likely to rebel (see Engels and Zetkin). Hence we hold the position that ‚queer emancipation‘ is a false formula, that it does not mean the same thing as women’s emancipation. We seek clarity on your position here, and suggest that emancipation is the incorrect term to use when speaking mainly of contradictions among the people. For instance, employers are not even allowed to ask if someone is queer, but still they pay women less than men and assign certain jobs to women over men and men over women for other jobs, even though industry has developed to a point in which men and women can do the same labor.

[…]

In fact through such programs, being forced to ‚stay in the closet‘ is decreasing in our country, this vile form of humiliation and discrimination still exists, but acceptance is the norm and not segregation, the imperialist super structure is accommodating of this, and even uses it to villainize the third world and rival imperialists when convenient. For instance, Israel, one of the most reactionary criminal occupations in the world is framed as the most progressive for its acceptance of gays, and the Arab, the Muslim, the Palestinian is presented as a mid-evil [sic] villain who in all his savagery is a un-changing homophobic. This obviously does not serve the interests of gay people. We raise the issue to point out that the ‚closet‘ is no longer useful to imperialist production and organization, and so they can adapt and do away with some old prejudice in the interest of domination and exploitation, the same treatment of feminism by imperialism. It must be stated, that Marxists do not uphold feminism, and ‚proletarian-feminism‘ is in our view a mistaken idea. Marxism resolves the question and can resolve any question, without importing bourgeois ideas. It is all powerful, it can do anything because it is true.“

What a wonderful way that our colleagues can argue away the oppression of queers under patriarchy! Your boss cannot ask you if you are queer, so there must be no workplace discrimination! Any transgender person would laugh at this idea. Your landlord cannot ask if you are Black, so redlining must not exist! Your boss may not ask if you are a woman, so he must pay you the same! Etc., etc., etc.

And let us look at some statistics. Keep in mind: statistics of this kind are indicators and not final, since there is a large dark number corresponding to closeted people, and queers who are part of the deepest and broadest masses are of course excluded in a large degree from bourgeois social science (and in regards to hate crime numbers, the eye only sees what it wants to or is allowed to). During the covid-19 pandemic in the U.S., 17% of queers lost their jobs — compared to 13% of the general population.6 In 2020, the FBI (which cannot be said to be a friend of queers) reported that 16,7% of all hate crimes are based on sexual orientation, while 2,7% are based on gender identity (an increase of 0,5 percentage points in one year).7 8% of transgender adults have experienced homelessness in the past year, while it is 3% for cisgender adults.8 With statistics like these, clearly, there is an unsolved social problem here, a queer question to answer.

Aftermath of the mass shooting in the queer nightclub „Pulse“ in Orlando, Florida, on 12.06.2016. 49 people were killed and 53 wounded. The gunman was an islamist, following the reactionary ideology which U.S. imperialism has funded in West Asia and North Africa through its Saudi lackeys ever since the 1970s as part of the generalized counterrevolutionary offensive.

From the above, it is clear that it is the view of the U.S. colleagues that for queers, imperialism can and does in fact create social and economic progress. However, this contradicts Lenin, as quoted above. Moreover, it contradicts facts. As is well known, facts correspond to marxism, because marxism is an all-powerful science — „omnipotent because it is true“9 — capable of solving any new question it is presented with. Has imperialism really done away with queer-antagonistic oppression? No. We quote the response to Tribune of the People by the editors of Struggle and Criticism from January:

When you Comrades write: ‚An end to discrimination against queers would not impede or disrupt capitalist production‘, we find it to not be true. You are suggesting that patriarchal oppression of queers has no basis in material reality. Are we to expect that queer-antagonistic ideology, State repression and lumpen-pogromist violence simply fell from Heaven? This echoes the position of Avakian: ‚Imperialism profits directly from the oppression and exploitation of women. This is not true for gay people. They are not materially oppressed as a group, and the denial of their democratic rights does not secure great profits for the ruling class‘ (Our emphasis).10 Already in 1974, this position was rebuked completely: ‚Our investigation leads us to believe that the material basis for the oppression of gays can be found in the role of the bourgeois nuclear family under class society in the maintenance and perpetuation of the division of labor. The bourgeois nuclear family is the economic institutionalization of personal relationships under capitalism. It is a socially isolated unit consisting of a husband, a wife, and their children. The husband works outside the home. The wife, whether or not she also works outside the home, works within it at invisible labor which maintains and reproduces the labor force. The purpose of the bourgeois family is to: 1. socialize children into understanding and accepting class relationships as they exist in this country today; 2. reproduce the class structure in microcosm; and 3. privatize the maintenance and reproduction of the working class. Class society establishes/maintains, and perpetuates divisions of labor including sexual divisions. Sexual division of labor is of incalculable use to the bourgeoisie, dividing workers into two great camps, those in social labor and those in private labor; those in private labor can and have been called forward as a reserve army of labor according to the needs of the bourgeoisie […] In summary, the bourgeoisie does not oppress people because it thinks such oppression is funny; and the oppression of gay people is anything but funny, or so slight that it can be dismissed as negligible. It runs the gamut from the denial of democratic rights, such as housing, employment, and education, to police repression and brutality, to the imprisonment, castration and lobotomizing of gays, to the use of adversive conditioning (chemical and electrical shock), to “cure” gays in state prison hospitals, such as Vacaville. Economically, it is our experience that many open gays are forced to work in the lowest paying, non-unionized small manufacturing shops where the boss is not much concerned with who a person sleeps with or if a person has a ‚green card‘, but who uses a workers’ status as added leverage for increased exploitation. Gay parents are denied custody of their children. Gay people are forced to live in over-priced “gay ghettos” such as Hollywood. Outside social activity, particularly for gay men, is practically limited to Mafia-controlled, overpriced bars, whose owners enjoy a cozy relationship with the police. Such is the material oppression of gay people. It is no less heinous because its victims are determined by sexuality instead of by color or class. Rather, it is the conscious oppression of gay people by a class conscious bourgeoisie acting only out of its own material interests‘ (Our emphasis).11 Your view, and that of Avakian, contradicts what Chairman Mao teaches us: ‚Where do correct ideas come from? Do they drop from the skies? No. Are they innate in the mind? No. They come from social practice, and from it alone; they come from three kinds of social practice, the struggle for production, the class struggle and scientific experiment. It is man’s social being that determines his thinking. Once the correct ideas characteristic of the advanced class are grasped by the masses, these ideas turn into a material force which changes society and changes the world‘ (Our emphasis).12

Furthermore, you state that ‚the superstructure in the imperialist countries, and the monopoly media are all defenders against anti-queer social discrimination‘. This is simply not true, and it reflects a complete lack of understanding of how the queer masses have made history through their rebellion. Before Stonewall, what bourgeois monopoly media would have dared to defend gays? As late as the 2000s, you would hardly be able to find any bourgeois ‚sit-com‘ which did not include regular, seasonal jokes about ‚men in women‘s clothes‘. The ‚defense against anti-queer social discrimination‘ by the bourgeois media today is a direct result of queer mass rebellion being trafficked with by the queer section of the imperialist bourgeoisie to gain rights for itself, just as is powerfully analyzed in the RSS document13: ‚The presence of imperialism and particularly imperialist wars and World Wars gives rise to an increased militarization of the old States, which is expressed through the unfolding of a generalized genocide of queers in the entire world, which is unevenly developed. The developments in Germany during the 1920s and ‘30s, and especially the failure of the Communist Party of Germany under the leadership of Comrade Thälmann to creatively apply Marxism to the conditions of the German Revolution, lead the queer emancipation struggle in service of the proletarian revolution specifically, and in general wage the revolutionary war for the conquest of Power, led to the Nazi-Fascist government takeover in 1933 and the period of the most ruthless fascism in world history. This had enormous repercussions for the entire people, the masses and the proletariat in Germany and all of Europe and the world. The Holocaust was unfolded as a generalized genocide of the peoples in service of German imperialism to gain Lebensraum, in particular a genocide of the Jewish people. The genocide of queers was another aspect of the Holocaust. Queers, who had before maintained some degree of rights, were sent to concentration camps immediately in 1933; gay men and transgender women were marked with the pink triangle and systematically exterminated, while lesbians and transgender men were marked with the ‚anti-social‘ black triangle. Up to 100.000 queers were exterminated by the Nazi-Fascists. When Europe was liberated by the Red Army in 1945, the queers still alive in the Nazi-Fascist concentration camps were re-incarcerated in the very same camps by the West German State, and it was not until 1994 that homosexuality was made legal in the Federal Republic of Germany. But the genocide of queer people did not stop there — rather, it continues all over the world today, in various forms. The AIDS pandemic during the 1980s in the imperialist States (and still in the 3rd World today!) meant the extermination of queers on an even level larger than the Holocaust through the systematic denial of health services, prevention and condemnation of the queers themselves by the Yankee President Reagan, Pope John Paul II and other imperialist leaders. In 2017, a genocide of queers began in the Russian colony of Chechnya, including forced disappearances, torture, assassinations and the establishment of concentration camps, all of this still being ongoing. In Switzerland, a gay man died from AIDS just a few years ago because his treatment was deemed ‚non-essential‘ by the Cantonal government and his insurance company. And in every country, no matter how ‚progressive‘, queers are systematically made homeless, disappeared, unemployed, beaten up, raped and killed as a result of the queer-antagonistic ideology which is part of the double oppression of queer people, and which has intensified with imperialism. Thus, it is a complete lie that imperialism has given queers ‚civil rights‘. Those rights were conquered by the partisans who fought Nazi-Fascism; they were conquered at Compton‘s Cafeteria and at Stonewall; they are being conquered in the People‘s Wars in Turkey and on the Philippines; and in countless other, smaller struggles in every country on Earth. And let us not forget the example of Germany: A queer movement led by the bourgeoisie gained rights and demands, but in the end, the Institute for Sexual Sciences was burned, Magnus Hirschfeld fled the country and thousands died in the extermination camps. Under imperialism, every right will be twisted and turned, and when it is possible to snatch it away, it will be taken away again. All of this is part of the generalized imperialist genocide of queers in the entire world, which is part of the imperialist annihilation of the proletariat and oppressed peoples‘ (Our emphasis).

You Comrades should carefully read this paragraph and consider your views on this generalized genocide of queers. Is it taking place or is it not? To reaffirm ourselves in the position of the RSS, we offer statistics: Between October 2017 and September 2018, 167 queers were killed in Brazil; 28 in the United States; 71 in Mexico; 21 in Colombia. In the Americas that year, 44 queers more were killed than the year before. Every 28 hours, a queer is violently attacked in Brazil. 27 transgender people were killed in the United States in 2016. From 2007 to 2012, 1.341 queers were murdered in Brazil; from 2006 to 2010, 249 queers were killed in Peru. Are these murders an expression of a ‚contradiction among the people‘, or are they the result of lumpen-pogromist violence in service of the old imperialist and bureaucratic-landlord States? We rest the case of the Comrades.14

Pink-washing?

The nazis burning the Institute for Sexual Sciences to the ground in 1933.

We believe that the views put forward above are correct. But even if lumpen-pogromist violence against queers takes place, does that mean that imperialism doesn‘t „[‚pink-wash‘] itself by giving LGBT people a large degree of legal equality in order to create a false image of progressivism“? In fact, while one faction of the big bourgeoisie in some countries makes use of „pink-washing“ in order to justify its rule, this is no different from making use of bourgeois labor parties in the government or bourgeois feminism. Lenin already expressed:

The difference between the democratic-republican and the reactionary-monarchist imperialist bourgeoisie is obliterated precisely because they are both rotting alive (which by no means precludes an extraordinarily rapid development of capitalism in individual branches of industry, in individual countries, and in individual periods).“15

So while in the U.S. and some other imperialist countries, the liberal-democratic bourgeoisie has been able to increase nominal queer rights (which exist only on paper), this has not been the case in other imperialist countries, such as Russia, where the conservative-fascist faction of the bourgeoisie rules. Moreover, imperialist countries only make up a small portion of the world, while the third world is a lot bigger and more populous, and nobody can seriously claim that queer rights are very present in the third world. Finally, queer rights exist only on paper and „pink-washing“ is nothing but propaganda to put an end to decades of queer rebellion against imperialism. What Lenin said for women applies for queers as well:

In words, bourgeois democracy promises equality and liberty. In fact, not a single bourgeois republic, not even the most advanced one, has given the feminine half of the human race either full legal equality with men or freedom from the guardianship and oppression of men.

Bourgeois democracy is democracy of pompous phrases, solemn words, exuberant promises and the high-sounding slogans of freedom and equality. But, in fact, it screens the non-freedom and inferiority of women, the non-freedom and inferiority of the toilers and exploited.“16

This is completely obvious to anybody with eyes and ears. Under the rule of imperialism, there cannot be any equality or justice for queers. The queer ↔ non-queer contradiction will only become non-antagonistic, a contradiction within the people, once imperialism has been destroyed. As clear examples, let us look at some recent events.

In the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on July 6th, a Pride demonstration took place. Fascist and reactionary protesters attempted to block the demonstration. A 37-year old journalist, Alexander Lashkarava, was killed after his skull was broken by these reactionaries. As a response, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said: „It was yet another failed conspiracy against the State, masterminded by anti-State and anti-church forces, which failed and will never be successful in our country. We all saw that the tragedy of this person was attempted to be used for their own political agenda.“ What pink-washing! Are the queers being used by Western imperialists to undermine Georgian sovereignty, or are they masses rising in justified rebellion against oppression?17

In Spain, a 24-year old gay nursing assistant was beaten to death in A Coruña, Galicia, outside of a night club. As a result, riots and demonstrations have broken out all across Spain, in A Coruña itself, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Salamanca, Bilbao and Zaragoza. In Madrid, street clashes took place in which queers fought riot police, who unprovoked had attacked the demonstration, kettled the protesters and arrested them.18 And the current „socialist and communist“ government of Spain, while condemning the murder in name, only supports the reactionary police forces, such as the recent declaration of the minister of finance shows. Again — what pink-washing!

Now, these two examples are from third world countries, where imperialism rules by more brutal methods. But there are other examples from the imperialist superpowers and powers themselves. For instance, the Russian law „For the Purpose of Protecting Children from Information Advocating for a Denial of Traditional Family Values“, which imposes:

Propaganda is the act of distributing information among minors that 1) is aimed at the creating nontraditional sexual attitudes, 2) makes nontraditional sexual relations attractive, 3) equates the social value of traditional and nontraditional sexual relations, or 4) creates an interest in nontraditional sexual relations.

If you’re Russian. Individuals engaging in such propaganda can be fined 4,000 to 5,000 rubles (120-150 USD), public officials are subject to fines of 40,000 to 50,000 rubles (1,200-1,500 USD), and registered organizations can be either fined (800,000-1,000,000 rubles or 24,000-30,000 USD) or sanctioned to stop operations for 90 days. If you engage in the said propaganda in the media or on the internet, the sliding scale of fines shifts: for individuals, 50,000 to 100,000 rubles; for public officials, 100,000 to 200,000 rubles, and for organizations, from one million rubles or a 90-day suspension.“19

Clashes between queer masses and police outside of the Russian parliament in 2013.

This is in the world‘s second-biggest imperialist power, a superpower. Is this pink-washing?

What about in the U.S. itself? Since the U.S. bourgeoisie is such a fan of pink-washing, we must be able to find the biggest bourgeois gays in its leadership — like Michael Pence, former U.S. Vice President under Donald Trump. For instance, he painted the U.S. pink during his congressional campaign in 2000, stating:

Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.“20

The U.S. government, through the FBI during the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover (murderer of Comrade Fred Hampton among others), carried out a decade-long war on „sex deviates“. Hoover wrote in a memo in 1951:

Each supervisor will be held personally responsible to underline in green pencil the names of individuals […] who are alleged to be sex deviates […]“

This memo launched a campaign to identify as many queer U.S. Americans as possible in order to blackmail them into staying in the closet. So forcing queer people to stay in the closet was a deliberate policy by U.S. imperialism — not just a result of „contradictions within the people“. Those queers employed by the State were to be fired. Until the 1970s, more than 360.000 files on queer U.S. Americans were collected by the FBI. This was also used for propaganda purposes:

[…] Hoover’s top public affairs official, Lou Nichols Jr., maintained a close working relationship with Howard Rushmore, the editor of Confidential magazine, a notorious Hollywood scandal sheet that made its reputation on exposing gays in the film industry as well as other avenues of public life.“

This anti-queer campaign was combined with the second red scare. According to a senate sub-committee in 1950:

In the opinion of this subcommittee, homosexuals and other sex perverts are not proper persons to be employed in government […] first, they are generally unsuitable, and second, they constitute security risks.“21

Further, our U.S. colleagues write: „[…] the productive forces are developed enough in the imperialist countries that capitalism has lost its pressing need to reproduce the oppressed class as not every family needs to produce children to maintain a socially-necessary proletarian population […]“.

We believe this to be an open revision of marxism on the question of reproduction and population growth. It is a completely elementary fact that no economic system can exist without reproducing itself. The classics of marxism have repeated this simple fact again and again and again, and to have to respond to it is simply demeaning to ourselves and our readers.

If there is no reproduction of labor, then there is no reproduction of labor power for the bourgeoisie. Simply put, the supply chains of imperialism would seize to function. In countries where the birth rate is indeed declining, such as Japan, the bourgeoisie views it as a historic crisis. The reproduction of the bourgeoisie rests on the reproduction of the proletariat. If our U.S. colleagues think that it is no longer necessary for the bourgeoisie to maintain control with reproduction of labor, then we would like to know why they think the double exploitation and oppression of women continues to exist.

No, the problem is not whether individual families must have children in order for imperialism to continue existing — the problem is that the proletariat in general must be reproduced. In 1847, Marx expressed:

Capital can multiply itself only by exchanging itself for labour-power, by calling wage-labour into life. The labour-power of the wage-labourer can exchange itself for capital only by increasing capital, by strengthening that very power whose slave it is. Increase of capital, therefore, is increase of the proletariat, i.e., of the working class.

[…]

If capital grows, the mass of wage-labour grows, the number of wage-workers increases; in a word, the sway of capital extends over a greater mass of individuals.“22

The last point of the article by the U.S. colleagues which we want to address is the following: „LGBT people are not a distinct social force and do not have a decisive role in politics as such.“ This echoes a claim from the polemic by Tribune of the People, which reads as follows:

We raise no objection to inclusion of proletarians and masses who are queer within the Party, its army or front; we raise objection to the idea that the Party should generate organisms specifically oriented to queer people, as the rest of the article has shown. Instead we insist on including everyone on the basis of proletarian revolution this applies to the imperialist countries, and we issue no comment on the needed lines of the more advanced revolutionaries in the third world.“

This position, too, is wrong. Queer people face a specific contradiction to patriarchy — the term which we use to designate the system of exploitation and oppression of women and queers, which is part of class society, described by Engels in The Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State and Chairman Gonzalo in Marxism, Mariátegui and the Women‘s Movement. This specific contradiction faced by queer people is a byproduct of the double exploitation and oppression of women — it is a necessary complement. In the position paper of a group of proletarian revolutionaries in Switzerland, the Red Star, issued in December 2020, we can read:

The patriarchal oppression of queers originated and developed alongside private property and the State, on the basis of the patriarchal exploitation and oppression of women. In savage society, there was no contradiction between queers and non-queers; in barbaric society, the contradiction was not yet antagonistic; it is only with civilized society that the contradiction becomes antagonistic.

Queers are oppressed twice in capitalist society: as proletarians and as queers. The economic basis of their oppression as queers lay in the bourgeois-patriarchal nuclear family and the patriarchal double exploitation of women; the queer question is thus secondary to and delineated from the women‘s question.

The patriarchal oppression of queers is qualitatively different from the patriarchal exploitation and oppression of women and from the aspect of patriarchal oppression faced by men who quantitatively diverge from patriarchal norms. It is something entirely different, which serves a specific function in patriarchy: to protect and nourish the patriarchal family.

Imperialism has sharpened the patriarchal double oppression of queers and led to a generalized, worldwide, imperialist genocide of queers, which is part of the general annihilation of the proletariat and the oppressed peoples. In the 3rd World, it takes a bureaucratic-capitalist form and is fused with the brutality of feudalism and slavery, and therefore, the genocide is strongest in the oppressed nations.

Queer-antagonistic ideology takes the forms of religion, mainly Christianity and sexual metaphysics disguised as science. The oppression of queers is carried out both by the State and, when rights have been conquered, by lumpen-pogromist gangs. Queers are increasingly pauperized and in sharp confrontation with the old States, which leads to their super-politicization, but also isolation from the proletarian movement.“

We believe this position to be correct. From this follows the necessity of organizing queer proletarians, masses and people for the fight against imperialism and patriarchy. As expressed in the position paper:

It is necessary for the Communist Parties and Organizations to take up the proletarian line in the queer movement and struggle to lead the deepest and broadest queer masses in their struggle for daily demands and mainly the conquest of Power, through their mobilization, politicization, organization and arming in the People‘s War. Not having proletarian leadership of the queer movement leads these masses, some of which are part of the proletariat, into the arms of reactionary bourgeois and petty-bourgeois elements, who in the end do nothing except contribute to the genocide of queers and strengthen the counter-revolution.

The final solution of the queer question will only be achieved through the abolition of patriarchy, private property and the State through the new-democratic revolutions, socialist revolutions and successive proletarian cultural revolutions. The solution of the queer question in Communism is the solution of the contradiction between men and women, and as a result, between queers and non-queers.“

This completely corresponds to the marxist-leninist-maoist-Gonzalo thought mass line. Chairman Mao said:

Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? This is a question of the first importance for the revolution. The basic reason why all previous revolutionary struggles in China achieved so little was their failure to unite with real friends in order to attack real enemies. A revolutionary party is the guide of the masses, and no revolution ever succeeds when the revolutionary party leads them astray. To ensure that we will definitely achieve success in our revolution and will not lead the masses astray, we must pay attention to uniting with our real friends in order to attack our real enemies. To distinguish real friends from real enemies, we must make a general analysis of the economic status of the various classes in Chinese society and of their respective attitudes towards the revolution.“23

He also said:

We should support whatever the enemy opposes and oppose whatever the enemy supports.“24

If we reject the queer movement simply because it is dominated by bourgeois and petty bourgeois class interests, then we are leaving the deepest and broadest queer masses to the enemy. We are leaving them to rot in the enemy swamp. We are turning them over to the enemy‘s and away from our barricade. Lenin said:

Engels draws a distinction between the ‚bourgeois labour party‘ of the old trade unions — the privileged minority — and the lowest mass‘, the real majority, and appeals to the latter, who are not infected by ‚bourgeois respectability‘. This is the essence of marxist tactics!

[…] it is therefore our duty, if we wish to remain socialists to go down lower and deeper, to the real masses; this is the whole meaning and the whole purport of the struggle against opportunism. By exposing the fact that the opportunists and social-chauvinists are in reality betraying and selling the interests of the masses, that they are defending the temporary privileges of a minority of the workers, that they are the vehicles of bourgeois ideas and influences, that they are really allies and agents of the bourgeoisie, we teach the masses to appreciate their true political interests, to fight for socialism and for the revolution […]“25

He also said:

Class political consciousness can be brought to the workers only from without, that is, only from outside the economic struggle, from outside the sphere of relations between workers and employers. The sphere from which alone it is possible to obtain this knowledge is the sphere of relationships of all classes and strata to the state and the government, the sphere of the interrelations between all classes. For that reason, the reply to the question as to what must be done to bring political knowledge to the workers cannot be merely the answer with which, in the majority of cases, the practical workers, especially those inclined towards economism, mostly content themselves, namely: ‚To go among the workers.‘ To bring political knowledge to the workers the social-democrats must go among all classes of the population; they must dispatch units of their army in all directions.“26

This „trade-union consciousness“, reformist consciousness, is precisely what our U.S. colleagues are identifying when they criticize the existing queer movement, which is bourgeois in character. But instead of leaving these people to the enemy, should we not be uniting with them, demarcating between the proletarian line and the bourgeois and petty bourgeois lines in the queer movement, and striving to lead them? Only by doing so would we be able to lead them to fight for the proletarian revolution.

Queers constitute 10-20% of the population in any given imperialist country. If we are to unite 90% of the population, as Chairman Mao demanded, can we leave queer people to the bourgeoisie? If we don‘t agitate for their daily demands and organize them to fight for them, can we draw them into the movement? We simply cannot. Therefore, the position of our U.S. colleagues is harmful to the development of the proletarian revolution — in the U.S. and elsewhere.

We want to include a quote from the Los Angeles Research Group, the only U.S.-based group which has historically made an attempt to get rid of the inherited subjectivism in the communist movement and answer the queer question on the basis of marxism. Those colleagues stated:

Just as men, women, heterosexuals, gays and minorities cross all class lines, any organization of these groups will reflect one or another class line at any given historical period depending on the strength and development of the different class forces. Gays are not inherently revolutionary (as some gay groups would say), nor inherently reactionary (as some ‚communist‘ groups would say). The class nature of gay liberation will change only when it is given revolutionary working class leadership. Until then, like all other groups, bourgeois ideology will fill the political vacuum. Even the working class, left to itself, can only develop trade union consciousness, which in the last analysis is bourgeois. To expect the gay movement to be any different when left without proletarian leadership is pure idealism. Gay people, particularly working class gays, are perfectly capable of enthusiastically grasping the science of marxism-leninism and of being disciplined revolutionary fighters. To make enemies of potential allies is to abandon the working class and its interests.

We make the following rightful and righteous demands:

1. that the marxist-leninist methodology of dialectical and historical materialism be applied to the gay question and that subjectivist, ‚natural‘ bourgeois ideas based on no investigation be cast aside;

2. that serious criticism/self-criticism be made of anti-gay attitudes among comrades;

3. that gay people who hold ideological, political and organizational unity with a communist organization be allowed membership;

4. that the democratic rights of gay people be firmly upheld and struggled for by communists;

5. that evidence of anti-gay attitudes among the working class be struggled with by showing whose interests such prejudices actually serve.

NO INVESTIGATION, NO RIGHT TO SPEAK!

DOWN WITH SUBJECTIVISM AND OTHER PETTY-BOURGEOIS WAYS OF THINKING!

LONG LIVE THE UNITY OF THE MULTINATIONAL WORKING CLASS AND DOWN WITH ALL FORMS OF MALE CHAUVINISM AND SUPREMACY THAT DESTROY THAT UNITY!

VENCEREMOS!27

Finally, we would like to remark that our U.S. comrades and colleagues know very well that the position of Comrade Stalin on the queer question directly contradicts that of both ourselves and yourselves, and that his position constitutes part of his 30% of mistakes28 — why, then, would you use his likeniss in your graphic banner for this article?

We hope that this article has served the development of the two-line struggle in the international communist movement, in order to impose a correct and justified position on the queer question.

LONG LIVE MARXISM-LENINISM-MAOISM!

DOWN WITH SUBJECTIVISM! APPLY GONZALO THOUGHT!

STONEWALL WAS A REBELLION! WHAT WE NEED IS A REVOLUTION!


APPENDICES

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
Class Struggle or Sexual Liberation?

The Struggle Sessions Editorial Board has received several messages about two of our recent essays concerning sex and sexuality. We have been asked what our position is on gay, trans and non-binary people, with some messages coinciding with assumptions that the journal is antagonistic and exclusionary to certain sections of the people.

We take the class stand of the proletariat, applying Marxism to our conditions and putting proletarian politics at the center of our theoretical work. Questions of sex and sexuality are secondary to the collective demands of revolutionary politics, in particular here the mobilization of working women for their emancipation through socialist revolution.

Postmodernism raises the specter of sexual liberation to combat the proletarian line of women’s emancipation through socialist revolution, creating a false politicization of sex which in fact functions to depoliticize, to remove the question of class standpoint and political struggle. With postmodernism, all questions are reduced to the interpersonal and the interpersonal, frequently, is reduced to sexual relations. This reduction to the interpersonal means stripping away the basis which determines social relations, i.e. the basis in production, the struggle for existence. Decadence, promiscuity, and non-conformity are hailed as liberatory while organizing women and the working class for collective liberation is labeled exclusionary and reductionist.

We call this what it is: hedonism, individualism, the personal liberation of the petite-bourgeoisie opposed to the collective liberation of the proletariat. Sex and personal relationships cannot be revolutionized except through subordinating them to proletarian discipline. Marxists do not view sexuality as a private affair, since humans are social animals and all things are subject to criticism from the standpoint of the proletariat. At the same time, we seek precisely to avoid the overemphasis on sex and personal identity that postmodernism uses to evade the question of class struggle and to replace political struggle with individual choice.

We repeat Lenin, who pointed out that an overemphasis on questions of sex plays a destructive role, especially among the youth and the petite-bourgeoisie.

„Dissoluteness in sexual life is bourgeois, is a phenomenon of decay. The proletariat is a rising class. It doesn’t need intoxication as a narcotic or a stimulus. Intoxication as little by sexual exaggeration as by alcohol.“ [Lenin on the Women’s Question]

Capitalism alienates people from one another, and creates relationships based on economic calculation and base physical and emotional needs as a rule. Postmodernism worships these alienated relationships under the guise of individual choice, subordinating the collective to the individual instead of subordinating the individual to the collective.

Only repeated cultural revolutions under socialism will create a new man and woman and a new society, allowing the development of authentic relationships on the basis of love and social need. This orientation places the political question at the forefront: the struggle for socialist revolution followed by repeated cultural revolutions, and the subordination of personal relationships to the political needs of the revolution.

The facts of biological reproduction and the oppression of women rooted in private property divide society into men and women. While biological reproduction is the basis, which is reflected for instance in the struggle over reproductive rights, humans are primarily social animals and so social relationships conditioned by class society are primarily determinate on sex and sexuality. Hence homosexuality and transition to the social role of the opposite sex has an objective existence that is conditioned by the historical development of society.

On the other hand, the ideology that underlies non-binary identification is rooted in idealism and reactionary postmodernism. It argues that one can escape the contradiction between men and women at an individual level through personal feeling and superficial changes in presentation. This is positioned as progressive and liberating. We see this as part of the ‘sexual liberation’ thesis that one can change society solely by changing one’s ideas or behavior, or that the only thing which matters is one’s ideas or behaviors, a total idealism opposed to materialism. It obscures the basis of women’s emancipation which is an essential question for revolution.

The metaphysics behind the non-binary concept in fact ossifies the categories of men and women into a set of superficial traits. Rather than a historical materialist approach which studies how the man-woman contradiction as it exists today came into being conditioned by private property, and thus studies how it will pass away with the abolition of private property, this ideology poses that, for instance, women simply are a set of prescribed traits and to deviate from said traits is to deviate from womanhood. Instead of combating the negative traits associated with manhood and womanhood as part of understanding the historical basis and development of the man-woman contradiction, manhood and womanhood itself is combated, a metaphysical viewpoint that is distant from the reality of the masses. Marx puts this reality as such:

„[A]s soon as the distribution of labour comes into being, each man has a particular, exclusive sphere of activity, which is forced upon him and from which he cannot escape.“ [The German Ideology]

We assert that men and women must be remolded in the process of revolution and social transformation to create a new socialist man and new socialist woman. Militarization and the reorganization of society have a transformative effect on men and women: the negative traits associated with manhood and womanhood will be combated not because men and women are to be abolished, but to serve the needs of the revolution. Personal relationships will be transformed on an egalitarian basis, not for their own sake detached from class struggle, but precisely to subordinate them to the demands of proletarian discipline and organization.

Contrary to postmodernism, Marxism places politics as primary and rejects the view that issues affecting a minority population without a key role in production is determinate in politics. LGBT people are not a distinct social force and do not have a decisive role in politics as such. Imperialism does not depend on the discrimination of LGBT people, and today ‘pink-washes’ itself by giving LGBT people a large degree of legal equality in order to create a false image of progressivism—the productive forces are developed enough in the imperialist countries that capitalism has lost its pressing need to reproduce the oppressed class as not every family needs to produce children to maintain a socially-necessary proletarian population. The most advanced revolutionary movements have arisen in the less ‘developed’ countries, and thus the question of reproduction plays a more prominent role. We should look at these phenomena in the context of economic development and remember that the new is born stamped with the old, and never as a ‘pure’ new thing.

We reiterate the message of the essay Consumer Options that monogamy and polyamory both are bourgeois and backwards; similarly both heterosexuality—understood as the superstructural support reproducing the economic unit of the family—and ‘queerness’ are old bourgeois forms that oppose the new, socialist social relations. In both cases the latter is pushed by postmodernism as the more progressive option, a new fad to jump onto. Just as the bourgeoisie cynically uses the people’s alienation and dissatisfaction with twisted and corrupted personal relationships to push false solutions like polyamory and ‘queerness,’ the monopoly media uses identity in their cultural productions to push the false solutions of inclusivity and positivity. This is the context in which non-binary was used in our recent essay Bourgeois Culture is a Cadaver, showing it to be a hip term cynically used by the bourgeoisie to paper over people’s subjective dissatisfaction and their oppression.

We urge our readers to think critically, to apply materialism and to put communist politics at the center of everything they do. We cannot achieve liberation through our personal identity, expression or relationships, but only through subordinating our individuality to the concrete tasks of collective liberation through people’s war until communism.

LETTER FROM THE PROPAGANDA DEPARTMENT OF TRIBUNE OF THE PEOPLE TO THE EDITORIAL BOARD OF STRUGGLE AND CRITICISM, 11.01.2021

Some brief points of disagreement for private exchange and seeking clarity to develop two-line struggle

Internationalist greetings,

Our News Service is not the ideal platform for public exchange on deep theoretical issues, so we insist only on internal exchange between friendly publications internationally. We do however find these topics important so we wish to address them and recommend that if any open exchanges take place that you comrades contact the theoretical journal Struggle Sessions.

We raise disagreements and seek clarity on the following matters:

1. Principally Gonzalo Thought: we adhere to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism with the contributions of universal validity of Chairman Gonzalo. This is a precise formulation with some implications. We uphold Gonzalo Thought and defend it as applicable to Peru where it is principal. We precisely state, following the teachings of Chairman Gonzalo, that for the world outside of Peru the principal thing is Maoism, and we further highlight that C. Gonzalo has made universally valid contributions which must be applied to all countries in the world in the service of reaching our unalterable goal, communism. However, Maoism remains principal for the world today. Were Gonzalo Thought universal and principal outside of Peru, the formal could only be Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Gonzaloism, we reject this as a synthesis not reached or proven theoretically. Gonzalo Thought has not been proven to be a fourth and superior stage, and this is not what the PCP teaches. We have not encountered any argument from you comrades that this is the case, and seek clarity on your position regarding the most important matter—the ideology of the proletariat, without which it is impossible to come to the correct political line (as indicated by C. Gonzalo).

2. Patriarchy: it is our position that “patriarchy” is a term belonging to feminism to denote male rule over a society, and describe the conditions of a slave or feudal society not present in the world today. Today it is not “patriarchy” but the oppression of women which we contend with. We look to Engels and the PCP on this matter mainly, the texts Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, as well as Marxism, Mariategui and the Womens Movement. These texts are foundational to our understanding of the womens question, and we highlight that they do not focus on the issue of “patriarchy” which seeks to place the contradiction between men and women as the issue, which would require the feminist prescription of “women’s liberation” from men, these texts center the issue of private property and insist that women’s emancipation is made possible by the inclusion of women in production, meaning that “class differentiates the individual more than sex” (-Mariategui) and therefore the task is not to “combat patriarchy” but to mobilize women as a force for proletarian revolution. Specifically proletarian women and women who are from the people. We object to the idea that “the queer question is the question of the origins and development of patriarchal oppression of queers…” and so we seek clarity on this position, and how this view is rooted in Marxism, and not just the influence of feminism.

3. The double oppression of queers in capitalist society: we do not find this formula scientific or comparable with our ideology. It is women who are doubly oppressed, as workers in the form of cheaper labor, and as reproductive labor due to privatization of child care; this condition is not that of queer people (men and women) who face discrimination. Discrimination itself does not constitute a dual oppression as it is based on interpersonal social interaction and not exploitation—it is a contradiction among the people, made use of by the enemy. An end to discrimination against queers would not impede or disrupt capitalist production, this is why the superstructure in the imperialist countries, and the monopoly media are all defenders against anti-queer social discrimination. The lower status of the proletarian woman however is essential to the function of capitalist production, which is why the emancipation of women can only be realized with socialist revolution—women serve as cheap labor and fulfill the socially necessary role of socially reproductive labor, and are better workers, with families are less likely to rebel (see Engels and Zetkin). Hence we hold the position that “queer emancipation” is a false formula, that it does not mean the same thing as women’s emancipation. We seek clarity on your position here, and suggest that emancipation is the incorrect term to use when speaking mainly of contradictions among the people. For instance, employers are not even allowed to ask if someone is queer, but still they pay women less than men and assign certain jobs to women over men and men over women for other jobs, even though industry has developed to a point in which men and women can do the same labor.

4. Dogmatism is more dangerous than post-modernism; we disagree with this conclusion, postmodernism and revisionism are clearly linked the world over, and while dogmatism is bourgeois ideology seeping into the proletarian movement, post-modermism was crafted expertly by the CIA and has veritably destroyed left movements again and again in the imperialist centers. It is also wrong to counterpose the two things, the revisionists who embrace postmodernism are dogmatic about metaphysics. All in all, at least in our country, postmodernism is more common among the masses and the left than dogmatism, it being near hegemonic makes it the greater danger. Furthermore, as Chairman Mao and Chairman Gonzalo both insist; revisionism is the main danger, and this could come in the form of either postmodernism or dogmatism, but it is postmodernism which is the most common form and far more common than dogmatism. The above describes a mistake in analysis which will develop an incorrect synthesis or an incorrect line of march. It is very dangerous to depart from this mistake. Finally, if the left is suffering from dogmatism and the right from postmodernism, it is wrong to state that the main deviation in the world is “left” deviation when in fact right deviation is the most common and we can easily see this by the electoralism and failures to grasp election boycott among those with postmodernist view.

5. Patriarchal family; we find more objection to this category, and its use by you comrades. Engels hardly used the term, but if we evaluate Engels we see that he does not consider the patriarchal family to be the same as the monogamous family:

“In the old communistic household, which comprised many couples and their children, the task entrusted to the women of managing the household was as much a public and socially necessary industry as the procuring of food by the men. With the patriarchal family, and still more with the single monogamous family, a change came.”

This is an important distinction, and we seek clarity on whether or not you agree with the distinction. Marxism, Mariategui and the Women’s Movement does not use the term “patriarchal family” and has but one mention of patriarchal right, and in this case the comrades are speaking of what Engels calls “father right” replacing “mother right” and not a familial construct. Otherwise this essential text, which serves as the basis of unity among the Maoists does not mention “patriarchy,” which as we have mentioned is a feminist and not a Marxist term.

We worry that by the way of an incorrect and non-Marxist term as your point of departure, that your arguments are lost from the start, and whatever good is lost by not adhering to Marxist categories. You essentially argue for the historic emergence of a thing that is centered on an imported term and category. We do no believe that this is a matter of semantics, nor that it is dogmatic to insist on retaining the Marxist framework and the terms developed by it.

You comrades claim that:

“The founders of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, proved that patriarchy originated alongside private property and the State, in order to enable the male inheritance of property and the reproduction of labor. The patriarchal oppression of queers, thus, begins in that very same moment: the establishment of the patriarchal family.”

But here you have gotten rid of Engels’ terms and do not directly quote him. In fact Engels said nothing of the sort, what he said was the oppression of women, what the feminists say is “patriarchy,” these are not the same thing, and the terms are not interchangeable. It is important, the oppression of women does not situate itself as a contradiction between men and women and patriarchy does.

6. Concessions to post-modernism, there are several of these, instances where you comrades adopt terms developed specifically by the post-modernists to provide a framework for analysis outside of Marxism. For instance, “gender” as is used by the post-modernists and you comrades alike is not found to have this use in Marxism, here “gender” is treated as a set of social traits assigned to men and women (amorphous and changing) but still somehow developing a “binary” if such a binary exists it is not the conscious choice of individuals but a fact of society and hence there is no self-made decision to opt out of it on the basis of self-identification. It is queer theory which has decided that self-identification and communication (discourse) determines “gender” this is pure metaphysics, it is to claim that consciousness determines reality. And what is a “binary”? It means something having two parts. If capitalist society has produced a set of social traits with two parts, masculine and feminine corresponding to the sexes, and we call this a binary, then there is one aspect which will be principal over the other, and hence no such thing possible as “non-binary.” Contradiction is the only fundamental law of the incessant transformation of all eternal matter, it leaves no room for stasis and requires constant motion to operate with a principal and secondary aspect. There is nothing that is not principally masculine or principally feminine, this is metaphysics. Furthermore, a more correct term would be non-socially-conforming, this is important because it does not denote a new sex, but an act of social rejection, and many sub-cultures do this all through history without transgressing the category of male and female. This is why “gender” is fluid and treated as a matter of communication and presentation whereas sex is a matter of biology, as well as social and economic status. The problem is post-modernism seeks to replace sex with their invented term “gender” to place it as the only term doing away with sex, this results in the question of women’s oppression being a question of communication and presentation and not a question of property relations, it forecloses the emancipation of women.

7. Veering toward Federici and away from Marx: the article treats the matter of the “patriarchal family” or “patriarchy” itself as if this were a result of colonialism by failing to mention the indigenous societies, in fact the most developed ones that had left the stages of low barbarism, the Inca, Aztec etc. at all. These societies sacrificed captives who practiced same sex intercourse, a fact left of out the postmodernist analysis. It also falls short in terms of historical materialism by not mentioning the fact that slave society is advancement beyond barbarism. It hardly mentions the practice of same sex relationships among Roman soldiers (a upper class in roman society) or the Greek Slave holding aristocrats having same sex relationships. This is because homosexuality could continue among aristocrats, while slaves were needed to reproduce in large numbers. This is pre-feudal society which is mainly glossed over.

We find statements like this to be speculative and idealistic:

“Bisexuality is the natural form of human attraction, which the existence of patriarchy has changed…”

This is a human nature argument, when we know as social beings there is no default setting or human nature. It carries with it a great risk of humanism in the positivist sense—more slipping into metaphysics. We point out for your consideration the words of Marx and the PCP in this matter and seek clarity on if you consider their views backward or revolutionary?:

“The direct, natural and necessary relationship between two human beings is the relationship between man and woman. This natural relationship between the sexes carries directly its own natural determination. In this relationship, therefore, it is manifested in a sensitive way, reduced to a palpable fact, to what extent the human essence has become the nature of man, or in nature its human essence. Starting from this relationship, then, the entire degree of culture that man has reached can be judged. From the character of this relationship it is clear to what extent man has come to be and conceive of himself as a generic being, a man; The relationship between man and woman is the most natural relationship between two human beings and it also shows the extent to which the human essence has become a natural essence for him, to what extent his human nature has become his own nature. In this relationship it is also revealed to what extent man’s needs have become human needs, to what extent, therefore, the other man as such man has become a need, to what extent, in his most individual existence, it is at the same time a collective being. ” -Marx

“The relationship between a man and a woman is the most direct and strictly human, it constitutes a social relationship. When those who enter into this relationship are communists (or revolutionaries) that union must contribute to the struggle that both carry out for Communism (or for the revolution).

Today, that we live the III Moment of contemporary Peruvian society and that our people rise up in arms under the leadership of the PCP to transform society through the People’s War from the countryside to the city, the comrades (or companions)____ and ______they have decided to marry so that their union serves the development of our revolution.” (PCP)

We only point this out to obtain your views on these statements and to remind that your views are at variance with their and seek to understand how or if you reconcile your position, when claiming it is a position of “Gonzalo Thought” at variance with the position taken by the PCP regarding marriages since they are the originators of Gonzalo Thought and exemplify its content…

We do not raise this issue to disparage bi-sexual people or to support any bigotry they might face, we do however oppose the idealist notion the bisexuality is the default natural human condition, and are inclined to agree with the founder Marx, and the greatest example of a modern, living Communist Party, the PCP who we uphold and defend as the true and incontestable originators, initiators and practitioners of Gonzalo Thought, which for them alone is principal.

8. Men and women as a social perception and not a materialist category: at this point your analysis conforms with queer theory, and particularly Judith Butler, men and women are not perceptions, if they were perceptions the oppression of women could be done away with via education and discourse, we stringently object to this as a form of anti-woman thinking which masks itself as progressing Marxism in new conditions, since it does so with converging with postmodernism resulting in a veiled attack on women. Men and women are social beings, defined socially, but not limited to mere perception. Men and women as social beings can change and come to be perceived differently, but not by adjusting the perception, but by overthrowing the mode of production, waging cultural revolution etc.

We must skip ahead to avoid repetition.

9. The position that queers can be organized as such and are distinct to organize among the class; this is problematic, it fails to understand how class differentiates the individual in all cases more than sexual preference, and it ignores the bourgeois character of the queer movement, and queer sub-culture throughout, a movement and a sub-culture which has in its main aspect failed to integrate proletarians but served as a great area of revenue for monopoly entertainment media, we need not list the vast amount of programs oriented toward the topic as these are available in your country as they are ours.

In fact through such programs, being forced to “stay in the closet” is decreasing in our country, this vile form of humiliation and discrimination still exists, but acceptance is the norm and not segregation, the imperialist super structure is accommodating of this, and even uses it to villainize the third world and rival imperialists when convenient. For instance, Israel, one of the most reactionary criminal occupations in the world is framed as the most progressive for its acceptance of gays, and the Arab, the Muslim, the Palestinian is presented as a mid-evil villain who in all his savagery is a un-changing homophobic. This obviously does not serve the interests of gay people. We raise the issue to point out that the “closet” is no longer useful to imperialist production and organization, and so they can adapt and do away with some old prejudice in the interest of domination and exploitation, the same treatment of feminism by imperialism. It must be stated, that Marxists do not uphold feminism, and “proletarian-feminism” is in our view a mistaken idea. Marxism resolves the question and can resolve any question, without importing bourgeois ideas. It is all powerful, it can do anything because it is true.

10. The “pauperization of queers” is a highly disagreeable analysis, the US is home to queers rights among the imperialist class, among all classes, and highly (in fact over) represented in the media. What is pauperization to Marxists? It is the impoverishment of the class due to the accumulation of profit by the exploiting class. It has nothing to do with being queer. Of course queer proletarians (at least ones who embrace public displays of the sub-culture) might end up in lower strata of the class, this is the bourgeoisie using contradictions among the people in their individual interests, not in the interests of preservation of the low strata (as is the case with women and Black people alike).

Corresponding to this, there is no “super-politicization” of queers outside of the petty bourgeois and their politicization is the politics of the petty bourgeois. Proletarian queers are politicized as any proletarians according to Marxism, but are obviously still influenced by petty bourgeois politics. Postmodernism the the very basis of queer politics today, and this is not speculation, but an obvious fact. Hence there is no more a revolutionary potential for queer proletarians than their non-queer counter parts. Even the category queer here is not a sufficient Marxist category with defined character. The bourgeoisie however find special value for queer issues, because many of them are expressed mainly as contradictions among the people, and can be used by the enemy to divide. For this reason we agree that contradictions among the people should be struggled to be solved non-antagonistically, with education etc. hence homophobia is not a thing that can be ignored or go unchallenged and uncorrected.

11. Leslie Fienberg: a revisionist who’s work is absolutely mired in both revisionism and postmodernism, which you comrades see as less of a danger than dogmatism. It is nothing but opportunism to remove revisionism from this discussion, and declare that “all Communists” should study Stone Butch Blues. This is based in a subjectivist analysis on your part which seeks to find revisionist sources that suit your argument and in the process ignore the fact that this writer was a lifelong member of the crypto-Trotskyist Workers World Party, that she defended Dengite revisionism and “actually existing socialism” in Cuba. If you comrades uphold Gonzalo Thought in anything but name, then you must not be subjectivist when it comes to revisionism! You must adhere to Chairman Gonzalo’s teaching that imperialism, reaction and revisionism must be combated implacably and inseparably. Revisionism is absolutely not something that comrades can be permitted to conveniently forget.

While queer people, due to the discrimination they face in the cases you cited have come to support proletarian struggles, and we agree discrimination against them must also be struggled against among the proletariat, these do not extend to the idea that queer people are themselves decisive to revolution, the proletarian can and has made revolution without taking up the slogan of “queer emancipation.” the issue in our assessment has more to do with struggling to resolve contradictions among the people so that the class can be united and become a class for itself.

12. Labor aristocracy: this term is misused and misunderstood by you comrades, this term does not mean simply a higher paid section of a multi-class group, but a specific function within a class itself, queer people are not a class with a distinct relationship to production. Engels and Lenin are both clear on what a labor aristocracy is.

13. we raise no objection to inclusion of proletarians and masses who are queer within the Party, its army or front; we raise objection to the idea that the Party should generate organisms specifically oriented to queer people, as the rest of the article has shown. Instead we insist on including everyone on the basis of proletarian revolution this applies to the imperialist countries, and we issue no comment on the needed lines of the more advanced revolutionaries in the third world.

14. Final assessment; your document is mainly incorrect due to its importing of bourgeois frameworks and bourgeois ideology. We do not unite with it and find it objectionable when taken as a whole. We encourage you comrades to struggle some with your own framework and re-approach the matter.

We agree that the question has not been correctly answered. We will await clarification from you comrades, but do not intend to issue further response to this article or struggle over it in our platform. It is our view that you comrades are earnest comrades, but that you lack a deeper understanding of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, which is needed to tackle such a difficult topic with precision. We admit that our own understanding undergoes constant development and that we are no experts on these matters. We raise the view that our comrades in the third world are not deficient, and that they have correctly prioritized the organizing of the peasants, workers, women and students and provided organizations for these. We believe they have the correct class position, and that you comrades do not and still are too reliant on the ideology of the bourgeoisie for the above mentioned reasons.

We respond only to contribute our views and criticism in the interest of class unity and internationalism. We reiterate that our organization does not exclude anyone on the basis of sexual preference or non-conformity to social expectations of the masculine and feminine, that we oppose reactionary discrimination and reactionary violence.

Also this letter is written by the Propaganda Department of Tribune’s Editorial Board, and not the views of Tribune as a whole, or the whole of the Editorial Board and should not be taken as such. Even though we believe they would not object to our positions. We respond because we have been tasked to respond to ideological questions by the Board and we feel responding in detail for the sake of exchange is preferable to simply stating that we have no official position.

International solidarity,

Propaganda Department of Tribune of the People

LETTER FROM THE EDITORIAL BOARD OF STRUGGLE AND CRITICISM TO THE PROPAGANDA DEPARTMENT OF TRIBUNE OF THE PEOPLE, 12.01.2021

Proletarians of all countries, unite!
There is one goal — the conquest of Power!

Switzerland
12th of January 2021

To the Propaganda Department of Tribune of the People

Dear Comrades,

We have received your letter of the 9th of January 2021 and seek to briefly respond to its contents. We find this to be important, as part of strengthening the relationship between the revolutionaries in both the United States of America (USA) and Switzerland, which is the proletarian-internationalist duty of both our organs. In service of this duty and in response to your recent letter, we raise some concerns and clarifications.

Prefacing these remarks, we wish to insist that both our initial letter, the shared article by us and the document by the Red Star — Switzerland (RSS), your response and this letter are forwarded to the Editorial Board of Tribune of the People. We insist upon this, as the necessities of honest and clear communication among the contingents of the international proletariat across State borders demands that the highest levels stay informed and are able to actively participate in international discussion.

Lenin established: „It is also necessary that all who take part in our work, each and every circle, should have the right to bring their decisions, desires and requests to the attention of the Committee, as well as of the Central Organ and Central Committee. If we ensure this, then all Conferences of Party cadres will have the benefit of full information, without instituting anything so cumbersome and contrary to the rules of secrecy as ‚discussion meetings‘“ (Our emphasis).29

1. On clandestine methods of communications.

We greatly appreciate that you Comrades have taken the time to send us your opinions on the document which we have shared with you. Your remarks have been forwarded to the relevant Comrades and are taken into consideration in writing this response. However, we have some concerns regarding security, which is a question of clandestinity. We have sent you a PGP Public Key with our first letter. However, you choose to reply without encrypting your response, and do not forward a PGP Public Key of your own, with which we could encrypt this response. Political necessity demands a response from us to your letter, but it needed not be in an unsafe manner; we ask that you Comrades forward a Public Key of your own and in the future encrypt letters to us with the Public Key you have received from us. Otherwise, our communications would be in the hands of the reaction already, which we do not want.

There is also another problem concerning security. Several places in your letter, you write that „you comrades“ write something in the document by the RSS: „Marxism and Queer Emancipation“. This is simply not the case and amounts, in the last instance, to police work. We do not believe that this is the intention of you Comrades at all, but it is necessary to make clear that „Struggle and Criticism“ has no relation to the RSS other than that of our organ supporting the revolutionary movement in Switzerland in general. We would not address your views as those of „Struggle Sessions“ or the Committee to Reconstitute the CPUSA — why would we? It would serve no purpose politically and be nothing but police work militarily. We hope that you Comrades see this mistake and work to not commit it in the future.

2. On principles for international discussion.

Chairman Mao Tse-tung has said: „We hope that the public debate among fraternal Parties can be stopped. This is a problem that has to be dealt with in accordance with the principles of independence, of equality and of reaching unanimity through consultation among fraternal Parties. In the International Communist Movement, no one has the right to launch attacks whenever he wants, or to order the ‚ending of open polemics‘ whenever he wants to prevent the other side from replying(Our emphasis).30

We seek to adhere to the above principles and hope that you Comrades will do the same. Since you „await clarification from you comrades“, it is not appropriate to „not intend to issue further response to this article or struggle over it in our platform“, as you write.

This being said, we have not forwarded you the document written by Comrades in Switzerland in order to launch some public debate (and your respose is an attempt to start a public debate, because it is visible to the reaction due to being non-encrypted). We have forwarded it because you Comrades are based in the United States, have a greater knowledge of the Organizations and revolutionary movement in that country, and thus, we assume, the knowledge and connections to forward the document to whatever Comrades may find it to be of interest, being, as it is, a document of the vanguard of the proletariat in formation in Switzerland.

However, the fact is that you have chosen to reply to the contents of this document, without addressing our letter in general or other items which we have forwarded to you. We find this to be sectarian and inappropriate. Sectarian, because our letter is one which serves to establish relations between the revolutionaries in our two countries, while yours is one which serves to open a public polemic with our organ, even though we are not the authors of the document in question and did not attempt to launch any public polemic. And inappropriate, because we are not the authors of this document; we are now forced to respond to criticism of something which we have not written, which puts us in a difficult situation — we unite with the views of the Swiss Comrades on the queer question, but how can we respond? Poorly, without the necessary authority. Nonetheless, you Comrades now force our hand, because it is our duty to seek clarification among Comrades, not confusion, and strive for unity, not disunity.

We believe this to be the main problem. Our ideological disagreements are of a secondary nature in this moment, because it is necessary for you Comrades to learn the norms of Communist diplomacy. Ideological struggle between us would become the main problem only if and when a physical meeting between Comrades from both of our countries would take place, since an (un-encrypted!) email channel is the least appropriate means for such struggle.

3. On the ideology of the international proletariat.

You Comrades write: „Principally Gonzalo Thought: we adhere to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism with the contributions of universal validity of Chairman Gonzalo. This is a precise formulation with some implications. We uphold Gonzalo Thought and defend it as applicable to Peru where it is principal. We precisely state, following the teachings of Chairman Gonzalo, that for the world outside of Peru the principal thing is Maoism, and we further highlight that C. Gonzalo has made universally valid contributions which must be applied to all countries in the world in the service of reaching our unalterable goal, communism. However, Maoism remains principal for the world today. Were Gonzalo Thought universal and principal outside of Peru, the formal could only be Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Gonzaloism, we reject this as a synthesis not reached or proven theoretically. Gonzalo Thought has not been proven to be a fourth and superior stage, and this is not what the PCP teaches. We have not encountered any argument from you comrades that this is the case, and seek clarity on your position regarding the most important matter—the ideology of the proletariat, without which it is impossible to come to the correct political line (as indicated by C. Gonzalo)“.

We seek to clarify why we believe the ideology of the international proletariat to be Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Gonzalo Thought, mainly Gonzalo Thought, as well as what precisely is meant by this formulation.

Firstly, it is necessary to clarify the difference between a Thought and an „-ism“, or stage, and the significance of using a comma (,) vs. a dash (-) in the formulation. The ideology of the proletariat, all-powerful because it is proven true in the practice of millions each day, develops through a contradiction: general truth ↔ specific application. This is what the Communist Party of Peru (CPP) teaches. Further, we must understand that there is a contradiction between the development of the ideology through such creative, specific application of the universal truth, and the synthesis of the universality of such application as general truth. Thus, Marxism developed first as Marx Thought as a specific application in Germany by Marx; then as a Thought of universal validity (or not yet synthesized Marxism); then synthesized as Marxism by Engels; then applied by Engels as Marxism-Engels Thought. This is all clear, it has been proven by the Nucleus for Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Studies in Brazil.31 Concerning Marxism-Leninism, it developed first as Marxism, Lenin Thought, as a specific application of Marxism-Engels Thought in Russia by Lenin; then as Marxism-Lenin Thought (or not yet synthesized Marxism-Leninism), then synthesized as Marxism-Leninism, mainly Leninism, by Stalin; then applied by Stalin as Marxism-Leninism-Stalin Thought.32 And concerning Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, it developed as synthesized by Chairman Gonzalo: „On the STRUGGLE AROUND MAOISM. Briefly, the struggle in China for establishing Mao Tse-tung Thought began in 1935 at the Tsunyi Meeting, when Chairman Mao assumed the leadership of the CPC. In 1945 the 7th Congress agreed that the CPC was guided by Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung Thought, a specification suppressed by the 8thCongress, since a rightist line prevailed in it. The 9th Congress in 1969 resumed the GPCR and ratified that the CPC is guided by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought; that was as far as it advanced.

On an international level, it acquired influence from the 1950s onwards; but it is with the GPCR that it intensely spread out and its prestige rose powerfully and Chairman Mao was acknowledged as the leader of the world revolution and originator of a new stage in Marxism-Leninism; thus, a great number of Communist Parties assumed the denomination of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought. On the world level, Maoism confronted contemporary revisionism openly unmasking it profoundly and forcefully, and likewise it did so in the CPC’s own ranks, all of which raised the Chairman’s great red banner still more: The new, third, and superior stage of the ideology of the international proletariat. At present, Maoism confronts the triple attack of Soviet, Chinese and Albanian revisionism. But today, even among those who acknowledge the Chairman’s great contributions, including the development of Marxism, there are some who believe that we are still in the stage of Marxism-Leninism, and others who only accept Mao Tse-tung Thought but by no means Maoism“ (Our emphasis).33

From this, we can understand that there is a distinction between a „comma Thought“ (or specifically principal Thought) and a „dash Thought“ (or generally principal Thought), as well as between a „Thought“ and an „-ism“, or stage. A generally principal Thought can become part of the next stage of Marxism, such as Engels Thought in the 1880s and 1890s, and Stalin Thought in the 1920s to 1950s, or it can be a not yet systematized stage, as Marx Thought before 1877-79, Lenin Thought before 1924, and Mao Tse-tung Thought before 1982. It is not yet clear which category Gonzalo Thought belongs to, but one thing is clear to us: Gonzalo Thought is universally valid, and because it is the highest peak, it is principal.

To reemphasize our point concerning the distinction between a specifically principal and a generally principal Thought, we wish to quote a recent document published by the internet review „Communist International“: „Then, the agreement of the 9th Congress, which established Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought, separated by hyphens, formerly separated by a comma, which is different, begins to be questioned. To put Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung Thought is one thing, the form it first was enunciated, then the form changed, separated by hyphens“ (Our emphasis).34

And further, Chairman Gonzalo himself: Marxism has always taught us that the problem lies in the application of universal truth. Chairman Mao Tse-tung was extremely insistent on this point, that if Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is not applied to concrete reality, it is not possible to lead a revolution, not possible to transform the old order, destroy it, or create a new one. It is the application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to the Peruvian Revolution that has produced Gonzalo Thought. Gonzalo Thought has been forged in the class struggle of our people, mainly the proletariat, in the incessant struggles of the peasantry, and in the larger framework of the World Revolution, in the midst of these earthshaking battles, applying as faithfully as possible the universal truths to the concrete conditions of our country. Previously we called it the Guiding Thought. And if today the Party, through its Congress, has sanctioned the term Gonzalo Thought, it’s because a leap has been made in the Guiding Thought through the development of the People’s War. In sum, Gonzalo Thought is none other than the application of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism to our concrete reality. This means that it is principal specifically for our Party, for the People’s War and for the revolution in our country, and I want to emphasize that. But for us, looking at our ideology in universal terms, I emphasize once again, it is Maoism that is principal“ (Our emphasis).35

We believe that the emphasis on the position of the CPP from 30 years ago is an expression of dogmatic subjectivism. Chairman Gonzalo really states that Maoism is principal on a world level. It was also said by the Communist Party of China (CPC) that Mao Tse-tung Thought was only specifically principal, before this position was developed to a higher level at the 9th Party Congress in 1969. We believe that the facts since 1988 have demonstrated Gonzalo Thought as a generally principal Thought, a contribution to the inevitable new, fourth and higher stage of Marxism, and this corresponds to the principles of Marxism, if not to the words of the CPP before it had the historical practice to establish the universal validity of Gonzalo Thought. Dogmatic subjectivism is a danger for the International Communist Movement (ICM), because it prevents the further development of Marxism through creative application, as this clearly shows.

The CPP clearly states: „Furthermore, we must keep well in mind that when Comrade Stalin justly and correctly stated that we had entered the stage of Leninism as the development of Marxism, there was also opposition by those who rend their garments in a supposed defense of Marxism. There were also those who said that Leninism was only applicable to the backward countries. But, in the midst of struggle, practice has consecrated Leninism as a great development of Marxism, and thus the ideology of the proletariat shone victoriously in the face of the world as Marxism-Leninism (Our emphasis).36

It is very clear to us: Does Gonzalo Thought contain universal aspects, or does it not? Are there contributions to the fourth stage, or are there not? These contributions exist, these universal aspects exist, and they are the main aspect of Gonzalo Thought: 1) Philosophy. Emphasis of the main aspect of the contradiction, emphasis of contradiction as the only fundamental law, etc. 2) Political Economy. Development of the thesis on bureaucratic capitalism. 3) Scientific Socialism. Militarization of the Party, concentric construction of the Three Instruments, the sea of armed masses, Unified People‘s War, etc. Are these not universally valid? With this, based on the principles elaborated above, proves that the ideology of the proletariat can and must be, today, only Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Gonzalo Thought, mainly Gonzalo Thought, and it must be creatively applied to the concrete conditions of each specific revolution in order to generate a Guiding Thought, specifically principal for its Party and revolution.

4. On ideological struggle.

You Comrades write: „Dogmatism is more dangerous than post-modernism; we disagree with this conclusion, postmodernism and revisionism are clearly linked the world over, and while dogmatism is bourgeois ideology seeping into the proletarian movement, post-modermism was crafted expertly by the CIA and has veritably destroyed left movements again and again in the imperialist centers. It is also wrong to counterpose the two things, the revisionists who embrace postmodernism are dogmatic about metaphysics. All in all, at least in our country, postmodernism is more common among the masses and the left than dogmatism, it being near hegemonic makes it the greater danger. Furthermore, as Chairman Mao and Chairman Gonzalo both insist; revisionism is the main danger, and this could come in the form of either postmodernism or dogmatism, but it is postmodernism which is the most common form and far more common than dogmatism. The above describes a mistake in analysis which will develop an incorrect synthesi xs or an incorrect line of march. It is very dangerous to depart from this mistake. Finally, if the left is suffering from dogmatism and the right from postmodernism, it is wrong to state that the main deviation in the world is “left” deviation when in fact right deviation is the most common and we can easily see this by the electoralism and failures to grasp election boycott among those with postmodernist view“.

We think that you Comrades should take note of some points elaborated by Chairman Mao. He speaks of subjectivism, which can take the form of dogmatism or empiricism: „Those experienced in work must take up the study of theory and must read seriously; only then will they be able to systematize and synthesize their experience and raise it to the level of theory, only then will they not mistake their partial experience for universal truth and not commit empiricist errors. Dogmatism and empiricism alike are subjectivism, each originating from an opposite pole.

Hence there are two kinds of subjectivism in our Party, dogmatism and empiricism. Each sees only a part and not the whole. If people are not on guard, do not realize that such one-sidedness is a shortcoming and do not strive to overcome it, they are liable to go astray.

However, of the two kinds of subjectivism, dogmatism is still the greater danger in our Party. For dogmatists can easily assume a Marxist guise to bluff, capture and make servitors of cadres of working-class and peasant origin who cannot easily see through them; they can also bluff and ensnare the naive youth. If we overcome dogmatism, cadres with book-learning will readily join with those who have experience and will take to the study of practical things, and then many good cadres who integrate theory with experience, as well as some real theorists, will emerge. If we overcome dogmatism, the comrades with practical experience will have good teachers to help them raise their experience to the level of theory and so avoid empiricist errors“ (Our emphasis).37

Post-modernism, and its specific application as „intersectionalism“ or identity politics, is fundamentally an expression of empiricist subjectivism, which we firmly reject. These views are present among the right in the ICM, such as the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPPh). Nonetheless, we are not concerned with the right — we are concerned with the left, as the RSS clearly states in its document: We believe that the main danger for the ICM regarding the queer question is dogmatic subjectivism, not revisionism. Those Parties and Organizations which have taken up post-modernist ideas in order to answer the queer question belong to the right of the ICM, not the left. The Parties and Organizations of the left, however, generally take a dogmatist position and refuse to answer the question creatively, instead insisting upon old and prejudiced ideas which have circulated in the ICM for over a century, but which have never been justified on the basis of Marxism. We urge these comrades to rectify their subjectivist approach and be honest and dilligent in their study of the queer question on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Gonzalo Thought. These comrades should self-criticize for the mistakes made due to these old and incorrect ideas.

This is not to discount the harmful influence of post-modernism, in particular the ‚queer theory“‘ with which we unfortunately share an important theoretical term, in the ICM. Some Parties and Organizations are indeed afflicted by these ideas, since they have chosen to take the queer petty-bourgeoisie‘s ideas as those of the proletariat, instead of attempting to answer the question on the basis of Marxism. As Chairman Mao teaches us, empiricism and dogmatism are two sides of the same, subjectivist coin, and this reflects Stalin‘s thesis on the twin character of right- and ‚left‘-opportunism; both sexual metaphysics and post-modern ‚queer theory‘ in the ICM effectively deny that Marxism is capable of answering the queer question, which denies the character of Marxism as an all-powerful science (Our emphasis).38

And we believe, as the Comrades have written, that within the Parties and Organizations of the left in the ICM, sexual metaphysics is the main problem in the current moment. The main danger is the revisionism in our own ranks and minds, not the revisionism of people we oppose.

Yes, revisionism, or right-opportunism, is the main danger. This is the case in general. But as Chairman Mao clearly states, what is the main aspect of a contradiction in general changes in the specific case: „ As we have said, one must not treat all the contradictions in a process as being equal but must distinguish between the principal and the secondary contradictions, and pay special attention to grasping the principal one. But, in any given contradiction, whether principal or secondary, should the two contradictory aspects be treated as equal? Again, no. In any contradiction the development of the contradictory aspects is uneven. Sometimes they seem to be in equilibrium, which is however only temporary and relative, while unevenness is basic. Of the two contradictory aspects, one must be principal and the other secondary. The principal aspect is the one playing the leading role in the contradiction. The nature of a thing is determined mainly by the principal aspect of a contradiction, the aspect which has gained the dominant position.

But this situation is not static; the principal and the non-principal aspects of a contradiction transform themselves into each other and the nature of the thing changes accordingly. In a given process or at a given stage in the development of a contradiction, A is the principal aspect and B is the non-principal aspect; at another stage or in another process the roles are reversed — a change determined by the extent of the increase or decrease in the force of each aspect in its struggle against the other in the course of the development of a thing. […]

Some people think that this is not true of certain contradictions. For instance, in the contradiction between the productive forces and the relations of production, the productive forces are the principal aspect; in the contradiction between theory and practice, practice is the principal aspect; in the contradiction between the economic base and the superstructure, the economic base is the principal aspect; and there is no change in their respective positions. This is the mechanical materialist conception, not the dialectical materialist conception. True, the productive forces, practice and the economic base generally play the principal and decisive role; whoever denies this is not a materialist. But it must also be admitted that in certain conditions, such aspects as the relations of production, theory and the superstructure in turn manifest themselves in the principal and decisive role. When it is impossible for the productive forces to develop without a change in the relations of production, then the change in the relations of production plays the principal and decisive role. The creation and advocacy of revolutionary theory plays the principal and decisive role in those times of which Lenin said: ‚Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement‘. When a task, no matter which, has to be performed, but there is as yet no guiding line, method, plan or policy, the principal and decisive thing is to decide on a guiding line, method, plan or policy. When the superstructure (politics, culture, etc.) obstructs the development of the economic base, political and cultural changes become principal and decisive. Are we going against materialism when we say this? No. The reason is that while we recognize that in the general development of history the material determines the mental and social being determines social consciousness, we also — and indeed must — recognize the reaction of mental on material things, of social consciousness on social being and of the superstructure on the economic base. This does not go against materialism; on the contrary, it avoids mechanical materialism and firmly upholds dialectical materialism (Our emphasis).39

The RSS applies this understanding in its document. We believe that this corresponds to the principles of Marxism, of dialectical materialism. Did Marx not combat Anarchism, a „left“-opportunism, as the main danger in the 1st International? Did the great Lenin not combat „left“-communism as the main danger at the 2nd World Congress of the Communist International? Did Chairman Mao Tse-tung not eliminate the „left“-opportunism of Lin Piao? And did Chairman Gonzalo not carefully navigate the two-line struggle during the struggle for the reconstitution of the CPP, striking blow upon blow at one revisionist faction at a time, recognizing that each specific form of revisionism was the main danger in each specific moment? We believe this to be the case, and in the left of the ICM at present, the main danger (in the queer question) is sexual metaphysics, a form of dogmatic subjectivism.

Further, on the revisionist Leslie Feinberg, you write: „Leslie Fienberg: a revisionist who’s work is absolutely mired in both revisionism and postmodernism, which you comrades see as less of a danger than dogmatism. It is nothing but opportunism to remove revisionism from this discussion, and declare that “all Communists” should study Stone Butch Blues. This is based in a subjectivist analysis on your part which seeks to find revisionist sources that suit your argument and in the process ignore the fact that this writer was a lifelong member of the crypto-Trotskyist Workers World Party, that she defended Dengite revisionism and “actually existing socialism” in Cuba. If you comrades uphold Gonzalo Thought in anything but name, then you must not be subjectivist when it comes to revisionism! You must adhere to Chairman Gonzalo’s teaching that imperialism, reaction and revisionism must be combated implacably and inseparably. Revisionism is absolutely not something that comrades can be permitted to conveniently forget“.

We are fully aware of the revisionism of Leslie Feinberg. The Swiss Comrades promote the study of „Stone Butch Blues“, not as a course in Marxism or a guide to revolutionary action, but as a step on the path of grasping the situation of the queer masses. This book is good for this, and the positions of its author are of no concern. This is no expression of subjectivism — it is putting emphasis on „seeking truth from facts“, since this book accurately describes queer proletarian and semi-proletarian life. Indeed, Chairman Mao Tse-tung has taught us: „If we have shortcomings, we are not afraid to have them pointed out and criticized, because we serve the people. Anyone, no matter who, may point out our shortcomings. If he is right, we will correct them. If what he proposes will benefit the people, we will act upon it. The idea of ‚better troops and simpler administration‘ was put forward by Mr. Li Ting-ming, who is not a Communist. He made a good suggestion which is of benefit to the people, and we have adopted it. If, in the interests of the people, we persist in doing what is right and correct what is wrong, our ranks will surely thrive“ (Our emphasis).40

5. On rhetoric and post-modernism.

You Comrades write: „Patriarchy: it is our position that “patriarchy” is a term belonging to feminism to denote male rule over a society, and describe the conditions of a slave or feudal society not present in the world today. Today it is not “patriarchy” but the oppression of women which we contend with. We look to Engels and the PCP on this matter mainly, the texts Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, as well as Marxism, Mariategui and the Womens Movement. These texts are foundational to our understanding of the womens question, and we highlight that they do not focus on the issue of “patriarchy” which seeks to place the contradiction between men and women as the issue, which would require the feminist prescription of “women’s liberation” from men, these texts center the issue of private property and insist that women’s emancipation is made possible by the inclusion of women in production, meaning that “class differentiates the individual more than sex” (-Mariategui) and therefore the task is not to “combat patriarchy” but to mobilize women as a force for proletarian revolution. Specifically proletarian women and women who are from the people. We object to the idea that “the queer question is the question of the origins and development of patriarchal oppression of queers…” and so we seek clarity on this position, and how this view is rooted in Marxism, and not just the influence of feminism“.

We disagree on the view of you Comrades regarding the terms „feminism“ and „patriarchy“ — as does the CPP. We quote: „Nadie debe sorprenderse de que todas las mujeres no se reúnan en un movimiento feminista único. El feminismo tiene, necesariamente, varios colores, diversas tendencias. Se puede distinguir en el feminismo tres tendencias fundamentales, tres colores sustantivos: feminismo burgués, feminismo pequeño burgués y feminismo proletario. Cada uno de estos feminismos formula sus reivindicaciones de una manera distinta. La mujer burguesa solidariza en feminismo con el interés de la clase conservadora. La mujer proletaria consustancia su feminismo con la fe de las multitudes revolucionarias en la sociedad futura. La lucha de clases — Hecho histórico y no aserción teórica — se refleja en el plano feminista. Las mujeres, como los hombres, son reaccionarias, centristas o revolucionarias. No pueden por consiguiente, combatir juntas la misma batalla. En el actual panorama humano, la clase diferencia más a los individuos que en el sexo (Our emphasis).41 And further: El feminismo, como idea pura, es esencialmente revolucionario (Our emphasis).42 Thus, it is clearly seen that proletarian feminism is the response of Marxism to the question of women‘s emancipation, as established by Mariátegui, founder of the CPP, and reaffirmed by Chairman Gonzalo.

We reemphasize what is stated by the RSS in its document: „The patriarchal oppression of queers has its origins with the patriarchal family and patriarchal oppression of women, which appeared together with private property and the State. Thus, its origins and development must be analyzed in intimate connection with these fundamental problems. What is fundamental is to study the theses of Marxism on the origins and development of the patriarchal oppression of women, since this is fundamental for grasping the queer question(Our emphasis).43 This is nothing but the reaffirmation and development of the theses of Marxism on the patriarchal oppression of women.

Concerning the term „patriarchy“, we will simply state that the Swiss Comrades, as well as the rest of the ICM, disagree with the position of you Comrades. Patriarchy siginifies the rule of men over women, which is completely in accordance with what was put forward by Engels: The modern individual family is founded on the open or concealed domestic slavery of women, and modern society is a mass composed of these individual families as its molecules. In the great majority of cases today, at least among the possessing classes, it is the husband who is obliged to earn a living and support his family, and that in itself gives him a position of supremacy without any need for special legal privileges. Within the family he is the bourgeois and the wife represents the proletariat. In the industrial world, however, the specific character of the economic oppression burdening the proletariat is visible in all its sharpness only when all the special legal privileges of the capitalist class have been abolished and the complete legal equality of both classes established. The democratic republic does not do away with the antagonism between the two classes; on the contrary, it provides the ground on which the fight can be fought out. And in the same way, the peculiar character of the supremacy of the husband over the wife in the modern family, the necessity of creating real social equality between them and the way to do it, will only be seen in the full light of day when both possess complete equality of legal rights. Then it will be plain that the first condition for the liberation of women is to bring the whole female sex back into public industry, and that this in turn demands the abolition of the monogamous family’s attribute of being the economic unit of society (Our emphasis).44

This quote from Engels is also the complete opposite of what you Comrades write, that: In fact Engels said nothing of the sort, what he said was the oppression of women, what the feminists say is ‚patriarchy‘, these are not the same thing, and the terms are not interchangeable. It is important, the oppression of women does not situate itself as a contradiction between men and women and patriarchy does“. There is clearly a contradiction between men and women, in which men are the main, dominant aspect, both in the bourgeois-patriarchal nuclear family unit and in bourgeois-patriarchal society as whole, and Engels makes this quite clear. Even if Engels did not use the term „patriarchy“, we find it to be a fitting term. Sharing a term with bourgeois or petty-bourgeois feminism does not negate the correctness of the term in the context of proletarian feminism; you Comrades should recall that Marx inherited the term „capitalism“ from Proudhon.

Further: „Concessions to post-modernism, there are several of these, instances where you comrades adopt terms developed specifically by the post-modernists to provide a framework for analysis outside of Marxism. For instance, “gender” as is used by the post-modernists and you comrades alike is not found to have this use in Marxism, here “gender” is treated as a set of social traits assigned to men and women (amorphous and changing) but still somehow developing a “binary” if such a binary exists it is not the conscious choice of individuals but a fact of society and hence there is no self-made decision to opt out of it on the basis of self-identification. It is queer theory which has decided that self-identification and communication (discourse) determines “gender” this is pure metaphysics, it is to claim that consciousness determines reality. And what is a “binary”? It means something having two parts. If capitalist society has produced a set of social traits with two parts, masculine and feminine corresponding to the sexes, and we call this a binary, then there is one aspect which will be principal over the other, and hence no such thing possible as “non-binary.” Contradiction is the only fundamental law of the incessant transformation of all eternal matter, it leaves no room for stasis and requires constant motion to operate with a principal and secondary aspect. There is nothing that is not principally masculine or principally feminine, this is metaphysics. Furthermore, a more correct term would be non-socially-conforming, this is important because it does not denote a new sex, but an act of social rejection, and many sub-cultures do this all through history without transgressing the category of male and female. This is why “gender” is fluid and treated as a matter of communication and presentation whereas sex is a matter of biology, as well as social and economic status. The problem is post-modernism seeks to replace sex with their invented term “gender” to place it as the only term doing away with sex, this results in the question of women’s oppression being a question of communication and presentation and not a question of property relations, it forecloses the emancipation of women“.

And: „Men and women as a social perception and not a materialist category: at this point your analysis conforms with queer theory, and particularly Judith Butler, men and women are not perceptions, if they were perceptions the oppression of women could be done away with via education and discourse, we stringently object to this as a form of anti-woman thinking which masks itself as progressing Marxism in new conditions, since it does so with converging with postmodernism resulting in a veiled attack on women. Men and women are social beings, defined socially, but not limited to mere perception. Men and women as social beings can change and come to be perceived differently, but not by adjusting the perception, but by overthrowing the mode of production, waging cultural revolution etc.“.

In the document by the RSS, the term „gender“ is applied in the context of „third gender“ institutions, which are part of primitive society and in many cases inherited into pre-capitalist modes of production; today, these institutions are reactionary, as they do not represent a proletarian solution to queer emancipation, but the attacks against them by imperialism and bureaucratic capitalism across the 3rd World are nonetheless reactionary. Lenin stated: „[…] politically, imperialism is, in general, a striving towards violence and reaction[…] the specific political features of imperialism are reaction all along the line (Our emphasis).45 The RSS applies this thesis in the document, writing: „These and other traditional „third gender“ institutions are present in many 3rd World countries, because the patriarchal oppression of feudalism or semi-feudalism, while more brutal, is also less systematized than that of capitalism. […] Such third gender institutions are a relic of the period before patriarchal oppression of queer people, persisting into the modern day through the continued existence of feudalism or even pre-feudal modes of production in the 3rd World, because the patriarchal norms of pre-capitalist modes of production are less systematized. However, we must not understand third gender institutions as something progressive; they are a legitimate and respected part of the society in which they exist, they must be defended against the lumpen-pogromist violence which bureaucratic capitalism generates at the service of imperialism, but they are not part of the proletarian solution to the queer question and must be viewed as part of the semi-feudal basis and superstructure. The proletariat has its own solution, as we will elaborate. What ‚third gender‘ institutions imply, more than anything else, is the existence of a contradiction in barbaric society: queers ↔ non-queers, which did not exist in savage society and became antagonistic with the appearance of civilized society (Our emphasis).46 We believe this to be a correct understanding of the queer question in the 3rd World. At the same time, it is also the answer to a question raised in your letter concerning pre-capitalist modes of production, which we will address in detail later.

Unfortunately, you Comrades do not address the analysis by the Comrades on this problem, and only address the terms used. We believe this to be an expression of subjectivism, as Lenin condemned: „All-sided, universal flexibility of concepts, a flexibility reaching to the identity of opposites — that is the essence of the matter. This flexibility, applied subjectively = eclecticism and sophistry. Flexibility, applied objectively, i.e., reflecting the all-sidedness of the material process and its unity, is dialectics, is the correct reflection of the eternal development of the world (Our emphasis).47

The term „gender“ is otherwise solely applied when discussing transgender people. While we cannot speak to the intention of the Comrades, we believe this to be useful, as the only other term available to describe transgender people would be „transsexual“ — this term, however, creates confusion, as it mixes up the specific condition faced by transgender people with that faced by homosexuals, and it is not a question of sexual orientation, but a specific type of contradiction. This is elaborated in the appendix of the document.48 Unfortunately, you Comrades do not give your thoughts on this question in particular, and we can therefore only refer to the position of the RSS as the only scientific contribution to an answer to this specific question.

Regarding the question of non-binary people, we will simply repeat what is said in the document: „Some transgender persons don‘t have decidedly male or female body maps. These people are called non-binary, and still face the contradictions stated above, which are solved with the same methods (Our emphasis).49

The RSS does not attempt to confuse the question of biological sex or the fact of patriarchal oppression established according to the division of humanity into two sexes. In fact, the document again and again reaffirms the theses of Engels on the origins and development of patriarchy. Nowhere is it stated that consciousness determines reality — only that it contributes to the active transformation of matter through labor, through struggle, through experiment. This is also the case with sex changes or whatever else. Non-binary people will be mainly masculine or mainly feminine in their expression, but this doesn‘t for one moment change the material fact of their Homunculus or the fact that society will view them as queer and oppress them.

We find it unfortunate that you Comrades do not seem to have studied this document or taken it sufficiently seriously — it seems more like an attempt was made to produce a criticism fast and efficiently, which does not correspond to our criterion: „In our country bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideology, anti-Marxist ideology, will continue to exist for a long time. Basically, the socialist system has been established in our country. We have won the basic victory in transforming the ownership of the means of production, but we have not yet won complete victory on the political and ideological fronts. In the ideological field, the question of who will win in the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie has not been really settled yet. We still have to wage a protracted struggle against bourgeois and petty-bourgeois ideology. It is wrong not to understand this and to give up ideological struggle. All erroneous ideas, all poisonous weeds, all ghosts and monsters, must be subjected to criticism; in no circumstance should they be allowed to spread unchecked. However, the criticism should be fully reasoned, analytical and convincing, and not rough, bureaucratic, metaphysical or dogmatic (Our emphasis).50

6. On the biological basis of the sexes and sexuality.

You Comrades write: „We find statements like this to be speculative and idealistic: ‚Bisexuality is the natural form of human attraction, which the existence of patriarchy has changed…‘

This is a human nature argument, when we know as social beings there is no default setting or human nature. It carries with it a great risk of humanism in the positivist sense—more slipping into metaphysics. We point out for your consideration the words of Marx and the PCP in this matter and seek clarity on if you consider their views backward or revolutionary?: […]“.

We only point this out to obtain your views on these statements and to remind that your views are at variance with their and seek to understand how or if you reconcile your position, when claiming it is a position of “Gonzalo Thought” at variance with the position taken by the PCP regarding marriages since they are the originators of Gonzalo Thought and exemplify its content…

We do not raise this issue to disparage bi-sexual people or to support any bigotry they might face, we do however oppose the idealist notion the bisexuality is the default natural human condition, and are inclined to agree with the founder Marx, and the greatest example of a modern, living Communist Party, the PCP who we uphold and defend as the true and incontestable originators, initiators and practitioners of Gonzalo Thought, which for them alone is principal“.

If you Comrades had applied the above principle by Chairman Mao Tse-tung, it would have been clear to you that the RSS does not consider „gender“ to be a suitable replacement for sex, nor do the Comrades view the sexes as mere forms of communication. Indeed, the Comrades write: „In synthesis, being queer was the predominant mode of sexuality in savagery, while it became a secondary mode in barbarism, laying the foundations for patriarchal oppression. Bisexuality is the natural form of human attraction, which the existence of patriarchy has changed; thus, while there is a biological foundation for queerness, the societal aspect is principal in determining whether or not one is queer. […] The biological contradiction between male and female is only the basis for the social contradiction between men and women, from which the contradiction between queers and non-queers is derived. Communism will abolish the contradictions between men and women and queers and non-queers. The contradiction between male and female can only be solved through the development of the productive forces and scientific experiment, not by changes in society. […] Transgender people materially become their desired sex when they transition, because hormone replacement treatment, sexual reassignment surgery, voice training, etc., all alter both the primary and secondary sexual characteristics. Thus, consciousness affects matter. It is sexual metaphysics to insist that one‘s sex cannot change (Our emphasis).51

Indeed, Chairman Gonzalo has stated: Marxism, the ideology of the working class, conceives the human being as a set of social relations that change as a function of the social process. Thus, Marxism is absolutely opposed to the thesis of ‚human nature‘ as an eternal, immutable reality outside the frame of social conditions; this thesis belongs to idealism and reaction. […] just as Marxism considers the human being as a concrete reality historically generated by society, it does not accept either the thesis of ‚feminine nature‘, which is but a complement of the so-called ‚human nature‘ and therefore a reiteration that woman has an eternal and unchanging nature; aggravated, as we saw, because what idealism and reaction understand by ‚feminine nature‘ is a ‚deficient and inferior nature‘ compared to man.

For Marxism, women, as much as men, are but a set of social relations, historically adapted and changing as a function of the changes of society in its development process. Woman then is a social product, and her transformation demands the transformation of society.

When Marxism focuses on the woman question, therefore, it does so from a materialist and dialectical viewpoint, from a scientific conception which indeed allows a complete understanding. In the study, research and understanding of women and their condition, Marxism treats the woman question with respect to property, family and State, since throughout history the condition and historical place of women is intimately linked to those three factors (Our emphasis).52

The RSS clearly defines that the biological aspect is fundamental, while the main aspect is societal: „[…] which the existence of patriarchy has changed“. It is scientific fact that savage man was bisexual, and it is scientific fact that bisexuality is the fundamental biological tendency for humans today. This is ABC, all modern biology admits so, and Kinsey has proven that this biological factor is still active in patriarchal society, but the main aspect is patriarchy, class society. Queers are a societal product — in primitive society, there were no „queers“, only homosexuals, bisexuals, heterosexuals, asexuals and whatever else, which served an evolutionary function. On the general level, humans were bisexual in savagery, while the existence of patriarchy changed this. It cannot be denied, it is not idealism to emphasize this, and we want to quote Engels to make it clear how the dogmatism of you Comrades prevents you from being objective in this manner: „How is this to be explained? In view of the decisive part played by kinship in the social structure of all savage and barbarian peoples, the importance of a system so widespread cannot be dismissed with phrases. When a system is general throughout America and also exists in Asia among peoples of a quite different race, when numerous instances of it are found with greater or less variation in every part of Africa and Australia, then that system has to be historically explained, not talked out of existence, as McLennan, for example, tried to do“ (Our emphasis).53

There is thus no question of „idealism“ or „speculation“ on the side of the Swiss Comrades. All the Comrades are doing is to develop the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Gonzalo Thought, mainly Gonzalo Thought, understanding of how the queer question arose and developed. As to whether the position of the RSS contradicts Marx or the CPP, we can only state that Marx and the CPP do not deal with the queer question in any way whatsoever in their works, and that mention of „man and woman“ has no relevance to the discussion. It is a material fact that queer relationships and marriages existed in primitive society, have always existed in class society and exist today, whether or not Marx or Chairman Gonzalo know it. What remains, then, is to apply the attitude of Marx and Engels in this question: They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement(Our emphasis).54

Marx taught us that the intimate, romantic relationship between two persons is the most direct and human of all social relationships. This is the essence of the quote, not that he says „man and woman“. Lenin said to us that marriage must be put at the service of the proletarian revolution, which will transform everything — is the essence of his conversations with Comrade Zetkin that marriage is of a man and a woman, or is it that a proletarian marriage serves the revolution? And Chairman Mao put special emphasis on the transformation of romantic relationships as part of changing the human soul, is this idealism? We believe that the opposition to queer marriages is an old idea, which is to be smashed. Queer marriages, just as well as non-queer ones, can and must serve the proletariat. The essence of this is not having children or other reactionary-patriarchal nonsense — did Chairman Gonzalo and Comrade Norah have children? No, their marriage served the revolution, nothing else, and any queer relationship can do the same.

In establishing its position on the queer question, the RSS thus develops Gonzalo Thought, makes contributions to the inevitable new, fourth and higher stage of Marxism, and it does not simply mechanically apply what has been the case in Peru. The Comrades simply state: „This document is the position paper of the Red Star — Switzerland on the queer question, as a contribution to identifying, retaking and developing the Mass Line of the Communist Party of Switzerland as part of its General Political Line and Basis of Party Unity; this is part of the struggle for the reconstitution of the CPS as a militarized, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Gonzalo Thought, principally Gonzalo Thought, Communist Party to initiate and lead the People‘s War in Switzerland for the conquest of Power, as a part of and in service to the Proletarian World Revolution.

The queer question is a basic question of the Mass Line, since queers are a trench of combat in the masses, a mass front. It is a question which until now has been left unsolved by Marxism, but this only emphasizes the necessity of creatively applying the ideology of the proletariat to solve new problems.

Fundamentally, the queer question is the question of the origins and development of patriarchal oppression of queers; the double oppression of queers in capitalist society; the present queer movement; and the establishment of the Mass Line of the Communist Party, which must be constituted or reconstituted for the People‘s War, depending on the specific conditions of each country and revolution.

In putting forward our position on the queer question, we uphold, defend and apply, principally apply, the sole and all-powerful ideology of the international proletariat: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-Gonzalo Thought, principally Gonzalo Thought, which must be creatively applied to solve the new problems presented by the Proletarian World Revolution in general and the Swiss Revolution in particular, so as to generate a Guiding Thought and contribute to the inevitable new, fourth and higher stage of Marxism (Our emphasis).55

7. On the queer question in pre-capitalist modes of production.

You Comrades write: Veering toward Federici and away from Marx: the article treats the matter of the “patriarchal family” or “patriarchy” itself as if this were a result of colonialism by failing to mention the indigenous societies, in fact the most developed ones that had left the stages of low barbarism, the Inca, Aztec etc. at all. These societies sacrificed captives who practiced same sex intercourse, a fact left of out the postmodernist analysis. It also falls short in terms of historical materialism by not mentioning the fact that slave society is advancement beyond barbarism. It hardly mentions the practice of same sex relationships among Roman soldiers (a upper class in roman society) or the Greek Slave holding aristocrats having same sex relationships. This is because homosexuality could continue among aristocrats, while slaves were needed to reproduce in large numbers. This is pre-feudal society which is mainly glossed over“.

The document of the RSS states, concerning savage primitive society: „Primitive society was a society without exploitation and oppression. In its lower stage, savagery, humanity had not yet seperated itself completely from nature and was not anatomically modern. Societal progress was based on evolution, while labor only played a secondary part. Savage human races, such as the Neanderthals or the not yet anatomically modern Homo Sapiens, developed bisexuality and incest taboos as ways to better compete with other tribes and races, which respectively allowed for adoption of orphans and the elimination of genetic diseases, and in the end, only Homo Sapiens remained, having incorporated the others into its tribes through warfare. There is no evidence of queer-antagonism in savage society, but plenty of evidence which suggests bisexuality as the main form of human attraction (Our emphasis).56

Further, concerning barbaric primitive society: Labor became decisive in the development of society when humanity entered the higher stage of primitive society, barbarism. The discovery of tool-making, fire, hunting, agriculture, herding and metal-working allowed for the creation of a surplus product from human labor, and the division of labor between men and women grew into a division of classes between slaveowners and slaves, nourished by the slaveowner-patriarchal family and upheld by the slaveowning State. This development brought with it taboos against ‚deviancy“‘from the family norms, such as among the Germans described by Tacitus, who performed ritual sacrifices of homosexuals, but the development was unequal(Our emphasis).57

We could quote the document at more length, but ultimately, it is not our task to study the document for you. If you wish to polemicize, you should study the subject matter first.

To summarize, the document already addresses the concerns made by you Comrades in this paragraph. 1) Patriarchy develops as a result of the internal contradiction in society, as „the world historic defeat of the female sex“, be it in Germany, Rome, Greece, China, Mexico or Peru. 2) The development and final establishment of male inheritance, of the patriarchal family, tied to slavery and the State, is also the process of development and final establishment of patriarchal oppression of queers. 3) In slavery and feudalism, depending on specific conditions, primitive „third gender“ institutions may persist. However, Christianity has played a particularly reactionary role in slavery and feudalism in consolidating patriarchal oppression of queers. 4) Bureaucratic capitalism means the abolition (in a reactionary manner) of „third gender“ institutions and the establishment of the most brutal feudalist and efficient imperialist genocide of queers.

8. On the queer question in capitalist society.

You Comrades write: „The double oppression of queers in capitalist society: we do not find this formula scientific or comparable with our ideology. It is women who are doubly oppressed, as workers in the form of cheaper labor, and as reproductive labor due to privatization of child care; this condition is not that of queer people (men and women) who face discrimination. Discrimination itself does not constitute a dual oppression as it is based on interpersonal social interaction and not exploitation—it is a contradiction among the people, made use of by the enemy. An end to discrimination against queers would not impede or disrupt capitalist production, this is why the superstructure in the imperialist countries, and the monopoly media are all defenders against anti-queer social discrimination. The lower status of the proletarian woman however is essential to the function of capitalist production, which is why the emancipation of women can only be realized with socialist revolution—women serve as cheap labor and fulfill the socially necessary role of socially reproductive labor, and are better workers, with families are less likely to rebel (see Engels and Zetkin). Hence we hold the position that “queer emancipation” is a false formula, that it does not mean the same thing as women’s emancipation. We seek clarity on your position here, and suggest that emancipation is the incorrect term to use when speaking mainly of contradictions among the people. For instance, employers are not even allowed to ask if someone is queer, but still they pay women less than men and assign certain jobs to women over men and men over women for other jobs, even though industry has developed to a point in which men and women can do the same labor“.

You Comrades make the mistake of conflating exploitation with oppression. The use of women proletarians as cheaper and reproductive labor constitutes the double exploitation of women — exploitation as proletarians and as women. The oppression faced by women is that of reactionary-patriarchal violence, which is exercised by the State, the husband, the father and takes a million other forms, among which discrimination, rape, etc. count as specific forms of oppression. The oppression of women takes the form both of a contradiction between the people and the enemy, which is antagonistic, and within the people (such as within the family), which is non-antagonistic in general, but can become antagonistic in specific situations (such as an abusive relationship). This corresponds to the understanding put forward by Chairman Mao: „A man in China is usually subjected to the domination of three systems of authority: (1) the state system (political authority), ranging from the national, provincial and county government down to that of the township; (2) the clan system (clan authority), ranging from the central ancestral temple and its branch temples down to the head of the household; and (3) the supernatural system (religious authority), ranging from the King of Hell down to the town and village gods belonging to the nether world, and from the Emperor of Heaven down to all the various gods and spirits belonging to the celestial world. As for women, in addition to being dominated by these three systems of authority, they are also dominated by the men (the authority of the husband). These four authorities — political, clan, religious and masculine — are the embodiment of the whole feual-patriarchal system and ideology, and are the four thick ropes binding the Chinese people, particularly the peasants (Our emphasis).58

Based on this, the RSS puts forward its position: There exists a double patriarchal oppression of queers in patriarchal society, oppression as queers and as proletarians, and its basis is the bourgeois-patriarchal nuclear family unit: „[…] modern society is a mass composed of these individual families as its molecules“. This oppression takes many forms, which can generally also be boiled down to contradictions between the people and the enemy (such as anti-queer laws and lumpen-pogromist violence) and contradictions among the people (such as discrimination caused by queer-antagonistic ideology). This position is made quite clear in the document. When this distinction is made, why would you Comrades then resort to portraying it as though only contradictions among the people are taken into account by the RSS? We believe this to be dishonest.

When you Comrades write: An end to discrimination against queers would not impede or disrupt capitalist production“, we find it to not be true. You are suggesting that patriarchal oppression of queers has no basis in material reality. Are we to expect that queer-antagonistic ideology, State repression and lumpen-pogromist violence simply fell from Heaven? This echoes the position of Avakian: „Imperialism profits directly from the oppression and exploitation of women. This is not true for gay people. They are not materially oppressed as a group, and the denial of their democratic rights does not secure great profits for the ruling class (Our emphasis).59 Already in 1974, this position was rebuked completely: „Our investigation leads us to believe that the material basis for the oppression of gays can be found in the role of the bourgeois nuclear family under class society in the maintenance and perpetuation of the division of labor. The bourgeois nuclear family is the economic institutionalization of personal relationships under capitalism. It is a socially isolated unit consisting of a husband, a wife, and their children. The husband works outside the home. The wife, whether or not she also works outside the home, works within it at invisible labor which maintains and reproduces the labor force. The purpose of the bourgeois family is to: 1. socialize children into understanding and accepting class relationships as they exist in this country today; 2. reproduce the class structure in microcosm; and 3. privatize the maintenance and reproduction of the working class. Class society establishes/maintains, and perpetuates divisions of labor including sexual divisions. Sexual division of labor is of incalculable use to the bourgeoisie, dividing workers into two great camps, those in social labor and those in private labor; those in private labor can and have been called forward as a reserve army of labor according to the needs of the bourgeoisie […] In summary, the bourgeoisie does not oppress people because it thinks such oppression is funny; and the oppression of gay people is anything but funny, or so slight that it can be dismissed as negligible. It runs the gamut from the denial of democratic rights, such as housing, employment, and education, to police repression and brutality, to the imprisonment, castration and lobotomizing of gays, to the use of adversive conditioning (chemical and electrical shock), to “cure” gays in state prison hospitals, such as Vacaville. Economically, it is our experience that many open gays are forced to work in the lowest paying, non-unionized small manufacturing shops where the boss is not much concerned with who a person sleeps with or if a person has a “green card”, but who uses a workers’ status as added leverage for increased exploitation. Gay parents are denied custody of their children. Gay people are forced to live in over-priced “gay ghettos” such as Hollywood. Outside social activity, particularly for gay men, is practically limited to Mafia-controlled, overpriced bars, whose owners enjoy a cozy relationship with the police. Such is the material oppression of gay people. It is no less heinous because its victims are determined by sexuality instead of by color or class. Rather, it is the conscious oppression of gay people by a class conscious bourgeoisie acting only out of its own material interests (Our emphasis).60 Your view, and that of Avakian, contradicts what Chairman Mao teaches us: „Where do correct ideas come from? Do they drop from the skies? No. Are they innate in the mind? No. They come from social practice, and from it alone; they come from three kinds of social practice, the struggle for production, the class struggle and scientific experiment. It is man’s social being that determines his thinking. Once the correct ideas characteristic of the advanced class are grasped by the masses, these ideas turn into a material force which changes society and changes the world“ (Our emphasis).61

Furthermore, you state that „the superstructure in the imperialist countries, and the monopoly media are all defenders against anti-queer social discrimination“. This is simply not true, and it reflects a complete lack of understanding of how the queer masses have made history through their rebellion. Before Stonewall, what bourgeois monopoly media would have dared to defend gays? As late as the 2000s, you would hardly be able to find any bourgeois „sit-com“ which did not include regular, seasonal jokes about „men in women‘s clothes“. The „defense against anti-queer social discrimination“ by the bourgeois media today is a direct result of queer mass rebellion being trafficked with by the queer section of the imperialist bourgeoisie to gain rights for itself, just as is powerfully analyzed in the RSS document: The presence of imperialism and particularly imperialist wars and World Wars gives rise to an increased militarization of the old States, which is expressed through the unfolding of a generalized genocide of queers in the entire world, which is unevenly developed. The developments in Germany during the 1920s and ‘30s, and especially the failure of the Communist Party of Germany under the leadership of Comrade Thälmann to creatively apply Marxism to the conditions of the German Revolution, lead the queer emancipation struggle in service of the proletarian revolution specifically, and in general wage the revolutionary war for the conquest of Power, led to the Nazi-Fascist government takeover in 1933 and the period of the most ruthless fascism in world history. This had enormous repercussions for the entire people, the masses and the proletariat in Germany and all of Europe and the world. The Holocaust was unfolded as a generalized genocide of the peoples in service of German imperialism to gain Lebensraum, in particular a genocide of the Jewish people. The genocide of queers was another aspect of the Holocaust. Queers, who had before maintained some degree of rights, were sent to concentration camps immediately in 1933; gay men and transgender women were marked with the pink triangle and systematically exterminated, while lesbians and transgender men were marked with the „anti-social“ black triangle. Up to 100.000 queers were exterminated by the Nazi-Fascists. When Europe was liberated by the Red Army in 1945, the queers still alive in the Nazi-Fascist concentration camps were re-incarcerated in the very same camps by the West German State, and it was not until 1994 that homosexuality was made legal in the Federal Republic of Germany. But the genocide of queer people did not stop there — rather, it continues all over the world today, in various forms. The AIDS pandemic during the 1980s in the imperialist States (and still in the 3rd World today!) meant the extermination of queers on an even level larger than the Holocaust through the systematic denial of health services, prevention and condemnation of the queers themselves by the Yankee President Reagan, Pope John Paul II and other imperialist leaders. In 2017, a genocide of queers began in the Russian colony of Chechnya, including forced disappearances, torture, assassinations and the establishment of concentration camps, all of this still being ongoing. In Switzerland, a gay man died from AIDS just a few years ago because his treatment was deemed „non-essential“ by the Cantonal government and his insurance company. And in every country, no matter how „progressive“, queers are systematically made homeless, disappeared, unemployed, beaten up, raped and killed as a result of the queer-antagonistic ideology which is part of the double oppression of queer people, and which has intensified with imperialism. Thus, it is a complete lie that imperialism has given queers „civil rights“. Those rights were conquered by the partisans who fought Nazi-Fascism; they were conquered at Compton‘s Cafeteria and at Stonewall; they are being conquered in the People‘s Wars in Turkey and on the Philippines; and in countless other, smaller struggles in every country on Earth. And let us not forget the example of Germany: A queer movement led by the bourgeoisie gained rights and demands, but in the end, the Institute for Sexual Sciences was burned, Magnus Hirschfeld fled the country and thousands died in the extermination camps. Under imperialism, every right will be twisted and turned, and when it is possible to snatch it away, it will be taken away again. All of this is part of the generalized imperialist genocide of queers in the entire world, which is part of the imperialist annihilation of the proletariat and oppressed peoples (Our emphasis).

You Comrades should carefully read this paragraph and consider your views on this generalized genocide of queers. Is it taking place or is it not? To reaffirm ourselves in the position of the RSS, we offer statistics: Between October 2017 and September 2018, 167 queers were killed in Brazil; 28 in the United States; 71 in Mexico; 21 in Colombia. In the Americas that year, 44 queers more were killed than the year before. Every 28 hours, a queer is violently attacked in Brazil. 27 transgender people were killed in the United States in 2016. From 2007 to 2012, 1.341 queers were murdered in Brazil; from 2006 to 2010, 249 queers were killed in Peru. Are these murders an expression of a „contradiction among the people“, or are they the result of lumpen-pogromist violence in service of the old imperialist and bureaucratic-landlord States? We rest the case of the Comrades.62

The point is also made that this is by no means an equal development, as the case of Russia (where „pederast propaganda“ is punishable by imprisonment), for instance, shows quite clearly.

The situation of „queer acceptance“ in the imperialist countries echoes the situation of the women‘s movement, where bourgeois feminism trafficks with the conquests of the masses, as already Mariátegui said in the quote above. Further, this is generally the case, as Marx speaks of the „iron ring“ in which the proletariat finds itself, and establishes (concerning trade-unions) what also applies for the queer movement: „Trades Unions work well as centres of resistance against the encroachments of capital. They fail partially from an injudicious use of their power. They fail generally from limiting themselves to a guerilla war against the effects of the existing system, instead of simultaneously trying to change it, instead of using their organized forces as a lever for the final emancipation of the working class, that is to say, the ultimate abolition of the wages system (Our emphasis).63

Finally, we reject what you Comrades write: „For instance, employers are not even allowed to ask if someone is queer, but still they pay women less than men and assign certain jobs to women over men and men over women for other jobs, even though industry has developed to a point in which men and women can do the same labor“. It does not matter for even one second what bourgeois legality says on any question — any conquered right can and will be taken away once rebellion stops. In the first place, such „protections“ do not in fact work. And are we to believe that such protections exist in Switzerland, simply because it is formally the case in the United States? Once again, you are applying dogmatic subjectivism.

Further: „The “pauperization of queers” is a highly disagreeable analysis, the US is home to queers rights among the imperialist class, among all classes, and highly (in fact over) represented in the media. What is pauperization to Marxists? It is the impoverishment of the class due to the accumulation of profit by the exploiting class. It has nothing to do with being queer. Of course queer proletarians (at least ones who embrace public displays of the sub-culture) might end up in lower strata of the class, this is the bourgeoisie using contradictions among the people in their individual interests, not in the interests of preservation of the low strata (as is the case with women and Black people alike)“.

We would like you Comrades to explain to us why the rates of homelessness, unemployment, prostitution, etc., are so much higher among queer proletarians and masses than other sections of the population, then? You are trying to explain away the question with rhetorical phrase-mongering once more, instead of searching truth from facts.

And: Corresponding to this, there is no “super-politicization” of queers outside of the petty bourgeois and their politicization is the politics of the petty bourgeois. Proletarian queers are politicized as any proletarians according to Marxism, but are obviously still influenced by petty bourgeois politics. Postmodernism the the very basis of queer politics today, and this is not speculation, but an obvious fact. Hence there is no more a revolutionary potential for queer proletarians than their non-queer counter parts. Even the category queer here is not a sufficient Marxist category with defined character. The bourgeoisie however find special value for queer issues, because many of them are expressed mainly as contradictions among the people, and can be used by the enemy to divide. For this reason we agree that contradictions among the people should be struggled to be solved non-antagonistically, with education etc. hence homophobia is not a thing that can be ignored or go unchallenged and uncorrected“.

We disagree firmly with this. The super-politicization of queers is a material fact, which our experience shows. Since the classics do not deal directly with this question and there is no statistics to back up our qualitative investigation, we fear that we will simply have to leave this problem, knowing that your own practice can and will prove our point to be correct.

9. On queer emancipation.

You Comrades write: „The position that queers can be organized as such and are distinct to organize among the class; this is problematic, it fails to understand how class differentiates the individual in all cases more than sexual preference, and it ignores the bourgeois character of the queer movement, and queer sub-culture throughout, a movement and a sub-culture which has in its main aspect failed to integrate proletarians but served as a great area of revenue for monopoly entertainment media, we need not list the vast amount of programs oriented toward the topic as these are available in your country as they are ours.

In fact through such programs, being forced to “stay in the closet” is decreasing in our country, this vile form of humiliation and discrimination still exists, but acceptance is the norm and not segregation, the imperialist super structure is accommodating of this, and even uses it to villainize the third world and rival imperialists when convenient. For instance, Israel, one of the most reactionary criminal occupations in the world is framed as the most progressive for its acceptance of gays, and the Arab, the Muslim, the Palestinian is presented as a mid-evil villain who in all his savagery is a un-changing homophobic. This obviously does not serve the interests of gay people. We raise the issue to point out that the “closet” is no longer useful to imperialist production and organization, and so they can adapt and do away with some old prejudice in the interest of domination and exploitation, the same treatment of feminism by imperialism. It must be stated, that Marxists do not uphold feminism, and “proletarian-feminism” is in our view a mistaken idea. Marxism resolves the question and can resolve any question, without importing bourgeois ideas. It is all powerful, it can do anything because it is true“.

Further: „While queer people, due to the discrimination they face in the cases you cited have come to support proletarian struggles, and we agree discrimination against them must also be struggled against among the proletariat, these do not extend to the idea that queer people are themselves decisive to revolution, the proletarian can and has made revolution without taking up the slogan of “queer emancipation.” the issue in our assessment has more to do with struggling to resolve contradictions among the people so that the class can be united and become a class for itself“.

Your points reflect a lack of understanding of both Marxism and the queer movement in general. Regarding proletarian feminism, you are upholding line and not ideology, because we have already proven that the CPP upholds proletarian feminism.

Regarding the view of the queer movement as a petty-bourgeois subculture, we believe that this does not accurately reflect reality. The RSS document clearly deals with such questions as the Stonewall Riots, „Gays and Lesbians Support the Miners“, etc. When you condemn a movement for being home to non-proletarian views, while at the same time denying the duty to take up its leadership (both for general proletarian demands and for its own specific demands), you are firstly negating Chairman Gonzalo, and secondly negating Lenin:

Rechaza a quienes plantean que las masas no quieren hacer la revolución o que las masas no apoyarán la guerra popular; nos enseña que el problema no está en las masas porque éstas están prestas a rebelarse sino en que los Partidos Comunistas asuman su obligación de dirigirlas y levantarlas en armas. Deslinda con aquellas posiciones que hoy día sostienen ‚la acumulación de fuerzas‘, que plantean el aglutinar parsimoniosamente a las masas a través del uso de los llamados ‚espacios democráticos‘ o uso de la legalidad, acumulación de fuerzas que no corresponde al momento de la lucha de clases internacional y nacional, que no cabe en el tipo de revolución democrática que desenvolvemos y que en la revolución socialista tendrá otros caracteres ya que vivimos una situación revolucionaria en desarrollo desigual en el mundo. Es opuesto y condena las posiciones oportunistas de llevar a las masas a la cola de la gran burguesía, por un camino electorero o por una acción armada bajo el mando de una superpotancia o potencia“ (Our emphasis).64

Working class consciousness cannot be genuine political consciousness unless the workers are trained to respond to all cases of tyranny, oppression, violence, and abuse, no matter what class is affected — unless they are trained, moreover, to respond from Social-Democratic points of view and no other. […] We must blame ourselves, our lagging behind the mass movement, for still being unable to organize sufficiently wide, striking and rapid exposures of all the shameful outrages“ (Our emphasis).65

We wish to quote a polemic from the 1970s once more, showing how you Comrades mistakenly echo the positions of Avakian:

In fact, the RU has abandoned its revolutionary duty to arouse the masses by exposing these concrete examples of reactionary bourgeois rule and to explain to the working class how these outrageous actions and the bourgeois ‚anti-gay‘ rationale behind them only serves to weaken and divide the working class struggle. Their failure to do so, besides holding back the consciousness and unity of the working class, is a failure to mobilize every possible ally of the working class. Every communist gay can point to numerous instances of honest anti-imperialist gay people who have had their political development retarded, or who have become anti-communist, because of the rampant anti-gay attitudes within the communist forces. Communists must draw a clear line of demarcation between themselves and the bourgeoisie. Mao says, ‚We should support whatever the enemy opposes and oppose whatever the enemy supports‘ and quotes Chu Fou, ‚Whatever you do, you must be sure that you do not sadden your friends and gladden your enemies‘. The RU completely fails to do this, both in theory and in practice (Our emphasis).66

10. Other points.

On the labor-aristocracy, you Comrades write: „Labor aristocracy: this term is misused and misunderstood by you comrades, this term does not mean simply a higher paid section of a multi-class group, but a specific function within a class itself, queer people are not a class with a distinct relationship to production. Engels and Lenin are both clear on what a labor aristocracy is“.

Firstly, „you comrades“ is incorrect. We are not the RSS, and stating so is police work.

Secondly, we wish to make it clear that the document of RSS nowhere states that queers are a class. Rather, they are a section of the general population, just as women are. Mariátegui stated in relation to women that they belong to different classes and therefore produce different feminisms — the same is applied by the RSS to queers. And since queers exist across every class, so do they exist within the labor-aristocracy. By denying this fact, it is in fact you Comrades who seem to suggest that queers somehow exist outside of the division of society into classes, and we do not believe this to be the case.

And on queer membership in the Communist Party, the People‘s Army and the United Front, you Comrades write: „we raise no objection to inclusion of proletarians and masses who are queer within the Party, its army or front; we raise objection to the idea that the Party should generate organisms specifically oriented to queer people, as the rest of the article has shown. Instead we insist on including everyone on the basis of proletarian revolution this applies to the imperialist countries, and we issue no comment on the needed lines of the more advanced revolutionaries in the third world“.

The document of the RSS has shown quite clearly that: 1) Patriarchy generates a specific double oppression of proletarian queers. 2) This oppression has a historic and material origin and development process, tied to women‘s exploitation and oppression, private property and the State. 3) In imperialism, this oppression takes on a particularly sharp form, which leads to the development of a queer movement. 4) The political economy of imperialism pauperizes queers and at the same time super-politicizes them; this leads, on the one hand, to social isolation from the proletariat, and on the other hand, to sharper and more queer struggles. 5) Such struggles counteract the lumpenization tendency and promote integration with the revolutionary movement. 6) It is necessary for the proletariat to lead this queer movement in service of the conquest of Power, since, after all, either we all enter Communism, or nobody does: „Los marxistas-leninistas-maoístas, pensamiento Gonzalo nos reafirmamos en la violencia revolucionaria como ley universal para tomar el poder y en que es medular para sustituir una clase por otra. Las revoluciones democráticas son con violencia revolucionaria, las revoluciones socialistas son con violencia revolucionaria y, ante las restauraciones recuperaremos el poder a través de la violencia revolucionaria y mantendremos la continuación de la revolución bajo la dictadura del proletariado con violencia revolucionaria mediante las revoluciones culturales y, al comunismo sólo iremos con la violencia revolucionaria y mientras haya un lugar en la Tierra en que exista explotación la acabaremos con la violencia revolucionaria (Our emphasis).67

Regarding the point on membership, it does not matter to us what you Comrades specifically do, since you are not the center of the world. If you allow queer membership, that is good and we welcome it. But there are others who do not, and these are the Comrades whom we address.

11. Synthesis.

Summarizing your position on this document, you Comrades write: „Final assessment; your document is mainly incorrect due to its importing of bourgeois frameworks and bourgeois ideology. We do not unite with it and find it objectionable when taken as a whole. We encourage you comrades to struggle some with your own framework and re-approach the matter“.

Further: „We agree that the question has not been correctly answered. We will await clarification from you comrades, but do not intend to issue further response to this article or struggle over it in our platform. It is our view that you comrades are earnest comrades, but that you lack a deeper understanding of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, which is needed to tackle such a difficult topic with precision. We admit that our own understanding undergoes constant development and that we are no experts on these matters. We raise the view that our comrades in the third world are not deficient, and that they have correctly prioritized the organizing of the peasants, workers, women and students and provided organizations for these. We believe they have the correct class position, and that you comrades do not and still are too reliant on the ideology of the bourgeoisie for the above mentioned reasons

We respond only to contribute our views and criticism in the interest of class unity and internationalism. We reiterate that our organization does not exclude anyone on the basis of sexual preference or non-conformity to social expectations of the masculine and feminine, that we oppose reactionary discrimination and reactionary violence“.

Once more, these two paragraphs portray some misunderstanding of how Communists and revolutionaries behave in the context of international work. We are not a circle in New Jersey or whereever else writing to you for advice and criticism — we are Comrades from a different country, who can choose whether or not to take the criticism of you Comrades, and we did not ask for criticism in the first place (in fact, we are not even the authors of the document you criticize!). We only seek to make the revolutionaries in the USA aware of this document, so that the Comrades may discuss it and hopefully learn from it, as we have.

We reject the conclusion that this document is an expression of bourgeois ideology or somehow reliant upon it. Our position is that it is a Marxist document, a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Gonzalo Thought, mainly Gonzalo Thought document, a creative application of the universal truth to specific conditions in order to solve new problems presented by the Swiss Revolution and the Proletarian World Revolution. You Comrades should view it as a serious work of Marxism, of Communists in formation in a different country, and your attitude should be that of humility and respect.

To conclude our response, we quote Chairman Mao Tse-tung:

To be complacent and conceited, to refuse to apply Marxist dialectical, analytical method, i.e. the method of splitting one into two (both achievements and shortcomings); to work in one’s own field, studying only the achievement but not the shortcomings and mistakes, to like flattering but dislike critical words; to have no interest in organizing competent high and middle cadres to learn and investigate the work of other provinces, cities, regions, or departments so as to link the result with one’s own circumstances and improve the work of one’s own province, city, region, or department; to be blindly conceited, i.e. to limit oneself to one’s own district, the small world of one’s department, the inability to widen one’s scope, and the ignorance of other spheres of work; to show and talk to foreigners, visitors from other places, and people sent by the Centre only about the achievements, not the weaknesses, in one’s own area of work; to talk only superficially and perfunctorily [these are the faults common to all our comrades]. The Centre has more than once raised this problem to our Comrades: a Communist must have at his disposal the Marxist dialectical method of ‚splitting one into two‘: achievements and shortcomings, truth and mistakes. All matters (economic, political, ideological, cultural, military, Party, and etc.) are always in a process of development; this is common sense to a Marxist. However, many of our Comrades in the Centre and regions do not use this method of thinking and working. There is a formal logic deeply planted in their minds which they cannot uproot. Formal logic denies the unification of the opposites of things, the contradiction of opposites (‚splitting one into two‘), and under given conditions the transformation of one pair of opposites into another. Therefore, these Comrades become complacent, conceited, observant of achievements only, blind to weaknesses, capable of hearing only favourable words but not criticisms, unwilling to criticize themselves (i.e. splitting into two), and afraid of other people’s criticism. The old saying: ‚Conceit courts harm while modesty is beneficial‘, still holds good from the point of view of the proletariat and the interest of the people (Our emphasis).68

What kind of spirit is this that makes a foreigner selflessly adopt the cause of the Chinese people’s liberation as his own? It is the spirit of internationalism, the spirit of Communism, from which every Chinese Communist must learn. […] We must unite with the proletariat of all the capitalist countries, with the proletariat of Japan, Britain, the United States, Germany, Italy and all other capitalist countries, before it is possible to overthrow imperialism, to liberate our nation and people, and to liberate the other nations and peoples of the world. This is our internationalism, the internationalism with which we oppose both narrow nationalism and narrow patriotism (Our emphasis).69

We must never adopt an arrogant attitude of great-power chauvinism and become conceited because of the victory of our revolution and certain achievements in our construction. Every nation, big or small, has its strong and weak points (Our emphasis).70

We hope that this letter receives you Comrades in good condition and that the proletarian revolutionaries in both of our countries will continue to develop unified, fraternal, principled discussion and action on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, mainly Maoism, and the universal contributions of Chairman Gonzalo (the relative basis of unity which we share) in general and proletarian internationalism in particular, in service of our eternal goal: ever-shining Communism.

In this sense, we wish to offer the Comrades to exchange more sensitive correspondence should you wish to as well. This would require an exchange of PGP Keys. If the Comrades would like to respond to us, we would appreciate it if you also did so in an encrypted manner. This is a point we insist in, because to have our correspondence fall into the hand of the reaction because of laziness would be a crime.

Unite Under Maoism!

For the Reconstitution of the Communist Parties of the USA and Switzerland!

A Long Life to Chairman Gonzalo!

Death to Post-Modernism!

For a Class Line in the Queer Movement!

People‘s War Until Communism!

Our warmest internationalist greetings,

Editorial Board of Struggle and Criticism

1Concerning terminology, we would like to state that we disagree with the U.S. colleagues‘ use of the term „LGBT“, which we find to be a far more postmodernist term than „queer“. The term „queer“ accurately reflects the roots of double oppression of queer people within patriarchal society — they are oppressed because they are „strange“ in the eyes of patriarchy, which expects certain behavior which corresponds to the reproduction of labor power (under capitalism). The term „LGBT“, however, is nothing more than an amalgamation of identities, an „alphabet soup“, to which one can add more and more letters when more and more „identities“ are brought to the scene. We believe „queer“ to be far more scientific, even if it is used by postmodernists.

2https://struggle-sessions.com/2021/01/19/in-defense-of-polemics/

3https://struggle-sessions.com/2021/07/12/letter-to-the-editor-class-struggle-or-sexual-liberation/

4V. I. Lenin: „Imperialism and the Split in Socialism“, October 1916.

5Ibid.

6https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/lgbtq-people-face-higher-unemployment-amid-coronavirus-pandemic-survey-finds-n1205296

7https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/new-fbi-hate-crimes-report-shows-increases-in-anti-lgbtq-attacks

8https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/publications/lgbt-homelessness-us/

9V. I. Lenin, „The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism“ March 1913.

10Revolutionary Union: „Position Paper of the Revolutionary Union on Homosexuality and Gay Liberation“, 1974.

11Los Angeles Research Group: „Toward a Scientific Analysis of the Gay Question“, 1974.

12Mao Tse-tung: „Where Do Correct Ideas Come From?“, May 1963.

13See Red Star Switzerland: „Marxism and Queer Emancipation“, December 2020.

14For these statistics and more, see: https://76crimes.com/100s-die-in-homophobic-anti-gay-attacks-statistics-updates/.

15V. I. Lenin: „Imperialism and the Split in Socialism“, October 1916.

16V. I. Lenin: „Soviet Power and the Status of Women“, 06.11.1919.

17https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/12/europe/georgia-journalist-killed-parliament-intl/index.html

18https://english.elpais.com/society/2021-07-06/lgbtq-groups-protest-across-spain-after-24-year-old-beaten-to-death.html

19https://www.mic.com/articles/58649/russia-s-anti-gay-law-spelled-out-in-plain-english

20https://www.nytimes3xbfgragh.onion/2016/11/30/us/politics/mike-pence-and-conversion-therapy-a-history.html

21https://news.yahoo.com/uniquely-nasty-j-edgar-hoover-fbi-war-on-gays-152550068.html

22Karl Marx: „Wage Labor and Capital“, December 1847.

23Mao Tse-tung: „Analysis of the Classes in Chinese Society“, March 1926.

24Mao Tse-tung: „Interview With Three Correspondents From the Central News Agency, the Sao Tang Pao and the Hsin Min Pao“, 16.09.1939.

25V. I. Lenin: „Imperialism and the Split in Socialism“, October 1916.

26V. I. Lenin: „What Is To Be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement“, 1902.

27Los Angeles Research Group: „Toward a Scientific Analysis of the Gay Question“, 1974.

28See Harry Whyte: „Can a Homosexual Be a Member of the Communist Party?“.

29V. I. Lenin: „A Letter to a Comrade On Our Organizational Tasks“, September 1902. Collected Works, Vol. 6.

30Central Committee of the Communist Party of China: „A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement“, 14.06.1963. The Polemic on the General Line of the International Communist Movement.

31See Nucleus for Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Studies: „From Karl Marx to Marxism: Class Struggle, Two-Line Struggle and Mass Line“, an ongoing series of articles published by „New Democracy“ at anovademocracia.com.br.

32On the development of Leninism as the 2nd stage of the ideology of the proletariat, see Committee Red Flag: „Concerning the Thought of Lenin“, published in the 2nd issue of the international theoretical magazine „The Maoist“ in 2018.

33Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru: „On Marxism-Leninism-Maoism“, 1988. Fundamental Documents, Basis of Party Unity.

34Communist International: „Some Fundamental Questions On Marxism-Leninism-Maoism“, 17.11.2020.

35Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru: „Interview with Chairman Gonzalo“, July 1988.

36Ibid.

37Mao Tse-tung: „Rectify the Party‘s Style of Work“, 01.02.1942. Selected Works, Vol. 3.

38Red Star — Switzerland: „Marxism and Queer Emancipation“, 28.12.2020.

39Mao Tse-tung: „On Contradiction“, August 1937. Selected Works, Vol. 1.

40Mao Tse-tung: „Serve the People“, 08.09.1944. Selected Works, Vol. 3.

41José Carlos Mariátegui: „Las Reivindicaciones Feministas“, 1924. Quoted in Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru: „Marxism, Mariátegui and the Women‘s Movement“, 2nd Edition, April 1975.

42Ibid.

43Red Star — Switzerland: „Marxism and Queer Emancipation“, 28.12.2020.

44Friedrich Engels: „Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State“, 1884. Collected Works, Vol. 21.

45V. I. Lenin: „Imperialism as the Highest Stage of Capitalism“, 1916. Collected Works, Vol 22.

46Red Star — Switzerland: „Marxism and Queer Emancipation“, 28.12.2020.

47V. I. Lenin: „Conspectus of Hegel‘s Book ‚The Science of Logic‘“, September-December 1914. Philosophical Notebooks. Collected Works, Vol. 38.

48See Red Star — Switzerland: „On the Transgender Question“, 28.12.2020. Here, it is stated: „2. The specific fundamental contradiction of the transgender question is the contradiction between a transgender person‘s gender identity (which is generally determined by the body map, or Homunculus, located in the brain) and that person‘s physical body (which is generally determined by fetal development based on chromosomes). This contradiction is biological, not social, and is solved through medically transitioning to the desired sex. This contradiction is expressed as gender dysphoria. 3. The specific principal contradiction of the transgender question is the contradiction between a transgender person‘s physical body and the patriarchal oppression of queers. This contradiction is social, not biological, and is solved through the abolition of the patriarchal institutions of gender and sexuality in Communism. This contradiction is expressed as, on the one hand, internal social gender dysphoria, and, on the other hand, an external patriarchal oppression“ (Our emphasis).

49Ibid.

50Mao Tse-tung: „Speech at the Communist Party of China‘s National Conference on Propaganda Work“, 12.03.1957. Selected Works, Vol. 5.

51Red Star — Switzerland: „Marxism and Queer Emancipation“, 28.12.2020.

52Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru: „Marxism, Mariátegui and the Women‘s Movement“, 2nd Edition, April 1975.

53Friedrich Engels: „Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State“, 1884. Collected Works, Vol. 21.

54Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: „Manifesto of the Communist Party“, 1848.

55Red Star — Switzerland: „Marxism and Queer Emancipation“, 28.12.2020.

56Ibid.

57Ibid.

58Mao Tse-tung: „Report On An Investigation Of The Peasant Movement In Hunan“, March 1927. Selected Works, Vol. 1.

59Revolutionary Union: „Position Paper of the Revolutionary Union on Homosexuality and Gay Liberation“, 1974.

60Los Angeles Research Group: „Toward a Scientific Analysis of the Gay Question“, 1974.

61Mao Tse-tung: „Where Do Correct Ideas Come From?“, May 1963.

62For these statistics and more, see: https://76crimes.com/100s-die-in-homophobic-anti-gay-attacks-statistics-updates/.

63Karl Marx: „Wages, Prices and Profit“, 27.07.1865. Collected Works, Vol. 16.

64Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru: „Línea de masas“, 1988. Línea Política General, Base de Unidad Partidaria.

65V. I. Lenin: „What is to be done?“, 1902. Collected Works, Vol. 5.

66Los Angeles Research Group: „Toward a Scientific Analysis of the Gay Question“, 1974.

67Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru: „Línea internacional“, 1988. Línea Política General, Base de Unidad Partidaria.

68Mao Tse-tung: „The Centre‘s Instruction On Learning From Each Other And Overcoming Complacency And Conceit“, 13.12.1963.

69Mao Tse-tung: „In Memory of Norman Bethune“, 21.12.1939. Selected Works, Vol. 2.

70Mao Tse-tung: „Opening Address at the 8th National Congress of the Communist Party of China“, 15.09.1956.