Communist Interventions series of readers

A series of readers by the Communist Research Cluster from Oakland, California and Brooklyn, New York, founded in 2014 publishing abridged readers on various aspects of communism and class struggle.

There are now three volumes in the Communist Interventions series. These cover the European socialist and communist traditions, the US Black revolutionary tradition, and the revolutionary feminisms of the West. A fourth volume will turn to the anti-imperialist or anti-colonial traditions, as well as their critics, and a fifth to anarchist and anarcho-syndicalists traditions. Other volumes may appear in the future.

The Communist Research Cluster and all readers can be found on their website: https://communistresearchcluster.wordpress.com/

Note on the readers from the Communist Research Cluster:

Note that all of the readers open with texts from the late nineteenth century and finish with texts from the 1980s. The point of limiting the readers in this way is to recognize the break in the revolutionary tradition that occurred in the 1980s, with the defeat – or in some views, merely the retreat – of the classical workers’ movement. Also note that some texts are abridged, with most abridgments clearly marked (not all abridgments in first volume are marked; this will be fixed in a future version).

We have also tried to limit, or even exclude, those texts that were produced in universities, according to the logic of university discourse. While there is nothing wrong, per se, with working in the academy – some of us do – we hope to remind readers that revolution is not an academic topic, to be discussed in academic venues. On the contrary, the revolutionaries of the past were, for the most part, not academics. They wrote neither in obscure jargons, nor in platitudes simplified for public consumption. Instead, they wrote for one another, in a manner meant to communicate perspectives, recognize complexities, and sharpen debates.

Our website includes advice for setting up reading groups, lists of recently formed reading groups based on these readers, all three readers in PDF, Mobi and ePub formats. For updates, check out our Facebook page.

European Socialism and Communism: Communist Interventions, vol. 1

First volume of the Communist Interventions series published by the Communist Research Cluster. This first reader deals with the history of European socialism and communism.

The reader is available here in full as a PDF, Mobi and ePub, as well as on the Communist Research Cluster's website.

From the preface:
We present here a history of twentieth-century communism through primary sources, divided into fourteen chapters arranged in chronological order. Each chapter deals with a historical moment or theoretical debate, and contains an amount of reading appropriate for one week’s time. We hope that this reader will provide the foundation for seminars and reading groups.

European Socialism and Communism, Communist Interventions, vol. 1
Table of Contents
1 Orthodoxy
1.1 Karl Kautsky, The Class Struggle (1892)
1.2 Karl Kautsky, Erfurt Program (1891)

2 Revisionism
2.1 Eduard Bernstein, Evolutionary Socialism (1899)
2.2 Rosa Luxemburg, Reform or Revolution (1900)

3 Social Democracy After 1905
3.1 Rosa Luxemburg, The Mass Strike (1906)
3.2 Anton Pannekoek, Marxist Theory and Revolutionary Tactics (1912)

4 Betrayals of 1914
4.1 Rosa Luxemburg, The Junius Pamphlet (1915)
4.2 Zimmerwald Manifesto (1915)
4.3 Draft Resolution of the Leftwing Delegates (1915)
4.4 Declaration of the Left Wing (1915)

5 The Russian Revolution
5.1 Vladimir Lenin, April Theses (1917)
5.2 Vladimir Lenin, State and Revolution (1917)
5.3 Rosa Luxemburg, The Russian Revolution (1918)

6 Left-Wing Communism
6.1 Anton Pannekoek, World Revolution and Communist Tactics (1920)
6.2 Vladimir Lenin, Left-Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder (1920)
6.3 Herman Gorter, Open Letter to Comrade Lenin (1920)
6.4 Grigory Zinoviev, Theses on the Conditions of Admission to the Communist Inter-
national (1920)

7 German and Italian Revolutions
7.1 Programme of the Communist Workers Party of Germany (KAPD) (1920)
7.2 Otto Ruhle, The Revolution is Not a Party Affair(1920)
7.3 Fritz Wolffheim, Factory Organizations or Trade Unions? (1919)
7.4 Amadeo Bordiga, Party and Class(1921)
7.5 Amadeo Bordiga, Towards the Establishment of Workers’ Councils in Italy (1920)
7.6 Antonio Gramsci,Unions and Councils(1919)
7.7 Antonio Gramsci, Unions and the Dictatorship(1919)

8 Communism and Gender
8.1 Alexandra Kollontai, Theses on Communist Morality in the Sphere of Marital Rela-
tions (1921)
8.2 Alexandra Kollontai, Sexual Relations and the Class Struggle (1921)

9 Fascism and War
9.1 Leon Trotsky, The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International(1938)
9.2 Anton Pannekoek, State Capitalism and Dictatorship (1936)
9.3 Anton Pannekoek, The Failure of the Working Class (1946)
9.4 Karl Korsch,The Fascist Counter-revolution (1940)
9.5 Gilles Dauve, When Insurrections Die (1979)

10 Stalinism
10.1 Leon Trotsky, The Revolution Betrayed (1936)
10.2 C.L.R. James, Russia–A Fascist State (1941)
10.3 H.H.Ticktin, Towards a Political Economy of the USSR (1974)
10.4 Christopher Arthur, Epitaph for the USSR: A Clock Without a Spring (2002)

11 May 1968 in France
11.1 Cornelius Castoriadis, On the Content of Socialism, Part I (1955)
11.2 Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle (1967)
11.3 Rene, Preliminaries on Councils and Councilist Organization (1969)
11.4 Gilles Dauve, Leninism and the Ultra-Left (1969)

12 Second-Wave Feminism
12.1 Mariarosa Dalla Costa & Selma James, The Power of Women and the Subversion of
the Community (1971)
12.2 Silvia Federici, Wages Against Housework(1974)

13 Italy’s Creeping May (1968-77)
13.1 Mario Tronti, Lenin In England (1964)
13.2 Mario Tronti, The Strategy of the Refusal (1965)
13.3 Silvia Federici & Mario Montano, Theses on the Mass Worker and Social Capital
(1972)
13.4 Sergio Bologna, The Tribe of Moles (1977)

14 Eclipse of the Worker’s Movement
14.1 Adam Przeworski, Social Democracy as a Historical Phenomenon (1980)

Epilogue
Further Reading
Appendix 415

AttachmentSize
crc_ci_vol_one_1_2.pdf1.55 MB
crc_ci_vol_one_1_2.mobi915.1 KB
crc_ci_vol_one_1_2.epub559.67 KB
Reasoning about history is inseparably reasoning about power
Guy Debord

Black Revolutionaries in the US: Communist Interventions, vol. 2

Second volume of the Communist Interventions series, collecting debates between Black revolutionaries in the US.

This has been available on Libcom as a previous version, posted at https://libcom.org/library/black-radical-tradition. This version here is the same content, but with fewer typos and better formatting.

From the preface:
This is the second installation of the Communist Interventions series, following up on the first volume which addresses European socialism and communism. The third volume, which incidentally has already been released, concerns revolutionary feminism. Further volumes on other subjects should follow, as well. We hope that these readers will provide the foundation for seminars and reading groups.

No person in the United States can deny that Black liberation remains a pressing issue today. The unrest in Baltimore, Ferguson, etc. underscores the persistent social ills in the USA that Blacks have been unable to escape. The task of attempting to address these grievances within a revolutionary tradition is also—however less well-known—not a new phenomenon. Radical groupings within the USA have grappled with how to emancipate American Blacks from their oppression even prior to the Russian Revolution, although the Bolsheviks’ attempt to export revolution around the globe unquestionably accelerated these efforts. It is this history which we present in the current volume, through primary sources.

Table of contents:
1 Slavery And Capitalism
1.1 W.E.B. DuBois, Black Reconstruction (1935)

2 Socialism, Communism and the Negro Question
2.1 Marcus Garvey, An Appeal to the Conscience of the Black Race to See Itself (1923)
2.2 Hubert Harrison, What Socialism Means to Us (1917)
2.3 The African Blood Brotherhood, Program of the African Blood Brotherhood (1922)
2.4 Claude McKay, Report on the Negro Question(1922)
2.5 W.E.B. Du Bois, Application for Membership in the Communist Party (1961)

3 The Black Belt
3.1 Harry Haywood, The Negro Nation (1948)

4 Domestic Work
4.1 Claudia Jones, An End to the Neglect of the Problems of the Negro Woman! (1949)

5 Independent Struggles
5.1 C.L.R. James, The Revolutionary Answer to the Negro Problem in US (1948)
5.2 Richard S. Fraser, For the Materialist Conception of the Negro Struggle (1955)

6 Nationalism, Internal Colonialism and the Black Bourgeoisie
6.1 Harold Cruse, Revolutionary Nationalism and the Afro-American (1962)
6.2 Harry Haywood with Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, Is the Black Bourgeoisie the Leader of the Black Liberation Movement? (1966)

7 Automation and the Outsiders
7.1 James Boggs, The American Revolution (1963)

8 Black Power
8.1 Malcolm X, Message to the Grassroots(1963)
8.2 Stockily Carmichael, Black Power(1966)
8.3 Revolutionary Action Movement, The 12 Point Program of RAM (1964)
8.4 Robert F. Williams, Speech in Beijing(1966)
8.5 Martin Luther King, Jr., Beyond Vietnam(1967)

9 Frantz Fanon
9. Frantz Fanon, The Pitfalls of National Consciousness (1961)

10 The Black Panther Party
10.1 Huey P. Newton, The Correct Handling of a Revolution(1967)
10.2 Fred Hampton, Power Anywhere Where There’s People (1969)
10.3 Eldridge Cleaver, On the Ideology of the Black Panther Party (1969)
10.4 Huey P. Newton, On The Defection of Eldridge Cleaver from the Black Panther Party
and the Defection of the Black Panther Party From the Black Community (1971)
10.5 George Jackson, Prison Letters(1970)

11 White-Skin Privilege
11.1 Ted Allen and Noel Ignatiev, White Blindspot (1967)
11.2 Noel Ignatiev, Without a Science of Navigation We Cannot Sail in Stormy Seas (1969)

12 The League of Revolutionary Black Workers 303
12.1 James Forman, Liberation Will Come from a Black Thing (1967)
12.2 League of Revolutionary Black Workers, General Program (Here’s Where We’re Coming From) (1970)
12.3 Ken Cockrel, From Repression to Revolution(1970)

13 Black Feminism
13.1 Frances M. Beal, Black Women’s Manifesto; Double Jeopardy: To be Black and Female (1969
13.2 Angela Davis, Reflections on the Black Woman’s Role in the Community of Slaves (1972)
13.3 Combahee River Collective, The Combahee River Collective Statement (1977)

14 Reinvention and Critique of the Black Nation Thesis
14.1 Communist League, Negro National Colonial Question (1972)
14.2 Racism Research Project, Critique of the Black Nation Thesis (1975)
14.3 Congress of African People, Revolutionary Review: The Black Nation Thesis (1976)

15 The Nation Thesis Spreads
15.1 Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization, National Liberation of Puerto Rico and the Responsibilities of the U.S. Proletariat(1974)
15.2 I Wor Kuen, Revolution, The National Question and Asian Americans (1974)
15.3 August Twenty-Ninth Movement, Chicano Liberation and Proletarian Revolution (1976)

Further Reading
Appendix

AttachmentSize
crc_ci_vol_two_0_1.pdf1.59 MB
crc_ci_vol_two_0_1.mobi936.5 KB
crc_ci_vol_two_0_1.epub580.15 KB
In the end communism will triumph. I want to help bring that day.
W.E.B. Du Bois

Revolutionary Feminism, Communist Interventions vol. 3

The third volume of the Communist Interventions reader series, on Revolutionary Feminism. A century of debates between communist, anarchist, and radical feminist militants on women's oppression and capitalism.

Published by the Communist Research Cluster, and also available on their website at https://communistresearchcluster.wordpress.com/readers/

This reader provided the basis for reading groups in 21 cities and four countries during the fall and winter of 2015.

From the preface:

The history of the communist movement, in the twentieth century, is also a history of women. Many women stood on the movement’s front lines. They struck in the factories, demonstrated in the streets, and died on the barricades. Revolutionary women fought under both the red flag and the black one. They partook of the movement’s few victories and suffered under its massive and in the end overwhelming defeats.

Yet women’s participation in the communist movement also raised certain questions. Or else, perhaps more accurately, their participation provided many different answers to a question that remained frustratingly undefined. This question was called, rather vaguely, the “woman question,” and it concerned the “role” of women in social life and in struggle. Revolutionary women—who were among the communist movement’s most prominent theorists, generating texts on every line of revolutionary inquiry—posed and answered this question in different ways. This reader examines revolutionary debates around the “woman question” (and we include both men and women in this history, since the former also played a role in these debates).

Towards that end, this volume is organized, loosely, into two parts. The first goes through the history of revolutionary feminism. It begins with a selection from Friedrich Engels’ text on the origins of the family. This text is included at the start, since it is both referenced and criticized by so many of the texts that follow. We then continue through the first half of the twentieth-century— looking at socialist, anarchist and communist perspectives—before moving on to the radical feminist critiques of the New Left. The second part of the reader then stops moving forward in time, to linger on some of the key debates of the 1960s and ’70s.

To return to these texts, today, is clearly of great importance. Many of the gains of 1960s and 70s mainstream feminism have stagnated. Visible feminism today is largely bifurcated between esoteric academic cultural critique and neoliberal corporate sloganeering. A certain form of feminism has become de rigueur among liberals, yet the lives of many women and queer people have seen little material improvement. This lack of improvement comes, moreover, during a time of massive transformations in social life.

Table of Contents:
Preface

1 The Origins of an Orthodoxy
1.1 Frederich Engels, Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State (1884)

2 Second International
2.1 August Bebel, Woman and Socialism (1879/1910)
2.2 Eleanor Marx and Edward Aveling, The Woman Question (1886)
2.3 Clara Zetkin, Only in Conjunction With the Proletarian Women Will Socialism Be Victorious (1896)
2.4 Rosa Luxemburg, Women’s Suffrage and the Class Struggle (1912)
2.5 Rosa Luxemburg, The Proletarian Woman (1914)

3 Anarchism
3.1 Lucy Parsons, Woman: Her Evolutionary Development (1905)
3.2 Voltaire de Cleyre, The Woman Question (1897)
3.3 Emma Goldman, The Tragedy of Woman’s Emancipation (1906)
3.4 Emma Goldman, Woman Suffrage (1910)
3.5 Milly Witkop-Rocker, The Need for Women’s Unions (1925)

4 Russian Revolution
4.1 V.I. Lenin, Speech at the First All-Russia Congress of Working Women (1918)
4.2 V.I. Lenin, Soviet Power and the Status of Women (1919)
4.3 Clara Zetkin, Lenin on the Woman Question (1920)
4.4 Alexandra Kollontai, Communism and the Family (1920)
4.5 Leon Trotsky, Thermidor in the Family (1937)

5 American Communist Party
5.1 Margaret Cowl, Women and Equality (1935)
5.2 Mary Inman, In Woman’s Defense (1940)
5.3 Claudia Jones, We Seek Full Equality for Women (1949)
5.4 Claudia Jones, An End to the Neglect of the Problems of Negro Women (1949)

6 Women’s Liberation
6.1 Casey Hayden and Mary King, Sex and Caste (1965)
6.2 Shulamith Firestone and Anne Koedt, Redstockings Manifesto (1968)
6.3 Anne Koedt, The Politics of the Ego: A Manifesto for N.Y. Radical Feminists (1969)
6.4 Roxanne Dunbar, Female Liberation as the Basis for Social Revolution (1969)
6.5 Jo Freeman, The Tyranny of Structurelessness (1971)
6.6 Women of the Weather Underground, A Collective Letter to the Women’s Movement
(1973)

7 Gay Liberation Front
7.1 Radicalesbians, The Woman Identified Woman Manifesto (1970)
7.2 Carl Wittman, A Gay Manifesto (1970)
7.3 Radicalqueens, Radicalqueens Manifestos (1973)
7.4 Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries, Street Transvestites for Gay Power Statement (1970)
7.5 Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, Transvestite-Transsexual Action Organization and Fems Against Sexism, Transvestite and Transsexual Liberation (1970)
7.6 Charlotte Bunch, Lesbians in Revolt (1972)

8 Socialist Feminism
8.1 Barbara Ehrenreich, What is Socialist Feminism? (1976)
8.2 Chicago Women’s Liberation Union, Socialist Feminism (1972)
8.3 Marlene Dixon, The Rise and Demise of Women’s Liberation (1977)

9 Sexual Violence
9.1 Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will (1975)
9.2 Alison Edwards, Rape, Racism, and the White Women’s Movement (1976)
9.3 Lilia Melani and Linda Fodaski, The Psychology of the Rapist and His Victim (1974)
9.4 Combahee River Collective, Why Did They Die? A Document of Black Feminism (1979)

10 Black Feminism
10.1 Mary Ann Weathers, An Argument for Black Women’s Liberation as a Revolutionary (1969)
10.2 Third World Women’s Alliance, Women in the Struggle (1971)
10.3 Frances Beal, Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female (1976)
10.4 Combahee River Collective, A Black Feminist Statement (1977)
10.5 Audre Lorde, Age, Race, Class and Sex (1980)

11 Wages for Housework
11.1 Mariarosa Dalla Costa, Women and the Subversion of the Community (1972)
11.2 Selma James, Sex, Race and Class (1975)
11.3 Angela Davis, The Approaching Obsolescence of Housework (1981)

12 Materialist Feminism
12.1 Christine Delphy, The Main Enemy (1970)
12.2 Monique Witting, The Category of Sex (1976)
12.3 Monique Wittig, One is Not Born a Woman (1981)
12.4 Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex (1979)

13 Sexuality

13.1 Andrea Dworkin, Our Blood (1975)
13.2 Silvia Federici, Why Sexuality Is Work (1975)
13.3 Audre Lorde, Uses of the Erotic (1978)
13.4 Patrick Califia, Feminism and Sadomasochism (1981)

14 Dual Systems
14.1 Heidi Hartmann, The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism (1979)
14.2 Iris Marion Young, Beyond the Unhappy Marriage (1981)

15 Social Reproduction
15.1 Lise Vogel, Marxism and the Oppression of Women (1983)

Epilogue to the Second Edition

AttachmentSize
crc_ci_vol_three_2_01.pdf1.69 MB
crc_ci_vol_three_2_0.mobi978.94 KB
crc_ci_vol_three_2_0.epub596.48 KB
Women must completely discover their own possibilities—which are neither mending socks nor becoming captains of ocean-going ships. Better still, we may wish to do these things, but these now cannot be located anywhere but in the history of capital.
Mariarosa Dalla Costa