Official translation with editing for clarity by Signalfire.
Proletarians of all countries unite!
Declaration of the editors of Red Front [Austria] and Class Standpoint [Germany] on the occasion of International Women’s Day March 8 2016.
Develop the class conscious women’s movement as mighty driving force for the socialist and new democratic revolution by means of people’s war!
“Women hold up half they sky, and they will conquer it!” (Mao Zedong)
With the sharpening of the principal contradiction globally, that between imperialism and the oppressed peoples and nations, the contradiction in which women find themselves in relation to patriarchy and imperialism is also sharpening. Driven by the global storms of mass movements and above all by the ongoing people’s wars, which make up the strategic axis of the world revolution, the global imperialist system is showing ever more clearly its rotten essence, which represents reaction all along the line and constitutes the main enemy with which the global movement for women’s emancipation is confronted.
The mass movements of women today develop from the oppressed peoples and nations, in the storm centers of global revolution. Nowhere does imperialism show its reactionary character vis-a-vis women so clearly as in these parts of the world: feudal, semi-feudal and bureaucrat-capitalist patriarchy subjugates the majority of women across the globe. The imperialists, through their rule of bureaucrat capitalism, develop new forms of bureaucrat-capitalist patriarchy, while conserving its old feudal and semi-feudal forms which make hundreds of millions of women the victims of mutilation, abuse, rape, plunder, forced marriage, abduction and trafficking. In short it leads to the deaths of millions of women through the semi-feudal/semi-colonial patriarchal system. Propelled by the global struggles of the oppressed masses, women also are rising up in order to fight back against patriarchal, imperialist violence: mass movements of women spread from Argentina across Latin America in order to confront their oppressions. Thousands of Afghan women took to the streets against abuse bu the occupiers and compradors, fired up by anti-imperialist struggle. Hundreds of thousands of rebelling women in Turkey, Kurdistan, India and the Philippines are organising protest marches and struggles against patriarchal violence and the oppression of women. The strategic axis of these mass movements are the people’s wars in India, the Philippines, Peru and Turkey, which are led by Maoist Communist Parties and show the violence of patriarchy and imperialism can only be effectively fought by developing revolutionary violence. The people’s war in India deserves special mention, as it unifies hundreds of thousands of women as militants in the strategic fight for new power and provides a shining example for the oppressed women of the world with the battle cry: Have strength to struggle! Dare to win! The new democratic revolution by means of people’s war, currently the main form of revolution, provides the women in semi-feudal/semi-colonial countries the only perspective of freeing themselves from the yoke of imperialist atrocities and wars. Only through people’s war can imperialist war be defeated today.
Driven by the principal global contradiction, the condition of double exploitation and oppression that women face is also sharpening in the imperialist centers. The bourgeois propaganda of the “liberated women” stands in ever greater contradiction to her actual condition: poverty and unemployment are again making women ever more dependent on men and the state, sharpening the contradictions within families, which function as forced communities. The labor power of women is used as additional labor power in low-wage sectors, making them easily replaceable. In order to divide the masses of women, racism is encouraged, while attempts are made to incorporate certain sections into the imperialist system. Especially dangerous are the revisionist, corporatist forces, whose parliamentary cretinism betrays women to the bourgeoisie. Fascists are reared up as attack dogs to be unleashed on progressive movements. In the imperialist centers the struggle against imperialist chauvinism within the women’s movement and to strengthen the line of proletarian internationalism is of utmost importance in order to steer it to the correct path and develop it in accordance with the proletarian world revolution.
In the imperialist centers women are also fighting back, here in Europe the hate and rebellion is also growing. But as in general, developments move in a very uneven way, and strongly depend on the intensity of contradictions, national peculiarities and traditions, and the constitution of proletarian forces. The decline and erosion of bourgeois and petty bourgeois feminist tendencies proves the inability of these forces to act upon the interests of the masses of women today. This means that the forces of proletarian feminism have even more of a duty to organize the class conscious women’s movement under the guidance of Maoist Communist Parties, which today must be militarized and built up in a concentric way. In contrast to the mass movements, the leading forces of the women’s movement, the Communist Parties, are underdeveloped in the imperialist centers and in many cases remain in the process of reconstitution. To spur this process onward, it is an inescapable necessity to develop proletarian feminism. To not organize the revolutionary women’s movement today in this phase of construction is tantamount to not tackling the demands of revolution – to deprive the revolution of a might driving force, thereby strengthening the bourgeoisie.
The main enemy within the women’s movement today is, however, revisionism, which treats the question of women’s emancipation as secondary and treats it in a mechanistic way – this is diametrically opposed to the revolutionary line in the women’s movement. Revisionism is the agent of the bourgeoisie within our own ranks and must therefore be strongly combated. For revisionism, women’s struggle is no more than economist demands, which generates new forms of “women’s rightism” [“Frauenrechtlerei”] and thus divorces the women question from the revolutionary process.
Today proletarian feminism, as part of the universal truth of Maoism, constitutes the only weapon with which the women’s movement can be brought onto the correct path and actually developed as a driving force of revolution. We must recognize and apply the general truth of Marxism: “What women and workers have in common is being oppressed.” [“Die Frau und der Arbeiter haben gemein Unterdrückte zu sein.”] Patriarchy developed with the division of society into classes, and thus the fight of women for its destruction is inextricably linked with the path of the proletariat and under its leadership: to communism. The emancipation of women can only be accomplished by women themselves, in the world revolutionary process of the new democratic revolution, the socialist revolution and many great proletarian cultural revolutions and carried out through people’s war.
The international women’s day of action on March 8 2016 is a special day for the proletarian feminist forces, as 2016 is the year of the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the highest point which the international fight for women’s emancipation has reached so far. It is also the year of the 40th anniversary of the death of the great Chairman Mao Zedong, who forged the all-powerful weapon of women in the fight for emancipation, proletarian feminism. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution showed the world that the question of the emancipation of women is part of the emancipation of the proletariat, dialectically linked with it, and can only be achieved through the complete destruction of bourgeois property relations and ideology.
Revolution is today the main tendency across the globe, as the present epoch sees imperialism move towards its total collapse and socialism towards its worldwide victory. This means that the objective conditions compels all conscious forces to take up two-line struggle, to use Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism to develop women into a leading force and to apply proletarian feminism to the national conditions of class struggle. “From the present situation it is not difficult to understand that genuine equality between the sexes can be realized and the Women’s Liberation Movement will be ended when and only when, led by a Marxist-Leninist(-Maoist, ed.) political party, the process of the transformation of society as a whole is completed, when the exploiting class or classes are exterminated, and when the feudal-patriarchal and other exploiting-class ideologies are completely uprooted.” (Song Qingling)
In the present system women have nothing to loose but the chains, they have “half the sky” to win – and they will!
Grasp revolution – apply proletarian feminism!
Fight patriarchy and imperialism!
Develop the class conscious women’s movement as a mighty driving force for the proletarian and new democratic revolution by means of people’s war!
Advance forward to communism under the guidance of Maoism!
Women hold up half the sky – and they will conquer it!
Long live proletarian internationalism!