In this chapter of our platform, we apply dialectical and historical materialism to the study of the contemporary world-system, with the aim of identifying potential agents of, as well as contemporary and future possibilities for making, revolutionary social change.


2.1: Capitalist-Imperialism and Socialist Revolution

2.1.1: The overwhelming majority of the world's peoples and social formations are integrated into a global system of capitalist-imperialism. This imperialist world-system emerged from the systemic crises and social struggles of feudalism in Europe during the fifteenth century. It materialized through the fusion of the capital accumulation process with the social relations and institutions of private property, patriarchy, the state, and colonialism. In turn, an integrated world market and system of exchange based on money emerged, inaugurating a rift in humanity's metabolic relation to nature at a planetary level. Evolving in a decidedly white supremacist and heteropatriarchal direction, capitalist-imperialism has divided the world between a dominant imperial core and dominated global peripheries; between the imperialist bourgeoisie on the one side, and the masses of workers and oppressed peoples on the other.

2.1.2: The process of capital accumulation is the primary driver of capitalist-imperialism's global expansion, whereby capital attempts to subordinate and subsume the totality of society and nature to a singular imperative: the accumulation and self-expansion of value. In its relentless pursuit of profit, capital captures the surplus value generated through the surplus labor of workers engaged in the production of commodities. This surplus value is then transformed into profit through the sale of these commodities on the world market. In turn, the profits accrued are reinvested in the further production of commodities, leading to the accumulation of wealth and amassing of social power by capital.

2.1.3: A condition for the development of this historical social system is the creation of the "free" worker, which is achieved through the enclosure of agrarian commons and the proletarianization of peasants and artisans. With the expansion of capital, the worker is freed from certain feudal obligations, but also from all independent means of subsistence. This leaves the worker no choice but to sell their labor power to the capitalist in exchange for a wage, or otherwise obtain access to the wage in order to reproduce their meager existence. Through the commodity production process, the capitalist extracts surplus value from the worker, which is subsequently realized as profit through the sale of commodities on the world market. This system of exploitation sets in motion an ongoing process of accumulation by dispossession, or primitive accumulation, whereby their boundless quest for profits compels the capitalist firms and nation-states of the imperial core to expropriate the land, exploit the labor power, and extract the resources of the global peripheries. As Karl Marx explained, this is the condition for the emergence of the "free" worker, and the brutal historical reality of capital's genesis, which comes into the world “dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt."

2.1.4: While having universalized the capital accumulation process and a system of exchange based on money on a world scale, capital did not universalize the exploitation of wage labor on a world scale once capitalist social relations and institutions were consolidated in the imperial core. In fact, the exploitation of wage labor by capital has only been made possible through various forms of unwaged labor, including the productive and reproductive labor of women, peasants, debtors, and enslaved peoples. Developing in a uniquely imperialist manner, capital integrated and reconfigured various pre-capitalist forms of social organization such as patriarchy, slavery, and caste oppression, while also inventing new forms of social oppression, especially racism and national oppression. These forms serve the dual purpose of keeping the masses of workers and oppressed peoples divided, while legitimizing and facilitating the pauperization and ruthless exploitation of the peripheral proletariat and peasantry.

2.1.5: The process of colonization has generalized this dynamic on a global scale, suspending all forms of autonomous social development within the social formations designated as peripheries by the imperial core. A relation of dependency has been consciously cultivated by the imperial core, mediated through the integrated world market, and backed by the political and military power of the imperialist nation-states. This process was first unleashed internal to the European continent itself by conquering neighboring peoples and nations, as in the case of English capitalism's colonization of Ireland, thereby increasing the capitalist nation-state's access to land, labor, and resources, as well as homogenizing the cultures of the incipient imperial core on the basis of a conservative Christianity and racist Eurocentrism. From its inception to present, capitalist-imperialism has rested upon a transfer of surplus value from the peripheries to the imperial core. While nominally paid wages, the vast majority of colonized proletarians are subjected to super-exploitation in order to generate super-profits for the imperial core, whereby access to the wage does not guarantee access to the basic necessities required for social reproduction above a bare subsistence level, resulting in the immiseration of the masses of workers and peasants in the peripheral nations.

2.1.6: Historical capitalism did not develop within the framework of closed national economies. From the outset capital developed through violent external imposition: capital has always been imperialist. In accordance with the laws and tendencies of its real historical development, capital is driven by an internal logic of boundless accumulation achieved through the generalization of commodity production and circulation. This capital accumulation process requires the creation of oppressed peripheries from which capital can expropriate land, extract natural resources, and exploit human labor power, as well as to which it can export waste. In the case of the imperial core's settler-colonies, peripheries have also been used to disperse class struggle within the core nation-states through the voluntary or forced relocation of workers from the metropole to colonial settlements. In turn, these settler workers were transformed into the foot soldiers of empire and bourgeoisified both culturally and ideologicaly. While capitalist-imperialism's global value chains are designed to facilitate the free movement of capital, the global movement of labor is tightly controlled and militarized. This control of labor is necessary to maintain capital's social domination and exploitation of the global working class. Capital knows no national borders, and can only be effectively countered by the revolutionary internationalism of the working class and all oppressed peoples.

2.1.7: Capitalist-imperialism has engendered a global system characterized by the hierarchical division of the world into distinct zones, wherein the corporations and financial institutions of the imperial core, bolstered by the armed power of the imperialist nation-states, systematically oppress and exploit the peoples and nations of the global peripheries, which encompass the vast majority of humanity. Motivated by the imperatives of capital accumulation—profit maximization and market competition—these ascendent capitalist social formations have undergone rapid development and expansion, catalyzing profound transformations across all spheres of social life and suspending the autonomous social development of the non-capitalist societies they encounter and subjugate. Consequently, the world has been divided into an imperial core initially concentrated in the nation-states of Europe but later encompassing Japan and the European settler-colonies of North America (the U.S. empire and Canada), Australia, New Zealand, and Israel; a global periphery encompassing the oppressed peoples and nations of Africa, Asia, Latin America, Oceania, and the internal colonies of the core countries; and an intermediate semi-periphery composed of nation-states embodying characteristics of both core and periphery, at times benefiting from interactions with the imperial core, while also encountering contradictions arising from the imperial core's dominant position in the world-system. Today, the geopolitical and economic dominance of the multinational corporations and nation-states of the imperial core is secured by the military power of the U.S. empire. The U.S. empire acts as the hegemonic nation-state within the world-system's geopolitical and economic order, and the global police force responsible for securing and defending the core's collective imperialism. It is crucial for communists to recognize that the imperialist tendencies of capitalism have not diminished over time. Rather, they are integral to its historical emergence and structure as a social system, and have actually intensified as capital extends its dominion over the whole of humanity and the planet. However, despite the existence of a collective imperialism characterized by joint management under U.S. imperial leadership, inter-imperialist rivalries continue to pose the threat of new inter-imperialist wars, particularly in an era of increasing multipolarity.

2.1.8: On the basis of their position within the imperialist world-system, it is possible for semi-peripheral countries to develop into subimperialist powers. While their subordinate status in relation to the imperial core remains intact at the level of the world-system, the subimperialist countries have a relative degree of autonomy at the regional level in their economic, political, and military affairs. The national ruling class of a subimperialist country aspires to move up the global imperialist hierarchy, even to promote themselves into the ranks of the imperial core itself, by developing new centers of capital accumulation. Subimperialism is characterized by a semi-peripheral nation-state and its corporate firms engaging in the super-exploitation of workers and the extraction of natural resources from their country's hinterland and internal colonies, as well as from the countries of the global peripheries located in their sphere of influence, in order to compensate for the imperial core's control over the transfer of surplus value from the peripheries. Subimperialist countries are capable of developing both tense collaboration, and a limited degree of direct competition, with the nation-states and multinational corporations of the imperial core.

2.1.9: Today, subimperialism is a phenomenon associated with the regional imperialisms of countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and India. Accepting the exploitative and oppressive social relations and institutions of capitalist-imperialism's world-economy—which includes dependent development, unequal exchange, and maintaining a global core-periphery divide—the ruling classes of these semi-peripheral countries reject their subordinate position within the geopolitical configuration of imperialism at the regional level, seeking to expand their regional hegemony in exchange for participating in the co-management of the world-system by acting as a regional gendarme of the imperial core. The position of the subimperialist powers within the world-system is deeply contradictory, reflecting both a degree of relative autonomy and expansionary ambitions on the one hand, and subordination and obedience to the dictates and directives of the imperial core on the other.

2.1.10: In addition to the subimperialist countries, we can identify non-hegemonic empires in formation, emerging from the semi-peripheries of the world-system. This category includes Russia and China, who in recent years have begun to display imperialist tendencies. In the case of Russia, these imperialist tendencies were made apparent with the invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces in 2022, and the promotion of the ultranationalist project of building "Greater Russia." In the case of China, imperialist tendencies are to be found in Chinese state capitalism's reliance on the super-exploitation of peripheral labor, relations of unequal exchange, and the promotion of a developmental model in the peripheral countries which maintains capitalist-imperialism's international division of labor by focusing on resource extraction while undercutting domestic industries by flooding local markets with Chinese commodities. However, the position of China within the world-system is complex, for though its assertion of political sovereignty and rapid economic growth pose a threat to the ruling classes of the imperial core, China's economic life is also deeply entangled with and complementary to that of the imperial core, and at present a higher proportion of surplus value is in fact transferred from China to the imperial core than China is able to extract from its own super-exploited peripheries.

2.1.11: The development of imperialist tendencies in the social formations of Russia and China must be situated historically. In part, they can be understood as responses to both the internal pressures generated by class struggles and legitimation crises within each country, as well as external pressures generated by the geopolitical and military aggression of the U.S. empire and its NATO partners. Facing a crisis of hegemony, the U.S. empire aims to maintain the unity of the geopolitical bloc under its command, and contain potential rivals by undermining their political and economic sovereignty. The U.S. empire hopes to achieve these aims by fostering inter-ethnic conflict, balkanization, economic hardship, political crisis, and war. It is in such a context that the U.S. empire hopes to rebuild its hegemony and reestablish a unipolar world-system under its leadership. Indeed, the U.S. empire escalated tensions and contributed to the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine War by covertly interfering in the domestic affairs of both Russia and Ukraine, surrounding Russia with missiles, and working to expand NATO to the Russian frontier. Now, U.S. imperialism is attempting to provoke a similar conflict with China, using the question of Taiwan as a pretense.

2.1.12: While Russia is engaged in a war of aggression against Ukraine, its economic ambitions are largely circumscribed to its regional sphere of influence. While the economic ambitions of Chinese monopoly-finance capital are global, China aims to avoid direct military conflict with the warmongering U.S. empire and its NATO partners in order to facilitate the unobstructed growth and development of its state capitalist project. It must also be emphasized that conflicts between the imperial core and these embryonic empires in formation are profoundly unequal when assessing access to resources and the balance of forces (which at present greatly favors the former over the latter). At the same time, while Russia and China may defend the sovereignty of (some) nations, their proposal for a multipolar world-system is merely a program for admitting new members into the ranks of the global power elite, or for otherwise reshuffling the global imperialist hierarchy to their benefit. It is not a program for the empowerment and self-emancipation of the workers and oppressed peoples of the world, which can only be achieved through socialist revolution and the construction of global communism.

2.1.13: The formation of a new empire is a contradictory historical process, and in the case of both Russia and China, the process is far from complete, and at our present historical conjuncture we cannot assume that processes of imperial formation will prove successful. Indeed, the entry of new nation-states into the club of empires may not even be feasible given certain systemic limitations. It may prove impossible for an enlarged imperial core to extract from the global peripheries the necessary surplus value required to maintain profitability. The loss of China as a source of net surplus value extraction, for example, would need to be compensated by intensifying the exploitation and super-exploitation of labor in the peripheries and semi-peripheries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Unable to satisfy this demand, such a crisis of profitability would send the capitalist world-economy and imperialist world-system into terminal crisis, and provoke the popular resistance. If such economic limitations could be hypothetically overcome, then the imperialist world-system would face the challenge of our planetary ecosystem's limited capacity to satisfy the increased material and energy demands, as well as the increased production of waste and greenhouse gas emissions, generated by the further expansion of the imperial mode of living and the capital accumulation process which enables it. Finally, we must mention the possibility that a socialist breakthrough in one part of the world-system could trigger a global revolutionary wave, which could in turn interrupt processes of imperial formation and serve to rekindle the revolutionary internationalist spirit of the workers and oppressed peoples of both Russia and China. And needless to say, a socialist revolution in the U.S. empire itself could serve as a catalyst for a world revolution capable of ending the imperialist world-system, and socialist revolutions in either Russia or China would bring to a swift end their imperialist tendencies.

2.1.14: While recognizing the embryonic imperial character of Russian and Chinese social formations, communists must actively and consistently oppose the warmongering and military aggression of the U.S. empire and its NATO partners against all peoples and nations of the world, including Russia and China. U.S. imperialist aggression serves only to bring humanity closer to another inter-imperialist world war. Should the workers and oppressed peoples of the world fail to prevent such a disaster, the slogan raised by Lenin in 1915 "to convert the imperialist war into civil war" retains all its relevance. Communists of all countries, particularly in the belligerent imperialist countries, must consciously agitate, educate, and organize to transform a war between capitalist nation-states—which when viewed from a proletarian standpoint is clearly seen as a fratricidal conflict within the global working class, with workers killing fellow workers in the name of "their" national capitalists—into a revolutionary struggle for the global liberation of the working class and all oppressed peoples. A global socialist revolution is the only path to lasting peace for humanity.

2.1.15: Viewed through the lens of dialectical and historical materialism, we can see that imperialism is rife with internal contradictions. Firstly, there is the contradiction between the expansion of society's productive capacities, and the prevailing social relations governing their use; between the growing interconnectivity of all human social activity, and the alienation of working people from the labor process; between the production of immense social wealth, and the private appropriation of this wealth by a tiny minority of exploiters and oppressors. On the one hand, this historical social development (increased productive capacity, growing social interconnectivity, and immense social wealth) brings forth the objective possibility of building a communist society organized on the basis of a free association of social individuals, rationally and sustainably regulating their metabolic interchange within nature, motivated by the aim of satisfying people's needs and developing people's capacities in an integral fashion. On the other hand, capitalist-imperialism squanders this potential by increasing poverty, misery, and alienation for the masses of people while the imperialist bourgeoisie accumulate immense wealth, blocking social progress in the direction of communism and threatening to drag humanity into the depths of barbarism. This contradiction will only be resolved through global socialist revolution.

2.1.16: A second contradiction is between the bourgeoisie and proletariat, which is manifest in the nation-states of the imperial core and periphery alike, as well as the imperialist world-system as a whole. On one side is the bourgeoisie, who own and control the means of social production and reproduction, and who accumulate capital through the exploitation of the proletariat. On the other is the proletariat, who are dispossessed of all independent means of subsistence, and whose labor power is exploited by capital. This contradiction is generated by the capital accumulation process, and produces a global class struggle which will only be resolved with the revolutionary overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the abolition of capitalist social relations and institutions through proletarian revolution.

2.1.17: A third contradiction is that between the colonizer nation-states of the imperial core and the colonized peoples and nations of the global peripheries. On one side stand the colonizer nation-states, who want to maintain the ruthless exploitation of land, labor, and resources through processes of colonization, enclosure, and proletarianization, which requires they interrupt processes of autonomous social development and maintain the colonies in a position of dependency. On the other side stand the colonized peoples and nations of the peripheries who want independence. This contradiction will be resolved only with the victory of the liberation struggles of all oppressed peoples and nations against national oppression, racial oppression, and all forms of colonialism through decolonial revolution.

2.1.18: A fourth contradiction is that between the heteropatriarchal nuclear family, the invisibilization and devaluation of the social reproduction process, and the authoritarian social control of gender and sexuality on the one hand, and the need for reproductive freedom, bodily autonomy, and communal forms of social reproduction on the other. This contradiction will be resolved only with the victory of the liberation struggles of women and LGBTQ+ peoples against heteropatriarchy achieved through feminist revolution.

2.1.19: A fifth contradiction is that between the systemic imperatives for imperialist capital’s ongoing reproduction on a world scale on the one hand, and the reproduction of our planetary ecosystem’s capacities to sustain complex forms of life, including the human species, on the other. This contradiction will be resolved only through ecological revolution.

2.1.20: Taken together, the aforementioned revolutions constitute distinct moments in the world-historical process of global socialist revolution. It is from the unification of these diverse struggles of the exploited and oppressed masses arising along the faultlines of these systemic contradictions that a revolutionary people's movement capable of leading a global socialist revolution will be constructed.

2.2: Imperialism in the Age of Monopoly-Finance Capital

2.2.1: During its initial competitive market phase, capitalist-imperialism was characterized by the proliferation of relatively independent firms of various sizes, who competed for market shares. In this context, there were numerous firms in the same market for the same product or service, with the owners of these firms making decisions on the basis of a competitive market pricing system. As this cycle ran its course, the competitive market phase of capital gave way to an initial phase of monopoly-finance capital, arising from capital's tendency towards increasing concentration and centralization of capital, whereby competition gives way to monopolies through mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships, and various units of capital are brought under the centralized control and coordination of financial institutions. This initial monopoly-finance phase has now given way to generalized monopoly-finance capital. In this phase, all capitalist firms are enmeshed within a network controlled by the industrial and financial monopolies, effectively reducing all non-monopoly firms to the status of subcontractors.

2.2.2: As the imperialist world-system has evolved historically from its beginnings within the shell of European feudal society, to the mercantile empires of the early colonial period, to the national markets of the early twentieth century, and through phases of restructuring in response to various systemic crises and cycles of struggle generated by its internal contradictions, it has come to be characterized by an integrated world market dominated by the forces of monopoly-finance capital, in which a few multinational corporations based in the nation-states of the imperial core dominate industry, metropolitan finance capital plays a leading role, and transnational political and economic institutions play a central role in the partitioning of the world among the imperialist bourgeoisie. This has led to the formation of regional alliances. Within the capitalist nation-state, multinational corporations and finance play the leading role, which in turn leads to global interdependence of nation-states and poses the problem of transnational coordination, planning, and governance through financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. However, because capital is based on private property, the nation-state within which a given multinational corporation or financial firm is based will always play a central role as an instrument of their political-military power, both to defend capital from the working class, as well as to protect and expand their market hegemony against rival factions of international monopoly-finance capital. This means that, far from minimizing the role of the nation-state and the risk of war, imperialist globalization intensifies it.

2.2.3: Accelerated by capital’s drive to accumulate, the concentration of capital leads to the formation of industrial monopolies, principally in the form of multinational corporations. The centralization of capital leads to the merger of industrial capital with bank capital and subsequent formation of finance capital, which enables and maintains the industrial monopolies. In turn, finance capital is used to export money capital, which supersedes the export of commodities. These transformations lead to the development of global capitalist economic institutions (such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization), which are necessary to govern the world-system, as well as to secure the territorial division of the world into the oppressor nations of the imperial core, and the oppressed nations of the global peripheries and semi-peripheries.

2.2.4: In recent years, the number of multinational corporations of monopoly-finance capital has grown; the socialization and globalization of production and circulation has increased; the scale of capital accumulation has expanded, forming a transnational imperial core composed of multinational corporations and an inter-state geopolitical and military alliance of the U.S. empire, Western and Central Europe, and Japan. Today multinational corporations maintain monopolies in key strategic sectors of the world-economy, such as industrial manufacturing, trade, investment, finance, energy, information and communications technologies, pharmaceuticals and biotechnologies, armaments, and intellectual property.

2.2.5: The integrated world market of monopoly-finance capital has socialized the process of commodity production and circulation to an unprecedented degree, which has in turn socialized the contradictions of capitalism-imperialism. The contradictions between bourgeoisie and proletariat, colonizer and colonized, heteropatriarchy and feminism, the state and democracy, and capital's social metabolism and the universal metabolism of nature, are truly global contradictions which confront humanity as a whole. This creates renewed potential for the unification of the people's revolutionary struggle on a world scale, for the proletarian class struggle is inextricably linked and complementary to the decolonial, feminist, democratic, and ecological struggles of oppressed peoples. It is for this reason that we raise the slogan: "Workers and oppressed peoples of the world, unite!"

2.2.6: The multinational corporations and financial institutions of generalized monopoly-finance capital have been the driving force behind neoliberal globalization. Neoliberalism emerged in the late twentieth century in response to both gains won by workers' and national liberation movements, and the structural crises of the capitalist world-economy—principally a declining rate of profit—which reached their breaking point in the 1970s. Through the deregulation of markets, the privatization of public services and assets, and the reduction of state intervention into the national economy, neoliberalism aimed to restore capitalist class power and counteract the tendency of the rate of profit to fall by jumpstarting a new cycle of capital accumulation. While in crisis today, neoliberalism remains the hegemonic ideology and mode of imperialist governance.

2.2.7: Imperialism in the age of monopoly-finance capital generates a drive towards war in the form of imperialist wars of conquest to establish and maintain colonies and neocolonies, and inter-imperialist wars in the form of proxy wars and world wars. At the same time, capitalist-imperialism's global system of oppression and exploitation generates popular resistance. In response to the efforts of the workers and oppressed peoples of the world to defeat imperialist domination and win liberation, the imperialist bourgeoisie and their comprador lackeys are prepared and willing to mount the most genocidal counterinsurgency campaigns, as we've seen in Korea, Vietnam, El Salvador, Guatemala, Kurdistan, Turkey, etc. The twentieth century witnessed two inter-imperialist world wars alongside numerous genocidal wars of colonial and neocolonial conquest. The twenty-first century opened with U.S. imperialism’s invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Israeli imperialism’s continuing settler-colonial occupation of Palestine and war against Lebanon. West Asia and North Africa is of great strategic importance, as it has also been the site of the twenty-first century’s first major revolutionary experiment—the Rojava Revolution—which emerged from the Arab Spring and Syrian Civil War. Today, the threat of imperialist world war has materialized, with the unleashing of war between Russian and Ukraine, with the latter backed by NATO. In the context of an imperialist war, the only revolutionary communist position is to build a people's movement to against imperialist war, intensify the liberation struggles of the working class and oppressed peoples of the world, and to transform any inter-imperialist world war into a revolutionary people's war for communism.

2.3: The U.S. Empire as Global Hegemonic Power

2.3.1: The imperialist world-system has experienced four distinct cycles of accumulation, each led by a hegemonic nation-state. The first cycle was the Genoese cycle from 1450-1640, during which capital in Genoa allied itself with the Iberian states of Spain and Portugal. The second was the Dutch cycle from 1640-1790. The third was the British cycle from 1790-1925. The fourth and current cycle is the U.S. cycle, which began in 1925 and continues today. In this cycle, the imperial core is led by a triad consisting of the U.S. empire, Western and Central Europe, and Japan.

2.3.2: From its founding as a racist settler-colonial slavocracy to its present form as the dominant capitalist nation-state within the imperialist world-system, the U.S. empire has assumed the leading role in waging a bloody counter-revolution against the liberation struggles of the exploited and oppressed peoples of the world. In the wake of the Haitian Revolution of 1791—in which enslaved peoples inscribed upon their banner the slogan "Liberty or Death!"—the U.S. empire quickly marshaled support for the slave-owning settler ruling class in a last-ditch effort to undermine and destroy the first independent Black republic in the Americas. After Mexico achieved independence from Spain in 1821, the U.S. empire routinely interfered in Mexican affairs before annexing Texas in 1845 and unilaterally invading Mexico in 1846. The resulting Mexican-American War ended with the U.S. empire seizing more than half of Mexico’s national territory, which constitutes much of the present-day southwest and western regions of the U.S. empire. Following the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution of 1896-1898, the defeat of the Spanish empire by the Filipino people, and the establishment of a new national democratic government, the U.S. empire provoked the Spanish-American War of 1898 in order to seize control of the Philippines, along with Cuba and Puerto Rico. The U.S. empire refused to acknowledge the Philippine Declaration of Independence, waged a genocidal war against the Filipino people, and established a comprador military dictatorship to solidify the U.S. empire’s control over its new colony. Following the October Socialist Revolution in the former Russian empire, the U.S. empire led a coalition of more than a dozen foreign armies in an effort to crush the nascent soviet system and contain the wave of revolutionary worker and peasant struggles it unleashed globally. At the end of World War II, following the defeat of the Nazi empire in Eastern and Central Europe by the Soviet Red Army and communist-led partisan guerrilla forces, and with the defeat of the Japanese empire at hand by Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese partisans, the U.S. empire became the first and only nation-state in history (and hopefully the last) to deploy nuclear weapons—with the primary objective of frightening the Soviet Union and all anti-imperialist forces into submission—resulting in the incineration of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

2.3.3: The Cold War is falsely characterized as a bloodless ideological battle between two global superpowers: the United States and Soviet Union. During this period the U.S. empire led and supported anti-communist extermination campaigns throughout the Global South. In 1965, the U.S. supported Suharto’s genocidal campaign against the Communist Party of Indonesia, which led to the murder of more than one million people. The U.S. then exported its strategy of mass murder, known as the Jakarta Method, across the world. State terrorism, which included mass disappearances, detentions, torture, and sexual violence, mainly targeted peasants, workers, and students. In short, the Jakarta Method enabled the U.S. empire’s triumph in the Cold War.

2.3.4: Following the victory of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the U.S. empire imposed a trade embargo which continues to this day in order undermine social reconstruction in a free territory, and has made extensive use of state terrorism to intimidate the peoples of the global peripheries from delinking their countries from the imperialist world-system. With the eruption of revolutionary armed struggles throughout Latin America, the U.S. military’s School of the Americas—now the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation—trained, armed, and financed right-wing death squads in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela. In the wake of the Chinese Revolution, the U.S. waged genocidal wars to crush communist-led national liberation wars throughout Asia, committing unspeakable atrocities against the peoples of Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. It was a steadfast supporter of the settler-colonial apartheid regimes in South Africa and Namibia and the Portuguese colonial wars in Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé, Príncipe, Cape Verde, and Guinea-Bissau, and continues this legacy today with its ongoing support for Israel’s settler-colonial occupation of Palestine and the corrupt authoritarian regimes in Saudi Arabia and Turkey. In 1983, the U.S. invaded Grenada, taking advantage of internal power struggles within the People's Revolutionary Government following the execution of Maurice Bishop. In 1986, it bombed and imposed economic sanctions against Libya. It worked diligently for the destruction of the Soviet Union in an effort to establish a unipolar world-system and open new markets in Eastern Europe for ruthless exploitation by imperialist capital.

2.3.5: In the era of unipolar imperialism, the U.S. and its imperialist allies waged war against Iraq in 1990-1991. Under the banner of NATO, the U.S. empire instigated the breakup of Yugoslavia, resulting in horrific war crimes during the Yugoslav Wars of 1991-2001. In 1991, the U.S. helped overthrow the progressive presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti in a coup d'état. Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, under the banner of the so-called “War on Terror,” the U.S. empire invaded and occupied Afghanistan from 2001-2021 and Iraq from 2003-2020, and waged relentless bombing campaigns in Pakistan and Syria. In 2002, the U.S. empire orchestrated a coup d'état against the progressive government of President Hugo Chávez in Venezuela (which was successfully defeated through a popular uprising, leading to further radicalization of the Bolivarian Revolution and the founding of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela). It continues to support right-wing counterinsurgency against revolutionary communist movements in the Philippines and India. Since 2014, the U.S. empire has stoked NATO aggression against Russia, providing extensive material support for the Ukrainian war effort. In 2019, the U.S. organized a coup d'état against the progressive government of Evo Morales, Álvaro García Linera, and the Movement for Socialism in Bolivia (which was eventually defeated through a popular uprising, resulting in MAS returning to power in 2020). The U.S. empire is currently fanning the flames of war with China over Taiwan. Brazenly defiant of international law and the sovereignty of oppressed peoples and nations, with more than 750 military bases around the world and nuclear weapons pointed at every country considered to be a potential threat to its interests, U.S. imperialism threatens the very existence of human civilization itself as we approach the precipice of another inter-imperialist world war.

2.3.6: Due to the convergence of several historical factors—including the overextension of the U.S. empire’s military forces, the evolution and transformation of modern warfare, the wave of national democratic and socialist revolutions unleashed by the Chinese and Cuban Revolutions, a global economic crisis generated by overproduction and the falling rate of profit, the rise of new economic competitors, and climate change induced by centuries of capitalist-imperialism’s systematic exploitation and devastation of our planetary ecosystem—the hegemony of U.S. imperialism is in a phase of crisis and decline. This presents a unique opportunity for the communist movement, which could be seized upon in order to tip the balance of forces on a world scale in favor of the global working class and all oppressed peoples. However, despite the U.S. empire’s military defeats suffered first in Vietnam, and later in Afghanistan and Iraq, it remains the dominant imperialist nation-state in the world-system, and the leading protectorate of the imperial core. Embargoes, sanctions, and drone strikes continue to be deployed against all oppressed nations who dare to defy the dictates of U.S. imperialism. Depleted uranium munitions adorn the warzones of the world. Though its hegemony is in crisis, the U.S. empire nonetheless remains the dominant political, military, economic, and cultural power within the imperialist world-system, and the main enemy of the workers and oppressed peoples of the world.

2.4: Capital Accumulation and Proletarian Revolution

2.4.1: To develop a materialist understanding of the imperialist world-system, we must comprehend the general dynamics of the capitalist world-economy and the capital accumulation process which drives it. The dominant mode of economic organization within the imperialist world-system is capitalism, a system of social production, allocation, consumption, and metabolic interchange with nature dominated by the social relation of capital. We understand capital as a totalizing social relation that embeds itself within the web of social and natural life through the articulation of a world-economy, defined by processes of value-generating commodity production and circulation. In its drive to commodify and subordinate the totality of life to the profit motive, the capital accumulation process encounters the resistance of both humanity and nature, forcing it to continuously adapt and reconfigure.

2.4.2: Institutionally, capital’s social domination is premised upon and secured through private property, specifically the private ownership and control of the means of social production and reproduction by the capitalist class or bourgeoisie. With this premise established, the wage relation arises, whereby the working class or proletariat—who own no independent means of subsistence—must attempt to sell their capacity to work, or labor power, in exchange for a wage, or otherwise obtain access to a wage (e.g., via the family), which is then used to purchase the necessities of life from capital. This working class, or proletariat, includes waged workers who are employed full-time and part-time; workers who are chronically underemployed, unemployed, or incarcerated (who constitute a reserve army of labor for capital); various surplus populations composed of those who are unemployable (such as people with certain disabilities, as well as the lumpenproletariat who voluntarily or involuntarily exist outside the realm of the formal economy, and whose modes of life and often illegal methods for obtaining means of subsistence tend to make them unemployable); those who are dependent upon wage earners for survival (especially women and children who perform unpaid labors of social reproduction); and masses of semi-proletarians (such as peasants and seasonal workers). Capital furthers the development of a hierarchical division of labor within the workplace and society by separating manual from intellectual labor; an integrated world market based on inter-firm competition; the nation-state system, which includes repressive, ideological, and regulatory state apparatuses used to ensure the defense and reproduction of capital accumulation; the heteropatriarchal nuclear family, which is the base unit of capitalist society premised upon the oppression and exploitation of women and children, and the privatization of social reproduction; and a rift in humanity's metabolism with nature through the systematic destruction and commodification of our planetary ecosystem. Throughout the course of its historical development, capital has accommodated and integrated various pre-capitalist social relations and institutions, specifically patriarchy and colonialism, while also transforming the structure of these institutions to meet its needs and inventing new forms of social oppression, thereby shaping the violent gendering, sexualization, and racialization of the imperialist world-system in an ongoing effort to subordinate the web of life to a singular imperative: capital accumulation, or the self-expansion of value.

2.4.3: What does it mean that capital creates a world-economy governed by value-generating commodity production and circulation? To begin, we must define a commodity as a useful product or service, produced for exchange on the market. A commodity is a useful thing, a product of labor combined with nature, that has the ability to satisfy a human need—be it fundamental or ephemeral, biological or social—which is exchanged in accordance with a quantifiable social average, via the mediation of a universal equivalent such as money. The commodity thus has a contradictory dual character. On the one hand, commodities have a qualitative aspect, or use-value, satisfying a particular human need. On the other hand, commodities have a quantitative aspect, or exchange-value, and it is this particular aspect of the commodity that is central from the standpoint of capital.

2.4.4: Be it through the direct violence of enslavement or the indirect violence of wage dependency, capital transforms the worker into a mere input in the capital accumulation process. Like the commodity, the waged worker of capital is also defined by a peculiar dual character. With the exception of those workers dominated by systems of slavery (who have their whole existence transformed into that of a commodity), or those who are strictly confined to the unwaged labors of social reproduction (such as a full-time housewife), the waged worker is a twice “free individual” who is "free" to sell their labor power to the capitalist as a commodity in return for a wage, and “free” of all independent means of subsistence and autonomous forms of social reproduction. Thus capital accumulation establishes a situation in which the worker is forced into a relation of dependency, selling the only commodity they possess: their labor power.

2.4.5: There are two moments in the historical development of capitalist-imperialism through which labor processes and social spaces that were once autonomous from the capital accumulation process are subordinated and subsumed under capital's social domination. Formal subsumption occurs when the prevailing labor processes are integrated directly into capital's circuits of commodity production and circulation, without significant changes to their social organization. Capitalists impose the wage relation and extract surplus value generated by workers within their existing roles, but the social organization of the labor process remains largely unchanged. We see this when peasant farmers continue to produce using traditional methods, but their product is now transformed into a commodity through its sale on the market and they are transformed into waged workers. Formal subsumption thus plays an integral role in the transformation of peasants, artisans, and other classes into a new class of proletarians exploited and oppressed by capital. Real subsumption goes further, for it is characterized by the radical transformation of labor processes such that they fully conform to the logic of capital. Here, the social organization of the labor process is restructured to better facilitate capital accumulation, with new technologies, work rhythms, divisions of labor, and systems of social control developed in accordance with the goal of profit maximization. Real subsumption thus reflects a profound shift in the character of social production and reproduction, whereby labor processes—and indeed, society itself—are integrated within the logic of the capital accumulation process, leading to intensified exploitation, oppression, and alienation for the masses of people, as well as the diffusion of the proletarian class struggle into all areas of social life.

2.4.6: What all commodities share in common is that they are products of labor, and this alone is the source of value for capital. In its drive to accumulate, capital aims to subsume the totality of human existence to the capitalist production process—the social factory—and the totality of society and nature to the capitalist law of value. Work becomes an estranged social activity in which the worker—uprooted from all autonomous forms of social reproduction—is dominated by an abstract social force that alienates the individual from all sensuous and creative forms of social activity. Capital thereby banishes all creative social activities which do not directly contribute to the imperative of capital accumulation, thus relegating various forms of culture, politics, kinship, and so on to separate spheres. Society is artificially separated from its natural matrix, and humanity is alienated from its social being.

2.4.7: Not only are workers alienated from the means of social reproduction and the social products we create through the labor process, but we are alienated from each other. This social alienation is one of the main contradictions of capital, for capital simultaneously connects diverse peoples, societies, and natures in a global production process by way of various forms of indirect social cooperation, while separating these producers through a myriad of social hierarchies operating at multiple scales of capital's social factory. More than a means of accumulating self-expanding value, the imposition of commodity production—and with it the social alienation resulting from the theft or sale one’s labor power—is a central organizing principle for capitalist society, a mechanism for the reproduction of capitalist social relations, and a weapon in the arsenal of capitalist-imperialism's social domination.

2.4.8: The capitalist world-economy is grounded in an ongoing process of accumulation by dispossession, which is not only necessary for the social relations and institutions of capitalist-imperialism to take root within a given society, but a process capital must continuously stimulate in order to renew itself. Dispossession and the associated forms of disciplinary violence are necessary prerequisites—and ongoing imperatives—to forge the working class required for the valorization of capital: the creation of the proletarian as a machine of social production in the service of capital accumulation. Accumulation by dispossession systematically uproots and destroys autonomous forms of social development outside capital, thereby forging a mass of dispossessed proletarians. Absolutely central to capital’s project has been the devaluation of the labor power of workers of color through processes of racialization. From a system of production based on slavery emerged social relations based on white supremacy. While systems of slavery have become less common (though they persist in a myriad of ways), race is maintained as a method for the hierarchical differentiation, dispossession, devaluation, and super-exploitation of non-white social groups in the service of capitalist-imperialism.

2.4.9: To understand capital accumulation scientifically, we turn to the findings of pioneering social scientist and revolutionary communist, Karl Marx. According to Marx, capital is value in motion. Capital is self-expanding value. Capital thereby acquires, according to Marx, “the occult ability to add value to itself.” But what is value for capital? The capitalist law of value is the regulative principle that subordinates society and nature to the abstract domination of quantifiable equivalents. It can be grasped in three dimensions: (1) as abstract labor, or the substance of value; (2) as socially necessary labor time, or the measure of value; and (3) as exchange-value, or the form of value. The law of value thereby reduces the diversity of creative, sensuous, and concrete social activities entangled within the web of life to the abstract domination of universal equivalents: work, time, and money. Capital transforms concrete labor, or the diverse forms of productive social activity which create use-values, into abstract labor. Abstract labor reduces the diversity of productive and reproductive social activities into a common denominator—labor in the abstract, emptied of all sensuous content—making all categories of labor comparable, quantifiable, and interchangeable, and thereby enabling the exchange of commodities. This is the substance of value. However, this abstract social form finds expression in concrete social relations—the relations of class struggle—articulated within the parameters of a particular social formation, at a specific historical conjuncture. Encompassing various forms of waged and unwaged labor in the processes of social production and reproduction, the imposition of value-generating work is central to capital’s project of dominating the working class—a class forged by capital, whose exploitation is the main source of capitalist value.

2.4.10: As the measure of value, socially necessary labor time is distinct from concrete labor time, which is the actual time required to produce particular commodities by a particular group of workers using particular sets of tools and skills. Viewed from the perspective of capital, it is not the individual labor time expended in the production of a particular commodity that serves as the measure of its value, but the socially necessary average required for the production of all commodities, accounting for the average level of technology and skill prevailing in the world market. This labor time is socially necessary to capital because it reflects the average amount of social control capital can impose on labor in the course of class struggle. Socially necessary labor time is thus the average quantity of labor time that can be imposed in the production of some commodity, whose value is measured in relation to capital as a whole. Viewed from this perspective, the socially necessary labor time prevailing at a given historical conjuncture is the product of class struggle, expressing the contradiction between the capitalist imposition of exploitative work, and workers' resistance to capitalist exploitation. Capital obsessively measures and analyzes productivity in order to determine the degree to which it can impose, maintain, and intensify its regime of surplus value extraction, for the value of a commodity is not determined by the specific amount of concrete labor time required for its production, but by the average amount of labor time that is socially necessary to produce it. Thus the capitalist aims to get ahead of the socially necessary average, increasing the rate of exploitation in order to increase the quantity of surplus value extracted with the aim of increasing profit.

2.4.11: In its simple form, value first appears as a quantitative relation, whereby one kind of use-value can be exchanged for another. That is, value is expressed in the equivalence between two commodities: x quantity of commodity A is worth y quantity of commodity B. Through this simple exchange of two use-values, the value of commodity A is expressed in commodity B. While commodity exchange appears as a relation between things, it is fundamentally a social relation, for all commodities are products of a social labor process. Capital reproduces this social relation in an indirectly cooperative form in order to maintain its social dictatorship via the imposition of abstract labor (the substance of value) and socially necessary labor time (the measure of value). In other words, the working class is prevented from autonomously organizing social production and reproduction on the basis of direct social cooperation, but instead must indirectly cooperate in the production of commodities for capital.

2.4.12: With the equivalent form of value, we can grasp the disposability of life in capitalist society, as the concrete entanglements of peoples, social relations, and natures are reduced to mere inputs in the capital accumulation process. One commodity can simply be exchanged for another, with complete disregard for the concrete social relations embedded within its process of production and circulation, or the ecological consequences of its production, circulation, and consumption. In its relative form, value changes in accordance with the transformations in the labor productivity for commodity A or B: if productivity rises for commodity A (thereby lowering its value), then the value exchanged for commodity B will subsequently fall (until commodity B experiences a relative rise in productivity). Thus the value of a given commodity is responsive to transformations in labor productivity, and hence relative. Through the relative form of value, the central commodity for capital—labor power—can become conscious of its alienated condition, whereby the concrete labor expended is reflected in the abstract quality of the commodity’s value. Thus the working class comes to see itself as a category internal to the capital accumulation process. Workers can come to see that it is their concrete labor embodied in the world of commodities that makes capital possible, and that united as a class-for-itself, workers have the collective power to overthrow and abolish capital accumulation and revolutionize the totality of social life.

2.4.13: In its expanded form, value can be conceptualized as an infinite series of value equations. The only limit upon the number of value equations is the number of available commodities, which capital constantly seeks to increase. For example:

x commodity A = y commodity B

x commodity A = w commodity C

x commodity A = z commodity D

In theory, this expanded form of value is infinite and is intended to illustrate the expansionary vortex of capital accumulation, with its ceaseless drive for endless growth and authoritarian social control.

2.4.14: In its general form, the value among an infinite variety of commodities is expressed via the mediation of a universal equivalent. The general value-form presents the products of concrete human labor as congealed quantities of undifferentiated human labor. Once a universal equivalent is fixed to one commodity by social custom, the money form of value emerges. As the abstract domination of capital expands, money comes to mediate all social relations within capitalist-imperialism, driven to subordinate the totality of social life to “naked self-interest” and “callous cash payment.”

2.4.15: The money form of value is thus an expression of capital as a colonizing force, expressing the tendency of capital to subordinate all social relations to relations of monetary exchange, assigning to all use-values a price in the integrated world market. At once both a commodity in its own right and the expression of value for all other commodities, money is itself a social relation of class struggle, mediating the relations of all workers—waged and unwaged—to the means of subsistence.

2.4.16: Stripped of all independent means of subsistence, waged workers are compelled to sell their labor power to capital in exchange for a monetary payment (the wage); to perform the gendered labors of social reproduction to obtain access to the wage (the patriarchy of the wage); or, as in the case of slavery, are simply forced at gunpoint to labor for capital without remuneration. Through the commodity production process, the workers who are able to successfully sell their labor power to capital produce a total value greater than that of which they receive in the form of a wage: this is surplus value, which forms the basis of exploitation within capitalist society. Assuming wages are constant, capital aims to maximize surplus value extraction by pursuing two strategies. First, it can extend the duration of the working day, increase the intensity of work, eliminate breaks and mealtimes, differentiate punishments and rewards for workers, and introduce various forms of disciplinary management. The effective deployment of such measures by capital is known as the extraction of absolute surplus value. However, proletarian class struggle can sabotage this extractive process, leading to a reduction in the duration and intensity of the working day, or the discontinuation of various management practices. As an alternative to intensifying the extraction of absolute surplus value, capital can increase the productivity of labor through the introduction of new technologies, which has the effect of reducing necessary labor time—the time required to reproduce the existence of the worker—while increasing surplus labor time, thereby effectively increasing relative surplus value.

2.4.17: There are three primary moments within the circuit of capital accumulation. First, the capitalist enters the market as a buyer, whereby money is transformed into commodities; the capitalist purchases two important commodities: (a) means of production and (b) labor power. Next, the commodities purchased by the capitalist are valorized, that is, they are transformed through a production process, through which commodities of greater value than the inputs of production are produced. Finally, with these valorized commodities in hand, the capitalist returns to the market as a seller in order to generate profit, converting the commodities back into money, albeit of a sum greater than the initial money invested. This circuit of capital accumulation—understood as the process through which money is transformed into commodities, and commodities are transformed into money (buying in order to sell)—can be grasped with a simple formula:


In this formula, M = money, which is used to purchase C = commodities, which are transformed into M' = profit. Profit is to be understood as a sum of money greater than the initial investment. That is, M' = M + ∆M, where ∆M is the profit gained, or surplus value realized, which is subsequently reinvested in the circuit of commodity production so the spiraling vortex of capital accumulation can continue to expand. Thus a new cycle of capital accumulation begins:


And once again:


And so on and so forth the cycle goes, propelled forward indefinitely by an insatiable appetite for profit. The capital accumulation process has no fixed form nor definite end. Rather, it moves in a spiraling vortex, appearing here in the form of money, there in the form of commodities. But how are the commodities purchased with the initial sum of money transformed into profit? What difficulties and limits are imposed by the social force of capital and the global system of capitalist-imperialism.

2.4.18: For the vast majority of humanity swept into its vortex of accumulation, capital subordinates us to a relation of wage dependency—or the direct circulation of commodities—which can be grasped with the formula:


In this circuit, the worker enters the market with C = the commodity labor power, or their capacity to work. This labor power is then sold to the capitalist in exchange for M = wages, which are used to purchase C = the commodities necessary to reproduce the worker’s existence as the commodity labor power. Thus commodities are converted into money, which are re-converted into commodities (selling in order to buy). However, this relation of wage dependency does not imply that all proletarians will actually obtain direct access to a wage via the sale of their labor power. Indeed, through heteropatriarchal and colonial forms of social domination, as well as the turbulence generated by capitalist economic crises, many are held hostage to this relation of dependency through processes that deny direct access to a wage, or subordinate the worker to a relation of super-exploitation, in which the value of the wage received rests below the minimum subsistence level required to reproduce the worker’s labor power.

2.4.19: As a dynamic process of self-expanding value, the money circuit of capital (M-C-M') can be grasped with the following expanded formula:

M—C {MP + LP}…P…C'—M'

In this money circuit of capital, M = the money used to purchase C = commodities, which include MP = means of production and LP = labor power. Through …P… = the production process, the commodities MP and LP are combined to produce C' = a final commodity, which is then sold on the market for M' = an amount of money greater than the initial investment.

Parallel to the circuit of money capital is the circuit of social reproduction, whereby the worker’s commodified labor power is regenerated for exploitation by capital:


By selling LP = labor power, the worker gains access to M = money in the form of the wage, which is used to purchase C{MS} = commodities that supply the means of subsistence necessary to reproduce labor power. However, these commodities must be transformed through …P… = the process of social reproduction, thereby yielding LP = regenerated labor power. Labor power is regenerated via a range of social relations and institutions, spanning all spheres of social activity. Social reproduction thus encompasses not only housework and carework mediated via the family, but also education, healthcare, and leisure, pensions and benefits for the elderly, and the intergenerational replacement of the workforce via voluntary procreation, slavery, or forced migration. Thus the circuit of social reproduction is key to understanding not only the reproduction of labor power for capital, but the ongoing structural function of heteropatriarchy and colonialism within the global system of capitalist-imperialism. There is a tendency for capital to increase the rate of exploitation in the circuit of reproduction, so as to force down the value of labor power. Thus the more unwaged housework and carework performed in the home, the less capital is responsible for various forms of social provisioning. Similarly, the more work performed by part-time and temporary workers, the less capital is responsible for hiring and paying a full-time workforce.

2.4.20: Waged or unwaged, it is the proletariat who, through the deployment of their labor power in a social labor process, produce value for capital. Due to their structural location in the capital accumulation process, the proletariat is strategically positioned to challenge capital. This class has an objective historical interest in overthrowing the social domination of capital, overcoming capitalist exploitation, and establishing a classless, moneyless, and stateless society premised upon the social ownership and democratic control of the means of production and reproduction. Such a society's main imperative is not the accumulation of capital and the pursuit of profit, but the satisfaction of human needs, the all-round development of human capacities, and the establishment of a rational and sustainable metabolic interchange with nature. The proletarian revolution aims to overcome the separation of intellectual and manual labor, town and country, industry and agriculture, humanity and nature, and all other oppressive, exploitative, and alienated social relations. In the course of the proletarian revolution, workers should strive to create their own organs of counterpower, such as assemblies, councils, and militias, in order to seize control of the means of production and reproduction, establish workers' democratic governance and administration of social activity, defend the gains of the revolution against all counter-revolutionary forces, and advance the struggle to achieve proletarian self-emancipation on a world scale by carrying forward the global socialist revolution to victory over capitalist-imperialism.

2.5: Heteropatriarchy and Feminist Revolution

2.5.1: In communal hunter-gatherer societies, non-monogamous partnerships were generally the norm, bisexuality was common, gender fluidity and variance were often accepted, and patriarchy, classes, and the state did not exist. Society formed an integrated system, with kinship activities being inseparable from economic and political activities. Childrearing and education were organized on a collective basis with no gendered division of labor. However, with the development of pastoral and early agrarian societies and the emergence of class antagonisms, non-monogamous partnerships were superseded by pairing marriages, and it is here that we can locate the beginnings of patriarchy.

2.5.2: In the pastoral and early agrarian context, social norms were such that men were generally permitted to maintain non-monogamous partnerships, bisexuality remained socially acceptable, but women were expected to conform to strict norms of fidelity in marital partnerships. However, these partnerships could be voluntarily dissolved, and the children remained with the mother in the event of separation. The means of production (such as tools and livestock) were considered the private property of the man. Yet the wealth that men began to accumulate could not be inherited by their children due to the matrilineal structure of inheritance which then prevailed. In order to allow men to pass on accumulated wealth to their children, matricentric systems of social organization had to be overthrown in order to establish patrilineal structures of inheritance. At this moment, heteropatriarchy was born and the first empires would soon follow.

2.5.3: The man became ruler of the household, and women were reduced to the status of his private property as domestic and sexual servants through a process of housewifization. It is at this moment that the monogamous heterosexual marriage came to predominate, which is established as the main structure of inheritance through which intergenerational wealth is accumulated for thousands of years. As a general rule, the monogamous heterosexual marriage cannot be freely dissolved voluntarily by either partner in a heteropatriarchal society, as was the case with previous forms of partnership, but can only be ended by the man, typically with the permission of religious institutions or government bureaucracies.

2.5.4: The heteropatriarchal family was generalized throughout the social fabric via the state, which enforced private property and male supremacy. It is at this historical conjuncture that queer people emerged as a distinct social group, oppressed by the heteropatriarchal family, religious institutions, and the state: queer existence challenged private property by diverging from the gender norms of the heterosexual marriage and its system of ownership and authoritarian social control. Law and religion increasingly codified human sexual norms and behaviors in an effort to reproduce a particular social system which had no use and no room for queer people. Throughout the history of ancient slavery, feudalism, and capitalist-imperialism, queer people have been put to death for their attractions, desires, and self-expressions. During the Witch Hunts in Europe, a war was waged by the heteropatriarchal church-state against women and queer people, with the intent of forcing women back into the role of housewife, and eliminating queer people from public life altogether. A systematic campaign of psychological terror, torture, and mass murder was unleashed against women and queer people, sanctioned by the church-state.

2.5.5: In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, LGBTQ+ people all over the world have gained important rights through democratic struggle, relative to previous historical periods in the era of class society. However, where such gains have been won by LGBTQ+ liberation movements, capitalist-imperialism has compelled queer people to assimilate and conform to the social structure of the heteropatriarchal family unit, which retains its function as the transmitter of private property and locus of social reproduction. Over time, the assimilated queer family unit can come to mirror the hierarchical social norms and division of labor of the cisgender heterosexual family unit. LGBTQ+ people in general, and trans people in particular, are still subjected to various forms of oppression, including laws regulating their bodies (e.g., sodomy laws, the restriction of access to healthcare services, etc.), exclusion from employment in numerous sectors of the economy, domestic abuse, mass incarceration, pogroms, and even genocide. They are disproportionately homeless and unemployed. When they're able to obtain employment, it is frequently in low-wage service sector work or sex work.

2.5.6: With the process of capital accumulation coming to dominate all aspects of social life, the heteropatriarchal nuclear family became the dominant form of kinship organization. The emergence of capitalist-imperialism required a disciplined and mobile workforce. The nuclear family, rooted in individual households, provided a unit for the social reproduction of labor power that could be easily controlled by capital, and integrated into the capital accumulation process. The nuclear family became the capitalist state in miniature, reproducing the hierarchical social relations and ideology of capitalist-imperialism, reinforcing a gendered division of labor in which women were expected to perform unpaid domestic labor regardless of their status as waged workers. By relegating the labor of social reproduction to the nuclear family, capital is freed from having to invest in essential social services such as healthcare, childcare, education, and eldercare, and thus organizes the production of commodities required for social reproduction on the basis of the individual consumer and the nuclear family. Instead of the social provisioning of groceries and household items, or the collective organization of housework such as cooking and cleaning, social reproduction in the home is privatized, commodified, and gendered, with women and children often held responsible for the performance of such labors. Capital accumulation and the heteropatriarchal nuclear family are intimately entangled, shaping nearly all aspects of daily life from the organization of kinship relations to product design, architecture, and urban planning.

2.5.7: The nuclear family performs multiple roles in the reproduction of capitalist-imperialism. It functions as a unit for the reproduction of capital's workforce, ensuring the continuous supply of future workers through human procreation and childrearing, as well as the regeneration of living labor power. The gendered division of labor within the family reinforces gendered roles in society, with women held responsible for unpaid domestic work and caregiving, effectively providing a free or low-cost system of social reproduction for capital. Additionally, the nuclear family socializes individuals into accepting the value-systems of capitalist-imperialism, such as the capitalist work ethic and consumerism, while also serving as an economic unit that participates in the world market. It is a key instrument for the reproduction of the ideologies of race and nation. Families are, of course, divided along lines of class: for the bourgeoisie and petite bourgeoisie, the family perpetuates wealth inequality through the transmission of private property and inheritance; for the proletariat and peasantry, through the transmission of propertylessness and poverty. It contributes to the ideological reproduction of capitalist-imperialism by socializing people to understand the nuclear family as a normative and natural form, thereby diverting attention from the fundamentally oppressive and exploitative character of the heteropatriarchal kinship system and its role in maintaining and reproducing capitalist-imperialism. While these dynamics vary across historical social contexts, the nuclear family objectively contributes to the reproduction of capitalist-imperialism.

2.5.8: On a global scale, gender oppression and the gender binary enable the super-exploitation of women through the devaluation of gendered labor power, particularly in the global peripheries and semi-peripheries of imperialism, where they are relegated to dirty, degrading, and dangerous jobs. The ranks of the unemployed and the most marginalized, super-exploited workers of the world are overwhelmingly women. This generates an important contradiction between women's role in the capitalist world-economy as waged labor, and the expectation of women continuing to perform unwaged labors of social reproduction in their role as housewife and careworker.

2.5.9: The feminist revolution aims to liberate individual bodies from constraints of gender hierarchies and exploitation. A chant from Seoul Pride in 2023 proclaimed, "Our liberation is body liberation! Body liberation is liberation for all!" The feminist revolution aims to make every person free in their own body to choose what they do with their time and how they express themselves. Under capitalist-imperialism, the bodies of women and LGBTQ+ people are subjugated and used for the purposes of the prevailing mode of social organization, performing essential labors of social reproduction without remuneration. The feminist revolution aims to make no one bound to a social role based on the conditions of their birth, and to abolish gendered divisions of labor.

2.5.10: The communization of social reproduction and the restoration of supportive communities is another aim of the feminist revolution. Extended networks of kinship and support are needed to raise the next generation of people. Capitalist-imperialism has destroyed much of the social fabric necessary to create these kinds of communities, and the result is social instability, violence, and death on a massive scale. Nuclear families in isolation are dependent on the nation-state and employers for support, but the capitalist nation-state systematically divests in programs shown to build healthy communities, instead relying on the brutal violence of the carceral state with its police and prisons. The function of this disinvestment is two-fold. On the one hand, capitalist-imperialism doesn't need social reproduction at a higher level because pauperization enables super-exploitation. On the other hand, a pauperized surplus population is useful to capital in order to depress wages during a period of stagnation, or mobilize a reserve army of labor during a boom cycle.

2.5.11: The feminist revolution aims to redefine what actions constitute labor, and how people of all genders can collectively participate in the essential labors of social reproduction. Capitalist-imperialism has for centuries used misogynistic propaganda to devalue carework as unimportant and unskilled. As communists, we must envision the collectivization and democratization of the labors of social reproduction instead of assigning it to private individuals on the basis of gender. We must reimagine how the daily and unending household labors of cooking, cleaning, organizing, and caring for people (including children, youth, elders, and the sick) could be coordinated communally, so as to enable and ensure the free and voluntary participation of all in the various aspects of communist society.

2.6: Colonialism and Decolonial Revolution

2.6.1: From its inception, the profits of capitalist-imperialism have been made possible through processes of colonization. The basis of colonialism is national oppression, whereby the ruling class of one nation violently dominates and exploits the peoples, land, and resources of another nation as a colony, thereby establishing itself as an oppressor nation. Through the colonial policies of the oppressor nation, the autonomous social development of the oppressed nation is suspended. The social life of the oppressed nation is actively de-developed, underdeveloped, or outright destroyed through genocide waged by the oppressor nation, and a relation of dependency is consciously cultivated whereby colonized peoples are forced into reliance upon the imperial core and their local compradors for their basic subsistence needs. Colonialism attempts to erode and ultimately destroy the histories of peoples and their cultural identities. The colonizing oppressor nation expropriates the land and loots the natural resources of the colonies, imposes super-exploitation on the colonial proletariat and peasantry, and controls the markets of the oppressed nation. In some cases, the oppressor nation comes to dominate what was once a sovereign nation-state, as in the case of U.S. imperialism's settler-colonization of the Kingdom of Hawai'i. In other cases, a nation within a nation is formed through the process of settler-colonial oppression, as in the case of the New Afrikan and Chicanx nations formed within the U.S. empire. Decolonization is the revolutionary process through which the peoples of an oppressed nation reclaim their historical agency, assert their right to national sovereignty, restore dignity to their communities, and build a social system that recognizes the equality and autonomy of all peoples, starting with the right of self-determination for all oppressed nations.

2.6.2: National oppression takes a range of forms, though the dominant form assumed in the imperialist world-system has been white supremacist national oppression, whereby the European imperial core nations and their settler-colonial offshoots dominate and exploit the peoples and nations of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. At the core of this system of national oppression is racial ideology and institutional racism, which posits the existence of a hierarchy of social groups ordered on the basis of "race," and an institutionalized system of privileges for those classified as members of the white race. The invention of the concept of race was used by European capitalists as a means of categorizing, separating, controlling, and devaluing entire peoples, specifically African and Indigenous peoples subjected to slavery and genocide. Racial differentiation directly serves capital accumulation by enabling the extraction of super-profits by legitimizing super-exploitation through dehumanization. For a colonized people, racial oppression entails exclusion from public services, civil rights and liberties, collective bargaining agreements, and union protections afforded to the citizens of the oppressor nation, alongside the imposition of high taxes, rent, and debt which siphon wealth away from oppressed nationality communities to the ruling class of the oppressor nation. To be racially oppressed is to be subjected to slavery, ghettoization, psychological manipulation, police surveillance and brutality, mass incarceration, torture, human experimentation, and military conscription. More than a historical incident, race is integral to the capital accumulation process, and we can in fact speak of a racial capitalism.

2.6.3: In the fifteenth century, the capitalist nation-states of Europe established a system of direct colonialism, whereby they openly dominated and controlled all aspects of the oppressed nation's social life and development, reducing whole countries to the status of the oppressor nation's colonial property. Direct colonialism persists today with the Israeli settler-colonial oppression of Palestine, the Turkish colonial oppression of Kurdistan, and British imperialism's colonial domination of the occupied six counties in the north of Ireland, to name only a few. However, while forms of direct colonialism persist, they have been largely superseded by forms of neocolonialism (or semi-colonialism), defined as the continuing colonial domination of a nominally independent nation-state by one or more of the nation-states and multinational corporations of the imperial core.

2.6.4: While neocolonies have nominal political independence, their subordination to the imperial core is maintained through the economic structure of bureaucratic-comprador capitalism. In such neocolonial contexts, a comprador bourgeoisie is cultivated from among the peoples of colonized nation by imperialist capital through foreign direct investment, which becomes the ruling class within the neocolonial nation-state, but remains subordinate to the imperialist bourgeoisie at the level of the world-system. This comprador bourgeoisie is dependent upon and serves the interests of the multinational corporations of the imperial core, as opposed to the development of an endogenous national capitalism. This economic structure facilitates the privatization and pillage of the oppressed nation's land and natural resources, the super-exploitation of the labor-power of its workers, and the control of its markets, which together enable the extraction of super-profits by imperialist capital. Under the influence of these compradors, the neocolonial nation-state becomes a bureaucratic appendage of global imperialism, leading to the emergence of a bureaucratic bourgeoisie who, bribed by monopoly-finance capital and their comprador servants, deploy state power to further the super-exploitation of the country by imperialism. While a new flag may fly, the oppressed nation remains a colony without real independence, governed by a bureaucratic-comprador bourgeoisie who act as the local servants of capitalist-imperialism. In his critique of the narrow outlook of cultural nationalists, the Irish revolutionary James Connolly brilliantly predicted:

If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organisation of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs. England would still rule you to your ruin, even while your lips offered hypocritical homage at the shrine of that Freedom whose cause you had betrayed.

2.6.4: So long as capitalist-imperialism dominates the planet, there will be neither peace nor equality among nations, for this system presupposes the division of the world into oppressor and oppressed nations. In complete opposition to all forms of colonialism, the socialist revolution aims to lay the foundations for a communist society in which all forms of racial and national oppression are overcome, and the global system of nation-states is superseded by a free association of social individuals. However, this world commune of communes will only be established with the redress of longstanding injustices and the restoration of national sovereignty to the peoples. As Frantz Fanon emphasized, "For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity." Malcolm X expressed the same position when he said, "Land is the basis of all independence. Land is the basis of freedom, justice, and equality." And it is for precisely this reason that the battlecry of the New Afrikan Independence Movement in the heart of the settler-colonial U.S. empire is: "Free the land!" The liberation of oppressed nations and nationalities will only be achieved by upholding and applying the principle of the right of oppressed nations to self-determination, and by unleashing national democratic revolutions which restore national sovereignty to the peoples. With the presence of an organized communist movement within national liberation struggles, these anti-imperialist revolutions have the potential to become socialist revolutions (as seen in the Philippines today), which is the only real path to decolonization.

2.6.5: Within a given nation-state, there may exist multiple nationalities who are oppressed by the dominant nationality or nationalities. While communists support the establishment of a plurinational, polycultural, and intercommunal society—and an authentically revolutionary government will pursue policies to such effect in a period of socialist transition—the necessary condition for such a free union of peoples is the recognition and guarantee of the right of an oppressed nation to independence from the oppressor nation and to determine its own destiny. This does not mean that separation is always the correct path for a given nation to choose, but it is not for communists of the oppressor nation to decide that. Communists unequivocally uphold and support struggles waged by oppressed nationalities for the full equality, democratic rights, reparations, and self-determination. The decision to pursue integration within a union of socialist communes; territorial autonomy and self-governance within the federative framework of a plurinational, polycultural, and intercommunal union; or complete separation and full national independence, must in the final instance be the decision of the people of the oppressed nation itself.

2.6.6: The communists of the oppressed nations must, at the same time, strive to cohere within the national liberation movement support for a firmly internationalist stance, cultivating the revolutionary unity of the oppressed nations and nationalities of the world with the global working class. At the same time, while recognizing the common class interests of the global working class, this class is internally divided on a global scale and within the capitalist nation-states on the basis of race and nationality. Taking stock of this reality, we recognize that a revolutionary united front, as the organizational expression of a revolutionary people's movement, must be based on a strategic alliance of the working-class movement with the movements for national liberation.

2.7: Ecology and Global Socialist Revolution

2.7.1: Dialectical and historical materialism teaches us that our material reality is in a perpetual state of movement and flux, constructed through the universal metabolism of nature, defined as the transformative interchange between organic and inorganic substances, and between organisms and their environments. In the case of our species, the metabolic relationship between humans and non-human nature is a social relationship, mediated via a labor process, through which humanity's needs are satisfied and capacities developed. However, the social domination of capital accumulation alienates humans from nature and the labor process, systematically commodifying all aspects of both social and natural life. Capital thereby disrupts humanity's social metabolism, initiating a rift in society's metabolic interchange with nature, thus breaking the living unity of human society with the natural conditions of our existence. In fact, capital accumulation generates a rift in the universal metabolism of nature itself, disrupting the planetary ecosystem's flow of flows by ushering in an era of soil degradation, mass extinctions, depletion of the ozone layer, climate change, and the spread of new diseases.

2.7.2: While geologists have termed this epoch the anthropocene, or "the age of humans," it is not the human species in general who are to be held responsible for causing the present ecological crisis, nor are the horrific effects of this crisis equally distributed. It is present and future generations of proletarians and oppressed peoples, particularly those concentrated in the global peripheries of capitalist-imperialism, who bear the brunt of this metabolic rift. Indeed, the term "anthropocene" may obscure more than it clarifies, for it fails to identify that a global social system premised upon the boundless accumulation of capital is the chief culprit and main obstacle to achieving a just transition to an ecological communist future. It is for this reason that alternative terms have been proposed, such as capitalocene or plantationocene, which emphasize the entanglement of climate change and ecological destruction with the social domination of capitalist-imperialism and the historical legacies of colonialism and slavery. In particular, we must recognize that the global centers of capital accumulation—the countries of the imperial core—bear primary responsibility for the ecological crisis and climate change. This ecological debt owed by the imperial core to the peoples and nations of the global peripheries can only be settled through the payment of ecological reparations. It is for this reason that the People's Agreement of Cochabamba, produced by the People's World Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth convened in Bolivia in 2010, calls for approaching climate change and the ecological crisis on the basis of "common but differentiated responsibilities." In accordance with this principle, primary responsibility for reducing global carbon emissions belongs to the imperial core countries, not to the victims of capitalist-imperialism's rapacious policies.

2.7.3: More than any previous mode of social organization, capitalist-imperialism uproots productive and reproductive activity from its environmental matrix, creating a metabolic rift that systematically erodes the material basis for humanity’s social reproduction and continued existence. While we can speak of society and nature, we must keep in mind that these are interdependent aspects of a universal reality. While we can speak of social science and natural science, we must emphasize that these are, in fact, no more than distinct moments of emphasis in a unified process of scientific inquiry. Marx and Engels declare: "We only know a single science, the study of history." They continue: "One can look at history from two sides and divide it into the history of nature and the history of people. The two sides are, however, inseparable; the history of nature and the history of people are dependent on each other so long as people exist." The metabolic rift initiated by the capital accumulation process threatens the continued existence and reproduction of the human species, along with all complex lifeforms on our planet. The relentless pursuit of profit leads to the overextraction of natural resources and degradation of our natural environment, resulting in massive deforestation, pollution, soil erosion, depletion of water resources, the emission of greenhouse gases which produce climate change, and the unleashing of new disease pandemics. These are all examples of how the capital accumulation process sets in motion a rift in humanity's metabolic interchange with nature. Natural resources are extracted and consumed beyond the regenerative capacities of ecosystems, and the production of waste exceeds the capacities of ecosystems to sustainably absorb it. The ecological rift should thereby clarify why communists require knowledge of both social and natural sciences, and work towards the unification of multiple scientific disciplines within an integrated framework capable of guiding the socialist transition to communism.

2.7.4: The socialist transition to communism is tasked with mending the rift in humanity's social metabolism with nature. Being both decolonial and ecological in character, the socialist revolution must defend the right of oppressed nations to self-determination, respect Indigenous national sovereignty, and unleash Indigenous knowledge and leadership in the process of socio-ecological regeneration. Indigenous nations are on the frontlines of the ecological revolution, not only through Indigenous-led struggles to defend the planet from capitalist-imperialism's extractivist regime, but also through the resurgence of Indigenous systems of social organization. Indigenous modes of life present valid and compelling alternatives to capitalist-imperialism, particularly with regards to environmental stewardship, pastoral and agricultural practices, and conceptions of common ownership. The guarantee for the flourishing of Indigenous socio-ecological practices is the right of Indigenous nations to land, self-determination, and sovereignty. From Indigenous socio-ecological practices, humanity can transform our understanding of how a communist society can and should interact with the land, human and non-human life, and our planet, further enriching our conception of the socialist transition to communism. As The Red Nation teaches us: "For Indigenous people, socialism is the process of being able to live as Indigenous again in full collective determination of our present and future. Communism fulfills all that begets life on Mother Earth through the overturning of all forms of private property."

2.7.5: For communists, the ecological question poses the urgent necessity of a genuinely global socialist revolution, for it is impossible for the "green entrepreneurs" of capitalist-imperialism to adequately address the planetary ecological crisis, beholden as they are to the imperatives of capital accumulation. The ecological question has the potential to unite the forces of world revolution to an unprecedented degree. However, ecological crises also pose the danger of eco-fascism and other forms of reactionary "green" thought. Against the ideologies of eco-modernism on the one hand (in either its neoliberal or social-democratic form), and eco-fascism on the other, we must follow Marx in asserting that communism—basing itself upon the rational and democratic planning of social production and reproduction by the masses of working people—is the only sustainable future for humanity and our planet:

Communism is the positive abolition of private property as human self-alienation, and hence the actual appropriation of human nature by and for humanity; it is the complete restoration of the individual as a social—i.e., human—being, a restoration which has become conscious and which takes place within the entire wealth of previous periods of development. This communism, as fully developed naturalism, equals humanism, and as fully developed humanism equals naturalism; it is the definitive resolution of the antagonism between humans and nature, and between humans and humans, the true resolution of the conflict between existence and being, between objectification and self-affirmation, between freedom and necessity, between the individual and the species. Communism is the riddle of history solved, and knows itself to be this solution.

2.8: From Capitalist Nation-States to the World Commune of Communes

2.8.1: The state is an organized system of social power through which the dominant classes and social groups establish and reproduce their rule over and against the dominated classes and social groups. Whether it is claimed to be ordained by the heavens or necessitated by the laws of nature, the social domination of the state is always presented as being in the general interest. Today's apologists for the state claim it is a neutral mediator of opposing interests in society, which stands outside of all class and social group antagonisms. In actuality, of course, and regardless of appearances to the contrary, all states are social dictatorships of particular classes and social groups. The state is an alienated social power, organized along bureaucratic-military lines, that stands over and against the people in the most authoritarian fashion, through which a power bloc of the ruling class and dominant social groups maintain their social domination and reproduce their hegemony. The state is the political-military headquarters of the ruling class. The state reserves for itself a monopoly on specific social functions such as the maintenance of social order, the collection of taxes, and especially the legitimate use of violence through standing military and police forces. Without a monopoly on the deployment of armed force, no ruling class could maintain its social domination.

2.8.2: While the state claims the mantle of universality, it has not always existed and will not always exist. Rather, the state arose at a certain phase in humanity's historical social development: it is the logical result of a social system premised upon private property, patriarchy, hierarchical divisions of labor, the division of society into antagonistic classes and hierarchically-ordered social groups, the extraction of surplus labor and the private appropriation of the social product by a ruling class, the creation of colonial dependencies, and, particularly in the age of capital, humanity's alienation from nature. For hierarchical class societies, the state becomes a vital necessity for the management and suppression of antagonistic social contradictions. In the final analysis, however, the state is ultimately powerless to resolve the contradictions generated by a social system premised upon class exploitation and social oppression. According to Marx and Engels, such systems produce class struggles which culminate "either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes." The socialist revolution aims to achieve the ultimate overthrow and abolition of the imperialist world-system, and along with it the nation-states which serve as the gendarmerie of capital accumulation. This will only be achieved by abolishing the social contradictions of capitalist-imperialism from which the capitalist state arises, and by consciously building the foundations of communist society. Then, and only then, can we speak of the emergence of a stateless society.

2.8.3: The state is a partisan war machine. It wages war on two fronts: internally, it wages war against the exploited classes and oppressed masses, whose potential and propensity to rebel poses a permanent existential threat to social cohesion and state power; and externally, in its drive to expand its control of territory or access to resources, labor, and new markets, it wages war against other social formations and rival states. This expansionary dynamic is greatly exacerbated with the emergence of social formations dominated by capital accumulation. In the context of capitalist-imperialism, the nation-state acts as the vanguard of primitive accumulation and colonization through the conquest of territory, resources, labor, and new markets. This inevitably leads to bloody wars among the respective capitalist nation-states as they compete for profits.

2.8.4: The nation-state is the general form taken by the state in the era of capitalist-imperialism. The capitalist nation-state system arose from the crises and decay of the feudal city-state system in Europe, and was globalized by the imperial core with the extension of the capital accumulation process on a world scale through colonization and the conquest of new markets. The capitalist nation-state is contradictory because, on the one hand, once the capital accumulation process becomes dominant within a given social formation, the capitalist class in that territory set to work to build a nation-state in order to ensure the best possible conditions for capital accumulation. On the other hand, despite capital's globalizing tendencies, it has thus far been unable to constitute a world-state to act as the protectorate of capital in general, due to inter-firm competition giving rise to the inter-state rivalry characteristic of capitalist-imperialism. Thus the nation-state emerges historically as the preferred political form for facilitating the capital accumulation process and its attendant processes of colonization. We have seen a range of particular configurations of this form of state (monarchical, constitutional, republican, neoliberal, fascist, etc.). The primary form taken by the capitalist nation-state has been of the centrist-liberal variety. This bourgeois democratic republic is democratic in name only, and is the primary means through which the bourgeoisie and their allies maintain and reproduce their class power. Bourgeois democracy is a democracy for the rich. The ruling class and their functionaries make decisions, while citizens are occasionally called to ratify them. If and when the people's participation in the formation of public policy gets out of hand, there is always recourse to fascism or some other form of authoritarian rule. Regardless of the particular form taken at a given historical conjuncture, the main function of the capitalist nation-state remains constant: to secure the conditions for capital accumulation and the reproduction of capitalist-imperialism as a social system. In pursuit of this aim, today's nation-states are massive bureaucratic-military organizations—the partisan war machines of capital—through which the collective interests of the capitalist class are formulated and pursued. Given the virulently competitive character of capitalist-imperialism, it is through the intermediary of the state that conflicts internal to the ruling class are resolved.

2.8.5: While the modern capitalist nation-state encompasses the powers of a polity—including legislative, executive, and adjudicative powers—it encompasses far more than formal political institutions, reaching into the depths of the social fabric. It is for this reason that Italian communist Antonio Gramsci spoke of the capitalist nation-state as an integral state, capable of not only repressing dissent, but also manufacturing consent and mitigating crises. This modern capitalist state is defined by several state apparatuses: repressive, ideological, and regulatory. The repressive state apparatus includes the military, police, courts, prisons, and intelligence agencies, as well as various reactionary paramilitary organizations loyal to the state. The ideological state apparatus includes schools, universities, and media, as well as more informal educational, familial, religious, political, civic, and cultural institutions. The regulatory state apparatus includes governmental institutions responsible for the stabilization of the capitalist nation-state and world-economy through the management of recurring systemic crises, including through central banking, macroeconomic policies (tariffs, subsidies, etc.), and the performance of various social welfare functions. In short, the capitalist state actively represses any possible threat to the power of the ruling class, consciously cultivates loyalty ("common sense") among the masses of people to legitimize and maintain its social domination, and attempts to control and mitigate the effects of capital's frequent and recurring crises in order to limit or prevent the eruption of the revolutionary struggle of working people and the oppressed masses, thereby stabilizing the social formation. The specific configuration of the nation-state's apparatuses depend upon its relative position within the imperial core, global peripheries, or semi-peripheries of the imperialist world-system, as well as that nation-state's particular path of historical social development as a direct colony, settler-colony, semi-colony, or metropole.

2.8.6: The concept of an integral state allows us to conceptually abstract various state apparatuses, while recognizing that these apparatuses accommodate and interpenetrate one another, and constitute a singular system of state power. For example, public schools in the settler-colonial U.S. empire can best be classified as a component of the ideological state apparatus. At the same time, however, public schools perform repressive functions (through racialized policing and the school-to-prison pipeline), as well as regulatory functions (through the provisioning of food and healthcare services which are increasingly shifted to proletarian schools as the nation-state divests and privatizes federal social welfare programs). Schools are also arenas of struggle, as education workers struggle for improvement of their working conditions and to increase their control over the labor process, and as students and communities struggle over the curriculum, instruction, and culture of schools as educational institutions. Another example: while media in most cases is privately owned and operates via the world market, it is nonetheless state media, in the sense of multinational media corporations generating and reproducing the hegemony of capitalist-imperialism in general, and their host nation-state in particular. Thus when we speak of capitalist state power, we must not only speak of the military, police, courts, and prisons, but also schools, media, religious institutions, trade unions, etc. The strategic implications of this analysis for the communist movement should be clear: our battlefield is expansive, encompassing the totality of the social fabric. To conquer the state, the communist movement must successfully construct a revolutionary counterpower on this more intimate social terrain, from the workplace to the neighborhood.

2.8.7: The state is an arena of social struggle, and it is possible for the people's movement to put in check some of the worst excesses of capitalist-imperialism, as well as to win certain concessions from the ruling class, at least for a time. However, all gains won by the people are tenuous, and the capitalist nation-state itself cannot be reformed out of existence nor seized: the apparatuses of capitalist state power must be smashed by the insurrectional struggle of the revolutionary people's movement. Yet the state in general, understood as a complex of social relations and institutions produced by class struggle and expressing definite forms of class power, cannot be immediately abolished by decree or by force. For as soon as the movement of the proletariat and all oppressed peoples has overthrown and abolished the apparatuses of the capitalist state and unleashed a process of socialist revolution, they will need to exercise their collective social power to transform society in accordance with a communist vision, strategy, and program. At this moment, the people constitute themselves as a revolutionary counterstate or semi-state of the commune type in transition to communism. Such a political instrument is necessary in order to crush the resistance of the overthrown imperialists as well as their comprador and fascist allies, to withstand and break attempts to contain and suppress the socialist revolution, and to render concrete assistance to the process of socialist transition. However, here we must emphasize that this revolutionary counterstate is not a state in the traditional sense of the term. Instead, the emergence of a revolutionary counterstate indicates, as Marx observed during the Paris Commune of 1871, "the reabsorption of the state power by society as its own living forces instead of as forces controlling and subduing it."

2.8.8: The socialist revolution aims to overthrow the capitalist nation-state system, and to establish in its place a union of socialist people's communes in the transition to communism. These socialist communes will be governed and administered directly by the masses of people, organized on the basis of a federative council system rooted in direct democracy with delegations, collective ownership of the means of social production and reproduction, and comprehensive democratic planning and coordination of all economic activity. During the period of socialist transition, bourgeois democracy will be replaced with socialist democracy, and cultural revolutions will continue the struggle to transform all aspects of social life in accordance with a communist program that is at once proletarian, feminist, decolonial, democratic, and ecological. The ultimate "dying out" or "withering away" of the counterstate is a necessary condition for the realization of communism, for so long as classes exist and the class struggle of the proletariat continues, for so long as the struggle for the feminist, decolonial, democratic, and ecological transformation of society continues, then it cannot be said that the state has been overcome nor communism established. Thus the state will persist in the period of socialist transition as a revolutionary counterstate, and the stateless society will only be achieved once the material basis which gives rise to states is transformed. The decisive factor in this transformation is the participation of the masses in all aspects of the revolutionary process.

2.9: Fascism and Anti-Fascist Resistance

2.9.1: Fascism is a counter-revolutionary social movement, armed with a radical right-wing populist and ultranationalist ideology. This ideology shapes fascism's totalitarian, militaristic, and apocalyptic vision of national rebirth. Taking the nation-state as its fundamental building block, and assuming the nation-state to be both natural and universal, this vision is premised upon a conception of shared ethnic, religious, and/or racial heritage and destiny, which imparts to members of the national community dominant status. To legitimize this vision, fascism is virulently idealist and anti-materialist, selectively rejecting insights of the natural and social sciences when they prove inconvenient, rewriting history, and upholding an eclectic mixture of pseudoscientific, conspiratorial, mystical, occult, and esoteric beliefs, often with the common unifying thread of anti-communism (which includes opposition to all forms of class struggle, feminism, decolonization, LGBTQ+ liberation, and disability liberation). In most variants of fascism (such as Nazism), antisemitism plays a crucial role in legitimizing its political project among the non-Jewish population. Fascism is counter-revolutionary in the deepest sense, actively working to radically transform all aspects of social life in accordance with its vision of a hierarchical class society. Fascism aims to permanently reverse the gains made by democratic, feminist, decolonial, and proletarian movements through violence, viewing humanity's real historical social progress as fundamentally undermining a transhistorical vision of a heteropatriarchal warrior society organized on the basis of an authoritarian nation-state and heterosexual family unit.

2.9.2: While fascism may challenge certain aspects of contemporary capitalist-imperialism at a rhetorical level (such as the neoliberal ideology of "multiculturalism" and "globalization"), and fascists have historically seized political power only in the context of a systemic crisis of imperialism (e.g., Hitler's rise to power in the wake of the Great Depression), fascism is not necessarily opposed to the capitalist system of economic organization. Indeed, without exception fascism upholds the universal necessity of private property and the exploitation of one class by another as transcendental organizing principles for human society, upholding the possibility of achieving peace between antagonistic classes on the basis of the worker's subordination to the boss and the state. Fascism does not aim to challenge class hierarchies, but to create a new ruling class or otherwise reshuffle the prevailing class hierarchies. Fascism has yet to come to power without the support and cooperation from at least some faction of the monopoly-finance capitalists who constitute the hegemonic faction of the imperialist bourgeoisie. However, such support may be clandestine until the seizure of power by the fascist movement and, in any event, these fascist sympathizers from the old ruling class may end up subordinated to their new masters.

2.9.3: Fascism may pursue its aims through insurrectional means, or it may utilize the opportunities for a legal seizure of power afforded to it by the bourgeois liberal state. Historical experience in the last century sets both precedents, as observed in Mussolini's March on Rome in 1922, the Nazi Party's election to the Reichstag and Hitler's subsequent appointment by Hindenburg as Chancellor in 1933, Francisco Franco's violent seizure of power following the military destruction of the Spanish Republic in 1939, or Augusto Pinochet's military coup against Salvador Allende in 1973. Regardless of the means selected, once in power, fascism is openly terroristic. Where fascism has come to power, it has relegated women to the role of mother and housewife; destroyed trade unions and other mass organizations; suspended free elections; trampled civil rights and liberties; organized the systematic mass detention, torture, and murder of leftists, queer people, and historically colonized peoples, specifically Jews; and instituted various forms of slave labor.

2.9.4: Fascism cannot be reasoned with nor peacefully overcome, but must be destroyed root and branch utilizing the revolutionary counterviolence of the armed masses. Hitler's Nazi Empire was ultimately defeated through guerrilla people's wars led by anti-fascist partisans in Albania, Yugoslavia, and Italy, and was dealt the ultimate death blow by the counter-offensive of the Red Army of the Soviet Union (the entry of the Western Allies came quite late, and was largely restricted to a supporting role when compared to the anti-fascist resistance movement and the Soviet Red Army). Japanese fascism was ultimately defeated by the combined forces of communist-led national liberation movements in China, Indochina, Korea, and the Philippines (who only received support from the Western Allies after the attack on Pearl Harbor). Portuguese fascism was ultimately defeated by the Pan-African national liberation movements in the colonies, in concert with the anti-war soldiers' movement and the mass revolt of workers and students inside Portugal itself.

2.9.5: There are two historical forms of fascism: imperial core fascism, and comprador peripheral fascism. The former is typified by the European regimes of Mussolini, Salazar, Hitler, and Franco, while examples of the latter can be found in the regimes of Ngô Đình Diệm and Nguyễn Văn Thiệu in South Vietnam, Augusto Pinochet in Chile, Suharto in Indonesia, Jorge Rafael Videla in Argentina, or Alberto Fujimori in Peru. While building upon domestic trends and tendencies, peripheral fascist regimes were propped-up with significant political, military, and economic support from one or more of the imperial core nation-states, especially the U.S. empire and its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

2.9.6: Fascism tends to arise from and root itself among the petite bourgeoisie and declassed workers of various sectors and strata, as well as factions of the monopoly-finance capital sector of the bourgeoisie in the imperial core, or the bureaucratic-comprador bourgeoisie in the global peripheries. It recruits extensively from the police and military, and embeds itself in strategic positions within the capitalist state's repressive, ideological, and regulatory apparatuses. In the context of the settler-colonial U.S. empire, we can see clearly various white supremacist and fascist networks boring from within the police and military, alongside taking control of local school boards, sheriffs' offices, etc.

2.9.7: The struggle against fascism creates an opportunity for the establishment of a broad-based, communist-led united front against fascism. Such a front, uniting diverse mass movements arising from the working class and all oppressed peoples in a common struggle against fascism, holds the potential to transition from popular anti-fascist resistance to socialist revolution. In this process, the struggle against fascism becomes the point of convergence for the proletarian class struggle with the liberation struggles of social groups facing special oppression.