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kites: a journal of communist theory and strategy #1

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Kites Publications

1/2020, paperback

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The opening issue of kites takes on some crucial questions facing revolutionary-minded people today: what exactly is the proletariat today, what are some mass struggles in recent history that we can learn something from, and just what the fuck is up with this debate among Maoists in 2019 on the question of protracted people’s war (PPW)?

We open kites #1 with an essay that’s been studied within RI and OCR for a few years now and the importance of which has only grown with time. Part I of Kenny Lake’s The Specter That Still Haunts: Locating a Revolutionary Class within Contemporary Capitalism-Imperialism provides a conception of the proletariat and its potential to lead the revolutionary transformation of society that is in sharp contrast to outdated interpretations that emphasize factory work and exploitation in the labor process and fetishize struggles between the exploited and their immediate exploiters. Expect to find the remaining parts of the Specter series in the back pages of kites alongside contemporary pieces on the urgent questions before us.

The second piece, Kilmore and John Albert’s From the Masses, To the Masses: A Summation of the October 22 Coalition’s Resistance to Police Brutality in the Late 1990s, offers a people’s history of a significant resistance movement to the epidemic of police murders of Black men and other oppressed people that was building prior to the events of 9/11. As seductive as it is to turn to the ’60s and ’70s as the main repository for inspiration and guidance for revolutionaries in North America, Kilmore and John Albert draw out some important lessons from a major wave of mass struggle from a time and place not so distant from our own.

Closing with a hot take from Kenny Lake, kites enters the fray of the PPW debate. However, Lake cuts away from the existing universality: yes / no shape of the debate by drawing our attention to the actual historical experience of the people’s war in Peru and addressing some of the strategic innovations of Chairman Gonzalo and the Communist Party of Peru that go ignored or unstudied by what Lake trenchantly refers to as the “church of PPW universalism.” Lake’s intervention also addresses the overall legacy of dogmatism within the Maoist movement, the disarray caused by the loss of socialism in China in 1976, the relationship between the subjective forces for revolution and the “objective situation,” and other questions of revolutionary strategy being confronted practically today.

About the Publisher:

kites is a journal of communist theory and strategy for revolution focused on North America. It emerged in 2020 from the initiative of two organizations: Revolutionary Initiative (RI) in Canada and the Organization of Communist Revolutionaries (OCR) in the US. Its Editorial Committee is composed of a few communist revolutionaries from across North America, and operates as an independent entity.

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