We are a podcast and journal on Marxism, Anti-Imperialism, and Communism.
Why are we called Cadre?
We take our inspiration from Che Guevara’s 1962 “The Cadres: Backbone of the Revolution”, where he argued that “a cadre person is an individual who has achieved sufficient political development to be able to interpret the extensive directives emanating from the central power, make them his, and convey them as orientation to the masses, a person who at the same time also perceives the signs manifested by the masses of their own desires and their innermost motivations”.
He argued that a cadre “is an individual of ideological and administrative discipline, who knows and practices democratic centralism…; who knows how to practice the principle of collective discussion and to make decisions on his own and take responsibility in production; whose loyalty is tested, and whose physical and moral courage has developed along with his ideological development in such a way that he is always willing to confront any conflict and to give his life for the good of the revolution. Also, he is an individual capable of self-analysis”.
Che concludes that “the cadre person is creative, a leader of high standing, a technician with a good political level, who by reasoning dialectically can advance his sector of production, or develop the masses from his position of political leadership”.
Che asserts that “the development of a cadre individual is achieved in performing everyday tasks; but the tasks must be undertaken in a systematic manner, in special schools where competent professors -—examples in their turn to the student body—will encourage the most rapid ideological advancement”.
We seek to uphold this directive and revitalize the cadre in today’s revolutionary politics, where ideological development, discipline, commitment to the people, and above all a willingness to learn are sorely needed.
What is our line?
A revolutionary political line should be intimately connected to a theory of historical change. Through dialectical study, we realize how the contradictions in the world-system will produce the major changes on the long road to socialism in the next decades. We do not arbitrarily select revolutionary models and impose them in a falsely universalist manner which serves only to elide the particular contradictions of each place in its own struggle towards socialism; nor do we nostalgically valorize a prior revolutionary theory out of deification of a prior era with a set of unique contradictions. We believe in setting to work to understand the present, informed but not beholden to the past, to forecast the revolutionary struggles in the not-too-distant future.
A central priority for our organization is combatting all forms of national, racial, and imperial chauvinism, especially as they manifest on the Western Left. We believe there is a material basis to this chauvinism and opportunism, displayed predominantly by the reformist tendencies of the Western Left to prioritize trade-union and wage augmentation struggles over revolutionary action to cripple imperialism. This reformism perpetuates Unequal Exchange, a method of exploiting the Global South which privileges the development of social reforms at the expense of worsening super-exploitation of the proletariat of the periphery. As Arghiri Emmanuel, theorist and author of Unequal Exchange summarizes, “When, however, the relative importance of the national exploitation from which a working class suffers through belonging to the proletariat diminishes continually as compared with that from which it benefits through belonging to a privileged nation, a moment comes when the aim of increasing the national income in absolute terms prevails over that of improving the relative share of one part of the nation over the other” (UE, 180). This does not translate to the disappearance of the exploitation of the working class in the imperial core, but instead in a relative comparison with the working class of the periphery, indicates that our first priority as revolutionaries in the North is ending the privileges of imperialism that our nations enjoy if we wish to mobilize the working class here towards revolution.
Being honest about these privileges of imperialism is the first step to bridging the divide between the socialist movement in the South and that in the North. The work towards ending these privileges involves the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat today to address the principal contradictions of capitalism, primarily the continued dominance of the Global North led by United States hegemony, which is declining as movements towards socialism persist in the Global South. Since the end of national liberation movements in the South, there has been a period of intense extraction under neoliberal globalization, which announced intensive proletarianization of capitalism's peripheries. Currently, we are witnessing the revival of socialist movements in the Global South as a result of that intense proletarianization. In addition, we are seeing the rise of migrant labor moving past the imperial core's borders and being forced into super-exploited conditions within the North. While neoliberalism represented losses in privileges for the western working class as unipolar hegemony was consolidated, reaction to these losses has often manifested as chauvinism against migrants and a further reification of a racialized stratification of labor.
Yet, as multipolarity emerges, and the West's global domination ebbs, the dialectics of history reveal themselves. The struggle of migrant workers moving from super-exploited nations to the North offers a genuine possibility of reviving international solidarity, as cracks begin to emerge in the North's apartheid-like division of core and periphery. The struggles of migrant workers above all reveals the need to end the imperialist destruction of their home nations in the South, and thus these struggles taken together offer a chance to revitalize international solidarity beyond borders. When workers' movements in the North fight xenophobia and chauvinism by taking up the struggle of migrant workers, diaspora groups, and other oppressed workers, they can begin the direct path to creating solidarity with other proletarians in the Global South.
When we begin to conceptualize revolutionary struggle beyond the limits of our own single country or historical disposition (the “West”) we perceive that the struggle of the majority of proletarians in the world was never the archetypal, abstract construct of a “universal” (a faux substitute for white, male, able-bodied) proletariat, but instead a reflection of how capitalism accumulates by exploiting difference. The proletariat of today is heterogeneously composed of Global South women, racialized peoples, and oppressed nations in the Global North. By perceiving the levels of exploitation capitalism accumulates through integrating racism, sexism, colonialism, ableism, and other modes of differentiation, we understand how really-existing capitalism begins to move past the “colorblind” universalism that some on the Western Left still naively promote to insist that the western proletariat is just as equally committed to the slogan “Workers of the World, Unite!”.
Unless we make this slogan a reality, it will remain an abstraction. As Emmanuel presciently wrote, “Let us therefore, if we are concerned about dangers, take care not to incur this one: the danger that, by concentrating our revolutionary ardor inside this minority group of countries [i.e. the Global North], we may find ourselves, in tomorrow's tempest, on the side of the minority” (340). It is clear that a tempest is coming; a global revolt against the injustice of American hegemony and imperialism, the long sufferings of colonialism since 1492 and before. We must sense the way the wind is blowing and commit ourselves to aiding the revolutionary struggles in the South, offering real commitments of solidarity, and, if we do believe in the prospect of a universal socialism, making Internationalism the chief priority of our revolutionary struggle, in word and in deed.
What do we do?
We conduct interviews with theorists, revolutionaries, Communists, and many more, and disseminate them in written, audio, and visual formats for the education of all. We seek to develop the modern cadre by informing today’s Communist politics with the necessary theory (especially knowledge on imperialism, by studying such literature as Dependency Theory and more) while also promoting praxis through a commitment to revolutionary struggles against imperialism. We do this to equip ourselves and the revolutionary organizations we provide support to with the theories needed to defeat imperialism and capitalism.
We are interested above all in learning and advancing a radical pedagogy that emphasizes revolution and liberation, rather than an overly academic approach that treats revolution as discourse locked in the ivory tower. The cadre is by its very nature a young person learning revolution; we seek to dispense with the puerile readings of Marx that lack an atom of revolutionary content, and put forward Marx, among the revolutionaries who followed him, as agents of historical action.
We also seek to engage in learning on the ground and through travel, particularly to revolutionary projects in the Global South. Unfortunately, it has become easy to theorize about revolution as a career without ever making a contribution to it in person or in sites of struggle. We believe travel, and engaging with people in struggle, is a necessary means to make revolution a living, breathing discipline rather than a frozen academic pursuit. We also do not wish to be sequestered online or as just another media company or podcast; we seek to engage in action and education rather than entertainment.
Our organization is primarily at the stage of direct support work for the revolutionary movements in the Global South that will end imperialism, as well as movements that fight for the rights of migrant and other oppressed workers in the North, with that support coming through:
- technical support;
- spreading propaganda and critical education;
- financial support;
- direct interface with Global South movements.