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The Marxist-Humanist Forum is an organization dedicated to a radical transformation of social relations as originally proposed by the humanist philosophy of Karl Marx. As such we are committed to the abolition of capitalism as a mode of production and as a form of society. Related to but distinct from our opposition to capitalism, we stand opposed to racism, ethnocentrism, sexism and heterosexism. We also oppose the statist and authoritarian systems that have been set up in Marx's name, from Russia to China. We advocate in place of capitalism a socialist society as described by Karl Marx, in which political and social freedom are established, racism and sexism are abolished, production occurs for use rather than exchange and all human beings are free to realize their full humanity.
The Marxist-Humanist Forum will serve as a vehicle to organize philosophical discussion and direct action in accordance with our beliefs. We are not a vanguard organization and oppose the organization of parties or groups that claim to serve as revolutionary vanguard. The transformation of society must come about through the subjective action of those who oppose our current oppressive social relations. We are open to other progressives who, although not Marxists, have similar goals.
In recent years the Northern Illinois University Marxist-Humanist Forum has taken stances on specific issues:
1. We opposed the United States military actions and economic sanctions against Iraq. These actions have served to harm the Iraqi people and have done nothing to hinder the brutal totalitarian regime ruling Iraq.
2. We oppose the death penalty in general. More specifically we have demanded a new trial for the African-American journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted for murder and sentenced to death by a racist and classist criminal justice system. In his case, blatant miscarriages of justice occurred and his legal defense was systematically frustrated, making his conviction illegitimate.
3. We oppose the use of sweatshop labor in the United States and around the world. While we maintain that commodity production in any form is exploitative and alienating and should be abolished, we demand that a level of workers rights be maintained even within capitalism. These rights include a limited working day, a living wage, democratic rights both within and outside the workplace, safe conditions, the right to form independent trade unions, protections against racism, sexism and heterosexism.
4. We opposed in the Kosova and Bosnian wars spanning throughout much of the 1990's both the imperialist NATO military action and the genocidal Serb ethnic cleansing and oppression. We supported the Kosova Liberation Army in their struggle for self determination and against genocide.
5. We support critically all struggles by the oppressed to free themselves and to bring about full human relations.
In order to effect change revolutionary practice must be informed by revolutionary theory. Karl Marx's total critique of society and his revolutionary dialectic are highly relevant today. We believe, as Marx did, that human history is the story of the struggle of humanity to free itself from all forms of bondage. All previous forms of social organization have been negated by the succeeding form, through a dialectical process of class struggle.
Today, capitalism stands as the dominant form of social relations, every day striving to extend its hegemony throughout all human endeavors. Capitalism is marked by the exploitation and commodification of human labor power. It rests on the dual, contradictory qualities of this labor power as the creator of use value and exchange value. Because of this contradiction, the cause of the worker is irreconcilable with capitalism. Capitalism cannot be reformed. It must be abolished.
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