The philosophy of construction is based on the fact that all knowledge is produced by people. As the French epistemologist Gaston Bachelard says in the Formation of the Scientific Mind, “Nothing proceeds from itself. Nothing is given. All is constructed.” Knowledge is always being produced, displaced, and transformed.
The philosophy of construction transcends an approach to epistemology–it is an approach to life. Knowledge, organizations, relationships, and habits are all constructed. And once something is constructed, it has to be maintained, which in itself presents its own difficulties. Sometimes, a thing that is constructed may need to be destroyed and rebuilt. For communists, maybe an organization is stagnating and no longer serves any real purpose. In this case, the organization should either be discarded and re-built, or transformed. The metaphor of construction emphasizes the importance of proactivity and accountability. Nothing ever just is. Nothing is permanent. There’s no excuse to maintain anything if it doesn’t serve a purpose.
While all knowledge is constructed, construction is only possible on the basis of an investigation. One who is ignorant about the object of their analysis will not be able to properly produce knowledge of it. This is the basis of communist politics, which is premised on the “concrete analysis of a concrete situation.” Or as Mao says, “the only way to know conditions is to make social investigations.”
From a theoretical level, the only way to create meaningful work is through research. From a political level, the only way to meaningfully intervene in the class struggle is on the basis of investigation. Communists are obligated to speak and interact with other workers and organizers in order to produce knowledge of a conjuncture and to formulate political strategy.
This project is a place to experiment. It is not connected to any organization or political line. While theoretical and creative endeavors all revolve around political commitments in some capacity, I will not pretend that this project is “changing the world.” This is a space for theorists, writers, and artists to experiment with their ideas. Only through experimenting can any useful knowledge come into existence.
The duty of every communist and Marxist is to intervene in the class struggle of their social formation. The class struggle unfolds primarily on three fronts: the economic, political, and ideological. The economic struggle unfolds through struggles over working conditions, wages, union formation and activity, and so on. The political struggle unfolds through the construction of socialist and communist organizations, and the general struggle to seize state power. The ideological struggle entails the struggle in knowledge (theory, philosophy, art, culture, etc.), and unfolds in the ideological state apparatuses. All three fronts necessarily overlap with each other. For example, the economic struggle over working conditions and wages leads to political struggle, as the State may intervene and impose a minimum wage on behalf of the workers. In order to gain support for a minimum wage, workers need to convince others why this is necessary, and this happens through ideological struggle. Likewise, communists want workers to own and operate the means of production (economic), which can only happen through a seizure of state power (political). We must also recruit workers and allies by convincing them of the necessity of the communist project (ideology).
This project, the application of the philosophy of construction in every domain, will be a (very small) intervention in the ideological struggle. One person producing theory by themselves is not revolutionary, and any communist must do the work of studying and applying their knowledge through political practice, organizing, and collectively developing revolutionary strategy.