The Center for Communist Studies is an institute designed to support research in the field of Marxist-Leninist studies, which will provide resources and opportunities to further an interdisciplinary inquiry into the theoretical and practical applications of Marxist-Leninist theory.
The primary mission of the CCS will be to enhance socialist research in the US by: 1) providing education and training concerning Marxist-Leninist topics , 2) encouraging broad research applying Marxism-Leninism across various fields, 3) supporting those who are doing Marxist-Leninist research, and 4) disseminating research that address significant politico-economic challenges in the US and globally. The CCS will be modeled around similar institute projects that seek to encourage analysis, education, and the furthering of communist praxis.
The CCS will operate in several capacities:
1. The CCS will provide opportunity for publishing research and educational materials via a website, social media presence, and within the first two years of existence- an academic journal.
2. The CCS will launch its own press. It will seek to provide access to classics of communist literature, as well as educational collections and new research.
3. Within the first year of existence, the CCS will work to put together courses of Marxist-Leninist study, as well as a plan for a three-year certificate program in Marxist-Leninist Studies.
4. The CCS will seek to engage in the wider community- connecting with other organizations, looking for practical ways of action to support the revolutionary socialist movement, and seeking to be open and transparent with the public.
The Need for an Interdisciplinary Marxist-Leninist Research Institute
Presently, in the US, there exists no institute focused on research into Marxism-Leninism. The CCS would seek to integrate socialists from the United States, as well as globally, and provide them a center for research. The establishment of the CCS will provide institutional support for those seeking to engage in Marxist-Leninist research and analysis. The purpose of the CCS is to provide services and resources that are not already provided by academic departments and socialist educational organizations and to do so with a focus on Marxism-Leninism. For the proposed CCS to be successful, it is will be vital to train research fellows, writers, and theorists.
The Orientation and Core Activities of the CCS
Given the constraints of the proposed budget, in order to be successful in the short term, the institute must maintain focus and avoid spreading itself too thinly. The CCS will support quantitative research in a number of important ways in both the short term and the long term. Specifically, in the short term, the CCS will encourage researchers to participate in the institute, will offer workshops and educational courses, and will seek to add a diverse group of researchers to its Advisory Board.
The mission of the CCS will be to advance innovative research in Marxism-Leninism by: 1) helping to train researchers, 2) encouraging high-quality interdisciplinary research 3) supporting those doing research and 4) disseminating research findings that address significant challenges in the US and globally.
Toward this end, the CCS will undertake a variety of core activities:
1. To encourage interdisciplinary research initiatives, the CCS would target a large portion of its budget towards providing funding for those doing Marxist-Leninist research as part of the CCS. Our funding will draw from fundraising, as well as the profits made from publications. In the long term, we hope to discover avenues for accessing grants.
2. Provide blogging, webinars, free educational opportunities, and courses. This will be done with the long term aim of creating a full certification program of Marxist-Leninist studies, an academic journal, and conferences.
3. The CCS will work closely with its researchers and students to make sure they are being mentored and supported.
4. Creating an internet presence to serve as an information hub for Marxist-Leninist studies and for scientific socialism in general. The CCS will publicize our analysis, our activities, provide links to existing resources and centers, and use our web presence for the facilitation of Marxist-Leninist education.
5. By mid 2018, the CCS will launch its own press and by 2019, it’s own journal. Through this, we will provide access to original works, classics, and important analysis.
6. By 2019, The CCS will seek to offer a three-year certificate program in Marxist-Leninist Studies, inclusive of semesterly courses, a community-engagement requirement, and a thesis/capstone requirement, prior to successful completion of the program. The program will provide an unparalleled opportunity for students in the US, and abroad, to gain a solid, learner-focused education in Marxist-Leninist Studies in a way that does not presently exist in the US. The program will seek to remain low-cost and open to all, regardless of income level or socio-economic status. The CCS will develop work-study, scholarship, and funding opportunities for those students not able to meet the program cost.The program will operate from the inclusive, student-focused critical pedagogical stance laid out by such theorists as Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux, and others.
Benefits of the Institute
As indicated, the design and scope of the CCS would be tailored to assist the needs of researchers, students, and instructors of Marxist-Leninist Studies by providing opportunity for collaboration. Accordingly, the major benefits of the proposed CCS include the following:
-Facilitating Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Providing a Center for Study and Education in Marxism Leninism: The CCS will provide an opportunity for research and education that currently does not exist in the United States.
-Providing a Web Gateway to Marxist-Leninist and Socialist Political Inquiry: CCS’s website will be a gateway to Marxist-Leninist Studies and interdisciplinary socialist political inquiry. The CCS’s site will include links to information about Marxist-Leninist Studies and scientific socialist political inquiry nationally and internationally.
-Enhancing the Intellectual Life of MLSP Students and Faculty, as well as CCS Fellows: By bringing outside scholars and thinkers to CCS, and by building networks of researchers across a variety of disciplines, the CCS will play a role in enhancing the intellectual life of its researchers and students, as well as the Marxist-Leninist movement in general.
-Improving the Perceptions of Marxism-Leninism: One final benefit for the University is also worth noting. The organization of CCS as a research institute, as well as the creation a study program and publisher, would serve as an effective counter to the widespread perception that Marxist-Leninist Studies are not serious academic ventures compared to the studies and political theories which simply reinforce and reproduce the politico-economic status quo.
-Improving Social Conditions: By advancing socialist research, the CCS would also provide a number of clear benefits to the US. Researchers into Marxist-Leninist inquiry are addressing real world problems in their research. Political inquiry involves, primarily, a human dimension that cuts across economic, social, health, political, psychological and policy fields. The CCS will be focused on providing education and resources that promote social change.