Discussion on Strategy and Tactics

September 26, 2001

Opening to the National Board


For the past week and a half I have been asking myself what on earth prompted me to wade into a discussion on strategy and tactics. Was it one of those moments that all of us occasionally have when we make a rash decision that we come to regret later?

Actually, I can’t place the blame on a rash decision or poor judgement. The genesis of this opening lies elsewhere.

Collectively we have, in fact, been mulling over this question for the past year, wondering if our strategic and tactical policies correspond with the changing terrain of US and global capitalism. To be sure, capitalism is still capitalism, but enough has changed in the lay of the land at home and worldwide that warrants a close interrogation of our strategic and tactical policies.

At recent meetings of our National Board and National Committee, we did this, but in the context of a more comprehensive examination of our work. A few comrades, however, complained that we altered our strategy and tactics without adequate discussion in the Party.

I don’t agree with that position, but since it is a concern, I thought that we should take full advantage of the preconvention period to discuss in a more focused way our strategic and tactical concepts.

After all, the purpose of the preconvention period is to engage the whole party in an examination of questions where easy answers are not always ready at hand. To my mind anyway strategy and tactics fall into this category.

Now some comrades worry that a fresh look at our strategic and tactical policies may land us on a slippery slope leading away from our fundamental class moorings. We’re moving to the right, they say.

That’s always a danger, I suppose, when we take a look at fundamental questions. But, to be perfectly honest, it doesn’t worry me at all. I am convinced that we are proceeding on good solid ideological ground and are moving in a good political direction. And hopefully when comrades who express such a concern read this opening, it won’t worry them either, but I won’t guarantee that.

For now all of us should bear in mind the following: our party has always adjusted its concepts of struggle – strategic and tactical – to the shifting contours of political and economic developments. We in this room are not pioneers in this sense.

Sometimes the adjustments have been substantial; other times minor. In early 1980s, for example, we correctly adjusted our strategic and tactical policies at Gus’ prodding to the emergence of the extreme right danger.

With the ascendancy of a new leadership of the AFL-CIO, we further adjusted our concepts of struggle, which by the way will be reflected in our new labor program.

And over the past year, we have further fine-tuned our strategic and tactical policies with an eye to deepening and extending our participation in mass struggles, movements, and coalitions.

So we should approach this discussion with an open mind. Our strategic and tactical policies are not set in stone, but rather are pliant and elastic. Lenin counseled the early communist movement to display the ‘utmost flexibility in their tactics’ (Left Wing Communism, p. 82).

I have tried to bring this approach to this opening.


I would like to begin with some general observations about strategic and tactical concepts of struggle.

Parties across the political spectrum think in strategic and tactical terms. It isn’t our exclusive preserve. The Democrats do it, the Republicans do it, the Greens do it, other independent political formations do it, the trade unions do it, the organizations of the racially oppressed do it, women’s organizations do it, and other social movements and left organizations do it. Thus, the domain where strategic thinking takes place is crowded and contentious. A whole range of political and social groupings is vying for their strategic views to be embraced by millions.

To be sure, we don’t agree with the ideologues of the right. And we don’t always arrive at identical conclusions on a strategic and tactical level with forces occupying the center and left on the political spectrum which is not entirely surprising.

After all, our conceptual and methodological framework through which we examine the world is different from their framework. We draw from the classical writings of Marx, Engels, and Lenclassical writings of Marx, Engels, and Lenin.

In our view, the multi-racial, multi-national, male-female working class has an objective interest in and the strategic social power to lead a broader revolutionary struggle against capitalism. The struggle against racism and for full racial equality is at the core of the struggle for democracy and class unity. And our fundamental, longer-term strategic aim is Bill of Rights socialism.

But this is only one level of interaction with broader forces. On the level of combating the power of the extreme right and the transnational corporations there is some convergence of views between the broader movements and our party.

It goes without saying that we welcome this development. Indeed, we would make a huge mistake if we failed to note and act on the new opportunities issuing from this broad mass concern in the labor movement and elsewhere regarding the need to restrict the power of the extreme right and the monopoly corporations.

In last year’s elections, for instance, our policy to defeat Bush and the extreme right was nearly identical with the strategic policy of the labor and people’s movements.

Of course, it should be added that we did not see eye to eye from a strategic standpoint with the majority of our counterparts on the left, largely because they reached a different assessment of the gravity of the right danger than we did. We said that it constituted a clear and present threat to democratic rights, understood in the broadest sense, and that the outcome of the presidential and congressional elections would have a major bearing on the terrain of class and democratic struggles in the post election period.

By contrast, many of the left minimized, even dismissed, the right danger, arguing that it mattered little who occupied the White House, gathered in the halls of Congress, and sat on the US Supreme Court in 2001.

Thus there were competing strategic and tactical approaches to the elections. I thought then that our view was on target. And everything that has happened in the election’s aftermath – the theft of the elections in Florida, the gag order prohibiting the counseling of poor women in third world countries on issues of reproductive rights, the Cabinet appointments, the bombing of Iraq, the anti-labor executive orders, and, only two days ago, Bush’s State of the Union speech – offer unassailable evidence that our concern about the right danger was sound. This is now acknowledged by some on the left with whom we had differences with during the elections.

Yes, we made mistakes in the course of the 2000 elections, but not the big ones that some of our friends on the left made. Correcting the small mistakes, I would argue, is much easier than correcting the big ones.


Strategy and tactics do matter. They count for a lot. While people make history, the political boundaries that they cross, the political breakthroughs that they make, the political walls that they climb over depend in no small degree on the strategic and tactical concepts that guide their actions. Although social change and social revolutions have a large spontaneous element, they don’t just happen.

Nor do strategy and tactics materialize out of thin air. To the contrary, they are a derivative of a strictly scientific, materialist, and dynamic analysis of the stage of development and the overall balance of political and class forces at a given moment and in a given country.

The point of departure in elaborating strategic and tactical policies must be a concrete and exact assessment of the objective situation. Strategy and tactics are bound by time, place and circumstances. They take into account what is happening on the ground.

Or to put it a little differently, strategic and tactical policies evolve from a specific political and economic matrix. Change the matrix and the strategic and tactical policies should correspondingly change. When they don’t, there is sure to be trouble in River City. (You have to be a ‘Music Man’ enthusiast to appreciate or regret my reference to River City.)

To attempt to derive strategic and tactical concepts from either abstract propositions or mass moods alone is a recipe for political mistakes. Militancy and moral outrage enter into our political calculations – and perhaps we haven’t accorded them adequate weight – but they are not primary determinants of our strategic and tactical policies. In developing such policies, Lenin always cautioned that we should not yield to moods of a small group.

In Left Wing Communism, he wrote,

‘In many countries of Western Europe the revolutionary mood, we might say, is at present a ‘novelty,’ or ‘rarity’ which had been too long waited for

vainly and impatiently; and perhaps that is why the mood is so easily succumbed to. Of course, without a revolutionary mood among the masses and without conditions favoring the growth of this mood, revolutionary tactics would never be converted into action; but we in Russia have been convinced

by long, painful, and bloody experience of the truth that revolutionary tactics cannot be built up on revolutionary moods alone. Tactics must be based on a sober and strictly scientific objective estimation of all the class forces in a given state as well as the experience of revolutionary movements’ (p. 46).

Were there a direct path to social progress and socialism, strategic and tactical considerations would be afterthoughts, of small significance to either broader forces or us. But there is no direct, smooth, easy road to social change, let alone to socialism, as evidenced by the history of the 20th century.

Instead the revolutionary process passes through phases and stages, it’s messy and chaotic, the political tides of one or another class ebb and flow, reversals occur, unforeseen events change everything, alliances are unstable and shifting, and the outcome is seldom certain.

This understanding of the complexity of the revolutionary process was missing to a large degree in the early years of the communist movement. It was what led Lenin to take the time from, I’m sure, a very busy schedule, to write, Left Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder.

He challenged leading representatives of the nascent communist movement in Europe who were looking for a direct path to socialism without any intermediate stages, without any compromises, without any maneuvers, and without any retreats.

‘To carry on a war’, Lenin observed, ‘for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie, a war which is a hundred times more difficult, prolonged and complicated than the most stubborn of ordinary wars between states, and to refuse beforehand to maneuver, to utilize the conflict of interests (even though only temporary) among one’s enemies, to refuse to temporize and compromise with possible (even though transitory, unstable, vacillating and conditional) allies – is this not ridiculous in the extreme? (Left Wing Communism, An Infantile Disorder, p. 52)’

Lenin, by the way, didn’t make a fine distinction between strategy and tactics in his writings. In fact he never used the word strategy at all. Tactics then had a broader meaning than they presently have.

It was only after Lenin’s death that the term strategy entered the vocabulary of the communist movement and came to be understood as a scientifically constructed, longer-range concept while tactics acquired a narrower meaning.

Thus strategy delineates to millions the intermediate stations and transitional forms in a larger mass revolutionary process. It provides a political path of struggle in the course of which the working class and its allies to gain in experience, understanding and unity. It illuminates to the exploited and oppressed the main avenue to new positions of class and social struggle.

In some cases, a strategic policy may aim to supplant one social system by another; in other cases, it may aim to bring about a qualitative shift in the political balance of forces in a more protracted process leading up to a revolutionary change; and in still other cases, it may aim to organize an orderly retreat, such as Lenin did when he proposed the New Economic Policy in the aftermath of the civil war in Russia.

In contrast to strategy, tactics focus more on the issues, demands, forms of struggles, slogans, etc. that are required at any given moment in order to mobilize and unify masses of people. They have a more transitory character.

Tactics came to be the dependent variable in the equation Tactics came to be the dependent variable in the equation with strategy the independent one. In its modern usage, tactics are conditioned by strategic choices. Much more than strategic policy, tactics are influenced by mass moods and the level of class consciousness.

Let me try to illustrate this point with a single example: our strategic approach in present circumstances isn’t identical with our approach, say in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but it hasn’t changed greatly either. Its thrust then and now is against corporate domination of our nation’s political and economic life.

Our tactics, on the other hand, are distinctly different compared our tactics during the early decades of the Cold War, in large measure because the mass movements and, particularly the labor movement, are on a much higher level today.

Having said all of that, I would add that sometimes distinguishing strategy from tactics is a bit of a crapshoot. For example, is our policy of left center unity a strategic or tactical policy?


A scientifically constructed strategic policy pinpoints the main social force(s) hindering progressive development at any given moment while at the same time indicating the main class and social forces that have an objective interest in moving society to a higher stage of development.

In determining where the main blow is to be struck, a strategic policy establishes the material/objective grounds for a broad policy of alliances against a common foe.

In the late 18th century, British colonialism was the main obstacle to our country’s independence and democratic advance while the colonists and their allies were the social forces who saw the revolutionary process through.

Less than a century later it was chattel slavery and its grip on the federal government that hindered the country’s democratic progress and the equality of 4 million of its Black citizens brutally exploited on southern slave plantations. In response to the growing political and economic power of the slave owning class over our young nation, a broad anti-slavery coalition, driven by its objective interests, emerged – slowly, hesitatingly, on many levels, but ultimately amassed the strength to defeat the slaveholders and their allies in the civil war.

Decades later in the depth of the Great Depression, a debate erupted over fundamental strategy of the US labor movement. On one side gathered AFL President William Green and his allies who argued that industrial workers could not be organized. On the other side were CIO President John L. Lewis and his supporters, including the communists, who said that the organization of the basic industries was a strategic precondition to curbing the political and economic power of the big economic trusts.

We know who won that argument and what a difference it made in subsequent struggles.

In the 1950s, Martin Luther King’s strategic vision was to bring down the walls of legal segregation, codified into law nearly 60 years earlier and denying for all that time elementary human rights to African American people in the southern states.

Not everyone agreed with either King’s strategic goal or his tactical approach, but after bitter and bloody mass struggle stretching over a decade, legal segregation was outlawed and civil rights laws were enacted. In the popular sense, it was a social revolution and brought the struggle for racial and national equality to a new stage.

Interestingly, King, who himself was evolving politically in the course of the struggle to dismantle Jim Crow racism, was the first to recognize that one stage had been reached and that a new stage in the struggle for full economic, political, and social equality for the African American people and other racial minorites awaited. Unfortunately, an assassin’s bullet stole from our nation its greatest mass leader of the 20th century as he was about to embark on a new mission on freedom’s road.

In 1980s and 1990s, the ascendency to power of the extreme right in the past two decades has compelled millions to enter the arena of struggle against the right danger.

Strategic policies, as you can see, vary greatly across time and space. Indeed, there is as much variation in strategic policies as there is variation in the stages of development from country to country. One size does not fit all.

This too Lenin emphasized.

‘Everywhere we observe that dissatisfaction with the Second International is spreading and growing, both because of its opportunism and because of its instability, or incapacity, to create a really centits instability, or incapacity, to create a really centralized, a really leading center that would be capable of directing the international tactics of the revolutionary proletariat in its struggle for the world Soviet Republic. We must clearly realize that such a leading center cannot be built up on stereo typed, mechanically equalized and identical tactical rules of struggle. As long as national and state differences exist among peoples and countries – and these differences will continue to exist for a very long time even after the dictatorship of the proletariat has been established on a world scale – the unity of the international tactics of the Communist working class movement of all countries demands, not the elimination of variety, not the abolition of national differences, but such an application of the fundamental principles of Communism as will correctly modify these principles in certain particulars, correctly adapt and apply them to national and national-state differences. The main task of the historical period through which all the advanced countries are passing is to investigate, study, seek, divine, grasp that which is peculiarly national, specifically national in the concrete manner in which each country approaches the fulfillment of the single international task’ (Left Wing Communism, An Infantile Disorder, p. 73)


Even the building of socialism proceeds through stages with their own specific features. Marx made this point in the Gotha program.

Since then socialist societies have gathered vast and not altogether positive experience in the construction of new societies. Needless to say, the experience suggests that the construction of a socialist society is a exceedingly complex process that passes through stages of development, conditioned in the last analysis by the specific political and economic features of the country.

Attempts to skip and leap over stages before the material conditions and mass thinking for a transition have matured can result in major setbacks. Indeed, departures from this method of analysis have led to grave and harmful mistakes, as occurred in China, for instance, during the Great Leap Forward.

At the same time, there are no pure stages in which we are able to observe a distinct and unmistakable line of demarcation separating one stage from another. We find pure forms in textbooks and at higher levels of theoretical abstraction, but seldom in life.

Indeed, socio-economic life is complex, diverse, and contradictory. Historicqal experience shows that political and economic stages overlap thus making the elaboration of a strategic and tactical line in a timely way difficult.

Thus projecting new strategic and tactical shifts is as much an art as a science. At such moments, mass experience, connections to mass movements and struggles, and a keen nose for mass moods counts for more than scholastic theorizing.

A revolutionary party has to pierce through the sometimes gray and contradictory nature of political processes in order to unearth, plumb, excavate, and mine the more apparent as well as the more imperceptible, subtle shifts in the balance of class and social forces that signify that a new stage is emerging.

At such moments, new strategic polices not only have to see the light of day, but also capture the political imagination of millions if the transitional moment is to give way to a new stage of class and social struggle. Objective conditions alone won’t do it. Political agency and struggle is necessary. A new stage of struggle doesn’t materialize by the inexorable workings of the historical process.

At a distance from historic events, it may seem that the necessity of new strategic and tactics policies is obvious to all but the politically deaf and blind.

But inside an episode of history with its swirling events, unstable allies and shifting mass moods – most of which are beyond control of any political party – it’s much more difficult to discern with utmost certainty when one stage has been passed and a new stage is being entered.

Lenin’s own comrades on the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party, for instance, had grave doubts about his appeal for an immediate insurrection. In fact, the resistance was so stiff that Lenin threatened to resign from the Central Committee if it did not adjust its strategic policy to the new circumstances.

When you’re an actor in the historical process, the strategic and tactical choices are seldom crystal clear. They are anything but a no brainer. How to proceed is mto proceed is much less obvious to makers of history, like for example, the Paris Communards or the late Chilean President Salvador Allende, than to history’s bystanders, living in a different country and era.


For decades we have pursued an anti-monopoly strategic policy. According to one article that I read this policy dates back to the early 1950s.

Its theoretical roots can be traced back even further to the writings of Lenin and Georgi Dimitroff while its political origins are located in the popular front experience of the mid-1930s to the mid-1940s.

The policy rests on the fact that large corporations and banks dominate the political and economic life of our country as well as form the structural underpinnings of the system of capitalism. With their economic and political power, these corporate behemoths determine the fate of hundreds of millions of people at home and around the globe.

Stagnating wages and income, high energy costs, rising unemployment, skyrocketing rents, privatization of public services, the wage gap, strike breaking, persistent racism and discrimination, the corruption of our political process, the erosion of our democratic rights, anti-immigrant bashing, environmental degradation, persistent and growing poverty, and militarist aggression – all of this and more can be traced in one way or another to monopoly corporations and banks and their relentless search for maximum corporate profits. That’s their bottom line.

This long shadow of class exploitation, racial and gender oppression, reaction in all of its forms and imperialist plunder hangs over the full length and breadth of the country and the world. It cuts a wide swath across nearly all sectors of the American people and brings in its wake hardship from sea to shining sea. Even some segments of the capitalist class feel the pinch of its policies.

This is one side of our anti-monopoly strategy. On the other side, anti-monopoly sentiment is evident among millions who increasingly see a connection between the difficulties, hardships and crises attending their own lives and corporate control of our nation’s political and economic life.

Moreover, this sentiment among the American people is growing, sometimes seemingly overnight, especially among the exploited and oppressed, and under the impact of capitalist globalization. It is behind the emergence of a broadly based labor led people’s coalition in the late 1990s.

The anti-monopoly strategy is our path to socialism. It aims to unite millions of our nation’s working people and their allies to radically curb the political and economic power of the biggest monopolies. It is at once a class and democratic struggle.

We believe that in the course of this struggle to reign in corporate economic and political power, the working class and its allies will not only gain in experience, unity, and organization, but also come to see the necessity of socialist transformation of society. Of course, whether that happens, how it happens and at what speed depends on many factors, most of which cannot be foreseen in advance.

As in other countries, there is no direct road to socialism in the US. The struggle goes through stages and phases. And we have to adjust our strategic policy to correspond to each specific stage of economic and political development of our country, to each stage of the class struggle.

Furthermore, we have to find and seek out those features that are peculiarly American and that have to be taken into account in elaborating a strategic path to anti-monopoly democracy and socialism. Communists are not national nihilists.

It is difficult to imagine, however, moving to a new stage of anti-monopoly struggle without the formation of a labor led all people’s party. It seems like an inescapable requirement for radical advance.

Such a party, in contrast to the Republican and Democratic parties, would be independent of monopoly control. Its constituency would be the victims of monopolyof monopoly exploitation and oppression. Its political program would be consistently anti-coprporate. The multi-racial, multi-national, male-female working class and its strategic allies would be at its center. And our party would be an active participant.

A labor-led people’s party would be an instrument of struggle against the extreme right and the corporations on the political, economic and every front. It would make the struggle for full equality and multi-racial unity a strategic task.

Such a party would seek to become the governing party at the federal and other levels of government. We used to say that the anti-monopoly stage would be short-lived and rapidly give way to the struggle for socialism. But I’m not so convinced of this view now.


In my report to the NC in March of last year I indicated that our anti-monopoly concept has to be adjusted to the shifts and changes in the global capitalist economy. Since the early 1950s when we first projected this concept vast economic changes have taken place.

The level of internationalization and concentration of capital has reached new levels, currency and financial instruments move around the globe at breathtaking speeds, production networks spread across regions and to a lesser extent the globe, supra-national organizations have assumed a new role as the economic thugs of US and world imperialism, and the military might of the Pentagon has no counterweight, to name some of the more dramatic changes on a global scale.

This new state of affairs has led some to conclude that national economies and nation states no longer matter. I think that they do, but it is also true that capitalist globalization and technological changes have altered political, economic, and class relations on a national and international scale in the favor of the transnational corporations for the moment.

Thus, we have to adjust our strategic vision to this new reality. I believe that we have to speak now of an anti-transnational strategy. And more importantly, discuss what the full implications of such an adjustment are.

At the same time, we have to be careful not to go overboard. Given the global dynamics of the world capitalist economy, some say, for example, that local and national struggle have little consequence in the present day world, that only on a global level can battles be won. This in my opinion is a mistake. Most struggles, in fact, will be local and national. While struggles will increasingly have an international dimension, the class struggle will still be fought out and won or lost on national soil.

External factors will influence it more and more, but in most cases they won’t be decisive in determining the outcome. What do you think?


As I mentioned earlier, we adjusted our strategic and tactical policies in the early 1980s because of the growth of reaction and the extreme right. What impelled us was the fact that the most anti-labor, anti-women, anti-people, racist, and militarist sections of monopoly capital and their political representatives in our nation’s capital were in ascendency.

Indeed at the time, there were clear and present dangers to peace and democratic rights. Moreover, this assault on democratic rights struck a deep chord among the American people who felt the effects of the extreme right’s reactionary and anti-democratic policies.

Similar dangers, though greater, exist today. Thus, there is absolutely no reason to change our policy now. Indeed the task is step up the struggle against the Bush administration and the eagainst the Bush administration and the extreme right. As I said in my recent report to the National Board, this administration’s policies will greatly sharpen the struggle on all fronts. They will heighten class exploitation, aggravate racial and gender oppression to the extreme, and curtail democratic rights all along the line.

That is already apparent. In cynical and deceptive fashion, the Bush administration is attempting to exploit people’s concerns regarding the economy, high taxes, rising energy costs, public education, social security, medical care, and so forth to impose its reactionary political/legislative program on the country.

Bush’s State of the Union address was clever, but thoroughly right wing. To quote the Wall Street Journal, ‘When George W. Bush’s budget blueprint comes out today, it will provide the most detailed evidence yet of his governing style: he talks to the middle but governs from the right’ Wall Street Journal (3/28/2001).

With their control of all three branches of the federal government and the backing of major sections of transnational capital, the extreme right intends to wield its political and economic power to shift the balance of political forces decisively to the right.

In these circumstances, trade union and working class unity, labor-racially oppressed unity, multi-racial, multi-national unity, male-female unity, left-center unity, young and old unity, immigrant and native born unity, farmer-labor unity, gay and straight unity, left unity, and all people’s unity combined with mass militant action is paramount. Large people’s majorities must and can be assembled in order to beat back Bush and the right wing. And labor’s role as a coalition builder and leader is crucial.

The prospects for launching struggles on a broader basis in the election’s aftermath are far more favorable. The elections cleared away some of the debris inhibiting broad working class and people’s struggles. The struggle against the Bush administration and the economic crisis is beginning on different fronts and levels. More advanced demands are beginning to surface.

The left should become fully engaged in these struggles. It should work closely with the center forces in the labor movement and elsewhere. It should give more attention to the grassroots and rank and file mobilization. It should take broad initiatives with others. It should not feel compelled to counter every partial demand of the center forces with demands that are twice as radical. (See Dimitrov’s Speech to the 7th World Congress, 1935, Collected Works, Vol. 1, p. 605).

In doing all this, the Party and the broader left will grow and take on a more organized character.

Even sections, sometimes substantial sections, of the Democratic Party will oppose Bush’s policies, although we should not rely on the Democrats nor be reluctant to take issue with them. Nor should we always defer to leaders of the labor and people’s movement when we disagree with them. How we express our differences, of course, is of utmost importance. It should always be done within the framework of building broad unity against the extreme right and the transnational corporations.

The left and the wider movements should take advantage of divisions within the capitalist class as well.

By the same token, narrow political concepts and appeals to move to higher stages of struggle should be rejected. To skip the stage of combating the extreme right in the name of some higher form of struggle is a recipe for isolation and political irrelevance.

The struggle against the extreme right is the main form of the class struggle at this moment. This view accords with the views of the progressive forces in labor and other struggles. Without rebuffing the extreme right, higher stages of struggle are simply impossible.

Granted it is not a frontal assault on corporate power. But it is a necessary stage to move through in order to confront the TNCs and their hold on the levers of political and economic power more directly.

Does that mean that we are putting our anti-monopoly strategy in hibernation? By no means, both concepts will guide our work. There are no clear and distinct boundaries separating one from the other, but the extreme right’s grip on our nation’s political apparatus will be the framework for everything that we do in every arena of struggle.

And this will remain in place until a shift in the political balance of forces occurs nationwide.

With regard to the role of the working class, the takeover of our country’s political structures by the right wing extremists ipolitical structures by the right wing extremists imposes added responsibility onto its shoulders. Its task is to lead a broad alliance, beginning with its strategic allies into the battle against the right wing and transnational corporations.

At the center of such a struggle is the battle for democracy. There are no clearly marked walls between democratic and class struggles. Nearly every issue has a class and democratic aspect.

Class oppression combines with other forms of oppression, particularly racial, national, and gender oppression and we cannot and should not separate them. Racial and gender relations were entwined with the development of class relations in our country’s historical development. In fact, they were a constitutive element of class relations and vice versa. While we say that class relations are the main constitutive element of the social relations of capitalism, we should not take that to mean that they gobble up other social relations.

By the same token, the working class movement does not swallow other social movements. People, including workers, walk under many banners. In this era, the working class movement and the general democratic movement grow in tandem with the labor movement earning a leading role in this many-sided process. This is an extraordinary development, which will challenge our strategic and tactical skills.

But I’m confident that with effort, collectivity, and ‘utmost flexibility’, we will measure up to the new challenges and promise of this era of class and social struggles.


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