Envisioning socialism with American characteristics

BY:Michael Kuznetsov| May 17, 2024
Envisioning socialism with American characteristics


This piece is a contribution to the Pre-Convention Discussion for our 32nd National Convention. During Pre-Convention Discussion, all aspects of the party’s program, strategy, and tactics are up for consideration and debate. The ideas presented here are those of the author or authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Communist Party USA, its membership, or their elected leadership bodies. — Editors

In envisioning the future of socialism in America, it is crucial to understand it not as a utopian reconstruction of our economy from scratch, but as a pragmatic evolution of existing frameworks. The structures that have emerged in our capitalist system — specifically, large-scale corporations and monopolies — are often viewed as the epitome of greed and exploitation. While these criticisms are justified, a Marxist perspective compels us to see these entities as products of capitalism’s natural selection process. Under socialism, this process reaches its logical conclusion: the public seizing and transformation of these monopolies into tools for the public good, where every citizen becomes an equal stakeholder in a consolidated collective enterprise.

This perspective does not advocate for the destruction of capitalist structures. Instead, it recognizes that socialism is gradually materializing through the ongoing socialization of resources and the means of production and the increasing socialization and automation of labor. The capitalist character which these structures presently bear result in these processes benefiting the owner/investor class while intensifying the exploitation of the working class. The revolutionary change we seek is not in demolishing these developments but in steering them towards a climax where economic institutions are liberated from the profit-maximization imperative.

Under socialism, the vast resources currently squandered on the whims of the ultra-wealthy could be redirected towards addressing societal problems and investing in new built environments that naturally facilitate community and solidarity. Monopolistic corporations will not be abolished but will be transformed to serve the public interest, turning them into more efficient, productive entities that benefit society as a whole. With social need taking primacy over the dictates of private capital, the various commodity and supply chains which presently operate in redundant and wasteful competition will be consolidated into a vast public monopoly which reduces waste and optimally balances quality and efficiency.

To refine this vision, it is imperative that our comrades engage with contemporary works that analyze these processes. Works like “People’s Republic of Walmart” and “Capitalism, Coronavirus, and War” offer valuable insights into how current economic structures can be adapted for socialist purposes. These resources provide a framework for understanding how the mechanisms of capitalism can be repurposed to align with socialist objectives.

As the Communist Party USA, our task is to develop this vision into a concrete, actionable policy platform. Greater attention and resources must be invested in crafting this platform and putting it forward in the public discourse. This blueprint for ‘Socialism with American Characteristics’ should clearly articulate how existing economic structures can be transformed to serve the collective good. It’s about harnessing what capitalism has built and redirecting it towards a more equitable, sustainable future.

This vision is not just a theoretical construct; it’s a practical pathway towards a socialist America. It recognizes that the seeds of socialism have already been sown within the capitalist system and that our revolution is about nurturing these seeds to fruition. By liberating our economic institutions from the narrow focus on profit, we can unlock their potential to address the myriad challenges our country faces and lay the groundwork for a society that truly embodies the ideals of liberty, community, solidarity, and collective well-being.



    Michael Kuznetsov is an activist with the Dallas Forth Worth, TX Club.

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