Social democracy, socialism, or communism?

BY: Scott Hiley| March 21, 2017
QI have looked at this page, and it appears as if the party is much more aligned with social democracy than it is with so-called Communist nations. As actual Communism is impossible, and all of those nations are actually Socialist/Stalinist dictatorships, then why does this party call itself Communist when it is actually Social-Democratic? Communism still has a negative connotation, and can only be approximated in practice anyway.
AThanks for your question, which has a couple of parts.  I'll start off by saying that what we fight for is socialism, which is a necessary step toward communism.

First off, what is the difference between social democrats and Communists?  Basically this: social democrats want to win better conditions for the working class without fundamental changes to the structure of society.  Communists understand that exploitation and oppression come from a system (capitalism) that forces the vast majority of people to work so that a tiny minority can accumulate incredible amounts of wealth.  Without changing that system, without placing the working class in control of economic and political power, the best we can do are small, temporary gains.

As we fight for socialism, though, we don't do it in a vacuum.  Social democrats want to raise the minimum wage and win a federal jobs program--so do we, as a part of a deeper, longer struggle against capitalism itself. Many social democrats oppose war--so do we, because war consumes the blood of our people to keep the world profitable for the capitalist class. Communists support anything that helps workers and oppressed people and oppose anything that harms them.

You're right that we don't spend most of our time talking about socialism in other countries. We do learn from socialist movements in other countries and stand in solidarity with them against imperialism.  For example, the Cuban Revolution has made amazing progress on health care, education, and grassroots democracy.  We draw on that experience in figuring out how to build socialism here.

In the end, though, socialism in the United States will be built from the democratic traditions of our country: the great struggles for democracy, for abolition of slavery, for equality for women, for civil rights--all the unfinished work of equality and democracy.  Anyone doing that work, anyone struggling to unite and empower workers and oppressed people, is our ally.

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