Draft Program of the CPUSA

March 24, 2005


The Road to Socialism USA:
Unity for Peace, Democracy, Jobs and Equality

Download PDF: CPUSA_DraftProgram.pdf


  1. Introduction
  2. Capitalism, Exploitation, and Oppression
    1. Capitalism in the Era of Monopoly and Imperialism
    2. Internationalization of Economic Life, Transnationals, and Capitalist Globalization
    3. the World Balance of Forces
    4. Present Features of Capitalism
  3. Class Struggle, Democratic Struggle
    1. The Class Struggle
    2. Democratic Struggle and its relation to Class Struggle
  4. Unity is Key to Victory: the Main Forces for Progress
    1. Working Class Unity
    2. Special Oppression and Exploitation
    3. Multiracial Unity for Full Equality and Against Racism
    4. Allied Movements
  5. Unity Against the Ultra-Right
    1. Building an All-People’s Front Against the Ultra-Right
    2. People’s Politics
  6. Building the Anti-Monopoly Coalition
    1. An Anti-Monopoly Program
    2. A Labor-led People’s Party
  7. Bill of Rights Socialism in the U.S.
  8. The Role of the Communist Party
  9. Summary

Preface to the Draft

The working group which prepared this draft based itself on the work of the National Committee during recent years to develop our strategy to meet the needs of the moment and the struggle. We had the work of the whole Party to draw upon. Once adopted, the new program will be an authoritative statement of our strategy from here to socialism.

Why do we need a new program?

Our last program was written in the late 1960s, then modified and printed in the early 1980s. Much has changed in our country and in the world in the 25 years since. One reason for a new program is to take account of the rise of the ultra-right to power in the U.S., to stress the theoretical and practical basis for our strategy of building a massive coalition to defeat the ultra-right, and to integrate and connect our current strategy with our long range aim of building socialism.

Another reason is to take account of the setbacks and defeats that socialism saw in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These setbacks changed the world balance of forces and limited the options for national liberation movements and newly free colonies, which now are forced by necessity to trade on the world market on the capitalists’ terms, and who no longer have the same alternative markets and political and material backing they formerly received from the socialist community of nations. The workers of the world are confronting capitalists in each country as well as the transnational corporations, which are determined on economic globalization not to serve humanity but to increase exploitation and oppression.

Another reason for a new program is that the world now faces new and increased dangers of imperialist war and militarization, of nuclear weapons and space-based weaponry, of global ecological crises, of an aggressive, reactionary U.S. administration bent on world domination.

New generations are entering the struggle and need a well-thought-out, developed strategy of social change related to the struggles and movements of today. We have a more militant labor movement which is leading many battles for social issues as well as on-the-job struggles. And we have a worldwide peace movement unrivaled in history.

We face new challenges and threats, new opportunities and possibilities-all these demand that we update and revise our strategic outlook.

What a program is, and what it is not

This program is primarily a statement of basic strategy that guides our work for an entire historic period. It analyzes the main social forces, the main struggles and movements, and the stages of struggle ahead of us on the way to socialism. It connects our work today to our long range perspective. It applies Marxist theory to the most fundamental problems of politics facing us. Our outlook is that this program, when amended and adopted, will guide us for possibly ten or more years. We avoid detailed discussion of current issues and challenges-that is the role of the main political resolution.

Our draft program is a way to talk about strategy, about our estimate of the main social forces, of the role of our Party. We need to combine sophisticated and rigorous theoretical analysis with popular language so that our strategic thinking is accessible to today’s activists who may not be familiar with Marxist classics or phraseology.

That leads us to what a program is not. A program is not a popular pamphlet for mass distribution, not a history lesson, not an extended argument for Marxist-Leninist theory. It is not a compendium of Party positions on all issues. A program is not a list of demands, not a detailed discussion of tactics nor an assessment of the present level of consciousness and activity of social movements, not a replacement for other political, agitational, and educational materials we need.

Though not primarily a recruiting document, we hope that the final program will help our recruiting over the next few years. The program should help in several ways: by making available to prospective members a succinct statement of our basic strategy, by helping educate our membership old and new-through educationals, club discussions, and individual study-about our basic strategy and how to explain it, by highlighting our strategy as one of the primary features that distinguishes our Party from others on the Left, by clarifying confusion about our positions, and by making explicit some things we often take for granted without explaining.

The draft document, one of the basic pieces for the pre-convention discussion period, directs the attention of the entire membership to the strategic issues and choices confronting our Party and our class. We need a program that helps people in struggle, not a reference manual. We need a living document rooted in our struggles, not a static list of formulas.

This draft places questions to the Party for discussion, and has much room for improvement. The audience for the draft is the entire Party membership and those who work most closely with us; the audience for the final program will be broader.

While our finished program will be an authoritative statement of our Party’s strategy, this draft is not definitive. The purpose of the draft is to help us have the conversations we need in order to get to a definitive statement of strategy. Back to top

1. Introduction

We, the working people of the United States, face tremendous problems: exploitation, oppression, racism, sexism, a deteriorating environment and infrastructure, huge budget deficits, and a government dominated by the most vicious elements of big capital and its political operatives.

We as a country face serious choices: militarism and imperialism or peace, increased wealth for the few or justice and equality for the many, increased power in the hands of the super-rich or real democracy for the vast majority, ultra-right domination of all branches of government which deals with problems by blaming workers and increasing exploitation or progressive electoral coalitions that seek real solutions in the interests of all working people.

The working class-the vast majority of the people, all those who work for a living-faces a relentless, vicious, and immoral enemy: the capitalist class. Our country is oppressed by one of the most controlling, despicable, entrenched capitalist ruling classes ever, concentrating enormous political, economic, and military power in the hands of a handful of transnational corporations. These corporations seek to steal, embezzle, extort, and scheme all wealth from the tens of millions of poor and working people, from small businesses and family farmers, from men, women, and children, from seniors and youth. They exploit people as workers on the job and the same people as consumers at the check stand. Their foremost weapon to maintain their dominance is the use of racism to divide working people and achieve extra profits. They work hard to extend ultra-right control over the government and government policy.

The ultra-right is led by the most reactionary, militaristic, racist, anti-democratic sector of the transnationals. They gain support for their ultra-right agenda from other political tendencies and social groups, most of whom are misled as to their real interests.

The solution to this ultra-right domination lies in building the broadest, most inclusive unity among our multinational, male/female, multigenerational working class, among racially and nationally oppressed people, women, and youth, and among the mass people’s movements, starting with the labor movement. This all people’s front to defeat the ultra-right is in the process of developing, learning and being tested in giant struggles for peace, to protect Social Security, to win health care for all, to win control of all three branches of government from the right wing.

Our country, our people, and our environment are all being destroyed by the greed of a few obscenely wealthy capitalist groupings. Our world is threatened by the ravages of capitalist globalization, by relentless efforts to drive wages down to the lowest possible level, by the spread of toxic wastes, by attempts to destroy unions and all protections won by workers through struggle. We can’t let this situation continue.

Today, we need radical solutions, real democracy and real unity. We, the workers, the majority, need to take power from the hands of the wealthy few, their corporations, and their political operatives. We need peace, justice and equality. We need real solutions to real problems, not the empty promises of politicians and corporate bosses.

The United States has a proud history of radical and revolutionary struggles, of mass movements demanding and winning economic and social programs that meet the basic needs of the people, of protecting and expanding democracy, of uniting to overcome obstacles with initiative, energy, and innovation. The Communist Party is part of this country’s radical tradition.

We believe that the millions of working people have the power, if organized and united, to run this country, to create a government of, by, and for the people. We have the right and responsibility, faced with an exploitative, oppressive economic system, to alter or abolish it. We can eject the fat-cat financial donors from the voting booths, throw the scavengers out of the banks, eject the CEO’s from their golden parachutes, and elect regular, honest working people to represent us instead of corporate lawyers and millionaires.

The Communist Party sees no contradiction between fighting for the immediate demands and reforms needed by working people today, and our ultimate goal of socialism, the revolutionary transformation of society and the economy. The constant battles over issues large and small are where workers learn the lesson that more fundamental changes are necessary, that people need socialism to have a truly humane society.

We, the working people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, need socialism, a system based on people’s needs, not on corporate greed.

The Communist Party USA has a program to get us there. Back to top

2. Capitalism, Exploitation, & Oppression

The capitalist class owns the factories, the banks, and transportation-the means of production and distribution. Workers sell their ability to work in order to acquire the necessities of life. Capitalists buy the workers’ labor, but only pay them back a portion of the wealth they create. Because the capitalists own the means of production, they are able to keep the surplus wealth created by workers above and beyond the cost of paying worker’s wages and other costs of production. This surplus is called “profit” and consists of unpaid labor that the capitalists appropriate and use to achieve ever-greater profits. These profits are turned into capital which capitalists use to further exploit the producers of all wealth-the working class.

Capitalists are compelled by competition to seek to maximize profits. The capitalist class as a whole can do that only by extracting a greater surplus from the unpaid labor of workers by increasing exploitation. Under capitalism, economic development happens only if it is profitable to the individual capitalists, not for any social need or good. The profit drive is inherent in capitalism, and underlies or exacerbates all major social ills of our times. With the rapid advance of technology and productivity, new forms of capitalist ownership have developed to maximize profit.

The working people of our country confront serious, chronic problems because of capitalism. These chronic problems become part of the objective conditions that confront each new generation of working people.

The threat of nuclear war, which can destroy all humanity, grows with the spread of nuclear weapons, space-based weaponry, and a military doctrine that justifies their use in preemptive wars and wars without end. Ever since the end of World War II, the U.S. has been constantly involved in aggressive military actions big and small. These wars have cost millions of lives and casualties, huge material losses, as well as trillions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. Threats to the environment continue to spiral, threatening all life on our planet.

Millions of workers are unemployed or insecure in their jobs, even during economic upswings and periods of “recovery” from recessions. Most workers experience long years of stagnant real wages, while health and education costs soar. Many workers are forced to work second and third jobs to make ends meet. Most workers now average four different occupations during their lifetime, being involuntarily moved from job to job and career to career. Often, retirement-age workers are forced to continue working just to provide health care for themselves. With capitalist globalization, jobs move as capitalists export factories and even entire industries to other countries. Millions of people continuously live below the poverty level; many suffer homelessness and hunger. Public and private programs to alleviate poverty and hunger do not reach everyone, and are inadequate even for those they do reach.

Racism remains the most potent weapon to divide working people. Institutionalized racism provides billions in extra profits for the capitalists every year due to the unequal pay racially oppressed workers receive for work of comparable value. All workers receive lower wages when racism succeeds in dividing and disorganizing them. In every aspect of economic and social life, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, Arabs and Middle Eastern peoples, and other nationally and racially oppressed people experience conditions inferior to that of whites. Racist violence and the poison of racist ideas victimize all people of color no matter which economic class they belong to. The attempts to suppress and undercount the vote of the African American and other racially oppressed people are part of racism in the electoral process. Racism permeates the police, judicial and prison systems, perpetuating unequal sentencing, racial profiling, discriminatory enforcement, and police brutality.

The democratic, civil and human rights of all working people are continually under attack. These attacks range from increasingly difficult procedures for union recognition and attempts to prevent full union participation in elections, to the absence of the right to strike for many public workers. They range from undercounting minority communities in the census to making it difficult for working people to run for office because of the domination of corporate campaign funding and the high cost of advertising. These attacks also include growing censorship and domination of the media by the ultra-right; growing restrictions and surveillance of activist social movements and the Left; open denial of basic rights to immigrants; and, violations of the Geneva Conventions up to and including torture for prisoners. These abuses all serve to maintain the grip of the capitalists on government power. They use this power to ensure the economic and political dominance of their class.

Women still face a considerable differential in wages for work of equal or comparable value. They also confront barriers to promotion, physical and sexual abuse, continuing unequal workload in home and family life, and male supremacist ideology perpetuating unequal and often unsafe conditions. The constant attacks on social welfare programs severely impact single women, single mothers, nationally and racially oppressed women, and all working class women. The reproductive rights of all women are continually under attack ideologically and politically. Violence against women in the home and in society at large remains a shameful fact of life in the U.S.

Youth, especially working class youth and racially and nationally oppressed youth, have inadequate public education and are increasingly priced out of higher education. Young people lack job training and face great uncertainty in the job market. Their cultural, recreational, and sports needs are largely unmet. Youth also face in their own ways racism, sexism, and attacks on civil liberties. Poverty and lack of opportunity compel large numbers of young people to enter the military and face possible loss of life in one war after another.

Seniors, retired and often no longer able to work, face shrinking and disappearing employer pension plans, while Social Security and Medicare are under continual attack. Seniors who have worked all their lives are threatened by the ultra-right push to end entitlement programs and by the lack of or exorbitant cost of health care and assisted care living facilities.

Over 45 million people are continually without medical coverage-over 70 million are without medical coverage for at least one month each year. Medical costs are soaring even for those with coverage and their out-of-pocket costs are increasing. There is a chronic and growing shortage of affordable housing across the country. Unionized workers are forced to negotiate lower wages to pay for their health benefits.

The crisis of the cities is chronic and growing and embraces all aspects of living. Financial burdens are steadily transferred from the Federal government to the states and then to the cities, causing rippling and crippling budget deficits. As the majority of racially and nationally oppressed people live in urban areas, the crisis of the cities also reflects institutional racism.

Most of rural and small town U.S. is in continual recession. Hundreds of thousands of family farms have been put on the brink of extinction, squeezed by agricultural corporations, banks, wholesalers and retailers. Thousands of family farms disappear each year to bankruptcy and sale, swallowed by agribusiness and corporate development. Predatory lenders, monopoly corporations and the insurance industry also conspire to put the squeeze on family farms, urban and rural small businesses as well as professionals and intellectuals. Back to top

Capitalism in the Era of Monopoly and Imperialism

The chronic problems working people face today are rooted in the birth and history of the capitalist system itself. “Free” competitive capitalism was replaced at the end of the Nineteenth Century by monopoly capitalism. Great amounts of capital were assembled in a few companies in each industry, in our country, and internationally. At the same time, industrial and banking capital merged into finance capital, dominated by banking capital. These monopolies proceeded to divide up the world economically, each with their own sphere of control. To insure the stability of investment, corporations sought to dominate the governments within their spheres. The monopolies succeeded in backing up their economic division of the world with the military-political division of the world. Africa, most of Asia and Latin America, and parts of Europe were divided into colonies or semi-colonies of the U.S., Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium and the other monopoly capitalist states.

Vladimir Lenin, founder of modern communism, predicted that wars would break out to redivide the world, making the era of monopoly capitalism also the era of modern imperialism. The then existing division of the world could not satisfy those countries and economies growing most rapidly. The search for economic domination led to wars and world wars, wars that killed and maimed millions and subjugated whole peoples under extremely repressive and inhumane conditions.

Soon the monopolies and the government in the U.S. (and the other imperialist countries) became intertwined, transforming into state monopoly capitalism. The state became a direct instrument to accumulate capital for the monopolies. Government regulation became a tool to partially overcome the anarchy of private capitalist competition and improve some of the social problems that affected working people, with the ultimate aim of improving  economic stability for the rich. The state also became a source of economic stimulation through tax collection from the whole people to finance military spending and wars. Back to top

Internationalization of Economic Life, Transnationals & Capitalist Globalization

Following World War II, a scientific and technological revolution took place that resulted from the drive to maximize profits through advancing technology and productivity. It centered on new materials, on new means of transportation and communication, and more recently on information technology. These achievements enabled a new stage in capitalist globalization, a further socialization of world economic life, and a qualitative shift in the internationalization of production, still under private capitalist ownership.

The capitalist world economy at first could not fully utilize these new developments; the existing forms of capitalist ownership were too restrictive. Signs of economic stagnation marked the mid-1970s. The capitalist answer was the growth of monopoly corporations into transnational corporations, whose reach extends beyond any one country’s sphere of influence. Stimulated by the internationalization of economic life and the scientific and technical revolution, these transnationals control many economic stages from financing to research and development, to sources of supply, to production, to wholesale and retail distribution. Internationalization gave the monopolies many more alternatives for resource extraction and production based on which country is cheapest for each operation. This enabled greater coordination and planning within the bounds of a single transnational and in temporary cartel-type arrangements with other transnationals. This process achieved a partial, temporary overcoming of the anarchy inherent in private capitalist ownership of production and distribution.

Today, a few more than 500 transnationals worldwide, some 300 of them based in the U.S., dominate the capitalist world economy, the capitalist governments, and their international institutions. There are transnational banks, transnational industrial manufacturers, transnational arms dealers, transnational wholesale and retail distributive monopolies, transnational entertainment and publishing giants, and transnational conglomerates which own so many businesses it is almost impossible to tell what their main business is. By the 1980s, transnationals dominated economic and political life in the U.S and much of the globe. Back to top

World Balance of Forces

To the surprise of almost all political and social movements, the Soviet Union, the socialist countries of Eastern Europe, and of Mongolia, collapsed at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s. This resulted from a combination of internal and external factors. The pressures of the arms race, the cold war, and imperialism’s other economic, political and ideological pressures played a major role. There were also mistakes in developing socialist forms of ownership and an organization of the economy that best fit advances in the means of production. There were distortions of the distinction between administrative and political work, as well as political and ideological weaknesses, and in some countries, an increasing debt to transnational banks and other capitalist lending institutions. The world communist movement and Communist Party, USA are still studying and discussing the relative importance of the various causes of the demise of the socialist states to best learn for the future.

Previously, when the socialist countries, the national liberation movements, and the working class and peace movements in the developed capitalist countries were united, they could significantly impact the outcome of most international struggles, and win victories in many cases. They prevented world nuclear war and maintained peaceful coexistence and competition between the capitalist and socialist countries. They made possible the victory of national independence in many countries and the emergence of the non-capitalist path of development in some developing countries. In the socialist countries, living conditions more or less steadily improved from the end of World War II. Imperialism has been unable to end socialism in China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Cuba.

During the period of struggle for peaceful coexistence between the U.S. and world imperialism on the one hand, and the Soviet Union and other socialist countries on the other, our Party and the worldwide Communist movement concluded that the balance of forces had reached the point where world war and smaller scale wars were not inevitable, but could be prevented by mass struggle. At the same time, it is evident that imperialism still gives rise to destructive and dangerous wars and we have as yet been unable to prevent all wars.

Among the results of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries returning to capitalism were major setbacks for the progressive forces on a world scale and a shift in favor of imperialism headed by the U.S. With the demise of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, Cuba, China, Vietnam, North Korea, and Laos face severe new problems. A number of countries of socialist orientation were forced back toward capitalist development.

Wars of liberation become stalemated militarily due to U.S. intervention, in some cases even prior to the Soviet Union returning to capitalism. National liberation movements had to give up much of the gains they had won, facing powerful imperialist-supported forces. The ability of new countries to choose socialist development became much more limited. The Communist Parties and the movement toward socialism in the developed capitalist countries suffered substantial losses. The transnationals gained the possibility of direct expansion and control within the former socialist countries.

With their new economic and political dominance over most of the world, a sharpening of competition developed among the few hundred gigantic transnational for control of the new areas and to redivide economic control worldwide. The transnationals have become increasingly intertwined with the governments of the leading imperialist powers and multi-state institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and others, while coming to politically and economically dominate or divide up influence in many developing countries and countries with a middle level of development. Back to top

The Emergence of Ultra-Right Domination

Two major political tendencies have developed in recent decades in the U.S., both among the transnationals and the political parties and governments with which they are intertwined. The first tendency represented the most reactionary section of the transnationals. Initially, this trend emerged in response to the relative weakness in its economic, political and world influence during the 1960s and 70s, as an effort to reverse that decline through an aggressive military-based governmental policy. It took over the Republican Party and elected Ronald Reagan as President. While it suffered some setbacks during the Clinton years, it still has not received a major lasting rebuff. Its policies include open domination by the transnationals over most of the government. This means seeking destruction of the social safety net won in the Roosevelt years, deregulation of protections for the public interest, a radical shift of the tax burden from the transnational corporations and wealthy to the working class, professionals and small capitalists. There was a dramatic reduction of government spending on the needs of the poor, the nationally and racially oppressed, and the working class, while increasing various forms of subsidy for big corporations and the super-rich.

Dominance by the ultra-right means constant attempts to eliminate measures that fight racism and overcome its effects. The ultra-right’s open and covert uses of racism divide and weaken its opposition. It means an increase in the repressive power of the police and their racist practices. It means continual and increasing restrictions on democratic rights, including the right to vote. It demagogically uses right-wing religious prejudices and works to eliminate separation of church and state. It means a growth of military spending and of the military-industrial complex. It means a growth of nationalist ideology, jingoism, and xenophobia. It publicly declares “big government” the enemy of individual freedom and prosperity and dismantles social welfare programs in the name of “fiscal responsibility.” At the same time, it boosts military spending drastically, cuts taxes on the rich, and provides billions in corporate welfare. This is financed by the biggest federal deficits ever, exhibiting the greatest fiscal irresponsibility.

Beginning with the Presidency of George W. Bush in 2000, this ultra-right trend has moved even further to the right. Determined to use the overwhelming military power of the United States, the Bush Administration claims the right to dominate the world for its own economic and political-military interests. It uses the phony rationalization of spreading its own reactionary concepts of “freedom and democracy,” meaning freedom for the corporations and democracy for the few. It claims the moral right to attack any country it wants, to conduct war without end until it succeeds everywhere, and even to use “tactical” nuclear weapons and militarize space. Whoever does not support the U.S. policy is condemned as an opponent. Whenever international organizations, such as the UN, do not support U.S. government policies, they are reluctantly tolerated until the U.S. government is able to subordinate or ignore them.

The ultra-right claims its international policies and increasing limitation on democratic rights at home are part of a necessary, unavoidable, unending “war on terrorism.”

The ultra-right trend among the transnationals is supported by the military-industrial complex, by the oil and energy industry, by the pharmaceuticals that benefit from privatizing health care and from deregulation, by big sections of high tech and finance capital The ultra-right is backed by the most reactionary sectors of the capitalist class.

The other tendency to emerge is that of the sector of the transnationals largely associated with the national Democratic Party leadership. It is willing to make some concessions to the Democratic Party’s mass base among labor and the nationally oppressed and women to ameliorate social discontent. This sector usually advocates a less unilateral, less triumphalist policy in relation to both the world and domestic social forces. In pursuit of their particular imperialist interests, this sector of transnational capital and its political representatives are significantly more reluctant to use military force until other means are exhausted. They see a greater role for the United Nations and other international bodies. Domestically they see a continued need for economic regulation and social welfare programs to keep social peace and avoid the extremes of destructive capitalist competitiveness.

The International Front for Peace

The socialist countries once formed the core of the world anti-imperialist front. With the demise of the Soviet Union, there is no longer a consistent international alliance of the forces for peace and progress against the forces for war and reaction regarding international and social issues.With each major international issue of struggle comes a new balance of forces. But now there is an immense and growing front of world public opinion and of states against U.S. hegemonic power. There is growing worldwide resistance to U.S. military action, to any military action by the other imperialist powers, and to solving international problems by military means. Only a handful of client states side with the U.S. because there is growing recognition that such policies threaten not only world peace but increasingly threaten the very existence of humanity.

The peace front is increasingly reflected in the UN. It consists of the remaining socialist countries and the developing countries that maintain some degree of independent policies. Even most other developed imperialist powers often recognize that military options result in highly dangerous consequences and seldom are useful or lasting even for their imperialist aims. The U.S. ultra-right ignores the existing world balance of forces for peace at the expense of weakening its general international influence.

There is also a growing resistance to U.S. international economic actions in international, bilateral and multilateral relations. Often it is the U.S. and the other big capitalist powers against the socialist countries and most of the developing world in economic relations. With nearly all of the socialist and developing countries now members of the WTO, IMF, and other international trade alliances, the struggle also takes place within these organizations. Increasingly, the developing countries have challenged the trade alliances’ aim to regulate international economic relations in the interests of the transnationals and their “home countries,” particularly the U.S.

There is a growing recognition that the internationalization of economic and social life means that social problems anywhere in the world impact all countries, including the richest ones. Mass poverty, several billion people living on less than $2 a day, extremes of wealth and poverty between classes and nations, international debt, lack of education, absence of health care in the face of pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and the severe and growing threats to the world’s environment, are international problems facing all of humanity and requiring international solutions.

Some sectors of transnational capital recognize that there are problems that threaten the existence of humanity as well as their ability to maximize profits. This is also true of some imperialist powers. However, so far they have come up with only limited funds for such problems as AIDS and such agreements as the Kyoto Accords. When they do agree to take some positive action it usually directly benefits their own bottom line.

The socialist countries, the developing countries, and the working class and social movements of the developed capitalist countries continue to press for real and extensive action. Gradually these forces are becoming more united and determined about the need to confront international problems. On all these issues, the U.S. ultra-right opposes any meaningful action and tries to slow and divide the pressure for real measures. There is, however, the slow growth of a common world front of states and social forces for progress on these issues.

Part of this recent positive change in the world balance of forces is the resurgence of a leftward movement in several parts of the world, most notably in much of South America. In a number of the developed capitalist countries, the labor movement has become a more militant force in economic and political arenas.  There is some renewed strengthening of socialist and other Left forces-including the communist movement-associated with the international and regional progressive social and economic forums in recent years. The movement leftward is not a simple direct movement toward socialism, Marxism and the communist parties. It is rather a multi-faceted and eclectic. These are not uniform processes and there are countries where the ultra-right has gained ground, or where the ultra-right continues its political dominance, as in the U.S.

U.S. imperialism is the leader of world imperialism and home to the bulk of the dominant transnationals. It seeks control over the entire world, including its fellow imperialist powers. Under ultra-right political leadership, U.S. imperialism has immense instruments for winning its aims-ranging from its military preponderance to its various means of economic domination and political pressure, from  bribery to ideological weapons. But even with all of these instruments, U.S. domination is slowly weakening. Back to top

Present Features of Capitalism

The absolute and relative exploitation of the working class is at an unprecedented level and continues to grow rapidly. Each transnational corporation now exploits not only its own employed workers from many countries and the entire working class of its home country, but the entire working class of the world. At the same time, the working class is growing worldwide.

The movement of capital around the world in search of maximum profit is ever faster, whether in terms of the location of production, the supply of raw materials and other resources, research and development, mass distribution, currency, or price manipulation and speculation.

Disproportions in the world’s highly interdependent economy spreads and is harder to control because of the transnationals’ dominance. Regulation by any single country has less effect. International trade agreements in some cases even overrule national sovereignty in favor of the transnationals. The economy is therefore more vulnerable to supply and currency manipulations. The result is greater instability and volatility, more severe boom and bust cycles, and prolonged stagnation. Therefore, the contradiction between the increasingly international social character of production and distribution on the one hand and the concentration of capital among fewer and fewer on the other hand sharpens economic and social problems and contradictions. It also sharpens the class struggle.

The advance of the means of production connected with the globalization of economic and social life under domination of the transnational monopolies requires higher levels of environmental protection, education, health care, culture, housing, and family care to produce the quantity and quality of labor now needed. But this is in contradiction to the greater quantities of capitalist profit needed to sustain the growth of the giant transnationals, which only comes from a higher rate of exploitation and exploitation of growing numbers of workers worldwide. Intensification of the class struggle and sharper attacks on the living conditions of the working class are inherent in the dominance of the transnationals.

The development of modern capitalism requires the strengthening of the economic and political organizations of the working class and all working people both within our country and internationally. The merger of the transnationals with the state in the main imperialist countries means that capitalist globalization is both an economic and a political process.

In developing strategy and tactics for each stage of struggle, the main objective conditions must be considered. These objective conditions include the major features of today’s capitalist economy. They also include the world and domestic balance of forces. These balances, reflecting the outcome of struggle of the contending class and social forces and states, place limits on what can be achieved until the balance undergoes a qualitative shift as a result of the accumulation of quantitative changes. In that sense, the overall qualities of the current stage of struggle are also an objective limitation determining what strategy and tactics can accomplish until that overall balance is replaced by a new political environment.

A correct and thorough understanding of capitalism, its essential features and current conditions, as well the political balance of forces is key to guiding the class and democratic struggles for change. Back to top

3. Class Struggle, Democratic Struggle & the Main Forces for Progress

Workers always seek to solve the chronic ills they face. Whether individual workers are conscious of it yet or not, the ultimate outcome of this struggle is socialism. To determine the strategy and tactics required for immediate progress and more fundamental change, it is necessary to be clear about what propels progressive change and about which struggles and classes have the potential to play decisive roles. The history of our country and the experience of struggle in recent years confirm Marxist theory’s assertion that the struggle of the working class against the capitalist class is the chief driving force for progressive change. Back to top

The Class Struggle

The working class is compelled to resist increased exploitation. It seeks to improve living conditions by increasing workers’ share of the new value they create at the expense of the capitalists. This class struggle takes place in the factories where commodities are produced and in the venues of distribution and sale of commodities. This is the economic side of the class struggle. The class struggle also has a political side. It plays out in struggles over governmental action or inaction, over social spending and tax policy, over elections, and ultimately over which class or formation of class and social forces becomes dominant in holding and exercising political power. The class struggle also exists in the realm of ideology, between social and political ideas and values that justify the political and economic policies of the contending classes.

The class struggle starts with the fight for wages, hours, benefits, working conditions, job security and jobs. But it also includes an endless variety of other forms for fighting specific battles: resisting speed-up, strikes, contract negotiations, demonstrations, lobbying for pro-labor legislation, elections, even general strikes. When workers struggle against the capitalist class or any part of it on any issue with the aim of improving or defending their lives, it is part of the class struggle.

There is no limit to the range of issues that are part of the class struggle: peace, democratic liberties, full equality and against racism, health care, decent schools, public housing, social security, environmental protection, and more. The class struggle takes on more conscious forms in strike struggles, which are expressions of trade union consciousness. The class struggle reaches full class and socialist consciousness only when the alliance of class and social forces is built under working-class leadership in order to win power and construct socialism. The activity of the Communist Party is based on building full class consciousness, which includes socialist consciousness.

The Working Class

The working class is the only force capable of becoming the general leader of the struggle for full social progress and socialism. Capitalism’s dependence on  the working class to create all wealthgives it a strategic role in the production process and great potential power.

The size of the working class and its experience of collective labor and collective struggle prepare it to lead the struggle for progress. In the words of the Communist Manifesto, the working class is “the only truly revolutionary class,” because only the working class has no other interest than ending capitalism completely and replacing it with socialism. These qualities and experiences also make the working class fertile ground for the ideas of socialism and Marxism and for Communist Party membership.

The working class of the U.S. is vibrant and diverse. The working class constitutes the great bulk of the country’s population, and is continually growing. Its diversity includes skilled and unskilled labor, white-collar and blue-collar workers, people of all ages, organized and unorganized, employed, underemployed, and unemployed. The working class is almost evenly composed of men and women. Most nationally and racially oppressed communities are more heavily working-class than the country as a whole, and together constitute more than 25% of the working class, a percentage that is growing.  Workers and their families are a substantial majority of the total population. Despite its growing diversity, ours is a single working class, a class whose unity is growing and deepening.

Organized Labor

The labor movement is the organized sector of the working class. The diversity of the labor movement is growing in composition and leadership in recent years.The working class is constantly being joined by some who were once independent professionals-including doctors and engineers- but are now employees of vast corporations.

The labor movement has shrunk in the U.S. and some other developed capitalist countries in recent decades. Despite that, labor has become the leading force for progress on many social issues and in the electoral arena. Speeding up the organization of unorganized workers is one of the most important challenges to labor and all progressive forces. Back to top

The Democratic Struggle & Its Relation to the Class Struggle

Democratic struggles take place all the time throughout the U.S. and the world. They are struggles to enlarge democracy in every aspect of life for all working people, to improve their real life options. They include the struggle to prevent deterioration of living conditions. The democratic struggle is not only about democratic rights, civil liberties, and electoral democracy. It also includes struggles for peace, equality for the racially and nationally oppressed, equality for women, the struggles for job creation programs, increased minimum wage, for adequate health care, education, day care, housing, social security and other retirement benefits, environmental protection, protection of family farms and small businesses, the needs of youth, cultural programs, progressive taxation, sharply reduced military spending, and more. The struggles of all class and social forces to curb the power of the transnationals are democratic struggles.

The class struggle and the democratic struggle are closely linked. They overlap and intertwine. Every specific class struggle is also part of the democratic struggle because in those struggles, the masses of workers seek to enlarge or protect democratic possibilities. Often, class battles are played out in the political arena where the democratic action of millions of workers can powerfully affect the battle’s outcome. The democratic struggle brings together the working class and other class and social forces for common struggle against one or another sector of the capitalist class.

The U.S. Constitution, as originally written, placed many restrictions on democracy, so from the time of the country’s founding, there has been a continual battle to extend democracy to all. From eliminating property requirements to outlawing poll taxes, from demanding that the Bill of Rights be included in the Constitution to legal battles to ensure that all people have inalienable rights, from not only freeing the slaves but enrolling them as voters to extending the franchise to women, from lowering the voting age to the Voting Rights Act, our history has been one of masses of people demanding their full right to participation in the decisions which affect their lives. Many victories have been won in this struggle, but it is far from over. Democratic rights are always under attack.

The struggle to protect and expand democracy is the way to prevent fascism. It is the way to defeat the ultra-right. It is the path of curtailing the power of the monopolies. In and through the democratic struggle, the class struggle advances toward victory. Democratic struggle is the way to bring the working class and people’s forces to the brink of  socialism. On the eve of socialism, the class struggle reaches its decisive turning point and goes beyond the limits of the democratic struggle under capitalism. The victory of socialism will open a new stage in the continual development of democracy, this time planned and guaranteed.

Our country’s revolutionary traditions and history are filled with sharp struggles to protect and expand democracy. The desire of all people to actively participate in the decision-making of society drives battles for voting rights, for expanding the electorate, for reforming the electoral system, for protecting civil liberties, for guaranteeing civil rights, for an end to all forms of discrimination, for eliminating the power of large financial contributions which enable the rich to dominate elections. These democratic struggles are often entered into by working class forces that see the value for workers of expanding their political power and opportunity. The democratic struggle embraces class and social forces other than or in addition to the working class in struggle against one or another sector of the capitalist class and its dominant transnational monopolies.

Often, class battles are played out in the political arena, where the democratic rights of millions of workers can powerfully affect the outcome. The class struggle and the democratic struggle are closely linked. They overlap and intertwine. Every specific class struggle is also part of the democratic struggle because in those struggles, the masses of working people seek to enlarge or protect democratic possibilities.

The Constitution provides for political democracy, which though limited, is under attack by the ultra right. Protecting and expanding democratic rights are crucial struggles which Communists support. But we go further-we demand real economic democracy, and freedom from exploitation and oppression. We want the lives of all working people to be free not only of unwarranted government power but also to be free of unwarranted corporate power.

Every democratic struggle, by weakening the capitalist class or a section of it, objectively shifts the balance of forces, strengthening the working class. The struggle to defend and enlarge democracy is therefore the only path to socialism in our country-any other path will fail and is politically indefensible. Back to top

4. Unity is the Key to Victory: The Core Class & Social Forces for Progress

From the smallest of class struggles to the largest, unity is the key to victory. The experience of working people in their workplaces and neighborhoods is that only by joining together to fight for their common interests and demands can they win. This is the guiding principle of all unions and people’s organizations: in unity is strength.

The Communist Manifesto declared: “Workers of the World Unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.” The Communist Party seeks to build broad unity to achieve the strategic and tactical goals of the working class. Our organizing principle is coalition work with unions, mass organizations, and mass movements.

This principle is not just true in struggles on the workplace, on the campus or in the neighborhood, but is equally true at the ballot box, in the larger political and social struggles, and in the battle for the hearts and minds of the public. Only by joining together can the working class and its allies win the larger struggles for dignity, rights and power. The working class cannot achieve its ultimate goal-socialism-without fighting for its leading role in the context of unity with other class and social forces. Back to top

Working Class Unity

Working class unity is fundamental to all key social and political victories. It is essential to the class struggle. In recent decades there has been a decline in the percentage of people in the workforce who are union members. Organizing unemployed workers into the trade union movement is one part of this fight for unity. Only by organizing the unorganized can the working class increase its strength as a whole. Working-class unity depends on uniting all the diverse sectors of the multiracial, multinational working class in the U.S.

Likewise, unity between various unions, between unemployed and employed, between industrial and service workers, etc., will strengthen the labor movement and increase its ability to fight for bigger demands and victories. Only by uniting with workers in other countries can we successfully confront the transnationals.

The working class plays a leading role in the struggle for various demands, but many of the key needs of working people cannot be won by the trade union movement or the working class alone. Unions must engage in coalitions with community, civil rights, women’s, student and other organizations in order to increase their combined ability to win against a powerful enemy. From strike struggles, to legislative initiatives, to the fight for the White House, labor must build unity with other social forces to achieve victory. Only the unity of millions of working people led by the working class can win a revolutionary struggle.

The unity of labor and community cannot be based solely on the demands and leadership of labor. Labor must also take up the fight for the demands of its allies on the basis of mutual trust. This also allows for the working class to establish its leading role among the mass movements as a whole. The Communist Party always seeks to build principled unity among the working class and all progressive social forces to further their interests and power.

New levels of unity have developed in the working class movement in the recent period. The common struggle against capitalist globalization has ushered in an advanced phase of working unity between the labor movement, the environmental movement, the student movement, and others. Shifts in labor’s immigration policy have allowed a new level of unity with immigrant rights organizations. Labor has increased its support of and work with Labor/Student solidarity organizations in recent years. There is a constant need to reinforce and defend this unity on the basis of common work, mutual respect and understanding.

At all strategic stages of struggle from the present to the construction of  socialism, the working class is the most important and consistent class and the only one whose interests are entirely on the side of progress and socialism. That does not mean that at every moment, in every struggle, it will in fact be the leader. But the working class will tend more and more to become the leader of the struggle for progress and socialism.

The working class, however, cannot be the sole force in these struggles, because its opponents at each stage are powerful, with great resources at their command. Only with the maximum of unity and powerful alliances can victory be assured in a peaceful manner. There are other major social forces whose interests substantially parallel those of the working class as a whole. Back to top

Special Oppression & Exploitation 

The most important of the potential allies of the working class are those who suffer special oppression and exploitation due to capitalism. All oppressed communities are well represented as part of the working class and also include people from other classes. Those who are part of the working class suffer the exploitation and social problems of all other workers, and in addition suffer from “special oppression,” oppression that is not solely based on class. Some people experience triple and quadruple oppression since they face several kinds of intense exploitation, discrimination, and oppression.

The racially and nationally oppressed, women, youth, and immigrants all face types of special oppression. Many features of special oppression cut widely across class lines and effect to some degree all members of each oppressed social group. They affect not only those who are workers or part of the professional and small business groups but to some extent even those from sections of the capitalist class. This common experience of oppression creates a wide basis for unity among the group.

Capitalists directly gain from special oppression. Extra profits are extracted by the special oppression and exploitation of each group and from the disunity caused among working people. Capitalists and their apologists use ideological poison to justify and cover-up both special oppression and the exploitation of all workers. The working class members of the specially oppressed peoples play a key role in building the alliance between the working class and the oppressed group as a whole, since they are an important part of both. Back to top

Multiracial Unity for Full Equality and Against Racism

The foremost potential allies of the working class, through the various stages of struggle all the way to socialism, are the nationally and racially oppressed peoples. At the same time, racism is the single most important weapon of the ruling class to weaken the class and democratic struggles. It is a classic divide-and-conquer tactic. Spreading division among the working class and between the working class and its allies weakens all movements and struggles. Against this division, we must build multiracial unity with antiracism and the fight for full equality at its core. The working class is the most multiracial, multinational class in our society, and multiracial unity is key to building internal unity in the working class as well as in society as a whole.

The U.S. is perhaps the most multiracial and multinational country in the world, with  almost 300 million people that include almost every race, nationality and ethnic group on the planet. Racially and nationally oppressed people live and work in every region, in every state, and in every major city. They are primarily working-class and generally occupy the lowest-paying, most exploitative jobs. Among the nationally and racially oppressed are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans and other Latino peoples, Native Americans, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, and Arab and Middle Eastern peoples.

Racism in its many forms continues to play a central role in every aspect of U.S. life, including keeping the ultra-right in power, and in producing super profits, and in developing and justifying the creation of institutional discrimination

The working class must fight against racism and for full equality of all nationally oppressed if it is to unite internally and enter lasting alliances with the organizations and movements of racially oppressed peoples. By the same token, the nationally and racially oppressed groups must support labor’s demands in order to unite internally and to ally with labor.

From its inception, the United States was built on racism. From the displacement and near genocide of Native Americans, to the enslavement of African Americans, to the theft of much of Mexico, to the racist exclusion of Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants and the current xenophobic hysteria against Arabs and South Asians, racism has been a convenient tool for the maintenance of power and super-profits by the ruling class at the expense of oppressed people. Racism is a tool that not only exploits racially oppressed people, it aids in the exploitation of white workers as well.

Racism affects the unity of the working class at all levels. Racial discrimination in hiring, racist wage and salary policies, racial stratification of various industries and trades undermine the interests of all workers. The ability of employers to pay workers differently based on skin color, country of origin, immigration status, or hire date in two-tier wage systems, creates downward pressure on the wages of all workers. It allows bosses to extract even higher profits from racially oppressed workers. Racism is good for business, but is bad for working people of every race. White workers have a powerful self-interest in fighting racism-white workers will gain greater victories to the degree that they unite with nationally and racially oppressed workers. Multiracial unity in the workplace and on the shop-floor is the key to winning victories for all, to lifting wages, conditions and dignity for every worker.

The workplace is not the only place where building multiracial unity is essential. Multiracial unity is necessary at all levels of the class struggle. This is the reason for the long-standing coalition between the labor and civil rights movements. Not only do these movements have common enemies, they have a common agenda of expanding economic, social, and civil rights. The working class and racially oppressed people have common interests in housing, employment, education, and other areas.

White people do not themselves experience racism, but should take the lead in combating all instances of racism and national oppression wherever and whenever they occur. These acts are the building blocks of grassroots unity and trust. They prove the struggle against racism is not for racially oppressed people to combat alone. It is in the self-interest of all workers, leading to greater unity, respect, and strength for the labor movement and all other movements. Back to top

Allied Movements:

African Americans

Historically and continuing today, African Americans and their organizations play a tremendous role in democratic and class struggles, and in building alliances with progressive movements, especially the labor movement. The reasons for this key role include:

  1. the central role played by slavery in providing capital for U.S. political and economic development;
  2. the central role resistance to slavery played in winning the Civil War, the “Second American Revolution”;
  3. the central role played by the Civil Rights revolution in defeating Jim Crow laws and practices, mobilizing virtually an entire people and their allies, challenging and defeating entrenched reaction in the South, forcing changes in the voting laws to expand democracy, setting the stage for movements of other oppressed peoples;
  4. the exceptionally high percentage of African Americans who are working class;
  5. African Americans are among the largest nationally oppressed peoples, and live and work in strategic locations and industries around the country;
  6. the level of coordinated struggle that the labor movement and the African American people have already achieved;
  7. the bell-weather role played by the successes and the setbacks in the struggle for African American equality with respect to the struggles of all other oppressed peoples.
  8. The African American people play a big role in national politics. Their concentration in large urban centers, high working-class composition, heavy concentration in the labor movement, and high level of political/social organization including churches and mosques, civil rights organizations, and social and fraternal organizations, all make it possible for these groups to politically mobilize millions, including many beyond the African American community.

In national elections, African Americans vote overwhelmingly against the ultra right more than any other group. There are thousands of Black elected officials nationally; almost all run as Democrats. Because they vote almost unanimously as a block in most elections, African Americans have a level of influence beyond their actual numbers.

Mexican Americans

Mexican Americans together with African Americans are the two largest nationally oppressed peoples in the U.S., with Mexican Americans being one of the fastest growing sections of the population. The Mexican American population is concentrated in the U.S. Southwest, land that was originally stolen from Mexico, with U.S. domination being imposed on the many Native American and Mexican American people living in those areas.

Mexican Americans mainly vote Democratic and have a major and growing impact on national elections. They have emerged as perhaps the most decisive group of voters in California and the southwestern states. Nationally, there are thousands of Mexican Americans holding public office, most elected as Democrats. The Mexican American people are overwhelmingly working-class and are a major force in the trade union movement nationally. There are also many large national, regional and local mass organizations among the Mexican American people that have a big impact on the U.S. political scene. Among the problems faced by Mexican Americans are language discrimination on the job and in schools, cultural suppression, anti-immigrant laws and abuses, and lack of full political representation.


The labor movement has recently embraced the importance of unity between immigrant and native-born workers. Not only did anti-immigrant sentiment and racist repressive laws allow bosses to relegate immigrant workers to near-slavery conditions with no recourse, but it also undercut the attempts by native-born workers to organize unions and win concessions from management. Attacks on immigrants in farm fields, at the borders, and by law enforcement lay the basis for undermining everyone’s rights.

The U.S. has large communities of immigrant workers. These workers are often super-exploited, working in the most primitive, unhealthy, non-union conditions. Each immigrant group faces its own national oppression, and many face racial oppression as well. Basic human and labor rights are often denied them. Thousands of undocumented, mainly agricultural workers crossing the border with Mexico are subjected to the murderous policies of the Border Patrol and racist vigilantes. They are hounded, chased down like criminals. Hundreds have tragically died or been murdered, especially in border areas, for simply trying to unite their families or find a better life.

For most Latinos, common use of Spanish and shared experience of discrimination in the U.S.are forging unity among Latino peoples. At the same time many immigrants from Latin America speak an indigenous language as their first language or do not speak Spanish at all. Latinos are extremely diverse culturally and in terms of national origin. Over half of all Latinos in the U.S. are foreign-born and face discrimination as immigrants, including Brazilians whose language origins are Portuguese.

Fleeing U.S. Imperialism

Many people come to the U.S. as a result of wars with either direct U.S. military involvement or surrogates financed and trained by the U.S. People from many countries immigrate to the U.S. because of dire economic situations in their home countries. Reactionaries often use this immigration to bolster their claims that the U.S. is a beacon of freedom. But it is actually a condemnation of U.S. transnationals and their crass exploitation abroad. Refugees often immigrate to the U.S. looking for economic survival. They are refugees from the economic policies of U.S. imperialism, from the neo-colonial, “free trade” exploitation experienced around the world.

Many  refugees fled their countries due to right-wing dictatorships and death squads supported and trained by the U.S. in Guatemala, El Salvador and elsewhere in Central America.

Many immigrants from the Caribbean are trying to escape the U.S. stranglehold on their home countries. Dominicans, Haitian Jamaicans, and others play vital roles in their communities in the U.S.

Haitian immigrants, from one of the poorest countries in the world, have experienced U.S. support for dictators and death squads, U.S. attempts to subvert and co-opt popular democratic movements, and direct exploitation by U.S., French, and other transnationals. Once in the U.S., they face continued impoverishment, heath crisis, racism and discrimination.

Asian Americans come from many different nations, with different cultures, different histories, and different politics. The widely varying conditions in their homelands have a big impact on the consciousness, level of organization, and integration into U. S. society of the different Asian immigrant groups. While a large number of Asian Americans are foreign-born, millions of Asian Americans have been living in the U.S. for generations.

When  immigrants arrived in the U. S. and under what conditions are big factors in the level of political consciousness of Asian American communities. During World War II, many  Japanese Americans, most of whom were citizens, faced forced incarceration in internment camps.  They have a different life experience and political history than Vietnamese who immigrated during the turmoil of the defeat of U. S. armed forces in the mid-1970s. Filipinos whose parents and grandparents came to the U. S. in the 1920s to work in the agricultural fields of California have different national issues than South Koreans, many of whom immigrated following World War II as professionals and students. As more recent immigrants from Asia live in this country for longer periods, they increasingly face and understand the racial and national discrimination rife in the U. S., and increasingly struggle against that oppression. Cambodians, Laotians, Koreans, and national minorities from within those countries endure virulent racism, discrimination, and forced exclusion from major parts of society. The national questions faced by Asian Americans are thus complex, varied, and need specific attention.

Pacific Islanders also come from countries and lands with widely varying political and economic conditions, from colonies of the U. S. like Guam, to independent nations like Fiji, to hundreds of smaller islands which are still struggling to create and maintain their own national identities. Samoans, Fijians, Micronesians, and many other nationalities all face national discrimination and racial discrimination in particular ways.

Increasing numbers of Africans immigrants,  have come to the U.S. in recent years, fleeing economic oppression, war, lack of opportunity, famine and genocide. Many African immigrants come with advanced degrees but are relegated to the lowest paid jobs and living conditions.

Colonies of the U.S.

The U.S., contrary to mythmaking in many U.S. histories, maintains several colonies around the world. To hide this fact, the government uses the term “protectorate” or “commonwealth” to describe the occupied nations.

There are about 4 million Puerto Ricans in their nation Puerto Rico, a U.S. colonial possession. Puerto Ricans in their homeland face numerous kinds of discrimination and special oppression. Part of their fight for justice includes the fight for the right of self-determination for Puerto Rico. A prerequisite for Puerto Ricans being able to fully exercise any right to make a decision dealing with their country is the transfer of all sovereign powers to the Puerto Rican nation. This includes their own association with any other country, a right which cannot truly be exercised under the domination of U.S. imperialism.

Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. form as large a community as they do in Puerto Rico. They are overwhelmingly working-class  and they are very active in the trade union movement. Puerto Ricans vote consistently against the right.

For several decades during the last century, the Philippines was a “protectorate” of the U.S., and many Filipinos immigrated during that time and subsequently, many to work in the agricultural and canning industries. Filipinos played an important role in early efforts to unionize farmworkers on the West Coast and in Hawaii.

The U.S. maintains colonies in Guam, Virgin Islands, Samoa, and elsewhere whose population has no vote, no say and no sovereignty.

Post-9/11 Discrimination

More than six million people of Arab ancestry live in the U.S., including such nationalities as Palestinians, Iraqis, Lebanese, Syrians, Egypt, Algeria, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. Many live in communities in Michigan, Illinois, California, and New York. Most are workers, with many active in the labor movement and otherwise active politically. Thousands of Iranian Americans also live in the U.S. Many people from all these nationalities have been citizens of the U.S. for generations, many are recent immigrants.

As a result of U.S. aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq and support of Israeli occupation of Palestine and refusal to accept the existence of a co-equal Palestinian Arab state, a substantial majority of Arabs, Muslims and South Asian peoples in the U.S. have become active opponents of the ultra-right. Discrimination against them, which dramatically increased following 9/11, has intensified their opposition to the current course of U.S. domestic policy. This heightened discrimination and oppression includes racist violence, registration  with the FBI, imprisonment without due process or even legal counsel, and mass deportations.

The demonization of Arabs, Muslims and South Asians does not make anyone safer. It is in reality a support for the aggressive military policies of the U.S. government and a racist justification of oppression.

Native Americans and other Indigenous Peoples

There are many unique features of the national struggles of Native American Indians and other indigenous peoples in the U.S.. Issues of sovereignty and treaty rights, language and cultural rights fishing and hunting rights, land rights, health care and education give a different character to these struggles. Also, the abuse and mismanagement by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as tribal government issues, make an impact on Native American forms of organization and struggle.

The attempted genocide of Native Americans  must be recognized and acknowledged by honoring treaties and tribal sovereignty, by reparations and affirmative action for tribesas well as for urban Indians. Native Americans have played an important role in the Ironwork, Construction and other industries in some regions of the country, and have a long history of struggle for survival and democratic rights.

Some tribes play an active, vigorous role in the electoral process. The growing political clout of some tribes is contrasted with the most vicious effects of racism on the living conditions, education, employment, health, and survival of many Native Americans, who on some reservations are subjected to the worst possible living conditions, highest infant mortality rates, highest rates of disease and suicide, and highest unemployment of any nationality. The growth of gambling casinos on many reservations has not alleviated conditions for the large majority of Native Americans, and is not a solution to the racism and national oppression they face.

Other indigenous peoples, including Aleuts, Inuit, and native Hawaiians, have their own cultures and traditions. Hawaii, which had its independent monarchy overthrown by an invading army, was a colony of the U.S. for many decades. Native Hawaiians face national oppression in addition to the problems faced by Hawaii as a whole, one of the most multi-racial states.

United Against Sexism: The Struggle for Full Equality for Women

Working class women suffer additional forms of oppression and exploitation than do male workers. The capitalists gain super profits as a result-billions of dollars each year. They also gain greater profits from male workers when male supremacy helps the capitalists divide male and female workers.

Like racism, sexism is a key tool of the ruling class against all women and the working class as a whole. The wage differential remains between men and women in similar jobs resulting in billions more in profits. The gendered stratification of the job market ensures that many women are relegated to the lowest-paying, least secure jobs. Under capitalism, women workers are doubly oppressed, once as workers and again as women. Racially and nationally oppressed women face triple oppression. Women continue to be compelled to shoulder the predominate burdens of childcare and domestic household work. Treatment of women as sexual objects also brings additional profits to the capitalists and divides men and women. Cuts in social welfare programs hit single mothers and their children especially hard, with rapidly growing numbers of single mothers being driven further into poverty. These cuts hit women of oppressed groups even harder.

Among the forms of oppression women experience are attacks on their reproductive rights, lack of quality, affordable day care, inequality in child rearing and household work, sexual harassment on the job, and domestic and sexual violence. The special oppression of women also cuts widely across class lines. This provides the potential for a progressive role for women as a whole, as an ally of the working class and the nationally oppressed.  Women workers play a key role in assuring an alliance of the women’s movement with the working class, while nationally oppressed women play such a role in the alliance with the nationally oppressed. Generally, women are more advanced than men on issues of war and peace, and on social welfare programs.

Men should take the lead in combating all instances of sexism and male supremacy in the labor and people’s movements as well as in the family. Men have a self-interest in this-greater principled unity means greater victories for all. Women need and deserve an equal place in the ranks and in the leadership of the labor movement and all the people’s mass democratic movements, including the Communist Party. The main expression of the unity of men and women must be in the united struggle for women’s rights and equality. The labor movement needs to stand up for the rights of working women in particular as well as women generally. All the people’s movements need to defend reproductive rights and basic equality for women against rightwing attack.

Youth & Students

Under capitalism, youth and students experience special oppression and exploitation. Once again capitalism gains extra profits from the special  exploitation of youth, by two-tier contracts providing lower wages for new hires and by extremely low minimum wages which mostly affect young workers. Capitalists also gain from pitting generations of workers against one another. Capitalism deprives youth of free access to quality education, of cultural and sports activities, of living wage jobs and entry-level training and apprenticeship programs, and threatens young people’s hope for a secure future.

Capitalism seeks to use youth as cannon fodder in its imperialist adventures. Working class youth and students are in a position to be a key link between youth and the working class; They are the core of a labor/youth alliance. Similarly, youth who are also specially oppressed can help ally youth with the other core forces in the struggle for social progress. The forces of ultra-right reaction attempt to appeal demagogically to the young generation, but increasingly the desire of youth for a secure future and their high social ideals move youth into on-going alliance with labor and its allies and pushes the youth movement in a leftward direction.

United Against Homophobia

The ultra-right also uses homophobia, and attacks on gays and lesbians as a wedge to divide its opposition. Using their false notions of “morals” and “family values,” the right attempts to use homophobia to gain allies for its corporate agenda among the working class and its allies. As do all other people, gays and lesbians deserve and are demanding full and equal civil rights, including the right to marry.

Those leading the attack on gay rights are also attacking labor and slashing budgets for social programs. The real threat to working families is not gay marriage but the ultra-right agenda of maximum profits and war. Homophobia was one of the weapons of the McCarthy-era attack on democracy, and continues to be called on by the ultra-right in attempts to split the growing unity against the rightwing program. Unity against homophobia and for gay rights is an important defense of basic rights for gays, lesbians, and all people, and is a key to building unity against the broad anti-democratic agenda of the right. Discrimination in housing, employment, education, as well as hate crimes against gays and lesbians, need to be punishable by law where they are not, and enforced where they are.

Other Social Movements

There are other class and social forces, social movements and political tendencies that play important roles in the political life of our country. These include the peace activists, family farmers, professionals, and small business people. Similarly, movements in support of improved public education and public health care, for reforming and democratizing our electoral systems, civil liberties organizations, various community and neighborhood organizations, and democratic progressive sections of religious denominations and organizations, at times all ally themselves with the working class. At times, one or another struggle led by these groups can be the sharpest battle in a region or in the nation as a whole, galvanizing new support, understanding, and activism. The massive worldwide peace movement involves tens of millions directly, and hundreds of millions who support and agree with the goal of building a peaceful world.

International Solidarity & the Struggle for Peace

The politics of the Communist Party are rooted in proletarian internationalism. This means that we recognize that the working class of the whole world has common interests in their mutual understanding, liberation, peace and development. We share a common enemy: world imperialism, particularly U.S. imperialism, its most reactionary transnationals, and the governments they dominate. We support the broadest possible unity of the international working class. We also support international solidarity with other forces, peoples and movements struggling for liberation worldwide.

Like other forms of unity, international unity must be built on respect, trust and joint action on issues of common interest. International working-class solidarity and unity is not built in the abstract but in specific struggles, in reality.

The need for international working-class unity is more important than ever. U.S. imperialism, particularly under ultra-right dominance, is increasingly warlike and belligerent. There are similar trends in some competing imperialist powers. In their attempts to spread economic, political and military control across the globe-in short, to spread their empires-some capitalist nations do not hesitate to declare war on weaker nations. We cannot rule out the danger of war between imperialist powers in the future, though the destructive effects of modern weaponry, the overwhelming military superiority of the U.S., and the likely negative internal political opposition serve to discourage ambitions for direct military imperialist conflict. Working people are the victims on both sides of all imperialist wars and military adventures.

 The U.S. government is the main imperialist power in the world and is therefore the main threat to peace worldwide. The U.S. working class and peace-loving people have a special role to play in the international peace movement. We have a responsibility to all past, present, and potential future victims of direct U.S. military aggression, including socialist Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea. Building international unity against war and aggression is increasingly a matter of human survival. Unity against the development and use of nuclear weapons and against expanding the arms race into space is a continuing and escalating necessity.

Capitalism has been a global system since the early days of mercantile capitalism. Since the 1970s, changes in science, technology, and transportation have reinforced the dominance of transnational corporations within capitalism. The ever-more-rapid capitalist globalization of the world is an increasing threat to working people around the world. Giant transnational corporations and the governments that back them are racing to expand their markets and access to resources. They are destroying national sovereignty, workers rights and environmental protections in order to increase their profits. Only much greater unity and solidarity by the labor and people’s movements internationally can counter the ravages of capitalist globalization.

A new level of international unity and struggle emerged from the protests of the November 1999 meetings of the World Trade Organization in Seattle, Washington. Environmental groups, student organizations, women’s groups, and others came together with the labor movement and allies from around the world to say no to capitalist globalization. There exists today a much higher level of international consciousness among working people and a much greater level of functional international unity than in recent memory. Back to top

5. Unity Against the Ultra Right

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, capitalism in the U.S. went through a period of economic stagnation, an oil crisis which challenged U.S. corporate dominance of energy resources, the exposure of the illegal and immoral operations of U.S. intelligence agencies, and the resignation of a sitting president. Internationally, there was the renewed economic power of U.S. competitors in Europe and Japan, a continuing rise of newly independent former colonies who sought alternatives to subservience to the transnationals, growing economic strength in the socialist community of nations, and a military defeat of U.S. imperialism in Vietnam. These and other challenges to U.S. capitalist dominance caused a shift in ruling class thinking.

Sections of the U.S. ruling class began to seriously fund right-wing think tanks, ultra-right political campaigns, and efforts to turn religious fundamentalism to their political advantage, in an attempt to reassert their power. They sought to reassert U.S. military strength with massive investments in new weapons systems. They sought to break up the grand political coalition that supported the Democratic Party by building their own coalition of transnationals, and economic and social conservatives in the Republican Party.

Beginning in the 1970s and dramatically escalating with the election of Reagan, the ultra-right increased U.S. military build-up. Under Reagan, they attacked the very existence of unions and bargaining rights, imposed tax cuts for the rich, cut social programs, demonized foreign opponents of the U.S., and covertly funded the right-wing-initiated civil war in Nicaragua. They picked small countries to invade, testing new military equipment and strategy, and breaking down resistance at home and abroad to U.S. military invasion as a policy option. The election of Clinton led the ultra-right to step up attacks on Democrats, liberals, and all social programs, and to intensify all their efforts in a vast right-wing conspiracy which quickly won a Republican majority in Congress for the first time since World War II. Across the “mainstream” political spectrum, support for capitalist globalization led to the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the WTO, and other international trade agreements and organizations and to increased outsourcing of union manufacturing jobs.

Further shifts to the right occurred with the stealing of the 2000 elections and the 2004 election of George W. Bush. Republican control of all three branches of the federal government put tremendous power into the hands of the most reactionary section of the transnational corporations. Massive tax cuts for the wealthiest few, accompanied by huge increases in military spending and privatization of social programs, have decimated the budgets of most states and cities. Today, pre-emptive war and nuclear weapons development aimed at global domination threaten the future of the entire planet. Utilizing the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 as a smokescreen, constitutional rights of free speech and assembly have been curtailed, and police powers and monopolization of the media have accelerated.

The ultra-right is dominated by the most reactionary sectors of the transnational monopolies. These include the military-industrial complex, the oil and energy industry, the pharmaceuticals, sections of the high tech industry and finance capital, and massive manufacturing and distribution companies including Wal-Mart. The ultra-right also incorporates various social and political tendencies, and has achieved a mass base among sections of different class and social forces which currently support ultra-right candidates against their own interests. Most of ultra-right’s mass base is unaware of the real program of the ultra-right. These include the so-called “neo-conservatives,” social and fiscal conservatives, religious fundamentalists, nativists, libertarians, and other rightwing trends. The ultra-right also includes sections of the urban and rural middle strata: farmers, large and small business people, as well as small sections of most class and social forces. This mass aspect of the ultra-right movement tends to be located more in the suburbs and exurbs, and in small cities and towns especially in the West, Midwest and South.

The present period of capitalist development poses a grave danger to democratic rights and civil liberties in the United States. Since the early 1980s, the Republican Party, dominated by its ultra-right wing, has controlled much of the national legislative agenda, while the leadership of the Democratic Party ceded ground to their agenda.

Currently, every movement for change and progress is challenged by the oppositional power of the corporations. Workers face corporate power in every contract negotiation. African Americans, Mexican Americans, other Latinos , Native Americans, Asian Americans, and women face corporate power when they seek real equality on the job and in their communities. Youth face corporate power when they seek free quality education for all. Environmental organizations face corporate power when they try to stop pollution, stop the dumping of industrial waste, or stop the ravaging of remaining wilderness areas.

The corporations and their paid hacks in the media constantly proclaim that “competitiveness” requires lower wages, fewer benefits, fewer holidays, gutted pension plans, continuing wage differentials and discrimination, and the free export of capital and jobs to other countries. We don’t think that is so. “Free Trade” agreements, which place supra-national committees of capitalists above our laws, which require ending environmental protections, which allow the “free” export of capital and jobs, which remove the ability of countries to restrict the rights and activities of corporate managers, are only free in that they give a “free” bonus of super-profits to the already rich and powerful at the expense of democracy and sovereignty. Back to top

Building an All-People’s Front Against the Ultra-Right

The only strategy capable of defeating the ultra-right is the widest possible unity of all the class and social forces whose interests run counter to those of the most reactionary section of the transnationals. This includes all the class and social forces  described herein, except the most reactionary sectors of transnational capital. This unity will include an ever-growing Center-Left political coalition that includes the Democratic Party, left and progressive independents who recognize the danger the ultra-right poses, and all social movements on the major issues of our day. This All-People’s Front should even strive to and be able to attract many who voted Republican in the past.

The labor movement has made significant shifts in its organization and outlook, and now leads many coalitions for progress and change, and leads defensive struggles against the attacks of the corporations and the ultra-right. Labor’s intensified participation in electoral struggles has resulted in the election of thousands of union members to office, the creation and development of labor’s own independent political apparatus, and better communication with, education of, and mobilization of union membership. Increased efforts to organize workers, to build relationships with allies, and to fight in the political arena have made labor the key element of most major progressive coalitions and election campaigns.

While the ultra-right has used the terrorist danger to justify its attempts to dictate to the world and as a weapon to beat down internal opposition, working people in our country have been the victims of terrorist attacks, especially the Sept. 11 attacks. Marxist-Leninists oppose targeting civilians for violence. Terrorism attempts to substitute individual acts of violence for the mass action essential to real change. We have long rejected and opposed terrorist methods as a means of struggle even for a just cause. The organizers of much individual terrorism in the world today are not pursuing social progress, but rather are trying to impose right-wing regimes, often under the banner of religious extremism. Defeating terrorism requires isolating these extremists and reactionaries from any mass support. That cannot be accomplished by police and military methods. It requires removing solving real grievances of poverty and hunger, national oppression and other injustices around the world. Only international solidarity, ending imperialist domination, and genuine economic and social assistance to developing nations can put an end to terrorism.

Another aspect of the terrorist threat is state-sponsored terrorism by the U.S. and other imperialist countries. The targeting of civilians for military attack is just as much terrorism as an individual act of violence.

The ultra-right in the U.S. justifies its terrorist aggression and interference in many countries under the banner of “freedom” for all peoples. It claims that when all countries have freedom, the result will be world peace. It is not hard for people around the world to understand that the United States has no right to define freedom for them, nor impose capitalist austerity measures to guarantee the “freedom” of capitalist investment and transnational domination, nor impose any form of government against the will of the majority of people of a country.

Freedom is of great importance to Communists. But freedom has different class and social content for different classes and social forces. The “freedom” to exploit is not freedom for the exploited. Freedom is the right of the majority to determine the conditions of their own lives, to decide for themselves the policies and forms of their government. Defeating the ultra-right will expand the freedom of working people. Radically curbing the power of the transnationals will expand freedom for working people even more.

The struggle against the ultra-right, against the most reactionary sector of the transnationals, and for achieving a defeat of its political power, will be of great significance. However, that alone will not end the ultra-right danger. There will still be the danger that the most extreme reactionaries, militarists, and racists in our country will seek to impose fascism-an open terrorist dictatorship of big capital. Only the replacement of capitalism, which gives birth to these political trends, with socialism can finally do away with the ultra-right threat.

The current success of the right wing in the electoral arena is not just the replacement of one set of politicians by another, but is a grab for control by one section of the capitalist class over all others. The present ultra-right government is not an ordinary bourgeois-democratic regime. It has a conservative-authoritarian nature, which rather than seeking to unite the capitalist class through compromise instead seeks to dominate less militaristic sections of the capitalist class. They target other sections of capital along with  working-class and people’s forces in an attempt to impose the most reactionary policies on all politicians and the corporate forces they represent. The current ultra-right conservative-authoritarian policies, which chip away at democratic and constitutional rights, escalate the danger of fascism. We shouldn’t overstate fascist danger-fascism is the open terrorist dictatorship of the most reactionary, militarist, racist section of monopoly capital. Fascism is not inevitable, but the working class and allied forces will not be able to prevent the ultra-right section of the capitalist class from moving further towards fascism without resisting these beginning steps in that direction.

Ever since the major victories for the working class during the New Deal era of the 1930s, the rich and their paid operatives have worked diligently to take power away from workers. They have attempted to slow down or restrict many progressive programs that benefited people’s lives, to chip away at every victory for unions,  civil rights, and the environment. Now the ultra-right and the mega-rich want to place on the agenda the complete elimination of many of these programs, which they refer to pejoratively as “entitlement” programs. They would like to place Social Security, Medicare, the Food Stamp program, children’s programs such as Head Start, and many other social programs on the chopping block. They want a government which has no role except to facilitate the ruthless power of the giant monopoly corporations-the industries, the banks, the chain stores, the brokerage houses, the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, the arms merchants.

Defeat of the ultra-right in the political/electoral arena will substantially weaken the most reactionary sector of the monopolies. In doing so, their defeat objectively weakens all monopolies and capitalism as a whole. The struggle against that sector of the ruling class also serves the purpose of uniting, educating and assembling a major portion of the forces needed for the next historic task of the working class, that of struggling to radically curb the monopolies as a whole. The struggle against the ultra-right helps millions of people understand more clearly who the next main strategic opponent is and who can and must unite to achieve that next goal. It teaches millions about methods of struggle, forms of organization and the people’s issue demands necessary to move forward.

A major, lasting rebuff to the ultra-right, rendered by the all people’s front, will represent a qualitative change in the domestic balance of forces. It will make possible a new stage of struggle in our country. Just as important as the specific defeat of the ultra-right will be the growing unity of labor-led mass movements that makes such a defeat of ultra-right politics possible.

The ultra-right promotes anti-democratic electoral methods. Manipulation of the political process, including racist vote suppression, extreme partisan redistricting, and use of electronic voting machines with no paper trail for recounts, shows that the right to vote and to have every vote count has yet to be achieved. Major reforms, such as proportional representation, abolition of the Electoral College, and elimination of barriers to ballot access for minor parties, are needed to guarantee basic democratic voting rights.

The policies of the ultra-right endanger the working class and its core allies-racially and nationally oppressed peoples, women, and youth. As well, the ultra-right program is detrimental to seniors, family farmers, small business, professionals, and sections of capital that do not benefit directly from increased military spending. Objectively, all these forces  become potential allies in the common fight to defeat extreme right-wing control of government.

While the Democratic and Republican Parties are both capitalist institutions, they are not identical. The ultra-right currently dominates the Republican Party. The Democratic Party has been the main mechanism used by African American and Latino communities to gain representation, as well as the main mechanism used to elect labor, progressive, and even Left activists to public office, especially at the local level. There exists an internal struggle within the Democratic Party between centrist forces who collaborate with the right wing, and centrist forces opposed to the right wing. Those opposed to the right wing are often willing to align with progressive elements that seek an anti-monopoly program. There are struggles within both the Democratic Party and within the labor and people’s movements, which are reflective of the overall struggle to gain political independence from corporate dominance. Any serious strategy that hopes to win millions of people to a more advanced political program must relate to these struggles. .

Grassroots organizing around a program for working people’s needs is key to shift the balance of forces to the left. Building a multiracial, multinational movement and expanding union organization and other movements into the South and rural areas are crucial to overcoming the racism and bigotry of the ultra-right.

The labor movement has played a leadership role in building an independent, issue-based worker-to-worker political apparatus since the mid-1990s. This shop-floor and neighborhood outreach, which mobilized a quarter-million union members in the 2004 presidential election, is the foundation for year-round organizing and is key to electing union activists to public office. Similar issue-based door-to-door grassroots efforts by African American, Latino, Asian American, women, youth, gay and lesbian, and environmental organizations strengthen the voice and power of the Left within the all-people’s front against the ultra-right. Even with ultra-right control of the Federal government, people’s legislative victories, such as increasing the minimum wage, can be won on an issue by issue basis locally, statewide and even nationally. Back to top

People’s Politics

Third parties which recognize the need in this period for Center-Left unity to defeat the ultra-right can play an important and positive role toward shifting the balance of forces, and perhaps moving closer to the formation of a viable anti-monopoly third party in our country. Some successful projects work by building local independent electoral formations, some by utilizing fusion tactics, some by building national networks or parties. Such efforts can make a great contribution to the defeat of the ultra-right, some however can adopt tactics which divide them from the main forces able to sustain long-term independent political action.

The Communist Party’s approach to people’s electoral politics is a basic aspect of the our view that the current stage of struggle requires an all-people’s front to defeat the ultra-right. This is essential strategy for this historical period, not just a temporary shift in tactics. Ultra-right political dominance challenges the vast majority of people in this country-even including some sectors of monopoly capital-and very broad unity is both possible and necessary to bring about a major political shift. Without this shift, the people’s movements will be continually on the defensive. Without building this broad unity, the ultra-right will succeed in splitting their opposition, will continue to succeed in setting the priorities and agenda for the nation, and will risk ever-greater military adventurism in pursuit of an illusory global dominance. Without first defeating the ultra-right section of monopoly, the working class cannot proceed to radically curb the power of the monopolies as a whole.

The Communist Party, as part of the developing all-peoples front to defeat the ultra-right, participates fully with the labor movement and its allies in building a strong people’s electoral force. Communist candidates at the local and state levels are vital to building unity in the people’s movement, strengthening the Left, and to organizing a strong grassroots base for a more advanced program.

Our Party makes important contributions to the struggle to defeat the ultra-right. Communists clarify who the main enemy in this period is, what is the class and political nature of the main enemy, and the need for an all-people’s front. Communists help to unite the core forces of the alliance around the labor movement, and bring a high level of commitment, devotion, and activity to the struggle. The Communist Party is increasingly recognized for these contributions. The main limit on its role has been the small size of the Party. We work to build grassroots Party clubs to expand our independent base in the working class, to expand our ability to directly mobilize workers in shops and neighborhoods.

In the course of its participation in anti-ultra-right struggles, the Party agitates and helps prepare for the next phase of struggle, the building of an anti-monopoly people’s party, all the while educating and advocating for socialism. Back to top

6. Building the Anti-Monopoly Coalition

U.S. capitalism is presently in the monopoly capitalist, imperialist stage of development, and in the transnational monopoly phase of that stage. Once the most reactionary ultra-right transnationals, who dominate political life today, receive a major defeat, it will be necessary and possible to take on the transnationals as a whole; it will be possible to move on to the anti-monopoly stage of struggle. Building an anti-monopoly coalition is a key step in the road to socialism in the U.S.

The stage of radically curbing the power of monopoly as a whole will be more advanced than the current stage of struggle against the ultra-right. In the anti-monopoly coalition period, it will be possible and necessary for the people’s democratic forces to take on the transnational monopolies as a whole, not only the most reactionary sector of the transnationals.

In that future period, the strategic aim will be to radically curb the power of the transnational monopolies as a whole over the political, economic and ideological life of our country. To advance a serious effort to curb that power to a substantial extent will require a broad coalition of all class and social forces whose actual interests conflict with those of the monopolies. It will need to embrace all the social movements and political tendencies who oppose these transnationals on some or many issues.

Such a coalition will build on the alliances and organizational forms developed in the current struggle to defeat the ultra right. Because the anti-monopoly coalition seeks to curb the power of all sections of the transnationals, it will no longer include the more centrist, flexible section of the transnationals and their political representatives. But that shift need not mean a narrowing of the anti-monopoly coalition. It must involve a great mass upsurge of millions. The coalition can broaden and deepen as sections of the objectively anti-monopoly strata shed illusions through the experience of struggle and the successful achievement of a major defeat of the ultra-right.

The core of this coalition must include our multi-national, male-female working class and its organized sector, the labor movement, the African American people as a whole as well as Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans and other Latino peoples, Native Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Arabs and all other nationally and racially oppressed peoples, as well as women and youth. It is also possible to win other sections whose interests clash with those of the monopolies, including seniors, multi-class social movements, small businesses, family farmers, self-employed professionals. All share with the working class the common enemy of monopoly power. All have a stake in radically curbing the power of monopolies and in seeking to win an anti-monopoly government.

Analyzing the objective stages of struggle is essential to developing correct long-term strategy; it is not a mechanical prescription. Some demands and victories that begin to curb the power of monopoly as a whole may be won in part or whole in the course of the struggle against its ultra-right section. And some essential people’s demands may not be won completely or at all in the anti-monopoly stage and may have to await the succeeding stage of working people’s power and the construction of a socialist society. It is not the specific demands but rather the strategy of that particular period of struggle and the level of unity that develops which are the most crucial factors in defining the stage of struggle.

These are stages of struggle, not stages of social development from one socio-economic system to another. The social system remains capitalism through both the anti-ultra-right and anti-monopoly stages of struggle. There is no firm, complete barrier between these stages of struggle. In the current stage of struggle, while making the most reactionary sector of the transnationals the main opponent and developing an anti-ultra-right consciousness, Communists seek to spread general anti-monopoly consciousness, as well as socialist consciousness. While the ultra-right is the focus of the overall struggle, a transnational not part of the ultra-right may be the opponent in a political fight, or a labor contract or strike struggle. Back to top

An Anti-Monopoly Program

At a future stage of struggle when the anti-monopoly people’s coalition is growing and strong, it will put forward a program of public policies and government practices. As part of that coalition the Communist Party will propose suggestions for that program. Our suggestions will be radical democratic demands aimed at curbing the political, economic, and ideological power of the monopolies.  Some of those suggestions may be:

  • The building of a mass people’s party capable of contending for governmental power, a party free of domination by any monopoly interests;
  • Removal from the electoral system of the financial contributions of monopolies, to be replaced by public funding and guarantees of honest elections where each vote counts and all votes are counted;
  • Replacing the foreign policy of preemptive strikes and dictating to the world in the interests of U.S.-based transnationals, with a policy of international cooperation to solve problems of war and aggression, poverty, education, environment, health and development;
  • Full restoration and expansion of the Bill of Rights and all democratic rights; the complete separation of church and state;
  • Full legal protection from hate crimes, racial profiling, and implementation of affirmative action and compensatory programs to achieve actual equality for the racially and nationally oppressed and women;
  • Prevention of the “freedom” of monopolies to move assets in ways that harm workers and communities without full compensation; the guaranteed right to a job at living wages or full income through public works and public service jobs;
  • Elimination of management prerogatives coupled with the expansion of workers and union rights to prevent socially harmful management decisions;
  • Full funding for education, affordable housing programs, day care, Social Security, and a universal health care program, youth job training and recreation programs, and cultural programs;
  • A fund starting at $200 billion to help achieve equality in facilities and infrastructure for communities of the racially and nationally oppressed; affirmative action in all public programs to achieve actual equality for oppressed people and women.
  • No taxes for workers and low and middle income people; progressive taxation of the wealthy and private corporations;
  • Military spending slashed to a fraction of current spending; and,
  • All media to be owned and controlled at least 51% by entities of the anti-monopoly coalition or the public generally. Back to top

A Labor-led People’s Party

Currently, the development of political and electoral independence for the working class and its allies mainly supports candidates who run as Democrats. Despite the variety of new political forms and experiences of the labor people’s movements, the difficulties placed on organizing successful third parties remain a barrier to fully developing a political party free from control of the monopolies. Restrictions on full democracy such as excessive signature requirements for candidates, big money in politics, and other obstacles need to be eliminated in order to allow the fullest democratic participation of all people.

The forms of political and organizational independence that are currently developing towards a mass people’s party include:

  • labor’s independent electoral apparatus;
  • independent election financing;
  • labor candidates;
  • independent electoral apparatus in the African American community and other oppressed communities;
  • the growth of Internet-based activist networks;
  • organizations of voters partisan to specific people’s issues;
  • movements running on the Democratic line, on two lines, as independents;
  • Communists running for office, as Communists, as independents, for non-partisan offices, or as part of progressive slates; and
  • organizational forms that provide unity among these different forces and movements

Independent election tickets and parties, when they support the current central objective of defeating the ultra-right and do not weaken that effort, are also part of the process that objectively prepares the ground for a people’s anti-monopoly party in the future.

But the process of developing a national mass people’s party based on the working class, the nationally oppressed, women, youth and other progressive forces can not mature until the anti-monopoly stage of struggle. During the current stage of struggle against the ultra-right, the strategy to win necessarily includes a section of the transnationals and the Democratic Party, in whose national leadership certain transnationals and some of the rich play a big role. In the anti-monopoly stage, a party capable of challenging for governmental power can and must be free of domination by any sector of monopoly. It must be a party in which labor and the other key forces play the leading role.

The struggle for a program of demands to radically curb the power of the transnationals will take place both through a people’s party and through non-electoral forms at all levels-shop grassroots forms and neighborhood, city, state and national coalitions. These organization forms of struggle can gradually coalesce into on-going multi-issue coalitions and a general anti-monopoly front of struggle.

It is possible and desirable that a people’s party and anti-monopoly coalition win governmental control at local, city, state, and even the national level. The goal of this governmental participation is to implement those parts of the program of demands not already won through mass struggle. Curbing the power of the monopolies weakens capitalism as a whole. The building of a people’s party and the general anti-monopoly coalition shifts the balance of forces incrementally toward the qualitative change that opens the direct struggle for working people’s power and socialism.

The Left in the Anti-Monopoly Coalition

Further conditions for the growth of an anti-monopoly coalition and a third party capable of competing for governmental power are the growth of the Left, of a socialist-minded current, and of a mass Communist Party. A big and growing Left within all the class and social forces and social movements is essential to help keep the grand anti-monopoly coalition unified and moving forward. A much larger Left will help all democratic anti-monopoly forces focus on the transnational monopolies as the main enemy and will help assure a leading role of the multiracial, multinational working class in close alliance with all nationally and racially oppressed peoples, women, and youth. A mass Communist Party is simultaneously a necessary condition for an anti-monopoly coalition to develop, for overcoming obstacles placed by the transnationals and difficulties internal to the coalition, and for moving ahead to a coalition of working people’s power led by the working class. The contribution of the Communist Party will help assure that the anti-monopoly coalition moves on to seeking an end to capitalism itself and the construction of socialism.

It is not possible to predict with great foresight to what extent the anti-monopoly people’s coalition and government will implement its radical anti-monopoly program before the lesson is learned by the millions that winning radical anti-monopoly reforms is not enough. So long as the capitalists and transnationals own the means of production and are able to command political and economic power, big new social problems will emerge and old ones can be reintroduced in new forms. A full, lasting solution to modern social problems requires socialism, starting with social ownership of the key major sectors of the economy and working people’s democratic power led by the working class.

The wider and deeper the unity of the anti-monopoly coalition, the more the working class and its key allies lead it, the stronger the Left and socialist-oriented sector of it are. The bigger and more influential a mass Communist Party, the more the power of the transnationals will be curbed by radical measures, which will make easier, surer, and less painful the move to the next stage of social struggle, the socialist phase of U.S. history.

The more these things are accomplished the more likely it is that a transition can be accomplished without the capitalists being able to use violence to block the building of socialism.  The Communist Party believes it is possible to win a peaceful transition to socialism in the U.S. One of the major reasons for such confidence is that the working people’s anti-monopoly coalition can be built on an even broader basis than the coalition against the ultra-right. It will involve an overwhelming majority of people who have learned from their experience of struggle that capitalism cannot be reformed, cannot overcome its basic anti-human qualities. Capitalism will always and increasingly endanger life on this planet and undermine all the highest ideals and needs of humankind. Capitalism will always be based on economic exploitation. Therefore, even though the coalition of working people’s powerand for socialism will not include any section of the capitalist class, it can be broader and deeper than all previous political coalitions of the working class and its allies, embracing in active struggle for progress nearly the entire population of each of its class, social force, and social movement components. Back to top

7. Bill of Rights Socialism in the USA

Socialism will solve many of the intractable problems of capitalism, and provide the mechanisms for solving others over time. Once human need replaces greed and private profit as the driving force of the economy, once working people can together make decisions about the priorities of society, once the people remove the power of the transnationals from the U.S. political system, then we can begin real, humane problem solving.

Socialism would not create an instant worker’s paradise. Socialism, rather, is a phase of social-economic development during which millions of people increasingly decide their own destiny and work step-by-step to build new democratic institutions to run the economy. Socialism would provide mechanisms by which working people can all work together, cooperatively, to extend political democracy into substantive democracy in all spheres of social life including the economy. In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels wrote, “In place of the old bourgeois [capitalist] society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.”

Socialism is an economic system where from the beginning the decisive sectors of the economy-its “commanding heights” -are socially owned, where the anarchy and destructive competition of capitalism are replaced by a strategically planned economy. It is also a political system where working people led by the working class are the dominant political force.. Socialism not only means nationalization of key industries. There will be many forms of socialist ownership: public ownership at many different levels from national to state to municipalities, private ownership of small businesses, joint ownership of cooperatives, and other “mixed economy” forms that best fit production and social needs. And of course every individual will privately own their personal possessions.

Socialism will not only eliminate the waste of the capitalist system and the private appropriation of profit. A socialist economy must tackle issues of incentives, productivity, technological change, research and development, sustainability, and the organization of production and distribution to make the economy more effective and efficient, in order to make possible the material benefits of socialism. Capitalism uses technological improvements to further exploit the working class; socialism uses technological improvements and increases in productivity to fund social programs, to shorten the workweek, to provide free health and education. Socialism is not a utopian system, but bases social programs on the achievements of social production.

Socialism will eliminate much inequality by taking profit away from the capitalist class. Workers will be paid according to the principle, “from each according to their ability, to each according to their work.”

The Communist Party seeks to build socialism in the United States based on the revolutionary traditions and struggles of the people of our country. From before the start of the American Revolution up to today, workers, low-income people, and their allies have struggled to create and extend democracy.

Our vision is one of Bill of Rights Socialism, where people and nature come before profit. Our vision is of a country where all can participate, no matter how much money they have, no matter what their religion, race, or nationality; where immigrants have the same human rights as the native-born; where the strength of our multinational, multiracial, multigenerational working class can solve the problems we face in the interests of all people; where creating a sustainable economy takes priority over profits, over the “right” of companies to pollute; where women have full rights and actual guaranteed equality; where all ethnic, national and racial groups have full guaranteed equality and civil rights; where fully funded quality education and programs for children are the highest priority.

Bill of Rights Socialism would maintain and extend democratic rights in the U.S.-the rights to free speech, to free assembly, to freedom of religion, to a secular government, to be free from corporate domination, and to be free of unwarranted government intervention into the lives of individuals.

A socialist United States will guarantee all the freedoms we have won over centuries of struggle, and also freedom from unemployment, from poverty, from illiteracy. Socialism will guarantee the right to health care, to a job at a living wage, to decent housing. With socialism, pensions and social programs take priority over new weapons systems that protect only the profits of the “defense” industry. Socialism will bring a peaceful foreign policy that will not threaten other peoples or countries with invasion, domination, or war.

The people of our country have the potential to eliminate the greedy corporations that doom working people to poverty, to speed-up, to plant closings and the export of jobs, to wage differentials between men and women workers, between racially and nationally oppressed workers and white workers, wage differentials which place hundreds of billions of dollars of excess profits every year in the coffers of the already obscenely wealthy. The people can thwart the power of corporations that dooms working people to elections where money speaks louder than votes, to a court system which protects the “rights” of private property over the basic human rights of the majority, to homelessness, malnutrition, and lack of health care.

The Communist Party seeks a fundamental transformation of the economy, of the way decisions are made, of the institutions that enforce discrimination, exploitation, and oppression. We pursue the replacement of the ruling class domination of society with a system of working people’s power. We think this can only be accomplished by a revolutionary movement that is embraced by a majority of the people of our country.

Winning such a majority would require a grand coalition of the working class, the racially and nationally oppressed, women, and youth, along with progressive mass organizations and individuals independent of the big business political parties. This would include a mass Communist Party, along with millions of workers in unions, along with the mass organizations of the peace, civil rights, women’s, youth, and environmental movements, along with progressive religious groups and all who favor a more just, more equitable society.

This revolutionary majority, based on mass people’s organizations and political parties, could make it politically impossible for the former ruling class to return to power, or use the military to impose a return to power. Should the governing coalition of class and social forces led by the working class make substantial mistakes and lose the confidence of the majority of people, it could be voted out of office. The Communist Party aims for a peaceful transition to socialism, one which revitalizes our electoral system to empower the millions of people in our country who now feel that they have little power or control over decisions which govern their lives.

Our country has vast resources and productive industrial plants, extremely advanced technology and science, a huge reservoir of skilled workers, a great tradition of democracy, initiative, innovation, and creativity. In a socialist society, the millions of people now unemployed, homeless, and underemployed could create more wealth for all to share. Once the power of the corporations is broken, the vast majority of the country can use the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and local governments to build real democracy and equality.

Our Party thinks that fair trade, more holidays, higher benefits, and environmental protections are beneficial to workers. Society and government should have the responsibility to steadily improve the lives of the majority. A government that does not accept those responsibilities deserves to be elected out of power and replaced by a coalition which measures progress by the improvements in human rights and justice, in living standards, in real equality, in environmental sustainability.

As the working class and its allies accomplish these goals in the context of a new socially owned and governed society, society will be able to afford social programs on a constantly expanding basis. To insure the productivity of and efficiency of labor, we would:

  • Consider which aspects of production and distribution will be socially owned and how;
  • Strive for strategic planning which maintains necessary balances in the economy between the production of goods and commodities, heavy industry and the production of machinery;
  • Seek the proper combination of material and moral incentives at all levels of the economy-the individual worker and work collective, through city, state, regional, and national levels;
  • Seek mechanisms for the daily functioning of the economy such that the quality, variety, flexibility, and efficiency of production are constantly increased.

Many myths have been propagated about socialism. Socialism would not take away the personal private property of workers, only the private ownership of major industries, financial institutions, and other large corporations, and the excessive luxuries of the super-rich. Socialism would not make all wages completely equal-socialism would end the great disparity in income between workers and the former ruling class, whose wealth is unearned, eliminating private wealth from stock speculation, from private ownership of large corporations, from the export of capital and jobs, and from the exploitation of large numbers of workers. At the same time, workers would be paid according to their contribution in quantity and quality of work. Socialism would not do away with small businesses or family farms. Small business owners and farmers, who currently suffer from the heavy hand of monopoly, are important potential allies of the progressive majority even after the advent of socialism.

Many details of the constructing of socialism will of necessity depend on the specifics of the socialist transformation, on the politics of the time, on the wishes and demands of the majority. We can, however, predict some basic aspects with certainty. Socialism would bring social ownership of the “commanding heights” of the economy-the major industrial firms, the transnational corporations, banks and other financial institutions, the energy industry, much of the national distribution system, and the health care system-and run them as public utilities, with publicly elected boards, responsible to and for the public good, and for long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Public programs for free health care, free education through the college level, combating illiteracy, ending malnutrition, guaranteeing jobs, would be built.

Bill of Rights Socialism would guarantee freedom of religion and separation of church and state. People of faith, and religious organizations participate in all struggles for social justice, peace, equality, up to and including socialism. The high moral standards and progressive social activism encouraged by major sections of most religious traditions bring important moral elements to struggles for justice.

There are two major reasons why socialism has become even more imperative for the survival of the human race in recent decades. One is the development of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, which threaten the very existence of humanity. The war-oriented ultra-right could drive the world to the brink of destruction or even over the brink. This danger, new to the history of the world since the 1940s, dramatically escalates the dangers of war, already a horrendous and destructive force. For our very survival, we need a world in which the arms trade is curtailed and then eliminated, in which nuclear proliferation is blunted by the complete destruction of all nuclear weapons, and in which all chemical and biological weapons are destroyed. We need all nations to pledge no first-use of nuclear weapons, no preemptive nuclear war, and no extension of the arms race into space. A socialist world, in which the economic incentives for war would be eliminated, is humankind’s great hope for peace and survival.

The other development is the threat to the world’s environment. Tackling the solutions to air pollution, water pollution, the depletion of the ozone layer, global warming, and other environmental crises will require the combined cooperation, scientific knowledge, and research resources of all countries in the world. Any unilateral attempts to address environmental problems are doomed to failure. The forces of nature, the laws of nature, cannot be violated without paying a heavy cost, and if the violations are serious enough, this could threaten our very existence as a species, our planet’s ability to reproduce life as we know it.

Many environmental problems are rapidly approaching a turning point after which the ability of nature to regenerate and overcome problems will be forever altered. The system of capitalism, while not the sole cause of environmental problems, exacerbates and escalates these threats. For this reason too, our survival depends on establishing a system which places human needs ahead of individual profit, which enables the working people of the world to together make decisions about the threats to our survival, and which takes away the ability of capitalists to make short-term decisions which threaten our long-term survival.

Communists advocate socialism as the first phase of a new stage of society, but we don’t think that social and economic development will end at socialism. We see socialist society eventually leading to a higher phase-communism-where the capitalist class and all classes will have disappeared, replaced by a commonwealth of all working people, where national and racial enmity and prejudice will be a thing of the past. In Communist society, the essentials of life will be plentiful and readily available to all, where the repressive apparatus of government will wither away to purely administrative functions. In the communist phase of society, social production and distribution of wealth would be according to the principals of the motto, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.” 

But we have epic struggles ahead of us that we must first win before building a communist society. We need an organization that identifies these stages, alliances, and their interconnections. Back to top

8. The Role of the Communist Party

Within the struggle to achieve a more democratic and equitable society, the Communist Party plays a special role. As Karl Marx and Frederick Engels wrote in the Communist Manifesto, “in the movement of the present, the Communists also represent and take care of the future of the movement.”

The Communist Party fights the abuses of the capitalist class by organizing at the grassroots and in broad coalitions for immediate needs. We expose the capitalist system as the root cause of poverty, racism, war and human suffering and point the way to socialism as a fundamental solution.

The Communist Party upholds both the immediate and long-range interests of the multi-racial working class and people of our country, and builds unity of the entire working class and its allies. Our theory and analysis contribute to winning immediate reforms, and contribute to the creation of a new system based on people’s needs rather than private profit.

The Communist Party has made key contributions to the working class struggle of the United States, building industrial unions, organizing for rights on the job and for a social safety net, opposing racism and bigotry and pointing the way toward full equality, upholding democratic rights against the threat of fascism and the far right-wing, and supporting international working class solidarity against imperialist globalization and for peace.

At the current stage of struggle, our role is to contribute toward building the broadest all-people’s front to defeat the ultra-right assault against the labor movement, the working class, racially and nationally oppressed people, women, youth, seniors, the environment and democracy.

The Communist Party makes a unique contribution toward building broad labor and working-class leadership in the day-to-day struggles necessary to achieve an anti-monopoly coalition, political party, and possible anti-monopoly government, and then socialism. 

To fulfill its role requires a much larger Communist Party, USA.  Building Communist Party clubs with strategy, tactics, education and organization within shops and workplaces and working-class neighborhoods, helps win day-to-day struggles.  Grassroots Communist Party clubs are vital  that role, strategy, and tacti to bring the Party’s vision, strategy and tactics into local work with masses of working people. Sharing their problems and struggles, the policies of the Party are tested and honed in the clubs. The strategy of the Party eventually becomes the property of more and more working people, eventually of millions.

Since the publication of the Communist Manifesto in 1848, the communist movement has engaged in prolonged struggle against the capitalist system, playing a conscious role in working to end exploitation, oppression, and injustice worldwide. The experiences of the world communist movement along with the experiences of our own party since its founding in 1919, enriches our theory and practice. The Communist Party, USA has had many victories and some defeats, accomplishments and mistakes, successful tactics and errors, from which we have learned, that enables us to play a key role in the transition to socialism.

Basing ourselves on Marxism-Leninism, we strive to apply theory to practice and practice as the test of theory, by being the most consistent fighters for broad-based unity and against all unnecessary divisions-racism, sexism, nationalism, chauvinism, homophobia, and anti-communism.  Marxism-Leninism is a philosophy that not only explains how society works, it is a guide for how to change the world for the better.

Marxism-Leninism is a system of ideas that correspond to the interest of the working class. It consists of:

  1. Dialectical and historical materialism-the laws of social development which enable masses of people to be active and conscious shapers of their destiny, and a philosophical methodology for understanding change and development.
  2. Political economy-the laws of capitalist development and theories of its functioning.
  3. The theory of socialist revolution-how to move through the stages of struggle to achieve socialism.

Taken together, along with the theory of knowledge and the experience of the world working-class movements for justice and socialism, Marxism-Leninism provides a scientifically based guide to action. It enables the Communist Party to make important contributions at every stage of struggle, and to point the way forward. It does not make us infallible or mean we cannot learn from others. It does enable our Party to be the most consistent fighter for unity, for progress, for socialism.

How can we reach socialism in our country? Because of the power of the capitalist class, because of the dominant role of capitalist ideology in the media and educational systems, because of the divisions created and fostered by the agents of the capitalist class, the next major social transformation, the transition to socialism, requires a class-conscious force. Revolutionaries must be steeled in the battles of the working class for better wages and working conditions, tested in building alliances between workers and all oppressed peoples, consistent in battling real and perceived divisions between younger and older workers, between union leaders and community activists, between male and female, between the conscious, radical working-class Left and the Center forces who strive for real reforms.

Our party, with deep roots in U.S. history and culture, with its long-standing principled fight for working-class unity, for civil rights and full equality for all, for genuine reforms, for maintaining and extending Constitutional rights, is an indispensable component of the coalition needed to win socialism.

The struggle to achieve power and construct socialism will be difficult. The monopolists have great resources and great determination to keep their riches and power. For an organization to play a leading role and develop a strategy and tactics that fit the objective circumstances requires Marxist-Leninist analysis, an analysis based on the actual material conditions of society. It requires the ability to influence millions, based on long experience of common struggle and mutual respect. It requires a Communist Party steeled in action. The leadership role in the struggle for socialism is not proclaimed, but can only be won by millions of working people gaining direct experience with a Communist Party, with its deeds, and with its application of theory to real struggles. A Communist Party must win this respect anew at every step of the struggle.

Our party claims no monopoly on wisdom or Marxism. We seek to work with all who are genuinely interested in building united mass movements-those on the Left, Center forces, all who participate in progressive social activism and working-class organization. There have been instances in some countries where more than one organization saw themselves as proponents of socialism. In most cases, these organizations eventually merged with the Communist Party or developed a strong working coalition with the shared aim of winning and constructing socialism.

We seek to build our Party among workers of all races, nationalities, genders, ages, and sexual orientations, among organized and unorganized militant fighters for worker’s rights, better wages, improved working conditions, and the battles for social programs which benefit all. We focus on the organized sections of the working class because in organization lies strength, because when workers are organized they have more power, because when unions move, they move large numbers of workers with them. Similarly, we concentrate on workers in key industries, because workers in those decisive sectors can affect the profits of the ruling class as a whole, because they possess the ability to shut the system down, because their actions have a huge impact on all other workers and the economy.

Working class power comes from the united action of tens-of-millions of workers, from their commitment to end exploitation and oppression. Anything short of that will be unable to succeed in bringing about a fundamental transformation of the social system, redirecting priorities to solve people’s needs, both short and long term. We see revolution as a profoundly democratic process, one that involves the actions and decisions of the vast majority.

We reject all approaches that welcome and seek violent action. We fight for and commit ourselves to building enough unity to win socialism peacefully, though we recognize that the ruling class may initiate violence against progressive and radical movements to maintain their power.

The working class needs its own political party, a party dedicated to the interests of the whole class, dedicated to the long-term vision necessary for winning fundamental changes, dedicated not to an abstract ideal but to the real people who make up the working class and their real struggles. Even when a labor-based anti-monopoly people’s party is built, the working class still needs a revolutionary party that can project strategy for the future, for socialism, more clearly and consistently than a coalition electoral party. We recognize that victory relies not on slogans or gimmicks or conspiracies, but on the understanding of millions won in hard struggles over real issues, an understanding that grows into full class consciousness and socialist consciousness. Such consciousness cannot develop as a result of spontaneous struggle alone, but must be combined with explicitly Marxist-Leninist organization and education, tested and proved in struggle.

The Communist Party depends on its working-class form of organization, of turning individual work into collective strength. Just as a union needs all workers to go out on strike after a strike vote no matter how any individual worker voted, so too a working-class revolutionary party needs both democratic decision-making and centrally-led, unified action. We call this approach democratic centralism. At times in the past, our party has too-rigidly and dogmatically interpreted democratic centralism. Today, we strive for flexibility, unity, collectivity, and mutual commitment. We strive to win all our members to our democratically agreed upon policies, not to impose discipline on the minority. We ask a voluntary commitment and discipline from our members to achieve our mutual goals, our collectively agreed on strategy. Unity-of purpose, of vision, of action-is important not just in a union, mass movement, or coalition, it is crucial for a Communist Party. Back to top

9. Summary

The problems facing humankind can only be solved, ultimately, by the elimination of the exploitative system of capitalism. Our survival depends on a transformation to socialism. The U.S. working class, with a long revolutionary history and many powerful mass movements and organizations, has the potential to make this transition happen. That means building unity for peace, for protecting and expanding democracy, for living wages jobs, for universal health care, for real equality for all those who are nationally or racially oppressed and women, for an end to the political control of the ultra-right over our political institutions, for an end to the economic rule of the transnational corporations. Building organizations of and alliances between the working class and its allies, winning real unity in the course of struggle, is the path from our current struggles towards socialism.

A Communist Party is essential for Marxists to test revolutionary theory through practice. We are not a debating society wrangling over obscure texts. We are a political movement, and we welcome all who accept our program. As Marx said, “Hitherto, philosophers have attempted to understand the world. The point, however, is to change it.”  The Communist Party is about changing the world.

This draft was drawn up by a working group elected by the National Board, and revised based on a discussion by the National Committee. This text is NOT final. Individual members, clubs, and all other Party bodies may propose changes to the draft program during the Pre-Convention discussion period, and submit them to the working group. These will be presented to the Committee on the Program elected by the Convention to make recommendations on the floor of the Convention on the disposition of the proposed changes. Specific editorial suggestions and specific proposed language changes can be sent to cpusaprogram@yahoo.com.



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