Progressive Labor Party on Race & Racism



Progressive Labor Party (PLP) fights to destroy capitalism and the dictatorship of the capitalist class. We organize workers, soldiers and youth into a revolutionary movement for communism.

Only the dictatorship of the working class — communism — can provide a lasting solution to the disaster that is today’s world for billions of people. This cannot be done through electoral politics, but requires a revolutionary movement and a mass Red Army led by PLP.

Worldwide capitalism, in its relentless drive for profit, inevitably leads to war, fascism, poverty, disease, starvation and environmental destruction. The capitalist class, through its state power — governments, armies, police, schools and culture —  maintains a dictatorship over the world’s workers. The capitalist dictatorship supports, and is supported by, the anti-working-class ideologies of racism, sexism, nationalism, individualism and religion.

While the bosses and their mouthpieces claim “communism is dead,” capitalism is the real failure for billions worldwide. Capitalism returned to Russia and China because socialism retained many aspects of the profit system, like wages and privileges. Russia and China did not establish communism.

Communism means working collectively to build a worker-run society. We will abolish work for wages, money and profits. Everyone will share in society’s benefits and burdens. 

Communism means abolishing racism and the concept of “race.” Capitalism uses racism to super-exploit black, Latino, Asian and indigenous workers, and to divide the entire working class.

Communism means abolishing the special oppression of women — sexism — and divisive gender roles created by the class society.

Communism means abolishing nations and nationalism. One international working class, one world, one Party.

Communism means that the minds of millions of workers must become free from religion’s false promises, unscientific thinking and poisonous ideology. Communism will triumph when the masses of workers can use the science of dialectical materialism to understand, analyze and change the world to meet their needs and aspirations.

  Communism means the Party leads every aspect of society. For this to work, millions of workers — eventually everyone — must become communist organizers. Join Us!


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Ebola: A Racist Imperialist Disease

The thousand people — and counting — killed by the latest outbreak of the Ebola virus are victims of capitalism and its racist neglect of longstanding health concerns in Africa.
Ebola has been around for nearly four decades. Past outbreaks, at the rate of more than one every two years, were concentrated in Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Zaire, Sudan, and Uganda. This time the lethal virus has struck western Africa: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, the continent’s most populous country. Once again, the capitalist healthcare system is unprepared to deal with it.
The virus is believed to originate in animals, from fruit bats to the wild animals butchered by impoverished Africans for “bush meat.” It spreads through the racist inequalities of capitalism, from substandard sanitary conditions to an inferior healthcare infrastructure. Despite its forty-year track record, capitalist medical science has yet to find a way to treat the disease, which kills up to 90 percent of those who are afflicted. Nor has it come up with a protective vaccine. As the New York Times noted (8/10/14), “Many drug companies have little interest in devising treatments or vaccines for Ebola because the potential for profit is small.” Instead, drug companies focus mainly on developing immensely profitable drugs, such as statins (to lower cholesterol) and anti-depressants.
Racist Neglect
According to the latest report of the Global Funding of Innovation for Neglected Disease (G-FINDER), an independent non-profit, only $3.2 billion was invested in 2012 to create new drugs for 31 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), including Ebola. Only $527 million — or 16 percent of the total for NTD research and development — came from the pharmaceutical industry. While most Ebola funding comes from the public sector, led by the National Institutes of Health in the U.S., “some experts believe the federal government has not shown enough urgency to push these programs ahead” (NY Times).
That’s an obscene understatement. It generally takes at least $1 billion and a decade or more to get a single drug to market. By chronically underfunding the battle against diseases that afflict black people in Africa, capitalism guarantees research won’t get anywhere fast.
By contrast, consider the investment by U.S. capitalists in an area where the bosses’ oil profits are at stake. Since 2003, they have spent $1.7 trillion and killed at least half a million civilians in their invasions of Iraq (Reuters, 3/14/13) — not counting the current air assault against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
A History of Oppression
From a historical perspective, capitalism and its centuries-long imperialist devastation of Africa have created conditions that make Ebola and other epidemics severe and very difficult to contain. After the enslavement of millions of Africans for profit in the Americas, beginning in the 16th century, 93 percent of Africa was divided into colonies by the main European imperialists: Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, and Portugal. In the 20th century, U.S. imperialism intensified this conquest. In addition to the destruction wrought by slavery, the imperialists have exploited labor, plundered natural resources, and propped up a long string of corrupt African rulers who have lined their own pockets while preserving the capitalist status quo (see Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa). President Barack Obama’s recent summit with 40 African leaders was just the latest example of efforts of rapacious U.S. corporations to exploit African workers by cutting deals with capitalist African leaders.
Despite the bold, socialist-inspired liberation movements of the 1950s and 1960s, political independence has done little to change the impoverishment and oppression of the African masses Those movements ultimately failed because they never made a complete break with capitalism (see “Smash Racism: A Fighter’s Manual,” p 35-40 at plp.org). Today, imperialism still holds sway. The result?  As Ibrahima Toure, a Guinean official declared, “The poor living conditions and lack of water and sanitation in most parts of Conakry [the capital of Guinea] poses a serious risk that this [Ebola] epidemic will become a crisis. People don’t think to wash their hands when they don’t have water to drink.”
Imperialist instability sparked numerous deadly civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, which ended about a decade ago after killing close to 300,000 people. After a 2008 military coup in Guinea, more than 200 protesters were killed or wounded in contested elections in 2013.
Workers Distrust Capitalist Medicine
In such a setting, it is virtually impossible to establish a public health infrastructure that might help contain the Ebola outbreak. Workers understandably do not trust the governments, and the governments put a low priority on public services. Well-intentioned efforts by groups like Doctors without Borders cannot possibly substitute for an indigenous, well-structured public health system.
There is also a shameful, racist history of pre-approval drug trials by U.S. and European pharmaceutical companies, which have used people in African and other less-developed countries as guinea pigs. Three years ago, the CIA made covert use of a vaccination campaign in Pakistan to cover the hunt for Osama bin Laden. These racist actions have rightfully made workers and farmers throughout the world deeply suspicious of any Western-related health initiatives. As a result, imperialism has made it virtually impossible to effectively contain Ebola in current conditions.
As air travel has increased, the threat of worldwide dissemination is greater than ever before. When the UN’s World Health Organization labeled the Ebola outbreak an international health emergency, it was one more reminder that the world’s working class must move swiftly to overthrow the perversity of capitalism and its profit incentive system by building revolutionary movements for communism. Communism will empower the masses, build social infrastructure to cope with any challenges, and crush the racist structures that murder and demobilize the working class. Africa has a rich anti-imperialist history. With the leadership of Progressive Labor Party, it is time to build on that history and smash capitalism once and for all!

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