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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Dark Night Shall Have Its End

This editorial is adapted from a report of PLP’s Central Committee to our 2015 Convention. Its title derives from a message of encouragement from Mao Zedong, chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, to William Z. Foster, chairman of the Communist Party USA, in response to Foster’s complaint that U.S. imperialism appeared indestructible.
Capitalism offers the world’s workers nothing but endless horrors. Its “triumph” brings imperialist war; mass racist and sexist poverty and unemployment; racist police terror and border control; fascist  “homeland security”; hunger and malnutrition; ethnic and religious genocide; mind-numbing cultural degradation. This is the nature of the profit system. It cannot change. It will prevail until it is smashed by communist revolution. That is the main task for workers of the world: to destroy the old order and create something new. The challenge was never easy, but today it is harder than ever. Why? Because of the cynicism and passivity resulting from the collapse of the old communist movement.
Nonetheless, we have every reason for revolutionary optimism. Progressive Labor Party’s experience in the mass movement tell us that a growing number of workers, soldiers and students are looking for a way out of capitalism’s house of horrors. Their search for an alternative creates an opportunity to win them to our political ideas. Though there are no quick solutions, what we do now—or what we fail to do—is more important than ever. With the reversals in Russia and China to full-blown capitalism, we have lost the model and inspiration of a center for the world communist movement. The current menu of political “options” consists of one set of billionaires or another, from Democratic Party liberals to Tea Party Republicans to Middle East petro-capitalists to a rogue’s gallery of nationalists in Latin America and Africa. None of these bosses have solutions for us. The only solution—the one way to stop imperialist bloodbaths for all time—remains international communist revolution.
Revisionism, the Movement’s Achilles’ Heel
The Achilles’ heel of the old communist movement was revisionism, capitalist ideas masquerading as leftist ideology within the ranks of the working class. While we must fight for reforms within the class struggle to communist ideas, reformism is a deadly ideology. It makes reforms the end rather than a means to build the revolutionary movement.
Our Party was born in the fight against these anti-communist tendencies, and has continuously fought to deepen the struggle. In the early 1980s, with the document Road to Revolution IV, PLP concluded that seizing power—and then keeping it to build an international communist workers’ dictatorship—hinged on bringing communist consciousness to hundreds of millions of workers organized into one revolutionary party. RR IV called for the elimination of money. The capitalist wage system would be replaced by communist distribution: from each according to commitment, to each according to need, with no special privileges for Party members. These theoretical advances were vital contributions to the arsenal of revolutionary communism.
We have a long way to go to build a new communist movement as a beacon of hope for billions of workers. We need to struggle very hard to make limited progress. Each advance, from the sale of one more CHALLENGE to the recruitment of one more worker, helps us move to a higher level of struggle.
Reviving Class Struggle in a Difficult Period
The biggest error our Party made after Road to Revolution IV was to underestimate the significance of the old movement’s collapse. Its defeat has devastated class struggle throughout the world. Where so-called activist movements still exist, they are dominated by agents of the ruling class.
Class collaborators preside over labor unions’ dwindling memberships. The U.S. bosses keep pushing FBI informer Al Sharpton as the pacifying misleader of the movement against racist murders by cops. Billionaire imperialist George Soros marshals pro-capitalist reformers worldwide for “human rights.” (His foundation trained the organizers of the Arab Spring and the current leadership of Black Lives Matter.) Barack Obama, who has droned to death more innocents than the number killed on 9/11 and deported more workers than all other presidents combined, successfully posed as an anti-racist champion in his eulogy for murdered church members in Charleston, South Carolina.
For the mass movement to break from capitalism and advance toward communist revolution, it must first break from these misleaders and their oppressive ideology.
There Are No Lesser Evils
Worldwide, inter-imperialist rivalry, the main source of international conflict today, has sharpened to the detriment of U.S. rulers.  Russia has annexed Crimea and invaded Georgia and Ukraine. China brandishes its growing military might in East Asia and the South China Sea. After a small success in Kosovo, U.S. imperialists have struck out in Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq.
But the U.S. bosses’ losses are not workers’ gains. Without exception, the main opposition to U.S. imperialism is reactionary and nationalist in character. A case in point is the U.S. rulers’ bungled invasion of Iraq. There is no “good” side here, only a choice among thieves and murderers. There is some support for ISIS among oppressed people around the world, but as CHALLENGE has pointed out, the group’s main funding comes from the same non-royal wing of Saudi bosses that bankrolled Osama bin Laden. They want to oust ExxonMobil and capture Saudi and Iraqi oil profits for themselves.  
From the Masses, to the Masses
A Party immersed in the working class will destroy imperialism and the old capitalist order. Relying on workers will make us immeasurably stronger. It will sustain us through hard times and secure the Party against fascist terror. Wherever we fight to sharpen the class struggle, we get a strong response.
In our participation in the recent wave of demonstrations against racist police terror, we showed how a small but disciplined and organized group can influence the masses. The slogans of PLP became mass slogans; the boldness of PLP pushed the limits in a range of actions.
We can do even more.  Through the actions in Ferguson, Missouri, and subsequent demonstrations around the world, our younger comrades learned—and older comrades were reminded—that we must respond with boldness and enthusiasm to the class struggle. Whenever we put the needs of our class first, we win more workers to the revolutionary communist PLP.
The Future Is Bright
Our responsibility is immense. As the current wave of anti-immigrant racism illustrates, the political line of the working class will derive from one of two sources: capitalists or communists. The liberal capitalist line points to the Koch brothers as the enemy and offers the likes of arch-imperialist Hillary Clinton as an alternative. The communist line takes a class position on internationalism and imperialist war, and calls for revolution. There is a life-and-death difference between these two positions.
The mass international protests in 2003 against the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the mass anti-racist marches of 2014 and 2015 show the potential for a mass working-class movement. As U.S. rulers plunge into broader global conflicts, turmoil and mass protest are sure to follow—and on a scale we have not seen in close to half a century.
As Marx wrote, every problem creates the elements of its solution. The profit system’s contradictions are universal and absolute. No amount of fascist repression or imperialist war can erase the historic need of the international working class to make communist revolution.
PLP represents the future. Our opportunities are abundant. By learning to diagnose the disease of reformism more quickly and sharply, we can cure it. Though years of struggle lay ahead, history demands nothing less of us. The working class deserves nothing less.
As we continue to build upon the theory and practice of the communist movement, Progressive Labor Party has the potential to midwife a new humanity into the world. We must stay the course with revolutionary patience and revolutionary urgency. The current period will not last forever; the change may come sooner than we can now foresee.
Dark Night will have its end.

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