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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Vietnam War: GI’s Turned the Guns Around

The Ken Burns documentary “The Vietnam War,” has been touted by the rulers’ media as an outstanding depiction of that U.S. invasion, presenting “both sides”—the opposition by GIs and the anti-war movement, as well as the soldiers’ so-called heroism on the battlefield and their families’ support at home.
But the 10-part series has a huge omission: It leaves out the mass rebellion of soldiers, sailors, and airmen, many times led by Black GIs. The achievements of Vietnam’s workers and peasants in their “people’s war” laid the basis for GIs to “turn the guns around” on U.S. officers, and which helped force the U.S. surrender.
How serious was that rebellion? While it was certainly the Vietnamese people and not the U.S. anti-war movement that was decisive in their victory, the U.S. rulers faced such a wave of rebellion that they were afraid they could lose control of the armed forces.
In a June 1971 article titled “The Collapse of the Armed Forces” in the Armed Forces Journal, a newspaper for military officers, Col. Robert Heinl detailed the extent of the rebellion and opposition of GIs on the ground, saying that “the morale, discipline, and battle-worthiness of the U.S. Armed Forces…are lower and worse than at any time in this [20th] century and possibly in the history of the United States.”
He added that the mass rebellion had “only been exceeded in this century by…the collapse of the Tsarist armies in 1916 and 1917…. There appear to be some 144 underground newspapers published on or aimed at U.S. military bases in this country and overseas….At least 14 GI dissent organizations (including two made up exclusively of officers) now operate more or less openly.”
Beyond that, he reported that soldiers were offering bounties for the death of unpopular officers, and that fraggings (grenade attacks on officers) were up to one-a-day in one division. In many cases, troops refused to go out into the field; sometimes the refusers were set up in separate no-go units. Desertion was also common; in the seven years of war from 1966 to 1973, half a million troops simply left.
In the Navy, rebellions, often led by Black sailors, were common on major ships. Rebellions often included setting fire to parts of aircraft carriers, including the captain’s and admiral’s quarters. These rebellions kept five of the Navy’s aircraft carriers in port and out of service for months or years. Heinl says: “When the USS Kitty Hawk was ordered to return…to Vietnam…black sailors led a major rebellion, including hand-to-hand battle with Marines sent to break up a meeting on board the ship….The Kitty Hawk was forced to return to San Diego…and was essentially removed from the war altogether….”
The Air Force, too, was the scene of soldier resistance to the imperialist war
When Nixon launched a 12-day all-out bombardment of much of North Vietnam, “individual pilots refused to participate on moral grounds.” Part of the super-secret 6990th Air Force Security Service — whose task was to warn B-52 bombers about Vietnamese air defenses — “staged a work stoppage bordering on open mutiny.” Seymour Hersh interviewed ten members of this unit for his book, The Price of Power: Kissinger in the White House, and was told there were cheers whenever a B-52 was shot down.
None of these events appeared in Ken Burns’ The Vietnam War. However, they confirm the validity of PLP’s entrance into the services to win GIs to “turn the guns around.” Our members who joined up played a modest role in these actions (which drew “honorable mention” in Burns’ quoting Vice-President Spirew Agnew’s condemnation of PLP, among others). (A future article will describe PLP GIs’ activities in the military.)
That’s the part of the Vietnam War history the ruling class would like us to forget as they prepare for new imperialist wars. They will need working class soldiers to fight their wars, as always, and the working class will again need to turn the guns around!

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