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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U.S. & China Rivalry in West Africa A Prelude to War

The killing of four U.S. troops in Niger brought to light the escalating role of the U.S. military in West Africa—and the sharpening rivalry between the U.S. and China throughout this strategically vital continent.
In his March 2017 testimony before Congress, the commander of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) spoke bluntly about inter-imperialist competition in the region:  
Just as the U.S. pursues strategic interests in Africa, international competitors, including China and Russia, are doing the same…whether with trade, natural resources exploitation, or weapons sales, …. These competitors weaken our African partners’ ability to govern…and they also undermine and diminish U.S. influence.…
U.S. imperialism is determined to exploit African resources and labor in the service of corporate profits and geopolitical power. Former president Barack Obama greased the path for corporate entrenchment with programs like Doing Business in Africa Campaign, Power Africa, and Trade Africa. In 2014, in another Obama initiative, the U.S.-Africa Business Forum (USABF), public and private deals totaling $62 billion were cemented. Between 2008 and 2015, direct U.S. investment in Africa jumped more than 70 percent, from $37 billion to $64 billion  (Whitehouse Archives, 9/21/16).
China, Imperialist Giant in Africa
But China, which has quietly laid its groundwork in Africa for decades, remains far in the lead. In 2009, it surpassed the U.S. as the continent’s largest trading partner. From 2000 to 2014, trade between China and Africa rose more than 20-fold, from $10 billion to $220 billion, while US-Africa trade faltered (see graph, page 5). In 2015, to increase Chinese influence, President Xi Jinping pledged $60 billion over three years for African infrastructure projects ranging from pipelines, and ports to railways and highways, from manufacturing plants to electric power generation (Financial Times, 6/13, Forbes, 3/14). To protect its expanding role, China is establishing a naval base in Djibouti, in East Africa, the first overseas base for the People’s Liberation Army Navy. In addition, China has deployed a total of 2,500 troops with United Nations peacekeeping missions in South Sudan, Liberia, and Mali. President Xi has pledged up to 8,000 such troops, along with $100 million to the African Union standby force and $1 billion to establish a UN Peace and Development Trust Fund. More than a million Chinese nationals are currently in Africa as workers, contractors, or businesspeople (CNN, 7/13).
To counteract growing Chinese clout in Africa and stake a claim to the continent’s vast resources for its own empire, the U.S. is countering militarily. AFRICOM was established by President George W. Bush in 2007 and greatly expanded under Obama. This year, some 6,000 U.S. troops will conduct 3,500 “operations” out of military bases and U.S. embassies across Africa—a 1,900 percent increase since 2007 (Newsweek, 10/23). At least 800 troops are stationed in Niger, where the U.S. is completing construction of a $100 million drone installation capable of launching advanced attack and surveillance drones, like the MQ9 Reaper and Predator (Newsweek, 9/30/16).
U.S. Build for War
At the same time, the U.S. continues to build up its main base of operation in Djibouti and set up “forward operating” bases throughout Africa, which it describes as “temporary facilities” (Mother Jones, 9/6/2013). The U.S. recently agreed to commit $60 million to a joint anti-terrorist (read: imperialist) force under U.N. auspices. The European Union has likewise pledged $58 million, with France playing a leading role in the Lake Chad region, where it has longstanding colonial interests. The U.N. already has a force of 14,000 personnel in neighboring Mali (New York Times, 10/30).
The official U.S. rationale for expanding its military presence in Africa is to defeat the same radical Islamic insurgencies that U.S. imperialism helped create by devastating Libya and assassinating Muammar Qaddafi (Independent, 9/15/16). In reality, this expansion is a thinly veiled pretext to secure the bosses’ foothold and safeguard U.S. corporate investments and resource transfers. The U.S. imperialists’ best bet is to put U.S. boots on the ground. From Vietnam to Afghanistan, efforts to train local proxy military forces to defend U.S. interests have failed dismally (Foreign Affairs, Nov-Dec 2017). Most recently, in the October 4 ambush in Niger, local troops fled the scene before French special forces arrived.
As the conflict among imperialists escalates in Africa, the Middle East, the South China Sea, and Latin America, a global armed conflict grows more likely. The next world war will require a much larger U.S. army than the current active duty roster of 483,000 soldiers. Restoration of the military draft appears inevitable.
For the revolutionary communist Progressive Labor Party, there can be only one response. We must build a mass, international, anti-racist movement to turn inter-imperialist war into revolutionary war for workers’ power and communism. As the rulers’ latest fight for spoils intensifies, we look to our brothers and sisters throughout Africa to help lead this battle!


The Scramble for Africa in Historical Perspective

Imperialist exploitation of Africa is nothing new. Today’s national borders on the continent began with the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, establishing most of the continent’s borders today.  German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck used negotiations to avoid a European war over African territory. True to their racist colonial mindset, the European powers invited no Africans to these discussions.
As imperialists competed for dominance over the continent’s riches, Africans suffered the greatest losses. Leading up to World War I, Germany demanded a broader role in Africa at the expense of the British, French, and Belgian colonial powers. About 1 million people were killed in East Africa in the ensuing conflict. In World War II, over a million Africans were conscripted to fight for their colonial oppressors. After the war, the U.S. deepened its involvement in the continent. It plundered raw materials and tried to blunt the influence of the Soviet Union, which supported national liberation movements combatting colonialism.
These liberation struggles, influenced and often led by communists, seemed to hold great promise. Bold revolutionary actions were taken in Ghana (Kwame Nkrumah), Tanzania (Julius Nyerere), Guinea (Sekou Toure), Mali (Modibo Keita), Angola (Agostinho Neto), and Mozambique (Samora Machel). Because these movements allied with local capitalists, they reverted back to neocolonialism and capitalism. But their brave, anti-colonlialist struggle remains inspirational.
As the imperialist powers continue to exploit workers and resources in Africa as they challenge one another for world hegemony, PLP seeks to build communist revolution and smash capitalist exploitation for all time.

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