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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Bolshevik Revolution Celebrations


To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, members of Progressive Labor Party held an international communist school over this past long weekend. On the first day, a large group of education workers studied political economy. Everyone was very receptive to our communist ideas, advancing their understanding that they are part of the working class and that the purpose of education under capitalism is to prepare new generations of exploited workers, and that educators play a role in that. For the working class to win a world free of exploitation—communism—educators have a different important role to play, teaching young people to resist the capitalist ideas of individualism, racism, and sexism, and turning them into ideas of collectivity and struggle.
We talked about how the problems these educators face in their communities, unions, and classrooms are related to capitalism’s need for profit, fascism, and war. Cutbacks in funding, stronger control of education, and fascist tactics against workers and to reign in members of the capitalist class are some of the bosses’ tools to get prepared for wider war. The education workers recognized that capitalism permanently attacks the living conditions of the working class and that their struggle has been key to fight these attacks. We asked them to read CHALLENGE, and other PLP literature, to join our study groups, and to fight the capitalist system that exploits us and replace it with a communist society.
Next, we met with a group of industrial workers, where young PLers gave a presentation explaining what communism is and what a communist society would be like. The discussion was very spirited, with discussion on such ideas as how products would be distributed and what education would be like. There was input on the necessity of developing communist leaders  within the working class.
The third day we went to a community were workers are fighting against excessive prices on electric energy. When comrades mentioned the need for communism, everyone showed their anger at the capitalist system and talked about all the attacks their community has suffered for years. They showed interest in fighting against the government and the criminal capitalist system. Some asked about the difference between socialism and communism, and if Cuba is communist. We explained many key aspects of our line and the necessity of creating an international party and fighting directly for communism—the lack of both were serious weaknesses of past revolutions. These workers showed interest in joining study groups in the area and we are working on it.
The weekend-long school for communism showed the great potential of the working class to understand and practice communist ideas and of PLP in developing working-class leaders capable of leading the struggle to end the capitalist system and build a new communist society. This was a very good way of honoring the Russian communists. Despite the dark night, a spectre is haunting the capitalist world: the spectre of communism!



Over 50 comrades and friends celebrated the Bolshevik revolution with a dynamic dinner. Friends who attended said the event inspired hope for the future. We raised funds for our brave comrades who fought the Klan in Anaheim. It was a success!
To kick off the event, a comrade gave a speech about the problems in the world, from deadly climate change to racist police killings to sexist harassment and violence in our jobs, schools, and homes. He explained why capitalism is to blame, and showed that the Bolsheviks understood this. He explained the Bolsheviks encourage us, not because they fought back. As long as there is class society, there are brave fighters who struggle for class liberation. The Bolsheviks encourages us because they took the next step, and actually took state power. Because of this, they were able to take society light years into the future.
After the speech, people discussed at their tables what they have heard about communism, whether they think we can fix capitalism, and other interesting questions. Some comrades made the point that the Bolsheviks didn’t fail. In fact, they were able to transform life for millions of workers, bringing them anti-racism and anti-sexism. Rather, we need to learn from their mistakes of why they were unable to maintain a socialist society and become communist.
A Multimedia Spread
Someone performed a rap against identity politics. It was about being a worker above all else, not a man or woman or Black or white person. Another woman performed a song about Hurricane Katrina and the racist treatment of the working class of New Orleans.
A video about the 2014 Ferguson rebellion demonstrated how the working class is still fighting back today. We discussed the successes and failures of the Ferguson rebellion and why we need working-class consciousness.
Every table received a collection of pictures from the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, and Vietnam. The pictures showed different ways the pro-worker governments promoted antiracism, anti-sexism, built infrastructure for workers, and used art and propaganda to change the culture of society. Each picture had information on the back to explain different facts about each country, and people shared out what their picture was about. People learned about history in a hands-on way.
A Party for Youth and Golden Agers
The event closed with a speech from a new comrade about the need to build the Party and fight for communism. Overall, participants loved the dinner. People commented that they never felt bored throughout the night. People loved how dynamic the material was and thought we did a good job at breaking the mold for how education must work. One person commented on how multigenerational the crowd was, because they heard that “communism is just for young people” and that “real adults know that communism can never work.” She said she was inspired “to see people who have truly dedicated their lives to the movement.”
The event made people feel like they could learn about history and working-class struggles. Many commented that they want to get more involved in the Party. The young leaders, especially women who organized the event, felt empowered and humbled. May this event give us momentum to continue in the class struggle and building the Party in the Bay Area.



Celebrating the Bolshevik Revolution inspires us to keep fighting for the communist world we know is possible and necessary. Chicago’s recent multi-racial, multi-generational event of over 50 people included drama, table conversations, songs, and great food. The event highlighted the hard work and persistence involved in mobilizing and politicizing for the Bolshevik Revolution.
One hundred years ago, workers overthrew the Provisional Government and announced that from now on, the profit system would not control the lives of workers and peasants.
Today, we are still fighting for that world. In the meantime, we have learned that the fight for an egalitarian society is more complex than workers and communists thought at the time. The capitalists have learned as well and have created new ways to exploit, ideologically disarm, imprison, and kill members of the working class.
Antiracist Reenactment
In this age of instant information, we are deluged with how the bosses want us to think. It was refreshing at the Chicago celebration to see a dramatic re-enactment of a little-known chapter in U.S. history from the 1920s, a time when workers, white as well as Black, took up arms against the Ku Klux Klan. The organization was called the Knights of the Flaming Circle, and they fought fire with fire.
Immigrant communities, particularly Italians, Catholics, were also part of it, since the Klan was both anti-Black and anti-immigrant.  In Ohio, the Klan’s cars were overturned and the racists were beaten with bricks, bottles, and clubs. The school board elections were an area of struggle between the antiracists and Klan in New Mexico. These workers had good ideas, but without a goal of eliminating the whole capitalist system, they were a temporary force.
Learning from the Giants
PLP’s analysis of the accomplishments and mistakes growing out of the October revolution is presented in Road to Revolution IV (see plp.org). Socialism, as it turns out, is not a stage on the way to communism. Instead, it leads back to capitalism. By making material incentives, rather than social incentives, the basis of work, the Soviet Union developed capitalist ideas and practices that undermined the goals of their revolution. We learned from the pioneers’ mistakes (see page 8 about the Soviet’s New Economic Plan).  
For some, it may be a sad fact of history that the Bolshevik Revolution did not live up to its potential to wipe capitalism off the face of the earth forever. The reality is that change is doesn’t happen in a straight line. Today, as the world’s workers are beset with wars and fascist governments, what we have learned from that first attempt to bring about communism on a mass scale makes it more likely that the next attempt will be successful.
Today’s potential communists are often embroiled in reform movements. One day, they will develop the forces to overthrow the government, as the Bolsheviks did. Progressive Labor Party is bucking that trend by keeping communism alive and winning more potential fighters every day.

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