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 Centennial Series: Free at Last! The World’s First Workers’ State 

This is the first in an extensive series of articles about the Bolshevik Revolution and the triumphs, as well as the defeats, of the world communist movement of the 20th century. We welcome your comments and criticisms.

One hundred years ago, November 7, 1917, marked the beginning of the single most important event of the 20th century, the Bolshevik revolution. Russia’s working class, headed by the revolutionary communists of the Bolshevik Party and its leader, Vladimir Lenin, freed one-sixth of the world’s surface from capitalism.
The world was changed forever. The rulers were now ruled. Exploiters the world over were trembling.
The Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels (1848) described why workers were oppressed and told them what to do about it. The Manifesto declared that in making a revolution workers “had only their chains to lose.” Seventy years later the Bolshevik Revolution proved that the chains of oppression can be ripped off completely.
The Communist Party was the crucial factor. Its leader, Vladimir Lenin, won it to be totally committed to revolution, not compromise. Under its leadership the workers single-mindedly pursued the goal of state power and the dictatorship of the proletariat. The profit system—the dictatorship of the bosses—was destroyed.
Revolution, Not Reform
Some so-called “leftists” advised against revolution. They claimed that the capitalist system could be reformed so that it could better serve the workers.
Lenin and the Bolsheviks would have none of this. They had confidence in the workers! The communists and workers knew from experience that voting and demonstrations wouldn’t result in a real change of the social order.
The world’s bosses launched a counter-offensive. What was left of the Russian ruling class joined hundreds of thousands of foreign troops from 14 countries, including the United States, that poured into Russia to attempt to “strangle the Bolshevik baby in the cradle” (Winston Churchill).
The fight against this counter-revolution took far longer than the seizure of power. Supported by the vast majority of workers and peasants, the fledgling Red Army triumphed. Foreign soldiers, most of them workers too, did not fight well against them. Workers worldwide rose up to support the first communist workers’ revolution.
In a short time, the U.S. troops refused to fight the Red Army and were sent home. Workers all over the U.S acted in many ways to support the Russian revolution.
Why were the Bolsheviks successful?
1. The Russian bourgeois was very weak and poorly organized. The capitalists had only gained power in February 1917. Russian workers saw no essential differences between the Tsar and the capitalists.
2. The Russian working class had been steeled in revolutionary battle. Insurrections had occurred in 1905 and in February 1917, involving many workers in battle, often under Bolshevik leadership. By November 1917 the Bolsheviks were entrenched in key areas in major cities, particularly in communications, the army, and the navy.
3. The Bolsheviks understood they could turn “imperialist war into civil war.” The Russian bosses’ attention was focused on the European battleground, leaving their internal flank wide open to attack
4. The Bolsheviks had built a worker-peasant alliance, telling the peasants to take all the land from the landowners. This drew all peasants and agricultural workers to revolutionary leadership.
5. Significant portions of the working class and peasantry were won to the key concept of revolutionary violence—without which no revolution can succeed.
6. The Russian working class had the revolutionary leadership of the party of Lenin—the Bolsheviks. They were steeled in battle. They had unbreakable ties to many sections of the working class. They were unswerving in their drive for socialism. They had carried out a protracted political education campaign for nearly 20 years—defeating the misleadership of various pseudo-revolutionary groups.
The Soviet system of production was for use, not for profit. In the 1930s, when the entire capitalist world sank into depression, the Soviet Union was building a new society without unemployment and hunger. They created some measure of a decent life for workers in an incredibly short time.
The Soviet Union fought against racism and sexism. The battle against racism was particularly significant. As pro-communist Paul Robeson said about his trips to the Soviet Union, he “felt like a human being for the first time since I grew up.”
In 1941, the bosses again tried to destroy the revolution. Hitler, using all of Europe’s resources and the largest military machine ever assembled, invaded the Soviet Union. Hitler’s prediction of capturing Moscow in six weeks went up in smoke.
All this was accomplished under the leadership of Joseph Stalin. No wonder he is reviled to this day by world capitalism! Now, with the very partial opening of the former Soviet archives and the Trotsky archive, we can see that all the allegations of crimes by Stalin related by pro-capitalist and Trotskyist “historians” are false, without exception.
Lessons to Be Learned
The Bolsheviks were pioneers—the first to try to build socialism and communism. It was inevitable that they would make many mistakes and suffer from many political weaknesses. These ultimately led to the return of capitalism to the USSR.
Today, no country is led by revolutionary communists. But this is a temporary historical setback. We know that “every dark night has its end.” Capitalist exploitation and inhumanity inevitably leads workers to fight back.
Progressive Labor Party is a product both of the old International Communist Movement and of the struggle against its revisionism – capitalist ideas dressed up to sound Marxist. Our movement is daily fighting to learn from the Soviet Union’s great battles and achievements as well as its deadly errors that led to its collapse. Reformism, racism, nationalism and all forms of concessions to capitalism only lead workers to defeat. We are committed to organizing workers, students and soldiers to build a mass worldwide working class Party that will turn this era of imperialist wars into a new, international communist revolution.

Next issue, we will look at the pre-revolutionary period and how the Bolshevik Party was forged in the class struggle.

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