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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Protest tax cuts, workers rise up against racist trump

NEW YORK CITY—About 500 hundred City University of New York faculty, staff and students rallied by the New York Stock Exchange, joined by faculty from Rutgers, nurses from the New York State Nurses’ Association, and members from community and religious groups.
The demonstration was called by the CUNY faculty and staff union, the Professional Staff Congress (PSC), against the recent brazenly anti-working class tax bill signed into law by U.S. president Trump over Christmas. The PSC claimed this “emergency demonstration” would send a message in the “heart of corporate profiteering” on the day of Congressional voting for the tax bill.
Progressive Labor Party salutes workers who protested the latest attack from Racist-in-Chief Trump. The tax bill will cut social services for the working class and reflects deep splits in the ruling class. As opposed to the domestic wing of the U.S. ruling class, the imperialist wing needs financial and ideological backing for their coming wars. These tax cuts are a hinderance to that long-term agenda(see more next issue). In this period of relatively low class struggle, more people need to stand up against all the bosses’ attacks.  
Symbolic militancy
Chants like “Kill the Bill” and “7K or Strike” were frequently chanted by the multiracial and young crowd of women and men, with the second chant referring to the demands of adjunct faculty to receive a pay increase from $3500 to $7000 per class taught in the current round of PSC contract negotiations with CUNY. Unfortunately for the energetic hundreds who came looking for leadership, they didn’t get any from the PSC!
As a part of the demonstration, fifteen PSC officers and pre-selected faculty coordinated with the NYPD to be voluntarily arrested (see letter from an arrestee, page 6). The cops allowed them to gather and sit near the Stock Exchange entrance, and then allowed journalists from the bosses’ media to take pictures. In a symbolic effort to demonstrate their supposed militancy — despite not actually blocking the Stock Exchange entrance — the NYPD cheerfully obliged the PSC misleadership’s symbolism by arresting them for blocking the Stock Exchange entrance.
For workers and students present who live in neighborhoods under constant racist police terror, the sight of these “militant” union so-called leaders coordinating and staging an arrest with the full cooperation of the NYPD must have been a strange one.
Following liberal leaders is a dangerous trap that will only hurt the working class.
Rise up or die-in?
Members of the Progressive Labor Party and friends among the students and faculty attended, and at one point, the PSC officers had a section of the march lie down in the middle of Broad Street. They called this a “die-in,” where people passively lie down and pretend that they’re dead, while journalists working for capitalist-owned newspapers step on them and trip over them trying to take their pictures (see letter, page 3).
This level of “emergency” mobilization against the tax bill seems convenient given the Supreme Court is imminently ruling against the agency fee, forcing unions to scramble to keep members loyal and dues paying.
Away from the “die-in” and the artificial bravery of the PSC misleaders, PL’ers and rank-and-file members of the PSC and allied unions led militant chants. While selling CHALLENGE, several conversations were held with friends and demonstrators comparing the media saviness of today’s publicity stunt with the PSC misleaders’ claims to fight for the interests of the adjunct faculty. How can education workers, especially adjuncts, tell when the PSC officers are actually fighting for power, or just “symbolically”? Just look at how the PSC officers relied on the NYPD to stage the demonstration.
Real working class leaders like the Black youth of Ferguson, Baltimore, Baton Rouge and elsewhere relied on the working class, because police are exactly the last people workers can ever trust. And as the PSC misleaders’ strange behavior again and again demonstrates, liberals literally lead workers right into the police’s arms.
Unions and capitalism
The behavior of these PSC misleaders is less strange when one considers their role under capitalism. Early on in capitalist history, workers learned that their strength multiplied when they organized trade unions to collectively negotiate for important reforms, like higher pay and better working conditions.
In the U.S., historical twentieth century unions like the old Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) organized militant mass strikes led by women, immigrant, Black, and white workers. Radical organizers like Helen Keller, “The Rebel Girl” Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, “Mother” Jones, Eugene Debs, “Big Bill” Haywood, William Z. Foster and masses of others led militant, earth-shaking strikes in nearly every major U.S. industry from the mines to the mills prior to World War I. Inspired by revolutionary ideas, these workers didn’t do it with passive “die-ins.” Their massive “sit-down” strikes were organized occupations that mobilized entire industries and cities.
Following the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, these same organizers supported the Bolsheviks and formed what became the Communist Party USA. But even after decades of stunning organizing successes, when the old international communist movement decided to put revolutionary politics secondary to union organizing, its defeat was a certainty long before it happened.
Revolution, not reform
Even the relatively few militant unions left today cannot and do not lead the way forward. That’s up to the communists, who must organize within their unions to spread communist ideas. Unions exist within the legal boundaries set by capitalists and do not fundamentally threaten capitalism, but millions of workers who believe in revolutionary communist ideas do!
Today’s unions form an important part of the bosses’ state, colluding with the Democratic Party in exerting political control over the working class. While certain factions of the ruling class clearly want them destroyed, this does not automatically mean that unions and their misleaders are our friends!
The PSC misleaders are trying to convince us to join them on the hamster wheel of liberalism and reform. They are utterly unwilling to confront the cage of capitalism, and meanwhile they build the illusions that capitalism can be reformed and that the NYPD can play nice.
And thus, the PSC misleadership’s behavior is not so strange after all! Their symbolic actions do not represent real working class power, unlike the multiracial rank-and-file mass communist movement of campus faculty, students, and workers that PLP is building on campuses across CUNY. PLP’s growth means the days of this “symbolic” nonsense are numbered. For the masses of workers looking for a way out of capitalism, joining PLP means true resistance to the growing fascist attacks by fighting for communism, and giving the bosses and their capitalist system a new meaning to the term “die-in”!

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