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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The Uighurs of Xinjiang, Pawns in a Deadly Imperialist Game

In this period of escalating inter-imperialist competition, rival capitalists worldwide will seize on every opportunity to undermine the ultimate threat to their profit system: a united international working class. Within the U.S., bosses use anti-Muslim racism both to deflect workers’ anger over a failing economic system and to ready them for enlistment into World War III. In their ruthless battle for control over Middle East oil, U.S. and Russian bosses are waging a war of terror against millions of Muslim workers, from the devastation of Syria to the carpet bombing of Yemen. Meanwhile, both Washington and Moscow are keeping a close eye on the Chinese imperialists, who are making significant Middle East inroads, via trade and investment, from Iran to Egypt to Israel (theasiandialogue.com, 1/22).

Caught in the middle are the Uighurs, a minority group in China now under the bosses’ media spotlight. According to an August report by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), as many as a million Muslims in Xinjiang, most of them Uighurs, have been held in “re-education camps” that are “shrouded in secrecy” (Guardian, 8/30). There are allegations of torture and of thousands of children being herded into de facto orphanages while their parents are held indefinitely (Associated Press, 9/21).

The Chinese bosses have predictably denied these allegations of brutal mass repression. Since Xinjiang is closed to outside journalists or observers, the story is open to question.  While the Uighurs are clearly super-exploited and oppressed by the Chinese capitalists, they also have a long history as pawns of U.S. imperialism. This dates back to the late 1970s, when Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, formulated a strategy to use disaffected Muslims against the U.S. imperialists’ competition in Central Asia and the Middle East.

In the 1980s, Uighur nationalists were recruited to join Osama bin Laden in the CIA-backed war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. To generate anti-China propaganda, the U.S. government funded Uighur networks on Radio Free Asia and through the World Uighur Congress. The lead spokesperson for the UN’s CERD is a lawyer named Gay McDougall, who sits on the board of the Open Society Justice Initiative—an organization founded by billionaire George Soros, the CIA’s partner in sponsoring the anti-Russia “color revolutions” in Ukraine and Georgia, among other places.

Why Xinjiang Matter$

Four times the size of California, Xinjiang is a strategically situated “autonomous” region in northwest China that borders Russia, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and four other countries. Of late, Xinjiang has seen an economic boom, with major development projects bringing prosperity to cities like Kashgar. The region accounts for more than 20 percent of China’s natural gas, oil, and coal reserves (powermag.com, 1/1/16), along with significant cotton production, technology and textiles manufacturing, and gold and uranium.

Xinjiang is critical to the Chinese bosses’ Belt and Road Initiative, their blueprint for dominating trade throughout Asia and into Europe and Africa. The region has 16 Class A “land ports,” where foreign vehicles can deliver goods directly (china.org.cn). In addition, Xinjiang contains a dense network of natural gas pipelines, railways, highways, and air routes linking China with Eurasia.

The Uighurs are predominantly Sunni Muslims who speak a Turkic language and are ethnically distinct from the Chinese rulers who have controlled the region since the 19th century Qing Dynasty. Over the last 20 years, as economic opportunities have soared, the region has seen a mass influx of Han Chinese, the main ethnic group in China, to the point where they nearly match the Uighurs’ numbers in Xinjiang. But that’s where any semblance of equality ends, according to an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times (3/18/14):

The best jobs have gone mostly to the Han Chinese. Uighurs lucky enough to find jobs often end up doing manual labor—toiling in coal mines, cement plants and at construction sites. Unemployment among young Uighurs is widespread….There’s little wonder that discontent has become so widespread.

Chinese bosses: opiate dealers for the masses

The stark inequality in Xinjiang has led inevitably to a spike in anti-Uighur racism, a resurgence of Uighur separatism, scattered incidents of violence, and a Beijing attack against the Uighurs’ practice of Islam—or what it calls “religious extremism.” Two years ago, President Xi Jinping sent former Tibet boss Chen Quanguo to set up “internment camps that hold Muslims without trial and force them to renounce their faith and swear loyalty to the [so-called] Communist Party….Former detainees say one can be thrown into a camp for praying regularly, reading the Quran…” (Associated Press, 9/21).

Capitalism needs nationalism and religion to divide workers and deflect their class hatred against the capitalist system, the real source of workers’ misery. As Marx wrote, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the masses.” After the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949, and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution that followed in the late 1960s, workers freed themselves from the chains of religion that had strangled class struggle in favor of the old ruling class. 

But the fake “communists” who rule China today have no problem with religion—as long as they’re the ones pushing the opium. In August, China’s famous Buddhist Shaolin monastery “raised the national flag for the first time in its 1,500-year history” (NYT, 9/24). And on September 22, Beijing and the Vatican reached a compromise deal to recognize seven bishops appointed by the Chinese government and fully legitimize the Catholic Church in China (NYT, 9/22).

U.S. bosses: world leaders in anti-Muslim racism

The turbulence in Xinjiang gives the capitalists yet another opportunity to bash the Cultural Revolution, a historic working-class victory—however temporary—to uphold communist ideas and practice among hundreds of millions of workers. The bosses are using the Uighurs once again to push their poisonous, anti-communist mythology: “As in Stalin’s Russia, children are encouraged to inform on their parents” (Guardian, 9/15). As a trade and tariff battle pushes the U.S. and China into “a new economic Cold War” (NYT, 9/19), 17 U.S. senators and congresspeople have called for sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for the reported detention camps.

Now consider the U.S. record of anti-Muslim racism since 9/11: the torture and rendition of terrorism “suspects” to murderous regimes, the indefinite detention of uncharged individuals at Guantanamo Bay, the indiscriminate drone killings expanded by President Barack Obama, the proposed “Muslim ban” by President Donald Trump.


And consider, too, the more than 2 million workers imprisoned in the United States, the nation with the world’s highest incarceration rate—more than four times the rate in China (World Prison Brief, prisonstudies.org).

Even by the standards of the U.S. ruling class, the hypocrisy is overwhelming.

A better alternative

Neither ethnic nationalism nor religion can solve the problems of Uighur workers. Only the international working class, united against racism and sexism and led by a revolutionary communist party, can smash capitalism and its oppression of workers everywhere. Join us!



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