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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China: pro-worker students arrested—a young Left takes root

Zheng Yongming, a recent university graduate working in Guangzhou, China, wrote an open letter after his arrest in November by Chinese police. He was locked up for organizing a Maoist reading group in a university classroom. Zheng’s letter, which keeps being taken down from various websites by the authorities, only to be reposted, states that “I will always be a son of the workers and peasants.”
He was one of four young people arrested. Hundreds of professors from some of China’s most prestigious colleges signed a letter protesting the arrests, which included graduates of the elite Peking University (Agence Presse-France).
A budding Left in China
This episode provides a glimpse into the situation facing would-be revolutionaries in China today. Western capitalist media frequently report on the difficulties of Chinese dissidents who want to see Western-style political reforms such as competing political parties or greater press freedom. But increasingly those being suppressed by the Chinese government are neo-Maoists and other anti-capitalists referred to as the “new Left” of China.
The ruling capitalists who call themselves the “Chinese Communist Party” (CPC) have waged a campaign for decades to make people forget the Chinese revolution’s original mission, building a communist country. Today there is nothing “communist” about the CPC except the title, which they own. Since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, the government propaganda praising capitalism and re-writing the history of the socialist period, 1949 to 1976, has become more and more direct. People now call those first years after the revolution the “Mao Era.”
The new Left is a mixture of political currents ranging from liberal social democrats to revolutionary-minded Marxist Leninists. Although there is wide agreement among these groups, known mainly through their websites, that China is capitalist, there are lots of opinions about how to achieve a more egalitarian society. Most are talking about socialism and envision it in terms of what China had before the death of Mao. There was at least one example of a group that declared themselves to be a new communist party dedicated to establishing socialism in China. The leading members were all arrested at their founding convention in 2015 (Financial Times, 1/11/2016).
Leftist websites are closely watched by authorities and anything that sounds like a serious challenge to the ruling CPC is taken down immediately by state monitors. In fact, in 2012 most of the leftist websites were banned, but others keep appearing.
One site that was still functioning in the period since the Guangzhou arrests is called Chuǎng (chuangcn.org). Its name is the Chinese character meaning “to break free” made up of elements of a horse breaking through a gate. According to them:

On November 15, 2017, police stormed into a student reading group at the Guangdong University of Technology and seized six young participants. Two of them, Zhang Yunfan and Ye Jianke, were held at the Panyu Detention Center for a month as suspects for the crime of ‘gathering crowds to disrupt social order,’ along with two other young people involved with the reading group who were later seized at their residences: Sun Tingting and Zheng Yongming. After prominent intellectuals circulated a petition for Zhang’s release, all four detainees have been released on bail but are still awaiting trial. Four other young leftists connected to the reading group are on a wanted list and still in hiding (chuangcn.org, accessed 1/29/18).

The Chuǎng  website posted letters the students wrote after their release. One wrote:

I’d rather follow the Mao that led workers and peasants towards self-emancipation, rather than the Mao printed on banknotes. … Officers from Xiaoguwei Police Station said I was the culprit – the ‘mastermind’ behind some sort of conspiracy! And indeed I was – promoting Maoism and working for the sake of the downtrodden were of course what I ‘premeditated,’ or even ‘plotted over an extended period of time.’ I was born to walk this ‘radical’ path, and I’d rather die than repent.

These young Maoists are part of a growing phenomenon in China. Young university graduates who encounter leftist organizations while students often go to work for non-profits, mostly in the “sun belt” in cities like Guangzhou and Shenzhen where the largest concentration of sweatshops is found.
Fascist crackdown of worker-student alliance
Study circles in which Marxist ideas are discussed by groups of workers and intellectuals appear to be occurring in many places, although such activity is watched closely by the government. Unified organizations between workers and intellectuals are particularly scrutinized. When people step over the line, like showing the solidarity of workers and students, they can expect to hear from the police and “security”. Idealistic college graduates involved in non-profits and attending book clubs about communist politics worry about when they will be “invited to have tea” with the police chief, the standard method of intimidating organizers. But the arrests in November were a new level of crackdown on the radical left.
Communists outside of China, including members of PLP, are encouraged by the dedication of these young organizers. The response of some Chinese workers to the arrest of these students will be reported in a follow-up article.
Development of a new pro-communist movement in a country that was the world’s leader in revolutionary activity in the recent past must be studied seriously by communists everywhere.

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