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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CUNY’S teaching load reduction hurts students

City University of New York (CUNY) made an agreement with the Professional Staff Congress union (PSC) about reduction in teaching load for full-time faculty. While an improvement in the working conditions of full-time workers, it is also a prelude to increasing attacks on our job security. But most importantly, the workload reduction is a racist attack on the 270,000 students, who are mostly Black, Latin, Asian, and undocumented.
The reduction agreement reduces the annual teaching load by three credit hours, about one full course, across CUNY institutions. It will be phased in over three years, starting in the Fall of this year. This agreement will allegedly allow more free time for individual work with students, office hours, research, and scholarship.
Every decision made by college and/or union bosses must be viewed in light of how it affects students. Often the impact is clear: the policy of charging tuition simultaneously with the advent of open admissions; the subsequent tuition increases; the weakening of education standards through Pathways, the trimming of financial aid, the increasing use of adjuncts (non-tenured instructors). All of these decisions are racist attacks against our students. Other times it’s less evident, but the unrelenting stream of racist attacks should inform the analysis of every CUNY decision.
an attack on students
A decreased workload for professors means a higher work-and-stress load for students. Adjuncts will almost certainly teach the excess hours that full-timers no longer have to. There were no provisions or guarantees in the agreement that the excess hours be taught by full-time instructors. CUNY’s goal of increasing the percentage of courses taught by adjuncts is clear, and their history is well documented.
The poverty-level wages paid to adjuncts means they have to teach on multiple campuses, while also working as Uber drivers, or waiting tables, or selling their blood plasma, and all the things that poverty-stricken workers are forced to do. No professor can be expected to teach effectively under these conditions. The instructors’ working and living conditions are students’ learning conditions.
What does this mean for students needing office hours and/or advisement? To the extent that the mostly Black, Latin and immigrant youth are even afforded higher education in the U.S., they are in classrooms led by these super-exploited faculty. Students today are effectively paying more for less—less education, less student services and resources, and less of a job prospect after college. “While college tuition surged from 2003 to 2013 by 94 percent at public institutions and 74 percent at private, nonprofit schools, and student debt has climbed to over $1.2 trillion, much of that money has been going to ensure higher pay for a burgeoning legion of bureaucrats” (The Atlantic, 9/15/15).
No guarantees to increase full-timers
The liberal leadership of the PSC union shares the blame for failing to guarantee to cover excess hours with more full-time faculty.
CUNY’s working-class students need guarantees that a reduced teaching load reduction means more attention to students without increasing workload on adjuncts. Since the union leadership is unwilling to wage the reform struggle necessary, waging this struggle all the more requires building a mass Progressive Labor Party with communist leadership hailing from the students and rank-and-file faculty. That means exposing that negotiations benefiting one sector of our class, like workload reduction, amidst many-sided attacks on students and adjuncts, are no “victories” at all.
Connect campus struggle to imperialism
We cannot underestimate what tremendous tools these “attacks-as-victories” are to the capitalist class. Handing out crumbs to some workers at the expense of others pits workers against one another. The Wall Street bosses running CUNY know they can pit students against faculty, and pit full-time faculty against part-time. These divisions weaken our class, just like storm clouds of imperialist wars and fascism, are growing.
The history of liberal reforms of capitalism has exposed itself to be deceitful and short-lived—the needs of workers and students cannot and will not be met under capitalism, let alone at negotiating tables, or voting for Democrats at the ballot box. In the richest city of the richest country in the world, the working class continues to be beat down. CUNY workers and students, already targets of viciously racist capitalist attacks, are being set up for worsening education, racist unemployment, more police terror, war, and fascism.
Join PLP and fight for more than just crumbs. Fight for more than incremental improvements in working conditions that are mirrored with racist attacks against our students. Fight for more than bandages on the gaping wound that is global capitalism.
Our fight is to destroy this system and replace it with communism, where all workers and students will live, work, study, and play from a place of freedom. It is the freedom to recognize our class needs and collectively act towards meeting those needs. Join our fight for better learning conditions for students, smash the two-tier wage system, while organizing students and coworkers to fight for the communist system our international working class deserves.


Fight the two-tier wage system

The PSC union bosses, along with the college bosses, systemically upload a two-tier wage system that run on the backs on the mainly women and nonwhite adjunct labour. The proletarian-ization of academic faculty with contingent and poverty-waged professors has long been a clear goal of the U.S. ruling class.
The Atlantic published findings that we knew all along—“state schools with the highest-paid presidents seem to be offsetting their administrative bloat with cheaper labor… The temporary status and low income of adjunct professors can make it difficult for them to provide quality instruction and support to their students” (9/24/15). Around the country, about 75 percent of college faculty are adjuncts, and 25 percent of those adjuncts are on public assistance to keep afloat. The unions representing them and/or full-time faculty have been unable or unwilling to stem the tide.
Having adjunct and full-time faculty is a two-tier wage system that drives a wedge between workers. These divisions weakens our collective power, opening us to attack by CUNY on other fronts. Combined with the body-blow that public sector unions are about to receive from the Janus Supreme Court decision, the jobs of all CUNY faculty are placed under greater threat.

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