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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Origins of International Working Women’s Day

March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day all over the world. Many people are unaware of the working class origins of this day.
The Second International was the international organization of the socialist movement. Before the First World War, this movement contained some progressive elements. In 1910 the Second Women’s Conference of the Second International established International Women’s Day. Clara Zetkin, who later became a communist leader in Germany, proposed the following resolution:
In agreement with the class-conscious, political and trade union organizations of the proletariat...the socialist women of all countries will hold each year a Women’s Day, whose foremost purpose it must be to aid the attainment of women’s suffrage. This demand must be handled in conjunction with the entire women’s question according to socialist precepts. The Women’s Day must have an international character and is to be prepared carefully.
The date of March 8 was chosen because on that date in 1908 there was a mass demonstration of socialist-led women workers from the needle (textile) trades in New York City. The demonstration demanded the vote and mass organizing of women in the needle trades.
In 1914 in Russia Aleksandra Kollontai, Nadezhda Krupskaya, and other Bolshevik women published Rabotnitsa, a Bolshevik journal for working-class women. The first issue was published on March 8. On March 8, 1917, a bold strike of women textile workers was supported by mas demonstrations that led to the overthrow of the Tsar.
After the Bolshevik Revolution, International Women’s Day was established as an official celebration every year in the Soviet Union.
International Women’s Day became a symbol of resistance to the oppression of women workers all over the world. On March 8, 1923, the communist-led Trade Union Educational League (TUEL) began a campaign in the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU, now called Unite) and other needle trade unions to rebuild militancy and fight for unions controlled by their rank-and-file members.
On March 8, 1927, in Uzbekistan, a republic in the Soviet Union, the Communist Party (Bolshevik) began a mass campaign against the religious custom of forcing women to wear the veil (paranja or burqa). This was really a robe that covered the whole face and body. It was extremely hot and uncomfortable, and hindered a woman’s movement. The paranja symbolized the most oppressive aspects of the oppression of women. It had to go.
Finally, with the political work done, the time for action came. There was a mass burning of paranjas amid the playing of The Internationale, the communist anthem.
On that day ... tens of thousands of women, huddled in paranjas and chachvans poured like a menacing avalanche through the narrow choked streets, squares and bazaars of the ancient Central Asian cities...The vast multitude, including a number of men and children, gathered round the Lenin monument, which was likewise decked with red banners and native carpets, and the women waited breathlessly for what was to come....All the bands struck up the Internationale. ... The real proceedings began. ... They [the paranjas] were flung aloft into the quivering air, timidly at first, but then with ever wilder and more frenzied speed, these symbols of slavery that the women cast off, paranjas, chachvans and chadras. They were piled in rapidly growing heaps, drenched with paraffin, and soon the dark clouds of smoke from the burning common abjuration of a thousand year old convention, now become unbearable, flared up into the bright sky of the spring day. .. (Hewlett Johnson, The Socialist Sixth of the World)
Although we in Progressive Labor Party understand that winning the right to vote for any worker only helps to keep the capitalists in power by making them look more “democratic”, we also recognize the revolutionary side of the history of International Women’s Day.
We fight against sexism because it means the super-exploitation of women, and because it divides the working class. It is crucial to attack sexist practices, and to celebrate the vital role played by women communist leaders, as seen in our own Party. We use the name International Working Women’s Day in order to help show the interrelationship between capitalism and sexism.

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