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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Rutgers strike, school for communism

NEW JERSEY —“Our working conditions are your learning conditions!” Under this unifying idea, graduate students and faculty have been organizing and moving towards a strike over the past few months here at Rutgers University, building mass student support and solidarity along the way. The causes of the strike include:

  • Bloated salaries of administrators (many making more than $250,000 a year)
  • Low salaries for faculty; sexist, unequal pay for women and men professors.
  • Administrative neglect of promises to racially diversify the faculty.
  • Different salaries among the three campuses of Rutgers, with lower salaries for faculty working at the Newark and Camden campuses where there are many more Black, Latin and immigrant students
  • Near-starvation wages of graduate students.
  • Job insecurity for non-tenure track full-time lecturers, who have twice the teaching load of their tenure-track  counterparts, and earn one quarter to one third as much income.
  • Student - teacher unity has been prominently on display during the fightback, as this growing movement is organizing to ensure gains are made by every sector of the students and faculty, and not just the tenured faculty.

An injury to one is an injury to all
While the leadership of the union (AAUP) bargained “hard.”It was mainly for the tenure-track faculty, as they saw the biggest gains. Graduate students—many of whom are paid so poorly that they have to visit the campus food bank—did not win a badly needed retroactive pay increase for this year.  After four years, they will be earning a mere $30,000, an unlivable wage in the state of New Jersey.  Some non-tenure track, full-time lecturers will gain longer contracts, but still not guaranteed tenure. This means that they face continuing job insecurity in the academic “gig” economy.
The real elephant in the room, though, has been the situation of Part-Time Lecturers (PTLs), most of whom make a minimal $5,100 per semester course, have no health benefits, are hired from semester to semester with little prior notice, and can be fired without cause. PTLs are, moreover, excluded from the AAUP bargaining unity, representing tenure-track faculty and graduate workers. The increasing use of PTLs rather than full-time faculty at Rutgers is the scandal of higher education throughout the U.S., where “adjunctification” has become a weapon by the U.S. capitalist class for dismantling tenure, which decades ago was a hard-fought reform victory.
The meaning of “victory”
The AAUP leadership misleads this growing movement of student-teacher unity in proclaiming the outcome of recent contract negotiations to be a “historic” victory.  This union misleadership has given a stamp of approval to the structured inequality destroying living and learning standards across Rutgers University and increasingly prevailing in higher education throughout the U.S. Moreover, the kinds of gains won for tenure-track faculty will be wiped away if they do not unite in a single union with faculty who are lower in the teaching hierarchy.  
Our real victory consists in the movement of solidarity that has developed over the course of the academic year. Members of the Board of Governors routinely encountered large and militant picket lines chanting “Shame! Shame!” Students—burdened by debt and headed into the “gig” economy themselves–joined the picket lines and formed groups to support faculty and grads in the event of a strike. Members of the campus janitors’ union did not remove posters plastered around the campus. Construction workers in a nearby building ceased using their loud equipment when rallies were taking place. Other unions marched in support. Members of one Steelworkers Union traveled from as far as Pittsburgh to express solidarity. Faculty from colleges in New York and New Jersey spoke at Newark campus rallies in support of a strike at Rutgers.
Strikes can be schools for communist revolution
 Lenin, a communist revolutionary who helped lead the working class to build the world’s first workers’ state, the Soviet Union, once wrote that strikes are “schools for communism.”
Lenin did not mean that the economic gains won are gradual stepping-stones toward communist revolution. He meant that participation in class-conscious reform struggles can open workers to the revolutionary idea that the international working class needs to run the whole of society. Members and friends of PLP, intimately involved in the strike movement at various levels, have continually brought CHALLENGE and the words “capitalism,” “communism,” “revolution,” and “class struggle” into the conversation—and received big cheers.  We have learned valuable lessons about how to put forward a revolutionary perspective in the midst of a reform struggle. Our ranks are expanding. Beneath the cynicism and passivity seemingly prevailing on college campuses these days, there exists a tremendous potential for building a revolutionary communist movement.

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