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 struggle builds student worker solidarity

“7K or strike” was the chant heard outside in the hallway after a group of CUNY (City University of New York) faculty walked out together after a heated union meeting on Thursday night . Numerous militant speakers rose to talk against tuition hikes, for improved wages for adjuncts(part timers), and for a strike. Part timers, who receive poverty wages and are the majority of the teaching staff tried to get a resolution passed that would delay the contract vote until the fall. While unsurprisingly, the union leadership of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) was able to squash that resolution, they got a taste of what an organized fightback  looks like. PLP members and friends are part of this 7K or Strike Campaign and have organized our students to sign solidarity statements with the adjuncts.
What CUNY and the union leadership would like is for us to meekly accept continued starvation wages for part-time faculty and racist tuition increases for students. They would like for us to channel our furious anger at the crumbling infrastructure and decreasing services into pointless lobbying trips to Albany. They would like us to view the fact that, according to a recent survey, 48 percent of CUNY students are food insecure, 55 percent are housing insecure and 14 percent are homeless, as unavoidable parts of a capitalist system that we are powerless to change.(NYT 5/2 Tuition or Dinner?)
But workers and students, not just in CUNY but around the world continue to put the fight-back on display, illustrating the enormous potential of the working-class. With communist leadership and discipline, we have the ability not just to change capitalism, but to smash it altogether. That is the message that members and friends of PL are bringing to CUNY students and workers.
CUNY Board of Trustees: racist goons
For all the hardship experienced by the faculty and staff at CUNY, the group that the racist CUNY Board of Trustees have targeted most viciously is the students. Their so-called “rational” tuition plan has seen tuition increase every semester since 2011. Yet, knowing full-well the statistics cited above about student food insecurity and homelessness, and knowing that most CUNY students have to watch every penny, they just voted to raise tuition by $200.
Good capitalists that they are, the CUNY Board has also invented the myth that the tuition increase is necessary to pay for “future labor costs.” The CUNY annual budget is around $3.5 billion dollars. The notion that the small percentage increase needed for labor contracts must come from student tuition is idiotic. It’s a purely political tactic, precisely designed to weaken student-faculty solidarity. Meanwhile, the silence coming from the PSC is deafening. Fearful that it will jeopardize whatever awful contract is offered by CUNY, they have sold out students in the most brazen way by refusing to condemn the tuition increase. Here also, the $7K or Strike campaign has revealed the collaborationist nature of the PSC leadership,by boldly calling out the tuition increase as racist.
PSC leadership sows disilusion
Beyond selling out the students, the PSC continues its campaign to disarm and disillusion its members. The writing is on the wall: the CUNY  Trustees and Albany politicians continue to strangle the CUNY budget, and that’s with the racist $200 tuition increase. Yet the PSC leadership asks its members to continue the same failing strategies over and over - beg and plead with politicians, travel to Albany, testify at hearings. At multiple union meetings across the university system activists have implored the PSC leadership to develop an alternate plan – a strike plan. Yet at tonight’s meeting, even the most mild resolution – to delay any vote on a potential contract until after the summer break, giving the rank-and-file a chance to collectively discuss it – was attacked by the leadership and soundly defeated. They have systematically weakened any kind of union militancy and then have the nerve to declare that the contract timing is “fragile” and that we should not fight back.
The fight for $7K and the fight against tuition increases are critical, but history teaches us an unflinching truth: Reforms made under capitalism are fleeting - and replacing a president, a congressional representative, a governor, mayor or union president will never create a world where all workers can live with dignity in their jobs and at home. The U.S. ruling class faces an intractable need to discipline the working class and prepare for greater global conflict.
This need has not arisen because Trump is president or Republicans control the Senate or Cuomo is governor or Bill Thompson is Chair of the CUNY Board and certainly not because Barbara Bowen is PSC President. No, this need arises from the laws of imperialism and inter-imperialist rivalry. And it is this need that filters down to our working conditions and our students’ learning conditions. It is this need that drives Cuomo and DeBlasio to strangle the CUNY budget and to raise tuition. None of these characters is relieved of their responsibility in heaping racist misery on workers to a greater or lesser degree. But replacing them is not the answer. We must replace the capitalist system that feeds and is fed by them. And that requires a communist revolution.

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