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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Class struggle in full gear Auto strike halts GM, needs to smash profit system

BOLINGBROOK, IL, September 21—“You’re not just fighting for you, you’re fighting for us! For everybody!”
This statement of solidarity was made by a Chrysler autoworker who had traveled hours to support a picket of General Motors (GM) workers outside a company parts distribution plant in Bolingbrook, Illinois. More working-class support is essential as the autoworkers boldly continue their strike against the racist and sexist capitalist bosses, which began on September 15 and includes up to 50,000 workers.
Comrades from Progressive Labor Party (PLP) in the Chicago area traveled to the Bolingbrook plant to show solidarity and to spread revolutionary communist politics. We put forth the line that  as workers we shouldn’t have to beg for crumbs from the bosses. Nor put our confidence in capitalist liberal politicians and union sellouts to save us. It’s the capitalist profit system that’s the problem, and communist revolution and international workers’ power is the solution!
Opportunistic politicians
Current Democratic Party candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are speaking out about the GM strike on their campaign trail to “court labour” and “in hopes of holding onto their support — and winning over those who flipped for President Trump in 2016” (NY Times, 9/22). While some workers have illusions about president Donald Trump’s support for autoworkers, they shouldn’t be fooled by the liberal politicians either.
At the heart of their reform, as represented by Warren and Sanders, is a desire to win workers to the long-term needs of a U.S. empire in decline, in the face of threats of rival imperialists China and Russia.
Workers report on horrid conditions
On the day of the strike a multiracial group of comrades arrived late in the morning to the picket, and were warmly received by 10 workers who were holding down the line. They gladly shared their experiences as working people with PLP.
The workers explained that the Bolingbrook plant is in fact a parts distribution center, which receives, packs, and ships replacement parts used in GM vehicles. There are roughly 80 workers, but most are under a “temporary” status, meaning that they don’t receive the same pay or benefits that more permanent workers receive. This divisive two-tier wage system is a major source of profits for the bosses, and is a main point of struggle that led up to the current strike.
The workers also shared horror stories of the work conditions inside this plant and others where they had worked. The work was described as very repetitive and physically demanding.
Multiracial solidarity
As one Black woman worker explained, “We’re working like slaves. People run around in there like chickens with their heads cut off.”
Another white worker stated, “I have two fake hips and carpal tunnel. I hope to make it to retirement in four years.”
This white worker actually did not work at the Bolingbrook plant, but came from another auto plant that was represented by the same United Automobile Workers (UAW) union. He understood the importance of workers showing solidarity, as he and his family had been forced to relocate to the Midwest after the bosses closed down the plant where he was employed in New York. Multiple workers in fact travelled from different plants and unions to support the picket on this day.
PL’ers and workers had conversations about the traps that the capitalist bosses use to divide the working class, including race, nationality, sex, and job status. The international working class is the force that creates all value. We are capable of organizing our class to meet our own collective needs. Everyone on the picket line took a copy of CHALLENGE.
Liberals mislead
Some workers were blatant about voicing their dissatisfaction with the UAW, and for good reason. The union leadership is notoriously corrupt, with a number of officials being caught accepting bribes from the auto bosses in 2017. Both current UAW president Gary Jones as well as former president Dennis Williams have both had their home raided by authorities looking for evidence (Detroit Free Press, 9/18).
Let’s consider the role of the union during the government bailout of GM, after the company filed for bankruptcy in 2009 following the financial crash. In exchange for some $50 billion in taxpayer money, the liberal U.S. President Barack Obama and his administration got the union to forfeit the right to strike through 2015, and give up automatic pay raises (Politifact, 9/6/12). Obama bailed out the bosses and hurt the workers. These concessions set the stage for the weakened position that auto workers find themselves today.
Fight like Flint, fight for communism
Undoubtedly the most successful autoworkers’ struggle in the U.S. was the 1936-7 sit-down strike in Flint, Michigan. During that struggle, thousands of workers, under the leadership of communists organizing within the UAW, occupied the factory and fought off the bosses for 44 straight days to win their demands (see CHALLENGE, 12/22/18). Autoworkers, fighters, and PL members should study the Flint strike to draw important lessons from it.
The biggest lesson here is this—to guarantee a decent life for our class, we can’t limit ourselves to shutting the system down for a day, a week, or even a year. We also can’t sell ourselves short by just accepting what crumbs the liberal politicians give in order to use us for their wars.
We need to do away with capitalism entirely, along with all its unemployment, racism, sexism, deportations, and war. PLP is that revolutionary force that unites workers’ struggles all over the world into a mass movement for communism! Join us!

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