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OUR FIGHT

 

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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 Progressive Labor Party on Race & Racism

Saturday
Dec032011

Workers Need PLP’s Ideas, Strike vs. Racist Transit Bosses

NEW YORK CITY, November 28 — More than 600 members of Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 demonstrated before the Sheraton Hotel on the first day of official negotiations between city transit workers and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA). Local 100 president John Samuelson said there’s no midnight strike deadline on January 15 when the current contract expires.

City transit workers are directly up against Wall Street’s rulers. Bankers and wealthy investors of MTA bonds drain more than $2 billion a year directly out of the $11 billion-a-year MTA budget, forcing service cuts, layoffs and fare increases.

All the transit bosses’ attacks hit the majority black, Latino and immigrant workers and riders the hardest. Now the racist bosses want a three-year wage freeze, $6,000-a-year per worker for healthcare, and elimination of the conductor title.

The most important action transit workers can take to fight the racist bosses is to organize a rank-and-file, multi-racial group of women and men that both prepares for a strike while spreading communist ideas as the solution for workers’ problems.

The MTA’s attacks on transit workers and riders are a natural organic part of capitalism. These attacks can’t be fixed by taxing the rich, regulating the banks, improving campaign finance rules or working with a “nice” MTA boss. The entire political system, including the promotion and appointment of the MTA heads, was created by and for the rich.

Bosses’ Dictatorship Cannot Be ‘Improved’

Capitalism is not a democratic system that “needs to be improved.” It’s a bosses’ dictatorship that needs to be smashed and replaced with workers’ power. Only in a communist society can workers make transit decisions and work for the world’s working classes’ needs, with no profit, money or bosses.

The 2005 transit walkout, despite being sold out, showed that black, Latino and immigrant-led workers can bring the racist city bosses to their knees. Today hundreds of thousands of workers in city unions are looking to Local 100 to set a pattern of gains in these hard times, particularly the smaller ATU (Amalgamated Transit Union) locals that have stalled negotiations with the MTA.

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Saturday
Dec032011

Mexico: Turn War vs. Youth into Class War vs. Capitalism

MEXICO — The “war on drugs” reveals that capitalism means death, violence and terror for the working class. It has allowed the ruling class to turn most of Mexico into a militarized police state. These attacks are felt most by working-class youth, who also experience huge unemployment. The few jobs that can still be found don’t provide social security and the miserable salaries range from 400 to 600 pesos per week (US $31 to $46).

Access to education is constantly shrinking; the government has slashed the budget for education and health and funneled the money to the police and the army. Youth have lost faith and many have been swept up to fight the war, either as hired guns or in the police and military. Thousands have died in this war.

The military and police state terrorizes workers and violently represses any resistance. This is the fascist face of bourgeois democracy. The war on drugs hasn’t reduced the profits of drug cartels, estimated at $40 billion dollars a year, a good part of which enters the country’s financial system.

This ongoing militarization is also part of a fascist strategy to guarantee control over the natural resources in case of an eventual privatization of oil, gas and water, and the further privatization of the electrical supply. Industries that provide services, such as telecommunications. They are the focus of intense conflict between national and foreign capitalists.

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Saturday
Dec032011

France: Bosses’ Austerity Hits Workers; Union Hacks Roll Over

PARIS, November 23 — The working class here is reeling as one austerity plan after another destroys social gains won through generations of bitter class struggle. But the trade union misleadership, having lost last year’s battle to save retirement pensions, is marching workers straight into another Waterloo (British defeat of the French).

On November 18, five union confederations issued a call for workers nation-wide to rally on December 13 to protest the government’s austerity plans. In the build-up to that demonstration, they’re urging workers to “question the government and elected officials” — a give-away of their election treadmill aims.

With presidential elections five months away, the union misleaders are walking a thin line. They want to organize just enough action to mobilize workers to vote for Socialist Party candidate François Hollande. But they also want to avoid any disruption of French society that might cost the Socialists the elections.

Sellouts Control Workers’ Anger

This is a mirror image of last year’s losing kid-glove approach, in which 24-hour strikes were held at six-week intervals so that workers’ anger remained controllable.

On September 7, the National Assembly adopted a 12-billion-euro austerity plan (US$16 billion), followed by a November 16 vote on a new 7-billion-euro austerity plan (US$9.3 billion), now being debated in the French Senate.

The new plan includes higher taxes for 86% of the population, cutting health and welfare benefits further and forcing people to work one year longer before retiring and until 67 for a full pension. Even subsidies to associations providing services to elementary school children are being axed.

These austerity plans are racist in that they fall most heavily on immigrant workers — most of whom are of North African or sub-Saharan African origin — and are disproportionately among the poorest workers in France

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Saturday
Dec032011

Bronx OWS: ‘Positive Thinking’ Won’t Halt Cops’ and Bosses’ Attacks

BRONX, NEW YORK, November 28 — For the past month, Occupy the Bronx, one of the offshoots of the main Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, has met every Saturday morning, providing further evidence that the anti-Wall Street sentiment is shared by large sections of the working class. The largely black and Latino group here expresses the same outrage and anger at bankers and bosses that is found on Wall Street. PL has been participating in the group’s activities, attempting to bring communist analysis and leadership into the darkness of reform and pacifism that limits this movement.

Perhaps the primary weakness in OWS is its lack of understanding of how racism is essential to capitalist inequality. In the Bronx, the links between racism and unemployment, poor education, and inadequate health care are more obvious.  But even here, the task of bringing communist or even anti-racist ideas to the forefront is not necessarily any easier. For one thing, the leadership of the Bronx group is straight from OWS, and they’ve brought the same organizational style with them. Called “direct democracy,” it is actually a strategy to block radical motions and stifle revolutionary ideas. Also prominent is vague, idealistic thinking, typified by slogans like “the power of the people” and “This is what democracy looks like.” While they sound good, these slogans leave the working class unprepared to confront our class enemy.

Idealism versus Materialism

Idealism says that thoughts and ideas are the most important things, and that they determine our material reality, the way we live. The opposite of idealism is materialism, which says that the way we live (including social relationships between workers and bosses or protesters and cops) determine the ideas that we have. To put it simply: Positive thinking, by itself, will never stop the police from attacking us. It will never stop capitalists from exploiting us. Materialist philosophy calls for a deep understanding of the role played by the police and politicians in maintaining capitalism — and the extent to which the ruling class will go to maintain its class rule.   

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Saturday
Dec032011

OWS Slogan Hides Class Nature of Profit System

The main weakness of Occupy Wall Street is its implication that only a tiny minority, mainly bank presidents and Fortune 500 CEOs, benefit from the gross inequalities of capitalism, and the rest of us need to unite to make things fairer.This idea hides the class nature of the capitalist profit system and all the agents it uses to enforce the exploitation of the working class. The Occupy slogan, We Are the 99%, distorts people’s understanding of the ranks of our class enemies.

Have you ever been directly supervised by Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, David Koch, or any other billionaire? Hardly. In fact, many corporate vice presidents, human resources directors, managers, administrators and supervisors are links in the chain that binds us to the capitalist system.

Bosses’ Flunkies Not On Our Side

For example, an assembly-line worker has a foreman, the foreman’s supervisor, a plant manager, and so on up the line. All of these people are responsible for extracting surplus value (the source of all profits) from our labor. None of them are on our side. Similarly, a schoolteacher must answer to various assistant principals, a principal, a district superintendent, and the people elected or appointed to the board of education. All of these flunkies are on the bosses’ side, unless and until they demonstrate otherwise by such actions as supporting a strike or joining Progressive Labor Party.

One Percenters Have Millions of Agents

Other tools of the capitalist class include politicians (Democratic and Republican); political appointees (judges, district attorneys, commissioners, regulators); high-paid lawyers, money managers and other professionals; media hacks; entertainment performers and executives; religious leaders; and professors and think tank fellows, both liberal and conservative, who are charged with churning out capitalist ideology and strategy. And don’t forget highly paid national and local union leaders, whose job is to work together with the bosses to get workers to submit to layoffs and cuts in wages, working conditions, health benefits and pensions.

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Saturday
Dec032011

Russian, Chinese, U.S. Rulers Vie for Control of Syria

The current struggle in Syria is between a U.S. empire in decline and rapidly rising Russia and China.  Inter-imperialist rivalry is being played out as the hypocritical Obama and his Arab League lackeys condemn the “butcher” Al-Assad regime for cracking down on his protestors.  The rulers’ press shows how the U.S. empire and allies want to use the Libyan blueprint of a no–fly zone enforced by massive bombing raids to foment regime change in Syria. But what is missing is exactly why the U.S. is desperate to place their own puppet on the Syrian throne.

Syria and Libya have parallels in the U.S. desperation to invade and control.   In Libya, though, the U.S. mainly is concerned with the threat of Chinese and Russian economic investment in Libyan oil. In Syria the U.S. wants to try to solidify its military and economic control over the entire Middle East by weakening Russia, Iran and China who use the Al-Assad fascists as their proxy. Russia has a fundamental strategic interest to preserve its military base in Syria and is in the process of sending warships to Syria as part of a drive to revive itself as an imperialist empire.

Iran Emerges Winner of Iraq War

Iran was a real winner of the U.S. war in Iraq. It still maintains its ability to arm and fund its proxy forces like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine, and has now developed the ability to influence Iraq’s government to a great extent.  It is Iran, to the U.S.’s chagrin, that has facilitated Iraq making an agreement with pseudo-state “Kurdistan” (see CHALLENGE 11/30/11) that challenged Exxon/Mobil’s outright conquest of an Iraqi oil field.  Iran supports Syria against the Free Syrian Army (FSA) — the Sunni-based puppet force of Syrian Army deserters that is seeking protection from Turkey and Saudi Arabia in order to topple the Assad’s primarily Alawite, Christian, and Druze regime.   

Sellout remnants of the old communist movement in the Middle East try to play up Assad’s Nasserite roots of a pseudo-socialistic outright fascist state as standing up to imperialism.  To them, allying with “lesser-evil”  bosses includes getting into bed with dictators who espouse and arm religious fundamentalists to carry out sexist and racist massacres against working class-women, men, and children.

All Bosses Are Workers’ Enemies

PLP in the Middle East consistently struggles with our friends to understand that while the U.S. continually brutalizes and murders the working class in order to advance U.S. Imperialism (all the while condemning Syria), Russian Imperialism and Iranian hegemony are not alternatives that can serve our needs.

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Thursday
Nov172011

Nationwide Fascist Assault Occupiers Resist Bosses’ Raids

NEW YORK, November 15 — At one o’clock this morning, a thousand cops made a mockery of capitalist “freedoms” by raiding the Occupy Wall Street encampment here in Zuccotti Park. The lower Manhattan raid was apparently coordinated with those in more than a dozen other cities, as the bosses used their state power to attempt to squash the Occupy movement nationwide. As Oakland Mayor Jean Quan told the BBC, “I was recently on a conference call with 18 cities across the country who had the same situation.”

The NYC fascist cops arrested more than 220 protesters, forcibly evicted the rest, and confiscated or destroyed their belongings. Six reporters were also arrested, and other media and legal observers were barred from witnessing the attack. The cops then staged their own occupation of the park, forcing protesters onto the sidewalks around it.

Hours after the cop invasion, the New York State Supreme Court ruled that protesters must obey the “park rules,” even if those rules were concocted after the protests began. This shows how the bosses use the cops and courts to crush any opposition. This is their “democracy,” a dictatorship of the capitalists where the “1%” (the bosses) do whatever they like, while the “99%” (the working class) face police brutality and arrests if they resist. Meanwhile, the hypocritical capitalist media painted the protesters as hooligans who were abusing their “first amendment rights” — a stark contrast to their fawning treatment of the Arab Spring, when the U.S. bosses sought to maintain control of Middle East oil by forging ties with the new rulers there. 

The New York bosses’ aggression, however, has failed to break the fighting spirit of the OWS activists, mostly young workers and students. Hours after their forced eviction, they were back in Zuccotti Park (though without sleeping gear, which was barred by billionaire Mayor Bloomberg), renewing their protest against Wall Street.

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Thursday
Nov172011

Oakland Workers Swell the Protests: General Strike Hits Capitalist Horrors

OAKLAND, November 16 — The Occupy movement continues to explode here.  After, the November 2 General Strike briefly closed the Port of Oakland, protests continue and are focused more sharply on the devastation that capitalism brings to the working class. Front and center are the issues of economic inequality, institutional racism, and the need for international unity to link our struggles with those of workers around the world.

The intensification of Occupy Oakland was sparked by the general strike, which was a great step forward from earlier events.  It aimed, if still symbolically, at shutting down the whole capitalist economy. A march that started under a “Death to Capitalism” banner temporarily closed several downtown Oakland banks. Teachers, the most visible group of unionized workers at the strike, brought students to the protest. Some schools also shut down, and hundreds of students marched at Laney Community College to challenge racist inequalities and corporate control of education.

Medical workers, particularly in the California Nurses Association, had already mobilized to support the first-aid needs of the encampment in what is now called Oscar Grant Plaza. The multiracial participants were young and old, students and workers, marching together in social groups of families or friends.  Conspicuously absent from the general strike were contingents organized by unions or mainstream churches and community groups. While the rank and file of these groups turned out, participation by the Alameda Central Labor Council was limited to serving food.

The general strike ended in a march of 15,000 to shut down the Port of Oakland, with the sympathy of many in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), a union with militant communist roots, and the trucker sub-contractors who haul the cargo. The ILWU has led job actions against apartheid, and in April it marched in solidarity with state workers in Wisconsin to protest union-busting there. Three years ago, the mostly immigrant and non-unionized truckers helped shut down all California ports on May Day over the issue of immigrant rights. (One trucker took our poster and CHALLENGE during the general strike, and asked why we had not come at 6 a.m. to really shut the Port down.) This collective history was a big reason that Occupy Oakland focused on Oakland’s economic center, the Port.

A Step Toward Waking the Sleeping Giant

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Thursday
Nov172011

Imperialist War, Profit-System Poverty Are Worst Forms of Child Abuse

Obama Sheds Fake Tears  Over Penn State…

Hypocrisy drenches Barack Obama’s denunciation of “heartbreaking” child sex abuse at Penn State: “Our number-one priority has to be protecting our kids.” This phony concern comes from the commander of a United States war machine that routinely slaughters children and other civilians abroad, and whose system consigns millions of children in the U.S. to lives of poverty, hunger and premature death (see box).

What the U.S. president really seeks to protect is the far-flung sources of profit for his capitalist masters. Even as he calls for national “soul searching” over Penn State, Obama gives the go-ahead to atrocities against children in the oil-rich Middle East. While Yemen, for one example, is running out of oil, it borders Saudi Arabia’s unmatched reserves and harbors anti-U.S. Islamic movements — enough to make its people a target. As Salon.com reported, “Slightly more than two months after he was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama secretly ordered a cruise missile attack on Yemen, using cluster bombs, which killed 44 innocent civilians, including 14 women and 21 children, as well as 14 people alleged to be ‘militants’” (11/12/11).

…While U.S. Drones Kill Kids

Naturally, capitalist rulers don’t want us to know how many children they murder in their profit-driven wars. “We may never know how many,” the government-owned British Broadcasting Corporation reported last month in reference to civilian casualties in the U.S.-led Libyan oil grab that ousted dictator Qaddaffi. But some damning figures do emerge. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism at London’s City University “has identified 56 children reported killed in drone strikes during [Obama’s] presidency” (8/11/11). And these were in Pakistan, a U.S.-bankrolled “ally.”

Young people face even more horrific conditions in Obama & Co.’s declared war zones. UNICEF, the United Nations’ children’s agency, calculates that Afghanistan is the worst place in the world to be a child. One in five does not live to see a sixth birthday. (The death rate for young children there is 199 per thousand, as compared to 2.5 in Singapore.) Most of those deaths are from curable childhood diseases and malnutrition, compounded by war, which makes proper health care inaccessible.

Children, so dear to Obama, freeze and starve in Afghan gutters while well-fed U.S. contractors survey pipeline routes and mineral sources. UNICEF regional communications chief Sarah Crowe told CNN last January, “It is very hard to put a hard-and-fast figure to the number of children dying from hypothermia alone on Kabul’s streets.

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Thursday
Nov172011

Public Health Workers Turn Up Heat vs. Bosses’ Racist ‘Care’

WASHINGTON,D.C., October 31 — Almost 200 public health workers, Occupy D.C. activists, and District of Columbia workers rallied and marched, attacking capitalism and racism and demanding jobs and health care for everyone now.  After leaving the American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting of more than 12,000 public health members, these workers surged onto the streets of Washington chanting, “Out of our silos, into the streets! Public health workers turn up the heat!”

They marched to the Verizon Center sports arena, where a Verizon worker attacked the company’s attempts to strip retiree health benefits from the contract and lay off thousands of workers as their CEO enjoyed record-breaking pay.  Stopping at the Clark construction site for the new City Center luxury development, a community activist blasted Clark for denying jobs to D.C. workers and called for unity among all workers to oppose capitalism.

This march attracted people out of a bold and growing anger at capitalism among public health workers. Speakers at today’s rally exposed the system’s racism, calling for a health care system that provided quality care for everyone regardless of immigration status. (Undocumented immigrants are not even allowed to buy health insurance from the new health insurance exchanges.)   Speakers attacked capitalism and racism, decrying both Obama and the Republican Party sideshow.  A Progressive Labor Party doctor called for the overthrow of capitalism and urged people to make revolution possible, saying, “You know you want it!”  PLPers distributed over 50 Challenge-Desafios. 

The rally was organized by the Health Disparities Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Public Health Association (MWPHA), with more than a dozen people planning its messages, speakers, and chants.  The committee called on public health workers to return to their roots of building a social movement to ensure healthy conditions for all.  It urged them to “reject capitalists and their politicians, who use cutbacks and racism to strengthen their profitability and competitive edge.  Build a worker-student-professional movement for change.”

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