Comrades and Friends - The 2 following texts in English, will be translated in Spanish and French to be circulated to brotherly Marxist-Leninist and progressive organizations and parties. Antonio Artuso - Communist Reconstruction Canada - April 15, 2014
Camaradas y amigos - Los dos textos siguientes en inglés, seran traducidos en español y francés, para ser distribuidos a organizaciones y partidos marxistas-leninistas y progresistas hermanos. Antonio Artuso - Reconstrucción Comunista Canadá - 15 de abril 2014
Camarades et amies/is - Les deux textes suivants, en anglais, seront traduits en français et en espagnol et seront distribués aux organisations et aux partis marxistes-léninistes et progressistes frères. Antonio Artuso - Reconstruction communiste Canada - 15 avril 2014
Successful Third Conference of Workers Communist Organization Held
On Sunday, April 14, the Third Conference of the Workers Communist Organization (WCO) was held in New York City. About 30 people were in attendance, including a contingent of members and supporters of the Communist Party of Labor (PCT) of the Dominican Republic. The speeches and discussions were in English and Spanish. The theme of the conference was “Why is there a need for another Communist Party in the USA today.” Comrade Ruth Jackson introduced the task of the conference and the individual speakers.
The first speech was by Comrade George Greene; since it is the only one that was fully written out in advance, we are attaching it here.
Next, Comrade Luis introduced Comrade Manuel Salazar, Secretary General of the PCT of the Dominican Republic. He began by describing, in a proletarian internationalist manner, the importance for the workers of the world, and particularly of Latin America, of a genuine Marxist-Leninist party in the United States. He also discussed the role of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICMLPO), which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The ICMLPO puts out the journal Unity and Struggle in English, Spanish and other languages. The ICMLPO holds annual international and regional meetings. Moreover, it helps to organize broader meetings of revolutionary anti-imperialist forces, such as the annual Seminar on the Revolution in Latin America, held in Quito, Ecuador in July each year, the annual meeting of militant trade unionists of Latin America, which was held in Mexico City last fall and will be held in the Dominican Republic this year, and the bi-annual Anti-Imperialist and Anti-Fascist Youth Camp, which will be held this summer in Turkey. Also, for the first time, a revolutionary women’s meeting will be held this year.
Comrade Manuel also briefly discussed the situation in the Dominican Republic where, as in much of Latin America, huge mineral, oil and agricultural resources are being turned over to the imperialist monopolies, principally from the United States. He mentioned the struggles against this in the Dominican Republic, and highlighted the reactionary measure of the Dominican government to strip many thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship.
Comrade John, a retired postal Mail Handler, gave a brief but stirring report on the struggle against postal privatization in the U.S. He pointed out that the government is planning to open full-service postal operations in hundreds of Staples stores across the country, replacing union workers with low-wage workers. He announced that there will be a demonstration on Thursday, April 24, at 11 AM, beginning in front of the main post office on 33rd St. and 8th Ave., marching to Staples on 34th St. between Fifth and Madison Ave. He also pointed out that Lenin defended the public post office as an example of how a socialist enterprise would function, in The State and Revolution, Chapter 3, Section 3.
Comrade Daniel gave the final report, on the need for concrete steps to carry out leading to the formation of a genuine communist party in the U.S. The steps were outlined as follows:
1. What should be our priorities
a. Learn/teach Marxism Leninism
b. Learn history of US militant struggles and communists
c. Organizing campaign to create work-based and community committees
d. Participate in mass campaigns and electoral politics
2. Steps to take today
a. Select a 5 person Central Committee
b. Three person committee to form a School for the Study of Marxism Leninism
c. Three person committee to head-up organizing at workplaces
The floor was then opened for discussion.
Comrade Angelo, the chair of the National Council of Communists (NCC), USA, raised the need to avoid the creation of more than one party that have basically the same views. He pointed out that this happened in the 1919 in the U.S., and that the Communist International refused to admit them as separate parties and encouraged their unity. It was agreed to have follow-up discussions with representatives of the NCC and the WCO.
It was agreed to set up a commission that would plan Marxist-Leninist schools to study the theory and practice of scientific socialism.
It was further agreed that there would be an Organizing Committee, rather than a Central Committee which was considered to be premature, consisting of three representatives each from the WCO, NCC and PCT.
There was no time to discuss the details of a commission to organize cells in workplaces, but it was agreed that this was necessary and would be taken up in the near future.
Why Do We Need “Another Party” in the U.S. Today? by George Greene
For anyone who knows anything of the “left” in the U.S. today, they know that there are a myriad of groups, each with their own papers or other publications, with similar sounding names: “Workers This,” “Socialist That,” or “Communist the Other” (unfortunately rather few of these). For those not familiar with the political outlook and activities of these groups, it is very confusing. We are often asked: “Why do you need to form another group,” and “Why can’t you all just get together?”
On the one hand, this is correct. We should (and our organization tries to) work together on issues on which we agree – and there are many. For example, we should, and have, worked together on such fights as for a $15 an hour minimum wage, or against the U.S. wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, or whichever other country is the next target for U.S. imperialist attack. And we would like to congratulate those who, at an earlier stage, formed New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW), and also the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC), for some beginning united front work on the question of the wars.
However, as we see the need for a genuine communist party of the working class, we cannot be satisfied with just united front work on single issues, as important as these may be. As an organization that sees the need for a socialist revolution in the USA, which can only be led by the working class, we need to put forward the political views and form of organization that we see as necessary to bring this about. And so far, these views and methods of action are shared by only a few small groups, with whom we hope it will be possible to unite in the near future.
First, we do not believe that it will be possible to bring about a transformation to socialism in the United States through peaceful means, or by elections. The capitalist ruling class in this country has caused the deaths of millions of people throughout the world to try to prevent them from carrying out socialist revolutions in their own countries, or even from bringing about genuine national independence in the neo-colonial world. Not too many people now know that the U.S. was one of 14 countries that tried to crush Soviet Russia after the Socialist Revolution in October 1917. But many still remember how the U.S. sent a half million troops to try, unsuccessfully, to prevent Vietnam from breaking free from imperialist domination. And we remember how the U.S. and NATO mercilessly bombed the small country of Libya, torturing and killing its leader, Gadhafi, to prevent Libya from determining its own future, and especially from controlling its own oil resources.
Further, U.S. history is full of examples of police and troops shooting down striking workers, or attacking anti-war demonstrators within the U.S. Will this ruling class, once the working people in the U.S. wake up to see that capitalism does not benefit them, but rather lives off their labor and that of other people throughout the world, will this ruling class say: “Ok, you win, we will let the workers take over”? I think we are too old to believe in fairy tales.
All of the great international leaders of the working class, from Marx and Engels to Lenin and Stalin, have clearly pointed out that all ruling classes have developed their state power in order to repress the laboring classes. They have summed up the historical experience of the class struggle worldwide to show that the capitalist state is used to repress the working class, that we live under what is called in scientific socialist language a “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, of the capitalist class.” And that for the working class to actually bring about a socialist revolution, it will have to smash this state machine and build its own state, in the form of workers’ councils or whatever we may call them here, to form its own dictatorship of the working class. (We have reprinted a valuable pamphlet put out by a former group, called “The U.S. State Is a Machine to Repress the Working Class,” which points to these universal lessons based on the history of our own class struggle.) An understanding of these lessons is one crucial thing separating ourselves from the great majority of groups on the left.
There is something else that our group understands, that separates us from many other groups, and that is the need to center our work in the workplaces, at the points of production. If we really understand that it is the working class that must lead the socialist revolution in the U.S., then we must make our primary focus where the workers are concentrated.
We know that this is no longer the period of large-scale industry, that technology has changed to the point where we no longer have many thousands of workers in one auto plant or steel mill, and that many production jobs have been shipped abroad to take advantage of the cheaper labor in the dependent countries. Of course, there are still many production jobs in the U.S., employing hundreds of workers, who still play a very important role and whose living standard is being steadily forced down by the capitalist drive for maximum profit; we cannot ignore these areas.
New York has never been primarily an industrial city. But it has a huge service and transport industry. Everyone knows, for example, that when the transit workers strike, it is like a general strike – practically nothing moves because no one can get to work without arriving late and leaving early. New York is also a city with hundreds of thousands of municipal workers, from teachers to sanitation workers to clerical workers spread across hundreds of agencies, but concentrated in a few unions. Of course, the municipal workers’ struggle is hampered by the anti-democratic no-strike provisions of the Taylor Law, which will eventually have to be broken. This is also a city with a huge health-care industry, and an enormous low-wage service industry, especially in the fast-food area, which is just beginning to organize. These are areas in which a genuine revolutionary party must concentrate, especially in New York City.
There are some groups that do very good anti-imperialist work, and to the extent of our forces we try to join with them. They bring out their members and supporters, one day in support of Libya, another day for Venezuela, or against fascism in Ukraine. This is all fine, but we will never organize the working class by just bringing the same faces from one rally to another. Even when these groups have members in the working class, and they generally have a few, they never see this as a center for their organizing.
On the other hand, there are a few groups, mostly from a very different ideological perspective, mostly Trotskyists, who do try to organize within the working class. One group has a cadre who worked for years in the TWU, trying his best to organize a militant fightback, but despite his heroic efforts he has never been able to build a base there. Another group also had one member who has worked in the TWU for years; he is respected by many for his seriousness (when he doesn’t bore people with overly long speeches). He even once got a majority vote at a mass TWU meeting in favor of a strike, but this vote was ignored by the bureaucrats. They could get away with this because he has never been able to organize a serious rank-and-file group there, because he makes a principle of sectarianism – if you don’t agree with him on everything, he can’t unite with you on anything. At one point his group did quadruple its membership in the TWU, not by winning over any new workers, but rather by sending another three members of his organization to work for Transit.
The history of the Communist Party in this country, when it was a revolutionary party, particularly in the 1930s, shows that, with a serious effort it is possible to build a revolutionary base in the working class. During the Great Depression, the CP played the leading role in organizing many of the big industrial unions in this country, especially in auto, steel, rubber and other mass production industries. They also organized among teachers and other service industries. Despite some errors, they organized tens and hundreds of thousands of workers, not only into unions, but also for socialism, for the revolution. But later, particularly in the 1950s, they were not able to defeat the combination of repression and bribery by the ruling class that led to great setbacks for the working class in this country. The CP eventually succumbed to opportunism and revisionism, dropping the need for socialist revolution and becoming a appendage of the Democratic Party and the trade union bureaucracy.
The history of this country and of the world shows that it is possible to organize the working class along revolutionary socialist lines, especially in times of crises such as now. This is the road that we must choose. We ask all of you to join us in this immense but fruitful task.
commenter cet article