About the Communist Workers Party USA
The Communist Workers Party USA is a workers’ political organization dedicated to the defeat of capitalism and capitalist rule, and the establishment of a workers’ republic as the first step to the achievement of the communist society. As such, we are a distinct political formation among the leading ranks of the working class, composed of the most class-conscious, the most courageous, and the most self-sacrificing section of the proletariat. The Communist Workers Party does not stand above or apart from, but is part and parcel of, the working class. We seek to be the political leadership of the proletarian movement.
The Communist Workers Party is armed with the theories, teachings and experience of a worldwide movement first established by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in 1848. These teachings are a powerful weapon in the hands of the Party. They enable us to educate working people about the history of our struggles based on decades of collective experience and knowledge, which aids our class in gaining victories while avoiding unnecessary sacrifice.
These teachings enable the Party to know who are the friends and allies of the working class, and who our enemies are (even when they present themselves to us as friends). By means of these teachings, the Communist Workers Party is able to find the best methods of struggle of the working class against capitalism, and for the workers’ republic.
The Role and Aim of the Communist Workers Party
As an organization seeking to become the political leadership of our class, the Communist Workers Party works to build a political movement composed of the active and revolutionary factions and fractions of the proletariat that can lead the working class in all aspects of society in the fight for the revolutionary defeat of capitalism, for the establishment of the workers’ republic, for the abolition of classes and class antagonisms, for the establishment of the classless communist society.
Our Party realizes that certain conditions must exist before the outworn capitalist system can be defeated. What are the conditions? First, a majority of the workers (or at least a majority of the class-conscious, thinking, politically active workers) should fully understand the necessity for revolution and be ready to fight tooth and nail for it; second, that the ruling classes be in a state of crisis that draws even the most backward masses into politics, weakens the government and makes it possible for the revolutionaries to overthrow it rapidly; and, third, that this state of upheaval and crisis has compelled people across all classes to align themselves into one of two great and hostile camps.
But these three conditions alone are not sufficient for the successful struggle of the working class. Even if the working class knows that revolution is the means of its liberation, even if the working class knows that communism can be won only through revolution, unless there is a strongly organized all-encompassing movement — political, economic, cultural and social — of working people that explains the aims and methods of the struggle to fellow workers, unless it itself organizes these struggles, and is itself in the forefront of them, the revolution cannot be victorious.
How will the Communist Workers Party convince the majority of the working class that a revolution is necessary? The Party can do this only by becoming a trusted and leading part of the struggle of the working class. Agitation and education alone are insufficient. Something more is needed to convince the masses of the proletariat of the necessity for the overthrow of the old order.
Learn through Struggle
The most effective way workers can learn through their daily struggles is through revolutionary political action based on a communist program. They learn by their own experiences that only through stubborn struggle can they wrest any concessions from the capitalists. They learn the relationship of classes in present-day society. They learn the nature of capitalist society. They learn the role of the henchmen of the capitalists, both inside and outside of the ranks of the working class. In other words, working people learn through their own experiences that their class, the working class, has enemies — the capitalists and their henchmen, the petty bourgeoisie, the business union officials, the self-described “community leaders,” etc. They learn that there is only one way out of misery, insecurity, unemployment, etc. — the way of the final overthrow of the old order, and the establishment of the new — the workers’ republic.
These experiences will be learned in the both the daily struggles for survival and the broader struggles for liberation. Workers learn in these struggles who their enemies are: the police with their clubs and automatic weapons and gas bombs; the National Guard and military with their weapons of mass destruction; the extralegal forces of the ruling class (Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, “private security,” etc.); the press with its poisonous anti-working class propaganda; the role of the officials sitting atop the pro-capitalist business unions and the self-appointed, predatory “leaders” (“religious leaders,” “community leaders,” etc.) helping the bosses to crush the struggles of poor and working people for a decent living and against capitalism; the judges with their injunctions and vicious sentences against workers; the politicians of the two capitalist parties, from the local City Council member to the President of the United States, always supporting the capitalists.
They see the disorganizing and disrupting influence of the organizations of the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois socialists that make up the bulk of the “Left” and “Far-Left;” they see the cynically conciliatory policy of these organizations toward the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie, including their bureaucratic allies in the business unions.
Convince through Leadership
Working people learn through their own experiences that they must have their own political movement that leads them in their struggles, that draws the correct conclusions from these struggles, and that, in the preparation for, and in the midst of, the struggles, continuously exposes every move of the enemy and teaches the lessons that should be learned in their struggles. The Communist Workers Party, part and parcel of the proletariat, has only one interest: a future for the exploited and oppressed; the end of all exploitation and oppression. To that end, a central task of the Party in this period is the building of our organization as the mass proletarian communist faction within the larger proletarian movement for self-liberation.
While the Communist Workers Party knows that hunger and misery cannot be finally abolished under the capitalist system, it intervenes in reform actions with the goal of promoting and educating about the need to overthrow capitalism. The Communist Workers Party explains to its brothers and sisters that even those concessions that are won by them through hard-fought battles will be taken back by the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie unless they organize to remove the ruling classes from their positions of power once and for all. In these fights, working people will see their enemies, and will hopefully realize that there is only one organization they can trust, only one that fights uncompromisingly with them against the enemy: the Communist Workers Party.
In this way, the Communist Workers Party seeks to win the confidence of the working class, and become their recognized political leadership.
Political and Practical Leadership
The Communist Workers Party seeks to become the political leadership of the proletariat, to educate through struggle and win the majority over to communism through exemplary action. At the same time, we do not wish to become the practical leadership of the revolutionary struggle that will overthrow capitalism and establish a workers’ republic.
The liberation of the proletariat must and can only be attained by the proletariat itself. If the revolution we seek to lead politically is to become the vehicle for the establishment of a genuine workers’ republic, it would be a fundamental mistake for us to attempt to substitute our program and Party for the proletarian movement itself. In addition, while the collective knowledge and experience of the communist movement may be deep and rich, the collective knowledge and experience of the proletariat as a whole is deeper and richer. We should not be fearful, dismissive or condemning of proletarians taking practical action apart from the proletarian communist movement, as long as that practical action is guided by the political principles and viewpoint of proletarian communism.
In the revolutionary struggle, the relationship between the proletarian communist faction and the proletariat will be that of the spark and the flame. That is, it is our task to light the way and demonstrate on a small scale what the proletariat must accomplish of its own accord on a large scale. Education, agitation, direct action and organization are essential tools in this process, and must be used as a means of winning over the majority of workers to our platform and perspective.
The relationship between the proletarian communist movement and the working class is similar in the revolution itself. In a time of revolution, it may become necessary for us as an organization to initiate the revolutionary act — i.e., to seize political power from the bourgeoisie and initiate the atomization of the armed forces of the capitalist state — but that spark must succeed in lighting the flame of the proletarian uprising if the revolution is to be anything more than a putsch or coup, and should not be attempted unless that uprising is assured.
Class, Democracy and Dictatorship
The state is an instrument in the hands of the ruling class (or classes) for suppressing the resistance of all other classes. In this respect, the workers’ republic, classically referred to as the dictatorship of the proletariat, differs little in form from the dictatorship of any other class (even those so-called “democratic” dictatorships), for the workers’ republic is an instrument for the suppression of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois counterrevolution. However, there is a fundamental difference between the two: states that existed hitherto have been dictatorships of an exploiting minority over the exploited majority; the workers’ republic is the dictatorship of a once-exploited, now-liberated majority over a once-exploiting, now-expropriated minority.
(It should be noted here that the use of the term “dictatorship,” in reference to “dictatorship of the proletariat,” for example, has nothing to do with the common definition associated with it today. When Marx first formulated the term “dictatorship of the proletariat” in the 1870s as the description of the transition from capitalism to communism, which we call the workers’ republic, the word “dictatorship” was taken from the classical Roman usage and meant little more than “rule” or “government.” It did not have the totalitarian implications it has today.)
The workers’ republic cannot be a “complete” democracy; a dictatorship of the proletariat must be a state that is democratic in a new way (for the proletariat and the poor in general) and dictatorial in a new way (against the bourgeoisie, petty bourgeoisie and their desire to re-establish class society). “Pure” democracy, “perfect” democracy and the like, are high-sounding phrases that conceal the unassailable fact that equality between exploiters and exploited is impossible.
The theory of “pure” democracy is the theory of the petty bourgeoisie and the most privileged stratum of the working class — the labor aristocracy — that is tamed and fed by imperialist plunderers. It was invented to hide the sores of capitalism, to camouflage imperialism and lend it moral strength in its struggle against the exploited masses. Under capitalism, there is no real “freedom” for the exploited, nor can there be — if for no other reason than that the buildings, printing plants, airwaves, etc., indispensable for the actual enjoyment of these “freedoms,” are the property and privilege of the exploiters. Under capitalism, working people do not, nor can they, really participate in the administration of the country, if for no other reason than that even with the most democratic system under capitalism, the government and state are controlled, not by the people, but by the capitalists themselves, through their armed agents: the state.
Democracy under capitalism is capitalist democracy, the democracy of an exploiting minority based upon the restriction of the rights of the exploited majority and directed against this majority. Only under the workers’ republic is real freedom for the exploited, and real participation in the administration of the country by the working class possible. Under the workers’ republic, democracy is proletarian democracy — the democracy of the exploited majority; democracy as a daily practice, not a form of governance; real majority rule.