Program of the Communist Workers Party USA

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The liberation of the working class must and can only be conquered by workers themselves. This emancipation of this class, the producing class, from exploitation and oppression is that of all humanity, regardless of race, nationality, sex, sexuality, gender identity, age or ability. This struggle for emancipation does not mean a fight for privileges and wealth, but for justice, social equality, and both individual and collective responsibility through the abolition of classes and class antagonisms.

The exploitation and oppression of the working class by the owning and administering classes is the foundation of capitalism, and all of the misery and degradation of society. The working class can only be free when the private ownership of the means of production and distribution is abolished, and the material basis of classes no longer exists.

The working class, the producers of all wealth, cannot be free unless they are in collective possession and control of all the means of production and distribution. There are only two forms in which the means of production and distribution can belong to the working class: the individual form, which has never existed as a general state of affairs and has been all but completely eliminated by the development of the world economy, and the collective form, whose material, intellectual and technological resources have been brought into existence and shaped by the development of capitalist society itself.

Capitalism

Capitalism, the large-scale manufacturing of commodities for the purposes of generating surplus value (profit) and capital (factories, mines, transportation networks, etc.), has been the dominant mode of production in the world for less than 300 of humanity’s tens of thousands of years of existence. The last 100 of those years have been dominated by the epoch of imperialism: the stage of capitalist decline and decay. Imperialist capitalism has pushed humanity toward the abyss repeatedly, through world and regional wars designed to re-divide the world among the Great Powers and their international cartels, and through periodic economic and political crises that destroy the rights and livelihoods of the billions of workers across the globe.

The imperialist epoch put an end to the progressive character of “national liberation” movements that were outside of the struggle for a working people’s republic. Nationalist slogans for “self-determination” separated from the call for workers’ communist revolution are a reactionary poison, used to shackle workers to the owning and administering classes in “their own” nationality or country, and to one or the other of their Great Power masters.

In turn, virtually all wars waged by various neo-colonial and semi-colonial client states, either against other such states or against one or more of the Great Powers, are, at their core, proxy wars on behalf of their imperialist benefactors. The only way to prevent the exploiting classes from sending workers to their deaths in war is through organizing our class to transform capitalist wars of conquest and re-division of the world into the revolutionary class war for emancipation.

With the rise of imperialism, when the owning class has allowed their “middle class” administrators to carry the construction of the state and society to its logical conclusions, both of these classes, in relation to the working class, are a single reactionary mass. This epoch, which is marked by the growing dominance of state-monopoly capitalism in the world system, has raised these administrators, professionals and managers to a co-equal leading position in the system of production and distribution with the owners.

The tendency toward state-monopoly capitalism — a phase of the capitalist mode of production dominated by the administrators of both the state and the economy, where the state acts as underwriter and guarantor of last resort for monopoly capital — in whichever form it may assume (democratic, fascist or socialist), is considered preferable to private capitalism by the administrators, as it heralds their ascension to the position of a ruling class in society.

Since the 1970s, world capitalism has entered into its terminal phase: corporatism, the decomposition of capitalist society and its headlong plunge into the “dark scenario” of barbarism. This phase is marked by crisis, upheaval and repression on a general, systemic scale, punctuated by periodic zig-zags that appear as advances and retreats between democratic and radically-reactionary forms of rule, but with an overall organic development from the former to the latter. This human catastrophe can only be stopped through the overthrow of the exploiting and oppressing classes and the victory of the international workers’ communist revolution.

The owning and administering classes have developed a number of forms of rule, each appropriate for a certain set of material conditions and each existing as a link in a single chain of political power. Democracy, Bonapartism, the “corporate welfare state,” fascism and socialism (either of the “social-democratic” or “bureaucratic” variety) all serve the ruling classes in their own time, and will transform from one to another when necessary.

The Working Class

The working class is the only really revolutionary class. It is through its self-organization and action in all of the arenas of society that it is able to bring about its emancipation. At the same time, the decisive battles for liberation from exploitation and oppression will take place on the field of political action. This means a confrontation (up to and including armed insurrection) with the forces of the state — the armed and organized enforcers of the owning and administering classes’ vision of “law and order” — by the masses of conscious and organized workers.

It is through mass independent working-class political action on a national and global scale, not the cynical, individualistic tactics of the “middle class” (e.g., terrorism), that the exploiters and oppressors will be overthrown and the international workers’ republic established as the first step toward world communism.

A key front in the political battles against the exploiting and oppressing classes is the struggle against the superexploitation and superoppression of racial and national minorities, women, gender and sexual minorities, youth and the elderly, the disabled, etc. This superexploitation and superoppression is carried out by the owners and administrators as a means to keep the working class divided and in misery, as well as to prop up capitalism itself through unpaid and precarious labor, and keep wages down through the maintenance of both a reserve army of unemployed and a mass “surplus population,” all the while keeping workers fighting each other for the political and economic scraps from the table of the ruling classes instead of fighting their common enemies.

However, building unity cannot be done by marginalizing, belittling or otherwise ignoring questions of racism, sexism, homophobia/heterosexism, gender conformity, etc. On the contrary, it is only through drawing all workers into the fight against these weapons being used by the exploiting and oppressing classes that real unity will be built. Waging a relentless and uncompromising struggle against all forms of superexploitation and superoppression, within the framework of fighting for the revolutionary overthrow of the exploiting and oppressing classes, is the only means by which liberation can be achieved.

Special attention should be given by communists to the fight against racial and national oppression under capitalism. The superexploitation and superoppression of African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans, Latinos and Hispanics, Native Americans, and other people of color, has historically been at the nexus of race and class in the United States.

The movements of the past and present against racism and national chauvinism have often appeared to many to be a kind of mirror reflection of the white supremacy and nationalism inflicted upon the superexploited and superoppressed. However, because racism and national chauvinism in capitalist America have, since their inception, been indissolubly linked to class, Black and Brown nationalist movements are not carbon copies of white supremacy and nationalism, although the forms may parallel each other. Both in their composition and in their programs, nationalist movements among the superexploited and superoppressed have an added class dynamic that communists must not ignore or simply aggregate with the nationalism of the exploiters and oppressors.

While communists reject on principle the general ideology of nationalism — which seeks to divide Black, Brown and white workers along ethnic lines while drawing our brothers and sisters closer to “their own” exploiters and oppressors — which seeks to place a racial or national worldview over and against that of class — we recognize two important differences: first, that many workers of color are attracted to nationalism in spite of its ideology, seeing it as the most effective means available to fight racism and national chauvinism, and, second, that nationalist movements often adopt slogans and demands that echo the historic interests of the superexploited and superoppressed proletariat.

Thus, it is essential that communists intervene in certain events and efforts initiated or supported by such nationalists with the goal of winning Black and Brown workers to the communist program. This may entail raising slogans that, while remaining fully in line with our principles, are similar to, or even the same as, those raised by nationalists. However, it must be clearly understood that communists do not establish alliances with nationalist organizations (even those sounding similar to us), water down or hide our politics in the name of some illusion of “unity,” or accept nationalism of any type as the inherent, indigenous political ideology of a superexploited and superoppressed community.

The Workers’ Revolution

The collective appropriation of the means of production and distribution can only spring from the organized revolutionary action of the producers — the working class; the proletariat — against the owners and administrators of exploitation and oppression — the capitalists and their “middle class” managers; the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie. Such an organization must be striven for, using all the means at the disposal of the proletariat.

The organization of the proletariat unites the various factions and fractions of our class into a single movement that fights for a republic of working people, based on workplace assemblies committees, where workers participate directly in the control and administration of the economy at the point of production, and councils and congresses of delegates elected from workplaces and working-class neighborhoods, recallable at any time and compensated (if necessary) at a level no higher than that of a skilled worker.

This all-encompassing proletarian movement, which will only really come into existence with the opening of a revolutionary period, takes the forms of a mass proletarian party (the political movement) and a revolutionary industrial union[1] (the economic movement), acting in concert to bring into existence the workplace assemblies and committees, workers’ councils and congresses, and drawing the majority of the working class into action.

The “democratic” trappings of rule by the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie, such as elections and legislatures, are little more than a smokescreen and deception designed to foster illusions that workers have a “choice” in who rules over them, just as the nominal “rights” workers are told they have are meant to deceive us into thinking we are actually free. The same can be said for the “socialist” and “social-democratic” trappings they adopt as a means of maintaining power, such as a nationalized capitalist economy, a massive social-welfare state and “safety net,” cooperatives and “self-management” schemes, etc., which are little more than an elaborate bribe offered to the working class in exchange for their passivity and loyalty.

While the broad proletarian party-movement[2] will understandably include all those who wish to aid the working class in its historic mission, both historical experience, as well as the development and transformations of social relations in the epoch of imperialism, have proven the necessity of such a mass movement to be organized and led exclusively by workers themselves. While those from other classes can certainly participate and even positively contribute to the development of the workers’ communist revolution, their place in the leadership represents an adulterating element and would condemn the movement to a debilitating split, disorientation and possibly even paralysis as conditions sharpen.

Because of these transformations of social relations, which outpaced the development of communist theory throughout the 20th century, nearly all of the various self-described “labor,” leftist, working-class, socialist and communist organizations, including the pro-capitalist business unions, along with their coalitions, “united fronts” and “people’s fronts,” play a reactionary role in the class struggle, serving as the left flank of the capitalist order, and functioning as a “grassroots,” “radical” or “revolutionary” fig leaf for the exploiting and oppressing classes. These “loyal labor (and leftist) lieutenants of capitalism” use their organizations as a fifth column to disorganize, derail and discipline revolutionary-minded workers.

The Paris Commune of 1871, the St. Louis Commune of 1877 and the Russian October Revolution of 1917 represent the high-water marks of the revolutionary workers’ movement so far. The October Revolution, which happened in the midst of the First World War, established the Russian Soviet Republic and opened the door to the possibility of the success of the international workers’ communist revolution.

However, the failure of the European workers’ revolutions, particularly that of the revolutionary movement in Germany (1919-1923), condemned the fledgling Russian workers’ republic to isolation. This, combined with the petty-bourgeois prejudices and ideology prevalent throughout the leadership of the Russian Communist Party, which kept workers unprepared to take and wield power in their own name, led to the degeneration of the Soviet republic.

There is no intermediate, “socialist” mode of production between capitalism and communism. Thus, what we saw emerge as a result of the degeneration of the USSR, and in the subsequent formation of the “people’s democracies” of Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, Indochina, etc., must necessarily be described as a state-monopoly capitalist economy ruled over by a self-described “socialist” state of petty-bourgeois bureaucrats, appointed managers, “specialists” and petty professionals, and the police and other armed agents of the state.

This is not to say that those in charge in these countries were a “new class,” “new bourgeoisie” or any similar formulation used by others who call these systems “state capitalism,”[3] or that the degenerated USSR was no different from other countries with a state-monopoly capitalist economy. This is also not to say that there were not some basic elements seen as being part of the communist mode of production that were grafted on to the economies of these countries. But these differences did not make these countries any kind of workers’ republics, and the elements introduced were neither fundamental nor in conflict with the existing social relations or mode of production.

The Proletarian Communist Party

The Communist Workers Party USA is the proletarian communist party-faction in the United States. We are a voluntary union of workers fighting to uphold and promote communist theory and the communist program, as elaborated historically by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. We are a non-doctrinaire communist organization strongly influenced by historic communist thinkers, although we do not adhere to any particular “ism” other than Marxian communism.

Organized and launched in August 2016 by members and supporters of the Communist League in America (2004-present) and Workers Party in America (2009-2016), the Communist Workers Party traces its origins to the beginnings of the communist movement in the United States[4].

Our political and organizational predecessors are the Working Men’s Party (1830-1846), the American Communities of the Communist League (1847-1852), the American Workers League and Club of Communists (1857-1864), the U.S. Sections of the International Working Men’s Association (1864-1876), the Marxist wing of the Social-Democratic Workingmen’s Party of North America, the Workingmen’s Party of the United States and the Socialist Labor Party of America (1876-1919), the early Communist Party of America, United Toilers of America and Workers Party of America (1919-1929), and the United Workers Party and the aborted Workers Party[5] (1930-1940), as well as the various currents and tendencies of dissident and genuinely working-class communism that have existed in the U.S. throughout the latter half of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century[6], including those that existed as opposition tendencies in the existing self-described socialist and communist organizations[7].

Internationally, we stand on the shoulders of a broad tradition established by dissident, working-class communist trends at the end of the First World War, especially those that developed in Russia, Germany, Britain, Italy and the U.S., in opposition to the petty-bourgeois counterrevolution in the USSR, as well as the retreat of the Communist International and its reversion to the reformist, populist and gradualist schemes of bourgeois social-democracy.

Today, these traditions are atomized and scattered among the various individuals and organizations of the broad proletarian communist movement. The Communist Workers Party seeks to develop and maintain positive working relations with these individuals and organizations. The Communist Workers Party intervenes in these movements, and others, to aid in the clarification of political questions and the future development of a new world party of proletarian revolution — a Communist Workers International.

The broad proletarian communist movement, its organizations and its individual adherents are part of the advanced detachment of the working class in the class struggle; we have no interests that are apart from our brothers and sisters. Our tasks are to provide political leadership through educational and agitational activity, clarify the outstanding theoretical and practical questions of the day, intervene in the various struggles of the working class where they arise on the basis of our communist program, draw together the genuinely proletarian and communist forces for a united struggle, and prepare our brothers and sisters to take and wield power in their own name.

As the faction of the proletarian movement that sees itself as, and struggles to become, its political leadership and guide, the proletarian communist party must not only be organized and led by workers, but its membership must also necessarily be drawn exclusively from the proletariat. The Communist Workers Party, as the proletarian communist party-faction[8], understands that an organization such as ours must be thoroughly proletarian not only in program, but also in composition.

The Communist Workers Party USA

As the proletarian communist party in the U.S., the Communist Workers Party USA does not fight for a “reformed” capitalism that bribes the working class into passivity while leaving class relations untouched, or for a “state socialism” that places all power in the hands of petty bourgeois officials, administrators and “specialists.”

Even though our members and supporters will stand with our brothers and sisters in their fight for “reform” demands or to defend these partial gains from attacks by the exploiting and oppressing classes, even though we may formulate demands as part of an “action platform” tailored to an unfolding and immediate situation, such demands are not a part of the communist program. At all times, we fight for a workers’ republic as the first step toward a classless communist society. This program guides us in this historic fight.

Thus, the Communist Workers Party USA, adopting as the object of their efforts the abolition of classes and class antagonisms, the abolition of private ownership of all the means of production and distribution and its replacement by collective ownership, and the victory of the classless communist society — the global association of free producers; the society of general freedom — on a worldwide scale, have decided, as a means of organization and struggle, to intervene in all the battles of the working class with the following series of political demands that represent the beginning of the fight for communism:

  1. The formation of an all-encompassing revolutionary workers’ movement, led by a mass working-class political party-movement and supported by a mass revolutionary industrial union movement, as well as other social and cultural organizations, established and led by workers themselves, based on a program that fights for: a) the raising up of the proletariat to the level of a ruling class and its preparation to act in its own historic interests, b) the overthrow of the supremacy of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie in all spheres of society, as well as the smashing of its state and other institutions, and, c) the seizure and conquest of political (state) power through the establishment of a workers’ republic. The formation and development of this movement in a revolutionary period is a precondition for the success of the workers’ communist revolution.
  2. The general arming of the working class, especially its politically-organized and advanced sections, and its training in the use and care of arms. Establishment of neighborhood, factory/shop and local units of workers’ self-defense and guards; establishment of a Proletarian Red Armed Forces. Complete disarming and disbanding, by force if necessary, of those standing in opposition to the workers’ republic, including the capitalist police/sheriffs, military, paramilitary/mercenary groups and armed gangs of radical reactionaries.
  3. Dissolution of all political organs and institutions of capitalist rule, including city councils, county commissions, state legislatures and executive departments, and the Congress of the United States and Executive Offices. Right to vote beginning upon entry into the workforce; right to hold office beginning after one year of socially-necessary labor.
  4. Passing of all political (state) power into the hands of councils of workers’ representatives as the combined legislative and executive power in society. The election of local, state and a federal Congress of Workers’ Representatives to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for common defense, promote the general welfare of society and preserve the gains of the workers’ communist revolution. Working groups of elected representatives, serving under the direction of the appropriate congress, to administer and control the work previously afforded to the executive departments. All representatives subject to recall at any time; no representative shall receive compensation in office that exceeds the average salary of a skilled worker.
  5. Dissolution of all judicial organs and institutions of capitalist rule, and their replacement by elected revolutionary tribunals. An expanded jury system and panels of judges/justices to be the norm at all levels. Immediate takeover of the prison and jail systems by the appropriate councils or congresses of workers’ representatives and specially-trained detachments of workers’ self-defense forces.
  6. Freedom of speech and thought, of association, of the media, and of the right to peaceably assemble, for all those who do not advocate taking up arms against the workers’ republic. The right to privacy and to be secure in one’s person, home, in private communications and personal property, except in cases of probable cause and the issuance of a duly sworn and signed warrant, shall not be violated. Complete separation of religious affairs from political life and the education system, abolition of all special privileges extended to religious institutions, and the right to free exercise of religious rites individually and collectively.
  7. Full political, economic and social equality for all, regardless of race or nationality, gender or gender identity, sexuality or sexual identity, citizenship or residency, religion or lack thereof, age, ability, etc. Establishment of programs and networks aimed at eradicating the institutional and cultural legacy of superexploitation and superoppression.
  8. Immediate opening of negotiations with all prisoner nationalities within the borders of the United States for the purpose of establishing a proper and just redress of grievances stemming from the history of repression and genocide conducted by the overthrown capitalist system, up to and including their independence.

In addition, we organize and intervene on the basis of these economic, social and cultural demands:

  1. Repudiation and cancellation by the workers’ republic of all government and other public debts accrued by and under the previous system. Cancellation of all individual and private debts under a certain threshold, with the amounts to be determined by the appropriate councils of workers’ representatives. Cancellation of all medical debt.
  2. Expropriation of all means of production and distribution, regardless of scale, and the abolition of private ownership of all such means. Confiscation of all private landed property used to generate capital and the abolition of private ownership thereof. Confiscation of all privately-held wealth above a certain threshold, to be determined by the appropriate councils or congresses of workers’ representatives.
  3. Passing of all organization, control and administration of all means of production and distribution into the hands of workplace assemblies and committees, and the appropriate supply-chain and industry-wide economic congresses of workplace delegates at all necessary levels. Each appropriate economic congress to maintain a monopoly on all international trade falling under their jurisdiction. All economic congresses to collaborate and establish a common plan of economic construction and production to meet the needs of all citizens.
  4. Abolition of wage-slavery and the wages system through the confiscation and expropriation of all stocks of produced commodities, and the establishment of a distribution system that guarantees basic necessities of life for all working people, including the disabled, retired and unemployed, and their immediate dependents, with the goal of achieving the principle of an equal amounts of products for an equal amount of contributed labor. Creation of a comprehensive conversion scale for working hours in all occupations to calculate the total amount of time workers will need to engage in productive labor in order to receive the needs of life, as well as to acquire goods and services that are not necessities.
  5. Displacement and elimination of all organs of business, company and corporatist unionism through the organizing and development of the revolutionary industrial union movement. Transformation of the revolutionary industrial union structure into a unified workers’ inspectorate, responsible for overseeing inventory management, materials distribution, quality control, accounting and production ergonomics, and accountable to the economic congresses.
  6. Citizenship rights to be based on the individual obligation to work; full citizenship rights extended to all who have contributed a minimum of six months of socially-necessary labor. Guarantee of unfettered access to all necessities of life — healthy food and drink, proper housing, clothing, mass communication, health care, education from pre-K to post-graduate, public utilities, pensions and old-age care, disability care and services, etc. — for all citizens. Citizenship for all workers, including the disabled, retired and unemployed, and basic citizenship rights for children as yet unable to engage in productive labor, at the time of the revolution. Special programs for non-working age children and those disabled before being able to engage in productive labor to expedite and attain citizenship rights.
  7. Revolutionary reorganization and transformation of the economy and social relations through the introduction of elements of the communist mode of production and the raising of the level of production and distribution to the point where the abolition of the material basis for classes and class distinctions occurs.
  8. Total war on the ideologies of the dispossessed bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie through the promotion and development of the revolutionizing of the whole of the material and intellectual world of the proletariat. Promotion and development of the arts and sciences, including innovation and invention, and the revival of quality education, in the interests of the working class and the development of a classless communist society.

The Workers’ Republic

After a century of war, fascism, genocide, repression, economic devastation, famine and misery, it is abundantly clear that the owners and administrators have forfeited not only their right to rule, but also their right to existence.

The exploiting and oppressing classes have demonstrated, over the course of the 20th century, the depths to which they will go to re-divide the world among themselves, as well as the cold reality that the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie will use the crises and mass slaughters of the working class as a means to that end. The nuclear bomb is little more than the punctuation at the end of a bloody refrain in the siren song of profit.

Standing as the only alternative to this is workers’ communist revolution, the workers’ republic and the ultimate victory of communism on a world scale. There is no path to freedom and liberation that goes through the disorienting and demoralizing labyrinth of “reforming” capitalism.

Instead of reforming the wages system, communists fight for its abolition. Instead of breaking up monopolies into smaller capitalist enterprises, communists fight for their control and administration to pass into the hands of the workers through elected workplace committees and assemblies.

Instead of the various forms of ownership of the means of production and distribution that perpetuate classes and class antagonisms — private (individual), public (stocks traded), state (nationalized) and cooperative — communists fight for the abolition of ownership and the establishment of collective stewardship.

Instead of the dizzying hierarchy of capitalist institutions that make up the state and political government, communists fight for the workers’ republic to be an anti-state, where institutions are abolished and replaced by working groups of elected representatives on an ad hoc or project-oriented basis, and the bureaucratic pyramid of officials, sub-officials, supervisors, managers, vice presidents, executive vice presidents, etc., is turned to dust and replaced by a combination of elected agents, qualified specialists and volunteers to handle the day-to-day activities.

Instead of reforming or otherwise “perfecting” the local armed bodies of the capitalist state (police, bailiffs, prison guards, etc.), communists fight for their complete abolition; these bodies would be replaced by the general arming and training of the working population, the organization of armed workers’ self-defense and public safety units, and local commissions of criminal and forensic investigations, attached to workplace committees and workers’ councils.

This revolutionary transformation of society cannot take place by decree, or through legislative vote, or through the actions of a small minority, and they cannot come into existence overnight. The workers’ communist revolution is an act of the proletarian majority, a conscious and radical rupture with all those “traditions” and elements of “human nature” imposed on us through the millennia of class society, and their transformation alongside society itself as politics, economics, culture and social relations are revolutionized and reach the next level of human evolution. It is, at once, the most democratic and most authoritarian act, forcibly ending the rule of the owning and administering minority through the mass, united activity of the vast majority.

The workers’ communist revolution does not require the use of bloodshed, terror or intrigue to achieve its aims. Communists abhor these methods, passed down from the old oppressing classes to the new, and wish to bury them with the last generation of their masters.

But we are not so foolish as to believe that the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie will simply accede to demands of the proletariat, renounce their control over society and retire to their distant communities. All ruling classes fight to the bloody end, and with great cunning and tenacity, to preserve their positions and privileges. They will move heaven and earth and array all of the forces at their disposal to defeat and crush the working class.

They will mobilize their armed state, their private armies, their fascist thugs and reactionary gangs; they will swindle the farmers into starving the cities; they will buy the services of provocateurs to sow confusion and chaos; they will promise backward-thinking workers untold wealth to turn on their brothers and sisters; they will call on their loyal labor and leftist lieutenants to cool down, co-opt and subvert the revolutionary struggle; they will invite their fellow capitalists, both friend and foe, to join in the orgy of death and turn the planet into a smoking pile of rubble.

This barbaric resistance will have to be broken; the violence, provocations and terrorism of the exploiters and oppressors will have to be met by proportionate acts by the entire armed and organized working class — the very essence of the workers’ republic (the proletarian dictatorship). To understand the art and science of revolution is the first lesson in the school of communism. It is the lesson every worker must master in order to free themselves.

A Better World to Win

This is what the Communist Workers Party USA believes in and fights for. Because this is what we want — because we give voice to the historic interests of our class — because we hold high the standard of workers’ communist revolution and stand as its conscience — we are hated, persecuted and defamed by all those who stand, either openly or secretly, as enemies of the revolutionary workers’ movement.

Bury them! shouts the bourgeoisie, sensing storm clouds on the horizon. Bury them! shouts the petty bourgeoisie, its armed agents, media mouthpieces and other elements of ill-repute, fearing for their privileges and dominant social position. Bury them! shout the loyal labor and leftist lieutenants, who have sold the exploited and oppressed to their masters, and worry about no longer being paid for their services. Bury them! parrot those workers who have been so abused and debased by the owners and administrators that they know no other way of living.

In their hatred and defamation, their persecution and provocation, all those opposed to a genuine workers’ movement and workers’ communist revolution are firmly and exposed as a united front. That we are included as a target in such reactionary intrigue should provide ample proof where they, and we, stand.

Until the day that the practical measures of this program can be implemented, the Communist Workers Party fights to win workers to it and the fight for a workers’ republic, to unite the various factions and fractions of the working class into a single movement under that program, to help educate and prepare workers to take power in their own name and interests, and to strengthen our Party as the workers’ communist party, the fraction of the working class capable of providing political leadership in the struggle for liberation from exploitation and oppression.

“In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things. In all these movements, they bring to the front, as the leading question in each, the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time. Finally, they labor everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries.

“The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Proletarians of all countries, unite!

Adopted by the Membership: August 11, 2016
Current Wording by the Central Committee: March 4, 2017


[1] A revolutionary industrial union is not a “union” in the classical sense. It is not a “unitary” organization — i.e., an organization that seeks to unite all workers, regardless of their level of class consciousness. Moreover, it is not meant to substitute itself for the workers themselves. The RIU is a revolutionary intervention into the working class at the point of production that will necessarily be a minority movement of class-conscious communist workers acting in opposition to the old unitary organizations — the business, company and corporatist unions — that are only as “progressive” as their petty-bourgeois (and petty-bourgeoisified) officials. The RIU exists for the purpose of facilitating the formation and continued existence of workers’ assemblies and workplace committees — not to “represent” the workers in the economic arena, but to aid the workers in “representing” themselves and directly participating in the administration of the economy.

[2] We distinguish between the party-movement — the broad and mass political front of the various trends of the class-conscious revolutionary working class fighting for the overthrow of the supremacy of the ruling classes and the conquest of political (state) power in the form of a workers’ republic — and the party-faction — a particular trend of the broader movement based on a specific program — throughout this program. It is part of our understanding that the Communist Workers Party is not the broad movement, but a particular faction within that movement: the proletarian communist faction.

[3] The reason we reject the “new class” and “new bourgeoisie” theories, common to the bulk of those who accept the “state capitalism” thesis, is because it was an old class — the petty bourgeoisie — that took power. At the same time, we accept that the petty-bourgeois ruling class in the USSR did assume the role of the “national capitalist,” a concept Engels explained in Anti-Dühring (1877).

[4] The most outward expression of this is through our Central Organ, the Workers’ Advocate, which officially continues the original labor and Marxist newspapers, The Working Man’s Advocate (1829-1859), Workingmen’s Advocate (1864-1877) and Workman’s Advocate (1880-1891), and their successors.

[5] This Workers Party, founded in early 1940, is different from the “Workers Party” founded later that year by a split from the then-Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party.

[6] This would include the American Fraction of the Left Communist International (1943-1971), the proletarian wing of the Correspondence/Facing Reality group around Martin Glaberman (1955-1970), the healthy working-class elements within the Motor City Labor League and League of Revolutionary Black Workers (1967-1973), the Marxist Workers Group (1997-2001), and the Communist Correspondence Committee and Communist League/Communist League in America (2002-present).

[7] Recognizing these organizations as a part of our heritage and tradition — as predecessors of our Party — is not the same as endorsing all of their political views. On the contrary, as communists, we turn a critical eye toward all of our forbearers. At the same time, we recognize that each of these organizations, to one extent or another, either contributed to the development of communism or sought to hold its banner high in times of betrayal and crisis.

[8] See Note No. 2 for an explanation of the difference between party-movement and party-faction.

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