Plan for a New Programme of the RCP,USA
An Announcement and a Call to the People
Revolutionary Worker #1028, October 31, 1999
The RCP,USA is launching a great project. We plan to produce a new Programme of our Party--and we want to involve the revolutionary masses in helping to produce it.
A Party Programme--a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Programme--is a battle plan for destroying the old and creating the new. It is a kind of road map for how to win the revolution--and a clear statement of what winning in the fullest sense really means. It is a tool for understanding this society, and the world, and for identifying all the forces who will make revolution--proletarian revolution. As Mao said: "Who are our enemies? Who are our friends? This is a question of the first importance for the revolution."
As we go into the year 2000, we ask: WHAT IS THE FUTURE?
Are we going to continue to live under this system--controlled by monopoly capitalists who treat everything and everybody as nothing but a means to make money? Are we going to live in a society where the political leaders brag about the high-tech revolution while they wreck the planet with their outmoded system of international exploitation?
Think about it: For this system to function, millions in the Third World must starve...millions in the imperialist countries must lose their jobs...while in the richest country of the world, jails and more jails are being built for the oppressed. How many millions of people, here and all over the world, have suffered and died from the slavery, poverty, racism, male domination, homelessness, disease and war that this ruling class and its "forefathers" have been responsible for? And if we let this same class of people keep on running the world and enforcing their "business," what kind of consequences will the world's people have to suffer?
We need to seriously analyze what strategies for change will really emancipate the people. We need a radical break with the dead-end solutions offered by the ruling class. And we need real solutions to fundamental problems. We need revolution.
Our Programme will be a Programme for revolution in the U.S., and it will be part of the world revolution.
To those who are sick to death of this system...
To the youth who refuse to believe this is the "best of all possible worlds"...
To all who are searching for a better world--even those who are not sure that a proletarian revolution can bring about a solution in the interests of the people...
We invite you into the struggle to help the Party forge our new programme.
What kind of revolution do we need, how are we going to make it, and, when the proletariat and masses take power, what are we going to do with it? We believe our Party's current Programme sets a fundamentally correct course for revolution and expresses basic MLM principles which are crucial to make revolution in the interests of the masses. But there have been great changes in the world, and in U.S. society, in the nearly 20 years since our current Programme was written. Today, we need a new Programme that applies our basic MLM understanding to these changes. And we need a Programme that expresses the current experience of the people living under this system --- most of all the youth, who are crucial forces for a successful revolution and key successors to the revolutionary cause of the international proletariat.
WHAT ARE WE ASKING PEOPLE TO DO?
Our Party is asking for the help and involvement of many people in forging our new Party Programme.
We need to better understand the many changes that have taken place in this country in the past two decades--and how these changes are affecting the conditions, the mood, and the struggles of different sections of the people. How are the strivings for change--most of all revolutionary change--being felt and expressed by different sections of the people in this country?
One of the main changes since our previous Programme was written is that U.S. society has become even more parasitic--sucking even more blood from the people of the world. Within the U.S., and worldwide, the gap between rich and poor has grown even greater. Changes like this emphasize all the more the need--and the potential--for proletarian revolution. But it is crucial for us to deepen our understanding and develop our concrete analysis of these changes--and their implication for particular features of the revolutionary struggle. The people need to discuss all this with the Party, bringing their understanding and experience, to help sharpen up our revolutionary Programme.
We need people to discuss with us how this reactionary system can actually be defeated. How can the forces for revolution be mobilized, and how can they overthrow this system?
Our Party understands that to make revolution it takes a big united front under the leadership of the proletariat. The many changes in this country since our last Programme will mean new features, and new forces, for this united front. Our Party needs to investigate more, and learn more deeply, about the diverse problems confronting different sections of the people--and our common problems with this system. We need to discuss with the people how this whole mix can be brought together in revolution, how each section of the masses can be won to see its common interests with a revolution led by the proletariat.
Our Party also understands that revolution in a country like the U.S. means a revolutionary war--a people's war taking the form of armed insurrection in the cities followed by a civil war that goes on to defeat the armed forces of the imperialists and seize power. While such a war cannot be launched in an imperialist country like the U.S. until the conditions are ripe--until there is a revolutionary upsurge and a revolutionary crisis--the people and the Party have to be oriented and prepared to seize such an opportunity whenever it arises. This point, too, is a crucial one which needs to be grappled with broadly as part of revolutionary preparation, including as part of this Programme process.
We need to discuss the new society that will be built after the revolution. After we sweep away this system, how will we rebuild and run society? How will proletarian state power address the specific problems of different sections of the people? And how will the masses be mobilized in a great, continuing, revolutionary struggle to defend the revolution, transform the country and contribute to the advance of revolution the world over?
A great first step will be taken when the masses rise up, smash the armed power of the imperialists, and replace it with the revolutionary power of the masses--the dictatorship of the proletariat and a revolutionary socialist society. As our Chairman has said, "This is already a great change and it opens the door to even greater changes."
Our current Programme outlines a plan for how the Party and the masses--with this new revolutionary power--can begin to solve all kinds of problems that can never be solved under this system. But we need to discuss this program--and we want to get very concrete about this--with many different people who can bring their knowledge, their concerns, and "stretch our minds" together to discuss the society we must fight for, win and build.
As communists, we understand that this socialist society is a process of struggle and transformation--where the people can do away with all oppression through many "cultural revolutions." And, in our work to produce a new Programme, we want to involve many, many people in discussing this vision of how we can get to a communist world-- where all the oppressive relations between people and all the old oppressive ideas are radically changed.
Our Party has a basic method which it applies to lead everything, including this Programme process. We have MLM, based on the hard-won experience of our class, worldwide; and our Party's basic line is in our Constitution. Anyone who knows our Party knows we are not going to be shy about arguing for our basic principles when we discuss and forge this Programme. But, as Maoists, one of our basic principles is the mass line. We need to combine our revolutionary principles with the masses--seeking their knowledge, their opinions, and their involvement in all aspects of the revolution. We know people have differences with us, but we want to study, investigate, and wrangle together. A good MLM Programme, one that is sturdy and revolutionary, cannot be grown in a hothouse. It will be a big--and exciting--struggle to produce, and everyone involved will learn.
We aim to really get underway with this process during this coming year, 2000. October 2000 is the 25th anniversary of the founding of our Party and we will celebrate it in the thick of this process. Starting early in the year, we will investigate and discuss, in the Party and among the masses, using our current Programme as a foundation. After that, we will produce a draft of the New Programme, which we will take out broadly to the people, seeking further suggestions and criticisms. The final new Programme will be a powerful weapon for our class.
Our Party Chairman has said that when the revolution is won in the U.S. the masses of people worldwide will dance in the streets with joy. So we invite you to be part of planning that party--to be part of forging a new Programme that will bring that day closer.
Central Committee, RCP,USA
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