Draft Programme of the RCP, USA
Draft Programme Part 2
Internationalism and International Relations
The proletariat is an international class. It faces a common enemy—the imperialist system—throughout the world and has a common goal—communism—that can only be achieved on a world scale. As a class, the proletariat can only win its emancipation by ending exploitation and oppression in every form and everywhere.
The outlook of the revolutionary proletariat and its vanguard party is and must be internationalism, not nationalism. The fundamental allegiance of the proletariat is not to any one nation but to the cause of the world proletarian revolution.
Internationalism enables workers in every country to recognize and act on their common interests with the exploited and oppressed throughout the world. It enables the masses of people to fight in unity with the resistance, revolutionary struggles, and revolutionary wars all over the world that are going up against the imperialists and reactionaries.
The Party must work, through the whole period of preparation for revolution, to train the masses in proletarian internationalism. Revolution cannot be made in an imperialist country unless a decisive section of the masses has been won to such an internationalist stand.
The broader movement must have a revolutionary internationalist core. This is a section of masses who deeply understand the criminal nature of what “their own” rulers do all around the world and who are determined to stand with the proletariat and oppressed people of the world in fighting against imperialism and reaction.
Relying on this internationalist core, the Party will lead in boldly opposing chauvinist appeals by the bourgeoisie to “put aside politics and defend the country” and will instead seize on international difficulties (wars, etc.) faced by “its own rulers” as openings to intensify the struggle against them. Should there be an imperialist war, the revolutionary proletariat will dare to fight against the inevitable spontaneous wave of patriotism. It will bring out the people’s true interests in opposing any imperialist war and winning the masses to welcome the defeat of their own rulers.
This is not a matter of a few statements or resolutions now and then. The Party has to train people in internationalism through a thousand concrete instances and struggles. It must win the proletariat, as well as other sections of the people, to render support to Maoist people’s wars and other revolutionary struggles around the world, to support socialist countries wherever they come into being, to contribute everything possible at every point to the world proletarian revolution and the international communist movement, to oppose every imperialist act of aggression, and to build the revolutionary movement in the U.S. as part of the world revolution.
The proletariat in the United States has a great responsibility and a great mission: to carry out a revolution which, once victorious, will mean the defeat and elimination of a monstrous international exploiter and oppressor, justly hated by masses of people all over the globe. When this revolution succeeds, hundreds of millions worldwide will rejoice and will step up their own revolutionary struggles.
At the same time, the class-conscious proletariat and revolutionary masses in the U.S. draw great inspiration, strength, and support from the revolutionary struggles of proletarians and oppressed people throughout the world, especially where this finds its highest expression in people’s wars led by Maoist parties. Indeed, it is impossible to conceive of making revolution in the U.S. in isolation from this international revolutionary struggle.
The revolutionary proletariat in the U.S. is also greatly strengthened by the fact that the vanguard party in this country, the RCP,USA, is a part of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM), which unites parties and organizations in many parts of the world on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. The RIM serves today as an embryonic center for the world proletarian revolution and is committed to forging a new Communist International that will even more broadly and powerfully unite the world’s Marxist-Leninist-Maoist forces.
It is a point of fundamental orientation that the revolutionary struggle in every country must be waged as part of the world proletarian revolution. And wherever the proletariat seizes power, it must build its new socialist state as, above all, a base area for this worldwide revolution.
Internationalist Policies of the New Socialist State
With the seizure of power by the proletariat through revolutionary war, the new socialist state arising on the ashes of U.S. imperialism will base itself on the principles of proletarian internationalism. While the exact application of these principles will depend on specific world conditions, some fundamental points can be set forth now.
The proletariat in power will renounce all wars of aggression and plunder in word and deed. Having defeated the U.S. imperialists in war, the proletariat will move immediately and decisively to bring about the surrender and dismantling of any remnants of the armed forces of imperialism and counter-revolution that might remain in the new socialist territory. And it will do everything possible to bring about, in all parts of the world, the dismantling of any remaining armed forces and military bases of the former U.S. imperialist state.
If revolution in the U.S. takes place in the context of inter-imperialist war, the victorious proletariat will immediately pull its state out of that war and will stand against and expose the criminal nature and conduct of such a war.
The proletarian state will renounce all imperialist alliances, such as NATO. It will break all ties with institutions like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, and other vehicles of imperialist domination. All secret treaties and agreements made by the imperialists to serve their plunder and wars will be made public.
The socialist state will immediately cancel all unequal treaties and end all colonial relationships, direct or indirect, with other nations.
Before the seizure of power, the revolutionary proletariat in the U.S. will support the people of Puerto Rico in the struggle to cast off U.S. domination and in particular to take advantage of any serious crisis of U.S. imperialism to break its grip on their country. Upon the seizure of power, Puerto Rico will be immediately freed—that is, if the Puerto Rican people have not already won their liberation. Likewise, control over Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands will be relinquished, and measures will be taken to assist in overcoming the destructive legacy of U.S. colonial rule.
Base Area for Revolution
Once again, the new socialist state must be built, first and foremost, as a base area for the world revolution. Socialist states have been, and are likely for some time to be, established in a world in which imperialism remains dominant. Consequently, the new socialist state will face the prospect of being “encircled” in various ways and even subject to outright military assault.
Thus the socialist state must defend itself—this is of vital importance not just for the masses within the socialist state itself but for the international proletariat and the world proletarian revolution. But survival of the socialist state, as important as it is, cannot be an end in itself.
Fundamentally, the defense of the socialist state must be conducted as part of advancing the world revolution. This means facing up to life-and-death conflict with the imperialists, including their tactics of economic blockade, sabotage, assassination, and military attack. It means being prepared even to put the socialist state itself at risk in order to advance the world revolution overall, particularly when there are opportunities to make key breakthroughs in the world revolutionary struggle.
With this as a basic orientation, the new state power will support just wars of national liberation and socialist revolution. And the vast productive forces of the (former) U.S.—in large part accumulated through the plunder of other countries—will be unleashed not only for the benefit of people here, but to assist the exploited and oppressed the world over in their revolutionary struggles and in the revolutionary transformation of society once they have won state power.
The Party and the socialist state will devote systematic attention to leading the masses to study, discuss, and debate world affairs—particularly the challenges confronting the world revolution—and to mobilizing the masses to concretely support revolutionary struggles throughout the world.
Through political work, struggle, and education, the masses will increasingly come to see the workers, peasants, and other oppressed of the world as brothers and sisters and comrades in a common revolutionary cause. They will be motivated not just to have feelings of solidarity with but to support—and to make sacrifices in order to more powerfully support—just struggles against imperialism and reaction, and especially to unite with people’s wars led by Maoist parties as heroic battalions in the international proletariat’s common struggle for a communist world free of class distinctions, exploitation, and oppression.
The new state will forge the closest unity with any other socialist states, and will render full support to the international communist movement.
As a tactical measure the socialist state may establish state-to-state relations with reactionary regimes. It may carry out trade and so on with these countries, maneuvering in this arena to defend the gains of the revolution, to develop the socialist economy, and so on. But this must always be done on the basis of revolutionary principle and in particular must be subordinate to supporting revolutionary struggles throughout the world, including in the countries with which state-to-state relations have been established.
Policy Towards Borders
For the class-conscious proletariat, there is nothing sacred about the existing territory and borders of the U.S., which were carved out through mass murder and wholesale robbery by the ruling class. The proletariat within the U.S. will strive to liberate as much of that territory as possible, while encouraging and assisting revolution in other parts of North America and in Mexico in particular.
Ultimately new borders will be established. Their location and character will depend on several factors, but most essentially on the development and outcome of the revolutionary struggles on the continent, on the need to defend the rule of the proletariat wherever it has been established, and, above all, on what most serves the further advance of the proletarian revolution, not only in this particular part of the world but in the world as a whole.
The current border between the U.S. and Mexico is a two-thousand-mile bloody scar gouged out by Yankee imperialism. Today, from one side, this border is like a sieve, allowing U.S. capital to flow freely into Mexico, exploiting its people and resources and wreaking havoc with its air, water and, above all, the lives of its people. From the other side, this border is a militarized zone, criminalizing and terrorizing those coming north in a desperate search to find work and feed their families and/or fleeing bloody repression.
The revolutionary struggles in the U.S. and Mexico will be closely intertwined, as people north and south of the current border strive to defeat our common enemy. Advances in each country will spur forward the struggle in the other, at times spilling over the border, pounding at a crucial faultline and potential great vulnerability of U.S. imperialism—its close interconnection with Mexico in a relation of imperialist domination and oppression. All this will greatly strengthen the revolutionary struggle overall. It is this struggle that will determine the final shape, location, and character of the U.S.-Mexico border. But under no circumstances will this border be what it is today: a fortification of privilege of one nation over another.
Armed Forces of the New State
Once the proletariat has seized and consolidated power, it will need powerful armed forces to defend itself against attempts of the defeated enemy to stage a comeback, as well the attempts of hostile imperialist powers and reactionary states to subvert, sabotage, and even wage warfare against the socialist state. The proletariat’s armed forces will be organized according to completely different principles than those guiding reactionary armies (see appendix “Consolidating the New Proletarian Power, Developing Radically New Institutions”).
An important aspect of this will be the approach to the development and use of the high-tech weaponry that is at the heart of imperialist war-fighting strategy. The proletarian armed forces will not be lured into the imperialists’ “arms race.” The new proletarian state will not attempt to defend and advance the interests of the masses by spending trillions of dollars on nukes and other weapons of mass destruction. This would tremendously distort the new socialist economy: it is a “race” that the proletariat cannot win and does not want to win.
Moreover, the actual use of nuclear weapons, especially modern high-yield ones, would dictate a kind of warfare that runs counter to the principles of people’s war, including its most important principle: while weapons are an important factor, it is people, not weapons, that are decisive.
The proletariat in power, while producing and being prepared to utilize some high-tech weaponry, in accordance with its basic principles and military doctrine, will fundamentally rely on the people—those enlisted in its revolutionary armed forces, the millions who make up the people’s militias, and the broad masses as a whole—to defend the socialist state and defeat counter-revolution. It will rely on the people to enable the dictatorship of the proletariat not only to survive but to carry forward the socialist transformation of the society and at the same time, and above all, to support the world revolution.
As for the question of ridding the world of nuclear weapons, the proletarian state will take up the struggle to abolish nuclear weapons—and this struggle will be fundamentally different from the phony “disarmament” talks of the imperialists. However, the remaining imperialists and other reactionaries, being desperate gangsters, will not so easily give up these weapons. This makes it quite likely that it will be a long time before all nuclear weapons are finally abolished—although the destruction of the U.S. imperialist state will be a mighty stride in that direction.
A Focus of Struggle in the New Socialist Society
History has shown that the correct handling of the contradiction between the need to build and defend the existing socialist state(s) and the need to promote the advance of the world revolution has proven to be an extremely difficult problem.
For this reason, whether or not to adhere to the policies set out above, and the basic orientation of putting the interests of the world revolution first, will be a focus of sharp struggle in socialist society, including right within the leadership of the party and the state.
As long as capitalism and exploitation exist in any country, this will be a base for the bourgeoisie in its attempts to defeat the working class, even where it has seized power, and to impose capitalist rule everywhere, restoring it where it has been overthrown. And wherever capitalism rules and maintains backwardness, it stands as a great barrier to the people in all countries in transforming society and developing the rational use of the world’s resources and productive forces for the common good of the masses and ultimately all of humanity.
The international proletariat can emancipate itself only by emancipating all humanity; it can achieve communism only by eliminating the rule of capital, the chains of exploitation, and the scars of class-divided society everywhere. Our aim is to “conquer the world.”
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