Draft Programme of the RCP, USA
Draft Programme Part 2
Uprooting National Oppression and White Supremacy
The history of the development of capitalism in the U.S. is a history of the most savage oppression of the Black, Native American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Hawaiian, Asian, and other oppressed peoples. Today this oppression continues and, in many ways, has intensified. For these reasons, the proletarian revolution in the U.S. must urgently take up this question for solution.
The proletariat aims to achieve a classless communist society where all national and “racial” antagonisms are overcome and the division of the world into nations is superseded by a world community of freely associating human beings. But to bring that about, injustices must be dealt with and the causes of national oppression must be removed. The rights of oppressed nationalities must be upheld, and great-nation chauvinism and white supremacy combated. An important feature of the socialist transition period, of the continuing revolution under socialism, is the achievement of equality between all nations and peoples. This is the necessary path to the ultimate abolition of all national antagonisms and boundaries, and the very existence of separate nations altogether.
Why Imperialism Cannot Do Away with National Oppression
The conditions faced today by the oppressed peoples in the U.S. are truly barbaric. They meet with discrimination at every turn, solely due to the color of their skin or the language that they speak. As members of the proletariat (and in their majority the oppressed nationalities are proletarians), they get either the lowest-paid, most dangerous, and most back-breaking jobs, or else no jobs at all. They get the worst housing, the worst of bad health care, and the worst education and other social services. To take one horrendous example, the infant mortality rates of most of the oppressed nationalities are double that of whites, and in some areas triple! Their cultures and languages are suppressed, mutilated, and ridiculed.
In recent years, the imperialists have literally filled the prisons to bursting with youth of the oppressed nationalities. (If the Black population of the U.S. were a separate country, it would have the highest incarceration rate of any in the world!) At the same time, the imperialists have flooded the neighborhoods and schools of the oppressed nationalities with brutalizing, murdering racist thugs in blue uniforms.
All this and more is daily life for the masses of the oppressed nationalities. And it is these conditions that the proletariat in power must and will eliminate.
The capitalists today have thousands of laws on paper outlawing discrimination, but still discrimination thrives and intensifies. This is because they have a greater law in command—“the law of maximizing profit”—and under this law all of society is kept in a twisted state. Such deformities fully conform to their interests.
The oppression of Black and other oppressed peoples in this country is not only a matter of racism but, even more fundamentally, of the oppression of nations and national groups. This oppression is essential to the functioning of the capitalist system in the U.S. It is built into the foundation and whole framework of capitalist society in the U.S. and the whole structure of U.S. imperialist rule and domination in the world.
National oppression is profitable for the imperialists. The people of the oppressed nationalities are in their majority members of the U.S. proletariat, and are super-exploited due to the national oppression they suffer—that is, the capitalists use the systematic segregation, lack of opportunity, and discrimination against these workers to pay them extra-low wages and thereby get extra-high profits. The capitalists also use the existence of this superexploited section of workers to drive down the conditions of the working masses overall.
In addition, the imperialists use the whole structure of white supremacy and the corresponding mentality that it breeds among whites—including even those who are poor, powerless, and exploited—as an important part of the “social glue” that keeps the whole system together. Many white proletarians are seduced into thinking that they have a stake in maintaining privileges that result from white supremacy and thus in defending the status quo against their true class brothers and sisters. In this way, white supremacy sows deep divisions within the working class itself and seriously weakens its struggle.
For all these reasons and more, the imperialists could not do away with national oppression and white supremacy, even if they wanted to. As Bob Avakian, Chairman of the RCP, has written, “socially as well as politically, any attempt to really sever this national oppression from the fabric of U.S. society and reshape the society without this oppression would completely ‘unravel’ and tear apart the whole social fabric as it now exists, as it has been historically developed under capitalist rule. Obviously, while we, representing the revolutionary proletariat, welcome this, the imperialist ruling class absolutely does not and cannot.”
Immediate Measures of the Proletariat on Coming to Power
The proletariat has no interest whatsoever in maintaining any aspect of national oppression; on the contrary, it has the most profound interest in destroying white supremacy root and branch, and developing true equality of nationalities.
In socialist society, inequalities—or any remaining aspects of them—are both leftovers of the old society and breeding grounds for capitalist restoration. The proletariat in power will continue the fight to uproot national oppression. This is necessary to maintain and strengthen the unity that it will have built up in the process of preparing for and then carrying out the revolutionary struggle to seize power. Even more fundamentally, it is necessary because of the basic goal of proletarian revolution: the elimination of classes and all forms of oppression.
So the proletarian dictatorship will move quickly against the institutions and legacies of national oppression. Discrimination, for example, will be immediately and forcefully banned in employment, housing, and all other areas. The army of police—which rains down systematic terror in the ghettos and barrios and other areas where the oppressed nationalities live—will be destroyed. Just punishment will be handed out to its hired thugs, and in its place will be armed and organized revolutionary militias made up of the masses in these neighborhoods and areas.
Segregation in neighborhoods, schools, and the like will be banned and integration promoted. Racist/segregationist groups will be broken up, and those like the KKK and Nazis who have initiated attacks on oppressed nationalities will be immediately and mercilessly crushed. The leaders of such groups will receive the ultimate punishment. And if, for example, somebody in a workplace jumps up and starts some racist mouthing off, although he will probably not be jailed, unless he is actually part of organizing a reactionary movement, the masses of all nationalities will be mobilized right then and there to wage a sharp struggle against all this and to isolate and defeat such reactionary poison.
The new socialist state will take immediate and special measures to change the situation of social inequality. For instance, as opposed to the way in which capitalism enforces systematic discrimination and essentially closes off whole spheres of society to the oppressed nationalities, the new proletarian state will provide the resources, support, and leadership required to overcome all inequalities between nationalities and all barriers to full and equal participation in every sphere and on all levels of society. This will have nothing in common with the hypocritical tokenism of the bourgeoisie, but will be based instead on recognizing the crucial importance of fully overcoming the legacies of discrimination and national oppression and backing this up with the power and moral force of the proletarian dictatorship.
It will require struggle to win the masses of all nationalities to see the absolute necessity for these measures in order to develop—and even to keep—the victories of the revolution.
For instance, in tackling the task of rebuilding neighborhoods after the seizure of power, Party members and other class-conscious people will not only struggle with others who do not grasp the urgent necessity for this but will set an example in practice, in self-sacrifice and voluntary labor, in order to see to it that the neighborhoods at the very bottom are rebuilt and improved first. If this policy is not actively applied, then the basis for proletarian power would be seriously undermined, because the oppressed people would rightly feel that things were no different than before—with the oppressed still on the bottom.
Over the long-term, the state will give preference in resources and assistance to the less developed and backward areas, in coordination with and on the basis of the overall development of society. And in the immediate situation after the seizure of power, the policy of “raising up the bottom” will be applied across the board.
With regard to agriculture, the proletariat in power will give special assistance to Black, Chicano, and Native American farmers who have continued to work the land but who have endured discriminatory burdens, including being denied access to government loan assistance, etc. It will also take into account the fact that many oppressed nationality farmers were by various means driven off the land that they owned or worked, and that some may desire to return to and farm that land. In such cases, land and resources will be provided, in line with the overall agricultural policies of the state. (See the section below “The Proletariat’s Approach to Land and Borders,” and the separate appendix “The New Socialist Economy—Part 2: Agriculture, City and Countryside, Ecology, and Planning.”)
Combating Racism and National Chauvinism
The proletariat will take aim at all the oppressor-nation chauvinism and racist views which the bourgeoisie insists are part of “unchangeable human nature.” Obviously this is a protracted process. But the first and giant step is sweeping away the capitalist system—which is the source of this garbage, and which in turn thrives on it.
The overthrow of this system will put an end to the way that capitalism forces people into a dog-eat-dog existence, including competition for jobs, housing, and other necessities. This will uproot a major prop of racist ideas among the people.
But the influence of racism has been deeply embedded in American society. It has been fostered and promoted for generations and centuries by the workings of the capitalist system and the conscious policy of the ruling class. And it will take a determined, many-sided, and deep-going struggle—utilizing the educational resources and other agencies of the proletarian state, together with the mobilization of revolutionary masses—to root out this racism and the national oppression that it reflects and reinforces. This the proletariat in power can and must do—in order to remain in power and, moreover, to continue the revolution to abolish all oppression.
Education about the lives, cultures, and history of oppression and resistance of all the formerly oppressed nationalities will be widely and deeply carried out in the new society. The capitalist source of the problems of all the different oppressed peoples will be constantly exposed and hit again and again. The common myths among the people will be discussed and debunked, in large part by relying on organized exchanges between the masses themselves; and the lies of the bourgeoisie will be ruthlessly and thoroughly exposed.
All this will be greatly aided by the constantly closer contact that people of different nationalities will experience, as the policies of integrating the workplaces, neighborhoods, and schools are carried out—thus breaking down the ignorance-breeding separation in which bourgeois ideology generally feeds.
Equality of Languages and Cultures
Many different peoples live within the U.S., speaking many different languages. The class-conscious proletariat stands opposed to the blatantly chauvinist “English-first” and “English-only” policies of the bourgeoisie. In the new socialist society, the state will provide resources and will mobilize and rely on the masses to help ensure that people will not be forced to speak English in order to participate fully in the life of society and the struggle to transform it. The basic orientation will be to promote respect for the languages and cultures of all peoples as part of the overall struggle to uproot all inequality between nationalities.
In areas where many people have Spanish as their first language, both English and Spanish will be taught in the schools to students of all nationalities, and this will be promoted more generally in society. English will not be the only linking language in society, and efforts will be made (beginning in the areas with large concentrations of Spanish and English speakers) to work toward the goal of making the entire population fluent in both Spanish and English.
A flowering of the cultures of the formerly oppressed nationalities will be promoted.
The proletariat will encourage and support the development of distinct national forms of culture, while not confining artists to any particular community or cultural form. Traditional forms among the various peoples will be respected and developed and, at the same time, will be increasingly infused with revolutionary content.
In the U.S. today, the influence of the cultural forms and creations of different nationalities do get spread, and there is an exciting “cross-pollination.” This is favorable for the proletariat and will be built on when it wins political power. In fact, a lively intermingling of cultures of different peoples, not only in the U.S. but throughout the world, will be developed in a higher and better way in socialist society.
Through all this a powerful, uplifting proletarian culture will be created: rich in diversity but expressing a unified revolutionary internationalist content and inspiring the masses of all nationalities to fight for their common revolutionary interests.
Only far in the future, when communism has been achieved, including through the struggle for national equality, will nations be superseded and will national differences, including in the area of cultures, be completely overcome. At that time, new cultural forms will flower, giving expression to the reality of humanity as a freely associating, and at the same time richly diverse, global community. (A further discussion of these questions is found in the appendix “Art, Science, Education, Sports and the Challenge of Creating a Whole New Superstructure in Socialist Society.”)
The Proletariat’s Approach to Land and Borders
The different oppressed nationalities in the U.S. have their own particular features and problems that must be solved. The Native American peoples have a long history of lands being stolen and their cultures being suppressed. The oppression of the Puerto Rican people within the U.S. is closely linked with the colonial status of their homeland, which must be freed. Black people have the history of slavery and of the historical process of their formation as an oppressed nation in the “Black Belt” area of the South. The Chicano people have the particular history of U.S. oppression of Mexico, the theft of its land and the maintaining of backward, less developed conditions in large parts of the Southwest, and the U.S. government’s “war on immigrants.”
But along with these important particularities, there are certain broad features common to many or all the oppressed peoples that must be grasped and dealt with by the socialist state—by mobilizing the masses of people of these nationalities and at the same time mobilizing the proletariat and the people as a whole to take up these questions.
The proletarian revolution in the U.S. will not be a simple affair. It will involve many complex phenomena and varied social movements—many led, even at the time of revolution, by different class forces and mobilized under different programs. This will be true particularly, though not exclusively, of the oppressed nationalities. It is possible that, at the time of the all-out struggle for power, there will be a number of different armies in the field. While there is only one fundamental revolutionary solution to the contradictions of society, this solution has many varied aspects, which will propel different social forces into motion.
Upon victory, and in fact in order to achieve victory, the Party will have to lead the class-conscious workers in assessing the different forces in the field, establishing principled unity with them wherever possible, and struggling with them for the revolutionary program of the proletariat, while seeking to resolve differences without force. In these ways, the greatest number can be won to stand with the revolutionary cause of the proletariat.
The question of land is an important one in the history of a number of the oppressed peoples of this country. While this is not today the central question for most of them, it is one that has continued to give rise to struggle and will certainly do so in the future, particularly in the context of civil war.
The borders of the U.S. are not sacred to the class-conscious proletariat in this country—forged as they were in the blood of oppressed peoples and through outright robbery by the ruling class. The question of borders and land will not be approached by the proletariat on the basis of U.S. history—that is, on the basis of chauvinism. Instead it will be approached on the basis of winning as much as possible for the international proletarian revolution. This will take into account the struggle for equality and liberation of the oppressed peoples within the present U.S. borders and the historical domination of the U.S. over Mexico. A key factor in all this will be the ways in which events in the U.S. and Mexico, and in particular the revolutionary struggles, interrelate and how the U.S./Mexico border region is affected by this.
Forms of Self-Government
The socialist revolution aims to achieve the unity of the masses of people on a revolutionary basis. The class-conscious proletariat generally favors the establishment of a unified socialist state in the largest possible territory, which provides the most favorable conditions for building socialism and promoting world revolution. But for this unity to be real and not forced, it must be based on genuine equality between nationalities, and the legitimate rights of the various oppressed peoples must be honored.
In the struggle to uproot the legacy of national oppression and white supremacy, one important policy of the proletarian state will be to uphold the right of the various oppressed peoples to forms of autonomy/self-government. This would be exercised in areas of sizeable historic concentrations of these oppressed peoples, within a single (multinational) socialist state. This will mean that, in contrast to things like the “Indian reservations” under the present system, the real needs of oppressed peoples for some land and resources under their autonomous authority will be met; and, at the same time, the proletarian state will provide special assistance to the people of these autonomous areas in developing these areas.
The people in the autonomous areas or regions will have the right to self-government under overall guiding principles that promote equality, not inequality; unity, not division between different peoples; and that serve to eliminate, not foster, exploitation and oppression.
This would mean, for example, that the autonomous government would set policies relating to education in that area, determining how to apply these overall guiding principles. It will also mean that the masses of people in these areas would be preserving and developing national practices and customs—but also evaluating them and struggling over their content according to these same principles.
Autonomy will mean, in regard to language and culture, that the styles, forms, and expressions common to an oppressed people will be given priority in publications, in the creation of cultural works, etc., within the geographic area where autonomy is applied. And these will be popularized throughout society as well.
All the specific land and autonomy policies regarding different oppressed nationalities will NOT mean that the oppressed peoples will have to live in these areas—that would amount to a new form of segregation. And it will be the case that many, many people of these nationalities will want to live, work, and struggle side by side with people of all other nationalities in other areas of the new multinational socialist state, participating in this way in the unprecedented remaking of all society, including the struggle to uproot national oppression. But the proletarian state, while favoring and encouraging unity and integration, must and will ensure formerly oppressed peoples the right to autonomy as part of the policy of promoting real equality between different nations and peoples.
The Black National Question
Black people in the U.S. are not simply a “racial group” (or an “ethnic group”) but are an oppressed nation. Their roots are in Africa, but they developed into a separate and distinct nation based on their historical experience in this country.
The key moment in welding together this African-American nation occurred after the U.S. Civil War. The Black ex-slaves, who had fought and died for their freedom, attempted to secure basic civil rights and land at the end of that war. But the bourgeoisie betrayed its promises and, after a few short years of Reconstruction, violently disarmed the Black masses, depriving them of all rights and forcing them to labor in serf-like oppression in semi-feudal conditions on the plantations, this time as sharecroppers. The white plantation owners—many of them former slave-owners or their descendants—used lynch mobs, the KKK, Jim Crow laws, and other means to maintain this oppression.
In these conditions, Black people were welded into a nation, with all the essential characteristics of a nation: common territory, common language, common economic life, common culture and psychological makeup. More particularly, they were forged into an oppressed nation, separate from and dominated by the oppressor, European-American nation, in the area of the “Black Belt South” (so-called because of the color of its soil—an area that runs in an arc from parts of Maryland through northern Florida and as far west as East Texas, and that includes significant parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, the Carolinas, and Virginia).
This national oppression underwent further development, particularly in the period of two great waves of Black migration: from the World War 1 years until the Great Depression, and again during and after World War 2. Due to a number of factors, particularly changes in southern agriculture and the needs of urban industry, millions of Black people were pushed off the land and pulled into the northern cities. In great numbers they were transformed from peasants into proletarians—still subjected to national oppression (in many new forms) and concentrated in the most exploited sections of the working class.
These changes, together with the building resistance of the Black masses north and south, along with a wave of anti-colonial and national liberation struggles around the globe, gave rise in the 1950s to the civil rights movement and then, in the ’60s, to the Black liberation struggle. Once again, just as it was after the Civil War, the question was posed very decisively: can Black people and will Black people be integrated, or assimilated, into this society on the basis of full equality? And once again, this system betrayed Black people and gave its thunderous answer: NO! THIS WILL NOT BE DONE.
Today Black people are still brutally oppressed under capitalism, and equality is nowhere to be found. In the wake of the 1960s, a small (but significant) section of Black people “made it” into the comfortable section of the middle class (though they, too, suffer from “racial profiling” by the police and many other forms of discrimination and oppression, and their economic situations are often very precarious). The masses of Black people have had to bend every effort just to keep from falling further behind, and about one third suffer much worse conditions today than they did in 1970!
Thus there remains today a common experience and common oppression as a people for Black people of all classes, and a continued existence as an oppressed nation within the boundaries of the U.S. today. Because of this whole history and present-day reality, the revolutionary proletariat upholds the right of Black people to establish autonomous rule in the Black Belt South, as well as other areas in which they form large concentrations.
In addition to the right of autonomy, for the Black nation there continues to be the right of self-determination, up to and including secession—that is, the establishment of a separate Afro-American Republic in the Black Belt South. The proletariat does not favor this under now foreseeable circumstances. But upon achieving power, or in the armed struggle to win it, if there are indeed significant forces based among Black people raising this demand, the proletariat will take this into account. It will approach this question in light of the overall situation and the importance of weakening the enemy and strengthening the revolutionary forces—on the basis of revolutionary principle.
Whether to support a particular move for a separate state among Black people or to oppose it will depend on all this. But the proletarian state and the proletarian forces nearing power will be firmly opposed to deciding this question through the use of force, as the imperialists do. Rather, the proletariat will rely on the masses, especially in this case the masses of Black people, and will work to resolve the question non-antagonistically and in a way that serves the larger interests of emancipating all the exploited and oppressed.
The Chicano National Question
The history of the Chicano people is rooted in the conquest of the Southwest by the U.S. ruling class in the war they waged on Mexico in 1846-48, the domination of U.S. imperialism over Mexico, the maintenance of backward conditions in large parts of the Southwest, and the persecution and exploitation of Mexican immigrants. Dispossessed of their land, treated as foreigners in territory stolen by the U.S., persecuted if they defend their right to a culture and language different from that of the European-American nation, discriminated against in jobs, housing, education, and all realms of U.S. society—this common economic and social history, and these shared conditions of oppression, persecution, and discrimination, have forged the Chicano people into an oppressed nationality within the U.S.
Many Chicanos trace their roots to the Southwest while many more are descendants of waves of immigrants from Mexico. The Chicano people are historically linked to the Southwest and are concentrated there today. But there are significant population concentrations of Chicanos living in other parts of the U.S. Even within the Southwest, Chicanos can differ in their language and culture. But Chicanos share the common experience of oppression which is reproduced and reinforced through the maintenance of the Southwest as a relatively backward and impoverished region, imperialist domination of Mexico and the superexploitation in the U.S. of immigrants drawn from Mexico, and the caste-like concentration of Chicano and Mexicano people in the lower rungs of the U.S. proletariat.
Among the Chicano people, there is a righteous and profound sense of historical injustice and theft of land. The proletarian state will uphold the right of the masses of Chicano people to land denied them through the violation of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which sealed the U.S. rip-off of land from Mexico in 1848. This Treaty supposedly guaranteed Chicanos certain basic rights—like the right to land, water, and the equality of the Spanish language. But like the treaties the U.S. made with the Native peoples, these rights were quickly trampled upon.
The proletariat will uphold the right of Chicanos to establish autonomy (i.e., self-government within the larger proletarian state) in large areas of the Southwest. This may take the form of a single autonomous region or several autonomous areas. While significant economic transformations have taken place in the Southwest, large parts of the region have, as mentioned, been kept in a backward state, and in areas like South Texas the oppressed face the most extreme, “Third World”-like conditions of poverty in the U.S. The socialist state will provide special assistance to the Chicano people in developing these areas.
The application of autonomy policies with regard to the Chicano people will need to take into account several factors: how the revolution unfolds in the U.S.; how proletarian revolution in the U.S. interrelates with revolution in Mexico; developments in the U.S./Mexico border region; and the requirement that the proletariat respect the historical land claims of other oppressed peoples in the Southwest, especially the Native peoples.
The Rights of the Native American Peoples
Native Americans also have special conditions and history in regard to the land question. The total American Indian, Eskimo, and Aleut population numbers 2.5 million.
The bourgeoisie literally wiped out some Native American peoples altogether. They kidnapped entire generations of Native American children, putting them in government “schools” in which they were forbidden to speak their languages or observe their customs. They have repeatedly forced Native peoples off their lands and onto concentration-camp-like “reservations”—where unemployment averages 50 percent and extreme poverty is widespread, where alcoholism and the suicide rate are among the highest in the U.S. Today there are continuing and often intensifying battles over land, mineral, and water/fishing rights waged by American Indian peoples.
To justify this shameful history, the bourgeoisie has viciously mocked the Native American peoples in the culture at large, with its idiotic cowboys-and-Indians movies and games, the insulting and stubborn use of racist caricatures of Native Americans as emblems of major sports teams, etc.
In undoing this long-standing atrocity, the proletariat will, through consultation with the masses of the American Indian peoples, establish large areas of land where they can live and work and will provide resources and special assistance in developing these areas. Here many of the same principles of autonomy outlined above will apply, including the right to self-government within the larger socialist state.
In regard to practices of native peoples such as traditional medicine—usually dismissed as “pure mysticism” (or occasionally commercialized for profit) by the capitalists today—these will be studied for those aspects that have underlying scientific content and these aspects will be promoted and applied generally by the proletariat.
As mentioned above, there are complicated and sometimes overlapping historical land/territorial issues bound up with the various national questions in the U.S. (for instance, overlapping land claims of Native peoples and Chicanos in the Southwest), as well as issues involving the border with Mexico. The proletarian state will work to resolve these matters in a way that promotes equality and unity throughout society and that promotes internationalism. Only the proletariat and its state are capable of tackling and resolving these questions in such a way.
Puerto Rico: A Particular National-Colonial Question
The oppression of the Puerto Rican people within the U.S. is closely linked with the colonial status of their homeland, which must be freed.
Beginning with the brutal landing of U.S. troops in 1898, Puerto Rico has been crudely dominated by the needs of U.S. capitalism. U.S. corporations seized the best land and forced small farmers to become cane-cutters on U.S.-owned plantations. Many were then swept out of the countryside into sweatshop factories—or all the way to the U.S. The people of Puerto Rico earn only one-third of the average income in the U.S. and face the constant threat of unemployment, while billions in profits are sent to enrich U.S. corporations. At the same time, the U.S. imperialists have turned Puerto Rico into a military outpost and staging area for their invasions and interventions in the Caribbean and around the world. Their weapons tests have caused great destruction to the Puerto Rican offshore island of Vieques.
Millions of Puerto Ricans, overwhelmingly proletarian, have had to leave the island for the barrios of the U.S. in search of work and a better life. But a half-century after the largest migrations from the island, they face high levels of unemployment, have been forced in large numbers onto welfare and crammed into crumbling housing, and they have seen their culture and language assaulted.
The Puerto Rican people, both on the island and in the U.S., have a proud history of resistance, including armed movements for independence and national liberation. And the United States government has repeatedly resorted to brutal suppression against that resistance.
The RCP,USA supports the struggle for the unconditional, total independence of Puerto Rico and the complete social liberation of the Puerto Rican people. Upon seizing power in the U.S., the proletariat will immediately put an end to the colonial domination of the Puerto Rican people, unless they have already won their freedom. In addition, the victorious U.S. proletariat will support the right of the Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. to return to their homeland if they choose. At the same time, the exploitation, oppression, and discrimination against Puerto Ricans who remain in the U.S. will be eliminated, as an integral part of the new society’s struggle to uproot all inequalities.
While Hawai’i is today part of the U.S., the revolutionary struggle in Hawai’i is not likely to unfold so directly in step with the struggle in the “continental U.S.” But given the presence of the U.S. military in Hawai’i and other factors, there will be significant interrelation between the revolutionary struggle in Hawai’i and in the continental U.S.
We support the struggle of the proletariat and masses of people in Hawai’i to shatter the rule of the U.S. imperialists and to establish socialist rule in Hawai’i.
Historically, the native Hawaiian people exercised sovereignty—which the U.S. rulers took away by force and deception. The indigenous Hawaiian people constitute a minority of the population in Hawai’i, but the proletariat recognizes the right to self-rule in some form on the part of the indigenous Hawaiians. The relations among the different peoples in Hawai’i and between Hawai’i as a whole and the new proletarian state in the continental U.S. will have to be worked out concretely through the struggle to make revolution and build socialism in the former U.S.
Revolutionary Standards in the Fight for Equality
In carrying forward the fight against national oppression, the new state will adopt a variety of measures and policies, including, in some cases, the application of principles of autonomy in urban areas.
For example, the proletariat in power will take into account the legacy of white supremacy and will make it possible for people among the formerly oppressed nationalities to live among people of their own nationality in their own communities. Some may desire this as a way to provide mutual understanding, reinforcement, and support in standing up to the legacy of national oppression and any remaining manifestations of it—while the struggle is carried forward to eliminate inequality and oppression from society as a whole.
This may be necessary because, among the nationalities who have suffered from national oppression and white supremacy, there will be people who may still feel the need to be able to, at times, just be among people of their own nationality—even while they welcome the revolutionary unity that is continuing to develop and deepen among the masses of all nationalities, and welcome the chance to take part in all spheres of society on the basis of equality among nationalities.
To correctly handle questions such as these, the proletarian state will apply a standard of supporting and promoting those things that help to overcome the whole history and legacy of national oppression in the U.S., while opposing those things that set back the struggle against white supremacy.
The socialist state will develop concrete policies that will encourage and promote the development of comradely relations among people of all nationalities, in every sphere of society. More specifically, it will foster and provide for the development of communities and neighborhoods, as well as workplaces and schools and other institutions, where people of all races and nationalities not only live and work side-by-side but actually develop close and deep relations of friendship and mutual support in the context of the overall struggle to revolutionize society and to eliminate and eradicate all inequalities and oppressive divisions among people. This struggle will be, and can only be, carried out on the basis of the increasingly conscious and voluntary unity and struggle of the masses of people of all nationalities.
Further, autonomous areas will not be walled off from the larger society. The proletarian state will foster a vibrant and dynamic interchange on many fronts—economic, political, cultural, scientific, etc.—between the different autonomous areas and the rest of socialist society, as well as among the different autonomous areas themselves. All realms of society will pulse with the energies of the people—in different ways and from different angles—rooting out national oppression and developing equality and unity between all peoples, all as part of the overall revolutionary struggle to advance to communism.
As indicated earlier, while all these measures are necessary to deal with the special forms of national oppression and its whole historical basis, this certainly does not mean that the masses of oppressed nationalities will be concerned only with ending their own oppression. In fact, they are in their majority workers, part of the single multinational working class in this country, and many will be in the front ranks of the overall struggle to revolutionize society and change the world.
In relation to all this, many backward ideas will persist, much ideological struggle will have to be waged, and important aspects of the social relations will remain to be fully revolutionized. But the overriding thing will be that the proletariat and masses of people will at last be living in a new and very different society. It will be a society which allows, encourages, and assists them to consciously unite for a bright and classless future where the oppression of one people by another, or one part of society by another, will be buried in the prehistoric past.
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