Draft Programme of the RCP, USA
Draft Programme Part I
The World Is Intolerable and Cries Out for Justice!
Of all the tyrants and oppressors in the world, there is none that has caused more untold misery and committed more screaming injustices against the people of the world than the rulers of the U.S.
This is a country founded on genocide and slavery. It is expansionist to the core. From Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines in 1898 to Iraq and Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the U.S. has sent troops, committed acts of war, and carried out CIA interventions—more than 150 times. It has propped up military dictatorships around the world. It has fought in two world wars—and killed millions in countless other wars and bloodbaths all over the globe—not to bring peace or freedom but to extend its empire of exploitation. It inaugurated its “American Century” at the end of World War 2 by dropping atomic bombs on Japan, causing unspeakable suffering and death. It preaches about the “rule of law,” while it routinely tramples on international laws and violates treaties.
The rulers of the U.S. have plundered and slaughtered their way to the top position within the worldwide system of capitalist-imperialism—a system of global exploitation, of political and military domination, and of murderous rivalry among the imperialist powers themselves.
They say “globalization” is opening up opportunity to all and creating a more “level playing field.” But the whole structure of the world system is based on the division between haves and have-nots, and its workings are widening this gulf.
The imperialists in their endless quest to turn everything into a means for private profit—and in their monstrous methods of warfare to enforce and extend their domination—tear down forests, pollute water and air, threaten the earth’s atmosphere, devastate ecological systems, and generally wreak havoc on the earth and its resources. They are not fit to be caretakers of the earth. Their system has not only brought tremendous suffering for many generations—every day they cause further destruction to the environment that will affect people all over the world for many generations to come.
To bring down this system is the urgent need of the world’s exploited and oppressed. In the U.S. itself, it is our special challenge and responsibility to make revolution, at the earliest possible time, right within the belly of this most powerful imperialist beast. The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA openly declares our determination and dedication to lead the masses of people here to do this as part of the world proletarian revolution.
The imperialists claim that a different world is not possible. They want the people to believe the big lie that communism is a failure and that the system of capitalism has forever triumphed.
The capitalists say this is the highest humanity can achieve. But what is the reality?
In every corner of the globe, including inside the U.S. itself, the system of imperialism has proven to be a complete catastrophe.
Think about world hunger. The back-breaking labor of hundreds of millions of workers, peasants, and farmers produces enough food to adequately feed every single person on the planet. Yet nearly one billion people don’t have enough to eat, and many more struggle desperately to stay a step ahead of hunger.
What kind of a world are these capitalists trying to force the people to accept? All their hype about markets leading to prosperity and freedom can’t hide or change the cruel reality of a capitalist world as Karl Marx described it, with its concentration of wealth on the one end and misery and agony of toil on the other.
Look across the globe.
Look in Thailand, the Philippines, and many other places, where girls as young as eight or nine years old are coerced into working for slave wages in toy factories, or else forced to become sex-toys themselves, being used and abused by traveling businessmen and soldiers.
Look in Africa where orphans roam the countryside in search of help, because whole villages have been wiped out by the spread of the AIDS virus, while the big drug companies deny them medication and roam the world in search of higher profits.
Look in Mexico, where workers slave away in the big U.S.-owned, high-tech sweatshops producing TVs and computer parts, but have to go home to shantytowns without electricity where their children die of diseases like cholera because there are no sewage systems or clean drinking water.
And look at what the U.S. has done when the people in these nations refuse to put up with these bone-crushing conditions and pick up a gun to fight back. The U.S. and its allies and enforcers have killed literally millions of people since World War 2—in Korea, Vietnam, Central America, Palestine, and countless other places.
Look at Guatemala, just one of the countries ransacked and put on the torture rack, where U.S.-backed regimes killed over 200,000 people. Imagine a peasant woman in the highlands of that very country, who watches the Yankee-supplied soldiers murder her entire village, barely escaping with her life. Then follow her as she flees to the U.S. to escape such horrors—only to be hunted like an animal by the immigration police and vigilantes.
Look at the U.S. itself, where the capitalists put up the big front about how life is so much better. But what is life really like for millions in this so-called land of opportunity?
Ask that same Guatemalan woman, who is now considered an “illegal alien,” as she cleans high-rise office space or huge family homes, only to return to a one-bedroom apartment she shares with many others.
Ask the Black and Latino parents who sacrifice everything so their kids can have a better life than themselves—only to see them brutalized and even shot down like dogs in the streets by murdering cops for being the “wrong color” or speaking the “wrong language.”
Ask the women who are made into targets of male domination and violence, having it burned into their consciousness that at any time they could be raped or brutalized.
Ask the homeless people as they rummage trash cans for food under the glitter of the urban skyscrapers and gourmet restaurants.
Ask the proletarians working in the chicken factories in the South about “opportunity” as they gut and clean 90 birds an hour, pushed to their physical limits and subjected to constant monitoring and control.
And for all the official hymns to America’s middle class, what kind of lives are they offered? Ask people who work in the social services—teachers who genuinely want to help the youth but who run smack up against forced curriculums and broken-down schools, or health care professionals who are prevented from providing decent care because of the domination of this “industry” by big insurance and other corporate interests. Others are driven to be “workaholics” in stress-filled jobs that perform no useful service for society.
Yes, many in the U.S.’s middle class live comfortable lives—but walled off from the basic people and powerless to decide how the resources in society will be used for the betterment of humanity.
This is a society where everything—including science, art, education, information—is commodified and hemmed in by the interests of the ruling class. Things that sell and that reinforce the system get developed; things that don’t sell or that challenge the system get repressed or marginalized, or never come to life at all.
This is a society where even the most intimate relations between people get twisted by the capitalist values and mentality of “use or be used” and “what’s in it for me?”
And what about the youth?! Ask them what it’s like growing up in a world where their curiosity, daring, imagination, and creative energy get stifled and snuffed out.
Where the police constantly jack them up, forcing them to “kiss the pavement” in an attempt to break their fearless nothing-to-lose spirit.
Where they endure a savagely unequal “education,” in which many aren’t even taught basic skills like reading, but are instead “tracked” and trained to become the next generation of wage slaves...or to become part of a prison population that is already over two million.
Where their style of dress, the music they listen to, and the way they talk are outlawed and criminalized.
And most of all, ask them about what kind of future they see, and listen when they tell you that there isn’t much meaning to life under this system and that the future is a complete dead-end.
The big capitalists brag that this is “the best of all possible worlds.” And it is—for their class! But for the proletarians who work in the factories, hospitals, hotels, and throughout the urban areas, in the suburbs and small towns, and in the fields, and for the oppressed of the world—it is sheer hell! To call this grotesque state of global inequality the best of all possible worlds is an ugly self-exposure. More than that, it’s a stinging indictment of this system’s total failure and inability to provide any future other than this nightmare for the majority of the world.
All this injustice and inequality is the outcome of the capitalist-imperialist system. What is the lifeblood of this system? Profit. What is the source of profit? Exploitation. What is the credo of this system? Expand or die. It means that capital exploits labor on a deepening, more vicious, and ever more global scale.
From agribusiness factory farms to global assembly lines to barracks-like sweatshops—capital moves from location to location in search of the lowest wages, cheapest transport, energy, and materials, and the lowest standards of environmental and social protections. It uses the most advanced technology to step up the pace of work and to throw millions out of work. It incorporates the most backward economic and social relations into its web of global exploitation. It devastates countries all over the world and forces hundreds of millions of people to move from one end of the earth to the other, desperately in search of survival.
It spreads its mass markets and mass media to sell products, to control minds, and to commercialize cultures.
It pumps up “miracle” economies when that serves its interests—and then, virtually overnight, these economies plunge into crisis—a currency crash in Mexico, an economic meltdown in East Asia—destroying the livelihoods of tens of millions in a few short weeks.
This is world capitalism. It is a world in which large-scale industry, the widespread application of science and technology, and highly developed systems of communication are monopolized by a small class of exploiters. And what happens in this world? Thousands of people work together to produce something. But this labor is organized to serve the accumulation of capital; wealth that is socially produced is seized and controlled by private owners...to serve new rounds of profit-making.
And so the people who actually work the land and factories have no material security. And so the liberating promise of new technology, itself the product of the labor of millions, is turned into new nightmares of exploitation, control, and brutality. And so economic and social development are guided not by the conscious efforts of the people but by the competitive dictates and blind workings of the profit system.
IS ALL THIS NECESSARY?
NO! ALL THIS MISERY AND IRRATIONALITY ARE COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY!
It doesn’t have to be this way, and it won’t stay this way! In every corner of the world the clouds of horrendous suffering and seething discontent are giving way to storms of upheaval, raging most powerfully in Maoist revolutionary people’s wars. The RCP,USA stands with the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (MLM) parties and organizations united in the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) in taking up the cause of proletarian revolution and the fight for a communist world.
THE IMPERIALISTS CAN NEVER DELIVER REAL JUSTICE! 500 years of capitalism has shown what their system is all about. TIME’S UP!
The Proletariat Will Free Itself and All Humanity
In the words of the Communist Manifesto, “what the bourgeoisie produces, above all else, is its own grave-diggers.”
The proletariat is that class of people who, under this system, can live only so long as they can work, and can work only so long as their work enriches someone else—the capitalist class. Their labor, collectively, is the foundation of society and produces tremendous wealth. But this wealth is stolen by a small number of capitalist exploiters who turn it into their “private property” and into a means of further exploitation. The proletarians are trapped in a vicious circle: they have to work in order to live, but the more they work, the more wealth they create, the more it is stolen and turned into power over them.
Acting as individuals, they cannot change this condition of enslavement. BUT AS A CLASS THEY DO HAVE A REVOLUTIONARY WAY OUT.
The proletariat is an international class. It is more highly socialized and connected than it has ever been. Young women and children make the clothes and shoes in sweatshops for wages as low as 10 or 20 cents an hour in places like China or Bangladesh. Other proletarians then pack these items, and still others transport them to the docks or airports to be shipped to other parts of the world, where they are then unloaded, transported, and sold by yet other proletarians.
There is a proletariat in the U.S. that is part of this international class. The U.S. working class is large and diverse. Within it, in its most exploited and nothing-to-lose sections, is a hard-core proletariat of many millions who can be the backbone of the revolutionary struggle.
Many work in the small factory districts of the inner city and the suburbs for poverty-level wages, maybe making the computer chips of the so-called information economy. Others slave away in the garment sweatshops of the big cities under conditions that call to mind the hell-hole factories of a hundred years ago. Some stand on street corners every day, desperate to find even a few hours of work at some construction site.
Agricultural workers are also part of this proletariat. They cultivate and pick crops, work on ranches, prepare food for shipment. They connect with other sectors of workers who transport food to various distribution centers, where other workers freeze and stock it.
The discipline and the broad experience that comes from working collectively, day in day out, and even struggling collectively just to survive is a source of strength when the proletariat rises in struggle. And the experience of the many immigrants in the proletariat who fought imperialism “back home” (whether in Central America, the Middle East, or elsewhere) can bring valuable lessons to the whole class.
Many other proletarians are locked down together in the housing projects across the U.S., living in a “community within a community.” Many are forced to move between dead-end jobs, hustles, and semi-legal activities, often ending up in prison. Many are youth, full of daring and defiance and a nothing-to-lose spirit. The bourgeoisie fears these proletarians as a powder keg of social dynamite, and it does everything to keep this section living under the gun and suppressed.
There are also millions within the working class, including many in important spheres of production, whose jobs have, for a certain period, brought somewhat higher wages and benefits, but who are now finding their job security, their conditions of work, and their earnings under attack. This is providing more of a basis for winning them to grasp that their interests lie with the revolutionary struggle of their class, the proletariat. The experience and discipline that large numbers of these workers have acquired from working collectively in large factories—and that many have gained from taking part in strikes and other struggles—can be a further source of strength for the cause of the proletariat.
With the strengths of its different sectors combined together, and with its most exploited and nothing-to-lose sections as the backbone, the U.S. proletariat has the capacity to lead an overall revolutionary struggle to bring the monster down. The proletariat within the U.S. is strategically and powerfully placed at the foundation of the capitalist-imperialist economy. Potentially, it IS an army of grave-diggers of capitalism. But this potential is concealed, both from society at large and even from the proletariat itself.
The bourgeoisie works overtime to keep the masses of proletarians from seeing their common interests and their mission as a class. They create desperate conditions in the communities and force the masses to compete against each other for jobs and survival. They spew out racist ideas that lie about people’s cultures. They try to conceal what proletarians of different nationalities have in common and the real strengths that exist in their differences.
This does not mean that the proletariat cannot fulfill its revolutionary mission. What it means—what it powerfully demonstrates—is that the proletariat needs its politically advanced and organized detachment, its vanguard party, to enable it to recognize and to carry out this revolutionary mission.
This vanguard party bases itself on the ideology that represents the revolutionary outlook and interests of the proletariat as a class, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. By systematically applying this ideology, the party works to expose the real nature of the capitalist-imperialist system and to build the all-around struggle of the people against this system; to bring to the forefront the revolutionary mission of the proletariat; and to continually strengthen the ranks of the party itself by recruiting and training revolutionary-minded people who come forward within the proletariat and among other sections of the people.
In this way, the party enables the class-conscious proletariat to lead the people in fighting against and finally overthrowing the capitalist system and transforming all of society as part of the world proletarian revolution. In this country, this party is the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.
As the proletariat increasingly rises in struggle, under the leadership of the Party, and begins to understand its nature and its historic mission as a class, then the hidden army of factory workers and the desperately unemployed, burger flippers and file clerks, nurse’s aides and housing project residents, truck drivers and fruit pickers will become a real army capable of making revolution and remaking society.
How mighty is this proletariat?
Potentially, it is mighty indeed.
Communism: The Goal of the Proletarian Revolution
The proletarian revolution is different from all previous revolutions in human history. Its goal is not the replacement of one group of exploiters by another, but the reorganization of human society and the whole world on an entirely new basis—with the abolition of exploitation and social inequality in every part of the world.
The ultimate goal and the historic mission of the proletariat is communism, a world in which human beings are no longer divided into classes. With the end of classes will come the abolition of the state, that machine used for the suppression of one class by another. Nations will no longer exist and war will be eliminated. The proletariat as a class, along with its vanguard party, will also go out of existence.
Communism will see the end of humanity’s enslaving subordination to the division of labor in which some people do only manual labor and others do all the intellectual work, or men run society and women raise children. The gulf between city and countryside will be closed. People’s lives will be rich in variety: working with others in production as well as creating art, delving into scientific experiment as well as debating the future of the planet and universe, raising the next generations, as well as helping to administer society, with time left over for recreation, entertainment, and celebration.
Work will no longer be enslaving but productive, creative, and fulfilling. Everyone will work cooperatively to contribute the most they can to society and everyone will get back from society what they need, with enough of a surplus produced to contribute to the all-around development of society. Money itself will no longer even exist, as there will be no need for it. This is the communist slogan inscribed by Marx: From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.
Together with the end of classes and class distinctions comes the most radical rupture with traditional ideas. People will share a scientific approach to reality. They will have no need to invent “gods” that are imagined to control the natural world or human destiny. Knowledge will no longer be the private property of an elite, and humanity will confront the reality of the natural world with its mysteries, surprises, and challenges in entirely new ways. People will see themselves as trustees of the planet, unable to conceive of shortsightedly damaging the world that future generations will inhabit.
Human imagination will take flight in a way inconceivable in class society. There will be no ridiculous notions of one group of people being superior to another. Humanity will celebrate its diversity and for the first time in history people will see themselves and act as part of a world community of freely associating human beings. This will be a time where a view of the planet from outer space will be a reflection of the actual organization of human society—where there are no borders.
This may sound like heaven, but it’s not. It’s a rational and achievable goal on earth. Men and women will not be angels, but they will, overwhelmingly, be communists, with the material and ideological basis to consciously change themselves and the world without violent struggle or political suppression. Communism is not the end of history—as long as there is humanity there is no such thing. Each generation will challenge the previous one and will change the world in new ways. Science, technology, ideas and institutions will grow old and be overturned by new arising ones. But change, development, and struggle will no longer involve antagonistic social conflict—there will be no more wars, jails, and political suppression.
Socialism: A Transition to Communism
Between capitalism and communism lies the era of socialist revolution. Socialism is a mode of production and a form of class rule—the dictatorship of the proletariat—and it is a historical period of transition from capitalism to communism. Socialist revolution is a world-historic leap forward for humanity—which leads to the abolition of ages-old institutions of oppression and exploitation.
This future has already shined forth in the great revolutionary achievements of our class in this past century—especially in the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1956 and then in China, where the proletariat seized and held power between 1949 and 1976 and made great advances on the socialist road. Within a few short years, proletarian rule basically eliminated the familiar horrors of capitalism, beginning with hunger. Women could walk down the streets any time, day or night, without fear of being raped or brutalized. Drug addiction, which had affected over 70 million people in China, was wiped out in a few years.
The socialist revolution reached its highest point in China during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Hundreds of millions of people exposed, struggled against, and defeated several attempts to restore capitalism. Through their struggle they kept the revolution on the socialist road and further revolutionized the Party itself. The people changed and transformed the very structure of society, as well as their own world outlook. “Serve the People” became the guiding outlook of society. And the masses broke down barriers in areas formerly forbidden to the laboring people: science, education, and art were opened up and became arenas of great debate and revolutionary transformation.
The revolutions in the Soviet Union and China were eventually defeated, but they did not fail! They were born into a world in which imperialism was still far stronger internationally. They grew up in “soil” in which capitalism—with its inequalities, backwardness, and dog-eat-dog outlook—had not been totally dug up and could only be dug up through a long historical process. This soil generated new bourgeois forces who sought to restore capitalism. And at key junctures these young revolutions confronted all the power of the old order in crucial trials of strength.
The most significant thing is not that they were eventually defeated, nor that they made mistakes in confronting challenges that were truly unprecedented. No, the most significant and really amazing thing is just how much they accomplished in the relatively short time they held power, and how far they were able to advance towards communism, inspiring the world with a glimpse of the future.
The bourgeoisie wants to distort and hide this revolutionary history from the masses, using these defeats to say that this kind of a society will never work. But genuine communists have summed up the real lessons of these revolutionary experiences. Looking at the sweep of historical development, these reversals of socialist revolution are but temporary setbacks along the road to the final goal of a communist world. The proletariat is a class coming of age, still young and learning from its defeats as well as its achievements. Like a growing baby who is learning to walk, it will fall at first. But eventually, as it learns from its missteps and as its legs grow stronger, it will not only learn to walk, but to run, and eventually to scale the highest mountain of all—the abolition of all classes and class distinctions.
of the Proletariat:
All societies divided into classes are essentially dictatorships of one class over another. In capitalist society, the bourgeoisie owns and controls the principal means of production (that is, the big factories, mines, railroads, etc., through which the necessities of life are produced). On this basis, they dominate the political life of society, enforcing their will through a combination of repression and deception.
The U.S. bourgeoisie, for all its democratic rhetoric, exercises a ruthless dictatorship. Their machinery of dictatorship runs from the executive branch and bureaucracy of government to the hundreds of thousands of cops and immigration agents to the courts and the bursting prisons, from the CIA and FBI to their murderous armed forces. This dictatorship is aimed at viciously suppressing any threat to the rule of capital.
Let’s be very clear: unless the proletariat not only defeats these forces in battle, but goes on to shatter them, severely punishing the biggest criminals and tightly controlling the rest, and unless it firmly dictates to the overthrown capitalists, the masses will not even be able to raise their heads. If there is freedom for the agents of capitalism to plot the return of exploitation, then there is no real freedom for the masses to eliminate exploitation. Conversely, if there is to be freedom for the masses to transform society, then there must be dictatorship over those who have proven to be the deadly enemies of that transformation.
All the relations of capitalism cannot be wiped out by the initial victories of socialist revolution. The leftovers of capitalist relations will generate new bourgeois forces who will contest for power until the soil which generates them has been thoroughly dug up. The dictatorship of the proletariat is absolutely necessary during the entire transition to communism: to prevent counter-revolution, to carry forward socialist transformations, and to support the worldwide communist revolution.
New Organs of Political Power
This proletarian dictatorship, however, is and must be a fundamentally different form of rule than anything that’s gone before it. The new power will require the sustained involvement of millions of people, not only in the struggle for production but most of all in political life and the administration of society and the state. For the first time, the workers (and masses of oppressed generally) will be empowered to seize their own destiny.
All this will be undertaken in a society which has just emerged out of capitalism and a very destructive civil war, facing hostile encirclement by the remaining imperialist and reactionary countries. Thus the proletariat will need to quickly consolidate its political power and begin rebuilding the economy along new, socialist lines.
The new organs of proletarian power will be radically different than what they replace. Take the set-up of Congress and the presidency, and its parallel structure on the state and local levels, in the U.S. today. The bourgeoisie controls this set-up and uses it to keep the masses politically passive. The proletariat must dismantle these bourgeois organs of power, of dictatorship over the masses of people, and replace them with ones which closely link the leaders to the masses and serve to activate and mobilize the people to further revolutionize all levels of society.
This basic contrast between old and new will be sharply expressed in the army. The new revolutionary army of the proletariat will rely on the political understanding and conscious initiative of its soldiers, their close ties to the people, and unity between officers and rank-and-file. In addition, the masses in the new state will participate in mass revolutionary militias, which—in overall coordination with the regular armed forces—will help safeguard the proletarian state against military aggression from the imperialist states and attempts by other reactionaries to overthrow proletarian rule.
This is the exact opposite of the strict hierarchy of bourgeois armies, where soldiers are bullied, trained to be bullies against the people, and kept ignorant of the real objectives for which they are sent to kill and die; and where the army itself is set over and against the people.
In bringing new institutions into being, the destruction of the old and creation of the new will be closely interconnected. For instance, the mass organizations generated in the neighborhoods and factories before and during the revolutionary struggle will be the embryos of new forms of power after victory.
In all these new organs, at every level of society, the Party—which will continue to act as the vanguard of the proletariat in the socialist state—will above all rely on the masses. The Party must constantly draw new people into the work of ruling society, crushing the resistance of the overthrown bourgeoisie and other counter-revolutionary elements, and undertaking the transformation of society.
Only in this way can political power, for which tens of millions will have fought and sacrificed, be in the hands of the masses; only in this way can the dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie be firmly established and the socialist transformation and development of the economy, as well as all other spheres of society, be carried out.
The Socialist Economy
Socialist revolution will put an end to the profit-over-all, expand-or-die insanity of capitalism. The economic system will no longer confront the masses as something external, mysterious, and dominating; instead, the working people will more and more consciously transform and master it in their own interests. The obscene accumulation of immense wealth by a few will be abolished. The needs of the people will be met—including their right to work, shelter, food, health care, and cultural enrichment, as well as their basic need to continue to transform society as part of the world proletarian revolution.
As the crucial first step in this, the new proletarian power will immediately seize and socialize ownership of the major means of production—that is, convert them into the common property of the people, in the form of state ownership or collective ownership by large groups of working people. The state will also institute socialist economic planning to consciously regulate and guide social production to serve the masses and revolution.
The socialist economy will make a principle of “raising the bottom up”: giving first priority to rebuilding and improving the ghettos, barrios, and depressed rural areas.
Another important principle is that people are the most precious resource of all. The disabled, the elderly, and the many others whom capitalism casts off and shunts aside will be respected. The state will devote resources to integrate them fully into social and political life as well as production.
Socialist revolution will do away with U.S. economic domination of the oppressed nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. It will build a self-reliant economy that no longer depends on exploiting and plundering the people and resources of other countries.
The proletariat’s policy with regard to the environment is one of “socialist sustainable development.” The proletariat will step by step repair the destruction of the forests, soil, water, and air. It will develop industrial and agricultural systems that are economically productive, ecologically rational, and socially just. In all, the new society aims to interact with nature in a planned way that preserves ecological systems and fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation among the people for the richness of the natural world.
The socialist state will rely on the masses of agricultural proletarians to consolidate power in the countryside and transform agriculture. The proletariat will ally with small, medium, and even some large-size farmers, especially those who exploit little or no wage labor. It will advance rapidly to socialize ownership in agriculture. The first major steps will be the immediate takeover of the holdings of giant agribusinesses, of the biggest farmers who exploit hired labor on a major scale, and of the big landowners. The great majority of farmers who do not exploit labor to any substantial degree will be allotted shares of nationalized land, rent-free, to farm, and their debts will be canceled.
Particular policies will be developed in relation to farmers of the oppressed nationalities to overcome the legacy of discrimination and land thievery. The state will immediately improve the conditions of the agricultural proletariat.
A key policy of the new state will be “Grasp Revolution, Promote Production.” This means that production will be organized and carried out in order to advance the all-around revolutionary transformation of society, in the service of the world revolution.
There are many implications to this. For instance, while socialist state ownership will be the most important transformation of the economy, the proletariat must also step by step break down the old production relations inherited from exploiting-class society, like the capitalist division of labor where some people are supposed to work only with their minds and others only with their hands. Managers and technicians will increasingly take part in productive labor alongside workers, and workers will increasingly master the functions of administration and technical development.
The proletariat will also work to narrow wage differences step by step and to overcome other inequalities inherited from capitalism. Workplaces will not only be production units but centers of class struggle, where workers will take up major political controversies and battles of the day. Finally, with the fear of unemployment and starvation eliminated, workers will not be motivated by this but by appeals to their class interests in revolutionizing and mastering all of society and contributing to the emancipation of all humanity.
Internationalism and International Relations
The new socialist state will apply the basic principles of proletarian internationalism to its international relations. Above all, it will serve as a base area for world revolution, supporting just wars of national liberation and socialist revolution, and forging the closest unity with any other socialist states.
The proletariat will maintain a standing army to defend against counter-revolutionary attempts of the defeated enemy and attacks by hostile imperialist powers and reactionary states.
The proletarian state will renounce all wars of aggression and plunder in word and in deed. It will insist on the dismantling of any remaining armed forces of U.S. imperialism stationed abroad and their withdrawal from foreign soil and waters, and it will renounce all imperialist alliances. It will publish all the secret treaties and agreements made by the imperialists and end all unequal treaties with other countries. Puerto Rico will be immediately freed, unless the Puerto Rican people have already won their freedom. The same goes for all other U.S.-held “territories.”
The southern border of the current United States was forged through an unjust war against Mexico, and today it stands as a militarized wall of oppression against immigrants from Mexico and Latin America. Where the new border will be and how it is demarcated will be determined by the development and outcome of the revolutionary struggles in both the U.S. and Mexico. In any event, the border will NOT be used as a means to terrorize and exploit the masses of immigrants and to reinforce the domination of Mexico.
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 move urgently to eliminate the terrible conditions facing these masses and do away with national inequality and racism.
All this, of course, cannot be done overnight. But much of it can and will be. Discrimination, for example, will be immediately and forcefully banned in employment, housing, and all other areas. In addition to the previously discussed policy of “raising the bottom up,” the new 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.
The proletarian dictatorship will destroy the army of police, which enforces systematic terror in the ghettos and barrios, and will punish these hired thugs.
Segregation in neighborhoods, schools, and the like will be banned and integration promoted. The proletariat will also take aim at all the national chauvinism and racist thinking, which the bourgeoisie insists is “just part of human nature.” Those who organize any kind of racist movement or attacks will be crushed. As for those who are not part of such organized movements but still spout the racist ignorance so common in capitalist America, the masses will be mobilized on the spot to wage a sharp struggle with them to cast off this baggage.
More broadly, the proletariat will promote education and struggle among the people to expose and root out the poisonous and pervasive racism inherited from capitalism. The proletariat will be aided in this by the great unity that will be forged in the revolutionary struggle to overthrow imperialism, as well as the ever closer contact between peoples of different nationalities, resulting from the integration of workplaces, neighborhoods, and schools.
Many different peoples live within the U.S., speaking many different languages. Upon seizing power, the proletariat will move to institute real equality of languages and cultures. No language will be treated as inferior. 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 in the political, social, economic, and cultural life of society. In addition, efforts will be made (beginning in the areas with large concentrations of Spanish and English speakers) to teach all people both English and Spanish.
The proletariat will promote a flowering of the cultures of the various oppressed nationalities, which today are often ridiculed and suppressed. At the same time, the positive interchange between different cultures will also be encouraged.
The proletariat favors the establishment of a unified socialist state in the largest possible territory. But this unity must be real, not forced, and the legitimate rights of the various oppressed peoples must be honored. The new proletarian dictatorship will uphold the right of the Black and Chicano peoples, as well as the Native American peoples, to autonomy—that is, to forms of self-government in their areas of historic concentration, within the larger socialist state. Such self-government will be carried out under principles and policies that promote equality and not inequality, strengthen unity and not division between different peoples, and serve to eliminate and not foster exploitation and oppression. The new state will provide resources and special assistance in developing these autonomous areas.
Black people, who were forged together as an oppressed nation in the Black Belt South, will also have the right of self-determination, that is, the right to secede and form a separate African-American Republic. Though the proletariat does not favor this under now-foreseeable circumstances, it is firmly opposed to deciding this question through the use of force, as the imperialists do. Instead, the proletariat will rely on the masses, especially in this case the masses of Black people, to resolve this question.
These land and autonomy policies will not mean that the oppressed peoples will have to live in these areas, as this would amount to a new form of segregation. Instead, the proletarian state, while favoring and encouraging unity and integration, will ensure formerly oppressed peoples the right to autonomy as part of the policy of promoting real equality between different nations and peoples.
At the same time, the socialist state will foster and provide for the development of communities and neighborhoods, as well as workplaces, 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. This will be in the context of the overall struggle to revolutionize society and to eliminate and eradicate all inequalities and oppressive divisions among people.
Abolishing Discrimination Against Immigrants
Great numbers of immigrants have come to the U.S. from Mexico, Latin America, Asia/Pacific Islands, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and other parts of the world, including many from countries oppressed and plundered by U.S. imperialism. The bourgeoisie considers many of these immigrants—some of whom have a bitter hatred towards a system that has raped their countries—a potential source of instability and upheaval inside the U.S. The proletariat for its part welcomes these immigrants, who strengthen the internationalist character of the revolution here.
Millions of undocumented immigrants live in the shadows of U.S. society without the most basic rights, constantly facing arrest, deportation, and sudden separation from their families. Each year hundreds perish trying to cross the U.S.-Mexican border. Entire groups of immigrants, such as Arabs, are scapegoated and demonized, and non-European immigrants generally are targets of racism.
The proletariat in power will abolish all forms of discrimination against immigrants in jobs, housing, health care, education, etc. No human being will be treated as “illegal,” ending the labels used by the imperialists to degrade people and keep them in super-exploited conditions. The apparatus that terrorized immigrants—la Migra, the police, military border patrols, and paramilitary vigilantes—will be smashed.
The proletarian state will apply to immigrants its overall orientation and policies for achieving real equality, including equality of languages and cultures, and it will encourage and cherish the full participation of immigrants in all aspects of building the new socialist society.
Uprooting the Oppression of Women
The proletariat will unleash the fury of women as a mighty force for revolution. As the proletariat comes to power, women will have already broken out of many traditional roles, having battled on the front lines, alongside men, for the liberation of all humanity. Many women will emerge as tested revolutionary leaders, and many men will cast away traditional thinking and practices towards women. These will be powerful positive factors in launching the socialist struggle against the oppression of women.
The struggle to achieve the complete emancipation of women will be a decisive arena. Revolution is impossible without continuously breaking with the old institutions, practices, and ideas that enslave women. Among the oppressed themselves, especially men, one’s stand toward the emancipation of women is a touchstone question: do you aim to do away with all oppression, or are you satisfied with keeping some of it?
In the face of the brutal oppression of women and the traditional thinking of thousands of years, the proletariat will make dramatic changes upon coming to power. Discrimination against women in all spheres will be banned immediately. Ended will be the generations of bruised and battered women, hiding their wounds in shame or going to jail when they dare defend themselves against the men who abuse them.
Rape will be severely punished. But more fundamentally—through the policies and firm action of the proletarian state and through education, ideological struggle and transformation, and the mobilization of the masses of women, and men—the conditions will be brought into being in which rape will soon become a rare occurrence and ultimately will be eliminated altogether.
Abortion and safe birth control will be available on demand.
Down will come all the humiliating billboards that display women’s bodies as objects for sexual plunder. No more will women be forced to sell themselves in a desperate attempt to survive.
As for the family, the socialist state will recognize it for what it is: not something holy or sacred, but an institution that has arisen with the emergence of class society and is marked with the property and social relations of male supremacy. In the communist society of the future, new forms will evolve to take the place of the nuclear family.
Under socialism, the family will still exist, but the proletariat will struggle to radically transform it. The safety and love that people today seek in their family relations, but which are continuously denied and even mocked by the brutal reality of the typical family, will increasingly characterize relations between people throughout society. The right to divorce will be upheld in order to strengthen the free and voluntary character of marriage.
In socialist society, the family will still play an important role in the rearing of children, but the masses will be mobilized to transform the traditional division of labor in the family, as men will be struggled with to share equally in childcare and housework. Even more importantly, the proletariat in power will relatively quickly involve both men and women in various collective forms to deal with these tasks, which have traditionally been forced onto women.
As for intimate relations, socialist society will promote values of, and create the conditions for, personal, family, and sexual relations based on mutual love, respect, and equality.
The revolutionary proletariat is staunchly opposed to the attacks on homosexuality by reactionary forces such as religious fundamentalists, and to all physical assaults on, discrimination against, and government repression of homosexuals, which is so widespread and vicious in the U.S. today. In the new society, discrimination against homosexuals will be outlawed and struggled against in every sphere of society, including personal and family relations.
Youth in the Revolution
The proletariat recognizes that youth are innovators. The youth are more critical, more daring, and less weighed down by the “force of habit.” Communists cherish this, and seek to both unleash and give conscious expression to these qualities.
The proletarian revolution will provide the youth something the bourgeoisie can never deliver: a future in which their creative energies, irreverence toward tradition, and audacity are valued.
Young people’s lives under socialism will be an exciting mix of stimulating education and productive labor; a wide variety of cultural and recreational activities; and, most of all, front-line participation in the most crucial political struggles of the day. In this way, and under the general leadership of the proletariat, the youth will be a revolutionizing force throughout the entire socialist transformation to communism.
The Socialist Transformation of All Institutions of Society
The proletariat will struggle to revolutionize every arena of society.
The socialist educational system will foster and develop creativity, the critical spirit, and the desire to understand and change the world. Students will not be written off, policed, sentenced to mind-numbing lectures, or punished for thinking differently; rather they will engage in practical as well as lofty study and investigation, actively take part in artistic expression and, above all, plunge into the class struggle to revolutionize society. Schools will link theory with practice, and link the educational system as a whole with the masses—for example, a science class might work with people in the community to research and solve an environmental problem.
Educational policies and practices will promote internationalism and serve to overcome the legacy of class distinctions, national oppression, and the oppression of women. History will no longer be the story of a few “great men” like Columbus or George Washington—who were really nothing but oppressors—but will instead educate the masses in a sweeping and scientific understanding, and bring to the fore the masses and their struggles throughout history.
Socialism will thoroughly transform health care. The medical needs of the masses will be put first. Health care professionals will be united to serve the people, with the increasing involvement of and supervision by the masses themselves. Mass campaigns will be launched to deal with major health problems like infant mortality, AIDS, and addictions.
The proletarian revolution will liberate art and culture from the domination and the whole oppressive outlook of the bourgeoisie. The proletariat will seize control of the mass media and give leadership to culture as a whole, with the goal of a new revolutionary culture inspired by the world outlook of the proletariat and expressing its interests in overthrowing everything reactionary and revolutionizing all of society.
Our aim is to promote a vigorous process of creating and popularizing revolutionary culture and criticizing the old oppressive culture, and to encourage a wrangling atmosphere of different trends, schools of thought, and experimentation.
There will be an unprecedented flowering of voices, cultures, and artistic creations that inspire the masses to dream and to struggle. The masses will see themselves “on stage” with both their dignity and their righteous rebelliousness. The new proletarian state will move quickly to meet the masses’ demand for cultural works with revolutionary content along with a high level of artistic quality.
Scientific knowledge and research will no longer be confined within the narrow profit-driven boundaries imposed by capitalism. It will no longer be a means to intensify exploitation, to further control and domination, and to serve imperialist warfare. Instead it will be developed for the benefit of humanity and will be widely shared, including internationally. The proletarian state and its leadership in the sphere of science will emphasize research directly related to the needs of society, but will also encourage some research which may not have readily apparent practical application but which contributes to the store of human knowledge.
The revolutionary outlook of the proletariat will be applied to lead people who have expert knowledge and training to further contribute to the advance of society. This means, among other things, using the method of Marxism to illuminate different approaches to problems, as well as constantly increasing the participation of and supervision by the masses. At the same time the new power will make room for and foster an atmosphere in which artists, scientists, and others pursue intellectual and artistic activity that strikes out in many diverse directions.
Proletarian Dictatorship, Democracy and the Rights of the People
Democracy in capitalist society, including in the much advertised “American democracy,” is a fraud. It is democracy only for and among the ranks of the bourgeoisie, but it is a ruthless dictatorship over the proletariat and the masses of people generally. This can be seen in the ghettos and barrios, where the police act as an occupying army. And it can increasingly be seen in many resistance movements, even some based among middle-class people, which quickly run up against police spying, beatings, and jail time once they depart from the tightly approved limits of “dissent.”
Proletarian dictatorship, on the other hand, will be a million times more democratic—for the masses. First of all, the most basic right of the masses, which they can never exercise under capitalism, will be the right to be masters of society, in every sphere, and to transform it in their interests. The masses will have the right to collectively join together to reorganize production to meet human needs rather than profit, to do away with the many forms of oppression inherited from capitalism, and much more.
In order to foster broad political debate and struggle throughout society, the state will provide time and space in all the mass media for groups and representatives among the masses to put forward and struggle over their ideas on the major political and ideological questions. And the masses as a whole will be organized, where they live and work, to hear and debate these views and to struggle out these questions in general. While the Party will enter into and strive to lead this, it will take care to encourage an atmosphere where the masses freely express their ideas.
Specifically, views and opinions that are contrary to those of the Party will not be suppressed, unless they are part of attempts of actual counter-revolutionaries to overthrow the proletariat’s political power and restore capitalism. And in that case, too, the masses themselves will be relied on to struggle against, expose, and suppress such forces and to distinguish through such struggle what are backward and mistaken ideas among the masses from what are actual attempts at fomenting counter-revolution.
The proletarian state must value dissent, even dissent coming from an oppositional point of view. Such dissent will help keep the political atmosphere lively and may shed light on important problems or shortcomings of the socialist state. Dissent can play a particularly important role in sparking debate and struggle over the unresolved problems facing socialist society in moving towards classless, communist society.
Leadership on all levels of government will be chosen through a system involving consultation between the Party and the masses, and in a fundamental sense the Party will rely on the masses and mass organizations in every institution throughout the country not only to select but to politically supervise leadership. In this context, elections will have a role as one means of selecting and developing leadership, and keeping it truly accountable to the masses. But the basic approach and objective will be to arrive at a consensus among the masses with regard to matters of leadership.
The standard for leadership will be a demonstrated devotion to the proletarian cause, a determination to grasp and apply its revolutionary science, and the ability to inspire and lead the masses in the same course.
The masses will have the right to criticize leaders on any level, to hold meetings, organize demonstrations, go on strike, put up posters, pass out leaflets, and so on.
The socialist state will develop a new legal system based on mobilizing the masses to ascertain truth and render justice. At the same time, there will be laws and procedures to protect the accused against abuses and/or mistakes.
The proletarian revolution will destroy the big crime syndicates and will increasingly dig at the roots of most crime—the dog-eat-dog conditions and values of capitalism. But the remaining capitalist relations and ideas will give rise to some criminal activity. The proletarian dictatorship will combine organs of mass vigilance and supervision with professional security forces to deal with crime, distinguishing between disputes among the people, petty crimes, and serious crimes. Hardened criminals will be stopped by force, and those connected to counter-revolution will be severely punished.
Prisons will not be degrading and brutal hell-holes. Those imprisoned will be allowed—and required—to carry out productive labor and other useful activities to benefit the people, will be given the chance to rehabilitate themselves, and will be struggled with to change their world outlook.
In regard to religion, the socialist state will uphold people’s right to worship and to hold religious services, and will provide them with the necessary facilities and materials for doing so. Religious people will neither be allowed special privileges nor permitted to use religious activity as a means to promote reactionary political movements or to accumulate capital and exploit the masses; barring that, however, they will not be suppressed.
At the same time, communists are atheists and do not believe in supernatural forces or beings of any kind. Communists also recognize religion’s role in instilling a sense of powerlessness in the masses and discouraging them from rising up in revolution. But, again, the Party will not attempt to force people to give up these beliefs. Instead, it will rely on education, persuasion, and debate.
In this respect, the state will propagate atheism and educate the masses with regard to the scientifically knowable workings of society and nature, working to instill in them a critical, revolutionary scientific attitude and method. Analysis and criticism of the Bible, the Koran, the Torah and other religious works and doctrines will be organized, using the method of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM). And as the masses themselves increasingly master society, overcome oppression through their own conscious activism, and take up and wield the outlook and method of MLM, they will begin to voluntarily cast off religious beliefs.
These basic rights and general policies will not be applied to the bourgeoisie, its agents, and other counter-revolutionary forces seeking to undermine and overthrow the new society. They will be dictated over. This is not to say that they will never be allowed to speak in the media or even to publish books. But when the proletariat allows such things, it will be in the context of its overall rule—and of criticizing and conducting mass exposure on such material as part of strengthening the critical ability of the masses to themselves prevent the restoration of capitalism.
The Struggle Against Capitalist Restoration and the Role of the Party Under Socialism
Once the revolution succeeds, the Party will no longer be hounded and suppressed. Instead, Party members will occupy strategic positions of leadership in the government, the economy, and society as a whole. This is because it will take a tested leadership to defend the proletarian dictatorship and develop it as a base area for the world revolution, and to carry forward the many great transformations just outlined.
This poses serious challenges. History shows that, in the conditions of socialist society, with its inequalities left over from capitalism and in the context of encirclement by imperialist powers, Party leaders can be transformed into new bourgeois elements and representatives of a new bourgeoisie. Such new bourgeoisies, headquartered in the Party leadership, will work to seize back power from the proletariat and change the society back into a capitalist one, even if it remains “socialist” in name—as happened in both the Soviet Union and China.
The only way that this can be prevented is through mass revolutionary struggle within socialist society. Through this struggle, together with the study of the science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the masses will learn to distinguish the socialist road from the capitalist road and revolutionaries from counter-revolutionaries, and to better exercise their role as masters of society.
The struggle to stay on the socialist road will go on throughout the entire period of socialism, and the genuine communists will support and lead the masses who rebel against new overlords. Many of those in positions of authority and leadership who take the wrong road can be revolutionized (or further revolutionized) through this struggle, and brought back to the revolutionary path. But there will be those who cannot, and they will have to be overthrown.
The genuine communists will lead the masses in this decisive battle to revolutionize the Party, and in that way strengthen the Party’s vanguard role—as part of the process of revolutionizing all of society and advancing toward the goal of a communist world without classes or class distinctions and thus without the need for the Party itself.
The Path to Power
The People Must Wage a Revolutionary War
Marx once noted that “Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with the new.” The old ruling classes have never voluntarily stepped down from power. They will clutch their butcher knives until they are taken out.
The proletariat cannot use the bourgeois state to remake society, or even to bring into being a single one of the great changes just laid out. Whether “democratic” or openly terroristic, the bourgeois state is a machinery of repression. It is an expression of the basic capitalist relations it serves and enforces. It has been developed and refined over centuries.
Thus the proletariat must overthrow and thoroughly smash and dismantle the bourgeois state. And that requires war. In the words of Mao Tsetung: “A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”
War brings with it great bloodshed and destruction, and the proletariat will ultimately abolish war. But this will be done, and can only be done, by abolishing the system of capitalist accumulation and class oppression that constantly gives rise to war.
Could the masses actually win a revolutionary war against imperialism? This is a serious, literally life-and-death, question, one of great complexity. But the short answer is, yes. While the imperialists are strong, beneath the surface they have weaknesses. They have suffered defeats in the past—including Vietnam and Korea—and they can be defeated today.
The key to victory is correctly applying the Maoist military line of people’s war, which shows how a force that starts out weak can ultimately defeat a more powerful one. The tactics and guiding military strategy of people’s war enable the masses of people to support the revolutionary war, to actively join it in ever-increasing numbers, and through it to develop their ability to become masters of society.
People’s war in a country like this would begin with mass insurrections centered in the urban areas. These would lead to the establishment of a revolutionary regime in as much of the territory as possible, and then the waging of a civil war to finally and completely defeat the old ruling class and its counter-revolutionary armed forces and to consolidate the rule of the proletariat in as great a territory as possible.
Such a war should only be launched when the proletariat has a real chance of winning. This requires three basic factors: first, a serious crisis in society and in government; second, mass upheaval and rebellion among the proletariat and other sections of the people; and third, a vanguard party capable of turning the mass upheaval and rebellion into an organized insurrection and giving it overall leadership and direction.
Once such a situation does emerge, the party must lead the masses to hit and hold nothing back, delivering a powerful enough blow to crack the authority and ruling structures of the enemy. This will cause still more masses to surge forward to join the people’s war and begin a dynamic that increasingly brings out the weaknesses and counters the strengths of the imperialist forces while bringing to the fore the great strategic strengths of the revolutionary forces, relying on and activating ever greater numbers of the masses in revolutionary war and finally carrying that war to victory.
The People Need Leadership to Make Revolution and Carry It Forward; That Leadership Is the Party
Oppression breeds resistance—this is a law proven by thousands of years of class society. But in the words of Mao, “if there is to be a revolution, there must be a revolutionary party.”
When you consider what it would involve to launch and win a revolutionary war, the need for tested leadership quickly becomes clear. But the necessity for the party goes much deeper than that. The proletariat needs a party committed to fight for its fundamental class interests at every step, bringing people a clear understanding of the problem (capitalism) and the solution (proletarian revolution).
The party must put the revolutionary interests of the proletariat, not just in the particular country but worldwide, at the forefront and base itself on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, fusing this outlook and science with the experience and sentiments of the proletariat and other oppressed masses. Only in this way will the revolutionary showdown come to be and will the proletariat be capable of winning.
V. I. Lenin, the great leader of the Russian Revolution, first developed the theory and practice of the proletarian vanguard party. This party is based on the most advanced revolutionary theory and organized in a way to lead the proletariat in a revolutionary struggle with the goal of overthrowing capitalism and transforming society.
While the masses develop class feelings and revolutionary sentiments on their own, they need a party organization to raise those sentiments to the level of class-consciousness—that is, a basic understanding of the two fundamentally antagonistic forces in society, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, and the need for proletarian revolution. And while the masses can and will wage heroic struggle on their own, they require the party to take the diverse streams of struggle and lead and unite them into a revolutionary flood-tide against the system.
The party must be built with deep roots among the proletariat, first of all, but also among the middle strata. It must be organized in such a way as to take into account the basic antagonistic relation between the proletariat and its vanguard on the one side, and the imperialist ruling class on the other. It has to be based on the recognition that the strategic orientation of the ruling class is to crush anything that poses a serious challenge to it. It has to be organized in accordance with the party’s strategic orientation of overthrowing the system through mass revolutionary warfare, when the time comes.
The party must have a core of professional revolutionaries as its backbone and must be built in such a way as to be able to combat the spying, disruption, sabotage, and outright murderous actions of the enemy’s political police and its overall apparatus of repression. Only such a party can fully unleash the masses’ conscious activism, train the most advanced as revolutionaries, and take on the bourgeoisie for real.
The party is organized on the basis of democratic centralism. This principle combines centralized leadership and the greatest degree of discipline on the one hand, with the fullest discussion and struggle over line and policies within the party and the selection and political supervision of party leadership by the party membership on the other hand.
The mass line is the method through which the party both learns from and leads the masses. The party takes the ideas of the masses and concentrates these ideas into a more fully correct and all-sided view of reality. It then returns that synthesis to the masses in the form of line and policies, winning the masses to take these up and uniting with the masses to carry them out. This is a key tool in welding the unity of the party and masses to advance the proletariat’s revolutionary struggle.
The party cannot bring on a revolutionary crisis solely through its own efforts, but neither can it sit back and wait for a revolutionary situation to fall into its lap. The party can and must hasten the arrival of such a crisis, struggling to strengthen the “pole” of revolution in society and “preparing the ground” for revolution, even as it awaits still greater shifts and turns brought on by larger events like crises, wars, etc.
Strategy for Revolution: The United FrontUnder the Leadership of the Proletariat
The proletarian revolution in the U.S. is one part of the worldwide struggle to topple imperialism. The proletariat within the U.S. supports every struggle against its “own” imperialists, opposes every imperialist act of aggression, and gives political support to revolutionary movements in other countries—first and foremost the struggle of the proletariat for revolution and socialism. The Party works to develop an internationalist outlook and internationalist activity among the masses, and strives to maximize the impact of revolutionary struggles in other countries on the political situation in the U.S.
The bourgeoisie seeks to divide and conquer the potential forces for revolution within the U.S., in particular by aligning the middle class against the proletariat. The Party’s strategy of the United Front under the Leadership of the Proletariat is a “magic weapon” for forging an alliance of forces that can bring about the victory of proletarian revolution.
Wielding this strategy, the proletariat can distinguish potential friends from enemies, uniting significant sections of the middle class (teachers, farmers, professionals, etc.) against the bourgeoisie. This strategy enables the proletariat to isolate the enemy to the greatest degree possible and to draw the support necessary to actually defeat the bourgeoisie once the war is underway.
Overall, the proletariat bases its strategy on these fundamental facts: socialist revolution actually is in the interests of the great majority of people, and only the proletariat can lead this revolution to victory.
The Party builds the united front in the midst of struggle and in relation to key political and ideological issues and conflicts in society. The Party applies a policy of unity-struggle-unity within the united front. This policy enables different forces to unite firmly against the main enemy, while discussing and struggling over differences they have among themselves. And through all this, the Party continually strives to bring to the forefront the revolutionary outlook and interests of the proletariat and to win the greatest numbers of people to that banner—all as preparation for launching the revolutionary war when the time is ripe.
The key alliance—or the solid core—of the united front that the proletariat must build under its leadership is the revolutionary alliance of the multinational class-conscious proletarian movement as a whole together with the struggles of the Black, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Native American, and other oppressed peoples against the common enemy—the imperialist system and bourgeois dictatorship.
The struggles of the oppressed nationalities against their oppression as peoples is a tremendously powerful force for revolution. These oppressed peoples are, in their majority, part of the single U.S. proletariat and concentrated in its most oppressed sections. Their fight for equality and emancipation is bound by a thousand links with the struggle for socialism and lends it great strength.
The single multinational class-conscious proletariat, including large numbers of the oppressed nationalities as well as white proletarians, will fight consciously and directly under the proletarian revolutionary banner; others from the oppressed nationalities will fight as a part of national movements under various banners. The forging of the alliance of these two forces, around a program only realizable through and serving the proletarian revolution, will be key to the victory of the socialist revolution in this country.
The class conscious proletariat must overcome divisions within the class and forge the solid core by “working at it from two sides.” It must unite with the struggles of the oppressed nationalities and fight for the line and outlook of the revolutionary proletariat within them, bringing forward the most advanced forces in these struggles and developing them into revolutionary fighters for all. On the other hand, there is the even more fundamental task of bringing forward class-conscious proletarians of all nationalities to the front ranks of the fight against all oppression, including the fight against national oppression.
The Central Task of the Party
The central task of the Party is to Create Public Opinion, Seize Power—Prepare Minds and Organize Forces for Revolution. This central task describes an all-around process and all-around struggle through which the consciousness, organization, and fighting capacity of the masses is raised in preparation for going over to the armed struggle to seize power when the revolutionary crisis breaks out. Through carrying out this central task, the Party brings the masses to a position where millions see that the whole system is worthless and must be overthrown, and are ready to put everything on the line for revolution.
The Party must lead the people to fight back, battling the system in a way that is guided by revolutionary ideology and serves revolutionary aims. This means not only resisting the attacks of the bourgeoisie, but doing so in a way that raises people’s understanding of the nature of the enemy, develops their organization and fighting capacity, and moves them towards the revolutionary position. These battles prevent the masses from being ground down and, if properly led, become “schools of war” for the revolutionary showdown to come.
The Party’s newspaper is the hub and pivot of its work. The newspaper gives the masses an all-sided sense of the worthlessness of this system and the need for revolution. It reveals why only the proletariat can lead the many different struggles of the people toward revolution. The paper shows the possibility for revolution and the existence of a Party prepared to take responsibility for leading it.
The paper exposes the thoroughly reactionary nature of the system, rouses the masses to resist, battles the bourgeoisie in the realm of public opinion on the biggest issues and questions of the day, and guides the revolutionary movement. It also stretches a line to those erupting in struggle throughout society. The paper is a collective organizer, preparing its readers to act in relation to the major struggles of the day and, in some cases, linking them organizationally to the Party. Through all this, the Party’s press ties together the work of the Party.
As a bedrock part of carrying out this whole central task, at every point, the Party strengthens both itself and its organized ties among the masses. It continually brings fresh forces into the Party and sinks its roots more deeply and broadly among the masses, especially within the proletariat, but among other strata as well. The Party does this in such a way that the enemy cannot know where the lines of organization run and cannot destroy or fundamentally disrupt this organization. This has everything to do with being able to wage—and having a real shot at winning—the revolutionary war when the time comes. Building the Party is the most important part of organizing forces for revolution, both now and with an eye to the future armed struggle, when it will form the backbone of the future revolutionary army of the proletariat.
In particular, the Party must build the places where the proletariat lives and works as strong bases of support for the proletarian revolution. The Party develops its “political authority” in such areas through a combination of leading the masses in struggle, distributing its press, popularizing and struggling broadly for the communist way of looking at the world, building organization, and so on. Such strongholds serve to create public opinion very broadly, and they play a key role in organizing many thousands of the proletarian revolutionary forces who will lead millions when, “all of a sudden,” millions are starting to bust loose.
The two aspects of this central task—creating public opinion and seizing power—are not separated by a brick wall. The Party must recognize the seeds of the future that are present even today, and nurture and develop them to the greatest degree possible.
One aspect of this is the need to seize on crises, even “mini-crises,” when many different political forces come into motion and people debate things on a mass scale. These are times when many features appear in embryo that can school the Party and the masses and provide them with something of a “rehearsal” for the major crisis ahead.
No one can predict exactly which crisis will actually mature into a revolutionary situation, but the Party must push every opening to the maximum, making leaps whenever possible so as to be able to seize the time when the time finally ripens…to forge a revolutionary army and wage a revolutionary war against its deadly enemy, the imperialists.
A Call to Battle, A Challenge to Dare
“If you can conceive of a world without America—without everything America stands for and everything it does in the world—then you’ve already taken great strides and begun to get at least a glimpse of a whole new world. If you can envision a world without any imperialism, exploitation, oppression—and the whole philosophy that rationalizes it—a world without divisions into classes or even different nations, and all the narrow-minded, selfish, outmoded ideas that uphold this; if you can envision all this, then you have the basis for proletarian internationalism. And once you have raised your sights to all this, how could you not feel compelled to take an active part in the world-historic struggle to realize it; why would you want to lower your sights to anything else?”
Bob Avakian, Chairman, RCP
Because we have seen the ruin, devastation, and horrors of the world under the rule of these imperialists, we will never give them peace. Because we are filled with revolutionary optimism in our class and revolutionary impatience for our historic mission, we dare to dream of a communist world. Because our dreams are based in reality, we will settle for nothing less. Because revolution is the hope of the hopeless, we will build a new world on the ashes of the old.
The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA exists to lead the masses of people to make revolution right here in the belly of the beast. We do this as a detachment of our international class and the struggle for proletarian revolution the world over. This Programme is a declaration of war, and at the same time a call to action and a battle plan for destroying the old and creating the new. It is our vision of a revolutionary future, laid out for the world to see.
To those who dream of something better and want to struggle for it...to those who are serious about not just rattling the chains, but shattering them...to those who aspire to all this not only for yourselves, but for all of humanity: Unite with and support the Revolutionary Communist Party, build and join the Party in carrying out the revolutionary work of our Programme.
We love the people, serve the people, and fight for their most fundamental interests through proletarian revolution. There is no higher purpose than that.
This is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online:
Este artículo se puede encontrar en español e inglés en La Neta
del Obrero Revolucionario en: rwor.org