Marxist IQ: CP history snap quiz

BY:Communist Party USA| January 3, 2019
Marxist IQ: CP history snap quiz


This is the first in a series of Marxist IQ’s celebrating the 100th anniversary of the the CPUSA.

Some of CPUSA’s founding members came from the left wing of the Socialist Party (SP).  Why did they leave?

a. Against the SP’s policy of serving burnt, reheated percolator coffee at meetings, they adopted the slogan “Freshly Brewed for a Fresh New World;”
b. They saw the racial integration of trade unions as an immediate necessity, not a struggle for some future time;
c. They opposed participation in electoral politics, especially Eugene Debs’ campaigns for president;
d. They thought the name of the party had too many negative associations for the American public, and wanted something that sounded more approachable.

Want to know more? Check out our webinar on CP and the labor movement, Sunday January 6, 8:00 PM Eastern.

In the 1930s, the Communist International developed the strategy of industrial concentration as the key to building the power of the working class.  What did that strategy involve?

a. Communists in each country should pick a particular industry and focus on building worker-owned enterprises in that industry, to show the superiority of socialist organization;
b. Communists should work to reduce the number of firms in any given industry, to make it easier to organize;
c. Communists should focus on building the party and organizing unions among industrial workers (steel, automotive, energy, transport, etc), because strikes in those areas could shut down the entire economy;
d. Communists should focus on recruiting industrial workers because their strong union contracts meant that they had a lot of time available to do party work.


Beginning in the late 1940s, the U.S. government pressured labor unions to expel Communists.  Most unions complied, at least formally, and adopted bylaws that excluded Communists from membership.  How did CPUSA respond?

a. By continuing to work in the labor movement  by forming rank-and file caucuses despite anti-communist policies;
b. By founding more radical unions in parallel to the existing ones;
c. By denouncing the reactionary union bosses who had sold out the working class;
d. By labeling organized workers in the First World as an untrustworthy ‘labor aristocracy’.


In the lead-up to World War II, the CPUSA under Earl Browder adopted a no-strike policy, arguing that the fight against fascism took precedence over the struggle for economic demands.  After Browder’s expulsion, how did William Z. Foster characterize that policy?

a. As a correct and necessary policy to advance the interests of the working class;
b. As an unfortunate, but unavoidable, consequence of the Popular Front strategy;
c. As the centerpiece of Browder’s opportunist and class-collaborationist agenda;
d. Trick question! The CPUSA never adopted a no-strike policy.


Get your answers here.



    The Communist Party USA is a working class organization founded in 1919 in Chicago, IL.

    The Communist Party stands for the interests of the American working class and the American people. It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign.

    But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit — socialism.

    We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.

Related Articles

For democracy. For equality. For socialism. For a sustainable future and a world that puts people before profits. Join the Communist Party USA today.

Join Now

We are a political party of the working class, for the working class, with no corporate sponsors or billionaire backers. Join the generations of workers whose generosity and solidarity sustains the fight for justice.

Donate Now

CPUSA Mailbag

If you have any questions related to CPUSA, you can ask our experts
  • QHow does the CPUSA feel about the current American foreign...
  • AThanks for a great question, Conlan.  CPUSA stands for peace and international solidarity, and has a long history of involvement...
Read More
Ask a question
See all Answer