The American Heroes… of the Communist Party

BY: Scott Hiley| June 6, 2017

To my fellow Americans in the Communist Party,

My name is Alexi. I am a progressive and I've been studying United States history in school. I wanted to let you know that I greatly appreciate the work you have done for labor unions, for workers' rights, and for our country as a whole (especially during the Great Depression). Now, I don't agree with Communism as an economic/government practice; it's amazing in theory but I don't think it can really work in the real world. Regardless, for all the work you've done for the common man, the common woman, and the common worker, you are truly American heroes. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

 Hi, Alexi.  Let me say what a pleasure it was to receive your kind words—especially at a time when we’ve been receiving more and more threats of violence from people who identify with Donald Trump and his racist, sexist, anti-worker vision.

 With respect to your idea about socialism/communism in theory vs. in practice, I’d like to make two quick points.

 The first is that capitalism generates poverty and insecurity for the many, and massive wealth for the few.  So it doesn’t work in practice (unless you happen to be a billionaire).  But it also doesn’t sound good in theory.  I mean, a world based on constant competition, a war of all against all just to stay alive, work, get an education, receive medical care?  No thanks.

The other is an observation about our society, and the possibilities it offers. Capitalism is quick to tell us to follow our dreams, believe in ourselves, let nothing stand in our way, etc--except when it comes to imagining a system better than capitalism.  Then, all of a sudden, it's all cold, hard practicality, with no room to dream or struggle or create. Don't believe the lie.

If you think capitalism is unfair, if you want an alternative, don't just give up and say "it could never work."  Millions of people are coming to the same conclusion as you.  Study, think, get involved, organize, talk to others. Help figure out how to make it work. The world is always changing.  Our collective task is to make sure it changes for the better.

    Scott Hiley has taught French, literature, history, and philosophy at the high school, college, and post-graduate levels.  A member of CPUSA since 2010, he is active in struggles against austerity and for education justice and labor rights. His articles have appeared in the People's World (US), the Morning Star (UK), and l'Humanité (France). He lives in a rural town in upstate NY.

Comments (3)

jules | September 02, 2017 at 5:53 PM

No matter how long it takes, no matter where in the world you live…the dreams of the people will come to fruition….equality will reign comes with people before profits, …..

Gary Mueller | June 08, 2017 at 5:06 PM

Comrade Bostick, your point that socialism is in its infancy is such a vital observation. The philosophy of greed and oppression have had their run for over a thousand years, to expect a fully developed and perfect system to spring to life in any country that ushers it in either by revolution or election without the benefit of a model or the luxury of development in peace is unreasonable to say the least.

bruce bostick | June 07, 2017 at 11:20 AM

thanks! the other points are that socialism is in its infancy, having only existed in any way for a century (a blink of an eye historically). In all of this time, progressive, working class forces of socialism have been under massive assault by imperialist forces. 11 nations, including the US, invaded the Soviet Union during its civil war.

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