Not part of the working class? Really?

BY: Scott Hiley| July 14, 2017
Not part of the working class? Really?
QHello. I am not a member of the working class. Does this mean that if CPUSA comes to power, I will shipped off to a gulag and murdered alongside my family? Regards, Please don't kill me.
AThanks for writing in, and for asking nicely.  If we kept files on people, we would certainly put a note in yours about how polite you were.  Of course, it would be meaningless, since executions and forced labor aren't really part of our socialist vision.  (Actually, if you take prison labor and capital punishment in the United States as examples, you might say that those are capitalist tools of social control.)

Are you sure you're not a member of the working class?  The working class, for us, includes everyone who has to work and draw a salary to stay alive.  That includes doctors, engineers, university professors, and other "professionals," just as much as custodians, fast food workers, mechanics, and truck drivers.

In other words, the vast majority of people are part of the working class--that's why socialism, the political and economic empowerment of the working class, must be based on an expansion and enrichment of democracy.

But if you're really not a worker, if you're a hedge fund manager, or someone getting their funds managed by one, if you sit on a couple of corporate boards or were on the short list for a Cabinet position in the Trump administration, I congratulate you for thinking ahead to the socialist future of our country.

Socialism here won't be a single-party state, and you won't be executed or imprisoned, but you might have to work like everybody else:  moderate hours in safe conditions at a living wage, with the right to bargain collectively and share in the wealth your labor creates.

Thanks again for writing in.

    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 (9)

jules | September 02, 2017 at 4:28 AM

Revolution need not be revolutionary….preferably, it can be “evolutionary” as in a steady move from the Right towards the Left…moving concertedly towards, racial harmony, woman’s equality, universal healthcare, pointing out & fighting corruption, seeking justice, protecting our social and ecological environment…..all aimed at the best slogan on the planet……………………………………………………..
“People before Profits”
The time is now, Democratic Socialist Sanders proved that America is ready to move towards the Left with his 13 million votes in the primaries of 2016.
……….our power remains that of using the ballot box and the soap box, with goal oriented wisdom….

Dan W. | August 02, 2017 at 2:52 PM

I’m more concerned of what would happen if I were to become a CPUSA member and then the US would go to war with North Korea. I suspect strongly that the US government keeps files on party members. Either way, the thought of being a political prisoner doesn’t sit well.

    Dallas K. | August 06, 2017 at 12:42 AM

    In your example, the U.S. government would already have a file on communists, and those who are left-leaning. Full party membership would mean nothing to some fascist government seeking to imprison political opponents. There’s plenty of examples of this in history. I choose to openly be a communist as those who stand for the working class should lead by example and inspire others to do the same. Scott did a wonderful job answering this person, even though this seems like willful ignorance of communism and specifically the CPUSA.

      Daniel Schindler | August 11, 2017 at 6:20 PM

      Given the history of the Communist Party I think the questioner has a point. What happen to the people who “dissented” against the single party rule in Europe? Say, East Germany 1953, Hungry 1956, the Prague Spring in 1968 and Poland 1986?

        Menshevik-Communist | August 25, 2017 at 5:27 PM

        The questioner definitely has a point, what with the Red Terror and all, but I would like to point out that the Soviet Union wasn’t Communist, it wasn’t even Socialist. Lenin tried to jump straight from Feudalism into Socialism, totally disregarding the fact that Capitalism is a necessary stage of economic development. Furthermore, Lenin’s idea of “Democatic” Centralism is undemocratic, since it does not allow for any civil opposition to the majority; not to mention that the system of Sovietism was extremely bureaucratic, or that Lenin (like Blanqui) thought that the Proletariat wasn’t class-conscious to carry out a PROLETARIAN revolution.

Ron A | August 01, 2017 at 2:10 PM

Brilliant! Very well thought out response. I smiled and a warm glow came over me after reading the reply. Keep up the great work.

Daniel Schindler | July 28, 2017 at 7:51 PM

Scott, I think you missed the questioner’s point. Look at the “cleansing’s” by various Communist luminaries including Lenin, Stalin and Beria in Russia, Mao in China and Kim Il-sung in Korea. Please note this list is by no means inclusive and as a further aside all were lauded by Gus Hall, General Secretary of the CPUSA 1959-2000. What happened to the citizenry that opposed Communism Governments in East Germany 1953, Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968, Poland 1989… Will you answer how these men were no worse than others but had a noble intent, or perhaps state these men were not true communist. Or perhaps blame Trotskyism.

Gary Mueller | July 17, 2017 at 4:33 PM

Its answers like that which make friends in new areas.Thank you for the humor, a quality often missing in politics

Ajiesh Thuvanoor | July 15, 2017 at 10:41 AM

Nice reply — Laal salam (Red Salute ) to CPUSA

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