Club and District Discussion Guide

March 8, 2019

This outline was prepared by the Program Committee to assist clubs and districts in framing their discussions of the new Draft Program and engaging their members in preparation for our 31st National Convention.

Download the Draft Program in PDF form: CPUSA Draft Program 2019

Download this Discussion Guide in PDF form: Club and District Discussion Guide

Register for online discussions:

The Program is one of the most fundamental of Party documents. Our Constitution recognizes the Program as having a unifying role. All who support it are welcome to membership in the Communist Party. This outline will focuses on the Party Program, The Road to Socialism, as the Party gets ready to issue a new edition updated by the 2019 National Convention.

The purpose of a Party Program is:

  • to reaffirm our vision for Socialism for the United States;
  • to analyze the contemporary economic and political realities with respect to that vision;
  • to propose in detail a path to reach our vision, i.e. a Program, that districts, clubs and individuals can implement over the short and long term.

The Party Program should guide our work in four main struggles: economic (e.g. for labor and employed and unemployed worker rights; $15 minimum wage), political (against voter suppression and intimidation, for candidates who will fight the extreme right), ideological (for concepts that clarify the current situation and the path forward; for working class science) and organizational (how we can build the collective structures and membership in the Party).

Our Constitution sets aside four months as a special discussion period that encompasses “all levels of the Party’s organization and memberships,” during which time membership in unorganized areas, clubs, districts, the National Board and National Committee, and national collectives “consider policies, problems, reports, resolutions.” Comrades are invited to “express their views, review their experiences and propose policies and plans for the organization’s on-going work, including changes to the Party Program…”

Our discussion as we approach the 2019 National Convention aims to explore the analysis and strategy presented in the draft Program. These discussions should aim to result in aiding us in developing action, including

–how to frame our vision of the struggle and transition to socialism in the USA;

–what are the newest developments in the shape and composition of class struggle in districts, clubs, workplaces, communities, and constituencies;

–what groups are in the forefront of working class struggles and how best to work in these mass movements and help to unite them around a progressive and socialist program; and

–how to work nationally and on the district and club levels:

  • in the labor movement;
  • in the struggle to expand democracy and democratic rights, develop independent electoral organizations, run progressives, socialists, and communists;
  • in the fight for equality (against racism, for women’s rights, against nationalism and xenophobia of all varieties)
  • in the fight for peace, against imperialism, against climate change, and in furthering international solidarity;
  • in raising union, working class, and socialist consciousness, developing our understanding of revolutionary theory through Marxist classes at all levels of the party; and
  • in understanding the role of the Communist Party and the absolute necessity of building the Communist Party in order to fulfill its promise.


Part I – Webinar February 17 – Intro to the Party Program & Class and Democratic Struggle

What is our vision of a socialist America? How will socialism solve the problems of the working class? What should be included in the Socialist Bill of Rights? What is our vision for the path that can realistically lead us to socialism? How has the ultra-right tried to curtail democratic rights through voter suppression and other means? What is a Communist response to those efforts? What opportunities and

pitfalls are offered in electoral politics? What role do electoral politics play in the contemporary class struggle? What is the role of electoral politics in the struggle for equality for women, nationally oppressed groups, and any other target of the ultra-right? (Read I. Introduction, II. Capitalism, Exploitation, and Oppression, and V. The Democratic Struggle)


Part II – Webinar, March 24 – Realities of the US Working Class & the Working Class Movement for Social Progress

What are the newest developments in the contemporary capitalist economy, here in the US and globally? What contradictions are being introduced or exacerbated that will sharpen the class struggle in the near future? How are the fights against racism and sexism a part of the class struggle? How does racism play a central role in maintaining the power of the extreme right? What dangers has capitalism inflicted on the planet and its people? What is the relationship between the organization of the economy and the politics of the ultra- right? How has the working class changed in the US in response to new developments in the capitalist economy, especially globalization, continued automation, the gig economy, etc.? What are its new problems? How is the working class organized and what are the impediments to its organization? (Read III. The Working Class, Class Struggle, and Forces for Progress)


Part III – Webinar, April 14: Unity Against the Extreme Right in the Electoral Arena and Beyond

What is the composition of the movements and coalitions fighting the fascist danger? What is the role of organized labor in the coalition? How do we define the working class and who is included in that general term? What groups experience special exploitation in the US today? What are other groups, national, cultural, racial/ethnic, or religious, that are aligned with the struggles of the working class today? (Read IV. International Capital Versus International Solidarity, VI. Unity Against the Extreme Right, and VII. Building the Anti-Monopoly Coalition)


Part IV – Webinar, May 19: The Role of the Party, the Battle of Ideas, & Our Vision of Socialism

How should Communists work effectively in movement organizations with more specific goals, such as increasing wages, protecting the environment, universal and free health care, obtaining free education, and stopping police violence? What is the role of individual Communists in their mass movements in pursuing the CPUSA program? How are we helping to build mass political movements? How do we convince workers to join and build the Communist Party? We must emphasize the absolute necessity of our Marxist education of the party. (Read VIII. The Revolutionary Transition to Working Peoples Power, IX. Socialism in the USA, and X. The Communist Party)


Club Guide for Discussion

Clubs should prepare for discussion by organizing a schedule that encompasses both the webinars and club meeting discussions. Discussion leaders should be chosen for each session. They have the responsibility of bringing some discussion questions to the group, starting the discussion by summarizing some main points, and then chairing the discussion, ensuring that all participate. Every comrade should be encouraged to participate once as discussion leader.

The Webinars can be watched together in person or at the same time virtually. If the club can’t get together to watch the webinar, each member can bring to the next meeting reflections, discussion questions and points of contention or consensus. Differing points should be welcomed as ideas worthy of discussion.

Clubs can use discussions:

  • to formulate club comments for pre-convention discussion blogs to share with other Party collectives,
  • to explore relationships between the Party program and the specific work of the Club, and
  • to affirm the unity of the Party vision of socialism and how to achieve it in the USA.


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