Draft Program title should emphasize Green Socialism


The draft title of our new program reads:

“The Road to Socialism USA: Unity for Peace, Democracy, Jobs, and Equality.” We are proposing a change in the title.

The change is based on our experiences in the Naugatuck Valley, Connecticut, experiences and thinking of some of our leading environmental activists nationally, and a preponderance of scientific data. Our proposal is,

The Road to a Green Socialism USA: Unity for Peace, Democracy, Jobs, and Equality

Without this change, the existing draft title could have been used for some of our programs in the past. For example, our 2005 program title reads “The Road to Socialism USA – Unity for Peace, Democracy, Jobs & Equality.” In fact, it is exactly the same as the draft 2019 title! So much has changed.

Virginia Brodine, former chairwoman of the CPUSA Environmental Commission, stated a possibility is that capitalism might destroy the material base for socialism. Also, the ever more violent storms, steady sea rise, and climate change has given rise to a new phenomenon – climate refugees.

In the spring of 2017, a grassroots environmentalist raised the issue of climate refugees and preparedness for all aspects of climate change. Local Naugatuck Valley representatives had no response. Six months later, hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico. Climate refugees came to our Valley in large numbers.  Towns were wholly unprepared how to handle the sudden influx of young climate refugees into school systems.

We have directly seen fisher people in Connecticut lose their jobs due to the impact of climate change and disease. Long Island sound has warmed three degrees Fahrenheit in the first decade of the new millennium. Bacterial and parasitic infections followed. The lobster catch fell from 3.7 million pounds in 1998 to 142,000 pounds in 2011.

Warming waters have also driven lobsters to more favorable, cooler, northern ocean temperatures. The lobster industry has disappeared from Connecticut and Rode Island.

A new study by the National Academy of Sciences (March, 2019) demonstrates the basis for integrated approaches to all struggles, especially concerning the environment. The study found that “Blacks are exposed to 56% more pollution than is caused by their consumption.” Latinx were slightly higher with 63%. The conclusion was that people of color bear a “pollution burden.”

The majority of air pollution is from power plants and motor vehicles. These are the same culprits involved in climate change. Of course the real culprits reside in the upper echelons of the energy industry, Wall Street, and their representatives in Washington D.C.

Our proposed title is more representative of the contents of our draft program. It particularly recognizes the global challenge of climate change and its interplay with other environmental problems and beyond e.g. desertification, war, social justice. This proposed title also reflects the changes of attitudes and outlooks in our population, especially young people, toward the environment.

Our draft program does a good job integrating these problems and the movements to grapple with them.  For example:

Section #2 – Threats to the environment continue to spiral, threatening all life on our planet.

Section #3 – There is no limit to the range of issues that are part of the class struggle: peace, democratic liberties, full equality and against racism, health care, decent schools, public housing, social security, environmental protection, . . .

Section #4 – New levels of unity have developed in the working class movement in the recent period. The common struggle against capitalist globalization has ushered in an advanced phase of working unity between the labor movement, the environmental movement, the student movement, and others. . .

Section #5 – Environmental organizations face corporate power when they try to stop pollution, stop the dumping of industrial waste, or stop the ravaging of remaining wilderness areas. . .

Section #6 . . . the extreme right attacks the social safety net—measures such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Head Start, and environmental protections. . .

Section #7 – Capitalism endangers life on this planet and undermines the highest ideals and most crucial needs of humankind. . .

Section #8 – A socialist USA will be democratic, egalitarian, humane, and sustainable.

The creation of a better world is both possible and essential. This will only happen with the creation of an environmentally-conscious socialism. A democratic society based on working people’s power will enable us to solve exploitation, oppression, remove the power of finance capital from our necks, and create and maintain a healthy balance with the natural world on which we depend.

Section #9 – Many environmental problems are rapidly approaching a turning point after which the ability of nature to regenerate and overcome problems will be forever altered. The system of capitalism, while not the sole cause of environmental problems, exacerbates and escalates these threats. For this reason too, our survival depends on establishing a system which places human needs ahead of private profit, which enables the working people of the world to together make decisions about the threats to our survival. Humanity needs a system which takes away the ability of capitalists to make short-term profit-based decisions which threaten our long-term survival.

Section #10 – . . . We expose the capitalist system as the root cause of exploitation, oppression, poverty, racism, continuing male supremacy and misogyny, war, threats to the environment, and human suffering, and we point the way to socialism as the fundamental solution.

In conclusion, it is imperative, as Marc Brodine clearly states in his latest book, Green Strategy: Path To Fundamental Transformation, “to integrate class consciousness with environmental consciousness.” A related concept is imbedded in our slogan People and Nature Before Profits.

The proposed title change, The Road to a Green Socialism USA, Unity for Peace, Democracy, Jobs and Equality, captures this imperative. It shows in a more comprehensive, integrated way, that the CPUSA understands the central struggles at the doorstep of the new millennium.


Valley/Public Workers Club, CT




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