Political independence, working class leadership, and the fight for democracy

BY:Communist Party USA| December 2, 2019
Political independence, working class leadership, and the fight for democracy

Forbes and The Economist praise the ideas of Karl Marx.  Francis Fukuyama, who proclaimed “the end of history” and the triumph of capitalism in 1992, now says that socialism “ought to come back.” A wave of labor militancy is rising and finding its political expression in the growing number of trade unionists running for, and winning, elected office. Leading candidates for the Democratic nomination embrace ideas like Medicare for All, a wealth tax, and student debt forgiveness. Clearly, the working class is stepping into its role as a leading force for social change.  At the same time, however, sections of our class still fall under the influence of the racist, sexist, and anti-immigrant propaganda that the most reactionary section of the capitalist class uses to divide and disorient us. The power of the corporate right has been shaken in the past two elections, but the Republican Party still maintains a commanding position, and corporate-backed forces within the Democratic Party remain hostile to the progressive program favored by young voters.

This month, we invite you to a discussion of the following questions:

What does working-class leadership look like in the struggle against the Trump regime and the neo-Confederate right more broadly? Based on your experience, how can CPUSA make the most effective contribution to the struggle for the political independence and leadership of the working class?

We want to hear from you!

We welcome both written contributions and links to recorded video/audio.  Priority will be given to submissions of 1000 words/7 minutes or less.  Check out the guidelines below, and send your thoughts to discussion@cpusa.org by January 2.

Guidelines for discussion

Click here to send us your ideas!

Resources for discussion

Here are some pieces to stimulate your thinking and  that present the CPUSA’s understanding of political independence, and the leading political role, of the working class.

Impeachment and the battle for democracy

In his opening remarks to the first business meeting of the newly elected National Committee, CPUSA c0-chair Joe Sims asked why removing Trump from office is a priority for the working class, and how can we make this a “workers’ and people’s impeachment.”

What did we learn?  An overview evaluation of our Convention work

Reporting on evaluations of our National Convention, Dee Miles emphasizes the source of working-class power: collectivity.  When rising to the challenge of a truly collective style of work, we can accomplish amazing things.

“Two Tactics” against the Trump regime (video)

In a webinar presented before the 2018 midterms, Scott Hiley presents Lenin’s groundbreaking essay on the role of the working class in the struggle against extreme reactionary forces.  The discussion places resistance to the Trump regime within Lenin’s thinking on working class independence, “striking jointly” with the liberal bourgeoisie, and the stakes of a decisive defeat of the anti-democratic right.  The presentation draws heavily on chapter 6 of Lenin’s essay, available here in an excerpted and edited version.


How to win in 2020: “To the left, march.” (Rick Nagin)

The most effective force for moving the electorate to the left is the Sanders campaign, which we should become fully immersed in.

How to win in 2020: “Follow the working class line of march.” (Joe Sims)

Putting a working-class stamp on the fight to defeat Trump is the best and most effective way to win the battle for political power in the White House and Congress in 2020.

“The power of mobilizations of public workers” (Waters)

Mobilization of workers through effective leadership is the best way of protecting and promoting working-class interests. This is especially evident in the organization of public workers.

“Unions are more popular: How does this translate into action?” (Nandrea)

A lot of people like the idea of socialism. Even more like the idea of unions. We need to connect the rising interest in the idea of unions to actual union membership and material labor power.

“Trump’s impeachment: A radical move or bourgeois compromise?” (Pence)

To make its imprint on the present struggle for socialism, the people’s movement desperately needs the further theoretical elaboration of dialectical and historical materialism.

“Trump: More than a ‘centrist liberal'” (Hiley)

Why Trump is not a “centrist liberal.”

Unity: Essential for Victory!” (Bostick)

In this time of special crisis, the question of unity is front and center for the people’s movement and our party.

Why Workers Must Lead Intellectually” (Siddique)

Working-class consciousness is critical to leadership in movements.

Against the Establishment in 2020” (Xie & Gracchus)

The true test of the independence of the American working-class movement is its ability to draw its power not from the institutions and their toadying servants but from the American people themselves.



    The Communist Party USA is a  revolutionary working-class  political party 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.

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