Preparing to end monopoly capital’s political rule by the 37th convention

BY:Saoirse Theriault| March 8, 2024
Preparing to end monopoly capital’s political rule by the 37th convention


This piece is a contribution to the Pre-Convention Discussion for our 32nd National Convention. During Pre-Convention Discussion, all aspects of the party’s program, strategy, and tactics are up for consideration and debate. The ideas presented here are those of the author or authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Communist Party USA, its membership, or their elected leadership bodies. — Editors

The urgency of addressing climate change cannot be overstated, and it demands a fundamental shift in our approach to waging class warfare. While large sections of the masses understand that we are operating under a deadline, this scientific fact has yet to be acknowledged in full by the program and strategy of any significant political party.

The Communist Party must embrace a bold and decisive stance to end the political dominance of monopoly capital… within the next two decades, placing the fight to stop climate collapse at the forefront of our agenda. Of the two pieces I have bolded and underlined, our Party has long held such a stance on the first part. We have yet to take one on the second part. We must do so as quickly as possible.

Timelines I referenced in my previous contribution suggest that our class will need to have won political dominance and begun making the necessary fundamental changes by our 37th National Convention (this is, it should be stressed, the absolute latest). This means that we need to walk out of our 36th National Convention with a plan to win it all.

Here, I will present some concrete steps to help our Party think, act, and fight with the urgency required to prevent a collapse of global society. Whether or not any particular recommendation I describe will benefit us is very much an open question to which I invite critical response. On the other hand, the question of whether or not we should be seriously discussing how we can prepare to end the rule of monopoly by our 37th Convention should have a clear answer.

Recognizing the imminent threat

Climate change presents a threat to humanity that is both dire and immediate. Our Party recognizes the direness of this threat but we have yet to recognize its immediacy and its urgency. Our program instead contrasts the “long-range crisis of climate change” with “immediate crises”.

Rising temperatures, extreme weather, and ecological disruptions are not distant possibilities but tangible realities affecting communities worldwide right this very moment. The deadlines to make the transformations we need to make are, at most, only 20 or so years away.

To acknowledge this, we should do the following:

  • Edit the Party Program to refer to climate change as an immediate and imminent crisis rather than a long range one.
  • Explicitly acknowledge in both the Party Program and in Party media that climate change is a near-term existential threat.
  • Explicitly acknowledge the political implications of what climate science tells us within our Party Program: that the only way to avert the collapse of global society is to end the power of monopoly capital within the next two decades.

Promoting a “socialism or extinction” fighting orientation

To effectively confront the threat of climate change, we must instill within the Party and our class a fighting orientation that explicitly frames monopoly capital as a near-term threat to our very existence. The development of a fighting orientation and the kind of consciousness needed to mobilize the vast masses in defense of our existence should be aimed at engaging our collective “fight-or-flight” responses in this literal fight for our lives with the phrase “socialism or extinction.”

To achieve these ends, our Party should do the following:
Conduct internal education initiatives regarding the consensus around climate science and its political implications.
Actively promote a culture of revolutionary optimism while rejecting “climate doomerism”.
Execute propaganda campaigns that amplify existing science communication and promote the message of “socialism or extinction” as the only viable choice in the face of the climate crisis.

Organizational preparedness for dynamic political conditions

It is imperative that our Party grasps the inherent danger of thinking about climate change as an “environmental issue”. It is a far-reaching crisis with profound implications for how much more politically dynamic the near-future will be.

We understand the second-order effects of a changing climate and the likely fascist responses to these. What we and other revolutionary organizations have not truly come to grips with is that climate change will rapidly escalate the speed and scale of these events. We need to prepare for a pace of change that outpaces our current ability to adapt to events.

Lenin once quipped that “there are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Climate change will bring on decades where every week is a “week where decades happen.”

As political landscapes evolve rapidly, we must adapt our organizational structure and strategies to meet the challenges of the moment. Traditional approaches that fail to make full use of the modern technologies may not suffice in the face of near-future conditions.

  • To embark on the lengthy process of preparing our Party organizationally for the conditions we know are coming, we should consider the following:
  • Exploring the feasibility of hosting bi-annual conventions to ensure that we will have more than 4 opportunities to review our Party program after the 32nd National Convention
  • Reviving the party’s theoretical journal, Political Affairs, to open up venue for comrades to discuss and debate theoretical/strategic questions at greater length
  • Creating a moderated forum or message board to ensure that collective, scientific thinking which draws on our experiences from across the country becomes a constant within the Party


The urgency of addressing climate change demands correspondingly urgent changes if we are to adapt. Recognizing the imminent threat posed by climate change, promoting a “socialism or extinction fighting orientation” and preparing our Party organizationally for dynamic political conditions barely scratches the surface of what we will need to accomplish over the coming years. However, if we take concrete steps in each of these areas, we will be setting conditions to transform a daunting, seemingly impossible task into a victory and a livable future.

The time for action is now, and CPUSA must lead the charge with unwavering determination and resolve.

Images: Peoples Climate March 9-21-14 by Communist Party USA.


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