Proposal: a revised, shorter version of Draft Program Section III

BY:West Philadelphia Club| May 22, 2019

The text below was sent to the Program Committee ( as a proposed revision to the Section III of the CPUSA Draft Program.  (Click here to download draft program in PDF form.) At the author’s request, it is published here in the interest of wider discussion.

III. The Working Class, Class Struggle, and Forces for Progress

The working class consists of everyone who works for wages, or who would work if they could, or who is dependent on someone who works for wages.  It doesn’t matter what kind of work or how much the wages or salary.  Membership in the working class is an objective fact, not a matter of self-identification – as more and more of the so-called middle class discover with each new accommodation to the one percent.  Those who can’t work for wages include, for example, the disabled, the home-bound, those engaged in full-time care of family or other dependents, retired workers, and those who would work if jobs at livable wages were available.

The working class of the U.S. is vibrant and diverse. It constitutes the great bulk of the country’s population and is continually growing. Workers and their families are a substantial majority. The diversity of the working class includes skilled and unskilled labor, white-collar and blue-collar workers, people of all ages, organized and unorganized, employed, underemployed and unemployed. Our working class is almost evenly composed of men and w omen. Most nationally and racially oppressed communities are more heavily working-class and together constitute a major segment of the class, a percentage that is rapidly increasing. With its increasing diversity, ours is a single working class, a class whose unity is growing and deepening as its consciousness of itself develops and strengthens.

Capitalists extract their profits by paying workers less than the value of what they produce, pocketing the difference for themselves.

The working class struggle is the struggle to increase workers’ share of the benefits of production, whether in higher wages or improved benefits or in governmental and other actions that enhance the quality of their lives.  Every issue that affects workers is a working class issue, not just conditions on the job, but also schools, garbage collection, voting rights, gentrification, taxation by every level of government, neighborhood safety, etc., etc., etc.  The working class struggle encompasses every means of addressing working class issues, including, for example, picketing, striking, petitioning, protesting, joining unions and other organizations for joint action, and voting.  Unity of all affected by those issues – whether of the working class or any other group menaced by Capitalism – is imperative for success.

The main role of the Communist Party is to maintain a vision of a socialist future and to build unity in the day-to-day struggles to resist oppression and to advance toward that future.

Capitalists seek to maintain their privileges by dividing workers and by separating workers from their allies.  They achieve this by emphasizing differences, whether race or gender or national ancestry, religion, age, sexual identity, occupation, educational qualifications, or any perceived difference that gives them traction in their effort to divide their opponents.  They are equal-discrimination employers.  And when Capitalists successfully pit workers who “have” (for example, higher wages or better conditions) against those who “need,” they gain the added advantage of doubly or triply exploiting those less advantaged while continuing to exploit all.

Capitalist globalization makes their divide-and-conquer strategy international, demanding labor internationalism in response.

At all stages, the working class is the most important and consistent class in the struggle against Capital, and the only class whose interests are entirely on the side of progress and socialism.

Of all mass organizations, organized labor best represents the interests of all workers.  Maximum effort must be given to expanding, empowering, and emboldening organized labor.

In all of its 100-year history, the Communist Party USA has proven to be the most prescient, the most determined, the most reliable, and the most aggressive force in the class struggle in America.  From its insistence on “Black and white, unite and fight,” to its push for what became Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, to the struggle against Fascism and Nazism internationally and for civil rights for all here at home, to single-payer healthcare (Medicare for All), the CPUSA has been at the forefront of all forces working to advance working class interests.  We work continually to build unity among workers and with all others seeking social advances in social, cultural, religious, environmental, professional, and other organizations, with those active especially in the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement, as well as with farmers, small business owners, independent entrepreneurs, and anyone else resisting the predations of Capital.  We work closely with other progressive political parties and with members of the Democratic Party to achieve maximum unity.

Through unity in action workers learn to overcome and eventually disregard their differences, and realize that from diversity comes strength.  We are all unique, a fact that lies at the very core of what it means to be human, to be a person.  The CPUSA is the party that embodies the slogan, “People vs. Profit.”



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