Convention Discussion: Organizing the Party

BY: Shelby Richardson, Jr.| April 8, 2014

We seek and have been working towards building a larger more influential Communist Party. It is absolutely necessary to heighten class consciousness among working people and other strata to block the efforts of the ruling class as promoted by the ultra right today. The ruling class’s goal is to be masters of the world ensuring maximum profits for itself. The outgrowth of obscene profits for capitalist are persistent wars, huge military spending, lack of good paying jobs, high unemployment, poor and closing schools, poor housing, opposition to adequate health care and a dwindling safety net for the most vulnerable. In short, a war against the working class and poor people. The stronger the Party, the greater the ability to combat racism, anti-immigrant, anti-women and anti-union sentiments from ultra-right think tanks, corporate coffers and politicians. A Party with voice will play an important role in crafting the fight for jobs in a way that unifies working and oppressed people. Most importantly, the voice will come from workers at the workplace and from their grassroots organizations. As our Party comes to increasingly serve as a unifier, the idea of socialism will be more seriously considered. I believe as communist we have to be optimistic of the future and convey that optimism to younger communist and workers. By our conscientious efforts around making life better for people, more will come to believe that a better world is possible and that they have a stake in building that world. Such a possibility does not sit well with the ruling class, with its goal of greater control and maximum profits. They want to convince people that the Communist Party USA does not exist for all practical purposes and if some think it does, it does not matter because they are not a factor in bringing about change or advancing socialism. 

This powerful ruling class floods working and poor people with the notion that social and economic problems cannot be significantly overcome and that they are insurmountable. The ruling class wants workers to spend their time protecting their individual piece of the pie whatever it is. The ruling class says forget any idea of class unity. 

The ruling class is on point in part, because under capitalism there will always be horrendous problems for working people. Some advances can be made in some areas, for example lower overall unemployment but coupled with twice the number of African Americans unemployed. With this, they argue the Party is ineffective and unrealistic in its effort to bring about substantial change. The role of the Party is to help the working class come to understand the capitalist system. Workers for the most part are not aware of our outlook and strategy for change, but they are open to giving us a hearing because they seek truth that will aid in their quest for change. An essential Party objective should be to convince workers of its strength through unity. For us, consolidation of workers begins with our being present as an organization dedicated to fighting in the interest of workers. Minimally this means regular club meetings (or other agreed upon formations), available to workers as they desire to participate. A place to discuss problems, learn and think about tactics for fight back. A place where you can relax and enjoy companionship. With strengthened Party organizations more workers will support the Party financially, it is a measure of consolidation. 

In the Chicago, citywide club, we have experienced significant progress. With every important election members and friends gather, study analysis of the Party, labor and community organizations. It is expected that we will support labor and progressive backed candidates, those volunteering to do so have increased. 

The Chicago Teachers Union has been in a intense battle with Mayor Rahm Emanuel who is determined to close public schools and increase charter schools. Our club has invited teacher union leaders to discuss the union’s positions. Some of our members are important leaders in the union. The club actively supports the Teachers Union. In the immediate community of our club, we adopted a school threatened to be closed. One of our members was a major player in organizing to keep the school open. The school was saved. 

Presently the club is involved in the campaign to win progressive taxation for the people of Illinois. Some of our members and friends along with a thousand others demonstrated at the state capitol in Springfield calling for the rich to pay their fair share of taxes. 

We joined in the fight for peace by opposing the expansion of NATO with its aggressive posturing. Our disdain was demonstrated in the streets and was greeted with approval by honking cars and folk in the neighborhood. These are some of the activities the club has been involved. We find our participation welcomed by progressive forces. 

We must continue growing the Party now, let us utilize the opportunities we have to reach workers through our press: the Peoples World and Political Affairs. Let’s commit ourselves to remain in contact with all persons sincerely seeking to make life better for all by maintaining current addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses. We must periodically contact those who no longer come around to let them know we care and want to learn from them. We have made progress in growing the Party but are far from being satisfied. We must continue to build on the progress made with determination, knowledge gained in struggle and confidence in our class and ourselves.

The views and opinions expressed in the Convention Discussion are those of the author alone. The Communist Party is publishing these views as a service to encourage discussion and debate. Those views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Communist Party, its leading bodies or staff members. The CPUSA Constitution, Program, and all its existing policies remain in effect during the Convention discussion period and during the Convention.

For details about the convention, visit the Convention homepage
To contribute to the discussion, visit the Convention Discussion webpage

30th National Convention, Communist Party USA
Chicago | June 13-15, 2014


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