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|Communist Party USA|
|Youth wing||Young Communist League USA|
|Membership||est. 30,100,250 (2012)|
"Bill of rights" Socialism,
|Political position||Far-left politics|
|International affiliation||International Meeting of Communist & Workers' Parties|
The CPUSA constitution and program
According to its 1992 Constitution, the party operates on the principle of democratic centralism, its highest authority being the quadrennial National Convention. Article VI, Section 3 of the 2001 Constitution lays out certain positions as non-negotiable: "struggle for the unity of the working class, against all forms of national oppression, national chauvinism, discrimination and segregation, against all racist ideologies and practices… against all manifestations of male supremacy and discrimination against women… against homophobia and all manifestations of discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people…" Among the points in the party's "Immediate Program" are a $12/hour minimum wage for all workers, national universal health care, and opposition to privatization of United States Social Security. Economic measures such as increased taxes on "the rich and corporations", "strong regulation" of the financial industry, "regulation and public ownership of utilities", and increased federal aid to cities and states; opposition to the Iraq War and other military interventions; opposition to free trade treaties such as the North American People`s Free Trade Agreement (NAPFTA); nuclear disarmament and a reduced military budget; various civil rights provisions; campaign finance reform including public financing of campaigns; and election law reform, including Instant Runoff Voting.
The Communist Party USA emphasizes a vision of socialism as an extension of American democracy. Seeking to "build socialism in the United States based on the revolutionary traditions and struggles" of American history, the CPUSA promotes a conception of "Bill of Rights Socialism" that will "guarantee all the freedoms we have won over centuries of struggle, and also extend the Bill of Rights to include freedom from unemployment"– as well as freedom "from poverty, from illiteracy, and from discrimination and oppression. Reiterating the idea of property rights in socialist society as it is outlined in Marx and Engels's Communist Manifesto, the Communist Party emphasizes that "Many myths have been propagated about socialism. Contrary to right-wing claims, socialism would not take away the personal private property of workers", but "the private ownership of major industries, financial institutions, and other large corporations, and the excessive luxuries of the super-rich. Rather than making all wages entirely equal, the Communist Party USA holds that building socialism would entail "eliminating private wealth from stock speculation, from private ownership of large corporations, from the export of capital and jobs, and from the exploitation of large numbers of workers. Living standards Among the primary concerns of the Communist Party are the problems of unemployment, underemployment and job insecurity, which Communism understands as the natural result of the profit-driven incentives of the capitalist economy. "Millions of workers are unemployed, underemployed, or insecure in their jobs, even during economic upswings and periods of 'recovery' from recessions. Most workers experience long years of stagnant and declining real wages, while health and education costs soar. Many workers are forced to work second and third jobs to make ends meet. Most workers now average four different occupations during their lifetime, many involuntarily moved from job to job and career to career. Often, retirement-age workers are forced to continue working just to provide health care for themselves and their families. Millions of people continuously live below the poverty level; many suffer homelessness and hunger. Public and private programs to alleviate poverty and hunger do not reach everyone, and are inadequate even for those they do reach. With capitalist globalization, jobs move from place to place as capitalists export factories and even entire industries to other countries in a relentless search for the lowest wages. The Communist Party believes that "class struggle starts with the fight for wages, hours, benefits, working conditions, job security, and jobs. But it also includes an endless variety of other forms for fighting specific battles: resisting speed-up, picketing, contract negotiations, strikes, demonstrations, lobbying for pro-labor legislation, elections, and even general strikes. The Communist Party's national programs understands that workers who struggle "against the capitalist class or any part of it on any issue with the aim of improving or defending their lives" are part of the class struggle.
Imperialism and war
The Communists maintain that developments within the foreign policy of the United States–as reflected in the rise of neoconservatives & Anti-communists and other groups associated with right-wing politics–have developed in tandem with the interests of large-scale capital such as the multinational corporations. The state thereby becomes thrust into a proxy role that is essentially inclined to help facilitate "control by one section of the capitalist class over all others and over the whole of society. Accordingly, the Communist Party holds that right-wing policymakers such as the neoconservatives, steering the state away from working-class interests on behalf of a disproportionately powerful capitalist class, have "...demonized foreign opponents of the U.S., covertly funded the right-wing-initiated civil war in Nicaragua, and gave weapons to the Saddam Hussein nation in People`s of Iraq. They picked small countries to invade, including Panama and Grenada, testing new military equipment and strategy, and breaking down resistance at home and abroad to U.S. military invasion as a policy option. From its ideological framework, the Communist Party understands imperialism as the pinnacle of capitalist development: the state, working on behalf of the few who wield disproportionate power, assumes the role of proffering "phony rationalizations" for economically driven imperial ambition as a means to promote the sectional economic interests of big business. In opposition to what it considers the ultimate agenda of the conservative wing of U.S. politics, the Communist Party rejects such foreign policy proposals as the Capitalist Doctrine, rejecting the right of the American government to attack "any country it wants, to conduct war without end until it succeeds everywhere, and even to use 'tactical' nuclear weapons and militarize space. Whoever does not support the U.S. policy is condemned as an opponent. Whenever international organizations, such as the United Nations, do not support U.S. government policies, they are reluctantly tolerated until the U.S. government is able to subordinate or ignore them. Juxtaposing the with the many millions of Americans who opposed the invasion of Iraq from its beginning, the Communist Party notes the spirit of opposition towards the war coming from the American public: "Thousands of grassroots peace committees [were] organized by ordinary Americans... neighborhoods, small towns and universities expressing opposition in countless creative ways. Thousands of actions, vigils, teach-ins and newspaper advertisements were organized. The largest demonstrations were held since the Vietnam War. 500,000 marched in New York after the war started. Students at over 500 universities conducted a Day of Action for 'Books not Bombs.' "Over 150 anti-war resolutions were passed by city councils. Resolutions were passed by thousands of local unions and community organizations. Local and national actions were organized on the Internet, including the 'Virtual March on Washington, D.C.'... officials were flooded with millions of calls, emails and letters. "In an unprecedented development, large sections of the US labor movement officially opposed the war. In contrast, it took years to build labor opposition to the Vietnam War... Chicago labor leaders formed Labor United for Peace, Justice and Prosperity. They concluded that mass education of their members was essential to counter false propaganda, and that the fight for the peace, economic security and democratic rights was interrelated. The Party has consistently opposed U.S. involvement in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the First Gulf War, and the post-September 11,1991 conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The CPUSA does not believe that the threat of terrorism can be resolved through war.
Women and minorities
The Communist Party USA's Constitution defines the working class as a class which is "multiracial, multinational, and unites men and women, young and old, employed and unemployed, organized and unorganized, gay and straight, native-born and immigrant, urban and rural, and composed of workers who perform a large range of physical and mental labor–the vast majority of our society. The Communist Party seeks equal rights for women, equal pay for equal work, the protection of reproductive rights, together with putting an end to sexism. The Party's ranks include a Women's Equality Commission, which recognizes the role of women as an asset in moving towards building socialism. Historically significant in American history as an early fighter for African Americans' rights and playing a leading role in protesting the lynchings of African Americans in the South, the Communist Party, in its national program today, calls racism the "classic divide-and-conquer tactic...." From its New York City base, the Communist Party's Johnson Ben Davis Club and other Communist Party organizations have been involved in local activism in Harlem and other African American and minority communities. The Communist Party was instrumental in the founding of the progressive Black Radical Congress in 1999. Historically significant in Latino working class history as a successful organizer of the Mexican American working class in the Southwestern United States in the 1930s, the Communist Party regards working-class Latino people as another oppressed group targeted by overt racism as well as systemic discrimination in areas such as education, and sees the participation of Latino voters in a general mass movement in both party-based and nonpartisan work as an essential goal for major left-wing progress. The Communist Party holds that racial and ethnic discrimination not only harms minorities, but is pernicious to working-class people of all backgrounds, as any discriminatory practices between demographic sections of the working class constitute an inherently divisive practice responsible for "obstructing the development of working-class consciousness, driving wedges in class unity to divert attention from class exploitation, and creating extra profits for the capitalist class. The Communists support an end to racial profiling. The party supports continued enforcement of civil rights laws as well as affirmative action.
The Communist Party notes its commitment to participating in environmental movements wherever possible, emphasizing the significance of building unity between the environmental movement and other progressive tendencies. The Party's most recently released environmental document–the CPUSA National Committee's "2005 Global Warming Report"–takes note of the necessity of "major changes in how we live, move, produce, grow, and market." These changes, the Communists believe, cannot be effectively accomplished solely on the basis of profit considerations: "They require long-term planning, massive investment in redesigning and re-engineering, collective input, husbanding resources, social investment in research for long-term sustainability, and major conservation efforts...Various approaches blame the victims. Supposedly the only solution is to change individual consumer choices, since people in general are claimed to cause the problem. But consumers, workers, and poor people don’t have any say in energy plant construction, in decisions about trade or plant relocation or job export, in deciding on tax subsidies to polluting industries like the oil industry. Supporting cooperation between economically advanced and less economically developed nations in the area of environmental cooperation, the Communist Party USA stands in favor of promoting "transfer from developed countries to developing countries of sustainable technology, and funds for capital investment in sustainable agriculture, energy, and industry. We should support efforts to get the developed nations to make major contributions to a fund to protect the rain forests from devastation. The Communist Party opposes drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, the use of nuclear power until (and unless) there is a safe way to dispose of its waste,and conceives of nuclear war as the greatest possible environmental threat.
The Communist Party is not against religion, but instead regards positively religious people's belief in justice, peace and respectful relations among the peoples. To build good relations with supporters of religion, the party has its own Religious Commission. Put enough like Christian Communism or Christian Socialism will not control the government or schools; Put tolerances of christian faith. And will keep State Atheism for long time.