CoC, Factions, CPUSA, and other Orgs
kcabral at freenet.columbus.oh.us
Wed Feb 21 17:13:50 MST 1996
On Wed, 21 Feb 1996, Scott Marshall wrote:
> I've already said what I think about using organized legal factionalism
> to promote communist unity - about like using a sledge hammer to fix fine
> china....but that aside. What is really wrong with this picture Marcus is
> that the CoC folks left way to the right of the party leadership. Against
> "too" muvh emphasis on the class struggle, wanting to do away with
> Leninism, wanting to change the name of the party, praising Gorbachov and
> the liquidators in the FSU etc, doing away with the call for socialism as
> 'unrealistic at this time.'
Several things should be discussed if we're going to try and learn
to build amongst the socialist left. Let me list the *MAJOR* differences I
have with CPUSA policy, which will keep me away from the party for as long
as I can see:
1) Lacks a commitment to democratic socialism, by keeping plenty of apologists
for Stalin, DPRK, and Albania in its ranks. Supports oppressive regimes
like the DPRK, and China. Continues to try and pound on a dead analysis of
the Soviet Union as being "socialist".
2) Ran by Gus Hall, an old-time Stalinist who has run the party since
1959. That means Hall has been at the healm for 37 years, that is
completely dead wood. And anyone who can stay a leader, of a small party
like the CPUSA, for that long deserves status as a cult leader. He has yet
to build the mass-party he has been talking up for how many years now.
3) The CPUSA continues to isolate itself from the democratic socialist
left. Groups like Labor Militant, COC, DSA, Solidarity, etc. have little
association with the CPUSA. This is for the reason that many of their
members are ex-CPUSA people, and the fact that the CPUSA seems to not want
to work with these groups.
4) The CPUSA continues to get a bit enthusiastic about the Democrats, and
*) I am not qualified to talk about organizational or practical issues,
perhaps some ex-members could talk more about their experiences. But I
have never been a member of the party myself.
Some positive things I see in the CPUSA:
1) I certainly has some good dedicated people, with strong opinions. Your
stands on labor, and the environment are both solid. The CPUSA publishes a
very good labor journal in the PWW, and Political Affairs is strong too.
Overall, I'm turned off from the CPUSA because of its history, its
analysis of the Soviet Union, and the impression I get of the organization
as a cult. Perhaps Scott Marshall could post some more information about
the CPUSA to the list, like the party constitution, its strategies for
building, and its organizational hierarchy.
Also Scott could answer some questions about why Gus Hall still leads the
party, why the party disallows tendencies, why half its membership left in
1991, and why the analysis of the Soviet Union and DPRK as socialist.
On the subject of the COC and the CPUSA, several questions arise:
1) What importance does Leninism, Bolshevikism, or other historical terms
and practices have for 21st Century America. Does the CPUSA really
practice "Leninism", is the CPUSA's democratic centrism really democratic?
2) Why keep your name as the Communist Party? Do you really think you will
ressurect communism from the dustbin of history, it will always be
associated with the former Soviet Union in the minds of many for the near
future. Ressurecting communism can be a side-project once a Socialist
Party takes power in America, but why bother with Communism, or
3) What was great about the FSU. Is Bresnev the kind of character the
CPUSA wants in America? What was wrong with glasnost? Does the CPUSA
really want a "Bill of Rights Socialism" or does it apologize for the USSR
in its free-time?
4) Explain to me about too much class struggle, the COC continues to
emphasize class struggle. Why do you say it doesn't, what specific
examples do you cite of COC membership complaining about "over-emphasise
of class struggle."
5) What evidence of your proposition about "doing away with the call for
socialism". Why does a socialist organization, like COC, exist if it
doesn't "call for socialism".
Please give us more information about the CPUSA's growth and outreach
Maybe from this we could have some sort of discussion about
socialism in America. Maybe representatives or members of various parties
could post a similar text with their feelings. I would also like to
discuss the LPA, and its political constintuency and potential.
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