First Published: The Worker, for Hawaii, Vol. 1, No. 1, October 1975.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In the face of growing hardships and mounting attacks on workers in the factories, mines and fields, and in every sphere of society, growing numbers of workers are going into action and taking matters into their own hands to fight back against the owning class of capitalists that rules this country.
This can be seen in the recent wildcat strike of coal miners and in many other battles throughout society that have gone up against the capitalists, their government, politicians, courts, cops and their henchmen at the heads of the unions. Despite the attempts of these parasites to divide, derail and smash the workers’ movement, it continues to surge forward and through many battles to grow more powerful. It is in this struggle of the working class itself that its own political Party, the Revolutionary Communist Party of the USA, has been forged.
The formation of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) this year represents a great advance for the struggle of the working class. It means that, for the first time in almost 20 years, the working class in this country has as its own instrument an organized force standing completely for the interests of the working class against the capitalist exploiters. A force that actively fights together with the working class as a whole in the day to day battles against the capitalists and points the way forward to the final goal of overthrowing the rule of capital, establishing the rule of the working class and eliminating the evils of capitalist society.
In the 1950’s the Communist Party (CP), which for many years had led the struggle of the working class, completely betrayed the working class and gave up the goal of revolution. Ever since, it has worked to preserve capitalism and “get in” on the exploitation of the workers, while telling them to put their faith in the hands of trade union hacks, “liberal” politicians and other enemies and back-stabbers of the working class. But it did not drop the name “communist” or its claim of opposing capitalism because this serves it in its efforts to confuse and demoralize the working class and keep capitalism going.
This betrayal robbed the working class of its Party, its vanguard in the fight against capital, and did create confusion and demoralization in the ranks of the workers. But it did not and could not stop the struggle of the working class and others oppressed by the capitalists.
Throughout the ’50s and ’60s and right down to today millions of workers have continued to fight back, in many forms, against the attempts of the capitalists to squeeze more profit from the labor of the workers and to grind the great majority of society into the dirt to keep their profit-seeking system going. During this same period there have been powerful mass movements of minorities, youth and students, women and other sections of the American people against discrimination, police murder and brutality, the war in Indochina, and on other battlefronts.
Through the course of these many struggles, millions of people have come to realize that something is basically rotten with the whole society. Among these some people active in the struggles began to search out more deeply the connections between these various struggles in society, the cause of the abuses and outrages they were fighting against and the solution to them. They studied the history of similar movements in this country and around the world.
This led a number to take up the science of revolution first founded by Karl Marx over 100 years ago and further developed by other leaders of the working class around the world since that time. This science, the theory of communism, is based on summing up the struggle of the working class and other oppressed classes throughout history. It belongs to the working class and makes possible its emancipation.
It shows that capitalist society is based on the exploitation of the working class by the capitalist class and that all the evils of this society arise from that. But more than that, it shows that throughout history society has been propelled forward through various historical stages by the struggle of the oppressed classes, and that in this era it is the carrying through of the working class struggle, to overthrow and eliminate capitalism, that alone can move society forward. And further it explains how the working class in abolishing capitalism will put an end to the division of society into classes and bring about a completely new era in human history–communism–where mankind as a whole, through it cooperative efforts and conscious planning, can continue to gain mastery over nature and harness its forces to advance to heights undreamed of in the past.
By taking up this science, which the CP had thrown down in betraying the working class, it became possible to gain a clear direction in this struggle against capitalism, to recognize in the present struggle of the working class its revolutionary potential and to grasp that the final outcome of that struggle would lead to the elimination of capitalism and the emancipation of the working class and all mankind. On this basis the first forms of new communist organization were developed in the late ’60s and early ’70s with the aim of establishing, once again, the Party of the working class.
But these organizations lacked strong ties with the working class at the start. It was only in the course of strengthening and deepening ties with the working class as a whole in the struggle against capital and applying the science of the working class to advance that struggle that the basis for forming the Party of the working class could be created. Some forces retreated from this course and fell apart or became, like the CP, promoters of capitalism in the disguise of “communism.” But more and more forces united in taking the road forward, the path of merging communist organization and theory with the practical struggle of the working class. And it is exactly as a result of this process that now the Party of the working class, its Revolutionary Communist Party, has been formed.
The forming of this Party is the struggle of the working class against capitalism and its agents, open and disguised. It is a great victory for the working class in this struggle. But, of course, it is not the whole battle.
The working class faces the situation where the capitalist rulers of this country, whose system is once again sinking into deep crisis, are stepping up their drive to wring even more profit from the workers. Speed-up, under the fine-sounding name of “productivity,” and hand in hand with it, wage cuts, massive layoffs, and forced overtime–these are the main forms of attack on the working class today. And in the life and death battle against these attacks the movement of the working class is growing and gaining in strength and solidarity.
These are the main battles between the working class and the capitalist class today. But the struggle of the working class is not limited to these battles alone. Throughout society the capitalists are mounting their attacks, cutting back on funds for education, health, housing and other vital needs of the people, which are sacrificed more and more for the capitalists’ need for profit. And along with all this they practice and promote discrimination and try to divert the anger and militancy of the masses of people against each other–and away from the capitalists themselves.
And more, these “high-class” looters, who cannot keep their system going just by robbing the workers in this country, are locked in ever fiercer battle with others like them around the world in their efforts to exploit working people in other countries. The focus of this rivalry is the contention between the rulers of the U.S. and their counterparts in the Soviet Union, a new group of exploiters who have restored capitalism there and are now battling the capitalists of this country for world domination. This is pushing the world toward a new world war–a war which would bring tremendous suffering to hundreds of millions of people throughout the world–all to feed the never satisfied profit-hunger of the capitalists.
There is only one way that all the suffering caused by capitalism can be finally ended–by wiping out its source, capitalism. And there is only one force in society that can bring this about–the working class, leading and uniting against the capitalists all those who suffer under their rule.
This is why the aim of the working class, through all its daily battles against the capitalists, must not only be to win whatever concessions. can be wrung from them today, but to build the strength and unity of the working class and build for the day when it will be able to overthrow the capitalists altogether The working class in this, and every country has a long and proud history of militant struggle, which has won unions, unemployment compensation and many other gains for the working class, paid for many times over in blood. And workers who down to today have fought and sacrificed so much to bend the capitalists can and will finally break them.
The capitalists, of course, try to present their rule and their system of exploitation as eternal. They point to the betrayal of the working class by Khrushchev, Brezhnev and their like in the Soviet Union as “proof” that there is no alternative to capitalism. But despite the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union, the working class, led by its Party, in China and other countries has not only overthrown the capitalists, but defeated attempts at restoring capitalism. Today more than one quarter of humanity is continuing to advance, under the rule of the working class, toward the goal of communism. This will just as surely happen in every other country, including the Soviet Union itself, because revolution and rule by the working class represents the interests of the great majority of society and is the only way society can move forward at this stage in history.
The capitalists in this country also point to the betrayal by the CP here to “prove” that there is no salvation for the working class except the capitalists and their political system. They claim that their parties–and in particular the Democratic Party–represent “all the people,” both capitalist and worker alike, and that their sham of elections gives the workers “freedom.”
No Party can represent both capitalist and worker, for the capitalist lives by exploiting the worker and the worker lives for the day he can end this exploitation. And election can bring freedom for the working class, because freedom for the working class means the ending of capitalist wage-slavery–something the capitalists will never allow to be voted out.
As the Programme of the Revolutionary Communist Party states, “The capitalists usually have more than one party, because of their need to compete with each other and to deceive the masses of people... The working class has no interest in competition in its ranks–it is the rule of capital that forces workers to compete for jobs and for survival. The working class needs a single Party to unite it as a mighty fist, to build its understanding of the historical mission of ending all class society. The working class needs a Party to draw up a battle plan and lead the overall battle against the enemy.”
And there is now a Party in this country that is determined to fight together with the working class to the end–of capitalism–and the complete emancipation of the working class. This is the Revolutionary Communist Party, which openly declares that it represents only the working class and seeks, as the highest interest of the working class, the overthrow and elimination of capitalism by the working class itself.