Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

PLP Convention: Build a Mass Communist Party!

First Published: Challenge, August 23, 1973.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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NEW YORK CITY, JULY 15–“I had thought about the Party recently, but now after being at this Convention yesterday and today, I decided I must join the Party.”

THIS DECISION BY A BLACK GE WORKER, AN observer of the third convention of the Progressive Labor Party, symbolized the feeling about the Party and the working class held by everyone who attended the convention.

A highlight of the convention was the Internationalism workshop. Comrades and friends from 20 countries participated in this workshop including delegations from the Canadian Party of Labor and the Puerto Rican Socialist League. One of the African guests who participated in it summarized the spirit of revolutionary unity when he stated: “A few years ago, we would not have been able to express our differences without being at each other’s throats.”

AS WAS POINTED OUT IN THE OPENING remarks to the convention the old centers of the communist movement, the Soviet and Chinese “communist” parties, have betrayed socialism and are now in the imperialist camp. At the same time, U.S. imperialism is weakened and getting weaker. Only the ability to make billion dollar deals with these sellouts keeps the imperialists afloat. The comrades and friends who attended this convention departed with a stronger commitment to defeat reactionary ideas, build a mass communist party in the U.S. and a new international communist movement.

This idea of a mass communist party was the main thrust of the convention. We got a glimpse what that means in the tremendous militancy at gains made by the labor movement in the 1930 when communists were leading these struggles. In addition to the international workshop, other workshops of our convention concretized tasks to carry out on the road to socialist revolution. The main points that each workshop accomplished through critical and self-critical discussion were:

Trade Union–Advance the fight for 30 for 40 Build rank and file caucuses in unions and WAM, Fight racism and build a base for communist ideas.
Anti-Racism–Expose the dangers of elections into which the mass and anti-racist movement has been channeled, Make the trade unions into the main bastion of anti-racism, Fight against the nationalist outlook and mis-leadership.
Student–Continue to build a broad-based movement against racism and re-invigorate the building of the Party in the course of this activity.
Education–Developed the concept that study must first and foremost help workers and their allies learn to make revolution.
CHALLENGE-DESAFIO–Called for the improvement of CHALLENGE by sharpening it as the tool of the Party and its development as a mass weekly communist newspaper. C-D is now a bi-weekly.

A PLP leader summarized everyone’s feelings when he said, “This has been one of the most, if not the most inspiring things that I have ever witnessed.” The convention showed serious, stable working people and serious, stable students as revolutionaries dedicated and united to destroy the capitalist system. This convention, completely integrated in numbers and participation, provided an inspiring glimpse into the future of mankind after the hundreds have swelled into millions and we have fought for and won socialism!