Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Party For Workers Power

Special Bulletin

Goals for the party

On reading the last PWP bulletin, I became very excited with the new thrust for the party being developed. The most impressive lines were in Frank Kashner’s article when he said,

To my knowledge, there is no other organization in the world that has totally rejected communism as the path of the liberation of the working class, that looks to the working class itself to rule.

It seemed to me then and still now that this is the central reason for the existence of our party and the core around which we must build. At this point, the formulation of our reason for being is very general and ill-defined to ourselves as party members, and therefore necessarily to all the people that we work with. If the party accepts this as our goal (and I think we do), then it is clear that we are placing a challenge before the party of being the midwife of a birth of a new world. And the attainment of this end is our central responsibility.

Contexts within which we operate.

I would say the atmosphere in the country is now one of deep questioning. The tremendous weakening of the economy (the appearance of both inflation and unemployment, which was “impossible” according to U.S. economists) has seriously shaken people’s confidence in the ability of experts to rule over us. This can take the form of a working person asking, “What the Christ is going on here?” or a student asking, “What the hell am I going to do when I get out of here?” We see the spectacle of high level engineers quitting nuclear plants saying they’re very dangerous, thus threatening our very lives. Many, many people place the blame for these problems at the doorstep of the corporations and the rich. But in a broad sense, people do not see the possibility of any alternative to this system. Most of the people that I know don’t like capitalism or communism and their only idea is to try and interweave their respective strong points and come out with a composite Sweden, Cuba, China, Israel, U.S. But the confusion is only a sign of deeper searching for a way to build a better world.

p.s. I don’t mean to paint an overly positive picture for the ruling class is counter-attacking on a broad front, especially racism, thru welfare, busing, to blame blacks for problems, but I think ... a number of students have commented to me at B.U. [Boston University – EROL] on the great change in people’s seriousness about political and economic events.

PWP’s method of operating:

Over the past couple of years, PWP has been acting in response to its earlier history in PL. We have mainly been in the business of rejecting that past political practice of insanity. Thus we have developed along the lines of becoming deeply involved in the maze of issues that surround certain aspects of life in Boston–Welfare, the school system, GE, and universities and hospitals. In these areas, we have concentrated on trying to bring together people in opposition to the particular ways 1n which capitalism 1s destroying the futures of people in these areas. From my limited knowledge, we ifave been somewhat successful in this limited goal. We have met, worked with, and gained the respect of many, many people in this process.

But unless I miss my guess the party has not become the center of many people’s lives. The reason I would say is that the party has limited its scope and neither spoken to the many big questions that people have, nor begun to set up some apparatus within which these questions can be delved into.

The work at B.U. Is a perfect example of this problem. In the process of developing the clinic workers’ struggle we have met hundreds of people and earned the respect of a great many of them. But the growth of the party has been limited to a select group: those who had some experience with PL or with the PWP of early days. These people already knew a great number of our ideas on many questions (China, Vietnam, and the necessity of building a new world) and when they saw our tremendous improvement in methods of organizing over 1970-74, they were much more closely attracted. But what of the many others? They are still at arm’s length from the party’s inner workings and ideas.

What is missing is a clear, conscious understanding among party members of what we are, where we are heading, and under what guidelines we propose to get to this goal. With this understanding gained from some prolonged and thoroughgoing discussion within the whole party and as many friends as we can Involve, we will be able to reach out much more broadly to the people at large.

possible proposals for action:

1. a study group be established to define the questions of
(a) what PWP is;
(b) what it hopes to accomplish; and
(c) how it fits in as an alternative to both capitalism and communism.

2. this group be given a great deal of attention by the steering committee and especially in regards to
(a) absolutely regular reports on questions being delved into, disagreement within the groups, possible new areas of investigation
(b) the consistent involvement in both discussion of the reports and reaction to them by the whole party and as many of our friends as can be closely involved in any way possible
(c) as soon as possible, i.e. as soon as we get some ideas formulated we call meetings of Interested friends to discuss our Ideas and allow them to put in their 2 cents and join the fray of figuring out what we hope to accomplish in the world.

Thru this process we can attract and help develop the people who can build a new society in a thousand different ways.