Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Jobs, Peace, Equality – The Communist Labor Party

CLP Different from CPUSA

Many people have asked, “What is the difference between the Communist Labor Party and the Communist Party U.S.A.?” In this article we hope to give our readers an explanation that will provide them with the necessary understanding so they can clearly see the differences and choose between the two parties.

In a recent pamphlet, Gus Hall, leader of the CPUSA, wrote that US imperialism is “collapsing,” that it has lost the initiative and is “deteriorating by itself.” He paints a picture in which the working class of the US must only wage a mild struggle for reforms against “collapsing” imperialism. The CPUSA claims that by struggling against the big monopolies, the rough edges of imperialism can be smoothed off, paving the way for a peaceful transition to socialism.

A look at history proves this outlook wrong. The CLP refuses to make the same mistakes that have been made historically by the CPUSA and other parties that have failed to base themselves on the correct Marxist-Leninist understanding of imperialism.

The CLP understands that imperialism can never “collapse of its own weight.” Historically, imperialism is on its way out; but if we look realistically at the world around us, we can see that imperialism, and particularly US imperialism remains very strong. It has been crippled by permanent crisis since the emergence of the Soviet Union and the bright light of socialism following the 1917 October revolution. But like a wounded animal, imperialism has become fiercer, more violent and rages more furiously against the peoples of the world.

Only recently the peoples of Angola successfully freed themselves from the bloody grip of imperialism. Did imperialism “collapse” in Angola; was it so weakened that the Angolans merely waited for it to fall and then shoo-ed it away? No! That was not the case. The Angolan people freed themselves from imperialism by waging the most heroic and fierce struggle against imperialism. Supported by progressive peoples and many socialist countries, they were able to rally a courageous and determined struggle, and were finally successful in driving the imperialists from their homeland.

How can the workers here in the US struggle against their single most dangerous enemy, US imperialism? According to the CPUSA, the workers of the US must help to build an anti-monopoly coalition, must curb the power of the monopolies, and then use the ballot box to legislate socialism into being.

The CLP does not agree. We understand from history that imperialism cannot be turned back into some nice generous capitalism of yesteryear. Capitalism was never good for the proletariat. As it develops into imperialism, capitalism enslaves whole nations and peoples. The oppression and discrimination against the Negro people is a result of the imperialist enslavement of the Negro Nation in the South. The wretched life of poverty of the Puerto Rican, Mexican and Filippino national minorities results from the US imperialist colonial oppression of their homelands. The high life enjoyed by many workers in the US is bought and paid for with the sweat of the oppressed peoples of the world. And now as more and more of the world through valiant struggle, as in Vietnam, Cambodia, Angola, and Cuba, frees itself from the grasp of imperialism, the imperialists are forced to turn the screws on the millions of workers still caught in their vise of profits.

In short, while losing ground around the world, US imperialism becomes more fierce and violent where it still holds power. If we were to follow the “advice” of the CPUSA and limit our struggle to a few reforms and an anti-monopoly coalition, we would only play into the hands of the imperialists. The CLP cannot do this. We understand that as imperialism grows more threatened, it throws aside its “mask of Democracy” and hurls against the workers its ultimate weapon–fascism. In order to understand what fascism is we need only look at Hitler’s Germany–slave labor, mass murder, unbridled terror. That is fascism. While the CPUSA advises us that imperialism is “collapsing,” the CLP realizes that it must warn the workers and begin to build the united front against fascism. The imperialists are rapidly moving toward fascism as the only solution to their deepening crisis.

The CLP understands that the building of the united front of the working class against fascism is accomplished through united action of the working class. In the struggles on shop floors against speedup, “productivity,” and attacks on the standard of living of the workers; in the struggles for busing and against the oppression of the Negro Nation, in the fight for jobs with peace, unity is built among the workers, unity of action, and preparedness to defend their class against fascism.

The CPUSA also fights for busing, for jobs and peace. But they see these struggles as an end in themselves. Busing will end discrimination. A few more jobs will end unemployment. The CLP refuses to make this mistake. We fight for busing, but we understand that full equality of the Negro people can only be based on freedom for the Negro Nation. We fight for jobs with peace, but we understand that full employment and peace can only be achieved with the final defeat of imperialism and the establishment of socialism. Whether on the shop floor, or in the halls of Congress, the CLP sees the burning necessity of educating the workers and progressives to the necessity of socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat. It is this strategic outlook that determines our tactics and shapes our struggles.

On the other hand, we fight hard for busing, for jobs, for better conditions; we fight to defend the standard of living of the workers, against the fascist gangs, the Klan and the Nazis. We fight every day for a better life.

The difference between us and the CPUSA is that we also fight to organize and educate the workers. We fight to prepare the working class to defend itself against fascism and pass over onto the offensive. We fight for socialism. We fight for busing, for jobs, for free and universal medical care and a 35-hour week. We fight for all these things and more. But above all, we bring to these struggles the ideas of socialism.

Unlike the CPUSA, we do not limit our struggle to a struggle for reforms while waiting for the “imminent collapse of imperialism.” We struggle for reforms as a means of defeating the advance of fascism and building a united working class, the only force capable of smashing imperialism for good and erecting on its grave a socialist society that can truly bring the workers a life of well-being based on the fullest realization of jobs, peace and equality for all.