Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Revolutionary Communist Party

New Programme and New Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

(Drafts for Discussion)


Unemployment is an open sore of capitalism. It is one that can and will be quickly healed by the proletariat once capitalism is overthrown. The proletariat will, it is true, inherit a war-devastated economy with large sections of industry, including major industrial centers in the cities, having been destroyed. This in itself will be the source of a great number of unemployed, coming on top of the large numbers already without work during the “peaceful” times of this mad, crisis-ridden capitalist system. This will be an urgent problem for the people and the new proletarian state.

Immediate, radical measures will be taken as necessary so that the threat of starvation is removed. This may include quick redistribution of supplies and stern measures against hoarders and speculators–so that all necessary resources are put to solving these urgent problems of basic food and shelter. At the same time the work of reconstructing the economy will begin, and in this process the millions of unemployed will be put to work. Already, by this time, the great bulk of the unemployment problem will be solved–a feat impossible under capitalism. The work will be there–crying out to be done–and the people with the ability and desire to work will be there; this is not new. But what will be new, what will provide the key to the solution, is that the control of the economy will be in the hands of the proletarian state. So the unemployed will be put to work. This major advance–unthinkable under capitalism with production dictated by the law of profit–will be accomplished very quickly under the rule of the proletariat.

Once this process of reconstruction has been basically completed, and the more “normal” functioning of the economy according to the socialist principles described above has been undertaken, the proletariat’s task around unemployment will still be unfinished. There are today whole sections of the population who do not work, whom the capitalists do not even figure as “unemployed.” This includes big sections of the youth, the oppressed nationalities and older workers. After the proletariat seizes power, all this will change. These people will be involved, not only in the work that has to be done, but also in the decisions about what is to be done, both overall in society and in terms of specific production projects. Their wages, paid by the state, while obviously not on just the same level as that of a worker with many skills, will not be any of the minimum wage peanuts that are paid these workers today, if they are “lucky” enough to find some work. The degrading necessity to squeeze out an income by having to seek “domestic work,” cleaning somebody else’s house, will be eliminated, and these workers will be freed to do work that contributes to building socialism.

Many women, too, are “not counted” when it comes to working under capitalism. The question of women being brought fully into the work force poses special problems and will take a longer time to thoroughly solve. Under capitalism, many women still do not work outside the home, due to the male supremacist ”division of labor” which is part of exploiting class society. This state of affairs is due also to the fact that, to the capitalists, women are to a great degree still a “reserve army” of labor–available to be shuffled in and out of the workforce as expansion (including war production) and contraction take place. This situation will be ended by the proletariat. Right away concrete measures will be taken to make it more possible for women to work–including both putting an end to discrimination and also collectivizing many household chores. But there will be a protracted process of struggle and persuasion with men and women alike about the need for women to play a full role in all aspects of society. Many women, influenced by the force of traditional ideas and the weight of their oppression, will not agree about taking this kind of role in the workforce and in society generally, and the proletarian state cannot just force them to do this, but must lead in a protracted process of persuasion of these women, while at the same time struggling with the greater obstacle–the supremacist notions of men. While this will be a protracted process, there is also a strong base in U.S. society for the proletariat to move forward on this. Many women now work, and as the bourgeoisie goes into stepped-up war preparations they will drag many women out of the homes and into their factories, even the army, and more broadly into social life in general. All this, though in a reactionary cause, will provide a good starting point for rapid forward progress once the proletariat has wrested control of society from the bourgeoisie.

Unemployment stands as a tremendous waste of the productive forces of society. One of the first accomplishments of the revolution will be to remove this barrier and in so doing, by releasing the creative energies of millions, give a tremendous spur to these productive forces, most of all to the masses of people and their creativity and initiative.