Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Progressive Labor Movement

Statement of Principles and Strategic Concepts


First Published: Marxist-Leninist Quarterly, Vol. II, No. 2, no date [1964]
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.

The following statement of principles and strategic concepts were unanimously adopted by the National Coordinating Committee of the Progressive Labor Movement held on May 28-29. The purpose of this statement by the National Coordinating Committee is to briefly state some of the key ideas that the PLM has put forward to date.

This statement will enable friends of the Progressive Labor Movement to more clearly evaluate the political development PL and to make it easier for all to discuss the founding of a vanguard party.

* * *

Progressive Labor Movement

Statement of Principles

The Progressive Labor Movement believes that:

1. America’s working people will be guaranteed security, democracy, equality and peace only when our country is run on an entirely different basis than it is now; only when a socialist system replaces the present imperialist-capitalist one.
2. The new socialist system would mean that only America’s working people would own the country’s factories and farms and they would plan production and distribution for their own needs.
3. In order to have socialism, American workers have to be in control, this means that the government of the capitalists must be smashed and be replaced by a workers’ government.
4. To win control of the government, so as to be able to build a socialist society, United States workers may be forced to defend themselves.
5. The lessons learned by other nations who have fought for the same goals will help American workers win their struggle; Marxism-Leninism is the political science that sums up these lessons and is the guide in the building of socialism in the United States.
6. The present imperialist-capitalist system that controls the United States is the chief enemy of all working people everywhere, and must be destroyed politically, economically and ideologically and replaced by a socialist system.
7. American workers must unite with workers in all countries to win peace and socialism.
8. American workers need an organization that is centralized in form so as to be effective, and democratic in content so as to properly reflect the needs of the people.
9. A political party based on these principles should be formed as soon as possible.

* * *

Progressive Labor Movement

Strategic Concepts

The Progressive Labor Movement believes that the movement for socialism in America should adopt the following as a program during the present period:


1. There must be constant public advocacy of socialism.
2. Particular victories in the struggle for reforms must be shown as steps only toward the goal of socialism.
3. The understanding that both the Democrats and Republicans are political agencies of the ruling imperialists.


1. A united front struggle is a common struggle of diverse elements united against a common enemy. A cardinal feature of this unity is the conflict of ideology within its ranks.
2. The unity of the united front struggle is based on the mutuality of interest, therefore the basis is always the unity from below, from the masses.
3. Because this is a unity of diverse elements against a common enemy we must always have the ability to present socialist ideas to the people.


1. The Negro people must act themselves for themselves, they must wait for no one, nor can any hold them back with false cries of “Negro-white unity.”
2. Black people should fight for their right to develop their identity as a people.
3. Black people, if they are to be free, must develop political power outside of the present power apparatus through armed self-defense, political councils, the creation of an economic base, seizing land and factories and finally, uniting with all workers struggling for revolution.
4. The Black Liberation Movement must include direct mass action – north and south.
5. The Black Liberation Movement must link itself with all other forces everywhere who are fighting United States imperialism.


1. To destroy the bosses’ stranglehold of the trade union movement and smash the Meany-Reuther leadership, workers should:

a. form rank-and-file caucuses in the AFL-CIO unions
b. form militant Negro caucuses in the unions
c. advocate and build a strong socialist trend in the unions
d. fight for and develop the right to strike
e. develop various forms of independent political action
f. fight to organize the unemployed within the unions

2. United States workers must organize the unemployed into their own organizations, outside, as well as inside, the existing unions.

3. Organize a second federation of labor based on the unions not in the AFL-CIO.


1. Students must expose the role that university officials play as agents of the ruling class.
2. Students must end their isolation from the working people.
3. Students should organize an anti-imperialist peace movement.
4. Intellectuals should be convinced to relate their work and their future to the future of the working people and not to the interests of the present ruling system.