Working people of all backgrounds are uniting around issues such as racist violence, health care, climate change, women’s reproductive rights, labor and immigrant rights against the neo-fascist Trump agenda. At the same time, thousands of young workers and students have taken to online platforms during the Covid-19 lockdown and are demanding socialist-oriented reforms and even going as far as proclaiming themselves communists, socialists, and Marxists, in an effort to fight for a better world. In recent months, the Communist Party USA has experienced an uptick in membership. This growth is occurring as Bernie Sanders has withdrawn from the 2020 presidential race. People are fighting mad—and with good reason.
Celebrities such as Britney Spears and Chance the Rapper and well-known climate strike activists such as Ilhan Omar’s daughter, Isra Hirsi, have called for everything from redistribution of wealth to outright communism. In response to Britney Spears who stated, “We will feed each other, re-distribute wealth, strike. We will understand our own importance from the places we must stay. Communion moves beyond walls. We can still be together,” we agree with you and applaud your enthusiasm and support for a strike wave and the redistribution of wealth. To Chance the Rapper, who asked, “When we start over,” will we try “socialism or communism?” we welcome your calls for a left alternative to the current failing capitalist system. To Isra Hirsi, who has organized and led youth climate strikes over the past year, we admire your bravery in declaring yourself a communist publicly on Twitter despite the intense xenophobic attacks on your family from the extreme right. We welcome these radical conclusions.
On a more personal note, I want to express how I am feeling as a Communist living in the middle of New York City, the epicenter of the pandemic. I am angered how health care benefits have been slashed by the Trump administration in the past few years, the same neoliberal presidential administration which denied the existence of climate change and called the coronavirus pandemic a “Chinese hoax.” I am infuriated at how my partner and I were sick with the coronavirus three months ago and had fevers that reached over 107 degrees with only cold rags to relieve the pain, since our health care plans did not provide full coverage.
I am outraged at how Bernie Sanders’ platform was dismissed for being “too radical.”
I am frustrated with the growing amount of homelessness I see out in the streets. I am enraged at how five CPUSA comrades have passed away in the past two months as a result of the do-nothing policies of our ruling class in the face of this pandemic. I am saddened by the fact that I will never again be able to talk to comrades Frank Sterns or Richard Hoyen about their experiences in Vietnam and Jamaica. I am furious at how the Trump administration continues its efforts to starve Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, and others into submission during a pandemic and even remains silent after the recent terrorist attack on the Cuban Embassy in D.C. and the recent mercenary-led coup attempt against the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro. I am outraged at how Bernie Sanders’ progressive, socialist-oriented platform was dismissed by Republicans and Democrats alike for being “too radical.”
What exactly is “too radical” when it comes to saving workers’ lives and jobs? To those of you who share my frustrations and angry sentiments, I extend a hand of friendship and comradery in this time of crisis. A better world is possible, but it starts with us getting unified, organized, and radicalized. People come to the struggle through workplace exploitation, student debt, fear of fascists with guns, racist police brutality, corporate greed, the environmental catastrophe, and so on. Therefore, the radicalization process taking place through such issues or brought to light through the electoral campaign of Bernie Sanders or reading Marxist literature on one’s own is welcomed by our Party. We all start somewhere, and collectively learn to be productive, militant Communist activists in the wider struggle for democracy and socialism.
It’s also important to note that communists and socialists understand the meaning of collectivity. Marxists should be in touch with the working-class struggle and belong to a Communist Party in order to play a role in the collective. Before there was a united “communist party” in Russia, there were Marxist study groups and a factionalized Russian Social Democratic Labor Party to which Lenin himself belonged. Lenin wrote in 1902 that,
in order to unite all of these factions into one whole, in order not to break up the movement while breaking up its functions, and in order to imbue the people who carry out the minute functions with the conviction that their work is necessary and important, without which conviction they will never do the work, it is necessary to have an organization of tried revolutionaries.
In other words, YES, leftists need to unite and work together. But left unity must be built on working-class unity. Otherwise, what is the point of a mass movement for socialism that is not worker led? I believe that the Communist Party USA is the revolutionary working-class political party that this country needs to help usher in a better world for people like you and me. We won’t do it without other organizations and movements but it also won’t be done without a revolutionary working-class party.
I learned this lesson years ago as a young college student and militant of the Communist Party of Spain (PCE). The older veterans there did not hold back when expressing gratitude for the CPUSA veterans who fought in the Abraham Lincoln brigade against fascism during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s.
This is the movement I wanted to join. I invite you to the International Communist Movement as well through membership in the CPUSA.
We are building a mass Party and movement for socialism in the U.S. All independent leftists and progressives out there reading this who feel that they want to be part of a revolutionary, working-class political party are invited to join the Communist Party USA in our fight for a full economic/political democracy, peace, jobs, equality, and green socialism. For too long, the U.S. Left has fallen victim to capitalist individualism inspired by “American exceptionalism” and right-wing Protestant-like mentalities (We love the left-wing Protestants!). “I’ll do my own thing because only my interpretation is the purest” has led to the formation of thousands of evangelical denominations as well as a handful of middle-class radical organizations.
Our party puts working-class unity around issues as a top priority, since only then can left unity be possible based on ideology. We stand for unity over a factionalism that resembles cell division. All socialist, communist, Marxist, and progressive-minded people interested in fighting for a better world in which democracy and socialism triumph over the horrors we are living now are invited to check out our website’s theoretical articles and educational webinars at cpusa.org. Most importantly, you are invited to join!
Historically, only communist parties have ever been able to unite working and poor people together under a common cause and guide them to a revolutionary victory over the capitalists. We invite you to join in this struggle. Together, we can unite and fight against the extreme right and lay the foundations for socialism as a united working-class!
Comrade Maicol David