Network of Communist Clubs (NCC)
January 8, 2015
At a meeting in Pittsburgh on August 16, 2014, a group of Communist men and women, Black, white, and Latino, formed a Network of Communist Clubs (NCC). In so doing, we subscribe to the following ideas and principles. We invite those who share these ideas to join us to create local Communist clubs and develop a new Communist party with a program for the 21st century.
1. The social, political, and economic problems that plague the majority of the US people are ultimately rooted in the system of private ownership, corporate accumulation of wealth, class rule, and savage selfishness: capitalism.
The most transparent expression of this unjust system is the division of our society into two major classes: those who must seek employment to live and those who employ and exploit the others.
The underlying class contradictions of capitalism have not changed since capitalism appeared on the world stage. The world is entering a period when these contradictions are becoming more and more evident. The divisions between rich and poor in the world, most strikingly seen in the United States, become ever wider. The effects of pollution and climate change are growing. The climate crisis adds another powerful argument to the case for the transition from capitalism to socialism – human survival.
2. We live in the era of imperialism and resistance to it. Imperialism is capitalism in its monopoly stage. The U.S remains militarily the strongest imperialist country on the planet, though capitalism still develops unevenly, and other countries and blocs economically challenge the US.
Imperialist exploitation, occupation, and war dominate despite the fact that most nations have freed themselves from direct colonial control. While most nations have freed themselves from being controlled outright, imperialist states still rule other nations through colonialism. This includes the US, which holds Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and US Virgin Islands under colonial subjugation.
Nevertheless, the resistance to US domination is increasing in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The class struggle in the US and the European Union promises to intensify.
3. The science of Marxism-Leninism and its concepts of class struggle, state-monopoly capitalism and imperialism remain the best guide to understanding our world. Socialism — that is, a society based on productive property democratically owned and controlled by the workers for the benefit of all people — remains our goal, and the Leninist prescription of a “party of a new type” remains the best guide for successful struggles against capitalism.
4. The election of an African-American President convinced some that we had entered a “post-racial” era in which a person’s race was socially irrelevant and no longer played a role in determining their life chances. However, the racist legacy of slavery, genocide, and Jim Crow continues in the form of mass incarceration, Stand Your Ground laws, attacks on public education, the War on Terror, deportation, and other ongoing and increasing attacks on working people of color.
We believe compensatory actions, affirmative actions are essential elements on the path to erasing the legacy of slavery and the national oppression that came in its wake. Contemporary racism is not only a historical legacy; it is sustained by the drive for corporate superprofits.
Racist oppression diminishes the health, safety, income, and overall well-being of people of color. It pits white workers against workers of color, and stokes antagonisms among racially oppressed workers of different races and ethnicities. Yet, racism not only harms people of color, but also harms white workers who are encouraged to blame racial minorities for problems that are caused by capitalism and that can only be solved through the self-activity of a working class united across all ethnic, racial, religious, and national lines. The struggle against racism thus remains a central task of Communists, one inextricably tied to workers’ struggle in their own class self-interest.
Racial and national oppression started with the arrival of capitalism to these shores and the treatment of the Native American peoples. It will not end until the reasons for it are abolished. Genocide is not too strong a word for the treatment of Native American peoples.
5. As residents of the main imperialist power, U.S. Communists have a special obligation to fight against the military interventions, electronic spying, CIA operations, drone attacks, torture, and other affronts to peace and human dignity conducted by the U.S. Government. For the same reason, we have a special obligation to build international solidarity with Communists and others abroad fighting for peace, workers power, national sovereignty and socialism. The War on Terror, like the big lie of the “Soviet Threat“ before it, is used to justify US aggression and boundless military spending.
6. The struggle for workers’ interests and workers’ power remains the fulcrum for changing the world. The cutting edge of this struggle remains the trade unions. Communists must not only resist the erosion of collective bargaining and union rights but must struggle within the trade unions for a program of class struggle unionism. Our notion of class struggle unionism does not concede the employers’ right to a profit. Nor does it separate the struggle of members for a contract from the larger issues that impact the community, the nation, or the world.
7. The institutions of modern-day US capitalism — the criminal-justice system, the media, cultural production, the party system — tighten the grip of Wall Street and create profound crises for the rest of us. Millions now see that the two-party system sustains corporate power and is an impediment to majority rule. Democracy requires building political independence of the two-party system.
8. In an era of deteriorating economic conditions, cutbacks in education, health and social services, environmental crisis, and rising Right-wing and religious fundamentalist ideologies, class struggle takes various forms. Communists not only need to join these struggles, but also bring to them a class perspective. This includes the struggles of women, members of the LGBTQ community, students, the aged, and immigrants. It also includes the struggles to preserve the environment and protect privacy, voting rights, civil liberties, and to create a health care system that serves people, not profits.
Oppression in the US takes many forms. The largest category of special oppression is women who still earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. The gap is much greater for African-American and Latina women. The oppression they suffer is not only economic. The continuing attack on the reproductive rights of women particularly affects working class and women of color. Therefore, we recommit ourselves to significantly increase the fight for women’s equality.
9. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European socialist countries represented the greatest setback in the history of workers’ and peoples’ struggles. Though these countries were not without problems, the Soviet Union represented the strongest curb on imperialism, the greatest support for the economic well being of workers everywhere in the world, and the greatest aid to countries and movements struggling for national independence and socialism. The collapse of the Soviet Union has caused many Communists or former Communists to become confused, cowardly and ashamed of their own history.
10. The Communist Party USA, in spite of its glorious history and many decent members, has irretrievably lost its way. It has abandoned most of its former ideology and organization, forsaken the struggle against racism and international solidarity, eschewed change in the trade unions and action in the streets, and tried to channel all discontent into support for the Democratic Party.
11. As the crisis of capitalism deepens, as people’s economic uncertainty and suffering increase, the Right wing may continue to grow, but we believe one of the reasons for its influence is the lack of a Left-wing alternative. The best answer to the unrelenting rightward drift by the Democratic Party and much of the leadership of the trade unions and other organizations is to rebuild a real Left movement and political independence around such issues as peace, ending racist oppression, economic justice, environmental protection, and class-struggle trade unionism.
12. As Lenin taught, and the history of the Communist movement has proven, the two greatest impediments to successful struggle are opportunism (giving up principles for short-term gain) and sectarianism (a dogmatic unwillingness to work with others because of differences). We believe that resolving differences in tactics is achieved through engagement with others in the crucible of struggle.
For more information contact: TCC.NCC2014@gmail.com