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Motions Passed at the Third Congress of the Party of Communists USA

The Third Congress of the Party of Communists USA (PCUSA) was held on April 6, 2024 at AROW Park in Monroe, New York. This historic Congress, which marked ten years of existence for the PCUSA, passed ten motions which were arrived at through discussions in various PCUSA departments, commissions, and local cells. The decisions arrived at through this Congress and previous Congresses, representing the will of the majority of the Party’s membership, provide the ideological and organizational direction of the Party. The passed motions are provided below.

  1. On the Constitution of the Party of Communists USA
  2. On the Popular Front, submitted by the Ideological Department
  3. On the New Left, submitted by the Ideological Department
  4. On Immigration, submitted by the Nationalities Department
  5. On the Study of Marxism-Leninism, by the Educational Department
  6. On Nuclear Energy, by the Environmental Commission
  7. On LGBT+ Rights, by the LGBT+ Commission
  8. On Opposing Racism, by the Black Liberation Commission
  9. On the Party Pledge, by the John Reed Cell
  10. On the Eight Points of Unity, by the Rose-Bridges Cell

1. The Party of Communists USA Constitution

    The Constitution of the Party of Communists USA was amended at the Third Congress. The updated text of the Constitution can be found here:

    2. On the Popular Front (submitted by the PCUSA Ideological Department)

    April 6, 2024

    We are in a period of the return of Fascism and of the crystallization of US Imperialism as the central driving force against social progress. The last time that Fascism reached this level of strength was in the run-up to World War II. At that time, the response of the Comintern at its Seventh Congress in 1935 was to call for the formation of a Popular Front against Fascism as led by the Axis Powers of Germany, Italy and Japan.

    In the past decade, we have witnessed the return of Fascism in the Ukraine, Israel, the Republic of Korea, and even the emboldening of Fascist sentiment in the USA. That is why the Party of Communists USA is calling for the formation of an international Popular Front against Fascism and Genocide. We call upon international and national organizations, such as the current leadership of the World Anti-imperialist Platform (WAP) and of the United National Anti-war Coalition (UNAC), to join with us in forming this Popular Front.

    The Popular Front is comprised of a broad formation of progressive elements united in their opposition to Fascism, which is “the open, terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary and most chauvinist elements of finance capital.” As Dimitrov said in 1935, “when the scattered proletarian detachments, at the initiative of the Communists, join hands for the struggle against the common enemy, when the working class, marching as a unit, begins to act together with the peasantry, the lower middle classes and all democratic elements, on the basis of the People’s Front program, then the offensive of the fascist bourgeoisie is confronted with an insurmountable barrier. A force arises which can offer determined resistance to fascism, prevent it from coming to power in countries of bourgeois democracy and overthrow its barbarous rule where it is already established.”

    We call for the formation of an Anti-Monopoly Coalition as the specific form that the Popular Front will take in the USA. This will be composed of all democratic and anti-imperialist forces, including the progressive elements of the labor movement, the anti-war/peace movements, local progressive forces, and emerging third party electoral formations which oppose US imperialism and monopoly capital.

    3. On the New Left (submitted by the PCUSA Ideological Department)

    Motion to re-emphasize the Marxist theory of class struggle.

    The Party of Communists of USA (PCUSA) opposes any attempt to deviate from Marx’s theory of history and of class struggle. The working class being the primary vehicle of change in history.

    The New Left refers to a petite bourgeois and intellectual movement that emerged in the 1960s which continues today that is characterized by a lack of centrality of the working class, focus on intellectuals and students, decentralization/localism, Anti-Sovietism, and focus on non-class social movements (movementism).

    We oppose “Critical theory” and “Cultural Marxism” as ideologies promoted by the CIA which is anti-Communist and anti-working class. For example, Herbert Marcuse, early exponent of Critical Theory, worked for the Office of Strategic Services and later the CIA in order to promote these ideologies. Marcuse trained Angela Davis who rose to leadership in the CPUSA only to split it. Also, the Congress for Cultural Freedom was another entity that was critical to the ideological bankruptcy of the New Left.

    The PCUSA upholds the Marxist theory of class struggle, knowing that the working class is the primary agent of change. Critical Theorists and the New Left, on the other hand, believe non-class social movements and the lumpenproletariat to either be equal to or above the proletariat. Herbert Marcuse said that intellectuals, students, and the lumpenproletariat replaced the workers as the revolutionary class. “In contrast, Marxism utilizes dialectical materialism to understand that these ideas merely reflect reality rather than determine it.” (“On the Frankfurt School”, The Communist Vol III, pg12)

    We oppose any attempt to reject material reality in favor of idealism. As Stalin said, material reality exists independent of individual consciousness (Dialectical and Historical Materialism, 1938). As the article “On the Frankfurt School” in The Communist Vol III states: “According to Critical Theory, ideology serves as the primary driver of oppression, and the objective is to analyze and overcome these ideas that hinder human freedom.” So, Critical theory constitutes a rejection of dialectical materialism and Marx’s theory of class struggle.

    The PCUSA prioritizes the centrality of the working class. We distinguish ourselves from the rest of the so-called “Left” in our defense of Soviet socialism and the Soviet experience and support for a democratic centralist party.

    4. On Immigration (submitted by the PCUSA Nationalities Department)

    Motion to add the following text to Section IX (Oppressed Nationalities) of the Party Program:

    We are a nation of immigrants; a “melting pot” of many ethnic backgrounds.  Immigrants built this country.  Emma Lazarus, a socialist Jewish-American who worked with Jewish victims of anti-Semitic pogroms, ( indiscriminate massacres of Jewish villages in the Tsarist Russian Empire) wrote a famous poem, “New Colossus.”  Lazarus’s poem is emblazoned on the foundation of the Statue of Liberty and calls for welcoming foreign immigrants to American shores.

    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    Immigrant history included: indentured servitude, forced importation of people from Africa as slaves, those fleeing religious intolerance, workers and farmers escaping oppression and seeking economic opportunity, victims of political persecution from fascism, imperialism, feudalism, and monarchy.

    Capitalists historically, and in the present day, have divided workers on ethnic lines by using intolerance and bigotry. We must not fall into these racist traps and we must unite workers against our collective exploitation regardless of our background.

    It is the U.S. Corporate economic policies, using oppressed nations as military bases, which cause peoples in over-exploited economies of the world to flee their poor economic situation and seek more economic stability in the U.S. Most people would prefer to stay in their home country if it was economically stable, but it is the U.S. corporate policies and its militarism that prevents this. Historically speaking this was not an issue in places like the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact nations because their economic policy did not create unfavorable economic conditions.

    Immigrants who have lived in this country for 10, 20, 30, 40 years, or their entire life knowing this country as their own should be granted American citizenship.

    Those who are undocumented living in the United States are under the worst conditions. They are paid less and often don’t receive benefits; their rent and housing cost more; they cannot use emergency services like the rest of us; and due to threats of deportation, they cannot participate in union collective bargaining. Their immigration status forces them into a more precarious life. The capitalists benefit from this situation while the citizens and immigrants do not. Therefore, we demand a workable, accessible path to citizenship for all those in this country.

    We must address the country’s historically racist policies that have created super profits for the employers when it comes to hiring immigrants. Such a stain on our history includes laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882), Mexican Repatriation Act (1929), the Japanese Internment Executive Order (1942), and the Muslim Travel Bans (2017). Also, the Immigration and Nationalities Act (1952) authorizes the exclusion of foreign immigrants on the basis of Communist affiliation from entering the country. We must push for creating legislation that prohibits discrimination based on racial, ethnic, national-lines or Communist affiliations.

    We are calling to extend legislation to help set up a Federal agency that would deal with immigration services, United States citizenship, and employment that will ease the integration process into this country and help immigrants find jobs. Emulating the famous Emma Lazarus plaque on the base of the Statue of Liberty, we welcome the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free, and the wretched refuse to our teeming shores.”

    On the other hand, fascist leaders, hired thugs, and collaborators of failed US supported dictatorships (for example, Marcos – Philippines, Batista – Cuba, the Shah – Iran) who terrorized masses of their own people, must be denied entry into our country; they are unwelcome here.

    What exactly is fascism? Is it the same as authoritarianism? Bulgarian Communist Georgi Dimitrov at the 7th Congress of the Communist International (1935) defined fascism as the “open terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital.”

    No longer should we allow America to be a safe haven for foreign Nazis and other fascists. It was scandalous that 1,600 Nazi scientists and engineers were welcomed to our shores after WWII through “Operation Paperclip”. We now know that these Nazi collaborators were used to empower the interest of American imperialist influence, both in this country, and on the world stage.

    The United States should not be a home for these fascists. We cannot import fascists from other countries due to their negative influence on the American public through lobbying, propaganda, and normalizing their reactionary rhetoric. That is why we must not allow fascism to fester in our country. The Party is unconditionally against fascists entering our shores.

    5. On the Study of Marxism-Leninism (submitted by the PCUSA Educational Department)

    April 6, 2024 

    The study of Marxism-Leninism and of Marx’s Critique of Political Economy is an indispensable part of being a Communist and a member of the PCUSA. Every comrade is recommended to have on their bookshelf Stalin’s Foundations of Leninism, Lenin’s Imperialism, Lenin’s What is to be Done?, Kuusinen’s Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism, Stalin’s History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik): Short Course, Foster’s History of the CPUSA, the Economic Institute of the USSR’s Academy of Sciences work on Political Economy, New Outlook Publisher’s edition of Marx’s work on Capital, and other works. All of these book are available at New Outlook Publishers, or are to be republished by New Outlook Publishers.

    6. On Nuclear Energy (submitted by the PCUSA Environmental Commission)

    Motion to amend the Program as directed below, contingent on the requirement of resolving the question of resource extraction for nuclear reactors without exploitation of indigenous peoples. (The resolution of this question is to be presented at the next PCUSA Central Committee meeting.)

    Motion to amend the final sentence of paragraph 4, section 8 of the political program of the PCUSA to say, “Only a fundamental commitment to vastly reduce dependence on coal and other fossil-fuels will save the global working class from the deadliest effects of climate-change.”  

    Also, to insert the following paragraph after: 

    “The effort to reach net zero carbon emissions will require the replacement of most fossil fuel plants through the expansion of all clean energy sources. These include, but are not necessarily limited to nuclear energy, solar energy, and wind energy. The PCUSA acknowledges that US monopoly oil imperialists have slandered nuclear energy in an attempt to protect their own profits. Nuclear energy has proven to be an extremely energy dense fuel source that has quietly provided 20% of US energy needs since the 1960s. Each year, these plants only produce two thousand tons of waste compared to 6.3 billion tons of carbon waste produced by fossil fuel plants. Nuclear energy complements renewable energy sources by providing a huge output of energy within a very small acreage, while maintaining a small carbon footprint. If U.S. communists wish to reach net zero carbon emissions, without a corresponding decrease in industrial activity, we must support the expansion of nuclear energy. To do so, we will not be able to rely on the capitalist class to invest in this energy system. The expansion of nuclear energy must be guided by strong state intervention, and it must be funded federally. Principally, these funds will be transferred from the bloated military budget towards social needs, including energy and sustainability.”

    7. On LGBT+ Rights (submitted by the PCUSA LGBT+ Commission)

    The LGBT+ Commission of the PCUSA proposes the following text to expand section V of the party program.

    The PCUSA is a party of the entire working class. We defend the rights of all workers, no matter their race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, etc.

    The Party of Communists USA rejects all discrimination and harassment of LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and other gender and sexual orientations) people. We harken back to Lenin and the Communist repeal of Tsarist Russian anti-homosexual laws, as well as the Socialist German Democratic Republic repeal of Nazi anti-homosexual laws and the enormous progress Socialist Cuba has made in the fields of gender equality and education. This is an issue that we feel we are truly pioneering in the Communist movement. 

    We stand with the LGBT+ community against the oppression, violence and bigotry faced by them on a daily basis and reject anti-LGBT+ sentiment. We firmly state that LGBT+ people are valid and deserve respect and dignity just as any other working-class people do. 

    As of 2022, it has been estimated that ~28% of LGBT+ youth experience homelessness, as many are kicked out of households or escape abusive ones and end up on the street. LGBT+ people also experience unique barriers to healthcare, as doctors may refuse to see a patient due to their perceived or actual gender identity, and legal rights, such as the ability to see their loved ones in the hospital, gain custody of children after the death of their partner and more. Discrimination against LGBT+ people is as unconstitutional as it is anti-American, as our 1st Amendment in the US Constitution gives us the freedom of expression. This right shall not be infringed.

    The LGBT+ community is also the target of a scapegoating campaign waged by a part of the bourgeoisie – primarily from one of the two bourgeois parties, the Republicans – that is designed to shift blame for the problems of capitalism on society to LGBT+ people (especially transgender people) to create unnecessary division and obfuscate the root problem, which is the capitalist system we live under. 

    Another part of the bourgeoisie capitalizes on what success the LGBT+ movement has had and attempts to cash in on the struggle and co-opt it to make profits, or – as in the case of the other bourgeois party, the Democrats – to gain votes, while ultimately doing nothing of substance for working-class LGBT+ people. 

    The State Department and corporate media also utilize the strategy of “pinkwashing” to weaponize the LGBT+ issue to carry out its imperialist interests. We oppose all of these attempts to divide, oppress and capitalize on our community and our struggle and seek to develop and push forward the working class LGBT+ movement through the anti-imperialist struggle.

    8. On Opposing Racism (submitted by the PCUSA Black Liberation Commission)

    Motion to update the statement on Racism and Capitalism in Section IX of the PCUSA Program:

    Racism and Capitalism

    Racism in its many forms continues to play a negative but central role in every aspect of U.S. capitalism, including keeping the bourgeoisie in power; producing increasing profits, and developing, justifying, and maintaining institutional discrimination.

    The working class must fight against racism, for full equality of all nationally oppressed, and for affirmative action, if it is to unite internally and enter lasting alliances with the organizations and movements of racially oppressed peoples. By the same token, the nationally and racially oppressed groups must support labor’s demands in order to unite internally and to ally with labor.

    The U.S. is perhaps the most multiracial and multinational country in the world, with about 300 million people including almost every race, nationality, and ethnic group on the planet. Racially and nationally oppressed people live and work in every region, in every state, and in every major city. They are primarily working-class and generally occupy the lowest-paying, most exploitative jobs. Among the nationally and racially oppressed are African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Arab and Middle Eastern peoples.

    From its inception, the United States was infected by racism, from the displacement and near genocide of Native Americans, to the enslavement of African-Americans, and to the theft of huge sections of Mexico. The ability of employers to pay workers differently based on skin color, country of origin, immigration, exclusion of Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants, to the current xenophobic hysteria against Arabs and South Asians, racism has been a convenient tool for the maintenance of power and profits by the ruling class at the expense of oppressed people and all workers.

    Racism affects the unity of the working class at all levels. Racism is a tool that not only exploits racially oppressed people; it aids in the exploitation of white workers as well. Racial discrimination in hiring, racist wage and salary policies, and racial stratification of various industries and trades undermines the interests of all workers. The hire date in two-tier wage systems exerts downward pressure on the wages of all workers. It allows bosses to extract even higher profits from racially oppressed workers. 

    Racism is good for capitalism, but is bad for working people of every race. White workers have a powerful self-interest in fighting racism; white workers will gain greater victories to the degree that they unite with nationally and racially oppressed workers. Multiracial unity in the workplace and on the shop-floor is the key to winning victories for all, to lifting wages, conditions and dignity for every worker.

    All people must take an initiating role in combating all barriers to the unity of the working class. This unity is the building blocks of grassroots trust. The struggle against racism is in the interest of all workers, leading to greater unity, respect, and strength for the labor movement and all other movements.

    9. On the Party Pledge (submitted by the PCUSA John Reed Cell)

    Motion to change the following sentence in the Party Pledge, found in Article III of the PCUSA Constitution:

    Original Text: I take this pledge to give the best that is in me to the service of my class. 

    Updated Text: I take this pledge to give the best that is in me to the service of the working class.

    10. On the Eight Points of Unity (submitted by the PCUSA Greg Rose-Harry Bridges Cell)

    Motion to change the seventh point of the Eight Points of Unity.

    VII. Continuing Lenin’s opposition to right opportunism and revisionism inside the World Communist Movement

    Original Text: We oppose all forms of right opportunism and revisionism to supplant Marxist-Leninist ideology in the world Communist movement, historically and especially exemplified by the current CPUSA. We identify this revisionism as an intrusion of bourgeois ideology that weakens and distorts our theory, practice, and purpose, leading to class collaboration and counter-revolution.
    (Original Text)

    Updated Text: We oppose all forms of right opportunism and revisionism to supplant Marxist-Leninist ideology in the world Communist movement, historically and especially exemplified by the current leadership of the CPUSA. We identify this revisionism as an intrusion of bourgeois ideology that weakens and distorts our theory, practice, and purpose, leading to class collaboration and counter-revolution. 

    Our Party presents an illustration of walking a tightrope, with right opportunism on one side, and ultra-leftism on the other, representing ideological divergence on our path to socialism. 

    Class consciousness is the primary focus of our Party’s ideological work. As Marxists, we believe that the history of all hitherto existing society, is the history of class struggle. Our Party is a working class party and is not a hobby, nor one time event, nor an expression of petite bourgeois radicalism.

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