This year of 2008, the second half, witnessed the beginning of the activities of the American Party of Labor. At the present time, the most urgent business to be attended to is that of the practice of the APL. I say this because the theoretical side has been attended to most properly by our new Party. We have not yet allowed revisionism to sink our cadres into isolation and our line into obscurity yet, and we do not intend to do so in the future. Our ideology has been well-defined in our program. The same is not true of our practices in recruiting people to our side.
Firstly, the object of the practical activities of the APL is to lead to a revolution to overthrow capitalism – we have never said otherwise and unlike the reformist parties (such as the pro-Democrat CPUSA) we have never upheld any other course of action. We wish to make it well-known to the working masses that our goal is to promote the class struggle of the proletariat to fight against the capitalist exploiting classes of society, followed by the establishment of a socialist society. As such, we can never allow ourselves to disguise our beliefs in the socialist revolution and the final destruction of the class system. To sugarcoat our mission would be nothing less than revisionism. We must always make perfectly clear our intentions to wage a democratic revolution to fight against the bourgeois oligarchy and win political freedom through working class democracy. All of this is very well-known by our members and candidate members.
I say this is well-known because from the moment it appeared on the political scene the APL has talked of little else. We must promote ourselves as an alternative to the capitalist parties of the U.S., as a truly revolutionary party of the Marxist-Leninist movement. While many other American communist parties have hidden their intentions beneath generic messages of protest, we of the APL have not ignored our political struggle for a moment. Talking of our final goals of socialism and communism is something that we must continue to do if we hope to win the war against capitalism. This is something that must be kept in mind as we discuss the tactics of our Party.
Secondly, I must clarify what we mean by our “practical” efforts and our “tactics.” We mean spreading through our activities amongst the workers of this country the teachings of scientific socialism and the truth about communism and Marxism-Leninism. We mean spreading a socialist understanding of this class system, how it works in the favor of one class over another, how capitalism and wage labor as a system is exploitive, how it leads to sexism and racism, and how the present imperialist war and the colonialism that has resulted from it as well as the increasing poverty and financial crises are an inevitable feature of the capitalist system and not a “fluke.” We must go to places where workers gather, either at protests, meetings or the workplace itself, and speak to them about the struggle between classes, how socialism as a system is much less exploitive than capitalism, and how the revolution will solve the problems of the system. For this purpose, we must keep up our own education and study, or else why should we bother talking about things we ourselves do not understand?
The other part of our tactics is what we call agitation among the workers. This is very important, given the tumultuous and unstable political situation in the USA. To put it simply, political agitation means to get the workers riled up and to fill them with righteous anger. This righteous anger can then be connected with the struggles against the system. The organized cadres and cells of the APL must participate in all working class gatherings and struggles against the bourgeoisie, including conflicts over working conditions, wages, protests against the imperialist war and protests against the actions of the government cronies in general. It will be very easy, given the anger of the masses currently, to connect these everyday questions with the socialist revolution. We should help them understand what communism and Marxism-Leninism is, to overcome bourgeois lies about them, and to draw their attention to the most important abuses of power by the capitalists. By connecting their struggles with the system itself, we can develop among the workers class consciousness and awareness of the class interests of the American working class as a whole, an important step on the road to socialism.
These activities, in the broadest, most generalized sense, are the main ones of the American Party of Labor. Our work is to be primarily focused on the urban working class, who are most open to Marxist-Leninist ideas and most developed intellectually and politically. At the same time, we must not neglect other strata of the population who work as wage laborers. We do not intend to neglect the rural populations, but it is impractical to send cadres out to the rural areas when there is so much work to be done in the cities. In the cities themselves, the professional agitators will come into direct contact with these people, and will try to spread the class struggle to the more advanced sections of that stratum. The spreading of socialism among the urban workers will therefore inevitably cause these ideas to flow into the rural areas.
The APL is ready to support those Americans who, in practice, come to support the class struggle, but this does not in the least suggest that alliances with other groups mean the dissolution of the APL itself, nor any compromises or revisions of its political line or banner. We will still guard the Marxist-Leninist line against revisions and will combat every attempt to impose vaguer lines upon the proletariat. In addition, this does not entail collaboration with openly anti-working class elements such as fascists for the mere sake of political opportunism. What it entails is the flexibility of the socialist movement to ally itself with other organizations that it sees as progressive or potentially revolutionary. It is support given to another faction against a particular enemy.
In addition to spreading scientific socialism, we communists strive to spread an understanding of bourgeois absolutism in all its manifestations, of its class content, the necessity to overthrow the oligarchy, of the impossibility of waging a successful struggle without a revolutionary party and a revolutionary movement. We strive to agitate against police tyranny, agitate against the restriction of education, against the violation of immigrant rights, against racism, agitate against every prominent representative of the oligarchy which dares to speak directly before the workers and who clearly reveals their support of slavery.
The American Party of Labor is faced with an enormous amount of work. The awakening of the American working class, its struggle for socialism and against the exploiters has become sharper and more strikingly apparent every day. The enormous growth and subsequent crisis of capitalism and imperialism in the USA has guaranteed the communist movement will grow exponentially. We have already passed through the period where capitalism blooms and is prosperous, before the class struggle becomes more pronounced. During the bloom period, business booms, the factories are at full operating capacity, new enterprises emerge every day, stock companies soar with new investments, railways and airlines function ceaselessly. We have now arrived at the inevitable and sharp crash that is to follow prosperity. The crash will ruin thousands of small owners, will throw millions of workers into unemployment, and will thrust our collective faces into the matter of socialism and democracy that have long haunted every bourgeois dictatorship. American communists must see to it that when this period of misery becomes unbearable, the American proletariat is more class conscious, more united, more organized, more able to understand the revolution and capable of putting up resistance to the capitalist class, which is even now reaping huge profits and is burdening the workers with the losses of this crisis. Only a Marxist-Leninist party is capable of leading the American proletariat against the bourgeois police autocracy.
And so, to work, comrades! Let us not lose our precious time!