Revolutionary Worker #1102, May 13, 2001, posted at http://rwor.org
On May 1st, 2001, at celebrations around the country, the new Draft Programme of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA was released. The following weekend, on May 5, the RCP held public meetings to spell out its vision and plans for a coast to coast revolutionary conversation around the Draft Programme. Spokespeople at these gatherings included: in New York--national spokesperson Carl Dix; in Los Angeles--Dolly Veale, RCP Bay Area branch; in Chicago--Travis Morales, RCP supporter and National Council member of La Resistencia; in Houston--Joe Veale, RCP Los Angeles branch; in Seattle--Terri Alred, RCP Seattle branch; in Oakland, California--Stephanie Tang, RCP Bay Area branch. We are printing here the text of the speeches at these meetings on the party's vision and plans, edited for publication.
On May 1st, 2001, at celebrations around the country, the new Draft Programme of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA was released.
The following weekend, on May 5, the RCP held public meetings to spell out its vision and plans for a coast to coast revolutionary conversation around the Draft Programme. Spokespeople at these gatherings included: in New York--national spokesperson Carl Dix; in Los Angeles--Dolly Veale, RCP Bay Area branch; in Chicago--Travis Morales, RCP supporter and National Council member of La Resistencia; in Houston--Joe Veale, RCP Los Angeles branch; in Seattle--Terri Alred, RCP Seattle branch; in Oakland, California--Stephanie Tang, RCP Bay Area branch.
We are printing here the text of the speeches at these meetings on the party's vision and plans, edited for publication.
Revolutionary greetings from our Party to all the courageous rebels from Palestine to Seattle, from Cincinnati to Quebec, and to countless others fighting in the cities and countryside, in factories and fields, in communities and prisons all over the world. We send a red embrace to those in the trenches of Maoist people's wars. And we send our revolutionary May Day salute to the parties and organizations of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement.
It's a real honor to be here and to take part in this celebration. This is a very special May Day for all those who are impatient for change and revolution. It is with great pride in our class, in our Party, and in our communist cause that we greet and celebrate the release of the Draft Programme of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.
This is a powerful document that breathes the science of revolution: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. It is no exaggeration to say that the appearance of this Draft brings our hopes and dreams for a better world a big step closer to realization. We extend special thanks to the comrades and translators who made it possible for the Draft to come out in English and Spanish at the same time.
We want to get into two things here: first, why this Draft Programme is so important; and, second, how we see people like yourself taking it up and taking it out to others.
First, what is a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Programme and why is it so important to making revolution? To put it simply, people need to know what the revolution is all about--what proletarian revolution stands for and how it'll come about.
As Marx and Engels proclaimed in the Communist Manifesto--we communists refuse to hide our views. Our Draft Programme boldly says that the world capitalist system of exploitation and oppression is totally obsolete and unnecessary...that a radically different world is possible...and that there is a path to overthrowing the U.S. ruling class.
If you're looking for a plan to change the world...it's here. This Draft Programme is a battle plan for destroying the old order and creating the new. It answers the key questions about the basic goals of the proletarian revolution and the strategy and methods for overthrowing this system. And it lays out what it means for the masses of people to do this through their own struggle, with the leadership of their proletarian vanguard.
This new Draft Programme presents the fundamental changes that the proletariat will make upon seizing power, and the policies that will guide these changes. This Programme builds on the experiences of revolutionary struggles throughout the world. And most especially, it builds on the achievements and lessons of our class when it held state power--in the Soviet Union from 1917 to 1956 and in China from 1949 to 1976. Our Party has developed and applied this understanding to the specific conditions of making revolution in the U.S.
The Draft Programme is firmly rooted in the final goal of the world revolution--communism. Our goal is the complete liberation of humanity, not to replace one group of exploiters with another. The liberating vision of communist society lets us dream and think "outside the box" of capitalism and its dog-eat-dog economics, politics, values, and ideology.
The communist future will be a time when there's no domination of one group of people over another. It'll be the end of human society being divided into classes, of men having power over women, of some people doing only manual labor and others doing only intellectual work, of white supremacy, and of one nation oppressing another. This will be a time when a view of the planet from outer space will be a reflection of the actual organization of human society--where there are no borders.
How are we going to achieve this goal? Go to the Draft Programme! Our Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Programme is a kind of road map for how to move towards communism concretely once we take the first giant step of overthrowing the bourgeoisie. The masses in their millions will be mobilized to build a new socialist economy where their basic needs will be met; they will be able to forge a new and liberating culture and morality; they will remake the world from bottom to top.
We invite you to study and comment on the Draft Programme: its indictment of the capitalist world; its plan for building a completely new society; and its strategy to organize the masses to make revolution in the belly of the beast.
Everybody and anybody who thinks this world is intolerable and cries out for justice needs to get with the Draft Programme.
If you can't accept the fact that half the population of this planet struggles to survive on less than $2 a day; if you can't accept the fact that one out of three young Black men is either in jail, on probation or parole; if you can't accept the fact that every two minutes, there's a rape or attempted rape of a woman in the U.S.--you've got to check out this Programme.
If you're inspired to hear about the armed men and women of Maoist people's war in Nepal, Peru and the Philippines; if you're fighting injustice and you hunger for unity among the people; if you're simply sick of the way things are and will seriously consider a radical alternative--you'll definitely want to get with this Draft Programme.
Now most people would agree that a fool like George W. isn't fit to rule. But we're saying their entire class is unfit to rule. The capitalists are dinosaurs and they have shown themselves to be incapable of being caretakers of the earth. But there is a class in today's world that is fit to rule and which can organize society rationally. That class is the proletariat.
The capitalists say it's unrealistic and even unthinkable to have society run any other way than by them. The Draft Programme tells us just the opposite.
Let's look at some problems in this society that the bourgeoisie has not solved. In fact, they can never solve these things because their profit-above-all system is the root cause and perpetuator. Our Maoist Programme points to how the masses of people, with state power in their hands, can and will solve these things.
Take the question of ecology. The capitalist system has not only inflicted a world of hurt on many generations but, every single day, their system brings untold damage to the planet and its resources. The Draft Programme's revolutionary solution?
The proletariat will step by step repair the destruction of the forests, soil, water, and air. It will develop industrial and agricultural systems that are economically productive, ecologically rational, and socially just. The new society aims to interact with nature in a planned way that preserves ecological systems and fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation among the people for the richness of the natural world. (page 17)
How about the whole set-up of white supremacy, discrimination, segregation and police brutality that is so much part of life in this country? Our Draft Programme has a lot to say about all this. For example:
The proletarian dictatorship will destroy the army of police which enforces systematic terror in the ghettos and barrios and will punish these hired thugs.... Segregation in neighborhoods, schools, and the like will be banned and integration promoted. The proletariat will also take aim at all the national chauvinism and racist thinking, which the bourgeoisie insists is "just part of human nature." (page 19)
And what about the youth? Our Programme says:
The proletarian revolution will provide the youth something the bourgeoisie can never deliver: a future in which their creative energies, irreverence toward tradition, and audacity are valued. Young people's lives under socialism will be an exciting mix of stimulating education and productive labor; a wide variety of cultural and recreational activities; and, most of all, front-line participation in the most crucial political struggles of the day. (page 22)
Those who rule over us say there's no way to defeat them because they're just too strong. Well, how could we go up against them with their organized military and high-tech weapons? Go to the Draft Programme.
It makes clear that the power of the people is still greater than the man's technology. This was the spirit of the 1960s. The struggle of the Vietnamese people who went on to defeat the U.S. imperialists was an inspiring example. Our Programme explains that the key to victory is to combine the revolutionary energy of the masses with the scientific doctrine and strategy of Maoist people's war. And it explains that with this combination, once the necessary conditions emerge, a people's war could have a real chance of winning--even in a country like the U.S.
The Draft Programme is a concrete plan for how to get from where things are today to where mass armed revolution could be launched.
We have a strategy for how to win--a strategy called the United Front Under the Leadership of the Proletariat. This strategy comes from the fact that U.S. society is made up of different classes. It lays out how and why the proletariat must work at this strategy to tell potential friends from enemies, and unite all potential friends, including many in the middle class, against the bourgeoisie. If you want to know why the fight for equality and liberation of Black, Chicano, Puerto Rican, and other oppressed peoples is bound by a thousand links with the struggle for proletarian revolution, go to the Draft Programme.
The Programme takes a kind of x-ray of U.S. society. It gives a clear picture of a society where a handful of haves exploit and abuse the many have-nots. It shows that while there is a big middle class in the United States, the great majority of them have more to gain than to lose through proletarian revolution. It reveals that there is a sizeable proletariat made up of different races and nationalities in the U.S.
If you want to know who is the proletariat, and why this class can in fact lead the revolution, go to the Draft Programme. It reveals that the proletariat is strategically and powerfully placed at the foundation of this society, that it makes everything run, and is a potential army of gravediggers of capitalism. A huge infusion of women and immigrants into the ranks of the U.S. working class these past 20 years adds to its revolutionary potential.
This Draft Programme, and what it has to say about creating a new society, connects with the concerns of millions of people.
The work on this Draft began as the battle of Seattle erupted in late 1999, and now it is hitting the streets on the heels of a powerful rebellion of Black people in Cincinnati and militant protests against globalization in Quebec.
A new generation is more and more fighting the powers in the streets and grappling with strategy, tactics, and the way forward for humanity. This Programme must be part of that mix and find its way into many rebel hands in this next period, and among all the diverse forces committed to real change that are out there today.
During this past year, sections of revolutionary youth have contributed in many ways to producing the Draft. Investigation teams took up the Marxist method of class analysis, conducting interviews with proletarians in the sweatshops of Los Angeles, the fields of the Rio Grande Valley, and the housing projects of Chicago. Many proletarians will recognize their voice and experience in this Draft. The youthful enthusiasm for going out among the proletarians and oppressed, armed with Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, needs to happen on an even higher level now that this Draft is out.
The Draft Programme concentrates a revolutionary line. It's a tool for engaging, debating with, and uniting lots of people--because it's a serious plan for making revolution. This is a scientific Programme, but it is a draft. So we want coast-to-coast and border-to-border discussions and exchanges to deepen understanding to produce the final Programme. This Draft was written with and among the masses, and this is also the way we're going to finalize it.
What's our concrete vision of this? We know a lot of good ideas will come from the youth and other masses themselves, but here are some examples:
We want to see forums on campuses where youth and veteran activists grapple with discussion in the Draft Programme on the national oppression of Chicano people and how it can be uprooted. Different groups of people could have discussions and debates, comparing and contrasting perspectives about the problem and the solution to the Chicano National Question.
We want to bring a wide range of issues in the Programme into the anti-globalization movement.
We want to see activists from housing struggles talk with socially conscious architects and urban planners about the Draft's vision of restructuring the cities. This kind of mixing it up and breaking down barriers took place during China's Cultural Revolution. Peasants and workers exchanged ideas with students and scholars over major political, cultural and educational policies.
There could be organized get-togethers between immigrant workers and native-born proletarians, and a rich mixing of languages and cultures among different groups of immigrants, such as between Arab and Mexican masses, to discuss what would a new society be like.
There can be a flowering of organized study groups in workplaces, in schools and housing projects, and behind the prison walls. Ways can be found where masses can speak bitterness about the current state of things and discuss how those at the bottom of society can change things. Unleashing the masses to take this Draft Programme up as their own is part of raising their consciousness and increasing their ability to change the world.
One of the main things the Party will be doing is to send squads of people to fan out across cities and to different parts of the country--including places where the Party is not yet established organizationally or politically. These squads will be made up of youth and veteran fighters.
The Party and these squads will knock on lots of doors of people from all walks of life. We'll seek meetings with Native Americans engaged in struggles over land and resource rights. We'll talk to farmers about the problems they're facing and discuss what the Programme says about creating an agricultural system that puts the people's needs first. We'll work to dialogue with progressive artists, scientists, and intellectuals about the Draft Programme's vision of art and science serving the people. We'll talk to social justice forces in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. We want to exchange views with representatives of organizations committed to justice, change, and revolution.
In all these discussions, the Party and these squads want to dig deeply into people's views of the sweeping vision of the Draft Programme, as well as their specific issues and struggles.
Through this whole process of taking this Programme out, we want to connect with people's concerns and at the same time raise their sights. We hope to advance the level of debate, understanding, and unity over key political questions focused up in the new Draft. Questions about the revolutionary potential of the proletariat in this country. Questions about how the needs of different sections of people will be met through revolution. And about the path to power in this country. We want to learn from people's responses to what's in this Draft.
During the period of broad distribution and discussions of the Draft Progamme, the Revolutionary Worker newspaper will be publicizing experiences. It will clarify questions and debates, feature correspondence and commentary. Through the Revolutionary Worker and other organized ways, the comments, criticisms, and suggestions of people will be systematically centralized by the Party and seriously considered towards finalizing the Programme.
We want to conclude by saying that the Draft Programme shows what a tremendous thing it is for the oppressed of the world that inside the U.S., we have a vanguard like the RCP.
Our Draft Programme is infused with the collective wisdom of the whole Party, the understanding we've gained in carrying out revolutionary work over the past 25 years, things we've learned from continually linking our Party's revolutionary line with the struggles and insights of the masses. This Programme is internationalist to the bone. As it makes clear, we are determined and dedicated to lead the masses to make revolution here as part of the world proletarian revolution.
All this reflects the leadership of our Party Chairman Bob Avakian, and his method of combining the most far-sighted vision with the most down-to-earth practicality--of connecting our science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism with a deep understanding of the problems and challenges of the revolutionary movement.
Sisters and brothers, if you're looking for a plan to change the world...it's here. Think about what it will mean for the newly arising generation to have this powerful vision of a revolutionary future. Think about what it will mean to have this kind of overall guide to action and basic guidelines to carry out all the different aspects of revolutionary work and struggle. Think about what it will mean to have such a battle plan to unify all our efforts to serve the goal of bringing a new society and world into being through revolution.
To all those who refuse to accept this madness as the "best of all possible worlds"...to those who are struggling against injustices...to those who are looking for a way to turn the world upside down and right-side up--we invite you to join in study, discussion, and wrangling over the new Draft Programme.
If there is a revolution in the U.S., people all over the world would dance with joy in the streets. Our Party has accepted this responsibility to lead the masses to make revolution, at the earliest possible time, in the "belly of the beast." That's what this Programme is all about.
GET WITH THE DRAFT PROGRAMME!
ORGANIZE TO CHANGE THE WORLD!
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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