The development of capitalism, a system which now dominates the entire planet, brings with it massive toil, suffering and crisis along with revolutions in production. It also creates its own gravedigger – the global proletariat – a pool of individuals with no property or reserves of their own, thus compelled to struggle by its conditions of existence. Not merely those engaged in productive labor, the proletariat is the section of humanity which is dependent on the general wage fund paid out by the capitalist class. The proletariat forms as a class through the class struggle, which happens on the front of economic battles with employers and on the front of political struggles against the capitalist state, a protection racket for the propertied classes.
This means the proletariat also forms as a class through forming institutions to fight these struggles, such as unions, mutual aid societies, workers centers, self-defense groups, solidarity networks, and most importantly political parties. There is also an internal struggle within the proletariat, as it must unify beyond divisions of race, gender and nationality, legal and illegal, immigrant and “native” and transcend sectionalist reformism. Through these struggles the proletariat comes to represent a class which carries the interests of all humanity, the only class that can be counted on to wage a real revolutionary struggle against all forms of exploitation and oppression.
As Communists we believe in forming a Communist Party that has legitimacy and a mass base in the proletariat, a party that is democratically operated by its membership and independent of bourgeois interests. Through building a Communist Party and engaging in struggles against exploitation and oppression in all spheres of life the proletariat trains itself to pose an alternative to the capitalist order – Communism.
By Communism we mean a world where waged labor has been replaced by free associations of producers and all are able to participate in the total benefits of society’s wealth, based on the principle “from each according to their ability, to according to their need”. National boundaries are to be replaced by the free movement of people and ultimately the ending of the division of humanity into false communities of the nation. The dominance of markets and money, products of private property, is replaced by humanity taking collective control of production so as to reorient it towards meeting our needs and desires through scientific and democratic planning that transcends the irrationality of the market.
Communism is the ultimate form of freedom, for it is only the cooperation of society as a whole that can provide the real basis for the individual to achieve their full capacity. We have no interest in turning the world nor a single country into one giant labor camp with a monolithic culture that crushes the individual. Rather we aim for a new era of human development where the limitations imposed by the weight of class society have been surpassed, where one’s daily life is not structured around the earning of a wage or salary but the desire to better oneself and achieve their full capacity.
The achievement of Communism is our ultimate goal, or maximum program. Yet getting there first requires the proletariat come to political power. We put forward these demands as a minimum programme that if enacted in total would raise the proletariat to a position of political power, creating a workers republic and putting society on the road towards the fulfillment of the maximum programme, communism:
– Overthrow of the constitution and with it the current state oligarchy that governs us in favor of revolutionary democracy. Replacement of the divided executive/legislative bodies of government at the federal, state, and municipal levels, with communal representative bodies comprising legislative and executive powers. Elections and recall-ability for all government offices, as well as strict term limits and wages no greater than the common worker for holders of political offices. Abolition of the senate, judiciary and office of the president, replacing system of “checks and balances” with the rule of the proletariat. Full transparency in government to fight nepotism and corruption.
– Abolition of the US military and police and release of all non-violent offenders. Replacement of the repressive arm of the state with a well regulated people’s militia. The general means of coercion are to be controlled by the organized proletariat. End foreign aid to capitalist governments, instead embracing workers internationalism as a foreign policy. This entails support for international labor movements and promoting the spread of proletarian revolutions worldwide, even aiding workers revolutions in other regions with armed forces when possible.
– Formation of a Unitary Continental Republic with full political rights for all nationalities, integrating all territories possible. Full citizenship for all; those who live and work in the workers republic are part of the workers republic. Roadmap to open borders. End of English only laws and recognition of the right of regional minorities to their languages. Suppression of all organized white nationalists and banning from office of all politicians who have supported policies which uphold white supremacy.
– Full freedom of association and political speech for all, excluding organized reactionaries aiming to overthrow the workers republic through violence. Press to be taken out of the hands of capitalists and into the hands of the general public, with full transparency of information as a general rule of thumb. No one is to be punished or persecuted simply for the ideas they hold.
– End to all laws that aim to constrain sexual freedom and enforce patriarchal gender norms. Full legalization of abortion with guaranteed availability to all as well as free access to contraception. Rational sex education along with education against rape culture with no religious opt outs. The right to legally change one’s gender, with gender transition services provided along with all other forms of necessary medical care. Legalization of sex work with liquidation of the employers of sex workers.
-Legalization of all drugs and implementation of policies to mitigate the harms of drug use. End all punishments for use of drugs and enact treatment of addiction as a medical rather than moral issue.
– Ending of all tax exemptions for religious institutions. Purging from government of all religious influence. Right to private expression of religious faith.
– Ending of all constitutional guarantees to private property. Nationalization plus workers control for the “commanding heights” of the economy and whatever enterprises need to be expropriated for the necessities of class war to begin the socialization of production. Guaranteed access to basic needs such as education, housing, and health care. Small proprietors will be incentivized to voluntarily collectivize and join the socialized sector of production.
– Reduction of workweek to 30 hours or even less without reduction of wages. Raising of minimum wage to above the basic subsistence cost of living, indexed to inflation. All enterprises are put under supervision of workers councils to ensure this is adhered to, as well as general workers power at the point of production including elections of managers in socialized industry.
– Programs to provide unemployment relief including a guaranteed minimum income for the disabled and students.
– Collectivization of domestic labor to largest possible extent. Abolition of all patriarchal forms of management in the workplace. End of wage gap between genders. Economic benefits of marriage ended. Mandatory maternal and paternal leave, all to introduce the abolition of gendered division of labor.
– Ending of racialized divisions in workplaces, housing and school. Full integration of all at the economic and geographic and not merely political level. End of city jurisdictions that balkanize white and non white areas, giving political and economic power to people of color.
– Full rights for workers to unionize and fight for their interests independent of the institutions of the workers republic/semi-state. End to all anti-union laws.
– Immediate socialization of intellectual property, so that all humanity can participate in skilled and intellectual labor so as to begin ending the division in society between those who do the grunt work and those entitled to more fulfilling forms of work.
– Crash-course programs to replace environmentally destructive industries with the most sustainable possible alternatives.
These are not of course the content of communism itself, as communism comes out of the shell of capitalism. While some of these demands could be met under capitalism, their application as a totality would mean the destruction of the capitalist state and the ascent to political dominance of the proletariat. Communism is not a technocratic vision to be imposed but is created through the collective activity of the proletariat re-organizing society over time, struggling against counter-revolution and the remnants of bourgeois society. How fast a given society can transition into communism will rely on the success of communism elsewhere around the world, as well the ability of productive forces to end toilsome forms of labor, the mental/manual division of labor and further decrease the working day to a bare minimum. As markets and money or forms of rationing like labor vouchers are phased out and scientific planning of material reproduction on world scale becomes the norm the state will become more and more useless, eventually fully withering away.