Saturday, March 29, 2008

Nat'l Cmte. CPUSA, March 29th – On the Party and Press Building

Elena Mora, organizational director of the Communist Party, delivered this report. She began by arguing that the Communist Party's "role is bringing to life our strategic policy of building the labor-led movement to defeat the extreme right."

Specifically, she stated, our goal is to build a bigger communist contingent in the labor-led people's movement.

What is this movement? This movement is composed of a diverse and widespread group of forces and organizations and communities that are gathering around this election struggle to defeat the Republicans, she said. Many of these forces are new, and many others are more traditional.

Mora also questioned whether it is possible for the labor-led people's movement to struggle for change, to succeed in changing our country without our own party from being changed? No, I don't think so, she said. Our party can only get bigger as we engage with the labor-led people's movement to defeat the Republicans in the 2008 elections and win social progress after the election.

Speaking directly to the Communist Party's organization, Mora said, "growth is not automatic. Our party is growing, but not steadily, and we're still a long way away from achieving steady growth everywhere."

What are some ways to achieve this growth?

"Communists have to be foot soldiers in the labor-led people's movement in order to meet the other foot soldiers in the movement. They're our people," she said. Working with others and being open about thier party affiliation, communists will win others to our party, she indicated.

Mora also reported that the People's Weekly World, the weekly newspaper of the Communist Party, sold 700 new subscriptions in its recent subscription drive at the tail end of 2007. But, she said, "We have to adjust our minds to the idea that this paper can be a mass circulation newspaper." We need not view it as exclusively a newspaper for communists or the left.


the Jaded Prole said...

Great comments from both Elena and Judith! I think this blog is a great presence though it has its limits as a mostly in-party tool.

As far as the PWW -- it remains the best and most important paper paper in the country and circulation growth is good news. Its growth and that of our party will, I think, expand as the economy continues to contract. I believe online outreach is a vital tool in todays reality. The online PWW is great but we need to develop and exchange links with other progressive sites and organs in order to attract readers, many of which rely mostly on the web for information. Also, putting together a nice looking news/blog site that allows for public commentary could be an important doorway to the PWW and the Party as well as disseminating a class-conscious perspective around issues. This could be done quite cheaply via "blogger" or "Wordpress" and would be well worth it.

Joel said...

Thanks for the comment. I think it needn't be an in-party tool if we don't make it so.

But also look for the full reports on the party's web site and circulated in pamphlet form, party educationals, and the party's press down the line.

Harold said...

I think something that is essential for the Communist Foot Soldiers of the Party to do, and something that is rarely mentioned, is to engage in the war of ideas. There are benefits to working with labor groups and forming broad coalitions when our immediate goals are the same, but we have to realize that within the "official" labor movement (meaning the labor Unions), there is much corruption, prejudice, and what I will call "business as usual" for lack of a better term. This is also true of the Democratic Party, which is by no means a "people's party" or part of a broader "people's movement."

In certain circumstances, we have to support Democrats, but we have to realize the drawbacks of doing so. I support Obama right now, but we can't expect too much if he gets elected. There are too many signs that he represents politics as usual, despite his lofty rhetoric. As I've stated before, we've heard these promises before and have been let down.

Which brings us to the war of ideas. Communist foot soldiers, members of the party, need to engage in this battle if we are to break down the common stereotypes and build this party. Years of anti-Communist cold-war propaganda remain, and if we are ever going to make this a party of the people, the people need to know what the Party represents. At this moment in time, people don't know what the Party or the philosophy of Communism represent, and we have to engage the masses in order to enlighten them.

This is to imply, obviously, that the masses are ignorant. They are in fact far from it. But they have been victims of corporate propaganda. I do feel encouraged that were people to know the truth about the CP, that the Party would see a great increase in membership and the people's movement would push forward by leaps and bounds.