For an Organization Rooted in Our Traditional Values, Not Dogmas of the Past
by C.J. Atkins
To read a few of the pre-convention discussion articles, you would think that the CPUSA is in the midst of a crisis.
Titles such as Save the Party!, The Old Bug of Opportunism Returns, and Tailing the Democrats and Forsaking Struggle, give the impression that a true moment of reckoning is at hand. The choice that is put forward is to either continue with our current strategic policy focused on defeating the ultra-right or to turn toward some supposedly more socialist approach.
The answer for these articles is to return to "the Party's tradition of class struggle, anti-racism, anti-monopoly, anti-imperialism, political independence, international solidarity, and indeed Marxism-Leninism" (from Save the Party!).
While I do not think the current strategic policy of the party really forsakes any of our traditional values, there are some ways in which these authors are right about the CPUSA being at a crossroads.
But it is not a new phenomenon, nor is it one that is associated with the policies of the party leadership since 2001 as is often insinuated. I think that the party has been at that crossroads for at least twenty years or so - since the collapse of the socialist countries, if not before.
The challenge since that time has been whether to continue following an ideological, political, and economic model based in Soviet experience or to set out on our own path to find a way of reaching socialism that is based on the problems and characteristics of contemporary life. The adoption of the new party program of 2005 and the consolidation of our strategic policy of defeating the ultra-right have been big steps in that direction. It is my opinion that we need to continue moving along that path.
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