Contribution of CP USA [En]
prepared by Dee Miles
We would like to extend greetings to the 16th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties from the Communist Party USA, and we would like to thank our hosts, the Ecuadorian party, for having us all here in Ecuador. We agree that the greatest threat in the world today is imperialism, particularly US imperialism. We would like to salute those countries and movements that have struggled forward and made progress toward realizing great advancements in democracy and even socialism, including Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, and Cuba, in the face of intervention and threats of intervention looming large by US imperialism.
We would like to share with you the thinking of our Party on the path ahead, especially as it relates to the fight for social progress in our country, but also as it relates to our joining with the international community in tackling the dangers caused by US imperialism in the world today.
In spite of the November 2014 election results, in the recent period in the US there has been progress of great significance in a direction that favors the advancement of democracy in our country. The recent climate march of hundreds of thousands in NYC, the struggle against police brutality and the militarization of the police ignited most recently in Ferguson, MO but also sweeping across the nation, and the increased activity of organized labor in defense of the interest of the US working class in particular, the broad masses of the US people in general, and even genuine international solidarity, are all just a few examples of social activity in a direction on which we have to build. In some areas, even results from the election reveal successful struggles against the domination of big money in several communities throughout the country. One example is the successful passage of initiatives in several states concerning increasing the minimum wage in spite of the efforts of big money to defeat such initiatives.
The conditions of the US working class are not that of unlimited affluence as the ruling class of the US would have the rest of the world believe. The rate of poverty is growing, with 5.5 million more people falling into the ranks of poverty since 2008, and the median household income is declining, by 4.6 % since 2008. Working class real income adjusted for inflation has not risen significantly in 46 years. Yet, corporate profits are higher and the tax rate on corporations is lower than since the early 1930s when Hoover was president. The implementation within the US of neo-liberal policies, policies of austerity, promotes privatization, deregulation, and international trade agreements (the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA; the Central American Free Trade Agreement, CAFTA; the Transpacific Partnership, TTP; and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP) that favor corporate interests and hurt the working class in the US and the working class globally. The insecurity of life for US workers is a real form of oppression which is a tangential effect of the process of capitalist exploitation. In the US, if you do not work, there is no long term safety net.
The US working class is multiracial and multi national; the US working class is male and female, young and old. Every section of the US working class faces the oppression and exploitation of capitalism, but for some sections of the US working class the oppression and exploitation of capitalism are more severe. Racism, gender inequality, and low wages produce segments of the US working class that suffer multiple forms of exploitation and oppression. Low wages make it such that even when working full time, many workers in the US remain in poverty. Organized labor in the US has mounted a campaign to organize low wage workers and to fight for an increase in the minimum wage to at least $15.00 per hour. The reality is an increase to $10.00 an hour would be a victory over a federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which it is now.
A big concern for many members of the US working class is immigration status. The fight for immigration reform including legal work permits and a just path to citizenship remains paramount.
Our vision of the path ahead rests on the fundamental concepts of Marx and Lenin as well as others who have contributed to the development and advancement of democratic and socialist thinking and experience in the world as well as in the US. From the fight for independence against British rule, to the civil war against the slavocracy, to the struggle of labor to organize, to the fight for the rights of citizens as waged by the various oppressed peoples including African Americans, Latinos, Native peoples, and women, to the present fight to prevent the complete domination of every aspect of our lives by the extreme right, we see our struggle as being one of the ever broadening and ever deepening fight for the realization of advanced democracy including the struggle for the ratification of socialist goals and ideals within the hearts of our people and our national Bill of Rights.
We see the path ahead as being one of the continued greater deepening coalescing of the broadening movements of organized labor, the nationally and racially oppressed along with women, youth, seniors, and the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) communities. We see the path ahead as being one of ever expanding united action in support of labor’s right to organize, in support of raising the minimum wage, in support of union jobs or a guaranteed income, in support of the equality of the racially and nationally oppressed and against the relentless racism propagated by the US ruling class, in support of the equality of women and against the war on women, in support of the quality of life for seniors, in support of the quality of life of children and youth, in support of full equality and the extension of marriage rights to the LGBTQ, in support of a democratized and demilitarized US foreign policy, and in support of the protection our environment through a massive movement against our domination by the fossil fuel industry in the first place.
As the Communist Party of the United States of America, we face this task square on. We struggle to orient our party toward strategies and tactics appropriate for the 21st century while holding dear the still applicable ideas and lessons of the great strides made in prior centuries.
Darker days are ahead given the recent election results in the US. Our assessment is that the election results are NOT a product of the electorate in the US turning to the political right. No; instead the election results are a product of several factors at least. First is the negative campaign influence of Big Money, which included hiding the truth about who they really are and what they truly stand for, unrelenting Obama bashing, and the overt and covert use of racist messaging. Second was massive and wide spread voter suppression which resulted in hundreds of thousands of people being denied the ability to vote. And, third was the nation wide redesigning of electoral districts to favor candidates from the political right. Though voter alienation and disengagement is of major concern, the big revelation is that the fundamental right to vote is under assault in the US and disfranchisement is particularly a threat to the voting rights of the elderly, the young, the racially oppressed, and the poor. It would not be an exaggeration to say that indeed the voting rights of the US working class are under assault. Although the political right will claim the November 2014 elections prove they have a mandate, a closer analysis reveals there is no mandate from the masses of the people; there is only the mandate from big money.
Given the election results, we can predict that US foreign policy will become even more warlike with the push for increased bombings, increased special operations, more troops on the ground, and increased authorized military force.
Though the fight for the advancement of democracy in the US has suffered a setback in this election, the fight for the advancement of democracy has had and will continue to have an impact on US foreign policy. The more the movement for democracy is able to win advances, the more a less militaristic orientation can penetrate even US foreign policy. Our goal is a foreign policy that fully respects the sovereignty of nations, relies on diplomacy rather than saber rattling, and works against wars of imperialism as barbaric relics which threaten human existence. Our goal is a US foreign policy that seeks to work on the basis of equality with the rest of the world toward the advancement of the human condition and the protection of our world environment.
We note with great concern that NATO is expanding. The expansion of NATO is not in the service of world peace or self-defense. NATO is an increasingly aggressive grouping which undermines real international collective mechanisms, such as the United Nations and its agencies. NATO is used as the military arm of neo-liberal trade pacts and the geopolitical interests of the most powerful imperialist states. Our goal is to end the expansion of NATO and eventually to achieve its complete abolition.
After some progress, we see a fall off in the efforts for nuclear disarmament and obstruction by the political extreme right against any new initiatives. Recent events have
increased tensions between nuclear armed states including the threatening behavior of NATO in response to the Ukraine crisis, and we condemn the irresponsible acts committed by US imperialism and NATO.
We are in favor of even earlier dates for the negotiation of benchmarks for nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament to be adhered to by all nuclear armed states. In addition to the danger to all of our futures including that of the planet, the money spent on nuclear weapons is a tremendous waste which should be dedicated to improving the living standards of all the peoples of the world.
In conclusion, we would like to extend our congratulations to Cuba on once again attaining an overwhelming vote in the United Nations to end the US imposed blockade. More and more our voice is being joined by the voices of others within the US calling for an end to the inhumane blockade against Cuba and to free the Cuban 5. We are resolute in our commitment to the international project of constructing a world where the exploitation of human being by human being is ended, and we can all flourish in the warm sunshine of our socialist futures. Taking advantage of the new technological developments, we would like to increase our relationships with our fraternal parties. On behalf of the CPUSA, I thank you for the opportunity to speak to you for these few minutes. WE SHALL OVERCOME!!!