Joining the Party: CPUSA (Part II)

I began my search for a party to join with the Communist Party of America (CPUSA). Founded back in 1919, it’s one of the oldest and most prominent leftist parties in the US, so starting here seemed as good as place as any.

Now I’ll admit, my own brand of Communism is fairly left-wing, even by Socialist standards; so why I’d start with the relatively mainstream-Marxist CPUSA might be a little confusing. You see, as much as I’d like to work alongside fellow radicals, the left is splintered enough as it is, and regardless of where we stand on certain issues, there are far too few of us to spend our time fighting each other when we ought to be collaborating. If there’s enough that the CPUSA has going for it, I’m more than willing to put my individual politics on hold to work for the greater good.

Now let’s look at the pros:

  1. The CPUSA is, as I mentioned above, one of the oldest leftist parties still active. It’s managed to weather McCarthyism, wars, internal strife, and rivalries with other parties. Durability like that has to count for something.
  2. The CPUSA is, compared to other leftist parties, pretty large- roughly 3,000 members in total.
  3. The CPUSA isn’t anti-religious (as some parties are). Regardless of what your stance is on religion or spirituality, you have to admit that people have the right to be believe, true or false, whatever they want to believe.
  4. The CPUSA has a long history of standing up for labor rights, racial equality, and feminism and gay rights.

And now the cons:

  1. The CPUSA has, at points throughout its history, been influenced by the former Soviet Union, rather than the American left and working class. It’s not good, but with the fall of the pseudo-Communist USSR, it might be forgivable.
  2. The CPUSA has, on multiple occasions, endorsed the Democrats as being “lesser evils”. Further, Sam Webb, leader of the CPUSA, has fully backed (again, on multiple occasions) Obama as being a “friend” and “advocate” of the people.
  3. The CPUSA entirely rejects violence, and asserts that working through the present system is the only acceptable means of securing change.
  4. The CPUSA, on the whole, is barely Communist. At best they might be Social Democrats, and at worst, run-of-the-mill liberals with delusions of radicalism. It’s a harsh judgment I know, but it has to be said.

So what are my conclusions?

While the CPUSA does have a lot going for it, all the good aspects are really negated by how tame the party is on the whole. As a Communist, I’m either laughed at or feared, and since that doesn’t look like it’s going to change, I’d really rather be laughed at/feared for doing something more than just writing letters to Monsanto’s- sorry- my political representatives. The things we’re up against are going to go away just by applying minimal political pressure- we’re facing people who wouldn’t think twice about benefiting from slave labor or bribing politicians. The CPUSA’s hippie-meets-bureaucrat philosophy just doesn’t seem like a realistic means of combating injustice. I’m not saying I won’t work with them if the opportunity arises, but I’m not going to dedicate time and energy to what’s essentially a compassionate lobby


6 Responses to “Joining the Party: CPUSA (Part II)”

  1. 1 Pat Noble
    June 23, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    If you’re interested in joining the Socialist Party USA, feel free to e-mail me at pnoble428@yahoo.com and I’ll answer any questions you have about the Party. We are a multi-tendency organization, meaning that we accept leftists from different socialist “denominations”, that are all united behind the idea of democratic socialism. We do not present ourselves as a vanguard organization, instead presenting ourselves as a group of individuals that are presenting real, socialist solutions to the problems in society.

    Check out our website at http://www.socialistparty-usa.org.

  2. 2 George Jones
    July 4, 2011 at 9:07 am

    You’re a sick cowardly loser. LOL at you!

  3. 4 Bea
    August 1, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    Unfortunately what we wish for and what is possible are too different things, the CPUSA’s assesment based on, their on the ground experience, the working class still supports Pres Obama, the majority still believe he can change things, they also make up the Democratic Party, how else do we bring radical ideas to the working class if we are off by ourselves instead of among them in their struggle. What we wish for and what is our political reality are two different things for us leftist.

    • 5 trotskyite
      August 1, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      Just so I understand you correctly- you’re asserting that the CPUSA views its support of the Democrats as a necessary evil in order to garner the support of the American working class?

  4. 6 geez
    August 24, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    n their paper during McCarthyism, the CPUSA called for the govt to hang Trotskyists.

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