What Would a Communist Do?

The best person to answer that question would be a communist. Since I don't have a communist under my bed (I looked), I turned to the Communist Party USA as a source. Here then, is my report on what the CPUSA has been up to recently (or at least what it is willing to post on its public web site). http://www.cpusa.org/

(Some of you might be thinking it a bit retro to call someone a communist. I am very aware that we cannot read what is written in the heart of another man. But when a person is a member of the Communist Party, calls himself a communist, and justifies his arguments based on the teachings of Marx and Lenin, I think it safe to call him a communist.)

The CPUSA's home page consists of various articles posted in reverse chronological order. I list and summarize those below.

Resetting the Health Care Debate, by Sam Webb, National Chair, 9/10/2009. In this article, Sam praises President Obama's speech of the previous night for turning the debate back around after being attacked by

"the right-wing extremists, the letting loose of the demagogues of hatred, fear, racism, and division, and the digging in of private insurance companies and other sections of corporate America. ....

"As for the supporters of health care reform, we have to be every bit as tenacious as right-wing reaction. Justice, morality, and truth are on our side, but they are not enough. Only when combined with persistence, united action, and struggle over the bill's content, including a public option, will real health care reform see the light of day."

So what would a communist do about health care? Support Obama, tenaciously and with persistence, and especially insist on including a public option. And attack your opponents as right-wing extremists and racists.

Summer Health Care fight heats up!, by CPUSA National Board, 8/10/2009. This is more of the same about the health care debate. While Sam, above, listed who the bad guys are (right-wing extremists, racists, insurance companies and corporate America), the National Board lists who the good guys are.

"If health care reform fails, it will be a giant step backwards for the Obama administration and for working people, the labor movement, African American, Latino, Asian-Pacific Island communities, women and youth on every issue including the economy, peace and democracy."

We are warned again of "right wingers" who "are using strong-arm tactics to disrupt town hall meetings, oppose any public option..."

What would a communist do? Again, support Obama's health care plan, especially a public option, with help from "the labor movement, Health Care for America Now, Organizing for America and so many other organizations... the AFL-CIO."

Running behind the "Redwood Curtain", by Michael Robert Langdon, 8/4/2009. This article reports on all the local good works being performed by the author in and about McKinleyville, California.

"Besides my regular duties of first aid, referrals and consultations, I spend a great deal of time talking to the politicians within the community... To these politicians, we are not just a fringe element on the horizon, we are the true people representing the needs and wants of the community."

What would a communist do? Provide first aid, referrals, and consultations, and "spend a great deal of time talking to the politicians."

Speech to Chautauqua: The Communist Party - A work in progress, by Sam Webb, 7/30/3009. This being a speech by Sam Webb, it is characteristically long winded. Some excerpts.

"Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, who together developed an analytical structure and methodology that enabled the working class to...

"Engels, in an effort to counter a dogmatic interpretation of historical materialism that was fashionable in the socialist movement of that time, wrote...

"Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Russian revolution asserted..."

You get the idea. After a stem-winding history of the struggle, Sam gets to what good communists should do now.

"President Obama and progressive Congress people can't be the only change agents and will be change agents only up to a point. Our responsibility is to support them, prod them, and constructively take issue with them when we have differing views.

"But more importantly -- and this is the heart of the matter -- we have to reach, activate, unite, educate, and turn millions of Americans into ‘change agents' who can make the political difference in upcoming struggles."

In this context, I think what Sam means by "change" is change to Marxism.

Communist Party statement on the situation in Honduras, by CPUSA, 7/28/2009. The CPUSA of course supports ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, dear friend of Hugo Chavez.

By way of background, as summarized by American Thinker contributor Humberto Fontova,

"Honduras' Supreme Court voted unanimously to oust Zelaya, and her legislature voted the 125- 5 for same. The five contrarian legislators belong to Honduras' Communist party..."

They did that because Zelaya was breaking Honduran law in an attempt to become president-for-life, and using his own private militia to do it.

But what should a good communist do about it?

"The CPUSA agrees that it is necessary to ratchet up the pressure on the de-facto regime, and calls for the following actions:

"We should contact the White House and the State Department to demand that the US government respond to President Zelaya's request by taking the following immediate steps:

"Cancel US visas for the top military and political leaders of the coup.

"Freeze bank accounts in the US belonging to coup leaders as requested by Zelaya.

"Remove US personnel from the military base at Soto Cano, cease all coordination with the coup government's armed forces...

"We should demand an end to the activities in support of the coup government...

"Further, we should be contacting our members of Congress ... and work for the passage of House Resolution 630...

"Finally, the AFL-CIO, US Steelworkers and Local 10 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have led the way in calling for the restoral of Zelaya and the constitutional order in Honduras. We should build on these initiatives..."

I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine how far down this checklist President Obama and progressive Congress people got. (I do know that some visas were revoked for Honduran officials H.R. 630 now has 44 cosponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.)

Call on Congress to Support Elected President of Honduras, by CPUSA International Department, 7/9/2009. More of the same as above. But specifically, support the initiative in Congress.

"Congressmen Bill DeLaHunt (D-MA) and James McGovern (D-MA) have taken the initiative with a resolution described below in a message from the Alliance for Global Justice."

A few more names to add to the list of who CPUSA wants to work with: Bill DeLaHunt, James McGovern, and the Alliance for Global Justice.

Previously, the list consisted of "the labor movement, Health Care for America Now, Organizing for America" and "the AFL-CIO, US Steelworkers and Local 10 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union." And Mother Jones. Coincidentally, the SEIU also supports Zelaya and HR 630.

Not all these people and organizations are communist, of course. They just happen to be people and organizations whose interests coincide with those of the Communist Party right now.

That about wraps it up for recent CPUSA events. I reported previously on the CPUSA's platform and Obama's progress through it.

To review: What Would a Communist Do?

  • Support Obama. Specifically, support his health care reform, especially a public option.
  • Support progressive Congress people. Specifically support Massachusetts Democrats Bill DeLaHunt and James McGovern in punishing Honduras for legally ousting Zelaya.
  • "Reach, activate, unite, educate" and create millions of "change agents." (What is a change agent? Well, Obama and progressive Congress people are some examples.)
  • Work with the Alliance for Global Justice, Health Care for America Now, Organizing for America, Mother Jones, the labor movement generally and specifically the AFL-CIO, US Steelworkers, Local 10 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the SEIU.

Like Sam says,

"communists of our generation would do well to follow the example of our Depression-era comrades. Without giving up their longer-term vision of socialism, ... they were a vital part of the political process of the Depression era."

Hey wait a minute. You mean not only were there active communists here in the 1930s, but they influenced New Deal policy? Are we supposed to know that?