WASHINGTON – What’s the best-kept-secret 100th anniversary of 2019?
With all the socialism swag in the Democratic Party these days, it might surprise you that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party USA, formed, not coincidentally, with funding from the then-brand-new Soviet Union, which got its start just two years earlier.
Even the CPUSA is keeping the celebration low profile.
Both the party itself and its People’s World “news” website hardly use the “C” word anymore – replaced in nearly all uses by the lower-case “socialism.”
In fact, it has been 35 years since the CPUSA has run candidates for president back in 1984 – five years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since then, the U.S. Party has been increasingly throwing in its lot with the Democrats – more and more enthusiastically.
Note the new slogan of the party – “People and Planet Before Profits.” The New Green Deal would be proud.
Today, the propaganda face of the party is in perfect synchronicity with the Dems – anti-Donald Trump, for class warfare, upping the minimum wage, fighting the apocalyptic, existential threat of catastrophic “climate change,” for open borders, supporting the nuclear arms deal Russia ignores, boosting Venezuela’s tyrant Nicolás Maduro, etc.
What’s the party organ’s top news story today? It’s not Russia collusion, it’s a conspiracy tale about how Trump is behind the National Enquirer’s sleazy attack on the richest man in the world – Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the owner of the Washington Post.
Why is that not a surprise? Maybe it’s because mega-corporations like Amazon aren’t as bad as Trump in the eyes of the new Communists. The party apparently likes the spin offered up by Paul Shearon, president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, who recently explained: “We represent people in the private sector. None of their bosses are as bad as this.”
The party has many other new heroes, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and, yes, even Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
It’s something to behold.
Here are some thoughts from John Bachtell, the national chairman of the CPUSA offered as the party’s response to President Trump’s State of the Union address: (See if you can find any wiggle room between the Communist positions and the Dems.)
- “Our country and the world are at a crossroads. Both humanity and nature face existential crises. We face a climate catastrophe and an escalating nuclear war danger. We are at a crossroads where a just a few billionaires concentrate extraordinary wealth while millions of working-class families barely make ends meet. And despite Trump’s false picture of the economy, wages are stagnant and forty percent of workers are outside the workforce. Many having given up looking for work. We are at a crossroads where youth are mired in mountains of college debt. Where African American, Native and other youth of color confront generational unemployment, and where social inequality has grown. We are at a crossroads facing the most corrupt presidential administration in our history. A crossroads where democracy and the truth are under daily assault, and where the danger of fascism has grown. And where children fear being slaughtered in their classrooms by someone with an assault weapon. These things are truly frightening.”
- “Yet, Trump’s speech tonight tried to instill fear of a different sort: a nightmare of hordes of Mexicans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans and Hondurans overrunning our border with crime, violence, and drugs. Trump is lying about every aspect of the border crisis and immigration as he conjures up external and internal enemies threatening the American people. In reality, these are our working-class brothers and sisters, and their children. They are refugees desperately fleeing violence rooted in U.S. corporate exploitation and militarism.”
- Drawing upon our greatest revolutionary ideals, Americans increasingly embrace diversity, equality, and solidarity; we are one multi-racial working class, native and foreign-born, men and women, gay and straight, united in the recognition an injury to one is an injury to all. Trump’s border wall is a symbol of white supremacy and anti-immigrant racism and prejudice. It is aimed at dividing the American people.”
He also hit back against the government shutdown, Trump’s “coup” against Venezuela’s Maduro and the outrage of “foreign interference” in the 2016 election. (Note that the Soviet Union funded CPUSA candidates and propaganda for 72 years, according to the KGB files opened after its collapse.)
Here’s what the party lists as its agenda for 2019:
- A Green New Deal to transition to a green, demilitarized economy, build a modern infrastructure, and employ millions at union wages with affirmative action.
- Immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
- Medicare for All that makes health care a right.
- A health care system that guarantees reproductive rights, and addresses the opioid crisis caused by the pharmaceutical industry.
- Full equality based on race, gender, and sexual identity and orientation.
- Criminal justice reform, ending the cash-bail system, and decriminalization of marijuana.
- Free university tuition and cancellation of all student debt.
- Gun control including universal background checks and banning assault weapons.
- Elimination of the electoral college, an end to voter suppression and gerrymandering, and removal of corporate money from politics.
- Tax the rich and a radical redistribution of wealth and income.
- Peaceful foreign policy – respect for national sovereignty and global cooperation to solve global crises.
That’s national sovereignty for all with one notable exception, apparently.
By the way, there are a record number of members in the House Progressive Caucus this year – 104, close of half of all Democratic members of the House of Representatives. That’s up from 69 just four years ago. The House Progressive Caucus was founded by members of the Democratic Socialists of America, a group that originally hosted the official website of the progressives.
The Democratic Socialists of America’s chief organizing goal has been to work within the Democratic Party and remove the stigma attached to “socialism” in the eyes of most Americans.
“Stress our Democratic Party strategy and electoral work,” explains an organizing document of the DSA. “The Democratic Party is something the public understands, and association with it takes the edge off. Stressing our Democratic Party work will establish some distance from the radical subculture and help integrate you to the milieu of the young liberals.”
An online definition of socialism calls it “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”
It also is described as “a stage in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism.”
While the DSA and Progressive Caucus try to paint distinctions between its brand of socialism and communism, before scrubbing its website following the WND expose 12 years ago, the site included a song list that included:
- “The Internationale,” the worldwide anthem of Communism and socialism. *
- “Red Revolution” sung to the tune of “Red Robin,” with these lyrics: “When the Red Revolution brings its solution along, along, there’ll be no more lootin’ when we start shootin’ that Wall Street throng. …”
- “Are You Sleeping, Bourgeoisie?” Lyrics included: “Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping? Bourgeoisie, Bourgeoisie. And when the revolution comes, We’ll kill you all with knives and guns, Bourgeoisie, Bourgeoisie.”
What did they say 100 years ago? Two steps forward and one step back?