Business Politics and Current Affairs

October 21, 2010

US Politics – Communist Party

Filed under: US Politics — ispoli @ 8:58 am

Communist Party USA

The CPUSA, once the slavish propaganda tool and spy network for the Soviet Central Committee, has experiences a forced transformation in recent years. Highly classified Soviet Politburo records, made public after the fall of Soviet communism, revealed that the Communist Party of the Soviet Union illegally funneled millions of dollars to the CPUSA to finance its activities from the 1920s to the 1980s. The flow of Soviet dollars to the CPUSA came to an abrupt halt when the communists were ousted from power there in 1991, ultimately causing a retooling of CPUSA activities. Founded in 1924, the CPUSA reached its peak vote total in 1932 with nominee William Z. Foster (102,000 votes – 4th place). The last national CPUSA ticket – featuring the team of Gus Hall and Angela Davis – was fielded back in 1984 (36,000 votes – 8th place). While the party has not directly fielded any of its own candidates for over a decade, the CPUSA has backed some candidates in various local elections (often in industrial communities) and engaged in grassroots political and labor union organizing. In the 1998 elections, longtime CPUSA leader Hall actually urged party members to vote for all of the Democratic candidates for Congress – arguing that voting for any progressive third party candidates would undermine the efforts to oust the “reactionary” Republicans from control of Congress. As for issues, the CPUSA calls for free universal health care, elimination of the federal income tax on people earning under $60,000 a year, free college education, drastic cuts in military spending, “massive” public works programs, the outlawing of “scabs and union busting,” abolition of corporate monopolies, public ownership of energy and basic industries, huge tax hikes for corporations and the wealthy, and various other programs designed to “beat the power of the capitalist class … [and promote] anti-imperialist freedom struggles around the world.” The CPUSA’s underlying communist ideology hasn’t changed much over the years, but the party’s tactics have undergone a major shift (somewhat reminiscent of those used by the CPUSA in the late 1930s). After the death of hardline communist leader Hall in 2000, Gorbachev-style “reform communist” activist Sam Webb assumed leadership of the CPUSA. The CPUSA also maintains online sites for the People’s Weekly World party newspaper, Political Affairs monthly party magazine, and the CPUSA’s Young Communists League youth organization.

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