About

This is an official  blog featuring some of the articles from Progressive Labor Party.CHALLLENGE Front page

Progressive Labor Party (PLP) fights to destroy capitalism and the dictatorship of the capitalist class. We organize workers, soldiers and youth into a revolutionary movement for communism.

Only the dictatorship of the working class — communism — can provide a lasting solution to the disaster that is today’s world for billions of people. This cannot be done through electoral politics, but requires a revolutionary movement and a mass Red Army led by PLP.

Worldwide capitalism, in its relentless drive for profit, inevitably leads to war, fascism, poverty, disease, starvation and environmental destruction. The capitalist class, through its state power — governments, armies, police, schools and culture —  maintains a dictatorship over the world’s workers. The capitalist dictatorship supports, and is supported by, the anti-working-class ideologies of racism, sexism, nationalism, individualism and religion.

While the bosses and their mouthpieces claim “communism is dead,” capitalism is the real failure for billions worldwide. Capitalism returned to Russia and China because socialism retained many aspects of the profit system, like wages and privileges. Russia and China did not establish communism.

Communism means working collectively to build a worker-run society. We will abolish work for wages, money and profits. Everyone will share in society’s benefits and burdens.

Communism means abolishing racism and the concept of “race.” Capitalism uses racism to super-exploit black, Latino, Asian and indigenous workers, and to divide the entire working class.

Communism means abolishing the special oppression of women — sexism — and divisive gender roles created by the class society.

Communism means abolishing nations and nationalism. One international working class, one world, one Party.

Communism means that the minds of millions of workers must become free from religion’s false promises, unscientific thinking and poisonous ideology. Communism will triumph when the masses of workers can use the science of dialectical materialism to understand, analyze and change the world to meet their needs and aspirations.

Communism means the Party leads every aspect of society. For this to work, millions of workers — eventually everyone — must become communist organizers. Join Us!

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37 thoughts on “About

  1. Ted says:

    “Communism means working collectively to build a society where sharing is based on need. We will abolish work for wages, money and profits. Everyone will share in society’s benefits and burdens”

    1) why will a person work hard(if much at all) when you will feed them regardless?

    2) What if people disagree with your idea of need, benefit, and burden?

    If capitalism has had success it is because it is flexible and motivates people to be productive(generating technological advances and reducing poverty).

    • Arthur says:

      Yes capitalism has been a great success. But its great achievements are all in the past. Nowadays it’s just war, war and yet more war. Time to go bye bye.

  2. Kory says:

    I agree with a true communist giving and receiving society, but this won’t happen, because people in a rather perverse way like the idea of greed, control, power ,and always wanting to make sure that someone is working or being exploited. I can see work for the benefit of people, but people would rather work for the benefit of profit. So people in general really shouldn’t complain about health care, and everything else if all they want is a world based on profit. By the way to the people out there who are pro capitalists…don’t complain about how your children are going to able to live, or if their jobs leave the country and everything else, because according to many executives this considered FREE ENTERPRISE! Again, if everyone is out for themselves, then don’t complain about the future that your children will have in life.

    • Arthur says:

      Aha! The old “Human Nature” argument.

      Somehow slaves were not quite human, their nature was different and what they thought didn’t matter. How convenient this particular human nature was for the slave-owners.

      Somehow serfs were born to be serfs forever – they were far along and very low down in the Great Chain of Being where everyone knew their God-given place. ["God bless the Squire and all his relations and keep us in our proper stations"] How convenient this particular human nature was for the Great Lords.

      And today somehow, it’s all different: We’re all equal and fighting the great fight for the “survival of the fittest”. How convenient this particular human nature is for our own dog-eat-dog capitalists.

      Human Nature doesn’t drop from the skies. It’s what you make it.

  3. oxypolitis says:

    As Adam Smith described:

    “Every individual is continually exerting himself to find out the most advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command. It is his own advantage, indeed, and not that of society, which he has in view. But the study of his own advantage naturally, or rather necessarily, leads him to prefer employment which is most advantageous to the society . . . . [H]e intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.” — Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, bk. IV, ch. 2, 397, 399 (D.D. Raphael ed., 1991) (1776).

  4. jim willitssonburg says:

    The problem with Communism is that there is no freedom of expression. If you dare raise any concerns, you will be silenced.

    Even posting an opinion on a site like this–under communism–would be strictly monitored. This is why it will never work.

    • Arthur says:

      As a refugee once said to me; “I’m here as a refugee because I spoke my mind in my own country. Here, in the Free World, sure I can say what I like, trouble is, nobody listens.”

  5. Jim, Do you really believe their is freedom of expression under capitalism? Look how many people have been silenced during the beginning of the Iraq war.

    • no_slappz says:

      Challengenewspaper, you wrote:

      “Do you really believe their is freedom of expression under capitalism? Look how many people have been silenced during the beginning of the Iraq war.”

      Name ONE.

  6. stan says:

    I have a question….why doesn’t the PLP website make any mention of gay rights? I found a blog post here which supported gays. But when I search the PLP website (progressivelabor.890m.com) there is literally nothing on the issue. Your party seems to reflect on many current issues, but when will it take a stand on this?
    It’s too bad the PLP is so late in that game. the vast majority of communist/socialist groups have taken clear stands on this, but the PLP has not.

  7. Ed Schimberg says:

    Hello:

    This is not an ideological comment but personal actually. Back in the late 1960s I was an SDS member at the College of Marin, in Marin County, CA. The genesis of our chapter flowed out of the San Francisco State strike, when a several SDS organizers came to our school looking for some of us radicals who might be interested. One of the SDS organizers was a fellow named Howie Foreman, I think. Howie was a PLP member as I remember. Me and two of my friends were receptive and under Howie’s direction, along with his wife, I think here name was Pat, we organized a fairly successful chapter. I subsequently, along with several others became active in the SDS Workers Student alliance. To cut to the chase, I was thinking about those days with some friends here where I live, and If you can could you send me some information on how Howie and Pat are. They were really wonderful people on a personal level, and excellent organizers back then. I hope they are doing well. If you can’t give me an update on them for whatever your reasons might be, I understand.
    I can tell you that I have long ago left the radical movement and have no interest in rejoining. I do not see socialism as the answer to our problems, but my purpose is not to start a debate or an argument with ya’ll. This is strictly a personal request concerning two people I really liked when I was young.
    Thank you for your consideration of my request, Ed Schimberg

  8. Under recent archives at this site you will find the most recent version of my book FUNDAMENTALS OF HISTORICAL MATERIALISM, BOLSHEVISM 2009. I would appreciate an opinion from one or more of your theoretical people on the theses presented.
    Thank you comrades
    Jason

    • Jason W. Smith, Ph.D. says:

      Dear Comrades: I am sending along a copy of the 2010 version of Fundamentals of Historical Materialism, Bolshevism 2010. In the next edition for 2011 I am changing the title to ABC’s of Communism.
      I think someone should contact me so we can talk about merging. 310 266-9380.

  9. Robin Cox says:

    Hi

    It was refreshing to come across a site that clearly states what communism is: “Communism means working collectively to build a society where sharing is based on need. We will abolish work for wages, money and profits. Everyone will share in society’s benefits and burdens.”

    So many on the left are so ensnared by the illusion of state capitalism – misnamed socialism – to the point of being almost embarrassed to even talk about the idea of abolishing the wages system for fear of appearing “utopian”.

    However, there are some things I find a bit odd: this talk of the dictatorship of the proletariat for example. The existence of a proletariat necessarily implies the continuation of capitalism and the existence of capitalists exploiting proletarians. I think you should scrpa the whole idea. In communism there are no classes – proletarian or capitalist – only people

  10. TOR says:

    The dictatorship of the proletariat would only exist under a transitional period called ‘socialism’, in which there are still classes, but the state acts in the interests of the working class and is a working class state.

    The main issue in the transition is breaking down the class differences between the urban proletariat, the petit-bourgeois (both rural and urban), and the peasant proletariat.

  11. TIANYI CHU says:

    Hello!

    I m a student from university of westminster, I study journalism, currently do a video documentary of the Gaza, I found some of your pictures are very very professional and really like them.May I put some of them into my video assignment?
    Waiting for your reply.

    Best regards,
    Tianyi Chu

  12. I am glad to see PLP is back and active. We definitely need you. Let me ask for your commentary on my book ABC’s of Communism, Bolshevism 2011, hopefully, before I take it to the printers in December (this coming edition will be the 7th edition – you can see some of the editions are finally getting into University Libraries if you go to http://www.worldcat.org and type in my name.)You can write to me at drjasonsmith@hotmail.com or call me at 310 266-9380.

  13. Mike Perronn says:

    FOR THOSE SAYING THINGS ABOUT FREEDOM OF SPEECH NOT BEING AVAILABLE IN A COMMUNIST SOCIETY…
    The “societies” we have had before, have not AT ALL been “communist societies” … but “communist states” by definition, which should really be called something like “centrally planned dictatorship”
    Freedom of expression is ENCOURAGED in a communist society since it’s all about the PEOPLE… in other words in a true Communist society there will not be anyone who can even tell you NOT to say something political…

  14. [...] “Communism means abolishing the … divisive gender roles created by the class society.” [...]

  15. Glad you are keeping up the good work. Since I last wrote there are copies of my most recent magnum opus The ABC’s of Communism, Bolshevism 2012 available at http://leninist.biz/en/2011/ABCC999/index.html and of last years version The ABC’s of Communism, Bolshevism 2011 at http://www./abcsofcommunism.info and a little bit of the early history of PLP in various parts and notes of Shining Path, the Peruvian Revolution at http://leninist.biz/en/0000/JWS000/ and at http://www.peruvianprisonbreaks.com

  16. I am afraid I don’t have much to offer other than what I have written. I am 69 years old and everyone I knew is dead or dying or otherwise unavailable. If there were such a thing as a Marxist university I would volunteer my services but as far as I know there is not and the cap schools sure don’t want me – so I am just putting in my time so to speak. Unfortunately, for some reason, I am still healthy so it looks like I have a lot of time on my hands. Strange isn’t it. After the life I have led I should have been dead a long time ago.

    • allanrharris says:

      Dr. Smith, I came across this blog and was reading your ABCs of Communism. You argue in Chapter Two that humans began to produce for day-to-day needs after having produced a surplus. And thereafter abstract thinking and speech developed.

      I would have thought that early humans first produced for day-to-day consumption by hunting and gathering. Then, with agriculture and animal domestication humans were able to produce a surplus for the first time. Once the surplus was produced then the basis for economy, slavery, serfdom and capitalism was established.

      • I haven’t received a question about the most important part of this book for a long time and so I was especially appreciative. In fact you have hit on the central most important question Marxist anthropology has confronted since Marx turned his attention to pre-capitalist economic formations which as you may know took up much of the last seven years or so of his life.
        Let me try and rephrase what I was saying in the first several chapters of ABC’s:
        (1) The central question one must get too when confronting the fact of transition from the egalitarian social relations and altruist ideology of primitive communism and the subsequent class inequality social relations and selfish-sadistic ideology of the Servitude Epoch (Slavery, feudalism, capitalism) is how did this happen? This is also to say why did this happen? For that reason I started that discussion in Chapter 2 dealing with the end point in the evolution of Homo’s primitive communism where hunting and gathering Bands and Tribes have long since passed the point at which the struggle to produce required all of their time. The most important anthropologist in this regard has been Marshall Sahlins who proved in his book Stone Age Economics in 1972* that the ethnographic record is clear on this one point: namely, that people at this level of sociocultural evolution can produce far more than they do BUT they do not do so because to do so would be to introduce anti-social (centrifugal) forces of envy, jealousy, coveting and in a phrase would be an economic invitation to violence.
        *Sahlins book was republished in 2004 by Routledge.
        The part you quote is: “p -And, complex kinship reckoning and complex social organization became principal ways of using social time; simultaneously diverting some of that social time from becoming “labor time.” In effect the result was a true dialectical opposite: in other words, the first mechanism, by which human surplus social product accumulation was negated in favor of only producing what was needed day to day, is the mechanism of spending time thinking and symboling rather than engaging in productive activity. -And, this is critical, for the avoidance of surplus product creation is the basis upon which primitive society avoids envy, jealousy, coveting and the like anti-social centrifugal tendencies that are the only tendencies that can tear Band society apart! The pattern of doing non-productive things to evade surplus social product accumulation has been set! It will be with us for millions of years. In fact until the last six thousand years it was the only way people had to handle the danger of too much produce inequitably distributed among a Band (or Tribe).
        So what I said here was meant to address that specific question of when did this pattern of not producing as much as you can for this reason begin. Now that you point out what you have I think perhaps I should write this differently.
        (2) Because at this initial point in time producing too much (surplus social product) would have been unlikely to have been on any early Homo’s mind (Homo australopithecus). Am I being clear this time? In other words, to say it again, the point was not that people had already begun producing surplus but that they had begun producing what they needed day to day and nothing more. Perhaps that took a lot of time perhaps not. But what is for sure is that they would not have begun producing more than they needed day to day. In this way without perhaps even knowing it the self-triggering mechanism for the “pattern of surplus product avoidance” was set.
        (3) Just a note on scientific methodology. It is important wherever possible to show what self-triggering mechanisms exist to explain internal primary causality. An analog from physical science (geology) would be to explain how the structure of a Rocky Planet’s core occurs in such a way as to be a self-triggering mechanism for planetary magnetism and gravitation (a question I dealt with in my monograph New Perspectives in Physics.)
        (4) When you get a little further into the book you will see that hunting and gathering Bands and Tribes were producing substantial surpluses at least as early as the Middle Palaeolithic and probably much earlier than that in the Lower Palaeolithic. If Homo sapiens has a beginning of about a million years ago which it does, then one might conclude that broad-spectrum wild resource hunting and gathering does also and this always implies potential surplus. Then when you get to the chapter on the Agricultural Revolution you will see that the traditional ways of controlling excess surplus social production (and the inequality and social dissolutional causes it implies) no longer were sufficient and a new set of contradictions arose which were resolved in the Chiefdom way. Chapters 8 and 9 deal with this.
        (5) Just a note to be sure you understand right off the bat that surplus social product of primitive communism and surplus value of the Servitude Epoch and especially of the Capitalist Stage, are two distinct and two completely different categories. Yet, dialectically one gave rise to the other. I think I make this clear as the chapters seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven and twelve progress.
        (6) It is not surplus alone which provides the basis in and of itself for the separation of society into classes and the emergence of armed force (thuggery, the state) in the hands of the wealthiest strata (ranks in the chiefdoms and then classes in slavery, feudalism and capitalism). There had to be and there was a concomitant change in the superstructure (ideology) of society against altruism and for selfishness and sadism in order for class society (and its state or armed thuggery in private hands) to emerge and I have tried to focus on how and why that shift occurred in the chapters just mentioned.
        (7) In summary, the potential to produce surplus was always with us. It was this fact of ubiquitous surplus which had first to be dealt with, by surplus social product avoidance, and it was so dealt with for millions of years. But things happened as you will see which made any further use of traditional avoidance unlikely, everywhere, and thus arose the Chiefdoms. Even the Simple Chiefdom solution would not work forever, everywhere, and thus arose the Advanced Theocratic Chiefdoms (in our Hemisphere the Olmec and Chavin of Mesoamerica and Peru are examples but there are many more in North, Middle and South America including in our own country in the Eastern Woodlands and the USA Southwest.)
        (8) I spent over forty years of my life working on this question as my principal focus in anthropology and archaeology. So, I realize that it is not nearly as simple a question as it seems on initial formulation. It is for that reason that an actual course in the subject of sociocultural evolution (or several courses) is useful to most of those beginning these studies. However, we deal with the world we have and perhaps my comments here will be of assistance to you. You are obviously an intelligent and well prepared reader and I am sure you will be successful in your studies. Best wishes and good luck.

        By the way the final version of the ABC’s of Communism, Bolshevism 2012 is now available in e-book form at http://www.amazon.com at the Kinder Books section.

  17. allanrharris says:

    Well, I must say that I have never heard of that theory. That primitive man developed the ability to over-produce, then learned that was socially destructive, so began to produce only enough to live day-to-day. Several hundred thousand years later man reverted to over-production, which led to the destructive exploiting society we have today.

    Would it not be a simpler explanation that, 1. chimps are hunters and gatherers; 2. man evolved along with chimps as hunters and gatherers but developed better tools, etc.; 3. agriculture developed resulting in surplus production (planting seeds yields thousands of times greater value than gathering;) 4. exploitation then, it seems, would begin once one group or class could control the surplus.

  18. allanrharris says:

    Dr. Smith: On reading some of Sahlins I am reminded of the discovery that primitive man used only a few hours a day to produce his food, etc. Leisure was thus an important part of the hunter-gatherer’s life. However, I was struck by the observation that hunter-gatherers had, and still have, a habit of killing off their children and elders (infanticide and senicide (?)) who could not keep up when the band/tribe had to move to new foraging territory.

    How can one argue that this society was “wealthier” than a society which does not have to resort to this practice?

    • Capitalism kills how many workers each and every day when it no longer needs them? How many are homeless while capitalist real estate practice is to keep houses empty until they can be sold for a profit? How many hospitals are closing? Capitalism murders millions with impunity. The qualitative difference between primitive Communism that makes it a “wealthier” society was that all participated in its struggles and rewards. It was collective and developed humans to the best that particular society could. Scientific Communism is NOT primitive Communism. We are not advocating moving backward. We are struggling to use all that the working class has developed to develop the working class.

  19. drjasonwsmith says:

    Not all primitive societies practice senicide or infanticide. To get a numerical count or a quantitative view of this quality in life it is always useful to go to Murdoch’s Ethnographic Atlas where one can ask the question and see how over 1000 different scientificallly recorded societies have answered the question of do you practice this or that. Sahlins certainly was not saying that such a practice would make any society wealthy. His proven point is simply that the slogan of primitive communism is if you desire little than little will make you affluent. I make this point as the chapters unfold from two forward.

  20. drjasonwsmith says:

    Perhaps you should continue reading past chapter 2. Because all is answered and will become clear. This intuitive idea of yours is simply wrong. The explanation of what happened and why unfolds as chapters 2 through 9 unfold and there is little to be gained by repeating what I have already said here. Intuitive insight is often correct but certainly not always and this is one area where intuition is counter to reality. Another area in anthropology where intuition is simply wrong is in using bourgeois prejudices about affluence (possession of articles of production in increasing amounts is what makes you affluent) is simply wrong. Sahlins makes this point again and again. So, what you want to do is to set aside your intuitive prejudices and study what he has written or at least what I have written which simplifies that massive text for beginning Marxist students.

  21. allanrharris says:

    I look forward to reading the text. Marx famously described the massive productive forces of capitalism: “The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature’s forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground — what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour?”

    I realize that primitive humans could be “wealthier” than modern humans, i.e., happier, have more leisure time,
    and have more fulfilling lives. Why was primitive man not able to develop this kind of massive production?

    • Primitive man was just that, primitive. As science, understanding of the world based on science, and then that application towards methods of production increased the ability for man to produce, it also stratified class society and concentrated wealth and power in the hands of the few against the masses of producers. It wasn’t that primitive man was a different species, but that primitive man was at a lower stage of development.

      From the anthropological view, how does the use, for instance, of a spear throwing stick (atlatl) to kill game form the consciousness of the user; how do they develop social ideas, religion, social structure, etc?

      How much practice and training does it take to use an atlatl? To target game with a discuss or an arrow? This took hours of practice and observation, tracking skills, the evolving of the ability to mimic animal calls, all of which was the backbone of food production. How could this not affect and shape the consciousness of man at that stage of development?

      • allanrharris says:

        Obviously it did affect the consciousness…my question is what kind of consciousness was produced by the use of the atlatl. In other words, consciousness did not produce the atlatl; the atlatl, the use of it, produced a certain type of consciousness.

      • Actually, there was more of a dialectical relationship between consciousness and production. The use of the atlatl created the understanding of force that produced the atlatl — the observation that the longer the arm, the farther the throw, so the logical conclusion that by extending the arm, you’re extending the throw. This scientific leap was based upon the conscious participation of the producing class with its environment and the use of tools to engage in the primitive forms of production/accumulation available to them. Marx, in The Grundrisse, takes it one step further and points out that the tactics used during hunting were later directly transferred to war. Those who hunted animals best, also were able to fight other tribes and take territory.

  22. allanrharris says:

    Marx’s materialist argument (completely proved by now, I think) is that consciousness is determined by how humans produce their ordinary life.

    From the anthropological view, how does the use, for instance, of a spear throwing stick (atlatl) to kill game form the consciousness of the user; how do they develop social ideas, religion, social structure, etc?

  23. drjasonwsmith says:

    I suggest you take your study of Marxism seriously and proceed as you would in any other science by careful reading and learning (study in other words) from the text. If this was biology, physics or geology you wouldn’t simply shoot off ideas the moment you had them or you wouldn’t be in the class very long. This tendency of US citizens not to read and to expect everything to be spoonfed to them is counterproductive to any serious investigation. All of the questions you ask are in the first twelve chapters of the book you have in at least one of its editions. Especially the first nine chapters which have changed little over the eight editions of the book The ABC’s of Communism, Bolshevism (whatever year) and you can get a kindle copy for $2.99 at http://www.amazon.com (an e-book). Think of taking a course in evolutionary biology – you would be expected to leave your preconceived notions at the door and start at page one of your textbook. By the way an excellent way to learn is historicallly and if you were in bilogy I would suggest the movie Darwin’s Darkest Hour (library or Netflix) as a starting point for a North American dumbed down by the cap educational system to having to take what notions he or she can get from television. We don’t have anything like that for the science of society and is history but you do have this book. I can write it (perhaps I could have done a better job which can be said of any handbook) but you have to break down and read and study.

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