7. The Struggle for Socialism: Tasks and Demands of the Revolutionary Working Class Movement
A. Revolutionary Tasks of the Proletariat
Between capitalist society and the ultimate aim of the working class movement - Communist society - there is a period of revolutionary transformation, Socialism. Before this transformation can be brought about, the proletariat must accomplish its first and immediate political task: the overthrow of the financial oligarchy and its neo-fascist state and its replacement by a New Democratic Republic that implements vital revolutionary reforms. In this regard, the NDR is a relatively brief, transitional form of popular rule between capitalism and Socialist construction, providing the proletariat the conditions to build a truly democratic government.
Once the proletariat is victorious, it utilizes state power to consolidate its leadership over the economic, political, and social spheres by working and fighting to achieve the following fundamental tasks.
1. Economic Tasks
Confiscation and proletarian nationalization of the major private and state-capitalist monopolies in banking, insurance, and finance; industry, agriculture, utilties, transportation, retail, entertainment, publishing and communications.
- Monopoly of trade by the Socialist state.
- Repudiation of state debts to foreign and US capitalists.
- Divestiture of all foreign business, financial, and land holdings of the confiscated US monopolies.
- Centralization of banking; all nationalized big banks to be subordinated to the central bank.
Mansions and landed estates of the monopolists to be placed at the disposal of the unions. Expropriation by the state of the holdings of big landlords, including large business, commercial and residential properties.
Organization of workers’ management of industry. The establishment of State committees for the management of industry with full participation of and close coordination with the unions.
Establishment of state socialist farms on expropriated big agribusiness lands with material and technical assistance provided to the small farmer.
- Return or comparable replacement / compensation of lands illegally seized from the Native Peoples with economic assistance to improve their conditions of life and well-being.
- Redirection of all industrial and business activity towards the satisfaction of the needs and well being of the broad masses of workers. Rebuilding of the industrial and agricultural base in accordance with ecologically safe standards to facilitate the development of the national economy as a whole while repairing and protecting the environment.
- Immediate annulment of all credit card debt, loans, and mortgages of the working class, the lower strata of the petty-bourgeoisie (small farmers, merchants, etc.) and the oppressed masses.
2. Political Tasks
- Complete dismantling and destruction of the neo-fascist police state and military apparatus (including the subterranean state mechanisms), replaced with law enforcement committees for public safety and armed forces for national defense under the leadership of the proletariat.
- Consolidation and strengthening of proletarian democracy, suppressing the exploiters while affording the working class and broad masses the full participatory rights in the building and administration of Socialism. Officials at all levels will be elected and subject to recall at any time upon the demand of the majority of their electors.
- Formation of industrial and agricultural labor unions in all sectors, managed under the auspices of the workers, who themselves democratically elect all leaders and representatives.
- Establishment of a new union central, whose leading body is a congress with elected representatives from all labor unions.
- The abrogation of all aggressive military pacts and treaties enacted by the neo-fascist state, the closure of all military bases abroad, and the return of warships, aircraft and troops to the US.
- Immediate elimination and safe disposal of all nuclear, chemical, and other weapons of aggression and mass destruction.
- The restoration of national sovereignty to all “territories” and “protectorates” of US imperialism, including Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Micronesia.
- Annulment of all venal trade agreements imposed by the US imperialists on its neo-colonies and dependent states. Trade to be based on the principles of mutual benefit, non-interference, and complete independence of trading countries.
3. Social Tasks
- Guaranteed jobs for all able workers at living wages. Reduction of work to one full time job with a work day of no more than seven hours, and no more than six hours in industries particularly harmful to the health of the workers. Return of the workweek to 5 days.
- Prohibition of child labor (under 16 years) and restriction of hours for youth (up to 18 years of age) to a maximum 4 hour workday / 5 day workweek.
- Four weeks vacation per year plus all state holidays with full pay.
- Social insurance in all forms (health, retirement, accident, unemployment, etc.) completely provided by the state.
- Comprehensive and free medical services at state expense to improve the health of the population and to combat social diseases (tuberculosis, venereal disease, AIDS, alcoholism, and drug addiction).
- Universal, secular, and free education extending to college and graduate studies. An upgrading of academic standards and culture conforming to levels commensurate with a democratic, scientific Socialist society. Special attention/assistance given to the schools and teachers of the working class and formerly oppressed youth so these students can quickly raise their educational/cultural levels to the national norm.
- Complete equality between men and women before the law, on the job, and in social life; recognition of maternity as a social function with full compensation, protection and support of mothers and infants. Humanistic social care and upbringing afforded to infants and children in state-run day-care centers free of charge.
- Complete equality between all national/immigrant/ethnic groups before the law, on the job, and in social life. The Socialist state gives special attention/aid to Blacks, Native Americans, Puerto Ricans and other minorities to upgrade education and occupational skills while waging systematic cultural struggle against the ideologies of white supremacy and other forms of national chauvinism and racism.
- Quality, affordable housing as a guaranteed right of all working people through a national plan of construction and subsidies by the state.
B. Practical Part of the Program: Immediate Demands of the Proletariat
In its struggle for New Democracy and Socialism, the proletarian vanguard must fight to defend and advance the interests of the working class and its allies for partial demands. This fight responds to the crucial needs of the masses while it raises the class consciousness, organization, and fighting capacity of the proletariat to accomplish its revolutionary aims. Towards these ends, the program calls for the following immediate demands on the political and socio-economic fronts.
1. Democratic Demands
- Freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, demonstration, travel, and organization, including the right of the proletariat to organize its own political party, unions, social, and cultural organizations that are free from attack, interference and control by capital and its neo-fascist state.
- Abolition of all racist-separatist groups, propaganda, and speech hostile to the democratic rights and unity of the working class and people.
- The right of workers to their unions; the right to strike, including mass pickets without encroachment from scabs and police forces.
- Complete equality of rights between men and women.
- Complete equality of rights between all national and ethnic groups.
- Inviolability of person and home.
- Abolition of the death penalty. Freedom for all political prisoners. The radical restructuring of law enforcement, including the disbanding of all para-military police and “street-crimes” units. Reforming the prison system, including the elimination of jail sentences for minor crimes, and outlawing punishments incompatible with human dignity.
- Universal, secular, free, socially equitable, and compulsory education through high school. Immediate freeze on tuition increases at all universities and colleges and, ultimately, free tuition at all state universities and colleges.
- The immediate withdrawal of all US military forces and advisors from all foreign lands. An end to all US military aggression, intervention, occupation, espionage, and political interference abroad.
- Independence for Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Micronesia, and all other US territories and protectorates.
- Just settlement of treaties signed with the Native Peoples. Immediate removal of all US government and military police from Indian Reservations. Comprehensive Federal economic and material assistance for reservations.
- Unconditional ban of all nuclear, chemical, and other weapons of mass destruction.
- Abolition of all imperialist war-mongering propaganda against other countries. The right to refuse to fight in any wars of aggression.
- The right to bear arms and the right to armed self defense, including the right of the community to form armed committees of safety to protect itself against crime, drug-running, and other forms of anti-social, reactionary violence.
2. Socio-economic Demands
- An immediate doubling of the minimum wage and a 25% increase in wages and salaries for the entire working class. The right to continuous increase in wages and improvement of working conditions, including slowing the pace and reducing the volume of work to levels that do not endanger the safety, health or psychological well being of the workers.
- Equal pay for equal work.
- An end to all mass-layoffs in the private and public sectors.
- The conversion of involuntary temporary or part-time jobs and other forms of ultra-exploited labor to steady, full-time positions at living wages and adequate benefits.
- A maximum 7-hour workday.
- A minimum 3 weeks yearly paid vacation and 15 paid holidays per year for all workers.
- Full compensation for all work-related injuries without penalty or loss of seniority.
- Full compensation for maternity leave three months before and after childbirth. Non-hazardous work for pregnant women. Free, safe, quality child-care.
- Full compensation in the event of illness or loss of ability to work, with income equal to the average worker’s pay.
- Right to retire beginning at age 55 with full Social Security and private pension benefits as well as supplemental government support when needed.
- Immediate annulment of credit card debt exceeding 10% of household income of the employed and of all credit card debt for those unemployed. Immediate annulment for agricultural debts incurred by small farmers exceeding 5% of their income.
- The establishment of a national health care program providing free, universal, quality medical services to the working class and people.
- Emergency quality housing and other material support provided to the homeless. A national rent control law, rolling back and adjusting rents to affordable levels for the masses according to their income. Reconstruction of the working class districts of the big cities.
- An immediate freeze on prices of food, mass transportation, and energy.
- Restoration of a progressive income tax, substantially reducing taxes on labor, small farmers, merchants, and other lower strata of the petty-bourgeoisie while increasing taxes on big capital.
- Elimination of ruin and waste of natural resources. An immediate moratorium on the development of open land. Substantial government subsidies for the research and development of alternative (non-fossil fuel) energy for transport and utility use. Massive upgrading of the passenger and freight railroad system while reducing air and truck transport. Strict environmental standards imposed on industry and agriculture to safeguard the air, water, and soil.