This 20th World Meeting occurs in the middle of a profound crisis of the capitalist system and increasing attempts to solve it along extreme right and fascist lines. The classic definition of fascism was offered by GeorgiDimitrov at the 7th World Congress of the Comintern in 1935. “Fascism is the open terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary sections of finance capital.”
Recently control has been taken by these reactionary forces through the legislative process not by force.
This developments require even greater unity among all Communist and Workers Parties. It calls on us to be more vigilant in striving to find common ground and give greater focus on how to build a united front to confront, vote out, expose extreme right and fascist leaders. We need to focus on how we can develop tools that can be used to help the working class of each of our countries to understand their power, not be so easily influenced by right-wing propaganda, to recognize when their ideas are being used against them.
A critical battle ground of today lies in the battle of ideas, that is where, in so many places the right has gained control and manipulated workers to act and vote against their own self-interest. A most urgent question is how do we raise the level of consciousness among working people to fight off these attempts. This is our urgent task as a political vanguard.
The coming to power of political forces promoting unbridled racism, anti-Semitism and right-wing nationalism represents a grave danger throughout the world.
In the United States, Donald Trump leads an extreme right and fascist-minded administration.
It is a government of the most reactionary sections of big business. His White House is pursuing Trump's agenda with a vengeance no matter what the cost to democracy, labor rights, civil rights, the environment and even human decency.
Their goal within the U.S. is to by means of a coalition of the Republican Party with finance capital, evangelical Christians, and the right-wing media to dismantle the hard fought gains of the labor and civil rights movement. They want to destroy what their ideologues term the “administrative state.” This would be accomplished by eliminating collective bargaining; privatizing government programs, and removing all regulations on big business, particularly with regard to the environment.
Internationally, they seek U.S. imperialist dominance by promoting Europe’s extreme right and redefining the U.S.’s ties to NATO and its relations with other international bodies, trade agreements and countries. A key aim is to forge a coalition against China. This is what’s behind Trump’s withdrawal from the treaty governing medium range missiles.
During the midterm elections Trump campaigned on openly racist platform. Immigrants were demonized. Children were separated from their parents and jailed in cages along the U.S./Mexico border. A caravan of Central Americans seeking relief and asylum was called an "invasion" and 5,000 U.S. troops have been sent to intercept them. It was a campaign of fear, hatred, and intimidation.
At stake in these elections was the very character of our nation with democracy itself hanging in the balance. Would the broad working-class public accept Trump's vilification of the press, the attack on public institutions, and the Republican Party's attempt to suppress the vote? Would voters ignore Trump's sexism, his administration's discrimination against LGBTQ people and attack on African Americans? Would the electorate close their eyes to the denial of climate change, deregulation of big business and Trump's tax break to the rich?
The answer given on Election Day was an emphatic no. Trump suffered a significant setback losing close to 40 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and over 300 in state legislatures across the country. It was biggest electoral defeat of the Republican Party since the Reagan years. The Republican victory in the Senate while important did not make up for these losses.
This democratic victory was fueled by women who won 100 Congressional seats, trade unions who netted over 700 seats throughout the country, people of color and youth. It was the first electoral victory of the resistance born in women's marches the day after Trump's inauguration. This resistance grew in airport protests against the Muslim ban and in youth demonstrations against gun violence and mass shootings.
Control of the house by Dems is important because it will slow his attempts to establish fascism, and take control of our country. There are many new members of congress with a different mindset that the more seasoned and sometimes spineless Dems. This will be very important but the people’s movement to refute, resist and stop trump must continue never letting up on this effort.
It is the product of a growing democratic sentiment and radicalization of the American working class and people frustrated by stagnant wages and unfulfilled promises of change.
The structural and financial crisis of U.S. imperialism continues. Despite claims of a booming economy, wages for 90 percent of the workforce remain stagnant with raises in wages in the main occurring among supervisory personnel. Even the low unemployment figures are misleading and are largely due to an increase in part-time workers. Student debt remains astronomical. When those who have give up looking for work are counted, close to one-third of the workforce is jobless.
It is these circumstances that are shaping the class and democratic struggle in the U.S. Democratic and left movements are growing significantly in size and strength. Most significantly there is a growth in support for socialism particularly among young people.
The Communist Party works to build a broad front against the extreme right and fascist danger. In our view, defeating the Trump Agenda is central to social progress in our country. We join with and participate actively in the broader resistance in pursuit of this goal. The CPUSA’s main objective in this effort is promote working-class interests and working-class leadership of this movement.
Fighting for the leading role of our Leninist party means for actively participating in the key day-to-day struggles for trade union rights, health care, voting rights, and against climate change. We work to build the party in these struggles.
In just a few months we will celebrate the centennial anniversary of our party and hold our 31st national convention. Next year we will celebrate 100 years of uninterrupted class and democratic struggle for socialism in the USA.
Our party was born in the battle for labor rights in the aftermath of WW I and the Russian Revolution. We survived the Palmer Raids and got our class struggle footing after the Crash of 29 and in the organization of the mass production industries. U.S. communists fought for the Spanish Republic, for a united front against fascism and in World War 2.
The CPUSA survived the McCarthy persecution and the Cold War rebuilding it forces in the labor and civil rights movement supporting socialist Cuba and against the war in Vietnam. The CP demanded and won freedom for Angela Davis. Our party pushed back against anti-labor offensive of the Reagan and Bush years and for detente with the USSR. We prioritized the demand for comprehensive sanctions against South Africa and for the freedom of Nelson Mandela. The CPUSA fought the neoliberal cutbacks of the 90s emphasizing the rise of right-wing extremism and a united front against it. We drew lessons from the collapse of the USSR proposing a Bill of Rights socialism for our country.
We saw the financial crisis and Great Recession of 2007 as marking the end of politics as usual in the U.S. and the beginning of new period. Neo-liberal state monopoly capitalism has run its course and something new began to stir. The election of Barack Obama, the Occupy Wall Street movement and more recently the candidacy of Bernie Sanders are reflective of the beginnings of a new direction.
Today we continue the effort to rebuild and grow in the course of fighting right-wing extremism and for the interests of our working class and people. Today we work to prevent the interference of U.S. imperialism in other to countries, to increase our solidarity with Venezuela, to end the blockade of Cuba and the recognition of a Palestinian homeland within the framework of a two-state solution.
All of this and more will be highlighted and celebrated at our Chicago Convention.
We look forward to your greetings and participation