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Which communist party should I join?

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Apr 2013, 23:37
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 18 Dec 2013, 02:54
Which communist party should I join? I live in the suburbs of Chicago so I live far away from many of the party offices in Chicago. Which of the main communist parties in the US should I join? I'm looking for one that is active with many members. The ones I know of are CPUSA, PSL, WP. Are there any more with a strong presence in Chicago that I can join?
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 18 Dec 2013, 05:45
If you live in Chicago, I would recommend checking out PSL. There's a number of people on this forum who are affiliated with this party, and it seems to be one of the most visible and active parties on the American scene. PSL may have a quasi-Trot past, but it seems to have gotten beyond the more dogmatic aspects of such ideology. I'd say they have a party which is reasonably relevant and forward thinking.

Of course, there are other parties in Chicago. RCP has a presence there but, unless you're willing to throw in your lot whole hog with "Chairman Bob" and his rather unique brand of "Avakian Thought", you might want to give it a pass. CPUSA is there, as it is everywhere, but it's in the throes of a leadership crisis due to Sam Webb's clique being mired in accusations of tailing the "left" wing of the Democratic party (if such a wing even truly exists anymore).
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Soviet cogitations: 10737
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 25 Dec 2013, 06:50
1. Be happy that you live near a city with several party branches.
2. Screw #1, living in the suburbs sucks.
3. I'd try and go to a left neutral rally (i.e. immigration/gay rights, anti war, ect.) where you will be able to talk to multiple leftist parties attending the same demo.
4. If there is no major mobilization in Chicago anytime soon, check out the various party's forums or movie hosting ect.
5. As a PSL member I say join the PSL.


I'd pretty much sum it up at GET ACTIVE! You can attend events/rallies/forums of various parties while you gather info on them. You have to chose which party is right to join. I can answer any further questions about the PSL or you can find out more info here: http://www.pslweb.org/liberationnews/branches/chicago/
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 26 Dec 2013, 21:54
Why not just give all of them a call (if travel to the city is expensive) and see what's what? Like, what kind of people are they, what do they do, etc. What's the point of being told by strangers on the internet which party (none of which you've gotten a real-life impression of so far) you should commit yourself to? Because in a proper communist party, membership = commitment.

I mean, I don't want to get off into some kind of "kids these days" rant, because I really think it's great that people want to get up and do something. But to me, these threads always seem a bit pointless, which is mainly the fault not of the person who asks the question, but of the people who answer. Any over-opinionated yahoo on the internet can say whatever he wants to dissuade you from joining an organisation, even when he has no idea about it.

To illustrate, suppose I'm a Maoist or a Trotskyist or whatever on the other side of the world, affiliated to a section of the "International" (CWI, IMT, RIM, whatever), and I tell you: "Avoid the CPUSA at all costs, they're reformists who only tail the Democrats! Join the US section of my International instead!" But of course I have no idea about the situation in Chicago, in fact, I haven't even got an idea about life in Chicago in general. Maybe in Chicago, the CPUSA has the best connections to the organised working class, while "my" group is organised from someone's mom's basement. But I get to tell you which group has "a bad line" or whatever.

So that's why I recommend you just contact these people (phone is always quicker than e-mailing), perhaps arranging a meeting with a contact person, and see if you can participate in activities for a while before joining officially.
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 26 Dec 2013, 22:22
Most parties will have some sort of regularly scheduled "open house" for new/potential members to attend and get to know the people in the organization.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Soviet cogitations: 589
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Dec 2013, 14:24
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 06 Jan 2014, 16:32
I wouldn't join any, save your money! None of them are communist, only state-capitalist or Keynesian in outlook.
Why pay a monthly fee and give up your Saturday afternoon to sell, or fail to sell, a party newspaper.
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Soviet cogitations: 3799
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2006, 02:14
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 06 Jan 2014, 19:27
So, you think the revolution will arise from a lot of individuals being inspired by the Will of the Lord, or something like that?
If you don't organize, you'll never accomplish anything.


"Where Argentina goes, Latin America will go".
Leonid Brezhnev

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2004, 20:49
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Embalmed
Post 06 Jan 2014, 19:51
Have you your own party or vision of communism and how to get there, Yami? You're being mean by not sharing any of it with us.
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"Phil Spector is haunting Europe" -Dr. Karl H. Marx
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Soviet cogitations: 589
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Dec 2013, 14:24
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 06 Jan 2014, 20:32
Che Burashka wrote:
So, you think the revolution will arise from a lot of individuals being inspired by the Will of the Lord, or something like that?
If you don't organize, you'll never accomplish anything.


What did the communist parties ever achieve? What is their legacy? Gravestones. People may have cheered when they came to power, but they cheers were louder when they were overthrown.
None of them will get a penny from me. Would be like paying the executioner for the bullets.
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Soviet cogitations: 589
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Dec 2013, 14:24
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 06 Jan 2014, 20:33
Erichs_Pastry_Chef wrote:
Have you your own party or vision of communism and how to get there, Yami? You're being mean by not sharing any of it with us.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kronstadt_ ... resolution

This would be a good start...it just needs modernising.
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Soviet cogitations: 3799
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2006, 02:14
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 06 Jan 2014, 20:46
So... we sit and wait?

Yeah... that'll work...


"Where Argentina goes, Latin America will go".
Leonid Brezhnev

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Soviet cogitations: 6211
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Aug 2004, 20:49
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Embalmed
Post 06 Jan 2014, 21:02
Kronstadt was hopeless to begin with, and a few of those resolutions are throwbacks to cottage industry, something which hasn't existed in the UK for at least 200 years in any appreciable scale. Only the first three have any kind of relevance, and even then, except the right to assembly, they are just vague cries about "freedom!!" and "democracy!!" which don't mean shit to anybody. If you want to modernise it, modernise it. Do it on actual conditions now, and not some normative post-revolutionary condition.
Those demands have as much relevance today as those in the original Communist Manifesto, even in the Magna Carta where it stated women cannot undertake legal action, except when they were pressing charges against someone they suspected of killing their husband. Relevant?
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"Phil Spector is haunting Europe" -Dr. Karl H. Marx
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Soviet cogitations: 341
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Mar 2003, 02:29
Komsomol
Post 23 Jan 2014, 00:23
The correct answer for which group to join is of course the PSL
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Soviet cogitations: 304
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Feb 2014, 00:36
Komsomol
Post 07 Feb 2014, 16:41
No 14 wrote:
Why not just give all of them a call (if travel to the city is expensive) and see what's what? Like, what kind of people are they, what do they do, etc. What's the point of being told by strangers on the internet which party (none of which you've gotten a real-life impression of so far) you should commit yourself to? Because in a proper communist party, membership = commitment.

I mean, I don't want to get off into some kind of "kids these days" rant, because I really think it's great that people want to get up and do something. But to me, these threads always seem a bit pointless, which is mainly the fault not of the person who asks the question, but of the people who answer. Any over-opinionated yahoo on the internet can say whatever he wants to dissuade you from joining an organisation, even when he has no idea about it.

To illustrate, suppose I'm a Maoist or a Trotskyist or whatever on the other side of the world, affiliated to a section of the "International" (CWI, IMT, RIM, whatever), and I tell you: "Avoid the CPUSA at all costs, they're reformists who only tail the Democrats! Join the US section of my International instead!" But of course I have no idea about the situation in Chicago, in fact, I haven't even got an idea about life in Chicago in general. Maybe in Chicago, the CPUSA has the best connections to the organised working class, while "my" group is organised from someone's mom's basement. But I get to tell you which group has "a bad line" or whatever.

So that's why I recommend you just contact these people (phone is always quicker than e-mailing), perhaps arranging a meeting with a contact person, and see if you can participate in activities for a while before joining officially.


This is possibly one of, if not the, most reasonable points of view I've ever heard a fellow socialist on the internet put forward.

I like it, because it says your duty as a socialist is to go where people are, rather than wait for them to come to you. I'm not going to lie, the state of class politics in the developed world is in a sorry state but this is a much more forward-looking way of looking at it.

Yes no doubt sects would call you or I MR 14 opportunists, etc but c'mon. If Marx could work alongside Lassalians and Proudhonites then the soft Maoist can get along with the soft Trot (I'm of the latter category).
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Soviet cogitations: 417
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 15 Nov 2012, 01:18
Komsomol
Post 15 Feb 2014, 14:48
Quote:
Kronstadt was hopeless to begin with, and a few of those resolutions are throwbacks to cottage industry, something which hasn't existed in the UK for at least 200 years in any appreciable scale. Only the first three have any kind of relevance, and even then, except the right to assembly, they are just vague cries about "freedom!!" and "democracy!!" which don't mean shit to anybody

Those were pretty concrete demands aimed at restoring Soviet power as opposed to party power. Of course, the party bureaucrats experienced extreme backside pain over that.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Jun 2013, 03:25
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 11 Jun 2014, 07:56
Don't join anything, it puts you on a list. I can't even enter the U.S. because I'm a communist party member in Canada.
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Soviet cogitations: 15
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Jun 2014, 03:12
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 13 Jun 2014, 05:42
I'm just a Brit, so I don't claim to have any specialist knowledge of the American political scene.

However, as a member of the British Communist Party (CPB) I would recommend you getting in touch with the American Communist Party (CPUSA) http://www.cpusa.org/

Jarvis Tyner, Vice President of the CPUSA, took a political tour of Britain, and he was one of the most amazing comrades that I have had the pleasure to meet! Not only could he talk about his time organising for Martin Luther King, but he was also a consummate Marxist-Leninist and political activist who could speak on any subject.

On that basis alone - get in touch with the CPUSA and see what they are doing in your local area, whether they have an active club etc. By being an active member you will learn from the active tradition of the greats of the US Communist movement, stuff you could never learn from YouTube videos or books! Being active and involved in your country's mainstream Communist Party is by far the best way to get a political education, and to be politically useful to the local community and labour movement.

And I'd shy away from the more narrow and exotic "purest" sects or groups. They specialize in claiming that the likes of Socialist Albania was the most advanced country in Europe, or that in China the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was the highest achievement of mankind!! As we say in Scotland "Aye, right! Pull the other one!"

Sign up for the CPUSA, get reading the classics of Marx, Engels, Lenin and indeed Stalin (you don't need to be a 100% Stalin apologist, but his writing are extremely useful and well written), and also the classics of American communism!

Best wishes,
K
"When I feed the hungry, they call me a saint. When I ask why people are hungry, they call me a Communist." Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian Archbishop

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Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 16 Jun 2014, 16:38
Are you really shilling for the CPUSA, the most notorious quasi-communist party in the West and a de facto the Dem. Party's tail-organization?
It stopped being a communist party decades ago but nowadays it's self-liquidation is almost complete.
Even the PSL would be a much better choice if you want to get in touch with communists.

viewtopic.php?f=134&t=46453
viewtopic.php?f=134&t=49111
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Soviet cogitations: 341
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Mar 2003, 02:29
Komsomol
Post 31 Jul 2014, 00:23
NewSovietMan wrote:
Don't join anything, it puts you on a list. I can't even enter the U.S. because I'm a communist party member in Canada.


Have you actually been denied entry to the US because of this?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 31 Jul 2014, 00:43
Yeah I'm pretty sure that's bogus because I've heard talks from more than one foreign communist.

Also wow Kurt on S-E. It's weird seeing you here.
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