An increase in Communist Party membership isn’t all that surprising. After all, given all of the Left-Wing hate propaganda that’s been occurring for the last several years and its increasing alignment with the union movement, growing the Party has been a long-term goal.
However, what is somewhat surprising is the Communist Party USA’s openness about the challenges it’s facing in its organizational structure to accommodate its new-found uptick in membership. This excerpt is from April’s edition of People’s World:
CPUSA National Chair Sam Webb noted in his opening remarks the new level of receptivity and respect the party has gained in the labor and other mass movements, the growth in readership of its websites and the growing numbers joining, especially online.
A number of shifts have been taking place in public opinion, creating a favorable climate for growth of left and progressive movements including the CPUSA and YCL [Young Communist League].
Support among Americans for the free market system (aka capitalism) has plummeted in the last year according to a GlobeScan survey.
Meanwhile class and socialist consciousness are growing, evident to anyone involved in the mass upsurge against the right wing. Pew polls show greater receptivity to socialism, especially among the youth (45 percent think socialism is a better system than capitalism) and communism (11 percent of the public thinks it’s a superior moral system to capitalism)
Party activists are grappling with how to effectively respond to this new situation, the new doors opening daily and especially to those joining online.
The party doesn’t yet have the organizational infrastructure to effectively absorb all the new members, especially in areas where no local organization exists. But new forms and methods are emerging, including use of web based tools for mobilization, organization, education and communication directly with the new members and many more who are interested in what the Party says and does.
In short, the challenge remains to build a modern 21st century party of socialism in the United States in this new situation, one fully rooted in the American tradition of democratic struggle and history, capable of applying and elaborating Marxism to the current challenges, able to develop strategic approaches rooted in reality, uniting key class and social forces and millions at the grassroots in sharpening class battle, and elaborating a path to win a democratic and ecologically sustainable U.S. socialism.
Well, whatever the case, we’re sure that they have some progressive friends at the AFL-CIO who will help them work through their growing pains.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776