‘The Workers’ (Communist) Party: What It Stands For and Why Workers Should Join It’ by Charles E. Ruthenberg. Daily Worker Publishing, Chicago. 1926.

Charles E. Ruthenberg, central figure of the 1920s Communist Party, urges workers to join to Party in this pamphlet from early 1926, as the organization was undergoing a major ‘restructuring.’ Included in that was a Comintern demanded change in the U.S. workers’ movement’s historic attitude and an orientation towards Black workers and against white racism.

‘The Workers’ (Communist) Party: What It Stands For and Why Workers Should Join It’ by Charles E. Ruthenberg. Daily Worker Publishing, Chicago. 1926.

The Workers’ (Communist) Party is organized upon the basis of the analysis of the capitalist system and the class struggle.

In the Workers’ (Communist) Party are organized those workers who understand the character of the struggle which the workers are fighting, and who are ready to unite their strength to give leadership to that struggle and to direct it along the road that will carry the workers forward to the Workers’ and Farmers’ Government and victory for the new social order.

In our country the class struggle has not yet developed to that sharp form which places the workers before the revolutionary struggle for power.

The Workers’ (Communist) Party therefore has formulated policies for the immediate struggles for partial demands which will build up the power of the workers and prepare them for the revolutionary struggle.

Ruthenberg denounces World War One at Cleveland’s at Market Square on October 28, 1917.

To achieve this end, the Workers’ (Communist) Party declares itself in favor of the following policies:

The Workers’ (Communist) Party supports and participates actively in every struggle of the workers and farmers against the capitalist class.

The Workers’ (Communist) Party enters into every fight which the workers make for better wages, better working conditions, better conditions of labor. It endeavors to give leadership to these struggles, broaden them by bringing other workers to the support of those engaged in the struggle.

The Workers’ (Communist) Party fights with the farmers in their effort to secure relief from the unbearable conditions to which the capitalists are subjecting them.

It is through these struggles for their partial demands that the workers and farmers learn the nature of the capitalist system, the part which the government is playing in the struggle and the necessity of organizing their power for the fight against the capitalist class and the capitalist government.

The Workers’ (Communist) Party supports all genuine labor unions and endeavors to strengthen them through urging the workers to join them.

At the same time it carries on a struggle within the existing unions to transform them into militant fighting organizations for the workers’ interests and to amalgamate the trade unions into powerful industrial unions which can more effectively fight the workers’ battles against the great trusts and corporations which today control industry.

But today in the United States there are only four million workers organized in trade unions, while fifteen million industrial workers and many agricultural and other workers are outside of the trade unions, in the ranks of the unorganized. The organization of the great mass of unorganized workers in the basic industries of thin country into labor unions is one of the big problems before the workers.

The Workers’ (Communist) Party will carry on a persistent campaign for the organization of these workers. It will raise the question inside of the existing labor unions and at the same time carry on a direct campaign for the organization of the workers where no organizations now exist.

The organization of the workers in the steel industry, the metal-mining and smelting industry, the automobile industry, the great manufacturing industry, the textile industry, the rubber industry and the strengthening of the existing unions in other industries must be achieved in order to place the workers in a position to make their strength effective against the capitalists in their struggle for a higher standard of life.

The workers and farmers of this country still, to a large degree, are supporting the political parties of the capitalist class — the Republican and Democratic parties.

The next step in developing the class consciousness of the workers is the organization of a mass labor party of the workers who, in alliance with the farmers, will carry on a struggle against the capitalist parties in the workers’ interests.

To achieve this end, the Workers’ (Communist) Party is actively carrying on a campaign for the formation of a Labor Party (in some states a Farmer-Labor Party exists which the Workers’ (Communist) Party supports). Such a party should unite all existing workers’ organizations, trade unions, workers’ political parties, workers’ fraternal organizations and cooperatives and should be formed by the calling of conferences of delegates from these organizations.

The Workers’ (Communist) Party supports the formation of local and state labor parties with the view of eventually crystallizing for a national labor party. While the labor party will fight for the immediate political interests of the workers, there must be an organization of those workers who are fully conscious of the nature of the struggle against the capitalist class and capitalist government, and who are prepared to carry the struggle forward to its final victory. The organization of these workers is the Workers’ (Communist) Party.  The Workers’ (Communist) Party will affiliate with the labor party, maintaining at the same time its right to carry on its work in support of its full Communist program as outlined in this statement.

The Negroes are not only a part of the most bitterly exploited section of the working class, but they are, in addition, oppressed as a race.

The Workers’ (Communist) Party supports the organization of the Negroes for their fight against exploitation as a part of the working class and against the special discrimination to which they are subjected. It demands complete social equality for the Negro.

The Workers’ (Communist) Party will aid in organizing the struggle against American imperialism by the oppressed peoples who are being exploited by the capitalists of the United States. It will aid in uniting the people of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Mexico, of all Central and South America, the Philippines in a struggle for freedom from the American capitalist exploiters.

The Workers’ (Communist) Party is affiliated with, and is a section of the Communist International. The Communist International is the worldwide leader of the class struggle of the workers. It is an association of the Communist parties of all the countries of the world.

The Workers’ (Communist) Party invites every man and woman who is ready to accept the above program of struggle against the capitalist class and capitalist government both as to its immediate forms and the ultimate revolutionary struggle for a Workers’ and Farmers’ Government, to join the Workers’ (Communist) Party.

It is only through building a powerful Communist party which can unite and lead all phases of the struggles of the workers and farmers that the victory of the Workers’ and Farmers’ Government can be won and the communist society established.

PDF of full pamphlet: https://archive.org/download/TheWorkerscommunistPartyWhatItStandsForWhyWorkersShouldJoin/Ruthenberg1_text.pdf

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