Progressive Workers Organizing Committee

P.O. Box 234
Dickinson, Texas 77537
United States
We are an organization of working class people committed to the development of a mass revolutionary and democratic socialist party in the United States. We call ourselves an Organizing Committee because we recognize that we are only the nucleus of a pre-party formation. We understand that many years of difficult work will be required for us to develop
into a political party which can unite working class women and men of all races, nationalities,
and cultural backgrounds in the struggle for fundamental social transformation.

We are committed to the abolition of capitalism because this economic and social order is inherently based on exploitation and oppression. Although capitalism is different than slavery or feudal societies in some important ways, it is grounded in the exploitation
of workers labor power through the process of wage labor. In this process, workers are paid wages representing only a fraction of the wealth they produce. The bulk of this wealth is surplus value appropriated by the capitalists; this is the basis of profits and

capital accumulation. Thus the dominant capitalist class becomes rich not through their own labor but through the appropriation of wealth produced by laborers. In this sense, capitalism is similar to slavery and feudalism.

Even in the United States and other advanced capitalist societies, the current mode of production results in a significant amount of poverty, even more widespread economic
insecurity, and glaring social inequalities. The so-called American Dream has always been
an illusion for most workers, and this continues to be the case today. The overwhelming majority of people in our country earn far less than what the federal government admits is necessary for a comfortable standard of living. Although automobiles, consumer electronics, household appliances, and designer clothing flood the market, decent jobs, adequate housing, affordable health care, good schools, secure retirement income, and safe neighborhoods are
in short supply. The remarkable advances in technology today are being used to eliminate jobs
and increase capitalist profits, not improve the living standards of the people.

The control of most economic enterprises and most of the nation=s wealth enables the capitalist class to dominate most of our major social institutions. Most of the mass media, publishing houses, the entertainment industry, and even sports teams are, in fact, capitalist businesses which exist to make profits for their owners. In addition, most non-profit public institutions, such as schools, colleges, and cultural organizations are undemocratically
controlled by representatives from the capitalist class. It is no surprise that most economic

and social institutions follow the dictate that AWhat=s good for business is good for America.@
But the results for the working class majority are catastrophic.

Although business owners, politicians, and most journalists describe our political system as democratic, nothing could be further from the truth. The U.S. Constitution was developed by slaveowners and capitalists to safeguard their economic interests and prevent any meaningful challenges to their wealth and power from the masses of people. To be sure, there has been some significant progress made during the last two centuries. But it is essential to recognize that the empowerment of women and people of color, the recognition of some
workers= rights, and the development of some social protections have been achieved only
through decades of mass political protest and the disruption of Abusiness as usual@ by the
oppressed. Even today, regular elections and universal voting rights are inherently unable
to provide real democracy because the government, both major political parties, and most
politicians are dominated by the capitalist class.

We are convinced that we must abolish capitalism if we are to bring about a genuinely
democratic society. In such a society, the working class majority would democratically and
cooperatively control economic enterprises, develop national economic planning based on
the needs and aspirations of the population as a whole, and end the traditional imperialist exploitation of other countries by the U.S. In such a society, the working class majority
would democratically and cooperatively exercise political power through a new socialist
government. A workers= government would be based on direct popular participation in
decision-making where possible and delegation of authority to accountable representatives
where necessary. A new socialist constitution would provide the legal framework for the
empowerment of the working class majority in the economy, politics, and society as a whole. This constitution would protect the freedom of all individuals, organizations, and political
parties, except for those which support violent counter-revolution or fascism.

We recognize that the historical experiences of twentieth-century socialism do not
provide models for us. We acknowledge that the socialist regimes in the former Soviet Union,
China, and other countries did a great deal to eliminate exploitation, poverty, economic
insecurity, and cultural backwardness. But we are also aware that most of these regimes
suffered from authoritarianism and bureaucracy, and that they failed to develop genuine
orkers= democracies. In our view, these unfortunate developments were partly caused
by Western capitalist invasions, sabotage, and subversion, and partly caused by grievous
errors made by the revolutionaries themselves. In the long run, these developments led
to the downfall of most socialist regimes. However, like Marxists and socialists all over
the world, we can learn from both the achievements and the mistakes made by the Afirst
wave@ of socialist revolutions. We are convinced that the lessons to be learned from
twentieth-century socialism can help us develop a theory and practice of socialism which
places workers= democracy, internationalism, and socialist morality at the heart of the
radical project.

As the nucleus of a pre-party formation, we know that the first step in recruiting and retaining new members must be radical political education. We are especially concerned with helping working class people overcome bourgeois ideology, anti-worker views, national chauvinism, racism, and sexism. However, we are not a Atalk shop@ of armchair radicals. We will join other workers in ongoing struggles for better wages and working conditions, affordable health care, adequate housing, and good schools. We will strongly support ongoing struggles
to end racial and gender discrimination, police brutality, the imprisonment of political activists, and U.S. imperialism. As we do so, we will retain the right of independent political action while we strive to unite as many people as possible in support of the most advanced political orientation.

However, our fundamental strategic objective will be to grow into a large, multi- racial working class organization of women and men which can become a revolutionary
and democratic socialist political party in the years ahead. Both in conducting outreach activities for our collective and in supporting other workers= struggles, our paramount priority must be
the recruitment and retention of new socialists. We pledge to do all that we can, collectively and individually, to support each other in everyday life. We pledge to work together democratically and cooperatively in order to serve as a model of the socialism we envision. We pledge to take significant special measures to end national oppression, racism, and sexism. We pledge to oppose all forms of chauvinism. Finally, we pledge to make the struggle for socialism a central part of our lives and show our brother and sister workers that there is reason for hope amid the oppression of contemporary capitalism.

This is a campus group.
Geographical Scope: Local
Added on 02-05-2004
Updated on 02-05-2004

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