Communist Party USA
The Communist Party, USA was the American associate of the COMINTERN and was friendly towards the Soviet Union when it existed. It currently retains ties to the existing socialist countries. The CPUSA has officially rejected Stalinism and the crimes associated with it. In a recent pamphlet, "Reflections on Socialism," by National Chair Sam Webb, the idea of socialism being a system that includes multi-party democracy is elaborated. Webb also says that "when" the Party comes into power, it should no matter what, heed the wishes of the people. If it suffers an electoral loss, it should give up power in accordance with democratic principles. Webb argues, citing Cuba, Venezuela and the experiments in Chile under Allende, that socialism must be won politically, by allowing people to see its superiority over capitalism.
The Communist Party USA places a heavy emphasis on the labor movement, as well as the fight against racism and sexism. In addition the Party sees the struggles of youth, immigrants, as key fights. It generally takes a "progressive" stance on most issues.
It currently has around 2500 members. Currently,it does not run its own candidate, in accordance with its strategy of "defeating the ultra-right." According to this strategy, the CPUSA sees the "main roadblock to all democratic progress" as the Bush administration and its "ultra-right" allies in Congress and the Judiciary branch. Because of this, the CPUSA sees its main role as uniting all of those who have an interest in defeating the ultra-right domination of the government--the "core forces" being the labor movement, women, "racially and nationally oppressed peoples and youth" and drawing to that "core" as many other sectors of the population as possible: the peace movement, the gay rights movement, environmentalists and others--even sections of the monopoly capitalists who have a material interest in defeating the "ultra-right." According to the CPUSA, the ultra-right represents only a section of the capitalist class, including mainly corporations like Wal-Mart and the energy cartels.
As part of this strategy, the Party is against running candidates of third parties, like the Green Party, in most national electiosn for the time being. It is for "building political independence of the people's forces," while still uniting behind Democratic candidates (though in some cases the Party does support independent candidates). Following the defeat of the ultra-right, the CPUSA sees a stage of fighting trans-national corporations altogether, and then the transition to socialism.
Its strategy is available on its website, in its program.
While the CPUSA played a significant role in organizing industrial unions and defending the rights of African-Americans in the 1930s and 1940s, its political power was diminished by McCarthyism and the Cold War. However, the CPUSA says that it is now slowly regaining members in influence. As evidence of this, it points to its election as co-chair of United For Peace and Justice and its prominence in many labor struggles and unions. However, the Party says that it is too still too small, and is planning a recruitment campaign.