Approved by the Immediate Task #3 Committee of the ACB
The ACB has been busy with its efforts to organize itself and put itself on sound ideological footing. There has been discussion ongoing on the subject of a program going back to the start of our endeavor last August. While trying to bootstrap a communist party into existence, we have found that doing the work of organizing in any capacity without a solid program is a bit difficult to navigate. Mainly because a lot of our work isn’t only to do with ourselves, but our work at forming alliances with other communist groups in the Unted States. From this a more serious approach was eventually adopted and codified into action by the creation of the most recent version of the ACB immediate tasks.
Our work is two fold in this endeavor. We must first sort out for ourselves what a program should contain, a good program that is. We then must do the work of navigating the current political situation and coming up with a strategy. The work for our initial program We’ve set a deadline of November 9, 2023, to complete a draft program. While a party could work indefinitely on creating a perfect program, we believe that this is plenty of time to work out a program to get us from the small group we are today to the next stage of our development. It will also solidify the ideological footing of the ACB membership in the way we are carrying out the work, and it will quickly get us into a position where we can more easily navigate working with groups who may have ideological disagreements with us.
The development of a program for a Communist party or pre-party formation is of paramount importance, as it lays out the party’s political line and objectives. The program will serve to unite our organization in our pursuit of forming a Communist Party, creating a line behind which our members will agitate, educate, and organize. The formulation of an accurate program with the capability of mobilizing masses of workers against the U.S. capitalist state must be the product of serious study into the history of Communist programs, both foreign and domestic, as well as into the interrelations between the contemporary political, economic, and social forces at play in the US and worldwide.
The ACB will work towards the development of its program utilizing the scientific outlook of Marxism-Leninism. All questions will be approached from the philosophical standpoint of dialectical materialism. Discussion is to be exhausted regarding all relevant facts and information pertaining to any issue being discussed and/or debated. No ready-made formulas are to be accepted as “answers” to questions merely because they were written by this or that theorist or for any other reason not approached from a dialectical, scientific perspective. The principle of criticism and self-criticism will be employed, as comrades involved with the development of the ACB’s program will be forced to critically analyze their own positions and the positions of those around them. Comrades must acknowledge their own theoretical errors as they become apparent through study and discussion while also not hesitating to point out errors exhibited by others. The tool that we will use to reach all of our decisions will be that of democratic centralism. Collective discussion will be exhausted on all relevant questions, and only afterward will binding decisions be made by the ACB to codify the contents of our program.
V.I. Lenin, the primary formulator of a political program that served to successfully rally millions of Russian workers and peasants against tsarism, explains that “The program must formulate our basic views; precisely establish our immediate political tasks; point out the immediate demands that must show the area of agitational activity; give unity to the agitational work, expand and deepen it, thus raising it from fragmentary partial agitation for petty, isolated demands to the status of agitation for the sum total of [Communist] demands.”1
The work to develop our program has already resulted in the study of several relevant program-related documents:
- The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1848)
- Critique of the Gotha Programme by Karl Marx (1871)
- Draft and Explanation of a Program for the Social-Democratic Party by V.I. Lenin (1895-1896)
- The Tasks of the Russian Social-Democrats by V.I. Lenin (1897)
- A Draft Programme of Our Party by V.I. Lenin (1899)
- Draft Program of the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party by the RSDLP (1903)
- Program of the Workers Party of America (1924)
- Draft Program of the CWPUSA (2023)
We will continue to study relevant programs and documents during the course of the development of our program and update our readers accordingly. In deciding the political questions to be covered in the program, formation-wide discussions will be held on the pressing political issues relevant to a Communist program, beginning with the question of the world imperialist system and imperialist war. The texts that we will be using to guide our study of this topic are:
- Socialism and War by V.I. Lenin (1915)
- Imperialism and The Split in Socialism by V.I. Lenin (1916)
- The Imperialist Aggressors Can Never Enslave The Heroic Vietnamese People by Ho Chi Minh (1952)
- “Vietnam and Imperialist War” section from Vietnam: Defeat U.S. Imperialism by Progressive Labor (c. 1969)
- Marxism and the Crisis of Imperialism by Line of March (c. 1980)
- The War, the Anti-War Movement and the Task of Marxist-Leninists by the Marxist-Leninist Organizer (2001)
Following the discussion and decisions made on this issue, we will then collectively determine the rest of the primary political issues that we want to be included in our program. These topics will include but will not be limited to: women’s liberation, the role of trade unions, LGBTQIA+ liberation, national and colonial liberation (Black, Latinx, Puerto Rican, Asian American, Indigenous, etc.), and ecological/environmental issues.
The study of these topics will include the participation of non-ACB members, primarily through the Institute for Marxist-Leninist Education (IMLE) and New Spark, the central organ of the ACB. New Spark will carry articles that discuss the various questions that we will address during the process of our program development. IMLE will continue to host classes once every two weeks, the content of which will be aligned with our program development (i.e., during the upcoming study and discussion on imperialism, IMLE will be hosting classes discussing this subject).
During the creation of our draft program, we ask readers of New Spark to recommend topics and to present their opinions and criticism so that our program can be strengthened in regard to representing the masses of American workers and oppressed peoples. We will review all submissions that are submitted to New Spark and be in touch with the authors of any submissions that we receive. New Spark will serve to facilitate polemical and ideological discussion of these questions in full view of the public so that the range of opinions that exist on a given topic can be fully exhausted in light of all criticism and feedback. All readers are invited to IMLE classes, as well as the IMLE Discord server to discuss a topic for the Party Program.
1. V.I. Lenin, A Draft Programme of Our Party (Marxists Internet Archive, 1899), https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1899/dec/draft.htm.