The First Convention of the Communist Workers’ Platform of the USA (CWPUSA) was held on July 8 and July 9, under the slogan “Towards the Regroupment of the Communist Party!”. The Convention was attended by representatives of the Communist Party of Mexico (PCM), American Council of Bolsheviks (ACB), ML Today, and Politsturm.
The First Convention began with greetings from the representatives of the ACB, Politsturm, and ML Today. Following the opening greetings, the delegates of the CWPUSA, Convention procedures, and the Convention agenda were approved and adopted. The reports of the Editorial Board of New Worker, the Interim Executive Committee, and the Greater Miami Local Committee were given. These reports assessed the previous year’s work of the organizations of the CWPUSA. In each report, errors were outlined and recommendations provided, that aim to correct these mistakes and improve our work over the next two years. The day concluded with the election of the Central Committee (CC) and the Audit Committee.
The second day opened with the greetings of the PCM. The First Convention then approved the previous day’s minutes and moved into the main discussion and debate on the Draft Program, Statutes, and Political Theses. The Draft Program was adopted by the Convention. The Program, only the beginning of a more complete Program, reaffirms the commitments of the CWPUSA to building a revolutionary communist party in the United States around its central organ New Worker, to the struggle against opportunism, and to the necessity of the Leninist principles of organization. The Statutes were adopted which outline the structure and membership rights and responsibilities of the CWPUSA. Much of the debate centered around the Political Theses which give a brief overview of the class structure in the United States (US) and attempted to outline the approach of the CWPUSA to the question of women and other questions that have historically confronted the communists of the US: indigenous peoples, the struggle of African-Americans, and immigration. Further, the Political Theses emphasized CWPUSA’s approach and dedication to the development of cadre, recruitment, and the building of the base organizations.
Many lessons were drawn from the hosting of the First Convention. The Convention was necessary in order to give the CWPUSA a Bolshevik Party structure and give its organizations the guidance of a leading center. Although this role was previously held by the Interim Executive Committee, it was incapable of carrying out the functions of a Central Committee. Without an internal party organizer, discussions during the pre-Convention period were limited and required a more effective procedure for handling large amendments to documents. The absence of a Presidium during the First Convention compounded this issue and served as a stopgap for smooth debate. The necessity of hosting the Convention to remove the prevalence of online meetings cannot be denied. These types of meetings were a holdover from our founding members’ time in the Party of Communists USA (PCUSA) which needed to be corrected as soon as possible. The quickest way to certify this was to host the First Convention virtually and adopt the new structure that ensures all future conventions will take place in-person.
During the discussions on the Political Theses, the contribution of the PCM highlighted our underestimation of the task of the creation of theses. More time was needed to complete the theses. It was uncovered that there is a necessity to more closely consider the specific situation of women and indigenous peoples in the US, the need to differentiate between the bourgeoisie and working class of minority populations, and the need to further elaborate the position of delivery service workers in the class structure of the US. It was correctly decided to remove the Black Liberation section and theses 65-70 under the National Question for wider discussion over the next two years under the leadership of the CC. What we had produced underlined a danger of separating the various social and political struggles into isolated communities apart from the working class struggle. This became especially evident with the debate over a proposed resolution on the LGBTQ+ question. The communists must refrain from the pressure that social and political movements may put on the party to adopt hasty positions. While developing positions on the pressing issues of the day is of the utmost importance, time must be taken to ensure that analyses of these movements are grounded in a class-oriented way.
This issue was also reflected in the amendment put forth on the question of women, which took heavy inspiration from the theses of the VI Congress of the PCM. This represented the theoretical mistake of mechanically transferring, to the US, the conditions of working women mainly in Mexico. Although the conclusions of these theses held many similarities to the conditions of working women in the US, the necessary data to demonstrate this was not present. The characteristics of the oppression of working women have concrete differences that need to be clearly enunciated and taken into account for the work of the CWPUSA.
We are confident that the step taken by the First Convention is a positive one that has lifted some of the obstacles in the path of the regroupment of a revolutionary communist party in the US. Over the next two years, it is crucial that a deep study of the theoretical issues we attempted to elaborate must take place alongside the building of the workplace cells and local committees. We must continue to link our daily activities to the continuous task of the formation of our ideological outlook and utilize the Theses to elaborate on specific positions in the Program.
Central Committee of the Communist Workers’ Platform of the USA