CONSTITUTION OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAEdit
Amended July 8, 2001 at the 27th National Convention, Milwaukee, WI
The Communist Party USA is the largest and oldest political party of Communist left orientation in the United States today. . It is the party of and for the U.S. working class, a class which is multiracial, multinational, and unites men and women, young and old, employed and unemployed, organized and unorganized, gay and straight, native-born and immigrant, urban and rural, and composed of workers who perform a large range of physical and mental labor—the vast majority of our society. We are the party of the African American, Mexican American, Puerto Rican, all other Latino American, Native American, Asian American, and all racially and nationally oppressed peoples, as well as women, youth, and all other working people.
The living standards of workers and the natural environment on which life depends are under constant attack due to the drive for maximum profits inherent in capitalism. Our party fights for jobs and economic security, a decent and rising standard of living, peace, justice, equality, a sustainable environment, gay rights, health care, education, affordable housing, the needs of seniors, democracy, and a fulfilling life for everyone, with socialism as our goal. Only through the abolition of the capitalist system and the socialist reorganization of society can exploitation of human beings by others, and the evils of oppression, war, racism, environmental degradation, and poverty be ended. We seek to build a socialist society which puts people and nature before profits.
Our country’s founding Revolution exalted the ideals of equality, justice, and democracy, of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all. Marxists have long hailed its progressive significance, while recognizing its historical limitations, chief of which was the failure to abolish slavery. The Communist Party today upholds the continuing struggle to realize these ideals. The revolutionary democratic traditions of the United States call for radical change when injustice, inequality, and exploitation become unbearably oppressive. This legacy gives us, the working class and its allies, the right and responsibility to build a new society. We advocate an expanded Bill of Rights to guarantee religious, political, and individual freedoms, but also freedom from poverty, hunger, joblessness, and racism.
Racism plays a particularly destructive role in the life of our country, imposing severely impoverished living standards on tens of millions of the specially oppressed, and lowering the quality of life for all workers. Racism harms all workers, obstructing the development of working-class consciousness, driving wedges in class unity to divert attention from class exploitation, and creating extra profits for the capitalist class. The Communist Party is unalterably opposed to all manifestations of racism, national oppression, U.S. national chauvinism, male supremacy, homophobia, and anti-Semitism, which are used by the enemies of progress to divide the working class and people’s forces. The principles of democracy, equality, justice, and class self-interest require a joint fight against all expressions of racism and gender oppression. We fight for full equality for all who suffer from racial, national, and gender oppression as an essential aspect of the unity that is basic to all social progress.
Issues of war and peace, wealth and poverty, ecology and pollution, racial and national division, gender discrimination, and international conflict are all connected to class struggle, and have common features on which to build unity among peoples, organizations, and coalitions. The working class as the necessary leading force along with the other core forces—all racially and nationally oppressed groups, women, and youth—can build a movement that also includes the many streams of our working people—such as family farmers, small business owners, and the self-employed—who united together have the power to make fundamental progressive change.
Peace is essential for the survival of the planet and humanity. The pursuit of world domination to further enrich capitalists has resulted in destructive wars, environmental devastation, and massive poverty. The Communist Party fights for solidarity among the working class and peoples of all lands and supports their pursuit of self-determination over their own lands and economies. In the spirit of working-class internationalism, the Communist Party builds the closest bonds with Communist and Workers Parties throughout the world. Founded in Chicago in 1919, the Communist Party of the United States has an outstanding history in the struggles for peace, democratic rights, racial and gender equality, economic justice, union organization, and international solidarity. Our Party is organized on the principle of democratic centralism, combining maximum democratic discussion and decision-making with maximum unity of will and action, ensuring our ability to play a strong organizing role in the class struggle. We focus our efforts on increasing our ability to organize millions into struggle, fighting anti-communism as a divisive weapon of the capitalist class. With Marxism-Leninism guiding our actions, the Communist Party strives to build the broadest unity against global capitalist imperialism now headed by U.S. imperialism, for immediate gains and reforms that benefit working people, and for a progressive democratization of the government, the economy, and society of our country on the road to and after winning socialism. With pride in our past and confidence in our future, we hereby establish this Constitution of the Communist Party of the United States America.
ARTICLE I - NameEdit
SECTION 1. The name of this organization shall be the Communist Party of the United
ARTICLE II - Principles of OrganizationEdit
===SECTION 1.=== The system of organization of the Communist Party is based upon the principle of democratic centralism, which means that decisions and policies are made through democratic procedures, and that once a final decision is made, all members are obligated to carry it out. Democratic centralism combines the maximum involvement of the membership in determining policy and in the democratic election of leading committees with responsible direction from one national center coordinating the activity of the entire Party along commonly agreed-upon lines of policy.
Unity is the strongest weapon working people have in the struggle to advance their interests. By making a commitment to unite around a program of action, members strengthen the Party and help unify the working class and peoples’ movements.
Collectivity is the basic style of work of the Party. Through group discussion and action, we seek to develop and apply the best possible plans to advance the interests of working people.
===SECTION 2.=== Each Party body is subordinate to the next higher body, with central authority vested in the National Convention, the highest body of the Party, which not only has the authority to act on all aspects of Party policy and activity, but elects the national leadership to carry through its will and decisions between conventions.
SECTION 3. After a thorough discussion in any club, committee or convention, decisions are arrived at by majority vote. All members, including those who disagree, are duty bound to explain, fight for and carry out such decisions, as long as they do not conflict with national policies and decisions.
Decisions of leading committees on major questions shall be reported to all other Party bodies. Any member, club or committee, disagreeing with a decision, has the right to appeal the decision to the next higher body and request that the decision be reopened. While the appeal is pending, the decision must nevertheless be carried out by all members of the Party.
All appeals of decisions made to the next leading committee shall be heard by the respective body with 90 days or at the next regular meeting of the committee. Appeals may be made to successive leading committees up to and including the National Convention, provided that the appeals are made at least 30 days before the National Convention. Decisions of the National Convention are final. Once a final decision is made, no member, club, committee or leader has the right to violate the decision or to combine with others to conduct an organized struggle against the decision.
SECTION 4. Policies and decisions established by leading committees are open to review during the pre-convention discussion period set forth in Article V, Section 4, below. Members may express their views through the channels established for that purpose. All previous policies and decisions remain in full force until or unless they are changed by majority vote of the responsible committee or Convention.
SECTION 5. The principle of democratic centralism includes the obligation of all members and leaders to fulfill the decisions arrived at by the majority. Both leaders and members are bound by a common discipline.
Discipline is voluntarily assumed by members upon joining the Party and based on conviction, understanding and devotion to the cause to which the Party dedicates its efforts.
SECTION 6. The election of officers and leading committees at all levels shall be carried out with the fullest participation of the members of the elected Party bodies.
Elections shall be on the basis of a critical review and evaluation of the work of the elected body and of the individuals proposed for office. In elections to all Party committees, conventions and conferences steps shall be taken to maximize the representation of industrial workers, specially oppressed peoples and women.
Officers and leading committees are responsible both to the bodies which elected them and to the higher leading committees. All officers and members of leading committees may be released or removed from office by majority vote of the committees to which they are responsible.
SECTION 7. The Party as a whole, and each of its bodies including every club, shall plan and work for the mass circulation and use of our press and literature.