What I find missing from the call on our Party to join in the impending struggle for jobs is the Communist plus. I believe it has been missing for quite a number of years in our party. The two quotes below help to clarify what the plus is all about.
From the Communist Manifesto:
Section IV. Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties
…The Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement. In France the Communists ally themselves with the Social-Democrats, against the conservative and radical bourgeoisie, reserving, however, the right to take up a critical position in regard to phrases and illusions traditionally handed down from the great Revolution.
…But they never cease, for a single instant, to instill into the working class the clearest possible recognition of the hostile antagonism between bourgeoisie and proletariat, in order that the German workers may straightway use, as so many weapons against the bourgeoisie, the social and political conditions that the bourgeoisie must necessarily introduce along with its supremacy, and in order that, after the fall of the reactionary classes in Germany, the fight against the bourgeoisie itself may immediately begin.
…In all these movements they bring to the front, as the leading question in each, the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time.
The plus means taking care of the future of the movement. The plus means bringing class clarity in the struggle for jobs to our working class in all of our work. Here is comrade Gus Hall on theÂ Communist "plus." This is about trade union work, but it is applicable to all struggles. From "Trade Union Work – Plus! The Communist Essence," speech to Communist Party conference on trade union work, 1968:
"THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD TRADE UNION WORK and Communist trade union work. Communist trade union work means good trade union work plus. When a Communist does good trade union work without the plus it is opportunism; as good as the work may be, without the plus it is opportunism. Without the plus it will go nowhere – it is a path to nowhere and nothing. We have to understand this, once and for all. This is true whether a Communist is working full time as a union organizer or working in a shop.
"…What develops class consciousness is a very important question. It does not develop automatically or spontaneously. There has to be an injection and only our Party can do this. Class consciousness develops by explanations of how the system works, what exploitation is, labor as the source of value, explanations of class struggle and socialism, etc."
Shall we be part of the jobs struggle? Of course we should!Â And we will be a part of the jobs struggle. The question is, will we be adding the Communist plus? If not, it is a path to nowhere and nothing.
In the struggle for jobs the plus means we must inject the call for cutting the military budget and stopping the wars to fund the jobs program. This is something that the AFL-CIO will not do, but Communists should and must do. When we inject the plus in our struggle for jobs, we will be strengthening the overall fight for jobs and from this struggle we will recruit new members.
The plus means we are not only interested in winning jobs, but we are interested in raising the class consciousness of those with whom we are involved in struggle-taking care of the future. This means we must have our own literature on this issue. The lack of brief, basic party literature on this issue, as well as other issues like health care and the wars is something that must be corrected as soon as possible. Literature is a basic tool for doing Communist work with the plus. The plus means every member finding ways to distribute that literature to those we come in contact with in struggle. Common Communist sense will dictate when and how one should do this, but it must be done, otherwise we are wasting our time.
The Communist plus is something our party cannot do without. It has to be a guiding principle. Let’s kick it up a notch…but we must make sure that we are doing it with the Communist plus!