Communist Party Program and Organization

The Communist Party provides our analysis of the current conditions of the United States and the path to socialism. It is highly recommended reading for new and prospective members.

The Communist Party USA is organized as outlined our constitution which is another must-read for new and prospective members.

The basic organizational principle underlying the CPUSA, and most other communist and workers’ parties, is democratic centralism. Unlike major U.S. political parties, decisions in the CPUSA are made democratically with maximum member participation. Once a consensus has been reached or a vote has occurred, the decision reached is binding to all members. This means that members are expected to carry out all decisions and directives as determined by the Party. Members are prohibited from organizing against or otherwise undermining a decision.

Historically, democratic centralism was developed by Lenin as means to make decisions both democratically and swiftly at a time when political conditions were changing rapidly. After the October Revolution, he also saw democratic centralism as a means of prevent factionalism which was extremely detrimental to party unity.

The basic unit of CPUSA organization is the club. When joining the CPUSA you automatically join your local club if one exists. Clubs are based on geographical location which can be on a city or state level. All clubs elect officers and make a plan of work at an annual meeting. Aside from the Club Chair, clubs elect other officers based on the specific needs of the club. Above Clubs are Districts which are usually based on the state level. The Communist Party of Maine is a District level organization that currently only consists of one club.

If there is no club in your area, the article below provides guidelines for establishing one. It also illustrates in more detail how clubs function and is a highly recommended read for new and prospective members.

The highest bodies of the CPUSA are the National Convention and the National Committee. National Convention delegates are elected at the state/regional level based on the number of active CPUSA members in those regions. During the months leading up to the national convention, all members are encouraged to express their views and suggest changes to the Party’s work and program. The National Convention delegates then elect the National Committee and the Chair(s).

There are several other organizations associated with the CPUSA.

People’s World is the de facto newspaper of the Party. Originating from a merger of the Daily Worker and the People’s Daily World, People’s World is a progressive and socialist daily newspaper written by a small team of staff and many volunteer writers. It provides coverage to many stories that get ignored by the corporate press and provides a news source to “workers, the unemployed, people of color, immigrants, women, youth, seniors, LGBTQ people, cultural workers, students, and people with disabilities.” People’s World takes the side of the 99 percent and features Marxist analysis from the CPUSA and other voices in the people’s movements.

The CPUSA is a member of the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties (IMCWP). Like the Communist International that came before it, the IMCWP is a multinational organization comprised of communist and worker parties from around the world. Unlike the Communist International, the IMCWP doesn’t impose control over its member parties. Member parties maintain complete organizational independence. The governing parties of all five socialist countries are members of the IMCWP (Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, China, and DPR Korea).

The CPUSA also has it’s own publishing house International Publishers. International Publishers was founded in in 1924 and has published Marxist literature ever since. Many CPUSA members get their Marxist literature from there and there are frequently sales and special promotions.

Red World Review is a publication run by the CPUSA international Department. It features news and statements from our fraternal parties around the world. The International Department also runs the Hello Comrade project for organizing international trips to meet with other communist parties around the world. CPUSA members should get clearance from the International Department before identifying themselves as CPUSA members to members of fraternal parties. Members of fraternal parties who want to meet CPUSA members should go through the respective International Departments of both parties. These regulations ensure that only accurate views are represented in these exchanges.

The Young Communist League (YCL) is the youth wing of the CPUSA. Due to being recently reestablished in 2020, the YCL is still rebuilding and currently only has a few organizing committees. The YCL is a member of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY).