Chairman Sam Webb visited Houston and Dallas in late February. He spoke on the ideas in his paper on "21st Century Socialism" that is printed on the cpusa web site, www.cpusa.org. The Communist Party is preparing for its every-4-years convention in July, and discussion is open. All topics and all criticisms, good and bad, will be made available during this period.
Normally, CPUSA is a party of action. Discussion is normally about the situation at hand and what to do about it, but the broadest topics are encouraged during the discussion period.
Webb is a calm speaker, not a rabble-rouser in his speeches. Additionally, he is a terrific listener and likes to find out the ideas and opinions in every area he visits. At the Dallas meeting on February 25, about 30 of us sat in a circle. Webb "opened" with a few remarks, then encouraged everyone else to talk. As a practical problem, the group was interested in figuring out the best way to build a national protest against the American Legislative Exchange Committee (ALEC) that is holding its convention in Dallas July 30-August 1.
There was no particular disagreement with what Webb had to say about the ongoing crisis of capitalism and how to build unity on the road to a genuine resolution, but every view was treated with respect. One activist felt that CPUSA should develop a housing project so the Party could offer real help to the homeless.
One young caucasian man had a different theory altogether. His theory, explained at some length, is that all caucasian activists should subordinate themselves to African American leaders from the All-African Socialist Party because the anti-colonial struggle is the critical part of progress today.
There is little difference among activists as to what kind of world we would like to see. The differences come in our analysis of the present situation and trends, plus our prescriptions for action. Honest, respectful, and friendly discussion helps bring us together. Actual work together is even better!