SEATTLE (USA) — “Communism – I’ve been thinking more and more that is what we really need,” said a union representative to a comrade distributing Red Flag at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. rally. She gave us a $20 donation.
In the past we found it can be difficult to stand out from the many liberals, leftists and socialists who attend this rally. These reformists typically campaign for some political candidate or collect signatures on petitions asking the ruling class to be nice or less racist. They have nothing worthwhile to offer. We do—communism.
Putting communism out front really made the difference. The enthusiastic response of the union rep made us aware of how things can change. She was previously a staunch Democrat and very anti-communist.
As comrades circulated among the crowd, we noticed that many of the people with petitions were young and represented the diverse ethnic mix of our South Seattle neighborhoods. This was different. So, when a young African-American man asked us to support his candidate, we took a chance and asked him some friendly questions about socialism versus communism.
He believed, as many of us once did, that socialism was a step towards communism. He eagerly took a copy of Red Flag after we said that exploitation and inequality could not be defeated under socialism. He had thought about this before, but the socialist groups had not opened that door! There were several good conversations along these lines.
We made contacts, but self-critically our club hadn’t prepared to ask those we met to immediately help mobilize others. More people than we realize will pitch in if we give them a chance.
Workers Plan to Develop Student Communist Organizers
Another comrade later discussed these experiences and our self-criticism at work with a Boeing friend, who was also a long-time participant in these rallies. He immediately began to think about what this meant at the high school where he coaches after work.
“We’ve got to have a base,” he began. “I’ve done it for the team over some years, now we have to do it around Red Flag.”
We distribute over a hundred papers every issue at this school. He noted the potential.
“I’ll start by asking a few, ten max, to write down five questions they have about the paper. I’ll go first to those who read the whole paper and give it to their friends.”
We discussed writing short answers to these questions, with the help of Los Angeles students, for mass distribution.
“Then we’ve got to have a meeting,” he said emphatically. We agreed this would help develop a core group of leaders.
Our Strategy: Mobilize Masses for Communism
The first lesson of all this is to be open about building a communist world with new people we meet, and to never give up on older friends. The success of communism will depend on masses who make that goal their own and work to achieve it.
Most importantly, we must make specific plans to involve others we meet, such as at rallies, or whom we already know at school or work. We’ll involve many more in the future, particularly after we take state power. Small scale or big, the guiding principle remains the same: mobilize the masses for communism.