Which Way, CPUSA? - Cosmonaut

Date: 2023-09-16T00:11:33+00:00

Location: cosmonautmag.com

Has the CPUSA truly rid itself of its past loyalty to the US Constitution? Luke Pickrell and Myra Janis cast doubt. 

Socialism with American Characteristics was an attempt to begin a conversation with the Communist Party of the United States. We noted that people were leaving the Democratic Socialists of America for the Communist Party in search of more fertile political soil. After reading the Party’s updated program, we concluded that the grass always appears greener on the other side. 

Our critique of the Communist Party and its program centered around two points: a commitment to the well-trodden Popular Front alliance with liberals and the Democrat Party and an adherence to Bill of Rights Socialism. Membership might be increasing, but the Communist Party remains trapped in a spiral of constitutional finagling and fighting the “Extreme Right.” While not discounting a genuine desire on the part of members to fight for the interests of the working class, we explained in our article that the updated program “provides no path forward and opens the door to opportunistic zigzags and the internal rule of bureaucrats.” Unfortunately, the Communist Party of today is (mostly) the same as yesterday. 

Recently, Party member Noah responded to our article with a letter delivering news that a change has taken place. After acknowledging the program’s inadequacies, Noah explains that Bill of Rights Socialism is no longer in vogue following a yet-to-be-consolidated “rebellion.” Noah states that a new line has emerged – one more critical of the Democrats and with fewer constitutional blindspots. 

We thank Noah for the letter. In what follows, we engage with their comments and consider the possibility of a Communist Party free from the chains of past decisions. We provide critical commentary on the two articles suggested as further reading and two other pieces by Party members. After examining the evidence, we conclude that the Communist Party has yet to undergo a thorough theoretical reorientation. 

Those recognizing the inadequacies of Bill of Rights Socialism face at least four obstacles to reorienting the Communist Party. First, the Comintern-era distortion of socialist theory erases socialism’s roots in the democratic republicanism of the French Revolution and the English Chartists. Also redacted are Lenin’s thoughts before the October Revolution and his unwavering commitment to democracy (well documented by Neil Harding and others1) drawn from the political programs of classical Marxism. Second, the Communist Party is the progenitor of “Communism as 20th Century Americanism” and has demonstrated subservience to the Constitution for nearly a century. As Tom Paine remarked, “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”2 Third, American radicals mostly dismiss the Constitution under the assumption that the US is already a democracy or that all questions of law and politics are secondary to the task of going to the workers. These leftists “call the US a ‘bourgeois’ democracy and advocate moving directly to a socialist democracy without concerning themselves overmuch with the particular institutional forms by which the bourgeoisie actually rules in the US.”3 Finally, the Communist Party is a product of the Communist International. Permanent factions and positions different from the official line are discouraged.

Noah states that the “revolutionary democratic promise of Reconstruction a la DuBois [sic]” has replaced an orientation toward Bill of Rights Socialism. W.E.B Du Bois wrote one of the seminal histories of Reconstruction,4 a period of history so transformative that Eric Foner calls it a “second founding.”5 Du Bois remains a relevant theorist for his commentary about American society and the ongoing Black freedom movement. Few groups have experienced or continue to experience the undemocratic nature of the Constitution more intimately than African Americans. Du Bois’ distaste for prostrations before the Sacred Text is evident in his description of the 39th Congress that met during the two years following the Union’s victory. Regarding Congress’ attempts to answer the country’s most pressing questions, Du Bois described the assembled men as spinning “around and around…in dizzy, silly dialectics”  and alienating their intellect and creativity in appeals to “higher constitutional metaphysics.”6 Constitutional devotion in the face of changing circumstances was the height of absurdity to Du Bois: “Here were grown, sensible men arguing about a written form of government adopted ninety years before, when men did not believe that slavery could outlive their generation in this country, or that civil war could possibly be its result; when no man foresaw the Industrial Revolution or the rise of the Cotton Kingdom; and yet now, with incantation and abracadabra, the leaders of a nation tried to peer back into the magic crystal, and out of a bit of paper called the Constitution, find eternal and immutable law laid down for their guidance forever and ever, Amen!”7 Based on this sentiment, Du Bois might have agreed with Paine’s famous assertion that “Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself in all cases as the age and generations which preceded it. The vanity and presumption of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies. Man has no property in man; neither has any generation a property in the generations which are to follow.”8

Du Bois was a champion for human emancipation. “Thank God for John Brown! Thank God for Garrison and Douglas! Sumner and Phillips, Nat Turner and Robert Gould Shaw, and all the hallowed dead who died for freedom! Thank God for all those today, few though their voices be, who have not forgotten the divine brotherhood of all men white and black, rich and poor, fortunate and unfortunate,”9 he declared while denouncing the nation’s renunciation of Reconstruction. A scholar, Du Bois struggled relentlessly to counter the racist and inaccurate ‘histories’ of Reconstruction flooding out of universities in the first half of the 20th century. Reconstruction was not a criminal act by a tyrannical North upon an innocent South, nor was it a pitiable mistake. On the contrary, the period was “unprecedented” in giving the defeated South “democratic government, free public schools, and progressive social legislation.”10 

However, Du Bois’ work does not lead students toward anticonstitutionalism. Like many of his contemporaries, Du Bois held the Constitution in high esteem so long as the Bill of Rights was expanded, and he mistakenly saw universal suffrage – not the principle of one person, one vote – as the defining feature of democracy. He was not alone in this mistake: at times, Marx,11 Engels,12 and members of the world’s first socialist political party13 also forgot that universal suffrage is not democratic suffrage unless all votes are equal – a right denied by the Constitution. In the case of Marx and Engels, this confusion regarding the essence of democracy was wrapped up in the occasional incorrect statement about the Constitution more generally.14

Reconstruction was an astonishing period of life-or-death struggle in which state constitutions were rewritten under military occupation (some of the occupying soldiers were former slaves). Yet, if our goal is to build a theoretical basis for opposition to the Constitution, a one-off mention of Du Bois and Reconstruction raises more questions than answers. Left unstated are the lessons learned by the Communist cadre: what does Reconstruction mean to them?

There are two possible lessons. First, the need for broader and more inclusive political rights within the framework of the existing Constitution. This outcome is written in history and holds a position of seeming inevitability and common sense: it happened. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that this lesson – expand the Bill of Rights and keep the Constitution – is what the Communist Party has absorbed. While radical abolitionists like William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, and John Brown took anticonstitutional stances before the War, their critique had disappeared by the time of Robert E. Lee’s surrender. Brown was dead, and Garrison and Phillips accomplished their mission with the passage of the 13th Amendment (though they remained devoted reconstructionists and, in the case of Phillips, defended the Paris Commune15). The slaveholder’s rebellion was defeated, but the foundation of the Constitution – the undemocratic structure of the Senate, Electoral College, and Supreme Court – survived. 

The second lesson of Reconstruction is gleaned from the failure of the radical abolitionists to remain anticonstitutionalists regardless of the additions to the Bill of Rights. Years before the first shots at Sumter, Garrison described the Constitution as “the source and parent of all the other atrocities – a covenant with death, and an agreement with hell”16 because of its complicity in holding humans in bondage. Congress had passed the Fugitive Slave Law four years before Garrison’s fiery denunciation, and only two months prior had repealed the Compromise of 1820 and opened up the possibility of slavery in the North. Garrison’s opposition to the Constitution was always conditional. He opposed the unfreedom of slavery and therefore denounced the document providing its legal foundations. It took a Civil War to amend the Constitution, at which point Garrison’s opposition subsided. 

Reconstruction represents an immense “What if?” in the history of America, and this is the lesson the Communist Party members should take away. Who can say what would have happened if the anticonstitutionalism and democratic republicanism of the radical abolitionists had persisted past the end of the War? A powerful force might have been born if opposition to the Constitution had lingered and then merged with the concurrent labor movement.17 Instead, the radical abolitionists were satiated and moved on to other admirable yet inadequate projects. Democracy was never achieved in the South and never existed in the North.18 Today, we remain unfree – trapped under the weight of that Constitution which guarantees the political and social domination of the capitalist class.

Noah provides two articles as evidence of the Communist Party’s supposed change, but neither work is convincing. The bulk of Jamal Rich’s article19 describes anxiety about the Party’s legal status and the possibility of a new Red Scare. In his discussion of the law, Rich misses an opportunity to discuss the legal foundation of the repressive state. The only lasting hedge against judicial repression is to subordinate the state to the will of the majority, and that can only happen through a democratic republic. The Party will not be safe until the United States is a democracy – an impossibility under the existing Constitution. Therefore, the struggle for the continued existence and expansion of the Communist Party should be a strategic and theoretical orientation opposing our current founding document. 

Additionally, Rich’s article presents a version of the struggle for democracy in which rights are necessary in order to give the Communist Party the freedom to tell the working class about socialism through more expansive propaganda. In contrast, classical Marxism understood democracy as the means of taking and holding state power to socialize the economy. Hence, Engel’s comment that in any country with a working class majority, “democracy means the dominion of the working class, neither more nor less”20; Marx’s statement in The Communist Manifesto that the working class will use the democratic republic “to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie”21; and Lenin’s declarations that freedom is only possible when people “make their own laws and elect and replace all officials in the state who are entrusted with carrying out the laws and administering the country on the basis of the laws,”22 and that “If the mass of the people do not have the entire state power in their hands, if any organ of power not elected by the people, not liable to dismissal, and not entirely dependent on the people, is allowed to remain, it will be impossible really to satisfy the urgent and universally admitted needs of the people.”23 The democratic republic is a new set of parameters within which the working class continues its struggle against the capitalist class. Unlike the parameters created by the Constitution, the parameters of the democratic republic favor a resolution in favor of the majority. Like too many contemporary socialists, Rich assumes that the working class can effectively struggle against the capitalist class within the insurmountably unfavorable confines of the existing Constitution. 

Finally, Rich writes, “[If] our comrades in Europe and elsewhere can fight for political power, we should also be able to do so.”24 Here, Rich’s constitutional blindspot leads to the creation of nonexistent parallels between our primary job in the United States and the job of socialists in other countries.  Engels explained that the first task of the working class in its battle for complete human freedom is the achievement of “political liberation…through a democratic constitution.”25 Marx concurred, writing that “the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the positions of the ruling class, to win the battle for democracy.”26 The working class in the United States has not achieved a democratic constitution as defined by the concentration of power in a unicameral legislature elected through direct, universal, and equal suffrage: this is our task. The struggle for political power in the United States will look different than in other countries because we must first overcome our labyrinthian monstrosity of minoritarian checks27 and Kafkaesque bureaucracy. 

Party Co-Chair Joe Sims’ article28 also fails to indicate any change in direction. In fact, Sims betrays more of a strategic reliance on the Constitution than is apparent in Rich’s article. For example, Sims describes the “grassroots mobilization that won the Senate” as a “big plus” and a demonstration that “once again…if called upon, our class and people will respond.”29 In 1912, Lenin explained that a Russian Social Democratic Labor Party Duma representative must never fail to mention the democratic republic at every opportunity. Today, a socialist should never speak of the Senate and fail to lambast it and the Constitution that ordains it in the same breath. Sims’ subsequent comments about the “battle for democracy” are colored in a pallid hue due to his failure to criticize the Senate. 

We’d like to give the Communist Party the benefit of the doubt. While the previous articles failed to convince us of a change in the Party, two other works might reveal microscopic cracks in its ideological foundation. In the first,30 the Communist Party’s African American Equality Commission describes the United States as a country where most people, especially African Americans, have little to no control over “every aspect” of their lives. Domination is the essence of life in America, and the police are often the most visceral expression of that powerlessness. However, left unsaid is how the demand for control over the police must expand to control all political bodies, and how these demands will inevitably encounter the obstacle of the Constitution. Buried within the struggle for community control over the police slumbers the movement for a constituent assembly. The Black Panthers mirrored this potential progression of demands when they held the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention. But most important is the unifying potential of the struggle for democracy. All people, regardless of race or sex, desire freedom from domination and the control over political institutions that such freedom entails. 

In the second article,31 Brad Crowder claims that Bill of Rights Socialism can be used to transform the Senate into a bastion of working-class power: “Rather than calling for the abolition of the senate as such, Bill of Rights Socialism recognizes the need to reconstitute the republic along proletarian class lines, transforming the current senate founded on the ‘wisdom’ of slave owners and oligarchs into an ‘industrial’ senate that is instead based on the wisdom and experience of the leaders of the working class.” Like its predecessor, the new “industrial senate” would be “insulated from universal direct election” and hold power over a “People’s House” that would contain representatives from “other class elements.”Crowder justifies the proposal for a bicameral legislative system on the grounds that a mixed constitution is one of the “three core ideas” of the US political tradition that must be “grappled with” by socialists. Fundamentally, “the struggle is not to ‘abolish’ the republican form outright” because “There are no serious ideas…on what to put in its place.”

Crowder’s poverty of imagination around alternatives to a bicameral republic reveals a lack of understanding about the schism in republicanism between aristocratic and democratic traditions. Montesquieu distinguished between the two traditions by judging whether the “people as a body, or only a part of the people, have sovereign power.”32 Instead of using Philip Petit and classical Roman and Renaissance republicanism as a guide, Crowder should turn to the democratic republicanism of classical Marxism which absorbed the theory of the English and French Revolutions, the Levellers, the Babouvists, and the Chartists. One would have to look no further than the first point of the 1903 Program of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party – “Sovereignty of the people – that is, the concentration of supreme state power wholly in the hands of a legislative assembly consisting of representatives of the people and forming a single chamber”33 – to appreciate the centrality of unicameralism to Marx’s democratic republicanism. Though not always applied consistently, Marx’s republicanism is most apparent in his praise of the Paris Commune as a “working, not a parliamentary body, executive and legislative at the same time,” and in his earlier critique of Hegel’s ideal legislature as split between an Upper and Lower House.34 Karl Kautsky critiqued the French Third Republic through the lens of democratic republicanism, noting with scorn that like in the United States, the French legislature was divided between the lower Chamber of Deputies and the upper Senate (elected through unequal suffrage and imbued with more power than the Chamber).35

If Crowder desires a theory of democratic republicanism closer to the shores of America, he should turn to Tom Paine, who was attacked by many, including John Adams, for denouncing the “so much boasted constitution of England” and the “cult of ‘balance of powers’ surrounding it.”36 Famously, Paine took part in drafting the most democratic constitution outside of France: the Pennsylvania state constitution.37 Though critiqued on important points,38 radicals at home and abroad wholeheartedly praised the document for creating “a single chamber armed with legislative supremacy presiding over both executive and judiciary”39 and for realizing a plan for “…democracy as perfect as man can imagine.”40 Events in America, of which Paine played no small role, were said by French radicals to determine “if the human race is destined by nature for liberty or slavery.”41

Crowder says a mixed Constitution (containing a bicameral legislature and separation of powers) should be preserved to make “the affairs of public power a question of public input,” and to balance “the class foundation of the state with at least the nominal political participation of the masses.” The workers’ state must have a senate because that’s where “ruling class power in a republic is always concentrated.” Approaching the height of absurdity, Crowder praises and seeks to emulate the “dynamism” and “noise” created by the bicameral legislature and the checks and balances found in “American democracy.”42

In advocating for a mixed constitution as part of the future workers’ state, Crowder has abandoned any pretext of theoretical grounding in democratic republicanism or classical Marxism. Radicals condemned mixed governments for “dividing sovereignty and entrenching privilege and social status.”43 Jonathan Israel explains that in America, “Montesquiei’s ‘mixed government’ recipe buttressed oligarchy elites and entrenched the preference, more redolent of monarchical than republican practice, for powerful state’ governors…”44 As a scholar quoted by Israel explains, “The gulf between Burke’s oligarchic and Paine’s democratic perspectives could hardly be wider, while the hopes raised by the French Revolution gave this contrast dramatic practical relevance.”45

Marx was also hostile to mixed constitutions. Instead of shelling out for a combination of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, he declared that democracy alone is “the solved riddle of all constitutions.”46 Here, the influence of the French Revolution and Chartism becomes apparent. Marxism inherited the “radical tradition of assembly government, which traces its history to the Convention of the French Revolution where the ‘legislative assembly, popularly elected, holds undisputed supremacy over all other state organs’ and ‘the executive is strictly subordinated, the servant or agent of the assembly and dismissed at the assembly’s discretion.’”47 In America, the Federalists succeeded in creating a convoluted and opaque government. Checks and balances were instituted with the aim of “delaying and cooling the expression of the popular will through the legislature.”48 In contrast, Marx, like the Chartists, thought that “government cannot be too simple. If government is good, the fewer checks it has in its progress the better; if it is bad, the more.”49

Finally, Crowder presents Petit’s “eyeball test” (in which freedom is judged by one’s ability to express an authentic self in front of their boss) as proof that workers are unfree under capitalism. Constrained by Petit, Crowder can only see a small and highly arbitrary manifestation of unfreedom in America. Conspicuously absent from Petit’s comments on unfreedom (and missing from a recent podcast discussion between Crowder and company50) is any acknowledgment of the political domination written into the Constitution and how the exposure and protest of such unfreedom must shape our contemporary political strategy. Freedom should be determined not by the number of times we can look our boss in the eye but by our ability (in coordination with others) to remove all dominating bosses and make the laws ourselves. 

Even under the weight of deadening bureaucracies, the collective yearning for freedom at the heart of the Marxist tradition survived. Many radicals in the West saw this yearning in the Cultural Revolution’s emphasis on Commune Democracy and the struggle against the increasingly ossified Chinese Communist Party. In challenging a static Marxist-Leninism, these radicals formed different parties, journals, and unions in what became known as the New Communist Movement (NCM). However, the tension between the progressive possibilities of the Cultural Revolution and the stasis of the old dogmas was left unresolved. One of the few projects to work through this tension was Theoretical Review, a bimonthly journal published by the Tucson Marxist-Leninist Collective that drew on the work of Louis Althusser, Charles Bettelheim, Nicos Poulantzas, Antonio Gramsci, and Marta Harneckert. As an open forum for debate and dialogue, Theoretical Review could draw out the problems of Stalin(ism) without devolving into Trotskyism or Anti-Communism. Though the Journal died with the NCM, it provided a model for critical engagement with classical Marxism that avoided the tropes of Comintern ideology. The Communist Party needs a space for open debate and experimentation to become relevant. The Party’s organ, People’s World, should be (but is not) that space; instead, it exists solely for agitational propaganda written in a liturgical Popular Front language inaccessible to outsiders. Unfortunately, hostility toward factions makes it unlikely that fundamental change to People’s World will come from any place but the very top. 

Internal democracy will help the Communist Party reorient its theoretical foundation. The Party needs a hefty dose of the democratic republicanism of Lenin, Marx, and Paine (along with the more recent historical analysis of Daniel Lazare51) to cure its addiction to the Constitution. The people of the United States are unfree because our Constitution deprives us of universal, equal, and direct suffrage. Our battle is for total popular sovereignty over political and economic life in order to realize human freedom. Again, we thank Noah for the letter and hope the conversation continues. The pages of Cosmonaut are always open.

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  1. Harding, Neil. Lenin’s Political Thought. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books, 2019. Others include Lih, Lars. Lenin Rediscovered: What Is To Be Done? In Context. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books, 2006; Draper, Hal. “The Myth of Lenin’s ‘Concept of The Party.’” Marxist.org. 1990. https://www.marxists.org/archive/draper/1990/myth/myth.htm
  2. Paine, Thomas. “Common Sense.” Common Sense, Rights of Man, and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1969. p. 1.
  3. Shaeffer, Gil. “Taking Democracy Seriously.” Socialist Forum. https://socialistforum.dsausa.org/issues/2023-dsa-national-convention-discussion/taking-democracy-seriously/
  4. Du Bois, W.E.B. Black Reconstruction in America. New York, NY: Free Press, 1998.
  5. Foner, Eric. “‘Second Founding’ Examines How Reconstruction Remade The Constitution.” NPR. Sept 17, 2019. https://www.npr.org/2019/09/17/761551835/second-founding-examines-how-reconstruction-remade-the-constitution
  6. Du Bois, W.E.B. p. 267.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Paine, Thomas. p. 136.
  9. Quoted in Egerton, Douglas R. The Wars of Reconstruction. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press, 2014. p. 325.
  10. Du Bois, W.E.B. p. vii.
  11. Marx stated that the United States had achieved political democracy in On The Jewish Question.
  12. In The Principles of Communism, Engels stated that the proletariat would establish its dominance through a democratic constitution and then move to enact “measures directed against private property and ensuring the livelihood of the proletariat.” But several paragraphs later, he claimed that a democratic constitution had already been established in North America.
  13. The first working class political organizations were the American Workingmen’s Parties. Sean Monahan (2021) describes the influence of the “Workies” on Marx and his conception of the United States. Absent from Monahan’s article is any comment on the Workies’ mistaken view that the US was a democracy.
  14. For example, Marx stated in Critique of the Gotha Program that “universal suffrage, direct legislation, popular rights, [and] a people’s militia” were “nothing beyond the old democratic litany” already present in North America.For Engels, see footnote 12.
  15. Edwards, Kyle A. “‘Those Deluded, Ill-Starred Men’: Frederick Douglass, the New National Era, and the Paris Commune.” New North Star 4:1-19. https://doi.org/10.18060/26926
  16. “A Covenant with Death and an Agreement with Hell.” Massachusetts Historical Society. July 2005. https://www.masshist.org/object-of-the-month/objects/a-covenant-with-death-and-an-agreement-with-hell-2005-07-01
  17. Thanks to Cliff Connolly for introducing me to this idea.
  18. In his history of the SDS, Gil Schaeffer wrote that “Instead of recognizing that an incomplete democratic revolution in the South meant that the democratic revolution was also incomplete in the nation of a whole, the Marxist groups continued to talk and act as if a system of democracy already prevailed in the rest of the country outside the South.” The nonexistence of democracy needs to be internalized by the Communist Party. Schaeffer, Gil. “You Can’t Use Weatherman to Show Which Way the Wind Blew.” p. 41. https://democraticconstitutionparty.files.wordpress.com/2020/10/you-cant-use-weatherman-3.pdf
  19. Rich, Jamal. “The Struggle for Full Legalization of Our Party.” CPUSA. Aug 25, 2022. https://www.cpusa.org/article/the_struggle_for_full_legalization_of_our_party/
  20. Engels, Friedrich, “1881: A Working Men’s Party.” Marxist.org. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1881/07/23.htm
  21. Marx, Karl, Engels, Friedrich. “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” Marxist.org. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/Manifesto.pdf
  22. Lenin, V.I. “The Fight for Freedom and the Fight for Power.” Marxist.org. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1906/may/05.htm
  23. Lenin, V.I. “The Fight for Power and the ‘Fight’ for Sops.” Marxist.org.
  24. Rich, Jamal. “The Struggle for Full Legalization of Our Party.” CPUSA. Aug 25, 2022. https://www.cpusa.org/article/the_struggle_for_full_legalization_of_our_party/
  25. Engels, Friedrich. “Draft of a Communist Confession of Faith.” Marxist.org. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/06/09.htm
  26. Marx, Karl, Engels, Friedrich. “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” Marxist.org. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/Manifesto.pdf
  27. Ovetz, Robert. “The U.S. Constitution and the Struggle for Democracy with Robert Ovetz.” Podcast interview. Cosmopod, July 4, 2023. https://cosmopod.libsyn.com/the-us-constitution-and-the-struggle-for-democracy-with-robert-ovetz
  28. Sims, Joe. “The Party We Must Become.” CPUSA. Jan 18, 2023. https://www.cpusa.org/article/the-party-we-must-become/
  29. Ibid.
  30. African American Equality Commission, CPUSA. “The Communist View on Community Control of the Police.” CPUSA. Aug 17, 2022. https://www.cpusa.org/article/the-communist-view-on-community-control-of-police/
  31. Crowder, Brad. “Bill of Rights Socialism and the Future of the Republic.” CPUSA. Dec 8, 2020. https://www.cpusa.org/article/bill-of-rights-socialism-and-the-future-of-the-republic/
  32. Quoted in Leipold, Bruno. “Citizen Marx: The Relationship Between Karl Marx and Republicanism.” Ph.D. diss. St. Cross College, 2017. p. 12.
  33. “Program of the Social-Democratic Workers’ Party.” Marxist.org. https://www.marxists.org/history/international/social-democracy/rsdlp/1903/program.htm
  34. Leipold, Bruno. p. 36.
  35. Lewis, Ben. Karl Kautsky on Democracy and Republicanism. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books, 2020. p. 209.
  36. Quoted in Israel, Jonathan. The Expanding Blaze: How the American Revolution Ignited the World, 1775-1848. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2017. p. 52.
  37. Monahan, Sean. “Reading Paine From The Left.” Jacobin. March 6, 2015. https://jacobin.com/2015/03/thomas-paine-american-revolution-common-sense/
  38. “…the 1776 Pennsylvania constitution was nevertheless judged inadequate and defective in certain respects by the Philadelphia radicals and other radical democrats. In particular, it signally failed to abolish black slavery or remove race discrimination from the suffrage. It did nothing to safeguard the rights of Native Americans and little to guarantee press freedom…[and] kept religious tests for officeholders.” Israel, Jonathan. p. 63.
  39. Ibid. p. 122.
  40. Ibid. p. 59.
  41. Ibid. p. 122.
  42. All quotes from Crowder, Brad. “Bill of Rights Socialism and the Future of the Republic.” CPUSA. Dec 8, 2020. https://www.cpusa.org/article/bill-of-rights-socialism-and-the-future-of-the-republic/
  43. Israel, Jonathan. p. 72.
  44. Ibid.
  45. Ibid.
  46. Leipold, Bruno. p. 39.
  47. Ibid. p. 102.
  48. Ibid. p. 104.
  49. Ibid. p. 102.
  50. Crowder, Brad. “No Republic is Safe That Tolerates a Privileged Class: On Marxist Republicanism.” Podcast interview. The Regrettable Century. Feb 21, 2023.
  51. Lazare, Daniel. The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution is Paralyzing American Democracy. New York, NY: Harvest Books, 1997.