The “C”PUSA, the WWP, and the SPUSA (Socialist Party of the USA) all collect dues from their members. Georgi Dimitrov made it very clear that dues are a necessity for a trade union or a party. What, though, are these dues actually being used for?
The “C”PUSA no longer publishes a print edition of their paper. They no longer run candidates for office. What are you paying for? 60 dollars a month may not seem like much, but it is a lot when you don’t even get a membership badge (I wonder what sort of salary Sam Webb receives?)! The WWP does still publish a print paper, but asks that you pay for the subscription in addition to paying dues. They do even less than the “C”PUSA, and gives even less in return. The SPUSA asks for dues – but its sparse newsletter, and a paper membership card, are included. Other than that, there is nothing (I’m not suggesting that we should expect some reward for joining a political party – but a supposedly Revolutionary party must not run its affairs like some bourgeois political machine).
Comrade Dimitrov stated that dues were necessary so that a source of money could be available to help members of the trade union or party. Will the “C”PUSA, the WWP, or the SPUSA help me if I lose my job? If I lose my House? If I get sick? Will they bail me out if I’m arrested in a protest? No.
So I must question how dues are used.
The “C”PUSA has shown great solidarity with the workers in Wisconsin. They should be leading the fight, they should have started the fight – not just simply sitting back and supporting the fight. Had membership dues been used to fly or bus people to Wisconsin to protest, great! But no one was flown in, no one was bussed in. If they came, they paid their own way.
I would suggest that a Communist Party that collects dues, must use those dues for the benefit of its members. It must use those dues to publish papers (believe it or not, not everyone has constant access to the internet!), to stage protests, to run (if they insist on being a part of bourgeois politics) candidates, to offer aid to those in need. Dues should not be used (primarily) to pay the salary of the chairman, and vice-chairman, and etc…
Don’t pay the salary of the leadership of some supposedly Communist party. If the party (particularly the “C”PUSA which should know better) can’t do what it is supposed to do, it needs to be restructured or disbanded.