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Arizona communists join Freedom Road Socialist Organization

By Tom Burke |
December 20, 2013
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Tucson, AZ - A significant grouping of communists recently joined the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO). Centered in Tucson, the group ranges from a well-read high school student up to a comrade in his late seventies with lifelong experience in the Communist Party-USA. They include students, workers and educators from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, united in struggle for immigrant rights, workers and unions and against U.S. wars and oppression. Rings of other activists and revolutionaries are now discussing this bold move by the Arizona communists.

The decision to leave the Communist Party and join the FRSO was not taken lightly. It was serious and deliberate. As Jafe Arnoldski said, “We discussed the problems we were facing and three things stood out. One, the social-democratic leadership of the Communist Party has rejected Marxism-Leninism and the historical experiences of socialism at a time when the socialist vision is especially necessary. Two, the Communist Party's program and line misleads the working class with illusions about the Democratic Party, while putting socialism on the back burner for some future ‘stage.’ And three, under the social-democratic line, party discipline and organization have deteriorated, accountability and criticism/self-criticism have collapsed and bureaucratic formalities are the norm.”

The Arizona grouping felt the Communist Party leadership was dismantling everything of value and drifting away from revolutionary politics. Many were especially upset with the dumping of the print edition of the newspaper that existed for generations. So the Arizona comrades debated their options and contacted a local FRSO member. It was suggested they study the FRSO documents at and share their views. Approached by other revolutionary groups, the Arizona group collectively joined the FRSO because it embodies the best traditions of the communist movement in the U.S.

Speaking for the group of Arizona communists as a whole, Arnoldski described their reasons for joining the FRSO: “The FRSO has a dynamic program for revolution in the U.S. which applies the principles of Marxism-Leninism to the concrete national and class struggles and conditions at hand. As well, the FRSO makes use of the mass-line approach to leadership, expanding the political presence of the FRSO in the movements in which it works. The FRSO's organizational norms and practices uphold the principles of democratic centralism and effective Leninist organization.”

Arnoldski emphasized, “Also, I would add, the FRSO is committed to building cooperation and alliances among other Marxist-Leninists, on the road to constructing a new communist party.”

The FRSO sent leaders to meet, discuss and answer questions, both practical and ideological. Cadres also shared our assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the FRSO as it expands to new cities and grows in all regions of the country. Despite facing ongoing U.S. government repression, the FRSO is vibrant and making strides in its party building efforts. The FRSO is growing younger and wiser, while strengthening its internal structures and democratic functioning, and all the while increasing its capacity to lead struggles regionally and nationally.

The new Arizona district organizer summed up their big move, "We want to be a part of an organization that isn't waiting for revolution and socialism. We want to be working with a group who are organizing for revolution and socialism right now through their principled practical work with the masses. We learned through struggle that the Communist Party could not provide us, or the masses, with such an organization and that FRSO has the elements to lead and unite working and oppressed peoples to fight back. We need a new communist party to lead us through revolution and build socialism. We have a world to win!"