“We can talk about shortening the work week, green jobs, restructuring the economy, we can talk about the de-militarization of the economy and putting those people back to work in jobs that are productive,” Webb said. “The starting point has to be this immediate engagement, but once we do that many things become possible such as more radical demands.”
“The good news is the same hang-ups or stereotypes that people had 30 to 40 years ago are not so evident today,” he said. “Growing numbers of people are ready to have a conversation about socialism. There have been public opinion polls that indicate that substantial numbers have more confidence in socialism than capitalism.”“We have to let people know what our vision is. The climate in the country is different. We can have a different conversation than we could have 30 to 40 years ago, even 20 years ago. Socialism is no longer a white-hot word, people are willing to talk about it.”
Webb said it was vital for left-wing individuals to be part of a “bigger and better Communist Party and a bigger and better left in general,” noting that the CPUSA had a major part in helping FDR with his New Deal policies.“The New Deal came about for a lot of reasons, but I would argue that one of the main reasons was that in that same period we saw the growth of the Communist Party and the left in general,” Webb explained. “The Communist Party and the left in general contributed mightily to the process of first building of a transformative movement and then helping secure these changes, this New Deal.”He said progressives need to have a bigger left in order to prevent the tea party movement from advancing its agenda.Setting out the party’s goals, he said the CPUSA could not bring about socialism on its own but needed the help of other left-wing groups it was helping to unify.