Why is it strategically unsound for socialists to tail liberals? Because in addition to this practice making socialists compromise too much to even be able to represent a revolutionary force, it relegates them to an ideological circle that can only shrink. Liberalism has been losing mass support for many decades, and this consciousness shift towards anti-liberalism is accelerating along with capitalism’s crises. Liberalism is the ideology of the ruling class, a ruling class whose system of exploitation is collapsing; and, thereby, being more widely revealed for its disgusting true nature.
The engineered destruction of working class living standards; the wars that are perpetuating global suffering while furthering our domestic austerity policies; the erosion of our privacy and legal rights for the purpose of fighting opposition towards international capital; it’s made the majority of the people appalled. So naturally, after a year-and-a-half of Biden’s scam Ukraine aid project, the majority of Americans have come to no longer like the idea of continuing this aid.
This abandonment by the country’s people of the Ukraine proxy war is the latest confirmation that the Democratic Party, especially now that it’s fully embraced the neocon foreign policy stance, isn’t able to have popular support. And the Biden administration has been unable to ignore it; the drop in popularity for Ukraine aid has made it more difficult for the president to get his latest aid packages passed, and the warmongers have resorted to truly shameful tactics like putting Ukraine funds into a Hawaii fire relief bill. As a consequence of the USA’s being a constitutional republic with a government that was set up to try to balance its different wings, our oligarchic ruling elites are experiencing a problem that they wouldn’t be if they were running a military dictatorship: the feelings and interests of the people are hindering the process of advancing the designs of the elites.
Ukraine is perhaps the most significant example of this in the country’s history; because whereas the elites have thus far managed to continue their wars and anti-worker policies while avoiding serious danger of revolution, even when the people have turned against these policies, today’s combination of capitalist crises have made it harder than ever to keep this balance. For our government to insist on continuing to aid a government that’s widely recognized as corrupt and Nazi-affiliated; and on waging a war against Russia that’s increasingly seen as pointless and unjustified; at the same time the American people are in urgent need of help; is too intolerable.
The only sensible way the people could respond to this is by joining the movement against the war machine, thereby bringing the U.S. labor movement to a synthesis between domestic and international struggle. Which is what a growing amount of the people are doing, and will continue to do should we in the anti-imperialist movement keep up our work.
The only way finance capital can save itself amid this rise in mass revolutionary energy is by using the Democratic Party, its main political tool, to try to exclude that disillusioned majority from politics. Which depends on constructing a narrative; a narrative designed to make it look acceptable and “progressive” for the state to repress all opposing the war machine. This is the narrative that every worker who asserts their material interest by fighting NATO (especially when they do so under the guidance of a principled anti-imperialist org which backs Russia’s military operation) is nothing more than a backward simpleton who’s been manipulated by conspiracy ideas. The prevailing view within “left” spaces is that anyone who supports Russia is by definition a fascist, a lie which Democratic politicians and pundits will absolutely start repeating when pro-Russian communists gain wide enough of a platform.
The liberal tailist socialists are trying to avoid being characterized as such by disavowing Russia, and by exclusively trying to reach out to liberals. By doing so, they’ve already conceded defeat. The effective way to win amid liberal fascism’s smears and repressive acts against the anti-imperialist movement is by building a base of power within the broad masses of the people, and within the diverse anti-NATO coalition that’s emerged in reaction to the Ukraine war. Any safety that you’ll gain from tailing liberals will come at the cost of becoming ineffective. And history has shown that trying to appease fascists as a socialist only ends in the fascist-collaborating “socialists” being crushed anyway; think of how the Nazis purged the Strasserite “socialists” after they embraced antisemitism to try to please the fascists.
The only way we can make the class struggle prevail during this growing siege upon it is by committing to the fight against liberal fascism, and against liberal fascism’s narratives. This means combating the idea that those within the antiwar majority should be viewed with contempt and suspicion. The people in this country have, after being given enough time to think, shown themselves to share our opposition towards the war machine. Are we going to let the liberals portray these people and their anti-imperialist orgs as fringe, as unserious, and as “fascists?” Or are we going to unite with them to defeat the imperial state?
The liberal narrative managers are employing numerous psyops to try to sway developing radicals against the antiwar majority; to keep us in the insular activist mentality, where only those within an enlightened niche are seen as deserving of respect. They target Marxists with these psyops because should we break from their anti-popular, anti-solidarity ideas, we’ll become capable of creating a worker’s movement that’s genuinely independent from the Democratic Party.
The liberal propaganda campaign to marginalize and exclude those within the antiwar majority depends on the American socialist movement existing predominantly as a piece of controlled opposition; the narrative managers need socialism’s primary representatives to affirm the ideas about most Americans being irredeemably reactionary. When socialists stop acting like this; and work to nurture the anti-imperialist impulses of the workers rather than discard most of them in favor of a liberal-left niche; then a genuine threat towards our ruling institutions appears.
It’s those who’ve made these truly transgressive choices who will be targeted the first; they already have, as shown by the raids and indictments of the pro-Russian Uhuru organization. The lawfare against former president Trump, and the upcoming psyops about supposed Russian election interference, are how finance capital is trying to gain narrative precedent for a purge of anti-imperialists during the 2024 election cycle. Commentator Stansfield Smith observes how dire the consequences of the left’s complicity in these actions are:
Anti-Trump sentiment infects and blinds much of the left milieu. Very few oppose these national security police state attacks on Trump or the lawfare manipulation of the 2024 election. We protest the New York Times’ McCarthyite attack on anti-war activists, but McCarthyism also exists in the left, where people are baited, and fear being baited – not as Reds, but as Trump supporters often simply for not condemning him enough. Consequently, they either participate in Trumper-baiting themselves or are intimidated into not standing up to it. This left McCarthyism is widespread and functions to push people towards voting for the supposed “lesser evil” Democratic Party and towards defending the actions of the national security police state. We see this left McCarthyism with the cheering the harsh sentences of January 6 defendants, most of who[m] were non-violent. We see it in progressives’ not demanding answers for what the 100-200 undercover FBI and other police agency undercover agents in the crowd were actually doing that day. We see it in their not demanding answers about what the federal agents who had infiltrated the Proud Boys and other groups months before January 6 actually knew of January 6 plans.
We’ve been seeing the state carry out a long-term series of psyops, quite obviously with the ultimate goal of letting the state suppress anti-imperialists to an unprecedented degree, and so many in our socialist spaces haven’t been doing anything to resist these psyops. If we follow the leadership of PSL’s Brian Becker, and of the other liberal tailists who’ve disavowed Russia while condoning the actions of the national security state, we’ll be left without the tools to survive the coming purge. Most of the people within our conditions are on the side of our anti-imperialist cause, but we won’t be able to overthrow the state if we only try to appeal to a niche minority among them. We’ll only win the class war after connecting with a majority of the people, which we can only do by rejecting the Democratic Party’s elitist view of the people.
By Rainer Shea
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