By Rainer Shea; Originally published on News With Theory – newswiththeory.com
If the left opportunist groups can’t dominate organizing spaces, or manage the discourse, they’ll use the limitless resources the bourgeoisie gives them to act as agents of direct warfare against the revolutionary struggle. Antifa’s anarchist, three letter agency-backed elements are doing this in a violent way, as we’ve seen with the assaults that certain “anti-fascists” have carried out against communists. Because CPUSA doesn’t have a violent component, its tactic is instead to take legal action against the labor movement at crucial moments in the struggle; a sabotage plan that will be made more effective by how the bourgeoisie, who control the legal system, share CPUSA’s interest in undermining labor power.
The argument of the ALU Democratic Reform Caucus, the CPUSA-led group that’s suing an Amazon union at the same time as a strike, is simple: the union’s leadership has been picked unilaterally, and the Caucus seeks to make the election of another one possible. We’re not saboteurs, argue those on the CPUSA’s side; we only want more democracy within the labor movement! If you’ve read Lenin’s What Is To Be Done, you may also be getting reminded of a certain part from the work; the part that exposes the true intentions of those who try to do things that harm the proletarian movement, under the guise of supporting dissent and open dialogue:
“Freedom” is a grand word, but under the banner of freedom for industry the most predatory wars were waged, under the banner of freedom of labour, the working people were robbed. The modern use of the term “freedom of criticism” contains the same inherent falsehood. Those who are really convinced that they have made progress in science would not demand freedom for the new views to continue side by side with the old, but the substitution of the new views for the old. The cry heard today, “Long live freedom of criticism”, is too strongly reminiscent of the fable of the empty barrel.
We are marching in a compact group along a precipitous and difficult path, firmly holding each other by the hand. We are surrounded on all sides by enemies, and we have to advance almost constantly under their fire. We have combined, by a freely adopted decision, for the purpose of fighting the enemy, and not of retreating into the neighbouring marsh, the inhabitants of which, from the very outset, have reproached us with having separated ourselves into an exclusive group and with having chosen the path of struggle instead of the path of conciliation. And now some among us begin to cry out: Let us go into the marsh! And when we begin to shame them, they retort: What backward people you are! Are you not ashamed to deny us the liberty to invite you to take a better road! Oh, yes, gentlemen! You are free not only to invite us, but to go yourselves wherever you will, even into the marsh. In fact, we think that the marsh is your proper place, and we are prepared to render you every assistance to get there. Only let go of our hands, don’t clutch at us and don’t besmirch the grand word freedom, for we too are “free” to go where we please, free to fight not only against the marsh, but also against those who are turning towards the marsh!
Why is what CPUSA is doing against the interests of the movement? Both because it’s weakening the Amazon union at a time when it needs to be at its strongest; and because the leadership the CPUSA aims to vote in would be objectively worse than the union’s present one. It would be a leadership that acts as a front for the Democratic Party, due to CPUSA’s nature as a Democrat tailist organization whose leadership promotes the vote blue stance and platforms neocon propaganda.
Why is CPUSA using the Trotskyist tactic of creating dissention for its own sake, and trying to debate everything all the time? Because that’s how it can sustain its opportunist project while it undergoes a terminal decline in its organizing presence. And even if those involved in this effort aren’t taking orders from the three letter agencies, the feds are glad to assist in it, because what they’re doing unambiguously benefits the ruling class; it serves the same purpose as the contrived arguments for “freedom of criticism” that Lenin ridiculed, where opportunists weaponized pseudo-valid concerns in a way that did nothing besides harm the socialist cause.
When those behind this effort talk about the need for a “democratic” labor movement structure, their aim is to lead the movement into the marsh, as Lenin said; and in this case, the marsh looks like a scenario where the Democratic Party solidifies its control over the avenues workers are using to try to fight for their rights. It’s a fallacy that a system is necessarily better the more “inclusive” it is; bourgeois “democracy” is supposedly more fair than workers democracy because it doesn’t exclude the capitalist class from exercising the political influence that their wealth would otherwise give them, but in reality, workers democracy is the one we should prefer from a perspective of fairness. Because under a capitalist state, the bourgeoisie have a disproportionate amount of influence, and workers democracy is the only way to break this monopoly of governmental power.
When the bourgeoisie call socialist countries dictatorships, we can reply: yes, they’re dictatorships of the proletariat! Which means under them, you’re not allowed to buy off politicians. Something that someone can only view as an injustice if their class status as exploiters depends on them continuing to have such an ability.
If this union’s leadership is dictatorial, it’s dictatorial for a good cause: protecting the labor movement from being taken over by capitalist agents in a corrupt and unfair fashion. And we know the transfer of power would happen that way because Democratic Party agents, by their nature, are the preferred candidates of the bourgeoisie; and will therefore receive whatever institutional backing they need to win against labor leaders the Democrats don’t control.
Those with principles see through the deception these DNC agents are trying to pull off. Their equivalents from over a century ago did the same thing, and the Bolsheviks weren’t fooled by their manipulation; the outcome was that the Bolsheviks won, while the saboteurs lost along with their capitalist masters. CPUSA, and the other major “socialist” orgs, don’t care about winning the workers struggle; their only aim is to gain power within the insular “left” spaces that the three letter agencies, NGOs, and Democratic Party narrative managers have shaped for decades. To stop them from undoing the revolutionary progress that the Amazon strike is bringing, we have to make them lose the narrative battle. We have to show how their actions are not justified, which is as easy as pointing to that part I quoted from Lenin’s writings.