When the PSL marched this week with the DHS and Lockheed Martin personnel who are working to attach themselves to Pride, it proved that the elements of the left which have been attacking Rage Against the War Machine aren’t doing this due to RAWM’s contradictions. They’re doing it because trying to discredit a multi-tendency antiwar coalition—particularly one whose communist organizations take the pro-Russian stance—is in their best interests as left opportunists. These opportunists are willing to go to rallies that have problematic actors, including actors so problematic that they’re leaders of some of U.S. imperialism’s central institutions. They’re willing to do so because these rallies are about a cause which socialists and liberals can agree on, in this case the need for LGBT rights. When the cause is something socialists and liberals will never agree on, that being the need to consistently act against U.S. hegemony, they’ll denounce the rally and the coalition for being too impure.
Both of the sides in this ideological conflict have contradictions. The difference is that whereas one side is counter-hegemonic, the other one’s entire purpose is to perpetuate the pro-imperialist cultural hegemony. The latter is the one PSL, and the organizations and actors that share its imperialism-compatible interpretation of “Marxism,” have chosen to align with. The only way those who are comfortable with PSL’s double standard on contradictions can justify their stance is by hiding behind the queer and trans liberation cause. As in point to that cause’s righteousness, and say anybody who talks about this double standard is simply arguing against the cause. These apologists know what they’re doing. We all see what’s truly happening: feds and war profiteers are working to exploit the violence that’s being directed towards a marginalized group by claiming to be in solidarity with this group, then PSL has acted complicit in this exploitation while revealing its opportunistic motives for opposing RAWM.
PSL and those adjacent to it could have joined RAWM, without hurting any of the social justice causes. We know this because the PCUSA, one of those pro-Russian communist orgs which joined RAWM, makes clear its support for not just LGBT rights but the liberation of the U.S. empire’s internal colonies:
Socialism will be the start of educating the U.S. Population on the national question and the origins of national and the racial oppression for the Black, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Native American, Asian-Pacific, and all other nationally oppressed people and immigrants. Party involvement in the struggle for equality of the oppressed nationalities, the special oppression of women, and the struggle against discrimination, abuse, and harassment of the LGBT+ community will unite the whole working class. The heart of the day-to-day program of the PCUSA is the struggle for peace, democracy, equality; against racism and misogyny; and for improvement in the living conditions of all working people, manifested in the support of struggles of oppressed peoples’ struggles worldwide for national liberation and self-determination, and against imperialist aggression, and for the peaceful coexistence between states with different social systems.
If a communist org can have these principles on economic and social justice, while being able to enter into a coalition with ideologically different orgs on an equal footing, PSL wouldn’t have been betraying any social justice values by uniting with the anti-NATO movement. Yet I’m still arguing on the terms of the liberals. Even though it’s good for PCUSA to articulate this stance, it wouldn’t need to do so to be correct for joining with the RAWM coalition. Because building an effective anti-NATO movement, one that’s totally outside the control of the Democratic Party and proactive about putting together events, is an absolutely indispensable task for the communist movement. And RAWM’s counter-hegemonic character, based in its full ideological independence from the Democrats, makes this task achievable.
Due to this reality about just how highly we must prioritize anti-imperialism, the Center for Political Innovation (another communist org within the RAWM coalition) is by default doing more for the social justice causes PSL claims to care about than PSL itself is. Which is ironic, because CPI doesn’t bring up LGBT liberation on its site like PCUSA does. We can’t get national liberation, LGBT liberation, or women’s liberation until the bourgeois state is defeated, which requires we adopt an adequate anti-imperialist practice. Because the actors who are most eager to proclaim themselves as allies to these causes have rejected such a practice, they’re in practice setting back these causes. Whereas the actors within the anti-NATO movement, who largely don’t focus on these causes, are in practice doing more than anyone else to ensure that the state is defeated.
This doesn’t mean it’s ideal for these orgs and individuals which are principled on being anti-NATO to mostly not share PCUSA’s explicitly supportive stance on these social justice causes. If it were up to me, they all would be following PCUSA’s example on that. What I’ve had to learn is that I can’t control how everyone operates, and in a coalition-building context, that’s okay. They don’t need to follow the example of socially progressive communists on domestic issues to be having an overall positive impact on the revolutionary struggle. If they’re actively building an anti-NATO movement outside the grip of the Democratic Party, they’re worth collaborating with.
I cite PCUSA as a positive example not because I idealize that org, which I’m not a member of, but because it’s come to the correct conclusion about how to rectify the contradictions we’re confronted with. This conclusion is that we can’t try to rectify the domestic contradictions prior to the global ones, as the domestic issues themselves can’t be solved until U.S. hegemony has been sufficiently combated. First we need to fight imperialism’s psyops enough that this breaks the Democratic Party’s monopoly over our organizing and discourse spaces, freeing up the class struggle to escalate. Then, when class antagonism has entered its next stage and U.S. imperialism has been sufficiently weakened in its ability to do global damage, we can switch to the domestic issues as our primary sphere of ideological battle.
Note how the party says that socialism, as in a scenario where we’ve already implemented proletarian democracy, will be the first step in getting rid of white chauvinism and socially reactionary views among the population. Obviously we should speak out against national oppression and anti-queer violence in the present. The problem comes when developing radicals who don’t sufficiently understand the importance of the anti-NATO movement are influenced by the manipulations of the liberals. The liberals say it’s okay for them to reject an effective anti-NATO practice, and to act complicit in military-industrial complex pinkwashing or pro-bourgeois versions of “national liberation,” because social justice is important. All communists who aren’t right deviationists know social justice is important. That’s no excuse to choose an opportunist path which obstructs revolutionary progress. When you do that, you’re making yourself into a tool for the liberals, and validating their claim to being the definitive authorities on social justice.