The Worker

Rage Against the War Machine: On the Issue of Tailism, Strategic Partnerships, and Right Opportunism

The Rage Against the War Machine event has sparked much debate, along with various accusations coming from the ultraleft. Accusations of tailism, forming a red brown alliance, and of right opportunism have become common against any communist participating in this anti-imperialist event. Due to the presence of right wing libertarian groups, the event as a whole has been decried as a right wing event, and has been used to sneer at those of us who participate. 

These accusations demonstrate the flawed thinking of ultraleftists. Not only do they misunderstand the nature of our participation in these events, they fundamentally do not understand the strategy and tactics necessary to build a Communist party and movement. 

First, let us address accusations of tailism. Us principled anti-imperialists have been condemning the US manipulation of Ukraine and the fascist Banderite regime put in place by the US and her lackeys long before any right wing groups took up the charge. We are not tailing these groups, we have been leading the discussion from the start. While the Communist movement within the USA is small at the moment, and so our role is often understated and our participation is downplayed, we have been a strong force organizing antiwar efforts against the US intervention and against the fascist Ukraine state from the beginning. Now that the movement has begun to gain traction, right wing groups are coopting our efforts and our work to attempt to take our place at the center of the movement. Should we simply abandon our place, or should we remain firmly in our stance and struggle to maintain a leadership role?

Secondly, the laughable claims of a red brown alliance. As a start, there are no fascist groups participating, and if there were, we would immediately move to shut them out and purge them from our movement. Additionally, does a strategic partnership qualify as an alliance? Even among those right wing groups involved in the antiwar movement, we do not delude ourselves into believing they are true allies. The CPC in China, while waging a revolutionary struggle against Japanese imperialism, formed a strategic partnership with the KMT, and as soon as the threat of the Japanese imperialists was defeated, turned their struggle against the KMT. If we practice puritanism and refuse to work with any group which is deemed impure, we will never gain traction and will be relegated to the dustbin of history. We work with those who align on certain issues, and then when those issues are resolved, return to the necessary struggle against those same groups who otherwise are opposed to our interests and efforts. 

Finally, the issue of right opportunism. Is it right opportunism to oppose the US war machine, which constitutes the largest and most dangerous threat to the global Communist movement, which funded genocides against communists in Indonesia, Chile, and countless other countries? Is it right opportunism to combat the influence of NATO, the hegemony of the US dollar over global economics, and the dominance of US interests over the interests of all other countries? Do not mistake our support for the Russian invasion, our opposition to the Ukrainian fascists, and our opposition to US and NATO interventionism, for support for the capitalist government of Russia. The anti-fascist invasion is the product of the pressure of the Russian communists who have been working for it since 2014, and has the support of the illegalized Ukrainian communists who have faced brutal repression under the fascist Ukrainian state, reducing it to an imperialist war undertaken by capitalists is an insult to the blood and sweat shed by the workers and communists who pushed for this fight against fascism long before the Russian capitalists became convinced it was in their interests. Just as communists supported the US invasion of Germany, Japan, and Italy during WWII without supporting the capitalist government of the US, so too do we support Russia in the framework of fighting fascism while simultaneously supporting the effort of Russian communists to reestablish socialism and their struggle against capitalism within their country. However, we cannot defeat the Russian capitalists for the Russians, just as they cannot defeat our capitalists for us. And any focus on being overly critical of Russia, or any other country, while being within the imperial core will only strengthen our own imperialists, rather than genuinely supporting the efforts of workers within those countries. Our primary responsibility is to fight our own bourgeoisie, our own imperialism. And to that end, we must call for the withdrawal of US support of Ukraine, and for an end to interventionist policies of the US in general, which have proved time and again to cause nothing but harm.

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