The backlash to Biden’s proxy war hasn’t just invigorated the USA’s social movements; it’s prompted many of those involved in these movements to do something which has made the antiwar struggle into a genuine systemic threat for the first time in decades. What they’ve done is form a coalition among the different types of pro-Russian communists, and the elements of the anti-NATO movement that exist outside our left spaces. This project to build an antiwar movement beyond the activist niche; beyond the control of the Democratic Party; is an essential part of advancing the class struggle in this country. And at the present stage within the struggle, the best thing we can do to ensure our dissident forces survive the next stage (that being intensified fascist repression) is to bring as many as possible into this coalition.
This is why the position held by the insular types of modern U.S. “left” activists; the position that we should only try to appeal to liberals and radical liberals within the “leftist” organizing scene; has become impossible to defend. The Ukraine war has disproven their argument that it’s possible to build a relationship with a majority of the people, or to be an effective anti-imperialist, while isolating oneself from essentially the entire anti-NATO movement.
Now that the Rage Against the War Machine coalition and its adjacent groups have made 2023 into the best year for the antiwar movement in decades; making anti-imperialism highly relevant within organizing again while building an antiwar force outside the Democratic Party’s influence; we know that the coalition’s non-insular model is what can make the workers movement effective. Effective in the same way that the Bolsheviks made Russia’s workers movement effective by organizing with non-leftists on a pivotal issue (that issue being trade unionism).
Despite the tendency of modern leftists to assume they’re the most conscious part of the people, it’s easier for individuals who haven’t entered politics from a solidly “leftist” orientation to be able to learn this vital strategic lesson. The idea of appealing to a majority of the people based on their shared interest in ending U.S. imperialism can be instantly attractive to someone who’s apolitical, or who’s even a libertarian or a conservative. This is why there are plenty of Marxists in 2023 who started out as libertarians, or as 2016 Trump voters. It’s uniquely within our “left” spaces where a sense of hostility towards that kind of anti-imperialist coalition building gets propagated, because what we call the “left” in modern America is fundamentally backward in its priorities. Therefore, the only way someone who’s socially progressive can become an effective agent within the class struggle is by coming to actively reject the pro-insularity arguments which come from the left activist circles.
The problem isn’t in social progressivism itself; it’s in how our major “left” groups use social progressivism as an excuse to isolate themselves from everyone outside their own niche space. Such a model of operating is untenable because it rejects all serious opportunities for winning against the capitalist state; for uniting and mobilizing enough of the people to be able to attain victory. And another way Ukraine has revealed this inescapable problem is with how the conflict has intensified the anti-revolutionary actions of our class enemies, actions which the left can’t defend against as long as it remains insular.
When you’re living under fascism, building a united front against the ruling institutions isn’t only a necessity for victory in the class war; it’s a necessity for survival. If we’re divided, we’ll fall amid the state’s ever-greater efforts to destroy democratic and dissident forces. That’s what happened to these forces in Germany as a consequence of the social democrats having betrayed the communists, and thereby made an effective opposition towards the Nazis impossible.
During the USA’s time of terminal capitalist crisis, we can’t expect our own liberals and liberal tailists to unite with the dissident forces. The Party of Communists USA tried to unite with the liberal tailists for as long as they could, working with the PSL up until earlier this year. Then their former collaborators became outwardly hostile by attacking the RAWM coalition, which PCUSA is part of. An even greater betrayal from these “left” forces could be coming for Uhuru; orgs like PSL have officially condemned the DOJ’s indictments of Uhuru, but these orgs and the actors adjacent to them can’t be trusted to stay consistent in their positions as the class war continues to escalate. These orgs have already effectively attacked all pro-Russian groups (which include Uhuru) by trying to isolate and censure RAWM, and we can only expect whatever solidarity they have with Uhuru to keep getting more tepid as time goes on.
The place where we’re seeing impassioned solidarity with Uhuru; where we’re seeing affirmations of the pro-Russian stance shared by the Global South liberation movements; where we’re seeing efforts to expand the anti-imperialist movement beyond a niche; is in the anti-NATO coalition. This coalition, and the project by its participants to build a base within the broad masses of the people, are our greatest hopes for defeating the liberal fascism which the Uhuru indictments represent.
Uhuru (also called the African People’s Socialist Party) represents a particular kind of threat to the system, because it’s the pro-Russian communist org with the greatest connection to the Black working class. That’s a big part of why the indictments happened: Uhuru’s real crime was to be successful at bringing Black workers into a struggle which is consistently anti-imperialist, both in its ideas and in its practice.
There’s no telling for sure how much time we have until the state’s next big maneuver against the anti-imperialist movement. We’ve recently seen some minor escalations of the attacks, in the form of cyber-sabotage against the anti-NATO site Strategic Culture and GoFundMe’s recent cutoff of donations to The Grayzone. And the Democratic Party infiltrators within the Marxist spaces have been redoubling their efforts to discredit anti-imperialist groups, sustaining a campaign of scandal-mongering towards these groups even though no major developments in the struggle are happening at the moment. These relatively small provocations are part of a preparation for whatever false flag, or other type of psyop, is eventually going to be carried out with the goal of justifying an unprecedented assault upon anti-imperialists.
To survive this next phase of the class war, we need to be physically trained, we need to have our cadres secure, and we need to have the allies who we can depend on during a more tense situation. This is the cost of being a genuine threat towards the centers of power: as soon as you become successful enough in your efforts, your enemies try harder to destroy you. We’ve won the debate against the imperialism-compatible elements within the left, and our movement has only begun its expansion into more of the people. We still have yet to meet many of the individuals who will be willing to act heroically, and aid us in our struggle against the empire.
By Rainer Shea
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