Communist Party USA

  In Western European countries it used often to be said: “We must have fascism before communism.” First the capitalists will abandon democracy and introduce the fascist dictatorship, and then the workers will overthrow the fascist dictatorship. But the Communists replied, no, we will fight together with all the democratic forces to preserve bourgeois democracy and to defeat the fascists, and that will create the best conditions for going forward to win working-class power and to commence to build socialism. —Maurice Cornforth, Materialism and the Dialectical Method There is a concerning, but not surprising, trend that is exposing itself among the left that smacks of social democracy and class collaboration. This trend, though seemingly harmless, is damaging to youth coming into the movement. It wraps itself in Marxist verbiage while its conclusions end up taking positions of the right. Those who promote these ideas are falling into the hands of the racist monopolists and reactionaries. As a result, they will slow progress toward socialism, potentially putting us on the march toward fascism. Let me remind readers that our party, the Communist Party, was in part founded in response to the rejection of the anti-Marxist denial of the special character of racist oppression in the U.S. held by the old Socialist Party. Our late chair, Henry Winston, said in Strategy for a Black Agenda, While the Communist Party saw from its inception that the struggle against racist oppression was part of the class struggle, it also recognized that Blacks were oppressed as a people and that labor with a white skin and labor with a Black skin could not be free unless the special demands of the triply oppressed Black people were put at the center of the struggle for progress and socialism. An ideological trend that might be classified as “white left nationalism” repeats the mistakes of the old Socialist Party on its approach to the national question. These white left nationalist trends shout “class, class, class!” and “left, left, left!” while deploring what they call “identity politics” and narrowly pointing to historical failures of socialist projects and the left in the United States in particular. They repeat the line voiced by New Left “socialists” and Third Worldist Maoists that the working class in the United States has betrayed the movement for socialism and that it is time to think of it in a “new way,” if not completely ignore it as a mainspring of revolutionary activity. At best this is a defeatist position. Much of these ideas come from folks who contributed to what we now call the crisis of petty bourgeois radicalism, where middle-class “radicals” reach a certain level of consciousness and want to take shortcuts to revolution and leave the masses (less conscious sections) of people behind in this process. These ideas persist to this day in various forms of postmodernism, anarchism, and Maoism. Instead of seeing revolutionary potential in the U.S. working class, these forces promote a newfound fetishization of the “lumpen-proletariat” (that is, declassed strata) as the new revolutionary class, urban peasant guerilla warfare, and other theories associated with the Frankfurt School for Social Science (like Herbert Marcuse). A seemingly odd combination of national nihilism (downplaying of a country’s traditions) and national chauvinism (an overemphasis of the same) also plays a part.   “Identity politics,” or struggle for equality? With respect to what’s derisively called “identity politics,” “political correctness,” “wokeness,” or “cancel culture” (but what we call the struggle for equality), these forces allege that addressing discrimination contributes to disunity and de-emphasizes “class,” by which they mean white male workers. Our party does not reduce…

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The curious rise of white “left” nationalism