The CPUSA’s Present Political Line, “Unity Against the Ultra-Right” is Wrong and Harmful
By Edward Drummond
Top CPUSA leaders are sure to defend the present line, emphatically declaring the main enemy is “right-wing extremism,” whose loathsomeness and frightfulness they will denounce at length.
With self-assurance they will deflect their critics — if there are any critics — with “OK, maybe Obama is a disappointment. Maybe he and the Congressional Democrats didn’t keep their campaign promises. Maybe we got too enthusiastic in 2008. Look, we never said he was for socialism. But isn’t it obvious the Republicans are so much worse? Imagine a President Newt Gingrich in the Oval Office with a finger on the nuclear trigger. C’mon, the main enemy is obviously the ultra right. Isn’t it common sense?”
Such a rhetorical non-answer will probably head off the much-needed debate, if past national meetings are any indication.
This “unity against the ultra right” line may be common sense to some, but it is not correct. It is not Marxism. It is not a step on the path to socialism. The line is based on half-truths and untruths. It is one-sided. It distorts theory, history, and fact. It is harming the Party, the international Communist movement, the working class, and the country. It should be replaced by the Party’s historic policy, the anti-monopoly policy.
As this article will show, the present line, Lesser Evilism, misidentifies the main enemy as a fragment of the ruling class, not the whole of the ruling class. This is no accident. The line was contrived to push the CPUSA into the arms of the Democrats; the theory came later.
The line misunderstands the nature of contradictions within the US ruling class. It adds an extra stage on the path to Socialism USA which is wholly unjustified and which no other comparable CP envisages. The line exculpates an increasingly reactionary, war-inciting, and racist US Administration. It even has trouble pinning down what the “ultra right” is. It overstates the threat from right-wing extremism. It falsifies the actual views of Dimitrov on the Popular Front. Its claim to derive from his thought is demonstrably bogus.
The line has isolated the Party from mass movements, which reject the notion that the GOP is uniquely evil. The line hobbles the CPUSA’s growth possibilities. It is an opportunist, no-struggle policy that repeats old errors and turns its back on our finest traditions. It seeks to maneuver within the two-party trap instead of trying to break out of the trap. The line is class collaboration in electoral politics.
Moreover, it is simple-minded: Republicans evil, Democrats good. It sees no shades of gray. We need a sophisticated policy.
After ten years, the line has done us no good. Our Party is in trouble. We will not recover unless we repudiate it.