For concrete benchmarks for defeat of the far right

BY:James Bierly| April 25, 2024
For concrete benchmarks for defeat of the far right


This piece is a contribution to the Pre-Convention Discussion for our 32nd National Convention. During Pre-Convention Discussion, all aspects of the party’s program, strategy, and tactics are up for consideration and debate. The ideas presented here are those of the author or authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Communist Party USA, its membership, or their elected leadership bodies. — Editors

The ultra-left continuously tells us the Democrats deserve to lose, and that the defeat of the center opens space for the left. What historic possibilities did Hitler, Pinochet, Franco or Suharto open? In less extreme cases, precisely what opportunities for the far left were realized by the victories of Thatcher and Reagan? Again and again, the answer is that the victory of the far right does nothing good whatsoever for the prospects of socialism, but rather drowns those prospects in rivers of blood. Reform and revolution are not the only two options. Barbarism always sits knocking at the door.

History and objective correctness of unity against the far right

Hence the Communist Party USA has long followed Dmitrov’s guidance to prioritize the fight against domestic fascism while acknowledging that U.S. imperialism supports fascism abroad.

Further, there are elements of the Democratic coalition which are pushable through organization and agitation. Many of our greatest victories in Party history have been won through broad based alliances, particularly in the era of the New Deal and the civil rights struggle. The far right offers no room for progressive change.

This broad coalition approach, which includes progressive elements of all classes is historically called the “popular front.”

The popular front against fascism has been proven correct in history. The more limited “united front” of explicit socialists and radical labor organizers proposed by Trotsky has failed in practice to prevent fascist takeovers. We also work to build the united front, and see it as taking prominence when we move from the phase of history in which the anti-far right alliance is the priority to the anti-monopoly coalition taking priority.

Yet, we hope to move as much of the popular front forward into the anti-monopoly coalition as possible, then into the struggle for socialism. Starting with a broad popular front ensures the eventual mass popularity of socialist construction.

Problems of the anti-far right phase

The subjective reception of this line is causing serious objective damage to the organizational capacity of the Party in a time when the world needs us more than ever.

The perception of many U.S. leftists, including many Party members, is that the Communist Party is a severely compromised organization committed to a policy of eternal tailism which provides cover for finance capital.

The patience of the U.S. working class for working with the corrupt and failing Democratic Party is rapidly wearing thin. Gallup shows over 60 percent of U.S. voters support a third party in the abstract. The working class is fully capable of understanding the need for tactical discipline against current class enemies.

But eternal waiting opens opportunities for the fascists, who will give the working class anyone to blame but the capitalist system for their misfortunes.

It is both true that the popular front and defeat of the Republican Party remain vital strategic priorities, and that the Democratic Party is controlled by big finance capital. It is also true that some elements of the popular front can be treacherous to the working class.

Both are true, and from a dialectical perspective that is fine and to be expected. So long as we find a way to synthesize the tensions through the productive movement of the class struggle, two contradictory things can certainly be true at the same time.

A proposed synthesis would be:

We must become crystal clear about what we mean by a “massive defeat of the far right,” with measurable objectives. We should publicly pledge to move third party organizing  when those objectives are complete.

Proposal of concrete goals which would constitute defeat of the immediate far right threat

Social and economic organization can and should remain tied to local allies (identity and community groups, labor unions etc.) and conditions, but the Party must exercise more direct and concrete leadership in the political sphere. We must establish maximum unity and specificity on our political goals.

The Communist Party will maintain a position of working primarily to build and support a popular front against fascism until the following conditions are met:

  1. The passage of a strong national voting rights bill, to defeat the anti-democratic tendencies of the Republican Party and ensure maximum democratic participation of all races, creeds, genders and nationalities.
  2. The passage of a strong national labor rights bill, which repeals the reactionary elements of Taft-Hartley, and achieves at minimum the goals of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO) Act.
  3. Repeal of right to work in the majority of states where such laws exist.
  4. Passage of a strong civil rights bill which repeals the majority of the Patriot Act, fully legalizes the Communist Party and other dissident groups, and puts curbs on mass surveillance.
  5. Defeat of Republican presidential candidates by over 70 electoral votes in 3 subsequent national elections. This defeat is not necessarily only by Democrats, particularly in states which split their electoral votes where there may already be third party potential.

In addition, national Party leadership, in consultation with state leadership and local clubs, should develop a clear list of the progressive and labor groups which the Communist Party will need close alliance in order to move into the next phase of struggle. National leadership should clearly specify what constitutes those good relations.

Communists in leadership? Regular joint projects? Regular volunteering from Party members? The goals can be different for different organizations but should be very clearly specified and measurable. Guidance and support should then be provided to help clubs establish the necessary relationships to move the broad anti-right alliance into its next form as an anti-monopoly alliance. These goals should be made measurable and assessed yearly.

Finally, the Party should publicly and clearly state that upon completion of these goals we will officially move into the anti-monopoly phase of struggle, agitating directly for the creation of a labor party by a united front.



    James Bierly is the Chairperson of the Grand Rapids, MI Club in Formation, CPUSA


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