The changing character of the extreme right

BY:Kansas City Club CPUSA| April 25, 2024
The changing character of the extreme 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

Five years ago The Communist Party USA held its 31st National Convention in Chicago. We celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Party’s founding at that convention in 2019. Now we prepare for our 32nd convention in 2024. We have a lot to carefully consider as we update our program and select our next National Committee. This is the Kansas City Club’s contribution to that discussion.

New members and social media 

As the membership of the Party has exploded over the last few years, many new members have reported long waits to hear back from their Districts or Clubs.

The Missouri / Kansas District has recently formed a Membership Collective to help this process along, with someone from each club involved. The Kansas City club has a Membership Secretary who is responsible for this duty. We would encourage other districts to do something similar. We also call on the National Committee to offer some guidance on how best to vet new members, especially with MAGA communists or ultra-left elements threatening to infiltrate our Party. We call upon the National Committee to create frequent and clear lines of communication to District Committees on new membership applications, and for District Committees to follow through with the same level of direction to the clubs.

Efforts, like “Good Morning Revolution” and the “Hello Comrade” TikTok channel have been good uses of social media to communicate and educate the public about our activities. National has set up a Media Collective to redouble these efforts and to make our social media presence more uniform. Our club would like to see these efforts continue and increase. Our Social Media Liaison will work to contribute to these efforts.

Changing character of the extreme right

Fascism has long found a home in the Republican Party, but it has never been so open. Neoliberalism became the dominant ideology on the extreme right following the collapse of the Keynesian consensus in the late 1970s. In 2016, the Trump phenomenon exposed the extent to which this establishment had waned during the Obama years. The Republican establishment tried to stay grounded in neoliberalism, however, their policies had impoverished their rank-and-file, leaving them primed for Trump’s populist rhetoric.

This is why the rhetoric of the right has shifted away from being “pro-business” and pseudo-libertarian to waging culture wars. It is why the GOP foreign policy has transitioned away from endless wars and liberal alliances, to NATO skepticism and outright isolationism, a more pure form of unilateral imperialism. The center of gravity within the Republican Party has moved to outright fascism. Proponents of the old right-wing have joined the Democrats against Trump leading some Democrats to take up the mantle of defending the old neoliberal order. For example, the most hawkish voices for Ukraine are Democrats.

We should take the possibility of a Trump victory seriously, as well as the threats he’s made against communists and immigrants. We, as a Party, need to make concrete plans and strategies for such an event.

Stages of struggle

Sections V and VI of the program sets out three broad stages of struggle to win working class power. Some members have read these sections to mean the stages of struggle are discreet. After some determined criteria is met, we will announce the next stage of struggle.

We believe the program should clarify these stages overlap. As we are building the All People’s Front, we are laying the groundwork for the Anti-Monopoly Coalition. When the balance of power has turned away from the right and the democratic struggle has made the fascist forces irrelevant, the anti-monopoly coalition will be prepared to fight the class struggle primarily. Likewise, the infrastructure of the Labor-Led People’s Party will be ready as soon as monopoly capital has been put on its back foot and labor has taken the upperhand.

Democratic Party

We think the question of the Party’s relationship to the Democrats needs more clarity. The Democrats are needed in some capacity to hold the line against the fascist right, but it is the working class that will defeat fascism. Fascism is an outgrowth of the bourgeoisie, a bourgeois party cannot defeat it. As such the program should clearly state that the Democrats, on the whole, are only useful as a shield.

Every seat that is filled by a Democrat, from the school board to the White House, is a seat not filled by a fascist. Some on the left wing of the Democratic Party, beholden to labor or civil rights groups, may be enthusiastic members of the Popular Front, but more broadly, their Party can only be viewed as the first line of defense against fascism, while our Party and other progressive forces build up our strength.

An example of this in the MO/KS District is the right-wing attack on trans rights. In Missouri, where the GOP rules, anti-trans bills passed easily. In Kansas, the Democratic governor vetoed a wide range of such measures for several sessions. The GOP only succeeded in overturning her veto in 2023. A few more Democrats in the Legislature would have stopped them again.

All up and down the ballot, members must consider voting for who is most likely to win a seat over the forces of fascism. In liberal democracies voting is often considered a moral act, as communists we should instead think of voting as a strategic act, and vote in a way that affords us the space to rally the working class on the political terrain of our choosing.


    Kansas City Club of the Communist Party, USA

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