The Third International after Lenin

Friday, November 27, 2009

The nth wave of Bernsteinism

CPUSA leader falsifies Marx to promote pro-Obama views

A column in the November 7-13 People’s Weekly World, a newspaper reflecting the views of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), highlights the group’s further evolution away from any pretense of building a revolutionary workers party and toward being a radical political association entrenched in U.S. bourgeois politics instead.

Titled “A ragged process,” the column is by Sam Webb, the CPUSA chairman. He writes, “The notion of the capitalist class on the one side and the working class on the other may sound ‘radical,’ but it is neither Marxist, nor found in life and politics.”

Webb hails the election of Barack Obama to the U.S. presidency as “the defeat of right-wing extremism” that has been in power for the past 30 years—a period that would include, by the way, the eight years of the Democratic administration of William Clinton. Webb attributes this defeat of right-wing extremism not just to the “brilliance” of Obama but also to “the broad wings of a people’s coalition.”

This “coalition,” Webb writes, “stretches (for now) from President Obama to the core forces of the people’s movement: labor, African American, Latino, and other racially oppressed people, women, and youth.” It also includes “dissatisfied grassroots supporters of the right wing, sections of the Democratic Party and even corporate capital—depending on the issue at hand.” He gives no examples of what those issues might be.

The CPUSA’s perspective over the next few years, Webb says, is to seek a “new New Deal.” The original New Deal was a package of reforms implemented by the Franklin Roosevelt administration in the midst of the 1930s depression to rescue capitalism from collapse and thwart rising labor militancy from organizing independent working-class political action.

“The main elements of the New Deal … were won not in 1933, which was Roosevelt’s first year in office, but in 1935-1937,” Webb states. “I suspect the future will be much the same.”

In the same issue of PWW Paquet Daniel writes a letter to the editor about a discussion with a coworker who said he knew there were communists in the United States because he had seen the Militant. Daniel introduced the worker to the PWW. He says the worker liked the paper because it had a “fair approach of the reality, especially about Afghanistan.”

The front-page of that PWW carried the headline “‘No escalation’ is first step to peace in Afghanistan.” By contrast the Militant has consistently campaigned for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all imperialist forces from Afghanistan and Iraq.

The PWW has announced that it will cease publication of a printed edition beginning January 1.

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