Left.ru __________________________________________________________________________


Dave Silver

November 2004

Liberals have historically always felt more comfortable with the Right than the Left. This follows logically from the fact that they regard capitalist bourgeois democracy as the system that can best meet the needs of the vast majority of people. They mechanically adopt the principle of organizing only within the framework of the system and therefore feel that energy should be put into the Democratic Party because “that’s where the masses are.” The Democratic Party is not a mass organization and masses are not “in” the Party. The masses are given a choice of two evils, and vote for what they believe to be the lesser evil since they have no alternative available. Thus Liberalism, as it rejects a radical class perspective, at the same time finds a new and comfortable “center” where they buy into racist notions such as I’m for affirmative action but against “quotas” or that we should credit Rudy Giuliani with bringing crime down. 

A more subtle opportunism and anti-communism is prevalent among those who are further to the Left and consider themselves for the most part as anti-imperialist. They adopt the politics of neo-marxism (the “traditional” kind is outmoded and no longer has answers for the global economy, they say.), social democracy or the “new left.” Many may be anti-racist.  I allude to groups such as The Brecht Forum, listener supported WBAI, North American Congress for Latin America (NACLA) and Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), the Green Party and other justice and peace Coalitions.

These latter groups equally condemn “violence” whether it is the reactionary violence of the imperialist or domestic oppressor or the violence of liberation or oppressed and exploited peoples. We have seen them applaud imperialism’s attempt to demonize and try leaders such as Milosevic for crimes against humanity. They equate as co-evils both he and the NATO bombing of his country. Most egregious of all is the common practice of the Liberal-Left to equate socialism and fascism.  Of course the essential anti-communism is camouflaged with the cutting edge code word “Stalinism.” This group likes to equate the two opposite systems using surrogate symbolism; for instance ripping out all historic context they refer to the Hitler Stalin Pact. One program equated the Nazi manifestation of Kristallnacht with the Berlin Wall needed to safeguard the socialist base of the German Democratic Republic against the illegally adopted west German Mark.

Caught up in “making the system work better” these folk invite Black and white elected officials who tell us that they can do a better job than the Republicans and pose as the only hope for the downtrodden.  The choice is clear; we must reject the Liberal often racist and anti-communist path or feed the dangerous illusion that the Democratic Party, whether “reformed” or “Independent” can be a Peoples Party. One cannot be anti-imperialist or anti-racist and at the same time be anti-communist.  Marx called them antagonistic.

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