May 20, 2024

Following our split from the Party of Communists USA (PCUSA), we analyzed the events leading to the fracture. This analysis was undertaken to further our understanding of opportunism in the US, and shed light on its manifestations in one of the so-called leading “communist” parties, particularly in matters of organization. Here we further our work and aim to set the table for ideological confrontation with the strange political groupings taking place in the US communist movement. One such grouping is that of the PCUSA, led by Angelo D’Angelo, and the Center for Political Innovation (CPI), led by Caleb Maupin. Such alliances take place within the context of the drawing together of these forces within the orbit of the “World Anti-Imperialist Platform” (WAP).

Corroded by Browderism and stale from its nostalgic approach to the Popular Front, the PCUSA has further immersed itself in the opportunist and reformist camp. Against the backdrop of the imperialist war in Ukraine, the ideological issues that have plagued the international communist movement for years have become more acute, leading to serious political mistakes. This has taken the form of denying the imperialist character of China and Russia, as a strategy to dethrone the US from the peak of the imperialist system. At the foundation of these views, as noted by the Communist Party of Mexico (PCM)[1], we find “old wine in new bottles,” a rekindling of certain views of the social-chauvinists of the Second International.

During his time, Lenin demonstrated how the Economists linked arms with and pursued similar policies to the growing opportunist trend in Western Europe led by the followers of Bernstein. Today, just as then, the drawing closer of opportunist forces sows confusion and subordinates the working class to the policies of the bourgeoisie. The spread and generalization of these policies take shape in the US as the cooperation between the CPI and the PCUSA.

What Is the CPI and Who Is the Founder?

The CPI characterizes itself as an educational think tank “focused on the construction of American Socialism.” According to its founder, Caleb Maupin, it is “intended to teach people about US imperialism and the global capitalist system.” Maupin has been a member of Workers World Party (WWP), a journalist for Russia Today (RT) , and a correspondent for PressTV of Iran. His work has been featured in the New Eastern Outlook, a journal of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. His network[2] has also included various reactionary figures who represent ultra-nationalist and racist positions such as Aleksandr Dugin and Julien Rochedy[3].

The CPI proposes to “save the country” through its Four-Point Plan[4]. This reformist plan amounts to an attempted elaboration of the erroneous strategy of stages toward socialism. It recycles the theoretical approach of fighting the neoliberal management of capitalism and replacing it with a variant of Keynesian management. It proposes the nationalization of strategic industries, a step which does not imply that production is at the service of the workers, since the companies are now in the hands of the State, which remains in the hands of the now “collective” bourgeoisie. Like the smoke-sellers of “progressivism,” the CPI calls for a “Government of Action” propped up by the addition of an Economic Bill of Rights, a position advanced by Franklin D. Roosevelt, to the US Constitution, a document that enshrines the bourgeois right to private property. Such a bill is an artifact of the erroneous strategy of the CPUSA support for the policies of the incoming New Deal government. The CPI makes no mention of the fact that, without eliminating capitalist private property over the means of production, putting the workers to work rebuilding the country means asking them to submit to the interests of the bourgeoisie.

Like its opportunist counterparts, the CPI maintains a theoretical eclecticism, mixing all kinds of theories. This is evidenced by Maupin’s stooping to the level of openly supporting positions and policies of right-wing figures, as well as his history of association with the LaRouche Movement and borrowing from the theories of Lyndon LaRouche. The mingling with these reactionary currents results in an approach of “meeting workers where they are.” Despite its rhetoric, the CPI tramples over all revolutionary principles, allying itself with the Rage Against the War Machine (RAGTWM) coalition led by the Libertarian Party and the Peoples’ Party. The association of the Schiller Institute—the think-tank founded by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, wife of Lyndon LaRouche—with Maupin and other figures in RAGTWM, such as Diane Sare, cannot be underestimated. Active in various countries around the world, the Schiller Institute has been involved in initiatives that seek the establishment of a multipolar world, especially through the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Such populism closes the road to the radicalization of popular forces, aligning the workers and the people more generally with the interests of one or the other representative of capital. The drawing closer of these political forces is fueled and utilized in the confrontations of the bourgeoisie, such as now with the outbreak of the imperialist war and the subsequent question of international alliances in the conditions of rearrangements in the imperialist system, i.e., the struggle of capitalist China for supremacy over the US.  With the cloak of “anti-imperialism,” the unity of these groups lies in their call for the workers and people to choose one camp of robbers over the other and subordinate their interests to the capitalist powers of Russia and China.

The CPI is yet another opportunist project that has nothing to do with communist principles. It functions as a trap. It distorts the Marxist-Leninist theory of imperialism and sows confusion by reducing imperialism to an aggressive foreign policy, glossing over its economic basis, and identifying it primarily with the “imperial interests” of the US. It is characteristic that the CPI and its “ideological leader” has whitewashed the Trump government and defended its support by the AMLO government while remaining silent on the Mexican state’s role in the imperialist United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (T-MEC), their anti-popular, anti-worker, and anti-immigrant policies, and the death of migrant workers. It is therefore no surprise that the struggle for overthrow of the capitalist system is nowhere to be found in the positions of the CPI, and the struggle for socialism is replaced with a plan for a New Deal-esque government, one which ultimately shackles the class struggle to weapon of the ruling class—the bourgeois state.

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Over a year has passed since the start of the imperialist conflict in Ukraine. One month before the outbreak of the war, the serious ideological-political issues that have plagued the communist movement were sharpening, resulting in a struggle that manifested within the PCUSA, leading to our departure. With the encouragement of opportunist trends—arising from the incorrect assessment of the protests in Kazakhstan; the confrontation between China and the US, and the subsequent forming of inter-state alliances; the participation of communist parties in bourgeois governments; “progressivist” currents from Latin America; the replacement of the struggle against capitalism with the struggle against fascism; and other issues deeply rooted in distortions of Lenin’s theory of imperialism, as well as conceptions of strategies associated with stages on the path towards socialism—the ideological and political decline of that party has transformed it into a shameful and provocative organization.

The victory of the opportunist trends within the party, catalyzed by its position[5] on the imperialist war in Ukraine, ensured the inevitability of another significant split in August of 2022, that of the American Council of Bolsheviks (ACB). How did this come about, and what is the source of this ideological rot? The PCUSA has proven incapable of overcoming the view that dominated the Communist International (CI) during the 1930s. This view culminated in resolutions adopted at the 7th Congress that provided for safeguards against the emergence of fascism—the antifascist Popular Front. History has demonstrated that the Popular Front could neither stop fascism nor the war. With this failure—coupled with its failure to assimilate Lenin’s study of contemporary capitalism, leading to the proliferation of views like the theory of multipolarity from leading figures such as International Secretary, Chris Helali—the PCUSA, in practice, has embraced a phony anti-imperialist alliance with the CPI  under the pretext of an anti-fascist Popular Front.

The CPI-PCUSA alliance was cemented following the party taking on the American Student Union (ASU)[6]. The ASU is a coalition of all the mass organizations set up by the PCUSA alongside the Revolution Report, California United Front (CUF), and the CPI. Curiously, the Revolution Report is run by RT journalist, Donald Courter, another associate of Maupin. The CUF consists of CPI, Movement for Peoples’ Democracy (MPD)—the mass organization of the PCUSA—the Revolution Report, League of Young Communists (LYC)-the youth organization of the PCUSA-and the PCUSA. The calamity of the union between these forces is demonstrated by repugnant views posted on Twitter. These positions are eerily similar to those expressed by Lyndon LaRouche in a 2014 interview conducted by the Russian television network, Vesti[7], and demonstrate the influence of the CPI and those in the network of Maupin. Together, this bizarre amalgamation of political forces, among whose ranks are included outright supporters of the reactionary “national bolshevik” (Nazbol) current, marches towards the creation of a “New Popular Front”: the Rage Against the War Machine (RAGTWM), led by the People’s Party and the Libertarian Party.

Similar to the “Red Putinist” political current that arose in Russia, this front facilitates a struggle in the interests of the Russian monopolies. This is evidenced by the PCUSA shamelessly sharing the merchandise of “MAGA communist”Jackson Hinkle, in support of the Russian Wagner private army[8]. This “popular front” draws in the forces that characterize imperialism as only the aggressive foreign policy of the US and that salute the “anti-imperialist states,” a watchword for the capitalist powers taking part in inter-state alliances like BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Collective Security Treaty Organization, ALBA, etc. These inter-state alliances are embraced as a step towards a multipolar world, one which, according to the publication of the Central Committee of the PCUSA, would see the “collapse of the American Empire” and the “expansion of socialism and the survival of socialist states.”[9] From this standpoint, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is welcomed under the pretext of “denazification.”

The flag that this alliance hoists cannot belong to the communists. On account of the influence of the CPI, this project has more in common with the postulates of Dugin. It drags the working class into a position of supporting bourgeois institutions and constitutions through repeated calls to oppose fascism, with a justification that recycles the old opportunist precepts of Browder and Eurocommunism, all in the name of leading this New Popular Front. The belief that the successful implementation of the demands of this alliance will dethrone the “American empire” represents the most extreme idealist and utopian viewpoints by detaching politics from the economy and struggling for reforms on the terrain of the domination of monopolies. Today, there is a need to continue to expose bourgeois democracy and its role in the maintenance of dictatorship of capital. These arguments must be based on disproving the tools that the bourgeois state uses (elections) and underlining the class character of the constitution.

Image: PCUSA and CPI tabling together in Sacramento, California. Complete with Aleksandr Dugin’s Theory of a Multipolar World.

The question can then be posed: how can wars, fascism, and US-NATO imperialism end if we defend the system that creates them? Both are capitalism, and the struggle to overthrow it cannot be replaced by a rationale that objectively leads to an intermediate stage within capitalism, whether that dream is unipolar or multipolar.

Conclusion

Multipolarity is an illusion, a prolongation of imperialism through the redistribution of raw materials, energy, transport networks, markets, and labor force. Pavel Blanco correctly affirms[10] it is an argument that dismisses the capital-labor contradiction and represents the slogan of interstate alliances of a capitalist nature. In essence, it treats the enemy as an ally, and its practical application traps popular forces and paralyzes the labor movement. Modified forms of this ideological construct have surfaced consistently since the Russian military intervention in Syria. It is the beacon to which opportunist trends of varying shades are drawn, achieving the same end: the preservation of the opportunist influence over the workers and people. The main nuclei of these forces in the US are the CPI and the PCUSA, which draw into their orbit figures and groupings with political ideas and content that are identical. On this foundation, radical words are needed to draw support for the interests of the bourgeoisie of China and Russia. Trampling on the revolutionary and scientific principles of Marxism-Leninism, they tail the social democratic People’s Party and seek to pass off the demands of the counter-revolutionary Libertarian Party that aim to “secure liberty” as something progressive. As such, they close their eyes to the fact that these organizations’ platforms advocate for the positions of the bourgeoisie. For example, that of the Libertarian Party, which provides protections for large landowners, anti-union measures, complete privatization of schools and healthcare, etc.

The CPI-PCUSA and co. represent a vulgar position that upholds Trump is better than Biden. As the PCM correctly stated, it is the “the other side of the same coin that held in the last US elections that it was better to support Biden than trump; both positions with the alibi of combating fascism”.[11] They have joined the ranks of the provocative WAP, which has become the umbrella under which the festering opportunism of the Second International continues in this era during a period of a sharp turn in class struggle, the imperialist war in Ukraine. They have raised their voice in unison with the unacceptable attacks against the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). With the same gall, the PCUSA even publishes absurd positions that are identical to those of the revoked statement of the WAP[12,13].  These ridiculous provocations attempt to flip the tables by advancing the lies that it is the comrades of the KKE and those of the revolutionary communist movement who do not grasp the Leninist theory of imperialism, who support propaganda that feed reactionary and fascist ideologies, and who twist history[14]

Image: Caleb Maupin and PCUSA International Secretary, Chris Helali, pictured at Chicago CPI Conference 2022.

The CWPUSA reiterates that these claims are as hostile as they are defamatory. They represent an attack on Marxism-Leninism and the communist parties that spearhead the class struggle in their countries. Objectively, these provocateurs are helping to facilitate the predatory interests of the bourgeoisie against the working class. We join the comrades of the KKE and the PCM who have raised the banner of internationalism and demonstrated that the WAP is, like its constituent, the CPI-PCUSA alliance, advancing one of the two sides of the capitalists involved in the conflict under the guise of “anti-imperialism”. 

We assert that the fight of the communist against the imperialist war is therefore the fight against the cause itself: the capitalist system, with its law of monopoly competition that leads to military inventions and wars. We reject the replacement of the struggle for socialism with the replacement of national liberation which only facilitates an alliance with the so-called national bourgeoisie. In the current global reality, as against the unhistorical view of the domination of the system of colonialism, all bourgeois classes participate in the plundering of resources and in the division of the surplus value of the workers across the world. As such, our understanding of imperialism leads us to understand that wars are not caused by the aggressive foreign policy or specific correlation of states. Wars are caused by the laws of capitalism: uneven development, competition, an incessant drive for profit. There is an urgent need for the workers to be freed from the illusions regarding “anti-imperialist” alliances of capital.  Therefore, we aim to carry flag that calls the workers and people to the struggle that seeks to overthrow the dictatorship of capital and put an end to imperialist aggression by socialism-communism.

Interim Executive Committee

Communist Workers’ Platform USA

[1] Communist Party of Mexico. Note on the Meeting in Caracas of the “World Anti-Imperialist Platform”. March 2023.

[2] Caleb Maupin: Journalist and Political Analyst.

[3] “Alternatives to globalism: the strategies of the multipolar world”. International Eurasian Movement Conference. March 19, 2018.

[4] Center for Political Innovation: A Four-Point Plan to Rescue the Country.

[5] Party of Communists USA Statement on Russian Military Operation in Ukraine. February 2022.

[6] American Student Union affiliates.

[7] The Schiller Institute: Russian TV Features LaRouche on Ukraine. March 2014.

[8] PCUSA Tweet supporting Wager: “NATO Expansion Ends Here”. May 26, 2023.

[9] Party of Communists USA. Daily Worker. Max Reed: RAGE AGAINST THE WAR MACHINE, A NEW POPULAR FRONT.

[10] Communist Party of Mexico. El Machete. Pavel Blanco Cabrera: La multipolaridad: ¿dos mundos, o disputa interimperialista? May 2016.

[11] Communist Party of Mexico. Solidnet.org. International Section of the CC of the PCM. La “Plataforma Antiimperialista”, un grupo provocador. May 8, 2023.

[12] Party of Communists USA. Daily Worker. Gaspar Ortíz Cárdenas, Partido Comunista Chileno (Acción Proletaria): LA POSICIÓN SOBRE CHINA POPULAR, EL MOVIMIENTO REVOLUCIONARIO Y ANTIIMPERIALISTA MUNDIAL. May 16, 2023.

[13] Party of Communists USA. Daily Worker. Worker Wire Services: THE CORPORATE U.S. MONOPOLY ON THE WORLD.

[14] The World Anti-Imperialist Platform. Platform. Party of Communists USA, Christopher J. Helali: ‘Down With Imperialism, Colonialism, and Zionism!’. June 2023.