PCUSA’s Right Opportunism Regarding the Current Inter-Imperialist Conflict

By Francis Acadian and W.R. Hothersall

It’s no secret to any reader of PCUSA’s central organ, The Daily Worker USA, that the Party of Communists USA (PCUSA) is a supporter of the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and the various BRICS nations, in what they view as a conflict between these countries and the “unipolarity” of the United States of America.[1] Essentially, any country, whether they are capitalist and/or imperialist, is worth supporting so long as they are not in the same imperialist camp of the United States and its allies, mainly the EU and other satellite states like Japan, South Korea, and recently Ukraine. This is knee-jerk “anti-imperialism,” a mode of thought restricted to idealistic, ignorant, and infantile left-of-center liberals (in their eyes, “communists”) who want to support whichever group is currently the most geopolitically antagonistic to the United States, and who view such a policy as “good” in and of itself. While this thought isn’t exclusive or unique to the PCUSA, their swing into this camp is rather jarring when juxtaposed to their on-paper ideology and is worth investigating.

With the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine came the PCUSA’s eclectic, pitiful attempt at political “analysis” via their “February 25th, 2022: Party of Communists USA Statement on Russian Military Operation in Ukraine,” which substituted serious Marxist-Leninist analysis of the inner workings of imperialism for Soviet nostalgia and knee-jerk “anti-imperialism.”[2] They boil the entire imperialist system down to a war of “anti-fascism,” stating that “An anti-fascist war is a just war. Internationally, the time has come to mount an offensive against fascism and its rehabilitation in Europe, the United States, and beyond.”[3] How this paltry third-rate political “party” is going to mount an offensive against fascism, is left to the imagination of the reader.

Recently, an editorial by PCUSA’s “youth wing” in their organ, Red Patriot, states that “…combating U.S. hegemony has to be the foremost priority of communists, and of communists in imperialism’s core most of all [Does imperialism only have one core?].”[4] Their rationale is that being anti-China, or anti-Russia, etc., is a “social-chauvinist” stance because it necessarily means that proletarians in the United States shirk their duty to put an end to the US’s “crimes against the formerly colonized world.”[5] They continue:

Opposing the BRI [Belt and Road Initiative], or opposing Operation Z [The Russian invasion of Ukraine], mean [sic] opposing the only practical ways for defeating imperialism that exist at this stage [!!!]. We’re not going to be able to end imperialism via revolution within the core until we’ve built the movement necessary for defeating the state. Which we won’t be able to do as long as the workers [sic] struggle is dominated by imperialist-compatible elements. And these actions to fight U.S. hegemony by Washington’s rivals are making revolution in the core more reachable, weakening [how?] the American capital that keeps our bourgeois state so strong. U.S. hegemony is the strongest link in the chain of capitalist control in the core, therefore it’s what we must focus on above all else [emphasis ours].[6]

This thesis, uncreatively parroting other “communists” like Rainer Shea (who is also featured in the columns of The Daily Worker USA), explicitly condones and supports the PRC’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) which is the grand plan for Chinese capital expansion, and domination across the globe.[7] China increasingly owns and exports capital, controls natural resources, and operates infrastructure (especially ports and railroads) in a litany of countries, especially “developing nations” in Africa and Latin America. This is, to these revisionists, actions of a “socialist country.”

This right opportunist stance in support of the PRC and the BRI is not new and has taken multiple forms and evolved since PCUSA’s inception. Christopher Helali, the PCUSA’s then and current “International Secretary,” was writing glowing articles about Xi Jinping in China’s CGTN news network in late 2021 and early 2022 before the Russo-Ukraine War.[8] [9] The articles lauded Xi and the PRC, condoning the ideology of “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” which was (and still is) rhetorically denounced in the PCUSA’s own party constitution.[10] Helali had the opportunity to deviate from the group’s on-paper ideology because of his status as a fifth-rate political figure, which is a testament to the rampant careerism and individualism inside the PCUSA. He is an asset to the leading PCUSA clique, with the PCUSA sending him on international trips as a representative on multiple occasions.

The publishing of Helali’s articles served as a canary for the ideology of the PCUSA, as it is now the norm to see articles in PCUSA’s various publications supporting “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics,” and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — especially after the Russo-Ukraine War where the PCUSA plunged even deeper into right opportunism by supporting the China-led imperialist bloc wholesale. The party’s program, quixotically, does not reflect their current rightist ideology and in fact is wildly out of date, being written at the PCUSA’s “First Congress” in 2016 and not being updated at their recent “Second Congress” in 2021.

Regardless, their thesis is that since a worker’s struggle cannot exist while it is dominated by “imperialist-compatible elements,” and that since that struggle can therefore not exist in the U.S., communists should align themselves with the “next best thing” — supporting bourgeois, imperialist powers. This is, among a litany of other things, defeatist, as it puts off the organization of the working-class movement to when “conditions are more favorable” — whenever that may be! PCUSA resigns itself to a policy of mediocrity where their most advanced theory to liberate the working class of the United States boils down to advocating for the rise of another imperialist bloc, all in the name of “combatting U.S. imperialism!” The working class needs only wait for the Chinese-led imperialist bloc to rise to such strength as to be a direct challenge for the United States, and then (and only then) should a communist party think about organizing the working class. This is the “theory” of the truly brightest minds in the PCUSA.

This “theory” incorrectly concludes that the top priority for a communist movement is to (somehow) “put an end to the US’s crimes” in the abstract rather than organizing the working class, headed by a vanguard Marxist-Leninist party, to overthrow the capitalist state and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat. Any “Marxist-Leninist” who places anything over the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat is not a communist, but a revisionist. In fact, this author’s “theory” tacitly, if not explicitly, states that the organization of a vanguard party, and therefore the organization of the working class, is an impossibility in America given the current conditions.

The conclusion parades around in revolutionary clothing while hiding an explicitly and objectively right-opportunist stance, namely, Kautskyism. Karl Kautsky, once hailed as a torchbearer of Marxism due to his personal association and work with Marx and Engels, completely abandoned the principles of the Basel Manifesto of 1912 and advocated for the “defense of the fatherland.”[11] Kautsky proposed that to support the workers’ struggle, one needed to first support one side in the imperialist war to create “more favorable conditions.” Kautsky also constantly “…trim[med] his sails to the wind,” meaning he supported whichever idea was more convenient and in the public at a given time rather than deducing anything from a scientific analysis.[12]

Can we really say that PCUSA doesn’t trim their sails to the wind? This party that once supported parties such as the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Communist Party of Mexico (PCM), and their conclusions on imperialism in the world today, split and ran the second they sensed blood in the water. They have sided with the Russian Federation and China in a wholesale rout of revolutionary ideology that has thrown PCUSA into the corner with notable revisionist parties like the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF).

In trimming their sails, the PCUSA also now associates and actively participates with the so-called “World Anti-Imperialist Platform.” The Communist Party of Mexico (PCM) said it best when describing this organization:

“On March 3, the third meeting of the “World Anti-Imperialist Platform” begins, which amalgamates confused forces unknown until recently, together with [political groups] strange to the communist movement. Some exist only in the computers and minds of their spokespersons [PCUSA!], such as the non-existent “Collective of Struggle for the Revolutionary Unification of Humanity” or the “Platform for Independence” of Greece.

Others represent ultra-nationalist, racist and reactionary positions such as “Spanish Vanguard” and “Venezuelan Vanguard”. Some communist parties have also participated in this strange meeting, several of them immersed in the opportunist and reformist camp for many years and others, perhaps confused or having modified the positions that they held until recently.

We warn the working class and the communists of the continent about the dangerous political line that underlies the “Platform”. Although the word “anti-imperialist” is in its name, its objective is to convince the working class to take sides with the imperialist bloc of China and Russia in the face of an imminent war in Taiwan and South Korea, as can be seen from their statements in Paris and Belgrade last year.

To underpin this idea, they have revived two postulates of the social-chauvinists of the Second International which served as the basis for justifying their support for their respective bourgeoisies during the First World War. Firstly, to reduce the causes of the current wars to a “drive” of US imperialism to maintain its hegemony; while concealing the real contradictions that exist between the world’s major economies for control of natural resources, means of transport, geo-strategic positions or local financial institutions. Secondly, to justify the war for the maintenance of the areas of influence of capitalist countries such as Russia or China, under the cloak of “national liberation”.

The ideological manoeuvre to reach these dangerous conclusions is to deny the imperialist character of China and Russia. Since it is not possible to hide their capitalist character, it is denied that the world’s second and eleventh largest economies, with financial oligarchies and very strong transport, trade and energy monopolies, are imperialist. In its Paris declaration, it is claimed that these countries “do not live from the super-exploitation and plunder of the world”, as if the working class of the countries belonging to the Commonwealth of Independent States, not to mention Russia and China itself, were not part of the world, or the savage policy of exporting Chinese capital to Africa were non-existent [emphasis ours]…[13]

We need only consult Lenin, who our PCUSA theoreticians are allergic to, to succinctly understand why the PCUSA constantly trims their sails to the wind. Lenin states:

To determine its conduct from case to case, to adapt itself to the events of the day and to the chopping and changing of petty politics, to forget the primary interests of the proletariat and the basic features of the whole capitalist system, of all capitalist evolution, to sacrifice these primary interests for the real or assumed advantages of the moment — such is the policy of revisionism. And it patently follows from the very nature of this policy that it may assume an infinite variety of forms, and that every more or less “new” question, every more or less unexpected and unforeseen turn of events, even though it changes the basic line of development only to an insignificant degree and only for the briefest period, will always inevitably give rise to one variety of revisionism or another [emphasis ours].[14]

Christopher Helali, once again acting as a useful tool for the opposing imperialist camp and masquerading as a Marxist-Leninist theoretician, was more than happy to write an article for the World “Anti-Imperialist” Platform’s first volume of their online magazine, Platform. Published June 2023, Helali’s article titled “Down With Imperialism, Colonialism, and Zionism!” continues the long trend of saying quiet revisionist thoughts out loud under the guise of revolutionary theory.[15] We ask readers to forgive us for being compelled to quote this “theory” in its full context:

The division can be summarized as follows: one pole of the international communist movement, led by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), sees the ongoing war in Ukraine as an inter-imperialist war, that is to say, a war between two imperialist blocs. This viewpoint sees Russia as indistinguishable from the US-EU-NATO axis. That is, both the United States and Russia are imperialist powers. The other pole, led by communist parties like the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) and many, if not all of us assembled here, see this war as a confrontation between US-EU-NATO imperialism and Russia. This pole, which our party is firmly supportive of, sees this war as an act of imperialist expansion, provocation, and escalation on the part of the US-EU-NATO against the Russian Federation. We do not see Russia as an imperialist power that is equal to the United States.

What this division ultimately reveals is the failure to grasp imperialism in our times. Not only is there a poor ideological understanding of imperialism, but also a failure to grasp and analyze international relations through a realistic version of Marxism-Leninism [counterposed to an unrealistic version of Marxism-Leninism?]. I would argue that we as Communists must understand how imperialism functions and the difference between core, semi-periphery, and periphery countries. The characterization of Russia as imperialist fails to account for the enormous differences that exist between the United States and Russia. Russia has a much smaller economy than the United States and would not be economically characterized as a core country. At best, one might argue that it is a core country in the region but on the whole, Russia is economically many times smaller than the United States. Even worse, the belief that Russia is no different than the United States only supports US-EU-NATO propaganda, feeding the reactionary and fascist ideologies that are behind NATO and EU expansion. It is a strange and disturbing historical twist that so many communist parties reject the denazification of a country whose Western-backed coup brought into power neo-Nazi and Banderite forces.

This pursuit and struggle to maintain global domination is at the very core of US imperialism. One need only analyze foreign military bases to understand the true scope and dimensions of contemporary imperialism. The United States has over 800 foreign military [sic]. Some estimates put that number at nearly 1000 bases to account for all the CIA and covert sites. In stark contrast, Russia has less than 20 foreign military bases with China coming in at 2.

From these military bases, the United States and its allies are able to control important trade routes, protect vital interests in raw materials like petroleum, and exploit nations who have the resources the imperial core needs. While some hurl accusations of China and Russia being imperialist, nothing can be farther from the truth [!!]. Both use win-win diplomacy and a people-centered philosophy to guide their international relations and dealings with foreign nations. Socialism with Chinese Characteristics has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty and contributed to the well-being of all the people in China.

How often do we hear criticisms of China in Africa? Does China do what King Leopold did in the Congo or what the British, French, Germans, and other European powers did? Does China have an AFRICOM like the United States does, basing and launching operations throughout the continent? The answer is a resounding “no.” China has poured trillions of yuan to develop many African nations, even cancelling [sic] debt and agreeing to generous terms. The United States on the other hand has had a major role in destabilizing the continent and overthrowing governments like Qaddafi’s in Libya [emphasis ours].[16]

Helali’s theory boils down to this simple thesis: since one imperialist camp is of lesser power than the other imperialist camp, we must support the lesser imperialist camp. His rationale, and by extension the rationale of the PCUSA, is based on nothing other than a perversion of Leninist conclusions of imperialism. Lenin never supported one camp of imperialism over another, let alone based on the fact that one may have had more military bases than another. According to this “theory,” camps of imperialist bandits are not ever-evolving, expanding, and contracting, conflicting parties, but rather there is simply a “core,” which must be fought, and then there is everything else. The rising of the Russia-China bloc and the waning of Pax America isn’t a product of the dialectical nature of the world to this Marxist magnifique. The world is simply a static idea of Pax Americana.

Helali uses the rhetorical trick of measuring the relative strength of two imperialist blocs as a determinant of whether or not, objectively, a certain country is imperialist. He explicitly states that “We do not see Russia as an imperialist power that is equal to the United States [emphasis ours],” elucidating how small and feeble Russia is in comparison to the United States, only then to double back, turn around, and state that “While some hurl accusations of China and Russia being imperialist, nothing can be farther from the truth.”[17] So are they imperialist or not? Helali doubles back and contradicts himself to obfuscate the real, objective truth, and he does so because he is not a Marxist-Leninist, or even a Marxist, but a revisionist huckster for the opposing imperialist camp.

He frames Chinese capital expansion across the globe as simple selflessness, with China pouring “trillions of yuan” into Africa (to do what?), agreeing to “generous terms” (relative to what terms, and why?), and even “canceling debt.” What Helali fails to understand is that when imperialist powers compete for influence and domination in the world, there are pressures from competition that necessitate less interest on loans, for example, to make their Faustian, imperialist bargains more attractive to the historically “safer” investments of the USA-led bloc.[18] Additionally, he also doesn’t see the exportation of capital, a main characteristic of imperialism, as a problem so long as it’s “developing” (read: exploiting) nations across the globe, and in fact, praises it. Does the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank ever say anything different? They too say they are “developing” nations, “improving economies,” have “generous terms,” and “cancel debt,” yet no communist adhering to a scientific outlook would ever allow themself to believe such imperialist lies. Helali and the PCUSA take such stances exactly because they have no interest in such an approach. China is the 3rd largest member contributor to the IMF and controls the 3rd largest share of votes in the IMF behind Japan (2nd) and the USA (1st). How this circle is going to be squared is unknown. Instead of an analysis of the inner working of imperialism, and how China may be currently benefiting from the US-led bloc while also paving the way for its own dominance, we are left with simple tautologies and apologetics.

The existence of more generous terms, more debt cancelation, and more “win-win diplomacy,” when compared to the current greater imperialist bloc, is absolutely not proof as to whether or not the bloc that is relatively “nicer” is objectively imperialist or not. The relative balance between imperialist blocs is not how imperialism is defined. Many “communists” do not understand this simply because they are not Marxists.

For reference, as our PCUSA compatriots are obviously ill-read, let us look at a brief summation of imperialism as a special stage of capitalism that Lenin defined in his work Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism:

If it were necessary to give the briefest possible definition of imperialism we should have to say that imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism. Such a definition would include what is most important, for, on the one hand, finance capital is the bank capital of a few very big monopolist banks, merged with the capital of the monopolist associations of industrialists; and, on the other hand, the division of the world is the transition from a colonial policy which has extended without hindrance to territories unseized by any capitalist power, to a colonial policy of monopolist possession of the territory of the world, which has been completely divided up.

But very brief definitions, although convenient, for they sum up the main points, are nevertheless inadequate, since we have to deduce from them some especially important features of the phenomenon that has to be defined. And so, without forgetting the conditional and relative value of all definitions in general, which can never embrace all the concatenations of a phenomenon in its full development, we must give a definition of imperialism that will include the following five of its basic features:

(1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life; (2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this “finance capital,” of a financial oligarchy; (3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance; (4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves and (5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed. Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed [emphasis ours].[19]

We can say with some certainty that Helali and the PCUSA don’t think Russia and China are imperialist nations. Helali states that “Both [Russia and China] use win-win diplomacy and a people-centered philosophy to guide their international relations and dealings with foreign nations.”[20] What exactly “win-win diplomacy” and “people-centered philosophy” are, he doesn’t say — but it certainly isn’t Marxism-Leninism. If China owning means of production abroad, owning natural resources, exporting capital, and being a capitalist, imperialist state that sells out its working class for pennies on the dime to the same people he ostensibly hates — the American Empire — is somehow “people-centered philosophy” then one must begin to think whose side Helali and the PCUSA are actually on: the proletariat, whom they claim to support, or the bourgeoisie, whom they objectively support.

Helali misses the plot, once again, with his “understanding” of imperialism. Imperialism is a definite economic relation with real, measurable, objective factors. It is not something that is based upon the relative strength of one camp or the other, it is not based upon the number of military bases a country has in the world, and it is not based on the relative size of economies either. The relative strength of imperialist camps is in flux, and while one is usually waning, another is usually rising or will rise due to many comparative advantages in the now weak, but soon much stronger, imperialist camp. For example, the Central Powers were objectively weaker than the Entente as a whole, yet who would be the first to say that the German Empire circa 1914 was not an imperialist power? Only fools. Yet this bright mind engages in endless apologetics to trick the working classes into thinking that the Chinese and Russian capitalists are their friends and confidants.

The China-led imperialist bloc was not as strong in 1978 as it is now in 2023, and should projections hold it may even be stronger in the future. Conversely, the American Empire has been waning in recent years but is still quite close to the apex of its power. These ever-evolving motions and changes in the imperialist world are simply lost to the PCUSA, who do not grasp basic dialectics and view the world as static.

Helali uses many tactical rhetorical tricks in order to sneak his own, revisionist ideology throughout his article. He states that “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty and contributed to the well-being of all the people in China.”[21] Every American school child was taught that “capitalism lifted people out of poverty” yet every American adult class-conscious worker understands that this is just capitalist propaganda to justify their continued rule. China is special for developing as a capitalist state how exactly? Deng Xiaoping’s creation of a servile, desperate labor force that was forced to sell itself for a pittance for decades under the thumb of capitalists is somehow “contributing to the well-being of all the people in China?” This is simply more apologetics to convince the working people that the pursuit of “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” is somehow a noble, socialist pursuit rather than merely capitalism with a fine coating of “red” paint.

Take note that pointing all of this out does not mean that it is the goal of a communist party to support the American Empire over the rival, rising imperialist bloc — far from it! Inevitably in pointing out the supreme perversion of Leninism by supporting a lesser imperialist camp, certain liberal-minded simpletons will prematurely decry that we are somehow advocating for American imperialism, the EU, NATO, etc. We would be as detrimental to the working-class movement as the PCUSA revisionists are if we were to do such a thing. In fact, it is the goal of a communist party to convince every worker that the capitalist system breeds imperialism, and no number of apologetics will change this fact. We must show every worker that capitalism, and imperialism, are the enemies of the working class and that imperialist wars are not for their benefit, but for the benefit of a few privileged bourgeoisie who own everything.

We must expose not simply American imperialism (the exposure of which is still and will always remain one of our utmost duties), but all imperialism, i.e., the global imperialist system. We must demonstrate that only the working class can organize itself to create the conditions for its own liberation via the establishment of a socialist state. The time will come when America is not as strong as it is today and will become embroiled in ever-grander, ever-destructive imperialist wars, much like the Entente and Central Powers of World War One. Why the PCUSA wants to be on either side of the imperialist camps when the rockets start flying is beyond any rational or “realistic” Marxist-Leninist, as the workers will immediately see this “ideology” for what it is: an ideology that is not for their liberation and empowerment, but merely for the support of one imperialist camp over the other. The working class will realize this, and they will abandon them, should these sellers of ideological snake oil ever be followed in the first place.

In taking in this theory presented here, and more broadly the current obsession with fascist philosopher Aleksandr Dugin’s theory of “multipolarity” (which completely rejects the theory of class struggle in favor of supporting new rising imperialist blocs) it is easily realized that this “theory” is nothing new. It now takes on a new flavor and branding due to the geopolitical realities of a post-USSR and “Pax Americana” world, but it is objectively a rehash of Kautskyite ideology: old revisionist tricks in new revisionist garb.

These neo-Kautskyite fools convince themselves that not only are they communists, but also that supporting a lesser imperialist bloc over a stronger imperialist bloc is in any way “revolutionary” according to the Marxist-Leninist conception. It is pathetic to think that a “party” with zero ties to the working class, and that functions as an online Soviet nostalgia club, is somehow going to tip the scales in an inter-imperialist conflict in any capacity.

The capitalist, imperialist powers of the world are working to conquer, re-divide, and fight over the world regardless of the wants and wishes of an insignificant political organization. Why should a communist party align itself with one or the other side when by capitalism’s own logic, these struggles are an objective reality that will always occur? Why not expose, at every possible point, these and like contradictions to the working class, and show them that only a communist party can provide an alternative, real way for them to break their chains and organize their own conditions for their liberation? Why not show the working class that these inter-imperialist conflicts are inevitable under capitalism, and it is their duty as the proletariat to organize and rally itself to its collective defense by abolishing the capitalist system?

Any communist party that “picks a side” in an inter-imperialist struggle, in fact, completely abandons the Marxist-Leninist conception of class struggle, and abandons the Leninist theory of imperialism, as outlined in Lenin’s Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism. The capitalist, imperialist countries divide the world and fight over the spoils. Lenin clearly explains this process:

The capitalists divide the world, not out of any particular malice, but because the degree of concentration which has been reached forces them to adopt this method in order to obtain profits. And they divide it “in proportion to capital”, “in proportion to strength,” because there cannot be any other method of division under commodity production and capitalism. But strength varies with the degree of economic and political development. In order to understand what is taking place, it is necessary to know what questions are settled by the changes in strength. The question as to whether these changes are “purely” economic or non-economic (e.g., military) is a secondary one, which cannot in the least affect fundamental views on the latest epoch of capitalism. To substitute the question of the form of the struggle and agreements (today peaceful, tomorrow warlike, the next day warlike again) for the question of the substance of the struggle and agreements between capitalist associations is to sink to the role of a sophist.

The epoch of the latest stage of capitalism shows us that certain relations between capitalist associations grow up, based on the economic division of the world; while parallel to and in connection with it, certain relations grow up between political alliances, between states, on the basis of the territorial division of the world, of the struggle for colonies, of the “struggle for spheres of influence.”[22]

The PCUSA, either ignorant of these Leninist theses, or choosing to ignore them for convenience, simply abandons dialectical materialism, which views the world in a constant state of motion and development, in favor of a static, mechanical, and almost Machiavellian conception of the world. To them, all that exists now is Pax Americana, and we must therefore oppose it by supporting the other rising imperialist camp.

To the PCUSA, the capitalist powers of the world do not constantly fight, squabble, and re-divide the world into camps, fighting each other and pitting the working classes of countries against each other to die. They do not extrapolate the rising of the other imperialist camp into an eventual all-out clash of two great imperialist blocs. This “logic” of this “revolutionary theory” that PCUSA espouses would result in one advocating for the rising power of the German Empire in the 1910s to “counter Anglo-French Imperialism.” “Why yes,” these revisionists would say, “the German Empire should expand its colonies and export capital to lands abroad — after all, the most important thing we communists can do is to combat Anglo-French Imperialism to create favorable conditions here at home!”

It is not surprising that this group, which has again and again proven itself to be incompetent at organizing a vanguard party for the working class, completely abandons the theory that would in fact help the working class of America.

Without organizing a vanguard party that is wielding the most advanced revolutionary theory, any communist party is going to be caught with its pants down while the USA plunges itself into all-out war (far greater than the current inter-imperialist conflict in Ukraine) against other imperialist camps. It will be unable to turn an inter-imperialist conflict into a civil war as advocated by Lenin. It will be unable to adopt revolutionary defeatism for its own country. It will be unable to lead the working class, who by experience will learn (and in our case, are learning quickly) that they do not want to die for the rights of a few privileged capitalists to own private property and exploit the majority of society.

So how does PCUSA rationalize these and like contradictions? How does PCUSA on the one hand support the opposing imperialist bloc, but also at the same time want to form a united front with the bourgeoisie here in the United States? It frames the current Russo-Ukrainian war not as an inter-Imperialist conflict, but as a “special,” exceptional case, a war of “anti-fascism,” which the Russian state is waging against Ukraine, and therefore by proxy, NATO, the U.S., the EU, etc. This is all (very briefly) outlined in their 2022 Russo-Ukraine war statement. How they have defined fascism, and Ukraine as fascist (or even Nazi), and how if this were the case this would/could play into the mechanics of imperialism as outlined by Lenin, is not elucidated, and is left to the imagination of the reader. It would also be necessary to describe how fascism is somehow peculiar and exceptional to the capitalist-imperialist system, which they have not done. PCUSA simply alludes to the works of Georgi Dimitrov (whose works they use uncritically and anachronistically as carte blanche for their ideology) in the hopes that more scientifically minded people will go away and stop bothering them by testing their hypotheses.

This theory relies on the perversion and blind utilization of the popular/united front strategies (which PCUSA uses interchangeably without differentiating the two).[23] Their thesis is that “An anti-fascist war is a just war,” and that therefore since they conclude Ukraine is fascist, it is “just” for the capitalist Russian state to invade Ukraine.[24]

This theory relies on the utilization of a tactical measure during the 1930s when the USSR existed and was under threat from multiple imperialist powers. In theory, communists in various countries allying with conciliatory factions of their bourgeoisie against powers who were explicitly hawkish against the USSR helped the USSR in their goal to survive during a very tumultuous, warring time. The PCUSA simply copy-pastes the 7th Comintern Congress’s thesis to the present war as if it’s a one-to-one. This is exemplary of their embarrassing, mechanical, and vulgar approach that completely forgets that the line of this Congress was predicated on the existence of the USSR as a powerful socialist state. Nothing of the sort exists anymore. Yet somehow the line of the popular front is applicable — why?

Notably, this was at the expense of the communist movements in some of the various countries where this tactic was employed. In the US, for example, the unilateral and wholesale placing of the popular/united front framework above the primary purpose of the communist party led to Browder’s infamously revisionist Tehran Thesis, the liquidation of the CPUSA, and an even deeper swing into right revisionism that has left the Communist movement in this country an empty graveyard. Was the CPUSA’s collaboration with the national bourgeoisie viz. the FDR government a useful strategy in the long run for US communists, particularly considering the USA was not especially under threat of fascist invasion/takeover like the USSR was? The PCUSA answers with blank, vapid stares. It is unlikely they’ve seriously considered (or even asked) this question at all, but simply and mechanically apply one thing from the previous time period to now because they were reared and taught that it was “good” by their main “theoretician” Angelo D’Angelo. Simple explanations are enough for these simple individuals.

What, in theory, ought to have been a temporary, tactical measure, given the definite conditions of the world at that time, is now being blindly extrapolated to a world and time with completely different conditions. There is no socialist state like the USSR in the world currently that is under threat of attack from capitalist, imperialist powers. There is also no communist party in the USA that wields even the tiniest fraction of political power that could enter into, much less lead, a temporary alliance with the national bourgeoisie to form any sort of mystical “united front against fascism.”

What this policy, therefore, objectively, equates to, given these current conditions, is coddling up next to the bourgeoisie and asking them very nicely to “fight fascism.” The PCUSA blindly throws its lot in and declares allegiance to the portion of the US’s national bourgeoisie that is not now fascist and calls it a “revolutionary action.” They drop to their knees like servile sycophants, begging the bourgeoisie to acknowledge them and take them seriously. Does the bourgeoisie need or even want this “support?” Does the PCUSA have any political power at all to leverage in such an arrangement? No to both questions and far from it. Yet the PCUSA’s brightest minds have concluded that throwing their pitiful lot in to form some mythical popular front when none of the conditions exist for it is somehow “revolutionary.” It objectively equates to tailing the Democratic Party, and various other “left” organizations and movements like the Movement for a People’s Party, the Center for Political Innovation (CPI), and the “Rage Against the War Machine” rallies.[25] [26] [27] This tailing is already well known, as PCUSA has already publicly thrown their lot in with CPI, the “Rage Against the War Machine” coalition, and publicly supported Democratic candidate Geoffrey Young.

Rather than developing a revolutionary theory utilizing Marxism-Leninism to organize and lead the working class in America, the PCUSA has contented itself with blindly allying its pitiful (and largely online) forces with vaguely “left” phrasemongers, libertarians, well-to-do-liberals, social democrats, and “left” media groups. To that end, the PCUSA creates numerous “mass organizations” that it staffs with its membership to ostensibly influence the popular consciousness, but in reality, leads to nothing more than bureaucratic “work” and online teleconferences. This is one of the many reasons for the ludicrous turnover and disillusionment that occurs within the PCUSA, as most members leave within a year of joining.

This theory does not explain how the USA mainly, and other non-fascist imperialist powers more broadly, objectively benefited from the Second World War, a supposedly simple, just, and honorable war to our PCUSA theoreticians. It makes no attempt to show how while rightfully defending the USSR, the alliance with other bourgeois powers necessarily meant that those bourgeois powers would invariably fill some of the void left by the defeat of the fascist powers in WW2. The Second World War was not only a war defending the Soviet Union from fascist aggression, but it was also an inter-imperialist conflict where competing imperialist powers fought over the world. These and like inner workings of imperialism are simply an enigma to the PCUSA and are painted over for the sake of some grand, ephemeral idea.

Their theory makes no attempts to analyze imperialism, then or currently, in any meaningful sense. An anti-fascist war is just, and that is it, no analyzing imperialism is necessary. Simply allude to Soviet nostalgia for the Great Patriotic War, and that’s it! It is “just” even when there is no socialist state in the world that is under attack! They use a theory from one set of conditions and apply it to a situation with completely different conditions. Using tautology after tautology, the PCUSA convinces its largely young, ignorant membership that they are honorable knights in some anti-fascist holy war. How “scientific” these “theoreticians” are.

These “theories” that the PCUSA is spittling up (reminiscent of an infant on a bib) out from their “brightest minds” are indicative not only of this group’s grand incompetence, but also of a completely non-communist organization that holds effectively no ties to the working class, does not utilize Marxism-Leninism, and parades around as a “vanguard party” while objectively being just another useless, liberal, media apparatus for the opposing imperialist camp masquerading as a “revolutionary organization.” The main goal of the PCUSA is not to organize the proletariat of this country into a hammer to smash the bourgeoisie, as a communist party should, but to garner vague online support, solicit donations, and propagandize “truisms” and tautologies for the benefit of the opposing imperialist bloc. They are no better than the liberal Gravel Institute or the CPI in this regard, and it begs the question as to why PCUSA should exist at all if they hold much more in common, and share a common cause and strategy, with these and like organizations who are objectively more competent than the PCUSA will ever be.[28]

[1] “BRICS” is an acronym for the countries Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (respectively).

[2] “February 25th, 2022: Party of Communists USA Statement on Russian Military Operation in Ukraine,” Statements, PCUSA, https://partyofcommunistsusa.net/february-25th-2022-party-of-communists-usa-statement-on-russian-military-operation-in-ukraine/.

[3] “February 25th, 2022: Party of Communists USA Statement on Russian Military Operation in Ukraine.”

[4] Red Patriot, “RESTORING U.S. HEGEMONY ISN’T POSSIBLE. PRO-NATO PROPAGANDA CAN NOW ONLY IMPEDE CLASS STRUGGLE IN THE CORE,” The Worker, https://dailyworkerusa.com/restoring-u-s-hegemony-isnt-possible-pro-nato-propaganda-can-now-only-impede-class-struggle-in-the-core/.



[7] Rainer Shea, “UKRAINE WAS ONLY THE START: U.S. IMPERIALISM IS BRINGING EURASIA TOWARDS A REPEAT OF WORLD WAR II,” The Worker, https://dailyworkerusa.com/ukraine-was-only-the-start-u-s-imperialism-is-bringing-eurasia-towards-a-repeat-of-world-war-ii/.

[8] Christopher Helali, “Xi’s 2022 New Year Address: 2021 a year of exceptional significance,” CGTN, January 3rd, 2022, https://news.cgtn.com/news/2022-01-03/Xi-s-2022-New-Year-Address-2021-a-year-of-exceptional-significance-16w2q5ixqrm/index.html.

[9] Christopher Helali, “HKSAR LegCo elections deal blow to U.S. imperialism,” CGTN, December 19th, 2021, https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-12-19/HKSAR-LegCo-elections-deal-blow-to-U-S-imperialism-167fYhpStKE/index.html.

[10] “Statutes of the Party of Communists USA,” PCUSA, https://partyofcommunistsusa.net/constitution-statues/.

[11] The Basel Manifesto of 1912 was unanimously adopted at the Extraordinary International Socialist Congress of the Second International, and called on the workers to use the organization and might of the proletariat to wage a revolutionary struggle against the war danger. [See: V.I. Lenin, Collected Works (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1978), 632, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/cw/pdf/lenin-cw-vol-18.pdf.]

[12] V.I. Lenin, “The Main German Opportunist Work on the War,” in The Collapse of the Second International (Kommunist, 1915), no. 1-2, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1915/jun/x04.htm.

[13] In Defense of Communism, “Note on the ‘World Anti-Imperialist Platform’ Meeting in Caracas,” March 4th, 2023, https://www.idcommunism.com/2023/03/note-on-world-anti-imperialist-platform-meeting-in-caracas.html?spref=tw&m=1.

[14] V.I. Lenin, Marxism and Revisionism (Progress Publishers, 1973, Moscow), vol. 15, 29-39, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1908/apr/03.htm.

[15] Christopher Helali, “Down With Imperialism, Colonialism, and Zionism!,” in Platform, vol. 1, June 2023, 56-59, https://dailyworkerusa.com/platform-magazine-no-1/.

[16] Christopher Helali, “Down With Imperialism, Colonialism, and Zionism!”

[17] Christopher Helali, “Down With Imperialism, Colonialism, and Zionism!”

[18] A “Faustian bargain” is akin to the phrase “a deal with the devil.”

[19] V.I. Lenin, “VII. Imperialism As A Special Stage of Capitalism,” in Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism (Progress Publishers, 1963, Moscow), vol. 1, 667-766, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/imp-hsc/ch07.htm.

[20] Christopher Helali, “Down With Imperialism, Colonialism, and Zionism!”

[21] Christopher Helali, “Down With Imperialism, Colonialism, and Zionism!”

[22] V.I. Lenin, “V. Divisions of the World Among Capitalist Associations,” in Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism (Progress Publishers, 1963, Moscow), vol. 1, 667-766, https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/imp-hsc/ch05.htm.

[23] The “United Front” was a policy adopted at the 4th World Congress of the Communist International (Comintern) in 1922. The “Popular/People’s Front” was a policy adopted at the 7th World Congress of the Comintern in 1935.

[24] “February 25th, 2022: Party of Communists USA Statement on Russian Military Operation in Ukraine.”

[25] See: https://peoplesparty.org/.

[26] See: https://cpiusa.org/.

[27] See: https://rageagainstwar.com/.

[28] See: https://gravelinstitute.org/.

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