How to Advance the Movement Against Racism and Fascism
February 5, 2016
All across the country the masses of working people are becoming increasingly conscious and vigilant about the resurgence of racism and the growing fascism in our society. This vigilance is being expressed in more and more mass actions – especially in marches and demonstrations against police violence and against the numerous police-state measures being implemented by the capitalist government. In several cities, small-scale rebellions have broken out in response to police brutality and murder.
The major shortcoming of this growing movement is that it remains largely spontaneous; by this, we mean that the masses of people who are turning to the path of struggle have yet to take the question of the political direction and the organization of the movement into their own hands.
Precisely because the movement remains spontaneous, the people have a great deal of difficulty defeating the tactics of the capitalist government. The capitalists are using the tactic of combining repression with political deception. On the one hand, peaceful marches and rallies are attacked by the police; in many instances riot police and the national guard have been called out to suppress the anti-racist, anti-fascist struggles. On the other hand, the capitalists are activating every type of ideological diversion and political charlatan in order to disorganize and disrupt the movement from within.
To begin with there are the liberal Democratic Party politicians who invariably appear on the scene after the mass struggle breaks out. These capitalists politicians maintain there are only “a few bad cops” and call on the people to give up their mass actions and await the verdict of some police review board or government commission. Together with the black cultural nationalists, the Democratic Party politicians cover over the source of racism in the capitalist system and capitalist state and instead point the finger at the white working people, trying to incite racial hatred and conflict. At all costs these capitalist politicians are determined to prevent any militant mass actions and the development of the independent democratic movement of the working masses.
Along with the innumerable types of right opportunists who tail after these Democratic Party politicians, we also find several shades of anarchism, terrorism, maoism, “left” trotskyism, etc. suddenly appearing within the anti-racist, anti-fascist movement. These trends present themselves as the “alternative” to the right opportunism and empty reformism of the Democrats and their hangers-on. But on closer examination we find that such “left” opportunists march along a parallel track with the Democrats, sharing the common aim of liquidating the militant mass actions and the independent anti-racist, anti-fascist movement.
Such “left” opportunists posture as “militant” and “action-oriented” but the real effect of their wild calls for terrorist-type actions or individual combat with police, not only isolate sections of activists from the actual level of the mass struggle but invariably result in greater police repression. In fact such trends are promoted by the capitalists precisely to force the masses back into the arms of the right opportunists and the Democrats. The masses look at the wildness and desperation of the anarchists, etc., and think “if this is the alternative to reformism and Democratic Party politics, there is no alternative at all.”
The reformists and anarchists are advertised amongst the masses as representing the opposite poles of “reform” or “revolution.” But this is a double and triple fraud. To begin with, the choice is not between reform or revolution – the choice is between the politics of the capitalists (the politics of racism and national oppression, the politics of state violence against the working masses) or the politics of the working class (the politics of uncompromising struggle against racism, national oppression and the violence of the capitalist state – the politics of democracy). The working masses need both reforms and revolution. But neither the Democratic Party, the cultural nationalists or the so-called “left” alternatives of anarchism, maoism, terrorism, etc. fight for either reforms or revolution. The Democrats and their hangers-on not ony preach the virtues of the capitalist state, thus covering over the source of racism and fascism, but they also try to liquidate every partial movement, every movement for reforms by suppressing the initiative, the militant actions and the independent political movement of the working masses. The Democrats and the right opportunists are not in favor of meeting the immediate demands of the masses for an end to police brutality and racist violence, the Democrats are only in favor of lying to the masses, of promising change while supporting the status quo, etc.
Yet the anarchists and other “left” opportunists refuse to expose and fight against the Democrats on these immediate issues confronting the masses. Rather the anarchists confine themselves to abstract calls for “revolution.” Thus, the anarchists, by their own admission, have no role to play in the immediate struggles of the masses and in fact think that the Democrats should remain the leaders of these struggles. Thus we ask, what kind of “revolution” are these anarchists in favor of, if it does not proceed from the urgent demands and struggles of the masses?
Furthermore, the Democrats and right opportunists, on the one side, and the various “left” opportunists on the other, share the same ideological platform. Both have nothing but hatred for the masses of people. The right opportunists constantly condemn the masses as too “backward” to do anything but vote for the liberal capitalists, while the “left” opportunists curse the masses for not embracing some special sectarian principle about Trotsky, Mao Tse-tung or some other nonsense. All these opportunists curse the masses as the source of racism while covering over the crimes of the capitalist state. In fact, both the right opportunists and the anarchists leave the question of democratic rights completely in the hands of the capitalist state. The right opportunists openly praise the American constitution and the capitalist politicians as the epitome of democracy while the “left” opportunists, by maintaining that no rights can be won without a revolution, refuse to challenge and struggle against the growing fascism of the capitalist state.
The Marxist-Leninist ideology, program and tactics are diametrically opposed to the line of reformism and anarchism. Our starting point is the needs and demands of the masses. We say that through their own efforts – through independent organization and mass struggle – the people can fight against and put a stop to racist violence and police terror. Our struggle must be waged against the capitalist state and the capitalist political parties and it must be waged continuously, relentlessly and irreconcilably. This is the way in which democratic rights are won and defended. The workers force their demands on the capitalists from without, through irreconcilable mass struggle. By building and strengthening our own organizations we always maintain the right and ability to defend ourselves, through direct action, against the attacks of the capitalist state. At the same time, the anti-racist, anti-fascist movement, as part of the general democratic movement of the people, aims at conquering political power so as to root out the source of racism and fascism. It is precisely by building up the independent organization and struggle of the masses that we advance both our immediate and long-term interests, extending our democratic rights today while accumulating forces for revolution. The decisive thing is that the class conscious workers and anti-racist activists must take all the questions of the direction and the organization of the movement into their own hands, orienting it along the path of irreconcilable struggle against the capitalist state.