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Reformism and colonial chauvinism are enemies of socialist revolution

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In Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat, J. Sakai writes that "While there were many exploited and poverty-stricken immigrant proletarians, these new Euro-American workers as a whole were a privileged labor stratum. As a labor aristocracy it had, instead of a pro- letarian, revolutionary consciousness, a petit-bourgeois consciousness that was unable to rise above reformism." This lack of proletarian consciousness within the "revolutionary" movements that function in the settler-colonial framework has carried on to our times, with the same contradictions being behind today's widespread failures on the left to truly represent revolutionary goals.

Just look at the claim from Bob Avakian's Revolutionary Communist Party that voting for Joe Biden aligns with the goals of Marxism-Leninism. Marxism-Leninism is about overthrowing the capitalist state, then replacing it with a proletarian democracy. And voting for Biden does nothing but strengthen the capitalist state. As co-founder of the Marxist-Leninist Black Guerilla Family George Jackson said, "When any election is held it will fortify rather than destroy the credibility of the power brokers. When we participate in this election to win, instead of disrupt, we're lending to its credibility."

If your goal is to disrupt, the best candidate to vote for in the 2020 election is Gloria La Riva, the candidate who's committed to advancing Marxism. If your goal is to strengthen the capitalist state, voting for Biden is your best option, as he and his party are committed to advancing neoliberal austerity while subduing Venezuela and other nations which defy U.S. imperialism.

The belief that voting for Biden, or otherwise helping the Democratic Party, doesn't conflict with the goals of class struggle comes from the same colonial and imperial chauvinism that defined the settlers which Sakai described. Pro-Biden "communists" like Avakian, along with the "progressive" liberals who view bourgeois politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as socialists, are stuck in that old mindset of reformism.

This is the mindset which also causes many self-described communists in the U.S. who support overthrowing the capitalist state to at the same time oppose decolonization. As Settlers observes, throughout American history there have been many class-related struggles which are oriented not around achieving justice for the victims of colonialism, but around exclusively increasing the economic position of the settler working class. The genocidal purposes of Bacon's Rebellion have often been portrayed as a noble "lower class revolt." Andrew Jackson's genocidal colonial expansionism has been whitewashed by the praises of his efforts to help the white working class. And Lincoln has been praised by some as an early progenitor of Marxism, even though he committed war crimes against indigenous peoples and very obviously didn't want an anti-colonial revolution.

The popular "communist" commentator Caleb Maupin is a currently relevant example of how chauvinist attitudes can cause socialist-minded people in the imperial core to forsake the crucial ingredient of anti-colonialism. Maupin has claimed that socialism "is as American as Apple Pie," a statement which reflects on how he frames his vision for socialism as something which exists within a changed version of the United States. Maupin is in the colonial chauvinist camp of "socialists" which S ettlers warns about.

This camp claims that Americanism is compatible with socialism. In reality, any "revolutionary" political line which focuses on merely changing the U.S. instead of abolishing it is counter-revolutionary. This is because it runs counter to the core goal of Marxism, which is to advance the power of the proletariat. Excluding the colonized proletarians, or legitimizing the colonization of them, does not reflect this goal. It merely advances a "socialism" for the settlers, one that ignores the contradiction of colonialism.

A truly revolutionary line for this continent is one which commits to overthrowing rather than reforming the capitalist state, one which commits to returning all of the stolen land back to the indigenous First Nations so that they can autonomously decide their own fates, one which commits to paying reparations to the colonized Africans and Natives, and one which commits to rectifying the crimes of U.S./NATO imperialism.

The latter goal is another thing that many self-described socialists in the U.S. have refused to get on board with. As the Washington imperialists have ramped up their cold war against China, the "libertarian socialists" have gone along with the false narratives used to justify the campaigns of anti-Chinese military buildup, economic warfare, and CIA-manufactured unrest. These leftists have endorsed the easily debunkable claims about how China is persecuting Uyghurs in Xinjiang, legitimized the fascistU.S.-funded Hong Kong protests, and agreed with the portrayals of China being a tyrannical dictatorship.

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Rainer Shea is writing articles that counter the propaganda of the capitalist/imperialist power establishment, and that help move us towards a socialist revolution. Donate to me on Patreon here:

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