There are those who say that it is acceptable to support imperialism on some occasions. This opportunism has plagued revolutionary politics since their inception. From the anarchists of Marx, to the social-imperialists of Lenin, and through the capitalist roaders of Mao’s China, every revolutionary period has had its opportunism. The Left has been infected by the liberalism and idealism of identity politics, and too often it has succumb to the pressure of this idealism. Individuals have embraced imperialism for their own prejudices, they aligned against national liberation in places like Libya and Afghanistan. They have set themselves up as shills for so-called “progressive imperialism.” They enable oppression from the shores of their imperial homelands. This is the case today with the US assault in the Middle East.
Mao Zedong saw the principal contradiction as between imperialism and oppressed nations. The main enemy on the world’s stage was imperialism. There can be no liberation without the defeat of imperialism. The struggle against imperialism is the struggle that unlocks the possibility of other social liberation. In this way, the struggle against imperialism is the most important one today. The so-called “left”in the First World has often exhibit a liberal naïveté that supports imperialism when the imperialists present their projects in the liberal and activist language of the “left.” It will yield when the imperialists present themselves as champions of idealistic and unscientific ideas such as bourgeoisie “democracy” or when the imperialists present themselves as supporting Third World peoples against totalitarian dictators or when the imperialists present themselves as the saving Third World women from Islam. The illusion of progressive imperialism is just that, an illusion born of successful propaganda by the imperialist themselves. This propaganda allows opportunists on the so-called “left” in the First World to support the export of imperialism with a liberal, democratic face. Such opportunism is idealistic and unscientific. It assumes that imperialism brings “democracy” and “freedom” when in fact it only brings exploitation and oppression. The institutions placed in countries by the imperialists are rarely better, and are often worse, than the institutions that imperialists condemn. Imperialism is not a better option, it yields nothing but open markets for capitalism. When the US’s pocketbook is threatened, when its hegemony in the world market is threatened, it acts: economic sabotage, destabilization, sanctions, bombs, invasions. The imperialists intervene “on behalf of the people,” but the reality is that these interventions only provide instability and violence against people.
When facing the threat of the invading Japanese forces, the Communist Party of China (CCP) allied with the reactionary Guomindang (GMD) in order to defeat the imperialist aggressors. The GMD was made of of several elements ranging from the nationalist bourgeoisie, feudalists, to compradors. The GMD had waged war against the CCPfor decades. The GMD had tried to annihilate the CCP. The long march, led by Mao, was begun as a breakout by the CCP from an anniliation campaign by the GMD. However, there was a bigger enemy than the GMD. The Japanese invaded and occupied China. If the Communists had continued fighting the GMD, both groups would have more easily been defeated by the Japanese. It was by upholding the Broad United Front Against Imperialism that the CCP won support of the masses. The CCP took up the national banner against the Japanese. This not only won them the support of the masses. This also won more progressive elements within the GMD to their cause. We must learn from history.
Imperialism cannot be justified in any aspect. Bourgeois so-called feminists try to justify imperialism by appealing to “women’s rights.” They try to justify imperialist aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan. Women’s rights have not significantly improved under the pro-US governments. Any improvement in women’s rights on the ground is coupled by religious, ethnic, and sectarian violence. Social programs in many cases have been destroyed, people have been forced into exile for fear of persecution on religious, ethnic, or political grounds. Resources are taken from the people by multinational corporations. This is not better than the current regime. Iraq is being destroyed by religious violence, and Sunni-Shia infighting is killing innocent civilians every day. This was not an issue under the previous government. Afghanistan is involved in a brutal tribal war, one in which there are still remnants of Taliban supporters, along with other tribes and ethnicities, all fighting one another. Imperialism has not made life better in these areas by any means. In addition, when the imperialists cannot put in a boot-licking, pro-Western moderate, they often cut a deal with those who are the most socially conservative. The imperialists are about power, not about human rights.
In light of recent events, attention has turned towards the tensions between the imperialists and Middle Eastern and African countries, most recently Libya and Syria. The US is setting the stage for a confrontation with Iran also. If imperialist aggression occurs with Iran in any aspect, the imperial so-called “left” will remain divided on the issue. Some — Leading Lights, anti-imperialists, and others — will oppose the attacks against the Third World. Many others — Democrats, opportunists, revisionists, and other First Worldists — will support the imperialists in the name progress. A “left” that supports imperialism is an enemy of the Third World masses and the revolution. They are social-imperialists. They may claim to be socialist, communist, anarchist, democratic, or progressive, but they line up with the imperialists. They do not understand the balance of social forces in the world. They do not correctly answer Mao’s famous question “Who are our enemies? Who are our friends?” Not only does their opportunism and idealism lead them to their incorrect position, but their privilege as First World peoples also leads them to align against the Third World. They desire more for themselves. They are consumers. They have a class interest in supporting a system that provides them with a relatively comfortable life.
The most deliberate opportunists will qualify their support, as they did with Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, stating that they “don’t support the imperialist support, but they support the movement of the people.” The reality is that they do not support the people. The media portrays these civil wars as one-sided, they portray US invasions as domestically popular, but this is not the case. Few support the invasion of their country by an occupying force. To do so is consider treason by most. Civil wars are civil wars because they are struggles between antagonistic groups. No coup d’etat, no civil war, no dissenting action is unchallenged or undisputed. Libya was a civil war. Tribal and religious opportunists took advantage of opportunities presented to them. They manipulated Libyan people to fight the government, the people did not act unanimously to destroy their governments, this was done for them. The Libyan regime was only defeated with massive support from the US, NATO bombs, MI6 and CIA operations, etc. Even other Arab states put troops on the ground in what amounted to a de facto invasion to oust Gaddafi. This imperialist act was cheered by the opportunist and movementarian so-called “left” in the US.
The same will be true of the actions in Syria and Iran. US aggression in Syria and Iran will face support from the corporate media. The media will portray one-sided views of unanimous support for imperialist aggression, and many self proclaimed “leftists” will support the imperialists. Be warned: these opportunists are effectively supporting imperialism and denying self-determination of peoples. They are serving up the people and resources of the Third World to the imperial butchers. Those who align with imperialism are lackeys. They are idealists. They are liberals. They do not uphold Marxism, they uphold liberalism. Their approach is not scientific. It will not bring socialism. Only by acknowledging the enemy of imperialism, will we be able to end imperialism. Embracing science will bring socialism, not idealism and liberalism.
Oppose US intervention in the Middle East. Fight against imperialism and its lackeys. Syria and Iran are the next targets in the imperialist’s crosshairs. We must not support imperialism against Syria and Iran, we must oppose imperialist aggression and uphold Leading Light Communism. Revolution is the only solution, imperialism will only delay the revolution.