[Marxism] Anti-imperialism "vs." the working-class struggle in the US

Lou Paulsen Loupaulsen at sbcglobal.net
Tue Aug 24 22:25:10 MDT 2004

Tony: I agree that it is necessary to have an internationalist outlook and
to keep the welfare of the global anti-imperialist and socialist struggle in
first place.  But when you infer from this that we should all be "organizing
around" the anti-imperialist struggle -instead- of around the issues that
directly affect the workers and oppressed here, I honestly don't understand
how you make this conceptual leap.  US Imperialism is going to plague the
peoples of the world -until we overthrow it- (unless, of course, the US is
destroyed in war).  We are not going to overthrow it -until the working
class is organized and class-conscious-.  Do you really believe that we are
going to overthrow the capitalist class on the basis of an -altruistic
solidarity movement-?  

The tension between anti-imperialist organizing and organizing on issues
that directly affect the workers and oppressed is not a tension between
addressing vs. neglecting the needs of the oppressed of the world.  It is a
tension between addressing their needs in the short run and in the long run.
In the short run, we have to organize directly against imperialist war.  In
the long run, we have to organize against capital so as to bring an end to
imperialist war.  By the way, I have NEVER heard of any communist in the
oppressed countries who has argued that strikes, struggles to defend
immigrants, prisoner solidarity work, struggles against racism, sexism, and
other forms or oppression, etc., were a waste of our time and that
communists in the imperialist countries ought not to do it and ought to do
only anti-militarist work.  (Other than people like Yeshitele who consider
the white workers in the US to be inherently bourgeoisified, that is.)  

Furthermore, in my experience, one of the most effective ways to broaden the
anti-imperialist struggle is to build the struggle of the workers and
oppressed and then make the necessary connections.  During the 1980's, for
example, we were doing a campaign against natural gas shutoffs here in
Chicago and we were able to come into those meetings and talk about El
Salvador and Palestine to the oppressed community directly.

Lou Paulsen
Member, WWP

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