To Celebrate Biden’s Victory is Incompatible with Anti-Imperialism: An Open Letter to the Communist Party of the Philippines

By the Editorial Board

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is a Mao Zedong Thought-influenced organization which has been waging armed struggle since 1969, with ebbs and flows, advances and setbacks along the way. While their struggle for New Democratic Revolution as part of world revolution is deserving of defense, the fact that the CPP wages such a remarkable armed struggle makes the type of revisionism and liberalism they promote all the more dangerous.

The run of the mill US revisionists carry little weight due to their minuscule impact and lack of credentials, when they speak many do not give it credence. It is another matter when a legitimate organization, leading armed struggles, starts to spew out the same backward and incorrect ideas as the US revisionists.

In a recent statement issued by the CPP on the US elections, the comrades take a position totally alien to Maoism when they state that, “The American people deserve praises for voting against US President Donald Trump in the recently concluded presidential elections and preventing another four years of Trumpian fascism, militarism, racism, misogyny and bigotry.” This is a concentration of their political line and so it must be deconstructed.

The “American people” did not elect Joe Biden, a relatively small number of voters elected Joe Biden. They do not represent the deepest and most profound masses in the US. The CPP putting this dunce cap on the American people is an insult to the masses, who do not or will not vote. Even among active voters, the percentage is so slim that one can hardly state that they represent the “American people.”

The CPP claims this in an effort to legitimize reactionary bourgeois democracy, in their argument, the corporate backed elite running against one another in sham elections is somehow indicative of the people! It comes as no surprise that the article forgets to mention the imperialist interests, background, and platform of the Biden campaign. This is nothing new for the CPP, they have done the same in their own country in the name of “opposing fascism.” They once aligned with the Aquino regime, then against that paid lip service to Duterte; going so far as to call him the “first socialist president”, who they now consider a fascist.

It is true that many who voted for Biden openly despise him, but due to a subjectivist and superficial analysis did so as a vote against Trump. Trump and Biden however, both represent the US imperialist ruling class, and neither are fascists, contrary to the assertions issued by the revisionists—including the CPP. To be clear, “militarism, racism, misogyny and bigotry,” are not initiatives of Donald Trump or the results of his policy. The predecessors to Trump were just as militaristic, racist, misogynist, and bigoted, they just were less boisterous about it.

A good example of this is the Baltimore Rebellion of 2015, which took place under the Obama-Biden presidency, a righteous and good rebellion which inspired people all over the world. The masses of Baltimore rose up against bigotry and racism, and of course a militarized police. In response, the Obama-Biden administration agreed to drop restrictions against rapid police militarization and take it on a “case by case” basis. Meaning that when Black people rebel against racism, etc. the police must be allowed to increase its militarization in order to suppress and kill them. This is a picture of the “democracy” of Joe Biden, a vile racist and ultra-reactionary in his own right, who helped pass crime bills that incarcerate Black people on a mass scale. The fact that someone other than Trump gets to conduct the murder, oppression, and torture of Black people is not consoling, unless you are as detached as the current CPP. We must call it what it is, opportunism. The president of the US does not, and cannot alter the class character of the imperialist state, and the class character of the state remains the main thing to consider.

The CPP is of course correct to point out that under Trump, “US imperialist militarism and aggression intensified,” yet in their one sided celebration of Trump’s election loss, they forget that it also intensified under Biden when he was vice president and will continue intensifying now that he is president. US imperialism has entered deep crisis and has been stumbling from crisis to crisis for many decades, it has been showing signs of reactionization in the form of militarization and aggression in order to maintain its footing as the world’s sole-hegemonic superpower, colluding and contending with other imperialist powers and superpowers. This is not something the CPP is ignorant of. The intensification is a trend, not started by Trump and will not be curtailed by Biden. Ignoring this fact can only mean an effort to pander to US Democrats and their way of propagandizing imperialism.

The CPP states that, “US President-elect Joe Biden rode on the crest of a gigantic wave of democratic mass movement which has engulfed the entire country.” This is certainly true, if not for the May Uprisings, Biden’s narrow defeat of Trump in the electoral farce would have been less probable, yet the comrades of the CPP fail to mention the role of rival imperialists to traffic with the people’s struggles for their own careerist agendas. This trafficking misleads the people, stifles mass movements, and traps the people into a quagmire of endorsing one brand of oppressor over another. Again, the CPP knows this and consciously refuses to state it.

For this reason the online publication, Communist International, in the article “The US Elections and the Role of Avakian” points out with proper revolutionary clarity that, “the masses have nothing more to expect from the elections of the bourgeoisie than more oppression, more suffering and more terror; they are merely and instrument of the oppressors to legitimize their doomed power.” and “…if Biden forms a new government, it will be likewise more reactionary than the previous one.”

The CPP glosses over the fact that Biden opportunistically rode on the backs of Black people into office, all the while running on a “law and order” platform, going against even the most basic, progressive reforms demanded by the movement for Black lives; reducing police funding. They understand that Trump has handled the health crisis in a criminal way, resulting in needless deaths among the people, but of course, do not mention Biden’s opposition to free healthcare which could actually combat the pandemic. Biden is nothing but another representative of reactionary liberal democracy, just like Trump and the people’s righteous hatred for Trump is being used by opportunism to tacitly promote the vile imperialist Biden, to sanitize his past and future for the sake of reformism and at the expense of revolutionary organizing. The CPP and all the revisionist camp like the Avakianites etc. are essentially no different on this issue.

The above is made clear when the CPP states, “The American working class and people must continue to organize and mobilize in their numbers to make the Biden government act swiftly to respond to these urgent demands.”

Of course the proletariat and the people must struggle to improve their conditions by snatching conquests of their rights from the death grip of the imperialist state, but this was also the case under Trump and it will be no less of an uphill battle under Biden. Unlike the claims of the CPP, Biden’s presidency does not provide conditions which are any more favorable to this. If anything the popular hatred for Trump due to his imperialist class interests must now be focused on Joe Biden.

What makes conditions more favorable to the struggle for revolution and the consequent growth of the revolutionary mass movement, as well as the ability to snatch conquests from the jaws of reaction is the fact that US imperialism is rotten to its core, and cannot improve its wretched status by putting Democrats into office. What is more, “democratic” struggles are no longer progressive in the US, the democratic revolution has concluded, it is a relic of a forgone era, the only progressive struggles left are those directed against US imperialism in the interests of socialist revolution, that is because the contradiction which is principal in the US is the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Hence the tasks of revolutionaries in developed capitalist countries is not the preservation of reactionary bourgeois democracy, but its elimination through peoples war, to establish and maintain the dictatorship of the proletariat necessary to socialism.

Swindling is easy, and for their part the CPP knows better. They have a revisionist foreign policy, which only harms the prestige of their own righteous armed struggle, a struggle it appears they are eager to conclude with repeated “peace talks” as a “tactic.”

Tribune of the People supports the continuation of armed struggle against imperialism (US mainly, but also Chinese social-imperialism), semi-feudalism, and semi-colonialism in the Philippines as internationalists. With this support comes criticism of their political line regarding the US elections, a line that is revisionist, conciliatory and opportunist. The anger against Trump’s imperialism must be cast upon Biden, and Biden is no victory for the people, he is the enemy and all must be very clear on this matter.

It would appear from their public stances, that the CPP operates under the illusion that a new chief of staff for US imperialism will somehow be easier to pressure against supporting the reactionary land-selling Duterte regime and so falls into the hopeless trap of conceiving imperialism as a policy and not the inevitable degeneration of the capitalist mode of production. The great Lenin waged ruthless struggles against these kinds of misunderstandings, and we have no need to dust off the renegade Kautsky on the matter. The new imperialist chief of staff in the US only represents more oppression, more suffering and more terror for the Filipino people, as well as the American people, and this should be made clear; there is no celebratory response from the most profound masses regarding a mere change in the guard. The Communist Party of the Philippines should retract such opportunist celebration of imperialist elections if they truly seek to build up the forces of revolution in the world’s sole hegemonic superpower, whose growth will only strengthen their own armed struggle.

Revolutionaries in the US must continue exposing these contradictions, and must oppose Biden tactfully and appropriately, with the same energy and resolve in which they opposed Trump. The elections are not a victory, nor a reprieve, but a call to fight even harder against the reactionary old-state of the imperialist ruling class, its electoral farce, and the opportunism which sanitizes them and obfuscates the contradictions.

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