Some Points on Syria, Inter-Imperialist Rivalry, and Communist Work

1) Regardless of how the situation developed, the current civil war amounts to a proxy-conflict between decrepit US-led imperialism (represented through the US and its Arabian allies) and a developing bloc of ‘Eastern’ monopoly capital (publicly represented primarily by Russia).

2) Whether Assad or the ‘rebels’ win, a certain debt will be owed and Syria will be pulled into either imperialist blocs’ orbit. Albeit, the victory of Assad and Russian interests will be less costly in the immediate-term for the Syrian people.

3) The principal contradiction is between imperialism and oppressed nations. However, we can not ignore historical circumstance as it relates to the struggle of oppressed peoples. Therefore, it is inevitable that the proletariat can and must, in certain circumstances, engage in temporary alliances with one particular bloc of monopoly capitalists against another as a matter of strategic exigency.

4) The job of Communists in the First World is not primarily to outline courses of action for Third World Communists.

That said, our own strategic analysis of the situation is that Syrian liberation forces would be best to form a united front against fighters sponsored by representative of US-led imperialism. This implies Syrian Communists should remain independent from the Assad-led government while nonetheless fighting against so-called ‘rebels.’ Only by entering the conflict in an independent yet decisive way can Syrian Communists establish themselves as a leading force for the liberation of the Syrian people.

5) The principal job of Communists in the First World vis-a-vis proxy-conflicts such as Syria is to organize for ‘revolutionary defeatism.’ That is to say, Communists should organize for a defeat for their ‘own’ imperialists in a way that advances the revolutionary struggle both domestically and internationally. Practically speaking, Western Communists should be working to counter efforts by US-led imperialism to further escalate the conflict; and Communists should foremost call on representatives of US-led imperialism to end its support for terroristic ‘rebels’ inside Syria. Communists in the United States should specifically call for the defeat of the US-led imperialism in this proxy conflict and avoid propagating narratives which build public support for US-led intervention.

6) The US may already be partially defeated: the same ‘international community’ which it boldly claimed would ‘stand up to Assad’ has instead rejected the Yankkkee drive to further escalate the conflict. The US’ aggressive momentum was also stymied by the involvement of immature Russia-led ‘Eastern’ monopoly capital, which has thus far maneuvered diplomatically to prevent a US-led direct military action.

7) US-led imperialism is increasingly decadent and moribund. Having lost its productive edge within the world-economy, US-led imperialism is increasingly reliant on a few key monopolies: including ‘dollar hegemony;’ global energy supplies; extensive influence over international discourse, communication, and intelligence networks; and the size and scope of its military capabilities vis-a-vis other countries and blocs. US-led imperialism has entered an economic ‘death spiral.’ Rather than investing in productive and social innovation as a means of competing in the world economy, it is increasingly invested into these few monopolistic (and often times wholly unproductive) economic sectors in order to desperately cling to its dominance over global class structures. The development of Russian and Chinese monopoly capital occurred because of two specific conditions: first, both have large territories with plentiful supplies of natural resources and human labor; second, historic and recent political initiatives aimed at retaining surplus and competing with the power of US-led imperialism. While moralistic value-judgments on Western versus Eastern imperialism should be avoided, strategies which incorporate and play off their growing rivalry should be utilized.

8) Periods of heightening inter-imperialist rivalry sharpen antagonisms and strengthen global revolutionary potential. Generally speaking, it is the task of Communists to fight to overthrow the bourgeoisie in all realm, including the realm of ideas. In the First World, one of the principal tasks for Communists is building public opinion in support of the struggles of oppressed and exploited peoples, another is to challenge normative ideas (including chauvinism, reformism, First Worldism, etc) reflective of parasitism. Still another is to build independent institutions which serve the interests of the oppressed people and challenge to power of imperialism.

9) As a movement for revolution, Communism is practically expressed according to particular conditions. It is anarchistic and dogmatic to assume Communist movements in Western imperialist countries would utilize the same strategies and tactics, let only slogans, as the Communist movement in Kurdistan or Damascus. Slogans such as ‘Neither Assad nor US intervention’ on the part of Western ‘Communists’ are incorrect: they assume some influence on conditions in Syria other than through opposing the US’ ongoing proxy war. For Communists in the West, the slogan of ‘No Western Intervention’ is sufficient whereas slogans against Assad can only serve to legitimize and advance narratives as part of a lead up for greater escalation by US-led imperialism.

10) Comrades associated with websites such as Anti-Imperialism.com have long done our part to oppose the US side of the conflict. Unfortunately, there is a malignant trend of First Worldist ‘Maoism’ which fails time after time to recognize the development of color revolutions as they occur. Whether it is the RCPUSA’s indirect support of US-led aggression against Muslim peoples or Kasama’s support of the so-called ‘Green Revolution,’ this trend consistently underestimates US-led imperialism, its parasitic nature, and its basic history. The Maoist Internationalist Movement described the backwards viewpoint as crypto-Trotskyism. Crypto-Trotskyism, far from understanding global class dynamics, actually believes the labor aristocracy to be a leading force of revolution. This trend (crypto-Trotskyism; First Worldism) should be opposed politically, especially in its rallying of public opinion in service of US-led aggression.

-Nikolai Brown

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