With the rising crisis of the left, amidst the battle of left purity and anti-communist left agendas spreading worldwide, a Trotskyite organization like the International Socialist Organization (ISO) through their publishing accessory ‘Haymarket’ in association with ‘Jacobin’ magazine and the Democratic Socialists of USA, came together to conduct the Socialism Conference 2019, held in Chicago, from July 4 to 7. This 2019 conference with its tagline “No Borders. No Bosses. No Binaries” and $250 solidarity rate besides the $150 option to attend the full conference was decisively the voice of that “Left” which is in a Right wing opportunism, being represented by a pro-US backed imperialist and anti-China panel. Jacobin is famously known for being a Left leaning magazine but is said to remain in close association with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) which is very quick on its feet in shrewdly supporting US imperialism.

On Defining The Ideal Socialism

Due to the populist approach that seems to be the way to go for Social Democrats all over the world, even organizations who claim to hold the tag “Marxist” in their organizational name, an attempt to receive solidarity for their “true socialist causes”, fail again and again. In defining true socialism, what various panels at the conference did was to give out examples of socialist countries and models; which ones to pursue and which to throw out with criticism. This attack was not merely done through anti-China panels but through speakers like David Duhalde, ex-political director of an organization, Our Revolution, which backed US Senator Bernie Sanders, pushing Sander’s cause and claiming that the Senator was neither up for a “Moscow model” nor a “U.S. model” and was completely anti-totalitarian. This entire charade was to attract more people through a populist approach and a more toned-down form of socialism, to criticise capitalism but not so much that it topples the boat!

How They backed US Imperialism By Criticising Nicaragua and Venezuela?

Panels, here, represented pro-regime change activists like Dan La Botz who is a leader of the DSA, avowedly supports regime change in Nicaragua and claiming the country’s socio-economic crisis to be the fruit of Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista National Liberation Front. It is not simply asking a historic guerilla commander and pro-people leader to step down or find ways for a better regime but lobbying for the US-backed opposition in Nicaragua. The ISO previously has been at the forefront of criticising the Venezuela government, by defining how it is not “truly socialist” and backing the economic blockade it faces! Not surprisingly, this Socialism Conference presented partly by Haymarket went softer on Venezuela as there was a chance of giving rise to topics that would impair their agendas like the US-backed coup this January in the country.

Topics like China and the US: Inter-Imperial Rivalry or Class Struggle and Analysis of Diversity in Political Currents?

This was spoken on by the anti-China panel that minimized the discussion on US imperialism and aggressively demonized the “self-proclaimed socialist government” of China. This kissing-off of US-backed atrocities is not merely a sign of the conscious forgetfulness the Social Democrats of the US have while criticising certain ideologically controversial governments. The panel consisted of Ashley Smith, ex-ISO leader and supporter of sectarian moderate rebels in Syria and Elaine Lu, belonging to the NGO China Labour Watch (the organisation is funded by the ‘National Endowment for Democracy’ which is in turn funded by the US government and was founded by CIA back in the 80s to collaborate with right-wing regime change organizations aiming to establish free markets around the world).

Playing The Populist Approach Of Identity Politics

Speaking on several issues like the Right to Abortion, Racism, Transgender rights, panelists focused on these hot topics just as right-wingers tend to, with little or no intention of the need to incorporate these issues in the radical working-class struggle. For example, panelist Corrie Westing addressed feminist issues, reproductive justice through abolishment of the family via overthrowing capitalism; the issues of the increasing rate of women unemployment were hushed upon. One of the panelists who attracted great attention was Lucy Diavolo, news and political editor at ‘Teen Vogue’, a magazine that endorses capitalism and commodification of women. The magazine had recently received backlash for being pro-prostitution in its stance and defining it as a simple career choice just like practicing medicine. This sort of representation to gain mainstream attention is a common sight for Social Democrats and is not just limited to the US but also leading further east to India, where Marxist organizations are rapidly sprinting towards nationalistic tendencies, being pro-war, preaching nationalism over patriotism just to stay relevant in mainstream politics.

The hunt for “true socialism” led by Social Democrats and now Trotskyite groups joining hands in the US is truly a utopian adventure that is very much reliant on the bourgeois democracy. The pacifist and reformist approaches to every situation under capitalist regimes, while staunchly opposing socialist governments across the world and calling for regime change in anti-imperialist countries at the drop of a hat reveals the underlying opportunism and only re-establishes and re-affirms that Social Democracy is just the perfect synonym for pacifism that gives a fake outlook of the so-called bourgeois “democracy”. It is truly the twin sister of fascism, that reveals itself in times of crisis in a bourgeois society.

In times of great crisis, these organizations will not leave out socialists even while they drown in their puddle of contaminated and deformed approach to socialism, let alone stand in solidarity with communists. They have a lot to say about trans-national companies not being able to properly venture under socialist regimes with little to share about their exploitative agenda. In these times of great turmoil, the only way to stand for internationalism is to stand for trans-national solidarity among communists all over the world, while Social Democrats suckle on their bourgeois democratic pacifier.

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