Erwin Marquit, a member of the International Department of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), recently told a conference of communist political parties from around the world that communists in the U.S did not run their own candidate for president on November 6 because they worked within the Democratic Party for the reelection of Barack Obama and the victories of “progressive” Democrats to Congress.
“The Communist Party USA not only welcomes the reelection of President Barack Obama, but actively engaged in the electoral campaign for his reelection and for the election of many Democratic Party congressional candidates,” Marquit declared at the conference, hosted by the Lebanese Communist Party.
Under Obama, he said, “…we have been forming Party clubs in states in which we previously had very few or even no members. This influx of new members led us to have a national Party school earlier this year to acquaint new members with the Marxist-Leninist orientation of the Party.”
The communist resurgence under Obama is not surprising, since he has consistently waged a Marxist class warfare campaign as President and was influenced as a young man by Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis.
In a report to the Communist Party USA National Committee on November 17, 2012, national CPUSA chairman Sam Webb declared, “We meet on the heels of an enormous people’s victory.” He explained, “An African American president was reelected to the Presidency, the Democrats unexpectedly strengthened their hand in the Senate and House, new progressive voices, like Elizabeth Warren, are coming to Washington, and victories, including for marriage equality, occurred at the state level.”
The 14th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties (IMCWP) was staged under the lengthy slogan, “Strengthen the struggles against escalating imperialist aggressiveness, for satisfying peoples’ socio-economic-democratic rights and aspirations, for socialism.” It was held in Beirut, Lebanon, November 22-25.
Marquit went on in his conference presentation: “In our electoral policy, we seek to cooperate and strengthen our relationship with the more progressive elements in [the] Democratic Party, such as the Progressive Caucus in the U.S. Congress, a group of seventy-six members of the Congress co-chaired by Raúl Grijalva, a Latino from Arizona, and Keith Ellison, an African American Muslim from Minnesota. We also will strengthen our relationship to the Congressional Black Caucus (formed by African Americans in the Congress), which has been the point of origin of innovative policies including an end to the U.S. economic blockade of Cuba, and with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.”
Marquit’s Facebook page includes Reps. Maxine Waters and Keith Ellison among his “likes.”
But when Republican Rep. Allen West in April made sensational charges of communist influence in Congress, through members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the major media accused West of McCarthyism and making false accusations. The Congressional Progressive Caucus said that West had engaged “in base and childish conversations that lower the high level of discourse Americans rightly expect from their representatives.”
Marquit said the CPUSA is concerned that the Republican Party “still controls the lower house of the Congress and has enough votes in the upper house [the Senate] to block legislative changes of a highly progressive nature…” This “obstacle,” he said, will be addressed and “changed” in the 2014 elections. “We still have the task of strengthening the center-left alliance and enriching its anti-imperialist character,” he said.
The recommendations from the conference included “Promoting the international front against imperialism and the support for the international anti-imperialist mass organizations, the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), the World Peace Council (WPC), the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), and the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF), in the specific framework of every country.”
These so-called “international anti-imperialist mass organizations” are old Soviet front groups. Like the CPUSA, they were funded by Moscow during the Cold War and before the “collapse” of international communism.
The activities of the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties demonstrate that international communism is very much alive and well.
Marquit praised Obama for “a major expansion of the people’s access to financing of their health care” and “taking some modest but real steps” on the issue of “justice for immigrant workers and their families.”
Referring to the Obama coalition that worked for his re-election, the CPUSA statement said, “…we saw the necessity of a policy of center-left alliances in order not to separate ourselves from the people’s struggles for dealing with the far right onslaught. The basis of such an alliance now includes the labor movement, organizations of African Americans and Latinos, the women’s movement, gay and lesbian civil rights groups, and organizations of the elderly and retirees.”
Turning to foreign policy and referring to Marxist regimes in such countries as Venezuela, Marquit said, “We welcome the election of several progressive, anti-imperialist governments in Latin America and oppose U.S. attempts to undermine them. This leftward shift in Latin America, opening a path to possible socialist development, is of tremendous importance in the worldwide anti-imperialist struggle.”
In regard to the Middle East, Marquit said, “With the elections now over, there is a prospect that growing support in the United States for a just Middle East solution can induce President Obama once again to put pressure on the Israeli government to end the settlement expansion and resume negotiations leading to such a [two-state] solution.”
His statement concluded, “While the victory of Obama is a welcome aid for us in our domestic struggles, we still face the challenge of mobilizing mass pressure on his administration to reverse the imperialist character of U.S. foreign policy. The CPUSA will pursue this formidable task vigorously in alliance with domestic progressive forces and with our comrades in the Communist and Workers’ Parties and their allies throughout the world.”
As a footnote, Marquit is a Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Minnesota, where he had received mixed reviews. On the “Rate My Professors” website, one student said, “Worst class in my college career. Erwin spent the 2.5 hours rambling on about being a diehard Stalinist. This man put everyone to sleep! However, you can still score a good grade (A-B) without actually reading the (mountain of) text books or attending the lectures. But why waste time and money?”