Today is the annual high holy day in the Marxist-Leninist liturgical calendar. It is May Day. And the glorious comrades and their wider assortment of brethren on the socialist-progressive-liberal left are celebrating, as they usually do, with protest. Whether they are marching for the beleaguered worker or for the beleaguered climate, they are marching nonetheless — and they are rallying in unity against the brooding specter of their newest demon in their never-ending revolution: Donald J. Trump.
As we noted here recently, communist and socialist organizations are claiming membership surges in the months after the election of Donald Trump. Leaders from both Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) have heralded the recent presidential election (atop the fading memory of Soviet communism) as a tipping point. The broad left-wing coalition calling itself “the Resistance” touts workers’ rights, women’s rights, immigrant rights, Muslim rights, homosexual rights, bisexual rights, transgender rights, lesbian rights, gay rights, “queer” rights, teachers’ rights, union rights, climate rights, abortion rights, and whatever other new “rights” and new “equality” it taps for the moment in its long march through the institutions. It’s making an especially hard push for the LGBTQ community as a very useful and effective victim group — as the latest repressed/redemptive class to advance the road to utopia.
Who is today’s handy proletariat? The left is always looking hard. It casts the net wide.
This communist-socialist element does seem to be gaining some traction or at least some publicity. Last week we noticed something we hadn’t seen before at the popular Drudge Report: a link to an article from People’s World, the official publication and propaganda arm of CPUSA and successor to the longtime Soviet-funded Daily Worker. This particular article featured an interview with CPUSA International Secretary Emile Schepers by Granma, the horrific official “newspaper” of Castro’s Cuba. Schepers told Granma that CPUSA has received a big increase in membership requests since Trump’s election. “Although the phantom of the McCarthy era still looms across the U.S.,” he stated forebodingly, “there is growing interest in communist ideas.”
Schepers underscored the large number of Americans who felt alienated from both major political parties in the last election. “Neither recent Democratic nor Republican administrations have been able to resolve the serious problems affecting the majority of the country’s citizens,” he said, adding that a “false class consciousness” had prevented this popular discontent from taking a decisive progressive direction. Bernie Sanders, he suggested, would have handily defeated Trump in the general election. (For the record, Trump received a record number of votes in the Republican Primary: 14 million. But quite shockingly, lifetime socialist Sanders actually received 13 million votes in the Democratic Primary. Socialists and communists didn’t neglect to notice those stunning numbers.)
Schepers seems optimistic that the organized Resistance against Trump will continue to spur growth in communist and socialist circles. He hopes that growing public concern with unemployment and “inequality” is a long-term signal to the masses that capitalism is failing and fatally flawed. “Although the United States is in no way experiencing a pre-revolutionary situation in the communist sense,” he told Granma, “capitalism is showing terminal signs worldwide.”
In a separate piece for the CPUSA website, Schepers explained that the United States in its current “neoliberal imperialist” position marks what Vladimir Lenin called the “highest stage of capitalism.” Schepers then echoed Marx’s call for workers of the world to unite in their resistance to the “imperialist” Trump presidency.
Over at DSA headquarters, hope likewise springs eternal in the era of Trump. The DSA’s Brandon Richard defined “neoliberalism” as unregulated capitalism that favors big business and the wealthy, which “promulgates free trade economic policies that empower multi-national corporations to seek cheap labor and resources with minimal resistance.” He argued the current “neoliberal imperialist regime” was “strengthened, not weakened by the Trump/Republican victory.”
The strategy for CPUSA and DSA going forward is to tether themselves to issues and complaints shared by political moderates. This is the classic cynical but successful duping strategy that the communist left long ago mastered — marvelously hoodwinking non-communists to their cause. Just as the Marxist-backed Women’s March on Washington attempted to unite a myriad of left-wing grievances around anti-Trumpism, so have the silly March for Science and, now, the May Day March on Washington.
The official Facebook page for the “March on May Day with the International Working Class” moans and groans with a predictable left-wing laundry list of demands and causes. On May 1, it says, “all around the world workers will be marching against racism, sexism, and capitalism.” Health care, education, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, science-phobia, and other phobia phobias are included in the march’s call for community action.
There’s a little something for everybody, dear comrade. A veritable communist cornucopia.
As Jacobin Magazine writer Kshama Sawat explained, May Day is an opportunity to “organize a huge nationwide action which unites immigrants, women, union members, the Black Lives Matter movement, environmentalists, and all those threatened by Trump.” By gaining the support of major groups such as Planned Parenthood (which sponsored the Women’s March, along with honorary co-chair Angela Davis), Sawat said she hopes May Day can become an integral part of the Trump Resistance.
The wider left — including, of course, the Democratic Party — is beginning to embrace a popular new concept among the left: “intersectionality.” Yes, intersectionality. This latest left-wing buzzword is based on the notion that oppressed and marginalized groups share a common “social identity.” By highlighting this identity, by embracing these various victim groups, and by pointing to Trump and Republicans as the root of their oppression, the far left aims to gain new ground and new recruits.
Thus, May Day 2017 — a giant promotional, publicity opportunity.
This year’s celebration of the “international working class holiday” has special significance, as 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution. A century after the Bolsheviks launched their historic reign of terror and oppression, a wide swath of American leftists yet again offer up themselves as Lenin’s “useful idiots” by unwittingly swearing loyalty to an oppressive ideology in the name of “diversity,” “inclusion,” and “Resistance” against the new president.
This promises to be a glorious May Day.
Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College. His newly released book is A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century (May 2017). Joshua Delk has been writer for a number of publications, including the Daily Caller.