ILPS Withdrawn from the International Anti-Imperialist and Anti-Fascist United Front
At the end of June 2022, after 1.5 years of good cooperation and one year of "pause for thought", the ILPS left the international anti-imperialist and anti-fascist united front. The ILPS and its representatives did not want to give any reasons at that time, they merely stated that they "have reasons, but do not want to give them".
At the beginning of October, we learned that under the leading influence of the ILPS, an "International Peoples Front" (IPF) now held a founding event on September 29. The call published on this occasion makes clear the differences we had already assumed and which we would like to address.
In the joint call of ILPS and ICOR of December 30, 2019 for the building of the international anti-imperialist and anti-fascist united front, it is aptly stated: "The international working class must be the backbone and leading force of the anti-imperialist united front. (...) The world proletariat needs and seeks the alliance with all oppressed peoples in thisworld". However, in the call for the founding of the IPF, the working class hardly plays any role. Even the title of an "International Peoples Front" places emphasis one-sidedly on the struggles of the peoples. Mentioned are then "anti-imperialist peoples organizations" or "mass movements, peoples' organizations and democratic anti-imperialist political organizations." These play an important role in a number of countries. Only if the working class and the international industrial proletariat come onto the scene in society as a whole, does the struggle gain clarity and perspective, become organized and effective. This is also the lesson of the popular uprisings in the Middle East after the democratic revolts in 2011/2012 or 2017/2018 and 2022 in Iran.
The anti-imperialist struggle needs the perspective of the international socialist revolution. Of course socialism must therefore be a part of the united front, even if, naturally, not every member/organization of the united front must be programmatically for socialism. The December 2019 joint call on the perspective of the struggle stated, "For the liberation of humanity from exploitation and oppression - for national and social liberation, democracy, freedom and socialism!" For the World Congress, there is already a proposal to clarify: "The anti-imperialist and anti-fascist united front conducts an intensive strategy discussion on a societal alternative to the outlived imperialist world system. Many consider this to be socialism, but this is not a prerequisite for membership in the united front. It is, however, necessary to be open to the discussion of perspectives, without anticommunism." In the call to the IPF, the word socialism does not appear at all, just as little, by the way, as the struggle for national and social liberation.
The militant women's movement does not appear in the call for the founding of the IPF. Yet powerful forces against feudalism, capitalism and imperialism are emerging from the struggles of the women's masses of the world - as in Iran today. Also the anti-imperialist youth movement as an important future-oriented force is not mentioned in the call.
The joint call quite rightly targeted "U.S. imperialism" as "still the strongest power and main warmonger." But it also pointed out that today, at the same time, "a multipolar world has emerged", and that the struggle must be directed against the entire imperialist world system. In the call for the founding of the IPF, on the other hand, only U.S. imperialism appears as a "hegemon" and China as an "emerging counter-hegemon." What about all the other imperialist states like Germany, Russia or Turkey? Anti-imperialists can never spare one imperialist against the other. That would inevitably end up in social-chauvinism.
In the building of the united front, the democratic principle of consensus was propagated from the beginning, realized and written down in the "rules" of December 30, 2019. In contrast, the call for founding the IPF writes: "The IPF is not a structured formation but is managed by an International Coordinating Body which is composed of representatives of international organizations that operate in an unstructured manner." How can you ever fight effectively "unstructured" against highly organized and highly "structured" imperialism? Coordination on the basis of decisions, while maximizing democracy and voluntariness is essential. Collaborating organizations must have rights and duties. This was agreed in the common rules of the end of 2019. Such obligations are completely absent in the IPF call. This gives room for arbitrariness.
Through the world political development, the international anti-imperialist and anti-fascist united front is gaining enormous importance. At the same time, based on the correct documents of December 2019, the work done since then and the exchange of views in webinars, it is gaining support and is being built up intensively.
We hope that there will be cooperation in practice with the IPF at various points in the future, despite the differences.