Morenoites dismiss Trump coup attempt, while sowing illusions in Biden

With the US election crisis laying bare the grave dangers confronting workers in the US and internationally, in the form of an unprecedented electoral coup and threats of a renewed eruption of US militarism, the international Morenoite tendency organized around the Izquierda Diario website is doing everything in its power to politically disarm the working class. Izquierda Diario was founded by Argentina’s Socialist Workers Party (PTS), whose political orientation is to the decades-old bourgeois-nationalist Peronist movement. It also includes the Revolution Permanente faction of the French NPA.

In the US, it is dedicated to pushing to the left the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which is itself a faction of the Democratic Party, tasked with giving it a left cover. The Morenoites have used their English-language Left Voice website to attack the DSA and its mouthpiece, Jacobin magazine, from the right as “class reductionists”, that is, insufficiently committed to the racialist identity politics promoted by the Democratic Party.

The Morenoite tendency is above all concerned with countering the eruption of mass opposition to Trump’s coup drive, not only in the United States, but also in Latin America and Europe. It works to subordinate workers to the old labor, social democratic and bourgeois-nationalist imperialist agencies. For this reason, Izquierda Diario has used its coverage of the US elections not only to sow illusions in Biden, but also to justify the Democrats’ spineless response to the far-right threats against its own members and the US electorate as a whole.

As late as November 12, even in face of Trump’s open cultivation of fascist forces in the US which plotted to kidnap and execute Democratic governors, one of Izquierda Diario ’s columnists, Claudia Cinatti from Argentina, wrote an article reducing Trump’s actions to an attempt to “avoid tribalism” in the Republican Party.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

In an article titled “Why does Trump resist?,” Cinatti writes that “everything indicates that Trump’s true strategy is not to entrench himself in the White House (which he wouldn’t be able to do because he will be evicted on January 20) but to maintain the adrenaline of the Republican Party and avoid his defeat transforming itself into a consuming tribalism.” She also describes the neo-fascist Proud Boys a “right-populist” formation.

This analysis is a criminal dismissal of the grave crisis within the US uniquely designed to prevent an outpouring of working class reaction to Trump’s coup drive. It is entirely in line with the veto imposed by the Democratic Party and the DSA against the significance of these events even being mentioned. Significantly, the words “fascist” or even “far-right” appear not even once in Cinatti’s article. Izquierda Diario not only dismisses Trump’s moves to overturn the US election as merely internal maneuvering within the Republican Party, it essentially endorses Biden, just as the DSA did, even after pledging at its 2019 convention that it would support no other Democratic candidate than Bernie Sanders.

The Morenoites embrace the motto of the Democratic Party’s pseudo-left apologists that a Biden administration will create “space” for the left. In a November 5 article entitled “How can we read the elections in the US,” Left Voice states that “the shape of the political polarization will depend on the winner and the course of class struggle,” before adopting the tired formula that a Democrat would be more susceptible to pressure from the left: “if Biden finally wins, he will have to arbitrate between a working class hit by the crisis” and “the party establishment and the multimillionaires who finance it.”

A November 9 article, by Argentine economist and PTS member Esteban Mercatante, demagogically titled “With Biden as President, Will the Empire Strike Back?,” meekly affirms that “all indications are that the government of the main imperialist power will be more absorbed with the domestic agenda than intervening in world affairs.” He defines Biden’s program as one of “big capital, combined with some moderately progressive policies” in a return to the politics “that for decades has alternated in the United States (between Democrats and Republicans, until Trump’s arrival) and in the European Union.”

While neither the US nor the European Union has seen any even “moderately progressive” reform in at least 40 years, this fraudulent political narrative is crucial not only to promoting the “democratic” interventions of US imperialism around the world, but also to stifling internal opposition to the discredited factions of the Latin American ruling classes, from the regime of Brazil’s fascistic Bolsonaro, to the nominal “nationalists” such as Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and the recently elected president of Bolivia, Luís Arce.

The electoral victory of Arce had already been seized upon by Izquierda Diario as a pretext for falling in line with the Democrats by claiming: “This defeat of the continental right could be extended if, as everything indicates, Trump loses the elections on November 3.” On the same day, its Brazilian editor, André Barbieri, wrote another endorsement of Biden, in which he declared that Trump’s defeat “would mean a short-circuiting of the far-right current at an international level.”

Only a dozen days were enough to prove the treachery of such a claim, with the US president using the resources of the most powerful of imperialist states to build up a fascist movement, and the Democrats and all of their supporters, Izquierda Diario included, covering up the deadly danger of these efforts.

To the extent that Izquierda Diario sees as necessary any criticism of the Biden campaign, it is for not being able to further divide the US working class along racial and gender lines, even as the identity politics narrative was exploded by the elections.

The advice of the Morenoites to the Democrats is to double down on such policies. A November 6 article in Left Voice by two of its members embedded in the DSA, Tatiana Cozzarelli and Ezra Brain, states that Biden’s insufficient focus on racial questions was “a mistake in campaign strategy; Biden could have paid more lip service to people of color.”

As an example of what the Morenoites recommend to Biden, they cite the policies advanced by “progressives,” precisely the foremost representatives of the identity politics appeals of the Democratic Party, such as the so-called “Squad” in the House, whose leader Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did everything in her power to portray Biden himself as a “progressive.”

The Morenoites dismiss the threat of Trump’s coup attempt, while promoting illusions in a US administration led by Joe Biden, which, if he takes office, will prove the most right-wing and militarist in US history. Refracted through the lens of the US elections, the role played by the Morenoite tendency in Argentina, Brazil and internationally is exposed. It is to subordinate the working class to the existing capitalist order and political establishment in every country.

The fight to build a revolutionary internationalist leadership in the working class in Latin America and internationally can proceed only through an unrelenting struggle to expose and defeat such tendencies.