4 February 2023

Social-imperialism is betrayal

This joint statement was originally published in WW1428, which can be found here


On January 18 three members of the CPGB’s Provisional Central Committee met with the board of the Communist Platform. The main question under discussion was Ukraine and the necessity of combatting social-imperialism. Both sides agreed on the importance of open and honest debate – as opposed to other sections of the left, who hush over and hide their differences. Throughout the meeting exchanges were good-natured and comradely: each side gave a brief introduction, which was followed by a general discussion.

There was agreement about the geo-strategic significance of the Ukraine war and the danger of a wider, global, conflict. To stress our common position, it was decided to issue a joint statement. It was also agreed to meet on a regular basis in order to discuss issues of mutual interest, and exchange views and information.


1. The current situation has more than a whiff of pre-World War I about it. There is a real danger of direct great-power conflict – with this time the added horror of nuclear and other such weapons of mass destruction.

2. The US administration seems bent on achieving regime change in Moscow and probably the economic ruination and break-up of the Russian Federation. Having done that, the aim appears to be to ‘encircle’ China – and through war, regional rebellion, a colour revolution, etc, bring about regime change in Beijing too.

3. Ideologically, cover for this attempt to reboot US hegemony is being provided by hypocritical claims about championing democracy and standing up for the rights of small nations. But in reality Ukraine is fighting a proxy war on behalf of the US and its Nato and other allies.

4. The war in Ukraine has been utilised by the US administration, Nato and the various national governments to break opposition to expanding military budgets. Besides that, the war has resulted in Finland’s and Sweden’s bid to join Nato.

5. Disgracefully, sections of the left are siding with the Ukrainian government, and thus in reality with their own capitalist governments. They call for sanctions, logistical support and increased Nato arms supplies. Naturally, social-imperialism excuses itself with all sorts of pseudo-socialist and democratic phrases. In effect these phrases are the subordination of working class interests to the interests of our own state and the military alliance it is part of.

6. Not that the left should defend the Russian government (nor the Xi regime in China). There is nothing progressive about the FSB regime in Moscow nor its ‘special military operation’.

7. Our position is for revolutionary defeatism. The main enemy is at home. Therefore, we fight for a Communist Party and a workers’ movement capable of overthrowing the capitalist state. Towards this goal we support the democratic republican principle of the replacement of the standing army by a popular militia.

8. The pernicious illusions being spread by social-pacifists must be combatted. There can be no peace while capitalism lasts. It is the duty of communists to connect the popular desire for peace with the aim of revolution. Only by disarming the bourgeoisie and through the victory of international socialism can the danger of war be eliminated.

9. As for the social-imperialists, they have crossed class lines and have betrayed the cause of working class internationalism. They are traitors and scabs. While it is a tactical question whether or not to work in the same organisations as the social-imperialists, it is vital to always draw clear lines of political demarcation against them.

Provisional Central Committee of the CPGB
Board of the Communist Platform (Netherlands-Belgium)

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