The term “pseudo-left” denotes political tendencies that utilize democratic and populist phraseology to advance the interests of privileged sections of the upper middle class and defend capitalism against socialist revolution. There are many representatives of this politically reactionary tendency internationally, including the Democratic Socialists of America in the US, the Left Party in Germany, the Socialist Workers Party in Britain, Socialist Alternative in Australia, the New Anti-Capitalist Party in France, Podemos in Spain, Syriza in Greece, and the NSSP in Sri Lanka.
In his foreword to The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left, published in 2015, WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North provided a concise “working definition” of the pseudo-left, as follows: 1) It is “anti-Marxist, rejects historical materialism, embracing instead various forms of subjective idealism”; (2), It is “anti-socialist, opposes the class struggle, and denies the central role of the working class and the necessity of socialist revolution in the progressive transformation of society”; (3) It “promotes ‘identity politics,’ fixating on issues related to nationality, ethnicity, race, gender and sexuality in order to acquire greater influence in corporations, the colleges and universities, higher-paying professions, trade unions and in government and state institutions, to effect a more favorable distributions of wealth among the richest ten percent of the population”; and, (4) “in the imperialist centers of North America, Western Europe and Australasia, the pseudo-left is generally pro-imperialist, and utilizes the slogans of ‘human rights’ to legitimize, and even directly support, neo-colonialist military operations.”
The development of an independent socialist movement of the working class requires an unrelenting struggle against all forms of pseudo-left and opportunist politics. On this page, readers will find major polemics published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) against the pseudo-left, including in relation to the major political experiences and world events of the past decade, as well as major documents from the history of the ICFI in its struggle against Pabloism and all forms of anti-Marxist revisionism.