Opportunism, reformism and revisionism now seek, with a renewed discourse, their old ambitions of disengaging the working class and its communist parties from Marxism’s fundamentals, from the revolutionary struggle against capitalism, from the principles of dictatorship of the proletariat; from the revolutionary mission that working class and its vanguard, the communist party, are set to play in the socialist revolution and in the construction of socialism-communism.
There is an important lesson embedded in the battle against opportunism and the Second International’s degeneration, fought by Bolsheviks and other Marxists united into the “Zimmerwald Left”, Spartacists in Germany and from many other parties, currents and groups that gathered under the Third International, the Commintern.
Historically, opportunism aimed to deform, corrupt, cheapen and domesticate Marxism, putting it under direct attack, distorting the classics, stooping even to the gross mutilation of writings  to present versions that could be useful to those policies of gradualism, parliamentarism, coexistence with capitalism and abandonment of the struggle. Opportunism led parties of the Second International to a capitulating position and then became criminally complicit with imperialism during WWI; it served directly as a repressive machinery of capital against the German revolution and was responsible for Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht’s assassination.
Every rank-and-file of opportunism rallied against the Great October Socialist Revolution and aided counter-revolution in its endeavor to bring down the Soviet Power of workers and peasants, justifying the imperialist intervention, the sanitary siege.
Experience has shown that the fight against opportunism, reformism and revisionism is one of great ideological importance, because it is a life-and-death issue for the existence of the working class party, for the proletarian revolution and for the construction of Workers’ Power. Vladimir Ilich Lenin insisted in several of his works that the fight for socialism is incomplete without the fight against opportunism, and this was a feature of identity for the new parties formed by the Commintern, as several of their documents show, where a constant and implacable battle against the “bourgeoisie’s assistants” is proclaimed, and the necessity of total and absolute dissociation from reformism is acknowledged “because without this, a consequent communist policy is impossible” ; otherwise -he warned-, the Third International would end up resembling the defunct Second International.
This ideological frontline cannot be considered temporary, finished or reduced to a past stage of the communist movement’s history.
Opportunism is an auxiliary force of bourgeoisie in delaying the ascending process of class struggle, containing the revolutionary tide and promoting counter-revolution, but we must not underestimate that its action is permanent in every period, yet with increasing dangerousness when it becomes possible that, due to capital’s cycle, conditions for the radicalization of consciousness among the working class appear. Right now in Europe and in America, opportunism is a fundamental support for imperialism, even receiving funding from corporations for political activities, NGO’s, ideological activities and most of all for promoting alternative forms of capitalist management “with a humane face”. Such is the role of the European Left Party, to which the Forum of Sao Paulo  gets ominously closer every day, in spite of a rhetoric that criticizes neoliberal management and promotes welfare public policies .
Opportunism’s expressions occur in two levels today. First, as an undermining attempt on the inside of communist and workers parties, to deprive them of their identity elements, their revolutionary characteristics, so they end up being formally communist parties, but social democrats in fact, mutating into opportunistic organizations. Secondly, it lies in the promotion of groups overtly showing this nature, formed by ex-communists, Maoists, Trotskyists, social democrats, such as the Left Bloc in Portugal or SYRIZA in Greece.
The ideological front against opportunism is an imperative; to neglect it, underestimate it or overlook it will lead communist parties to their annihilation. The Communist Party of México, for example, embraced browderism just as some other parties in Latin America did. As we know, the Communist Party USA was on the brink of disintegration with this attempt to transform it into an “association”, some sort of “ideological club”. In México, this was the model for the Socialist League into which the Communist Party should dilute. The Colombian, Cuban and Dominican parties changed their names, subscribing that trend. The Communist Party of Mexico dissolved its cells within manufacturing industries and trade unions, and provisionally resigned to democratic centralism, besides changing its name from Communist Party of México to Mexican Communist Party; in addition to having inflicted severe wounds to its Leninist structure, policies of coexistence with some bourgeois sectors then called “nationalist” and “progressive” were adopted, and the revolutionary road to take power was renounced. The Letter from J. Duclos and the criticism from other parties caused reactions of militant regrouping among the communists to prevent their disintegration and rebuild their parties.
In later documents  the CPM acknowledged that renouncement of browderism was only a formality and this influenced the following years, because there was no resisting reaction to some policies of opportunistic orientation that were promoted starting at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, such as the so called “nationalistic road” to socialism, and the possibility of a non-violent way to power, that were adopted not as an exception but as a generalization for the communist movement, based on the French and Italian parties’ policies.
The CPM was thus infiltrated and it started to corrode until its disintegration, in 1981, to mutate first into a socialist party and then into the Party of Democratic Revolution (which is affiliated to the International Socialist, an sponsor of Keynesian management and a repressor of workers’ and popular movements), in reality a party of the dominant class yet presented by propaganda and media as the left party in México. The difficult conditions to rebuild the CPM and the level of political development of working class within this struggle proved that the goal in eliminating the CPM during the 80’s was to inflict a devastating blow to the proletarian movement, holding it back for decades.
So current is this subject that right now in the US the Communist Party is facing a similar problem to the one enveloped by Earl Browder, where the opportunistic faction led by Sam Webb, the Party’s President, is proposing a platform to remove its characteristics, to eliminate it and turn it into an auxiliary force for the Democratic Party. This platform contains many of the elements advanced by euro-communism, by the same process that led the CPM to its elimination and now is corroding other communist parties as well, including some in America.
We insist on the importance of fighting against those opportunistic tendencies; furthermore, enunciating the features that is presenting in America will show how, besides some specific properties, they are general to international opportunism.