This is an excerpt from a presentation I made to the Communist Party’s convention in 2014. It still retains relevance:

“I mention this because some on the left – even in our own party – are ready, if not to vacate, then at least to dial down on the struggle to defeat right-wing extremism. A few go a step further, claiming that the effort to defeat right-wing extremists is a retreat from the class struggle. None of these claims hold up in the court of life.

In the first place, this strategy has stymied the right wing’s most extreme plans to restructure political, economic, and cultural relations in a deep-going, permanent, and thoroughly reactionary way. No small achievement; in fact, an enormous achievement!

Second, victories – some of great import garnering fewer headlines – have been won. And these victories have made a difference in the lives of tens of millions.

Third, the emerging movement against the right doesn’t yet have transformative capacity, but it’s closer to acquiring it today because it has consistently battled the right.

Fourth, there is no other way – and certainly no easy way – at this stage of struggle to get to a future that puts people and nature before profits other than to battle and defeat right-wing extremism.

Finally, the struggle against the right is a form of the class struggle. In fact, it’s the leading edge of the class (and democratic) struggle at this moment. Only someone with a dogmatic cast of mind would think otherwise. Struggle, class and otherwise, never comes in pure forms.

I wish this stage of struggle could be skipped too in favor of something sexier, but it can’t. Political possibilities at every level are and will be limited as long as the right wing casts a long shadow over the country. Islands of progressivism in a sea, in which the right wing makes the biggest waves, are no substitute for a consistent and sustained struggle against the right on every level.”