Cornel West, the celebrity academic (formerly of Harvard and Princeton), fiery antiracism campaigner, and current Green Party presidential candidate, has a long association with the Democratic Socialists of America, having served as the group’s honorary chairman. But as he campaigns for president, West is moving beyond the DSA and forging bonds with far-left activists who call for the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, who support the Chinese and North Korean regimes, and who are associated with communist organizations and Russian state propaganda operations.
What has brought West into this circle is his opposition to US military assistance for Ukraine. In July, he posted a statement on social media blaming NATO and the United States for having “provoked Russia into a criminal invasion and occupation of Ukraine.” He called the Russia-launched conflict “a proxy war between the American Empire and the Russian Federation,” and he slammed the Democratic Party as “a party of war and Wall Street targeting Russia and China.”
West is currently scheduled to headline a Washington, DC, forum on October 3 that aims to spur opposition to the Biden administration’s support of the Ukrainian government’s fight against the Russian invasion. Part of a “global mobilization” of self-described peace groups, the event is being co-sponsored by an outfit long tied to communist organizations, and West will share the stage with speakers from the farthest side of the left, including some who have worked for Russian state media.
According to promotional material for the forum, the other participants will be Claudia De La Cruz, Eugene Puryear, Medea Benjamin, and Lee Camp.
De La Cruz is presently the 2024 presidential candidate of the small, far-left Party for Socialism and Liberation. The PSL split from the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party in 2004, and one of its founders has declared, “We are communists.” The party calls for the “revolutionary” overthrow of capitalism and denounces “reformist hopes” for a “kinder, gentler” capitalism. The PSL has supported the North Korean regime and its pursuit of nuclear weapons and also hailed the Chinese Communist Party, defending it against various charges of human rights violations. Brian Becker, a co-founder of the PSL, used to co-host a show on Radio Sputnik, a Moscow-created propaganda network. [Continue reading…]