Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Admiral Kilpatrick

A Veteran Communist Speaks... On the Struggle Against Revisionism


First Published: by the Communist League, n.d. [1974].
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.


Introduction

Comrade Admiral Kilpatrick, is rounding out 50 years of service to the international communist movement, Kil, as he is affectionately known, was born in Denver, the son of a socialist miner. At an early Age he joined the Industrial Workers of the World, Influenced by the Soviet Revolution, Kil was an early member of the Communist Party and served for many years on its National Committee, During the middle ’30s he was selected to attend the Lenin institute in the USSR. After five years in the Soviet Union he returned home, and enlisted for the Front in Spain. While in Spain Kil became a political commissar and played a big role in rooting out the hidden agents of the bloc of rights and Trotskyites. After the defeat of the revolution, Comrade Kil returned to the United States of North America and joined the struggle in the organization of the unions and the fight against the developing revisionism of the Party, When the Party began its destruction after the 16th Convention, Comrade Kil became one of the organizers and leaders of the Marxist-Leninist caucus in opposition to the rightest liquidationist gangs around Foster on the one hand and around Gates on the other. When it became apparent that the struggle for Marxism could not be carried on inside the Party, Comrade Kil led in the formation of fine Provisional Organizing Committee to Reconstitute a Marxist-Leninist Communist Party in the United States (POC). During this period Comrade Kil was framed by the Cleveland “Red Squad” and sent to the Ohio penitentiary. While Kil was in prison the POC took a serious turn toward the anti-China, anti-proletarian Trotskyite line. Upon his release from prison Kil struggled to rectify the erroneous line of the POC. In 1968 he resigned and shortly after joined the Communist League.

Comrade Kilpatrick has made an enormous contribution to the maturing of the League. His experience, his deep theoretical knowledge, his unwavering devotion to the cause of Communism have been instrumental in guiding the Communist League through these difficult years of its formation.

Hence, it is with a great deal of pride that we publish this pamphlet. In this document Comrade Kilpatrick sets the history of the struggle against revisionism on its feet as only a veteran of the struggle can do. We publish this document in hopes that the younger Comrades and revolutionaries will benefit from these years of struggle against the revisionists and will safeguard the resurgent communist movement.

POLITICAL BUREAU OF THE COMMUNIST LEAGUE

* * *

On what basis have these organizations united? We can only be united on the basis of the interests of the whole working class, that is, on the basis of Marxism-Leninism, which is hostile to any struggle for personal interests or opinions. Marxism-Leninism is the theory of scientific socialism, that is, it is based in objective reality as opposed to a subjective fight for Individual ends. It is out of this struggle for scientific socialism, for correct line, that the real unity of the revolutionary movement will develop in its highest form, a single organization that fights for the whole working class to overthrow imperialism. Lenin pointed out, and history has confirmed, that the Party of a New Type can only be built on the basis of the struggle against revisionism, and opportunism(incorrect line). We don’t unite purely for the sake of uniting, but for the sake of struggling for the correct line for the working class in the struggle against the U.S. monopoly class. (CALL FOR A CONFERENCE OF NORTH AMERICAN MARXIST-LENINISTS ISSUED BY THE PREPARATORY COMMITTEE FOR THE CONFERENCE, NOVEMBER 19, 1972)

A leader of the Communist League, one of the communist groups which participated in the building of the Conference of North American Marxist-Leninists once remarked in a friendly discussion that we North American communists in the process of building a revolutionary party in the United States of North America (USNA) would be going through some of the same struggles which the Bolshevik Party, under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin, went through. When one studies the history and development of the Bolshevik Party one finds that this is absolutely correct. Today the same enemies that the Bolshevik Party fought so vigorously against are here in the USNA causing the same kind of confusion and disruption by introducing revisionism and opportunism into the ranks of the working class. I am quite sure that many real North American communists at the present time are aware of the methods utilized by the USNA revisionists in order to create this confusion. I am also sure that they (the communists) are aware that they must, at all times, deal with these deviations from the basis of their economic, social and political roots. Only in this way will we be able to avoid the pitfalls into which the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) and those who act as pimples on the backside of the Communist Party have fallen. For this is the only way that we will be able to organize a real Marxist-Leninist Communist Party in the USNA which will be able, like the Bolshevik Party was able, to analyze and act upon every given situation and condition in order to lead to the Dictatorship of the Proletariat,

It is significant to note that the Bolshevik Party was the only party of the working class in the epoch of Imperialism and proletarian revolution that was able to correctly put into practice the teachings of Marx and Engels and to carry out the program of scientific socialism as put forth by them in the ”Communist Manifesto” (1848). It was the only party capable of taking on all the enemies of Marxism, i.e., the bourgeoisie as well as the so-called socialists. This is evident by the fact that the Bolshevik Party was able to defeat the enemies of Marxism inside of Russia as well as the enemies of Marxism outside of Russia, namely the revisionists of the Second International. In 1917 Lenin pointed out three basic trends in the international socialist movement; today we can still learn from his observations.

1.) The social-chauvinists, i.e., socialists in words and chauvinists in deeds, people who recognize ’defense of the fatherland1 in an imperialist war, The social-chauvinists are our class enemies, bourgeois within the labour-movement. They represent a stratum, or groups, or sections of the working class which objectively have been bribed by the bourgeoisie (by better wages, positions of honour, etc.) and which help their bourgeoisie to plunder and oppress small and weak peoples and to fight for the division of the capitalist spoils. 2.) The second trend is that known as the ’centre’ consisting of people who vacillate between the social-chauvinists and the true internationalists.

All those who belong to the ’centre’ vow and swear that they are Marxists and internationalists, that they are for peace, for bringing every kind of ’pressure’ to bear upon the governments, for ’demanding’ in every way that their own government should ’ascertain the will of the people for peace’, that they are for all sorts of peace campaigns, for peace without annexations, etc., etc.,– and for peace with the social-chauvinists. The ’centre’ is for unity, the centre is opposed to a split.

The ’centre’ is a realm of honeyed petty-bourgeois phrases, of internationalism in words and cowardly opportunism and fawning on the social-chauvinists in deeds. The fact of the matter is that the ’centre’ is not convinced of the necessity for a revolution against one’s own government; it does not preach revolution; it does not carry on a whole-hearted revolutionary struggle and in order to evade such a struggle it resorts to the tritest ultra-’Marxist’ sounding excuses.

The ’centre’ consists of routine-worshippers, depraved by rotten legality, corrupted by the atmosphere of parliamentarianism, etc., bureaucrats accustomed to snug positions and ’soft’ jobs. Historically and economically speaking they do not represent a separate stratum but are a transition from a past phase of the labour movement–the phase between 1871 and 1917, which gave much that is valuable to the proletariat, particularly in the indispensable art of slow, sustained, and systematic organizational work, on a large and very large scale–to a new phase, that became objectively essential with the outbreak of the first imperialist world war, which inaugurated the era of social revolution.

The chief leader and representative of the ’centre’ is Karl Kautsky, the most outstanding authority in the Second International (1889-191*0. Since August, 1914, he has presented a picture of utter bankrupcy as a Marxist, of unheard of spinelessness, and a series of the most wretched vacillations and betrayals. This ’centrist’ trend includes Kautsky, Hasse, Ledebour and the so-called workers’ or labour group in the Reichstag, in France it includes Longuet, Pressemanne and the so-called ’minoritaires’ (Mensheviks) in general; in England, Philip Snowden, Ramsey McDonald and many other leaders of the Independent Labour Party, and a section of the British Socialist Party; Morris Hlllqult and many others in the United States; Turati, Treves, Modigliani, and others in Italy; Robert Grimm and others in Switzerland; Victor Adler and Co. in Austria; the party of the Organization Committee, Axelrod, Kartov, Chkheidze, Tsereteli and others in Russia and so forth. ...

3.) The third trend, the true internationalists, is most closely represented by the ’Zimmerwald Left’. Its main characteristic feature is its complete rupture with both social-chauvinism and ’centrism’ and its relentless revolutionary struggle against its own imperialist bourgeoisie. It’s principle is: ’Our chief enemy is at home.’ It wages a ruthless struggle against honeyed social-pacifist phrases (a social-pacifist is a socialist in words and a bourgeois pacifist in deeds; bourgeois pacifists dream of an everlasting peace without the overthrow of the yoke and domination of capital.) It combats all subterfuges employed to deny the possibility, or the necessity, or the timeliness of a proletarian revolutionary struggle and of a proletarian socialist revolution in connection with the present war. (V.I. Lenin, “The Tasks of the Proletariat in Our Revolution”, Against Revisionism, Foreign Language Publishing House, Moscow, 1959, pp. 355-58)

It was this Bolshevik Party of a new type, built by Lenin and Stalin over a long period of historical development, which went on to organize the Third International, known in history as the Communist International. The Comintern served as the vehicle of the working class in Its struggle against capitalist imperialism and all its running dogs, foremost among them, the revisionists. In order to understand how the Comintern developed and established the conditions for building parties of a new type throughout the world, perhaps a brief examination of the requirements for affiliation of individual Parties to this body is necessary. The following 19 points were drawn up by the Second Congress of the Communist International in July 1920.

The First Inaugural Congress of the Communist International did not draw up definite conditions of affiliation for Individual parties to the Third International. At the time the First Congress was convened only Communist trends and groups existed in the majority of countries.

The Second World Congress of the Communist International is meeting under different conditions. Now, in the majority of countries, there exist not only Communist trends and groups but Communist Parties and organisations.

More and more frequently parties and groups which only recently were affiliated to the Second International, but which have not yet really become Communist, are applying for affiliation to the Third International. The Second International is completely smashed. The intermediate parties and groups of the ’Centre,’ realising that the Second International is hopeless, are trying to lean on the Communist International, which is becoming stronger and stronger, hoping, however, to retain such ’autonomy1 as will enable them to pursue their former opportunist or ’Centrist’ policy. To a certain degree, the Communist International is becoming the fashion.

The desire of certain leading groups of the ’Centre’ to Join the Third International at the present time is indirect confirmation of the fact that the Communist International has won the sympathy of the overwhelming majority of the class-conscious workers all over the world and day by day Is more and more becoming a force.

Under certain circumstances, the Communist International may be faced with the danger of becoming diluted with wavering and half-hearted groups which have not yet abandoned the ideology of the Second International.

Moreover, certain big parties (Italy, Sweden), the majority of which adopt the point of view of Communism, still have a fairly large reformist and social-pacifist wing which is only waiting for the opportune moment to raise its head again, to start actively sabotaging the proletarian revolution and thereby assist the bourgeoisie and the Second International.

Not a single Communist must forget the lessons of the Hungarian Soviet Republic. The Hungarian proletariat had to pay dearly for the amalgamation of the Hungarian Communists with the reformists.

In view of this, the Second World Congress deems it necessary to lay down very definite conditions of affiliation for new parties and also to point out to those parties which have already been received into the Communist International the obligations that rest upon them.

The Second Congress of the Communist International resolves: that the conditions of affiliation to the Communist International be as follows:
1. Everyday propaganda and agitation must bear a genuinely Communist character. All organs of the press belonging to the party must be edited by reliable Communists who have proved their loyalty to the cause of the proletarian revolution. The dictatorship of the proletariat must not be discussed simply as if it were a fashionable formula learned by rote; propaganda for it must be carried on in such a way that every rank-and-file working man and working woman, every soldier and peasant, shall see that the necessity for it arises from the vital facts which are systematically reported in our press day after day. In the columns of newspapers, at mass meetings, in the trade unions and co-operative societies–wherever the adherents of the Third International have access–it is necessary systematically and ruthlessly to denounce not only the bourgeoisie but their assistants, the reformists of all shades.
2. Every organisation that wishes to affiliate to the Communist International must in a planned and systematic manner remove from all positions in the working class movement that are at all responsible (in the party organisation, editorial board, trade unions, parliamentary fraction, co-operative societies, municipalities, etc.) reformists and adherents of the ’Centre1 and put in their place reliable Communists–and they must not be disturbed by the fact that in some cases it may, at first, be necessary to substitute rank-and file workers for ’experienced’ leaders.
3. In all countries where as a consequence of the prevalence of a state of siege or of emergency laws the Communists are unable to carry on all their work legally, it is absolutely necessary to combine legal with illegal work. In nearly all countries in Europe and America the class struggle is entering the stage of civil war. Under these circumstances, the Communists can have no confidence in bourgeois legality, They must everywhere create a duplicate illegal apparatus, which, at the decisive moment, could help the Party to perform its duty to the revolution.
4. Persistent and systematic propaganda and agitation must be carried on among the armed forces, and Communist nuclei must be formed in every military unit. Mainly, the Communists will have to carry on this work illegally; but abstention from such work would be equivalent to betrayal of revolutionary duty, and would be incompatible with membership of the Third International.
5. Systematic and planned agitation must be carried on in the rural districts. The working class cannot consolidate its victory unless it has behind it at least a section of the agricultural labourers and the poor peasants, and unless it has by its policy neutralised a section of the rest of the rural population. In the present epoch, Communist work in the rural districts assumes first-class importance, This work must be carried on mainly through the medium of revolutionary worker-Communists who have contacts with the rural districts. Abstention from this work, or allowing it to pass into unreliable, semi-reformist hands, is equivalent to repudiation of the proletarian revolution.
6. Every party that wishes to affiliate to the Third International must not only expose avowed social-patriotism, but must also expose the falsehood and hypocrisy of social-pacifism; it must systematically point out to the workers that without the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, no international courts of arbitration, no talk about reducing armaments, no ’democratic’ reorganisation of the League of Nations will save mankind from new imperialist wars.
7. Parties desiring to affiliate to the Communist International must recognise the necessity of a complete and absolute rupture with reformism and the policy of the ’Centre’; and they must carry on propaganda in favour of this rupture among the broadest circles of party members. Without this it is impossible to pursue a consistent Communist policy.
The Communist International imperatively, and as an ultimatum, demands that this rupture be brought about at the earliest date. The Communist International cannot permit known reformists, such as Turati, Modigliani and others, to have the right to claim membership of the Third International. Such a state of affairs would lead to the Third International becoming, to a large degree, like the wrecked Second International.
8. On the question of colonies and oppressed nationalities, the parties in those countries where the bourgeoisie possesses such colonies and oppresses other nations must have a particularly distinct and clear line. Every party that wishes to affiliate to the Third International must ruthlessly expose the tricks of ’their1 Imperialists in the colonies; they must support not merely in words but by deeds, every liberation movement in the colonies, demand the expulsion of their Imperialists from these colonies, imbue the hearts of the workers of their respective countries with a truly fraternal attitude toward the tolling population of the colonies and of oppressed nationalities, and carry on systematic agitation among the armed forces of their own country against all oppression of colonial peoples.
9. Every party that desires to affiliate to the Communist International must carry on systematic and persistent Communist work In the trade unions, the cooperative societies and other mass workers’ organisations. In the trade unions it is necessary to form Communist nuclei which, by means of prolonged and persistent work, must win the trade unions for the cause of Communism, These nuclei must at every step in their everyday work expose the treachery of the social-patriots and the vacillation of the ’Centre*. These Communist nuclei must be entirely subordinated to the party as a whole.
10. The party that is affiliated to the Communist International must wage a persistent struggle against the Amsterdam ’International1 of yellow trade unions. It must persistently carry on propaganda among the industrially organised workers, urging the necessity of a rupture with the yellow Amsterdam International. It must by every available means support the nascent international federation of the Red trade unions which adhere to the Communist International.
11. The parties which desire to affiliate to the Third International must overhaul the personnel of their parliamentary fractions, remove the unreliable elements from them, subordinate these fractions, not merely in words but In deeds, to the Central Committee of the party, and call upon every Communist member of parliament to subordinate all his work to the interests of genuine revolutionary propaganda and agitation.
12. Similarly, the periodical and non-periodical press, and all publishing enterprises, must be entirely subordinated to the Central Committee of the party, irrespective of whether the party as a whole is legal or Illegal at the given moment; publishing enterprises must not be permitted to abuse their autonomy by pursuing a policy that is not entirely the party policy.
13. The parties affiliated to the Communist International must be built up on the principle of democratic centralism. In the present epoch of acute civil war the Communist Party will be able to perform its duty only If it is organised in the most centralised manner, only if iron discipline bordering on military discipline prevails in it, and if its party centre is a powerful organ of authority, enjoying wide power, and the general confidence of the members
14. Communist Parties of all countries in which the Communists are carrying on their work legally must periodically purge (re-register) the membership of the party organisations so that the party may be systematically purged of petty-bourgeois elements which inevitably attach themselves to it.
15. Every party that wishes to affiliate to the Communist International must render selflessly devoted assistance to every Soviet republic in its struggle against counter-revolutionary forces. The Communist Parties must carry on persistent propaganda urging upon the workers to refuse to transport war materials for the enemies of the Soviet republics; and they must carry on legal or illegal propaganda among the armed forces that are sent to strangle the workers1 republics, etc.
16. The parties which still adhere to the old Social-Democratic programmes must revise these programmes as speedily as possible and draw up a new Communist programme applicable to the special conditions prevailing in their respective countries in the spirit of the decisions of the Communist International. According to rule the programme of every party that is affiliated to the Communist International must be endorsed by the ensuing Congress of the Communist International, or by its Executive Committee. In the event of the Executive Committee of the Communist International failing to endorse the programme of any party, the latter has the right to appeal to the Congress of the Communist International.
17. All the decisions of the congresses of the Communist International, as well as the decisions of its Executive Committee, are binding upon all parties affiliated to the Communist International. The Communist International, which is operating amidst the conditions of acute civil war, must be built up on more centralised principles than was the case with the Second International. Needless to say, in all their work the Communist International and its Executive Committee must take into account the great diversity of conditions under which the various parties have to fight and operate, and they should adopt universally binding decisions only on questions on which such decisions can be adopted.
18. In view of all this, all parties which desire to affiliate to the Communist International must change their name. Every party desiring to affiliate to the Communist International must bear the name: Communist Party of such and such a country (Section of the Third, Communist International). The question of name is not merely a formal question, but one of great political importance. The Communist International has declared resolute war against the whole bourgeois world and against all yellow, Social-Democratic parties. The difference between the Communist Parties and the old, official ’Social-Democratic’, or ’Socialist’, parties, which have betrayed the banner of the working class, must be made absolutely clear to every rank-and-file toiler.
19. After the Second World Congress of the Communist International has concluded its labours, all the parties desiring to affiliate to the Communist International must at the earliest date convene a special congress of their respective parties which shall officially endorse the above-mentioned obligations on behalf of the whole party. (V.I. Lenin, “Conditions of Affiliation to the Communist International”, Selected Works, Volume X, International Publishers, New York, 1935, PP. 200-206.)

The above enumerated 19 points must be studied by North American communists in order that they may build a real Communist Party. Further, a thorough analysis of how well the Communist Party of the United States of America did or did not fulfill its obligations is also necessary not only because it was one of the first Parties to Join the Comintern, but also because today it is the revisionism of the CPUSA which is one of the main obstacles hampering the building of a true Communist Party in the USNA. There is still confusion among honest communists in the USNA as well as in other countries, about the history of the CPUSA. Although it is true that within the Party there were some sections and individuals who struggled vigorously to build a party of a new type modeled after the Bolshevik Party of the Soviet Union, it is not true that William Z. Foster was one of these individuals. More specifically, today there are some “communists” who are promoting the idea that Foster was a tremendous communist, who carried on, under all conditions, that struggle for this party of a new type; this is totally incorrect. The revisionist CPUSA of today is positively a result of Foster’s leadership. It is therefore necessary at the present time to break down these illusions and misconceptions concerning the history of the CPUSA, and, in order to do so, we will have to deal with the historical roots of its revisionism.

To begin with, any person (whether a communist or not) who has any knowledge of this country’s history, is aware that the theory of scientific socialism is neither mysterious nor alien to the USNA. As early as the 1870’s thousands of Marxists, steeled in the European struggles, came to this country fleeing Europe after the defeat of the revolutions of 1848. In fact the First International (i.e., the International Workingman’s Association, founded by Karl Marx) was based in New York City during the last four years of its existence (it was dissolved at its Philadelphia convention on July 15, 1876). Of these above-mentioned Marxist immigrants the largest number came from Germany, and from this background of old German Marxists came the founder and organizer of the Communist Party, Charles Emil Ruthenberg Comrade Ruthenberg was born in 1882 in Cleveland, Ohio’s “west-side”. He was born into a family of nine. Both his mother and father were of working class backgrounds, so Ruthenberg was reared in the struggles of the working class.

The USNA working class has put up some heroic economic struggles. For example, it was the struggle of USNA workers for the 8-hour work day which gave birth to the revolutionary working class holiday of May 1st. This holiday has been adopted by workers all over the world. It is on the basis of these workers’ struggles and the Influence of the great October Revolution that the stage was set for the organizing of the Communist Party. As far back as the latter 1870’s the old Socialist Labor Party had been formed under the leadership of Daniel De Leon. This organization had a great influence on the struggles of the USNA working class. Later the organization of the Knights of Labor and still later the Socialist Party led, after many struggles, to such organizations as the Industrial Workers of the World (the I.W.W. – founded by Eugene V. Debs, Daniel De Leon and William “Big Bill” Haywood), the Syndicalist League of North America (organized by William Z. Foster), the International Trade Union Educational League (I.T.U.E.L.) and finally to the formation of the Trade Union Education League (T.U.E.L.) under the leadership of the forces which were to organize the Communist Party. Thus the Communist Party grew out of the I.W.W., the left Socialists and other forces in the labor movement as well as from the struggle against the Hillquits[1], the Norman Thomases[2], and the Musteites[3]. From its very inception the Communist Party was plagued with factional struggles which, to a large extent, were due to the wide variety of individuals and groups who helped found it. For a long time it was only the common respect which all of these individuals and factions had for Ruthenberg that kept the Party together.

There were two events which had tremendous influence on the Socialist movement in this country and on the Communist Party; the first was the October Revolution and the second was the Party1s affiliation to the Third International. (Despite all of its factional struggles, the CP. had become affiliated with the Third International since almost immediately after it was founded.) As a result of these events, the struggles from which the Communist Party had been built were intensified and finally the factional fight came out into the open with the death of Comrade Ruthenberg in 1927.

If we examine William Z. Foster’s History of the Communist Party of the United States, we see that in it he skipped over and swept under the rug some of the dynamic problems which plagued the Party from its very origin. Let us look at some of this “history”. Comrade Foster correctly points out that there were two parties formed in the USNA in 1919 – the Communist Party and the Communist Labor Party of America (CLP). From their inception each of these groups agreed to the decisions of the Communist International. In 1921 the two groups joined together to form the Communist Workers Party of America with Comrade Charles Ruthenberg as the General-Secretary. The CWP was formed underground. Even in this period the factionalism for which the Communist International was later to attack the Communist Party of the United States was already developing in the American Communist Party. The two speeches by Comrade Stalin delivered in the American Commission of the Presidium of the Executive Committee of the Communist International on May 6, 1929 and again on May 14, 1929 point out that the American Communist Party had at no time gotten rid of the old Social-Democratic bourgeois philosophy that had flowed over from the Second International.

What are some facts? Comrade Foster in writing his history of the CPUSA did not deal with the problems of party building as had Lenin in What Is To Be Done? and One Step Forward, Two Steps Back. In the latter, for example, Comrade Lenin dealt thoroughly with each of the different groups in the Social-Democratic Party even to the extent of pointing out their position, their votes, their relationship to party building, their position as being either left, center or right, etc. All of this in order to find out who, in the final analysis, was for building a party and who was against building a party. This, however, is not true of Comrade Foster1s history because of some very important points which he omitted.

What are some of these points which Comrade Foster skips over? One example is that Comrade Foster calls the CP. group “the federationists”. But what was “federationism” in the socialist movement at that time? Even though the Socialist Party[4] had gotten out of the Second International the Party was still built upon a federalist organizational basis. This meant that all the organizations in the Party were divided along national lines, i.e., there were Polish clubs, Russian clubs, Finnish clubs, etc. This was the type of bourgeois ideology which the Party inherited from the Socialist movement of the Second International, and it is what brought about the fight between the leaders of the CP. and the leaders of the CLP. The CP. fought to maintain the Party along the same old federated basis as that which had existed in the Socialist Party prior to the organization of the Communist groups. The CLP leaders, on the other hand, were, of course, against this type of formation; and rightfully so. Therefore, even in this early period factional struggles were already keeping the American communists from understanding their revolutionary socialist duties; i.e., building a party of a new type that was capable of leading the American working class not only in its struggle for attainment and improvement of its immediate needs, but to lead the class forward to carry out its revolutionary duty of overthrowing USNA imperialism and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Further, Comrade Foster points out that this factional struggle in the Party continued to heighten even as late as 1925. These rotten, opportunistic, factional struggles were continuing to hinder the development of the party. Who were these factionalists? They were the Fosters, the Bittelmans[5], the Lovestones[6], the Gitlows[7], the Cannons[8], and a host of others surrounding these groups. After the death of Ruthenberg in 1927, the Party found itself engulfed in an open struggle between these groups. It was these factional struggles which lead the Communist International to intervene in 1929 in an attempt to resolve the problems.[9]

It is true that in his history Comrade Foster deals with a number of the questions which Comrade Stalin raised in his two speeches on the CP.’s factionalism. But here again Comrade Foster tries to sweep some of the real dirt under the rug by not pointing out the entirety of this struggle waged by the E.C.C.I. (the Executive Committee of the Communist International) against the factionalism in the American Communist Party. Foster states;

The development of the Lovestone-Pepper revisionism greatly sharpened the factional fight within the American Communist Party. The Blttelman-Foster group actively challenged the whole Lovestone-Pepper line, arguing that it gave a wrong estimation of the international situation, of domestic economic perspectives, of the position of Social-Democracy, and of radicalization of the workers; in other words, that It contradicted flatly the realities of the political situation and the validity of the sixth congress political analysis in the United States. The internal controversy came to a crisis at the sixth convention of the Party, held In New York, beginning on March 10, 1929, at which the Lovestone-Pepper group had behind them a majority of the delegates. After futile discussion, the convention unanimously decided to seek the advice of the Comintern In the Solution of this problem.” (William Foster, History of the Communist Party of the United States, International Publishers, New York, 1952, p.273)

Here Comrade Foster is laying the basis for trying to eliminate his own unprincipled actions from the factional turmoil. However, a few excerpts from Comrade Stalin’s speech of May 6, 1929 will prove that both Comrades Foster and Lovestone were trying to con Comrade Stalin and the E.C.C.I. into supporting their respective positions. They each employed devious methods in trying to prove their positions correct, such as having meetings with Comrade Stalin and then trying to ”mystify” the talks with him, or each tried to imply that Comrade Stalin supported his position, etc. In exposing this type of diplomacy and horse-trading on the part of Foster and Lovestone Comrade Stalin had this to say:

...that I am ready at any moment to tell comrades the substance of my conversation with Foster and Lovestone from beginning to end? What will then become of the famous mysticism so zealously spread there by Foster and Lovestone?

What did Comrade Foster talk to me about? He complained of the factionalism and unprincipledness of Comrade Lovestone’s group. What did I answer him? I admitted these sins on the part of the Lovestone group, but at the same time added that the same sins were characteristic of the Foster group. On the basis of this Comrade Foster arrives at the singular conclusion that I sympathize with that group? Is it not obvious that with Comrade Foster the wish is father to the thought?

What did Comrade Lovestone talk about? Of the worthlessness of the Foster-Bittelman group. What did I answer? I answered that both groups were suffering from serious defects and advised him to take measures to liquidate factionalism that was all.

What is there mysterious here that cannot be spoken about aloud?

Is it not strange that out of these simple and clear facts the comrades of the majority and the minority make a secret worthy of arousing the laughter of serious minded people? Is it not obvious that there would be no mystification if there were no factional atmosphere poisoning the life of the American Communist Party and defiling simple and pure Communist morals?

It is obvious that there would be no such mystification and simple things would not be turned into mysterious legends, if it were not for a policy which places the interests of a faction higher than the interests of the Party, the interests of diplomatic intrigue higher than the interests of the Comintern.

In order to put an end to these foul methods and place the American Communist Party on the lines of Leninist policy, it is necessary first of all to put an end to factionalism in that Party.

That is the conclusion to which the above mentioned facts bring us. What is the solution?

Comrade Foster mentioned one. According to his proposal, the leadership should be handed over to the minority. Can that solution be adopted? No, it cannot. The delegation of the E.C.C.I, committed an error when it sharply dissociated itself from the majority without at the same time dissociating itself equally sharply from the minority. It would be very unfortunate if the Commission of the Presidium repeated the error of the delegation of the E.C.C.I. I think the Commission of the Presidium of the E.C.C.I. should in its draft dissociate itself from both the errors of the majority and from the errors of the minority. And for the very reason that it must dissociate itself from both, it must not propose to turn over the leadership to the minority. Hence the proposal of Comrade Foster with all its implications, automatically falls to the ground.

What then is the solution?

The solution consists in the following:
1. The actions and the proposals of the delegation of the E.C.C.I. must, in the main, be approved, with the exclusion from the proposals of those points which approximate to the proposals of Comrade Foster.
2. An open letter must be sent in the name of the E.C.C.I. to the members of the American Communist Party setting forth the errors of both sections of the Party and sharply emphasizing the question of eradicating all factionalism.
3. The action of the leaders of the majority at the Convention of the Communist Party of America, particularly on the question of Pepper, must be condemned.
4. An end must be put to the present situation in the Communist Party of America, in which the questions of positive work, the questions of the struggle of the working class against the capitalists, questions of wages, working hours, work in the trade unions, the fight against reforms, the fight against the Right deviation–when all these questions are kept in the shade and are replaced by petty questions of the factional struggles between the Lovestone group and the Foster group.” (Joseph Stalin, Stalin’s Speeches on the American Communist Party, pub. by Central Committee of CPUSA, pp. 16-19)

These words by Comrade Stalin are part of a letter which was sent to the membership of the American Communist Party. Further, as an indication that the Comintern had no confidence in either the minority (Foster-Bittleman) or the majority (Lovestone-Pepper) the E.C.C.I. set up a commission to oversee the work of the Party. Special emphasis has to be given to the fact that it was the representatives from the E.C.C.I. who activated the struggle to straighten out the Party.

What was the material base for this struggle? Originally the struggle took place around Lovestone1s theory of “American exceptionalism”. This “theory” claimed that the deepening economic crisis which international imperialism was undergoing during that time (the decade of the 1920’s) would not have any effect on USNA imperialism. This was supposedly due to the “fact” that USNA imperialism was different from and superior to the imperialism of other nations. As justification the Lovestonites pointed to the fact that USNA imperialism was in a better position than the other imperialist nations who had participated in the First World War and that it was able to utilize its productive forces to, so to speak, “help rebuild Europe”. This theory of “American exceptionalism” blew up in the face of Lovestone and his followers when the bottom fell out of the USNA economy and it experienced one of the worst crises of modern capitalist history.

This was the basis of the struggle, but it must be emphasized that it provided the opportunity for the factionalism which was already rampant in the Party to surface. As a result of this struggle, Lovestone and Pepper were expelled from the Party and further the Comintern was forced to remove both Foster and Bittleman from the leadership of the Party. It must be made clear that the struggle, in the final analysis, was not between Marxism and Revisionism, but, between the various factionalist and opportunist elements in the Party. In the criticism which he delivered, Comrade Stalin blasted both the Lovestone-Pepper and the Foster-Bittleman groups for their factionalism and opportunism (some excerpts of this criticism have already been quoted above).

Both groups are guilty of the fundamental error of exaggerating the specific features of American capitalism. You know that this exaggeration lies at the root of every opportunist error committed both by the majority and the minority group.... (Taken from Dialectics of the Development of the Communist League, pub. by the Communist League, 1972, p. 8)

It would be wrong to ignore the specific peculiarities of American capitalism. The Communist Party in its work must take them into account. But it would be still more wrong to base the activities of the Communist Party on these specific features, since the foundation of the activities of every Communist Party, including the American Communist Party, on which it must base itself, must be the general features of capitalism, which are the same for all countries, and not its specific features in any given country. (Foster, Op. Cit., p.. 273)

Demonstrating his understanding of the Marxist conception of capitalist economic crises, Stalin gave this correct estimation of the impending crisis in the USNA:

The three million now unemployed in America are the first swallows indicating the ripening of the economic crisis in America.” (Ibid., p. 273)

Comrade Stalin said this on May 6, 1929 at a time when the bourgeoisie and their henchmen, the “Social-Democratic” theoreticians, were exalting the superiority of ”American capitalism”. It was 6 months before the stock market crashed on October 29, 1929.

Further, on the question of the factionalism within the Party, Comrade Stalin went on to point out a fact which is still true today:

For it must after all be realized, comrades, that factionalism is the fundamental evil of the American Communist Party. (Taken from Dialectics of the Development of the Communist League. Published by the Communist League, 1972, p. 8)

Of Foster Comrade Stalin had this to say;

Did not Comrade Foster know that he should have held aloof from the concealed Trotskyites that were in his group? Why, in spite of repeated warnings, did he not repudiate them at the time? Because he behaved first and foremost as a factionalist. Because in the factional fight against the Lovestone group even concealed Trotskyites might be useful to him. Because the blindness of factionalism dulls the Party sense in people and makes them indiscriminating as to the means they employ. It is true, such a policy is bad and irreconcilable with the interests of the Party. But factionalists as a rule are inclined to forget the interests of the Party - all they can think of is their own factional point of view. (Ibid., p. 8)

Finally Comrade Stalin concluded with the warning:

...factionalism, by weakening the will for unity in the Party and by undermining its iron discipline creates within the Party a peculiar factional regime. As a result of which the whole internal life of our Party is robbed of its conspirative protection in the face of the class enemy, and the Party itself runs the danger of being transformed into a plaything of the agents of the bourgeoisie. (Ibid., p. 9)

It should be noted that another result of this struggle was that the Party, with the aid of the C.I., brought in Earl Browder, the little Kansas school teacher, as a compromise to lead the Party, During the 30’s the Party grew tremendously, but the factional struggles continued.

Thus in dealing with the development of the CPUSA, communists must approach the question from a dialectical and historical point of view, i.e., the question of socialism in the USNA must be viewed not in isolation, but in relation to the development of the whole revolutionary movement. It is not enough to deal with the negative aspects of the Communist Party, its positive contributions to the history of the USNA working class struggle must be examined as well.

Under the guidance of the Communist International and despite the revisionist leadership of Earl Browder and others the CPUSA grew from a party with a membership of 7,000 in 1930 to a party with 125,000 members by the end of 1939. During this period the CPUSA carried on tremendous struggles in the interest of the USNA working class. It organized huge demonstrations of the unemployed and marches to Washington, D.C.; it was the first to raise the question of security for the working class, such as unemployment compensation and housing, etc. However, it is obvious from the factional struggles of the 20’s that the American Communist Party never rooted itself in a correct understanding of Marxism-Leninism. To this extent it never could be called a real revolutionary Bolshevik Party; that party of a new type which Lenin fought so hard to develop in the Soviet Union and which eventually led the Bolsheviks to power in October, 1917.

The main reason the CPUSA did not develop into a real revolutionary party is because, with the exception of Ruthenberg, its leaders knew how to spout off rhetoric about dialectical and historical materialism, but they never knew how to put the theory into practice. Because of this lack of understanding of the scientific theory of Marxism-Leninism, the CPUSA, instead of organizing that party of a new type which could lead the working class in its historic mission to socialism and communism, depended on and fell victim to the spontaneity of the labor movement in the USNA. This is an error which has kept it at the tail end of the revolutionary forces instead of at their head.

As time passed the revisionism and opportunism which had been exposed during the factional fights became even more obvious. Despite all the struggles which the Party was leading and the warnings and advice of the Comintern, the CPUSA continued to follow a more definite revisionist policy.

One example of this revisionism and a candid expression of the tailism spoken of above is the slogan which Browder came out with at the Party’s eighth convention in Cleveland, Ohio in 1934. Browder’s “dynamic quotation” was that “Communism is 20th century Americanism.” How could a man who was living in the cradle of USNA imperialism make such philistine statements at a time when the capitalist class was going through one of its worst crises and trying to force the whole burden onto the backs of the USNA working class? It was this kind of thinking which was responsible for tying the Party to the shirt tail of the Roosevelt administration and his New Deal.

Another factor which contributed to the tailism of the CPUSA was the dissolution of the Trade Union Unity League. The TUUL had led many working class struggles in this country and after its dissolution many of its ex-members, among them many Party members, helped organize the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) headed by the opportunist John L. Lewis. This further tied the Party to a policy of trade union opportunism from which it has never been able to recover.

Meanwhile, Browder, the head of the Party at that time, was busily distorting the general struggle of the international working class against fascism and reaction[10] with such writings as “The Democratic Front” and ”Teheran and After”. Here Browder’s undialectical, anti-Marxist and opportunist ideas were manifested in his deliberate attempt to veil the true character of bourgeois democracy. Lenin, in the State and Revolution, declares:

The ’free people’s state’ was a program demand and a widely current slogan of the German Social-Democrats in the seventies. This slogan is devoid of all political content except for the fact that it describes the concept of democracy In the pompous philistine fashion. In so far as it hinted in a legally permissible manner at a democratic republic, Engels was prepared to ’Justify’ its use ’for a time’ from an agitational point of view. But it was an opportunist slogan, for it expressed not only an embellishment of bourgeois democracy, but also failure to understand the socialist criticism of the state in general. We are in favor of a democratic republic as the best form of the state for the proletariat under capitalism; but we have no right to forget that wage slavery is the lot of the people even in the most democratic bourgeois republic Furthermore, every state is a ’special force for the suppression’ of the oppressed class. Consequently, every state is not ’free’ and not a ’peoples’ state’. Marx and Engels explained this repeatedly to their party comrades in the seventies. (V.I. Lenin, State and Revolution, Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1970, p.22)

And further Lenin says:

Democracy is a state which recognizes the subordination of the minority to the majority, i.e., an organization for the systematic use of violence by one class against the other, by one section of the population against another. (Ibid., p.97)

Of his pamphlet, “Teheran and After”, which dealt with the historic meeting of Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill in Teheran, Browder said that it would determine his thinking for a long time; and indeed it did.

It must be remembered that in 1939 the capitalist nations, England, France, the USNA and Germany, were planning to attack the USSR with the intent of capturing and dividing up its markets. The capitalists understood full well that socialism was a real threat to capitalism. But almost overnight the principle contradiction in the world shifted from that of imperialism and socialism to that between the imperialists themselves. Instead of attacking the Soviet Union, Germany attacked Alsace-Lorraine (northeastern France) in order to obtain the coal necessary to then be able to attack the Soviet Union. This necessarily forced England, France and the USNA to join forces with the USSR to defeat German fascism.

And it is significant that it was none other than Britain and the United States that helped Germany to recover economically and to enhance her economic war potential. Of course, when the United States and Britain assisted Germany’s economic recovery, they did so with a view to setting a recovered Germany against the Soviet Union, to utilizing her against the land of socialism. But Germany directed her forces in the first place against the Anglo-French-American bloc. And when Hitler Germany declared war on the Soviet Union, the Anglo-French-American bloc, far from joining with Hitler Germany, was compelled to enter into a coalition with the U.S.S.R. against Hitler Germany. (J. Stalin, Economic Problems of Socialism in the U.S.S.R., Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1972, p. 35)

The “allies”, however, let the Soviet Union fight the fascists single-handed for the first five years. For as the then senator Truman so aptly put it, the plan was to help whoever is losing so as to let them bleed each other white.” (Quoted from the People’s Tribune, Vol. 5. No. 6, July, 1973. printed by the Communist League, 2.) Surely no one can equate “the 342 divisions of the most fascist troops which Hitler could muster to hurl against the USSR with the 12 divisions that were used against the Americans in Europe.”(Ibid.. p.2)

The most significant point to be emphasized about the Teheran Agreement is that the USNA and Britain were forced to participate in it. It should be remembered that by the time the meeting at Teheran took place in December of 1943 the USNA had already been attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor - an event which forced it to enter the war directly. Hitler had driven the British into the English Channel at Dunkirk and was on the verge of attacking the mainland of Britain. Most importantly the heroic Soviet army and people had thoroughly defeated Hitler at the battle of Stalingrad.

He [Hitler] tried in vain to capture Stalingrad. His troops arrived before that city in August 1942, and for five months nearly a million men were locked in desperate struggle. On January 31, 1943, the Nazi Marshal Von Paulus, defeated, encircled and Isolated, surrendered with 200,000 men and 16 generals to the Red Army. This was all that was left of the 400,000 men in the German Sixth Army. The heroic defense of Stalingrad was the most decisive battle in world history. It ruined the German 1Wehrmacht1 and wrote finis to Hitler’s dreams of world conquest. (Foster, 0p. Cit., p. 399)

For the next two years following the victory at Stalingrad, the Red Army rained havoc on the “Invincible” Nazi army as it retreated catastrophic battle after catastrophic battle halfway across Europe. One can see then, that for Stalin the Teheran Agreement was basically a military agreement setting the date, place and strategy for the opening of the long overdue “Western Front” on June 6, 1944. True Stalin needed to make an agreement with England and the USNA, but the ”allies” were forced into the agreement.

Browder, however, read a completely different meaning into this agreement. To him this meeting between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill would serve as a means of stopping capitalism. This meeting, according to Browder, was significant of the fact that capitalism was no longer interested in destroying socialism in the Soviet Union and thus it would help bring lasting peace. Browder then proceeded to try to convince the Party as well as the USNA working class that capitalism was nothing to worry about any longer, because in fact it was no longer the enemy. The working class accordingly should shake hands with the Morgans, the Rockefellers, the Duponts and the rest of the USNA monopoly capitalist class. Browder used much high-flown language to expound on this position. For example he said, “We have no textbooks at the present time to show us the road.” (“On the Struggle Against Revisionism”, CPUSA, New York, 1946, p.5) And, in one of his Bridgeport speeches he said, “Old formulas and old prejudices are going to be of no use whatever to us as guides to find our way in the new world.” (Ibid., p.5) Browder’s phrase-mongering led him to the anti-Marxist and anti-Communist idea that Imperialism had reached a stage when it would cease its bloody onslaught and attack against the people, both at home and abroad, that it would work for world peace and that the time had arrived to work in an “all-class” coalition. This nonsense led Browder to declare that the Party had to be dissolved so that there would be nothing to hamper the development of this “nice” “all-class” coalition.

Through all of this, Browder continued to consider himself a staunch Marxist-Leninist, but despite all his talk about dialectical approaches to history and social movement It is obvious to any real Marxist-Leninist that Browder was dealing in the realm of metaphysics. A dialectical approach to the events surrounding the Teheran meeting reveals that this was a meeting between two representatives of the world’s greediest imperialist bandits with an honest Marxist-Leninist leader of a revolutionary socialist country. These two vampires had helped organize the attack on the socialist Soviet Union. Finally this dialectical analysis would conclude that Roosevelt and Churchill had no intention of living up to any agreements or treaties, either during or after the war, which might be detrimental to British or USNA imperialism.

It must be noted that Foster and many of the leaders who are around today fell into line behind these anti-Communist metaphysical ideas promoted by Browder. In May of 1944 at its twelfth convention in New York City, the Communist Party of the United States was dissolved.[11] The liquidation of the Party was an indication of the fact that the anti-Marxist concepts which Comrade Stalin had warned against in 1929 had not been thrown out with Lovestone’s expulsion. This is not to deny that many honest and courageous comrades fought against the revisionism of the Party and against its eventual liquidation. In fact it was as a result of the efforts of these honest comrades, together with a strong criticism delivered by Comrade Jacques Duclos of the French Communist Party and a half-hearted letter from Comrade Foster that the Party was restored in July 1945.

Although Foster claims a lot of credit for it, it was actually the efforts of honest communists in the Party and Duclos’ letter which led to the restoration of the Party. Today it is clear that in 1945 Duclos was actually speaking for Stalin and the comrades of the International communist movement.[12] In his letter, Duclos declared;

...one is witnessing a notorious revision of Marxism on the part of Browder and his followers, a revisionism which is expressed in the concept of a long-term class peace in the United States, of the possibility of the suppression of the class struggle in the post-war period and the establishment of harmony between labour and capital. (Foster, Op. Cit., p. 434)

He blasted the liquidation of the Party declaring that “nothing justifies the dissolution of the Communist Party”, and that if anything the situation “presupposes the existence of a powerful Communist Party.” (Ibid., p. 434)

Now let us look at what Foster has to say about the whole episode. Foster was known all over the world as a tremendous trade union leader and a staunch communist. The former we would agree with, but the latter we definitely cannot support. And why is this so?

Most communists in the USNA at the present time, and there are quite a few outside of the CPUSA, know that Foster did a lot of writing on his own on the trade union movement. He also wrote, with the aid of a staff, a number of books of a political variety, among them The History of the Americas, The History of the Communist Party of the United States. The History of the Negro People in the United States and The History of the World Trade Union Movement. Nevertheless, when it came to a real struggle for the purity of Marxism-Leninism, Foster was found wanting. In his struggle against Browder1s revisionism Foster formulated such an anti-Marxist-Leninist ideology that he became even more revisionistic than Browder. This is evidenced by a letter he wrote to the National Committee of the Party in January of 1944.

“National Unity in the Elections”

Following logically his argumentation to the effect that the decisive sections of monopoly capital are, or can be drawn not only in the ’democratic-progressive camp’ for the realization of the Teheran decisions, but may also be the leaders of that camp, Comrade Browder gave little emphasis Indeed to the bitter Presidential election struggle now developing. For, certainly, if the decisive sections of American monopoly capital are behind the Teheran decisions loyally, and indeed may lead the national unity, there would be little to worry about regarding the outcome of the elections. It would make little difference which side won. Comrade Browder did not send any note of alarm about the elections. He did not warn the American people militantly of the grave danger that would be involved in a Republican victory. Instead, in his National Committee report, he handled the two major parties almost in a tweedle-dee, tweedle-dum manner, and in his Madison Square Garden speech, where he presented the Party line to the public, he devoted only twelve lines to the vital subject of the elections. Logically following out his general position, he seemed rather to be more interested in bridging the gap between the two warring parties ’in the name of all-inclusive national unity’, than in stirring into victory action the great democratic forces of the country, the only ones who can be relied upon to make the hope of Teheran real. (“On the Struggle Against Revisionism”, CPUSA, New York, 1946, p.10)

As one can see Foster makes it appear that he was carrying on a struggle against Browder, while in actuality he was merely defending bourgeois democracy. The following quotation taken from Foster’s writings shows how close he was tied to the Roosevelt administration.

Nevertheless, monopoly capital has found an obstacle in the Roosevelt administration. This administration is, in fact, if not formally, a coalition among the worker, middle class elements, and the more liberal sections of the bourgeoisie (with the special situation in the Democratic South). The big monopolists, after the first few emerging months of 1933, have in overwhelming majority come to hate the Roosevelt administration bitterly. They especially attack the domestic angles of his policies. What backing Roosevelt had from finance capital at the start has mostly leaked away from him. This is because of certain restrictions his administration has placed upon big capital1s drive for unlimited power. The monopolists hate the Roosevelt Government because it is not an instrument that will do their bidding fully and immediately; they hate it because of the social legislation it has written on the books and also for what it threatens to adopt during a fourth term; they hate it because it has facilitated the organization of ten million workers into trade unions, which weakened their great open shop fortress in the basic industries; they hate it because they think there is altogether too great a democratic content in its war and foreign policies. (Ibid., p.11)

This is the great “Marxist” Foster speaking. From this one sees that Foster’s revisionism was even more dangerous than Browder’s. With his smooth metaphysics and idealism he was really trying to brainwash the working class and the common people in the USNA into believing that they had a great friend in Roosevelt, the representative of USNA imperialism. The truth of the matter is that it was Roosevelt who closed the banks throughout the country, making it possible for the USNA monopoly bandits to rob millions of their pennies and dimes. Further, Roosevelt’s so-called National Recovery Act (N.R.A.), through various twists and turns, pumped billions of dollars into various capitalist industries in this country in order to keep a sick economy alive. Foster’s implication that Roosevelt, with his Section 7A (the right to organize and bargain collectively), was responsible for bringing ten million workers into the trade union movement, shows his naive and unbalanced thinking. Foster knows, as well as I and many others who participated in the struggle, that it wasn’t Roosevelt, but the workers themselves who were responsible for the organization of workers in this country. This organization was a result of the workers having to defend themselves from the attacks of USNA imperialism; i.e., having to fight the steel goons, the auto goons, the rubber goons, etc. I’m sure that Foster remembers that it was at the request of the Party that the Trade Union Unity League (TUUL) was dissolved and came under the leadership of the CIO, headed by John L. Lewis. It is obvious that Foster had become so Involved in the Roosevelt administration that he forgot all about the class struggle.

In the same letter (mentioned above) Foster accused Browder of neglecting to give a complete statement of the Party’s attitude towards socialism. This is what Foster had to say on the subject:

“The Question of Socialism”

While it is correct to say, as Comrade Browder does, that Socialism is not the issue in the war, nor will it be the issue in the immediate postwar period in the United States, and that, therefore, to raise the issue now could only result in narrowing down the national unity necessary to win the war and to carry out generally the decisions of Teheran, nevertheless, merely to take this negative attitude towards Socialism is not enough. We must also develop our positive position.

We have to bear in mind that although Socialism will not be the political issue in the United States in the early postwar period, it will nevertheless be a question of great and growing mass interest and Influence. This is true for a couple of major reasons, aside from the possibility that some countries of Europe may adopt Socialism at the close of the war: first, the Soviet Union in this war has given a world-shaking demonstration of the power of Socialism. (Ibid., pp.16-17)

How could Foster have called himself a communist after making statements such as these? How could socialism ”not be the political issue in the United States in the early postwar period”? The fact is that socialism has been a world wide issue since the writing of the “Communist Manifesto” in I8k8; it has been an ”issue” since the working class ceased being a “class In itself” and became a “class for itself”. Has Comrade Foster forgotten the Paris Commune of 1871. when the proletariat made its first revolution? Has Comrade Foster forgotten the great October Revolution that shook the whole imperialist foundation and brought into being capitalism’s general crisis? Has Comrade Foster forgotten Lenin’s basic thesis which states that during the epoch of imperialism we live in the epoch of proletarian revolution? Either Comrade Foster had become senile or he was frightened as hell of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Did he think that all there was to being a communist was to “talk about adopting socialism”? History has taught us that the revolutionary class struggle under the leadership of a communist party does not stop at merely interpreting the world - it changes the world. Only the dictatorship of the proletariat will be able to solve the problems of the workers and the revolutionary masses.

There are two criticisms concerning Comrade Foster’s letter of “criticism”. One is that he never said a word about the liquidation of the Party, and the other is that he never circulated the letter among the membership of the Party, choosing to only present it to the National Committee. Comrade Foster ignored the first criticism and wiggled out of the second with the following statement; “As result of this serious rebuff and in view of Comrade Browder’s expressed determination to stamp out all open opposition, an attitude on his part which was strengthened by the heavy vote of the enlarged Political Bureau against my letter, I concluded that it would be folly for me to try to take the question to the Party membership at that time. For to do so would have weakened our general work in support of the war; ruined our current big recruiting drive, interfered seriously with the development of our vital national election campaign and perhaps resulted in splitting up the Party.” (Ibid., p. 18) But there was no danger of splitting up the Party because it had already been liquidated long before. It should be remembered however, that after the Party was dissolved the Communist Political Association was formed, but this by no means was a communist party; therefore, Comrade Foster did not have to worry about splitting it up. Foster tried to justify his actions by saying that he made speeches and wrote articles in protest of the Party’s liquidation. Meanwhile the whole National Committee continued on its merry way revising Marxism; Comrade Foster’s speeches and articles had no effect on it. His protests must not have been too loud!

In 1945 at a special convention which was called to reestablish the Communist Party, the calibre of Comrade Foster’s “protests” were aired publicly. By this time there was no longer any need to worry about Browder’s revisionism because William Foster and Eugene Dennis had emerged as the leaders of the Communist Party. But did this change in the leadership of the Party Improve matters? A resolution which came out of the convention speaks for itself:

The Communist Party of the United States of America is the political party of the American working class, basing itself upon the principles of scientific socialism, Marxism-Leninism. It champions the immediate and fundamental interests of the workers, farmers and all who labor by hand and brain against capitalist exploitation and oppression. As the advanced party of the working class, it stands in the forefront of this struggle.

The Communist Party upholds the achievements of American democracy and defends the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights against its reactionary enemies who would destroy democracy and popular liberties. It uncompromisingly fights against imperialism and colonial oppression, against racial, national and religious discrimination, against Jim Crowism, anti-Semitism and all forms of chauvinism.

In the struggle for democracy, peace and social progress, the Communist Party carries forward the democratic traditions of Jefferson, Paine, Lincoln and Frederic Douglass, and the great working class traditions of Sylvis, Debs and Ruthenberg. It fights side by side for all who join in this cause. (Ibid., p.8)

This is the epitome of the way in which the Communist Party betrayed the revolutionary potential of the Anglo-American working class. The CPUSA always kept the working class tied to the USNA bourgeoisie through the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. Instead of exposing them as aspects of bourgeois democracy and as such, part of the State, the CPUSA clung to them for dear life. Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin have repeatedly pointed out that the State is “a special repressive force for the suppression of one class by another”; in this case, it is used by the bourgeoisie to suppress the working class. This history of the Anglo-American working has demonstrated time and time again that it is a class which was and is far above reformist bourgeois Ideology. One example of this was the struggle for the recognition of the October Revolution, a struggle which had the support of hundreds of thousands of workers. There were also many other struggles against political frame-ups such as the case against Warren Billings[13] and Tom Mooney[14]; the struggle to free the “Scottsboro boys”[15] as well as for the freedom of Sacco and Vanzetti[106]; the frame-ups of communists after the formation of the Communist Party in this country; the struggle for the support of the German Communist Party and all other parties united against fascism, which proved the internationalism of the USNA working class; etc. These and many other struggles concretely demonstrated the fighting spirit of the working class. The CPUSA as the vanguard party should have marched at the head of these struggles Instead of at their rear. As a result it violated some of the most important conditions for affiliation to the Communist International; i.e., the denunciation of the bourgeoisie, the purging and expelling of bourgeois ideologies and bourgeois agents from the Party, etc. (see Points 1, 7 and 14). Clearly a party that grew from 7,000 to 125,000 members in a matter of a few years was bound to accumulate a great deal of bourgeois garbage.

The Second World War was the excuse the revisionists, and especially Browder and Foster, used to unite with the bourgeoisie. However, did the situation within the CPUSA change at all during the postwar period? No, the situation did not improve after the ending of the war. Instead the revisionist onslaught continued with more force. But in order to fully answer this question we have to examine what the world situation was at that time. First of all, it is well known that Roosevelt’s policies were continued after his death by Truman. These policies aimed mainly at trying to resolve the problems of capitalism. The fact was that since the First World War capitalism had been in trouble. This general crisis of capitalism was brought about by the October Revolution In the Soviet Union which had taken on sixth of the world’s surface out of the grasp of capitalism. After World War II this general crisis of capitalism was further intensified by the freeing of a host of European countries by the victorious Soviet Red Army in its march to Berlin. In addition, the defeat of the German, Italian and Japanese capitalists further narrowed down the maneuvering room for capitalism to pull itself out of its ever worsening cyclical crisis. (Germany’s capitalists were defeated by the Soviet Red Army despite the fact that 72% of the fascist forces were pitted against the Red Army.) All of this taken together attest to the fact that the end of World War II found capitalism in worse shape than it had been after World War I. And, it is a fact that at no time since World War I has normal production been carried on in this country.

What were the results? Instead of a rosy postwar period in which socialism was not “the issue” as Browder and Foster had predicted, the opposite was true. No sooner had the World War II guns stopped firing the imperialist bandits of the USNA made swift arrangements to attack the revolutionary forces of China. This attack was started in 1946. The USNA flew guns, ammunition, airplanes and men Into China to help Chiang Kai-shek to try to destroy the Fourth and Eighth Red Chinese Armies and to help try to destroy the revolutionary movement of China -the only force in China, even according to General Stillwell, that was actually carrying on a real struggle against Japanese Imperialism.

We know the outcome of this struggle – the revolutionary peoples of China under the leadership of the powerful Chinese Communist Party headed by Comrade Mao Tsetung defeated USNA imperialism and its running dogs lead by Chiang Kai-shek. The revolutionary People’s Republic of China was established in 1949. The USNA imperialists did not give up so easily, however. With the aid of the maneuvering of the 7th Fleet, the imperialists set up a puppet government headed by Chiang Kai-shek on the Chinese island of Taiwan. In this way the imperialists hoped to be in a position in which to better carry on further counter-revolution against the People’s Republic of China. Any school child knows that Taiwan belongs to the mainland of China. As of this writing, however, it still remains to be liberated from the greedy hands of USNA imperialism.

What were the leaders of the CPUSA doing at this time? Although the idea of a “nice” peaceful postwar period had been totally destroyed by the reality of the situation, the CPUSA continued to trail behind the spontaneous struggles of the workers which were taking place. Many of us comrades remember the policies of the Party at that time one of which was not to struggle against trade union opportunism but to cooperate with it by forming a so-called “left-center”[17] coalition. This coalition ended up as nothing more than pure and simple trade union opportunism. An example of this took place in 1947. At that time the CIO Council representing the broad industrial working class for all of the state of Ohio was attacked by a small group which belonged to the Association of Catholic Trade Unions. The main tactic of the group was “red-baiting”. It was led by various members of the priesthood and by other opportunist groups within the Council. I say this because at the time Gus Hall was head of the Party in Ohio and he used his position to influence the Party into stopping various “left” and ”progressive” forces from struggling against this group when it was very obvious that a combined effort could have defeated the group. The group demanded that the entire leadership of the Council be dissolved and that a special committee be set up by Phillip Murray, then head of the CIO, to oversee the Council until such a time as new elections could be held and new officers and representatives installed. Phillip Murray was one of the top opportunists in the labor movement having inherited his position from John L. Lewis. Murray quickly sent in a drunken bum by the name of Heywood to see that such a committee was set up. At a special meeting which was called to discuss the matter, many of the progressive forces who had expressed the desire to continue struggling against the dissolution of the leadership were present. I spoke at the Council that evening and pointed out that neither the Communists, the Socialists, the Democrats nor the Republicans were running the Council. By the same token I stated that I did not think that the Association of Catholic Trade Unions should run the Council. I further stated that I was a communist but that there were many other leaders on the Council who were in the majority and who were not communist nevertheless they thought as I did. As mentioned earlier, there were many progressive forces who wanted to continue the struggle but they were defeated before they began because the Party refused to take any action.

Shortly after this meeting certain left opportunists in the Party had me brought before the Party’s State Executive Board of which I was a member. They charged that I had exposed myself as a communist and that I had put myself in a position in which they no longer wanted to be with me. It was at this meeting that the final decision was made to absolutely not struggle against Mr. Murray setting up a special committee. The feeling was that those who were leaders in their districts and locals would continue to be leaders and that when new elections were held we (the Party) would run a set of candidates and win another election to the CIO.

This undialectical, metaphysical approach to the class struggle resulted in defeat. By 1948, at the CIO convention, Murray was able to move forward and expel whole organizations from the CIO and in this way get rid of the “lefts”. At the convention Murray proved that he was also able to set up “new unions” at will even without these unions having any membership. A point in question was the expulsion of the United Electrical Workers, supposedly headed by “left” forces, and the establishment of the International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE). The IUE proceeded to immediately raid the membership of the United Electrical Workers. Since that time other unions have been dissolved in the same way, a lot, if not all, of this could have been avoided if the Party had not taken a no-struggle attitude in the first place. In fact, it is this method of approach to the class struggle, which has consistently run throughout the history of the CPUSA that is one of the main reasons for the Party never having become that party of a new type. This despite the fact that the Party was able to organize and lead thousands, yes even millions, of workers through the streets, and despite the fact that it was one of the first parties to join the Third International.

Meanwhile USNA imperialism was extending itself throughout the world. Although Truman supposedly was carrying out a new policy – the Truman Doctrine – at home and abroad it was the same old monopoly, capitalist, imperialist hash. The introduction and expansion of programs such as the space program, the atomic program and the so-called defense program were all geared for pumping billions of dollars into big USNA corporations in order to keep them going and in order to conduct further imperialist attacks against the people of the world. In 1950 USNA imperialism attacked Korea. The Korean War lasted until 1953 when that famous “man of peace”, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, became president of the USNA. He immediately began to carry out the wishes of the USNA imperialists by preparing to attack the peoples of Indochina. The heroic Indochinese peoples were already engaged in a fierce struggle against the French aggressors. Thus we see that Lenin’s thesis that ”imperialist wars are inevitable” is certainly proven correct by history.

During this period the USNA State was conduction a vicious fascist-like attack against the Party. This fascist attack was realized with the aid of laws such as the Smith Act[18], the Taft-Hartley Act[19] and the McCarren Act[20]. In 1951, at the beginning of the “McCarthy Era”, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were brought to trial. The Rosenbergs were framed and murdered by the USNA State in 1953.[21] Their case was the beginning of a campaign to attack the Party and to intimidate the Anglo-American working class. The tiniest opposition to the reactionary imperialists was labeled as “communist”. The movies, radio, television and press unashamedly put forth reactionary propaganda and anti-Soviet lies.

The “tailism” of the Party, however, put it in a position in which it was unable to fight these attacks by the State and consequently it fell apart. Many of the Party’s leaders were jailed and the remaining forces were left leaderless. This was the situation the Party found itself at the time of the disgraceful 16th Convention. I say “disgraceful” because it was not a communist convention; it was more like a trade union convention. Instead of having a convention to remobilize its forces and to develop a plan of action based on democratic centralism, the convention was conducted according to Robert’s “Rules of Order”. Further, in order to prove to the ruling class that the Party meant them no harm the convention included a “broad democratic” force. Each district of the Party brought with it the followers of Norris, Muste, as well as the followers of Norman Thomas and other social democrats and Trotskyites – everyone was invited – each group brought with it its own ideas on how to revitalize the Party.

During the convention a broad caucus was formed by the comrades of many different districts and headed by Foster, who again proved that he was not capable of being a real communist. Despite the fact that at one point during the convention Comrade Foster could have won the overwhelming majority of the delegates, thereby really strengthening the position of the Party, he, along with others, was too frightened to deal with the real question of building the Party on the basis of scientific socialism because they were afraid it might come into collision with the ruling class. By that time the Communist Party had reached a stage in its history in which it had lost all semblance of a communist party. The Party had taken no action on any of the basic problems confronting the working class and the overwhelming majority of the common people in this country. Furthermore, at the convention not one decision was made on any of the important questions facing the class and the Party. Instead, all of these questions and problems were “put in a bag” and turned over to the incoming national committee - a committee which was already torn with factional opportunism. The present leaders of the Party will protest that none of this is true, but then again they can not answer to the fact that the convention ended up split into three distinct factional groups – Foster and Davis and their groups; Dennis and his group; and Johnny Gates and his group (Gates controlled the Dally Worker as its editor).

Furthermore, a letter was received by the convention from the French Communist Party in which it again warned that it discerned certain revisionist tendencies in the Party. This warning brought a blast from Dennis who proclaimed; ”...our party is an American party and we will not take orders from anybody.” This of course was just a reassurance to the USNA bourgeoisie that it had nothing to worry about because it could depend on this bunch of ”bought and paid for” opportunists to carry out a bourgeois program within the labor movement. By this time neither the French Communist Party nor any other party could have helped straighten out the CPUSA. It was not just a certain amount of revisionism that the French Communist Party detected in the CPUSA. It was the complete betrayal of the USNA working class and of scientific socialism.[22]

One may ask what happened then to the Party after its 16th Convention. For one thing the Party continued to travel down the revisionist road of no return. Secondly it tied itself to the bunch of Soviet social-imperialists that had developed out of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Eugene Dennis had this to say about the 20th Congress:

The 20th Congress also had a profound impact upon all working class organizations, including the Socialist Parties of the world. Undoubtedly this will facilitate in the near future a great advance in united action of Socialists and Communists, of Communists and Catholic masses, of all who wish to struggle for peace and progress. This is bound up in particular with the socialist effects of the dynamic peace policy of the Soviet Union, and the further development of Marxist theoretical principles elaborated at the XXth Congress in respect to the non-inevitability of wars and the possibilities for peaceful transition to socialism in various countries – historic theoretical propositions whose immense political and practical significance has yet to be fully grasped. (Eugene Dennis, The Communists Take A New Look, New Century Publishers, New York, 1970, PP. 92-93)

From the above one can see that Dennis, one of the factional leaders of the Party, was already preparing an anti-revolutionary program which would be in full conformity with the Soviet social-imperialists who had already begun to usurp the dictatorship of the proletariat and to destroy the Bolshevik Party. Later on Khruschev and company added to this revisionist garbage with their talk of a party of the whole people and a State of the whole people.

Eugene Dennis, in the above quoted report, goes on to say that imperialism would not continue its aggression against the peoples of the world but that instead it would confine its activities to battles of ideas. Although Dennis admits to many of USNA Imperialism’s vicious attacks on the peoples of the world he nevertheless Insists on approaching the history of the class struggle like a magician pulling rabbits out of a bag. He says:

Nonetheless, it is our conviction that the course of world and national trends will increasingly enhance the possibility for peaceful and constitutional advance to socialism. Such a possibility will not arise automatically – it will have to be fought for and won. The crucial question will be the ability of a united working class to exert decisive political influence on all democratic forces to check and defeat the reactionary offensive of monopoly and to keep open and extend all constitutional, democratic processes. This is what we should emphasize and work for today and on the morrow. (Ibid., p. 47)

Today Gus Hall and his cohorts are matching these social-imperialists by trying to con the USNA working class into believing that a broad people’s party can be built which will be able to successfully “curb monopoly”, win meaningful reforms and in this way bring about the peaceful transition to socialism. Any honest person with an ounce of common sense (much less communists as they claim to be) knows that the only way to “curb” capitalism is to destroy it and to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. However, Gus Hall and his group, who head the CPUSA, have no intention of even talking about the dictatorship of the proletariat for this would put them in trouble with their capitalist masters; not to mention the fact that even the thought of the dictatorship of the proletariat scares them out of what little wit they have.

Today as yesterday the undialectical, illogical approach of the CPUSA to the questions confronting the class lead it ever deeper into the revisionist marsh. If one examines any of the CPUSA’S present-day programs the same line of betrayal and deceit is found. The following quote, taken from the “New Program of the CPUSA”, attests to the fact that the Party has not moved away from the liquidationist policies of Browder, Foster, Dennis and Gates.

There can be no doubt, therefore, as to the inherently democratic character of socialist revolution. The question remains, however, whether the democratic will of the people can be brought to expression by relatively peaceful means, that is, without armed insurrection, without civil war. Of course, we advocate social change by peaceful means, through political institutions and people’s organizations within the American constitutional framework. But the people’s democratic institutions of our country are not the sole historical factors that will determine the path of social change in the United States.

There is also monopoly power and the question of how it will be exercised. American historical experience demonstrates it is naive to think that monopoly capital would be restrained by Constitutional scruples from resorting to violence to thwart the most democratic mandate for a socialist transformation. No ruling class relinquishes power passively and voluntarily. Hence the historical question still to be answered is: will the financial oligarchy be able to inflict a bloody ordeal on the country?

We believe, however, that a peaceful path of socialism is a possible alternative. This is not to say that the transition would be free of all violence. The violence, terror, brutality and murder which mark the American scene today, emanating from the ruling class, are more than ample evidence that to expect this would indeed be Utopian. But we believe that in today’s world the possibility exists of creating such a relationship of forces that monopoly capital can be prevented from attempting to drown the popular will in blood.

The struggle to curb monopoly power and to expand the power of the working people is a struggle to create such a relationship of forces. To the degree that it is successfully carried out, it can bring about the most favorable circumstances for the revolutionary transformation of society, when the American people so decide. (“New Program of the CPUSA”, New Outlook Publishers, New York, 1970, pp. 92-93)

These people who call themselves the leaders of the CPUSA are nothing more than traitors to the working class and to scientific socialism. While these revisionists (from Dennis to Hall) spout off rhetoric, the USNA imperialists continue to murder and pillage the people of Indochina and the world. It is obvious that the job of the revisionists like Browder, Foster, Dennis and Hall is to serve the master class and to fight against the revolutionary working class. An article in the People’s Tribune, the organ of the Communist League, exposes Gus Hall and his revisionist cohorts:

...but we would like to take the opportunity to investigate two of Hall’s projections in the light of the current international situation. Those projections are 1.) that imperialism is a policy of monopoly capitalism and not the highest and final stage of capitalism and 2.) that on the one hand, world trade will eliminate the contradictions of imperialism, while on the other hand, the current dollar crisis is primarily a defeat for USNA imperialism. The line is clear. First take an obvious fact, that for the last 25 years the USNA has been the center of counter-revolution. Then attempt to use this fact to prove a lie, that now the USNA is turning away from the bankrupt policy of aggression. This is no mistake, Gus Hall, in the glorious tradition of Kautsky, is attempting to revise the nature of imperialism. Lenin stated long ago and history has proven again and again that imperialism is reaction all down the line, that the essence of Imperialism is murder, pillage, maximization of profits at the world’s expense, the suppression and annexation of nations and the enslavement of peoples.

It is impossible to ”curb monopoly capitalism”, what must be done is to overthrow imperialism and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. Anyone who falls to see this as the strategic goal of the working class and tries to tie it down to meaningless reforms, as Gus Hall and the other revisionists are doing, is only betraying the working class and working to prolong the life of capitalism.

Furthermore, the CPUSA has something to offer to everybody. In the “New Program” of 1970, in the section on “forces of progress”, the revisionists list all the elements which will supposedly participate in the “great anti-monopoly force”. they are the “working class”, the “Black Liberation Movement”, the “Chicano Liberation Movement”, the “Puerto Rican Liberation Movement”, the “Indian Liberation Movement”, the “Jewish People”, etc. The CPUSA is trying to con these forces into believing that by “curbing monopoly” and by fighting for ”meaningful reforms” they can prepare the road for the peaceful transition into socialism. Furthermore, this syndicalist line of the CPUSA helps to divide instead of to unite the working class. The Anglo-American working class is made up of the Negro, Mexican, Puerto Rican and other national minorities. To single them out and separate them from the class is a deliberate attempt to aid the USNA imperialists with their “divide and conquer” plans.

The CPUSA admits that it is not a monolithic party based on democratic centralism as a real Marxist-Leninist party should be. Instead it is a party which stands for everything for everybody. An example of this is found in the “New Program” (1970) in the chapter on “Our Relations with Others”.

1. We oppose all attempts to create divisions and antagonism among the people along religious lines. Accordingly, our Party is made up of believers and non-believers. What unites its ranks is a common social-political outlook.
2. Marxists disagree philosophically with the supernatural foundations of religion. Nevertheless we recognize many positive humanist values in ethical and moral precepts and social doctrines of the several religions - Christian, Jewish, Muslim and others. We salute the Increasing attempts of social-minded religious individuals and groups to apply the positive precepts of their faiths to the struggle for a better life on earth.
3. We subscribe to the fundamental tenets of democracy that are deeply imbedded in American tradition (even though more often violated): freedom of conscience (including, of course, the right to atheist convictions as well as religious beliefs), and separation of church and state.
4. We seek common action with religious groups and organizations – clergy and laymen – for common goals.
5. Full freedom of conscience and public worship will be guaranteed in a socialist United States. (“New Program of the Communist Party USA”, New Outlook Publishers, New York, 1970, p.124)

As one can see the dialectical and historical materialism which Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin taught has been thrown out the window into a deep sea of metaphysical idealism. It is obvious that these people are not in a position for understanding the social motion of the world in order to change it from a capitalist world of exploitation and robbery to a socialist world in which this exploitation of man by man is eliminated. This is precisely the reason for which the leaders of the CPUSA today are attacking all the true Marxist-Leninists within the USNA as well as in China and Albania and around the world. This also explains the reason for which the CPUSA continues to try to impose the idea on the USNA working class that the social Imperialists of the Soviet Union are the real leaders of the world communist movement; an idea that could not be further from the truth.

The Soviet social-imperialists are presently pushing the line that they have found a “new” way to build communism. But the Communist Party of China and the Albanian Party of Labor have already exposed this “new communism” as a means by which the Soviet revisionists have taken the Soviet Union off of the path towards communism and back onto the path towards capitalism. We must remember, however, that before and after the October Revolution the Bolshevik Party spent a lot of time preparing the working class of the Soviet Union to fight against the social-chauvinists of the Second International who insisted that the Bolsheviks could not lead the working class into taking state power because the class was not capable, according to them, of such a task. But through practise the Bolsheviks proved the theory of the social-chauvinists wrong. They not only prepared and trained the working class but they succeeded in leading the class to smashing the State and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat. History proved Lenin correct and the social-chauvinists wrong. Let us now look at the words of the present-day revisionists and the shambles which they have made of socialism in the Soviet Union,

The big and complicated task of saturating the market with consumer goods must be carried out with state retail prices remaining stable, and moreover, as the necessary economic preconditions are created, price reductions should follow for some consumer items. Cases where prices are inflated should be firmly combated, control over the fixing of retail prices and service charges should be tightened and those heads of enterprises and economic organs that try to go round the procedure established by the state should be taken to task.(“24th Congress of the CPSU”, No. 7-8 (188-89), Vol. 9, Information Bulletin, Peace and Socialism Publishers, Czechoslovakia, 1971, p.64)

From the above one sees that the planned production which is and should be characteristic of a socialist state does not exist in the present-day Soviet Union. Instead we hear talk of prices, inflation, heads of enterprises jumping the gun, etc. Under a socialist planned economy these phenomena would be non-existent. Further:

Improving the system of foreign economic relations offers considerable opportunities for increasing the effectiveness of the economy. Political factors relating to the consolidation of the socialist community and the strengthening of the economic basis of the peaceful coexistence of states, as well as factors stemming from the requirements of our economy, make it Important to increase the output of export goods in all branches of industry. This will also help enlarge imports of needed commodities. Beyond question, expanding international exchanges will have a beneficial effect on improving the work of all our industry.

The increased role of economic, scientific and technical contacts with other countries will, of course, require certain measures designed to improve the administration of all foreign economic activity and eliminate any short-sighted approach in this Important field. Foreign economic activity must be based increasingly on a combination of production and commercial functions so as to react quickly to the requirements and possibilities of the world market and to use them to the utmost in the interests of our economic development. (Ibid., p.74)

The motivations of these social-imperialists are revealed in the following quotation:

To be sure, socialist society is not indifferent as to how, by what means and under what conditions profit is increased. Enhancing the effectiveness of production, reducing the cost of production and raising the productivity of labour – that is our way of increasing profit. All attempts to obtain profit by getting around the state-set prices or by raising them, by violating the stipulated assortment and standards, are an anti-state practise. We must increase the responsibility of ministries, departments and amalgamations and of the executives of enterprises and price formation organs for the strict observance of the state price discipline and for fulfilling the plan as regards product range. (Ibid., p.182)

And further:

The trade unions are one of the key links in the general system of socialist democracy, in drawing the working people into the administration of the affairs of the state and society. They participate in solving many problems of economic development - from the drawing up of state plans to the management of each enterprise. They play an important role in the production and social work of the personnel of factories, building projects and offices. They help to inculcate a communist attitude to labour and social property, and work to satisfy the cultural and everyday requirements of the people and protect their health.

The safeguarding of the legitimate interests of the working people remains one of the basic tasks of the trade-unions. It is no secret, for example, that we still have enterprises where overtime is systematically practiced, where people are unnecessarily deprived of days off and where, here and there, labour safety is poorly organized. The trade unions can do much to eliminate these abnormal phenomena. (Ibid., p.95)

Finally:

The Party attaches great importance to perfecting Soviet legislation. During the period under review, attention was concentrated on the legislative regulation of questions such as improving the public health services, strengthening family relations, further bettering labour relations and ensuring nature conservation and the rational utilisation of natural wealth. On all these questions the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and the Supreme Soviets of the Union republics have passed the appropriate laws after broad discussions with the participation of millions of citizens.

The successful realization of the tasks facing us presupposes the precise and efficient work of the state apparatus. Hence the increased demands made on the administrative apparatus. The introduction of modern means and methods of administration begun in recent years, creates the condition for a more rational organisation of the administrative apparatus, for cutting its operational costs and reducing its personnel. Steps have already been taken in this direction and they shall be continued.

Most of the employees of the state apparatus are highly-trained, conscientious and considerate people. Their work merits the highest appreciation and respect. But it must admitted that there still are callous officials, bureaucrats and boors. Their conduct evokes the just indignation of Soviet citizens. Relying on public support, the party is and will go on making resolute efforts to achieve more efficiency in the work of the administrative apparatus.

The way we see it efficiency in administration organically combines an attentive, solicitous attitude to the needs and cares of the working people with a prompt consideration of their applications and requests. An atmosphere of good will and of respect for man must reign in every institution. (Ibid., p.95)

As one can see, gone are the triangles of workers in socialist production, gone is the socialist competition among the workers, gone is the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union that was capable of steering the revolutionary ship of scientific socialism from capitalism to communism. Gone also is that unity between the working class and the rural population, that was built up by the Soviet government and the working class in order to eliminate the differences between town and country.

An increase of the number of livestock and poultry personally owned by the rural population must be encouraged (naturally within definite limits) and help rendered in supplying their livestock with fodder and pastures. The principles of establishing a stable procurement plan for the years ahead and of encouraging the farms to sell the main products to the state over and above the plan, which was approved at the G.C. Plenary meeting in March 1965 and has fully justified itself, will remain in full force during the new five-year period. Profitability in agriculture must be further increased in these circumstances by raising output and reducing production costs.(Ibid., p.167)

The Information Bulletin of the 20th Congress of the CPSU further states:

We have done much to bring wholesale prices of manufactured goods up to date, as a result of which they now reflect more accurately the socially necessary expenditure of labour. This has created conditions for a further strengthening of the profit and loss principle. We must continue to improve the system of wholesale prices. As labour productivity rises and production costs decline we shall reduce the wholesale prices of manufactured goods.

The role of credit has grown in the conditions of the reform. Nearly half the circulating assets and an appreciable part of the fixed assets in the national economy are now formed with the aid of credit. The state extends considerable help by way of credits to collective farms, inter-collective farms organisations, consumer co-operatives, and the population. More than 75 percent of the payments for goods and services Involve credits. (Ibid., p.167)

These social-imperialists imps have not missed a point in their efforts to re-establish capitalism in the Soviet Union. And this is the model which the leaders of the CPUSA, the lapdogs of USNA Imperialism, exalt as true socialism! In reality the leaders of the CPUSA seek to confuse the USNA working class thereby helping their capitalist masters to continue the exploitation and robbery of the working class and oppressed people throughout the world. Irrespective of what the revisionists and social-imperialists may say there is only one road open to North American communists, and that is the building of a real Marxist Leninist Communist Party. That party of a new type which is based on scientific socialism, A party which will follow the precepts laid down by the Bolshevik Party lead by Lenin and Stalin which for the first time in history smashed the chains of feudalism and capitalism and established the dictatorship of the proletariat, and which helped organize the world communist movement, i.e., the Communist International. It should be noted that dedicated communists in the USNA have attempted this task in the past. The formation of the Provisional Organizing Committee to Reconstitute a Marxist-Leninist Party (the POC) was an attempt at just such a task. Unfortunately it too went down the road of revisionism and ended up forgetting about the class struggle and, as the old Party before it had done, attacked the real Marxist Leninists such as the Chinese and Albanian Parties, Stalin and all forms of class struggle insisting that it (the class struggle) had to be either revolutionary or counter-revolutionary. Such an approach is, in actuality, a complete denial of the class struggle itself, for Marx said that the class struggle is sometimes open, sometimes hidden, sometimes peaceful and sometimes violent. Certainly when one rejects the dialectical and historical understanding of the class struggle one rejects all possibility of analyzing and understanding social motion and therefore denies the possibility of changing reality from the capitalist exploitation and robbery to the socialist dictatorship of the proletariat and the elimination of exploitation of man by man. Therefore, North American communists must see that they do not become victims of bourgeois politics or of trade-union opportunism which dull the whole process of marching forward to our ultimate goal.

FORWARD TO BUILDING A REAL REVOLUTIONARY MARXIST-LENINIST PARTY WHICH FOLLOWS IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE BOLSHEVIK PARTY AND WHICH WILL LEAD THE PROLETARIAT OF THE USNA IN CARRYING OUT ITS REVOLUTIONARY DESTINY OF ESTABLISHING THE DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT AND THE COMPLETE VICTORY OF SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM.

NOTES

[1] The Hillquits – Morris Hillquit was the reactionary leader of the Socialist Party who opposed Ruthenburg. He described the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviet Union as “the greatest disaster and calamity that has ever occurred to the Socialist movement”. He led the purge of the national minority section of the Socialist Party. p, 9

[2] The Norman Thomases – Norman Thomas was a social-democrat sell-out who spoke with J.P. Morgan on the radio in support of Hoover. He generally advocated a Rightest pacifist position. P. 9

[3] The Musteites – A.J. Muste formed the Conference for Progressive Labor Action in 1929 in opposition to the Communist Party which was composed of left social-democrats. In 1934 it merged with the Trotskyites. Muste later became the principal “pacifist” leader in the USNA. p. 9

[4] Socialist Party – A party of social-democrats. It followed the Second International in opposition to the development of a new International, the Third International. p. 10

[5] The Bittelmans – Alexander Blttelman was a left socialist who, along with Ruthenberg, was one of the founders of the Communist Party. p. 11

[6] The Lovestones – Jay Lovestone was the Executive Secretary of the Communist Party from 1927 to 1929. He was a leader in pushing the line of ”American Exceptionalism” which In essence said that the USNA was outside the laws of Marxist economics. He was later employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. He was expelled from the Party in 1929. P# 11

[7] The Gitlows – Benjamin Gitlow was a government agent in league with Lovestone. p. 11

[8] The Cannons inside of the CPUSA. James Cannon was a leader of the Trotskyites He was expelled from the Party in 1929 p. 11

[9] For further information on this question comrades should read the two speeches by Comrade Stalin mentioned above (published by the Central Committee of the CPUSA) and The Dialectics of the Development of the Communist League (published by the Communist League). p. 11

[10] It must be remembered that this was the period of rising fascism not only in Germany and Italy, but around the world as well. p. 17

[11] After the Party’s dissolution the Communist Political Association was formed: ”a non-partisan association of Americans”. p. 20

[12] The Third International was dissolved In 1943 but the leading Marxists of the world who formally had participated in this body still shared their common views. p. 20

[13]. Billings – Warren K. Billings was arrested along with Tom Mooney for a bomb explosion in the July 22, 1916 Preparedness Day Parade in San Francisco which left nine people dead and injured forty. Due to the “war hysteria” both Billings and Mooney were framed and sentenced to death. The sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment due to the pressure of public opinion. Billings was released from prison in October of 1939 after spending 22 years in prison. p. 25

[14] Tom Mooney – Mooney was arrested and convicted with Warren Billings for the San Francisco bomb explosion of July 1922 (see note #13). After spending 22 years in prison, Mooney was released in January of 1939. However, due to his ruined health, he died soon after in March of 1942. p. 25

[15] The “Scottsboro Boys” – On March 25, 1931 nine Negroes (all of them still in their teens) were arrested in Scottsboro, Alabama for supposedly having raped two Anglo-American girls (one of the girls later publicly testified that the rape had never occurred). The nine youths - C. Norris, C. Weems, H. Patterson, 0. Powell, 0. Montgomery, E. Williams, A. Wright, W. Roberson and Roy Wright – were convicted and sentenced to the electric chair (all except Wright who was only 13 years old). For the next 25 years a struggle was waged to save the nine youths from legal lynching. This struggle did not end until 1950 when the last innocent Scottsboro prisoner was released. p. 25

[16] Sacco and Vanzetti – Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were falsely convicted in 1920 of committing a $15,000 pay-roll robbery in South Braintree, Massachusetts (a guard was killed in the robbery). They were both anarchists and foreign-born working class men (Sacco was a shoemaker and Vanzetti was a fish peddler). After a trial which was marked by vicious red-baiting and white chauvinism, Sacco and Vanzetti were sentenced to death in the electric chair. There was mass outrageous indignation at this frame-up and for the next seven years a struggle for their release was waged by the masses of people not only in the USNA but in cities around the world as well. However, all of this was to no avail, in August of 1927, in the midst of International protest, Sacco and Vanzetti were executed. p. 25

[17] Unity between the “left” forces and the “center” forces. p. 26

[18]Smith Act – This fascist law was passed in Congress on June 22, 1940. It provided vicious sentences for the alleged crime of ”teaching and advocating the overthrow of the United States government by force and violence” and for conspiring to do so. At the time, it gave the USNA state the excuse for requiring the registration and finger printing of all non-citizen foreign people. As a result of this act the Party incorrectly adopted a clause in its Constitution restricting Party membership to USNA citizens (the clause was later removed). p. 28

[19] Taft-Hartley Act – This fascist law was passed in June of 1947. It sought the government control and dominance of the trade unions. It abolished the closed shop, it required unions to give a 60-day notice before declaring strikes, outlawed mass picketing, condemned secondary boycotts, authorized employer interference to prevent the unionization of their plants, re-established the use of Injunctions in labor disputes, denied unions the right to use their funds for political purposes, enabled unions to be sued for “unfair” labor practices, granted decisive powers to the National Labor Relations Board, and compelled union officials to sign affidavits to the effect that they were not communists. p. 28

[20] McCarren Act – This fascist law was passed in Congress on September 23, 1950. This law required the registration of members of any communist organizations. It gave the Department of Justice the right to any non-citizen at will. It also provided that in case of “a declaration of war” or of “invasion” or of “insurrection” the USNA could throw any persons which it deemed “subversive” Into concentration camps without previous trial. p. 28

[21] The Rosenbergs – In 1951, at the beginning of what was to develop into a full-scale “Red-scare”, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were convicted of atomic espionage and sentenced to death (they supposedly passed information of the atomic bomb to the USSR). Without a shred of evidence, the State succeeded in framing the Rosenbergs and in 1953 it murdered them. As poor working class people, the Rosenbergs were a prime target of the State. p. 28

[22] Note that the French Communist Party has also gone the same revisionist path. p. 29 HR>