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New International, August 1935

 

The Press

From New International, Vol.2 No.5, August 1935, Inside back cover.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.

 

“Our Star-Spangled Reds”

UNDER this title, the Tory New York Herald Tribune observes editorially (July 29, 1935) on the Seventh Congress of the Third International:

“The Third International was for some years the skeleton in Soviet Russia’s diplomatic closet. In theory the fountain head of communist authority and in practice an organ of the government of the Soviet Union, the Comintern passed resolutions periodically, between 1920 and 1928, which made bad faith in foreign relations a moral obligation on the Kremlin. Stalin all but abolished the Comintern in 1928 after the dismal failure of its agents to convert China and other Asiatic nations to communism under Lenin’s ruinously expensive ‘pot-boiling’ program. So, while ardent Reds throughout the world continued to draw moral support from Moscow, the Third Internationa had not in latter years interpose 1 the insuperable obstacle of organized subversion to the Soviet Union’s honest negotiation and execution of treaties. But now Moscow is again entertaining a Comintern congress; so what about it?

“The fact that such a congress sits, together with the news that Mr. William Z. Foster has been telling the assembled delegates how the cause can best be promoted in the United States, is certain to stir old hostile memories and to focus a good deal of American suspicion on this session. The closer that its discussions are studied, however, the less reason does it give even Moscow’s inveterate enemies for worry. In contrast to the old Comintern, which was forever declaring holy hates against the non-communist world and exhorting its agents to an unscrupulous offensive, this body seems to be interested solely in defense. The militant missionary spirit is dead. The whole inspiration of present discussion is a panicky fear of Fascist absolutism. Mr. W.Z. Foster would forestall the growth of the Fascist spirit in America by tendering an olive sprig, meekly and humbly, to the hitherto contemptible socialists and ‘liberals’, to the end that an anti-Fascist labor front may be formed in America for purely defensive purposes. Mr. William Pieck, the German communist spokesman, pleads in a keynote speech to the congress for loyal Red support of the ‘remnants of democratic freedom’. The great Soviet war machine has this jittery gathering’s full authority to go into action abroad (where the Red Army was never to have been used in alliance with the armed minions of a capitalist regime), in defense of any capitalist state that fights Fascism, however opaque it may be to the Red light. “Strange as it may seem, the Soviet Union and its communist congregations throughout the world have really allowed Fascism to get as much on their nerves as these Comintern discussions indicate. There has probably never been a time since the Brest-Litovsk peace, therefore, when the poor tattered remnants of democracy in these United States have had less to fear from Union Square’s conspiracies. The prospects have never been so fair as they are now, indeed, of catching William Z. Foster in the act of leading a choral rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner at a Bowery recruiting station.”

 
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