Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Earl Browder, Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Worker and President of the Communist Political Association

A Foreword to the Article of Jacques Duclos

First Published: The Worker, May 27, 1945.
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.

The Daily Worker is publishing herewith an extended article, just received, dealing with the position of America in its world relations and some theoretical issues of Marxism raised by the policy pursued by the American Communists. The author is one of the main leaders of the Communist Party of France whose policy for its own country is unquestionably sound and most recently registered pronounced success in the French municipal elections. Unquestionably, while this is the personal article of Jacques Duclos, it reflects the general trend of opinion of European Marxists in relation to America, and thus demands our most respectful consideration.

Since the American Communists severed their organizational connection with the Communist International in 1940, and especially since the Communist International was itself dissolved in 1943, there has been no institution through which American Marxists could counsel with the Marxists of all lands on the multitude of questions which are essentially international in character, whether these be theoretical problems or involving an estimate of the world relation of forces. Inevitably, under the new conditions, different judgments were made by the Marxists of different countries on some questions; of this we are now presented with a very sharply-expressed example in the article of Duclos.

We therefore are faced with the necessity of conducting our discussions through the press which, under the tradition of freedom of communication and the press, is our chief available substitute for organized consultation, inadequate as it may be. We can only welcome the initiative of Jacques Duclos in utilizing this channel of international discussion.

It has been clear at all times that the end of the war in Europe would require a fundamental review of all problems by American Marxists. We must estimate our past work, and face the tasks of the future. We must make the most careful inventory, balance our political books, and know clearly how) we stand as we enter a new period of sharpening struggles, crisis, and profound changes. The article of Duclos may conveniently provide a starting point for this fundamental review, which the CPA leadership had independently begun some time ago upon the basis of accumulating threats against the unity of the great coalition.

The framework of this discussion is that it takes place within the Communist Political Association, as an autonomous American organization without affiliation with any other organization, and is conducted through its own established channels and according to its own rules. The CPA will make us own decisions after its own discussions, taking into account all available information and Opinions that seem pertinent.

Our enemies will raise a gleeful clamor to greet the open discussion of difference of opinion between Communists of different lands and between Communists within America. Some will shout that it marks the disintegration of the Communists, others that it is the re-emergence of the Communist International, and all will use the occasion to heap slander upon us and spread as much confusion as possible.

We have learned through years of experience to ignore such enemy attacks, knowing that the conclusion of our discussions is always a more solid unity of the Communists. In this we differ from the bourgeoisie. We recall, for example, the bitter exchange of polemics between the British and American press at the turn of the year, which ended not in a resolution of the deep cleavage thus revealed, but in covering it up again unresolved. Or the example of the deep split in the American bourgeoisie itself over Roosevelt’s line of policy, a split that grows deeper the more it is discussed amongst them. Discussions among Communists, on the contrary, always lead to clarity, to agreement, and to unity of purpose and action.

Within the framework of the CPA organization, and according to its rules, the discussion initiated by the publication of Duclos’ article will be free in the fullest sense. Members of the National Board and National Committee will participate in the discussion as individuals, and not as members of these leading bodies bound to speak for common conclusions already reached before the broadest discussion.

The National Committee will meet to draw conclusions after a period of discussion sufficient to crystallize the basic Marxist understanding of the CPA membership, and at that time undertake to focus this understanding into a clear perspective for the coming period of new storms.

The National Board of the CPA at its next meeting, which was to review some of the recent developments and the tasks which flow from them, will undoubtedly also give its evaluation of the main questions raised by Duclos. Results of the meeting will be published in the Daily Worker immediately upon its conclusion.

All practical work now under way in the labor and progressive movement should continue along established lines. Let no one speculate on the conclusions of the discussion before they have been registered. Now is a testing time for the integrity, understanding and maturity of the CPA and of each member.