James P. Cannon

Letter froim James P Cannon to Michel Pablo

From Toward A History of the Fourth International

Written: 9 March, 1953
First Published: December 1, 1923 in The Worker
Source: Struggle in the Fourth International, International Committee Documents 1951-1954, Volume 1 of 4, pages 49-50, from the collection “Toward A History of the Fourth International”, Part 3. Education for Socialists bulletin; issued by the National Education Department of the Socialist Workers Party (US).
Transcription\HTML Markup: David Walters
Pubic Domain: This work in the Public Domain. Please cite the James P. Cannon Internet Archive, a sub-Archive of the Marxists Internet Archive for credit.

Copy for Jerry May 22, 1953

Dear Comrades:

Comrade Ben Stone, who has belonged to Local New York for eight years, joined the caucus of the Cochran faction last February when it started open recruitment in New York. He has just broken with them and come over to the majority. Enclosed is his announcement of the action. This will be followed by an article in preparation, analyzing his experiences with the Cochran grouping and its real views and character. In discussion with Comrades Warde and Hansen, Comrade Stone made the following observations:

1. He and others were first drawn into the Cochran combination on the basis of New York Local issues alone, and then maneuvered step by step into opposition on national and world questions.

2. The Cochranite leaders assure their followers that Pablo’s views are the same as theirs. They have not, however, given any specific evidence to substantiate this claim.

3. To back this up, the Cochranite leaders declare that Clarke has been Pablo’s “right hand man”; is today his closest associate and co thinker in the U. S., and is best qualified to know his real views.

4. The Cochranite leaders contend that they are the authentic representatives of the Third World Congress line as presented by Pablo; that Cannon formally accepts, but actually has mental reservations about it; and that when Pablo’s anticipated intervention occurs, it will be on their side.

5. Comrade Stone says that what sustained him in his association with the minority against the majority developed into something much more fundamental. He came to believe that the Trotskyist movement had been bypassed by the historic process; that the Stalinist parties will most likely head the coming revolutionary upsurges of the masses throughout the world, including the United States; that it is political realism to recognize this predominant trend, and adjust to it now.

6. He expressed the opinion that the Cochranite ranks had been largely recruited and remains bound together under the impression that they support Pablo’s real views and Pablo supports them.

We are sure you will be interested in this information.

Fraternally yours,
James P. Cannon
National Secretary
Socialist Workers Party