J.R. Johnson

One-Tenth of the Nation

A Warning Against Stalinist Maneuvers

(18 March 1946)

From Labor Action, Vol. X No. 11, 18 March 1946, p. 3.

Ben Davis, Jr., Negro Councilman and Stalinist faker, has written a fierce article against the crimes in Freeport, Long Island, and Columbia, Tennessee. Ben Davis blames capitalism.

“These conditions,” he says, “have their roots in capitalism which grows fat on suffering, strife, disunity and low wages, all of which evils become most acute during conditions of economic stress and crises.”

And then he ends:

“How our country needs socialism!”

The Stalinist Record

Yes, that is perfectly true. The United States and above all others, the Negroes, need socialism. But who have been the bitterest enemies of the social revolution and socialism but the Communist party, the party of Benjamin Davis, Jr.? In this very article of his, he calls upon the workers to send a stinging protest to “the second Mississippi Compromise, Harry Truman.”

And how did Harry Truman get into the White House? Wasn’t Harry Truman, second in command and chosen heir of Franklin D. Roosevelt? The capitalism which grows fat on suffering didn't begin yesterday. It was there growing fat in 1944 when Ben Davis and his Communist party rooted for Franklin Roosevelt as President of the United States. This capitalism was there, growing fat on disunity and low wages when Roosevelt and Stalin signed the Teheran Pact. During those days Ben Davis, Jr. did not find that our country needed socialism so terribly.

However, the Stalinist Empire finds the United States in the way of its expansion. Hitler is defeated. Competition for world domination is now on the order of the day between Russian imperialism and American imperialism. Behold, Ben Davis rediscovers how our country, how badly our country needs socialism.

The Workers Party and Labor Action from the beginning of their existence to the present day have been, in the vanguard of the struggle for socialism. We believe that the first condition for the overthrow of bourgeois society is a clear recognition by the workers of all trade union bureaucrats, labor fakers and pseudo-socialists as the agents of capitalism in the working class movement. Of these, Ben Davis, Jr. is a notorious example. He and his party practice a calculated manipulation of Negro suffering and Negro militancy in the interests of Stalinist politics. One of their most potent weapons of corruption is the People’s Voice where Doxey Wilkerson, its general manager, organizes the weekly outpouring of Stalinist corruption. Closely associated with him is Adam Clayton Powell, a slick Negro Congressman, who in addition to his maneuvers in Washington, writes a weekly article in People’s Voice. The National Negro Congress, formerly led by Max Yergan, is now under the leadership of Revels Cayton, a notorious Stalinist from the West Coast. These Negroes and quite a few others take advantage of their color to put across the Stalinist line among the Negro people.

It is pernicious at all times but when it takes the form of perverting the struggle for socialism, then above all, it is necessary for revolutionary socialists to call these people to account and to expose them.

Workers Are Learning

The father of revolutionary socialism is Karl Marx. His greatest disciple was Lenin. It is inconceivable that Marx or Lenin would have condoned in any way the brutal robberies of which the Stalinist Empire is guilty in Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Marx and Lenin were the enemies of imperialism in any shape or form. It is possible to support imperialist banditry in Europe and Asia and preach socialism in the United States only by a brazen hypocrisy.

Marx and Lenin spent their lives in educating the working class to the evils and crimes of capitalism. Never were they found boosting a Roosevelt and a Truman on one day and then denouncing them as enemies of the working class on the next. They made mistakes and they changed their policies but such mistakes neither they nor any sincere socialist could possibly make. Such “mistakes” are the result of conscious deception and deliberate political maneuvers in the interests of an imperialist power.

Why is it so necessary, why is it so urgent today that the doctrine of revolutionary socialism be presented to the working class without contamination and without corruption. Why is it so necessary that revolutionary socialists maintain a vigilant exposure of these enemies of socialism?

It is because the workers of this country, whites and Negroes, are deeply conscious of the crimes of capitalism. They cannot formulate in scientific terms the ills to which they are subjected but they fight against them and little by little they learn.

A few days ago a general strike took place in the important city of Houston, Texas. The majority of the original strikers were Negroes. Yet the entire labor movement in Houston rallied to their support. On the eve of the general strike, a meeting was held by the South Side Civic Council to support the strikers. In the courthouse where the meeting was held, Negroes are prohibited. But the white workers insisted fhat this rule be broken and more than a third of the audience were Negroes.

The Dallas Morning News, which recognized the significance of this action wrote an editorial entitled: Houston and Karl Marx. Here is an extract:

“There is a theory that working for a living is a sort of economic war between the boss and the worker. That is Karl Marx theory. To Karl Marx, the employer is the natural enemy of the worker and the worker is the natural enemy of the employer. That theory can have only one outcome – war ... Most of the Houston employees, of course, never gave Karl Marx a thought. But they are testing out the Marx theory, whether they so intended or not. They are learning the hard way.”

The Dallas Morning News is perfectly right. Millions of American workers including Negroes are learning the hard way. They are testing out the Marxist theory whether they consciously intend it or not. What they need is a clear consistent exposition of the doctrines of revolutionary socialism. By this means they will be able to draw to the end their practical experiences and thus in time mobilize themselves to overthrow this rotten society.

But for many years now the Communist Party with its army of white and Negro bureaucrats descends upon just such groups as these splendid Houston fighters and corrupt and mislead them with Stalinist maneuvers represented as Marxism and social revolution.

We of the Workers Party warn the Negro workers in particular not to be caught by these glib facile time-servers. For the working class to fulfill its destiny and lead the nation in the social revolution, it must not only be prepared to struggle and sacrifice. It must be prepared to examine scrupulously the claims of all parties which present themselves for leadership. Any serious examination of the past of the Communist Party and Ben Davis will show that repudiation of them and all that they stand for is one of the first lessons that the revolutionary workers must learn.

Last updated on 6 August 2018