J.R. Johnson

Wallace’s Speech a Plea for Imperialist Deal
with Stalinist Russia to Divide the World

(23 September 1946)

From Labor Action, Vol. 10 No. 38, 23 September 1946, p. 6.
Transcribed & marked up by
Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Henry Wallace has put forward his foreign policy. Let us not be distracted by arguments that the President endorsed it. What is important is what this liberal has to say about the conflict which the two imperialist powers are daily preparing.

Russia is determined to dominate Europe. To do so it has destroyed the independence of all Eastern Europe and part of Germany.

Russian policy is as violent and crude an imperialist policy as was the policy of Hitler.

Imperialist Conflicts

Britain and the United States fought to prevent Hitler from dominating Europe. It is obvious that they did not do this to prepare Europe as a gift for Stalin.

Byrnes has told Stalin and the world in plain terms: we shall fight you for control of Germany and Europe.

Each imperialist is shouting his head off, proclaiming that all he is interested in is world peace, democracy for everybody, rights of small nations, etc.

Says Wallace: Let us divide the world with Russia. Russia will take half and we the other half.

Piece of Self-Exposure

It is one of the most shameless pieces of self-exposure we have seen for a long time. Listen to the words of the evangelist himself:

“We should, recognize that we have no more business in the political affairs of Eastern Europe than Russia has in the political affairs of Latin America, Western Europe of the United States ... We have to recognize that the Balkans are closer to Russia than to us—and that Russia cannot permit either England or the United States to dominate the politics of that area.”

Byrnes and Truman have a genuine, intelligent imperialist policy. True, it will bring a war which will be a catastrophe for millions. But that is imperialism.

Wallace proposes to appease Stalin. Where does Eastern Europe end? Stalin says that today it ends in Berlin, Stettin and Trieste. If he gets away with that, if the U.S. lets him have it, he will then gobble up the Dardanelles and Greece, and have Western Europe and the whole Mediterranean at his mercy.

Drive for Expansion

Stalin is not doing this because he is ambitious or has a lust for power, or is an egomaniac. This drive for expansion is characteristic of all imperialism. It is a similar drive which has the U.S. in Europe. Hitler followed the same course until he was beaten. Imperialism has no choice. It is war or extinction.

Wallace’s policy will stop nothing. Byrnes and Truman know that at least. Your liberal, as always in a critical situation, has both his feet planted solidly in mid-air.

Wallace’s Britain-Baiting

Wallace tries to blame the British. But the policy of Byrnes is the policy of American imperialism. The idea that American imperialism is the tool of British imperialism is foolishness for infants. The U.S. fleet drove the Japanese off the seas. U.S. generals commanded the invading armies of Europe. The U.S. dictated United Nations policy.

Without the U.S., Britain would be economically and militarily bankrupt. The U.S. uses Britain and makes her pay through the nose. For a man like Wallace to try to cash in on anti-British sentiment and there by attribute the imperialist intrigues of Byrnes and Truman to the cleverness of Bevin, that is to sink low indeed. No. Wallace has to impress the workers and to save his own hide as a supporter of Byrnes and Truman. He tries to pass it off on British intrigue.

Wallace as “Liberal”

That is bad enough. But from one point of view the greatest crime of Wallace is his open avowal of his own brand of imperialism. This Wallace, you must remember, is the chief among those who tell American workers not to form a Labor Party but to trust to the liberal elements of the Democratic Party.

He is the acknowledged leader of these so-called progressive elements. And he proposes to the workers to build the Century of the Common Man by giving up half the world to totalitarianism and helping American imperialism to keep the other half for itself.

The liberalism of Wallace now claims that the United States should control the politics of Latin America and Western Europe. Russia is served notice to keep out. Poland, Rumania, Bulgaria, Greece and the rest are handed over to Stalinist totalitarianism. This is the policy of this “savior of mankind.”

Wallace versus Byrnes

The press is making a great racket about the differences between Wallace on the one hand and Byrnes on the other. The politicians are bewildering the workers with heated arguments as to whether the President supports Wallace or whether Truman is just dumb and does not know what he wants. We tell the workers: Do not get caught up in these quarrels. Wallace is disputing with Byrnes only as to the best means of carrying out the policies of American imperialism. Both of them must be opposed as agents of American imperialism.

The Workers Party and Labor Action have long known the Wallaces for what they are. The fact that Wallace has had to come out this early and expose himself is evidence of the sharpening international tensions. It is evidence also of the fear the liberals feel that the disgraceful brawl and self-exposure of imperialism in Paris is opening the eyes of the workers as to the real nature of American and of Russian imperialism. Wallace tried to give a new angle. He has failed.

Let us use his failure to steel ourselves against all these liberal tricks. Not a penny for war. No secret diplomacy. Russian troops and American troops must be withdrawn from ail foreign territories. The peoples must decide their own fate. Down with liberalism and its would-be whitewash of imperialism. Peace can come only when in New York, Berlin, Moscow, Paris and London, the people have driven out the imperialists arid are masters of their own fate.

Last updated on 8 July 2019