Source: Daily Worker, February 24, 1931
Transcription/Markup: Paul Saba
Copyleft: Internet Archive(marxists.org) 2018. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons License.
Throughout the world in the colonial countries there has been an Intensification of the revolutionary struggles of the masses of peasants and workers against imperialism. We see this most clearly expressed in China, India and the Philippines. In this situation it is important that the Anti-Imperialist League follow a line of exposing the petty-bourgeois reformist elements who obstruct the revolutionary masses in their struggle against imperialism.
In this respect there is a situation in the Anti-Imperialist League of the United States which requires immediate clarification. Roger Baldwin, who is a member of the National Executive Committee of the Anti-Imperialist League, as well as being on the Executive Committee of the International League Against imperialism, has been carrying out a policy of compromise with British imperialism under a thin disguise of “opposition” to it.
Baldwin has always been a firm friend and supporter of Gandhi and the Indian National Congress. Gandhi at this moment is working out plans with Lord Irwin, British Viceroy of India, to throttle the rising tide of revolution in India. He has just said: “Better British rule than civil strife.” Furthermore, Baldwin actively supports the Lovestoneites and the renegade M. N. Roy, who have united with every counter-revolutionary force in the United States to support Gandhi in his horse trading maneuver of bartering the revolution to British imperialism for whatever concessions MacDonald will grant the Indian bourgeoisie.
A recent resolution published by the All-India Anti-Imperialist League, with the endorsement of the International League Against Imperialism, stated:
“An essential condition for the successful working out of this revolutionary united front program (based on the struggle of the workers and peasants for the complete overthrow of British imperialism in India) is a ruthless fight against all treacherous attempts to confuse the issues and to create counter-revolutionary illusions among the masses, especially those carried on by the Congress, and more particularly by its “left wing” (Jawaharal Nehru, Subash Bose). The latest slogan of Jawaharal Nehru to elect a Constituent Assembly (following the lead given by the Indian ’Communist’ Renegade, M.N. Roy) is fresh proof of such attempts and emphasizes the necessity for exposing and counteracting them without mercy.”
Roger Baldwin is the leading representative among the so-called “liberals” in the United States who carries on “treacherous attempts to confuse the issues and to create counter-revolutionary illusions among the masses.”
Baldwin’s policy is in full accord with that of the Maxton group In the British labor party who were originally affiliated with the International League Against Imperialism. Maxton proved himself to be one of the main props of the MacDonald government, aiding it under cover of a demagogic “protest” in murdering and jailing tens of thousands of Indian workers and peasants. Maxton was expelled from the International League Against Imperialism.
In the struggle against Wall Street domination in the Philippines, Baldwin has repeatedly lined up with the petty-bourgeois misleaders who obstruct the fight against the American imperialist massacres of the revolting peasants in the Philippine Islands. The Baldwin policy of collaboration with such forces aa Gandhi in India permits him to to follow the path of aiding American imperialism in the Yankee colonies by giving aid and support to the counter-revolutionary petty bourgeoisie.
While giving lip-service to the general principles of the last International Conference of the League Against Imperialism in Frankfort, Baldwin has consistently followed the line of defeating these principles in action. He has hindered the development of the Anti-Imperialist League in the United States by attempting to saddle it with Gandhiist and other imperialist-collaborating elements. He has sabotaged the activity of the League In every respect, going no far as to threaten the establishment of a competing organization composed mainly of liberal petty-bourgeoisie and renegades from the Communist Party, such as the Lovestoneites.
The main purpose of the organization proposed by Baldwin, counter to the League Against Imperialism, would be to strengthen the hand of Gandhi, against the Indian workers and peasants; to lend support to the reactionary Quezon, Roxas, Osmena misleaders in the Philippines; to support the Kuomintang executions in China, and mislead the American workers as to the real function of an Anti-Imperialist League.
Baldwin’s policy is not the expression of an individual. It is a class policy representing the phrase-mongering of the petty bourgeoisie and “socialists” throughout the world. It is the policy of the Mosley-Maxton group in Britain, under whose purposely futile ”oppositional” protection MacDonald is preparing a blood-bath for the Indian workers and peasants. Such a stand has no place in the Anti-Imperialist League in the United States. It is a hindrance to the establishment of a real, fighting Anti-Imperialist League.
One of Baldwin’s closest supporters in the Anti-Imperialist League, the late Carl DeBekker, expressed this counter-revolutionary view with regard to the Philippines in a recent visit to the Islands. The Philippine Herald (Nov. 10, 1930) reports DeBekker as saying:
“Like the members of the American liberal group, I believe in Philippine Independence provided that we (!) are given full assurance that you are secure and free after American sovereignty is lifted here.”
This is objective support to the Hoover imperialist policy in the Philippines. It is the logical outgrowth of the Baldwin policy with regard to India, as well as with regard to every colony under the yoke of American imperialism.
No real Anti-Imperialist League can be built, basing itself on the leadership of the workers and peasants in the anti-imperialist struggle, on such elements. The Anti-Imperialist League has made the serious mistake of not clarifying this issue heretofore. The necessity at this time of building the League in the United States in the face of increasing revolutionary ferment In the colonies, demands that supporters of the faker Gandhi, be exposed and branded as enemies of the anti-imperialist struggle.