Lovestone Splitters Call for Unity

(January 1932)

From The Militant, Vol. V No. 5 (Whole No. 101), 30 January 1932, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

The Lovestone faction has once more put forward an appeal for the “unity of the Communist movement”, in a letter addressed to the official party, to itself, and to the Left Opposition. Such an appeal costs the Right wingers nothing. To Lovestone and Co. it is a purely journalistic gesture which obligates them to no retreat from the positions to which they have been advancing for the past two years and more, but with the aid of which they hope to cover up or excuse the course they have followed up to now.

The solemn hypocrisy of the Lovestone appeal is unexcellable. The leaders of the Right wing, who expelled the Left Opposition from the party without the remotest pretense at a democratic discussion, who sought to train their followers in the art of the blackjack and brass knuckles as the sole means of dealing with the “counter-revolutionists”, who violently disrupted our meetings by thuggery, assaulted our comrades physically, and even burglarized our offices, whose sole contribution to date to the discussion between us and them has been to lie and misrepresent now blithely call upon us to join hands with them to “achieve unity in order that all the Communist forces may be united in one powerful Communist party”.

Furthermore, what: sort of horse-play is it with the highly important and serious problem and slogan of Communist unity when the Right wing chiefs invite the Left Opposition to “achieve unity” on the basis which they very “cleverly” calculate will automatically exclude us from a united party? At the meeting to celebrate their unity appeal, Gitlow, speaking in their name, set down the bases upon which Communist unity was to be attained, and included in them one which called for the unconditional defense of the workers fatherland. Without wasting a moment on Gitlow’s deliberate falsification of our standpoint, on what basis then do the Lovestoneites conceive that we are to be invited to join in a “re-united Communist party”, particularly when they have not, to this day, repudiated their action in expelling us from the party which they at one time controlled?

The whole affair smacks of that cheap and pettyfogging kind of maneuver which is so characteristic of Lovestonian high politics, which is neither conceived nor executed with any spirit of responsibility or seriousness. Matters become even clearer when the “appeal” is examined in the light of the recent past and the relationships between the Right wing liquidators and the Communist movement as a whole.

At just what moment was Lovestone struck with the burning need of unity of “all the Communist forces”? Up to the present time, the course that he and his colleagues have pursued, has been one of the unity of all the anti-Communist and reformist forces against the Communist party. It is precisely this course, which has become a stench in the nostrils of every honest reovlutionist in the country and has lost. Lovestone whatever little support he ever had in the Communist ranks, which the recent “appeal” is intended to cover up. But the trick will not work.

Were Lovestone and Co. working to “bring about Communist unity” by proposing and actively working for the liquidation of the National Miners Union, the National Textile Workers Union, and tbe Needle Trade Workers Industrial Union, working for this end in collaboration with all shades of reformism? Was it for “Communist unity” that Gitlow, Zimmerman and Co. went to Paterson as the agents of Muste, and the fakers of the United Textile Workers Union in order to smash the Left wing movement – a job which was facilitated for them, as we pointed out, by the criminal blunders of the Stalinists? Is it for “Communist unity” that Zimmerman, the Right wing spokesman in the reactionary needle trades unions, unites with such notorious labor skates as Levy and reactionary anarchists as Bluestein – to mention but two cases – for the purpose of combating the Communists? In a word, do the Lovestoneites expect the Communist workers to take their “Communist unity” appeals seriously, when they, have demonstrated so incessantly that their conception of it is a united front to liquidate the ideas of Communism and the Communist movement itself? Hardly; the Lovestone appeal is just an elaborate and solemn farce at the expense of the genuine sentiment for revolutionary unity which exists in the ranks or’ the Communist workers.

The whole appeal of the Lovestone group is based upon falsehood and a mis-translation of the actual state of affairs. As for ourselves, we want no part of any movement for “unity” against the Communist party. Towards the Right wing liquidators, the Left Opposition has an unchangeable attitude of intransigent hostility. We have no cause for concealing our aim of liquidating the liquidators – not by the stupid and ineffectual methods pursued by the Stalinist incompetents, but by an intense ideological and political struggle. The interest of workers in the disputes inside the Communist movement exists and should be gratified. Not by Lovestone’s burlesques upon “unity”, but by an open and free discussion of the contentious issues. That is our position towards the Right wing. Such an end is best served by a public debating of the questions that divide us. About a year ago, we presented the Lovestone group a challenge to debate these questions publicly. To this day, the Lovestone faction, which now coos so softly about unity, has not even replied to this challenge. We reiterate the challenge here. Our letter is still in their hands. Let them answer it.

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