Written: 9th May 1932.
Source: The Militant, Vol. V No. 24 (Whole No. 120), 11 June 1932, p. 2.
Transcription/HTML Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Trotsky Internet Archive.
Copyleft: Leon Trotsky Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) 2012. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0.
To the Editorial Committee of the Jewish Paper Unser Kamf (Organ of the Communist League of America).
The appearance of your paper was of itself a very important step forward. The first successes of the paper show that it was a necessity. Yes, and could it have been doubted even for a minute?
The Jewish workers in the United States are a large and important part of the whole proletariat of the country. Historical conditions have made the Jewish workers susceptible to the ideas of scientific Communism. The very fact of the dispersement of the Jewish workers in a number of countries should instill in them and does instill in them the ideas of Internationalism. In view of just this alone the Communist Left Opposition has every reason to count upon a big influence among the Jewish proletarians in the United States. What characterizes the Left Opposition primarily is its profound international character. Precisely because of this it must speak in every national language. The existence of an independent Jewish publication serves not in order to separate the Jewish workers, but on the contrary in order to make those ideas which combine all the workers in one international revolutionary family available to them. You, it is understood, reject decisively and intransigently the old Bundist principle of federation of the national organization. We stand entirely on the grounds of democratic centralism. The Jewish workers won over by your paper must struggle in the general ranks of the Communist League and the mass organizations of the American proletariat. In so far as your paper will develop and strengthen, it may also assume significance beyond the boundaries of the United States and Canada: in South America, in Europe and Palestine. In the economic sense and in the sense of civil rights, the Jewish workers are a weak link of the proletariat. The policy of the bureaucratized Comintern reflects itself most disastrously on the most oppressed and disfranchized part of the proletariat: in Poland, in the Baltic regions, in France, evidently also in Palestine. The working class cannot march towards its liberation by command. Revolutionary courage and political will can be strengthened only with the aid of creative ideas which the workers must learn independently through criticism, deliberation and examination by experience. Without this, the very sources of the movement inevitably dry up. And we see in actuality how the largest national sections of the Comintern, in spite of the exceptionally favorable circumstances, suffer defeat after defeat.
The workers are capable of withstanding the harshest political blows if they have the possibility of thinking through the reasons for failure and independently to extract from it all the necessary conclusions for the future. But the curse lies in the fact that the bureaucracy of the Comintern is not only incapable of leading the workers to victory, but cannot even permit them to think through the reasons for defeat. After each new blow of the enemies, the Centrist bureaucracy on its part hits the workers over the skull, prohibiting them from thinking, criticizing and learning. This criminal regime becomes the chief sources of disappointment and apathy. The first victims of the blows from the class enemy as well as from the Centrist bureaucracy fall, as already said, are the weakest links of the working class.
Your paper is the organ of the Communist League. Its immediate task is to gather the Jewish workers in America under the banner of Marx and Lenin. The more successfully this work is carried out the sooner it will rise to an international height, the more the ideas of the Left Opposition will penetrate into the midst of the Jewish workers of the Old World, the U.S.S.R. included.
With my whole heart I greet your paper and I shall try to be useful in your work with everything I can.
Last updated on: 26.6.2013