Table of Contents:
I. 1933 -Year of Decisive Conflict
II. The Washington Hunger March of 1932—Sidney Daly
(With Notes and Program of the Communist League of Struggle)
III. The passage of Trotsky to Anvers—An Open Letter to Vandervelde -- Leon Trotsky
IV. The Spanish Revolution at the Crossroads (Conclusion)—Albert Weisbord.
V. Buried Treasure—James P. Cannon (Served with Pepper)
VI. Red with Laughter
VII. Illegality and the Communist Movement—by Vera Buch
1933 --Year of Decisive Conflict.
All the signs point to the year of 1933 as one of decisive conflicts. Certainly our prognosis of the year 1932 as a year of head-on collisions, (an estimate which we made at a time when the other Communist groups were talking of “America reaching new peaks” and that the crisis would be over by 1933) has been amply verified. In South America, in China, in Spain, in Germany, to mention but a few key places, the contradictions of capitalism led to open head-on collisions.
1933 can witness only a deepening of the conflicts. The unstable equilibrium must lead to a decision-to a crash.
1. Japan must go through with her adventure or collapse. But to go through with the seizure of Manchuria and the partition of China must terminate only in a titanic Asiatic convulsion if not world war.
2. The Spanish Revolution cannot continue indefinitely in its “Kerensky” period. The long drawn out instability that exists must end with either a victory for reaction or a Soviet Republic.
3. In Germany the crash of forces cannot be suspended indefinitely. Either reaction will win and the Communists are crushed not only in Germany but in all central Europe or a civil war leading to world war and revolution must eventuate from the situation. In either case the whole fate of the world revolution and of the Soviet Union is involved.
4. The enormous pressure of the crisis must result in a decision between debtor Europe and creditor America. It must also result in a decision in the struggle between the United States and the British Empire for world power. Finally it must move to a definite solution of the gigantic conflict between Communism and capitalism.
1933 sees America on a historic turning point of her career, the Europeanization of America that will bring the last portion of the capitalist globe into the decadence of a putrid imperialist era whose carcass already has long been fit for interment. The Europeanization of America, the formation of class forces consciously facing each other gives gigantic opportunities to the Communists and paints in glowing colors the future of the Left Opposition in the United States, and makes all the more necessary the growth of the Communist League of Struggle.
The Washington Hunger March of 1932
The New York City contingent of delegates to the Washington Hunger March reported at the Prospect Workers Club, 1157 Southern Boulevard, in the Bronx on Tuesday, November 29th, at 5 P.M. after being ratified at Irving Plaza the previous Sunday. This delegation consisted of 315 delegates elected from Unemployed Councils, Trade Unions, Block Committees, Workers Clubs, Flop Houses, Waterfront Marine Workers, etc. In the delegation there were 50 women, 31 negroes, and 14 Filipinos. After being identified we, after waiting for about four hours (during which time we were served with boloney sandwiches and water), were assigned to our trucks and Squads. I was assigned to Truck C, Squad I. Every truck captain and assistant truck captain were members of the Communist Party. After being assigned we lined up in the street where the Police, plain-clothesmen, reporters and photographers had in the meantime gathered. During the hour or so that we were lined up we were joined by the Upstate New York and New England delegates.
We then proceeded to march to the Bronx Coliseum where we received a wonderful ovation. Very inspiring indeed was the march around the great forces of the masses. I experienced the most wonderful sensation. The whole capitalist theory of individualism appears ridiculous. One feels how small he is. Such was my feelings at the time. After marching around the hall twice the marchers were seated in the rear and such prominent party members as Carl Winter, Sam Wiseman, Ann Burlack, head of the New England delegation addressed the audience. A collection was taken up and a small fortune was donated to the National Hunger March. The Red Front Band which was hired to accompany us to Washington played the Internationale, we sang and the meeting was adjourned.
When we arrived outside, the trucks were waiting for us and we all jumped in being in good spirits and humor. We then proceeded to the Municipal Lodging House where we were supposed to be put up for the night and be given breakfast in the morning before going on our journey. Arriving at the Municipal Lodging House, the trucks were stopped and a committee went inside where they were informed that each marcher would have to line up as an individual, fill out an application giving his life’s history, have his clothes fumigated and take a bath before he would be permitted to go to bed. This meant that it would be about five o’clock in the morning before we could all be registered since it was already about 12:30 A.M. This offer was rejected and the trucks then brought us to the Manhattan Lyceum after last minute arrangements by the committee. So the first night we spent at the Manhattan Lyceum, most of us without blankets. We tried to snatch a couple of hours sleep before dawn, but it was cold and I, after lying on the floor for a few minutes, got up again and did not sleep a wink that night.
In the morning we were quite worn after a sleepless night in a cold hall, but no one complained. We were an army of disciplined workers on a hunger march, not a picnic. Such was the philosophy of the really wonderful proletarian workers. After breakfast which we had in two shifts at the Garden Restaurant on 13th Street, we marched to Union Square where after a slight demonstration and delay we got in our trucks and left New York.
The next day the “New York Daily News” had a picture of beautiful white beds in the Municipal Lodging House. The caption under the picture read --- “These are the clean beds the Hunger Marchers refused to sleep in last night. Too much red tape they said. Preferring to stay at the Manhattan Lyceum instead.” Such was the treatment we received by the capitalist press all through the march. The “World Telegram” reported that we received $2.00 a day for marching: a most vicious deliberate lie. The “New York Times” put Hunger Marchers in quotations denying that there was Hunger. In Russia in 1901 there was a great famine. Thousands were dying; yet the newspapers under the Czar printed not a word of it. No one was permitted to give aid to the starving masses. To do so would be to recognize hunger. There is no hunger. So it was with us according to the Times. The marchers were neither hungry nor were they marchers—they rode in trucks.
After leaving New York via the Holland Tunnel, we held a meeting from the back of our trucks in Newark where we also made a good collection, distributed our propaganda, sold pamphlets and then proceeded through such towns and cities as Elizabeth and New Brunswick where we were cheered on by the workers of their respective cities. Slogans were shouted from the trucks and we arrived in Trenton where we were to spend the night after a supper which was prepared by the Trenton Comrades with the aid of the W.I.R.
The next morning after breakfast and a meeting in Trenton, we continued on our trip. Our next over night stop being the City of Philadelphia. In Philadelphia we left our trucks in Rayburn Plaza and marched to City Hall where a huge demonstration took place after the city council of that city had refused us shelter for the night. After the demonstration we lined up in fours. The Red Front Bank took its place at the head and we marched from City Hall to Girard Manor without a permit tying up traffic in some of the most congested streets of Philedelphia. At Girard Manor we were served with a good warm meal. The delegation in the meantime had greatly increased in numbers since each city we went through we were joined by more delegates. After a meeting at Girard Manor the women comrades went to spend the night at a hall a small distance away. The men were taken by their trucks to the Italian Workers Progressive Club to sleep. We were all quite tired even though the night before in Trenton we had about five or six hours sleep on chairs which we had put together and covered ourselves with blankets which by that time were supplied. In Philadelphia there were no chairs so we spread our blankets on the floor which was very crowded and so we slept.
In the morning, after waiting some time, the trucks brought us back to Girard Manor where we had breakfast followed by a street meeting from the back of the trucks. I was asked to speak and did so. I spoke on the fourth year of the crisis, the misery of the of the masses and the great lockout of the workers separated from all means of relief. After my speech I was congratulated by a few party members who shook my hand and told me I had done very well. They did not know the program I had spoken on was not the program of their party but that of the Left Opposition as presented by the Communist League of Struggle.
So we left Philadelphia, our next destination being Wilmington, Delaware. Let us stop here and consider the situation in Wilmington. Wilmington is a stronghold of the Ku Klux Klan controlled by the great magnate no other than Du Pont who among other things is a great manufacturer of munitions. After giving us a permit to march, the police officials revoked it and told us we would not march in Wilmington. After we left Chester, Pennsylvania where we also marched and had a demonstration in front of their City Hall. We were insructed to save the bottles of soda pop which had been put in each truck for water. We were told that we might expect trouble in Wilmington and that we intended to march through there. The trucks reached Wilmington. The marchers had left their trucks in about three minutes after the order was issued and were already to march. I had a banner in my hands besides the bottle which I had in my back pocket and were all ready for action. The police Commissioner who was there and his armed force were taken by surprise. They had expected a bunch of straggling beggars. Instead they found a great army of disciplined workers. Everything happened so fast the police were really taken unaware. We had emptied our trucks, lined up in fours and started marching before the police really knew what was happening.
But Comrades, the feelings, the prestige of the hired thugs who hide behind a blue coat, brass buttons and a shield was not to be trampled upon in this manner as we shall soon see.
We marched through Wilmington cheering, shouting, jeering the police. We used such slogans as “Negro and White Unite and Fight Against Starvation” and others since the negro population of Wilmington is quite large. We marched down to what appeared to be the lower part of the city. Here in a warehouse, mill or stable (whatever you prefer to call it) the largest part of the contingent was put up. This place was absolutely without windows on the lower floor. There was no ventilation. It was here that we ate standing up. We had something which we ate from containers on long tables and each one had a large piece of bread. The women comrades, a few men and the New England contingent we put up in a Polish Church about two short blocks from the warehouse. This church was rented for $10.00 the night. (The damage to the Church amounts to about $500 or $600). In the meantime, I had finished my meal and we were all locked up in the warehouse. The air was terrible, the cement floor was dirty. The place where we were to spend the night was this same warehouse. I was let out of the warehouse when I told the comrades at the door I wanted to get my blanket from the truck and once out in the open, two other comrades and myself decided to walk around a bit. After walking a few blocks we turned in the direction of the Church and found that the comrades had tried to hold a meeting on the corner but the police had broken it up. So they were holding a meeting from the steps of the Church. A woman comrade was speaking. A cop went up the steps to stop her but the strong hands of other workers pushed him down again. Immediately the police began scattering the workers who were listening. A large number of them mounted the steps after another speaker had started to address the crowd. They came up like real terrorists swinging their clubs right and left upon the heads of the workers. In the meantime the comrades in the rear had backed up into the Church. The doors were closed and barricaded. The police then went around the side. There was a great smashing of windows; tear gas was thrown into the Church. The cops finally broke in but they were met by a bombardment of chairs. The workers put up a great battle. One of the Wilmington papers the next morning reported that the women fought like tigers. The cops came in with drawn guns, searched the comrades and were very abusive to the women and arrested twenty-three but not before four cops were sent to the hospital. Three workers were injured seriously enough to need hospital care also. By this time, I had returned back to the warehouse where the report was spread as to what had happened at the Church. They had heard the police sirens and knew something had happened. As soon as the report was spread around, everyone, even those who had already laid down on the dirty cement floor to sleep, became alert. Every table was broken up. Everyone had sticks. The situation was indeed critical. We were ready to fight, everyone of us. But no orders were issued and so we waited for about an hour after which Carl Winter came in and reported to us what had happened. A committee had come back from the police station after going there to find out what they had done to those arrested. The police refused information and arrested one of the committe for being too out-spoken. So the situation was as follows: We could expect one of three things. First, that the police would back up the trucks and escort us out of town immediately. Second, that they would do the same thing here as in the Church which of course would be much worse since the warehouse was more congested and the air was wasted. And third, we would be permitted to stay until morning. That night was a very tense night for all of us. Very few slept. We expected to be attacked any minute but the night wore on and nothing happened.
The next morning the doors were opened. We were packed into any truck and our moods were different then when we had marched into Wilmington. Very few sang. We were interested only in getting out of Wilmington and continuing our journey. A committee was left behind to take care of those who were arrested and ill. The I.S.D was notified and we were assured that the comrades would be taken care of.
Our next overnight stop was Baltimore where we had no trouble at all. We marched , most of us were put up at the Armory and fed by the Salvation Army. The rest of us were taken to the Finnish Workers Club where we were well taken care of as far as the food was concerned and went to sleep on the floor of the same hall or on our trucks.
We then proceeded the following morning to our alternative, the Capital of the United States, Washington D.C. We arrived within the city limits of Washington but here the police were prepared for us. All the trucks were stopped on New York Avenue by lines and lines of police. We got out of our trucks. It was about three o’clock in the afternoon of Sunday December 4th and as the afternoon wore on it became clear that the police had the upper hand. Trucks from all parts of the country joined us in our encampment; up to midnight trucks came from the West from Minnesota, Seattle, San Diego, etc. This was the first time delegates had come from the extreme parts of the country. The 3,000 delegates were all virtually imprisoned. Police in front of us, police on the embankment openly displaying their machine guns, tear gas, guns and clubs on all sides. This was the situation. We were all bottled up. The owner of the Washington Auditorium had received instructions from the Federal authorities not to rent us his hall and he told the committee if they would withdraw the telegram he would rent it to us. But they certainly would not.
So there we were surrounded by the armed forces of Washington exposed to the cold, no water, no toilets. The government did not have to shoot us. They used nature against us.
In Washington the Party bureacrats suddenly pop up. Herbert Benjamin by aeroplane-Isreal Amter, James Ford, Reynolds, all looking very immaculate, well-fed and perfectly happy. Where had these men been when we slept on the floors; when we faced the police they were not there, but suddenly they come out of nowhere and proclaim themselves leaders. After taking the vanguard and exposing them to all the elements which resulted in the death of two delegates, 15 cases of pneumonia, 20 cases of influenza, sore throats, fevers and colds, these so-called leaders by what right are they the leaders of the masses? Who are they to take the lives of workers in their hands? Have they ever been in struggle themselves?
At any rate, the officials decided to let us march through Washington providing we get out immediatly after. We marched through Washington and the reception we received there was very cold. The Federal Employees of the government would not cheer hunger marchers. Two committees went up to see Speaker Garner and Vice-President Curtis besides the marine workers who presented their demands seperately to the Shipping Board. They were all treated roughly by the police who gave their petitions to Garner who said he would consider it. Curtis grew red in the face when he was “insulted” by one of the delegates.
For the hunger march Washington had the greatest police mobilization in its history. Every fireman was deputized and given a gun and a club. The cops outnumbered the marchers easily.
After the march, we came back to our encampment and I took some addresses of some comrades whom I had spoken to. Many of the workers were actually crying for a program like that of the C.L.S. The conclusion I could get from my conversation with them was “what next?”
We left Washington and arrived in Baltimore that same night. I had left the main hall after eating and escorting a comrade to another building where she had a place to sleep. After leaving her I was way-laid by two Y.C.L. members who started to question me first about a Comrade Meller who had been kicked off his truck as a disruptive element because he was a friend of William Kitt, a member of the same union (Alteration Painters Union) who was a Trotskite. They asked me how many times he had spoken to me, what he had said and then asked me if I had taken addresses. I said I had and what of it. They then said there were spies in camp and compared me with them and asked to see the addresses. After some discussion, I finally showed these corrupted elements of the Y.C.L., the book with the addresses. These addresses were immediately torn out. I was told to shut up or else--. I was threatened and told if I wanted to stay on the truck to keep quiet. The names of these two are Axelrod and Nat Le Roy who was expelled from the Williamsburg Unit about 2 years ago for irresponsibility, refusal to do work and leaving town without permission.
The next day I brought it up in the truck and Pauline Rogers, well-to-do woman with an estate in Connecticut who was captain of my truck said, “Well perhaps they were a bit impolite, but they were over enthusiastic and were not so wrong in taking action in their own hands.” The girl from my union testified that she had been told to watch me very closely on the march and that I had been taking addresses and carrying on the same policy in my union. One of the members of the party made a motion that my certificate making me an organizer of the unemployed be taken away. But Rogers said it had to be taken up with the National Committee. This was not done and the whole thing was left up in the air.
In conclusion, I can only say the Hunger March which merely dramatized the damands of the workers only proves the futility of such marches so far as really doing effective work is concerned. Already the party is speaking of another hunger march. The Communist Party in the fourth year of the crisis has shown that in its present stage it is not capable of leading the masses. We can only hope that the Program of the Left Opposition will reach the workers. Only then can we build up a Revolutionary movement that truly represents communism and the great masses of America.
To the above clear report on the Washington Hunger March we wish to make the following notes:
1. The unspeakable brazenness of the governmental forces. The denial even of “Hunger". The mocking refusal of the slightest concession to social insurance. The brutality against the marchers. The fear of the working class manifested in Washington.
2. The complete collapse of all radical groups on the question of unemployment except the Communist Party. Only the Communist Party makes an attempt at doing anything.
3. The futility of the work of the Communist Party. Everything is done wrong. The first stage of its work was “Are you hungry? then come to the mass meeting at Union Square". The second stage was “The Bill, the Bill, Vote for the Bill, a million signatures for the Communist Bill for Social Insurance". The third stage has been “On to City Hall, County Seat, State House, Washington “—Hunger Marches. In each case the Communist Party substituted showy cheap dramatic gestures for serious work. First, the Communist Party recruted its forces from the slop houses. Then it went to “expose” private charities. Finally it is at the stage of “exposing Tammany Hall and the government". In each case it has forgotten the proletarian neighborhood. Its unemployed councils are miserable fiascos. Like the yellow socialists in each case they avoid direct action.
4. The barrenness of the theory of Social Fascism, and the denial of the tactic of the united front. The hand of Stalinism isolates the Communists. In the conference called for the Hunger March even a workers club which meets at our headquarters was denied participation because of that fact.
5.The Communist bureaucracy in full bloom. No discussions as to policy. No election of leaders. Appointments of everyone by the Communist Party. The marchers are mere mannikins. Railroaded elections of the “new” national "leaders". Such “hunger” marchers as Pauline Rogers lead the way. The chief of the Hunger March reaches the scene-by airplane from New York—just in time.
6.The useless wearing out of the marchers. 10% arrested, 10% sent to the hospitals because of bad managment of the marchers, 2 dead from exposure. This is the casualty list. Note, from the report, not even in New York were the New Yorkers allowed to sleep. The handling of the march was such as to isolate the vanguard from the proletariat and permit the police and press to ridicule it, to isolate it, and to club it to pieces.
7. The vicious attack on the representative of the Communist League of Struggle. “All Trotskyites are stool pigeons". This is the answer of the witness Communist Party misleaders to the program that the Communist League of Struggle presented.
* * *
We give the program of the Communist League of Struggle that was issued to the Hunger Marchers to Washington. The Communist League of Struggle alone raises the slogan “END THE LOCKOUT” and alone raises the tactic of GENERAL STRIKE the call for which is to be issued by a united front conference the basic part of which must be the trade unions.
The leaflet follows:
TO THE HUNGER MARCHERS TO WASHINGTON
Hunger marches have taken place before; Marches to city halls, Marches to County Halls, Marches to state houses, and Marches to Washington. THIS MARCH MUST HAVE AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT CHARACTER IF IT IS TO SUCCEED IN ANY DEGREE. Up to now the marches have been to “dramatize” the demands of the unemployed or to “expose” the government as an enemy of the working class generally and of the unemployed workers in particular.
The present March cannot be merely a “dramatic stunt” for newspaper publicity. Such a march in 1932 can only be a comedy. The present March cannot be merely an “exposure” of the government. To a considerable extent this had been done already. THE PRESENT MARCH CAN BE SUCCESSFUL ONLY IF IT IS A THREAT SUPPORTED BY THE POWER OF THE WORKERS BACK HOME.
Only when the Hunger March shows its teeth and acts as a threat to the government will it truly represent the needs and aspirations of the hungry and needy masses of the toilers in this country. The Hunger March must not end up as a “plea” for help. THE HUNGER MARCH MUST BE A WARNING TO THE GOVERNMENT THAT IF THERE IS NO SOCIAL INSURANCE, IF THERE IS NO ADEQUATE RELIEF BY A GIVEN TIME THE WORKERS WILL BE DRIVEN TO HELP THEMSELVES TO WHATEVER THEY NEED TO LIVE.
Behind the marchers a power must be organized that will make Congress listen. The Hunger March must be a clarion call for all the workers to support the march by demonstations in the workers quarters—all the cities of the United States. With fists upraised, every Hunger Marcher must take an open public pledge in Washington that he will return to his home city to mobilize all the workers of his neighborhood in huge demonstrations that will see to it that the workers get the means to live.
The Hunger March demands must be two:
1.A demand on the United States Government for immediate relief and for social insurance. A GIVEN DATE SHOULD BE SET FOR CONGRESSIONAL ACTION.
2.A demand for the nationalization of the key industries, for the opening of the factories under workers control so that the necessary products can be turned over to the unemployed and starving masses.
We strongly urge the following tactics:
1. A great demonstration in Washington threatening drastic action by the masses should the demands be turned down. The actions threatened should be of two kinds:
A. National simultaneous street demonstations in all the cities throughout the country on the date given by the Hunger March for Congress to act for food, clothing, shelter.2. At the Washington demonstration an open call must be issued for the organization of huge united front conferences in every city of all workers organizations to carry out these tasks. A special open call should be made to the trade unions of the American Federation of Labor to join these united front conferences.
B. A call for a NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO TAKE PLACE ON THE DATE SET FOR CONGRESS TO ACT, TO PUT PRESSURE ON CONGRESS AND TO SUPPORT THE HUNGER MARCH should be issued by the Hunger Marchers in Washington.
Communist League of Struggle
(Adhering to the International Left (Trotsky) Opposition)
212 East 9th Street
The Passage of Trotsky to Anvers—Open Letter to Vandervelde
Several years ago you addressed to me an open letter concerning, if I am not mistaken, the repression against the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries. Generally and invariably you have lined yourself up against the Bolsheviks, in the name of democracy. It is your right. If your criticism did not achieve the aim followed, it is because we, Bolsheviks, proceed from the principles of the proletarian dictatorship.
The Russian Socialist-Revolutionaries, your co-religionists in democracy, opened against us, at the time, a terrorist struggle. They wounded Lenin and tried to cause the derailment of my military train. Brought before the Soviet Tribunal they found in you one of their most enraged defenders. The government to which I belonged authorized you, not only to come to Soviet Russia but to set yourself up before the Tribunal as the lawyer of those who had tried to kill the head of the first workers State. In your pleading which we reproduced in our press, you appealed invariably to the principles of democracy. It was your right.
On December 4, 1932, I found myself with my companions, enroute to the port of Anvers. I was proposing neither to propagate the dictatorship of the propletariat nor to set myself up as defender of the Communists and of the strikers arrested by the Belgian government, who as much as I know, had not committed any attempt against the members of the government of Brussels. Some of my companions, and my wife with them, wished to visit Anvers. One of them needed, for his trip, to see the consulate of the city. They categorically to all to touch the soil of Belgium even under guard. The part of the port where our boat was, was carefully encircled. On one side and on the other of the boat were horse sentries of the police. From the bridge, we could pass in review the policement of the democracy, military as well as civil. It was an imposing spectacle. The number of cops and dicks—you will permit this familiar designation for conciseness—exceeded the number of sailors and dockmen. The boat resembled a provisional prison. The part nearest the port to the court of the prison. The chief of police took copies of our papers although we were not going to Belgium and we had not been authorized to put up at Anvers. He demanded an explanation why my passport is in the name of Sedoff. I refused all discussion with the Belgian police with whom I have nothing to do.
The police officer tried to act threateningly. He declared he had the right to arrest all those whom the chance of a boat journey led into the Belgian waters. I must, besides, recognize that there was no arrest.
I ask you not to find in my words any complaint. It would be ridiculous to complain for such a bagatelle in the face of all that the working masses and in particular the Communists are forced actually to submit throughout the world. But the episode at Anvers seems to me a sufficient excuse to return to your open letter to which I had not responded at the time.
I hope I am not mistaken in putting Belgium in the number of democracies. The war that you led was—is it not so?—the war for democracy. After the war you were at the head of Belgium as minister and even as premier. What is more necessary to lead democracy to its full effloresense? Upon that, I believe, there is no discussion between us. Why then, nevertheless, can this democracy have so much of the police spirit of old Prussia? And can one believe that the democracy which experiences such a nervous shock at the occasional approach of a Bolshevik show itself capable to neutralize the class struggle and to assure the peaceful transformation of capitalism to socialism?
In reply you will recall to me no doubt the Tcheka, the G.P.U., the deportation of Rakovsky and my own expulsion from the Soviet Union. This argument is false. The Soviet regime does not adorn itself with the peacock feathers of democracy. If the passage to socialism was possible in the state forms created by liberalism the revolutionary dictatorship would not be necessary. For the Soviet regime one can and one should pose the question to know whether he is capable of teaching the workers the struggle against capitalism. But it is absurd to demand that the proletarian dictatorship observe the forms and the rites of liberal democracy. The dictatorship has its quite severe methods and its logic. The blows of this logic often enough reach the proletarian revolutionists who participated in the foundation of the regime of dictatorship. Yes, in the development of an isolated workers state, betrayed by the international Social-Democracy, the bureaucratic apparatus has acquired a power dangerous for the Socialist revolution. No one need remind this to me. But in face of the class enemy I take full responsibility not only for the revolution of October which engendered the dictatorship but also for the Soviet Republic, such as it is today, with its government which has exiled me abroad and deprived me of my rights of Soviet citizenship.
We have destroyed democracy in order to master capitalism. You defend capitalism so-called in the name of democracy. But where does this democracy hang out?
Not in the port of Anvers in any case. There were cops and dicks and gendarmes armed with rifles. But one could not find the shadow of the right of democratic asylum.
In spite of all I left the waters of Anvers without the least pessimism. During the noon-day pause, there gathered on the bridge some dockmen who had come out of the holds and to the port. There were 20 or 30 of these strong and calm Flemish proletatians, blackened, for the most part, with coal dust. A cordon of police separated them from us. The dockers contemplated in silence the picture in gauging with their looks each one present. There is one solid docker in a cap who winks in the direction of the police. Our bridge responds by smiles. A movement stirs the workers. They have recognized their own, as the Russians say. I am far from saying that the dockers of Anvers are Bolsheviks. But by a direct instinct they are placed to us. In returning to work they smiled in a friendly fashion and many of them put their fingers to their caps as a sign of salute. There is our democracy, to us.
When the boat descended the Escaut, in the hazy twilight, the length of the quais, with their cranes paralyzed by the crisis, resounded from the port with the farewell cries of our unknown but faithful friends.
In closing these lines between Anvers and Vlissingen I send to the workers of Belgium a fraternal greeting.
December 5, 1932. L. Trotsky
The Spanish Revolution at the Crossroads—Albert Weisbord
As in the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Revolution has witnessed a great flowering out of all parties and groups. Large finance capital and secret adherents of the Royalty are represented by the newspaper “A.B.C.”, while the large agrarians have their reactionary paper “Debate” and their group headed by Zamora. These groups occupy the extreme Right Wing. Next to them are the out-and-out bourgeois parties. The Radicals have the old fox Lerroux as their spokesman who was the “Legal Left” under the king but who is now far to the Right. In Catalonia, La Liga Regionalista occupies the Right Bourgeois position. This league has a non-separatist position and have Cambo, who was Minister of Law under Alphonso, as their leader. Since the Revolution, the group “Accio Catalana” bourgeois, but advocate of Catalonian Separatism has been organized. Its organ is the paper “La Publicitat".
To the left of the bourgeois groups are the petty-bourgeois groups now flourishing since Alphonso’s exile. There is the “Partido Radical-Socialista” whose chief is Domingo and in Catalonia the group of Macia which takes a separatist position and whose organ is “L’ Opinio". Today it is the Radicals and Radical-Socialists supported by the Socialists who dominate the government.
We turn now to the Labor movement.There are two trade union centers in Spain: 1. The Union General de Trabajo (U.G.T.) and the Confederacion National de Trabajo (C.N.T.). The Union General de Trabajo (U.G.T.) has already a half century of history behind it, having been organized in 1888 and having been the only organization of labor tolerated and permitted by Alphonso and actually participating in the government under the King. It is controlled by the reformist Socialist Party and today has about 250,000 to 300,000 members. Large Caballero, up to recently its head, is also now the Minister of Labor of the Spanish Republic. It is particularly strong in Madrid, in Biscay (in the metal and mining industry) and in the Asturias (coal mining) although it is extremely weak in Catalonia, which after all, is the labor and revolutionary center of the country. Besides its labor members of the U.G.T. has a considerable peasant affiliation.
The second labor center is the C.N.T. This organization, controlled by Anarcho-Syndicalists and overwhelmingly strong in Catalonia (Barcelona especially) whose metal, textile and general proletariat comprise the vanguard of Spanish labor, is an extremely important revolutionary instrument. It was organized in 1911 and during the revolutionary wave of 1919 under the secretaryship of Andres Nin (now Trotskyist) the C.N.T. reached the enormous membership of almost 1,000,000 members. It was due to this threat of the proletariat that Alphonso XIII established the military dictatorship of Primo de Rivera under whose ruthless blows in 1923 the unions were smashed. The dictatorship of Primo de Rivera saw the virtual annihilation of the C.N.T.
With the new revolutionary wave that arose in 1929-1930 and that resulted in Rivera’s downfall the C.N.T. rapidly reorganized itself and soon regained its strength of a million members. As we have seen it has launched time and again extremely powerful and violent general strikes throughout the country, many of them, due to the Anarcho-Syndicalists leadership, of an adventurous and wearying character. As a result of this false line, of late the C.N.T. has lost its membership steadily so that in 1932 toward the end of the year it had not much more than 400,000 workers.
The C.N.T. is controlled by a so-called Federation of Iberian Anarchists (F.I.A.). The false adventurist utopian direction which the F.I.A. has given to the unions has resulted in a split, another “Group of 30” headed by Pestanya arising. If the Anarchists think of political action and want to smash the state by a conspiracy supported by the unions, the Pestanya group stands against revolution and wants the syndicates to be pure and simple economic organizations fighting for everyday reforms only. This group declares it stands for a “practicable view” of the role of the trade unions in Spain. Between these two groups then there goes on a struggle which bids fair to convulse the whole C.N.T.
However, the C.N.T. is still the most powerful revolutionary organization in Spain. It issues two daily papers: “Solidaridad Obrera” put out in Barcelona and “C.N.T.” published in Madrid. In its structure the C.N.T. stands as a sort of cross between French Syndicalism and the I.W.W. Gradually it is outgrowing its earlier Anarchist theory in the course of the Revolution. Its local unions are now industrial and not close to the local trade union centers. In 1919 these local centers had a great deal of autonomy but the Trade Union Congress in 1931 in Madrid definitely declared for the formation of National Centralized Industrial unions and a centralized national general center. Thus more and more a Communist ideology is taking hold in the C.N.T., an ideology stimulated by the work of the Spanish Left Opposition and supported by the fact that the mass of members are not skilled craftsmen but the bulk of miserably exploited unskilled proletarians.
To this report we must add that in June 1932 a new trade union center was organized by the Communist Party of Spain. This is a direct result of the sterile disloyal policy of Stalin. The history of this new trade union center which now has the name of the Trade Union Unity Committee, is briefly as follows: It must be recalled that during the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera the C.N.T. had practically disappeared. Under Berenguer it already began rapidly to revive. At that time the C.P. had organized a “Committee of Reconstruction” to reconstruct the C.N.T. and used the trade unions of Seville as a base. But already the C.N.T. had been thoroughly reorganized so that the Seville actions were really acts of schism, splitting the C.N.T. and drawing the fire of the workers on that account. Originally it was a method of the Party to penetrate into the C.N.T.
However, in 1931 the “new turn” of the Comintern hit Spain and the Communist Party transformed the Committee of Reconstruction to a “Unity Committee". The Communist Party claimed it had 700,000 workers behind it. Really it had but 80,000. To the conference in 1932 only small unions in the provinces and the trade unions of Seville responded. The tobacco and commercial workers of Madrid came as observers only and withdrew. When we consider that after the Revolution at times 85% of the Spanish proletariat were organized in the C.N.T. and U.G.T. we can appreciate better the correctness of the Stalinists line of breaking up the old unions. The weekly paper of the “Trade Union Unity Committee” called “Unidad Syndicale” has become the symbol of the new splitting policy of the C.I.
We turn now from the trade union organizations of the working class to their political organizations. First, the Socialist Party. The S.P. has between 15,000 to 20,000 members at an estimate. It is strong in places where its unions are strong and besides in Andalusia and Castille where it has peasant connections. In Catalonia the separate Socialist Party which had existed there and which had its own paper “Justitia Sociale” has now fused with the Spanish Socialist Party. As we have seen the Socialist Party supports the bourgeois regime, refuses to take power, but is part of a ministerial coalition in which it has received the ministries of Labor, Public Instruction and Public Works.
Between the Socialists and the Communists and nearer to the Socialists stands the Maurin Group, all of whose original membership came from the Communist Party but split in 1930 when about 500-600 followed Maurin. This group is strong only in Catalonia and there more in the province than in the city of Barcelona proper.
After the split Maurin formed an Iberian Communist Federation with about 1,000 membership and a weekly paper “La Batalla". In 1930 it was able to get the “Communist Party of Catalonia” a separate and rationalist Communist Party to fuse with it and thus strengthened itself. In 1931 the Iberian Communist Federation organized a so-called “Workers-Peasants Bloc” a loose organization which now has close to 5,000 members (1,000 in Barcelona). The Maurin group is a typical nationalist centrist body losing more and more of its character as a Communist organization.
Before the Revolution, the Communist Party had about 2,000 members which were not well organized. Now it has about 5,000 until very recently headed by Bullejos and Trilla. As we have reported in the last issue of Class Struggle (see Volume II no. 10-11) suddenly the whole Political Committee of the Spanish Communist Party has been expelled including Bullejos and Trilla, as “traitors".—TRAITORS no less! The Communist Party puts out two weekly papers: “Frente Rojo” issued in Madrid with about 2,000 circulation and “Las Masas” published in Barcelona and having 5000-6000 circulation. The Communist Party also publishes irregularly a theoretical organ “Bolshevismo". This is put out mainly as a counter to the theoretical organ of the Spanish Left Opposition “Comunismo".
As for the Left Opposition in Spain we can do no better than quote from our article in Vol II no. 9 of the Class Struggle entitled: “A Report on the European Sections of the International Left Opposition".
“The first conference of the Spanish Left Opposition was held in Luxemburg in 1929 with La Croix and five other members present. In 1930 another conference was held this time in Madrid with about the same number of people (Nin, La Croix, Andrade, Ferson) but it was only in the earlier part of 1931 that the Left Opposition really began to grow. The recent conference held in April 1932 with 25 delegates represented over 1100 members. Within a year it has put out a paper “El Soviet” now struggling to become a weekly, with 5,000 circulation. It has issued a theoretical organ, “Comunismo” with 1500 circulation and over 15 popular pamphlets have been printed with a large sale. A youth paper “Young Spartacus” has recently appeared which it it claimed sells 2,000 copies. In quality the Left Opposition is stronger than the Party (though not numerically, the Party having about 5,000 members) and in many places the Left Opposition has groups where the Party has not (as in Salamanca).The last conference found the Left Opposition best developed in Biscay, Asturias, Castille, Andalusia, (Seville, Cadiz) Barcelona and Madrid. (However, the group in Barcelona is numerically relatively small, considering the importance of the place).
“The last conference of the Left Opposition accomplished a good deal and worked out elaborate theses on the situation in Spain, the position of the Left Opposition on the national and agrarian questions, their relation to the Party and to the syndicalists and on the trade union question. Within the Left Opposition differences are arising as to the correctness of the Spanish comrades but two things stand out clearly: 1. The great growth of the Spanish Left Opposition due to its bold independent working class activity. 2. The recogition it has received as the most dangerous revolutionary force in Spain. In Catalonia only the Left Opposition is illegal (the Communist Party is legal there) and the Chief of Police in a special brochure has declared that Spain must account it as a stroke of good fortune that the Communist Party has ejected the Left Opposition and that the leaders of the Left Opposition are not the head of the Party. (see Maurice Karl: Communism in Spain pg.91)".
What are the perspectives of the Revolution? It is very clear that after the Sanjurjo defeat the Revolution has taken a new turn to the Left. It is also very clear that the Revolution is at a crossroads, that the unstable equilibrium which now exists cannot long endure. Either the triumph of reaction or the dictatorship of the proletariat.
But for the dictatorship of the proletariat there is needed a complete transformation of the subjective element, the proletariat. In no country in the world has the opportunist adventurist criminal blunders of the anarcho-syndicalists become so decisive as in Spain. The Syndicalists know how to use the general strike to defend the republic, that is the republican bourgeoisie, but they do not know how to use it to break the bourgeois republic and to seize power! By their ignorant blunders they know only how to play into the hands of the reformist Socialists, to weary out the masses and to prepare the way for Fascism.
The legalist and bourgeois character of the Spanish Socialist Party has become patent to all. Indeed Prieto its leader has declared the Socialist Party does not want power in Spain as Spain is in no condition to have Socialism. To help the bourgeoisie, to pave the road even for the return of Alphonso, to defeat at all costs the victory of the working class, this is the despicable role of the Socialists.
As usual the crimes of the Socialist Party are matched by the blunders of the Communist Party. The bureaucratic splits, the theory of democratic dictatorship, the general bankruptcy and vulgarity of the Communist Party has isolated it and rendered it impotent.
Only the Left Opposition can lead the working class out of the impasse. The works of L.D. Trotsky stand as a beacon light showing the way. The Spanish Left Opposition has a glorious opportunity. Let us boldly use it and it may be that the Left Opposition will yet lead the Second Soviet State on to victory.
Red with Laughter.
The antics of the leaders of the Communist Party are not only tragic but they are funny. How can a tradegy be funny to us? Because the methods of the Party are so outmoded that they are ridiculous. Tactics become antics. It is with laughter that mankind drops the far-outworn.
Take the Hunger March. Is it not funny to see a wealthy woman a leader of the “Hunger Marchers"? Not that we do not want all to participate in the struggle against hunger. But at least the hungry ought to decide who is to lead them. And it is certain there would be many more capable persons found.
And this airplane business. Benjamin was so far in the rear that he needed an airplane to catch up with the march. Airplanes from New York to Washington! There is Americansky business for you. The speed ought to warm the heart of the Big Boss in Moscow. “Socialism by the Second Five Year Plan” is matched by “The Hunger March by Airplane.”
Was it not funny to see how the future “leaders” of the Hunger March were elected. A Party leader gets up. “We want to introduce to you blah blah blah blah. All those in favor. Unanimously elected.” And so Amter, Reynolds et al become the Hunger Leaders in permanence, that is until Stalin later finds them out to be “traitors” and expells them. (see the Spanish situation)
The Hunger March was not so much a threat to Washington, as it was a threat to the militant vanguard that went on the march. The party generals carefully isolated the vanguard from the masses, saw to it that they were starved, crushed, frozen, clubbed and punished plenty. This is good for the vanguard you see. “It hardens them". But what would we say to a general that carefully picked out the best in his army and without boots sent them into the frozen icy mountain tops to stand exposed where they could be shot down by unseen enemies who surrounded them on all sides? The least that could be done is to be sure that no more airplanes were provided for such leaders. The vanguard must be not only a pretty hardened lot but pretty backward if it can stand such leadership for long. As a matter of fact the conscious American workers know this leadership very well. That is why many are not in the Communist Party.
The leader of the American Communist Party should be Charley Chaplin!
The Hunger March has been even made into an institution! We just received word that “Truck D” is going to have a party and all the “Hunger Marchers” of “Truck D” should bring their friends for a good time. Is it any wonder that the capitalist press put “Hunger Marchers” in quotation marks?
We suggest the following song for “Truck D".
“We are the boys of old Truck D you hear so much about.
"The people stop to stare at us whenever we go out
"We’re noted for our parties and our little jamborees
"Our airplanes and our pullmans and our little comfy sprees
"While we go marching—And the paid band begins to play
"You can hear us shouting ‘Hunger March Hunger March Ray Ray Ray’”
We suppose at this point an old timer will get up and say:
"Boys, you remember the Hunger March of 1932? Them was the good old days. Nothing like it now, by heck! In those days men was men.”
We bet we know who originated this Hunger March idea. We give the credit to William Z . Foster. It was during the Passaic Strike when Foster together with Wm. F. Dunne (now known anti-bureaucratically as “Bill") brought in a motion “Since the Passaic Strike is lost, let us take all the strikers and charter a boat that will take them from New Jersey to New England and march them through all the textile towns as a demonstration.” Fortunately due to our bitter opposition this treacherous motion was defeated. But the logic at the bottom of these “dramatic” or rather comic gestures is: Since the workers are defeated, lets have a “demonstration".
But the workers are not defeated, gentlemen. Not yet. In spite of the fact that like the yellow Socialists you have failed to do any work in the proletarian neighborhood, to lead those movements that will culminate in the poor workers helping themselves to what they need. The Fosters and the Dunnes leave it to Bill Green to talk about direct action.
One final comic strip. After we put out our program for the unemployed, Cannon begins to attack us. He is afraid workers will begin to take our claim seriously that we are Trotskyites. He must stall this off at all costs. Therefore Cannon, after a sort of truce, begins again his policy of lying about us. He tells the deliberate lie that we wanted the Hunger March to declare a general strike. No, dear popgun. The general strike is to be called by a united front conference, the backbone of which are the trade unions. The Hunger March is to raise the slogan. Why do you lie? The leaflet was very clear. And you know our point of view very well. We shall not let you stay inside the Left Opposition, if you keep on lying like that.
* * *
To change the subject. Cannon is lecturing at Lovestone’s Forum. Lovestone is advertising Cannon’s meeting. We wonder why? Lovestone is a slick guy. He knows his onions. There is no class struggle between those two babies. We wonder if Lovestone will get the cash and give the credit to Cannon? In that case Lovestone wins double!
* * *
Lovestone says Trotsky is a counter-revolutionist but he says that Cannon’s group is a Communist one. That can mean only one of two things: Either Communism is counter-revolution to Lovestone, or Cannon does not represent Trotsky. Perhaps Lovestone means both!
* * *
Last issue we reported on our fine meeting at Perth Amboy. The Party, to counteract this meeting brought out Max Bedacht to open fire against the “Trotskyites". What was the net result? The next time we have a meeting we had twice as many people present as before, about 90 people, all the party members and all the sympathizers came around. We hope Bedacht will keep up the good work as Trotsky-killer.
* * *
At one of our forums we challenged Cannon to debate us on the Negro question. The Cannon leadership will not debate us because we are too small. But our forum attendance is now twice that of the Cannon group. What about it?
Buried Treasure—James P. Cannon (Served with Pepper)
How many times have we been called “Slanderers” by Cannon and Shachtman because we wrote in our general theses March 1931 “The whole history of the Cannon group leadership makes it entirely unfit to carry out the principles of the International Left Opposition in this country…….(6) Cannon was the first to make an alliance with Pepper (1923); (f) he was the first to unite with Lovestone against Trotsky (1925). (As a member of the Polcom he was in a position to know the true facts at the time)…". Now we print without any comment the minutes of the ECCI Plenum of April 1925.
“April 6th evening. The resolution on the discussion in the Russian Communist Party was voted upon and unanimously adopted.
’The Enlarged Plenum asserts that Comrade Trotsky’s conduct, which served as the cause of the outbreak of a fresh discussion in the ranks of the R.C.P. signified an attempt to revise Leninism and to disrupt the leadership in the R.C.P.
’The Enlarged Plenum asserts that this action was supported by all the forces hostile to Bolshevism. Inside the Comintern, it was supported by all the right wings in the Communist Parties by those elements whose tactics have been frequently denounced at International Congresses, as being semi-Social-democratic. Outside the Comintern, the action was supported by a number of persons who have been expelled from the Communist ranks (Levi, Rosmer, Monatte, Balabanova, Hoeglund and others).
’Finally the social democratic and bourgeois press did their utmost to take advantage of Trotsky’s conduct.
’Consequently, objectively, this action was not only an attempt to disrupt the ranks of the R.C.P. but caused the greatest injury to the whole of the Comintern.
’The Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I. declares that it wholly associates itself with the resolution of the Plenum of the Central Committee of the R.C.P. in both the part giving an estimation of the principles of Trotskyism and the part indicating the measures to be taken.
’The Enlarged Plenum of the E.C.C.I. is of the opinion that the R.C.P. must continue in the future to put up a similar resistance against all attacks upon the Leninist theory and practice. The Plenum welcomes the educational campaign of an equally high level against anti-Leninist deviations should be conducted by the Communist Parties of other countries.
’The Plenum is of the opinion that only by maintaining complete unity of leadership can the Russian C.P. fulfil its great historical mission to the end. Every attempt to shake this unity must cause extreme injury to the whole of the C.I. and will therefore meet with the most stern and determined condemnation on its part.
Illegality and the Communist Movement—Vera Buch
Broadly speaking, the Communist movement, before the Revolution is always illegal, in the sense that it is a conspiracy of an oppressed, propertyless class to overthrow the class which is still in possession of the means of production as well as of political power. Our use of the word “conspiracy” must by no means be interpreted to mean “adventure” or “putsch". We fully understand the necessity for an objective basis for the success of the proletarian revolution as well the guiding role of the steeled Communist Party, possessed of revolutionary science. Our meaning will be plainest if we compare the workers situation now with that of the bourgeoisie when they seized power. They had already come into possession of the means of production and had become economically the master class, wealthy and influential, while the political framework of feudal society still endured. Their revolution had to overthrow this political hindrance and as a final step to abolishing feudal ruling classes and seating themselves firmly in the saddle. Now on the contrary, the political blow which overthrows the capitalist state power and sets up a proletarian one, initiates the seizure of the means of production on the basis of which the socialist society can be built. We see the Communist parties with all the wealth and influence of capitalist rule against them carrying on as it were in darkness, mole-like preparatory work building up their ideological base.
The legality which the Communist movement is granted in democratic countries is at best but partial. Any but the most naive people are aware that in the U.S. where democracy has flowered as freely as anywhere the constitution itself embodies various checks upon democracy which are likewise safeguards for the propertied class, as for example, the existence of two legislative bodies, the Senate, the supposedly more conservative, serving as a check upon the House; such as the President’s veto and the Supreme court an arch conservative appointed body which sits upon decisions of State courts; such as the gap between the election of a new President and his inauguration during which time, if the ruling class sees democracy threatening its power by the election of the wrong President (and this does not mean the replacement of the Repubican Party by the Democratic Party) it can gather its forces for the coup d’ etat.
Our constitution guarantees us free speech. Yet we see an American Civil Liberties Union handling hundreds of cases annually of suppression of civil liberties, denial of free speech and assemblage, etc. The workers movement, even the trade union movement, is so familiar with attacks upon its liberty by means of injunctions, frame-ups, etc. that it is hardly necessary to speak of them. As far as political bodies go, the government will suppress the Communist Party whenever it seems to constitute a threat to its power and the more acute the situation, the sharper the suppression. So in colonial countries like China and India the Communist Party is generally illegal, in Canada and in the French dominated countries which form a cordon sanitaire around the U.S.S.R. in Europe (Poland, Roumania etc). While the Communist Party as a whole is legal in the U.S. today many states have “criminal anarchy” and “criminal syndicalism” laws which can readily be evoked against C.P. members. The Fish Committee Anti-alien Bills to be proposed to Congress constitute a smashing club against the foreign-born radical.
“In the midst of life we are in death” those dismal words of the church, may well be paraphrased for the Communist: “In the midst of legality we are in illegality". Suppression of papers (Young Worker, denial of second class mailing privileges to the Class Struggle etc) raiding of district offices of the Party or the I.L.D. (Chicago, Birmingham etc). Arrests of leaders have been comparatively frequent occurrences. In the period of the Palmer Raids of 1919-1920 the C.P.U.S.A. experienced an illegality of a rather artificial character. Surely the newly formed ultra-leftest C.P. of those days (even though it claimed some 50,000 members) did not constitute a menace to the U.S. government. The Red scare of that time was due to a war hysteria combined to a reflex action of the Russian Revolution which stirred up the government as well as the working class here. The party, then not rooted among the masses quickly fell to 10,000 members or less.
When will illegality come again? This is really a test question. Will those Communists who feel so secure in the present legal period, with its many party-controlled organizations offering hundreds of jobs and those who will toe the line, who are rooted in open methods of work stand the tests of raids and suppression? This would at any rate sort out the wheat from the chaff, the fakers would fly to cover and the real revolutionists would appear in their true light. The outbreak of another world war would bring on illegality. To say this may come within a year is without exaggeration. It is possible that any real activity among the unemployed (even if not stimulated by the Communists) would cause the government to drive the party underground. Already we see the Michigan cases being revived.
Preparedness is the only conclusion to be drawn. Is the Communist movement prepared? Witness how all three Communist groups, the Communist League of Struggle alone excepted, nonchalantly hand over lists of names and addresses of their subscribers to the U.S. postoffice in order to get second class mailing privilages for their papers, thus betraying the whereabouts of thousands of radicals. Only a most amateurish movement would do this. The utmost care in revealing membership, development of secret codes, etc., and many small precautions which should be ingrained in a serious Communist Party are constantly flaunted. But most of all, the Party must be rooted organizationally among the masses. A mere vague sympathy for its propaganda will be of no help when raids, arrests, etc. descend.
Shop nuclei in the factories and other work places which function under cover in any circumstances cannot so easily be destroyed. The territorial branch, whose meetings are exposed to any spies activities, are the loosest possible form and can be wiped out at one swoop. The criminal failure of the C.P. to build real lasting shop nuclei to any extent after so many years (this was first ordered by the C.I. in 1921) is a plain unmistakable confession that no real Communist movement as yet exists. Testing of membership, struggle against espionage, can be carried out successfully only in such workshop units where members know each other from daily contact on the job. The combatting of espionage in the movement is an important subject meriting another article. We only wish here in closing, without hysteria, to sound a warning note. With the present divided, weak state of the Communist movement, especially the state of the C.P. itself, with its raw untested membership, its equally untested leadership depending for guidance on directives relayed from Moscow and thence from one “higher up” body to another, (but when we are illegal the cables will be cut and the incompetent emptiness will stand exposed) a period of illegality, unless the situation is corrected before then, threatens to smash the movement to atoms.