Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Editorial: Rank and File Dissent in the CP

First Published: Labor Action Vol. 10, No. 45, November 11, 1946
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The Daily Worker, Stalinist organ, of November 5 prints a long statement announcing the expulsion of eleven members of the Prospect Branch of the Bronx Communist Party. These eleven are accused, as is the usual Stalinist procedure, of every crime in the book: from “semi-Trotskyism” to an “anti-party attitude.” They apparently indulged in “leftist deviations” a la Ruth McKenney, Bruce Minton and William Dunne, Stalinist leaders recently expelled by the Foster leadership. These eleven rank and filers apparently took seriously some of the “leftist” talk of the Foster leadership and proceeded to propose genuine class struggle policies.

It seems likely that there are other individuals and little groups of members of the American Stalinist party who have similar illusions–they believe that it is still possible to transform the rotten, totalitarian Stalinist party into a genuine and democratic revolutionary socialist organization. It is for this reason that occasional expulsions are being announced by the CP.

And, more important, it is for this reason that revolutionary socialists should turn their attention to those rank and file militants of the Stalinist party who, still sincerely believing that they are part of a Marxist movement, are seeking ways to clarify their thinking and activity. Contrary to the fatalistic misconceptions spread by tired ex-radicals, it is still possible, by sustained and patient work, to win over groups of Stalinist workers to the cause of revolutionary socialism. Many of these Stalinist militants are now groping toward political clarity and it is the task of the members of the Workers Party and the readers of LABOR ACTION to help them reach it.