Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Crisis In Communist Party: Line Of CP Dissidents On War

First Published: The Militant, Vol. 11, No. 6, February 8, 1947
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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One of the chief questions agitating the growing opposition in the American Communist Party (Stalinist) is the position of the official party leadership on the struggle against imperialist war.

Virtually all the documents of the dissidents, who are conducting an organized attack on the CP leadership, charge that the Foster group is not conducting a real anti-war struggle and is, in fact, aiding U. S. imperialism.

But on this, as on every other point of criticism, the CP oppositionists attack only superficial manifestations of CP policy. They themselves put forward only a more “leftist” expression of the fundamental Stalinist line.

A document put out by the expelled executive committee of the Bronx P.R. Club of the CP “An S.O.S. To All Communists,” asks: “What has the CP leadership done about the danger of war? Very little–and logically so–because it does not believe in it.”


But this document can’t get around the fact that Stalin himself is the author of the statement that there is “no danger” of war between the imperialist powers and the Soviet Union. Since the oppositionists claim to be “better” Stalinists than the official American Stalinist leaders, they invent an ingenious apology for Stalin’s disarming of the masses:

“Stalin’s bold, confident, but not complacent answers come at a high point in war preparations and deliver a subtle, complex blow for peace. It is unfortunate that our National Committee has misinterpreted and misused these answers in order to justify an election policy which supports too many ’military and political adventurers’.”


But what has this group to say about the greatest and most monstrous crime of all–the CP’s support of U.S. imperialism and Roosevelt’s war program? Its only complaint is that “during the war we had the opportunity to explain to a sympathetic America the meaning of socialism” but “Browder scuttled this opportunity.” The Bronx P.R. Club leaders complain that Browder prevented them from using their support for Wall Street’s wax to gain “sympathy” for “socialism”!

Today, we find some of these opposition groups criticizing the CP leaders for calling for “resurrection of the Roosevelt program.” They now admit that Roosevelt was the leader of U.S. imperialism and that the United States before and during World War II remained an imperialist capitalist country.

Thus, two of the leading expelled CPers, Ruth McKenney and Bruce Minton, attacked the present CP National Secretary, Dennis, for talking about “mobilizing the pro-Roosevelt forces.” They say:


“Dennis embraces most of Browder’s reformist positions . .. Is it true that had Roosevelt lived, the United States would not be pursuing an imperialist policy? ... Is it true that with Roosevelt alive, imperialism would act in the interests of the American working class? Do Communists believe that a bourgeois-liberal politician is the answer to monopoly reaction, that a bourgeois-liberal outlook will wipe away the realities of the moribund era of capitalism?” But not one word of criticism from McKenney and Minton about the Stalinists’ support of the Roosevelt war program and the CP’s strikebreaking during the war! They still support and defend the greatest crime of all.

William F. Dunne, another CP leader expelled by Foster, now states: “The Democratic Party has been the operative war party of finance-capital in two world wars. It is still one of the two capitalist war parties– and it still has the executive branch of the government machinery. The Roosevelt program made it possible for U.S. imperialism to secure its present premier position in the postwar capitalist world. These were the major objectives of the ’Roosevelt program’.” (original emphasis)

Yes? But what about the CP’s support of the Roosevelt war program? we ask Dunne, Silence –dead silence. That was Stalin’s program–not just Browder’s and Foster’s. So Dunne, the ever-loyal Stalinist, shuts up. What about Stalin’s participation in the United Nations, that instrument for mobilizing world capitalism for war on the Soviet Union in the name of “peace”? What about Stalin’s continued efforts to deceive the masses into believing that it is possible for the Soviet Union to live indefinitely in imperialist encirclement?


The answer of the CP dissidents is – line up some more countries to strengthen the “veto power” of the Kremlin in the UN. “The increased following of the French Communist Party registers the approach of the time when Russia will not be the only anti-capitalist nation holding veto power in the United Nations organizations ... So long as Russia has the veto power, Russia can veto any attempt to use the power of UNO against the working class or against colonial peoples.”

That is what is stated in the Nov. 18, 1946, NCP Report, published by the left-Stalinist New Committee for Publications.

In short, like the official Stalinist leaders, the CP opposition too proposes to halt imperialist war not by the Leninist method of international proletarian revolutionary struggle against capitalism, but – by the “veto power” in the United Nations! Maybe they can “veto” the atom bomb too.