Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Marxist-Leninist Party

Struggle Between Two Lines in the Communist Movement

INTRODUCTION

From the point of view of genuine Marxist-Leninists who are striving to construct an entirely new proletarian revolutionary leadership, the so-called “Communist Party of the United States of America” is a rotten revisionist stinking corpse, revived periodically by the police-agentry of U.S. imperialism to carry out strictly “Trojan Horse” activity inside the workingclass and the revolutionary movement in particular, and to “formalize” the particular arrangements of alliance and co-conspiracy that exist between the two super-powers, U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism. The class basis of the “CP.U.S.A.” is a combination of petty-bourgeois and labor-aristocracy, with a small number of middle bourgeoisie, who serve as intermediaries between the Hall clique that “directs” the C.P.U.S.A., and the state-monopoly capitalist masters that are the ones really pulling the strings behind the C.P.U.S.A., whether it be in terms of “mothballing” the “party” for a while, as during the fifties, or “reviving” it to carry out counter-revolutionary mis-leadership in various struggles, as in the present and most recent past.

However, once verifying this analysis, simply by an examination of the most recent, or even relatively “historical” past of the CP.U.S.A., as many thousands of advanced and class-conscious workers have done, and are still doing, as they examine all of the various tendencies, a legitimate and historically necessary task of the advanced proletarians, testing and judging their theory and practice, is not sufficient. This is because the C.P.U.S.A. is not the cause, but simply the principal manifestation of opportunism and revisionism as expressed in the historical experience of the American working-class. Lenin pointed out time and time again that imperialism laid the material basis for opportunism in the working-class in general, and in the communist vanguard sections of it, in particular, in the most direct and blatant manner: bribery.

Capitalism has now singled out a handful (less than one-tenth of the inhabitants of the globe; less than one-fifth at a most “generous” and liberal calculation) of exceptionally rich and powerful states which plunder, the whole world simply by “clipping coupons.” Capital exports yield an income of eight to ten billion francs per annum, at prewar bourgeois statistics. Now, of course, they yield much more.

Obviously, out of such enormous super-profits (since they are obtained over and above the profits which capitalists squeeze out of the workers of their “own” country) it is possible to bribe the labor leaders and the upper stratum of the labor aristocracy. And the capitalists of the “advanced” countries are bribing them; they bribe them in a thousand different ways, direct and indirect, overt and covert.

This stratum of bourgeoisified workers, or the “labor aristocracy,” who are quite philistine in their mode of life, in the size of their, earnings and in their entire outlook, is the principal prop of the Second International, and, in our days, the principal social (not military) prop of the bourgeoisie.

For they are the real agents of the bourgeoisie in the working-class movement, the labor lieutenants of the capitalist class, real channels of reformism and chauvinism. In the civil war between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie they inevitably, and in no small numbers, take the side of the bourgeoisie, the ̶-;Versaillese” against the “Communards.”

Unless the economic roots of this phenomenon are understood and its political and social significance is appreciated, not a step can be taken toward the solution of the practical problems of the communist movement and the impending social revolution. (V.I. Lenin, from “Preface to French and German editions of Imperialism”, July 6, 1920)

This is a perfect description of the process that has resulted in the present-day existence of the revisionist stinking corpse known as the “Communist Party of the U.S.A.,” as well as the whole collection of Soviet-line rotten revisionist cliques in all the “advanced” capitalist countries.. The so-called “C.P.”s of Italy, France, etc. grovel alongside the social-democrats at the foot of state-monopoly capitalism. The trotskyite running dogs also fit the above description, except that they pose as “left-flank” to the official “Left,” and thus attempt for themselves a more “mass” character, or “pro-workingclass,” as the American trotskyites sickeningly describe it. White chauvinism, sale-supremacy, anti-communism, economism, reformism, parliamentary cretinism, and class-collaborationism are the inevitable results of this process. These enemy currents permeate the privileged sectors of the workingclass in all the capitalist countries, under the rule of the various imperialist states and blocs of states.

In the light of Lenin’s analysis of the material basis of opportunism in all forms and modern revisionism, in particular, we shall examine the lesser-known aspects of the history of the so-called “C.P.U.S.A.,” not merely to denounce the enemies that we shall invariably find upon close examination of that phenomenon, but also, in the dialectical-materialist sense of “One Divides into Two,” to point out, and raise to a more general and popular knowledge, particularly among the advanced and revolutionary workers, to positive , aspects, at various different times, in the “CP.U.S.A.,” which can only be clearly recognized in the process of the study of the various anti-revisionist groups that were created, and existed both inside and outside the party, sometimes simultaneously, and which consciously and collectively attempted to combat the opportunism and revisionism in the “CP.U.S.A..” Of course, we recognize that to collect a complete account of the struggles against opportunism in the “CP.U.S.A.” would be impossible, because, l) much if not most of this struggle obviously existed outside of any organized groupings with any permanent existence, such as individual or even branch or section opposition to a policy, and this more or less ongoing struggle, which must, of necessity, take place in any kind of opportunist set-up, as scattered and fragmented persons and sections revolt against the more blatant, and then the whole of the chicanery at hand. Thus this first category, although of profound importance, is un-recordable; 2) much, if not most, of the recorded activity of the groups that did exist, and that did take up the task of publishing materials, thusly, leaving us some direct proof of their existence, no longer exists, or if it does, is beyond our reach. (The best and most complete collections of communist and workingclass literature in this country must undoubtedly still be in the hands of the worst anti-communists and parasitical ruling-class elements, J. Edgar Hog, “private collectors,” closed university libraries, etc.

Therefore, we wish to make it clear that we have assembled this outline from very incomplete materials and direct accounts, especially concerning the earliest anti-revisionist groups and struggle in the 40’s and 50’s. We certainly look to the day when the proletariat will be able to complete this task of the closest and most concrete analysis of the concrete historical experience of the class as a whole, and the Communist Movement in particular, in all countries.

Furthermore, the Marxist-Leninist Party invites all serious workers to join us in the work of completing, correcting, and further developing this most essential component to the general revolutionary literature necessary to fulfill the theoretical and practical tasks of the Class War, namely, the historical component of the firmest grasp of the mistakes and achievements of the past. The present-day confusion in even the most-steeled revolutionary ranks, concerning the most fundamental questions of this historical period, is a living testimony to that observation that those who do not understand the past are condemned to relive it.

STALIN vs. FOSTER

To sum up the process that took place between 1944 and 1946, we would have to describe it as the period of the final collapse of an already rotting structure. Browder liquidated a “Communist Party” that had already ceased being a Communist Party, and one year later, Foster ensured that no real Communist Party would emerge by pretending to resurrect this so-called “Communist Party” out of the demoralized remnants of the whole process, Browder’s mutation, the “Communist Political Association.”

To this day, Browder is the villain and Foster the “hero” of the drama in the eyes of the present-day clique that runs the CP.U.S.A., and unfortunately, in the eyes of the various trends that tried to mount a consistent struggle against the opportunism and revisionism in the CP.U.S.A. Foster’s own “History of the Communist Party of the United States” (published in 1952) serves as the official “whitewash” of the process of deliberate liquidation which was consciously carried out by the entire series of revisionists and opportunists that dominated the leadership of the CP.U.S.A. from the 192Qfa. Foster, and his followers, in the days when Joseph Stalin’s name was still widely respected and indeed loved in the CP.U.S.A. and working-class movement as a whole, tried to cover Foster and his mis-deeds with Stalinís mantle, attributing Foster’s achievements to his loyalty to Stalin. Nothing could be further from the truth. Foster, in fact, represents not the Stalinist, Marxist-Leninist, or genuinely communist elements in the CP.U.S.A. or working-class, but, rather, the opportunist, revisionist, and essentially bourgeoisified sections of the working-class that Lenin described as the main special prop of the bourgeoisie. Of course, those archenemies of Communism and the Proletarian Revolution, the trotskyites, have also made use of Foster’s mistakes, linking these to Stalin also but for the opposite purpose as the above, for the purpose of slandering Stalin through the implication that Foster, having been hand-picked by the so-called “Stalinist bureaucracy” was Stalin’s “spokesman” in this country. Unable to carry out any effective attack against the great Stalin, the trotskyite scum prefer to slander him by association with Foster, with Togliatti (in Italy) with Thorez (in France), etc., etc. ignoring, in classic trotskyite manner, the outstanding fact that all of these persons, at the crucial historical turning point, at the 20th Congress of the C.P.S.U. joined the chorus of modern revisionism world-wide in hailing the restoration of state-monopoly capitalism in the U.S.S.R. in the name of “de–Stalinization,” the worst betrayal in the History of the world working-class movement, carried out by the Kruschevite capitalist-roader revisionist clique, and continued to this day by the Brezhnev-Kosygin flew Tsars. The Polemic on the General Line in the International Communist Movement, carried out principally by the Communist Party of China and the Albanian Party of Labor, together with other Marxist-Leninist Parties, settled the question for once and for all concerning the running dogs Thorez and Togliatti. However, confusion and error persists concerning the nature of their American equivalent, William Z. Foster. We intend to dispel the confusion and correct the error.

To better understand the Foster that the present-day revisionist clique hails as the “champion” of the CP.U.S.A. and as its “staunchest” anti-revisionist, we must go back to the Sixth World Congress of the Communist International, to the speeches delivered by J.V. Stalin on the then-existing situation in the CP.U.S.A. Contrary to the general impression to be gathered from Foster’s “Party History,” Comrade Stalin did not side with the Foster-Bittelman (minority) faction against the Lovestone-Gitlow (majority) faction, nor did he simply criticize the Foster group for its factionalism alone. On the contrary, what Comrade Stalin pointed out in his brilliant statements is the “fundamental error of exaggerating the specific peculiarities of American capitalism,” an error of which both groups were equally guilty, a fundamental, hence theoretical as well as practical, error. This influence of American exceptionalism, as the CP.U.S.A. brand of right-opportunism came to be known, actually prevented both factions from realizing that the imminent world crisis of imperialism (remember, these speeches were delivered in May, 1929, a matter of weeks before the 1929 “Crash”) was to affect America as well as Europe.

Now, we must remember that, one year before, the CP.U.S.A. had expelled the so-called “Left Opposition,” the trotskyite faction headed by Cannon, Schachtman, and M. Abern, on October 27, 1928. This expulsion was part of a world-wide struggle against the trotskyites being carried out by all the sections of the Communist International in which it was absolutely necessary to drive the trotskyite “fifth column” out the ranks of the working-class movement, in preparation for a most violent and massive confrontation to come, the Anti-Fascist war. The expulsion of, and war against, the trotskyites was a necessary cleansing and purging of the revolutionary ranks of a classic expression of opportunism, degenerating from confusion and error into out-right and deliberate counter-revolution. Trotskyism presented itself as a “left” faction against the Comintern and the U.S.S.R. although at previous times and later on, Trotsky was to find it more opportune to attack the revolution from his real position, the right. However, at the point of the specific struggle against trotskyism in 1928, as it manifested itself in the CP.U.S.A. and in most other parties, the trotskyites assumed a “left” posture.

Comrade Lin Piao has pointed out a specific phenomenon, relative to the struggle against opportunism in the Communist Party of China, which has direct bearing to the situation of the CP.U.S.A, 1928-29, and which perhaps has a general application in relation to these struggles as they develop in many different contexts. He stated:

Past experience has taught us that “Left” errors were liable to crop up after our Party had corrected Right errors, and that Right errors were liable to crop up after it had corrected “Left” errors. (from Long Live the Victory of Peoples War, Peking, 1965, page 15)

The expulsion of the trotskyites in 1928 was the correcting of a “Left” error, and can we really be surprised if, on year later, in the discussion of the American Question at the Presidium of the Executive Committee of the Communist International in May of 1929, Comrade Stalin should be criticizing the CP.U.S.A. for a Right deviation? Can we really be surprised if, upon looking closer at Comrade Stalin’s actual words, we can better understand the specific nature, of this Right deviation?

Comrades, since quite a few speeches have been delivered here and the political position of both groups in the C.P.U.S.A. has been sufficiently clarified, I do not intend to speak at great length. I shall not deal with the political position of the leaders of the majority and the minority. I shall not do so since it has become evident during the course of the discussion that both groups are guilty of the fundamental error of exaggerating the specific features of American capitalism. lou know that this exaggeration lies at the root of every opportunist error committed both by the majority and the minority group. It would be wrong to ignore the specific peculiarities of American capitalism. The CP. in its work mist take them into account. But it would be still more wrong to bass the activities of Communist Party on these specific features, since the foundation of the activities of every Communist Party, including the American Communist Party, on which it must base itself, must be the general features of capitalism, which are the same for all countries, and not its specific features in any given country. It is on this that the internationalism of the Communist Party is founded. Specific features are only supplementary to the general features. The error of both groups is that they exaggerate the significance of the specific features of American capitalism and thereby overlook the basic features of American capitalism which are characteristics of world capitalism as a whole. Therefore, when the leaders of the majority and the minority accuse each other of elements of a Right deviation, it is obviously not without some measure of truth. It cannot be denied that American conditions form a medium in which it is easy for the American Communist Party to be led astray and to exaggerate the strength and stability of American capitalism. These conditions lead our comrades from America, both the majority and the minority, into errors of the type of the Right deviation, Owing to these conditions,’ at times one section, at others the other section, fails to realize the full extent of reformism in America, underestimates the leftward swing of the working-class and, in general, is inclined to regard American capitalism as something apart from and above world capitalism. That is the basis for the unsteadiness of both sections of the American Communist Party in matters of principle.” (Speech delivered by J. Stalin in the American Commission of the Presidium of the E.C.C.I., May 6, 1929)

It is clear that Stalin criticizes both factions for the same “fundamental error,” a Right deviation against the line of the Communist International, for “American Exceptionalism” against the World Party of the Proletarian Revolution, for as Comrade Stalin points out, “American conditions form a medium in which it is easy for the American CP. to be led astray and to exaggerate the strength and stability of American capitalism.” And what are these “American conditions?” Precisely the conditions of the development of American capitalism into U.S. imperialism, by World War I established as the most powerful and the most reactionary imperialism and the subsequent bribery and corruption of the labor aristocracy and certain sections of the rest of the working class, which provide, as Lenin directly states? “...the real agents of the bourgeoisie in the working class movement, the labor lieutenants of the capitalist class, real channels of reformism and chauvinism.” les, chauvinism, especially in the case of the bribed and corrupted sections of the working-class in America, white chauvinism, and as we shall see further on, Foster was to play his full role as one of the “real channels” long after Stalin recognized his true nature in 1929, and more importantly, the true nature of the fundamental error of the C.P.U.S.A. as a whole.

Thus, it was Right errors which had developed after the correction of the “left” errors, and as we all know from our present vantage point, it is precisely this Right error, carried by Foster from the beginning, passed on to Browder, then, ritually “expunged” (but actually never defeated in its essence, only in the form of its transitory appearance) in the expulsion of Browder and the “reconstitution” of the CP.U.S.A. in 1945, and this Right error reaches it crystalization point, its concretization, and true to dialectical-materialist laws, its crisis, not in the person of Browder? with his “20th-century Americanism,” but rather, in the person of William Z. Foster and in the form of his whole series of revisionist texts, including so-called “Outline Histories” of the world trade union movement, the “Americas” and the C.P.U.S.A. as well as a pile of lesser rubbish, all of which is presently experiencing a “revival” in the pitiful ranks of the present-day C.P.U.S.A. corpse.

Stalin pointed out in this same speech that the impending crisis of world capitalism had placed certain world-historical tasks and responsibilities upon the Communists in America:

A word or two regarding the tasks and the mission of the American Communist Party. I think, comrades, that the American Communist Party is one of those few communist parties in the world upon which history has laid tasks of a decisive character from the point of view of the world revolutionary movement. You all know very well the strength and power of American capitalism. Many now think that the general crisis of world capitalism will not affect America. That, of course, is not true. It is entirely untrue, Comrades. The crisis of world capitalism is developing with increasing rapidity and cannot but affect American capitalism. The three million now unemployed in America are the first swallows indicating the ripening of the economic crisis in America. The sharpening antagonism between America and England, the struggle for markets and raw materials, and finally, the colossal growth of armaments – that is the second portent of the approaching crisis. I think the moment is not far off when a revolutionary crisis will develop in America. And when a revolutionary crisis develops in America, that will be the beginning of the end of world capitalism as a whole. It is essential that the American Communist Party should be capable of meeting that historical moment fully prepared and of assuming the leadership of the impending class struggle in America. Every effort and every means must be employed in preparing for that, comrades.. For that end, the A.CP. must be improved and bolshevised. For that end we must work for the complete liquidation of factionalism and deviations in the party. For that end we must work to forge real revolutionary cadres and a real revolutionary leadership of the proletariat, capable of leading the many millions of the American working class toward the revolutionary class struggles For that end all personal factors, all factional considerations must be laid aside and the revolutionary education of the working class of America must be placed above all.

TAIL-ENDING THE TRADE UNIONS AND THE NEW DEAL IN THE 1930’s

The whole policy of the CP.U.S.A, during the period of revolutionary crisis, set off by the 1929 depression, and continuing on through the 1936-1937 Strike Wave, can only be characterized, at best, as “militant trade unionism” and left-reformism, but certainly not as the policy of a Proletarian Revolutionary Party of the new type. Let us examine some of the general character, and specific incidents in this period.

Although the depression hit in 1929, aside from a good deal of mass organizing of the unemployed, it was not until 1933 that the real depression strike wave began, with the number of strikes doubling and the number of striking workers jumping from 324,000 in 1932 to 1,168,000 in 1933. However, the policy of the CP.U.S.A. was not developed to better combine the two general areas of struggle–the strike wave, and the unemployed struggles–but rather, that the tens of thousands of striking workers should be organized into the Trade Unions, and that the mass of unemployed workers should join with the specially created separate “unemployment councils.” It is only in the actual mass struggles that developed beyond simple trade union and legal channels especially, the violent conflicts with scabs, vigilantes, company police, regular police, and the National Guard, that unemployed and employed workers fought side by side, demonstrating the class content of these struggles. What was necessary was to have raised the necessity for new organs of struggle, for “American Soviets,” uniting whole sections of the class across entire regions and areas and for preparing armed units of workers for clashes with scabs, fascists, etc. This would have been the correct form to have applied to the struggle at that time, rather than the “Trade Union” and pro-FDR activity carried out by the CP.U.S.A. all through this period. The CP.U.S.A. actually used John L. Lewis’ rotten slogan: “President Roosevelt wants you to join a union,” and again and again, looked to New Deal governors, mayors for “outside support” for the mass strikes, rather than seeking to move the entire process to a higher level, from “industry-wide conflict” to all-out Class War. Stalin was absolutely correct in point out that a revolutionary crisis was about to emerge in America. Today, Chairman Mao is telling us again and again that the era of world revolution is upon us, and that both the national and class contradictions in the U.S.A. itself are reaching a violent peak – the CP.U.S.A., the trotskyites, and the rest of the social-fascist opportunists are still carrying on “business as usual.” They re-live the very history that they deny, and have been busy distorting and re-writing!

In fact, as expressed in the 1934 San Francisco General Strike, where more than 125,000 workers held the city, and managed most of the vital services, the mass strikes were fast developing into city-wide and regional insurrections. The proletariat was fast learning from one wave of struggle to the next, even if the mis-leaders of the Trade Unions and the CP.U.S.A. were not. The struggle here in this country was constantly being reinforced by the world-wide wave of mass strikes taking place at this time; in 1934, miners In Yugoslavia, Hungary, Spain, in 1935 to 1936, miners and others in Wales, Scotland, Poland, 1 million workers in strike wave In France, etc. The peak of this struggle as a whole was reached in 1936-1937, especially in the historic Flint, GM Sit-down strike. This strike lasted for 44 days, involving more than 200,000 workers, and even after settled, in February 11 of 1937, sparked more than 200 wildcat and sit-down strikes in the five months following it, from February to June of 1937. This strike had more of the character of a full-scale insurrection than the leaders of the U.A.W. or the CP. have ever wanted to admit, particularly in the last tense two weeks of the strike, when governor Murphy of Michigan ordered 1,500 National Guards into Flint, but was never able to actually use them.

On February 3, when the news spread throughout the occupied factories that the National Guard were going to try to take back the plants from the workers, thousands of workers, armed with anything from shotguns and hunting rifles to two-by-fours and axe-handles, poured into the city in cars and trucks, not only from other cities in Michigan, but from other spates and industries. The governor backed down – the troops were called off. All during the strike there was support from the broad masses: thousands of farmers and small shop-keepers donated large amounts of food and other supplies, not to mention the masses of unemployed workers who were involved in the struggle at every stage,, like the Women’s Emergency Brigade, who hailed the victory, relative as it was, as their own. If there was ever any situation that cried for New Organs of Struggle, it was the peak of the Strike Wave, reached in the end of 1936 and the beginning of 1937, in general, and the Flint Strike in particular. If there was ever any situation that called, not merely for a quantitative increase in the membership of the Trade Unions, and the other mass organizations (which is the way Foster, etc. usually define the development of the struggles), but for a qualitative change and transformation in the form and content of the struggle as a whole, it was this same period.

Now, the trotskyites and the other current crop of “left” social-democrats who specialize in grinding out re-writes of working-class history, would immediately shriek in chorus that: “Foster and CP.U.S.A. were only carrying out the Stalinist Comintern line! Blame Stalin for the pro-Roosevelt policies of the CP.U.S.A.!” Messrs. revisionists, trotskyites, and other “new left” opportunists, it was because the CP.U.S.A. did not carry out the general line of the Communist International, did not heed Stalin’s own words in 1928, at the crucial point before the general crisis broke (as we have demonstrated in the above quotations), committed the Right deviationist errors of tail-end-ism, in relation to the Trade Unions, and in relation to the Roosevelt “New Deal” government. Let us refer to the documents of both the 1928 Sixth World Congress of the Comintern, and the 1935 Seventh World Congress, and further verify, apart from the previous quotations by Stalin, that the line of the CP.U.S.A. should have been had they seen (as Stalin clearly did) that the Strike Wave in the U.S.A. and throughout the capitalist countries, was a revolutionary crisis, a general political crisis for world capitalism following directly from the world economic crisis beginning In 1929.

Under the section “The Fundamental Tasks of Communist Strategy and Tactics” of the Program of the Communist International (adopted at the 46th Session of the 6th World Congress, Sept. 1, 1923) it is clearly stated what are the tasks of the Party during a period of upsurge and it is of special importance that the question of the State is paramount at this time. Compare this statement and perspective with the deep confusion and errors of the CP.U.S.A. in relation to the class nature of the Roosevelt “New Deal”:

When the revolutionary tide is rising, when the ruling classes are disorganized, the masses are in a state of revolutionary ferment, the intermediary strata are inclining towards the proletariat and the masses are ready for action and .. for sacrifice, the Party of the proletariat Is confronted with the task of leading the masses to a .direct attack upon the bourgeois State. This it does by carrying on propaganda in favor of increasingly radical transitional slogans (for Soviets, workers’ control of industry, for peasant committees for the seizure of the big landed properties, for disarming the bourgeoisie and arming the proletariat, etc.), and by organizing mass action, upon which all branches of the Party agitation and propaganda, including parliamentary activity, must be concentrated. This mass action includes: a combination of strikes and demonstrations; a combination of strikes and armed demonstrations and finally, the genera] strike conjointly with armed insurrection against the State power of the bourgeoisie. The latter form of struggle, which is the supreme form, must be conducted according to the rules of war; it pre-supposes a plan of campaign, offensive fighting operations and unbounded devotion and heroism on the part of the proletariat. An absolutely essential condition precedent to this form of action is the organization of the broad masses into militant units, which, by their very form, embrace and set into action the largest number of toilers (Councils of Workers’ Deputies, Soldiers’ Councils, etc.) and intensified revolutionary work in the army and navy.

At no time during the entire period of the Strike Wave in the 1930’s did the CP.U.S.A. ever assess the situation as a period when the revolutionary tide is rising, and when the question of the State is of primary importance. And, in case there are those who, in the tradition of “dissecting” the “young Marx” from the “old Marx” (in the service of anti-Marxism), would pose this perspective of the 1928 Sixth World Congress against the general line of the 1935 Seventh World Congress, we site the following quotation, and again, call your attention to the fact that, far from failing because of the “Stalinist Comintern line” the C.P.U.S.A. missed this historic opportunity precisely because the. Foster-Browder-etc. leadership did not carry out the Comintern line. Also, contrast this statement, and the one preceding it, with what the trotskyites are always trying to slander Stalin for in relation to the “Popular Front” – that Stalin wanted to “unite” with the bourgeoisie (they even claim that Stalin and the Comintern evolved a theory of “Pop frontism”)! Certainly, Foster and Browder and the subsequent cliques running the C.P.U.S.A. are guilty of this, of new “isms” concocted against Marxism-Leninism, but not Stalin, and certainly not the Communist International of Lenin and Stalin, with its thousands of martyrs in the war against Fascism, in the war against the most predatory and vicious of forms of capitalism at that historical period.

The following quote is from the section on “Content and Forms of the united Front” from ... Georgi Dimitroff’s Address to the August 2 session of the Seventh World Congress in 1935:

It goes without saying that the concrete realization of the united front will take various forms in various countries, depending upon the conditions and character of the workers1 organizations and their political level, upon the concrete situation in the particular country, upon the changes in progress in the international labor movement, etc.

These forms may include for instance: co-ordinated joint action of the workers to be agreed upon from case to case on definite occasions, on individual demands or on the basis of a common platform; co-ordinated actions in individual enterprises or by whole industries co-ordinated actions on a local, regional, national, or international scale; co-ordinated actions for the organization of the economic struggle of the workers, carrying out mass political actions, for the organization of joint self-defense against fascist attacks;...

...The Communists and all revolutionary workers must strive for the formation of elective (and in the countries of fascist dictatorship – selected from the most authoritative participants in the united front movement) non-partisan class bodies of the united front at the factories. and the unemployed, in the working class districts. among the small townsmen and in the villages. Only such bodies will be able to embrace in the united front movement the vast masses of unorganized toilers as well, will be able to assist in developing the initiative of the masses in the struggle against the offensive of capital, against fascism and reaction, and on this basis to create the necessary broad active rank-and-file of the united front, the training of hundreds and thousands of non-Party Bolsheviks in the capitalist countries.

Joint action of the organized workers is the beginning, the foundation. But we must not lose sight of the fact that the unorganized masses constitute the vast majority of workers.’ (Dimitroff here cites figures for France and Britain). ...In the United States of America, about five million workers are organized, while altogether there are thirty-eight million workers in that country. About the same ration holds good for a number of other countries. In “normal” times this mass in the main does not participate in political life. But now this gigantic mass is getting into motion more and more, is being brought into political life, comes out in the political arena. The creation of non-partisan class bodies is the best form for carrying out, extending and ”strengthening the united front among the rank-and-file of the broadest masses.

(to be continued in forthcoming issues of COMMUNIST)