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Labor Action, 28 April 1947


J.D. Perkins

A Letter from an Ex-CPer


From Labor Action, Vol. 11 No. 17, 28 April 1947, p. 6.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


Labor Action
14 W. 14th St.
New York 11, N.Y.

Dear Sir:

I have been reading your paper for more than a year and I must admit that you are doing a great task in the interest of humanity. I find that your paper exposes many of the things that I learned after I became a member of the Communist Party.

At the time that I dropped out of the CP I knew that I must either quit or eventually be expelled. I became inactive two years ago, dropped out soon after. The differences between me and the CP were becoming greater as time passed.

Why I quit the CP will be understood when you read the following:

For many years I was a sympathizer of the CP. I was a dues paying member for several years. After becoming a member I learned many of the policies which one does not learn when he is on the outside. Are these the ideas that I had read in some of Marx’s and Lenin’s books, I asked myself. I had joined an organization purporting to be for a new social order, an order that protected and defended freedom of speech, press, and all democratic principles. At least I thought so.

As time passed, to my amazement, I learned that the party to which I belonged, did everything but practice that which it preached. At that time I was not well enough versed in Marx and Lenin to put up much of an argument; but I had my own ideas. It did not take long before my interest in the party began to drift away. In 1944 the party had the gall to ask the working class to support the capitalist political parties; the bosses parties. This was a shock to me. They supported the no-strike pledge, the incentive pay and speed-up system, above all things! What a letdown!

In 1944 two members of the Socialist Party were to speak in Seattle. The CP interrupted the meeting and heckled the speakers. I asked myself, “Don’t we believe in free speech”? Why did they do everything in their power to prevent the speakers from giving their message to the public? I was a member of that organization; I was not proud of that deed.

My suspicions of the CP continued to grow. The role the CP played in Greece in December 1944 put more light on the way the Stalinists do things. Only a blind man would not see through that dirty deal. The Stalinist leadership sold out its own members! Why was Stalin afraid of a workers’ state in Greece? Would Lenin have stood back and waited till the British war-mongers had taken the country over for the Greek capitalists?

In 1945 the CP had the brass to ask that the members support a coalition government of the Chinese Nationalists and the Chinese Communists. I, for one, could never support such an idea. We were asked to support a man who had killed more people than all the Japanese during the Second World War. It was just another sell-out.

Then came the climax. The February issue of Political Affairs in 1946, carried an article Oust the Trotskyites from the Labor and Progressive Movement. The criminal acts the Trotskyites are accused of, no one is more guilty of that than the Stalinists themselves. In one of their leaflets which came out about this time, they warned us not to associate with, talk to, or give aid to a “Trotskyite, Lovestonite, or any other enemy of the working class.” It was that straw which broke the camel’s back. I ask the question, “Why do the Stalinist leaders ask the workers and their members not to associate with, talk to, and give aid to Trotskyites and Lovestoneites? What are they hiding from us? Is there something that must be kept secret? What are they afraid of? Are the Trotskyites apt to spill the beans? Asking one not to talk to or associate with any other which is not approved of by me or you, or Stalin is enough to arouse anyone’s suspicion.

The part the Stalinists played in the Nuremburg Trials removed all doubt in my mind that Stalinism is the greatest danger to humanity today. In refusing to bring forth or allow Albert Goldman to question the court about the collaboration between the Nazis and Trotsky. Why? Anyone who read very much of the left wing press knew that the request was made to bring the part that Trotsky was accused of in the infamous Moscow Trials, to the light of the world. That was an embarrassing situation, indeed. I searched the CP press for six months to find some comment on the request made of the court, but not even a hint was ever given. Another question comes up, “Why must this be kept quiet?” The action of the Stalinists at the Nuremburg trials is proof to me that the Moscow Trials were the worst frame-ups in all history.

As I watch the day by day role played by the CP, I am thoroughly convinced that Stalinism must be wiped off the face of the earth. I am not sorry that I did spend several years in the CP. It was a great lesson. I know what it is now when I come into contact with it. In closing, I must say that I certainly do agree with you that, “Stalinism is mankind’s greatest menace.”


J.D. Perkins

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