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Bert Cochran

The New Union Bureaucracy

(March 1949)

From Fourth International, Vol.10 No.3, March 1949, Page 85-90.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The Portland CIO convention brings to a conclusion one stage in the development of America’s industrial union movement and formally inaugurates a new one. The whole 13-year period, in which the CIO leadership was jointly shared by the native American and Stalinist bureaucracies, has now been officially closed. The Murray machine has emerged victorious all up and down the line and as a more or less homogeneous bureaucracy will now singly rule the CIO.

It is true that the Stalinists possess many vestiges of their once formidable strength but the trend against them is so overwhelming that they cannot long hold on to their remaining posts of leadership. The Murray bureaucracy has won the battle. What is involved now is mopping-up operations.

The new stage completes a process which originated in the struggles and developments of the past period, conditioning the trade union movement and the men who now lead it.

The CIO bureaucracy was nurtured in an alliance with a “friendly” administration and became accustomed to operating through the medium of government boards, commissions, NLRB elections, etc. From the first it took on a definite social-democratic coloration in contrast to the older AFL bureaucracy, whose governing creed for decades was pure-and-simple unionism, heavily tinged with syndicalist-like suspicion of the state. The Roosevelt administration, for its part, likewise stood in dire need of the labor movement’s support, first for its NRA program to lift American capitalism out of the morass of the crisis, then for its war preparations, and finally for the prosecution of the war itself.

Thus for the formative 10-year period of the CIO, the bureaucracy was molded by its coalition with the Roosevelt administration. The social trends making for this labor-Roosevelt coalition were irresistible. Even the AFL bureaucrats found themselves caught in the embrace of the capitalist government and entangled in the coalition, where they played their part with some misgivings and slightly less ardor than their CIO brethren.

The Period of Cooperation

The appearance of the CIO on the scene happened to coincide with the Stalinist turn on a world scale toward People’s Frontisrn. In its American application, the turn spelled a policy which was all but identical with that of the newly created CIO bureaucracy. This provided the solid ground-work for the cooperation of the two bureaucracies. In the decade of their partnership, the two bureaucracies saw eye-to-eye on all important and even not so important issues. They worked hand-in-glove in tying the CIO ever more securely to the capitalist stale, in stamping out the original militancy of the ranks, in crushing all tendencies to form an independent party of labor, in inoculating the CIO workers with the poison of capitalist “pressure politics” and in foisting their respective bureaucracies upon the unions under their control. This malevolent collaboration continued right through the war, both sides cooperating in outlawing and breaking strikes.

Nevertheless, despite the virtual identity of their policies en a day-to-day basis, the two bureaucracies could never fuse. They were keenly aware that they were in the service if different masters whose aims might at any time diverge. The 10-year marriage was constantly marred by quarrels, bickerings, hostile maneuvers and sometimes even violent clashes. But these conflicts never reached a plane of fundamentally opposed policies. They took the form of clique fights for posts and positions.

However, the very existence of two competitive bureaucracies, even though they were united against the ranks, legitimatized in the CIO a tradition of factionalism, the existence of caucuses, disputation over issues and elections. The clique struggle between the two bureaucracies, while barren and worse than barren in and of itself, helped preserve in distorted form the original democratic impulses which animated the ranks in the stormy days when the CIO was a crusade and not a bureaucratic edifice.

It is instructive in this connection to contrast the internal character of the auto union with the regime in the CIO steel and maritime unions. The existence for 10 years of two powerful factions in the leadership of the auto union – whether in alliance or in opposition – was a big factor in the maintenance of a robust internal democracy. In contrast, the Murray clique, with a monopoly of the steel union leadership, was able to fasten a centralized bureaucratic apparatus upon the steel workers which to this day has prevented the formation of any independent grouping. Similarly, the Stalinist leadership, which until recently enjoyed the same kind of monopoly control in the NMU, ruled over the maritime workers like a tyrannous power, brooking no questioning or dissent.

The evolution of the different CIO unions demonstrates that union democracy is little more than window dressing or academic sham without the right of organized factions to live, to operate, to appeal to the membership, to agitate for their special points of view. It is no accident that in one of the few old-line AFL unions where this right is recognized and practiced, the International Typographical Union, democracy exists. In most of the other AFL unions, even the United Mine Workers with its militant membership and policies, where factions are not tolerated, internal life is empty and democracy is virtually non-existent.

The Portland convention, therefore, in signalizing the entrenchment of the Murray faction and the downfall of its Stalinist rival, marked at the same time a new milestone in the bureaucratization of the CIO. For while the two bureaucracies always labored with might and main to perfect their own machines, always mindful of their special interests and jealous of any and all encroachments on their factional preserves, they interfered with each other’s plans and threw up roadblocks against the monopolization of power in those unions where they both were active and especially in the city central bodies and the national CIO itself. Now with the elimination of the Stalinists from the CIO leadership, the Murray machine has dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on the bureaucratization of the CIO for which they have been striving over these many years.

The Portland convention arrogated to the parent bureaucracy disciplinary powers in imposing so-called majority decisions on its various chartered affiliates, and centralized authority to reshuffle jurisdictions, withdraw charters, decree affiliations, instruct local central bodies in the positions they may or may not adopt measures without parallel in the history of American unionism. Even the case-hardened bureaucrat, Matthew Woll, while approving the actions of the CIO convention which in his view were taken in a “good cause,” was deeply disquieted by the methods employed in eliminating the Stalinists.

Why was the bureaucracy able to defeat its quondam Stalinist partner so easily and to fasten its heavy-handed grip on the broad membership? To properly answer these complex questions it is necessary to probe more deeply into the changing relationships of the coalition of the labor bureaucracy and the capitalist state, the specific character of the Stalinist movement in the CIO and the role of the trade unions in this period.

The Meaning of the Roosevelt Myth

We mentioned previously that as against the old AFL bureaucracy, conditioned in the organization of skilled crafts fighting individual employers and educated in the school of reliance on the economic power of key groups of specialized workers, the new labor bureaucracy from the beginning had entered into an alliance with the capitalist slate and was saturated with the philosophy that it could utilize this state to advance its own aims. This class-collaboration philosophy went deep down into the union ranks. It was the guiding trend of thought not only of the bureaucracy but of practically the whole membership.

Revolutionary socialists and class-conscious workers pointed out the meager character of the Roosevelt reforms and how they scarcely scratched the surface in solving the real problems of capitalist society. But the aspect which the radicals did not stress was precisely the one which impressed the rank-and-file workers most”the favorable political climate which helped them build their unions and the palpable improvements in working conditions, shop relationships and the rise in wages particularly in the better organized industries.

It is true that even these modest reforms were not handed down by Roosevelt but were won in pitched battles and sanguinary struggles. It is further true that Roosevelt could not have moved a step without labor support. But the working people of America, oppressed and downtrodden for generations, knowing the government heretofore only as an omnipotent foe which smashed picket lines, injured strikers and hurled union militants into prison, didn’t appreciate the changed relationship of forces and looked on Roosevelt as the savior of the working man.

In the next decade every attempt of insurgent groups of workers to break out of this political straitjacket was resisted and thwarted by the bureaucracy. Thus the Roosevelt myth grew and grew until it became the unquestioned gospel of the labor movement. The Roosevelt myth was not merely faith in Roosevelt personally as the Great White Father of the laboring people but the conviction that coalition and class-collaboration politics accounted for the benefits secured by labor since 1935 and constituted the only safe and sane course on which the unions could record further advances.

From 1935 to 1941, the main bodies of the CIO were registering constant gains in the form of rising wage schedules, or organization of new groups of unorganized workers and significant improvements in working conditions. Liven in the war years, when inflation and heavy taxes began cutting deeply into the paychecks of the workers, they managed to better their living standards through longer hours of work, premium pay for overtime and increasing the number of wage earners in the individual families.

This general line of development seemed headed for a crack-up after the war when the power-drunk and too sell-confident plutocracy forced the unions to battle for existence again and pushed the Truman administration into sundering the coalition with labor. But the labor bureaucracy clung tenaciously to its class-collaborationist policy and doggedly insisted that capitalism could work out its problems more cheaply and more successfully by reestablishing the coalition. Finally, labor’s massed demonstration at the ballot box in the 1948 elections forced the Bourbon plutocracy back into the alliance it had so brashly broken two years previously.

Despite continuing inflation, high taxes and the anti-labor offensive, the factors of full employment and the economic boom sufficed to prevent any decisive alteration of the mass political consciousness in the two-year Taft-Hartley interval. And now the workers, with a strong sense of accomplishment in the elections, are again willing to give their leaders a chance to produce results through a coalition policy.

We are aware that fierce antagonisms have flared up against sections of the bureaucracy and against individual bureaucrats in union after union; we know that these led in some cases to the ousting of a number of the more obnoxious officials or a shift of power from one section of the leadership to another, but the union ranks never went beyond ousting individuals. They were never able to replace the existing bureaucracy with a new type of leadership because they were still prisoners of the political philosophy and program of the labor bureaucracy.

The material benefits won by the workers, especially in the earlier days of the CIO, sanctified the marriage of the labor officialdom with the capitalist state. But this marriage in turn not only helped the bureaucracy impose its dictatorial rule on the unions but further shaped the bureaucracy, or, more correctly, corrupted it into the slavish and servile servant of the most powerful imperialist state inthe history of mankind. During the war years, the labor bureaucrats worked hand-in-glove with employers, government agents and military officials to weed militant workers out of the plants. After the war, this brazen partnership was systematized into a true relationship of reciprocity. Labor officials journeyed to the furthermost corners of the globe as traveling salesmen of American imperialism while the concentrated influence of the government, the employers, the public press and the church”even in the Taft-Hartley period”was brought to bear to enthrone and consolidate the bureaucracy and to isolate, besmirch, discredit and hound out of the unions all opponents and dissidents.

This coalition stems from stern social necessity and represents the only possible mode of existence for the labor bureaucracy in this period. The plutocracy cannot and will not tolerate now a labor bureaucracy that attempts to practice neutrality toward its state and imperialist enterprises. The bureaucracy, ever adaptable, has swung into line. The Cincinnati AFL convention reflected the fact that even the sons of Gompers had successfully overcome all their earlier inhibitions and hesitations and are now, no less than their CIO counterparts, enthusiastic participants of the labor-government coalition.

The speakers list of the AFL convention bristled with such notables as Hoffman, head of the Marshall Plan; Harriman, Washington’s roving European ambassador; Humphrey, the new head of the Americans for Democratic Action. Over half the proceedings consisted of speeches and reports on AFL activities in promoting the Marshall Plan, providing labor support for the American missions in Greece and Japan, building “free trade unions” in Germany, South America and elsewhere, and of the general yeoman services being performed for the State Department.

We can sum up by recording that in the space of a little more than a -decade there has grown up in America an imposing, consciously social-imperialistic labor bureaucracy disposing of great institutions and treasuries. On the one hand it has forced a recalcitrant plutocracy back into a political coalition, in which the bureaucracy wields more influence than it ever did in Roosevelt’s lifetime. On the other hand, with the aid of this same plutocracy, it has raised itself above the union membership and arrogated to itself vast powers of coercion and repression.

Social Imperialism – Unifying Force

We have witnessed the growing together of the labor bureaucracy with the imperialist state which in turn has hammered the labor bureaucracy into a more or less homogeneous social-imperialist force with a common world outlook. It is because of this new feeling of common purpose and ideological kinship that the CIO leaders were willing to relinquish some of the sovereign powers of their own international unions and invest the parent body with immense centralized authority, something the AFL craft czars would not dream of doing so strong are the habits of a lifetime and a tradition.

Of course, there remain considerable gradations in the bureaucracy. The AFL moguls, resting on craft-ridden unions, are less adept at broad social demagogy than their CIO rivals who represent the modern industrial union and bargain across the table with the overlords of industry. Inside the CIO there is also a gradation between the sophisticated, socially alert, social-democratic types like Reuther, Baldanzi, John Green and the older trade unionists of the Murray, Van Bittner, Alan Haywood stamp.

But these gradations between the various sectors of the bureaucracy are not politically fundamental and not half so significant as the growing homogeneity in purpose and methods of all sections of the bureaucracy. Consider these facts: The AFL leaders have joined with the CIO in all-out support for the Marshall Plan. They have dispatched their economist and brain-truster, Boris Shishkin, to Paris to coordinate this work. None other than Jay Lovestone is the generalissimo of their forces in Europe and Irving Brown, former Lovestoneite, their European field agent. Consider that the AFL, whose most ingrained political principle was Gompers’ dictum “support your friends and defeat your enemies,” voted at Cincinnati to set up a political organization based upon precincts and wards similar to the CIO-PAC.

And within the CIO, what is the essential difference between a Murray and a Reuther, politically, programma-tically, on basic trade union policy? None. None of the Differences go beyond such matters as temperament, ambition, agility and questions of tempo. Only uninformed or blind people or the perennial Ypsels of the Shachtmanite Workers Party could classify Reuther as a left-winger in contrast to Murray.

Life-Cycle of the Unions

There is another side to the bureaucratization of the CIO that is deserving of attention. It seems that the life-cycle of unions under capitalism comprises first a youthful, formative period of militancy and combativity accompanied by a vibrant internal life. In time, the original insurgency tends to thin out and then to give way to a growing conservatism of the membership and the exuding of a bureaucracy. The radicals, who are welcome and play an important part in the organizing days, are resented and often expelled in the later stages. One does not have to seek far for an explanation of this phenomenon. A union, after all, is organized for limited purposes. No sooner has it established itself in a given jurisdiction and won some concessions, which place it in a position a little above the rest of the working class, than its officials become anxious to consolidate their positions and the membership concerned with securing its advantages. Union after union in this country and abroad has fallen into this life-cycle.

True, the CIO is different in many respects. Unlike the small and isolated unions of the past, it represents the basic elements of the American proletariat. Thus, its leaders bargain for a sizable section of the working class rather than for small groups at the expense of the broad mass. Nevertheless, even here, the conservatizing forces are at work and build up a certain aristocratic layer in the working class which has a stake in the maintenance of the status quo.

An examination of the changing character of the membership of the auto union will prove very revealing. This union is rightly considered the most militant and advanced in the whole labor movement, with a membership noted for its aggressiveness and self-assertiveness. A study completed last April for the UAW by C. Wright Mills of Columbia University, based on a representative sample of Detroit union members, finds that 57% of the men and 35% of the women are over 40 years of age, that the general average is 42 years. Fifteen years ago one could walk through all the big auto plants in Detroit and have difficulty in finding workers over 40 except in the capacity of janitors, stockmen or in the highly skilled departments!

Furthermore, many of the most aggressive and radical workers who manned the picket lines in ’37, provided the leadership in countless strikes, built the new locals, can today be found in the new bureaucracy, or when working in the plants, in the better paying and more desirable jobs. They may not enjoy much prosperity but they have seniority and a measure of security, pitiful though it be, as against the new workers entering the industry.

The old core of CIO militants”that remarkable leadership in the American labor movement which arose from the shops and was enriched by radicals of different tendencies”has either been absorbed into the labor bureaucracy, or smothered in the Stalinist embrace, or dispersed in a dozen different directions. And it took all the galling experiences of the last depression and the repeated sell-outs and defeats of the NRA strikes to create that new leadership!

Take the evolution of the auto union and add to it the steel union, the rubber union and the others, and you have the answer to why the working class today resembles little the class of a decade ago which seized the plants, fought the police and the troops, brought the haughty princes of American industry to their knees and converted a trade union organizing campaign into a social crusade. The leaders of these great class actions have grown ten years older and ten years more conservative, the huge national organizations that were forged out of the battles are under the direction of a puissant bureaucracy. The new young men and women who have entered the industries are still in the position of the led rather than the leaders.

There is an additional temporary but telling factor which further conspires to augment the power of the bureaucracy and to leave, for the time being, decisions in its hands. The unions are now superbly organized as truly mass battalions and bargain with a small number of capitalist trusts closely integrated with the state. Every big strike can at a moment’s notice turn into a national social contest between labor and capital. The workers sense this. They sense that pure-and-simple economic strikes now have very limited efficacy. They are therefore loath to engage in sporadic guerrilla warfare on their own. They tend to leave the major decisions in the hands of their top leaders and prefer peaceful settlements because, after the experiences of 1946, they do not have any faith that under the present leadership the results won by long-drawn-out strikes will be commensurate with the sacrifices required.

Stalinism – and Its Frankenstein

Is the monstrous growth and rise to power of the labor bureaucracy with its integration into the governmental machinery sufficient to explain its crushing victory over its erstwhile Stalinist partner? Not entirely. There is still a missing link”the disgraceful and villainous role of the Stalinists themselves and the Frankenstein they created which has now laid them low.

The Stalinists entered the CIO with the best disciplined, the most experienced and largest political cadre in the labor movement. They were able to participate actively and effectively in practically all the original major organizing campaigns and strike struggles. When the immense national union structures were set up, the Stalinists were in possession of an organization machine not too inferior to the Lewis combination. They had the decisive influence over half the auto union, hegemony of the electrical union, the East and West Coast maritime unions, the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, the office and government workers, a voice in the rubber and even the steel union. They were in effective control of the most important central bodies including New York, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles. They were further favored by an aura of militancy, appearing as the left-wingers, the fighters of the movement. How did they utilize this enormous capital of authority, administrative control and good will?

Let us recall the state of affairs in the 1936 period. The young CIO was imbued with crusading zeal and full of the vision of new great vistas opening up before labor. Those were the days of sit-down strikes. Mayors and legislatures were humbled by the massed might of a working class in action. Even though the pro-Roosevelt and People’s Front current was running high, everywhere the workers were trying to “implement” the policy and “help” their labor “friends” by direct action and by reaching out for more power and more substantial concessions.

Those were the days when John L. Lewis organized Labor’s Non-Partisan League and staged a determined effort to capture the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania and secured the gubernatorial nomination for the mine workers’ secretary-treasurer. Those were the days when the bureaucracy had to set up the American Labor Party in New York as the only means to corral the radical labor vote for Roosevelt. Those were the days when the Detroit CIO ran a full independent labor slate to “seize the reins of government.” The country was ablaze with insurgency.

Viewing the matter in retrospect, it is probably true that the Stalinists, despite their considerable strength, could not have overcome the pro-Roosevelt and People’s Front current. But they could have organized a genuine left wing of huge proportions, a left wing which would have prospered after such experiences as the breaking of the Little Steel strike, the sell-outs of. the Democratic “friends of labor” and the Roosevelt “recession” of 1937. The formation of such a left wing would have turned topsy-turvy all the existing relationships not only inside the CIO but in American politics as well. Today the movement for socialism would be miles ahead.

Instead, in response to the Kremlin line of People’s Front, the Stalinists stood shoulder to shoulder with Lewis and Murray. They became the most ruthless and conscienceless section of the CIO bureaucracy in hurling the most advanced workers back into the Roosevelt fold, in killing the promising labor party potentialities, in inculcating the workers with the vices and prejudices of class-collaboration politics, in isolating and hounding the union dissidents and radicals and in ramming the new bureaucracy down the throats of a turbulent rank and file.

Left Wing Devitalized

Lined up with the bureaucracy on all essential questions, but maintaining nevertheless their own independent machinery and bases of support, the Stalinists were able to pervert the strivings of the advanced militants for a class struggle policy into degenerate clique fights for position and power. The faction fight in the CIO”now muffled, now flaring into the open”which dominated the union boards for a decade, never clarified any issues or crystallized political tendencies but only confused everything and demoralized the most sincere elements.

The Stalinists’ ill-deserved reputation as “lefts,” their unscrupulous methods and their demagogy coupled with their organizational might enabled them for a decade to monopolize the “opposition” to the Murray bureaucracy and to nip in the bud any independent progressive manifestations. But they could not, naturally, pursuing this cynical and unscrupulous course, construct a genuine fighting force. As a matter of fact, time and again they demoralized even their own members, disintegrated and debauched the impressive cadre which they possessed after the early strike struggles, destroyed a whole generation of revolutionists and potential revolutionists and became a new school for opportunism and a training ground cf polished highbinders and careerists.

The defection of Curran, Quill and others is not a case of simple renegacy of a number of individuals. It is rather the natural fruit of Stalinist opportunism and treachery. To execute the switch, the Currans and the Quills did not have to after by one iota the essential methods and policies learned in the Stalinist school. Stalinist People’s Frontism only strengthens and consolidates the power of the authentic and consistent People’s Fronters.

To the insufferable burden of their own indefensible 10-year record, the American Stalinist leaders, especially since the war, have had to carry the dead weight of the Kremlin’s crimes and perfidies. For as the American working class grows politically alert, it shrinks from the representatives and defenders of a police state which tolerates no democracy, no free press, no free speech, no free trade unions.

Fifteen years ago in Minneapolis, a group of genuine revolutionary socialists – Trotskyists – built a powerful union structure in the citadel of the open shop and showed in practice how to carve out of the struggle a fighting labor cadre composed of the best and most sacrificing men and women of the union ranks. The threefold combination of the AFL bureaucracy, the employers and the government could only smash this outcropping of radicalism in the union movement on the eve of the war by the deployment of overwhelming forces to beat the union ranks into submission. Even then, the workers remained loyal to the Trotskyist leadership to the end and gave up the struggle only when their leaders advised them that further resistance was futile.

The Minneapolis truck-drivers were certainly not Trotskyists in their political outlook. They were under the sway of the Roosevelt myth even as the rest of the American working people. But they knew the Trotskyists from long experience as men of principle, as the most far-sighted, the most intransigent battlers for the rights of labor. That is why they were willing and anxious to rally in defense of their leadership despite its extreme political complexion.

When the Murray bureaucracy, in response to its master’s voice from the State Department, launched its own “cold war” in the CIO, the Stalinists had the advantage – over the Trotskyists in Minneapolis – of not being isolated in one city but representing a national power. But under what banner could the Stalinists call on the ranks to defend them? What could the Stalinists tell their union memberships? That they were the best People’s Fronters, the best strikebreakers, the best bureaucrats, the best speed-up artists, the best totalitarians? Like drunken profligates, they dissipated their not inconsiderable capital and stand before the ranks today discredited and dishonored, their own cadre dispersed and demoralized. That is why they made such a pitiful showing at the Portland convention. That is why there is no fight, no spirit of confidence in their group. That is why the Murray machine was able to ride roughshod over their remaining forces.

The ignominious defeat of the Stalinists cannot blind us to the fact that it was suffered not at the hands of an insurgent membership but of a red-baiting social-imperialist bureaucracy. Previous defeats of the Stalinists, as in the auto union in 1938 and even the recent upheaval in the maritime union reflected, along with the red-baiting, honest outrage against Stalinist misdeeds and progressive rank-and-file aspirations. The Murray crew, however, carried through its purge exclusively on the plane of the “cold war” between the United States and the Soviet Union. The two planks of its political platform are simply the Marshall Plan and pro-Truman PAC policy.

But the Stalinists are not merely a trade union caucus. They are a national political party with big resources and international connections. Already they are laying their lines for a comeback as a pseudo-progressive opposition. They are banking on the inevitable and irrepressible social contradictions of American capitalism leading to a new crisis and on their ability to place themselves again at the head of rebellious masses of workers.

There is nothing quixotic or fanciful about the Stalinist perspective. American imperialism is heading into mounting difficulties just as surely as night follows day. Not only will the composite masses of the organized industrial unions move into action, but the class itself will be renewed and reinvigorated by the additions of the doubly exploited and oppressed groups of workers hitherto untouched by the organizing drives and mass strikes. The Stalinists in Europe and Asia have demonstrated time and again that despite crimes and betrayals, they are able to recapture leadership by appealing to and rousing new generations of workers when the masses move leftward and in the absence of an alternative radical leadership.

Is a Stalinist Comeback Possible?

Can they stage a comeback in the United States as they did in France after the war? Leave aside the fact that the Stalinists are not their own masters and their perspectives and plans are subject to revision overnight when new orders are handed down from the Kremlin. Even their present perspective runs into a buzz-saw of obstacles and complications. First they do not have the kind of cadre they had a generation ago, a cadre hewed out of militant struggles and unemployed demonstrations in their so-called “third period.” A decade of ugly maneuvers and People’s Frontism has corroded their cadre with opportunism and sapped the morale of their ranks. Secondly they are a discredited and despised group. It is common knowledge in the labor movement that their party is a plaything of a foreign bureaucracy. The Stalinists therefore will find it extremely hard, if not impossible, to reestablish broad moral leadership over oppositionist forces.

Finally the Trotskyists, who were preoccupied during the early CIO upheavals with gathering together a political nucleus, have today an impressive cadre of working-class leaders in a number of important industries, far superior in quality to the Stalinists and enjoying an enviable reputation in the ranks as the unwavering champions of militant unionism and class struggle policies.

This changed relationship in the labor movement has already expressed itself in a very significant manner: in the rise of noteworthy progressive groupings in unions like auto and rubber which are not only in opposition to the bureaucracy but are also anti-Stalinist. This represents an absolutely new trend. It foreshadows developments to come. It indicates that the Stalinists will never he able to seize without contest – as they did in 1936 – the leadership of the nascent progressive movement. They will face the determined resistance of a trained, experienced and influential cadre resolved to build an authentic, left wing and not a counterfeit formation which can again disorient, manipulate and sell out the American labor movement as a cat’s-paw in the struggle between the Kremlin and Wall Street.

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