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R. Craine

Workers Party Meeting Explains
“Dissolution” of Communist Party

(February 1944)

From Labor Action, Vol. 8 No. 6, 7 February 1944, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

A large, interested audience filled the meeting hall at the Irving Plaza on Sunday, January 30, and listened to Albert Gates, editor of Labor Action, and Max Shachtman, national secretary of the Workers Party, discuss the significance of the “dissolution” of the Communist Party which had been “announced” some weeks earlier by Earl Browder.

Comrade Shachtman began by explaining the purpose for which the Communist Party, was originally organized, namely, to teach and prepare the working class of this country for the abolition of the capitalist system, for the establishment of a workers’ government which would reorganize society on a socialist basis of brotherhood and real equality. Through a series of events, declared Comrade Shachtman, the workers in Russia lost control of their government until the power was finally usurped by Stalin and his circle of bureaucrats, Who now rule and exploit the Russian people even more brutally than did the old czars. The Communist Parties everywhere became the tools of Stalin.

When Stalin and Hitler embraced each other in 1939, the American Communist Party became violently anti-British and was opposed to United States entry into the war on the side of the Allies. During that period, the American Stalinists advocated strikes – even when these were not beneficial to the working class – opposed conscription, and called the war an imperialist war.

Then came war between Russia and Germany, with the former’s entry into the camp of the Allies.

Overnight, the American Stalinists’ became advocates of American participation in the war, of the opening of the second front, of “more production regardless of wages,” of “national unity,” of the “no-strike pledge,” of “incentive pay” and of similar anti-labor measures.

Browder’s recent proclamation in favor of the capitalist system, of free enterprise and of the two-party system in the United States was an open admission that the Communist Party had long ago given up the struggle for a better world.

It would be erroneous, however, Shachtman stated, to believe that Browder and his cohorts are now working in the service of the American capitalists. No, they still are in the pay and service of Joe Stalin.

At the present time, this means – by Browder’s own words – that the workers should continue to produce at ever-increasing speeds, that they should not try to increase wages or to improve their conditions, that they must be satisfied with any crumbs thrown their way.

The Browder boys will continue, as in the past, to disrupt any labor organization or trade union which: does not allow itself to be used to further Stalinist policies.

Comrade Shachtman was confident that, despite the Stalinists, the working class as a whole will find out what the more wide-awake workers already know ... that capitalism offers them no way out of the mess into which the world has gotten ...

To be successful in this fight, to prepare for it today, the working class needs a party of its own – a party which stands clearly for the immediate and ultimate interests of labor. The national secretary of the Workers Party called upon the workers in the audience to be on guard against the Stalinists in their unions and organizations. He urged those workers who wished to join ranks in the fight for a better world, for socialism, to become members of the Workers Party.

At the end of the meeting a number of members of the audience indicated a desire to learn more about the Workers Party, and one worker joined the party.

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