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Reva Craine

World Politics

(9 April 1945)

From Labor Action, Vol. IX No. 15, 9 April 1945, p. 3
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

All is not going so well with the proposed world security set-up. The plans for the San Francisco Conference have hit a number of snags. These are not caused by the capriciousness of the Big Three, as many commentators would have us believe, but rather by the actual deep-going conflicts which exist in that camp. We have written before that what decides the relationships among the Big Three is not some idealistic desire for peace and harmony, or the interests of the people, but brute power.

At Yalta, Russia was in the most favorable military position, and this enabled her practically to lay down the law. That explains why it appeared that Roosevelt and Churchill had capitulated to Stalin. Since Yalta, the military scales have been tipped more in favor of the Western powers and this is immediately reflected in the sterner attitude which they now take toward Russia.

The boldness or timidity with which the Big Three treat one another is in direct proportion to their respective military positions, but these momentary shifts in no way wipe out the deep-going economic and political differences which divide them. These are rooted in their imperialist rivalries.

Molotov to Stay Home

Poland is in the limelight again – that is, the conflict over the “Polish problem” has flared up again. Russia is demanding that her puppet Warsaw government be, invited and recognized at San Francisco. England and the United States are holding out because this government has not yet been “broadened,” as prescribed by Yalta.

In retaliation, Russia has been playing down the importance of the San Francisco Conference. Stalin told his partners off by announcing that Foreign Commissar Molotov would not come to the conference. A lesser figure, Ambassador Gromyko, has been assigned to head the delegation.

Stalin, like all realists, knows that all talk about “world security” is just so much talk, valuable only for fooling the naive and serving up illusions to the masses throughout the world who yearn for real peace and security. What counts for hard-headed dictators and rulers is something more “tangible.” Stalin wants definite commitments about German industry, about lend-lease. from the United States – and he wants some action on these things.

Russo-Turkish Pact

Something “more tangible” is, for example, greater influence and control of the Black Sea area which Stalin regards as his special sphere. Hence the Russian denunciation of the treaty with Turkey which was signed in 1925 and the demand for certain “revisions.” Exactly what these “revisions” are we do not now know, but undoubtedly they are intended to strengthen Russia’s position in the Dardanelles, to provide an outlet to the Mediterranean Sea which England regards as her special sphere. Another purpose is to bring Turkey into closer political collaboration and break her away from British friendship.


Another sore spot is the matter of the mandates which were established by the League of Nations. The United States now proposes that a conference of the “Big Five” (Russia, England, France, China and the U.S.) be held to discuss the internationalization of the mandated areas.

It is quite natural that England and France, the individual possessors of most of these mandates, interpret this proposal as a direct blow at them. They had accepted these mandates in order to bring these areas closer into the orbit of their empires, and finally as integrated possessions, and they certainly do not wish the interference of the United States. The United States wishes to retain the military and naval bases obtained from England during the war, and to expand in this field by obtaining more of them. It wants the mandated areas open to free trade, aviation and communication, for it knows that in free competition it can easily displace England and France.

To allay the fears of England and France, the United States is willing to confine this proposal for international control to the mandated areas, leaving the colonial possessions in the hands of their present owners – for the time being. But here is the unfolding of the drive made by United States imperialism to remove and displace its rivals, from their imperial strongholds in order to establish itself as the one great power of the world.

Finnish Elections

None of the parties in the Finnish elections operated on the basis of a clear-cut working class program which places the interests of. the masses above any others, particularly the interests of foreign imperialisms. Hence the lack of a clear-cut decision.

The gains made by the Popular Democrats (Communist-controlled coalition) are not only an indication of the deep-going dissatisfaction with the other parties, especially among the workers who had previously supported the Social Democrats, but also reflect the pressure and warnings from Russia to vote for its party.

At the same time, the victory of the Popular Democrats was very indecisive, reflecting the justified suspicion that the policy of this coalition was to tie Finland to the imperialist apron-strings of Russia. The Finnish people have learned through bitter experience that friendship with Russia means subordination to the Stalin regime. Hence, their merely partial support to the party which made its main plank “cooperation with” (read: subservience to) Stalin.

Only the existence of an independent party, independent of all imperialist pressures, Russian as well as Anglo-American, could have given the masses of Finland the means of accurately expressing their desires and oriented them in a struggle against foreign and native oppressors. Without such a party, the elections could not in any way represent the interests of the masses of Finnish workers and peasants.

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