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History of Polish C.P. Undergoes Refurbishing

Falsifiers Essay Task of Explaining Away
All Past Blunders and Failures of Party Leadership

(April 1938)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. II No. 16, 16 April 1938, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

One of the features that distinguished the last Moscow Trial from its predecessors was the attempt of Stalin-Vyshinsky-Yezhov to explain the programs of the Left Opposition and the Bukharinists during the period of the open factional struggles as having been merely a cover for counter-revolutionary aims. By this method the whole history of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union can be re-written and all blunders and failures explained as the activities of spies and wreckers, disguised as faction leaders.

It now seems that this method is just as applicable to the problems of explaining the past history of the various parties of the Communist International. The current issue of the Communist International contains the first attempt in this direction.

History Rewritten

In an article called Provocateurs at work, one of the present leaders of the Polish Communist Party sets out to rewrite the history of that organization. It now develops that the Polish party has for years been led by secret agents of the “Defenziva,” the secret police organized by Pilsudski.

These “spies of Pilsudski” are now blamed for the idiotic ultra-left slogans which the Comintern raised during certain periods of its history, particularly from 1929 to 1934. The author of the article says that

“... they (the spies) systematically distorted the line of the party in the attempt, on the instructions of the ‘Defenziva,’ to present the Polish Communist movement in such a politically ugly light as to shake the confidence of the masses in Communism, and to enable the Polish ‘Defenziva’ and Polish fascism to say that the Communist movement is alien to the Polish people. Hence, the fact that the agents-provocateurs put forward all kinds of ‘extreme slogans’ like those imposed upon the soldiers of the Warsaw garrison by provocateur Panitz in calling upon them to murder their officers.”

Factionalism a Crime

The Polish C.P., like the other parties of the Comintern, was beset with factional struggles under the international leadership of Stalin-Zinoviev, and after 1926, of Stalin-Bukharin. Since factional struggles are now regarded as crimes in the Stalintern, the fights in the Polish Party are attributed to ‘Defenziva’ agents. “A most important method resorted to by the Pilsudski clique in disorganizing the Communist movement was the incitement of factional struggle inside the Communist Party of Poland. The Polish ‘Defenziva’ had its agents, in both factions, both in the ‘majority’ and in the ‘minority’.”

The Left Opposition severely condemned the criminal policies of the Comintern in Poland in 1926 when the Polish C.P. supported Pilsudski in his military coup. This is also explained to day by the Stalinist “historians, who declare that “during Pilsudski’s May coup d’etat in 1926 the leaders of both factions did not take up an independent class attitude, but supported Pilsudski.”

How They Lied

Most humorous “explanation” of all is the following:

“In addition, leading members of both factions – ‘majority’ and ‘minority,’ acting on the instructions of the ‘Defenziva,’ made a wide practice of deceiving the Communist International. They fabricated data regarding the state of the party organizations, sent in inflated materials, regarding mass movements, exaggerated the role of their respective factions in these movements, whereas actually these movements were led by honest rank-and-file Communists who were utterly sick and tired of the ‘factional’ struggle staged by the ‘Defensiva’.”

The writer would be much nearer the truth if he confessed that the reports were sent in by party bureaucrats who lied in order to make their jobs secure, and that the mass movement did not exist at all.

The article on the Polish C.P., no doubt, heralds the appearance of “explanatory” histories for all the sections of the Comintern. We can expect an article most any day now describing how Lovestone and Cannon were sent into the Communist Party of America by the Department of Justice to stir up a faction fight to demoralize the membership and sell out the party to Al Smith and the Liberty League and how, thanks to the eternal vigilance of Comrade Browder, the party was saved for Roosevelt and the Democratic Party.

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