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Albert Gates

The Antics of the Communist Party

Browder Glad NAM Talks Like Him

(17 April 1944)

From Labor Action, Vol. 8 No. 16, 17 April 1944, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

When a PM interviewer told Earl Browder, high potentate of the American Communist Party, that he would get along well with the National Association of Manufacturers and added, “In large sections they sound almost word for word like you,” he got the following reply’ from Stalin’s representative:

“That’s fine. I’m awfully glad to hear that. I’m not sorry when you say that leading members of the NAM talk like me. My report to the Plenum (of the Communist Party) was distributed to every delegate at the economic conference of the NAM, and I am told most of them read it through; I am very happy when I get news like that.”

We are glad, too, to hear this from Browder, because he now says openly what he stands for. As a matter of fact, the practice of the Communist Party in this country has been, for a long time, in conformity with Browder’s expression.

When the head of the NAM, Walter D, Fuller, notorious anti-labor” big business leader, has praise for the Stalinists, expresses willingness to work with them, and appreciates their services, the real role of the Communist party is thoroughly revealed. They have become the new stalking-horses of American, big business and the most reactionary section of the capitalists to boot.

What is the origin of this latest quick-change act on the part of the Communist Party in this country? It is the change in Russian foreign policy of collaboration, this time with Anglo-American capitalism.

The American Communist Party, like its sister parties in other parts of the world, is not an independent organisation, but a Russian agency whose policies always reflect the policies of the Russian Foreign Office. Its policies have never been stable since the Communist International ceased to be a revolutionary socialist organization, that was many years ago. Since Stalin’s triumph in Russia, and whenever the foreign policy of that country required it, the Communist Party has made quick switches from one policy to another, without ever bothering to explain these changes to a bewildered and stupefied following until long afterward.

A Little History

Starting in 1932, for example, when the economic crisis had reached its severest point, the American Stalinists campaigned against Roosevelt on the ground that he was a fascist. When they finally accepted the New Deal, Roosevelt overnight became the champion of democracy, freedom, security, prosperity and everything that was decent. Anyone who knows anything about the political history of this country during the past fifteen years, also knows that Roosevelt didn’t change a bit. It was Browder’s party which changed. Why?

Stalin’s foreign policy had changed. The victory of Hitler, which he had helped to bring about, scared him and he turned away from the working class movement of the world to the “democratic” capitalist countries. This became known as the “Popular Front” period, in which the Communist Parties in all Countries tried to form an alliance between labor and a section of the capitalists, not to advance the cause of labor, but to defend Stalin’s regime in Russia and the profit system in the “democratic” capitalist countries.

So, in this country, Roosevelt became the arch-democrat and the American Communists suddenly became his most outspoken supporters. It did not last very long, however.

Russia tried to form a “collective security” bloc against Hitler, Tojo and Mussolini. She was not overly successful because of the lingering suspicions which existed between her and the other powers, and the fact that the capitalist powers themselves were not too sure of their direction.

While the League of Nations proceeded to stab Ethiopia in the back during the Italian invasion, Russia protested the League’s failure to apply sanctions against Mussolini. But at the same time Stalin supplied oil and other materials to the Italian armies, which permitted them to wage war against the almost defenseless Ethiopians. The American Communist Party supported Russia in these acts.

The Hitler-Stalin Honeymoon

At the same time that Russia was attempting to form a bloc of the “democratic” capitalist nations against the Axis, she was carrying on negotiations with the Nazis for the purpose of arriving at an agreement with them.

A few months before the war broke out, at a time when the English arid French were negotiating with the representatives of the Russian army, Hitler and Stalin announced the signing of a pact. This pact paved the way for the opening of the present war.

The invasion of Poland by the German armies was followed by an invasion of the Russian armies. Hitler and Stalin then proceeded to divide the country, according to pre-arranged plans. Russia also was given the Baltic states. Shortly thereafter she attacked Finland. This was to be her sphere of influence, while Western Europe was to be under Hitler.

In all these quick changes, the American Communist Party announced its full agreement with Stalin in all his actions. This was not without its humor, because at each successive turn by Stalin the American Stalinists were taken by complete surprise.

They denied that it was possible for Stalin to reach an agreement with Hitler. But no sooner was that said than the signing of the pact was announced.

They denied the invasion of Poland by Russia, but the very next day the invasion took place.

From that moment on, in the midst of the war between .the Axis and England (France was knocked out of the war quickly), the propaganda of Russia, which became the propaganda of the American Communist Party, went as follows:

This is an imperialist war. Germany did not start the war – as a matter of fact, Hitler is completely blameless, the war was started by England. England is a bloody imperialist and no one should support her.

In America, the Communist Party opposed every war measure proposed by Roosevelt. It now turned on him in the same way it did in 1932, ’33, ’34. He was a war-monger, a reactionary, an enemy of the people. Fascism now became a matter of personal taste.

The Stalinists fought conscription, lend-lease, war production and the Roosevelt anti-German foreign policy, with vigor, but not in the interest of socialism and a socialist peace, but in the interest of the Hitler-Stalin pact!

Then the Switch Came

When Hitler attacked Russia, the Communist Party made another quick change. The war was now a holy war; Great Britain was wonderful; Roosevelt was a genius and, next to Stalin, the greatest benefactor the people had ever known.

Now lend-lease was not enough, conscription was not enough, war production was not enough, the destroyer-bases exchange was not enough! Prepared or not, the United States must immediately declare war on Germany. Thus their only difference with Roosevelt was that, he did not move fast enough – he still hesitated.

When Pearl Harbor took place, everything was just fine. America was now involved in the war. And this time, the American Stalinists really went to town.

They belabored the workers for not sacrificing enough. No hours were long enough to work. Wages must be forgotten about during the war. Suppose the capitalists were making the biggest profits in history out of the war and off the backs of the workers. That was all right, too. As a matter of fact, American labor should readopt the speed-up, incentive pay, rotten working conditions, arid permit big business to destroy all the gains of the union movement after years of fierce arid bloody struggle.

From the time that Russia got into the war until the present the Communist Party has become progressively more reactionary and more dangerous to the masses in this country. Its newly-acquired friendship for Roosevelt arid American big business may become embarrassing to the representatives of American big capitalism, but it is downright dangerous to American labor. BECAUSE THE AMERICAN COMMUNISTS ARE INSIDE OF THE LABOR MOVEMENT, THEY ARE THE MOST DANGEROUS ENEMIES OF THE AMERICAN WORKERS, READY TO SELL THEM DOWN THE RIVER WITHOUT BLINKING AN EYE.

CP Anti-Labor Policies

They defend the infamous War Labor Board and the Little Steel formula at a time when the whole official labor movement is out for its scalp.

They are the most adamant supporters of the President’s so-called seven-point stabilization program, when everyone now recognizes that it is really only a one-point program in which wages alone are stabilized.

They oppose any activity of the trade union movement which would lead to an improvement of the conditions of the workers, especially where these activities relate to wages.

They opposed the miners’ fights for an improvement of their conditions.

They opposed the railroad unions’ fight for a similar improvement of the conditions of railroad workers.

They fought against a progressive program in the automobile workers’ union, as well as in the CIO and the AFL.

They have attempted to force the CIO to endorse a fourth term for Roosevelt at a time when some leaders and many workers are thoroughly disgusted with him.

In a word, they have championed policies in the interest of Stalin which can bring nothing but harm to the overwhelming majority of the workers in this country.

All of these changes have taken place overnight, without explanation on the part of the Stalinist leaders, although the explanation is clear: If it suits Stalin, we must carry it through.

The Latest Changes

Only in the last few months new changes have taken place with great rapidity. To improve relations with his Allies, Stalin made the formal gesture of dissolving the Communist International. This does not mean that Stalin’s international GPU will cease to function. On the contrary!

This announcement of the formal dissolution of the Comintern was followed by another declaring that The International, the song of world labor, was no longer the official song of Russia. That decision has already been accepted by what is left of the Communist International outside of Russia.

And the most recent action was the announcement by Browder that the National Committee of his party had decided unanimously to dissolve the party into a “Communist Political Association” in the name of national unity. From now on the American Stalinists will operate in the existing political parties.

With great rapidity Browder has announced his support of capitalism, the two-party system, monopolies and cartels, a new world imperialism to be carried out jointly by the United States, Russia and England. His attacks are all levelled against the true socialists, the militants in the union movement, lukewarm, lip-service socialists, and even the poor liberals.

Browder denounces them for their criticisms of capitalism. Yet what is wrong with the liberals is not their criticisms of capitalism but their inability to understand that all the ills affecting the people are due to capitalism. Thus they hope to make a better world out of a system which cannot be reformed.

The liberals are not wrong in describing what is ugly, brutal and mischievous under capitalism. They are not wrong in describing the terrible exploitation which exists, the poverty, unemployment and war which occur with regularity under imperialism. They are wrong in not understanding that the only way to get rid of these things is by abolishing capitalism and replacing it with socialism.

When Browder says that imperialism and monopoly are natural under capitalism, he is right. But that does not mean that they have to be accepted. They are natural and good for the capitalists; they are bad for the people. A struggle against imperialism and monopoly is a fight in the interests of the masses of people. There’s the difference!

We have seen an organization which was once socialist change into an organization which is now anti-socialist, anti-working class, anti-labor. Workers, beware of the Communist Party! It can only betray you! Unionists, beware of the representatives of the Communist Party and their fellow travelers! They can, only ruin your splendid organizations, these new friends of the National Association of Manufacturers!

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