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Carl Davis

Stalin’s Lackey Aids de Gaulle Disarm Militia

(January 1945)

From Labor Action, Vol. IX No. 5, 29 January 1945, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

A New York Times dispatch of January 21, reports that Maurice Thorez, generalissimo of the French Communist Party, announced a change in that party’s position on disarming the armed resistance movement. He has now ordered his party to support the government of General de Gaulle in its measures to disarm the fighting legions of the people who maintained a running’ four-year war against Hitler’s armies of occupation.

De Gaulle vs. Communists

It wasn’t so very long ago that a sharp struggle broke out in France between the government of de Gaulle and the leaders of the resistance movement, many of them members of the French Communist Party, over the government’s decree ordering disarmament of the Patriotic Militia. The action of de Gaulle’s cabinet reflected the demand of the Allies, whose puppet he is, that the armed people must be disarmed.

Why did the Allies make this demand in France, Italy, Belgium and Greece? Why are they prepared to disarm the people in every country which will be “liberated” by their military forces? Did not the armed people play a tremendous role in the fight against Hitler’s occupation, troops and keep alive the flame of revolt against the Nazi oppressor? Of course they did, and none paid higher tribute to the armed resistance movements than the leaders of the United Nations, Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill, et al.

The reason for the demand of disarmament arose because the Allied leaders realized that the resistance movements were not merely seeking their national emancipation from fascist Germany, but were social movements of people tired of the slaughter and the way of life of capitalist imperialism and its recurring wars and starvation. The people want more than just liberation from the Nazis. They want punishment of the big business men who collaborated with the Nazis during occupation and preferred the victory of the former over their rebellious people, who might destroy the profit system. They want a social change, genuine freedom and security.

Communists with de Gaulle

Naturally the people resisted and continue to resist their new “protectors,” who wish to take their weapons from them. The Communists were in the beginning the loudest in their opposition to de Gaulle’s scheme. But, as indicated above, Thorez, in his report to his party’s central committee, completely reversed this position. In shamefaced praise of the Patriotic Militia, now called the Civic and Republican Guard, he said that they had served their mission against the Germans, but the situation had changed and “public security should be assured by the regular police forces.” Why the change?

The original opposition of the French Stalinists to de Gaulle’s order was based on a plan to bargain for greater representation in the government and to strengthen Russia’s position in France. Since the conclusion of the Franco-Russian twenty-year pact, Stalin has obtained at least one of his aims – to neutralize any Franco-British or Franco-American treaty. De Gaulle granted Thorez amnesty from his conviction for deserting the French army when France was at war with Germany when Russia and Germany had a non-aggression treaty, the infamous Hitler-Stalin pact.

Communist policy in all countries is dictated by Russian interests. Stalin does not want an armed people in Europe. He wants to solidify his own power. Having achieved one aim in France through the Franco-Russian treaty, his servants in that country turn tail and now agree to the disarming of the People’s Militia. The Communist Party in France, like the Communist Parties of all countries, has become respectable. By that is meant that they support capitalism and the pre-war status – so long as it serves Russian interests. But they stand against the people at all times!

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