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Albert Gates

More Confessions by CP Misleaders

(30 July 1945)

From Labor Action, Vol. IX No. 31, 30 July 1945,p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The current discussion in the Communist Political Association carried publicly in the Daily Worker is indeed a revelation of the depth of the corruption of what was at one time a revolutionary socialist party.

It is many years since the socialist goal was the reason for the existence of the Communist Party. To-day, in its deepest degeneration, the Communist Party (Association!) is totalitarian, utterly lacking in principle, devoid of any socialist character, and is simply the American section of Stalin’s international battalions. Its main purpose of existence is to defend the bureaucracy in Russia and to represent its interests in this country.

The current discussion among the Stalino-Communists does not reflect a dispute over principle, over whether Browder or Foster is a better socialist. On the contrary, the dispute arises over the changing needs of the Stalin bureaucracy in Russia. So long as the war against Germany was still being fought, and Russia required the assistance, industrially and militarily, of the United States and Great Britain, the line followed by Browder was not in question. Only at the end of the war, when the difficulties among the Big Three over the division of the spoils in Europe became a real and concret eproblem, did the Stalinist line change in this country. Why?

Pawns of Stalin

To enforce his demands of his allies, Stalin needs assistance in the form of the Communist organizations in the United States and England as well as in the rest of the world. The “new line” is a warning to the British and American ruling classes: grant me my demands or I will make it difficult for you.

Browder had no doubt carried out the line of class peace and class collaboration too well. What is meant by that? Merely that he took an unnecessary step in dissolving the party which Stalin might find necessary again. In all other respects his line up until yesterday, and Foster’s line reveal no fundamental difference in theory and practice. They are both reactionary, anti-socialist, class collaborationist and anti-labor. As between Foster and Browder, the latter has logic on his side. He says, in effect, if you follow the Foster program, you are really following the program I advocate, only you wish to dress it up a little better to make it look nice. You are really dishonest, says Browder to Foster. As a matter of fact, however, Foster is the better Stalinist. He understood why the party should have been maintained as a blackmailing instrument.

The fact is that Stalin tolerated Browder’s line (the real difference is whether the party should have been converted into a nassociation) so long as it was useful. It was clear to that master of intrigue in the Kremlin, that any change in line could not have been effected by Browder, who had gone out on the limb too far and had to be made the scapegoat in this situation.

Bureaucratic Confessions

But the most revealing thing in this discussion, as we have already pointed out, is the manner in which the leading members of the National Board of the CPA, all of whom supported Browder slavishly and without any question, have suddenly seen the light.Their “self-criticism” is really a study in self-debasement and immorality. They reveal their fundamental dishonesty and disloyalty. They reveal, above all, the effect that a totalitarian party and totalitarian ideology has on the individual. He loses all self-respect, dignity and elementary honesty, becoming transformed into a hack, a machine man utterly incapable of independence of thought and action.

Most important of all, the party and its leaders reveal how in misleading the workers in general, they misled the average worker member of the party, who thought he had joined a working class party devoted to the interests of socialism. They are the victims of a corrupt gang of bureaucrats who regard the rank and file of the party as so many cattle to be led wherever their bureaucratic interests direct.

Here is Exhibit No. 1 of the totalitarian leader of the Stalinist School. Mr. Gil Green, member of the National Board of the CPA, President of the New York State CPA, a “promising” young bureaucrat who sold out his dignity and self-respect many years ago. Listen to him confess how he misled his party:

“Had I personally been guided by this approach (Leninist) I would not have written some of the articles that I did ... I, however, never questioned the validity of the basic line as such ... I made a basically false estimate of monopoly capitalism ... My own share of responsibility (for the false line) I consider particularly great. I did not follow blindly – I was firmly convinced that the main line was correct ... In fact, in seeking theoretical justification for our policies, I was one of those who contributed to the further revision of our basic body of Marxist-Leninist principles. Unable to make the line fit the theory, I began to reshape the theory to fit the line. Such errors cannot be considered as small ones ...”

They Prattle On

Now comes Exhibit No. 2, Benjamin J. Davis, Jr., member of the National Board, misleader of the Negro people, and recently Tammany-endorsed candidate for the New York City Council:

“I applied it (the Browder line) in all my work, and most specifically in the field of Negro work, with resulting serious weaknesses in that work ... I did not detect the errors because I was not sufficiently mature and equipped as a Marxist, an inadequacy brought sharply to my attention by the impact of the Duclos article ... It is my opinion that bourgeois ideology influenced all on the Board who bear responsibility for the error.”

Then we have Exhibit No. 3, Israel Amter, member of the National Board and long-time leading Stalinist:

“There has not been an atmosphere of comradely discussion also at National Committee meetings. This has been absent to such an extent that a comrade, at a recent National Committee meeting declared this was the first time in the whole period that hehas been a National Committee member that he has dared to speak freely and without fear of being slapped down ... Above all there has been a lack of democracy in our organization. There was and is as yet no stimulation but rather a bureaucratic stifling of initiative, independent thinking and criticism in our ranks.

“Together with all the members of the National Committee, I consider myself equally responsible for the present situation ... I became conditioned to swallow the whole bourgeois liberal line that he (Browder) developed. In spite of my 44 years in the Marxist movement, I threw over-board all experience and Marxist training.”

Exhibit No. 4, Roy Hudson, the trade union director of the CPA, admits:

“I went along because, my inadequate grasp of Marxism prevented me from understanding that something was fundamentally wrong.”

This doesn’t exhaust the list by any means. What these totalitarians call “self-criticism,” is pure and simple bureaucratic confessing. What an utter lack of conscience that they can come before workers as leaders and ask their support afte radmitting that they are “ignorant,” “inadequatelyeducated in Marxism” (the only theory and practice which can emancipate the working class), have “misled workers,” succumbed to “bourgeois (capitalist) ideology” and committed the gravest of errors against the working class.

The spectacle is indeed illuminating. But it carries with it a lesson.

Workers! turn your backs on these conscienceless misleaders and betrayers of labor. Worker members of the Communist Party! Quit thistotalitarian organization of bureaucratic misleaders who use you as pawns in their own self-interest, as well as the interests of the Russian bureaucracy. There is no more socialism or workers’democracy in Russia than there is in your own party. Join a truly revolutionary socialist party. Join the Workers Party.

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