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Paul G. Stevens

In the World of Labor

(21 April 1939)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. III No. 26, 21 April 1939, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

“Poor Little Poland” Carries on for Democracy

All eyes have been turned on Poland as the newest and most dangerous of the powder barrels from which the coming European arid World War is to get its first spark. The Chamberlain-Daladier crowd, in their campaign of encirclement against the Fascist Axis, have replaced the late republic of Czechoslovakia with Poland in their propaganda as the symbol of the “democracy” they are fighting for. Henceforth, we shall probably hear from them and from their American counterparts in the Roosevelt war machine, including the Stalinists and social democrats, of all kinds of outrages being committed against “poor little Poland.”

It is therefore highly interesting to read in a not so old copy of the British Manchester Guardian, which is part and parcel of this campaign, how “democracy” actually fares in Poland.

“The Polish terror in the Ukraine,” wrote a correspondent of that paper, “is now worse than anything that is happening anywhere in Europe. The Ukraine has become a land of despair and desolation that is all the more poignant because the rights of the Ukraine have been guaranteed by international treaty, because the League of Nations has been altogether deaf to appeals and arguments and because the outside world doesn’t care.” (10-18-30).

Conditions in the Polish Ukraine have, if anything, become worse since the rise of the Hitler threat. What treatment the Jewish minority receives in Poland has been a matter of public scandal for years. Yet this is the “poor little democracy” that we are going to be drummed up to defend in the coming conflagration.

Sixty Hours for the Workers – Jail Terms for IV Internationalists

Hand in hand with the Daladier decrees abrogating the forty-hour week and replacing it with the sixty hours, with the decrees abolishing nearly every economic gain achieved by the French workers in recent years, goes the ferocious attack against the French Fourth Internationalists.

We have already reported here the arrests of our comrades Suzanne Charpy, Loret and Steve. Word now comes that comrade Morel, who succeeded Charpy as editor of Revolution, the organ of the French Youth Section is under indictment on similar charges. Comrades Beaufrere, Philipp and Forges, three militants of the Revolutionary Socialist Youth, are likewise under indictment for “provoking the military to disobedience,” due to articles which appeared in the very latest issue of Revolution. Beaufrere has also been indicted for distributing a leaflet entitled: “Defend the Forty Hours! Down with the Daladier Government! Throw the Cagoulards in Prison!” (The Cagoulards are the hooded French Fascist organization.)

Naturally, the Stalinists and reformists in France are entirely unconcerned with their fate. They are still busy licking the boots of Daladier. Our French comrades depend upon international solidarity in their valiant struggle. All aid to the French Fourth Internationalists!

Why the Chamberlain Crowd Sees No Barrier in Stalin’s Ideology

It has long been known to Marxists that Chamberlain’s reluctance to deal with the Stalin government of the Soviet Union in his line-up of diplomatic alliances was due entirely to tactical considerations on the part of British capitalism. Only propagandists for the Cliveden set made a bogey out of Stalin. Only Stalinist dupes and paid scriveners have regarded Chamberlain as an opponent in principle of the Stalin regime.

Now, that Hitler’s refusal to be held in tow has forced Chamberlain to agree to a British-Soviet alliance, the real attitude of the Tory capitalists to Stalin comes to light.

The Marquess of Donegall, one of their spokesmen writes in Lord Rothermere’s Sunday Dispatch:

“I was glad to see Mr. Chamberlain state that we have no ideological barrier to co-operation with Russia. There are still a lot of people in this country before whom the Communist bogy looms large.

“They failed to realise that with the ousting of Trotsky and the execution of many of his followers, Communism – if by that you mean Marxism with its aims of world.revolution-went west years ago.

“What has been growing up in Russia for years is National Socialism – a bourgeois State.

“Furthermore, with Russia’s limitless resources, that National Socialism is not forced into the position of being aggressive, as is Germany’s.

“It has, of course, paid the Fascists to keep alive the Communist bogy with which to entice gullible moderates into their camp. And it is astounding how many intelligent Conservatives in this country have only just awakened to the fact that they have been facing the wrong enemy.”

No doubt, the good marquess over-reaches himself in this all too sanguine estimate. He is simply working hard to change public opinion in line with the change in tactics when he speaks of Russia as a bourgeois state. But the reference to Trotsky is sufficient to indicate where he really stands. That the workers of Soviet Russia and of the world have little to expect from a Chamberlain-Stalin alliance – that flows clearly from every word the marquess writes.

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