Jean van Heijenoort writing as Marc Loris

The I.L.P.—Words and Reality

Fourth International, June 1942, pp.181-186, under the name“Marc Loris”. (5,420 words)

The English bourgeoisie must now defend itself on several fronts: against German and Japanese imperialism, against American imperialism, against the colonial peoples of the Empire, and finally, against the English proletariat. Whatever the outcome of the war, British imperialism can only continue to decline. Its problem is not to gain something from the war, but to lose as little as possible. Inevitably the disintegration of the Empire leads to a revolutionary crisis in England.

The discontent of the masses of Britain is growing. The workers, the women and adolescents are chained to exhausting labor for wages which are lessened every day by the rising cost of living. The soldiers receive absurdly low pay. The capitalists are amassing greater profits than on the eve of the war. The Black Market rages. The leaders of the Labour Party and the Stalinists are intoxicated with chauvinism. But in the depths of the masses the war and its miseries are ripening a revolt against the regime.

Under these conditions, the Independent Labour Party last November began“A Socialist Britain Now” campaign. The program of this campaign, remodeled several times, now has five points: (1) Social Equality, (2) Social Ownership, (3) Liberate the Empire, (4) Help Soviet Russia, (5) Socialist Peace Offensive. These five points are not unattractive, especially compared to the betrayals of the Labourite and Stalinist leaders. However, the best program is worth only the worth of the party which is trying to achieve it. That is why we must engage in a close examination of the present policy of the ILP.

When we read the ILP press and the speeches of its leaders, we soon see that they are permitting a great number of variations on the five points of the program. Thus the first two points are often replaced by the formula“end injustice,” which is merely an empty phrase of pre-Marxist socialism. The third point, on the liberation of the Empire, is sometimes used in a revolutionary sense, but it is also sometimes transformed into the reformist formula“Democracy in the Empire” (New Leader, February 14, 1942). Finally, the party permits equivocal expressions on the war itself. Thus, Brockway contrasts the ILP’s program to“the purely military method” and presents it as“a political contribution to the end of the war” (New Leader, April 18, 1942). The irreducible opposition of two aims, that of the bourgeoisie and that of the proletariat, is obliterated and becomes a choice between two methods for a common aim, the end of the war. The same defect is present in the speech of Campbell Stephen, representing the ILP in Parliament, on April 15th. Here is his conclusion:

“If in framing his budget the Chancellor had shown vision and imagination and had sought to bring the economy of this country in line with the economy of Soviet Russia, he would have given hope to the working people who have been called to make all the sacrifices, as well as to the workers in the various parts of the Empire. He would have struck a tremendous blow at the tyranny of Hitlerism in Germany.”

What confusion! Stephen asks from the Chancellor“vision and imagination” in the conduct of the war. It is an appeal to the reason of the exploiters, not a call to revolt of the oppressed.

All the ILP’s propaganda is permeated with an incurable confusion which manifests itself in all questions, large and small. Each page of their paper contains several examples. We take another one at random. On March 7th the New Leader published an article on Sir Stafford Cripps in the form of an open letter. This letter to the colleague of Churchill begins“Dear Comrade” and ends“Fraternally yours.” Without irony! As for the contents of the article, one sentence suffices:“You delivered a trenchant speech [in 1935] on which I beg you to reflect.”

The fundamental fault of the ILP’s propaganda is that one finds everything in it: from the revolt of the colonies to“dear comrade” Cripps. In this jumble the opportunist declarations dominate, the revolutionary formulas lose all real content and are transformed into empty phrases. In all its propaganda and activity, the ILP is incapable of distinguishing between reform and revolution.

How Achieve“A Socialist Britain Now”? The ILP leaders insist that their program should be achieved in the very near future. On all occasions they underline the word“Now.” Ridley writes on February 21st:“The time for a Socialist Britain now and the accession to power of a revolutionary party may be nearer than even the most optimistic imagine.” On April 11th the New Leader even gives a precise date in writing:“Socialist victory in 1942 is the correct slogan.” The real meaning behind these quixotic phrases can be seen from the rest of the same statement of Ridley: he speaks of the“accession to power of a revolutionary party” without daring to name the party, knowing too well how far the words are from reality.

The ILP is still a small party. Naturally, no one would blame it for that. But every worker attracted by the slogan“A Socialist Britain Now” and by the promises of the ILP has the right to ask the question: How fulfill such a program in such a short time? Unfortunately the ILP leaders, eloquent in praising socialism as against capitalism, have no breath left with which to enunciate concrete ways of reaching the aim.

When its campaign was opened last November, the inaugural appeal of the party defined the campaign thus:“The object of the campaign will be the mobilization of all the elements in Britain which are in favor of the creation of a Socialist Government.” In order to accomplish this“mobilization” the party announced:“Regional conferences will be held throughout the country, to which delegates from all sections of the Labour movement and left organizations will be invited.” Four or five of these conferences took place in different towns last March, the most important in London at which a resolution was presented by Brockway, according to which“there was a growing realization that the present system was doomed and that a better one must be born. The change would have to come, from below and the Socialist Britain Campaign gave a lead in the organization of the workers for the task.” Will Morris, who seconded,“said it was clear that the Labour Party had lost faith in Socialism as a practicable possibility, and the broad movement aimed at by the campaign had become an absolute necessity.” These few sentences suffice to recall to us other“movements” and“mobilizations” of the same type: the“congresses” and the“fronts” of the Comintern several years ago. The analogy can be pursued on the organizational plane. At these conferences“delegates from all working-class, Socialist and kindred organizations are invited.” At the London conference, the most successful, 154“delegates”“represented” 80 organizations: unions, cooperatives, various clubs, and ILP branches. But the public demonstration which followed gathered 800 people, that is, an average of ten persons per organization. As for the character of the“representation” and of the“delegates,” a small note in the New Leader informs us: that“speakers who are cited as members of Trade Unions, the Co-operative Party, the Labour Party, and National Council of Labour Colleges, are participating in the campaign, of course, in their individual capacity, and not as representatives.” We have here the return of the ill-famed Stalinist masquerades.

Since March, the ILP apparently has abandoned the“conference” method. What then are the ILP’s other methods for attaining“a Socialist Britain now”? After having read and reread the ILP press, the question remains without an answer. Certainly, there is no lack of grand phrases:“Our task is to carry on the struggle against the Vansittarts and the other enemies of Socialism in Britain, to press on with the building of a Movement here which will be capable of ‘making Britain socialist.” Writing“Movement” with a capital letter does not, however, bring us an inch nearer the solution of the problem.“We must inspire the people.”“We launch our Spring offensive, an offensive which will not die with the Spring, but gather momentum as it rolls forward to the new dawn of international Socialism.” Strange as it seems, these are the least vague phrases we find on the question of how to realize a Socialist Britain now. And don’t forget that“Socialist victory in 1942 is the correct slogan”!

This confusion in methods only reflects the uncertainty of the goal to be attained. At the initiative of the rank and file and against the opposition of the leadership, the recent ILP national conference undertook to examine the character of“Socialist Britain.”“Conference carried by a large majority an amendment which declared that Socialists `should co-operate in the creation of a Socialist Britain in which the working class will achieve power through its own organizations, industrial unions and workers’ councils which will organize at one and the same time the economic and political might of the working class.’ This was designed to expand a statement in the original resolution that Socialists should `combine in an effort for the establishment of a Socialist government.’” It is clear: the leadership proposed an extremely vague resolution and the rank and file members felt the necessity of giving it indispensable preciseness. Then what happened? Two members of the leadership“strongly opposed the amendment on the ground that it put undue importance on industrial organization and, by implication, played down the importance of Parliamentary work.” This opposition shows how far these“leaders” are from revolutionary methods:“the importance of Parliamentary work” is opposed to the soviet form of socialist power! But listen to the end:“James Maxton wound up the debate on behalf of the National Committee and declared that the point at issue was not important.”“Socialist Victory in 1942 is the correct slogan,” but a fundamental problem of the revolution is deemed by the leadership to be“not important”! Underneath their grand radical phrases the ILP leaders have no serious perspective of revolution.

Two Enlightening Episodes Richard Acland is a liberal who“in middle age has come forward as an apostle of Socialism” and has undertaken to preach it in a“more genteel way.” This is what the New Leader announces to us under the heading“Richard Acland Marches On.” The editors go so far in their admiration that they give him nearly an entire page of their paper to present his views to the workers. We note in passing that the New Leader complains bitterly of the lack of paper because of rationing. And here are the revelations of Sir Richard Acland:

“Now I do not believe a people, particularly the British people, would ever make a revolution except in a mood of desperation .... They might be driven to such a mood by adversity in war; but in such circumstances, I cannot see how the revolution could be other than Hitler’s opportunity. And Britain is too small to afford a ‘Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.’ Therefore, apart from my sincere belief that a revolution would set in motion many forces which would lead to undesirable ends, apart from my perhaps purely bourgeois dislike of revolutions as such, I do not believe a revolution is a practicable possibility. If this is correct we have to think in terms of majorities in the House of Commons.”

And Sir Richard concludes his article by calling for complete support of the war.

Fenner Brockway answered Acland. The first part of his reply was a eulogy of Sir Richard’s discoveries. He begins:

“I welcome the article by Richard Acland. He is doing a service for Socialism which we must not underestimate.” And he continues:“The socialist movement needs an intensification of its moral fervour .... Richard Acland has brought a simple freshness . . . the inspiration of a moral crusade.”

In the second part of the article Brockway undertakes to point out to Sir Richard that Parliament cannot be converted to socialism. However, he concludes:“We have no doubt on which side Richard Acland will be when the crisis comes” and he ends by speaking of“our common hope.”

A liberal feels the need of expressing his dislike of revolution, of treating revolutionists as agents of the enemy, of slandering the Russian revolution. All that is most normal. But why open to him the columns of the organ of a party which calls itself revolutionary? Why welcome his“contributions” and his“services” to socialism? What does this nonsense teach the workers? The elementary duty of an honest revolutionist is to teach workingmen to have contempt for such a gentleman. After the New Leader’s indecent acclaim of Acland, won’t a worker have the right to say to himself:

I am sure that Acland will never be in the camp of the revolution. He says so himself: Now, Brockway announces that they will both find themselves in the same camp“when the crisis comes.” Brockway“has no doubt” about that. Would I be wrong in concluding that Brockway will not be in the camp of the revolution?

At the national conference of the party in April a resolution was presented for free education from nursery schools to universities and for other democratic demands in that field. The conference included in the resolution an amendment demanding that education should be secular.

Whereupon James Maxton took the floor and declared that the amendment“made the resolution thoroughly impracticable and that an attempt on the part of the Government to satisfy the demand would arouse the bitterest controversy; the Government, therefore, would not even consider the proposals.” Who is speaking? Mr. Churchill or the leader of a party which wants a“Socialist Britain now”? For Maxton the thing that counts is the present parliamentary mechanism and he must carefully restrict his demands to that which it can give. After Maxton’s intervention, the conference voted down the resolution together with the amendment. Then what to think of the program“a Socialist Britain now”? According to Maxton’s criteria it is highly“impracticable,” for, no doubt, it“would arouse the bitterest controversy”! Marceau Pivert recently called the ILP the“Social-revolutionary vanguard not only of the British working class, but of all the other countries” (Analisis, February-March 1942). How does this free-thinker (is he still a Free Mason?) explain the refusal of the ILP leadership to fight for secular education because“the government would not even consider the proposals”?

The Problem of the Labour Party The Labourite leaders cynically collaborate with the Tories in order to bring the imperialist war to a successful conclusion The English workers feel more and more ill at ease, but are still organized in the Labour Party. How get out of this impasse? How take a step forward?

To this fundamental question, point of departure of all the problems of the English revolution, the leaders of the ILP bring no answer. By this they betray the purely abstract character of their propaganda. How would a Leninist leadership approach this task? It would address itself to the members of the Labour Party saying:“End the political truce! Break with the representatives of Capitalism! Labour to power! Here is the program we propose for a Labour government.” And the revolutionary leadership would present a series of fundamental demands.

That is the policy which our English comrades propose. The leaders of the ILP lost no time attacking them. In the February 21st New Leader, F. A. Ridley writes:

“In fact, everything indicates that this war will mark the end of the Labour Party just as the last one did that of its liberal predecessor, despite the valiant efforts of the Trotskyists to revive the fast putrefying corpse. The spirit died in it long ago. After all, even Christ gave up the dead as hopeless after three days!”

That supercilious conceit! And at the same time, what lack of comprehension of revolutionary tasks!

What does Ridley mean when he characterizes the Labour Party as a“fast putrefying corpse”? Does he mean that the workers are rapidly abandoning this party, to come, for example, to the ILP? Unfortunately, this is not so. Ridley himself recognizes this fact; in the April 4th New Leader he writes:“The British masses are only in the earliest stages of mental emancipation from the mists of reformist illusions.” Only in the earliest stages of mental emancipation, not even yet of organizational emancipation! Then what is meant by the“fast putrefying corpse”?

In the same article Ridley explains that“the official Labour and Trade Union Movement must surely be a proletarian `Bourbon’” for it can learn nothing from experience. And he concludes:

“In view of this, we notice with astonishment that the (`Trotskyist’) `Socialist Appeal’ is still appealing for a third Labour Government. It will appeal in vain. If anything could drive the disillusioned masses into apathy and/or Fascism it would be a third Labour Government fiasco. We fear that the demand is merely another instance of ‘revolutionary conservatism’: what Lenin said in 1920 under quite other historical circumstances.”

There are so many errors and falsifications in these few lines that we must examine them carefully. Firstly, the comrades of the Socialist Appeal have never spoken of a“third Labour Government. “Instead, they have explicitly rejected this formula to better show that a Labour Government must not be permitted to be a repetition of the unfortunate experiences of the past, but must be a stage in the development of the English revolution. This cheap falsification shows that Ridley is not conducting an honest discussion.

Ridley then affirms that those appealing for a Labour Government“will appeal in vain.” Naturally the course of the English revolution is still unknown. But if one can be sure of anything, it is that this course will pass through a Labourite stage and that this stage will be marked by an enormous enrichment of the political experience of the masses and will prepare them to undertake higher tasks. Without doubt, Labourite leaders are“Bourbons.” But can the English workers learn nothing from experience? To answer in the negative is to abandon all perspective of revolution. And isn’t the first task of a revolutionary party to facilitate the experience of the masses in order then to lead them farther? The present internal situation of the Labour Party only confirms the correctness of the policy of our English comrades. At the recent convention of the Labour Party, an attempt to halt the political truce with other parties was defeated by the very close vote of 1,275,000 to 1,209,000. One can easily imagine what pressure there was from the leadership in favor of maintaining the truce, and one can affirm with assurance that the great majority of the rank and file workers are clearly for the end of that truce.

Ridley scoffs at our English comrades for their“revolutionary conservatism.” However, his irony is very much out of place. He acknowledges himself that the policy of our comrades was that of Lenin in 1920, but he rejects this policy for we are now, it seems,“under quite other historical circumstances.” Lenin’s 1920 policy had three fundamental premises: first, the English bourgeoisie finds itself in a difficult situation and is becoming more and more incapable of governing as in the past; second, the majority of the working class is organized in the Labour Party; third, the revolutionary vanguard is still a very weak minority. Naturally, we are no longer in 1920, but which of the three premises has changed? Precisely why would the Leninist policy not be valid today? What are the“quite other historical circumstances”? Ridley doesn’t even try to answer these fundamental questions.

For years one of the ILP’s most frequent objections to the Comintern was its“sectarianism.” In fact, it complained even more bitterly of the“sectarianism” than of the opportunism. But the ILP’s present attitude towards the Labour Party shows that it understood nothing of the“sectarian” errors of the Comintern. Towards the Labour Party the ILP takes an ultimatistic attitude which resembles that of the Comintern towards the German Social-Democracy. As everyone now knows, that policy was the principal reason for Hitler’s sucess. Does Ridley hope to win the English workers to the revolution by repeating the ill-famed words of Thaelmann and Remmelle?

Under the grand ultimatistic phrases, however, the deep-seated opportunism of these people becomes evident. The clearest example is the electoral policy of the ILP. There is a Liberal-Labour-Tory electoral truce in the by-elections. The ILP has put up some candidates against Tories and made important successes (from 15 to 29 per cent of the votes). But the ILP does not oppose Labour candidates. Why? Since Labour candidates run without Tory or Liberal opposition, no one can argue than an ILP candidate would help reaction. Therefore a Marxist party could, in general, oppose its candidates to the Labourite candidates in these by-elections. Naturally, the rule is not obligatory in all cases and often such a party could answer yes or no to the question, according to local circumstances. But for the ILP it should be logically necessary to run candidates. It proclaims that the Labour Party is a“fast putrefying corpse” and that it is reactionary to call on this party to take power. Hence for the ILP it would be obligatory to have everywhere and always its own candidate against the Labourite candidate. But here the opportunist appears under the sectarian mask. The recent national conference of the ILP discussed the electoral problem. Under the pressure of the leadership“a resolution expressing the view that the time was now opportune for the ILP to make a stand against the Labour Party at by-elections was rejected.” Listen to the arguments of the leadership:“Maxton declared the Party should only fight by-elections in which there was a chance of a vote which would impress the public that the ILP was a serious political party.” The Labour Party is a“fast putrefying corpse,” but the ILP leadership refuses to oppose it in the elections in order not to risk its reputation as a“serious” party... Reality has cruel revenges.

In spite of Ridley’s twaddle on the“quite other historical circumstances,” the majority of the rank and file of the ILP is in favor of the Leninist policy toward the Labour Party.“Conference accepted a resolution ... [declaring that] the ILP should call upon the Labour, Trade Union and Communist leaders to break their anti-working-class alliance with the National Government, and to wage a campaign for power on the basis of nationalization and workers’ control of production.” Naturally, the ILP leadership was opposed to this resolution, which was adopted in spite of this opposition. (Unfortunately, the report does not give the number of votes for and against.) But to the lack of comprehension of revolutionary tasks the leaders of the ILP add hypocrisy: the spokesman for the leadership“said the leadership opposed because the resolution was redundant and all its points were already covered in official policy.”

This vote against the leadership now explains Ridley’s articles against the Trotskyists ..... In actual fact his articles were directed against the fraction of the ILP which supports the Leninist policy and which obtained a majority vote on this question at the conference. The ILP leadership knew very well of the existence of this opposition to its policy. What would have been the duty of an honest leadership? To open a discussion on this important question, above all since it was the eve of the national conference. What did the ILP leadership do? It had Ridley attack the opposition by attacking a Trotskyist group outside the party. Instead of a serious discussion, the result was some journalistic notes, superficial and rather venomous, clarifying nothing. We have already seen that the ILP policy is not without resemblance to that of the Comintern some years ago. Does the ILP leadership also wish to imitate the Stalinists in its internal methods?

The ILP Attitude Towards Stalinism In England as elsewhere the Stalinists are jingoes. In the by-elections they mobilized all their forces to support the Tory candidates against the ILP. At Cardiff, in the by-elections in which the ILP put up Brockway against a Tory, the slogan of the Stalinists was:“A vote for Brockway is a vote for Hitler!” On many occasions the distributors of the New Leaders have been attacked by Stalinist hoodlums. Yet the ILP still lacks a clear position on Stalinism. The national conference rejected, at the request of the leadership, a resolution which gave a precise analysis of Stalinism and which concluded:“The Soviet regime and workers’ democracy can only be restored by the overthrow of the bureaucratic clique in the Kremlin.” What then does the leadership of the ILP offer the Soviet workers? Nothing.

Instead the ILP leaders still find the occasion to praise Stalin. In his February 23rd Order of the Day, Stalin declared:“It would be ridiculous to identify Hitler’s clique with the German people and the German state. The experience of history shows that Hitlers come and go whereas the German people and the German state remain.” The declaration does not contain a drop of internationalism. Translated into clear terms it simply signifies that Hitler can be eliminated without social upheaval. The“German state,” that is the capitalist state, will still exist. The English and American imperialists, as well as the German bourgeoisie, are not to fear proletarian revolution; Stalin will look after that, if need be. That is the meaning of Stalin’s declaration. Nevertheless, James Maxton availed himself of that despicable declaration to exclaim to Parliament some days later:“The speech made by Premier Stalin is an infinitely more statesman-like utterance than anything that has come from the Government of this country.” That reveals the ILP’s profound opportunism not only towards Stalin, but also towards the British government. What criterion has Maxton for judging“statesmanship”? Is he reproaching Churchill for inadequately defending English imperialism, or for inadequately preparing the proletarian revolution? How can a revolutionist reproach Churchill for his lack of“statesmanship”? A criticism of this type implies common interest, the defense of the Empire. As for Stalin, he must be delighted with Maxton’s compliment: he knows now that he speaks better than Vansittart!

On March 21 the New Leader informs its readers that a plaque on the house in Holford Square where Lenin lived forty years ago“was unveiled by Mrs. Maisky.” The editors added no commentary. On the 25th of April the paper described a new ceremony:

“A memorial bust of Lenin in Holford Square was unveiled by the Soviet Ambassador Mr. Maisky ..... The bust is a cast of the official bust at the Soviet Embassy. Natural light is directed on it, with a crimson background which casts a permanent red glow. A few broken links of chain are set into the base of the memorial to represent the workers have nothing to lose but their chains’. ...John McNair, General Secretary, represented the ILP at the ceremony.”

The Stalino-chauvinists, personified by the ex-Menshevik Maisky, try to conceal their betrayal behind a bust of Lenin. The New Leader hasn’t a word of criticism on this disgusting ceremony; instead the ILP is represented at this obscene act by its general secretary.

At the ILP national conference an amendment was presented asking for“the advocacy of the production and transport of war materials to the Soviet Union under workers’ control.” The idea of tying the defense of the Soviet Union to the class struggle of the English workers is excellent. The slogan has an offensive character, as much against the English bourgeoisie as against its agents, the Labourite and Stalinist leaders. But the leadership of the ILP hastened to oppose this proposition. The arguments of its spokesmen were, taken as a whole, that“the proposals are impracticable.” Thus, the ILP leaders reveal once more their total incomprehension of the dynamics of revolutionary action. How render“practicable” tomorrow that which is“impracticable” today? They have no idea. They find it very“practicable” to praise the“statesmanship” of Stalin, to insult Lenin by attending fraudulent ceremonies; but to call on the English workers to demand an accounting from the capitalists on the aid to the Soviet Union, that is“impracticable”! How can a worker take seriously the internationalist phrases of the ILP leaders when they at the same time hold such a capitulatory attitude towards Stalino-chauvinism?

The Task of the Vanguard The ILP’s present position remains entirely in line with its former policy. And this policy, for years and years, has been the policy of equivocation. The ILP remains, in the full sense of the word, a centrist party. To give precise answers to the problems of the revolution is beyond the powers of the party leadership. Incapable of dispelling the confusion, the leadership tries to cover it by radical phrases—;which lead it to new errors, for example its attitude towards the Labour Party. Trotsky’s remark that a sectarian is only an opportunist frightened by his own opportunism has never been more true than for the ILP.

Doesn’t the party’s campaign for“a Socialist Britain now” represent a step to the left? Let us examine this question a little. The ILP is the only traditional party in England which recognizes the imperialist character of the war and proclaims the necessity of socialism. Of course in the mouths of the ILP leaders that recognition retains an abstract character. But against the background of complete betrayal by the Labourite and Stalinist leaders, the party acquires a revolutionary glitter. The ILP leaders remain where they were before, but the war has, for the present, lengthened the distance which separates them from the social-patriots.

This fact, although not sufficient to give a revolutionary temper to the ILP leaders, has provoked important changes inside the party. Even for an observer who writes at a distance, it is clear that the party has recruited new elements which take seriously the revolutionary talk of the leadership. The last national conference clearly showed this. The preceding conference, a little more than a year ago, had been a debate between the present leadership and the social-patriotic wing (C. A. Smith). The April 1942 conference revealed a new situation. The leadership proposed a confused revolutionary program and the whole conference consisted of the efforts of the members to elucidate and to correct the policy of the leaders. In all the debates a notable minority (29 per cent against 71) held a much more revolutionary position than the leadership. On several extremely important questions (workers’ councils, the attitude towards the Labour Party) this minority was able to rally a majority of the members against the leadership. The picture is clear: the rank and file members are trying to“lead” the leaders. The conference revealed two important facts: the party is moving to the left, but in this movement the base is inevitably coming into collision with the inertia of the leadership.

The left wing of the party, we are sure, will follow up the work of clarification undertaken at the national conference. To dispel the confusion, to denounce the inconsistencies, to patiently explain the Leninist policy—such are the tasks of the hour. But all these tasks merge into a single one: to expose to all the incapacity of the leadership. The present leaders are not political novices. For many years they have shown their inability to assimilate the Leninist policy. To expect them to change is to hope for a miracle. The members of the ILP must always remember the tragic example of the POUM in Spain. That was, like the ILP, a centrist party but incontestibly very much more to the left. As a proletarian leader, Nin was a hundred times superior to Maxton. But when the difficult hours of the revolution came, the POUM knew only how to float on the surface of events, incapable of directing them. For this task it is necessary to have a party which has broken all ties with the dominant class and its appendages, a party which knows how to inculcate the oppressed with a fierce hatred of bourgeois society, at the same time a party which does not become befuddled by phrases but which is imbued with a profound revolutionary realism. It is such a party that the English workers must have for the severe ordeals which are coming. New York, May 31, 1942.