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Henry Judd

[Response to Gates]

(17 May 1948)

From Labor Action, Vol. 12 No. 20, 17 May 1948, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Comrade Gates is correct to imply that the above quotation [1] appears somewhat contradictory. This is due to incomplete elaboration of its meaning on my part. In Czechoslovakia, the Stalinists came to power in the way described in Labor Action, but also managed to throw the cloak of “legality” and “constitutionality” over their actions, primarily because of the absence of any resistance. This was secondary. The intent of the article on Italy, of course, was to point out that even this pseudo-legality is impossible in Italy, that what the Italian Stalinists sought to accomplish by an electoral victory – the peaceful winning of state control – is out of the question. Open civil war would result in Italy. —



Note by ETOL

1. This refers to a passage in Judd’s article Italy’s Crucial Election:

“The Italian Stalinists seek to come to power legally and constitutionally. Above all, they would like to gain 51 per cent of the votes, form a government under the new Constitution – perhaps invite a few Nenni Stalino-Socialists and even some liberals to participate – and having peacefully gained control of the state apparatus, set about their job of building a totalitarian slate in Italy. This was their road in Czechoslovakia.”

This was quoted by Albert Gates in the letter this text is responding to.

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