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Jack Weber

March of Events

(19 May 1934)

From The Militant, Vol. VII No. 20, 19 May 1934, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Amter’s United Front with Fascists

Like burning handwriting on the wall, the lessons of the catastrophe of the German proletariat stand out, clear for all to behold. For all, that is, but the Stalinists whose eyes are shut tightly to all lessons, who have become impotent to check theory against practice, courses of action against events. There is no limit to the depths of degradation to which such a party can sink. It makes a horrible caricature of every policy and principle of Communism.

The latest brilliant application of Stalinist tactics is Amter’s exposition in the Daily Worker of the United Front from Below with fascist “rank and file workers”. The great leaders and teachers of our movement, faced with the condition of an organized working class divided among reformist and revolutionary organizations, taught the great value of the united front tactic.

Communists utilize the united front established between workers’ organizations, to raise the class consciousness of the class and to teach workers in the course of struggle the correctness of revolutionary policy as against the betrayals of reformist policy.

* * * *

Completing the Cycle of Folly

The Stalintern, failing to grasp oven the faintest significance of the united front policy, lost all possibility of acting as a unifying force of the proletariat. Instead the Stalinists deepened the rift between the Social Democratic and the Communist workers, first by denouncing as counter-revolutionary any attempt at the united front; later, driven by events to a treacherous course of covering up rather than examining and admitting its previous criminal blunders, they opposed the Marxist united front with the meaningless united front from below.

This ultimatist tactic of demanding that workers break the discipline of their own organization to secure the blessings of a united struggle with Stalinism entirely under its own banner, this puerile caricature of dialectic thinking, made impossible the struggle against fascism and the achieving of Communist leadership over the wide masses of workers in the course of struggle.

Fascism proceeded in Germany to utilize the lack of proper guidance of the working class organizations and their split ranks to make inroads from above – by winning over petty bourgeois elements threatened with pauperization, fearful of being driven down into the ranks of the proletariat, – and from below – by attracting, thru demagogy and bribery, sections of the desperate unemployed and the lumpenproletariat. The aid to fascism of treacherous Stalinism was rewarded – by the complete annihilation of the Communist Party!

And now in America it is proposed that the workers pursue exactly the same course! Amter – can it be sheer insane mockery? – proposes to apply the tactic that was intended to unite the workers for militant struggle against fascism, not to the organized workers, but to the organized fascists, the khaki shirts! Finding some demoralized workers, lost forever to any heightening of class consciousness, in the ranks of organized fascism.

The Stalinists propose to win them back by applying to the ranks of the worst enemy of the working class the tactic of the united front from below, the same false tactic that tends to drive these elements to fascism to begin with by destroying the unity of the proletariat! The cycle of folly is complete! The Stalinist Party, having lost its moorings, utterly demoralized, becomes incapable of distinguishing aetween the decisive layers of the working class and the riff-raff of society.

* * * *

Petty-Bourgeois Cringing!

By this application of the United front tactic the American C.P. reveals unmistakably its petty bourgeois character. For it is an indelible mark, to the discerning eye, of the same capitulatory tendency that caused the German betrayal. Amter’s very tone – lacking completely in ultimatism and denunciation when speaking of the fascists that was characteristic of the approach to socialist workers – betrays a shameful cringing.

“We must not make the mistake”, says Amter in the Daily Worker for the whole world to read, “that was proposed in the opportunist slogan of some comrades of the German C.P., ‘Smash the fascists wherever you meet them’ which was rejected by the C.C. of the C.P.G.” But it is only by smashing the fascists at the very inception of their movement, only by sectional struggles against every smallest germ of fascism as it shows itself, that the worker, joined in a real united front, learn how to crush fascism in the major battle to come.

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