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[Jack Weber]

March of Events

(14 September 1935)

From New Militant, Vol. I No. 38, 14 September 1935, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

F.D.R. Warns Soviets ...

Through Secretary of State Hull, Roosevelt has given warning to the Soviet Union that he expects Russia to keep its pledge given at the time recognition was granted. Hull makes it perfectly plain in his statement to the press that what America had in mind in demanding Litvinov’s signature to Article 4 of the pledge was one institution and one institution only: the Comintern. “The language of the above-quoted paragraph irrefutably covers activities of the Communist International, which was then, and still is, the outstanding world communist organization, with headquarters at Moscow.” Since Krestinsky rejected the protest of the United States against the holding of the Seventh World Congress of the C.I. in Moscow, Hull warns that the official relations between the two countries may be seriously impaired.

Meantime Walter Duranty expresses for the Stalinists their utter amazement that this Seventh Congress should in any way be confused with the earlier congresses which really aimed at advancing the interests of the world proletarian revolution. Duranty tells the bourgeoisie to look beneath the left phrases at the political realities as expressed in the entire course of Stalinism, and not to take too seriously the mere echoes of the past that have no more real content so far as the C.I. is concerned. But in the matter of relations between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., it is not so much any violations of a pledge that counts [sic], as does the main, aim and objective of the American bourgeoisie in the near future. These aims concern the period preceding the Second Imperialist World War for redivision of the world.

Aim of U.S. Capitalism ...

Press comment stresses that Roosevelt was motivated in his present move against the Soviet Union by the exigencies of the coming Presidential elections. He desired to rob his reactionary critics of one of their main arguments proving Roosevelt to be “radical”: his attitude towards the Soviet Union. But it should be clear that while this is undoubtedly involved, Roosevelt would never have taken this further step towards the break of relations with the Soviet Union if it had not been in line with the major interests of the capitalist class. It follows on the heels of the refusal to grant Russia credits, and on the heel of the withdrawal of consuls and military attaches from the Soviet Union. It is thus a renewed guarantee to Japan that the United States will not aid Russia when the Japanese start the attack.

Recognition of the Soviets came at a time when Japan was threatening a rapid advance and deeper penetration into China. Involved in the domestic crisis and unprepared for a military conclusion, the American capitalist class found it necessary to impede the advance of Japanese imperialism by threatening a military alliance with Russia. This move succeeded for the time being, but could not be a permanent solution of the problem of the Pacific. When Japan resumed its conquest and plunder of China, America changed its course and decided to push Japan into a war of intervention against the Soviet Union. This would weaken both and permit the United States to step in at the moment of exhaustion to defeat its Japanese rival as well as the Soviet Union which would meantime be taken care of from the West through the attack by Hitler.

It is with this strategy in mind that the U.S. is now engaged in a vast project of militarizing the entire Pacific, establishing air bases and naval bases in all its possessions and as near to Japan as possible. Every move with respect to the Soviet Union thus has Japan in mind also. H.B. Hinton, writing in the New York Times of Sept. 1, emphasizes this:

“Far Eastern experts were called into consultation and the situation was viewed from a perspective including Japan. Our official students of Russian affairs know that Maxim Litvinov, the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, obtained at least two years of security on his Far Eastern border when he negotiated the recognition of his government with Pres. Roosevelt. Russian relations with Japan almost immediately took on a better aspect, the Chinese Eastern dispute was settled ...”

What Hinton fails to add is that the American imperialists also secured by this means the holding back for the same period of Japan’s march into Asia, at least of the speed of this march.

American diplomacy subordinates all other tasks to this major task: the defeat of Japanese imperialism. The neutrality law – so-called – is a move subordinated to this same aim. The United States wants to have no entanglements in Europe. Her interest in peace is the same profession in words and violation in deeds as that of Mussolini who pours his troops into Africa, or Baldwin who rushes the British navy into the Mediterranean. Similarly Roosevelt is setting the guns in the Pacific and smoothing the path for the air and naval raiders in the coming war.

Sept. 2, 1935

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