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John G. Wright

International Notes

French Press on Soviet “Election” –
“Fathers” of Stalinist Constitution Now “Traitors” –
World’s Mounting Armaments

(1 January 1938)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. II No. 1, 1 January 1938, p. 6.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Echoes of Stalin’s Fake Elections

Stalin’s plebiscite met with polite but pointed razzing in the editorial pages of the world capitalist (“democratic”) press. The fraud was so brazen and crude that the bourgeois editors stood only to gain by understatement. It goes without saying that they did not let the opportunity slip to cover Marxism in general and Bolshevism in particular with the muck that Stalin pumps out of Moscow.

The noteworthy thing is that the French partners of Stalin in the People’s Front treachery have finally unbuttoned their lips. Even Le Populaire broke on this occasion its non-aggression policy toward Stalin, dropping its pretext of “diplomatic consideration” to criticize the electoral frame-up. The French social patriots had covered Stalin’s judicial frame-ups with silence. Now that it is no longer expedient (or possible) to keep mum, Populaire virtuously declares that Stalinism has “succeeded quite convincingly in demonstrating to the populace the grave personal risk every citizen incurs by adhering to the opposition.”

They dare even to make reference (somewhat belatedly) to the frame-ups. Says Populaire:

“The January trial of the so-called ‘parallel center’ (i.e., Radek-Piatakov trial – (J.G.W.); the June execution of Tukhachevsky and seven other generals, the purge in the party, the trade unions, the Komsomol, the Comintern, the administration, the journalistic and literary circles; the havoc wrought in the so-called ‘federated’ republics – all this nips in the bud the very possibility of an opposition’s crystallizing.”

Concludes the Populaire:

“... the system of Soviet (read, Stalinist) elections has nothing in common with democracy despite the fact that the Soviet government has had the gall to declare its electoral law ‘the most democratic in the world.’”

Now that they have broken the negotiations for unity with the C.P., the French social-patriots declare that they “cannot but view with disparagement the system of rule which is a complete denial of democratic principles.”

Naturally, this cannot but widen the breach between Blum & Co. and Stalin-G.P.U.-Thorez & Co.

100 Per Cent for Stalin

The Stalinski electoral, district in which Stalin himself chose to run was in the nature of things destined to set the record in getting out the vote. Nothing less than 100 per cent would do! “When the zealous officials completed the count of the ballots, they were slightly embarrassed to discover that Stalin had been elected by more than 100 per-cent. The official explanation is that voters in, other districts seeking the “great honor” of voting for the beloved butcher flocked to the Stalinski district, where apparently the vote was so secret that ballots could be cast even by those who were not registered there.

Stalinist Constitution Work of “Spies” Etc.

In February 1935 a Constitutional Commission of 29 was appointed to draft the Stalin Constitution. Of these “Founding-Fathers,” five have been officially reported shot as “enemies of the people;” one (Cherviakov) committed suicide; two are presumably in prison (Radek, tried and sentenced; Bukharin, reported to have been sentenced and probably dead); one is reported a virtual prisoner (Litvinov); one is under a cloud (Petrovsky); nine are “missing” – leaving still to be accounted for, eight others (Molotov, Voroshilov, L. Kaganovich, Zhdanov, Kalinin, Mikoyan, Chibar, and Vishinsky) plus, of course, Stalin.

In other words, the notorious Stalin Constitution was drafted by a Commission composed two-thirds of Germano-Japanese-Fascist-Trotskyite-Bukharinist etc. spies, wreckers, poisoners, restorers of capitalism, etc – that is, if you believe Stalin.

Fate of Austrian Revolutionists in U.S.S.R.

Early in 1934 the heroic little army of 600 Austrian socialists, members of the Schutzbund, went to the U.S.S.R. In a feature article for December 15, the Daily Herald reports that “The men who went to Russia full of enthusiasm are now trickling back in a steady flow anxious to go home to Austria where prison awaits them.” They are reported as leaving “of their own choice.” The Daily Herald also reports that “at least 10 Austrian Socialists are in prison” in the city of Kharkov.

“Cannon Balls, Cannon Balls, Jingle All Around!”

The League of Nations adds to the prevailing spirit of “peace and good will on earth” (hailed so graciously by the Daily Worker) by issuing its Armaments Year Book for 1937. The world military expenditure which in 1932 was estimated at 4,300,000,000 gold dollars reached in 1937 the staggering total of 7,100,000,000 gold dollars – with still greater expenditures in store. These figures are based on “official” budgets only, i.e., are far below the actual amounts invested in the impending war. The admitted amount is almost three times as much as the world military expenditure in 1913, on the eve of the first world slaughter. Europe’s share is approximately two-thirds of this total. The plans of the imperialists in the sphere of war preparations may be gathered from the armament budget of “democratic” Britain which calls for:



£188 million


£278 million


£340 million

In 1913–14, Britain’s war budget was £77 million.

Browder and Co. strangely forgot to extend the greetings of the season to the greatest beneficiaries of Santa Claus, (and the G.P.U.).

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