First Published: Youth and Nation, [Hashomer Hatzair journal] 1939.
Republished: Youth and Nation, Vol. XXV, No. 1, November 1972.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The last veil has been torn from the body Comintern. The shadow dance is over. The Hitler-Stalin Pact has now left the skeleton alone and naked on the stage, but there is no applause, no encore.
For a long time Stalin and the Comintern had danced before the world proletariat a routine so bright in color, variation and interpretation that all the workers retained in their memories only the whirl of themes. No single idea, no heart-rending scene was left imprinted on their minds. And now the workers realize that they paid a high price for a very cheap show.
Stalin has survived on the accumulation of bluffs and disguise. He claimed his heritage to be the October Revolution. For a while he forgot that it was also the heritage of the Russian masses and their old revolutionary leaders. He began to do with the Revolution whatever he desired. On the backs of an oppressed people and a bureaucratic machinery he played the tune of the “final, irrevocable victory of socialism in one country” on a bum hand-organ. It got so that his only right to leadership rested on his “allegiance” to the October Revolution.
Now the truth has been let out of the bag. Stalin cannot face the wrath of an aroused world proletariat. There is desertion even from the small army that the Communist Party made up outside of Russia. Those who still remain and support the CP. have been capable of nothing better than cheap policy-shifting and have exhibited a low calibre of spiritual integrity. Stalin has nothing to show the world but an imperialist pact, a war-shattered Poland, and a hounded Jewish people.
But let us not forget that Stalin himself cannot make history. The pact with Hitler had come after a long period in which the Kremlin tried to make a peace with its most feared enemy. And now Stalin is faced with the greatest dilemma of his career. He knows that Hitler is gearing himself eventually to take a bite out of the Soviet Union. He knows his internal pinions are tottering beneath him. He cannot carry out a democratic policy within his country for then the discontent would sweep him away. His dependence on the Red Army is fragile; the army cannot forget the beheading it has suffered not that Tuchachevsky and others are dead.
Nevertheless, it seems that Europe has been abandoned to the Nazi aggression. The war, if it can be termed so, has seen a campaign carried out only by the Nazis. The English are satisfied with dropping pamphlets and the French are still shooting into the air at long distances. Obviously their hearts are not in this conflict. Meanwhile Poland is gone.
The spread of fascism means the spread of death. The seeds of the present cankerous growth were sown ever since Versailles. The “democracies” have stood by and seen the bastard child grow up. And now they are not far from blessing it. They had fed it arms and all that was good for nourishment.
The condition of Europe is the condition of bourgeois society caught in a hectic, choking death. It is a shame that as yet the workers of the world have not seen through the “democracies.” For this state of mind has crystallized a new mental state for the entire world. The crisis following the Stalin-Nazi Pact has thrown the workers away from support of the Soviet Union and the workers’ state back into a revivalist faith in the “democracies.” Instead of realizing the sham of the Comintern and placing its vigor behind the struggling Russian masses, the world proletariat lies at the threshold of frustration and mystical reliance on the bourgeoisie.
This is the crisis of the moment. It holds the condition for the future. Only with throwing off the chains of the past can the workers achieve their own liberation, bring fruit from the October Revolution, and free the oppressed national and Jewish minorities of Europe. The time will come when the Jewish masses will no longer objectively lie in the path of a seething world and will construct itself on its own homeland as a part of free world.