rage a pressure of another class upon the Party of the proletariat, was absolutely correct then and is even more so now. The adoption of this position by Zinoviev, Kamenev and others in 1926, and the attempt of Stalin to adopt it now, demonstrates the tremendous pressure of class forces which im»
gel the Communist Party, of the Soviet Union to this platform. The struggle for Party democracy, against hureaucratism and for a regime of genuine Leninist, self critici31n are burning questions now for every Party and for the Comintern as a whole, b) The necessity for a more relentless struggle against the Ku la and the Nepman vfo an orient, ation exclusively upon the workers and hired hands, united with the village poor and lower peasantry and in alliance with the middle peasantryreproclaimed by the Opposition, becomes clearer every day. The trend of events and the irresistible pressure of class forces is already drin ing a deep cleavage in the leadership of the Com; munist Party of the Soviet Union, and is forcing the Stalin Group to struggle against the right wing (Rykov. etc. with other elements (Bucharin)
vacillating between the two. The platform of the Russian Opposition, prepared for the Fifteenth Congress of the S, indicates the revolt utionary policy for the present situation in Soviet Union. The prediction and warning contained in this platform against the inevitable growth and aggressiveness of a genuine right wing in the Party (Rykov, Tomsky, etc. has been precisely confirmed. in the intervening period, particularly in recent months. The activities of this right wing, have already necessitated organizational meas: ures in the Moscow and other organizations of the Party 7a, proof of the awakening of the proletarian masses of the Party to this danger.
The left course of the Stalin group in the direction of a struggle against the right dangers, for Party democracy and self criticism, against the bureaucrats, the Nepmen and the Kulaks, can be come a real left course only insofar as it abanr dons zigrzag movements, adopts the whole plat form of the Opposition, and reinstates the tested Bolshevik fighters, who have been expelled, to their rightful places in the Party.
c) The attempts to revise the basic Marxistr Leninist doctrine with the spurious theory of socialism in one country have been rightly resist!
ed by the Opposition led by Trotsky. number of revisionist and opportunist errors in various fields of Comintern activity and its ideological life in general have proceeded from this false theory.
To this in part atfileastcan be traced the false line in the Chinese revolution, the. debacle of the Anglo Russian Committee, the alarming and un precedented growth of hureaucratism in the Comintern, an incorrect attitude and policy in the Soviet Union, etc, etc. This new theory is bound up with an overemphasis on the power and duration of the temporary stabilization of capital; ism. Herein lies the true source of pessimism rer gardingthe development of the proletarian world revolution. One of the principle duties of every Communist in every Party of the Comintern is to fight along with the Opposition for the teachings of Marx, Engels and Lenin on this basic question.
d) The Opposition was absolutely correct when it demanded the immediate rupture of the Anglo Russian Committee and the concentration of all the fire of the Comintern and the British Party upon the leaders of the British Trade Union General Council (Purcell, Hicks and Co. im mediately after the betrayal of the general strike.
The maintenance of the Anglo Russian Committee after that event did not serve as a bridge to the British masses but as a partial shield of the traitorous leaders from the fire of the Communists.
e) Rarely before in history has a Marxist Lenin ist appraisal and forecast been so completely and swiftly confirmed as in the case of the Opposition theses and proposals (Trotsky, Zinoviev) on the problems ahd tasks of the Chinese revolution. The line of the C, formulated by Stalin, Buch a rin, Martynov, etc. and the repection of the pro, posals of the Opposition, which were suppressed and concealed from the Parties of the Comintern, have brought catastrophic results and hampered the genine devefopment of the Communist Party of China and the re volutionaryrdemocratic dicta. torshi of the wprkers and peasants: In view of uIillit lll llIIIvlvl:ll Ill liInn Illnull PRVMPI EETS COMIN e Editors of The Militant are undertaking the task of is. all the suppressed documents of the Russian a fitment: of Leninist literature, in pamphlet in as web! a SI sei iaH y in The rMilitant. Your help is ififixis. évdlfixtiona ry oi lir Fol lbw the example of a git inf of manna work in New York who are pledging: re vita: amnion eékl y.
THE MILITANT. fir ii. its world historical importance, a real discussion of the problems of the Chinese revolution, with all the documents being made available, is impel»
ative for all Parties of the Comintern. The pro hibition of this discussion must be broken down, the truth must be told and the enormous errors exr posed down to their roots. Only in this way can the great lessons of the Chinese revolution be learned by the parties of the Comintern. 11. We demand the publication of all the documents of. the Russian Opposition without which the Party members do not and cannot know the essential issues of the struggle and cannot form intelligent opinions in regard to them. The dis, cussion of these issues heretofore has been conductr ed in an atmosphere of prejudice, misrepresenta tion, terrorism, outlawing of all thought and in quiry, the substitution of official say so for the study of documents and facts on disputed questions. All this has been part of a campaign of unparalleled slander against Trotsky who, oftcr Lenin, was the outstanding leader of the Russian revolution and the Comintern, and was a ccomr panied by the falsification of the history of the rev olut ion itself. a.
12. We intend, at the coming Plenum of the Central Executive Committee. to propose that our Party shall take the initiative in demanding the return from exile and the reinstatement into the Communist Party of the, Soviet Union with full rights, of Trotsky and the other imprisoned and exiled members of the Russian Opposition. Viol ence and persecution against counterrr evo ution aries is a revolutionary duty; violence and per secution against tried and loyal Bolsheviks is a crime.
13. The consolidation of the Opposition in the American Party, which logically and inevitably merges with the path of the Opposition in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union led by Trotsky, has developed in the struggle against the right danger. The pitiful attempt to characterize this Opposition as a right tendency, related to non Communist elements such as Lore who have been fighting the Party from the right, and antir Communist elements like Salutsky, who have gone completely over to the side of the labor lieutenants of capitalism, does not in the least correspond with political, reality and is designed to cover the pro gressive drift of the Party leadership to the right, On the contrary, the attempts to exclude us from responsible Party work, and even from the Party itself, along with the proletarian Communists who support us, while at the same time the control of the Party apparatus and the Party leadership in such unions as the needle trades consolidates more firmly in the hands of the opportunists, who fight their Communist worker critics with expulsion and physical violenceial this can only accelerate the rapprochement between the right wing leadership of the Party and right wing and petty bourgeois elements now outside the Party.
14. The Lovestone group leadership, by its opportunist political outlook, its pettyrbourgeois origin, its corrupt factionalism, its careerism and adventurism in thp class struggle, is the greatest menace to the Party. Its mechanical grip on the apparatus of the Party grows steadily tighter and chokes out is inner life. Capable, experienced and trustworthy comrades are one by one removed from responsible posts and replaced by faction agents, incompetents, upstarts, unknown and inex perienced in any serious work in the class struggle.
The Party itself, the mass work and the mass or ganizations under the influence and direction of the Party, are thereby undermined.
16. By its whole character the Lovestone lead«
ership is the logical American banner bearcr of the demogogic and unscrupulous international campaign against the leaders of the Russian Op position. The aspirations of certain former leaders of the Opposition in the American Party to grasp this banner for themselves are pathetically futile.
The hopes of the Foster group to escape thereby the factidnal persecution of the Loves to ne group and to secure their organizational positions can succeed only insofar as they surrender their former opposition standpoint. The whole course of the Lovestone group, which has no roots in the labor movement, is toward a monopoly of the Party apr paratus and cannot be otherwise.
17. We declare our intention to appeal to the Plenum of the Central Executive Committee to reverse the action of the Polcom against us, which is motivated by neither principle foundation nor Party interest, and is the result purely of factional considerations and bureaucratic fear of discussion and criticism. are denied our rights to expression in the Party November 15. 192 18. The arbitrary decisions made against us cannot in the slightest degree change our position as Communists, since the Party we helped to found and build is our Party. Reserving the right to express our viewpoint and opinion on these diSr puted qusstions, we will continue to adhere to the discipline and decisions of the Party as heretofore.
Under all circumstances we will continue to live with the Party and work for its future.
19. We demand that simultaneously with the announcement of the decision of the Polcom on the outcome of this hearing, our statement shall be given to the Party in the same manner.
JAMES CANNON. Member of the P01 itical Committee and CEO. MARTIN ABERN. Member of the MAX SHACHTMAN. Alternate to the Trade Union Questions The past year has witnessed a sharp turn in the tactics of the party and the left wing in the direcr tion of organizing the unorganized and forming new unions. The sharpening of the class struggle, and the crisis in the labor movem e jnt created the.
conditions for this turn and the Party Was not ahead of the situation, but lagged behind it. This arose from the natural co nservatis rn,. 6f Party leadership and its inability to understand the. pro cesses going on in the working class and in the labor movement; It was the hammering of the l l Opposition and the pressure of the RILU. which compelled the formal adoption of the new line and this only after many favorable opportunities had been lost. How has this new line been carried out? In the recent months the question of the new trade union policy passed over from the field of debate to the field of practice. The forces of the Party and the left wing have gone through some gruelr ling battles, and in at least three industriesgcoal mining, Textile and Needle Trades definite, ex perience in the formation of new unions has been gained. The Communists and left wing workers again proved themselves to be the leading dynamic force in the labor movement in these struggles. What are. the results» and lessons of thisexrr perience, the successes and the errors? One will seek in vain to find answers to these questions in the Party press or, for that matter, to find Silf ficient authentic information recorded there from. which deductions could be made. It is time now to review the experience and draw some necessary conclusions for the trade union work of the next future. Such indeed is the parar mount task of the Party. In order to do this it will be necessary to proceed from an understanding of the situation as it actually exists; to know the sober facts which have been hidden behind the blatant pressagcntry; to lay bare the enormous errors (and worse) of the Party leadership which have been covered up by optimistic official reports.
The document on the Right Danger in the American Party, in the trade union section (write ten by Foster) which is printed in this issue of The Militant, speaks warningly of. the harmful consequences which ensue when irresponsible dil lettantes and opportunist factionrmon gers gain cone trol and direction of mass work. This warning, fraught with the gravest consequences for the future of the movement. is written in blazing letters in the experience of the past year, and particularly the past six months, of the Party trade union work, The longer this lesson remains unlearned the greater the prices to be paid for the knowledge. In forthcoming issues of the MilitantAwhile we.
pressfiwe intend to deal at length with the ques»
tion of the Party trade union policy and work; and to do so not only fromya general standpoint, but also from the standpoint of the concrete e irv perience and the actual facts connected with its, and with specific and particular reference to the Miners. Textile and Needle Trades Unions.
THE MILITANT Published twice a month by the Opposition Group in the Workers (Communist) Party of Améi ica PO. Box 120 Madison Square StationiNew York, N, Subscription rate: 00 per year. Foreign, 70 c per copy Bundle rm, 3c per copy. a Editor Asian are Edit James Cannon. lvfartin, Aber Phone: Gramercy 3411. i? Max Shach tm 14 l l l «i democratic centraliszn to a fiction, November 15, 1928. THE MILITANT Page Dear Comradez We were very glad to receive your letter and to hear of your reaction against our expul5ion and your wish to receive more information and advice as to proceoure. Enough of such letters have alr ready been received to make it clear that the attempt to dispose of the principle questions we haxe raised by the simple mechanical expedient of our expulsion from the Party will meet with resist. ante from the worker Communists in the ranks.
Your statement that our expulsion took you by surprise and that the comrades there want to know more than they can learn from the official commur. nications is echoed in other letters also, and quite naturally. Another letter which came today from a Communist coal miner says, At the beginning was tremendously surprised, The entire matter hit me so hard that don know whether have come back to earth or not, The people who gamble with the proletarian movement regard the expulsion of Loyal fighters for the Party as a clever trick, a. guick and easy solution of. troublesome Questions. The rank and file militants and the serious revolutionaries who have built the move men; and stood loyally by it in its hardest days will take another View in exact proportion asthey :3, c facts and u, lcrstand the disruptive con!
sequ ones of this criminal act. Our foremost task is to make these facts known to the Party and we will endeavor to do this at all cost.
The suddenness with which the whole issue has burst upon the Party was unavoidable on our part. The Polcom majority declared ais expelled from the Party for our views without even waitr ing for the Plenum of the Central Executive. Com mittee. beforethe party members had the slightest inkling of the situation and before we had the. opportunity to inform them. Their object was to confront the Party members with our expulsion as an accomplished fact and then to terrorize them into an endorsement of it before the slightest in formation is in their hands. They expelled us, as they have expelled many good Communists be. fore, in order to deprive us of the possibility of speaking to the Party as Party members. Then they tellthe Party it has no right to listen to us lf écause wenre not members of the Party, Such shallow trickery can be based only on the most profound contempt for the intelligence of the rank and file of the Party. To allow such methods to succeed would be to give the power of self per «petuation to any clique which might gain control of the apparatus and to reduce the principle of According to such procedure the fact of expulsion settles the question. But in the absence of any preliminary. discussion, the Party can decide the question wise»
ly and responsibly only if it knows why the expulr sion took place and what the expelled members have to say. Party member who does not de mand that right, who keeps quiet, or who votes to endorse this act of bureaucratic disruption for fear of expulsion is not acting like an upstanding Communist whose vote means understanding and convrction. How does it happen that you became a supr porter of the Russian Opposition and insist so categorically on the right to defend it even up to the point of temporary expulsion from the Party? This is the question asked by many com, rades as well as by yog. The question is five years old, Trotsky is expelled and the questions are settled why bring it up again? Well, it is true that thequestion is old, but it is by no means settled and cannot be settled on the present basis. This is the answer. e are late in learn ring the truth, late with the performance of our international duty, but that is by no means entirely, or even mainly, our fault. It was possible for us to secure adequate information and judge for our; selves only recently. Ve do not demand or expect anyone to accept our views on our say so. All we ask of those who have stood closest to us in the past, and of the broad circles of the Party which are being stirred to a new interest in the question by our stand and our expulsion, is that they study the question honestly and objectively on the basis of the mar terialf which we will provide. From honest study of the material will come conviction as was the case with us. We have no doubt, either, that they Will defend thesecoovict. ion as we do, regardless of personal con. ogs, because the very essence of the matter is gnqgershadowing importance of if Concerning Our Expulsibn: Editors Note: The following letter was written to an active party worker in reply to a letter from him in which he raised a number of questions similar to those dealt with in numerous other letters from comrades invarious parts of the country who have asked information and advice on the question of our expulsion from the party and. rhe issues connected with it.
nuuuII. nnx. u. u. sngun. uuu the issues involved.
The wisdom of our action in presenting a clear and direct statement of our position was ques tioned; but it seems quite clear that its correctness has already been established. The Party needed an alarm bell; it needed an awakening from the stupor of factional intrigue over small questions.
The Party needs plain speech now above every thing. Strategy, of course, is not to be excluded in such a fight, but it must be strictly subordinated to the major task of telling the truth and stimulate ing the Party members to demand the truth. This is the real duty of leaders now. It is from this standpoint, in our opinion, that you and the other leading comrades must decide your coursefifrom the standpoint of your responsibility as leaders to the Party and to the rank and file comrades who have confidence in you and look to you for guidance.
It is true that the raising of the fundamental questions of Bolshevism which have arisen on an international scale over a period of five years plays havoc with second rate and tenth rate questions of controversy and the group which concerns itself exclusively with them. The fate of the loyal Opposition to Lovestone and Pepper is indeed a sad one. But the fate of all groups which base themselves on purely local or national issues can not be otherwise when the larger questions are brought up. At the Chicago D, meeting the majority has already demanded united sup!
port of the CBC, in the fight against Trotsky ism. This only confirms what we predicted from the first. The group which wants to fight Trot!
skyism and at the same time wants to fight the Lovestone Pepper group which has a copyright on that fight and makes its political living that way; the group which does not,. know from one day to another where the greatest danger lies and where to direct its blows, will naturally and very quickly demonstrate its complete bankruptcy.
There is no place for it. Its elimination from the scene proceeds inevitably from the whole situation, We wish to say a few words regarding the attir tude of those comrades who seriously and from their own knowledge and conviction count Trotr sky position prior to 1917 against him. Such an attitude is in no way contradictory to ours. We know that Trotsky and Lenin had differences in the prerrevolu tionary struggle and we know that Bolshevism took shape and the Comintern was founded on the basis of Lenin doctrine to which Trotsky came over. Do we not know also that Trotsky from 1917 fought side by side with Lenin and that even when Trotsky differed with him afterward Lenin never allowed a campaign against him, but on the contrary placed the greatest conr fidence in him and helped to elevate him to the highest positions? To our own knowledge he spoke at the Fourth Congress of the Comintern as the outstanding leader (next to Lenin) and he made the main report. We know that he had less differences with Lenin after 1917 than any one of the other leaders, although they do not tell us that in the official information.
We have not the slightest doubt, from a study of all the material dealing with the period of 1917 1928 that we have been able to secure, that Trotr skyism as a political tendency in conflict with Leninism was liquidated prior to the October revr olution, The disputes of 20 years ago are made the center of the fight against Trotsky in recent years only because his opponents and defamers are not able to stand up against him on the actual merits of the present controversies. What is the great historic significance of the action of Zinoviev and Kamenev in uniting with Trotsky in 1926 but an acknowledgement that the campaign against Trotskyism in 192345 had been afalse one?
Zinoviev, who above all others educated us in this campaign said so in so many words, The struggle of the pa; five years has resolved around the flying issues of the present period. It is our absolute conviction, based. on the most ob jective study of all material we could secure and carried on in the face of a previous prejudice that on all of these basicquestions of the period the Letter to a Comrade 5y fame? Carmen a questions around which the whole life and future of the International Communist movement revolve Trotsky has been in the main correct and the true cLefender of Leninism, Regarding our expulsion and the expulsion of others which is already being prepared a few words should be said. The great significance and un»
bounded consequences of such criminal a by the Political Committee cannot be ted and no kind of diplomacy or expediency wlll be able to subordinate such an issue. It will inevitably rise up and confront the Party at every turn. The expulsion, for their views alone, of loyal Com?
munists, founders of the Party, with honorable, records of 1520 years of activity in contradistincr tion to the shady records of many. of those who expelled us cannot be covered up or minimized. by any kind of slander. For we are revolutionaries who will fight for our right to belong to the. Party and will not let anything tear us away from it.
The Polcom settled the question by summarily expelling us, but it will arise again immediately after the election campaign when others will de mand our reinstatement and are also expelledu Expulsion is a dangerous fire to play with in a Party which has all too few forces of the kirld that are being expelled, forces loyal to the Party and working for its future, who have contributed not a little in building the Party and establishing its prestige among the workers. As the struggle continues and our material is made available to more and more Party members the issue will grow more acute. The wholesale expulsion of prole tarian fighters while the pet ty bourgeois careerists and adventurers are attracted and drawn to the centeréthis is the only possible logic of the expule sion course initiated by the Polcom.
We do not believe it is in principle possible for any comrade who disagrees with such a course and understands its unavoidable consequences to give any kind of support to our expulsion. To say that a protest against our expulsion can be made only if one agrees with the position of the Russian Op position on all points seems to us to be putting the question upside down. It would; be more correct to say that the expulsion can? be endorsed only if one is convinced that the position is wrong on all important points and that we have become Enemies of the Party, which no Communist adult believes.
We surely intend to advise a certain tactical lihe to some of the rank and file comrades to avoid expulsion without repudiating their principles, but leaders to whom the whole Party is looking are duty bound to speak clearly and tell the Party just what they think, even if it is not a complete sup!
port of one position or, the other. What is wrong about voting against expulsion when one does not know the facts and has not had sufficient oppor tunityto adopt a definite position one way or the other? What kind of an atmosphere is it in the Party, what form of Party democratic rights exist, when members feel compelled to vote one way or the other on the spot without any real knowledge of their own? Party uprising. againsfthis Whole system will be one of the most fruitful results of our fight.
It is to be expected that those who deprived us of all rights to defend our views in the normal Party way will now raise a greatyhue and cry bee cause we take other means of bringingour pod!
tion to the Party membership. They pervert the great Leninist principle of discipline based on a correct revolutionary policy into an instrument for shutting the mouth of the loyal Party member and protecting their opportunist policies and disloyal acts from any real criticism and exposure, Such bureaucratic machinations have nothing in comr mom with Leninist organization principles. We would be unworthy of the name of revolutionists, if we allowed our views to be suppr essed by such sophistical methods.
It is only miserable bureaucrats and philistines who can keep silent about their views on principle questions. Revolutionaries advocate them. The issues of the Russian Opposition, and their indriu soluble connection with our own, épédfic problms will be discussed by the Party inpspite at all, And it is our task to see to it that this is not a onersided discussion, or rather distortion, of the questions,. but a presentation of them to the Party as they really are. The regeneration of the Party and the reconstitution of its leadership on a proletarian. Communist basis will proceed from this.
Yours fraternally. P, CANNON.