MILITANT THE December 19. The Party Discussion Opens!
CONTINUED FRQAI PAGE ONE itions which, in the interest of hiStorical truth rpust be mentioned. It is true that toe core of the party membership, the expelled Communists among them, held their ground in those days of trial. We, with them, stood at our posts and faced the raids. the arrests and indictments, as the record shows. This isptrue also of a section iii thepresent leaderr ship. But others of the. present leadershipiand not the least prominent ones played the gpart of cowards for whom the record of that time of trial by fire is a record not of glory but of shame. Those for whdm history holds no honor :should not Write it. The st nent of Lovestone and Pepper entire fly evades discussion of the principle is its raised by our stand for the Russian Opposition. It sets up the false theory of the Comintcrn as a bureau. ratio machine. It makes unfortunate reference to oartv history where silence would have. been wiuw But it is the section of the statement dealing the question of the Right Dangcr which most clearly and obviously stamps the whole document as the work of cynical Charlatans of people who in. 16 that facts may be turned upside down. that black may be made to appear white, and that any kind of fraud may be perpetrated if only one has a monopolistic cantrol of the party press and if nobody memory reaches back further than a month or two. With an ironical grin the opportu declare war on opportumsm: the bureaucrats tlexm,. ndcd itlxe extermination bf Hurcaucratism.
Our document on The Right Danger in Amcrir. Party which sums up a long struggle against the. tiportunist policies of the present leadership of our party, deals quitc fully and adequately with this question, as will be seen by a study of it. It explr us the economic and political basis of the Right danger in the present period and proves the opportunist line of the Lovestone group in its general conceptions and concretely in every field of party wrisk.
Our document does not rest on, general 33561 tions. Facts and documents from the party records are cited in each casevminutes, resolutions, up ticles, speeches, etc. One need only refer to the support of the socialist faker, Panken, in the elec tion last Fall; the motion to send comrades into the Socialist Party to bore from within. the it!
fusal to support a National left Wing Conference in the Miners Union until the strike was a year old and had spent its force; the opposition to the policy of organizing the undrganized into new unions to mention only a few examples of the Systematic opportunism of the party leadership cited in our documentAto show that the struggle within, the party, which now takes on a sharper form has niit been waged over triflcs.
Our factionalism has consisted of a stubborn daily fight against the opportunist course of the majority in the abovementioned and in all other cases. ln the Political Committee, at the February Plenum. at the May Plenum and at the Sixth Yorld Congress the Opposition fought on this line and proved its indictment of the Right wing lead ers to the hilt.
The present declaration of the CBC. majority on the question of the Right Danger must be Laken together with its previous attitude Before the Sixth Congress and at the Sixth Con, they denied the existence of such a danger. They formr ed a close unity with all the extreme right ele ments in the party and defended all their own opportunist mistakes, They claimed that America was exempted from the International situation in this respect.
Under pressure of our hammering, our analysis, our elucidation of the problems, the fact of the Right danger was indisputably established and was formally recanized by the Sixth Congress. It might be supposed that such an outcome would create an impossible situation for leaders whose calculations had all been directly opposite, who had been following a Right Wing line and firing only against the left. But our adepts in the art of po»
litical legerdemain were not even embarrassed.
They sclved the whole problem for themselves by turning around and immediately starting to pull their own right wing rabbits out of our hat.
They forgot, and they expect the party to for get, everything they have done and said and write ten for more than a year. All the opportunist blunders (and worse than blunders) which they have tommitted or condoned, which we criticized and which they defended or denied, are now ad omitted and attributed to us its Trotslryisiii, as outright opportunism.
Let the party member who claims the right to read and think for himself turn to our document on The Right Danger in the American Party. submitted to the Sixth Congress of the Commnr nist International at a time when the opportunist leaders were still denying the existence of such a priiblem. He will find there a catalovu of all the features of opportunism in our party ich are cited in the CBC. statemcnt (and many more which it still tries to conceal) with documentary proof in each case of the responsibility of the au thors of the CBC. statement for these systematic opportunist crimes and mistakes.
The Lovestone Peppcr group of leaders, like their counterparts in other parties of the Cominr tern, like all opportunists and bureaucrats, rely on suppression of discussion and expulsion to main tain themselves in power. They want a party witly out any democratic rights of the membe They want a party with a sterile inner life. They want a, party where the voice of the proletarian communist will be silenced. They want a party of pas vc liand raisers at the bottom and a petty bourgeois clique of insolent bureaucrats at the top.
This is the real meaning of our expulsion, of the mass expulsion of rank and file Communists. of the vile calumny heaped upon all those who dare to stand up and challenge them.
The fight against such a regime in the party and in the Communist International is an urgent revolutionary task. The proletarian masses in the party must awaken and take up this fight.
They must break through the bureaucratic crust which has formed on top of the party and restore a normal party life in accord with Lenin teach, ing. To help bring about this awakening we ad dressed our statement to the Political Committee with a full realization of the consequences. Vith the help of the Communist workers in the ranks of the party we will continue to fight along this line until our aims are achieved. ug. uu. nunun 1. nun nun. u u nun nun. nun u. Wholesale Expulsiowns MINNEAPOLIS Copy of a Telegram received from Minneapolis, dated. Nov. 18, I928: Tlfiruvm Party (amradw amt H t Lmyuz member: Lt e MIMI rd laday a! My Iflefllbz S li. filing for voting; for mu rmlurian, Lam fol mus. signed)
This is in addition to the suspension on November 14 of five members of the District Executive Committee of. the Minneapolis district, Vincent Dunne, Carl Skog. lund, Vorzm. Oscar Coovsr and William Watkins for demanding the reinstatement of Cannon, Ahcrn and Shachtman into (ks Parry. As is Well known these are 1115 leading comrades of the Minnesota district whose work. in thetrade unions has been primarily responsible for the achievements of the Party there during the recent years.
Tho group of ex riled proletarian Communists in Minne sota includes road workers. factor laborers, an elecmcmu, a carpenter. a El primer.
KANSAS CITY Two members of the ILLC. at Kansas City Buch ler and Sam Kassen, were expelled on November for declaring themselves opposed to the expulsion of Cannon, Abram, and Shnchtman. Both are pioneer American Cz munisrs, having been original members of the left wing group formed in Kansas City during the war, which cap tured the local of the published a left wing Weekly paper, and became ihc locnl of the Communist Labor Party on its formation in 1919.
Three members of the Young Vl orkers League, Morgenv st ern, Lankin and Goodman were expelled froin the League in Philadelphia on November on the sam e grounds. On. November IO, a few days after their expulsion. comrades. Morgmstem and Lankin took part in a demonstration against imperialist war and for the release of John Porter before the War Dept. building in VVas hingLon. They were arrested and have been confined in jail ever since. Comrade Morgensteru writes from jail as follmrs: aniuu CABARET AND DANCE nu nun u. an. for the benefit of 3, Th. Mi Ll T6: l, Organ of the Communist Opposition SATURDAY EV E, DECEMBER 15. 1928.
323 East 79th Street, New York Admission: 50c. in advance it the door 60c.
from the Party Begin District Vorkhousc, Occoquan, Va. Dear Comrade Cannon. As you already know we are in jail for parading around the ar Dept. for John Porter. We are still dov iug this revolutionary Work. They call us Counter revolutionaries. but that doesn make it so. heard that you comrades are keeping up the fight and doing good work.
It makes me feel great. Vith comradely greetings, BERNARD MORGAN. ore name for correspondence. ADA Comrade Maurice Spec or, member of the ECCI from Canada, hose suspension and removal from all posts was already reported, has since been expelled. EW YORK CITY Comrade Malliln, a rank and file Comm.
fighter in the furrlers uion, one of the defendants in the famous Minenla case under sentence of 21 to years in prison, Was expelled by the DEC on Nov. I923, Charges are pending and trials beginning against other comrades in all parts of the country.
The Ideological Camipaign The Ideological Campaign is on in full swing Resolutions supporting the CBC. in its expulsion of Communists from the Party are being adopted in various places.
One street nucleus in Pittsburgh, without defin in;r or explaining a word of a single fundamental issue raised by the Opposition Communists, man, ages to use such expressions as countcrrevolution social democratic. menshevik. renev gadc. nine times in two sentences totaling 19 lines, The resolution of the Kansas District Commit!
tee does not mention the expulsion of two pioneer Communist fighters, Buchler and Kassen, from the DE and the Party for fighting the expulsions, but does manage to betray its complete lack of knowledge of the position of the Russian Opposi tion, For instance. it accuses the Opposition of stating that Socialist construction in the Soviet Union is a myth, when all facts available prove the steady development of the socialist produ tion. Well, who says otherwise? The issue Can the development proceed faster? To what ex, tent? By what means and on what basis is the so»
cialist economy to be developed further? Nhat are the limitations? Can there be the development of a complete system of socialism, as the Draft Pro gram of the Comintern states, without the aid of the proletarian victory in one or more European counties? What does the Russian Opposition say on this point. The domestic problem is, by strengthening our selves with a proper class policy, a proper interlrcr lation of the Workinglclass with the peasant, to move forward as fast as possible on the road of socialist construction. The interior resources of the Soviet Union are enormous and make this entirely possir ble (Our emphasis. In using the world Capitalist market for this purpose, we bind up our fundamental histoiical calculations with further development of the world proletarian revolution. Its victory in ten tain leading countries will break the ring of the capiv talist cncirclcmcnt, and deliver us from our heavy burden. It will enormously strengthcn us in the sphere oi technique accelerate our entire development in the city and village, in factory and school. It ull give us the possibility of really creating social ism. The Platform of the Russian Oppos on pp.
86787. The Real Situation in Russia. Harcourt, Brace and Co. We quote the above now only to call atr tention to the absurd manner in which Trotskyr ism is being discussed without for one moment examining the actual economic, tactical and poli tical proposals of the Russian Opposition. Un fortunately they have been largely suppressed.
But through the columns of The Militant the American Communists will have the Opportunity to judge for themselves, Then we are confident the resolutions will change their tone and char acter. sMartin Abern. unn. nun IIn nunun u. rut. MILITANT Published twice a month by the Opposition Group in the Vorkers (Communist) Party of Americ a Address all mail to: Box 120, Madison Square Station, New York, Publishers :ddress at 340 East 19th Street, New York, 77 Telephone: Gramercy 34H.
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Editor Iames Cannon Associate Editors Martin Abern Max Shachtmag DEcLJfiER ms N9, Appl on for entry as second class man if. mixing at the Post on. a, New York, December. 1, 191. 35, HE victory in the election of the Republican. Party and its candidate Hoover, signifies the still growing powereaccompanied though it is by sharpening contradictionsfiof American capitalism, and the p of the main Party of the bourgeoisie on the masses. This power was sufficient for the Republicans to break through the Solid South for the. st time since the Civil ar, aided by those it stible economic forces which have been undermining the socialrpolitical basis of the tra ditional Democratic Party for, the past decades.
The election of Hoover is undoubtedly avictory for the bourgeoisie. But to become fascinated by the atmosphere of this victory, to be overcome by the dominance of its reality, and to see nothing else, is to fall, victim to the hopelessness, fear and pettybourgeois defeatism which characterizes the Nation, or the New York World. Unfortunately, such a tendency exists in the Party and is even given expression in the official Party press. In the article by John Pepper, Class Analysis of the Elections; Daily Vorker, November ll. 1928 he says The New York World is right in stating that the victory of Hoover was a conservative landslide, that it was the result of a deep seated aver sion to change. It was a vote for the present rCr publican prosperity.
This is the attitude which tips its hat politely in ten lines to the increased vote of the Commur nist ticket, stands in breathless awe before the colo al strength of the bourgeoisie, and assumes th. it has thereby given a class analysis of the results of the election, It is an attitude which we have encountered many times before, which sees only the strength and forward. rides of the enemy on the one hand and the miserable veakr ness, powerlessness and backwardness of the work ers on the other.
Fortunately, an analysis of the elections gives us no cause to adopt such a viewpoint. Let us consider the fortunes of the archedemagogue Smith.
To Smith Oak unconditionally of the defeat of to overlook completely the nature of his popular. ote, which was larger (for the defeated can 6) than the vote with the exception of Coolidge 1924 vote for any previous presiden tial candidate (victorious or defeated) in American history: more than 16, 000, 000 votes for a Party does not bespeak its destruction. From the new voters who chose the president this year. Smith received at least as much support as did Hoover.
While Smith received a relative setback in the Bourbon reactionary South, he made big gains in the industrial North; particularly in the cities where the industrial proletariat is concentrated.
Smith had a majority of 55, 000 votes out of a total of 6, 795, 000 votes that were cast in the folr lowing fourteen key centers: New York, Newark, Boston, Cleveland, St. Louis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Pitts»
burgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and Detroit. Smitlf inherited, to a far greater extent than Hoover, the sentiment of the agrarian revolt of the North west which rallied so futilely around La Follette in the last election. Neither can a serious politician overlook the fact that in the very heart of the texr tile crisis, Massachusetts, Smith defeated Hoover, carrying, in particular, New Bedford and Fall River; that Smith made powerful advances par»
ticularly in the sphere of those coal districts where the class struggle and the industrial depression has been most severe Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and Indiana, Smith big urban vote, his vote in the seething agrarian sections, his vote in the smaller industrial centers, are undoubtedly expressions of the grow ing discontent of the workers and farmers (as well as of the petty bourgeoisie) with the rule of fin!
ance capital, the eighttyear orgy of corruption, brass brewed reaction and imperialist foraging of the Republican wing of capitalism. Votes which would otherwise have been cast for the socialist and even the Communist Parties went this time to Smith on the basis of the belief that he has a good chance to get in, The fact that this discontent was expressed, with reactionary consequences and implications, largely. through the Democratic Party, is an index to the tremendous, backwardness of the political con»
sciousness of the masses.
Does this mean that our thesis regarding the growing radicalization of the working class is false?
Does it imply that the masses are becoming more radicalv by going over to the Democratic Party. Nothin gof the kind.
MitifrAN The Results of the Election By Wax Sflacfltmam Firstly, the vote for Smith was a vague, hesitant, partial, confused result and an inaccurate re»
flcction of the growing raclicalization.
Secondly, bu eds of thousands 9W1 proletarians, whom the process of radicalizat affects most deeply, and the most exploited. sec tions of the Negroes, were either disqualified from Voting by the class chicanery of capitalist elec tion machinery, or else neglected to vote (foreigir born workers, unemployed and migratory workers, workers terrorized in company towns, etc. Thirdly, bourgeois elections are never a com»
pletely accurate indication of the sentiment of the masses. The possibilities for gaining the adherence of the mass for day today struggles on concrete is sues are practically always far greater than the p05 sibilitics of gaining support in elections. For ex ample: not all the workers who responded to the call for a general strike in England are supporters of the Labor Party, but are even members of the Liberal or Tory (parties; thousands followed our leadership in the miners. the Passaic and the New Bedford strikes, but only hundreds, or even only dozens, voted for our ticket; thousands support our Party in the needle rades unions and fight the yellow socialists there, and turn about on election day and vote for the latter becausetheyhave a good chance to get in among other reasons.
Fourthly, the sharpened temper of the ma and their growing class consciousness and readiness to struggle is revealed with far greater clarity in such movements as the Sacco Vanzetti fight, the strike movement which is developingi at present in isolated formsithroughout the country, and dozens of other phenomena which have often been indicated by us, What were the results for the Party? The gain in the Party vote and the increased participation of the Party members in the election fight are un deniable. Only a sober estimate of it will enable the party to go forward in such work, and in other fields as well. This cannot be done, how ever, by the sump and temporarily convenient method of unqualified and uncritical self praise.
One is the method of clarity, the other the method of self delusion.
The campaign of the Party partook too much of a sectarianropportunist nature to be labelled a Bol shevik campaign. For months prior to the formal opening of the campaign, the Pepper Lovestone leadership of the Party hesitated to take the step of placing a Communist ticket in the field. Despite the insistence of the Opposition for a Communist slate as far back as the February Plenum of the see stenogram of Cannon speech there, and his article in the Daily Worker demanding the immediate decision to file our own candidates. the Lovestone majority played around with the idea of setting up a fake farmer labor party ticket or endorsing one a repetition of Lovestone ad!
venturous menshevism in 1924 when he demanded that our campaign be conducted under the banner of the great class Farmer Labor Party of St.
Paul (with MacDonald and Bouck) and opposed the entry of our own Party candidates. So much valuable time was lost by this vacillation that the socialist party was enabled to hold its convention, draw up, its platform and nominate its candidates weeks before we did.
Other opportunist errors made by the leadership could be mentioned by the dozens. The election platform was shot through with ten cent reform ism (the abolition of the Senate, curbing the power of the Supreme Court, etc. the notorious election instructions sent out by the Party office, which would have made an honest sociabdemocrat flush with shame, and for which Lovestone and Stachel, characteristically enough, tried to make Codkind the scapegoat; the articles in The Communist, Big Business Can Lose in 1928(1) by Ben Gitlow which cavalierly dismissed the Communist Party, and the socialist party, by failing to mention them by so much as one word; the unchecked series of articles and stories in the Daily Worker on the Labor Party as a panacea, a series in which the contribution by Amter, the Lovestone proconsul in the Cleveland district, reached the peak of opportunism (Daily Worker, August 29, 1928. the organization of the famous Bel!
mont County (Ohio) Labor Party fakeianother Amter product1 in the midst of the Communist e5 campaign; and so on and so forth ad nauseam.
Further; Such a corrupting atmosphere has been; created by the factional regime in the Party that during the election campaign, the entire leading, staff of the Party. a delegation of twentyl. in cluding the presidential candidate, was sent to: Moscow for the Sixth ongress of the Comintern. in the face of needsof the campaign and the protests of Cannon and other members of the 0p position. In most of the di: ricts, the Lover stone machine, following its naive policy of trying to manufacture leaders of the masses by decree or motion in faction controlled committees, nominated as Party candidates not the outstanding, most capa»
ble and better known trade union a nd mass; leadr era, but the leaders of the faction. From one error flow many. In desperation to play up Git low as against Foster (see stories and advertise!
merits in the Daily Worker of that period) the Party was dragged by LovestonePepper into the shameful, stupid sensationalism of the Gitlow kidnapping in the Arizona desert, from which, like the heroine of a similar successful exploit; he triumphantly emerged without even a trace of sunburn.
The most serious shortcoming of the campaign was the poor success in linking up with the elec»
tions the struggles of the workers in the coal fields, textile and similar fields, to mobflife these workers, the Negroes, and the unemr ployed, to the extent that we could reach them, for active struggle, for demonstrations, to set them in motioninot only in the polling booths to break through the democratic veneer and parliamentary cretinism of the elections with which the bourgeoisie plus the socialists stifle the real der velopment of revolutionary parliamentary work.
Unless these questions, problems and shortcom»
ings of the Party campaign are seriously under. stood, discussed and steps taken to remedy the weaknesses, the Party will not avoid but repeat.
these errors in the future. To do as is done in the article by Pepper, that is, to review the campaign and the Party role in it without a single crir tical word, is to mislead the Party membership and lull it into a state of conceit, self satisfaction and priggishness. word is necessary on the role and future of.
the Labor Party movement which Pepper fails even to mention. For him it is an easy matter either to discoverer or disperse a movement with a wave of the hand. In this election, tie North, western remnants of the big movement that den veloped in 1922 24 trailed miserably behind the big bourgeois parties. Despite a. previous decision of the Cornintern to advocate a labor party and not a farmertlabor party, the Party has still contiimed.
its flirtatious, maneuvers and high politics with the ShipsteadrMahoney Farmer Labor Party gang in Minnesota. The opportunist errors of a number of the best Communist workers in that district flowed inevitably out of the essentially false theory of a two class party, a morass out of which only weeds can grow.
The future of the labor party cannot be guar anteed by mathematical calculations. Forour part, however, without wasting any sympathy on the absurd theory of its inevitability. we see no rea son to put aside the perspective of a labor party development in the working class movement. possible basis for a mass labor party exists and will grow in the development and strengthening of the class unions which are now being formed in the coal, textile and needle trades industries, and which must be formed in others.
The election, finally, demonstrated that it is only the Communist Party that represents the interests of the oppressed millions in the United States and its colonies. The miserable attempts of the sof cialist party parsons and peanutrstand wars to compete for the pettyvbourgeoisie and the labor, aristocracy with an expert demagogue like Smitht were only an indication of how far this little ye low sect has travelled from the days when inhad at least a revolutionary core.
Its departure from everything healthy and radical in the labor and revolutionary movement: leaves the Communist Party an open field. Its.
task is to rid itself of the opportunistra, nturees and corrupt factionalists who have usurped its. leadership. The fundamental healthiness of our party, its proletarian composition, its basic pro gram are a guarantee that despite the difficulties the errors, and the shortcomings it will win the masses and fulfill its revolutionary mission.