Spector Statement to Toronto, November 6th. 1928.
To The Politic (ImmuilMe, Communist Party of Canada. ollo 12 upon the motion at yesterdays session of the Polcom to endorse the expulsion of the three mmrat es Cannon. Iax Sliachtmaii. and Man tin Abern, from the Vorkers Party or Americaftir thei stand on behalf oi the opening or e. discu on of the fundamental problems of the Coninuinist International, a motion which v cs unable to support, certain questions have bE EI du ECEE to me by the Polcom as to my own position. these may be boiled down to the following: lil st. whether believe that the ideological line of Trotsk. sm is correct and whether am pre1ia c(l to carrv on an aggressive campaign against lrits ism and the comrades who. haye been expellet lit 1m the for their solidarity With the platform of the Russian Opposition.
to the question whether am prepared gre. ic campaign agai 5t Trotsky ism. y can. ire the Polcom that am prepared to wage an aggressive campaign for Lenuiism. II toi Trotskvism a; liquidated With the entrance of Trotsky into the Communist Party and his collaboration with Lenin following his return to Russia in 1917. Trotsky has declared heiore the coldll Party that in all questions beal lilgufllly character of principle at all, in which he had differ ences with Lenin prior to 1917, Lenin was correct: The revival of the issue of so callcd Trot Vism by the majority in 1924 and 192» was an attempt to ob. we the real issues by an artifiCial ue. Zoro who was one of the leading romrzules in tlie ii nu ist Trotsky has not only admitted since that the. was correct in his fight for internal Part Clem Cl :racv in 192324, but also that the issue for strategical purposes, to link with differences that had passed into histmy.
co nrailes in the vanguard of the fr» the position 0! Lenin on his return to, iil his presentatiOii of the April Theses ot. ii Trotsky. Zinoyiev and lIflIIK HC kin, Dosovsky, etc. were opposed to the insuii bv which the Bolsheviks conque etl power and were for a coalition of all the Socia. isr Parties. Comrade Stalin, prior to Lcniiis return had written arLcles for cooperation with Tseretelli. Vheii st) much is made of the differences between Tro anti in during the course of the revolution itself. it 011. sh ld be borne in mind that all these diffcruices 1i exaggerated and distorted for tat. that silence is maintained on the ditlerthat other comrades, Buch in tor iislaiice, rial ear had with LWin but who are nevertheless regurded as one hundi. percent Leniiiists. Comrade Buchariii not only loHrrht Lenin on the Brest Litovsk question but also on a Trade Union question, and on the question of State Capitalism. On the Peasant on stiou he was the author of one of the most dangerous 7 slogans ever put out by a leading comrade. lief; slogan of enrich yourselves, the objective mgmf icance of which meant a call on the Kulaks to IItensity their exploitation of the poor peasantry. he present leader of the Bucharin, had to be overruled on the question of the validity of partial demands in the Communist Program by the intervention of Lenin, Trotsky and others at the Fourth Congress.
Not only did Lenin during his lifetime deny all slanderous rumors of any differences between him self and Trotsky on the Peasant Question, but up to his last days he considered Trotsky his closest collaborator as may be seen by the correspondence which passed between these two leaders of the, revolution in the letter to the Institute of Party History by D, Trotsky. Lenin called upon the latter to defend his views for him on the following questions, the National Question, the Question of Workers and Peasants Control, the Monopoly of Foreign trade, the struggle against Bureaucrac etc.
his high time that a stop be put to the falsification of Tarty history that has accompanied the unscrupulous and demagogic campaign against the revolutionist who next to Lenin was the most authentic leader mid organizer of the October Revolution; and was so recognized by Lenin himself. Trotsky today stands foursquare for the maintenance of the principles of Leniiiism, uncontaminated by the opportunist deviations that have been smuggled into the; Comintern and RL policy by the present kov Stalin Bucharin regime and to which the le.
sons of the Chinese revolution, the economic situation in the the situation Within the Cl. THE MILITANTV We print herewith in part the statement of Comrade Spector to the Political Committee. of the Communist Party at its meeting on Nov. 6th, 1928 in response to the demand that he state his position on the expulsion of Cannon, Abern and Shachtmnn from the Workers (Communist) Party of America and on the issuesconnecled with the expulsion. As reported in the last number of The Militant Comrade Specter was forthwioi suspended from the party and remoVed from all respons le positions. he was declared expelled from the party for refusing to retract his stand.
In view of the great prominence, and popularity of Comrade Specter as andlng Communist leader in Canada his arbitrary expulsion has made a sensation in the labor movement and has called forth the greatest indignation of the rank and file of the, Party. Comrade Speo tor was elected to the Executive Committee of the Com munist International at the Sixth orld Congress. He has been for years the Chairman of the Party and editor of its organs. the Canadian Worker and the Canadian Labor Monthly. He represented the Communist Party of Canada at the Fourth and Sixth World Congresses DI the Communist International Editor.
a. nun unun unuuuauns: SL1. and the experiences of the Anglo Russian Corn ttee bear eloquent witness.
let these latter are the real issues. In retrospect it is clear that the Sixth Congress, meeting after a delay of four years, nevertheless failed to measure up to its great tasks. Eclecticism and a zig zag line replaced. i, ieal analysis of the rich treasures of political experience of the past four years The dis cussion of the Chinese revolution, the greatest up»
heaval since the November revolution, was utterly inadequate. As in the case of discussion of the failure of October 1933 in Germany, the attempt to throw major responsibility for what happened in China on the leadership of a Chinese Communist Party will not down. The espoiisi ty for the opportunist policy of our Party in China lies in the ii place with the Ev. Committee of the Comintern and with the loriiiulations of policy of Stalin. Bucha rin, Ellartyuiiv. Lenin at the II ougress proposed a clear line in the Colonial one I, for the inde pendence of the Communist Parties and the working cl :5 movement even in embryonic form; against the. Diril bourge: isie, struggle for proletarian hegee mony in the the National emancipation movement even when the National Revolution has only bourgeois democratic tasks to solve; constant propaganda of the Soviet idea and creation of Soviets at the earliest omcnt possible; finally, possibility of the IIOIerflplifillSt development. of backward colonial and semi colonial countries on condition that they receive support from the and the proletariat of the advanced capitalist con ries.
Otherwise, Lenin pointed out. the alliance with the national bourgeoisie would be dangerous to the revolution. This alliance could only be affected on the basis that the bourgeoisie carried on an effective struggle against imperialinri and did not prevent the Com. iunist Party from organizing the revolutionary action of the workers and peasants. Failure to exact these guarantees would lead to a repetition oi the Keiiialism of the Turkish national struggle which has made its peace with Imperialism. Nearly every one of, these cardinal points of Lenins revolution ary colonial policies was violated in China. By throwing out the smoke screen that the creation of Soviets would be tantamount to the dictatorship of the proletariat, despite the fact that Lenin proposed the Soviets already as a form of the democratic dic tatorship of workers and peasants in the 1905 revolution, the leadership of the Comintern misrepresented the criticism and theses of the opposition and covered up their own opportunist mistakes.
Our Chinese party was subordinated to the Na tional bourgeoisie in the Kuomintaiig under cover of the old Menshevik Nlartynov policy of the Block of Four Classes (renunciation of right to criticize Kuomintaiig from the outside, renunciation of the right to criticize Sun Yat Senism, renunciation of an illegal fighting apparatus, and of the creation of cells in the National Army. The working class movement was subordinated to the Government of the National bourgeoisie (prohibition in certain cases of picketiiig and strikes, disarmament of the work ers, etc. The maintained silence at the beginning of the repr on period (coup etat of Chiaiig Kai Slick etc. The enlarged Executive of the did not subsequently straighten out the line. The slogan of Soviets was issued not when the revolutionary movement was at its height but when the bourgeoisie had already betrayed and the workers and peasants were being decimated. Stalin was making a speech still hailing Cbiang Kai Slick as a revolutionary warrior only a few days prior to Chiaiig Kai Shek coup in a speech. which Cl ltl. cized at the time by Comrade Radek, and which was of course suppressed to avoid compromising himself.
The opportunist line followed in therChinese rev ariadian olution is of course by no means isolated. have dwelt at some length on the opportunist line followed in the refusal to break with the traitorous British Gen»
eral Council in the Anglo Russian Committee. The Anglo Russian Committee was a political block be tween two trade union centres. The proposal of the opposition dcmonstratively to break with the General Coucil was falsely represented as being a parallel to leaving the old unions. Any Communist who reads the resolutions adopted by the AngluRus sian conferences of Paris, July 1926 and Berlin, August 1926 and finally of the Berlin conference (at the beginning of April 1927 should convince themselves that an absolutely impermissable capitulation line was followed. At the latter meeting the So Let representatives went on record recognizing the General Council, as the sole representative and spokesman of the British Trade Union movement at a time when the traitors of the General Council.
were suppressing the minority movement. But at the Enlarged Executive of Why 1927, Comraoe Buchariu sought to justify the Berlin Capitulation by the theory of exceptional circumstances. that is, that it was in the diplomatic interests of the Soviet Union which was under threat of war danger from.
the provocation of the British Government.
Such an attitude has little iii common with the in, structions of Lenin to the Soviet delegation that, went to the Hague Conference, to ruthlessly uu mask the Pacirists and Reformists. By the policy pursued in, the Aiiglo»Russian Committee the Brit ish Communist Party developed such a degree of opporti in that it was at first even opposed to the Soviet Trade Union manifesto announcing the treachery of the Left as well as the Right Labor fakers of the General Council and wanted to continue a fight for the re establishmeiit of the mori buiid Anglo Russian Committee. The whole lZIC followed in the Anglodfiissian Committee was, like that in the Chinese Revolution, based on manoevers With the reformists at the top instead of regard for the unleashing of the mass movement below.
The economic aiialyfs of the opposition on the situation within the LV. on the danger of the growth of the Kulak, the Nep man. and the bureaucrat has been swiftly vindicated. Undoubtedly there are Therinidorean elements in the country which are striving to bring their class pressure to bear on the Party. The highest duty of a revolutionist is to va of these dangers and to propose the necessary measures to combat them. That was always the calse while Lenin as alive. The crisis last February in connection with the grain colle tiou proved strikingl the danger of the Kulak. The events in Smolensk, the Don Basin, the Ukraine, etc. proved the absolute necessity not only for such a campaign of self criticism as Comrade Stalin felt the need to initiate but for effective internal Party democracy. One of the first guarantees of such real Party democracy would be the return of ch:I eviled revolutionary oppositionists and their rein: statement with full rights to their former positions in the Party. have been a foundation member of the Cox munist Party of Canada since its organization in which took a joint part. have also been a mem ber of the practically all the time since. Re gardless of the immediate organizational consequences. find myself compelled to make the above state ment and to further register the fact that nothing on earth can separate me from the Revolutionary Communist movement. Everything that have stated flows from my convictions that the deviations from Leninism in the can and must be corrected by.
a struggle within the International and its sections.
Long live the Communist International!
Long live the Proletarian Revolution!
In The Next Issue THE JULY PLENUM AND THE RIGHT DANGER By Trotsky iThis Leiiiiiist analysis of the present conflict in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union has just been received and is now being translated for pub. lication in the next issue of the Militant. The wild rumors in the Capitalist Press and the silence of the officials party organs throw no light whatever on the swiftly moving and momentous developments now taking place in the Soviet Union and in the Communist Party there. Trotsky article throws a clear and searching light on the entire situation, analyzes the class forces at work, explains the posi tion and role of the conflicting groups in the party and indicates the revolutionary bolshevik policy for the solution of the problems. rv. sn and. LA. r. December 1a 1928.
CONTINUED FROM LAST ISSUE The perspective of the Lovestone group is in opposition to that outlined above. Its perspective is based upon an overestimation of the reserve power of American capitalism and an underestima lion of the leftward drift of the masses. It is characterized by: Overestimation of objective difficulties and underestimation of the growing favorable opportuoir ties for the proletarian class struggle. Overemphasis of the weakness and smallness of the Party and underemphasis of its great task for leadership in the developing class struggles and its ability to undertake the solution of these tasks. Failure to realize the seriousness of the war danger and the coming of serious struggles as is seen in the failure to build an undergmUnd apparatus. Playing down the Symptomatic significance of such sporadic struggles among the unorganized as the oil strike In Bayonne, automobile strike in. Oshawa, etc. Seeing in the present political situation no signs or promise for political conflict and mass polit ical movements. Revising the perspective for struggle outlined in the February thesis which Was forced upon the majority by the minority of the Central Committee.
This revision was made in the policies of the Love: stone group since February in articles by Lovestone cand Pepper, and in the May resolution of the CBC.
Plenum. Failure to publish the February Thesis.
These characteristics of the perspective of the Lovestone group lack the outlook for struggle and orientation towards it.
IV. Failure to Orient ate Towards New Unions and the Organization of the Unorganizetl. To organize the many millions of unorganized workers is the major task of our Party. The build ing of the Party as the leader of the workers in all phases of their struggle against American imperial. ism depends largely upon its carrying thru vigorv ously this basic task of organization. With great masses of workers deyelopiog moods and move ments of struggle, under the pressure of the in dustrial depression, rationalization. and the capital. ist offensive, the organization of the unorganized now becomes the more urgent and possible The old craft unions. which are chiefly based upon the skilled and privileged workers, are con!
trolled by ultrarreactionary leaders, and following a class collaboration policy, and which have been undermined and driven out of the basic industries by the employers offensive. will not organize the great unorganized masses. This can be accom plished only through new unions, militant in character and based upon industrial instead of craft lines. It is fundamentally necessary that our party aggressively take the lead in the formation of these new industrial unions. At the same time the Party shall continue and extend through the trade union fractions, and the T, its revolu»
tionary work in the 01d unions.
In the organization of the unorganized, Party must base its orientation upon the Ufic.
and scmirskilled masses in the basic industries. the most exploited. and tieci ve sections of the work!
log class. Trustificd American capital. with all its economic streng: and with :11 the pow of governmental rcpres on at its dispo. violently resist the organization of the workers the basic industr The new unionism will he established, but only by determined truggle.
Hence the Party in. its great task of organ ig the unorganized must undertake its work with fzrni determination and with a thoroughgoing mobiliza tion of all available forces.
The line of the Lovestonc group in this Vital a right wing line which liquidatcs the efforts to organize the unorganized. Its yrlocipal defects are. a) resistance to reorientating the Party decisively in the direction of the build ing of new unions, and. b) dilettantc approach to the mass organization campaigns and failure to carry them through with the vigor and persistence necessary to this Success. The whole American Fain y wasslow in orientating towards organizing new unions, but the Lovestone group is primarily responsible for this. because it has rcsisted and is still resisting despite the pressure of the Cominr tern, the Profinteru. and the minority of the Cl? Principal causes of wrong Lovestone policies in organizing the unorganized are: Lack of Ruth in the possibility for effective struggle of the masses resulting from the ovei zstimn tion of the reserve powers of American capitalism and underestimation of the industrial depression, the capitalist offensive and the developing mood of tee sistance among the workers. Tendency to orientate upon the organized e Right anger in ti MILITANT The following is the second installment of the document submitted by the delegation of the Opposition in the American Party to the Sixth World Congress of the Communist International, in July 1923 and signed by James Cannon, William Foster, William Dunne, lex Bittlemah, Johnstone, Manuel Gomez and George Siskind.
The Lovestone Pepper majority has voted to prohibit the publication: or drcularization of this document in the ranks. We will print it consecutively in The Militant. EDITORS.
skilled workers rather than upon the unorganized semirski lled and unskilled workers. Underestimation of the diminishing influence of the skilled workers doc to the mechanization of industry and the growing gulf between the skilled and unskilled. 5: Tendency to orientate upon alleged differenccs in the upper strata of the labor bu racy. Undcrestimation of the costs in the trad. unions, and a tendency to minimize the necessity for new unions. Illusions regarding possibilitics of or gani ing the masses into the of unions. Articlm and speeches by Comrades Pepper and Lovestone. Constant practice of placing the interests of the Lovestone fraction ahead of those of the Party, and the sacrifice of mass campaigns for. factional advantage. Tendency to toy with mass organization camv paigns instead of pushing them through aggt. ely.
The majority leadership of the which is an organic part of the Lovestone faction in the Party, follows the same opportunist line in its in dustrial work.
Typical examples of these wrong tendencies and policies are. Rejected as dual unionism the proposal made by the CBC. minority, in May, 1927, for the calling of an open conference of the left wing and pro gressives in the coal industry to wage diicct struggle against the Lcwis machine. Condemned as dual unionism by a campaign throughout the whole Party the proposal of the CE. minority in its tliCSlS of May 197. 7, that the Party should unhesitatinglyi establish new unions where!
ever the old unio aic decrepit or non cxisteut. In the February, 1928 thesis, the Lo cst0iie group simply repeated the year old Comintcrn dc ClSlOn regarding new unions, although the Commtcrn was then in the process or developing another reso lution, which on the basis ol the industrial depres»
sion and the dcepcning er. in the 01d unions, laid for grc er emphasis on the formation of new uninrs. Resistance to the introduction of the slogan Orgaiu New Unions in Unorganizcd Industries into the Party national election platform. Failure to push forward vigorously for new unions in the needle indust. In this industry the Li stone leader up has a craft union ideology and is afflicted with right wing theories that the Workers cannot right the employers and that the unions must cooperate in building up oc lions of employers Resistance to open snuggle against the Lewis machine and building new union in mining industry.
7, Failure to concentrate Party toices for dc: termined organizing campaign: example, total lack of preliminary work in New England textile industry prior to New Bedtord strike. Systematic notional discrimination against comradcs capable loi trade union work. Placing and (h. mg of field and ict organizers and in ostrial organizers olely wuh regard to factional interests. With resu it damage to mass organization.
The correctness of this characterization of a perspective of struggle. givcn by the Cornintcrn in April has been more than jus ed by dcvele vinq class struggles and increasing tomcat among the masses since. New Bedford and Fall River strikes in textile, continuation of the. desperate miners struggle. Bayonne strike in oil, maturing struggle situation in automobile, meat packin shoe, ctc. foment among the farmers. the in tical situation, etc. Resistance to Orientation of Active Struggle Against Lewis Machine and for Building New Union in Mining Industry.
The most important industrial struggle over car ried through by our Party and its liigrest achiever merit in trade union work is the left wing strugr gle nowvbeing waged in the mining industry. The driving:i force in the formulation and execution of correct policies and mobilization of Party forces in this campaign was the CBC minority. Thc policies of the Lovctsone group, dictated by an under imation of the whole fight, definitely inilitated against the development of the aggressive action necessitated in this crucial struggle and prevented this work making greater success. With the coal industry in a deep crisis (due to the ovcr devclop ment of the industry, use of substitute for coal, etc. and with the union, weakened by the heavy unemployment and, the shifting of the industry to the South, being rapidly torn to pieces under the American Page impact of the attacks of the employers and ihc treachery of Lewis, our Party orientation should have been definitely in the direction of an open struggle against the Lewis machine and for the formation of a new union. The policy of the Lovestone majority placed many obstacles in the way of developing and executing such a puli cy. Among these are: Rejection of the open conicrcncc proposed by the CEC minority. This action checked the Party orientation towards a new union and confused and demoralized the miners left wing and left the miners movement without a definite perspective and disomr nected out Party from the discontented masses of miners who wanted to struggle against Lewis. Rcr newal of the motion several months later by clie CEC minority for an open conference and a direct strum lc against Lewis, its acceptance by the Polcom, re lishcd our leadership over the masses who were grave danger of being dcmoralized by the Failure of the CBC to vigorously combat hc dcepscatcd pessimism and systematic resistance again the application of the policy of open struggle, aber this policy, upon motion of the minority, had brcn formally adopted by the CBC. The task of reakng down the resistance of the Lovestone District Organ!
izers (ell chiefly upon the CBC minority who W;VC sharply criticized by the Lovestone majority in these actions. The right wing tendencies of rinse organizers, signalized by reluctance to fight the Le bureaucracy and by a general underestimation of fighting spirit of the miners, Wcl most clearly. cmpliiied by the letters of Comrade Bedacltt, I)
trict Organizer of Illinois to the CBC. From December 1926 till December 1937, m»
eluding months of the miners strike, the Lorcr stone majority failed to publish a lclt wing min organ. This was due on the one hand to the node estimation of the struggle and on the other to yield!
ing to the demand of the so lied progrc Brophy. Hapgood, ctr. that no cri zsm (if Len should be made during the strike. For six months no effort. were put forth to ca tablish a left wing miners relief organiz tion. iltl relief campaign, which offered exceptionally favor able means for the left wing to establish mas cow RC t5. This relief organization could only been built by an open fight against the Lewis in wed the F of bureaucracy. Factional jugglcry in the anthracite discr Tlns was based upon the established principle ofLDVCéCOUC gIOL of keeping min rity comrades rm kcy positions. By placing incompetent o 2chaige of the Party apparams and.
sharp factional war, the whole camp Lhracite was gravely injured. Failuie to initiate in time iind to prosecute yig Jr»
ousl y the campaign to organize the unorgamxd in VVcstctu Pennsylvania prior to the calling of (he April 6th Strike and for the formation of a new union. 3T0 BE CENTINU ED HELP PUBLISH THE SUPPRESSED DOCUMENTS or THE RUSSIAN OPPOSITION!
The Editors of The Militant are under taking the task of publishing all the suppressed documents of the Russian Oppositiori, a treasure: of Leninist liteliiturer, in pamphlet form as well as serially in the col ilmns of The Militant. This material throws a Marxian search light on the historic event of the past five years and draws the neces sary deductions for the tactics of the Com munists in the great revolutionary 5:11ng to which i ahead. study of this trial.
hitherto pro vented by its suppression, is indispeusible for the education of :i é Party. Your help is needed in this revolutionary work. Contribute to the fund for the pub licaliou of this material and the maintenance of The Militant. Follow the example of a group of Communist workers in New York in pledging a regular contribution weekly or monthly.
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