CPUSA

Philip Goldstein pgold at strauss.udel.edu
Sun Apr 16 19:41:04 MDT 1995


	Scott Marshall writes that "Phillip knows nothing of the CP of
any period." What I know is a little history, which party hatchetmen
don't like to discuss except in terms of glorious achievements. In the
1920's, William Z. Foster, a former Wobbly, founded the CP because he,
along with many others, was so moved by Lenin's success. In the 1930's
Earl Browder managed to supplant Foster and to implement some policies
independent of Stalin and Stalin's international. Because of Stalin's
hostility, Foster was able to oust Browder in the 1940's, ostensibly
because Jacques Duclos, a French communist, wrote a letter complaining
about Browder's deviations. In the 1950's, when Gus Hall came to power,
he prided himself on being a workingclass intellectual, which meant that
a whole group of intellectuals organized by Gil Green were moved to leave
the party. What's more, Hall, Henry Winston, and many others took the
line that Browder's error was to forget the primacy of class struggle,
which, to them, meant organizing factory workers. When the Eurocommunist
movement emerged in the 1970's and even the 1980's, the CP leadership
opposed it on the grounds that it too forgot the primacy of class
struggle, not to mention the "revisionist" intellectuals whom Hall
devoted so much of his career to opposing (When the Soviets wanted
someone to condemn their dissident intellectuals, they would trot out Gus
Hall). These issues came to a head not only around the dissolution of the
USSR but also around the primacy of class struggle, since that primacy
meant that the problems of the African-American community were less
important than the struggle to organize factory workers. There is more to
these issues, but I think that this issue explains why Angela Davis, the
CP's most distinguished spokesperson, Charlene Mitchell, head of the
Alliance Against Racism and Repression, and Herbert Aptheker,
distinguished for his research on DuBois and on African-American history,
quit the party.

Face the facts, Scot. There are problems.

Philip Goldstein


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