CPUSA: Moscow's stooge

Scott Marshall ksm at wwa.com
Tue Apr 25 14:09:37 MDT 1995

On Tue, 25 Apr 1995, Justin Schwartz wrote:

> Which explains the wildcat strike wave in '43-44.

Not my idea of a strike wave besides whcih the CP led seveal of these

>  And who on the left fought most
> > effectiviely for the all union offensive against the corporations after the
> > war - and which groups on the left supported the Reuther betrayal of that
> > united front against the employers?
> >
> Not the anti-Stalinist revolutionary socialist left--the SWP, the Workers
> Party, and other Third Camp outfits.

This I agree on in part - the folks you speak of never led anything in
labor much in any period. But you better read some of the archives in
Wayne state - see some of the leaflets your friends put out attacking the
Party and supporting Reuthers positions.

> > >
> > >(b) that it abandoned political independence based on the working class
> > >for a position of supporting the "left" wing of the Democratic party;
> >
> > You've made this undocumented charge several times now so lets get into it.
> > This is one of the main reason your friends in the CoC left the party
> > because we *wouldn't* follow this policy. But that aside, lets examine the
> > practice. We constantly run members as independents and on the Communist
> > party line. The only major exception to this was in the aftermath of
> > McCarthyism when it was just too much for us to get on the ballot.
> True, thje CP does run people on the ballot.

Great way to "support the left wing of the Democratic party" eh...fools
them every time.

But lots of friends and
> acquaintances of mine in the Michigan Party (which is not untypical from
> what I hear from people elsewhere) are staunch supporters of, campaiugners
> for, and employees of, Democratic Party hacks.

Oh yeah - the "some of my best friends are.." arguement. Being from the
South, this one I heard a lot of in the past.

>  We are
> > constantly (including at this very moment) involved in lawsuits challenging
> > ballot access limitations for third parties etc. We have in the last period
> > elected Communists to some smaller offices as independents and one as a
> > Communist to city council in Oregon. We were big in formingthe Progressive
> > party and the American Labor Party in NY and the Farmer Labor party in Minn.
> > and in countless other third party movments in all periods of our history.
> >
> > To my knowledge Solidarity, CoC, Communist Workers Party nor any other
> > outfit you've been associated with has ever run any candidates for any
> > public office. Non-participation in electoral struggles is to my mind a big
> > mistake.
> Solidarity participates in electoral struggles-ballot initiatives and
> third parties. It's not a party, so it doesn't run its own candidates. The
> CWP worked very hard for the Rainbow Coalition--an experience which drove
> me into the position of political independence.
> Political independence is not a tactic but a point of principle--as Marx's
> preamblke to the Rules of the First International says, "The emanciupation
> of the working class can be won only by the working class itself."

Yeah - well how convienent - you'r not a party so you don't have to run
candidates - so how does that jive with the Marx quote - it's a cop out
Justin and a much weaker position on political independence than ours -
you talk the talk but you don't walk the walk as they say in my neigborhood.

> > I was elected to the scvhool board in a non-partisan election - but
> campaigned as a Communist - never crossed my > mind to run as a Democrat.
> >
> Good!
> > >
> > >(c) that it was extremelyt undemocratic in its internal organization and
> > >sectrarian in its relations to other left organizations (leaving aside the
> > >issues of fingering "Trotskyists" for Chekist assassination);
> >
> > Gee Justin, why can't we be friends - I wonder?
> I've worked with Communists have am friends with some.

Gee thanks.

>  Despite the charge against
> > me of being religious - I still have trouble turning the other cheek. We
> > have great relations with many left organizations - those who deal with us
> > as equals not attackers. You have no idea about our internal life except
> > what you've heard from those who left.
> Not so. I know lots who are still in.  And why is the evidence of those
> who left worthless? You haven't answered this objection,
> either. >

Some of my best friends again huh. We'll if they are so unhappy and feel
they are so undemocratically treated why do they stay. As to the worth of
those who left - sure it's worth listening to, but it is hardly rounded.eOD

> > >
> > >(d) that it apologized for a repressive totalitarian dictatorship ruled by
> > >an exploiting stratum or class (as you like) of bureaucrats in the name of
> > >socialism and in a way that discredited socialism among the American
> > >proletariat.
> >
> > Huh...
> Still don't get it, eh?

I've alway gotten it, but it bores me to tears the same old recycled
antiCP general horseshit. Not a new thought since "None Dare call it
Treason." The problem is Justin to be critical of a practice you
have to have some to defend - that's what makes armchair and critic from
afar so comfortable.

> >
> > >
> > >All that said I agree with whoever it was who said that for all its
> > >failing the CPUSA was the most effective mass socialist organization in
> > >the USA after the Debsian SP, at least through the mid-40s, and that it
> > >did a lot of good things. I don't think Party members should have nothing but
> > >shame and regret for the failings of their outfit. They have many
> > >accomplishments and have an honorable if deeply ambiguous record in the
> > >annals of the American left. At the same time there is much to be ashamed
> > >of and regret.
> >
> > Gee I just love being patronized by smart people. Don't it just gall you
> > that shame, regret and repentance just don't seem to be in our vocabulary -
> > if you had more than a superfical knowledge of us you'd know that criticism
> > and self-criticism are very much in our vocabulary and far more effective
> > for correcting mistakes than moralisms.
> Some moral sentiment probably wouldn't hurt, when we are talking about
> crimes as well as mistakes.

Exactly which crimes do you think we have committed? The only crimes I've
ever committed have been against the capitalist system. How about you?
Guess not - you have to have done something to have committed a crime.

Maybe you guys just don't say much about what you've done except


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