CPUSA and 3rd-Worldism

Rebecca Hill hillx018 at maroon.tc.umn.edu
Thu Apr 27 08:24:54 MDT 1995

   Where does Kenny Mostern find evidence that the CPUSA was
"third-worldist" between 1929-1935?  I'd be curious to see the sources of
this interp. of their philosophy. From what I remember of what I've read in
of those years, the party was pretty much Internationalist/Universalist in
regards to the "nationalities question" and viewed an international
working-class as the revolutionary vanguard. "3rd Worldism" suggests that
colonized people are actually the vanguard alone - and that they are on a
materially different level than the white working class. At least in
strategy, the CP has never to my knowledge endorsed such a view, but has
continued to argue for "Black and White, Unite and Fight" particularly in
the domestic labor movement. While Communists' integrationism
differentiated them from segregationist whites in the thirties, it also
meant that they were in competition with Black-led organizations. Both
their ideology and practice indicate that Communists in the 20s and 30s saw
putting a priority on race as false-consciousness both among Black and
White workers.
    I think they were moving towards a more third-worldist position in the
50s during their opposition to the Korean war, but this was a decidedly
post-WWII phenomenon.
-Rebecca H.

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