CPUSA and 3rd-Worldism

Kenny Mostern kennym at uclink2.berkeley.edu
Thu Apr 27 10:24:05 MDT 1995


The CPUSA during that period centered struggle in the Black Belt as
central to any revolutionary movement in the U.S., and in doing so
explicitly accepted the idea of autonomous national movements both in the
Americas and everywhere in the colonized world.  Many of the people
responsible for these positions were Caribbean born or descended
activists living in New York and elsewhere in the eastern U.S.  You are,
indeed, correct
that the full third worldist scenario I laid out in a later post was not
yet part of the CPUSA analysis in 1929-35--that would require, among
other things, the reconciliation of Du Boisian Pan-Africanism with the
party, which was still to come.  If I said that the third worldist
scenario had already been developed by the CPUSA at that time it was I was

The best source for this history in particular is Harry Haywood, *Black
Bolshevik*, and Mike Goldfield's terrific review essay in *Review of
Radical Poilitical Economy* which appeared in 1981.  Also see James
Allen's pamphlet *Negro Liberation*.  The other obvious texts, about the
emphasis on race in U.S. party strategy, are Naison,
*Communists in Harlem During the Depression* and Kelley, *Hammer and
Hoe*, which I imagine you already know.  As I indicated in my post, the
tension between the claim that Black autonomist movements should be
supported and the practice of organizing multiracially by marxist writers of
various ethnicities inclined to support this theoretical position was not
worked out.  Indeed, it hasn't been to this day, and probably can't be.

Kenny Mostern
UC-Berkeley Ethnic Studies Graduate Group

Against:  racism, sexism, homophobia, capitalism, militarism
For:  the truth--and the funk!

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