CPUSA, SWP and WWII-Reply to Scott Marshall

Rob Frantz rfrantz at u.washington.edu
Fri Jul 28 17:56:19 MDT 1995

In a prior post on this thread, which started with the title "WWII,"
I pointed out that Scott Marshall's claim that the SWP's position on
WWII, that it was an "imperialist war" and not a "war against fascism,"
played into the hands of the Bundists and America Firsters, was
disingenous,without mentioning that his party, the CPUSA, did precisely the
same thing during the period of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, the crucial 22
months (Aug. 1939 to June 1941) during which Hitler invaded Poland and
subsequently  occupied most of Western Europe. I pointed out, it was only
the invasion of the USSR by Hitler that forced them to change their line from
the US should stay out of the "imperialist war" to full support of the war
effort against Hitler.

Scott, in reply, said it wasn't the same thing, that the CPUSA was in the
forefront of the struggle against Hitlerite fascism and never gave up on
this struggle during the Nazi-Soviet pact period. This is either ignorance
or total hypocrisy--perhaps both. Ignorance, not because Scott is
ignorant, but these are facts he'd rather not know and hypocrisy, for
if he does know them and persists with his cover up and/or falsification,
I can think of know milder word. Scott ended his reply by saying we'd been
through this Hitler-Stalin pact thing "ad naseum."

Well, the truly nauseous thing is to cover up and/or falsify, as Scott
wishes to do, the facts of this period. This is why I've included below a
short list of statements by leading CPUSA members or committees, printed in
CPUSA publications during the period concerned to show just how hypocritical
and disingenous his critique of the SWP's position on WWII was (by the
way, as I've stated I believe that the struugle against fascism was
paramount in WWII and reject any analysis of it as an "imperialist war"):


	These things have finally made clear beyond all possibility of doubt
	that what we have to deal with is an imperialist war in which the
	rulers of both sides are equally guilty; it is not a war waged
	for the destrUction of fascism, but is carried on to extend and
	perpetuate imperialist control over the world. The character of
	this war in no principle can be said to differ from that of the
	late World War. This war has nothing to offer the masses of any
	participating country expect death and destruction, further
	miseries and burdens (Earl Browder in interview with Harry Gannes,
	Daily Worker, September 13, 1939, p. 1, 3).

	The war that has broken out in Europe is the Second Imperialist War.
	The ruling capitalist and landlord classes of all the belligerent
	countries are equally guilty for this war.
	This war, therefore, cannot be supported by the workers. It is
	not a war against fascism, not a war to protect small nations
	from agression, not a war that workers can and should support.
	It is a war between rival imperialisms for world domination.
	The workers must be against this war.
	(from text of CPUSA Political Committee statement entitled "Keep
	America Out of the Imperialist War," published in Daily Worker,
	September 19, 1939, p. 1).


	United fronts are impossible with those tendencies and groups in the
	labor movement which follow the treacherous policy of Social-Democracy,
	support the imperialist war, seek to drag America into it, incite
	against the Soviet Union and hamper the struggle of the working
	class against iMperialism, capitalism and intensified capitalist
	reaction and exploitation (from text of CPUSA Political Committee
	published in Daily Worker, October 15, 1939, p. 2).


	...the degenerate Trotskyites, in their May Day manifesto, single
	out Hitler as the enemy to fight, let British and American
	imperialism escape condemnation, and virtually accept the war
	(William Z. Foster in The Communist, XX, June 1941, p. 498).

Just weeks after this condemnation of the SWP, the CPUSA would adopt
virtually the same distorted position that Foster attributed to the
"degenerate Trotskyites." This incredible about face would not stop the
Daily Worker on June 12, 1941 from denouncing "the disguised Nazism of
the Trotskyites."

The subject is sordid and  it's nauseating, but I can't get it out of my
mind. Perhaps, Jew that I am, this war contains an extra horror. I can
live with honest mistakes, but unwillingness to own up to the truth of
this great betrayal of humanity makes my blood boil.

Seattle, WA

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