CPUSA, SWP and WWII-Reply to Scott Marshall

Howie Chodos howie at magi.com
Fri Jul 28 23:13:57 MDT 1995

Scott wrote:

>Unlike others, after the SU was attacked and the nature of the war did
>change, to think otherwise is rediculous, we did not resist the war effort
>and did not do *anything* to weaken the effort against fascism.

>Regardless only die hard anti-communists can deny that the nature of WWII
>changed radically when the SU was attacked. That's the main issue here in my

What I don't understand in Scott's position is why the war was ever an
inter-imperialist one, and why its character suddenly changed in 1941 when
Hitler invaded the SU? Independently of how we judge the Hitler-Stalin pact
as a tactical manoevre (which is what the notion of "buying time" seems to
me to imply), I don't understand why its conclusion would alter the overall
nature of the war and the justice of the resistance. Wasn't fascism still
the aggressor, and the representative of an extremely virulent form of class
rule, compared to which "normal" bourgeois democracy was a superior option?
Were the Chinese wrong to resist the Japanesse invasion? Were the
International Brigades a mistake? Should the French working class have
worked for the destruction of its own bourgeoisie in 1940? If not, then when
did it ever become an inter-imperialist conflict and why? The only answer
seems to me to be that what the Soviet Union did and said became the main
criterion for determining the policy of the international Communist
movement, and that strikes me as an unsatisfactory one.

Howie Chodos

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