CPUSA on Yugo

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Sun Sep 17 09:12:28 MDT 1995

Dear Scott,

Thank you for your robust reply. I knew deep down you would come
up with something like this. It was just my fantasy when I re-read my
post, that you would be so shaken by it, you would report to your
party, that you could no longer represent it on the marxism list unless
it changed its line! Ridiculous I know.

I am torn because the stand of organisations like yours has been
instrumental in weakening the possibility of the left protesting
against the persecution of muslims in Europe, in the same way the
left needed to oppose the persecution of jews 50 years ago. On
the other hand we cannot insist that as soon as a vanguard organisation
takes a stand it has to be perfect.

So I am glad you risked posting your party's statement and perhaps it is
sufficient for the time being that you accept the article was written for
agitational purposes and is not ideally suited to his list. Can we look
forward to a more propagandist or analytical article in future?

The issue is immensely important for the development of democracy and
socialism on a world scale - how the ruling class of the hegemonic world
power is to be criticised by marxists within it.

I maintain, and of course it is a reformist position, because it will
be about reforms, until of course you have seized state power, that
a major country like the US will try to present its actions as in the
interests of all the people of the world. I would forgive you what
I regard as mistakes, ten times over if you are attacking and
challenging its record. But the way you challenge could make a big

The reality is that the US is trying to broker peace, and peace of some
sort is in the interests of the working people. While US and other
NATO jets were pounding Serb fascist anti-civilian gun emplacements,
the US was quietly brokering a compromise between Greece and Macedonia,
now to be called the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM)
in return for lifting a trade boycott. This compromise may save
hundreds of thousands of lives, if Bosnia is anything to go by. It will
of course help US economic interests as well.

As marxists we must argue the most telling criticism of the US government
will be not that it is intervening all over the world, but that the
intervention should be more impartial, should be by a representative body
of the people of the world, and in the interests of the people of the
world, not of capitalism. If we plug away for 50 years on this the big
powers will eventually have to dance to this tune and we will get further
reforms that weaken capitalism on the way.

You did a service by posting your party's statement on this list. Please
ask your party to write a more analytical article from which you could
extract say a page, to enable us to consider the soundness of its
theoretical position further.


Chris B.

In reply to:

From: Scott Marshall <Scott at rednet.org>
Date: Sat, 16 Sep 95 10:01 CDT
Subject: Re: CPUSA and CP Russia on Yugo

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