Forwarded from John Manning (CPUSA and spies)

Richard Fidler rfidler at
Mon Jun 4 19:06:46 MDT 2001

John Manning's account is fascinating. It certainly made me want to read
"Operation Solo". But it also left me with a few questions:

1. Is Manning suggesting that the CPUSA supported the Kremlin in the
Soviet-Chinese dispute simply or mainly because it was getting a million dollars
a year from the USSR? The Sino-Soviet dispute was over real issues of
revolutionary strategy, the Chinese making many correct criticisms of the
Soviets' policy of peaceful coexistence. Surely the CPUSA's position was the
product of its own ideological inclinations. That is why the membership
supported the leadership's hostility to China. They didn't need to be bribed to
take that stance, let alone to know the money was coming in (which they didn't).

2. Although Manning suggests that the FBI influenced the CPUSA to support the
Kremlin against Beijing, he provides no evidence of such influence (although no
doubt Washington favoured Khruschev's line over Mao's). So what is the source
for his statement that "the FBI...were thus able to bribe the CPUSA, with Soviet
funds, for the entire 25 years... and were so able to steer policy during the
entire period of development of the Soviet-China split to get the most
disruptive results internationally"?

3. Most interesting is Manning's reference to the Japanese CP's role in
attempting to reconcile the differences between Moscow and Beijing. This was new
to me at least. How does one get hold of the JCP's "International Issues"? And
what exactly did the JCP propose as some way to "preserve the unity of the world
movement"? Didn't the Sino-Soviet dispute have its roots in Moscow's application
of the "socialism in one country" approach, i.e. a nationalist strategy for
"building socialism" (which necessarily excluded real socialist collaboration
through joint planning, etc.), as well as the greater pressure from imperialism
faced by Beijing in the 1950s (U.S. hostility, Korean war, etc.)?

Richard Fidler
rfidler at

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