[Marxism] Popular Front

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Mon Oct 3 13:56:57 MDT 2005

Charles Brown wrote, "The hindsight issue arises; and I gotta indulge
historical counterfactualizing. . . . In other words, the strategy of
radical reform through the DP ( and progressive Republicans, and third
parties) was not entirely implausible when it was initiated. The New
was an achievment, and why not consider that it was possible to improve
Of course, in fact, it was diluted by 1948, but there was a contest that
might have gone the other way, with Roosevelt's Economic Bill of Rights
being actualized instead of Taft-Hartley, Smith Act prosecutions."

A lot of this discussion is theoretical, abstract, and not really
accurate historically.  It's not as though the CP tried to push the New
Deal towards socialism by working through the Democratic Party--and then
the rest of us started engaging in hindsight.  In fact--and I'm probably
a minority in this--I think that Stalinism had nothing to do with it,
save that it provided a theoretical rationalization for a stupid and
suicidal strategy that had been episodically pursued for over a century.

Indeed, independent parties like the "Workies" and the Locofocos of the
1820s and 1830s debated the nature of the new Democratic Party, which
swallowed enough of them to kill the movement.  And it's gone on ever
since with any third party that's shown any ability to pose a threat to
them--Socialists, Greenbackers, Populists, Greens, etc.  

In the end, the CPUS was no different.  Despite the claims to have
learned something from 1917, it added nothing of quality to the
electoral understanding of the wider movement.  

Mark L.

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