Felix Morrow

The Socialist Party and Its Lovestone Allies
Continue to CoverUp the ALP’s War Position

(27 October 1939)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol III No. 82, 27 October 1939, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

It has become necessary to appeal again to every worker to acquaint himself with the actual text of the “special resolution on the European conflict,” adopted by the American Labor Party state executive committee on Oct. 4 and endorsed that same evening by a conference of New York City delegates. The text was published in the N.Y. Times, Oct. 5, in the New Leader, Oct. 14, and is available at the A.L.P. offices, 151 West 40 St., New York.

It has become necessary, because a concerted effort is being made to conceal and distort the meaning of the resolution. The capitalist press contributed powerfully to the confusion, labelling it merely as an “anti-red” resolution. In the A.L.P. branches, where the members are now voting on the resolution, the speeches supporting it are almost entirely limited to denunciations of the Stalin-Hitler pact. The “left wing” supporters of the resolution, the Norman Thomas socialists and the Lovestoneites, are conniving at this “description” of the resolution.

In a series of articles, we have described the actual content of the resolution, and quoted its main sections. We have demonstrated that the main section of the resolution, constituting its fundamental motivation, is a declaration in favor of Anglo-French imperialism in its war against the Hitler-Stalin camp. From this pro-Ally orientation, the resolution proceeds to draw two immediate conclusions: to support Roosevelt’s proposal to lift the embargo, and to denounce the Stalinists for their “callous disregard” of the fate of the “democracies.” We ask every worker to compare our analysis and quotations of the resolution with the full text of the resolution. There is no middle ground on this important question of fact.

Breaks Silence – But Not Completely

The Oct. 28 Call finally breaks silence, and gives us the first official explanation of the Socialist Party’s support of the resolution. It does not print the text of the resolution, and with good reason! For its description of the resolution is utterly dishonest. Of the fact that the fundamental motivation of the resolution is pro-Ally, The Call says not a word. Of the fact that the resolution denounces Stalin and the Stalinists from a democratic-imperialist standpoint, and from no other standpoint, The Call breathes not a hint.

Of the fact that the Socialist party member, Frank Crosswaith, A.L.P. candidate, “expressed unqualified approval for the resolution” as a whole, including the sections supporting Roosevelt’s proposal to lift the embargo, The Call says not a word, although it happily informs us that Crosswaith’s chances for election are very good.

In addition to its general story, The Call publishes an “explanation” by Harry W. Laidler, the other Socialist candidate on the A.L.P. ticket. This, too, fails to quote the main sections of the resolution. The gist of Laidier’s alibi is given in this paragraph:

“I think that it was unfortunate that the neutrality resolution was incorporated in the resolution on the part, on dictatorship and on Communist control, but the general purport of the entire resolution was known to all.”

This shameful alibi should deceive no one. The “general purport of the entire resolution” is for support of the Anglo-French imperialists.

The Oct. 21 Workers Age (Lovestoneites) is equally brazen. It declares editorially:

“However, it appears obvious to us that, in the resolution as it stands, the arms-embargo section is no more than a ‘rider,’ of entirely secondary importance, while the anti-Stalinist angle is of paramount significance. Therefore, where the resolution cannot be divided – and we are gratified to learn that it is being divided in a number of A.L.P. branches: – we urge all members of the A.L.P. to vote in favor of it, taking the opportunity to make clear their position on the question of neutrality and the arms embargo.”

The deliberate falsification of which the Thomas-Lovestone apologists are guilty will be apparent to any worker who reads the text of the A.L.P. resolution. So much for the question of fact.

They Abandoned Fundamental Principles

Why have we dwelt on this question over many articles? Because the shameful conduct of the Thomas-Lovestone camp demonstrates how fatal it is to abandon the fundamental principles of the revolutionary struggle against war.

In the fight against war, Lenin taught us, our first duty is to attack the war-mongers in our “own” country. Liebknecht concentrated this thought in his immortal slogan: “The enemy is at home.” Since they believed that only the working class, can really fight against war, our teachers first of all conducted an irreconcilable struggle against chauvinism in the labor movements of their own countries. For only a labor movement united against chauvinism could fight against war. These fundamental principles, carefully thought out and elaborated by the revolutionary internationalists during the First World War, are equally applicable to the Second World War.

Is this denied by anyone who calls himself an internationalist?

Yet these principles are already being violated, in practice, by the avowed “internationalists” of Norman Thomas’ Socialist party and the Lovestoneites.

Who are the chauvinists in the American labor movement? The CIO and AFL bureaucracies, who imposed upon their respective conventions endorsements of Roosevelt’s war program, proposals for labor representation on war boards, etc. The American Labor Party leaders, whose Oct. 4 resolution is the most brazen pro-war document so far issued, by any section of the labor movement. These are the chauvinists in the labor movement with power and widespread influence. Their influence appears even more powerful than it actually is because their war program is identical with that of the capitalist class and its government; more exactly, they are the “labor lieutenants” of the American capitalist class, carrying out the war program of that class.

Along the Social-Patriotic Current

There are other chauvinists in the labor movement; the Stalinists. As long as the Stalinists were preaching a war program similar to that of Roosevelt – “the democratic front against fascism” – they were accepted as junior partners by the CIO and the ALP leadership. However, as soon as Stalin switched camps and joined, with Hitler, the apparent strength of the Stalinists began to evaporate. In their two strongholds in the labor movement – the CIO and ALP – a war of extermination is now being carried out against them. The Department of Justice is now “supplementing” this war against the Stalinists, its persecution of Browder being only the first step. The chauvinism of the Stalinists is on behalf of the Hitler-Stalin camp it is “alien” – i.e., it is not the chauvinism which the American government desires and fosters; its extinction, the extermination of the Stalinists, is absolutely certain.

No one outside the Stalinist camp proposes to support the Stalinist chauvinists. Those, however, who denounce the Stalinists and do not denounce the chauvinists of the opposing camp; those who adapt themselves to “democratic” chauvinism, keep quiet about it, apologise for it, are floating with the dominant current toward the war-camp of the “democratic” imperialists. That is the crime of the Thomas-Lovestone groups.

Last updated on 15 February 2018