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Joseph Carter

With the “Left” Socialists – from the Top?

(May 1933)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 28, 27 May 1933, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The Communist International recently initiated and participated in an international united front against Fascism that even the Stalinist press is silent about. According to the New Leader (April 28, ’33), official organ of the Independent Labour Party of Great Britain an unofficial (!) conference of Left Socialists and Communists was held in Paris on April 25. It was initiated by none other than Henri Barbusse. Socialists from France, Britain and Belgium and Italy were present as well as Communists from these countries (except Italy) as well as from Germany, Czechoslovakia and the United States.

The Left Socialists at the Conference proposed that efforts should be made for a meeting of the Executive Committees of the Labour and Socialist International and the Comintern to consider ways and means of combating Fascism. This the Stalinists rejected. The latter agreed to collaboration between the Left Socialists and the Communists and urged the support of the European Anti-Fascist Conference and the Youth Conference against War and Fascism to be held in Paris on August 5th. (No notice has appeared in the American or international press of the Comintern on the latter Conference!) The Left Socialists agreed to support these conferences on the condition that they were officially invited and permitted to participate in their organization. This was agreed upon.

The Comintern which had rejected a united front against Fascism with the Labour and Socialist International, even refused to openly initiate a conference with the International Committee of the Left Socialist Parties. It again resorted to the back-handed policy of having Henri Barbusse “personally” arrange for such a meeting. Another sign of the much acclaimed independence of the Communist International!

Only a few days after this Conference which, we repeat, was conducted behind the backs and without the knowledge of the Communist and revolutionary workers, the Comintern issued its May Day Manifesto. Therein we read:

“Now we need the united front from below, not negotiations with the top leaders, with Wels and Renaudel. For the leaders of the Second International, negotiations of the officials on top are merely a method of delaying, hindering and disrupting the united front of the working class.”

United front with the Vanderveldes, Adlers and Renaudels before the eyes of the socialist and communist workers – no! United front with the Brockways, Patons and Maxtons behind the backs of the workers, independent of the masses who follow them – certainly! This is the queer logic ol Stalinism brought down to its latest phase.

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