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Joseph Carter

C.P. Ordered to Work for Victory
of Stalin-Hitler War Alliance

Browder and Company, in a Breath-taking Political Somersault,
Drop the Cause of the So-Called Democracies in Order
to Espouse the Cause of the New War Alliance

(September 1939)


From Socialist Appeal, Vol. III No. 73, 26 September 1939, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The Communist Party has just announced its new line on the war situation in a Declaration to the American People. (Daily Worker, Sept. 19)

I. The Character of the War

1. “The war that has broken out in Europe is the Second Imperialist War. The ruling capitalist and landlord classes of all the belligerent countries are equally guilty for this war,” it declares.

But ... the day after England and France declared war on Germany, following the latter’s invasion of Poland, the Daily Worker wrote.

2. “There are, broadly speaking, three fronts: the front of fascist aggressive imperialism which has been waging the war for the past two and a half years. There is the camp of bourgeois democracy, against which this war is directed, but had been retreating. And then there is the third front, the real peace front, which, so far, includes the Soviet Union as its main country along with the many forces and peoples throughout the world who support it.” (Daily Worker, Sept. 4, Questions and Answers)

II. What Should the Masses in the Belligerent Countries Do?

1. The recent Declaration of the C.P. states:

“Communists in all the belligerent countries are exposing the imperialist and predatory character of the war, they will vote against war credits, they go among the soldiers at the fronts and the masses at home explaining that this war will bring the people nothing but misery, burdens, destruction and death.”

But ... the Communist Parties of France and England voted for the same war, told the soldiers at the fronts and the masses at home that the war is for “national security” and “against fascist aggression”!

2. The Daily Worker endorsed these treacherous actions of their colleagues:

“Maurice Thorez, general secretary of the great French Communist Party, has presented himself for military service with the army of France ...

“Now that Munich has led to war, Thorez, the Communist leader beloved of the French people, offers his life to defend the national security of France.” (Daily Worker Editorial, Sept. 6)

The next day its London correspondent reported that the Communist Party of England “vigorously proclaimed that it continues to work more actively than ever ‘to help win the war against fascist aggression’.” (Sept. 7)

III. What Should the American People Do?

1. The latest line states:

“First, allow no single measure to be taken for purposes of giving American help to either side of the imperialist conflict; second, find the most effective means of keeping the U.S. out of war, without any regard to whether these means incidentally happen to confer some small advantage to one side or the other.”

It finds peace and pro-war forces on “both sides” of the dispute on raising the arms embargo and condemns those “who demand the repeal or revision of the Act for the purpose of U.S. help to British and French imperialism, and thereby drawing America into the war.”

2. Two weeks ago, during the present war, the Daily Worker declared in a leading editorial:

“In his radio speech to the nation following the outbreak of war in Europe, President Roosevelt voiced sentiments which it seems to us have the approval of the majority of the American people ...

“When the President spoke of a ‘true neutrality’ for America we feel that American interest demands the repeal of the false Neutrality Act which now stands exposed as being the opposite of a ‘true neutrality.’ It is obviously not in America’s interest, not in the interest of ‘true neutrality’ that America shut off its trade with Poland, England, France, Canada and Australia.” (Sept. 5)

The “slogans of action” adopted by the national committee off the Communist Party on Sept. 4 include:

“Full moral, diplomatic and economic help for the Polish people and those who help Poland defend its national independence.

“Embargo Japan and Germany for the defeat of fascist aggression and for establishing a democratic peace.” (Sept. 5)

So that on the question of the character of the war, the measures that the workers in the belligerent countries should take, and what the American people should do, the Communist Party has renounced the position which they defended in the first days of the war (to say nothing of the pre-war Stalinist program).

Kremlin Autocrats Dictate C.P. Line

The zig-zag course of the Communist Party cannot be understood unless one all-important fact is kept in mind: the policy of the communist parties in every country is determined at each stage by the dictates of the autocracy of the Kremlin. An occasional misunderstanding of the Master’s orders may exist or the orders may be carried out clumsily by bewildered henchmen – particularly when they are changed so suddenly!

Browder, Thorez and Pollitt received their line of yesterday and of today from Moscow.

Their change of policy corresponds to the shifting needs and tactics of Stalin.

The first phase of the second world war opened with the German invasion of Poland immediately following the signing of the Hitler-Stalin Pact.

Stalin desired a prolonged war between Anglo-French imperialism and German Fascism. Even after he signed the pact with Hitler, probably including secret terms for joint division of Poland, the Baltic countries, etc., he feared above all, a quick victory of Hitler in Poland, and a reconciliation of the hostile camps by a German march into the Russian Ukraine, that is, a “new Munich.”

That is why at this stage Stalin assigned to his agents in the “democratic” countries the task of arousing mass movements of pressure on the respective governments for the most vigorous prosecution of the war by Anglo-French imperialism against Hitler. They were instructed to attack the alleged indecisiveness of Chamberlain and Daladier and to warn against their betrayal of “independent Poland” by a new Munich.

However, events move with lightning rapidity. Hitler conquered the western sections of Poland, and Stalin decided to invade the eastern regions of Poland. The second phase of the war was thus opened by Russia’s open military alliance with Germany for the partition of Poland.

Stalin sent out new instructions. The Poland of Beck and Smigly-Ridz, which yesterday was to be defended by the people of the world, suddenly became a fascist and imperialist country. The support of Anglo-French imperialism by the Communist parties in the first stage, is now to be converted into an opposition to the war as a robber war of conquest. Browder’s support to Roosevelt’s program of lining up the United States in support of England and France is now changed into an opposition to the President’s proposal to lift the embargo and a campaign against those who seek to drag the United States into the war.

The Communist parties have been ordered to do all in their power to help the victory of the Stalin-Hitler alliance. As agents of these dictators naturally they speak against the opponents of their masters, that is, against English, French and American imperialism. These unscrupulous tools seek to utilize the militant traditions of the working class against all imperialism and against war for the reactionary purpose of serving their bosses. That is the real meaning of the new line of the Communist parties.

(The Socialist Appeal will continue the analysis of the new C.P. line in coming issues. – Ed.)

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