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Susan Green

Readers of Labor Action Take the Floor ...

[One of] Two Criticisms –

(25 April 1949)

From Labor Action, Vol. 13 No. 20, 16 May 1949, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

To the Editor:

Starting from the point that the Independent Socialist League proclaims its greatest propaganda task at present is to counter the war preparations with the call for the socialist anti-war camp, with the slogan “Neither Washington nor Moscow,” I fail to see how the leading article in the issue of April 18 in any way furthers this task. I do not argue whether or not the policy of the United States is to “draw blood”; whether or not the Atlantic Pact means the “cold invasion” of Western Europe; whether or not the presence of American troops at the Iron Curtain means war. These points could perhaps be argued. But I do say that in making these points, comrade, you went so completely out of balance as to have written an article any fellow-traveling organ would be delighted to publish. I am absolutely sure that this was not the intention; of course not. It seems to me it was the result of writing on certain angles, without regard to the context of general events.

One of the general events to be borne in mind is that today the Stalinists are waging, all over the world, a so-called peace offensive, and of course they are the injured innocents while the United States is out to “draw blood.” In the anti-war propaganda of Labor Action and the Independent Socialist League we must separate ourselves from this Stalinist “peace offensive.” The only way in which we can do this is by not losing sight of the fact that, there is another general event, namely, that the Russian troops or Russian-controlled satellite troops have been on the other side of the Iron Curtain since the end of the war, and that there the invasion has bad a little more heat than to permit of the name “cold invasion.” So I say there is a deplorable lack of balance in an article that starts with a dismissal of Russian aggression, ends with a call for the withdrawal of American troops, and only in passing refers to the justified hatred of the Stalinist tyranny.

It is true, to be sure, that everything cannot be said in one article but enough must be said not to create undesired impressions, enough should be said to make clear our position “Neither Washington nor Moscow.” I know that every time we write against Stalinism and Moscow imperialism we do not in the same article give equal space to expose Washington imperialism, but I cannot think of one article we have written in the former category which did not also make clear that we were taking our position against Moscow on a socialist basis and therefore could not be mistaken as pro-American. On the other hand, I think the article I criticize could, today, very easily be mistaken for pro-Russian.

I believe with all my heart that if there is any chance of avoiding this Third World War it is by the masses of the people accepting the concept of “Neither Washington nor Moscow.” This cannot be just an incidental idea, but must be the hammer blow in every article on the war.

Susan Green

April 25, 1949

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