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Full text of "The people's front : the new panacea of stalinism"

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WORKERS' PAMPHLETS.— NO 

THE 




*h 







THE NEW PANACEA 

OF STAL3NISM 



BY MAX S^HACHTMAN. 



e 



9 «**». 



PUBLISHED 1936 BY THE WORKERS' 
PARTY OF AUSTRALIA. 



■ » i*nM i i»«' iii i i i.j, . u i | l ii ii i niiiuKHijiiitaiiii , 



The People's 
Front. 



- 

■■ ■ 



If Fascism , in seizing power in Germany without 
encountering the slightest resistance from the work- 
ing class, revealed how utterly savage and reactionary 
capitalism has become in the years of its decay, it never- 
theless yielded one positive result. It brutally jerked 
the proletarian movement out of its complacency with 
the old labor parties, their theories, their practical 
policies and their leadership, and compelled it to 
undertake a search for a course different from those 
which led it to such a calamitous and humiliating de- 
feat. At the same time that Fascism brought to the 
workers everywhere an acute awareness of the hideous 
inferno which it holds in store for them whenever and 
wherever it triumphs, it also impelled them to -hink 
deeply about why it took over the helm so easily in 
Germany and what line of action must henceforward 
be adopted so that the reptile may be strangled before 
it strangles them. 

Nothing is more understandable than the fact 
that the workers, alarmed by the spread of Fascism to 
one country after another, should lend a recep^— <^t 
to every plausible plan presented as a means whereby 
they may deal an effective blow to what menaces their 
very existence. And of the plans recently put forward,, 
none appears so simple, so plausible, so effective as the 
one now so vociferously advanced by the Stalinist 



parties, following the 7th Congress of the Communist 
International, for virtually all the countries of the 

globe. 

But only appears! For a closer examination of the 
Stalinist panacea against Fascism and war. which goes 
by the alluring name of "The People's Front," will 
not only reveal that the "plan" is far from a new one 
but also that its execution would have just exactly the 
opo-rite effects from those it promises to produce. 

' ' The opposite effects? Precisely. Do you then 
mean that the Stalinists, instead of -r-.tng to avert 
Fascism and war would rather bring them on? Not 
a- all, any more than the German Social Democrats 
wanted the war of 1914-1918 or the victory of Hitler 
in 1933; for that matter, any more -than the bulk of 
the members of the capitalist class "want" imperialist 
war. What is, decisive in this, as m all other social 
questions, is not what you want, but what will logically 
result from the POLICY you pursue. Mot even the 
most ardent and anxious mountain climbet has ever 
been known to reach the top of Mont Blanc by start- 
ing to dig a ditch at the foot of it; such a method 
would hardly bring him half-way up the side of it. 

How the German Social Democrats 
Followed the Road to Ruin 

The classic party of the "practical" struggle 
against Fascism, for peace and democracy, was the 
German social democracy. Its policy, generously com- 
plemented by the German Stalinists, resulted in the 
facile victory of Fascism, the enhancement of the 
danger of a new world war, the destruction of the last 
remnants even of bourgeois democracy. Briefly its 
course was based upon the following conceptions: 

Not having behind us the majority, we cannot yet 
take control of the country, establish a Socialist gov- 
ernment, and inaugurate a socialist society. The Wei- 
mar Republic is better for the working class than the 
Hohenzollern monarchy; /Hitler ism % worse than the 
Weimar Republic. We must therefore defend the 



PIQ& 



j*\f& 



bourgeois republic, for the alternative is not Socialism 
or Capitalism, but Democracy or Fascism. Being in 
the minority in the country, we can find a majority to 
defend the republic ("democracies require majorities") 
only if we ally ourselves with the democratic elements 
of ALL classes. They will ally themselves with 'us in 
tv.e struggle against Fascism only if we do not drive 
them into its arms by a systematic prosecution of the 
class struggle. The class struggle, in such critical times 
ns exist by virtue of the Fascist threat to seize power, 
is superseded by the struggle of the PEOPLE (all 
classes, the good people of all classes) against the 
p"/c'iopathological Brownshirts. The unity of the 
p ;ople is represented by the Iron Front. That we 
have won the democratic bourgeoisie to the struggle 
against Fascism, is represented by the fact that Hin- 
denburg is our candidate for the presidency of the 
republic (God knows he isn't perfect, but Hitler is 
worse) . The struggle against the Fascists must not 
exceed parliamentary bounds, for actual physical 
struggle would precipitate a civil war of the classes in 
the country,, which would frighten our allies into the 
^mp of Hitler. Better a thousand times that both 
r'des should disarm, for workers need no arms in 
order to conquer a majority at the ballot box. 

The consequences of this course are too frightful 
and recent in the memory of all to require detailed 
comment. 

Mow, wherein does _ the Stalinist policy of the 
"People's Front" differ essentially, in France or in the 
f J '-:>£--■, States, from the policy of the German Social 
Democrats? In only one respect. The Germans pur- 
sued this: line of thought and action out of a deeply- 
felt desire to protect the mighty organisations 2nd 
institutions of labor, built up by years of effort and 
sacrifice, as the living basis for the coming socialist 
society in Germany. These organisations and institu- 
tions the leaders identified with themselves. The Stal- 
inists have adopted the same lrne out of just as deep 
a desire to protect the proletarian institutions and -the 
foundations of Socialism which are being laid in the 



Soviet Union. In turn, they too identify them with 
the Soviet bureaucracy and its interests. In both 

cases, such a line must ultimately lead — as it already 
has in, Germany— not only to the wiping out of these 
institutions and conquests of past years, but even to 
the smashing of the very bureaucracy whose course 
brings on the catastrophe. 

Why the Stalinists Made the Turn to the 
"People's Front" 

Up to the time Hitler took power, the Stalinist 
line in Germany (as in all other countries) was de- 
rived from the theory and practice of "Socialism in 
one country." The source of the new Stalinist line is 
exactly the same theory. At bottom, the latter is basecj 
upon a loss of faith in the revolutionary capacities of 
the world's working class, for the Soviet bureaucracy 
simply says, when it formulates and fights so furiously 
for the idolisation of its theory, that backward Russia 
will arrive at the classless socialist society, with a stan- 
dard of living higher than that ever enjoyed by any 
working class in any capitalist country at any stage of 
development, sooner than the German, French, Eng- 
lish or American workers will overthrow their bour- 
geoisie. Arrive there IF military intervention can be 
prevented, IF the capitalist, world, especially Europe, 
can be made to preserve (more or less) the "status 
quo/' without eruptions or convulsions. A civil war 
in Germany to prevent Hitler from coming to power, 
would precipitate international complications and pro- 
bably war, without the German workers being able to 
win. (That prospect, the Moscow bureaucracy simply 
ridicules over its teacups). That would endanger the 
construction of Socialism in the Soviet Union. There- 
fore, retreat before Fascism without giving battle. 

Far from dispelling the clanger to the Soviet 
Union, this abysmally blind policy vastly heightened 
it. Hitler in power became, to quote Trotsky, the 
super-Wrangel, the sword poised for Russia's heart. 
Frightened, panic-stricken by the results of their whole 

5 



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Wuam w i i l i u M"™ ! !« l !w 



H— W W — 



i 



"Third Period" policy, the Soviet bureaucrats who 
manipulate the Third International like jugglers, made 
a complete tum-about-f ace: in line, which was conse- 
crated at the "7th World Congress. 

' Believing "even/less in the fighting capacities of the 
world proletariat now that it, was prostrate in Ger- 
many, and impelled by the same nationalistic theory, 
the Stalinists 'have turned", for allies; to defend "Social- 

■ ism in tsne "Country" from Hitler to the bourgeoisie of 
other countries. The' entry of the Soviet Union into 

.the League, of^Matio^s, arid, ^its "disgraceful adaptation 
to the interests and policies of the dominant imper- 
ialist gang ; at Genev4;' r the seamy pacts made with 
French imperialism and .its Czechoslovakian vassal; 
the frantic efforts to consummate similar alliances with 
•England and the United .States^alk these attest the 
extent to which the Stalin clique is" relying for salva- 
tion upon the presumed friendship of capitalist allies. 
If* is not within the province of this article :o 
discuss the Soviet foreign^ policy, to which the same 
criteria should not and cannot be.appiied as are applied 
to the policy of a proletarian party, be it in Russia 
or in a capitalist country. What is important, how- 
ever, is the fact that, contrary to Lenin's policy of 
subordinating the foreign diplomacy of the workers' 
state to the international interests of the proletariat, 
the Stalinists have sub-ordinated the proletarian move- 
ment they control to the interests of the Commissariat 
for Foreign Affairs. The "People's Front," wherever 
it is created, is essentially a movement organised by 
the Stalinists as a guarantee ~:id a prop under their 
Soviet foreign policy of alliances and military pacts. 
As such, it cannot be other than an agency for pre- 
serving in, power in each country that bourgeoisie, or 
section of the bourgeoisie, which is either "friendly" 
or "allied" with the Soviet. Union, or whose "friend- 
ship" the Soviet Union seeks. This "friendship (how 
temporary, how treacherous such friends always prove 
to be in a crisis!) is purchased by the Stalinists at the 
price of converting— more accurately of organising — 
their "People's Fronts" intp recruiting agencies (fig- 



uratively and literally) of , the "democratic" imperialist 
bourgeoisie in the respective countries. 

h is at this point that the difference between the 
Stalinists and the German Social Democratic courses 
comes to an end, and their identity is resumed. The 
difference is of little or no fundamental account, and 
of no practical significance; it relates to the Why and 
the Who, but it alters nothing in the How and the 
What . . . or in the results. 

The Soviet government signs a military-political 
pact with Czechoslovakia; the Stalinists, "pleased/" 
reads the New York Times cable (Dec. 22, 1935),. 
"with a Soviet pact for defense against German aggres- 
sion which Mr. Benes' realism induced him to con* 
elude, voted alongside the bourgeois Catholic parties 
for their former enemy." Cause and effect! Litvinov 
signs a pact (good, bad or indifferent, that is not the 
point at the moment) with the Czech bourgeoisie. The 
Czech Stalinists promptly suspend the class struggle,, 
and every other revolutionary principle, by voting 
for the military budget in parliament and by joining 
with the bourgeois parties to elect Eduard Benes, 
shrewd and faithful servitor of Czech and French 
imperialism, as president of the republic. A Roland 
for an Oliver! A Benes for a Hindenburg! 

Ditto in France. Only here, instead of Benes or 
Hindenburg, the name is Herriot, or Daladier, whose 
renown as a -fighter against Fascism was first gained 
on that famous February 6 when he crumpled up at 
the mere sight of several thousand Fascists, armed 
with razor-blade-tipped canes, demonstrating in front 
of the Chamber -of DeputieSi ;. ■, 

Ditto in Mexico, the "friendship" of whose bour- 
geoisie the Soviet bureaucracy thirsts after. The 
clever bourgeois demagogue,, President Cardenas, dur- 
ing whose less than two years, in office 'mote than 2,000 
militant peasants have been assassinated . in the state 
of Vera Cruz alone, has the ardent support of the 
ludicrous little Communist Party of Mexico. Its 
manifesto only a few weeks ago, pasted all over the 
capitri, began: "With Cardenas! Against the Callesist 






reaction!" and ended: "Let us support Cardenas in 
his struggle against the Callesist reaction!" Half the 
Mexican Communist Party membership working in the 
government apparatus, is only added reason for such 
ardor. 

Now let us see the "People's Front" as it labors 
to be born in the United States. 

"People's Front/' Democracy 
and Fascism 

Almost up to yesterday, the Stalinists not only 
rejected a united front with the Socialist parties and 
the reformist trade unions, but renounced those revo- 
lutionists who advocated such a bloc against Fascism 
as being themselves a Dpeciea of "social-Fascists."'' Not 
a united front with the Social Democracy against 
Fascism, said the "Stalintern." but first crush the So- 



cial Democracy, and tl 



aere v 



trill be 



no 



F; 



sctst p-; ibiem. 



The head of the world proletariat, the beloved Stalin, 
delivered himself in 192? of the. dictum which became 
canonical doctrine in the International: "Social Demo- 
cracy is objectively the moderate wing of Fascism. 
These organisations do not negate, bu: supplement 
one another." The hindquarters of the world prole- 
tariat, the slightly less beloved Manuilshy, warned at 
the 11th Plenum of the C. I., in March, 1931, that 
"the Social Democrats, in order to deceive the masses 
deliberately proclaim that the chief enemy of the 
working class is Fascism, in order thereby to divert 
attention from the question of the struggle against 
the dictatorship of Capitalism in general, to idealise 
the democratic forms of the latter and to create among 
the workers the impression that they must struggle 
for the 'democratic' forms of their exploitation and 
against the Fascist forms." 

But all this was m the period when the Stalinists 
guaranteed us that there was a universal stormy revo- 
lutionary upsurge of the proletariat, a mass radicalisa- 
tion, which threatened the innermost fortresses of 
world Capitalism. The upsurge has apparently abated 

Z: : , a 



If 



s 
ist 



considerably under the genial leadership of the Stalin- 
ist general staff, and from the struggle on all fronts 
for the proletarian dictatorship the Third International 
has made a forced march forward to the struggle for 
"the democratic forms of . . . the dictatorship of 
Capitalism in general.' 3 

"Now the toiling masses are faced with the neces- 
sity of making a DEFINITE choice, and o^ making it 
to-day," announced Helmsman Dirnitroff «c the 7th 
Congress, "not between proletarian dictatorship and 
bourgeois democracy but between bourgeois democ- 
racy and Fascism." 

To the extent that there is a kernel of truth in 
this assertion, the responsibility for a situation in 
which — in the era of imperialist decay and social revo- 
lution — the struggle for working class power has been 
et low on the order of the day, lies with the reform- 
Social Democracy, and the no less treacherous 
policy of Stalinism. The conclusion, however, which 
the Stalinists draw does not differ by a hair from the 
conclusions drawn by the Social Democracy for years, 
rrorn the FACT that on this, that or the other 
day the working class did not yex stand on the eve of 
the fight for power, the German reformists concluded 
that not only was this fight postponed to the Greek 
Kalends, but that no steps should be taken to organise 
the class struggle in such a manner as to bring the 
proletariat constantly closer to the decisive battle. It 
is false to think that the German Socialist leaders 
ever declared that the ideal of a socialist government 
was abandoned by them — any more than the Stalinists 
now declare their renunciation of the struggle for the 
dictatorship of the proletariat some day in the future 
- — the distant future. The crime of the social demo- 
crats consisted not in failing to take power when it 
could not be taken, but in supporting the spurious 
capitalist democracy of the Weimar Republic, they 
helped the bourgeoisie consolidate itself in power on 
the grounds that Fascism would thereby be warded 
off, Then, having demoralised and devitalised the' 
proletariat, they stood by helpessly while Fascism rose 

9 



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g— — I — ■ 



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to power quite legally and constitutionally and "demo- 
cratically" on the basis o: ihat very same Weimar Re- 
public. 

The intentions of Stalin and Co. may be of the 
noblest type, but we see no reason why the general run 
of the German Socialist bureaucracy should not be 
characterised similarly; in any case, it is not import- 
ant. What is important, is the identity of their posi- 
tions. The so-called "conditions" that DimitrofF sets 
for casting his vote for bourgeois democracy are es- 
sentially the same as those promulgated by the German 
Socialists in their time. Th; latter also demanded that 
the bourgeois democratic governments which it sup- 
ported or "tolerated" should "disarm the Fascists" 
and do this, that and the other thing. Like the Stalin- 
ists, they too spoke of a "real struggle" against the 
fascists. Like the Stalinists, they toe said that "FINAL 
SALVATION this government CANNOT bring." 
And like the Stalinists, they supported bourgeois de- 
mocracy as the "lesser evii." 

Lenin too made demands on the bourgeois demo- 
cratic government of Kerensky in the struggle against 
the "Fascist" Kornilov. Quite true. But— and here 
lies the fundamental, unobliterable difference f — at no 
time did Lenin SUPPORT the Kerensky regime at 
no time did he put the Social Democratic-Stalinist al- 
ternative In the very struggle against Kornilov he 
subjected ,the bourgeois "democracy" and its govern, 
ment to a pitiless criticism, organising the masses in- 
dependently,, warning' against the counterfeit "demo- 
cracy," patiently explaining, and systematically mobil- 
ising the masses for the struggle for power The: 
same policy is .now 'denounced by the French Stalinists 
in terms lifted 'directly, frpm ; the Russian Mensheviks^ 
or 1917; except that -where the Mt&t said "a Leninist- 
Irotskyist provocatiohVVtke former merely say' "a' 
Trotskyist provocation'.? — % u -'< : « lVv>v>\ ' . :V ^ ; ■ 

In its consequences; the POLICY of the German ' 
Social Democracy led to the victory of Fascism, de- 
spite the fact tb* it was calculated to prevent it. The 
defense of bourgeois democracy," of the Weimar Re^ 

ID 



mmmm 






public, as the lesser evil, did not bring the workers to 
power, did not stop Hitler, from taking power, and 
did not even save bourgeois democracy from inunda- 
tion. ) Let that not be. ;fo.rgotten! v ■ ; r 

_ At the 7th Congress 3r the beloved. Czech Stalinist 
spokesman, Gottwald, impudently plagiarising Hilfer- 
ding, Wels and-Loebe,; declared: ;jlf this, bourgeois de- 
mocratic republic is threatened hy Bloody Fascism, then 
We defend this .republic against. Fascism^ arid' call upon 
all real socialists, democrats :o and republicans to a 
united,' front for 'the £oin;t;lnght^5a"^ that ,; this republic 
shall be 'spared the ^grfiatest^ldi^grace/'of^all, and the 
toiling people the greatest ..catastrophe of all, viz., 
h>lopd$K Fascist dictatdfs'Ki^ :; 'WrMri' this is followed 
by the Stalinist, vote.- for ,Mindenburg-Renes for presi- 
dent of the' 'Czechoslbvakian Republic one must ask 
(no., answer will be forthcoming^: Where is the dif- 
ference, between the social^democratic Iron Front in 
Germany;, which ; was so mercilessly attacked by the 
revolutionists, and the Stalinist ."People's' Front" And 
wherein will the consequences differ? 

._.■ In the official textbook of the Stalinists, published 
only a few .months ago— "Fascism and Social Revolu- 
tion"- — the author, Dutt, comments as follows on the 
resignation of Daladier after the February ' 6 Fascist 
demonstration in' Paris: 

"Therewith the whole card-castle of bourgeois 
democracy, of the 'democratic' defense against Fasc- 
ism, of 'democracy' versus 'dictatorship,' of the whole 
Social Democratic line, came tumbling down. The 
line of the 'Left Cartel,' of the French Socialist party, 
of the parliamentary-democratic defense against Fasc- 
ism, was once again only to have smoothed the way 
for the advance of Fascism, for a government of the 
Right, for intensified dictatorship against the workers. 
,,, . , , » (P. 275.) 

And further: 

"To preach confidence in legalism, in constitu- 
tionalism, in bourgeois democracy, that is, in the 
capitalist state, means to invite and to guarantee the 
victory of Fascism. That is the lesson of Germany 

11 



and Austria.** (P. 299.) 

Perfect! If anything is to be added to it, it is 
this: The place of the Left Cartel in France has now 
been taken by the Stalinist-organised "People's Front"; 
the Stalinists now cry for the same Daladier to -take 
power! The line of the "People's Front," instead of 
averting Fascism, will, if continued — we are merely 
echoing the pre- 7th Congress Dutt— smooth the way 
for the advance of Fascism, for a government of the 
Right, for intensified dictatorship against the workers. 
And not only in France. 

The Farmer-Labor Party and the 
"People's Front" 

Like Theseus in the labyrinth of mythology, one 
would need a large ball of string to enable him to get 
to the center (and out again) of the maze through 
which the American Communist Party has travelled 
m its futile search for a Farmer-Labor party in the 
course of the last dozen or more years. Shelved with 
a sign of relief several years ago, it was taken down 
—not the party, but the hope— shortly before the 7th 
World Congress and dusted off. Now, a few months 
afterwards, it appears, considerably the worse for al- 
teration, as the specific American form of the People's 
Front. 

In the October 1935 issue of "The Communist/' 
W. Z. Foster, who has also been taken off the shelf 
and dusted off, explains that unlike France, where the 
masses have "parties, of their own, which could serve 
as the basis of such a united front," the United States 
possesses no large mass party. If the decisions of the 
7th Congress are to be carried, out in this, country—* 
and God knows they must be— the C.P. must unite 
with somebody or something to form the "People's 
Front." If there is no somebody or something, it will 
have to be manufactured. 

The fabled sculptor, Pygmalion, became enamor- 
ed of the lovely but inanimate statue he had chiselled, 
and wished so ardently that it might come to life' 

12 



that the gods finally granted his request. Th i 
marble gave' way to the -flesh and blood or 
Galatea, whom Pygmalion espoused and lived hap- 
pily with for a goodly period of time. Let us see what 
the Stalinist Pygmalions aim to infuse their marbl-'.- 
he.ai.ea icUas with in order that they may come to lite 
as trie American People's Front. 

In the resolution adopted by the Central Com- 
mittee of the C.P. on January 18, 1935', upon Brow- 
der's return rrom Moscow with the straight informa- 
tion that the American masses were clamoring for a 
Labor party, four types of Labor parties are described, 
"reflecting the two chief political tendencies of this 
movement— the class struggle or class collaboration 
- • • (a) a "Popular' or 'progressive' party based 
on the LaFolJette, Sinclair, Olson and Long move- 
ments, and typi.ied by these leaders and their pro- 
grammes; (b) a 'Farmer-Labor' or 'Labor' party of 
the same character, differing only in name and the 
degree of its demagogy; (c) a *Labor party' with a 
predominantly trade union basis, with a programme 
consisting of immediate demands (possibly with vague 
demagogy about the "co-operative commonwealth/ a 
la Olson), dominated by a section of the trade union 
bureaucracy, assisted by the Socialist party and exclud- 
ing the Communists; (d) a Labor party built up from 
below on a trade union basis but in conflict with the 
bureaucracy, putting forward a programme of demands 
closely connected with mass struggles, strikes, etc., with 
the leading role played by the militant elements, in- , 
luding the Communists" (The Communist, Feb., 1935, 
p. 123). 

Being, as they were, in a position to choose, the 
Stalinists decided only a year ago to having nothing 
to do with any of the variants except Type D. Any- 
thing less represented class collaboration. But that was 
before the 7th Congress. What does the "People's 
Front," anti-Fascist, mass Farmer-Labor party look 
like now, in the Stalinist conception? "Les ? und 
staun'!" as the Germans say; read and g a sp. 

"The anti-Fascist mass party," writes Foster in the 

13 



October 1935 Communist, "should be based on the 
trade unions (What? Not from below?) and should 
include farmers' organisations, the Communist party. 
Socialist party, State Farmer-Labor parties, veterans'^ 
organisations, working women's organisations, workers 
and farmers co-operatives, workers' fraternal societies, 
tenants' leagues, anti-war societies, groups of intellect- 
uals, etc." (p. 901.) One would think that these were 
enough, that everyone has been covered. But no, the 
"etc." impels us to read further and to gasp more: 

"The new mass party of toilers should also strive 
to include sections of the sprouting Fascist or partly 
Fascist organisations and tendencies; such as company 
unions, American Legion posts, and groups of the 
Coughlin and Long movements, etc." (Ibid.). 

If, after this stupefyingly comprehensive enumera- 
tion, there is still one man, woman, child or beast omit- 
ted 'from the roll call, he, she or it will undoubedly 
be covered by the second, more ominous "etc." 

What more pointed indication could the sager 
sections of the American bourgeoisie have of the fact 
that, as another instalment on the price for Russian 
recognition, and as a promise of what greater gifts 
the Soviet bureaucracy is prepared to make to the 
"democratic" American rulers in return for an alliance 
against Japan, the Stalinists are working with might 
and main to blur all class lines, to soften the class 
.struggle, to reduce themselves voluntarily to the posi- 
tfon'of an innocuous, all-embracing, national extension 
of LaFollette petty bourgeois "progressivism"? Or 
do we owe the LaFollette dynasty in Wisconsin an 
apology? If we are ntot mistaken, it draws the line at 
"sprouting Fascist or partly Fascist organisations and 
tendencies" in its ranks, and the trade unions which 
are part of the "progressive" movement, being un- 
educated in the precepts of overhauled Stalinism, 
would probably baulk, in their unreasonably sectarian 
way, at sitting in the same party with company unions 
and Coughlin-Long groups. - 

Just read what is palmed off nowadays, without a 
smile, as Leninism: "The hour," reads the 1935 elec- 

14 



tion platform of the Stalinists in New York, "demands 
the building of the broadest people's front, uniting 
workers, farmers, unemployed, professionals, small 
business men, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Socialists, 
Communists, Democrats and Republicans, a people's 
front, fighting in the interests of the com- 
mon people, the working people and the poor 
farmers." — "Every means and effort," reads a 
circular, dated August 26, 1935, sent to all C.P. units 
by the New York district literature department, "must 
be made to widen and broaden our united front 
among all classes of people in New York Cit ". 
^he necessity for the widest distribution o: this plat- 
form, as you can see, is very great, much greater than 
ordinarily, because of our attempt to unite all people 
in an anti-Fascist front." 

Socialists, Communists,. Republicans, Democrats, 
all classes of people, all people, fighting in the interests 
of the common people — where is there room for the 
class struggle in all this vulgar verbiage so adeptly 
lifted from the platform speeches of every capitalist 
demagogue in the history of modern politics? 

The "People's Front" will embrace all parties and 
political views (except the revolutionary, to be sure!) 
and it will therefore be an appendage of the bour- 
geoisie just as unfailingly as was the Iron Front, para- 
lysing the independent movement of the proletariat. 
Th~ "Peoples Front" will embrace all classes of people 
and it will therefore represent none of them. Compre- 
hensive in its scope and composition as it will be, it 
will have few to struggle against, just a few, like Mr. 
W. R. Hearst who — O knave impure in body and soul! 
— in addition to being a Fascist is further indicted by 
the Stalinists for his shocking habit of conjugal in- 
fidelity. 

And in such a struggle, what more powerful, even 
if — how shall we put it? — not entirely reliable and not 
entirely consistent ally can the "People's Front" have 
than that distinguished paladin of bourgeois democ- 
racy versus autocratic dictatorship, Franklin D. Roose- 
velt? 



15