Dear comrades and friends,

This comment of Waistline's is both short enough (though I expect another 
series of posts from him shortly, which I will not have time to answer) and 
wrong enough that I need to comment on it.

Waistline says that It was impossible to Bolshevize the CPUSA when there were 
not insurrectionary conditions. This is incorrect. Lenin was one who pointed 
out that the Bolshevik party had to know both how to advance under 
revolutionary conditions and to retreat when the enemy was stronger. Bolshevism 
was a method that allowed for insurrection under revolutionary conditions, and 
to prepare the advanced working class to take its place to be ready when 
conditions were right.

The Comintern tried to help the CPUSA become Bolshevized, but it could not, and 
did not, "force positions" on the CPUSA. I do not know what happened to the 
langauge presses (if someone has specific information in that it would be good 
if they could send it to the list). But I do know something about the CPUSA's 
position on the Black National Question, mostly from reading Black Bolshevik. 
The position calling for the right of self-determination in the Black Belt 
South was raised by elements in the Comintern, and accepted by elements in the 
CPUSA (Haywood himself in particular). Together the pro-self determination 
elements in the Comintern (particularly in the SU) and in the CPUSA got the 
line accepted in both the Comintern and the CPUSA.

There is no doubt that the fact that the CPUSA had a large portion of European 
immigrants led to many problems. This was true of the socialist movement in the 
USA for over 150 years: the first genuine Marxist leader in the US, Karl 
Wedemeyer, was himself a German immigrant. But Wedemeyer showed himself able to 
learn from US history, becoming a military and political leader in the North 
during the Civil War in the fight against slavery. The CPUSA was also able to 
go beyond its largely European roots by accepting the revolutionary position on 
the Black National Question, with international help.

The CPUSA made tremendous strides forward during the 1930s, building a mass 
base among the industrial workers, playing a leading role in formation of the 
CIO; that it made mistakes in the application of the policy of the united front 
against fascism (and these have to be looked at carefully, not just by making 
blanket statements about its tailing Roosevelt) were certainly encouraged by 
the objective situation, that in the 1930s there was not a revolutionary 
situation in the US. But none of this means that there was nothing the CPUSA 
could do but "work within this flow." Even in a non-revolutionary situation one 
can win advanced workers to ML.


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 10:58 AM
  Subject: Re: [MLL] some thoughts on the CPUSA: a whole assessment of 

  In a message dated 1/24/2011 9:18:50 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, 
  _intangibles@aphenomenal.com_ (   writes: 
  If the party had bolshevised itself back in the 1920s in the manner  
  recommended by the Comintern throughout the 1920s and 1930s, this distinction 
  would have been strictly maintained. The toxic impact of Browder's line and  
  leadership style was that liberalism on this front was not seriously dealt 
  with,  let alone dealt with in time. 
  If? Such was impossible. 
  One cannot build a party of insurrection outside revolutionary conditions  
  and the revolutionary crisis. The revolutionary crisis is an aspect of the 
  leap  - transition, from one economic-political-social formation to another. 
  The  struggle for industrial unions was not revolutionary but a reform 
  movement under  condition of reform of the system. 
  No one can turn one quality (a reform movement) into another (revolutionary 
   movement/revolutionary crisis) based on thinking and ideology. No one can 
  build  a "party of a new type" and it operates as a party of insurrection 
  because it is  a good idea. The period of the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's prove 
  this beyond a  doubt. 
  The Comintern had to force positions on the CPUSA; dismantle the language  
  presses which needs to be understood. These were European language press in 
  a  country of English and Spanish speaking people. The largest group of 
  American  communists were foreign born barely speaking English going in the 
  1920's and  beyond. This was under conditions where no less than 70% of the 
  workers in  Detroit - the party strong hold, spoke English. 
  Then of course there was the Oct. 1928 Comintern written document - Negro  
  Question, forced on the party.  The CPUSA fundamental misunderstanding of  
  the Negro Question and its urgency was not the result of just ideological  
  chauvinism but the fact of formation based on European  immigrants with no  
  understanding of actual American history. 
  There was a massive effort to Americanize the party, within a context of  
  groups cobbled together, shifting to fight at the forefront of the industrial 
   trade union movement. . 
  Much has been written on this history but the bottom line is the CPUSA was  
  more than less a large and significant federation, with anarcho syndicalist 
   groupings, Populist ideology condemning monopoly, but aligned with the  
  Comintern, which was a good thing.  
  It was not wrong application of Comintern policy of the united front, but  
  the populist ideology and syndicalism that was the lead factor in tailing  
  Roosevelt after the Wagner Act.  The objective factor is that the  
  proletariat itself followed this path of reform and there was nothing anyone  
  do, but workwithin this flow and try and win folks to the cause of  
  Browrder was a symptom of a larger problem. The CPUSA anti-monoply ideology 
   and political outlook remains to this very day. 

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