Sam Webb's "A Ragged Process": a Historical Consideration
Author's note: Please see CPUSA Chair Sam Webb's article "A Ragged Process" of October 29 2009 and the thread that follows it: http://www.peoplesworld.org/a-ragged-process/ ]
In order to re-set this thread away from slurs on individuals and back to an actual analysis of chair Sam Webb's article "A Ragged Process" I propose readers/commentators on all sides of the issues read Webb's article and then read the 1945 challenge to American CP Chair Earl Browder's political line by Jacques Duclos (URL below). It is not a difficult article to understand.
R. Browder, wartime chair of CPUSA was challenged in 1945 by Jacques
Duclos of the Parti Communiste Français because of the extreme degree
to which chair Browder had submerged class struggle and an independent
Marxist political analysis of the party into a multi-class US broad
"movement" for social progress. Browder had dissolved the American
Communist party and replaced it by a "Communist Political Association."
This was was soon reversed as he was expelled and his line repudiated.
Browder's political commitment to a cross-class American alignment
simply did not appear to Duclos to match up with the unprecedented
aggressive imperialism of the USA at the end of WW II and the start of
the Cold War. The article by Duclos was an important factor in the
replacement of Browder by chair Eugene Dennis and the re-establishment
of the CPUSA.
Today is not 1945. Nevertheless, in 2009 we remain in the center of an
aggressive step-up of US imperialism in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Does
anyone still believe the US government timeline for withdrawal from
Iraq (all troops out by 2011) announced in February of this year by
the Obama Administration? Military leaders have told reporters of plans
for "a significant number of American troops to remain in Iraq beyond
that 2011 deadline," perhaps for "the next 15 to 20 years." Obama has
shown that he views the Status of Forces Agreement as subject to
adjustment. In Afghanistan Obama has already deployed tens of thousands
of additional US troops in an attempt to crush the Taliban and allied
anti-imperialist resistance forces.
Whatever Obama's next move is, it is clear we are still in the centre
of an epoch of aggressive US imperialism. The parallel to 1945 is not
exact, but close enough to allow us to pose again the concerns raised
by comrade Duclos in a new way to Sam Webb.
1) Why has the whole analysis and critique of the danger of US
imperialism been curtailed by the CPUSA leadership in an age of
aggressive US imperialism? and (b) does this silence on US imperialism
serve the interests of the working class and its allies?
2) Have Obama's actions shown that Webb over-estimates the political
character of both the Obama movement and the Obama presidency's
allegedly progressive character? I reference only egregious examples of
the Obama presidency's actions: (1) escalating US imperialist
aggression in Afghanistan and Pakistan, (2) in betraying the
Palestinians (according to the Palestinian Authority leaders last
week)(3) in effectively abandoning President Zelaya to the internal
Honduran forces repressed by the coup "government," and (4) in leaving
the Bush-Cheney administration and its torturers immune from
prosecution for crimes of war?
The URL to the historical 1945 Duclos article on Browder's errors is on
my blog at
From Andrew Taylor's Left Turn/ Virage a Gauche: A Canadian Marxist Viewpoint
November 9, 2009