Author’s note: Please see CPUSA Chair Sam Webb’s article “A Ragged Process” of October 29 2009 and the thread that follows it: ]

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.

Earl 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