By the Incendiary Editorial Board, May 1, 2019
“But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons – the modern working class – the proletarians.” –Karl Marx and Frederic Engels, Communist Manifesto
May 1, 2019 marks the observed, yet unofficial, 100-year anniversary of the Communist movement in the United States. The importance of 1919 for the US Communist movement is twofold. First, and most importantly, this is the year of the founding of the Communist International (sometimes called the Third International or Comintern for short), which was a great milestone for the proletariat of the world as well as a great weapon in the service of world revolution. This was the Comintern of Lenin and Stalin. Second, in the US 1919 marked the year of the major split in the Socialist Party where the leftwing would be expelled and go on to develop the Communist movement which would be unified later under Comintern guidance.
These past one hundred years are years of intense class struggles, periods of great revolutionary inspiration, and the cruelest of opportunist betrayals. Revolution never proceeds in a straight line, and the US Communist experience is not exempt from this universal law. Charting the advances, retreats, vacillations, capitulations, conciliations, and ultimate decline into revisionism requires much more nuance and commitment than is permitted in the scope of this article. We can only seek to give the most accurate impression possible and provide an important analysis to all those who fight and live their very lives to see the reconstitution of the Communist Party of the United States of America as a militarized Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, principally Maoist Party of the new type. We seek to demystify complicated history for the fellow travelers and the masses who take interest in the necessity of the vanguard Party. Understanding the past 100 years of the US Communist movement, what was right and what went wrong, is of the utmost importance.
In the period leading up to 1919, the Socialist Party (SP), like socialist parties all over the world, came into contradiction with itself when faced with the question of the first imperialist world war. Unlike parts of Europe, the US did not face immediate involvement in the conflict, so many in the US could afford to oppose war generally and avoid taking a hard political stance. As the US entered the war in 1917, things changed, and the right and left of the SP began to divide over the question. Leftists opposed the war, and in many cases went to prison for this stance or faced deportation. The war also helped ferment a split in the SP, which would be essential in forming the Communist movement and later the Communist Party of the USA.
Socialists like Eugene V. Debs (nominally a leftist) began expressing US chauvinism and anti-German sentiment publicly, while rightwing socialists like Edward Russel called for war against Germany. All over the world, this imperialist world war began dividing the workers’ movement into left and right camps: those who opposed imperialist world war with revolutionary civil war and those who fell in line behind their nations’ bourgeoisie in the interests of their native imperialism.
There were a number of US socialists like Louis B. Boudin who would take up the leftwing anti-war position, but their position was often just short of Lenin’s revolutionary defeatism—that is, turning the imperialist war into a civil war between the classes. While Boudin and others propagated ruthless opposition to the war, they could not make sense of how to use these conditions to serve proletarian revolution. Due to shortcomings in Boudin’s line, he was unable to unify the party forces around it.
At the time SP leaders like Boudin were taking a classical orthodox Marxist position against the war, veteran revolutionaries from Russia like Alexandra Kollontai were beginning to spread the teachings of the great Lenin on US soil for the first time. Kollontai would carry out several coast-to-coast lecture tours (one in 1915 and a second in 1916), throughout which she maintained close communication with Lenin and carried out directives at his behest. She promoted and summarized Lenin’s revolutionary line, even if she did not make workers aware of whom the line came from directly, as the name Lenin was not in common circulation in the US yet. Kollontai also agitated relentlessly among the US left for a third international which would stand against the opportunism of the Second International. These lectures would serve as a powerful fortification of the leftwing in the SP.
By 1916, the SP was receiving less and less votes in bourgeois elections. The rightwing leadership had begun to degenerate the party and lose any appeal it once had. The rightwing put all its hopes into electoralism, so the electoral failures of 1916 ended up strengthening the leftwing, who did not care for elections. By 1917, the leftwing began developing its own organs. By April, they forced the issue of opposing the war at an emergency SP meeting held in Saint Louis. This emergency meeting caused pro-war groups to begin defecting from the party.
The resolution taken formally against the war also operationalized state repression. The state began indiscriminately attacking the SP from within and without. Offices were raided and socialists were beaten and arrested. The SP as an organization was never constituted for a direct confrontation with the state. For this kind of resilience, the vanguard party of professional revolutionaries is needed, and in the modern age this means the militarized Maoist Party. By the onset of the Bolshevik revolution, which operated under considerably more repressive conditions, the SP was in tatters.
Bourgeois historians, including revisionists, cannot grasp internal contradictions and the dialectical process of class struggle, so they tend to overemphasize the role of Russian influence in directing the CPUSA. However, as historical materialists we can understand that these things, the Great October Socialist Revolution in November of 1917 and the founding of the Comintern in March 1919 were external forces which activated internal contradictions in the US left and that the Comintern itself was a synthesis of many revolutionary experiences internationally and not just the dictate of the Soviet Union.
Next to the SP, there was one other large and powerful force in the US left and this was the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a syndicalist/anarchist-syndicalist far-left union. The Bolshevik revolution struck the IWW like a hammer. The earliest and most fervent support for the Bolsheviks came from within the IWW itself as well as some of its most opportunist critics. This too divided between left and right, on the left there were those who upheld the soviets, who desired a Bolshevik revolution of their own, knowing this meant the vanguard Party and the dictatorship of the proletariat, what is in essence a rupture with syndicalism. The majority of the IWW in the period of 1917-1919 was in favor of the Bolsheviks to at least some degree.
The SP, likewise, was polarized by the Great October Socialist Revolution. Its internal contradictions between left and right which always existed became sharper still, while the right disgraced themselves with support for the Kerensky government and denouncing the Bolsheviks for “jeopardizing the gains of the February revolution.” This right opportunism propelled the anti-imperialist and anti-war elements in the party closer to Lenin.
In 1917, leftwing socialists and soon-to-be Communists like Louis C. Fraina began attacking the Kerensky supporters and Kerensky himself for being pro-war, while orthodox Marxists like Boudin could not fathom a socialist revolution taking place in such an under-developed place as the Russian empire, and due to his dogmatic understanding of Marxism, swung rightward and came out against the October Revolution.
October 1917 enhanced and developed the two-line struggles and almost overnight leftwing socialists were now Communists and began demarcating themselves from the rightwing. First and foremost, October meant a new age of proletarian revolution and the end to the age of bourgeois revolutions. Their path was made clear for them: they must establish the party of the proletariat and it must be a vanguard party of professional revolutionaries.
Around this time, Harrison George, an imprisoned leader of the IWW, became a Communist and began publishing the first defense of the Bolshevik revolution in English. He produced this historic text from his jail cell and titled it Red Dawn. George saw all of the ideals which drew him to the IWW realized in the Bolshevik revolution, and he was not alone in this respect. George would go on to become a founding member of the Communist Party and a staunch militant. He would also be the most outspoken leader in the first wave of anti-revisionism.
The IWW was particularly important in training militants in class struggle. IWW led strikes in Lawrence, Massachusetts and Patterson, New Jersey, which saw early participation of notable Communists like Elizabeth Gurly Flynn, Louis C. Fraina, and John Reed. As a first-hand witness to the October Revolution, Reed was filled with enthusiasm and converted to Communist ideals. He would lecture up and down the country educating the masses on the Great October Socialist Revolution. At this time the foreign language federations in the SP swelled to more than half of the whole party, with the Russian federation being the largest.
The Comintern would directly address four US groups: the Socialist Labor Party, the leftwing of the Socialist Party, the Industrial Workers of the World, and the Workers International Industrial Union. None of these groups could or would send representatives to the founding meeting of the third Communist International. Nonetheless, the Comintern would encourage merciless struggle against the rightwing of the US socialist movement.
The influx of foreign language federations and young socialist militants into the SP as a response to October caused the rightwing to panic and begin to carry out a massive purge in 1919 which was led by Morris Hillquit. After no more than six months of the Hillquit purge, over two thirds of the SP had been expelled. This, combined with the leftwing supporters of the October revolution still within the IWW, would form the raw material for the US Communist movement. The birthmarks of both the SP and the IWW would stamp themselves on the early Communist movement.
A Movement Emerges
“The revolutionary will accept a reform in order to use it as an aid in combining legal work with illegal work to intensify, under its cover, the illegal work for the revolutionary preparation of the masses for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie.” – J.V. Stalin, Foundations of Leninism
The massive expulsions of Communists from the SP marked the start of the independent efforts to constitute the CP in 1919. Two main CPs emerged and went through a period of struggle for unity, which was sometimes difficult and antagonistic, the main contradiction for these groups being between the US-born and the immigrant Communists. This contradiction resulted in two main parties: the Communist Party of America and the Communist Labor Party of America. Both of these parties faced the same state repression, and both would take up militant underground organizing in response to the Palmer raids. Named after Democrat Attorney General Alexander Mitchell Palmer, these raids targeted left-unionists, anarchists, and the entire nascent Communist movement. Many were deported, imprisoned, and abused at the hands of the state.
The contradiction between the open and shut party conceptions were rife in the early movement, but conditions related to the Palmer Raids made the underground party an absolute necessity. Notable of the 1919 Communist movement was that it initiated the first boycott of a US election in 1920. Conditions would abruptly change later when Palmer would be replaced by a Republican Attorney General who would temporarily call off the Democrat anti-leftist war and end the raids. This would allow the rightwing of the Communist movement to call for strictly legal work and an abandonment of all illegal work.
The Communist movement was born in the spirit of militancy. It was composed of the hard left of the SP and the revolutionaries within the IWW, but from both sources a dangerous opportunism and economism would follow. The IWW bestowed upon the early Communist movement a duality. On one hand, it had steeled militants in difficult labor struggles, and imbued in them a ruthless opposition to bourgeois politics, but it was an oppositional stance which eventually mutated into an aversion to political struggle generally. It carried over this position to the yellow bourgeois unions like American Federation of Labor (AF of L/AFL). On the other hand, the IWW caused a certain narrow economism to take hold, which was the product of the history of syndicalism in the US. There were still many who imagined that by struggling for reforms and holding even bigger strikes that revolutionary change would be an organic byproduct. This attitude against politically organizing the proletariat, in essence a negation of the masses and the mass line, would cause problems for the early Communist movement and more or less make IWW the irrelevant husk that it is today.
From the SP, the Communist movement inherited several rightists who had become temporarily enamored with the success of October and had for only a brief period considered themselves leftists, but who would emerge as the major architects of revisionism.
The avoidance of the masses, the lack of social investigation and class analysis, and the ignorance of the subjective and objective conditions were all present among the contradictions bearing down on the early movement. These principally were inherited from the SP and IWW, neither of which would go on to be anything of a threat to the US imperialists post-1920. In stark contrast to the withering IWW and the already withered SP, the US government saw the Communist movement as a major threat to their power and would use every trick in the book to destroy them.
The Comintern, in spite of its lack of knowledge on US conditions and lack of clear, timely, and reliable reports from US delegates, could still identify certain ideological, political, and organizational errors being committed by the US Communists. Headed by right opportunist Zinoviev, the Comintern made a series of correct and incorrect directives to the US Communists. Correctly, they insisted that the two main parties find unity in a singular body and do everything possible to make this happen. Both parties were vying for the recognition of the Comintern as the vanguard of the US proletariat, but in order to accomplish this, the Comintern asserted, they had to first desire unity. Incorrectly, the Comintern insisted that Communists enter the bourgeois trade unions and that the Communist Party be open and legal. This last instruction, more than any other, armed and mobilized the rightists in the Party.
At a time when many veteran Communist leaders were in prison or had recently been deported, the rightists such as James P. Cannon (the first US Trotskyite) and Jay Lovestone (a dedicated follower of the rightist traitor Bukharin) would rise to prominence. As a result, these two, among others, could press for the total liquidation of the underground movement.
Using the call from the Comintern as a pretext, the rightists began their recruitment of more rightists like arch-revisionist Earl Browder, who was from the middle class and belonging to settler stock, having family dating back the Virginia colony. Browder in no way fit the bill of a US Communist, who was typically of working-class background and an immigrant or had immigrant parents. His recruitment was based solely on publicity he had gained from organizing trade unions. Since at this time the Party lacked experienced trade union organizers, people who would have been denounced as opportunists a short time before, like Browder, all of a sudden became desirable candidates.
With no regard to political line, theoretical development, or ideology, Cannon recruited Browder and brought him up to the top of the Party. No training was provided to him; the decision was based purely on economism. Cannon saw such a spiral rightward as the hallmark of progress he even stated, “We are not very verbose. We did not put many revolutionary words or foreign phrases [in the above ground Workers Party Convention], because that period is passed.” Instead of armed struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat, Cannon viewed the purpose of the Party thus, “to educate and organize the working class for the abolition of capitalism through the establishment of a workers republic.”
The whole of the Party under rightist leadership began overcorrecting for its past errors of failing to reach the masses by throwing out all revolutionary standards and principles. Browder in turn would recruit William Z. Foster, who would go on to carry out Browderism without Browder.
Most of the early Communists opposed and hated Foster for good reason. He had allegiance to the AF of L, and made public statements defending World War I and Samuel Gompers. Later, he would claim to have done these things for the sake of protecting a steel strike from red baiting. In typical rightist fashion, his solution to red baiting was to simply not be red, the economic demand being everything and the political necessity being nothing at all. At no point were the traitorous rats of Browder and Foster ever genuine Communists who just went wrong: they were opportunists from the start.
Foster was well known for avoiding revolutionary propaganda. He held that organizing working people was in and of itself a revolutionary act regardless of the political line. In short, he refused to keep politics in command. He viewed all unions as inherently progressive, even if they serviced imperialism against the working class domestically and abroad.
A Swing Left
At the sixth Comintern congress in 1928, the Third Period was announced. In spite of its shortcomings, the Third Period forced the majority of the CPs of the world decidedly to the left, and this influence produced what is likely the most militant and most successful period of the CPUSA’s history. The narrow economism and mainly white composition of the Party in the early 20’s would be broken by this period of militant rebellion.
World capitalist-imperialist crisis meant open class struggle and combativeness for Communists. The unemployed and out-of-work made fierce fighters in the city, and the Party saw some of its most successful work ever among the oppressed nations by organizing black sharecroppers in the US south, in what Stalin, the Comintern, and every real Communist understands to be the oppressed Black Nation in the US, composed mainly in what is called the Black Belt.
Landlords (of both crop land and houses), welfare offices, bosses, etc. all became clear targets of resistance. The workplace itself took on a combative stance against the boss and against their collaborators. Of importance is that this period saw increased combativeness against revisionism. All those in the working-class movement who held anti-communist positions were a likely target. Social democrats, due to their auxiliary role in breeding conditions for fascism and their class conciliation, began to be understood for what they are—social fascists. The 1929 Wall Street crash thrust millions into poverty and made for even more militant recruits, the ranks of the Communists swelled like never before. All over the world the Communist Parties grew as a result of the Third Period policies. Rightists still lament in misery when these days are recalled.
The Third Period however was not without its own shortcomings. The world had not yet entered the age of strategic offensive of world proletarian revolution, and in many places the quick push for power ran into contradiction with the fact that capitalism was not yet ready to collapse and the proletariat had not yet taken the offensive positon it has today. Protracted People’s War was not yet theorized, and capitalism-imperialism had fail-safes which were not yet understood. Fascism, which was then a new phenomenon, unlike the majority of past far-right reactionary ideas truly grasped the need to penetrate and permeate the masses, making it that much more dangerous to the Communist movement. Those who support the reconstitution of the CPUSA would do well to pay close attention to the tactics and successes of the Third Period, which were principally positive, while still assessing and evaluating its shortcomings.
During this period Browder and Foster suffered a swing to the left in general and had to pretend to support the Comintern directives. They were waiting in the lurch to drive things back to the hard right, and they would find excuses to do so in the proceeding Popular Front period.
Proto-Khrushchevite Revisionism in the US and the Anti-Revisionist Response
With the adoption of trade unionism, electoral politics, and legal struggles, Browder and Foster would be promoted almost immediately to Party leadership, while it took visiting the Soviet Union for Foster to break in form with his syndicalist economism, the Browder saw careerist opportunity from the start. As the Cannonites (the first US Trotskyites) and Lovestoneites (conservative devotees to Bukharin) were purged from the ranks of the CP, the Browderites and Fosterites became more powerful.
The end of the Third Period and the opening of the Popular Front was exactly what Browder needed to begin imposing his arch-revisionist strand of American nationalism which he developed as a matter of heritage. He would call this American Exceptionalism, which (without going into this theory too deeply) insisted that the US was exempt from the laws regarding revolution and particularly that it was exempt from armed struggle and could accomplish socialism by purely electoral means. It also promoted Americana as proletarian culture (something very visible in the modern revisionist entity which falsely uses the title of CPUSA). Jeffersonian Democracy was often conflated and integrated with socialist views, with the ultimate aim of liquidating armed struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The call of the Popular Front was to unite the various classes against fascism. This rallying cry was used by Browder to call off the struggles against landlords, basically alienating the vast majority of black membership and the subsequent liquidation of their struggles. The WWII Popular Front class alliance was mutated into a post-war alliance, in essence class collaboration. In 1944, Browder, who always shared leadership with Foster, went so far as to officially liquidate the CPUSA and in its place constitute the explicitly non-Party, “non-partisan” Communist Political Association. Browder was a master architect of class conciliation and Foster his loyal (up and to a point) co-conspirator.
Browder and Foster argued for a “National Unity Front” which would insure post-war cooperation between the classes. While doing all this in the name of antifascism, the revisionists were coming closer still to the position of the social fascists. They had already robbed the US proletariat of its vanguard Party, now their goal was to make sure Communism was totally unthreatening, even in the imagination of the bourgeoisie.
The external condition, the fact that the Soviet Union did not support Browder or his maneuverings, served to activate and sharpen the internal contradiction between Browder and Foster as individuals. Foster, always seeking social status and powerful organizational positions by any means, seized this opportunity to come out against Browder in form only, remaining a hardcore revisionist in essence.
The political lines of both Browder and Foster resemble and predate Khrushchevite revisionism’s “three peacefuls.” In almost every way, the duo pioneered modern revisionism in the mid 40’s even though it would not be taken up in the Soviet Union until 1956. Foster simply needed revisionism with a more militant looking exterior, this meant revisionism without Browder.
Foster, using the disapproval of the Comintern as pretext, was ready to serve as the Brezhnev to Browder’s Khrushchev by expelling Browder, some token supporters, and Browder’s immediate family members. This was congratulated immediately by genuine revolutionaries, including Mao Zedong, who at this time had no way of knowing that Foster was to accomplish the full and total revisionism of the Party. He would squander the golden moment of Party reconstitution. He had learned to be a master revisionist from Browder’s reckless and open revisionism which saw the latter’s undoing. Foster would be a far more accomplished revisionist as long as he pretended to break with Browderism.
Rank-and-file Communists and Party militants immediately rebelled. Many of them were expelled without evidence or trial for holding anti-revisionist positions and carrying out anti-revisionist struggles politically. The most notable leader of the anti-revisionists was Harrison George, who had made the first English language defense of the Bolsheviks when he was an imprisoned leader of the IWW. George, who had helped found the Communist movement and the Communist Party and was a veteran of many great struggles, now took up the cause of combating Foster and revisionism. Other important anti-revisionists were William F. Dunne, another founding member of the CP, and Mary Inman, who led the women’s struggle and contributed important theoretical work before it was liquidated by the Browderites. Foster and his followers would copy and paste many of Browder’s worst positions, including the liquidation of the women’s movement.
The anti-revisionists correctly understood the expulsion of Browder and token supporters as superficial. They aimed to carry on the struggle against revisionism to its conclusion, which meant bombarding the headquarters and removing top leaders. The argument of the default right opportunists in 1946 was more or less the same thing as it is today, that the rightist line did not exist, and that everything that criticized rightism was “ultra-leftism” which posed the “main danger” to the movement. This was the argument used to expel many genuine Communists including Dunne.
True to Foster’s bureaucratic methods of expulsion and total avoidance of political line struggle, the Party leadership commenced in purging those who would compare Foster to Browder. George remarked, “What of Bill Dunne? He has a political record of decades of service to the proletariat. He is a founder and Charter Member of our Party (an honor comrade Foster does not have!). The National Board statement does not mention Dunne’s record. To the Board, Bill Dunne is just another ‘Joe Doakes’ and the Joe Doakes[es] of heavy industry are expelled without biographies, indeed without ceremony of trial.”
George offered a militant defense of comrade Dunne, citing the fact that Dunne had denounced several of his own brothers as Trotskyites, his tireless combat as a Communist against the bureaucracy of the AF of L, and his leadership in the struggles against the Lovestonite/Bukharinite rightists even when Foster had given up on this cause.
George blasted the revisionist Party leadership as “those who are bent on continuing revisionism under new and more subtle forms than Browder’s open and unconcealed social-imperialism.” It was these new and more subtle forms which proved a more dangerous version of Browder’s revisionism made real by Foster.
Nonetheless, the Party’s course for revisionism was set, and the first anti-revisionists were unable to change course; they were unable to reconstitute the Party along revolutionary lines and instead the Party was reconstituted along revisionist lines under Foster. Eventually the Party would tail Khrushchev to its own full discredit, losing more and more members till it essentially ceased to exist as a political force and became a token apparatus of the Democratic Party, which fought so hard to stamp out early Communist militancy, proving that even state repression cannot accomplish what internal revisionism can, demonstrating that revisionism is the single greatest threat to a Communist Party.
Points Important to Analysis
After WWI, the US emerged as a strong imperialist power, but unemployment was still on the rise throughout the 20’s.
1919, the year the Communist movement emerged, saw the highest number of strikes on record up to that point. There was a phenomenal amount of support for the Bolshevik revolution among the average US worker.
This forced the new imperialist power to quickly buy up sections of the US working class with superprofits derived from imperialist plunder and world war, so as to insulate the bourgeoisie as well as manage and divide the working class. These sections are known as labor aristocrats.
The imperialists had other tools of division and manipulation in their grasp. These included national oppression and racism. The CP at this time tended to ignore the victims of both racism and national oppression, particularly the Black Nation.
At this point there was the trend of northern migration into the industrial centers away from the feudalistic conditions of the south. Not enough attention was given to oppressed nations and particularly to the Black Nation.
Contradictions were rife between native born and immigrant workers—reflected in the two CPs.
All of the above contradictions inhibited the CPs’ ability to merge in 1919.
Foster emerges in the CP as a conservative trade-unionist around 1921. His influence coincided with external pressure from the Comintern to work with the AF of L.
The former position of Communists (in 1919 and 1920) was the destruction of the existing trade union organizations and replacing them with red revolutionary workers’ organizations.
Most important CP leaders were arrested, imprisoned, or deported in the Party’s early years, leaving openings for people like Cannon, Lovestone, Browder and Foster.
Rapid mergers and divisions of Communist organizations made long-term mass work difficult.
Both the Comintern and the US Party did not consider the unique and concrete conditions and experience of the US fully, this error would later lend legitimacy to Browder’s “American Exceptionalism.”
The US Communists’ failure to apply the universal to the particular prevented any emergence of Guiding Thought, which was yet to be theorized.
Foreign influence and US chauvinism created a back and forth power struggle in the Communist movement. Unable to truly apply universal principles to the specific conditions of the US, foreign-born workers tended to transplant the revolutionary traditions of their own countries while US-born workers failed to appeal to their own. At one point one of CPs was only 3% English-speaking.
The CP inherited certain structural errors from the old SP, like open meetings and public affiliation, membership lists, etc. Even though they would soon go underground, these errors would make themselves felt in the coming years of the liquidation of the underground.
The underground structure was an improvement; it relied on a cell model. Cells usually contained about ten members. Each cell was headed by one leader who was in contact with the other Party bodies. Ten cells made up a sub-district and two or more sub-districts made up a district.
According to the Comintern, the early Party lacked above-ground work, this was overcorrected in the coming years.
The internal contradictions between the members impeded application of democratic centralism and led to factionalism.
Lack of democratic centralism (principally centralism) prevented the Party from developing and imposing Guiding Thought, as Mao was in the process of doing in China, and prevented it from struggling with incorrect directives from the Comintern, again, as Mao was doing in China.
While the Comintern was principally good and most often correct in its analysis, it tended to mechanically impose its policies throughout the world. Issues with a lack of accurate up-to-date info regarding US conditions early on made a correct analysis of US conditions almost impossible.
The Comintern held the US Communist movement to bad political lines, of working almost exclusively within the yellow trade unions, largescale electoral participation and wide above-ground open work. These errors and missteps are corrected by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.
The Comintern was correct in fighting for the merger of the two main CPs. However, Marxism-Leninism had yet to be fully synthesized, grasped, upheld, or applied, and therefore was unable to properly serve as the theoretical basis guiding the Party’s early actions.
The Sixth Comintern Congress gave impetus to the left with the Third Period, opening up the richest history of Communist struggles in the US, specifically in terms of going lower and deeper to the most profound masses, who the CP would instruct in militant revolutionary tactics. The Black Nation would be addressed and organized by US Communists at this time.
The CP grew at unprecedented rates and saw rapid quantitative and qualitative changes. It saw both mass appeal and militancy as it took up hardline positions against the ruling class which was being thrown into deeper and deeper crisis.
The Popular Front gave a critical opening to rightists to liquidate the Party in 1944 and had a lasting effect with the Party’s reconstitution along revisionist lines in 1946.
Anti-revisionists put up a good but failed fight against Foster. The Party would find itself in the lap of the modern revisionists and in service to the social imperialism of the Soviet Union after Comrade Stalin’s death and the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU.
From this point on, the Party withered under revisionist leadership, expelling any revolutionaries who would emerge within it. Most notable is the period led by Chair Gus Hall and Vice Chair Angela Davis, the latter of whom helped to establish postmodernist hegemony in the US left and today remains the darling of revisionism.
Today, the US has no Communist Party and Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organizations call for the reconstitution of the CPUSA. Incendiary lends its voice to this principally Maoist chorus.
We issue this lengthier-than-usual article in celebration of 100 years of the Communist movement in the United States, in celebration of the 100 years of the Communist International, in the spirit of Harrison George!
Long live 100 years of US Communism!
Reconstitute the Communist Party of the United States of America!
Long live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism!
Long live International Workers’ Day!