Update 14-08: Sunday, February 23, 2014.
"Which Party for the American Worker? Letter to a Worker-Correspondent," by A.J. Muste [April 1935] Published appeal of pacifist and labor leader A.J. Muste for American workers to join the new Workers Party of the United States, formed through a merger of Muste's American Workers Party and the Trotskyist Communist League of America headed by James P. Cannon and Max Shachtman. Muste outlines the history of the WPUS, launched on Dec. 1, 1934, noting that the CLA was comprised of "revolutionists who were expelled from the Communist Party and the Communist International" who had "differed with the line taken by the CP and CI in certain matters of principle and tactics." His own American Workers Party had had roots in the Conference for Progressive Labor Action (CPLA), which had likewise emerged in 1928-29, Muste notes. The trade union-oriented CPLA and the political CLA ultimately arrived "from very different directions to the same conclusion" -- that there was a necessity of a new "revolutionary working class party" -- and unity was negotiated and achieved, Muste indicates. Muste states that according to the new group's Declaration of Principles, its "primary task" was to be "the defeat of the enemy at home -- the overthrown of the capitalist government of the United States." According to Muste the new vanguard party would "adapt [its] tactics to the concrete situation and the lineup of the class forces in the US in order to inspire and lead the American working class and its allies...to the overthrow of capitalism and the building of a society in which natural resources and the machinery of production will be used for the benefit of the workers and not for the profit of a few."
"Facts About New York and About the Nation," by David P. Berenberg [June 22, 1935] David Berenberg, publisher of the anti-Left Wing weekly New York Socialist during the party controversy of 1919, found himself on the other side of the factional barricades during the battle between the Militant and Old Guard factions for control of the Socialist Party during the middle 1930s. This article from the weekly newspaper of the allied Militants and Norman Thomas loyalists details the disruptive behavior of the Old Guard-dominated New York organization during the year after the 1934 convention. The March 1935 session of the governing National Executive Committee of the SPA had presented the Old Guard New York organization with 9 demands, Berenberg notes, aimed at ending the Old Guard's factional antics and adverting a split. The Old Guard organization had refused to comply, sending an inadequate answer in May. On June 12 the NEC's next session was held in New York City, where formal hearings began. The New York State Committee again refused to appear. Instead, the Old Guard's newspaper, The New Leader, had launched an fusillade of highly intemperate factional articles sporting "hysterical headlines," Berenberg notes. Any declines in Socialist strength in Militant-controlled state organizations was "the result of deliberate sabotage on the part of the Right Wing," Berenberg charges. "The Conservatives preferred rather to destroy the party than see it in hands other than their own," Berenberg insists. "They have become so accustomed to thinking of the Socialist Party as their private possession, that they deny in practice the democracy they preach rather than permit the true majority to take power."
"The Thomas-Browder Debate," by Haim Kantorovitch [event of Nov. 27. 1935] Marxist theoretician and American Socialist Quarterly co-editor Haim Kantorovitch -- best conceptualized as "the Morris Hillquit of the Militant faction" -- offers his appraisal on the united front, the main issue of the widely publicized and controversial public debate between CPUSA General Secretary Earl Browder and three time SPA Presidential nominee Norman Thomas. Contrary to the shrill prognostications of the bitterly anti-communist Old Guard faction, the debate had not been either a "love fest" or itself a manifestation of a united front, Kantorovitch says. It was a debate from fundamentally different positions -- no more, no less. Indeed, a permanent united front was at least temporarily blocked by two factors, in Kantorovitch's estimation: the Communist Party's past history of sectarian warfare against Socialists and others on the left, which implied bad faith in the current tactical shift, as well as the party's "attitude towards the Soviet Union, its 'great leader,' Stalin, and his enemies." Kantorovitch argues that this latter factor is actually the chief obstacle to long term unity of action: "A united front is a temporary union of people of different opinions and ideas for some common end. The Communists have reached the stage where they compel themselves to tolerate non-Communist opinions on the class struggle, on social revolution, even on the problem of proletarian dictatorship. But they cannot tolerate anyone having an opinion about Soviet Russia different than their own. Soviet Russia and Stalin are above criticism. Whoever dares criticize either of them is a counter-revolutionist, just as one is still a counter-revolutionist if he dares remember the glorious role of Trotsky in the creation of the Soviet state." Kantorovitch observes that for all the chanting of "We want a united front!" by the debate audience, only local and temporary actions would be possible owing to the Communist Party's uncritical attitude towards the Stalin dictatorship, the position advanced by Thomas in the debate.
"Socialists Reject NY Old Guard; Map Party Drive." (Socialist Call) [events of Dec. 4-8, 1935] On the evening of Dec. 4. 1935 the long-threatened split of the Socialist Party in New York state finally occurred when the City Central Committee by a 48-44 vote passed a resolution prohibiting party members from associating with the Socialist Call (a paper established as an alternative to the Old Guard-dominated New York Leader) or its affiliated institutions. The move was seen as a clear effort to provoke a split as it would have lead either the the closure of the Call or the expulsion of factional leaders Jack Altman and Norman Thomas, and when the decision was not reconsidered the minority walked out and reconvened at the Call's offices where they reconstituted themselves a new City Central Committee and called a reorganizational convention for Dec. 28-29, 1935 in Utica. Rival mass meetings of the parallel organizations were held the night of Sunday, Dec. 8, with the Militant-Thomasite insurgents drawing 1500 and the Old Guard, 650, according to this Call report.
"The Old Guard: An Analysis of Its History and of Its Principles," by Haim Kantorovitch [Dec. 14, 1935] With a split of the Socialist Party an accomplished fact, leading theoretician of the Militant faction Haim Kantorovitch attempts an analysis of the composition and ideas of the rival Old Guard faction. Kantorovitch notes that an attempt to examine the dispute on the basis of the Old Guard's program would be fruitless, since "it has none. While the Old Guard constantly ridicules and misquotes the program of the Left Wing, it has never attempted to formulate a program of its own." Kantorovitch instead tries to understand the faction from their composition, which he characterizes as "old and tired in body and mind," filled with a "kind of paternalistic cynicism" about the "folly of their youth" when revolutionary ardor burned bright. The battle with the left wing fought by some of the Old Guard leaders for nearly 20 years had been a fight for control of our institutions rather than a committed struggle for hegemony of principles, Kantorovitch indicates. The world had changed dramatically over a quarter century, Kantorovitch observes, but the Old Guard "simply repeat mechanically what they learned 25 years ago," failing to even attempt to originally analyze dynamic events. "Marxism in their hands became nothing but a dead dogma, a rationalization for doing nothing," Kantorvitch states. Over time their attempts at leadership of the trade union movement had fallen away and "the Old Guard leaders became its servants. Every form of criticism was prohibited," Kantorovitch says. This burned out generation had come into conflict with thousands of "young, energetic Socialists" who had joined the Socialist Party. Kantorovitch states that "the inner-party fight which culminated in the present situation began not as a fight for or against this or that principle, but purely as a fight between activists and quietists," culminating in the Old Guard's hysterical blocking of party membership of newcomers in an effort to retain its grip on the party apparatus. "When the Old Guard leaders now accuse the Left Wing of being communists, they know it is not true. The cry 'communist' is only to serve as a smoke-screen for their disruptive activities. It is not communism they fear — it is Socialism," Kantorovitch contends, noting that the "machinations" of the Old Guard had failed and the Socialist Party in New York had passed into the hands of the new generation of revolutionary socialists.
"A Letter to the Membership," by Charles Garfinkel and Jack Altman [Dec. 14, 1935] Threatened for two years, a split of the Socialist Party of New York was now a reality, writes Charles Garfinkel and Jack Altman, temporary executives of a new parallel City Committee established in opposition to that of the Old Guard faction. The previous "gerrymandered" City Central Committee by a vote of 48 to 44 had decided to reorganize the party, expelling all who participated or worked in connection with The Socialist Call, rival paper of the dissidents of the Militant faction and their close allies surrounding party leader Norman Thomas. Old Guard leaders Louis Waldman, Julius Gerber, James Oneal, and Algernon Lee are called "party wreckers" and "breeders of disunity" and likened to Daniel DeLeon by the two alternative leaders. The Old Guard is charged with violation of party democracy, refusal to accept the judgments of the national convention, and attempting to undermine the national Socialist Party leadership with a view to creating a national split. Additional charges are leveled that the Old Guard has used the capitalist press to win political advantage, been incompetence in party work, condoned trade union corruption, engaged in the systematic exclusion of young newcomers, libeled Norman Thomas for having debated Earl Browder, and suspended branches not to their liking so as to deny them representation on the City Central Committee and maintain their dictatorial regime, in the worst tradition of "Tammany tricks and political conniving." A new City Central Committee office had been established, Garfinkel and Altman note.
"New York Locals Vote 29-15 for Party Loyalty." (Socialist Call) [Dec. 28, 1935] Although the constitutional mechanism is unclear, it seems that in the aftermath of the Dec. 4 split of the New York City Central Committee into dual Old Guard and Militant-Thomasite bodies, a referendum vote of the branches of Local New York took place to resolve the dispute. According to this report from the organ of the insurgents, by a vote of 29 to 15 these branches decided in favor of the Militant faction's new rival body. A branch-by-branch listing of allegiances is included in the report. Various factional shenanigans of the opposition are specified, including the Old Guard's expulsion of 9 branches, its refusal to allow qualified Young People's Socialist League members from gaining their party cards, as had been called for in a July agreement, the allowance of the voted of members of a rival Old Guard "Young Socialist Alliance," and the stacking of membership roles by strategic transfer of Old Guard memberships from one branch to another.
"Socialist NEC Lifts Charter in New York State." (Socialist Call) [Events of Jan. 4-5, 1936] In January 1936 the governing National Executive Committee of the Socialist Party, controlled by an alliance of party radicals and Norman Thomas loyalists, decided the matter of competing Socialist Party administrations in New York in the favor of the insurgents by voting to suspend the charter and reorganize the Socialist Party of New York. Called before the NEC to resolve the dispute, Old Guard leader Louis Waldman was dismissive, merely sending a letter of refusal. The investigation proceeded nonetheless, with David Berenberg -- an individual closely associated with the Rand School in the past -- charging that "The Old Guard in New York has precipitated an emergency in which only the vigorous action of New York comrades has saved the party from being shattered into fragments. As a result of a threatened purge under the guise of reorganization, which would have left the party stripped of all its vital elements, a revolt of the party membership has resulted in the establishment of a new party apparatus." The New York charter was lifted and a provisional State Executive Committee named pending formal state reorganization -- a list which in the spirit of compromise pointedly included among its 15 members, 5 representatives associated with the Old Guard's Rand School or the Jewish Daily Forward against only 3 activists of the Militant faction. In a rhetorical flourish short on introspection, Old Guard NEC member James Oneal, a chief perpetrator of the abrogation of party elections and the expulsions and suspensions of the Left Wing Section in 1919, angrily charged that the NEC's action were "unconstitutional, illegal, and unprecedented."
"The Party Controversy," by Norman Thomas [Jan. 11, 1936] Two-time Socialist Party Presidential candidate and factional leader Norman Thomas offers his take on the factional war which had shattered the New York party. Thomas upbraids Louis Waldman and Jim Oneal as "Old Guard extremists," crippled by a "communist phobia." He defends the Dec. 28-29, 1935 New York party conference at Utica as an act to "save the party" by removing "a State Committee which crowned a long list of sins of omission and commission against the Party by the wholly illegal attempt to expel from the Party everyone in any way connected with The Socialist Call." Thomas acknowledges that the extraordinary activity against the State Executive Committee in New York had "greatly weakened the Party" by giving "left-handed encouragement to secession in Indiana, to a Hearst-like denunciation of Russia, to a dozen other things wholly opposed to true Socialism." Nevertheless, he offers Waldman, Oneal & Co. an olive branch: "The cure for this is not expulsion. For individuals in the Old Guard I have a genuine affection. A good Socialist Party must be inclusive. It needs the right wing."
"To All Enrolled Socialist Voters: A Statement on the Primaries," by Jack Altman, et al. [Election of April 2, 1936] In an echo of previous factional wars, the 1936 New York state Socialist Party primary election saw the nomination of rival slates of candidates. This is an election message and "signature ad" targeted to primary voters by the Militant-Thomasite alliance. The statement charges the Old Guard headed by Louis Waldman and James Oneal with various sins, including the willful overlooking of union corruption, the sheltering of expelled trade unionists in their ranks, a "black record" of work with the unemployed, and continued strident attempts to undermine the political efforts of Norman Thomas. The Old Guard is similarly charged with tepid criticism of the Franklin Roosevelt administration and the use of the methods of dictatorship to win their way in the party. "They went so far as to try to expel from the Party those who disagreed with them -- comrades like Norman Thomas -- but the National Executive Committee of the Party, the highest body between national conventions, prevented it," the campaign statement notes. The list of 45 signatories which follows includes a few of the usual suspects and many lesser known trade union officials along with such "big names" as Anita and S. John Block, long of the New York Call, black leaders Frank Crosswaith and A. Philip Randolph, Jessie Wallace Hughan of the War Resisters' League, former Rand School activist David Berenberg, and Louis Waldman's fellow 1920 New York Assembly associate Sam DeWitt.
"Socialist Party is Split in New York Expulsions: 'LaGuardia Socialists' Oust Left Wingers at Rump Meeting of Central Committee." (Socialist Appeal) [event of Aug. 9, 1937] On August 9, 1937 another split of the Socialist Party of New York was formalized when an alliance of factions constructed around the personalities of Jack Altman and Norman Thomas, making use of the full repertoire of machine-political tricks, expelled 52 top leaders of the Trotskyist "Appeal" faction from the party. This report in the debut issue of the Trotskyists' New York organ, The Socialist Appeal, details the process from the point of view of the expelled factional group. The proceeding had been predetermined and rushed through over a request from SPA National Secretary Roy Burt to delay for one week so that the party's governing National Executive Committee could investigate, the reporter notes. The meeting additionally had been stacked by the New York City Central Committee pulling the charters of three left wing branches to deprive them of committee representation and refusing to seat other validly elected left wing delegates. Only four hours of debate had taken place on this first action that was ultimately to affect 450 party members, according to the article, and no specific charges had been presented to any individual affected other than advocacy of participation in a new revolutionary 4th International. No charge of violation of party discipline had been proved against any expelled member, the article notes. The expulsion process had been so brazenly undemocratic that it had caused the left social democratic "Clarity" faction "to denounce the Altman machine as worse than that of the Old Guard and to refuse to recognize the legality of the entire procedure." The expulsion had been a necessary expedient to those favoring participation in the American Labor Party, conservative trade union functionaries, and anti-Trotskyist Communist Party sympathizers, in the estimation of the writer. The slogan "Unite all forces around the left wing!" was advanced in the aftermath and a call for resolutions denouncing "the illegal and reactionary expulsions" made.
"Duty of Social Democrats in the SDF and ALP: Resolution Passed at the New York City Convention, Jan. 29, 1938." Historically, the Socialist Party of America cast itself as the "political wing" of the labor movement, leaving wage negotiations to its "economic wing," the trade union movement. By the middle 1920s the political success of the British Labour Party and failure of the SPA to achieve a foothold outside of a very few urban centers had forced a fundamental reevaluation of this notion -- a reevaluation particularly embraced by the party's Old Guard faction. The de facto role of the "political wing" was now seen as that of a pressure group allied with and influencing a union-dominated mass Labor Party. The Social Democratic Federation in New York, state affiliate of the national SDF, attempted to walk a fine line of maintaining an effective and useful existence as a socialist propaganda organization without alienating the labor union-directed American Labor Party to which it had pledged allegiance. This resolution of the 1938 New York City Convention attempts to specify the exact relationship between the SDF and the ALP for its members. SDF members are explicitly prohibited from forming organized factions in the ALP; beyond that proscription the SDF did not "lay down any code of rules to govern its members in their capacity as members in the American Labor Party," instead calling for them to "be guided by their Socialist knowledge and Socialist conscience in that capacity as in every other." Participation in meetings of the parallel ALP branch organizations and fulfillment of all duties of an ALP member are urged. As for the SDF, organization of mass meetings, at least once monthly, and leaflets and direct contact to build membership is seen as the way forward. Increased activity in the sale of pamphlets and subscriptions to the weekly New Leader is also specified. The ALP's opportunistic dual sponsorship of "old party" candidates rather than running a full independent slate -- essentially a new permutation of the historical AF of L political strategy of supporting friends and defeating enemies -- is explained away as a lack "in cohesion, in self-reliance, and in clearness of view as to its own future road" that was merely part of the organization's "formative stage."
"SDF Warns ALP of Dangerous Groups: Resolution Passed at the New York City Convention, Jan. 29, 1938." So-called "Section 2" of the resolution of the 1938 New York City Convention of the Social Democratic Federation on the American Labor Party consisted of this warning to the ALP leadership against "Communist infiltration" of the group. "The aim of the Communists has been and is to undermine democracy, to breed dissension in the labor movement, and to destroy every organization that strives for the betterment of the condition of the workers through democratic and peaceful means," the declaration warns. Urging that the Communists' whole record rather than their present people's front phrases should be used to assess the Communists, the Social Democrats warn that "In all countries they have tried to destroy the labor unions and labor parties that they could not control." Their presence inside the ALP would lead to discredit in the eyes of the people and organized labor alike, the resolution cautions.
"An Invitation to Sincere Socialists: Resolution Adopted by the New York City SDF Convention, Jan. 29, 1938." In the wake of a drive within the Socialist Party of America to expel the organized Trotskyist faction from the organization, the rival Social Democratic Federation of New York City issued the following resolution declaring its ideas victorious and urging "the many sincere and disillusioned members of the Socialist Party" to join SDF ranks to help build the American Labor Party. "A division among Socialists, always a tragedy, may be necessary when a deep cleavage exists in principles or policies. When, however, many members of the Socialist Party have come to accept our viewpoint, and only the existence of two organizations separates those who share our ideas from us, perpetuation of a division between democratic Socialists would become an unforgivable blunder." The appeal seems to have been more for propaganda effect as an attempt to scoop up loose members rather than refection of a serious effort to mend ideological and policy fences with a view to establishing organic unity.
"Thomasite Group Denied Affiliation with Labor Party: ALP State Executive Committee Votes 10 to 7 Against Accepting Offer of Socialist Party." (New Leader) [events of March 7-10, 1938] In March 1938 politically astute New Yorkers were treated to the spectacle of the state Socialist Party attempting to follow the Social Democratic Federation which had split from it (because it saw the Socialists as Communist-dominated) into the American Labor Party -- which actually was dominated by Communists through their trade union leadership positions! Adding to the complexity or mirth of the situation, the Socialists were backed in their appeal to join the ALP by their erstwhile rivals of the SDF (Louis Waldman and Louis Hendin) and stymied by the organized opposition of the Communists (Mike Quill, Vito Marcantonio, Louis Weinstock). State Secretary of the ALP Alex Rose clarified that the Socialist Party of New York's application to join the ALP as a group was only temporarily deferred by the State Committee of that organization rather than rejected outright. In other news, the Democratic Party establishment began its red baiting of the ALP for having appointed the former head of the Socialist Party radio station WEVD as head of municipal radio station WNYC and for having broadcast a travelogue of the Soviet Union. This was dismissed by the SDF's official New York Leader as an election-driven attempt to "besmirch" the ALP.
"Social Democratic Federation Rejects SP May Day Bid." (New Leader) [April 16, 1938] With war in Europe in the air and united action of "democratic nations" urged by them to stem the tide of fascism; with unity of the divided American labor movement in the face of renewed anti-union activity by employers groups demanded by them, this resolution of the New York affiliate of the Social Democratic Federation richly illustrates the way it approached calls for unity in its own house. Approached by the now Trotskyist-free Socialist Party of New York with an appeal for a joint organizational celebration of May Day, the SDF answers in the negative: "In the presence of a clear opposition between the stand of the Social Democratic Federation and that of the Socialist Party on the fundamental questions of democracy, international relations, and the role of the trade unions, a joint meeting could be held only on condition either that the spokesmen of the two organizations should freely combat each other’s views or that they should all refrain from any definite opinion on those subjects.... We feel that the proposed joint meeting would serve no good purpose and might do considerable harm by confusing or obscuring vital issues, and we accordingly decline the invitation."
"SP Reports Show Sharp Decline in Party Membership." (New Leader) [events of April 21-23, 1938] Unsigned news account from the pages of the rival New Leader purporting to reveal details of a secret (executive session) report of Socialist Party National Secretary Roy Burt to the delegates of the 1938 party convention. According to this article, Burt revealed that membership of the SPA had plummeted to a mere 3,000 for the first quarter of 1938 and that finances were in a critical state. Factional activity conducted by the now-expelled Trotskyist wing had force the revocation of party charters for the state parties of Oklahoma, California, Minnesota, Indiana, and Ohio, according to this account, with the additional loss of Arkansas, Arizona, Montana, Washington, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming due to insufficient membership. A new declaration of principles dealing with war and fascism had been adopted by the convention, with the two phrases most objectionable to the Old Guard/SDF dissidents from the 1934 declaration eliminated, it is said.
"Communist Rah-Rah Convention Hoaxes Country on 'Principles,'"by James Oneal [events of May 27-31, 1938] New Leader editor and Social Democratic Federation factional warrior James Oneal takes aim at the Communist Party and its new "People's Front" line espoused by party General Secretary Earl Browder at its recently completed 10th National Convention in New York. Oneal calls Browder's claim of nearly doubling party membership to 75,000 members since 1936 to be "so much hooey" and part of the CPUSA's "biggest bluff since its members hurled leaflets from buildings in the larger cities, beginning in 1919, calling for 'armed insurrection to overthrow the bourgeois state.'" Oneal mocks Browder and the Communists for moving almost overnight from claims in a few short years that "there were millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions" of so-called "social fascists" to attempting to make common cause with them in order to "preserve democracy" in the USA. He cites an array of splits and factional disruptions caused by the Communists as evidence that they not only were not truly committed to democracy, but were in fact "not a part of the labor movement." Oneal charges that once in power the Communists would "establish a totalitarian regime like that in Russia, incorporate the unions and cooperatives as organs of the dictatorship, destroy all other political organizations, put all publications into the hands of agents of the dictatorship, deny public assemblage for all but Communists, exile or imprison dissenters, and shoot all who hat the courage to fight the despotism." Oneal concludes that "Communist totalitarianism differs little from its Nazi and Fascist offshoots."
"Missing a Year! Where Is Julia Poyntz?" by Herbert Solow [July 2, 1938] Delving into the "clouded background of intrigue," Herbert Solow outlines the mysterious case of Julia Stuart Poyntz, Nebraska-born radical educator turned Communist and recruiter of undercover operatives for Soviet intelligence. Disappeared from her room at the American Women’s Association Clubhouse, at 353 West 57th St., New York City without a trace in June 1937, friends such as Italian-American anarchist Carlo Tresca were increasingly concerned that she had been kidnapped and returned to the Soviet Union for execution. The most damning circumstantial evidence, Solow intimates, is the lack of the Communist Party to show concern about the whereabouts of its former leading member, best exemplified by one party official making the absurd claim in December 1937, "we have no record of the woman as a member of the Communist Party and no knowledge of her whereabouts for ten years." Tresca seems to have named Shauchno Epstein, known to have been in New York in May 1937, to a grand jury as having been connected with Poyntz's disappearance. Solow passes along unsubstantiated rumors that Poyntz had been directly to Leningrad as a secret prisoner aboard the Soviet freighter Chelyuskinets.
"CP Turns Stool Pigeon to Get Zack: Tries to Force Deportation of Former High Communist Official Who Split with Them: GPU Holds Wife and Child as Hostage in Russia," by Joseph Zack [Aug. 20, 1938] Communist Party founding member Joseph Zack Kornfeder relates his personal saga trying to gain the release of his wife and American-born son from Soviet exile or imprisonment. After going to the State Department for help, Zack found himself embroiled in an immigration dispute in which the claims of his own American birth were pointedly challenged by Labor Department officials. Zack charges that members of the Communist Party were working hand-in-glove with US government officials in an attempt to create a "frame up" leading to his deportation to Czechoslovakia, where his mother was currently residing and where he had spent his boyhood years. No effort at all had been made by American authorities to gain the release of his family, Zack charges. Rather the government merely sought to pump him for information about the identity of individuals in the United States covertly -- an appeal which Zack states he rejected. (Zack would ultimately testify as a friendly witness before the Dies Committee in Sept. 1939).
"Negro Author Sees Disaster if CP Gains Control of Colored Workers," by Claude McKay [Sept. 10, 1938] Letter to the editor of The New Leader by Afro-Caribbean-American poet and writer Claude McKay responding to an imprecise summary of his beliefs made the previous July. After first giving credit to the Communists for having "more than any other group" engaged in "the effective organizing of the unemployed and relief workers" and acknowledging that the Communists will inevitably maintain a degree of influence in the trade union movement as did the Socialists before them, McKay states his own terms of opposition to the Communist movement. "I reject absolutely the idea of government by dictatorship, which is the pillar of political Communism," declares McKay. He also states his opposition to the "Jesuitical tactics of the Communists," including their "obviously fake" conversion to democracy while at the same time loudly lauding the "bloodiest acts" of the Soviet regime, their "skunking behind the smokescreen of People’s Front and Collective Security" while at the same time defending European imperialism, and their "criminal slandering and persecution of their opponents, who have remained faithful to the true traditions of radicalism and liberalism." McKay expresses fear of bloc support of the Communist Party by black Americans, observing that in such a case "in the eventuality of a crisis developing between the United States and Soviet Russia, the colored minority might find itself in a very vulnerable and unenviable position."