October 25, 2019

STALIN ON MASTERING BOLSHEVISM

JACK STACHEL
WHENEVER Comrade Stalin makes a report it is of the greatest significance not only to the Soviet Party and the masses in the Soviet Union, but to all the Parties of the Communist International, and to all the toilers of the world. The report of Comrade Stalin to the recent meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mastering Bolshevism, is of the greatest significance and of tremendous importance to our Party and to the American masses. 

Comrade Stalin made his report in connection with the counter-revolutionary activities of the Trotskyites and the smashing blow they received in the Soviet Union. He opened his report by analyzing the causes which made possible their counter-revolutionary activity, how they wormed their way into high places of government, into institutions of the Soviet Union and the Party, carrying on their activity over a period of time, . how they were detected and rooted out. It is important to note in connection with the "carelessness" discussed by Comrade Stalin that six years ago, in a famous letter entitled "Some Questions Regarding the History of Bolshevism," written in 1931 and addressed to the editors of the magazine Proletarskaya Revolutsia Comrade Stalin warned  the Party: 
"Some Bolsheviks think that Trotskyism is a faction of Communism, which has made mistakes, it is true, which has done many foolish things, which has sometimes even been anti-Soviet, but which is, nevertheless, a faction of Communism. Hence, a certain liberal-ism in dealing with Trotskyites and people who think like Trotsky. It is scarcely necessary to prove that such a view of Trotskyism is . profoundly wrong and pernicious. As a matter of fact, Trotskyism has long since ceased to be a faction of Communism. As a matter of fact, Trotskyism is the vanguard of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie, which is carrying on their struggle against the Communists, against the Soviet government, against the building of socialism in the U.S.S.R.  
"Who. gave the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie its intellectual weapon against Bolshevism, in the form of the thesis of the im-possibility of building socialism in our country, in the form of the thesis of the inevitability of the degeneration of the Bolsheviks, etc.? That weapon was given it by Trotskyism. The fact that all anti-Soviet groups in the U .S.S.R. in their attempts to give grounds for their arguments for the inevitability of the struggle against the Soviet government re-ferred to the well-known thesis of Trotskyism of the impossibility of building socialism in our country, of the inevitable degeneration of the Soviet government, of the probability of the return to capitalism, cannot be regarded as an accident.  
"Who gave the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie in the U.S.S.R. its tactical weapon in the form of attempts at open attacks on the Soviet government? This weapon was given to it by the Trotskyists, who tried to organize anti-Soviet demonstrations in Moscow and Leningrad on November 7, 1927. It is a fact that the anti-Soviet actions of the Trotsky-ists raised the spirits of the bourgeoisie and let loose the work of counter-revolutionary sabotage of the bourgeois specialists. 
"Who gave the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie an organizational weapon in the form of attempts at organizing underground anti-Soviet organizations? This weapon was given to it by the Trotskyists, who founded their own anti-Bolshevik illegal group. It is a fact that the underground anti-Soviet work of the Trotskyists facilitated the organized formation of the anti-Soviet group within the U.S.S.R. 
"Trotskyism is the vanguard of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. 
"That is why liberalism towards Trotsky-ism, even if it is shattered and concealed, is stupidity bordering on crime, bordering on treason to the working class.  
"That is why the attempts of certain 'litterateurs' and 'historians' to smuggle the disguised Trotskyist rubbish into our literature must encounter determined resistance from the Bolsheviks. 
 "That is why we cannot admit a literary discussion with these Trotskyist smugglers." 
From this we can see that Comrade Stalin with his great knowledge, vision and experience already saw in 1931 the whole course which Trotskyism had traveled, and characterized it as counter-revolutionary and as the vanguard of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, Comrade Stalin points out in his report that it was necessary in January, 1935, and subsequently for the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party to call these problems to the attention of the entire membership and to Party organizations. Why was it possible, he asks, for the Trotskyites to carry on wrecking, assassination, sabotage, anti-Soviet war plots with fascist governments for such a long time before they were detected? 

In this connection, the bourgeois press and a large section of the Social-Democratic press throughout the world attempted to make capital out of the struggle that was conducted against these Trotskyites, fearful of the fact that the Trotskyites were caught and unmasked as never before. They spoke of something being fundamentally "wrong" with Bolshevism. They tried to make the masses believe that at bottom the cause of this must be the economic collapse of the Soviet Union. Of course, they could hardly convince even themselves. It is true, however, that in the discussion which we have had, we had to answer the questions of many workers, honest and sincere, who were bitter against the Trotskyites, but who asked, how was it that the Party was so tolerant of the Trotskyites; how was it that they were allowed to do so much damage before they were dis-covered? And certainly the answer which Comrade Stalin gives furnishes us with a tremendous and powerful weapon to smash all the slanders and arguments of our enemies who try to make capital out of the cleanup of these counter-revolutionary renegade traitors. 

Comrade Stalin proves, first, the soundness of the Bolshevik Party; and, second, he proves that far from economic difficulties it was economic successes, it was precisely the successes in the construction of socialism which unfortunately created some political carelessness that led to an underestimation of the damage which these remnants of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie could do within the borders of the Soviet Union by becoming the agents of fascist governments. 

What was the source of this political carelessness which made it possible for these people to carry on their activity for so long a time? 

First, Comrade Stalin points out the tendency among many Party comrades in the Soviet Union and Party organizations to forget that socialism has triumphed thus far only on one-sixth of the globe. The Soviet Union is surrounded by capitalist countries which are ever ·organizing against the Soviet Union, which send in their agents, their provocateurs,, and which with the assistance of the Trotskyites who mask their views, who carry Party cards in their pockets, were able to do much damage to the cause of socialism. In this connection, particularly important, he points out, is the fact that the Party did not remember sufficiently the role of the present-day Trotskyites, which, of course, was already clear from the brilliant analysis made by Comrade Stalin way back in 1931-a characterization of Trotskyism as no longer a tendency within the working class, be-cause it did not have a program with which to come before the masses. Naturally, the Trotskyites did not wish to come to the Soviet masses with their counter-revolutionary program, a pro-gram which called for the restoration of capitalism. I remember when I spoke on Trotskyism in New York, one of the workers asked me a question. She said: "Why are they such stupid people? Do they expect the Soviet masses to flock to their banner if they come out for the restoration of capitalism?" 

Well, they didn't come out openly with such slogans to the masses. That was precisely the character of Trotsky-ism which they concealed in their pro-gram. Outwardly they spoke for social-ism, but they organized wherever they could to impede the growth of social-ism through sabotage, to destroy the socialist state through their alliance with Japanese imperialism and Hitler fascism. It is clear that they did not come to the masses and tell them that their program was the restoration of capitalism with the aid of fascist intervention. Naturally, they could not come to the masses with such a pro-gram, any more than a stool-pigeon in a trade union would come to the union with a program of wage cuts. That is not the way stool-pigeons work. A stool-pigeon may talk of struggles and try to provoke premature strikes. The stool-pigeons in Spain talk about immediate socialization and at the same time do everything possible to under-mine the People's Front government, thus aiding Franco and international fascism. This is, in short, the character of Trotskyism today, Comrade Stalin points out-it is no longer a tendency in the working class. It is unable and afraid to bring its program into the open, having degenerated into a small gang of arsonists, assassins, saboteurs, spies, agents of imperialism. 

Another thing which Comrade Stalin emphasized that has a tremendous bearing on our work in this country is the wrong theory that the Trotskyites, because they are few, and the Soviet masses (scores of millions) are so many, that this small, insignificant counter-revolutionary band can be ignored. Comrade Stalin gives us a very convincing example when he says that it takes tens of thousands to build bridges, but a few can dynamite and destroy them if there is not the necessary vigilance. Trotskyism acted as it did, degenerated to what it is today in the Soviet Union, precisely because of the victory of socialism in the Soviet Union. Here too, Comrade Stalin makes clear that the bourgeoisie, its remnants, did not give up with the victory of socialism; but on the contrary, seeing their cause becoming more hopeless, they become more desperate and resort to any and all methods in their efforts to undermine the socialist state. Because it is isolated from the Soviet masses, unable to bring forward its program, Trotskyism was compelled to look for allies, and to become the agent of international fascism, since the program of Trotsky-ism coincided with the plans of Hitler Germany and imperialist Japan for an attack against the Soviet Union and their international war plans generally. 

This political carelessness of many Communists and Communist Party organizations in the Soviet Union developed side by side with the tremendous successes in the Soviet Union, the completion of the Second Five-Year Plan and the complete collapse of all Trotskyite predictions as to coming difficulties on the economic front, the growing abolition of the contradictions between the working class and the peasantry, the tremendous rise in the cultural and general well-being of the people, the strengthening of the authority of the Party among the masses, the rise of new cadres in the socialist state, the abolition of classes, the promulgation of the new Stalinist Constitution-all this took place in the last few years and all this made the Trotskyites so desperate, and sharpened the teeth of the Japanese and Hitler governments. 

Unfortunately, it was this development, these great successes, which created political carelessness where the Party did not always remember that the successes on the economic field, the great achievements of the Soviet people under the leadership of the Communist Party, did not solve all problems. The Soviet Union still remains the only socialist state, surrounded and encircled by capitalist and fascist states and enemies. The remnants of the bourgeoisie within the borders of the Soviet Union have not given up but, on the contrary, have become more desperate. More and more tendencies developed for comrades to become engulfed in the work on the economic front, carrying through successfully the slogan raised some six years ago by the Bolshevik Party and Stalin to "master technique." But in the mastering of this technique, in which such great wonders were performed, there was often a failure, simultaneously with the achievement of that mastery, to give attention to the more basic general questions of political work and to the whole international situation. 

Without pressing this question further, it can be seen that this frank, self-critical analysis by the leadership of the Bolshevik Party is a model to all of us, because after all, here are achievements, here are successes. If this great Party which has conquered capitalism and stands at the head of the masses on one-sixth of the globe, which has successfully built socialism-if this great Party of Lenin and Stalin can approach its problems in such a self critical  manner, what an example it furnishes to us. This model gives us fundamental lessons on how to develop our own work, how to combat Trotsky-ism, how to clarify every weakness in the correct Stalinist manner, in order to score new victories for the toilers, for our class, for the future of socialism in this country. 

What lessons can we learn in this country from this analysis of Comrade Stalin as to the role of the Trotskyites, and their relation to our central problem-the organization of the People's Front against war and fascism? Comrade Stalin in his speech speaks about the reserves of Trotskyism, warning against the danger of thinking that the whole problem is finished. He speaks not only of the remnants of Trotskyism in the Soviet Union, but he speaks of the reserves of Trotskyism in its so-called "fourth international," two-thirds of which, he says, are spies and provocateurs. He mentions a number of countries including the United States, wherein he speaks of certain "gangsters of the pen" giving dishonorable mention to the gentleman who bears the name of Max Eastman. We, in this country, can ill afford to underestimate the role of this gang which is an agent of fascism, of everything that is rotten and reactionary in the country. Here too, we cannot judge the Trotskyites by their program. They will suit their program to their needs. They will be for the Farmer-Labor Party in one place and against it in another. They will be for the C.1.0. in one place, and against it elsewhere.

In Minnesota, the Trotskyites are united with the most reactionary group of splitters in the A. F. of L., with the Meyer Lewis clique and the reaction-ary employers' Citizens Alliance. In the Socialist convention in Chicago, they wrote resolutions against· the Farmer-Labor Party; in Minnesota, they carry through the same policy by trying to destroy the Farmer-Labor Party, which is showing itself to be a model to all progressives so far as fight-ing for the interests of the masses under the leadership of Governor Benson. The Trotskyites tried to split the Farmer-Labor Party, and endorsed the infamous Latimer for mayor of Minneapolis. 

From that point of view, it makes one laugh when some of the Socialists believe they scored a victory over the Trotskyites when they went on record for the Farmer-Labor Party, and adopted Thomas' resolution. But the Trotskyites remained in the Socialist Party, and the Trotskyites are not worried at all about a program. All they are interested in, all they maneuvered for at the convention was to remain within the . Socialist Party, poison it, try to win it, to use it as a stool-pigeon agency in the struggle against the trade union movement, against the Farmer-Labor Party, against the Communist Party-Socialist Party united front. Some of these Socialist comrades, unfortunately, even those who claim they are against Trotskyism, have a funny habit of showing how they are against them. They say, we cannot expel them (the Trotskyites) just now. Perhaps after the convention, we will expel them, one at a time. And after the convention is over, they tell us: well, you know we must have a double policy

against the Trotskyites. We must fight against them, but we must also de-fend them. When we meet with you, we must defend them. So you see, first they refuse to expel them, then they must defend them because they belong to "our" party (the Socialist Party.). 

Certain Socialists said they were ready to expel all Trotskyites except those in Minnesota, because in Minnesota they are not sectarian, they are really "mass" people, they have a base, they can be for the Farmer-Labor Party, they are o.k. When the Trotsky-ites in Minnesota exposed themselves in the endorsement of Latimer so that even Thomas had to feel a bit ashamed at the convention, suddenly these Socialists changed their tone. Now they said, we will expel the Minnesota Trotskyites, but nobody else. Well, they carried through both policies, they didn't expell the Minnesota Trotskyites and they didn't expel the others. 

The Trotskyites in this country are small in number. They were only a few hundred when they were expelled from the Communist Party in 1928. And they didn't multiply very fast. They remained a small handful. But they began to do business. The first thing they did was to unite with Muste. He took the jump and organized the American Workers Party. Then the Trotskyites united with them and formed the so-called Workers Party of the United States, and before long-they finished Muste. They sent him first to the hospital and then to the church. Fortunately, the Communist Party took all the good elements from Muste and brought them to the Communist Party, at their head Louis Budenz, Arnold Johnson and many others, comrades who are doing very excellent work in the Communist Party and the labor movement today. When the Trotskyites got through with their kill, they then looked around, and the Socialist Party was the next victim. I have not yet been able to figure out just how and why the Socialists admitted them into their ranks. However, I must say this: that all the Socialists who really want to build their party admit that their admission was a mistake. That is a step forward. If they were to begin to correct that mistake, that would really be a step forward. 

These few hundred Trotskyites, be-cause they were able to conceal them-selves, or as Comrade Browder has stated, because they traveled with false passports, Socialist Party membership cards, were able to get into many organizations, trade unions, the "Workers Alliance, and in the name of the Socialist Party are able to carry on much poisonous work, destructive to the best interests of the labor movement. 

What are they doing? Take any field of work, for example, the trade unions. At this very moment a campaign is being developed by the ruling class of this country to try to rob the workers of the gains which they are making through their militant struggles, through their organization into the unions affiliated to the C.1.0. The capitalist class, which was compelled to grant important concessions to the workers because the workers were organized-this same capitalist class with all the cunning which it possesses, is now trying to rob the workers of these very concessions through all sorts of anti-labor legislation, through promoting splits in the trade union movement, and through trying to split the very forces of the C'.I.O. Part of all these plans is the usual Red-baiting campaign. In the very center of this Red-baiting campaign stands the A. F. of L. Executive Council, and the campaign manager of this Red-baiting campaign is none other than J. P. Frey. And since Mr. Frey began his campaign a couple of weeks ago as a result of a special meeting held in Washington, where plans were laid for this campaign, day after day, new evidence rolls in of the role of the Trotskyites, showing them to be actual spies and stool-pigeons whose purpose it is to point out the Communists, whose purpose is to try and disrupt the forces of the C.I.0., and who, in many cases, can hardly be distinguished from the old professional stool-pigeons whom we have known and uncovered in such centers as Pittsburgh, Detroit, Youngstown, Akron. 

When we see these things we can appreciate the great significance of the speech of Comrade Stalin on this ques-tion. In Detroit, the ruling class is try-ing to undermine the growing auto-mobile workers' union, to disrupt it from within. They are trying to create Red scares and "purges" even where they don't exist. A group of Trotskyites, a small clique, is playing a special role there absolutely indistinguishable from the bosses themselves and their agents. They tried to provoke strikes so that the union could be charged with breaking the agreement at the very moment when the employers wanted to prove to the Senate of Michigan that the unions were responsible for this situation, and thereby gain passage of the anti-sit-down law, at the very moment when Congress was making attacks against the unions, and when the so-called friends of labor stated that they found themselves in difficulties because of the charges of irresponsibility on the part of the unions. Here we see directly the hand and the role of Trotskyism, few as the Trotskyites are-how much damage they can do; again proving what Comrade Stalin says, that we cannot ignore them just because they are so few. 

Here also we can say it takes thou-sands to build what only a few wreckers can destroy. And that is why we must be on guard against them in the American trade union movement, that is why we must expose the character of Trotskyism, its role, and not be fooled into underestimating them be-cause we know beforehand that they are few. So are the old-time professional stool-pigeons who will be re-placed in many places; they are few in the Ford plants and other plants com-pared to the millions of workers, but nevertheless, they were able for years to disrupt the efforts of the workers to organize. Already in the textile campaign, the Trotskyites, have wormed their way into the drive by presenting a Socialist Party card; in the Workers Alliance, in the Farmer-Labor Party in Minnesota, and many other places, where promising movements are be-ginning. 

Trotskyism is the enemy of the peace movement, of the trade union movement. It is the agent used by the bourgeoisie to disrupt the trade union movement and all efforts made to unify the trade union movement. It is the enemy of the People's Front, because it is the counter-revolutionary advance guard of the bourgeoisie, it is the fascist agent operating in the ranks of the working class itself. 

The Trotskyites operate in the Socialist Party; they have made headway in the Socialist Party, due to lack of vigilance and organization on the part of the honest Socialist workers. But it would be a mistake to conclude from this that the Socialist Party is a Trotskyite party; or, that all of the leaders of the Socialist Party are Trotskyites. That is not so. There is confusion; there is passivity. But the great bulk of the Socialists are honest and sincere, and wish to fight for the immediate interests of their class, to fight for socialism. We must understand both sides of this question, and we will not for a moment give up the struggle to do everything in our power to unite with the Socialists everywhere, as we did in New York for May Day, in Chicago, in Boston, and in many other cities of the country. We will in every place aid the Socialist Party towards a more correct approach to the question of the day, trying to draw them closer to work with us, always with the objective of destroying the influence of Trotskyism in their party, of helping the Socialists takes steps to drive them out of the Socialist Party as they must be driven out of every labor organization; and we shall continue this policy and this work until it bears fruit. 

Let us now examine the great contribution of Comrade Stalin in connection with the immediate tasks of the Bolshevik Party and the Soviet Union in raising the slogan of "mastering Bolshevism," without for a mo-ment weakening the fight to "master technique." In his summary, Comrade Stalin warns against extremes when he says that six years ago it was correct to raise the slogan of "master technique"; that that was what was needed at that time. Today, he says, we raise the slogan, "master Bolshevism." That does not mean that we are going to forget all about economic problems, problems of socialist construction. He says, perhaps the comrades will sigh with relief again, that now they can discuss political questions and not be busy with economic victories and complicated problems. Comrade Stalin says "No"; we are going to raise the political level of the Party, improve the political quality of our work, but at the same time we will give the greatest attention to solving the economic problems. These two things go together and are bound up together. In the same spirit, without in any way making any mechanical parallels, what lessons has this for our work in the United States? Our central problem is to organize the masses for the People's Front, and at the same time build the Communist Party in the course of building the People's Front. We also have raised the slogan "to the masses" which is, so to speak, our slogan of mastering technique. We have not yet mastered it, but it cannot be denied that we have made tremendous progress. Our Party every-where is entrenching itself in the more basic sections of the American proletariat, among the steel and auto workers, among the marine workers, the textile workers, among the American masses generally. We have shown in the recent steel campaign, in the auto strikes, in the maritime struggles, that our Party has stored up experiences, that our Party has comrades with ability, that our Party has experience which was recognized and in demand by those who were responsible for leading the organizing campaigns in these industries. 

This was a great tribute to our Party, a tribute that was not gained in a day, but which is the result of the whole history of our Party, its program, its policy and its leadership. Such comrades like Comrades Foster and Browder, leaders of our Party, have been identified with some of the outstanding struggles in the American labor movement. It was because of all these things that we have been able under the present favorable conditions to make the contribution that we did in the field of organizing the unorganized, in the fight for trade union unity, etc. This work is not finished. We still face some of the more difficult problems, problems of organizing the many mil-lions of unorganized workers. Thus far,only a small percentage of the workers in this country who are as yet un-organized have been brought into the unions. There are still more than 25,000,000 workers to be organized. The task is not completed. 

There is the task of consolidating the unions, of developing leadership and democratic procedure in the unions, organizing strata of exploited Negro masses, etc. And if we raise the question now of greater political alertness, of attention to political problems-of mastering Bolshevism-it is not because we believe that the job of sinking our roots among the masses, that the job of organizing the masses in the basic elementary organization& has been completed, and that we have no tasks left. Not at all. We raise the question rather in the sense that we must organize the masses, build the unions, consolidate the unions, insure their existence against Red-baiting attacks which are being made and will always be made by the capitalists. We need to educate the masses politically; we need to educate the masses to understand what their role is, what is the actual relationship of forces, what are the underlying fundamental forces of capitalism; on the question of the danger of war, and finally, the necessity of the People's Front, and how to build it. To solve these questions, which are the questions of millions today, we need the Communist Party. And we raise this question today of mastering Bolshevism because we know that only our Party works in this way; and at the same time never forgets its ultimate objectives, its fundamental program, the struggle for socialism. We must keep these issues before the masses in order to blaze the path of today which leads to tomorrow, and this is part of our work today, tomorrow and every day. And it is in this sense that we have already time and again raised the question of the importance of politicalizing our mass work. 

At our last Plenum, and particularly in the speech of Comrade Browder, we raised very clearly and sharply the question of the tendency of division of work: which shall it be-mass work first or Party work first? Our Party has time and again correctly placed the question that our task is with the masses, yet at the head of the masses; that our task is to be the most loyal section of the united trade union movement, in building, in strengthening it; that our task is to be the most loyal section of the developing People's Front, against fascism and war; but never to forget to unfold our independent position on all questions, develop our independent activities in the name of our Party, and at the same time hold forth the ultimate perspective of socialism. On the basis of this correct Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist approach to our problems we can today see our weaknesses clearly. We can also see the solution much m,ore clearly because of this great speech and contribution of Comrade Stalin. 

We are building the trade unions, the mass movement generally, but we forget to build the Communist Party. We forget to build the Communist press because we are too "busy." We do not mind if someone else does it. We keep a few comrades in the office and we say it's their job to build the Party, and our job is mass work, building the unions, the People's Front. 

No one will say this in theory, be-cause as Comrade Stalin says of the Bolshevik Party and we say of our Party perhaps not to the same degree: after all, our Party is the Communist Party. But comrades are so steeped in practical work. I spoke the other day to a comrade active in a union. He is an official of the union. He said to me: "What do you want me to do? I work from eight in the morning until eight and ten at night. I take up all the questions. I don't have time to read the Daily Worker." And this from a leading comrade. A few days later I spoke to a leading comrade in Detroit. He asked me whether it wouldn't be possible for the Daily Worker to print a one-page bulletin once a week giving the major events that happened be-cause the Party leaders in the unions do not have time to read the Daily Worker. Here you have a situation with so many things happening-Supreme Court struggle, elections in Detroit, civil liberties fight, legislative problems, where the Party strives to give the line on these questions-and the leadership and the leading comrades do not read the Daily Worker. How will they give leadership to the workers? 

We could not have Bolshevism with-out technique at present in the Soviet Union, because Bolshevism now means socialism. You cannot have socialism without technique. Bolshevism in America today means a mass movement, a Labor Party, mass trade unions, a movement not only embracing thousands but millions. That could not be done without the united front with the Socialist Party, of the working class, united unions fighting for trade union unity, fighting for the Labor Party. Without that we cannot Bolshevize the Party. You Bolshevize the Party in struggle. If we are at the head of the masses but lose ourselves in the mass movement then the Party ceases to function. If a Party member is in a union and acts only as a good union member, then where is the face of the Party? 

On the question of the work of the Party organization, the relation of the various sub-organizations to each other, the relation to the various committees, the question of Party education, the work of the lower Party organizations, etc.: those who have read the report and summary of Comrade Stalin carefully, as well as the report of Comrade Zhdanov, and the resolution adopted by the Central Commit-tee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, know how much attention the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and the report of Comrade Stalin have given to these questions of improving the work of the Party. This has tremendous significance for us, because this is one of the weakest spots in our whole work. This is one of the problems which is not being solved satisfactorily. We are going to try now, as we all should, to study again and again the experiences and lessons and teachings of Comrade Stalin, to try to improve ourselves and once and for all make progress in the solution of these problems. The solution of the problem of Party organization, of the work of the lower organizations, particularly the establishment of correct relationships between the various committees and organizations, involves the whole success of the execution of the line of the Party. 

Comrade Stalin in his report stresses the question of political education. He speaks about capitalist encirclement. How about our own encirclement and what happens to our ideology? For in-stance: a new comrade, a worker, joins the Party. He comes into the Party unit-not yet a full Communist-is willing, and is given work. That comrade lives in a home, has a family, has relatives; let us suppose he is a Catholic worker at present in New York. Every time he spends evenings at home with relatives or friends, he hears attacks against the Party. He does not believe them; however, he comes to the Party meetings, and he does not hear enough as to what we stand for, does not get answers to all the numerous questions that trouble him. Very often the unit does not get him to read the Daily Worker. How do we know that? Be-cause the majority of the Party com-rades throughout the country do not read the Daily Worker-at least, not regularly. This worker is subject to all sorts of pressure from the bourgeoisie, and only when we are able to answer all these questions and free him of all prejudices and illusions will he be a real Communist. 

We have not solved the problems of fluctuation, etc. We have not made a sufficiently fundamental approach to the question. Here the decisive thing is the Party unit. After all, the unit will determine whether that comrade remains in the Party or not. It is true he may have a problem in the union, or in the fraction; but that is very seldom. But even that can be taken up and solved at a proper unit meeting. What does that mean? What could happen to such a comrade? Let us say he is a union member and he is drawn in because someone says to him that he ought to be in the Party, and he comes to the first meeting, to a second meeting. And supposing he would come into a unit and he would find the first meeting: instructions from the district to do something; assignments from the section; collection of dues; he might even be asked to buy a Daily Worker. Second meeting: instructions from the district; assignments from the section; a letter from the District Committee; announcement of activities; assignments. But he has political problems bothering him and would like to have them discussed. He may not like the way something is done in the Party and would like to have a say about it, but he does not get the chance. He could make up Iiis mind, well, this is an organization where you do as you are told, and well, I am not ready for that. That is, if he goes into such a unit. Most of our units are a little different. In New York, probably, there are no longer such units. In other districts, I know there still are. 

Are we afraid to have our Party comrades discuss Party problems? We are not afraid. The Party line, if it is correct, can stand the test of discussion. It is not a question of fear. It is more because the work is not organized that way. To a certain extent, the problem must be tackled from the Central Committee down, to establish with certainty that the Party comrades will have the possibility to discuss and decide on major political questions. It is impossible, we know, to take a vote on every question in every unit. To accomplish this, it is necessary to go beyond the unit also, and to establish organs through which the Party press can speak. For this purpose we have to speed up the decision made at the Ninth Party Convention last June, and repeated at the last Central Committee meeting at the end of the year, which called for the reorganization of the Party along lines that will make possible the development of the great-est possible democracy. Wherever it is advisable, and the size allows, we will organize county committees which will be composed of delegates from every shop unit and branch on the basis of proportional representation; to meet once a month and to be a real political body to discuss problems and make decisions. They will have, of course, an executive. It will be something like a county convention in permanence, with direct connection with every unit, bringing problems from the units, and bringing back discussion and resolutions to the units. That will be a great improvement and will really make possible the raising of the discussion on important political questions and the development of greater initiative which has to go with that on the part of the units and the counties. 

The whole problem of the activity of every Party member, the assignment of work, the question of the ability of the member, the question of financial requirements, individual home problems; the question of work in the mass organizations, in the unions-are all problems that need studying. Very often we tell a comrade to read the Daily Worker, and then discover he cannot read, and he has to be helped with that. The Party must become a place where the Party member can come and get help with his problems. 

There is plenty of improvement to be made in the higher bodies of the Party, in the district committees, county committees, and in the Central Committee. Our Central Committee at its next meeting is going to discuss most seriously all of its problems on the basis of our work, our tasks, and in the light of the report of Comrade Stalin. I am sure we are going to make great steps forward as a result of that next meeting. 

It would not be bad for most of us to re-read the decisions of tb,e Seventh World Congress. Read it in terms of what has happened in America in the last year and see what these decisions really m an. You will appreciate the great significance of that Congress, the significance of the People's Front in France, in Spain, the significance of the whole movement which is world-wide now in beating back fascism. If you will apply these decisions in the United States, you will understand the role our Party played in the last election campaign. 

Was the line of the Party correct in the elections in terms of what is happening in the country today? Could you conceive of what would be happening if Landon, had been elected, if Hearst were in control? The Party policy was correct. It was the line of the Seventh World Congress and the Communist International. There are the successes of the C.1.0. to which we have made our contribution, and we partly are responsible for this whole movement which is developing today. Our Party is advancing with and through the masses; but our Party is not· making enough progress. The weaknesses which I have enumerated and tried to indicate are there: they are real; they are serious. But it is my conviction that in the spirit of Comrade Stalin's report, in the spirit of self-criticism of which we have the great example of our Bolshevik Party, which is always a model for us, that we will take to heart and very seriously review our work, unit by unit, fraction by fraction, and the result of this will be the improvement of our work everywhere. If we correctly raise the question of the People's Front and work properly in the coming months, if we take the leadership in the strug-gle against reaction, giving proper guidance to the masses, it will be possible for our Party to become an offi-cial section of that People's Front. And in the course of this movement, our Party can build itself up from its pres-ent size to a Party two and three times its present number. Surely, this will demonstrate to everyone beyond sha-dow of doubt that there is no conflict between political work and mass work in the trade unions, between united front and People's Front; that we can build a strong, powerful Communist Party, marching forward to socialism.

JACK STACHEL