• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

A generous CounterPuncher has offered a $25,000 matching grant. So for this week only, whatever you can donate will be doubled up to $25,000! If you have the means, please donate! If you already have done so, thank you for your support. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Soviet October in the Yankee Imagination

A century after the seizure of power by the Bolshevik Party led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Leon Trotsky, the current validity of the ideas of the Russian Revolution of October 1917 can be seen in the orientation of the struggles waged by the peoples of the whole against capitalist exploitation.

October cleared the roads to human liberation that Marxism had identified and discovered in other new ways. It led the nation to achieve great successes in economic, politics, culture, social justice and defense, to make backward Russia a world power in a short time.

October allowed the efforts and sacrifices of the peoples of the Soviet Union to reach the level of economic, military and scientific development that brought about a bipolarity of the world in which the nations of the planet could rest their hopes of progress. The United States was no exception.

In January 1919, Lenin invited the left wing of the Socialist Party of America (SPA) to join the newly-created Communist International in Moscow. In the spring of that year this wing took control of the whole party displacing its previous leadership, which was smaller and of social-democratic orientation.

From its origins, the SPA suffered attacks from several state governments and from the US federal government itself. It feared a repeat of the revolts that were taking place on European soil. In the United States, between the end of 1919 and January 1920, the “red terror” led the United States Attorney General to order the arrest of thousands of communists, with the Sedition Act of 1918 as a legal basis.

During the Great Depression of 1929, the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) multiplied its pacts with small union groups. The election of Franklin D. Roosevelt as president also meant the renewal of the unions and increased in them the influence of the CPUSA.

During this period, the CPUSA was distinguished by its defense of the Second Spanish Republic, a victim of the Francoist uprising that led to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Leftists from all over the world joined to defend the Republic, providing funds for medical care and in many cases volunteering in the International Brigades. The CPUSA provided the first members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, which, in addition to supporting the Republican government of Spain, was the first military force made of US-made military force in which blacks and whites were integrated in the same ranks, with the same rights and obligations.

When the United States Communist Party (CPUSA) was formed in 1919, the Washington government had long suppressed the Socialists because they had opposed American intervention in World War I and made a campaign against military service. As of January 1920, the new target of persecution was the communists who began to be massively imprisoned. The CPUSA was forced into hiding and had to change its name several times to avoid arrest of its cadres and militants.

In the 1930s, the FBI persecuted Nazis and Communists under suspicion that they intended to launch an armed revolt against the federal government. In 1940, laws that made it illegal to hold a favorable opinion to overthrow the government came into force.

In 1941, when the United States was about to enter the world war in Europe and Japan, the Roosevelt government accused 29 members of the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP), then political allied with the Fourth International, of sedition and conspiracy to overthrow the government. The FBI raided the offices of the SWP and formed a grand jury for the trial. The accused used the process to proclaim their socialist principles from the dock, rejected the imperialist war and refuted the presentation of the socialist revolution as a conspiracy or coup.

The United States’ entry into World War II in December 1941 forced an alliance with the Soviet Union that enabled the recruitment of communist militants into the US military. At the end of the Second World War, in 1945, and the beginning of the Cold War against the USSR, the official US “truce” with the CPUSA ended and an anti-communist psychosis was exacerbated by the alleged discovery of “Soviet espionage networks” and the denunciation of a growing power of the communists in the industrial trade union sector. Then came the McCarthy or witch-hunt period, one of the most shameful episodes in the legal history of the United States, which included the political murder of the couple Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, of sedition and conspiracy to overthrow the government a hate crime that still cries out for justice.

A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.

More articles by:

Manuel E. Yepe is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 16, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
How Turkey’s Invasion of Syria Backfired on Erdogan
Chitrangada Choudhury – Aniket Aga
How Cotton Became a Headache in the Age of Climate Chaos
Jack Rasmus
US-China Mini-Trade Deal: Trump Takes the Money and Runs
Michael Welton
Communist Dictatorship in Our Midst
Robert Hunziker
Extinction Rebellion Sweeps the World
Peter A. Coclanis
Donald Trump as Artist
Chris Floyd
Byzantium Now: Time-Warping From Justinian to Trump
Steve Klinger
In For a Dime, in For a Dollar
Gary Leupp
The Maria Ramirez Story
Kim C. Domenico
It Serves Us Right To Suffer: Breaking Down Neoliberal Complacency
Kiley Blackman
Wildlife Killing Contests are Unethical
Colin Todhunter
Bayer Shareholders: Put Health and Nature First and Stop Funding This Company!
Andrés Castro
Looking Normal in Kew Gardens
October 15, 2019
Victor Grossman
The Berlin Wall, Thirty Years Later
Raouf Halaby
Kurdish Massacres: One of Britain’s Many Original Sins
Robert Fisk
Trump and Erdogan have Much in Common – and the Kurds will be the Tragic Victims of Their Idiocy
Ron Jacobs
Betrayal in the Levant
Wilma Salgado
Ecuador: Lenin Moreno’s Government Sacrifices the Poor to Satisfy the IMF
Ralph Nader
The Congress Has to Draw the Line
William A. Cohn
The Don Fought the Law…
John W. Whitehead
One Man Against the Monster: John Lennon vs. the Deep State
Lara Merling – Leo Baunach
Sovereign Debt Restructuring: Not Falling Prey to Vultures
Norman Solomon
The More Joe Biden Stumbles, the More Corporate Democrats Freak Out
Jim Britell
The Problem With Partnerships and Roundtables
Howard Lisnoff
More Incitement to Violence by Trump’s Fellow Travelers
Binoy Kampmark
University Woes: the Managerial Class Gets Uppity
Joe Emersberger
Media Smears, Political Persecution Set the Stage for Austerity and the Backlash Against It in Ecuador
Thomas Mountain
Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed Wins Nobel Peace Prize, But It Takes Two to Make Peace
Wim Laven
Citizens Must Remove Trump From Office
October 14, 2019
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
Class Struggle is Still the Issue
Mike Miller
Global Climate Strike: From Protest To Power?
Patrick Cockburn
As Turkey Prepares to Slice Through Syria, the US has Cleared a New Breeding Ground for Isis
John Feffer
Trump’s Undeclared State of Emergency
Dean Baker
The Economics and Politics of Financial Transactions Taxes and Wealth Taxes
Jonah Raskin
What Evil Empire?
Nino Pagliccia
The Apotheosis of Emperors
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A Passion for Writing
Basav Sen
The Oil Despots
Brett Wilkins
‘No Friend But the Mountains’: A History of US Betrayal of the Kurds
John Kendall Hawkins
Assange: Enema of the State
Scott Owen
Truth, Justice and Life
Thomas Knapp
“The Grid” is the Problem, Not the Solution
Rob Kall
Republicans Are Going to Remove Trump Soon
Cesar Chelala
Lebanon, Dreamland
Weekend Edition
October 11, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Becky Grant
CounterPunch in Peril?
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail