Apparently THEY think that they’re still alive
Things to watch for in this revealing little video:
1) Watch them sing “We Shall not Be Moved.” I heard them — the comrades of the CPUSA — sing the very same song in 1940, but the words were “Browder is our leader, we shall not be moved…” Today, Browder is no longer mentioned by these folks. He has been air-brushed out of their history.
2) Watch the demeanor of the comrades when they sing the Internationale. Those are still the holy words to them.
3) And finally, where are all those starry-eyed, good looking young people of yore ? Not in this crowd.
Do you have it in your heart to spare them a little pity ? (I don’t, actually)
Fifty-seven years ago this month Joseph Stalin died in Moscow, on March 5, 1953. I was a sociology graduate student, aged 26, just recently married, not yet a father (though expecting). Those Stalinists in New York, whom I had encountered at CCNY and elsewhere, were of professional interest to me (as were Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Plymouth Brethren, etc. etc.). How would the Stalinists react to the death of their “great leader” ? I decided to make some observations.
By coincidence, a large public meeting had previously been planned by one of the Communist front organizations to take place on what turned out to be a day or two after Stalin’s death. The venue was a large hall in Harlem, and Paul Robeson (whom the Communists had not yet revealed as a secret party member) was the scheduled speaker. I decided to attend. Would there be tears for the newly-late leader ? Would there be great public grief ? I wanted to know and I went up to Harlem to find out.
What a surprise ! The comrades arrived on time, maybe a couple of thousand, and sat politely through routine speeches without there being a single mention of Stalin. Finally Paul Robeson got up, and in the first sentence of his speech declaimed the death of “the great Stalin.” Well, at that moment there was loud applause, a standing applause, but applause no different from that accompanying other points that the various CP speakers had emphasized.
I concluded that these New York Stalinists were devoted to their party and its discipline, but that they lacked any warm emotional tie to the man whom they had seen praised, so many times, in the Daily Worker and elsewhere, as Coryphaeus of Science, Father of Nations, Brilliant Genius of Humanity, Great Architect of Communism, Gardener of Human Happiness. The cult of personality, I concluded, was thin and arid, at least among the New York comrades.
I have just discovered this fascinating video.
It’s sort of long, but what an experience !
Earl Browder was the boss of the American Communist Party for fifteen years prior to his sudden expulsion in 1945. Why and how did this take place ? The issue is explored by John Earl Haynes: Moscow was displeased by some independent thinking on the part of Browder. He was warned by the Kremlin, ignored the warning, and was then unceremoniously kicked out.
The Frozen Smile
Barak Obama has said, more than once, and in unmistakable language, that he supports Israel’s right to exist and Israel’s right to defend itself. But the funny thing is that (at least some of) those who hate Israel and who don’t think that it has any right to defend itself nevertheless love and endorse Obama. Do they know something about Obama that perhaps Obama himself either doesn’t know or doesn’t want to say ?
First and perhaps foremost, there is Jimmy “Frozen-Smile” Carter, who thinks that Israel practices “apartheid” and is solely responsible for the Israel-Palestinian conflict. It has been announced that Carter will be one of the main speakers at the Denver convention to endorse Obama, although, as of this writing, it appears that he has been told not to mention the word “Israel.” The Soviets, before passing out of history, experienced a thaw. Can we hope as much from Carter and/or his smile ? Hope again.
[Update, Aug. 28: In the end, the Forward reports, the Dems decided to honor Carter by showing a video of him but not allow him to speak at the convention.]
The Nation magazine, something of a voice of twenty-first century American Communism, gives a little more hesitant endorsement of Obama, all the while blaming Israel for everything that is wrong in the world, or at least in the Middle East.
And then there is the poor little Communist Party of the USA. It has seen better days — say those of Earl Browder and William Z. Foster. But it still soldiers on as a ghost of a ghost, somewhere halfway between being moribund and dead. It endorses Obama (with some hesitation), but never misses a beat in beating down on Israel.
But wait, there is hope for those who want to dismiss everything I say in this posting. There is at least one enemy of Israel (not counting Pat Buchanan) who will not support Obama. That is the estimable Cynthia McKinnon, who is running for President all on her own.