the communist solar system 1933
The Communist Solar System, a pamphlet published by the UK Labour Party, provides insights into the intentions and attitudes of Socialist politicians today.
|For more on socialism and sociology :
|sociology - the structure of analysing belief systems|
Herbert Morrison was the typical unimaginative, petty bureaucrat, here seeking to purge the Labour Party of any politically incorrect deviations from the party line. This prototypical bureaucrat showed great energy and attention to detail. Such men are dangerous. He was probably the most effective bureaucrat that the British Labour Party even attracted. He spent his life in pursuit of socialism.
This pamphlet was published in September 1933, Hitler had obtained power in Germany at the end of January 1933.
It was Morrison who steered through the radical Leftist manifesto of the UK Labour Party immediately after World War Two, until he had taken over approximately 20% of the British economy. The only reason that the Labour Party did not go much further was that the British electorate increasingly turned against the Labour Party programme, thus threatening it with the loss of power. In fact, Labour only just scraped in at the next general election, and was ejected shortly thereafter. They were not re-elected for almost exactly thirteen years. That seems to be how long it takes for people to forget.
This document, written by Morrison lists the various banned Communist fronts that were too radical - that is, who wished to grab power in a manner that Morrison did not believe the British public would stomach.
Almost all the measures of the Attlee government (26 July 1945 to 26 October 1951) have since been reversed. As usual, socialism does not work. See also Britain’s welfare state was whose idea did you say?.
Attlee was regarded by everyone as a weakling, including by those of his own party. He obtained his position by sheer chance, and never lost it because the various factions within the Party were desperate to ensure that none of their rivals gained the leadership. In Britain, the Prime Minister is, in effect, an elected dictator.
All the while, Attlee clung like a limpet, never taking firm positions as he played off his rivals against one another.
Two contemporary comments , often attributed to Winston Churchill, sum up the political mood.
However, Clement Attlee seems to have been a decent enough fellow, without much depth. There is a common British expression among the hereditary establishment: "He may be brilliant, but is he sound?". In terms of the Establishment manners, he may have been sound, but he certainly did not suffer from the drawback of brilliance.
THE COMMUNIST SOLAR SYSTEM
THE COMMUNIST INTERNATIONAL
THE COMMUNIST SOLAR SYSTEM
[inside front cover]
MR. HARRY POLLITT , leader of the Communist Party of Great Britain, has been compelled to make the tortuous policy of the United Front as plain as he can to his Communist friends. He hopes that it "won't be necessary to have to keep writing long letters and articles explaining what the United Front is." This pamphlet has a like origin.
In the midst of a world crisis, born of war, and bearing within itself the seeds of new wars, lovers of freedom have seen how the militarist apparatus may destroy overnight civil and political liberties which are the warp and woof of civilisation. Impressed by the fratricidal warfare between Communists and Social Democrats in Germany, there are even members of the Labour Party who draw false conclusions. They seem to imagine that it can be attributed to some inexplicable refusal by the Socialist Parties of an offer of sincere co- operation by the Communists in the name of the United Front. This is a great illusion.
This is the "fundamental task" of every Communist Party. The German Communist Party was the only powerful Communist Party in the world, outside of Russia. They performed their fundamental task literally, relentlessly, even unscrupulously. They entered Parliament, as prescribed by their rules, "not for the purpose of organic work, but in order to destroy Parliament itself from within," and, through the failure of Parliamentary democracy, to add political disorder to economic disorder. The collapse of the "bourgeois State"—the whole machinery of local, state and central government—was to be the inaugural ceremony of the German Soviet Republic.
To accomplish this end, they made a de facto United Front with the
Nationalists and the Nazis in the Reichstag and State Parliaments— especially in Prussia, where the Socialists were the predominant
influence in politics. During the past ten years, one-half of the votes
of censure against the Prussian Government were moved by Communists and supported by Nationalists and Nazis; the other half
were initiated by Nationalists and Nazis and supported by Communists. Communists, Nationalists and Nazis together were the modern
Guy Fawkes Coalition which sought to blow up the German Parliament.
When the Nazis were gaining ground and the Nationalist wave was overwhelming Germany, the Communists outrivalled the Nazis in the fervour of their nationalism. They exploited "every trick of demagogic mysticism" evoked by German patriotism from the real and imaginary grievances attributed to the Peace Treaties. They promised the liberation of "countless millions" of Germans in "Alsace-Lorraine, West and East Prussia, Poland, Upper Silesia, South Tyrol, . . . . under the tyrannous rule of Belgium and Lithuania and the Fascist barbarism of Mussolini."
Communists and Nazis pursued the same policy to different ends. Rank and file enthusiasts were often confused. Communist Red Front Fighter and Nazi Storm Trooper could and did change uniforms without any profound sense of political dishonesty. At the polls, Nazis gained thousands of votes which the Communists lost. Parliament was destroyed from within, and then was destroyed from without by the Communist, Nazi and Nationalist voters themselves. The Communists who had done their best with the Nazis to destroy Democracy castigated the Trade Unionists for not going on strike to save it. Other Communists, now in Nazi uniforms, took part in the capture of the Trade Unions. The "revolutionary situation" came to pass. But the balance of forces was not in accordance with Communist plans or predictions. The "armed struggle" came. But it was very one-sided. The arms were not in the hands of the workers. But the triumph of Hitlerism revealed the Communist International as blameless and impenitent! They denounced the Social Democrats !
The United Front was the battle-cry of Communism at war with German Social Democracy and Trade Unionism. It was a slogan, and nothing but a slogan. It is still their slogan. On the eve of the German Elections the Labour and Socialist International put Communist good faith to the test of true solidarity. When the German people had been condemned to chains and slavery, the Communist International unmasked its guns: "As for the leaders of the Second International (the Labour and Socialist International, to which the Labour Party is affiliated), negotiations between officials at the top are merely a method of delaying, hindering and disrupting the United Front of the working-class. On the basis of true workers' democracy, only the United Front from below will ensure the successful fulfilment of this central task of the world workers' movement at the present time."
[p.3]This was a formal and final rejection of a straightforward United Front upon the basis of frank and sincere negotiations between responsible representatives. Once again Communist duplicity stood self-revealed. A naked exposure was inevitable. In Communist gibberish, Socia1ist. or Trades Union leaders are "lackeys of the bourgeoisie. During the Great War, they were separated into "Social-Patriote" and "Social-Pacifiste," Now they are all dubbed "Social-Fascists." Mr. Adolf Hitler is a "Fascist." Mr. George Lansbury is a " Social Fascist." The British Labour Party is officially described m Communist circles as a Party of "Social-Fascists." A United Front of Communism and" Social-Fascism " is of course inconceivable to the pundits of the Communist International.
Mr. Stalin himself had laid it down  that "the United Front tactics were set up by Lenin in order to make it easier for the millions of workers in capitalist countries who are infected by the prejudices of Social Democratic opportunism to come over to Communism." The British Labour Party is now the most formidable of all the Parties thus "infected." Members of the Party have the highest authority for believing that the United Front is a tactical manœuvre devised to bring the Party members into touch with the Communist intelligentsia, and ultimately under their leadership.
How is this to be done? According to their rules, Communists must join the "Social-Fascist" organisations—the Labour and Socialist Parties and the Trade Unions, Co-operative" and other class organisations of the workers"—and form within them Communist groups in subordination to the Communist Party as a whole. But when found out, Communists are expelled from the British Labour Party. The Communist way out of this dilemma is the "sympathising mass organisation." Communists in disguise are now at work in Labour Party and Trade Union branches and Co-operative Societies proposing affiliation to these auxiliary organisations of the Communist Party.
An illuminating definition of their functions was given by Mr. Kuusinen  (of Moscow). "We must create a whole solar system of organisations and smaller committees around the Communist Party, so to speak, smaller organisations working actually under the influence of our Party (not under mechanical leadership)."
Galileo, from his observations of the solar system, derived two
conclusions from these wonderful phenomena, "appealing to the
evidence of our senses": (1) that the planets are not self-luminous,
and (2) that they revolve round the sun. The Inquisition compelled
Galileo to deny the evidence of his senses. British subjects are
fortunately not the victims of such compulsion.
"The W.I.R.," said ML Muenzenberg  can take steps which the political parties cannot take." "Now we must get hold of other groups under other names." The formation of the Friends of Soviet Russia, now renamed the Friends of the Soviet Union, was of particular importance. In a mood of affected indifference and boredom, he added that "personally these do not interest me very much, and it is not really interesting to form these Innocents' Clubs." Nevertheless, "we must penetrate every conceivable milieu, get hold of artists and professors, make use of theatres and cinemas, and spread abroad the doctrine that Russia is prepared to sacrifice everything to keep the world at peace. We must join these clubs ourselves .... " The name of Innocents' Club, hurled at them by their Communist founder, is not very respectful to their "sympathising" and trustful members.
These organisations are officially described in a resolution by the Communist International (1926)  as "sympathising mass organisations for definite special purposes." This resolution is a candid avowal that nominally self-governing or independent bodies, "but in reality under Communist leadership," elastic in organisation, accessory or subservient to the Communist International in all their propaganda, are very important instruments in the hands of the Communist Parties.
The Red Aid, or International Class War Prisoners' Aid (artfully renamed the International Labour Defence in the United States and now in this country) and the Workers' International Relief are indicated by name as belonging to this type of organisation. An anticipatory reference is made to the Anti-War Movement, the League Against Imperialism, the Friends of the Soviet Union, and the Red Front, and it is pointed out that 'it may be expedient" (that is, it may be expedient for the Communists) "in various countries to organise smaller sympathising organisations."
"Sympathising" has a double connotation—sympathetic to the Communist Parties, and. antipathetic, even avowedly hostile, to the Labour and Socialist Parties. Mass organisation connotes in practice that these organisations are usually based upon the structure of the [p.5] self-created, democratic, working-class organisations—the Labour Party branch, the Trade Union branch, the Women's Co-operative Guild, and the Trade Union itself. Their money is always solicited, even when their affiliation is not invited. Every foundation Congress is composed, or is alleged to be composed, of "delegates" from Communist Parties, Socialist Parties, Labour Parties, Trade Unions, Trade Union branches, sections of the Co-operative Movement, individual sympathisers and representatives of other similar organisations. It is a mass meeting, not a Congress. Each "delegate," however representative (or unrepresentative) he may be, has one vote. Mr. Muenzeriberg or his men both stage the Congress and draft the resolutions. An overwhelming majority is assured in advance.
Mr. Kuusinen explained in 1926, that it is part of Communist strategy that these organisations should not be under the "mechanical leadership" of the Communist Parties. In 1932, Mr. Harry Pollitt furnishes a definition of "mechanical leadership" for the guidance of the too zealous members of the Communist Party of Great Britain. "Our average Party member drops down dead with fright if, in an Anti-War Committee, or National Unemployed Workers' Movement branch, or anything associated with the United Front work, a non-party member is elected as Secretary or Chairman." A special meeting of the Communist Party is held "in order to know how to break down this danger to the social revolution." This, says Mr. Pollitt, is "the foisting of mechanical Communist leadership on to the United Front organisations."
Many people, not reputed to be Communists, and others not known as Socialists, Trade Unionists, or Communists, ought to feel grateful to Mr. Pollitt. He makes intelligible by what title they hold honorary offices in organisations associated with the United Front work of the British Communist Party, with its 5,400 members. This work, said Mr. Karl Radek,  "replaced the period of direct attack on Social Democracy. It is much easier and pleasanter to smash things, but if we have not the power to do so, and if this method (that of the United Front) is necessary, we must make use of it .... in the firm trust that this method will do harm to Social Democracy (British Labour Party), not to us ... and in the conviction that we shall crush them in our embrace."
No politician and no party should resent the direct attack. The indirect attack, in which the Communist aims are concealed by a "bourgeois " or "Social-Fascist" camouflage, is not only difficult for Mr. Radek and his friends, who must always be changing their disguises : it is neither easy nor pleasant for Socialists to convince the artless partners in the embrace of the danger of their situation. Nevertheless, the attempt must be made, even at the risk of tedious repetition.
Identification and description of the planets in the Communist solar system was facilitated in the early days by the Communist [p.6] astronomers, not least by the Astronomer Royal, Mr. Willi Muenzenberg. To-day new planets swim into our ken; and there is often a distinct time lag between their appearance and their identification.
The Workers' International Relief and the International Class War Prisoners' Aid must be regarded as of first importance. When a strike is doomed to failure, and the Communists urge the strikers to " carry on," the W.LR. is the Communist strike fund. Casualties and imprisonments are inevitable to a revolutionary struggle. The Red Aid is the Red Cross of the Communist International in capitalist countries and colonies.
IN its early days, the Workers' International Relief was known as the Workers' Relief for Soviet Russia. Dr. Friedrich Adler, the Secretary of the Labour and Socialist International, was present at its first international conference at Berlin in December, I92I, when he observed with his own eyes "its purely Communist administration in every detail."
It is one of the rules that the National Secretary, "chosen by the Committee, is responsible for his activities to the Committee and to the Central Office in Berlin. (Now presumably in Paris.) It is the duty of the Communist representatives on this Committee to see to it that the Secretary is a Communist." Mr. Willi Muenzenberg was the International Secretary of this organisation. The British secretary was for many years Mrs. Helen Crawfurd. Her successor was Mr. J. B. Leckie, The present secretary is Mrs. Isabel Brown—all Communists.
The W.LR. had originally many individual sympathisers in the Socialist Movement in Europe, who have since withdrawn their support. They thought that the W.LR. was a charitable organisation, whereas it is an instrument of Communist war upon the Labour Movement.
The W.LR. places its services at the disposal of strikers for the
prolongation of strikes at the instigation of Communists and in opposition to the official Trade Union policy. Mr. Willi Muenzenberg  has claimed that in Germany they had experienced .... " what great services may be rendered by such organisations (as the W.LR., the
Red Aid, etc.) in the coming fights between the workers and the
Reformist Trade Union bureaucrats." Mr. Harry Pollitt commends
the W.LR. to British Communists as a means to get contact with the
factories and with the Trade Unions. The Weavers' strike and the
donations received from hundreds of Trade Unionists, I.L.P.ers,
Labour Parties and Co-operative Guilds was such a " field of contacts."
They "are potential recruits for our Party."
THE International Labour Defence is the title adopted in the United States, and now in Great Britain, for the International Class War Prisoners Aid, It is known also as the Red Aid, and by the initials of its Russian title, as the "Mopr." Its operations, apart from the collection of contributions,are limited to the capitalist, colonial and semi-colonial countries. The Red Aid was founded as, and still is, an institution of the Communist Party. Mr. Gregory Zinovieff, when President of the Communist International, put the matter beyond doubt at a Congress of the organisation in Moscow (I925)  : "The Executive Committee of the Comintern regards the International Red Aid as one of its branches, and indeed as one of the most important of them." At the same Congress, Mr. Lepeschinsky, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Red Aid in the Soviet Union, confirmed this declaration. ". . . . the brain and head of our International Red Aid is Communist, its body is formed out of the great non-Party masses."
During great strikes, "the International Red Aid and the Workers' International Relief automatically find themselves working on the same sector of the front. Whilst the W.I.R. strengthens the resolution of the strikers and their families by collecting funds and bringing material aid, the I.R.A. organises help for the political victims of these nonpolitical struggles," writes Mr. Willi Muenzenberg, the International Secretary. The late Klara Zetkin (German Communist) was the International President. Mr. Alun Thomas is now the Secretary of the British Committee.
"Unity" is their motto. But only in the sense of the United Front Manœuvre. The appeal of the Socialist International for help for the workers of Germany is described by the Red Aid  as "a cloak over 'the complete responsibility of the Social Democratic Party of Germany for the developments in Germany, and as splitting the international solidarity of the workers. Protests against war by the leaders of the Labour and Socialist International and the International Federation of Trade Unions, were characterised in the official journal "Mopr"  as "lying hypocritical manoeuvres" . . . . to enable them "to carry on undisturbed the preparations for war and intervention.
MR. WILLI MUENZENBERG, when International Secretary
of the Workers' International Relief. and the Red Aid, was at
the same time one of the International Secretaries of the League Against Imperialism. It is erroneously supposed that this League was founded at a Congress of the usual type held in Brussels in 1927.
Mr. Reginald Bridgeman is the Secretary, Mr. Alex. Gossip, Vice-Chairman, and Miss Driver, Treasurer of the British Section. The National Executive Council includes among its members Messrs. Reginald Bridgeman, Alex. Gossip, H. P. Rathbone, A. Ward, Clemens Dutt, Miss Olive Driver, and Mrs. Joan Thompson. The London Negro Welfare Association was formed under the auspices of the League. Mr. Reginald Bridgeman is Chairman, Mr. A. Ward. Secretary, and Mr. H. P. Rathbone, Treasurer. The "Negro Worker," published at Copenhagen, is one of the organs of the League Against Imperialism.
At their Second Annual Conference, held May 21, 1932, Mr. Harry Pollitt, in a speech concluding the Conference, pointed out that many had left the League since the Brussels Congress: "Some had died at their posts; others had been expelled." Mr. James Maxton, after having been "bullied, harassed and pestered" for manifold deviations from the Presidential path laid down for him, was one of the expelled. He could not keep "straight." A meeting held in Berlin on May 10th, 1930 (Great Britain was represented by Messrs. Reginald Bridgeman, R. Page Arnot and S. Saklatvala), declared that while Maxton "had no hesitation in using anti-Irnperialist language internationally, he was lending support to the Imperialist policy of the Labour Party by his policy and tactics in Britain."
The resolutions passed at the 1932 British Conference of the League might have been drafted by the Communist International. One example, will suffice :"In this mass butchery of colonial workers and peasants, Social Democratic imperialists and the leaders of the Second International, play an active part-the Lansburys and the Lees-Smiths, as members, of the Imperialist Government, and the Hendersons and MacDonalds. as leading members of the League of Nations."
The League Against Imperialism now "hangs fire" as a "mass organisation." The Anti-War Movement is to be found at the same address, with Mr. W. J. Brown, former Executive member of the League Against Imperialism, as the Chairman, and Mr. R. Bridgeman as Hon. International Secretary.
The policy of the League Against Imperialism has been incorporated
in the programme of the Anti-War Movement.
THIS Committee is an auxiliary of the League Against Imperialism. Its original title was the National Meerut Prisoners' Defence Committee; Chairman, Mr. Alex. Gossip (N.A.F.T.A.); Secretary, Mr. R. Bridgeman; Joint Treasurers, Mrs. Joan Thompson, Mr. S. Saklatvala, all connected with the League Against Imperialism. The present title is the Meerut Prisoners' Release Committee, and the Secretary, Mr. Percy Glading, is an Executive member of the League Against Imperialism; Treasurer, Mr. Alex. Gossip; Chairman, Mr. Jack Tanner. The present address is the offices of the National Amalgamated Furnishing Trades Association, which was also the original address of the League Against Imperialism. Mr. Gossip is Secretary of the N.A.F.T.A.
IT was the formation of these Clubs "for new Russia" which drew from Mr. Willi Muenzenberg the contemptuous description of "Innocents' Clubs." Why he formed this organisation is a mystery. Each and every one of his organisations might be designated "Friends of the Soviet Union." Their policy reveals their place of birth. The Red Aid comes only to the aid of "political prisoners in the capitalist prisons." Strikes are illegal in Soviet Russia; the W.I.R. cannot function there. It is taken for granted by the League Against Imperialism that from Vladivostock to Petrograd and from Archangel to Tiflis there are no colonial or semi-colonial peoples and no oppressed nationalities. The leaders of the National Minority Movement or the National Unemployed Workers' Movement would, in Soviet Russia, meet with the fate of Trotsky, or worse. The Anti-War Movement makes a sharp distinction between the Soviet Union and imperialist Capitalism, which prepares war for armed intervention. In Fascist Italy, in Hitlerist Germany and in Soviet Russia the activities of the Anti-War Movement would be treasonable.
Nevertheless, a British Section of the Friends of Soviet Russia was formed on the return to England in 1927 of a British Delegation to Soviet Russia. Its Report was published by the Labour Research Department. Mr. W. Paul, the editor of the Sunday Worker (a Communist weekly, now defunct), was Hon. Secretary of the Committee which organised the delegation. One Communist succeeded another as Secretary.
Messrs. J. Reeves and B. Sullivan resigned from the British Committee in 1929 because of the actions of the Secretary,  "who has
been appointed without consultation with the National Committee
and who is using circulars without authority and identifying the
organisation with the Communist Party and the Minority Movement."
The primary function of this body, new renamed the Friends of the Soviet Union, is to organise conducted groups to Soviet Russia. On their return the travellers are organised in branches. The F.S.U. manifestoes and leaflets are bespattered with the usual Communist slogans: "Fight in defence of the First Workers' Republic," " Fight for the complete defeat of Capitalism and for a real Workers' Revolutionary Government," etc.
Gramophone records of the Communist International are used by the F.S.U. International Bureau in the preparation of manifestoes. One published in 1931 gave the old refrain: "The leading part played by the Social Democratic and Labour Parties with the Second Inter national (and therefore by the British Labour Party) in the plans of the Imperialists to smash the Soviet Workers' Republic and plunge the masses into a new world war." It was asserted that this had been proved by the trial of Mensheviks in Moscow. During this trial, the accused Mensheviks "confessed" to being engaged with the Labour and Socialist Parties of Western Europe in a vast secret conspiracy against the Soviet Union!
The British Communist Party have resolved that the Party must strive to assist in the development of the F.S.U. into a powerful mass organisation, with roots in the factories. That resolution does not come as a surprise.
THE offices of the British Anti-War Movement are also the offices of the League Against Imperialism.
The Anti-War Movement is the latest production of the" United
Front" tacticians to be presented on the world stage. Its first public
appearance was the Amsterdam Congress in August, 1932. But the
first announcement of its forthcoming presentation was contained in
the indication by the Communist International (1926) that peace
societies against war would come into consideration in many countries
in the immediate future. Mr. Willi Muenzenberg may therefore
again claim pride of authorship. Mr. Louis Gibarti, International
Secretary of the Amsterdam Anti-War Congress, was an associate .of
Mr. Muenzenberg's in the Workers' International Relief. He was
appointed by him to act as Secretary to the Congress Against Colonial
Oppression, whence the League Against Imperialism emerged.
On the other hand, the first Congress of the British Section of the Movement, though held at the Bermondsey Town Hall in London, was not the National Congress Against War held on March 4 and 5, 1933, but the "representative Conference," held on November 13, 1932, in the same hall. This Conference, according to the British Anti-War Council, was held under their auspices. But, according to Mr. Harry Pollitt, it was not the British Anti-War Council, but the Friends of the Soviet Union who were holding an Anti-War Conference in the Bermondsey Town Hall at the very moment when the Communist Party was holding a Congress in Battersea. At the latter Congress, Mr. Harry Pollitt said, "we must support to the full the work of the Friends of the Soviet Union, who are holding a great Anti-War Congress in the Bermondsey Town Hall."
Mr. Harry Pollitt's disclosure was probably unintentional. It is immaterial what Mr. Reginald Bridgeman and Mr. Harry Pollitt may say about the origins of the Anti-War Movement, but they ought to arrange to say the same thing. The "British Anti-War Movement" is a fresh title for an old production. To be a "Friend of the Soviet Union" one must be an Enemy of the British Labour Party. That is also true of the British Anti-War Movement and the rest of the Communist family.
If the sole purpose of the Amsterdam Congress had been to stage an impressive demonstration against war and to collect the forces opposed to war, its organisers would have been only too willing to seek the help of the organised Labour and Socialist Parties in the various countries, and of their international organisation, the Labour and Socialist International. But they were not willing. Dr. Friedrich Adler, the Secretary of the L.SJ., offered to join the Committee that was organising the Congress, provided that the Socialist International were permitted to have an influence in proportion to its strength. But the correspondence which took place established that the Congress was an attempt to disorganise the Labour and Socialist Parties in Europe by getting individual members and groups from each Party to take part in the Congress " over the head of the Party as a whole."
Neither the British Labour Party nor the British Trades Union Congress was invited to participate in the, 1932 or 1933 National Congress Against War held at Bermondsey. Nor were they really wanted.
"The most important moment of the Congress" at Amsterdam was not the moment when the pledge against war was taken, but, on the authority of Mr. Willi Muenzenberg, the moment " when the  French Delegation broke out into loud rejoicing at the declaration of 400 Social Democrats who desire to take up with us (i.e., with the Communist International) the fight against the Second International"(the Labour and Socialist International, to which the Labour Party is affiliated). A Trotskyist speaker was forcibly ejected. Mr. Willi Muenzenberg was cordially thanked for organising the Congress. The Bermondsey Congress met in the same atmosphere. Pacifists were continually interrupted. Communists, who are not Pacifists, were heard with attention and enthusiasm. Mr. Harry Pollitt put the whole 7 responsibility for the triumph of Hitlerism at the door of the German Social Democratic Party, and pointed out the moral for Great Britain from the Communist stand point.
Let it be said in all fairness to the Communists that there is very little effort at deception on their part as to the nature of the Anti-War Movement. At the first meeting of the "Permanent World Committee for the Fight Against Imperialist War" held at Paris (British members: Messrs. Tom Mann, A. Gossip, F. T. Woodroffe, P. Murphy, Abe Moffat, Havelock Ellis, Bertrand Russell, Mrs. Bramley, and Mrs. Waddington) there was a discussion about the "United Front"- a curious subject for the Agenda of an Anti-War Movement. No differences of opinion arose. "All the delegates expressed their conviction at the uselessness of the proposals made by Otto Bauer and other Socialist leaders with regard to an understanding between the Second and Third Internationals, since the Second International and the leaders .of its parties collaborate in the defence of their native countries, and, as pointed out by Comrade Stassova (of Soviet Russia and the Red Aid), "make more preparations for intervention against the Soviet Union than for its defence."
National defence in any circumstances whatever is a privilege, it would seem, which should belong exclusively to the citizens of the Soviet Union and the peoples of colonial and semi-colonial countries!
The publication of "Labour's Foreign Policy" by Mr. Arthur Henderson is opportune, writes Mr. Tom Bell of the British Communist Party. Tens of thousands of workers who support the Labour Party will be driven to see that there is another policy: the revolutionary policy of the Communist International. As part of that policy they will turn to the great United Front Anti-War Movement." 
What is that policy? What is its specific characteristic? It may be found m a recent resolution of the Communist International :  to expose
If and when war breaks out, it is to be converted into civil war in all countries, except the Soviet Union. War will be the prelude to the " International Soviet Republic !" That is the programme of the Communist International.
"If the Amsterdam manifesto does not embody the whole of the programme of the Communist Party," says the World Committee of the Anti-Imperialist-War Movement, "it does not conflict with it on any point." Those who seek "to find a means of saving society by noble dreams "—"futile pacifists"-are asked to adhere to the Amsterdam Movement, but to recognise that the Movement cannot adopt at one and the same time methods which are opposed to each other "without running the greatest risks of confusion, inconsistency and even complete dislocation."
Nor can the Labour and Socialist Parties co-operate in such movements without running the same risks.
The strategic and tactical conceptions that guide the Anti-Irnperialist-War Movement are those of the Communists; theirs is the spirit by which it is animated. No wonder some disillusioned pacifists have already been complaining pathetically that instead of doves and olive branches they have found eagles and vultures roosting on bayonets.
Contact with the Communist front is at once established in the passage of the Amsterdam Manifesto against War saying that "all Capitalist Powers dread the Soviet Union as a common enemy which they are attempting to undermine and overthrow." This is the Communist view. It is melodramatic, not realistic. The direct conclusion drawn by the Anti-War Congress from the melodramatic Communist view is that there should be no Anti-War Movement in the Soviet Union.
The Congress accuses the Labour and Socialist International, including the Labour Party, of " flagrant violation of the true principles of Socialism." This is not a peace policy. It is Communist wrecking tactics pure and simple.
"Above all, the Congress warns the public against governmental
institutions, and especially the League of Nations which functions at
Geneva as the immediate mouth piece of the Imperialist Powers." Once more, that is Communism, and not a policy compatible with that
of the Labour Party. Without the League, the Socialist Movement
would be well-nigh impotent in preventing war. The Anti-Irnperialist-War Movement, in rejecting the League even as an instrument, joins
with the Communists (who enter Parliament only to destroy it) in giving up the hope that another war can be avoided.
But how would the Anti-Imperialist-War Movement prevent war ? Mr. W. J. Brown, as Chairman of the Bermondsey Congress, gave the answer: "The best of all possible means to prevent war is for the working class of each country to keep its Government so fully occupied with rebellion against tyranny at home, that capitalist Governments will not dare to resort to war."
That programme has, of course, nothing whatever to do with peace, but owes everything to Communist inspiration. Communists do not believe it is possible to prevent war. They assume its inevitability. It is this bloody manifesto that they are trying to foist upon Socialists and Pacifists in this country as a British Anti-War Movement with 2,000,000 adherents. If it were true that this Movement has 2,000,000 adherents the British Communist Party would already be a Mass Party.
The only valid definition of a capitalist and imperialist war is that it is an anarchist treaty-breaking war, a revolt against the organised world community. Labour must be prepared to oppose such a war by the united resources of the Labour Movement.
The World Committee of the Anti-War Movement has convened a World Youth Congress Against War. A National Conference of the Teaching Profession Against War and Economies has been organised in association with the British Anti-War Council. This Teachers' Anti-War Movement is giving full support to a World Congress of the Teaching Profession. These are minor satellites of the world Anti-War Movement. New satellites will be discovered in the course of time.
Mr. Willi Muenzenberg, after his success in Europe, transferred his production to South America. An Anti-War Congress was organised at Montevideo in March, 1933. This Congress was exposed by the Socialist Parties of Argentine and Uruguay as a "proselytising manœuvre of the Communists of the usual type." It was " an anti-Socialist Congress rather than an Anti-War Congress."
The scene now shifts to Asia. An Asiatic Anti-War Congress has
been announced. It is to be an Asiatic replica of that of Amsterdam
says Mr. Henri Barbusse. It will hold sessions in China and Japan. A
delegation from the World Anti-Imperialist-War Committee will attend
this Congress. The Editor of the French Communist daily, Mr. Paul
Vaillant-Couturier, is Secretary of the delegation.
THE National Minority Movement is the counterpart in the Trade Union world of the Communist Party of Great Britain. It was formally established in this country at a Conference held on August 23-24, 1924, called by the British Bureau of the "Red International of Labour Unions." The Conference was presided over by Mr. Tom Mann, and Mr. Harry Pollitt acted as Secretary. The Communist International and the Red International of Labour Unions have reciprocal representation upon each other's Executives.
The aims and objects of the National Minority Movement are political—to overthrow Capitalism, to agitate against a "false social peace," and against the "delusion of a peaceful transition from Capitalism to Socialism," and to work for the" unity of the International Trade Union Movement."
"Unity " should read "Disruption." For Mr. Losovsky, the Secretary of the R.I.L.U., in the Official Magazine, February, 1932, put the following questions: "In creating the Red Trade Union organisations, have you strengthened the Trade Unions? Do you want to strengthen them?" His reply was unambiguous: "So long as we do not weaken and disrupt them before the masses, so long as we do not disrupt their discipline, so long as the Trade Union apparatus is not destroyed, so long will they keep back a portion of the workers ... "
Mr. Harry Pollitt echoed Mr. Losovsky: "How can we work in the Unions? Is it to do reformist work? Is it to make the leaders fight? Is it to put pressure on the leaders? No, it is to conduct the revolutionary struggle. It is to conduct the work in such a way that we are building up the independent leadership and organisers in the workers' fight in fact, not in resolutions."
But Mr. Harry Pollitt reveals a pathetic awareness that before the
British Communist Party can become a "Mass Party" through the
activities of the Communist fractions and cells in the National Minority
Movement, " every Party member eligible for membership in the Trade
Unions - must join the Union." And he makes the candid confession
that about two-thirds of the members of the British Communist Party
are non-Unionists. "We have district organisers in our Party," he
says, " who are reputed to take a 'left ' line, and they are left right out-side the Unions because they do not belong," even in some cases in
the most highly organised section of the working-class movement in
this country ... "There is not a (Communist) party member in this
country who, if he works in the correct way, cannot become a shop
steward officially endorsed by his Trade Union branch." But he
must first join the Union!
Neither Mr. Harry Pollitt nor Mr. Losovsky would deny this description of their policy and practices. Both have adjured the "Party and the M.M." to do these very things. Mr. Harry Pollitt, addressing the Twelfth Congress of the Communist Party of Great Britain (1932) enumerated the London Busmen's Rank and Fife Movement, the A.E.U. Members' Rights Movement, BISAKTA Unofficial Movement, Cotton Solidarity Movement, etc., as movements, which, "together with the Minority Movement, groups and sections, open the way and represent the first steps in the building of the revolutionary Trade Union opposition." The revolutionary United Mineworkers of Scotland, the United Clothing Workers and the Seamen's Minority Movement won the distinction of honourable mention as movements "which must receive active Party support."
Mr. Losovsky in an article" How and Why We Must Work in the English Trade Unions," says: "Having formed a revolutionary opposition under various names in various Unions, we can and must fuse all these together into one whole." Nothing is concealed. Nothing is extenuated. The redress of grievances, the raising of the standard of life, etc., is not the object of Communist activity in the Unions. The Unions are a means to an end, and the end is the disruption of Trade Unionism through its conversion into a mass movement of general discontent under Communist leadership which will burst into civil war, ending, the Communists hope, in a Soviet Britain. "Things will be worse before they are better " is their motto, even if that should me an driving half-starved men up against the batons of well-fed policemen. The consequent resentment may foment revolutionary enthusiasm!
The Minority Movement stands for Gunpowder Plot in the Trade
THE National Unemployed Workers' Movement, whose President,
Vice-President, Secretary and Acting Secretary were at one time
Messrs. Tom Mann, Harry Pollitt, A. Homer and G. Allison—all Communists—has been cited by the Communist International itself
as belonging to the Communist solar system. Mr. Hannington, with
whose name the Movement is always associated, has stated not only
that the National Unemployed Workers' Movement is a movement
in which the leading Communist Party members were functioning,  but has also claimed that the British Communist Party, through this
Committee, had influenced considerably the movement of the unemployed in England. This movement is indisputably a mere instrument
THE theme of the May Day Manifesto of the Communist International was the "bankruptcy of German Social Democracy" and "the crumbling of the legend spread by the whole Labour and Socialist International that Democracy is the path of Socialism." This is also the theme of the committees and subsidiaries of the European Workers' Anti-Fascist Congress.
The offices of the National Minority Movement are the headquarters of the British Delegation Committee. It was formed under the chairmanship of Mr. Tom Mann. The nomination of delegates, financial assistance and support by resolution was invited from the sections of the British Trade Union Movement.
After abortive efforts to hold the Congress, firstly, at Prague, and then at Copenhagen, the Congress was finally held in Paris on June 4-5,1933. The honorary presidents were German, Italian and Polish Communists or anarchists.
There was the usual denial by the Organising Committee that the majority of their members were members of the French Communist Party and of the French Communist Trade Unions.
There was the usual repudiation of the Labour and Socialist International by the group of members of affiliated Parties to the Congress. As usual, they decisively condemned the policy of the Social Democratic Party in Germany, and pointed out that the other Parties of the L.S.I. (and therefore the Labour Party) were following the" same policy which experience proved to be fatal in Germany"; and concluded by declaring that " the enemies of the' United Front' are the accomplices [p.18] of Fascism." A London docker, who declared that he was there with 68 delegates representing 200,000 members, denounced the policy of the Labour Party. He was loudly cheered. The Manifesto of the Congress came to the usual conclusion: that the German workers could have prevented Hitler's ascension to power but for the treachery of the Social Democrats and that " one cannot really fight against Fascism ... without taking the path of the implacable revolutionary class struggle."
A fortnight later, the Committees of the French Anti-War Movement and Anti-Fascist Movement agreed to unite forces in an Anti-War and Anti-Fascist Committee. The British members of the Inner Working Committee of the Anti-Fascist Congress were Messrs. Tom Mann and Alex. Gossip. The British members of the European Committee are: Messrs. Tom Mann, Alex. Gossip, W. Hannington, Bramley (Secretary, London Communist Party), Rooney (I.L.P.), Carr, Mahon, Jagger and Collick.
Anti-Fascist Committees of Action and Fighting Committees for Anti-Fascist Action are to be organised in all countries and in all Trade Unions, among the unemployed, in towns and villages, and in an scientific and educational institutions. The British delegates promised to raise £500 within three months.
An Anti-Fascist Youth Congress is being organised.
THE League of Militant Atheists is the British Section of the Proletarian Free Thinkers: International, whose headquarters are at Moscow. The organiser is apparently Mr. T. A. Jackson, a Communist, and the address the offices of the Communist Daily Worker. The inaugural meeting was held at the offices of the Daily Worker. The resolution adopted declared in the Preamble that the activities of the clergy of all creeds and denominations, following the lead of the Pope in his call for a crusade against the U.S.S.R., could only end logically in a malicious and bloody assault upon not only the Soviet Republic, but also the militant revolutionary working-class movement everywhere. It was resolved to vindicate the policy of the U.S.S.R. in regard to religion, etc.
THE British Communists are nothing if not ambitious. They number about 5,000, two-thirds of them non-Unionists, and yet they hold out the prospect of the disruption or capture of the Trade Union Movement under their leadership.
The Co-operative Department of the Executive Committee of the Communist International in a thesis of 4,009 words has now laid down the tasks of the Communists within the Consumer's Co-operative [p.19] Movement. According to this thesis, the Co-operative Movement under the cloak of politica1 neutrality are serving the political interests of the imperialist bourgeoisie"; they must be forged into "an auxiliary instrument of the proletarian class struggle for a revolutionary way out of the crisis. This demands a systematic and energetic struggle against the present Social Fascist and reformist leadership of the Co-operatives m the capitalist countries."
Three months later, Mr. Harry Pollit used more modest language in his description of the work of the Communists in the British Co-operative Movement. Nevertheless, he announced that their Central Committee would consolidate the work of the Militant Opposition amongst the Co-operators formed by a group of Communists :
This militant opposition has appeared in several places as the Guild
Co-operators. Its programme is Mr. Pollitt's programme. Its co-ordinating centre is to be found at the offices of the British Communist Party.
THE Labour Research Department was founded as the Fabian Research Department, under the auspices of the Fabian Society. Later, as the Labour Research Department, it became semi-officially connected with the Labour Party. About 1921, however, its secretary, Mr. R. Page Arnot, and many of its officers became Communists, and all connection with the Labour Party and Fabian Society ceased. From that moment it has been connected with the Communist Movement through a number of Executive Committee members and officers, who have been either members or whole-hearted sympathisers with the Communist Party of Great Britain: Messrs. R. Page Arnot, R. Palme Dutt, Harry Pollitt, Emile Burns, Maurice Dobb, H. P. Rathbone, R. Dunstan, Percy Glading, E. R. Pountney, D. J. Parsons, etc.
At the Information Conference of the Communist International in April, 1925, the British representative, Mr. Tom Bell, said that "in Great Britain we already have a kind of information department, the Labour Research Department. . . . This Department is not a Party concern, but it is under the control of the (Communist) Party."
One type of the activity of the Labour Research Department was recently brought to the notice of the General Council of the Trade Union Congress by the National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers. The Labour Research Department, although warned of the danger of doing so from the Trade Union point of view, issued a pamphlet on "Wages and Profits in the Clothing Trade, which not only contained inaccurate and misleading information, but seriously jeopardised delicate negotiations then taking place between the Union and the Employers' Federation and endangered the acceptance of the agreement concluded by the Union.
IN the first printed appeal of this Committee, it was described as the "German Relief Committee organised in association with the Workers' International Relief." One of the Joint Secretaries was the British Communist, Mrs. Isabel Brown, who is the British Secretary of the Workers' International Relief. The Committee then changed its title. But the offices and the officers remained the same, and cheques were still payable to the German Relief Committee. The officers of this Committee are all associated with the Anti-War Movement. The Conference held at the Essex Hall, London, May 27, 1933, was organised and conducted in the usual manner. Mr. Willi Muenzenberg recognises this Committee, and sent greetings to a meeting held in the Kingsway Hall, London, on June 30, 1933.
It would be presumptuous to imagine that this survey of the Communist auxiliary organisations is exhaustive. These are mainly organisations of national and international scope. Other organisations under other names, local or national—the real name being the Communist International—will spring up almost unseen and appear to emerge inevitably out of the circumstances of the economic and political struggle. They may always be recognised by the personnel and the policy. An infallible symptom of their origin is the measure of conciliation which they reveal with the policy of the Communist Party, and the facility with which the Labour Party and the Trade Unions may be attacked—not defended—from their platforms.
Publishing houses for Communist literature, with a bourgeois façade, are an unobjectionable form of this activity. But when "Modern Books Ltd.," publishers of the Communist International, is found at the same address as the Anti-War Movement and the League Against Imperialism, the "futile pacifists," unwary Trade Unionists and Labour Party members who have found their way into these organisations may be forgiven if they raise their eyebrows in surprise.
The Communist International has just told the I.L.P. that the "division between the Labour and Socialist and the Communist International is as deep as the division between the capitalist class and the working-class." If this is so, the self-revealed type of organisations herein [p.22] described, the numerous and illegitimate offspring of Mr. Willî Muenzenberg, do not provide a fruitful sphere of work for those who are not consciously taking the "Moscow road." In forming such organisations in Great Britain, the Communists hope to be able to divert energetic members of the Labour Party from their Party work to work that plays into the hands of the Communists; to persuade prominent members of the Party to lend their names and prestige to these organisations and thus attract other members who might not otherwise join; and, generally, to cause confusion and dissension.
No one who studies these self-revelations without prejudice will doubt the appositeness of the title of this pamphlet. Mr. Kuusinen was right. These organisations, the instruments of the "United Front" from below, are the solar system of the Communist International. Those who deny that they are under Communist influence should ponder over this analogy, and remember that the planets revolve in their orbits under the control and influence of the sun. As Sir Robert Ball used to say, the sun presides at the centre of a numerous family; they enjoy the sun's guidance; the members of that family are dependent upon the sun, and their dimensions are suitably proportioned to their subordinate positions. Thus the Communist International may be regarded as a central fervid globe, associated with a number of smaller bodies, each of which, being dark itself, is indebted to the sun both for light and heat.
But the influences of the Communist International are not radiated by the light of day or through the illuminated obscurity of the night. With the exception of a few leaders, it is not known who are the members of the Communist Party of Great Britain. It is a secret society. It publishes no financial statement. The Annual Report of the Party Congress omits the names of the speakers. Even the composition of the Executive Committee of the Party is not known. Conspiratorial methods in the relations between the Party Committees and the organisations which are utilised as "transmission belts" are frankly [p.23] recommended and adopted. A denial by any person that he is a Communist may be true or it may unfortunately not be true. The interests of the class struggle take priority over telling the truth.
Some of these British sections of international organisations, excluding the Communist Party and the Minority Movement, publish accounts. But the sources and manner of expenditure of the International Funds are never accessible to the general public. The International Red Aid discloses an expenditure of more than £1,750,000 between 1925 and the beginning of 1932; the proportion contributed by the Russian workers to aid the victims of terror and class justice in capitalist countries is not revealed. The Executive Committee of the Communist International discloses an income from membership dues during 1931 of £225,000, and an expenditure of £150,000 on subsidies to "Party newspapers, publishing houses and cultural educational work." The proportion contributed by the great Russian Communist Party is not given. Who gets the subsidies and how they are spent is not known.
Mr. Harry Pollitt has thrown down a challenge: "The Moscow road is the only road to working-class victory .... The reformist road leads to starvation, Fascism and war."
Communism or Fascism—the devil or the deep sea—is the motto of Mr. Hitler, Mr. Mussolini and the Communist International. All the planets in the Communist solar system move to the rhythm of this slogan. It was the motto of. the German Communist Party. But it is not the Dictatorship of the Proletariat which has arisen from the ashes of German Republican Democracy.
The Labour Party is always willing to co-operate with those people who are pursuing the same ideal, to whom the same words mean the same thing, and who will work together with them in a spirit of mutual confidence and respect. The Labour Party does not seek the co-operation of people whose policy is not their policy, who, indeed, profess to abhor the policy of the Party and who impugn the Party's good faith. The fight for Socialism can only be waged on a basis of comradeship among those who are working together towards a common goal.
ORGANISATIONS INELIGIBLE FOR AFFILIATION TO THE LABOUR PARTY
THE National Executive Committee of the Labour Party has decided that the organisations mentioned below are Political Parties or Organisations ancillary or subsidiary to the Communist Party, and has declared them ineligible for affiliation ta the Labour Party.
Members of these Organisations are accordingly ineligible as :—
The Rules governing Constituency and Local Labour Parties provide that:
Printed by THE VICTORIA HOUSE PRINTING CO., LTD. (T.U. in all Departments),
[inside back cover]
For Socialism and Peace.
Fair Rents and no Profiteering.
Order from the
|Related further reading|
|The Communist Solar System||
Publications Department, The Labour Party
1933, Transport House
|Reproduced in toto above.|
by Bernard Donaghue and G.W. Jones
Littlehampton Book Services Ltd, hbk, 1973
A typical doorstep of a political biography. Not very fluent reading, but most of the facts are there.
[561 pages + over 100 pages of notes and index]
|Former Labour Party minister, Peter Mandelson, is the grandson of Herbert Morrison.|
email abelard at abelard.org
© abelard, 2014, 15 april
the address for this document is http://www.abelard.org/socialism/communist_solar_system.php
approx. 10,790 words