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Criticism's of the CPUSA

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Soviet cogitations: 10797
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 07 Apr 2010, 07:35
It Happens: Communist in Words Only
Mike E on March 30, 2010

I was invited (as a young high school student) by my sister’s boyfriend to hear the CPUSA’s Gus Hall speak about a recent trip to the USSR. This was in the mid-60s and it was one of my very first political meeting.

It was held in an auditorium, and the turnout was respectable — this was (after all) New York City, and the CP had real roots and history.

I was first impressed by how truly frumpy and inbred the whole thing was — even the kids. They had no hint of the times, and were decked out in a very particular Pete Seeger-like subculture (with flannels and a lot of Russian embroidery). And the kids my age were mainly socializing with other red-diaper babies as if this was some boring church meeting that their parents made them attend.

Gus Hall started to speak about touring an auto plant in the USSR, and went off on a whole riff about how slowly the workers were moving. And he said he had remarked to his guide, that they “wouldn’t last a day” back in Detroit. His whole tone had an indignant and self-righteous disdain for the laziness of the Soviet workers, taking advantage of the (supposed) benevolence of their system and its bosses.

It was a moment of clarity for me. Because I felt (at that moment) that he was clearly not speaking as someone who connected with or represented those workers… He was on a hand-held VIP tour conducted by the plant manager — who Gus Hall was seeing as his “peer” and whose problems he was identifying with.

Gus Hall had been strutting around that Soviet plant soaked in the outlook of an aspiring future state capitalist, looking over those workers with his counterparts (in that plant and that country) — discussing the people as if they were so much flawed and frustrating raw material to be hammered and manipulated into doing their “work” (which was obviously NOT the work of ruling or even participating in power).

And he was (rather casually and unapologetically) sharing those thoughts with us — on the assumption (perhaps) that we would share and adopt them .

The whole scene — the deliberate and conservative cultural insularity of the crowd, the obligatory church-like attendance by bored youth, and the truly capitalist class stand of Gus Hall himself — impacted me deeply.

I just felt it was alien and hostile to the things we were trying to bring into being.

"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?" - Walter Rodney
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Soviet cogitations: 298
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 15 Jan 2010, 05:28
Post 09 Apr 2010, 05:09
I would find this post to be more interesting if the writer had included more about the speech rather than fixating on this one(possibly offhand) comment. I'm sure Hall had a lot more to say about his trip than that. His bitching about the attendees and what they were wearing is also pointless and snobbish. The comments on the blog are more interesting.
"I am not the champion of lost causes, but the champion of causes not yet won."-Norman Thomas
Soviet cogitations: 5
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Apr 2010, 13:58
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 11 Apr 2010, 17:34
Greetings Comrades,

One of my issues with the CPUSA in that they seem to be completely enthralled by President Obama. Every once and a while I'll go to their site just to see what's up and there always seems to be a new sycophantic statement by Sam Webb about how great Obama is or how something he's done is a victory for the working class i.e. his recent health care bill. They also seem to feel that the very fact that he's president is a victory for African Americans and a sign of how America is beginning to progress. I find this position to be ludicrous in light of the fact that Obama has done little to nothing for his own people since taking office. This also seems to be the opinion of the majority of African American journalists I come across in the news. Remember, this is the same party who, during the last election, urged its members to come out in support of Obama and the Democratic Party---the same party that sold us all out with their silence and complacency during the Bush years.

No, and again NO to the CPUSA! They should put down their banners and join the Democratic Party, they certainly need all the help they can get since Obama has been and continues to be such an embarassment to them.
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