The unity policy of the Communist Party

The Western Socialist
March 1938

“Is Unity Possible” was the title of an address delivered in Nanaimo on Sunday, Feb. 20, by Mr. Ravenor, B.C. manager of the Clarion Weekly, official organ of the Communist Party of Canada. Mr. Ravenor eloquently appealed to “all progressive people” (including the new rascal to arrive on the scene, the peace loving democratic capitalist), to unite against War and Fascism, and urged his audience to maintain Peace and Democracy at all costs. As the speaker made no attempt to analyse either war or Fascism in relation to the economic foundation of society, those listening in were left as much in the dark after, as they were before the address, as to the real nature of the evils or virtues they were called upon to fight for and against.

Although the “war-crazed” Fascist capitalist of today was the peace loving capitalist of yesterday, and the peace loving capitalist of today is the war crazed Fascist of tomorrow, Mr. Ravenor showed no timidity in including in his appeal for “the unity of all progressive people” the present day peace loving, democratic capitalist. The audience were also informed that the Communist Party fights the capitalist system on all fronts, though how this is possible by uniting with a section of the capitalist class only the C.P. logicians appear to have the ability to explain. The Communist Party, the one-time self-styled “vanguard of the social revolution”, is now the self-admitted guardian of the capitalist system, for Mr. Ravenor most emphatically announced

“that any organization advising the workers to organize to abolish capitalism was an enemy of the working class, an ally of the capitalist class, and Trotskyist.”

In the discussion that followed on the speaker’s lecture, the only opposition was directed, not against unity, but against the special form of unity advocated. But to endorse unity and at the same time oppose its aims as advocated was to the speaker a contradiction that did not warrant an answer.

The terms, War, Fascism, Peace and Democracy are being used today in the same manner, (and for the same purpose), as was “Humanity”, “Justice”, “Freedom” and “Civilization” by the ruling class and their flunkeys of another age – to bamboozle the exploited masses. A war to make the world safe for democracy would serve the British ruling class as well in 1938 as it did in 1914, with the added advantage today of being endorsed by the Third International and its supporters the world over. To unite with or without a section of the capitalist class to defend democracy, is to unite to defend and preserve the worker’s status as a wage slave and the status of the capitalist as exploiter and master. How such a policy can lead to Socialism can be conceived only by those who seek the truth within the walls of the Kremlin in Moscow.

The changes that occur in the political form of the State are but the outward expression of the changes that are silently, but continually taking place in the underlying foundation of society. And while the capitalist class remains in possession of the State power, they can, and will, make whatever changes are necessary and compatible with the changing basic foundation, to better preserve and advance their status as rulers.

The competition for the world’s markets imposes itself on the capitalist as a compulsory law whereby he is compelled to continually revolutionize the means of production at the peril of his own extinction through bankruptcy. This is the driving force which precedes and causes social changes and political revolutions. There is brought about an increase in the productive power of the worker, and at the same time, because of the laborers displaced, a decrease in purchasing power. The inability of many capitalists to introduce new means of production results in their precipitation into the ranks of the proletariat, a precipitation which is aggravated by the reduced rate of profit resulting from the increase in the constant in relation to the variable part of capital. Consequently, the attacks on the living standards of the workers by the capitalists are due not so much to the latter’s “greed” as to their efforts to save themselves from extinction. On the other hand, the workers are handicapped in this struggle by the vicious competition in the labor market on account of the ever swelling army of unemployed.

This conflict of interests between capital and labor becomes more intensified, and with the increased power of the forces of the State, due to the antagonisms and rivalries of the national capitalists themselves, the workers are placed more and more at the mercy of the capitalists. So, as long as the workers limit their efforts to attempts to improve their conditions under capitalism, the battle remains a one-sided one, for all the laws and forces inherent in the system are with the capitalist and against the workers.

In such a situation, to advise workers to unite with a section of the capitalist class to preserve Peace and Democracy and renounce the struggle for the State power to abolish the system in its entirety, is sheer lunacy. And the capitalist could not possibly have a better ally than he who advocates such a policy, even though he has served a jail sentence and travels in the name of Communism.