Early in September at meetings held in the London streets posters were displayed bearing the inscription “Stand up to the Yanks” They were not as might be supposed, put up by Mosley and his reawakening Fascists or by Tory Die-hards anxious to erect a barbed wire fence round the British Empire, but by the Communist Party of Great Britain. An older generation of Communists, whatever wrong theories they preached in other matters were in the main genuinely internationalist in outlook. What would they have thought of the degenerate views of their successors? What would they have thought of a Daily Worker editorial of September 9th, 1947, angrily protesting because some United States government official had said that Britain is “no longer an equal member of the Big Three”? Here are two passages from the Daily Worker article:
“The spectacle of Britain being slurred, spat on, pushed around by its dear U.S. ally is so usual nowadays that it has almost ceased to be news.”
“How much longer are we to tolerate a policy which brings this national humiliation?”
In saying this the Communists are as dishonest as they are inconsistent. When 19th century big business talked like this it knew that the words meant nothing without big armaments to back them up and prepared accordingly. Not so the Communists. They are campaigning for armaments to be reduced—here, of course, but not in Russia. All they are concerned with is to support whatever happens at the moment to he the foreign policy of State Capitalist Russia, and if this means inciting workers to ignorant hatred of Americans they do not hesitate. And if Russian policy should change the Communists will hurriedly switch their poisonous propaganda in another direction, as happened during the recent short-lived Russian attempt to cultivate the friendship of the Argentine dictator and during the period of the Stalin-Hitler Pact of friendship.of 1939.
In the meantime Communists in U.S.A., Palestine and on the Continent are telling their dupes to “Stand up to the British,” all with the same object of furthering Russian imperialist policy.
In Russia itself the old slogans of internationalism have long been discarded in favour of the cult of nationalism and the glorification of modern military heroes and those of Czarist times. In this the Russian Bolsheviks line themselves up with the patriotic boasters of all countries; with the Americans for whom that land is “ God’s own country,” and with the poverty-stricken British workers who like to read that the British people are “the salt of the earth ” (Sunday Express, 3/8/47). Here is a specimen of the kind of lying stuff now being spoonfed to the wage-slaves of Russia:
“A most important peculiarity of Soviet patriotism is the profound understanding of the superiority of the Soviet Socialist system over the bourgeois and all other class systems. It is precisely this peculiarity which above all characterises Soviet patriotism as patriotism of the highest kind. It follows that Soviet patriotism is in no way compatible with any manifestation whatsoever of obsequiousness by Soviet people before the modern capitalist world. Obsequiousness before foreigners is one of the relics of the past.
‘‘Our country has become the most advanced and progressive country in the world, and holds a leading place in the progressive development of the whole of mankind.” (Izvestia, 13/8/47, quoted in the Times, 14/8/-47.)
It is legitimate for the socialist movement, being an international movement, to denounce exploitation, cruelty and ignorance wherever they are found, for socialists do not condone in one country what they condemn elsewhere. By the same standard it is sheer hypocrisy for Communists to denounce anything, anywhere, and if the Bolsheviks in Russia had any of the internationalism which characterised some of their members of a past generation they would be ashamed of the disreputable propaganda to which they and their foreign stooges have descended.
Socialists, while exposing and condemning world capitalism, extend the hand of fellowship to the working class of all lands, for only through international action by a socialist working class will Socialism be achieved.