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Alternative history: In the US, Stalin's Popular Front has CPUSA work with Socialists not Democrats

This possibility popped into my head while grokking a great piece from Popular Resistance by Howie Hawkins about how third parties are more necessary than ever, given the lack of a stong working-class oriented third party in the US for what, 80 years or so and counting?

The "death" really happened in 1934 when FDR worked underhandedly, hand in hand, with the California GOP to kill Upton Sinclair's Democratic candidacy for governor. A year later, in an event that still leaves me, a non-conspiracy theorist, pondering at times — the killing of Huey Long — FDR's other serious possible opposition from the left was out of the way.

Then Stalin tells Communists elsewhere to work with mainstream parties. His advice was primarily directed to Eurocommunists with the rise of Hitler. But it carried to here, too.

As Howie notes, that wasn't the only problem. FPTP for Congress and state legislators combined with a strong-president system and its gubernatorial parallels in states is an added hurdle.

It would have been somewhat less a hurdle if Communists and Socialists had worked together. But perennial presidential candidate Norman Thomas was rightly anti-Soviet Marxist. Stalin would in no way work with him. (See also SPD and KPD in the run-up to 1933 in Germany.) Trotsky had also called out Thomas.

Sadly, though opposing both WWII and later, Vietnam, Thomas — knowingly and willingly, as far as I can tell — accepted CIA money. And, after his death, the old Socialist Party shattered, with one wing becoming Michael Harrington's DSA.

(Note: Why Thomas and Henry Wallace couldn't make common cause in 1948, I don't know.)

This post first appeared on SocraticGadfly, please read the originial post: here

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Alternative history: In the US, Stalin's Popular Front has CPUSA work with Socialists not Democrats


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