Communism in American Unions

Communism in American Unions

Communism in American Unions

Communism in American Unions

Excerpt

Recent events seem to have reduced the domestic Communist movement to near impotence. Undiscouraged, and prompted by its international mentors, it is resuming its covert activities. The immediate tactic emphasized is described as colonization. It consists in surreptitiously planting trusted adherents in unions and industrial establishments, thereby laying the ground for future expansion as opportunity presents. In the body of the study it is revealed that this strategy proved successful in the past.

Thus in spite of continual reverses, serious in nature and major in scope, the Communists persist in clandestinely boring from within the labor movement in this country. Theirs is the only ultraideological opposition movement of consequence that has repeatedly regained strength following vital defeats. Similar movements, such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), experienced a meteoric rise and then receded rapidly to relatively innocuous and obscure fringe activity. But the Communists possess a prop which other vanishing oppositions lacked: a viable international operations base and ample material support from the forceful movement sustained by Soviet Russia. Because of this prop, the Communist movement has been able to demonstrate a capacity for survival and the maintenance of extensive activities unequaled by any other ultraideological opposition group in the labor movement. It is of more than historical interest to understand how they have operated thus far and to study the ways in which they have been resisted, checked, defeated, and then staged comebacks.

Communism's greatest success was achieved by operating under cover when the country was prosperous and the labor movement was growing to unprecedented proportions. To contend that the decline of Communism is attributable chiefly to our extraordinary prosperity is erroneous. It is not substantiated by the facts. From 1935 to 1950, the covert branch of the Communist movement particularly was phenomenally successful in the trade unions and in other social institutions, including the government. It can hardly be said that this was not a prosperous period. Historically, radical and pseudoradical movements in the United States have grown in . . .

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