The Grand Camouflage: The Communist Conspiracy in the Spanish Civil War

By Burnett Bolloten | Go to book overview

27
The Communist Party Cultivates the Moderate Socialists

T HWARTED by Largo Caballero's opposition to its plans for military hegemony, especially by his threat to dismiss any political commissar whose appointment and rank he had not confirmed by May 15, by his refusal to promote the fusion of the Socialist and Communist Parties, by the mounting hostility among left-wing Socialists to its agricultural policy, the Communist Party, which for some time had been cultivating the moderate Socialists of the so-called centre faction of the Socialist Party, now turned towards them in the hope of undoing the left Socialist leader.1

Before the Civil War, the centre faction, which controlled the Executive Committee of the party, had been hostile to the Communists. It had viewed their campaign for the merging of the two parties with unconcealed animosity, as witnessed by the strictures of El Socialista, its organ, on the "fraud of unification,"2 while the fusion of the two youth movements had been denounced by it as the "absorption of the Socialist youth by the Communist Party."3 Indeed, with such distrust and revulsion had the centre faction regarded the Communists that it had refused even to answer a proposal which they had made to establish official relations with them: "...The Communist Party," wrote José Díaz, in April, 1936, "has proposed to the Socialist Party the formation of a contact committee with a programme designed to facilitate the development of the democratic revolution and

____________________
1
Because of its relative political insignificance, the small right wing of the Socialist Party, led by Julián Besteiro, has not been mentioned in this volume.
2
July 3, 1936.
3
Ibid., July 2, 1936.

-301-

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