American Communism and Soviet Russia: The Formative Period

By Theodore Draper | Go to book overview

14
The Sixth World Congress

FOR the first time in four years, two years late by its own statutes, the highest body in the Communist world, a World Congress of the Communist International, the Sixth, convened in the Palace of Labor of the Soviet trade unions in Moscow from July 17 to September 1, 1928. Of the 515 delegates from 58 parties or sections, 29 came from the United States, including 20 voting and 9 advisory delegates. With few exceptions, the American party was denuded of its top leadership for the duration of the congress.

The congress itself was held in the shadow of the rupture between Stalin and Bukharin. Their falling out had started with purely Russian policy. At the end of 1927, in line with his Left turn, Stalin had begun to press for a speed-up of Russian industrial development and agricultural collectivization. The first Five Year Plan, decided in principle in December 1927 but not put in operation until the following year, had precipitated a prolonged debate on the tempo and scope of the new economic program. The Stalinist "Left" had urged the most extreme objectives and methods. A "Rightist" group, headed by Bukharin, Mikhail P. Tomsky, head of the Soviet trade unions, and Alexis I. Rykov, chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, had advocated more limited goals and more moderate methods. This disagreement had crystallized prior to a plenum of the Russian party in July 1928, just before the Comintern congress; the differences had been hushed up, a unanimous resolution had been adopted, and a

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American Communism and Soviet Russia: The Formative Period
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Note ix
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - The New Day 9
  • 2 - The Farmer-Labor United Front 29
  • 3 - Roads to Chicago 52
  • 4 - The Parting of the Ways 75
  • 5 - The Lafollette Fiasco 96
  • 6 - How to Win A Majority 127
  • 7 - Bolshevization 153
  • 8 - Party LIfe 186
  • 9 - Politics and Trade-Unionism 215
  • 10 - Ruthenberg's Last Wish 234
  • 11 - Lovestone in Power 248
  • 12 - American Exceptionalism 268
  • 13 - The Turning Point 282
  • 14 - The Sixth World Congress 300
  • 15 - The Negronn Question 315
  • 16 - The Birth of American Trotskyism 357
  • 17 - The Runaway Convention 377
  • 18 - How to Lose A Majority 405
  • Notes 445
  • Acknowledgments 533
  • Index 535
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