AGAIN the American Communist movement found itself in one of those demoralizing factional struggles from which it could not extricate itself alone.
The stage was set for the first plenipotentiary from Moscow. The mission of Fraina, Scott, and Katayama in 1921 had not been entrusted with the same full powers. These three had originally come from the United States and could not dictate to their old associates. The first fully accredited Comintern representative with no previous tie to the American party enjoyed a much more exalted status.
The decision to send such a representative came during the negotiations with Ballam and Katterfeld in Moscow. The news was broken to the Americans in a letter of March 30, 1922: "The Communist International sends its plenipotentiary representative to America, whose task will be to help you in overcoming the still existing difficulties. We already had to contend with even greater obstacles than yours in some countries, and have learned to overpower them." 1
This plenipotentiary representative was Professor H. Valetski (or Walecki), a mathematician by profession, long active in the Polish revolutionary movement. As an adherent of Karl Radek against Rosa Luxemburg in the prewar split of the Polish movement, he was an old hand at factional warfare. 2 Gitlow describes him as "a rather aristocratic Polish intellectual, who, notwithstanding his origin, looked like