Talk:Communist party

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Albert[edit]

Regarding the recent change, was Albert Einstein really a communist? He opposed fascism, but that alone does not make one a Commie. 63.107.135.116 19:14, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Einstein was certainly an outspoken socialist. Read, for example, his 1949 essay "Why Socialism?". However, I don't know whether he was a communist or not. In any case, he did mention his extreme dislike of the Soviet Union and Soviet-style societies on numerous occasions, so if he was a communist, then he must have been a very anti-stalinist one. -- Mihnea Tudoreanu 10:51, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)
"Einstein was a member, sponsor, or affiliated with thirty-four communist fronts between 1937 and 1954." http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/einstein.htm 144.32.128.112 09:11, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Red-baiting Albert Einstein? Come on.

RESPONSE: Einstein was a non-Marxist socialist. Socialism in its most generic definition simply calls for an equitable distribution of a country's wealth. There were Middle Class socialist movements that weren't Marxist - The Fabian movement and British Labor just to name a couple. Marxism is a variation of socialism, but not all socialism is Marxist.

CPC and the World Communist Movement[edit]

I object to the statement that most communists parties would have broken relations with the Communist Party of China. In fact CPC has reentered the World Communist Movement, and established firmer relations with many of the main communist parties. Those denouncing the CPC as traitors, generally belong to the maoist movement.--Soman 15:36, 6 Oct 2004 (UTC)

--- This is wrong. Communists worldwide, both descended from and opposed to the worldwide Maoist movement, generally oppose China as it stands today. If many of the main ones in this "World Communist Movement" accept China into their ranks, it only shows that they, not the rest of us, are revisionist. 71.246.71.158 18:21, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Moldova[edit]

"However, as of 2004, this nominally communist government has not distinguished itself in any significant way from the capitalist government which preceded it."

I think this is wrong. I remember reading in a copy of Challenge that the Communists slashed the military budget and poured the equivalent money into health and education. 144.32.128.112 09:11, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)


That's not communist. What about those actions makes them anything but social-democratic? 71.246.71.158 18:25, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

"Famous Communists" section[edit]

I'm inclined to merge the list in this section into List of Communists, and remove it from this page. This article is about communist parties, so shouldn't have a random list of individuals, some of whom were never even part of any communist party (Karl Marx was long dead by the founding of the first one!). What might be useful, and I can't provide this, is a list of all places and times where communist parties have governed a state; the intro says 21 nations have at one time been governed by a communist party. Thoughts? CDC (talk) 17:26, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

I've now done this merge, and deleted the list from this article. The list here was mostly duplicated from List of Communists. CDC (talk) 19:24, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Cuba[edit]

Is this article really trying to say that Castro aligned with the Soviet Uoin becease he was snubed by Eisenhower? Come of it.

After Fidel Castro's nationalistic revolt in Cuba, he was snubbed by President Eisenhower, who went out to play golf on the day he was scheduled to meet with Castro, and assigned Vice President Richard Nixon to meet with Castro instead. Castro was extremely annoyed at the slight, and entered into negotiations with the Soviet Union. Castro aligned with the Soviets and declared himself a communist shortly afterward.
from Communist party#Cuba

--JK the unwise 11:33, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Streamlining with other 'Communism' articles[edit]

I propose that this article be limited to giving a definition of what a communist party is (democratic centralism, etc.), leaving all issues of the historical developments of communist parties and examples of communist governance in other relevant articles, like Communism, communist state, List of Communist Parties, etc. --Soman 15:42, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

TIMELINE ISSUE[edit]

I think there is a timeline issue with the way the introductory section:

The first international Marxist organization was called the Communist League, advocates of the principles put forth in Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' Communist Manifesto and inspired by the example of the Paris Commune. The group dissolved in 1852 after breaking into factional quarrels.

The Paris Commune was in 1871...The Communist Leage broke up in 1852. If anything it was influenced by the Revolutions of 1848.

In Soviet Russia... (obligatory)[edit]

PARTY FINDS YOU!

This article[edit]

There is a big problem is overlapping material at articles like Communism, History of Communism and this one. IMHO, virtually all material on the history of the communist movement should be brought over to History of Communism, and this article should deal uniquely with the concept of a communist party (leninist organization, organizational structure, explain concepts of PB and CC, working methods, mass organizations, international relations, role of press in communist parties etc.). --Soman 09:27, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Of Course...[edit]

Of course, Lenin and his What is to be Done? (which is what is implied when referencing the Menshevik/Bolshevik split), has nothing to do with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union after 1924 (his death year) and especially with the CPs of the various client states and offshoots of the Stalinist USSR. A careful reading of the aforementioned book will reveal the fact that Lenin advocated a more professional and dedicated mass party in 1903, dedicated to raising awareness of socialism and what he outlines elsewhere as an awful way of the world under capitalism through journalism (Iskra) and preparing workers and students to intervene in events and worker's experiences at ground level, rather than the Mensheviks, who advocated sticking to trade-unionism politically, becoming mere secretaries for the "spontaneous" and petty-bourgeois Trade Union bureaucracies in practice, and allying with whatever Barak Obama types came up from among the Russian Bourgeoisie (especially Kadets, constitutional democrats) theoretically, essentially the program of Tony Blairs who aren't already in power. These ideas were put into practice in 1917, when the Bolshevik party involved a great segment of the Russian working class and the peasantry, and they were elected as a majority into all of the country's Soviets by direct vote by October. After 1917 The Bolsheviks had to lead the country through Civil War, Famine and the crippling growth of the state bureaucracy led by Joseph Stalin. By the time the country was stabilized in 1928, Lenin had been dead for over 4 years and Stalin had staged a full coup-de-tat. By 1940 almost every october Bolshevik was dead, even the rank and file, outside a select few who had won Stalin's favor, like Kalinin and Molotov. This all happened in the Great Terror of 1936-1940. Instead of Being a Mass party as Lenin had intended and as it was in practice in 1917 the "Communist Party" of Stalin was simply a tool of counter-revolution, a name put on the brutal caste of capitulating bureaucrats who took over the soviet union and led it to its final dissolution in return for being today's millionares and billionares in Russia and they rule today, though gutting any of the legacy of the Revolution which they and the western press have claimed for Stalinism even beyond its grave. They will do so forever, because Trotsky and Lenin and the Russian masses shut down the stock market, kicked out the parasitic rich and aristocrats, guaranteed rights and equality even in the face of the western violence (Civil War etc.) and the failure of the Western European revolutions from 1917-1921. The legacy still threatens even after the coup-de-tat and 80 years of repressions, betrayals and worldwide distortions and condemnations. Stalinism has nothing to with Socialism, and everything with Capitalism. It can be said once, it can be said a thousand times. Similarly, the idealized Stalinist "Communist Party" has nothing to do with the ambitions of the Bolsheviks or their leaders, Lenin and Trostky. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Samboring (talkcontribs) 03:20, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Lenin in The Trade Unions & Trotsky's Mistakes:

“[…] the dictatorship of the proletariat cannot be exercised through an organisation embracing the whole of that class, because in all capitalist countries (and not only over here, in one of the most backward) the proletariat is still so divided, so degraded, and so corrupted in parts (by imperialism in some countries) that an organisation taking in the whole proletariat cannot directly exercise proletarian dictatorship. It can be exercised only by a vanguard that has absorbed the revolutionary energy of the class. The whole is like an arrangement of cogwheels. Such is the basic mechanism of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and of the essentials of transition from capitalism to communism.”

“It is Trotsky who is in ‘ideological confusion’, because in this key question of the trade unions' role, from the standpoint of transition from capitalism to communism, he has lost sight of the fact that we have here a complex arrangement of cogwheels which cannot be a simple one; for the dictatorship of the proletariat cannot be exercised by a mass proletarian organisation. It cannot work without a number of "transmission belts" running from the vanguard to the mass of the advanced class, and from the latter to the mass of the working people.” --Mrdie (talk) 20:18, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Socialist Workers Party not in US Communist Party list[edit]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist_Workers_Party_%28United_States%29

Not in the list of United States Communist Parties. Renegadeviking

Merger proposal[edit]

The article "Communist front" seems to be a POV-fork from the section for "mass organization" here. I attempted constructive editing, then realized that the only text that was left overlaps with "mass organization". The rest is a WP:QUOTEFARM of McCarthyist and anti-communist sources with no counter sources. I suggest that upon redirection and merging, text be added as to "mass organizations" also being called "front organizations" by critics, and perhaps some info on McCarthyism.--Cerejota (talk) 05:19, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

The section here is accurate enough but has no references at all. Also it does not adequately deal with influenced organizations, as opposed to controlled organizations, such as the Progressive Party (United States, 1948). If this article were adequately developed it would be much larger, and merger might not present problems. Now merger would produce a swollen section much larger than the existing article. Both authentic efforts by the United States, and other governments, to identify and deal with front organizations and bad faith aspects such as those characterized as McCarthyism need to be adequately treated. User:Fred Bauder Talk 07:41, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Fred. I am not against merger as such, but the material needed to turn the Communist front article into a decent article would make a section that took up an undue part of the article. The logic might therefore be to create a mass organization article, but mass organization and Communist front are not exactly the same thing, and that would be problematic. Therefore, I think it would be a better use of effort to turn the terrible Communist front article into a better one.BobFromBrockley (talk) 09:27, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
Here is the thing, I tried to do as you advice (ie turn a terrible article into a more-or-less decent one using the material available) and came up with essentially the lede of the article. Pretty much all the references included point to a single POV, some are even extremely partisan (In fact, except for Theodore Draper's, most are cold-war era, with the accompanying hysterics). That is enough to merge. Front organization is a better place for the more polemical side of Communist front, as it explores the topic with greater context, comparison, etc (even if it has significant issues of its own being a bit of a coatrack itself). I think we can do better with a merge to here. The reality is that as it stands the article is a WP:QUOTEFARM and a WP:COATRACK, and it will not needless swell this one in the short term, and if it does, then we fork a new version as per WP:SUMMARY. This is done all the time. --Cerejota (talk) 10:13, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
Why not a merge to front organization, described as the main article for the mass organization section here?BobFromBrockley (talk) 13:19, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
Communist fronts are a very complex and interesting subject in themselves. Both communist front and front organization are substantial subjects which could support major articles. That they are not better is due to both general lack of interest, serious Marxist-Leninism is dead, and potential editing conflict. User:Fred Bauder Talk 13:35, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
What is missing is good sources based or Comintern or communist party records to give their viewpoint regarding the reason for and nature of fronts. For example, Otto Kuusinen, secretary of the Communist International, speaking at the Sixth Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International said :"The first part of our task is to build up, not only Communist organizations, but other organizations as well, above all mass organizations, sympathizing with our aims, and able to aid us for special purposes. We must create a whole solar ystem of organizations and smaller committees working actually under theinfluence of our Party" (Communist (magazine), May I93I, pp. 409-423). This statement, to a certain extent, introduces the conflation of mass organizations with front organizations. Often front organizations are not created per se by communist cadre, but result from coalitions of progressive forces, but in which the organized Leninist components exercise disproportionate influence. User:Fred Bauder Talk 13:29, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I guess I put my ideas in the wrong place, so I'll do it once more here.
1. "Communist front" is a right-wing pejorative and "Mass organization" is a left-wing self-description for essentially the same thing. There needs to be a merger to end what is a content fork. "Mass organization" is the more neutral phrasing, in the same way that an encyclopedia article entitled African-American is preferable as a title to Negro. The terms describe essentially the same thing, although the right wing phrase implies a certain amount of intentional deception not implied by the left wing phrase. In reality, some of these groups were transparently close to the CP and others were intentionally opaque.
2. Both "Mass organization" and "Communist front" are used in the scholarly literature, and both terms should be used in the article itself. This should not be reduced to a right/left pissing match. Elimination of either term entirely is a manifestation of POV. There are other euphemisms that might help bridge the right and left divide among editors: "auxiliary organizations of the Communist Party" is one.

3. It appears that the discussion of "Mass organization" was inserted in the article "Communist party" back in December 2006, when information from the latter was moved to History of communism and new content was created to fill the hole. The discussion of auxiliary groups under the topic "Communist party" should be very brief and there should be a direct link to a "main article" on "Mass organization/Communist front." Blowing the "Communist party" article all the way back to its mid-2006 form would not be a bad thing.

4. Mass organizations/Communist fronts are absolutely a sufficient topic for a stand-alone article. It actually could get quite massive. I will call your attention to the lists English-language press of the Communist Party USA and Non-English press of the Communist Party USA for snippets of detail about some of the groups of just the American party. Every Communist Party in the world, I think, had its mass organizations over the course of its history. Therefore, description of the individual histories themselves on the main "Mass organization/Communist front" page should be very brief. To my mind the real work will be writing individual histories of these groups, a sizable percentage of which pass notability guidelines and merit encyclopedic coverage.

5. The whole point of "Communist Party auxiliary organizations," if you will, was that they were NOT part of the Communist Party. Members were not subject to the party's discipline, which many people were not willing to be. The organizations were a means of advancing the Party's policy objectives and identifying potential future party members.

I guess that covers it. Carrite (talk) 15:21, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

I think I agree with Carrite, whose points are well made. I guess this still begs the question of whether "mass organization" or "communist front" is the right title for the aricle.BobFromBrockley (talk) 15:56, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I oppose to merger. Communist party is an official communist organization. On the other hand, front organization is by definition a different and a clandestine (more or less) organization that is usually not officially connected to the "parent" (for example Communist) organization. Hence they are very different. Communist party by itself is never described a "front organization" in literature.Biophys (talk) 18:06, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
"Front" has several meanings.

Firstly, the "Popular Front" and the "United Front" were strategies by Communists for building broad alliances beyond their ranks.

Secondly, in some cases Communist Parties have been illegal, and forced to use cover organizations, like the "Workers Party of America."

Thirdly, in the McCarthy Era, any group with a Communist in it was dubbed to be a "Communist Front", and all member were either secret Communist Party members or "dupes." This was just incorrect, and numerous times its was proved as much. The National Lawyers Guild for example, contains many people who are hostile to the Communist Party, yet it was dubbed a "Communist Front." The "National Youth Congress" involved countless youth who were not Communists, in addition to the members of the Young Communist League. This was pointed out by Eleanor Roosevelt when she spoke at their gathering.

Fourth, it is true that "auxiliary organizations" to the Communist Party existed, and do exist. The Young Communist League, People's Weekly World Newspaper, the no longer existing "International Workers Order", the W.E.B. Dubois Clubs, etc. were openly linked with the Communist Party and alligned with, containing mainly members and "fellow travelers." But they were never termed "Fronts", and there was never any secrecy about the relationship.

My two cents - — Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.56.140.234 (talk) 18:26, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

The publicly affiliated organizations (like Soviet Komsomol - this is not a "front organization") and secretly affiliated organizations (the "fronts") were not a part of Communist parties, but different, although dependent organizations. Of course some US parties could be regarded as "fronts" of the Soviet CPSU, and there is indeed some degree of overlap here. Biophys (talk)
The public/secret dichotomy is false, the term 'front' is used in communist parlance as a euphemism for 'sector'. I'm not sure, if merged, what material from the Communist front article is to be added here? This article has a better passage on mass organizations (which needs referencing), but the Communist front article is 1) grossly US-centric and 2) filled with insinuatory wordings. It contains extremly little factual substance to be included here. --Soman (talk) 19:06, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Summary so far[edit]

The single total oppose here, I think, misses the points everyone is making. "Communist front" as a stand-alone article has many issues, most seem to agree, basing myself in this discussion. To summarize (and I am making an attempt to be neutral in the summary - If I fail, point it out, please):

  1. "Communist front" refers to the clandestine aspect of Communist activity, which no one is denying that the sources support, but that is also intermingled, in particular the USA, with the history of McCarthyism and of the use of the term "communist front" as epithet, often used in "guilt-by-association" attacks of organizations that either had nothing to do with the CPUSA, or had very tenuous links - similar to the term "communist-influenced organization". This is a notable topic in itself, but separate from "Communist party" as topic.
  2. "Mass organization" is the term used within the CPUSA and other Communist organizations for organizations controlled directly by the Party, but open to non-members, and that are not auxiliary organizations, such as youth groups or publishing houses. These do relate to the "Communist party" article, but the section could in the future be WP:SUMMARY pulled out if it improves.
  3. "Front organization" is a broader term that includes "communist front" as an actually existing reality, but doesn't cover the use as per McCarthyism or as epithet.


Suggestion as per Summary[edit]

I suggest we then amend the merge into a three way merge/rename and create a new article:

  1. Move the information, if there is any, that applies to "mass organization" into Communist party, and redirect Communist front to "Communist party".
  2. Move the information, if there is any, on "front organization" to Front organization, into the appropriate section(s) there.
  3. Move the information, if there is any, on the McCarthyist usage of the term into a new article, Communist front (epithet), ensure it is minimally sourced, and link to it from McCarthyism#Portrayals_of_Communists with a brief explanation there.

Comments[edit]

  • support Based on the discussion, its the reasonable way to proceed that makes justice to the sources and NPOV.--Cerejota (talk) 06:36, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
  • oppose. There were many organization which are not Communist parties by itself, but claimed to be "front organizations" of Soviet Communist Party (or the KGB that was officially known as the "Sword and Shield" of the Communist Party, as reflected at its emblem). These organizations existed worldwide, not only in the US. Even Russian Orthodox Church was claimed to be a front organization controlled by the CPSU (all bishops had to be approved by the Central Committee), and this is obviously not a communist party. Biophys (talk) 17:52, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose The summary does not take into account the considerations presented in the discussion or adequately evaluate them. User:Fred Bauder Talk 21:43, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
As I said, I tried to do so, could you elaborate so I could amend? --Cerejota (talk) 23:11, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Looking from my perspective, one should simply improve this article, without any merger. It already tells too much about "front organizations". Some of the previously included materials need be restored. Main point to be explained: Communist party is something very much different from Western political parties, like Democratic Party (United States). For example, it is exclusive (like a military order) rather than inclusive by nature. That was an organization of "professional revolutionaries", it demanded strict subordination (the principle of centralism, "the party is always right"), etc. This must be explained. Of course I am more familiar with CPSU... Biophys (talk) 02:38, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Oppose. Communist fronts operated in many countries as this article demonstrates, not just the United States. The fronts were not part of the national Communist Parties. Rjensen (talk) 19:58, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Oppose for several reasons; some fronts were highly specialized, open to few members, and did not seek mass exposure or mass appeal at all, as the term "mass organization" implies. nobs (talk) 19:17, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - Based on above discussion. -- Iscariot (talk) 00:04, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Not sure. All I know is that this made a great landing page for a reference from George P. Cronk#Positions. The phrase Communist-front organizations was so widely used during the 1950s and 1960s that it really should have its own article. Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 12:54, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose McCarthyism has much too much pejorative baggage, some of it heaped upon it by, at that time, a complicit media. Readers will automatically be turned away from what is potentially useful information, just seeing the McCarthyism label. Communist party is an entire article unto itself, and really should be expanded. Front organization is a serious stretch, including shell corporations, I see almost tie-in to this article. 10stone5 (talk) 15:45, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Communist-front organization[edit]

Communist-front organization, a red link, was the term used in US legislation. User:Fred Bauder Talk 01:06, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Although in this Supreme Court case communist front organization, a redirect, is used. User:Fred Bauder Talk 01:12, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
This report cites a 1944 Dies Committee report on What is a Communist Front? nobs (talk) 23:09, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
The link provided is not the 1955 report cited in the communist front article, rather Dec. 1, 1961 to supersede Guide publ. on Jan. 2, 1957. nobs (talk) 19:17, 22 August 2011 (UTC)