The New York Times publishes a glowing and very sympathetic story about the Communist Party USA donating its archive to New York University where it will, no doubt, be treasured as the Holy Grain of the progressive movement. Because the NYT itself has succumbed to the capitalist excesses and is hiding its own archives unless you pay them for it, we - in the spirit of fair and progressive redistribution of resources - decided to liberate this story from the greedy oppression of the usurpers. This is what Joe Hill would've wanted, yes?
Communist Party USA Gives Its History to N.Y.U.
By PATRICIA COHEN
The vast collection from the Communist Party USA includes personal letters, smuggled directives and photographs.
The songwriter, labor organizer and folk hero Joe Hill has been the subject of poems, songs, an opera, books and movies. His will, written in verse the night before a Utah firing squad executed him in 1915 and later put to music, became part of the labor movement's soundtrack. Now the original copy of that penciled will is among the unexpected historical gems unearthed from a vast collection of papers and photographs never before seen publicly that the Communist Party USA has donated to New York University.
Papers from the collection:
The cache contains decades of party history including founding documents, secret code words, stacks of personal letters, smuggled directives from Moscow, Lenin buttons, photographs and stern commands about how good party members should behave (no charity work, for instance, to distract them from their revolutionary duties).
By offering such an inside view, the archives have the potential to revise assumptions on both the left and the right about one of the most contentious subjects in American history, in addition to filling out the story of progressive politics, the labor movement and the civil rights struggles.
"It is one of the most exciting collecting opportunities that has ever presented itself here," said Michael Nash, the director of New York University's Tamiment Library, which will announce the donation on Friday.
Liberal and conservative historians, told by The New York Times about the archives, were enthusiastic about the addition of so many original documents to the historical record. No one yet knows whether they can resolve the die-hard disputes about the extent of the links between American subversives and Moscow since, as Mr. Nash said, "it will take us years to catalog." But what is most exciting, said Mr. Nash and other scholars, is the new areas it opens up for research beyond the homegrown threat to security during the cold war.
Hill's last rhyme - which begins, "My Will is easy to decide/ For there is nothing to divide" - was discovered in one of the 12,000 cartons. (Hill was convicted, some thought wrongly, of murder.) In other boxes were drafts of the party's programs with handwritten editing changes and a stapled copy of its first constitution. "The Communist Party is a fact," C. E. Ruthenberg, the executive secretary wrote on Sept. 18, 1919, days after the founders met in Chicago. A 1920 document marks the merger of the Communist Party and the Workers Party. It lists "Dix" as the secret party name of Earl R. Browder, who would later become general secretary of the party, "L. C. Wheat" as Jay Lovestone, who later turned against communism and worked with the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the C.I.A., and Alexander Trachtenberg as "one of the confidential agents of Lenin in America."
From years of being folded, many of the pages are impressed with grooved lines like wrinkled faces; others are scarred by cigarette burns and thin as onion skin. Some folders, filled with crumbling artifacts, look as if they've been sprinkled with yellowed confetti.
Ruthenberg underscores the "secret manner in which the party is conducted." The Los Angeles branch, known as "XO1XO5" uses the password " 'Kur-heiny,' which means: 'Are you advancing?,' " he writes. "The answer is: 'Teip,' meaning 'yes.' "
He copies a letter signed by the Russians Nikolai Bukharin and Ian Berzin that he said was hidden in the coat lining of a Bolshevik about how the Americans should operate. The two order the party to urge soldiers and sailors to agitate "against officers" and to arm workers. They warn against allowing members to engage in philanthropic or educational activities, insisting that they form "FIGHTING ORGANIZATIONS FOR SEIZING CONTROL OF THE STATE, for the overthrow of government and the establishment of the workers' dictatorship."
Robert Minor, a cartoonist and radical who covered the Russian civil war, has a clear-eyed and lyrical account of an interview with Vladimir Lenin in Moscow, dated December 1918. Lenin was fascinated by America, calling it a "great country in some respects," and shot question after question at Minor: " 'How soon will the revolution come in America?' He did not ask me if it would come, but when it would come." Minor, who had not yet joined the party, found Lenin a bewitching figure. "When he thunders his dogma, one sees the fighting Lenin. He is iron. He is political Calvin," Minor says in his typewritten notes. "And yet, Calvin has his other side. During all the discussion he had been hitching his chair toward me," he writes. "I felt myself queerly submerged by his personality. He filled the room."
As he leaves the Kremlin, Minor notices two men drive up in limousines. "A few months ago they were 'bloodthirsty minions of predatory capital,' " he writes, "But now they are 'people's commissaries' and ride in the fine automobiles as before, live in the fine mansions." They rule "under red silk flags to protect them from all disorders. They have learned the rose smells as sweetly under another name."
That description is "very important," said John P. Diggins, a historian at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. He said he expected a lot of new dissertations and books to result from the new archives. Historians have spent too much time arguing about the party's subservience to Moscow, he said, neglecting Communists' work in organizing labor and fighting racism, and their philosophical take on Marxism.
Every box offers up a different morsel of history. One contains a 1940 newsletter from students at City College in New York criticizing Britain for betraying the Jews in Palestine; another has a 1964 flyer from the Metropolitan Council on Housing urging rent strikes "to oppose the decontrol of over-$250 apartments." There are the handwritten lyrics to Pete Seeger's "Turn! Turn! Turn!"; a letter from W. E. B Du Bois in 1939 denying he took money from Japan for propagandizing on its behalf; and detailed complaints of police brutality against African-Americans.
Piles of prison correspondence from activists or party members show the human hand behind the rhetoric. "My dear wife Lydia," Minor writes in pencil after being arrested in 1930 during a labor rally in Union Square in Manhattan. "That little half-hour today seemed the shortest of my whole lifetime. And so indescribably sweet!"
The party started out as an underground revolutionary organization but achieved its greatest successes and popularity in the late 1930s as part of the Popular Front, which it joined at Moscow's direction, said Maurice Isserman, a historian at Hamilton College who has written several books on American communism. At the same time, he said, some Communist Party members were recruited into an espionage network, which expanded tremendously during World War II, and ultimately infiltrated the team working on the atomic bomb.
Despite its devotion to the Soviet line, the party was still influential in left-wing and labor circles into the first few years of the cold war era. But in 1948 it suffered a triple whammy: the Progressives expelled the Communists; the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia, which was backed by the Soviets, soured many of its members; and the Red Scare ravaged its ranks. Revelations about Stalin's crimes in 1956 disillusioned many of those who remained and dealt the party a near-fatal blow.
The Communist Party USA contacted Tamiment, which is devoted to the study of labor history and progressive politics, a year ago. Mr. Nash said he was surprised when he got the call. "I didn't really realize it still existed," he admitted.
During the summer, Mr. Nash said, he and a group of students scoured the party's offices on West 23rd Street in Manhattan. They frantically packed up papers before contractors came in to renovate the space, which was being rented out. The donation includes 20,000 books, journals and pamphlets and a million photographs from The Daily Worker's archives.
Sam Webb, national chairman of the Communist Party USA, said, "We felt that Tamiment could better maintain the collection and provide for a much wider audience." He said hardly any of the files were reviewed before being given away.
The primary source of American party documents available to the public has been the Library of Congress, which microfilmed a batch of Communist Party USA records in Soviet archives that had been shipped there 50 years earlier for safekeeping. John Earl Haynes, a historian at the Library of Congress who was the first American to examine the Soviet files, said that since N.Y.U. has a copy of the Library of Congress material, "This will give Tamiment the enviable position of being able to offer researchers access to what is in Moscow as well as the new C.P.U.S.A. collection."
When the collection opened in 2000, the Library of Congress said, "the C.P.U.S.A. has always been a secretive organization," and "the previous paucity of the archival record has been a major obstacle to scholarship on the history of the American Communist movement," and a reason for "highly contentious" debates.
That contentiousness continues. In an article on The New Republic Web site last week unrelated to the donated archives, Ronald Radosh, a historian, attacked N.Y.U.'s newly created Center for the United States and the Cold War, which is partly sponsored by Tamiment Library. Looking at its spring calendar of events, he accused it of planning "completely one-sided and partisan events" and said the guests invited to Friday's gathering are "all, without an exception, either communists or still-believing fellow-travelers."
Mr. Nash, who is a co-director of the center, characterized Friday as a public relations event, and said overall its programs represent all views.
After flipping through boxes, Mr. Nash moved to a glass case that contained a photograph from the files, a picture of eight American officers who had fought in the Spanish Civil War as part of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. In the next room was Moe Fishman, 92, one of the brigade's last surviving members, who just happened to be in the library that day for the filming of an unrelated documentary. He had carried over the battalion's tattered blue flag. Asked if he was in the black-and-white photograph, he slowly walked over, put on his glasses and peered down. "I'm not in that," he said, "I wasn't an officer." But he added, "I have the same one at home."
|Father Prog Theocritus||24||3699|
|Iwannabe a Revolootionary||5||1405|
Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], Ivan Betinov, Yahoo [Bot] and 24 guests
Rubiks & Rubik’s Cube ® used by special individual permission of Seven Town Ltd.
Russian separatists in Ukraine riot over an offensive YouTube video showing the toppling of Lenin statues
Obamacare bolsters employment for professionals with skills to convert meth back into sudafed
Joe Biden to Russia: "We will bury you by turning more of Eastern Europe over to your control!"
In last-ditch effort to help Ukraine, Obama deploys Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson's Rainbow Coalition to Crimea
Al Sharpton: "Not even Putin can withstand our signature chanting, 'racist, sexist, anti-gay, Russian army go away'!"
Mardi Gras in North Korea: "Throw me some food!"
Obama's foreign policy works: "War, invasion, and conquest are signs of weakness; we've got Putin right where we want him"
US offers military solution to Ukraine crisis: "We will only fight countries that have LGBT military"
Putin annexes Brighton Beach to protect ethnic Russians in Brooklyn, Obama appeals to UN and EU for help
The 1980s: "Mr. Obama, we're just calling to ask if you want our foreign policy back. The 1970s are right here with us, and they're wondering, too."
In a stunning act of defiance, Obama courageously unfriends Putin on Facebook
MSNBC: Obama secures alliance with Austro-Hungarian Empire against Russia’s aggression in Ukraine
Efforts to achieve moisture justice for California thwarted by unfair redistribution of snow in America
North Korean voters unanimous: "We are the 100%"
Leader of authoritarian gulag-site, The People's Cube, unanimously 're-elected' with 100% voter turnout
Super Bowl: Obama blames Fox News for Broncos' loss
Beverly Hills campaign heats up between Henry Waxman and Marianne Williamson over the widening income gap between millionaires and billionaires in their district
Biden to lower $10,000-a-plate Dinner For The Homeless to $5,000 so more homeless can attend
Kim becomes world leader, feeds uncle to dogs; Obama eats dogs, becomes world leader, America cries uncle
White House hires part-time schizophrenic Mandela sign interpreter to help sell Obamacare
Kim Jong Un executes own "crazy uncle" to keep him from ruining another family Christmas
OFA admits its advice for area activists to give Obamacare Talk at shooting ranges was a bad idea
President resolves Obamacare debacle with executive order declaring all Americans equally healthy
Obama to Iran: "If you like your nuclear program, you can keep your nuclear program"
Obama: "I'm not particularly ideological; I believe in a good pragmatic five-year plan"
Shocker: Obama had no knowledge he'd been reelected until he read about it in the local newspaper last week
NSA marks National Best Friend Day with official announcement: "Government is your best friend; we know you like no one else, we're always there, we're always willing to listen"
Al Qaeda cancels attack on USA citing launch of Obamacare as devastating enough
The President's latest talking point on Obamacare: "I didn't build that"
Carney: huge ObamaCare deductibles won't look as bad come hyperinflation
Washington Redskins drop 'Washington' from their name as offensive to most Americans
Poll: 83% of Americans favor cowboy diplomacy over rodeo clown diplomacy
Obama administration gets serious, threatens Syria with ObamaCare
Obama authorizes the use of Vice President Joe Biden's double-barrel shotgun to fire a couple of blasts at Syria
Sharpton: "British royals should have named baby 'Trayvon.' By choosing 'George' they sided with white Hispanic racist Zimmerman"
Nancy Pelosi extends abortion rights to the birds and the bees
Hubble discovers planetary drift to the left
Obama: 'If I had a daughter-in-law, she would look like Rachael Jeantel'
FISA court rubberstamps statement denying its portrayal as government's rubber stamp
Every time ObamaCare gets delayed, a Julia somewhere dies
GOP to Schumer: 'Force full implementation of ObamaCare before 2014 or Dems will never win another election'
Janet Napolitano: TSA findings reveal that since none of the hijackers were babies, elderly, or Tea Partiers, 9/11 was not an act of terrorism
News Flash: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) can see Canada from South Dakota
Drudge Report reduces font to fit all White House scandals onto one page
Obama: the IRS is a constitutional right, just like the Second Amendment
Jay Carney to critics: 'Pinocchio never said anything inconsistent'
Obama: If I had a gay son, he'd look like Jason Collins
IRS targeting pro-gay-marriage LGBT groups leads to gayest tax revolt in U.S. history
Boston: Obama Administration to reclassify marathon bombing as 'sportsplace violence'
Study: Success has many fathers but failure becomes a government program
Michelle Obama praises weekend rampage by Chicago teens as good way to burn calories and stay healthy
This Passover, Obama urges his subjects to paint lamb's blood above doors in order to avoid the Sequester
White House to American children: Sequester causes layoffs among hens that lay Easter eggs; union-wage Easter Bunnies to be replaced by Mexican Chupacabras
Time Mag names Hugo Chavez world's sexiest corpse
Boy, 8, pretends banana is gun, makes daring escape from school
Study: Free lunches overpriced, lack nutrition
Joe Salazar defends the right of women to be raped in gun-free environment: 'rapists and rapees should work together to prevent gun violence for the common good'
Dept. of Health and Human Services eliminates rape by reclassifying assailants as 'undocumented sex partners'
Deeming football too violent, Obama moves to introduce Super Drone Sundays instead
Japan offers to extend nuclear umbrella to cover U.S. should America suffer devastating attack on its own defense spending
Feminists organize one billion women to protest male oppression with one billion lap dances
Urban community protests Mayor Bloomberg's ban on extra-large pop singers owning assault weapons
Concerned with mounting death toll, Taliban offers to send peacekeeping advisers to Chicago
Karl Rove puts an end to Tea Party with new 'Republicans For Democrats' strategy aimed at losing elections
Answering public skepticism, President Obama authorizes unlimited drone attacks on all skeet targets throughout the country
Skeet Ulrich denies claims he had been shot by President but considers changing his name to 'Traps'
New York Times hacked by Chinese government, Paul Krugman's economic policies stolen
White House: when President shoots skeet, he donates the meat to food banks that feed the middle class
To prove he is serious, Obama eliminates armed guard protection for President, Vice-President, and their families; establishes Gun-Free Zones around them instead
State Dept to send 100,000 American college students to China as security for US debt obligations
Jay Carney: Al Qaeda is on the run, they're just running forward
Fearing the worst, Obama Administration outlaws the fan to prevent it from being hit by certain objects
World ends; S&P soars
Riddle of universe solved; answer not understood
Greece abandons Euro; accountants find Greece has no Euros anyway
Wheel finally reinvented; axles to be gradually reinvented in 3rd quarter of 2013
As Santa's workshop files for bankruptcy, Fed offers bailout in exchange for control of 'naughty and nice' list
Freak flying pig accident causes bacon to fly off shelves
Report: President Obama to visit the United States in the near future
Obama promises to create thousands more economically neutral jobs
Imam Rauf's peaceful solution: 'Move Ground Zero a few blocks away from the mosque and no one gets hurt'
Study: Obama's threat to burn tax money in Washington 'recruitment bonanza' for Tea Parties
Study: no Social Security reform will be needed if gov't raises retirement age to at least 814 years
Vice President Biden: criticizing Egypt is un-pharaoh
Israelis to Egyptian rioters: "don't damage the pyramids, we will not rebuild"
Lake Superior renamed Lake Inferior in spirit of tolerance and inclusiveness
Michael Moore: As long as there is anyone with money to shake down, this country is not broke
Obama's teleprompters unionize, demand collective bargaining rights
Obama calls new taxes 'spending reductions in tax code.' Elsewhere rapists tout 'consent reductions in sexual intercourse'
Obama's Regulation Reduction committee finds US Constitution to be expensive outdated framework inefficiently regulating federal gov't
Taking a page from the Reagan years, Obama announces new era of Perestroika and Glasnost
White House to impose Chimney tax on Santa Claus
Obama decrees the economy is not soaring as much as previously decreeed
Conservative think tank introduces children to capitalism with pop-up picture book "The Road to Smurfdom"
Obama refutes charges of him being unresponsive to people's suffering: "When you pray to God, do you always hear a response?"
Fluke to Congress: drill, baby, drill!
Planned Parenthood introduces Frequent Flucker reward card: 'Come again soon!'
Obama to tornado victims: 'We inherited this weather from the previous administration'
People's Cube gives itself Hero of Socialist Labor medal in recognition of continued expert advice provided to the Obama Administration helping to shape its foreign and domestic policies
Hamas: Israeli air defense unfair to 99% of our missiles, "only 1% allowed to reach Israel"
Voters Without Borders oppose Texas new voter ID law
Enraged by accusation that they are doing Obama's bidding, media leaders demand instructions from White House on how to respond
Official: China plans to land on Moon or at least on cheap knockoff thereof
Koran-Contra: Obama secretly arms Syrian rebels
Poll: Progressive slogan 'We should be more like Europe' most popular with members of American Nazi Party
May Day: Anarchists plan, schedule, synchronize, and execute a coordinated campaign against all of the above
Midwestern farmers hooked on new erotic novel "50 Shades of Hay"
Study: 99% of Liberals give the rest a bad name
Obama meets with Jewish leaders, proposes deeper circumcisions for the rich
Cancer once again fails to cure Venezuela of its "President for Life"
Tragic spelling error causes Muslim protesters to burn local boob-tube factory
White House: "Let them eat statistics"
Special Ops: if Benedict Arnold had a son, he would look like Barack Obama
I Own The World
It's Big Fur Hat
The Fine Report
The Looking Spoon
Sad Hill News
Looking at the Left
Red Planet Cartoons
Death By 1000 Papercuts