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Communist Peace Movements: Then and Now By: Stephen Schwartz
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, February 18, 2003


America and the Free World stand at a crossroads.  There are many historical echoes now of 1941, when America joined battle against Nazi and Japanese imperialism, and of 1950, when America rescued South Korea from Communist aggression.

America today leads a coalition facing as great a danger as those our fathers and grandfathers faced: that of Islamist extremism.   Fuelled by Saudi Arabia’s totalitarian Wahhabi death cult, armed by the Communazi-style dictator of Iraq and supported both by ungrateful past beneficiaries of American blood sacrifice in Europe and by a seditious and subversive pseudo-peace movement in the West, the coalition of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein threatens order and peace throughout the world.

It is up to America to restore peace, to rescue the victims of oppression, and to lead the way to a new era of stability, prosperity, and popular sovereignty in the Arab and Islamic worlds.

Nevertheless, America is not united in this commitment.  For some months, a fake “peace movement” has sent its ragtag regiments into the streets to oppose our President and the effort he is waging.

It is often said there is nothing new under the sun, and as we watch the robotic Reds march by it is important to know who has organized these putrid parades.

The main entity involved in filling our streets with treasonous propaganda is a nasty little cult that calls itself the Workers World Party (WWP), controllers of a front group known as International ANSWER.  WWP isn’t a party organized by the workers of the world.  Rather, it is an embryo of the Communist secret police that its members and cult leaders would like to impose on the workers of America, and then of the world.

Front groups are old news in the history of Communism.  They first emerged in the 1920s when Soviet agents adopted the practice of hiding their agenda behind liberal slogans.  In fact, this represented a break with Leninist practice; when the Bolsheviks spoke of “useful idiots” they referred to liberals who knew what the revolutionaries intended, but who could be drawn into their orbit nonetheless.  Stalinism perfected the practice of recruiting duped people who believed they were supporting “peace,” “feeding the hungry,” and “human rights,” when they marched to advance the war aims of the USSR, planned famines, and the Gulag.

For seven decades in America, extreme leftists practiced this form of public deception.  They established phony cultural groups that sought to mask crude propaganda as art and literature.  They created “civil rights groups” that viciously attacked Black leaders like A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin for refusing to toe the Soviet line.  They proclaimed “unity” in unions they controlled, so as to cut corrupt deals with employers. 

But in the 1950s and 1960s they really came into their own, fostering “peace” movements that advocated far and wide for surrender to Russian imperialism.

WWP and International ANSWER today represent a classic example of such a strategy.  One of WWP’s outstanding “personalities” is a woman named Gloria LaRiva, with whom I have long personal experience.   From the middle of the 1990s to the end of the decade I was secretary of the Newspaper Guild in Northern California, a union representing the employees of the San Francisco Chronicle, Examiner, and other local newspapers.

I make no apologies for the militancy of the Newspaper Guild or for our role in winning the big strike of 1994.   But I feel I must apologize to the people of the Bay Area for the tolerance I and others showed to LaRiva and her band of saboteurs.

Comrade LaRiva dedicated herself, for many years, to the disruption of the union movement in the Bay Area.   They specialized in gossip, irresponsible accusations, and other forms of manipulation.  Their aim was simple: to gain power over the union workers as, a half century before, their mentors in the Communist apparatus seized and betrayed unions all over America.

She and her ilk fantasize about the day they can torture patriotic Americans, and even dissident leftists, to death in the cellars of secret prisons, as their mentors and models have done for decades in the countries they admire:  Cuba and North Korea, followed by Stalinofascist Serbia and Saddamite Iraq.

The WWP, of which Comrade LaRiva is a fanatical member, represents the very lowest of the low among leftist bottom-feeders.

The party has only a few dozen members.  Few of them are workers.  But they represent something especially filthy and vile in the Marxist-Leninist zoo: Trotskyists who became Stalinists.

For most readers such a description means nothing, so let me explain.

Trotskyists were Communists whose leader and other heroes were murdered  in Stalin’s purges.  Of course, conservatives despise all Communists.   But Trotskyists denounced the Russian purges when the liberals of the world were busy acclaiming the justice of Stalin’s system.  Trotskyists assailed Stalin’s long romance with Hitler, culminating in the infamous 1939-41 Nazi-Soviet pact that allowed the German dictator to unleash war in Western Europe.

The best leftist minds of their generation were Trotskyists.  They included many individuals who became leading conservatives and neoconservatives: James Burnham, Irving Kristol, and a long list of others.  That was because, even though they defended an illegitimate ideology, Trotskyists swam against the stream of admiration for Stalinism.  They learned the value of holding an independent opinion, and that led them, finally, to their break with the left.

Today’s equivalents of the ex-Trotskyists who moved over to the conservative and patriotic side of the spectrum 50 to 60 years ago include Ronald Radosh, David Horowitz, Christopher Hitchens, and myself (full disclosure here).

For a Trotskyist to become a conservative involves nothing more than, in some cases, growing up; in others, realizing that the defeat of Stalinism could only come through alliance with and support for the democratic West.  And for a few others, it meant recognition that capitalism and local democracy are surer means for the people of the world to attain prosperity than state economics and centralized government.

But there can be nothing more repellent than a Trotskyist who becomes a Stalinist.  The spectacle of a slave worshipping his chains would be less wretched than that of a Trotskyist who embraces the politics of Trotsky’s assassins.

WWP was founded by a miserable, obscure little man named Sam Ballan, based in Buffalo, New York.   He was a long-time member of the main Trotskyist group in America – the Socialist Workers’ Party, of which James Burnham was a founder.  In the mid-50s, he began to crave a party of his own.   He used the political alias “Marcy,” presumably a combination of “Marx” and “Trotsky,” though his heritage more justifies it being seen as a neologism coined from “massacre” and “messy.”  WWP was therefore known as “Marcyites.”

Messy Marcy began by hailing the suppression of the people of Hungary by the Russians in 1956 – at a time when other leftists, including many Moscow-lining Stalinists, recoiled in horror at the bloodshed in Budapest.

He went on to support the Chinese in their brutal attack on Tibet in 1959.

Throughout the ‘60s there was no Communist dictatorship in the world the Marcyites would not support.  They were viewed with contempt by most leftist activists during the Vietnam war period.

And then came the crash of Soviet Communism.   Russia had shoveled millions of dollars down the rathole of the world Communist movement, while its own citizens went without decent food and clothing.  Russia had also kept Castro’s Cuba afloat and used Havana as a pipeline for more support to ragged leftist fringe groups.  With the end of Communism, most of the sects with Marxist-Leninist monickers faded away.

But not the WWP.   They found backers.   In North Korea, in Saddamite Iraq, and in the Yugoslavia of Slobodan Milosevic, Communist butcher of the Balkan Muslims.

They traveled back and forth to exotic destinations like Pyongyang, issuing slick books and periodicals and holding meetings and demonstrations, promoting the worst human rights violators to appear at the end of the 20th century.

And now they lead thousands of “useful idiots,” burnouts, traitors, and terrorist sympathizers in marches through our streets, acclaiming a fake “peace.” 

If you want to understand what this “peace movement” represents, rent the classic Hitchcock film Foreign Correspondent, in which a British “peace” agitator is unmasked as a Nazi agent.

International ANSWER does not want peace – it wants its heroes to continue threatening peace.  It wants victory – victory for Saddam, so he can murder his own people; victory for Kim Jong-il, so he can starve his own people; victory for Milosevic, so his gangsters can continue to benefit from the riches they stole in Serbia, and placed in offshore banks in Cyprus, while their thugs cut the throats of Muslim grandmothers in Bosnia-Hercegovina and assassinated Albanian infants in Kosovo.

The organizers of these marches are serving the enemy’s agendas, and no American, regardless of his or her views on the impending conflict in Iraq, should find a place in their ratty ranks.  As you watch them parade, ask them who pays them?  Indeed, if you have time, why not produce and put up a sign, asking, WHO PAYS FOR THESE MARCHES?  SADDAM OR KIM JONG-IL? 

That is the real ANSWER we want.   And the true answer will come.  You can take that to the bank.


Stephen Schwartz, an author and journalist, is author of The Two Faces of Islam: The House of Sa'ud from Tradition to Terror. A vociferous critic of Wahhabism, Schwartz is a frequent contributor to National Review, The Weekly Standard, and other publications.


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