CPB discourages “adulation” of Stalin, warns members against antisemitism, conspiracy theories

File:Young Communist League celebrating May Day in Manchester, May 2021.jpg
The warnings seem mainly aimed at YCL members – many of whom are not minded to heed them

Comrade Coatesy (in jocular mode) reports:

Britain’s Young Communist League has trebled in size, the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) is standing in elections, and leading CPB Cdes are leading the fight against Gender Theory Wokeness.

In these conditions a Marxist-Leninist Party has to observe the strictest discipline. Democratic centralism is the watch-word for old and new members. Young comrades and the more elderly must pay attention to the party’s public image. The CPB is always on the look-out for saboteurs, wreckers and elements of the class enemy infiltrating its ranks.

This, carried by our official Organ, UNITY, is a timely warning we gave to members posting on social media,

“We do not construct or promote ‘Conspiracy theories’ “Our class enemy is the ruling capitalist class, not some secretive sinister cabal of Freemasons, Zionists, the Illuminati or the Bill Gates Foundation..”

The CPB also lays down a timely call to the more enthusiastic ‘anti-Zionist’ recruits, “Posting anything on line which “normalises” anti-Semitic conspiracy theories including holocaust denial in any form – is incompatible with Party membership.”

Much-needed reminders!

It is a concern that certain Rotten Elements have got hold of our internal documents. They have just published further, hitherto confidential details, of our top- secret protocols on their deviationist web site.

The Communist Party of Britain disappears comrade Stalin.

The Morning Star’s Communist Party of Britain (CPB) issued a set of social-media protocols to its members in August 2021. These warn CPB members, in line with the ‘democratic centralism’ (in fact, bureaucratic centralism) of far-left organisations, that they cannot “undermine well-established party positions” in public. Included in such undermining and harmful endeavours is “adulation of Stalin and support for the substantial abuses of state power which occurred under his leadership”. Such endeavours are “not compatible with our party’s judgment of these matters” as set out in the CPB’s Britain’s road to socialism (BRS) programme.[1] Indeed, in that document last issued in 2020 we find the following lines: “At times, and particularly in the late 1930s following the rise of fascism, severe violations of socialist democracy and law occurred in the fight against external threats and internal subversion. Large numbers of innocent people were persecuted, imprisoned and executed. This aided the worldwide campaign of lies and distortions aimed at the Soviet Union, the international communist movement and the concept of socialism.”[2]

These putrid forces continue,

As one can imagine, this hasn’t gone down at all well among some sections of the CPB, which has always been a generally pro-Stalin organisation, even though, in recent years, this hasn’t been pursued in the more cult-like manner of rivals such as the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (CPGB-ML) founded by Harpal Brar in 2004. Ioannis Michalopoulos, a CPB supporter from Yorkshire, opines in his organisation’s current pre-congress discussion that the “CPB’s criticism on Stalin merely resorts to bourgeois/Trotskyite/Khruschevite phraseology and clichés”. He adds: “It is ironic that defending Stalin’s legacy is not considered [by the CPB’s social-media protocol] compatible with the judgment of the BRS, the first draft of which was approved by Stalin himself.”[3]

Head Office shall be having a word with this so-called Blog site.

***

Coatesy’s source, Lawrence Parker’s site, now carries a comment from an unnamed YCL’er, going into more detail, including about how the YCL has come out for a one state position on Israel-Palestine and criticised the CPB for supporting two states:

I thought you might be interested in knowing about the friction being caused between the Young Communist League (YCL) and the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) by the policy that your article addresses. I’m a YCL and CPB member. Obviously, I can’t tell you who I am, or which branch I’m in or anything like that, but having had a look at your blog I thought that you might be interested in the impacts of this [CPB social-media protocol].

When it was first distributed to members a few weeks ago, it caused a massive amount of upheaval, particularly within the YCL, where multiple members in most of the large branches had to be convinced not to leave. I also know that the majority of the newly elected YCL Central Committee is dead opposed to it. The CPB and the YCL are experiencing a bit of a membership boom at the moment, with the YCL in particular attracting loads of people – hundreds, across the country – who have a very anti-revisionist, pro-Stalin, position.

This policy of no talking about Stalin – which is what this is, in practice – is the knee-jerk reaction of the older generation of the CPB leadership. They’re seeing a new generation of educated Marxist-Leninists come into the party and are laying the ground for expelling the ones they think might show them up. Part of this is rational and understandable – they want to avoid becoming a strange, cultish sideshow like the CPGB-ML – but most of it is simply fear of change. They’re terrified that they may have to accommodate a new generation of Marxist-Leninists who won’t be content with circular branch meetings and acting as unpaid labour for the Morning Star.

This is just the latest in a building tension between the CPB and the YCL. Many in the YCL see the party’s model as stale and not in line with proper communist organisation. I’ve heard the same joke dozens of times about the older generation of the CPB being “Trots without Trotsky”: buy the books, sell the paper, attend branch meetings, repeat.

And there are also growing policy differences between the league and the party too. The YCL recently voted at its congress to change the position on Palestinian liberation from a two-state solution to a single-state solution. That motion specifically attacked the CPB line: “Congress notes that the state of Israel’s continuing aggression towards the people of Palestine is creating a new wave of politicised young people in Britain, who are engaging in anti-imperialist politics for the first time. Congress notes that the vast majority of these new pro-Palestinian activists support a single-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Congress recognises that the currently held position of the Communist Party supports a two-state solution (but that the YCL technically has no position). Congress acknowledges the unique strategic significance of Israel to imperialist interests in the region, and notes that this significance dictates the nature of Israel’s domestic political landscape. Congress recognises that because of this imperialist interest, the international community will never be able to force the Israeli state to accept the existence of a sovereign nation of Palestine. Congress also acknowledges that the Israeli state will never accept the existence of a sovereign Palestine of its own accord, and that the conditions that would enable it to do not exist, and could not exist. Congress rejects the argument that a two-state solution is the only practically achievable outcome of the conflict as a defeatist and inaccurate assessment that fails to properly consider the role of Imperialism.

“Congress notes that the current Communist Party policy is not only out of step with the current mass of pro-Palestinian youth, but that it is also out of step with the material realities of the conflict and its likely resolution. Congress therefore calls on the incoming Committee to develop a League policy supporting a single-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict that endorses a single multi-ethnic, socialist state of Palestine in the territories currently occupied by Israeli and Palestinian authorities.”

And there’s more of that kind of thing in the pipeline too.

One thought on “CPB discourages “adulation” of Stalin, warns members against antisemitism, conspiracy theories

  1. Ho hum, and in my time it was just warnings about too much adulation of Joe Cocker, not Uncle Joe, dark warnings about amphetimines and instructions to talk up – in music circles – Paul Robeson and Ewan McColl. How that was supposed to wow people at the local blues club was a bit beyond me………

    Liked by 1 person

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