“The first current which preceded the modern revisionism in power was Browderism. This current was born in the United States of America and took its name from the former general secretary of the Communist Party of the USA, Earl Browder.
In 1944, when the victory of the peoples over fascism was clearly on the horizon, Browder came out publicly with a program which was reformist from start to finish. He was the first herald of that line of ideological and political capitulation which American imperialism was to strive to impose on the communist parties and the revolutionary movement. Under the pretext of the alleged change in the historical conditions of the development of capitalism and the international situation, Browder proclaimed Marxism-Leninism “out-dated”, and called it a system of rigid dogmas and schemes. Browder advocated giving up the class struggle and called for class conciliation on a national and international scale. He thought that American capitalism was no longer reactionary, that it could cure the ills of bourgeois society, and could develop in democratic ways for the good of the working people.
He no longer saw socialism as an ideal, as an objective to be achieved. American imperialism with its strategy and policy had disappeared completely from his field of vision. For Browder, the big monopolies, the pillars of this imperialism, constituted a progressive force for the democratic, social and economic development of the country. Browder denied the class character of the capitalist state, and considered American society a unified and harmonious society, without social antagonisms, a society in which understanding and class co-operation prevailed. On the basis of these concepts Browder also denied the need for the existence of the revolutionary party of the working class. He became an initiator of the disbanding of the Communist Party of the United States of America in 1944.
“The Communists,” he wrote, “foresee that the practical political aims they hold will for a long time be in agreement on all essential points with the aims of a much larger body of non-Communists, and that, therefore, our political actions will be merged in such larger movements. The existence of a separate political party of Communists, therefore, no longer serves a practical purpose but can be, on the contrary, an obstacle to the larger unity. The Communists will, therefore, dissolve their separate political party, and find a new and different organizational form and name, corresponding more accurately to the tasks of the day and the political structure through which these tasks must be performed.”(E. Browder)
Browder took the Conference of allied powers which was held in Teheran in 1943 as his starting point and justification for the formulation of his bourgeois liquidatory theory and made a completely distorted and anti-Marxist analysis and interpretation of the results of this conference.
Browder presented the agreement of the anti-fascist allies to carry the war against Hitlerite Germany through to the end as the beginning of a new historical epoch, in which socialism and capitalism had found the way to co-operation within “one and the same world”, as he expressed it. Browder presented it as a duty to ensure that the spirit of co-operation and peaceful coexistence between the allied powers, which emerged from Teheran, should be applied not only between the Soviet socialist state and those capitalist states, but also within the capitalist country in relations between antagonistic classes. “Class differences and political groups now no longer have any importance,” said Browder. He considered the achievement of “national unity”, without incidents and in an atmosphere of class peace, the sole objective which the communists, should set themselves, and he understood this national unity as a bloc uniting the groups of finance capital, the organizations of monopolists, the Republican and Democratic parties, and the communists and trade union movements, all of which, without exception, he considered “democratic and patriotic” forces. For the sake of this unity Browder declared that communists must be ready to sacrifice even their convictions, their ideology and special interests, that the American communists have applied this rule to themselves first of all. “The political aims which we hold with the majority of the Americans,” says he, “we will attempt to advance through the existing party structure of our country, which in the main is that of the peculiarly American ‘two-party’ system”. (E.Browder)
Confused by the relatively peaceful development of American capitalism following the well-known reforms which the American President Roosevelt undertook in order to emerge from the economic crisis at the beginning of the 30’s, as well as by the rapid growth of production and employment during the war period, Browder drew the conclusion that American capitalism had allegedly been rejuvenated, that now it would develop without crises and would ensure the raising of the general well-being, etc.
He considered the American economic system to be a system capable of resolving all the contradictions and problems of society and fulfilling all the demands of the masses. He equated communism with Americanism and declared that “communism is the Americanism of the 20th century”. According to Browder, all the developed capitalist countries could resolve every conflict and go gradually to socialism by using bourgeois democracy, for which American democracy had to be the model. Therefore, Browder considered that the task of American communists was to ensure the normal functioning of the capitalist regime, and declared openly that they were ready to co-operate to ensure the efficient functioning of the capitalist regime in the post-war period, in order to “ensure the greatest possible lightening of obligations which are a burden on the people”. According to him, this lightening of burdens would be done by the “reasonable” American capitalists, to whom the communists must extend the hand of friendship.
In conformity with his ultra-rightist concepts and submitting to the pressure of the bourgeoisie, after the disbanding of the Communist Party. in May 1944, Browder announced the creation, in place of the party, of a cultural and illuminist association called the “Communist Political Association”, justifying this with the argument that the American tradition allegedly demanded the existence of only two parties. This association, organized as a network of clubs, was to engage mainly in “activity of political education on a national, regional and local plane”.
The Constitution of this association says: “The Communist Political Association is a nonparty organization of Americans which, basing itself upon the working class, carries forward the tradition of Washington, Jefferson Paine, Jackson and Lincoln under the changed conditions of modem industrial society,” that this association “…upholds the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights, and tile achievements of American democracy against all the enemies of popular liberties.” (The Path to Paece, Progress and prosperity, New York 1944 pp.47-48) Browder wiped out all the objectives of the communist movement. In the program of the Association there is, no mention of Marxism-Leninism, the hegemony of the proletariat, the class struggle, the revolution or socialism. National, unity, social peace, defence of the bourgeois Constitution and the increase of the capitalist production became its only objectives.
In this way, Browder went over from open revision of the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism and the revolutionary strategy and tactics to the organizational liquidation of the communist movement in the United States of America. Although the party was re-formed at its 13th Congress in June 1945, and the opportunist line of Browder was formally rejected, his influence was never eliminated in the Commumst Party of the USA. Later, especially after 1956, the ideas, of Browder flourished again and John Hayes in an article entitled “The Time for Change Has Come”, (Political Affairs, October 1956) once again demanded in the spirit of Browderism the turning of the Communist Party of the USA into a cultural and propaganda association. And in fact, that is what the Communist Party of the USA is today an organization in which the revisionism of Browder combined with that of Khrushchev prevails.
With his revisionist concepts about the revolution and socialism, Browder gave world capitalism direct aid. According to Browder, socialism arises only from some great cataclysm, from some catastrophe, and not as an inevitable result of historical development. “We do not desire any catastrophe for America, even if such a thing would lead to socialism,”. he said. While presenting the prospect of the triumph of socialism as very remote, he advocated class collaboration in. American society and throughout the world. According to him, the only alternative was that of-‘ development by evolution, through reforms and with the aid of the United States of America.
According to Browder, the United States of America, which possessed colossal economic power and great scientific-technical potential, had to. assist the peoples of the world, including the Soviet Union, for their “development”. This “aid”, said Browder, would help America maintain high rates of production after the war, ensure work for all, and preserve the national unity for many years. To this end, Browder advised the magnates of Washington that they should set up a “series of giant industrial development corporations for the various devastated and undeveloped regions of the world, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America.,”(The Path to Peace, Progress and Prosperity, new York 1944, pp.21) “If we can face realities without flinching, and revive in modern terms the grand tradition of Jefferson, Paine, and Lincoln, then America can face the world united, assuming a leading part… in the salvation of mankind…” (E.Browder, Theheran, Our Path in war and Peace, New York 1944 p.128) In this way, Browder became the spokesman and propagandist of the grand strategy of American imperialism, and its expansionist neo-colonialist theories and plans.
Browderism directly assisted the -Marshall Plan- through which the United States of America aimed to establish its economic hegemony in the different war-devastated countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, etc.
Browder advocated that the ,countries of the world, and especially the countries of people’s democracy and the Soviet Union, ought to soften their Marxist-Leninist policy and accept the -“altruistic” aid of the United States of America, which, according to him, has a colossal economy and huge surpluses which can and should serve all peoples(!).
Browder tried to present his anti-Marxist and counterrevolutionary views as the general line of the international communist movement. Under the pretext of the creative development of Marxism and the struggle against dogmatism, he, like all the earlier revisionists, tried to argue that the new epoch after the Second World War required a communist movement which would reexamine its former ideological convictions and relinquish its old “formulas and prejudices”, which, according to him, “cannot help us at all to find our way in the new world”. This was a call for rejection of the principles of Marxism-Lemnism.
Browder’s views encountered the opposition of the communist parties of several countries, as well as of the revolutionary American communists themselves. Browderism was exposed relatively quickly as undisguised revisionism, as an openly liquidationist current, as a direct ideological agency of American imperialism.
Browderism did great damage to the communist and workers’ movement of the United States of America and some Latin-American countries. Upsets and splits occurred in some of the old communist parties of Latin America, and these had their source in the activity of opportunist elements who, weary of the revolutionary struggle, grasped at any means with which American imperialism provided them to quell the revolts of the peoples and the revolution, and to spread decay in the parties, which were working for the education and preparation of the peoples for revolution.
ln Europe, Browderism did not have the success it had in South America, although this seed of American imperialism was not left unabsorbed by those disguised anti-Marxist and anti-Leninist reformist elements who were awaiting or preparing the suitable moments, to deviate openly from the scientific Marxist-Leninist ideology.
Although in its own time Browderism did. not manage to become a revisionist current with broad international proportions, the other modern revisionists who came later revived its views and made them their own. These views, in various forms, remain the basis of the political and ideological platforms of the Chinese and Yugoslav revisionists, as well as of the Eurocommunist parties of Western Europe.”
— Enver Hoxha, “Eurocommunism is Anti-Communism”