Louis C. Fraina - Biography - Communist Dissident (1936-1939)

Communist Dissident (1936-1939)

Corey's political path took another detour in the latter part of 1936, when he moved again away from the CPUSA's orbit and began an association with the dissident Communist movement around expelled party leader Jay Lovestone. The so-called Lovestoneites embraced the fundamental tenets of Marxism, but oriented themselves towards the American trade union movement and away from foreign domination of the International Communist movement and its centrally-determined obsession with advancing the foreign policy interests of the USSR. With secret police terror beginning to rage in the Soviet Union from 1936 onwards, the Lovestone political organization's criticism of the USSR became increasingly harsh and its appreciation of American institutions more pronounced — a perspective which Corey himself shared.

In 1937 Corey worked briefly as an economist in Washington, DC with the Federal government's Works Progress Administration, remaining in that position for about six months. He left that post to assume the position of education director of Local 22 of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU), located in New York City. Corey would remain with the ILGWU until 1939.

As was the case for many inter-war era radicals, Corey was opposed to American intervention in a new European World War and was a member of the Keep America Out of War Committee. With signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact in August 1939 and the actual eruption of European war Fraina had a change of heart, however, and he resigned from the Keep America Out of War Committee and became supportive of the British war effort against Nazism. Coming on the heels of the 1937-1939 secret police terror, the apparent duplicity of Joseph Stalin in negotiating a peace pact with Adolf Hitler moved Corey away from the Communist movement for a second time — permanently.

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Famous quotes containing the words communist and/or dissident:

    In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, shepherd or critic.
    Karl Marx (1818–1883)

    The dissident does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all. He is not seeking power. He has no desire for office and does not gather votes. He does not attempt to charm the public, he offers nothing and promises nothing. He can offer, if anything, only his own skin—and he offers it solely because he has no other way of affirming the truth he stands for. His actions simply articulate his dignity as a citizen, regardless of the cost.
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