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Sinclair Upton. On the Soviet Union

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Sinclair Upton. On the Soviet Union
New York: Weekly Masses Co., Inc., 1938. — 16 p.
The following letter by Upton Sinclair was written in reply to an open letter addressed to him by Eugene Lyons. We are glad to present to our readers Mr. Sinclair’s eloquent answer to Lyons — that highly moral “Socialist” who is devoting all his time to slandering the Soviet Union and who, white a correspondent there, did not disdain to speculate on the “black bourse” and to smuggle valuable art objects out of the country, thus robbing the Soviet workers and peasants of the very gold which might have been used for improving their “terrible” conditions. We could demur with regard to a number of points made by Mr. Sinclair. But the general spirit of his letter is so essentially human and sound that we prefer not to dwell on those statements—of minor importance —to which we take exception. We must, however, draw attention to two major historical errors into which Mr. Sinclair falls. One is his erroneous description of the Bolshevik revolution as having been made by “a little group of revolutionists who managed to seize power.” The October Revolution was a mass, revolution of workers, peasants and soldiers; the Bolshevik Party at that time numbered several hundred thousand members, who were the vanguard of the broad masses in their democratic struggle for peace, land and freedom. Second, Sinclair erroneously places the “birth of Trotskyism” as an event subsequent to the adoption of the People’s Front policy by the Seventh Congress of the Communist International in 1935. Trotskyism is an old disease. Its recrudescence in its most virulent form of sabotage, treason and terror as traced in the Soviet Union, according to the confessions of the Trotskyites themselves at the Moscow trials, goes back to the beginning of this decade, i.e., the difficult years when the Soviet Union was engaged in the first major advance toward socialism in city and country. Kirov was assassinated in December, 1934.
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