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The popular front CPUSA and the revolution of 1776 : a study in patriotic Marxism

DeLeon, David (1979) The popular front CPUSA and the revolution of 1776 : a study in patriotic Marxism. Humanities Working Paper, 39. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA.

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During the 1930's the Communist Party of the United States, reflecting the programs of the Comintern, first rejected all forms of patriotism, and then developed a form of "socialist patriotism." This article summarizes what was defined as the orthodox Marxist position on nationalism during the Popular Front, and what was repudiated as "left sectarianism" and "right opportunism." This general theory is then applied to a specific historical case, the Revolution of 1776. The strengths and weaknesses of both the theory and the application are considered. While the article concludes that the theoretical rationale for linking Marxism and nationalism was generally plausible, the theory was vitiated by CP practice, which was neither genuinely nationalist nor internationalist, but expressed its character as the local representative of a specific country, the USSR. Nevertheless, the theory of what is termed "patriotic Marxism" remains important for analyzing modern nationalist revolutions and understanding the problems of the American Left in establishing a positive identity.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Group:Humanities Working Papers
Series Name:Humanities Working Paper
Issue or Number:39
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090730-125121807
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:DeLeon, David. The popular front CPUSA and the revolution of 1776: a study in patriotic Marxism. Pasadena, CA: California Institute of Technology, 1979. Humanities Working Paper, No. 39.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:14744
Deposited By: Lindsay Cleary
Deposited On:03 Aug 2009 23:12
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 00:52

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