American communism TL #1:Earl Browder suceeds
Earl Browder was a genius who understood how a Communist revolution in
this country COULD have been made to happen. His policies were for
American Communists to network as much as possible with other
movements and to seek positions of leadership within groups which may
not have been Marxist in their outlook. He even went so far as to
disband the Communist Party in this country, replacing it with an
umbrella organization for the "united front" he envisioned. The whole
thing was remarkably similar to the Eurocommunism undertaken by
Western European parties 30 years later during the 1970's. But it did
not fly with Stalin and he called for Browder's expulsion, which took
place in 1943. The following timeline tries to imagine what might
have happened if Earl Browder and his followers had formed a breakaway
faction at that time which continued his policies.
1943: Earl Browder expelled from Party. Instead of retiring from
Communist activities as he did in our history, he forms breakaway
faction which continues his tactics. Since his organization no longer
bows to Moscow it is less vulnerable to Federal prosecution as a
foreign agent than the CPUSA. His faction succeeds in penetrating the
1950: The McCarthy purges begin. Browderites eagerly join in
McCarthy's support and use him to liquidate their rivals in the CPUSA.
Senate hearings are very thorough and clean out all connections
between U.S. "intelligentsia" and Communist Party. Browderites
willingly furnish McCarthy with lists of names. CPUSA is annihilated.
But the Browderites are untouched and unscathed.
1953: Stalin dies. The power struggle begins in Moscow. McCarthy
runs his course. Browderites have no further use for him and set him
up for a fall in much the same way it happened in our timeline. The
CPUSA has been liquidated but the Browderites
become well entrenched in the Federal bureaucracy.
1957: McCarthy dies. Khrushchev comes to power in Moscow.
Browderites begin to attempt reconciliation with Moscow as the sole
remaining Communist organization in the USA. They can now offer
Hobson's choice to rulers who are more flexible than Stalin.
1960: Browderites complete reconciliation with Moscow. They now
cooperate with the Kremlin as partners, not puppets.
1964: Civil Rights Act becomes law. Browderites are in perfect
position to get in on grownd floor of new Federal bureaucracy which
potentially has the power to tell every American what work he can do,
where he can attend school, what he can study, where he can live, and
how much money he can make -- all in the name of civil rights!