and sincerely repudiated his Communist moral code the
individual could and would simultaneously repudiate the
type of behavior which it justified.
Failure to understand how to handle the ex-Communist
and how to make full use of his inside knowledge of the
Communist conspiracy may result in costly errors for the
No political party in the country is as aggressive in
recruiting new members as is the Communist Party, nor
as systematic. J. Peters in his Manual on Organization lays
down the principle that "Continuous daily recruiting is
the basic task of every Unit and each individual member
of the Party."
Recruiting is compulsory with each Party member, who
is expected to fulfill his share of the quota assigned to his
club or section in regular Party recruiting campaigns.
These campaigns are usually concentrated upon workers
in the basic industries, upon Negroes, whom the party considers as useful, explosive tinder in promoting social friction, and upon influential people in various walks of life.
Each Party member is expected to keep a list of prospects
whom he is expected to cultivate systematically, under
specific Party direction. In her pamphlet, The Communist
Party and You, Betty Gannett, Assistant Organization Secretary of the CPUSA, makes the following suggestions:
a Communist must constantly help to educate his fellow
workers, through the sale and distrihution of Communist
literature, securing subscriptions for the Communist press,
individual discussions, and through influencing the most
militant workers to join the Communist Party • • •
000 make new friends, especially in your shop, your
union, your organization, or the neighborhood in which you
live. You will find that our Communist press, our hundreds
of popular pamphlets, will help you bring them nearer to
our Party. Use this material constantly — it is your best aid.
It is also true that the Party has a tremendous turnover
as converts become disillusioned and drop out. Hence the
importance of attracting new gullibles.
The following account of the recruiting of an American
Communist is to be found in Life for January 5, 1948:
He joined the Party in 1935, when he was 20 years old.
It wasn't simple, like joining the Democratic party or the
Elks. It was the reward for three years of work, study and
obeelicnce to discipline * • • It began when he was still a
high-school student in Chicago as social pleasure and what
he thought then to be intellectual adventure ° • *. There
were- parties, picnics, beach suppers, all with songs and
laughter, discussions and admiring girls. • • • Of course
there was another side to all this. There were tasks, little ones
at first, more important ones later. He distributed literature
at mass meetings, walked in a hunger march, and it was
rather fun, even a little exciting. He did not notice that he
was being watched by the older men, watched for ability
and obedience • • • Soon he was attending the Workers'
School three evenings a week. One or two evenings he
worked on Party activities — wrapping newspapers at the
print shop, attending mass meetings, picketing the mass meetings of other organizations, • • • After three months of the
Workers' School he could spot a "supporter," a "diversion-
ist" or a "dissenter" in a conversation on the weather. • • •
He had his membership in the Party. • • •
What Makes a Communist Tick?
The question is often asked, "What makes an individual
join the Communist Party in the first place?" No single
answer will suffice. In each case there may be a different
motive or a mixture of motives. In some cases they are
the result of normal psychological factors. Sometimes
there are distinctly abnormal features involved. It is nee
essary to understand these motives and factors if we an
successfully to deal with the problem.
A trite explanation offered by the ill-informed is tbi
communism is a product of inequalities under our social
system. Hence, these people argue, if we will allevial
these conditions, we will never have to worry about corn-
munism. Since it is manifestly impossible to devise ■
social system in which everybody will be satisfied, thi
would mean that we should meekly fold our arms an'
accept communism in our midst as a necessary evil f"
which we ourselves are chiefly to blame. In the secofl
place, this approach overlooks the fact that millions 0
dollars spent on cleverly devised Communist propagand'
is bound to have some effect in any society, no matte
how relatively contented, especially when supplemented
by the activities of thousands of ardent zealots.
The misery theory of communism runs contrary to to
actual facts in our country. New York State, for example
has approximately 50 per cent of the total Communis
Party membership and leads the country. Yet it is secoi*
in terms of per capita income as well as per capita scho*1
expenditures. California is second with approximate!
16 per cent of the total Party membership and yet it *
fourth in terms of per capita income and seventh in ten"
of per capita school expenditures. Similarly, Illinois is thif
in membership standing with approximately 5 per eel
and yet it is sixth in per capita income and third in teir*
of money spent for schools.
Conversely, Mississippi is lowest in the scale of CojJ
munist Party membership but is also lowest in per cap1
income. The misery theory of communism does not ji'
with these figures, nor with the fact that such wealf
persons as Frederick Vanderbilt Field, and promine'
members of the Hollywood film colony have been foil*
to be members of the Communist Party. Indeed the rW
ery theory of communism is exactly what the Commun^
would have us believe, in order to mislead us.
A corollary to this theory is that workers are attract'
to the Communist Party in the hope of improving W
lot economically. Despite Russia's claim to be a worW
republic, the Communist movement, by its disruptive ta,
tics and support of Soviet slave labor camps, has arODJ
the deepest hostility of labor. Labor has, there-lore. '
pressed little desire to migrate to the so-called "work*
paradise." Both the American Federation of Labor
the Congress of Industrial Organizations arc today bitt^
fighting the Communists. In his report to the plenary H
sion of the national committee of the CPUSA held
March 23-25, 1950, Henry Winston, organizational S«|
tary, deplored the Party's "central weakness in the W
to win the workers" and declared that in its effort to
support for Henry A. Wallace's Progressive Party
union "rank-and-file generally" did not respond, lie f
phasized the fact that "the coalition tactic our P^
worked out beginning with the 1948 convention W8J '
fully unfolded in the shops." Thus the Communist P
has little ground for the label of "proletarian."
It would seem, on the contrary, that a large peree" L
of the Party consists of mission-minded Intellectuals ]
have constituted themselves the exponents of the intC1
of labor, which wants no part of them.
William Bledsoe, former editor of the Screen ** I
Magazine in Hollywood, has brilliantly described tlie,«
actions of wealthy movie stars and writers in his •" I
entitled "Revolution Came to Hollywood," which apl"''1
Facts Forum News, May,
1, "H f.