Since my young friend Jim Heartfield has been raising hell about Stalin over on Mark Jones's mailing-list, I am somewhat surprised that he left the CPUSA out of the equation here. While I believe that the US left can learn a lot from studying the Browderite period in CP history, when party activists discovered ways to reach the grass roots in labor and the black community, there is another side to this period that is not so positive. This was the tendency to dull the class line between the workers and their allies, and the "enlightened" wing of the bourgeoisie.
Symbolic of this was the output of the CPers in the film industry who turned out a bunch of jingoistic wartime movies. I was at a panel discussion on the blacklist sponsored by the Nation magazine and nobody seemed aware of this phenomenon until I pointed it out during the discussion period. My Trotskyist comrade Jon Barzman's father was Ben Barzman, who wrote an absolutely disgusting Jap-baiting movie starring John Wayne in 1943. This sort of social patriotism lent itself to an anti-communist crusade as soon as the fascists were defeated.