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In these two chapters of School of Darkness, Bella Dodd becomes formally involved with the Communist Party in New York.

She describes how Communists continuously change tactics and strategies to meet political circumstances.  What’s more, some of their targets — former members or sympathisers — become anathema one day only to be accepted back into the fold the next. Others are dumped permanently once they have served the Party’s purpose.  Also note her campaign for day care, also a Communist plan to destroy families under the guise of helping working mothers!  They will stop at nothing to subvert society to their own ends.  Sadly, there are endless numbers of wealthy people who want to help, mainly out of social concern.  I wonder if the Gimbel to whom Dodd refers was of the Gimbel department store family …

Communists, she warns us, do not fundamentally change, even if they adopt radically different positions from one period in history to the next.  Everything is done to advance the interests of the Soviet Union and to draw the West, particularly the United States, closer to totalitarianismBe especially careful of their calls for ‘peace’. Please bear this in mind and, if you have children, explain it to them.  Communist strategems tie in with the Democratic Party in the United States and, quite possibly, with the more centrist Republicans.

These chapters are available free of charge online.  Emphases below are mine.

Chapter Ten

… That fall [1941] I was still trying to find jobs for teachers who had lost their positions in the Rapp-Coudert fight. A number of those suspended were still awaiting departmental trials. The Party was no longer interested in them. Its new line was a united front with all the “democratic forces” — meaning all the pro-war forces.

Before June 1941 it had been an “imperialist war” for the redivision of markets, a war which could have only reactionary results. But when the Soviet Union was attacked, the war was transformed into a “people’s war,” a “war of liberation.”

The American Communist Party dropped all its campaigns of opposition. Its pacifist friends were again “Fascist reactionaries” and all its energy was employed in praise of France and England as great democracies. The fight against the Board of Higher Education had to be brought to an end because the Party regarded Mayor LaGuardia as a force in the pro-democratic war camp …

In the legislative program of the Teachers Union for 1941 I included a proposal to establish public nursery schools. The WPA nursery-school program which had been under the State Department of Education was coming to an end. The bill I introduced for the Union was mild. It was conceived mainly as a program of jobs for teachers and partly as a social program to aid working women with small children. The storm of opposition from conservative groups startled me. Evidently I had stumbled on a controversial issue, one which struck at the role of the mother in education

On December 7, 1941, I called together a few outstanding citizens to discuss the program of school expansion and to solicit support for nursery schools and better adult education. The meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Elinor Gimbel, a public-spirited woman, interested in many causes …

We had enjoyed Mrs. Gimbel’s hospitality and talked about discrimination, about the new waves of population in New York, about the conflict with Catholics on federal aid, about budgets, school buildings, and teachers’ salaries.

As I look back over the conferences I attended on educational policies and methods and progress, I realize that we never discussed or thought about what kind of man or woman we expected to develop by our educational system. What were the goals of education? How were we to achieve them? These questions few asked. Are we asking them today in the higher echelons of the public schools, and what are our conclusions?

Those devoted to progressive education and to preparing youth to live in the “new socialist world” are abstractly sure of what they want, but they seem not to know that they work with human beings. Aside from teaching that children must learn to get along with other children, no moral or natural law standards are set. There is no word about how our children are to find the right order of harmonious living.

I, too, had to learn by hard experience that you cannot cure a sick soul with more buildings or more playgrounds. These are important, but they are not enough. Abraham Lincoln, schooled in a one-room log cabin, received from education what all the athletic fields and laboratories cannot give. All his speeches reflected his love for his Creator. He knew that God is the cure for godlessness.

On this Sunday afternoon of December 7, 1941 [Pearl Harbor], we talked long and ardently on education. We talked, too, of the splendid work done by the women of England for the safety of their children in preparation for bombing attacks. Mrs. Gimbel finally turned on the radio to give us the news …

So it was only natural that we immediately set to work to make plans, and that these plans dealt with children. Then and there we formed ourselves into an emergency Child Care Committee with Mrs. Gimbel as chairman, and to this committee I promised to turn over my files on nursery schools and to give all my assistance.

In the Party we had long expected that the war would involve the United States

The energies of the Party were now turned to establishing win-the-war committees. The old feuds of the Teachers Union and the CIO and the A.F. of L. were put into moth balls and the little arguments and the big ones were forgotten. Now the Communists became peacemakers between discordant factions everywhere. With joy and relief I watched the Party serve as an agency for drawing the forces of the community together to win the war.

Of course the Communist Party was overjoyed at what was happening. It moved briskly to place the colossal strength of America at the disposal of the Soviet Union. Moreover, the rank-and-file Communists were once again tasting the joy of being accepted by all groups. The Party line made it possible during this period for ordinary Party members to be merely human beings and to act naturally, for their neighbors were now less frightened, and even listened to Communists explain that they were on the side of the American people. All American groups worked together now on Red Cross committees, on bond rallies, on blood-bank drives. We were one people united in a common cause.

It is bitter for me to realize that Communist Party leaders looked upon this united front as only a tactic to disrupt this country, and that they were using the good instincts of their own members for their ultimate destruction. Under the deceptive cloak of unity they moved like thieves in the night, stealing materials and secrets. Each Communist Party member was used as a part of the conspiracy, but the majority of them were unaware of it. Only those who knew the pattern knew how each fitted in the picture.

I had stayed close to the Party during the worst days of 1939 to 1941, the days of the Soviet-Nazi pact, primarily because I deeply loved the Teachers Union which I represented …

The second reason was because of the Party’s campaign against war. I now know that this anti-war policy was merely a tactic to meet changing conditions. At that time I could not believe that the communist line was a scheme advancing Communists one more step closer to total war for total control of the world. I had slowly come to believe in the infallibility of “scientific socialism” and in the inevitability of the socialist millennium. I was by no means oblivious to many signs of crudeness, corruption, and selfishness within the Party but I thought the movement was a bigger thing.

I, and hundreds like me, believed in … the Politburo, and the great Party of the Soviet Union. We felt they were incorruptible. Blind faith in the Soviet Union, the land of true socialism, was the last spell that was broken for me. This had been a spell woven of words cleverly strung together by Party intellectuals who lied, and it was made plausible by my desire to see man-made perfection in this imperfect world …

I was so completely involved with the Party now that it absorbed all my spare time. Its members were my associates and friends. I had no others …

To this was added one other factor, one not to be minimized: I was rising in importance in this strange world. I had joined as an idealist. Now I was beginning to stay because of the sense of power it gave me, and the chance of participation in significant events …

I became sharp and critical of those who did not pour themselves as completely into the Party. I still based activity on my own standards of goodness, of honesty, and of loyalty. I failed to understand that the Party in making alliances had nothing whatever to do with these qualities, that it was not out to reform the world, but was bent on making a revolution to control the world. I did not know then that to do so it was ready to use cutthroats, liars, and thieves as well as saints and ascetics. I should have known, however, had I reflected on the implications of Lenin’s speech delivered at the Third All-Russian Congress of the Russian Young Communist League on October 2, 1920: “ . . . all our morality is entirely subordinated to the interests of the class struggle of the proletariat” …

Tomorrow: Chapter Eleven

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