If it means anything other than a slur: "You are a dirty commie pinko who hates the US," has to have a more precise meaning. That is unless you are doing a junior high school analysis -- "There is our democracy and slavery. If you don't like they way we are doing go somewhere else, all the other countries are dictatorships," a la Jean Kilpatrick.
Stalinists were members of the CP until the Kruschev Secret Speech.The dedicated Stalinists remained in the CP, the ones who couldn't stomach his actions, became apolitical, or formed irrelevant sects like PLP, Workers' World or did stuff in support of Albania. Mao, et.
The Stalinists stayed in the CP which continued to denounce socialist organizing here because it might harm the Soviet Union or other movements in other countries, Cuba, e.g.
In accord with that non-confrontational attitude, they had advocated reformist/electoral politics for years, they entered the Democratic Party in the early 80s because that was a natural home for their sort of non-confrontational organizing.
You have heard the joke:
Q Where do social activist go when they die?
A They become zombie phone bank operators for the Democratic Party.
That's what the CP does today -- it's sort of the AFL-CIO presence in the Democratic Party.
I have always advocated independent political action based in the working class and with a view towards creating a political party that has as its purpose, independent defense of working people, independent of the Democrats. Think the Labour Party in Great Britain 30 years ago.
Stalinists had our kind shot from the 30s on, in Russia and then in Spain.
Stalin was a blight on humanity since he seized power in the mid 1920s, destroying the gains of the Bolsheviks. HIs socialism in one country would never work unless the one country is an island, and even then it is a close thing.
The anti-was movement and the civil rights movement had much more to do with independent left support from the Trotskists as well as a tremendous upsurge of black activism in the South at the local level in the civil rights movement.
The CP played a part, but again, it wanted everything directed back to the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party went along only because it was forced to. Martin Luther King to LBJ: "I don't know how much longer I can hold my people back."
McCarthyism and HUAC , and the Marshall Plan for that matter, had the same goal -- to marginalize any left activity against the capitalist state in the streets and to intimidate any intellectual support. "There is no alternative," is the way Thatcher put it.
There was to be no repeat of 1917 after World War II. No one would permit anybody who thought or talked or wrote along those lines employment, raises, promotions, government jobs, and certainly not union positions.They could not publish.
"You are to talk of nothing different, you are to say nothing different, this is all that can be, this is all that shall be."
Capitalism (they prefer free enterprise) is not a human process but an economic system handed down from God on high.
Not that this is unusual, mind. No regime will permit organizations who advocate its overthrow access to any public position or forum if it can help it.
You can see that attitude often in this forum: "Loon. Die in a grease fire, Marxist (meant as a slur, not a compliment), etc."
As for Shachtman, he refused to condemn the Bay of Pigs invasion, he refused to demand troop withdrawal from Vietnam. He went so far to the right that he refused to support McGovern, leaving his natural home, the Democratic Party behind. Enough said.
Orwell is a personal hero. His support of the Spanish Revolution in "Homage to Catalonia" is a masterpiece. He criticized the state, law, religion, charity, public schools, and political parties from the left eloquently.
We need more journalists like him, people like John Reed, at the head of the list, obviously, Also, Ida Minerva Tarbell, Ferdinand Lundberg, Dan La Botz, Doug Henwood, Carl Finamore, Matt Taibbi, and others.