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Fourth International, April 1945


The Red Army in Eastern Europe


From Fourth International, vol.6 No.4, April 1945, p.127.
Transcribed, marked up & formatted by Ted Crawford & David Walters in 2008 for ETOL.


For the information of our readers we reprint below the text of the resolution adopted by the Bolshevik-Leninist Party of India and Ceylon, Indian Section of the Fourth International, at its First Representative Conference, September 20-25, 1944.


The Red Army which is entering Eastern Europe is continuing its progressive task of destroying the German war machine which is today the spearhead of armed imperialist intervention against the USSR. Further, in these territories, the destruction of the German military administration and its civil satellites, and particularly the entry of the Red Army, will give a powerful impetus to the revolutionary movement. For these reasons, proletarian revolutionaries will not in any way modify the unconditional support given hitherto to the Red Army in its actions against the forces of imperialism, as the Red Army leaves Russian territory in pursuit of the German army.

The entry of the Red Army into these territories will release latent forces and give such an impetus to the revolutionary movement as to create a pre-revolutionary situation in Eastern Europe, the heightening of which is of inestimable importance for world revolutionary perspectives. The reactionary Soviet bureaucracy is bound to come into conflict from the beginning with the revolutionary movement, and to seek to suppress it in its own interests. Indeed, the increasingly reactionary foreign policies of the Kremlin and its open disavowal of the intention to change the social order in any territory invaded, the pacts and alliances made with Allied imperialism, in particular the agreement to hand over systematically to the capitalist provisional government all reconquered territory in Czechoslovakia, and finally the plans to join the Allied imperialists in policing the postwar world, are consistent with counter-revolutionary actions on the widest scale in the case that a wide revolutionary upsurge follows the liberation of Eastern Europe from the Nazi yoke. The military defense of the Soviet Union is for us subordinate to the needs of the international revolution. The struggle of the workers in Eastern Europe in the coming period calls for our fullest support, regardless of the effect of the latter on the military defense of the Soviet Union (which we continue to support), since there can be no question in the present pre-revolutionary situation of “partial economic struggles” of the workers which do not have revolutionary perspectives.

In the case that the workers’ struggles in Eastern Europe reach revolutionary heights, the precise actions of the Soviet bureaucracy cannot be specified beforehand, but it is certain that the Red Army will be brought into conflict with the developing revolution, either to crush it completely or to bureaucratize the social conquests made.

If the state power in the invaded territories is maintained by the Soviet bureaucracy, and bourgeois property relations are maintained unchanged, as at the moment in Rumania (a policy tantamount to the Red Army acting as the instrument of the Anglo-American imperialists), the main task in these territories will be, not the defense of the Soviet Union, but the intensified prosecution of the class struggle regardless of the military consequences to the Red Army. The progressive degeneration of the workers’ state during the war, and the growing dependence of the Soviet bureaucracy on Anglo-American imperialism, as reflected in its increasingly reactionary foreign policies and declarations, do not in any way change our policy of support of the military defense of the Soviet Union. But the actual importance of this task is completely subordinate to the needs of the advancing European revolution, of which the struggles of the East European workers in the present pre-revolutionary situation are but the prelude.

The prolonged military occupation by the Red Army of the territories invaded would compel the Soviet bureaucracy to gear the capitalist economies of the occupied territories more and more completely with the socialist economy of the Soviet Union. Sooner or later it will be faced with the unpostponable necessity to carry through the expropriation of the landowners and the statification of the means of production. This will be so, not because the bureaucracy remains true to the socialist program, but because, despite the pressure of Anglo-American imperialism, it is not capable of sharing its power and privileges with the old ruling classes of the occupied territory. Inasmuch as Stalin’s Bonapartist dictatorship is based not on private property but on state property, the holding of power by the bureaucracy should, in the nature of the case, result in the abolition of private property, so as thus to bring the regime of the territories concerned into accord with the regime of the USSR. Should the bureaucracy under these circumstances continue to maintain bourgeois property relations in these areas, a possibility made extremely probable due to the increasing dependence, as a result of the war, of the Soviet bureaucracy on Anglo-American imperialism, this failure would have a deep-going principled character and become a starting-point for a new chapter in the history of the Soviet regime; and consequently a starting-point for a new appraisal on our part of the nature of the Soviet Union. That is to say, should the bureaucracy continue to maintain bourgeois property relations under these circumstances, this would be the starting-point of the capitalist overturn in the Soviet Union.

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