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Anthony Massini

Stalin and Eden Reach
Agreement on War Policy

(10 January 1942)

From The Militant, Vol 6 No. 1, 10 January 1942, pp. 1 & 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The most important developments of the Soviet-German war last week did not take place on the front. It took place in the Kremlin where Stalin and Anthony Eden concluded an agreement between the Soviet and British governments on the conduct of the war and the kind of peace to be established by them after the war.

The effects of this agreement on the war will be far-reaching. Instead of strengthening the Soviet Union, Stalin has placed a powerful weapon in the hands of Hitler and Goebbels. For the conference dealt not only with military and political problems relating to the conduct of the war, but also with the “post-war organization of the peace land security of Europe.”

According to first London reports on the conference, printed in the New York Times, Dec. 28, Stalin and Eden came to an agreement on a policy for “postwar reconstruction along the general lines laid down by the Atlantic Charter declaration of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in their conference at sea last summer.”

But while the eight points of Roosevelt and Churchill were vague on the all-important question of revolution in Europe, Stalin and Eden were quite specific.

Allaying Fears of Reactionaries

“It was also emphasized,” says the London report, “that the negotiators had produced a unity of British and Russian views concerning postwar Europe – a development expected to be of special importance in view of feats in some circles that an attempt might be made to spread bolshevism in the future Europe ...

“It was suggested that there might be something like a ‘Continental Charter’ for Europe that would answer any fears that defeat of the Axis would result in a Russian attempt to spread communism in Europe.”

This amounts to a warning by the Kremlin to the masses of Europe and particularly Germany that not only will Stalin go along with the Allies in the imposition of a second Versailles Treaty and the formation of a second League of Nations, but that he will also join them in the suppression of all social revolutionary movements.

Thus Stalin, in return for whatever material aid he has been promised from the Allies for the war against Hitler, is doing everything in his power to discourage the independent revolutionary struggle of the masses of Europe, which alone in the final analysis can save the USSR.

The German workers who hate fascism and are awaiting a favorable opportunity to overthrow Hitler’s regime, the workers who always looked to the Soviet Union as a workers state which would aid them when a revolutionary situation arose in Germany, will feel that they are alone and have little chance of securing aid from outside of Germany for a revolutionary struggle against Hitler.

To the extent that Stalin’s new agreement discourages revolutionary action or disorients the masses, to that same extent does Hitler feel all the more confident about the stability of his regime and the chances for success in the war against the Soviet Union.

In this way Stalin, in the name of defending the Soviet Union, repels the kind of action which will really save the workers state.

The Soviet Union has been afforded tremendous advantages by the victories of the last month, which will enable it to offer powerful resistance when the next German big push starts. But it would be foolish to believe that as a result of these victories the relationship of forces has changed decisively.

The Soviet Union is still in grave danger. Stalin’s policies, of dependence on aid from the Allies, serve only to intensify that danger. The workers who want to defend the Soviet Union must do everything they can to assist the development of that independent revolutionary movement of the masses which will forever destroy imperialism and permit the Soviet Union to go ahead, together with the workers of the rest of the world, to world socialism and lasting peace.

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