Isaacs Archive   |   Trotskyist Writers Index   |   ETOL Main Page

George Stern

Behind the Lines

(9 December 1939)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. III No. 92, 9 December 1939, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.

As in every other move he makes in defense of the power and privileges of his bureaucratic ruling clique, Stalin in his invasion of Finland deals another heavy blow to the cause of the international workers’ revolution.

Throughout the capitalist world rulers whose own hands drip with the blood of helpless and subjugated peoples have clutched greedily at the new weapon Stalin has placed in their hands.

To workers caught in the vicious grip of capitalist crisis and war, the bosses hold up the horrible example of Stalin. Identifying him with Communism, with workers’ power, they seek to destroy whatever remains of the hopes and aspirations that all mankind, in one degree or another, have associated with the October revolution in Russia.

They can use the fact of Stalin’s murderous tyranny a thousand times more effectively than in all these years they have used lies to besmirch the shining cause of the world revolution.

They use Stalin’s crimes to cloak their own. They use Stalin’s grotesque deformation of the revolution in Russia to dull the edge of threatened revolutions in their own countries. They use Stalin’s gross violation of the enlightened consciences of all men to further their own cause of war incitement against the workers of Russia.

This is Stalin’s crime of all crimes. He translates the defense of the Soviet Union to mean the defense of his own power and pelf. To his nationalist, totalitarian mind a few miserable strategic advantages, a few bases, a few square miles of territory, outweigh the solidarity and support of the masses throughout a war-torn crisis-ridden world.

Unable to conceive, no less execute, a policy which would bring the united workers of Finland willingly and enthusiastically into a firm world front of defense of the workers’ cause against capitalism, he uses against them the same methods of blind terror, lies and open assault which he employed to usurp and hold power in Russia.

In doing so he repels the Finnish workers and the workers of the entire world, and makes them easy pickings and easy victims for the lying war propaganda and incitement of the bosses everywhere.

He throws the Finnish workers into the arms of the butcher Mannerheim and the Finnish capitalists who sloshed to power two decades ago hip-deep in working class blood.

He hands to Roosevelt ready-fashioned and complete in every detail – down to the merciless bombing of women and children – the propaganda weapons Roosevelt needs to whip up anti- Soviet war incitement among the workers of this country.

But let’s not fall for the crocodile tears over “poor little Finland” and for the accompanying notion that for the greater power and majesty of the starvation regime of Wall Street-Roosevelt- Daladier-Chamberlain & Co., we should let ourselves be dragged into a bloody war out of which can come only greater misery and privation for peoples everywhere.

The workers in Russia will put an end to the bloody regime of Stalin and we here have the job of putting an end to the boss’ power that offers us starvation and war as the only choice for the future. That’s the road away from tyranny, away from wars, and toward the real liberation of all peoples everywhere.

Main NI Index | Main Newspaper Index

Encyclopedia of Trotskyism | Marxists’ Internet Archive

Last updated on 27 June 2018