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Another “Friend” of the Soviet Union

(December 1933)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 57, 30 December 1933, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The great wit of the bourgeoisie, George Bernard Shaw, has discovered a new love. Before the war It was the Fabian Society, the pinkest of all pink organizations. During the war he served God and Empire. Recently his love was the Soviet Union, whose hotels at last had hot water, and whose trains at last ran. And now it is Herr Hitler.

“Describing Hitler as ‘a very able man’ Mr. Shaw said he had the genius to realize ‘that Germany had been kicked long enough.’ (New York Times)

We cannot blame Mr. Shaw. He always was just one thing – a bourgeois, a very clever and, at times, a caustically critical one, but none the less a bourgeois. And Mr. Shaw is perfectly right. Adolph is a great man – for the bourgeoisie. For the workers Hitler is hell incarnate.

The danger lies not in Mr. Shaw being a bourgeois, but in the willingness of so-called proletarian leaders to take him for something else. And the danger becomes disaster when the Stalinist leaders of the Comintern rely upon Mr. Shaw and his fellows as the “friends” and defenders of the Soviet Union. Shaw and his friends are only petty bourgeois or bourgeois masqueraders, and when they get tired or scared of the red get-up, they’ll change it for black, brown or blue. Henri Barbusse, Romain Rolland, Lord Marley, and all the rest will very probably disappear long before the battle which decides whether the Horst Wessel song shall be sung in Moscow’s streets by Hitler’s brown shirts – or whether the Internationale shall be heard in Berlin.

Mr. Shaw has shown these people the road. It is useless for Communists to blame them for taking it; they are what they are. But all workers must watch with suspicion those leaders of the Soviet Union, the whole Stalinist bureaucracy, who prefer such friends and defenders to the revolutionary proletariat.

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