Stalinism: It's Origin and Future. Andy Blunden 1993

Political Biographies

Aarons, Eric and Laurie

Eric born Marrickville; their father's parents had been VSP members and he a CPA member. Eric joined the YCL in 1935, later working as a bootmaker, and later a sculptor; appointed to Secretariat in 1963; led move of CPA to Euro-Communist position from 1967; retired from position of Joint National Secretary in 1982 but fully supported the dissolution of the CPA in March 1991. Laurie CPA General Secretary 1966-76.

Artem (Sergeyev)

Bolshevik leader in exile in Australia 1910 - 1917, jailed, tramways, meat unions, Bolshevik CC May 1917 - died in train crash 1921, EC of CI.

Bakunin, Mikhail

1814-70; Russian revolutionary. One of the founders of anarchism. In the 1830s Bakunin was a follower of Hegel's philosophy. In 1848 he took part in the German revolution (the rising in Dresden). He was arrested (1849), and eventually handed over to the Russian government and sentenced to life imprisonment. After the death of the Tsar Nicholas I, Bakunin was exiled to Siberia (1857). In 1861 he escaped exile and went to London.

Bakunin became a member of the League of Peace and Freedom. At the Berne Congress of this League (1868) he and his supporters (E. Reclus, Aristide Rey, Jaclard, Fanelli, N. Joukovsky, V. Mratchkovsky and others) were in a minority, and seceded from the League and established their own International Alliance of Socialist Democracy. In 1869 this Alliance became affiliated to the International. In the International Bakunin was an opponent of Marx. In Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy Engels wrote that Bakunin combined Stirner with Proudhon and christened this combination "anarchism."

Baracchi, Guido

Born 1887, son of Italian nobleman who was the Victorian government astronomer. Influenced by guild socialists while visiting Europe. Through Andrade's bookshop, was the main distributor of Marxist literature in Melbourne; co-founder of the Victorian Labor College; jailed for opposition to conscription in 1918; joined the IWW and edited its paper until 1920; editor of The Proletarian, a Marxist monthly which became the CPA's theoretical journal; founding member of the CPA. Went to Germany, where he became editor of Imprecor, the English language paper of the Comintern. Returned to Australia in 1925, and with Earsman proposed a propagandist perspective to break into new sections of the working class. Baracchi actually advocated liquidation of the Party as a means of breaking out of isolation, and was expelled. He left Australia, rejoining while in Germany in 1935. In 1939, back in Australia, Baracchi spoke out against the Stalin-Hitler Pact. The young Eric Aarons, who was to lead the Party to its liquidation 50 years later, was secretary of the Sydney University Branch at the time and delivered him a letter saying the Branch had decided his services were no longer required as tutor of the Branch class. The last remaining founding member of the CPA, Baracchi was soon expelled and joined the Trotskyists later in 1939.

Bebel, August

Born 1840, collaborator of Marx and Engels in the First International, together with Wilhelm Liebknecht, in 1869, founded the German Social Democratic Workers Party. Author of Women and Socialism, one of the earliest works on the subject. According to Trotsky 'This combination of practical opportunism with revolution in principle reached its highest expression in Bebel, the brilliant skilled worker (a turner) who became undisputed leader of the party for almost half a century'. Died 1913.

Bernstein, Edward

(1850-1932) leading theoretician of the German SDP, and Engels' literary executor. In 1899 developed a theory of the gradual transformation of capitalism into socialism; coined the famous aphorism: "The movement is everything, the final goal nothing"; the first "revisionist"; adopted a pacifist stand during the war. When Bukharin tried to warn him of the coming revolution in Germany, only days before it broke out in November 1918, Bernstein ridiculed the idea.

Bukharin, Nikolai

Old Bolshevik. Met Trotsky in New York and the two were close until Bukharin joined Stalin's group in 1923. Member of the 'Left-Communist' faction which opposed signing of Brest-Litovsk Peace in 1917 in favour of a revolutionary war; Formed right bloc with Zinoviev, Kamenev and Stalin in 1923 against Trotsky, and was the major spokesperson for the turn to the rich peasants during the NEP. Remained with Stalin after Z & K joined the Left Opposition. Editor of Pravda 1918-1929. Head of Comintern 1926-1929. Broke with Stalin in 1928 to lead the Right Opposition. In his Testament, Lenin says Bukharin is 'not a Marxist but a scholastic, but may still learn'. Trotsky remarked that Bukharin 'must always attach himself to someone, becoming nothing more than a medium for someone else's actions and speeches. You must always keep your eye on him'. "His devotion to theoretical economics was tireless. He had anticipated Lenin in elaborating a theory of the complete overthrow of the capitalist state. His mind was effervescent, always alert and active, but rigorously disciplined. ... a good-natured cynicism".(Serge) Expelled 1929, and recanted soon afterwards. Executed after the Third Moscow Trial in 1938. (Under Gorbachev, Bukharin's wife revealed that his confession was forced and published his hitherto secret rebuttal. There was an attempt to 'rehabilitate' Bukharin at this time, seeking for a theoretical and historical justification for 'market socialism').

Cannon, James

Born 1890; joined the Socialist Party in 1908, and three years later went over to the IWW, becoming a travelling organiser for the IWW, leading many strikes. After the Russian Revolution, he rejoined the SP, and aligned with John Reed's faction to become a founding member of the CP in 1919, and was elected to the Central Committee in 1920. The CP had been a clandestine party, and Cannon was one of those advocating 'coming up' to be able to conduct mass work. This turn was carried out successfully, leading to Cannon being elected National Chairman of the 'Workers Party'. This precipitated a split in the CP, and Cannon and his supporters were suspended by the majority who favoured continued illegality. Moscow intervened however, and supported Cannon's policy. EC of CI in Moscow 1922-23, and headed International Labour Defence 1925-28, joined Left Opposition in 1928, and expelled. Founder, with Schachtman and Abern, of Communist League of America; led Trotskyist leadership of the Teamsters Union; founder of Socialist Workers Party January 1938. Participated in bitter factional struggle in 1940 against Burnham and Schachtman's "petit-bourgeois opposition", the subject of Trtosky's In Defence of Marxism; Jailed 1944-45 for opposition to war; National Sec. of SWP till his death in August 1974.

Connolly, James

Born 1868. Joined Hyndman's Social Democratic Federation in 1889, and founded the Irish Socialist Republican Party in 1896; a founder member of the De Leonist SLP in 1903. Toured the US until 1910, speaking in support of the IWW; returned to Ireland and became secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union. Shot in 1916 for his leading role in the Easter Rising.

De Leon, Daniel

US academic who joined the Socialist Labor Party (SLP, originally the American Socialist League) and transformed it from a small propaganda group, based in the European immigrants, to a lively, if doctrinaire party, active in the powerful US workers movement. De Leon participated in the founding of the IWW in the USA in 1905. The SLP described itself with the metaphor of a 'beacon', the light from which workers would see when the moment for revolution arrived. De Leon described the aim of the ASL to be elected as a 'shield' to neutralise the power of the state, with the One Big Union (OBU) as the 'sword' to take and hold the means of production and administer the economy of a future socialist society. Cannon said of De Leon: 'with all his great merits and capacities; with his exemplary selflessness, his complete and unconditional dedication to the workers cause; with the enemies he made he is entitled to our love and admiration - with all that, De Leon was a sectarian in his tactics, and his conception of political action was rigidly formalistic, rendered sterile by legalistic fetishism'. The SLP was the dominant influence on its Sydney and British sister parties of the same name.

Earsman, William P

Scottish immigrant to Australia, leaving Edinburgh in 1910; an active member of the Victorian Socialist Party (VSP) and during the First World War became Secretary of the Melbourne District of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers; co-founder of the Victorian Labor College. Earsman moved to Sydney in 1919 and collaborated with Jock Garden; convened the 'unity congress' which led to the UCPA being recognised by the Comintern as the Australian section. Attended the Third Congress of the Communist International in Russia in 1921 and won the confidence of Trotsky while in Moscow; returned briefly to Australia, but thereafter lived in Russia.

Feuerbach, Ludwig

German Philosopher and socialist, 1804 - 1872. You will speak to a thousand people who know the name of Ludwig Feuerbach, and you will be lucky to find one who has read any of his work, though the majority will have read Friedrick Engels' critique of him in Ludwig Feuerbach & the End of Classical German Philosophy. The context for a reading of Feuerbach could be better set than in the words of Engels:

... the main body of the most determined Young Hegelians was, by the practical necessities of its fight against positive religion, driven back to Anglo-French materialism. This brought them into conflict with the system of their school.

While materialism conceived nature as the sole reality, nature in the Hegelian system represents merely the "alienation" of the absolute idea, so to say, a degradation of the idea. At all events, thinking and its thought-product, the idea, is here the primary, nature the derivative, which only exists at all by the condescension of the idea. And in this contradiction they floundered as well or as ill as they could.

Then came Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity. With one blow it pulverised the contradiction, in that without circumlocutions it placed materialism on the throne again. Nature exists independently of all philosophy. It is the foundation upon which we human beings, ourselves products of nature, have grown up. Nothing exists outside nature and man, and the higher beings our religious fantasies have created are only the fantastic reflection of our own essence.

The spell was broken; the "system" was exploded and cast aside, and the contradiction, shown to exist only in out imagination, was dissolved. One must oneself have experienced the liberating effect of this book to get an idea of it. Enthusiasm was general; we all became at once Feuerbachians.

The piece reproduced on this site is not the famous Essence of Christianity, but the Principles of the Philosophy of the Future, in which Feuerbach puts his philosophical position concisely and comprehensively. The first section includes Feuerbach's interpretation of the history of philosophy up to Hegel; the second section, probably the best, which is Feuerbach's critique of Hegel, and final part puts forward his own position, which is very weak really, and is subject to withering criticism in Part III of Engels' booklet.

Feuerbach was a revolutionary, and at the end of his life joined the German Social Democratic Party, but he retained his differences with Marx to the end. Nevertheless, his contribution to the revolutionary movement should never be forgotten.

Garden, Jock

Born in Scotland; came to Australia in 1900; ALP member 1904, candidate in 1913 & 1916. Member of the Clerk's Union from 1907, and secretary of the NSW Labor Council from 1918. where his group was known as the 'Trades Hall Reds'. After the 1917 Revolution, Garden formed the Industrial Vigilance Council with the aim of transforming the ALP into a revolutionary party. Expelled from the ALP in 1919. Joined the de Leonist August 1919, but expelled in November 1919 for publishing the Manifesto of a 'secret communist party' with some of those trade unionists who had left the NSW ALP, WP Earsman and members of the VSP. It was this 'secret Communist Party' which issued the call for the founding of a CPA. Following an early split, Garden's group was recognised by the Comintern in August 1922. Garden won support among militant unionists and conducted a successful intervention at the All-Australian Trades Union Congress of 1921, at which 15 per cent of the delegates were members of the CPA. After the ALP banned the CPA, Garden proposed continued secret membership to avoid isolation, but in 1926 Garden led his supporters in the NSW Labour Council out of the Party, after defying CPA policy by supporting a left break-away from the Queensland ALP. Jock Garden drifted out of the CPA mainly due to the conflict between retaining leadership in the trade union movement while being publicly identified with positions which were minority positions even in the organised working class. Remained a part of the Red International of Labour Unions and the Pan-Pacific Trade Union Secretariat, breaking only when denounced as 'social fascists'. Garden then became the driving force behind the powerful 'socialisation' movement of the period of Lang's ALP Premiership in NSW. Garden was a powerful and eloquent speaker and a skilled organiser. Although never regarded as a 'theorist', he was a formidable political operator.

Glynn, Tom

A Leader of IWW and one of the IWW 12, jailed for treason in a frame-up trial because of their successful work in the 1916 miners strike, and their militant opposition to the War. IWW agitators were itinerant, out-spoken and colourful figures. The popularity of their message, and the ample space given to denouncing them in the Press, was however not matched by the growth of the OBU, which remained little more than a number of 'clubs', isolated from the mass trade union movement. Glynn was a founder member of the CPA in 1920; drifted away from the CPA in 1921, rejecting the United Front tactic applied in relation to the VSP and the ALP and trade union leadership. He remained within the orbit of the CPA however, especially after the Moxon-Sharkey leadership adopted the ultra-left 'social fascist' policy; participated with the CPA in the Unemployed Workers Union and the Anti-eviction struggles.

Gorky, Maxim

(1868-1936) destitute as a youth, became Russia's foremost writer; joined Bolsheviks 1905 and helped organise their first legal newspaper, but drifted away during years of reaction, and was an opponent in October 1917; left USSR in 1921, returning in 1931, after which he defended Stalin; "Gorky died when there was nothing more for him to say. ... started his literary career as a tramp poet. This was his best period as an artist. From the lower depths Gorky carried to the Russian intelligentsia the spirit of daring, the romantic bravery of people who had nothing to lose ... in the events of the Revolution however there was no place for a tramp..." (Trotsky).

Hyndman, Henry

(1842-1921) City businessman, one of those who introduced Marx's writings into Britain. The organiser of the Social Democratic Federation, he was an influence on the early socialists in Australia. Adopted social-chauvinist position in the War.

Jones, Mother

Born 1830. Helped in organising rail strike in 1877. Assisted Eugene Debs in 1896. From 1895-1923 (sic!), itinerant organiser for the Miners Union. Such was her reputation that union locals formed and won their demands simply on news that Mother Jones had arrived. Participated in founding of IWW in 1905. Also assisted dressmakers' struggles in New York, women prisoners, and led a march of child-workers on Washington which forced the passing of legislation against child labour. Jailed many times. Died 1930. "God Almighty made women and the Rockefeller gang of thieves made the ladies. I have been up against armed mercenaries, but this old woman, without a vote, and with nothing but a hat pin, has scared them!'

Kautsky, Karl

Born in Prague in 1854, joined Austrian SDP in 1875, became a Marxist in 1880 under the influence of Bernstein. Assisted with Marx and Engels. Founded and edited Die Neue Zeit until 1917. Co-author of the first program of the German SDP, which became a model for other parties of the International. After Engels' death, Kautsky was recognised as the foremost authority on Marx's writings and was the greatest populariser of Marx's theory. Moved to Germany in the 1890s. Although Kautsky defended 'orthodox' Marxism against Bernstein's revisionism, Kautsky accommodated himself to the conservative bureaucratic life-style of the SDP and found himself on the right-wing of the Party at the outbreak of the War. Denounced the Russian Revolution as a 'betrayal of Marxism'; a founder of the USPD (Independents); a minister in the SDP government after the defeated German revolution of November 1918. Joined the 'Two-and-a-half' International in 1921, later helping to re-establish the reformist 'Second International'. Died 1938.

Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich

Lenin, born in 1870, was committed to revolutionary struggle from an early age - his elder brother was hanged for the attempted assassination of Czar Alexander III. Lenin was profoundly influenced by G V Plekhanov, the father of Russian Marxism. In 1895 Lenin founded the League for the Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class, uniting all the Marxist circles in Petrograd at the time. This group was the first to combine struggle for socialist ideas with the day-to-day struggle of workers. Arrested in December 1895, he was exiled to Siberia in 1897, and from 1900 till 1903 conducted his struggle as an emigré in Europe. In 1900, Iskra (The Spark), was founded as the organ of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party with Lenin as editor. Lenin wrote the first draft program of the RSDLP in Iskra in 1902, and this program was circulated illegally throughout Russia, in preparation for the Second Congress of the RSDLP in 1903. At this Congress the RSDLP split into the Bolshevik and Menshevik wings. Lenin, with the majority of (Bolshevik) delegates, broke from Plekhanov and others over the concept of 'democratic centralism' - unfettered 'democracy' in discussion, but disciplined 'centralism' in action - as the basic principle of working class organisation. Returning to Petrograd from exile in Switzerland in April 1917, Lenin called for the overthrow of the Provisional Government - to the dismay of his comrades. Again, in October he threatened to resign and start again, if the CC did not support his plans for an insurrection Lenin was a domineering and implacable political fighter, the foremost theorist, propagandist, organiser and unquestioned leader of the Russian Revolution from 1903 till his death in 1924. Lenin survived an attempted assassination in August 1918, but suffered a series of strokes in May 1922, and was incapacitated until his death in January 1924. Even on his death-bed, surrounded by Stalin with 'doctors' ordered to ensure Lenin's isolation from the Party, Lenin smuggled out messages and notes via his nurses, in his last struggle, against Stalin.

Mao Zedong

Born in 1893, the son of a peasant in Hunan, Mao was a founder member of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921. Mao came to prominence in the Party in the Soviet 'republic' established in Kiangsi in 1931. Like other Comintern sections, the CCP was built through regular visits to Moscow for 'training', but Mao did not visit the USSR till after 1949, when he did so as leader of a powerful independent state. While Mao's rather pedagogical style of writing is reminiscent of Stalin, and Mao loyally upheld Stalin all his life, Mao was capable of theoretical work. His works on military strategy and philosophy are still worthy of study. His elaboration of the theory of protracted warfare, and the tactics available to national liberation movements against imperialist armies, have been well used and studied by all the national liberation movements of this period. They can also be misused, but that is hardly the fault of the works themselves. His famous essay 'On Contradiction' as well as 'On Handling Contradictions amongst the People', are a useful approach to dialectics and worthy of study. The Chinese Revolution achieved victory under Mao's leadership thanks to a readiness to empirically interpret Stalin's directives, according to the perceived needs of the Chinese revolution, rather than those of the USSR. According to Serge, Mao "was very close to us in his ideas, but he stayed within the Party line to keep his supplies of weapons and munitions". However, Mao was trained in the Comintern during the 'struggle against Trotskyism' and the purging of the Chinese Left Opposition. He consolidated his leading position during the period of the turn away from the urban workers to the peasantry. It is therefore understandable that Mao never questioned the fundamental correctness of Stalin's line. Mao reflected the influence of the billion-strong Chinese peasantry in the Comintern. This was a contradictory influence: one the one hand it represented the independent national aspirations of the Chinese people; on the other hand, this was a petit-bourgeois, not a proletarian influence. Many of Mao's old comrades from the 1920s survived him, unlike the leaders of the Russian Revolution who all died on Stalin's orders. But in essence, Mao was more Stalinist than Stalin - Mao's 'cult of the individual' put Stalin in the shade! The all-pervasive social control exercised by Mao was unparalleled in history. A combination of bureaucratic-centralist control exercised via the CCP hierarchy, and bonapartist mobilisation of the peasant masses against the urban working class and intelligentsia in the Party, backed up by a comprehensive system of instant justice, gulags and forced labour in the countryside, kept 1,000 million Chinese citizens in a state of thrall till after Mao's death.

Marcuse, Herbert

(1898-1979) a member of the Frankfurt School of "neo-Marxism" in the 1930s, became popular in the 1960s among the New Left. He emphasised the political dominance of capitalist ideology and rejected the political economic and class analysis of Marxism; denied the possibility of working class consciousness or political activity. Recanted his most nihilistic views in the early 1970s.

Moxon, Herbert

Leader of CPA after removal of Kavanagh in 1929, along with Sharkey.

Pankhurst, Adela

Came to Australia in 1914 and joined the Victorian Socialist Party (VSP); edited its children's magazine; leader of Women's Peace Army during the War, which combined feminism, anti-militarism and socialism, organising some huge anti-war demonstrations; jailed for agitation in support of general strike against the War; Adela' sister, Sylvia Pankhurst had founded the Workers Socialist Federation in Britain in 1919 and supported the October Revolution, and the Workers Socialist Federationwas the first British group to contact the Comintern. Adela was a founding member of the CPA in 1920, but took an ultra-left position; was expelled with the SP, while the WSF merged with the CPGB. Married Seaman's leader Tom Walsh, also a founding member of the CPA. She re-joined the Victorian Socialist Party but became increasingly disillusioned with socialism. In 1941, she formed the Australia First movement, a conservative, nationalist, proto-fascist movement.

Plekhanov, Georgi Valentinovich

(1856-1918) A revolutionary from the age of 19 as a Narodnik (populist); left Russia after split in 1879, when he came into contact with Marxism in Europe; 'Father of Russian Marxism'; founded the first Russian Marxist Group in 1883, the Emancipation of Labour Group. Wrote many expositions of Marxism, still valuable today, laying the foundations for the growth of Russian Marxism in the 1890s. Founding member of the Second International in 1889. Met Lenin in 1895 Founding editor of Iskra with Lenin and Martov, the Menshevik leader; although he supported Lenin at the Second Congress in 1903, he later sided with Mensheviks. Lenin was mortified by Plekhanov's betrayal, but P retained relations with Lenin until the RSDLP. Unity Congress in 1912; a social-chauvinist in 1914, supported the Provisional Government and opposed the Revolution. Even after this, Lenin said: 'One cannot become a real Communist unless one has studied - and I mean studied - everything Plekhanov has written on philosophy, for it is the best in world Marxist literature, and the USSR continued to publish P's works. Trotsky said of P: 'The War has weighed and appraised the leaders of this epoch. Among those whom it has liquidated is also to be found Plekhanov. This was a great man .It is a pity that the younger generation ... know Plekhanov only as the Plekhanov of the epoch of "patriotic" decline... and it is as a great figure that he has gone down in history'.

Sharkey, Lance

Foremost leader of the CPA from 1929 when Sharkey and Moxon received Comintern support to remove Kavanagh and implement the "social-fascist" policy. Jailed in 1949 for "sedition". Wavered in the period of the Sino-Soviet split. Although he was General Secretary at this time, his influence in the Party had declined, and Sharkey was on the side-lines by 1962.

Stalin, Josef

Born in 1879 in Georgia Stalin became involved in revolutionary politics while a seminary student in Tiflis; twice exiled, and escaped to London; returned, joined the Bolshevik Party; imprisoned 1913 - 1916; a Central Committee member and editor of Pravda after the February 1917 Revolution, from which position he advocated a defencist position until Lenin's return in April. He came close to being court marshalled during the civil war for refusal to obey orders. The sector for which he was responsible at the time, Tsaritsyn, he later renamed Stalingrad, despite the fact that he was almost responsible for its loss. Lenin's illness and Trotsky's absorption in the War, gave Stalin the opportunity to further his career. As Commissar for Nationalities he was responsible for repressive measures against opponents in the Georgian party. From his death-bed, Lenin attempted to defend the Georgian comrades against Stalin's brutal tactics. In Lenin's Testament, written as he accepted that he would not be able to intervene in the crucial 12th Congress of the Party in April 1923, Lenin described Stalin as 'rude, disloyal, and capable of abuse of power' and urged that Stalin be removed from his post of party general-secretary. The Testament was suppressed, and Stalin gained his leading position in the Party from that Congress. Stalin was known as a diligent and persistent organiser, but lacked any capacity for theoretical work, knew no foreign languages and had no interest in cultural matters. His character, as it developed during his life as leader of the USSR is of course legendary.

Trotsky, Leon

Born in 1879 in the Ukraine, Trotsky became involved in revolutionary activity in Odessa at the age of 18. With others, he set up the 'South Russian Workers Union', but the project was short-lived. The police arrested everyone. Trotsky was exiled, but escaped and made his way to London where he immediately went to Lenin's home. At the 1903 Congress of the RSDLP Trotsky did not choose either side. He believed that Lenin was in the right, but that the differences did not warrant a split, that Lenin was too hard on Plekhanov, that sooner or later the Mensheviks would be won back to Lenin's position. Trotsky remained a prominent and popular working class leader however, and was elected President of the Petrograd Soviet in the Revolution of 1905 - an event which caught the Bolshevik Party completely unprepared. Between 1905 and 1917 there were frequent conflicts between Trotsky and Lenin. Trotsky frequently criticised the Bolsheviks in much the same terms as an 'independent' socialist might criticise a 'party' socialist today. After returning to Petrograd (St Petersburg, or Leningrad) in May 1917, Trotsky quickly realised both that Lenin was right and he wrong on the organisation question, and that the Bolsheviks alone were fighting for a revolutionary socialist perspective. Trotsky joined the Bolshevik Party and was brought immediately into its leading group. He was appointed organiser of the Military-Revolutionary Committee which organised the insurrection. He was then appointed Commissar for War, charged with building the Red Army and leading the defence of the Revolution. After Lenin fell ill, Trotsky was relentlessly attacked, and ultimately exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929. He was barred entry to every country in the world, until finding refuge in Mexico. On August 20 1940 he was assassinated by an agent of Stalin. Trotsky was a cultured and popular political leader. Throughout his life he maintained an ability to communicate with working people of all nationalities, as well as an interest in all the arts. In the last years of his life his closest friends were artists such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. But even these closest friends capitulated to Stalin. His son and a number of his closest friends fell to Stalin's assassins. All his former comrades were executed, committed suicide or capitulated to Stalin. The isolation Trotsky suffered when he carried the banner of the Revolution forward in defiance of Stalin was enormous, and his writings of later years reflect the enormity of the burden imposed by this struggle. Before his death however, he did found the movement which was to take on the defence of Marxism for future generations, the Fourth International.

Zetkin, Clara

Born 1857; from 1895, a National Executive member of the German SPD, and on its left-wing; member of the Bookbinders Union in Stuttgart, and active in the Tailors and Seamstresses Union, becoming its provisional International Secretary in 1896, despite the fact that it was illegal for women to be members of trade unions in Germany at that time. As Secretary of the International Bureau of Socialist Women, Zetkin organised the Socialist Women's Conference in March 1915. Zetkin was a founder of the modern women's movement. Along with Alexandra Kollontai, Zetkin fought for unrestricted suffrage, and against the 'bourgeois feminist' position supporting the restriction of the vote by property or income. During the War joined the Spartacists along with Luxemburg and Liebknecht. A founding member of the German Communist Party, and a delegate to the Reichstag from 1920; member of the EC of the Communist International from 1921, but lived in Russia from 1924, where she was manipulated by Stalin until her death in 1933.

Zinoviev, Gregory

Born in Russia in 1883, founding member of the RSDLP and the Bolsheviks; CC member from 1907. Lenin's closest associate in exile till 1917. With Kamenev, opposed the October insurrection, but was appointed Chairman of Petrograd Soviet and later Secretary of the Communist International, through which position he knew most of the leaders of the International. From this time on Zinoviev and Kamenev were always closely associated. Trotsky remarked that the two had complementary characters. In 1923, they formed the 'troika' with Stalin to fight Trotsky, broke with Stalin in 1925 over bureaucratism, and joined the United Opposition against Stalin in 1926. Expelled in 1927. Capitulated to Stalin and re-admitted in 1928. Despite prostrating themselves before Stalin, they were expelled again 1932, for the crime of reading a right-opposition document, exiled, arrested 1934, charged in the First Moscow Trial with plotting to assassinate Stalin and shot. Z was a prolific writer, but only his excellent History of the Bolshevik Party has come down to us. Described by Trotsky as an 'agitator', with a good political instinct, though tempestuous, obsessive and sometimes vindictive In his 'Testament', Lenin remarked that it 'was no accident that K and Z opposed the October insurrection'. Zinoviev remarked in 1926 that their mistake in supporting Stalin against Trotsky in 1923 was even greater than their mistake in 1917. Trotsky in turn later remarked that their error in capitulating to Stalin in 1928 was even worse, since in doing so they showed the way for younger, less authoritative Bolsheviks. "Simply a demagogue, a populariser of ideas worked out by Lenin" according to Serge.

Allende, Salvador

(1908-73), Doctor; founder of the left-wing Chilean Socialist Party; Deputy 1937-45, briefly Minister of Health in Popular Front gov't 1938; Senator 1945-70; President on third attempt in September 1970, facing a hostile legislature; proposed nationalisation of Chile's vital copper mines; opposition, including strike by National Confederation of Lorry Owners forced him to pull back; invited Army into Cabinet; disarmed the militant copper miners. On 11 September 1973 he was overthrown in a CIA-organised coup led by Gen. Pinochet, and shot himself as troops were entering the Presidential Palace.

Andropov, Yuri

Born 1914, son of railway worker, joined Komsomol at age 16, Komsomol full-timer 1936, promoted in the wake of the purges, and secretary of Karelia Komsomol at time it was annexed into USSR in 1940, then second secretary of Karelian Republic under the Old Bolshevik survivor Otto Kuusinen. Posted to Hungary by Malenkov as punishment for submitting an honest report on a party rival and became ambassador in 1954 and was in Imre Nagy's office at the time Soviet troops invaded in October 1956, reportedly genuinely trying to avoid a confrontation. He was promoted to the Central Committee department after the suppression of the Hungarian uprising with the support of Kuusinen. Opposed Lysenkoism in last days of Khrushchev. Surprised everyone with his appointment to head of the KGB in 1967, evidently a consensus choice by the post-Khrushchev leadership, to limit the power of General Secretary Brezhnev. Under Andropov the KGB became much more effective in suppression of dissent through the use of more subtle means of pressure and intelligence, but allowed large numbers of dissidents to leave the USSR and work from abroad. Under Andropov, the KGB also worked to restrain the 'Brezhnev mafia', including the arrest of Brezhnev's daughter for corruption. Information collected during his KGB days he used to eliminate opposition from the 'Brezhnev-mafia' and secure election to the leadership. According to Zhores Medvedev, after the death of Brezhnev, Andropov was the favourite candidate among the dissidents and intelligentsia. For the last 16 years of his life, including his period as head-of-state, Andropov lived in a single-bedroom flat. As head of state, Andropov initiated a campaign against "absenteeism, idleness, drunkenness, etc" and crime but succeeded only in generating opposition and an atmosphere of fear. After Andropov died in February 1984, Chernyenko pursued a different tack.


Led attack on the Winter Palace; disappeared in Spain 1938.

Beria, Lavrenti

(1899-1953) Georgian. Organised Bolshevik group in Baku in 1917; 1921-31 directed GPU in Georgia. First Sec. Georgian CP from 1931; leader of NKVD from 1938 until Stalin's death. Responsible for countless murders on his own initiative as well as on Stalin's oders; summarily shot shortly after Stalin's death.

Brandler, Heinrich

(1881-1967) member of the Spartacus League, founding member of the KPD, led the Party during the insurrections of 1921 and1923, and made the scape-goat for their failure; removed 1924; formed right-wing faction aligned with Bukharin; expelled 1929, and continued to lead an independent right-wing opposition until the War. "hump-backed bricklayer with malice in his eyes" (Serge).

Brezhnev, Leonid

(1906-1982) Like Khrushchev, a Ukrainian; engineer, CPSU official from 1938, Supreme Soviet from 1950, CC 1953, Politburo 1957, President of SU 1960 as ally of Khrushchev; succeeded Khrushchev as First Secretary of SU in October 1964, and was the principal member of the 'troika' with Kosygin and Gromyko. Ended the criticism of Stalin and partially rehabilitated him. Led retreat from Khrushchev's policy of political liberalisation and decentralisation. Under Brezhnev the corruption and parasitism of the bureaucracy grew in proportion to the decline in the economy.

Castro, Fidel

Born Cuba 1927, lawyer; led armed attack on Moncada barracks 26 July 1953, freed after 2 years in prison, and went to Mexico where he prepared his guerrilla force. Landed in Cuba in December 1956 with 80 supporters, and a led successful guerrilla campaign from the countryside. Marched into Havana January 1959; the US 'Bay of Pigs' invasion failed dismally.Turned for support to USSR, leading to the 1962 'Cuban missile Crisis'. Castro took over the Cuban Communist Party, changing the name of his party to 'Communist Party' in 1965. Nationalised the economy and introduced extensive social services. Supported liberation struggles, most notably in Angola. Relying on a loyal group of his old comrades, Castro has personally directed the fate of Cuba since 1959. Supported Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Bitterly criticised Gorbachev's glasnost policy and 'new thinking' in international policy, which included the cutting off of the Soviet aid upon which Cuba relied.

Ceausescu, Nicolae

Joined the Communist Party at age 14 in 1932; jailed for theft as well as political activity; General Secretary of the CP from 1954, under patronage of Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej; from 1967 President of Rumania. One of the most repressive and corrupt of Stalinist leaders, his independence of Moscow (maintaining diplomatic relations with Israel, criticising invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and Afghanistan in 1984) earned support from the West. Secretly he sold Soviet military information to the US. Jimmy Carter welcomed him as a 'freedom fighter', the Queen conferred an honorary knighthood on him. The WA mining magnate Lang Hancock cultivated a personal friendship with him and the wealthy far-right Italian businessman, Iosef Dragan who had been a Nazi collaborator during WWII, was also a well-known supporter. Following a 1971 visit to China, Ceausescu initiated a program of building massive industrial complexes, most of which turned out to be white elephants. A mad scheme to 'abolish the distinction between town and country', bulldozing 150 towns and 1,800 small villages to erect proposed 'agro-industrial complexes', and the repression of the Magyar minority consolidated opposition to Ceausescu in the countryside. When the country rose against him in 1989, Ceausescu thumbed his nose at the masses. Party and Army leaders turned against him, and after a week of fighting between the Army and the Securitate, Ceausescu and his wife were arrested and shot.

Chernyenko, Konstantin

Leader of Soviet Union February 1984 till his death a year later. In many ways prepared the ground for his protegy Mikhail Gorbachev. Promoted turn to production of consumer goods and loosening of Andropov's strict political control.

Chiang Kai-Shek

(1887-1975) born in Chekiang; served in Japanese Army; assisted Sun Yat Sen in building Chinese Nationalist Army after declaration of Republic in 1911; trained in Red Army in 1923; succeeded Sun Yat Sen as leader of Kuomintang after his death in 1925; under CKS's leadership the Kuomintang moved to the right; fought civil war against Communist Party 1927-1949; against the Japanese 1931-45, in a tenuous 'united front' with the CCP; received support from the US throughout, and from the Nazi Germany and the USSR until 1945; fled with his forces to Taiwan in January 1949.

Connolly, James

Born 1868. Joined Hyndman's Social Democratic Federation in 1889, and founded the Irish Socialist Republican Party in 1896; a founder member of the De Leonist SLP in 1903. Toured the US until 1910, speaking in support of the IWW; returned to Ireland and became secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union. Shot in 1916 for his leading role in the Easter Rising.

Debs, Eugene

Born 1855. Founder of the US Train drivers union. Co-founder of the IWW and a leader of the left-wing of the Socialist Party. Jailed 1918-21 for opposition to the war. Solidarised with the Russian Revolution, but remained in the SP following the split leading to the founding of the Communist Party. Debs deliberately abstained so far as possible from all internal party struggles believing that all such struggles were 'bureaucracy' and reserved his energies for agitation. Died 1926.

Deng Zhou Ping

Born 1902, educated in France, by 1931 close associate of Mao. Central Committee 1949, General Secretary from 1956 until 1966, when he was denounced as a revisionist during the Cultural Revolution. Back on CC 1973. The most influential leader of Chinese Communist Party after Mao's death until his own death in February 1997. Credited with leading China back to capitalism.

Dmitrov, Georgi

Long-standing leader of the Bulgarian Communist Party, returned to Bulgaria in November 1945 and began the statification of the Bulgarian economy; showed a degree of independence of Stalin, talking to Tito and the Rumanians of a South-east European socialist federation, and early in 1948 he was eased out of leadership by Stalin and died in July 1949.

Dubcek, Alexander

Born 1921 in Slovakia, emigrated with his family to the Soviet Union when he was 4. Returned in 1938 and joined the CP. Fought with the resistance. Full-time official from 1949; sent to Moscow in 1955-58, where he became a supporter of Khrushchev. Although he had not participated in the opposition to Novotny, he was appointed his successor as First Secretary in January 1968. Attempted to persuade the USSR not to intervene in his reform program, and pleaded to the people not to resist the invasion when it came. Arrested, later released, and remained First Secretary until April 1969; expelled from the Party in 1970. After the overthrow of Stalinism in 1989, Dubcek was hailed as a hero. He died in a car crash in 1992, and Gorbachev confirmed Dubcek's right to be recognised as the originator of perestroika.

Dzerzhinsky, Felix

Young Polish poet before joining Bolsheviks, a leader of the revolution, entrusted with establishment of Cheka, later leader of GPU; crucial supporter of Stalin in early days, for instance in victimisation of Stalin's Georgeian opponents; died in 1926 of a heart attack.

Ebert, Friedrich

(1871-1925) Leader of right-wing of German SPD; Chancellor of Germany, crushed November 1918 uprising; President of Weimar Republic till 1925.

Fryer, Peter

Correspondent for British CP's newpaper in Hungary; an eye-witness to the Uprising he reurned to Britain to urge support for the Revolution; expelled, and later joined the Trotskyists.

Gierek, Edward

Born 1913. Polish United Workers Party leader in the loyal coal mining region of Upper Silesia. Elected leader of Poland when Gomulka was brought down by the strikes of December 1970; went to Gdansk and personally negotiated a settlement with the strikers, a practice typical of him. Reached an accomodation with the Catholic Church and allowed the 1979 tour of Pope John Paul. Fell ill at the height of the August 1980 strikes which utlimately led to the founding of Solidarity. Removed and replaced by Stalinslaw Kania.

Gomulka, Wladyslaw

Born 1905. Became leader of Polish Workers Party in 1943 under the Nazi occupation, and remained the most popular leader in post-War Poland. Removed under Soviet pressure after he objected to the 1948 left-turn, in particular the proposed forced collectivisation of agriculture. At the peak of the European political revolution, Gomulka was restored to leadership, and negotiated a compromise between Khrushchev and the Polish workers. While Gomulka organised the repression of the Warsaw students in 1968, he is generally believed to have opposed, though in vain, the subsequent upsurge of anti-Semitism in the leadership of the Polish CP. A true Polish nationalist, Gomulka was however no democrat and preferred personal control to delegation. Finally discredited after ordering the use of force against Gdansk strikers in 1970 and replaced by Edward Gierek.

Gorbachev, Mikhail

Born 1931; studied law at Moscow University; joined the Party in 1952 at age 21; began as a district organiser of the CPSU in Stavropol from 1970 to 1978. He was elevated to the Politburo in 1979 where he received the patronage of Yuri Andropov, head of the KGB and also a native of Stavropol, and promoted during Andropov's brief time as leader of the Party before his death in 1984. After the death of the ageing Chernyenko, Gorbachev became General Secretary of Party in March 1985. Gorbachev launched his campaign for glasnost (openness) and perestroika. (restructuring) at the 27th Congress of CPSU in February 1986. After the break up of the USSR in 1991 Gorbachev commented: 'The main work of my life is done. I have done all that I could, I think that in my place others would have given up long ago. But I managed to drag the idea of perestroika through, if not without mistakes... [the CIS] have begun carving up the country like a pie'. The final session of the Congress of the USSR was inquorate. In adjourning the session, Gorbachev commented 'I respect your decision, but please carry on without me'. Gorbachev was seen from the West as a driving force for change in the Soviet Union. However, he was very much a 'consensus' politician, and occupied the centre in the struggles of 1985-91.

Gramsci, Antonio

(1891-1937) In 1921 a founder of Italian Communist Party. Wrote extensively while in prison under Mussolini from 1926 until his death. "... losing his way in familiar streets, taking the wrong train, indifferent to the comfort of his lodgings..; but intectually, he was aboslutely alive. Trained intuitively in the dialectic, quick to uncover falehood and trasnfix it with the sting of irony, he viewed the world with exceptional clarity". (Serge)

Guevara, Che

(1928-67) Argentinian doctor; joined Castro in Mexico in 1954; a leader of the 1956-59 Cuban Revolution; in 1965 left Cuba to set up guerrilla force in Bolivia, where he was isolated and killed in October 1967. Developed theory of primacy of military struggle, in particular guerilla 'foci' isolated from the urban workers, relying on the peasantry.

Hardie, Kier

(1856-1915) Lanarkshire coal miner from age of 10. Established Scottish Parliamentary Labour Party in 1888, elected to Parliament from East London in 1892. Founded ILP in 1893. MP for Merthyr Tydfil from 1900. Visited Australia in 1908 in support of the anti-conscription movement.

Hardy, Frank

Writer, member of CPA; wrote popular "proletarian short stories and novels as well as apologia for Soviet bureaucracy until 1950s; jailed for exposure of corruption of Power Without Glory; became disillusioned with Soviet Union and Communism altogether; played instrumental role in supporting strikes by Aboriginal workers and the "tent embassy" in the 1970s; died in 1994.

Haywood, (Big) Bill

General Secretary of US Western Federation of Miners, presided at Founding Convention of the IWW in 1905, where he anticipated the approaching Russian Revolution in his address. Along with Vincent StJohn, Eugene Debs and Daniel De Leon, one the of principal leaders of the IWW. Haywood was in prison at time of 2nd Convention, but his ally Vincent StJohn led a split in defence of the IWW's revolutionary perspective against the syndicalists. His own union supported the syndicalists however. The IWW split at its Fourth Congress in 1908, ridding itself of the narrow doctrinairism of De Leon's SLP. Removed from the National Executive of the SP in 1912, Haywood became General Secretary of the IWW in 1914. In 1917, most of the IWW leaders were jailed. In 1920, the Communist International addressed an Open Letter to the IWW invited them to join the Comintern. Hayward said of this letter: 'After I had finished reading it I called Ralph Chaplin and said to him: "Here is what we have been dreaming about; here is the IWW all feathered out!"'. Haywood went to the USSR to escape repression, "to end his days in the stuffy rooms of the Lux Hotel, among Marxists, not one of whom tried to understand him" (Serge).

Havel, Vaclav .

Playwright; longstanding dissident in Czechoslovakia; the movement in his defence built up to bring down the Stalinist regime in 1989, and Havel was elected President.

Ho Chi Minh

Born 1890. Left Vietnam for France in 1911, and in December 1920 voted with the majority of French Socialist Party members to affiliate to the Communist International. Moscow 1922, and accompanied first Bolshevik visitors to China. Set up a youth movement in Vietnam in 1924, which he led from Canton, China, where he worked closely with both the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang, until 1927. Arrested for sedition in Hong Kong in 1931, and presumed dead by his comrades in Vietnam. In fact, Ho was 'recalled' to Moscow, where he did routine duties. Meanwhile, he was blamed for the disastrous results of the Comintern's disastrous ultra-left policies in Vietnam. Worked with Chinese Red Army. Following the Japanese invasion of Vietnam, Ho returned to Vietnam in 1941, where he set up a base in the hills near the Chinese border, where many workers and youth fled from Hanoi. Founded the Viet Minh to fight the Japanese, and sought assistance from the US. Truman promised independence for Vietnam in exchange for support against the Japanese. The Viet Minh assisted in suppressing the uprising of the Saigon workers in 1945. French colonialism reclaimed the country, and Ho took the leadership of the war which ended in victory at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Accepting the fake peace negotiated at Geneva, Ho withdrew his troops to the North, and allowed the US to re-occupy the South. Then began the 20 years war against the US. Ho died in 1969, not living to see the victory of the Vietnamese forces in April 1975.

Honecker, Erich

(1912-1992) building worker; joined German Communist Party (KPD) in 1929; imprisoned by Nazis in 1937, released by Red Army in 1945; leader of CP youth movement 1949-58; deputy to Ulbricht 1958; First Sec. 1971, President 1976; resigned October 1989 in face of huge demonstrations in Leipzig and elsewhere; found refuge in USSR ...

Hoxha, Enver

Led the resistance to Mussolini's occupation of Albania during the War in close collaboration with Tito's partisan army in Yugoslavia, and established an independent republic in November 1945. Supported Stalin in the dispute with Tito, the leader of neighbouring Yugoslavia. In the wake of Khrushchev's 1956 speech, Hoxha supported the Chinese line. As China patched up relations with the West, relations with China became strained, and from 1978 Hoxha pursued his own isolationist policy. Died in 1985.

Joffe, Adolf

CC member at time of Revolution; suicide in prison 1927. His wife Maria, also a leading Bolshevik, survived in labour camps until after aStalin's death, and published her autobiography in the 1980s.

Kagarlitsky, Boris

Born 1958. Imprisoned 1982 for opposition work. Co-ordinator of the Moscow Popular Front for Perestroika in 1990. Leader of the Soviet Left and most well-known Soviet Marxist outside of Russia; founding member of the Party of Labour, member of the Moscow City Council.

Kahlo, Frida

(1907-1954) Born and brought up in Coyoacan, Mexico. Polio at age of seven, and suffered a terrible accident when she was 18, the painful effects of which she suffered throughout her life. A prominent artist, her only public exhibition was in 1953, shortly before her death. In 1929 she married the famous muralist, Diego Rivera, who had joined the Fourth International in 1936. In January 1937, Trotsky and Natalia came to Coyoacan, where Rivera rented Trotsky a house. Trotsky and Kahlo had a brief love affair in 1937. Rivera co-authored the Manifesto Towards a Free Revolutionary Art with Andre Breton and Trotsky in 1938. In January 1939, under intense pressure from his fellow-artists, Rivera resigned from the FI. Trotsky broke off relations with Rivera, but tried to retain Frida Kahlo's support. Frida resisted pressure to denounce Trotsky, until rejoining the CP in 1948. It was Mexican Stalinists, including the painter David Siqueros, who organised Trotsky's assassination in August 1940.

Kamenev, Lev

Born in Russia in 1883, founding member of the RSDLP and the Bolsheviks. Returned from exile in 1914 to edit Pravda but was arrested; released by February 1917 revolution, and elected to Bolshevik Central Committee. With Zinoviev, Kamenev opposed the October insurrection, but was appointed Chairman of the Moscow Soviet and later Chairman of the Politburo. From this time on Kamenev was always closely associated with Zinoviev. Trotsky remarked that the two had complementary characters. In 1923, they formed the 'troika' with Stalin to fight Trotsky, broke with Stalin in 1925 over bureaucratism, and joined the United Opposition against Stalin in 1926. Expelled from CPSU in 1927. Capitulated to Stalin and re-admitted in 1928. Expelled again 1932, exiled, arrested 1934, charged with plotting to assassinate Stalin in First Moscow Trial and shot.Married Trotsky's sister. Described by Trotsky as a 'propagandist', cautious, cultured and good-natured. In his 'Testament', Lenin remarked that it 'was no accident that K and Z opposed the October insurrection'. Zinoviev remarked in 1926 that their mistake in supporting Stalin against Trotsky in 1923 was even greater than their mistake in 1917. Trotsky in turn later remarked that their error in capitulating to Stalin in 1928 was even worse, since in doing so they showed the way for younger, less authoritative Bolsheviks.

Kavanagh, Jack

Born in Ireland 1879. Fought for the British in the Boer War; emigrated to Canada in 1907 and joined the Socialist Party of Canada; in 1918 President of British Columbia Federation of Labour,m and an OBU organiser. Expelled from SP in 1919. By 1922 and Executive Committee member of the Communist Party and editor of its paper. Came to Australia in 1925, and became leader of the CPA which was at its lowest ebb at the time. Under Kavanagh's leadership the CPA tried to except the NSW Labour Council and ALP from application of the 'social fascist' policy. A relatively open discussion was conducted in the pages of Workers Weekly on the subject. Herbert Moxon and Lance Sharkey received Comintern support to overthrow Kavanagh. Kavanagh was expelled in 1934, when he joined the Trotskyists, and was active as a Trotskyist until during the War. He was active in pensioners organisations until his death in 1964.

Kerensky, Alexander

(1882-1970) Member of the bourgeois-radical Social Revolutionary Party, leader of the Trudovnik group in the Russian Duma. Was Vice-Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet at the time of the February 1917 Revolution, but accepted a post as Minister of Justice in the Provisional Government under Prince Lvov in March 1917; became Premier in July in attempt to contain rising working class opposition. Fled to US after the October Revolution, and became an academic.

Khrushchev, Nikita

Nikita Khrushchev was born in 1894 in the Ukraine, the son of a miner; joined the Communist Party during the Civil War. Worked his way up the Party, and was appointed Prime Minister of the Ukraine when it occupied was by the Red Army. He was appointed First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party in September 1953, six months after Stalin's death. In January 1956 he delivered the famous 'secret speech' at the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU, denouncing Stalin's crimes. In his speech Khrushchev spoke of the murder of political opponents, criminal misleadership in the War and systematic rewriting of history. Khrushchev achieved the position of head of state in March 1958, holding that post until he was removed in 1964, and died while in retirement in 1971. Khrushchev was a product of Stalin's bureaucracy, and once the tyrant was gone, it was he who first dared to speak. Tried to introduce elements of market economy and liberalisation; coined phrases 'cult of personality' and 'peaceful co-existence'.

Klement, Rudolf

Trotsky's secretary in Turkey and France; kidnapped by GPU; his headless body was fished out of the Seine in July 1938.

Kollontai, Alexandre

(1872-1952) Russian Social-Democrat from 1890s, active in international Socialist Women's movement, and a member of the Mensheviks before 1914. "During the war, she veered sharply to the left, without transition abandoning the ranks of the Mensheviks for the extreme left of the Bolsheviks. Her knowledge of foreign languages and her temperament made her an invaluable agitator. Her theoretical views have always been somewhat confused, however". (Trotsky) Elected to Central Committee in 1917 and Commissar for Social Welfare in the Soviet government. With Bukharin in 'Left Communist' faction, opposed signing of Brest-Litovsk Peace (Lenin was for signing immediately, Trotsky for delaying in hope of a revolution in Germany, the WO advocated a revolutionary war against Germany); leader of the 'Workers Opposition' 1920-22 calling for control of the economy to be transferred to the trade unions. Sent to diplomatic posts in Mexico and Scandanavia. Sympathised with the Left Opposition, but subsequently 'conformed'.

Krupskaya, Nadezhda

Born in 1869 in Russia and joined the first Marxist group in StPetersburg in 1891; with Lenin, founded the League for the Emancipation of the Working Class in 1895. Married Lenin in exile in 1898. Secretary to Iskra and ran a number of Bolshevik periodicals; responsible for maintaining illegal contacts. Worked in Commissariat for Education after the Revolution. Close to Zinoviev. Joined the United Opposition for a time, but withdrew in 1926, hoping to avoid a split. Trotsky described Krupskaya as devoted, energetic and intelligent. Trotsky says that she suffered a loss of confidence after 1926 as the Stalin group systematically isolated her, spread scandal against her and did everything possible to break her morally. Krupskaya died in 1939.

Kun, Bela

(1886-1937) leader of defeated Hungarian Soviet of 1919; worked for Comintern, and directed misconceived insurrection in Germany in March 1921; accused in Moscow Trials and shot.

Lassalle, Ferdinand

(1825-1864) participant in 1848 revolution in Germany; organiser of General Association of German Workers in 1860, fought for unity of workers organisations; criticised by Marx in Critique of the Gotha Program; his party participated in founding of German SPD in 1869.

Kuron, Jasek

Jailed while a student at the University of Warsaw, and published the Open Letter to Polish Workers Party in 1965, the first programmatic document against Stalinism to come out of the Stalinist bloc since the Left Opposition; jailed 1967; he was supported by Trotskyists in the West. Founder of the KOR (Defence of Workers Rigths) in 1976, a Marxist opposition group in defence of workers of Radom and Warsaw, which sowed the seeds of Solidarity. Made alliance with Catholic Church against Stalinism. Invited to join Solidarity as its chief adviser in 1980. Labour Minister in first Solidarity government; founded the Democratic Union in December 1990, which received the largest vote in the October 1991 elections, campaigning a more gradualy transition to capitalism. By the time of the 1993 elections situated on the right-wing of the Polish political spectrum. Quoted in 1989 stating: "What I would most wish is to be a social-democrat in a proper capitalistic country. But for that I have to build this proper capitalistic country first".

Liebknecht, Karl

Born 1871; son of Wilhelm, a founder of the SPD. Founding leader of the Socialist Youth International in 1907; Closely associated all his life with Rosa Luxemburg. With RL, leader of left-wing of German SDP by the beginning of the War. Renowned for his agitation among youth and soldiers. With RL, founded the Spartacus League in 1914 to oppose the War; The names of Liebknecht and Luxemburg were renowned throughout the world for their courageous opposition to the War, and inspired millions. Arrested May Day 1916 for organising anti-war demonstration. The militarist government abdicated in the face of a rising workers rebellion in November 1918, handed power to the SPD. Liebknecht proclaimed a Socialist Republic. The Spartacists called a national conference in December to found the German Communist Party to resolve the social crisis by revolutionary means. A new insurrectional general strike broke out in January 1919, but the CP was still far too small and unorganised to lead the struggle. L and RL were arrested and murdered by the SPD government of Ebert. Trotsky said that 'Liebknecht was not a theoretician. He was a man of action. Impulsive and passionate by nature, he possessed exceptional political intuition, a sense of the masses and of circumstance, and finally, incomparably courageous revolutionary initiative'.

Luxemburg, Rosa

Born 1871 in Eastern Poland. Closely associated with Karl Liebknecht. Founding leader of the Polish SDKPiL in 1893, joined German SDP in 1898; opposed Bernstein and later Kautsky's revisionism; with KL, founded the Spartacus League in 1914 to oppose the War; a passionate speaker and prolific journalist and pamphleteer; spent most of the War in prison. Released from prison in October 1918; wrote the founding program of the German Communist Party in December 1918. An insurrectional general strike broke out in January 1919, but the CP was still far too small and unorganised to lead the struggle. RL and KL were arrested and murdered by the SPD government of Ebert, Scheidemann and Noske. Trotsky said that 'In the force of her theoretical thought and in her capacity for generalisation, RL was head and shoulders above not only her enemies, but also her comrades ... terse, exact, brilliant, merciless'.

MacDonald, Ramsay

Founder of the Independent Labour Party in Britain in 1893; opposed the War, and lost the leadership of the Labour Party; in 1924, the first Labour Party Prime Minister; quit the Labour Party in 1931 and formed a coalition government with the Tories, helping to smash the unions and impose the burden of the Depression on to the working class.

MacLean, John

Born 1879 in Glasgow. Joined Hyndman's SDP in 1902; most renowned socialist agitator in Scotland; opposed Hyndman's social-chauvinism; jailed 1915, '16 and '18 for agitation against the War; Left the SP successor to SDF) in 1920, and supported the Revolution, but refused to join the CPGB, calling instead for a separate Scottish CP, and advocated a Scottish Workers Republic; Appointed Soviet Consul in Scotland by the Bolsheviks. Died 1923.

Mann, Tom

(1856 - 1941) Secretary of the British ILP, and leader of the famous 'dockers tanner' strike, which ended in victory after receiving a huge donation from Australian unionists.Mann came to Melbourne in 1903, and conducted a series of lectures on 'social problems'. He acted as a stimulus for the formation of the Victorian Socialist Party. Under his mentorship, the VSP grew to 2,000 members by 1907 when it initiated the OBU project. While advocating revolutionary socialism it.still remained inside the ALP. Mann was invited to Broken Hill, and won the craft unionists to the policy of industrial unionism. Mann later became disillusioned with the policy of 'pushing labor to the left'. On his return to Britain, took a pacifist position on the war; became a founding member of the British Communist Party in 1920. Leader of Red International of Labour Unions through which the CP maintained its united front with Jock Garden's group.

Martov, Julius

(1873-1923) leader of the Mensheviks; main writer for Iska under Lenin's editorship. "Working side by side with Lenin (in 1902), Martov, his closest companion in arms ... the elaborate subtlety of M's ideas sometimes made Lenin shake his head in alarm ... political lines had not yet had time to form ... but Lenin was "hard" and Martov was "soft", and they both knew it'. (Trotsky)

Martynov, A

(1865-1935) Right-wing Menshevik; principal advocate of the "two-stage" theory of revolution; and opponent of October Revolution; joined CP in 1923 as supporter of Stalin, theoretical architect of the "bloc of four classes".

Masaryk, Jan

Tomas Masaryk, a Czech intellectual and statesman, was the founder-President of Czechoslovakia in December 1918 until his death in 1935. (The Czech Legion of prisoners of war, led by Generals Syrovy and Gajda, had played a large role in the War of Intervention against the Russian Revolution.) His son Jan Masaryk was Foreign Minister of the Czech government-in-exile in London 1941-45, and continued on after returning to Prague in 1945, as a symbol of the continuity of Czech government. Masaryk supposedly “leapt” to his death from a window of the Foreign Ministry in 1948, a few days after the success of the Communist Party in the February 1948 elections.

Molotov, Vyacheslav

Born 1890; joined Bolsheviks at aged 16, taking the name of Molotov, "the hammer"; jailed six times, exiled twice by 1917 when he was working with Stalin on Pravda; First Secretary of CP before Stalin; Foreign Minister after the death of Stalin till his resignation in June 1956; expelled from Presidium by Khrushchev in July leader of the "anti-party group".

Nagy, Imre

Become a Communist while a prisoner of war in Russia, and had been in the USSR since 1930. He was a popular figure in Hungary, and regarded as a moderates. As Interior Minister carried out sweeping land reforms, but was soon removed from his post by the ardent Stalinist Rakosi. Rehabilitated and made Prime Minister in 1953 after the death of Stalin. Instead of repressing the uprising of 1956, Nagy had joined it, and vainly attempted to dissuade the Soviet Union from intervening. When the Uprising was crushed by Soviet intervention on November 4, Nagy was put on trial and executed. In 1989, the body of Imre Nagy was exhumed from its unmarked plot an reburied.An 'historical sub-committee' to review the events of 1956, Nagy's trial and execution in 1958, found that the Uprising was a 'popular uprising' and that Nagy and the others were 'victims of illegal show trials'. Accordingly, Nagy was reburied at a ceremony on the 31st anniversary of his execution, attended by returned exiles and current political leaders alike.

Novotny, Antonin

(1904-1975) worker in Czech arms factory; joined CP 1921; in concentration camp 1941-45; First Sec. Czechoslovakian CP early 1953; focussed economy on development of heavy industry; resigned March 1968, in face of mounting opposition and isolation within the Party.

O'Shea, Clarrie

CPA-ML, leder of Tramways union; defied anti-union laws, and movement in his defence led to general stike and defeat of penal provisions.

Pablo, Michel (Raptis)

International Secretary of Fourth International after War; developed theory of "centuries of deformed workers states", and advocated liquidation of Trotskyist Parties in favour of forming left-wing of Stalinist Parties; left FI iafter 1963 re-unification; later Minister in Ben Bella's government in Algeria.


Early supporter of Stalin, Georgian; promoted to CC prior to Stalin's emergence as a factional leader; died 1937, reason unknown.

Peng Shu-Tse

Leader of Chinese CP 1924-27; opposed policy of subordination to Kuomintang; joined Trotskyists after defeat of 1927; left China in 1949.


Member of Bolshevik CC prior to 1921; refused to "confess" and shot in 1937.

Pyatakov, Y L

(1890-1937) Bolshevik since 1912; various positions in Soviet givernment; Leading member of Left Opposition 1923-28; executed following second Moscow Trial. . "fairly well-educated Marxist .. a good administrator with a reserve of will. ... In the early years P showed revolutionary energy, but it later changed to a bureaucratic conservatism". (Trotsky).

Radek, Karl

(1885-1939) joined Polish Social-Democrts in 1904; active in German Socialist left from 1908; Zimmerwald Left 1915; returned to Russia with Lenin in 1917; narrowly escaped being murdered along with Luxemburg aand Liebknecht in 1919; leading propagandist for Comintern; member of Left Opposition 1923-29; expelled 1927; capitulated 1929; chief defendant in Second Moscow Trial; died in prison. "A sparkling writer... thin, rather small, nervous, full of anecdotes which often had a savage side to them ... just like an old-time pirate" (Serge)

Rajk, Lazslo

Joined Communist Party as a student in Budapest; fought with International Brigade in Spain, where he was wounded, returning secretly to Budapest in 1938, where he worked under cover and played a leading role in the resistance. Arrested by the Nazis, tortured and interned at Belsen. Popular due to his heroic role in the resistance, Rajk was made Minister of the Interior in February 1946, Foreign Minister August 1948. Accused of having been a Nazi agent and of "Tito-ism", he was condemned in an absurd show trial and hanged in September 1949. He was officially 'rehabilitated' by Rakosi in March 1956 when 250,000 people attended his ceremonial reburial.

Rakosi, Matyas

(1892-1971) Participated in shortlived Hungarian Soviet government of 1919; escaped to USSR, returning in 1925; jailed 1927, deported to USSR in 1940 in exchange for Hungarians flags held in Moscow aince 1849. Leader of Hungrian CP till July 1956; coined the phrase 'salami tactics' as a method of slicing off opponents one at a time; was in USSR at time of uprising.

Rakovsky, Christian

Born 1873 in Bulgaria. A close associate of Trotsky; leading socialist in many European countries before the War; imprisoned in Rumania, but freed by Russian troops in 1917; founder of Balkan Revolutionary SDF; President of Ukrainian Soviet 1919-23; Ambassador to Britain 1923; a founding member of the Left Opposition, expelled from Party in 1927 and exiled in Siberia, from where he wrote articles critical of Stalin, until recanting in 1934; jailed in Third Moscow Trial, and died in prison in 1941. Serge described R at Lenin's funeral: "Rakovsky towered over the crowd, stout and smooth-shaven; his words snapped out, carrying a great distance 'This flag, we will follow it, right to the end".

Reed, John

(1887-1920) American journalist; joined Communists while reporting the Revolution in 1917; author of Ten Days that Shook the World; helped form the Communist Labour Party in the US in 1919. Died of typhus in the Soviet Union. "Reed was tall, forceful, and matter-of-fact, with a cool idealism and a lively intelligence tinged by humour" (Serge).

Sakharov, Andrei

(1921-1989) Soviet physicist; led the team that built the H-bomb; called for ban on tests in 1961; Nobel Peace Prize 1975; exiled to Gorky in 1980, where he went on hunger strike; allowed to return to Moscow 1987;April 1989 elected to Congress of People's Deputy representing the Academy of Sciences. ...

Sedov, Leon

(1906-1938) Trotsky's son; lived separately from his parents after 1917 in order not to be seen as privileged; paricipated in work of Left Opposition in 1923; accompanied his parents to exile, leaving his own family behind; murdered by Stalinist agent while in hospital in Paris.

Serge, Victor

(1890-1947) French anarchist of Russian emigre parents. Imprisoned during War, then deported to the USSR, where he became Assistant Secretary of the Comintern under Zinoviev. Criticised the repression of socialist and anarchist opponents of the Bolsheviks during the Civil War. Although sympathetic to the Kronstadt rebels, he supported the Bolsheviks. Joined the Left Opposition, and was the last member of the Left Opposition able to maintain public criticism of Stalin inside the USSR, until he was imprisoned in 1933. Owing to an international campaign in his support, was he released and allowed to leave the USSR in 1936. Was with the Fourth International for a short time after this, but developed differences, and left the FI in 1937.

Sharpley, Cecil

CC member of CPA who resigned and assisted in anti-communist campaign of BA Santmaria, with allegations of union ballot-rigging.

Sneevliet, Henk

(1883-1942) Dutch communist, founder of the Indonesian CP. Comintern representtive in China; left in 1927; formed Revolutionary Socialist Workers Party, adhered to Fourth International, but broke from FI in 1938; arrested by Nazi and shot in 1942.

Struve, Peter

(1870-1944) Russian Social-Democrat; advocate of "legal Marxism"; joined the right-wing Cadets in 1905; later a monarchist.


One of a group of young leaders, inspired by the victory of the Chinese Revolution, who turned the Indonesian Communist Party from a small, defeated and demoralised Party in 1950 into a large and dynamic force with three million members and more than 20 million supporters. Thousands of Communists were massacred following an unsuccessful coup in 1965. Sudisman was put on trial, and his famous final address, before being sentenced to death, analysed how PKI strategies had led to the debacle.

Sukharno, Ahmed

(1901-1970) founder of Indonesian Nationalist Party in wake of defeat of Indonesian Communists in 1927; in prison or exile for most of period 1929-45; de facto President of Indonesia after collapse of Japanese occupation, eventually recognised by Dutch in 1950; founder of 'non-aligned movement' of Asian and African nations; sought co-operation with Indonesian CP, while developing a capitalist economy; pushed aside by Suharto in 1965 after crushing of left-wing officers' Untung Rising; finally removed from Presidency in 1967.


Chairman of Bolshevik CC in 1917, and member of the Committee which organised the insurection; died of typhus 1919.

Ta Thu Thau

Born 1906, organised successful demonstration in 1926 in support of jailed nationalist leaders, and founded the Youth Party. Went to France in 1927 where he joined the Vietnamese Independence Party. VIP soon split between Trotskyist and Stalinist groupings. A number from both groups were deported to Vietnam in 1930, where TTT and others founded Indochinese Communism, a section of the Left Opposition. IC led the nationalist struggle in the South. In 1932 IC suffered a split, with TTT leading the majority in favour of utilising all legal opportunities. TTT was jailed with 120 others of all the Communist groups, and a United Front between IC and the Stalinists in the South was formed to free them. The Front held until 1937, when the Stalinists were forced by the Comintern to withdraw. TTT was soon imprisoned again, and spent the war in a concentration camp, where he was brought near to death by maltreatment. After the fall of the Japanese, TTT was murdered by the Stalinists in Sep 1945.

Tito, Josip Broz

Born in Croatia in 1892. Prisoner-of-war by Russian Army in 1915. Escaped and joined the Bolsheviks several months before the October Revolution. Returned to Yugoslavia, helping to organise the CP. Jailed for six years. Visited Moscow several times. Secretary of Yugoslav Communist Party from 1937. After Nazi invasion, set up his Partisans in Southern Serbia in 1941, and led by far the most powerful resistance movement in Europe. By end of the War, Tito's forces had control of the whole country. Refused to take Stalin's direction, and was expelled from the Cominform in 1948. Remained leaders of the country till his death in 1980.

Togliatti, Palmiro

Became leader of the Italian CP after the departure of Bordiga. Worked for many years for Comintern. Instrumental in formation of National Unity government in Italy in April 1944. Supported Italian claims to Trieste. Regarded as the founder of "Euro-Commuism", he was the first to draw "euro" conclusions from Khrushchev's Speech in 1956. Developed the "Italian Road to Socialism" put forward at World Congress of 1960, ultimately leading to the'historic compromise formulated by Berlinguer.

Tomsky, Mikhail

(1886-1936) Old Bolshevik, always on rigth-wing of Party; opposed insurrection in 1917; head of trade unions after 1917; joined Bukharin's Right Opposition. Committed suicide during first Moscow Trial.

Walesa, Lech

Born 1943. Worked in Gdansk shipyards from 1967 as electrical mechanic; member of 1970 strike committee which met Gierek in January 1971; over following decade bore a sense of guilt over death of four workers at this time; member of works committee at shipyards until sacked in 1976 for criticising management; in Dec 1978 and 1979 organised meetings commemorating workers killed in 1970; in 1979, joined the inter-factory strike committee to seek political rights and wage increases. Selected to lead the occupation of Lenin Shipyard in August 1980, leading to founding of Solidarity. As chairman of Solidarity Walesa kissed the Pope's hand, called for 'free enterprise', and openly greeted Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher as friends. Arrested when martial law was instituted in December 1981 and jailed until November 1982. He led the negotiations with the government in February 1989 leading to the June 1989 elections in which Soldarity swept the board. In December 1990, Lech Walesa became President in an election marked by anti-Semitism. Walesa's statements that he is "100 per cent Pole, going back generations" were aimed at winning the anti-Semitic vote. Walesa commented: 'Yes, I am still a capitalist and shall remain so. But I want to be an intelligent capitalist who has his eye on the long term'.


Candidate member of Bolhevik CC in 1917, prison 3rd Trial, executed 1944.

Zetkin, Clara

Born 1857; from 1895, a National Executive member of the German SPD, and on its left-wing; member of the Bookbinders Union in Stuttgart, and active in the Tailors and Seamstresses Union, becoming its provisional International Secretary in 1896, despite the fact that it was illegal for women to be members of trade unions in Germany at that time. As Secretary of the International Bureau of Socialist Women, Zetkin organised the Socialist Women's Conference in March 1915. Zetkin was a founder of the modern women's movement. Along with Alexandra Kollontai, Zetkin fought for unrestricted suffrage, and against the 'bourgeois feminist' position supporting the restriction of the vote by property or income. During the War joined the Spartacists along with Luxemburg and Liebknecht. A founding member of the German Communist Party, and a delegate to the Reichstag from 1920; member of the EC of the Communist International from 1921, but lived in Russia from 1924, where she was manipulated by Stalin until her death in 1933.

Zhivkov, Todor

Sec. Bulgarian CP from 1956; in 1984 initiated 'assimilation' of Turkish minority, which led to a mass exodusof Turks in July 1989; In Oct 1989, demands for liberalisation escalated, forcing Zhivkov's resignation. In Jan 1990, placed under house arrest on charges of corruption, abuse of power and inciting ethnic hatred.