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


[Table of Contents] - [Chapter One]

  1. Social conditions in Australia, based on the vast mass of land stolen from the Aborigines, gave the unions very considerable power. The bourgeoisie, was by contrast weak and immature, still hardly reconciled to its exile from ‘home’. The reformist program of the ALP was more successful in pre-War Australia than it would ever be in England. In colonial Australia, the workers’ movement alone had the capacity to lay the foundations of the Commonwealth, which the bourgeoisie was incapable of doing for itself.
    Australia’s geographical position as a settler colony deeply implanted racism within the working class. This endemic racism blocked the development of socialist consciousness and kept Australian socialists at odds with their overseas counterparts until the establishment of the Communist Party in 1920. Every socialist who dared to question White Australia was quickly knocked into line. Only the brazen agitators of the IWW ever spoke out against racism.
  2. Permanent Revolution, Trotsky 1930
  3. Stalin, The October Revolution, in Pravda, November 6 1918.
  4. Soviet Power and the Status of Women, 1919.
  5. From Selected Writings of Alexandre Kollontai, Allison & Busby
  6. Trotsky, Revolution Betrayed.
  7. The Spartacus League; CPs in Russia, Byelorussia, Ukraine, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, Hungary, Holland; Social-Democratic Parties, or Left groups in them, in Czech., Bulgaria, Rumania, Serbia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland; Socialist Parties in Italy, Spain, Portugal, France; the French Syndicalists; in Britain, MacLean’s current in the Socialist Party, the SLP, the IWW, the shop stewards movement; the Irish workers movement; in the USA, the SLP, Debs’ current in the Socialist Party, the IWW, the WIIU; in Australia, the IWW; Socialist groups in Japan; the Socialist Youth International.

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  8. In Australia, 6.3 million days were ‘lost’ in strikes in 1919 in an upsurge of union struggle - an average of 20 days per union member. In March 1919 riots broke out in Brisbane when right-wingers attacked a demonstration against the continuation of the War Precautions Act. This outbreak of right-wing violence reflected the fear amongst conservatives that Communists would capture the leadership of the labour movement. Towards the end of 1919, the “Hands Off Russia” campaign was creating unprecedented unity between the socialist groups. Disillusionment with the Australian Labor Party was at a high as a result of the treachery of Billy Hughes, who had deserted the Labor Party, and formed a coalition with the conservatives, in order to defeat opposition to the War in Labor ranks.
  9. In Indonesia, the ISDV was crushed, and the mass movement in which it worked, the Sarekat Islam, began to fall apart. In the meantime however, the ISDV had changed its name to the Communist Party of Indonesia. It was the first Communist Party in Asia, and it was now overwhelmingly a party of Indonesians, not of Dutch workers.
  10. Serge, Memoirs of a Revolutionary.
  11. ‘"Military Communism" was, in essence, the systematic regimentation of consumption in a besieged fortress’. Trotsky, Revolution Betrayed, Chapter II, 1937.
  12. The Russian acronym for “All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-revolution and Sabotage”, first headed by Dzerzhinsky, renamed State Political Administration [GPU] in 1922.
  13. Serge, ibid.
  14. farmer.
  15. Trotsky, ibid.
  16. Trotsky, ibid.
  17. It was during this period of ‘military communism’ that the Australian Communist Party (CPA) was founded in October 1920. At the All-Australian Congress of Trade Unions, held in Melbourne in 1921, fifteen percent of the delegates were members of the newly formed CPA. The united front tactic of the CP placed it in the leadership of a powerful and broadly based movement in the Australian working class. In the wake of the First World War and with the fate of the Revolution being determined on the battlefield, the Communists of this period expressed themselves in the language of revolutionary confrontation.
  18. In March 1921, sailors of the fleet based at Kronstadt, near Leningrad, had rebelled under the slogan of “Soviets without Communists”, particularly protesting against the severity of the regime of “military communism”.
  19. Serge, ibid.
  20. March 16 1921, Lenin’s Collected Works (LCW) Vol 32, p261.
  21. rich farmer.
  22. Trotsky, Revolution Betrayed.. “Face to the country” refers to the slogan put forward by Zinoviev.
  23. From the Conclusion to “Left-Wing” Communism, An Infantile Disorder, Lenin, May 1920.
  24. The Russian Revolution introduced a practice of shortening the titles of bodies into single words. ‘Comintern’ means ‘The Communist International’. Another example is ‘Politburo’, short for Political Bureau. The Comintern was also often referred to simply as ‘The International’.
  25. The Central Committee was 21 in Aug 1917, 15 in 1918, 25 in 1921, and was increased to 40 at the Twelfth Congress.
  26. Even in the elections of May 1924, the KPD polled 3,700,000 votes, so it is fair to suppose that a year earlier, at the height of the crisis, KPD support was very considerable. The ebbing of the revolutionary tide after 1923 was not recognised by the Stalin leadership, which continued to talk of the ‘eve of the German Revolution’ as late as 1925.
  27. 1923 was also a low point for the Communist Party in Australia. In October 1923 the CPA was banned from the ALP and many of its members opted to stay in the ALP and leave the CPA. After some sharp conflicts with the leaderships of key unions, the CP found itself isolated from former supporters in the trade unions. A conservative government was elected, the economy enjoyed a boom and unemployment declined. By 1925, the CPA was reduced to 280 members.
  28. As early as Dec 1920 Lenin had described the Soviet state as a “workers’ state with bureaucratic distortions”.
  29. Entrepreneurs growing wealthy on the expanding legalised market.
  30. Membership of the Bolshevik Party in 1905 8,400; Feb 1917 23,600; Apr 1917 77,000; Aug 1917 86,000; Nov 1918 115,000; Jan 1919 313,000; Jan 1920 431,000; Jan 1921 585,000; Oct 1921 650,000; Jan 1924 472,000 (following the ‘purge’); Jan 1925 772,040 (following the ‘Lenin levy’); Jan 1926 1,078,182.
  31. From the Old Family to the New, Trotsky, July 1923.
  32. Trotsky, ibid.
  33. Trotsky, ibid.

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  34. Stalin, April 1924.
  35. Stalin, August 1924. Quoted by Trotsky in Appendix II to The History of the Russian Revolution.
  36. quoted in Platform of the Opposition, September 1927.
  37. In Australia, Jack Kavanagh* was appointed General Secretary of the CPA just as regular contacts with the Communist International became established. Many of its early leaders had drifted away or gone overseas, and Kavanagh regrouped the much smaller CPA into a loyal section of the International whose life was now dominated by vitriolic attacks on ‘Trotskyism’.
  38. Trotsky, Revolution Betrayed.
  39. Thirteen members of the Central Committee signed the Platform of the Left Opposition, including Rakovsky, Pyatakov, Smilga, Avdeyev, Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev. A statement supporting the Platform was published in December 1927, signed by 121 delegates to the Fifteenth Congress, most of whom had been members since before the War.
  40. The Indonesian workers suffered a crushing defeat in 1926 as a result of the internal crisis of the Comintern leadership. The Comintern had paid no attention to the development of the situation in Indonesia, fearing that further centres of revolutionary struggle, outside of China, may provide opportunities for the Left Opposition. The PKI had abandoned party structure, and had developed a policy of operating by means of independent cells, to counter the severe repression by the colonial authorities. Emulating the Comintern line in the wake of the Canton uprising, an insurrection was organised, but failed disastrously, due to the inability of the PKI to organise it.
  41. Although Stalin dropped the “third period” formulation in 1934, and the ultra-left tactical conclusions which followed from it somewhat later, the “third period” was never formally renounced or ‘ended’.
  42. Ho Chi Minh had led the Thanh Nien youth movement in Vietnam from its Headquarters based in Canton. He returned in 1927 following the defeat of the Canton uprising. In 1929 Ho founded the Indochinese Communist Party out of the fragments of the disintegrating Thanh Nien, and promoted the same ultra-left policy of Stalin in Vietnam. Ill-organised and premature attempts to set up isolated Soviets in Vietnam were brutally crushed. Ho was recalled to Moscow in 1931, being blamed for the disastrous results of Stalin’s ultra-left line in Vietnam which had decimated the ranks of the young ICP.
    Ho Chi Minh was believed dead by his comrades in Vietnam. A funeral was even held. His name was hardly mentioned until his return to political work in China in the late 30s, and to Vietnam in 1941. The Comintern replaced the older leadership with loyal party hacks, mostly quite inexperienced in the conditions prevailing in Vietnam, having been recruited in Europe.
  43. Trotsky, The Key to the International Situation, November 1931.
  44. In Australia, the ‘social fascist’ policy threatened to undo links the CPA had rebuilt in the trade union movement. When Jack Kavanagh tried to organise an open debate on the policy of ‘social fascism’ in the pages of the CPA’s paper, Workers Weekly, he soon found himself out of favour and out of office. Herbert Moxon and Lance Sharkey* took over leadership of the CPA on the eve of the election of the Scullin ALP government and Wall Street Crash. Workers Weekly denounced the ALP as ‘bedfellows of fascism’ and Scullin’s election as a ‘further step in the direction of the theoretical fascist corporate state’. Kavanagh later joined the Trotskyist movement.
    The CPA declared that the slogan of “Make the officials fight” was now obsolete! And, in line with Comintern policy, recruited workers into ‘red unions’ outside and in competition with the mass trade unions, thus isolating the best militants from the trade union masses.
    The membership of the CPA grew from a few hundred to 2,500 by late 1931, as the Party threw itself into building the Unemployed Workers Movement and the anti-eviction struggles. On the other hand, the ALP members who set up ‘socialisation units’ in NSW, with the aim of nationalising industry under workers control, were denounced as ‘left social fascists’.
    ‘Only the broadest united front o the working class in determined struggle will be successful in resisting the advance of fascism. The Labor Party is opposed to working class unity in struggle. It rejected the offer of the Communist Party to organise the united front of workers against fascism. We will make no further such offers!’
  45. Somewhat later, in his book Journey Into The Future, Frank Hardy wrote on his return from the USSR the following explanation as to why there are no strikes in the USSR: ‘Having helped reach decisions on all matters with ample arrangements to settle disputes, workers striking would be striking against themselves.’ etc, etc.
  46. In Vietnam, following the defeats of 1930-31 which resulted from the Stalinists’ adventurist and ultra-left tactics of the time, both the Stalinist and Trotskyist groups suffered severe losses. During this period the Trotskyists succeeded in forming a United Front, known as La Lutte, with the Stalinists, based around a common newspaper and a common electoral front. The Stalinist ICP withdrew from the Front in 1937 however, under pressure from the Comintern to offer support to the Popular Front government in France. They then returned to the more usual tactic of denouncing the Trotskyists as fascist agents etc etc. and attempted, with little success as it happens to set up a popular front with bourgeois elements in Hanoi.
  47. In Australia, in September 1938 the CPA explained the policy in this way:
    ‘The general form of the People’s Front in this country might be described as follows: It will consist of the Labor Party, which is the mass political organisation of the working class embracing the trade union movement. It must cover organisations of farmers including groups in the Country Party which are in opposition to the reactionary groups who betray the farmers. It will need to embrace the middle class in the cities and the towns and their organisations and also groups in the United Australia Party (of Robert Menzies) who are discontented with their leadership. The People’s Front implies the participation of the Communist Party and the Labor Party.’ and went on to criticise the ALP for not being ‘popular’ enough:
    ‘Unfortunately the Labor Party, instead of taking the course of working to achieve agreement with the malcontents of the UAP and the Country Party, set out to abuse them. ... agreement should be extended to the elections and provide that the Labor Party will not run candidates in electorates contested by UAP and Country Party members who have lined up against Lyons.’
    This popular front did not extend as far Trotskyists however, the new CPA constitution also had a clause prohibiting any political or personal friendship with confirmed Trotskyists.
  48. Small groups of revolutionaries cannot always be choosy about the class composition of the mass organisations in which they participate. When in the leadership of mass organisations of the working class, it is essential to maintain the independence of the working class from the bourgeoisie.
  49. Yuritsky was assassinated by Socialist Revolutionaries in 1918; Sverdlov died of typhus in 1919; Artem (who was in Australia from 1911 - May 1917) died in a train crash in 1921; Lenin died in 1924 partly as a result of wounds, partly from over-exertion; Nogin died in 1924; Dzerzhinsky died of a heart attack in 1926.
  50. Konstantin Rodzaevsky, leader of the Russian Fascist Party, gave himself up to Soviet authorities in Harbin in 1945, with a letter saying inter alia, ‘I issued a call for an unknown leader, ... capable of overturning the Jewish government and creating a new Russia. I failed to see that, by the will of fate, of his own genius, and of millions of toilers, Comrade J V Stalin, the leader of the peoples, had become this unknown leader’.
  51. from The Polish August, The Self-limiting Revolution, Neal Ascherson, 1981.
  52. from Führer Conferences on Naval Affairs, 1939, quoted in Stalinism in Britain.
  53. Speech on July 31, 1940, quoted in Stalinism in Britain, Robert Black.
  54. Mercador was awarded the Order of Lenin when released from prison in 1980, still in the service of the Soviet secret police.

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  55. 11 per cent of the population. 38 per cent of all casualties in the War were Soviet citizens. Britain, the Commonwealth and the USA lost 3/4 million between them, Germany 7 million, Poland 5.3 million
  56. from Shades of Red by Nancy Wills.
  57. The CPA leaders also had the job of explaining to the leaders of Indonesia’s PKI, in Australia during the Japanese invasion, why they should support Dutch colonialism: they had been in prison since 1927, and had not heard of the change of line imposed on the “illegal” PKI set up in Moscow and Holland.
  58. This agreement also meant of course ruthless repression of the Trotskyists, whose paper was never unbanned.
  59. ‘the speediest victory over the enemy can best of all and most fruitfully be carried out by the vanguard of the working class movement of each separate country, working within the framework of its own country.’ Stalin, Statement on the Dissolution of the Communist International, May 15, 1943
  60. This law was not repealed until 1960.
  61. Abortion remained illegal until 1955.
  62. It is one of the miracles of modern times that under these conditions Soviet technologists and physicists succeeded in matching the achievements of German and US weapons technology. The Soviet Atom bomb was tested in 1948, only 3 years behind the US. During the Khrushchev period, many of the research programs that had been put on ice in the early 1930s were re-started, sometimes with the same personnel!
  63. This issue will be given further consideration in the next section.
  64. The eminent British Tory, Sir Thomas Moore, wrote in the British Communist Party’s Labour Monthly: ‘During all the years we have been inculcating the virtues of nationalism, patriotism, love of country, into the minds of our allied peoples. Stalin was among the first to recognise that it would be difficult to induce the development of a fighting spirit in an international brotherhood’.
  65. Revolution Betrayed, Trotsky.
  66. The USSR in War, Trotsky.

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  67. from The Transitional Program, otherwise known as The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International, 1938.
  68. Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt and after Roosevelt's death, Harry Truman.
  69. from Triumph and Tragedy, quoted in Robert Black’s Stalinism in Britain.
  70. from Tito Speaks, 1953.
  71. The Communist Information Bureau. Its first meeting was in Belgrade in October 1947. It was wound up in April 1956.
  72. The ethnic Rumanian Bessarabia was annexed in 1940 as part of the Stalin-Hitler Pact, and was merged with the Moldavian Autonomous Region, the form a part of the Moldavian SSR within the USSR. The Karelo-Finnish was also annexed somewhat later. Austria was split 4 ways like Berlin, but in 1955 the USSR withdrew on the promise of Austria remaining militarily neutral, and capitalism was re-established in Austria.
  73. In all the countries occupied by the USSR after the war, the Marxist thesis that political parties represent class interests was mechanically imposed upon the occupied countries by means of the artificial creation of parties supposedly reflecting the interests of the various social classes. Accordingly, the Hungarian Social-Democratic Party was forcibly merged with the Communist Party, since there was room for only one workers’ party.
  74. see Samizdat, Voices of the Soviet Opposition, Ed., George Saunders.
  75. From World News and Views, May 22 1944, Quoted in Stalinism in Britain.
  76. France’s Hour Has Struck, 1943, quoted in Stalinism in Britain, by Robert Black.
  77. Labour Monthly, April 1945, quoted in Black, ibid.
  78. Labour Monthly, September 1945.
  79. see Into the Mainstream, The decline of Australian Communism, by Tom O’Lincoln.
  80. see The Marshall Plan, Charles Mee, 1984.
  81. Truman’s speech is reproduced in full in Mee, op cit.
  82. ‘Iron curtain’ was a term first used by Churchill in March 1946.
  83. Marshall’s speech is reproduced in full in Mee, op cit.
  84. Mee, ibid.
  85. quoted in Mee, ibid.
  86. see Stalinism in Britain.
  87. Harry Pollitt to the 1944 Congress of the CPGB.
  88. see The Importance of Women’s Paid Labour: Women at Work in World War II, by Lynn Beaton, in Worth Her Salt, edited by Margaret Bevege, Margaret James and Carmel Shute, 1982.

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  89. see Plan and Market in Yugoslav Economic Thought, Deborah Milenkovitch, 1971.
  90. from The Socialist Opposition in Eastern Europe, the Czechoslovak Example, by Jiri Pelikan.
  91. A report from the Australian Militant, quoted in From the Ashes - The Rise and Fall of the PKI by Craig Bowen, pub. Militant International.
  92. quoted in Bowen, ibid.
  93. From The Peasant War in China and the Proletariat, Trotsky 1932.
  94. The Communist Party of Australia had written the ‘parliamentary road to socialism’ into its constitution as early as 1939.
  95. emphasis added.
  96. What is Permanent Revolution? Trotsky.
  97. On the People’s Democratic Dictatorship, Mao Zedong, March 1949.
  98. The USSR in War, Trotsky, 1939.
  99. In December 1989, the IS paper, The Socialist, headlined: ‘Neither Washington nor Moscow - Workers Power East and West’, continuing inside with ‘Tyrants topple in Eastern Europe. Revolution is back on the agenda in Eastern Europe’. For the IS, the overthrow of the deformed workers states was a step towards socialism.

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  100. quoted in Alistair Davidson’s History of the Communist Party of Australia.
  101. Pelikan, op. cit.
  102. from A history of the People’s Democracies, Francois Fejto, 1974.
  103. report from Pierre Gousset in L’Observateur.
  104. Ascherson, ibid.
  105. The Hungarian Tragedy, by Peter Fryer, 1956, republished in 1986
  106. Fryer, ibid.
  107. Ascherson, ibid.
  108. Quoted in Betrayal, by Jack Gale.
  109. Andropov, by Zhores Medvedev.
  110. Pelikan, op. cit.
  111. Boris Kargarlitsky, The Thinking Reed, 1988.
  112. Komsomol was the Soviet youth organisation. The quote is from the account of “David Burg” (a pseudonym) from Daedelus, Summer 1960, quoted in Saunders, op. cit.
  113. Kargarlitsky, op cit.
  114. Saunders, op. cit.
  115. From the samizdat journal, Chronicle of Current Events, quoted in Saunders, op. cit.
  116. From Utopia in Power, by Heller and Nekrich, 1982.
  117. ibid.

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  1. The same issue arises if we were to consider the different political tendencies found in the bourgeoisie, which echo different stages in the historical development of the bourgeoisie.
  2. Jung Chang, in her biographical history, Wild Swans, depends upon anecdotal evidence in insisting that the famine which followed the Great Leap Forward was not due to any natural disaster. ‘Official’ history, both Western and Maoist, puts the series of failed harvests down to an unfortunate series of natural disasters. Either way, no-one can draw any conclusion other than that the policy was ill-conceived. Khrushchev’s policies during the same period were very similar, and were marked by many of the same absurdities and resulting disastrous failures.
  3. The Yugoslavian Marxists around the journal Praxis and Lukacs are significant in themselves, but never constituted a rival political centre.
  4. The New Course, 1923.
  5. from Lenin, Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism, LCW Vol 22, 1916, extract from VII. Imperialism , as a special stage of Capitalism.
  6. On the People’s Democratic Dictatorship, Mao Zedong, March 1949.
  7. In the 1970s, Australian Maoists characterised the Australian bourgoisie as ‘national bourgeoisie’ and the USSR as ‘imperialist’, and thus saw the Liberal Party as a potential ally against imperialism. Along with this orientation, they sought to portray themselves as the best and most consistent Australian nationalists, adopting the Eureka flag and launching the “Australian Independence Movement”.
  8. There is no evidence that Chinese sponsorship of the CPA(ML) was more than political.
  9. What’s Left, Laurie Aarons, 1993.
  10. The Defence Speech of Sudisman, General Secretary of the Indonesian Communist Party at his trial before the Special Military Tribunal, Jakarta, 21 July 1967, was published in 1975 by The Works Co-operative, as translated by Ben Anderson.
  11. Khrushchev had adopted a similar tactic in the late 1950s using the “people’s guards”. Khrushchev also made some use of the method of banishing intellectuals and youth to the countryside especially during the program of opening up the virgin lands.
  12. Jung Chang’s Wild Swans gives a quite convincing account of the how the Cultural Revolution was directed against the Party in this way. Anyone who has been a member of a sect will recognise the language, methods and atmosphere of witch-hunting described by Jung Chang. The book also clearly shows how this method is able to prey upon all the most admirable qualities of the communist cadres, the qualities which won the loyalty of the masses, to tansform the Party into its very opposite.
  13. Just at a time when Soviet scientists were able to begin catching up for lost decades during which genetics, cybernetics, information technology, relativity and quantum physics were no-go areas, China went all out for Lysenko-ism. Peasants lectured agricultural scientists instead of the other way round. One positive by-product of this campaign was the rehabilitation of traditional Chinese medicine.
  14. Formerly, defeat by an imperialist power meant occupation and/or economic domination. After Cambodia, Afghanistan and Iraq are examples of a new phenomenon: “Bomb ‘em and leave ‘em”. The victory of the Soviet Union in the Wars of Intervention, which left it independent but devastated, makes an historic comparison.

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  15. Ascherson, ibid
  16. The Crisis in the Right Centre Bloc, Trotsky 1928.
  17. What’s Left, 1993.
  18. What is Eurocommunism, Editor G R Urban, 1977.
  19. Aarons, ibid.
  20. In Britain, a pro-Moscow break away was led by Sid French. A more significant split occurred along similar lines in the early 1980s. Then, the majority of the CPGB’s base in the trade union bureaucracy on the one hand, and the majority of their members in the social movements on the other hand, went off in different directions. The latter more was closely identified with ‘New Left’ and Euro-Communist ideology, the former more with pro-Moscow orthodoxy. The CPGB’s daily newspaper, The Morning Star, had been constituted as a co-operative owned shareholders. A minority succeeded in gaining control of the paper from the Party’s Central Committee, with the perspective of transforming it into an organ for their faction in the trade union movement. The ‘euro’-wing, on the other hand used the barely-left-wing Marxism Today journal as its organ for a sustained attack on Marxism.
  21. World Marxist Review, August 1973.
  22. Zelda, the becoming of a women, Zelda D'Aprano, 1977.
  23. see Pat Grimshaw’s article in Staining the Wattle, Ed. Verity Burgmann and Jenny Lee
  24. Taking the Revolution Home, Work Among Women in the Communist Party of Australia: 1920-1945, Joyce Stevens, 1987.

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  25. Ascherson, op. cit., pp 100 - 105.
  26. from The Collapse of “Real Socialism” in Poland by Jacek Tittenbaum.
  27. quoted in Ascherson, op. cit.
  28. This is analogous to the position of workers in a co-operative set up on the basis of a closed factory purchased by its former employees (something which has occurred in Britain and Italy) who find that although the workers are now “their own bosses”, they are still exploited by the capitalists, more effectively even, owing to the nature of the capitalist market.
  29. from The Collapse of “Real Socialism” in Poland, by Jacek Tittenbrun, Janus.
  30. Every time a strike or occupation is wound up, workers abandon a working class entity. Such abandonment is never total on the historical scale. It could be said that the Socialist International was abandoned by the working class, but of course, millions of workers remained loyal to the Second International after the founding of the Communist International.
  31. Tittenbrun. op. cit.
  32. Solidarity and the Soviet Worker, The Impact of the Polish Events on Soviet Internal Politics, Elizabeth Teague, 1988.
  33. from Will the Soviet Union Survive ...?, A Amalrik and a radio interview given in 1970. Quoted in Samizdat, Voices of the Soviet Opposition, Saunders.
  34. Interview with Radio Liberty January 1981, quoted in Teague, op. cit.
  35. Ted Harding in Intercontinental Press, September 17 1973, quoted in Saunders, op. cit.
  36. Interview with Vladimir Borisov, Le Monde 26 June 1980, quoted in Teague, op. cit.
  37. Vladimir Belotserkovsky, former Soviet industrial journalist, quoted in Teague, op. cit..
  38. Quoted in Teague, op. cit.
  39. from Simis,USSR:The Corrupt Society.
  40. Literaturnaya Gazeta:, November 1981, quoted in Teague, op. cit.
  41. From Teague, op. cit.
  42. At Helsinki the dissidents had made a decision to work within the bounds of “soviet legality” and confine their criticism to “facts and figures” which could be substantiated in court, rather than agitation that openly called for the overthrow of the regime, which was cleary illegal. This tactic led to some “moral victories”, but did not save the dissidents from prison.
  43. from Teague, op. cit.
  44. Nagorski, Reluctant Farewell, 1985, quoted in Teague op. cit.
  45. quoted in Teague, op. cit.
  46. Zhores Medvedev, Andropov, 1982.
  47. both quotes from Teague, op. cit
  48. see Sam Pillay’s article in the Labour Review of August 1985.

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  1. New York Jan 1990. Data as bar-chart in Beyond Perestroika, by Ernest Mandel.
  2. Solidarity and the Soviet Worker, The Impact of the Polish Events on Soviet Internal Politics, Teague, 1988.
  3. The Challenge: Economics of Perestroika, Abel Agenbagyan.
  4. quoted in Towards Socialism or Capitalism, a 1991 statement by the International Socialist League (ISL), British section of the LIT (International Workers League).
  5. also quoted in ISL op. cit.
  6. also quoted in ISL op. cit.. as are the quotes below from Moscow News, David Mandel and Peter Pringle.
  7. International Viewpoint, January 21 1991.
  8. The 'rehabilitation' of Bukharin under glasnost was a transparent attempt to find theoretical justification for 'market socialism' in Bukharin's right-wing positions of the 1920s.
  9. report of John Rettie in The Guardian, 28 April 1991.
  10. International Viewpoint, June 12 1989.
  11. From International Viewpoint, republished from the Hong Kong October Review.
  12. The Chinese Road to Socialism, 30 June 1989, is included in the appendix. The analysis made in the document is not significantly different from the analysis presented here.
  13. Tittenbrun, op. cit.
  14. see Barbara Einhorn's Cinderella Goes to Market for the story fo the struggle over abortion rights in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe throughout this period.
  15. according to Balcerowicz, in Warsaw Voice December 12 1993.
  16. Warsaw Voice, September 1993.
  17. This periodisation was suggested by Elizabeth, a comrade in the International Workers League (LIT) in Poland.
  18. The Guardian, April 23 1989.

[Table of Contents] - [Vol IV, ChapterOne] - [Vol. IV Ch One cont'd]

The Baltic States: In Volume I, I skimmed over the period of the Civil War without dealing with the complexities of the Wars of Intervention, the national liberation struggles and such forces as the Anarchists active at the time. I have drawn the dates referred to here from official Soviet history, which is obviously suspect. However, Lenin's fight on his death-bed against Stalin's Great Russian chauvinism in relation to the Georgians, and Trrotsky's writings on the question of the Red Army's invasion of Finland and the Baltic States in the last years of his life, confirm that these two leaders were committed to the rights of nations to self-determination.
A correspondent, Ingars Rudzitis, wrote to me as follows:
Andy, in your on-line book about Stalinism there are some mistakes about the history of the Baltic states. They all proclaimed their independence in 1918, and had to fight for it against the remaining German troops, and Communists. They were not occupied by Poland, except for a Lithuania, which lost a south-east part including ancient capital Vilnius to Poland. And all of them were occupied and incorporated into U.S.S.R. between June and August of 1940.
I'm sending you three addresses of the homepages about Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian history. They are a bit lengthy, and don't cover things in depth, but might be helpful:

  1. I use "state" in the Marxist meaning of the term: armed bodies of men protecting the relations of production against irreconcilable class antagonisms.
  2. This is not to say that there were not genuine communist workers' movements in these countries. In Czechoslovakia for instance, the Czech workers kicked the bourgeois parties out of the post-war government. But they did so under Stalin's "protection". They did not smash the capitalist state by their own organised force.

    [Table of Contents] - [Vol IV, Chapter One] - [Vol. IV Chapter Two]

  3. In 1957 there were no hair-pins in Poland because nobody remembered to order them!
  4. The Art of Planning, (The Soviet Economy in Danger, Trotsky, October 22 1932).
  5. In this work and elsewhere I use the term "democratic centralism" to mean the "Marxist theory of organisation", and quite definitely not any of the distortions of Marxist theory practiced by Stalinist or Trotskyist parties. For a further elaboration of this view refer to Chapter 4 of my earlier book, Beyond Betrayal. The excerpt reproduced on this site from The New Course is a good exposition of democratic centralism.
  6. ISL, op. cit.
  7. See the section The Soviet Miners below, and the section Poland in Chapter 8 above and the last section of the Transitional Program also on this site.
  8. "glasnost" was enshrined in the 1977 Soviet Constitution, and "restructuring" formerly had much the same connotation for Soviet workers as it has for workers in the West today. But under the new conditions, these terms took on new significance.
  9. From Glasnost to Freedom of Speech, Russian Openness and International Relations, David Wedgwood Benn
  10. from Gorbachev's book Perestroika, 1987.
  11. Gorbachev goes to great pains in his book to justify this characterisation of perestroika.
  12. Reported by John Rettie in The Weekly Guardian 17 March 1991.
  13. The Fear of our Platform, 23 October 1927, in Trotsky: The Challenge of the Left Opposition.
  14. El Salvador, Burma, and in a sense, n a different way, the Sandinistas.
  15. In Samizdat, Voices of the Soviet Opposition, published by Monad, George Saunders tells the story of Soviet opposition, including the memoirs of Brigitte Gerland in the Vorkuta labour camps 1948-53, and a survivor of the 'old generation', Aleksandra Chumakova, General Pyotr Grogorenko and others.
  16. International Viewpoint, September 17 1990.
  17. Quotes are from report of John Rettie in The Weekly Guardian, 17 March 1991.
  18. One is reminded of the growth of the opposition to the Shah of Iran growing up within the Islamic Church - the only legal vehicle for political or social discussion and organisation in the country.
  19. reproduced in The Guardian, 9 June 1991
  20. Quoted by Daniel Vernet of Le Monde, May 12/13 1991.

    [Table of Contents] - [Vol IV, Chapter Two] - [Vol. IV Ch Two cont'd]

  21. From report of David Remnick, Washington Post, August 11 1991.
  22. Interview with The Guardian , 8 September 1991.
  23. From article for Le Monde, September 11 1991.
  24. The International Socialists: a group originating out of the British Trotskyist movement in 1951. The IS are based on the "Theory of State Capitalism" propounded by Tony Cliff and Duncan Hallas. Their main section is in Britain. The Australian section publishes the monthly Socialist.
  25. Formerly the largest Trotskyist party in the world, but since the mid-1980s the SWP has renounced Trotskyism, and they left the Fourth International in June 1990.
  26. Democratic Socialist Party, formerly the Socialist Workers Party, an Australian Trotskyist party which was formerly sympathetic to the US SWP, but renounced Trotskyism in 1985.
  27. Socialist Labor League, a sectarian Trotskyist group originating from Gerry Healy's SLL in Britain, currently aligned to the Workers League in the US.
  28. ie local agents of foreign capital.
  29. an international tendency which originated in the early 1960s in the USA, and is sectarian Trotskyist. One of the few tendencies to support the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the suppression of the Polish Solidarity.
  30. From the interview with Sylie Kaufmann and Jean-Pierre Langellier in Le Monde September 11 1991.
  31. from editorial in Granma, reprinted in International Viewpoint, October 14 1991.
  32. The Weekly Guardian, 19 July 1992.
  33. The only qualification I would now make is this: the article published after the Moscow Coup characterised it as a 'popular counter-revolution'. Other comrades expressed doubts about this characterisation (1) because there had been minimal mass mobilisation of any kind, and (2) the transformation in the class character of the state was not yet definitive or irreversible. At the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, CI concluded that the tasks of political revolution and social revolution would have to be merged, i.e. that the defence of social ownership would have to continue under conditions of growing capitalist relations.

    [Table of Contents] - [Vol IV, Chapter Two] - [Vol. V Chapter One]

  34. from David Remnick’s report, Washington Post, April 21 1991
  35. most of the material below comes from David Seppo’s report in International Viewpoint, October 2 1989.
  36. Mezhdurechensk is near the city of Novokuznetsk, about 500 km from where China and Mongolia border with Russia. Vorkuta is in the Arctic circle near the Kara Sea, and Pechora is about 500km south of Vorkuta. The Donbass is in the Southern Ukraine near the Crimea on the Black Sea. Karaganda, Kazakhstan is about 300km north of Lake Balkai, near the Chinese border. These are the main mining areas of the Soviet Union.
  37. from Argumenti y Fakty, quoted in David Seppo’s article in International Viewpoint, October 2 1989.
  38. from Beyond Perestroika, by Ernest Mandel, 1991.
  39. from Ernest Mandel, op. cit.
  40. International Viewpoint, September 17 1990.
  41. from Renfrey Clarke’s article in Green Left Weekly, 22 September 1993.
  42. most of the above information comes from Renfrey Clarke’s article in Green Left Weekly.
  43. International Viewpoint, July 6 1992.
  44. International Viewpoint, 8 June 1992.
  45. International Viewpoint, July 6 1992.
  46. Poul-Funder Larsen, International Viewpoint, October 14 1991.
  47. International Viewpoint, December 21 1992.
  48. see Boris Kagarlitsky and Renfrey Clarke’s article in Links No. 1, April 1994.
  49. Kagarlitsky and Clarke, op cit.
  50. Green Left Weekly, 17 November 1993.

    [Table of Contents] - [Vol V, Chapter One] - [Vol. V Ch One cont'd]

  51. Wedgwood Benn, op. cit.
  52. International Viewpoint, April 23 1990.
  53. International Viewpoint, January 21 1991.
  54. International Viewpoint, September 17 1990.
  55. International Viewpoint, January 21 1991.
  56. The term “Popular Front” is used because it is the term used by the participants, but in general they unite working class tendencies.
  57. International Viewpoint, June 8 1992.
  58. International Viewpoint December 7 and 21, 1992.
  59. AN-Press, April 1991.
  60. Dmitri Kostyenko, May 1991.
  61. Lev Volokhonsky, in SMOT Information Bulletin, May 5, 1991.
  62. Barbara Einhorn,Cinderella Goes to Market, p182
  63. Barbara Einhorn, op cit, p200-1
  64. The only major city where Yeltsin did not finish top of the ballot, was in the coal mining centre of Kemerovo, where he came in second behind local leader Amangeldi Tuleyev.
  65. Yeltsin tried to telephone US President George Bush to personally announce the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States, but Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, a fluent English-speaker, had to get on to the phone to convince the White House switchboard operator that Yeltsin was an important person who should be put through to Bush.
  66. A congress of mothers of conscripted youth claimed that more than 15,000 youth had been killed during the five years to October 1990 during their military service, as many as in ten years of war in Afghanistan. IV, October 15 1990.
  67. International Viewpoint, 8 June 1992.
  68. Referred to by the Press as the “White House”, when it was the site of resistance to the “Moscow Coup” in August 1991, now usually referred in Russian as the “Byeli Dom”, but when it became the target of shelling, the Press tended to refer to the building as the “Parliament House”.
  69. Revolution Betrayed, Trotsky, 1937, §IX 3. The Question of the Character of the Soviet Union not yet Decided by History.
  70. Revolution Betrayed, the paragraph immediately preceding the above excerpt.

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  71. Barbara Einhorn, Cinderella Goes to Market, p210-1.
  72. Red Salute to the New People’s Army, Persevere in Protracted People’s War, by Armando Liwwanag, Chariman of the Central Committee of the CPP, March 29, 1994.
  73. Such self-criticism was more than the Maoist leadership of the CPP could bear however. Although the boycott error was still acknowledged in the “Reaffirm” document in March 1992, in the above-quoted document, published in 1994 summing up the considered position of the CPP in the wake of the split, the events of 1986 - the fall of Marcos and the EDSA Uprising - are not even mentioned in a blow-by-blow history of the CPP from 1969 to the present!