Category: V.I. Lenin
Vladimir Putin, Communism and Christianity
| January 18, 2018 | 9:12 pm | Analysis, Russia, USSR, V.I. Lenin, Vladimir Putin | No comments

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Vladimir Putin, Communism and Christianity

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2018/01/vladimir-putin-communism-and.html
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”. – Karl Marx. [1]
 
By Nikos Mottas*.
 
A few days ago, during an interview for the documentary Valaam an excerpt of which was broadcast on Russia 1 TV channel, Russian President Vladimir Putin likened communism to christianity and Vladimir I. Lenin’s mausoleum to the veneration of the relics of saints.
More specifically, Putin said: “First of all, faith has always accompanied us, becoming stronger every time our country, our people, have been through hard times. There were those years of militant atheism when priests were eradicated, churches destroyed, but at the same time a new religion was being created. Communist ideology is very similar to Christianity, in fact: freedom, equality, brotherhood, justice – everything is laid out in the Holy Scripture, it’s all there. And the code of the builder of communism? This is sublimation, it’s just such a primitive excerpt from the Bible, nothing new was invented.”
As for V.I.Lenin, he pointed out: Look, Lenin was put in a mausoleum. How is this different from the relics of saints for Orthodox Christians and just for Christians? When they say that there’s no such tradition in Christianity, well, how come, go to Athos and take a look, there are relics of the saints there, and we have holy relics here”.
The above statements of President Putin come just three months before the elections of March 18th. Being an intelligent bourgeois politician, Putin will make any communicative effort to flatter the ears of large parts of the voters, including of course communists and people of left ideology. However, no communist in Russia, or anywhere else, must fall victim of Putin’s communicative propaganda.
Despite the seemingly flattering words (“freedom”, “equality”, “justice” etc), President Putin’s effort to present communism as similar with christianity actually downgrades the marxist-leninist worldview. Contrary to Putin’s arguments, socialism-communism has nothing to do with religion. While communism consists a scientifically documented worldview, christianity – like all religions- is based on metaphysics.
In response to Mr.Putin’s statements, we remind the simple truth: The christian faith, like every religious belief (despite their varieties and differences), teaches the restoration of justice in “another life”. The christian doctrines of “turning the other cheak” and “posthumous reward” consists one of the best justification of the exploitation of man by man: Why should the victims of exploitation react, as long as- according to christianity- they will take their “revenge” on heaven?
Vladimir Lenin– whose legacy still makes Putin, the Russian bourgeoisie and the deeply reactionary Russian Orthodox Church trembling- was writing: “…those who live by the labour of others are taught by religion to practise charity while on earth, thus offering them a very cheap way of justifying their entire existence as exploiters and selling them at a moderate price tickets to well-being in heaven.”[2]
Contrary to religions, the communist ideology does not exploit people’s metaphysical concerns and fears and does not offer posthumous “rewards”. Marxism-Leninism refers to the- one and only- earthly life, which interprets and addresses through the prism of dialectical materialism, promoting the class struggle for the ultimate abolition of exploitation of man by man. This is our answer to Mr. Putin.
 
A century after the 1917 Great October Socialist Revolution and almost 27 years since the prevalence of counterrevolution in the Soviet Union, the spectre of socialism-communism continues to haunt the bourgeoisie in Russia and the world. That is why they make every effort to vilify communism, by distorting the truth. However, no matter how much anti-communist poison they pour, history will move forward.

[1] K.Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, 1844.
[2] V.I.Lenin, Socialism and Religion, 1905: From Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 10, pages 83-87
 
Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of ‘In Defense of Communism’. 
V.I. Lenin- The Defeat of One’s Own Government in the Imperialist War
| January 9, 2018 | 8:59 pm | Imperialism, Leon Trotsky, V.I. Lenin | No comments

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

V.I. Lenin- The Defeat of One’s Own Government in the Imperialist War

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2018/01/vi-lenin-defeat-of-ones-own-government.html
Vladimir I. Lenin – The Defeat of One’s Own Government in the Imperialist War.
Published in Sotsial-Demorkrat No. 43, July 26, 1915.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1974], Moscow, Volume 21, pages 275-280
Republished from Marxists Internet Archives.
 
During a reactionary war a revolutionary class cannot but desire the defeat of its government.
This is axiomatic, and disputed only by conscious partisans or helpless satellites of the social-chauvinists. Among the former, for instance, is Semkovsky of the Organising Committee (No. 2 of its Izvestia), and among the latter, Trotsky and Bukvoyed,[2] and Kautsky in Germany. To desire Russia’s defeat, Trotsky writes, is “an uncalled-for and absolutely unjustifiable concession to the political methodology of social-patriotism, which would replace the revolutionary struggle against the war and the conditions causing it, with an orientation—highly arbitrary in the present conditions—towards the lesser evil” (Nashe Slovo No. 105).
This is an instance of high-flown phraseology with which Trotsky always justifies opportunism. A “revolutionary struggle against the war” is merely an empty and meaning less exclamation, something at which the heroes of the Second International excel, unless it means revolutionary action against one’s own government even in wartime. One has only to do some thinking in order to understand this. Wartime revolutionary action against one’s own government indubitably means, not only desiring its defeat, but really facilitating such a defeat. (“Discerning reader”: note that this does not mean “blowing up bridges”, organising unsuccessful strikes in the war industries, and ·in general helping the government defeat the revolutionaries.)
The phrase-bandying Trotsky has completely lost his bearings on a simple issue. It seems to him that to desire   Russia’s defeat means desiring the victory of Germany. (Bukvoyed and Semkovsky give more direct expression to the “thought”, or rather want of thought, which they share with Trotsky.) But Trotsky regards this as the “methodology of social-patriotism”! To help people that are unable to think for themselves, the Berne resolution (Sotsial DemokratNo. 40)[1] made it clear, that in all imperialist countries the proletariat must now desire the defeat of its own government. Bukvoyed and Trotsky preferred to avoid this truth, while Semkovsky (an opportunist who is more useful to the working class than all the others, thanks to his naively frank reiteration of bourgeois wisdom) blurted out the following: “This is nonsense, because either Germany or Russia can win” (Izvestia No. 2).
Take the example of the Paris Commune. France was defeated by Germany but the workers were defeated by Bismarck and Thiers! Had Bukvoyed and Trotsky done a little thinking, they would have realised that they have adopted the viewpoint on the war held by governments and the bourgeoisie, i.e., that they cringe to the “political methodology of social-patriotism”, to use Trotsky’s pretentious language.
A revolution in wartime means civil war; the conversion of a war between governments into a civil war is, on the one hand, facilitated by military reverses (“defeats”) of governments; on the other hand, one cannot actually strive for such a conversion without thereby facilitating defeat.
The reason why the chauvinists (including the Organising Committee and the Chkheidze group) repudiate the defeat “slogan” is that this slogan alone implies a consistent call for revolutionary action against one’s own government in wartime. Without such action, millions of ultra-revolutionary phrases such as a war against “the war and the conditions, etc.” are not worth a brass farthing.
Anyone who would in all earnest refute the “slogan” of defeat for one’s own government in the imperialist war should prove one of three things: (1) that the war of 1914-15 is not reactionary, or (2) that a revolution stemming from that war is impossible, or (3) that co-ordination and mutual aid are possible between revolutionary movements in all the   belligerent countries. The third point is particularly important to Russia, a most backward country, where an immediate socialist revolution is impossible. That is why the Russian Social-Democrats had to be the first to advance the “theory and practice” of the defeat “slogan”. The tsarist government was perfectly right in asserting that the agitation conducted by the Russian Social-Democratic Labour group in the Duma—the sole instance in the International, not only of parliamentary opposition but of genuine revolutionary anti-government agitation among the masses—that this agitation has weakened Russia’s “military might” and is likely to lead to its defeat. This is a fact to which it is foolish to close one’s eyes.
The opponents of the defeat slogan are simply afraid of themselves when they refuse to recognise the very obvious fact of the inseparable link between revolutionary agitation against the government and helping bring about its defeat.
Are co-ordination and mutual aid possible between the Russian movement, which is revolutionary in the bourgeois- democratic sense, and th  socialist movement in the West? No socialist who has publicly spoken on the matter during the last decade has doubted this, the movement among the Austrian proletariat after October 17, 1905,[3] actually proving it possible.
Ask any Social-Democrat who calls himself an internationalist whether or not he approves of an understanding between the Social-Democrats of the various belligerent countries on joint revolutionary action against all belligerent governments. Many of them will reply that it is impossible, as Kautsky has done (Die Neue Zeit, October 2, 1914), thereby fully proving his social-chauvinism. This, on the one hand, is a deliberate and vicious lie, which clashes with the generally known facts and the Basle Manifesto. On the other hand, if it were true, the opportunists would be quite right in many respects!
Many will voice their approval of such an understanding. To this we shall say: if this approval is not hypocritical, it is ridiculous to think that, in wartime and for the conduct of a war, some “formal” understanding is necessary, such as the election of representatives, the arrangement of a meeting, the signing of an agreement, and the choice of the day   and hour! Only the Semkovskys are capable of thinking so. An understanding on revolutionary action even in a single country, to say nothing of a number of countries, can be achieved only by the force of the example of serious revolutionary action, by launching such action and developing it. However, such action cannot be launched without desiring the defeat of the government, and without contributing to such a defeat. The conversion of the imperialist war into a civil war cannot be “made”, any more than a revolution can be “made”. It develops out of a number of diverse phenomena, aspects, features, characteristics and consequences of the imperialist war. That development is impossible without a series of military reverses and defeats of governments that receive blows from their ownoppressed classes.
To repudiate the defeat slogan means allowing one’s revolutionary ardour to degenerate into an empty phrase, or sheer hypocrisy.
What is the substitute proposed for the defeat slogan? It is that of “neither victory nor defeat” (Semkovsky in Izvestia No. 2; also the entire Organising Committee in No. 1). This, however, is nothing but a paraphrase of the “defence of the fatherland” slogan. It means shifting the issue to the level of a war between governments (who, according to the content of this slogan, are to keep to their old stand, “retain their positions”), and not to the level of the struggle of the oppressed classes against their governments! It means justifying the chauvinism of all the imperialist nations, whose bourgeoisie are always ready to say—and do say to the people—that they are “only” fighting “against defeat”. “The significance of our August 4 vote was that we are not for war but against defeat,” David, a leader of the opportunists, writes in his book. The Organising Committee, together with Bukvoyed and Trotsky, stand on fully the same ground as David when they defend the “neither-victory nor-defeat” slogan.
On closer examination, this slogan will be found to mean a “class truce”, the renunciation of the class struggle by the oppressed classes in all belligerent countries, since the class struggle is impossible without dealing blows at one’s “own” bourgeoisie, one’s “own” government, whereas dealing a   blow at one’s own government in wartime is (for Bukvoyed’s information) high treason, means contributing to the defeat of one’s own country. Those who accept the “neither victory-nor-defeat” slogan can only be hypocritically in favour of the class struggle, of “disrupting the class truce”; in practice, such people are renouncing an independent proletarian policy because they subordinate the proletariat of all belligerent countries to the absolutely bourgeois task of safeguarding the imperialist governments against defeat. The only policy of actual, not verbal disruption of the “class truce”, of acceptance of the class struggle, is for the proletariat to take advantage of the difficulties experienced by its government and its bourgeoisie in order to overthrow them. This, however, cannot be achieved or striven for, without desiring the defeat of one’s own government and without contributing to that defeat.
When, before the war, the Italian Social-Democrats raised the question of a mass strike, the bourgeoisie replied, no doubt correctly from their own point of view, that this would be high treason, and that Social-Democrats would be dealt with as traitors. That is true, just as it is true that fraternisation in the trenches is high treason. Those who write against “high treason”, as Bukvoyed does, or against the “disintegration of Russia”, as Semkovsky does, are adopting the bourgeois, not the proletarian point of view. A proletarian cannot deal a class blow at his government or hold out (in fact) a hand to his brother, the proletarian of the “foreign” country which is at war with “our side”, without committing “high treason”, without contributing to the defeat, to the disintegration of his “own”, imperialist “Great” Power.
Whoever is in favour of the slogan of “neither victory nor defeat” is consciously or unconsciously a chauvinist; at best he is a conciliatory petty bourgeois but in any case he is an -enemy to proletarian policy, a partisan of the existing ·governments, of the present-day ruling classes.
Let us look at the question from yet another angle. The war cannot but evoke among the masses the most turbulent sentiments, which upset the usual sluggish state of mass mentality. Revolutionary tactics are impossible if they are not adjusted to these new turbulent sentiments.
What are the main currents of these turbulent sentiments? They are: (1) Horror and despair. Hence, a growth of religious feeling. Again the churches are crowded, the reactionaries joyfully declare. “Wherever there is suffering there is religion,” says the arch-reactionary Barr s. He is right, too. (2) Hatred of the “enemy”, a sentiment that is carefully fostered by the bourgeoisie (not so much by the priests), arid is of economic and political value only to the bourgeoisie. (3) Hatred of one’s own government and one’s own bourgeoisie—the sentiment of all class-conscious workers who understand, on the one hand, that war is a “continuation of the politics” of imperialism, which they counter by a “continuation” of their hatred of their class enemy, and, on the other hand, that “a war against war” is a banal phrase unless it means a revolution against their own government. Hatred of one’s own government and one’s own bourgeoisie cannot be aroused unless their defeat is desired; one cannot be a sincere opponent of a civil (i.e., class) truce without arousing hatred of one’s own government and bourgeoisie!
Those who stand for the “neither-victory-nor-defeat” slogan are in fact on the side of the bourgeoisie and the opportunists, for they do not believe in the possibility of inter national revolutionary action by the working class against their own governments, and do not wish to help develop such action, which, though undoubtedly difficult, is the only task worthy of a proletarian, the only socialist task. It is the proletariat in the most backward of the belligerent. Great Powers which, through the medium of their party, have had to adopt—especially in view of the shameful treachery of the German and French Social-Democrats— revolutionary tactics that are quite unfeasible unless they “contribute to the defeat” of their own government, but which alone lead to a European revolution, to the permanent peace of socialism, to the liberation of humanity from the horrors, misery, savagery and brutality now prevailing.
Notes
[1] See p. 163 of this volume.—Ed.
[2] Bukvoyed-D. Ryazanov.
[3] This refers to the tsar’s manifesto promulgated on October 17 (30), 1905. It promised “civil liberties” and a “legislative Duma”. The manifesto was a concession wrested from the tsarist regime by the revolution, but that concession by no means decided the fate of the revolution as the liberals and Mensheviks claimed, The Bolsheviks exposed the real meaning of the Manifesto and called upon the masses to continue the struggle and overthrow the autocracy.
The first Russian revolution exerted a great revolutionising influence on the working-class movement in other countries, in particular in Austria-Hungary. Lenin pointed out that the news about the tsar’s concession and his manifesto, with its promise of “liberties”, “played a decisive part in the final victory of universal suffrage in Austria”.
Mass demonstrations took place in Vienna and other industrial cities in Austria-Hungary. In Prague barricades were put up. As a result, universal suffrage was introduced in Austria.
J.V. Stalin – Trotskyism or Leninism? (1924)
| January 5, 2018 | 8:27 pm | J. Stalin, Leon Trotsky, V.I. Lenin | 1 Comment

Saturday, January 6, 2018

J.V. Stalin – Trotskyism or Leninism? (1924)

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2018/01/jv-stalin-trotskyism-or-leninism-1924.html
Joseph V. Stalin- Trotskyism or Leninism?
Speech delivered at the Plenum of the Communist Group in the A.U.C.C.T.U., 
November 19, 1924;
Published on Pravda, No.269, 
November 26, 1924.
 
Comrades, after Kamenev’s comprehensive report there is little left for me to say. I shall therefore confine myself to exposing certain legends that are being spread by Trotsky and his supporters about the October uprising, about Trotsky’s role in the uprising, about the Party and the preparation for October, and so forth. I shall also touch upon Trotskyism as a peculiar ideology that is incompatible with Leninism, and upon the Party’s tasks in connection with Trotsky’s latest literary pronouncements.
I. THE FACTS ABOUT THE OCTOBER UPRISING
 

First of all about the October uprising. Rumours are being vigorously spread among members of the Party that the Central Committee as a whole was opposed to an uprising in October 1917. The usual story is that on October 10, when the Central Committee adopted the decision to organise the uprising, the majority of the Central Committee at first spoke against an uprising, but, so the story runs, at that moment a worker burst in on the meeting of the Central Committee and said:
 
“You are deciding against an uprising, but I tell you that there will be an uprising all the same, in spite of everything.” And so, after that threat, the story runs, the Central Committee, which is alleged to have become frightened, raised the question of an uprising afresh and adopted a decision to organise it.
 
This is not merely a rumour, comrades. It is related by the well-known John Reed in his book Ten Days. Reed was remote from our Party and, of course, could not know the history of our secret meeting on October 10, and, consequently, he was taken in by the gossip spread by people like Sukhanov. This story was later passed round and repeated in a number of pamphlets written by Trotskyites, including one of the latest pamphlets on October written by Syrkin. These rumours have been strongly supported in Trotsky’s latest literary pronouncements.
 
It scarcely needs proof that all these and similar “Arabian Nights” fairy tales are not in accordance with the truth, that in fact nothing of the kind happened, nor could have happened, at the meeting of the Central Committee. Consequently, we could ignore these absurd rumours; after all, lots of rumours are fabricated in the office rooms of the oppositionists or those who are remote from the Party. Indeed, we have ignored them till now; for example, we paid no attention to John Reed’s mistakes and did not take the trouble to rectify them. After Trotsky’s latest pronouncements, however, it is no longer possible to ignore such legends, for attempts are being made now to bring up our young people on them and, unfortunately, some results have already been achieved in this respect. In view of this, I must counter these absurd rumours with the actual facts.
 
I take the minutes of the meeting of the Central Committee of our Party on October 10 (23), 1917. Present Lenin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Stalin, Trotsky, Sverdlov, Uritsky, Dzerzhinsky, Kollontai, Bubnov, Sokolnikov, Lomov. The question of the current situation and the uprising was discussed. After the discussion, Comrade Lenin’s resolution on the uprising was put to the vote. The resolution was adopted by a majority of 10 against 2. Clear, one would think: by a majority of 10 against 2, the Central Committee decided to proceed with the immediate, practical work of organising the uprising. At this very same meeting the Central Committee elected a political centre to direct the uprising; this centre, called the Political Bureau, consisted of Lenin, Zinoviev, Stalin, Kamenev, Trotsky, Sokolnikov and Bubnov.
 
Such are the facts.
 
These minutes at one stroke destroy several legends. They destroy the legend that the majority on the Central Committee was opposed to an uprising. They also destroy the legend that on the question of the uprising the Central Committee was on the verge of a split. It is clear from the minutes that the opponents of an immediate uprising — Kamenev and Zinoviev — were elected to the body that was to exercise political direction of the uprising on a par with those who were in favour of an uprising. There was no question of a split, nor could there be.
 
Trotsky asserts that in October our Party had a Right wing in the persons of Kamenev and Zinoviev, who, he says, were almost Social-Democrats. What one cannot understand then is how, under those circumstances, it could happen that the Party avoided a split; how it could happen that the disagreements with Kamenev and Zinoviev lasted only a few days; how it could happen that, in spite of those disagreements, the Party appointed these comrades to highly important posts, elected them to the political centre of the uprising, and so forth. Lenin’s implacable attitude towards Social-Democrats is sufficiently well-known in the Party; the Party knows that Lenin would not for a single moment have agreed to have Social-Democratically-minded comrades in the Party, let alone in highly important posts. How, then, are we to explain the fact that the Party avoided a split? The explanation is that in spite of the disagreements, these comrades were old Bolsheviks who stood on the common ground of Bolshevism. What was that common ground? Unity of views on the fundamental questions: the character of the Russian revolution, the driving forces of the revolution, the role of the peasantry, the principles of Party leadership, and so forth. Had there not been this common ground, a split would have been inevitable. There was no split, and the disagreements lasted only a few days, because, and only because, Kamenev and Zinoviev were Leninists, Bolsheviks.
 
Let us now pass to the legend about Trotsky’s special role in the October uprising. The Trotskyites are vigorously spreading rumours that Trotsky inspired and was the sole leader of the October uprising. These rumours are being spread with exceptional zeal by the so-called editor of Trotsky’s works, Lentsner. Trotsky himself, by consistently avoiding mention of the Party, the Central Committee and the Petrograd Committee of the Party, by saying nothing about the leading role of these organisation, in the uprising and vigorously pushing himself forward as the central figure in the October uprising, voluntarily or involuntarily helps to spread the rumours about the special role he is supposed to have played in the uprising. I am far from denying Trotsky’s undoubtedly important role in the uprising. I must say, however, that Trotsky did not play any special role in the October uprising, nor could he do so; being chairman of the Petrograd Soviet, he merely carried out the will of the appropriate Party bodies, which directed every step that Trotsky took. To philistines like Sukhanov, all this may seem strange, but the facts, the true facts, wholly and fully confirm what I say.
 
Let us take the minutes of the next meeting of the Central Committee, the one held on October 16 (29), 1917. Present: the members of the Central Committee, plus representatives of the Petrograd Committee, plus representatives of the military organisation, factory committees, trade unions and the railwaymen. Among those present, besides the members of the Central Committee, were: Krylenko, Shotman, Kalinin, Volodarsky, Shlyapnikov, Lacis, and others, twenty-five in all. The question of the uprising was discussed from the purely practical-organisational aspect. Lenin’s resolution on the uprising was adopted by a majority of 20 against 2, three abstaining. A practical centre was elected for the organisational leadership of the uprising. Who was elected to this centre? The following five: Sverdlov, Stalin, Dzerzhinsky, Bubnov, Uritsky. The functions of the practical centre: to direct all the practical organs of the uprising in conformity with the directives of the Central Committee. Thus, as you see, something “terrible” happened at this meeting of the Central Committee, i.e., “strange to relate,” the “inspirer,” the “chief figure,” the “sole leader” of the uprising, Trotsky, was not elected to the practical centre, which was called upon to direct the uprising. How is this to be reconciled with the current opinion about Trotsky’s special role? Is not all this somewhat “strange,” as Sukhanov, or the Trotskyites, would say? And yet, strictly speaking, there is nothing strange about it, for neither in the Party, nor in the October uprising, did Trotsky play any special role, nor could he do so, for he was a relatively new man in our Party in the period of October. He, like all the responsible workers, merely carried out the will of the Central Committee and of its organs. Whoever is familiar with the mechanics of Bolshevik Party leadership will have no difficulty in understanding that it could not be otherwise: it would have been enough for Trotsky to have gone against the will of the Central Committee to have been deprived of influence on the course of events. This talk about Trotsky’s special role is a legend that is being spread by obliging “Party” gossips.
 
This, of course, does not mean that the October uprising did not have its inspirer. It did have its inspirer and leader, but this was Lenin, and none other than Lenin, that same Lenin whose resolutions the Central Committee adopted when deciding the question of the uprising, that same Lenin who, in spite of what Trotsky says, was not prevented by being in hiding from being the actual inspirer of the uprising. It is foolish and ridiculous to attempt now, by gossip about Lenin having been in hiding, to obscure the indubitable fact that the inspirer of the uprising was the leader of the Party, V. I. Lenin.
 
Such are the facts.
 
Granted, we are told, but it cannot be denied that Trotsky fought well in the period of October. Yes, that is true, Trotsky did, indeed, fight well in October; but Trotsky was not the only one who fought well in the period of October. Even people like the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, who then stood side by side with the Bolsheviks, also fought well. In general, I must say that in the period of a victorious uprising, when the enemy is isolated and the uprising is growing, it is not difficult to fight well. At such moments even backward people become heroes.
 
The proletarian struggle is not, however, an uninterrupted advance, an unbroken chain of victories. The proletarian struggle also has its trials, its defeats. The genuine revolutionary is not one who displays courage in the period of a victorious uprising, but one who, while fighting well during the victorious advance of the revolution, also displays courage when the revolution is in retreat, when the proletariat suffers defeat; who does not lose his head and does not funk when the revolution suffers reverses, when the enemy achieves success; who does not become panic-stricken or give way to despair when the revolution is in a period of retreat. The Left Socialist-Revolutionaries did not fight badly in the period of October, and they supported the Bolsheviks. But who does not know that those “brave” fighters became panic-stricken in the period of Brest, when the advance of German imperialism drove them to despair and hysteria. It is a very sad but indubitable fact that Trotsky, who fought well in the period of October, did not, in the period of Brest, in the period when the revolution suffered temporary reverses, possess the courage to display sufficient staunchness at that difficult moment and to refrain from following in the footsteps of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries. Beyond question, that moment was a difficult one; one had to display exceptional courage and imperturbable coolness not to be dismayed, to retreat in good time, to accept peace in good time, to withdraw the proletarian army out of range of the blows of German imperialism, to preserve the peasant reserves and, after obtaining a respite in this way, to strike at the enemy with renewed force. Unfortunately, Trotsky was found to lack this courage and revolutionary staunchness at that difficult moment.
 
In Trotsky’s opinion, the principal lesson of the proletarian revolution is “not to funk” during October. That is wrong, for Trotsky’s assertion contains only a particle of the truth about the lessons of the revolution. The whole truth about the lessons of the proletarian revolution is “not to funk” not only when the revolution is advancing, but also when it is in retreat, when the enemy is gaining the upper hand and the revolution is suffering reverses. The revolution did not end with October. October was only the beginning of the proletarian revolution. It is bad to funk when the tide of insurrection is rising; but it is worse to funk when the revolution is passing through severe trials after power has been captured. To retain power on the morrow of the revolution is no less important than to capture power. If Trotsky funked during the period of Brest, when our revolution was passing through severe trials, when it was almost a matter of “surrendering” power, he ought to know that the mistakes committed by Kamenev and Zinoviev in October are quite irrelevant here.
 
That is how matters stand with the legends about the October uprising.
 
II. THE PARTY AND THE PREPARATION
FOR OCTOBER
Let us now pass to the question of the preparation for October.
 
Listening to Trotsky, one might think that during the whole of the period of preparation, from March to October, the Bolshevik Party did nothing but mark time; that it was being corroded by internal contradictions and hindered Lenin in every way; that, had it not been for Trotsky, nobody knows how the October Revolution would have ended. It is rather amusing to hear this strange talk about the Party from Trotsky, who declares in this same “preface” to Volume III that “the chief instrument of the proletarian revolution is the Party,” that “without the Party, apart from the Party, by-passing the Party, with a substitute for the Party, the proletarian revolution cannot be victorious.” Allah himself would not understand how our revolution could have succeeded if “its chief instrument” proved to be useless, while success was impossible, as it appears, “by-passing the Party.” But this is not the first time that Trotsky treats us to oddities. It must be supposed that this amusing talk about our Party is one of Trotsky’s usual oddities.
 
Let us briefly review the history of the preparation for October according to periods.
 
1) The period of the Party’s new orientation (March-April). The major facts of this period:
 
a) the overthrow of tsarism;
 
b) the formation of the Provisional Government (dictatorship of the bourgeoisie);
 
c) the appearance of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies (dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry);
 
d) dual power;
 
e) the April demonstration;
 
f) the first crisis of power.
 
The characteristic feature of this period is the fact that there existed together, side by side and simultaneously, both the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry; the latter trusts the former, believes that it is striving for peace, voluntarily surrenders power to the bourgeoisie and thereby becomes an appendage of the bourgeoisie. There are as yet no serious conflicts between the two dictatorships. On the other hand, there is the “Contact Committee.” [1]
 
This was the greatest turning point in the history of Russia and an unprecedented turning point in the history of our Party. The old, pre-revolutionary platform of direct overthrow of the government was clear and definite, but it was no longer suitable for the new conditions of the struggle. It was now no longer possible to go straight out for the overthrow of the government, for the latter was connected with the Soviets, then under the influence of the defencists, and the Party would have had to wage war against both the government and the Soviets, a war that would have been beyond its strength. Nor was it possible to pursue a policy of supporting the Provisional Government, for it was the government of imperialism. Under the new conditions of the struggle, the Party had to adopt a new orientation. The Party (its majority) groped its way towards this new orientation. It adopted the policy of pressure on the Provisional Government through the Soviets on the question of peace and did not venture to step forward at once from the old slogan of the dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry to the new slogan of power to the Soviets. The aim of this halfway policy was to enable the Soviets to discern the actual imperialist nature of the Provisional Government on the basis of the concrete questions of peace, and in this way to wrest the Soviets from the Provisional Government. But this was a profoundly mistaken position, for it gave rise to pacifist illusions, brought grist to the mill of defencism and hindered the revolutionary education of the masses. At that time I shared this mistaken position with other Party comrades and fully abandoned it only in the middle of April, when I associated myself with Lenin’s theses. A new orientation was needed. This new orientation was given to the Party by Lenin, in his celebrated April Theses. [2] I shall not deal with these theses, for they are known to everybody. Were there any disagreements between the Party and Lenin at that time? Yes, there were. How long did these disagreements last? Not more than two weeks. The City Conference of the Petrograd organisation [3] (in the latter half of April), which adopted Lenin’s theses, marked a turning point in our Party’s development. The All-Russian April Conference [4] (at the end of April) merely completed on an all-Russian scale the work of the Petrograd Conference, rallying nine-tenths of the Party around this united Party position.
 
Now, seven years later, Trotsky gloats maliciously over the past disagreements among the Bolsheviks and depicts them as a struggle waged as if there were almost two parties within Bolshevism. But, firstly, Trotsky disgracefully exaggerates and inflates the matter, for the Bolshevik Party lived through these disagreements without the slightest shock. Secondly, our Party would be a caste and not a revolutionary party if it did not permit different shades of opinion in its ranks. Moreover, it is well known that there were disagreements among us even before that, for example, in the period of the Third Duma, but they did not shake the unity of our Party. Thirdly, it will not be out of place to ask what was then the position of Trotsky himself, who is now gloating so eagerly over the past disagreements among the Bolsheviks. Lentsner, the so-called editor of Trotsky’s works, assures us that Trotsky’s letters from America (March) “wholly anticipated” Lenin’s Letters From Afar [5] (March), which served as the basis of Lenin’s April Theses. That is what he says: “wholly anticipated.” Trotsky does not object to this analogy; apparently, he accepts it with thanks. But, firstly, Trotsky’s letters “do not in the least resemble” Lenin’s letters either in spirit or in conclusions, for they wholly and entirely reflect Trotsky’s anti-Bolshevik slogan of “no tsar, but a workers’ government,” a slogan which implies a revolution without the peasantry. It is enough to glance through these two series of letters to be convinced of this. Secondly, if what Lentener says is true, how are we to explain the fact that Lenin on the very next day after his arrival from abroad considered it necessary to dissociate himself from Trotsky? Who does not know of Lenin’s repeated statements that Trotsky’s slogan: “no tsar, but a workers’ government” was an attempt “to skip the still unexhausted peasant movement,” that this slogan meant “playing at the seizure of power by a workers’ government”? 
 
What can there be in common between Lenin’s Bolshevik theses and Trotsky’s anti-Bolshevik scheme with its “playing at the seizure of power”? And what prompts this passion that some people display for comparing a wretched hovel with Mont Blanc? For what purpose did Lentsner find it necessary to make this risky addition to the heap of old legends about our revolution of still another legend, about Trotsky’s letters from America “anticipating” Lenin’s well-known Letters From Afar
 
No wonder it is said that an obliging fool is more dangerous than an enemy.
 
2) The period of the revolutionary mobilisation of the masses (May-August). The major facts of this period:
 
a) the April demonstration in Petrograd and the formation of the coalition government with the participation of “Socialists”;
 
b) the May Day demonstrations in the principal centres of Russia with the slogan of “a democratic peace”;
 
c) the June demonstration in Petrograd with the principal slogan: “Down with the capitalist ministers!”;
 
d) the June offensive at the front and the reverses of the Russian army;
 
e) the July armed demonstration in Petrograd; the Cadet ministers resign from the government;
 
f) counter-revolutionary troops are called in from the front; the editorial offices of Pravda are wrecked; the counter-revolution launches a struggle against the Soviets and a new coalition government is formed, headed by Kerensky;
 
g) the Sixth Congress of our Party, which issues the slogan to prepare for an armed uprising;
 
h) the counter-revolutionary Conference of State and the general strike in Moscow;
 
i) Kornilov’s unsuccessful march on Petrograd, the revitalising of the Soviets; the Cadets resign and a “Directory” is formed.
 
The characteristic feature of this period is the intensification of the crisis and the upsetting of the unstable equilibrium between the Soviets and the Provisional Government which, for good or evil, had existed in the preceding period. Dual power has become intolerable for both sides. The fragile edifice of the “Contact Committee” is tottering. “Crisis of power” and “ministerial re-shuffle” are the most fashionable catchwords of the day. The crisis at the front and the disruption in the rear are doing their work, strengthening the extreme flanks and squeezing the defencist compromisers from both sides. The revolution is mobilising, causing the mobilisation of the counter-revolution. The counter-revolution, in its turn, is spurring on the revolution, stirring up new waves of the revolutionary tide. The question of transferring power to the new class becomes the immediate question of the day.
 
Were there disagreements in our Party then? Yes, there were. They were, however, of a purely practical character, despite the assertions of Trotsky, who is trying to discover a “Right” and a “Left” wing in the Party. That is to say, they were such disagreements as are inevitable where there is vigorous Party life and real Party activity.
 
Trotsky is wrong in asserting that the April demonstration in Petrograd gave rise to disagreements in the Central Committee. The Central Committee was absolutely united on this question and condemned the attempt of a group of comrades to arrest the Provisional Government at a time when the Bolsheviks were in a minority both in the Soviets and in the army. Had Trotsky written the “history” of October not according to Sukhanov, but according to authentic documents, he would easily have convinced himself of the error of his assertion.
Trotsky is absolutely wrong in asserting that the attempt, “on Lenin’s initiative,” to arrange a demonstration on June 10 was described as “adventurism” by the “Rightwing” members of the Central Committee. Had Trotsky not written according to Sukhanov he would surely have known that the June 10 demonstration was postponed with the full agreement of Lenin, and that he urged the necessity of postponing it in a big speech he delivered at the well-known meeting of the Petrograd Committee (see minutes of the Petrograd Committee [6]).
 
Trotsky is absolutely wrong in speaking about “tragic” disagreements in the Central Committee in connection with the July armed demonstration. Trotsky is simply inventing in asserting that some members of the leading group in the Central. Committee “could not but regard the July episode as a harmful adventure.” Trotsky, who was then not yet a member of our Central Committee and was merely our Soviet parliamentary, might, of course, not have known that the Central Committee regarded the July demonstration only as a means of sounding the enemy, that the Central Committee (and Lenin) did not want to convert, did not even think of converting, the demonstration into an uprising at a time when the Soviets in the capitals still supported the defencists. It is quite possible that some Bolsheviks did whimper over the July defeat. I know, for example, that some of the Bolsheviks who were arrested at the time were even prepared to desert our ranks. But to draw inferences from this against certain alleged “Rights,” alleged to be members of the Central Committee, is a shameful distortion of history.
 
Trotsky is wrong in declaring that during the Kornilov days a section of the Party leaders inclined towards the formation of a bloc with the defencists, towards supporting the Provisional Government. He, of course, is referring to those same alleged “Rights” who keep him awake at night. Trotsky is wrong, for there exist documents, such as the Central Organ of the Party of that time, which refute his statements. Trotsky refers to Lenin’s letter to the Central Committee warning against supporting Kerensky; but Trotsky fails to understand Lenin’s letters, their significance, their purpose. In his letters, Lenin sometimes deliberately ran ahead, pushing into the forefront mistakes that might possibly be committed, and criticising them in advance with the object of warning the Party and of safeguarding it against mistakes. Sometimes he would even magnify a “trifle” and “make a mountain out of a molehill” for the same pedagogical purpose. The leader of the party, especially if he is in hiding, cannot act otherwise, for he must see further than his comrades-in-arms, he must sound the alarm over every possible mistake, even over “trifles.” But to infer from such letters of Lenin’s (and he wrote quite a number of such letters) the existence of “tragic” disagreements and to trumpet them forth means not to understand Lenin’s letters, means not to know Lenin. This, probably, explains why Trotsky sometimes is wide of the mark. In short: there were no disagreements in the Central Committee during the Kornilov revolt, absolutely none.
After the July defeat, disagreement did indeed arise between the Central Committee and Lenin on the question of the future of the Soviets. It is known that Lenin, wishing to concentrate the Party’s attention on the task of preparing the uprising outside the Soviets, warned against any infatuation with the latter, for he was of the opinion that, having been defiled by the defencists, they had become useless. The Central Committee and the Sixth Party Congress took a more cautious line and decided that there were no grounds for excluding the possibility that the Soviets would revive. The Kornilov revolt showed that this decision was correct. This disagreement, however, was of no great consequence for the Party. Later, Lenin admitted that the line taken by the Sixth Congress had been correct. It is interesting that Trotsky has not clutched at this disagreement and has not magnified it to “monstrous” proportions.
 
A united and solid party, the hub of the revolutionary mobilisation of the masses — such was the picture presented by our Party in that period.
 
3) The period of organisation of the assault (September-October). The major facts of this period:
 
a) the convocation of the Democratic Conference and the collapse of the idea of a bloc with the Cadets;
 
b) the Moscow and Petrograd Soviets go over to the side of the Bolsheviks;
 
c) the Congress of Soviets of the Northern Region [7]; the Petrograd Soviet decides against the withdrawal of the troops;
 
d) the decision of the Central Committee on the uprising and the formation of the Revolutionary Military Committee of the Petrograd Soviet;
 
e) the Petrograd garrison decides to render the Petrograd Soviet armed support; a network of commissars of the Revolutionary Military Committee is organised;
 
f) the Bolshevik armed forces go into action; the members of the Provisional Government are arrested;
 
g) the Revolutionary Military Committee of the Petrograd Soviet takes power; the Second Congress of Soviets sets up the Council of People’s Commissars.
The characteristic feature of this period is the rapid growth of the crisis, the utter consternation reigning among the ruling circles, the isolation of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, and the mass flight of the vacillating elements to the side of the Bolsheviks. A peculiar feature of the tactics of the revolution in this period must be noted, namely, that the revolution strove to take every, or nearly every, step in its attack in the guise of defence. Undoubtedly, the refusal to allow the troops to be withdrawn from Petrograd was an important step in the revolution’s attack; nevertheless, this attack was carried out under the slogan of protecting Petrograd from possible attack by the external enemy. Undoubtedly, the formation of the Revolutionary Military Committee was a still more important step in the attack upon the Provisional Government; nevertheless, it was carried out under the slogan of organising Soviet control over the actions of the Headquarters of the Military Area. Undoubtedly, the open transition of the garrison to the side of the Revolutionary Military Committee and the organisation of a network of Soviet Commissars marked the beginning of the uprising; nevertheless, the revolution took these steps under the slogan of protecting the Petrograd Soviet from possible action by the counterrevolution. The revolution, as it were, masked its actions in attack under the cloak of defence in order the more easily to draw the irresolute, vacillating elements into its orbit. This, no doubt, explains the outwardly defensive character of the speeches, articles and slogans of that period, the inner content of which, none the less, was of a profoundly attacking nature.
 
Were there disagreements in the Central Committee in that period? Yes, there were, and fairly important ones at that. I have already spoken about the disagreements over the uprising. They are fully reflected in the minutes of the meetings of the Central Committee of October 10 and 16. I shall, therefore, not repeat what I have already said. Three questions must now be dealt with: participation in the Pre-parliament, the role of the Soviets in the uprising, and the date of the uprising. This is all the more necessary because Trotsky, in his zeal to push himself into a prominent place, has “inadvertently” misrepresented the stand Lenin took on the last two questions.
 
Undoubtedly, the disagreements on the question of the Pre-parliament were of a serious nature. What was, so to speak, the aim of the Pre-parliament? It was: to help the bourgeoisie to push the Soviets into the background and to lay the foundations of bourgeois parliamentarism. Whether the Pre-parliament could have accomplished this task in the revolutionary situation that had arisen is another matter. Events showed that this aim could not be realised, and the Pre-parliament itself was a Kornilovite abortion. There can be no doubt, however, that it was precisely this aim that the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries pursued in setting up the Pre-parliament. What could the Bolsheviks’ participation in the Pre-parliament mean under those circumstances? Nothing but deceiving the proletarian masses about the true nature of the Pre-parliament. This is the chief explanation for the passion with which Lenin, in his letters, scourged those who were in favour of taking part in the Pre-parliament. There can be no doubt that it was a grave mistake to have taken part in the Pre-parliament.
 
It would be a mistake, however, to think, as Trotsky does, that those who were in favour of taking part in the Pre-parliament went into it for the purpose of constructive work, for the purpose of “directing the working-class movement” “into the channel of Social-Democracy.” That is not at all the case. It is not true. Had that been the case, the Party would not have been able to rectify this mistake “in two ticks” by demonstratively walking out of the Pre-parliament. Incidentally, the swift rectification of this mistake was an expression of our Party’s vitality and revolutionary might.
 
And now, permit me to correct a slight inaccuracy that has crept into the report of Lentsner, the “editor” of Trotsky’s works, about the meeting of the Bolshevik group at which a decision on the question of the Pre-parliament was taken. Lentsner says that there were two reporters at this meeting, Kamenev and Trotsky. That is not true. Actually, there were four reporters: two in favour of boycotting the Pre-parliament (Trotsky and Stalin), and two in favour of participation (Kamenev and Nogin).
 
Trotsky is in a still worse position when dealing with the stand Lenin took on the question of the form of the uprising. According to Trotsky, it appears that Lenin’s view was that the Party should take power in October “independently of and behind the back of the Soviet.” Later on, criticising this nonsense, which he ascribes to Lenin, Trotsky “cuts capers” and finally delivers the following condescending utterance:
 
“That would have been a mistake.” Trotsky is here uttering a falsehood about Lenin, he is misrepresenting Lenin’s views on the role of the Soviets in the uprising. A pile of documents can be cited, showing that Lenin proposed that power be taken through the Soviets, either the Petrograd or the Moscow Soviet, and not behind the back of the Soviets. Why did Trotsky have to invent this more than strange legend about Lenin?
 
Nor is Trotsky in a better position when he “analyses” the stand taken by the Central Committee and Lenin on the question of the date of the uprising. Reporting the famous meeting of the Central Committee of October 10, Trotsky asserts that at that meeting “a resolution was carried to the effect that the uprising should take place not later than October 15.” From this it appears that the Central Committee fixed October 15 as the date of the uprising and then itself violated that decision by postponing the date of the uprising to October 25. Is that true? No, it is not. During that period the Central Committee passed only two resolutions on the uprising — one on October 10 and the other on October 
16. Let us read these resolutions.
 
The Central Committee’s resolution of October 10:
 
“The Central Committee recognises that the international position of the Russian revolution (the mutiny in the German navy, which is an extreme manifestation of the growth throughout Europe of the world socialist revolution, and the threat of peace *** between the imperialists with the object of strangling the revolution in Russia) as well as the military situation (the indubitable decision of the Russian bourgeoisie and Kerensky and Co. to surrender Petrograd to the Germans), and the fact that the proletarian party has gained a majority in the Soviets — all this, taken in conjunction with the peasant revolt and the swing of popular confidence towards our Party (the elections in Moscow), and, finally, the obvious preparations being made for a second Kornilov affair (the withdrawal of troops from Petrograd, the dispatch of Cossacks to Petrograd, the surrounding of Minsk by Cossacks, etc.) — all this places an armed uprising on the order of the day.
 
“Considering, therefore, that an armed uprising is inevitable, and that the time for it is fully ripe, the Central Committee instructs all Party organisations to be guided accordingly, and to discuss and decide all practical questions (the Congress of Soviets of the Northern Region, the withdrawal of troops from Petrograd, the actions of the people in Moscow and Minsk, etc.) from this point of view.” [8]
 
The resolution adopted by the conference of the Central Committee with responsible workers on October 16:
 
“This meeting fully welcomes and wholly supports the Central Committee’s resolution, calls upon all organisations and all workers and soldiers to make thorough and most intense preparations for an armed uprising and for support of the centre set up by the Central Committee for this purpose, and expresses complete confidence that the Central Committee and the Soviet will in good time indicate the favourable moment and the suitable means for launching the attack.” [9]
 
You see that Trotsky’s memory betrayed him about the date of the uprising and the Central Committee’s resolution on the uprising.
 
Trotsky is absolutely wrong in asserting that Lenin underrated Soviet legality, that Lenin failed to appreciate the great importance of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets taking power on October 25, and that this was the reason why he insisted that power be taken before October 25. That is not true. Lenin proposed that power be taken before October 25 for two reasons. Firstly, because the counter-revolutionaries might have surrendered Petrograd at any moment, which would have drained the blood of the developing uprising, and so every day was precious. Secondly, because the mistake made by the Petrograd Soviet in openly fixing and announcing the day of the uprising (October 25) could not be rectified in any other way than by actually launching the uprising before the legal date set for it. The fact of the matter is that Lenin regarded insurrection as an art, and he could not help knowing that the enemy, informed about the date of the uprising (owing to the carelessness of the Petrograd Soviet) would certainly try to prepare for that day. Consequently, it was necessary to forestall the enemy, i.e., without fail to launch the uprising before the legal date. This is the chief explanation for the passion with which Lenin in his letters scourged those who made a fetish of the date — October 25. Events showed that Lenin was absolutely right. It is well known that the uprising was launched prior to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets. It is well known that power was actually taken before the opening of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, and it was taken not by the Congress of Soviets, but by the Petrograd Soviet, by the Revolutionary Military Committee. The Congress of Soviets merely took over power from the Petrograd Soviet. That is why Trotsky’s lengthy arguments about the importance of Soviet legality are quite beside the point.
 
A virile and mighty party standing at the head of the revolutionary masses who were storming and overthrowing bourgeois rule — such was the state of our Party in that period.
 
That is how matters stand with the legends about the preparation for October.
 
 
III. TROTSKYISM OR LENINISM?
 
 
We have dealt above with the legends directed against the Party and those about Lenin spread by Trotsky and his supporters in connection with October and the preparation for it. We have exposed and refuted these legends. But the question arises: For what purpose did Trotsky need all these legends about October and the preparation for October, about Lenin and the Party of Lenin? What is the purpose of Trotsky’s new literary pronouncements against the Party? What is the sense, the purpose, the aim of these pronouncements now, when the Party does not want a discussion, when the Party is busy with a host of urgent tasks, when the Party needs united efforts to restore our economy and not a new struggle around old questions? For what purpose does Trotsky need to drag the Party back, to new discussions?
 
Trotsky asserts that all this is needed for the purpose of “studying” October. But is it not possible to study October without giving another kick at the Party and its leader Lenin? What sort of a “history” of October is it that begins and ends with attempts to discredit the chief leader of the October uprising, to discredit the Party, which organised and carried through the uprising? No, it is not a matter here of studying October. That is not the way to study October. That is not the way to write the history of October. Obviously, there is a different “design” here, and everything goes to show that this “design” is that Trotsky by his literary pronouncements is making another (yet another!) attempt to create the conditions for substituting Trotskyism for Leninism. Trotsky needs “desperately” to discredit the Party, and its cadres who carried through the uprising, in order, after discrediting the Party, to proceed to discredit Leninism. And it is necessary for him to discredit Leninism in order to drag in Trotskyism as the “sole” “proletarian” (don’t laugh!) ideology. All this, of course (oh, of course!) under the flag of Leninism, so that the dragging operation may be performed “as painlessly as possible. “
 
That is the essence of Trotsky’s latest literary pronouncements.
 
That is why those literary pronouncements of Trotsky’s sharply raise the question of Trotskyism.
 
And so, what is Trotskyism?
 
Trotskyism possesses three specific features which bring it into irreconcilable contradiction with Leninism.
 
What are these features?
 
Firstly. Trotskyism is the theory of “permanent” (uninterrupted) revolution. But what is permanent revolution in its Trotskyist interpretation? It is revolution that fails to take the poor peasantry into account as a revolutionary force. Trotsky’s “permanent” revolution is, as Lenin said, “skipping” the peasant movement, “playing at the seizure of power.” Why is it dangerous? Because such a revolution, if an attempt had been made to bring it about, would inevitably have ended in failure, for it would have divorced from the Russian proletariat its ally, the poor peasantry. This explains the struggle that Leninism has been waging against Trotskyism ever since 1905.
 
How does Trotsky appraise Leninism from the standpoint of this struggle? He regards it as a theory that possesses “anti-revolutionary features.” What is this indignant opinion about Leninism based on? On the fact that, at the proper time, Leninism advocated and upheld the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry.
 
But Trotsky does not confine himself to this indignant opinion. He goes further and asserts: “The entire edifice of Leninism at the present time is built on lies and falsification and bears within itself the poisonous elements of its own decay” (see Trotsky’s letter to Chkheidze, 1913). As you see, we have before us two opposite lines.
 
Secondly. Trotskyism is distrust of the Bolshevik Party principle, of the monolithic character of the Party, of its hostility towards opportunist elements. In the sphere of organisation, Trotskyism is the theory that revolutionaries and opportunists can co-exist and form groups and coteries within a single party. You are, no doubt, familiar with the history of Trotsky’s August bloc, in which the Martovites and Otzovists, the Liquidators and Trotskyites, happily co-operated, pretending that they were a “real” party. It is well known that this patchwork “party” pursued the aim of destroying the Bolshevik Party. What was the nature of “our disagreements” at that time? It was that Leninism regarded the destruction of the August bloc as a guarantee of the development of the proletarian party, whereas Trotskyism regarded that bloc as the basis for building a “real” party.
 
Again, as you see, we have two opposite lines.
 
Thirdly. Trotskyism is distrust of the leaders of Bolshevism, an attempt to discredit, to defame them. I do not know of a single trend in the Party that could compare with Trotskyism in the matter of discrediting the leaders of Leninism or the central institutions of the Party. For example, what should be said of Trotsky’s “polite” opinion of Lenin, whom he described as “a professional exploiter of every kind of backwardness in the Russian working-class movement”? (ibid.) And this is far from being the most “polite” of the “polite” opinions Trotsky has expressed.
 
How could it happen that Trotsky, who carried such a nasty stock-in-trade on his back, found himself, after all, in the ranks of the Bolsheviks during the October movement? It happened because at that time Trotsky abandoned (actually did abandon) that stock-in-trade; he hid it in the cupboard. Had he not performed that “operation,” real co-operation with him would have been impossible. The theory of the August bloc, i.e., the theory of unity with the Mensheviks, had already been shattered and thrown overboard by the revolution, for how could there be any talk about unity when an armed struggle was raging between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks? Trotsky had no alternative but to admit that this theory was useless.
 
The same misadventure “happened” to the theory of permanent revolution, for not a single Bolshevik contemplated the immediate seizure of power on the morrow of the February Revolution, and Trotsky could not help knowing that the Bolsheviks would not allow him, in the words of Lenin, “to play at the seizure of power.” Trotsky had no alternative but recognise the Bolsheviks’ policy of fighting for influence in the Soviets, of fighting to win over the peasantry. As regards the third specific feature of Trotskyism (distrust of the Bolshevik leaders), it naturally had to retire into the background owing to the obvious failure of the first two features.
 
Under those circumstances, could Trotsky do anything else but hide his stock-in-trade in the cupboard and follow the Bolsheviks, considering that he had no group of his own of any significance, and that he came to the Bolsheviks as a political individual, without an army? Of course, he could not!
 
What is the lesson to be learnt from this? Only one: that prolonged collaboration between the Leninists and Trotsky is possible only if the latter completely abandons his old stock-in-trade, only if he completely accepts Leninism. Trotsky writes about the lessons of October, but he forgets that, in addition to all the other lessons, there is one more lesson of October, the one I have just mentioned, which is of prime importance for Trotskyism. Trotskyism ought to learn that lesson of October too.
 
It is evident, however, that Trotskyism has not learnt that lesson. The fact of the matter is that the old stock-in-trade of Trotskyism that was hidden in the cupboard in the period of the October movement is now being dragged into the light again in the hope that a market will be found for it, seeing that the market in our country is expanding. Undoubtedly, Trotsky’s new literary pronouncements are an attempt to revert to Trotskyism, to “overcome” Leninism, to drag in, implant, all the specific features of Trotskyism. The new Trotskyism is not a mere repetition of the old Trotskyism; its feathers have been plucked and it is rather bedraggled; it is incomparably milder in spirit and more moderate in form than the old Trotskyism; but, in essence, it undoubtedly retains all the specific features of the old Trotskyism. The new Trotskyism does not dare to come out as a militant force against Leninism; it prefers to operate under the common flag of Leninism, under the slogan of interpreting, improving Leninism. That is because it is weak. It cannot be regarded as an accident that the appearance of the new Trotskyism coincided with Lenin’s departure. In Lenin’s lifetime it would not have dared to take this risky step.
 
What are the characteristic features of the new Trotskyism?
 
1) On the question of “permanent” revolution. The new Trotskyism does not deem it necessary openly to uphold the theory of “permanent” revolution. It “simply” asserts that the October Revolution fully confirmed the idea of “permanent” revolution. From this it draws the following conclusion: the important and acceptable part of Leninism is the part that came after the war, in the period of the October Revolution; on the other hand, the part of Leninism that existed before the war, before the October Revolution, is wrong and unacceptable. Hence, the Trotskyites’ theory of the division of Leninism into two parts: pre-war Leninism, the “old,” “useless” Leninism with its idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry, and the new, post-war, October Leninism, which they count on adapting to the requirements of Trotskyism. Trotskyism needs this theory of the division of Leninism as a first, more or less “acceptable” step that is necessary to facilitate further steps in its struggle against Leninism.
 
But Leninism is not an eclectic theory stuck together out of diverse elements and capable of being cut into parts. Leninism is an integral theory, which arose in 1903, has passed the test of three revolutions, and is now being carried forward as the battle-flag of the world proletariat.
 
“Bolshevism,” Lenin said, “as a trend of political thought and as a political party, has existed since 1903. Only the history of Bolshevism during the whole period of its existence can satisfactorily explain why it was able to build up and to maintain under most difficult conditions the iron discipline needed for the victory of the proletariat” (see Vol. XXV, p. 174).
 
Bolshevism and Leninism are one. They are two names for one and the same thing. Hence, the theory of the division of Leninism into two parts is a theory intended to destroy Leninism, to substitute Trotskyism for Leninism.
 
Needless to say, the Party cannot reconcile itself to this grotesque theory.
 
2) On the question of the Party principle. The old Trotskyism tried to undermine the Bolshevik Party principle by means of the theory (and practice) of unity with the Mensheviks. But that theory has suffered such disgrace that nobody now even wants to mention it. To undermine the Party principle, present-day Trotskyism has invented the new, less odious and almost “democratic” theory of contrasting the old cadres to the younger Party element. According to Trotskyism, our Party has not a single and integral history. Trotskyism divides the history of our Party into two parts of unequal importance: pre-October and post-October. The pre-October part of the history of our Party is, properly speaking, not history, but “pre-history,” the unimportant or, at all events, not very important preparatory period of our Party. The post-October part of the history of our Party, however, is real, genuine history. In the former, there are the “old,” “pre-historic,” unimportant cadres of our Party. In the latter there is the new, real, “historic” Party. It scarcely needs proof that this singular scheme of the history of the Party is a scheme to disrupt the unity between the old and the new cadres of our Party, a scheme to destroy the Bolshevik Party principle.
 
Needless to say, the Party cannot reconcile itself to this grotesque scheme.
 
3) On the question of the leaders of Bolshevism. The old Trotskyism tried to discredit Lenin more or less openly, without fearing the consequences. The new Trotskyism is more cautious. It tries to achieve the purpose of the old Trotskyism by pretending to praise, to exalt Lenin. I think it is worth while quoting a few examples.
 
The Party knows that Lenin was a relentless revolutionary; but it knows also that he was cautious, that he disliked reckless people and often, with a firm hand, restrained those who were infatuated with terrorism, including Trotsky himself. Trotsky touches on this subject in his book On Lenin, but from his portrayal of Lenin one might think that all Lenin did was “at every opportunity to din into people’s minds the idea that terrorism was inevitable.” The impression is created that Lenin was the most bloodthirsty of all the bloodthirsty Bolsheviks.
 
For what purpose did Trotsky need this uncalled for and totally unjustified exaggeration?
 
The Party knows that Lenin was an exemplary Party man, who did not like to settle questions alone, without the leading collective body, on the spur of the moment, without careful investigation and verification. Trotsky touches upon this aspect, too, in his book. But the portrait he paints is not that of Lenin, but of a sort of Chinese mandarin, who settles important questions in the quiet of his study, by intuition.
 
Do you want to know how our Party settled the question of dispersing the Constituent Assembly? Listen to Trotsky:
 
“‘Of course, the Constituent Assembly will have to be dispersed,’ said Lenin, ‘but what about the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries?’
“But our apprehensions were greatly allayed by old Natanson. He came in to ‘take counsel’ with us, and after the first few words he said:
“‘We shall probably have to disperse the Constituent Assembly by force.’
“‘Bravo!’ exclaimed Lenin. ‘What is true is true! But will your people agree to it?’
“‘Some of our people are wavering, but I think that in the end they will agree,’ answered Natanson.”
That is how history is written.
Do you want to know how the Party settled the question about the Supreme Military Council? Listen to Trotsky:
“‘Unless we have serious and experienced military experts we shall never extricate ourselves from this chaos,’ I said to Vladimir Ilyich after every visit to the Staff.
“‘That is evidently true, but they might betray us….’
“‘Let us attach a commissar to each of them.’
“‘Two would be better,” exclaimed Lenin, ‘and strong-handed ones. There surely must be strong-handed Communists in our ranks.’
“That is how the structure of the Supreme Military Council arose.”
 
That is how Trotsky writes history.
 
Why did Trotsky need these “Arabian Nights” stories derogatory to Lenin? Was it to exalt V. I. Lenin, the leader of the Party? It doesn’t look like it.
 
The Party knows that Lenin was the greatest Marxist of our times, a profound theoretician and a most experienced revolutionary, to whom any trace of Blanquism was alien. Trotsky touches upon this aspect, too, in his book. But the portrait he paints is not that of the giant Lenin, but of a dwarf-like Blanquist who, in the October days, advises the Party “to take power by its own hand, independently of and behind the back of the Soviet.” I have already said, however, that there is not a scrap of truth in this description.
 
Why did Trotsky need this flagrant … inaccuracy? Is this not an attempt to discredit Lenin “just a little”?
 
Such are the characteristic features of the new Trotskyism.
 
What is the danger of this new Trotskyism? It is that Trotskyism, owing to its entire inner content, stands every chance of becoming the centre and rallying point of the non-proletarian elements who are striving to weaken, to disintegrate the proletarian dictatorship.
 
You will ask: what is to be done now? What are the Party’s immediate tasks in connection with Trotsky’s new literary pronouncements?
 
Trotskyism is taking action now in order to discredit Bolshevism and to undermine its foundations. It is the duty of the Party to bury Trotskyism as an ideological trend.
 
There is talk about repressive measures against the opposition and about the possibility of a split. That is nonsense, comrades. Our Party is strong and mighty. It will not allow any splits. As regards repressive measures, I am emphatically opposed to them. What we need now is not repressive measures, but an extensive ideological struggle against renascent Trotskyism.
 
We did not want and did not strive for this literary discussion. Trotskyism is forcing it upon us by its anti-Leninist pronouncements. Well, we are ready, comrades.
 

NOTES By J. V. Stalin.

[*] See Lenin’s Works, Vol. XX, p. 104. See also the reports made at the Petrograd City Conference and at the All-Russian Conference of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.) (middle and end of April, 1917).
 
[**] Among these legends must be included also the very widespread story that Trotsky was the “sole” or “chief organiser” of the victories on the fronts of the civil war. I must declare, comrades, in the interest of truth, that this version is quite out of accord with the facts. I am far from denying that Trotsky played an important role in the civil war. But I must emphatically declare that the high honour of being the organiser of our victories belongs not to individuals, but to the great collective body of advanced workers in our country, the Russian Communist Party. Perhaps it will not be out of place to quote a few examples. You know that Kolchak and Denikin were regarded as the principal enemies of the Soviet Republic. You know that our country breathed freely only after those enemies were defeated. Well, history shows that both those enemies, i.e., Kolchak and Denikin, were routed by our troops in spite of Trotsky’s plans.
Judge for yourselves.
 
1) Kolchak. This is in the summer of 1919. Our troops are advancing against Kolchak and are operating near Ufa. A meeting of the Central Committee is held. Trotsky proposes that the advance be halted along the line of the River Belaya (near Ufa), leaving the Urals in the hands of Kolchak, and that part of the troops be withdrawn from the Eastern Front and transferred to the Southern Front. A heated debate takes place. The Central Committee disagrees with Trotsky, being of the opinion that the Urals, with its factories and railway network, must not be left in the hands of Kolchak, for the latter could easily recuperate there organise a strong force and reach the Volga again; Kolchak must first be driven beyond the Ural range into the Siberian steppes, and only after that has been done should forces be transferred to the South The Central Committee rejects Trotsky’s plan. Trotsky hands in his resignation. The Central Committee refuses to accept it. Commander-in-Chief Vatsetis, who supported Trotsky’s plan, resigns. His place is taken by a new Commander-in-Chief, Kamenev. From that moment Trotsky ceases to take a direct part in the affairs of the Eastern Front.
 
2) Denikin. This is in the autumn of 1919. The offensive against Denikin is not proceeding successfully. The “steel ring” around Mamontov (Mamontov’s raid) is obviously collapsing. Denikin captures Kursk. Denikin is approaching Orel. Trotsky is summoned from the Southern Front to attend a meeting of the Central Committee. The Central Committee regards the situation as alarming and decides to send new military leaders to the Southern Front and to withdraw Trotsky. The new military leaders demand “no intervention” by Trotsky in the affairs of the Southern Front. Trotsky ceases to take a direct part in the affairs of the Southern Front.. Operations on the Southern Front, right up to the capture of Rostov-on-Don and Odessa by our troops, proceed without Trotsky.
Let anybody try to refute these facts.
 
[***] Obviously, this should be “a separate peace.” — J. St.
 
* * * 
 
1] The “Contact Committee,” consisting of Chkheidze, Steklov, Sukhanov, Filippovsky and Skobelev (and later Chernov and Tsereteli), was set up by the Menshevik and SocialistRevolutionary Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies on March 7, 1917, for the purpose of establishing contact with the Provisional Government, of “influencing” it and “controlling” its activities. Actually, the “Contact Committee” helped to carry out the bourgeois policy of the Provisional Government and restrained the masses of the workers from waging an active revolutionary struggle to transfer all power to the Soviets. The “Contact Committee” existed until May 1917, when representatives of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries entered the provisional Government.
 
[2] See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ea., Vol. 24, pp. 1-7.
 
[3] The Petrograd City Conference of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.) took place from April 27 to May 5 (April 14-22), 1917, with 57 delegates present. V. I. Lenin and J. V. Stalin took part in the proceedings. V. I. Lenin delivered a report on the current situation based on his April Theses. J. V. Stalin was elected to the commission for drafting the resolution on V. I. Lenin’s report. 
 
[4] Concerning the Seventh AllRussian April Conference of the Bolshevik Party see the History of the C.P.S.U.(B.), Short Course, Moscow 1952, pp. 291-96.
 
[5] See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ea., Vol. 23, pp. 289-333.
 
[6] See “Speech by V. I. Lenin at the Meeting of the Petrograd Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.), June 24 (11), 1917, Concerning the Cancelling of the Demonstration” (Works, 4th Russ. ea., Vol. 25, pp. 62-63).
 
[7] The Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies of the Northern Region took place in Petrograd on October 24-26 (11-13), 1917, under the direction of the Bolsheviks. Representatives were present from Petrograd, Moscow, Kronstadt, Novgorod, Reval, Helsingfors, Vyborg and other cities. In all there were 94 delegates, of whom 51 were Bolsheviks. The congress adopted a resolution on the need for immediate transference of all power to the Soviets, central and local. It called upon the peasants to support the struggle for the transference of power to the Soviets and urged the Soviets themselves to commence active operations and to set up Revolutionary Military Committees for organising the military defence of the revolution. The congress set up a Northern Regional Committee and instructed it to prepare for the convocation of the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets and to co-ordinate the activities of all the Regional Soviets.
 
[8] See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ea., Vol. 26.
 
[9] See V. I. Lenin, Works, 4th Russ. ea.. Vol. 26.
Dimitris Koutsoumbas: We draw conclusions, we become stronger – ДИМИТРИС КУЦУМБАС (КПГ): ИЗВЛЕКАЕМ УРОКИ, СТАНОВИМСЯ СИЛЬНЕЕ

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Dimitris Koutsoumbas: We draw conclusions, we become stronger – ДИМИТРИС КУЦУМБАС (КПГ): ИЗВЛЕКАЕМ УРОКИ, СТАНОВИМСЯ СИЛЬНЕЕ

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/12/dimitris-koutsoumbas-we-draw.html
It is with particular joy that I address via the pages of the historical newspaper “Sovetskaya Rossiya” the workers of Russia, of the country where the “ice broke”, as Lenin said, where “the way has been shown” as regards the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and the construction of the new socialist-communist society. 
The consequences of the counterrevolution and the overthrow of socialism did not cloud the eyes, mind and judgment of the communists of Greece, the KKE. Indeed on the 28th of December 1991, a few hours after the red flag was taken down from the Kremlin, Rizospastis, the journalistic organ of the CC of the KKE, wrote on its historic front page: “Comrades, hold the flag high! Hope is to be found in the struggles of the peoples”! 
In 2017, the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, was marked by the multifaceted activity of our party. Our party is one of the fruits of the revolutionary flame of October. 
In our country hundreds of significant political and cultural activities in honour of the Socialist Revolution were carried out. 
At the same time, we sought through our political and ideological activity, as well as our activity inside the trade unions and other mass popular organizations, defending the just cause of the working class, the other poor strata against the anti-people political line, to highlight the need for workers’ power, which is the only real alternative to capitalist barbarity. 
The communists of Greece fought to organize the struggle of the working class against the bourgeois government of the “new” social-democracy SYRiZA, which governs for the last 3 years with the support if a rightwing party, ANEL and with the backing of the EU, NATO, USA. 
In difficult conditions of high unemployment caused by the capitalist crisis, the intensification of employer intimidation in the workplaces, government-state repression and undermining of the right to strike, the communists strived as best they could to organize major workers’ struggles, demonstrations, nationwide strikes. 
This struggle, beyond the various gains achieved by the workers in some sectors, such as in construction, in shipbuilding and repair and elsewhere, further strengthened the positions of the communists, of the class-oriented forces as a whole that struggle in the ranks of the All-workers’ Militant Front (PAME).The class-oriented forces won over new forces. Today it is the second force in the trade union movement and the best organized. 
In addition, the communists also actively mobilize amongst the poor farmers, who in 2017 had blocked the country’s highways at 100 points for 40 days, struggling against the political line of the government and EU, which is driving them to ruin. 
The same is true as regards the struggles of the petty bourgeois urban strata, the self-employed, and also the struggles of the women and youth with a working class-popular background. 
It is no accident that KNE over the last 4 years has won the second position nationally in the elections for the student unions, with over 20%. 
The communists, either in the Greek Parliament (the KKE has 15 MPs), or in the European Parliament (where we have 2 MEPs), or in the ranks of the thousands of people who have demonstrated many times for the workers’-people’s rights, as well as outside the NATO bases and command centres, with a consistent stance against imperialist wars, against Greece’s participation in them, against the transformation of our country into a launching pad for the promotion of the plans of the USA, NATO, EU in the Middle East, in Africa, in Ukraine, in the Black Sea and elsewhere. They took a position in favour of the country’s disengagement from the imperialist unions of NATO and the EU, from all imperialist alliances, something that can only be guaranteed by workers’ governance in Greece. Just as only workers’ power can put an end to the anti-worker anti-people measures, socializing the means of production, with scientific planning of the economy and workers’ control. 
The 20th Congress of our party, which was held at the end of March 2017, engaged with question of how our party will become more effective in its activity. We set the bar even higher at this Congress. We set as an immediate task the strengthening of the KKE so that our party becomes more capable as a party of social revolution to realize its historical vanguard role. A party capable of leading the struggle of the working class and the entire people for the regroupment of the labour and trade union movement, the promotion of the Social Alliance in an anti-capitalist anti-monopoly direction, against imperialist wars, for workers’ power. 
Because we know very well that the October Revolution was not an “accident of history” or a “disastrous coup” of the Bolsheviks, as the bourgeois say and write, or an “immature and premature” revolution as every kind of renegade, opportunist and adventurist says and writes. 
The October Revolution was a climactic world-historic event which signaled the beginning of an era in which the working class became the protagonist in the developments and pushed the wheel of history forwards, taking power and organizing new socialist communist relations of production, reshaping society as a whole. 
This assessment is also valid today when we see capitalism in its imperialist stage dominant globally, as whatever socialist relations survive in some countries are remnants of the first attempt to construct socialism that began in 1917 and continued in various countries throughout the 20th century. 
However, socialism continues to be as timely and necessary as ever in the history of humanity. And this, like the socialist character of the revolution in our era, does not depend on the contingent correlation of forces, but it emerges from the impasses of capitalism, the fact that the material preconditions for the passage to a new society have matured. 
Today the inter-imperialist antagonisms have sharpened even further. The major contradictions over the division of the markets, the control of the natural resources, the transport routes for energy and commodities, geopolitical control. New alliances and blocs of forces are being created, increasing the danger of military conflicts. 
In the framework of these conflicts, the international communist movement, each communist party must form its own line of battle. A line for the overthrow of the imperialist barbarity that brings economic crises, poverty, unemployment and wars or “peace” with a gun to the people’s head. And this must be done by studying historical experience, rejecting mistaken analyses of previous decades that led revolutionary forces in society to passivity, ineffectiveness and confusion. 
As the experience of October and the entire course of the revolutionary labour movement internationally demonstrated, there is no room for any cooperation-alliance with the bourgeois class as a whole or any of its sections in the name of defending bourgeois democracy, of “humanizing capitalism”, of some intermediate stage to socialism or with the argument of avoiding some “extreme pro-war forces”. 
The bourgeoisie and the bourgeois power undermine and suppress workers’ and people’s rights, achievements. In their “peaceful conditions” they prepare wars. Τhe consolidation of the anti-capitalist-antimonopoly struggle, of the struggle for socialism requires the alliance of the working class with the poor farmers and the self-employed craftsmen. 
The line of social democracy since the beginning of the previous century until today has completely failed, it has caused great damage, it led to the defeat of the revolutionary communist movement, it assimilated working masses in the capitalist exploitative system; it led militant, progressive forces in favour of social development to be disarmed. This, like the irreplaceable role of the CP emerges from our theory, which is Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. 
Socialist construction as the first immature phase of the communist society highlighted the scientific laws that the revolutionary vanguard must be aware of and not violate so as to eradicate consciously and methodically the seeds of counterrevolution. More specifically, the theory and practical implementation of “market socialism” is disastrous for socialist construction, something that happened gradually in the USSR via the opportunist sliding over a period of time beginning in 1956 and violently manifesting itself in 1991, with the complete dissolution of the USSR and CPSU. 
Historical experience has demonstrated that the problems that arose in the course of socialist construction were mistakenly interpreted as inherent weaknesses of central planning. The solution was sought in the expansion of market, which was a step backwards, instead of taking a step forward expanding and strengthening the socialist-communist relations of production. 
Today, drawing the correct conclusions from our history, we become stronger. We are better ideologically and politically equipped for the class battles that we are waging and we will wage in the future. Our weapon is proletarian internationalism, our joint struggle, our class and comradely solidarity which is necessary against national isolationism and imperialist cosmopolitanism. 
The KKE, which in 2018 will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its foundation, will follow the CPRF in hosting the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties . We will seek with the 20th International Meeting that will be held in Athens, as well as with other forms, to contribute so that the international communist movement, which today is divided and faces major difficulties, to take steps towards its revolutionary regroupment, because this is its only positive prospect. 
We wish the readers of “Sovetskaya Rossiya” health and strength for the new struggles of 2018. Our future is not capitalism, but the new world of socialist revolutions, of socialist-communist construction. 
Best wishes to all!
Published 28/12/2017.
* * * 
СТАТЬЯ ГЕНСЕКА ЦК КПГ В ГАЗЕТЕ «СОВЕТСКАЯ РОССИЯ»
ДИМИТРИС КУЦУМБАС: ИЗВЛЕКАЕМ УРОКИ, СТАНОВИМСЯ СИЛЬНЕЕ
Я с особой радостью обращаюсь со страниц исторической газеты «Советская Россия» к трудящимся России – страны, которая сломала лед, как говорил Ленин, показала дорогу революционного свержения капитализма и строительства нового, социалистического-коммунистического общества.
То, что произошло в результате контрреволюционных процессов, не затмило глаза, ум коммунистов Греции, Коммунистической партии Греции. 
Даже в день, когда спускался красный флаг над Кремлем, 28 декабря 1991 года, на первой странице «Ризоспастиса» – печатного органа ЦК КПГ, был напечатан призыв: «Товарищи, выше флаг! Надежда – в борьбе народов!» 
2017 год – год 100-летия Великой Октябрьской социалистической революции – вооружил нашу партию богатым опытом деятельности. Наша партия также является плодом революционного пламени Октября. 
В нашей стране были проведены сотни важных политических и культурных мероприятий в честь Социалистической революции.
В то же время мы старались с помощью нашей идеологической и политической деятельности, деятельности в профсоюзах и других массовых народных организациях, защищая права рабочего класса, других бедных слоев населения от антинародной политики, показать необходимость завоевания власти трудящимися, которая является единственной реальной противостоящей силой капиталистическому варварству. 
Коммунисты Греции организовали борьбу рабочего класса против «нового» социал-демократического буржуазного правительства СИРИЗА, которое находится у власти 3 года в коалиции с правой партией АНЭЛ, имея поддержку капитала, ЕС, НАТО, США. 
В сложных условиях сохраняющейся высокой безработицы, вызванной капиталистическим кризисом, когда усиливаются работодательский террор на рабочих местах, репрессии со стороны государства и правительства и ущемляются права на забастовку, коммунисты отдают все свои силы для организации борьбы трудящихся, акций протеста, забастовок во всегреческом масштабе. 
Эта борьба, помимо отдельных успехов, достигнутых трудящимися в некоторых отраслях (строительной, судостроительной и др.), еще больше укрепила позиции коммунистов, в целом классовых сил, борющихся в рядах Всегреческого боевого фронта (ПАМЕ). Классовые силы окрепли. Сегодня они являются второй силой в профсоюзном движении и самыми хорошо организованными. 
Кроме того, коммунисты также активно действуют среди бедных крестьян, которые в 2017 году в течение 40 дней перекрывали центральные автомагистрали страны в 100 точках, выступая против политики правительства и ЕС, ведущей их к разорению. 
Такую же работу ведут коммунисты, участвуя в борьбе средних слоев населения города, самозанятых, а также женщин и молодежи из рабочего класса. 
Неслучайно Коммунистическая молодежь Греции в последние 4 года занимает второе место и набирает более чем 20% во всей стране на выборах в студенческих профсоюзах. 
Коммунисты, находясь в парламенте Греции (КПГ насчитывает 15 депутатов), в Европейском парламенте (имеет 2 евродепутатов) или в рядах демонстрантов, неоднократно протестующих против ущемления прав народа, а также у стен натовских военных баз и штабов, последовательно выступали против империалистических войн, против участия Греции в них, против превращения нашей страны в плацдарм для продвижения планов США, НАТО, ЕС на Ближнем Востоке, в Африке, на Украине, в Черном море и в других регионах. Они выступают за выход страны из империалистических союзов – НАТО и ЕС, из любого другого империалистического союза, а это может гарантировать только рабочее правление в Греции. Только рабочая власть может гарантировать, что обобществление средств производства, централизованное планирование и рабочий контроль могут стать «надгробным камнем» для антирабочих, антинародных мер. 
Вопрос о том, как сделать деятельность нашей партии более результативной, также рассматривался на состоявшемся в марте 2017 года XX съезде КПГ, на котором мы подняли планку еще выше. Мы поставили перед собой задачу укрепить КПГ, чтобы наша партия как партия социального низвержения стала способной выполнить свою историческую, авангардную роль. Чтобы она была способна возглавить борьбу рабочего класса и всего народа за реорганизацию рабочего профсоюзного движения, развитие социального союза в антикапиталистическом, антимонополистическом направлении, против империалистической войны, за рабочую власть. 
Нам очень хорошо известно, что Октябрьская революция не была ни драмой истории, ни переворотом большевиков, как говорит и пишет буржуазия, не была ни незрелой, ни преждевременной, как говорят и пишут всевозможные ренегаты, оппортунисты-авантюристы.
Октябрьская революция явилась вершинным, всемирно-историческим событием, ознаменовавшим начало новой эпохи, в которой рабочий класс стал главным героем событий и повернул колесо истории, захватив власть и установив новые коммунистические производственные отношения, изменив все общество. 
Эта оценка и сегодня соответствует действительности, мы видим, что капитализм, находящийся на империалистической стадии, господствует во всем мире, так как социалистические отношения, сохраняющиеся еще в некоторых странах, являются всего лишь остатками первой попытки социалистического строительства, которое началось в 1917 году и продолжалось в различных странах на протяжении всего XX века. 
Впрочем, социализм продолжает оставаться актуальным и необходимым как никогда в истории человечества. Необходимость и актуальность социализма, социалистический характер революции не зависят от расклада сил в определенный момент, а вытекают из тупиков капиталистического способа производства, из того факта, что созрели материальные предпосылки для перехода к новому обществу. 
Сегодня обостряются межимпериалистические противоречия: большие противоречия вокруг раздела рынков, контроля над природными ресурсами, путями транспортировки энергии и товаров, геополитического контроля. Создаются новые союзы и блоки держав, приводящие к созданию коалиций и антикоалиций, растет угроза военных конфликтов.
Международное коммунистическое движение и каждая компартия в частности не должны бездействовать в этих столкновениях. Они должны разработать собственную линию борьбы. Линию на свержение империалистического варварства, приводящего к экономическим кризисам, бедности, безработице, войнам или к «миру» с пистолетом у виска народов. Это должно произойти при исследовании исторического опыта, сознательном отказе от ошибочных разработок предыдущих десятилетий, которые, помимо безрезультатности, привели революционные силы общества к разоружению и большему бездействию.
Как, впрочем, показал и опыт Октября, а также весь ход мирового революционного рабочего движения, уже нет места для сотрудничества, для союза с буржуазией в целом или с какой-то ее частью во имя защиты буржуазной демократии или «очеловечивания» капитализма, во имя некой промежуточной стадии между капитализмом и социализмом или во избежание некоторых сил, которые ратуют за войну.
Буржуазия и ее власть подрывают и ущемляют права трудящихся, народа, лишают народ завоеваний, готовят войны, подписывая «мирные договоры». Союз рабочего класса с бедным крестьянством и самозанятыми производителями является перспективой для усиления антикапиталистической, антимонополистической борьбы, за социализм. 
Линия социал-демократии с начала прошлого века и до наших дней потерпела фиаско, причинила большой вред, привела к поражению революционное коммунистическое движение, способствовала приспособлению рабочих к капиталистической эксплуататорской системе, разоружила боевые, прогрессивные силы социального развития. Вот почему коммунисты на вопрос: «Реформа или революция?» – отвечают «Революция», так как ни один орган буржуазной власти не может стать гуманным. Это, как и незаменимая роль компартии, вытекает из нашей теории – из марксизма-ленинизма и пролетарского интернационализма. 
Строительство социализма как первой незрелой фазы коммунистического общества показало, какие закономерности должен знать революционный авангард и не нарушать их, чтобы искоренять сознательно и планомерно ростки контрреволюции. Более конкретно – пагубной для социалистического строительства является теория и практика «рыночного социализма». Все это внедрилось в СССР постепенно, посредством медленного скатывания к оппортунизму, начиная с 1956 года, и его последствия резко проявились в 1991 году и ознаменовались окончательным распадом СССР и КПСС. 
Исторический опыт показывает нам, что проблемы, возникшие в процессе социалистического строительства, ошибочно трактовались как недостатки централизованного планирования. Решение искали в возврате назад, в расширении рынка, а не в движении вперед, в расширении и укреплении социалистических, коммунистических производственных отношений. 
Сегодня, делая правильные выводы из нашей истории, мы становимся более сильными. Лучше вооружаемся идеологически и политически для ведения классовой борьбы сегодня и в будущем. 
Наше оружие – пролетарский интернационализм, наша общая борьба, классовая и товарищеская солидарность, необходимая против национальной изоляции и против империалистического космополитизма. 
KПГ, которая в 2018 году отметит свой 100-летний юбилей, получила после КПРФ право на проведение следующей Международной встречи коммунистических и рабочих партий. Мы постараемся, чтобы 20-я Международная встреча, которая состоится в Афинах, а также другие виды деятельности внесли вклад в развитие международного коммунистического движения, которое сегодня является раздробленным и сталкивается с большими трудностями, чтобы оно сделало шаги в направлении революционной реорганизации, так как только в этом перспективы его развития. 
Желаем читателям «Советской России» здоровья и боевых успехов в 2018. Наше будущее – не капитализм, а новый мир социалистических революций и строительства социалистического, коммунистического общества. 
Я желаю всем хорошего Нового года!
Опубликована 28.12.2017 – http://sovross.ru/articles/1644/37274
J.V.Stalin- The International Character of the October Revolution (Speech on the 10th Anniversary of the October Revolution)
| December 23, 2017 | 7:19 pm | J. Stalin, Marxism-Leninism, V.I. Lenin | No comments

Saturday, December 23, 2017

J.V.Stalin- The International Character of the October Revolution (Speech on the 10th Anniversary of the October Revolution)

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/12/jvstalin-international-character-of.html
Speech by Joseph Stalin on the occasion of the Tenth Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution; Pravda, November 6-7, 1927. 
Source: J.V.Stalin, Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House,
Moscow, 1954, Vol.10, pp. 244-55.
The October Revolution cannot be regarded merely as a revolution “within national bounds.” It is, primarily, a revolution of an international, world order, for it signifies a radical turn in the world history of mankind, a turn from the old, capitalist world to the new, socialist world.
Revolutions in the past usually ended by one group of exploiters at the helm of government being replaced by another group of exploiters. The exploiters changed, exploitation remained. Such was the case during the liberation movements of the slaves. Such was the case during the period of the uprisings of the serfs. Such was the case during the period of the well-known “great” revolutions in England, France and Germany. I am not speaking of the Paris Commune, which was the first glorious, heroic, yet unsuccessful attempt on the part of the proletariat to turn history against capitalism.
The October Revolution differs from these revolutions in principle. Its aim is not to replace one form of exploitation by another form of exploitation, one group of exploiters by another group of exploiters, but to abolish all exploitation of man by man, to abolish all groups of exploiters, to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, to establish the power of the most revolutionary class of all the oppressed classes that have ever existed, to organize a new, classless, socialist society.
It is precisely for this reason that the victory of the October Revolution signifies a radical change in the history of mankind, a radical change in the historical destiny of world capitalism, a radical change in the liberation movement of the world proletariat, a radical change in the methods of struggle and the forms of organization, in the manner of life and traditions, in the culture and ideology of the exploited masses throughout the world.
That is the basic reason why the October Revolution is a revolution of an international, world order.
That also is the source of the profound sympathy which the oppressed classes in all countries entertain for the October Revolution, which they regard as a pledge of their own emancipation.
A number of fundamental issues could be noted on which the October Revolution influences the development of the revolutionary movement throughout the world.
1. The October Revolution is noteworthy primarily for having breached the front of world imperialism, for having overthrown the imperialist bourgeoisie in one of the biggest capitalist countries and put the socialist proletariat in power.
The class of wage-workers, the class of the persecuted, the class of the oppressed and exploited hasfor the first time in

the history of mankind risen to the position of the ruling class, setting a contagious example to the proletarians of all countries.
This means that the October Revolution has ushered in a new era, the era of proletarian revolutions in the countries of imperialism.
It took the instruments and means of production from the landlords and capitalists and converted them into public property, thus counterposing socialist property to bourgeois property. It thereby exposed the lie of the capitalists that bourgeois property is inviolable, sacred, eternal.
It wrested power from the bourgeoisie, deprived the bourgeoisie of political rights, destroyed the bourgeois state apparatus and transferred power to the Soviets, thus counter-posing the socialist rule of the Soviets, as proletarian democracy, to bourgeois parliamentarism, as capitalistdemocracy. Lafargue was right when he said, as far back as 1887, that on the morrow of the revolution “all former capitalists will be disfranchised.”
The October Revolution thereby exposed the lie of the Social-Democrats that at the present time a peaceful transition to socialism is possible through bourgeois parliamentarism.
But the October Revolution did not and could not stop there. Having destroyed the old, bourgeois order, it began to build the new, socialist order. The 10 years of the October Revolution have been 10 years of building the Party, trade unions, Soviets, co-operatives, cultural organizations, transport, industry, the Red Army. The indubitable successes of socialism in the U.S.S.R. on the front of construction have clearly shown that the proletariat can successfully govern the country without the bourgeoisie and against the bourgeoisie, that it can successfully build industry without the bourgeoisie and against the bourgeoisie, that it can successfully direct the whole of the national economy without the bourgeoisie and against the bourgeoisie, that it can successfully build socialism in spite of the capitalist encirclement.
Menenius Agrippa, the famous Roman senator of ancient times, was not the only one to uphold the old “theory” that the exploited cannot do without the exploiters any more than the head and other parts of the body can do without the stomach. This “theory” is now the corner-stone of the political “philosophy” of Social-Democracy in general, and of the Social-Democratic policy of coalition with the imperialist bourgeoisie in particular. This “theory,” which has acquired the character of a prejudice, is now one of the most serious obstacles in the path towards the revolutionization of the proletariat in the capitalist countries. One of the most important results of the October Revolution is that it dealt this false “theory” a mortal blow.
Is there any further need to prove that these and similar results of the October Revolution could not and cannot fail to exert an important influence on the revolutionary movement of the working class in the capitalist countries?
Such generally known facts as the progressive growth of communism in the capitalist countries, the growing sympathy of the proletarians of all countries for the working class of the U.S.S.R. and, finally, the many workers’ delegations that come to the Land of Soviets, prove beyond doubt that the seeds sown by the October Revolution are already beginning to bear fruit.
2. The October Revolution has shaken imperialism not only in the centres of its domination, not only in the “metropolises.” It has also struck at the rear of imperialism, its periphery, having undermined the rule of imperialism in the colonial and dependent countries.
Having overthrown the landlords and the capitalists, the October Revolution broke the chains of national and colonial oppression and freed from it, without exception, all the oppressed peoples of a vast state. The proletariat cannot emancipate itself unless it emancipates the oppressed peoples. It is a characteristic feature of the October Revolution that it accomplished these national-colonial revolutions in the U.S.S.R. not under the flag of national enmity and conflicts among nations, but under the flag of mutual confidence and fraternal rapprochement of the workers and peasants of the various peoples in the U.S.S.R., not in the name of nationalism, but in the name of internationalism.
It is precisely because the national-colonial revolutions took place in our country under the leadership of the proletariat and under the banner of internationalism that pariah peoples, slave peoples, have for the first time in the history of mankind risen to the position of peoples that are really free and really equal, thereby setting a contagious example to the oppressed nations of the whole world.
This means that the October Revolution has ushered in new era, the era of colonial revolutions which are being carried out in the oppressed countries of the world in alliance with the proletariat and under the leadership of the proletariat.
It was formerly the “accepted” idea that the world has been divided from time immemorial into inferior and superior races, into blacks and whites, of whom the former are unfit for civilization and are doomed to be objects of exploitation, while the latter are the only bearers of civilization, whose mission it is to exploit the former.
That legend must now be regarded as shattered and discarded. One of the most important results of the October Revolution is that it dealt that legend a mortal blow, by demonstrating in practice that the liberated non-European peoples, drawn into the channel of Soviet development, are not one whit less capable of promoting a really progressive culture and a really progressive civilization than are the European peoples.
It was formerly the “accepted” idea that the only method of liberating the oppressed peoples is the method of bourgeois nationalism, the method of nations drawing apart from one another, the method of disuniting nations, the method of intensifying national enmity among the labouring masses of the various nations.
That legend must now be regarded as refuted. One of the most important results of the October Revolution is that it dealt that legend a mortal blow, by demonstrating in practice the possibility and expediency of the proletarianinternationatist method of liberating the oppressed peoples, as the only correct method; by demonstrating in practice the possibility and expediency of a fraternal union of the workers and peasants of the most diverse nations based on the principles of voluntariness and internationalism. The existence of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which is the prototype of the future integration of the working people of all countries into a single world economic system, cannot but serve as direct proof of this.
It need hardly be said that these and similar results of the October Revolution could not and cannot fail to exert an important influence on the revolutionary movement in the colonial and dependent countries. Such facts as the growth of the revolutionary movement of the oppressed peoples in China, Indonesia, India, etc., and the growing sympathy of these peoples for the U.S.S.R., unquestionably bear this out.
The era of tranquil exploitation and oppression of the colonies and dependent countries has passed away.
The era of liberating revolutions in the colonies and dependent countries, the era of the awakening of the proletariat in those countries, the era of its hegemony in the revolution, has begun.
3. Having sown the seeds of revolution both in the centres of imperialism and in its rear, having weakened the might of imperialism in the “metropolises” and having shaken its domination in the colonies, the October Revolution has thereby put in jeopardy the very existence of world capitalism as a whole.
While the spontaneous development of capitalism in the conditions of imperialism has passed — owing to its unevenness, owing to the inevitability of conflicts and armed collisions, owing, finally, to the unprecedented imperialist slaughter — into the process of the decay and the dying of capitalism, the October Revolution and the resultant dropping out of a vast country from the world system of capitalism could not but accelerate this process, undermining, bit by bit, the very foundations of world imperialism.
More than that. While shaking imperialism, the October Revolution has at the same time created — in the shape of the first proletarian dictatorship — a powerful and open base for the world revolutionary movement, a base such as the latter never possessed before and on which it now can rely for support. It has created a powerful and open centre of the world revolutionary movement, such as the latter never possessed before and around which it can now rally, organizing a united revolutionary front of the proletarians and of the oppressed peoples of all countries against imperialism.
This means, firstly, that the October Revolution inflicted a mortal wound on world capitalism from which the latter will never recover. For that very reason capitalism will never recover the “equilibrium” and “stability” that it possessed before October.
Capitalism may become partly stabilized, it may rationalize its production, turn over the administration of the country to fascism, temporarily hold down the working class; but it will never recover the “tranquillity,” the “assurance,” the “equilibrium” and the “stability” that it flaunted before; for the crisis of world capitalism has reached the stage of development when the flames of revolution must inevitably break out, now in the centres of imperialism, now in the periphery, reducing to naught the capitalist patch-work and daily bringing nearer the fall of capitalism. Exactly as in the well-known fable, “when it pulled its tail out of the mud, its beak got stuck; when it pulled its beak out, its tail got stuck.”
This means, secondly, that the October Revolution has raised to such a height the strength and importance, the courage and the fighting preparedness of the oppressed classes of the whole world as to compel the ruling classes to reckon with them as a new, important factor. Now the labouring masses of the world can no longer be regarded as a “blind mob,” groping in the dark and devoid of prospects; for the October Revolution has created a beacon which illumines their path and opens up prospects for them. Whereas formerly there was no world-wide open forum from which the aspirations and strivings of the oppressed classes could be expounded and formulated, now such a forum exists in the shape of the first proletarian dictatorship.
There is hardly room for doubt that the destruction of this forum would for a long time cast the gloom of unbridled, black reaction over the social and political life of the “advanced countries.” It cannot be denied that the very existence of a “Bolshevik state” puts a curb upon the dark forces of reaction, thus helping the oppressed classes in their struggle for liberation. It is this that explains the savage hatred which the exploiters of all countries entertain for the Bolsheviks.
History repeats itself, though on a new basis. Just as for merly, during the period of the downfall of feudalism, the word “Jacobin” evoked dread and abhorrence among the aristocrats of all countries, so now, in the period of the down fall of capitalism, the word “Bolshevik” evokes dread and abhorrence among the bourgeois in all countries. And conversely, just as formerly Paris was the refuge and school for the revolutionary representatives of the rising bourgeoisie, so now Moscow is the refuge and school for the revolutionary representatives of the rising proletariat. Hatred of the Jacobins did not save feudalism from collapse. Can there be any doubt that hatred of the Bolsheviks will not save capitalism from its inevitable downfall?
The era of the “stability” of capitalism has passed away, carrying away with it the legend of the indestructibility of the bourgeois order.
The era of the collapse of capitalism has begun.
4. The October Revolution cannot be regarded merely as a revolution in the sphere of economic and social-political relations. It is at the same time a revolution in the minds, a revolution in the ideology, of the working class. The October Revolution was born and gained strength under the banner of Marxism, under the banner of the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat, under the banner of Leninism, which is Marxism of the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions. Hence it marks the victory of Marxism over reformism, the victory of Leninism over Social-Democratism, the victory of the Third International over the Second International.
The October Revolution has brought into being an impassable chasm between Marxism and Social-Democratism, between the policy of Leninism and the policy of Social-Democratism.
Formerly, before the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, Social-Democracy, while refraining from openly repudiating the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat but doing nothing, absolutely nothing, to bring nearer the realization of this idea, could flaunt the banner of Marxism, and it is obvious that this behaviour of Social-Democracy created no danger whatever for capitalism. Then, in that period, Social-Democracy was formally taken as identical, or almost identical, with Marxism.
Now, after the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, when everybody has seen for himself to what Marxism leads and what its victory may signify, Social-Democracy is no longer able to flaunt the banner of Marxism, can no longer coquet with the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat without creating a certain danger for capitalism. Having long ago broken with the spirit of Marxism, it has found itself compelled to discard also the banner of Marxism; it has openly and unambiguously taken a stand against the offspring of Marxism, against the October Revolution, against the first dictatorship of the proletariat in the world.
Now it has had to dissociate itself from Marxism, and has actually done so; for under present conditions one cannot call oneself a Marxist unless one openly and devotedly supports the first proletarian dictatorship in the world, unless one wages a revolutionary struggle against one’s own bourgeoisie, unless one creates the conditions for the victory of the dictatorship of the proletariat in one’s own country.
A chasm has opened between Social-Democracy and Marxism. Henceforth, the only bearer and bulwark of Marxism is Leninism, communism.
But matters did not end there. The October Revolution went further than drawing a demarcation line between Social Democracy and Marxism; it relegated Social-Democracy to the camp of the direct defenders of capitalism against the first proletarian dictatorship in the world. When Messieurs the Adlers and Bauers, the Welses and Levis, the Longuets and Blums abuse the “Soviet regime” and extol parliamentary “democracy,” these gentlemen mean that they are fighting and will continue to fight for the restoration of the capitalist order in the U.S.S.R., for the preservation of capitalist slavery in the “civilized” states.
Present-day Social-Democratism is an ideological support of capitalism. Lenin was a thousand times right when he said that the present-day Social-Democratic politicians are “real agents of the bourgeoisie in the working-class movement, the labour lieutenants of the capitalist class,” that in the “civil war between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie” they would inevitably take “the side of the ‘Versaillese’ against the ‘Communards.’
It is impossible to put an end to capitalism without putting an end to Social-Democratism in the labour movement. That is why the era of dying capitalism is also the era of dying Social-Democratism in the labour movement.
The great significance of the October Revolution consists, among other things, in the fact that it marks the inevitable victory of Leninism over Social-Democratism in the world labour movement.
The era of the domination of the Second International and of Social-Democratism in the labour movement has ended.
The era of the domination of Leninism and of the Third International has begun.
“Eradicating the Bacillus”

– by Greg Godels is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/

Eradicating the Bacillus”

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Eradicating the Bacillus”
In the US, the last few months have seen a host of celebratory salutes to, tributes to, and commentaries on the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Serious research and thought were reflected in many, reminding us of both the sacrifices and achievements made by the workers of many nationalities who established the first sustained workers’ state, the USSR. Authors and speakers touched on many aspects of the Revolution and its rich legacy of fighting for socialism and ending imperialism.
Needless to say, little (or none?) of the victories of twentieth century socialism spawned by the Russian Revolution found its way into the monopoly media; the fete for the Bolshevik Revolution was held on alternative websites, by small circulation journals, and in small meeting halls and venues. This would neither surprise nor disappoint Vladimir Lenin; rather, it would conjure memories of the difficult and stubborn work of the small, often disputatious Russian Social Democratic Party in the years leading up to the revolutions of 1905 and 1917.
This doesn’t mean, of course, that the mainstream capitalist media had no commentary on the Russian Revolution. They did.
And it was relentlessly and uniformly negative. No warm words of any kind were spared for Russian workers of 1917 and their cause. In fact, in a year when the media and its wealthy and powerful collaborators decided to resurrect the spectre of Soviet Russia in a new, hysterical anti-Russia campaign, moguls mounted a lurid, anti-Communist campaign unseen since the Cold War.
The New York Times unleashed their rabid neo-McCarthyite commentator (Communism Through Rose-Colored Glasses), Bret Stephens, to spew his venom and unsparingly and gratuitously denounce anyone that he could even remotely connect with the Revolution, from those wearing “Lenin or Mao T-shirts” to Lillian Hellman. Progressives, Jeremy Corbyn, and, predictably, Bernie Sanders are condemned, part of the “bacillus” yet to be “eradicated,” to reference his clumsy, vulgar paraphrase of Winston Churchill. They, like any of us who find any merit at all in the Soviet experience, are “fools, fanatics, or cynics.”
Then there was the nutty Masha Gessen– the favorite of NPR’s resident bootlicker to wealthy patrons, Scott Simon– who analyzes the Soviet experience in a strange brew of mysticism and psycho-babble. Even The Wall Street Journal reviewer of her new book (The Future is History) concedes that she “puts forth a[n]… argument full of psychospeak about ‘energies’ and an entire society succumbing to depression.” He goes on: “She begins with the dubious assertion that one of Soviet society’s decisive troubles derived from the state prohibition against sociology and psychoanalysis, which meant the society ‘had been forbidden to know itself.’”
“Dubious” assertion? Or whacky assertion?
But Gessen will always be remembered for embracing the term “Homo Sovieticus,” a term that will undoubtedly prove attractive to those mindlessly active in the twitter universe.
For reviewing Gessen’s book, reviewer Stephen Kotkin had the favor returned with a glowing review in The Wall Street Journal of his book, Stalin: Waiting for Hitler 1929-1941. Joshua Rubenstein– himself the author of another catalogue of Stalin’s evil, The Last Days of Stalin— engages the usual verbal histrionics: “despotism,” “violent and catastrophic,” “ruthlessness and paranoia,” “draconian,” “remarkable cruelty,” “calamitous,” “crimes,” “ideological fanaticism.” These, and other shrill descriptions, pile up in a mere ten paragraphs. Rubenstein clearly reveals his anti-Soviet bias when he describes Soviet aid and assistance to the elected Spanish anti-fascist government in 1936 as an “intervention.” The interveners were the Italian and German fascists; the Soviets were, unlike the Western “democracies,” the only opponents of intervention.
Kotkin’s service to the WSJ and the anti-Soviet cause were rewarded with a long op-ed piece in the Journal in the weekend Review section (November 4-5, 2017). The Princeton and Stanford professor tackled the topic, The Communist Century, with great vigor. He sets the tone with the dramatic claim that …communism has claimed at least 65 million lives, according to the painstaking research of demographers.”
The victims-of-Communism numbers game was elaborated and popularized by Robert Conquest, a writer whose career overlapped on numerous occasions with the Cold War propaganda efforts of the UK Information Research Department, the US CIA, and the CIA’s publishing fronts. Conquest owned the estimate of 20 million deaths from the Soviet purges of the late 1930s. At the height of the Cold War, this astounding figure met no resistance from “scholars” at elite universities. Indeed, every schoolgirl and schoolboy in the crazed, rabid 1950s “knew” of the tens of millions of victims of Stalin’s purges.
Unfortunately for Conquest (though he never acknowledged it) and the many lemming-like academic experts, the post-Soviet archives revealed that his numbers were vastly inflated. In fact, they had no relationship whatsoever to the actualities of that nonetheless tragic period.
Kotkin’s claimed 65 million victims of Communist misdeeds should, accordingly, be taken with less than a grain of salt, though it is curiously and mysteriously well below the endorsed estimate of his mentor, Martin Malia. Malia, the author of the preface to the infamous Black Book of Communism (1994), endorsed that sensationalized book’s claim that 94 million lives were lost to Communism. Some contributors to the Black Book retracted this claim, noting that it was arrived at by an obsession with approaching the magic number of 100 million victims. They subsequently “negotiated” (or manufactured) a tally between 65 and 93 million. Such is the “rigor” of Soviet scholarship at elite universities.
Kotkin, like most other anti-Communist crusaders, gives away the numbers endgame, the purpose behind blaming uncountable victims upon Communism. For the arch-enemies of Communism like Conquest and the participants in the Black Book, it is imperative that Communism be perceived as equally evil with or more evil than Nazism and fascism. This charge of moral equivalence is targeted at the liberals who might view Communism as a benign ally in the defense of liberal values or social reforms. No one has done more to promote this false equivalency than Yale professor Timothy Snyder with his shoddy, ideologically driven book, Bloodlands.
Of course, the Washington Post also has its resident guardians of anti-Soviet dogma in Marc Thiessen and the incomparable Anne Applebaum. Applebaum has enjoyed a meteoric career from graduate student to journalist covering Eastern European affairs to the widely acknowledged leader of anti-Soviet witch-hunters. Her marriage to an equally anti-Communist Polish journalist-turned-politician further strengthened her role as the hardest charging of the hard-charging professional anti-Communists. Her consistent work denouncing everything Soviet has earned her a place on the ruling class Council of Foreign Relations and the CIA’s “active measure,” the National Endowment for Democracy.
She “celebrated” the Bolshevik Revolution on November 6 with a several-thousand-word Washington Post essay raising the feverish alarm of a return of Bolshevism (100 years later, Bolshevism is back. And we should be worried.) Applebaum repeats a favorite theme of the new generation of virulent anti-Communists: the events of November 1917 were a coup d’etat and not a revolution. Of course, this claim is hard to square with another favorite theme– the Bolsheviks numbered only two to ten thousand followers. How do you reconcile such a tiny group “overthrowing” the government and the security forces of the fourth most populated empire in the world?
The Bolsheviks lied. Lenin was a liar. Trotsky was a liar. “So were his comrades. The Bolsheviks lied about the past… and they lied about the future, too. All through the spring and summer of 1917, Trotsky and Lenin repeatedly made promises that would never be kept.” Further, Lenin’s henchmen used the “tactics of psychological warfare that would later become their trademark” to mesmerize the population. That same easily charmed population was to later fight for socialism against counter-revolutionary domestic reaction and foreign intervention in a bloody five-year war (1917-1922), the same supposedly easily tricked population that laid down their arms and refused to fight for the Czar or his “democratic” successors. This neat picture of perfidy surely exposes a belief in both superhuman, mystical powers possessed by Lenin and an utter contempt for the integrity and intelligence of the Russian masses.
But it is not really the historical Bolsheviks who are Applebaum’s target, but today’s “neo-Bolsheviks.”
And who are the “neo-Bolsheviks”?
For Ms. Applebaum, they are everyone politically outside of her comfortable, insular world of manners and upper-middle class conservatism. First and foremost, she elects to smear the social democrats in Spain and Greece, along with Jeremy Corbyn, who may consider “bringing back nationalization.” Similarly, their US counterparts “on the fringes of the Democratic Party” (Bernie Sanders!) are condemned because they embrace “a dark, negative version of American history” and “spurn basic patriotism and support America’s opponents, whether in Russia or the Middle East.” (Sadly, my social democratic friends will likely not allow these ravings to shake their confidence in Applebaum’s equally inane pronouncements on Communism.)
But the “neo-Bolsheviks” exist on the right as well! She identifies them as those rightists who “scorn Christian Democracy, which had its political base in the church and sought to bring morality back to politics…” “If some of what these extremists [on the right] say is to be taken seriously, their endgame– the destruction of the existing political order, possibly including the U.S. Constitution– is one that the Bolsheviks would have understood.” In Applebaum’s bizarre world, there are Bolsheviks of both the left and right lurking under our beds! Safety is only found in the bosom of Christian democracy, that post-war artifact cobbled together by the Western powers to counter the parliamentary rise of Communism.
The anti-Communist graffiti artists, the professional defacers of the Soviet legacy, are legion. Books and commentaries by others, like Victor Sebestyen, Serhii Plokhy, Douglas Smith, Svetlana Alexievich, Amy Knight, and Catherine Merridale, join the authors reviewed here in churning out new grist for the anti-Communist, anti-Soviet mill.
With many Soviet sources now available, the practice of Cold War defamation has become a riskier business, an enterprise possibly bringing embarrassment to the most outrageous fabricators. Accordingly, the most sophisticated among the new generation of Cold Warriors have turned in a new direction: the 1930s famines in then Soviet Ukraine. With little risk of exposure and eager cooperation from the virulently anti-Communist, extreme nationalists now installed to govern Ukraine, they have started a new victim-numbers race to rally the cause of anti-Communism, a new narrative of Red wickedness.
Applebaum is right about one thing. There is evil in the air.
But it is the vicious slander of everything Red, especially the legacy of the Soviet Union.
Greg Godels (Zoltan Zigedy)
zzsblogml@gmail.com
We promise the workers and peasants to do everything for (world) peace…and this we are doing
| November 21, 2017 | 8:15 pm | Struggle for Peace, USSR, V.I. Lenin | No comments