Category Archives: Soviet Social-Imperialism

Enver Hoxha on the Path of Khrushchevite Revisionism in the Soviet Union

enver_1949

“Khrushchevite revisionism in the Soviet Union has undergone several stages, in compliance with which its forms, methods and tactics of struggle and action to carry out in practice its anti-Marxist and traitorous course and to camouflage it, have also changed.

The first stage was that of the building up, maintenance and establishment of the betrayal, accompanied with a great and scandalous noise and with a sham ‘optimism’ to distract the minds of the people. It was characterized by the frantic campaign of attacks on J. Stalin, to discredit the ideas of Marxism-Leninism and the cause of the Bolshevik Party, under the fraudulent pretext of the ‘fight against the personality cult and its consequences.’

[….]

In the ideological field the revisionists replaced the ideas and the consistent Marxist-Leninist line of Stalin on all the fundamental questions with the ideas and the anti-Marxist line of modern revisionism. Opportunists and various Trotskyist, Bukharinist and Zinovievist enemies, nationalists, and others, in the Soviet Union were proclaimed as ‘victims of Stalin’ and where placed on the pedestal of ‘martyrs’ and ‘heroes.’ The renegade Tito clique in Yugoslavia was rehabilitated and Titoism was proclaimed as a variant of ‘creative Marxism-Leninism’ and of ‘socialism.’ In various socialist countries condemned traitors were rehabilitated and revisionist cliques attached to Khrushchev’s chariot were brought to power. They launched the slogan of unity with the social-democrats on a national and international scale ‘in the joint struggle for socialism,’ and the way was paved for the complete ideological, political and organizational rapprochement and merger of the communist parties with the social-democratic parties.

[…]

In the political field Khrushchev and his group besmirched and discarded the Marxist-Leninist theory and practice about the class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat, calling it a ‘Stalinist distortion’ and proclaiming the whole historic period of Stalin’s leadership a ‘dark, anti-democratic period, a period of violations of socialist legality, of terror and murders, of prisons and concentration camps.’ The road was thus opened for the liquidation of the dictatorship of the proletariat and for its replacement with the bureaucratic and counterrevolutionary dictatorship of the new ‘socialist’ aristocracy which was born and was developing, all this being covered with the deceptive slogans of ‘democratization’ and of ‘restoration of freedom and socialist justice’ allegedly ‘lost and now regained.’

In the economic field the Khrushchevites declared as erroneous and incorrect the Stalin line and methods of development and management of the socialist economy in all branches, especially in that of agriculture, rejected Stalin’s directives on further improvement and development of socialist relations of production in the historic period of the transition from socialism to communism, and, under the pretext of overcoming the economic ‘stagnation’ and difficulties allegedly created as a result of the Stalin ‘dogmatic’ line, undertook a series of ‘reforms’ which paved the way to the gradual degeneration of the socialist economic order and to the uncontrolled operation of the economic laws of capitalism.

In the field of international relations the Khrushchevite revisionists proclaimed as ‘erroneous,’ ‘rigid’ and ‘dogmatic’ the Stalin foreign policy line, the line of the blow for blow fight against imperialism and of determined internationalist support for the revolutionary and liberation struggle. They replaced it with the ‘peaceful coexistence’ policy as the general line of the foreign policy of the Soviet state.

[….]

The anti-Stalin campaign served the Khrushchevite renegades to pass over to the second stage—to that of the efforts for the strengthening and stabilisation of the betrayal in the economy, policy and ideology, at home and in foreign relations. This is the stage of the codification of the viewpoints of Khrushchevite revisionism and of the large-scale implementation of its policy.

N. Khrushchev and his group completely liquidated the Marxist-Leninist proletarian party, they transformed it into a weapon of the revisionist counter-revolution, they replaced the Leninist norms of party building with revisionist norms and, finally, they proclaimed it a ‘party of the whole people.’

[…]

In the field of international relations this stage was characterized by the complete establishment of the counter-revolutionary alliance of the Soviet leadership with U.S. imperialism for sharing the domination of the world, at the expense of the freedom and independence of the peoples of the vital interests of the socialist countries, of the cause of revolution and socialism. The selling out of the interests of the liberation struggle of the Congolese people, the bargainings with U.S. and West-German imperialism to the detriment of the national interests of the German Democratic Republic, the treachery towards the Cuban people in the days of the Caribbean crisis, the joint plots with the U.S. imperialists and the Indian reactionaries against the People’s Republic of China, the signing of the ill-famed Soviet-U.S.-British treaty on the partial prohibition of nuclear weapons tests, the sabotage of the revolutionary struggle of the Vietnamese people against the U.S. aggressors, and of the just struggle of the Arab people against the imperialist-Israel aggression, etc.—all these, and other acts, are links of the long chain of the counterrevolutionary alliance of the Soviet revisionist leadership with U.S. imperialism.

[….]

All this counter-revolutionary line and the anti-Marxist-Leninist viewpoints of the Khrushchevite revisionists were consecrated in the decisions of the 22nd Congress of the CPSU, especially in the program of the CPSU adopted at this congress, which, due to the dominating position of the Soviet leadership in the revisionist camp, became the main code of the trend of international modern revisionism.

At this ill-famed congress were repeated openly and publicly now the monstrous attacks and calumnies against Stalin. This showed, in the first place, that the feelings of sympathy towards J. Stalin had remained alive among the Soviet people and this greatly worried the Khrushchevite leading clique; in the second place, that this clique was obstinately advancing on its anti-Marxist road, and in the third place, that it needed the ‘bogy of Stalinism’ in order to defeat the ever more resolute resistance which was rising in the international communist movement against its treacherous line.

[….]

The struggle of the Marxist-Leninist parties and forces, and life itself, which is the best judge of every policy, rejected the line and theories of the Soviet revisionist leadership, exposed their anti-Marxist and counter-revolutionary essence. Difficult days have come for the Khrushchevite revisionists. Khrushchevite revisionism has entered the third stage, which is the stage of its decline, of its deep and general crisis, the stage when treachery develops but yields bitter fruits and brings defeats to the revisionists.”

 – Enver Hoxha, “The Demagogy of the Soviet Revisionists Cannot Conceal Their Traitorous Countenance”

The Beijing Olympics and the Question of Tibet

448153Vijay Singh

In the run-up to the Olympic Games which are to be held in the Beijing, US imperialism is conducting a campaign of disinformation against the nationalities policies in Tibet using the remnants of feudalism such as the Dalai Lama as their instrument, alongside the normal imperialist accredited newspapers, ‘human rights institutions’ and Hollywood film personalities. It is a familiar game which was last played out in the Reagan years when the US carried out a similar political exercise against its imperialist rival before the Moscow Olympics and which peaked with the US boycott of the games. The US campaign today needs to be seen for what it is: an attempt to politically undermine the Chinese state in its ‘own’ backyard and to accelerate further the half-century long path of ‘market socialist’ development in China and to push for the casting-off of the shell of the people’s democratic state. It is also part of the US endeavour to militarily encircle from land and sea a country which it sees as a dangerous imperialist rival. Within China agency reports speak of an upsurge of Han chauvinism which is a reflex of the disturbances in Tibet and the recent round of the denigration of China by the US. The promotion of internecine strife of the nationalities and religions is an integral part of the politics of US imperialism across the globe.

No amount of US propaganda from the universities and newspapers can wipe away the fact that after the revolution of 1949 the Chinese people assisted in the democratic transformation of Tibetan society. The People’s Republic of China helped to abolish feudalism, it introduced land reform, abolished slavery, emancipated the serfs, ended the Buddhist lama theocratic despotism and carried out the economic transformation of Tibetan society bringing it out of medieval tyranny and darkness into the light of the twentieth century, introducing the benefits of industrial society and democratic transformation, of state and co-operative economic institutions; food, shelter, and clothing; literacy, education, and social security amongst the Tibetan masses. It is a supreme irony that the United States which oppresses the Afro-American and Puerto Rican nations within its state frontiers, exploits the colonial, semi-colonial and dependent countries around the planet, and has a destructive policy towards democracy and secularism should point its finger at China. Democratic opinion must understand these policies for what they are.

The early years of the revolutionary movement in China saw the Communist Party pursue an exemplary approach and programme with regard to the national question. Mao Zedong in his capacity as President of the Central Executive Committee of the Chinese Soviet Republic in 1931 and in his speech at the Second Soviet Congress in 1934 in blunt terms denounced the national oppression under the rule of the Chinese militarists and the landlords as well as the oppression by the ruling classes of princes, living Buddhas and lamas of the smaller nationalities and their surrender to imperialist colonisation. He well understood the exigency of uniting the oppressed nationalities such as the Mongolians, Tibetans, Koreans, Annamites, the Miao and many others around the Soviets in China in order to strengthen the revolution against imperialism and the Kuomintang. [1] Mao commended the Constitution passed by the First Soviet Congress held in 1931 in Juichin, Kiangsi, which in its 14th article said that ‘Soviet China recognises the complete self-determination of the minorities who may go so far as to secede and form independent free states.’ (Emphasis in the original.) The Soviet Chinese Constitution of 1931 argued that the ‘free union of nationalities will replace national oppression’. This implied the creation of a federal ‘Union of Soviet Republics’ along the lines of the Soviet Union, a democratic state structure which was based upon the views of Marx in relation to the Irish question.

Such an approach was maintained up to the founding of the People’s Republic of China. A tremendous social, economic and political revolutionary transformation took place in the minority national territories after 1949. But in terms of the resolution of the national question it cannot be said that a full democratic solution was accomplished. The contiguous areas of the Tibetan-speaking peoples were not administratively united after liberation while in Inner Mongolia the Mongolian people were administratively separated. The Communist Party of China and the People’s Democratic state shrank from the promised construction of a free union of nationalities in which the right of national-determination would be recognised up to the point of secession. By this method the nationalities of Mongolia, Tibet, Sinkiang and elsewhere were subordinated to the majority Han Chinese, and the latter now became a constitutionally privileged nation which could direct the destinies of the nationalities which inhabited the vast areas of the People’s Republic of China. The nationalities of Mongolia, Tibet and Sinkiang as elsewhere which formed the numerical majority in their ancient national territories were now designated as ‘national minorities’. This broad picture became apparent in the Constitution of 1954 and it was to be reproduced in the subsequent Fundamental Laws which were promulgated by the Chinese state. The unity and integrity of the territories of the Chinese state and not the free union of the nationalities based on the right of self-determination of the peoples became the basic fundamental constitutional principle. In this manner the CPC’s political approach to the national question having moved away from Marxism now came to approximate to the views of Sun-Yat-sen and the Kuomintang.

The camp of socialism and democracy which spanned a dozen states witnessed a fundamental break in its economic policies in the years between 1954 to 1958 which became typified by the ascendant role of ‘market socialism’ in the Soviet Union, People’s China and the majority of the people’s democracies. These years also saw corresponding theoretical, political and ideological transformations in which the treatment of the national question was an important component part. This gave way to interesting paradoxes. The Soviet Union in its Fundamental Law in form right through to its self-destruction in 1991 maintained the basics of the Leninist-Stalinist principles on the national question. But the communist parties aligned to the CPSU quickly abandoned the Marxist approach to the national question after 1953, particularly the democratic principle of national self-determination. The CPUSA for example repudiated the application of this principle with reference to the Afro-American nation which had been elaborated by Lenin, Stalin and the Comintern. On our own doorstep the CPI in the mid-nineteen-fifties dispensed with the understanding that India was a multi-national state in which the right to secession had to be accorded as the basis of a voluntary union of people’s democratic republics and after some moments of hesitation after its foundation the CPI (M) also essentially fell in line with what it termed the Soviet revisionist ideology of the CPI. Step by step the CPI and the CPI (M) effected an harmonious rapprochement with the ‘nationalist’ doctrines of the Congress Party. These corresponded to the economic requirements of the big bourgeoisie and its multi-national market in India which had been put together by Sardar Patel by the arm-twisting of the feudal princely states and appropriate ‘non-violent’ ‘police actions’.

The Communist Party of China as already noted had broken with the Marxist approach to the national question after liberation. But the revolutionary communist parties and organisations which were formed in the 1960s and which were aligned with Beijing and Tirana in the main have upheld Leninist-Stalinist principles on the right of nations to self-determination. The CPI (ML) tradition right from its inception returned to the earlier pre-revisionist understanding of the CPI and accepted the right of secession particularly with reference to Kashmir and the nationalities in the north-east region of the Indian state which having been fighting for their national emancipation.

Paradoxes apart, a widespread intermeshing and intermingling of the opportunist ideological currents has emerged on the nationality question to justify the abandonment of the Marxist views. It is inferred from the active role of US and German imperialism in the destruction of the Soviet and Yugoslav Federations in the 1990s that the right of national self-determination and secession facilitates the work of imperialism and so has to be discarded. Secessionism it is said has become a preferred tool of US imperialism. And there can be no doubt that despite the restoration of capitalism in the USSR by the late 1950s and the liquidation of the people’s democracy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at the end of the 1940s, the preservation of the federal structures in these states was formally progressive, and it is clear that they constituted important barriers to the penetration of the leading world imperialist powers such as the US and Germany. The ‘new’ arguments against the recognition of the democratic right of national self-determination in the contemporary period are only a reiteration of the policies of the international communist movement of the Khrushchev period and, going further back still, the notions of right-wing social-democracy in the earlier part of the 20th century. The Bolsheviks, who also fought against imperialism when Soviet Russia had to fight the multitude of foreign armies on Soviet soil who were allied to the white army in the time of the civil war, upheld the principle of the union of nations based on the right to self-determination. It was on this basis that the free federation of nations was constructed in Soviet Russia and later the Soviet Union. The Bolsheviks clearly established that the struggle for socialism in multi-national countries was inextricably linked with the recognition of the right of the peoples to self-determination: one of the expressions of the right to decide one’s future was the formation of a federative republic.

The recent statement by the CPI (M) leader Prakash Karat on Tibet expresses in a succinct manner the ideological framework of contemporary right-wing social-democracy on the national question. Karat entirely omitted any allusion to Marxism or democracy while criticising the views of the Hindu fascist BJP which had chimed in with the US anti-China campaign on the Lhasa disturbances. Karat, basing his arguments on ‘nationalist’ logic, reminded the BJP that by raising the question of an independent Tibet they were ‘doing a disservice to our own country’ for this would raise secessionist demands in India: ‘Are we going to support a free Nagaland? Or a free Jammu and Kashmir? Or those other secessionist demands?’ So there you have it: the democratic right to national self-determination may not be recognised within the multi-national Chinese state as the mention of this right can threaten the frontiers of the existing multi-national Indian state. This position Karat tells us must apply around the world in Europe (Chechnya, Kosovo), China or any Asian country as it negatively impinges on the sovereignty of nations in the ‘name of human rights’ and ‘ethnic minorities’. [2] It is interesting to note how Karat merges the notion of the ‘state sovereignty’ of multi-national states with the idea of the ‘national sovereignty’ of nation-states, denying in this manner in real terms the notion of ‘national sovereignty’ for those nations who choose to opt for the construction of nation-states. Taken to its logical conclusion this stand implies that any national struggle against imperialist rule cannot be supported as this affects the ‘national sovereignty’ of the imperial power. The CPI (M) sees itself as the guardian of the state frontiers of India and for its defence it is willing to sacrifice the last Meitei, Naga and Kashmiri. It was Stalin who stated that those who do not recognise the right of peoples to free self-determination cannot be regarded as democrats let alone be considered as socialists. [3] It is on the basis of this understanding that the views of the CPI (M) on the national question must be judged.

The current attacks of US imperialism and its supporters on the Tibet policy of the People’s Republic of China must be opposed while defending the basic democratic principle of national self-determination. The struggle against US imperialism must not be utilised to propagate or justify views alien to Marxism on the national question.

Footnotes:

1. Report of the President of the Central Executive Committee of the Chinese Soviet Republic, Before the Second National Soviet Congress, Mao-Tse-Tung, January, 1934, in: Victor A. Yakhontoff: ‘The Chinese Soviets,’ New York, 1934, pp. 249-283.

2. ‘Free Tibet? Karat utters the K-word’, The Telegraph, Kolkata, April 1, 2008.

3. J. Stalin, Works, Vol. 4, FLPH, Moscow, p. 3.

From Revolutionary Democracy, Vol. XIV, No. 1, April 2008

Anasintaxi (1918-1955): The Struggle of the Greek Communists against Revisionism

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Published by the Organisation for the Reconstruction of the Communist Party of Greece 1918-1955

a) The Tashkent events

At the end of August 1949, after a three-and-a-half-year armed struggle against the Greek monarchist-fascist reaction and the Anglo-American imperialism, following a decision by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), the partisans of the Democratic Army of Greece (DA) left behind their homeland and retreated to Albania. It was a mass exodus. In 1949-50, an overall number of 55,381 people (of which 67.6% were adults 18-55 years old, 1.7% were very old and 17,352 were children up to 17 years) abandoned Greece and settled in the various People’s Republics and the Soviet Union. Almost 18,000 communist refugees went to Tashkent, the capital of the SSR of Uzbekistan where they were organised in separate residential quarters called Politeies.

After adjusting to the new life conditions, the Greek communists proceeded to reorganise their party. From the 10th to the 14th of October 1950, the 3rd Conference of the KKE took place. This body purged almost all the opportunists from the party. For the first time since 1940, a heavy blow was dealt to the right opportunism and to all opportunists who had betrayed the popular movement during the time of the Nazi occupation by signing the agreements in Lebanon (20.5.1944), Gazerta (26.9.1944) and Varkiza (12.2.1945) and who, moreover, had sabotaged the development and enlargement of the DA during the Civil War.

Shortly after the death of Stalin in 1953, the revisionist faction of Khrushchev-Mikoyan-Brezhnev that prevailed in CPSU started making approaches to the secretaries of the Communist Parties in order to assess their readiness to adopt its counter-revolutionary line. They found out that the KKE leadership headed by Nikos Zachariades was not willing to abandon the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist course and follow the anti-Stalinist revisionist course. In particular, they requested that he revise his attitude in three fundamental questions of the world communist movement: 1) to regard the capitalist Yugoslavia as a ‘socialist’ country, 2) to turn against Stalin by writing articles in Pravda on the ‘cult of personality’ – this infamous, Khrushchevian myth of idealist origin, and 3) to assent to the liquidation of Cominform. The reply given by the great and unwavering communist leader on all the above requests was negative.

When the members of the Khrushchevian revisionist clique became sure that this kind of pressure will not have any effect, they tried to form a right opportunist faction in the Tashkent Party Organisation (KOT) – the largest KKE Party Organisation in the socialist countries – and to push it right up to the Organisation’s leadership. Unfortunately for them there was a lack of support for it save for a few opportunists. The revolutionary KKE leadership headed by Nikos Zachariades acted immediately; the faction leaders were unmasked and removed from the leadership of KOT.

Nikos Zachariades, speaking in a meeting of Party cadres in the theatre Mu Ki Mi in Tashkent, said the following among other things: ‘comrades, several speakers attacked Demetriou and more or less consider him the leader of the revisionists. Demetriou, comrades, is just the end of the tail of a clumsily camouflaged elephant. The serious and historic task allotted to all of us is to pull this tail so that the whole world will see the elephant: Khrushchev’ (K. Karanikola, ‘Mia lefki selida tou KKE’, p. 59).

The confrontation between the members of the faction and the rest of the Greek communists was escalating and the situation in Tashkent was very tense during the period of August-September 1955. In such an atmosphere, three assassination attempts were made against Nikos Zachariades. In the first one, the Armenian KGB Colonel Saakov tried to give him a poisoned ice cream but Zachariades refused being always careful what and where he ate. In the second one, somebody threw a heavy brick at him while he was delivering a speech in a party meeting; Zachariades dodged it at the last moment (Ahillea Papaioannou, ‘H apagoreumeni eikona – Dioktes kai ieroktonoi tou Nikou Zachariades’, Athens 2004). In the third one, the best organised of the three, three individuals ambushed the car that was to carry him to airport. The plan failed only because Niyazov, the Stalinist general secretary of the CP of Uzbekistan, found out about it and notified Zachariades.

`There was good reason why the revisionists wanted to exterminate Zachariades, already in 1955. They knew very well that if Zachariades had been present in the 20th Congress he would have upset his plans at least in relation to the ‘criticism of the cult of personality’. This is because Zachariades was courageous and bold enough to express his opinion openly in contrast to the leaders of the other communist parties. D. Vlantas (member of the KKE Politburo) writes in his book, ‘Nikos Zachariades and 22 associates’, the following: ‘When I arrived in Tashkent on July of 1955, a representative from the Soviet leadership proposed to me to help him complete the conspiracy that started in 1949 and they, in return, would help me become General Secretary of KKE. I rejected this proposal. Zachariades came to Tashkent in the mid-August 1955. I reported him about an extremely critical situation. I stressed to him that it was not any more just the Tashkent Organisation that is at stake but the whole party. I suggested to him that we should return to Bucharest, the seat of the CC, convene a session where we will demonstrate the existence of conspiracy and then send a delegation to Moscow asking for full explanation. Zachariades turned down my suggestion.’

When even the formation of a sizeable faction failed, on the 9th of September 1955 the Khrushchevian revisionist group, organised a bloody pogrom in Tashkent employing a group of Greek opportunists. This was ‘an open provocation against the delegation of the CC of KKE: the violent and gangster assault on the offices where the delegation was based and injury of three of its members’ (from 5th Plenum, December 1955). About 200 opportunists headed by the faction leaders Ipsilantis, Demetriou, Barbalias and others – who were under the direct guidance of the Soviet revisionists – carried out a bloody assault on the offices of the Tashkent Party Organisation, but they failed to capture them: ‘at 4 pm, on the 9th of September, around 200 people gathered in the courtyard of 7th Politeia together with the faction leaders who were bracing their followers with vodka, beer and wine’ (K.D. Karanikola: ‘Mia lefki selida tou KKE’, p. 53).

The assault on the KOT offices was preceded by the faction’s provocations in various Politeies: ‘In those Politeies where the factionists had some support, like in the 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 9th and 11th, they started looting the local libraries and burning books, especially those written by Zachariades, Bartziotas and those about the struggle of the DA’ (ibid, p. 46).

This provocative act raised an outcry among the thousands of party members who rushed immediately to defend the KOT offices. Clashes and beatings followed with the factionists until police and cadet detachments came to their rescue. Many were injured and had to be transported to the hospital while hundreds of Greek communists were arrested, mainly high-ranking DA officers, thrown in jail and tried later for ‘hooliganism’.

All the political refugees in Tashkent knew that the instigators of the provocative ‘Tashkent events’ were the Khrushchevian revisionists who aimed at the liquidation of the KKE. Everybody knew that the handful of Greek opportunists were in permanent contact with and under the direct guidance of the treacherous Khrushchevian revisionist group. One of the noted opportunists, Kostas Gritzonas, confesses: ‘One evening, during the time when the Tashkent events reached their climax, as I was on my way from the 7th to the 9th Politeia together with the secretary of KOT, Aristotelis Hatouras, he confided to me that the anti-Zachariadist movement enjoyed the support from the Soviets. He left me with the understanding that they were having talks in private with the Khrushchevians from the CC of the CP of Uzbekistan’ (K. Gritzonas: ‘Meta to Grammo’, pp. 18-19).

The overwhelming majority of the Greek communists, more than 95% of the KOT members, condemned the Khrushchevian revisionists’ intervention in KKE and they rallied around their Party headed by Nikos Zachariades. Their violent and bloody confrontation with the factionists was the first act of resistance in the communist movement against revisionism before the 20th Congress. This anti-revisionist attitude was clearly expressed in the historic 5th Plenum of the CC of KKE convened at the end of December 1955 (26-28.12 1955). It was historic because: 1) it openly condemned the anti-communist Khrushchevian revisionist intervention in KKE and 2) it was meant to be the last convened body of our heroic party before its final liquidation. In the Plenum’s decision, in relation to the situation in KOT, it is mentioned that: ‘the faction would have achieved nothing at all had it not received the support by certain Soviet comrades, who were convinced that the faction is the strongest and the most pro-Soviet part of KOT which they must support and help. This fact encouraged the factionists even more to act and to openly declare that ‘whatever we say and do are approved by the Soviets’ (Demetriou) and that ‘I am not afraid of anything because 200 million Soviets stand behind me’ (Hatouras) etc. etc’.

The 5th Plenum was a real triumph for the Marxist-Leninist side in KKE and Nikos Zachariades personally. This is actually admitted by the main factionist leader in KOT, Demetriou (‘Eleutherotypia’, 2004). However, the revisionist faction was not yet totally defeated and the outcome of internal struggle in KKE would be decisively determined by the corresponding struggle in CPSU between the supporters of Stalin and the supporters of Khrushchev.

The overwhelming and militant opposition of the Greek communist political refugees, headed by Nikos Zachariades against the Khrushchevian clique in September 1955 in Tashkent, was chronologically the first in the history of the international communist movement’s struggle against Khrushchevian revisionism, and, also, a culmination of the revolutionary KKE (1918-1955) heroic struggle. If one takes into account the unheard-of disaster that inevitably followed the enforcement of Khrushchevian revisionism to the communist parties (destruction of socialism and restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union, breaking-up of the capitalist Soviet Union, liquidation of the communist parties), it can be said that it was not just a culmination of the long struggle of the Stalinist-Zachariadist KKE, but was at the same time a great and unique moment in the struggle of the international communist movement (Comintern-Cominform) against the new counter-revolutionary treacherous trend of Khrushchevian revisionism which emerged in its lines in the mid-1950s: it was precisely this moment that marked the beginning of the most fierce ideological-political struggle against Khrushchevian revisionism in international level, a struggle that has been going on for half a century now, is still going on and it will be going on in the future until its final victory.

In this context, the ‘Tashkent events’ acquire a triple historical importance: First, they constituted the first open and brutal intervention of the Khrushchevian revisionists in the internal affairs of a communist party aiming at its liquidation. Second, they marked the beginning of the resistance and struggle of the Greek communists against Khrushchevian revisionism even before its emergence as a complete ideological-political trend in the 20th Congress of CPSU (February 1956). Third, they raised the banner of struggle of the communists in all countries against this counter-revolutionary trend. The rising and battle of the Greek communists in Tashkent, in September of 1955, ushers in the period of struggle against Khrushchevian revisionism on international level.

b) The ‘6th Plenum’

In February of 1956, during the counter-revolutionary 20th Congress of CPSU, the show trials of the Greek communists, political refugees, started in Tashkent. In this travesty of justice, battle-hardened DA veterans, like Giorgos Kalianesis (general), Dimitris Vyssios (lieutenant-colonel) and others, were tried for hooliganism and vagrancy. Following their convictions, they were exiled to Siberia and, in fact, into concentration camps ‘that were intentionally adjacent to concentration camps of German war criminals sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment, the maximum period according to the Soviet criminal law. The Germans didn’t work because of their ‘prisoner of war’ status, and, apart from having the meals of a Soviet soldier, they received parcels of medicine and foodstuffs from the West German Red Cross every ten days. The sentenced refugees were fed with rotten potatoes and mouldy crushed grain. This “diet” was followed under conditions of heavy and exhausting labour’ (D. Vyssios: ‘Open letter to M. N. Ponomariov’, former Head of the Department of International Relations of the CC of CPSU, January 1991).

The opposition of the Greek communists to Khrushchevian revisionism was expressed en masse. The overwhelming majority (95%) of the members of the Tashkent Party Organisation came out against the Khrushchevian intervention in KKE and defended the revolutionary party line and the CC headed by Nikos Zachariades showing a stunning decisiveness and unparallel courage. The attitude of the captive communists in jails and concentration camps in Greece was similar.

It was exactly this overwhelming opposition by the Greek communists (ranging from 85% to 95% in Tashkent and in the People’s Republics) that prevented KKE from being transformed into a bourgeois party of social democratic type. The revolutionary KKE is the only communist party of a capitalist country that was never transformed into a counter-revolutionary, bourgeois, social democratic party. This fact compelled the Khrushchevian revisionists to create a completely new party in place of the old one.

At the time of the 20th Congress of the CPSU, the Khrushchevians formed the infamous ‘International Committee’ whose alleged purpose was to examine the situation in KKE. It comprised of cadres from six communist parties: 1) Yugov, from the Communist Party of Bulgaria; 2) Kovac, from the Hungarian Workers Party; 3) Mazur, from the Unified Workers Party of Poland; 4) Dej, from the Workers Party of Romania; 5) Kuusinen, from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; 6) Barak, from the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The president of the International Committee was, formally, Georgiu Dej – Khrushchev’s puppet – but essentially Otto V. Kuusinen member of the Politburo of the CPSU. Nikos Zachariades, addressing Dej, during one of the committee’s sessions said the following regarding his interference in KKE internal affairs: ‘who granted the right to examine the problems of heroic KKE to you, who slept in August of 1944 under fascism and woke up one day under a People’s Republic, established by the Red tankists all the way from Stalingrad when they crashed the fascist Romanian Division and offered it to you as a present. What experience do you have to criticise the struggles of Greek communists who, to their credit, through their struggle, did not allow not even a single Greek citizen to fight in the Eastern Front against the USSR (K. Karanikola, pp. 70-71).

The International Committee openly and without pretexts intervened in the KKE by arbitrarily summoning the infamous ‘6th Plenum’ on March 1956. In this illicit meeting the report was read not by a Greek, but by the president of the ‘International Committee’, Dej. Former cadres and expelled members participated, but not the lawfully elected General Secretary of the Party Nikos Zachariades. The brutal intervention of the Khrushchevian revisionists through the ‘6th Plenum’ resulted in the actual liquidation of KKE (1918-1955). This was done by: a) the illegal and forcible removal of the elected revolutionary leadership of KKE, including the Party’s General Secretary Nikos Zachariades, who was arrested and isolated, and appointed a right opportunistic puppet leadership. b) the mass expulsions of thousands of communists and c) the liquidation of the remaining party organisations in 1958.

The new party that was established in 1956, the ‘K’KE did not and does not bear any relation whatsoever – ideological, political, organisational – with the old revolutionary KKE (1918-1955). It was a monstrous creation of the Khrushchevian revisionists that adopted the counter-revolutionary social-democratic line promulgated in the 20th Congress of CPSU, namely the peaceful transition to socialism. For this reason, the new party has been, from the very beginning, a bourgeois social democratic party guided not any more by the Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism, but by the counter-revolutionary trend of Khrushchevian revisionism, a variant of bourgeois ideology.

One year later, in 1957, the revisionists of ‘K’KE summoned the ‘7th Plenum’, a meeting as illicit as the 6th Plenum. According to the decisions of this ‘Plenum’, Zachariades was stripped even of his party membership and sentenced to exile. In addition, he was shamelessly accused of spying for the Germans when he was a prisoner in Dachau. A special committee set up to investigate the matter didn’t find any evidence whatsoever that supports this monstrous charge.

c) The persecutions of the Greek communists

The great majority of the Greek communists under the leadership of Nikos Zachariades not only rejected but they were the first ones in the communist movement to put up a strong resistance against the decisions of the 20th Congress and the 6th Plenum already in 1956 – the rejection of revisionism by Mao Zedong and Enver Hoxha was expressed four years later, in the summit of Communist parties in 1960. More importantly, in the difficult period that followed the 20th Congress the struggle of the Greek communists against Greek and Soviet revisionism continued taking various forms. In 1958, 6,000 communists of Tashkent wrote a letter to the CC of the Communist Parties of the Soviet Union, of China, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Vietnam, Cuba, Korea and Albania concerning the situation in KKE. In the first page of this letter the following is mentioned: ‘Today’s CC of KKE is not the leadership that led the revolutionary struggles of our people. This is because: 1) the rise of this leadership is the result of a political provocation against KKE on 9.9.1955 in one of its largest organisations, the Party Organisation of Tashkent and, subsequently, of the arbitrary convention and decision of the 6th Plenum in 1956; 2) this leadership’s policy is the revision of the revolutionary line KKE had before the 6th Plenum, it is the revision of the Marxist-Leninist theory; 3) it follows an opportunist line which deviates from the Marxist Leninist principles; 4) by pursuing its opportunist policy, it weakens struggle of our people and aims at subordinating our movement to the interests of the Greek bourgeois class.’

The historical and political importance of this document can be hardly overestimated. Apart from being an example of resistance against revisionism in KKE, it contains a comprehensive historical outline of the party’s internal affairs covering the whole period before the 20th Congress. It most clearly demonstrates the counter-revolutionary and treacherous role of all those opportunists, like Vafiades and Partsalidis, who were in the leading ranks of KKE during the armed struggle against the German occupation forces, the Anglo-American imperialism and the Greek fascist reaction. They were the same people who accused the Zachariades leadership of ‘leftist mistakes’ and ‘adventurism’ in relation to the party’s strategy and tactics during the civil war, in the 3rd Conference of KKE in 1950. Finally, they were the same people appointed later in the KKE leadership by the Khrushchevian revisionists.

Because of their continuous and active struggle against revisionism thousands of Greek communists in the following years, were expelled by the appointed right opportunist leadership. Others chose to break away from the new opportunist bourgeois party. Moreover, they were subjected to a whole series of fascist persecutions that took various forms: surveillance, spying, arrests, imprisonments, exiles to Siberia, etc. Many party cadres were exiled to Siberia and among them the Party’s General Secretary, Nikos Zachariades, who, after 17 years of exile, died in Sorgut. The events that took place in Tashkent in 1962 are quite indicative of the atmosphere of terror and oppression against the Greek communists.

The secretaries of all the party organisations of Tashkent and the committee for the support of the imprisoned and exiled communists in Greece decided to organise a mass meeting on the 27th May 1962 to mark the 21st anniversary of the lowering of the swastika from the Acropolis. Evidently, this event was going to be very successful and attract a lot of Greeks of Tashkent. The idea of such an event appealed also to many supporters of the revisionists who declared that they approve it and that they were going to take part. In this way, the meeting would serve to bridge the gap between the supporters of the revisionists and the great majority of Greek communists of who opposed their line. At the same time it would allow each side to gauge its real strength; it would become obvious that the revisionists snatched the leadership of KKE only thanks to violence, terror, persecutions, blackmails and the liquidating intervention of CPSU.

As it was expected, the preparations for the meeting made the Greek and the Soviet revisionists extremely anxious and therefore they did everything they could to cancel it. The revisionists of ‘K’KE threatened with expulsion anybody from their supporters who joined the meeting. The CC of the CP of Uzbekistan held a special session to discuss this event. As a first step, the head of militia General Sloenensky summoned cadres from the Tashkent party organisations and threatened them with hard measures if they dared to take part in the event. Factory administrators threatened with sacking from work, a punishment already inflicted to many Greek communists after the 6th Plenum. The whole state and party apparatus were actively engaged in cancelling the meeting.

Nevertheless, the Greek communists full of fighting spirit ignored the threats and the psychological pressure and continued with their preparations. As a result, the Soviet authorities resorted to brute force in order to stop the event that scared them so much. On the 18th of May, the first secretary of the party organisation of the 9th Politeia was arrested and sentenced to 15 days of imprisonment for vagrancy. When his arrest became known next day, delegates from all Politeies of Tashkent went to the head of militia in order to protest about it. Although he promised them to set Sidiropulos free, they soon faced an organised and barbarous attack. Policemen went at them furiously, started beating them with clubs and belts and dragged them on the pavement covered in blood. Sixty people were arrested and many of them were convicted for vagrancy and hooliganism. On the 21st May the first secretaries of the Tashkent party organisation presented themselves at the offices of the town committee of the CP of Uzbekistan to protest about the brutal attack and the illegal arrests that took place on the 19th. Not only did they receive no reply whatsoever but also the secretary of the party organisation of the 13th Politeia, Petros Touloudis, was arrested on the spot.

During the week from the 21st to the 27th May, the Soviet authorities unleashed an unseen orgy of terror in all Politeies of Tashkent. Many men and women were dismissed from work. Under the guidance of the revisionists, the police forcibly entered in people’s houses at night confiscating money and personal belongings. The portraits of Nikos Belogiannis and the heroes from the Greek Revolution of 1821 that would decorate the meeting venue were confiscated and destroyed. On the 19th and 22nd of May, the secretary of the party organisation of the 5th Politeia, Mitsos Eleutheriou, and the member of the committee of the party organisation of the 4th Politeia were arrested and being held for a long time in solitary confinement they were charged with ‘anti-Sovietism’ and received three and four years sentences respectively. On the 25th of May, the secretaries of the party organisations of the 7th and the 12th Politeia Achileas Papaioannou and Spiros Stamatakos were sent to exile in Kazakhstan. Many others followed them.

The persecutions continued after May. On the 14th of September, four leading Greek communists of Tashkent were summoned and told that they had 12 hours to prepare to leave for Petropavlovsk, their place of exile. On the 20th of October, Slonenski summoned another 24 cadres of the KKE and DA and announced them the following: ‘You don’t recognise the decision of the 6th Plenum of the CC of KKE and the 8th Congress of KKE and, moreover, you have embarked on an active struggle against the leadership of the KKE and its political line recognised and supported by the CC of CPSU. This is considered a hostile action against the Soviet Union and this is why Soviet Union is depriving you of the status of a political refugee and is sending you to exile in Kazakhstan’. Thousands of men, women and children bade a warm farewell to the last large group of refugees leaving for their place of exile. They declared that the generation of DA fighters refuses to be subdued and continues the struggle against the new fascism.

Savvas Palles, a volunteer in the Spanish civil war, in one of his letters from his exile in north Kazakstan in October 1962 wrote the following: ‘In a time when Karamanlis closed the concentration camp in Ai Stratis and released communists, the “communist” leader Koligiannis was setting up another concentration camp in the vast steppes of north Kazakhstan. Why? For what reason? What crime we committed in order to have such a cruel and inhuman punishment imposed on us? Let our opponents, the opportunists, answer; let them publicly state why they imprisoned and sent us to exile? Of course they will not answer because they don’t dare to do so. Because they are cowards and they want pass for tough ones having the support of others. Because they don’t have the courage to tell the truth and they try to conceal their crime.

But we know why they threw us to prison and sent us to exile. Our crime is political. We refused to become servants, lackeys. We refused to bow to the bowed ones. We refused to bury the truth, to deny our revolutionary principles, to step on the revolutionary traditions of our people and our Party; we refused to deny our revolutionary honour! This was our sin, our crime. This is why they scattered us in the vastness of north Kazakhstan.’

What is the reason for the resolute opposition of the Greek communist political refugees (95% in Tashkent and 85-90% in the other People’s Republics) against Khrushchevian revisionism, of people who had been brought up in a spirit of deep trust and devotion to the Socialist Soviet Union?

First of all, it is the guiding and decisive role played, in this extremely difficult struggle, by the courageous, unyielding and uncompromising revolutionary Nikos Zachariades, in order KKE not to abandon its revolutionary line. Besides his opposition to the Khrushchevian group, in the beginning of 1956, he replied thus to some Greek revisionists, members of the CC of KKE, when they asked him to resign: ‘I won’t grant you this favour now, I won’t allow you to convert KKE into a bourgeois party’ (Dimitri Votsika, ‘Portraita koryfeon stelehon tou KKE’, Athens, 1999, p. 21).

Secondly, it is the fact that the members of KKE were battle-hardened partisans who had given everything to the armed revolutionary struggle against the indigenous monarchist-fascist reactionary forces and the imperialism, having almost a decade (1940-1950) of armed struggle to their credit. This long revolutionary experience helped them to show the necessary political-ideological maturity, firmness, consistency and decisiveness in this critical moment.

Nikos Zachariades had foreseen the disaster that would come in case Khrushchevian revisionism dominated, and it is this prediction that allows for his historical eminence as a great communist revolutionary leader to be assessed: ‘watch out comrades, these are international provocateurs, they are going to cause a great damage to the world’s communist movement and their Greek collaborators will cause great damage to our country’ (Tashkent, September 1955). Not only did he foresee the disaster, but also he was the first leader in the world’s communist movement who stood up and fought against the counter-revolutionary trend of Khrushchevian revisionism right up until the end of his life.

Later, in 1962, Zachariades, from his place of exile, wrote: ‘The factionist-opportunist group pursuing a policy of appeasement towards the bourgeois reaction, bastardised and hided the revolutionary legacy of the popular movement in Greece. It is not accidental that in the programme of the so-called 6th Plenum, the socialist character of KKE was completely buried and, instead, the peaceful transition and a democratic change were presented as a panacea; an anti-Leninist, and revisionist transition’

d) Splits in the KKE after 1956

The 6th Plenum marked the first major split in KKE. As mentioned above, many thousands of party members and cadres who were devoted to the revolutionary leadership headed by N. Zachariades were expelled from KKE. The exiles, the imprisonments and all kinds of fascist persecutions after 1955-56 were not enough to yield the majority of the Greek communists into submission, to make them abandon the revolutionary Stalinist course and break their monolithic ideological-political-organisational unity. For many years after 1956, they were ‘illegal’ Stalinist-Zachariadist party organisations working in Tashkent and elsewhere. The Soviet revisionists, realising their failure and the isolation of their planted treacherous clique of Kolligiannis-Partsalidis and Co, decided to change tactics. In addition to the fascist oppression and persecutions, they tried to cause a split in the camp of Stalinist-Zachariadist communists from inside by employing agents who would maintain an ‘anti-Khrushchevian’ and a ‘Stalinist-Zachariadist’ façade. There is no doubt that the Khrushchevian revisionism was the one which caused the greatest and the most disastrous split in the international communist movement including our own party, KKE. However, the later splits, for whatever excuses and pretexts, had also disastrous consequences. A major split was caused by the new opportunistic trend that appeared in the political refugee community of Romania at the end of the 1960s and led by Gavrilos Papadopoulos. Polydoros Daniilidis, Vaskos Pasxalis and others.

The common goal of the Khrushchevian revisionists, the treacherous cliques of Kolligiannis-Partsalidis and the new right opportunistic group was the ousting of Nikos Zachariades from our party; their slogan was: ‘Zachariades should leave the leadership of KKE’. As far as the first two is concerned there is no doubt that this was precisely their goal. In relation to the right opportunistic group, here is what P. Daniilidis openly confesses: ‘I was always saying that Zachariades should be dismissed from the party regardless that this was not properly done’. (P. Daniilidis, ‘O Polydoros thymatai’, p. 288, Istorikes ekdoseis, Athens, 1990). The anti-KKE attitude of this group caused very serious damage to the Greek communist movement because: first it disorientated from the ideological, political and organisational point of view and second it brought its fragmentation driving thousands of communists to isolation. They went so far to claim that Zachariades became a defector, a traitor and that he allegedly joined the Khrushchevian revisionists. As a matter of fact, they instructed all the Stalinist-Zachariadist organisations in Tashkent and People’s Republics to discontinue all the protests towards the Soviet government for the release of Zachariades because he was allegedly ‘free and strolling in Moscow’ while in fact he was in complete isolation in Sorgut.

e) The death of Nikos Zachariades

In the beginning of August 1973, when the Soviet authorities and the Khrushchevian Florakis leadership announced that Nikos Zachariadis died, two different versions of his death were immediately formulated. The first and the official version was presented by the social-democratic Brezhnev-Florakis leadership: ‘On the 1st of August Nikos Zachariades died from heart attack at the age of 70’ (Announcement from the CC of ‘K’

KE). The second version was promulgated by the overwhelming majority of Greek communist who rejected at once the first one according to which Nikos Zachariades died from a ‘heart attack’, and believed that he was actually murdered by the Khrushchevian revisionists in Sorgut, Siberia, his place of exile.

Seventeen years after the initial ‘announcement’ of the Soviet authorities, in 1990, Alexander Petrushin, a KGB Colonel, sent a note to the newspaper ‘Tiumenski Izvestia’ in which he contradicted the original version and presented a third one, that of ‘suicide’.

It is obvious that the two above versions of Nikos Zachariades death, the one of heart attack and the other of suicide, are mutually exclusive and, therefore, most probably false. The treacherous social-democratic cliques of Brezhnev-Florakis obviously contradict themselves. When were they telling the truth, in 1973 or in 1990?

The overwhelming majority of Greek communists correctly reckoned, and continue to do so, that the Soviet revisionists murdered Nikos Zachariades in accordance to an agreement with the revisionist leadership of ‘K’KE. in order to preserve the existence of their social-democratic party whose presence and action served, on one hand, the foreign policy of the revisionist-capitalist Soviet Union and, on the other, the interests of the indigenous reactionary bourgeois class acting as its agency in the ranks of the Greek working class movement.

It would be interesting to point out that Nikos Zachariades death took place on the eve of political ‘change’ in Greece. The Soviet revisionists, due to their collaboration with the American imperialists, were aware that a political ‘change’ was imminent in Greece, namely the replacement of the military-fascist dictatorship by a bourgeois ‘democratic’ government. If the new government wanted to maintain its democratic façade, it had not only to legalise the revisionist ‘K’KE but, also, to allow the repatriation of the communist political refugees, the former DA partisans, from the revisionist countries. However, it was known to both the Greek and Soviet revisionists that the great majority (about 85%-95%) of the Greek communists were staunch supporters of Zachariades and, upon their return to Greece, would immediately raise the issue of his liberation from exile employing all possible means including daily demonstrations in front of the Soviet embassy and an international campaign. Under such pressure, the Soviet revisionists would be compelled to set him free and let him return to his homeland.

Consequently, under circumstances beyond their control, and aware of the great authority Nikos Zachariades enjoyed among the Greek communists, the Soviet revisionists would have felt extremely uncomfortable had the great communist leader and former member of the EC of the Third International returned to his country. In particular such an outcome would have the following consequences: a) the inevitable downfall of their instruments in the country, that is, of the two social-democratic parties ‘K’KE and ‘K’KE (interior). b) the reorganisation of the communists and the formation of the revolutionary massive KKE, guided by revolutionary Marxism, that is of Leninism-Stalinism, and the concomitant preservation of the antifascist, anti-imperialist EDA party (that was liquidated by the revisionists and replaced by, the harmless to the interests of the bourgeois and the imperialists, PASOK) c) the prospect of a revolutionary KKE in alliance with the socialist Albania would be very dangerous, at that time, to the fate of Khrushchevian revisionism in Europe, to the existence and activity of the Soviet and European revisionists.

Apart from the aforementioned, what suggests that the third version of Nikos Zachariades death, i.e. the one of his murder, is the most probable and convincing are the following:

First, the statement-confession made by Stavros Zorbalas, the director of the Centre of Marxist Studies, in 1980: ‘How could there be a Party (meaning the revisionist ‘K’KE) if Zachariades would come to Greece?’ (D. Vyssios: ‘Open letter to Boris Nikolayevich Panomariov’, former head of the Department of International Relations of the CC of CPSU) but, also, by Panos Demetriou: ‘at any rate, only a KGB report can solve the riddle concerning his death’ (‘Ethnos’, 29/12/1990).

Second, the very important testimony of the journalist Vera Kuznechova in her interview: ‘I brought G. Mauros (Greek journalist) in contact with competent persons like Zachariades guard and the forensic doctor who, under pressure, wrote falsely in his report that Nikos Zachariades died from heart attack. When I talked to him, he admitted that he had diagnosed assassination, not heart attack’.

Third, the statement made by N. Tomilina, the director of the Russian State Archives, in the spring of 2000: ‘Not all evidence pertaining Nikos Zachariades has been published and, especially, the documents related to the circumstances of his death. These documents have been classified as top secret and no access to them is allowed until they are declassified.’

Considering all the above, the following fundamental question arises: if the case of Nikos Zachariades death was drawn to definite close with the establishment of the ‘suicide’ version, why, then, the part of the Archives related to the circumstances of his death is not published? Why the documents about the circumstances of his death are, still, classified as top secret and no access to them is allowed? It is evident that the anti-communist Khrushchevian revisionists and their fascist secret services, even after more than three decades (1973-2006) and despite continuous ‘editing’, cannot render their Archives plausible as to the second false version of Nikos Zachariades death, the one of ‘suicide’.

Without a doubt, Nikos Zachariades, through his revolutionary struggle, rises to eminence as a great revolutionary and communist leader, as ‘one of the most important figures of the world’s communist movement’ (Niyazov, Tashkent 1955); Joseph Stalin during the proceedings of the 19th Congress of the CPSU (1952), had said about him: ‘Do you see him? He is a great leader. He will bring the revolution not only in Greece but also in Europe’ (P. Demetriou, ‘Ek vatheon’, Athens 1997, pp. 202-203). He was by far the most competent General Secretary the KKE ever had and who was suggested by the Third International for this post in 1931. Nikos Zachariades remained until the end of his life an unwavering opponent of revisionism. Towards the end of his life he said: ‘Nobody can take away your honour, you can only lose it yourself’ and also: ‘he, who does not know how to die when it is necessary, does not know how to live and will fail in his life. He, who is afraid of falling, is going to crawl for the rest of his life’.

Quite naturally, the revisionist group of Khrushchev-Brezhnev saw him as a serious, powerful and very dangerous ideological, political opponent whom therefore it had to forcefully remove from the leadership of KKE at all costs, and destroy politically and physically; so dangerous was he considered, that one of Khrushchev’s fervent supporters, the French poet Louis Aragon, saw fit to mention him in his two-volume ‘History of the Soviet Union’: ‘The charge for personality cult resulted in the removal of Nikos Zachariades from his post as General Secretary of KKE’ (L. Aragon, ‘History of the Soviet Union’, v. 2, p. 268, Athens, 1963).

To conclude, we believe that the aforementioned events, covering the period between the pogrom in Tashkent in 1955 and the death of Nikos Zachariades in 1973, leave the contemporary revolutionary movement a most valuable legacy that could serve its task of reorganisation in the 21st century.

Source

Enver Hoxha on Salvador Allende: The Tragic Events in Chile – A Lesson for the Revolutionaries of the Whole World

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Article published in the newspaper “Zeri i popullit”
October 2, 1973

In Chile the counter-revolutionary storm continues to rage against the working masses, the patriots and fighters of that country. The rightist forces which seized power as a result of the September 11 coup d’état have established a reign of terror which even the Hitlerites would have envied. People are being ruthlessly murdered and massacred everywhere, in the streets or at work, without trial, and on any pretext. The sports stadiums have been transformed into concentration camps. Progressive culture is being trampled underfoot. Marxist books are being burnt in bonfires in the squares, nazi style. While the democratic parties, trade-unions, and democratic organizations have been outlawed, mediaeval obscurantism is spreading over the whole country. The most fanatical, ultra-reactionary forces of darkness, the agents of American imperialism are strutting on the political stage. The democratic freedoms which the people had won through struggle and bloodshed were wiped out within one day.

The events in Chile affect not only the Chilean people, but all the revolutionary, progressive and peace-loving forces of the world, therefore, the revolutionaries and the working people not only of Chile, but also of other countries, ought to draw conclusions from these events. Of course, we are not talking of an analysis of purely national details and aspects, or of specific actions, shortcomings or mistakes of the Chilean revolution, which do not go beyond the internal framework of this revolution. We are speaking of those universal laws which no revolution can avoid and which every revolution is obliged to apply. The problem is to examine and assess in the light of the events in Chile which views proved correct and which distorted on the issues of the theory and practice of the revolution, to verify which theses are revolutionary and which are opportunist, and to determine which attitudes and actions assist the revolution and which assist the counter-revolution.

In the first place, it must be said that the period during which the Allende government remained in power is not a period which can easily be erased from the life of the Chilean people or from the whole history of Latin America. Interpreting the demands and wishes of the broadest popular masses, the Popular Unity government adopted a series of measures and carried out a number of reforms which were intended to strengthen the national freedom and independence of the country and the independent development of its .economy.

This government struck heavy blows at the local oligarchy and the American monopolies which held all the key positions and were making the law in the country. The inspirer of this progressive and anti-imperialist course was President Allende, one of the noblest figures to emerge from Latin America, an outstanding patriot and democratic fighter. Under his leadership the Chilean people struggled for the land reform, struggled for the nationalization of foreign companies, struggled for the democratization of the life of the country and for the freedom of Chile from American influence. Allende strongly supported the anti-imperialist liberation movements in Latin America and made his country an asylum for all the freedom fighters persecuted by the thugs and military juntas of Latin America. He gave the peoples’ liberation and anti-imperialist movements his unreserved support and was in full solidarity with the struggle of the Vietnamese, Cambodian, Palestinian and other peoples.

Could the big Chilean landowners, who saw their estates distributed to the poor peasants, forgive him for pursuing this course and this activity? Could the manufacturers of Santiago, who were expelled from their nationalized plants, tolerate this? Or the American companies which lost their power? It was certain that one day they would unite to overthrow him and regain their lost privileges. Here a natural question arises: Was Allende aware of the atmosphere which surrounded him, did he see the conspiracies being hatched up .against him? Of course, he did. Reaction operated openly. It assassinated cabinet ministers, functionaries of government parties and rank-and-file officials. It instigated and directed the organization of the counter-revolutionary strikes of the truck drivers; merchants, doctors and other petty-bourgeois strata. Finally it tried its strength in the military coup in June, which proved abortive. Several plans of the CIA for the overthrow of the lawful government were discovered.

These attacks by internal and external reaction would have been sufficient to sound the alarm and make Allende reflect. They would have been ample reason to implement the great law of every revolution, that counter-revolutionary violence must be opposed with revolutionary violence. But President Allende did nothing, made no move. Certainly, he cannot be accused of lack of ideals. He loved the cause for which he fought with all his heart and, to the end, he believed in the justice of that cause. He did not lack personal courage and was ready to make, and did in fact make, the supreme sacrifice. But his tragedy was that he believed he could convince the reactionary forces through reason to give up their activity and relinquish their past positions and privileges of their own good will.

In Chile it was believed that the relatively old-established democratic traditions, parliament, the legal activity of political parties, the existence of a free press, etc., were an insurmountable obstacle to any reactionary force which might attempt to seize power by violence. The reality, however, proved the opposite. The coup d’état of the rightist forces proved that the bourgeoisie will tolerate certain freedoms just so long as its essential interests are not affected, but when it sees that these interests are threatened, it is no longer concerned about ethics.

The revolutionary and progressive forces in Chile have suffered a defeat. This is very serious, but temporary. A constitutional government may be overthrown, thousands of people may be killed and scores of concentration camps set up, but the spirit of freedom, the people’s spirit of revolt, can be neither killed nor imprisoned. The people are resisting, and this proves that the working masses are not reconciled to defeat, that they are determined to draw conclusions from this and to advance on the revolutionary road. The liberation struggle against reaction and imperialism has its zigzags, its ups and downs. There is no doubt that the Chilean people who have given so many proofs of their lofty patriotism, who have displayed such love for freedom and justice, and who hate imperialism and reaction so profoundly, will know how to mobilize their forces and fight the enemies blow for blow to ensure the final victory for themselves.

For the Chilean people this is a grave, although temporary, misfortune, but for the modern revisionists it constitutes an all-round defeat, a complete overturning of their opportunist theories. All the revisionists, from those of Moscow to those of Italy, France and elsewhere, presented the “Chilean experience” as a concrete example which proved their “new theories” about the “peaceful road of the revolution”, the transition to socialism under the leadership of many parties, the moderation of the nature of imperialism, the dying out of the class struggle in the conditions of peaceful coexistence, etc. The revisionist press made great play with the “Chilean road” in order to advertise the opportunist theses of the 20th Congress of the CPSU and the reformist and utopian programs of the Togliattist type.

From the “Chilean experience” the revisionists expected not only confirmation of their “theories” about “the parliamentary road”, but also a “classical” example of the building of socialism under the leadership of a coalition of Marxist and bourgeois parties. They expected confirmation of their thesis that the transition to socialism is possible through parliamentary elections and without revolution, that socialism can be built, not only without smashing the old state apparatus of the bourgeoisie, but even with its aid, not only without establishing the revolutionary people’s power, but by negating it.

The theories of “peaceful coexistence” and the “peace.ful parliamentary road”, propounded by the Soviet revisionists, in the first place, and by the Italian and French revisionists and their other supporters, are responsible to a very considerable extent for the spread of pacifist illusions and opportunist stands towards the bourgeoisie and deviation from the revolutionary struggle.

All the programmatic documents which the Western revisionist parties have adopted since the 20th Congress of the CPSU, absolutize the “parliamentary road” of transition from capitalism to socialism, while the non-peaceful road is definitely excluded. In practice this has brought about that these parties have finally renounced the revolutionary struggle and strive for ordinary reforms of a narrow economic or administrative character. They have turned into bourgeois opposition parties and have offered to undertake the administration of the wealth of the bourgeoisie, just as the old social-democratic parties have done hitherto.

The Communist Party of Chile, which was one of the main forces of the Allende government, fervently adhered to the Khrushchevite theses of “peaceful transition”, both in theory and practice. Following instructions from Moscow, it claimed that the national bourgeoisie and imperialism had now been tamed, had become tolerant and reasonable, and that in the new class conditions, allegedly created by the present-day world development, they were no longer able to go over to counter-revolution.

However, as the case of Chile proved once again these and similar theories make the working masses irresolute and disorientated, weaken their revolutionary spirit, and keep them immobilized in the face of the threats of the bourgeoisie, paralyse their capacity and make it impossible for them to carry out decisive revolutionary actions against the counter-revolutionary plans and actions of the bourgeoisie.

As the genuine Marxist-Leninist parties had predicted and as time confirmed, the revisionists were against the revolution and aimed to turn the Soviet Union, as they did, into a capitalist country, from a base of the revolution into a base of counter-revolution. They worked for a very long time to sow confusion in the ranks of the revolutionaries and undermine the revolution. Everywhere and at every moment they have acted to extinguish the flames of revolutionary battles and national liberation struggles. Although for demagogical purposes they pretend to be for the revolution, with their views and activities the revisionists try to nip it in the bud or sabotage it when it bursts out.

Their deviation from Marxism-Leninism, their abandonment of the class interests of the proletariat, their betrayal of the cause of national liberation of the peoples, has led the revisionists to complete denial of the revolution. For them, the theory and practice of the revolution have been reduced to a few reformist demands, which can be met within the framework of the capitalist order, without affecting its basis. The revisionists try to prove that the dividing line between the revolution and reforms has been wiped out, that in today’s conditions of world development there is no longer any need for a revolutionary overthrow, because, they allege, the present technical-scientific revolution is doing away with the social class contradictions of bourgeois society, is allegedly a means for the integration of capitalism into socialism, a means to create a “new society” of prosperity for all. Thus; according to this confusing logic, one can no longer speak about exploiters and exploited, hence according to them, social revolution, the smashing of the bourgeois state machine and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat become unnecessary.

Under the mask of Leninism and its creative development the revisionists aimed at world domination, turning themselves into social-imperialists. They began with Khrushchevite “peaceful coexistence”, with “peaceful competition”, with “a world without weapons and without wars”, with the “parliamentary road”, etc., and ended up with the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and the degeneration of socialism into social-imperialism.

Hence, they were against the revolution and the struggle of the peoples for liberation, and were against the communist parties which remained loyal to and defended Marxism-Leninism. In order to achieve their aims, especially the extinguishing of liberation struggles and revolutionary movements, the revisionists made the “peaceful road” the foundation of their “theory”. By revising the fundamental question of Marxism, such as the theory of revolution, and propagating their opportunist theses, they wanted to convince the workers to give up their revolutionary class struggle, to submit to the bourgeoisie and accept capitalist slavery.

On the other hand, “peaceful coexistence”, which the Soviet leaders proclaimed as the fundamental line of their foreign policy and which they wanted to impose on the whole world communist and national liberation movement, was a complete strategic plan to reach a broad agreement with imperialism, to strangle the revolutionary movements and to quell the liberation struggles, to preserve and extend their spheres of influence. The revisionists wanted to use, and did in fact use, this kind of “coexistence”, which was entirely suitable to imperialism and the bourgeoisie, as a great diversion to disarm the masses ideologically and politically, to blunt their revolutionary vigilance and immobilize them, to leave them defenceless in face of future attacks of the imperialists and social-imperialists.

The Soviet revisionists, as well as the other revisionists who managed to usurp state power, destroyed the party by stripping it of its revolutionary theory, rejected and trampled underfoot all the Leninist norms, and paved the way to liberalism and degeneration in the country. In spreading their anti-Marxist theses that “capitalism is being integrated into socialism”, that “non proletarian parties, too, can be the bearers of the ideals of socialism and leaders of the struggle for socialism”, that “even those countries where the national bourgeoisie is in power are moving towards socialism”, the revisionists not only aimed to deny the theory of the vanguard party of the working class, but also wanted to leave the working class without leadership in the face of the organized attacks of the bourgeoisie and reaction.

History has proved, and the events in Chile, where it was not yet a question of socialism but of a democratic regime, again made clear, that the establishment of socialism through the parliamentary road is utterly impossible. In the first place, it must be said that up till now it has never happened that the bourgeoisie has allowed the communists to win a majority in parliament and form their own government. Even in the occasional instance where the communists and their allies have managed to ensure a balance in their favour in parliament and enter the government; this has not led to any change in the bourgeois character of the parliament or the government, and their action has never gone so far as to smash the old state machine and establish a new one.

In the conditions when the bourgeoisie controls the bureaucratic-administrative apparatus, securing a “parliamentary majority” that would change the destiny of the country is not only impossible but also unreliable. The main parts of the bourgeois state machine are the political and economic power and the armed forces. As long as these forces remain intact, i.e., as long as they have not been dissolved and new forces created in their stead, as long as the old apparatus of the police, the secret intelligence services, etc.; is retained, there is no guarantee that a parliament or a democratic government will be able to last long; Not only the case of Chile, but many others have proved that the counter-revolutionary coups d’état have been carried out precisely by the armed forces commanded by the bourgeoisie.

The Khrushchevite revisionists have deliberately created great confusion concerning Lenin’s very clear and precise theses on the participation of communists in the bourgeois parliament and on the seizure of state power from the bourgeoisie. It is known that Lenin did not deny the participation of the communists in the bourgeois parliament at certain moments. But he considered this participation only as at tribune to defend the interests of the working class, to expose the bourgeoisie and its state power, to force the bourgeoisie to take some measure in favour of the working people. At the same time, however, Lenin warned that, while fighting to make use of parliament in the interests of the working class, one should guard against the creation of parliamentary illusions, the fraud of bourgeois parliamentarianism.

“Participation in the bourgeois parliament,” said Lenin, “is necessary for the party of the revolutionary proletariat to enlighten the masses, enlightenment which is achieved through elections and the struggle of the parties in the parliament. But to limit the class struggle to the struggle within the parliament, or to consider this struggle as the ultimate, the decisive form, to which all other forms of struggle are subordinate, means in fact to go over to the side of the bourgeoisie, against the proletariat.” V.I. Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 30, pp. 304-305 (Alb. ed.).

Criticizing the “parliamentary cretinism” of the representatives of the Second International, who turned their parties into electoral parties, Lenin clearly showed where parliamentarianism leads to in ideology, policy and practice. He stressed that,

“the proletarian state (the dictatorship of the proletariat) cannot replace it through its gradual withering away, but as a general rule, only through violent revolution.”  V.I. Lenin, Collected Works, vol. 25, p. 473 (Alb. ed.).

He stressed that

“the need to systematically educate the masses with this idea, and precisely this idea of violent revolution, is the basis of the entire doctrine of Marx and Engels.” Ibidem.

By still advocating the “parliamentary road”, the modern revisionists are simply blindly following the course of Kautsky and company. But the further they proceed on this course, the more they expose themselves and the more defeats they suffer. The whole history of the international communist and worker movement has proved that violent revolution, the smashing of the bourgeois state machine and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, constitute the universal law of proletarian revolution.

“The advance, that is, towards communism,” Lenin stressed, “runs through the dictatorship of the proletariat and it cannot follow any other course, because there is no other class and no other way to smash the resistance of the capitalist exploiters.” Ibidem, p. 548.

In the stage off imperialism, both at its commencement and now, too, the danger of the establishment of a fascist military dictatorship whenever the capitalist monopolies think that their interests are threatened always exists. Moreover, it has been proved, especially from the end of the Second World War to this day, that American imperialism, British imperialism and others have gone to the assistance of the bourgeoisie of various countries to eliminate those governments or to suppress those revolutionary forces which, in one way or another, offer even the slightest threat to the foundations of the capitalist system.

As long as imperialism exists, there still exists the basis and possibility for, and its unchangeable policy of, interference in the internal affairs of other countries, counter-revolutionary plots, the overthrow of lawful governments, the liquidation of democratic and progressive forces, and the strangling of the revolution.

It is American imperialism which props up the fascist regimes in Spain and Portugal, which incites the revival of German fascism and Japanese militarism, which supports the racist regimes of South Africa and Rhodesia and keeps up the discrimination against the black people in its own country. It is American imperialism that helps the reactionary regimes of South Korea and the Saigon and Pnom Penh puppets, which has instigated the Zionist aggression and helps Israel to maintain its occupation of the Arab territories. All the furious winds of anti-communism, national oppression and capitalist exploitation blow from the United States of America. Throughout Latin America, with some rare exceptions, American imperialism has established tyrannical fascist regimes, which mercilessly suppress and exploit the people. On that continent, all the weapons used against demonstrations, the weapons which kill the workers and peasants, are made in the United States and supplied by it.

The fascist military coup in Chile is not the deed of local reaction alone, but also of imperialism. For three years on end, during the whole time President Allende was in power, the Chilean rightist forces were incited, organized and encouraged in their counter-revolutionary activity by the United States. Chilean reaction and the American monopolies took revenge against President Allende for the progressive and anti-imperialist policy he followed. The undermining activity of the right-wing parties and all the reactionary forces, their acts of violence and terror were closely coordinated with the pressures exerted from outside by the American monopolies, with the economic blockade and the political struggle the American government waged against Chile. Behind the military junta was the CIA, the same criminal hand that had carried out so many coups d’état in Latin America, Indonesia, Iran, etc. The events in Chile once again revealed the true face of American imperialism. They proved once more that American imperialism remains a rabid enemy of all the .peoples, a savage enemy of justice and progress; of struggles for freedom and independence, of the revolution and socialism.

But the counter-revolution in Chile is a deed not only of the avowedly reactionary forces and the American imperialists. The Allende government was .also sabotaged and savagely opposed by the Christian-democratic and other factions of the bourgeoisie, so-called radical democratic forces similar to those together with which the communist parties of Italy and France claim that they will advance to socialism through reforms and the peaceful parliamentary road. The Frey party in, Chile does not bear only “intellectual responsibility”, as some claim, because it refused to collaborate with the Allende government, or because it was lacking in loyalty to the legal government. It bears responsibility also because it used all possible means .to sabotage the normal activity of the government, because it united with the forces of the Right to undermine the nationalized economy and to create confusion in the country, because it perpetrated a thousand and one acts of subversion. It fought to create that spiritual and political climate that was the prelude to the counter-revolution.

The Soviet revisionists, too, were implicated in the events in Chile. A thousand threads link the Soviet leaders in intrigues and plots with American imperialism. They did not intend or desire to help the Allende government when it was in power, because this would have brought them into conflict and damaged their cordial relations with American imperialism.

These stands of the Khrushchevite revisionists towards Chile and the theory of revolution had been confirmed before the Chilean events. They had been confirmed in the repeated tragic events in Iran: while the local reaction was killing and imprisoning hundreds and thousands of communists and progressive revolutionaries, the Soviet revisionists did not lift a finger, let alone severe diplomatic relations! These stands were confirmed in the shocking events in Indonesia, where about 500,000 communists and progressives were killed and massacred. Once again the Soviet revisionists did nothing, took no action and did not consider withdrawing their embassy from Djakarta. [1] These stands of the Soviet revisionists are not accidental. They testify to the existence of a secret collaboration with the American Imperialists to sabotage the revolutionary movements and to put down the peoples’ liberation struggles.

This stand sheds light on the demagogic character of the much publicized severance of diplomatic relations with Chile now.

Such is the reality. The fine words about their alleged solidarity with the Chilean people, like all their other demagogic catch-cries, are simply to deceive public opinion and to conceal their betrayal of the revolution and the peoples’ liberation movements.

The Soviet government severed diplomatic relations with Chile in order to exploit the opportunity to pose as a supporter of the victims of reaction, as if it is on the side of those who struggle for freedom and independence and the revisionists are defenders of progressive regimes. The Soviet revisionists help any progressive regime just so long as this assists their imperialist interests. But they go no further. Indeed, they are not ashamed to maintain regular diplomatic ties with such a discredited and bankrupt regime as that of Lon Nol, while they keep silent about such a great liberation struggle as that of the Cambodian people.

The events in Chile once again revealed all of the grave tragedy the peoples of Latin America are experiencing. Likewise, they brought to light again the shortcomings, limitations and weaknesses of the revolution on that continent, the very great difficulties and hardships it is undergoing. But they provide a lesson not only for the revolutionaries of Latin America. All the revolutionaries of the world, all those who fight for national and social liberation against imperialist interference and violence, for democracy and the progress of mankind should draw lessons from them. This includes the revolutionaries of the Soviet Union, who must rise against the revisionist rulers and overthrow them along with all their opportunist and anti-Leninist theories. Likewise, the revolutionaries of Italy, France and other developed capitalist countries ought to draw lessons from the Chilean events, and fight revisionism resolutely, rejecting the reactionary theories of the “peaceful parliamentary roads” which the Togliattists and the other revisionists propagate.

We believe that the events in Chile, the fascist attack of reaction against the democratic victories of the Chilean people, the brutal interference of American imperialism and its support for the military junta will encourage all the peoples of the world to be vigilant, to resolutely reject the demagogic slogans of the imperialists, revisionists and opportunists of every hue, and mobilize all their forces in courageous defence of their national freedom and independence, peace and security.

[1] The Soviet revisionists expelled the correspondent of “Harjan Rakjat”, organ of the CP of Indonesia, from the Soviet Union and welcomed the visit of Adam Malik, then foreign minister of the Indonesian fascist regime. They also continued to supply Soviet weapons to Indonesia.

“Against Modern Revisionism
1971-1975”

Anasintaxi on the Restoration of Capitalism in the Soviet Union (Part 6): Reactionary anti-communist bourgeois theories that conceal the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union (1953-1990)

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The violent overthrow of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat from the traitorous clique of Khrushchev-Brezhnev-Mikoyan-Suslov, etc. in 1953 after the death-murder of Joseph Stalin (on 5th March 1953), ushered in a completely new period in the history of the Soviet Union: the period of the reactionary process of destruction of socialism-communism and the progressive restoration of capitalism completed in the mid-60s – when the most comprehensive capitalist economic reform was implemented (Plenum in September 1965) – with the complete elimination of socialism in that country.

In the period after 1953, when the economic reforms of capitalist character were gradually introduced in, the still socialist, economy of the Soviet Union under the direct guidance of Khrushchev-Brezhnev bourgeois social-democratic CPSU, two reactionary anti-communist bourgeois theories were developed on international scale that attempted to disguise this regressive process i.e. the gradual but, in due course, the complete all-round restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union: the one was proposed by the traditional bourgeois anti-communist defenders of capitalism-imperialism. The theory of “convergence” of the two opposite economic-social systems in general and more particularly those seen during the historical period after 1953, claiming, in other words, that the “socialism” of the Soviet Union and the capitalism of the western countries were mutually approaching to each other. The second theory was put forward by the anti-communist Khrushchev-Brezhnev revisionist social democrats representing the new bourgeoisie of the Soviet Union (originally under development and subsequently fully shaped bourgeoisie): the theory of the so-called “developed socialism”.

Both of these theories concealed for decades the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union because they presented the objective historical social-economic reality in the Soviet Union and other revisionist countries at that time (1953-1990), primarily in the field of state power and the ideology as “Socialism” (!) showcasing the reactionary bourgeois-fascist power (prohibition of works of Stalin, etc.) of Khrushchev -Brezhnev-Gorbachev period 1953-1990 as the “power of the working class”(!) and claiming that the dominant ideology was “Marxism-Leninism”, although it had already been replaced from Khrushchevian revisionism (a variant of bourgeois ideology) and number of other traditional bourgeois trends, including the ultra-reactionary philosophy of Nietzsche, German Romanticism, etc. In field of economics, they presented any “changes” in the Soviet economy as an indication that the two allegedly “different” economic-social systems come close to one another. From these views flows directly and explicitly hide the regressive process of restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union – a phenomenon that was discovered and denounced from the outset only by the revolutionary Marxists who analyzed it, not completely, but at least in its basic aspects*

Moreover, the theory of “convergence” put forward by the western bourgeois reaction, and had supporters even in the revisionist countries of the reinstated capitalism, as admitted by revisionist theorists**, and the theory of “developed socialism” put forward by the Khrushchevians were both anti-communist reactionary bourgeois theories because, during the period of their dominance (1955-1990), they were directed against the communist perspective of the Proletariat, obscured the communist prospect, presenting the restored capitalism of the Soviet Union as ‘the communist’ future, but at the same time they were in total breach with the objective historic progress of society toward socialism-communism.

Both of these reactionary, anti-communist theories dominated for decades the ideological “pseudo”-conflicts and controversies inside the ranks of imperialism, between the Western capitalist camp led by the imperialist U.S. and the eastern camp of reinstated capitalism during the Khruschev-Brezhnev-Gorbachev period led by the capitalist-imperialist Soviet Union (1953-1990). Having disoriented the international workers’ and communist movement for many decades under the appearance – from both sides – of a conflict between “capitalism” – “socialism”, these theories were buried under the ruins of the collapse of the revisionist capitalist camp and the final dissolution of the Soviet Union***.

The class character and content of the two theories is based on the defence of capitalism: for the theory of “convergence” it was traditional capitalism of the Western countries, while for the theory of “developed socialism” it was the restored capitalism of the Soviet Union and the other revisionist countries.

A. The reactionary anticommunist bourgeois theory of “convergence” capitalism-socialism

From the mid-1950s, among the bourgeois defenders of capitalism began to emerge various views suggesting a “new phase”, a “new stage”, in the development of the society. These views gave rise subsequently to the theories of the so-called “industrial society”, or the theory of “convergence” of the two economic-social systems (capitalism-socialism). Initially, the main representatives of these theories were Raymond Aron (French), Jan Tinbergen (Dutch) and later John Kenneth Galbraith (U.S.) with his work: “The New industrial State” (Boston 1967), etc.

First, let us note that the term “convergence”, in addition to being deceptive, has been transferred from the natural sciences (geometry, biology, medicine, etc.) to the field of social sciences to describe a kind of “synthesis” between capitalism-socialism and a supposedly “inevitable process of amalgamation of the two economic-social systems in general. Yet, we should note that the theory of “convergence” is not identical with the theory of “industrial society”, whose core position is also the denial of the deterministic replacement of capitalism from socialism-communism, but it results from it.

Raymond Aron formally expressed these views in his work: “die Entwicklung der Industriegesellschaft und der sozialen Stratification” (1957), although it followed his earlier book “L’Opium des intellectuels” (The Opium of The Intellectuals) (Paris 1955), in which he declared that “In the West, the controversy between capitalism and socialism loses its actual intensity” and his Sorbonne lectures (1955-1956), later included in his work: «Dixhuit lecons sur la societe industrielle» (Paris 1962), in which he attempted for the first time to formulate the key features of ‘industrial society’ and present “socialism” and “capitalism” “as two versions of the same kind of industrial society … the Soviet and capitalist societies are only two species of the same genus, or two versions of the same social type, namely, the progressive industrial society “(Greek 1972: p.46-47), emphasizing, at the same time, the main purpose of this “theoretical”, reactionary, bourgeois and anti-communist approach i.e. “to avoid ahead of the opposition socialism-capitalism “(!)

Among the most important representatives of the theory of “convergence” in the economic and sociological field were Jan Tinbergen (economist), Pitirin A. Sorokin (Russian-born American sociologist) and Walter Buckingham (American economist).

Since most of, if not all, subsequent versions of the theory of “convergence” have incorporated the anti-scientific views of Walt Whitman Rostow’s famous anti-communist work: «The Stages of Economic Growth – A Non communist Manifesto» (1960, German 1961), we need to make a very brief reference to it. Rostow was had an ultra-reactionary adviser of the most aggressive militaristic circles of the American imperialism during the John F. Kennedy-Lyndon Johnson period, (within a very short time, his book was translated in 17 languages, and Rostow himself was hailed as the theorist -savior” of capitalism).

Rostow’s infamous “five stages of development” (= “traditional society”, “preconditions for take-off”, “take-off”, “drive to maturity”, and “high mass consumption. In German: “traditionelle Gesellschaft”, “Anlaufperiode”, “Aufstiegperiode”, “Reifestadium” ,”Zeitalter des Massenkonsums”, German p.18-27) – that were distinguished from one another according to the different level of development of production and consumption (!) – represent a pseudoscientific construction, because firstly, they have nothing whatsoever to do with the actual historical evolution of society, and secondly, because this completely arbitrary construction has completely omitted the “productive forces-productive relationship” and the dialectical relationship between them, the “property relations” and the corresponding “class relations”, class interests, class conflicts, etc., that would allow a scientific approach to the historical progress of society as successive economic-social formations. Of course, the term “class struggle” is also not mentioned, because, as known, it is the driving force of historical development and all revolutionary changes in society.

The omission of all these does not mean at all that Rostow makes no attempt to provide a scientific-like form to his pseudoscientific construction by creating the misleading impression that he supposedly “accepts” the Marxist concept of “productive forces”. However, the theory of “five stages” is based only on “technique” and it is, thu, in contrast with Marx who notes regarding this question: “Social relations are closely linked to the productive forces. By attaining new productive forces, people change their mode of production and by changing the mode of production, how to earn their living, they change all their social relations. The hand mill yields a society with the feudal ruler, the steam mill yields a society featuring the industrial capitalist… The production relations of every society form a whole” (MARX / ENGELS: Bd. 4, p.130).

In the description of the last “stage”, i.e. the “era of mass consumption”, the main PURPOSE of production in capitalism is completely transformed to its opposite: instead of a production system for PROFIT (especially for maximum profit), capitalism is presented as production system for consumption, i.e. for the alleged “satisfaction” of the needs of “all” classes in a bourgeois society. The maximization of profits is not related of course to the “nature” – “substance” of a nonexistent, abstract “man,” not even with the “psychology” of the bourgeoisie as a social class in general (anti-Marxist approaches) but it is connected, instead, to the objective economic laws underlying capitalism, in particular the Law of SURPLUS VALUE and the law of capitalist accumulation.

In this essay-manifesto, Rostow calls Marx “a 19th century romantic” (p. 186). When he “evaluates” the contribution of Marx, he argues that supposedly “nothing really important in Marx can be found after the year 1848” (p. 187), while “communism” is characterized as “a transition disease” (p.193). In this formulation, we see, in embryonic form, Rostow’s first attempt to “biologise” social life, socio-economic-political phenomena and social sciences that is promoted later in his work: «Politics and the Stages of Growth», Cambridge 1971, p 410). In this book, a failed effort is made to revive certain old views on “biologisation” of social life, in other words Rostow searches for a “biological science of politics”, promotes a “fusion” of “political science with psychiatry,” and proclaims that “political science may be, at best, only a variant of biological science and art.”

Besides the subjective-idealistic approach, the “scientific” value of Rostow’s is such that he achieves the impossible: he includes in the concept of «traditional society» three (3) modes of production: the primitive communism, slavery and feudalism, while the two others, “capitalism” and “socialism-communism”, are presented as variations of a “single industrial society”. These are completely unfounded and unsubstantiated claims on a theoretical level. Worse still: they have no connection whatsoever with the actual historical development of society.

Nevertheless, Rostow’s book, bearing the characteristic subtitle “A non communist manifesto”, has been widely used by the international bourgeois-imperialist reaction to invalidate Marxism – it was showcased as a “counterweight” to the “Communist Manifesto” – and more specifically the Marxist theory of the development of social-economic formations. Even Rostow himself does not deny this fact when he writes that that the “stages” theory is “an alternative account to the Marxian theory of modern history”: “Alternative zu der Marxschen Theorie der modernen Geschichte” (p. 16), a view presented in the last chapter (p. 174-198). Needless to note that, despite the bourgeois reaction’s boasting that the theory of Rostow succeeds in “refuting” revolutionary Marxism, this extremely naïve and unreasonably ambitious endeavour is a grand fiasco and expresses the profound crisis of bourgeois “thought” in that historical period.

One of the earliest representatives of the theory of “convergence”, the American economist Walter Buckingham: «theoretical economic system» (New York 1958), argues that the capitalist system has radically changed, the “non-capitalist systems are still present”, “and that in the future a “single economic system” will emerge through the mutual convergence of capitalism and socialism. In relation to the ongoing capitalist economic reforms in the Soviet Union, there was an article from the Executive-Director of the U.S. Congressional «Joint Economic Committee» Dr. Grover W. Ensley in 1957 – after coming back from Moscow where he met Soviet economists – with the feature title “The revolution in the economic thought of the Soviet Union”in which, among other things, he wrote that, according to Soviet economists, productivity growth will be achieved through the ” Profit motiv” (in: «Nation’s Business» 1/1957 and German: «Die Revolution im wirtschaftlichen Denken der Sowjetunion» in: «Konjunkturpolitik» 5-6/1957, pp. 301-314).

Pitirin A. Sorokin developed his views on the US-Soviet Union convergence in the sociological and cultural sector in his article «Soziologische und kulturelle Annaeherung zwischen den Verinigten Staaten und der Sowjetunion» (Zeitschrift fuer Politik » 4/1960, p.341)

Jan Tinbergen wrote his famous article in 1960 entitled: «Do Communist and Free Economies Show a Converging Pattern» (in: Soviet Studies, Vol. 12, Oxford 1960/61, p.333 and in German: «Kommt es zu einer Annaeherung zwischen den kommunistischen und den freiheitlichen Wirtschaftsordnungen?» in «Hamburger Jahrbuch fuer Wirtschafts-und Gesellschaftspolitik » (1963) pp. 11-20), where he put forward the view that both systems “change”, that “there are certain trends of convergent development”, and that “these changes involve, in certain respects, a convergent development”, “changes” that lead to a desired “optimal, mixed economic system”. He had already published in 1959 his work entitled: «The Theory of the Optimum Regime» (in Jan Tinbergen: «Selected Papers», Amsterdam 1959) in which thoughts about a “perfect economic status” were developed for the first time. This was also argued in other articles later, including:: «Die Rolle der Planungstechniken bei einer Annaeherung der Strukturen in Ost und West», 1966, etc. Taking into account all the capitalist economic reforms implemented in the Soviet Union, Tibergen says in this article: “Since the objectives of social and economic policy of the West and the East – in my opinion – come ever closer to each other, and among many structures only one is excellent, the two structures will gradually fuse into this Optimum. This kind of convergence will be achieved through a better knowledge of the social forces and the application of planning techniques respectively”. A year later, he wrote: “the systems of West and East are dynamic: they are undergoing constant changes … generally these changes are converging, thus the differences between the two systems are reducing” (Jan Tinbergen: “Roads to the Ideal Socio-Economic System» in:« The Oriental Economist», February 1967, p.94).

The reactionary anti-communist theory of “convergence” presents three basic claims: a) a general claim according to which the two social-economic systems, “capitalism” and “socialism-communism” will “converge” in the future to form an alleged “unified” industrial system, b) one specific claim according to which Soviet Union’s “socialism” in the 1950’s and 1960’s borrows certain “elements” from capitalism (“profit”, “interest”, “capitalist price of production” etc) while the capitalism of the western countries borrows from “socialism” “elements” like “planning” leading to the convergence of the two systems towards each other that will result in the formation of a “joint” “capitalist-socialist” system(!) c) a secondspecific claim according to which this “unified-” economic system will constitute the future “ideal economic formation”(!).

A few short but essential comments that rebut the totally unfounded and unscientific claim of the reactionary bourgeois theory of “convergence” from the viewpoint of revolutionary Marxism, i.e. Leninism-Stalinism.

1. The theory of “convergence” is based on a subjective-idealist approach to the study of social-economic formations and on various unscientific views of vulgar bourgeois political economy that has lost its scientific character long time ago: i.e.“Thenceforth, the class struggle, practically as well as theoretically, took on more and more outspoken and threatening forms. It sounded the knell of scientific bourgeois economy. It was thenceforth no longer a question, whether this theorem or that was true, but whether it was useful to capital or harmful, expedient or inexpedient, politically dangerous or not. In place of disinterested inquirers, there were hired prize fighters; in place of genuine scientific research, the bad conscience and the evil intent of apologetic… It is a declaration of bankruptcy by bourgeois economy (Marx). And elsewhere: “vulgar bourgeois economy becomes more and more openly apologetic… Its last form is the professorial form… Such essays appear only when the course of political economy as a science has reached an end ,representing at the same time the grave of this science”(Marx).

These scientific evaluation from Marx allowed Rudolf Hilferding, when he was still a Marxist in the beginning of the 20th century, to conclude his very important polemical article «Boehm-Bawerks Marx-Kritik» (Marx-Studien, Wien 1904) with the famous sentence: “the last word of the bourgeois political economy is its self-annulment”: «diese oekonomische Theorie bedeutet die Leugnung der Oekonomie; das letzte Wort, das die buergerliche Nationaloekonomie dem wissenschaftlichen Sozialismus antwortet, ist die Selbstaufhebung der Nationaloekonomie».

2. The general claim about the “convergence” of the two social-economic systems, “capitalism” and “socialism-communism”, was a completely unfounded and arbitrary one – it can never be proved – because they are diametrically opposite systems. Each one has its own fundamental attributes in all sectors (economic, political and ideological) and develops according to its own objective laws both conforming to the inevitable general historical course of the replacement of capitalism from the classless communist society by means of a violent Proletarian Revolution. Moreover the assertion made by this reactionary theory regarding the “convergence” of the two diametrically opposite systems has also been refuted by the objective historical fact of the simultaneous presence of capitalism and socialism (the first stage of communism), during the existence of the latter for more than 35 years in the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin without being any sort of “convergence” between the two social-economic formations.

3. The first specific claim about the “convergence” between the “socialism” of the Soviet Union and the other eastern countries, during the Khrushchev-Brezhnev-Gorbachev period, with the capitalism of the western countries towards a “joint” unified system which would combine the positive features of “socialism” and “capitalism” was from the very beginning completely unfounded because what happened in reality was not the “exchange” of elements between one system and the other but, on the contrary, something totally different. And this was the restoration of capitalism, as confirmed by the subsequent historical course of the Soviet Union, with the introduction of capitalist features (“profit”, “interest”, “capitalist price of production”) in the socialist economy of the Soviet Union by means of the capitalist economic reforms that were implemented – after the death-murder of Stalin and the triumph of the Khrushchev’s revisionist counter-revolution – under the direct guidance of the bourgeois CPSU. The goal of these reforms was the elimination of socialism in the sphere of economy and the gradual restoration of capitalism that was completed in the middle 1960’s with the more comprehensive capitalist reforms approved by the Central Committee Plenum of CPSU in September of 1965. In the political level, the Proletarian Dictatorship had already been overthrown while in the ideological level, the bourgeois counter-revolutionary ideology of Krsushchevism was dominant. It was this restored capitalism that collapsed at the end of 1980’s (1990-1991) bringing about the complete and final dissolution of the imperialist Soviet Union.

4. In addition, the second specific claim made by the “convergence” theory about the formation of a “unified system” which would evolve to an excellent economic system” was not only unfounded and unproved but it was consciously misleading because what happened was NOT the mutual approach between the economies of the capitalist countries and those of the revisionist countries to form a supposed “unified”, let alone “optimal”, economic system but, on the contrary, the inevitable regression of the Soviet Union to the capitalist exploitative system after the overthrow of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, in 1953.

5. Because the reactionary and anti-communist “convergence” theory misleadingly regarded the restored capitalism of the Soviet Union of the Khrushchev-Brezhnev-Gorbachev period as “socialism”, it discredited the socialism-communism built in that country during the period of Lenin-Stalin – according to the Marxist conception of communism. Socialism-communism was thus presented as a system, which, not being able allegedly to work on its own basis and with its own economic laws, was compelled to “borrow” capitalist elements (“profit”, “interest”, “capitalist price of production”). In other words, it was presented as an allegedly “failed” and “bankrupt” economic system in an attempt to “prove” the nonexistent superiority of capitalism over socialism-communism.

6. By presenting the Soviet Union’s regression to capitalism as “socialism”, the “convergence” theory deliberately confused the communist viewpoint of the proletariat for many decades. Instead of communism, the proletariat was made to envision the exact opposite: the reactionary process of capitalist restoration as this was going on in the Soviet Union during that period (1953-1990).

7. The “convergence” theory denied the inevitable replacement of capitalism by socialism-communism and the laws underlying this change by attacking the Marxist theory of social development seen as a necessary succession of social-economic formations.

8. The “convergence” theory rejected the character of the 20thcentury as the historical era of transition from capitalism to socialism-communism. Instead, it adopted the unfounded claim that the 20th century was the era of the “unified industrial society” and the alleged “capitalism-socialism fusion”. Both had absolutely nothing to do with the reality of that historical period because the only thing that happened then – that was confirmed historically – was the return of the Soviet Union to capitalism.

Finally, by supporting the view that the two diametrically opposed social-economic systems were “approaching each other” and converged towards an “optimal economic system”, the “convergence” theory denied the irreconcilable contradiction between capitalism and socialism-communism and attempted without success to corroborate this arbitrary claim also made by the theory of “unified industrial society”, as formulated by one of its chief representatives, Raymon Aron, namely: to get around in advance the socialism-capitalism contradiction.

Closing, it is necessary to point out that the aim of this very short and incomplete article was not to shed light on all, or even most of, sides of the reactionary, anti-communist “convergence” theory but to show what is relevant to our main discussion, i.e. the concealment of the regressive process of capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union and the other eastern countries.

The initial scientific prediction and the later evaluation made by the revolutionary Marxists, i.e. of Leninists-Stalinists regarding the return of the Soviet Union to capitalism from the time when the Dictatorship of the Proletariat was overthrown, after the death-murder of Stalin, was confirmed by: a) the complete restoration of capitalism in the middle of 1960’s and b) the subsequent overall historical course of the Soviet Union until the total collapse of the restored capitalism at the end of 1980’s and the final breakup of the Soviet Union (1990-1991).

** Like, for example, the Soviet L. Leontiev, (Moscow, 1972) who mentions: “an unprecedented exaltation of the convergence theory”, the East-German H. Meissner (Berlin-DDR, 1969): “It is not surprising that these views (he means concepts of the theory of “convergence”) were endorsed by some socialist theorists whose Marxist foundation was not so stable …”, the Czechoslovak J. Filipec in: Freyer/Bossle/Filipec (Mainz 1966) and another Soviet, Lew Alter, who admits that the theory of “convergence” is based on new phenomena («Pr. d. Fr. u. d. S.», 9/1968).

*** The true historical course of the Soviet Union during the period 1953-1990 did not confirm any of the two bourgeois anti-communist theories, i.e. the theories of “convergence” and of “developed socialism” but, on the contrary, refuted both. Not only the claim that “socialism” was built in the Soviet Union during the Khrushchev -Brezhnev-Gorbachev period (1953-1990) but also the other claim that the soviet economy was “approaching” the economy of the Western capitalist countries both converging at an “optimal economic system”, collapsed “overnight” simultaneously with the fall and the final dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1990-1991 exactly because none of the two claims was realized. As mentioned before, what did happen was the return of the Soviet Union to capitalism, as predicted, albeit incompletely and along general lines, right from the beginning (since the middle 1950’s) by the revolutionary communists.

However, despite the complete refutation of these two reactionary anti-communist theories, the discussion about the causes that brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union – especially the discussion about the character of the post-1953 reforms, without which is obviously impossible to determine the nature of the soviet economy of that period – does not have only historical interest but it is entirely timely and of great importance for the correct orientation of the working and communist movement, i.e. for its socialist-communist prospect because it is directly related to the Marxist (or anti-Marxist) conception of socialism.

Source

Enver Hoxha on the Rise of China as an Imperialist Superpower

Enver Hoxha Raised Fist

“With the policy China is pursuing, it is becoming even more obvious that it is trying to strengthen the positions of capitalism at home and to establish its hegemony in the world, to become a great imperialist power, so that it, too, occupies, so to say, the ‘place it deserves.’

[….]

We are now witnessing the efforts of another big state, today’s China, to become a super power because it, too, is proceeding rapidly on the road of capitalism. But China lacks colonies, lacks large-scale developed industry, lacks a strong economy in general, and a great thermo-nuclear potential on the same scale as the other two imperialist superpowers.

To become a superpower it is absolutely essential to have a developed economy, an army equipped with atomic bombs, to ensure markets and spheres of influence, investment of capital in foreign countries, etc. China is bent on ensuring these conditions as quickly as possible. This was expressed in Chou En-lai’s speech in the People’s Assembly in 1975 and was repeated at the 11th Congress of the Communist Party of China, where it was proclaimed that, before the end of this century, China will become a powerful modern country, with the objective of catching up with the United States of America and the Soviet Union. Now this whole plan has been extended and set out in precise detail in what is called the policy of the “four modernizations”. But what road has China chosen so that it, too, will become a superpower?

At present, the colonies and markets in the world are occupied by others. The creation of an economic and military potential equal to that of the Americans and Soviets, within 20 years, and with their own forces, as the Chinese leaders claim they will do, is impossible.

In these conditions, in order to become a superpower, China will have to go through two main phases: first, it must seek credits and investments from US imperialism and the other developed capitalist countries, purchase new technology in order to exploit its local wealth, a great part of which will go as dividends for the creditors. Second, it will invest the surplus value extracted at the expense of the Chinese people in states of various continents, just as the US imperialists and Soviet social-imperialists are doing today.

China’s efforts to become a superpower are based, in the first place, on its choice of allies and the creation of alliances. Two superpowers exist in the world today, US imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism. The Chinese leaders worked out that they must rely on US imperialism, on which they have pinned great hopes of getting assistance in the fields of the economy, finance, technology and organization, as well as in the military field. In fact, the economic-military potential of the United States of America is greater than that of Soviet social-imperialism. This the Chinese revisionists know well, though they say that America is declining. On the course which they are following, they cannot rely on a weak partner, from which they cannot gain much. Precisely because it is powerful, they have chosen the United States of America to be their ally.

[….]

The group ruling today in China lays great stress on the “third world” in which, not fortuitously and not without a purpose, it includes China, too. The “third world” of the Chinese revisionists has a well-defined political aim. It is part of the strategy which aims at transforming China into a superpower as quickly as possible. China wants to rally round itself all the countries of the “third world” or the non-aligned. countries or the “developing countries”, in order to create a large force, which will not only increase the overall Chinese potential but will also help China to counterpose itself to the other two superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, to carry greater weight in the bargaining over the division of markets and spheres of influence, to gain the true status of an imperialist superpower.

[….]

However, like every country with imperialist aims, China is fighting and will fight harder still for markets in the world. It is striving and will strive harder still to spread its influence and extend its domination. These plans are apparent even now. China is opening its own banks, not only in Hong Kong, where it has had them for a long time, but also in Europe and elsewhere. It will strive especially to open banks in and export capital to the countries of “the third” world.. For the present it is doing very little in this field. China’s “aid” amounts to the building of some cement factory, railway, or hospital, for its possibilities are limited. Only when the American, Japanese and other investments in China begin to yield the fruits it desires, that is, when its economy, trade and military technology are developed, will China be able to embark on a venture of real large-scale economic and military expansion. But to achieve this, time is needed.

[….]

The more China develops economically and militarily, the more it will want to penetrate into and dominate the small and less developed countries by means of its exports of capital, and then it will no longer charge a 1-2 percent interest for its credits, but will act like all the others.

[….]

China cannot carry on positive revolutionary propaganda in the countries of the “third world”, also, because it would come into collision with that superpower from which it is hoping to get investments of capital in China and advanced technology. China cannot conduct such propaganda, also, because the revolution would overthrow precisely those reactionary cliques ruling in a number of countries of the so-called third world, which China is supporting and helping to stay in power.

[….]

China cannot go ahead with its course of transforming itself into a superpower without intensifying the exploitation of the broad working masses at home. The United States of America and the other capitalist states will seek to secure superprofits from the capital they will’ invest there, they will also press for rapid and radical transformations of the base and superstructure of Chinese society in the capitalist direction. The intensification of the exploitation of the multimillion strong masses to maintain the Chinese bourgeoisie and its gigantic bureaucratic apparatus and to meet the repayment of the credits and interest to the foreign capitalists, will undoubtedly give rise to deep contradictions between the Chinese proletariat and peasantry, on the one hand, and the bourgeois-revisionist rulers, on the other. This will bring the latter into confrontation with the working masses of their own country, a thing which cannot fail to lead to sharp conflicts and revolutionary outbursts in China.”

Enver Hoxha, “Imperialism and the Revolution” Excerpts from “China’s Plan to Become a Superpower”

Enver Hoxha on Africa

HoxhameetsAfricans

Africa is a mosaic of peoples with an ancient culture. Each African people has its own culture, customs, way of life, which, with some variations, are at a very backward stage, for well-known reasons. The awakening of the bulk of these peoples has only recently begun. De jure, the African peoples, in general, have won their freedom and independence. But there can be no talk of genuine freedom and independence, since most of them are still in a colonial or neo-colonial state.

Many of these countries are governed by the chieftains of the old tribes who have seized power and rely on the old colonialists, or the US imperialists and the Soviet social-imperialists. The methods of government in these states at this stage are not and cannot be other than a marked survival of colonialism. The imperialists are ruling most of the African countries again through their concerns, their capital invested in industry, banks, etc. The overwhelming bulk of the wealth of these countries continues to flow to the metropolises.

Some of the African countries have fought for that freedom and independence they enjoy today, while the others have had it granted without fighting. During their colonial rule in Africa, the British, French and other colonizers oppressed the peoples but they also created a local bourgeoisie, more or less educated in the Occidental manner. The leading figures today, have also emerged from this bourgeoisie. Among them there are many anti-imperialist elements, fighters for the independence of their own countries, but the majority either remain loyal to the old colonizers, in order to preserve the close relations with them even after the f ormal abolition of colonialism, or have entered into economic and political dependence on the US imperialists or the Soviet social-imperialists.

The colonizers did not make large investments in the past. This was the case, for instance, with Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, etc. However, the colonizers drained the wealth of all these countries, seized large tracts of land, and developed a proletariat, by no means small in number, in some special branches of the industry, such as in the extraction and processing of raw materials. They also drew large numbers of workers to the metropolises, such as to France, for instance, but also to Britain, as a cheap labour force which worked in the colonizers mines and the factories.

In the other parts of Africa, especially in Black Africa, industrial development remained more backward. All the countries of this region were divided up, especially between France, Britain, Belgium and Portugal. Great underground riches, like diamonds, iron, copper, gold, tin, etc., were discovered there long ago, and industry to mine and process minerals has been set up there.

In many African countries, large, typically colonial cities, were built, where the colonizers lived a fabulous life. Now, on the one hand, the local great bourgeoisie and its wealth is growing and developing there, while on the other hand, the impoverishment of the broad masses of working people is increasing still more. In these countries a certain degree of cultural development has been achieved, but it has more of a European character. The local culture has not developed. It has generally remained at the stage reached by the tribes and is not represented outside them, in the centres with towering sky-scrapers. This has come about because, outside the large centres, were the colonizers lived, stark misery and extreme poverty existed, hunger, disease, ignorance and ruthless exploitation of the people, in the full meaning of the term, reigned supreme.

The African population remained culturally and economically undeveloped and continuously diminished in numbers, declining because of colonial wars, the savage racial persecution, and the traffic in African negroes, who were sent to the metropolises, the United States of America, and other countries to work like animals in the plantations of cotton and other crops, as well as in the heaviest jobs in industry and construction.

For these reasons, the African peoples still have a great struggle ahead of them. This is and will be a very complicated struggle, differing from one country to another, because of the state of their economic, cultural and educational development, the degree of their political awakening, the great influence which the different religions, such as the Christian and Moslem religions, the old pagan beliefs, etc., exert on the masses of these peoples. This struggle becomes still more difficult since many of these countries are actually under the domination of neo-colonialism combined with that of local bourgeois-capitalist cliques. The law there is made by those powerful capitalist and imperialist states which subsidize or control the ruling cliques, which they set up and remove whenever the interests of the neo-colonialists require or when the balance of these interests is upset.

The policy pursued by the big landowners, the reactionary bourgeoisie, the imperialists and the neo-colonialists is intended to keep the African peoples in permanent bondage, in ignorance, to hinder their social, political and ideological development, and to obstruct their struggle to gain these rights. At present we see that those same imperialists who used to lord it over these peoples in the past, as well as other new imperialists, are trying to penetrate into the African continent, by meddling in every way in the internal affairs of the peoples. As a result of this, the contradictions among imperialists, between the peoples and the bourgeois-capitalist leaderships of most of these countries, and between the peoples and the new colonizers, are becoming more and rnore severe every day.

These contradictions must be utilized by the peoples, both to deepen them and to benefit from them. But this can be achieved only through resolute struggle by the proletariat, the poor peasantry, by all the oppressed and the slaves, against imperialism and neo-colonialism, against the local big bourgeoisie, the big landowners and their whole establishment. A special role in this struggle devolves upon progressives and democrats, the revolutionary youth and patriotic intellectuals, who aspire to see their own countries advancing free and independent, on the path of development and progress. Only through continuous and organized struggle by them will life be made difficult for the local and foreign oppressors and exploiters and government impossible. This situation will be prepared in the specific circumstances of each African state.

British and US imperialism have not given to the peoples of Africa any freedom. Everybody can see what is happening in South Africa, for instance. The white racists, the British capitalists, the exploiters, are ruling there, savagely oppressing the coloured peoples of that state, where the law of jungle prevails. Many other countries of Africa are dominated by the concerns and capital of the United States of America, Britain, France, Belgium, and other old colonialists and imperialists, who have become somewhat weaker, but who still hold the keys to the economies of these countries.

In irreconcilable struggle against the revisionists and other opportunists, against all the lackeys of the bourgeoisie and imperialism, against Castroite, Khrushchevite, Trotskyite, <<three worlds>>, and other such views and practices, they have worked out a correct political line and accumulated sufficient experience in the struggle to put this line into practice, becoming the bearers of all the revolutionary tradition of the past, in order to use it and develop it further to the advantage of the workers’ and liberation movement, the preparation and raising of the masses in revolution.

The revolutionary situations existing today make it essential for these parties to maintain the closest possible contacts and consult with one another as frequently as possible, to be able to gain the maximum benefits from one another’s experience and co-ordinate their stands and actions on the common problems of the struggle against the reactionary bourgeoisie and imperialism, against Soviet, Chinese and other brands of modern revisionism, and on all the problems of the revolution.

Now that the peoples have awakened and refuse to live any longer under the imperialist and colonial yoke, now that they are demanding freedom, independence, development and progress, and are seething with anger against foreign and internal oppressors, now that Africa, Latin America and Asia have become a boiling cauldron the old and new colonialists are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to dominate and exploit the peoples of these countries by means of the previous methods and forms. They are quite unable to do without their plunder and exploitation of the wealth, the toil and the blood of these peoples. That is why all these efforts are being made to find new methods and forms of deception, plunder and exploitation, to dispense some alms, which, again, do not benefit the masses, but the bourgeois-land owner ruling classes.

Meanwhile the question has been made even more complicated, because Soviet social-imperialism long ago began to penetrate and entrench itself more and more deeply in the former colonies and semi-colonies, and because social-imperialist China has begun to make feverish efforts to get in there, too.

The revisionist Soviet Union carries out its expansionist interference under the guise of its allegedly Leninist policy of aid for the peoples’ liberation struggle, posing as the natural ally of these countries and peoples. As a means to penetrate into Africa and elsewhere, the Soviet revisionists employ and spread slogans of a socialist colour in order to deceive the peoples who aspire to liberate themselves, to liquidate oppression and exploitation, and who know that the only road to complete national and social liberation is socialism.

The Soviet Union also involves its allies, or better, its satellites in its interference. We are seeing this concretely in Africa, where the Soviet social-imperialist and their Cuban mercenaries are intervening on the pretext that they are assisting the revolution. This is a lie. Their intervention is nothing but a colonialist action aimed at capturing markets and subjugating peoples.

The intervention of the Soviet Union and its Cuban mercenaries in Angola is of this nature. They have never had the slightest intention of assisting the Angolan revolution, but their aim was and is to get their claws into that African country which had won a certain independence after the expulsion of the Portuguese colonialists. The Cuban mercenaries are the colonial army dispatched by the Soviet Union to capture markets and strategic positions in the countries of Black Africa, and to go on from Angola to other states, to enable the Soviet social-imperialists, too, to create a modern colonial empire.

Under the cloak of aid for peoples’ liberation the Soviet Union and its mercenary, Cuba, are intervening in other countries with armies equipped with artillery and machine-guns, allegedly to build socialism, which does not exist in either the Soviet Union or Cuba. These two bourgeois-revisionist states intervened in Angola in order to help a capitalist clique seize power, contrary to the aims of the Angolan people who had fought to win their freedom from the Portuguese colonialists. Agostinho Neto is playing the game of the Soviets. In the struggle against the other faction, in order to seize power for himself, he called in the Soviets to help him. The struggle between the two opposing Angolan clans did not have anything of a people’s revolutionary character.

The fight between them was a struggle of cliques for power. Each of them was supported by different imperialist states. Agostinho Neto emerged the winner from this contest, while socialism did not triumph in Angola. On the contrary, following the intervention from abroad, Soviet neo-colonialism has been established there.

Social-imperialist China, too, is making great efforts to penetrate into the former colonial and semi-colonial countries.

An example of how China intervenes is provided by Zaire, a country ruled by the clique around Mobutu, the wealthiest and most bloodthirsty clique on the African continent. In the fighting which flared up in Zaire recently, the Moroccans of the Sherifian Kingdom of Morocco, the French air force, and China, too, all rushed to the aid of Mobutu, the murderer of Patrice Lumumba. The assistance given by the French is understandable, because with their intervention they were defending their concessions and concerns in Katanga, and at the same time, protecting their men, as well as Mobutu and his clique. But what do the Chinese revisionists want in Katanga? Whom are they assisting there? Are they helping the people of Zaire who are being suppressed by Mobutu and his clique and by the French, Belgian, US and other concession holders? Or are not they, too, assisting the blood-thirsty Mobutu clique? The fact is that the Chinese revisionist leadership is assisting this clique not indirectly, but quite openly. To make this assistance more concrete and more demonstrative, it sent its foreign minister, Huang Hua there, as well as military experts and military and economic aid. Thus, it acted in an anti-Marxist, anti-revolutionary way. China’s interference has exactly the same features as that of King Hassan of Morocco and that of France.

The Chinese social-imperialists are interfering not only in the affairs of that country, but also in other affairs of the peoples and countries of Africa and other continents, especially in those countries into which they are striving to penetrate in every way, in order to establish economic, political and strategic bases there.

Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution, Excerpts from “The Peoples’ Liberation Struggle – a Component Part of the World Revolution”

American Party of Labor: Insights into Socialist Albania from “Pickaxe and Rifle”

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William Ash’s Pickaxe and Rifle: the Story of the Albanian People is a comprehensive, diversified, in-depth study and explanation of the experiences and the social system of the tiny, formerly Marxist-Leninist Balkan country. Ash was invited to travel to the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania in 1969. He visited again in 1971. He was given the opportunity of visiting the country during the Albanian Party of Labor’s Sixth Party Congress and of checking the draft typescript of his work with historians and state and party leaders, and most important of all, with workers in the factories and on the collective farms.

The 270-page book is divided up into twenty-one chapters, covering just about every aspect of Albanian life, from health, education and the status of women, to the party, state, and mass organizations to the state of the country’s economic development. An entire chapter is also dedicated to expressing the leisure time of the workers and the activities and resorts that are available to them. While examining the situation and lifestyle of socialist Albania’s workers, farmers, and intelligentsia, Ash dedicates the first eight chapters to the history of tiny Albania and the historical struggles for freedom and independence that have been characteristic of the country ever since the days of the Ottoman Empire.

First and foremost, William Ash is a Marxist-Leninist, and as an advocate of scientific socialism and proletarian revolution, Ash never skips a beat in providing a fluid and correct Marxist analysis based. For one example in chapter fifteen, he exposes the Khruschevite coup and the bureaucratic stagnation of the Soviet Union:

“One of the first indications that an entirely different line was being adopted by the Soviet leadership came in May, 1955, when Khrushchev unilaterally rejected the decisions of the Information Bureau and other communist and workers’ parties in respect to Tito’s betrayal of socialism and heading a delegation to Belgrade for the purpose of rehabilitating, without consultation, the Yugoslav leader. Two days before the delegation left Moscow the Albanian Party of Labour was informed of the visit and asked to approve a statement which Khrushchev had drawn up in the name of the Information Bureau without bothering to convene it. This the Albanian Party refused to do on the grounds that there had been no change in the line of the Yugoslav leadership since it has been condemned by the 1948 resolution of communist and workers’ parties represented on the Bureau” (Ash 182).

“The conference of the four great powers, the Soviet Union, the United States, Britain and France, at Geneva in July, 1955, was acclaimed by Khrushchev as ‘a new stage in the relations between nations’ and he described the leaders of the imperialist powers as ‘reasonable people who were trying to ensure peace’ – this on the eve of the Angle-French-Israeli attack on Suez!” (183).

“Instead of challenging the policy of nuclear blackmail which the United States government had used ever since the war to keep the world safe for the operations of monopoly capitalism, Khrushchev was going to use the Soviet Union’s nuclear capacity to get in on the act. This was the case as demonstrated later on when Albania’s opposition to the Khrushchev line prompted the threat from Kozlov, a member of the Central Committee of the Soviet Party, that ‘either the Albanians will accept peaceful co-existence or an atom bomb from the imperialists will turn Albania into a head of ashes and leave no Albanian alive’” (184).

“Class struggle does not cease even after the liquidation of the exploiting classes. It simply takes different forms as the battle between the ideas, customs and habits of the old exploitative society and the ideals and aspirations of the new socialist man is fought out in every sphere of social activity” (101).

These are but a few passages that Ash provides on the topic of the split in the world communist movement. The author pulls no punches in calling out revisionism and injustice, defending the contributions of Joseph Stalin and the resolute fighting spirit of the Albanian Party of Labor. Ash wastes no time getting down to business in the examination of the socialist state structure that existed within Albania. He provides a short history of the first constitution drafted under the surveillance of the people’s democratic government. By providing a comprehensive list of sources from both inside and outside the small Balkan republic, the author describes:

“The whole document of fewer than a hundred articles takes up only 40 pages of a very small book. This conciseness and simplicity stem from the fact that, unlike most constitutions, there are no ruling class interests to be concealed in elaborate verbiage, no complicated divisions of power to the state’s interference in business and finance, no pseudo-democratic formulations designed to give people the illusion of governing themselves” (98).

“All the major democratic organizations which enable the Albanian working masses to exercise state power originated and developed in the heat of national struggle. As they came into being in answer to the national need they were tested in the fires of the liberation war involving the whole people. Out of the National Liberation General Council grew the People’s Assembly; and the National Liberation Committee appointed by the Council became the Government, Prime Minister and Cabinet, elected by the Assembly. The National Liberation Councils at village, district, and city levels developed in the People’s Councils which are the local organs of state power” (99).

“Every citizens having completed eighteen years of age, regardless of sex, economic status, social position, religious belief or any other consideration, enjoys the right to elect and be elected to any elective body in the state. Electors vote directly for their representatives whether as members of a village council, as people’s judges or as deputies of the People’s Assembly itself. Polling is done secretly by sealed ballot in special booths and is under the supervision of electoral committees appointed by the mass organizations of the Democratic Front – trade unions, youth and women’s associations and the working collectives of industrial enterprises, agricultural co-operatives, government ministries, army units and so on. These same mass organizations of workers have the right to present any of their members as candidates” (103).

Throughout the section entitled “Albania’s Socialist Society,” it becomes clear that Ash went to great lengths to study and expound on the social organization of Albania. The author describes the socialist and democratic nature of the whole society, from the mass organizations such as the Democratic Front, the trade unions, the Labor Youth Union, the Albanian Women’s Union and the Union of Artists and Writers to the organization of the Albanian Party of Labor and the structure of the state as a whole. There is vast description of all parts of Albanian life.

In the last section of the book, William Ash describes the quality of life in socialist Albania. Although a relatively poor and tiny country, the sheer amount of progress made since the book was written in 1976 is astounding to say the least. The author provides an objective analysis combined with facts and statistics to show the outside world just how powerful a nation can become once it adopts a Marxist-Leninist political and economic line. In terms of describing the educational system and the consciousness of the youth and women of socialist Albania, Pickaxe and Rifle: the Story of the Albanian People offers insight into how the youth took the reigns of their own future and denounced the feudal practices that were once widespread throughout the country. To offer an example:

“Organizations of youth and women and the trade unions were mobilized in this campaign under the slogan: ‘In order to build we must acquire knowledge and in order to acquire knowledge we must be able to study and learn.’ Tens of thousands of those previously illiterate were enrolled in night schools without giving up production work, graduating first from elementary classes, then from seven grade schools and even completing secondary and higher school courses. By 1955 illiteracy among all those under 40 had been wiped out and not long afterward it was abolished among older people too. The night schools were maintained to consolidate this achievement and to keep people, particularly in the rural areas, from slipping back again” (223).

Compare this type of system, this amount of democracy and freedom of action, this style of liberation to modern-day capitalist Albania or any Western capitalist country. The incredible amount of self-initiative in terms of building relationships and developing the mind is unheard of in any country today, where women are still subjected to the domination of the man and where the youth are constantly being subordinated to the institutionalized curriculum, whether it is productive and popular with those actually doing the learning or not.

“In his great speech to the Fifth Party Congress on November 1, 1966, he stressed the need of linking teaching and education much more closely to life and labour. Speaking not only as a Marxist-Leninist but as one who had been a teacher himself, at the Korca academy before his dismissal on political grounds, he explained the political necessity of an ‘unceasing development of education to meet the demands of socialist society;’ and pointed out that ‘Our schools, for all the improvement in teaching and education, have not yet rid themselves of bourgeois pedagogy and revisionist influences…It is indispensable to revolutionize further the educational system…It is particularly necessary to take radical measures for the improvement of ideological and political education and for educating youth through labour…There is still too much formalism and verbalism, passivity on the part of pupils and stifling the personality of the young on the part of the teachers, too much officialdom in the relations between teachers and pupils resulting in conservative and patriarchal methods of education…There can be no talk of revolutionizing our schools without revolutionizing the great army of teachers who must set the example of a communist attitude toward labour and life’” (225).

The above passage, quoting Enver Hoxha himself, sheds light on what education would look like under a socialist system: the youth and the teachers acting coming together as respectable equals to build and revolutionize a truly democratic and progressive school system. Offering constructive criticism on the subject of socialist education, Comrade Hoxha does not exhibit narrow-mindedness and pessimism on the role of the youth in building and shaping the society that will belong to them. Instead, he encourages them to open their minds and explore their creative will and natural compassion to rebel against reactionary, subordinating teaching methods. How many other heads of state would have said such things in the open?

“In the schools and in the University teachers and professors had to adopt new methods and learn to accept the criticism of students as part of their own socialist rehabilitation. A few found the extension of democratic centralism to the educational system, with students taking an active role in organizing school life, too much of a break with the old academic traditions they had hoped to see re-established. They were released to go into production work, perhaps, to return to teaching when they have learned from workers the socialist ideology of the working class. And students, too, had to learn more thoroughly that socialist education has nothing to do with getting a degree in order to become ‘a man of authority’ or to ‘secure a comfortable post with a fat salary’” (227).

“A student is judged not on the marks he gets in competition with his fellows but on the help he gives others in mastering subjects. So successful has the approach proved that in such places as the Tirana Secondary school of Culture students through mutual aid in lessons have realized a hundred percent promotion rate and earned commendation for the exemplary tidiness and protection of socialist property” (227).

“Courses in Marxism-Leninism were made a living part of the curriculum and not just a routine subject to be got through in a mechanical way. Texts and lectures on dialectical and historical materialism were related to Albania’s own revolutionary history and students and teachers learned to apply the principles of scientific socialism to their own problems and those of their society. And since practice is the essence of Marxism-Leninism, students and teachers began to participate more actively in the political and economic life of the country, leaving their books and laboratories to study the application of theory on the production and social front” (227).

A strong initiative towards learning, acquiring knowledge and conscious discipline on behalf of the students themselves, combined with the life experiences and teaching expertise of the educators must be the bedrock of socialist education.

The social status of women has always been an important topic for those studying Albania’s application of Marxism-Leninism. Before liberation, women were required to be completely subordinate to the demands and wishes of the male. The Code of Lek was the set of rules and guidelines that governed the family in feudal times. Passages such as “the husband is entitled to beat his wife and to tie her up in chains when she defies his word and orders”, and “The father is entitled to beat, tie in chains, imprison or kill his son or daughter…The wife is obliged to kneel in obeisance to her husband” indicate the shear hostility and oppression towards women. Fortunately, these enslaving principles began to be sharply criticized during the liberation war, as men and women stood shoulder-to-shoulder to free themselves of the fascist invaders. As such, Pickaxe and Rifle dedicates a chapter to the role of women in the socialist family by comparing the gains and progress of the national liberation war to the binding feudal culture beforehand.

“In 1938 there were 668 women workers in all Albania, mostly girls of 14 or 16 working a ten hour day for appallingly low wages. By 1967 over 248,000 women, which is 42% of rural and urban workers, were engaged in production work on exactly the same terms as men” (235).

“’Women workers,’ Stalin has said, ‘urban and rural workers are the greatest reserve of the working class. This reserve represents half the population. On whether this reserve of women is with or against the working class depends the destiny of the proletarian movement, the triumph or defeat of the proletarian revolution and the triumph or defeat of proletarian state power’” (235).

In addition to the major gains made towards women’s rights during the years immediately following liberation, the author also carefully documents the continuous progression and enhancement of the status of females in socialist society. Approved in June 1965 and put into action in 1966, a new family code was adopted, which reaffirmed certain rights guaranteed in the Constitution of socialist Albania. This new family code is as follows:

“• Marriage is contracted with the free will of husband and wife and rests on solid feelings of love, equality and mutual respect. Only monogamous marriages are recognized.

• Partners in marriage can choose as their surname that of husband or wife or each may keep his or her original name or add them together.

• A wife can choose her work or profession without her husband’s permission and the handling of the family income is managed by mutual agreement.

• Personal property held by either before marriage remains his or hers and anything acquired afterwards is joint property. All children regardless of sex are entitled to equal shares in the inheritance of joint personal property and the wife is the heir of first rank.

• Divorce is allowed when a marriage has lost all meaning and cohabitation has become intolerable. Causes for divorce are continuous quarrels, maltreatment, breach of conjugal faith, permanent mental illness or punishment for serious crimes. There is no distinction between husband or wife in the right to sue for divorce and the rearing of children is confided to that parent who in the court’s opinion is better qualified to bring them up.

• All parental rights belong to both parents equally and disagreements are settled by tutelage committees or by the courts.

• Single mothers enjoy all due respect and the state guarantees their economic security and protection. Children born outside marriage are equal in every way to those born within.

• Abortions are allowed after consultation with a committee of doctors. Birth control is a matter of personal choice. There is no family planning in the sense of national campaigns to limit births because Albania is an underpopulated country in which all births are welcomed” (238-239).

These progressive family guidelines, set in law, are a happy example of solving family issues the right way in the right social context. It could be claimed that law does not necessarily solve every issue and serve as the final and complete solution, but the fact that such great strides forward have been made in terms of equality of the sexes is definitely a solid indication of the Party and the state’s attitudes towards the role of women in everyday life.

Lastly, Ash focuses a section on what there is to do in Albanian workers’ leisure time. As a generally warm country with multiple beaches and resorts, the author uses the example of the Durres bathing resort to show that workers do in fact have time to relax or take a vacation. Durres stands out in this sense, however, in that it is Albania’s top beach resort and that it is only open to trade union workers, which was comprised of 99% of Albania’s workers. As confirmed not only in Pickaxe and Rifle but in Albania Defiant (1976) by Jan Myrdal and Gun Kessle and translated by Paul Britten, Durres is not open for bureaucrats or tourists. It is exclusive in the sense that the best beach in the entire country belongs to the workers and the workers alone.

Aside from bathing resorts and vacations, there are a number of activities or festivities going on in the streets after the work day is over. Cultural centers, cafes, gymnasiums, and folk centers are open for all Albanians.

“At the end of the day’s work the whole population comes out into the broad boulevards, to stroll about greeting friends, to have coffee or something to eat in one of the many open-air cafes or restaurants in this warm country – whole families to three generations taking the fragrant summer air together or young couples walking hand in hand or, perhaps, happy bands of children weaving in and out of the crowds in some extemporized game” (217-218).

“There is something strange to the visitor from the West in seeing children running about through the streets in such abandon without any surveillance. In his towns they would soon be decimated by traffic. In Albania, after the end of the working day, there are no lorries nor motor cars to be seen and the streets and avenues belong entirely to the people for their communal perambulation which gives each wide thoroughfare the appearance of a fair ground” (218).

“In the sight of so many family groups of grandparents, parents, children and even children’s children walking, talking and taking refreshment together raises the question of why family relationships are so strong and satisfactory, the answer every one gives is that there is no economic restraint whatsoever compelling families to stay together. The only bond is that of mutual love and respect” (219).

“Or the evening crowds may seek various forms of entertainment in the local palace of culture where there are recitals, concerts, pageants or plays. They may go to cinemas where a growing number of the films shown are Albanian. They may enjoy the presentation in some large auditorium of that ever popular form, Estrada, which is the Albanian equivalent of the music hall – with acts by singers, musicians and acrobats, with dramatic sketches and comic turns. And in all these amusements and cultural activities the audiences are not merely passive in their enjoyment. Not only do they participate in the sense that every performance of any kind has developed collectively under the guidance of constructive criticism which everyone feels free to give but also because a large proportion of any gathering will belong themselves to some cultural group which no factory, school, office, co-operative farm or institution of any kind is without” (219).

Constructive criticism is a large part of socialist society, constantly reviewing and keeping what is progressive in the eyes of the people and renewing or doing away with what is not. What makes it especially notable is the fact that this is carried over to cultural and artistic life.

“National holidays celebrating the founding of the People’s Republic, historical anniversaries, victories, in the liberation war or in socialist construction raise to a higher degree the festive feeling to be encountered in the streets of the major towns. The broad tree-lined avenue leading from the statue of Scanderbeg in the centre of Tirana to the University on the outskirts of the city will be filled with representatives of the Democratic Front organizations, of factories and farms, of the armed services and young pioneers, marching past the reviewing stand near the Dajti Hotel under billowing red banners, shouting revolutionary slogans and paying their respects to Party and state leaders and guests from abroad” (219).

“All around the grove are bulletin boards with pictures of the activities of the co-operatives in the area and the achievements of the rural electrification programme. Strung overhead are banners inscribed with such slogans as Rroftë Partie e Punës e Shqipërisë – Long live the Albanian Party of Labor, Shqipëri, ‘land of the eagles’, is the Albanians’ name for their country; and among the dances performed by the men in the course of the merrymaking will be the famous eagle dance. Other banners wish a long life to Enver Hoxha or set out the main themes to be taken up in a brief political meeting by a representative of the Central Committee, perhaps the veteran partisan Birro Kondi whose brother also a great partisan fighter died in an accident after the war – ‘Without unmasking revisionism one cannot defeat imperialism’ and ‘the people of Albania and China’s millions are more than a match for any enemy’” (220).

“Then the vast crowed, more than 20,000, move to the long tables under the trees which are piled high with roast chickens and slabs of lamb, homemade bread, cream cheese, boiled eggs, tomatoes and corn on the cob. Vast quantities of very good cold beer are drunk during and after the feast to the sound of the constantly repeated toast Gezuer! – Good health! There is much moving about and groups at the tables are broken up and reform as old comrades are discovered and greeted affectionately. One of the good survivals of feudal customs, along with the open-handed hospitality one encounters all over Albania, deepened and given a new fraternal significance by socialism, is the close demonstrative friendship between men. Partisans seeing each other after an interval embrace and kiss warmly. Moving about as freely and greeted as affectionately are the Party and State leaders who have come from Tirana to join in the celebrations – the Foreign Minister who is also a deputy from this region, an ambassador, several members of the Political Bureau and Enver Hoxha’s younger sister” (220).

It’s very interesting to take note of the amount of simple pleasures there are to indulge in, and one of the most common joys in Albania involves the simple enjoyment of each other’s company. The workers are disciplined and hardworking, but they are neither puritanical nor austere. The embracing of the dialectical method can have far-reaching progressive consequences when applied to social practice, whether the practice pertains to culture, economics or the political system, or if it is used in simple social interaction.

In conclusion, Pickaxe and Rifle is an excellent, comprehensive account of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania through the eyes of an eyewitness who has visited the country on more than one occasion. William Ash provides in his work a very well-put-together and very sincere study of the socialist system in Albania by covering nearly every aspect of Albanian life and the amount of freedom and organization the working class gains under proper Marxism-Leninism. Ash’s book, from examining the political and economic system of Albania to the social, artistic and cultural life, Pickaxe and Rifle is a breath of fresh air in a society plagued by lies and misinformation about communist theory and practice.

Reference

Ash, William. Pickaxe and Rifle: the Story of the Albanian People. London: H. Baker, 1974.

Source

Anasintaxi on the Restoration of Capitalism in the Soviet Union (Part 5): The capitalist reforms in the Soviet Union and the bourgeois theories of “socialism”

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The capitalist reforms in the Soviet Union and the bourgeois theories of “socialism”

The character of capitalist economic reforms in the Soviet Union and the other Eastern countries during the Khrushchev-Brezhnev period (1953-1965) – that completely restored by mid-late 60’s, capitalism in these countries – were based on the theories of “socialism” promulgated by the reactionary vulgar bourgeois economists but also on those of the internationally renowned Polish revisionist economist Oskar Lange, the successor of ‘socialism’ theories of bourgeois economists, as appears from the following very brief reference.

This very short and incomplete note – for such a big issue – is mostly informative in nature (for motivating younger preoccupation with the theme), and is not intended to refute the bourgeois theories of ‘socialism’.

In the years immediately after the publication of the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” (1848) by Marx-Engels, the bourgeois economists, who, as we know, regarded the individual capitalist ownership as “natural” and “eternal” economic category, began to fight the dangerous, for the power of the bourgeoisie, revolutionary communist beliefs while simultaneously worked on their own theories of “socialism” according to which “socialism-communism” was essentially identical with capitalism with some of them claiming that socialism-communism could not be allegedly applied and operate “rationally” as an economic and social system. Since then, a host of bourgeois economists* worked on the question of socialism-communism worked.

In the field of various schools of vulgar bourgeois political economy – which, let it be noted, has no scientific knowledge to offer – there were developed and formed two main directions: one which identified socialism with capitalism (this only is of interest here), and another that supported the impossibility of socialism-communism with leading and best-known case the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises (1919) that caused the subsequent discussions during the decades 1920, 1930 and 1940, to which there will be no reference because is irrelevant to the question of capitalist character reforms in the Soviet Union.

One of the first of these, as early as 1854, was German Hermann Heinrich von Gossen, founder of the subjective theory of marginal utility, who suggested in his work «Entwicklung der Gesetze des menschlichen Verkehrs und der daraus flievenden Regeln fuer menschliches Handeln» (Braunschweig 1854 and 1889, 1927: pp. 228-231) that a central planning of the economy is impossible because “the solution of this task goes far beyond the powers of individual people.”

In 1874 there followed the Swiss economist Leon Walras who addressed with his book «Elemente der reinen politischen Oekonomie», among other things, the questions of prices and general economic balance admitting that the latter can be more easily achieved in a system of organized economy, thereby accepting the possibility of application and operation of socialism, a theme which was further developed by his students. In the same year, 1874, the small pamphlet: «Die Quintessenz des Sozialismus» on the subject of socialism was published by Albert Schaeffle.

Later, in 1889, the Austrian Friedrich von Wieser, in his «Der natuerliche Werth» (Wien 1889, pp. 59-66) for the first time expressed the view that the economic categories Price, Interest, rent, etc., are common to both to capitalism and socialism-communism, thus effectively equating the two diametrically opposed ways of production. It is no coincidence – and it should be particularly emphasized – that Wieser’s view was openly applauded and accepted by the Soviet revisionist economists as correct, including SR Kirillov: “Wieser rightly pointed out that such categories as Price, Interest, Rent, etc., may be present in the socialist economy” (Moscow 1974).

A student of L. Walras, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, was the one who contributed significantly to the development of bourgeois theory of”socialism”, based on the views of his teacher and Friedrich von Wieser. Pareto was a known and avowed enemy of socialism and in his «Cours d ‘economie politique, 2. BD., Pp. 363-364, Lausanne-Paris 1897), after noting that “inequality of income distribution … is much more dependent on the nature of people despite the economic organization of society” (p. 363), he says, referring to socialism, that “economic goods are distributed according to the rules, found when we investigated a free competition system “ (p. 364) i.e. the capitalist system.

Subsequently, there came the great contribution to the development of the bourgeois theory of “socialism” from Italian Enrico Barone in his work «Il ministro della produzione nello stato collectivista» («Giornale degli economisti», September-October 1908), who adopted and developed further the views of Pareto, writing: “… it is obvious, how unreal are those teachings, creating the impression that the production in a collectivist regime could effectively be managed differently than in “anarchic production” echoing Friedrich von Wieser for the necessity of economic categories of capitalism in “socialism”: “… all economic categories of the old regime must still occur, though perhaps with other names: Prices, wages, interest, Ground-Rent, profit, savings, etc. ” (p. 289, English 1935, p. 297 French).

Finally, Enrico Barone, in agreement with Walras, but mainly with Wieser-Pareto and others, argued: “… that it is not impossible to solve the equations of Equilibrium on paper. It would be a huge, gigantic task (a task that should be removed from the productive agencies), but not impossible” (p. 287, English 1935).

Concerning Wieser-Pareto-Barone and for the sake of some completion of the above, it is worth noting the correct opinion of the Austrian economist Josef A. Schumpeter according to which«Wieser, Pareto and Barone, not due to any sympathy towards socialism, created what basically constitutes the pure theory of socialist economy» (Josef A. Schumpeter: «Geschichte der oekonomischen Analyse», 2. Halbband, p. 1083-1084 and p. 1190, Goettingen 1965), i.e. the bourgeois theory of “socialist economy”.

In 1919, two years after the October proletarian revolution, the Austrian economist, anti-marxist and avowed enemy of socialism-communism, Ludwig von Mises wrote his famous article of «Die Wirtschaftsrechnung im sozialistischen Gemeinwesen» published in April 1920 («Archiv fuer Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik », Bd. 47, No. 1, April 1920), which supported the view that “without prices there is economic calculation” and that “socialism is tantamount to the end (the elimination) of the rational economy” (p. 104) and, thus, because there is no economic calculation, socialism is unfeasible – a view that has no scientific basis and that was refuted by the existence and construction of socialism in the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin (1917-1953) but which also caused the notorious long international debates during the decades of 1920-1930-1940 that still continue today and in which dozens of economists participated, including the Polish Oskar Lange**. Mises’s view concludes with the preposterous claim: socialism can not exist and act rationally because it is not capitalism.

Oskar Lange answered to Mises with the famous article «On the Economic Theory of Socialism» (in: «Review of Economic Studies, Bd. IV, No 1 and 2, Ochtovris 1936 and February 1937, German: «Zur oekonomischen Theorie des Sozialismus» in: O. Lange:« Oekonomisch-theoretische Studien », Frankfurt am Main-Koeln 1977, greek: Oskar Lange-Fred Taylor:« the economic theory of socialism», Athens 1976).

The answer given by Oskar Lange to Mises is based on the bourgeois views of “socialism” of Walras-Pareto-Barone – something that himself did not hide in the above-mentioned work and also, 30 years later, in his last short article Electronic computer and market “(1965) (in: O.Lange: «Financial planning and political relations», pp. 76-77, Athens, 1974) – written from social democratic perspective i.e. that of «Konkurrenzsozialismus» and has as a starting point the bourgeois subjective theory of marginal utility. And is precisely on this basis that he points out in his work:“the definition of equilibrium prices in a socialist economy is entirely analogous to that of a competitive market” (p. 91), and elsewhere, ” the Central Council for Planning has to set such a price for the capital and natural resources so that resources are directed to areas that can “pay” … ” (p. 88).

It is obvious, therefore, that the mechanisms operating in capitalism and socialism are considered identical, or more precisely: the same common mechanism operating in both economic systems.

It is known that O. Lange was the principal founder of the theory of so-called «Konkurrenzsozialismus» (= «competitive socialism”) or later «Marktsozialismus» (= «market socialism»), i.e. a bourgeois conception of “socialism” with the known connection “Plan- Market “, or more precisely: the replacement of the Plan from the capitalist market.

Bourgeois and revisionist economists admit that the economic reforms implemented in the Soviet Union and other Eastern countries rely on the opinions of Oskar Lange. The Soviet N.P. Fedorenko writes: “The theory and practice showed that the optimal operation mechanism of the socialist economy involves an organic combination of the central state Plan and the business financial independence of the production units in socialist society and that a planned socialist economy involves inherently the use of Value relations and Value categories” (NP Fedorenko: «Problemi obtimalnowo funkzionyirowanyija sozialistscheskoj ekonomiki», pp. 565, Moscow 1972). The Hungarian Csikos-Nagy correctly points out the connection of Fedorenko’s bourgeois views with those of Enrico Barone: «…thus, the scientific facts lead back to the line, that E. Barone had already described in the early 20th century. Barone was the first who dealt with questions concerning the rational operation of the socialist economy. Barone considered this possible based on the general equilibrium theory of Walras» (Bela Csikos-Nagy: «Sozialistische Marktwirtschaft», page 45, Wien 1988). However, in this case, it is not about “scientific knowledge” but, instead, the connection of the anti-marxist views on socialism of the Khrushchevian Fedorenko with those of the bourgeois economist Enrico Barone. And elsewhere: “Mr O. Lange was one of the first who tried to link socialist planning with the market operation and stressed the importance of price equilibrium with the objective of efficient allocation of resources in socialist production. His greatest contribution consists in placing at the centre issues related to the structure of production taking into account the existence of products replacement in the sphere of production and consumption. He emphasized the role of prices ​​in creating financial solutions” (p. 47).

Regarding Fedorenko’s anti-marxist assertion that “theory and practice verified” supposedly the correctness of the Khrushchevian bourgeois views on the question of building socialism-communism, this was completely refuted by the subsequent restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union. What actually happened was that the traitors Khrushchevian revisionists abandoned Marxist views, adopting at theoretical level, and putting into practice the views of vulgar bourgeois political economy in order to achieve the gradual restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union, about which nobody doubts today.

Finally, Polish Adam Zwass is right to extol Oskar Lange as great reformer in the revisionist countries: “the basic ideas of the democratic reform movement were expressed most clearly by the great thinker and reformer Oskar Lange” (A.Zwass: «Planwirtschafr im Wandel der Zeit» , pp. 386, Wien 1982).

From the newer cases of bourgeois economists we mention only Joseph E. Stiglitz. Referring to the reforms in the Soviet Union and other countries writes: “Many of the reforms were based on the idea of socialist market economy, which meant to combine the advantages of market mechanisms with the ownership of the means of production by the state. Oskar Lange, who was a professor of economy at the University of Chicago before returning after the 2nd World War to Poland and becoming vice president of the communist government, was a leading figure and representative of this direction. In socialist market economy, the Prices have the same function in the distribution of resources, as in capitalism. The prices must be determined so as to match supply with demand. Firms accept the prices and compete with each other. They maximize their profits at given prices, by producing (Output) at a price that meets the marginal cost” (Joseph E. Stiglitz: «Volkswirtschaftslehre », pp. 1099, Muenchen, Wien, Oldenburg 1999).

From this very brief and incomplete reference, it becomes obvious that, in their reforms, the Khrushchevian revisionists adopted both the capitalist market-price mechanism and the capitalist economic categories, that is, the well-known theories of bourgeois economists of “socialism”.

Source

Anasintaxi on the Restoration of Capitalism in the Soviet Union (Part 4): The capitalist economy of the Soviet Union in the Khrushchev-Brezhnev period in prolonged stagnation and deep crisis

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The capitalist economy of the Soviet Union in the Khrushchev-Brezhnev period in prolonged stagnation and deep crisis

The restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union did not only bring about the emergence of all the characteristic features of capitalism in the country’s economy but it paved the way for a prolonged economic stagnation, especially during the Brezhnev period, and led the whole society to an unprecedented bourgeois degeneration and in a deep and all-sided crisis that included all the known scourges of the old decadent, rotten and superseded bourgeois society.

During this period, not only was there a long-term, general economic stagnation but also a decrease of the national income, a drop in the industrial production and productivity. These were facts that even the then Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin had already admitted as early as 1965. In his speech during the Plenum of CC of CPSU (September 1965), he pointed out: “it must be concluded that during the last years there has been a certain decrease in the national Income and the industrial Production…The increase rate of productivity in industry, an additional important index measuring the efficiency of the social production, has been in decline over the last years”(Α.Ν.Kossygin: Die Verbesserung der Leitung der Industrie, die Vervollkommenung der Planung und die Verstaerkung der wirtschaftlichen Stimulierung der Industrieproduktion. In: «Die Presse der Sowjetunion», 1965, Nr.113, S.6).

A note from the Tirana Radio Station, under the title “The soviet economy in the whirlpool of crisis”, mentions about this: “Over the last years, the soviet economy is going through a severe crisis. The decrease in the growth rate of the production and labor productivity in many branches of the economy, the long-term phenomenon of incomplete utilization of the productive capacities, the failures in the capital investments, the tendency of technical progress to slow down, the militarization of the economy, the inflation, etc are facts that clearly demonstrate that the economy situation is constantly deteriorating. All this shows the disastrous consequences on the country’s economy stemming from the counter-revolutionary policy implemented by the dominant revisionist clique. A general feature of the soviet economy is the irregularity in the fulfillment of plans. In many Republics the general industrial plan of the previous year and the first semester of 1975 has not been fulfilled” (“Tirana Radio Station”, 5/11/1975).

To show the catastrophic results of the capitalist restoration and the difference with the period of socialism-communism in the Soviet Union, the author of the Marxist editorial compares parts of the two periods: “to get a more clear picture of the catastrophic consequences of capitalist restoration in the soviet economy, we present a comparison with the period during which there was still socialist economy: the annual growth rate of the industrial production in the years 1966-1970 was 33% lower than in the years 1946-1955, in fact it was 58% lower in 1974” (“Tirana Radio Station”, 5/11/1975).

The international economic crisis, that started at the end of 1973, affected also the economy of the Soviet Union for which the author mentions: “the decrease in production, an important characteristic of the current economic and financial crisis, into which the whole capitalist-revisionist world has plunged, has seriously impinged on many branches of the soviet industry and especially the branch of machine-building, the chemical industry, the manufacturing industry, the light industry and the production of goods of wider consumption”(“Tirana Radio Station”, 5/11/1975).

Militarization of economy. The restoration of capitalism did not transform Soviet Union only into a capitalist country but, also, into an imperialist super-power which competed the other imperialist super-power of that period, the United States of America, for spheres of influence, having made all sorts of interventions in different countries that included the military occupation of Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan. The reactionary, anti-communist and anti-stalinist socialdemocratic leadership of Khrushchev-Brezhnev very soon oriented the development of the capitalist economy of the Soviet Union towards militarization. The militarization of the economy was, and still is, one of the main and fundamental features of economy of the all imperialist countries. A note from the Tirana Radio Station, in 1976, rightly points out: “the militarization is determined by the nature of the soviet social-imperialism which collaborates and competes with the US imperialism for global domination”. And: “in order to implement their hegemonic and expansionist policy, the soviet social-imperialists employ the most incredible methods but, mainly, rely on the power of arms. This led to a full and mass militarization of the Soviet Union. The soviet economy is oriented towards war. According to data published from scientific organizations of various countries, the military spending of the soviet social-imperialists is about 100 billion rubles that constitutes 44% of total spending in the state budget in the current year. More then 60% of all enterprises in the Soviet Union work, today, directly or indirectly for the war” (“Tirana Radio Station”, 20/10/1976).

In relation to the arms trade: “The soviet social-imperialists expanded the arms trade outside their borders. Along with the US imperialists, they have become the greatest arms dealers. Since 1955, when the Soviet Union emerged in the arms market, it has sold to other countries arms worth of some dozens of billion dollars. Only in 1974, it sold arms worth of 5,5 billion dollars and surpassed even USA in selling war aircrafts securing huge profits from trading with such lethal tools. This is because such a plane can bring as much profit as the retail of 1000 private cars. According to some data from various news agencies, until the middle of the previous year, the Soviet Union sold more than 14,500 tanks, more than 8,000 surface-to-air missiles and more than 1,900 Ming-21 aircrafts. All these arms were sold to satellite countries and to some developing countries bringing extremely large profits. In this way, the Soviet Union tries to transfer part of the load of the militarization and the arms race to the back of less powerful countries and other peoples. At the same time, the Soviet Union is supplying arms to many reactionary governments…Moreover, it must be mentioned that the soviet social-imperialists have become the main suppliers of the most important strategic raw materials such as oil, natural gas, enriched uranium, titanium and various others of the imperialist and militarist circles of West Germany, USA, Japan etc (“Tirana Radio Station”, 20/10/1976).

Wages – degree of exploitation of the proletariat – class differentiation. After the overthrow of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, the victory of the Khrushchevian revisionist counter-revolution, the loss of the political power and the control of the means of production, transformed the working class of the Soviet Union to proletariat, which is forced to sell its labor power in order to survive.

The exploitation of the proletariat through the extraction of surplus value, primarily, in the sphere of production and, secondarily, in the sphere of distribution and through the income redistribution at the level taxes and inflation, is secured, besides the capitalist production relations, by the bourgeois “all people’s” state: “the exploitation and the oppression of workers in the Soviet Union is organized and managed by the state. This is expressed, most and foremost, in the rights of enterprise and kolkhoz directors, in the management and selling of means of production as well as in the corresponding jobs. According to soviet revisionist press acknowledgments, in 5 large cities of the Soviet Union and in two industrial centers of the Republic of Lithuania, there are agencies that sell and buy job vacancies. The revisionist directors decide themselves about the amount of salaries and premiums, the hirings and firings or measures against the workers etc. In Kharkov, an enterprise manager launched 233 discipline measures against 125 workers and imposed money sentences to 350 workers. In 292 soviet enterprises, 70,000 workers were fired because they could not withstand the oppression” (“Tirana Radio Station”, 13/1/1976).

In the Soviet Union, “the degree of exploitation of workers in material production increased by 23% during the 1960-1971 period” (“Tirana Radio Station”, 18/8/1976).

During the Khrushchev-Brezhnev period, the differences between the workers-farmers salaries and those of the new bourgeoisie members were huge: “the capitalist exploitation and oppression of the working class and the wider masses by the new soviet bourgeoisie that is in power is expressed in the income distribution that shows a sharp contrast between working people and the capitalist enterprise directors. While the average wage for a worker reaches 70 rubles and for a farmer reaches 35 rubles, the wage of an enterprise director is about 15 times larges without taking into account other kinds of income they receive in the form of bonuses, privileges and other extras. The director of an enterprise that makes electric lamps in Moscow receives 1,000 rubles as a month salary whereas the wage of a worker is between 60 and 80 rubles… The enterprise directors have the right to determine, according to their wishes, the workers’ wages. Using various pretexts, they push wages downwards or they do not give workers any bonus at all. According to statistics, the 82% of the money sums given to the first 704 enterprises that adopted the new “Schtekino system” of labor rate increase, that is, they introduced the cruel oppression of workers, was shared by the directors, engineers and the technicians and only 12% of these sums was utilized as a “material motive” for the workers. It is, thus, self-evident that the high salaries and the large bonuses of the directors of the soviet capitalist enterprises come from the surplus value created by the workers” (“Tirana Radio Station”, 13/1/1976). “Depending on the position they occupy in the bureaucratic soviet revisionist state and party system, the party cadres, the higher clerks, the technocrats, the enterprise directors and others are getting 10-fold to 25-fold of the average worker’s wage. This is also true for the kolkhozes where the wage differences are about 1:30”(“Tirana Radio Station”, 4/2/1976).

“The new bourgeoisie members have secured high salaries, which are 10-fold to 15-fold larger than the wages of workers and farmers. Hence, the salary of an enterprise director is 1,000 rubles, the salaries of professors, doctors of science and others are as high as 2,000 to 3,000 rubles; all of them lead a luxurious life with cars, villas etc” (“Tirana Radio Station”, 13/2/1976).

While, the living standards of the proletariat and the wider masses were constantly deteriorating not only due to the increased degree of exploitation and the raising prices and taxes, but also due to the under-fulfillment of the plans, the decline in production and the continuous, of unprecedented scale, shortages wide consumption goods (meat, butter, pasta, vegetables, potatoes etc), the new bourgeoisie lived in provoking luxury: “although the necessary commodities for the people are in want, the new bourgeoisie invests large sums for the construction of super deluxe hotels in the Black Sea coast for the rich coming from inside and outside of the country, for the construction of factories that produce Pepsi-Cola and luxury items, super luxury limos and yachts. The production plans for these goods and for the contruction of similar works are always fulfilled on time” (“Tirana Radio Station”, 13/2/1976).

During the Khrushchev-Brezhnev, there was an evident a quick class differentiation in the bourgeois society of the Soviet Union:“the soviet capitalist economy that has been established on the basis of capitalist economic laws and operates according to them, serves as the ground of a continuous class differentiation. The course of class differentiation in the Soviet Union proceeds quickly. On one side, there are all the elements that constitute the new soviet bourgeoisie like the higher cadres of the revisionist party and state, the bureaucratic-military caste, the technocrats and others who receive high salaries and large premiums, and lead a degenerate and luxurious life and on the other side there are the working masses of the town and the countryside. Millions of soviet people, mainly in the countryside, live under the poverty line. In the Soviet Union there are 25,000,000 people that enjoy high living standards, 68,000,000 who live under the poverty line determined by the soviet revisionists themselves. A whole system of taxes introduced by the new soviet bourgeoisie in power, burdens the soviet working people from whom it extracts 11% of their income” (“Tirana Radio Station”, 13/1/1976).

In the 1980’s, the prolonged stagnation of the economy, the obsolete equipment of the capitalist enterprises, the large growth of the black market, the false “fulfillment” of the production plans in industry and agriculture, the systematic legal and illegal appropriation, theft, of the state property, the severe financial bleeding caused by the imperialist war in Afghanistan, etc deepened the all-sided crisis that the capitalist-imperialist Soviet Union was going through and led its capitalist economy to total collapse and bankruptcy.

This catastrophic, dead-end made the new anti-communist group of the bourgeois CPSU headed by the traitor Gorbachev, the “favorite child” of the anti-stalinst, social-democatic Brezhnevite clique, to embark on new capitalist reforms collectively known as “Perestroika” which was not “revolution within the revolution” as claimed by the Krushchevian social-democrats but counter-revolution within the revisionist counter-revolution. The implementation of these new reforms ushered, at the economic level, the transition from the state-monopoly capitalism to the classic capitalism of individual property of the Western capitalist countries and, at the political level, the transition from the bourgeois one-party to the bourgeois many-party system of the Western capitalist countries.

Thus, the Soviet Union, instead of entering “communism” in the 1980’s as promised by the consciously lying anti-communist clique of Khrushchev-Brezhnev – that was demolishing at the same time socialism – experienced, as expected by the revolutionary Marxists, i.e. the Leninists-Stalinists, the total collapse of the restored capitalism, that the same social-democatic leading group had established and demagogically presented, in order to mislead the working class and the peoples, as “real socialism” and reached, its demise as a state at the end of the same decade.

Source

Anasintaxi on the Restoration of Capitalism in the Soviet Union (Part 3): The commodity economy of the Soviet Union in the Khrushchev-Brezhnev period: a complete and permanent capitalist economy

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The commodity economy of the Soviet Union in the Khrushchev-Brezhnev period: a complete and permanent capitalist economy

The reactionary process of capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union that commenced, right after the death-murder of Joseph Stalin, with the overthrow of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat from the renegade social-democratic clique of Khrushchev-Brezhnev, was a very complicated development based on the capitalist economic reforms and a series of inter-connected measures which had as a central and only goal: the total elimination of socialism-communism and the complete re-establishment of the exploitive capitalist system.

The analysis of these reforms in the soviet economy, implemented by the counter-revolutionary Khrushchev-Brezhnev leadership of Communist Party of Soviet Union [CPSU] – and after taking into account Lenin’s extremely important teaching according to which “it is necessary to consider the fundamental economic features of the existing relations and not their legal forms” in order to determine the nature of an economy – proves that these capitalist economic reforms led to the total elimination of socialist-communist relations and the gradual restoration of capitalism that was completed at the end of the 1960’s.

In particular, the preceding analysis of the economy during the Khrushchev-Brezhnev period demonstrates:

The economy of the Soviet Union was dominated by commodity production that took full and comprehensive form at the end of 1960’s after the extension of the commodity-money relations. However, when, in a given period, the economy of a country is dominated by commodity production, then its economic system cannot be any other than the capitalist mode of production – resulted from the gradual but complete restoration of capitalism that replaced socialism-communism. This is the case because capitalism is commodity production at its highest stage of development, when human labour power itself becomes a commodity (Lenin: “Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism”, chapter IV)

1) Moreover, there were two additional features of commodity production that emerged in the fully developed commodity economy of the Soviet Union: i) The conversion of all means of production into commodities and ii) the conversion of the working power into commodity. These were the two of the fundamental characteristics of the capitalist mode of production and precisely for this reason the economy of the Soviet Union at that time was capitalist as “according to Marx’s teaching the two essential attributes of capitalism are: 1) the commodity production as the universal form of production. The social product takes the form of commodity in the most diverse productive units but, in the capitalist production, this form of the labour product is not isolated, incidental but universal and 2) the commodity form is taken not only by the labour product but by labour itself, that is, by the human working power. The degree to which the working power has become a commodity characterises the degree of capitalist development” (Lenin)

2) In the commodity economy of the Soviet Union, the sphere of operation of the law of Value – a law that characterizes commodity production – was extended to include all of the economy and, thus, regulated the production as in capitalism

3) In the commodity economy of the Soviet Union, the goal of the production – at the level of individual enterprises and at the level of the economy as a whole – was the maximum profit. This is one of the three (the other two are mentioned by Lenin in the above extract) essential attributes of capitalism according to Marx: “the second attribute that sets apart capitalism is the production of surplus value that becomes the immediate aim and the decisive motive of the production” (Marx).

4) In the commodity economy of the Soviet Union, all the laws of capitalism re-emerged and acted: the law of Value as the regulator of the production, the law of surplus value, the law of the exploitation of wage labour from capital, the law of competition and anarchy in the production, the law of the mean rate of profit etc.

5) In the commodity economy of the Soviet Union, all the capitalist economic categories were re-introduced: Profit, Interest, capitalist Price of Production and others.

All the above features that dominated the commodity economy of the Soviet Union during the Khrushchev-Brezhnev period constitute the clearest expression of the capitalist character of the production relations of the country’s economy and the capitalist character of the state-cooperative property that was collectively owned and controlled by the new bourgeoisie through the new bourgeois state, that is, “the state of all people”. At the same time, they prove scientifically the complete capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union of Khrushchev-Brezhnev that was concluded by the end of the 1960’s despite the chatter of the Khrushchevian social-democracy (both international and local: “C”PG-SYN) about the alleged presence of socialism until 1990; a totally baseless claim that is disapproved by the capitalist reality of the Soviet Union during that period, that is, the existence of commodity economy with all the essential features of capitalism, the fundamental laws of capitalism and the capitalist economic categories.

The capitalism that was restored in the Soviet Union during the Khrushchev-Brezhnev period was state-monopoly capitalism of a peculiar type – as far as the content is concerned it was the same with the capitalism in Western countries – and this peculiarity had to do with: first, the dominance of the state and the cooperative capitalist property in economy during of the Soviet Union and the very limited presence of the private capitalist property, initially in agriculture and then in all sectors of the economy and second the emergence-development of a state-monopoly capitalism that originated from the elimination of socialism-communism whereas in the economy of the Western capitalist countries the private capitalist property dominates along with a limited state-capitalist property.

In the capitalist economy of the Soviet Union, the private capitalist sector wasn’t limited to agriculture with the emergence of the new kulaks but expanded in services, commerce, workshops and even industry. As mentioned above, private capitalist property was officially instituted in the bourgeois Constitution of 1977.

In 1978, “in the Soviet Union, the private holders own about 3.6 million hectares of arable land. They supply the market with the 28% of the total agricultural production and with 32% of animal products. The private sector in the Soviet Union and the other revisionist countries has significantly expanded in the sphere of industry where it has infiltrated services as well as the production of industrial commodities complementing to a large extent the activity of the state-capitalist enterprisesThus, it is not about only small private artisans engaged in small-scale services and repair works that have little profit but a whole network of capitalists whose activities compete with the state-capitalist enterprisesThe private capitalists have the gained the right to establish their own workshops, factories that are protected by the state. They are supplied with the necessary resources and the owners can today hire waged workers, that is to say, exploit cheap working Power. The emergence and the development of the private capitalist sector in the capitalist Soviet Union and the other revisionist countries is a reflection of the capitalist degeneration of their economy in which the laws of the capitalist mode of production hold full sway. This sector enjoys the many-sided support – legal as well as material – of the revisionist state and it has become, next to the state-capitalist sector, dominant sector of the economic life” (Tirana Radio Station, 5/4/1978). In 1977, the private capitalist sector supplied the market with the “18% of total number of sheep, 18% of pigs and 32% of beef. The private capitalists sold 31% of the meat and milk in prices that were favourable to them. Moreover, they supply the market with the 34% of vegetables, 30% of eggs, 58% of potatoes and other foodstuff in increased prices” (Tirana Radio Station, 2/8/1977). “In the Soviet Union the private producer controls 65% of vegetable trade, about 40% of meat and milk trade and up to 80% of the fruit trade” (Tirana Radio Station, 7/4/1976).

Source

Anasintaxi on the Restoration of Capitalism in the Soviet Union (Part 2): In the commodity economy of the Soviet Union, labor power had been anew converted to commodity

Nikita-KhrushchevTIME

In the commodity economy of the Soviet Union, labor power had been anew converted to commodity.

The economic category “labor power” is the fundamental and most central for understanding scientifically the nature of the two diametrically opposite social-economic systems of the 20thcentury: capitalism-imperialism and socialism-communism. It is this historical-economic category that is related to both systems, with the existence of exploitation in capitalism and with its abolition in socialism-communism, while its different character determines their essence respectively.

As capitalism emerged, developed and dominated society as a full-fledged mode of production, the conversion of labor power to commodity was of decisive importance in the transformation of commodity production to a capitalist form, and it was one of the two fundamental features of the capitalist mode of production. On the contrary, in the case of socialism labor power loses its commodity character; it is not anymore a commodity.

The production relations in the economy of the Soviet Union during the 1917-1953 period, i.e. the period of socialism-communism, and later during the Krushchevian-Brezhnevite period, i.e. the period when commodity production dominated, were determined, in both cases, by the relation of the producers to the means of production or as Marx pointed out: “it is always the direct relation between the owners of the conditions of production to the direct producers in which the innermost secret, the hidden basis of the entire social structure and, consequently, of the political form of the sovereignty and dependence relationship and, hence, of every special state form is found” (K. Marx, “The Capital”, vol. 3)

While in the first period (1917-1953), i.e. the period of socialism-communism, this ultimate secret was found in the workers’ collective ownership of the means of production. i.e. in the ownership of the direct producers, the second period was characterized by the total separation of the direct producers, the workers, from the means of Production – the result from the overthrow of the dictatorship of the proletariat and its replacement by the dictatorship of the new bourgeoisie and the associated loss of political power – and the establishment of a completely new reality in the economy of the Soviet Union; new dominant relations of production. It was this economic reality that Marx named as “specific economic form in which unpaid surplus-labor (our italics) is pumped out of the direct producers”. (K. Marx, “The Capital”, vol. 3)

Upon the loss of the political power and the control of the means of production from the working class, the new state of things in the economy of the Soviet Union was characterized by: a) the transformation of the working class to proletariat b) the conversion of the labor power to commodity c) the reappearance of exploitation.

Deprived of the means of production, the working class of the Soviet Union was just a productive force just like the proletariat in the western capitalist countries.

The means of production passed to the hands of the now dominant new bourgeoisie that owned and managed them according to its interests and, as an exploiting class, was appropriating “the unpaid surplus-labor extracted from the direct producers”. To survive and make ends meet, the proletariat of the Soviet Union was compelled to sell its labor power to the new exploiting class and more precisely: to the collective capitalist, the bourgeois “all people’s state”, the representative and defender of the interests of the new bourgeoisie.

Thus, in the commodity economy of the Soviet Union during the Krushchevian-Brezhnevite period, labor power became once more a commodity and the phenomenon of capitalist exploitation, characteristic in the western capitalist countries, appeared again.

Since then and in the coming decades, the same thing that happened in the western capitalist countries, took place in the economy of the Soviet Union; namely what Marx had seen in the capitalist system: “through its own function, the capitalist production process reproduces the separation of the labor power from the labor conditions. In this way, it reproduces and perpetuates the worker’s exploitation conditions. It constantly forces the worker to sell his labor power in order to survive and it constantly offers the capitalist the possibility to purchase it and enrich himself” (K. Marx): “the capitalist production process seen in its structure or as a reproduction process, produces and reproduces the very capital; on one side, the capitalist, on the other the waged worker”. In the case of the Soviet Union, it is not about the private capitalist but the collective capitalist: the bourgeois “all people’s state”.

Now, the claim of the Krushchevian-Brezhnevite revisionists that the labor power in the historical period, following 1953, was not a commodity (I.I.Kusminow 1971, I.N.Shittow 1974, W.Batyrew 1974, et al.) because the working people, allegedly, continued to be the owners of the conditions and the result of the production doesn’t have any basis whatsoever. It turns out to be a conscious political fraud since this claim presupposes the presence ofProletarian Dictatorship through which the working people control both the conditions and the result of the production. However, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat did not exist then because it had already been overthrown two decades earlier, from the beginning of the 1950’s (after the death-assassination of Joseph Stalin).

Of course, there were revisionist economists who openlyadmitted that the labor Power had been converted to commodity in the soviet economy after 1953 like W.Kornienko-I.Pachomow (1966), Ch.M.Miftachow (1968), P.N.Orechowitsch (1968), I.N.Βusdalow (1966) while others were discussing about the “Value of the labor Power”: “the objective basis to determine a minimum real income of the working people in the socialist production is the Value of the labor Power”(Ch.M.Miftachow, 1968), i.e. as, in capitalism where the worker is paid according to the Value of his labor Power, or that “ in socialism…the worker has the right to freely dispose his labor Power…” (A.Sukhow, 1972) like in capitalism of the western countries.

Moreover, other economists pointed out the resemblance of the wages in the Krushchevian-Brezhnevite “socialism” to the wages in capitalism: “in socialist society labor is paid in a form that is identical to the form of labor’s price when we consider wages in capitalism” (A.Aganbegjan / W.Mayer, 1966). This resemblance necessarily leads to the admission that the labor Power in the Soviet Union’s commodity economy was itself a commodity. Others like E.L.Manewitsch, M.W.Kolganow, S.P.Figurow, observed in the sphere of circulation the presence of laws such as “the remuneration of the time of labor power”, and the “value equivalence” or “equivalence of circulation”. They referred even to an «Existenzminimum», i.e., the survival minimum. In conclusion, both groups of economists recognized and accepted the comercial character of the labor power in the Soviet Union’s commodity economy during the period following 1953.

The above-mentioned facts – including the revisionist economists’ open admission – show that the labor Power had been anew converted to commodity, in the soviet economy of the Krushchevian-Brezhnevite period, and as a result capitalist exploitation had been restored. Analyzing the question of capitalist exploitation capitalist appropriation in a commodity economy, such as the capitalist, Marx pointed out: “to the degree that the commodity production evolves, according to its own inherent laws, to capitalist production, to the same degree the property laws of the commodity production are transformed to laws of capitalist appropriation” (K. Marx)

The replacement of the socialist-communist property relations to capitalist ones was accompanied by the same inevitable change in the socialist-communist distribution relations – “the Distribution relations are essentially identical to the Production relations, their inverted side, so that both together have the same, historically transient character” (K. Marx): “the defined distribution is only an expression of the historically definite Production relations” (K. Marx). This means that the proletariat was paid on the basis of the Value of the labor Power while the exploiting new bourgeoisie was appropriating the surplus value, generated by the workers in the sphere of production. Collectively as class, the new bourgeoisie made sure that a part of this surplus value was converted to Capital and the rest was shared among its members in the form of very high salaries premiums.

The restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union, was also evident in the sphere of Circulation relations, which are determined by the property relations, especially in the relation between enormously high salaries of the members of the new bourgeoisie and the salaries of the workers, and in their diametrically opposite interests. The latter formed the basis of the antagonistic contradictions of the soviet society at that time. Engels had previously pointed out their importance: “the economic relations of each given society are manifested primarily as interests”(F. Engels). At the end of 1970’s, the salaries and the premiums that the business and other executives received were 15-20 times higher than the workers’ salaries. The situation was the same in the collective farms where the difference in salaries was as high as 1 to 30. According to the revisionist press, the largest part of the premiums, and in particular 82%, went to the pockets of the firms’ directors whereas the remaining 18% went to the workers despite the fact that they constituted the overwhelming majority, 80-90% of the working people in the firms (Tirana radio station, 4/2/1978); and this gap was constantly growing at the expense of the workers.

Source

Anasintaxi on the Restoration of Capitalism in the Soviet Union (Part 1): The working class in the Khrushchev-Brezhnev period was no longer the owner of the means of production

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The working class in the Khrushchev-Brezhnev period was no longer the owner of the means of production

a. Socialist production relations were replaced with capitalist production relations

It is known that “no matter what the economic forms of production are, the workers and the means of production remain always its factors” and that “for production to take place they must unite” (K. Marx). The essence of this relation in the production process, that is, the essence of the production relations is determined by the ownership relations – the form of ownership is the essential and the main feature of the production relations – which social class has the ownership of the means of production and how the union of the producers with the means of production is realized and this is precisely what distinguishes the different epochs of social organization: “the particular way that this union is realized distinguishes the different economic epochs of social structure” (K. Marx): slave-owning, feudal, capitalist and socialist-communist system (ownership is here a historical-economic, not a legal, category).

After the victorious October armed uprising, and the complete smashing of the bourgeois state machinery, the working class of Russia took the political power, established the Dictatorship of the Proletariat and, over the next years, proceeded gradually to all the necessary revolutionary changes in the sphere of economy, the socialization of all means of production abolishing the capitalist relations of production and thus making the new socialist-communist relations of production.

Upon the establishment of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, the working class became the dominant class in the socialist Soviet Union not only politically but also economically: it became the owner of the means of production. As a social class, it possessed and controlled the means of production through the Dictatorship of the Proletariat guided by the communist party:“the Dictatorship of the Proletariat is complete only if it is led by one party, the Communist Party, which does not and cannot share power with other parties” (Stalin).

In this way, the separation of the direct producers, i.e. of the working class, from the means of production was terminated – a characteristic feature of the capitalist mode of production and the proletariat – and the historically last form of exploitation, the capitalist, was eliminated.

The abolition of the capitalist ownership (private-state) in the means of production eliminated the antagonistic contradiction between production forces and production relations.

In contrast, the overthrow of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat after the death-assassination of Joseph Stalin (March 1953) and its replacement with the dictatorship of the emerging bourgeois class not only resulted in the loss of power from the working class – it was not any more the dominant class in the Khrushchev-Brezhnev period – but also in the loss of control over the means of production; the working class was not any more the owner of the means of production which hitherto controlled and possessed as a class through the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.

A few years later, in the 22nd Congress of CPSU (1961), even the soviet revisionists themselves admitted that there was neither a state of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in the Soviet Union after 1953 nor a communist party and that these had been replaced by, respectively, the “all people’s state”, that is, the dictatorship of the new bourgeoisie, and the “all people’s party”, that is, a bourgeois social democratic type of party.

The fact that the working class in the Soviet Union of the Khrushchev-Brezhnev period had lost its historical mission as a leading social force and that, moreover, had been permanently removed from the management of the economy, and, therefore,was not any more the owner of the means of production is reflected in the following:

First, in the overthrow of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat – through which the working class owned the means of production – and its replacement with the dictatorship of the new bourgeoisie, that is, from the change of the state’s class character: transformed from a state of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat to “all people’s state”, i.e. the dictatorship of the new bourgeoisie.

Second, in the change of its party’s class character: from a revolutionary communist party – that expressed, defended its interests and led the Dictatorship of the Proletariat – it became an “all people’s party”, that is, a bourgeois social democratic type of party, which no longer was guided by the worldview of the proletariat, the revolutionary Marxism, i.e. Leninism-Stalinism but by the bourgeois ideological-political current of the Khrushchevian revisionism. This party was on the forefront of the capitalist reforms that eliminated socialism-communism and brought about the restoration of the capitalist production relations.

Third, in the loss of control over the means of production that obviously deprived the working class of the capacity to “have a say” in the state and in the economy, that is, in the control and management of the production

Fourth, in the industrial units where, according to the 1965 reforms, only the manager decided what would be produced, determined the wages and, in addition, how many workers would be hired and how many would be fired, leaving the working class as simple production force, like in the traditional capitalism of the western countries

Fifth, in the appropriation and distribution of the social product which the working class also did not influence in the least.

In the process of capitalist restoration, the overthrow of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat and its replacement with the “all people’s state” was unavoidably accompanied with the elimination of the socialist-communist production relations and their replacement with capitalist ones. The change in the class character of the state was the cause of the complete change in the content of the property relations – the most important element of the production relations – that is to say, the transformation of socialist to capitalist ownership that preceded the change of the other elements of the production relations like the distribution, the exchange relations etc. which were also converted from socialist-communist to capitalist relations. It could not happen otherwise since the character and the content of ownership is dependent on and determined by the state’s character (in this case by the “all people’s state”).

Of course, the state property in the economy of the Soviet Union for a number of reasons that are beyond the scope of the article was not divided in smaller parts but it retained its form. However, the content of this property had radically changed: it had lost the socialist-communist character and it was transformed to state-capitalist property.

1. The capitalist character of the state enterprises and cooperatives

1.1 State enterprises

During the Leninist-Stalinist period (1917-1953), especially after the construction of the economic foundation of the socialist-communist society, the state property constituted of the two forms of socialist-communist property (state and collective/cooperative). It was the dominant and the most advanced form of property in the socialist economy of the Soviet Union to the level of which the collective/cooperative property was developing so that they will be finally merged in the unified communist property through the tractor stations. The latter were abolished by the bourgeois-socialdemocratic CPSU in 1958 and as a consequence not only the merging of these two forms of property was cancelled but their content was radically altered.

The state enterprises were socialist because they constituted collective social property of the working class that controlled and managed through the Dictatorship of the Proletariat under the guidance of the communist party. It was the presence of the state of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat which determined the socialist character of the state enterprises because, as it is known, state property is not by itself socialist (due to belonging to the state) but because it is in the hands of the state of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, thus, in the hands of the working class.

Precisely for this reason, the state property in socialism-communism has a completely opposite social content and orientation than state property in the capitalist and revisionist countries being in the hands of the exploiting bourgeoisie. It is obvious that the bourgeois nationalization has nothing in common with the socialist nationalization of the means of production carried out by the state of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat and results in the abolition of capitalist exploitation.

For as long as the capitalists remain the ruling class, state property is a form of capitalist property, a state monopoly property, in which exploitation of workers prevails: “as long as the proprietor classes stay in power, nationalization does not amount to elimination of exploitation but only to the change of its form” (Fr. Engels), because the bourgeois state is still the state of the capitalists, the defender of capitalist exploitative system.

The course of Soviet Union in the path of socialism-communism was halted when the Dictatorship of the Proletariat was overthrown and replaced by the bourgeois “all people’s state” resulting in the loss of the control-property of the state enterprises from the working class.

The change of the state’s class character radically altered the content of the enterprises in the economy of the Soviet Union: from socialist they were transformed to capitalist enterprises since it is the state’s character that determines the character of state enterprises, in this case the bourgeois “all people’s state” , that is, the dictatorship of the new bourgeoisie.

The anti-Marxist claim made by the Khrushchevian revisionists, that socialism was allegedly preserved in the Soviet Union after 1953 due to presence of state enterprises, does not have any basis because it was precisely the new state, i.e. the bourgeois “all people’s state” that determined the capitalist character of the state enterprises during that period. If one accepts this false and totally baseless claim, then one is obliged to regard as “socialist” state enterprises of the western capitalist countries or to regard as “socialist” even the “Bismarckian kindnationalizations” or to call socialist the institutions like the Royal Maritime Company or the Royal Porcelain Manufacture(Fr. Engels: “Anti-Dühring”, 1877).

Besides the fact that the character of the state enterprises is primarily determined by the character of the political power, that is, by which class has the political power and the corresponding class state, the capitalist character of the state enterprises is also reflected in how they function and the purpose of the production. The state enterprises of the Krushchevian period were fully autonomous commodity producers that worked on the basis of complete economic self-sufficiency (= «Chosrastschot» = «Wirtschaftliche Rechnungsfuehrung») guided by private-financial criteria (Profit-Efficiency) and had profit as their exclusive purpose. More accurately, the purpose of the state enterprises was the maximization of profit, like in the traditional capitalism of the western countries, and not, any more, the satisfaction of society’s ever increasing needs. The profit maximization, pursued through the price increases, was admitted by the soviet revisionists themselves: “there are enterprises the directors of which do not see only the reduction of expenses as the source of profit but also the illegal determination of prices. The directors of enterprises who set higher prices in their own orders, place their own private-business interests above those of the whole society and, in this way, they cause damage to the state” (“Soviet Science”, 8/1969).

So, after the launch of the capitalist reforms, the large enterprises of various branches in the economy of the Soviet Union and the other revisionist countries that could increase their profit not through the increase of production and the decrease of expenses but through the increase of prices “in the example of the capitalist monopolies” (O. Lange) ended up to that point correctly predicted, already from 1957, by the world famous Polish revisionist economist Oscar Lange: “in the case of the larger enterprises, it is feared that they will come to an agreement among themselves and set high prices. If this happens then the enterprise will lose its socialist character and we will have a syndicated monopoly. Every enterprise, or group of enterprises, in an agreement among themselves, would be de facto owners of the means of production and not managers of the total social product and would pursue to extract the maximum profits through the determination of prices favorable to them. In this case, production would not serve the best possible fulfillment of the whole society and the driving force of production would be the pursue of profitby these individual enterprises, of their staff or the united enterprises and this would have nothing in common with socialism (O. Lange) (our underlining)

This development was observed, and openly confirmed and admitted after published articles in the revisionist press: “our experience shows a dangerous trend for arbitrary determination of prices” («Voprosi Ekonomikii», 6/1970) “the producer dictates the prices… and often maintains shortages of special goods to increase pressure on the consumer”(«Ekonomicheskije Nauki», 11/1971).

Besides, one of basic goals of the capitalist reform of 1965 was, among other things, the establishment in various branches of the economy of the Soviet Union of large monopolistic enterprises and complexes, monopolistic unions that took the form of combines, trusts and cartels or as it was often mentioned “one combine, one trust” in «Verordnung ueber den sozialistischen staatlichen Produktionsbetrieb» (4 October 1965) and permanently repeated later in various other publications «Organizacija Upravlenija Promishljenih Objedihjenjij», p. 16, Kiev 1980), etc

1.2 Cooperatives

The cooperative and collective farm property was the second and less advanced form of the socialist-communist economy of the Soviet Union at its socialist stage in the Leninist-Stalinist period (1917-1953).

Cooperatives in socialism is not of course a new phenomenon since they also exist in capitalism where they have, however, a completely different character: they represent a capitalist form of economy, because the means of production belong to the capitalists who control the economy and exploit the farmers while, at the same time, constitute the politically dominant class organized in the bourgeois state: “in the capitalist state, cooperatives are no doubt collective capitalist institutions”(Lenin: “On Cooperation”, 1923).

What determined the socialist character of the cooperatives in the Soviet Union of Lenin-Stalin was the working class rule, i.e. the presence of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat the state of which owned the basic means of production. In connection to this, Lenin pointed out: “the system of civilized cooperators, given social ownership of the means of production, given the class victory of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie, the system of civilized cooperators is precisely the system of socialism” (Lenin: “On Cooperation”, 1923) “under our system, cooperative enterprises differ from the private-capitalist enterprises because they are collective enterprises, but do not differ from socialist enterprises if the land on which they are situated and means of production belong to the state, i.e., the working-class” (Lenin: “On Cooperation”, 1923)

Therefore, the element that determines the character (capitalist or socialist) of the cooperative property is the class nature of the state.

Following the prevalence of the Khrushchevian revisionist counter-revolution the overthrow of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat and its replacement with the “all people’s state” in the Soviet Union, the working class and the peasants lost the power, while at the same time the character of the cooperatives changed: from a socialist form of property, cooperative property became a capitalist one, the cooperatives were converted to a capitalist form of economy and operated, too, as individual autonomous commodity producers, as the state enterprises, on the basis of complete economic self-sufficiency and guided by the private-financial criteria of Profit-Efficiency.

Besides the presence of state and cooperative capitalist property in the economy of the Soviet Union, the capitalist reforms paved the path to the development of a private capitalist sector in agriculture, small industry, services, in different professions etc. Next to the state-cooperative sector, the emerging private sector became an important part of the economy thanks to the financial support from the state (laws, credits, etc). The development of the private sector was such that the small capitalist property was formally recognized in various articles of the new Brezhnev constitution (1977). This capitalist property took much larger dimensions since: “small production engenders capitalism and the bourgeoisie continuously, daily, hourly, spontaneously, and on a mass scale” (Lenin, Collected Works, Vol. XXV, pp.173 and 189).

The private capitalist sector under the form of “auxiliary household of the collective farmers” and “workers and employees” – terms that the Krushchevian-Brezhnevites used to conceal the private capitalist businesses in agriculture, in small industry and elsewhere – was under constant expansion and development, achieving an increasingly bigger contribution in the production of agricultural goods: “according to 1970 data, 38% of all vegetables, 35% of meat and 53% of eggs were produced in the auxiliary households of the Soviet Union” (Political Economy, v. 5, p. 310, Athens 1980). According to “Liternaturnaja Gazeta” (11/5/1977), the private capitalist sector includes 3.6 million hectares of arable land which produce 31% of dairy products, 59% of potatoes etc. Towards the middle 1970’s, the arable land increased to 7.5 million hectares yielding the 64% of potatoes, 42% of meat, 40% of milk, 65% of eggs, 20% of woolen of the total production. What must be noted is the constant increase of the volume of production coming from the private capitalist sector at the expense of the production coming from the cooperatives.

In the 1977 constitution – the constitution of the capitalist restoration – despite the abundant “socialist” demagogy, it was openly formulated and, for the first time, legally established that the “soviet” state of that period was not the Dictatorship of the Proletariat but the bourgeois “all people’s state”, i.e. the dictatorship of the new bourgeoisie. In addition, all the capitalist reforms were legally ascertained including (article 16) the capitalist principles of “economic autonomy and initiative of the enterprises” (p. 47), of the “economic self-sufficiency” (p. 48), the “profit, cost and other economic levers and incentives (p.48).

Apart from the establishment of state and cooperative property as forms of capitalist property in various articles of the new bourgeois constitution, the right to forms of private capitalist property was also established (articles 13 and 17) using phrases such as “supplementary part of land”, “parts of land provided the state and the collective farms according to the law on the supplementary household for tree and vegetable growing” (p. 46), “private labor in the sphere of small industry, agriculture, services… and other forms of labor activity” (p. 48) which doesn’t include only small pieces of land but it constitutes a large private sector of the economy.

Source

Cuba: the Evaportion of a Myth – From Anti-Imperialist Revolution to Pawn of Social-Imperialism

Cuba: the Evaporation of a Myth – From Anti-Imperialist Revolution to Pawn of Social-Imperialism

CUBA: The Evaporation of a Myth was first published in the February 15, 1976 issue of Revolution, organ of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. It was first printed as a pamphlet March, 1976. Some slight editorial changes were made for greater clarity.

Introduction

Cuba’s role in the world today makes it increasingly important to expose the class nature of its leaders and the real character of the society.

In words, Cuba is socialist. Its thousands of troops fighting in Africa under Soviet leadership are said to be there to advance the cause of proletarian internationalism. But the American paid-for mercenaries fighting there also wave banners of freedom and “anti-imperialism.” Obviously it is necessary to go beneath the appearance of things to understand what’s really going on in the world. To understand a country we have to ask what class is in power there. And to understand a country’s politics we have to ask what class these politics serve.

The revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959 was a tremendous leap forward for Cuba, clearing away the rule of the U.S. imperialists and the Cuban landlords, dependent capitalists and all their parasites, pimps and gangsters. Because of this, and because of the revolutionary goals that Castro and those around him proclaimed, many people all over the world looked to Cuba for inspiration and guidance in their struggles.

But the class outlook, political line and methods that the leadership promoted have led to nothing but setbacks and defeat everywhere in the world they’ve been taken up. They have proved wrong and harmful to the development of the revolutionary struggle.

In Cuba, the revolution has turned into its opposite. Cuba today is as much a colony of the Soviet Union as much as it once was of the U.S., its economy dominated by sugar, and its working people wage-slaves laboring to pay off an endless mortgage to the U.S.S.R. The leaders of the anti-imperialist revolution of 1959 have now themselves become a new dependent capitalist class.

The question of Cuba is particularly sharp right now for two reasons. Internationally, the Soviet Union, which is itself an imperialist country trying to upset the applecart of U.S. domination in order to grab up the apples for itself, is making increasing use of Cuba. It uses Cuba as both a carrot and a stick. In Angola, Cuban troops spearheaded the drive to conquer that country under the cover of opposing U.S. imperialism (which is trying to do the same under the cover of opposing the USSR), while the Soviets pointed to Cuba as an example of how Soviet “aid” has bought socialism for Cuba and offer the same deal to Angola and other countries. This combination of “anti-imperialist” rubles and and “anti-imperialist” tanks is key to the Soviet social-imperialists’ efforts to replace the U.S. as the world’s main imperialist power, and for that reason Cuba is invaluable to the Soviets.

HUMBLE WORDS AT PARTY CONGRESS

Within Cuba, the first congress of the country’s revisionist “Communist” Party in December, 1975, marked the economic and political consolidation of Cuba into the Soviet bloc and the formal emergence of capitalist relations into the sunlight in Cuba, after years of being hidden under “revolutionary” rhetoric.

This congress ratified Cuba’s new “Economic Planning and Management System,” sanctifying “the profitability criterion” as the country’s highest principle. It also featured a long self-criticism by Castro for not coming around to the Soviet’s way of thinking sooner, a “self-criticism” in which he tries to justify Cuba’s present situation and bows down so low before the New Czars that it serves as an outstanding indication of Cuba’s present neocolonial status,

“Had we been humbler, had we not had excessive self-esteem,” Castro explained, “we would have been able to understand that revolutionary theory was not sufficiently developed in our country and that we actually lacked profound economists and scientists of Marxism to make really significant contributions to the theory and practice of building socialism…” (Castro’s speeches and other congress documents can be found in Granma, the official Cuban publication.) [1]

Humble words indeed from the Cuban leadership who, not that many years ago, were portraying themselves as the lighthouse of revolution for the Third World and elsewhere, in contrast to what they considered the “conservatism” of the revisionists, and what they slandered as the “dogmatism” of the genuine Marxist-Leninists.

In the 1960s the Cuban leadership had actually become very humble in serving as a Soviet political errand boy whenever it was necessary to pay the rent – for instance, by attacking China and Mao Tsetung in 1966, backing the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and so on. But at that time the Cubans did try to maintain some distance between themselves and the Soviets, if only to maintain Cuba’s prestige and “ultra-revolutionary” image at a time when the new Soviet capitalist ruling class was beginning to smell worse and worse to a growing number of revolutionary-minded people.

But now the Soviet strings which hold up the Cuban regime have been pulled very tight, and the Cuban leadership is to be more “humble” than ever. Today, Castro says, Cuba’s foreign policy is based “in the first place, on staunch friendship with the Soviet Union, the bastion of world progress.”

The use to which the Soviets have put the “staunch friendship” of Cuba has changed over the years. In an earlier period the weaker Soviet imperialists’ relationship with the U.S. imperialists tended more towards surrender and collaboration. Now with their competition with the U.S. becoming sharper and more violent every day, the Soviets’ use of so-called “detente” is mainly as a cover for Soviet aggression and preperations for war – while the U.S. imperialists use it for the same purpose themselves. Times have changed. But it seems anything the Soviet rulers want is fine with Cuba.

Castro goes out of his way to make this point unmistakably clear by going back over th 1962 missile crisis, when the USSR rashly set up long-range missiles in Cuba, and then, when challenged by the U.S. imperialists, not only capitulated completely by taking the missiles out, but also promised the U.S. it could inspect Cuba to make sure that they were gone – without asking the Cuban government. At that time, Castro correctly denounced the Soviets for it.

Now, Castro says, he was wrong for “not understanding” that this cowardly use of Cuba as a bargaining chip with the U.S. was “objectively” a “victory for the socialist camp.”

But this is not the only crow Castro was forced to eat at the congress. Not only should the Cuban leadership have been “humbler” regarding Soviet foreign policy, they also should have been “applying correctly the main useful experiences in the sphere of economic management” in the Soviet Union.

LAWS OF CAPITALISM GOVERN CUBAN ECONOMY

What experience does he mean? That “economic laws” (especially the law of value) “govern socialist construction,” and that “money, prices, finances, budgets, taxes, credit, interest and other commodity categories should function as indispensable instruments…to decide on which investment is the most advantageous; to decide which enterprises, which units, which collective of workers performs best, and which performs worst, and so be able to take relevant measures.” (Speech at party congress)

This, Castro claims, is dictated by “reality,” but it’s not the reality of socialism. The working class must take these laws and categories into account so that it can consciously restrict and limit their sphere of operation and develop the conditions to do away with them once and for all. But socialism can’t be governed by the economic laws of capitalism or else there wouldn’t be any difference between the two systems! Castro’s words here are taken lock, stock and profit margin from recent Soviet economic textbooks – summing up the experience of restoring capitalism in the Soviet Union.

The “new economic system” Castro goes on to describe is based on the same principles that govern all capitalist countries, especially in the form of state capitalism: that prices be fixed according to the cost of production; that the factories and industries which produce the highest rate of return on their investment should be the areas of most expansion; that the managers of these units should be paid according to their social position and also the profitability of their enterprises; that the workers be paid according to the profitability of the enterprises they work for and lose their jobs if production would be cheaper without them; and furthermore, that workers be paid strictly according to their productivity as measured by piecework (which, Castro reported, now determines the wages of 20% of Cuban workers) or by whether or not they meet the production quota set for their jobs – in other words, whether they make rate (this is already in force for 48% of Cuba’s workers).

This is truly capitalism in its full glory. Nowhere is this more ugly than when Castro says that he’s sorry that there’s such a terrible housing shortage in Cuba, but “the revolution hasn’t been able to do much” about it – while later revealing that the government is building 14 new tourist hotels and expanding others. Clearly, the consideration isn’t what people need, but what’s most profitable. Of course, Castro doesn’t call this capitalism, any more than do the present capitalist rulers of the USSR. All the revisionists claim that this kind of thing is just a little more “realistic” version of socialism.

CUBA’S $5 BILLION MORTGAGE

The irony of it is that for many years the Cuban leadership argued that Soviet aid and sugar purchases were allowing them to buy everything they needed to “build socialism and communism simultaneously in Cuba.” Now, with the island $5 billion in hock to the USSR [2] and more dependent on it economically than ever, it’s pretty clear that what really happened was exactly the opposite – the USSR was able to buy itself a neocolony. This development also makes it clearer than ever that the Cuban leadership’s strategy had nothing to do with the working class’ strategy for building socialism – that in fact Cuba was never a socialist country. It raises the question of what kind of revolution Cuba did have and why it was turned into its opposite, so that, far from being socialist, Cuba today has not even won its independence and national liberation.

Petty Bourgeois Radicals Come to Power

This isn’t the first time that an imperialist power has taken advantage of the Cuban people’s struggle for national liberation in order to take over the country for itself. The Soviet rulers’ present tricks are nothing new in the world – although painted red, they are fundamentally no different from what the U.S. imperialists have been doing for years.

In 1898, when the Cuban people were on the verge of winning their independence from Spain after many years of fighting, the U.S. stepped in under the pretext of helping Cuba against Spanish colonialism and thereby seized the island as a neocolony for the U.S. With monopoly capitalism only recently established in the U.S., this was the U.S.’s first imperialist war to open up new areas for the export of American capital and to seize sources of raw materials.

The flood of U.S. investment to. Cuba reenforced the colonial and semi-feudal nature of Cuban society that centuries of Spanish colonialism had created in Cuba. The U.S. imperialists propped up the rule of the landlowners in Cuba and created a handful of capitalists dependent on U.S. capital, thus transforming Cuba from a colony of Spain to a neocolony of the U.S., stifling all possibilities of progress. At the time of the 1959 revolution the system of the ownership of land in Cuba had remained almost unchanged since the days of the Spanish empire, and the country’s one-crop economy had long been stagnant.

This system laid the most crushing burden on the urban and rural working class and the landless and small peasants. At the same time, it also held back the fortunes of all but the richest landowners – the small and very weak national bourgeoisie (confined to manufacturing the few things not made by U.S. subsidiaries or imported) and the relatively large urban petty bourgeiosie.

Throughout most of these years, Cuba’s workers played a leading role in the country’s fight for independence and national liberation, as well as fighting bitterly for their own immediate interests. This reached a high point in the 1930s, when under the leadership of the then-existing Communist Party the working class and its allies unleashed a huge wave of strikes and demonstrations, including armed uprisings and the establishment of soviets (revolutionary workers’ councils) in the sugar mills.

The existing U.S. puppet government was overthrown, but it was soon replaced by an army coup led by Fulgencio Batista. Although though the struggle was very intense for the next several years, the working class was not able to consolidate its advances and eventually was driven back. As some of its previous errors came to the fore, the Communist Party became more and more revisionist. In the 1940s its leadership accepted a partnership in the Batista government, then, when Batista dropped them, crawled into the wood· work, where they remained until the eve of the 1959 revolution. This contributed greatly to the weakening of the workers’ movement as a conscious and organized force, although the workers never stopped fighting their conditions.

VOLATILE PETTY BOURGEOISIE

By the 1950s the petty bourgeoisie had become the most volatile class in Cuba. The political groups that arose from it were the best organized to fight for their interests. Castro’s 26th of July Movement came from the urban petty bourgeoisie, 25% of Cuba’s population – the tens of thousands of businessmen with no business, salesmen with no sales, teachers with no one to teach, lawyers and doctors with few patients and clients, architects and engineers for whom there was little work, and so on. In its 1956 “Program Manifesto,” it defined itself as “guided by the ideals of democracy, nationalism and social justice … [of] Jeffersonian democracy;” and declared, “democracy cannot be the government of a race, class or religion, it must be a government of all the people.” [3]

This certainly expressed the outlook of the petty bourgeoisie, with its hatred for the big bourgeoisie that held it down, its repugnance for the revolution of the working class, and its dreams of a “democracy” above classes. Its practical program aimed at restricting the U.S. and the landlords by ending the quota system under which the U.S. controlled Cuban sugar cane production, restricting the domination of the biggest landlords over the medium-sized growers, distributing unused and stolen farmland to the small peasants, and a profit-sharing scheme for urban workers to expand the market for domestic manufactures and new investment.

With this program, Castro and a small-group took up arms against the Batista government in the Sierra Maestra mountains, while other young intellectuals and professionals organized resistance in the cities. This war won support from nearly every other class except the tiny handful of people directly tied to the landlords and the U.S. Many workers supported it and joined in. In the fighting itself, the most decisive force was the rural petty bourgeoisie, especially the small peasants for whom armed struggle was the only way to defend their land from’ the landlords and the army. Made up largely of peasants itself, Batista’s army soon began to fall apart.

The Batista government disintegrated after two years of fighting involving only a few hundred armed rebels. In the last months, even the U.S. government dropped some of its support for the Batista government, believing that it was more likely that the July 26th Movement would agree to come to terms than that the Batista government could survive. [4]

Just after seizing power in 1959, Castro went-to the U.S. on a “goodwill tour,” declaring in New York, “I have clearly and definitely stated that we are not communists…The gates are open for private investment that contributes to the development of Cuba.” He even called for a massive U.S. foreign aid program for Latin America, “in order to avoid the danger of communism.” But these words weren’t enough to reassure the U.S. ruling class. [5]

Despite Castro’s proclaimed desire to get along with the U.S. government and the U.S imperialists’ desire to get Castro to support their interests, nothing could change in Cuba without seizing the sugar estates and mills and ending the monopoly American business held there. These were the pillars of the economic and political system that had given rise to the rebellion. To challenge them meant challening the whole colonial system and its master but to retreat in the face of them was not possible without abandoning everything.

FIDEL CASTRO: SECRET “MARXIST-LENINIST”

When Castro proclaimed the first agrarian reform law which limited the size of the biggest estates (many of them owned by U.S. sugar companies), all hell broke loose. The U.S. began applying, economic and political pressure to topple the rebel army – which in effect now was the government – and in turn the Cubans began to take over the property of those forces whose interests were opposed to the island’s independence. By 1961, the government found itself in possession of key sections of the economy, while the U.S. had imposed an economic blockade. In April, the U.S. launched the futile Bay of Pigs invasion.

Early in that year the USSR had sent its first trade delegation to Cuba, and Khruschev had offered to protect Cuba with Soviet missiles. On May 1, Castro announced that henceforth Cuba would be a socialist country. Later that year he declared that he was and always had been a Marxist-Leninist, explaining, “Naturally If we had stood on the top of Pico Turquino [in the Sierras] when we were a handful of men, and said we were Marxist-Leninists, we might never have gotten down to the plain.” [6]

The U.S. imperialists used this development to say that the revolution’s leadership had hidden its real intentions all along and came to power under false pretenses – in other words, to find some excuse other than naked self-interest for why they had opposed the Cuban revolution the minute it had touched their property. And they also used Castro’s sudden announcement to slander communism by saying that this was how communists operate, by sneaking their system in through the back door without bothering to tell the masses what’s going on, and that communists don’t really rely on the masses but operate as “masters of deceit.”

The great majority of Cuban workers and peasants were strong supporters of the revolution, and very much in favor of the measures it had taken, such as taking over the estates and mills and guaranteeing small peasants the right to their land (and in many cases giving them more), reducing rent, electricity and other prices, putting thousands of unemployed workers to work constructing hospitals, roads, schools, etc., launching a tremendous literacy campaign, and other steps which removed some of the weight from the masses’ backs and allowed their enthusiasm for change to show itself in action. And many were enthusiastic about the idea of going on to socialism.

But socialism is not just an idea, nor a matter of words, nor just a government take-over. It’s a social revolution, a revolution in the relations of classes so that the working class is not just the owner of things in theory, but also in practice the actual master of production and society, through the leadership of its own Marxist-Leninist party, and the political rule of the working class – the dictatorship of the proletariat. On this basis the working class can lead repeated and successful struggles against the bourgeoisie and in the process it is able to transform material conditions and itself, so as to gradually do away with classes altogether.

This is not the road that Castro and those around him toot despite all their rhetoric to the contrary. They had rebelled against the neocolonial, semi-feudal conditions of old Cuba, but their petty bourgeois position and outlook which had given rise to the longing for a quick and radical change in their status also gave rise to the ambition to retain – and strengthen – their privileged position above the masses of workers and peasants. This only capitalism could give them. This same class outlook also caused them to hate and fear the difficult class struggle and long years of hard work that proletarian rule and the real transformation of Cuba would mean. While the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia did hate the ugly features of capitalism, especially as it had oppressed them, they didn’t want to change society’s division of labor, which had placed them above the masses, free to develop their careers instead of laboring as wage slaves.

In the early years following the revolution, their class position and outlook was manifested in an idealist political line. This line reflected the desire of the petty bourgeois revolutionary intellectuals to see a world without oppression. But it also reflected their contempt and fear for the only force in society that can lead the process of transforming the world, the working class.

This so-called “Cuban line” reflected the impetuosity of the petty-bourgeoisie in wanting their “ideal society” right away and without class struggle, especially without the dictatorship of the proletariat. The Cuban leaders talked as if communism was right around the comer and as if classes were eliminated simply by expropriation of individually owned property.

In fact the essence of utopian socialism, an early form that the idealist world outlook took among the Cuban leaders, is that the building of socialism depends on “enlightened” rulers with the interests of the masses at heart. The Cuban leaders, who viewed themselves as among the most enlightened “saviors” of the masses of all time, believed they could impose their wishes on society. In fact this whole line had great appeal for many revolutionary minded people from the petty-bourgeoisie in this country and around the world who wanted to see a better society but shared the Cuban leadership’s view of the working class.

The same “left” political line stemming from the idealism of the petty-bourgeoisie was manifested in the activities of the Cuban leadership in international affairs. They developed the so-called “foco theory” in struggle in the countryside; acting as the “detonator” to the masses, who are inspired by them to spontaneously rise up, overthrow the old regime and put the “heroic guerrilla” in power.

This is against the experience of every successful communist revolution, which is based on the conscious and organized struggle of the masses. In China, for example, this meant people’s war: mobilizing the peasantry, under the leadership of the working class, establishing base areas in the countryside, and waging a protracted war. When Che Guevara tried to put the “foco theory” into practice in Bolivia, he was killed, the whole operation a complete fiasco.

PEOPLE, NOT THINGS, ARE DECISIVE

Underneath the petty-bourgeois “left” political line and coming more and more to the surface was undisguised revisionism. Instead of mobilizing and relying on the working class to change the actual class relationships. that existed in Cuba, to eliminate the warped economy that imperialist plunder had created in Cuba, and on this basis to develop the productive forces, the Cuban leaders looked for something that could substitute for the masses and class struggle. Despite the rhetoric of building the “new man,” they more and more based themselves on the line common to all revisionists, that things, not people, are decisive; that in order for their version of “socialism” to triumph in Cuba, productive capacity had to be obtained from abroad. Their class outlook insured they could never understand that revolutionizing the relations of production is the key to developing the productive forces. Still less could they understand that, in Marx’s words, the “greatest productive power is the revolutionary class itself.” In place of the conscious struggle of the masses the Cuban leaders sought to purchase socialism by mortgaging the economy to the Soviet Union.

Lenin said, “Clearly, in order to abolish classes completely, it is not enough to overthrow the exploiters, the landlords and capitalists, not enough to abolish their rights of ownership; it is necessary also to abolish all private ownership of the means of production, it is necessary to abolish the distinction between town and country, as well as the distinction between manual workers and brain workers. This requires a very long period of time.” (A Great Beginning)

This is the line of the working class in building socialism and carrying on the revolution for communism. In Cuba it certainly would have meant mobilizing the workers to break down the divisions of labor inherited from the old semicolonial society. This would especially mean changing the organization of the island, which served the almost single purpose of producing sugar for the imperialist world market. But the Cuban leaders, because of their petty bourgeois position and outlook, rejected this path.

Castro said that the main problem facing the revolution was how “to produce the abundance necessary for communism” – meaning, to him, trading sugar for the means of production and machinery that he felt the working class could never produce by relying on its own efforts. And to do this the Cuban leaders’ plan amounted to putting the substance of the old relations of production, in somewhat altered form – society’s division of labor and its sugar plantations – to work at top speed to produce the goods to sell to get this wealth. Now the buyer and “provider” was no longer to be the U.S., but the Soviet Union.

Once this line was adopted, the enthusiasm of the masses for changing the old society was increasingly perverted so that the role of the working class, rather than revolutionizing society, was reduced to working hard to produce the necessary cash. Thus the basic capitalist relation of production was preserved and strengthened the subordination of the working class to production for profit. Rather than a new socialist society, and still less communism, this was, in essence, the same old society with new masters. The workers’ role was to work hard. The Cuban leaders more and more became bureaucratic state capitalists dependent on a foreign imperialist power.

Even the revolutionary fervor and desire of the Cuban people to support anti-imperialist struggles, exemplified by their support for the people of Vietnam, was twisted to support Soviet adventures abroad against their U.S. rivals, as in Bangladesh and in Angola.

Once the basic political road was taken of buying “socialism” instead of relying on and mobilizing the class struggle of the working class and masses which alone could revolutionize society, the basic economic policy of the Cuban revisionists followed as surely as night follows day. The cash that Castro sought could only be obtained by preserving and strengthening the very lopsided and semicolonial economy that had led to the Cuban revolution in the first place. The production of sugar for sale to the Soviet Union became the basis of economic policy, which all the get-rich-quick schemes, “socialist” proclamations and gimmicks depended on and served. And this economic dependency, in turn, became the basis for the further development of the political line of the Cuban leadership.

Sugar Coated Road To Neo-Colonialism

Sugar had been a curse on Cuba. The U.S. had used its control of the sugar market to control Cuba. The American and Cuban sugar lords had tried to keep the people from growing food on the unused land in order to keep them impoverished and without property, with .no choice but to work in the sugar. The sugar lords tied the whole Island to producing sugar for export, while this fertile tropical country ended up importing much of its food. This was the most profitable arrangement for the landowners and imperialists, because food was so expensive, the majority of Cuban workers and peasants ate only rice, beans and roots.

In the first few years of the revolution, as the land and, above all, those who worked it, began to break free of this system, crops were diversified. WIth sugar production continuing where it had been planted in the past, while other land was used for other crops. These were the years of greatest improvement in the living standards of the masses, as working people and material resources that had been kept idle were freed up. The development of some industry was initiated and the construction of schools hospitals and other projects were begun. ‘

In the early ’60s the U.S. closed off Cuba’s former sugar market, so the purchases by the USSR and China helped Cuba out of a jam. In early 1963, as the economy’s advance began to falter and shortages appeared, Castro went to the Soviet Union for talks with Khruschev and other Soviet leaders. When he came back, he had a new plan. Instead of diversifying agriculture, Cuba would produce more sugar.

BEHIND SOVIET “AID”

By then Cuba had borrowed quite a bit from other countries. The USSR offered to substantially increase its loans to Cuba and buy up to five million tons a year of Cuban sugar – more than the country was then producing – at higher than the world market price at that time, so that Cuba could buy goods from the Soviets. [7] The “aid” was the bait, and sugar the hook – and the Cuban leaders swallowed it.

For the rulers of the Soviet Union this was good business. Having overthrown the rule of the working class in the USSR, these new capitalists were increasingly driven oy the laws of imperialism: the need to monopolize sources of raw materials, to export capital for the purpose of extracting superprofits and to contend with imperialist rivals for world domination. They saw that in tying Cuba into their imperialist orbit they would be able to extract great wealth out of Cuba over the years and use Cuba as a political and military tool in their contention with their U.S. rivals.

Like any good dope pusher, the Soviets gave the first samples at a low price. The first couple of years of “aid” were loaned mterest-free. Later they began charging 2.5% interest. Their actual rate of profit was much higher than this. In the original agreement, 80% of the USSR’s credit and money had to be used for purchasing Soviet products at highly inflated prices. (As in the case of interest rates, once the dependency of Cuba has been established, the Soviets upped the ante, requiring all credit to be used on Soviet products.) According to an author with access to Cuban statistics, the USSR was charging 11% to 53% more for machinery than the price of comparable machines in the West. [8] And making this robbery even more outrageous, although at first the Soviets paid Cuba more for its sugar than the world market price at the time (you guessed it, they stopped this practice too), they turned around and resold much of this sugar at an even higher price to Eastern Europe.

This is standard Soviet practice throughout the world. “It is through unequal trade that the Soviet Union realizes the surplus value generated by the export of capital. In essence, it is little more than a bookkeeping arrangement as to whether the profit comes back to the USSR in the form of interest or in the form of superprofits from sales when the sales are tied by trade agreement to the export of capital.” (From Red Papers 7: How Capitalism Has Been Restored in the Soviet Union and What This Means for the World Struggle, emphasis in the original)

But the Soviet Union has much bigger ambitions than mere domination of Cuba. Like all imperialist powers their appetite continually grows and they seek world domination. For the Soviets Cuba represented tremendous political “capital” with which to penetrate other countries in Latin America and throughout the world, by hiding behind Cuba’s “revolutionary” image. Because of the tremendous importance of gaining a foothold in Latin America and in hopes of making even greater political (and eventually military) use of Cuba in their struggle with the U.S. for world hegemony, the Soviets were willing to give Cuba a better “deal” than other countries under their grip.

SELF SUFFICIENCY NOT “CONVENIENT”

The reasoning of the Cuban leadership for mortgaging their countrv to the Soviets went like this: Cuba had extensive sugar fields and mills, and unused land besides. It had relatively few factories, low grade iron ore and little facilities for making steel. Sugar was very profitable to grow and sell on the international market, whereas diversifying agriculture and building industry would be slow and expensive.

As Castro explained in a speech, “To become self-sufficient in rice…we would have to use 330,000 more acres of irrigated land and invest in them our scarce water supply…Undoubtedly, it wouldn’t be convenient for our country to stop producing one and one half million tons of sugar, which is what we could produce on 330,000 acres of irrigated land planted to sugar cane, and which would increase our purchasing power abroad by more than $150 million, in order to produce on this land, with the same effort, rice valued at $25 million.” [9]

Why not take land out of rice production and plant cane, and use the money to buy rice with a good bit left over? This is the course the government followed with a vengeance. In 1964 Cuba decided to up its production of sugar cane from 3.9 million tons to 10 million tons a year by 1970.

All this made perfect economic sense – very “convenient” – according to capitalist economics.

Objectively, this was a decision to develop Cuba exactly as the U.S. imperialists had developed it-in a lopsided and forever dependent manner, according to what was most profitable. It was particularly disastrous because Cuba failed to produce the 10 million tons, but even if this goal had been surpassed the basic effect on the economy’s structure – its dependence on imperialism – would have remained the same. And in this situation it is definitely more profitable to grow cane than develop industry in Cuba – otherwise the U.S. imperialists would have industrialized Cuba long ago.

Even in the last few years, when very high market prices for sugar allowed Cuba to make some profit on its foreign trade for the first time, “economics” still dictated that it be plowed back into making the sugar industry even bigger and more profitable.*

[Footnote in original] In late 1976 the bottom dropped out of the sugar market and the world price fell from 65 1/2 cents a pound to 7 1/2 cents (the Soviets had contracted to buy it at 30 cents). Castro declared that this would mean that Cuba would have to grow still more sugar for sale abroad and Cubans would have to give up the four ounces of coffee they’d been allowed to buy under rationing, so that more coffee could be exported too.

PROFIT IN COMMAND

At the 1975 party congress Castro spoke as though “the profitability criterion” had been unknown in Cuba for many years. In fact, the decision to expand sugar production showed that from the start his government’s strategy for building “socialism” was based on profitability. This was not a mistake – it was a class decision, a basic political step that decided what road Cuba was to take and what classes would benefit from it.

Even under socialism the working class must take into account “profitability,” but profit remains an economic category reflecting the old, capitalist relations of production. Put simply this means that the working class, through the state, must consider the cost, in money, that goes into the production of things (wages, the price of raw materials, etc.) and the price at which the goods produced are sold-generally prices are expected to cover costs and produce a surplus. But the aim of production under socialism is not profit.

Under socialism it is the political line of the working class – its conscious decisions through its party and its state – that determines economic policy, the plan for what will be produced and how. Fundamentally, the plan is based on taking account of the material things in society (the workers, available machinery, raw materials, etc.) to meet the needs of society – food, clothing, schools, new factories, etc. The basic purpose of the working class recognizing – the criterion of profit is so that it can wage a political struggle to restrict, to limit, and eventually to do away with it completely. To base an economy on “the profitability criterion” is capitalism, not socialism.

Neither can the working class build socialism by relying on foreign aid or trade, no matter how well intended. This is because its goal, communism and classless society, is not just. a matter of abundance. But that is exactly how Castro explained It to the masses, as if communism were just a pie in the sky promise of better times. For its own liberation the working class has to lead the masses of people in transforming conditions in each country, wiping out the material and social basis of class contradictions and training the masses in the outlook of the proletariat, so that everyone becomes a worker and the workers are conscious masters of production and every aspect of society. Only on that basis will classes disappear and communism be won.

Self reliance, unleashing, organizing and relying on the creative power of the masses within each country is the only way the working class can break the economic and social chains of capitalism.

DIDN’T DIVERSIFY AGRICULTURE

Cuba couldn’t waste the sugar by letting it rot in the fields, or forget about using it to buy some imports if it could. But especially because not only Cuba’s agriculture but its whole economy was dominated by sugar, it had to diversify Its crops as the only possible basis for breaking out of its neocolonial structure.

In a system where the basic principle upon which all decisions are made is the needs of society and not profit, feeding the people and feeding them well is basic. The fact that the profitability of sugar has always pushed aside less profitable food crops made a lot of food staples very expensive and scarce for the masses.

Furthermore, unless agriculture was diversified and developed, Cuba would never have a basis for complete industrialization, either in raw materials from agriculture (for which Cuba still is largely dependent on imports) nor in terms of developing a market for machinery and consumer goods.

Castro argued that it was much cheaper to import tractors from the Soviet Union, where factories could churn them out by the millions, than to set up factories in Cuba, which didn’t need that many tractors. But again this is capitalist economics. If Cuba didn’t develop its industry, even though this might be more “efficient” in the short run, then in the long run it would always be dependent on imported manufactured goods.

In “generously” providing Cuba with “aid” and encouraging it to enormously increase its production of sugar, the USSR was doing exactly as the U.S. had done – strengthening the most backward aspect of the Cuban economy – its dependence on sugar production. This meant reproducing in a new form the old content – export of capital to the colony and colonial dependence on the imperialist “mother country.” It also meant that the Cuban leaders, by ruling Cuba under these conditions, were fast becoming sugar lords and dependent capitalists.

The decision on sugar was no mere misstep by the Cuban leadership. The example and experience of all socialist construction, including the experience in China and Albania at the time of the Cuban revolution, served as unmistakable examples of the difference between the socialist and capitalist road on the question of developing the economy.

Khruschev, who had led in the establishment of a new exploiter ruling class m the USSR after Stalin’s death, had tried to overthrow working class rule in China and Albania and bring those countries under the Soviet thumb, by ripping out Soviet technicians and blueprints and cutting off important supplies without warning. They even imposed an economic blockade around Albania, while threatening still more drastic action. Despite the fact that both countries were also very poor, and the fact that China is on the Soviet border and tiny Albania is surrounded by hostile states, the working class of these countries had done their best to develop them according to the principle of self-sufficiency and self-reliance, and they were able to resist Khruschev’s offensive, although not without cost.

The Cuban leadership often claimed that the U.S. blockade, the threat of aggression, and Cuba’s short supply of some key natural resources forced them to hitch their wagon to the Soviet Union. But despite whatever real obstacles that did exist to building genuine socialism in Cuba, these were certainly no greater than the conditions faced in real socialist countries. Cuba’s most important resource, the working class itself, was much larger than in Albania, for example.

In fact, the blockade, far from being a justification for reliance on the Soviets,was itself yet another reason for self-reliance: to avoid the threat of strangulation the economy could not be based on the assumption that ships would always be able to reach Cuba.

The Soviet Union, for its part, did oppose the U.S. when it suited their interests and even used Cuba to shake a few more sabers in the U.S. imperialists’ faces, but as the Cuban missile crisis proved, they were quite willing to use Cuba as a pawn to be traded to the U.S. if that proved to be to their advantage. And as the development of things showed, Soviet military “protection,” like Soviet “aid” and trade, meant Soviet protection of its property and the end of Cuban independence.

CHINA-CUBA DISPUTE

An incident between the Cuban and Chinese governments in 1966 shows just how fast the Cuban leaders were going down the road of neocolonial dependence, and how much, despite all their revolutionary rhetoric, their politics were increasingly dictated by the laws of capitalism. China had doubled its shipment of rice to Cuba for the year of 1965, at the Cuban government’s request, but when the Cuban government demanded that China maintain that level permanently, the Chinese government responded by saying they were willing to talk about it but had some serious objections. [10]

China’s aid and trade is fundamentally different from that of the Soviet revisionists described earlier. China’s aid is not investment. Since China is ruled by the working class and not the bourgeoisie, China’s aid and trade doesn’t serve the “profitability criterion” – it serves proletarian politics and is based on equality and mutual benefit.

The Cuban government offered to pay for the increased rice shipments with sugar, and if the Chinese weren’t interested in that, with cash that China had loaned the Cubans to help them diversify their economy. [11] China answered that whatever the sugar might be worth in terms of money, they had no need for so much sugar, while they did need the rice. It was needed not only for their own consumption and to prepare a stockpile in case of war (China had recently been attacked by India, which was armed and backed by both the U.S. and the USSR), but also to supply Vietnam, then at war with the U.S. imperialists.

China’s own bitter experience before and after its liberation had taught it well that economic dependence is a condition that revolution must end, an obstacle and a burden to the people. The Cuban people’s rice ration had stayed the same even when China’s rice shipments doubled because the Cuban government was ripping up rice fields to plant sugar cane – since nee was not as “convenient” as sugar according to the profitability principle. Chinese aid had been meant to help Cuba break out of sugar’s chains. To buy rice with it would only make this situation worse.

Castro’s response was to use the occasion of a Havana conference of some revolutionaries from Africa, Asia and Latin America to publicly lash out at China for “economic aggression.” There he also made disgusting personal slanders on Mao Tsetung and called for his removal from office. [12] In the context of the USSR’s own attacks on China and the polemics then raging between the parties of the two countries over the general line for the international communist movement, this attack put Castro in particularly good standing with his Soviet creditors – a truly disgusting example of how the “profitability criterion” ruled Cuba’s politics.

NATIONALIZATION – FOR WHAT PURPOSE?

Of course, this wasn’t the way Castro presented it. Every step, every measure that the government took was explained to the masses as a step towards “socialism,” better yet, towards “communism.” But every new nationalization, every new “revolutionary offensive,” every new opportunity presented to the masses to show their revolutionary enthusiasm, was in fact guided by “the criterion of profitability” and the class interests of Cuba’s rulers.

In 1963, a few months after Castro’s visit to the USSR and the signing of the sugar deal, Castro announced that in addition to the great estates and the property of the U.S. imperialists which had been seized before, now the land of the medium growers was to be confiscated. Those affected, growers with 160 to 990 acres – about 10,000 farmers and their families in all – were accused by Castro of “sabotaging sugar production” and aiding the CIA. [13]

These were certainly not poor peasants, and couldn’t be relied upon in the struggle to transform Cuba because they were exploiters themselves. Nevertheless, many of these farmers had supported the 1959 revolution because they had been severely restricted by the big sugar companies.

We cannot say exactly what would have been the correct policy toward these growers. The real point is not whether the particular policy toward them was a mistake or not. Mistakes need not be fatal and can be corrected, given an overall correct line. The important point is that, for the Cuban government, this policy was not at all based on how to develop socialist agriculture. It wasn’t even a matter of defense of the revolution. For them, this complete expropriation was a reflection of what had become their overall policy: sacrifice everything to subordinate the maximum amount of land to the sugar mills and make the cane grow as cheaply as possible.

This exact same line – all out to turn the country into an efficient sugar producing operation – came out differently when applied to the several hundred thousand poor farmers. As the people who grew so much of Cuba’s food, these peasants were potentially an important force in developing the economy along socialist lines. But the government’s general policy was not to lead them in the voluntary collectivization of their land and labor.

DIDN’T COLLECTIVIZE

Basically they just let them sit. Some went out of business and some became part of the state farms, and a few grew rich. All this caused this part of the economy to stagnate in small private ownership, and Cuba still continued to have to spend 24% of its import money on food. [14] This was ignored by the Cuban leaders, who saw the motive force in their economy not as the masses, mobilized to break the old patterns of production and build socialism, but as the profit criterion and the “get rich quick” gimmick of pushing the sugar export section of the economy.

The failure to lead these peasants through cooperation, collectivization and socialization ensured that this section of the people would remain stuck in this method and outlook of small private ownership, and that Cuba’s agriculture would not develop in a socialist way.

The state farms formed from the old estates and the confiscated medium farms were in turn grouped together into giant agrupaciones, often totaling several hundred thousand acres. This was a more “efficient” – more profitable – way to grow sugar, especially with the market now expanding to include the Soviet Union. But it wasn’t a higher, more socialist form of ownership than before because the relations of production – especially the role of the producers in the whole setup – was unchanged. Instead of working for a sugar company under the eyes of a few managers, now the mill workers and field hands worked for the government under the eyes of 20 to 30 bureaucrats. And the purpose of their labor remained production and profit.

After a few years, when the state farms needed even more manpower for sugar, the state farm employees were forbidden from having even their private plots, on which many Cuban cane cutters grew small amounts of vegetables and other crops, principally for their own use.

Under socialism the working class strives to make the most efficient use of use of the resources of society. In the long run this means, of course, large-scale, mechanized, diversified agriculture, and at all times the working class must wage a political struggle against the capitalist tendencies that small-scale production engenders. But for a long period of time in many countries, certainly in Cuba, it is neither necessary nor desirable to eliminate all sideline agricultural production, even when some of the produce is sold. It can contribute to feeding people. And if the state farm workers could grow much of their own food in their spare time it would be a good thing, freeing up resources to be used elsewhere.

But for the Cuban government, these private plots took time away from the main business – sugar cane. In effect, the government had become the new landlords, subordinating the laborers’ needs and the needs of society to the demands of King Sugar just as before.

95.1% OF HOT DOG VENDORS “COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY”?

The shortage of manpower in the cane fields caused a mania of nationalization in the late ’60s. In the so-called “revolutionary offensive” of 1968, when the sugar harvest was way behind, Castro announced that “95.1 %” of all hot dog sellers, grocery store owners, barkeepers and other small proprietors had been discovered to be “counter-revolutionaries.” [15] Worse, these “able bodied men were loafing” while “women went to the fields.”

All of these establishments – 55 ,000 in all – were seized. They were either closed down permanently (without regard to whether, for instance, the workers might need a hot dog stand in front of a factory) or else run by bureaucrats, while the ex-proprietors were sent off to cut cane. Some turned out to be old and crippled, and many joined the almost 10% of Cuba’s population who had fled the country.

Castro justified this by saying that the revolution hadn’t been made just so “parasites” could run a business. But his approach to the question was the opposite of the proletariat’s. In revolutions led by the working class, it is an important political principle to win over the maximum number of forces against the enemy at each point in the struggle and to neutralize those who can’t be won over. The working class, having seized power from the big capitalists, has to gradually do away with the small proprietors in its midst who represent a capitalist element. But the working class’ method in this situation is to use persuasion, not force. The working class can win the vast majority of these people to building socialism and, in the course of this, transform both their political outlook and their economic position. But Castro’s capitalism turned them into wage slaves pure and simple. For the Cuban government, it was a simple matter of economics: 55,000 “able-bodied men” = 55,000 potential cane cutters.

This nationalization was the greatest fraud and had nothing to do with socialism, even though the government might pronounce it very “revolutionary” to do away with someone else’s business to serve its own. Nationalization is not necessarily socialization. Nationalization means simply control of a business by the state, which the bourgeois state does all the time, from the Post Office to Penn Central in the U.S., to the steel-industry and the mines in Britain.

The key difference is which class holds power. When the working class runs the state, it is able to plan society increasingly to serve its own interests and all of humanity. To do this requires the increasingly conscious and organized participation of the workers at all levels of society, including the enterprise level in management and administration.

The masses of workers and peasants have a great knowledge about production and about their overall and particular needs. With the leadership of the proletariat’s party, their knowledge can be summed up and used to formulate a plan to run the economy in order to fill those needs and advance revolution. And the masses of producers can be organized, educated and relied upon to increasingly control and participate in the carrying out of this plan and run society. Unless all this is done, there is only one other way to make decisions – according to profit.

This is the case in Cuba. There are periodic assemblies of workers in the factories all right. But as a top government official explained them, “It is not a question of discussing all the administrative decisions. The thing is that the enthusiasm of the workers must be obtained to support the principal measures of the administration.” [16] This isn’t very different from the kind of management pep talks workers.in the U.S. often hear.

The factories, state farms, hot dog stands, etc., weren’t run by a plan, in the working class sense of the word. Plans were made, but since the general lines of the economy were already decided by the production of sugar, the particular plans within that had to follow suit, to also be based on profit.

But there was one very important difference between the management of the economy in the ’60s and its present management. In the ’60s the managers and bureaucrats were subject to little control or discipline regarding their particular enterprise or industry. In the name of establishing “communism” all at once (and with the freedom they thought Soviet “aid” had bought them), there was no economic accounting for their performance, and little control except for their superior’s orders. This allowed the former intellectuals and professionals who were running the economy to trip out pretty much as they liked with “special projects” and so-called “miniplans,” free as birds, until the bills for this “freedom” quickly came due.

All this was in the name of “socialism,” of “eliminating the vile intermediary of money,” as Castro explained. [17] But in real socialist construction, when both the forces of production and the knowledge and conscious control of the producers are still relatively limited, the working class must use some economic accounting and controls over production in order to better understand what it is free to do and to help check up on its implementation. Again, this means subordinating economics to politics. Otherwise, if the plan doesn’t strictly reflect reality and if it isn’t strictly carried out, then the laws of capitalism will reassert themselves.

While the new managers and bureaucrats wanted to be free of the “vile intermediary of money,” they couldn’t be free of the laws of capitalism and the market. The uncontrolled nature of production under this system, which created very severe economic setbacks and contributed a lot to the failure of the sugar harvest, had to be brought under the discipline of profit.

At first profit commanded the economy through the direct intervention of Castro and other leaders, who ran around directing resources into sugar and other exports and industries that seemed to promise a quick return on investment. Then in the later 1960s the government tried to run everything with the aid of a giant Soviet computer and asset of mathematical tables prepared according to the instructions of a Harvard economist. [18] If Since these methods arranged things for maximum “efficiency” as measured in pesos and centavos, they were simply a disguised form of running things according to profit (and in fact are often used by capitalist management in the U.S. and USSR). By the early 1970s, however, even these methods turned out to be not efficient enough and piece by piece the government began reorganizing the economy according to the same principle, in form as well as content, followed by the dollar and especially the ruble.

The real relations of production, the real class relationships, were camouflaged by fast and loose use of Marxist words. And at the same time, the workers and peasants were expected to work doubletime in honor of this phoney “Marxism.”

“VOLUNTARY” LABOR

In the name of “using conscience to create wealth” and “creating the New Man,” workers were increasingly called upon to do great amounts of voluntary labor. This was especially true in the late 1960s, as growing numbers of cane cutters streamed out of the countryside looking for better pay and conditions, leaving the all-important sugar harvests short of manpower.

The enormous numbers of workers, students and even sometimes bureaucrats bused into the cane fields, however, had little resemblance to real socialist voluntary work, which under working class rule is an important measure for developing society and transforming the working class.

Under socialism when the workers rule and are transforming society toward communism, there is a real basis for people to spend their spare time doing voluntary labor. But in Cuba, the “voluntary” labor was nothing like this. This was because the needs of sugar production meant that people’s “voluntary labor” was often at the expense of their regular work, and because, although many people did take part enthusiastically and selflessly, logging a certain number of hours of “voluntary” labor was the only way to become eligible to buy durable consumer goods such as refrigerators, etc. [19] Many workers resisted this scheme. Productivity in “voluntary” labor was often only 10% of paid labor – but it was still cheaper than paying wages. [20]

Just as Castro had claimed that the increasing concentration on sugar was necessary “so as to fully develop the productive forces necessary for communism,” he also claimed that the increasing emphasis on voluntary labor was also a communist measure. In fact, as many workers were becoming very sceptical about how things were going under “socialism,” throughout the ’60s Castro made increasing use of the promise that “communism” would come in the very near future (starting within ten years, he said) [21] and would put an end to Cuba’s growing problems.

This was a very convenient misuse of what communism really means, as well as pure pie in the sky, as developments quickly proved. No amount of labor, voluntary or otherwise, will change the capitalist class relations, which are the real cause of Cuba’s problems. And the Cuban government was using all sorts of devices – from perverting people’s real revolutionary enthusiasm, to material incentives, to outright wage cutting-to disguise this fact and squeeze more and more labor out of the people.

In industry and especially among skilled workers, wages for a great many jobs were cut, under the slogan “workers renounce gains which today constitute privileges.” Many times Castro has denounced the so-called “privileges” that some workers supposedly enjoyed under Batista (as well as those supposedly enjoyed by workers in the U.S. today). But it’s the capitalists who’ve caused inequalities among the working people, not fundamentally by favoring some, but by paying all as little as they can get away with. The socialist principle “to each according to its work” means that people do receive different pay for different work, because they contribute different amounts to society. Restricting these differences, and eventually doing away with them, must overwhelmingly be done by raising the general wage level-not by forced wagecutting.

It’s the capitalists’ idea of “equality” that all workers should be equally poor, and that some workers should pay for whatever advances others make. This, too, was the Cuban government’s idea of “building socialism and communism simultaneously.” Meanwhile, of course, class differences widened. While workers took a pay cut in the name of building a “pure, really pure society,” high school teachers, for instance, got a 60% wage hike. And on the new plan, managers will be paid for their profit performance. [22]

Even so, people’s wages were not what they seemed. Rent was cheap and even free for some, and many prices at that time were cheaper than before. But by the end of the ’60s consumer goods were so scarce that the amount of money in circulation was twice the value of goods available on the market. [23] Much of people’s pay was worthless because there was nothing to spend it on. (Since then this has been “solved” by raising prices.)

ECONOMY IN SHAMBLES

By the late 1960s the Cuban economy was in shambles: in 1964 after signing the sugar sales agreement with the Soviet Union, Castro had announced that by 1970 Cuba would harvest 10 million tons of sugar a year. This plan meant almost tripling sugar production.

A high 30% of the economy was being plowed back into capital investment [24] focusing on clearing land for cane, buying tractors for cane building new mills for cane, railroads for cane, ports for cane – as well as expanding other export crops and nickel mining for export. After the first two years, sugar production began to fall farther and farther behind the targeted goals. [25] And the more sugar fell behind, the more frantically other resources were thrown into sugar production, with workers drawn out of every other industry. Even housing was left standing half-built as the workers were snatched away to cut cane.

But this plan turned out to be a nightmare, and Cuba’s rulers were in deep trouble. In their frenzied efforts to make that goal upon which Castro had very publicly staked “the honor of the revolution,” they so burned out men, machines and fields that the 8.5 million tons that was achieved in 1970 came at such a cost that in the next two years cane production fell to a new low in recent Cuban history. And not only did they not get the 10 million tons, by 1970 they had fallen so far behind in sending sugar promised the Soviet Union that they owed the USSR 10 million tons. [26]

Cuba’s economic statistics for this period paint a picture of disaster. The country’s industrial production had risen somewhat until 1968, when sugar production began to reach a fever pitch. Then it fell sharply, according to Cuban figures. Steel and shoe production, for instance, dropped like a stone. Non-sugar agricultural production fell by a fifth. (Cuban statistics quoted by the UN). The number of cattle fell from 7 million to 5 million in three years. Cuba’s poultry andmany vegetables remained scarce. [27]

According to the American “experts” on the subject, their statistics show that the standard of living of the masses was slowly falling throughout the late 1960s. We don’t have to take their words for it, because according to the Cuban government the amount of goods people could get under rationing either stayed the same or decreased (as in the case of milk), and even the personal consumption of Cuba’s two most famous products, sugar and cigars, was drastically cut – to have more left over for export – while the prices of many consumer items rose sharply. [28] That the workers didn’t care for the way things were going is shown by the admission by the Cuban Minister of Labor that absenteeism from work was 20% on the average day in 1970. [29] He described this as “widespread passive resistance.” [30]

To the Cuban masses, the government had promised that the 10 million ton harvest would produce the abundance necessary for Cuba’s economic liberation. But this drive and its failure had further enslaved the Cuban people. By 1970 the Cuban government owed the USSR over $2 billion, and the Soviets were demanding more than a pound of flesh in return. [31]

Soviets Bark Orders, Castro Cracks Whip

The 1975 Cuban party congress was a consolidation and formal ratification of many of the changes that the Cuban government has been making since the early 1970s.

First and most important, there was a new crackdown on the working class. Along with the new wage policy described at the beginning of this article, there is now less emphasis on relying on the masses’ enthusiasm and more on plain old force. This was in line with a 1973 decision which revived a system of punishment familiar to workers throughout the capitalist world: for offenses ranging from absenteeism, lateness and negligence to lack of respect to supervisor, workers can be punished by docking their pay-check, being disqualified from certain posts, transferred to another Job, postponement of vacations, temporary suspensions and actual firing. [32]

Individual sugar enterprises started laying off workers several years ago to increase “productivity.” Cuban President Osvaldo Dorticos admited in a 1972 speech that there was some outright unemployment in two of the largest sugar growing provinces. [33] Now, according to the party congress, this practice is to become much more widespread in other industries.

The decisions of the congress established a formal system for running the Cuban economy along capitalist lines. Bureaucrats and managers won’t be so free to damage profit with their fantasies anymore since that is one freedom even the social-imperialists’ money can’t buy. The whole economy is to be run more “efficiently” now, with profit to be made at every step. Workers are to be paid according to the profitability of the enterprises they work for (to make them work harder – which won’t make them any less exploited). Managers are to be paid according to the profitability of the enterprises they manage (to make them work the workers harder), and those at the top are to be paid “rewards for results” [34] – after all, don’t they have the responsibility of running everything?

ROLE OF THE CUBAN PARTY

The Cuban government has learned from the experience of the Soviet revisionists in more than just the “socialist” version of capitalist economics. The decision to finally hold a first congress of the Communist Party of Cuba ten years after its founding is a good example of that.

When the Party was founded in 1965, its role was mainly formal. Since Cuba was supposedly a “socialist” country it had to have a “communist” party. This was cooked up by amalgamating Castro’s July 26th Movement, the Revolutionary Directorate (a student group which had taken up arms against Batista) and the Popular Socialist Party, the old revisionists who had long ago given up calling their party communist and opposed the armed struggle against Batista until the last minute, even going so far as to betray some of the student fighters to Batista’s police. This new Party’s leading bodies rarely met, few people joined it and in general it was mainly for show.

For the working class, its party is its key weapon in making revolution and building socialism. Only through the organized detachment of the most class conscious fighters can the knowledge and experience of the laboring people in their millions be summed up to formulate the line and policies that can lead the working class forward. The leaders of the Cuban revolution got a lot of support from the masses, but since they never based themselves on the working class, they had no need for such a party.

But the experience they’ve had as a new dependent capitalist class has made them more “realistic” about protecting and strengthening their rule. The party they have organized and brought to center stage was created by this class and is guided by its interests and outlook. Its leaders are the rulers of the state, the army, the factories and the farms. Castro reported to the congress that 40% of its members are administrators and full time party officials, 10% are teachers and health workers. As for the rest who belong to factory and farm units, we don’t know exactly how many are workers and peasants and bow many are technicians and managers. We do know from a previous speech that, at least in 1970, the manager and party leader in these units were almost always the same person [35] — and on state farms more often than not, an army officer as well. [36]

But the way we can tell what class a party represents is not mainly by the membership, but by the policies it carries out and what class interests these policies advance. Like the present revisionist party in the Soviet Union, this is not a party of the working class, to serve the working class’s rule. It is a party of the bourgeoisie, to protect and strengthen their rule over the masses.

CASTRO’S “SELF-CRITICISM”

Even Castro’s so-called “self-criticism” serves these class interests. “Perhaps our greatest idealism,” he said not too long ago, “has been to believe that a society that has scarcely left the shell of capitalism could enter, in one bound, into a society in which everyone could behave in an ethical and moral manner.” [37]

At the party congress, Castro continued this theme: “Revolutions usually have their utopian periods, in which their protagonists, dedicated to the noble tasks of turning their dreams into reality and putting their ideals into practice, assume that historical goals are much nearer and that man’s will, wishes and intentions can accomplish anything.”

These are truly reminiscences of a new bourgeoisie looking back on its early days. Their rise to power began with a petty bourgeois revolution. The policies of its leaders reflected the outlook of that class, with all its vacillation, subjectivism, idealism and wishful thinking, impatience for quick change and lack of patience for struggle, and all the get-rich-quick schemes and other characteristics that reflect the petty bourgeoisie’s unstable position between the working class and the capitalists. Their “left” line in the ’60s and its real, underlying conservatism, and their rapid changeover to open revisionism in the face of difficulties, is all testimony to that outlook.

The main idealist form that this took was certainly not, as Castro would have us believe, having too high an estimation of the masses of people. Their real idealism was that they expected that society could be changed just because they wanted it to, without the conscious and organized efforts of the masses in their millions. This was reflected in their theory that a “small handful of resolute men” alone could topple U.S. imperialism throughout Latin America, as well as by their theory that the combination of Soviet money and Castro’s ideas could bring socialism to Cuba, instead of the struggle of the masses themselves.

It wasn’t idealism that they wanted things to change, nor that they believed that things could change. What was most idealist what was furthest from reality – was the Cuban leaders’ conception that they could maintain capitalism’s division of labor with themselves on top, the thinkers and planners and administrators of all, while the working people would willingly carry out their plans without struggling against this exploitation and oppression.

FULL-BLOWN BOURGEOISIE

What has changed in Cuba today, reflecting this transformation of these rebels into a new bourgeoisie, is that while they still maintain the appearances of “socialism,” their experience at running society in their bourgeois way has taught them the outlook and methods of all capitalist ruling classes. They haven’t exchanged their old petty bourgeois idealism for the outlook and struggle of the working class, but rather for that of the bourgeoisie itself. They still use rhetoric and illusions as a prop to their rule but now rely on the “discipline of the market” to make the workers work backed up by all the coercion and outright force at their disposal.

“They grabbed, now let me have a go, too.” This was how Lenin described the outlook of the petty bourgeoisie towards Russia’s overthrown rulers. This applies to Cuba’s petty bourgeois leaders. For them the victory over the imperialists and their Cuban overseers was not an opportunity to transform the conditions that gave rise to the neocolonial system. Instead they increasingly became replacements, in a new form, for those they had overthrown. On the basis of their own class outlook, and with the conditions so readily supplied by the Soviet revisionists, these once petty-bourgeois rebels have become a full-blown comprador bourgeoisie-dependent on the Soviet imperialists.

Cuba’s trade figures with the Soviet bloc for the last few years are almost the same as they once were with the U.S. Exports still make up a third of the island’s production (and most of that is sugar), with the bulk of these products going to the Soviet bloc. [38]

While fertile land is tied down in the production of sugar, food remains on the long list of things which Cuba must purchase from abroad. This fact is a constant drag on its development. The Cuban debt to the USSR is now over $5 billion, and to pay that back it is now planning to put even greater efforts into increasing sugar production. Recently the Cubans joined the CMEA,which has been the main vehicle for Soviet economic domination of East Europe. This endless cycle of dependency, debt and yet more dependency, and the one crop economy at its center, is identical to that which ties many other Latin American countries to the U.S.

CUBA’S POLITICAL ROLE

These are the imperialist economics which dictate Cuba’s present political role in the world – its role as a tool, a puppet, used by Soviet social-imperialism to advance its interests everywhere.

For the Soviets, Cuba is a long-term investment with far greater profits expected than simply immediate economic benefit. It is even conceivable that the USSR could lose money, in the short run, on its investments. But this would not affect Cuba’s colonial dependence on the Soviet Union. Imperialist powers often subordinate their immediate profit in any particular country to their overall policies. A good example of this is Israel, where the U.S. has poured in billions of dollars, more than it could ever hope to squeeze out of control of the Israeli economy alone. Israel’s real value to the U.S. is primarily as a political and military tool with which to protect its vast holdings in the Middle East.

The Soviet imperialists certainly expect to return a monetary profit on their Cuban investment. But Cuba’s real value for them now is that, dressed in the revolutionary garb of anti-U.S. imperialism, it is a key tool in the Soviets’ drive to replace the world domination of U.S. imperialism with its own – all in the name of revolution and communism.

“REVOLUTIONARY” CREDENTIALS

As a country which has made a revolution against the U.S. and has consistently tried to enhance its “revolutionary” credentials, Cuba is able to advance the Soviet imperialists’ cause in many areas where the USSR can’t act so openly in its own name.

Part of Cuba’s service is to provide a cover and to counterattack against exposure and denunciation of the Soviet imperialists: to call things their opposite and hide their real nature.

Cuba was particularly valuable for this at the Conference of Non-Aligned Countries in Algeria in 1973, when Cambodia’s Prince Sihanouk denounced the USSR as an accomplice in the U.S. aggression against Cambodia. Castro stood up and launched an attack on Sihanouk and others and spouted an embittered defense of the Soviets, whom he portrayed as the staunch and natural ally of the oppressed countries.

Today, the Cuban leaders are playing this theme still louder and more shamelessly than before. At the 1975 party congress, Castro said “no true revolutionary, in any part of the world, will ever regret that the USSR is powerful, because if that power did not exist … the people who fought for liberation in the last 30 years would have had no place from which to receive decisive help … and all the small, underdeveloped nations – of which there are many – would have been turned into colonies once more.”

The message behind this is loud and clear: underdeveloped countries cannot win liberation without depending on the Soviet Union. This call for the world to follow the “Cuban model” is a very important service to the Soviet rulers who are trying to pervert the struggles of the oppressed against U.S. imperialism to serve their own purpose of replacing the U.S. as the world’s biggest exploiters and oppressors.

But of course the Soviet rulers are not fundamentally counting on Castro’s speeches to advance their interests. More and more, like the U.S. imperialists, they are counting on guns. And, here too, the Cuban leaders have seen the light of Soviet “realism.”

ARMED INTERVENTION IN ANGOLA

These days instead of spreading the line of “guerrilla focos” to substitute for the masses’ own struggle for liberation, now Cuba is sending its soldiers riding in on Soviet tanks and planes.

The thousands of Cuban troops accompanying the Soviet tanks in Angola are only one of the many payments the Cuban ruling class will be expected to make to its Soviet masters on the practical front.

Not only do the social-imperialists use Cuban troops to try to bring Angola under their heel. They try to sell it all as “proletarian internationalism” and they go so far as to portray Cuba as an example of what great blessings are in store for other countries if only they tie their future to the Soviet Union and its “aid.” But the fact that thousands of Cuban soldiers are sent to fight and die as pawns in this counterrevolutionary crime is a tremendous exposure of Soviet imperialism, which no amount of words can hide.

The Soviet imperialists say that the working class and masses of people are destined to remain in chains unless they receive Soviet “aid” and submit to Soviet control. The U.S. imperialists, whose own economic and military aid has long been used to enslave and reenforce the bonds of oppression of many peoples, say the same thing from their angle-if the oppressed and exploited of a country dare rise up against U.S. “protection” and plunder they are sure to fall prey to the Soviet jackals.

But the most important lesson to be learned from the failure of the Cuban revolution is just the opposite of this imperialist logic. The masses of people in each country can free themselves, and advance the cause of freeing all humanity only by relying mainly on their own efforts and not the “aid”of the world’s exploiters – by taking the road of proletarian revolution.

SOURCES

[1] Granma. Jan. 4, 1976.

[2] John E. Cooney, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 16, 1974.

[3] “Program Manifesto of the 26th of July Movement,” in Cuba In Revolution, Rolando E. Bonachea and Nelson P.Valdes, Editors. New York, 1972.

[4] U.S. Ambassador to Cuba E, T. Smith, The Fourth Floor, New York, 1962,

[5] Hispanic-American Report, May 1959.

[6] Revolucion (organ of the 26th of July Movement), Dec, 22, 1961,

[7] Edward Boorstein, The Economic Transformation of Cuba, New York, 1968.

[8] Jaime Suchlicki, Cuba, Castro and Revolution. Coral Gables, 1972.

[9] Granma. Jan. 3, 1966.

[10] Peking Review, Jan. 14, 1966.

[11] Granma, Feb, 5, 1966.

[12] Speech of March 13, 1966, Quoted in Hugh Thomas, Cuba. New York, 1971.

[13] Leo Huberman and Paul M. Sweezy, Socialism in Cuba, New York, 1969,

[14] Cuban government statistics cited by Erik N. Baklanoff, “International Economic Relations,” in Revolutionary Change in Cuba, Carmelo Meso-Lago, ed., Pittsburgh, 1971.

[15] Speech of March 13, 1968.

[16] Speech by Armando Hart, Organization Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba. Granma,Oct. 5, 1969.

[17] Speech at ANAP Conference of May 1967, cited in Thomas, op. cit.

[18] W. Leontief, “Notes on a Visit to Cuba.” New York Review of Books, Aug. 21,1966.

[19] Roberto E. Hernandez and Carmelo Mesa-Lago , “Labor Organization and Wages,” in Revolutionary Change in Cuba.

[20] Carmelo Mesa-Lago, “Economic Significance of Unpaid Labor,” in Cuba in Revolution.

[21] Speech of Sept. 28, 1966.

[22] Castro’s report to the 1975 Party Congress.

[23] “Let’s Fight Absenteeism and Fight It Completely,” Granma, Nov. 9, 1969.

[24] Figure given by Castro in speech of March 12, 1968.

[25] Carmelo Mesa-Lago and Luc Zephirin, “Central Planning,” in Revolutionary Change in Cuba.

[26] Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Cuba in the Seventies, Albuquerque, 1974.

[27] Statistics from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization taken from Cuban government reports, and also from various Cuban government figures’ speeches. Cited by Mesa-Lago, Cuba in the Seventies.

[28] Ibid.

[29] Speech by Labor Minister Jorge Risquet, Granma, Sept. 20, 1970.

[30] 1970 speech by Risquet cited by Jaime Suchlicki, Cuba From Columbus to Castro, New York, 1974.

[31] Carmelo Mesa-Lago “Economic Policies and Growth,” in Revolutionary Change in Cuba. U.S. government figures are higher. See also U.S.Government Official Area Handbook on Cuba, 1973.

[32] These are the provisions of the labor law of 1965, which was not completely enforced until after the congress of the Cuba Trade Union Federation (CTC) in 1973. Law quoted by Hernandez and Mesa-Lago op. cit.

[33] Mesa-Lago, Cuba in the Seventies.

[34] Castro’s report to the Party Congress.

[35] Risquet, speech of July 31, 1970.

[36] Renee Dumont, Is Cuba Socialist? New York, 1974.

[37] Granma, Sept. 20, 1970.

[38] Castro’s report to the Party Congress.

Stalin in the Distorted Mirror of History Falsifiers


All Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks

At the present time, anti-communism is losing its priority place in the ideology of bourgeois reformism, because today, the people of Russia can clearly compare “how it was in the communist time and how it is in Yeltsin’s time.” Another thing is that the Stalin epoch is separated by over forty years from the present time. Therefore, they instantly bring forth anti-Stalinism which is an extremely dangerous form of anti-communism.

It is important to keep in mind that many Communists perceived “as the truth” the so-called revelations of Khrushchev, made at the XX Congress of the CPSU. The bourgeois counter-revolution used them with all their might. The lie of the “Khrushchev Thaw” was fully used by the opportunists of a number of communist parties in the world. In this connection, we greet the publication of a book by Ludo Martens “Another view about Stalin” which deals a telling blow to anti-communism.

It is known that scientists are appraised by their discoveries, artists by their paintings, writers by their works. So the politicians should be appraised by the results of their rule. The rule of Stalin’s activities are enormous. Winston Churchill said: “Stalin came to Russia with a wooden plough and left it in possession of atomic weapons.”

Such results are not accidental. Stalin possessed the most important qualities of a political leader. He correctly estimated the future. He correctly promoted aims and formulated tasks. What is more — he proposed the best ways to go in achieving these tasks. He possessed a strong political will-power which helped to achieve the set aims. Stalin had a very bright personality, a great dialectical mind, many-sided knowledge, colossal efficiency and outstanding organizational abilities. He was a keen diplomat. In his daily life, he was very modest, a man without any greed or desire for riches. There is uncounted evidence of it all.

Stalin earned colossal authority in the International Revolutionary Movement as well as in the Communist Movement, and like Lenin, he earned great respect and love of the toiling masses. This people’s love converted into a great material force which helped the Soviet people to surmount trials, made by the capitalist environment, into the first Socialist State. Today, the bourgeois reformers ridicule in a ruffian manner the people’s love and esteem of the Stalin heroic generation of builders and defenders of socialism.

N.S. Khrushchev lost to a great extent his authority because he was eradicating not the “personality cult,” but people’s love of Stalin. Why was the name of Stalingrad changed to Volgograd? Why did they secretly, in a manner of thieves, remove Stalin from his place in the Mausoleum? Would it not have been sufficient to apportion a separate wall in the Mausoleum for Stalin’s sarcophagus in order to allow all those who wished to do so to come and visit it? Then it would not have been necessary to place in it next leaders of the party.

Theirs is not the same scale of activities and not the same results as that of Lenin and Stalin. After all, none of them earned the love of the people! People’s love cannot be earned in an empty place. People may sympathize with advances and promises, but not forever. As a result, Khrushchev became the object of laughs, Brezhnev of mockery, Gorbachev of scorn, and Yeltsin of hatred.

Why do the ideologists of the bourgeoisie and renegades hate and fear Stalin now? Why is it that in the USSR since Khrushchev’s time, they keep on destroying Stalin’s writings and the literature about him with such frenzy? Possibly because Stalin’s logic is able even now to charm and fascinate unprejudiced readers and investigators, to help them to separate the super-qualified steel of Leninism from the rusty scrap of opportunism, revisionism and other petty-bourgeois works, contained today in the arms of counter-revolution.

You know, the enemies of Stalin are fighting not with his epoch as a realistic past of the country, but with a completely false sick fiction. There is no truthful search for facts, but a manipulated avalanche of lies and ignorance. For instance, they write that the country paid dearly for the achievements of Stalin. As if Stalin in that period could have chosen the correct path or a wrong path of development! Between bad and worse roads? More often, the situation internally and externally forced the Soviet government to choose between bad roads and extremely dangerous roads. Many problems cropped up that demanded immediate actions according to the sources available at that moment. Therefore, they had to do with whatever was available and possible (keeping in mind that the USSR was surrounded by enemies). It is a fact that the road chosen at that time by the Soviet government headed by Stalin was the path that was optimal. Soviet Union went through the path in a few years that took other developed countries one hundred years.

Another attack was that under Stalin, people lived very poorly. We lived at that time according to the means and possibility under the prevailing conditions. The period of “self reliance” was from 1920 to 1950. USSR did not receive any help from anyone. But our economy was not in a crisis as it is now in 1941. With every year, our lives were improving. We were happier and more satisfied with every passing year.

Of course, the development of life and economy is not without problems. There were still classes, and the development had to be looked upon as to which class should be served, the majority or the minority… cooperatives or private enterprisers? The people were gaining higher understanding, moral fortitude and unity in constructing socialism and these are the people that stopped the Hitler tanks and hordes when they invaded our Motherland.

The Great Patriotic War gave credence to Stalin’s leadership and policy. He became the focal point as the leader and war tactician of the highest order. As Commander-in-Chief, his role in the war was beyond reproach by anyone, including the foreign enemies who had nothing but praise for Stalin’s leadership during the war. Today however, the so-called “war experts” have “liberated the General Command of the Red Army” from the history of the Great Patriotic War. Paradoxically, after the victory of the Soviet people in 1941-1945 years, according to the anti-communists, the victory was achieved in SPITE of Stalin! What were the true facts?

Khrushchev at the 20th Congress of the CPSU emphatically said that Stalin fought the “war globally and not on the front”! Stupidity of this utterance immediately brought denials, demands of apology by the living Generals, Marshals and front-line fighters during the Great Patriotic War. Nevertheless, this Khrushchev version up to this day prevails, supported by scores of “historians,” all of them writing volumes upon volumes of lies and not having any trouble financing their books, etc., etc.

The biggest lie is that Stalin did not know when the war started, got panicky, locked himself up at the dacha outside of Moscow, was getting senselessly drunk for one week, taking himself away from every facet of governing, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

In reality, everything was much different.

JUNE 22, 1941 — Politbureau and Stalin at its head worked on the text of the speech to the Soviet people, which was delivered by Molotov, giving directives, commands on mobilization of other civilians to the ranks of Red Army, announcing the appointment of Marshals and Generals of different fronts, etc.

JUNE 23, 1941 — General Central Command was established.

JUNE 24, 1941 — Emergency meeting of the leaders of Industry to plan the war output. Held in the cabinet of Marshal Stalin.

JUNE 25, 1941 — Reserve Army was formed under the command of Marshal Budyonny.

JUNE 27, 1941 — Decision of the CC All Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks to mobilize Communists and Komsomol members.

JUNE 29, 1941 — Directives of the CC AUCPB to broadcast the speech of Stalin on July 3, 1941. After that, the meeting of the Politbureau with the General Command of the Red Army.

JUNE 30, 1941 — Establishment of the State Defense Committee with Stalin as its head.

Documents of these days give the lie to the vicious lies of Khrushchev.

The most prevalent lies about Stalin is that in 1937-1938 years, the army was decimated with purges and that Stalin purged and killed 300,000 commanders and political commissars. These falsehoods and lies should look at the known facts, that the Red Army had only 140,000 commanders and political commissars in total.

In the magazine “Young Guard” (1989 — #9) there was published a document taken from the archives of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR, which was presented at that time to Stalin, Molotov, Voroshilov and Beria on May 5, 1940, that in 1937-1939, 36,898 commanders were dismissed from the ranks of Red Army. More than 75% of them were retired because of their age, sickness, moral grounds (drunkenness) and unworthy of service in the Red Army. From August of 1938, there was working a commission which was told to look into these cases and make recommendations. More than 30,000 requests were received by those dismissed to look into their appeals. In January 1, 1940, this commission returned to their posts more than 12,461 commanders, from those 10,700 were formerly dismissed for political reasons and now put back into ranks.

Do not forget that there were hidden enemies of the Red Army inside the CC CPSU and did their dirty work.

In the above listing of numbers in the Red Army, let us not forget that there were thousands of former Tsarist officers, who were accepted into the Red Army by Trotsky, in whose ranks were Tukhachevsky, Yakir, Uborevich and others. Most of them harbored their lost class interests and were hidden enemies of socialism, although there were hundreds who became loyal Army Officers in the Red Army and fought valiantly against the Hitler Hordes.

The main conspirator of these anti-state officers was Trotsky who was expelled in 1929 but still kept in touch and led the hidden officers in the Red Army. Let us not ignore the fact that foreign secret services were also in touch with these officers and manipulated them for their own ends.

Many so-called “historians” to this day say that in the middle of 1930s, there was no Officers Corps left in the USSR. Let us examine this falsehood again. How serious are these charges and how are they built on facts? They say that it was a planned uprising against the political leadership of Marshal Voroshilov. If this was the case, in any civilized country, this action is called a PUTSCH. In the Soviet Union, they would call this attempt an anti-Soviet pro-Trotsky agreement. This Putsch was found out and brought into the open and this was just before the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War. This attempt was tragic and in any tragedy, there are some innocent people that suffer, because the guilty enemies try to implicate innocent patriots, communists who had nothing to do with this attempt. Every serious student of history knows this to be a fact — examples in the historical context are many. The blame must be shared by the counter-revolutionaries and some enemies that were inside the NKVD.

In the “War and Historical Magazine” (1991 — #9) there is a photocopy of the statement by Tukhachevsky who was in charge of Internal Security of USSR. The Marshal states that he was arrested May 22, 1937, taken to Moscow on May 24 and was interrogated on May 25th. In his statement of May 26th, he says that he agrees with his sentence as was handed down by the Tribunal. He then proceeded to give facts, names of the conspirators, their actions, and gives documents. All this was handwritten in his own hand. He said that he was not forced to do this confession. The Captain who was interrogating him in no way would have been able to know the facts, the details and the personnel. It showed that Tukhachevsky, after his arrest, was demoralized by actual facts and decided to give the details himself and confess that he was guilty. The other conspirators also confessed since the proof was irrefutable.

Of course, there were mistakes in the General Command and Stalin… in what High Command of the Allies were there not — they readily admit this, but of course, the press does not condemn them or dwell of their human errors. President Roosevelt of the USA publicly admitted that one third of his decisions were wrong. Roosevelt said that America should have stepped in quicker to help the USSR and not wait for Japan to attack Pearl Harbor.

Stalin was never worried about his prestige. Whenever he made a mistake, he always said so and tried to correct it. As an example, during the Plenum of CC AUCPB in 1938, he admitted being rude and uncivil to some party people and non-party personnel. This was published in all of the newspapers in the USSR. There were people that were rehabilitated and received apologies personally from Stalin. You must remember again, that Stalin DID NOT know everyone that was sentenced, he based himself on people like Beria for information and documentation. Knowing the history as was given above, you can draw your own conclusion as to the complexity of those years.

in 1939 at the XVIII party congress, again the question was brought up of repressions. The Congress decided to eliminate the previous leadership of the organs and started cleansing the party of unhealthy and enemy elements within it.

The mistake was that the AUCPB was not regularly cleansing itself of opportunists and that did harm to its operations.

V.I. Lenin was very truthful when he said that the governing party must always cleanse itself from “false skins” and “opportunists-lap lickers”.

Source