Tag Archives: Russia

Post-Soviet Russia: Death of a Nation

The following documentary film (in six parts) explores the consequences of the collapse of the Soviet Union for the Russian people. Whatever problems existed for Socialism in the Soviet Union, even during the period of revisionist leadership from 1956 to 1991, people were clearly better off. As Keeran and Kenny put it in their book Socialism Betrayed:

A brief review of the Soviet Union’s accomplishments underscores what was lost. The Soviet Union not only eliminated the exploiting classes of the old order, but ended inflation, unemployment, racial and national discrimination, grinding poverty, and glaring inequalities of wealth, income, education, and opportunity. In fifty years, the country went from an industral production that was only 12 percent of that in the United States to industrial production that was 80 percent and an agricultural output 85 percent of the U.S. Though Soviet per capita consumption remained lower than in the U.S., no society had ever increased living standards and consumption so rapidly in such a short period of time for all its people. Employment was guaranteed. Free education was available for all, from kindergarten through secondary schools (general, technical and vocational), universities, and after-work schools. Besides free tuition, post-secondary students recieved living stipends. Free health care existed for all, with about twice as many doctors per person as in the United States. Workers who were injured or ill had job guarantees and sick pay. In the mid-1970s, workers averaged 21.2 working days of vacation (a month’s vaction), and sanitariums, resorts, and childrens camps were either free or subsidized. Trade unions had the power to veto firings and recall managers. The state regulated all prices and subsidized the cost of basic food and housing. Rents constituted only 2-3 percent of the family budget; water and utilities only 4-5 percent… State subsidies kept the price of books, periodicals and cultural events at a minimum.

To look more closely at the causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union see Ludo Martens’ article, “Balance of the Collapse of the Soviet Union: On the Causes of a Betrayal and the Tasks Ahead for Communists“. This documentary clearly demonstrates what the complete restoration of capitalism has meant in a very concrete and material way.

Celebrate the Great October Socialist Revolution

According to the Julian Calender, which was in use in Russia at the time, the Great October Socialist Revolution took place on October 25, 1917 (November 7th according to the Gregorian Calender in use today). To mark this monumental anniversary, I am posting here complete the seventh chapter of the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks), Short Course, from the Marxists Internet Archive. The best way to commemorate the October Socialist Revolution is to learn its lessons and apply them in making revolution. Continue reading

Cuban Statement on South Ossetia

It can be difficult to get a clear perspective on what is happening in different parts of the world as events rapidly arise and escalate. This is especially true due to the distortions of the mainstream media, which without exception projects the propaganda of the ruling class. The controversy over the armed conflict involving South Ossetia is no different, as the U.S. backs its NATO puppet, Georgia, and Russia intervenes on behalf of South Ossetia. For Marxist-Leninists, there is much to take into account here, from the principle of self-determination, the question of the class interest of the different forces, and the role of imperialism and expansionism. This statement from Socialist Cuba gets right to the heart of this in expressing solidarity with South Ossetia and condemning the role of U.S. imperialism/NATO.
People hold posters reading "Peace for South Ossetian children!", "Hands off South Ossetia!" as they attend a rally in central Vladikavkaz, 30 June 2007.

People hold posters reading "Peace for South Ossetian children!", "Hands off South Ossetia!" as they attend a rally in central Vladikavkaz, 30 June 2007.

Official statement from the government of Cuba

CUBA defends peace as an indispensable prerequisite for the development of all the peoples of the world.

For more than 50 years, our people have been the victim of aggression on the part of U.S. governments, obliging them to invest countless resources and energy. They have been firm and tenacious in the defense of the country’s sovereignty and support the efforts of the UN and its struggle for peace.

One part of our territory has been occupied by force for more than 100 years and Cuba has never attempted or will attempt to use violence in order to recover it. Cuba’s foreign policy is known and acknowledged by the international community.

At this moment, a crisis is arising that is worrying the peoples, stemming from news of the fighting that has broken out in the Caucasus, on the border with southern Russia. Continue reading