Tag Archives: Soviet Union

Presentation by Harpal Brar to the Stalin Society on the Comintern and the Chinese Revolution

Here is a  video of a talk by Harpal Brar, Chairman of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) to the Stalin Society on the line of Joseph Stalin and the Communist International regarding the Chinese Revolution. See also Comrade Brar’s article Stalin and the Chinese Revolution.

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Video: Stalin’s Magical World

This is the short film, “New Moscow“, circa 1937, which highlights “Stalinist Architecture.” Here it is set to a different kind of tune, “Magical World” by the 1960s and 70s psychedelic soul band, Rotary Connection:

Harry Haywood: Trotsky’s Day in Court

The following examination of Trotskyism by the great African American Marxist-Leninist, Harry Haywood, is from “Trotsky’s Day in Court”, Chapter 6 of Black Bolshevik: Autobiography of an Afro-American Communist (1978), which takes place while Harry Haywood is studying in Moscow at the KUTVA, The University of the Toilers of the East. For a more thorough Marxist-Leninist examination of Trotskyism, read M.J. Olgin’s outstanding 1935 book, Trotskyism: Counter-Revolution in Disguise, which is perhaps the best treatment of the subject:


Trotsky’s Day in Court

Apart from our academic courses, we received our first tutelage in Leninism and the history of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in the heat of the inner-party struggle then raging between Trotsky and the majority of the Central Committee led by Stalin. We KUTVA students were not simply bystanders, but were active participants in the struggle. Most students – and all of our group from the U.S. – were ardent supporters of Stalin and the Central Committee majority. 

It had not always been thus. Otto told me that in 1924, a year before he arrived, a majority of the students in the school had been supporters of Trotsky. Trotsky was making a play for the Party youth, in opposition to the older Bolshevik stalwarts. With his usual demagogy, he claimed that the old leadership was betraying the revolution and had embarked on a course of “Thermidorian reaction.” (1) In this situation, he said, the students and youth were “the Party’s truest barometer.” (2)

But by the time the Black American students arrived, the temporary attraction to Trotsky had been reversed. The issues involved in the struggle with Trotsky were discussed in the school. They involved the destiny of socialism in the Soviet Union. Which way were the Soviet people to go? What was to be the direction of their economic development? Was it possible to build a socialist economic system?  These questions were not only theoretical ones, but were issues of life and death. The economic life of the country would not stand still and wait while they were being debated.  

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Celebrate the 130th anniversary of the birth of Comrade Stalin!

Revolutionaries in Nepal honor Stalin

This month, on December 21st, 2009, revolutionaries around the world will mark the 130th anniversary of the birth of Comrade J. V. Stalin, who along with Lenin, led the Great October Socialist Revolution to victory. After Lenin’s death, Stalin consolidated the victory of the USSR and strengthened the Soviet Party, beat back the counter-revolutionary Trotskyites and Bukharinites, paved the way for socialist construction and agricultural collectivization, and led the heroic Red Army in defeating fascism in World War II.

As Mao Zedong, the leader of the Chinese revolution said,

“We can be sure that his birthday will evoke warm and affectionate congratulations from the hearts of all revolutionary people throughout the world who know of the occasion. Congratulating Stalin is not a formality. Congratulating Stalin means supporting him and his cause, supporting the victory of socialism, and the way forward for mankind which he points out, it means supporting a dear friend. For the great majority of mankind today are suffering, and mankind can free itself from suffering only by the road pointed out by Stalin and with his help.” (Stalin, Friend of the Chinese People)

Here are some articles by various revolutionaries from around the world highlighting Cde. Stalin’s contributions:

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.

La Pasionaria on Stalin and the Mass Line

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Dolores Ibárruri with Vietnamese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh

The following article from 1940, “Stalin, Leader of Peoples, Man of the Masses” is by Dolores Ibárruri, also known as “La Pasionaria”, Communist militant and political leader of the Republican forces during the anti-fascist Spanish Civil War. The article is particularly interesting in its exploration of the method of leadership that the Chinese Communists would call “the mass line“.

Stalin, Leader of Peoples, Man of the Masses

To speak of the triumph of socialism on one-sixth of the earth; to write about the luxuriant development of agriculture in the Soviet Union, a development unequalled by any other country; to admire the astounding growth of socialist industry and the tempestuous advance of the workers; to marvel at the unprecedented achievements of the mighty Soviet air fleet, at the powerful reinforcements of the Soviet navy; to describe the glorious deeds of the Red Army, liberator of peoples; to study the wonderful mechanism of the gigantic socialist state with its manifold nationalities united by indissoluble bonds of fraternal friendship; to observe the progress of science, art, the culture of all Soviet peoples, the joyous life of their children, their women, the workers, the peasants and the intellectuals, the permanent security of all of them and their confidence in the future; to know the daily life of socialism and the heroic deeds of the Soviet people—means to see Stalin, to speak of Stalin, to experience Stalin.

For Stalin—means people, work, struggle; Stalin—means unswerving loyalty to the revolutionary principles of Marxism-Leninism; Stalin—means unyielding hardness towards the opportunists, towards the betrayers and enemies of the toiling people; means tireless vigilance against all enemies of socialism.

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92nd Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution: Lenin and Stalin as Mass Leaders

To mark the 92nd anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution on November 7th 2009, I am posting the following article by William Z. Foster from 1939, “Lenin and Stalin as Mass Leaders“:

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The legacy of October lives on!

The great revolution of October, 1917, which abolished Russian capitalism and landlordism and set up the Soviet government, resulted in the establishment of socialism throughout one-sixth of the earth, and is now surging forward to the building of communism, constitutes the deepest-going, farthest-reaching, and most fundamental mass movement in all human history. The two chief figures in the Communist Party heading this epic struggle—Lenin and Stalin—have continuously displayed, in its course, unequalled qualities as political leaders of the working class and of the toiling people generally.

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Stalin and the Chinese Revolution

stal_nalb3The following presentation was made by Harpal Brar, Chairman of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), to the Stalin Society on 18 October 2009 to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the forthcoming 130th anniversary of the birth of Stalin. It is taken from Chapter 13 of his book, Trotskyism or Leninism? It was again published and is being reprinted here from the November/December 2009 issue of the British anti-imperialist and Marxist-Leninist journal, Lalkar:

Stalin and the Chinese Revolution:
Two lines on the Chinese Revolution - the line of the Comintern and Stalin versus the line of the Trotskyist opposition

In the latter half of the 1920s the Trotskyist opposition (Trotsky, Zinoviev, Radek and Kamenev) accused the ‘Stalinist bureaucracy’ i.e. the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik) [CPSU(B)] and the Comintern of selling the Chinese Revolution and the Chinese communists down the river – of betraying the Chinese Revolution.

This slander has since then been picked up, and repeated thousands of times, by the Trotskyite counter-revolutionaries, revisionist renegades, social democrats, and even by some dubious Marxist-Leninists.  Every attempt is made by this gentry to invent sharp difference of opinion between Stalin and Mao Zedong, between the line of the Comintern, which was the same as that of Stalin and the CPSU(B), on the one hand, and that of Mao Zedong, on the other hand, on the question of the Chinese Revolution.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

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CPGB-ML: Study of Mao Zedong’s “On Contradiction”

20060310165606611The following is from the website of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist):

Theory: Mao’s ‘On contradiction’
A masterly exposition of how to use dialectics to change the world by the leader of the Chinese revolution.

Mao wrote the article ‘On contradiction’ in 1937 to explain the dialectical method of analysis. He did this to counter the development of dogmatic approaches to study and practice that had developed within the Chinese Communist Party.

He also sought to explain international events, particularly the struggle between Marxist-Leninist leadership and the right and, later, left opportunism within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

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Book Review: Red Youth – Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya

front-small“Who are you?” asked the lieutenant-colonel.

“I won’t tell you.”

“Was it you who set fire to the stables?”

“Yes, it was.”

“Your aim?”

“To destroy you.”

This is the story of the martyr Zoya, told in this excellent new book, Red Youth – Young Heroes of the Great Patriotic War: Volume 1, Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya. Edited and annotated by Mike Bessler and published by Erythrós Press and Media (Kettering: 2009), this is first volume in a series documenting the contributions of young Soviet women and men to the anti-fascist resistance in World War II.

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