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Soviet Union

Book Review: 'Revolution From Above'

Gorbymania

'Revolution From Above' by Tariq Ali, Hutchinson, £3.95

Trotsky argued that Russia was basically socialist because industry was nationalised but that political power had been usurped by a privileged bureaucratic caste led by Stalin; all that was required to put it back on the road to socialism again was a political revolution to remove this caste from power. The argument was flawed in two main respects. First, nationalisation is not socialism but state capitalism and, second, the ruling group in Russia is not a mere  privileged caste but a class monopolising the means of production. So what Trotsky really wanted was a less authoritarian regime for state capitalist Russia.

Life in the Cold War

Summer School 2014 - 'War'

Fircroft College, Birmingham

Recorded: 
Sunday, 22 June 2014

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Coventry Socialist Group

ISVESTIA SUB-EDITOR VISITS COVENTRY. Thus ran the first line of a personal column ad. in the 22nd January issue of the Coventry Evening Telegraph. MEET MR. MATVEYEF the ad. went on. Well, the Coventry Socialist Group thought that it would be a better idea if Mr. Matveyef met us. So a few of us went along to the meeting which, we learned later, was organised by the British-Soviet Friendship Society.

The Soviet sub-editor's speech was slow, halting and rather rambling—but this did nothing to diminish the applause which came at the end of it from the hundred or so Russophiles who were present. As soon as the applause had died down, one of our members was on his feet with some uncomfortable facts for Mr. Matveyef to digest about the Russian dictatorship and to remind him that, although the Communists claimed that the Soviet Union was different from Great Britain because it was a Socialist country, he had taken half an hour bef

The Middle East War: A Letter to a Kiev Cousin

Dear K,

I know that this letter won't reach you. Only if I were to express myself in subtle allusions might such a letter pass the censorship of the State Capitalist Russian Empire. But what I have to say must be said loud and clear. You may not hear me, but others will.

At last you hold an exit permit in your hand, your ticket to the promised land. In struggling for it, you were thrown out of your job by your bureaucratic bosses, who then sent you to labour camp for a year on a charge of parasitism. It goes without saying, as they say, that you were guilty of being without a job — innocent people are not arrested in the Soviet Union, which has no unemployment anyway — as is well known! But tomorrow you board the train for Prague — destination Jerusalem.

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