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Soviet Union

Anthony Blunt: No Sort of Traitor

Did Anthony Blunt —that frail, effeminate, learned man — ever dream that we would be responsible for so much confusion?

Consider, first, the sorry plight of the left wing. Blunt might have been one of their heroes, for he turned his back on his past — the public school, one of the more exclusive Cambridge colleges — to become an agent for Russia, which has nourished so many left wing false hopes and delusions. Yet Blunt also enraged the left because the personified the cohesive protectiveness of their arch provocator — the Establishment. And worse, Labour ministers, including Wilson and Callaghan, connived in this apparent exercise of the Establishment looking after its own. No wonder Willie Hamilton fumed in the House of Commons: " . . . feelings of outrage . . . I have never felt so sick, angry and frustrated . . . squalid conspiracy in high places . . ."

Book Review: 'From Lenin to Stalin'

The Twilight of Bolshevism

'From Lenin to Stalin', by Victor Serge. (Pioneer Publishers, New York)

The above volume, of one hundred pages or so, presents in brief the views given in greater detail in the author's larger work, "The Fate of the Revolution," $2.00.

In a note about Serge, we are told that his parents were émigrés in Tsarist days, one member of the family having been hanged after the assassination of Alexander II. Serge appears to have moved in anarchistic circles until 1917 in France and Spain, but joined the Bolsheviks in Russia in 1919.

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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