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Soviet Union

War Overtakes Russia

The failure of a policy

Debate with Trotskyists: "Is Russia Capitalist?"

On July 1st at Conway Hall D. Fenwick for the S.P.G.B. debated with R. Tearse for the Revolutionary Communist Party. In his opening half-hour FENWICK carefully defined Capitalism and Socialism in the usual Marxian terms and argued that the existence in Russia of a propertyless working class living by selling its labour-power for wages, and producing commodities for sale on the market shows that it is not Socialism but a form of State Capitalism. Admittedly it had not developed exactly on the lines of capitalism in the Western countries. Trotsky in "The Revolution Betrayed" had asserted that the term "State Capitalism" is meaningless, but certainly Lenin did not think so for in his "The Chief Task of Our Times" he had argued that State Capitalism would be a step forward for industrially backward Russia. The contrasts of riches and poverty in Russia and the growth of bondholding are features of Capitalism not Socialism.

50 Years Ago: Stalin - the God Who Fell

For Stalin, the final disgrace.

His simple grave now mocks the memory of the days when he was the great dictator, who could make Krushchev caper like a court jester.

It mocks, too, the memory of the fulsome praise that was heaped upon him when his pitiless rule was at its height. Here is part of a poem which was published in Pravda on August 28th, 1936:

O Great Stalin, O Leader of the Peoples,
Thou who didst give birth to man,
Thou who didst make fertile the earth,
Thou who dost rejuvenate the Centuries.
Thou who givest blossom to the spring, . . .

And this is Krushchev himself, speaking at the eighteenth Congress in 1938 on the extermination of Stalin's opponents:

Russia: The Myth of Socialism

On the 21st August this year, the 20th anniversary of the failed coup against Gorbachev by Leninist-Stalinist hardliners in the USSR,  Tony Brenton, former ambassador to Russia, wrote an article in the Times headed, “The siren voices calling for a revival of Marxism ignore the tragic lessons of its past”.  We explain that what happened in Russia between 1917 and 1991 had nothing to do with Marx or with socialism or communism.

Karl Marx was not simply volunteering his name to a way of life that would exist in post-capitalist society.  Throughout his years of intensively investigating capitalism, his main purpose was to expose that system as the final form of class exploitation while demonstrating that it had created the economic potential for the establishment of universal freedom.

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