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State Capitalist Dictatorship

Trotskyism, Stalinism: What's the Difference?

Trotskyists frequently bemoan the outcome of the power-struggle between Stalin and Trotsky. While the former became undisputed dictator of the Soviet Union, the latter was exiled and was eventually assassinated in August 1940. It is claimed that the many atrocities committed by the Stalin regime were a departure from Bolshevism and that if Trotsky had held power, then the course of events would have been different. What Trotskyists label the “degeneration” of the Russian Revolution is blamed on Stalin.

Book Review: 'Social Democracy Versus Communism'

'Social Democracy Versus Communism', by Karl Kautsky (Rand School of Social Science. New York)

Editorial: What Socialism is Really About

Prior to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, there was an understanding among many workers, that socialism was a society of common ownership of the means of living where the state, money and national frontiers would be rendered obsolete, and that it could be established peacefully and democratically.

That all changed after the Bolsheviks seized power. The Bolshevik leaders understood that socialism could only be achieved worldwide and hoped that the revolution would spread to the West. Lenin admitted that what existed in the new Soviet state was really state capitalism. After the failure of similar uprisings in Europe, their hopes were dashed. Stalin, as the new Soviet leader, came to terms with this reality by promulgating the theory of ‘Socialism in One Country’ to describe the regime.

Book Review: 'Lenin Life and Legacy'

Come to bury not to praise

'Lenin: Life and Legacy', by Dmitri Volkogonov (Harper Collins 1994. £25.)

The author of this 500-page book is a high-level Soviet Army officer who from the mid- 80s held the post of Director of the Institute of Military History and in August 1991 became Defence Adviser to President Yeltsin. Initially trained as a philosopher and historian, he researched and wrote a biography of Stalin in 1985 which found some disfavour in the military hierarchy, reinforced in early 1991 by his "un-Soviet" views in a history of World War Two.

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