Imperialism Knows No Limits: 75 Years Since the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

“Imperialist wars are absolutely inevitable… as long as private property in the means of production exists.” – V.I. Lenin

Last month marked 75 years since the bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These horrific crimes by the United States killed hundreds of thousands of people, and exposed hundreds of thousands more to permanent disabilities through radiation. Both cities were destroyed. The US justified this action by stating that many more would have been killed had they staged a ground invasion of Japan, and that the bomb was a necessary evil to defeat the fascist Japanese Empire. This version of history is accepted by mainstream capitalist narratives, who refuse to ever admit wrongdoings by US imperialists in order to facilitate the spread of imperialist, ruling class propaganda. The truth is the bombs were dropped not to save lives or defeat Japanese fascism, but to protect the interests of US monopoly capitalists. They were dropped to ensure a Japanese surrender to the capitalist US and not the socialist USSR, and as a show of strength by the barbaric capitalist class against the rising might of the Soviet Union and communist cause. Hundreds of thousands of lives were taken to continue the flow of profits for the bourgeoise.

Any discussion of WWII in the Pacific cannot exclude the monstrous crimes committed by Japanese fascists against the peoples of Korea, China, Southeast Asia and everywhere the Japanese bourgeoise plundered. The crimes committed by the US monopoly capitalists against the Japanese people do not excuse the crimes committed by Japanese monopoly capitalists against the peoples of the nations they colonized, oppressed and super-exploited. The crimes of the Japanese Empire are often deliberately left out of mainstream bourgeois narratives because Japan is now an ally of western imperialism whereas its primary victims (China and Korea) are some of its greatest opponents.[1] But the bomb was not dropped because the US government was valiantly trying to defeat the criminal Japanese Empire, the US government has never had a problem with fascist war crimes if it protects the maximisation of profits for the capitalist class.

The Pacific War was not, as is often portrayed, a heroic struggle waged by the US against Japanese imperialism and fascism (most of that was done by Chinese, Indochinese, and Korean communists). If the US really was fighting a just, anti-fascist war against the criminal Japanese Empire, they would not have kept Japanese imperial police stationed[2] and used bioweapons developed through the Japanese imperial human testing[3] against communists in Korea 5 years later. It was an inter-imperialist rivalry. As Lenin analysed, capitalism means the divisions of the world into different “spheres of influence” – regions where the monopolies from one country can freely exploit the raw materials and people, and gain profit through exporting capital. The expansion of one country’s sphere of influence must necessarily be at the expense of another imperialist power, leading to frequent inter-imperialist rivalry.[4] This rivalry is given all sorts of ideological justifications in order to get workers to fight for their country’s monopolies – often using abstract terms such as “freedom” and “democracy” or trying to appeal to a class blind sense of patriotism, whilst in reality waging war for the capitalist class. The early 20th century had seen the rise of Japanese Imperialism, which instantly caused conflict with other imperialist powers. Japan, like Germany, was a new imperialist power (unlike Britain, France, and the USA where capitalism had been developing for over a century and the process of monopolisation and division of colonies into spheres of influence was already completed).[5] Conflict between the USA and Japan ensued particularly over the partition of China. Japan had a series of colonies and semi-colonies which it “subjugated to the exploitation of finance capital”.[6] The Japanese capitalist class, whose interests aligned with the remnants of the feudal aristocracy embodied in the imperial government, opportunistically used the contradictions of capitalism in Europe to spread their sphere of influence into that of Britain, France and the USA. Japanese Fascism, like that of Hitler, Franco and Mussolini, was the dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinistic and most imperialist elements of finance capital.”[7]  In brief, the USA was not waging an anti-fascist war against Japan, but rather trying to defend their sphere of influence from a rival imperialist power. The use of nuclear weapons were not responsible for the defeat of the Japanese Empire, historical documentation has proven that it was the Soviet Union declaring war with Japan on August 8th and subsequently flooding Manchuria with 1.6 million Red Army soldiers that pushed the Japanese to surrender.[8] US generals knew this and knew that drastic action was needed to ensure an unconditional surrender to the capitalist USA and not the socialist USSR[9]. The role played by communist-led national liberation movements in colonized areas of Korea, China, and Indochina in the victory over the Japanese also cannot be underplayed – China suffered the third largest number of casualties in WWII[10]. Then top US general Dwight D. Eisenhower even admitted “the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”[11] As Stalin said, “they needed war to achieve super-profits and to plunder other countries.”[12]

Why did the US state commit such a hideous crime on behalf of US monopolies? Because the state, since its existence as an entity, has always served the ruling class of a given territory.[13] In ancient times, states existed to conquer new areas with new raw materials and new peoples to enslave, thus generate surplus value for the ruling slave owning class through war. In feudal times states would go to war to help maintain the unstable feudal class relations. In the 19th century war took on a new role. Starting with the Napoleonic Wars, bourgeois states would go to war on behalf of the capitalist classes, to open new routes for trade and new territories with raw materials and labour to commodify and exploit for profits. War also became itself part of the capitalist production cycle – with capitalist industries producing military equipment as commodities and profiting from this industry. Since the rise of bourgeois states, wars have been fought by standing armies, representing the interests of the bourgeois class. This means since the 19th century a section of the bourgeoisie have lobbied for wars as it profits directly from manufacturing military equipment, this section is often known as the Military Industrial Complex.[14] In a capitalist mode of production, the state serves the capitalist class and thus goes to war on behalf of the capitalist class at the expense of the lives and livelihoods of working-class people.

The US bourgeoisie used the atom bomb to establish economic, political, and military hegemony over the entire world, threatening the very existence of humanity for the sake of profits. As Enver Hoxha said, the US used the atom bomb with “the overriding aim of encircling and weakening the Soviet Union, which emerged triumphant from the Second World War and which certainly would be quickly restored from the economic aspect and would assist in the consolidation and progress of the new states of people’s democracy, which had been created in Europe and Asia.”[15] The Soviet Union on the other hand stood for “prohibiting the atomic weapon and terminating the production of the atomic weapon.”[16]

During the Cold War, many strains of anti-communist propaganda emerged. Alongside the chauvinistic, McCarthyite propaganda that put the Soviet Union as the embodiment of all evil in the world and an imminent threat to everything we held dear, another more concealed form of bourgeois, anti-communist propaganda spread around. This narrative placed the USSR and USA as equally pernicious threats to world peace, two evil empires who only use “communist” and “capitalist” ideologies as justification for their quests for power. This Machiavellian narrative was premised off the idea that the threat of global annihilation through nuclear war came from both sides, that each state was only trying to advance their interests and would happily cause the apocalypse through using nuclear weapons if it was necessary to achieve their world domination plans. Soviet Proletarian internationalism was merely propaganda as were any claims by Moscow of self-defence from imperialist aggression. This pernicious narrative is a popular interpretation of the Cold War to this day – even among most left-wing circles. It is however riddled with anti-communist and imperialist propaganda. Not only does it follow the popular trope of communism being fine in theory but in practice producing more “authoritarian states” (and thus should never be attempted), it also ignores the extent of US imperialist aggression, that capitalism and the drive for profits are at the root of wars, and that the socialist USSR did genuinely strive for world peace and disarmament. When commenting on the end of the Second World War Joseph Stalin stated that Soviet policy would be one of “peace and security, the policy of the equality and friendship of the peoples.”[17] In 1946 the Soviet Union presented the Gromyko Plan calling for the immediate ban on the manufacture and use of atomic weapons,[18] which the US rejected without giving any reason.[19] The US imperialists, on the other hand proposed only a half-hearted plan to limit the testing of nuclear weapons – which if implemented would only result not in global disarmament but a US monopoly as they had already tested theirs, on real people. The Soviet Union only developed and tested nuclear weapons as a defence against US imperialist aggression. The US bourgeoisie had been trying to dissolve the proletarian government in Moscow since 1917, through invasion, sanctions, and support for fascist Germany. The US and Britain had numerous plans for all-out war with the Soviet Union, such as Operation Unthinkable[20], and a variety of NATO simulations of an invasion of the USSR from the 1950s to the 1980s[21]. Throughout the 1940s and 50s the US developed plans to go on a nuclear offensive against the Soviet Union – including the 1949 Dropshot Plan which included dropping atomic weapons on 300 targets and wiping out 85% of the Soviet population.[22] Not once did the Soviet Union, or any socialist state, ever conceive a plan for a first strike attack on the US or Western Europe. The US encircled the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons[23] and refused every attempt at disarmament, of which the Soviets made many.[24] This unbridled imperialist aggression continued and thus the Soviet government concluded if the USA would not disarm they needed weapons of their own as a precaution. This is the fundamental difference between the Soviet state and US state – one was the state of imperialist exploiters, whereas the Soviet state was, in Lenin’s words, only in existence to “suppress the resistance of the exploiters”.[25]

The disregard for human life shown by US imperialism in Hiroshima and Nagasaki continued into the latter half of the 20th century. Not only did they continue to support reactionary fascist governments and wage murderous wars such as those in Vietnam, the Congo, Chile, South Korea, Iran, Iraq, Nicaragua etc, but they continued to commit horrendous crimes against peoples of the world using atomic weapons. One corner of the earth where US imperialism released its unrestrained horrors was the Marshall Islands. Here they exploited the disunited consciousness of many in the Pacific Islands leading to an attitude they were powerless to resist the actions of a larger state, rooted in European colonisation.[26] The US started by forcibly relocating hundreds of people form their ancestral homelands dating back thousands of years into frankly appalling conditions, testing 67 nuclear weapons in the region between 1946 and 1958. These tests vaporized islands, carved craters and contaminated the soil, ruining the homes of hundreds of people and much of the local wildlife.[27] Perhaps one of the most barbaric operations of the US was deliberately exposing some of the locals to toxic radiation in order to gather data on its effects – resulting in 1/3rd of the islanders developing tumours, including children born long after the testing had completed.[28] US imperialism has never recompensated for its crimes, breaking international law by refusing to pay the billions of dollars the islands are owed.[29] Parts of the islands are still uninhabitable, and they remain the “most contaminated place on Earth.”[30] The US continues to operate military bases on stolen Marshall Island land, focussing its imperial aggression against China. The horrifying conditions the locals are subjected to thanks to these bases have led to some of them being referred to as “the apartheid of the pacific.”[31] 

Britain and France also engaged in nuclear testing in the Pacific at the expense of local peoples and wildlife. Western imperialism’s arrogance and cruelty in the region was not limited to the United States – the French state even committed an act of terrorism against anti-nuclear activists in New Zealand in 1985. The US needed loyal soft powers to protect its hegemony through military force – utilizing the bourgeois, settler colonial states of New Zealand and Australia for this purpose. But if ever the peoples of these states resisted being puppets of imperialist projects, then they too would be subject to aggression. This was shown when the US acted aggressively towards New Zealand for declaring itself nuclear free in 1985 after a decades long struggle lead by unions and other working class organisations, or in Australia where the CIA ousted Prime Minister Gough Whitlam for his relatively anti-imperialist foreign policy. The veneer of capitalist democracy and sovereignty is removed when profits are under threat.

Western imperialism continues to threaten world peace. The US has nearly 800 military bases in over 70 countries – by far the most in the world.[32] It spends trillions on “defence” whilst claiming to have no money for healthcare, infrastructure, or green technology. It sells weapons to genocidal states such as Saudi Arabia as they commit mass murder in Yemen in an attempt to stop the country’s rich oil fields escape western (including Saudi) monopolies.[33] The CIA continues to meddle in the affairs of foreign countries, often with consequences that lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of working people, in order to secure imperialist spheres of influence. The US military and police even terrorize their own people if it protects ruling class interests. US imperialism enjoys bi-partisan support because both parties, despite the idealist rhetoric that focuses on individual criticisms, have the same class interests. Democrats such as Biden and Pelosi have criticized Trump’s foreign policy for not being imperialist enough! Despite the portrayals of countries such as the DPRK as nuclear threats, US imperialism keeps humanity at the edge of atomic destruction. It holds a nuclear arsenal of 6,185[34] and history shows us that they are not afraid to use it. Peace and arms controls deals such as the INF are regularly broken by the US government.[35] US presidents use their military might to remind the anti-imperialist world of their strength. In 1984 Ronald Reagan “jokingly” said “we begin bombing the Soviet Union in 5 minutes”[36]. In 2016 the apparently “progressive” US president Barack Obama refused to apologize for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.[37] In 2017 Donald Trump threatened the socialist and anti-imperialist nation of the DPRK with “fire and fury” if they do not submit to US rule[38]. The capitalist class who control the USA directly profit from the manufacture of nuclear weapons, with arms manufacturers such as Convair, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Textron, and CACI lobbying for their continued production[39] so there will continue to be a market for their commodities and thus they will continue to turn a profit at the expense of world peace and stability.

The class struggle and the anti-war struggle walk hand in hand with one another. Communism and peace are necessarily interweaved. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the actions of the US empire since have shown brazenly that monopoly capitalists will stop at nothing to assert their hegemony, that a system governed by profits would happily murder thousands of innocent people, end thousands of lives and ruin many thousands more in the blink of an eye if it is profitable to do so. The sheer inhumanity and cruelness of capitalism is seen every day, as millions of children go without food, as workers struggle to afford housing getting paid only a fraction of the value they create, as a tiny clique of corporations lead the planet to environmental destruction, as imperialist wars with the same bloodshed, the same disregard for human life as in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still waged. The workers of the world have the power, and the workers of the world want peace. In 1917 the working class of Russia got sick and tired of being pawns in a war fought for the rich, for the capitalists, and exercised the shear might of their class, threw off the chains and rose up to build a society of their own, a peaceful society. We can learn from the example of those who created the first socialist state. The workers of the world can and must arise like the ebbing spring, break the dark winter of class oppression, end the barbarism of capitalism, and halt our path to extinction. When we realise how powerful we are as a class and exercise that power, we can bring about real justice, real equality, and real peace.


[1] Chacko, Ben. A new cold war against China must be seen in historical context (Morningstar, 2020) Retrieved from https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/new-cold-war-against-china-must-be-seen-historical-context

[2] Koreans March in Protest Against Keeping Japanese (NYT, 1945) Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/1945/09/11/archives/koreans-march-in-protest-against-keeping-japanese-officials-in.html

[3] Powell, Thomas.The Dirty Secret of the Korean War (Counterpunch, 2017). Retrieved from https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/26/the-dirty-secret-of-the-korean-war/

[4] ‘Back2Basics 7. Imperialism (Part I)’ Challenge. Retrieved from https://challenge-magazine.org/2020/04/22/7-imperialism-part-1/

[5] Lenin, Vladimir. Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. (Moscow: Progress, 1963). pp 66-75

[6] Lenin, Vladimir. Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. (Moscow: Progress, 1963). p. 105

[7] Dmitrov, Georgi. The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International in the Struggle of the Working Class against Fascism (Sofia: Sofia Press, 1972).

[8] Wilson, Ward. The Bomb Didn’t Beat Japan … Stalin Did (Foreign Policy, 2013). Retrieved from: https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/05/30/the-bomb-didnt-beat-japan-stalin-did/

[9] Alperovitz, Gar. Did America Have To Drop the Bomb? Not to End the War, But Truman Wanted To Intimidate Russia (Washington Post, 1985). Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1985/08/04/did-america-have-to-drop-the-bombnot-to-end-the-war-but-truman-wanted-to-intimidate-russia/46105dff-8594-4f6c-b6d7-ef1b6cb6530d/

[10] Mitter, Rana. Forgotten ally? China’s unsung role in World War II (CNN, 2015). Retrieved from https://edition.cnn.com/2015/08/31/opinions/china-wwii-forgotten-ally-rana-mitter/index.html

[11] Carney, Timothy P. ‘It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing’ — Why dropping the A-Bombs was wrong (Washington Examiner, 2013). Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/it-wasnt-necessary-to-hit-them-with-that-awful-thing-why-dropping-the-a-bombs-was-wrong

[12] Stalin, Joseph. When is War Not Inevitable? (New York: International Publishers, 1951)

[13] Engels, Frederick. Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State (Zurich, 1884)

[14] Hobsbawm, Eric. The Age of Revolution. (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1962) p. 96

[15] Hoxha, Enver. Eurocommunism is Anti-Communism (London: Worker’s Publishing House, 1980) p. 22

[16] Stalin, Joseph. ‘Prohibition of Atomic Weapons’ For Peaceful Coexistence: Post War Interviews (International Publishers: New York, 1951)

[17] Stalin, Joseph. When is War Not Inevitable? (New York: International Publishers, 1951)

[18] Goldschmidt, Bertrand. ‘A forerunner of the NPT? The Soviet Proposals of 1947’ IAEA Spring Bulletin, 1986, p.59

[19] Gromyko, Andre. ‘A Defense of the Soviet Control Plan’ Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Vol. 4 No. 6 p. 192

[20] Operation Unthinkable (UK National Archives, 1945) Retrieved from: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/cold-war-on-file/operation-unthinkable/

[21] The increase in strength (NATO Archives, 2001) Retrieved from: https://www.nato.int/archives/1st5years/chapters/9.htm

[22] The Outbreak of the War, Disaster, and Defence (All World Wars) Retrieved from: http://www.allworldwars.com/Dropshot%20-%20American%20Plan%20for%20War%20with%20the%20Soviet%20Union%201957.html

[23] Pomper, Miles A. Why the US has nuclear weapons in Turkey – and may try to put the bombs away (The Conversation, 2019) Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/why-the-us-has-nuclear-weapons-in-turkey-and-may-try-to-put-the-bombs-away-125477

[24] U.S. – Russia Nuclear Arms Control (Council on Foreign Relations) Retrieved from: https://www.cfr.org/timeline/us-russia-nuclear-arms-control

[25] Lenin, Vladimir. The State and Revolution (1917)

[26] Hau’ofa, Epeli. ‘Our Sea of Islands.’ The Contemporary Pacific Vol. 6 No. 1 pp. 151-152

[27] ‘Marshall Islands’ in Atomic Heritage Foundation. Retrieved from: https://www.atomicheritage.org/location/marshall-islands#:~:text=Between%201946%20and%201958%2C%20the,spread%20throughout%20the%20Marshall%20Islands.

[28] Schwartz, Larry. 10 of the Most Evil Medical Experiments Conducted in History. Retrieved from: https://www.alternet.org/2014/08/10-most-evil-medical-experiments-conducted-history/

[29] Rust, Susan. How the US Betrayed the Marshall Islands, kindling the next nuclear disaster. Retrieved from: https://www.latimes.com/projects/marshall-islands-nuclear-testing-sea-level-rise/

[30] ‘5 mind-boggling things about Pilger’s doco The Coming War on China’ in Asia Pacific Report. Retrieved from: https://asiapacificreport.nz/2017/03/26/5-mind-boggling-things-about-pilgers-doco-the-coming-war-on-china/

[31] Kania, Ray. South Pacific’s Paradise Lost: Ebeye Has Become Slum in the Marshall Islands. Retrieved from: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-1989-04-23-8904235448-story.html

[32] Vinde, David. Where in the World is the US Military? (POLITICO Magazine, 2015) Retrieved from: https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/us-military-bases-around-the-world-119321

[33] Abdulkareem, Ahmed. Why Saudi Arabia’s Bloody US-Backed War in Yemen Will Likely Escalate in 2020 (MintPress, 2020) Retrieved from: https://www.mintpressnews.com/saudi-arabia-war-yemen-escalate-2020/263856/

[34] Status of World Nuclear Forces (Federation of American Scientists, 2020) Retrieved from: https://fas.org/issues/nuclear-weapons/status-world-nuclear-forces/

[35] Bugos, Shannon. U.S. Completes INF Treaty Withdrawal (Arms Control Association, 2019) Retrieved from: https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2019-09/news/us-completes-inf-treaty-withdrawal

[36] Reagan jokes about bombing Russia (History, 2009). Retrieved from: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/reagan-jokes-about-bombing-russia

[37] Obama will not apologize for Hiroshima attack, he tells Japanese TV (Guardian, 2016) Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/22/obama-japan-hiroshima-interview-no-apology

[38] Pramuk, Jacob. Trump warns North Korea threats ‘will be met with fire and fury’ (CNBC, 2017) Retrieved from: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/08/trump-warns-north-korea-threats-will-be-met-with-fire-and-fury.html

[39] Hartung, William D. Who’s Really Driving Nuclear Weapons Production? (Nation, 2017). Retrieved from: https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/whos-really-driving-nuclear-weapons-production/

Political Revolution vs Actual Revolution

350px-Vincenzo_Camuccini_-_La_morte_di_Cesare

 

“What my campaign is about is a political revolution – millions of people standing up and saying enough is enough.” 

 

The words of US presidential candidate and self proclaimed “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders. In recent years much of the world has witnessed a surge in populist leaders arising out of both the “left” and right. From Farage and Corbyn in the UK to Le Pen in France, from Vox and Podemos in Spain to Bolsanaro in Brazil, Salvini in Italy to Orban in Hungary, etc. These people all differ in ideology, narrative and many policy ideas. But they all have one thing in common – the are fighting a “political revolution” against a supposed criminal elite – be that the wealthiest 1%, the EU, the “cultural Marxists” or corrupt government. These people have another thing in common. Like their namesake, the Populares of the Roman Republic, they represent a certain group of the “common people” who have been disenfranchised by the elite. This group of common people is almost always a slightly warped interpretation of what is simply the proletariat (sometimes including the petty bourgeoisie as well). In order to defend the interests of “the people” they must seize power in a “political revolution.” What this translates to is a changing of the state structure, without actually changing the existing mode of production or solving the class antagonisms of the capitalist system. This bears exact resemblance to Julius Caesar fundamentally reforming the Roman Republic into its final form – the far more openly totalitarian Roman Empire, without actually challenging the classical mode of production – slavery. 

 

In order to understand why a “political revolution” is not sufficient to solve capitalism’s contradictions it is necessary to understand the true function of the state, not only in capitalist society, but in all class systems. The state, despite the pretense that it is the embodiment of a pursuit for justice, divine right or civilization, merely exists to serve the ruling class in any given mode of production. It possesses a monopoly on violence and power. It  is the means by which the propertied classes control the police, military, intelligence services, etc. The existence of a ruling class presupposes the existence of a state, in order to shield it from the struggle of opposing classes. This is no less true today than in antiquity. The state shall exist as long as class, and will only cease to exist when a classless society (communism) has been achieved. Hence Lenin’s quote “so long as the state exists there is no freedom. When there is freedom, there will be no state.” Under capitalism the state will give the veneer of a functioning democratic institution, but will in reality remain, as Frederick Engels put it, an “instrument of oppression of one class by another.” Our current dissent into  the thralls of a fascistic style systems is proof that when capital is under threat, the mask of democracy is pulled off. 

 

A political revolution is therefore superstructural change. It does not challenge the class system, the base of society, but rather changes the nature of the state, part of said class system’s superstructure. This is a lesson that has been taught to us throughout history, from the classical slave societies to modern capitalism.

 

The first and second centuries BCE were a time of crisis for Rome’s slave owning aristocracy. The Gracchi brothers, two proto-leftist politicians, had proposed radical land reform and had questioned the wealth inequality of the Republic. This resulted in rich senators organizing the murder of Tiberius, the older of the brothers, and conspiring against the younger Gaius until his movement ended with a bloody massacre by the Roman army and his own suicide. The Gracchi brothers had however started a movement that would later be known as the Populares, or “favouring the people.” Shortly after the failure of the Gracchi movement the much more radical Sparticus, an escaped slave, lead a major armed revolt against the system of slavery all together, thereby directly challenging the mode of production and attempting to advance history into the next class system. This open attempt at class struggle was defeated by the might of the Roman state, defending the interests of the Roman ruling class, but had provided another great blow to the already wounded socioeconomic system. Enter Julius Caesar. Caesar was part of the growing Populares movement, now a more moderate echo of what the Gracchi brothers had started, which aimed merely to secure political power on behalf of the Plebs and did not provide any challenge to the system of slavery. Caesar’s rise to power came about after a three way political struggle with the hardline conservative Cato the Younger and General Pompey. It’s important to remember that under any system the interests of the ruling class are not always homogeneous. Cato, Pompey and Caesar all represented the interests of the slave owning aristocracy, just different sectors of this class. In the end Caesar won the three way struggle and became dictator of Rome (in the mainstream sense of the word as Rome was already a dictatorship of the slave owning aristocracy). With Caesar’s rise to power the Republic entered a new political phase, Caesarism. Caesarism played a very similar role in the slave societies as fascism does in modern capitalism. Although he had risen to power promising to represent the plebs (but not the slaves), once in power Caesar pursued an imperialist foreign policy and filled the senate with his own supporters. Eventually he would declare himself dictator for life. The rise in Caesarism did upset some members of the slave owning aristocratic class, as although he still represented slavery as a mode of production there were many cases where his political revolution harmed some of their immediate interests. This was what led to his assassination. Brutus, his assassin, represented the same class interests as Caesar. His struggle against Caesar was of the same vein as the one waged by Cato and Pompey.  He was acting on behalf of a different faction of the same ruling class, whose short term interests lay in attempting to hold back the new phase of Roman slave society. But ultimately Caesar’s assassination did not prevent Caesarism from taking hold and the political revolution was complete. The far more openly tyrannical Roman Empire was formed and the old Republic ceased to exist. Yet all the change Caesarism ushered in was superstructural. The slave system as a mode of production remained, and the aristocratic slave owning class still retained their position of dominance over the political and economic system. The state, despite undergoing numerous reforms, still embodied the interests of the same ruling class. This pattern of struggle between different puppets of the same class interests and of superstructural change presenting itself as revolutionary would continue throughout history up until the present day. To quote William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar How many ages hence, shall this our lofty scene be acted over, in states unborn and accents yet unknown!” 

 

Under feudalism political revolution took on a new role. The change it brought about was still superstructural, but due to its decentralized nature often failed to bring about substantial political alteration. Feudalism’s equivalent of political revolution mainly involved different individuals from the same family fighting for the throne of a small kingdom, or sometimes different dynasties fighting among each other. Which brother inherited the throne from their father or which royal family ruled over a realm was of little consequence to the political structure the feudal kingdoms held, and held even less meaning for the peasantry, the exploited class of feudalism. As historian Neil Faulkner put it, “in contrast to the dynamism of capitalist economic development, the normal condition of the pre-capitalist economy was technological ‘stagnation’. Change was the exception, not the rule.” Feudalism was an inherently unstable system, yet it was also based on fragile class relations that needed some degree of stability to survive. There was constant rivalry between different members of the ruling class over land. To prevent these rivalries causing the whole system to implode, there was a continuous need to “export the violence inherent in the system” (Faulkner). This is what was really behind the bloodshed and slaughter of the Crusades, despite absurd claims of fighting a “holy war.” It was also what was behind the Reconquista (the taking back of the Iberian Peninsula from the Islamic Caliphate), which, according to historian Joel Levy, contrary to claims of heroism and holy war, was “driven by the need for land.” The exportation of conflict meant that much of Europe, although still bearing witness to bloody conflict between different members of the ruling class, rarely experienced radical change of any sort. There were some exceptions to this, the rebellion against King John of England and the signing of the Magna Carta for example brought about a wave of political reform in England but still maintained the feudal mode of production and the position of the feudal aristocracy. The feudal state defended the position of the aristocracy against rebellious peasants during events such as the English and French Peasants Revolts and the German Peasants War.  

 

The feudal state’s relation with the raising bourgeoisie was more mixed. Sometimes the interests of the aristocracy and bourgeoisie were the same. The feudal state played a part in the seizure of the Commons which lead to the proletarianization of the peasantry. As the bourgeoisie gained more influence in the 17th and 18th centuries the state would play a huge role in colonialism and the slave trade, which opened up new markets and helped them accumulate the wealth necessary to create a modernized capitalist economy. The state would also play a part in helping the bourgeoisie of one nation fight the bourgeoisie of another for dominance over foreign markets, such as during the Seven Years War, the “first global war”, which started as simply disagreements within the Holy Roman Empire but eventually resulted in colonial wars between Britain and France in India, the Philippines and the Americas. The Spanish War of Succession similarly started out as a disagreement among feudal monarchs but developed into a colonial war for dominance over foreign markets. The landed nobility would over time lose more influence and the bourgeoisie would  eventually confront the feudal state in armed seizings of power. This happened during the Dutch Eighty Years War which established the capitalist Dutch Republic and the English Civil War which, although the Monarchy was eventually restored, resulted in the succession of most power in the country to the bourgeois state. According to historian J.A Sharpe, following the civil war “England was more commercialized that it had been [prior to the civil war], possessed a rich and mature trading section and had a lively and variegated elite which incorporated substantial non-landholding elements.” Feudal states that did not come to represent the bourgeoisie rather than the feudal aristocracy would eventually cease to exist such as the Ancien Regime in France and the Holy Roman Empire. Bourgeois upheavals throughout Europe in the 19th century, such as the Revolutions of 1848, the Balkan Nationalist uprisings and the Carlist Wars in Spain would ultimately finish the transition from feudalism to capitalism in most of the continent. This change, which in most countries lasted over several centuries, constitutes genuine revolution. The old ruling class was overthrown (or in a multitude of cases incorporated into the bourgeoisie) and the feudal mode of production was replaced with the capitalist one, thus further advancing history. That is what differentiates these uprisings and revolutions from the wars between different aristocrats and kingdoms several centuries earlier, they only brought about superstructural change, or in most cases no change at all.

 

Early capitalism was not without its political revolutions. The most potent example was in Revolutionary France, which, whilst undergoing it’s transition from feudalism to capitalism, experienced the period’s equivalent of Caesarism, Bonapartism. Like the Roman Republic in the years prior to Caesar’s ascension to power France in the 1790s was undergoing systemic crisis. The feudal state was destroyed and the new Bourgeois one was being created, but it wasn’t exactly rosy for the Bourgeois class. Jacobinism, the ideology of the most radical sectors of the revolution and the ideological precursor to communism, had taken hold. Maximillien Robespirre, a member of the Jacobin club, had become one of the most powerful men in France by 1793. Haitian Jacobin Toussaint L’Ouverture had lead an anti-colonial slave revolt in the Caribbean island. Although Robespierre was executed before his rise to power, Napoleon’s Coup of 18 Brumaire which established him as absolute ruler of France came about in the context of a still powerful Jacobin movement. Under Napoleon’s rule Jacobinism and all radical elements of the French Revolution were crushed, French colonialism was restored to the fullest and the interests of landowners and the now prominent capitalist class were represented in the state. Bonapartism was inherently totalitarian and Napoleon’s political revolution ultimately served as a means by the ruling class of defeating radicalism, terminating the French Revolution before it entered a truly anti-capitalist phase. Bonapartism would play the exact same role 50 years later when Napoleon’s nephew, Louis Napoleon, seized power following a period of similar revolutionary upheaval, securing the interests of big industrialists and landowners. Twenty years later Germany’s leader Otto von Bismarck would implement a German version of Bonapartism, introducing the “Anti-Socialist Laws” in 1878. History certainly did, as Marx said on the matter, repeat itself “first as a tragedy, then as a farce.”

 

Bonapartism had its contemporary equivalents in Britain. The British bourgeoisie had already comfortably seized political power by the latter half of the 18th century, but still leaders would be replaced under King George III’s direct orders when it suited ruling class interests, the primary motivation being British capitalism was leading the country to a new socioeconomic phase – industrialisation. Between 1760 and 1770 George III would dismiss three Prime Ministers and then go on to dismiss another in 1783. These dismissals were all in order to initiate or halt reforms that would aid industrialisation and expand on Britain’s colonial interests. These replacements were political revolutions in their own rights – individuals were replaced and the country’s political direction would change frequently, but the class interests would remain the same. The authoritarian nature of British liberal capitalism would be witnessed in the years following the French Revolution. Anyone who called for change in Britain was dismissed as a “French spy” (much like in the present day where leftists are constantly dismissed by the mainstream liberal media as being “Russian bots”). In 1819, following the Napoleonic Wars, Britain suffered terrible economic downturn. When working class groups organized a mass demonstration outside St Peter’s Church in Manchester calling for more political representation they were brutally massacred by the “democratic” British government. Similar cases of reactionary authoritarianism could be seen throughout Europe during the restoration period. 

 

This tyrannical phase of early capitalism, Bonapartism, came about to secure the new ruling class’ interests. It came about through seizures of power within the Bourgeois state which changed the superstructure of capitalist society in order to meet the needs of the new mode of production.

 

Marx’s warning of history’s repetitiveness would be realized once again in the 20th century. Bonapartism and Caesarism were relatively moderate, calm breezes compared to the thunderous terror and wrath that would be brought about by their modern equivalent, fascism. Fascism is a phase of capitalism that usually takes place once capitalism has been properly established in a country and serves to protect the bourgeoisie against rising leftist and workers movements. Notable fascists such as Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and Pinochet utilized the pre-existing bureaucracy of the Bourgeois liberal state to persecute leftists and trade unionists alongside marginalized groups within society, thus saving capitalism and the ruling class’ position from proletarian revolution, from communism. Like Caesarism and Bonapartism before it fascism would (and still does) not completely abolish the old state or mode of production, but simply implement radical reforms that would change the nature of the Bourgeois state. Fascists rise to power sometimes through violently overthrowing the previous government or sometimes through Bourgeois democracy. Once in power they bring about political revolution, superstructural change that adapts capitalism to its new material conditions. The recent rise of the far right throughout Europe, North America and Latin America alongside an increasing crackdown on dissent by the Bourgeois state through militarization of the police and the creation of a surveillance state is playing the exact same role.  

 

This tale of lies, fraud, tragedy and defeat continues to the present day. There are still those who paint themselves as revolutionaries, but in reality are merely more Caesars, more Bonapartes and in the most extreme cases more Hitlers and Mussolinis. They do not want to abolish the capitalist mode of production. They do not want to do away with current class antagonisms, the Bourgeois state,  property relations and the socioeconomic order. They do not want to advance human history, end our current stagnation, establish a Proletarian state and Proletarian ownership over the means of production. They do not want to establish a society working towards humanity’s ultimate destination: communism. They simply wish to bring about superstructural change, to reform the Bourgeois state into a new version of itself. They will and are bringing about disruption to the status quo, but ultimately they will conserve the capitalist mode of production and keep the same ruling class in power. Bolsonaro, Trump, Orban, Salvini, Le Pen, Vox, AfD, FPO, Farage, Duterte, Erdogan, Wilders etc all claim to be ‘outsiders’ fighting for the ‘common people’ against the ‘elite’, yet when you sift through the rhetoric and use a class based, dialectical materialist analysis you will see they all in the end represent the maintenance of capitalism and the interests of the bourgeoisie. Most of the leaders of these far right populist movements are members of the very ‘elite’ they claim to despise. Trump is a billionaire, Farage was a banker and multi-millionaire Steve Banon’s attempt to organize a far right wave across Europe was planned from luxury hotels and his friend’s mansion in Brussels. Sanders, Podemos, Corbyn, SYRIZA, Melenchon, etc all claim to support a version of socialism, but in reality simply wish to reform capitalism back to the good old days before neoliberalism, the days of social democracy, where the working class enjoyed a bigger piece of the pie, but still did not own any means of production or hold any genuine political power. None of these people offer an anti-imperialist alternative that isn’t watered down and spineless.  Many of them are genuinely well meaning, but even if they wanted to implement policies that would begin the transition to a socialist society, they’d be either sabotaged by pro-capitalist camps within their parties or ousted by a US backed coup, if history has anything to say about it. 

 

We need real revolution. The working class of the entire world must and will break their chains and rid themselves of exploitation, as the oppressed class did with feudalism and slavery before them. Every system, in attempts to save itself, has fooled the oppressed class by miss placing their anger and hope into politicians who merely represent a different sector of the ruling class, or will cause disruption without actually changing the mode of production. Only the communists offer a genuine solution to capitalism’s problems, based on hundreds of years of theory and practice. 

 

  

 

Bibliography

 

Levy, Joel, World History, Dorling Kindersely, London, 2010, pg 143

 

Faulkner, Neil, Crusade and Jihad in the medieval Middle East, International Socialism Website, 2006

 

Lenin, Vladimir, The State and Revolution, Moscow, 1917

 

Engels, Friedrich,  The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, Zurich, 1884

 

Marx, Karl, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, Die Revolution, New York City, 1852

 

Woods, Alan, Class Struggle in the Roman Republic, In Defense of Marxism, 2009

 

Shakespeare, William, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, 1599

 

“Optimates and Populares” (Britannica, viewed 2019)

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Optimates-and-Populares 

 

“Jacobin Club” (Britannica, viewed 2019)

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Jacobin-Club

 

Beaumont, Maurice, Larousse Encyclopedia of Modern History, Spring Books, London, 1987 pg 190-191, 237-242

 

“Steve Banon: I want to drive a stake through the heart of the Brussels vampire” (The Guardian, viewed 2019)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/21/steve-bannon-i-want-to-drive-a-stake-through-the-brussels-vampire-populist-europe

The 21st International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties Completed After Four Days

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The 21st International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties has just taken place in the city of Izmir in western Turkey, despite recent government crackdowns on communists following the invasion of Syria. The event, hosted by the Turkish Communist Party (TKP) and the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), pledged to continue “the fight for peace and socialism.” 

The event was a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Communist International, founded in March 1919 by V.I. Lenin. The parties who gathered in Turkey have all committed to continue the legacy of the original Communist International. Kemal Okuyan, General Secretary of the Turkish Communist Party, stated that “in a short time and together, we will regain our claims and enthusiasm we had 100 years ago.”

The gathering’s location was of extreme significance, at a time when the Turkish government is currently continuing the West’s imperialist assault on Syria through military intervention. The actions of the Turkish government in Syria were strongly condemned by the participants of the meeting, including by the Communist Party of Turkey. Turkish communists have been victims of increased persecution in recent weeks due to their active opposition to the government’s intervention in Syria. Party members have been arrested and an event celebrating its 100th anniversary (as part of the International Meeting) had to be cancelled. The meeting demonstrated an act of strong defiance against the increasingly fascist Erdoğan regime and sent a message to all imperialists of the world: despite their best efforts to get rid of us, communists are still here and will still struggle against them. 

Despite the parties present representing millions of people across the world, including several ruling parties, the meeting garnered absolutely no attention from the mainstream capitalist media, nor even the “progressive media” in the west. The Bourgeoisie’s mouthpieces still do not want to acknowledge that communism is alive and thriving and certainly a viable option for the world’s working people.

This meeting, on the year of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Comintern, shows that the fight for peace and socialism does indeed continue. Communism is alive and well, and soon the weight of historical inevitability will bring the capitalist system crashing down and open the way for a new system – a system without exploitation.  

Read more here:

https://news.sol.org.tr/21st-imcwp-has-been-completed-after-4-days-176284?fbclid=IwAR1nwDUK9b7bAf9MlSRD-O_YlLKhPFwEIQkFdH112OHaY4taR2IkBwXbLPM

Debunking Misconceptions Concerning the Spanish Civil War

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When dealing with the Spanish Civil War our ruling class has faced an enormous challenge. Unlike many other historical events, it’s very hard to make the proletarian revolutionaries, the leftists, look “bad”. When it comes to the Marxist Leninist states it’s very easy to portray them as totalitarian dystopias. With most attempted communist or left wing uprisings across history it’s easy to just push them under the rug, keep them out of most people’s general knowledge. That means all people will think of when you say communism is scary Russians with nuclear weapons and brutally harsh labour camps. But when it comes to Spain, it’s not that simple. Okay, there is a significant  proportion of people, particularly in the anglosphere and particularly the younger generation who were born after Franco’s death, who know little to nothing about the Spanish Civil War. Even in Spain the lack of official recognition of the war is something of a controversy. Despite this the Spanish Civil War still remains a well known and much discussed historical event. Anyone who is the tiniest bit knowledgeable in history or politics would probably be able to tell you when the war was and what it was about at the very least. Historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote on the memory of the civil war that “outside Spain, the civil war lived on, as it still does among the rapidly diminishing number of its non-Spanish contemporaries. It became and has remained something remembered by those who were young at the time like the heart-rending and indestructible memory of a first great and lost love.” Furthermore, in spite of the presence of, particularly in Spain, but also internationally among right wing circles, a lot of talk of a “red terror” carried out by the Republican forces (referring to the various executions of fascists and members of the clergy who assisted Franco’s forces during the civil war), it is the general view that the Republicans were the “goodies” in the conflict. The fact that Franco’s principal allies were Hitler and Mussolini and that until 1975 he presided over an openly fascist dictatorship has probably contributed to this perception. Because of this, the bourgeoisie face a dilemma. It is very difficult to push an anti-communist narrative when discussing an event where the people whom the communists made up a significant part of were, in the eyes of many, the “goodies.” This is why they have utilized a different tactic for inserting redscare propaganda into discourse on the Spanish Civil War. Rather than trying to erase the Civil War from memory or paint the Republicans as the “baddies” and Franco’s forces democracy loving moderate rebels (although as discussed earlier both of those tactics have been present), they try and erase the communist role or make it look as if the communists were just Stalin’s puppets and the Soviets sabotaged the whole effort to push back against fascism. So, in short, the Republicans and their ideals were good, but the communists aren’t to be praised at all, they were just as evil as the fascists. The logical conclusion of this narrative is that we should all follow the lead of David Carr in Ken Loach’s film Tierra y Libertad and rip up our communist party membership cards. 

 

A common portrayal of the Spanish Civil War is one where the fight against fascism in Spain was primarily lead by the anarchist Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI), an organization of anarchist militants mainly from the CNT, an anarchist confederation of trade unions. It’s important not to downplay the role that they played in the struggle against fascism. Often, however, it is presented as just having been the anarchists who struggled against Franco whilst diminishing the roles others played. A large number of films, books, TV series etc about the war will feature anarchists as the principal if not the sole anti-fascist force. Many discussions and interpretations of the war both from the left and even from some liberal perspectives will be centered around the fundamental notion that it was the anarchists that lead the charge against Franco. If Marxists are ever portrayed in a good light then it is never the deranged Stalinists of the PCE but rather the ‘good’ communists of the P.O.U.M. (the ‘good’ communists strategy has for a long time been a way for the Bourgeois media to turn leftists away Marxism Leninism or actually existing socialist states by trying to create a character who valiantly stood up to their former comrades after the revolution was betrayed. This is what has happened with figures such as Leon Trotsky, Alexander Dubcek, much of the pre Mao CPC leadership etc). If the PCE is ever mentioned then it’s only under the assumption that they were just a few irrelevant Soviet puppets who were on par with Franco. This, once again, is not the case at all. To prove this notion wrong we simply need to observe the numbers. In the early days of the war, according to Spanish general and military historian Ramón Salas Larrazábal, the Republicans boasted a force of around 800,000 combatants. If we look for a moment at who these combatants actually were, we’ll discover that the PCE in 1937 had 400,000 (approx) members. In contrast the CNT managed to organize 150,000 fighters and they were largely in Catalonia. It is also often asserted that in Catalonia the leftist movement was entirely dominated by the CNT-FAI, another miss truth. Anarchism had played an imperative role in the labour movement in Catalonia stemming from industrial disputes in the 19th century, but it was not the sole leftist force in the region. The PSUC, the Marxist Leninist sister party of the PCE, had around 50,000 members towards the end of 1936. The social democratic PSOE also boasted a large membership during the entirety of the civil war. The Republican government was full of a variety of people from all sorts of political backgrounds ranging from liberalism to social democracy to anarchism to communism. Although membership rates of parties and organizations does not necessarily reflect the Republican demographics throughout the war, it does clearly demonstrate they were far more diverse than is often portrayed.

 

The communists were, in many ways, far more ready and organized to fight the brown plague than the anarchist forces were in the buildup to the war. When the Republic was declared, many Spanish landowners and other members of the ruling class were concerned for the security of their positions and privileges. Ever since the mid 19th century Spain had been going through a great liberalization, which primarily helped the interests of the Spanish bourgeoisie as it meant their ascension over the feudal aristocracy and nobility, however it also gave birth to a new political radicalism which not only questioned the monarchy but every aspect of the Spanish social order. It was this radicalism that found a great rebirth during with the declaration of the Spanish Republic in 1931, following years of suppression by the monarchy and under the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera. The Republic saw a series of strikes and labour uprisings. The situation for Spain’s ruling class only worsened in February 1936 when the Popular Front coalition was elected into government. The Popular Front coalition included parties and individuals from the ideologies discussed earlier. It was then that the more militant wave of reaction supported by the bourgeoisie and remnants of the feudal aristocracy who had integrated themselves into the capitalist system began. It was in the face of this reaction that military historian Antony Beevor describes how “the Spanish Communist Party had a better organization and better discipline than other parties, and a firm will… Each left-wing organization began to form its own militia – the communists’ was the most disciplined and effective.” When the coup d’etat against the Republican government lead by monarchist generals broke out on July 17th 1936 it was the communists who were attempting to organize resistance, whilst the moderate Republicans grossly underestimated the severity of the situation. As one carpenter from Seville put it, “[the Republican authorities] were more afraid of the working class than they were of the army. We communists did not share the government’s confidence that the rising would be suffocated in 24 hours.” It was in response to the rising that the then deputy leader of the Communist Party Dolores Ibarruri coined the infamous slogan ‘iNo Pasaran!’ in a speech in Madrid the day after the coup began. This slogan became the motto not only of the struggle against fascism in Spain but across the entire world and is still used regularly to this day by people from a whole range of political ideologies. It is not common knowledge however that it was the “Stalinist traitors” at the PCE that first coined it.

 

The notion that the PCE simply desired to gain total control of the Republican forces is a gross misrepresentation. They simply knew that the disorganization and lack of discipline was working in Franco’s favour and that there needed to be a far more united and disciplined Republican army. Even the anarchists themselves admitted that this was an issue within their ranks. Solidaridad Obrera, the CNT’s newspaper, stated that “in the course of the last few days we have witnessed certain things that broken our hearts and made us somewhat pessimistic. Our comrades act independently and in a great number of cases ignore the slogans by the [directing] committees [of the CNT]. The revolution will espace from our hands, we shall be massacred from lack of coordination if we do not make up our minds to give the word discipline its real meaning.” This was the motives behind the PCE’s various attempts to unite all anti fascist forces, namely through the creation of a popular army. At no point did they express the desire to assume total control of such an army. 

Obviously they would have played a leading role, as due to their Leninist party structure they were perhaps the most organized and efficient of the anti Franco forces, but never were they intent on entirely wiping out their fellow Republicans. In many ways, the anarchists had a far more dogmatic approach than the PCE. Their refusal to have anything to do with a Popular Army was largely due to the fact it would destroy the democratic nature of their militias. This was honourable reasoning however it also indirectly stated that they viewed their approach and their approach to the situation alone as the correct form of praxis. Jose Diaz, the then leader of the PCE, stated in 1940 when commenting on the defeat of the Republicans that “the absence of unity in the labour movement allowed the political parties of the petty bourgeoisie to play a big role which did not correspond to their actual strength and influence. It was this which weakened the war-preparedness of the republican army, prevented the implementation of a determined policy to transform the war economy, and gave comfort to all enemies of the popular front. It was the absence of proletarian unity which prevented the formation of a strong popular government, capable of leading the national-revolutionary war with firmness.”

 

The notion that the PCE were completely under the control of Moscow is also a false one. The Soviet Union, principally through the Comintern, did have a lot of influence over the PCE, as they did with almost every communist party in the world at the time. This was only to be expected. The CPSU was one of the only communist parties in the world that actually possessed power and therefore the means to help their fellow comrades in other nations. This meant they would supply many foreign communist parties economic and material aid as well provide advice when it came to party leadership and praxis. The PCE was still very much lead by Spanish communists, not Russians, and there is no evidence that it’s leadership unquestionably followed direct orders from Moscow. This notion that the communists were all just part of some Soviet conspiracy is of the same vein as McCarthyite propaganda which would sweep much of the West 20 years later and the neoliberal ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy theories of the present day which seek to depict anyone who espouses what resembles anti-capitalist or anti-imperialist sentiment as an agent of Putin and no different from the far right. 

 

This false portrayal of the struggle in Spain primarily being an anarchist one applies to the International Brigades. A common notion is that they too were primarily anarchists or Trotskyites who would have been equally happy to lay down their lives against Stalin as they were against Franco. This particular perception largely stems from the fact that most people’s image of the International Brigades comes from George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia where he describes his fighting alongside the P.O.U.M and illustrustrates the betrayal from the P.C.E, once again utilizing the ‘good communist’ tactic. Let’s look into the facts about the International Brigades. The first thing that jumps out to anyone who actually investigates the real history of the International Brigades is that they were created by the Comintern. Not only that, but recruiting was largely done by communist parties. Not anarchist groups, not Trotskyites, but Marxist Leninist communist parties. Anarchists and other non Marxist Leninist organizations were eventually set up, however it was only really in response to the Marxist Leninists and they never accumulated as larger numbers. 

 

Whilst on the subject of George Orwell, it’s important to consider his work, Homage to Catalonia, when attempting to sift through the lies concerning the civil war. Orwell was one of the first people to push the rhetoric surrounding the PCE being “Stalinist traitors.” Orwell was pushing this line whilst people were still fighting and dying on the frontlines in Spain, even if there was any truth to his claims it was extremely harmful to the Republican cause to be publicly denouncing one of the largest parties within Republican lines. Eric Hobsbawm describes how Homage to Catalonia was “refused by Orwell’s regular publisher, Victor Gollancz, ‘believing, as did many people on the Left, that everything should be sacrificed in order to preserve a common front against the rise of Fascism’…Orwell himself admitted after his return from Spain that, ‘a number of people have said to me with varying degrees of frankness that one must not tell the truth about what is happening in Spain and the part played by the Communist Party because to do so would prejudice public opinion against the Spanish government and so aid Franco.’” This fact alone shows that even if Orwell genuinely believed that the PCE was a great evil needing to be exposed, he was reckless in his condemnation and prioritised turning international opinion against them and the Soviet Union over the fight against Franco. His later work demonstrates that it is unlikely that Orwell even really cared for the Republican cause at all. Marxist political scientist and cultural critic Michael Parenti describes Orwell as a “A prototypic Red-basher who pretended to be on the Left… In the middle of World War II, as the Soviet Union was fighting for its life against the Nazi invaders at Stalingrad, Orwell announced that a “willingness to criticize Russia and Stalin is the test of intellectual honesty. It is the only thing that from a literary intellectual’s point of view is really dangerous.” Safely ensconced within a virulently anticommunist society, Orwell (with Orwellian doublethink) characterized the condemnation of communism as a lonely courageous act of defiance. Today, his ideological progeny are still at it, offering themselves as intrepid left critics of the Left, waging a valiant struggle against imaginary Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist hordes.” It is clear that the man who provided MI6 with a list of suspected communists is not one whose work should be taken seriously by any leftist, other than from a strictly literary point of view. Furthermore, Orwell was far from the only literary figure who fought in Spain. There were countless others like him, one of them being Ernest Hemingway who praised the PCE for their “example, unceasing agitation and unquestioned loyalty.” 

 

The perspective of people such as Orwell who were strongly opposed to the PCE and Marxism Leninism is generally given far more weight than the perspective of the many Marxist Leninists members in the International Brigades who fought alongside the PCE. Michael O’Riordan, an International Brigades veteran and former chair of the Communist Party of Ireland, in response to Ken Loach’s Tierra y Libertad stated that “the anarchists and Trotskyists depicted in the film were doing their own thing in a corner of Spain which was far from the war, and their activities presented no threat to Franco’s rebellion as they served to divert resources from the real issue and undermined the vital task of uniting all anti-fascists. To stage a “revolution” in Barcelona, one week after the Nazi air force bombed Guernica, was a real stab in the back, yet this film glamorizes it. The film tries to blame the Soviet Union for the victory of Franco, despite the fact that the USSR gave more help to the Spanish Government than any other state, and did so in the face of a blockade by Britain and France on the pretext of ‘non-intervention.”

 

A common assertion made by people such as Orwell who try to utilize the Civil War to demonize the Marxist Leninist cause is that the aid of the Soviet Union was in fact detrimental to the Republican’s struggle. These people somehow manage to twist the narrative in order to portray the one nation that truly stood by the Republic (Mexico also sent aid to the Republic however it was largely symbolic) and aided the Spanish working class in their struggle against the forces of capital as somehow an enemy to the Republican cause. The Soviet Union’s aid to the Republicans was heavily restricted due to the fact that Western Europe, in particular Britain, according to professor in Soviet history John Mccanon, formed “ the Non-Intervention-Committee (NIC) to monitor the war and prevent its spread to the rest of Europe… Germany and Italy violated the agreement with complete impunity, but England and France were able to pressure the Soviet Union into maintaining at least the illusion of compliance. Britain and France did succeed in containing the war to Spanish territory, but only by sacrificing the Republic to the fascists. Whether that sacrifice was justified or not, the NIC tremendously hindered Soviet efforts to aid the Republic, and played a great role in Stalin’s subsequent foreign policy decisions.”  The fact that Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy could violate the agreement with “complete impunity” but extreme restrictions were placed on the Soviet Union is telling of the fact that the agreement had absolutely nothing to do with maintaining peace but had everything to do with supporting the nationalists and therefore protecting the interests of the global ruling class. 

 

Despite the restrictions caused by the NIC, the Soviet Union still provided the Republic with invaluable support. McCannon later goes on to say that “Soviet citizens held mass rallies in support of the Republic, and Soviet aid agencies collected 274 million rubles’ worth of food, clothing and medication for the Republic during the course of the war.” The USSR provided the Republican army with 1,000 aircraft, 900 tanks, 1,500 artillery pieces, 300 armoured cars, 15,000 machine-guns, 30,000 automatic firearms, 30,000 mortars, 500,000 riles and 30,000 tons of ammunition. In addition to this an estimated 2,000 Soviet citizens served in the war. This does not sound like a nation who betrayed the Republic and therefore the international working class through their indifference but rather a nation that despite international restrictions attempted to aid the Republic in every way that they could. 

 

Obviously, Soviet aid was not without its flaws. The Soviets had an extreme bias towards the PCE over other leftist groups and helped to elevate their position. In addition to this McCanon writes that the Soviet presence in Spain “contained several different elements and suffered tremendous division. The principal split occurred between the NKVD officers and their rivals in the GRU.” But to believe that the Soviet Union simply wanted to utilize Spanish Republican cause as means to pursue their interests is falling down the rabbit hole of believing conspiracy theories of Soviet world domination  generated by the likes of Goebbels and McCarthy.

 

The PCE and the Soviet Union can in no way be blamed for the Republican defeat. Both the Marxists and anarchists fought bravely in  the war and neither were responsible for Franco’s victory, although the anarchists had many shortcomings that were contributing factors to their defeat. Principally, lack of discipline and organization. Professor in Russian History and expert in social movements Pavel Osinsky writes that  “the Popular Front government, dominated by civilian politicians and intellectuals, was slow in organizing resistance to Franco’s offensive (Graham 2002). All military effort of the Republic in the early period of the civil war was based on local militias (mostly formed by trade unions) that typically were poorly organized, untrained and undisciplined (Beevor, 2006). In October 1936, the government began organizing militias into a regular, centrally controlled army. The corps of foreign volunteers known as the International Brigades arrived to defend the Republic. However, the process of forming the Popular Army lasted well into mid-1937. The anarchists’ militias resisted centralization and refused to obey orders.  Some local detachments were never incorporated into the popular army, thereby remaining under autonomous command. Most importantly, the critical moment was lost.” In short, if the anarchists hadn’t refused to join the Popular Army and had abandoned the notion that uncoordinated local militias could have defeated Franco the Republic would have been much better placed to win the war.

 

Ultimately however, it was neither the fault of the Marxist Leninists nor the anarchists that the Republic was defeated. The true reason for the defeat was the fact that the Spanish proletariat were fighting class warfare against global capital. The nationalists not only had the backing of wealthy landowners, bankers and businessmen, but also of foreign imperialist powers. Spanish economic historian Pablo Martin-Acena points out that “foreign resources to pay for the war were especially relevant because Spain lacked a military equipment industry. Imports were essential to maintain a war effort. Franco was able to purchase his military equipment with German and Italian “aid” and with loans from private banks in Portugal, Switzerland and the UK. The most important source, because of its magnitude and strategic significance, was the so called aid received from the Axis powers, which included troops, military experts and military supplies on credit. The terms of financial assistance varied by time and country. The mechanism, timing, and control of the funds were always in the hands of the nations providing the aid. Nonetheless, it was always agreed that the advances and credits were to be settled at the end of the conflict.” As aforementioned Britain and France were indifferent about preventing aid to Franco but severely halted the Soviets’ effort to aid the Republic. 

 

Repubican held territory in Spain also suffered due to what was essentially economic sabotage from Franco and his allies as well, as historian Michael Seidman notes “interruptions in supplies of food and raw materials lowered production in many collectives and controlled factories. Second, the traditional markets for Catalan industry—Andalusia and other regions—were under franquista control, and exchange was often impossible. Third, the difficulty of acquiring foreign currencies and the fall of the peseta hindered purchases of needed foreign-made machinery; domestic enemies of the collectives were often reluctant to provide capital and equipment. Fourth, beginning in the spring of 1937 and continuing much more intensively in the first months of 1938, enemy bombardments reduced industrial output. Fifth, the transformation of many Catalan industries to war-related activities distorted productivity. Therefore, industrial production dropped between 33 and 50 percent during the civil war.” 

 

The United States also provided indirect support to Franco, through sales of items such as trucks and oil. In 1937 the US government banned the export of arms to Spain, meaning leftists could not send aid to the Republicans. The bill however permitted the sale of non-military items, mainly benefiting the Nationalists. Companies such as Ford and General Motors sold a total of 12,000 trucks to Franco. Texas Oil Company rerouted  oil meant for the Republic to nationalist controlled areas. In the aftermath of the war the then undersecretary at the Spanish Foriegn Ministry José Maria Doussinague stated that “without American petroleum and American trucks, and American credit, we could never have won the Civil War.”  American corporations supported Franco with the compliance of the US government for two main reasons, the first being sales of military equipment to the Nationalists generated a profit, and the second being because Franco’s forces were securing the interests of global capital. 

 

The effects of the imbalance in foreign aid could be observed by the end of the war when one of the last Republican territories, Catalonia, was in the process of falling to Franco. To refer once again to Antony Beevor, in the buildup to their campaign into Catalonia the nationalists had obtained “nearly 400 new Spanish pilots, fresh from flying school… At the same time the Condor Legion began to hand over the Messerschmitt 109b fighters to the more experienced Spanish pilots, as their own squadrons were to be equipped with the 109e. Another Spanish squadron was equipped with the Heinkel 112, which had been beaten by the Messerschmitt in the Luftwaffe comparison trials. The Italians tried to rush in their latest fighter, the Fiat G.50 monoplane, to be battle-tested in the closing stages, but it never saw action.

To face this force the seven republican fighter squadrons now had far fewer Moscas that Chatos. This was because the Moscas had to come from the Soviet Union. Only Chatos were manufactured at Sabadell. The 45 aircraft which they produced in the last three months of 1938 did little to make up their losses over the Ebro. Republican ground forces were suffering from an acute shortage of spare parts in almost every field, and machines, weapons and vehicles were being cannibalized ruthlessly so as to ensure a bare operational presence. On the eve of the battle for Catalonia, the Republic’s eastern army group mustered 220,000 men, of whom only 140,000 were in organized mixed brigades. Many were without rifles. Of their 250 field guns, half were unserviceable and few of their 40 tanks were in battle worthy condition.”

 

This account demonstrates that by the end of the war Republican resources had been exhausted whilst the Nationalists were still more than well equipped. Ultimately this was the cause of the Republican’s defeat.

 

The Spanish Civil War was far more complicated than the Bourgeois line that the Republicans’ cause was a just one however it found itself betrayed by the PCE and the USSR. The truth is the PCE fought valiantly against Franco and one of the only nations to support them was the USSR. The divisions within Republican forces were not rooted in the PCE’s desire to control all other factions but rather due to the anarchists refusal to help form a Popular Army. The real reason for Franco’s victory was the fact he had the backing of global capital.

 

Bibliography

 

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/feb/17/historybooks.featuresreviews (sourced 2019)

 

Larrazáhal, R. Salas. “Aspectos militares de la Guerra Civil española”

 

Bolloten 1991, p. 399

 

Beevor, Antony The Battle for Spain, Phoenix, 2006, Penguin Random House

 

Diaz, Jose, On The Lessons Of The Spanish People’s War, Bolshevik, 1940

 

https://www.marxists.org/history/spain/writers/diaz/index.htm 

 

“The Spanish Civil War: Revolution and Counterrevolution”

 

https://books.google.fi/books?id=0F20CAAAQBAJ&pg=PA263&lpg=PA263&dq=that+the+decisions+made+by+comrades+assigned+to+any+particular+task,+whether+administrative+or+military,+should+be+executed+without+any+obstruction+in+the+name+of+liberty,+a+liberty+that+in+many+cases+degenerates+into+wantonness.&source=bl&ots=47ZX3yWrBA&sig=iF3hYQ4xeaz8Z9SHqd8qmlaJ77A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjC67rEt8zNAhXIDCwKHccHAfwQ6AEIGjAA#v=onepage&q=that%20the%20decisions%20made%20by%20comrades%20assigned%20to%20any%20particular%20task%2C%20whether%20administrative%20or%20military%2C%20should%20be%20executed%20without%20any%20obstruction%20in%20the%20name%20of%20liberty%2C%20a%20liberty%20that%20in%20many%20cases%20degenerates%20into%20wantonness.&f=false

 

“International Brigades” (Encyclopedia Britannica)

 

https://www.britannica.com/topic/International-Brigades (sourced 2019)

 

“George Orwell was a reactionary snitch who made a blacklist of leftists for the British government”

https://bennorton.com/george-orwell-list-leftists-snitch-british-government/ (sourced 2019)

 

“Debunking Myths of ‘Red-Brown’ Alliances”

https://dissidentvoice.org/2019/04/debunking-myths-of-red-brown-alliances/ (sourced 2019) 

 

Reynolds, Nicholas, “Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures, 1935-1961  Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy.” Harper-Collins, USA, 2017

 

“Veterans of Spanish Civil War condemn “LAND AND FREEDOM” film”

 

http://irelandscw.com/docs-LFreedom2.htm (sourced 2019)

 

Mccanon, John, SOVIET INTERVENTION IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR, 1936–39: A REEXAMINATION. Russian History, 22(2), 1995, Brill, pp 156-159, 164

 

Thomas (1961) p. 643.

 

Osinsky, Pavel, and Jari Eloranta. Why Did the Communists Win or Lose? A Comparative Analysis of the Revolutionary Civil Wars in Russia, Finland, Spain, and China.” Sociological Forum, vol. 29, no. 2, 2014, Wiley, pp 330-332

 

Seidman, Michael, Workers Against Work Labor in Paris and Barcelona During the Popular Fronts Michael Seidman, University of California Press 

 

 

  

Stand With the Working People, not the EU!

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There are two types of Brexit supporters. First you have the type that everyone knows about, the type that is considered by many to be the only sort of Brexit supporter. The right wing, xenophobic, immigrant hating, supporter of UKIP or EDL or something of the sort. Then you have the other type of Brexit supporter. The type that gets no coverage in the mainstream media, the type that many people don’t even know exists. The left wing, anti imperialist, anti capitalist who sees the EU for what it is: a tool of the Bourgeoisie to push for imperialism and globalization.

It’s very deliberate that you would never hear of this type of Brexiteer or “Lexiteer.” The bourgeois media wants people to believe by supporting remain they are siding against racism and xenophobia and standing in support of immigrants and a united, peaceful Europe. This is not the case at all. The EU is not some kind of progressive, internationalist organisation. It is as stated earlier a neoliberal imperialist Union, a Union that stands for the interests of big banks and big corporations. By supporting the EU, you are supporting regulations that enforce privately owned industry, increased militarization and a Union that denies nations’ sovereignty in order to help spread globalization (and supporting national sovereignty in opposition to globalization is not the same as right wing nationalism, as communists we seek to establish a world without nations however in this case sovereignty is being undermined to protect the interests of a “common market” that is unstopped by the laws and regulations of individual nations and can exploit the working people on a global scale).

The media has made this all about immigration in order to distract people from the issues stated above. Immigration existed before the EU. Britain can take in immigrants and refugees without the EU. After Brexit Britain may well become a fascistic nation that doesn’t, however that is a problem with the British government and far right organisations, not Brexit. Obviously people like Robinson, Farage, and Boris Johnson etc and their supporters must be opposed, and racism must be opposed at all levels. But this has nothing to do with the EU. Some racists may oppose the EU for ridiculous reasons but that doesn’t mean there aren’t also legitimate reasons for opposing it as stated above.

The Bourgeois media have also pushed the notion that opposing the EU means opposing Europe. This is not true at all. A united Europe is definitely something to aspire to, and a border less, nation less world is definitely something to aspire to. However that is not what the EU is. The EU unites only the Europeans ruling class. It is a union of bankers of businessman. It is a unites the people of Europe only in a sense that corporations from any country can exploit not only workers in their country but can also exploit workers anywhere in Europe. It puts the working class of Europe on one big table for the Bourgeoisie to take what they please. It means the Bourgeoisie can also unite in plunder of the third world’s natural resources. To quote V.I. Lenin, “a United States of Europe, under capitalism, is either impossible or reactionary.”

No one is under the belief that Brexit will solve Britain’s problems, not at all. The country will still be ruled by a Bourgeois government who are one step away from turning the fascism to protect their interests. We support overthrowing the Bourgeois state, overthrowing capitalism. Only then will Britain’s problems be solved. But the EU is a tool for the ruling class who we wish to overthrow and therefore must be opposed as part of the more general opposition to capitalism.

One day we can unite not only Europe but the entire world, but this will not be achieved under capitalism. Only under communism can the people of the world unite in a global stateless classless society.

 

 

Why The Bourgeois Media has ignored the 20TH IMCWP

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The 20th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties happened last week in Athens, Greece. It was a pretty major event, over 90 parties from over 70 different countries participated. The parties involved vary in size, however some of them have millions of members (such as the CPI (M) and the WPK). There are parties who participated who are the governing party of their country such as the Communist Party of Cuba or the WPK. Yet it has been totally ignored by all mainstream media outlets in capitalist states. It hasn’t just been given very little or very bias coverage, it has been given no coverage at all. If you read or watch The Guardian, Washington Post, BBC, CNN, Fox News or any other mainstream outlet in capitalist states you wouldn’t even know it happened. It wasn’t even mentioned on more alternative media outlets such as RT. It’s not the most groundbreaking event in history but for the reasons mentioned earlier it does hold some importance and deserved at least a mention that it was happening, yet it has been completely and utterly ignored. This is not because of bad journalism or a mere accident, this is because the corporate media is the mouthpiece of their owners, the Bourgeoisie, who are trying to push the notion that communism is dead and irrelevant, an idea of the past that certainly is not and should not be taken seriously be anyone today.

It’s pretty normal for the Bourgeois media to ignore the perspective of the radical left, particularly that of Marxists. This is an exceptional form of censorship, they don’t ban Marxists from speaking/organizing and give the illusion everyone has free speech (that is of course until capitalism truly becomes under threat) whilst totally ignoring them in all mainstream political coverage so people are never exposed to Marxist ideas, they don’t even know that they exist. For example, during the Brexit debate in the United Kingdom, the western mainstream media reported completely as if the “left” defended the EU and the right was against it. They never even mentioned that the entirety of leftists and not liberals (who in a politically confused world are considered left) was against the EU, let alone their reasoning why. It is a similar story during the US presidential election. It was just assumed people either supported Trump or Hillary, with maybe a small group of individuals supporting neither. The radical left view that both were Bourgeois candidates whose policies fulfilled the interests of the ruling class got absolutely no coverage whatsoever. And if ever socialism is discussed, it’s always between right wing idiots who repeat revitalized redscare propaganda about communism killing 50 trillion people and liberal idiots who think socialism is when the government does everything and that Denmark is an example of a socialist paradise. They don’t even talk to anyone who actually has a genuine understanding of what socialism is, let alone Marxists.

The reason for the lack of coverage of Marxists in general and specifically in this case the IMCWP, is because ever since the undemocratic dissolving of the USSR the Bourgeoisie have stopped the specter of communism haunting them by trying to give the illusion that it’s dead. For many, communism is a thing of the past. An idea that was tried, failed, and now is something for the history books. It’s certainly not something anyone takes seriously to this day and doesn’t offer any solutions to the problems the world faces. The problem with this narrative is that it’s simply not true. Most countries still have active communist parties and Marxist Leninist theory does provide solutions to virtually all of the problems the world is facing to this day. So what do the Bourgeoisie do to maintain the notion communism is dead and irrelevant? They simply hide this from the general public. They never give Marxists any coverage. This is why they have acted as if the IMCWP never even happened – because it would immediately change people’s perspective of communism as a dead and irrelevant ideology. The 20th IMCWP showed that communism is as relevant as ever, and this scares the Bourgeoisie.

In stark contrast, the far right, who are the ones who whine about “censorship” the loudest, get all of the coverage they need. Media outlets and liberal comedy shows alike will constantly show what supporters of people such as Trump, Tommy Robinson, Stefan Molyneux and others have to say. People like Paul Joseph Watson and Alex Jones upload videos that get millions of views. Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson have become household names for the younger generation. This is despite the dangerous amounts of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of bigotry that comes out of these people’s mouths. The reason the Bourgeoisie give these people all he coverage they need is because they don’t pose any kind of threat to their interests.Okay they might shake things up a bit, but in the end they will defend the capitalist mode of production, and in many cases do the ruling class’s bidding for them (such as attacking far leftists and keeping the working class divided).

So in conclusion, the reason the Bourgeois media has ignored the 20th IMCWP is because it instantly kills the notion that communism is a dead and irrelevant ideology, the line they have been subtly pushing ever since the USSR was dissolved. The far right on the other hand, despite their extremist bigotry, get all the coverage they need because they pose no threat to the capitalist mode of production. Communism is not dead, irrelevant or something of the past. Communism is alive and well and is the only thing that can end the exploitation of the working class and of the planet. Workers of all countries, unite! 

The Truth About the Ukrainian Famine of 1932

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Anti communists have always tried to portray communism as a genocidal murderous ideology that has resulted in the deaths of millions of people. One of the pieces of evidence for this claim is the Soviet famine of 1932, also known as the “Holodomor.”

 

The argument they use is basically that Soviet collectivisation of land resulted in the famine because during the collectivisation the state had to seize many properties resulting in famine, which killed around 10 million people. They also argue that the Soviet Union continued to export grain even whilst people were starving and brutally crushed any resistance to the policies of the state. These claims are all completely false.

 

The truth of the matter is that whilst there was a famine in Ukraine in 1932, it was not caused by the Soviet government and much of what occurred during the famine as well as the death toll has been completely hyped up by western propaganda. Firstly some historical context.

 

Food security was an issue facing many poor Russians under the Tsar, and famines were not a rare occurrence with one of the worst famines in the Russian empire not long before the revolution being the famine in 1891, which killed hundreds of thousands of people. Other than during the siege of Leningrad there never any famine or food security problems during the entirety of the Soviet Union, so it’s unlikely that collectivisation of land and communism was the cause of the famine.The initial cause of the famine was in fact a drought.

 

At around the same time of the drought, the Soviet government had been implementing a policy of collectivization of land. This meant that all of those who on the land could all enjoy the product of their labour and more people in rural areas would be adequately fed. This angered the wealthy peasants or Kulaks, as it meant that they would no longer be able to privately own land and farms and make a massive profit from it. In response to this, they slaughtered their animals and burnt their farms. This combined with the drought and feudalistic agriculture is largely what lead to the famine. The kulaks made themselves out be the victims of Soviet “genocide”, whereas in fact they were the main perpetrators. It is often made out that Stalin did nothing to try and help, however the whole point of trying to industrialize and collectivise agriculture was to prevent this sort of thing from happening. The west also had a blockade and wouldn’t accept payment for industrial equipment in anything but grain, making it very hard for the Soviet government to do anything.

 

So now it’s been established that the Soviet government did not cause the famine but rather it was a result of environment and historical factors, let’s look at the supposed consequences of the famine. Anti communists will often claim that the famine had a death toll of 5-10 million or even more. This is completely false. Recent scholarly studies of the famine death toll estimate the death toll is around 2.6 million killed. Still devastating of course, but hardly the wil numbers mentioned earlier.

 

There is also a lot of false information concerning what actually went on during the famine. For example, many photos have circulated over the years that were apparently taken in Ukraine during the famine. A large number of them, however, have in actuality turned out to be taken in completely different countries at completely different points in history. Many of them were taken during the Russian Civil War as well as some during the Holocaust or even the great depression in the United States. The fact that such blatant false information can be shared about the Holodomor and is simply accepted as fact in mainstream historical and political rhetoric really exposes the falsehoods and mistruths this propaganda story is built upon.

 

The final factor that is important for realizing the fictitiousness of the mainstream narrative is the fact that the idea that the famine was somehow caused by the Soviet government and their policy of collectivisation is that the original source of this claim comes from Ukrainian Nazi collaborators and was originally an anti semitic conspiracy theory. After the war many Ukrainian nationalist leaders found their homes in western countries under the employment of western governments to push anti-Soviet propaganda. The US State Department knowingly sponsored the immigration of known Nazi collaborators to the United States as the IA believed they could be useful in a campaign to evoke Ukrainian Nationalism which could be weaponized against communism. Most of the early works that “exposed” Stalin’s “genocide” were written by groups such as the “Veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army” (a paramilitary group that openly sided with Hitler in the Second World War and was responsible for numerous massacres against innocent civilians.) These early works such as “Why Is One Holocaust Worth More Than Others?” openly attack Jews claiming they are “too communist.” The myth that the famine was somehow an anti-Ukraine genocide was a plot to stir up Ukrainian nationalism by followers of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. Even to this any discussion of the Holodomor is riddled with talk of “Jewish Bolshevism” and the “Jewish Genocide against Ukrainians.”

 

The Ukrainian famine of 1932 was not a genocide against the Ukrainian people or a result of Soviet collectivisation, but rather the result of semi feudal agricultural technology and environmental conditions. Famines were a frequent occurrence in Tsarist Russia, but the collectivisation and industrialisation of agriculture ensured they never happened again. Not only has a lot of the supposed “facts” about the famine such as the death toll and the apparent “photographic evidence.” The idea that the famine was a deliberate genocide against the people of Ukraine or the result of Soviet collectivisation was a myth created by Ukrainian fascists who collaborated with the Nazis and was utilized by the CIA as anti-communist propaganda during the Cold War.

 

Bibliography:

 

“Droughts and famines in Russia and the Soviet Union”

https://enwikipedia.org/wiki/Droughts_and_famines_in_Russia_and_the_Soviet_Union  

 

“Holodomor Hoax: Joseph Stalin’s Crime That Never Took Place

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201508091025560345/

 

“Stop Spreading Nazi Propaganda on the Holodomor”

https://socialistmlmusings.wordpress.com/2017/02/15/stop-spreading-nazi-propaganda/

 

Holodomor Series – Part 1 – Fraudulent Photos”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzXFXdOz_8Q

 

“The “Holodomor” and the film bitter harvest are fascist lies”

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/03/the-holodomor-and-the-film-bitter-harvest-are-fascist-lies/
Furr, G. “Krhushchev Lied,” 2011

An Introduction to Communism

A very brief explanation of what communism is and why it’s good

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Communism is an ideology that is hated by many people and perceived as unachievable by many more. This is largely due to propaganda and misinformation. It is made out that communism is just when the government controls everything and does everything, and that it is an ideology that has killed over 100 million people and caused pain and suffering for millions more. This is not true.

So if it isn’t government control then what is communism? Communism is a stateless classless society with no private property and with collective ownership over the means of production. But does that actually mean? Well firstly let’s go through statelessness. Statelessness does not mean total lack of laws and people running round doing whatever they want with no consequences. In Marxist terms, the state is used by the ruling class to oppress the lower classes. In the ancient societies of  Greece and Rome the state was used by the slave owners to oppress the slaves. Under feudalism the state was used by the feudal lords and kings to oppress the peasants and serfs. Under capitalism the state is used by the bourgeoisie to oppress the proletariat and protect private property. Under socialism, which is the stage in between capitalism and communism (which is the stage countries such as the USSR and China were at) the state is used to enforce the rule of the working class and crush attempt at counter revolution. However since communism is classless there is no need for a state. Secondly, let’s go through lack of private property. Contrary to what you may have been told, this does not mean you have to share your house or toothbrush with everyone. You see there is a difference between private and personal property. Private property is the means to accumulate wealth. If you own private property you own factories, apartment blocks large amounts of land that you employ other people to work on etc. Abolishing private property will only affect the super wealthy, it does not mean taking away your house or your phone etc. Lastly what does collective ownership over the means of production mean? Well basically it means the people that work at a workplace get to keep the product of the workplace. Under capitalism most of what is produced goes towards the owner of the company, even if they contributed nothing to the process of producing it. Under communism all of what is produced goes to the workers. Now some argue that the owner of a company does most of the work by organizing and planning everything. This is not true. Most companies these days are giant corporations that span across the entire world where the owner can’t even list every city they have a branch of their company in. Now under communism each workplace would of course have to have someone that does the organizing and planning, and they would be rewarded as an equal member of the workplace.

But hasn’t communism been tried and failed? Well, no. The USSR, China and other similar countries were or are not communist, but rather socialist. This means that they had workers ownership over the means of production, but did still have a state and were not classless. The reason that they didn’t achieve full communism is because they needed the state to protect them from invasion and counter revolution. It’s for this reason that communism is probably unacheivable until most of the world has had a socialist revolution. The socialist states however still made great achievements whilst on the path towards communism such as lifting millions of people out of poverty, eradicating illiteracy, providing access to healthcare for millions, providing employment to all, defeating the Nazis, getting the first person in space and much, much more.

But didn’t these governments also kill around 100 million people? Well, there is in fact absolutely no evidence for this claim. The statistics surrounding the populations of socialist states actually shows massive increase in population under socialism rather than decrease.

These are the basics of what communism isand why it is good. We lie in a world where it is constantly bashed and misrepresented, however the truth is that is has worked and has achieved great things.

Workers of all countries, unite!