No 1118 January 8th 2002
Extreme 'left' reformists in fact only prop up the bourgeois-imperialist system. Revolutionary developments are in an entirely separate category of history. Anti-imperialist struggle damaged most by Trot & Stalinist ignorance of Marx-Lenin theory.
As night follows day, the notion that surely civilisation's economic development can be rationally planned to proceed steadily in the interests of everyone on earth rather than have this periodic terrifying slump-catastrophe, will rapidly again become the chief aspiration of all human longing, — as socialism has been, already, for nearly 200 years.
What precise battles for socialist ideas will have to be fought is not yet known, of course; but that there is no alternative but world socialism to the slump and warmongering catastrophes of capitalism's grotesquely unfair and uneven development is not doubted by anyone.
Exactly how to conquer the world for a totally classless international society of planned cooperation is the stuff of all future argument; but there can be no question that even spontaneous developments (in Argentina and elsewhere) will sooner or later suggest the mass of the people taking over the ownership, running, and planning of their own country's whole economy rather than let the present insane mess continue. Organised revolutionary communist proposals will already be fermenting there for certain.
It will take the beginnings of such revolutionary upheavals (in Argentina or in any one of a score of other countries where capitalism's failure is already proving intolerable), — plus US imperialism's inevitable threatening response, - before the connections between international imperialist slump and international imperialist warmongering begin to be widely-made; but once events themselves start to teach the world such lessons (rather than the tiny propaganda output of the few circles of genuinely revolutionary Marxist understanding, which could never achieve such an educational effect on their own), — then all further mind-conditioning that "bombing is best" as a cure for the planet's ills by the likes of Bush, Blair, Polly Toynbee, Clare Short, and Christopher Hitchens, will be self-branded as more and more demented.
"War without end" was one of the more perceptive slogans already appearing on the huge London demonstration against imperialist blitzkrieg politics
And deepening splits in the ranks of middle-class mind-conditioning — all united in their horror-stricken "condemnation" of Sept 11, — are observable in the capitalist press:
(In the original EPSR issues from which these perspectives were assembled, there are several quotes here. See recent back issues prior to this Perspectives issue — ed.note)
As usual, this well-meaning liberalism is unable to provide any perspective for any kind of end to imperialist warmongering rampaging, revolutionary or otherwise.
As usual, if there is any message at all, it is that the world would be a better place if it did not go down this route of American fascist domineering. Reformism, in other words, is the only answer put forward.
And the essence of parliamentary cretinism, Wedgwood Benn, was on hand at Trafalgar Square to actually declare: "We have a passive parliament and a cringing Cabinet", but still the 'answer' is reformism.
But of course it solves nothing. It was the total fraud of bourgeois democracy elections to a parliament under capitalism which gave Hitler the power in 1933. It was what put Bush in office last November. And it is obviously the system responsible for what Benn now calls a "passive parliament".
It is not a historical record of 'lesson learning' either. Imperialist warmongering, colonial tyranny, and the never-ending arms race are the entire unbroken story of the capitalist system; and "clearer-headed" or "more decisive" parliamentary voting is not about to change anything, no matter how many warnings are delivered by periodic outbreaks of fascist aggression.
The lesson-learning has to be about the 'free market' system itself, and its impossibility of ever achieving economic and technological progress for the potentially-useful benefit of mankind without creating, by those very same 'free market' means, the most grotesque inequality, injustice, and uneven development on earth, (plus periodic slump catastrophes), that must always unalterably end in total frustration, envy, hatred, revolt, and consequential domineering-warmongering-tyranny ultimately, for as long as a capitalist class is allowed to rule, (i.e. even exist, since once a capitalist class exists it is bound to rule).
This is where the petty-bourgeois fake 'left' plays its major role, posturing as 'revolutionary socialists' but utterly confusing the picture of total, all-the-way hostility to the imperialist-state world-domination and nothing else.
The "No to war, and No to terror" line of the SWP and the Socialist Alliance completely disarms the working class, playing them straight into the hands of Western propaganda pretending that the destruction of Bin Laden, al-Quaeda, and the Taleban regime will make the world a "safer and better place".
As even the capitalist press admits, the last time that imperialism's current allies in the Northern Alliance took power in Afghanistan, there was a widespread bloodbath of more degenerate savagery than the imagination can master.
And even worse than that, the anti-war sections of bourgeois press opinion are also currently drawing attention to the astonishing fact that far more "terrorist outrages" have been committed by the US imperialist system itself, in crushing its opponents by fair means or foul, than have been perpetrated by anti-imperialist struggles:
(See ed.note above on cuttings)
So the fake-'left' posturing 'morality' of agreeing with the West's propaganda to "condemn Sept 11" not only effectively justifies the US imperialist pretence that "terrorism must be eradicated", but allows the West to literally get away with murder in its hypocrisy.
There is nothing to "condemn". Arbitrary savagery and brutal injustice are inseparable from the class-war and national-war struggles for the survival or overthrow of the international imperialist-rule system; and 'morality' will play no part at all in bringing down the monopoly-capitalist class; only organised communist-revolutionary strength and mass political understanding will.
Even "terrorism" could be a legitimate weapon, as EPSR 1106 explained in detail, quoting in full from Lenin on the subject.
'Only' two months late, at least the hoax 'Marxist' wing of one degenerate fake-'left' sect, the SLP, has limped into line with the EPSR's Marxist-Leninist understanding of class-war history by briefly repeating the same Lenin quotes, but with no acknowledgement, of course, of how and why Lalkar has now seen the light, and, more disastrously-pathetically still, with no reference to how Lalkar got it completely wrong in its previous issue two months ago.
Last week's EPSR derided Lalkar's opportunist cowardice for at last denouncing fake-'lefts' who "condemn" terrorism — but for not having the political guts to explain that it was Scargill's SLP they were really targeting, which has just belatedly formally joined the petty-bourgeois "condemnation" brigade.
This time, the charge is even more serious. Scargill's Lalkar stooges lack the political courage to admit even their own mistaken analysis, even when the progress of historical events themselves have shown up the stupidity.
It was nearly three weeks after Sept 11 that Scargill's arbitrary decision to "deplore the loss of life in the United States" and to express "fear that the world could see more of this type of attack" was revealed to those in the international working class who might have been waiting for a lead from the SLP.
The EPSR tore this mealy-mouthed petty-bourgeois idiocy to pieces for limping along half-heartedly behind middle-class "condemnation" and fascist-imperialist revenge seeking belligerence.
Lalkar came out at roughly the same time, not just failing to criticise this SLP nonsense, and calling Sept 11 a "disaster", but indirectly supporting Scargill's reactionary confusion in a separate attack denouncing anarchist anti-globalisation street fighting as only damaging the working-class cause, and only playing into the hands of imperialist counter-revolution.
The tactics of deliberate violence are detrimental
Lalkar scolded, and approvingly quoted an allied Danish Stalinist sect branding the international anti-globalisation anarchist protesters as
tools of the bourgeois establishment, paid or otherwise
the instrument of the reactionary forces.
With Sept 11 still the world's number 1 talking point, Lalkar then pointedly quoted Stalin on the Narodniks, the dominant anti-Tsarist revolutionary movement before the Bolsheviks' rise began, and renowned internationally as practitioners of terrorism against imperialism:
The method of combating Tsardom chosen by the Narodniks, namely, by the assassination of individuals, by individual terrorism, was wrong and detrimental to the revolution.
Lenin never said this about the original Russian revolutionary movement. On the contrary, he paid tribute to the "heroes" and the "grandeur" of their struggle against huge odds and fearful repression.
Lenin's massive output against the Narodniks was to expose their utopian views about using the Russian peasant commune system as a possible non-capitalist development, and their philosophical idealism which failed to grasp the Marxist materialist basis of social, economic, and political attitudes.
Lenin's more dismissive comments were directed against the Liberal Narodniks of the 1890s, a sad reformist retreat from the Revolutionary Narodniks of the 1870s.
Lenin's attacks on terrorist methods were always on the question of terrorism as an inferior tactic once the Marxist movement had won support for the idea of a mass working-class revolutionary movement of open political understanding as opposed to the earlier anti-Tsarist belief in a conspiracy movement of outstanding individuals.
In particular, Lenin attacked a verbal infatuation with terrorist methods which many Leninist supporters still were influenced by, and which the Socialist-Revolutionary claimants to mass working-class revolutionary leadership also continued to put forward "in the Narodnik tradition".
The problem for all today's fake-'left' parties remains the same, SLP included. By "condemning" terrorist methods, in the aftermath of Sept 11, these wretched petty-bourgeois opportunist sects all effectively line up behind the savage imperialist blitzkrieg on the Middle East to "destroy terrorism". All weaselling that "a police action" would have been "an alternative" to the imperialist blitzkrieg, or that "United Nations peacekeeping" should have been used to stop "the deplorable massacre of innocents on Sept 11, which the whole world must condemn", etc, etc, is the most monstrous dissembling. The fascist-aggressive turn in contemporary US imperialist world-domination under the so-called 'New World Order' has long been obvious to everyone on earth. And this murderous, ruthless, genocidal terror-bombing of Afghanistan was freely predicted by the whole of world opinion.
So what was crucially needed was for that whole world opinion to avoid at all costs giving the slightest justification for this demented imperialist blitzkrieg, which is still inflicting airforce massacres all round Afghanistan utterly indiscriminately, despite the effective abdication of the Taleban government, - giving cover simultaneously to equally murderous warlord opportunists in the Northern Alliance. World opinion predictably failed. But for so-called 'lefts' to join in the wittering bourgeois hypocrisy about "appalling horror" and "unacceptable barbarism", etc, about a worm-turning retaliation at last by Third World hatred against the PERMANENT warmongering terror-domination by Western tyranny against the slightest anti-imperialist revolt anywhere, — — was more cowardly political treachery than the whole wretched history of anti-communism has produced in a long time.
The fate of the reactionary religious delusions of the Taleban and Bin Laden are not the issue. Serious revolutionary anti-imperialism will not miss them. Providing imperialist "anti-terror" humbug with a 'left' cover is the truly barbaric horror which has been committed over this Sept 11 issue, — a lame-brained ignorant betrayal which will help add tens of thousands more "innocent victims" to the endlessly growing world's total out of deepening imperialist-system economic crisis in the longer run, now that this ludicrous Bush-Blair 'anti-terror' posture has been allowed to get away with such blatant fascist tyranny and murder.
But still the fake-'lefts' continue peddling the same old lying tune as an 'excuse', — namely, that Sept 11 "had to be condemned, — otherwise it would have meant supporting Bin Ladenism", etc, etc. EPSR 1109 has already quoted Leninist science in full refuting that idiotic non sequitur in respect of the Bolshevik hope to take advantage of Tsarist imperialism's defeat by German imperialism in World War I, dismissing Trotsky's incomprehension of Marxism which slandered that Lenin's slogan for Tsarist defeat amounted to "support for German imperialism as the lesser evil".
There were no such stupid implications, Lenin explained.
Equally stupid is the current Trot and Revisionist anti-Marxist drivel that hoping to see US imperialism further humiliated by the disastrous failure of its attempted "war on terrorism" retaliatory barbarism against Afghanistan, — similarly amounts to "support for the Taleban".
No such nonsense.
A further example of Leninist dialectical science on such matters was provided by the challenge to clear-thinking priorities which the Kornilov rebellion against the Kerensky government presented in August 1917 to the Bolshevik propaganda demanding Kerensky's downfall.
Kornilov represented fascist counter-revolution against the great anti-autocracy gains of the February Revolution. It had to be fought against unconditionally.
But Kerensky's suzerainty over February s gains had already plunged them back towards total loss,(temporarily, effectively), by continuing Russia's full participation in inter-imperialist WWI, and would doom them to certain permanent loss in the near future, if the war was continued with for much longer, and if the bourgeois-state Provisional Government was not overthrown by the socialist revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The Bolshevik conclusion was to make opposing the Kornilov Rebellion to bring down Kerensky the priority, but to explain vigorously to the world why that in no way meant any support at all for the continuation of the Kerensky regime.
It is equally clear today that agitating for the defeat of the imperialist blitzkrieg implies not a shred of support for the reactionary ideology of the Taleban. At the same time, however, any "condemnation" of al-Quaeda terrorism clearly invalidates all 'No to war' posturing social-pacifism, and plays Afghanistan and the international working class totally into the hands of the bourgeois-imperialist propaganda racket.
To shore up the contention that cheering for imperialist military defeat is tantamount to supporting the Taleban, Trotsky is approvingly quoted (Trot and Revisionist anti-communists are losing much of their distinction) from 1935 on why the Ethiopian autocracy feudal emperor Haile Selassie deserved to be supported in the fight to resist Italian colonial conquest, and not merely by-passed in the course of opposing the fascist invasion.
Similarly, the CPGB quotes Trotsky favourably from 1927 implying that the Kuomintang regime in China was progressive enough to be sided-with in trying to establish full independence from imperialist domination.
Both examples miss the point that Lenin makes about precisely NOT supporting or siding-with the Kerensky government despite the priority need for all the forces of the February-Revolution-transformation to all join in the resistance to the Kornilov counter-revolution. in August 1917.
And historical perspectives exactly confirm this Marxist understanding.
By the 1920s and 1930s, the epoch-making triumph of the dictatorship of the proletariat in being able to start transforming the massive backwardness of the Tsarist empire into a technologically-advanced and totally politically-educated and socially-organised workers state which the entire might of the imperialist world could not subsequently dominate, — demonstrated that communist revolution could be a practical way forward already everywhere on earth, given enlightened Leninist leadership of the proletariat, both locally and internationally.
What the world sadly got instead, of course, was a sick choice between Stalinist or Trotskyist Revisionist ignorance and opportunism, the degeneration of the necessary Marxist scientific understanding of world development either way, and equal treachery to the dictatorship of the proletariat too, in the very long run. (see EPSR 2001 Perspectives document).
Illusions in the Kuomintang was precisely one of the revolutionary movement's problems in China, and the National government's uselessness against Japanese domination later on doubly proved the point.
And the CPGB canvassing to spread retrospective illusions in the Ethiopian feudal emperor of the 1930s must set some kind of new barmy record even for the off-the-wall Weekly Worker.
The problem of retreating from the gains of Marxist-Leninist science was seen clearest in Spain. Creating 'support' illusions in the bourgeois 'parliamentary Republic' was fatal. The international bourgeois-imperialist system was turning to fascist aggression wherever it had revolutionary problems, and the middle-class 'democracy' stood no chance of survival.
Certainly all the forces of the new Republic in Spain needed to join the fight against Franco's counter-revolution, but, as with Kerensky in August 1917, without sowing 'support' illusions in a uselessly weak government, but continuing to spread the campaign instead that only the dictatorship of the proletariat building a workers state could save Spain from the bourgeois-imperialist world system's fascist onslaught.
And given the Bolshevik Leninist understanding and organisation that first transformed backward Tsarist Russia and then set the Soviet workers state off on its path that was eventually to achieve such mightiness, Spain could have become an even more glittering triumph of planned socialist organisation and anti-imperialist defiance.
What the world now desperately needs is a return to Marxist-Leninist science, and the problem it faces is the remnants everywhere of the same Stalinist versus Trotskyist backwardness which destroyed the international revolutionary movement with Revisionist ignorance last time round, forming the 57 varieties of sectarian opportunism around the Alliance, the SSP, the SLP, 'left'-Labourites, and everywhere else.
This cretinous CPGB ignorance of history sums the problem up, still approving the Revisionist tail-ending of feudal emperors and bent Nationalists of the 1930s, and even more stupidly pretending that the only choice today is either support for the Taleban, or opportunistically joining in with the Western 'condemnation' of terrorism.
Neither. There are no forces anywhere resisting this US imperialist turn to fascist blitzkrieg which are more reactionary than this crisis-driven imperialist nightmare. But no illusions whatever are needed in Bin Laden's religious backwardness to nevertheless see that joining the bourgeois world's 'condemnation' (of the desperate al-Quaeda terrorist attempt to strike back at US imperialism's tyrannical domination of the Middle East)is itself the most opportunist reactionary atrocity on view by far.
Wholly shunned is any attempt to reconvince the international working-class that a further development of Marxist scientific understanding alone holds the key to civilisation's future by demonstrating a correct analysis of the current stage of imperialist crisis, and polemically defending it against allcomers, — — rebuilding a party of revolutionary theory as Leninism did, in other words.
Current world events are either ignored completely, or dealt with by some wooden formula which then not only ignores all polemical critique but even keeps its mind closed when history itself proves things differently. For example, the SWP became the fattest of the fake 'lefts' via decades of the most reactionary anti-Soviet opportunism. Crucial for these anti-communist 'revolutionaries' was the fiction that 'socialist' solidarity with the USSR against imperialist provocation, subversion, and sabotage was not an issue because the Soviet Union was only 'state-capitalist' itself anyway. When the Gorbachev 'market forces' counter-revolutionary debacle did finally re-introduce state-capitalism (quickly inevitably joined and shafted by robber-baron capitalism),and when the overthrow of proletarian-dictatorship central planning and discipline [happened] state-capitalist 'market forces' soon devastated the former mighty USSR, thus proving that what went before for 60 years could not have been state capitalism, — — the SWP simply carried on insisting that its 'theory' which 'justified' its anti-Soviet hatred was 'still correct'.
What undermined the Stalinist Revisionist ideology of the USSR was its being proved wrong by events. The entire 57-variety swamp of fake 'leftism' still has not grasped this point and is doomed to destruction along exactly the same sterile path as Third International Revisionism.
Such widespread multi-hued anti-Marxism has captured the international workers movement before, of course. It was rescued from 57 varieties of Bernsteinism, Kautskyism, Luxemburgism, social pacifism, social chauvinism, etc, etc, in 1917 by the combination of spontaneous revolutionary struggle ripping the imperialist world apart whether anyone had written a constitutional programme or a set of perfect standing orders for it or not, plus the correct scientific analysis of the world by Lenin's deliberate party of revolutionary theory ('What is to be done', etc) which was consequently trusted by the masses to give guidance and leadership to the revolution.
A recent new feature of the anti-communist fake-'left' has been to replace the old Trot cliché that 'Lenin was a great revolutionary socialist but Stalin's brutal dictatorship imposed a counter-revolution' (which has always caused difficulty since no one could ever agree when, where, and how this counter-revolution took place), — with the more internally coherent line that 'Lenin's revolution was a monstrous anti-socialist dictatorship from the start', etc.
The problem for the anti-communists with this, of course, is the same one that routine anti-Stalinism found difficulty with (apart from in a handful of very wealthily bourgeois Western imperialist countries); namely, that although very patchy and seriously theoretically flawed, the actual 70-year record of the Soviet Union in standing up to or challenging imperialist world domination in so many ways, exposed all instinctive class-based anti-Sovietism for the idealist anti-Marxist reaction that it was.
Despite endless allegations of dubious motives, crass interference, grotesque mistakes, etc, the plain reality is that for 70 years, the backward and war-devastated workers state founded by Leninism made colossal disciplined sacrifices to help two-thirds of the world rise up against colonial slavery and start their own independent economic and cultural development, supplying doctors, engineers, educational establishments, agronomists, dams, economic enterprises, backed by scores of special Third World colleges and institutions set up in the USSR itself, setting a completely new agenda for the world to replace the bombs, bullets, and scorched-earth tyranny that the dying colonial empires (Britain, France, USA, Holland, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, etc) had tried hanging onto power with post-1945 in Algeria, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indo-China, Egypt, Kenya, Aden, Indonesia, Mozambique, etc, etc, etc. In addition, a score or more countries, from China to Cuba, were further generously helped to establish their own planned economies in defiant independence of the non-stop worldwide imperialist attempts at armed subversion and counter-revolution, at economic embargo-strangulation, and at ideological propaganda-destruction.
These most outstanding and astonishing achievements yet (in the history of international political development)only started going irrevocably wrong when the Moscow bureaucracy began to lose the plot theoretically about how the later stages of the international class war to destroy the international imperialist bourgeoisie and its system of 'free market' world economic domination, would unfold.
Widespread confusion started taking root in the international workers movement from the 1930s Popular Front onwards that capitalism might finally be toppled or tamed, universally, partly by the worldwide pressure of anti-imperialist coalitions of cross-class 'democracy'. This anti-revolutionary delusion was further cemented by the tragic World War II confusion that there were 'good' imperialists (USA, Britain, France, etc) who were prepared to become an 'ally' of the Soviet workers state in its fight for survival against German imperialist onslaught, and there were 'bad' imperialists (Germany, Japan, Italy, etc) who were out to destroy the USSR. This imbecile falsification of Marxism, and history then spawned further stupidities that 'good' imperialism might eventually accept the need to peacefully coexist permanently with the socialist camp, and in time even acknowledge socialism's superiority as an economic system.
This in turn gave birth around the Third International to the nonsense of the 'peaceful road to socialism'; and misled the Moscow bureaucracy into foolish and needless boast; that Soviet consumer products would soon outperform, in terms of quality and productivity, the slickest and most cost-effective output of Western imperialism (which had the whole world to exploit at often slave-labour rates and under direct colonial tyranny), — — a pointless and ridiculous claim when socialism's target was pointing in the entirely opposite direction of trying to equalize living standards and investment levels right across the socialist camp from Cuba to North Korea and Vietnam. There was no way that factory shirts e.g. from Uzbekistan with its universal free health service, secondary and higher education, widespread cultural facilities, etc, could ever be turned out with so much labour-content so cheaply as shirts churned out from Bangkok factories by child-labour literally sold into bondage by an illiterate peasantry and sometimes literally chained to the looms and sewing machines for 16 hours a day, 7 days a week.
But this daftest way possible of trying to 'compare' the building of socialism with the cut-throat competitiveness of the monopoly-imperialist free market was pursued relentlessly by the Revisionist Moscow bureaucracy to the point where Gorbachev eventually concluded that free-market capitalism was the better way to run society altogether, and set about deliberately dismantling the dictatorship of the proletariat.
But in reality, the Soviet workers state carried on successfully technologically transforming itself for a further period four times longer than the span of existence it had covered when Trotsky first declared in 1936 that 'all further Soviet economic progress was now out of the question because the demands of modern technological change had now run into the absolute limits of bureaucratic-dictatorship command-economy management's ability to respond flexibly enough to all the detailed delicate new innovative requirements', etc.
If the USSR could multiply its productive growth period of 1923 to 1936 by five times to reach 1988 successfully, having mastered space exploration, nuclear rocket engineering, aircraft design and mass production, computerised television communications, etc, etc, etc, along the ways despite having been utterly war-destroyed again by another western imperialist invasion-intervention from 1941 to 1945, and despite having propped up half the Third World with free technological assistance thereafter, — then Trotsky's sour-grapes counter-revolutionary nonsense was clearly proved as such, and the above 1988 Gorbachevite version of the same irrational anti-Marxist mysticism made no sense either. If bureaucratic state planning can do it at one time, it can do it at another time just as easily.
What undermined the final generation of Soviet bureaucratic leadership was not an inability to cope with the new scale and pace of scientific and technological progress(Nauka i Zhizn, 1988 Science & Life, the 3.2 million monthly circulation magazine of the All-Union Knowledge Society) but a degenerate Revisionism which made an even more disastrous mess of failing to understand imperialism as an incurable system of boom-and-bust crisis than Stalin had done. The background to this rationalised idealism (about Soviet state planning suddenly becoming incapable, allegedly, of coping with technological innovation any longer), — lay in the confusion sown by Stalin's 1952 work Economic Problems of Socialism. This had mapped out how the conflict with imperialism would be overcome peacefully through the socialist states eventually easily outperforming the capitalist economies.
When this uncorrected anti-Marxist nonsense had failed to prove true by the late 1980s (according to how the then generation of Moscow Revisionist bureaucrats chose to measure things), this ongoing anti-Marxist confusion decided to abort not Stalin's mistaken ideas about this pointless and unrealistic 'competition' and about misunderstanding the boom-bust nature of imperialist crisis, but his sound ideas about how the Soviet economy should continue to organise its development.
When the Western economies failed to decline to a crawl and be overtaken by the socialist camp, as Stalin's 'theory' explained must happen, Gorbachev & Co decided it was because the Soviet economy was failing to make proper use of market mechanisms.
Stalin's 'theory' carried such weight that it was not even questioned, (in spite of much 'anti-Stalin' posturing after his death), because it fitted so well into so many other non-Marxist anti-revolutionary delusions the bureaucracy had lived by. It suited admirably the established wishful-thinking that maybe ultimate all-out conflict between the socialist camp and the 'good' Western imperialists (now dominant — USA, Britain, France) could be avoided.
Moscow's delusion that workers states now had a permanent safe stake in the world, accepted by the 'good' imperialists, helped breed an attitude around much of the Third International (as was) that the last thing that was needed was any 'revolutionary adventurism', meaning 'premature' bids for working-class power, which would tend to 'unnecessarily rock the boat' of what was seen as a 'good enough' phase of 'stable international peaceful coexistence' which it was imagined would somehow lead to imperialism eventually giving up completely on any general dreams of maintaining active, instant, universal counter-revolutionary responses to block the path forever to any further socialist advances in the world.
In this deluded atmosphere, future socialist advances were seen as almost falling into the lap of the international working class in time, practically automatically. Stalin's casual neglecting to mention the utterly crucial importance to mankind for the working class to be ready to take revolutionary power out of the hands of the bourgeoisie upon the failure of yet another capitalist war-disaster, both reflected and cemented this totally anti-Marxist mentality already established.
Stalin gives this deliberately non-revolutionary perspective further authority in commending the objectives of the heavily internationally CP-backed peace movement. Although not denying that to eliminate wars inevitability altogether, imperialism would have to be "abolished" (but avoiding stating specifically how), — Stalin plainly advocates the following:
"The object of the present-day peace movement is to rouse the masses of the people to fight for the preservation of peace and for the prevention of another world war. Consequently, the aim of this movement is not to overthrow capitalism and establish socialism, — it confines itself to the democratic aim of preserving peace. In this respect, the present day peace movement differs from the movement of the time of the First World War for the conversion of the imperialist war into civil war, since the latter movement went further and pursued socialist aim's."
As Marx or Lenin might have commented, it is impossible to prevent the capitalist system from going to war. It is not impossible to overthrow the capitalist system. So, surely it would be easier to overthrow capitalism rather than trying to prevent it going to war. But once again, behind this Stalinist anti-revolutionary Revisionism lurks the assumption that the imperialist countries are steadily collapsing economically anyway, and that sooner or later, they will just fall into the hands of the working class like ripe plums. All that is needed from the international workers movement is to guard against letting the imperialists get away with starting another war.
And this was the essence of the "less difficult" task facing the international communist movement than the Bolsheviks had to face in 1917, as Stalin explained it to the 19th Congress of the CPSU in 1952, again implying that bourgeois imperialist decline and decay would make winning power off them relatively easier.
The following passage in 'Economic problems' finally spells out the warped 'theory' behind this anti-revolutionary retreat from Marxist science, which doomed the world movement to an impossible perspective, and condemned it to inevitable ultimate total confusion:
"The result [of East European socialist camp cooperation] is a fast pace of industrial development in these countries. It may be confidently said that with this pace of industrial development, it will soon come to pass that these countries will not only be in no need of imports from capitalist countries, but will themselves feel the necessity of finding an outside market for their surplus products.
"But it follows from this that the sphere of exploitation of the world's resources by the major capitalist countries (USA, Britain, France) will not expand but contract; that their opportunities for sale in the world markets will deteriorate, and that their industries will be operating more and more below capacity. That in fact is what is meant by the deepening of the general crisis of the world capitalist system in connection with the disintegration of the world market.
"This is felt by the capitalists themselves for it would be difficult for them not to feel the loss of such markets as the USSR and China. They are trying to offset these difficulties with the 'Marshall Plan', the war in Korea, frantic rearmament, and industrial militarization. But that is very much like a drowning man clutching at a straw.
"This state of affairs has confronted the economists with two questions:
"a) Can it be affirmed that the thesis expounded by Stalin [talking about himself in the third person] before the Second World War regarding the relative stability of markets in the period of the general crisis of capitalism is still valid?
"b) Can it be affirmed that the thesis expounded by Lenin in the spring of 1916, namely that in spite of the decay of capitalism, "on the whole, capitalism is growing far more rapidly than before", — is still valid?
"I think that it cannot. In view of the new conditions to which the Second World War has given rise, both these theses must be regarded as having lost their validity".
This was the gospel in 1952. Despite the start of the open debunking of Stalin in 1956, and the beginnings of China's doubts about how well Moscow understood the world, the November 1960 statement of the 81 communist parties, including China, continued promoting the universal perspective
"to achieve the socialist revolution by peaceful means"
on the basis that
"the pillars of the capitalist system have become so decayed that the ruling imperialist bourgeoisie in many countries can no longer resist, on its own, the forces of democracy and progress which are gaining in scope and strength. The decay of capitalism is particularly marked in the USA, the chief imperialist , country .... Never has the conflict between the productive forces and relations of production in the capitalist countries been so acute ...." etc.
Build Leninism. EPSR
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