Comrades from Red Youth gave a presentation to the Stalin Society on Sunday, discussing what the vital lessons of the Russian revolution, Stalin’s role in building socialism, and what it means to us today.
The presentation from comrade Dan is reproduced below.
Comrades from Red Youth yesterday gave a presentation to the Stalin Society, discussing what the vital lessons of the Russian revolution, Stalin’s role in building socialism, and what it means to us today.
The presentation by comrade Corinne is reproduced below.
Comrades last week joined a packed audience at Marx Memorial Library to celebrate the life, work, and message of Paul Robeson 40 years after his death. A panel consisting of Glenroy Watson, Hakim Adi, George Galloway, Paul Reid, and Tayo Aluko paid tribute to Robeson’s lifelong struggle against racism, imperialism, and injustice.
Red Youth and CPGB-ML attended the Wigan Diggers festival on Saturday, remembering another aspect of the people’s British history, rather than the bourgeois narratives that seek to erase the rich heritage of workers in this country and abroad.
It is vital to revive the knowledge of our rebellious history and traditions in order to inform and enthuse our current working class struggle. Throughout the ages oppressed peoples have fought valiantly against their oppressors, and in victory or defeat they have left us a legacy we must continue!
The Wigan festival celebrates Gerrard Winstanley, from Wigan, and the True Levellers (known as the Diggers), a radical Protestant movement that sought to utilise common land for the benefit of the poorest elements of society, who could not survive without subsistence farming, at a time when food prices were exceptionally high. They arose during the civil war in the 17th century and presented perhaps the most radical ideology of their time.
Winstanley and the Diggers based their ideology on certain passages in the bible, which is best summarised in one of their most memorable quotes: “the Earth was made a common treasury for all”. While it was not possible for them to have developed a socialist theory on the exploitation of the peasantry and labourers at the time, as neither the material conditions nor the schools of philosophy resulting from them existed at the time, it was a noble and notable proto-socialist movement based on a philosophy of primitive agrarian communism.
Ultimately, the Diggers drew the aggression of landowners and the government, with their communities and communal property coming under violent attack from landlords before being ordered off the land by the courts, with the threat of armed reprisal if they did not comply. While the rest of British society adapted to parliamentarianism and the development of the bourgeoisie, the True Leveller movement dissipated.
The Wigan Diggers festival is a fantastic celebration of working people’s history, and Red Youth and the CPGB-ML are proud to continue to support it.
The introduction focuses on the recent troubles in Ukraine, its history, the collapse of the Soviet Union that has led to the Ukrainian people’s current troubles, the imperial intrigues of the EU, NATO and USA, and the political physiognomy of the current ‘Ukrainian Government’ they have installed.
But the scope of the talk is far wider, covering the fundamental economics of monopoly capitalism that lead to its political and military drive for conquest and plunder, that shape our contemporary world – including the invasions and occupations of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Yugoslavia, etc.
These are the very same forces that led to the great conflagrations of WW1 and WW2 in which the great established imperial powers battled it out with the rising capitalist powers who sought a place at the imperialist banqueting table – demanding their ‘fair share’ of the slaves, colonies, plunder and booty. But since the ‘Berlin congress’ of 1884, the territories of the world had been completely divided, and the would be ‘upstart’ German colonialist could only gain territories at the expense of the old fat British and French colonialists.
Our imperialist masters are getting ready to commemorate the 100th anniversary of their (WW1) bloodbath, with great pomp and ceremony, while doing their best to obfuscate the facts of their barbarous wars, in which fully 100 million workers paid with their lives for the imperialist capitalists’ fabulous profits. This is the ideal of our capitalist rulers’ ‘division of labour.’
Let us, the international working class, ALSO remember – that it was a massive capitalist crisis of overproduction – as we are experiencing today – that led to the ‘great’ wars. And that a mighty internationalist proletarian movement arose from these wars, that showed, under the guidance of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, that it was possible to mutiny, in the trenches, in civil society, and in government. That it was possible to go beyond mutiny to revolution – to overthrow the rotten, senile, corrupt, and moribund system that enslaves the entire planet to the greed of a tiny clique of exploiting parasites.
The october revolution and the third international that grew from it it showed definitively that it is possible to defeat and overthrow the monarchs, princes, dukes, kings and Tsars; to defeat and overthrow the capitalist billionaires and their governments. To put in place a workers’ democracy in which “he who does not work – neither shall he eat.” To end exploitation of man by man and nation by nation. To end racism, sexism, and division of the working people along national and religious lines. To forge a great unity and build an economy that serves the people.
An important discussion of opportunism in the British working class movement ends the discussion. For in order to forge unity among working people in Britain, we must overcome the divisive forces that serve imperialism in the working class movement. We must break the ties that bind so much of our ‘progressive’ and ‘socialist’ / ‘anti-war’ movement to the Labour Party. Until we break the link with Labour, all talk of anti-war, imperialist and socialist progress is doomed to failure.
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