“We have faced almost a century of all-out ideological war from the bourgeois camp and their petty-bourgeois agents. they are determined to neuter the revolutionary potential of the working-class, to erase the achievements of the people struggling and working for the benefit of the majority, and to obfuscate the path to socialism.” Continue reading “Stalin and the USSR – myth and reality”→
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.
Comrade Yongho Thae, from the Embassy of the DPRK (North Korea), speaks about the significance of the Great Socialist October Revolution, at the CPGB-ML’s meeting to celebrate its 98th Anniversary, held on Noveber 7th 2015 in Saklatvala Hall, Southall.
Comrade Thae talks about the significance of the October Revolution to all people who suffered colonial oppression and fought for national liberation. He recall’s the effect that the October Revolution, and the real practice of Socailsim in Russia, had on the leaders of the Chinese and Korean poeple, fighting for their countries’ national liberation.
CPGB-ML and Red Youth comrades, as well as members of the Stalin Society, laid wreaths at the Soviet War memorial in South London today, to mark Victory Day.
Following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, in August 1941, after enduring great privation and destruction at the hands of the invaders, the Soviet people checked the German advance, with the heroic battles of Leningrad, Moscow, and Stalingrad, following which, the German Fascist armies were put to flight.
Today – 9 May 2015 – marks the 70th Anniversary of the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi German Fascism; when the red flag was raised over the Reichstag by the victorious Red Army, while Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bunker in Berlin.
These are achievements of Socialism that we can and should all celebrate. Achievements that still show us that workers can vanquish the darkest armies of imperialism and build a bright socialist future based upon cooperation, and ending forever the exploitation of man by man and nation by nation.
Keith Bennett gives an interesting presentation on the impact of the world capitalist economic crisis of overproduction upon the economic and social life of socialist countries, at a CPGB-ML seminar held as economic meltdown hit in 2009.
The classic case of a socialist country immune to crisis is provided, he says, by the Soviet Union in the 1930s, whose economic output increased 5-fold while the capitalist world’s declined, mired as it was in the great depression that followed the Wall Street Crash, and dragged on until it fuelled events leading to a second World War.
The Soviet Union, after temporary concessions to capitalism following the destruction of world war one, the civil war, and the war of intervention, put aside Lenin’s ‘New Economic Policy’ and embarked upon full scale collectivisation in the countryside, enabling increased agricultural production and rural prosperity. This in turn allowed the towns to grow, to be fed, and increase their industrial output. It was the economic, cultural and technical development consequent upon its socialist economy that enabled the Soviet Union to defeat German Nazi Imperialism in the Great Patriotic War (WW2) between 1941-45.
Keith goes on to discuss modern China, the inroads of capitalist economics into her social life, the extent to which she always had a dual economy, and the fact that China’s economy, while continuing to expand, has been adversely affected by the declining capacity of the capitalist world to absorb her exports.
Referring to the history of the world economy, Keith points out that Capitalism cannot offer a sustainable source of economic growth, peaceful or stable development, and remains inherently prone to crisis, dislocation, instability and war.
Capitalism, if allowed to flourish in the economic sphere, will inevitably seek political power, and to change the nature of the state to suit its interests, he concludes.
Red Youth salutes the revolutionary women of the world! Our young cadre will be publishing short pieces all this week to celebrate our revolutionary heroines in the run up to International Women’s Day. Today comrade Geoff, from Salford, discusses Valentina Tereshkova.
Come and celebrate International Women’s Day this Sunday in Birmingham with the CPGB-ML and Red Youth at 274 Moseley Rd, Highgate, B12 0BS.
The ideals of the party were close to me, and I have tried to adhere to those principles all my life.
– Valentina Tereshkova
On 16 June 1963, Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova of the Soviet Union became the first woman in space, propelling the achievements of women under socialism to the cosmos!
Valentina was born on 6 March 1937 in the village of Bolshoye Maslennikovo, Yaroslavl. After being left mostly in ruin following the first world war and subsequently the Great October Socialist Revolution, Yaroslavl had risen again, becoming a major beneficiary of the economic development and five-year plans of the Soviet Union under the Bolshevik party; a thriving industrial city – rich, efficient, with vast collectivised farmlands.
Valentina’s parents earned their livelihoods in the all-important nationalised sectors. Her father Vladimir was a tractor driver and mother Yelena worked at the Krasny Perekop cotton mill.
When Valentina was just 2, her father lost his life in combat serving as a sergeant and tank commander for the Red Army in the Winter War – an armed precursory conflict to the second world war between the USSR and the Nazi stooges then in charge of Finland.
When she was just 4, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Although Yaroslavl was heavily protected by Moscow in terms of ground combat, it was frequently targeted during air raids owing to its importance in providing armaments for the Red Army.
Throughout this time, Valentina’s mother continued to work hard, as well as raising Valentina and her two siblings Vladimir and Ludmilla. It was only with the determination displayed by Yelena and with the support of a loving socialist state that families like this survived to see the end of the war.
Thanks to the industrialisation and collectivisation of the 1930s, and the successful routing of the Trotskyite counter-revolutionary fifth column that was in the pay of Hitlerite fascism, Valentina and millions of soviet children like her were able to emerge from the horrors of the Great Fatherland Liberation War and go on to fulfil their potential.
After the war, her family moved to the city of Yaroslavl, where Valentina had her schooling. Having completed high school, she went on to work in the day whilst taking correspondence courses at night, and soon graduated from the Light Industry Technical School.
Starting out working in a tyre factory, she then moved to join the cotton mill her mother and sister were at, working as a loom operator. It was whilst at the cotton mill that Valentina first joined the Komsomol (Young Communist League) and shortly went on to become a member of the Communist Party.
It wasn’t until 1959 that Valentina took the first significant steps towards her eventual role of cosmonaut when she joined the Yaroslavl Air Sports Club and soon become a skilled amateur parachutist.
On 12 April 1961, the USSR’s Yuri Gagarin had become the first man in space, making a single orbit of the earth aboard the Vostok 1. A year later, it was decided that the Soviets should advance their long list of achievements by sending a female cosmonaut to space. Furthermore, the ambition was to send a civilian on the mission, thus proving that the potential to achieve greatness is not inherent in an individual’s class background but simply the result of opportunity.
Having been inspired like so many millions worldwide by the accomplishments of Gagarin and the Soviet Union, Valentina volunteered for the mission and was shortlisted for training along with four other applicants, only one of whom had any pilot experience previously.
Comrade Tereshkova did experience difficulties in her training – in most part owing to her background and a lack of technical understanding – but his didn’t phase her one bit. She worked as hard as anyone could, constantly studying and preparing in order to give herself the best chance of being the first woman in space.
Her effort ultimately paid off in March 1963, when Tereshkova, codenamed Chaika, was selected as the leading candidate. Her first mission was a joint mission between the Vostok 5, piloted by Valery Bykovsky, and the Vostok 6, piloted by Tereshkova.
After the Vostok 5 launched successfully on 14 June, Tereshkova began the final preparations for her own take-off. On approaching the rocket for launch, she said: “Hey, sky! Take off your hat, I’m coming!”
Comrade Chaika orbited the Earth 48 times before safely and successfully landing in the Altay region to the celebration of locals and the jubilation of millions of working women worldwide. The flight had not been entirely perfect, but after Valentina spotted an error in the navigation system early, she was able to redirect the shuttle before any serious problems occurred.
Following her successes, Comrade Valentina continued as an instructor and test pilot for the Soviet space programme, as well as obtaining her doctorate in technical sciences. She went on to marry another cosmonaut, Andriyan Nikolayev, and they had one child, a daughter, together.
In 1968, Comrade Tereshkova headed the Soviet Women’s Committee, always affirming that she was not a feminist but a communist. She remained in politics until the collapse of the USSR, and also became a well-published research scientist.
Comrade Valentina was awarded many honours for her achievements. She received the Hero of the Soviet Union and Order of Lenin in addition to a stockpile of other awards that were sent from around the world. She has also had a lunar crater and minor planet, 1671 Chaika, named after her for her outstanding achievements.
In Comrade Valentina, just as in Comrade Stalin, we see embodied the achievement and fulfilment of the lives of millions of soviet workers – their creativity and labour emancipated by socialism and set free to soar to the heavens!
Harpal Brar, Chairman of the CPGB-ML, gives a presentation summarising Marx’s teachings on the state. Key quotations and ideas are drawn from Marx and Engel’s seminal work, “The Communist Manifesto”, Engels’ “Origin of the Family, private property and the state”, Marx’s “Critique of the Gotha Program”, Engels’ “Anti Duhring”, Marx’s “18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte” and “The Civil War in France”, and Lenin’s “The State and Revolution.”
It’s an excellent introduction to Marxism, and totally exposes the commonly peddled fallacy that workers can simply vote for socialism – or a social democratic party, such as Labour in Britain – in order to solve their problems.
Workers cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery (the capitalists’ parliament, army, police force, judiciary, etc.) and use it to achieve their own ends. Bourgeois rule, connections and interests run through these institutions, like the lettering in a stick of Brighton Rock.
The capitalists’ ‘democratic’ state must be smashed, and the working class must have a state of its own, to ensure society and the economy are actually organised in our own interests.
This workers’ state – the dictatorship of the proletariat – will then wither away over a historical epoch, as its functions cease to be necessary, in the transition to the higher stage of communism, when the economic formula “from each according to their ability; to each according to their need” will be applied to production and distribution of goods, well-being and culture.
Henry Friedrich Carl Metelmann, was born on 25 December 1922, the son of a socialist railway worker in Hamburg, Germany. As a lively and active boy, he joined the scouts, and later his group was merged with the Hitler youth. With Hitler’s rise he was seduced by the fascist movement, and the experiences and privileges it bestowed
He fought with Von Paulus’ Nazi 6th army at Stalingrad. Through experience he came to reject fascism and capitalist imperialism. He settled in Britain, becoming a communist, a railway worker, groundsman, writer and peace activist. He died on 24 July 2011.
Henry Metelmann was keen to talk about his experiences, especially to the young, and equated the invasion of the Soviet Union by an oil-hungry Nazi Germany with the Anglo-American assault on oil-rich Iraq in 2003. He remained a member of the Communist party of Great Britain until its break-up in 1991.
He delivered a powerful lecture to the Stalin Society in London, in 2004, which sadly was not filmed, but shortly afterwards Harpal Brar, now chairman of the CPGB-ML, conducted this interview with Henry at his home in Godalming.
This interview remains as moving, compelling and relevant as the day it was conducted. For it helps us to understand German (Nazi) Imperialism. Not merely as something exceptional, uniquely evil, incomprehensible and never to be repeated; but as the standard behaviour of imperialism. That is of expansionist monopoly capitalism.
What conclusions does he draw from his long, full active and historically rich life? He tells us that there can be no peace, while capitalism still exists. We must overthrow it, or perish.
Cde Harpal Brar, Chairman of the CPGB-ML delivered this keynote speech at the party’s recent celebration of the Great Socialist October Revolution of 1917.
He explains the historical significance of the October Revolution, the achievements of Soviet Socialism, and its ongoing relevance to workers in Britain.
He gives a detailed explanation of modern imperialism, its wars and its global capitalist economic overproduction crisis. The analysis given by Marx and Lenin not only explains these, the major problems that humanity – and in particular the working and toiling masses – are facing, but shows us the way forward to their solution. Capitalism cannot be reformed, regulated, moderated or otherwise made to serve the interests of working people. It must be overthrown!
We must discard all those parties who pretend otherwise, particularly the social democratic Labour Party, and its revisionist and trotskite hangers-on who act as agents of imperialism (misguided or malicious) in the working class movement. In this as in so many regards, October shows us the way!
Our job, Harpal emphasizes, is to make this Marxist-Leninist analysis truly popular, well known and understood, and to inject the spontaneous protest and resistance movements with clear scientific analysis that can sustain them and help them to direct their blows.
The October revolution has shown that working people, when united and organized around a correct understanding and a disciplined party, guided by such an analysis, are really able to achieve unity of action, to become an army of millions and tens of millions, which no capitalist power can resist.