On 29 June 2021 the Conversation website published an essay entitled “How a Soviet miner from the 1930s helped create today’s intense corporate workplace culture”, co-authored by Bogdan Costea and Peter Watt, two academics from Lancaster University. In the essay, the authors strive to draw supposed parallels between the destructive “corporate workplace culture” of present-day capitalism and the Stakhanov movement of the 1930s. Whilst their depiction of the dehumanising character of social relations under capitalism is spot-on, the attempt to paint social relations in the USSR with the same brush is a grotesque calumny which vanishes in a puff of air when exposed to the historical record. Continue reading “Corporate workplace burn-out culture is no match for Socialist emulation”
Tasked with the job of reviewing a film about the funeral of JV Stalin in 1953, Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw clearly emerged from the viewing in a somewhat nervous frame of mind. He describes the State Funeral, an assembly of contemporary footage now worked up into a film, as a “very disquieting documentary, like a two-hour bad dream” full of “eerily fascinating scenes”. Continue reading “Gatekeeper of Western Liberalism Given Nightmares by Archive Footage of Stalin’s Funeral”
Dominic Sandbrook reviewed a book (Stalin’s War by Sean McMeekin) in the Sunday Times 21 March 2021 that was anti-Soviet, anti-Stalin and pro-Nazi in the extreme but, unlike the usual book reviews of such literary offal he disagrees with the book and finishes the review with the words;- “his book reads less like a serious scholarly history than a provocative thought experiment that has got completely out of hand.” If that was all he had said all would be well and good, but, alas, his ire is reserved only for McMeekin’s criticism of British and US imperialism and their policies, you know the type, we should have joined Hitler against the USSR, we should have done a deal with Japan to let them carry on the well documented slaughter of Chinese civilians (not that the UK and US did anything to stop that anyway).
Having ridiculed McMeekin for his attacks on western imperialism, though not his obvious preference for fascism, Sandbrook accepts every anti-Stalin slur without question, so, we thought, perhaps we should ask for some evidence, perhaps we should point out the stupidity that McMeekin (backed up by Sandbrook) is asking us to believe. Continue reading “Sympathy for the devil: Another bourgeois historian prefers fascism”
Never before has a man carried so high the aspiration for freedom, for the peace and self-determination of the oppressed peoples than Joseph Stalin. His unconditional devotion to the emancipation of the mankind, his ability to mobilise an entire nation to advance towards modernity and to stand up against the odious beast of fascism make him one of the greatest leaders in human history.
Anna Louise Strong perfectly describes this ability in her brilliant book The Stalin Era :
“He had a deep sense of what I can only call the will of the people, he had matchless technique in releasing that will in action. Finally, he had the conviction and was able to give it to others, that his action carried mankind forward to a better day.” Continue reading “Stalin and the Will of the People”
You may have thought that in 2020 in the midst of a pandemic the practice of western imperialism through all its media outlets of still trying to kill and bury the Soviet Union in general and JV Stalin in particular might have abated, but no.
Articles throughout the year by the New York Times, Reuters and others regarding a mass grave found in the forest at Sandarmokh in the north-western Russian region of Karelia 20 years ago have become their latest ‘proof’ of Stalin’s ruthlessness. Continue reading “Resurrecting anti-soviet sentiment – The crusade of the Western media”
It is with shock but no surprise that we see once again the sacrifices of the USSR in the Patriotic War presented as ‘geopolitical competition’ (a criminal mischaracterisation); the socialism of the Soviet Union denigrated under a meaningless schematic, ‘bureaucratic state capitalism’; and Leon Trotsky held up, not as bureaucrat extraordinaire, but as Bolshevik par excellence – the hard-done-by champion of workers’ democracy and international revolution. This potted history of the Soviet Union takes us, in roughly six hundred words, through a well-worn looking glass. Continue reading “Counterfire Trots still banging the anti-Stalin drum”
The absurd lie that Stalin plucked a live chicken to an audience to demonstrate his supposed dictatorial power has been doing the rounds on many platforms of social media lately. It has taken the form of a poorly executed meme. This sloppy piece of propaganda has been resurrected and is supposed to teach us something about the ‘lockdown’.
Of course the story is a complete fabrication, even in the words of its author, but that hasn’t stopped it being passed off as truth.
For many sites, and publications would like to propel this story into the stratosphere for all the world to see. They would use it as an example of a megalomaniac, crazed tyrant intent on showing his power of control, the extent of his evil. Therefore, we take a moment to deal with this crazed, ludicrous rumour, scraped truly from the bottom of the barrel.
What is it that Stalin supposedly did?
The tale follows as thus:
“Stalin once ripped all the feathers off a live chicken as a lesson to his followers. He then set the chicken on the floor a short distance away. The chicken was bloodied and suffering immensely, yet, when Stalin began to toss bits of wheat toward the chicken it followed him around. He said to his followers “This is how you govern stupid people, they will follow you no matter how much pain you cause them, as long as you throw them a little worthless treat once in a while”.
Where does this story come from?
The tale can be traced back to the pen of anti-Stalin, revisionist scribbler Chingiz Aitmatov. Aitmatov is well remembered for his literary works, as well his role in helping Mikhail Gorbachev in the passing of ‘Perestroika’. Aitmatov was known for his particular “style” of writing that combined fact with fiction and in the preface to his most famous work wrote:
“As in previous works, here I also draw on legends and myths [Ed: unsubstantiated slander] handed down to us from former generations; together with these, for the first time in my writing career I also use fantasy to form part of the story. But, for me, neither is an end in itself, simply a method of expressing thoughts, a means of identifying and interpreting realities.”
From such a literary “style” comes this tale of Stalin plucking a chicken alive is exactly an example of Aitmatov’s writing that blends very little fact with a heap of fiction, indeed in this case there is no fact to be found! The tale is part of the tradition of anti-Stalin slander that was brought in under Khrushchev in the Soviet Union, as part of the ‘de-Stalinization’ [asnti-communist] process. Apart from Aitmatov’s confession to passing off fantasy as fact, this fable has no further evidence or source for being true and if we are bearing into mind that this type of tale was typical of Aitmatov, and there are no other original sources for the tale other than Aitmatov, then we discover that the tale can be categorically ruled out as false, a cheap flight of fancy paid for by the Gorbachev era press. All other sources for this tale come from bourgeois and Christian newspapers, repeating with minor variations this ludicrous garbage. All in all, the tale reeks of falsity and is found from time to time, to be found bobbing along in the sewage of the revisionists and bourgeois press.
Usually, debunking myths around Stalin can be a more serious affair. However, this tale is so laughable and so easily uncovered as a categorical lie that it merely requires a scratch and the obvious falsity is revealed. Here we have a tale from a revisionist writer adding to the canon of anti-Stalin propaganda no more, no less.
Denis Pushilin, The Leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has signed a decree issued by the authorities in the region to use Donetsk’s former Soviet name: Stalino.
“I hereby decide to provide the name “the city of Stalino” with a status of Donetsk symbol. It is to be used in Republican and city events to commemorate important dates of Donetsk and WWII history.” — Denis Pushilin
The name Stalino will be used on May 9, the day of the victory in World War II, on June 22, the day of Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union and on September 8, which is the day of the liberation of the city from the Nazis.
Donetsk was named Stalin in March 1924, two months after the death of Soviet leader Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin). “The [local] Executive Committee believes the symbol characterizing our great leader, comrade Lenin will be ‘steel’ [or ‘stal’ in Russian] and decided that the city of Yuzovka should be renamed the city of Stalin, and the district and the factory — Stalinsky,” say documents of a plenary meeting of Yuzovka’s District Executive Committee on March 8, 1924, protocol №7. In 1929, its name was modified and became Stalino.
In 1961, Nikita Krushchev, as part of his ‘de-Stalinisation’ attempts to discredit and revise the reputation of former general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and the Bolsheviks, he gave the city a new name — Donetsk. The city was originally named Yuzovka in recognition of Welsh businessman John Hughes who in 1869 founded a steel plant and several coal mines in the region. The city today remains a center for coal mining and for the steel industry.
Why does this matter to the people of Sheffield? During the 1980s the city of Sheffield had a municipal council administration nicknamed People’s Republic of South Yorkshire or the Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire. The council pursued a social policy radically different from that of Margaret Thatcher’s national government, following more closely along the lines of the Trotskyist Militant tendency dominated Liverpool City Council and the Greater London Council led by Ken Livingstone. Sheffield City Council constructed large council estates with large numbers of communal blocks of flats based on the streets in the sky philosophy, including the Park Hill complex, and the borough councils of South Yorkshire set up an extensive network of subsidised transport under the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.
The councils also took more confrontational steps against the Conservative Westminster government. Sheffield refused to set a budget in the rate-capping rebellion, while South Yorkshire declared itself a nuclear-free zone and a demilitarized zone. Even flying the red flag from the council buildings on May Day. During this period of government, the city signed a peace treaty with the city of Donetsk in the Ukrainian SSR and made Donetsk a twin city of Sheffield because of each city’s shared history in the Coal & Steel industry, And to send a message to the government in Westminster: Sheffield Stands with the USSR!
The National Union of Mineworkers moved to headquarters in Sheffield in 1983 in the run-up to the decisive 1984–85 miners’ strike and the area subsequently became one of the main centers of the strike.
Donetsk adopting its former soviet name, even if just for a few days a year shows just how important the legacy of the USSR, Lenin & Stalin is to worker’s liberation and self-determination. We support the DPR in its fight against Fascism, Nato, and Western Imperialism — Much like the Peoples Republic and city of Sheffield did in the 1980s. We are committed to real socialist politics in Britain!
Comrades representing the Glasgow and Aberdeen branches of the CPGB-ML were in attendance for the induction of new candidate members into the Party in Scotland this weekend. All comrades were active red youth and are typical representatives of the new generation of young workers entering the Marxist-Leninist movement today. A couple of comrades had never been politically active previously, whilst others had tried to be active in the Communist Party of Britain or had left the SWP.
All those who wish to enter the ranks of the CPGB-ML as candidates must display a higher level of commitment to the Party than friends or Supporters. The working class does not need another Party purporting to be communist which is full to the brim of well-meaning but inactive stay-at-homers. All the comrades inducted in Scotland this weekend are regular attendees at political education classes which take place weekly and all are in agreement with and committed to the Party Programme, ensuring the highest level of unity in our ranks. After a day of political discussion the comrades heard about the priorities for the national mobilisations of CPGB-ML groups over the coming months. The Central Committee urged all new candidate members to organise with their branches participation at this years May 1st rally in London and the need to reserve tickets for the October Revolution celebration which is being hosted on Saturday 4 November.
Cuban ambassador to the UK, Comrade Teresita Vicente, speaks powerfully at the CPGB-ML meeting to celebrate the 99th anniversary of the Great Socialist October Revolution held in Saklatvala Hall, Southall, West London on 5th November 2016.
Her full speech is now available to view in this video. Please watch and listen carefully to her words, and share her powerful message widely. You could not find a better antidote to the US election campaign!
The meeting, and comrade Teresita’s speech was reported in the Cuban media: http://misiones.minrex.gob.cu/es/articulo/celebrado-aniversario-99-de-la-gran-revolucion-socialista-de-octubre Continue reading “Cuba is Socialist – and so we will be!”