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”
The following speech was given by President Vladimir Putin of the Russia Federation on 9th May, 2021, at the parade marking the 76th Anniversary of the Soviet victory over fascism in Red Square, Moscow.
“Dear friends, this year, we are marking the 80th anniversary since the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. The 22nd June 1941 is one of the most tragic pages in our history.
The enemy attacked our country. That enemy came to our land to kill, sow death and suffering. That enemy wanted to topple the political regime and the Soviet system, and they also wanted to exterminate our state, our nation; to wipe out from the map our different ethnic groups.
But we answered the call of duty. Our nation wanted to do everything to defeat or crush the enemy so that those perpetrators could face justice.
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”
Translated from an article originally written in Greek by Dimitris Patelis
(Associate Professor of Philosophy, Technical University of Crete, member of the Association of Revolutionary Theory)
Young comrades have asked me to write something about Kalashnikov, who passed away on the 23rd December 2013. I had the good fortune to meet the legendary engineer-gunsmith Mikhail Kalashnikov in April 1998 in Izhevsk, Udmurtia, Urals. At 81 then, he impressed me with his incredible vitality, good-natured smile and the sparkle in his eyes. “Speak loudly to me, my son” – he would tell me, “I have been shooting all my life, working in shooting ranges and factories. I am hard of hearing… ”.
Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov was the seventeenth child of a rural family (eight out of the eighteen children survived). His biography provides a unique and at the same time illustrative picture of the history of the Soviet people, of the triumph and tragedy of the first country of early socialism (see: Patelis’ “Lessons from history. October Revolution: the contradictions of early socialism and the prospects of humanity”), but also the development of military technology (see: “Armed forces and war technique in history. Militarisation of science and technology”). Continue reading “Kalashnikov: The designer of the weapon of uprisings and revolutions.”
Expose this foul slander of the Red Army
Mark Kermode’s Guardian review of the latest Soviet-bashing film, ‘Dear Comrades!’, is nothing if not tasteful. (Dear Comrades! review – dreams and disillusionment of a Communist party stalwart, Mark Kermode, Guardian 17 January 2021)
The film’s director, Andrei Konchalovsky, is praised for this “disturbingly handsome feature” which “presents its bleakly crisp black-and-white images in a retro 4×3 frame”, whilst the cinematographer, Andrey Naydenov, is congratulated on his achievement of “an utterly convincing air of mounting chaos, brilliantly captured on multiple cameras”. But all this obsession with aesthetic form is merely to sugar the pill of yet more bitter anti-communism. It is like complimenting Leni Riefenstal on her artful camera angles in “Triumph of the Will”. Continue reading “Art in the service of anti-communism? Anything goes.”
On the 23 February, one Andrew Roth, put pen to paper to write an article by the title of; “A lifetime sentence’: children of the gulag fight to return from exile.” The story he tells is of families with a “German heritage” being ‘rounded up’ during WW2 and sent to a closed village in the Kirov region, a gulag if you will. The name Gulag instantly throws up images of ragged prisoners being beaten, starved and worked to death because, over many years that is the picture that has been painted for us by people like Mr Roth. In reality, gulags were penal work camps, usually centred around a farm where prisoners could help to grow extra food for themselves and live out their sentences in homes rather than prison cells. The gulags were for criminals where the end goal was for them to be put back into society as useful members. This was a million miles from the chain gangs of the USA or the three men in a cell made for one in Britain. Continue reading “Memorials of Bourgeois Fantasy”
The Universities minister and conservative MP for Chippenham, Michelle Donelan, compared recent widespread campaigns by universities to ‘decolonise’ their curricula to “Soviet Union style censorship.” (Universities minister compares ‘decolonisation’ of history to ‘Soviet Union-style’ censorship, The Independent, 28/02/2021)
Speaking to a Daily Telegraph podcast, Ms Donelan said: “It just doesn’t work when governments try to remove elements of history. Look at the Soviet Union, look at China. There are multiple examples where it’s been tried. It doesn’t work.”
The Minister’s words come in response to calls by some of the more vocal IDPOL students scattered across the country to remove certain study materials from the curriculum that are considered “triggering” to ethnic minorities for their glorification of the empire and white-washing of Britain’s blood-soaked history.
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”
This month in History Today four eminent historians have given their verdict on a counterfactual that should be familiar enough to students of modern history: ‘Could the Soviet Union have survived?’
Flimsy reasons for collapse are offered up. James Rodgers pointing to the under-pricing of records featuring the Soviet national anthem, or Gorbachev cracking down on workplace drunkenness, does little to persuade. Continue reading “Know your history …Or the ruling class will teach their own version of it”