CRITIQUE OF THE NEW DRAFT PROGRAM
OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION
by Albert Weisbord
In eight solid pages of text the N. Y. Times of August 1, 1961, printed the full text of the Draft Program of the Soviet Communist Party as translated into English by Tass, the official Soviet Press Agency. The document is really an amalgam of two separate and distinct series of statements: the first part being mostly not a program at all but rather a set of theses purporting to contain historic truth. The second part alone contains a "program," if by program we mean either a plan scheduled to be applied in stages or a set of broad policies pledging action along lines proposed to be carried out. In the second part of the "Draft Program" we do have a "Program" showing how the people in the glorious Soviet Union will eat, drink, and be merry after 1980.
If any one expected from the document a time table for proletarian emancipation or for international revolution, he will be sorely disappointed. In the first part he will find instead some worn out phrases put in a vulgarized semi Marxist manner which will show how far the Russian Stalinists have in reality shifted their attention away from the problem of international emancipation from capitalism to national egotism. In the second part we have a magnified 20 year plan. I shall have very little to say about Part Two since Part Two has very little to say about the world working class. I will deal principally with Part One. Let us state at the very start our conclusion about Part One:
It is the product not of Marxist revolutionary thinking but of vulgar Stalinist opportunism; it is not proletarian but bureaucratic centrist; it is not internationalist but Russian nationalist; it is not a scientific review but a hodgepodge of pontificating. Perhaps the best way to deal with this bulky document is to quote the appropriate paragraphs and then to scan them critically. This may not produce good literature, but neither is the "Draft Program."
SOCIALISM, THE DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT AND PARLIAMENT
1. "Socialism has triumphed in the Soviet Union, and has achieved decisive victories in the people's democracies." "Adopting its second program at the Eighth Congress in 1919, the Party promulgated the task of building a Socialist society. . . . Socialism triumphed in the Soviet Union completely and finally."
"The class struggle does not disappear in the period of Socialism.
" In order to evaluate the correctness of the statement that Socialism has triumphed in the Soviet Union completely and finally we must first try to understand what is socialism as meant by the founders of scientific socialism (Marx and Engels), by the leader of the Bolsheviks (Lenin), and by the present Stalinists. Later we shall see just when and how this socialism was supposed to triumph "completely and finally".
Marx, Engels and Lenin were basically at one in their understanding of the term Socialism as a stage in social evolution. Under socialism there are no longer a market, commodities, values, prices, wages, in the old sense of the terms. The workers, through their representatives, guide their own destinies and organize themselves so that international production may be purposefully controlled and planfully managed. The allocation of material and workers to a particular industry is made, not according to the hectic fluctuations of the market, through bankruptcy and frenetic successes, or according to the needs of war, but by social analysis of the needs of man, of the productivity of the workers, and of how much strength is needed to fulfill these needs. For the first time, society rises from the domain of necessity into the realm of freedom. While it is a far cry from our present system of society it is still only the first and lower stage of communism which is a far higher stage of society.
Socialism reunites industry and agriculture upon the basis of the fusion of science and collective labor. The old life of the agrarian population, with its unsociability and idiocy, is liquidated, as is the unhealthy concentration of enormous masses of population in huge cities. The population is entirely redistributed and a new synthesis is obtained. Immense factory farms are established where the agricultural workers can have all the advantage of the city, and industry is wisely decentralized bringing into realization the dream of garden cities. As goods are no longer sold for a market but are produced for use, the worker receives a labor note to obtain goods, nearly equivalent in labor cost to the cost of the goods which he himself produced. A surplus must remain in order to take care of the dependents of society and in order to make possible necessary replacements and constantly to extend production. Thus, in no period does the worker get exactly the full amount of the goods which he has created.
There being no class struggles, there is now no need for a State, and the State withers away. The army and navy are not necessary. Police disappear. The basis for crime is gone, since labor is so productive that all the wants of life can easily be obtained. Such criminals as may remain are treated as sick persons to be given careful hospitalization and rehabilitation until they become again social creatures.
Of course in the early stage of the new social order inequalities still persist; culture is not spread equally, since the gap between the unskilled laborer and the professional still remains, each one receiving the relative equivalent of what he produces. Those born weak will not create so much as those born strong. Even with the abolition of private property in the means of production and distribution there still remain different accumulations of wealth and culture as vestiges of the past.
Under socialism there is laid the basis for a new type of family life, the ending of the misery and despotism that mark familial relations. A complete emancipation of women and children occurs with an entirely new upbringing for the younger generation to prepare them for the highest stage of communism. In the home, as in politics, government over persons is transformed into administration of things.
In the higher stage of social life to which socialism is a transition and which we can call communism, the transformation is entirely complete. Society has become regenerated. No longer does the precept prevail "to each according to what he does," but rather the policy "from each according to his ability and to each according to his needs." Thus the weak and the backward will be given more in order to allow them to develop at the same rate as the others. The gap between theory and practice, between the unskilled laborer and the professional scientist, becomes entirely closed. Education will have enabled all to be scientists, at the same time encouraging scientists to use their hands in manual labor.
The tremendous increased productivity of mankind will have reduced to a bare minimum the amount of time necessary for each to produce the wants of life. Elimination of all toil in work will enable the worker to become an artist, to find the greatest pleasure in the objective result of his labors, to fuse into one both work and recreation, and to combine his constructive relations with nature and the construction and reconstruction of himself. If work becomes pleasure, pleasure itself takes creative and constructive forms.
Under such highly stimulating conditions, mankind will have raised itself by a full head appearing as supermen to compared to the poor mortals of the capitalist world who had gone before.
Now According to the Stalinists, Socialism had in the main already been built in the U.S.S.R. as long ago as 1936 when the new Constitution was adopted. (We shall deal with this new Constitution later.) It does not seem to matter to the Stalinists that there were two classes, the workers and the peasants, in Russia at that time. The Draft Program states. "The class struggle does not disappear in the period of Socialism." Furthermore it seems there is now no struggle in Russia between these two classes according to the Stalinists since the Draft Program also states: "There are now two friendly classes in the U.S.S.R. the working class and the peasantry."
But here is what Lenin said in his speech on "The Tax in Kind": "The working class must not be deceived.... The small peasant has aims that are not the same as the workers." And what he said at the Third All Russian Trade Union Congress in 1920: "We are conducting a class struggle and our aim is to abolish classes; so long as there still exist two classes, those of peasants and workers, socialism can not be realized and an irreconcilable struggle goes on incessantly."
2. From the Draft Program: The chief content of the dictatorship of the proletariat "is not violence but creation, the building of a new, classless society and the defense of its gains against the enemies of socialism." (How peaceful it all sounds! And how illogically put as though "violence" a method of action is the opposite of "creation," a result of action!)
"The possibility may arise in certain countries for the 'bourgeoisie to be paid off' as Marx and Lenin foresaw (my emphasis--AW)." (In all countries, as a general rule, or as an exceptional case in some small, relatively insignificant region? How clear the Stalinists are! And as for the slanderous reference to Marx and Lenin, see below.)
"Where the exploiting classes resort to violence against the people, the possibility (my emphasis--AW) of a non peaceful transition to socialism should be born in mind." (So, there exists only the possibility, not even the probability and certainly not the certainty. In short it would follow, according to the Stalinists, that where the exploiting classes do resort to violence against the people there is also the possibility, even the probability of a peaceful transition to socialism! But if the ruling class opposing socialism is violent how can the transition to socialism be called peaceful?)
"The working class, supported by a majority of the people and firmly repelling opportunist elements incapable of renouncing the policy of compromise with the capitalists and landlords, can defeat the reactionary anti popular forces, win a solid majority in parliament, transform it from a toot serving the class interests of the bourgeois into an instrument serving the working people (my emphasis-- AW), launch a broad mass struggle outside the parliament, smash the resistance of the reactionary forces and provide the necessary conditions for a peaceful socialist revolution." (But does not such a broad mass struggle mean civil war and the disintegration of parliament, and if such civil war is inevitable will it not begin before the working class can realize its "solid majority" in parliament? And what has happened to the slogan for calling for Soviets? As for this last point, see below.)
"In the fight against capitalist monopolies the worriers can unite peasants, handicraftsman, small urban proprietors, most office workers, intellectuals and small capitalists, and even a section of middle capitalists (my emphasis -AW) in one powerful movement." (In the U.S. "middle capitalists" have from 500 to 5000 employees today. These are the people expected to join workers in a revolutionary movement against capitalism.)
In regard to the struggle in the colonies for national independence the Draft Program states: "The interests of a nation call for the elimination of the remnants of colonialism, the eradication of imperialist rule, the ousting of foreign monopolies, the foundation of a national industry, the abolition of the feudal system and its survivals, the implementation of radical land reforms with the participation of the entire peasantry and in its interests, the pursuit of an independent foreign policy of peace, the democratization of the life of society and the strengthening of political independence." (But apparently the interests of a nation do NOT call for the abolition of national capitalism.)
"The national bourgeoisie is dual in character. In modern conditions the national bourgeoisie, in those colonial, one time colonial, and dependent countries where it is not connected with the imperialist circles, is objectively interested in accomplishing the basic tasks of an anti imperialist and anti feudal revolution. Its progressive role and its ability to participate in the solution of pressing national problems are, therefore, not yet spent."
"All (my emphasis-AW) sections of the population can find application for their energies, if they follow the non capitalist road of development." "Communists carry on an active struggle to consists the anti imperialist, anti feudal, democratic revolution" (but not an anti capitalist revolution, apparently).
But now let us see what revolutionary communism had to say about some of these position taken by the Draft Program. From the Theses of the Second Congress of the Communist International (1920) we read: "Parliamentarians cannot he the form of proletarian government during the transition period between the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and that of the proletariat. At the moment when the accentuated class struggle turns into civil war, the proletariat must inevitably form the state organization as a fighting organization which cannot contain any representatives of the former ruling classes. AR fictions of the 'national will' are harmful to the proletariat at that time.... The only form of proletarian dictatorship is a Republic of Soviets."
At the same Congress in dealing with the liberation movements in the colonial and semi colonial countries, Lenin was careful to point out that not every such movement would the proletariat have to support, but only those bourgeois movements for liberation which were really revolutionary, which were not opposed to the communists' enlightening and organizing the peasantry and the great masses for revolutionary purposes. When this was not possible, communists must counter these movements, such as, for example, was represented by Pan Islamism or Pan Asia. This would seem to leave out Stalin's support of Chiang Kai Shek and Khrushchev's support of Nasser in Egypt and Syria and of Kassim in Iraq where in each case communists were opposed, jailed, and murdered by the very leaders Stalinists were helping.
For Marxists it is clear that before socialism could evolve as a stage of society the workers would have to seize power by overthrowing the bourgeoisie and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the political essence of Marxism-Leninism. No class gives up power without a struggle. The proletariat cannot hope to dispossess the capitalist from control over the means of production without violence and bloody struggles. The necessity for violent revolution, according to Marx, arises not only because this is the sole means to overthrow the bourgeoisie which throttles the progress of society, but also because it is the only way by which mankind can purge itself of bourgeois corruption, can burn out the putrescence of the old order and prepare itself for the new.
Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, at bottom the struggle of the working class must be an international struggle cutting through all national boundaries, in which the slogan is raised, "Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains. You have a world to gain!"
The Dictatorship of the Proletariat is a transition regime whose sole function is to destroy the ruling classes under capitalism throughout the world. It is, therefore, a regime fitted to meet the stress and strain of international civil war. When the exigencies of civil war are over, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat will give way to socialism. Once the heavy fetters which the capitalist relations have placed on production have been broken, there occurs an immense increase in the productivity of labor, supplanting the old backward technique by perfected socialization. Taking over all the best in the techniques prepared by capitalism, socialism begins where capitalism ends.
The doctrine stated above has long been the orthodox body of theory accepted by the classical Marxist and Leninist. I laid it all out, with proper chapter and verse quotations, as long ago as 1937 in my two volume work "The Conquest of Power." Beginning with the death of Lenin, in 1924, all of this theory was distorted and vulgarized by the Stalinists so that now, with the further vulgarization of Stalinism by Khrushchev and Company it has become the very opposite of Marxist revolutionary doctrine.
Here we may pause to make several important points. First, there is not the slightest theoretical indication given in the works of the scientific Marxists that the Dictatorship of the Proletariat could exist simultaneously with the advent of socialism. On the contrary, apparently none of the founders and leaders of revolutionary socialism ever gave such a bizarre idea the slightest thought. The Dictatorship of the Proletariat was to be the great cutting weapon of the working class by which one class destroys another in the class struggle. Only when the proletariat was victorious completely could it do away with the transition stage of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat to establish socialism where the state would wither away and classes would be no more than a historical vestige. If you had socialism you could not have the dictatorship of the proletariat; ff you had the dictatorship of the proletariat, you could not have socialism. It was just as plain and simple as that. It took vulgar Stalinism to amend this and murder those who would follow classical Marxist- Leninism.
According to Engels a Free state was an impossibility. In a letter to Bebel he wrote: "As, therefore, the 'state' is only a transitional institution which is used in the struggle, in the revolution, in order to hold down one's adversaries by force, it is pure nonsense to talk of a 'free people's state'; so long as the proletariat still uses the state, it does not use it in the interests of freedom but in order to hold down (niederzuhalten) its adversaries, and as soon as it becomes possible to speak of freedom, the state as such ceases to exist."
Second, there is not the slightest theoretical indication in the works of the scientific Marxists that the Dictatorship of the Proletariat was conceived on a strictly local rather than on an internationalist basis. Not one of the Marxist leaders ever dreamed that you could wipe out the capitalists in one country alone and establish a classless rule there while all around in the rest of the world there were slavery, colonialism, poverty, hunger, riots, revolutions, etc. The proletariat was conceived of as an international class. The appeal was to the workers of the entire world to unite.
Marx wrote in the Communist Manifesto: "The working men have no country." "United action, of the leading civilized countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat." "In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end."
For workers to win in one country and peacefully to coexist with the master class of the other countries would have been considered the essence of treachery. To achieve this essence of treachery is precisely the supreme distinction of Stalinism-Khrushchevism. (We use the names of these persons ,although we are well aware of their total lack of theoretical abilities because they made themselves bosses of the Soviet Party to the extinction of every one else.)
Third, the dictatorship of the proletariat was theoretically conceived as an instrument not only for the working class but also of and by the working class. it was not meant to be an instrument run by a bureaucratic managerial group which, even though it might remain a prisoner Of the Proletarian revolution and could not directly seize the wealth of the country for its own selfish uses could nevertheless manage to place the working class in a subordinate Position wherein all the creative forces of history would be taken out of working class hands and the proletarian revolution itself in that country used as a weapon to crush and defeat the proletarian revolution elsewhere. It is the historical achievement of the Stalinist Party of the Soviet Union to have reached this level of degradation and treachery.
SOCIALISM IN ONE COUNTRY ALONE --- THE NEW CONSTITUTION
Such a level of degradation and treachery had to be attained in stages. Theoretically, these stages were marked by the unfolding of Stalin's theory of building socialism in one country alone. First, he was just building socialism in one country alone; then he had firmly established socialism in one country alone; then, with his death and the further degeneration to Khrushchevism, the theory was advanced that socialism had completely and finally triumphed in one country alone; and now, finally, that the Soviet Party not only could go far beyond the final and complete triumph of socialism but could build communism itself in one country alone.
Gone is international class struggle and civil war; gone is the application of the idea that workers of the world must unite and each group must work for all; gone is the duty of the victorious section of the world working class, to the exclusion of all other diversions of effort, manpower and purpose to see that all other working class sections win throughout the world. Now the slogan becomes "We have got ours, to hell with you." Before it was "defend the Soviet Union," "Help the Russian Revolution," etc., etc.; now it is "Each country help itself," "Make deals with the slavers of other countries so that we can eat, drink, and be merry." Before it was international civil war; now it is peaceful coexistence so long as the dirty capitalist pigs don't invade our Kapusta Patch and take our Yaroslavl Cow. Before it was arm the proletariat and disarm the bourgeoisie, now it is complete disarmament for all states (except for adequate police arms by which the state can crush the working class that may revolt within the state).
This degradation of Marxism reached by the Soviet Communist Party must be understood not as an accident or as a racial trait of the peoples of the Soviet or as the psychological aberrations of the few individuals who run the Soviet Party but as a natural result of the fact that the workers in the advanced Western countries never supported the Russian Revolution by a proletarian revolution of their own. Were the American, British, German, or French workers to take over, the ridiculous petty bourgeois "father image" carefully posed by Khrushchev would again give way to the truly revolutionary characters imaged by Karl Marx or Vladimir Ilyich Ulianoff.
The death of Lenin and the rise of Stalin was marked by a great retreat and degeneration of the Russian Revolution. Under Lenin the proletariat had managed to express its essential interests directly during both advances and economic retreats, but under Stalin the control was lost by the proletariat and handed over to the managerial elements and bureaucrats ruling party, government, factory, cooperative, trade unions, army, and peasantry.
Technically the Russian workers had been extremely backward. Far more than in industrial countries, they had to rely upon the specialists and engineers of the Czar for the reconstitution of national economy. These specialists and intellectuals could be made to serve the proletariat only at a price, only by special privileges, higher salaries, certain control in the factories, etc. Furthermore, the need for such experts was so great that a majority of the skilled workers and communist functionaries could shift into this stratum of society relatively easily. Once ensconced in their exceptional positions, such workers tended to become bureaucrats and, with their special posts, could well become the connecting link between the old Czarist specialists and the trade unions, cooperatives, soviets and other social organizations. Simultaneously, within the mass institutions a certain stratification was taking place. The trade unions no longer were engaged in a bitter day to day struggle against national capitalism. Not the capitalist, but the trade union official had the last say in the question of hiring and firing employees and negotiating the matter of hours and wages and working conditions. These trade union officials also obtained for themselves the salaries and privileges of the intellectual elements, and gradually separated themselves from the mass of workers. This deviation was still more sharply delineated in the soviets where the very nature of the government organs compelled them to admit large numbers of former white collar workers, bookkeepers, accountants, office clerks, and specialists of one sort or another.
Theoretically, the Communist Party, being composed of the most advanced and courageous elements, should have been in a position to correct the growth of bureaucracy. However, since these bureaucrats temporarily were exceedingly necessary a mass dismissal of them would have disorganized the whole plan for reconstruction. After the exhaustive World War, civil war, and famine periods, more production was imperative above all and the Communist Party was forced to make many concessions to these functionaries in order to keep the economic machine going. But what was far more important, within the Communist Party itself bureaucracy was undergoing a mushroom growth. The stress of leading the world revolution could not be placed forever upon the Russian working class. If the Russians were not relieved by other sections of the world proletariat, they were bound to grow tired and to crack under the strain. This weariness of the Communist Party leaders become manifest in their increasing disinterest in the world revolution, which had been disappointing in its delay, and in emphasis on national problems. The fact that world capitalism had not been able to overthrow the Soviet Union gave them a certain security which induced an attitude of rest and repose. They turned away from permanent revolution to economic problems of construction in which the class struggle no longer was felt directly to the same degree as before.
It should be borne in mind, too, that the victory of the Russian Communists had given to the leadership enormous power and had attracted to this Party all sorts of careerists and adventurers who bowed down to the apparatus precisely in proportion as they hoped themselves to inherit this power for their own advantage. Had the Bolsheviks engaged in ruthless civil war internationally so as to be able constantly to test and to refresh their Party, such elements could have been minimized or even eliminated, but the animadversion from the world revolution denied the Russians the opportunity to prove all their new recruits. Once within the Party these new recruits accentuated the tendencies to nationalism and bureaucracy already growing among the Communists. Thus the isolation of the Russian proletariat and the failure of the world revolution to materialize in other countries led to a sort of vicious circle, or, rather to a downward moving spiral in which Party degeneration and growing bureaucracy mutually aided each other.
With the degeneration that developed under Stalin, former kulaks, middle peasants, agents of former capitalists, merchants and traders, small property owner elements, specialists, and intellectuals of all sorts had a fine chance to become bureaucratic functionaries.
The bureaucratic functionaries could be divided into several categories. Closest to the capitalist class were the old Czarist officials, specialists, experts, and engineers of all sorts. These worked in the factories and in the soviets. They were supposedly controlled by designated representatives of the workers and the peasants but these latter deputies soon formed a second layer of bureaucrats entrenched in the cooperatives, in the trade unions, and in the Soviets. Both of these two layers of functionaries tried desperately to enter the Communist Party and to add their weight to the third element which control the Party.
In the latter part of his life, Lenin began to recognize the seriousness of this situation and called for the removal of Stalin as Secretary of the Party since it was Stalin in his youth suspect of having been a secret agent of the Czar, who had never been in sympathy with Lenin's internationalism, who had been against the seizure of power by the working class in October, who had sabotaged the civil war. It was Stalin who now secretly maneuvered to displace the revolutionary Bolshevik with the degenerate opportunistic bureaucrat.
With Lenin's death and Stalin's merciless war against the true communist revolutionists such as Trotsky, Russian communist degeneration took its deepest dye and the theory of building Socialism in one country was born. what it meant in effect was that the Communist Party would turn its face away from internationalism, from international civil war, from the class struggle to the idyllic dream of nationalist utopia.
At first Stalin bitterly fought the creation of a State Planning Commission (The Gosplan) which was to devise a national plan of industrialization. He was afraid that with the growth of a proletariat envisaged by the plan that the workers would be able to defeat the party and industrial bureaucracy. But once the militant communists were defeated by Stalin and were liquidated or driven out of the country, Stalin could take over the idea of "Five Year Plans" and so develop them that it would be the managerial elements that would control industrial and national development and not the workers.
As part and parcel of Stalinism the engineers were put in full control over industrial development, the trade unions were rendered servile instruments to management, the party democracy which had existed under Lenin was utterly liquidated. On the countryside the kulaks were driven into the cooperatives and became managerial elements there. The Communist International was also destroyed; the working class in China, the Balkans, Germany, France, Spain, and Great Britain were led from one defeat to another until their militant organizations were rendered totally ineffective and they were, indeed, objectively made into instruments to hinder and destroy genuine working class militancy.
This is the very period that Khrushchev and Company now say that Socialism was firmly built in Russia. Thus, according to Khrushchev Socialism was being built while:
1. The Communist International which had met yearly under Lenin did not meet under Stalin except once in 1928 to crush militant elements, within the international and Russian Party and again in 1936 when the organization in fact was liquidated;
2. Russia was in such a deep economic crisis that cannibalism was widespread in the Ukraine with millions dead of starvation and terror;
3. The Chinese Communist party was beheaded by that great friend of Stalin, Chiang Kai Shek, so that the Chinese Communist Party had practically to leave the Communist International and go it alone under Mao Tse Tung;
4. Nazism had completely dominated Western Europe and was preparing for its great blood bath of World War 11;
5. The working class of Spain had lost one million lives in the terrible civil war in Spain betrayed by the Stalinists;
6. The working class was thoroughly crushed in Poland, the Balkans, Hungary, and the West so that it could never rise again until after World War II was finished.
Is it not laughable that anyone could call himself a Marxist and yet so slander the term socialism which was meant to signify a stage of society far beyond that which capitalism could create as to believe that socialism could be formed and firmly triumph under such horrendous international and internal conditions?
The Stalinists, however, were to get a shock when Tito took their theory of socialism in one country and tried to apply it to Yugoslavia. To fight Tito the Draft Program now has to state: "The line of Socialist construction in isolation detached from the world community of Socialist countries is the theoretically untenable." And yet in 1936, when supposedly this new phase of society called Socialism had been firmly and finally achieved in Russia, there was no world community of Socialist countries at all and Russia was isolated and detached from all other nations. Thus what is sauce for the Russian goose is not sauce for the Yugoslav gander and while Russia could build socialism in one country alone in a hostile world, Yugoslavia can not do so even with a world half soviet dominated! Of course, what the Stalinists here mean is that if Yugoslavia does not follow Khrushchev-Stalinism they will see to it that Yugoslavia is destroyed.
The Utopia of Socialism in One Country had appeared before in Russian history in the ranks of the Narodniki and the social revolutionaries. These latter had believed that the Russian did not need international solidarity to obtain social justice. On the contrary, the Russian soul, through the institution of the Mir, had shown the whole western world how to live collectively, how to wipe out the individualism of capitalism. The victorious Stalinist functionaries apparently were reverting to a modification of these nationalist and racial theories. Bolsheviks alone had succeeded; the rest of the world had failed. Did this not show the exceptional character of the Russians? Was there anything that the Russians could not do? More and more the Russian functionaries began to regard foreign communists with contempt, especially those dependent on the subsidies sent them from Russia.
It is highly significant that the Stalinists affirm that it was when they adopted the new Constitution that socialism was firmly and finally achieved. It is necessary to analyze this new Constitution. In reality the new Constitution amounted to a culmination of the process to destroy the Dictatorship of the Proletariat from within. The new Constitution was proposed with the fanfare that so far had socialism advanced in the Soviet Union there was no longer any need for soviets but that forms of "pure democracy" would replace the instruments of the class struggle. These phrases were meant to cover the fact that, in effect, the Constitution enormously extended the democracy given to classes alien to the proletariat and limited the power of the working class.
To the Marxist one can not speak of "pure democracy" but only of class democracy. The term "pure democracy" shows a lack of understanding both of the class struggle and of the nature of the state. As Lenin wrote: in a communist society democracy will gradually become a habit and finally wither away but will never become "pure democracy." It is clear that if democracy is extended for the peasantry so that it can overwhelm the proletariat, for example, then democracy is really restricted for the proletariat. Democracy must always have a class basis and a class objective.
That the new Constitution was really expressing the interests of a new class hostile to the proletariat in the Soviet Union and not a general classlessness could be seen by the provisions of the document itself. The Constitution provided for two houses to replace the former single body, the Soviet Congress. Despite the claims of pure democracy made by the Stalinists, all history shows that popular revolutions are led by single chambered bodies, and only when the people's revolution is definitely checked is the double chamber reconstituted. Furthermore, the two house system is the inevitable expression of the class struggle between two or more classes.
In English history, we find that the two houses of the English parliament were based on estates, that is, on classes. During the course of the English Civil Wars, the rising class discovered it had no use for the double chamber, and so, in 1649, the Second Chamber was abolished under the pressure of the plebeian forces of the rebellion. After Cromwell had stopped the revolution from going too far, the ruling Puritan elements which Cromwell represented tried their best to reconstitute a double chamber. The most reactionary portion of Cromwell's forces pressed for the formation of a select senate to be formed entirely of appointees of the Protector.
When the English House of Lords was reinstituted after the Restoration, it was a new body which recognized the fact that the House of Commons really represented the people. Gradually the power was taken away from the Upper House. Today the House of Lords has lost most of its legislative functions, has little control of money bills, and can only delay, but not permanently thwart, the will of the House of Commons.
In the French Revolution, no sooner had the people triumphed than they abolished the two house system introduced by the Liberal bourgeois and formed a single chamber Convention which reflected the will of the masses more closely. It was argued even by petty bourgeois democrats that the two chamber system was entirely reactionary. Only when the petty bourgeois Jacobins were put down after the Paris Commune, were the two houses restored. But even when the Second House was firmly reestablished under the Third Republic, it did not have the same power as the House of Deputies which alone had the right to initiate money bills.
In the American Revolution there was formed a Continental Congress of one chamber which lasted all during the time the revolution was in progress. Only when the fighting was over and the rebellious will of the people had to be downed was the Constitution formulated providing for a second chamber, with division of powers of government, an arrangement which allowed the minority of wealth to control. But even in the United States the Senate did not acquire equal power. Finance bills must originate in the House of Representatives, although the Senate may amend these bills. The Lower House controls the all important purse strings. Before World War I so well known was the conservative character of the Upper House that everywhere liberals and radicals urged the abolition of the Upper House so that the Legislature as a whole could get closer to the people.
But now the Stalinists in Russia, in the name of "pure democracy" and classlessness introduced the two chambered parliamentary system with such accompaniments that it became less democratic than even the parliamentary system in capitalist countries. In the U.S. there is now a direct election of Senators. In Russia, the Upper House or Council of Nationalities was first proposed to be not elected at all but selected by the Supreme Councils of the Republics connected with the Soviet Union. Reluctantly this was changed to allow for direct elections. But, what is equally important, the Upper House has equal power with the Lower House elected by the people. In reality the Upper House will be more than equal in the every day working of the State apparatus. The situation created in Russia found no parallel in capitalist democratic countries, the nearest comparison being the Bundesrath under the Kaiser.
The two chambered parliamentary system introduced in the Soviet Union put an end to the entire soviet system. Far from being an expression of classlessness, it was a recognition that classes did exist and that certain classes were clamoring to overwhelm the proletariat. Were this not the case, why would it have been necessary to change the soviet system? The Soviets did not have to be destroyed in order to give everyone the vote. The fact of the matter is, however, that within the soviets the peasants could not be separated from the workers and united firmly with the bureaucracy. An entirely new framework of the State was necessary.
The new Upper House established, composed almost entirely of bureaucrats and peasants, had the decisive voice in the election of the Presidium that governed between meetings and in the functioning of the apparatus.
The great power given to the Council of Nationalities and the fact that it was proposed to have it selected by the various Supreme Councils of the Republics make it necessary to look more closely into its composition. The deputies of this Upper House were apportioned not according to population, but according to the formal status of the republic. Each Union Republic was entitled to ten delegates, each Autonomous Republic five, and each Autonomous Province, two. Thus the great Ukraine obtained fifteen delegates, while little Azerbaijan had seventeen. Important White Russia got ten, but the camel drivers of Tajikistan were entitled to twelve and Georgia was favored with twenty two. Furthermore, to insure that the backward regions would predominate over the proletarian ones in this Upper House, three relatively unimportant regions, Kazakhstan, Kirghizistan, and Tajikstan, were raised into the dignity of full Republics so as to increase their voting power accordingly. More than that, even though Russia, White Russia, and Ukrainia had been given only one hundred thirty two delegates out of two hundred forty eight, the votes of these regions were so apportioned that the industrialized regions obtained only a very small percentage of the total number allotted to these republics.
Lenin had steadily stressed the superiority of soviets as a form of democracy for the workers and peasants. Under Lenin the soviets were to embrace the widest strata of the toilers, initiating them into the intricacies of the State. Soviet delegates were elected frequently and there was easy recall. Under the new Constitution, however, the Supreme Council and the Presidium elected by the Council would hold office for four years unless dissolved because both houses could not agree. Even the lowest State organism in the villages would retain office for at least two years. The Supreme Court, not elected by the people, but selected by the Supreme Council, was to keep .office for five years, as did the territorial courts. The People's Courts were to be elected by secret ballot for three years. The Prosecutor of the U.S.S.R. who appointed all other prosecutors for five year terms, himself was appointed by the Supreme Council for seven years.
Thus the Soviets were buried formally by Stalinism. They were killed when the right to strike was taken from the unions, when the secret police drove out the internationalist wing of communists from the meetings, when the bureaucracy took uncontrolled power into its own hands. Now the corpse was formally interred. A new parliamentarianism arose. Instead of Lenin's ideal of the humblest scrub woman's taking part in the government, there was now a parliamentary regime of professionals, of political experts.
In formally destroying the soviets, Stalinism destroyed the traditional instrument which the masses used to get into power. Now the State apparatus and elections of functionaries no longer bad anything to do with the stirring days of 1917. The peasants were no longer confined by the conditions and framework of the revolution to follow the proletariat. Stalinism clearly was prepared to show world capitalism that Russia would be safe in the coming war and that Trotsky's permanent revolution would be buried once and for all. Strictly speaking, it was no longer possible for the workers to declare they must defend the Soviet Union, since the soviets them selves were now no more. And were the workers to take political power there would have to be raised again the slogan: "All power to the Soviets." Just as this battle cry meant the end of the Kerenskys and centrists of 1917, so would it spell finis for the Stalinist bureaucracy as well.
The new Constitution marked a complete capitulation to capitalism in admitting that parliaments are more democratic than soviets. Evidently, Russia was not only Americanizing herself industrially, but aping America politically, except for this difference, that Stalinism took on not the most progressive features of capitalist democracy but its most outworn characteristics.
A fitting conclusion is given by the method of amending the Constitution that Russia adopted. In the U.S. the Constitution can be amended, if need be, by the people themselves, if conventions are held in three quarters of the States, or if two thirds of the State Legislatures act. In Russia, under the new democratic Constitution there was absolutely no way for the people themselves to amend the Constitution. The only way amendments could be carried was by a two thirds vote of both houses and one of the houses was proposed to be not even elective!
From the Draft Program: "The great objectives of the working class can be realized without world war."
"The Leninist principle of peaceful coexistence has been and remains the general principle of the foreign policy of the Soviet States." (As for "peaceful coexistence" being a Leninist principle, see below.)
These quotations follow closely the statements issued about two years ago when all the Communist regimes met with Khrushchev to work out their policies and to draw their conclusions about the effects of Stalinism. In their statement printed at that time in full by the N. Y. Times, they declared:
"We have always held and continue to hold that the establishment of a new social system in one or another country is the internal affair of the peoples of the countries concerned. This is our attitude, based on the great Marxist-Leninist teaching." (As for the use of the names of Marx and Lenin here, see below.)
"We believe that countries with different social systems can do more than exist side by side. It is necessary to proceed further, to improve relations, strengthen confidence between countries and cooperate."
After asserting that it was possible to go over to socialism by parliamentary means in some countries and that parliament could be transformed from an organ of bourgeois democracy to an organ of genuine democracy, the document then lists five principles of peaceful co existence as follows
a) mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty,
b) non aggression,
c) non interference in each other's domestic affairs,
d) equality and mutual advantage,
e) peaceful coexistence and economic cooperation.
In accordance with this new orientation the Stalinists stated they would unite with social democrats in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, India, Ceylon, Indonesia, Greece, Britain and that they could cooperate with other parties in Egypt Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Trans Jordan, Iran.
Victory for the international working class is clearly not the concern of the modern "Bolsheviks" for as the new Draft Program plainly says:
"The party regards Communist construction in the U.S.S.R. as the Soviet people's great international task, in keeping with the interests of the world Socialist system as a whole, and with the interests of the international proletariat and all mankind."
Compare these statements with the Theses of the Second Congress of the Communist International: "Petty bourgeois internationalism means the mere recognition of the rights of national equality and preserves intact national egotism. Proletarian internationalism, on the other hand, demands: (1) the subordination of the interests of the proletarian struggle in one country to the interests of the struggle on an international scale; (2) the capability and the readiness on the part of any one nation which has gained a victory over the bourgeoisie, of making the greatest national sacrifices for the overthrow of international capitalism."
The unspeakable cowardice and degeneracy of Russian Stalinism can be measured by the standard that the more the international working class called for aid from the Soviet Dictatorship of the Proletariat, the more the Russian Stalinists turned away to declare that they were building socialism in one country alone and this was more important than anything else.
In the beginning, the theory of Socialism in One Country was merely a negative reaction to the fact that the workers had succeeded in moving towards socialism in only one country. For the officialdom it was a form a whistling in the dark, a method of keeping up spirits during difficult moments. With the accentuation of reactionary tendencies, however, the theory of Socialism in One Country began to take on nationalistic accretions, and strongly to retard international solidarity. If Russia in her isolation was able, not merely to hold her own, but to become completely self- sufficient and to build up a socialist paradise in a capitalist world, then Russia's interest in the international revolution was bound to become platonic and humanitarian and to lose the poignancy of self interest.
The struggle for socialism for the Russian was reducing itself to a mere economic problem. The protracted equilibrium which had tolerated a Soviet Union in a capitalist environment between the two world wars had begun also to engender illusions that the soviets could coexist peacefully for an indefinite period with the rest of the world. All that was needed was for the soviets to leave other nations alone; they would return the compliment. International relations now assumed the form of seeking trade relations with capitalist nations. In line with this policy the entire diplomacy of the Soviet Union was reconstructed. In the days of Lenin, who was the leader both of the Russian State and of the Third International, revolutionary communism and Russian diplomacy went band in hand. Joffe, Karakhan, Trotsky, all were primarily propagandists for the world revolution in their relationship with the diplomats of other countries. This was bound up with the belief that the welfare of Russia was dependent upon the development of world revolution.
Under Stalin, and with the influence of the theory of Socialism in One Country, the Russian State became divorced from the International. No sooner had Lenin died and Trotsky been reduced to secondary influence than the capitalist countries began to recognize Russia and to enter into commercial relations with her. All of them stipulated that Russia must not engage in revolutionary propaganda, and increasingly it was borne home to Russian officialdom that they could do business better were they to become entirely divorced from the Third International. Accordingly the diplomats now sent out by the Soviets no longer were eminent revolutionists, but rather keen businessmen with an eye to bargains and a love for bourgeois tastes.
The theory of Socialism in One Country also brought in its train the idea that nothing must be done by the Russians to jeopardize their chances for building socialism. Socialism in Russia was the bird in the hand, international revolution was the bird in the bush. If Russia could build up socialism, it could inspire all the world to emulate that country's example. Thus the Russians abandoned the conception of revolution as a result of misery to take up the idealistic theory that people will revolt because of some utopia realized elsewhere. Marxism had taught that revolutions are made, not by the intellect, but by emotions and passions aroused by hunger and need. Stalinism began to teach that the world revolution could be attained simply by showing the world a perfect picture of the ideal. In this way, incidentally, Stalin returned to his first true love, Russian Orthodox Religion, in whose cloistered walls he bad been trained as a youth to become a priest. Such was the leadership of a revolutionary party!
The theory of Socialism in One Country also implied that the rest of the world would allow Russia to build socialism in that country. Thus the capitalist world was not so vicious after all and, if Russia behaved herself, she could manage to divide the capitalist forces, make business deals with some, and secure their aid. Essentially this was a theory of class collaboration because, in trying to obtain economic favors from world capitalism, the Russians would be forced to refuse to help the workers abroad in their struggle against their employers. This, in turn would strengthen the power of the employers and in. crease their demands upon the Soviet Union.
An excellent example of all this was given when Russia was recognized by the United States.
President Roosevelt insisted that Soviet Russia outstrip all precedent in the way of guaranteeing that no revolutionary propaganda would be spread abroad. Hitherto Russia had consented to agreements that the officials of the Russian State would not propagandize for the overthrow of governments willing to sign treaties with Russia, but had never offered to control the Communist International, a supposedly independent body. Stalinism, however, now was ready to end the fiction of Comintern independence of Russian national policies and openly to announce its liquidation.
Point Four of the document recognizing Russia therefore declared that Russia "was not to permit the formation or residence in its territory of any organization or group or of the representatives or officials of any organization or group which has at its aim the overthrow or the preparation for the overthrow of, or bringing about by force of a change in the political or social order of the whole or any part of the United States, its territories or possessions."
It is well to analyze this truly astounding document. Russia here guaranteed not only what her own agents would not do, but what she would not let any body of people do on Russian soil. As the document reads, no group of refugees or any body of men whatever could now gather on Russia soil, six thousand miles away from the United States, and hold a congress which would discuss the inevitability of a social change by force in the United States. The United States not only was controlling acts in its own country, it was controlling the actions of private people in Russia itself. This document sounded the death knell of the Communist International; from then on it was plain that the "Comintern" factually would be dissolved so far as America was concerned. A short time later it was decided, at the Seventh Congress of the Third International (1935) that each of the Communist Parties would now be independent in the various countries and no longer would receive instructions from Moscow on national problems.
The conditions tied to American recognition of Russia, however, were stricter than the laws of the United States governing its own subjects. In the United States it has been permissible for a soap box orator to call for the overthrow of the American social system. He could not urge the overthrow of the government, but he could demand the abolition of capitalism and the profit system, even by violence. The pact signed with Litvinoff by Roosevelt, however, specified that no one in Russia should be allowed to do what could be done in America, namely no one in Russia could advocate the overthrow not only of the American government but even of the social system of capitalism prevailing in the United States. Russia was to put an end not only to the conclusions of politics but to the findings of economics and philosophy as well.
Nor was this yet all. Point Four of the recognition terms declared that Russia should allow no one to advocate the overthrow by force of the social order in any territory or possession of the United States. Thus, specifically, the communists of Cuba were to be ordered by Russia to end all anti American propaganda and all denunciation of American imperialism. Not must it be imagined that these were mere platonic guarantees. In 1932 in Cuba a powerful revolution had broken out against the Machado administration which was threatening to develop into one confiscating American property there. With the recognition of Russia by the U. S. at once the Cuban communists changed their whole approach as history shows.
The situation in Cuba can be briefly stated. Under Machado, an open military dictatorship had been established, in the style of the worst Chicago gangsters, which already had taken the lives of over 2,500 people. Behind the Machado regime stood the power of Wall Street. Since the Spanish American War, the imperialist government of the U. S. never really had relinquished its prize plum. By articles 11 and III of the Platt Amendment, the government to be established was forbidden to contract a public debt over the amount it could meet with ordinary revenues. Also, the U. S. was allowed to intervene for the "preservation of Cuban independence, maintenance of government adequate for the protection of life, property, and individual liberty." This of course meant that the U.S. government could intervene with its military forces whenever the masses made any attempt to end the rule of capitalism and vicious landlordism which controlled the lives of the people.
In fact, since 1898 the U. S. literally had controlled the island by means of its armed forces. The first time the army was in occupation from 1898 to 1902; the second time, after the liberal revolution had occurred against President Palma, the U. S. intervened with its army from 1905 to 1909. Then, during the World War, General Crowder was sent to control the country. Only after the War was the military control removed. In 1924 Machado became President.
The 1929 depression seriously affected Cuba and its chief industry, sugar. Imports and exports fell more than 80 per cent. Cuba was loaded with external debts greater in proportion that any other country in Latin America. In order to bolster up the shaky Machado regime, however, a new loan of $50 million was made in 1930 by the Chase National Bank. Increasingly the puppet government had to resort to the most brutal terror. This action alienated the entire population of the island, so that even the students revolted, employing the social revolutionary and anarchist methods of bomb throwing and assassination. To suppress them, the high schools and the university had to be closed.
Added to this was the situation confronting Cuban labor. The U. S. Consul to Cuba reported that within a year and a half wages had fallen 40 per cent, that complete chaos existed in the country, the agricultural laborers in many cases receiving no wage at all, but merely orders on the commissary department. Wage earners who two years before were earning from 40 to 60 cents a day now received 10 cent a day (5 cents in cash). The working hours were from sun up to sun down. According to the Consular report "Wages paid in 1932 are reported to have been the lowest since the days of slavery in Cuba."
Under such circumstances, not even the power of American imperialism and the highly trained special army of Machado could prevent the revolution. With lightning speed the revolution opened up with student strikes and demonstrations and led to a general strike of all labor. Machado was overthrown. De Cespedes was ousted, and the liberal Grau San Martin was set up as provisional president. But the workers were in no mood for half way measures. Immense union organizations were built over night; the union halls were armed with guns seized in the revolution. The workers advanced the boldest demands for improving their conditions. There was no one to gainsay them. In the countryside the agrarian workers were seizing the large estates and appropriating the foodstuffs for their own use. The Cuban Revolution reached the position of a dual power existing within the country. The provisional government regime that did not dare call for elections, in spite of its democratic pretensions, no longer could control the situation and had to look to the trade union centers, where the real power resided. The army had become demoralized and was under the leadership of the sergeants. The fear was that the sergeants would give way to the soldiers and the revolution be completed.
The tasks of the Cuban proletarian communists so would be seen, were crystal clear, namely to begin the formation of soviets or workers' councils to fight for power, to arm the people, to further demoralize the army through fraternization and bringing forward the interests of the soldiers, to confiscate the land for the agrarians, to establish a workers' control over production. Of course, none of these things could be accomplished without incurring American intervention. Americans controlled practically the entire property of the island. The question of the relation of the communists to the American government, became, therefore, of vital importance. And it is at this juncture that Roosevelt recognized Russia. With this the communists declared they would not permit anyone to advocate by force the change of social system in any territory or possession of the U. S.
Litvinoff was to make his first payment to Roosevelt in Cuba.
Comrade Sanini stated the policy of the Cuban Stalinists: "...the Communist Party of Cuba is striving to do everything possible to avert intervention and to create the greatest possible forces for resistance to it, if it nevertheless takes place. But this is only possible by means of concessions to the imperialism of the U.S.A., at the price of which the Cuban toiling masses, under the leadership of the Communist Party, will try to buy off intervention. It is precisely with this aim ... the C. P. tries to direct the chief blow of the revolutionary masses above all against the local Cuban ruling classes ... It is precisely with this aim . . . that the Communist Party of Cuba considers it inadvisable for the workers to seize the American enterprises . . . Precisely with this aim . . . the Communist Party of Cuba considers it inadvisable to force ahead the seizure of plantations belonging to American capital, and fights above all for considerable reduction of the rent of this land . . . Precisely with this aim ... the Communist Party of Cuba considers it advisable for the workers' and peasants' government, ff it should be formed, to enter into negotiations with the government of the U.S.A. on the conditions of nationalization of big foreign property ... i.e., it allows the possibility of buying out this property. With the same aim the Communist Party of Cuba allows the possibility of retaining American ownership to some extent in the form of concessions . . . the imperialism of the U.S.A. would obviously like to avoid armed intervention in Cuba. This is shown plainly enough if only by the statement of Roosevelt to the ambassadors of the countries of South and Caribbean America..."
This decision found affirmation in the inspired article of a representative of the Communist Party of the United States (Harry Gaines) who declared: "The Communist Party . . . will offer to deal with Yankee imperialism on the basis of concessions to avoid armed intervention in the event of the success of the workers' and peasants' regime."
The treacherous conduct of Stalinism here was illustrated with obvious bluntness. It was necessary above all to come to an agreement with Roosevelt. He was now the friend of Russia. But to come to this agreement and to prevent the threat of intervention it was also necessary to end the Cuban Revolution. The masses bad to be diverted from the line of confiscation of American property. But American property in Cuba comprised practically all of Cuba that was of worth. Thus, in effect, the masses were told by the so called communists that they must not take over the means of production of Cuba. More than that, they were told that the American government was to be informed that American property was to be protected, that the real enemy was not American imperialism which could be bought off but the Cuban capitalists. The Cuban capitalists, however, were, in the main, only the agents of American capitalists. It was ridiculous to attack the agent and to ignore the principal. The Cuban ruling class was the puppet of American imperialism. What the Cuban communists proposed, nevertheless, was that the people should stage a political show, but not a social revolution. To this effect the Cuban Communist Party offered itself as the willing tool of American imperialism.
In China the communists had been told to attack above all Japanese imperialism, that the Chinese bourgeoisie could be won over to a revolutionary united front with that sort of policy. In Cuba, on the contrary, the Communists were informed they must attack not imperialism but the Cuban capitalists, although those local capitalists had no power and influence of any importance whatsoever. In the one case Japan was Russia's enemy; in the other, Roosevelt was now considered Russia's friend. In each case the movement was to be sacrificed for Russia's temporary interests.
But the statement of Sanini went much farther than that. Not only must the masses refrain from seizing American property, that is, refrain from taking over the means of production in Cuba, but the Cuban communists must fight "above all" for considerable reduction of the rent of this land to American planters. Thus the Cuban Communist Party became an agent to reduce the rent of American capitalists! But if American property was to be held inviolate, then what was the purpose of any revolution at all? With the maintenance of the power of American imperialism in Cuba puppets could be shuffled, but not one sing le important step for the solution of the great problems which had led the Cuban masses to venture their lives in revolution could be taken. Wages could not be raised, and neither social security nor political freedom obtained so long as imperialism controlled the island.
With their brazen counter revolutionary program, the Cuban Stalinists did not hesitate to declare that American imperialism was opposed to intervention; they accepted at its face value the speech of Roosevelt to that effect made to a group of diplomats whose entire stock in trade was intrigue and trickery. Ever since the Spanish American war, Cuba independence had been a myth. Now, according to the Stalinists, American imperialism suddenly was to take another course as evidenced in a general formal speech by Roosevelt, not to Cuban workers, but to ambassadors of Latin America!
The Cuban section of the Third International affirmed that Cuba would buy off American imperialism! Here was repeated the old argument of the opportunists that they could buy out capitalism peacefully and gradually, and that the Marxist theories were false to the core. But, practically speaking, what funds, what wealth had the poor Cuban people with which to buy off American imperialism? Certainly if the Cubans were not to take over the wealth of the island held in the hands of the Americans, they would have not only no funds to buy off American imperialism, but no money to pay the interest on the huge debt accruing. Even if the attempt were made to buy off, it would mean that the Cuban masses would be in effect selling themselves to America in perpetuity in order to make the money payments. Finally, from a Marxist point of view, it was childish to believe that American imperialism would allow itself to be bought off and to lose control over such a colonial market as Cuba.
Thus the American and Cuban communists came out openly as the aides of Roosevelt to stop the Cuban Revolution, the only place where their aid was of decisive importance at the time to the U. S. This new policy was indeed effective in checking temporarily the revolutionary movement. With this, the reactionaries of Cuba took heart and attempted a counter stroke. The masses again advanced and dealt a crushing blow to the former officers of the army who attempted the new coup. But as the masses moved to the Left, the ruling groups united to prevent its going too far. The San Martin government gave way to the Hevia government which almost immediately disappeared to make way for Mendieta, Cuba's "strong man" who would restore order. Thanks to the aid of the Communist Party, the revolution again temporarily was halted and the masses demoralized and confused.
The second effect of the recognition of Russia by Roosevelt was the striking transformation of the Communist Party of the U. S. Before the full effects of the Russian recognition policy had become felt, the position of the Communist Party towards Roosevelt and the New Deal had been expressed to the effect that the New Deal "is a sharper turn of the capitalist dictatorship in the United States to war and fascism." Even as late as the Eighth Convention of the Communist Party, the National Industrial Recovery Act (N.I.R.A.) was interpreted as being a strike breaking move in a trend towards fascism. The resolution of that convention stated: "The Roosevelt government is, however, moving in the direction of the incorporation of the company unions within the A.F. of L., the conversion of the existing A.F. of L. unions into company unions regulated by the government, the outlawing of all class unions, as part of the drive for the fascization of the government, and the trade unions."
Once Roosevelt had become Russia's friend, however, a complete change of attitude took place. The independent unions and other organizations controlled by Stalinists which threatened to cause the administration embarrassment were liquidated. Whereas, in the days of Hoover, there had occurred periodic marches to Washington, hunger marches, farmer's marches, bonus marches, and what not, now no big militant demonstrations were staged at the capitol of the country. The recognition of Russia had been hailed as a great force for peace, as an act that would give many jobs to the workers. Now that Roosevelt had accomplished this recognition, it was difficult to attack him except for not going far enough.
Thus Roosevelt, instead of being representative of the class enemy, became a sort of friend of communism. This attitude was to culminate in the presidential campaign of 1936, when Roosevelt stood for reelection. The attitude of the Communist Party suddenly became one by which it was no longer Roosevelt who was representing fascism, but Landon, and that at all costs Landon must be defeated, even though the campaign of the communists against Landon was to result in votes for Roosevelt. In the trade unions, certain communists became spokesmen for the Roosevelt Administration and did their beat to mobilize labor behind his campaign. It was no accident that the communist candidate for President suddenly could be considered respectable enough to be permitted to present his viewpoint over the radio on national hook ups from which revolutionary speeches are barred, or that Browder, the head of the Communist Party then, could break bread with Roosevelt, Landon, Hearst, DuPont, Rockefeller and similar characters at the annual banquet of the Washington Gridiron Club. Browder himself went to great lengths to declare that it is slander to imply that his organization advocated violence and overthrow of the American government by force. The Communist Party now stood for democracy as against fascism, for peace as against violence.
The idea that Russia could gain far more from capitalist intercourse than from world revolution was bound to affect the whole international movement. The various Communist Parties also began to make nationalist arrangements. This was seen first in China and then in Germany. It led to the Franco Soviet pact and the alliance of the U. S. communists with the Roosevelt administration. Naturally this meant the end of the International as a world revolutionary force.
Socialism in One Country was to be created by inducing the rest of the world to let Russia alone politically. Thus peace was essential. From now on Russia was to take a decided pacifist tone and, in the peace conference to propose complete disarmament as the sole way to prevent war. Lenin's dictum that universal disarmament was the negation of the principle of the class struggle, since the only way that the slaves could emancipate themselves was by militant use of arms, was forgotten.
Whereas Litvinoff following Stalin in his disarmament proposals in 1932 called for general and total disarmament as the only infallible solution of the war problem, Lenin, on the contrary, had affirmed: "An oppressed class which does not strive to learn to handle weapons, to possess weapons, would only deserve that it should be treated as slaves. We may not forget, without becoming converted into bourgeois pacifists or opportunists, that we are living in a class society and that there is not and cannot be any way out from that except by class struggle and the overthrow of the power of the ruling class ... And in the face of such a fact, the proposal is made to revolutionary social democrats that they put forward the 'demand' for 'disarmament'! This is equivalent to complete surrender of the point of view of the class struggle, renunciation of all thought of revolution. Our slogan must be arming of the proletariat in order to conquer, to expropriate and to disarm the bourgeoisie. This is the sole possible tactics for a revolutionary class, tactics arising from the whole objective development of capitalist militarism and prescribed by this development."
And in another place, Lenin stresses "To put 'disarmament' as a point in the program means to say in general we are against the use of weapons. In this there is not a particle of Marxism any more than if we said 'We are against the use of force'. . . . The Kautskian preaching of disarmament, addressed directly to the present governments of the big imperialist powers, is the most vulgar opportunism and bourgeois pacifism, serving in fact in spite of the 'good intentions' of the sweet spoken Kautsky, to draw the workers away from the revolutionary struggle. For by such preaching the idea is instilled into the workers that the present bourgeois governments of the imperialist powers are not enmeshed by the thousands of threads of finance capital and by scores of hundreds of corresponding secret treaties among themselves."
"Thus the chief defect of the demand for disarmament is exactly that it evades all the concrete questions of revolutions. Or do the supporters of disarmament stand for a completely new view of an unarmed revolution? ... Disarmament is precisely a flight from nasty reality but not at all a struggle against it."
According to the Theses of the Third Congress of the CT: By no means must the anti militarist agitation be of a pacifist nature, since such agitation only assisted the bourgeoisie in its efforts to disarm the proletariat. "Intensive agitation must therefore be directed not against the military training of the youth and workers, but against the militaristic regime and the domination of the officers. Every possibility of providing the workers with weapons should most eagerly he taken advantage of." Many years before Engels had made the same point.
At the disarmament conferences, of course, Litvinoff presented not only his ideal of total disarmament but his practical plan of disarmament, a plan which failed to include the disarmament of the State's police forces, including the troops in the colonial countries, but did incorporate the disarmament of the independent colonial countries, such as China. Litvinoff was willing to tolerate the retention of "small arms" the very instruments with which the State meets the demonstrations of the proletariat and murders the participants. In their practical aspects the proposals of Litvinoff differed little from the American proposals then submitted by President Herbert Hoover.
In a military sense, too, the pacifistic theories of the Russian diplomats wrought enormous damage upon the defense of the Soviet Union. Those theories compelled Stalin to declare that he was not concerned with what was occurring in the countries around him; Russia would worry only about its own physical borders. Thus the militarist and fascist enemies of Russia, such as Germany on the West, and Japan on the East, were given ample opportunity to prepare their forces and to win important bases for attack. Russian misleadership gave to the superior forces of the enemy the opportunity of choosing both the time and the place for future battle.
And the experiences of World War 11 showed the terrible results of this base Russian misleadership. When the Nazi attack broke out Stalin fled in cowardly fear while huge slices of territory were quickly seized and millions of Russian soldiers taken. That Russia was not totally destroyed was due to three basic factors: First, the enormous stupidity of the Nazi leaders who blinded by racism, did not know how to win over the Slavic peasants and toilers desperately hating Stalin but driven to partisan fighting by the gargantuan horrors of Hitlerism; Second, the large number of Russian bureaucratic communists killed which allowed the workers and peasants to rally round a newer and younger leadership not encrusted by the limits of the older Stalinist bureaucracy; Third, the division among the capitalists themselves which forced some of them, willy nilly to help the Russians fight the Nazis. It was Khrushchev himself who has pointed out the terrible dangers that Russia faced because of the blunders of the oriental despotism of Stalinism. Khrushchev, however, would like to put all the blame on the individual Stalin and fails to see that it was not the individual but the whole party tainted with the policy of Stalinism, a natural product of that party's degeneration, that was to blame. Khrushchev the Stalinist was as guilty as Stalin himself.
At no time during the "Great Patriotic War" did the Stalinists call on the workers of the world to arise to overthrow imperialism and to extend the Revolution.
It was no wonder before World War 11 the capitalist world began to praise the statesmanship of Stalin. Russia was invited to participate in the League of Nations when to the surprise of the old communists who knew Lenin's views on that subject, the Soviet Union accepted and, on joining that family of nations, pledged loyally to cooperate. Similarly, the Soviet Union signed the Kellogg Peace Pact which also brought it into confraternity with the capitalist world. Thus, in every country the Communist Parties, controlled by the Russians, were forced to change their attitude towards the League of Nations and to hail it as an instrument of peace and the way out for a bleeding world. Everywhere the Communist International became the more diplomatic auxiliary for the foreign policy of the Soviet Union. Thus, while under Lenin, Soviet diplomacy was united to the Communist International under the banner of world revolutions, under Stalin, a new unity of the two was achieved, but this time Russian nationalism led and the Communist International withered away.
Under such circumstances, the struggle for Socialism in One Country became a struggle against socialism in more than one country. Since the whole Communist International was now reduced to serving the aims of one country and was turning its back on the world revolution, it is clear that revolutions could occur in other countries only by a struggle against the Communist Parties. Should a revolution break out in other countries, the proletariat of those lands would have to call for a revision of the program and policies of the Soviet Union. It would mean the end of Stalinism and the end of the leadership of the Russians. Against such a development the Russian communist nationalists would have to fight while the Western revolutionists would have to form their own groupings the Fourth International.
Thus it was no accident that toward the end of World War 11, when allied victory seemed certain, Great Britain and the United States were able at Yalta to make a pact with the Stalinists pledging permanent cooperation with each other. What this pact really said was that Russia was to be given Central Europe up to the Elbe line on the condition that the anticipated proletarian revolution inevitably arising in Europe with the destruction of, Nazi-Fascism would be thoroughly controlled and choked off. Great Britain and the U. S. could trust the Russian Stalinists to see that the Czech, the German, the Hungarian, the Polish, the Yugoslav, the Rumanian, the Bulgarian, the Latvian, the Lithuanian, the Esthonian and other European workers would not stage proletarian revolutions of their own. The price of mutual cooperation and peaceful coexistence was the termination of any working class revolution in Europe under the firm clutch of the Stalinists. This was apparently the deal. This is why Stalinism was to be preferred to Mao Tse Tungism. This is why Stalinism is responsible for no working class revolutionary movement since the days of the Russian revolution. Not in China, not in Cuba, not anywhere. So long as the working class threatens to revolt and the capitalist class cannot control the matter so long Stalinism must be trusted and peaceful coexistence be maintained. That is why President Truman, a party to the World War 11 pacts talked only of "containment" of communism, while President Eisenhower, with the West now strong again, could talk of "rolling back" communism. Khrushchev's Stalinism and Kennedy's New Frontierism both call for keeping the workers themselves down.
If the theory of Socialism in one country is so ridiculous what must be said about Socialism fully and completely triumphant in one country alone, and communism in one country alone? All the signs point to this new theory having as a result the false concept that the Soviet Man is superman and is the eagle destined to rule the world. A Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century had the honesty and courage to say the Eagle should not be the symbol of the U. S. since it was a bird of prey; but not a Tito of the Soviet Union who apparently wants to restore not the double eagle of the Romanoffs but the single eagle of a new Stalinist Nietzscheism!
THE VULGAR STYLE --- THE PLAIN LIE, THE UNDIALECTICAL METHOD,
THE UNCLEAR STATEMENT, THE SUPERFICIAL ASSERTION
If it is true, as is often said, that the style is the man then it is clear the style of the New Draft Program reveals the leaders of the Soviet Union Communist Party as liars, eclectic thinkers and vulgar apologists with not the slightest respect or understanding for Marxist science.
1. The plain lie: Repeatedly the Stalinists declaim their vulgar theories of socialism in one country, of peaceful coexistence, that the bourgeois can be "paid off," that Marxist-Leninist teaching showed that the establishment of a new social system in one or another country is the internal affair only of the peoples of the countries concerned, etc, etc. I do not dispute the right of these Opportunists to expose their opportunism by their vulgar theories but what is unforgivable is the attempt by the Stalinists to say that the leaders of scientific socialism advocated such junk.
Do they offer any proofs of this? For years they scoured all the centers of Europe to gather every scrap of material recorded or written by Marx, Engels, or Lenin. They have kept this material as their own monopoly. To this day they refuse to print the complete works of Marx, Engels, and Lenin as they collected them. They print only part of the work, or their own distorted translations. (This is, of course, how they show they have caused socialism to be triumphant completely and finally!) Therefore, we do not know what Marx, Engels, or Lenin may have written which they have in their archives and refuse to give at least to the English speaking world for which they have such contempt. But the English speaking world does have a great deal of stuff written by the leaders and founders of scientific socialism, enough for any scholar to say that the Stalinists are outright, brazen liars and disorders of the truth to make Marx, Engels, or Lenin stand for the monstrous principles the Stalinist have proclaimed.
If they had any support for their statement that Marx believed in general that the bourgeoisie could be "paid off" or that Lenin believed in "peaceful coexistence" would they not have offered book, page, and line to prove it, to show that such a statement was not torn out its context, to show that such views were honestly translated, were seriously and not satirically meant, or that they formed the basis of any Marxist-Leninist policy? The whole world knows of Marx and Lenin as world revolutionists not as advocates of peaceful coexistence, buying off capitalists, peaceful parliamentarianism, and the other outlandish and slanderous junk ascribed to these men by the Stalinists. Another lie:
"The Communist Party of the Soviet Union, true to proletarian internationalism, always follows the militant slogan 'workers of the world unite'.". Always? Always! And that is why the Communist International that used to confer annually under Lenin was completely liquidated under Stalin so that the various Communist Parties of the world could not get together to decide collectively their programs and policies. And that is also why the very slogan mentioned "Workers of the World Unite" was removed from the very mastheads of many communist papers. And that is why today, faced as we are with a nuclear holocaust there is no open appeal by the Stalinists for workers to shoot down their officers and unite their forces. And that is why Russia declares it does not "export revolution" that the internal affairs of one nation are the concern only of that nation. And that is why, after the nationalist Yalta pact in which Europe was divided between "East and West" no appeal has been made to the workers of the West to revolt and unite with the East. And that is why, after the recognition of Russia by the U. S. Russia pledged not to allow any group even on Russian soil to call for the overthrow of the U. S. government. The fact is nationalist Stalinism no longer knows how to appeal to the workers of the world to unite.
2. The UNDIALECTICAL method: There are many examples in the text of the Draft Program. We shall mention just three: the first has to do with the term "sacred," the second, with the term "public," the third, with the term "free will."
More than once the Draft Program speaks of the "sacred" duty or the "sacred" principles of the proletariat. This is no scientific way to write or think: There is nothing "holy," nothing absolute and eternal, not even "sacred holy," Stalinism, the Soviet Union, or its bureaucracy. This is the language of Stalinist priests, not the language of Marx and Engels or of dialetical materialism
. Again: Marxists have always drawn the distinction between public property, that is property owned by the State or government, and social property, property owned and controlled by the people, for the people as a whole. But according to the Draft Program, "Communism is a classless social system with one form of public ownership of the means of production and full social equality of all members of society." And again: "Under Communism all people will have equal stakes in society . . .will enjoy equal conditions of work and distribution and will actively participate in the management of public affairs." Such formulations are utterly ridiculous. Since, under Communism there would be no government, no political party, no state, no rule over persons but only an administration over things, there could be no "public property" but only socialized property and use of the things all need and want collectively. Not to know the distinction between the property owned under State capitalism and the property controlled collectively by society under communism marks indeed the great intellectuality of the Stalinists.
The Draft Program talks about "free will" even though Marxists for over a century have denounced this concept as an idealistic illusion and myth. The Draft Program, for example states: "They (the Communist Parties--AW) coordinate their actions, consciously and of their own free will as components of a single international army of labor." What makes the stalinists think they have this "free will"? Is it because they think they have the "free will" also to betray the interests of the proletariat by dividing the international army of labor? They fail to understand that this "free will" would soon be dangling from the hangman's noose if they went too far. Try as they might to break the iron limits set by the Russian Revolution on the return to capitalism they would soon find that in reality, willy nilly they were the prisoners of that Revolution from which they could not escape without civil war that would destroy them.
3. The unclear statement: Here are several out of many that could be cited from the Draft Program. a.) "Imperialism is powerless to check the irresistible process of emancipation."
Of course if anything is "irresistible" then nothing else can stop it, by definition. Such a formulation only begs the question. But even if a process were irresistible it does not mean that it could not be checked, ff by the term "check" we mean temporarily stopped, or diverted, or weakened.
Is it really true that imperialism is powerless to check the process of emancipation? In that case why fight imperialism, why not let nature take its course and declare that social phenomena are not affected by human efforts? To such a level has "theoretical Bolshevism" sunk in the Soviet Union!
Let us go farther, let us suppose that what these great "thinkers" mean to say is that imperialism will lose in the coming struggles. But does anyone imagine that the victory of the world proletariat can not be checked by imperialism? Lenin said there was no "absolute inevitability" of the victory of the working class at any given moment. Imperialism, for example, could launch a great .nuclear war which could "check" the process of emancipation by the destruction of hundreds of millions of workers in all the advanced countries of the world. How characterize a belief stating that if all civilized centers of the world are destroyed this could not be a "check" on the process of emancipation?
b.) "The central factor of the present effort (to move from capitalism to socialism - AW) is the international working class and its main creation, the world socialist system."
As a matter of simple grammar it should be noted that while the subject is singular the predicate is plural. That is, the central factor is stated to be two things: 1) the international working class and, 2) its so called main creation, the world socialist system. By the world socialist system, no doubt is meant the Soviet Union and its allied states. This formulation presupposes a conclusion, namely that the international working class and the Soviet Union are identical. Such a simple posing of the question is not at all correct for the very simple reason that under Stalinism the world socialist system has so degenerated that it has been used as a toot to prevent the emancipation of the world proletariat.
Is there any country in the West where the working class was not weakened and its victory made impossible ever since the Stalinists took power? Take a look at Germany, France, England the U.S.A., Italy and other Western nations and note how the strength of the communists has fallen, thanks to the disastrous policies of the Stalinists. Note the defeat of the workers in Spain. See how workers regimes were set up in Yugoslavia and in China against the will of Stalin and the Stalinists. Note how in Lithuania, Latvia, Esthonia, East Germany, Poland, Rumania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, the workers did not seize power on their own but they were " liberated" by the Red Army which took over and set up Soviet Union puppet leaders imposed on the workers. Look at how the Stalinists destroyed the Greek workers rebellion for one thing just to spite the Yugoslavs. Remember how the popular revolutions in Egypt, Syria, North Africa and the Middle East were carried out without any influential independent role being exerted by Stalinists there. And even more so in Cuba where for a long time the stalinists had played hall with the hated dictator Batista before he was overthrown.
c.) "Communism .... proclaims peace, labor, freedom, equality and happiness for all peoples of the earth."
What in the world does this statement mean? Does it refer to a time after communism has been established as a social system? Or does it mean this proclamation is part of the program of the Communist parties on the road to the dictatorship of the proletariat? What a stupid undialectical formulation! Communists do not have to "proclaim" peace. Peace will come with the end of the international class struggle. Labor does not need proclamation. It was always a necessity. Freedom, whatever that may mean to Stalinists, can not be proclaimed since we are bound by materialist forces and we do what we have to do in our evolutionary development. Nor can any one "proclaim" equality since one of the basic laws of nature is the uniqueness of the individual entity. As for happiness that is a direction rather than a content and implies an everlasting quest with a "proclamation" of happiness standing for pure and simple nonsense. Even the bourgeoisie two hundred years ago knew better than that when it spoke of the "pursuit" of happiness rather than its guarantee by proclamation.
d.) "The Socialist principle 'from each according to his abilities, to each according to his work' has been put into effect in the Soviet Union."
Let us get clear about this statement. Capitalism also pays wage differentials and also has a principle to pay according to what each one produces. The difference between the socialist and the capitalist principles is that in the first place under socialism no compensation is given to the capitalist for exploitation of the worker in the form of profit and its various elements. In the second place under socialism there is an objective evaluation of the work put in. There is no pay for soldiers, merchants, lawyers, politicians, government bureaucrats and such. These parasites are eliminated. But they are not eliminated in the Soviet Union nor has there been an objective evaluation made as to whether the extraordinary compensations given the factory manager, the propagandist and the government bureaucrat are not equal to more than the value of their work. Thus under the Soviet Union there is NOT put into effect the socialist principle aforementioned.
e.) "The entire life of Socialist society is based on the principle of broad democracy."
This certainly needs clarification. If this is meant to be a statement about a future socialist society called socialism, then it is false because there will he no democracy as there will be no government or state. If this is meant to mean the present society in the Soviet Union we can only take this to mean that in proportion as the proletariat has lost direct control over the state in that proportion has the democracy been "broadened," that is other elements especially the managerial bureaucratic elements have been introduced into the state so as to control it. How else can one explain the terrible purges within the Communist Party and the working class in which millions of brave workers lost their lives? How else can one explain the end of the ability of the workers in the trade unions to strike, or the end of the Party member's right to discuss, or the degeneration of the Party to the apparatus and the degeneration of the apparatus to the cult of one man-- Stalin?
f.) "The distinctive features of the relations existing between the countries of the Soviet community are complete equality, respect for independence and sovereignity and fraternal mutual assistance."
What is meant by these high sounding words when they are supposed to apply to a situation where because Yugoslavia, a state that had its own "independent" revolution of a socialistic nature, tried to act independently of Moscow all relations were broken off by the other states of the Soviet Bloc with Yugoslavia and war was barely avoided? With what content does one fill these words when openly Russia declares that before she will make a peace treaty with East Germany, a socialist state, that she will see to it that East Germany does this, that, or the other in regard to Berlin?
g.) Even more ambiguous than the above is the statement that in the Socialist camp "none have nor can have, any special rights or privileges."
Leaving out questions of simple grammar we must ask just what does this mean? First, does not the Russian Army have "special rights" in Poland and in East Germany? Second, if any of these countries in the Socialist camp are really independent would that not imply that at any time these countries could each go their own way in pursuit of the "special rights" which are part of their "independence"? Third, if there is a subdivision of labor in the Socialist camp and each state undertakes special obligations and duties does this not mean also that it has special rights and privileges?
h.) "The Communist Parties are independent."
"They (the Communist Parties---AW) coordinate their actions consciously and of their own free will as components of a single international army of labor."
"The Communist Party of the Soviet Union, like the other Communist parties, regards it as its international duty to abide by the appraisals and conclusion which the fraternal parties have reached jointly concerning their common tasks in the struggle against imperialism, for peace, democracy, and socialism, and by the declaration and the statement adopted by the Communist Parties at their international meetings."
"The Communist Party of the Soviet Union will continue to strengthen the unity and cohesion of the members of the great army of communists of all countries."
It is one thing to say that the states within the socialist camp are each independent entities, it is quite another to affirm that the communist parties are "independent." The communist parties organized in the Communist International under Lenin were all supposed to be one great united disciplined international proletarian organization, each national group being but a section of a world party. This was the way the international working class was to fight its international class struggles. The unity was supposedly hammered out in debate in the annual international Communist congresses held in Moscow. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was simply the first among equals. As a matter of fact the independence of states could be accepted only if there were no independence of communist parties because it was only through the communist party of the independent state that it could be assured that such "independence" did not mean capture by the international bourgeoisie. If Finland, or Georgia, in 1919, for example, could be allowed to be independent it was only because these states were meant to be dominated by communist parties that were part of one international disciplined organization taking its orders from the general staff of world communism at Moscow.
But this certainly is not the situation as it is today. When the Communist International was formally dissolved Stalin declared the various Communist parties independent. This did not prevent him from sending assassins to various countries to murder leading dissidents who tried to get the various parties to take some position or other different from what was laid down by Stalin. The declaration that the communist parties were independent of each other was simply a trick made all the more necessary as each of these parties became, not only infiltrated but actually led by capitalist government agents who wanted to use these parties to pry into Soviet Affairs and to transmit espionage information of military value to their respective capitalist masters. The coordination of these communist parties far from being obtained by "free will" was compelled by monetary subsidy, by murder, and by political pressures of every possible sort. These were the methods, not by debate or discussion among equals by which unity and cohesion among the parties were obtained.
How much the Communist Party of the Soviet Union regarded it as its duty to abide by the appraisals and conclusions which all have reached jointly can be seen from the fact that a) many communist parties were and are not even consulted about these appraisals and conclusions before they are made and, b) there has never been one single case where these appraisals and conclusions have not been made first in secret caucus by the Russians before they were submitted to the international body where they were always approved.
4. The superficial assertion: Here are but a few example from the Draft Program:
a.) "The exploitation of the working people is continuously increasing, social inequality is becoming more and more marked, the gulf between the haves and have nots is widening, and the sufferings and privations of millions are growing worse."
"The growth and development of the contradictions of bourgeois society are accompanied by the growing discontent of the working people and the exploited masses with the capitalist system, and by an increase in the number of proletarians and their greater unity, and by a sharpening of their class struggle against the exploiters."
Such statements as these, properly made by Marx and Engels over a hundred years ago illustrate the basic international trends of capitalism but surely do not deserve mere repetition without some concrete analysis pertinent to the present day. As general statements they were valuable when the movement first originated. One might think that today, with all the vast resources of the Soviet Union behind them, the Stalinists might make more con crete and apt statements to guide the workers in their present struggles.
For example, in the United States, Great Britain, France, Western Germany, Italy, etc., it would not be true to say there was a greater gulf between the bourgeoisie and the workers today than there was, say, right after World War 11 in 1945. The suffering and privations of millions in these countries can not be said to have grown worse in comparison to what was suffered by similar layers of these nations in 1945. By and large, there is no greater discontent in these countries now than there was in 1945. We have arbitrarily selected 1945 as a comparison date because the Draft Program deliberately omits a comparison date.
By this failure to be concrete the Stalinists try to hide the fact that since 1W the Labor Party lost power in Britain, that German capitalism has become much more stabilized than before, that in France while in 1945 the Communists were part of the government, they are now but a relatively passive minority today; that the Italian Communist Party could have taken power in Italy in 1948 but can not do so now; that Yugoslavia has broken away from the Stalinist orbit; that anti Stalinism bad to be put down by force in East Germany, Hungary, and Poland; that the Greek Civil War was betrayed by the Stalinists and was lost, etc. Thus if any increase of discontent was shown, in many places it was discontent with Stalinism on the part of the working class that saw its interests betrayed.
. b) In the same way the Draft Program superficially repeats some statements of Lenin which were good enough when they were made some fifty years ago but which now badly need supplementation and modernization. To Lenin Imperialism was the final stage of capitalism and was marked by the domination of finance capital controlling monopoly capitalism which needed to export capital and seize colonies for exploitation as a field for investment, as a source of raw materials and cheap labor, as a military base, etc.
Since Lenin's day, however, we entered a period of .super imperialism exemplified most sharply by the growth of the Nazis. This period of super imperialism saw the domination not of private monopoly but of state monopoly and nationalized property, the development of national self sufficiency or autarchy, and the centralization of states into constellations controlling vast areas of the world. One would have expected an analysis of these more recent trends and their further development but there is nothing in the Draft Program on this since, despite their boasting of completing Socialism, the Stalinists are branded by the fact that they have produced no outstanding Marxist economic or political analysis since their first seizing power.
c.) "Nationalism is the chief political and ideological weapon used by international reaction and the remnants of the domestic reactionary forces against the unity of the Socialist countries."
Here again old worn phrases are used without concentration on the present day new problems that have to be treated. In this connection the Draft Program in empty fashion, speaks of the general law of uneven development economically and politically among the capitalists, a generalization as good 50 years ago as it is today and therefore devoid of special modern content.
The fact of the matter is, however, that the old nationalism is no longer serving capitalist purposes and is being discarded. The U. S. is trying to put down national rivalries as much as possible and to organize all the capitalist states throughout the world for the gigantic final struggle against the communists. Therefore, NATO, CENTO, SEATO, ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES, etc. Therefore the Marshall Plan, the Colombo Plan, the Alliance for Progress, the Point 4 Program, the now long term aid program for undeveloped countries, the cumulative expenses of over $100 billion in foreign aid since World War 11 by the United States alone. Hence also the driving forward of the Common Market and the economic unification of all of Western Europe under U. S. domination. Not to consider the specific features of these new developments and to analyze them correctly, but to treat the integration of the Common Market as in reality just a new form of the subdivision of the world capitalist market and the creation of new seats of acute strain and conflict, as the Draft Program mentions briefly, is to consider the matter in the most superficial manner.
d.) It follows from the superficial analyzes made by the Draft Program that all the Stalinists can see in these enormous organizational steps the U.S. is taking throughout the world to organize and unify the struggle against the soviets is that the rivalries among capitalists nations are becoming especially acute.
According to the Draft Program the rivalries becoming especially acute are those between Britain and the U. S., between France and the U. S., between France and Germany, between the U. S. and Germany, between Britain and Germany, between Japan and the U. S., etc. No proof is submitted; just the bare assertion is made. The deadly facts are quite the opposite namely that these old traditional nationalist rivalries are giving way under the steady pressure of American imperialism and financial support to steady unification for the coming struggle.
Indeed, the Draft Program does not hesitate to be inconsistent and also declare 'The Imperialists form reactionary alliances; they enter into mutual agreements and set up military blocs and bases spearheaded not only against the socialist countries but against the revolutionary working class and national liberation movement." But if the imperialists are doing this, would this not be a sign that their old rivalries are being dominated by the need for coordinated unified action against the communists and one should not be as much concerned with the old national rivalries as with the new organized unity and how to deal with it.
e) Going right on with its superficial and out of date analyzes the Stalinists declare that the world is entering a third phase of capitalist imperialism marked by: 1) the growth of militarism; 2) the low rate of production growth; 3) chronic unemployment; 4) mounting struggle between capital and labor; 5) the establishment of fascist and despotic regimes. No proof is given.
Says the Draft Program: "Even in those countries where reformism still holds strong positions appreciable shifts to the left are taking place in the working class movement." No proof is given.
And again: "The monopolies are reviving Fascist ideology of extreme chauvinism and racism." No proof is given.
Such analyzes are not only superficial they are really ridiculously out of touch with the situations. Is militarism growing? Where, in the U. S., in Great Britain, in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Mexico, in Brazil, in India? And by militarism we do not mean the growth of armament or military force but the growth of the control of the State and society by the military machine. Should not the Draft Program offer some sort of proof of this exceptional growth and say with what period it is comparing? Is it comparing 1961 with 1914,, with 1919, with 1933, or when?
Or take the low rate of production growth. This does not apply to France, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, and many others. It does apply to the U. S. and to Britain but what should not be forgotten is that a vast amount of capital has been exported from the U. S. into the other countries that are showing rapid growth. Of course this growth has been greatly stimulated by the vast destruction of World War 11 and the Korean War and by aid to underdeveloped countries, but however temporary the trend, it is still in opposition to what the Draft Program is emptily stating.
Or take chronic unemployment. This is large in the United States but it has been far less than usual in Western Europe. Besides this is a chronic result of capitalism long ago described by Marx. There has been no great catastrophe as yet as there was throughout the world in 1930 in the last great depression. The point is, as of now "chronic" unemployment is not such as to mark it as a special feature of imperialism at this moment so as to be sharper now than, say, two years or so ago when the Stalinists issued their last statement.
And is the class struggle at this moment sharpening between capital and labor. Where? In the U. S., in Great Britain, in Germany, in Italy, in France, in Scandinavia, in India, in Japan, in Mexico? Where? Why make empty generalities devoid of any concrete special meaning? Is there a growth of fascism and despotic regimes? Where in Cuba, in Brazil, in Mexico, in Great Britain, in the United States, in India, in Laos, in Cambodia, in Japan, in Indonesia, where?
In all this loud cursing and shouting without concrete proof the Stalinists show themselves bankrupt as social and economic analysts. They themselves display a great uneven development. As "socialists" they are good on military rockets and missiles, on shots to the moon, and on nuclear weapons, but miserable on Marxist social, economic, and political analyzes, the very things the international working class needs most.
The world proletariat cries for a Fourth International and a real Marxist program!