USSR and Russia

Scott Marshall Scott at
Thu Jun 15 21:34:01 MDT 1995


>I was trying to see whether some of the issues associated with this topic
>could be expressed in terms that would receive wide support, even from
>those who identify with the CP.  Scott's response suggests that I was
>being too hopeful in this regard.

Scott: Concensus on this list - you are an idealist. And to what end?

>A quite remarkable paragraph from Scott.  As long as Marxists continue to
>apologize for Stalin and ignore the contradictions of former Soviet
>society, we will never approach agreement on this question.

It is simplistic and a poor form of arguing to accuse anyone who says that
there is some good to be learned even from the Stalin years of building
socialism an apologist. Deal with the issues. Was the defeat of fascism and
the SU's role important. Were the many important attempts to grapple with
the national question in real life and not just on paper, even during the
Stalin period important? Have you really studied any of this work or are you
just content to throw out your catch phrases about Stalin? Do you know about
the work to industrialize and the literacy campaigns and the language
campaigns and the quotas for developing scientists etc and advanced learning
for the formerly oppressed nationalities. That you just dismiss. It might
feel good and fit your prejudices, but it ain't marxism.

Just an aside about Russification. I traveled in Usbekistan in the early
1970's and was amazed that most all the leadership - party and gov't
officals and trade union leaders, even then after 50 years, did not speak

On a different topic: I would really like to hear your review of The Grand
Failure by Zbigniew Brzezinski. Now there is an accomplished "marxist"
(Wrongist) who was able to make some Russians swallow things "for their own
good". He makes no disclaimers or protestations of being for socialism. But
his arguments are remarkable similar to many I read on this list.

His take on "Stalinism" is more honest. And his understanding of how to
overthrow socialism and what were the forces at work in the SU, is much less
comic book and simplistic because he makes no pretense of anything but
partisanship for imperialism.

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