Re: Revolutionary upsurge after WWII ( Jø

Jørn Andersen ccc6639 at vip.cybercity.dk
Wed Feb 28 04:57:39 MST 1996


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Reply to Hugh:

You are absolutely right on this:
- There was a huge upsurge of workers after WWII.
- That this - or at least the fear that there would be - is the reason =
for the concessions given
- That that huge concessions were in fact made=20

But:
1. The upsurge was not worldwide.
Germany, most of Eastern Europe, US, Britain, Scandinavia, USSR (i.e. a =
significant part of the industrialized world) are just examples of =
countries where such upsurge didn't materialize. There *were* struggles, =
strikes etc. but nothing near the level of 1917-21.
In WW1 it was workers' revolution that stopped the war. WW2 stopped when =
the US and the USSR met in Berlin and after the atomic bombs in =
Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The upsurges in Greece, Italy and France were real, but got no echo from =
workers elsewhere and were consequently relatively easy defeated.

2. The capitalists were in fact able to "buy off" the potential for =
resistance as the general picture. The Cold War was just 2 or 3 years =
after 1945 _the_ framework within which most conflicts were =
subordinated. Though the Cold War was caused by a very real "conflict of =
interests" between the two rivalling imperialist super powers, at the =
same time it provided the rulers on both sides with a mighty ideological =
weapon (democracy vs. communism) that helped tie workers to their own =
ruling classes.

3. Quite a lot of the concessions given were withdrawn in the years =
after. It was not until the 50's (as a result of the economic boom) that =
workers' living standard really started to rise and "the welfare state" =
came into being.


There might have been a more general and worldwide upsurge had not the =
stalinist parties all over the world seen themselves as parts of the =
agreements between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill. But that is a given =
fact, and we can't wish it away.

However, I think this stresses what was my main point:
No Transitional Program ( or any similar program today ) can overcome =
the lack of a substantial number of socialists organized in a party, =
that will actually be able to challenge refomist ideas in the working =
class.

So I still think the Transitional Program was a "desperate call". =
Understandably, but still desperate and of no real help.


By the way: I think you exaggerate the concessions. That's OK for making =
the point - but where did imperialism give polical concessions like =
"access to regime/government" "to the working class and the oppressed =
nationalities of the world?"

It's true that they let reformist leaders of working class parties, =
trade union bureaucrats and petty bourgeois nationalist leaders sit in =
government chairs - but not "the working class and the oppressed =
nationalities of the world?" And it must be rembered that whereever =
these leaders tried just remotely to satisfy the demands of their own =
supporters they lost support from "imperialism" and consequently their =
seats.



Yours

Jorn Andersen
ccc6639 at vip.cybercity.dk

IS
Denmark


>I think Brad Mayer and myself have shown in previous postings that =
there
>was in fact a huge worldwide upsurge of both workers and the oppressed
>masses after WWII. How else can you explain the enormous concessions =
made
>(both political in terms of access to regime/government and economic in
>terms of improvements in standard of living, welfare state etc) by
>imperialism to the working class and the oppressed nationalities of the
>world?


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