Smearing Orwell's books - Lies & filth about Trotskyism

Hugh Rodwell m-14970 at mailbox.swipnet.se
Sat Sep 21 11:37:27 MDT 1996


Adolf-O! pumps some more sewage over us from the not-yet-dry cesspool of
Stalinism:

> The present article - dedicated by us to Hugh Rodwell-Orwell - is taken
> from LALKAR - the magazine of the Indian Workers Association in Britain.
>Committee Sol Peru

The article is anonymous. As you read it, you realize why.


>Precisely because the Russian reality did not accord with Orwellian
>reactionary fables, as the Soviet Union was busy tearing down her miserable
>capitalist and feudal past and constructing a brighht socialist future for
>her people, imperialism waged a life-and-death struggle, ranging from
>economic blockade to armed intervention, against her.

This is incoherent. The imperialists attacked the Soviet Union because it
was a workers' state, and they wanted it back. "Constructing a bright
socialist future for her people" goes into my Golden Book of Brazen Lies.


>Orwell was even more reactionary, if such a thing is possible, than Winston
>Churchill.

Which shows how little sense of reality the author has. But of course,
Churchill was Stalin's ally after Hitler dumped him, so the pickled vampire
gets rave reviews for his conduct of the Democratic Crusade Against
Fascism.


>The latter at least had the sense to wait until the end of the
>Second World War before publicly resuming his anti-communist crusade.
>Orwell by comparison could not contain his anti-communism even at the
>height of the war when the fate of humanity was being decided in the
>titanic trial of strength between Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany in the
>battle of Stalingrad.  He wrote his Animal Farm in 1943.

Orwell wrote from principles -- his own -- and had no truck with expediency.

>Publisher after publisher rejected the book.  Even bourgeois publishers, at
>least during those days when the dark forces of Nazism hovered ominously
>threatening to devour mankind, had more regard than Orwell.  Faber rejected
>the book as did Victor Golanca.  The latter's reaction was:  "We couldn't
>have published it then.  Those people [the Soviets] ... had just saved our
>necks at Stalingrad."

Publishers are lying, chicken-hearted scavengers.

Does the anonymous author mean to tell us that "the dark forces of Nazism
hovered" *less* "ominously" for the duration of the Stalin-Hitler pact? Of
course he does. This contaminated, phosphorescing mess served up to us by
the good services of Adolf-O is heaving and bubbling with inconsistencies
and contradictions. Actually I wouldn't be surprised if he'd written this
garbage himself and sold it to the Stalinist Workers Association.

>In other words, Orwell pursued the aim of destroying the proletariat's faith
>in building a bright socialist future for itself by denigrating and
>portraying in negative terms the epoch-making achievements of the Soviet
>proletariat.

Now just what "epoch-making achievements of the Soviet proletariat" did he
denigrate? If Mr Anonymous (if it's not a Mr I'll eat my trainers) actually
bothered to read the books he's writing about he'd find that none of the
conquests of the revolution -- seizing power, ejecting the exploiters,
working for equality and the good of all, etc -- are denigrated. The satire
falls on the degradation of the revolution, and the self-interest,
brutality and hypocrisy of those who twist the legacy of the revolution
until it breaks and turns into its opposite. Pretty even-handed stuff for a
bourgeois socialist.

>"...As far back as 1903, Trotsky had mastered the propaganda device of what
>Lenin called "ultra-revolutionary slogans which cost him nothing".

You only have two problems here, Mr Anonymous. 1905 and 1917. In 1905 all
Trotsky's major decisions as Chair of the Petersburg Soviet got the backing
of Lenin and the Bolshevik party. In 1917 Trotsky was a member of Lenin's
Bolshevik party, and fought side-by-side with Lenin in the battle to swing
the sceptical Old Bolsheviks behind the revolutionary line of the April
Theses.

All the filth spewed up by Mr Anonymous, Adolf-O and the rest has a clear
date of origin -- 1924. This was the year the Legend of Trotskyism was
originally created. Stalin exploited the illness and death of Lenin to
strengthen his power base in the party and bureaucracy, and to manufacture
a theory all his own to beat off the Left Opposition -- Socialism in One
Country. To do this he dredged up -- out of context -- all the old
polemical jibes of Lenin against Trotsky he could find, chopped away the
revolutions of 1905 and 1917 from Party and Russian history, and started
reinventing Soviet reality to match the needs of the bureaucracy for
stability, convenience and privilege, and of himself as its Bonapartist
representative.

Before Lenin's illness and death there was no Legend of Trotskyism. There
was party combat between the revolutions, resolved in Trotsky's
self-criticism with respect to the futility of conciliationism and the
impossibility of building a tempered revolutionary party with centrists
wavering between Menshevik and Bolshevik positions. More importantly there
was essential agreement on the character of the Russian revolution and the
need for class independence and proletarian leadership. This culminated in
the fusion of Trotsky's party with the Bolsheviks after February 1917.
Lenin's remark on this was that once Trotsky had understood the
impossibility of agreement with Menshevism "there has been no better
Bolshevik" (Speech at the 1(14) November 1917 session of the Petrograd
Committee, against Kamenev, Zinoviev, Ryazanov and others on the question
of dumping the Bolshevik majority in favour of a coalition with the
Mensheviks and Social-Revolutionaries).


>"Now, on a world scale, Trotsky proceeded to develop the propaganda
>technique he had originally employed against Lenin and the Bolshevik Party.
>In innumerable ultra-leftist and violently radical-sounding articles,
>books, pamphlets and speeches, Trotsky began to attack the Soviet regime
>and call for its violent overthrow - not because it was revolutionary; but
>because it was, as he phrased it, "counter-revolutionary" and
>"reactionary".

Note that there's a grain of truth in this that Adolf-O should change in
his next version. Trotksy was indeed attacking the Soviet *regime* as
counter-revolutionary and reactionary. What he wasn't attacking was the
Soviet *state* as a workers' state embodying the conquests of the October
revolution, for whose creation Trotsky, alongside Lenin, bore more
responsibility than any other individual


>An official at the British embasy in Cairo noted approvingly: "The idea is
>particularly good for Arabic in view of the fact that both pigs and dogs
>are unclean animals to Muslims."
>
>The IRD was keen to promote the publication of Animal Farm in the Arabic
>language to counter the growing revolutionary anti-imperialist struggle of
>the Arab masses.  In particular, the unit was afraid of communism spreading
>to the oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, notably among the oil workers of
>Dhaharan, the scene of the bombing of an American military base in May this
>year.

Shows how the imperialists were clutching at straws. Fortunately they had
the Stalinist revolution-smashers on their side, so there was little fear
of a revolution succeeding as long as it the working class was in thrall to
Moscow (or Beijing later on, for that matter).


>In fact these admirers, to wit, the Trotskyists, have been so shocked and
>embarrassed that, with the sole exception of the shameless and unrepentant
>counter-revolutionary Mr Paul Foot, we have not heard a murmur from these
>quarters, who were only recently and so noisily promoting Ken Loach's
>reactionary fable, based on Orwell's counter-revolutionary fiction, Homage
>to Catalonia, on the Spanish Civil War.

This is about the revelation that Orwell worked with the British
intelligence services. Damn his eyes for that. But as I wrote in an earlier
posting, he was never a Trotskyist, and never renounced his essentially
bourgeois-democratic values. There was a big dollop of anarchism in him,
and that allows for the most hair-raising swings, from putting your life on
the line for revolution, as Orwell did in Spain, to collaborating with
bourgeois state institutions against what is perceived as a common enemy.

What Mr Anonymous and Adolf-O are trying to do here is to use the tactic of
the universal smear. One criminal action and *everything* you do is damned.
The height of linear metaphysics, the antithesis of dialectics. Fortunately
the irony of history often punishes those who indulge in this kind of thing
in the most appropriate way. The Bukharins and Zinovievs were rewarded for
their hatchet work on Trotsky with similar groundless accusations and a
bullet in the back of the head.

Far from consigning Orwell and his work to the dustbin of history, however,
Adolf-O and his anonymous Stalinist crony are shouting from the bottom of
the self-same dustbin -- and what reaches our ears through the layers of
trash is a weak, distorted croak.

Cheers,

Hugh




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