Cromwell etc

E.C.Apling E.C.Apling at
Sun Aug 8 13:32:50 MDT 1999

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-marxism at
> [mailto:owner-marxism at]On Behalf Of M A Jones
> Sent: 08 August 1999 17:20
> To: marxism at
> Subject: re: Cromwell etc
> Paddy wrote:
>> In this connection I recall the comment of Oliver Cromwell to
>> the "grandees > of Parliament" as to his policy for the New Model Army in
>> 1640 that: > (paraphrased from memory): "I would prefer a russet-coated
>> Captain who knows what he fights for and loves what he knows to what
>> you call a gentleman and is nothing else."

> Paddy, what a thread to start! It would be wonderful to celebrate our very
> own English Revolution....
> Mark

How right.  We could certainly do with a bit more congratulatory remarks
about British or American revolutionaries of the past (and discussion of
their failures and reasons for them) than all this constant bickering about
one Russian against another!!!

But/and if we ARE internationalists we must include ALL the Russian
revolutionaries in our sights (and discussion of their failures and reasons
for them) without all this idiotic condemnation as "not a Marxist".  In this
connection I must quote Oliver Cromwell again (particularly since he is one
who LED a revolution - and then - from the Leveller point of view - betrayed
it to the "men of property") [This ia second-hand quote from Christopher
Hill's Liberty Against the Law] Cromwell told the Scottish kirk that "Your
pretended fear lest error should step in" if religious freedom is
established "is like the man that would keep all wine out of the country
lest men should be drunk" [Cromwell, Writings and Speeches, II, pp. 337-9 -
and used by John Milton in Tetrachordon (1645), Complete Prose Works, II,
pp. 64-5] - (shades of the anti-drug war!!!!!).  And Chistopher Hill goes
on:  He defended all those "with the root of the matter in them" - a matter
of definition.

Let us praise, too such historians as Christopher Hill, Eric Hobsbawm and
A.L. Morton and end this STUPID name-calling of "Stalinists".   It would
probably be more correct to recognise that 95 per cent of the
revolutionaries (and probably an even higher percentage of those who were in
any shape or form effective) in the 30s and 40s (and 50s!!) were admirers of
Stalin at the time  [and, I might say, many are by no means sure WHICH
criticisms of Stalin are just and WHICH are imperialist propaganda - what is
certain is that the constant denigration of Stalin and Stalinists is
OBJECTIVELY an effective divisive tool of imperialism - Xxxzx Xyyxyz (whose
efforts on I much admire), please note].  I DO know - as
sufficient time has elapsed since their day - which arguments of
revolutionaries (Marxists, if you like) against Cromwell, Robespierre and
Napoleon Bonaparte are justified and which were mere propaganda of the
monarchists.....  but to write off Stalin,  well, well, well - how

Comradely greetings to ALL
Mailto:E.C.Apling at

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