jnstewart at SPAMmindspring.com
jnstewart at SPAMmindspring.com
Mon Dec 6 21:54:52 MST 1999
One of the things that pricked my interest in Bukharin is the follwowing
exerpted. Sloppy record browsing has lost the author's name, so if you
wrote it let me know---I have a couple of questions. The point is,
apparently thta the downfall of the Societ Union can be traced to Stalin
needing to bring back the Bukharinists after the war simply to keep the
The revolution decapitated The ideological roots of counterrevolution in the
. . . edited transcript of a presentation given at the 1998 MWG Summer
Educational. The general line of this presentation was adopted at the MWG's
. . . We all know the standard phrases used by the Trotskyists: the
petty-bourgeois response to the October Revolution, the ideological
representation of the interests of the bureaucracy, etc. Trotsky also had
some other ideas about it. In 1928, he saw it as the center between two
other factions -- the Left and the Right (the Left being the
Bolshevik-Leninists, and the Right being the Bukharinites).
The next question is: "What is Bukharinism?" Trotsky was clear when he
referred to the Bukharinites -- the Right Opposition -- as a transmission
belt that could move in one of two directions. In periods of heightened
struggle, it could be seen as a transmission belt between social democracy
and Marxism. But in times of political reaction, counterrevolution and
retreat, Bukharinism was regarded as a transmission belt between Bolshevism
and reformism. The basis of the Right Opposition was within the rural petty
bourgeoisie, professionals and intellectuals, and the well-to-do farmers.
This is where its social power was derived.
The big question is: where did Bukharinism go in the equation? What
happened to the Right Opposition? Why was it not formulated in these
statements? Trotsky never really dealt with the Bukharinites after 1933,
except as an afterthought. It was never dealt with in the organizations of
the Bolshevik-Leninists, the International Communist League and the early
Fourth International except in the most partial terms. It was not considered
to be a major force; Bukharinism was seen in the West as having liquidated
into social democracy or the trade union bureaucracy. Bukharinism in the
USSR was seen as wiped out by the Purges in 1938.
This was a big mistake. It was a mistake to ignore or downplay Bukharinism
as a force in the Soviet Union, not necessarily in the 1930s but after the
end of the Second World War.
In 1945, Stalin was in dire need of technicians, skilled laborers and party
functionaries, especially in the Ukraine, Caucasus region and other areas
previously occupied by the Nazis. He needed people to take over who he
thought would be loyal.
So, Stalin began releasing prisoners from the labor camps in Siberia,
re-admitting them into the Communist Party and giving them low- and
mid-level positions in the Soviet bureaucracy. Those who had been released
were once local and regional leaders of the Right Opposition, who had been
held since the times of the Great Purges and before. Stalin put these
skilled tradesmen, professionals and functionaries to work reorganizing
industry after the War.
This set the stage for what was to happen over the next 40 years. It is
very important to keep this in mind. Essentially, what Stalin did was allow
the base of the Right Opposition back into the CPSU out of necessity. This
was mirrored in the Communist parties of the West, as they grew in the wake
of the War.
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