Did Stalinism end in the 1950s?

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Thu Dec 5 21:21:31 MST 2002


Bob Gould:
>>The Stalinist formations that moved politically towards Social Democracy retained
all the centralised and authoritarian features of the Stalinist political culture,
combined with a more right-wing political orientation.<<

Come now Bob. The Australian CP evolved from Stalinism through Eurocommunism
towards social democracy between 1956 and the 1980s (with a temporary left lurch
around 1967-75). During that the time the party slowly but surely opened up,
publishing discussion bulletins that allowed all kinds of dissent, admitting
a trotskyist like Denis Freney (follower of Pablo) to membership and indeed
into the leadership, and towards the end becoming a chaotic jumble where feminists,
trade union  bureaucrats, Althusserian intellectuals and other groups ran their
own little fiefdoms.

Did the move toward social democracy make them "more right wing"? Sometimes
but not always. Was it "right wing" to oppose the invasion of Czechoslovakia,
or for the Builders' Labourers to engage in workers' control struggles? Both
of these were part of the party's evolution away from Stalinism.

These developments are covered in my own book, "Into the Mainstream: The Decline
of Australian Communism". Alas, it's not online.

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