AN OUTBREAK OF PRIMITIVE STALINISM ON MARXMAIL

Gould's Book Arcade ggouldsb at bigpond.net.au
Tue Sep 23 23:04:22 MDT 2003


AN  OUTBREAK  OF  PRIMITIVE  STALINISM  ON   MARXMAIL

As Trotsky said, Stalinism is a very bad social disease, politically
speaking, and the sad thing is that, as it was dominant for many years on
the left wing of the labor movement worldwide, the virus persisted for a
very long time, and still breaks out occasionally.

Many workers and intellectuals, who were converted to the high Stalinist
political religion during its period of dominance on the left, found
Kruschev's exposure of Stalin in 1956 traumatic. Quite a few of those people
hung on to the political religion of their youth, despite all evidence to
the contrary, like Tridentine Catholics like Mel Gibson, hanging on to the
Latin Mass. I still know some people like that, and respect them, despite
their Stalinism, because of a lifetime of common activity with them in the
labor movement. Such people are sometimes a bit too old to change.

However, anyone who has acquired an education in history since about, say,
1956, who tries to peddle the exploded Stalinist historical falsifications,
is either a knave or a fool.  Straight faced and po faced attempts to pass
off Joseph E Davies' ignorant bourgeois diplomacy about the Moscow Trials
("Mission to Moscow"), and the vicious Stalinist piece of pseudo history,
"The Great Conspiracy" by Sayers and Kahn (about 1946), as historical
evidence, is deeply offensively a-historical, in the year 2003. Sayers and
Kahn is particularly significant, because written in the racy style of a
whodunit, this pack of historical lies is probably the main piece of pseudo
historical reading that miseducated a large part of a whole generation of
communist workers and intellectuals.

The Communist Party in Australia produced an abridge edition of Sayers and
Kahn, that sold about 25,000 copies, and they were certainly read. Someone
like me, who spent a significant part of their life after Kruschev's
exposure of Stalin in 1956, in the relatively successful activity of
dragging out Sayers and Kahn's lies by their roots from the minds of other
socialists, has difficulty being objective when some ignorant Stalinist, who
must live in a time warp or a time capsule, belts out a reference to Sayers
and Kahn, as good historical coin.

A large part of Sayers and Kahn consists of invented accounts of alleged
contacts between the murdered oppositionists in the Soviet Union, and
Trotsky, with the Gestapo and Hitler. The Trotskyists of 1946 submitted a
brief to the Nuremburg Trials of the Nazi war criminals, demanding that the
Soviet prosecutor present any evidence he claimed to have about such
contacts, at the Nuremburg Trials, and it was available to the Soviet
prosecutor at the Nuremburg Trials to do so. The Russians, of course,
studiously avoided any discussion of these invented connections, at the
Nuremburg Trials, which is the most powerful evidence of all, that Sayers
and Kahn was a pack of lies and inventions.

Since Kruschev's exposure of Stalin in 1956 and even more in 1962, and now
since the opening of the Soviet archives since about 1987, the overwhelming
documentary evidence of the frame-up character of the Moscow Trials, of the
lies, falsifications and mass murders, is so overwhelming, that anyone, who,
with a serious face, presents Sayers and Kahn to you as a historical
document, puts themselves in the same category, politically speaking, as
those energetic Christians who pour out literature trying to prove that God
created the world in seven days, and that the physical evolution of mankind
is untrue. These latter day Stalinists are the political equivalents of
physical evolution denialists.

These people, who attempt to deny the truth about the political mass murders
of communists, socialists, and ordinary people, by the Soviet bureaucray and
ultimately by Stalin himself, are in the same category as the denier of the
Second World War Jewish Holocaust denier, David Irving. The really macabre
aspect of this communist and socialist Holocaust denial phenomenon, is that
there is now an enormous literature about Stalin's crimes, based on
interrogated eye witnesses, survivors' testimonies, and fantastic quantities
of documentary evidence, out of the Soviet archives.

The Jewish Holocaust denier, Irving, tries to make his case from the fact
that there aren't any written documents where Hitler actually gave direct
written instructions to kill the Jews. Hitler's criminal responsibility has
to be inferred from the brutal actions of his government, and careful
drawing out of the implications in the documents of the notorious "Wansee"
Conference of Nazi mass murderers.

This is not the case with Stalin's crimes. There are authentic lists of tens
of thousands of murdered communists and socialists, with the scrawled
signature of Stalin, Molotov and other mass murderers, instructing their
execution. The KGB issued a macabre statement in the late 1980s that there
were between 700,000 and 800,000 people who had been executed unjustly in
the late 1930s, and they actually gave an exact figure. Most of these people
were socialists and communists. Stalin was responsible for the deliberate
execution of many more communists and socialists that Hitler was, or any
other murderer of communists and socialists in the 20th century, such as
Suharto and the other Indonesian generals who murdered around 300,000
communists.

Stanford University Press have published a dozen or so books, based on
authentic material out of the archives. The communist Holocaust deniers on
Marxmail ought to study those books carefully. Recent published books on the
subject include documentation of the murder of a large number of the foreign
communists who worked for the Comintern, whose murder was acquiesced to by
Dimitrov, though he saved a few. Scholars have documented the sad fate of
hundreds of Ukranian communists who went back to the Soviet Union from the
United States and Canada. They've documented the fate of hundreds of Finnish
communists who went back to the Soviet Union from the United States and
Canada, to settle in Karelia. German scholars have documented the fate of
hundreds of German and Austrian communists, many of whom were murdered in
the purges, and a number of whom ended up in the camps. An Italian communist
survivor of the Gulag spent the last ten years of his life documenting the
fate of over 500 Italian political emigrants in the Soviet Union who were
either murdered or ended up in the Gulag.

This year has seen the publication in Australia of a book called "Secrets
and Lies", by Maria Moustafine, an Australian of Russian, Jewish and Tartar
background, a number of whose relatives were unfortunate members of the pro
Soviet Russian community in Harbin, who happened to return to the Soviet
Union at the most dangerous possible moment in the middle thirties, and were
killed in the purges, the "Harbinsty". She has put together the sad story of
her relatives' fate from the Soviet archives. This book has sold about 8,000
copies in Australia.

Anne Applebaum has this year had her magisterial and detailed book on the
history of the Gulag published. These communist Holocaust deniers should
carefully study the statistics that she assembles in her book.

I've deliberately left it a few days before responding to this communist
Holocaust denial material on Marxmail. It seems fantastic to me that I seem
to be the only one, other than Jurian, at all concerned to respond to this
mad Stalinist revivalism.

In 1938, at the time of the Third Moscow Trial, the Trotsky Defence
Committee held a public meeting in New York. One of the speakers was the
Lovestoneite, Bertram D Wolfe. The Lovestoneites, the Right Opposition
expelled from the American CP in 1929, had tended to reluctantly accept the
First Moscow Trial, but by the time of the Third Moscow Trial, which had
framed their intellectual mentor, Nicolai Bukharin, they had concluded that
all the trials were frame-ups and that it was necessary to break with
Stalinism completely. (Later, most of them, on the basis of their deep
disillusionment with Stalinism, shifted over to the far right. Bertram D
Wolfe became a fairly major historian of the Russian Revolution. His book
"Three Who Made a Revolution" though marred by his later ex Communist bias,
still remains a primary source book about the Russian Revolution.) What
Bertram D Wolfe had going for him was that he knew a number of the murdered
Bolshevik leaders personally, and he knew Stalin personally. His speech at
the meeting of 1938 is a brief factual statement about the awful sweep of
the Moscow Trials, their catastrophic impact on the Soviet Union and the
socialist project. His anger and bitterness in this speech is clearly
informed by his personal knowledge of the people involved. It is a
relatively small historical document, and I am posting it here. I recommend
that these latter day communist Holocaust deniers study this speech
carefully.

(take in)



- Bob Gould, Sydney, 24/9/03


Speech by Bertram D. Wolfe, on the Moscow purge trials, under the aus-pices
of the Trotsky Defense Committee, New York

March 9,1938


I want to begin by thanking the Trotsky Defense Committee for in-viting me
to participate in this meeting. I regret that it is not being held under
much broader auspices. I believe that all labor organiza-tions have been
derelict in their duty in not arranging the broadest mass protest meeting
under the broadest possible auspices, to show that the entire labor movement
protests against this infamous and murderous farce. So far we have had only
a meeting under the aus-pices of the Trotskyists, and this one, with
invitation to spokesmen of other organizations, but under the Trotsky
Defense Committee. This is unfortunate, in my opinion, because it gives the
impression that the issue is Trotsky versus Stalin, or that our protest is
primar-ily for the defense of Leon Trotsky. Nor is that sufficiently offset
by the fact that my own organization [Independent Labor League of Americaj
is holding a meeting of its own on the issues involved in this same hall
next Wednesday night. I want to pledge my organiza-tion to work for the
calling of a meeting adequate to the issues in-volved, under the joint
auspices of every organization that is inter-ested in the question. The
Socialist Party has pledged itself to the same end, and leading figures in
the Social Democratic Federation and the Socialist Workers' Party and
Anarchists have given similar assurances. To my mind the issues are broader
than the controversy between Trotsky and Stalin, or Bukharin and Stalin,
broader than the defense of Leon 'Trotsky, or of aff tfle defendants now on
triag, or dre~ thousands and hundred thousands crowding the jails of the
Soviet Union, broader than the redemption of the good name of those who have
already met death without trial at Stalin's hands, or at the hands of his
henchmen such as Yezhov.
  The Russian purge and the methods it employs concern the very life of the
labor movement in the Soviet Union and, by extension, in all the lands of
the earth. Any one who fails to raise his voice un-equivocally on this
question makes himself a guilty accomplice by his silence. He who is
indifferent we must brand for his indifference he who excuses this accuses
himself of being willing to introduce the same methods into our own labor
movement; he who justifies it has bathed his hands, as did the conspirators
in Shakespeare's play, in the blood of the innocent victims. And that blood
is the best blood of our generation, the blood of the men who led the
opposition to the world war, of the men who led in the making of the Russian
Revolution, of the men who led in the building of the Communist
International, of the men who risked their lives in the tsarist
under-ground, who exhausted themselves in the civil war and the famine, who
performed miracles of socialist reconstruction, who led the So-viet Union in
all of its achievements.
If one word of these charges is credited as true, then the Russian
Revolution must have been made by traitors, bandits, imperialist spies,
provocateurs, murderers, and counterrevolutionaries. If Trotsky was a spy
since 1921, then he was conspiring to overthrow himself while he was the
leader of the Red Army. If Bukharin was guilty of conspiring to kill Lenin
in 1918, then Lenin was a dupe and a moron to have praised him before his
death as the "darling of the party," and the program of the Communist
International is the pro-gram of a traitor. The rewriting of history has
gone so far that Trotsky's heroic efforts to build up a Red Army, drive out
foreign intervention, and crush counterrevolution were all expended and,
successfully mind you, at the orders of a Germany that was not yet Fascist,
a Japan that was not yet through with its twenty-one points, an England that
bribed these men to build up a mighty Soviet power so that they might later
have more work and more fun trying to crush it.
These mad charges have at last gone so far that Lenin himself is on trial in
Moscow. How else shall we interpret the charge that his closest associates
were the agents of foreign governments? Is not the charge of German spy
levied against the then commissar of war ITrotskyj but a revival of a charge
levied in those days against all the Bolsheviks, and first of all against
Lenin? Was it not Lenin who passed through Germany in a sealed train? Lenin
who was most in-sistent of all on a separate peace with Germany? Lenin who
insisted on the signing of the Brest Litovsk peace while the accused
Bukharin and the accused in absentia, Trotsky, were still hesitant?
This trial and this purge involve issues, it seems to me, that are even
broader than the labor movement and the issue of honesty and democracy
within it. Precisely because the working class is the most
significant class in modern society, precisely because it is the main bearer
of social progress, destined by its position in society, and its own class
needs, to be in the vanguard of every forward-looking movement, therefore
must we recognize that if it is lacking in re-spect for human life and human
integrity, then humanity itself is doomed to retrogression, rebarbarization,
degeneracy and self-destruction. When Robert Minor Ieditor of The Liberator
and The Daily Worker, communist periodicals[ delivered himself of his
fa-mous declaration, "Honesty is a bourgeois virtue," thereby he
calum-niated the labor movement, slandered the working class, gave the
bourgeoisie-whose rule is based upon devices of hypocrisy-an honor they did
not deserve, and by his attack upon the working class, he read himself and
the party he speaks for out of its ranks, out of the ranks too of decent
human beings of any class whatsoever.
Stalin's bloody deeds against the Communist Party, the Soviet State
Apparatus, the Red Army, the Political Police,, the Party Press,, the
Planning Commission, the leaders of industry and agriculture, and the Soviet
peoples serve to complement the fearful crimes he committed against the
Communist International and the labor move-ments in all other countries.
Public trials have been mostly directed against those who were former
oppositionists. But he uses the men whose names he has already blackened and
continues to blacken, the Trotskys and Bukharins, chiefly to frame up those
who but yesterday were his closest associates and the leaders of literally
every branch of Soviet life: the entire general staff, the admiralty of the
navy, the CPU Ipolitical policej-all the apparatus of defense internal and
ex-ternal; the premiers and presidents of every autonomous soviet re-public
and region, excepting only three; the party secretaries of every district
but two; 90 percent of the editors of party papers-all the apparatus of
political leadership of the country; already more than a third of the
central committee and two members of the Politburo have been included; two
vice-commissars of foreign affairs and all ambassadors but two-virtually the
entire apparatus of diplomacy; the authors of the five-year plans, heads of
ten departments of the Planning Commission, and a score of state trusts-all
the apparatus of leadership of industry and agriculture; even doctors,
inventors, po-ets, dramatists, composers, sociologists-the apparatus of
cultural life is wrecked by Stalin the arch-wrecker.
He has made infinitely harder the task of those of us who love the Soviet
Union and would make the world understand its wonders of achievement, of
those who would defend it against attack from the ruling class of all lands.
He has murdered his comrades in arms,
spewed such filth upon their names and on the fair name of the Russian
Revolution that all of us feel unclean even to have to dis-cuss this
vileness. Today we can only help the Soviet Union if we succeed in making
clear that Stalinism is the very opposite of what we are aiming at and
defending. Only by exposing Stalinism, only by wiping out its foul
influences, can we redeem the honor of the Rus-sian Revolution and of our
class whose greatest effort in history it so far represents.
Time will not permit me to attempt tonight to give a positive exposition of
the causes of this frightful phenomenon, or the pros-pects of overcoming it.
Our organization is more convinced than ever that we were right in making,
as we did, a clean break with the growing system of corruption in the
Communist International. In retrospect it is clear that we should have done
it earlier. We are more convinced than ever that we were right in denouncing
and breaking with the system that made a world party a tail to a faction in
the Russian party. Even the best of the Russians after Lenin's death, men
like Trotsky, Zinoviev, and Bukharin, failed to understand that. Our
organization is more convinced than ever that today the Soviet Union can go
forward only if the Russian Communists and the Rus-sian working class throw
off the monstrous yoke of Stalinism, that the labor movement elsewhere can
flourish only if it repudiates as vile and obscene the gangster methods and
the traitorous policies of Stalinism.
If I am asked, "Can Stalinism be overthrown?" I answer: "How can Stalinism
possibly continue in power? Has it not taken a path which leads from arrest
to arrest, from forgery to forgery, from mur-der to murder? Is not the
Soviet Union for the first time in a decade without a five-year plan? Is not
Stalin forced by his policies to de-stroy his own tools? Has he not been
obliged to purge a second layer which replaced the first, and a third
replacing the second? Is he not destroying his very base for existence?"
Our task is to make clear what is happening, to redeem the Rus-sian
Revolution from its destroyer, to defend and spread what was positive and
heroic and progressive, and still is so, in the Russian Revolution, to clean
out the seepage of filth that threatens to infect the movement, and to deal
with scrupulous cleanliness, clarity, de-cency, and honesty, and maximum
working class democracy, with the problems of our own working class.

Gould's Book Arcade
32 King St, Newtown, NSW
Ph: 9519-8947
Fax: 9550-5924

Abe Books:
http://dogbert.abebooks.com/abe/BooksBrowsePL?vendorclientid=2899716



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