Editorial: Uphold the banner of communism

Karl Marx

FRFI 103 October/November 1991

The August 1991 counter-revolution in the USSR was a massive blow to the international working class and to the vast majority of humanity. Only hardened anti-Soviet dogmatists and middle-class intellectuals of the imperialist countries, living in affluent conditions afforded them by imperialist plunder of the Third World, could argue otherwise. The collapse of the socialist bloc, for the time being, leaves the imperialist economic and political system without rivals, all the more able to subjugate challenges to its aggressive and expansionist drives.

 

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For Lenin

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no.99 February/March 1991

Lenin brought communism into the 20th century. Leader of the Bolshevik Party and the Russian proletariat, inspiration of the first-ever successful socialist revolution in October 1917 and of the Communist International, Lenin's contribution to the cause of the working class and oppressed is immense. But, ANDY HIGGINBOTTOM argues, social democratic ideologues are determined to destroy every vestige of Leninist influence.

Last year a stream of 'Marxists' were elevated to near celebrity status in bourgeois media. Their brief was not praise Lenin, but to bury him:

‘Lenin, the man, died in 1924. But Lenin, the icon of Soviet power, is meeting its end today . . . Thanks to the revolutions of Eastern Europe, time has run out for Lenin.' (Orlando Figes, The Guardian 30 April 1990)

 

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The Soviet Union and Baltic nationalism

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no.100 April/May 1991

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.gif 

A nationalist upsurge in Soviet republics threatens the break-up of the Soviet Union. In this discussion article, TED TALBOT assesses the communist position on movements for national independence as it applies to the Soviet Union today.

In December 1922 the First All-Union Congress of Soviets declared the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Such a Union was necessary both to combat the threat of internal counter-revolution and external intervention. They believed that it would have been hard to safe-guard Soviet power and the independence of the country, surrounded as it was by militarily strong capitalist powers. This would require uniting to the fullest extent the fraternal Republics’ military, political and diplomatic efforts. The vital interests of all the Soviet peoples and the struggle for socialism demanded the formation of a united multinational socialist state.

 

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Land and Freedom – a distortion of history

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no.128 December 1995/January 1996

land and freedom 

With its subject, the Spanish revolution and civil war of 1936-1939, and its radical socialist director Ken Loach, the urge was to welcome Land and Freedom* and even overlook its weaknesses. After all, in this period of reaction and cynicism, a work of art with a potential mass audience that claims to openly uphold the ideals of socialism is akin to a miracle. But against all wishful expectations, Land and Freedom is an artistic and a political disaster. EDDIE ABRAHAMS argues that it fails to recreate an authentic, living picture of the revolution with its awesome political conflicts and its moving human dramas. It is no tribute to those who fought and died for a noble cause. Nor is it the stuff for a serious discussion of the future of socialism.

 

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Karl Marx 1818-1883: Before all else a revolutionary

Karl Marx

On the bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx on 5 May 1818, we will no doubt see many reflections on the relevance and legacy of his work. Some will claim serious scholarship, others, like a recent Financial Times skit on the Communist Manifesto (‘Life and Arts’, 10 March 2018), will pour scorn on his work.

In the imperialist countries it has become the norm to concede that Marx made an important contribution to economic thought but to deny the Marx who would destroy the capitalist system. It is our hope that at least some of these bicentenary contributions will have the political courage not to separate Marx the revolutionary from Marx the social and economic critic of capitalism.

 

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Imperialism, war and the socialist movement

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 100, April/May 1991

The brief span of the imperialist war against Iraq rekindled some interest in the Marxist position on war, especially as it was developed by Lenin during the first imperialist war. ROBERT CLOUGH examines Lenin’s position and contrasts it with the positions advanced by the British ‘left’ during the Gulf War.

First, the position of revolutionaries vis-à-vis any war depends on a concrete analysis of the political content or substance of that war. How do we disclose and define the substance of a war?

‘War is the continuation of policy. Consequently, we must examine the policy pursued prior to the war, the policy that led to and brought about the war . . . The philistine does not realise that war is “the continuation of policy”, and consequently limits himself to the formula that “the enemy has attacked us”, “the enemy has invaded my country”, without stopping to think what issues are at stake in the war, which classes are waging it, and with what political objects.’ (Collected Works (CW) Vol 23, p33)

In other words, Marxism requires:

‘ . . . an historical analysis of each war in order to determine whether or not that particular war can be considered progressive, whether it serves the interests of democracy and the proletariat and, in that sense, is legitimate, just, etc.’ (CW Vol 23, p32)

 

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Anniversary of the Paris Commune

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 18 - April 1982

On 28 March 1871 the Paris Commune was proclaimed. For two months the Parisian working class ruled themselves in the first organised attempt at workers' power. Ever since then the Commune has been a model of revolutionary heroism rich in lessons for all future generations.

The chauvinism and expansionism of the French regime had caused a war with Prussia. Prussia was winning and advancing into France, and the Paris ‘deputies' (MPs) formed a 'Government of National Defence'. The working class stood firmly behind them, in full force since the great majority of the men were in the National Guard and armed to defend their city.

 

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The Communist tradition: fighting imperialism

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no 6, September/October 1980

Baku: Congress of the Peoples of the East (New Park Publications £2.10)

As the imperialist crisis threatens the whole world once again with a new and even more dangerous conflagration, as the imperialist countries ‘hot up’ the cold war against the Soviet Union and the communist movement, it is important for us to know the issues at stake. The working class of the imperialist countries led by their social democratic parties and trade unions have been brought up with the smug anti-communist ideology of the cold war – an ideology fostered by the relative prosperity of the working class of the imperialist nations in the post-war years. Now that that prosperity is being threatened by the worldwide crisis of the capitalist system, the working class will be forced to reassess its position – it will be forced to take sides.

 

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The Communist Tradition on Ireland - Part One - Marx and Engels on Ireland

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no 7, November/December 1980

The article below is the first of a series of three. Today with the hunger strike in the H-Blocks, the need to understand and act upon the revolutionary significance of the Irish war is more urgent than ever. The communist tradition on Ireland holds a wealth of theoretical, political and tactical lessons for us today. For communists the question of Irish self-determination stands at the heart of the British revolution. This is as true today as it was when Marx first stated it over hundred years ago. Now as then Irish liberation is the pre-condition the British revolution. Communists, as these articles will show, have always stood for the fullest freedom for the Irish people and have waged a determined struggle against those opportunists in the working class movement who have repeatedly betrayed that struggle. This series of articles is therefore of immense importance for communists and revolutionaries in Britain.

‘The policy of Marx and Engels on the Irish question serves as a splendid example of the attitude the proletariat of the oppressor nation should adopt towards national movements, an example which has lost none of its immense practical importance ...’ (Lenin)

Over 100 years ago Marx and Engels laid the foundation for a consistent communist standpoint on Ireland. Through their work on Ireland in the First International they were able to develop a proletarian policy towards national liberation movements not only for the British working class but for the international working class movement as a whole. That policy as we shall see, has lost none of its practical importance for the struggle to build a communist movement today.

 

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Marcus Garvey: communists assess his political outlook as a guide for action today

garvey haywood

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no 85 - March 1989

In the first part of this century, Marcus Garvey (left) built a powerful black organisation in the United States. Harry Haywood (right) of the Communist Party of the USA called Garvey's UNIA the 'first great nationalist movement', but criticised its diversion 'into reactionary separatist channels'. Today, the debate continues. Labour opportunists and black nationalists are promoting Garvey's outlook as a guide for anti-racist action today. EDDIE ABRAHAMS and SUSAN DAVIDSON examine the communist standpoint on the heritage of Marcus Garvey.

 

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Belfast-Brixton: Forces of revolution / The death of Bobby Sands

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 10 May/June 1981

Every severe crisis of a social system brings forward something new. It pushes to the fore those forces which represent the future and shows ever more clearly the bankruptcy of those forces which desperately try to hold onto the past. The present crisis of British imperialism is no exception.

Bobby Sands was an irreconcilable enemy of British imperialism. By the age of 18 he had already joined the revolutionary forces of the IRA to drive Britain out of Ireland. The whole might of the British state could not break his revolutionary spirit. That is why he was slowly and barbarically tortured to death in a British concentration camp. Bobby Sands has become a symbol, a shining light to those fighting oppression throughout the world. Apologists for imperialism from every quarter, from the Pope to the European Human Rights Commission to the millionaire Irish Prime Minister Haughey tried to persuade him to give up his struggle and to betray his revolutionary cause. They failed. He knew they were hand-in-glove with British imperialism, only concerned to prevent the revolutionary anger that, with his death, would burst onto the streets of Ireland. The murder of Bobby Sands has shown once again that you cannot reason with imperialism. The massive peaceful protests during the hunger strikes, the widespread international support were of no avail. Peaceful protest will not move British imperialism. 'Democracy' in the Six-Counties is only evoked by British Governments when it strengthens British imperialist rule. Bobby Sands' election victory did not alter the British Government's position at all. The long struggle of the Irish people for freedom has demonstrated once again that imperialism only moves when it is confronted by revolutionary force. As Owen Carron, election agent of Bobby Sands said, at his funeral:

‘We must take what they will not give ... There is no way in which freedom can be obtained, and when obtained maintained, except by armed men'.

 

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May 1968

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no 78 – May/June 1988

may68

May '68: the year of street fighting men, France in turmoil, the black movement in the USA, the universities occupied, the student sit-in and the Tet offensive. CAROL BRICKLEY examines four books on the 1968 upheaval. TREVOR RAYNE analyses the Vietnamese struggle which forged ahead against the mightiest imperialist power.

 

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Hands off Russia - The Russian Revolution and The British Labour Movement

russian revolution
Red Guards defending the Smolny during the Revolution

In 2017 we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the beginning of the most important struggle for socialism, peace and progress in history. Throughout the year, FRFI has carried articles analysing the lessons of the Bolshevik Revolution. In FRFI 260 we concluded a series of articles on the history of the Russian Revolution by looking at the momentous events of October. Below, we republish a further article, first published in FRFI 73 in December 1987, which looks at the response of the British labour movement to the revolution – the solidarity and militant organisation of the revolutionary left, and the opportunism, hostility and betrayal by the leaders of the Labour Party and trade union movement.

The full series of articles, as well as others looking at revolutionary Russia, can be found on our website at: revolutionarycommunist.org/1917


Hands off Russia - The Russian Revolution and The British Labour Movement

In March 1917 a British Labour delegation was allowed to travel to Russia in an effort to shore up the determination of the Provisional government to stay in the war.

One of the Labour delegation was Will Thorne, formerly militant Gas Workers leader taught to read and write by Eleanor Marx, proudly wearing an expensive fur coat given to him for the journey by Attorney-General FE Smith who was leading court actions against left-wing militants at the time. As The Socialist (newspaper of the Socialist Labour Party) commented Thorne and FE Smith had more than a fur coat in common. The February Revolution was hailed both by the leadership of the British labour movement and the Coalition government. The Parliamentary motion to send a telegram of greetings was moved by Bonar Law, Conservative Leader of the House. The massive Leeds Convention, 3 June 1917, revealed the enthusiasm of the labour leaders and the left.

 

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Communism and national liberation: The legacy of the Comintern

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 95 June/July 1990

The relationship between communism and the struggle for national liberation is a crucial question for the revolutionary movement. Robert Clough's article assesses the debate on this question in the Comintern. This is a discussion article and does not necessarily reflect the views of FRFI.

Communists today recognise that the leadership of the struggle for socialism has passed to the oppressed nations of the world. Since the end of the last war, revolutionary regimes have been established in Yugoslavia, Albania, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Nicaragua, Grenada, Mozambique and Angola, however temporarily, and whatever the problems that those countries face today. There has been no consistent revolutionary challenge within any of the imperialist nations during that time, however. Readers of FRFI will need no detailed analysis as to why no revolutionary movement has emerged in the oppressor nations: the wealth of such states, derived parasitically at the expense of the mass of the oppressed, has been partly diverted to bribe a substantial layer of the working class into accepting and supporting the maintenance of capitalism. ROBERT CLOUGH argues that what is worth studying is how the communist movement came to understand that this would be the case, and to look at the debates in which the new conditions were grasped at a theoretical level.

 

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War and the Soviet Union: The Soviet victory over fascism

hitler head

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! no. 49 May 1985

Who wants war? The British and American governments continually claim that they are only involved in the armaments race in order to defend the 'free' world against the aggressive, expansionist ambitions of the Soviet Union and its socialist allies. Yet an honest investigation of the 1939-45 war, the only world-wide open armed conflict between imperialist and socialist powers clearly shows that the imperialist nations were the aggressors. The causes of the present arms race lie here — after suffering enormous devastation in that war, the Soviet Union and its allies are forced to maintain armed forces to defend themselves against imperialist aggression.

CAUSES OF THE WAR

The basic cause of the war was the rivalry between the leading imperialist powers. After the end of the 1914-18 war, Britain and France had imposed on Germany the Versailles Treaty (1919), which prevented her from re-arming and greatly weakened her economically. The Nazis, who came to power in 1933, sought to re-establish Germany as a major imperialist power. In all his writings and speeches, Hitler had made no secret of his admiration for the British Empire, as the embodiment of his theory of the 'master race' — he simply wanted Germany to have an empire of the same kind. His other major aim was to destroy the Soviet Union, just as he had destroyed the communist and labour movement in Germany.

 

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October: Russia 1917 Part 7

russian revolution october 1917 vladimir ilyich lenin ulyanov 1870 1924 russian revolutionary anonymous

Centenary the Bolshevik Revolution 1917–2017

In 2017 we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the beginning of the most important struggle for socialism, peace and progress in history. Throughout the year, FRFI has carried articles analysing the lessons of the Bolshevik Revolution. In FRFI 259 we examined the developments up to Kornilov’s attempted coup in August 1917. Below, we conclude the series with an article by Patrick Newman first published in FRFI 72 in October 1987, which looks at the momentous events of the October Revolution.

October

Lenin now realised that the time had come for an armed uprising in Petrograd and Moscow, the seizure of power and the overthrow of the government. The majority of the people were on the side of the Bolsheviks.

Kornilov’s attempted coup had been thwarted, yet the forces backing it – the industrialists, the bourgeois parties and the Allies – were undefeated. The conspirators were kept in reserve for another attempt. Only five arrests were made, and Kornilov placed under merely nominal detention. Events were moving rapidly towards the October revolution – the seizure of state power.

 

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October: the revisionism of China Miéville

mieville

October: The Story of the Russian Revolution by China Mieville, Verso, £18.99

China Miéville's October: The Story of the Russian Revolution, attempts to portray the revolutionary events of 1917 in the form of a partisan novel, as a skilled fiction writer – and ex-SWP organiser – turns his pen to history. Aimed at new readers, Miéville's month-by-month narrative paints a 'tide of acceleration' of the revolution which is at times gripping, capturing the days that shook the world in vivid colours, encouraging the reader to be inspired by the 1917 revolutionaries. However, despite his dramatic account, for Miéville, the revolution was flawed by what he sees as a failure of Lenin and the Bolsheviks to unite with the social democrats and form a 'unity government' with left-leaning Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs). LOUIS BREHONY argues that not only was this impossible, but that Miéville's seemingly revolutionary ideas are consistent with his and with the British left’s support for a Labour Party dedicated to the survival of British capitalism.

 

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Lenin and the Bolshevik Party

From Revolutionary Communist 6, 1976

Presidium of the 9th Congress of the Russian Communist Party Bolsheviks

This is an extended review of Tony Cliff’s Lenin: Volume One: Building the Party. London: Pluto Press Limited, 1975. Hardback and paperback editions. It is a slightly abridged version of an article of the same title in Revolutionary Marxist Papers 8, July 1976.

Please also see the Editorial from Revolutionary Communist 6 which made criticisms of certain aspects of the argument put forward in this review. 


Tony Cliff, the leader of the International Socialism group of Great Britain, has written the first volume of a projected three volume political biography of Lenin. The first volume deals with the period ending in 1914, and its subtitle, Building the Party, indicates Cliff’s main focus: How did a handful of Russian Marxists manage to construct the most successful mass revolutionary workers’ party in history, the only party which proved able to lead the proletariat to the conquest of state power and then to consolidate and defend that conquest in the face of the ferocious international capitalist reaction?

Writing in the magazine International Socialism, another IS spokesman Duncan Hallas assesses Cliff’s Lenin in the most glowing terms: ‘This book is the most important work on the theory and practice of building a socialist organisation that has appeared for a long time. As a biography it has its faults. It would be no great exaggeration to say that it might well have been called Building the Party – Illustrated from the Life of Lenin. No matter. A manual for revolutionaries – and that is what we have here – is needed more urgently than a fully rounded biography. This is a work whose lessons can and must be applied to the practical tasks of party building.’

 

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Counter-revolution defeated: Russia 1917 Part 6

General Kornilov
General Lavr Kornilov

Centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution 1917–2017

In 2017 we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the beginning of the most important struggle for socialism, peace, and progress in history. Throughout the year, FRFI is carrying articles which analyse the lessons of the Bolshevik Revolution. In FRFI 258 we examined the developments up to July 1917. Below, we continue the series with an edited version of an article by Patrick Newman first published in FRFI 71 in September 1987, which looks at Kornilov’s attempted coup.


Counter-revolution defeated

After the July days, the masses had fallen back in confusion. Would the forces of reaction seize the opportunity to crush them? In earlier proletarian revolutions – France 1848, 1871 and Russia 1905 – the bourgeoisie was able to wreak a terrible revenge, killing thousands of workers. But in Russia 1917 the counter-revolution was too weak to take advantage of its most favourable moment.

 

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Women in the Revolution

Alexandra Kollontai
Alexandra Kollontai

It was on International Working Women’s Day in 1917 that women factory workers came out onto the streets of Petrograd and joined workers at the Putilov Works who were protesting against government food rationing. There was a growing resentment against the Tsarist regime, and women in particular wanted to show their dissatisfaction, not only with the lack of food, but with the increasingly unpopular war that had been devastating Europe for over two years. The Bolsheviks had been vocal opponents of the war since its outbreak in 1914 and this fact helped strengthen their position. Women workers came out on the streets and marched to nearby factories to recruit over 50,000 workers for strike action. The government tried to stop the demonstrations but women boldly went against the advice of their union leaders and spoke with soldiers who then refused to open fire on the demonstrations and turned their weapons instead against the Tsarist forces. The influence that women had in the February revolution was significant. The changes brought about as a result of this and the later October revolution did more to advance women’s emancipation than anything that had come before and would change the history of the world forever. Lucy Roberts reports.

 

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150 years of Capital

‘It is without question the most terrible missile that has yet been hurled at the heads of the bourgeoisie.’ – Marx

‘As long as there have been capitalists and workers on earth, no book has appeared which is of as much importance for the workers.’ – Engels

 ‘Marx caught

                                the pilferers

                                                                of surplus-value

                                                                                                with their pelf

red-handed’ – Vladimir Mayakovsky

‘This is the source, here we learnt everything together, in fits and starts, searching what is still barely intuition’ – Che Guevara

‘When I read Marx’s Capital, I understood my plays.’ – Bertolt Brecht

‘It is hard to conceive of any more devastating attack against social democracy in all its aspects than Capital.’ – Sergei Eisenstein

‘The greatest work on political economy of our age.’ – Lenin

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14 September 2017 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Marx’s life's work, Capital. The truths of this titanic work have been ‘refuted’, over and over, a million times, by a gaggle of bourgeois professors since its birth, yet its conclusions continue to be confirmed, decade after decade, by crisis-ridden capitalism. Why is Capital so important to the revolutionary socialist movement? Capital is a ‘Critique of Political Economy’, according to Marx’s subtitle. Why are we talking about ‘Political Economy’ at all? Why should we be criticising it? What has it got to do with the practical work of fighting for socialism?

 

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A new path for socialism? Revolutionary renewal in the Soviet Union and Cuba

Revolutionary Communist Group pamphlet from 1989, featuring articles from
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

new pamphlet

Introduction

Gorbachev's new path for Soviet Socialism

1. A return to Leninist principles?

2. The limits of co-existence

3. Disarmament and human rights: Gorbachev at the United Nations

4. Gorbachev in Havana and London

Castro and the Cuban road to socialism

5. Castro deepens the revolution

6. Cuba's transition to socialism

7. In defence of socialism

Afghanistan

8. Soviet troops leave Afghanistan

9. Afghanistan turns tables on Washington

 

Afghanistan turns tables on Washington

A new path for socialism? Revolutionary renewal in the Soviet Union and Cuba – from FRFI 87, June 1989

independent 1993 1 1

When the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan on 15 February there was a great deal of crowing in the US and British press about 'the defeat of communism', 'freedom on the march' and such like. Afghanistan was about to fall into the hands of the counter-revolutionary Mojahedin. So, on 6 March the Mojahedin attacked Jalalabad, 'the gateway to Kabul', intending to establish their 'provisional government' in this city close to the Pakistan border. It would fall 'in a few days'. Nine weeks later the siege of Jalalabad was broken by the Afghan army and patriotic volunteers; the news-vendors sang a different tune: 'These days nobody talks of capturing Kabul. The snows have thawed and excuses run out.' (Financial Times, 15 May 1989)

 

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Soviet troops leave Afghanistan

A new path for socialism? Revolutionary renewal in the Soviet Union and Cuba – from
FRFI 85, March 1989

soviet afghanistan

The withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, which was completed on 15 February 1989, represents a serious setback for the country's democratic and progressive forces. It has substantially reduced the ability of the PDPA (People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan) to resist the counter-revolutionary Mojahedin.

The imperialists are gloating. They are predicting and, indeed, working to bring about the collapse of President Najibullah's government. As Soviet troops withdrew, British and US imperialists, hoping to whip up popular opposition to the government, prevented desperately needed UN food aid reaching Kabul. In breach of the Geneva agreements, President Bush has just advanced the Mojahedin another $200m to continue its reactionary war against the Afghan government.

 

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In defence of socialism

A new path for socialism? Revolutionary renewal in the Soviet Union and Cuba – from FRFI 85, March 1989

frfi

‘Less than 75 years after it officially began, the contest between capitalism and socialism is over: capitalism has won.' (New Yorker 23 January 1989)

‘We face a tremendous historical challenge. Who will win? Who will prevail? The selfish, chaotic and inhumane capitalist regime? Or the more rational and humane socialist system? This is the challenge which now faces not just Cuban youth and the Cuban people, but the youth and people of all the socialist countries.’ (Fidel Castro Granma 29 January 1989)

 

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Cuba's transition to socialism

A new path for socialism? Revolutionary renewal in the Soviet Union and Cuba – from
FRFI 82, November/December 1988

castro che

Recent issues of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! have dealt with the debate on the transition to socialism. This debate so far has been dominated by the dramatic changes underway in the Soviet Union under perestroika and glasnost. Capitalist ideologists have seen in the Soviet reforms a vindication of capitalist principles and social norms. The left in Britain, politically and ideologically retreating before Thatcherism, has been unable and unwilling to attempt a serious defence of Marxism-Leninism. Cuba has been engaged in a process of 'rectification' since 1986. This has provided Fidel Castro with the material for assessing the transition to socialism in a third world country. His analysis, however, has produced conclusions that have a more general validity. They represent a major defence of Marxism-Leninism in the face of the systematic retreat widespread in the communist movement today. That is why so far his ideas have either been ridiculed or ignored in Britain. Here we reprint extracts from Castro's speeches with a commentary.

 

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Castro deepens the revolution

A new path for socialism? Revolutionary renewal in the Soviet Union and Cuba  from FRFI 63, October 1986

castro deepens revolution

In a series of speeches and analyses made in 1986, Cuban President Fidel Castro launched a 'strategic counter-offensive' aimed at strengthening the socialist revolution against the revival of capitalist and petty-bourgeois tendencies within Cuban society. Neither history nor geography have afforded Cuba the luxury of resting upon its revolutionary laurels. Its relative underdevelopment and close proximity to the United States have demanded heightened vigilance, greater efforts, and the firming of principles from the Cuban communists.

 

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Gorbachev in Havana and London

A new path for socialism? Revolutionary renewal in the Soviet Union and Cuba from FRFI 86, April/May 1989

gorb havana

Mikhail Gorbachev's visit to Cuba and Britain, immediately following on from Margaret Thatcher's tour of a number of African countries, gives us another opportunity to examine some aspects of the relation between socialism and imperialism.

 

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Disarmament and human rights: Gorbachev at the United Nations

A new path for socialism? Revolutionary renewal in the Soviet Union and Cuba  from
FRFI 83, January 1989

thatcher gorbachev.si 1

Socialists will welcome Mikhail Gorbachev's initiative at the United Nations on 7 December 1988. The decision by the Soviet Union to make substantial unilateral cuts in Soviet troops, tanks, artillery and combat aircraft throws down a challenge to the imperialists. Are they prepared, even able, to take the path of disarmament and peace?

 

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The limits of co-existence

A new path for socialism? Revolutionary renewal in the Soviet Union and Cuba from
FRFI 81, September 1988

gorb bush

The dramatic events unfolding in the Soviet Union offer a unique opportunity to reassess what is, in fact, the very short history of socialism. It is an opportunity to learn crucial lessons and, yes, to voice criticism, but only as a means to strengthen the communist movement. This is a comment on Patrick Newman's series on Gorbachev's 70th Anniversary speech. The imperialists will use the process of self-criticism going on in the Soviet Union to discredit it and all it has accomplished. There are others, so-called socialists, who will only be concerned to use it as a means to promote their own narrow opportunist political dogma. The Eurocommunist wing of the CPGB sees Gorbachev's programme as the ideological counterpart and historical justification for their own 'new realism'. The Socialist Workers' Party, and other trotskyist organisations, use it as a means to justify their continuing support for every kind of reactionary opposition in the socialist countries themselves. The communist movement has nothing to gain from any of these currents.

 

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Gorbachev's New Path for Soviet Socialism: A return to Leninist principles?

A new path for socialism? Revolutionary renewal in the Soviet Union and Cuba (from FRFI 80 August 1988)

19th all union conference

'Nothing of this kind has occurred in this country for nearly six decades,' said Mikhail Gorbachev in his closing speech to the 19th All-Union Conference of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). For four days between 28 June and 1 July 1988, 5,000 delegates participated in an historic event, the most open, political debate held in the Soviet Union in their lifetimes.

 

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