The Reactionary and the Polish Embassy Picket5
28/01/2018 by socialistfight
The New Communist Party of Britain supported by Socialist Fight and the British Posadists mounted a protest picket outside the Polish embassy in London on 25 January to protest the arrests of communist party members and socialists and the banning of communist symbols and banners and the destruction of WWII memorials, a common practice now begun in Ukraine after the Maidan coup of February 2014, through Hungary and seen in the desecration of the Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 21 January by the fascist Golden Dawn.
A Polish couple approached who said they were “Polish patriots” and had the banner picture here. It read, “Nuremburg for Communism, Communism = Nazism with the claim that communism had killed 100 million in 100 years. The man was clearly a reactionary but he had a few points about the August 1944 Warsaw Uprising and other things.
Stalin’s bureaucracy fought WWII against the Nazis as a ‘great patriotic war’ and this war was specifically against the rights of oppressed nations, it was racially anti-German, and anti-working class; all the Germans were Nazis said Stalin and he made no call to encourage the German working class to rise up against Hitler because their liberation was at hand. Berlin was defended by boys and girls and old men and women because they knew that the “Red Army” was coming to kill and rape them. The ‘Red Army’ either allowed the Nazis to crush workers’ uprisings or crushed them themselves to defeat attempts at socialist revolution in Eastern Europe. By far the worst example was the Warsaw uprising when the “Red Army” halted for sixty long days and its air force gave no assistance although only five minutes flying time away whilst they watched the destruction of the city and the massacre of its inhabitants without lifting a finger to assist them.
About 16,000 Polish resistance fighters were killed and between 150,000 and 200,000 Polish civilians perished, mainly mass executed. During the urban combat approximately 25% of Warsaw’s buildings were destroyed.
Following the surrender of Polish forces, German troops systematically levelled another 35% of the city block by block. Together with earlier damage suffered in the 1939 invasion of Poland and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943, over 85% of the city was destroyed by January 1945, when events in the Eastern Front forced the Nazis to abandon the city.
Out of 350,000–550,000 civilians who passed through the camp, 90,000 were sent to labour camps in the Third Reich. Many Jews hidden by Poles in Warsaw were discovered in searches and shipped to death in Nazi concentration camps, including Ravensbrück, Auschwitz, and Mauthausen.
Surrender of the Warsaw Uprising resistance, 5 October 1944 – Communists and leftist combatants were immediately executed. Jewish civilians were sent to concentration camps or were mass executed by the Nazis while the Red Army looked on and offered no assistance for 60 long days. Polish Home Army was sent to POW camps.
The Eastern Front remained static in the Vistula sector, with the Soviets making no attempt to push forward, until the Vistula–Oder Offensive began on 12 January 1945. Warsaw was liberated on 17 January 1945 by the Red Army and the First Polish Army.
This was a great crime by Stalin and the reactionary man with the anti-communist banner could point to these crimes to justify his reaction. Trotskyists, whilst supporting the Red Army against Nazism, were never uncritical of the appalling counter-revolutionary methods used by Stalin to fight that war. ▲
The above acceptance of a stream of fascist nonsense from the Polish reactionary shows how low unadulterated Trotskyite anti-communism sinks.
Even the bourgeois Wikipedia entry on these events says this: “Regardless of Stalin’s political intentions, there could be alternate logistic reasons why the Soviet forces could not provide aid to Warsaw. One alternate explanation which has been given for the lack of early support is that the uprising began too early and the nearby Soviet forces could not fight their road to the city to support. Before and at the time of uprising, the German army started a massive Panzer force counterattack near Warsaw.”
The notions that in this greatest ever war fought in human history all Red Army forces were fighting against the working class, and against socialist revolution is breathtakingly absurd and disgusting.
Why did the Polish Home Army start the Uprising before Soviet forces were ready to cross the Vistula? It was only to attempt to secure the city BEFORE the arrival of the Red Army.
As the Wikipedia entry makes clear, Soviet forces were in ferocious battle all round the edges of Warsaw to secure bridgeheads. The weakly-armed Polish Home Army should have waited until Soviet forces were entering the city before rising to HELP the Red Army. They didn’t want to do this, and did not want to co-ordinate actions and paid a terrible price.
The Polish petty-bourgeoisie and officer class, drenched in Catholicism, by then had a long history of virulent Russophobia and anti-communism. Stalin certainly did not trust them one inch. The Home Army would have been well advised to go out of their way to make themselves useful to the Soviet forces, who by then had fought across hundreds of miles of territory, losing hundreds of thousands of lives.
All during the war as reports came into Moscow of the scale of the monstrous Nazi crimes inflicted on the Soviet people and the scale of the fight needed, the Stalin leadership reacted by trying to step up the fighting spirit of the Russian forces in propaganda and abuse of the German forces.
But once the war was won and the East European workers states were established, there was no carry-over of any racial, ethnic or other such hostilities.
It was the West that slaughtered hundreds of thousands of non-combatants in a vicious, anti-communist and pro-imperialist way in the bombings of Berlin, fire-bombings of Dresden, Tokyo and nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki etc.
It was the West that spirited Nazis to South America, that protected Franco post-war, that kept Hirohito as emperor etc and that kept so many Nazis in key state positions in West Germany, including such notorious bastards as Klaus Barbie and Nazi spy chief Reinhard Gehlen.
There is so much dirty history to what really happened in the Second World War and how the West used Nazis post-war that should be used to shame all bourgeois democracies with – so why do you want to smear and slander the USSR’s actions against Nazism?
So put the Vistula to one side for a minute, and consider why the stinking capitalist “democratic” West did not mount a massive second front across (Franco neutral?) Spain, Italy or the Channel (D Day) until the Red Army had already smashed the Nazi forces at Stalingrad, Kursk (greatest tank battle in human history) and Kharkov?
30 million Soviet people died because of the Nazi invasion, which had been egged on by the West throughout the 1930s.
“Hurrah for the Blackshirts!” said much of the Fleet Street press and US media. Death to Bolshevism.
Who on earth wants to join in such filthy thinking and propaganda against the Land of October?
In order to help the fight for socialism a real study of history is needed with real conviction and belief in the role and importance of workers states and armed forces and state leadership.
The bad revisionism in Moscow’s thinking needs throwing out; but not the precious baby of proletarian state leadership and proletarian dictatorship to crush the bourgeoisie.
The usual stream of consciousness of Stalinist nostaglia. Problem is, all the things you are cheerleading for are dead, and can never be revived. This is an odd form of political necrophilia.
The revisionism is clear though: “real conviction and belief in the role and importance of workers states and armed forces and state leadership.”
A workers state is supposed to be a semi-state, that begins the process of its self-dissolution as soon as it is created. Therefore this ‘conviction’ of the ‘role and importance’ of ‘armed forces and state leadership’ is just the cult of Stalin in academic language. On the road back to capitalism from the revolution, the state indeed acquired a significance fundamentally different from the ‘semi-state’ Lenin projected in ‘State and Revolution’. That did not stop Stalin from butchering the USSR’s most capable military leaders, including Tukheshevsky and Trotsky. who had actually defeated the whites. In the pursuit of ‘armed forces and state leadership’, i.e. consolidating the ‘totalitarian regime of fear, lies and flattery’ Stalin was butchering those capable of giving revolutionary leadership.
No doubt the Polish insurgents did try to pre-empt Stalin, for a variety of reasons. Some feared great Russian oppression. Some feared the capitalists and landlords would be sooner of later bureaucratically expropriated as they were in Eastern Poland in the period of the Stalin-Hitler pact. Some feared that Stalin would crush the working class.
Revolutionary leadership would be trying to drive wedges between them on class lines, and helping the working class elements to separate and defeat the bourgeois elements. But the bureaucracy personified by Stalin, fearing all of these varied elements, decided that Hitler was the lesser evil to all of them for a little while, just to see them off and solve the political problem for him. Once again, Stalinism revealed its counterrevolutionary nature, and in due course down the road the revolution was liquidated by the same bureaucracy.
This is nonsense. Constant talk of Stalin “butchering the Red Army leadership prior to WW2” is philosophically equivalent to the Catholic concept of “original sin”.
“A crime was committed, therefore all men must be evil for ever more.”
This is not Marxist class historic analysis.
In Stalin’s day, despite the revisionism and frequent bad advice and policies, the USSR was constructed, collectivisation was accomplished, the Nazis were defeated, China was helped to build up its Revolution, the Eastern European socialist states were established and the USSR helped many other countries fight colonialism.
The 1941 Hitler-Stalin Pact came after years of Soviet efforts for the West to agree to confront Hitler alongside the USSR. The West wanted the USSR crushed.
So Molotov signs the Pact to disrupt the global imperialist war plan. It is a diplomatic master-stroke.
But the Germans were not happy about what happened when a similar pact was made with Russia at the end of WW1, signed by the Leninist leadership at Brest-Litovsk, when too many revolts broke out in German areas of control. They told the Soviets this could not happen again – they were not to be treated as fools.
The USSR was obliged to rein in activities in such areas under the Hitler-Stalin pact.
How far Lenin would have gone in similar circumstances is a moot point.
But despite the unfortunate revisionism-led mishandling that went on in the 1941 pact it was a triumph of cunning state diplomacy, screwed over the reactionaries in the West, and gave the USSR another 2 years to prepare its army and industry for the inevitable massive conflict with Hitler’s hordes.
The crime of Stalin in murdering the Red Army’s Bolshevik cadre does not taint ‘all men’. It taints his regime, both because of the cost in human terms and because of the loss of revolutionary cadre whose replacements were far inferior and in most cases hacks.
The historical proof of this is that it was forces within this regime, or rather the next generation of the same bureaucracy, that liquidated the conquests of the revolution. The bureaucracy that bore Stalin to power and which his regime cemented in place did that. The bureaucratic petit-bourgeois elite had no programmatic attachment to the revolution and collectivised property. Only the revolutionary working class has such a programmatic loyalty.
There is no comparison between the Stalin-Hitler pact and Brest Litovsk. Stalin was not ‘obliged’ to ‘rein in’ activities against Hitler just as he was not ‘obliged’ to supress the working class revolution in Spain.
He did it because for the bureaucracy ‘socialism in one country’ meant opposition to any genuine workers revolution anywhere else. Stalin knew that any new working class revolution elsewhere would mean the end of his regime as it was based on the isolation of the first workers state. End the isolation and the whole programmatic rationale for Stalinism – socialism in one country – becomes defunct.
The Bolsheviks at Brest-Litovsk had world revolution as their strategy. Stalin by 1939 was shooting anyone who had a world-revolutionary strategy.
Why did the Stalin regime help the Spanish Republican forces and the associated communist movement at all then in Spain in the 1930s – at great risk of provoking even closer collaboration between German-Italian-Franco fascism and the imperialist USA and Britain, which might have ganged up to have another go at the Bolsheviks?
Why spend so much money and make so much effort if your real motivation was to let them all go hang in Spain? Why try to make progress there at all?
It doesn’t make any sense.
Same with the Chinese socialist revolution. Why not help the Nationalist forces alone if the motivation was to shoot down the workers and peasants? Or why not just not get involved and stay out of any trouble and expense all together?
Comrade Ian’s Trotskyist line does not make any sense at all.
It also completely flies in the face of all Lenin’s views about building a strong socialist state. If Lenin wanted the state to be just amateurish bunches of militia why did he set up an all-powerful Cheka (forerunner of the KGB)? Why was Trotsky himself charged with building up a mighty Red Army?
How would comrade Ian distinguish his views from anti-leadership, anti-state anarchism – one of the worst historic enemies of Marxism?
There is no such thing as a “semi-state”. In Marxist understanding (Marx and Engels, then Lenin) the state is defined as “bodies of armed men and women”. Nor is there such a thing as a “deformed workers state”.
That would mean a state where the people or the guns or the tanks were only half-built or always deformed with bent gun barrels. It is a nonsense.
The early Bolshevik state under Lenin was in a feeble condition with a lack of all manner of things – trained men, weaponry, food etc. They still won the Russian Civil War under terrible circumstances of 14 armies invading from the West and East, and constant betrayals from their own ranks, anarchists, freed POWs, Czech army etc – see Evan Maudsley’s excellent (if non-communist) book on the subject.
The Stalin regime saw off the “Left” and Right Opposition factionalising and got on with industrialising Russia. They built up the workers state and despite their popular-frontist confusions and other revisionist weaknesses got on with building socialism.
Once Trotsky was kicked out of Russia he SUBJECTIVELY turned against the Bolshevik leadership even more.
Lenin wrote reams against the non-Bolshevik Trotsky before the revolution, and reams afterwards, whenever Trotsky lapsed into factionalising, “revolutionary” phrase-mongering or bureaucratic thinking. See Lenin vs Trotsky books from Progress or Lenin’s Collected Works.
Lenin, even using NEP, was all for building socialism in one country, and specifically ridicules Trotsky’s pre-October 1917 slogan of “For a United Socialist States of Europe” precisely because it would appear to rule out making the socialist revolution in ONE COUNTRY first.
Lenin also castigated Trotsky’s “Permanent Revolution” theory for Trotsky’s slogan (alongside Parvus) of “No Tsar but a Workers Government” which Lenin explained would dangerously ignore the revolutionary role of the poor peasantry and weaken the revolutionary forces.
Get acquainted with Lenin’s works in the battles with the Mensheviks, and you will constantly see Lenin referring to Trotsky as a poseur, a charlatan and an opportunist.
Trotsky did some good work UNDER LENIN, but his ego and conceit just would not let him work as a team player within the Stalin regime, and the split that Lenin feared in his Last Testament occurred.
The Stalin group’s revisionism – best defined as retreats from Leninism – was very damaging to the USSR, and did directly lead to the Gorbachev liquidation in the end.
But to critique this tragedy you need to read lots of Lenin on the building of socialism and on the trouble with the need to build up state administration, which is bound to result in bureaucratic practices.
But Lenin is utterly scathing about those, in particular Trotsky, who say that the problems of bureaucracy can be stopped overnight. These evils will be with us for years to come and whoever says differently is a charlatan, Lenin explains. See the CPSU trade union debate of 1922.