By concentrating capital in the hands of the state, state capitalism has created the illusion that private ownership of the means of production has disappeared and that the bourgeoisie has been eliminated. The Stalinist theory of ‘socialism’ in one country, the whole lie of the ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’ countries, or of countries ‘on the road’ to socialism, all have their origins in this mystification.
We are publishing an interview with Marc Chirik in which he talks in some detail about the revolutionary movement during the Second World War. Marc, a founding member of the ICC, had also been one of that small handful of revolutionaries who stood up to the enormous ideological and physical pressures of the “war against fascism” and who throughout the conflict remained loyal to the fundamental principles of internationalism, defended by Lenin, Luxemburg and others during the “war to end wars” of 1914-18.
Poland, twenty years ago, in the summer of 1980, there began the
most important movement of the world proletariat’s struggle
since the end of the revolutionary wave, which broke out during
World War I and continued until the beginning of the 1920s. In
today’s conditions, when the dominant ideology dismisses the
idea that the working class even exists, let alone that it can act
as a force in defence of its interests, it is essential for
revolutionary organisations to remind workers of the most
extensive outbreak of working class struggle for almost 80 years.
Ten years ago exactly, there
took place one of the most important events of the second half of
the 20th century: the collapse of the Eastern
imperialist bloc and of Europe’s Stalinist regimes, including
the largest of them, the USSR itself.
Understanding the nature of the Stalinist system is a key aspect of the communist programme: without such an understanding, it would be impossible for communists to outline clearly what kind of society they are fighting for, to describe what socialism is and what it is not. But the clarity that communists have today about the nature of the USSR was not easily attained...
Stalinism has been the
spearhead of the most terrible counter-revolution that the proletariat has
undergone throughout its history: a counter-revolution which made possible
World War II, the greatest slaughter of all times, and which plunged the whole
of society into a hitherto unparalleled barbarism. Today, as the economies of
the so-called "socialist" countries collapse and with the de facto
disappearance of the imperialist bloc dominated by the USSR,
Stalinism as a political and economic form of capitalism and as an ideology is
in its death-throes. One of the working class' greatest enemies is dying; this
will not make life any the easier for it, quite the contrary. As it dies,
Stalinism is doing capitalism one last good turn. This is what we propose to
demonstrate in the following article.
The recent events in countries under Stalinist
regimes, the confrontations between Party bosses and repression in China, the
nationalist explosions and workers' struggles in the USSR, the constitution of
a government led by Solidarnosc in Poland, are events of great historical
importance. They reveal Stalinism's historic crisis, its entry into a period of
acute convulsions. In this sense, they demand that we reaffirm and update our
analysis of these regimes' nature and, of the perspectives for their evolution.