Posts Tagged ‘communism’

Italian communists in Stalin’s gulags

April 16, 2008

Introduction

Bob Gould

The following document is from Prometeo, translated by the British Communist Workers Organisation’s Revolutionary Perspectives. It is of considerable historical interest.

Dante Corneli, the Italian communist survivor of the gulag who spent the next 20 years of his life building a literary monument to the hundreds of Italian Communists of his generation murdered in Stalin’s prisons, was brought to my attention at an international history conference in Sydney a few years ago, when his project was described by a visiting Italian historian.

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The Breaking Point, a review

January 31, 2008

Jenny Haines

The Breaking Point, Hemingway, Dos Passos and the Murder of Jose Robles, by Stephen Koch, Robson Books, 2006

When I was given The Breaking Point, as a birthday present, I approached the book with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. The title alone spark my interest, but I am not a fan of murder mysteries. But this is no ordinary murder mystery.

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Jean Devanny, romantic revolutionary

January 18, 2006

Jean Devanney, Romantic Revolutionary, by Carol Ferrier, Melbourne University Press, 1999

Jenny Haines

Jean Devanney is  a fascinating figure in Australian literary and radical history, often forgotten now despite her prodigous contribution, probably because of her association with the Communist Party. Carole Ferrier has more than done her justice in this comprehensive biography.

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Reclaim Lenin from “Leninists” and “Leninism”. Part II

May 6, 2004

Part I


Bob Gould

Part II of a Critique of Doug Lorimer’s article, The Bolshevik Party and “Zinovievism”: Comments on a Caricature of Leninism, in Links (No. 24, pp. 96-112), and a few suggestions as to what an organisation drawing the useful lessons of Lenin’s activity, experience and writings, might look like in modern conditions. How we might possibly get there from the present situation of a proliferation of Marxist sects. Some further incidents and events from Bolshevik history that undermine Lorimer’s retrospective centralist schema about “Leninism”

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Communists and the British Labour Party 1927-29

January 1, 2004

A sense of déjà vu

Richard Price

Mention the term Third Period Stalinism and many on the left think they know the territory. The trouble is, most know the history of the Third Period of the Communist International from 1928-33 only in the most general terms, and that usually amounts to knowing that in Germany, the KPD denounced its Social Democratic opponents as social fascists, thereby sabotaging any prospect of united front resistance to Hitler. Third Period Stalinism is today seen almost universally as a bad thing — even by today’s shrunken Communist Parties1 — and therefore as an epithet it is applicable to only the most case-hardened sectarians.

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Speech to the 1922 congress of the Comintern

October 17, 2003

Jock Garden

Comrades,

Speaking on behalf of the Australian delegation, I may say that we affirm the theses as given by Comrade Lozovsky. Although the Australian Communist Party is a small party, I believe it has found the keynote to organisation, so far as the Anglo-Saxon movement is concerned. The Communist Party in Australia has a membership of nearly 1000, and yet is able to direct just close on 400,000 workers — that is, including 237,000 in the State of New South Wales — all organised workers — and 110,000 organised workers in Brisbane, Queensland.

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Lenin, Krupskaya and Inessa Armand

September 24, 2003

Extracts from Lenin: A Biography, by Robert Service

Letters from Lenin to Inessa Armand

Extracts from Bride of the Revolution:
Krupskaya and Lenin
, by Robert H. McNeal

Inessa Armand, by Bertram D. Wolfe


Introduction

Bob Gould

I am a relatively late convert to internet technology. Some months ago when I hooked up to the net, I also hooked up to four leftist discussion groups, Marxmail, the Socialist Register List, Leftist Trainspotters and the Australian-based Green Left Discussion List.

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Communists in concentration camps

August 22, 2003

And the tragedy of German communism

Bob Gould

On Marxmail, Louis Proyect started a little discussion on German communists in concentration camps, which a few others have taken up. On the Green Left list in Australia, Dennis Berrell has taken up the cudgels for the political necessity of the Berlin Wall in defending “socialism” in the now-departed GDR.

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Murder will out

July 30, 2003

An open letter to members of the Communist Party

The Militant, Sydney, April 1940

Guido Baracchi


Introduction

Bob Gould

Guido Baracchi led an interesting, colourful and useful life on the left. I first laid eyes on Guido at a meeting of the general branch of the clerks’ union in 1955, which I attended along with other leftists in the orbit of the Communist Party in an attempt to outstack the Groupers in the run-up to a clerks’ union election.

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Eric Hobsbawm, Martin Amis and Stalinism

December 3, 2002

The long 20th century and some personal reflections on Marxist historical questions triggered by Perry Anderson’s lucid Guardian review of the autobiography of the Stalinist, Eric Hobsbawm

Bob Gould

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The Communist Party in Australian life

October 14, 2000

Bob Gould

This article is an overview of the significance and influence of the Communist Party in Australia, covering the period between the German invasion of Russia in 1941 and the dissolution of the CP in the early 1990s. This essay is to be considered along with other pieces I have written, including my lengthy polemical study of Stuart Macintyre’s book, The Reds, on the CP until 1941, and my short piece on the labour movement split of 1955. It is very much work in progress. I am circulating it in my usual fashion, for criticism and comment, by anyone interested, and I will modify it suitably on the basis of valid observations and criticisms. I would like to stress that it is, at this stage, a very rough early draft.

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Stewart Macintyre’s The Reds

May 8, 1999

Stuart Macintyre’s The Reds, a bland, overly nostalgic and essentially Stalinist company history of Australian Communism

Bob Gould

The Reds: The Communist Party of Australia from Origins to Illegality, Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1998

I must initially state my personal view of this book. I have been rather a fan of some of Macintyre’s historical writing. I find three of his other books exceedingly useful: Proletarian Science, about the ideological and intellectual climate that produced the foundation leaders of the British Communist Party; Militant, the intelligent and revealing biography of Western Australian waterfront union leader Paddy Troy; and, in another vein, the reflective examination of 19th century liberalism in the state of Victoria.

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