Posts Tagged ‘Stalinism’

Italian communists in Stalin’s gulags

April 16, 2008


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.



30 questions and answers on the history of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

April 15, 2008


Bob Gould

A few weeks ago, Cathal McLennan asked Ozleft to put up 30 Questions and answers on the history of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, an article written in 1962 by Ernest Germain (Mandel) that was reproduced in Australia as a small pamphlet by Nick Origlass’s socialist group.


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.


Unambiguous pro-Stalinism

August 15, 2006

Michael Berrell on the 1956 Hungarian uprising

Bob Gould

Michael Berrell infers that I’ve verballed him, but this is what he said in a post on the Green Left Weekly disussion list:


Herbert Moxon, a victim of the “Bolshevisation” of the Communist Party of Australia

February 28, 2006

Beris Penrose


Bob Gould

Beris Penrose is a historian who lives in Melbourne, and whose politics are in the International Socialist tradition. She has also written some extremely useful articles on occupational health and safety.


Debate on Vietnam. 2

June 2, 2005

The nature of the Vietnamese Communist Party. George Johnson and Fred Feldman

Vietnam, Stalinism and the postwar socialist revolutions. Pierre Rousset

Vietnam, Stalinism and the postwar socialist revolutions. George Johnson and Fred Feldman

The Vietnamese revolution and the role of the party

Pierre Rousset

Without the party, independently of the party, skipping over the party, through a substitute for the party, the proletarian revolution can never triumph. That is the principal lesson of the last decade …. We have paid too dearly for this conclusion as to the role and significance of the party for the proletarian revolution to renounce it so lightly or even to have it weakened.

Leon Trotsky, The Lessons of October

The fact that the struggle [in Vietnam] has been carried on for three decades without being decisively defeated should not be permitted to influence our evaluation of the program of the [Vietnamese] leadership …. The fact that the struggle has sustained itself for thirty years is a tribute to the persistence and iron will of the Vietnamese people.

George Johnson and Fred Feldman, “On the Nature of the Vietnamese Communist Party”, International Socialist Review, July-August 1973.

It is difficult to discuss a book that the readers of the International Socialist Review cannot read. Feldman and Johnson have reviewed the principal periods of development of the Vietnamese Communist Party (VCP)[1] in order to give their interpretation, which, in general, differs greatly from that advanced in the Livre Rouge (Le Parti Communiste Vietnamien, by Pierre Rousset [Paris, Maspero, 1973]). The temptation is strong to reply to them by summarising the theses of the book in question, and by following its outline. But that would risk further dispersing the debate, rather than concentrating on what is essential. For the essential issue is not the analysis of this or that period under indictment, but in fact the whole conception of the role of the VCP in the Vietnamese revolution, of its nature, and of its future.


Susanna Short’s Laurie Short: A Political Life

May 21, 2005

A summary history

Shane Hopkinson


The following are summary notes to a longer piece I was planning to write some time ago about the early days of the Trotskyist movement in Australia, based on Susanna Short’s book on her father, Laurie, and Hall Greenland’s book on Nick Origlass, to tell the story of the early days of the movement in Australia.

As time has got the better of me I decided to simply post my summary of the relevant part of Susanna Short’s book, which is all I have been able to complete. I have tried to aviod editorialising over her comments but I will say a few words here that might clarify the story.


DSP apologetics for East German Stalinism

February 2, 2005

History in a vacuum

Bob Gould

A system is rapidly developing in Green Left Weekly of significant political statements in a Stalinist direction presented as reviews. The reviews, very likely solicited by the DSP leadership, are usually written by younger DSP members.


The left and denial of Stalin’s crimes

February 2, 2005

The issue is not Trotsky versus Stalin but the real history of Russia in the 20th century versus psychopathic Stalin holocaust historical revisionism

Bob Gould

In the 1930s Trotsky described Stalinism as the syphilis of the labour movement, and the weird outbreak on Marxmail of disturbed and almost pathological historical denial about Stalin’s crimes looks like a very advanced case of that unfortunate illness.


DSP prettifies the North Korean regime

December 23, 2004

The DSP leadership makes a political gesture towards the “deformed workers state” of North Korea

Green Left discussion list, December 23, 2004

The Christmas break issue of Green Left Weekly has an excited review by Chris Atkinson of Jim McIlroy’s pamphlet, Origins of the ALP, which condemns Laborism and Laborites in the most sweeping way. Right next to that review is an article about North Korea, ostensibly a review of a book by a US historian, Bruce Cumings.


In search of revolution

October 18, 2004


Green Left discussion list, October 18, 2004

Matthew Worley (ed), In Search of Revolution — International Communist Politics in the Third Period, I.B. London: I B Tauris, 2004, ppxii & 379, ISBN 1-85043-407-7

Brian Pearce

With two introductory essays, one by the editor and the other by John Callaghan, this book assembles articles by several specialists on the history of the following communist parties: German, British, Italian, French, Yugoslavian, Latvian, Portuguese, Spanish, American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Chinese, Indian, South African and Brazilian – during the Comintern’s so-called Third Period, between the Sixth ( 1928 ) and Seventh (1935) World Congresses. The contributors are Norman LaPorte, Aldo Agosti, Stephen Hopkins, Geoffrey Swain, Carlos Cunha, Tim Rees, James Ryan, John Manley, Stuart Macintyre, Kerry Taylor, Patrician Stranahan, Allison Drew and Marco Santana.


Falsehoods about the Left Opposition

March 31, 2004

Bob Gould

Michael or Dennis Berrell, or whoever he is today (just so the rest of us aren’t terminally confused he should consider using one or another name consistently) has put up a post about the Left Opposition that is almost entirely inaccurate and false.


Ignorance and amnesia about the 1956 Hungarian workers’ revolution

March 24, 2004

A discussion on Marxmail

Green Left discussion list, march 24, 2004

The Hungarian Revolution in 1956, which was the culmination of the extraordinary year of upheaval in the Communist movement precipitated by Khrushchev’s Secret Speech exposing Stalin’s crimes, was along with the Secret Speech the defining political experience for hundreds of thousands of people in and around the Communist movement, including myself at the age of 19.


Stalinism in the US

March 10, 2004

Discussions between Leon Trotsky and US Trotskyists in 1940

[The following is a rough stenographic draft — uncorrected by the participants — of discussions on the Stalinists in the US, between Trotsky and leading members of the Cannon faction of the US Socialist Workers Party, held on June 12-15, 1940]


Return to materialism

December 29, 2003

Peter Camejo

Editor’s note: Peter Camejo prepared this discussion piece about 1995, following the 16th national conference of the Democratic Socialist Party in December-January 1994-95. The piece was not polished for publication. Minor grammatical errors have been corrected in this digital version.