We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Russia: How the Bureaucracy Seized Power ‒ part four: the bureaucratic counter-revolution

Click here to access article by George Collins and posted on In Defence of Marxism (a British Trotskyist organization). Note: this recent post is really an excerpt from Collins book published in 1987 with the above title. Although I believe that it is an accurate portrayal of Stalin's rule, the Trotsky bias becomes evident in the final paragraphs.

The lengthy articles goes into the details of the takeover of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union by Stalin after the death of Vladimir Lenin in early 1924. Stalin's actions were not based in a theoretical analysis that Lenin or Trotsky expressed, but became motivated by the allure of power. The details are reported in the article which consisted of various twists to the extreme right, and turns to the extreme left, then settling on building socialism in one country, all of which he also used to eliminate any competitors to power in the Soviet government. Thus many of Stalin's critics accuse him of sheer opportunism in quest of dictatorial power. However, his popularity has gained in recent decades in Russia among people who view him as saving them--because he began a campaign (although ruthless) of forced industrialization in the 1930s--from slavery to the German Third Reich during WWII.
In the final part of George Collins' history of the rise of Stalinism, he explains the bureaucracy's final victory over Trotsky's Left Opposition; their shameful co-operation with fascism and imperialism; and the brutal, counter-revolutionary role they played in suppressing the working class in Russia and internationally.