When people speak about socialism and communism, most have misguided believes about it. If people not yet think that socialism/communism are totalitarian and evil, they will say that our ideals cannot work. This is the result of almost 100 years of anticommunist brainwashing and lies, spread not only by anticommunists but also by stalinists/maoists and social democrats. Because supporters of stalinism claim to be revolutionary socialist/communist, the whole ideology was portrayed by the capitalist media to be ”totalitarian and undemocratic”. When stalinism collapsed between 1989 and 1991, many were led to believe the system of economic planning, was inferior to that of the market. Many questions are asked, therefore Revolutionary Socialist Media will try to answer the most important ones here:
1; Has socialism not failed in Russia and China?
Answer: When the capitalist and stalinist media speak about the USSR and the People’s Republic of China under Mao Zedong, they call these governments ”socialist” or ”communist”. In reality these nations were not socialist and sure not communist. The Union of Socialist Soviet Republics or USSR was a unification of six republics, led by Soviet Russia. Although they called themselves ”socialist”, this was not the case. After the Russian revolution and the civil war, the workers councils or soviets lost political power to the communist party. With Vladimir Lenin’s death in January 1924, the growing party bureaucracy was free to eliminate the last remnants of soviet democracy. Joseph Stalin expelled most old Bolsheviks, he created a massive cult of personality and a totalitarian system. He said in 1927 that all criticism of his government was also criticism of ”Marxism-Leninism” the official state dogma. Revolutionary socialists call this process a degeneration, this is why the USSR is called a degenerated workers state were the means of production are nationalized, but workers have no political freedom and do not participate in the planning process of the economy!
China copied this top-down system from Russia in 1949. Mao Zedong eliminated the corrupt Chinese ruling class, who supported the right-wing nationalists of Chiang-Kai Shek. But his People’s Republic of China was by no means a healthy workers state. It was deformed by birth, because it lacked bottom up planning and a free democratic environment. Mao Zedong only allowed criticism of his government once in his lifetime, this was during the Hundred Flowers Campaign in 1956. Many workers and peasants used this short moment to criticize the totalitarian government. Mao then moved against these critics and jailed most of them. Criticism is something stalinists and maoists do not want to hear. For them the Marxist ideology is a dogma, like Catholicism of the Roman Catholic Church!
2;Why did most communists supported the totalitarian states who called themselves ”socialist”?
Answer: To understand this we must look at the period in time in which the communist parties operated. Being a communist meant that you were hated by many. The capitalist state would spy on you, your boss could fire you and many religious people would show no mercy for the supporters of ”godless Marxist atheism” . Communists were hated by both the capitalist governments and the social democratic parties. Few communists had a social life outside their respected parties. When Stalin took over, he forced all party members to obey him. Communists who refused to bow to the ”Great Stalin”, were expelled from their parties and their social lives. For many this was unacceptable, because their communist parties were more then just a political group. The communist parties were also social groups who took care of their members. Being expelled from the party meant social isolation and loneliness. Friends would denounce you as ”counter-revolutionary” even family could abandon you for being expelled from the communist party!
Most communists also refused to believe the stories about Stalin’s crimes. This was the result of the fact that the capitalist media was biased and printing negative stories about communists. This is why party members remained loyal to their own propaganda. Then there was blind idealism, which was also a reason why many remained loyal to stalinism until 1991. We see the same with religious people. Catholics are deeply loyal to the Roman Catholic Church, although this church has committed massive crimes against humanity. From supporting slavery and imperialist conquests, to raping under-age children. The church knew it all and did nothing to stop it. Still most Catholics remain supportive of the church, just like the supporters of the communist parties. For them, ”Marxism-Leninism” was like Catholicism, a religion, a dogma!
3; What about the anti-Stalinist communists?
Answer: There was opposition to Joseph Stalin and his supporters. Leon Trotsky formed the Left Opposition in 1923, to fight the growing bureaucracy inside the communist party. However he was defeated because Stalin had allied himself with both the moderate Bolsheviks and right-wing Bolsheviks. Supporters of the New Economic Politics were called the right-wing of the party, because they supported the NEP, which was a state-capitalist market economy. Their leader was Nicolai Bukharin, a young leader who allied himself with the stalinists between 1924 and 1929. Stalin was also able to gain support from Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinoview, two very important Bolsheviks with a lot of supporters. With Bukharin, Kamenev and Zinoview at his side, Stalin was able to defeat Trotsky in the debates. Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinoview realized too late that Stalin had used them and they switched sides to Trotsky, but by then it was too late and Stalin expelled them from the communist party. Bukharin was removed from the Politburo in 1929. With his removal all key positions inside the All-Union Communist Party were under Stalinist control!
Trotsky was deported from the USSR in 1929, because Stalin did not yet had the power to arrest and murder him. He was first expelled to Kazakhstan and then deported to Turkey. Now outside the Soviet-Union, Trotsky created the International Communist League that became the Fourth Communist International in 1938. Only two years later in August 1940, Leon Trotsky was assassinated by a Stalinist assassin of the NKVD. His supporters inside the Soviet-Union were forced to denounce him or face expulsion. Many former friends of Trotsky did capitulate to Stalin, only to be arrested and found guilty of ”trotskyist counter-revolutionary activists”. With massive torture, the stalinists were able to get many confessions which were used in massive show trials. After the Great Terror of the 1930’s, the USSR was purified of all those who Stalin once feared. All major Bolsheviks of 1917 were either death or removed from important functions!
4; Why is social democracy not socialist?
Answer: Social democracy used to be the name of all socialist ideologies. But there was always a difference between supporters of revolutionary socialism and evolutionary socialism. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were revolutionary socialists, but others like Eduard Bernstein did not believed in a socialist revolution. They favoured a evolutionary road to socialism, with compromises. Social democrats today are far removed from those 100 years ago. Today social democracy is pro-capitalist, anti-worker and a bourgeois ideology. Although they claim to be progressive, leftist and even democratic socialist, they abandon all leftist rhetoric to satisfy the ruling class when in power. This process of betrayal started 100 years ago on 28 July 1914, when World War One started. Evolutionary socialists choose to support their national governments. Revolutionary socialists were furious that the workers parties choose to support the imperialist war. German social democrats were led by Friedrich Ebert, a man who supported the war plans of the German Kaiser. He forced the revolutionary socialists inside the Social-democratic Party of Germany to accept the war. They refused and were expelled from the SPD. Ebert used the same bureaucratic centralist methods later used by stalinists inside communists parties to remove all opposition!
After World War One, the revolutionary socialists left the workers parties to found new communist parties. So the old parties of the working class became reformist/evolutionary and deeply anticommunist. Still it would take another 30 years before the capitalist parties would accept the old workers parties as ”acceptable partners”. Social democrats were still called ”Red Scum” by the ruling class and their politicians. In 1936 the Spanish Socialist Workers Party and the Spanish Communist Party came together to form the Popular Front. This alliance of both social democrats and communists led to a political victory in both Spain and France. Yet the social democrats and Stalinist communists refused to carry out a socialist revolution. The Republic of Spain remained capitalist, this is why revolutionary socialists and anarchists became the leaders of the Spanish Revolution. Yet the Spanish republican government rejected the revolution and ordered their army and militia’s to destroy it. When general Franco started a civil war, he faced an enemy divided and weakened. With Nazi German and Fascist Italian support, the nationalist leader won the civil war in 1939. He murdered 200.000 anti-fascists and ruled Spain until 1975. Had the social democrats and stalinists carried out a socialist revolution in 1936, Franco could have been stopped!
During the Second World War, the social democrats again supported the capitalist governments against Hitler. After the war there was nothing left of the once socialist parties of the working class. Most social democrats by now were deeply anticommunist and no longer in favour of Marxist socialism. The German SPD abandoned Marxism in 1959, other social democratic parties followed this path. Instead of a socialist economy, the social democrats started to support a mixed market economy. They found allies among Christian democrats, who could support a capitalist economy with a large role for the state. Social democracy moved more away from socialism and by 1980, it even abandoned their old believes in a welfare state. As neoliberalism was born, social democracy abandoned the last remnants of socialist thinking. Today they are not leftist, not socialist and no danger to capitalism. The ruling class knows this and no longer uses their media to call social democrats; ”Red Pigs”. It is no secret that many social democratic leaders are living a wealthy live like Wim Kok. He was a trade union leader in the Netherlands, became prime minister in the 1990’s and is now working for oil capitalists and rich Chinese. Wim Kok, Tony Blair and Gerhard Schröder are proof of the massive betrayal of social democratic parties to the working class of the world!
4; Why are workers not fighting for socialism?
Answer: Today most workers lack a clear class consciousness. They do not understand the power they have as the working class. Many are guided by individualistic believes and only think about themselves. Trade unionism is declining since social democracy became fully capitalist, the collapse of the USSR was also a major blow to many leftists. Had the working class of the USSR taken power, then there would not have been a capitalist counter-revolution under Boris Yeltsin. Yet after 70 years of Stalinist lies and abuse of political and economic power, the Soviet workers were led to believe that capitalism was ”working” and socialism was ”not working”. They had good reasons to believe this as the western world seemed so wealthy, because of capitalism. After living under a shortage economy, they were easy pray for capitalist propaganda. In the 1990’s and early 21 century, it was said that the market was God, competition was to be King. All who rejected the ”superiority” of the capitalist system had to be ”backward” and a ”relic of the Cold War”!
Yet the economic crisis of 2008 has shown the world that capitalism is not superior. Unfortunate the supporters of the system are still able to sell it, mainly because there is no socialist alternative. Most workers by now understand that capitalism is not working and unfair, but they do not yet see a alternative to the dictatorship of greed. Social democrats and stalinists are not see as a alternatives. Trade unions are slow to react and are not calling for a new workers party on a socialist program. So win-out a workers party to lead the workers, the capitalist system is able to use their politicians, their media and old style anticommunism to keep workers in line. This is why Revolutionary Socialist Media tries to give workers a class consciousness, so that they can understand and oppose the capitalist system. The alternative to capitalism is socialism, the public ownership of our means of production!