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Finding His Kronstadt: Howard Fast, 1956 and American Communism

Finding His Kronstadt: Howard Fast, 1956 and American Communism

How, then, do we explain Howard Fast’s disillusionment with and, soon after, defection from the American Communist Party? In short, what triggered the front-page story in the NYT? Of critical importance was Khrushchev’s explosive “secret speech”. Close to midnight on 24 February 1956, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), Nikita Khrushchev, began a four-hour report to a closed session of delegates to the Twentieth Party Congress of the CPSU. His focus was on Stalin and the speech was excruciating. Khrushchev exposed the mechanism of terror and the system of arbitrary rule that had dominated the country for thirty years. He deployed dozens of documents and a wealth of detail to reveal the brutal character of the terror. One such document, which he read aloud, was the letter by Politburo member R.I. Eikhe, who joined the Bolsheviks in 1905 and whose spine was broken by his interrogator. Khrushchev showed that the history of the CPSU under Stalin consisted of criminal acts such as responsibility for the suicide of Ordzhonikidze and the assassination of Kirov; lawless mass deportations of non-Russian peoples; political errors such as the breach with Yugoslavia; incompetent leadership, exemplified by the vulnerability of the Soviet Union to German attack in 1941; the methodical falsification of history written by Stalin himself or at his direction; and the replacement of the Leninist principle of collective leadership with the ‘cult of the personality’. In short, Khrushchev punctured the mystical aura that surrounded
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The South African Communist Party and the collapse of the Soviet Union

The South African Communist Party and the collapse of the Soviet Union

Some leading South African communists were themselves of East European origin, which added a personal element to the good relations between the SACP and the Soviet Communist Par[r]

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The events in Hungary and their perception in Tirana

The events in Hungary and their perception in Tirana

In a letter from the Soviet ambassador in Belgrade, Mr. Firjubin, directed to the central committee of the Communist party of the Soviet Union about the latter talks he held with Kardelj, is written that the Yugoslavs had taken contact with Imre Nagy, while Imre Nagy, together with his former governmental group of 11 persons without Kadar were already in Yugoslav embassy in Budapest as immigrants. Firjubin reported that according to Yugoslavia would be good to negotiate with Imre Nagy and he called for supporting the government of Janos Kadar. Yugoslavs were of the opinion that this matter will facilitate the situation in Hungary and will help for the recognition of Kadar government. Also in these talks Kardelj asked to take measures to preserve the Yugoslav embassy in Budapest because while Imre Nagy was there, maybe, the embassy could be under different attacks. But it seems that the Soviet Union and its leaders did not agree with the views of the Yugoslavs. The Soviets thought and considered necessary that Imre Nagy with his whole group of 11 persons to surrender to the Soviet military authorities and then handed back to the Hungarian revolutionary government. 3 However,
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The Communist Party of Australia and Proletarian Internationalism, 1928-1945

The Communist Party of Australia and Proletarian Internationalism, 1928-1945

Togliatti’s report outlining a strategy to resist war was more significant. He started his oration with the observation that since the onset of the Depression, tensions over contracting markets had led to wars in Asia, Africa and the accession of fascism in Europe. A new partition of the world had already begun. Encircled by hostile neighbours publicly howling for war, the security of Soviet Russia was at genuine risk. Hence, communists were tasked with forming and leading a united front of workers, peasants, petit-bourgeois, intellectuals and any other groups determined to oppose war. Togliatti told delegates to defend peace and explicitly focus attention on the threats posed by Germany and Japan. At the same time, there was to be no restraint in the tussle with the imperialism of one’s ‘own’ country and any domestic elements sympathetic to Germany’s eastern ambitions. 11 In the event of war, Togliatti recommitted to turning the imperialist war into civil war, but added that this was to be accomplished with the assistance of united front partners and not by the working class or the communist party alone. 12 He deprecated wartime refusal to serve in the military and disruption of war industries. 13 Additionally, Togliatti warned any conflagration, even if it did not initially involve Russia, ‘will inevitably tend to develop into and will inevitably become a war against the Soviet Union.’ Thus, ‘[i]n struggling for peace, we are carrying out the best defence of the Soviet Union.’ 14 But upon Russia’s entry into war, ‘the communists must call on all the toilers to help by all means and at any cost to bring about the victory of the Red Army against the imperialist armies.’ 15 This was precisely the course of action pursued by the Australian party after the Soviet entry into the Second World War. But it was still another six years before Australian communists would be called upon to defend the Soviet Union.
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Conflict in the Unions : The Communist Party of Australia, politics and the trade union movement, 1945-1960

Conflict in the Unions : The Communist Party of Australia, politics and the trade union movement, 1945-1960

In April 1950 the Australian Peace Council (APC) held its first national congress in Melbourne. The CPA influence in the APC was significant, shaping both its overall political outlook as well as providing many of the organisations activists. 103 Despite the increasingly adverse political climate ten thousand people attended its opening session. 104 The Congress provided a new opportunity for the CPA to propagandise its policies on peace to a wider audience. Its influence on the Trade Union Commission of the Congress was obvious. The resolution of the Commission resolved to ‘take every action within our power, including industrial action, where necessary against war and intervention’. The resolution also called for ‘no intervention in Malaya or any other country in South-East Asia’. 105 At the session, Jim Healy called on Australian trade unions ‘to take a lead in preventing any mad adventure in Malaya as they had done over pig-iron for Japan and arms for the Dutch’. 106 For Healy, this was a significant shift away from his normal cautious approach to the use of industrial action by trade unions to support the CPA peace policies. On behalf of the CPA delegation, J.D. Blake told the Congress that ‘We are determined that our people will never go to war against the Socialist Soviet Union- or against any other country’. 107 The role of the CPA at the Congress gave a clear indication that the Party was fully committed to using its leadership of key industrial unions to oppose any war in which Australia might be involved. Within a few weeks of the Congress, the outbreak of the Korean War gave the CPA a fresh opportunity to implement this policy.
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The Comintern, the Communist Party of Australia and illegality

The Comintern, the Communist Party of Australia and illegality

1940. But Tribune was featuring articles warning of plans to 'switch the war' as late as May 1941,^^^ a month before the Germans switched the war against the Soviet Union. With the further deterioration of the European situation by May,^'"^ the month prior to Barbarossa saw some of the strongest criticism toward the ALP and the war. The CPA charged Curtin with needing fascism to preserve his power. ^^^ It also called for struggle against the federal government, the oppressors 'nearest at hand'.^^^ However, in the midst of all this, the CPA stated: 'While avoiding actions which would allow the enemy to disrupt our forces, we must give bolder leadership in the struggles for the needs of the workers'.^'^ This statement appears to support the soldiers' mission, rather than, as previously, simply demand their recall. The 'switch the war' fear gained new urgency, as it was believed that all the belligerent countries would unite in an anti-Soviet war, a war which 'would be the most reactionary war in the history of capitalism.. the most ruthless and bloody'. ^^^ Thus, right up to the eve of Barbarossa, the CPA was serving the interests of the Soviet Union by urging Australians to oppose their government in the event of war with the USSR. 'Disloyal' policies such as these were precisely why the CPA had been proscribed, and, as this thesis has so far argued, this disloyalty originated from observing the Comintern's policies. Muting the public reach of such ideas was the purpose of proscribing the CPA.
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The Communist party

The Communist party

In the 1930s, the CPUSA openly boasted that its “democratic centralism” required members’ structural subordination to a Central Committee and loyalty to the Communist International and Soviet Union. 16 Granville Hicks, a Harvard instructor who was among the most prominent of Communist literary intellectuals, came to regret that he “refused to see that the Communist Party of the United States was completely subservient to the Soviet Union,” but he may not have been so unaware since at the American Writers Congress in 1937 he declared himself “confident that sooner or later Communism will be established throughout the world, and that its establishment will begin—that, indeed, the founding of the Soviet Union has already begun—a new era in human history.” 17 Devotion to the Soviet Union was the sine qua non of Communist politics. It is precisely what the Communists’ critics on the radical left most objected to, as when Dwight Macdonald faulted the American Writers Congress for requiring “an a priori agreement on Stalinist policies,” or when Socialist
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'Jewish Communists' or 'Communist Jews'? : the Communist Party of Great Britain and British Jews in the 1930s

'Jewish Communists' or 'Communist Jews'? : the Communist Party of Great Britain and British Jews in the 1930s

The evidence of the IWM interviewees provides a clear underpinning to the picture of the CPGB’s policy of focusing on Jewish concerns, particularly in east London. In terms of the ‘Jewish question’, the party presented a class analysis of the problems faced by Jews throughout the world, argued that a Zionist solution would simply strengthen British imperial interests in the middle east, and that ‘separatism’ was not a viable solution to anti-Semitism. At the same time, much emphasis was placed on the creation, in 1934, of the autonomous area of Birobidzhan in the Soviet Union, which, it was claimed, added a specifically Jewish dimension to the Soviet utopian project. The belief that anti-Semitism had been eradicated in the Soviet Union, and that it was a model for working class Jews to aspire to, was part of the explanation for the failure of other potentially competing groups to extend their influence among east London Jews. Jack Louis Shaw, who joined the YCL, aged 17 in 1934 and worked as an office boy with the Daily Worker, remembered that as a young Jewish boy prior to joining the party:
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Communist Propoganda in Azerbaijani Children’s Literature in the Soviet Union

Communist Propoganda in Azerbaijani Children’s Literature in the Soviet Union

in this period represent the new type of humans in classical literature, as cruel governors, lovers of belief in supertitions, ignorant clergies, rich people, anticommunists. There were teachers, feminist girls and women, idealistic communist teenagers, heroes who were struggling against them. This situation becomes so obvious that the literary work was full of collection of slogans. Azerbaijani poets and writers who support the Bolshevik’s view of that period came up with the idea that class differences must be eliminated, even to such an extent that denied their own national language and literature; they often use terms such as "Lenin's Language", "The Language of the Communist World", "Proletarian Language" and "Soviet Azerbaijani Literature", "Brotherhood Literature", "Revolutionary Literature" and "Communist People's Literature" for literature. Poets and writers like Mayakovsky, Mikhail Yuryevic Lermantov, Maksim Gorki are presented as official models. Thus, the Communist Party was rewarding the works bringing desire to socialism and loyalty, and the author-poet or author was honored with a new duty that made people quichly accept the new model. A few of the writer before the revolution, while continuing on the light of their own, a few others presented ideology of that period. Individuals who say the same poetry before and after revolution, who gave their works of literure in their own sight, was suffered cruelly. They were Jafer Jabbarli, Yusuf Vezir Dzemenzeminli, Huseyin Javid, Jalil Mammadguluzadeh and so on. Starting from the 1930s, a growing generation of young poets and writers and an older generation conflicts were built up over time. However, from 1940 to 1941, the generation conflict turned to a clash of ideas and vision of world. Young poets and writers who were eager to win the praise of the "Communist Party", to show fidelity to socialist values, and to transmit their excitement to further places, wanted to reach their goals by insulting words to old generation, thought they would accomplish it. Young people who supported from the party were more successful in this fight.
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The Communist Party of the United States and the Communist International, 1919-1929.

The Communist Party of the United States and the Communist International, 1919-1929.

relationship between the Soviet Union and the Party was still bad-only, it was not so important in the Party's history, especially its cultural history, as Draper had argued. Many of t[r]

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The End of an Affair: intellectuals and the Communist Party, 1956-59

The End of an Affair: intellectuals and the Communist Party, 1956-59

“revisionists”) had had an organisation. I remember being involved in a heated argument at your place soon after I was expelled …What was I going to do? Join the Labor Party?—hard decision. I was right in joining the Labor party— there’s no way around that, unhappily. But what I didn’t yet realise was what the lack of a Marxist organisation would mean. The C.P. was out, of course; even if I hadn’t been expelled, I’d had a gut-full. I was, emotionally, totally unable to accept the attempt of the leadership to deny, to the members, the truth—or even the reality—of Khrushchev’s secret report. Bernie [Taft] tried to talk me out of that, saying we had to hasten slowly, but I had enough of the intellectual left in me to say that, if that was the truth (as I believed) we had to face it, & to analyse the consequences - including, as the final crunch, the rehabilitation of Trotsky. But the Trots were also out, because—although I came to accept a Trotskyite (or rather Deutscherite) analysis of the Soviet Union, I couldn’t accept their strategy. All that there was was a loose group of intellectuals, a handful in Melbourne & a handful in Sydney, gathered more or less around Outlook (all honour to Helen), but still much too loose to develop a new and systematic analysis. Today I think that we should have immediately founded a Socialist League. It would have been Marxist in orientation,
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The primary organisations of the Soviet Communist Party in non-production institutions

The primary organisations of the Soviet Communist Party in non-production institutions

The process of the indoctrination of party members in these special values begins long before the individual becomes a party member. It begins with his basic socialis­ ation and his continuing indoctrination as a non-party Soviet citizen. The leading role of the party is probably the most basic ideological tenet in the Soviet Union, one to which all citizens are subject from childhood. This means, according to the Soviet authorities, that simply being invited to become a party member should have an enormous effect on a citizen. It should put him in the right frame of mind for the process of preparation for becoming a party member.
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Input rich Writing Tasks and Student Writing on an English Language Proficiency Test

Input rich Writing Tasks and Student Writing on an English Language Proficiency Test

page “Programmatic Proclamation” and rousingly condemned the Khrushchev and Brezhnev cliques for their slander of Stalin, their doctrines of peaceful coexistence and détente, and the lavish lifestyles of the Party leadership, while hailing Albania and China as the only remaining bastions of socialism. The mysterious manifesto proclaimed to have already been distributed among CPSU cadres who were ready to already be on a mission to build a new “Communist Party (Bolshevik) of the Soviet Union” to overthrow the Soviet government and institute a new anti-revisionist direction. 56 This may not have been the first declaration of a new Marxist party in the Soviet Union, but it certainly was the first to garner international attention among the pro- Beijing parties of the world. Nevertheless, while the document was widely circulated within international leftist publications and received official support from both the Party of Labour of Albania and the Chinese Communist Party, nothing else seems to have come of the SRC(B), which may have been nothing more than a paper organization confined to Albanian borders. Recent archival work done within the Supreme Court and Prosecutor’s Office of the USSR has revealed a vast swathe of people brought to court for pro-Stalin sentiment and even some Maoist sentiments (the latter particularly students, journalists, and writers). 57 A collection
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The Iranian Communists and The Soviet Union

The Iranian Communists and The Soviet Union

Abstract: Iran's relation with one of the largest countries, that is, Russia (The Soviet Un- ion) has under gone many changes. One of the brilliant examples of the changing policies of Russia towards Iran is, no doubt, the years 1941 to 1953. In this period, most of graceful communist parties' rise and fall is making relations between Iran and Russia. Tudeh party, Ferghe Democrate Azerbaijan and Ferghe Democrate Kurdestan are some of the communist movements in Iran which are noticeable and researchable. However, this essay tries to an- swer the following questions: 1. was not the Soviet Union policy towards Iran neo- colonialist? 2. To what extent were the relations between Iran and the Soviet Union ad- justed in accordance with the communist ideology? 3. were the communist parties of Iran in harmony with the needs of Iranian peasants, workers, or were they the chief protectors of soviet interests? It is remind able that in Iran there have been several powerful levels such as a: Army, b: Majlis, c: Royal Court, d: Political parties, e: People and religious Leaders and f: Foreign Embassies. These levels, sometimes in group of two, Three or more and sometimes in loneliness effected the political Social –Economical, religion, militarily and culturally lives of Iran. In the era of 1949-1953 this is the role of Russian Embassy which brought about many changes.
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Disruption of Albanian-Soviet Relations

Disruption of Albanian-Soviet Relations

So in the Political Consultative Committee meeting of the Warsaw Pact held in Moscow in 1961, the General Commander of the Armed Forces A. Greçko, said that he would be helped in further strengthening of the military member countries of the Warsaw Treaty (Foreing Ministry Archive of Albania, Viti 1961). Albanians thought they would benefit in providing the necessary assistance for the Base of Vlora, which were interrupted by the Soviet Union, but in reality this did not happen. The base was under the jurisdiction of the Warsaw Pact and the personnel were Soviet and Albanian. The problem, after breaking relations with the SU, stood in dividing the submarines and auxiliary equipments in the base. The Soviet Union was increasing pressure on Albania, persistently seeking to return the 12 submarines that were placed at the base of Vlore. On the other hand, Albania refuses to submit the crews and reaffirms its position that the only way for the solution is the implementation of the agreements of 12 September 1957 and 3 May 1959. Albania-Soviet relations were becoming more and more irritated, and disputes between the two governments were increasingly frequent. Enver Hoxha in his work "Khrushchevites” says that Khrushchev would reflect his ideological disputes in the issue of Vlora. "It is quite clear that even in the field of military relations position was predetermined and is used only as a tool and used as leverage against our party and people, because of disagreements aroused in the Bucharest meeting." (Hoxha, 1980). To resolve this dispute Albania often approached for assistance the Forces Commander General of the States of the Warsaw Pact, A. Grecko. In correspondence with members of the Albanian government, he reaffirms the importance that this base has for Albania and all the communist Camp. On May 29, 1961, the Albanian Defense Minister Beqir Balluku, hosted a representative of the General Command of the Warsaw Pact, General-Colonel Andrejev who announced that the "Admiral Kasatonov has been in the basis for dealing with the issue of evacuation of Soviet naval forces from the base of Vlora" (Central Archive of the Armed Forces, 1961) So on 4 June 1961 the largest floating dock with 8, out of 12, submarines, under the command of Admiral Kasatonov, deserted the Albanian waters.
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The Sheffield peace movement 1934 1940

The Sheffield peace movement 1934 1940

Turning to the political parties involved in the peace movement, the attitude of the Labour Party, providing as it did the official parliamentary opposition to the National Government, was clearly crucial. The party added, however, at least three distinct and at times conflicting elements to the peace movement because its official policy was opposed by a vociferous Left-wing and, increasingly as it moved into an avowedly pacificist line, by a small, but well-known, Christian pacifist clique. Like the LNU, the Labour Party’s foreign policy was based on Collective Security and Disarmament. In the years immediately after the war the influence of the radical liberal UDC had been strong on policy and the party had opposed aspects of Versailles which it regarded as unnecessarily punitive and destabilising. The party was never pacifist, although it tolerated pacifist opinions, and during the twenties the increasing perception of the waste and futility of the Great War gave a retrospective credibility to those in the movement who had opposed it, and particular those conscientious objectors who had gone to prison rather than serve in it. Labour’s first policy in the period of this essay, the war-resistance strategy adopted at the 1933 Hastings Conference which pledged the party “to take no part in war” had limited support in official circles, particularly since the call for a general strike against war was unpopular with the leaders of the Trades’ Union Congress after the failure of the 1926 stoppage. It offered a superficial unity to pacifists and those associated with the Socialist League who were attempting to commit the party to a distinctly socialist policy. 1933 was the high-point of an undifferentiated pacifism amongst the wider public, marked by the Oxford Union’s “King and Country Debate”40
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The Italian Communist Party 1921--1964: A profile.

The Italian Communist Party 1921--1964: A profile.

In the South the passive, apolitical peasantry, little changed from the way Gramsci described them, strove desperately to make ends meet under wartime conditions but they experienced little of the viciousness of the partisan vs. Fascist blood­ letting. In the North the peasantry became intimately involved in the civil strife. While the South was being governed oy the spiritless king and the conservative minded Allies, neither of whom were immediately concerned with changing the status q u o , the North was being governed by the Leftward-looking CLNAI which lost no time in making changes in the existing order. In areas liberated by the partisans, industrial workers, for example, were encouraged to group themselves into consigli di gestione or management councils to run the factories. This was an indication of Communist influence in the CLNAI (and the unions) and revealed a durable commitment to Gramsci*s early ideas of
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Mass mobilisation : the Chinese Communist Party and the peasants

Mass mobilisation : the Chinese Communist Party and the peasants

the Yenan period, the Chinese Communist Party CCP had to depend almost entirely on the peasant masses, to emancipate through basic social and political reforms the mass energy which had [r]

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Western_Heritage-Chapter 27-Europe and Great Depression of 1930s.pdf

Western_Heritage-Chapter 27-Europe and Great Depression of 1930s.pdf

This loss of military leadership would weigh heavily on Stalin in 1941, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Stalin harbored obsessive fears that rival party leaders were plotting[r]

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A Democratic China?

A Democratic China?

For the moment, then, elections are confined to the villages. Now anecdotal evidence suggests village democ- racy in China is not without its blemishes; but similar instances of fraud and cronyism can be found in many other parts of the world as well, not least in the author’s own of Northern Ireland. Nevertheless, “The village election process has in effect been a massive act of education that has taught over 800 million people… the principles of Party and non-Party members running for power, of secret ballots, and of one person, one vote. It has also taught the principles of universal suffrage and of a choice of candidates. Village elections were not meant to be the seeds of anything else. But perhaps one day their introduction may be seen as a hugely signifi- cant moment when ideas of government being accountable to people who had the power to vote them in or out of power started to take root” (Brown, 2011: 69).
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