Defence of October Revolution

The Tankies' Tankies/ 3

Published on: Sun, 19/10/2008 - 21:54

All the elements of Karaoke Jack's politics, on Afghanistan and in general, are there. The article is written in the spirit of the New Worker's injunction of "No concessions! No Compromise" with the Polish working class. Jack Conrad wants full steam ahead in the subjugation of Afghanistan.
In fact Amin called off the land reform in 1979 with the transparent face-saving lie that it had been accomplished already. Whether or not the invading Russians and their puppet Karmal could have won some popular support had they prosecuted the land reform, no one can know now. Perhaps not: the polarisation

The Russian occupation of Afghanistan

Published on: Mon, 12/04/2004 - 22:19

Sean Matgamna

The Russian invasion and colonial war in Afghanistan, after 1979, and a Marxist critique of Militant's support for it.

Introduction, 2003

This article was written in 1981. As we see it now, the theoretical framework on which it rests is not adequate. We regarded Russia as a 'degenerated workers' state', and made a distinction between the Stalinist states in which the old ruling class had been destroyed, and states such as Egypt then, whose state economies we called 'state capitalism' because the old ruling class had survived and the statification of the economy was not likely to last (in Egypt

Stalinist mind at the end of its tether/ 5

Published on: Mon, 12/04/2004 - 22:12

October 1917 was a "coup"

J-J, blindly cribbing, now presents his "cover version" of Emine Engin on coups and revolution - including her bizarre idea that Otto von Bismarck organised a coup and the no less bizarre idea that Frederick Engels discussed "Bismarck's coup".
"A coup d'état, a blow against the state, by definition involves a plot against the existing state in isolation from any section of the masses. It originates within the state: e.g., military or palace coups. Examples from European history would be Louis Bonaparte and Otto von Bismarck. They elevated themselves into dictators by

Stalinist mind at the end of its tether/ 4

Published on: Mon, 12/04/2004 - 22:10

Ireland and Afghanistan: the test of experience

We have already dealt with what J-J says about the 1916 Dublin Rising. There are additional points to make and some points to expand. Remember J-J:
"Lenin's discussion of the 1916 Irish rebellion - under the military command of James Connolly but politically dominated by petty bourgeois romantic nationalists - is instructive here.

"The Sean Matgamnas and Martin Thomases of his day, the leftist pedants and doctrinaires, dismissed the rising as the swan song of Irish nationalism and nothing more than a 'putsch' - i.e., the German word for a coup

Stalinist mind at the end of its tether/ 3

Published on: Mon, 12/04/2004 - 22:07

Revolutions only bring chaos?

"For [AWL] the overthrow of Mohammed Daud's - republican-royal - regime by the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan was a "Stalinist military coup" which brought upon the heads of the masses nothing but decades of terrible suffering. Exactly the same message pushed by the White House, CIA, BBC, Hollywood action films, The Sun and the whole well oiled imperialist propaganda machine."
Is what we have said untrue?

The question has been raised about all revolutions: was it worth the cost in lives and social disruption? It is a reasonable question. Only those who

Stalinist mind at the end of its tether/ 2

Published on: Mon, 12/04/2004 - 22:04

Putsch, coup and revolution

J-J: "The Afghan 1978 revolution was carried out from above… But that can also be said of many revolutions in the Twentieth Century. Egypt and Abdel Nasser's free officers movement of July 1952….Iraq…in July 1958. Even Comrade Matgamna [in WL] grudgingly (sic) admits (sic) that the Afghan revolution was a political revolution… Yet the 1978 revolution was not led by a small military group or clique… The PDPA was predominantly a civilian party that illegally organised secret cells inside the armed forces of the existing state, which it then managed to decisively split

Stalinist mind at the end of its tether/ 1

Published on: Mon, 12/04/2004 - 22:02

"…The form of a rising can be that of a coup - like the October revolution of 1917…" Jack Conrad
"So where authentic Marxism seeks out the truth, the AWL tries to gain factional advantage and cohere its own ranks by manufacturing a system of falsification and outright lies."

Which lies? One of the difficulties in arguing with Jack Conrad/John Bridge (J-J) and Mark Fischer is that they recognise no restraints, no need at all for there to be any correlation between reality and what they say: political discussion is an autonomous, purely literary thing. Like a pattering stage performer, they say

The Tankies' Tankies/ 5

Published on: Mon, 12/04/2004 - 22:00

This is wilful lying in which a partial truth - all those groups, together with all rational observers, save only the WV/Leninist, did define April 1978 as a coup - is used to tell a big factional lie about Workers' Power and the Spartacist League. They were avid supporters of the Stalinist coup and of the Russian invaders!
The Spartacist paper, Workers' Vanguard, had the front page headline "Hail The Red Army" - hail it for invading Afghanistan! Even more extraordinarily, Workers' Power, then the possessor of an undernourished version of a state-capitalist theory of Stalinism, which it was

The Tankies' Tankies/ 4

Published on: Mon, 12/04/2004 - 21:57

"Soviet willingness to desert Afghanistan must be put in context, the context of world revolution. The fact is that the world revolution has reached a particularly complex interregnum.
"The official world communist movement is disintegrating, and as for the monolithic unity (albeit imposed with an authoritarian iron hand) of the world socialist system, it has long gone. For all Gorbachev's talk of unity in diversity what we are seeing today is the decay of living socialism from within (we only need look at Rumania, Poland. Hungary, China and the turn to 'market socialism' in the USSR to see

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