A WORLD TO WIN    #23   (1998)


On the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks (Soviet Union)

 A  'New October' Requires Maoism

 Ever since the salvoes of the October Revolution spread Marxism-Leninism around the globe, the names of Moscow, Leningrad, Baku and the other centres of the first successful proletarian revolution have resonated with special significance for those who hunger for liberation. Yet for several decades, the USSR was a pillar of world reaction, a social-imperialist exploiter ruled by the revisionists who in 1956 overthrew the proletariat and restored capitalism. The USSR was no longer cherished by revolutionaries but had come to be hated just like every other imperialist oppressor.

 Today, under the combined weight of intense US imperialist-led pressure and the ongoing crisis of the world imperialist system, including contradictions that sharpened within the Soviet bloc itself, the revisionist form of bourgeois rule has collapsed and given way to a more Western form. Class polarization has sharpened even further, the masses of the former USSR are groaning beneath the weight of the crisis, and new, unprecedented rumblings of discontent stir the length and breadth of the land. All this is punctuated by the clash of arms along the periphery of the formerempire.

 Out of the smoke and ashes left by the revisionist collapse have stepped a large number of parties who claim the banner of Marxism-Leninism and declare that they have learned profound lessons from the Soviet experience and are determined to lead the people of the former USSR forward to a “new October”. In th last few years, scenes have repeatedly been broadcast from Russia of demonstrators brandishing red flags and posters of Stalin and clashing with the police.

 Who are these forces? What do they stand for? How have they summed up the bitter lessons of capitalist restoration? And what path are they advocating for the people of the former USSR?

 The scene among these forces is fluid, and marked by constant mergers and splits and ever changing alliances. These often involve forming various “communist unity alliances” incorporating one or two groups with a national presence in Russia and a host of smaller groups in a particular region or former Soviet republic, like Azerbaijan, Ukraine or the like. While it is very difficult to be sure of the various nuances of differences between these groups, it seems that a few of them are emerging at the head of distinct trends.

 First, there is the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF). It is led by Gennady Zyuganov, who ran a close race against Yeltsin in the latest Presidential elections in Russia. While declaring that they uphold and continue the heritage of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and pay lip service to the need to restore the USSR, the CPRF have distanced themselves from some policies of the CPSU, and for instance openly espouse the need to rely on the capitalist free market. By far the largest of the so-called “communist parties”, having inherited an extensive network of former CPSU officials, the CPRF have worked hard to recast themselves as trustworthy partners of the Western social-democratic parties.

 There is then the trend led by Viktor Anpilov, now at the head of Worker̓s Russia. These forces attack the CPRF for its parliamentary politics and its advocacy of Western capitalist methods. Anpilov was arrested by the Yeltsin regime, but upon his release forged a “communist” electoral alliance that took a position of critical support for the CPRF. Anpilov won nearly 5% of the vote in the first round of the most recent Russian Presidential election. This trend are also active in the movement to “restore the USSR”.

 Finally, there are the smaller forces which include the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks (AUCPB) [previously known as the Communist Party of Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union], which is led by Nina Andreeva, and the Russian Communist Workers Party (RCWP) led by Tiulkin (which the Anpilov group had previously belonged to). The AUCPB boycotted the recent Presidential elections and targets the CPRF as “revisionist”. This last trend, sometimes together with Anpilov forces, make up the forces most often seen in the international press with banners of Lenin and Stalin in celebrations of the October Revolution, May 1st, etc. They are at the heart of the movement to restore the USSR.

 It is this last trend, particularly the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, headed by Andreeva, that will be the main focus of this article. They are the ones who have basically claimed the “left” of the political spectrum in the former USSR. Within the trend itself, many of the basic features and political positions of the Tiulkin party are shared with the AUCPB, but it appears that if there are any substantial differences the Tiulkin grouping is to the “right” of the AUCPB. For instance, in contrast to the AUCPB, Tiulkin̓s RCWP called for convening the “next Congress” of the CPSU, and sees itself as continuing where the CPSU left off at the time when Gorbachev came to its leadership. Finally, it is the Andreeva group, the AUCPB, which has been most active internationally, having appeared at numerous international conferences around the world during the past few years.

 Indeed, there are features in the line of the AUCPB that would certainly stir interest among genuine revolutionaries: they claim to be Marxist-Leninist, and uphold Stalin as a great continuator of Marx and Lenin; they denounce Khrushchev̓s infamous secret speech at the 20th Congress of the CPSU, and say that this was the starting point for the rise of opportunism in the USSR and the CPSU itself. Today the AUCPB has been founded, they say, in order to do away with the capitalist class ruling Rusia and the former USSR and restore socialism there. The Party has also on occasion expressed an interest in learning about the criticisms made by Mao and the Communist Party of China of the CPSU.

 Yet these bits and bobs ultimately do not suffice to make a radical rupture with the revisionism of the old CPSU itself. It is as if, since the old revisionist exploiters have collapsed and so are today exposed and scorned worldwide, these new forces are trying to step into the breach, but are unable to learn from the bitter experience of three decades of revisionist rule. Internationally the AUCPB are vigorously promoting glossing over the lines of demarcation between revisionism and Maoism. They call on genuine revolutionaries to “forget the old quarrels” and reverse verdicts on the former USSR and join hands in a broad new alliance.

 It is necessary then to take a close look at the line of the AUCPB. In order to do this, we will reprint and analyze key excerpts from a number of speeches by Party leader Andreeva as well as from the AUCPB Programme adopted at the Party̓s 1991 founding congress in Minsk, Bielorus. These excerpts are chosen so as to present as full a picture as possible of the line of this Party on the important questions facing revolutionaries in Russia today.

On The Restoration of Capitalism in the USSR

 “For the Communist Party of Bolsheviks [AUCPB], the bourgeois counter-revolution that is unfolding in the country today has its roots in the last thirty to forty years of Soviet history. These roots are connected to the influence exercised by the risingmiddle bourgeoisie.

 “The ideological overture of the restorationist process was the anti-Stalin campaign deployed after the 20th Congress of the CPSU. That campaign denigrated the authority of socialism and created serious difficulties in the international communist movement. It led to the confrontation with the Communist Party of China, and to the agitation of the enemies of socialism in the people̓s democracies of Eastern Europe. In the Soviet Union, there was the elimination of revolutionary cadres who were accused of ʻdogmatism̓ and ʻStalinism̓. Persecution and moral terror were seen.

 “Following that began the revisionist erosion of the fundamental basis of Marxism-Leninism and, in the party, the rehabilitation of opportunism. The shadow economy took flight, the working class was quietly removed from the politics of the state, and the proletarian state was transformed into the ʻstate of the whole people̓. The Communist Party proclaimed that it was the ʻparty of the whole people̓. Labour productivity fell and scientific and technical progress were impeded. The prices of mass consumption products, which had a tendency to fall, began to rise. The prestige of high party and state leaders diminished. Each official coming to power charged his predecessor with everything that had gone wrong. The workers grew increasingly alienated from the state apparatus, which thus lost its quality as the organizer of socialist construction. In the final analysis, this led to the phenomena of the 1980s, which is correctly called stagnation.

 “Gorbastroika brought bourgeois democracy to the Soviet people. This allowed the anti-Soviet forces to use lies to infiltrate the organs of power and to direct the counter-revolution.”

— From “We Must Begin All Over Again”, Nina Andreeva

 “The Communist Party of Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union bases itself on the view that with the events of August 1991, a bourgeois revolution has taken place in the political systemof our society. Capital has seized the reins of legislative, executive and judicial power. Under this pressure, and aided by the betrayal of the Gorbachev clique, the CPSU grew demoralized and was liquidated after the perestroika/counter-revolution was carried out in its name. Finally, socialist phraseology was thrown overboard by those who had used it to build their political career. The mafia-capitalists, once in power, came out into the open. What had up to recently been socialist property is now subordinated to a state of entrepreneurs and businessmen.” — From “Some Current Questions”, Nina Andreeva, April 1992 (italics added).

 There are some correct criticisms here of various aspects of the CPSU̓s revisionist line: there is a denunciation of Khrush-chev̓s secret speech and the substitution of the “state of the whole people” for the dictatorship of the proletariat, of the “party of the whole people” for the CPSU as the party of the proletariat, and so forth. However, any seemingly correct points are set side by side with incorrect ones and ultimately form part of a picture of the USSR in the last few decades that is fundamentally wrong.

First of all, the decisive turning point in the restoration of capitalism in the USSR was not August 1991 but 1956, when Khrushchev and his revisionist accomplices seized the reins of the CPSU and reversed its line, thereby overthrowing proletarian power and establishing a new bourgeoisdictatorship.

 Is this a mere quibble about dates? Only if you think everything that the USSR did for those 35 years is merely worth a “quibble”: two generations of Soviet proletarians suffering capitalist exploitation, in the name of socialism, instead of wielding power to uproot exploitation and advance towards classless society; two generations of imperialist bullying and betrayal of revolution and national liberation struggles and even outright neocolonial exploitation worldwide, again in the name of socialism. For those 35 years the crimes of the Soviet revisionist rulers abroad can only be compared to those of their Yankee imperialist rivals, and ranged from their invasion of Prague and their vicious bloody suppression of the Afghani people to their nuclear blackmail of revolutionary China. They were even readying to devastate the world in nuclear war with their US rivals, an imperialist world war to redivide the world, especially the colonies and semi-colonies.

 With their view that capitalism was only restored in 1991, Andreeva & Co wind up attributing the policies carried out during the preceding 35 years to “socialism”, however deformed, corrupt and stagnant they say it might have been becoming. This view ultimately whitewashes these criminal policies and the state capitalist criminals behind them. In fact, not one of the dozen or so AUCPB publications available abroad, including the Party programme, utters a word of criticism of the Soviet invasions of Czechoslovakia orAfghanistan.

 Andreeva̓s portrayal of capitalist restoration would have it that workers are bit-by-bit alienated from state power, opportunists gradually rise, the shadow economy slowly grows, the CPSU becomes more and more demoralized, etc., all of this taking place gradually over the 35 years from 1956 to 1991. She sums all this up as a process of the “revisionist erosion” ofsocialism.

 This view transforms the real class struggle under socialism from a fierce life-and-death battle between revolution and counter-revolution into a calm evolutionary process. Khrushchev̓s speech did not begin a long process of erosion, it was the ideological salvo accompanying the 1956 coup d̓etat and the brutal seizure of power by the new bourgeois class in the USSR. The proletarian revolutionaries in the USSR had already been severely weakened, by imperialist encirclement, the Nazi invasion, and, it must be said, by their own errors as well. But what happened in 1956 was a coup de grace that finished off proletarian power and changed the colour of the USSR. Khrushchev̓s revisionist power grab did not gradually erode the workers̓ hold on power over the next 35 years, as the AUCPB would have it. Instead, it expropriated them and reduced them onc again to propertyless proletarians, and turned the Soviet state, including the Soviet Red Army, into organs of bourgeois dictatorship.

 It was Mao Tsetung who analyzed this process of capitalist restoration in the USSR and drew the crucial lessons on the nature of the class struggle under socialism that inform the line of revolutionary communists today. Mao concisely summed up that, “The rise to power of revisionism is the rise to power of the bourgeoisie.” This is a point that the AUCPB fails to understand: for them, Khrushchev and other revisionists grabbed the top positions in the CPSU in 1956, but somehow the USSR remained socialist for the next 35 years.

 This has much in common with the Trotskyites̓ view of socialism and of the USSR in particular. They generally hold that the CPSU leadership became bureaucratic and reactionary in the 1920s when Stalin became CPSU General Secretary, but that the USSR remained socialist because of its “socialist economic forms”. This view divorces politics from economics and liquidates the matter of the content of the economic forms. It fails to grasp that under socialism the class struggle is concentrated within the party itself. When the party holds the reins of power, the capture of the party leadership by a revisionist political line and the suppression of the revolutionary headquarters and the crushing of the revolutionary forces within the party has been the decisive moment in the restoration of capitalist power both in the USSR and China. The revisionists are representatives of the new bourgeoisie and the capitalist relations of production that persist in socialist society.

 Mao also analyzed how it is the task of the revolutionary communists to rouse the masses to dig up the soil of the old society, to continue to transform the social relations and ideas in the direction of communism — but that at every step of the way, and particularly at key junctures, revisionist capitalist roaders high in the party and state apparatus will leap out to oppose the forward advance, turn back the revolution and restore capitalism. Whether socialism will win out and advance further towards communism, or whether the new bourgeoisie will seize back power, is determined by a series of life-and-death battles between the revolutionary headquarters in the party, mobilizing the masses, and the bourgeois headquarters, relying on both its international connections and its own social base in socialist society. This battle is fought out over the political and ideological line of the party: the proletarian revolutionaries try to strengthen the revolutionary line of the party in the course of advancing towards communism, while the capitalist roaders inevitably leap out to fight to change the line of the party so as to halt the advance of the revolution and reconsolidate capitalist relations. The character of the political and ideological line leading the party is decisive for determining whether the society remains on the socialist road or capitalism is restored. Hence, Khrushchev̓s coup d̓etat and the consolidation of the revisionist line in the CPSU did not merely “introduce” elements of revisionism into the USSR, it represented the decisive victory of the capitalist roaders.

 From that point on what was required to restore socialism in the USSR was a revolution from below.

 It is true, as the AUCPB has repeatedly pointed out, that Stalin himself, in the course of the great achievement of leading and defending the construction of socialism in the USSR, analyzed that the class struggle continued to exist under socialism. He fought hard against the revisionists in the CPSU and defended socialism from their attacks. And all this provided rich experience for Mao and the Chinese revolutionaries to learn from. Nonetheless, Stalin failed to understand that a bourgeois class itself continued to exist and was regenerated in socialist society, and in fact he wrongly concluded that it did not.1 However, it is also important to point out that it was one thing to maintain this kind of thinking 50 years ago, and quite another to repeat it today, as the AUCPB do, when this means going against the qualitatively higher understanding achievedby Mao and upheld by revolutionary communistsworldwide.

 The AUCPB is in essence upholding Stalin̓s erroneous conclusions regarding the class struggle under socialism against this qualitatively more advanced understanding. Stalin̓s incorrect assessment that the bourgeoisie had ceased to exist as a class to some extent disarmed the revolutionary forces in the CPSU. While this might be chalked up in part as due to historical limitations, in that Stalin was leading the first socialist state, Mao pointed out that this error was also related to tendencies towards metaphysics in Stalin, i.e., a lack of a thoroughly dialectical view of socialist society. The AUCPB̓s persistence in enshrining this erroneous approach goes hand in hand with their targeting of forces outside the Party as the main agents of capitalist restoration, and letting the top capitalist roaders in the party off the hook.

The Agents of Capitalist Restoration

 The main social forces Andreeva points to in the supposed “revisionist erosion” are not the top party officials taking the capitalist road, but the “rising middle bourgeoisie”. Other articles by her, including, for example, “On Current Questions”, go into this more explicitly and show that by the “rising middle bourgeoisie” the AUCPB is referring to forces outside the CPSU itself, in particular the “mafia-capitalists” and black market “entrepreneurs” and “businessmen” who have been functioning as an integral but officially disapproved part of Soviet society since the 1950s.

 It is true that Lenin pointed out long ago that the existence of a mass of petite bourgeoisie posed a long-term danger to the socialist state. But Mao Tsetung qualitatively raised this understanding on the basis of summing up the rich experience of socialism both in the USSR and China itself to conclude that the main danger of capitalist restoration lay in the top party people taking the capitalist road, the capitalist roaders. It is they who head up the new bourgeois class, as they are the ones with the position and power to play the key role in setting the party line that is decisive for determining whether class divisions will be expanded or narrowed, whether the masses will be mobilized to dig up the soil of capitalism and class society or will be shoved back under the authority of managers and bureaucrats, and of whether the socialist country will serve the world revolution or be transformed into a reactionary power.

 By situating the representatives of the capitalist relations of production outside the party and state apparatus, the AUCPB turns the attention of the proletariat and the masses away from the main battleground between the proletariat and bourgeoisie over questions of power, most of all the burning questions marking the direction and nature of the society in both the superstructure and base, nationally and internationally. Instead, the key questions are reduced to such matters as whether the “black” economy is expanding and encroaching on socialist forms such as “state ownership”. Although these phenomena are reflections of the restoration of capitalism, this methodology makes “state ownership” itself appear to be the litmus test of socialism — no matter whether it is the proletariat running the state and revolutionizing society, or bureaucrat bosses like Brezhnev, who are doing virtually everything all other capitalists do, except openly functioning as capitalists.

 Without the Maoist analysis, Nina Andreeva & Co are only capable of recognizing the bourgeoisie when it sets up stock markets and the like and proclaims itsel in its conventional Western form. They see Brezhnev & Co as corrupt and “stagnant”, opportunists or bureaucrats, or even as degenerating Marxist-Leninists, but not as the leading representatives of state monopoly capitalism and as bourgeoisie themselves. In this way the proletariat̓s spearhead is turned downwards away from the Soviet bureaucrat bourgeoisie and their leading henchmen like the KGB and Red Army generals. Having ignored the lessons of the Cultural Revolution, it is no wonder that, though the Soviet revisionists viciously attacked the Cultural Revolution in China, Nina Andreeva and the AUCPB have not said a word in its defence and, as we shall see, essentially call on revolutionaries to forget it.

On the Nature of the CPSU

 Linked to the AUCPB̓s mistaken portrayal of the process of capitalist restoration and the forces behind it is their view that the CPSU somehow represented all the different classes in Soviet society, or, as Andreeva puts it: “... during the last three decades, several tendencies have coexisted in the CPSU: Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, Trotskyists and Bukharinists, nationalists and internationalists, patriots and cosmopolitans, future anarchists, monarchists, Cossack commanders and Yeltsin lieutenants — in a word, the entire spectrum of current politics.” — From “Some Current Questions”, Nina Andreeva, April 1992

 Whatever its actual membership, the CPSU was not a party with some sort of mixed class character, as is argued here, but a social-imperialist party ruling a reactionary imperialist power. Here we would like to ask Andreeva: What is so different between this view of the CPSU and the way that the US Democratic Party or British “New” Labour Party promote themselves as a “party of the people”, because they have members who are women, Blacks, workers and so forth — even though these parties have faithfully represented imperialism for many generations?

 Further examination of the AUCPB programme will show that however “mixed” they consider the CPSU, they firmly hold to the view that the CPSU and the USSR itself remained in essence socialist throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s — and that consequently the core Soviet institutions and policies, including the CPSU itself, must be upheld. This is revealed most clearly in the AUCPB view of what Lenin considered to be the key part of any state, its armed forces.

On the KGB, the Red Army and the Imperialist Character of the USSR

 “Currently [in 1991] the organized and planned destruction of the economic, political and ideological foundations of the constitutional order, with the participation of agents of influence and foreign secret services, directly affects all communists and all honest Soviet citizens who have not given in to the tricks of anti-communist propaganda. And, of course, this concerns above all those who are in the police forces and the secret police (ʻtchekists̓), who do not have the right under any circumstances to forget their political class rle, inherited from Lenin and Dzerzhinski.... The ʻtchekist̓ symbol, the sword and the shield, is known the world over — its significance is the defense of the victories of October and the socialist system, and not of any kind of personal honour.... It is inadmissible that the sword and shield of socialism should be transformed into mere theatre props. It is even more inadmissible that anti-communist presidents use them against the people. The elimination of party leadership is the first step towards ʻdepoliticizing̓ the armies and the KGB organs in the USSR. Yeltsin is vigorously insisting on this point. ʻDepoliticizing̓ means destroying the most important institution defending the State which, along with the Armed Forces and the MVD [Ministry of Internal Affairs], has up to now been an invincible rampart against the enemies of socialism.” From “For Our Soviet Fatherland! Arise, Great Country....”13 July 1991, Minsk, Bielorus(italics added)

 “Arise, Great Country” — this title itself sounds ominously like a battle call to those former Soviet social-imperialist forces who are not reconciled to their loss of superpower status and of subsequent integration into a US-imperialist-dominated worldorder.

 What has been the actual content of “Soviet patriotism” over the last four decades? Today the vast majority of people in the former USSR and around the world know this country for its reactionary invasion of Czechoslovakia and then of Afghanistan and the mass murder of thousands opposing it there, including many Maoists, and for training and propping up reactionary regimes in Ethiopia and Angola.2 And of course it viciously repressed internal opposition. It is indispensable to draw a sharp line of demarcation between the actions of the Soviet armed forces over the last few decades and the previous years of socialist rule, including the heroic defense of socialism against the Nazi imperialist invasion during World War II under Stalin. In the current context, Andreeva̓s praise of the “invincible rampart against the enemies of socialism” ultimately can only mean a defense of arch-criminals of social-imperialism, of the same KGB that viciously purged genuine proletarian revolutionaries from the CPSU during the 1950s and then smashed any dissent for long years thereafter, and that were key in trying to behead opposition to Soviet social-imperialism at home and abroad.

 This support for the reactionary secret police of the KGB is a concrete expression of the line of the AUCPB on the nature of the USSR and the repressive apparatus of the Soviet state more generally. Here is an extract from the Party Programme:

 “The main international objective [of the AUCPB] is restoring the integrity and reinforcing the sovereignty of the country, so that it can once again be a great world power. Today the policy of peaceful coexistence is not a gift that the capitalist world is giving us but is very much the result of the development of the worldwide struggle of the international working class and of the socialist countries against the monopoly capital of the ʻcivilized̓ countries that exploit the 150 countries of the third world. The probable price of the defeat of socialism in this struggle may well be a third world war which will lead to the destruction of humanity.

 “For 70 years the Soviet armed forces, who come from the working class and are founded to protect the workers, have been the solid guarantee of the independence of the State and of the protection of its citizens. The current reform of the military aims not only at transforming the armed forces, the troops of the Defence Ministry and the KGB into an army of mercenaries, alienated from the people, but also to put them in different national quarters. This can only lead to civil wars.

 “The main duty of communists in uniform is to guarantee the integrity and ʻbackbone role̓ of the worker and peasant cadres in the Soviet army and navy and to prevent the restorationists from transforming them into a repressive force against the people. It is not excluded that in the near future the armed forces will have to fulfill a dual patrioic task: to prevent the possible interference of imperialism under various pretexts in the internal affairs of our country and to prevent our own criminal bourgeoisie from unleashing war against the workers, who cannot stand the excessive burden of the restoration of ʻsavage̓ capitalism.

 “The armed forces today need the support of the whole people as never before, in particular to find a solution to the social problems that the soldiers and their families are facing. The destruction of military-industrial strength is treason. Only a transformation — and not the weakening of defence capacity — can strengthen the unity of the people and the army. Any attack on our army, on the honour and dignity of the defenders of the Fatherland, should be punishable by law.”—

From the AUCPB Programme, 1991

 As for the AUCPB̓s “main international objective” of restoring the Soviet Union to its previous status as a “great world power”, Lenin̓s criteria for evaluating the political questions of his day springs immediately to mind: for whom, on behalf of what class? A great world power for Brezhnev-style imperialists to ride on the backs of the world̓s masses yet again and try and intimidate revolutionary struggle with their nuclear weapons, as they tried against Mao and revolutionary China? The AUCPB claim to uphold Marxism-Leninism, but they still shamelessly and even proudly defend this reactionary army whose crimes went far beyond its border.

 In a country like Russia, which except for the four decades of proletarian rule has been a reactionary great European power for several centuries, the AUCPB̓s “main international objective” of restoring the country as a “great world power” smacks of imperialist chauvinism. Even if everything else in their programme were genuinely revolutionary — which it most definitely is not — still this stand on such a central question would be like a drop of poison in a jar of honey.3

 In the name of “socialism”, the oppressed masses of the former USSR are told that their duty is not to smash these reactionary armed forces, but to support them! These “revolutionaries” even want to pass a law making it a crime to attack the “honour and dignity” of the Soviet nuclear-equipped armed forces! True proletarian revolutionaries in Russia would have denounced this army and done everything possible to rouse the people against it and to teach the need to destroy it along with every other prop of the social-imperialist state. The AUCPB claim to be Leninist — they would do well to study Lenin̓s teachings on revolutionary defeatism in World War I, where he told the revolutionaries of his day that the working class movement “will remain true to itself only if it joins neither one nor the other imperialist bourgeoisie, only if it says that both sides are equally bad, and if it wishes the defeat of the imperialist bourgeoisie in every country.” ( from “Under a False Flag” )

On the August 1991 Coup

 The August 1991 coup represented a decisive showdown between the faction of the Soviet ruling class headquartered in the “State Committee for the Emergency” that sought to retain significant elements of the old revisionist order, and another faction led by Yeltsin that wished to abandon them more completely and adopt Western forms of rule and collaborate openly with the Western imperialists. The State Committee, rooted in sections of the KGB and the military, arrested Gorbachev and tried to oust the “Westernizers”, but seemed to lack decisiveness and were defeated and arrested y the Yeltsin-led forces. They were later released and many are active today. Maoist revolutionaries around the world denounced both sets of plotters; Nina Andreeva and the AUCPB, instead, hailed the coup attempt, and rose to defend the old-style revisionist coup plotters upon their capture.

 “One of the revolting expressions of arbitrariness and anarchy which is continually doing violence to the truth is the charging of the members of the former State Committee for the Emergency and a series of other Soviet citizens under Article 64 of Russia̓s Constitution (“treason to the country”).

 “Isn̓t it an aberration to charge with treason Generals Varennikov and Kryuchkov and Marshall Yazov [leading members of the State Emergency Committee], whose lives are an example of real service to the fatherland?

 “In their youth, comrades Varennikov and Yazov fought in the ranks of the Red Army against the German fascist aggressors, for the honour, liberty and independence of our fatherland, and since then they have linked their lives with the defence of the fatherland and the strengthening of the Soviet fighting forces. Comrade Kryuchkov has devoted his career to strengthening the Soviet State Security forces and the reinforcement of its international position. There is no basis for suspecting them of betraying Soviet state interests....” — From the “Declaration to the Soviet and World Community” adopted at the AUCPB Founding Congress (italics added)

 Indeed, there is no basis whatsoever for suspecting any of these men of betraying Soviet social-imperialist interests or of doing anything at all but fighting to promote them for many long years! Nina Andreeva̓s “Comrade” Kryuchkov, it should be noted, was the head of the KGB! He was a young KGB officer in Prague in 1968 and then won advancement helping to supervise the declaration of martial law in Poland in 1981. He was later responsible for KGB coordination with the Red Army during the Afghanistan war. Marshall Yazov was none other than Defense Minister of the Soviet Union — and during Afghanistan had key responsibilities, as Andreeva says, in “the strengthening of the Soviet fighting forces” — so they could better commit their ugly crimes! He was the top military commander overseeing the general repression in Georgia under Gorbachev, which included the infamous incident in 1989 where the secret police savagely beat several dozen Georgian demonstrators to death with shovels. Yazov was one of the three men in the USSR with their finger on the nuclear button. The fact that such monsters had initially joined the Red Army when it was under proletarian rule decades ago is only further proof of the Maoist analysis that the new bourgeoisie rises right in the heart of the revolutionary party and state, which must purge itself repeatedly through continuing the class struggle under socialism.4

 The AUCPB̓s active support for these imperialist butchers indicates how deeply they are mired in the swampy legacy of Soviet revisionism; it is also revealing of their aims in mobilizing the masses, and who would actually come out on top in their scheme of things.

The AUCPB strategy: revolution or restoration of revisionism?

 “The Communist Party Bolshevik considers that the ʻkey link̓ in its activity is the politicization of every aspect of the workers̓ struggle by means of strikes. The essence, then, in these strikes is the establishment of political relations with the strikers̓ collectives: it is necessary to advance political and economic demandscollaterally and to organize aid for the strike collectives in order to fuse these diverse actions into a general process which can reflect the discontent of the people with the anti-popular politics of the restorationist government.

 “The highest form of political resistance of the workers will be the general political strike which must be organized under favourable conditions, under the direction of an appropriate organization, able to eject from power those who have tricked the people with false promises, those who have executed the counter-revolutionary and anti-constitutional coup and those who have destroyed the USSR.... Only the general political strike and the call to civil disobedience can halt civil war, that is to say, massacres between nations, general catastrophe, foreign interference in the solutions of the internal problems of our fatherland. The political general strike can generate a good state of mind among the working people, raise the level of their political consciousness and also regenerate the soviets as organs of worker and peasant power. These soviets will render inoperable the presidency, the general government, the governors and other counter-revolutionary organs in becoming the power of the people for the people.

 “The general political strike is the last and only real possibility to throw out of power all those who have betrayed the national and social interests of the Soviet people. This is the ʻkey link̓ in the chain of developments, which will lead to the final defeat of the counter-revolution.” From “We Must Begin All Over Again” (1991) (italics added)

 It is remarkable how the “Leninist” AUCPB invoke the same economist watchwords that Lenin so vehemently attacked in What Is To Be Done?: “the politicization of the workers̓ struggle by means of strikes”, “advancing political and economic demands collaterally”, etc. — all of which Lenin showed can only lead to a subordination of the workers̓ struggle to bourgeois ideology and reformism.

 These are, however, not deviations from a programme for revolution. For the goal of the AUCPB does not seem to be smashing the current state, to overthrow it by revolutionary civil war, as Lenin led the masses to do in 1917, and as would be required for any real “new October” today. Indeed, the strategy of the AUCPB is presented as the only hope for avoiding civil war! The AUCPB seems to have a different programme, and it is aptly expressed in terms like “ejecting from power” or “throwing out of power” “all those who have tricked the people”, or reviving the soviets so that they “render inoperable” the government. This amounts to a programme of militant reform, to mobilize the masses as a pressure group to help force the powers that be to allow them to have a share of power. It goes hand-in-glove with their appeals to the generals and upper strata to restore the USSR to great power status.

 The key planks of the AUCPB programme — their “main international objective” of restoring the USSR as a “great world power”; their support for the high-ranking revisionist chieftains who lost in the August showdown with the Yeltsin faction; their opposition to a revolutionary civil war and backing for a general strike to “throw out” those currently in power, etc. — amount to a programme for one bourgeois faction replacing another. It is carefully crafted to appeal to former powerful revisionists in the CPSU like Kryuchkov and his cronies on the basis of restoring what they once had both internally and internationally and mobilizing sections of the masses as a battering ram to help achieve this.

 All this is similar to the classic Soviet revisionist formula in the Third World. It was used to appeal to dissatisfied sections of the armed forces, mobilizing the workers as a pressure group on an economist basis, in order to expel pro-Western sections of the ruling classes and establish the revisionist form of rule, centered on state forms of ownership and control (dominated by Soviet social-imperialism, as in Angola, Ethiopia, and elsewhere).5

 The programme of Andreeva and Co is not for a ew October, it is for a “better Brezhnev”.

On AUCPB “Support” for Stalin

 It is in this context that the AUCPB̓s much-publicized “support” for Stalin should be evaluated. A survey of their comments on Stalin shows that, first of all, they seem to have made no serious analysis of the Stalin era and instead have contented themselves with occasional brief phrases of support for Stalin and the achievements during the period he led the CPSU, and especially for victory in WWII. They have little or nothing to say about Stalin̓s leadership in the battle to build socialism in one country, or to mobilize the workers and peasants to collectivize agriculture. Even the Soviet victory in WWII is upheld in terms that never go beyond patriotism, and Andreeva focuses repeatedly on the “great sacrifices of the Russian people”.

 It is true and an important part of the heritage of the international communist movement that the masses of Russia and the entire USSR made great sacrifices in defeating the German fascists, and that this helped contribute to advances in the world revolution, including in China. Stalin led this and is upheld by revolutionaries worldwide for this great accomplishment. But what Nina Andreeva & Co uphold in all this is not its revolutionary content but the form: what is important for them is not that it was the proletarian dictatorship that won, but the “great country” of the USSR, which they want to emerge as “a great power” once again. “Soviet patriotism” is all they see in the socialist era, not proletarian internationalism.

 By robbing Stalin̓s achievements of their revolutionary content, and even more fundamentally by mixing up the advance of the Soviet Union when it was socialist with the period when it was social-imperialist, Andreeva and the AUCPB do not raise the banner of Stalin to oppose revisionism. Instead, they wind up trying to enlist Comrade Stalin as part of an effort that would ultimately restore the revisionist form of bourgeois rule in the former USSR instead of the current undisguised form. It should be recalled that Brezhnev himself paid occasional lip service to Stalin, although to a lesser extent (and this is undoubtedly one of the reasons the AUCPB does not come down so hard on him as it does on Khrushchev).

 It is difficult if not impossible to conceive of any genuine revolutionary force emerging in the former USSR that does not repudiate the revisionism of the post-Stalin CPSU leaders, and denounce social-imperialist rule. Having failed to break with them and take up the banner of Mao, Nina Andreeva & Co wind up in an ugly situation, including one of support for vicious counter-insurgency wars against the peoples of the world. Maoists, while recognizing and opposing the imperialist machinations of the US in countries like Afghanistan, firmly stood on the side of the Afghan people in fighting the Soviet social-imperialists, and upheld and applied Lenin̓s calls for revolutionaries in the imperialist countries to be revolutionary defeatists. Hence such a stand is expected especially of communists in imperialist countries in respect to “their own” fatherland — it was crucial for Maoists in the US, for example, to welcome the blows dealt to the US war machine by the Vietnamese people. Lenin firmly stated that training in such a stand is indispensable for genuine internationalism, for teaching the masses who are their real friends and who their real enemies.

 Nina Andreeva and the AUCPB do not promote Stalin because he was a proletarian revolutionary, nor do they criticize Khrushchev and Gorbachev because they are capitalists. What they like about Stalin is that “he won” WWII and the USSR was strong, and what they don̓t like about Gorbachev is that ultimately “he lost”. This same chauvinist logic is at the heart of why the AUCPB go so easy on Brezhnev (his worst crime in their eyes seems to be “economic stagnation”), although he was the quintessence of the revisionist bureaucrat bourgeois: because, in terms of advancing Russian power, he didn̓t do so badly!

 It is difficult to be certain whether the AUCPB are simply unable to raise their sights beyond the narrow bounds of Russian national interests, or whether they have a more worked-out programme for uniting with sections of the ruling elite to restore social-imperialism in its revisionist form. But in either case the AUCPB line would lead to the same result: restoration of the revisionist form of rule on a social-imperialist basis. It is a line that revolutionaries cannot support.

 It is only by taking up Mao and on that basis going back to Lenin that revolution can be advanced in Russia and the countries of the former USSR. Even if Andreeva and the AUCPB were genuinely trying to take up Stalin and use his understanding to advance to revolution, this would not succeed. This is not only or even mainly because of the weaknesses in Stalin̓s line described above. It is not possible to turn one̓s back on the most advanced understanding of proletarian revolution and go back to some previous stage and begin from there. It would be like a scientist trying to stand firm on defending Newtonian mechanics while rejecting the leap represented by quantum mechanics or Einstein̓s theory of relativity. This would be impossible and lead to idealism, and the effort itself would lead into all kinds of erroneous methodology — and this is all the more so in the field of social analysis, where the weight of history and the domination of the bourgeois class means that those who turn away from the most advanced proletarian understanding will find themselves swept by powerful currents back into the bourgeois fold. In other words, while it was enough 80 years ago to have the understanding of Marx and Lenin to make proletarian revolution in Tsarist Russia, today this is no longer the case. Without Mao, there will be no “newOctober”.

 This is not simply a matter of whether you term the science of revolution Marxism-Leninism or Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Mao̓s contributions have practical consequences for how revolutionaries analyze the enemy, build strategic alliances, carry out the struggle for power, including militarily, and wield that power once won — and this is true in the imperialist countries as well as the oppressed countries. Indeed, maintaining a view that Mao is only relevant for semi-feudal semi-colonial countries, or only after seizing power, will inexorably push a party into reformism in America or Russia as well as in India or Brazil.6

 Here, in turning to the question of the scientific character of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, a word must be said about the question of how much the AUCPB̓s stands might be due to ignorance of Mao̓s contributions. Many revolutionaries who noticed the appearance of these forces on the Soviet scene initially held out hope that aspects of their line that sounded like leftovers from the revisionist era might be solved over time as these forces were introduced to the teachings of Mao, from which they were to some extent isolated. However, while it is true that the masses in the USSR had little exposure to Mao, it is also the case that the Soviet revisionists themselves produced voluminous writings against Mao, including scathing attacks on the Cultural Revolution, racist slurs against Mao̓s “Asiatic deviousness”, ugly arrogant diatribes against the peasant character of the Chinese revolution, and so forth.7 Most if not all of the people in the leadership of these parties were CPSU members of some rank and certainly had ready access to this literature. It might be presumed that they have some responsibility to right the wrongs of this verdict from their former party, especially since to some extent they continue to uphold the CPSU during this period. Furthermre, they themselves used to speak of the need to study Mao. Yet, even today, faced with the pathetic collapse of Soviet revisionism, and knowing that the leader of the Chinese revolution led the worldwide attack on Soviet revisionism, which they too claim to oppose, the most important initiative by the AUCPB concerning Mao has been their efforts to persuade the international communist movement that it is time to “heal the wounds” between revisionism and Maoism. This can only mean to forget and obliterate the line of demarcation Mao drew between revolution and revisionism. And mention of Mao has almost disappeared from their literature in the last few years. Their earlier pronouncements of their openness to Mao unfortunately seem to have remained a dead letter.

The International Communist Movement

 “The restoration of capitalism in the USSR and in the socialist countries of Europe has profoundly changed the balance of forces in favour of imperialism and reaction. This has provoked a crisis in the international workers̓ and communists̓ movements. A blow has been dealt to the three fundamental pillars of the international revolutionary process: the system of socialist states, the struggle of the communist parties in the capitalist countries and the movements for national liberation. The temporary defeat of socialism in Europe and the USSR has shifted the centre of world socialism and the revolutionary movement to the countries of Asia and Latin America, which are today being pressured from all sides by international capital. In these circumstances, the progressive forces of the world must mobilize their joint support for the communist parties of China, Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Laos. Today the communist parties that were swept along by the tide of the 20th Congress of the CPSU are experiencing a deep crisis and are irrevocably losing their authority among the masses. It is the Marxist-Leninist parties that rejected the revisionist decisions of the 20th Congress who are now winning this authority. For more than thirty years the opportunists treated them as ʻStalinists̓, ʻMaoists̓ and ʻpro-Albanians̓. The events of this last decade have shown that their basic political and ideological positions were correct. What is needed today is their cohesion, their united action against the common enemy, the development of a common strategy and tactics of the class struggle, the reorganization of the structures for coordinating the international communist movement so as to ensure the heritage, the traditions and the experience of international communism. The first step on this complex and difficult road was taken with the Declaration of Pyongyang (April 1992) signed at that time by 70 parties.” —From “The Class Struggle in the USSR Today” 14 July 1992.

 “The theoretical basis of the party must become, not in words but in deeds, the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism, taken as its philosophical, sociological, economic and political basis, the world historic mission of the working class: To create a society without classes, where there is neither exploitation nor oppression nor wars nor social injustice. Marxism-Leninism purified of its opportunist remnants, and creatively developed to suit current conditions. Not developed as Gorbachev did, incorporating ʻworld humanitarian ideals̓, ʻthe enrichment of proletarian scientific theory̓ by the ideas of Bernstein, Kautsky, Berdiaev and Martov, Trotsky and Bukharin, Djilas and Lefèvre, Willy Brandt and the Fathers of the Socialist International, who can only transform Marxism into a petit- bourgeois anti-communist concept. In the conditionsof capitalist restoration in our country what is especially important is the communist outlook and political experience as summed up and developed in the works of Stalin, Mao Tsetung, Dimitrov, Thälmann, Thorez, Togliatti, Ho Chi Minh, Ibarruri, Kim Il Sung, Castro and other eminent politicians of the international movement, at the source of which is Lenin.” — From “The Current Situation and Our Tasks”, Speech to the Founding Congress of the CPBSU, Nina Andreeva (November 1991).

 Let us take these points one by one. First, have the events in the former Soviet bloc “profoundly changed the balance of forces in favour of imperialism and reaction”? In a word, no. The AUCPB viewpoint on this question is generally held by all those who looked to the Soviet Union as socialist. Even those who viewed it as a “bad” socialist country argued that it still gave them “room to manoeuvre” versus the US imperialists. But as can be seen from the tragic history of Cuba, Angola, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and many other places, the main room they gained to manoeuvre was from the claws of one imperialist exploiter into those of another. The people of the world lost nothing from the collapse of Soviet social-imperialism and the change in the form of the bourgeois dictatorship there.

 Maoists point out instead that the collapse of the revisionist form of rule was due to the deep protracted crisis of the world imperialist system. Although no one can sympathize with the reasons the Western imperialists had for rejoicing at the revisionists̓ fall — the collapse of their rivals — from the point of view of the masses, this was no tragedy. First of all, the Soviet rulers were exploiters and oppressors, and secondly, their fall reflects divisions and a weakening in the camp of the enemy classes, and the disappearance of ugly exploitative societies posing as socialist and spreading confusion among the masses. While the weakening of its main rival might give the US imperialists certain tactical advantages, this has not and cannot resolve the world imperialist crisis. The situation poses new challenges for Maoist revolutionaries but it also offers new opportunities to step forward as the genuine representatives of communism, not least of all in the former Soviet bloc itself. Furthermore, as is pointed out in “On the World Situation” (AWTW 21/1995), the contradictions between the imperialist countries and the oppressed nations and between the proletariat and bourgeoisie within the imperialist countries are both intensifying.

 The AUCPB̓s assessment of the balance of forces in the world is bound up with their view that the “three fundamental pillars of the international revolutionary process” have been hit hard. Yet the blows dealt to the first of these pillars, the “socialist” states, were not blows against the masses of people because these states did not at all represent the masses. Instead, this represented a weakening of important pillars of the world imperialist system. The same goes for Nina Andreeva̓s so-called communist parties in the capitalist countries, by which she means big, revisionist parties like the French and Italian pro-Soviet communist parties, who have done everything to smother revolutionary struggle in their countries, for example, in May ̓68 in France.

 As for the national liberation movements like those which came to power in Cuba, Nicaragua and so forth, and which had come under the wing of Soviet social-imperialism, the collapse of Soviet imperialism has indeed demoralized and weakened the comprador classes running these countries as well as various national bourgeois forces influenced by Soviet revisionism. Many of these forces are using their positions of authority over the masses to cut a deal with the Western imperialists. But this does not change the fact that the basic masses, the great majority, live in great misery and are suffering more under the effects of the deepening crisis, including in the former Soviet bloc itself, and that, as Mao Tsetung concisely pointed out, where there is oppression there is resistance. The continued treachery of a handful of bourgeois forces like the ANC in South Africa, the PL in Palestine, or the FMLN in El Salvador should not be cause for genuine revolutionaries to lose heart.

 The AUCPB exaggerates the strength of the imperialists and tries to trade on the continued weakness of the communist forces to set the scene for their appeal to put aside past divisions in the International Communist Movement (ICM) and come together, Hoxhaites, Maoists, Castroites, former CPSUers, etc., in a sort of defensive united front against the imperialists. Indeed, the AUCPB̓s Andreeva co-drafted a Proposal for the Unification of the ICM with the Belgian Labour Party (PTB) calling on the ICM to “overcome the historic divisions” and “heal the wounds” (reprinted on page 30). This call for unity obliterates the lines of demarcation between revolution and counter-revolution. In this case, it means unity with forces that are far from renouncing their revisionist heritage. They claim to be open to learning from Mao̓s criticisms of the Soviet revisionists, but then put Mao Tsetung alongside forces like Castro that fought tooth and nail against everything Mao stood for, and upheld every bloody crime of the social-imperialists, or old-time revisionists like the Italian CP̓s Togliatti, or Maurice Thorez of the French CP who played a key role in leading the French party to throw away any revolutionary opportunities rising out of WWII and to come to terms with the French bourgeoisie afterwards.

 This is the kind of international alignment the AUCPB programme would lead to — one where the lack of principle typical of revisionism dominates, and where the only place for genuine revolutionaries is under the revisionist wing. This is the implication of their call for all the revolutionaries in the world to “come to the support” of the “Communist” Parties of China, Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Laos, none of which has had anything to do with genuine revolution for many years. And against whom is, for example, the Communist Party of China to be supported? Since it is wholeheartedly embracing the US and other Western imperialists, this can only wind up meaning supporting it against the masses of China who increasingly long for a return to the Maoist period and whom the revisionists have shown they will shoot down in cold blood.

 The heart of the AUCPB appeal is this effort to obliterate the dividing line that has been fought for over the last 30 years between Maoism and revisionism. What else were these “old divisions” except Mao̓s battle against the attempts by the Soviet revisionists to bury revolution and portray exploitative and oppressive former East bloc countries as “socialist”?

 This is the implication of the conclusion that Nina Andreeva draws: that what can be united around today is defense of Stalin and especially Lenin. Hence the concluding comment above that at the “source” of all the various forces whose communist experience is needed lies Lenin.

 Leninism does indeed form part of the dividing line in the ICM — but what Andreeva wants to obliterate is that today there can be no Leninism without Mao. Mao̓s contributions were made on the basis of developing and extending Marxism-Leninism, which was raised to the new stage of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Trying to go back to Leninism today without Mao would be like someone in, say, the 1920s or 1930s trying to go back to Marxism without Lenin. (Such people do exist — they are called social democrats.) And not only does Maoism comprehend Marxism-Leninism, but, as the second basic document of RIM, Long Live Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!, points out, on the basis of Mao̓s development of Marxism-Leninism the contributions of Marx and Lenin themselves can be seen in a new light, and their essential contributions more sharply appreciated.

 Finally, trying to return to Lenin as the line of demarcation would lead to burying Mao̓s decisive analysis of the class struggle under socialism. Lenin didn̓t even live to witness capitalist restoration, and neither did Stalin. How could anyone seriously pretend that they thoroughly analyzed this extremely complex phenomena? Yet, standing on their shoulders, Mao did make such an analysis, and even more, he le a pathbreaking struggle to prevent capitalist restoration in the Cultural Revolution, which represents the highest point of advance by the world proletarian revolution.

 In fact, what the Andreeva-type forces call the “divisions in the ICM” ceased very quickly to be seen as divisions within the ICM, for what they really amounted to was a class struggle between the representatives of the new bourgeoisie in the USSR, led by Khrushchev, and the representatives of the international proletariat, led by Mao Tsetung. This was not sectarian in-fighting, this was Khrushchev defending his class and Mao defending his class. What Mao proceeded from was the interests of the international proletariat and world revolution, of continuing the revolution under socialism and never losing sight of the goal of achieving communism worldwide. From that point on he became the foremost leader of the international proletariat — including the proletarians of the Soviet Union. To be perfectly clear, the attempt to do away with Mao̓s verdicts is not about “healing wounds” within the ICM, because the Soviet revisionists were no longer part of the ICM, they were counter-revolutionaries trying to crush the ICM. Trying to “heal these wounds” today is trying to reconcile revolution and counter-revolution. It won̓t work any more now than it did 30 years ago. There will be more on the ongoing struggle in the ICM in upcoming issues of AWTW.

 The AUCPB and other similar forces have been strengthening their links recently with many of the centrist forces who had tended to die away in the past decade or so. But the genuine Maoists are not seeking bureaucratic alliances with forces whose dreams can fly no higher than making the best of Brezhnev; instead they are stepping up their efforts to spread the influence of MLM around the world, even in the former Soviet bloc countries, and to build and strengthen Maoist parties united in RIM, in order to launch and lead revolutionary people̓s wars as soon as possible with the aim of establishing new socialist countries, as base areas for revolution worldwide. While the older generation of revolutionaries from different countries are important to these efforts, the Maoists are paying specific attention to the young fresh forces rising in struggle out of the deepening imperialist world crisis, so as to lead a new generation of communists to march fearlessly and unflinchingly into a future filled with stormy revolutionary struggle.


 Nina Andreeva and her party have failed to break with many of the deepest roots of the revisionism that characterized the CPSU during the three and a half decades when it presided over the social-imperialist USSR. It will be impossible for new forces to advance to revolution there without grasping the qualitative leap in the science of revolution forged by Mao Tsetung, rupturing thoroughly with revisionism and on that basis launching a struggle for all-out revolution to overthrow the ruling bourgeoisie in Russia through revolutionary people̓s war, as part of the world proletarian revolution.

 Today, when the Soviet revisionists have collapsed and the ugly features of their rule have been shouted to the world by the Western and Russian imperialists, Nina Andreeva and the AUCPB could not even get a hearing internationally or domestically without making at least some criticisms of the post-1956 period. And so they do, and they even say a few polite things about Mao Tsetung. But they limit themselves to criticisms of secondary features of Soviet social-imperialism under Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, etc., and they lmit any talk supporting Mao to non-essential features, and carefully guard against any attack on the imperialist essence of the revisionist USSR.

 Their stand is not mainly due to ignorance, but to the fact that they are still held tightly in the grip of revisionism. The tens of millions of real proletarians who suffered at the hands of the revisionist Soviet bourgeoisie and burn with hatred of them and whose conditions under Western-style rule have only worsened urgently need better than this. They need young revolutionaries who fear neither going against the enemy̓s open weapons nor tossing off the smothering weight of the revisionist dogma prevalent on the ex-Soviet “left”. A “new October” cannot be made without Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

September 1997

[All translations are the responsibility of AWTW]

1. Later in his life in Economic Problems of Socialism, Stalin recognized, although still incompletely, the possible growth of capitalist elements in socialist society.

2.Soviet social-imperialism took part in classical neocolonial-style exploitation, too, of countries in or outside its bloc, like India, and it developed an “international division of labour” within its bloc, where it took the dominant role.

3. The extent to which the AUCPB follows in the footsteps of the CPSU itself is seen in their threat that the “defeat of socialism” will lead to a third world war and the “destruction of humanity”. Doesn̓t this echo the Soviet revisionists̓ own long-standing claim that their nuclear weapons were “weapons of peace” and the only thing that was stopping US imperialism from launching World War III — in the same way that many so-called Marxist-Leninists apologized for US imperialism and claimed their own masters̓ weapons ensured peace.

4. The fact that Andreeva in particular should rally to the support of these henchmen of the Soviet regime should come as no surprise. She spectacularly rose to national and even worldwide prominence in 1988 with the publication of an article in one of the leading Soviet newspapers, Sovietskaya Rossiya. The article was sponsored by Gorbachev̓s arch-rival at the time, the Brezhnevite Ligachev. Andreeva, then a professor in Leningrad, denounced the “pacifist erosion of defence and patriotic consciousness, as well as a desire to categorize the slightest expressions of Great Russian national pride as manifestations of great power chauvinism”. She called for a renewal of military strength, ideological “discipline”, stiffer penalties for criminals and more aggressively promoting the interests of Russia. While repeatedly invoking Stalin, the article objectively amounted to a call for “law and order”.

5. For more on this point see the Declaration of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement.

6. For more on this see the special issue on Mao, AWTW7/1986.

7. One typical polemic published by the CPSU sums up that, “It would be hard to exaggerate the harm that has been done to the world communist movement by the ideology and practices of the ʻcultural revolution̓ in China.” (A Critique of Mao Tsetung̓s Theoretical Conceptions, Progress Publishers, 1972)