Once the capitalist and imperialist countries (which had been trying to destroy each others power for four years in the ‘First World War’ of 1914-19) realised that the October Revolution in Russia of the Bolsheviks, led by VI Lenin, was a revolution of a ‘new type’ they did all in their power to destroy the first workers’ state.
In this they used outright military intervention – when 14 nations united on the side of the reactionary forces of feudalism and Tsarism, the so-called ‘Whites’ – but also conspiracy, espionage, sabotage and any other tactics to undermine the revolution. Assassination was part of their game, using local dupes to carry out the act, which included the failed attempt upon the life of Comrade Lenin himself.
Once defeated in the Civil War the imperialists used economic warfare to frustrate the nascent Soviet Union from building a society that was organised for and by the workers and peasants, those who produced all the wealth of the country. Later traitors, and those disaffected within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik), were also recruited in activities that sought to weaken the country in the face of threat of fascism from Germany and Japan.
The documents below seek to tell a small part of that history.
Why have you come to Mourmansk?, leaflet, addressed to ‘English’ soldiers sent to fight against the Russian revolutionaries, signed by N (VI) Lenin and G Tchitcherine (Chicherin), no date but probably mid to late 1918, 1 page.
Special issue of Wisconsin Magazine of History, with 3 articles about American military intervention in Archangel, 1918-1919, and the American military landing in Vladivostok and its operation of part of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Well illustrated. Volume 62, No. 3, Spring 1979, 92 pages.
If you live in Britain now the covid pandemic is over. The fact that infections are still high, and fluctuating widely in various parts of the country, the fact that there are still deaths (although the exact figures are not publicised as much as a couple of years ago) and there’s still a fear that it will have a serious effect upon certain sections of the population as the fourth jab is now being offered to a not inconsiderable number of people
But pandemic related issues still exist apart from the level of infections and deaths – as can be seen below. And the issue of poverty in the UK (which played its part in the trajectory of the pandemic since March 2020) is still not being adequately addressed – as it will never be under the capitalist system.
At the same time it’s convenient for the Buffoon and his government (and for the governments in many countries in the ‘west’) that there’s now a war going on to distract attention from anything that isn’t directly related to the Ukraine.
The Buffoon will argue that to bring up any discussion about the breaking of national rules in Downing Street on numerous occasions in the last couple of years is unimportant and a distraction from the war ‘where people are dying in their thousands’. But the untrustworthiness of the Buffoon is important when we consider that he is stoking the fires of war by the sending of serious levels of lethal weaponry to keep the Ukrainians fighting – for the benefit of the NATO and the capitalist governments of the ‘west’. For whose benefit is he sending those weapons? His disregard for the well being of the British population indicates that he will have little regard to the lives of Ukrainians and that he is playing (as many of the other ‘world leaders) a geopolitical game where the Ukrainians are merely the disposable pawns. (More on the hypocrisy of the ‘west’.)
And the Buffoons true level of concern for other people can be seen by the way in which the British Government has been one of the biggest supporters of ‘Big Pharma’ and refusing to support the relaxing of Intellectual Property (IP) rights on vaccines so that they can be produced in many more places in the world. This total disregard for the well being of the poorest in the world – whilst at the same time offering (i.e., buying support within a section of the British population) a fourth vaccination to those who don’t really need it – is no surprise and only goes to demonstrate, if it was still needed, that these people consider only themselves ad the class they represent.
The fact that this refusal to act in a manner to vaccinate as many people as possible throughout the world will almost certainly lead to new variants appearing – whether they will be relatively ‘benign’ (as they have been recently with Omicron) or true killer variants will have to be seen.
Finally, another Ukrainian war aspect that might come into play is the fact that the Ukraine had a low level of vaccination prior to the outbreak of hostilities. The trauma caused by the war and the leaving of their homes means that the refugees will be even less able to deal (physically and psychologically) with the virus if they come into contact with it on their journey west. Although Ukrainian refugees are being treated in a different way to that of previous waves in the last ten years or so there will be many who will attempt to get west by routes that are unregulated. Unless there is an effective testing regime in place (which hasn’t really been evident in Britain in the last two years), as well as the adequate provision, distribution and use of vaccines then the ‘wave’ of Ukrainian refugees could be introducing another wave of covid.
Not strictly about poverty but any changes that are made to deal with the climate emergency, if they are not well thought out, will have consequences and the poorest in society will bear the brunt of the problems. ‘Shrinking footprints; the impacts of the net zero transition on households and consumption’ is a report produced by the Resolution Foundation.
In February the Institute of Fiscal Studies produce a report in the changes to social care charges, Does the cap fit? Analysing the government’s proposed amendment to the English social care charging system. And the Full Report.
The history of the Soviet Union is one of constant struggle. It was born out of violence with the October Revolution in 1917 and then was immediately thrust into a life and death struggle for its existence against the capitalist and imperialist forces that could not countenance the existence of a state outside of their control.
Once the civil war was won the Communists in the Soviet Union then had the struggle to convince the population that a new world was possible whilst at the same time providing them with the lifestyle that was a radical improvement upon what they had lived under during the dark centuries of Czarism, a long period of feudalism and serfdom for the majority whilst the very few lived in luxury.
But even after wining the war against the foreign, imperialist invaders (supporting the moribund forces of reaction) the threat of external attack was never far away and the country always had to be aware of a potential foreign intervention, socially, economically and militarily. That ultimately led to the Hitlerite invasion of the country and the start of the Great Patriotic War – which ended when the Red Army chased the Nazi beast back to its lair.
The items on this page attempt to provide a background to this tumultuous period in history.
Ten Days that Shook the World, by John Reed, a stirring account of the proletarian seizure of power in November 1917, first published in 1919, ebook format 2017, 399 pages.
Six Red Months in Russia, an observers account of Russia before and during the proletarian dictatorship, Louise Bryant, first published 1919, Slavia Publishers, Blooming, 2017, 187 pages.
Political Economy in the Soviet Union, the full text of the Soviet article which provoked wide discussion and speculation in the American press, previously published only in parts, International Publishers, New York, 1944, 48 pages.
A History of the USSR, Andrew Rothstein, first published Penguin Books, London, 1950, reprinted version Red Star Press, New York, 2013, 398 pages.
Mission to Moscow, Joseph E Davies, United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1936-1938, a record of confidential dispatches to the State Department, official and personal correspondence, current diary and journal entries, including notes and comment up to October 1941, Victor Gollanz, London, 1945, 472 pages.
Lies concerning the history of the Soviet Union, from Hitler to Hearst, from Conquest to Solzhenitsyn: the history of the millions of people who, allegedly, were incarcerated and died in the labour camps of the Soviet Union and as a result of starvation in Stalin’s time, Mario Sousa, KPML(r), Sweden, 1999, 17 pages.
CIA’s Analysis of the Soviet Union 1947-1991, edited by Gerald K. Haines and Robert E. Leggett, Center for the Study of Intelligence, CIA, Washington, 2001, 323 pages. Some interesting documents, especially those related to the early ‘Cold War’ and the establishment of NATO.
Charles Bettelheim on the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics