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Thread: Russian State Archive boss: "USSR wasted time preparing for WWII"

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    Quote Originally Posted by ComradeOm View Post
    And I am not absolving the West of blame for failing to respond to Soviet collective security efforts. This does not however excuse the signing of the NAP. The dichotomy presented above (Western alliance or Nazi alliance) is false. Soviet refusal to sign the NAP would have presented a massive challenge to Nazi ambitions regardless of the negotiations with the Western powers. A state of 'armed neutrality' would have left Germany to somehow conquer France without a secure eastern border or Soviet material aid. This would, at least, allow the USSR to pick its own date of entry into the war

    Or if it were to be positioned so then it was imperative that it attack first into German territory.
    That sounds like the crackpot musings of Viktor Suvorov.
    "A new centrist project does not have to repeat these mistakes. Nobody in this topic is advocating a carbon copy of the Second International (which again was only partly centrist)." (Tjis, class-struggle anarchist)

    "A centrist strategy is based on patience, and building a movement or party or party-movement through deploying various instruments, which I think should include: workplace organising, housing struggles [...] and social services [...] and a range of other activities such as sports and culture. These are recruitment and retention tools that allow for a platform for political education." (Tim Cornelis, left-communist)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Die Neue Zeit View Post
    That sounds like the crackpot musings of Viktor Suvorov.
    It is increasingly accepted (again drawing from Glantz and Bellamy) that Soviet plans were tabled for spoiling attacks across the border to disrupt any imminent German invasion. The degree that these - a variant of the 'aggressive defence' that the Red Army was conditioned to employ in order to fight a mobile war - were accepted remains a matter of debate. Nonetheless, this is not what Suvorov describes (ie, a massive Soviet invasion of Central Europe that forced the Nazis to attack first) and I suggest that you read him again if you think that anything in my above posts bears a resemblance to his theories
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComradeOm View Post
    It is increasingly accepted (again drawing from Glantz and Bellamy) that Soviet plans were tabled for spoiling attacks across the border to disrupt any imminent German invasion. The degree that these - a variant of the 'aggressive defence' that the Red Army was conditioned to employ in order to fight a mobile war - were accepted remains a matter of debate.
    That's enough of a slippery slope. I know that such plans were tabled (you have to plan as many plans in as many scenarios as you can), but I just don't think that was the main one. Launching deep operations in immediate response to an invasion from the West (whether the "border guards" repelled the invasion or otherwise) was the norm. Basically, it's two groups of salients against each other to see who would go further and who would be decimated.
    Last edited by Die Neue Zeit; 5th September 2010 at 20:40.
    "A new centrist project does not have to repeat these mistakes. Nobody in this topic is advocating a carbon copy of the Second International (which again was only partly centrist)." (Tjis, class-struggle anarchist)

    "A centrist strategy is based on patience, and building a movement or party or party-movement through deploying various instruments, which I think should include: workplace organising, housing struggles [...] and social services [...] and a range of other activities such as sports and culture. These are recruitment and retention tools that allow for a platform for political education." (Tim Cornelis, left-communist)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Die Neue Zeit View Post
    That's enough of a slippery slope
    Only if you fail to distinguish between strategic and operational planning
    March at the head of the ideas of your century and those ideas will follow and sustain you. March behind them and they will drag you along. March against them and they will overthrow you.
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    You're accusing someone who's all into revolutionary strategy and suggesting appropriate center tactics here and there as someone who fails to distinguish between strategic, tactical, and operational planning, and the blurry line that is the strategic tactic (i.e., alternative culture, no coalitions or mass strikes for "all power to the soviets" garbage, etc.)?
    "A new centrist project does not have to repeat these mistakes. Nobody in this topic is advocating a carbon copy of the Second International (which again was only partly centrist)." (Tjis, class-struggle anarchist)

    "A centrist strategy is based on patience, and building a movement or party or party-movement through deploying various instruments, which I think should include: workplace organising, housing struggles [...] and social services [...] and a range of other activities such as sports and culture. These are recruitment and retention tools that allow for a platform for political education." (Tim Cornelis, left-communist)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ComradeOm View Post
    It is increasingly accepted (again drawing from Glantz and Bellamy) that Soviet plans were tabled for spoiling attacks across the border to disrupt any imminent German invasion. The degree that these - a variant of the 'aggressive defence' that the Red Army was conditioned to employ in order to fight a mobile war - were accepted remains a matter of debate. Nonetheless, this is not what Suvorov describes (ie, a massive Soviet invasion of Central Europe that forced the Nazis to attack first) and I suggest that you read him again if you think that anything in my above posts bears a resemblance to his theories
    Bellamy also stated that the Red Army's "offensive only" strategy was a problem when the invasion did come, because the did not know how to properly retreat. They didn't do this well until Operation Blau in Summer of 1942 when they managed to prevent encirclement in the Don Bend.

    And where would that border be in 1941 had it not been for the M-R pact? Again, you are using too much hind sight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rjevan View Post
    Oh no, not this again... instead of pointing out once again that this was to create a better defensive position for a future Nazi attack and to prevent the Nazis enslaving (may it be military or by installing puppet governments) further countries and people, this time I'd like to hear the Trotskyist alternative to the pact.
    Actually, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact gave the Nazis the green light to enslave a number of countries and peoples. The Soviet Union went along with it until the surprise attack; in Moscow, the embassies-in-exile of countries conquered by the Wehrmacht were expelled by Stalin's government as their nations fell to Hitler's armies.

    Also, let's dwell on this point of "enslaving people" for a while. The most disgusting element of Nazi savagery was their concentration camps. But during the Pact years, Stalin's regime showed complicity with that same murderous camp system by conducting a prisoner exchange under which innocent people like Margarete Buber-Neumann were handed over to the Gestapo torturers, while some loyal KPD members in Nazi camps were temporarily let out under house arrest, work release, or ransomed off to the USSR. Most importantly, the KPD under Walter Ulbricht in Die Welt in February 1940 advocated handing over antifascists to the Gestapo, ostensibly to strengthen the Pact against the threat of British imperialism.

    I mean how is Khrushchev a bad man for talking about "peaceful coexistence" while pursuing a strategy of tension against US imperialism, when he didn't exchange political prisoners with the US, nor did the CPUSA instruct American Communists to hand over opponents of "peaceful coexistence" to the FBI to "strengthen the bonds of Russian and American workers."

    The revolutionary alternative was neither the revisionist Popular Front nor the treacherous Pact with Hitler, but to continue throughout the Leninist program of proletarian internationalism, a key component of which was no secret military alliances with bourgeois powers.

    And please nothing like "With our superior theory and the resulting policies we would have successfully prevented the rise of fascism in Germany, so we wouldn't even be faced with this situation!" but an actual alternative to this very situation.
    Yeah, because A) If you can't just stick a Trotskyist in charge of the Soviet Union at any historical date and everything would be fine and have world revolution in 1-2 weeks, Trotskyists must be wrong therefore their suppression is justified. And B) Your "Marxist-Leninist Anti-Revisionist" critique of the post-1956 USSR is practically devoid of content aside from saying "With its superior orthodox M-L theory and non-revisionist policies a Hoxhaist leadership could have led the USSR to build real socialism" etc.

    But in concrete terms, the alternative in the very situation, even assuming the Pact had already been signed when the Nazis invaded Poland, would have been to side with the Allies once they had declared war on Germany, and attack the German units in Poland, rallying the Polish people to resist the invader.

    Trying to get an alliance with the "democratic" nations? We already saw that the USSR tried this and failed misserably because of the total lack of interest on the side of the "democrats". Waiting till the Nazis invade Poland, then fiercely condemning them and appealing to the the Allies to join an anti-Axis alliance now? Probably would have worked just as great as it did before the invasion and before Czechoslovakia, etc.
    Except that the Allies went to war with Germany over Poland. That was not the case during the occupation of Czechoslovakia. So it would, in fact, be easier to appeal to the Allies to declare war on the Axis given that they had already done that.

    Attacking the Nazis as soon as the set foot into Poland? Sure way not only to get Japan to attack you but to also start the anti-Bolshevik crusade which the Allies where already preparing (see below).
    Apparently you have completely forgotten about the working class in the Allied countries which, if the USSR had maintained an antifascist foreign policy up to the invasion of Poland, would never have permitted their governments to make peace with Hitler and participate in a Nazi-led "crusade" against the USSR. Workers' strikes and protests are what prevented British and French imperialists from directly assisting the Confederacy in the American Civil War, and sabotaged the imperialist offensive against the USSR in the Russian Civil War.

    Appealing to the German working class to rise up against Hitler which would have surely led to German revolution and the end of the war? Don't think so.
    That would have been better than what really happened, with the KPD advising collaboration with the Nazi regime.

    Agreed to a non-aggression pact but rejected the option of "dividing Eastern Europe" and let the Nazis have it all? Great idea.
    And Hitler took all this land once he tore up the alliance, so a lot of good it did the USSR to carve up Europe with Nazis.

    ...
    I was talking about the situation before the German invasion, to be precisely about the Red Army offering to defend the country and to fight together with the Polish army in case of a German invasion, an offer which was turned down by the Polish government.
    The fact that the Allies were uninterested in the time justifies internationalism but not military or political cooperation with fascist powers.

    It was not about being afraid that the enemy might attack, it was sure that the enemy would eventually attack. It was about buying as much time as possible and giving the Nazis as little reason as possible to scream blue murder that the Bolsheviks are displaying aggression against the peace-loving Axis nations. Even today there are historians trying to justify the German invasion by pointing out that there was a worrying amount of Soviet troops at the border, prepared for an offensive and led by über-demon Stalin himself. According to their logic Hitler was just taking a pre-emptive strike which resluted in only half of Europe becoming "communist" instead of whole Europe being flooded by the Red Army and then turned into Bolshevik Europe (the horror!).
    That is a straw man if there ever was one. Because some right-wing historian supports Hitler's invasion, therefore the British and French governments must have been plotting to switch sides the minute the USSR joined their side in the war? Actually I believe most historians would say it was the opposite, Western governments grew all the more hostile to the Soviet Union (like in the Winter War) and masses of people worldwide were disenchanted with the Soviet state because it did a complete 180-degree turn from anti-fascist policy (1934-39) to pro-German policy (1939-41).

    Imagine if the Nazis would have been able to portray themselves as victims of an unexpected "Judeo-Bolshevik" backstabbing attack which aims at enslaving Europe.
    Once again, the Allies were already at war with Germany, so by joining in the fight and completing the program of the Popular Front, the Soviet Union would more likely have won a great propaganda victory in the West, and silenced the claims of reactionaries that the USSR was allied with Nazism. Instead, the fact that the Soviet army helped Hitler's army defeat the Polish army gave the opposite impression and seriously demoralized progressives in the West, contributing to the fall of France.

    If one knows about the usual reactions of the capitalist countries to conflicts involving the USSR (Invasion of Poland: French airforce gets ready in Lebanon to bomb the oilfields of Baku; Winter War: UK and France send troops, airforce, ammuntion and further support to Finland, despite claiming to be too weak to attack Germany - being in a middle of a war with it - directly, etc.) it's easy to imagine that Stalin probably thought twice before giving the "Western world" any justification to join the Nazis in an anti-Bolshevik crusade.
    Once again, after Germany invaded Poland we are talking about a period when the "Western world" had already declared war on fascism and most progressive-minded people were confused or angry that the Soviets were not joining in (or rather spearheading) the anti-fascist crusade.

    And the Nazis waited for such a justification, as Hess's flight to Scotland suggests.
    Hess' treatment by the British authorities suggests they had little interest in his offer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kayser_Soso View Post
    And where would that border be in 1941 had it not been for the M-R pact? Again, you are using too much hind sight.
    That border would not have been much different and the lobotomized Soviet army was unable to hold any of that territory despite an overwhelming superiority in armor and aviation due to its vulnerable positioning and unpreparedness for a German attack. The Soviet Union could have been much better defended without the purge of officers, without revision of the doctrine of deep operations, and by establishing defense in depth, than if it had taken over all the territory intended in the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreements but still made all the preventable, politically-related blunders of Stalin's leadership. At any rate, Hitler got far more out of the arrangement in 1939-41 by gaining the chance to secure his Western border. Even after the Pact had been signed, the USSR could have torn it up and joined the Allies in declaring war on Germany.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Actually, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact gave the Nazis the green light to enslave a number of countries and peoples. The Soviet Union went along with it until the surprise attack; in Moscow, the embassies-in-exile of countries conquered by the Wehrmacht were expelled by Stalin's government as their nations fell to Hitler's armies.
    Geez this could have been written by Robert Conquest. Oh, that poor Polish government in exile, the one demanding return of Western Belarus and Galicia. What gave the "green light" to Hilter was years of appeasement by the west. It is also worth noting that the Nazis originally planned to go to war by 1943 or 1944. Going to war in 1939 turned out to be a disaster for them because their re-armament was not complete. Their ME-262 jet fighter, for example, was on the drawing board in 1939, yet it didn't become reality until 1945. You can read all about his in The Road to War by Richard Overy.

    Oh but OF COURSE Hitler would not have gone to war with an open Eastern flank!! Because Hitler never made irrational decisions in war! You know, like going to war with major powers with an army that was only 10% mechanized.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Also, let's dwell on this point of "enslaving people" for a while. The most disgusting element of Nazi savagery was their concentration camps. But during the Pact years, Stalin's regime showed complicity with that same murderous camp system by conducting a prisoner exchange under which innocent people like Margarete Buber-Neumann were handed over to the Gestapo torturers. Most importantly, the KPD under Walter Ulbricht in Die Welt in February 1940 advocated handing over antifascists to the Gestapo, ostensibly to strengthen the Pact against the threat of British imperialism.
    The claims of NKVD/Gestapo collaboration are disputed even by the anti-Stalinist historians of the organization Memorial.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    I mean how is Khrushchev a bad man for talking about "peaceful coexistence" while pursuing a strategy of tension against US imperialism, when he didn't exchange political prisoners with the US, nor did the CPUSA instruct American Communists to hand over opponents of "peaceful coexistence" to the FBI to "strengthen the bonds of Russian and American workers."
    The US wasn't exactly poised to invade the USSR either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    The revolutionary alternative was neither the revisionist Popular Front nor the treacherous Pact with Hitler, but to continue throughout the Leninist program of proletarian internationalism, a key component of which was no secret military alliances with bourgeois powers.
    Yes, because it's easy to say now it must have been easy then!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Yeah, because A) If you can't just stick a Trotskyist in charge of the Soviet Union at any historical date and everything would be fine and have world revolution in 1-2 weeks, Trotskyists must be wrong therefore their suppression is justified.
    It is the burden of Trotskyists to present there program in detail. Permanent Revolution and "put the working class in charge" aren't actual programs. They should lay out their claims and then we should decide how feasible they were based on what was known at that time, not afterward.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    And B) Your "Marxist-Leninist Anti-Revisionist" critique of the post-1956 USSR is practically devoid of content aside from saying "With its superior orthodox M-L theory and non-revisionist policies a Hoxhaist leadership could have led the USSR to build real socialism" etc.
    This is not the argument of anti-revisionists. Anti-revisionists criticize moves of Stalin and even Hoxha. On the other hand we do not accept that the alternatives were always clear at the time, nor do we accept that some other guy doing something else would have automatically fixed everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    But in concrete terms, the alternative in the very situation, even assuming the Pact had already been signed when the Nazis invaded Poland, would have been to side with the Allies once they had declared war on Germany, and attack the German units in Poland, rallying the Polish people to resist the invader.
    If we step out of fantasy land for a second, the "Allies" were more or less divided in their goals even before the war; France and Britain had little trust for each other, and Belgium didn't trust either of them. More importantly, the British had no intention of making good on their declaration of war. The Germans actually began raiding British shipping while the British refused to bomb German factories under the excuse that they were private property. Meanwhile in short order the Germans actually had reached Poland's colonial territories, including Lvov. The Red Army was sent in with the orders to prevent Germany from occupying these territories.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Except that the Allies went to war with Germany over Poland. That was not the case during the occupation of Czechoslovakia. So it would, in fact, be easier to appeal to the Allies to declare war on the Axis given that they had already done that.
    Gee, I can't understand why those evil Stalinists say us Trotskyites are traitors and reformists!! All we do is defend Britain and France and their collaboration and repeat their modern historical narratives without question. If you listen to the British declaration of war on 3 September, ask yourself what would have happened if the Germans had heeded their request to pull their military forces out of Poland and return to diplomacy. The answer- another Munich most likely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Apparently you have completely forgotten about the working class in the Allied countries which, if the USSR had maintained an antifascist foreign policy up to the invasion of Poland, would never have permitted their governments to make peace with Hitler and participate in a Nazi-led "crusade" against the USSR. Workers' strikes and protests are what prevented British and French imperialists from directly assisting the Confederacy in the American Civil War, and sabotaged the imperialist offensive against the USSR in the Russian Civil War.
    In case you didn't notice, a great deal of working class people allowed their entire nations to go over to fascism in Central and Eastern Europe. And since when did the working class have the power to "permit" their governments to go to war.

    This is all idle speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    And Hitler took all this land once he tore up the alliance, so a lot of good it did the USSR to carve up Europe with Nazis.
    Look at the pre-1939 borders of Europe. Then look at the 1941 borders. Do you understand the concept of trading space for time? Do you realize what a difference it would make if the Axis started with their armies already in the Baltic, just a small skip from Leningrad, and deep into Ukraine in Galicia? Do you also realize that during all this time the Soviet general staff was planning an offensive against Germany to take place in 1942? And do you also realize that in 1941, the Germans would have had to have been delayed only a few more months before the end of an ideal campaign season, until which point they would have to wait until the new season in 1942, at a time when the Red Army had planned an offensive?


    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    That is a straw man if there ever was one. Because some right-wing historian supports Hitler's invasion, therefore the British and French governments must have been plotting to switch sides the minute the USSR joined their side in the war? Actually I believe most historians would say it was the opposite, Western governments grew all the more hostile to the Soviet Union (like in the Winter War) and masses of people worldwide were disenchanted with the Soviet state because it did a complete 180-degree turn from anti-fascist policy (1934-39) to pro-German policy (1939-41).
    Leave it to the Trots to champion whatever bourgeois nonsense supports their theories. There were many in Britain and France who wanted to go to war on the USSR. Hitler made no secret about wanting an alliance with Britain and he was convinced for years that they would finally wake up and make peace. The flight of Rudolf Hess to Scotland also lent support to the idea of an English agreement with Germany. Remember that on 3 September they were essentially trying to intimidate Germany into making some kind of agreement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Once again, the Allies were already at war with Germany, so by joining in the fight and completing the program of the Popular Front, the Soviet Union would more likely have won a great propaganda victory in the West, and silenced the claims of reactionaries that the USSR was allied with Nazism. Instead, the fact that the Soviet army helped Hitler's army defeat the Polish army gave the opposite impression and seriously demoralized progressives in the West, contributing to the fall of France.
    This is hilarious, blaming the USSR for the fall of France. Some crazy individuals thought it had more to do with deficiencies in the French military, weaknesses of command and coordination with the British, and the troubles with Belgium regarding the Maginot line- but no, it was because of the USSR. How many other disasters can you pin on them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Once again, after Germany invaded Poland we are talking about a period when the "Western world" had already declared war on fascism and most progressive-minded people were confused or angry that the Soviets were not joining in (or rather spearheading) the anti-fascist crusade.
    No, they were demonstrating their weak resolve as usual, and the world saw this. It was well known all over the world that France and England would not go to war over Poland. They went to war only because Germany forced them to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Hess' treatment by the British authorities suggests they had little interest in his offer.
    Stalin must have known EXACTLY what went on in their interrogations!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    That border would not have been much different and the lobotomized Soviet army was unable to hold any of that territory despite an overwhelming superiority in armor and aviation due to its vulnerable positioning and unpreparedness for a German attack. The Soviet Union could have been much better defended without the purge of officers, without revision of the doctrine of deep operations, and by establishing defense in depth, than if it had taken over all the territory intended in the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreements but still made all the preventable, politically-related blunders of Stalin's leadership.
    Again, hindsight, and again, they only had to delay the Germans by a couple months, maybe less. The Germans were arrogant about how much time they would need to conquer Moscow, but all of the commanders and Hitler knew the risks of fighting in Winter and they also knew about the problems in the autumn as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    At any rate, Hitler got far more out of the arrangement in 1939-41 by gaining the chance to secure his Western border. Even after the Pact had been signed, the USSR could have torn it up and joined the Allies in declaring war on Germany.
    Yes, because everything would work out exactly how you decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayser_Soso View Post
    The claims of NKVD/Gestapo collaboration are disputed even by the anti-Stalinist historians of the organization Memorial.
    Are you suggesting Buber-Neumann's story is a lie, and Walter Ulbricht did not actually write that article saying the KPD would inform on opponents of the Pact?

    Oh but OF COURSE Hitler would not have gone to war with an open Eastern flank!! Because Hitler never made irrational decisions in war! You know, like going to war with major powers with an army that was only 10% mechanized.
    The Nazi war machine was afraid of being outpaced by Soviet industry, gambled on an early victory and lost. But the Wehrmacht would not have been able to concentrate its strength against France without worrying about the East, then be able to turn against the USSR while utilizing the captured industries of Western Europe, had it not been for Molotov-Ribbentrop.

    The US wasn't exactly poised to invade the USSR either.
    Totally avoids my point (like a lot of what you wrote).

    It is the burden of Trotskyists to present there program in detail. Permanent Revolution and "put the working class in charge" aren't actual programs. They should lay out their claims and then we should decide how feasible they were based on what was known at that time, not afterward.
    Trotskyists and non-Stalinist communists did exist at the time, they did have alternative political positions, and the Stalinist bureaucracy was actively murdering them and assassinating them for proposing such alternatives, so your line here is ridiculous. Virtually everything I have suggested as an alternative to Stalin's disastrous policies was suggested at the time, on the ground, etc. by people who had been leaders of the Red Army like Trotsky and Tukhachevsky.

    This is not the argument of anti-revisionists. Anti-revisionists criticize moves of Stalin and even Hoxha. On the other hand we do not accept that the alternatives were always clear at the time, nor do we accept that some other guy doing something else would have automatically fixed everything.
    So what you are trying to say is, capitalism was restored accidentally or what? Trotsky predicted the eventual restoration of capitalism by the bureaucracy at a time when Stalin was saying only foreign imperialist armies could do that.

    The Red Army was sent in with the orders to prevent Germany from occupying these territories.
    The Soviet army openly collaborated with the Nazi army in battles against Polish units.

    Gee, I can't understand why those evil Stalinists say us Trotskyites are traitors and reformists!! All we do is defend Britain and France and their collaboration and repeat their modern historical narratives without question. If you listen to the British declaration of war on 3 September, ask yourself what would have happened if the Germans had heeded their request to pull their military forces out of Poland and return to diplomacy. The answer- another Munich most likely.
    Not sure what you are trying to say in this contrived spurt of rage. Trotskyists are not the ones who openly supported British and French imperialism and used the logic of the Popular Front to deny colonized African and Asian peoples the right to rebel, and even disgracefully dissolved the Third International to appease the Western imperialists.

    In case you didn't notice, a great deal of working class people allowed their entire nations to go over to fascism in Central and Eastern Europe. And since when did the working class have the power to "permit" their governments to go to war.
    There are countless examples, some of which I provided, of workers sabotaging the imperialism of their own governments. The most successful of which of course was the October Revolution of 1917. Apparently you have a severe lack of confidence, if any, of the revolutionary power of the proletariat, which makes you an ill fit for the 21st Century when your beloved Stalinist militaries have ceased to exist or become the servants of capitalism.

    Look at the pre-1939 borders of Europe. Then look at the 1941 borders.
    Yes, a bunch of land that the Soviet army lost very quickly due to the failures of Stalin's leadership.

    Do you understand the concept of trading space for time?
    Do you understand the effect of the Stalin's military policy on Soviet arms up to the absolute disaster of the surprise attack?

    And do you also realize that in 1941, the Germans would have had to have been delayed only a few more months before the end of an ideal campaign season, until which point they would have to wait until the new season in 1942, at a time when the Red Army had planned an offensive?
    Wait what? So what is your "real actual based on actual facts at the time" counter-proposal here? Give Hitler a flu or a cold at some strategic date so he sits in bed for a couple months and doesn't attack the Soviet Union before the Suvorov hypothesis could come true?

    Leave it to the Trots to champion whatever bourgeois nonsense supports their theories. There were many in Britain and France who wanted to go to war on the USSR. Hitler made no secret about wanting an alliance with Britain and he was convinced for years that they would finally wake up and make peace. The flight of Rudolf Hess to Scotland also lent support to the idea of an English agreement with Germany.
    I answered all these points earlier..

    Remember that on 3 September they were essentially trying to intimidate Germany into making some kind of agreement.
    Oh yes, agreements with Nazi Germany, aren't those terrible..

    This is hilarious, blaming the USSR for the fall of France. Some crazy individuals thought it had more to do with deficiencies in the French military, weaknesses of command and coordination with the British, and the troubles with Belgium regarding the Maginot line- but no, it was because of the USSR. How many other disasters can you pin on them?
    The demoralization of French Communists and opportunist defeatism that included joint actions with ultra-right French groups, being the result of Comintern policy, was also partly to blame. No, there was no one cause in a materialist analysis of the fall of France, as opposed to say the Stalinist excuses for the Spanish Civil War, which blame every defeat and setback on "nests of POUM and anarchist 5th-column spies."

    No, they were demonstrating their weak resolve as usual, and the world saw this. It was well known all over the world that France and England would not go to war over Poland. They went to war only because Germany forced them to.
    Yes, they went to war, and once they were at war, the official excuse for Molotov-Ribbentrop (France and England wouldn't fight against fascism) was bunk.

    Stalin must have known EXACTLY what went on in their interrogations!!!
    Wow talk about totally unrelated. It's funny though how you seem enraptured by this insistence that nobody is allowed to materially analyze any historical period without having actually been there and knowing every single thought that went through the minds of people involved. Sounds like postmodern obfuscation almost.

    Yes, because everything would work out exactly how you decided.
    Yes because if you can't stick a Trotskyist in charge of the Soviet Union, "in Stalin's shoes" at any given date, and have them instantly produce a world revolution, Trotskyists have nothing valid to say whatsoever and they were obviously fascist agents deserved to die in 1937.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    The Nazi war machine was afraid of being outpaced by Soviet industry, gambled on an early victory and lost. But the Wehrmacht would not have been able to concentrate its strength against France without worrying about the East, then be able to turn against the USSR while utilizing the captured industries of Western Europe, had it not been for Molotov-Ribbentrop.
    Right, the Wehrmacht and Hitler never made risky gambles, which is why the Nazis won WWII and I am posting this from an underground partisan camp.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Trotskyists and non-Stalinist communists did exist at the time, they did have alternative political positions, and the Stalinist bureaucracy was actively murdering them and assassinating them for proposing such alternatives, so your line here is ridiculous. Virtually everything I have suggested as an alternative to Stalin's disastrous policies was suggested at the time, on the ground, etc. by people who had been leaders of the Red Army like Trotsky and Tukhachevsky.
    No, no you don't. You just throw out simplistic alternatives with the benefit of hindsight and insist they would have worked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    So what you are trying to say is, capitalism was restored accidentally or what? Trotsky predicted the eventual restoration of capitalism by the bureaucracy at a time when Stalin was saying only foreign imperialist armies could do that.
    Incorrect. Trotsky once claimed, during the purges, that only a bloody civil war or imperialist intervention could restore capitalism in the USSR. Obviously this wasn't the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    The Soviet army openly collaborated with the Nazi army in battles against Polish units.
    That's interesting because the Polish army was instructed by Rydz-Smigly NOT to fight the Soviets but to continue resistance against the Germans. On several occasions Soviet and German units exchanged fire, and got into numerous disputes when Soviet units blocked railways and roads further into Western Ukraine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Not sure what you are trying to say in this contrived spurt of rage. Trotskyists are not the ones who openly supported British and French imperialism and used the logic of the Popular Front to deny colonized African and Asian peoples the right to rebel, and even disgracefully dissolved the Third International to appease the Western imperialists.
    You support anti-Communism by repeating anti-Communist propaganda and even going further. And you think that somehow this is going to lead to revolution. There is no bourgeois claim that a Trot won't embrace, and add to. Whatever is necessary to tear down "Stalinism". This is why there hasn't been a Trot revolution anywhere in history, and there never will be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    There are countless examples, some of which I provided, of workers sabotaging the imperialism of their own governments. The most successful of which of course was the October Revolution of 1917. Apparently you have a severe lack of confidence, if any, of the revolutionary power of the proletariat, which makes you an ill fit for the 21st Century when your beloved Stalinist militaries have ceased to exist or become the servants of capitalism.
    No, I have a better sense of history than you. You attribute things to single factors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Yes, a bunch of land that the Soviet army lost very quickly due to the failures of Stalin's leadership.
    Of course EVERYONE KNEW that was going to happen at the time right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Do you understand the effect of the Stalin's military policy on Soviet arms up to the absolute disaster of the surprise attack?
    Do you realize there were also flaws in Soviet doctrine at the time which also led to this disaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Wait what? So what is your "real actual based on actual facts at the time" counter-proposal here? Give Hitler a flu or a cold at some strategic date so he sits in bed for a couple months and doesn't attack the Soviet Union before the Suvorov hypothesis could come true?
    Why would Hitler need the flu? Remember the Nazis didn't want to go to war at all until 1943, they were still in a war with England. Apparently only Stalin isn't allowed to make the mistake of believing Hitler to be rational enough not to want a two-front war. Even the Nazis knew this was a gamble, because they intended for the entire military to be fed from captured stores in Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Oh yes, agreements with Nazi Germany, aren't those terrible..
    Only when the USSR does it, after years of Western collaboration with Nazi Germany actually made it a possibility. Not to mention the USSR did not just happily jump into the pact. At the time they were hoping the mere knowledge of such a suggestion would cause the British and French to pull their heads from their asses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    The demoralization of French Communists and opportunist defeatism that included joint actions with ultra-right French groups, being the result of Comintern policy, was also partly to blame.
    According to whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Yes, they went to war, and once they were at war, the official excuse for Molotov-Ribbentrop (France and England wouldn't fight against fascism) was bunk.
    No, they did not go to war.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Wow talk about totally unrelated. It's funny though how you seem enraptured by this insistence that nobody is allowed to materially analyze any historical period without having actually been there and knowing every single thought that went through the minds of people involved. Sounds like postmodern obfuscation almost.
    But you don't analyze, you over-simplify and pretend your alternatives would have definitely worked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Yes because if you can't stick a Trotskyist in charge of the Soviet Union, "in Stalin's shoes" at any given date, and have them instantly produce a world revolution, Trotskyists have nothing valid to say whatsoever and they were obviously fascist agents deserved to die in 1937.
    Strawman. What is your argument other than basically sticking Trotskyite policies in here and there and claiming they would have worked based on previous, dubious historical claims?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayser_Soso View Post
    Right, the Wehrmacht and Hitler never made risky gambles, which is why the Nazis won WWII and I am posting this from an underground partisan camp.
    Apparently you have totally misunderstood my point or have no interest in a rational discussion.

    No, no you don't. You just throw out simplistic alternatives with the benefit of hindsight and insist they would have worked.
    Answered this one. There were alternatives to Stalinism at the time we're talking about and the bureaucracy was actively murdering and assassinating the people proposing them.

    Incorrect. Trotsky once claimed, during the purges, that only a bloody civil war or imperialist intervention could restore capitalism in the USSR. Obviously this wasn't the case.
    So you are accusing Trotsky of overconfidence in the revolutionary power of the proletariat to overcome the revisionism of the Soviet bureaucracy and resist restoration. I'll count that as a mark in his favor. Such a counter-revolutionary bloodletting did occur during the Stalinist purges of 1936-41, not in some imaginary holocaust of orthodox Stalinist-Hoxhaists in 1956.

    That's interesting because the Polish army was instructed by Rydz-Smigly NOT to fight the Soviets but to continue resistance against the Germans. On several occasions Soviet and German units exchanged fire, and got into numerous disputes when Soviet units blocked railways and roads further into Western Ukraine.
    I'm sure there were similar imperial scuffles during the feudal partitions of Poland in the 18th Century.

    This is why there hasn't been a Trot revolution anywhere in history, and there never will be.
    Leon Trotsky commanded the Petrograd Red Guards when they took the power on 25 November 1917, and served as Commissar of War who organized the Red Army that defeated the interventionists and White armies.

    No, I have a better sense of history than you. You attribute things to single factors.
    The Hoxhaist "blame Khrushchev" explanation of the restoration of capitalism in the former Soviet Union is the biggest example of a single factor analysis.

    Of course EVERYONE KNEW that was going to happen at the time right?
    Tukhachevsky did. Trotsky did.

    Do you realize there were also flaws in Soviet doctrine at the time which also led to this disaster?
    After the military purge it was more like no doctrine at all until they brought back disgraced generals from the Tukhachevsky "deep battle" school, namely Zhukov and Rokossovsky, whose leadership won the war.

    Why would Hitler need the flu? Remember the Nazis didn't want to go to war at all until 1943, they were still in a war with England.
    I remember disctinctly the Nazis went to war with USSR in 1941.

    Apparently only Stalin isn't allowed to make the mistake of believing Hitler to be rational enough not to want a two-front war.
    Apparently Stalin was wrong.

    According to whom?
    I have read about it in a few places but the only one I remember is Shirer in Rise and Fall of the Third Reich where he wrote about witnessing (and being upset by) the joint actions between the PCF and Action Française while he was working as a journalist in Paris during the "phony war." Since Comintern parties had previously engaged in collaboration with far-right groups during the Third Period I see no reason to doubt it.

    Only when the USSR does it, after years of Western collaboration with Nazi Germany actually made it a possibility. Not to mention the USSR did not just happily jump into the pact. At the time they were hoping the mere knowledge of such a suggestion would cause the British and French to pull their heads from their asses.
    So once their heads were out of their asses, it was Stalin's turn to stick his head up his own ass is what you're saying?

    No, they did not go to war.
    Uh yes they did, and Hitler was able to concentrate German forces on France without worrying about Germany's Eastern border.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayser_Soso View Post
    Bellamy also stated that the Red Army's "offensive only" strategy was a problem when the invasion did come, because the did not know how to properly retreat. They didn't do this well until Operation Blau in Summer of 1942 when they managed to prevent encirclement in the Don Bend
    Naturally; Red Army operational doctrine was based on modern concepts of aggressive mobile warfare. The problem is not that Red Army units were aggressively counterattacking (as they'd been taught) but that they were doing so in isolation and against hopeless local odds. The doctrine was sound but completely inapplicable to the situation that the Red Army found itself in during the border battles. It almost goes without saying that such critical factors (ie, how the army is prepared to fight) should heavily influence, if not determine, such strategic decisions as where to deploy the army...

    Which brings me back to my basic point - the Red Army should not have been in that situation. They should have been readying themselves to make aggressive spoiling attacks on German positions from the outset (which would have included crossing the border) or deployed in a withdrawn position from which they could launch concerted and coordinated counterattacks en masse. Instead, as I've said, Stalin's policies put the Red Army in a hopeless position where it was effectively wiped out along the border

    As for making strategic withdrawals, a pretty sensible idea given the mess that the soldiers did find themselves in, well let's just say that the messages coming from the top did not exactly encourage this. The best thing that can be said about Stalin's conduct during the war, and compared to other nations this is actually pretty good, is that he learned enough from his mistakes to leave the fighting to the generals in the later stages of the conflict

    And where would that border be in 1941 had it not been for the M-R pact? Again, you are using too much hind sight.
    Probably where it had been in 1939...

    Again, nothing I've said here involves any real hindsight (although its always nice to have). On the NAP, Red Army deployments, and failure to recognise the coming invasion, there were contemporaries making these exact same criticisms. There were always other options available but Stalin failed (or rather chose) not to take advantage of them
    March at the head of the ideas of your century and those ideas will follow and sustain you. March behind them and they will drag you along. March against them and they will overthrow you.
    Napoleon III

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber
    Most importantly, the KPD under Walter Ulbricht in Die Welt in February 1940 advocated handing over antifascists to the Gestapo, ostensibly to strengthen the Pact against the threat of British imperialism.
    Good god, because Ulbricht suggested this, Stalin must have surely done it!
    You certainly won't find me defending Ulbricht as courageous Marxist-Leninist!

    Except that the Allies went to war with Germany over Poland. That was not the case during the occupation of Czechoslovakia. So it would, in fact, be easier to appeal to the Allies to declare war on the Axis given that they had already done that.
    [...]
    Once again, after Germany invaded Poland we are talking about a period when the "Western world" had already declared war on fascism
    Yes, indeed. They declared war on Germany. And what did they do? Nothing.
    Oh, wait a sec, they actually did do something! They really weren't just passively standing there and waiting for Hitler to finish the job in Poland, instead of attacking/bombing Germany they planned to attack and bomb the USSR! I already gave examples about tons of military aid were shipped to Finland and an active intervention was planned while at the same time declaring that they are too weak to attack Germany directly (one should think that being "too weak" asks for keeping your forces together and concentrating on the enemy you're actually at war) and the French airforce preparing to bomb the oilfields of Baku. But I'm sure if only the USSR would have declared war on Germany then the Allies would have not hesitated to finally agree to an alliance and actually go to war with Germany after their declaration of war, instead of preparing for war with a nation they didn't declare war to.

    You're also claiming that Hitler wouldn't have dared to attack Poland if the USSR would have declared neutrality (assisting Poland was not welcome, as we saw). Why? The Allies had also theoretically guaranteed Czechoslovak independence and we all know what that meant in practice. Hitler knew, too. And we also saw what effects the allied declaration of war had in practice during Hitler's invasion of Poland. None. So why do you think that Hitler would have had to be afraid to be attacked from the west if he marched further eastwards? If the UK and France didn't come to help their ally Poland why would they have suddenly started to invade Germany if Hitler attacked their old arch-enemy, the USSR, the nation they prepared to go to war with, too?

    ... the working class in the Allied countries which, if the USSR had maintained an antifascist foreign policy up to the invasion of Poland, would never have permitted their governments to make peace with Hitler and participate in a Nazi-led "crusade" against the USSR.
    It's good to see that you don't go with the religious "I believe..." but instead know what would have happened with an absolute certainity which leaves no doubts.
    That the working class of the capitalist countries was bombarded by pro-German propaganda, outlining the "glories" of Mussolini's and Hitler's rule, next to anti-Bolshevik propaganda for decades, which did its very best to portray the USSR as hell on earth (one has to mention that Trotsky's works - assuming that he had major influence within the working class - on this subject didn't exactly help to convince the working class that defending the "Stalinist" USSR was in their best interest, either), that pro-German fascists tried to blind and win over the working class and that the bourgeoisie would have had all excuses during war time to force the workers in line can all be ignored. If the USSR would have only refused to sign the Pact the forces of world fascism would have been lost and the German working class probably would "never have permitted" Hitler to go to war with the USSR, too.

    Leon Trotsky commanded the Petrograd Red Guards when they took the power on 25 November 1917, and served as Commissar of War who organized the Red Army that defeated the interventionists and White armies.
    Because of Trotsky's brilliant leadership, while Lenin, Stalin and all the other haters in Petrograd and in the Red Army were busy being idle. And if you want to suggest that the October Revolution was a Trotskyist revolution just because Trotsky commanded the Petrograd Red Guards, then this is doing justice to Trotsky's high self-esteem but not to historical facts.

    The Hoxhaist "blame Khrushchev" explanation of the restoration of capitalism in the former Soviet Union is the biggest example of a single factor analysis.
    If you'd bother to read Hoxhaist works then you'd know that the explanation for the restoration of capitalism is not just "Lol, Khrushchev came and BAM - capitalism."

    Tukhachevsky did. Trotsky did.
    I wouldn't say that "constant defeatism" equals "know".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rjevan View Post
    Good god, because Ulbricht suggested this, Stalin must have surely done it!
    Ah yes, the typical Stalinist cop-out answer.

    First of all this discussion is not about Stalin as a person. Second, even if Hoxhaists could establish plausible deniability, alibis and scapegoats for all of the crimes of the bureaucratic regime which Stalin presided over, this raises the question of what is there worth upholding in Stalin at all? The same logic that blames the purges on his subordinates can be used, with much more accuracy, to attribute the industrialization and WWII victories to workers, farmers and soldiers irrespective or in spite of Stalin. So if as Bill Bland argued he was just a powerless figurehead too afraid to challenge "revisionism," who didn't really do anything at all except maintain a silly moustache, why not just erase him from discussion and history altogether?

    Since Die Welt was published in Sweden under the aegis of Comintern, it seems certain that Ulbricht was not "going rogue" here. His career after WWII definitely speaks otherwise.

    You certainly won't find me defending Ulbricht as courageous Marxist-Leninist!
    So you deny that he was Stalin's man in Germany?

    Here we have documentary evidence of Ulbricht supporting collaboration with fascism, and nobody denies it, and then this man was put in charge of a "socialist" country.. but that's something to be joked about. Yet when thousands of working class revolutionaries were shot on made-up charges of spying during the purges, let's give the security services the doubt and assume they had it coming (as long as it was before 1953).

    Yes, indeed. They declared war on Germany. And what did they do? Nothing.
    Oh, wait a sec, they actually did do something! They really weren't just passively standing there and waiting for Hitler to finish the job in Poland, instead of attacking/bombing Germany they planned to attack and bomb the USSR!
    They did do something: get stomped by the German army. Actually, their main grievance against the USSR was that it cooperated with Nazi Germany from 1939-41, when Soviet resources were used to supply the Nazi armies as they invaded France and bombed Britain.

    I already gave examples about tons of military aid were shipped to Finland and an active intervention was planned while at the same time declaring that they are too weak to attack Germany directly (one should think that being "too weak" asks for keeping your forces together and concentrating on the enemy you're actually at war) and the French airforce preparing to bomb the oilfields of Baku.
    Obviously the Winter War was a fiasco and miscalculation by Soviet leadership, that it could make Napoleonic gains with a decapitated army by joining up with Hitler; but I'm afraid there is no glorious Nazi-Soviet struggle against Anglo-French imperialism in 1939-41 to be defended.

    But I'm sure if only the USSR would have declared war on Germany then the Allies would have not hesitated to finally agree to an alliance and actually go to war with Germany after their declaration of war, instead of preparing for war with a nation they didn't declare war to.
    If getting overrun by German invasions with the aid of Soviet resources, and seeing Soviet and German units cooperating in Poland, didn't make them declare war on the USSR, I really doubt the USSR actually helping them against Germany would make them do it!

    You're also claiming that Hitler wouldn't have dared to attack Poland if the USSR would have declared neutrality (assisting Poland was not welcome, as we saw).
    No I'm not - straw man. My point was that the USSR should have been opposed to the fascist onslaught rather than aiding it - not that opposing the Pact was some kind of magical elixir to create instant world revolution.

    Why? The Allies had also theoretically guaranteed Czechoslovak independence and we all know what that meant in practice. Hitler knew, too. And we also saw what effects the allied declaration of war had in practice during Hitler's invasion of Poland. None.
    And how does that logically justify a complete turnaround to military, economic and political collaboration with fascism in its conquest of countries and subjugation of workers and peoples? Not at all.

    So why do you think that Hitler would have had to be afraid to be attacked from the west if he marched further eastwards?
    The Soviet Union won the war largely on its own, in case you forgot, and Hitler didn't have the resources to invade Russia in 1939; that was made possible by the economic bounty of occupied Western Europe and two more years of buildup while the Soviet Union sat waiting to be attacked.

    If the UK and France didn't come to help their ally Poland why would they have suddenly started to invade Germany if Hitler attacked their old arch-enemy, the USSR, the nation they prepared to go to war with, too?
    Yeah, it's not like that is what actually happened or anything.

    Unless you think that they only permitted Russia to join the Allies because it was almost destroyed by Nazism.. in which case you are saying that Stalin was in fact a genius for allowing the USSR to be betrayed, smashed, brought to the brink of absolute destruction?

    It's good to see that you don't go with the religious "I believe..." but instead know what would have happened with an absolute certainity which leaves no doubts.
    I am merely noting the historical role of the working class which was ignored by the discarded Comintern and is ignored in the Stalinist view in favor of a "geopolitical" analysis limited to the number of steel mills and tank divisions. Sadly, none of those exist anymore, so the revolutionary perspective which holds that workers, not Soviet tanks, can make revolution, is the only valid analysis in a post-restoration world where there is no longer a Stalinist army to annex and sovietize new territory.

    That the working class of the capitalist countries was bombarded by pro-German propaganda, outlining the "glories" of Mussolini's and Hitler's rule, next to anti-Bolshevik propaganda for decades, which did its very best to portray the USSR as hell on earth
    The working class are not mute sheep, they did not simply believe what the government programmed them to. Otherwise workers could not have resisted the war aims of British and French imperialism in the US Civil War, nor could Russian and German workers have defeated their own imperialism in WWI, nor US workers fight against their own imperialism in the Russian Civil War and the Vietnam War. You are throwing out the political role of workers throughout history in favor of the worship of some stale, dead Bonapartist militarism. Like it or not, there was massive support for the Soviet Union and the anti-fascist struggle around the world, something the parties once took credit for, before the demoralizing treachery of Molotov-Ribbentrop.

    (one has to mention that Trotsky's works - assuming that he had major influence within the working class - on this subject didn't exactly help to convince the working class that defending the "Stalinist" USSR was in their best interest, either),
    False. Trotsky repeatedly and consistently argued for unconditional military defense of the USSR and he was against strikes in the war industries of countries allied with the USSR or China in the event of those countries coming under attack by fascist powers.

    that pro-German fascists tried to blind and win over the working class and that the bourgeoisie would have had all excuses during war time to force the workers in line can all be ignored.
    The best thing those pro-German fascists could have asked for was to get support and friendship from the Communist Parties which had positioned themselves as the vanguard of anti-fascism from 1934-39. But that's just what they got during the Pact, and the blow to working-class morale, especially in France, contributed to the Nazi scourge.

    If the USSR would have only refused to sign the Pact the forces of world fascism would have been lost and the German working class probably would "never have permitted" Hitler to go to war with the USSR, too.
    Straw man again, I didn't say unicorns and rainbows would fall from the sky if Stalin didn't sign the Pact. Way to defend snitches who justified collaboration with the Gestapo though. I guess it was okay to support the Nazi regime since there was nothing the German workers could do anyway but wait for Stalin's tanks to save the day.

    Because of Trotsky's brilliant leadership, while Lenin, Stalin and all the other haters in Petrograd and in the Red Army were busy being idle.
    Actually Stalin and Kamenev were in favor of conciliation with the Mensheviks and the Provisional Gov't until Lenin and Trotsky showed up.

    And if you want to suggest that the October Revolution was a Trotskyist revolution just because Trotsky commanded the Petrograd Red Guards, then this is doing justice to Trotsky's high self-esteem but not to historical facts.
    I was responding to the standard "Where is your Trot revolution" with the fact that Trotsky himself commanded the greatest revolutionary seizure of power by the working class in history.

    The October Revolution was an example of the theory of Permanent Revolution because the workers did not wait for a revolution in the advanced countries, they combined the tasks of the national-democratic revolution (which had been unfulfilled by the bourgeois state) with the international proletarian revolution. They set up a proletarian dictatorship aiming to export revolution, not a stagnant "People's Republic" committed to an accord with the bourgeoisie.

    If you'd bother to read Hoxhaist works then you'd know that the explanation for the restoration of capitalism is not just "Lol, Khrushchev came and BAM - capitalism."
    It is not much better than that, since capitalism is viewed as being restored due to ideological factors rather than the economic interests of the bureaucracy (which had been enfeoffed to a great degree under Stalin in the 1930's), and restoration is viewed as happening almost without a fight by decree of the Khrushchev clique - whereas the mass murder of Communists in 1936-41 is viewed as a clerical error. Although there is also the straw-pulling "Stalin was helpless and surrounded by a rising tide of revisionism" analysis, which puts into serious doubt Stalin's "anti-revisionist" credentials since he was apparently content to preside over all of this.

    I wouldn't say that "constant defeatism" equals "know".
    Neither were defeatist, that's absolutely false. Both of them did warn of the danger of a disastrous German attack, while the official Stalin/Voroshilov doctrine relied on the fantasy of "winning the war on the enemy's soil."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    The same logic that blames the purges on his subordinates can be used, with much more accuracy, to attribute the industrialization and WWII victories to workers, farmers and soldiers irrespective or in spite of Stalin.
    You mean like the "anti-Stalinists" do?

    Second, even if Hoxhaists could establish plausible deniability, alibis and scapegoats for all of the crimes of the bureaucratic regime which Stalin presided over, this raises the question of what is there worth upholding in Stalin at all?
    [FONT=Verdana]That's the old problem again: In contrary to the enemies of "Stalinism" we never suggested that Stalin was a super-human being. We neither claim that everything good which happened in the USSR during Stalin's time is solely his personal achievement while the rest of the country had a good nap, nor do we claim that Stalin was flawless and everything bad which happened goes back to anybody but him. The average "anti-Stalinist", on the other hand, portrays everything good as being achieved in spite of Stalin and everything bad as a direct result from Stalin's reactionary personality and policies.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana]We praise Stalin for being a consistent Marxist-Leninist who successfully led the peoples of the USSR in their struggle to build up socialism during a very difficult time and under worst circumstances, who did what he had to do to ensure the survival of the USSR, who made valuable contributions to Marxist-Leninist theory but we also acknowledge that Stalin, like any other human being, wasn't perfect, erred sometimes, made mistakes and depended on others who might have misinformed and manipulated him.[/FONT]

    Here we have documentary evidence of Ulbricht supporting collaboration with fascism, and nobody denies it, and then this man was put in charge of a "socialist" country.. but that's something to be joked about. Yet when thousands of working class revolutionaries were shot on made-up charges of spying during the purges, let's give the security services the doubt and assume they had it coming (as long as it was before 1953).
    [FONT=Verdana]If we consider for a second that maybe these charges weren't all made up it should be clear that actually spying and/or sabotaging is worse and much more harmful than suggesting shitty and back-stabbing policies. Ulbricht was a pathetic opportunist but this doesn't mean that he was Stalin's mind- and soulless medium whose every word directly came out of the mouth of his "master". There's no reason to believe that this suggestion mirrors Stalin's personal believes or were the official line of the Comintern. In contrast to most anti-communists you know that democratic centralism doesn't mean totalitarian Führer cult. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana]Putting Ulbricht in charge of the GDR (which wasn't a ready-made socialist country but had to build socialism like any other country and soon took the revisionist path) was indeed a mistake for various reasons.[/FONT]

    They did do something: get stomped by the German army. Actually, their main grievance against the USSR was that it cooperated with Nazi Germany from 1939-41, when Soviet resources were used to supply the Nazi armies as they invaded France and bombed Britain.
    [FONT=Verdana]That's the official explanation; people ask "Why don't we ally with the USSR?", the government replies: "It's not our fault, we wanted an alliance but the evil commies went for their natural allies, the fascists, and turned against us!"[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana]True, they got stomped by the Wehrmacht, but I wasn't talking about the invasion of France or the bombing of the UK but about the time between the invasion of Poland and the invasion of France. And during this time they did nothing and if that's because they were really too weak/scared then maybe they should have considered to stop aiding Finland, working on intervention plans for the Winter War and preparing to bomb Baku and instead concentrate their forces on their real enemy. Might have helped.[/FONT]

    Obviously the Winter War was a fiasco and miscalculation by Soviet leadership, that it could make Napoleonic gains with a decapitated army by joining up with Hitler; but I'm afraid there is no glorious Nazi-Soviet struggle against Anglo-French imperialism in 1939-41 to be defended.
    [FONT=Verdana]Sigh, another popular anti-Bolshevik claim: "The Soviet imperialist aggressors wanted to conquer neutral and defenseless Finland just like the Nazis did with Poland! They are no better than the fascists!"[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana]Seems like all I said about the Wehrmacht and the Finnish army being best friends, about the military airports and the war preparations on the Finnish side was listed in vain. All arguments that the USSR saw a German attack coming and therefore wanted to secure Leningrad, that the USSR offered to pay Finland and give them much more territory than it asked for in exchange, that Finland refused and carried on to welcome German experts to help them to prepare for war – totally useless because "everybody" (= all anti-Bolsheviks) knows that these are all "Stalinist lies" in order to justify the "red fascist Soviet imperialism". No evidence needed for this position because it's "common knowledge", i.e. all the bourgeois historians repeat it again and again; all evidence for the opposite view is, well, Stalinist evidence (and if it's based on bourgeois historians we have yet another proof that the Stalinists are the best friends of the bourgeoisie which is interested in defending their best allies!!!) and thus can be completely ignored.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana]And in the very next discussion us "Stalinists" will face accusations of being one-sided, denying obvious and acknowledged facts and only accepting sources which mirror our point of view. "Aren't we all Stalinists deep inside? " is all I can say to this.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana]Where you get the idea that I defend a "Nazi-Soviet struggle against Anglo-French imperialism" is a miracle to me, please quote where I said this. I thought I made it pretty clear that the USSR agreed to the M-R Pact as the very last option available in order to win time to prepare for an inevitable fascist invasion, not to ally against imperialism with the "best friends" of all oppressed peoples – the Nazis…[/FONT]

    If getting overrun by German invasions with the aid of Soviet resources, and seeing Soviet and German units cooperating in Poland, didn't make them declare war on the USSR, I really doubt the USSR actually helping them against Germany would make them do it!
    [FONT=Verdana]You seem to think that the Allies would have been interested in an alliance with the USSR and were just scared off because of the Pact. But the Allies were only interested in such an alliance (and even then there were voices that this war is wrong and that the USA/UK should ally with Germany against the Bolsheviks) when it was already too late and they finally realized that Hitler is a serious threat for their own interests.[/FONT]

    The Soviet Union won the war largely on its own, in case you forgot, and Hitler didn't have the resources to invade Russia in 1939; that was made possible by the economic bounty of occupied Western Europe and two more years of buildup while the Soviet Union sat waiting to be attacked.
    [FONT=Verdana]It's easy to state this today but a) could people back then know for sure that Hitler wouldn't attack the USSR? He did crazy things before and after September 1939 and b) contrary to what you seem to think there might have been the (very likely) possibility that the capitalist countries would have supported Hitler massively if he only declared war on the USSR. It's also quite funny to say that Germany used the two years to buildup while the USSR just "sat waiting to be attacked".[/FONT]

    Unless you think that they only permitted Russia to join the Allies because it was almost destroyed by Nazism.. in which case you are saying that Stalin was in fact a genius for allowing the USSR to be betrayed, smashed, brought to the brink of absolute destruction?
    [FONT=Verdana]No, as simple as I said before: the Allies finally realized that Hitler is not their best buddy in the war against communism, threatens their interests and that they have no chance against the Nazis on their own. They needed the USSR in order to survive. This is confirmed by e.g. congratulatory notes to the USSR after WW2 where Roosevelt, Truman and Churchill state that the USSR was the main force in defeating fascism and that the coming generations have to thank the Soviets for their freedom. Of course this was soon changed to "The USSR would have collapsed any second if mighty USA wouldn't have saved them and the whole world!" with the beginning of the Cold War.[/FONT]

    I am merely noting the historical role of the working class which was ignored by the discarded Comintern and is ignored in the Stalinist view in favor of a "geopolitical" analysis limited to the number of steel mills and tank divisions. Sadly, none of those exist anymore, so the revolutionary perspective which holds that workers, not Soviet tanks, can make revolution, is the only valid analysis in a post-restoration world where there is no longer a Stalinist army to annex and sovietize new territory.
    Nice try, but m[FONT=Verdana]aybe you'll be surprised to hear that much attacked Hoxhaism upholds that revolution can't be exported or forced upon people by exterior means but has to be carried out by the people of a country themselves in order to create a genuine medium for socialism. This is one of the reasons why e.g. Albania – which was liberated by its own people – succeeded in building socialism while the majority of the other countries of Warsaw Pact had no own revolution, were satellites of the USSR and easily turned to revisionism.[/FONT]

    The working class are not mute sheep, they did not simply believe what the government programmed them to. Otherwise workers could not have resisted the war aims of British and French imperialism in the US Civil War, nor could Russian and German workers have defeated their own imperialism in WWI, nor US workers fight against their own imperialism in the Russian Civil War and the Vietnam War.
    [FONT=Verdana]All the wars you list took place. Sure, there was considerable resistance against the Vietnam War in America. Did that stop the USA to devastate Vietnam for many years? No. Did the German workers ignore the social chauvinist positions in the SPD and did those workers who unconditionally upheld anti-imperialism prevent WW1, did the Russian workers get the Tsar or Kerensky to end the war with all their protests and strikes? No. Don't get me wrong, all this resistance is truly great, admirable, inspiring, but it never prevented a war (except for the American Civil War but although the European powers favoured the Confederates the Union wasn't exactly a socialist state which offered nothing but horror to the bourgeoisie). [/FONT]

    [FONT=Verdana]You say that the workers in the capitalist country would have never permitted their governments to go to war with the USSR. I say that they would have striked and sabotaged in favour of the USSR but that the imperialists would have still gone to war exactly as they did in WW1, the Russian Civil War, the Vietnam War. Sure, war with Germany was inevitable for the USSR and it survived it thanks to the industrialization, war preparations, the heroic spirit of the peoples of the USSR, etc. But would they have survived a combined Axis-Allies attack long enough to ensure that the workers force the Western governments to make peace or would they even have had enough time to wait and specualte for a revolution starting in the imperialist countries like it happened in Russia 1917? This is all speculation, no one can say, but I dare say that both is to be doubted.[/FONT]

    False. Trotsky repeatedly and consistently argued for unconditional military defense of the USSR and he was against strikes in the war industries of countries allied with the USSR or China in the event of those countries coming under attack by fascist powers.
    [FONT=Verdana]While he screamed around that the Red Army is almost non-existent and will be crushed completely in case of an attack and insisted that the working class has to rise up against the "Stalinist bureaucracy" if it wants to truly "defend" the USSR. It's only paying demagogic lip-service to unconditional military defense if you call for a civil war (and that's what it would have been since the "Stalinist regime", contrary to Trotskyist propaganda, wasn't hated and despised by the Soviet peoples) at the same time when the Wehrmacht marches towards Moscow. Somebody who was so well-versed in questions of warfare, as you portray Trotsky to be, should have clearly know that; especially after the Brest-Litovsk experience.[/FONT]

    The October Revolution was an example of the theory of Permanent Revolution because the workers did not wait for a revolution in the advanced countries...
    [FONT=Verdana]I know, that's the Trotskyist claim; yet they insist that building socialism in the USSR is/was impossible without the help of said advanced countries and that it's a "Stalinist" tactic to export revolution… much has been written and said about this and turning this discussion into the next "Lenin supported our theory and line and condemned yours"-discussion won't help anybody so let's leave this as it is for this thread.[/FONT]

    Neither were defeatist, that's absolutely false. Both of them did warn of the danger of a disastrous German attack, while the official Stalin/Voroshilov doctrine relied on the fantasy of "winning the war on the enemy's soil."
    [FONT=Verdana]Yes, but they – especially Trotsky – did "warn" about a good many things, sometimes these warnings turned out to be justified, many times they turned out to be pure propaganda. According to Trotsky the USSR under Stalin was almost always close to a complete catastrophe and should have perished any second according to other articles.[/FONT]

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  22. #36
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    That's the old problem again: In contrary to the enemies of "Stalinism" we never suggested that Stalin was a super-human being. We neither claim that everything good which happened in the USSR during Stalin's time is solely his personal achievement while the rest of the country had a good nap, nor do we claim that Stalin was flawless and everything bad which happened goes back to anybody but him. The average "anti-Stalinist", on the other hand, portrays everything good as being achieved in spite of Stalin and everything bad as a direct result from Stalin's reactionary personality and policies.
    Stalin's reactionary personality and policies? Uh no. Stalin did not come out of nowhere and force policies down the throat of people around him like the Hoxhaist narrative for the "Khrushchev coup" or whatever. He was the representative of the caste of party officials who had interests distinct from the masses, and it was these elements, not a nonexistent capitalist class under Khrushchev, which restored capitalism from the highest ranks of the Party.

    We praise Stalin for being a consistent Marxist-Leninist who successfully led the peoples of the USSR in their struggle to build up socialism during a very difficult time and under worst circumstances, who did what he had to do to ensure the survival of the USSR, who made valuable contributions to Marxist-Leninist theory but we also acknowledge that Stalin, like any other human being, wasn't perfect, erred sometimes, made mistakes and depended on others who might have misinformed and manipulated him.
    So in other words you defend Stalin's distortions of Leninism, the lie that the USSR was ever socialist, and blame outright betrayals of the working class and revisions of Leninist principles on bad employees or bad judgment.

    If we consider for a second that maybe these charges weren't all made up it should be clear that actually spying and/or sabotaging is worse and much more harmful than suggesting shitty and back-stabbing policies. Ulbricht was a pathetic opportunist but this doesn't mean that he was Stalin's mind- and soulless medium whose every word directly came out of the mouth of his "master". There's no reason to believe that this suggestion mirrors Stalin's personal believes or were the official line of the Comintern.
    Cautious collaboration with Nazism was indeed pursued by the Comintern and the Soviet state. Are you denying that the NKVD and Gestapo had joint security conferences for dealing with Polish nationalists, and even a short-lived prisoner exchange program?

    In contrast to most anti-communists you know that democratic centralism doesn't mean totalitarian Führer cult.
    In contrast to most Stalinists you know the CPSU had ceased to be a democratic centralist organization since the ban on factions was used to strangle party democracy.

    Putting Ulbricht in charge of the GDR (which wasn't a ready-made socialist country but had to build socialism like any other country and soon took the revisionist path) was indeed a mistake for various reasons.
    Take the revisionist path? Who was building socialism here in the first place? And if you admit that the working class had already been removed from power, why uphold the man who oversaw the process of political-economic bureaucratization and ideological revisionism?

    That's the official explanation; people ask "Why don't we ally with the USSR?", the government replies: "It's not our fault, we wanted an alliance but the evil commies went for their natural allies, the fascists, and turned against us!"
    Yes, and this argument was so prevalent because it undid everything the Popular Front had done to win support for Communism, primarily on the basis of anti-fascism.

    True, they got stomped by the Wehrmacht, but I wasn't talking about the invasion of France or the bombing of the UK but about the time between the invasion of Poland and the invasion of France. And during this time they did nothing and if that's because they were really too weak/scared then maybe they should have considered to stop aiding Finland, working on intervention plans for the Winter War and preparing to bomb Baku and instead concentrate their forces on their real enemy. Might have helped.
    Again, I doubt they would have been so anti-Soviet had the USSR not have signed what looked suspiciously like a secret military alliance with Nazi Germany.
    And let's be honest, if Stalin had died the day before it started, you'd refer to the war with Finland in accordance with the secret protocols of the Pact, and probably the Baltic annexations too, as a revisionist social-imperialist misadventure.. or didn't you say something about "revolution can't be exported or forced upon people by exterior means?"

    And in the very next discussion us "Stalinists" will face accusations of being one-sided, denying obvious and acknowledged facts and only accepting sources which mirror our point of view. "Aren't we all Stalinists deep inside? " is all I can say to this.
    While I admire your brand of existential Stalinism, I must ask - are you denying that in the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Nazi regime gave the USSR the green light to invade Finland?

    Where you get the idea that I defend a "Nazi-Soviet struggle against Anglo-French imperialism" is a miracle to me, please quote where I said this. I thought I made it pretty clear that the USSR agreed to the M-R Pact as the very last option available in order to win time to prepare for an inevitable fascist invasion, not to ally against imperialism with the "best friends" of all oppressed peoples – the Nazis…
    And I thought I made it pretty clear that the best justification for the Nazi-Soviet Pact was that the English and French would never turn against Germany, and this ceased to be the case after the invasion of Poland. The fact that it was a "phony war" until the Blitzkrieg hit Western Europe does not mean that the USSR would have been defeated if it had engaged the Wehrmacht in Poland, nor that the Allies would have switched sides as soon as the USSR joined them. Also, it was hardly a last-minute decision, it was the Pact that gave Germany and the USSR a border with one another, not border tensions which led to a Pact; also, the USSR had begun to shy away from the Popular Front even before the end of the Spanish Civil War.
    Apparently you are seriously doubtful of the combat ability of the Red Army, which under the correct leadership had been triumphed in even greater odds against all imperialist powers in the Russian Civil War. Even after the military purges, the Red Army retained some offensive capacity; to assert that it would have been incapable of performing better than it did in real life plays into Western bourgeois anti-Soviet propaganda. The initial defeats of 1941 were due primarily to the Red Army's unpreparedness for an enemy attack, Soviet forces being arrayed in offensive positions which made them vulnerable to encirclement. Had the USSR gone into the war prepared, fully mobilized and taking advantage of its own strength, a military embarrassment of German forces may well have stunted the Nazi war aims and led to an early removal of the fascist regime. The KPD would have been much more effective as an anti-fascist organization as well had it not disgraced itself by collaborating during Molotov-Ribbentrop.

    You seem to think that the Allies would have been interested in an alliance with the USSR and were just scared off because of the Pact. But the Allies were only interested in such an alliance (and even then there were voices that this war is wrong and that the USA/UK should ally with Germany against the Bolsheviks) when it was already too late and they finally realized that Hitler is a serious threat for their own interests.
    So it seems it is true, you believe that Stalin was a genius for letting Hitler conquer most of Europe and almost win the war.

    It's easy to state this today but a) could people back then know for sure that Hitler wouldn't attack the USSR? He did crazy things before and after September 1939 and b) contrary to what you seem to think there might have been the (very likely) possibility that the capitalist countries would have supported Hitler massively if he only declared war on the USSR. It's also quite funny to say that Germany used the two years to buildup while the USSR just "sat waiting to be attacked".
    The USSR built up its forces in that time but despite overwhelming armor and aviation superiority, half the Red Army's weapon systems were practically handed over to Hitler thanks to Stalin's intransigent obsequious attitude to the Nazi menace, even as they massed troops on the border, aggressively probed Soviet airspace, and word of their attack plans was repeatedly picked up by Soviet intelligence.

    Nice try, but maybe you'll be surprised to hear that much attacked Hoxhaism upholds that revolution can't be exported or forced upon people by exterior means but has to be carried out by the people of a country themselves in order to create a genuine medium for socialism. This is one of the reasons why e.g. Albania – which was liberated by its own people – succeeded in building socialism while the majority of the other countries of Warsaw Pact had no own revolution, were satellites of the USSR and easily turned to revisionism.
    Stalin's creations turned to revisionism? This reminds me of Christian sunday school teachings; it is illogical and makes me doubt the God-figure for the same reason. I guess the answer is that Stalin gave us the free will to choose between revisionism and anti-revisionism and our choice will determine whether we go to shop at the big Gastronom in the sky or burn in the fiery Gulags of hell.
    So what you are saying is, Stalin set up bourgeois states, staffed by social-democratic position-seekers and ex-Comintern hacks, which exploited the workers and were politically and economically dependent upon the USSR, relations which became imperialist one cloudy day in 1956 or something? And what is so great about Stalin again?

    All the wars you list took place. Sure, there was considerable resistance against the Vietnam War in America. Did that stop the USA to devastate Vietnam for many years? No.
    The resistance of working-class US soldiers in Vietnam itself was a major contributor to the imperialist decision to pull out.

    Did the German workers ignore the social chauvinist positions in the SPD and did those workers who unconditionally upheld anti-imperialism prevent WW1, did the Russian workers get the Tsar or Kerensky to end the war with all their protests and strikes?
    Perhaps you have forgotten the 1917 Revolution in which the working class did away with Kerensky, Tsar, and imperialist war. As the revolution spread to Germany, the imperialist powers agreed to a ceasefire so as to join forces against the USSR.

    No. Don't get me wrong, all this resistance is truly great, admirable, inspiring, but it never prevented a war
    And emperor-worshippers love a good war don't they. The truth is, workers could have stopped WWI had it not been for the revisionism of the Second International, some left-wing leaders of which like Jaurès nevertheless tried to organize workers of all countries to resist the war.

    (except for the American Civil War but although the European powers favoured the Confederates the Union wasn't exactly a socialist state which offered nothing but horror to the bourgeoisie).
    The USA was trying to abolish slavery and complete the American bourgeois revolution while international capitalism had become reactionary and favored the preservation of the slave system.

    You say that the workers in the capitalist country would have never permitted their governments to go to war with the USSR. I say that they would have striked and sabotaged in favour of the USSR but that the imperialists would have still gone to war exactly as they did in WW1, the Russian Civil War, the Vietnam War. Sure, war with Germany was inevitable for the USSR and it survived it thanks to the industrialization, war preparations, the heroic spirit of the peoples of the USSR, etc. But would they have survived a combined Axis-Allies attack long enough to ensure that the workers force the Western governments to make peace or would they even have had enough time to wait and specualte for a revolution starting in the imperialist countries like it happened in Russia 1917? This is all speculation, no one can say, but I dare say that both is to be doubted.
    I still don't believe the Allies, evil as they were, would have repaid the USSR for joining them against Nazi Germany by suddenly making peace with Germany and declaring war on the USSR. It remains the case that under correct leadership, Soviet forces had defeated all imperialist powers in the revolutionary period, and could have used the imperialist conflict to spread revolution instead of setting up a red Napoleonic empire.

    While he screamed around that the Red Army is almost non-existent and will be crushed completely in case of an attack and insisted that the working class has to rise up against the "Stalinist bureaucracy" if it wants to truly "defend" the USSR. It's only paying demagogic lip-service to unconditional military defense if you call for a civil war (and that's what it would have been since the "Stalinist regime", contrary to Trotskyist propaganda, wasn't hated and despised by the Soviet peoples) at the same time when the Wehrmacht marches towards Moscow. Somebody who was so well-versed in questions of warfare, as you portray Trotsky to be, should have clearly know that; especially after the Brest-Litovsk experience.
    Compare this hackneyed attempt at a baseless frame-up of Trotskyism to the ugly truth of Maoism/Hoxhaism which openly declared a jihad on Moscow at the same time as a vast nuclear arsenal was pointed at the Soviet Union.

    I know, that's the Trotskyist claim; yet they insist that building socialism in the USSR is/was impossible without the help of said advanced countries and that it's a "Stalinist" tactic to export revolution…
    The possibility of building socialism was nil because capitalist production relations could not be skipped, especially in an isolated economy. Still the point is not so much that it was absolutely impossible as that the Soviet declaration of having "constructed socialism" in 1934 was a blatant lie.

    much has been written and said about this and turning this discussion into the next "Lenin supported our theory and line and condemned yours"-discussion won't help anybody so let's leave this as it is for this thread.
    I'm afraid that Trotskyists will win the Lenin quote war on world revolution vs. socialism in one country 20:2, but if you don't want to go there I understand ;P.

    Yes, but they – especially Trotsky – did "warn" about a good many things, sometimes these warnings turned out to be justified, many times they turned out to be pure propaganda. According to Trotsky the USSR under Stalin was almost always close to a complete catastrophe and should have perished any second according to other articles.
    And according to you Stalin was a genius for letting the USSR fall to the brink of a complete catastrophe, creating the only possible circumstances under which the Allies would not have made peace with Germany and attacked the USSR, and in fact a complete catastrophe did happen: the death of Stalin.

  23. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kléber View Post
    Stalin's reactionary personality and policies? Uh no. Stalin did not come out of nowhere and force policies down the throat of people around him like the Hoxhaist narrative for the "Khrushchev coup" or whatever.
    You mean the Trotskyist narrative, Hoxhaists don't claim that Krushchev came "out of nowhere". As you don't seem to consider my advice to read some "Hoxhaist works" I'll have to quote this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoxha
    I am of the opinion that even before the war but especially after the war, signs of a deplorable apathy appeared in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. This party had a great reputation and had achieved colossal successes in the course of its work, but at the same time it had started to lose the revolutionary spirit and was becoming infected by bureaucracy and routine. The Leninist norms, the teachings of Lenin and Stalin had been transformed by the apparatchiki into stale platitudes and hackneyed slogans devoid of operative worth.
    [...]
    In such conditions bureaucratic administrative measures began to predominate over revolutionary measures. Vigilance was no longer operative because it was no longer revolutionary, regardless of all the boasting about it. From a vigilance of the party and the masses, it was being turned into a vigilance of bureaucratic apparatus and transformed, in fact, if not completely from the formal viewpoint, into a vigilance of the state security organs and the courts.
    http://www.marxists.org/reference/ar...hevites/03.htm

    But yeah, agreed, it's easier to say that Hoxhaists are fanatic weirdos who say everything in Stalin's USSR was paradise but all of a sudden the snake entered in Khrushchev's person and overnight everything went bad.

    Cautious collaboration with Nazism was indeed pursued by the Comintern and the Soviet state. Are you denying that the NKVD and Gestapo had joint security conferences for dealing with Polish nationalists, and even a short-lived prisoner exchange program?
    One second ago we were speaking about the NKVD allegedly handing over communists to the Gestapo since the M-R Pact, now we are already down on Polish nationalists and "short-lived" prisoner exchange programs... I think Kayser_Soso has already answered re:NKVD-Gestapo collaboration claim.

    Take the revisionist path? Who was building socialism here in the first place? And if you admit that the working class had already been removed from power, why uphold the man who oversaw the process of political-economic bureaucratization and ideological revisionism?
    The working class, the majority of the people, were building socialism. The SED rulers soon took the revisionist path. Before you start with "The working class would have never permitted the SED to become revisionist" I'd like to remind you about Berlin 1953.
    And it's you who claims that Stalin "oversaw the process of political-economic bureaucratization and ideological revisionism", not me.

    Yes, and this argument was so prevalent because it undid everything the Popular Front had done to win support for Communism, primarily on the basis of anti-fascism.
    Back at the start again... I still hold that the M-R Pact wasn't done for fun but as the last resort. You say that if the USSR wouldn't have signed it everything would have turned out better for the USSR because of the Western nations (forced to) supporting it against a possible Nazi attack. I say it is to be doubted.

    Again, I doubt they would have been so anti-Soviet had the USSR not have signed what looked suspiciously like a secret military alliance with Nazi Germany.
    They were the same anti-Soviet long before the Pact. I recommend "The Great Conspiracy against Russia" by Sayers and Kahn on this, it does a fine job listing the anti-Soviet activities of the West from the moment of Lenin's arrival at Petrograd.

    And let's be honest, if Stalin had died the day before it started, you'd refer to the war with Finland in accordance with the secret protocols of the Pact, and probably the Baltic annexations too, as a revisionist social-imperialist misadventure.. or didn't you say something about "revolution can't be exported or forced upon people by exterior means?"
    Geez, contrary to what you think I don't automatically refer to everything which happened during Stalin's lifetime as awesome ML action and to everything after his death as revisionist and social-imperialist. There's a reason for these judgements and believe me, I would be more than happy if history allowed me to call Khrushchev a great Marxist-Leninist.

    In this case (as I already said at least twice, but well...) the reason for defending the Soviet invasion of Finland is that it wasn't a social-imperialist action to make Finland into a Soviet puppet which would then be expolited but once again the last resort after failed (and more than fair on the Soviet side) negotiations to secure Leningrad against a more than obvious attack soon to come from Finland. Same goes for the Baltics, thinking that Hitler would indeed have been satisfied taking just Memel from Lithuania and would have left the Baltics alone and that the fascist rulers (who could have easily been overthrown by the 5th Column, anyway) would have stayed neutral in case of a German invasion of the USSR is pretty naive.

    While I admire your brand of existential Stalinism, I must ask - are you denying that in the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Nazi regime gave the USSR the green light to invade Finland?
    I am denying that Finland was neutral or even pro-Soviet, did outline that the Wehrmacht was more than active in Finland and that the USSR in no way invaded Finland without a warning or any reason but only after it failed with generous offers to get a few pieces of Finnish soil to defend Leningrad.

    Now you might counter why the Nazis would sacrifice Finland if they really intended to use it as a giant base to attack the USSR from the north. The Nazis were a) megalomaniacs, I don't think they really felt like they depended on Finland to start a successful attack, b) speculating that the West would intervene on the anti-Soviet side (which it did, not only the aid but a British landing in Norway to move troops to Finland was planned) c) that the USSR would look like an imperialist aggressor against poor little Finland and lose more sympathy and d) hoping to see the Red Army in action which resulted in a premature triumph because now they felt assured that the USSR would be completely unable to defend itself against the Wehrmacht. The Nazis had nothing to lose but much to win from this.

    Also, it was hardly a last-minute decision, it was the Pact that gave Germany and the USSR a border with one another, not border tensions which led to a Pact
    The USSR already spoke about the West leading Germany eastwards during the Anschluss and the annexion of Czechoslovakia, everybody knew "Mein Kampf", everybody knew that the USSR was seen as "natural enemy" of the Nazis and that Hitler wouldn't stop with Poland. Allowing Hitler to take all of Poland is de facto begging for border tensions at a much less advantegeous position and date. And that's what it would have been, The Allies weren't exactly working like mad to defend Poland, as we saw. And if the USSR would have declared war on Germany in case of invading Poland to defend the latter (which, once again, did not wish to be defended by the USSR which offered to do so) it's not really absurd to assume that the bombers in Lebanon aiming at Baku and the British troops planning to land would have been there anyway, with or without the Pact.

    Apparently you are seriously doubtful of the combat ability of the Red Army, which under the correct leadership had been triumphed in even greater odds against all imperialist powers in the Russian Civil War. Even after the military purges, the Red Army retained some offensive capacity; to assert that it would have been incapable of performing better than it did in real life plays into Western bourgeois anti-Soviet propaganda.
    Seems like at least here you break with Trotsky's view, who, well, "played into Western bourgeois [,fascist and] anti-Soviet propaganda."

    The initial defeats of 1941 were due primarily to the Red Army's unpreparedness for an enemy attack, Soviet forces being arrayed in offensive positions which made them vulnerable to encirclement. Had the USSR gone into the war prepared, fully mobilized and taking advantage of its own strength, a military embarrassment of German forces may well have stunted the Nazi war aims and led to an early removal of the fascist regime.
    The last part is pure speculation, unlikely speculation given the situation in the Reich till its very end. You still think that the situation of the USSR in 1939 can be compared to the situation in 1941, that the time between 1939 and 1941 wasn't used for preparations but completely wasted, and that it would have been totally unthinkable that the Allies might join the Nazis in fighting off the "red flood" in case of the USSR attacking Germany. I still disagree.

    So it seems it is true, you believe that Stalin was a genius for letting Hitler conquer most of Europe and almost win the war.
    Yes, if you don't read my posts it might seem so. If you read them it's clear that I say "The allies had absolutely no interest allying/defending the USSR prior to or in 1939. Stalin knew that and was proven right during the negotiations for a mutual defence pact with the Allies. Thus he saw only one chance to buy the USSR a little more time to prepare for a German attack sure to come: the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In 1941 the Allies finally realized that the USSR fighting off (or at least keeping busy) the Wehrmacht is in their best interest and pretty much their only hope, while Hitler isn't their best buddy in the crusade against communism but rather presents a threat to their interests. Thus they allied with the USSR untill the danger was over and Chruchill could safely decided that 'we slaughtered the wrong pig' (should maybe tell us something about the general Allied stance on the USSR)." Where the "Stalin let Germany attack and conquer half the USSR on purpose, so that he might finally realize his dream and join the totally trendy club of the allied losers"-part you see in my posts comes in, is a mystery to me.

    The USSR built up its forces in that time but despite overwhelming armor and aviation superiority, half the Red Army's weapon systems were practically handed over to Hitler thanks to Stalin's intransigent obsequious attitude to the Nazi menace, even as they massed troops on the border, aggressively probed Soviet airspace, and word of their attack plans was repeatedly picked up by Soviet intelligence.
    Yes, repeatedly... a bit too repeatedly. There's a tactic: provide the enemy with false information and this way lure him into a trap. Might have just been that, if the Red Army started everytime somebody claimed Germany is going to attack the date of the beginning of the "Great Patriotic War" might have been very different, just as the result.

    Stalin's creations turned to revisionism? This reminds me of Christian sunday school teachings; it is illogical and makes me doubt the God-figure for the same reason. I guess the answer is that Stalin gave us the free will to choose between revisionism and anti-revisionism and our choice will determine whether we go to shop at the big Gastronom in the sky or burn in the fiery Gulags of hell.
    Um, I thought the Trotskyists were the ones who claim that Lenin and Trotsky were actually best friends and Stalin "ursurped the throne", destroyed the gains of the (essentially Trotskyist) October Revolution and turned the USSR into a bureaucratic degenerated workers state. So when "poor Trotsky gets deprived of his birthright by Lenin's putschist successor" it's this explanation, when Stalin's putschist successor is accused of similar crimes against the working class this suddenly get ridiculous and Stalin just must have been the one who is responsible for everything? Here we go, my "existential Stalinism" alarm bells are ringing again...

    The resistance of working-class US soldiers in Vietnam itself was a major contributor to the imperialist decision to pull out.
    Contributor, yes. But not the single reason. Again, what would have chances been for the USSR to fight off a possible Axis-Allies joint attack long enough to get this contributor working?

    Perhaps you have forgotten the 1917 Revolution in which the working class did away with Kerensky, Tsar, and imperialist war. As the revolution spread to Germany, the imperialist powers agreed to a ceasefire so as to join forces against the USSR.
    Exactly, the revolution did away with Kerensky, the Tsar, and imperialist war! Not the working class protests alone. You say the protests would have sufficed to end a possible imperialist aggression like they did in Vietnam. So unless we are assuming that an imperialist attack on the USSR would have started revolutions in Germany, France and Britain - which is really pure speculation - I still hold that protests might have not been enough to save the USSR. I'm aware that this is nothing but speculation on both sides but I think judging from the history of the Allied-Soviet relationship till 1939 that there were good chances for an Axis-Allies block if the USSR attacked Germany in 1939 and little chances for the USSR to survive this is still more realistic than speculating that either the Allies in 1939 suddenly make up their mind and ally with the USSR or that an Axis-Allies attack would have never taken place becuase of protests and possible outbreaks of revolutions.

    And emperor-worshippers love a good war don't they. The truth is, workers could have stopped WWI had it not been for the revisionism of the Second International, some left-wing leaders of which like Jaurès nevertheless tried to organize workers of all countries to resist the war.
    Sure, they could have prevented the war, had it not been for... but it had been for. What makes you think that the only thing in the whole world which caused the war and prevented revolution was Stalin? If there would have been no Stalin there would still have been had-it-not-been-fors if Trotsky (or whoever you want to see in charge of the USSR) wasn't like you accuse us seing Stalin: a divine and perfect being, controlling each and everything and making no mistakes at all.

    I still don't believe the Allies, evil as they were, would have repaid the USSR for joining them against Nazi Germany by suddenly making peace with Germany and declaring war on the USSR.
    You know that there were strong voices arguing for just this before the war, they were during the war and they were after the war (cf. Chruchill quote). You also know the "democratic" praise Hitler received for "getting rid of communism in Germany", being the "bulwark against the Bolshevik threat", etc. and you know what happened to Czechoslovakia (which the Soviets were the only one ready to defend) and the Treaty of Versailles - what makes you think the Poland wouldn't have become a second Czechoslovakia and even more in case our favourite bulwark would have had to fight against the "Bolshevik threat"? It's not like the Allies had a good relationship with the USSR prior to 1939 or any interest in defending it, on the contrary we see them kissing Hitler's ass all the years long and doing nothing to actively help Poland.

    Compare this hackneyed attempt at a baseless frame-up of Trotskyism to the ugly truth of Maoism/Hoxhaism which openly declared a jihad on Moscow at the same time as a vast nuclear arsenal was pointed at the Soviet Union.
    Er, do you deny that Trotsky repeatedly stated that the USSR is on the edge of collapse, the Red Army unable to hold off an attack, that the only way to get rid of the "Stalinist bureaucracy" is violent struggle, that he made extremely helpful statements like these:
    Quote Originally Posted by Trotsky
    I consider the main source of danger to the USSR in the present international situation to be Stalin and the oligarchy headed by him. An open struggle against them […] is inseparably connected for me with the defense of the USSR
    ______________________________
    Only the overthrow of the Bonapartist Kremlin clique can make possible the regeneration of the military strength of the USSR [...] Whoever defends Stalinism directly or indirectly, whoever keeps silent about its betrayals or exaggerates its military strength is the worst enemy of the revolution, or socialism, of the oppressed peoples.
    ______________________________
    Fascism is winning victory after victory and its best ally, the one that is clearing its path throughout the world, is Stalinism
    ______________________________
    Inside the Party, Stalin has put himself above all criticism and the State. It is impossible to displace him except by assassination. Every oppositionist becomes ipso facto a terrorist.
    And what's that talk about "jihad on Moscow"? Do you mean the infamous "Theory of the Three Worlds", which says that Soviet social-imperialism is the main threat to the world proletariat (and therefore this theory was consequently condemned by Hoxha)? True, Hoxha called for revolution in the USSR (as well as in the Warsaw Pact and China) but he also called for revolution in the West and never made statements like "I consider Brezhnev to be the main danger to the working class". And most importantly, Khrushchev and his successors advocated peaceful coexistance, so that both the USA and the USSR were out to avoid a war, trying to keep their imperialist interests in a balance of power. A war between Germany and the USSR was inevitable as we all agree. The situation of Hoxha criticizing revisionism and social-imperialism during the Cold War can't really be compared to Trotsky assuring the world that the isolated USSR will inevitably be doomed, that it's army sucks and that in case of an attack only an uprising against the "Stalinists" can save the country. That's like Hoxha calling the Vietnamese to rise against Ho Chi Minh during the Vietnam War, except he never did such a thing.

    I'm afraid that Trotskyists will win the Lenin quote war on world revolution vs. socialism in one country 20:2, but if you don't want to go there I understand ;P.
    If you have to, bring it on. Just saying - Lenin: "Trotsky [...] now proclaiming his absurdly Left 'permanent revolution' theory." and "Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country alone." It's pretty absurd anyway to assume that Lenin did all he did though he knew the USSR was doomed. And it's even more absurd to see SIOC as some Nazbol theory as if it didn't explicitely state that world revolution is desired and necessary and every gain made in the USSR is threatened as long as the capitalist encriclement continues. The usual Lenin quotes Trotskyists bring up are along the line of "A revolution in the west would be an immense help" and "without revolutions in the West our revolution and its achievements are in danger". Sure, who ever denied that?

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