January 1995, No. 116


Brief Introduction:
    The Stalin Society was formed on the initiative of Bill Bland, when he circulated a note suggesting that this would be a timely step; coming upon the open embrace of capital by Gorbachev. With this, the revisionist "official" soviet parties were manifestly crumbling.
    His intent was an open broad front organisation - open to all who call themselves Marxist-Leninists. Given the later development of the hijacking of the society for sectarian ends, he and the CL were forced to write this critique.
    It is noteworthy that subsequently, in order to further enable themselves to 'safely' and 'constitutionally' expel Bill Bland for his insistence on an open and non-sectarian conduct and debate within the society, the hijackers led by the husband and wife team of the Majids - cancelled all overseas subscriptions.
    It should not be thought that the contents of this exposure of the manoeuvres of the Stalin Society are of purely historic interest. The critique contained here-in, centres on two aspects that the world-wide Marxist-Leninist movement is still coming to grips with.
    One is the content of Maoism;
    The second is the nature and development of the revisionist blocs inside the USSR and the Comintern.
    It is for these reasons that at this stage Alliance feels it - once more a timely - exposure.
    Alliance Marxist-Leninist (North America); June 2002.

    AT TWO OF ITS MEETINGS THIS AUTUMN, THE STALIN SOCIETY HAS HEARD TWO CONSECUTIVE TALKS - BY ADOLFO OLAECHEA AND HARRY POWELL RESPECTIVELY -- IN DEFENCE OF MAOISM.     In September, Adolfo Olaechea of the Committee Sol Peru, speaking to the Society on fascism, assessed Dimitrov as a:     As:     and implied that those who criticised the role of Dimitrov -- such as the Communist League -- formed a:      But the question of whether Dimitrov was, or was not, a Marxist-Leninist is not 'a matter of opinion'. It is determined by objective facts and Marxist-Leninist analysis of those facts.

    Genuine Marxist-Leninists accept the classical formula that socialism cannot be established in a modern capitalist country through parliament, but only by means of a revolution:

    We call the latter 'revisionism' because its proponents have 'revised' Marxism-Leninism so as to remove its essential revolutionary core, so as to make it serve as a means to deceive the working class, so as to transform it into an ideology serving the interests of the capitalist class.

    Where does Dimitrov stand in relation to this demarcation line?

    In March 1946, ten years before Nikita Khrushchev put forward the revisionist concept of the peaceful, parliamentary transition to socialism at the 20th Congress of the CPSU, we find Dimitrov saying:

Thus, reality demands that we characterise Dimitrov as one of the pioneers of open revisionism in the international communist movement.     In September 1994, members of the Stalin Society Ivor and Florence Kenna published an open letter criticising our characterisation of Dimitrov as a revisionist as a:     But a libel is a defamatory statement which is untrue, and we have seen above that, on the basis of the facts, Dimitrov was undoubtedly a pioneer of modern revisionism. We are sorry that the Kennas should have been unpleasantly:     by this fact, but a revolutionary movement can be built only on the basis of truth, so that truth is sacred and should not be distorted for any reasou - not even to spare the Kennas a shock to their prejudices!

    In their Open Letter, the Kennas object to a recent statement by our member Bill Bland to the effect

    and to a statement in our journal 'Compass':     in its later years.
    But if Stalin and the other Marxist-Leninists were not in a minority in the leadership of the Communist International and the Soviet Communist Party in the years before his death, it is necessary to find alternative coherent explanations for facts such as the following:     That Stalin was in a minority in the leadership of the CPSU and the Comintern does not necessarily imply, as the Kennas allege:     It implies merely that the majority of the leaders were either concealed revisionist conspirators or people who could from time to time be persuaded to support revisionist policies.

    It implies that revisionists in leading positions in the CPSU and the Comintern were able, from time to time, to divert the policy of these bodies, against Stalin's opposition, from correct Marxist-Leninist principles.

    Let us take, for reasons of space, just one example: the character of the Second World War at its inception.

    According to Stalin, the Second World War was, from its inception, an anti-fascist war of liberation on the part of- the democratic capitalist powers:

    However, after the Second World War broke out on 3 September 1939, it was almost two months before the Communist International, in an article entitled 'The War and The Working Class' signed by Georgi Dimitrov, published an analysis of the character of the war. This time delay gives some indication of the intensity of the internal ideological struggle that raged on this issue. However, the CI rejected Stalin's analysis of the war, which it assessed as:     As:     Whereas in Stalin's view the war was objectively a just, anti-fascist war on the part of the democratic imperialist powers, in Dimitrov's view this was mere false propaganda and the war was, in fact, one which the working classes of all countries should oppose:     Indeed, Dimitrov characterised the democratic imperialist powers, Britain and France, as greater warmongers than the Fascist powers:     A similar characterisation of the first period of the Second World War to that made by Dimitrov was made by leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Soviet Premier and Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov told the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on 31 October 1939:     This example demonstrates that there were times when Stalin was in a minority on important questions, and was only able to win majority support for his views after some years of ideological struggle.

    It would be strange if the Kennas -- members of the Stalin Society -were to claim that in this instance Stalin was grossly mistaken and the revisionist Dimitrov was correct. But if Stalin was correct in his analysis of the first period of the Second World War, then Dimitrov's line was one which objectively held back the progressive war effort of the democratic imperialist powers and so assisted the war effort of Nazi Germany.

    In any case, it demonstrates beyond doubt that there were times when Stalin was in a minority in the leadership of the CPSU and the Comintern.

    Kamal Majid has maintained, at several meetings of the Stalin Society, that there were no significant differences between the leadership of the Communist International and Stalin, who, he insists, was effectively 'the leader of the Communist International.

    It is true that, at the last Congress of the Comintern in August 1935, Stalin was elected one of 45 members of the Executive Committee; but he was not elected one of the seven members of the Secretariat, which was dominated by revisionists. (Its other members included the revisionists: Georgi Dimitrov (General Secretary) (Bulgaria), Otto Kuusinen (Finland), Dmitry Manuilsky (USSR), Andre Marty (France), Wilhelm Pieck (Germany), Palmiro Togliatti (Italy).

    In an effort to support his view, Majid cites the fact that Stalin endorsed the dissolution of the Comintern in May 1943:

    In fact, Stalin's statement on the dissolution of the Comintern demonstrates well the differences between himself and the revisionist leadership of the Comintern.

    It is important to contrast the reasons given by the revisionist leadership of the CI for initiating its dissolution with the reasons given by Stalin for supporting the dissolution.

    The revisionist leadership gave two 'reasons' for the dissolution:

    firstly, that the world situation was now too complicated for an international centre to be able to function, and such a centre has become a drag on the development of the national parties:

    secondly, that the political maturity of the national parties and their leaders had made an international centre unnecessary. The decision had been made, declared the Presidium of the ECCI:     Stalin could not but reject this obviously false analysis. At the same time, as a profound Marxist-Leninist he could not oppose the dissolution of the Communist International because it was revisionist-led and so no, longer served the interests of the world's working class. But, as a profound Marxist-Leninist, he supported the dissolution of the Comintern in order that he might take the initiative in replacing it by a new organisation that would be led by Marxist-Leninists.

    However, as a loyal Marxist-Leninist Stalin was bound by the principles of democratic centralism, and could not directly express the real reasons for his support of the dissolution of the Communist International.

    In his reply, therefore, Stalin gave four reasons for his support of the dissolution of the Communist International, but these boil down to one. The dissolution, he said,

    Stalin was obviously saying that the dissolution was a concession to the Western, imperialist powers. But we know that Stalin clearly held that concessions to imperialism which were contrary to the interests of the world working class would constitute impermissible opportunism:     Thus, in approving the dissolution of the Communist International, Stalin was clearly, if obliquely, expressing the view that this organisation no longer served the interests of the world working class so that its dissolution, while a concession to imperialism, was not an opportunist concession.

    Perhaps one may argue that Stalin should not have accepted Party discipline on such an important question, should have made his views known directly. But a Marxist-Leninist in a party which claims to be Marxist-Leninist is justified in breaching the discipline of that party only when he is satisfied not merely that the majority view on a question of principle is wrong, but that there is negligible chance of correcting the situation.

    In the case of the decision to abolish the Communist International, the Marxist-Leninists in the CPSU were able to correct the situation by initiating, only three years later in 1946, the formation of a new International -- the Communist Information Bureau or 'Cominform' under new Marxist-Leninist leadership -- which proceeded to expose and fight revisionism, notably in such countries as France, Italy and Yugoslavia.

    Thus, Stalin dissociated himself in action from the revisionist views both that the situation was now too complicated for an international Marxist-Leninist organisation to operate, and that such an organisation was unnecessary because of the 'political maturity' of the national parties.

    In his talk to the Stalin Society in October, Adolfo Olaechea stated that:     In fact, after the 20th Congress of the CPSU in February 1956 the Communist Party of China's assessment of Stalin was little different from that of Soviet revisionist leader Nikita Khrushchev:     And in April 1956 Mao himself wrote:     It will be seen that the Communist Party of China's assessment of Stalin was incorrect and basically little different from that put forward by the Soviet revisionists.

    Olaechea's statement that:

    is clearly false.     Mao Tse-tung agrees with Lenin and Stalin that in a colonial-type country such as China, the revolutionary process has to pass through two successive stages: the stage of democratic revolution and the stage of socialist revolution:     In November 1994, Harry Powell addressed the Stalin Society on 'Mao Tsetung -- Revisionist or Revolutionary?'. He told the Society that our member Bill Bland in his paper entitled 'The Revolutionary Process in Colonial-Type Countries' read to the Marxist-Leninist seminar in London in July 1993 had 'agreed with Trotsky in rejecting the two-stage theory of the revolutionary process in colonial-type countries'.
    This allegation is quite false.     But in regard to the second stage of the revolutionary process, Mao Tse-tung deviates from Lenin and Stalin. The latter insist that the socialist stage of the revolutionary process involves a fierce class struggle against the bourgeoisie:     While Lenin and Stalin present the second (socialist) stage of the revolutionary process as one of struggle against the national bourgeoisie, Mao Tse-tung maintains that the contradiction between the working class and the national bourgeoisie in China is a contradiction 'among the people' which can be 'resolved peacefully' because the Chinese national capitalists are willing to accept socialist transformation':     Mao goes on to explain that by the 'correct handling' of the contradiction -- handling which can bring about its 'peaceful resolution' -he means the:         of the national bourgeoisie.

    But this conception of the bourgeoisie being 'ideologically remoulded' into 'willingness to accept socialism' and so refraining from class struggle against it is clearly analogous to the thesis of the revisionist Nikolay Bukharin of the Russian capitalists 'growing into socialism'. On this conception Stalin comments:

    Lenin and Stalin maintain that the construction of socialism is impossible without the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat:     Olaechea states:     This claim is false.

    Mao Tse-tung insists that the goal for progressive people in all colonial-type countries should be the establishment, not of the dictatorship of the proletariat, but of the joint dictatorship of several anti-imperialist classes, including the national bourgeoisie:

    Mao calls the national bourgeoisie of a colonial-type country the 'middle bourgeoisie':     -- the comprador class being that section of the bourgeoisie closely linked and dependent upon foreign imperialism.

    The classes said to share power in this 'new-democratic' joint dictatorship include the national bourgeoisie, the petty bourgeoisie and even that section of the landlord class which is willing to participate in the new democratic state (i. e., that section which Mao calls 'the enlightened gentry'):

    This 'new-democratic republic' thus admittedly differs from the dictatorship of the proletariat:     It is characterised as 'a state of the whole people':     Far from suppressing the Chinese bourgeoisie, the 'new-democratic republic' will permit its political parties to exist over a long period of time:     and will permit the Chinese bourgeoisie freely to express its ideoology:     Indeed, Mao demands that the Communist Party, in this 'people's democratic dictatorship', should adopt a policy of 'free competition' in all fields, including that of political ideology:     Far from suppressing the Chinese bourgeoisie, the 'new-democratic state' will permit its political parties to exist over a long period of time:     Certainly, Mao speaks of the importance of:     but in the new-democratic republic this leadership is to be shared with the bourgeois parties on the basis of 'mutual supervision':     The Chinese revisionists' conception of 'socialism' is one in which only the enterprises of the comprador capitalists are nationalised, while 'those of the national capitalists are gradually and peacefully transformed into ‘socialist' enterprises in alliance with the national bourgeoisie, through state capitalism, using the machinery of the 'new-democratic state'':     The method of transforming the enterprises of the Chinese national capitalists into 'socialist' enterprises was through the formation of joint state-private enterprises:     The Chinese national capitalists not only had no objection to this form of socialist transformation, they welcomed it:     The completion in 1956 of this programme of formation of joint-state private enterprises was later portrayed by the Chinese revisionists as 'the completion of the socialist revolution':     while the new-democratic state (previously defined as the state of 'a class alliance which included the national bourgeoisie') was now portrayed as a state of 'the dictatorship of the proletariat', as 'socialist state power':     But behind this false facade of 'socialism', as Mao himself admits, the reality was that the Chinese national bourgeoisie continued to exploit the working class: 15     Most systems of religious belief are based on writings regarded as ‘sacred', and most of these were written long ago. But as man's knowledge of the universe increases, it is discovered that these ancient writings appear to conflict with fact.

    In this situation, some people realise that their religious belief was mere superstition and become atheists. Of those who retain their religious belief, some insist that the writings, being sacred, are infallibly true, so that their appearance of falsity must be a mere illusion: we call such people fundamentalists; others admit that the writings cannot be accepted as literal truth, but can be accepted as allegorical truth: we call such people modernists.

    Maoism has its fundamentalists and its modernists.

    As history made Maoism untenable except to those whose prejudices overrode their reason, genuine materialists came to realise that Maoism was merely a brand of revisionism. Among other Maoists, Fundamentalist and Modernist trends appeared.

    Adolfo Olaechea belongs to the Fundamentalist wing of Maoism. Like the well-meaning young people of twenty-five years ago who could be seen on demonstrations waving Mao's 'Little Red Book' like a holy symbol, Olaechea still insists that:

    And whereas, as we have seen, the facts show that Maoism itself is a form of revisionism serving the interests of national bourgeoisies in colonial-type countries, the Maoist fundamentalist Olaechea clings to the illusion that:     Harry Powell, who spoke at the November meeting of the Stalin Society, is on the other hand a Modernist Maoist.

    Powell made no bones about admitting that Dimitrov had been a thorough-going revisionist and even admitted that Mao had been a revisionist 'to some extent'.

    This view of Mao was expressed in May 1981 in a joint 'Defence of Mao' put forward by three German organisations. Their declaration agreed that the writings of Mao Tse-tung:

    Despite these severe strictures, the German organisations, like Harry Powell, seek to defend Mao as a 'Marxist-Leninist' by suggesting that the 'Cultural Revolution' which he initiated in the 1960s 'seems to have been an attempt to correct some of his errors':     Certainly the 'Cultural Revolution' was fought out under anti-revisionist slogans:     However, the true character of the 'Cultural Revolution' has been brilliantly analysed by the Albanian Marxist-Leninist Enver Hoxha:     According to Hoxha, it was a struggle between two revisionist factions within the Chinese Communist Party -- headed respectively by Mao Tse-tung and Liu Shao-chi:     At the time of the onset of the 'Cultural Revolution', the leadership of the the Communist Party of China was pursuing an anti-imperialist political line, directed in particular against US imperialism:     In 1966, the Party and state machinery of China were dominated by the anti-American faction headed by Liu Shao-chi:     However, the faction headed by Mao, which had become:     In these circumstances:     In the course of this 'Cultural Revolution':     Thus, in no way can the 'Cultural Revolution' be considered as an attempt by Mao to correct his revisionist mistakes. It was a factional struggle between the anti-US faction within the Party headed by Liu Shao-chi and the pro-US faction headed by Mao Tse-tung. The victory of the latter was followed by Nixon's visit to China, Chinese support for the Shah of Iran and the US backed FNLA/UNITA in Angola, the Chinese loan to the Chilean junta of Pinochet, etc.


    Olaechea calls for the reconstitution of a genuine Communist Party in each country:     He admits that the old international communist movement was split or liquidated by revisionists:     Even in China, admits Olaechea:     One might, therefore, suppose that Olaechea would agree with what has been the aim of the Communist League since its foundation, namely:     Nothing of the sort!

    Such an aim, he declares, is as futile as a search for the Holy Grail!

    Why, in Olaechea's opinion, can a Party free of revisionism not exist?     We can certainly agree that if a Marxist-Leninist Party has been formed which is initially free of opportunist and revisionist trends, the struggle against opportunist and revisionist elements must be continued in such a way that the Party is purged of such elements:     But since Olaechea denies the possibility of creating a Marxist-Leninist Party which is even initially free of opportunist or revisionist trends, he sees it as a party which includes opportunists and revisionists, and in which genuine Marxist-Leninists carry on a struggle against opportunism and revisionism within the Party. Indeed, he goes so far as to say that this internal struggle is essential to the Party's development:     What do Lenin and Stalin say about allowing opportunists and revisionists into the Party?     Whatever monstrosity might emerge from Olaechea's proposals, it can clearly be nothing remotely resembling a Marxist-Leninist Party.     A broad front is an organisation of people who agree to campaign on the objective of the broad front, in spite of differences they may have on other questions.

The Stalin Society is a broad front organisation of people who agree that Stalin was a great Marxist-Leninist and who agree to campaign in defence of Stalin in spite of differences they may have on other questions.

    Members of a broad front who genuinely support its aims naturally work to expand its membership and influence as widely as possible. On the other hand, fifth columnists within the broad front, who wish to sabotage its aims, generally act under the cloak of pseudo-leftism, striving to erect sectarian barriers within the front on questions other than those embodied in the aims of the broad front.

    Over two years ago, Kamal Majid, husband of the present Secretary of the Stalin Society, Cathie Majid -- speaking at a conference in the name of the Stalin Society -- said:

    This declaration, like so many of the Majids' utterances, is devoid of any truth. At no time has it been the policy of the Stalin Society that people who wish to join the Society must undertake a criticism of their past before they can be accepted as members.

    What is the effect of Majid's false statement?

    Most people who now support Stalin, or who will come to support him in the future, have in the past accepted some of the bourgeois, Trotskyist or revisionist slanders about Stalin. Neither the Stalin Society, nor the Marxist-Leninist movement, can be built only from people who have never for a moment been misled by such slanders. To claim, even though falsely, that such people must pass a 'purification' test in a manner acceptable to the Majidist fifth column, is to seek to place barriers between the Stalin Society and tens of thousands of honest potential members.

    Yet at meeting after meeting of the Stalin Society the Chairman, the Maoist Wilf Dixon, has permitted Kamal Majid to attack the New Communist Party as 'traitors'.

    In May of this year, the General Secretary of the New Communist Party. Eric Trevett, wrote in the party's paper:

    The New Communist Party is one of the largest of organisations calling itself Marxist-Leninist, and all who genuinely support the aims of the Stalin Society cannot but welcome this statement. But at the next meeting of the Stalin Society, Kamal Majid declared that this statement made it necessary to attack the New Communist Party harder than ever!

    It is clear that the Majidist attacks on the New Communist Party at meetings of the Stalin Society have no relation whatever to the aims of the Society.

    The Majids are no young inexperienced novices to the revolutionary movement, and it is clear that in attacking the New Communist Party, they are indulging in conscious sabotage of the Society.

    The Majidists' campaign of disruption is, naturally, fully supported by the Maoist speakers invited by the Committee to give talks at the September and November meetings of the Stalin Society. Adolfo Olaechea said:

    In their Open Letter on 'The Stalin Society Dispute', Ted Talbot and Harry Powell dismiss the case against the Majidist disruptors as, for the most part:     and based on:     They accuse our member Bill Bland of:     when he says:     Although Talbot and Powell cease their quotation at this point, Bill Bland goes on to say :     Tony Clark, in an undated Open Letter to members of the Stalin Society declares that this policy seeks:     and that the policy:     In fact, nothing could be further from the truth than that we wish to place any organisation or individual 'above criticism'.

    We merely maintain that it is wrong and disruptive to permit attacks on members, or potential members, at meetings of the Stalin Society on questions unrelated to the aims of the Society.

    It needs no advanced level of Marxism-Leninism to understand that the same statement may be tactically correct in one set of circumstances, but wrong and counter-productive in another set of circumstances.

    For example, no one was a more consistent opponent of the treachery of social-democracy than Lenin. At the beginning of 1922, the Communist International, led by Lenin, was striving to organise a conference of the three Internationals:

    The fifth columnist Grigory Zinoviev, who later confessed to treason against the Soviet state and was executed, wrote a draft resolution on the proposed conference which called social-democratic leaders of the Second and Two-and-a-Half Internationals 'accomplices of the world bourgeoisie'. While this characterisation was undoubtedly true, Lenin objected to it in the resolution concerned on tactical grounds:     Again, Marxist-Leninists accept that, as a general principle, it is correct to expose the reactionary role of religion. But an aspiring Marxist-Leninist who intrudes into a Catholic Church during mass shouting: 'Down with the Pope!' is not acting in accordance with correct Marxist-Leninist tactics.

    In Lenin's words, during a strike:

    Perhaps Clark, Talbot and Powell maintain that Lenin was an opportunist?

    It is true that Marxist-Leninist principles call for full self-criticism and analysis of a party's mistakes:

    Ivan and Florence Kenna, of the Finsbury Communist Association, are welcome members of the Stalin Society. We have not the slightest reason to question the sincerity of their support for Stalin. It is no secret that the Communist League has had in the past differences with the FCA -- for example, on the role of Mao Tse-tung. It should be easy for them to see how tactically incorrect and disruptive it would be for us to attack them at Stalin Society meetings as 'traitors'!

    Indeed, Ivor Kenna has, at a recent meeting of the Stalin Society, condemned the practice of attacking the New Communist Party at meetings of the Society. But then, apparently horrified at the prospect of finding himself acting in concert with the Communist League against Majidism, he wrote an open letter to fair-minded supporters of the NCP begging them to get him off the hook by persuading the Party’s leadership to issue a statement that might be acceptable to the Majidists!

    But how the NCP deals with mistakes is a matter for the NCP and its members; it is in no way a matter for the Stalin Society, and those who insist on making it one are clearly bent on raising sectarian barriers against members and potential members of the Stalin Society, are clearly bent or sabotaging the broad front principles on which the Stalin Society is based.

    The Stalin Society is not a mere discussion group. As even the Majidists admit, it aims to play a positive role in the formation of a unified Marxist-Leninist Party in Britain:     But genuine Marxist-Leninists understand that real communist unity cannot be brought about by the mechanical unification of all organisations calling themselves 'Marxist-Leninist'. It is first necessary to differentiate between genuine and spurious Marxist-Leninists. As Lenin said nearly a hundred years ago:     The official leaflets of the Stalin Society proclaim that:     Thus the Stalin Society makes it clear that it recognises no questions as taboo.

    How, then, should the Stalin Society deal with questions on which there are known to be disagreements among its members.

    Clearly, correct broad front tactics require that the Society maintain a neutral position on such questions until such time as it may adopt a position on them. This neutrality requires that, when such questions are placed on the agenda of a meeting, speakers are invited from each camp to put forward their rival views on equal terms.

    Obviously, where opposing views are held on a question, one at least must be wrong. If the above principle had been adhered to, the Society could have played a useful role in enabling its members to differentiate,on the basis of facts and analysis of the facts, between a correct and an incorrect line. In this way, the Society could have played a positive role in the process of building a unified Marxist-Leninist Party.

    This was the policy of the Committee of the Society until it fell victim to Majidist contamination.

    It was well-known to the Committee that a number of members regarded Maoism as a form of revisionism, essentially no different from the revisionism of Khrushchev except that it is designed to serve the interests of capitalist classes in colonial-type countries.

    Yet, as we have said, in the autumn of 1994 the Committee invited two successive speakers -- Adolfo Olaechea and Harry Powell -- to address the Society in support of Maoism.

    That this was not accidental is shown by Cathie Majid's attack or Communist League member Bill Bland at the last meeting for having written an article characterising Maoism as a form of revisionism. This, she asserted. 'spread confusion'. Since, in the opinion of the Secretary, criticism of Maoism 'spreads confusion', the implication of her statement is that support of Maoism -- such as that given by the two last speakers - bring about 'clarification'.

    It is a matter of regret that the Chairman of the Society, Wilf Dixon, himself a long-standing Maoist, has failed to observe the principle of neutrality on questions on which there is known to be disagreement, but has made himself a tool of the Majidist disruptors. Indeed, at a recent meeting of the Society he went so far as personally to remove from the literature table, in flagrant violation of Society policy, literature of the Communist League.

    Some critics of Majidism have referred to it as an 'ultra-left' trend. We do not think this term is accurate. The prefix 'ultra-' means 'beyond', so that the term 'ultra-left' implies an ideology to the left of Marxism-Leninism. But there is no ideology to the left of, i.e., more revolutionary than, Marxism-Leninism. Majidism, like Trotskyism, uses phraseology that sounds 'left-wing', but its effect is to serve the right. It is for this reason that we call Majidism 'pseudo-left'.

    For example, at the last meeting of the Stalin Society Kamal Majid came out with the slogan that progressive people should make it their primary aim in the next period to prevent the election of a Labour government. But in present circumstances, working to prevent the election of a Labour government can only mean, in practice, working to bring about the election of Conservative government. So, having devoted their energies to disrupting the movement to build a genuine left-wing alternative to the Labour Party, namely a Marxist-Leninist Party, the Majidites put forward a policy which actually helps to secure the return of another Conservative government. This is why we call Majidism 'pseudo- leftist'.

    In a second Open Letter of December 1994, this time addressed personally to our member Bill Bland, the Kennas imply that the Communist League is, or has been, sympathetic to Trotskyism:     Since its foundation, the Communist League has always agreed with Stalin:     Over the years, the Communist League has published numerous analyses of Trotskyism along these lines. For example, in 'The Revolutionary Process in Colonial-Type Countries', read at a Marxist-Leninist Seminar last year we said:     But whereas the Communist League opposes and criticises all forms of revisionism, the Kennas were for a long time fervent supporters of Maoism, that is, of Chinese revisionism.

    Furthermore, while the Communist League was among a number of organisations which supported moves to bar Trotskyists from participation in conferences organised by Open Polemic on the grounds that they played merely a negative and disruptive role, Ivor Kenna opposed the exclusion of Trotskyists and even offered himself as Chairman:

    In their second Open Letter, the Kennas draw the conclusion that, because the Communist League is critical of the People's Front policy as expressed by Dimitrov in relation to France, we must be critical of the People's Front policy as it was applied in Spain:     In a developed capitalist country, the interests of the capitalist class and of the working class are directly opposed, so that to work for class collaboration here necessarily involves betraying the interests of the working class to those of the capitalist class.

    But in a colonial-type country, the native capitalist class is divided into two sections: the comprador capitalist class, which is dependent upon foreign imperialism, and the national capitalists, whose development is being held back by feudalism and foreign imperialism.

    In the first stage of the revolutionary process in a colonial-type country, therefore -- that is, in the stage of national-democratic revolution -- the working class and the national bourgeoisie have a common interest in carrying forward the national-democratic revolution, which is directed against foreign imperialism and feudalism. Here, then, 'class collaboration' in the national-democratic revolution is not merely permissible, it is essential.

    Spain in the 1930s, like China in the 1940s, was a semi-colonial, semi-feudal country in which the first historical task before the working class was to carry out the national-democratic revolution.

The journal 'Communist International' wrote in June 1931:

    and in the report of the Soviet delegation to the Executive Committee of the Communist International to the 18th Congress of the CPSU in March 1939, Dmitry Manuilsky described the Spanish Civil War as:     The Communist League has always accepted this as a correct Marxist-Leninist analysis of the position of the revolutionary process in Spain in the 1930s.

    When, therefore, the Kennas ask:

    it clearly follows that our answers are: 1) yes; and 2) no.     Incidentally, nothing shows more clearly the divisions in the leadership of the CPSU -- the existence of which the Kennas deny -- than the contrast between Stalin's policy towards the Spanish Republican government and that of the Soviet Foreign Office, which was headed by Maksim Litvinov, at this time People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs:     But Litvinov was well known to be a revisionist. The American journalist Alexander Werth says that he:     while the Soviet Ambassador to London, Ivan Maisky, was:     In February 1941, Stalin took the initiative in bringing about the removal of:     Litvinov's biographer John Carswell says that:     At any rate, by the mid-1940s Litvinov had become notorious for expressing revisionist views in interviews with foreign press correspondents. For example, in 1945, Litvinov openly sympathised with the Western Powers in the 'cold war', as the American journalist Edgar Snow recounts:     And in 1946, he told Richard Hottelot, the Moscow correspondent of the Columbia Broadcasting System:     The Spanish Civil War broke out on 17 July 1936, when the army garrisons in Morocco began a revolt against the Republican government. The fact that the Executive Committee of the Comintern made no analysis of the war until 18 September, two months later, strongly suggests that, as with the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, there were disagreements at the highest level of the Soviet Communist Party and the Comintern as to the policy that should be pursued towards it:     and even then no statement of policy was issued:     However, the revisionist-led Soviet People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs quickly lined up on the Spanish question, not with the Spanish people but with the Western imperialist powers:     and already on 5 August 1936, the Soviet People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs was informing the French Charge d'Affaires in Moscow:     and on 23 August 1936, the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a decree banning:     The 'non-intervention’ committee was, of course, a hollow farce:     Even the Soviet revisionists themselves spoke of:     which aided the fascist aggressors:     Nevertheless, the Soviet government continued its participation in the ‘non-intervention' committee until March 1939, long after it had ceased to function even nominally -- indeed, after Britain and France had officially recognised the Franco government and broken off diplomatic relations with the Republican government:     Stalin's position on the Spanish Civil War was very different from that of the Soviet revisionists. In a letter to the Spanish Prime Minister, Largo Caballero, in December 1936, signed jointly by himself, Vyacheslav Molotov, and Kliment Voroshilov, he said:     But Stalin's position differed from that of the revisionists not merely in words, but in deeds. It was on Stalin's initiative that, shortly after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Stalin utilised the Soviet security forces to send military aid to the Spanish government. Walter Krivitsky, then Chief of Military Security in Western Europe but who later defected to the West, describes how:     The regular Soviet military aid which ensued was indispensable in enabling the defenders of Madrid to defend the capital for two-and-a-half years:     The decision to send Soviet military aid to Spain, while in accordance with international law, was contrary to the Non-Intervention Treaty, to which the Soviet government was a signatory:     For this reason:     Stalin:     And, in fact:     If the Kennas still remain unconvinced that there were times when Stalin was opposed to the policy of the Soviet government and/or the Comintern, we direct them across the Atlantic.

    Stalin, the principal founder of the Marxist-Leninist theory of the nation, speaks of a single American nation:

    In contrast, a resolution of the Political Secretariat of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, dated October 1930, speaks of the predominantly black population of certain Southern states of America as constituting a separate nation with the right of self-determination:     This is a clear deviation from a Marxist-Leninist position to one based on racism.

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