Thursday, October 13, 2005

‘These mad dogs must be shot’


by Ray Jones

Revolutionary Democracy, Vol XI, No 2, September 2005. £2.50 plus 50p P&P. NCP Lit, PO Box 73, London SW11 2PQ.

THERE ARE ALWAYS gems to be found in this journal and this issue is no exception. As well as a continuation of the debate on the economic policies of Che Guevara and Bettelheim there is a detailed analysis of the Warsaw Uprising, a look at Soviet democracy in the 1930s, an interview with Mao in 1938 and two brief but revealing pieces on Trotskyism by Krupskaya (Lenin’s wife) and much more.

The two articles by Krupskaya were written a decade apart in 1925 and 1936 but both have the same underlying criticism of Trotsky – that he never really understood the role of the masses under socialism.

And the later one shows that she had no sympathy for the Trotsky/Zinoviev/Kamenev opposition after the trials. The whole country, she says, demanded: “These mad dogs must be shot!”.

The Soviet Union and Stalin have been accused of many crimes by bourgeois historians. Among these is the betrayal of the people of Warsaw by not supporting them when they rose up against the Nazi occupiers in 1944.

Ulrich Huar puts the blame firmly where it belongs – on the Polish Government in Exile in London, who called the uprising without any coordination with the Red Army for their own political gain.

Readers may not agree with everything in Revolutionary Democracy (I’m particularly thinking of the criticism of the Lula government in Brazil in this issue, which seems one-sided) but having said that it’s a unique source of fascinating views and information.