Nostalgia for dictatorship and violence. Op-Ed by Victor Pelin

„...ahead of the dissolution of the USSR, in the first congress of the people’s deputies of the USSR, famous writer Cinghiz Aitmatov ascertained (see page 4): “While we were building socialism in the USSR, real socialism was built in Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, etc.” So, real socialism was built there where strong parties affiliated to the Socialist International existed and shared the values of the Second International and equally denied the Marxist dogmas and the Leninist theory of terror...
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Why didn’t proletariats from all countries unite?

The nostalgic Communists in the Republic of Moldova do not stop mourning the disappearance of the USSR whose centenary they will celebrate on December 30, 2022. We realize that their sufferings should not leave us indifferent. On the contrary, we should make sustained efforts to help them get rid of the tiresome wandering. It was noted not only once that if the nostalgic Communists were really Marxist-Leninists, they would not fall prey to nostalgia. The truth is the Marxist-Leninist dialectic is the cornerstone of the Communist religion and this says that what is real is rational and what is rational is real. Respectively, the collapse of communism and the disappearance of the USSR are argued by the Marxist-Leninist dialectic itself. In such circumstances, we have to only provide arguments that would contribute to the curing of nostalgia.

The most recent manifestation of nostalgia for the Communist past was occasioned by the 158th anniversary of the founding, on September 28, 1864, of the First Communist International (International Workingmen’s Association). On that day, about 2,000 workers from different European countries came together in London to support the Polish people’s uprising against the tsarist autocracy. In the mentioned event, the participants proposed creating an international organization. Among the 2,000 workers was Karl Marx, who was “the only person who clearly realized what was going on and what was to be founded; he was the person who in 1848 launched the call: Workers of the world, unite!”. After the founding, the First Communist International existed for only 12 years and then fell apart. Later, there were founded another three Communist internationals and these either fell apart or ceased working, giving birth to a series of derivatives.

It should be noted that the mentioned Internationals consisted of Communist leaders and parties that claimed to be the vanguard of the proletariat in the process of establishing its dictatorship. Currently, after about one century and a half, we can ascertain the following: the vanguard of the proletariat turned out to be unable to combine forces, not to mention the ability to unite the workers. Respectively, the slogan: Workers of the world, unite!” was illusory form the start.

Why didn’t the vanguard of the proletariat unite?

The First Communist International managed to convoke four congresses that centered on a series of important problems and formulated a number of political and economic demands:  to limit the length of the workday; to ban child labor; special conditions for the protection of women’s labor; transformation of private property into public property, etc. The scission of the First International occurred after the anarchists doubted the scientific character of Marx’s theory. It later turned out that the anarchists were right.

Many of those who challenged Marx’s theory, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution of 1889, constituted the Second International but in only three years the anarchists stopped to take part in the meetings of these, while in 1896 withdrew from it. Initially, the Second International promoted: the impossibility of an alliance with bourgeoisie; the inadmissibility of taking part in governance alongside bourgeois parties; hostile attitudes towards militarism and war, etc. Later, under the pressure of circumstances, three currents derived from the Second International – reformist, centrist and leftist and there were serious dissensions between these. This way, the reformist current started to publicly challenge the Marxist dogmas, especially those concerning the inevitable pauperization of the proletariat, which was to make the outbreak of proletariat revolutions all over the world inevitable. Economic analyses and statistical data showed the contrary – together with the development of the technical-scientific progress and of technologies, the incomes of workers started to grow considerably. Respectively, the working class began to fall into strata and white, blue collars appeared. Despite reformists’ arguments, the current of the left form the Second International remained faithful to the Marxist dogma, being preoccupied with the anti-imperialist and antimilitarist agenda that, in the case of an imperialist war, was to profit from this for overthrowing the bourgeois regimes in the countries involved in such a war.

The start of World War I deepened the dissensions inside the Second International, leading to its dismemberment. The main cause was the fact that most of the members of the Second International pleaded in favor of class peace and the support of the national authorities in the war. Respectively, a series of socialist parties and politicians joined the coalition governments in their countries of origin. In such circumstances, the leader of the Marxist Bolsheviks in Russia, Vladimir Lenin, planned the institution of a new Communist international. Initially, it was hard to overcome the skepticism towards this idea as many European Marxists considered the perspective of a Communist revolution in Russia, which Lenin himself considered the most outdated ring of imperialism, was highly improbable. According to Marx’s theory, the victory of Communist revolutions can be secured only in industrialized states with a robust and well-trained working class.

However, Lenin’s Bolshevik Party in 1917 managed to achieve its goal – to transform the imperialist war into a civil war. Consequently, over 10 million Russians citizens were killed in the civil war, as against 1 million citizens in World War I. Despite the civil war that started together with the Bolshevik putsch of November 7, 1917, Lenin didn’t forget about his initiative concerning the Third Communist International that was constituted in March 1919. For the purpose, representatives of foreign Communist, Socialist and Social-Democratic movements came together in Moscow to take part in the constitution congress. The declared goal of the Third Communist International (Comintern) was to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat in the form of the Soviet power in the class struggle, globally. The given objective was enshrined in the second congress of the Comintern of the summer of 1920: “The civil war all over the world is topical. The Soviet power is its flag”. The Comintern’s methods used to achieve this goal were invented by the Bolshevik leader himself, who designed the theory of violence. He contributed to inciting a series of violent revolutions that ended with failure, in many European states. Consequently, the Comintern’s policy caused the scission of the left-wing movement in Europe. Moreover, Stalin’s accusations against the German Social-Democrats prevented these, alongside other politic forces of the left, from barring the Nazi’s access to government in Germany. In general, it turned out that the founders of the Third International were actually enemies of the people. This way, founders of the Communist International, delegates of its first congress, were  arrested and killed as rabid Trotskist-Fascist dogs”: G.E. Zinoviev, I.S. Unshlikht, X. Rakovsky, G. Eberlein, V.V. Osinsky, G. Klinger, F. Platten” and others.

Finally, the Third Communist International stopped existing on May 15, 1943. Stalin had to bring the Comintern to an end so as to make it possible to hold the meeting of Teheran, of November 28, 1943, of the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition that was to adopt crucial decisions on the defeat of Nazism and the bases of the architecture of the postwar world. For Stalin, the solving of the problem of opening of the second front in Europe by the British and American allies was crucial. The condition of the latter was to liquidate the Comintern whose activity undermined the allied states from inside. But the allies were cheated by Stalin. He formally liquidated the Comintern but constituted instead of this the so-called International Department of the Bolshevik Party that continued the subversive activity.

The Fourth Communist International was founded in 1938 by the daemon of the Bolshevik revolution Leon Trotsky without whom the Bolshevik putsch of 1917 would have been impossible. Trotsky and his supporters, many of whom were persecuted by NKVD agents, considered that the Comintern was under the full control of Stalinists and was unable to lead the international working class towards the gaining of political power. Respectively, Trotsky was killed by order of Stalin on August 20, 1940, in Mexico, by the NKVD agent Ramon Mercader, who 20 years later was awarded the highest honorific title and the highest distinction in the USSR – Hero of the Soviet Union.

From the aforementioned, we must deduce that the leader of the Third Communist International ordered the murder of the leader of the Fourth Communist International! This is enough to answer the question – why didn’t the vanguard of the proletariat unite? However, we should add one more argument – the Marxist-Leninist theory of violence and terror was the one that made the existence of a united revolutionist movement impossible. Respectively, the impossibility of uniting the vanguard of the proletariat made Marx’s slogan – Workers of the world, unite! – useless.

Alternative to Leninist theory and violence

As it was mentioned above, the four Communist Internationals dismembered in particular circumstances leaving particular branches. For example, the reformist Second International was reanimated in 1951 under the name of Socialist International, which proclaimed the rejection: of Marxist as theoretical basis and the only way through which the surrounding world can be examined; the class struggle as the main instrument of the political process for establishing the power of the working class. Respectively, the Socialist and Social-Democratic parties set as a goal the building of democratic Socialism by gradually transforming modern capitalism. The congress to found the Socialist International was based on the positive experience of the Scandinavian Social-Democrats.

Despite the abandonment of Marxist dogmas, the Socialist International made effort to celebrate its centenary in 1989 so as to underline that it was descended from the Second International. We can understand why it did so. The point is one of the main documents of the Second International - Preconditions for Socialism and Tasks of Social-Democracy - renounced the materialist dialectic back in 1899, pleading in favor of the direct empirical determination of what is real or false. This approach recognized the so-called social law discovered by Marx only as a hypothesis not as established scientific truths.

The highpoint is that ahead of the dissolution of the USSR, in the first congress of the people’s deputies of the USSR, famous writer Cinghiz Aitmatov ascertained (see page 4): “While we were building socialism in the USSR, real socialism was built in Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, etc.” So, real socialism was built there where strong parties affiliated to the Socialist International existed and shared the values of the Second International and equally denied the Marxist dogmas and the Leninist theory of terror.

Conclusions

By all appearances, the nostalgic Communists in the Republic of Moldova consider themselves heirs and promoters of the values of militant Bolshevism. However, it is hard to imagine that these really share the values of the class struggle, the dictatorship of the proletariat or Leninist theory of violence as the leader of the Moldovan Communists Vladimir Voronin became a bourgeois long ago, when he was named general of the Soviet militia, which was corrupt to the core. These nostalgic people simply do not have the courage to admit en evident thing: out of all the left-wing movements, only those that were descended from the Second International were successful. The success of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) appeared during the last 40 years only after the great Deng Xiaoping actually renounced the Marxist-Leninist dogmas, after the acceptance of private property over capital goods, after the restoration of the diplomatic relations with the U.S., after the successful assimilation of the Western investments and technologies, etc.

Well-known philosopher Nicolai Berdyaev depicted the Communism of Russian origin the best in his work The Origin of Russian Communism: the Russians have an exceptional capacity to assimilate Western ideas. But ... what in the West was a scientific theory subject to criticism, a hypothesis or, in any case, a relative, partial truth that didn’t claim to be universal is transformed by the Russian intellectuals into a dogma, into a religious revelation.

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