After decades of delaying, the United Nations finally released archives from the Second World War-era war crimes commission investigating the Nazi Holocaust. The source of those archives on Nazi war crimes were Western governments, including those in exile at the time of the war, such as the Belgian, Polish and Czechoslovakian. The time period covered is 1943-1949. Washington and London had long sought to halt the release. Why?
The recent death of the Russian poet with whom I was acquainted, Yevgheny Yevtushenko, prompted these considerations of the role of poets in social-cultural-political progress in general and in a particularly spectacular fashion in Russia. In few other countries have poets played a more significant than in Russia. Nonetheless, for centuries Russian poets have been harassed, persecuted, and punished for their songs. Dostoevsky imprisoned, Pushkin exiled, Yesenin, Mayakovsky and Tsvetaeva suicides, Mandelshtam and others perished in the cultural events of 1937. Poets seldom lead easy lives anywhere. The poet sees the ideals but he must flee from the world in order to rejoice in them and he cannot remain unaffected by the caricatures of these ideals around him.
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
George Bernard Shaw
Change is a word that both intellectuals and the intelligentsia of America are discussing in these times. However, one is justified to wonder what kind of change they mean. As a rule when intellectuals/liberals speak of change, they mean reform (and not enough of it, at that: that is, the leisurely conforming of the lives of the collective with their own. The radical, politically-socially committed intelligentsia means something else and their thought and conclusions take another avenue of meaning: their aim is transformation or, if you prefer, radical change. However, it is an unfortunate paradox that no more than liberals, the intelligentsia does not always know what to do with its convictions.
by Jessica Hansen-Weaver
September 17, 2016
THE 2016 presidential election has created an environment where millions of people who are sympathetic to socialism will be pressured to choose between the revolting and ridiculous Republican bigot Donald Trump and the supposed “lesser evil” Hillary Clinton.
GreenLeftTV on Jun 14, 2016
At the ‘Socialism in the 21st Century’ Conference held in Sydney in May 2016 and organised by the Socialist Alliance, Michael Lebowitz, a world leading Marxist author who writes and researches the problems and possibilities of building a socialist alternative, here presents a paper on what Socialism might look like in this century and the differences with 20th Century Socialism as represented by the developments in the Soviet Union.
The Determinant Class of Contemporary Russian History
Russia! What a marvelous phenomenon on the world scene! Russia!—a distance of ten thousand versts (about two-thirds of a mile) in length on a straight line from the virtually central European river, across all of Asia and the Eastern Ocean, down to the remote American lands! A distance of five thousand versts in width from Persia, one of the southern Asiatic states, to the end of the inhabited world—to the North Pole. What state can equal it? Its half? How many states can equal its twentieth, its fiftieth part? … Russia—a state which contains all types of soil, from the warmest to the coldest, from the burning environs of Erivan to icy Lapland, which abounds in all the products required for the needs, comforts, and pleasures of life, in accordance with its present state of development—a whole world, self-sufficient, independent, absolute. — Mikhail P. Pogodin- 1800-1875, Russian historian, journalist, intellectual of the Slavophile movement who held to the Norman theory that the Rus people from whom Russians descended, were Scandinavians.
“The state is an organ of class domination, an organ of oppression of one class by another; its aim is the creation of ‘order’, which legalizes and perpetuates this oppression by moderating the collisions between the classes…”
The Marxist Theory of the State and the Tasks of the Proletariat in the Revolution
First published in 1917, Lenin’s “Imperialism. The Highest Stage of Capitalism”, his major theoretical work, shows imperialism as a “direct continuation of the fundamental properties of capitalism,” a primary manifestation of capitalism in its late stages.
Above all, due to the grave obstacles it must overcome, the party of the working class must be a party of disciplined, professional revolutionaries…nothing short of this can succeed in acquiring and defending people’s power…
In his work “Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution”, Lenin discusses a vexing Russian pre-revolutionary problem similar to the problem facing American left radicals today. For Russia of that epoch the question was one of timing and tactics: Was the classical Marxian bourgeois revolution leading to a democratic republic as a first step toward the Socialist Revolution necessary, and even possible, considering the pusillanimous nature of the Russian bourgeoisie at the time? Or could Russia bypass bourgeois capitalism altogether and leap directly from backwardness into advanced socialism? Today, more than a handful of people ask: What will be the nature of the long overdue Great American Revolution?
In Lenin’s “Left-wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder”, written in 1920 as a polemic against Dutch and British groups in the new Third International meeting that year in its Second Congress in which strategy and tactics were debated. His target was the West European ultra-left communists who had come out against Marxists working in trade unions or running for public office and sitting in bourgeois parliaments.
In 1973, West German security services learned that Chancellor Willy Brandt’s personal assistant and friend, Günther Guillaume, was a spy for the East German Intelligence Agency, STASI. Despite the gravity of the discovery, the widespread media coverage of the event, the damage to the Chancellor’s image and the raging Cold War between East and West, Brandt remained as Chancellor afterwards—even taking a private vacation with Guillaume after the discovery. Only after Guillaume was arrested on April 24, 1974, did Brandt resign, on May 6, 1974, remaining however as Chairman of the Social Democratic Party until 1987.
It is a fact that since 9-11-2001, the US Government has been in the business of destroying countries and using NATO as it principle instrument. That was stated more than a decade ago by then US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and later by General Wesley Clark. The Pentagon drew up a list of 7 states that were to be destroyed: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Syria and they have systematically proceeded to destroy all of the Countries on the list. The strategy in Ukraine is the same, US/NATO/EU are promoting the destabilization and the breakup of Ukraine in order to achieve the NATO goal of moving into Ukrainian territory closer to Russia. Harvard Professor Francis Boyle, a US based Russian expert who was invited to the Soviet Union to lecture spoke on these issues and more in an interview with the Voice of Russia.