Stalinism

A hundred year war - Ngo Van Xuyet

In this two-part talk given in 2001 in Paris, Ngo Van Xuyet introduces his two books about Vietnam (Viêt-nam 1920-1945: révolution et contre-révolution sous la domination coloniale [1997] and Au pays de la Cloche fêlée: Tribulations d’un Cochinchinois à l’époque coloniale [2000]), starting with a critical chronology of the 1920s, and concluding with a first-person account of the period between 1930 and 1945, when Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh seized power after the Japanese surrender and immediately proceeded to exterminate the Vietnamese Trotskyists, while workers and peasants formed councils that were suppressed by the Stalinist government’s military forces.

Samuel Kaplan : another mysterious disappearance in Spain

A short account of the fate of the Lithuanian anarchist Samuel Kaplan, who fought with the Durruti Column in Spain.

The mysterious death of Alwyn Skinner(1912-1938)

Skinner, back row, left

A short account of the life and mysterious death of Alwyn Skinner, International Brigade volunteer

In the crossfire: adventures of a Vietnamese revolutionary - Ngo Van Xuyet

Ngo Van Xuyet's accounts of class struggle in Vietnam before the rise of Ho Chi Minh and the US invasion.

Students for a Stalinist Society - James W. Cain

A 1969 article about the dominance and factional fights of various Stalinist sects within Students For A Democratic Society.

The historical significance of the POUM - Wilebaldo Solano

In this text based on a presentation delivered in 1985 at a conference on the POUM held in Madrid, the former leader of the Iberian Communist Youth, and the last general secretary of the POUM, reviews the history of the POUM and discusses the background of its leading militants in the CNT and Spanish communism, its leading role in the founding of the Workers Alliance and the October 1934 insurrection in Asturias, it founding in 1935, the Popular Front and the February 1936 elections, its fight against Stalinist repression and its persecution under the Negrín government during the civil war, and the fates of the party’s militants underground and in exile.

State capitalism in Russia - Murray Bookchin

Murray Bookchin

Murray Bookchin's critique of the USSR's economy as state capitalist. Published in Contemporary Issues 7, Autumn 1950 (under pseudonym M. S. Shiloh).

Lessons of the counterrevolutions - Amadeo Bordiga

A 1953 text in which Amadeo Bordiga examines the lessons of counterrevolutions from the defeat of Spartacus to the Battle of Legnano in 1176 and from the Peasant War in Germany of 1525 to Stalinism (“State capitalism is not a semi-socialism, but just plain capitalism”) and recapitulates some “fundamental positions of Marxism”, which he describes as a “doctrine for the understanding of ... counterrevolutions”, since “everyone knows how to orient themselves at the moment of victory, but few are those who know what to do when defeat arrives” and “it is necessary to understand the counterrevolution in order to prepare the revolution of tomorrow”.

The theorization of historical experiences - Agustín Guillamón

A critique of Roi Ferreiro’s critique of Andrés Devesa’s essay on the Spanish civil war and revolution, in which Guillamon derides Ferreiro for idealism and the use of elitist jargon, and for his failure to “perceive that the battle for revolutionary history is not just a bookish, theoretical and abstract question, but another battlefield in the class war between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat”.

Spain, 1936: the exorcism of the ghost of the revolution - Andrés Devesa

A brief 2006 essay on the topic of the “domestication of memory” perpetrated by the mainstream Spanish historians with regard to the Spanish Civil War, with particular emphasis on the whitewashing of the role of the Stalinists in the counterrevolution.