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Chapter 7: The Yugoslav Breach (the Warsaw Pact as successor to Comintern)
The USSR tried to subvert the regime of Tito, attempting to install the same marionette government as was the case in other Eastern European countries. But the Yugoslavs liberated themselves from the German occupation while the liberation of Eastern Europe was mostly the work of the Soviet army. Thus, Tito was able to retain power in spite of many Soviet agents in his government. Control of the Ministry of the Interior, the Security Services, the Army is the key to the control of the state. If you want to understand the nature of a regime in any one country, look at who is in charge of these departments.
Stalin's break with Yugoslavia had important consequences for the Communist movement and world politics. Encyclopedia Encarta writes: "In October 1947 the Soviet Union arranged a meeting in Poland for the Communist parties of nine countries: USSR, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, France, and Italy." This was establishment of Cominform. The headquarters of the Cominform were in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. But as a result of Stalin's break with Yugoslaiva in 1948, the HQ of Cominform were transferred to Bucharest, Romania.
Wikipedia thus explains the reason for Cominform's establishment: "Soviet leader Joseph Stalin called the conference in response to divergences among eastern European governments on whether or not to attend the Paris Conference on Marshall Aid in July 1947". In other words, there is a need to establish a coordinated international policy of communist parties vis-a-vis developments in the capitalist world. This need has not gone away but only has been strengthened.
F. Claudin writes that Cominform followed “the path of class collaboration on a national and international scale, disarmed the (communist) movement and demoralized the groups of new militants who had joined it in the years of resistance and the liberation”. The period of Cominform marked the decline of the Communist movement: “the communist movement continued to brandish the formulae and clichés of the past. There was no research, no real discussion and no new ideas”.
That was true. But it is also true that in 1955 a Warsaw Pact was signed, in response to West Germany joining NATO, in 1955. Wikipedia writes: "The Warsaw Pact was divided into two branches: thePolitical Consultative Committee, which coordinated all non-military activities, and the Unified Command of Pact Armed Forces, which had authority over the troops assigned to it by member states". Thus, we see an important development in communist movement: an international political organization is replaced by an international military-political organization, for, according to Clausewitz, war is an extension of politics by other means. This extension was "the Cold war".
Political-military organizations are supplemented by economic organizations. Council for Mutual Economic Aid was established in 1949 by the USSR, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. Wikipedia writes: "The communiqué announcing the event cited the refusal of these countries to "subordinate themselves to the dictates of the Marshall Plan" and their intention to resist the trade boycott imposed by "the United States, Britain and certain other countries of Western Europe" as the major factors contributing to the decision "to organize a more broadly based economic cooperation among the countries of the people's democracy and the USSR."
Yugoslavia, on being expelled from Cominform, attempted to find an international niche in the Non-Aligned Movement, founded in 1955. Wikipedia writes: "While the organization was intended to be as close an alliance as NATO or the Warsaw Pact, it has little cohesion and many of its members were actually quite closely aligned with one or another of the great powers. For example, Cuba was closely aligned with the former Soviet Union during the Cold War era. Additionally, some members were involved in serious conflicts with other members (e.g. India and Pakistan, Iran and Iraq). The movement fractured from its own internal contradictions when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistanin 1979. While the Soviet allies supported the invasion, other members (particularly Islamic nations) of the movement did not." Non-aligned movement is similar to the Socialist International which fractured due to internal contradictions to the great events of the XXth century.
What was said about the development of the Communist movement has important consequences for the future. What is needed is not a new "International" (4th, or 5th), but a new "Warsaw Pact". It must be an organization lead by one state; the organization must stand in opposition to NATO and see as its goal an international socialist revolution.
Chapter 8: The East takes over (the Chinese revolution)The biggest revolution in the wake of WWII was the Chinese revolution. The party heading the fight against the communists was the Nationalist party, the Kuomintang, headed by Chiang Kai-shek. “For Chiang the Communists were the main enemy. As he put it on one occasion, ‘The Japanese are a disease of the skin, the Communists are a disease of the heart'." For the socialists inside the former pseudo-socialist countries that means that the main enemy is inside the country: the bureaucracy and its parties. The foreign imperialists are a secondary problem. Mao, like Tito, pursued 2 goals: 1) social revolution, 2) national liberation (from Japanese). Both Mao and Tito were Stalinists. But this was a special kind of Stalinism, one which went against the will of Stalin. It can be called a left-wing, revolutionary Stalinism, or revolutionary counter-revolution. This is a contradiction, a paradox, but this is the stuff history is made of. Resolution of such paradoxes constitutes the movement of history.
Generalizing upon their revolutionary experience, the Chinese envisaged this strategy for world revolution: “the encirclement of the ‘world of the city’ (the area of advanced capitalism) by the ‘world of the country’ (the underdeveloped continents)”. This is the same strategy as we propose: uniting the anti-NATO resistance in former pseudo-socialist countries with those in the Third World, as for example in Iraq.
Chapter 9: The New World Balance (the Cold War)
Following "the end" of WWII, another major development in international relations was the Cold War.F. Claudin writes: “the ‘cold war’ was a sort of exploration or sounding carried out to gain a more exact knowledge of the forces and dispositions of the enemy”. This implies several things. 1) The class antagonisms within the society have become transformed into antagonisms between states, and it is the duty of socialists to support those state which fight against imperialism. 2) The cold war is a preliminary engagement, after which there will be a "hot war", a thermo-nuclear engagement.
Stalin, in Sept. 1952, said “that the contradictions between the capitalist countries were ‘practically’ stronger than those between the camp of socialism and the camp of capitalism, and that wars between capitalist countries were therefore a more likely prospect”. Stalin did not grasp the meaning of WWII. The Second World War was primarily the war of imperialist Germany against socialism in the USSR; only in the second place it was an imperialist war “for markets, colonies and raw materials”. This lesson is important to understand the current global strategy of American imperialism, and other imperialist countries, such as Germany. They are primarily interested in destroying Russia, China, etc., and only in the second place they are interested in oil, etc.
What is the "Cold war"? Wikipedia, in Russian, defines it as "a global geopolitical, economic and ideological confrontation between the USA and its allies, on the one hand, and the Soviet Union and its allies". Essentially, this is a confrontation between an old, outdated social system, namely capitalism, and a new system of socialism, represented in its early, perverted variant - the USSR and its allies. The USSR after its break up changed into Russia and other states. The cold war continues, after a temporary lull in 1991-2000. The place of the USSR is taken by Russia. This is an argument favoring the position that the social nature of Russia is not qualitatively different from that of the USSR. The same logic is true for the other former republics of the Soviet Union.
The Cold War can be divided up into two parts: during the existence of the USSR, and after its dissolution. The first part is marked by at least five major crisis.
1) The Berlin Blockade by the Soviet forces, due to the moves of the U.S. to integrate the Western Germany into NATO, 1948-9
2) The Korean war, which led to the formation of two Koreas, 1950-3
3) The Cuban missiles crisis, 1962
4) The Vietnam war, 1959-75.
5) The war in Afghanistan, 1978 up to the present.
For us, however, the second part of the Cold war is more important.
1) NATO bombs Yugoslavia in 1998. Russia is strongly opposed.
2) The Chechen war: the U.S. and Great Britain help the Chechen rebels against Russia, 1990's
3) Russian nuclear submarine "Kursk" is sank by two American submarines in August 2000.
4) The NATO expands eastward in Europe. Some former Soviet republics join NATO.
5) The U.S. backs Georgia in its assault on South Ossetia, which is backed by Russia, in August 2008.
6) The U.S. engineers the 2 "revolutions" in Ukraine, in 2004, and in 2014, leading to Russia taking over Crimea in 2014, and thus opposing Ukraine to Russia permanently.