Braunthal Julius Head VGA

"Braunthal is best remembered as the Secretary of the Socialist International from 1951 to 1956 and for his massive three volume History of the International, first published in German between 1961 and 1971." (Wikipedia)

See category "Julius Braunthal, 1914-1943 ". That's vol.II of "History of the International".

Notes on Vol.III of "History of the International"

·         Drawbacks:

1.       No history of the IV International (founded in 1938)

2.       No mention of the revolution in Cuba, 1959

3.       No mention of the heroic struggle and death of Che Guevara, 1967

4.       No study of the struggle for national independence and socialism in Africa (e.g. Algiers, Congo, Angola) and Latin America (e.g. Columbia)

·         The terms “anti-fascist”, “resistance” are typical for left parties collaborating with bourgeoisie. E.g. French communists after WWII (1946).

·         France – “At the time when the Vichy regime was collapsing into chaos, a genuinely revolutionary situation had existed in France. The state machine had ceased to function, production had ceased, the country, devastated by war, had faced the threat of famine and the workers were in a mood of revolutionary ferment. In this situation the Communists had held important bases of power. They had their armed militia units, and through the liberation committees were in control of local governments in a number of towns. They had objected to the dissolution of the militia units, but had offered no armed resistance when the government insisted”. “The policies of the party (CP) were concerned not so much to foment revolutionary situations as to prevent them from arising in the first place”. Hence, the CP has a counterrevolutionary nature, especially dangerous as it masks itself as “communist”.

·         Maurice Thorez (1900-1964), a Moscow Stalinist, opposed the left wing of the French communist party (led by Andre Marty and Charles Tillon), which wanted to seize power in September and October 1944, when the German power was collapsing in France. A. Marty and C. Tillon were expelled from the CP of France in 1952. A. Marty “opposed the decision to dissolve the Milices patriotiques and had gone on to criticize the Communist participation in the governments from 1944 to 1947”. “Thorez on his return (from Moscow) approved the dispersal of militias and liberation committees”. Imagine! How much more powerful the Socialist movement would be with a communist regime today in France and Italy! Also, Germany could have easily gone our way. Practically, the whole of Western Europe could be socialist today, if not for the Stalinist policies!

·         After the war, the French socialists and communists have a majority in parliament. The people of France wanted to see a socialist France. The main brake on revolution was the CP. So, this is to be battled and revealed to the people, not only in France, but throughout the world! Struggle for revolution, internationally, involves a strategy of struggle against the CP, from the left.

·         Stated in the most abstract terms, the problem of revolution is this: there are oppressive governments and regimes in every part of the world. The only possible way of dealing with them is by overthrowing them. For this, an international underground revolutionary party is necessary. That party must be guided by a significant revolutionary theory which would be the next step after Marxism, after Lenin and Trotsky. The only way to produce such a theory is to search wider than simply the domain of “revolution” and “history” and to make the whole domain of knowledge your own, to “produce” and internalize knowledge. 

·         The origin of the Cold war was in the different attitudes to the government to be formed in Poland, between the USSR and Britain and the USA. The Warsaw uprising – Stalin let it be defeated, for it represented the Polish government in London.

·         Stalin gave the predominance in Greece to England. But in Greece operating E.A.M. (National Liberation Front) formed and led by the C.P. It also included men of the Greek Socialist party, and other democratic forces. This organization built “a formidable guerrilla army – the E.L.A.S.” (National People’s Army of Liberation) consisting of 30-40,00 men, “by far the most strongly armed underground group in Greece”

·         Immediately after the liberation from Germans, “a bitter struggle broke out between the royalist right and the republican left over the issue of the form of government in Greece”. The army and navy of Greece in Egypt supported the left. Also, they were supported by the middle classes and intellectuals. On the side of the king was Britain led by Churchill. Churchill marked Greece as a base for the British Fleet in the Mediterranean, i.e. a virtual colony of England. England intervened in the Greek civil war.

·         British intervention in the Greek civil war and CP’s let down of revolutions in France and Italy manifests results today: a permanent crisis and anti-government demonstrations in these countries.

·         Socialist International re-established after WWII. This has become a tool that bourgeoisie has used against the USSR, and against revolutionary movements in general.

·         Comintern re-established after WWII as “Cominform”, in 1947.

·         Observing the Communist take-over of Czechoslovakia in 1945, we must say that the posts of the ministry of the Interior, the Army and the State Security are the most important for understanding the nature of a state.

·         Indian National Congress masks itself as a Socialist party.

·         A strong socialist movement existed in Burma, repressed by the military, following a civil war (1948-9). Reason for revolution was the break-down of the British colonial rule in the country. Founder of the CP of Burma was the father of Aung San Su Chi (the leading opposition figure today in the country, protesting for democracy).

·         Ceylon (after 1972: Sri Lanka, an island and a country off the Indian continent) developed the only mass Trotskyist party in the world, the LSSP.

·         Nepal developed into a Maoist revolution in 2000’s, only to be betrayed by the party tops, as they accepted the minister portfolios in the government.

·         Indonesia – a communist party founded in 1920.

·         Understanding by the masses of the goals of revolution is a pre-condition for an armed uprising. (First, these must be clearly understood by the leaders of the  revolutionary party, and then the party masses.) That was the reason for the failing of the Communist rising in Indonesia (1948).

·         Indonesia was a colony of the Dutch (Holland).

·         Sukarno – balances between the Communists and the army. 1 October, 1956 – a coup in Indonesia. Followed by mass murders of people suspected of sympathies for communists. Sukarno was removed from power, followed by General Suharto. Very unpopular – constant protests against him. Resigns but country (like Egypt) remains under a military rule.

·         Japan became “a Fascist-military dictatorship” between the two world wars. Hence, its alliance with Germany and Italy was not accidental.

·         After WWII, Japan became a virtual colony of the U.S., with the American military bases on the island. Hence, no way Russia should give “Japan” the islands which it demands.

·         China – support for the  Kuomintang from the landowners and businessmen.

·         Mao adopted Marxism to China by considering he village workers to be the basis of revolution in China, not the town and city workers. The Chinese CP became “an agrarian party of revolutionary peasants… it had the agrarian revolution as its immediate aim and the method of guerrilla war as tactics for the revolution”.

·         Here is a problem: in an agrarian revolution (China, Cuba) -> guerrilla tactics. In a proletarian revolution (France, Russia) - > city uprising. So, what is the strategy for the future revolution? Future revolution can be only international. What is its goal? Hence, what are its moving forces? Hence, what is its strategy? Vaguely, I’d say that the future goal may be defined differently for imperialist, transitional and Third world countries. In the first and third case – it is ending the rule of imperialists – native or foreign, exercising their rule through military juntas (as in Egypt today, or Afghanistan). In the second case – the end of the rule of the “mafia”, i.e. bureaucracy striving to privatize the state property. The result should be a socialist/communist union of different nations, an international government. The moving forces of such an international revolution can only be international workers connected to the Internet, as the principal means of international information and communication. Strategy of such revolution should be a coordinated international uprising of the Internet workers.

·         The Long March of Mao, 1934-5: 12,000 kilometers, with 130,000 troops and civilians, through barren land (remind me of 40 years of wandering in the desert by Moses and his people).

·         China is invaded by Japan. Chiang Kai-shek’s general seizes him and forces him to negotiate with Communists, to fight the Japanese.

·         Membership in the Chinese CP rose from 100,000 in 1937 to 1,200,000 in 1945.

·         Main thing present at the time was a philosophy of history (Marxist). That’s what’s absent today. Today, Marxist philosophy of history is “devoid of inspiration”, as proletariat can not be the moving force.   

·         U.S. was helping Chiang Kai-shek with military supplies. Stalin was also on his side.

·         Israel – kibbutz: “a group of people who have joined together voluntarily into a community with no personal property or money economy to develop a Socialist form of communal life”

·         A communist party in countries where there is a nationalist conflict –as in Israel, between Jews and Arabs – should consist of both nationalities, and pay special attention to this problem. E.g. in Israel “the Communist party advocated an undivided Arab-Jewish state”

·         Attempts at overthrowing the Stalinist rule, from within the transitional states:

1.       The Yugoslav-Soviet rift of 1948 – “revolution from above”

2.       The insurrection in East Berlin, 1953 – workers’ insurrection

3.       The Khruschev “thaw”, 1956 – “revolution from above”

4.       The Polish insurrection, 1956 – starts as a strike of workers

5.       The Hungarian uprising, 1956 – starts by students demanding democracy

A democratic system is a threat to Stalinism as this example can be repeated in the home country, threatens the positions of bureaucracy.

6.       Mao’s revolt against Khurschev, 1960’s – China vs. the USSR. China has had, and still has, a Stalinist form of rule. Hence, Stalinism is not accidental to Socialism, but forms its primary manifestation in XX century (just like Utopias and Marxism in XIX century). Stalinism is to the left of “Khruschevism”, i.e. a system of “peaceful coexistence”. Mao in 1963: “the wide spaces of Asia, Africa and Latin America are the most important areas of attack for the world revolution”.

7.       “The Prague spring” – 1968 – again, an attempt at democracy, starts as a “revolution from above”. Writers feel degraded “to the status of party hacks”

·         As all these attempts at a socialist political revolution were not successful, the opposition turns to capitalist. E.g. V. Havel in the Czech republic.

·         The principal development of modern times is internationalization and internalization of information and knowledge, which is becoming the principal productive force. Socialism: The principal means of production must be brought into public ownership. And that’s knowledge!

·         Ch. Rakovsky, 1930, about the Soviet Union: “We are developing from a proletarian state with bureaucratic distortions… into a bureaucratic state with some surviving proletarian-Communist features”

·         Anti-Semitism – one of the features of Stalinism

“Communist parties” have become similar to Social-Democratic parties: reformist, “loyal opposition”. 

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