Stalin surprise

Che Guevara Approved of Stalin.  This contradicts the popular image, which links him to 1960s Hippy culture.  But he was quite definite on the point.


Four 1970s and 1980s studies of where the Soviet Union went wrong

Brendan Clifford explaining why ‘De-Stalinisation’ was a wrong turn, well before the Soviet decline and fall.

Medvedev on Stalin.  A study from 1980, when the Soviet system was still strong.  It shows that the attempt by Soviet political writer Roy Medvedev to Khrushchev’s attempt to define a ‘Stalinism’ distinct from Leninism was nonsense.  All the Old Bolsheviks had similar ideas.  All of them had a similar willingness to crush and denounce opponents.  Stalin alone was a competent politician when Lenin was no longer there to give guidance.

Soviet Socialism and Law.    A survey of Soviet legal theory.  This shows that an authoritarian attitude was general among Bolsheviks, and indeed was found in many other thinkers.  That Stalin’s own views were relatively moderate.

Market Socialism in the Soviet Union.  A study from the late 1960s, that strongly criticised the economic reforms that were introduced under Khrushchev.  And looks at economic theories of the superiority of market mechanism, which had a lot in common with the New Right ideas applied in the West in the 1980s.

Marxism and Market Socialism.  A second study from the late 1960s, which suggests that economic theorists in the Soviet Union had got into a complete muddle about what was or was not a commodity.  And a history of the idea of Market Socialism.

November 2017 – double update

Catching up.  Latest editorials, plus Newsnotes, Parliamentary Notes and News from France for July / August and September.

Also back issues 12 months old are on-line:

November 2016: Editorial, Labour: the Unions and Workers on the Board; Parliament and WW1: Industrial Conscription; Immigration, the labour market and family policy; The Battle Of Cable St, 80th Anniversary Commemoration; Notes on the News; Diary of a Corbyn foot soldier (No 6); Biting the state that feeds it: the Apple corporation; Parliament Notes; Listening to Italy; White Cotton (poem).  Also available as a PDF, Labour Affairs 272 – November 2016

October 2016: Editorial, Corbyn’s re-election: There will be trouble ahead; Parliament & WW1, War Policy & Peace; Froggy; Notes on the News; Tories & Grammar Schools; Diary of a Corbyn foot soldier (No.5); Blair Inc – The Power, The Money, The Scandals; Parliament Notes; Listening to Italy; Dark Deeds By The River Of January (poem).  Also available as a PDF, Labour Affairs 271 – October 2016


September 2017

Latest editorial, plus Newsnotes and News from France for June.

Also September 2016: Editorial: Labour’s Next Leader?Parliament And World War One : Labour and the War; FroggyNotes on the News; Votes on Iraq; Welfare ‘Reform’; Diary of a Corbyn Foot Soldier (No.4); Whatever Happened to the Parliamentary Labour Party; Parliamentary Notes; Listening to Italy; Poems: A Murder Of Crows, The Haven, When Uncle Sam Comes To Visit.  Also available as a PDF, Labour Affairs 270 September 2016

July 23rd – Problems Magazine

Problems 29: Jews as ‘Collateral Damage’ in the Fall of the British Empire. Part One: Britain’s Exterminating Sea Empire (summary only)

Problems 25China: Blue Ants and Dangerous Reds – now on-line

  • Writing in 1950s, a French writer has no doubt that Mao’s new China is efficient, clean and orderly.  He dislikes the loss of what he sees as the romance of Old China, while not denying the suffering.
  • He also says “”China has therefore been Westernised for a second time, more completely than the first.  China is no longer Asiatic.  At most she will be Eurasian”.
  • The article next studies what the same writer had said earlier.  And then a bizarre US science fiction novel that shows the ignorance and prejudice about China at the time.
  • Finally it looks at the Yangtze Incident of 1949, and how it ended a century of Western intrusion into China’s rivers.

June 2017 updates

Latest Editorial:

Corbyn’s Comeback.  On the eve of the election campaign the Tories held a lead over Labour of around 20 points.  But as Harold Wilson once said, “a week is a long time in politics.”  Within a few weeks the political landscape changed as Labour successfully switched the focus from Brexit to the bread and butter issues of falling living standards, the desperate housing shortage, and the crisis in the NHS and social care.

Three Months Ago:

  • Froggy; French Elections
  • Parliamentary Notes; Article 50
  • Notes on the News;Terrorism: Discards Won’t be Discarded; Why Won’t Scotland Obey England?; 1% of Muscovites Can’t Be Wrong!; Dutch ‘Soft Left’ Slump Disastrously; Martin McGuinness – a Man of Unauthorised Violence; New Deal survived US Republicans; My Carers Don’t Care; Obamacare, Republican Snare?; Happiness is Broad Capitalist?; Right-Wing Populism in India;

From last year, now on-line:

June 2016: Editorial: Corbyn’s Heavy BurdenParliament and WW1: Why Must the War Go On?; Froggy; Zionism; Labour Briefing on Anti-semitism; Notes on News; Letters on EU referendum; Diary of a Corbyn foot soldier (No.2); Parliament Notes; Orecchiette; Poems: Maybe You Can Explain This, Own Goal, Warming Earth Freezing Hearts.  Also available as a PDF, Labour Affairs 268_June_2016