The cold war – Imperialism's response to the prestige of victorious socialism

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Trotskyism or Leninism
By Harpal Brar

The cold war – Imperialism's response to the prestige of victorious socialism

The USSR's successes in the collectivisation of agriculture, massive socialist industrialisation, gigantic achievements in education, science, technology and culture, with a continuously rising standard of living for the working class and the collective peasantry, and her crowning victory in the anti-fascist Great Patriotic War, with the resultant victory of Peoples Democratic governments in Poland, Hungary Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania, brought Soviet prestige to soaring point. It was this spectacle of triumphant, confident and advancing socialism that put the fear of God into the hearts of the imperialist bourgeoisie and caused the latter, under the leadership of US imperialism which had emerged from the war as the strongest imperialist power, to initiate the cold war, establish the NATO aggressive warmongering military alliance and re-arm West Germany as a member of this alliance.

The NATO warmongers threatened the USSR with an economic blockade and nuclear blackmail. But the USSR defied the blockade and military threats alike. It re-doubled its efforts to build its economy and destroy the US monopoly of the atom bomb. At the end of September 1949, in the same week as Comrade Mao Tse-tung proclaimed the Peoples Republic of China and the success of the Chinese revolution, the world heard the detonation of the USSR's first atom bomb. Even such a Trotskyite writer as Isaac Deutscher, whose hatred for Stalin is total and who never misses a chance of describing Stalin as "dug and dreary", is obliged to admit:

"He [Stalin] achieved some of his vital objectives. He resisted Western pressures firmly enough to deter any American design for spreading the war, and Soviet nuclear industry progressed by leaps and bounds and produced its first hydrogen bomb in 1953, shortly after the Americans had achieved the feat. The basic sectors of the Soviet economy, having reached their pre-war level of output in 1948-49, rose 50 per cent above in Stalin's last years. The modernisation and urbanization of the Soviet Union was accelerated. In the early fifties alone its urban population grew by about 25 millions Secondary schools and universities were giving instruction to twice as many pupils as before 1940. Out of the wreckage of the world war the foundations had been re-laid for Russia's renewed industrial and military ascendancy, which was presently to startle the world" (Stalin, pp. 585-586).

A few pages further down, Deutscher observes:

"... it is a fact that 'Stalin found Russia with a wooden plough and left her equipped with atomic piles'... This summary of Stalin's rule is, of course, a tribute to his achievement." (Ibid. p. 609). The words quoted by Deutscher are quoted from his own obituary of Stalin published in the Manchester Guardian of 6 March 1953.

Of course, only the demented Trotskyites can argue that the above achievements took place automatically on the foundation of socialist property relations inherited from the October Revolution – not because of but despite, the leadership, as it were. No, such achievements do not come without correct leadership. One has only to compare the leadership, the policies pursued by the leadership, and the consequences and achievements of those policies, in the USSR up to the mid-fifties with those of the leadership from the 20th Party Congress (1956) onwards until the August 1991 coup resulting in the disintegration of the USSR to realise what a chasm divides the two periods. Even Roy Medvedev, no friend of Stalin's and the author of the thoroughly anti-Stalin Let history judge, has been obliged to say- "Stalin found the Soviet Union in ruin and left it a superpower. Gorbachev inherited a superpower and left it in ruin."

Triumph of Khrushchevite revisionism and the resuscitation of Trotskyism

Thus, in view of her gigantic achievements, winch were the fruit of domed persistence in following the Leninist path of socialist construction, working people treated with utter contempt the Trotskyist ravings against the USSR and its leadership. All this, however, changed with the triumph of Khrushchevite revisionism in the CPSU after the death of Stalin. Khrushchevite revisionism could get nowhere in its desire to undermine socialism, reach an accommodation with imperialism, and start the long process, on the road back to capitalism, unless it attacked the person who had, after the death of Lenin and in a bitter struggle for the victory of the Leninist line on the question of socialist industrialisation and collectivisation, become the most representative spokesman of, and whose name was indelibly and inextricably linked with, the building of socialism in the USSR, namely, Joseph Stalin. Hence Khrushchev's attack on Stalin in his so-called secret report to the 20th Party Congress of the CPSU in 1956. With this attack on Stalin's alleged 'personality cult' – all, incidentally, in the name of Leninism and with the alleged purpose of returning to true Leninist norms – began the long political and economic process that brought forth ripe capitalist fruit under the loving and tender care of Khrushchev's last successor, Gorbachev I cannot here go further into this question, with which I have dealt in greater detail in my Perestroika – the Complete Collapse of Revisionism.

Khrushchev's attack on Stalin brought some retrospective credence to Trotskyist counter-revolutionary fulminations against the USSR from the mid-twenties onwards. As under the tutelage of Khrushchev and his successors, the CPSU itself, as well as the revisionist parties in Europe and elsewhere, really did begin to degenerate, the long-repeated Trotskyist jeremiads about the alleged Thermidor and degeneration gripping the CPSU from 1923 onwards came to acquire the semblance of plausibility.

Trotskyism sides with every single counter-revolutionary movement