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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/9/21

Stalinism and the American Collective

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Stalinism and the American Collective

Joseph Stalin is the author of 146 books. You can find many of them on Amazon where they garner mostly 5-star reviews. Not ghostwritten, his books are primarily about the soviet economy and the Russian Revolution in historical perspective. Stalin was a tireless reader with a personal library of 26,000 volumes and was an intellect of the first order. Sordid politicians like Boris Johnson, Barak Obama and Donald J. Trump pale in comparison to him. Stalin was named General Secretary of the Communist Party in 1922. This was five years after the Revolution that overthrew monarchical rule in Russia. Over the course of the years Stalin offered to resign 6 times, four times in writing. His resignations were rejected because Stalin was the smartest guy in the room. Stalin was essential because, practically and often alone, he completely understood that classical Marxism could not and did not explain modern revolutionary movements. Stalin comprehended Lenin's analysis: that the triumph of class-struggle must occur within the backdrop of western imperialism's outsourcing of capitalism to what we now call the 3rd World. Stalin and the people around him were all committed communists who interpreted history and society in terms of class struggle. But for Stalin, only Leninism could show the way forward. Lenin proposed that world revolution would occur when the predatory effects of international-banking and its wars of imperial conquest for markets and cheap labor would destroy the imperialist powers; first on the periphery and then from within. This is happening in the United States right now. But all this took a lot longer than Lenin thought it would; it's 2021 and we're still waiting.

Ideology and Revolution

Unlike western politicians who are (mostly) power-hungry hucksters thirsting for the accumulation of wealth that government service can bring, Soviet Russian Communists were driven solely by Marxist-Leninist ideology. After the Fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 the secret political achieves from the 1920s and '30s were opened. Everybody thought this would reveal Soviet leaders to be just as two-faced and cynical as those in the west. Quite the opposite is true: in private conversation, the Bolshevik and Soviet Politburo leaders spoke in the same language as in their public pronouncements: class struggle, wage-slavery, the false-consciousness of the petite bourgeois and the criminal nature of western capitalism and imperialism. These themes were what they confidentially spoke about among themselves, all the time. This was how they saw the world; in sharp contrast to the vapid bourgeois licensed politicians in the liberal democracies who have one message for the little people and another true agenda they keep secret among themselves.

The Decision to Collectivize

In 1928 the Russian Revolution was 10 years old. Communism was established in the cities but in the countryside, where food is produced, the means of production remained in private hands. Stalin asked the Politburo if the Revolution could properly and correctly succeed in this way. They determined it couldn't but that the confiscation of private property in the backwoods would create more problems than it solved. Stalin pushed ahead anyway because he was more committed to communism than anyone else around him. A national policy of collectivization ensued with personal possessions permanently commandeered by the state. The famous Kulaks suffered the most. Kulak is a pejorative term to mean a tight-fisted peasant; one who owned property and, for the most part, lived better than his neighbors. Actually, the Kulaks were rural Russia's middle-class. It was they who had to give up their homes and livestock to the newly formed collective farms. Those that resisted were harshly dealt with. The sudden change threw the nation into turmoil; for while few wanted a return of the Tsarists, a new system where the individual had neither property nor fundamental rights is by definition slavery. Stalin couldn't see this as he was committed to the outcome rather than the process. The outcome he saw was a classless society based upon social justice and the end of petty human strife: a nirvana on earth. Needless to say that didn't happen.

Periodic famine is a constant in eastern Europe

Russian and Soviet agriculture was never successful before collective farming. Russia is a vast nation encompassing 12 time-zones. Getting wheat out of the ground and onto the plates of hungry workers as bread is never an easy task. Collectivization only attempts to simplify the method by eliminating profit motive from the process. This was its primary appeal for the Politburo; collectivization completely conforms to Marxist theory. It is a titanic oversimplification to say, as many often do, that Stalin collectivized the farms. In 1928 there were 120 million people in rural areas and they were all collectivized within 4 years. This happened because Soviet Russia was a revolutionary society. There were thousands of dedicated communists who formed worker's brigades called the Twenty-Five Thousanders. These were mostly young workers and students who went out into the boondocks to show the local yokels how to be good communists. That's when the shootings, arrests and deportations began. This sort of thing is already happening in the USA. The Democratic Party has political-action arms called Antifa, short for Antifascist as well as the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLM) made up of young enthusiastic collectivists. For the young communists in Moscow, the Kulak arrests empowered them. They were then sent to overseer camps in the industrialization program that saved Russia when the German Wehrmacht invaded ten years later. Commentators often say that Stalin killed 10-20 million in the famous Gulags. If he did, he had a lot of help there too, especially from Nikita Khrushchev who pointed the finger at Stalin when he initiated de-Stalinization after Stalin's death (1953). Khrushchev was a tough fighter and serial-killer who got a thrill out of mass-murder. There is no doubt that collectivization in the Soviet Union saw the death of millions when The Little Ice-Age (generally 1350-1850) finally ended and a planetary warm-period ensued. This solar-generated heat-wave struck the northern hemisphere hard in the 1930s.

He moved the sun and moon

If you read some biographies of Stalin it's easy to imagine he was powerful enough to change the direction of the wind and cause famines to appear with a mere wave of the hand. When a worldwide heat-spell descended upon the northern hemisphere in 1932-36 it coincided with the Politburo's decision to collectivize farms. In Ukraine they now call this the Holodomor and hold Stalin responsible. This is all part of the demonization process to denigrate not only Stalin but the whole of Russia. Famines have always been common to the region and one every four years is a periodic constant in Russian and Ukrainian history. A famine hit in 1927-28 just as collectivization began. The eastern Ukraine and the now famous Donbass, populated mostly by Russians, was hit the hardest in 1932-33. The myth of an engineered famine was first presented by the virulently anti-Soviet Hearst newspaper conglomerate. The lurid articles used pictures of starving people from anywhere and everywhere, including the American Civil War. The story was then taken up by German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels with newspaper titles like The Hidden Holocaust in Ukraine by Zionist Jews and Ten Million White Ukrainians Exterminated by Jewish Bolsheviks. After 1945, many Ukrainians who sided with the German invaders were forced to emigrate out of Ukraine in fear for their lives. It was they, now ensconced in the liberal west, who invented the Holodomor; a term never heard before. But the horror of mass starvation was not unique to Ukraine in the 1930s. It was a worldwide social catastrophe. In America it is remembered as the Dust Bowl. Midwestern farmers, with their crops and topsoil blown away by the hot winds, lost their farms to banks. The week of July 7-14, 1936, was especially hot with 40 states suffering 100Â degrees Fahrenheit, 16 of them over 110Â degrees degrees and 90Â degrees F in the rest of the country. In this week alone twelve thousand people in 86 American cities died of heat exhaustion. The 1930s was the hottest decade of the 20th century. In America the drought lasted years and millions of people abandoned their farms and moved to California. That was how collectivization was implemented in America. Small individually owned farms disappeared and were often replaced by collectives owned by industrial conglomerates. In this process, ten million Americans died of starvation and starvation-related illness as it coincided with a worldwide economic depression. It is possible to determine this through the USA census figures. Nobody ever does it because any scholar that did would be out of a cushy university job. There are more than 250,000 corporate farms in the USA today. They are mega-polluters involved in animal slaughter (Industrial Animal Agriculture): also called concentrated animal feeding operations. They rely on immigrant slave labor and ship 50% of the meat to China.

The Tsar is overthrown

The World War that began in 1914 never really ended. There have been various treaties and armistices the ended the fighting here and there, but it never stopped. Four years into it, after millions of dead, Russia wanted out. Workers at home weren't being paid while war profiteers made millions. Starvation and disease were ubiquitous. Finally, on February 23, 1917, International Women's Day, 100,000 women workers went on strike in Petrograd, once and now St. Petersburg, the Tsar's war capitol, later renamed Leningrad. The next day the men joined them and the police and soldiers didn't resist. This was in contrast to the Revolution of 1905-06 in which the monarchy was almost toppled except for support from loyal officers in St. Petersburg. In 1917 those officers were dead in the war. The Tsar, as was most often the case, was clueless and Russia ceased to function as a national state. A week later he was forced to quit and the Romanov Dynasty came to an inglorious end. It all happened really fast. In England, Prime Minister Lloyd George announced that with the Tsar (who was a steadfast English ally) deposed, a major British war aim was achieved! This sort of hypocrisy and treason results every time Russia allies with the West.

The Provisional Government

When the Tsar abdicated in March 1917 he was replaced with The Provisional Government; provisional in that it was supposed to be replaced by a reformed and reconstituted Duma, the Russian legislative assembly. That never happened because it became dictatorial under Alexander Kerensky. It could have survived had he been wise enough to listen to the voice of the workers and army. They wanted an end to the war. Instead he chose to keep fighting and launched another insane offensive. In retrospect it isn't difficult to discern why. Secret treaties promised Constantinople (Istanbul) and the whole Black Sea upon victory. He also felt it important to protect the war bonds owned by all the banks that fueled the war. Those people put him in power. Lenin wouldn't have it. He and the Bolsheviks saw the war as the outcome of capital concentration in the hands of the banks that stoked the war machine, or as General Eisenhower called it: the military industrial complex. In 1917 Lenin wrote about it in a short book; Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, sometimes called an essay or pamphlet. Lenin proposed that the present calamity was exceptional because plunder was transformed into credit capital and centralized in European banks. The banks then issued fiat paper money and fleeced compliant and desperate nation states with ever higher interest credit. The longer the war went on the more they made. Lenin said enough is enough, and once famously: We will hang the last capitalist with a rope he sold to us. Lenin didn't care about war debts and capital obligations to the French and English. He instead promised bread, peace and land. He delivered on the peace part but the other two were more difficult to manifest as the French, English, Americans and many others invaded Russia as soon as Germany surrendered in November 1918. By this time Kerensky was deposed by the Bolsheviks. His last act as Minister President of the Provisional Government was to hand out guns to the workers and soldiers of the Petrograd Soviet. Isolated, his last ember of support came from the 1st Petrograd Woman's Battalion of Death. That was a tough outfit. He was exiled and in 1970 died in New York City.

The German Empire expands in its death throes

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, a fortress town, was signed in a city historically Polish but later Russian by treaty and now in Belarus; formerly the Soviet Union. They still have border issues. In 1918 the treaty signed there ended the war on the eastern front between the German Empire and Russia. It went into effect on March 3, 1918, a year to the day after the Tsar's abdication. Negotiations began in the fall of 1917. The Germans and Austrians wanted a treaty signed pronto because they were being starved out by the British blockade. On top of that, the world's leading industrial power just joined the war against them. Lenin and the Bolsheviks sent Leon Trotsky to parley. He took along a team that would represent all the Russians of the Revolution. Hence there was a sailor, a soldier, a worker, and a woman, Anastassija Alexejewna Bizenko, who had established her credentials by murdering a Tsarist thug. Suddenly the delegation realized they didn't have a peasant aboard! They stopped the car and asked the first one they saw to come along. The fellow was somewhat hesitant so Trotsky asked: Don't you know who I am? The bearded farmer admitted he didn't. Miffed, Trotsky asked if he knew his pal Lenin. The fellow showed a toothless grin and hopped into the car. The delegation then stalled for time, hoping that world revolution would overtake events. That didn't happen and the Germans ordered their armies forward again. With the Russian Army disintegrated and the workers on strike, Lenin demanded that Trotsky sign a peace accord now. The Germans imposed harsh terms: they took 1/3 of the (former) Russian Empire's population, 1/3 of the land, 50% of its industry and 90% of its coal. The rest of the world saw what a German peace might bring and hardened its resolve. However, Lenin promised and delivered the peace that Kerensky was unwilling to embrace. Lenin quite rightly figured that the cessation of the war was more important than the question of who owned Bessarabia, Poland and the Ukraine. The Germans should have been so smart too, but as always, they weren't. Germany's monarchist and Pangermanic clique saw Russian collapse as a way to expand ever eastward: and so they took Poland, made the Ukraine a puppet state and turned the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) into principalities attached to Germany. This extended the German Empire far to the east, almost to St. Petersburg. That's when Lenin moved the capitol from there to Moscow where it still is. These events indicate Lenin's calm geopolitical genius. To keep power, and to hold onto what little territory remained in Russian hands, Lenin surrendered large tracts of territory that were not Russian! They were already occupied by the enemy and all of it, Belorussia (now Belarus, sometimes Byelorussia), Poland, the Baltic States and the Ukraine, are now independent. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk established borders that are primarily identical to the present ones. The fact that Lenin surrendered anything at all is the main reason why Russian monarchists, who vainly long for the Romanov's return, still hate his guts.

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John Henry Egan lives in the Mojave Desert and has a degree in History from Hofstra University, He is published nationally and internationally in military history and film theory. His latest book is; War and Migration 1860-2020: The Ruin of (more...)

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