G. G. DILIGENSKY. The Problem of Proletarian Revolutionism and the Traditions of the First International
The ideological heritage of the First International has become in our time the object of an acute struggle between Marxism-Leninism and its enemies. One of the central problems in this struggle is the revolutionary role of the working class. Referring to the changes that have occurred in the position and living standards of the working people, the advocates of the theories of proletarianization" and "bourgeoisification" of the working class maintain that Marx's teaching on the proletariat and its revolutionary role, as well as the revolutionary principles of the First International based on this teaching, have no longer any roots in living reality. The exponents of these theories affirm that the prospect of the proletarian revolution substantiated by Marx precludes any improvement in the material position of the working class, presupposing, as an indispensable condition, its abject poverty and existence on the verge of starvation.
A close analysis of the documents of the First International and of Marx's works relating to its activity reveals the utter groundlessness of this vulgarization and distortion of Marxism. According to Marx's conception, the improvement of the material and cultural standards of the working class under capitalism does not militate against the prospect of the proletarian revolution but, on the contrary, facilitates its preparation and carrying out. Regarding revolution as a conscious action of the masses, the founders of Marxism always attached paramount significance to the intellectual development of working people, to their active participation in social and political activity-things which are absolutely impossible in conditions of poverty and semi-starvation.
The First International considered it possible and vitally necessary for the proletariat to carry on a successful struggle for higher wages, for legislative reduction of working hours and for universal education. It guided and directed the broad movement for recognizing the inalienable rights of the working class, for increasing the social weight and influence of the working class in capitalist society. The important social gains won by the organized proletariat in the past century should be attributed, first and foremost, to the successful realization of the aims proclaimed by the First International and to the further development of its militant and revolutionary traditions.
The founders of Marxism were far removed from regarding as immutable the forms of proletarian revolutionariness which were determined by the level of social and ideological development of the working class attained at a given historical period. Yet the advocates of the "bourgeoisification" theory endeavour to ascribe the disintegration of the early, immature forms of revolutionary consciousness, which reflected the influence exerted on the proletariat by the ideology of petty-bourgeois rebelliousness, to the fact that the working class has lost its revolutionary spirit. They completely ignore the fact that actually this process is inseparably bound up with the shaping of genuinely conscious proletarian revolutionism. The distinctive features of this revolutionism are vividly manifested in a clear understanding of the real ways and means of radically altering the pattern of social relations, in the sober appraisal of objective realities and the concrete situation, in the readiness to wage a persevering and irreconcilable struggle for attaining the aims of the working class by employing methods that are most expedient in the given concrete conditions.
B. S. ITENBERG. The First International and Russian Society
The article is devoted to the development of Russia's international revolutionary contacts. The author shows how the activity of the International Working Men's Association was reflected in the columns of the legal Russian press and arrives at the conclusion that side by side with reactionary and liberal viewpoints there existed also a democratic tendency in the legal press, which contributed to the international rapprochement of Russia's progressive elements with the Socialist movement of European countries. The article also analyzes the Narodniks' illegal literature which devoted much attention to illustrating the international Socialist movement. The underground periodical press acquainted revolu-
tionary Russia with the activities of the First International and the Paris Commune, urged the working people to display international solidarity and stressed the need for all oppressed to join forces and form a united front against their enslavers.
The author specially examines in his article the influence exerted by the First International on the revolutionary-democratic and working-class movement in Russia. The revolutionary intellectuals believed, he writes, that the experience of the class battles fought by the proletariat of Western Europe would accelerate the maturing of a popular (peasant) revolution in Russia. The establishment of close contacts with the European Socialist movement was an important factor in promoting the organization of a proletarian party in Russia.
V. S. LELCHUK. Further Development of the Chemical Industry and the National Economy of the U.S.S.R .
The article illustrates the place and role of the chemical industry in the development of the Soviet national economy at the different stages of socialist construction. In the period of rehabilitation chemistry was developing at a much faster rate than the country's economy as a whole. The transition to large-scale industrialization imperatively demanded the development of all branches of modern chemistry. This important task was accomplished shortly before the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War. Among the most significant achievements in this field were the construction and commissioning of plants for the production of mineral fertilizers in Bobriki, Berezniki, Chirchik and the Donbas, the solutio nof the spatite problem and the building of the world's first synthetic rubber factories in Yaroslavl, Voronezh, Efremov and other cities. The article contains a detailed description of the difficulties which arose at that period not only as a result of purely objective conditions, but also in connection with the pernicious influence of the Stalin personality cult. The war of 1941 - 1945 fully confirmed the correctness and farsightedness of the Communist Party and Soviet government policy aimed at accelerating the development of the chemical industry and converting it into one of the leading branches of heavy industry. The author points out that in the postwar period chemistry fairly rapidly exceeded the prewar level. At the same time he emphasizes that underestimation of chemistry, particularly of its modern branches based on the extensive utilization of natural and oil gases, continued to hamper the general progress of the Soviet economy and impeded the intensification of agriculture. A radical turning point, the article stresses, was brought about by the May 1958 Plenum of the CPSU Central Committee. The successes achieved in the subsequent years enabled the Party, at the December (1963) Plenum of its Central Committee, to put forward a new slogan: "Communism is Soviet power plus electrification of the whole country, plus extensive introduction of chemistry in all branches of the national economy."
A. S. STRAZHAS. The "Oberost Land" and the German Aims in the East in the Years of the First World War
Citing the example of the so-called "Oberost Land" (the combined territory of Lithuania, Kurland and Byelorussia's Western areas occupied by German troops), the author shows the consistency and continuity of Germany's aggression in the East throughout the period of the first world war. The political and military leaders of imperialist Germany, the article stresses, regarded this territory as a strategic bridgehead for continued aggression against Russia with the aim of completely dismembering it, as a vantage ground from which they intended to keep the greatly curtailed territory of Poland in subjection and economic subordination. This was a component part of a "permanent war" policy, whose ultimate aim was the achievement of world domination.
The strategic considerations by which Germany's rules were primarily quided in their policy towards the "Oberost Land," A. S. Strazhas notes, determined the establishment and maintenance of a military-autocratic regime in this territory. Under the blows of the mounting revolutionary movement in Germany herself and in the occupied territory, as well as under the impact of external political circumstances at the beginning of 1917, Germany was compelled to alter her tactic and began to pursue the so-called "Lithuanian policy" aimed at utilizing the Lithuanian bourgeois nationalists for the purpose of fomenting national strife. However, the article clearly shows that the change of tactic did not alter the very essence of Germany's policy. Hence, the military-autocratic regime instituted in the "Oberost Land" remained essentially unaffected even after the signing of the Brest-Litovsk Peace. The history of the "Oberost Land," whose administration was headed by arrant Pan-Germanists, the author writes in conclusion, was a history of Pan-Germanism in action.
V. V. MAVRODIN. The Main Problems of Russia's Reasant War of 1773 - 1775
Analyzing the common features typical of all the peasant wars in Russia, the author comes to the conclusion that they were civil wars waged by the peasantry against the entire feudal-owning class, against the entire system of serfdom. Each of these wars had a single centre and single, though unstable, headquarters for directing the uprising. Each of them is characterized by more or less the same anti-feudal slogans reflecting the social aspirations of the insurgents, by a greater or lesser degree of the peasants' unity and organization. The peasant wars were waged on a nation-wide scale, embraced a vast territory and represented essentailly a struggle for power, although the very system of power remained monarchist in character. Hence the naive monarchism and imposture typical of the peasant wars in Russia. The working people of non-Russian nationalities took an active part in the peasant wars.
V. V. Mavrodin points out that the peasant war led by Pugachov was distinguished by a number of specific features. Owing to the fact that it took place in the period of disintegration of the system of serfdom in Russia, the slogans of the peasant war of 1773 - 1775 were formulated more precisely and distinctly than those proclaimed by Bolotnikov, Razin and Bulavin.
The basic ideal of the insurgent popular masses in the peasant wars was land and freedom, i. e., a system of free petty producers. But a social system of this kind could not be established in Russia at the time of the peasant wars. Consequently, the trends of social development reflected in the peasant wars could lead to the feudal regeneration of the top crust standing at the head of a given social movement or to the establishment of the bourgeois system. The degree of probability of the latter path of social development was determined by the rapid growth of bourgeois elements in Russia, which at the time of Pugachov's uprising were much stronger than in the preceding peasant wars. V. V. Mavrodin makes a point of stressing that Pugachov's uprising was distinguished from the earlier peasant wars not only by more distinct manifestations of the insurgents' anti-feudal ideology, but also by a higher degree of organization.
The author shows the strengthening of the state apparatus in the period following the uprising and the gradual evolution of the Cosacks, under the influence of the government policy, from the initiators of the peasant wars to the stranglers of the peasant movement. V. V. Marvodin believes that all these factors greatly contributed to rendering the peasant wars impossible in the subsequent period.
The historic significance of the peasant wars in Russia, V. V. Mavrodin writes in conclusion, lies in their vast influence on the development of progressive, anti-feudal, enlightening and revolutionary ideas. Scared by the prospect of another "Pugachov revolt", the tsarist government hastened to emancipate the peasants "from above" so as to forestall the possibility of their liberation "from below."
O. M. MEDUSHEVSKAYA. Certain Aspects of the Theory of Source Research in Contemporary French Bourgeois Historiography
The author makes an attempt to illustrate the approach of contemporary French bourgeois historiography to the solution of problems relating to the theory of source research and to trace the methodological principles determining the approach to such questions as the concept of historical sources, the principles of classification, the methods applied to the critical analysis and interpretation of sources. The basic principles of the contemporary theory of source research in French bourgeois historical science were formulated at the close of the 19th century by Ch. -V. Langlois and Charles Seignobos. L. Febvre's criticism of a number of obsolete propositions on which this positivist theory of historical knowledge is based, the extension of the concept of historical source in the works of L. Febvre and M. Block were connected with the changed range of sources used by historical science. This made possible the publication of such books as "History and Its Methods" (under the editorship of Ch. Samarand), which contains special sections devoted to the methods of analyzing photo-, phono-, film- and tele-documents, statistical, demographic and linguistic data, historical geography and other specialized subjects. Contemporary source researchers are elaborating and supplementing the traditional concepts of bourgeois source research, generalizing the experience in applying new types of sources in research work. Very fruitful results have been yielded by R. Marechal's criticism of the method of dividing all historical sources into intentional and unintentional. But the methodological principles of the concept of historical source, as well as the schemes of internal and external criticism, have not been re-examined, being merely subjected to a certain degree of modification. The definition of historical source as "a trace left by the thoughts and actions of men in the past," which opens the way to a relativist interpretation, is still widely used in special literature. The Marxist-Leninist science of source research defines the source as an historical phenomenon which originated as a result of human activity at a definite stage of social development. It is precisely from these positions that it elaborates the basic principles of source classification and the methods of analytical and synthetical source research.
The imperfection and limitation of the theory expounded by Langiois and Seignobos. which ignores the problems of synthesis and concentrates primarily on analysis and verification of individual source indications, the lack of attention to the author's personality and to the source as a whole are used by Henri Marrou (in his "Critical Philosophy of History") as a pretext to prove the "impossibility" of elaborating a rational scientific theory of tracing historical facts by ways and methods at the disposal of historical science; this leads him to relativism and agnosticism. In the final analysis, constructions of this kind are bound to lead to non-recognition of history as a science. That is why many non-Marxist scientists are striving towards further development of theoretical and practical source research.
Definite achievements of present-day French scientists in the field of source research, which resulted in considerably extending the range of sources and in perfecting source research methods based on the rich experience accumulated by French science over many centuries of its development in the sphere of special historical subjects, are undeniable. Critical utilization of this experience can and must contribute to the further progress of the Marxist-Leninist theory of source research.
V. M. KULISH. Concerning the Opening of the Second Front in Europe
In their efforts to justify the policy of procrastination and refusal to open the second front in 1941, a number of bourgeois historians and prominent political leaders of Great Britain (Sir Winston Churchill in particular) maintain that Britain at that time did not possess the necessary forces and means. Proceeding from his analysis of the alignment of forces and potentialities of the belligerent powers in Western Europe, the author comes to the conclusion that Britain at that period had at its command all the necessary means and resources for opening the second front in Europe. The article clearly shows that the main reason for the tactics of postponing the second front was the policy of Britain's ruling circles, which was primarily aimed at safeguarding and further extending the British Empire, taking advantage of the fact that the main forces of fascist Germany were engaged in fierce battles against the Red Army.
The author stresses that the Soviet government and representatives of progressive, anti-fascist forces in Great Britain and the U.S.A. associated with the opening of the second front against nazi Germany the possibility of shortening the duration of the war, alleviating its hardships and bringing the sacrifices it exacted to a minimum.
In conclusion V. M. Kulish points out that the British government's policy on the question of opening the second front in Europe in 1941 inevitably contributed to protracting the second world war instead of bringing it to the speediest possible termination.
A. I. NEDOREZOV. Czechoslovak Historiography of the Anti-Fascist Liberation Movement in the Country
The development of Czechoslovak historiography of the Resistance Movement is marked by several distinctive stages. The early postwar years were characterized by the predominance of works by bourgeois historians and political leaders, which highlighted the activity of groups and individuals belonging to bourgeois opposition. However, the authors of these works deliberately glossed over the different economic position of the various sections of Czechoslovak society. The country's liberation movement was depicted as a purely national one, which played a secondary role in the struggle for the re-establishment of Czechoslovak statehood.
The young Marxist historiography had from the very outset to launch a resolute struggle against the bourgeois concept of the liberation movement. The training of erudite Marxist historians and the overcoming of the harmful consequences of dogmatism and talmudism vastly contributed to the all-round development of Czechoslovakia's historiography of the liberation movement. Diverse aspects of the economic, social and political position of the various sections of Czechoslovak society in the period of German domination were subjected to a comprehensive analysis. The attention of researchers was focussed on bringing out the concrete forms of the Resistance Movement, notably on research in the anti-fascist struggle of the working class, the guerilla movement and popular uprisings. Intensive research is now being conducted in the 1944 uprising of the Slovak people which set off the national-democratic revolution in the country. Serious attention is being devoted to the history of the formation of Czechoslovak military units and their struggle against the nazis at the fronts of the second world war.
Every aspect of the liberation movement is viewed by Marxist scientists of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in close context with an acute class struggle between the working class and bourgeois opposition for hegemony in the liberation movement, whose outcome was determined, in the final analysis, by the subsequent path of the country's historical development. Paramount importance in this connection is attached to the role
of the Czechoslovak Communist Party as the political leader of the popular masses, whose correct strategy and tactics enabled the people to emerge victorious.
An analysis of Czechoslovakia's historiography of the liberation movement testifies to the important contribution made by the peoples of Czechoslovakia to the defeat of German imperialism. The liberation movement became the starting point in the country's advance along the new path of historical development.
M. Y. DOMNICH. Ideological Principles of the Strategy and Tactics of Contemporary Christian Trade Union Movement
Drawing on extensive factual material, the author effectively refutes the assertions of Catholic historiography about the allegedly spontaneous origin of the Christian trade union movement and its development independently of the Church. In actual fact, the role of the ideological inspirer of Christian syndicalism belongs to the Vatican. The Christian syndicalist leaders are advocates of rabid anti-communism; their policy is aimed at splitting the working-class movement.
Although in the past 70 years Christian syndicalism has undergone certain superficial transformations, the theory of "class peace," which constitutes its underlying foundation, has been preserved in its original form. The ideological principles of the International Confederation of Christian Trade Unions are extremely conservative. Its leaders are striving to perpetuate capitalism and private ownership of the means of production. Christian syndicalism's most radical demands do not overstep the bounds of contemporary bourgeois social reformism, which constitutes the essence of "people's capitalism." Criticism of capitalism in words and its vindication in deed-such, in substance, is the position of ICCTU. This policy is disguised by the officially proclaimed doctrine of a "third force" between capitalism and communism.
Inasmuch as Christian syndicates unite religious workers, the local ICCTU organizations take an active part in the strike movement. However, they recognize only strikes of a narrow professional character and completely exclude political strikes. The leaders of the national Christian trade union centres affiliated to ICCTU are strongly opposed to united action by all sections of the working class.
The article also shows certain progressive tendencies manifested by a section of Christian syndicalists, which have become more pronounced under the impact of the growing class struggle involving an increasing number of Christian workers, as well as under the influence of the great social gains won by the peoples of the socialist countries, and of the significant victories scored by the national-liberation movement. In conclusion the author emphasizes the readiness of the Communist Parties and progressive trade unions to establish fraternal relations with the membership of the Christian trade unions for the common struggle against the monopolies, for peace, democracy and socialism.
About · News · For Advertisers · Donate to Libmonster
Libmonster ® All rights reserved.
2014-2023, LIBMONSTER.COM is a part of Libmonster, international library network (open map)
Keeping the heritage of the United States