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Reply to Anthony Coughlan on CPI book

category dublin | history and heritage | opinion/analysis author Wednesday February 20, 2013 10:07author by Matt Treacy Report this post to the editors

Regarding Anthony Coughlan’s latest attempt to denigrate my books.

The books stand on their merits and I have no need to repeat what is in them. They stand or fall on their own merits. However a number of points in Coughlan’s ‘review’ do need to be addressed.

First of all, the production issues relate to a small number of books sold at the time of the launch. All of these have been corrected and the index is now fully accurate.

He claims the book is ‘thoroughly nasty’. I take it that is a reference to it’s critical analysis of the pro-Soviet Communist movement. I make no more apology for being anti-Stalinist than I do for being anti-Nazi. It is also clear that one of the features of the CP book most upsetting to the inheritors of Irish Stalinism is its exposé of the dishonesty and intellectual gymnastics that were employed to justify the Stalin/Hitler Pact between 1939 and 1941.

A Pact broken, not by the Stalinists but by the Nazis. The same applied to their dogged defence of Soviet foreign policy over the entire period up to the collapse of the USSR.

Contrary to Coughlan’s claim, the book is almost entirely based on original records, including those of the CP itself, and certainly does not rely on ‘Government Ministers’ ‘MI5’, the ‘Catholic Standard’ or fascists for its analysis of Communism during the period under review. The historical is quite clear in regard to the horrors visited on the world by Stalinism and its off-shoots.

It is also clear that Communist Party policy during the period under review was first and foremost a function of Soviet foreign policy. Ample eveidence, some of it quoted in the book, exists to prove Soviet interest in opposing British membership of the EEC, including substantial funding for the CPGB campaign.

That is not to deny that there were genuine reasons for opposing the EEC and Irish republicans were the first to do so. That was a significant factor in persuading the Irish Communists to alter their attitude towards the republican movement after Lemass had applied for membership. That was during the 1956-1962 IRA ‘border campaign’ which the Communists had resolutely opposed and had been disparaging of the republicans until the EEC application once again made them an attractive ‘ally’. All of that is dealt with in both books.

In relation to Greaves, the record clearly shows that he was a member of the CPGB International Department and it was in that capacity that he ran the Connolly Association, and attempted, with a degree of success to influence political events in Ireland through those who shared his position, and indeed his membership of the Communist Party, either in Britain and/or in Ireland.
The evidence for CPGB control of the CA is extensive and conclusive and is dealt with in the book. Indeed, one of the key debates within the CA during the 1950s – extensively dealt with in the book from CPGB sources – was whether the Association ought to have ‘come out’ as the London Irish branch of the CPGB, or remained, as favoured by Greaves and the CPGB International Department, a covertly controlled Party front organisation.

There was also clearly an intention to create a formal alliance between the republican movement and the Irish Communist movement through a National Liberation Front. That was a contributory factor in the split, and the attempt to maintain that alliance continued after the split with formal and high level contacts between the Official republican leadership and the re-unified CPI. That foundered in the mid 1970s due to a combination of factors that will be dealt with in the second volume.

It is also the case that both Coughlan and Roy Johnston were paid up members of the Irish Workers Party at the same time that Johnston was a member of the IRA Army Council and Coughlan was a leading advisor to Cathal Goulding. Indeed Coughlan might well have become more formally involved, had it not been for a January 1966 Ard Comhairle motion proposed by Tom Mitchell which excluded Coughlan from the Sinn Féin/IRA education department on the grounds that the republican constitution banned members of Communist organisations. That again is a matter of record.

The membership lists in the CPI archives are conclusive. They are clearly IWP membership lists and not as disingenuously claimed, subscription lists for the Party bulletin. I believe that this issue has been put to bed. One of those lists is available on several internet forums and of course the other lists are in the CP archive itself.

I do not need a motive to record historical facts! Indeed the implication of the attacks on me is that I ought to have pretended that the lists did not exist at all. The overlapping membership of key individuals is, however, important and opens up different interpretations of what happened within the republican movement in the 1960s. The evidence is there. People may interpret it as they wish. Some, however, prefer to engage in disingenuous ad hominen attacks on myself rather than engage with the facts.

Finally, I again note Coughlan’s promise to deposit the Greaves journals in a public archive. He has had them for a long time now and, unedited, they would be a valuable contribution to the historical record. Until now, we only have Roy Johnston’s extensive use of extracts to thank for what is clearly a unique insight into the period under review.

Prior discussion at: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/102794

author by Bill OBrienpublication date Thu Feb 21, 2013 20:18Report this post to the editors

In answer to Matt Treacy.
Matt Treacy tells us that these books stand on their merits and he has no need to repeat the content within them. As someone who lived in England during the periods that is he's on about, the 1960s, my sister who was secretary of Sinn Fein in Birmingham at the time and my brother was secretary of the Connolly Association at the same time. I think I am very well placed to speak on the subject. Matt Treacy tells more about himself than he does on the actual subject, there is no merit in the subject that he is writing about in the first place.

He feels the Connolly Association was a conspiratorial organisation attempting to use and take over the republican movement, nothing could be further from the truth. But Tracy is the product of Catholic Ireland and the more he writes about communism, the more details he reveals about himself. The Connolly Association was set up initially as the London branch of the Republican Congress. Many of the Congress, comrades found themselves unemployed in the 1930s and emigrated to London to find work, most of them in the construction industry. People like the late Bill Scott and my father Bill O'Brien. Many of them stayed and worked during the war years in essential services and therefore were exempt from conscription. It's true that most of the Connolly Association members were in the Communist Party of Great Britain, but not all. It had a bigger base than that.
Tracy feels that by the 1960s the Communist Party of Great Britain through the Connolly Association were attempting to infiltrate the republican movement. Such an allegation is off the wall. Let's look at the three organisations involved the Communist Party of Great Britain, the Connolly Association, and the Republican Movement. See what their actual positions were at the beginning of the 1960s and into the 1970s.

The Communist Party of Great Britain
The Communist Party of Great Britain is not in any way a conspiratorial organisation. The British left does not have a conspiratorial history. Cloak and dagger is not their style. The party had come out of world War II with extreme strength in the trade union movement and were proud of the British contribution in defeating European fascism. During that war they played a conciliatory role, keeping industrial harmony, preventing strikes and helping the war effort in every way, especially after the invasion of Russia. They had produced a program, "the British Road to Socialism". It did not allow for any clandestine armed wing. It was so mild it didn't even mention the abolishment of the monarchy. So much so that lots of the Irish used to refer to the CP GB as the Communist Party of Great Britain by appointment of her Majesty the Queen! The British were closing down their Empire at that time. Lots of former colonies were getting their independence, and of course they had a Department that looked at that and quite frankly Ireland didn't get a mention. The Communist Party of Great Britain were not overly concerned about Ireland anyway; certainly not giving any time to it or to taking over the IRA, which it didn't consider to be a fellow Communist organisation anyway.

The Irish republican movement
The Irish republican movement at that time was in a state of serious decline. The border campaign had petered out and they were regrouping and examining in what direction to go. The majority of those who were still active were going to the left, though this did not reflect down to the rank-and-file. In Birmingham the rank-and-file would have still been very conservative; good Catholic boys and girls keeping their faith while living in a pagan country, my own sister included. They had been raised in a Cold War atmosphere since the early 1950s and these young Irish were very much influenced and even victims of that. The paranoia of reds under the bed and card-carrying members of the Communist Party put the fear of God into any decent Irish Catholic republican at the time, Tracy seems to be the last vintage of all of that, certainly from anything I've read from his books. The contrasting approaches of the Communist Party of Great Britain and the Irish Republican Movement were clearly incompatible.

Connolly Association
Connolly Association was run by Desmond Greaves at that time. Tracy is correct when he says that. Greaves was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain for quite a long time. Greaves was a research chemist, an ideal man for critical analysis. He was born in Liverpool of Irish parents from County Antrim, Methodist lay preachers. His mother ran the Methodist choir in Birkenhead and he certainly didn't come from any Irish republican conspiratorial cloak and dagger Fenian brotherhood background. All of that would have been alien to him. He was a lobbyist who knew the workings of the British labour movement. Also a prolific writer and researcher. It was Greaves who did the analysis on the local election boundaries in the six counties and exposed the gerrymandering that went on. This did more damage to the Unionists than all the IRA bombs in that period. There had been a residue left over from the border campaign, with prisoners still in jail, some doing life sentences. Greaves knew how to lobby when the Wilson government came to power and it was Greaves who got them out without looking for any credit. Greaves also knew how to lobby to get the bodies of Barns and McCormick returned to Ireland, plus he helped the Irish government to lobby and get the body of Casement returned also. Greaves had the utmost difficulty in keeping Ireland on the agenda of the Communist Party of Great Britain and the British left in general. There was no way the Communist Party of Great Britain would want to have anything to do with the IRA never mind take it over. What Tracy says is off the wall.

After the split.
I returned to Ireland in the mid-60s and joined the republican movement, after being brought up in England I wanted to catch up on Irish history, and other things I missed out on not having gone to school in Ireland. There was a very strong strain of anti-communism in the republican movement at that time, in Dublin there were only two or three Sinn Fein cumann running in the city at time. There were very few young people involved. Mostly a lot of old-timers from the 40s resting on their laurels, that they never had. The rosary would be said sometimes before meetings, but always at any commemorations that were taken place. It was in the republican movement, that I heard the rosary being said for the first time. Roy Johnston was there as educational officer, which the young people felt was a breath of fresh air. He certainly was not there in any conspiratorial manner. We left all that to the cloak and dagger merchants that were permanently looking for Reds under the bed.

In 1970 there was a cement strike in Ireland and I found myself back in Birmingham. Since I was of the republican movement in Ireland I joined the Birmingham branch of Clann Na the hEireann. All of the branches of Clann in England stayed with the Officials after the split. Most of the members moving in a left-wing way, got involved in trade unions in their jobs, taking part in a broad front campaigns, especially those affecting other migrant groups in England at the time. The National front was making soundings and Clann members helped out to stop them. Around that time the Provo’s were beginning to organise in England. They were attracting a different type of membership from the Irish community. The big subbies, the landlords, those who controlled the work in the building industry. Generally exploiting their own, especially the manual labourers from the country parts of Ireland, who relayed on them for a work and accommodation. Some of these new-found patriots were quite flush with money and it wasn't long before the shadowy dealings that go along with Irish republicanism began to come to the fore. Someone might be fighting with one of the subbies, over money or whatever. He'd be told his boss was well up in the movement and the movement might not like this. No trade union or social insurance contributions paid by this kind of employer. This went on until the Provo’s let off a few bombs, after that these new-found patriots developed English accents.

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:43Report this post to the editors

I think Anthony Coughlan was being very polite. I would join Jean Paul Sartre in saying "An anti-Communist is a rat." But, that is just terminology. The important point is that linking the USSR to Nazi Germany shows a complete lack of understanding of either Communism or Nazism. I have to ask myself what kind of book would be written by a person who has such a poor grasp of political philosophy. What is also sickening about this attempted linkage is that it is at one with the attempts of recent Fascist régimes in Poland and other Eastern European states to equate Communism with Nazism.

The Molotov - Ribbentrop Pact was entirely justified, given that the alternative was a war that would cost more than 20 million Soviet lives, and given that the US and the British would skulk away in hiding until mid 1944, leaving the Heroic Red Army to actually defeat Nazi Germany.

author by james moorepublication date Fri Feb 22, 2013 18:50Report this post to the editors

not sure if its as simple as Tracy 'feeling' communists where trying to infiltrate the republican movement, he researched their archives and extrapolated information based on the available data. either its there or its not. maybe someone else will research the archives and come to a different conclusion moving this debate on to a more intellectual plain and out of the mud where its at.

author by Bobbypublication date Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:15Report this post to the editors

"An anti-Communist is a rat." Funny that, Hitler used to call people rats too...

Stalin and Hitler are no worse than one another. Authoritarian 'Communism' is no worse, or better then Nazism.

Apart from Drighneán's painfully obvious derailing of the conversation, I'm really enjoying everyone else's contribution, it's fascinating.

author by Bill OBrienpublication date Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:56Report this post to the editors

James, Tracy is not only a product of holy Catholic Ireland, he is also the product of the military and aggressive wing of the same Catholic nationalist movement, that has the cheek to call itself Republican. Republicanism is something more superior than that and he is incapable of understanding that. The academic University Education system produces some right geniuses,Tracy is a good example of that. You can encapsulate yourself in amaze of statistics, records and other paraphernalia. But what you can't beat or buy is experience, how many of the foot soldiers like myself, who were around at the time did Tracy interview, I would like to know? Paper doesn't refuse ink and once its put down on paper,it could becomes statistical and the historical account of what actually happened,it becomes official. As I get the older, the more I find younger historians and academics writhing accounts of events that they've lived through, the more I come to the realization that too much education and not enough intelligence is a very bad mixture.These academics put on a slant suitable to their interpretation of things as they see them, sometimes far away from reality. They get so engrossed with their own interpretations and hypotheses,they create for themselves a complicated maze based on their own theories,and then find themselves justifying and walking around the maze they have created,justifying and even extending it the rest of their lives. Traces work does not advance the cause of Irish republicanism in anyway, nor does it show any light on the true image of what was called Irish republicans in the 1960s. He ignores all the shortcomings of the right wing nationalist movement that he has spent most of his adult life in and still obtains a wage and living from. He's like a lot more of the leadership of this movement who are now approaching old age,if they haven't arrived at it already.Unfortunately they haven't gone away you know, maybe the best he can do for Catholic Ireland,is take them and himself back to a sectarian Catholic ghetto in West Belfast and say the rosary.

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Sat Feb 23, 2013 13:37Report this post to the editors

I see we have yet another right winger trying to compare Communism to Nazism. That would be a matter of little interest, except that some demented Leftie Liberal types try to do the same thing. As they see it, because the individual was not allowed to act according to his or her own subjective will under either Communism or Nazism, they must be the same thing. Of course, this is very weak minded thinking. They are looking at the phenomenon most dear to their own hearts, i.e. their own subjective will, and making its enjoyment the measure of all that is. The fact that Nazism is predicated on maintaining relations of private property and that Communism is predicated on destroying those relations doesn't come into their consideration. Nor does the fact that Nazism is based on a belief in racial superiority, while Communism rejects such nonsense, merit consideration - according to these Leftie Liberals.

Leftie Liberals would also be well advised to consider that it is precisely their ethical subjectivism, their running around after the satisfaction of their own private wills, that leads to the People having no will at all. Indeed, the People does not even exist as a concept, under the bourgeois ideology that Leftie Liberals follow.

author by james moorepublication date Sat Feb 23, 2013 15:13Report this post to the editors

have you read the book bill?

the way people are talking you'd swear it was a bio of Tracy which they disapprove off, its not, they dismiss the work by blackening the author. Modern Ireland appears to have the same weakness when discussing ideas as holy catholic Ireland had from what i can see, it can't.

more interviews would have been interesting i agree, but not as a substitute for the achieve research, in tandem. maybe some one will do that in the future and add to this topic.

i don't think academics are the only ones capable of bias when discussing history. i read the book and agree its not a vehicle to advance republicanism. iam not sure that was the intention.

author by Bill OBrienpublication date Sat Feb 23, 2013 20:48Report this post to the editors

James, research goes the in both directions if you want to do an objective study of anything,where's Tracey research, analysis and conclusions, as to who actually did take over the republican movement in the 1960s. Has he given us any insight as to how diesel launders and other racketeers financed and influenced the republican movement. Maybe he should pay attention to that and gives an insight with his inside knowledge and we might all be educated.
Let's get back to Birmingham and discuss who exactly was influencing who at the time. A young man Michael Ganghan who was a member of the Clann and was coming and quite politically was taken aside by his maternal uncle Fr. Connolly a Catholic priest who was to attached to a parish in Wolverhampton.He convinced Michael to move away from Clann,Michael did that and move down to London where he was arrested attempting to rob a bank and imprisoned for seven years. Michael died on hunger strike looking for political prisoner status, his remains were handed over to his family and he received funeral in London before his remains were eventually sent to the Ireland.Father Connolly in in his homily explained to his congregation in London that he was pleased that only a made a hero for Ireland, created a saint,but he helped move him away from communism. Maybe Tracy should do a little more research into those type of people, or maybe Tracy still would like to create more saints for Ireland, after all the it is the lifeblood and the material that makes up, Tracy variation of Irish republicanism which is really Irish Catholic nationalism.

author by james moorepublication date Sat Feb 23, 2013 21:49Report this post to the editors

Tracy's would be the book we are discussing, the one i get the impression you haven't read. Give it a go, i finished it about two weeks ago and touch wood have no inclination to become a Catholic saint, tough i take your health warning on board and will look out for signs.

The book is about the CP. No the republican movement and how it financed itself regarding diesel and in turn was influenced by those who financed itself wouldn't particularly be under the spot light but then i wouldn't expect it to be. it may make an interesting book in its own right but the relevance to this, i don't see it. the events you are alluding to in the 60's only make up a small part of the book given all the talk.

this conversation has the makings of one of those mental internet conversations that go on and on without proving anything other than who has the most stamina. given that we both made our points iam going to bow out now.

All the best.

author by Matt Treacypublication date Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:28Report this post to the editors

Thank you James.

It is ironic that I am being accused of bizarre psychological motives by Bill whose contributions are verging on hysteria!

Just for the record, I am not a Catholic!

As for CPGB control of the Connolly Association, it is a matter of record. Fully detailed in the book, which as James suggest, you have not read.

author by Bill OBrienpublication date Mon Feb 25, 2013 13:09Report this post to the editors

Matt,your motive and expressions are what Catholic nationalism is,its all silly old hat. As for not been a Catholic if they got you for the first seven years,they have you for good.Did the Christian Bros ever have you by the way, could have done,looks like it.O Matt you only produced a book you did't write a Bible.How many of the Connolly Association during that period were actually in the British Labour Party, of course they were only commiting venial sins, it was the disgusting despicable Reds under the bed,Communist bastards that were committing the mortal sins. Wouldn't you think they should have stayed true to their Catholic faith and joined Sinn Fein. What's your point at this stage putting all this down on paper,I don't need to read your book, I was there at the time, may be I should write my own,then unlike you I'm not into fiction.

author by Matt Treacypublication date Mon Feb 25, 2013 15:39Report this post to the editors

The CPGB controlled the CA. Fact. If you knew that and are pretending that it was not the case you are engaged in the same silly nonsense as others. If you did not know it, well then you had the wool pulled over your eyes.

Of course there will were people in CA who were not in the CP. That was the whole point of the exercise! There were IWL exiles in London in 1950s, including Brian Behan and Seán Furlong, who argued that CA should come out openly as being CP and more or less transform the organisation into London Irish branch of the CPGB.

Greaves argued against this on basis that that would prove to be obstacle to recruiting Irish xiles who would be attracted by CA's 'faux republicanism' but repulsed by CPGB. He had support of Idris Cox of International Department of CPGB, on which Greaves was 'Irish' expert, and of CPGB CC. All of this is amply recorded in sources referred to in the book.

As for the rest, you appear to be living in some bizarre John McGahern twilight world which I as a non-Catholic am unaware and dubious as to its relationship to reality.

author by Bill OBrienpublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 08:38Report this post to the editors

Matt,it's very hard to pull the wool over my eyes,been around the block too many times. As a historian you simply have a problem in placing yourself in the actual moment in time that your writing about.What went on at that time is the same all arguments and divisions that have taken place between Catholic nationalism and Irish Socialist Republicanism before and since.I am talking about a particular period of time. A time as far as I'm concerned you are still stuck in. That's why you historical analysis, as you call it, is more about yourself than the actual subject. Catholic Ireland at the time had an absolute fear and loathing of anything to do with left politics. Even Connolly was written out history of quite a long time,Catholic nationalism has also been around the block a few times since that period. So concentrate on them and leave the left to those who are the left and where the left at the time. You're not doing anything positive for anybody neither the left of the right. You definitely have an mental block towards the right,yet again the right-wing Catholic nationalist party you work from, will make left soundings when it's opportunistically correct to do so.Even shake the hand of the Queen of England if that becomes opportunistically beneficial to you.You say "As for the rest, you appear to be living in some bizarre John McGahern twilight world".If I'm in a twilight world of any kind hopefully it's the twilight of Irish Catholic nationalism at the end of it's day. But then again with the political gymnastics of Irish Catholic nationalism you might even become the champions of a rejuvenated born-again Catholic nationalism.Any thing is possible especially with a creative imagination like yours.Matt come clean and tell us how Catholic nationalism took over the Republican movement in the 1960s and give us a real book, such a book would be of extremely beneficial and educational to future generations of Irish people, Not the garbage you're currently presenting us with.

author by Felix Quigleypublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 09:12Report this post to the editors

@ matt treacy

"The CPGB controlled the CA. Fact. If you knew that and are pretending that it was not the case you are engaged in the same silly nonsense as others. If you did not know it, well then you had the wool pulled over your eyes.

Of course there will were people in CA who were not in the CP. That was the whole point of the exercise! There were IWL exiles in London in 1950s, including Brian Behan and Seán Furlong, who argued that CA should come out openly as being CP and more or less transform the organisation into London Irish branch of the CPGB."

These people you are in argument with are either Stalinists or Republican fellow travellers.

The role of Stalinism was most clearly shown in the Spanish Revolution where the Stalinist thugs went around assasinating revolutionary cadre leaders, especially of the left wing POUM, but including anarchists, to prevent the socialist revolution

author by Matt Treacypublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 09:49Report this post to the editors

One of the victims in Spain was Brian Goold-Verscoyle who was abducted, brought back to Moscow and sent to the gulags where he died. He was accused of being a Trotskyist. Of course, he does not exist as far as the CPI is concerned.

His brother Neil was in Moscow at the same time as Brian was being held in one of the torture centres. Neil put his mother off interceding on Brian's behalf on grounds that it would damage himself and the Party! Neil was probably fortunate in being effectively thrown out of the USSR as at some stage he would most likely have been lifted as a brother of a 'traitor'.

He had to write a self-criticism to be allowed back into CPI. It is in their archive and is dealt with in the book. Neil remained an ultra Stalinist and wrote two pamplets after 1956 attacking Khruschev and Trotskyism before returning to Moscow. Sad individual.

author by joe mcpublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 13:23Report this post to the editors

Felix regularly writes in his blog in full support of racism/zionism and is a firm defender of such filthy groups as the English Defence League . He should not be tolerated here by site editors

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 14:41Report this post to the editors

I find it quite revealing that the only times that Matt Tracy becomes animated in this thread is when he sees some opportunity to slander Communism. I think that fact speaks volumes about his motivation for writing a book that's supposed to be about the CPI.

To the auspicious names of Robert Conquest and Robert Service, we can now add the name of Matt Tracy.

Below is an interesting article concerning this breed of scribe.

Related Link: http://soviet.ie/index.php?/topic/133-mario-sousa-lies-...tsyn/
author by Matt Treacypublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 14:53Report this post to the editors

The book is not 'supposed to be about the CPI'. It is about the CPI. And indeed is the most detailed account of the party based on primary sources to date. Mike Milotte wrote an excellent book in the 1980s but had nowhere near the access to sources now available. He too was subject to slanderous attacks and even a call for his book to be banned!

Of course the real reason that Stalinists hate people who write about their history is that like the neo-Nazis they need people to forget all the horrors that they were responsible for if they are ever to fool people into allowing them to commit them again.

Thankfully there is little hope of micro groups such as yourselves ever achieving either of those aims.

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 15:31Report this post to the editors

Once again, Mr. Tracy prefers to use his writing skills to expose his own private superstitions and pathologies. No doubt, one's own ego is the most interesting subject of them all - and a book about the CPI would be a boring task, if it did not offer the opportunity for self analysis and exposition.

One can feel Mr. Tracy's visceral hatred of Communism, in the way that the whole political philosophy is reduced to the name of one Communist leader - even if he was a great leader and a great Communist. And then Communism is spuriously held in metonymy with Nazism. An old trick of the Right. Not believed by anybody, of course, but it probably feels good to sling this mud. If Communists are the Nazis, then I, Matt, can't be.

But, at least, Matt has some honesty about him. We can credit him with that much. He openly states that the reason he wrote a slanderous book about the CPI is that he wants to make sure the Working Class will never dare to leave the straight and narrow of bourgeois ideology again. For if they do, the Stalinist Devil will bring them all down to hell.

And as a final self revelation, Matt uses the term "micro groups," a term loved by a certain gang of sell out traitors - and their British Crown Minister leader.

Related Link: http://soviet.ie/index.php?/topic/1971-did-adams-and-mc...-ann/
author by Gearoid O Loingsighpublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 16:20Report this post to the editors

I haven't read the book. It is not available on this side of the Atlantic. However, the debate, such as it is, tells me little of the content of the book. Slander and counter slander and then some shit about Joe Stalin being a great communist, drunken murdering hack more like it, and a murdering hack of real communists, I might add. I don't understand the debate. When I first came on the scene in the 1980s, I had heard about the CA and everyone just described it as a something that was a CP front for a long while. I suppose one day PBFP will be described as not being an SWP front.

I did read Mike Millote's book back in the 1980s. It was excellent. The stalinists didn't like it either. Imagine a party dissolving itself one and a half times, as the CP did in the Second World War. Their southern section just couldn't handle the twists and turns of Stalin's policy on the war. One day it was an imperialist war and the next an anti facist struggle, without the slightest change in the nature of the war happening. Just a change in Stalin's policy which was in fact forced upon him by the Nazis breaking the pact.

Yes, it is crude and stupid to equate Hitler with Stalin, but that doesn't make Joe an angel. He had by the time the war broke out murdered more communists than anyone else, he murdered practically the entire central committee of the revolution. Kollantai escaped being murdered as she was out of the country and bowed her head down.

A little more debate on the content of the book would be welcome. Normally when you read a debate you get some idea of the what it is about. Not so here, except for the ridiculous argument about the CP and the CA.

yes, some of you know me, so I expect the trotskyist fascist slander to come soon. What I don't expect is any enlightment in the area of debate.

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 17:51Report this post to the editors

A Ghearóid, I suppose the USSR should be allowed to call the war whatever it wanted - considering it was the USSR that was fighting it - while those on the other side of the Atlantic hid away in safety.

Related Link: http://soviet.ie/index.php?/topic/391-the-quest-for-the...0%9D/
author by fredpublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 19:26Report this post to the editors

Stalin didn't win the war. 20 million brave russians did. If anything the russian leadership happily sent millions of badly trained conscripts straight into the firing line with little consideration for their lives.

Their "great tactical leadership" was not what won, but strength in numbers, the cruel weather, and bravery of the average russian soldier.

If anything the brave russian soldiers won out in spite of their leaders utter carelessness with their lives.

As such Stalin and his ilk were little different to the incompetent upper class idiot english leaders who sent wave upon wave of young men needlessly to their deaths in the trenches of WWI

Save us all from such great "leaders". Psychopaths all.

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 19:45Report this post to the editors

You are right, Comrade Stalin didn't defeat the Nazis. The Glorious Red Army did. But, it is nonsense to say that Stalin lacked personal courage. When he was of military age, he was in the front line of the battle again Tsarism. He organized and took part in some of the most spectacular bank robberies, and hijacked ships, and even forced the Rothschilds to pay protection money to the party. All the time, Stalin lived in poverty, passing every penny to the party. He suffered jail and exile to Siberia.

Even when the Nazis were on the outskirts of Moscow, Stalin stayed at his desk. He could have been killed at any moment. Indeed, his position was one where he could have been murdered by internal enemies at any time. It may be that he was assassinated. There were certainly suspicions about Beria.

You are wrong to say that the Red Army won because of numbers alone. The battle of Kursk showed the strategic competence of the Soviet generals - as did the siege of Stalingrad. Comrade Stalin was wise enough to allow the generals to do their job. Stalin provided the Soviet people and the Red Army with the icon of invincible Soviet power.

I would advise anybody who is interested in getting past the layers of bourgeois lies, and finding out something about Comrade Stalin and his noble struggle, to listen to this fine address from Harpel Brar of the Proletarian Communist Party of Great Britain.

Related Link: http://soviet.ie/index.php?/topic/2505-in-defense-of-co...alin/
author by Matt Treacypublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 20:43Report this post to the editors

Book is available through Amazon, not sure about book shops yet.

Yes, there is concerted attempt to derail any debate about the book, as there was about Milotte's book 20 years ago. A certain hero even called for it to be banned.

As for this other creature, he is a caricature. Sounds like some demented bedsit prosecutor from the Moscow trials.

Probably has one of his teddy bears taking my part as he screams that I am a Trotskyite/Provo/Zionist/Japanese/Vatican spy.

Sad mirror image of the losers who join neo-Nazi groups. Pursuing some wierd fantasy of being part of something beyond their own sad little existence.

The Communist Party of the Irish Republic :-)

author by Gearoid O Loingsighpublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 22:31Report this post to the editors

It is not just a question of what they called it. They mobilised their people in other countries first in opposition to the war and then in favour of it. Politically it led to the dissolution of the CP in the south. Saw people in the US such as folk singers like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie call for opposition to the war and then later, particularly when the US entered it, they even wrote songs telling workers not to go on strike, that they were in alliance with the bourgeoise. I kid you not. I happen to be very fond of popular music and have copies of the songs. That is what a difference it made. It wasn't just a name, workers living conditions and rights were sacrificed just cause it suited Joe and his so called Socialism in One Country.

The Spanish Civil War which was a war against fascism was described as a war for democracy, as they were in alliance with bourgeois elements and didn't seek to overthrow capitalism in Spain. Workers were sacrificed again. BUt as I said the debate should be about the content of the book. a few quotes from it, saying what is wrong with it (which could for all I know be everything) and what is right with it which again could be everything. I do not know, and if the "debate" continues along these lines I will never know. Were it more informative I could take a position.

As for calling for the banning of books,not sure whether that is Treacy's book or Milottes, well Stalinist are good at that. Fortunately, it also seems they haven't lost their touch at archiving either.

author by Bill OBrienpublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 22:35Report this post to the editors

Matt when are you going write the book on how Catholic nationalism took of the republican movement in the 1960s,it's an essential story that has to be told, and that your background, prejudices, political view, working in the Lions mouth of Catholic Irish nationalism, there is no one better placed.You have all this information,so get on with the job and don't let somebody else to take up.Catholic nationalism destroyed Republicans and Ireland at the same time, how can you not see that.

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 22:58Report this post to the editors

Don't worry Matt, your book is bound to become a classic of the Right - if it even gets into the shops...

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Tue Feb 26, 2013 23:22Report this post to the editors

A Ghearóid, a chara, you are being strangely unrealistic. Of course the USSR opposed war. Why would it be in favour of war? It even signed the Molotov - Ribbentrop Agreement to try and prevent war. The prospect of 20 million Soviet citizens dead, and years of Soviet progress destroyed was something to be avoided, if at all possible. I can't imagine why you are condemning the USSR for being against war.

When Nazi Germany attacked, then there was no choice. All forces had to be mobilized. That included alliance with bourgeois forces, which were in many ways, just as bad as the Nazis. We know that Churchill condemned four million Bengalis to needlessly starve to death in 1944. A recent book shows that he did it out of pure racist hatred. Its easy for you to moralise, but Hitler's plans weren't just about smashing Communism. They were about reducing the whole Slavic peoples to a slave race. He wrote that he hoped to do to the Slavs what the USA had done to the Native American. Choosing one's allies was not a luxury available to the USSR.

As for the Spanish civil war, are you suggesting that the USSR should have stayed out of it? Yes, the Republicans had a bourgeois ideology - as they generally have in Ireland - but, again, the price of allowing a Fascist \ Nazi victory were catastrophic. I think even the Brits and the French came to realise this - too late.

Nobody has called for the banning of Mr. Tracy's book. Indeed, any banning seems to be on the part of the capitalist book shops, who see no profit in it. Mr. Tracy is trying to turn himself into a maryr for free speech. But, nobody is buying his nonsense. Sadly, Communists in Ireland are too weak to be considered of any much interest to the book buying public. It is only only a poor "demented bedsit prosecutor from the Moscow trials," like myself, that takes any interest in Mr. Tracy or his efforts.

Below is a review of a book which gives details of the Bengali genocide and Churchill's part in causing it.

Related Link: http://soviet.ie/index.php?/topic/2694-churchill-condem...1944/
author by Matt Treacypublication date Wed Feb 27, 2013 08:12Report this post to the editors

There is a good bit of stuff on the CP and the volte face regarding the war. Would be amusing were it not so tragic, involving as it did a two year alliance with the Nazis at the cost of numerous lives including those of CP members handed over to the Germans and over a million deported to the camps from Poland and the Baltic states.

I also refer to Pete Seeger and the Almanac Singers who had released an 'anti-imperialist war' album - "Songs for John Doe", just weeks before the invasion of the Soviet Union and while the Nazi alliance was still in place. After June 1941 they asked anyone who had bought it to destroy it! They then released a pro-war album 'Dear Mr. President' celebrating the alliance with FDR :-) Bit of a joke really and summed up earlier in Friedland's classic 'Oh My Darling Party Line.'

Don't worry, DD, book is selling well and will be in most Irish shops in next few weeks. Already sold more than the book in OP which certain people attempted to have withdrawn.

author by Felix Quigley - www.4international.mepublication date Wed Feb 27, 2013 08:35Report this post to the editors

@ Matt Treacy

"He had to write a self-criticism to be allowed back into CPI. It is in their archive and is dealt with in the book. Neil remained an ultra Stalinist and wrote two pamplets after 1956 attacking Khruschev and Trotskyism before returning to Moscow. Sad individual."

If only to cover the fate of this Irishman and the way that Stalinism twisted his brother's mind your book should stand the test of time. I will order and read it.

One of the books I have read Matt is "Trotsky" by Joseph Nedava. Not just by the interviews which Trotsky gave on his arrival or in transit to Mexico (but these interviews are most important too) is a stunning report of an interview given to a Russian socialist Zionist called Mrs Edelson.

This interview has been a centre piece of my political thinking over the past near on 30 years.

I have been asserting that Trotsky was for the setting up of the Jewish state which became Israel. This has been suppressed as has the clear support for Zionism by Martin Luther King who warns that those who attack Zionism are really attacking Jews, in other words are Antisemitic.

The interview is a clear proof that Trotsky was making a huge development in his thinking. Towards the Jews he was rejecting the previous Marxist position towards the Jews of "assimilation" and was working towards the Jews as a Nation.

And this did not apply just towards the Jews either. It had universal significance.

But Trotsky would never let go of the centrality of the working class which formed the essence of his Permanent Revolution which he had developed along with Parvus.

But the national question was not to be pigeon holed, that is the emphasis here..

The opposition of Trotsky to every step and deviation that the Stalin group was taking is legendary. Again supressed by the Stalinists and with the disintegration of the Leftists such as SWP even more so.

A Jewish friend a few years ago visited an elderly far relative from the area of Poland. When my friend raised the name of Trotsky this old time socialist from Eastern Europe at once became very animated. According to my friend this was quite dramatic.

Stalin had to move gradually against Trotsky such was the power of the 1917 Revolution and the way the memory lived on.

It is MOST likely as you suggest that this Irish brother of the Irish Trotskyist (perhaps he was not formally so but we will claim him and thanks for your wonderful research) would have also been killed by Stalin because after all through your obviously wonderful book that memory is living on. In this case the power of the pen is mightier than murderers.

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Wed Feb 27, 2013 20:05Report this post to the editors

I'm so happy to hear that your book is making you a few quid, Matt. I had visions of it joining Gerry Adams' books in the bargain bins.

However, is is not strange that an Adamsite would be condemning anyone for a volte face? Gerry has so many faces you wouldn't know which one he was turning to you from minute to minute.

I also find it strange that you would condemn the USSR for making a deal with the Nazis, to prevent 20 million Soviet citizens being killed - while PSF considered it necessary to actually join the genocidal British imperialist regime, to prevent less than a hundred people a year being killed. This is particularly so, given that the killing could have stopped if PIRA had simply dumped arms - no need for actually joining the enemy camp. This was a luxury that the USSR did not have.

As for the singers you mention, at least they were not such a pathetic spectacle as we are treated to at PSF fund raising functions, with some band belting out songs about the good old days - before we poured concrete over our weapons.

But, at least, Matt, you have one fan on indymedia. Good old Felix Quiqley, who seems to be quite an excellent critic. He fully grasps the tone and function of your book. It is always good for a writer to feel understood.

Related Link: http://soviet.ie/index.php?/topic/1971-did-adams-and-mc...-ann/
author by Matt Treacypublication date Wed Feb 27, 2013 20:35Report this post to the editors

Did the 'Ra not let you in :-)

author by Bill OBrienpublication date Thu Feb 28, 2013 08:14Report this post to the editors

Interesting remark you made there Matt "Did the 'Ra not let you in" did they let you in, then on the other hand there are those who say the Provo Ra were not, or are not the Ra any more. Hard to keep up with the changing gymnastics of Catholic nationalism.Matt isn't it time to start concentrating on the present, you're obscure notions of the past and your infatuation with Stalinism that is sadly no longer around and allows multinational capital to be so aggressive.Will future historians reflect on the contribution that you think you making and say that generation of Catholic nationalists were more concerned about what went on in the Spanish Civil War ,the Soviet union,then making a serious contribution, on the times they lived in and what went on me immediately before that.Is it because Sinn Fein and now in hand with the Queen of England's and a multinational company Caterpillar that they can't face the present.

author by Matt Treacypublication date Thu Feb 28, 2013 09:28Report this post to the editors

Bill, I hardly think that the present or indeed the future can include your 'sadly no longer' existing Stalinism.

It is interesting, and worrying, that the further the crimes of Stalinism recede into the past the more some people on the left become nostalgic for it. Former Stalinist parties have moved from an initial positon of "oh well of course there were mistakes" to one where many, if not most of them, now openly celebrate what happened.

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Thu Feb 28, 2013 13:20Report this post to the editors

Poor Matt seems to be under the impression that Communists are upset by his book. Far from it. It is a sign that we are finally getting our act together when right wing hacks feel the need to slander us. After a very bleak period, the world is finding its courage again. In Ireland, we have genuine Republican organizations growing in strength, and pushing the Good Native Uncle Gerrys out of Working Class areas. Republican Communists are organizing to make sure the philosophy of James Connolly - and not the big pig farmers and builders - will be the philosophy of our National Struggle. Keep you attacks and slanders coming - they are music to our ears.

The only sad thing is that with the amount of time and effort you put into this book, you could have written something worthwhile, and gained yourself a reputation as a historian, rather than as an anti-Communist.

Related Link: http://soviet.ie/index.php?/topic/133-mario-sousa-lies-...tsyn/
author by Felix Quigley - www.4international.mepublication date Thu Feb 28, 2013 13:51Report this post to the editors

In response to the above I welcome this book by Matt Treacy because I want the issue thoroughly opened up. Bourgeois research is of extreme importance. The working class has no culture (Lenin What is to be done?)

From this the method is sadly too clear:

as in..."I also find it strange that you would condemn the USSR for making a deal with the Nazis, to prevent 20 million Soviet citizens being killed - while PSF considered it necessary to actually join the genocidal British imperialist regime, to prevent less than a hundred people a year being killed."

There are some things about this method:

1. There is deflection...we are not talking about PSF here AT ALL!

2. The writer is a little dim. The alliance of Stalin with the Nazis actually cost 20million Russian lives and millions of Jews.

3. Did it give Stalin time to prepare? No the opposite. He bought into the alliance totally and was dumbfounded when the Nazis attacked. He was such a dangerous fool at all levels.

As for "good old" I am not so old and am in great health and in fine fighting form.

As for "fred" who attacked me above who are YOU Fred I do not know you OR WHO YOU REPRESENT.

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Thu Feb 28, 2013 16:39Report this post to the editors

As I said Felix, you show quite a talent for literary critique. You are fully correct to regard Matt's attitudes and efforts as bourgeois.

But, perhaps your memory is not too good - despite your youth. It was Matt who introduced PSF into this discussion, by introducing specialized Adamsite terminology.

Your talents as a student of history may not be too good either. It's compete nonsense to suggest that the Molotov - Ribbentrop Pact cost Soviet lives. Lets not forget that Britain and the USA were busy financing the Nazi arms industry through their banks. For the USSR to have started a war with Germany in August 1939 would have meant, in effect, going to war with Germany plus the financial power of the USA and Britain (who were always delighted at the idea of Germany smashing the USSR.) At least, by the time Germany attacked the USSR, nearly two years later, in June 1941, Britain and the USA were available as half-hearted allies in the fight against Nazism - though they never gave up their hope that Hitler really would destroy the USSR, and destroy himself in the process. That's why they delayed opening the Western Front till the last moment. D-Day was about stopping the Red Army getting to Paris - it had nothing to do with defeating Nazism.

I also dont agree that Stalin did not prepare for war. This is a bourgeois distortion. In fact, he did prepare, by liquidating bourgeois influence and mentality in the Red Army, and by continuing the great task of building Soviet industrial power.

Related Link: http://soviet.ie/index.php?/topic/391-the-quest-for-the...0%9D/
author by fredpublication date Thu Feb 28, 2013 21:35Report this post to the editors

Felix

I didn't attack you (though you do ask for it on occasion by your unwavering support for zionism! ;-). No, I attacked the notion that Joe Stalin or any of the other "great leaders" deserve any credit for saving us all from the Nazi's. Millions of brave russian men and women "achieved" that in spite of their leaders carelessness with their lives. But what did they really "achieve"? Was it really worth it?

As I stated, their leadership was comparable to those upper class twit English "leaders" and officers in WWI who sent waves of young men needlessly to their deaths through complete negligence and incompetence.

Luckily there were a few good military officers in the soviet army or it might have been even worse!

Stalin was just another paranoid psychopath. No better than any other dictator. German, English, Russian, Chinese, American or otherwise. Such "great leaders" are mostly just egotistical psychopaths.

And It is commonly believed that Hitler could probably have won against the russians if he had listened to his generals and kept his forces together. Instead in his arrogance, he split his forces in two, thus sentencing them to death. And millions of russians alongside them.

All such leaders lead, often incompetently, from the rear. Obama, Bush, Hitler, Stalin.

However, the fact is, once a war ends, whatever side wins has to run society. What real difference would it have made in the long run?. In our case, Germany still owns our asses anyway. But perhaps if they won they might have made the effort to build some more public trains here and made them run on time.

if russia just surrendered, would the nazis have still killed 20 million russians?

What would have happened after a nazi victory in WWII?

Would it have really resulted in many more deaths and more of a prison planet than we have anyway under the likes of the US "war on terror"

Who really knows?

It's certainly clear that a life under Saddam or Gadaffi was no worse than the "democracy" brought by "liberators". In fact it was considerably better for the most part. At his most prolific, It would have taken Saddam at least 250 years to kill as many Iraqis as the americans did in liberating them. Personally I'd only have given him another 20 years or so before all the rich food got him.

Perhaps life would have been better under Nazi rule once all countries ended up on the same side with nobody else left to fight? Once war is over, one still has to govern.

All I know is these fevered egos make war on each other and people get dragged along. Does it really matter which one of them wins or loses?. Either way we ordinary folk seem to get the same shitty deal. Work your life away day in day out to barely manage to feed, clothe and house your family, while a privileged few benefit.

We all need to stop listening to and giving power and respect to sociopathic / psychopathic nutjobs who lead us into wars and conflict.

And in case people think that all that doesn't really involve or affect Ireland, well look at the huge rise in economic conscripts joining the british army and our governments decision to send soldiers to Mali, Chad and Afghanistan, plus the lack of commercial fees being paid by US military aircraft landing in Shannon on their way to slaughter brown people in the middle east, and the demonising of protests against same.

We're still giving these kinds of people our tacit support.

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Fri Mar 01, 2013 00:06Report this post to the editors

Fred, maybe you dont know, but Hitler specifically said he wanted to do to the Slav what the Anglo-Saxon had done to the Native American. So, I don't think just surrendering was an option for any Slav.

author by Felix Quigley - www.4international.mepublication date Fri Mar 01, 2013 08:44Report this post to the editors

Mattn wrote above:

"It is interesting, and worrying, that the further the crimes of Stalinism recede into the past the more some people on the left become nostalgic for it. Former Stalinist parties have moved from an initial positon of "oh well of course there were mistakes" to one where many, if not most of them, now openly celebrate what happened. "

That definitely sums up this new grouping in Dublin.

If ever there were distorters of history this is it.

There was a way to defend Russia from the Nazis and that was for the revolutionary communists to face up to the reality of what was Fascism, to listen carefully to what Hitler was saying, to explain this in plain language to the Russian workers and people as a whole, and to prepare their forces knowing full well that a promise from Hitler was pure deceit.

THE PACT:

Text of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact

The Government of the German Reich and The Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics desirous of strengthening the cause of peace between Germany and the U.S.S.R., and proceeding from the fundamental provisions of the Neutrality Agreement concluded in April, 1926 between Germany and the U.S.S.R., have reached the following Agreement:

Article I. Both High Contracting Parties obligate themselves to desist from any act of violence, any aggressive action, and any attack on each other, either individually or jointly with other Powers.

Article II. Should one of the High Contracting Parties become the object of belligerent action by a third Power, the other High Contracting Party shall in no manner lend its support to this third Power.

Article III. The Governments of the two High Contracting Parties shall in the future maintain continual contact with one another for the purpose of consultation in order to exchange information on problems affecting their common interests.

Article IV. Should disputes or conflicts arise between the High Contracting Parties shall participate in any grouping of Powers whatsoever that is directly or indirectly aimed at the other party.

Article V. Should disputes or conflicts arise between the High Contracting Parties over problems of one kind or another, both parties shall settle these disputes or conflicts exclusively through friendly exchange of opinion or, if necessary, through the establishment of arbitration commissions.

Article VI. The present Treaty is concluded for a period of ten years, with the proviso that, in so far as one of the High Contracting Parties does not advance it one year prior to the expiration of this period, the validity of this Treaty shall automatically be extended for another five years.

Article VII. The present treaty shall be ratified within the shortest possible time. The ratifications shall be exchanged in Berlin. The Agreement shall enter into force as soon as it is signed.

[The section below was not published at the time the above was announced.]

Secret Additional Protocol.

Article I. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement in the areas belonging to the Baltic States (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the northern boundary of Lithuania shall represent the boundary of the spheres of influence of Germany and U.S.S.R. In this connection the interest of Lithuania in the Vilna area is recognized by each party.

Article II. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement of the areas belonging to the Polish state, the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. shall be bounded approximately by the line of the rivers Narev, Vistula and San.

The question of whether the interests of both parties make desirable the maintenance of an independent Polish States and how such a state should be bounded can only be definitely determined in the course of further political developments.

In any event both Governments will resolve this question by means of a friendly agreement.

Article III. With regard to Southeastern Europe attention is called by the Soviet side to its interest in Bessarabia. The German side declares its complete political disinteredness in these areas.

Article IV. This protocol shall be treated by both parties as strictly secret.

Moscow, August 23, 1939.

For the Government of the German Reich v. Ribbentrop

Plenipotentiary of the Government of the U.S.S.R. V. Molotov

END QUOTE

I have placed this here because this grouping in Dublin is so fast at changing its position, from one unessential to the next.

This is why good researchers in the present on this issue are so important.

I have not read the book yet by Matt Treacy but it is clear that he deals in his book withactual events, as transmitted through the actual documents of the Irish Stalinist Movement.

this has got to be a strength. It matters little the actual political leanings of the writer. What matters is whether his research is sound.

The world is now filled with writers whose research is lies. We will see. But at least it is necessary to deal with that research.

When one brings up here an issue there is an immediate deflection. That is why I await the book by Matt and will read it with interest.

So I will finish here with this quote from leon Trotsky:

"The war in Spain, you see, is not a war for socialism but rather a war against fascism. In the war against fascism, it is impermissible to engage in such adventures as the seizure of factories and land. Only the friends of fascism are capable of proposing such plans. And so forth and so on. Historical events obviously exercise no sway over people who live in the kingdom of cheap newspaper copy.

Mr. León is unaware that the same umbrella was used in their operations by the Russian Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries (the party of Kerensky). They never tired of repeating that the Russian Revolution was “democratic” and not socialist; that in a war with Germany, which was menacing the young democratic republic, any attempt to engage in such adventures as the expropriation of the means of production was to give aid to Hohenzollern. And inasmuch as there were not a few scoundrels among them, they also asserted that the Bolsheviks did all this for some secret reason...."

END QUOTE

http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1939/03/spain02.htm

In the land of the Stalinists...The more things change the more they remain the same

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:35Report this post to the editors

Thank you for posting details of the Molotov - Ribbentrop Pact. It certainly was quite a good deal for the USSR, which bought the USSR two years, during which time US and British finance, for the most part - but by no means completely - deserted the Nazi Party.

Certainly, if you compare it with the GFA, which concedes the Irish position on every single topic, it was an excellent deal.

It is ridiculous for you to suggest that the Communist Party did not tell the Proletariat to prepare for war. The Proletariat was constantly preparing for war - since 1917. There was never a time when they weren't under capitalist attack - from both inside and outside. Comrade Stalin constantly told the Revolutionary Proletariat of the urgent need to increase and expand production - particularly in heavy industry. So much so, that by 1941, Germany simply didn't have enough industrial output capacity to actually defeat the USSR - particularly if the USSR could depend on some level of additional supplies from the USA.

I think you also forget that there was a commercial agreement, singed in parallel with the Pact, which gave the USSR a loan, at very good terms, of 200 million Reichsmarks to buy German industrial equipment, and allowed the USSR to buy another 120 million Reichsmarks of industrial goods. Without a doubt, this influx of top quality German equipment and machinery greatly helped the USSR to prepare its industry for future war. Indeed, during the war, the Red Army had almost fully mechanized supply chains, while the Germans were still using horses in many cases.

Besides which, the USSR did try to negotiate an alliance with France, Britain and Poland, before it signed the deal with Germany. The French were clearly not serious, the British seemed to have been serious, but could realistically put very little in the field when it came to defending Poland from a German invasion. The Polish ruling class showed themselves to be complete messers. They refused to allow the Red Army onto Polish soil, i.e. they refused to let the only army that could actually defend them - defend them. Given that the USSR could not depend on Britain, France or Poland, the only realistic option was to cut a deal with Germany itself.

That being the case, it was not at all inevitable that Germany would attack the USSR in 1941. There were far better places for Germany to invade - such as the Arabian Gulf and Iraq, with their vast oil deposits and very light defense by an already defeated and demoralized British army. With these oil resources, Germany would have been unbeatable in Western Europe, and could then think seriously about an invasion of the USSR.

Here is a very interesting article on the topic.

Related Link: http://soviet.ie/index.php?/topic/2766-a-germany-soviet...ison/
author by Matt Treacypublication date Sat Mar 02, 2013 22:00Report this post to the editors

You must not actually understand what happened in 1939.

Stalin made an alliance with a regime that he foolishly trusted to abide by the terms of the Pact that meant that he would take the Baltic states and half of Poland.

You are correct in saying that the Nazis always intended to move east. Stalin obviously hoped Germans would become bogged down in WWI type war in the west. Instead, Stalin gave them opportunity to win the war in the west. Had that happened and had Hitler not turned east it was all over. US would not have intervened if Europe had fallen.

There was no genius behind the Pact.

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Sun Mar 03, 2013 01:58Report this post to the editors

Matt, you should know that Stalin trusted nobody, least of all Hitler. As for Stalin giving Germany the opportunity to win the war in the West, this is nonsense. As I said above, the USSR was willing to enter into an alliance with France, Britain and Poland, but they found the French and the Polish to be idiots, and the British incapable. That being the case, you can hardly imagine that the USSR was going to start a war against Germany. The only option was to make a deal, and hope it lasted for as long as possible. As I said, if Hitler hadn't been so idiotic, he would have invaded the Arabian Gulf and Iraq, and got all the oil he wanted - at very little cost to himself. Its all the more surprising that he didn't, given that German efforts to source oil from Iraq had been a cause of WW1, and Hitler was very fond of settling old scores from WW1.

Of course there was no genius behind the pact. It was the best of a very bad situation. Below is an interesting article on the Berlin to Baghdad railway project and Britain's reaction to it in the early 1900s.

Related Link: http://soviet.ie/index.php?/topic/2774-oil-and-the-orig...0%99/
author by Felix Quigley - www.4international.mepublication date Sun Mar 03, 2013 08:37Report this post to the editors

On September 26 2012 a Mr Brian Clarke NUJ introduced an article on the Holocaust like this:

"Irish writer Brendan Behan said that “other people have a nationality; the Irish and Jews have a psychosis”

.http://www.indymedia.ie/article/102497?userlanguage=en&...=true

So according to Clarke the Holocaust for the Jews is a "psychosis"...Really!

Apart from the issue of Antisemitism which is so prevalent in the Irish "leftists" today ... These are certain points in this discussion that need clarification:

1.Was the entry tactic of Greaves et al into the Irish Republican Movement in the 1960s a secret affair? If it was that is a complete break with the United Front strategy of the Second Congress of the Comintern. So not at all an idle issue.

2. The role of Stalin in relation to the Revolution BEFORE Lenin returned to Russia and issued the April Thesis

3. The role of Stalin in the Civil War

4. The role of Stalin towards nationalities, echoed in the insulting language towards the Polish people used by Irish Stalinists today on this thread.

5. The role of Stalin in the death of Lenin (suspected of poisoning)

6. Sickness of Trotsky at time of death of Lenin. Advice to Trotsky re the date of the funeral

7. Urgent need for Revolution to spread...role of Stalin in Germany in 1923

8. Urgent need for Revolution to spread...role of Stalin in the British General Strike of 1926

9. Urgent need for Revolution to spread...role of Stalin in the Chinese events of 1927

10. Urgent need for Revolution to spread...how a series of international defeats led to the serious revisionism of Marxism in the development of "socialism in one country"

Out of that pernicious revision there developed what became known as the Popular Front which was an alliance with the Bourgeoisie of whatever country, case in point France 1930s, case in point, The Spanish Revolution (Spain is the most graphic example of the crimes of Stalinism. the Stalinist polioce simply assasinated the Anarchist and other left wing leaders (like Nin who by the way was not a Trotskyist as is often alleged)

(As I await Matt's book to arrive from Amazon I hope that he has dealt with Spain because it was in Spain that the son of the Stalinist Caridad mercader, one Ramon Mercader, was recruited and trained so that the events which were to lead to the most foul murder of leon Trotsky in Mexico in 1940 were set in place. All of this is of the same cloth. Matt has indeed touched on a huge subject. However having said that any research he has brought forward is of extreme value).

The assasination of the Communist leadership of the October Revolution seen against the need to preserve the Popular Front and the Alliance of Stalin with Imperialism

Even with that most bloodthirsty of all Imperialisms, the Nazis

Yes folks the Stalinists have been there. The Stalinists have done it all!!!

And underpinning all of this has been the growing Antisemitism of Stalin, remembering that this first raised its head inside the Bolsheviks in the struggle against Trotsky and the Left Opposition in the 1926 period (letter of Trotsky to Bakhunin)

Remember Poland (inside a couple of years) was to became the killing ground for the Jews and the Holocaust of the Jews, so cruelly denigrated by Clarke (labelling himself "NUJ")above.

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Sun Mar 03, 2013 13:35Report this post to the editors

Again, Felix, you have admitted that the reason that you and your sort slander Communism is that you want to frighten the Working Class into submission to bourgeois genocide. I won't work. We won't be cowered by your fake outrage at our valiant resistance. Specially when we see 25,000 children dying every single day from drinking dirty water, due to capitalism. This is an ongoing Holocaust that you and your sort rarely mention.

During the 20th century, the poor dared to stand up on their feet, as men and women. They dared to face down the system of genocide that you and Matt work so hard to maintain. The time is coming when the millions and the tens of millions will rise up again.

Before his heroic martyrdom, Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi declared the Sacred Marching of the Wretched of the Earth. It has already begun.

Related Link: http://soviet.ie/index.php?/topic/1139-col-muammar-al-g...y4489
author by Felix Quigley - www.4international.mepublication date Mon Mar 04, 2013 09:13Report this post to the editors

You write absurdly:

"Again, Felix, you have admitted that the reason that you and your sort slander Communism is that you want to frighten the Working Class into submission to bourgeois genocide."

Really! How can people in Dublin write that sort of stuff and not be laughed out of town!

I do not slander communism, rather I defend communism, and the urgent need for the working class to take power. How can I make that plainer?

I also defended Ben Ali, Mubarak, Gaghbo and Muammar Gadhafi UNCONDITIONALLY against the Muslim Brotherhood promoted by Obama and Western Imperialism.

What I am raising are historical facts and there is much deflection from your Stalinist grouping, as Matt Treacy also has found.

I am especially concerned about your position on the Spanish Civil War which is better called the Spanish Revolution.

Many good revolutionaries died there at the hands of the Stalinist regime which was set up in Barcelona and Madrid in order to liquidate the SOCIAL Revolution. This included Anarchists, Socialists, Poumists and Trotskyists, taken off the streets, found later with a bullet in the head.

Stalin in 1936 was desparate that there would not be a successful socialist revolution in Spain. This he reckoned would cause the other European regimes to gang up against Stalin and the Soviet Union. His answer, decapitate the socialist revolutionary leadership. THAT was Popular Frontism!

As Matt has well pointed out this was all of a part with the Moscow Trials where historical and great socialist leaders were condemned and murdered by Stalin.

So the prospects for socialist revolution was being sacrificed for the sake of defending the Stalinist bureaucracy.

You can see immediately from this that while many socialists, anarchists and Poumists fell to the assasin in Spain ... the real opposite or challenge to Stalin came from the Trotskyists and especially more specifically from the perspective of the Trotskyists. The Poum for example grew at an astounding speed at one point but were not Trotskyists and betrayed. The perspective for working class power was real.

And in these years when the Stalinists were murdering the Spanish Revolution they were also liquidating the Trotskyist cadre (Wolf, Klement and of course Trotsky's son in Paris) in Europe.

Meanwhile the weak and naive Trotskyist Sylvia Agelof had come to Paris as a secretary to a Trotskyist Conference and was being tracked by Stalinist agents. Machinations were in place where she was introduced to Mercader who was then going under a different name and in my opinion at every stage smelt to high heaven.

The intricate and cunning plot was being played out which was to lead to the crime of the century where the leader with Lenin of the only socialist revolution, Leon Trotsky, was to be assasinated. Not at all an old man (that is another slander) and if he had lived would have had surely an ENORMOUS influence, especially post 1945. Surely revisionists like Grant and Healy, or indeed you and your pathetic group, would never have got under way the way they did.

For one thing the gross Antisemitism that now pervades the leftists movement would either not have happened or would have been severely challenged.

These were the real socialists, anarchists and communists, who wanted to have the workers and peasants of Spain take the power into their own hands, and thereby establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, a dictatorship whose aim was to destroy Franco and all he stood for. That is the perspective, the real perspective, that challenges the nihilism of Orwell.

The Stalinists have been the greatest curse on mankind because they have been a curse on the workers movement and on the perspective for working class power, and a new beginning for mankind, without which we will have intensifying CAPITALIST barbarity. Yes indeed that is the real lesson for the western capitalists not only assasinating Muammar Gadhafi, but also deposing Ben Ali, Mubarak, Gaghbo AND Slobodan Milosevic. We are descending into barbarism under capitalism in its death agony, and in liquidating the Spanish Revolution the Stalinists (NOT COMMUNISTS) HAVE LAID THE BASIS FOR THAT. That is the real lesson of the murder of Gadhafi. Gadhafi was opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood, because essentially just like Nasser he was a secular leader. Nasser tried to talk to Qutb the Islamist ideologue and refounder of the Muslim Brotherhood but found there was no talking with Allah and he had him hung. The great lesson of the Arab (so called) Spring is that decaying capitalism, especially Obama and Cameron, promoted that form of barbarity, the Muslim Brotherhood.

And so we are posed in Ireland today with the need for the working class to be independent of bourgeois thought 9reformism) and to understand that capitalism cannot be RE FORMED.

It must be ended and a hundred years after the Dublin Lockout the workers of Ireland must band together and create a leadership that will destroy capitalism in Ireland.

But what kind of party? What kind of leadership is needed in Ireland today? Not yours which defends Stalin in his destruction of the historic socialist revolution in Spain all those years ago, and which murdered Leon Trotsky, his son Sedov, Klement and Wolf, and so many others. Are you trying to wipe THAT stain from your history? Really!

author by An Drighneán Donn - Páirtí Cummanach na Poblachtapublication date Mon Mar 04, 2013 18:39Report this post to the editors

Felix, a chara, I'm very glad to hear that you supported Colonel al-Gaddafi unconditionally against the Zionist Spring - as any real Socialist or Communist did. But, would you explain to me why groups that claim to follow Trotsky, such as the SWP and the SP, actually supported the racist lynch mobs in Libya, and the sectarian gangs in Syria. Particularly when the founder of the SWP, Tony Cliff, very rightly called the Muslim Brotherhood a Fascist gang, under the control of MI6, and when Trotsky wrote:

'll make the simplest and most striking example. Brazil is dominated by a semi-fascist regime to which every revolutionary can not treat differently, than with hatred.

Assume, however, that tomorrow England enters into a military conflict with Brazil.

I ask you, whose side will be in this conflict the world working class? Answer for myself: I will in this case be on the side of "Fascist" Brazil against "democratic" Great Britain.

Why? Because the conflict between them will not be about democracy and fascism. If England wins, she will plant in Rio de Janeiro some other fascist to impose a double chain on Brazil. Conversely, if Brazil wins, it will give a mighty impulse to national and democratic consciousness of the country and lead to the overthrow of the Vargas dictatorship. The defeat of England will cause at the same time a blow to British imperialism and will give an impetus to the revolutionary movement of the British proletariat.

You need to have a truly empty head, to reduce global antagonisms and military conflicts to the struggle between fascism and democracy. Under all masks one must be able to distinguish between the exploiters, slaveholders and predators!

Interview with Mateo Fossa 26 sept. 1938

Of course, the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was anything but a fascist state. It was one of the most progressive states in Africa, and certainly in the Arabic speaking world. But, Trotsky's point is clear. By supporting Nato's puppet rebels, the SWP and SP have not supported democracy or Socialism. They have supported the dictatorship of a thousands militia gangs - most of them with the most obscurantist ideologies - and the transfer of Libya's natural resources into imperialist control. As many predicted, the destruction of Libya has been catastrophic for all of North Africa. Indeed, all of Africa has been robbed of the benefit of Libya's oil money - which was being used to build roads, communications systems, hospitals and schools all over Africa. Now it will go to line the pockets of a few oil companies and their comprador puppets - who are daily becoming more and more dependent on US special forces for their personal safety. It was one of the complaints of the racist rebels that Al Gaddafi was "wasting" their money on "lazy, good-for-nothing Black people." Now, they are finding that they have less of the oil money than when the rest of Africa also got its share.

The greedy Libyan compradors - just like the Irish comprador class - have no intention of sharing anything. Their only thought is how to strip the Libyan Working Class of all the protections they enjoyed in the Jamahiriya. As one bourgeois journal wrote "the Libyan worker was one of the most protected in the world, and is ill prepared for competition." Well, we all know what "competition" means - the ending of jobs for life, the founding of a low paid, temp work, regime, and the stripping of the Working Class of any sense of material security.

Further quotations from Trotsky on this issue can be found at the link below.

Related Link: http://soviet.ie/index.php?/topic/85-leon-trotsky-blast...yria/
author by Felix Quigley - www.4international.mepublication date Tue Mar 05, 2013 07:46Report this post to the editors

The issue is contained in Matt's book. Spain is one of the seminal issues of our period and its effects are in Europe today.

You write:

"against the Zionist Spring "

Zionism is the national movement of the Jews, with similarities to Irish nationalism.

The idea that Zionists are behind the Arab Spring does not make sense. The main body of Israeli opinion at all levels have feared this from the very beginning and its results show Israel being surrounded by Jew Hating nations more and more under the sway of the Muslim Brotherhood.

What is to gain for a country half the size of Ulster to be facing so many enemies on all sides?

Your group actually has more in common with the SWP than I do because you are both driven by a hatred of Israel.

(Note there were American Jews in favour of the war on Saddam and the war on Gadhafi, the war on Assad etc., but people must be careful here, these are really American Imperialists in every way. I urge Israel to break from these and in fact many Jews who are extremely nationalistic hate these American Jews, especially those who support Obama)

There is in fact on the left an accomodation to Islam and Sharia. This represents the total disintegration of the left.

the lies of the Arabs about "Palestine" have been part of the left, taken up by all including Healy, wsws.org, and by yourself. like a virus.

That is my central point. Trotsky was proposing the setting up of the Jewish state and was urging all Jews to leave the murder fields of EUROPE and since all countries had closed their borders to the Jews to make their way to Palestine.

THAT was a major major break in stale and wrong Marxist theory and tradition, (Trotsky was saying) that Jews were a nation and needed their independence.

At the same time Trotsky was urging Ukrainian Independence. It was a major development and only being formed in his mind, as was his approach to the war.

Stalinism ended that by murdering him.

The real assasin was Stalin. Ramon Mercader the Spaniard and Catalonian was to have a cushy time in a Mexican jail, and after he was released in 1960 he made his way to Cuba, then to Russia, where he was awarded the highest medal. He spent most of his last years in Cuba.

The assasination of Leon Trotsky was forgotten about.

Tony Cliff, Healy, Grant (with Trotsky murdered) then moved into Antisemitism, where your group clearly is.

I doubt if Matt has covered this. That is what I meant..his and all serious and honest research is most valuable to humanity because it seeks the truth. It will not be the whole truth but it is honest research which is all we want at this stage.

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