Other than its inherent sense of (religiously inspired) self-righteousness, hypocrisy and general air of redundancy, I have nothing against bourgeois history-making per se. Of course, this mode of story-telling cannot be trusted at the point of contact – as it a priori pursues the agenda of demonising Scientific Socialism and extolling the predatory capitalist system. Moreover, the considerable forces of bourgeois history-making (supported as it is by the mainstream publishing, media and entertainment industries) seeks to limit the scope of debate and the agency of free-thinking. This control of the human-mind is important for the capitalists as it ensures that bourgeois modes of interpretation and behaviour are replicated continuously from one generation to the next, and that the smooth running of predatory capitalism is not interrupted or otherwise compromised in any preventable manner. The message that bourgeois history-makers like to convey is that predatory capitalism is ‘inevitable’ like gravity, death and sun-light, etc.
This approach to history-making as effective as it obviously is, is nothing but a confidence trick, a mirage or distortion of the light. It is a method used by those who currently control society – to retain and strengthen that control over those who are subject to it. The majority of ordinary people are kept from being able to read properly (the first-line of bourgeois defence) – or, if working-class education is inevitable – to ‘think’ and ‘perceive’ reality in a manner that runs contrary to their own class best interests. The working-class is imbued with a false consciousness whereby it participates in its own psychological and physical enslavement ‘from within’. The working-class that is subjected to rigours of bourgeois history-making are taught to take-on the bourgeois view of the world as if it is ‘their’ view of the world – when in reality the working-class is being conditioned to provide the secure self-imposed circumstances for its own imprisonment.
This is why the proletariat assessment of history is entirely different to its bourgeois counter-part. My view has always been that a proletariat historian – whilst committed 100% to seeking-truth – does not accept the a priori bourgeois agenda for making-history on the grounds that such an ‘inverted’ agenda a) runs contrary to the rigours of science, and b) runs contrary to the class interests of the proletariat. With the caveat that these two examples can be presented in the order that best represents the intention of the author. Proletariat historians seek truth from a working-class perspective. As Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and VI Lenin make clear – this is the genuine manner within which scientific truth is established, strengthened and developed. It is the pursuance of science that has thrown-off the ‘fog of religion’ and the religious ‘inversion’ of reality. Marx (agreeing with Feuerbach) states that ‘humanity creates god – god does not create humanity’. The bourgeoisie knows full-well that material science does not allow for a god concept, and indeed retains its grip upon society whilst encouraging the masses to remain ignorant and imbued with religious dogma – whilst the bourgeoisie dominates society with a specialised and mostly ‘hidden’ scientific network which functions to a) keep control of society and b) everyone living within it.
Narrative histories of the USSR (and certain time periods within that narrative) possess a checklist of standard bourgeois ‘disinformation’ that must be included if the books are to receive official (mainstream) ‘bourgeois’ publication. Proletariat histories can be published but do not receive mainstream (bourgeois) support – and are limited to the periphery of society and the realms of ‘self-publishing’. This is because the bourgeois publishing industry has an agenda it must follow and this agenda is opposed to any narratives that empower the working-class. An example of this bias can be seen with the extent of mainstream coverage the distorted ideology of Leon Trotsky receives – simply on the grounds that it is understood to be ‘anti-working-class’ in essence and intent. US Cold War disinformation and anti-intellectualism are used as the ‘yard-stick’ which measures and defines the preferred ‘anti-Soviet’ narrative. Typical elements of this US ahistorical disinformation include ‘Stalin was a Dictator’, ‘Stalin was a mass-murderer’, ’Stalin carried-out mass purges’, ‘Stalin was immoral’, ‘Stalin suffered from mental illness’, ‘Stalin was exactly the same as Adolf Hitler’, ‘Stalin did not understand Socialism’, ‘Stalin did not understand military science’, ‘Stalin viewed himself as a Czar’, ‘Stalin was a racist’, ‘Stalin was homophobic’ and ‘Stalin was a misogynist’, etc. This list is potentially endless as the various (false) allegations can be endlessly mixed and matched to generate new bourgeois hybrids – all designed to illicit a fake moral outcry in the minds of the brain-washed readership. Even where certain modern bourgeois historians know something is terribly ‘wrong’ with the manner in which Soviet history is interpreted in the West – whilst attempting to convey this otherwise correct understanding – such authors feel the need to ‘distance’ themselves from the material they are studying and still insist on perpetuating one or more of the above myths.
History is a matter of collecting reliable data and assessing what this body of knowledge may or may not mean or imply. In many ways such an exercise has to be directed toward bare facts as much as possible, or the practice of ‘extracting’ clear data that is often wrapped in the folds of personal opinion and emotional responses. Memoirs, for instance, can be entertaining and even vital in various ways for understanding quite often significant historical events, but the character of the author presents a psychological and emotional filter which ‘glosses’ the events being conveyed. An allied soldier on D-Day will present a set of events from the perspective of ‘liberating’ Europe from the grip of the maniacal Nazi Germans – whilst a Nazi German soldier will provide exactly the same events from the perspective of ‘protecting’ the same Europe from an unprovoked and disastrous attack, etc. The task of the historian is to disentangle. A proletariat historian will also point-out that both working-class soldiers in the above example are equally ‘victims’ of their respective bourgeoisies, etc.
When WWII began in September, 1939, the British government followed the example of ancient Greece and Rome and ‘suspended’ democracy. Yes – the British government became a ‘dictatorship’ for the duration of the crisis. Without a democratic vote from the country – Winston Churchill (who had been both controversial and at times wholly inept in government) – was made ‘prime minister’. In other words, without the democratic consent of the British people, Winston Churchill was propelled into the role of wartime ‘prime minister’ – or ‘dictator’. Indeed, as both Roosevelt and Stalin had both been democratically ‘elected’ into their respective roles of leadership – it was only Churchill who possessed genuine dictatorial powers – as Roosevelt and Stalin were still subject to the various democratic checks and balances inherent within their respective systems of governance. This being the case, why is Churchill never referred to as a ‘dictator’ in any bourgeois accounts of the war? Such a description would be both technically and practically ‘correct’. Democracy in its usual machinations in the UK was considered too cumbersome, slow and unfocused to efficiently fight a war and diligently pursue victory. It was thought that democratic processes would cost the lives of British soldiers, and the territory around the world that Britain still controlled. Liberal democracy was ‘inefficient’ and had to be suspended, so why is it that bourgeois historians very rarely recognise this point when they continuously (and unjustly) refer to Stalin as a ‘dictator’ in the same breath as assuming Churchill was ‘democratically’ elected?
Joseph Stalin was not a ‘dictator’. He was ‘democratically’ elected into his post – although not through the bourgeois – capitalist-friendly – system of liberal democracy. Liberal democracy represents the class-interests of the bourgeoisie and was therefore non-existence in the USSR – a country which had successfully pursued and established a Socialist Revolution under the guidance of VI Lenin in 1917 (although it had been many decades in the making and certainly did not happen over-night). Revolutionary Russia (which became the USSR in late 1922) was arranged rather like a Trade Union – using ‘centralised’ democracy and group voting (in the form of various specialised ‘committees’). In this working-class model, democratic power was held equally by every man, woman and child living throughout the USSR – with this power turned toward the central government. The decisions of the people would democratically ‘flow’ toward the centre – and all the required ‘rights’ and ‘privileges’ would flow from the centre to the periphery. Joseph Stalin was voted into the post of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. His powers were limited only to pursuing the welfare of the Soviet people and he certainly did not possess ‘dictatorial’ powers. Working from a contemporary Russian language text, the Soviet central government is described as:
‘The post of head of government in the Soviet Union was largely similar to that of prime minister in other countries. Over the years, the powers of the head of the government of the USSR changed, but in general, the person who held this position was in charge of the activities of the government of the USSR, the selection of personnel for their inclusion in the government and had the right to make decisions in urgent cases on certain issues of public administration. The head of government did not have the right to independently appoint and remove from office the heads of central government bodies; this right belonged to the highest legislative body. The appointment of the head of the Soviet government was carried out by the highest body of state power of the USSR – the Central Executive Committee of the USSR (in the period from 1923 to 1938), and from 1938 to 1990 – by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Beginning in 1990, the government and its head began to report directly to the President of the USSR, but the appointment of the head of government to the post required coordination with the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.’
This allowed for the implementation of the bourgeois-friendly ‘liberal democracy’ to take its place. Inevitably, once the working-class lost its protection of ‘centralised democracy’, the flood-gates opened and the USSR was destroyed with the re-emergence of predatory capitalism, racism, sexism, exploitation and abject poverty. This is Russia today – but the bourgeois historians like to present this capitalist shambles as being an ‘improvement’ on Socialism – and so the poor are kept in the background and when they become ‘visible’- they are blamed for their own poverty. A snapshot of major (general) elections carried-out in the USSR are as follows:
Elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (1937)
Elections to the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR (1938)
Elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (1946)
Elections to the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR (1947)
Elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (1954)
Elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (1966)
Elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (1970)
Elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (1974)
Elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (1979)
Elections of People’s Deputies of the USSR (1989)
Elections to the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR (1990)
After his victory in WWII, Joseph Stalin attempted to ‘resign’ from Public Office on a number of occasions due to him wanting to retire in peace and enjoy his old age – but the people of the USSR preferred to have him as General Secretary and refused to let him retire. As the post of General Secretary was a that of a Public Servant – Joseph Stalin felt compelled to remain in his position until he literally died ‘in harness’! The demonisation of Joseph Stalin by Nikita Khrushchev has been roundly deconstructed by such academics as Grover Furr (and others) but it remains a masterful demonstration of Trotskyite disinformation. Stalin knew that Khrushchev had been a ‘coward’ during the ‘Great Patriotic War’ (escaping from the Ukraine on the last aeroplane out after ordering the Red Army in the region to ‘fight to the last man’)! A well-placed Trotskyite lie is a convenient contrivance for bourgeois historians who fear Stalin because of the working-class strength he represents. Bourgeois historians should push for the extra-mile and finally ‘admit’ that a great wrong has been done to the reputation of Joseph Stalin.
Russian Language References: