July 27, 2020

New Russia's New Leaders: An Interview with Nina Andreyeva and V.I. Klushin of the All Union Communist Party (Bolshevik).

What is the thinking of the Russian Communist movement as it emerges from the torpor of the decades of revisionist domination? Little is known in India of the fast-moving political developments which have taken place in the communist movement after the fall of the USSR. This interview, conducted in Leningrad in August 1993, just before the dissolution of the Soviet political system, gives a wealth of information on questions which have been exercising the communist movement.

What is the programme of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik)?

Nina Andreyeva: If you mean the main objectives of our party, why it was founded and what are its political aims, then the first and foremost task before our party is the revival of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The rebirth of our country, its return to former glory is impossible without the revival of socialism. Therefore today the fight for the rebirth of the USSR is the fight for the rebirth of our country as a socialist power. Today this is the only way to stop the bloodshed which is taking place in different regions of the Soviet Union - Central Asia, the Caucasus etc. Our country was planned and developed as an indivisible organism, where all the regions were interconnected and developed as an organic whole. Therefore today severing one part from this organic whole leads to disintegration of the economy in all the regions, to economical imbalance and a sharp decrease in production. And further impoverishment of the people is of course the result of this.

The All Union Communist Party (Bolshevik) (AUCP(B)) came into existence at the constituent party congress on 8th November, 1991 and is active now in all the republics of the Soviet Union. Today our party unites 66, actually already more than 70, district and regional committees. How the party functions depends on the place of its activity. In Russia our party is a legal one, in some of the republics it is working in semi - legal conditions but if we talk about the Baltic states, there our activities are considered illegal. Ours is the most active party among all the parties with communist orientation which on principle does not get itself registered with today's counter-revolution because we do not recognise the disintegration which has taken place in the Soviet Union. For the disintegration of the Soviet Union we blame the present leadership of all those countries which came into being as a result of it. So today our party has to work in special circumstances. Despite the bourgeois press putting the most insulting labels on us, the interest in our party is increasing and lately there has been a clear tendency towards a sharp increase in our party membership. We do not take everyone who wants to join, but only those who can really work actively and contribute their active part, their own definite bit, as I have already said, in the rebirth of the Soviet Union and the revival of the socialist system. Our party i.e. members of our party are participating today in different patriotic movements, different social organisations and our influence can be felt through them.

So the main task of every AUCP (B) member is the fight to overthrow bourgeois rule and to do away with private property and the capitalist market economy. In our country today the restoration of the economic basis and the political superstructure of capitalism is almost complete. Power has passed from the workers' hands into the hands of the mafioso bourgeoisie. Therefore to revive socialist society and the socialist formation a second socialist revolution is needed. If we analyse the working class of today, we see that our working class essentially has already got transformed into a proletariat. That is why the need of the day is again mastering the basics of the political struggle, for the ultimate aim of the takeover of power by the proletariat. Having being been deprived of social property, the working class is now being transformed into a proletariat, whose only freedom is to sell its labour power in the employment market to those who have deprived it of the means of production and are heading towards the privatization of land. How can such a disastrous development of events in our country be reversed? We think that without a "second edition" of the socialist revolution and without the transition to the state of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the country cannot be saved from complete ruin, destruction and plunder. None of the accumulated problems: economic, social, scientific and technical, political, national, ecological or cultural can be solved. Because today only a revolution can return to the people what has been taken away from them in the name of privatization by local and foreign plunderers. How can this be accomplished? The most important means in the struggle for socialism was and remains the general political strike and only that makes it possible to remove the reactionary regime from power in a relatively peaceful way, to include broad masses of workers in the revolutionary process, to stop the reactionary forces from starting a large- scale civil war, already raging in Russian territory, and to stop foreign military intervention from solving our internal problems. To us all kinds of social vengeance and terrorism are unacceptable. We know that the country is full of different nuclear objects: large amounts of nuclear armaments are stored, there are many atomic power stations. Therefore the use of even conventional arms can cause many more Chernobyls. Averting armed resistance by the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie will of course depend on the relation between the forces involved - reactionary forces, and the workers defending their rights. The stronger the front against the restoration of capitalism, the lesser the possibility of unleashing a civil war by the forces in power. Today the main task of our party is to help the working class and its allies to become active enforcers of social transformation. The policies of the Bolsheviks must have a proletarian character and anti - bourgeois orientation. Today all the anti-restoration forces should unite under the banner of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism making a decisive break with social democracy and national communism that have destroyed the CPSU and today have become the last reserve of the bourgeois counter-revolution which has now entered a stage of deep crisis.

The other important task of our party is the struggle for broadening and strengthening the alliance of all opposition forces in the country. The strength of such an alliance lies in coordinated collective decisions of the parties and movements implemented through coordination committees, which are functioning in nearly all the regions of our country. The strength of such an alliance lies in unity of all practical and political activities against the common enemy. The liberal intelligentsia and the opportunists of the erstwhile CPSU often criticize us for being orthodox, stubborn and unable to compromise. Sometimes our stand is provocatively being branded as "communist fundamentalism" by them. We are of the opinion that ideologically there cannot be any compromise between socialism and capitalism, between the working class and the bourgeoisie, as any such compromise will go in favour of anti-communism and the reactionary forces. If ideological compromises are counter - productive and are inadvisable, political compromises are necessary in the present situation. Because such compromises will help to win allies and to strengthen the front against the restoration of capitalism in our country. Therefore we are seeking alliance with all the communist and socialist parties, with the left oriented patriotic movements.

How does the AUCP(B) evaluate the historical role of Joseph Stalin?

Nine Andreyeva: Whether one likes to admit it or not Stalin was and remains one of the leading statesmen and political figures of the 20th century. While describing Stalin the American historian Alex De Jonge said, "Stalin took over when Russia had only wooden ploughs and left it equipped with nuclear armaments." And we fully agree with this. Under Stalin's leadership our country rose from an illiterate and poor country to become one of the leading powers in the world. Under his leadership the Soviet people laid the foundation of socialist society and created the socialist economy. Under Stalin's leadership the Soviet people attained victory in the Great Patriotic War, as a result of which fascism was routed and the whole world was saved from the fascist plague and many nations were saved from complete extinction. Revisionism has been trying to distort Stalin's role in the historical development, not only of our country, but of the humanity as a whole. But today people who have not yet lost the ability to think objectively are beginning to see Stalin and his role in proper perspective. Anti-Stalinism, which had swept over our press lately, which we see as the Trojan Horse of the Communist movement of the second half of the 20th century - a screen behind which the vilification of the socialist system and all the achievements started, is on its way out. More and more people want to know the truth about Stalin's role. The attitude towards Stalin in our Soviet society is changing. I am using the word "Soviet" provisionally because I do not want to call it otherwise. Ours is the only party founded after the disintegration of the CPSU which from the very beginning was against the anti-Stalin hysteria, describing it as the beginning of future attacks on Lenin, too, and ultimately on Marxism itself. Today other parties with communist orientation are also moving away from their rabid anti-Stalinism and are slowly approaching a more objective evaluation of Stalin's role in history. We think that with the passage of time more and more people would stand by the objective assessment of Stalin's role in history. He played a colossal role in history.

Prof. Klushin, Vladimir Ivanovich, will add a few words to this.

Vladimir Ivanovich: There is a Russian proverb "Where there was no luck, misfortune came to the rescue". One can say that after the decades of Khrushchev's and Brezhnev's falsifications about Stalin and the most important period in the history of our country - the period of building and defending socialism - people are really seeing things as they were for the first time. And this misfortune - the counter-revolution, the restoration of capitalism - has convinced the people that Stalin was right in all the basic positions he took and then defended and for which later on he was subjected to the most unjustified and vicious attacks by the revisionists and opportunists of the whole world. What biased people earlier had thought to be too harsh assessments made by Stalin have now been proved correct by history. Take for example Stalin's proposition that with the progress of socialism, the resistance from the bourgeoisie and capitalism will increase and so will the danger of restoration of capitalism. In the last 3-4 decades this was somehow considered wrong and was forgotten. It was thought that the Soviet Union was developing, that it was very powerful and no one could ever defeat it. But as we moved further towards socialism, imperialism, fearing its end, concentrated all its forces to turn humanity away from the socialist path. And this anti-Soviet, anti-Communist hysteria, this restoration of capitalism, in the USSR, in the east European countries and the problems in the socialist countries of Asia - they just prove one thing: wherever the revolutionary theory of Marxism - Leninism was not adhered to, wherever anti-Stalinism was allowed to flourish in politics, there opportunism showed itself first and was later followed by counter-revolution and the victory of the bourgeoisie.

Nina Andreyeva: I must add here that in today's world communist movement those Communist and workers' parties are in the forefront which dissociated themselves from anti-Stalinism and from the opportunist 20th Party Congress . These are the parties which today are leading the political fight for the strengthening of the working class and for the social rights of the workers. Those parties which went along with the decisions of the revisionist 20th Party Congress have lost not only their political relevance but also their ideological authority and even their identity. One can see this in countries like Germany, Brazil or in the case of the parties of the Near East. And our views are not just based on abstract thought but are the result of talks and analyses of the current situation based on personal contacts with leaders of workers', communist and revolutionary parties. We have very widespread contacts. We were in Damascus, Syria, where we could meet the representatives of more than 50 different parties and discuss with them a wide range of questions concerning the struggle for socialism. I am asserting this on the basis of discussions we had last year on May Day celebrations with the leaders of more than 50 parties in Belgium. I assert this on the basis of the discussions which took place in August 1992 in Brazil where a large number of parties from Latin America, Africa and from the East were represented. In short one can say that the parties which assessed Stalin's role in history objectively and correctly are in the forefront of the international communist movement today. This is our attitude towards Stalin and our assessment of the historical contribution of this extraordinary personality of the 20th century.

There is a point of view that it would have been better for the Soviet Union if another leadership had come forward such as Trotsky or Bukharin. It is also argued that under Khrushchev there was a more humane socialism. Still others consider that Yugoslavia was an alternative to what is dubbed as Stalinist socialism.

Nina Andreyeva: You are asking whether the policies of Stalin are considered to be a departure from socialism as some people think. Whether it would have been better if Trotsky or Bukharin would have been in Stalin's place and whether in that case there would have been a better, more humane, socialism.

Vladimir Ivanovich: Humanism - proletarian humanism - is the most comprehensive and all-embracing humanism known in history. And Stalin is a representative of this particular school of humanism - the humanism of and for the masses who toil and create all material and spiritual wealth and not the humanism for the exploiters, tyrants and oppressors. Therefore socialist and proletarian humanism is the most progressive humanism which history has ever known. That is why it is only an assumption of anti-Soviet, anti-Communist and bourgeois ideologists that socialism would have survived if there would have been Bukharin in the Soviet Union, Tito in Yugoslavia and that the uncompromising course of Stalin caused the defeat of socialism towards the 90s. This of course does not hold true. On the contrary our country's social and economic development, the rates of social and economic growth started slowing down somewhere towards the end of the 50s and the beginning of 60s. This was the time when the elements of opportunism started accumulating in the CPSU and the weakening of the Soviet Union set in. In the beginning it went on unnoticed and later on gained momentum till the so-called Perestroika of Gorbachev, which was already an open counter-revolution. Let us suppose - although history does not know the word "suppose"- but let us suppose that if Bukharin, Trotsky, Rykov, Zinoviev, Kamenev or any other of Stalin's opponents would have succeeded Lenin in place of Stalin, then the Soviet Union would have collapsed not in the 90s - more than 30 years after Stalin's death -but already in the 30s. Socialism would have already been stifled at a time when there was no socialist bloc as yet, when colonialism was not yet defeated the world over and many other things had not yet happened which played a great role in social progress and saved humanity from exploitation and tyranny. Why would it have been so? Because Bukharin was leaning towards the petty bourgeoisie of the cities and villages. He definitely would not have liquidated the anti-Soviet and anti-Socialist elements in the economy, politics and social life and as a result the country before the 40s i.e. before the Second World War would have been weaker and not in a position to carry out the policies of industrialisation, collectivization and cultural revolution which made it possible for our country in just 10-15 years to march ahead by almost a century - thus stepping ahead of many countries, which were better equipped than Russia. Therefore the opportunists and their policies were incapable of producing any tangible results. Yugoslavia had chosen this path and the events there prove our point. When Tito took the path of opportunism, nationalism and chauvinism, the socialist elements in Yugoslavia started weakening. Yugoslavia was the first socialist country to succumb to imperialism. It was the first country to mortgage its workers to the western countries - people used to go abroad to work and thus strengthen the capitalist society of those countries and at the same time were weakening the social structure in Yugoslavia. As a result today the bourgeoisie in Bosnia and practically in all parts of Yugoslavia has taken to the path of nationalism which has led to bloodshed. So this is Tito's rightist opportunism for you. It actually led to the collapse of Yugoslavia. And concerning Stalin as already said he left the country fully armed with nuclear energy, space technology and factories equipped with the latest technology. But that was back in the 30s and 40s and that technology is of course now old and outdated. And why was it not phased out? Because that same opportunism and revisionism had taken over, and slowed down the rates of economic growth until a complete stop was put to economic development leading the country to counter-revolution and the restoration of capitalism. Had the policies of Stalin been continued in the following decade the country would have reached miraculous heights which would have permitted it to begin with the building of communism, to start with the communist way of distribution of products among the workers and to solve many social problems already not of socialist but of communist society.

Nina Andreyeva: I want to add here that although a large part of our industrial potential was destroyed, our country, which had suffered together with the developed capitalist countries under Hitler's occupation, was able to reinstate its potential in the first five years after the war and was the first country to abolish the system of ration cards. This was the greatest contribution of Stalin's leadership.

How do you view the Cominform critiques of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the contemporary movement for communism there?

Vladimir Ivanovich: We know this party and are working with the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia. The Secretary of this party, Comrade Stanisic lives here in Leningrad. He has lived through all of Tito's camps, he underwent all of the tortures there. He told us how tens of thousands of communists perished in these camps. Tito took the support not only of opportunism but also of nationalism - exactly, by the way, as our Zyuganov is doing today. Tito was correctly criticised although some of the points made in this critique were unnecessarily categorical. Tito was certainly no spy. He was simply a right opportunist and nationalist with all the consequences that follow from this. Cominform thought that the criticism of Tito would lead to the strengthening of the anti-Tito forces. But Tito took to means of terror and practically killed, shot or annihilated all his opponents. The Soviet Union certainly did not intervene, and never considered doing so, in Yugoslavia so as to bring about any changes there since it only concerned the relationship between parties, as inter-state relations were not touched. The decision was probably correct but was taken very late. I think that if this decision had been made a bit earlier then perhaps the situation in Yugoslavia would have been different. Yugoslavia was allowed to independently solve its problems and be convinced that anarcho-syndicalism and workers' self-management logically leads to nothing other than capitalism.

It is very clear that Stalin is very popular in Russia today. How far is this a recent development?

Nina Andreyeva: The period of Perestroika - I mean the years 1985-87, the period of anti- Stalin hysteria provoked an intuitive resistance among common people to the untruthful characterization of Stalin. Therefore already in 1987 many drivers had put Stalin's portraits on the windshields of their cars. People started wearing badges with Stalin's portrait - although they were produced illegally. With the increase of pseudo-democratic propaganda, resistance to it also grew and led to peoples' alienation. People who may not understand exactly what is happening and why started comparing how they lived before and how they are living now when we are moving towards the so-called capitalistic heaven. People are intuitively rejecting the reactionary anti-Stalin hysteria. Therefore Stalin's authority is growing among the common people. Unfortunately you as a foreigner are not able to get this information first hand. It would have been enough to stand in a queue in a shop for anything - today we have to stand in queues for everything and we do not get it always, because there is a superdeficit of everything - and hear people saying openly, "Today's government needs a Stalin, who would put everything right."

Vladimir Ivanovich: We should not forget one historical truth. Anti-Stalinism started not just 10 years ago, it started at the 20th Congress of the CPSU i.e. at the end of the 50s and that means for 40 years people were fed with utter lies and false information about Stalin. The opportunists of the Khrushchev and Brezhnev style were blaming Stalin's leadership for all their own failures and this means that practically two generations grew up in an atmosphere of anti-Stalinism. But even so today with catastrophe looming large over the country people have begun to understand that something is amiss here. They do not completely understand the reason for all their problems - often they blame Gorbachev or perestroika i.e. the reasoning does not go beyond subjectivism. But already more and more people are realising that the phenomenon of the Gorbachev era did not start with Gorbachev coming to power in 1985 but has its roots in the policies of at least the earlier three decades. And this process of accumulation of anti-Socialist elements inside socialism and of anti-Communist elements inside the Communist party continued all this time. This whole process continued in the name of anti - Stalinism - attacking Stalin as leader of the party and the government in the most productive period in the history of the Soviet Union.

Nina Andreyeva: I want to add that our party's badge has two portraits embossed on it - the portraits of Lenin and Stalin. In 1991 when our party came into being this scared many people away. But today it has become a badge of honour. Many people ask us to sell it, which is not possible because our badge is only given to members along with the membership card. Our badge shows a fluttering red flag, the portraits of Lenin and Stalin, the party's motto and the hammer and sickle. With Stalin's portrait on our party badge we underline the importance of Stalin's contribution to the building of socialist society.

During our visits to workers collectives in Siberia we noticed that there was more respect for Stalin among the workers than in the other strata of society. Despite the fact that the working class today is depoliticised to a large extent their interest in Stalin is greater than that of any other part of society. It is among workers that you can hear - "If Stalin could come now he would have put everything right and there would not be such chaos as is reigning supreme these days in every sphere of life and society.

Vladimir Ivanovich: Here is something very interesting which goes in favour of a correct evaluation of Stalin. Lately there has been a change in the attitude of farmers of the collective farms towards Stalin. The restorers of capitalism were basically criticizing Stalin for his collectivization. And now with the counter-revolution practically destroying the agrarian sector those farmers are coming back to socialism and Stalin. Only yesterday comrades from Krasnodar informed us that farmers there are picketing against the policies of the government. And all this is happening under the red banner - under the banner of Lenin and Stalin. And Krasnodar is not the only place. We have evidence from other places also, where farmers are expressing strongly their dissatisfaction with the present conditions and ongoing social and political activities.

Nina Andreyeva: According to information from comrades in Krasnodar and the Stavropol area more than 10,000 people are going to participate in various anti-government manifestations that have been planned. Second, the campaign that was conducted in support of Yeltsin did not get any practical support in the agricultural regions. Yeltsin survived only on the strength of the 7 or 8 million living in Moscow and the 5 million in Leningrad where he received the majority of votes. The agricultural regions did not support him. In some of these about 96 per cent of those who came to cast their ballot voted against Yeltsin. If the numbers which are being speculated upon by our pseudo-democratic press are analysed with regard to their claims of receiving the number of votes in Leningrad and Moscow then we can only cite the common sentiment: it is not important how you vote, it is important how you count the votes. There is a lot to think over here.

How do you characterise the class holding state power and the role of the opposition groups in Russia today?

Vladimir Ivanovich: At present power is in the hands of the mafioso comprador bourgeoisie that came to power as a result of the 'velvet revolution'. It cheated the people by the bourgeois slogans of freedom, democracy, pluralism of opinions. This bourgeoisie have got a good share of the loot of the population. They have very close links with foreign capital which annually extracts 17 billion dollars out of the country by looting the mineral wealth of the country, the productive capacity, trading away of our fleet, and our aviation and space technology in particular. This very capital is now in very deep crisis. This can be catastrophic for the nation as inflation has become hyper-inflation so that the question now is that of the very survival of 90 per cent of the Soviet population. The situation is very grim and so the opposition to this capital is deepening increasingly. Russian national capital is the main force which is most active in exposing comprador capital and the Yeltsin elite which serves it. A number of organisations represent national capital including the Russian National Church, the National Salvation Front and other patriotic organisations. Some of these patriotic organisations are orientated towards socialism, and are our allies. Then there are the patriotic parties of the right which are very close to being fascist and although they are very small, they are at the same time very loud. The democratic press is forever exaggerating their significance. Today the main opposition comes from the national capital along with its political structures among which the National Salvation Front is the most powerful.

Can the National Front come to power? It can. To the extent that this Front acts against Yeltsin we are with them as the other communist parties. But it is necessary to clearly understand that this Front can also bring fascism to Russia. The National Salvation Front wants to carry on the restoration of capitalism and this is only possible under the banner of dictatorship and authoritarianism as the bourgeois democratic form of governance has mainly outlived its historical possibilities and so it must be removed from the stage. Only it is not clear how this would happen. At present its strength lies in the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of People's Deputies. Perhaps Yeltsin would dismiss this Congress or the National Salvation Front would finish it off or maybe this rule will dissolve itself as happened with the Supreme Soviet. It is an open question. Today the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of Deputies are a bourgeois democratic barrier to fascism and dictatorship. But we perceive that Yeltsin has outlived his relevance as he came to power under the bourgeois democratic banner and he cannot get rid of it as he will lose all social support. Therefore he would not go for it directly. Other bourgeois groups are needed to raise the banner of authoritarianism and dictatorship. Unfortunately the National Salvation Front and its leaders can play this role, but it is breaking up, different groups are being formed, the Democratic Citizens Union have left as also the unabashed fascists who have formed their own groups which are now fighting for power. Therefore it is difficult to predict how it is going to happen. But the National Salvation Front is functioning under the banner of bourgeois patriotism, i.e. the patriotism of the same money-bags only with a national hue to it. If the Yeltsin democrats take the position of cosmopolitan capitalism then the Front has the support of national capital.

If the National Salvation Front continues to split then it cannot win. But if it wins then the main objective of the communists would be not to let it be transformed into a dictatorship. But at present a shift to the left is taking place. This is the reason for the rising interest in our Bolshevik Party. There is also a shift to the left among all the Communist forces of the Anti-Restoration Front. If the national bourgeoisie comes to power through its patriotic organisations it cannot stay in power for long because it will also conduct the same policy of capitalist restoration. Rutskoi and Khasbulatov have put forward some of these ideas. But from the position of capitalist restoration it is impossible to salvage the country. If they conduct reconstruction from chauvinist positions then it can only lead to a much wider civil war. The bourgeoisie cannot revive the Soviet Union although it is the most powerful force against Yeltsin. In this the communists help them but when they come to power they will become the main opponents of all the communist parties.

Today there are only two options before us. There is no third option: it is either socialism or fascism. We can only take the country along the path to Socialism. Fascism would be a catastrophe for all mankind because civil war then would become real and in Russia it would have terrible consequences.

Why do we say that the General Strike is the main method? By this we should completely remove the structures of comprador capitalism and not let the national capital come to power in a complete manner. We have to ensure that the democratic forces, the communists, socialists and leftists wanting socialism should take power. In brief this is how we see the future developments in Russia.

Nina Andreyeva: I want to add that we had predicted the process of the breaking up of the Soviet Union two years ago when the Soviet Union still existed de jure we declared that the restoration of the bourgeois order in our country would lead to the liquidation of the Soviet Union, that the break-up would not stop there. It would continue in those countries which would emerge on the division of the USSR and then it would lead to the breaking away of regions from those Republics and then these regions may further undergo divisions right up to the level of cities as state units. Historical developments have fully vindicated our predictions. The objective of restoration of a superpower can only be accomplished by the restoration of Socialism and the Soviet Union. It is in this context that we rigidly implement the policy of unity of all communists, all socialist forces that want revival of our country. By setting up co-ordination committees for the very purpose of co-ordinating the actions of forces opposed to the present regime which has perpetrated genocide against the entire population without consideration of race or region.

Vladimir Ivanovich: Unfortunately not all communist parties take a strong position regarding the second stage of the socialist revolution, i.e., the transition to the dictatorship of the proletariat. Many communist parties, especially those that emerged in the last six months after Yeltsin permitted them to be formed, namely, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation led by Gennadi Zyuganov and the CPSU led by Shenin, overlook the central question that the mobilisation of the masses against the counter-revolution without an organised socialist movement, without a transition to the dictatorship of the proletariat would mean that all our efforts would remain words and would be debilitated in the face of an increasingly experienced bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie is now being supported and aided by the new opportunism represented by Zyuganov's party, Shenin's party and Priganov's party etc., that is by those parties that have not come out completely in the open and which continue to operate from anti-Stalinist positions against the dictatorship of the proletariat which is indispensable for the overthrow of the sizable section of industrialists, brokers and speculators who, moreover, now have their enforcement structures. The bourgeoisie can only be overthrown if we take the support of the working people and the widest cross-section of the people, and this means a socialist revolution. In principle the counter-revolution is doomed. What we are talking about is what price the Soviet people are going to pay for vanquishing it. It is going to be a small price if we manage to organise ourselves or a big one if the bourgeoisie manages to start a civil war. The defeat of the bourgeoisie is practically pre-determined. The laws of history operate in this direction.

Nina Andreyeva: There is a lot of speculation today regarding the dictatorship of the proletariat. The middle classes are being threatened that the communists want to enforce dictatorship of the proletariat. Here we see an extremely vulgar interpretation of this particular definition. The dictatorship of the proletariat is a form of the state power of workers and their allies in its content which can and must be implemented in the best humane and democratic traditions. Therefore the speculation that once there is a dictatorship it must include terror has today become the mainstay of anti-communist propaganda directed towards the most ignorant middle class person. To restore the rule of those who produce the material and cultural wealth is possible only by installing the rule of the workers and its allies, i.e. only by the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. There is no other way.

Vladimir Ivanovich: Speculation also exists regarding the October Revolution. The October Revolution being the first socialist revolution was in the classic mould. It was a dictatorship both in form and content. In form, because the state acted harshly and forcefully against the bourgeoisie which organized sabotage, violence and provocations. Without the dictatorship of the proletariat the Soviet Union would have been crushed in the 1920s itself, without even having the opportunity to become strong. This fact is being used to frighten people by saying that this is what the Bolsheviks want: terror, violence and bloodshed as occurred in the October Revolution. We refute this and say that the proletarian dictatorship in essence means that all problems are to be solved in the interests of the working people, of those who create the material and cultural wealth. These differences in the interpretation of the concept of proletarian dictatorship has made itself felt in a number of European communist parties. The British communist party took this path, then the Italians. Without this fundamental concept of Marxism they ceased to exist. Today the CPRF of Zyuganov, the CPSU of Shenin and Ligachev and the Union of Communists of Prigalin and others are rejecting the dictatorship of the proletariat. This would lead these parties in the future to a serious setback and defeat. And in so far as we openly declare what we wish people are coming to us. They understand that this band of speculators, the owners of villas and Mercedes cannot be persuaded. Force is needed. The larger the number of people mobilised, the stronger the forces would exist in favour of the working people, and the lesser opportunity would be there for the bourgeoisie to start a civil war and unleash widespread bloodshed.

How does the AUCP(B) look back on the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union?

Vladimir Ivanovich: The counter-revolution did not at all start in October 1991 as is being asserted by some intellectuals and partocrats. The counter-revolution has its beginning much further back. Its prerequisites can be traced back to the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s. The Khrushchevite leadership which conducted the 20th Congress found itself in- capable of solving the economic, political, ideological, scientific, cultural and other problems. These problems were indeed serious but they could certainly have been solved. This is precisely what the opportunist leadership of Khrushchev could not do. They tried to hide their incapability by putting forward allegations against Stalin, by undermining the previous regime, specifically the leadership of the Stalinist period. This is obviously a well-known trick in history. But in our country it was played pretty successfully. It was successful because during the war and post-war period the party was a fairly monolithic party. The party learnt to value the unity of its members. Therefore by inertia it continued to believe the new leadership and did not immediately realise that this leadership was not capable. The leadership of Brezhnev was also not capable of solving the problems though it did try to change somewhat the situation inherited from Khrushchev.

After the 20th Congress and the start of the anti-Stalin campaign elements of capitalist economy began to be introduced in the Soviet economy. In place of falling costs and increase in productivity being the main criteria as taught by Marx and Engels, Lenin and Stalin, profit in monetary terms become the main criterion. This opened the way for all kinds of abuses at the factory level, the mines, and ministries. It gave birth to a parasite bourgeoisie, a shadow bourgeoisie which corrupted the state and established a state alienated from the people which was incapable of resolving the problem of further socialist development.

Changes also occurred in the sphere of ideology. Marxism Leninism as an integral theory practically ceased to exist, it was divided into a number of specific disciplines and even then it constituted simply the citing of phrases from Marx, Engels and Lenin. People got the impression that there was more of empty talk than science in this kind of Marxism-Leninism. Marxism-Leninism was no longer that integral worldview from which you could not subtract without the whole edifice falling apart. Marxism stopped playing the role of, so to say, a projector that lights the path of socialist development.

All this lead to the prerequisites of counter-revolution which was later only legalised by Gorbachev. Once institutionalised the process of decay proceeded faster and faster. It then just took a few years to destroy a powerful state, the country as well as the workers' party. In essence we see the rise of underground capital and the bourgeoisie. Khrushchev declared that we have a 'people's state', i.e. , the state belongs to the workers as well as the underground bourgeoisie, our party also became a 'party of the whole people', so any number of future "shadow bourgeois" got into the party. The party became a conglomerate which included in its ranks not only honest communists, Bolsheviks, but also Bukharinites and Trotskyites as well as all kinds of nationalists, opportunists, monarchists and Cossack Atamans. The counter-revolution was hardly over when these elements emerged to serve it. The top echelon of the party turned out to be rotten. Gorbachev only legalised this rotten organism. The CPSU had factually signed its death warrant at its 20th Congress. It passed a resolution that the alternative to socialism is capitalism, that is, capitalism is an equally acceptable alternative. If you don't want socialism you may go for capitalism it was declared at the Congress of communists, of the first communist party of the world. It was a colossal betrayal. The contemporary leaderships of the communist parties were then elected to the central committees.

Nina Andreyeva: We have now arrived at a logical end of our step by step rejection of socialism and have now made a transition to the capitalist phase. That is not to deny that there was no other alternative. When Gorbachev came to power it was still possible to change the situation and get rid of the accumulated deformations. At that point of time the main principle of distribution of wealth according to work underwent maximum deformation. They then changed the form of property and this led naturally to the change in the socio-economic formation. By permitting private property we retraced our steps in history, regressed and rejected socialist development in favour of capitalism. An important, negative role was played by our elitist intelligentsia which had long back alienated itself from the people, although it was fed by the working people it ignored the people and, in essence, led the counter-revolution of 1985-87.

Translated by Tahir Asghar