70th anniversary of victory of socialism over fascism
It was the historic day of 9 May, 1945 — exactly 70 years ago—when the gallant and valiant Red Army inflicted crushing defeat on diabolic German fascist forces, captured Berlin and hoisted Red Flag at the top of the German Parliament building, Reichstag, to mark the victory of mankind over the forces of evil. And the whole world including the anti-war democratic minded people of Germany who were subjected to extreme torture at the hands of the fascist Gestapo and the SS army, unequivocally acknowledged that it was Stalin, the great leader of the proletariat, a worthy successor of Marx, Engels, Lenin, a man of iron will and grit and a noble character in the history of mankind’s struggle for emancipation, who was the architect of this epoch-making victory of humanity over the most demonic enemy of mankind and the saviour of human civilization. Led by him, the brave Soviet people, the Red Army and the Soviet Communist Party epitomized this triumph over the forces of reaction.
Bourgeois conspiracy to destabilize Soviet socialism
The Soviet socialist revolution in 1917 marked advent of a new era and proved the correctness of Marxist philosophy and infallibility of Marxist analysis of history. The entire world took note of augury of a new society free from exploitation of man by man and fostering all out development of mankind—economic-political-social-cultural. It inspired the working class round the globe to imbibe Marxism-Leninism and build up revolutionary struggles on their respective soils. It provided impetus to the freedom loving people in the colonies and semi-colonies to liberate their countries from the grip of imperialist-feudal powers. Soviet Revolution also sent a chill down the spine of the reactionary world imperialism-capitalism mortally afraid of anti-capitalist revolution. So, the imperialist-capitalist powers began to hatch all kinds of conspiracies to destabilize and dismantle Soviet socialism. Moves were taken to militarily encircle Soviet Union from all sides. Agent provocateurs were planted inside that country to foment internal troubles and intrigues. The Russian bourgeoisie overthrown from power were clandestinely provided all kinds of assistance to foster counter-revolution. Nascent Soviet Union under the legendary leadership of great Lenin stood firm against all these bourgeois conspiracies and firmed up the process of strengthening socialism and proving its supremacy over capitalism in every sphere of life. When Lenin died in 1924, the mantle fell on Stalin, the most reliable disciple and comrade-in-arms of Lenin to carry that task forward and protect fledgling socialism overcoming all hassles and hurdles and foiling all stratagems of the forces of reaction. It was Stalin who gave foundation to Leninism, showed that Leninism is the Marxism in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution while at the same time rousing the entire people of Soviet Union to speedily strengthen socialism by bringing about spectacular developments in all walks of life. People imbued with the ideals of Marxism-Leninism, new higher proletarian ethics and culture and reflecting unprecedented sense of social obligation and purposiveness responded wholeheartedly to Stalin’s call. In a time of barely two decades, the Soviet Union surpassed even the established imperialist powers in industrialization and crop production. Standard of life of the people rose steadily, prices came down drastically, unemployment, beggary, prostitution and such other maladies of capitalist society became things of the past. Stalin also firmly dealt with the sinister ploy of the detractors and renegades within the Soviet party to demolish socialism and relentlessly carried out fierce ideological struggle to protect the kernel of Marxism-Leninism from all sorts of distortion and vulgarization.
Second World War broke out when Soviet socialism was just two decades old
But when socialism was taking a firm root in Soviet Union and world communist movement was gaining strength, the world was threatened with the emergence of fascism in Germany and Italy and dark clouds of another devastating world war began to gather. Lenin had shown long back that the imperialists generate war centering on capture and control of market. He explained that the First World War had been imperialistic (that is, an annexationist, predatory, plunderous war) on the part of both warring sides; it was a war for the division of the world, for the partition and repartition of colonies, “spheres of influence” of finance capital, etc. In the Second World War also, the motive of the fascist axis of Germany and Italy (Japan joined later) was the same — grabbing world market at gunpoint to put it under their domination. Fanning up the theory of racial supremacy and national jingoism and raising radical slogans, Hitler could rally a majority of the German people behind him and embarked upon creating a powerful war machine to launch military assault on all other countries and bring them under his subjugation. Hitler’s plan was to overrun first the formidable capitalist-imperialist powers of Europe like Britain, France, Belgium and others. His understanding was that since pre-revolution Russia was most backward, newly born socialist Soviet Union could not match his military might. Soviet Union, therefore, could be annexed later with mere snapping of the finger. Even the western imperialist powers –America-Britain-France wanted Hitler to attack Soviet Union, destroy the first socialist country and the working class state of the world. Stalin, a giant communist leader, could read this covert strategy of Hitler and could also see through the intention of the western “democratic” rulers. In fact, when Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany raising slogan of national socialism, Stalin realized what was the underlying motive and motto of Hitler’s slogan and also sensed that another war was in the offing. Reporting to the 17th Party Congress of CPSU (Bolsheviks) in January 1934, Stalin said, “It is not surprising that fascism has now become the most fashionable commodity among warmongering bourgeois politicians. I am referring not only to fascism in general, but primarily to fascism of the German type, which is wrongly called national socialism—wrongly because the most searching examination will fail to reveal an atom of socialism in it…. social democracy which paved the way for fascism … is a …sign that the bourgeoisie is no longer able to rule by the old methods of parliamentarism and bourgeois democracy, and as a consequence, is compelled in its home policy to resort to terrorist methods to rule.. and…to resort to a policy of war.” His worry and prime duty then was to save socialist Soviet Union, the lone hope before the emancipation-seeking people of the globe. Papers which were kept secret for almost 70 years and revealed of late show that the Soviet Union proposed sending a powerful military force in an effort to entice Britain and France into an anti-Nazi alliance. The offer of a military force to help contain Hitler was made by a senior Soviet military delegation at a Kremlin meeting with senior British and French officers, two weeks before war broke out in 1939. But Stalin’s offer of a western alliance was not accepted by Britain and France. (The Telegraph, UK, 18-10-2008) In such circumstances, Stalin, made a clever move and surprised everyone by entering into a non-aggression pact with Hitler on August 23, 1939. Hitler agreed to this pact because he thought it would enable him to easily occupy the weak East European and Balkan states and at the same time spare him from fighting a two-front war in the soon-to-begin World War II. On the other hand, Stalin knowing for sure that fascist Germany would pounce upon Soviet Union at the earliest opportunity after ensuring victory over the Western imperialist powers, managed to buy time to secure some breathing space to make necessary preparations for taking the fascist aggression head on and at the same time put in place some safety measures to protect the hitherto achieved advancements in socialist economy, industrialization and social upliftment. Similarly, the enraged imperialist-capitalist powers tried to project this pact as Stalin’s compromise with Hitler. Even today, the reactionary bourgeois camp as well as the revisionists-renegades who want to undermine Stalin and refuse to acknowledge his role in defeating fascism, go on referring to the same pact as a treacherous act. But history holds out and holds out eloquently what prudence Stalin showed that day in handling the complex situation which helped saving mankind from the clutches of fascism.
Treacherous role of Western imperialist powers
As expected, within two years of the Pact, the Nazi regime, after having occupied Europe, assembled the highest number of soldiers and arms and attacked Soviet Union on 22 June in 1941. Once again the forethought of Stalin about the role of the Western imperialist powers proved to be correct when only two days after the Nazi attack American Senator Harry Trueman (later to become American President) was found to remark, “If we find the Germans are winning the war then we should help Russia, again if we find Russia winning over them then our help should be extended to Hitler, so that both the sides might face destruction.” This was the real face of the so called Allied Forces. The American-British imperialists had dreamt that once both Germany and Soviet Union came to the ruins, they would take possession and total control of the entire world market. It is relevant to mention in this connection that when the fascist army launched the war of aggression against the Soviet Union and was carrying out massacre and destruction with alacrity, Stalin had repeatedly entreated these American-French-British rulers to open a second front in western Europe to set out on an attack against Germany through France. If it could be done then Hitler would have been compelled to remove the soldiers from the eastern war field and assemble the same at the west, at which the intensity of the attack against the Soviet Union would have been somewhat diminished. But the western imperialist rulers turned a deaf ear to this.
And when did they do it? They did it when Stalin did not need their help any more, as the Soviet Red Army and the people were successfully chasing the fascist German army right through eastern Europe. It was then in 1944 that the Allied forces brought down their army to Normandy, the French sea-coast, and set out on their attack, with the ulterior motive to reach Berlin before the Red Army could reach. So, the Soviet socialist state had to lead a lone fight against the indomitable fascist military might. It is worth mentioning here that at such a stage of development when both Germany and Japan were about to surrender, American imperialist rulers, in order to deny the Red Army, the brave Soviet people and great Stalin the credit of defeating fascist axis, dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killing over 2 lakhs of innocent Japanese civilians and thereby seeking to arrogate to themselves the acclaim of winning the war.
Why could Britain-France-America not repulse Nazi attack?
But trickeries and hoodwinking cannot suppress the truth. Why could Britain and France, then possessing substantial military might, not repulse the fascist attack at the first instance? Because, as we said above, the Second World War was nothing other than an imperialist war for grabbing world capitalist market. Germany, an imperialist force, which had to take a severe beating at the hands of the Anglo-French imperialist powers in the first World War, lose its market and face severe economic crisis, wanted to snatch that market which was mostly divided among the British-French-America and other western imperialist powers. And that could be possible only by launching war. So, Germany declared war on others and found in Mussolini’s Italy, another rising fascist force, an ally for the same reason. The people of Britain, France and other imperialist countries were also suffering from gruelling capitalist exploitation, aggravated with the worldwide intense economic recession. Among them there was mounting discontent and resulting confusion and mistrust about their rulers. So, when their countries were attacked, the exploitative imperialist-capitalist rulers could not rouse them ideologically and politically to take on the invading enemy. The call for national unity did not work as the contradiction between the capitalist owners and the oppressed working class, with interests opposite to each other, had been intensifying from terrible crisis. Hence Britain-France-America and others had to rely solely on their mercenary army. On the other hand, Hitler knew that there were within the European countries many disgruntled tribes, arch anti-Jew pro-Nazi groups. German fascists also could find in those countries a host of fifth columnists or traitors willing to cooperate with them against their own countries in exchange of some favours or other gains. They shrewdly used these people to their advantage. Whatever little of people’s resistance in the form of guerrilla warfare was noted in the Western countries was mostly by the volunteers who, influenced by communist ideas, were conducting struggle against the respective ruling bourgeoisie of those countries.
Soviet resistance was based on socialist ideology and people’s power
But with Soviet resistance, the picture was entirely different. Soviet socialism was a society free from exploitation. Side by side, with the ending of economic exploitation, Soviet socialism had advanced greatly in their task to remove lingual, racial, communal and regional conflicts. The entire people of the country imbued with the lofty ideal of Marxism-Leninism were engaged in building and strengthening socialism with the last drop of their blood. In Ukraine, there were a good number of tribes of German origin. But Hitler could not get any traitor from among them. When, at the initial stage of German aggression, the Red Army was retreating through the lands of Russia inhabited by multi-lingual, multi-religious and the minority people who were exposed to severe torture by the Nazi forces, no one went against the Bolsheviks. Even as the German force advanced, partisan fighters (volunteers under party leadership) blew up German arsenal, stopped the supply of provisions, disrupting and delinking railways and other communication. They saw to it that the fascists did not get essential food crop like wheat, potable water etc. The German force was trapped between the Red Army in front and the partisans at the rear. The Red Army was no mercenary army but an ideologically organized battalion committed to protect socialism at any cost. The battle of the Bolsheviks against fascism was a battle of reason against blindness, of individual freedom against regimentation, of humanity against butchers of humanity. There was then not a single family in Russia which had not lost someone or the other in the war. Partisans like Joy, Shura, Liza, Ivan, Oleg, Uliyana, Lubov or Sergei- that could be the best sons on the Russian soil- set examples in their teens by laying down their life. A Soviet teenager who had laid down his life fighting valiantly at Sebastopol said before death, ‘I am a member of Lenin’s Komsomol’. A Red Army soldier had written a letter to Stalin from the war front at Stalingrad :In your name had our fathers laid down their lives to save Tsaritsin (the previous name of Stalingrad), we too would at any cost protect Stalingrad.” Responding to Stalin’s appeal, not only the Red army, but all men and women, young and old, children and even hospitalized patients had come out with whatever they could lay their hands on to join the battle to save Leningrad. At midnight Marshal Zhukov, the Soviet Chief Commander received a telephone from Stalin. Over the phone Stalin asked him – ‘Will you be able to save Leningrad?’ Zhukov answered in the affirmative. Stalin said – “Answer me as a communist”. Yes, that answer was given by the gallant Red Army and the people by fighting back the fascist forces. ‘Leningrad’ – what an emotional chord this name strikes in the mind of the Soviet people, communists all over the world and the working class. The Soviet people, Soviet Communist Party and the symbol of human emancipation Comrade Stalin stood as an insurmountable obstacle to the imperialist, fascist military aggression set out desperately to destroy socialism- perpetrating the most unimaginable barbarism. The helmsman of this world-wide anti-fascist power was Stalin, himself a product of a great revolutionary struggle, a life dedicated to the cause of revolution and the people.
Stalin, a master strategist
In recognition to the necessity of the time, Stalin also mastered war strategies. After being elected as the supreme commander of the armed forces, when in a very short time he showed his comprehensive grasp of the details of the war, the seasoned and veteran Russian Generals were taken aback. During the strategic meeting with Churchill and Roosevelt, the British and American Generals too were surprised seeing Stalin‘s extraordinary knowledge and grasp about the science of war. He even provided guidance in formulating the war strategy of their Western Front. Stalin eloquently testified that a Marxist revolutionary leader can muster, if necessary, the highest efficiency in all fields.
Stalin was revered by all
When the imperialists-capitalists taking a cue from Hitler’s vilification campaign against Stalin, tried to brand him as inhuman, autocrat, ruthless, vengeance-seeker and even demon, obviously out of fear, the true nationalists, humanists, distinguished intellectuals, scientists, litterateurs as well as the common people of different countries sided with the Bolsheviks and hailed Stalin as a great leader of different mettle. Romain Rolland, the great humanist thinker, wrote about Stalin : “His intelligence.. is always alert, unfaltering, straightforward, always true, though a little grave. This intelligence does not waver before taking any decision. He has no practice of saying something in a roundabout way. His diplomacy does not include any crookedness, neither has it any place to eulogy and acclaim…It appeared to me that the cornerstone of the whole edifice of his nature lies in his sharp rationality, boundless patience, will force, indomitable spirit and wisdom. …By giving honour to human emotions… and by leading the Soviet Union to Communist Internationalism for expanding the true understanding of proletarian democracy, Stalin, as it were, opens a new chapter of classical age in the annals of Russia and the people of the world.” (Moscow Diary) George Bernard Shaw, another eminent humanist, said, “Stalin is a statesman of unique experience compared to whom the rulers of the western powers, hanging on to an automatic and evil system with an equipment of empty phrases, fictitious histories and obsolete routines, seem like rows of rickety figures in a worn-out waxworks.” (G B Shaw, H Piarson — A postscript, Colynis, 1951). Netaji Subhaschandra Bose paid his tribute to Stalin with the following words, “In post-war Europe, there is only one power that has a plan which is worth trial, and that power is Soviet Union. If there is one man in Europe today who holds in his hands the destinies of the European nations for the next few decades, that man is Marshal Stalin.” (Radio speech from Singapore, quoted in ‘Subhas Chandra and National Planning’ by Sankari Prasad Basu). When the war was in full swing, Rabindranath, then virtually on death bed, asked –”Tell me the news of Russia”. When told that the Red Army would perhaps be able to repel German attack, his face lit up and he said “such was sure to happen, only they can do this and they would succeed.” – (Kabikatha — Prasanta Chandra Maholanobish, Visvabharati Patrika, 1350 Bengali Year) Averell Harriman, US ambassador in Moscow during the war, said, “Stalin the war leader was popular, and there can be no doubt that he was the one who held the Soviet Union together. I do not think anyone else could have done it. I’d like to emphasize my great admiration for Stalin the national leader in an emergency—one of those historic occasions when one man made such a difference. He had an enormous ability to absorb detail and to act on detail. He was very much alert to the needs of the whole war machine. These were not the characteristics of a bureaucrat, but rather those of an extremely able and vigorous war leader.” The former American ambassador Joseph Davis, wrote in his book “Mission to Moscow”: ‘Many have asked me, why could not Hitler come across the traitors when he entered Russia? What I said is Stalin had long back already marked them out and uprooted them. Stalin had taken punitive measures against these traitors after having tried them in open court, and that in the presence of distinguished individuals of different countries including the American Ambassador.” When the entire world thus held him in the greatest esteem, communists the world over accepted him as their teacher, non-communist democratic-minded humanists hailed him as the hero of the era, then too he would say about himself,” I am a follower of Lenin, my desire is just to be his worthy follower”. According to him he was best known thus. Revisionist Khrushchev accused that Stalin had tried to appropriate the glory of the Red Army in the victory in the Second World War. But the reality was just the reverse. After the war, when everyone had taken for granted that Stalin would receive the salute in the victory parade, Stalin asked Marshal Zhukov to take the salute. In his victory speech, Stalin said, “Our victory means, first of all, that our Soviet social order has triumphed, that the Soviet social order has successfully passed the ordeal in the fire of war and has proved its unquestionable vitality… In the progress of the war our Motherland has acquired a first-rate regular army, capable of upholding the great socialist achievements of our people and of securing the State interests of the Soviet Union. Despite the fact that the Soviet Union for four years has been waging a war on an unparalleled scale demanding colossal expenditures, our socialist economic system is gaining strength… This is the result of the heroic efforts of the workers and collective farmers, of the Soviet intellectuals, of the women and youth of our country, inspired and guided by the great Bolshevik Party.”
Red Army’s victory over fascist military might spurred liberation struggles worldwide
This is the glorious history of victory over fascism rather fascist military might. This is how Stalin, the Red Army and the brave Soviet people rescued the whole world from being overtaken by the diabolic fascist forces. 2.6 million Soviet people lost their life in wresting this cherished victory from the jaws of the prowling fascists. The dead comprised valiant soldiers of the Red Army, leading activists and leaders of Soviet Communist Party, members of the partisan groups and common Soviet citizens determined to save socialism and the entire world. No other country faced so colossal loss of human life and property as the Soviet Union. The US imperialists today boast of having brought the victory. US cine companies are producing films highlighting that. But nothing is farther from truth than this. Except from the bombing at Pearl Harbour, US suffered practically no casualty in the war. Rather, US soared up following the war as its biggest contenders in the world market viz. Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan were ravaged by war and it thrived on their rubbles. The victory of Soviet Union, on the other hand, raised the prestige of communism and spurred the working class round the world to expedite world revolution. National liberation movements in the colonies and semi-colonies received tremendous boost. In course of victory march of the Red Army to Berlin, socialism was established in most of the East European countries. The triumph of Chinese revolution under the leadership of great Mao Zedong looked imminent. World communist movement picked up tremendous momentum. The name of Stalin was engraved in every heart. Those who have tried to smear Stalin would themselves be smeared in history while Stalin would remain unscathed and live on in our hearts a great character; a giant communist leader.
Revisionist conspiracy and denigration of Stalin halted march of communism
But the course of history took a different turn afterwards. After the demise of Stalin in 1953, Khrushchevite modern revisionists captured power in the Soviet Union. Aided and abetted by world imperialism-capitalism, they began the process of systematically destroying the pillars of socialism and started to tread the path towards counter-revolution. Finally Soviet socialism was dismantled in early 1990s through a counter-revolutionary upsurge. In achieving that, the revisionist clique unleashed a smear campaign against Stalin and sought to undermine his authority. At that point of time, it was the lone voice of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, founder General Secretary of SUCI(C) and one of the foremost Marxist thinkers of the time, who warned the world, particularly the communists of the danger inherent in it. He said categorically that “To black out Stalin would have the inevitable result of disowning his authority and consequently of rejecting his interpretation of Leninism, which is the present-day understanding of Marxism-Leninism. To the future generations, the chapter of relentless struggle waged by Stalin against the Trotskyites and the Bukharinites to safeguard the revolutionary spirit of Marxism-Leninism would remain dark and black and they would be deprived of the opportunity of being ideologically steeled. It would mean invitation to all sorts of counter-revolutionary ideas to pass for Marxism-Leninism and the ideological foundation of the communist movement would suffer a setback. In short, it would objectively uncrown Lenin himself. (SW Vol. I pp 85-86) It is a welcome sign that people of Russia as well of many other parts of the world, particularly in the erstwhile socialist states of Eastern Europe are again rising up with the photos of Lenin-Stalin. But to bring back socialism by accomplishing anti-capitalist revolution. what is needed is to develop and intensify an organized conscious movement under correct revolutionary leadership. At the same time the lesson we also need remember is that fascism has not ended with the war defeat of Hitler-Mussolini-Tojo axis. Fascism is not just naked military dictatorship. It is, as Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had shown on the anvil of Marxism-Leninism, “a historically conditioned form of counter-revolution in which capitalism seeks to stave off revolution by an anticipatory move. It is designed to save the crisis-ridden, chaos-discredited capitalist order from collapse in the face of mounting dissatisfaction of the people against the existing system..” (SW Vol. II p 55) He explained that in the present stage of decadent moribund crisis-ridden capitalism, how fascism has become a common feature of all capitalist-imperialist countries, whether advanced or backward. Cautioning that fascism can appear in any form, even by keeping up a facade of parliamentary democracy, he defined that ‘in the fields of philosophy and culture, fascism is a peculiar fusion of modern science with spiritualism” (SW Vol. IV p.14) He elaborately explained that the bourgeoisie adopts the technological aspects of science, on the one hand, in its bid to develop the economic and military might of the fascist state. And it dishes out all sorts of anti-science religious fads and all sorts of idealistic and spiritualist hocus-pocus on the other hand, as the panacea of all ills, which are concomitant evils of the exploiting capitalist system, of the present society, and go together in the name of national culture and heritage today. The obtaining scenario in India is a glaring example of that.
Foil fascist conspiracy to keep revolution at bay
So, while observing the 70th anniversary of victory over fascism in World War II, we must not forget that though the fascist combination of Germany-Italy-Japan was defeated militarily, fight against fascism is not over. As pointed out by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh long back, the distinguishing features of fascism, namely economic centralization, maximum concentration of political power in the hands of the capitalist-imperialist rigid firmness in administration, cultural regimentation and identification of the state with the interests of the ruling monopolists and thereby making state subservient to them are discernible, in varying degrees, in all capitalist-imperialist countries. Today when fascism is raising its ugly head in all the capitalist-imperialist countries more glaringly, it has become even more imperative to conduct intense ideological-cultural-political fight against fascism based on the invaluable teachings of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin-Mao Zedong-Shibdas Ghosh to foil the conspiracy of the imperialists-capitalists to exacerbate economic oppression and fiscal savagery, dispossess suffering people of all hard-earned democratic rights, muzzle voice of protest and more particularly blunt rational thinking, turn the mental process from the scientific path of causality to the mystic alley of blind faith and obscurantism, destroy the moral-cultural-ethical base and thereby keep revolutionary upsurge of the people at bay.