- Capitalism and Alternatives -

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Posted by: Barry Stoller on January 30, 19100 at 20:41:58:

In Reply to: A Question to Barry(Yes, I'm back. Anyone miss me? No?) posted by Kweassa on January 29, 19100 at 12:45:40:

: But I still have doubts about the "HOW IT WAS", Barry, considering the CK(Cheka) did EXECUTE a large number of opposition, even in during Soviet Russia's most democratic, golden years. Yes, there were assasination attempts against almost every Soviet leader(3 attempts on Lenin himself, 1 almost suceeded), and yes, the White Russian and their Imperial cohorts wiped out a huge number of people - indiscriminatingly.

: But would those circumstances, however base and degenerate it may have been, still justify the CK executuions?

The Cheka was originally the Revolutionary Military Committee whose function was 'to eradicate profiteering and sabotage, concealment of supplies, the malicious delay of freight, etc.' (Lenin, 'From the Council of People's Commissars to the Revolutionary Military Committee,' Collected Works volume 26, Progress 1964, p. 319). Hard to fault that.

Although any sensible communist would desire a state apparatus founded on the principle of complete transparency, civil wars (and wars in general) argue against such a principle. I would support the Cheka's exigency during the civil war.

The problem, as I see it, is that the Cheka didn't end when the Civil War ended. In a sense, the Civil WAr didn't end, it just continued indefinitely as a cold civil war...

This opens up the debate on the question of whether Russia was materially prepared for socialist transformation. Such a large class of peasants, I believe, necessitated a continual civil war against the petty bourgeois inclinations of this class (who only supported the Bolsheviks against the Tsar, then proceeeded to turn on the Bolsheviks). Obviously, a continual civil war agrues against the material and ideological preparedness of a revolution...

On the other hand, as Marx said to Kugglemann: 'World history would indeed be very easy to make, if the struggle were taken up only on condition of infallibly favorable chances' (Letters to Dr. Kugglemann, International 1934, p. 125).

An equivocal answer to your question I admit, comrade; I wasn't there in the early 1920s, all I know is that the N.E.P. was intended as a way out of relying on such coercive methods as the Cheka...

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