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 Anticommunist Falsehoods

Mainstream, VOL LI, No 16, April 6, 2013

Rajimwale Duped by
 Anticommunist Falsehoods

Friday 12 April 2013

COMMUNICATION

Grover Furr’s book, Khurshchev Lied: The Evidence That Every “Revelation” of Stalin’s (and Beria’s) Crimes in Nikita Khrushchev’s Infamous “Secret Speech” to the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on February 25, 1956 is Provably False, was reviewed by Anil Rajimwale in Mainstream (August 4, 2012) under the headling: “A Pathetic Defence of Stalinist Repressions”. Thereafter Grover Furr wrote a response to the book review that was carried as ‘Communication’ in Mainstream (October 27, 2012). Rajimwale replied to Furr in Mainstream (November 10, 2012) to which Furr’s rejoinder is being published belatedly (due to unavoidable problems of space constraint) now.
In his reply to my response concerning my book Khrushchev Lied (Mainstream, November 10, 2012) Anil Rajimwale makes two basic assumptions: (1) that my book, Khrushchev Lied, defends what he calls “Stalin’s crimes”; (2) that the persons he names as victims of “repression” were innocent

Both of these assumptions are false, as is virtually every assertion in Rajimwale’s reply. I will respond to both of Rajimwale’s assumptions in turn.

1. My Book

Let us be clear: My book Khrushchev Lied does not “defend” anyone or anything. It is a book about Khrushchev’s Secret Speech. In it I examine the 61 accusations (often mistakenly called “revelations”) of crimes that, according to Khrushchev, Stalin and Lavrentii Beria supposedly committed. I study each one of them in the light of the many documents from the former Soviet archives that are now available.

The evidence is clear: in 60 of the 61 cases, Khrushchev lied. (In the 61st case I could neither confirm nor disprove what Khrushchev claimed.)

Rajimwale does not disagree with any of my conclusions. In fact, he does not even address any of them. Nor does he claim that Khrushchev was telling the truth. Instead, he falsely accuses me of defending what he calls “Stalin’s repre-ssions” and thanks Mainstream for “starting some kind of debate on the Stalin question”.

But why is there a “Stalin question”? During the 1930s Leon Trotsky accused Stalin of falsely repressing Bolshevik leaders. We know now that Trotsky was lying. He was indeed in a secret terrorist bloc of other oppositionists that did murder Leningrad Party Chairman Sergei Kirov in December 1934 and that he was plotting to murder Stalin and others, and conspiring with Germany and Japan.

We know this today. I have written a number of scholarly articles demonstrating this. All are linked on my Home Page: http://msuweb. montclair. edu/ furrg/ My book on the Kirov murder, which discusses these issues further, will be published in 2013 in English and in Russian.

But few on the Left paid any attention to Trotsky. “The Stalin question” exists mainly because of Nikita Khrushchev’s determined attempts to portray Stalin as a monster, first in his “Secret Speech” to the 20th Party Congress in February 1956, and then at the 22nd Party Congress of October 1961.

Between 1961 and his removal in October 1964 Khrushchev sponsored a large number of fraudulent books and articles blaming Stalin
for massive illegal repressions and many other crimes. These books and articles were eagerly studied by anticommunists and capitalist intelligence agencies around the world.

Brezhnev stopped the Khrushchev-era demonisation of Stalin. But he did not expose it as false. Instead the Stalin years were treated with silence. This facilitated the renewed attack on them under Mikhail Gorbachev. In their virulence and mendacity Gorbachev’s attacks on Stalin exceeded even Khrushchev’s falsifications. They too have been repeated and elaborated.

The result of all this is the “history” of the Soviet Union that is presented as “truthful” today. The problem is: this “history” is false, based upon lies and forgeries. Documents from the former Soviet archives are now allowing us to begin to cut through the fog of falsehoods, dispel the virtual demonisation of Stalin, and begin to see the lineaments of the truthful history of the first workers’ state.

For many in and around the communist movement, this is all “a bit too much”. Many honest people have formed their lifetime political commitments on the basis of Khrushchev’s revelations. Khrushchev claimed that socialism had survived “Stalin’s horrors” and was on the road to self-correction. Millions believed him. From 1987 on Gorbachev made the same claim: “We are going back to Lenin, back to the real road to socialism!”—a road that led through yet another period of vehement attacks on Stalin and the Stalin period.

We can see now how wrong this was. The Soviet Union did not correct itself, like a ship that had strayed from its course. Rather, under Gorbachev it went further and further “off course”—and then “sank”—vanished completely.

To this day the falsified “history” of the Soviet Union during the Stalin period that is the legacy of the Khrushchev and Gorbachev eras remains the “mainstream” history. One or another version of this utterly false history is promulgated by both anticommunists and Trotskyists. Tragically, it is also accepted with little criticism by a great many Communists and others who wish to devote their lives to the fight for a better world.

This is terrible! Why? Because this “anti-Stalin” view of Soviet history blackens the noble ideal of communism in the eyes of millions of people. It demoralises those who should be inspired. It gives aid and comfort to the supporters of capitalist exploitation, who say: “See? The fight for communism leads only to mass murder.”

Most serious of all: It is false. We will never discover what the Communists of the Soviet Union in Stalin’s day did that was correct, and what they did that was in error, unless we have a true history of that period, an understanding of what really did, in fact, happen.

Rajimwale’s outline of what he believes were “repressions by Stalin” is completely false. He is not wrong to be concerned about illegal repressions. He is correct to reject the “cult of the great man” around Stalin. As I demonstrate in my book Khrushchev Lied, Stalin himself rejected this disgusting “cult” while Khrushchev was one of its most fervent practitioners.

Rajimwale is wrong in accepting the Trotsky -Khrushchev-Gorbachev-Cold War anticommu-nist “anti-Stalin” paradigm of Soviet history. It is false, from beginning to end. And he is wrong too in repeating its lies.

Soviet history must be completely rewritten, from the beginning, in the light of the documen-tary evidence we now possess. My book Khrushchev Lied is a contribution to this end, a start in the task of discovering, and then learning from, the history of the Soviet Union, the first workers’ state.

2. The Question of Repressions

About the Moscow Trials Rajimwale states:

• “The accused were given no chance to defend themselves…”

False. For example, Genrikh Iagoda, Aleksei Rykov, and Nikolai Bukharin spent much of their testimony rejecting and denying certain of the charges against them, while admitting other very serious crimes.

• No “documents been made public that defend the point of view of the accused…”

False. We have extensive statements by, for example, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Iagoda, and Bukharin denying their guilt. Later, faced by the evidence against them, they changed their pleas to guilty.

• “…the charges themselves were fabricated.”

False. There has never been any evidence of this. How, then, can Rajimwale make such an assertion?

On the contrary: we have a great deal of evidence, including evidence from outside the USSR, that the charges against the major defendants were true.

• Rajimwale states that I “admit that millions of people and prominent leaders were repressed, harassed, tortured and killed”.

False. My book is about Khrushchev’s Secret Speech, not the question of mass repressions.

We now know that Nikolai Ezhov illegally murdered hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens in order to create discontent and further his own plan to seize power. Ezhov’s henchmen used torture. For these crimes they were investigated, arrested, prosecuted, and many of them sentenced to death.

(I have one article on this subject: “The Moscow Trials and the ‘Great Terror’ of 1937-1938: What the Evidence Shows”. A link to it may be found on my Home Page.)

Rajimwale names 11 prominent Party figures who, he says, were “victims of repression”. Of these:

• Ordzhonikidze was never repressed at all. On the contrary, he strongly supported the prosecution of Iurii Piatakov, a senior figure in Ordzhonikidze’s Ministry.

• Rokossovsky was indeed arrested, impri-soned, and beaten by Ezhov’s men. After Beria had replaced Ezhov, Rokossovsky was released at the request of Stalin and Marshal Timoshenko and restored to his previous rank. He went on to be one of the most successful Soviet commanders.

In 1962 Khrushchev asked Rokossovsky to write a negative article about Stalin. Rokossovsky replied: “Nikita Sergeevich, I consider comrade Stalin a saint!” and refused to join a toast with Khrushchev, who the next day removed him as Deputy Minister for Defence.

• Marshal Zhukov was not repressed but demoted for stealing—keeping huge amounts of booty from Germany for himself. We have the documents where Zhukov admits doing this and vows to reform.

• Rajimwale names Bukharin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky, Bliukher, Tomsky, Rykov. Under Gorbachev all (except Trotsky) were declared “innocent”. But we now have excellent evidence that they were guilty of conspiring against the Soviet Government.

Thanks to evidence released over the last 30 years, we now know that Trotsky was lying all through the 1930s. He was indeed in a bloc with other oppositionists.

Rajimwale claims that Bukharin was “tortu-red”. On the contrary: Stephen Cohen, the world’s expert on Bukharin and someone who despises Stalin, long ago concluded that Bukharin was not tortured.

We possess excellent evidence today that Bukharin was guilty of at least what he confessed to—conspiring to murder Stalin and overthrow the Soviet Government.

We have excellent evidence too that Bukharin was guilty of another crime to which he did not confess: knowledge that Ezhov was a conspirator and was “repressing”—killing—many innocent persons in pursuit of his conspiracy. Had Bukharin revealed this it is probable that the hundreds of thousands whom Ezhov and his men illegally killed might have been saved.

All the above will be new to Mainstream’s readers and to Rajimwale. For decades we have all been bombarded—indeed, “brainwashed” is not too strong a term—with the false anti-communist interpretation of Soviet history that had its origins in Trotsky and which was adopted and elaborated by Khrushchev and Gorbachev, and overtly anticommunist writers, both Russian and Western.

Since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 the deliberate falsification of Soviet history, and especially of the Stalin period, has increased in intensity.

However, we now have a great many documents from former Soviet archives. Much is still being withheld by the Russian authorities, while it is both difficult and very expensive to gain access even to those documents which have been declassified but not yet published.

Yet more than enough has been published to permit honest, objective researchers to disprove many of the grossest anticommunist falsifications. Many of these falsifications are intended to further demonise Joseph Stalin.

The larger target of the anticommunists is the goal of eliminating exploitation of man by man—capitalism. Any reform, any intervention by the state to lighten the dependence of working people upon their employers is branded “socialism” and is said to be the first step on the slippery slope to “Stalinism” and the murder of millions. It is a shame that many persons, like Rajimwale, who want to further the struggle for a better world, are duped by anticommunist falsehoods.

Though Trotsky came first, Khrushchev was by far the most influential anticommunist of the 20th century. His “Secret Speech” remains the cornerstone of the demonised view of Soviet history that dominates mainstream (as well as Trotskyist) history and that Rajimwale’s essay reflects. My book demolishes Khrushchev’s lies in that speech.

I have written much more research, some with my valued Moscow colleague, Vladimir Bobrov. Except for the books, all of it may be downloaded from my Home Page, http://www.tinyurl.com/grover-furr-research

Grover Furr
Montclair State University
Montclair NJ 07043 USA
E-mail: furrg_nj@fastmail.fm

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