Russian Workers Raised Not One Finger When The Former USSR Fell In 1991

 

By Rosa Lichtenstein

 

Unfortunately, Internet Explorer 11 will no longer play the videos I have posted below. As far as I can tell, they play as intended in other Browsers. However, if you have Privacy Badger [PB] installed, they won't play in Google Chrome unless you disable PB for this site.

 

[Having said that, I have just discovered that these videos will play in IE11 if you have upgraded to Windows 10! It looks like the problem is with Windows 7 and earlier versions of Windows.]

 

Furthermore, if you are using Internet Explorer 10 (or later), you might find some of the links I have used won't work properly unless you switch to 'Compatibility View' (in the Tools Menu); for IE11 select 'Compatibility View Settings' and then add this site (anti-dialectics.co.uk). Microsoft's new browser, Edge, automatically renders these links compatible; Windows 10 also automatically makes IE11 compatible with this site.

 

However, if you are using Windows 10, Microsoft's browsers, IE11 and Edge, unfortunately appear to colour these links somewhat erratically. They are meant to be royal blue, but those two browsers render them intermittently mid-blue, light blue, yellow, purple and even red!

 

Firefox and Chrome reproduce them correctly.

 

~~~~~~oOo~~~~~~

 

In a 'debate' with a somewhat irrational and dissembling Stalinist on Quora a while back I had the temerity to assert that when the former Soviet Union (fSU) fell in December 1991 the Russian working class lifted not one finger in defence of 'their' state. Because that individual ignored much of what I argued, posted lies, invented words to put in my mouth (which he does once again, as we will see in what follows) and ignored my warnings, I blocked him.

 

However, my allegations clearly rattled his cage, and so he took to Quora a few months later to post a lengthy attempt to defend that monster, Stalin, and, among other things, respond to my controversial allegation about the reaction of Russian workers in 1991. Much of this 'reply' was in fact irrelevant to the latter claim, so I will ignore it as so much wasted effort on his part -- except to note that he resurrects the usual lies and slurs levelled against Trotsky to which we have become well accustomed over the last ninety years. In a world supposedly governed by the Heraclitean Flux, not much change apparent there!

 

This individual, whom I will call, Angry Stalinist Scammer (ASS, for short), asserts the following in response to this paragraph of mine

 

Me: [T]he Stalinist regime would have to impose an anti-democratic, autocratic, and tyrannical regime on the mass of the working population of the fSU. That is because, in order to catch up, the communist state would have to subject the working population to super-exploitation -- whereby, the proportion of wealth going to that section of society would be reduced almost to subsistence levels, and often even below that (hence the massive famines, for example, in the Ukraine) -- so that investment in heavy industry could be maximised. This in turn meant that the state had to be totalitarian, executing and terrorising hundreds of thousands — including nearly every one of the leading revolutionaries of 1917 —, since working people would resist, as they always have done, such extreme economic deprivation, anti-democratic impositions and privations. Only absolute terror would intimidate them enough."

 

ASS: The argument made is that Stalin was a psychotic mass murderer who wantonly slaughtered millions of his citizens to maintain power. [From here.]

 

Readers will search long and hard, and to no avail, for any indication in my quoted remarks that I alleged that Stalin was a psychopath (not having a degree in psychiatry, or, indeed, a consulting couch, I would never assert this of anyone, but it is sufficient to note once again that ASS isn't averse to making stuff up about me and what I have argued, which should raise a few serious doubts about his truthfulness in general, and not just about the nature of the fSU), nor did I assert that the above was instigated in order to maintain Stalin's power. Note the following reasons I claimed were behind the change that took place in 1929  -- here is the context ASS conveniently omitted:

 

But, the fSU in the mid-1920s was still economically backward, its industry and working population all but destroyed by WW1 and the Civil War that followed. As Stalin argued, they would have to make up the yawning gap between their economy and the rest of the capitalist world in a generation or they would be crushed.

 

[That is indeed what was attempted by Nazis in 1941, who had been regarded by many in the UK and the USA, for example, as 'good anti-communists' only a few years earlier.]

 

This meant that the Stalinist regime would have to impose an anti-democratic, autocratic and oppressive regime on the mass of the working population of the fSU. That is because, in order to catch up the state would have to subject the working population to super-exploitation -- whereby, the proportion of wealth going to that section of society would be reduced almost to subsistence levels, and often even below that (hence the massive famines, for example in the Ukraine) -- so that investment in heavy industry could be maximised. This in turn meant that the state had to become totalitarian, executing and terrorising hundreds of thousands, including nearly every one of the leading revolutionaries of 1917, since working people would resist, as they always have done, such extreme economic deprivations imposed anti-democratically. Only absolute terror would intimidate the population enough. [From here.]

 

Notice, I asserted that those changes were imposed for hard-headed political and economic reasons -- in order to "catch up" with the Imperialist powers, as Stalin himself argued. A psychopath would have been useless in such circumstances. Nor did I claim that "millions" were "wantonly slaughtered". It seems that ASS's penchant for telling bare-faced lies (as we saw in our exchange on Quora) is a tactic he is happy to maintain.

 

There then follows a few thousand words of ASS trying to excuse, justify or 'rationalise' what happened in the fSU in the 1930s, all of which is irrelevant to the aim of this response, a clue to which can be gleaned from its title -- the total failure of the Russian working class to defend 'their' state in 1991. So, I will ignore that material, too -- long experience has taught me that, just like Holocaust deniers, no matter how much evidence ASS-like Stalinists are confronted with, they ignore it.

 

After all that pro-Stalinist propaganda, ASS then quotes me:

 

[T]hese regimes were never popular; quite the reverse, in fact — and when most of them fell nearly 30 years ago, as they were always doomed to do, not one single proletarian hand was raised in their defence. Indeed, workers were glad to see the back of them, and many even joined in their demolition. [From here.]

 

His reply?

 

Oh really? Pray do tell why facts say otherwise? Do these people sound or look depressed or badly off? [From here.]

 

ASS then cites anecdotal evidence (of the sort that the Nazis used to produce showing the 'wonderful conditions' in their concentration camps), which I won't quote (readers can access it for themselves by following the above links -- they might also need to quaff a powerful anti-emetic first).

 

The point of my words above was the following: if conditions were quite so wonderful in the fSU and E Europe, why did the working class of those countries not rise en masse to defend 'their' states? The fact they didn't do this suggests that the fSU and E Europe weren't quite as wonderful ASS would have us believe. Plainly, ASS has uncritically swallowed all that pro-Stalinist propaganda, and has compounded that failing by unwisely believing his own b.s.

 

ASS now cites various opinion polls and surveys that suggest that previous and recent generations in E Europe and the fSU preferred life in the old regime. I'll return to consider this 'evidence' later.

 

Here is what I have written at my site about this topic (much of which I posted in reply to ASS -- which he largely ignored -- no surprise there, then):

 

~~~~~~oOo~~~~~~

 

The Following Comments Are Meant Specifically For STDs, MISTs And OTs:

 

[STD = Stalinist Dialectician; OT = Orthodox Trotskyist; MIST = Maoist Dialectician.]

 

The alleged ruling-class of the former Communist Block (i.e., workers!) were remarkably passive when those regimes were toppled, having raised not one finger in their defence. Indeed, and in many cases, they joined in tearing them down (on this, see below). Contrast that with the way workers, for example, have fought in Nepal in 2006, or Lebanon, Serbia, France, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, Burma, Bolivia (and again more recently), Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, AlgeriaTunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria -- in fact the population of Syria has been resisting the Assad murder machine now for over five years, and have suffered well over 450,000 deaths for their pains --, Hong Kong, and the rest of the Middle East (January 2011-November 2016), to name but a few.

 

To that list we can add the following (for the period 2016-2019): 

 

Update April 2018: Nicaragua saw tens of thousands on the streets protesting pension cuts -- dozens are killed, and the cuts were then reversed. In the same month, tens of thousands were on the streets of Armenia -- after eleven days of protest they also forced the resignation of their Prime Minister.

 

Update June 2018: Tens of thousands were on the streets right across Jordan protesting 'austerity' cuts (a tax increase) imposed by the IMF. A day or so later, the Jordanian Prime Minister resigned and the government promised to reverse the IMF-imposed tax hike.

 

Update March 2019: Massive demonstrations across Algeria prompt the President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, into declining a fifth term.

 

Update November 2019: In 2019 alone, since the above was written, we have seen mass demonstrations and protests in the following countries: France (the 'Yellow Vest' protest on-going now for nearly a year), Netherlands, Catalonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia (yet again!), Morocco, Sudan, Lebanon, Egypt, Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong (where massive protests and demonstrations have been going on virtually non-stop now for over five months), Indonesia, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador (the protests there were so large that the President had to flee the capital), Honduras (the USA Embassy was even set on fire), Haiti...

 

And a week or so after the above, Colombia erupts -- and later still even Malta can take no more.

 

In fact, 2019 has been called "the year of global protest".18a

 

The above were often in defence even of limited forms of bourgeois democracy -- or were in opposition to various 'austerity' measures -- never mind a defence of what was supposed to be their socialist state.

 

Compare what happened in the fSU with the way Bolshevik workers responded en masse to the imperialist invasion and White Army counter-revolution in Russia, 1917-22.

 

Indeed, this is all the more remarkable given the additional fact that the Soviet working class and the Soviet State were supposed to be the most powerful in history, as even Stalin opined:

 

"At the same time we stand for the strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is the mightiest and strongest state power that has ever existed. The highest development of state power with the object of preparing the conditions for the withering away of state power -- such is the Marxist formula. Is this 'contradictory'? Yes, it is 'contradictory.' But this contradiction us bound up with life, and it fully reflects Marx's dialectics." [Political Report of the Central Committee to the Sixteenth Congress of the CPSU(B), June 27, 1930. Bold emphasis added; quotation marks altered to conform with the conventions adopted at this site.]

 

Indeed, the working class of the fSU in the late 1980s were supposedly in control not only of one of the most powerful military forces on the planet, but also the unions, the police, the party, the state bureaucracy, the courts, and the media -- they were far stronger than they had been in 1917 when they did put their lives on the line (and, I might add, they were then led by Trotsky, not Stalin). Considering the overwhelming force available to them (far in excess of any available to workers at any point in human history), those workers could easily have crushed any attempt to undermine the fSU (or, indeed, any attempt to compromise 'socialism' after Stalin died), had they chosen to do so. More-or-less the same can be said of the 'People's Democracies' in Eastern Europe, as well as the 'socialist' states of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia..., and now China and Cuba.

 

On this, see the pictures and media posted on the opening page of this site -- or, indeed, the following video:

 

 

Video One: Moscow 1991 -- Dramatic Scenes As Massed Ranks Of Workers Defend 'Their State'.

[Oops! It's Actually Hong Kong, October 2014.]

 

In response to this, Stalinophiles often point to opinion polls that seem to suggest that (a decade or so ago) a large proportion of the population of Russia would prefer to go back to the old system. However, as we know, the results of such polls can be skewed by the options on offer or the questions posed. Had they been asked instead the following: "Do you want to return to a system dominated by mass incarceration, oppression and lack of democratic control, governed by a self-selecting and self-perpetuating elite that lines its pockets at your expense?" I rather think the results would have been different. Of course, that question is itself prejudicial and politically-motivated, so the real test of opinion here isn't simply for the Russian population to express passive opinions about the past, but what they are prepared to do to fight to restore the old system, and what they did in defence of that system when they supposedly had their hands on the levers of so much power.

 

The answer, of course, is: absolutely nothing.

 

Others point to a video of a large communist-party-organised demonstration/riot in Moscow a few years later; I have dealt with that response here.

 

In fact, other than during WW2, the only time that workers have fought in the fSU, E Europe and China was against the system -- for instance, East Germany 1953, Hungary and Poland 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968, Poland again in the early 1980s, E Europe in general in the late 1980s, China in 1989, Hong Kong in 2014 (and again throughout much of 2019 -- links above), to mention just a few examples. [On this, see Haynes (2002) and Kozlov (2002).]

 

Stalinists, of course, dismiss these incidents as revolts or riots inspired by fascists, the CIA, or 'capitalist roaders' (etc.) -- in short, they disparage them by (what is in effect) the equivalent of the ubiquitous "external agitator" deflection, a rationalisation used the world over by ruling elites of every stripe. We can see this happening again in 2018 as any attempt to criticise or oppose the warmongering moves of the USA and UK are accused of being financed or promoted by Russia (or Russian 'troll farms')! But, again, other than during WW2, can Maoists or Stalinists point to a single example where workers in the former Communist Block fought in the opposite direction, in support of 'their state'? The question answers itself -- they can't.

 

In fact, if workers were prepared to defend the fSU during WW2 from fascist invaders, why weren't they willing to defend 'their state' against internal 'anti-socialist' forces in 1953 (i.e., after Stalin died there was supposed to have been a 'coup' of sorts against the Soviet State -- or so we are told by hardcore Stalinophiles), 1956 (when Khrushchev exposed the 'crimes of Stalin') or 1991 when the entire system collapsed?

 

I have raised this with Stalinophiles on the Internet for many years; their only response so far is either to quote a few opinion polls, or deflect attention by changing the subject (a familiar tactic often accompanied by good old-fashioned abuse and personal attack).

 

Update July 2016: In the last few days an attempted coup in Turkey was defeated. The President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, called on the people to take to the streets to save their 'democracy', and in their tens of thousands they responded, confronting tanks and armoured cars, disarming soldiers. Over 250 were killed and over 2000 wounded as a result. Unlike soviet workers, these individuals weren't in control of the army, the police, the media, the press, their party, or the courts, and yet they poured on to the streets to defend even this limited form of bourgeois 'democracy'. If they can do that, why couldn't the proletarians of the former 'socialists' states have done likewise (in 1953, 1956, or 1991) when they had their hands on so much power?

 

 

Video Two: Not Soviet Russia In 1953, 1956, Or Even 1991

But Turkey, July 2016

 

In the following video, a Turkish citizen lies down in front of two tanks in defence even of the corrupt Turkish state (warning, graphic imagery -- the man suffered a damaged right arm, but he survived and was later interviewed on BBC News 24):

 

 

Video Three: Are Turkish Workers Braver

Than Soviet Workers?

 

Fast forward to November and December 2016: we saw hundreds of thousands on the streets of Seoul, South Korea, protesting government corruption, leading to the impeachment of the President. In the same month, tens of thousands poured onto the streets across the USA to show their anger over the election of Donald Trump.

 

Update 26/03/2017: Compare this, too, with the tens of thousands of ordinary citizens who joined anti-corruption demonstrations in over a hundred towns and cities across Russia, and who faced up to Vladimir Putin's uniformed bully-boys, suffering hundreds of arrests. If they found the courage to do this in 2017, why not in 1953, 1956, or 1991?

 

Update 01/05/2017: Even more turned out for The Women's March in the US and across the world -- reputedly the largest demonstration in US history, with upwards of five million, in five hundred towns and cities across the planet, there was even a demonstration in Antarctica! -- the day after Trump's inauguration in January 2017. There have been several more since -- for example, a global March for Science and The People's Climate March (both held in April 2017).

 

The only two conclusions possible here are the following:

 

(a) Russian workers, despite (supposedly) being the strongest and most well-organised working class in human history, allegedly in control not only of one of the mightiest military forces on the planet, but of the unions, the police, the party, the state bureaucracy, the courts, and the media (etc., etc.), were in fact the most cowardly and pusillanimous working class ever, or,

 

(b) The fSU wasn't socialist and workers were glad to see the back of it. The same can be said about the rest of the old Communist Block.19

 

~~~~~~oOo~~~~~~

 

18a. It is salutary to underline a point already made: that many of these battles have been fought in defence of limited bourgeois democratic and economic demands. The fact that workers in their hundreds of thousands are prepared to face down billy clubs, tear gas, pepper spray, live fire, tanks, heavily armed police and soldiers in pursuit of such limited objectives throws into stark relief the failure of workers in the former 'socialist' countries to do likewise in defence of something supposedly more important: their state, their revolution, their 'socialist' society. I think we can all draw the appropriate conclusion, here.

 

19. On the fSU and the 'People's Democracies' see Cliff (1950, 1996, 2003). See also, Binns (1986), Binns and Hallas (1976), and Harman (1988).

 

Binns, P. (1986), State Capitalism (SWP Publications).

 

Binns, P., and Hallas, D. (1976), 'The Soviet Union. State Capitalist Or Socialist?', International Socialism, First Series 91, November 1976, pp.16-27.

 

Cliff, T. (1950), 'The Class Nature Of The "People's Democracies"', reprinted in Cliff (1982), pp.40-85.

 

--------, (1996), State Capitalism In Russia (Bookmarks).

 

--------, (2003), Marxist Theory After Trotsky (Bookmarks).

 

Harman, C. (1988), Class Struggles In Eastern Europe, 1945-83 (Bookmarks). [Part One is available here.]

 

Haynes, M. (2002), Russia. Class And Power 1917-2000 (Bookmarks).

 

Kozlov, V. (2002), Mass Uprisings In The USSR: Protest And Rebellion In The Post-Stalin Years (M. E. Sharpe).

 

~~~~~~oOo~~~~~~

 

So, how does ASS respond to the accusation that the Russian working class was passive when the fSU fell, between August 24 and December 25, 1991 (notice the date I mentioned, 1991 -- not 1992, or 1993, or...)? You guessed it, and as predicted, he quotes opinion polls!

 

In Czechoslovakia in 1989, respondents were asked if they wanted capitalism, socialism, or a mixed economy. 47% responded socialism, 43% said mixed economy, and 3% said capitalism. Which is ironic considering how Czechs are always brought up when people harp about how communism was hated etc. etc. The facts show that despite their issues with the Soviet Union, in general they were FOR it. In Russia, a poll conducted by an American organization showed 54% preferred socialism, and 20% preferred capitalism. [Both sets of Statistics are from Blackshirts and Reds, by Michael Parenti]. In 1991, a referendum taken in the Soviet Union showed that around 80% of Soviet citizens wanted the Union to remain intact. Polls taken immediately after the dissolution of the Soviet Union showed similar sentiments: for example over 75% of Russians said they regretted its fall.... [Quoted from here; emphases and capitals in the original.]

 

Of course, that leaves it annoyingly undefined what the Czechs meant by "socialism" -- and given what happened in Czechoslovakia in 1968 (when they looked for socialism with a "human face" -- only to be denied by Russian tanks), it is open to considerable doubt they meant the same as ASS. True to form, ASS doesn't even ask such questions, he naively swallows the statistics he prefers to believe.

 

ASS also quotes the results of a referendum. I covered that in my reply:

A referendum, but no general strike, no mass demonstrations in 1991, no insurrection in 1991 in support of the Soviet Union. So, the support for the Soviet Union was passive at best. Can you imagine Lenin calling for a referendum in the middle of 1917? Workers then were prepared to fight for their socialism, but not in 1991. Why?

But let us examine the question that was asked in that referendum:

"Do you consider necessary the preservation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as a renewed federation of equal sovereign republics in which the rights and freedom of an individual of any ethnicity will be fully guaranteed?"

This wasn’t a question solely about their support for the Soviet Union but also about the preservation of the rights and freedoms in such a republic. As later events were to show, had the question been "Should the Soviet Union be disbanded or not?" the result would have been totally different. [From here.]

And, concerning opinion polls in general I said this earlier:

 

In response to this, Stalinophiles often point to opinion polls that seem to suggest that...a large proportion of the population of Russia would prefer to go back to the old system. However, as we know, the results of such polls can be skewed by the options on offer or the questions posed. Had they been asked instead the following: "Do you want to return to a system dominated by mass incarceration, oppression and lack of democratic control, governed by a self-selecting and self-perpetuating elite that lines its pockets at your expense?" I rather think the results would have been different. Of course, that question is itself prejudicial and politically-motivated, so the real test of opinion here isn't simply for the Russian population to express passive opinions about the past, but what they are prepared to do to fight to restore the old system, and what they did in defence of that system when they supposedly had their hands on the levers of so much power.

 

The answer, of course, is: absolutely nothing.

 

In Ass's reply there then follows another thousand or so words (about the collapse of the fSU) that are in fact off-topic (readers should check), so I'll not comment about them; they have nothing to do with the non-reaction to that collapse by the Russian working class in 1991.

 

ASS then posted this picture:

 

 

Figure One: Russia, But Not In 1991

 

With this added comment:

 

So this is not raising a finger? [From here.]

 

ASS added no date to this picture, nor did he offer any proof that the gathered throngs pictured were Russian workers, as oppose to communist party apparatchiks. So, as an example of what workers were prepared to do in December 1991, the above picture hardly counts as evidence.

 

I suspect that this is a picture of the large demonstration that took place two years after the fall of the fSU, about which I published the following in reply (as well as about a video that was also posted):

 

But you have a video (which I have seen before). [Added on edit: this video shows a large demonstration in Moscow in 1993.]

 

What does it show? It shows tens of thousands of demonstrators challenging the Yeltsin regime — in 1991? No, two years later in 1993!

 

So, where is the evidence that the Russian proletariat, which numbered not in the tens of thousands but the tens of millions, lifted a finger in defence of 'their state' in 1991 when they had their hands on the levers of power (as I argued above)? Nowhere, that's where. So, my allegation that they raised not one finger in defence of the fSU (or the 'People's Democracies') between 1989 and 1991 was correct. [From here.]

 

The communist party, which still existed, managed to organise a large demonstration two years too late, involving at least 0.025% of the Russian working population (I have estimated 20,000 on that demonstration — if you think it was larger, let me have the accurate figure — and the working population of the fSU at about 80,000,000). But, no strikes were organised, and no more demonstrations of any note were held. The vast bulk of the mightiest working class in history sat on their hands, even in 1993, never mind 1991!

 

So, that was a pathetic response, two years too late.

 

And that is it! That is all the 'hard' evidence ASS offered in support of his claim that Russian workers actually fought (not simply marched in the street, once, two year too late!) in defence of 'their' state!

 

He hasn't even got one demonstration in support of the fallen regimes in E Europe to which he can appeal!

 

Contrast that with what I said earlier:

 

Compare what happened in the fSU with the way Bolshevik workers responded en masse to the imperialist invasion and White Army counter-revolution in Russia, 1917-22.

 

Indeed, this is all the more remarkable given the additional fact that the Soviet working class and the Soviet State were supposed to be the most powerful in history, as even Stalin opined:

 

"At the same time we stand for the strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is the mightiest and strongest state power that has ever existed. The highest development of state power with the object of preparing the conditions for the withering away of state power -- such is the Marxist formula. Is this 'contradictory'? Yes, it is 'contradictory.' But this contradiction us bound up with life, and it fully reflects Marx's dialectics." [Political Report of the Central Committee to the Sixteenth Congress of the CPSU(B), June 27, 1930. Bold emphasis added; quotation marks altered to conform with the conventions adopted at this site.]

 

Indeed, the working class of the fSU in the late 1980s were supposedly in control not only of one of the most powerful military forces on the planet, but also the unions, the police, the party, the state bureaucracy, the courts, and the media -- they were far stronger than they had been in 1917 when they did put their lives on the line. Considering the overwhelming force available to them (far in excess of any available to workers at any point in human history), those workers could easily have crushed any attempt to undermine the fSU (or, indeed, any attempt to compromise 'socialism' after Stalin died), had they chosen to do so. More-or-less the same can be said of the 'People's Democracies' in Eastern Europe....

 

The only two conclusions possible here are the following:

 

(a) Russian workers, despite (supposedly) being the strongest and most well-organised working class in human history, allegedly in control not only of one of the mightiest military forces on the planet, but of the unions, the police, the party, the state bureaucracy, the courts, and the media (etc., etc.), were in fact the most cowardly and pusillanimous working class ever, or,

 

(b) The fSU wasn't socialist and workers were glad to see the back of it. The same can be said about the rest of the old Communist Block.

 

Now, I have just done a Google search for the above picture, and this Russian site dates it to 1993, just as I suspected:

 

http://newsland.com/community/8211/content/tainaia-istoriia-denezhnoi-reformy-1993-goda/6423950

 

[Non-Russian speakers will need to use a browser that translates Russian into English!]

 

ASS then offers us several more opinion polls!

 

But, he refers us to not one single strike, limited or general, local or national, brief or extended, passive or militant, in, or soon after, December 1991. Nothing! No series of mass demonstrations across the entire fSU, or even limited to a few of the larger cities and towns, at or about this time -- no series of marches, demonstrations or riots, as one would expect of such an allegedly powerful, massive and well-organised working class. Nothing, Rien, Nada, Zilch!

 

One demonstration two years later, and only in Russia (and possibly not by workers), is all he can offer! To compound his problems, there wasn't a single one in Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, Bucharest, Sofia, Budapest or Tirana -- or any other E European city, town or village. Not one single strike, either.

 

Compare that to what is currently happening in Hong Kong, France, Iraq and Gaza.

 

Whatever one thinks of the demonstrators in Hong Kong, they have been fighting now almost non-stop, nearly every day, for six months! They didn't mount just one demonstration of ten or twenty thousand (nor did they do that two years after the Communist Party's controversial extradition plans were announced, they were on the streets that day). So, not just one protest march, but dozens of protests of over a million (out of a population far smaller than that of the fSU in 1991 -- i.e., 7.4 million compared with 289 million -- which means those demonstrations often involved up to 20% of the entire Hong Kong population!), and many more protests of tens of thousands, day-after-day, for all those months. If Hong Kong workers can fight so hard and for so long, why couldn't Russian workers, or E European workers, do likewise?

 

Also compare what happened in the fSU and E Europe with what is taking place in Iraq. Hundreds of thousands have been on the streets there for months, with over 200 of them killed and many thousands wounded, all in support of limited bourgeois reforms. Consider, too, the 18 month long heroic "Right of return" struggle of the people of Gaza in the face of lethal Zionist violence -- with hundreds killed and many thousands wounded.

 

Over the last year we have seen week-after-week of demonstrations and riots right across France, organised by the "yellow vests" -- and now a series of mass strikes against the Macron regime in defence of the pension retiring age, for goodness sake!

 

 

Video Four: Hundreds Of Thousands Of French Workers On Strike For Two Weeks In 2019

-- But Not Two Years After Macron Had Raised Their Retirement Age

 

Where was the comparable response by Russian or E European workers? Did the Hong Kong protesters simply rely on opinion polls and referendums? Did they do the same in Iraq and Gaza? Did they mount just one demonstration and then pack it in? Did French workers threaten to strike in 2021, two years after Macron imposed his pension 'reforms'?

 

In the light of the above, these questions answer themselves.

 

ASS ends with this comment:

 

But hey its easier to say "they hated it" and behave like a child towards criticism.

 

If they loved the fSU so much, why did they sit on their hands in their hundreds of millions when the whole rotten system fell apart between 1989 and the end of 1991?

 

So, ASS has failed miserably to show that Russian workers raised so much a one finger in defence of the fSU in or around December 1991, and the same can be said (with even more justification -- ASS didn't even try with that one!) about the E European workers in and around 1989.

 

Nice try, only it wasn't...

 

© Rosa Lichtenstein 2020