Anyone interested in what Andy Newman thinks of Stalin, the man who murdered pretty much every member of the central committee of the Bolshevik Party at the time of the Russian Revolution of October 1917? If not, you should be.
A few members of the Bolshevik’s central committee died of natural causes before Stalin accumulated all power. Stalin managed to bump off all the rest. Even Trotsky’s exile did not save him. Stalin sent agents into Trotsky’s own camp to attempt assassination, one of them finally succeeding.
As is well known, Trotsky wrote a pamphet about how his son died, one of the leaders of the Fourth International, a genuine hero of who does not get the credit he deserves for the role he played in the socialist movement: Leon Sedov. The secretary of Leon Sedov was yet another spy sent by Stalin to infiltrate Trotsky’s closest organisation in order to destroy it. Trotsky’s pamphet makes a powerful case that his son was almost certainly murdered by Stalinist agents.
What about Lenin? How did he die? We know that Lenin’s widow said that the only thing that saved him from Stalin’s purges was the fact that he was already dead. However, there may be even more to it than that.
Trotsky’s unfinished biography of Stalin goes so far as to suggest that it is at least possible that Lenin himself was murdered by Stalin. The evidence is far from compelling. Nevertheless, sufficient evidence exists to pose that as a perfectly legitimate question.
Leaving aside the possibility of that Stalin murdered Lenin, leaving aside the fact that he almost certainly murdered Leon Sedov due to a spy he sent into the heart of the Fourth International, we do know some facts that are beyond dispute. We know for a fact that Stalin turned on everyone who participated in the Russian Revolution who was a member of the central committee in 1917 who had not already died by the time he had smashed all organised resistance to him inside the party: Trotsky, Zinoviev, Bukharin.
We know for an absolute fact that Stalin reduced Russia to a totalitarian nightmare, one that relied on slave labour to industrialise. The right to organise at any level inside Russia was no greater than existed inside Nazi Germany. Does any of this pose problems for Andy Newman of the misnamed Socialist Unity Network? Of course not.
Andy Newman poses as a defender of democracy by conducting a vicious witch hunt against SWP members, smearing individuals with all sorts of crimes without one shred of evidence. He behaves towards natural justice exactly as Stalin did when he accused every supporter of Leon Trotsky being in the pay of the fascists and British and American imperialism.
Andy Newman foments lynch mobs against SWP supporters inside the trade unions, with his ludicrous side-kick (Phil Burton-Cartledge) calling for sabotage of any attempt by the trade unions to fight any victimisation of them by their employers. Andy Newman and his associates have a lot in common with Stalin’s supporters. The Stalin School of Falsifiction lives on an flourishes at Andy Newman’s Socialist Unity Network blog.
This matters to the SWP because Andy Newman is a political associate of Richard Seymour. Both smeared the SWP central committee as “paranoid” for daring to suggest that spies would be sent by Chris Bambery into the SWP in order to leak what went on at SWP conference. Andy Newman and Richard Seymour are, to coin a phrase, “All in it together.” And Stalin is their model of a progressive democrat.
Andy Newman at 9:56 am
- So history should judge Stalin; but in that judgement we should recognize how Stalin was the creature of his times; and not alone in culpability. What is more, the character of Stalin, who almost through a feat of sheer will industrialized and militarised the USSR to defend itself against the Nazi threat, was also the character that ruthlessly regarded people as expendible. It did give Stalin the attributes needed to be a great war leader: his radio broadcast on 3rd July 1941 had an effect similar to Churchill’s “fight them on the beaches” speech