Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 16, July 12, 1976.

Repression of Individual Freedoms

Repression of Individual Freedoms

This thoroughly repressive approach, against any and every individual who differs with the official policy, was adopted in not just Russia but in China as well. The Maoist regime, which has always proclaimed its links with the traditions of Stalin, today reviles anyone who steps out of line, including top government officials Recent examples of this process are former Chinese Premier Liu Shao-Chi; Mao's "close comrade in arms and successor" Lin Piao, and Teng Hsia-Ping, rumoured to have been in line for the "succession" to Chou En-lai. None of these figures have had a chance to answer publicly the mountain of charges upon them, "capitalist roader", "Kuomintang agent", "Trotskyite". "big scab" etc etc etc. Democratic freedoms (of speech, publishing etc) exist no more in China than they do in Russia.

The Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s gave rise to two conflicting state religions - the Gospel according to Moscow, and the Gospel according to Peking, each vilifying and denouncing the other, and each involved in basically the same conservative "detente" foreign policy in relation to the capitalist world.

Despite the privilege and conservatism of the bureaucracies however, the progressive social essence of the Russian and Chinese revolutions, the material gains embodied in socialised industry, remains. This is why the working people in those countries have rallied to their defence - most outstandingly when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. This is also the explanation for the "much higher morale" in the Russian as opposed to the Nato armed forces, which Terry Auld seems so worried about.

The Soviet Union (and China) have always had a defensive stance. They have been forced to build up their armed forces (including a nuclear capability) because of the agressive actions and military buildup of the United States and its imperialist allies. It is the imperialist powers of Western Europe, Japan and North America who have been the prime cause of world tension ever since the Russian revolution of 1917.

The government's anti-Russian campaign is an anti-communist campaign, with the aim of weakening support for and undermining the post-capitalist states. Right-wingers like Muldoon are opposed to the Soviet Union (and China) because these countries represent a huge area of the world removed from the domain of the stock market and the imperialist cash register. There is nothing that they would like to do more than to overthrow the conquests of the Russian and Chinese revolutions.

This is why it is foolish for socialists to go along with the anti-Russia campaign of Muldoon.

Photo of a man with dark eyebrows

To sum up: in our view the Soviet Union is neither capitalist nor socialist. It is a contradictory society halfway between capitalism and socialism in which
(a)severe inequalities exist between the priviliged strata and the working people;
(b)the ruling bureaucracy has converted itself into an uncontrolled caste alien to socialism;
(c)the original social revolution, betrayed by the ruling group still exists in property relations and in the consciousness of the vast majority;
(d)future developments can lead either forward to socialism or back to capitalism;
(e)on the road to socialism, the workers would have to overthrow the bureaucracy;
(f)on the road to capitalism, the counterrevolution would have to break the resistance of the workers.

We take the side of the Russian working people in this conflict, both in their opposition to the Soviet bureaucracy and in their confrontation with the capitalist enemies of the Russian revolution. In lining up with Muldoon against Russia, Terry Auld is joining that enemy camp.