Lenin, Stalin and Imperialist Non-Collaboration

: July 22, 2018

Right wingers, in their attempts to justify continually attacking the Bolsheviks while supporting Russia today, are promoting misinformation about the actual beliefs of “The Bolsheviks.”  They are also implying that because Russia “overthrew” (notice the quotes) Communism, that essentially American imperialism is like a second attack on Russia with Communism being the first.  The implication is that if the Bolsheviks, if they were here today, would support American imperialism against Russia.

Yet only Leon Trotsky (the former Menshevik who was later expelled from the party) possibly would have taken such position, because there is a consistent difference between the views of Stalin/Lenin and the views of Trotsky.  Trotsky thought if a regime could be labeled nazi, fascist, or something else bad, that it was okay to side with the imperialism of the major capitalist powers against it.  Had he stuck a “bad” label on Putin, it is possible that he would side with American imperialism.

Lenin and then Stalin, however, strictly opposed supporting the imperialism of a capitalist power against any regime, even if the regime was reactionary, class divided etc. Stalin eventually sided with US against Hitler in self-defense, but until he was attacked, opposed siding with major capitalist powers.

Lenin today would oppose American imperialism against Russia. His writings do not suggest that imperialism should be allied with against non-marxist regimes. Mao and others believed that the targets of imperialism often have a common interest in the short term between the bourgeoisie and proletariat/peasantry. The immediate goal is to free the target of imperialism. It is short term.

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