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Neil Redfern wrote a book about the CPGB and the Second World War from an anti-revisionist perspective, published by Manchester University Press.Are there any good books that attempt to tackle the controversial decisions by the Comintern/CPGB but from a non-Trot/Euro position. Are there any ML authors/historians who have examined, for example, the 'Social Fascist' line in the late 30's? or the role of Communists in the Spanish Civil War? or the support for the British State during WWII? I'm not looking for pure repudiations or apologetics but considered and Marxist examinations of the whys, wherefores and could do betters.etc
The belief that the states and parties which emerged, directly or indirectly, from the October revolution had the potential to develop towards socialist democracy was probably the main thing which distinguished eurocommunists from left social democrats. That distinction is now irrelevant. There are still some CPs from eurocommunism's heyday (PCF, PCE) that retain the communist name and imagery, but in fact they function as social-democratic parties. In their turn, the PS and PSOE seem to have lost what little vestigial socialism they once had.To me the term seems meaningless without a set of "actually existing socialist" countries to hope to reform. The entire Eurocommunist project was based on the hope (forlorn it seems) that a planned economy could be married to political pluralism. What would a so-called Eurocommunist believe today?
I reviewed Redfern's book for the Communist History Network Newsletter in 2005 but that publication no longer seems to be available online.Neil Redfern wrote a book about the CPGB and the Second World War from an anti-revisionist perspective, published by Manchester University Press.
"Also, comrades should read about the disaster that Carrillo was for the party in spain. It was a car crash, with no democracy, socialist or otherwise. "Yet more tiresome Euro crap from King. If ‘socialist democracy’ was really the aim of the Euros, why did they expel large amounts of the CP’s membership in Britain and try to disenfranchise others? One trick my Euro branch secretary had was to ‘forget’ to re-issue cards to comrades who didn’t happen to agree with his waffle. Other older comrades will give plenty of other examples. Also, comrades should read about the disaster that Carrillo was for the party in spain. It was a car crash, with no democracy, socialist or otherwise.
I’m well aware of the many faults of the old CP but ‘socialist democracy’ my arse! The Euros were just petty dictators.
My review of Redfern may be found here:I reviewed Redfern's book for the Communist History Network Newsletter in 2005 but that publication no longer seems to be available online.
My own take on the party's history during the war may be found here:
This article was based on research I did in the late 1970s for a volume of essays on CPGB history that was supposed to be published by Lawrence and Wishart but never saw the light of day, I suspect for political reasons because the party leadership did not like its heterodox mix of Eurocommunist, Feminist and Trotskyist views.
I agree with Francis that politically biased history is always bad history. But sometimes more partisan perspectives can yield novel insights and open up new avenues for research. The important thing is not to distort either the evidence or alternative viewpoints in pursuit of a partisan argument/interpretation.
Thanks for the links Geoffrey.My review of Redfern may be found here:
https://www.academia.edu/29068712/Class ... World_Wars
This site contains a number of my articles, reviews and papers, including a chapter from the unpublished and unfinished memoirs of Dennis Ogden:
https://www.academia.edu/21879420/After ... ow_in_1955
Dennis went to Moscow in 1954 to work as a translator for the Foreign Languages Publishing House (mostly on the journal International Affairs). In the late 1950s and early 1960s he was the Daily Worker's correspondent in Moscow, famously breaking the story of Yuri Gagarin's spaceflight ahead of the official announcement, which annoyed the Soviet authorities no end! In the 1960s he taught Russian Studies at the Polytechnic of Central London. In the 1970s he was the Secretary of the CP's Committee for the Study of the European Socialist Countries (the party leadership wouldn't let us discuss China, Cuba, North Korea or Vietnam!). This group was quite active for a few years, contributing courses to the Communist University of London and publishing four issues of a journal called Socialist Europe, which carried articles by Soviet and Czech dissidents alongside more orthodox views.