There is much being said about defending Corbyn and Socialism these days, but here we have attacks on Communism reminiscent of cold war politics.The attacks are usually hysterical but usually the attempts are to isolate and disarm people.
It is not so much the myths and disinformation about communism but the question of the actual advocates that is really what plagues the opposition.
So why are communists always accepted and present in the movement by the workers themselves?
A shop-floor worker at the old British Leyland, Pressed Steel Fisher, in Castle Bromwich, once told us, “One thing about the Communists, and I’m not one”, he said to a group of us workers in the maintenance workshop, “they are the fighters and always made the best Shop Stewards because they cut through the nonsense and stand up to managements.”
You can’t deny that every major working class movement in Britain or major struggle has had the Communists in it or in the leadership probably since Chartism.
Besides Marx and Engels, and Eleanor Marx, Sylvia Pankhurst, Tom Mann, Harry Quelch, John McClean, Harry MacShane, Willie Gallagher, Wal Hannington, A.J.Cook, Arthur Horner, in Britain. In Ireland James Connelly and Jim Larkin. This is to name just some.
Abroad is the same but we won’t go through the great leaders names here. Yet the 20th century achievements are enormous.
In Russia the communists led the revolution and built the most successful socialist society the world has ever seen.
The communists led the defeat of Hitlerite fascism including the Russian victory and also the partisans throughout Europe.
Without such a victory, where would we all be today?
The occupied countries in Eastern Europe were liberated and reconstructed led by the communists. Yugoslavia and Albania in southern Europe the same.
The Communists in Korea and Vietnam led the great victories in liberation.
Whether it was China, Cuba, DPRK, Venezuela you will find communists.
Even recently the communists were prominent in the Miners’ strike of 1984-85.
The communists led the anti-fascist movement in Britain and dispelled Oswald Mosley in Cable Street. In the 70’s the National Front was defeated on the streets of England by mass action led by the communists.
They lead in the Stop the War Movement even today, they are in the thick of the fight for the NHS in Lewisham. They are in the forefront of advocating Anti-War Government.
Wherever there is an interest in minority rights and democracy you will find the communists, still, today.Whether it is against racism or Women’s rights, sexual orientation,youth you will find communists.
Wherever there is capitalist exploitation you will find communists speaking out for the exploited. If it is low pay,redundancy the unemployed, working conditions you will find it is the communists who are first to speak out.
Whether it is for defending the great social programmes, education and the rights of all to access (including students and teachers), the NHS (patients, doctors and nurses) there are communists (and in the forefront such as Lewisham).
The communists are laying the basis for modern definitions of Marxism-Leninism today. They are in the forefront in modelling the Alternative and opposing Austerity.
Wherever you find the working class on the move, you will find the communists.
That is why you can never disregard them, if you want to know what communism is really like, or what it would be like, what its characteristic is, then consider the character of a communist.
As Marx and Engels say in Chapter 2 of the Communist Manifesto, “Proletarians and Communists”,
“In what relation do the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole?
The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other working-class parties.
They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole.
They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement.
The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: 1. In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole”.
Tom Joad became one in fiction expressing what a communist was in “Grapes of Wrath”.
” I’ll be all around in the dark – I’ll be everywhere. Wherever you can look – wherever there’s a fight, so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready, and when the people are eatin’ the stuff they raise and livin’ in the houses they build – I’ll be there, too.” – Tom Joad (Grapes of Wrath).
These are the reasons why reactionaries fear communists, so the progressives never apologise for their presence.