With Dictatorship And Bureaucracy Added On
Messrs. Seeker and Warburg have just published a pamphlet of forty-six pages, priced one shilling, by Max Eastman, entitled The End of Socialism in Russia.
Max Eastman describes himself " as a Marxian socialist these twenty-five years " and is the author of the book Since Lenin Died.
These few pages constitute the strangest indictment ever written on the pretensions of Skdin's Russia.
Pointing out—as the Catholic Herald has done so often—the appalling way in which our intellectuals and Labour leaders deceive themselves with words and ideologies, he goes straight to the point, and in American idiom describes the notion of modern Russia being communist or socialist as a " sample of a particularly sublime apple-sauce ' under cover of which the restoration of class privilege and the soaking out of the foundations tyf socialism " are carried on.
What Mr. Eastman does not see is the total impossibility of his own ideal of a free and classless society, except among saints, and the inevitability of the development of any such Utopian ideal into precisely the kind of autocratic bureaucracy which he so brilliantly denounces in Russia today.
Max Eastman cites the following three fundamentals of true socialism: education: women's freedom and the family; peace, war and patriotism.
Of these three he writes " there is now little but a memory, and a clinging memory, left."
Education Lenin wrote of the freedom of pupils, the abolition of marks and distinctions, the discontinuance of eternal discipline, the end of punishments, examinations and uniforms.
" All this was swept from the earth," writes Mr. Eastman, " letter and spirit, by a Decree on Academic Reform,' issued by the Stalin government on September 4, 1935, and by instructions following it, of which the following phrases will convey the drift:— Instruct a commission .. . to elaborate a draft of a ruling for every type of school. The ruling must have a categoric and absolutely obligatory character for pupils as well as for teachers.:,:rhis rot-. ing`must be the fundamental document . . . which strictly establishes the regime of studies and the basis for order in the school as well as the rules of conduct of pupils inside and outside of school . . . Introduce in all schools a uniform type of pupils' report card on which all the principal rules for the conduct of the pupil arc to be inscribed. Establish a personal record for • every pupil . . . Every live days the chief instructor of a class will examine the memorandum, will mark cases of absence and tardiness in it and will demand the signature of the parent under all remarks of the instructor . . . Underlying the ruling on the conduct of pupils is to be placed a strict and conscientious application of discipline . . . In the personal record there will be entered for the entire duration of his studies the marks of the pupil for every quarter, his prizes and his punishments ... A special apparatus of Communist Youth organisers is to be installed for the surveillance of the pupil inside and outside of school. They are to watch over the morality and the state of mind of the pupils . . . Establish a single form of dress tor pupils.
" In the sphere of sex and family relations or. in other words, upon the problem of the freedom and rights of woman and the related problem of population control, the counter-revolution in the Soviet Union in the past two years has been so crudely put over, that even our serenest ideologues become uneasy in their dreams of building socialism in one country.'
"It is class legislation and discriminatory sex legislation in its foulest form. It is the absolute end of that utopian reign of freedom, justice, and mature intelligence upon all questions relating to sex and family.
Patriotism " Pravda, the official organ of Lenin's Party, hauls down the Marxian banner, Workers of the world unite.' and runs up the slogan of all mad dogs of war: 'Defence or the fatherland is the supreme law of life.'
"In the spring of 1935 Stalin's government issued a decree which made the death penalty for theft—adopted for adults three years before—applicable to minors from the age of twelve.
" In view of such a decree, one blushes almost to recall that according to Marxian theory, the state as an instrument of compulsion ' was supposed to • die away' with the triumph of socialism, and this process was to begin the very moment the industries of a country were socialised.
" If your wayward child stood under the threat of being shot for theft at twelve, it would matter little whether he were shot on the theory/ that property has been ' socialised ' and now belongs to everybody.
The New Constitution " The shift of sovereignty, nurtured with unceasing vigilance since 1924, has reached its culmination in the new ' democratic ' constitution, which is nothing but a sweeping out of the refuse of workers' rule to make way for a totalitarian state not in essence different from that of Hitler and Mussolini.
"What is the • secret ballot ' when only one party can run candidates for office, and that the party in power? What is free press and assemblage ' when no man can form, advocate, or support the platform of any but the gang in power, and when ten to twenty thousand of those who have done so are in jail or exile while you talk about it?
" What is the whole talk under these conditions about how ' we ' are going to give the Russian people ' [sic!] the most democratic constitution on earth? Is there any term in the language to describe it except
• apple-sauce '?"
Division of Wealth Mr. Eastman carefully compares the division of wealth and the difference be