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Barry Sheppard

Theories of the USSR in light of its collapse

By Barry Sheppard

The collapse of "really existing socialism" in the USSR and Eastern Europe a decade ago came as a shock to all tendencies in the workers' movement and the political representatives of the capitalist class worldwide. No-one predicted such an outcome beforehand—no-one alive, that is. Why was this so?

To answer this question, it would be useful to review the differing views on the character of the USSR.

Stalin and his heirs claimed that the USSR had achieved socialism in the 1930s and was a classless society. The regime claimed, "We have not yet, of course, complete communism, but we have already achieved socialism—that is, the lowest stage of communism"1

The Bush Doctrine

By Malik Miah, Barry Sheppard and Caroline Lund.

All are members of the US socialist organisation Solidarity.

The criminal September 11, 2001, attacks were greeted by the Bush administration as a godsend. The shock and horror experienced by the US people were mobilised into support of a new, open-ended “War on Terrorism” designed to give a blank cheque to a new stage of US military aggression. This war represents a qualitative change in policy from one of containment to one of more active aggression to destroy enemies who stand in the way of greater US world domination.

Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense (War) Rumsfeld, Attorney General Ashcroft, Secretary of State Powell, and other advisers like Condoleezza Rice in a matter of weeks laid out the new policy, dubbed the “Bush Doctrine” by the White House:

US empire after Iraq: analysis and perspectives

By Malik Miah, Barry Sheppard and Caroline Lund

The authors are longtime socialist activists in the United States and wrote "The Bush Doctrine" in issue 22. Miah is a member of the editorial board of Links; Sheppard and Lund are contributing editors.

CONTENTS

1. What US imperialism accomplished in the war

2. Obstacles for imperialism revealed by the war

3. Tasks of revolutionary socialists

"We will be called imperialists regardless, so we might as well be competent imperialists." (Stephen Peter Rosen, professor of strategic studies at Harvard University, Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2003.)

"It's time for the US to behave more like an occupying power." ("The Bremer Regency", editorial, Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2003.)

"The notion that you can't export democracy through the barrel of a gun is simply wrong. We did it in Germany, Italy, Japan and elsewhere." (Max Boot, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, as quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, May 4, 2003.)

1. What US imperialism accomplished in the war

The most powerful military power humanity has ever seen is beating its chest and proclaiming to the world: "Do what we say or face the consequences".

Interview with Malcolm X

By Barry Sheppard

This article is taken from a chapter of volume one of a political memoir, covering the years 1960-1973. Barry Sheppard was a central leader of the US Young Socialist Alliance and Socialist Workers Party during the years 1960-1988.

***

Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, on May 19, 1925. In February 1946 he was sentenced in Massachusetts to 8-10 years' imprisonment for burglary. While in prison, he was won to the Nation of Islam, a Black Nationalist religious sect founded by W.D. Fard and headed at that time and until his death by Elijah Muhammad. Emerging in the early 1930s, the Nation of Islam was one of the groups that developed as a result of the decline and splintering of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association, which had galvanised a large section of the Black community after World War I. The Nation of Islam taught a religious doctrine that Black people were blessed by God and that whites were devils specially created to oppress Black people. They called for the creation of an independent Black nation in the United States, but tended to stress that the achievement of this state would be the work of God, not human beings.

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