meeting 14th april: class struggle in world war II

A meeting of the Birkbeck discussion group*, with a lead-off by David Broder.  From 7:30pm on Thursday 14th April at Room 254, Birkbeck, Malet Street (Goodge St. tube). All welcome.

The Second World War was the greatest crisis in the history of capitalism. For six years the system of states was in chaos as rival
imperialisms fought each other for control. Many communists hoped that the disaster of war and the discrediting of the ruling class would provide an opportunity for revolution. Yet the democratic bourgeoisie  emerged from 1945 stronger than ever.

However, the common view that the ‘unjust’ war of 1914-18 ended in a revolutionary crisis, whereas the working class passively supported the ‘democratic’ camp in 1939-45 is mistaken. ‘Anti-fascism’ stresses the idea of whole populations united against Hitler, but in fact there were millions of workers who struggled for their own interests, not those of the Russian, British and American states.

In his talk David Broder will describe the mass working-class movements of the period and why they were counterposed to the anti-fascist resistance. He will furthermore explain the limitations of the abortive revolutionary movements, and why their failure cannot be attributed solely to insufficient leadership or ‘betrayal’ by Stalinists.

* The Birkbeck discussion group was formed by Marxists from diverse backgrounds nine years ago. It was formed as an ongoing seminar to dicuss matters pertaining to communism, and meets monthly.