One of the central myths of Stalinism is it’s claim to have saved the world from the threat of fascism in World War Two. In reality, the failures of Stalinism to challenge the rising fascist movements across Europe in the 1930s, along with the conservatism of the social democratic parties, allowed Hitler to come to power largely unchallenged. The counter-revolutionary politics of Stalinism in Spain helped to break the back of the revolution, assisting Franco in coming to power. The right-wing turn towards the popular front, coalitions with reformist and liberal bourgeois forces, dragged radical forces to the right, established reformist governments which fell apart in the face of reaction and disarmed the left in revolution. The popular front strategy is still held up by left commentators like Paul Mason as the only strategy to defeat the new far right today. But what is the real legacy of Stalinism in the anti-fascist struggle? Was there an alternative?
In this session Campaign Against Racism and Fascism founder Vashti Kenway will explore the failures of stalinist strategies of confronting fascism.