Soldiers who fought in Russian remain confused about the contradictory character of Soviet life: on the one hand great, undeniable progress in the cities, including new houses, large roads and modern and rich factories, and on the other hand miserable shacks — particularly in the countryside — peasants living in poverty, ignorance and without any comfort. But above all it is the policies of the rulers of the Soviet Union which confuse the German soldiers and workers: their chauvinist policies and their collaboration with the worst representatives of world imperialism, Churchill and Roosevelt. How can we explain it? The Soviet Union is a workers’ state, born of the proletarian revolution of 1917 and in which private capitalist property has been expropriated and nationalised.
The USSR, which is a workers’ state and not a capitalist state, is defending itself against German imperialism and is fighting a just war.
It is every worker’s duty to defend it against imperialism.
But while the USSR is a workers’ state, it is at the same time a degenerated workers’ state ruled by a parasitic bureaucracy which grew out of the country’s backwardness and the postponement of socialist revolution in other countries.
Stalin is the representative of this bureaucracy of party and state functionaries, specialists and army men. Class-conscious workers are for the USSR, for the country which thanks to its economic system is closed off from imperialist exploitation and which because of the nationalisation of private property allows the development of productive forces.
But class-conscious workers are also opposed to Stalin’s political régime in the USSR, which hampers the country’s economic progress and which leads reactionary policies contrary to the interests of the Soviet people and the international proletariat. The capitalists, whether fascists or democrats, equate the USSR’s social system with Stalin’s current policies in government. But class-conscious workers, who defend the USSR’s economic system against imperialist aggression in this war, also fight against Stalin’s political régime. That is to say, class-conscious workers both fight to defend the USSR and criticise Stalin’s reactionary policies, encouraging the Soviet masses to overthrow the bureaucratic caste which rules over them.
They do not however allow any let-up in the class struggle in the countries allied to the USSR, declaring the necessity of overthrowing the capitalist régimes of Churchill, Roosevelt and the other “Allies”.
In Germany they are against Hitler and the German capitalist class who support him, and are for fraternisation with the Red Army, all the while calling on it to take part in a common struggle to overthrow Stalin.