“Death to Fascism! Liberty to the People!” (1945)
78 years ago, on May 9th, 1945, victorious Soviet peoples jubilantly celebrated the Red Army’s triumph over the fascist invaders of their homeland. Barbarism incarnate, fascists on both the USSR’s eastern and western borders were hellbent on curbing the nation’s nascent experiment in Communism, purely for the sake of cruelty and injustice. The euphoria of the Soviet people on Victory Day, accompanied with a poignant commemoration of the Red Army’s fallen soldiers, manifested in an overwhelmingly emotional display of workers’ solidarity. The question is begged whether Soviet Victory Day—the culmination of the struggle between fascism and proletarian society—was so hallowed an event as to be humankind’s most noble ceremony to date.
In this very newsletter, a Russian comrade recounts: “Our ancestors laid down their lives for us, their children and grandchildren. So that we could live happily and avoid more wars and fascism. So that man could no longer exploit another man.”
However, since the unwanted dissolution of the USSR in 1991, this sacrosanct commemoration has been perverted by the loathsome Russian bourgeoisie who misconstrue history and conceal the mechanisms of class war from the masses. The new, ersatz Victory Day has devolved from its original celebration of camaraderie and hope into a display of militarization and nationalism. In a disturbing but subtle distortion of history, the parades now discordantly juxtapose the Soviet banner that decorated the 1945 Reichstag with the flag of the capitalist Russian state, which upon adoption heralded a catastrophic collapse in the economic life of post-Soviet nations.
As petty desire for conquest over territory and influence embroil the recently-capitalist Russian and Ukrainian states in reckless carnage, the last two years of parades have uniquely betrayed the true meaning of Victory Day. Once united against fascism and in building a revolutionary new society, Ukrainians and Russians are now massacring each other in the region’s latest episode of senseless bloodlust—and for what?
Victory Day, Red Square, May 9, 2021. One might imagine how Soviet veterans of 1945 would have been crestfallen to see the nation they bled for be replaced by a capitalist state.
Putin cynically asserts his invasion is a last-ditch effort to de-nazify Ukraine, which admittedly does harbor Nazis in its government, military, and at-large. Simultaneously, however, comprehensive documentation implicates the Kremlin in attempting rightist coups in multiple European countries, disseminating far-right propaganda on the far reaches of the internet, and consciously abetting dangerous populists like Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump
. A favorite of Boris Yeltsin, Putin is no USSR-revivalist either, as he is wont to plead.
To the contrary, he has spent a career unravelling the positive legacies of socialism in his country, including aggressively repealing workers’ rights and deregulating the economy.
His claims of nostalgia for the USSR and reluctance to attack Communism directly (although he has before)
are naught but a thin veneer of deception obscuring his extreme right-wing roots and providing him just enough credibility with misled audiences to convince them of his stated intentions in Ukraine.
In other such post-Soviet nations, a more headstrong approach to smothering history prevails, where the Soviet banner has been banished outright; including in Ukraine, where increasingly totalitarian measures have been executed to dismember the Left, such as banning the Ukrainian Communist Party totally.
Unlike the Russian Federation’s flag, reminiscent of regression and exploitation, the Soviet flag stands unapologetically for the solidarity of international working people. People’s movements and political organizations all over the world fly variations of the Soviet flag as emblematic of their own struggles, transcending the hammer-and-sickle from its original intent to represent the cooperation between workers and peasants and into a broader clarion call for the unity of the world’s peoples altogether.
The indirect, sophisticated, and inconspicuous Russian approach to deceiving the people is perhaps the superior approach. Wholesale suppression of ideas is unseemly, intimidating, and invites rage from the affected and curiosity from the apathetic. Our Russian comrades, then, must stay equally more vigilant as to not to allow Russian capitalists to redirect the narrative. The words of our Russian comrades continuing the fight for Communism in the home country showcase how the oligarchs of Russia reshape Victory Day to their ends: “Russian privatizers do not like this truth . . . they rewrite [history] themselves, to serve their own class interests. Chatter about ‘protecting historical memory’ and ‘reconciliation’ is always a one-way game.”
In an eerie twist of fate, this year’s contemptible mutilation of Victory Day coincides with the pompous coronation of the latest inbred colonizer to sit on the British throne—the septuagenarian Charles Windsor. An unwelcome relic from ancient history, the royal class was even more oppressive and destructive a class than our modern bourgeoisie. Charles’ royal peers in history, commonly themselves the products of incest and civil wars, were overthrown in revolutions across the world by disgruntled serfs, who recognized nobility as the intolerable parasites they were and were temporarily armed with the means to overcome them.
The British ruling class has prosecuted the same mission in miseducating the masses that the Russian ruling class has attempted on their own citizens. The British success in so doing is evidenced by the lamentable fact that despite the coronation costing the struggling island nation an estimated $125 million of taxpayer money while Britain’s social services fall into disrepair, the vast majority (81%) of older Britons continue to observe this holiday eagerly and wish for their indefinite subjugation by wrinkly, aloof aristocrats.
Critically, however—and encouragingly—Britain’s youth have, for whatever reasons, snatched themselves from the clutches of stupor and are rejecting the monarchy in rapidly growing numbers: 18-24 year-olds are the only age group where a plurality prefers a republic to a monarchy.
The British ruling class, noticing this trend, are increasingly echoing Ukraine's blatant methods to crack down on dissent.
Russians must resist falling prey to the same indoctrination British nobility have imposed on their miseducated people. However captivating a spectacle, Victory Day in Russia no longer promotes the values it did in 1945. In accordance with the British example, Russia’s youth indeed nurses the possibility of cleaving asunder their ruling class’s falsehoods and misdirection.
An Assessment of Putin’s Economic Policy, Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2008. The PIIE is a staunchly capitalist American think tank associated with the Council on Foreign Relations, itself associated with the CIA. Its effusive praise of Putin’s economic liberalization is evidence enough of Putin’s right-wing programs.
Communists face rare crackdown in Russia, upending old balance, The Christian Science Monitor, 2021. The Christian Science Monitor is a right-wing publication viewers are advised to listen to with caution.
Poles apart: the bitter conflict over a nation’s communist history, The Guardian, 2018. This article clearly illustrates how the opposition to Communist symbology is spearheaded by fascists.
The flag of the Lao People’s Revolution Party is one of many obvious dopplegangers.