George Walford: Not Finished Yet

Recent events in Eastern Europe have led some Western commentators to suggest that revolutionary communism is now on its last legs, the West German Embassy, for example, speaking of Marx and Marxism both being nicely buried. [1] The communists do not agree. Dr. Chater, editor of the Morning Star, still regards the coming of communism as “an inevitable process.” [2] The Socialist Workers’ Party is at work in Russia and activists of the Workers’ Revolutionary Party believe this to be their opportunity to promote Trotskyism in place of Stalinism; they are distributing in the USSR tens of thousands of pamphlets to prepare the ground for a Trotskyite Conference. [3]

Systematic ideology indicates that, at least in expecting the communist movement to survive, the comrades have the right of it. Elimination of the revolutionary ideology as a social influence would entail substantial regression, probably to conditions similar to those of Europe in or before Marx’s time; steam-power, muzzle-loaders, aristocracy, empires and a narrowly restricted franchise.

[1] Quoted in Freedom 27 Jan 90.
[2] Observer, 7 Jan 90.
[3] Sunday Times, 31 Dec 89.

from Ideological Commentary 44, March 1990.