Marxist-Leninist Weekly, Vol. 19, No. 21
Date:17th November 1989
Organisation:Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist)
Publication:Marxist-Leninist Weekly
Issue:Volume 19, Number 21
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Commentary From The Cedar Lounge Revolution

7th January 2013

This edition of the CPI (M-L) publication, Marxist-Leninist Weekly, is perhaps most notable for the date of publication, and for the lead article on page one which has the headline ‘Groundless euphoria over breaching of Berlin Wall’. The article continues:

Last week the mass media had a field day with the scenes at the Berlin Wall which ensued from the decision of the East German Government to end restrictions on travel by their populations.

And the article takes a bleak view of what it regards as two capitalist systems, one in the West and the other in the USSR vying for hegemony. It asserts:

Gorbachev’s policy of ‘glasnost’, openness or ‘democracy, is simply a demagogic enticement to the Soviet working class to accept still greater exploitation to overcome the economic and political crisis of revisionism in their bloc by the open restoration of capitalism (known as perestroika), so that the new Soviet bourgeoisie can the more efficiently finance the sinews of capitalist competition in the world market and also the sinews of war. The events in the Soviet bloc, each more rapidly following the other, do not auger a reduction in international tension and the danger of inter-imperialist war.

It ends:

(Next week, an article to explain further how the so-called ‘contention between democracy and communism’ cannot be the basis of the treat of world war since these are not opposites in the first place).

Other articles deal with a broad range of issues including the British Government maintaining the Prevention of Terrorism Act powers of detention for 7 days, a subventions cut for places in old people’s homes, the Brazilian election campaign and El Salvador.

As interesting are the advertisements for Progressive Books, the CPI (M-L) bookshop on Essex Quay in Dublin, and for Public Meetings on the Anniversary of National Liberation of Albania in Cork and Dublin.

It is worth noting that the CPI (M-L) managed to put out this publication on a weekly basis for many years.

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  • By: Pj Mon, 07 Jan 2013 11:39:09

    Their editor eventually admitted that they got it wrong with their analysis of the USSR, what year was the final issue of MLW?

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  • By: Starkadder Mon, 07 Jan 2013 13:42:58

    On the subject of the left’s reaction to the end of the Soviet
    Bloc, I remember “Peace News” running an editorial in
    September 1991 welcoming the collapse of the Soviet
    Union.

    I also found this article by Ernest Mandel : “The Irresistible
    Fall of Mikhail Gorbachev”:

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/mandel/1992/xx/gorbachev.htm

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  • By: Martin Savage Mon, 07 Jan 2013 18:12:06

    Did they really think the USSR was capitalist?

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  • By: WorldbyStorm Mon, 07 Jan 2013 19:39:48

    I think they did.

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  • By: Mark P Mon, 07 Jan 2013 19:50:14

    They did indeed.

    They initially followed the Maoist line that the USSR went capitalist with Krushchev. Then later they discovered that China was capitalist too and only Albania was socialist. Then they later decided that they’d been wrong and that the USSR and the Eastern Bloc were all socialist countries, but that was towards the end of their visible existence.

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  • By: littlemicky2012 Mon, 07 Jan 2013 23:41:06

    I remember they had great posters. “Hail the success of genuine socialism in Albania as reformist regimes collapse across Europe” Or “Celebrate the anniversary of the overthrow of King Zog in Albania”

    I always though the king Zog thing was some sort of parody until I read a bit of Albanian history.

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  • By: Branno's ultra-left t-shirt Mon, 07 Jan 2013 23:51:07

    Steptoe and Son: Son, scanning old newspaper found in rubbish, reads out headline ‘Italians invade Albania, King Zog flees’: Steptoe’s response ‘There’s bloody king-size fleas around and all, what difference does that make.’ Boob, boom…

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  • By: charlie cairns Tue, 08 Jan 2013 09:51:08

    Linen Hall Library in Belfast has a partial run of this paper, Last issues held are
    18 Jan 1990 – 14June 1990, 17 Mar 1991, so presumably it ceased in 1991.
    C

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