THIS IS THE INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST PART OF MY UNCLE KENNY’s BOOK CALLED ONE GREAT VISION: See https://kiltforhire.com/2011/07/24/uncle-kenny/
It is just over two years, at time of writing, March 1994, that the red flag was lowered over the Kremlin wall and replaced by the Russian national flag.
With the lowering of that flag, which represented, for decades, to tens of thousands of working class activists the world over, the hope of a better world, so also were lowered the hopes of a working class state of a new kind where capitalism would be wiped from the face of the earth and a new kind of order would take place and the mass of people would come into their own.
How did it happen and where was the searching analysis of the Communist Party to explain it? From that same Party which challenged everything and every event I n order to indicate “the line” to be followed, there has been nothing but a deafening silence and it is not good enough.
This book tries to tackle through the eyes of a worker, the developing signs of decay and degeneration of a great vision, through the ruinous subservience to “the hegemony of the Soviet Party.” It does not attempt to cover in minute detail all of the events referred to in the time span covered, but to give a flavour of the way in which these events affected my generation and myself.
We have nothing to be ashamed of. We tried and tried mightily and achieved much, through Trade Unions and social and political struggle, in so many fields.
It is customary today, to attempt to dismiss our efforts as misguided and simplistic as a result of the Soviet revelations of an appalling degenerate state, masquerading as socialist.
They are not the first nor will they be the last to use the word “socialist” while conducting entirely opposite policies. (There are plenty examples of that in Britain, never mind elsewhere); but as Russia and its neighbouring states descend into a morass of civil conflicts, Mafia-style rule, and capitalist “carpet-baggers”, does anyone seriously believe that this is the way forward?
Whatever the shortcomings of this book may prove to be, I hope, at least, it will find a small niche somewhere as an expression of those workers who fought such a good fight on behalf of their class, and perhaps they or their descendants will yet establish a more amenable society than that which we have at present.