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The 1948 Proletarian Revolution in Czechoslovakia’s Industrial Bourgeois-Democracy:

An example from which Communists of Bourgeois-Democracies shall learn

Summary: In a popular front alliance with the Czech social democrats, Czechoslovakia’s Communist Party (KSC) used the democratic elections to obtain key positions in the Czechoslovak state, installing KSC leader Klement Gottwald as the Prime Minister and several KSC members at the helm of the Czechoslovak security and intelligence agencies. Such high-level KSC infiltration in Czechoslovak security apparatus permitted the proletarian agents to neutralize bourgeois state opposition and bourgeois media opposition to the armed mass protests of the proletarians, resulting in and allowing for the proletarian revolutionary overthrow of the bourgeois state. Czechoslovakia’s communist revolution was the first-ever to happen under circumstances envisioned by Marx and Engels. In a largely industrial economy with a significant pro-Western state orientation, the class-conscious proletariat overthrew a bourgeois-democratic state, replacing it with the dictatorship of the proletariat.

 

The History of the USSR & the Peoples’ Democracies

Chapter 15, Section 8 (C15S8) 

 

Saed Teymuri

 

 

Wenceslas square 25. February 1948

Wanceslas Square, Prague, February 25, 1948

 

 

As confirmed by the CIA, the Czechoslovak Communist Party (KSC) emerged from the Czechoslovak People’s Liberation War with tremendous popular support:

The Czechoslovak Communist Party emerged from World War II with power and popular support…. (Situation in Czechoslovakia, ORE/EG, CIA, December 12, 1947, p. 2) (IMG)

Communism had tremendous popularity among the Czechoslovak people, a population largely made up of proletarians. The CIA confirmed:

many Czechoslovaks favor friendly relations with the USSR, and are sympathetic with theoretical communism…. (Situation in Czechoslovakia, ORE/EG, CIA, December 12, 1947, p. 3) (IMG)

Even the CIA acknowledged:

Czechoslovakia has considerable independence in the conduct of its internal affairs; (Situation in Czechoslovakia, ORE/EG, CIA, December 12, 1947, p. 1) (IMG)

Moscow could not and did not ‘order’ the Czechoslovaks to cancel Marshall Plan ties, for Czechoslovakia was independent in the conduct of internal affairs. Yet, the Marshall Plan ‘aid’ was rejected, for the class-conscious Czechoslovak proletarians already were well aware of the sanguivorously anti-proletarian character of Anglo-American finance capital and, using the mighty KSC, lobbied their government to not accept such imperialist ‘free lunch’. Moreover, the CIA admitted:

The average Czechoslovak Communist is loyal first to his country and secondly to Moscow…. (Situation in Czechoslovakia, ORE/EG, CIA, December 12, 1947, p. 4) (IMG)

Despite the conceptual distinction, no practical difference exists between commitment to the cause of the Soviet proletariat and to the cause of the Czechoslovak proletariat, for the cause of each country’s proletariat is that of a world proletariat permeating across boundaries. That the Czechoslovak communists were loyal to the Czechoslovak proletariat ‘first’ means also that they were loyal to the Soviet dictatorship of the proletariat and to the proletariat of the United States, Britain, Germany, etc. Nonetheless, an appreciable aspect of the above quote from the CIA is that it admits to the absence of a ‘chain of command’ according to which the KSC leaders would have been the ‘satraps’ of General-Secretary Stalin. Confessing to the independent thought of the Czechoslovak communists, the CIA thus implicitly debunks the myth that Czechoslovakia’s communists were ‘commanded’ by the Soviet state. The Soviets would have increased pressure on Czechoslovakia to not accept Marshall Plan ‘aid’ had the Czechoslovak leadership aggressively pursued the acceptance of such ‘aid’, but thanks to the strong influence and class-consciousness of the Czech proletariat, a mighty homegrown movement against the Marshall Plan ‘aid’ had already developed anyways.

Furthermore, as admitted by the CIA, in Czechoslovakia,:

a freely operating parliamentary government rules the country. (Situation in Czechoslovakia, ORE/EG, CIA, December 12, 1947, p. 1) (IMG)

Until 1948, Czechoslovakia was a Soviet-friendly bourgeois democracy, Soviet-friendly because the KSC, with such overwhelming popular support, won the largest votes and was able to install communist agents into key positions. The ascendancy of the KSC increased the power of the proletariat over the Czechoslovak state, for, the KSC, compositionally proletarianized in membership and ranks, was a socialist Party of the proletariat. Peter Hruby of the CIA media ‘Radio Free Europe’ confirmed:

The main [Czechoslovak Communist] Party organ then claimed…: "If in 1947 workers formed 50 per cent of the Party membership, then in 1967 the number of active manual workers represented only 26.4 per cent." (Fools and Heroes: The Changing Role of Communist Intellectuals in Czechoslovakia, Peter Hruby, 1980, p. 142) (IMG)

The popularity of the Czechoslovak Communist Party was reflected in the electoral victories of the Party during the May 1946 elections, which even the CIA rightly described as ‘free national elections’. The Czechoslovak Communist Party won the largest number and percentage of votes and seats, and by establishing an alliance with the Czechoslovak Social Democrats, gained a majority in the parliament:

The present National Front Government in Czechoslovakia was first established in March 1945, and in May 1946 free national elections were held. Five parties of major importance emerged: Communist (114 seats in Parliament), Social Democrats (37), National Socialists [not to be confused with Nazis] (55), Peoples (46), Slovak Democrats (43). The Communists became the strongest single party, and together with the Social Democrats gave the Leftists a slim parliamentary majority over the moderate parties. All parties agreed upon the broad principles of the government’s domestic program, including extensive nationalization of industry, but lively controversy developed over the application of these principles. The Communists have adhered until recently to parliamentary rules in their disagreements with the moderates and during the first year and a half under the present government, neither side gained any significant advantage over the other. (Situation in Czechoslovakia, ORE/EG, CIA, December 12, 1947, pp. 1-2) (IMG)

Thanks in part to this overwhelming popular support, the Czechoslovak Communist Party gained a large influence in all the major ministries of the Czechoslovak government:

In addition to Premiership, the key ministries of Interior, Information and Finance, and the Under Secretaryship for Foreign Affairs are held by Communists, who also control the Security Police and many local governing bodies in Bohemia and Moravia. Communist infiltration and effective control of the Army have been achieved through close collaboration with the USSR, a promotion policy favoring officers trained in the USSR and the appointment of top officials sympathetic to the Soviet Union. Moreover, the Communist Party wields effective control over labor through its domination of ROH, the national trade union organization. (…). On the propaganda front, too, the Communists have had a powerful weapon in their ability to point to the Soviet Union as Czechoslovakia’s chief protection against a resurgent Germany. (Situation in Czechoslovakia, ORE/EG, CIA, December 12, 1947, pp. 2-3) (IMG)

Notably, Vaclav Nosek, a prominent KSC member, headed the Ministry of the Interior. According to the Federal Research Division of the US Library of Congress,:

At the end of World War II, when President Benes established the first postwar government at Kosice, control of the Ministry of Interior was sought and obtained by the KSC. Party member Vaclav Nosek was appointed minister…. (CZECHOSLOVAKIA – A COUNTRY STUDY, US Library of Congress, Federal Research Division, 1987) (IMG)

In government, the KSC embarked on a large-scale media counter-offensive to expose and discredit the Slovak Democratic Party, which as the CIA confirmed, had ‘many’ members who “had questionable connections with Tiso’s pro-German regime during the war”:

The Slovak Democratic Party, organized only in Slovakia, is the focal point of Communist activity against the opposition. The Party is a logical choice as the Communists’ first target because of its vulnerability…. Outspokenly conservative, and supported by the Catholic Church, the Slovak Democrats have not given whole-hearted support to the Government’s program…. The Communists are exploiting the Slovak Democratic Party’s lack of homogeneity which results from the strong antagonism between its Protestant and Catholic adherents. The Party has also become a refuge for rightist elements in Slovakia, many of whom had questionable connections with Tiso’s pro-German regime during the war. (Situation in Czechoslovakia, ORE/EG, CIA, December 12, 1947, pp. 6-7) (IMG)

A drought struck Czechoslovakia. Fulfilling the prerequisites for collectivization, the KSC proposed a millionaire’s tax to fund the farmers suffering from the drought. The comprador ministers, including the millionaire Masaryk vociferously rejected the KSC proposal. The KSC, having overwhelming representation in the trade unions, struck back by denouncing all those officials opposed to the millionaire tax and threatened with a proletarians general strike: 

The first crisis developed out of a Communist proposal for a millionaire’s tax to provide funds for farmers who had suffered losses from last summer’s drought. In the face of solid opposition by all non-Communist parties, the Communists launched a smear campaign against all Ministers who had voted against the proposal. So vicious was the attack that Foreign minister Jan Masaryk, who normally remains aloof from domestic issues, published a special statement identifying himself as a millionaire and recording his vote with the eleven other Cabinet Ministers who had voted against the Communists. The Communists threatened to call a general strike of all industrial workers to force acceptance of their proposal. Lausman, then Social Democratic Minister of Industry, submitted his resignation in protest against Communist party interference in nationalized enterprises and irresponsible provocation of strikes. (Situation in Czechoslovakia, ORE/EG, CIA, December 12, 1947, pp. 8-9) (IMG)

The USSR furnished support for the Czechoslovak communist-influenced bourgeois-democracy in the face of drought and shortage of raw materials for industry. A week after the first cabinet ‘crisis’, another ‘crisis’ occurred:

About a week after the millionaire tax proposal, the National Front was again threatened when three leaders of the Social Democratic Party, … signed a pact with the Communists reaffirming the “socialist bloc” within the National Front. The pact came as a complete surprise to most of the Social Democratic party leaders. The party executive approved the pact on the ground that having been signed it could not be disavowed, but emphasized that the pact did not constitute a merger between the Communists and the Social Democrats. Moderate Social Democrats, however, were strongly opposed and the National Socialists refused to join the bloc. (Situation in Czechoslovakia, ORE/EG, CIA, December 12, 1947, p. 9) (IMG)

Not to be confused with the Nazis, the Czech National Socialist Party was a right-wing bourgeois pro-Zionist party of which President Edvard Benes was a prominent member. The strengthening of the alliance between the KSC and the Social Democrats served as a propaganda blow against the Czech ‘National Socialists’:

The Communists hoped by this maneuver to … embarrass the [Czech] National Socialists by forcing them to choose a more leftist policy or to face the accusation of deserting the cause of the working man as represented by the united Communist and Social Democratic parties. (Situation in Czechoslovakia, ORE/EG, CIA, December 12, 1947, p. 9) (IMG)

To assist the people suffering from the drought, there was:

the recent Soviet offer of grain. (Situation in Czechoslovakia, ORE/EG, CIA, December 12, 1947, p. 11) (IMG)

Indeed the Soviet Union rendered:

an emergency shipment of 600,000 tons of grain, in addition to sizable quantities of iron ore, manganese, and cotton. (‘Soviet Economic Assistance to the Sino-Soviet Bloc: Loans, Credits, and Grants’, Intelligence Memorandum, CIA, August 20, 1956, p. 14) (IMG)

A credit of $23 million was provided to Czechoslovakia, which probably included the grain sent by the USSR:

In 1947 a credit of $23 million was extended to Czechoslovakia for the purpose of financing imports from the USSR. (‘Soviet Economic Assistance to the Sino-Soviet Bloc: Loans, Credits, and Grants’, Intelligence Memorandum, CIA, August 20, 1956, p. 14) (IMG)

Finally on February 1947, KSC member Vaclav Nosek, who headed the Ministry of the Interior, stepped up the purge of the anti-communist personnel of the police:

Vaclav Nosek … began the process of converting the security forces into arms of the party. Anticommunist police officers and officials were fired, noncommunist personnel were encouraged to join the party or its youth organization, and all were subjected to heavy doses of communist propaganda. (CZECHOSLOVAKIA – A COUNTRY STUDY, US Library of Congress, Federal Research Division, 1987) (IMG)

In Romania, the Minister of Interior Teohari Georgescu was a traitor the proletariat. However, as he was accountable to the Party of the proletariat, the installation of Georgescu at the helm of the Ministry of Interior increased the influence of the Party of the proletariat in the Radescu regime, thus paving the way for the revolutionary ouster of the comprador agents in the Romanian regime. In Czechoslovakia, Nosek himself was no communist loyalist, but, as an infiltrator into the KSC, was nonetheless accountable to and coopted by his Party, the Party of the proletariat. Note again that the KSC membership was compositionally proletarianized and democratic centralist, thus compelling even traitors to the Party to be accountable to the interests of the class-conscious proletarian mass that made up the Party’s largest percentage membership. As such, the increased influence of Nosek implied the increased influence of the proletariat in the security and intelligence bodies, even if Nosek himself was not as loyal to the cause of the proletariat.

The increased influence of the communist agents of the proletariat in the security bodies marked the increase in the influence of the proletariat’s agents over the means of violence. This in turn translated into the proletarian agents’ increased capability to re-engineer the make-up of the cabinet, to find compromising materials on the comprador cabinet ministers so to force their resignations. The comprador ministers resigned ‘in protest’ and the KSC gleefully accepted their resignations:

It was Nosek's packing of the police hierarchy with communists that caused the protest resignation of anticommunist government ministers in February 1948…. (CZECHOSLOVAKIA – A COUNTRY STUDY, US Library of Congress, Federal Research Division, 1987) (IMG)

The resignation of a government official can at times be canalized to raise the vigilance of that percentage of the electorate which has supported the resigning official, so to agitate that part of the electorate into mass protests. As such, ordinarily, the resignation of such ministers could have sparked a street backlash by a significant minority of the Czechoslovak population. Yet, to bring about such protests, one must have incitement, agitation, and propaganda capabilities concentrated in the media. In all countries, the security and intelligence bodies have, and utilize, the bribe-and-blackmail capability to get the mainstream media outlets in line. As a law of history, the class struggle for dominance over the means of violence determines the outcome of the class struggle for dominance over the means of communication. To get the media in line, the fascist agents use bribes and terror threats. To get the media in line, the revolutionary forces provide promises of ‘promotion’ and higher pay, as a legal form of a bribe, and use not terror threats but rather kompromat-finding, threats of demotion, and the placement of ‘advisors’ and ‘assistants’ (read: spies) into the person’s office, for achieving the objective of getting the major media outlets in line. In Czechoslovakia in the late 1940s, having lost dominance over a critical security and intelligence body as the police, the agitation and propaganda capabilities of the anti-communist faction sharply declined, disabling them from inciting riots. Secondly, the opposition to the millionaire’s tax further reduced the popularity of the comprador forces. With pro-communist opposition growing and the anti-communist forces disabled in the security and media spheres, the KSC, overwhelmingly represented in the trade unions, had the ability to mobilize proletarian demonstrations while facing minimal anti-communist counter-demonstrations.

Klement Gottwald, the leader of the KSC and Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia, demanded the Czechoslovak President Edvard Benes to accept the resignation of these anti-communist government ministers. When Benes refused, massive communist-led protests swept the country, forcing Benes too to resign:

Twelve of the non-Communist ministers resigned in protest. The Communists arranged street demonstrations and called out of the pro-Communist workers’ militia; Gottwald threatened President Benes with a civil war unless he accepted the resignation of the 12 ministers. (The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Foreign Intelligence, CIA, October 1960, pp. 19-20) (IMG)

Massive armed demonstrations led by the communist Party overtook the streets of Czechoslovakia. The result was the February Revolution of 1948. For the first time in history, a largely industrialized bourgeois-democracy had been overthrown by a popular revolution of the proletariat for the establishment of a socialist People’s Democracy. Czechoslovakia’s communist revolution was therefore under the condition envisioned by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. The CIA’s Senior Research Staff on International Communism remarked:

Among the European Satellites of the USSR, Czechoslovakia is in a class by itself, since it is the only one … which was a highly developed industrial country, practically unscathed by the war. Czechoslovakia is, therefore, the best example of Communism in action under the conditions envisaged by Marx, although it misses being a perfect example because of the country's geographical proximity to the USSR. (COMMUNISM IN EASTERN EUROPE POST-STALIN DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SATELLITES: Part II/D: Czechoslovakia, CIA, Senior Research Staff on International Communism, December 31, 1958, p. 1) (IMG)

Czechoslovakia was the first industrial bourgeois-democracy to transition to a workers’ state, a dictatorship of the proletariat, through the launching of a proletarian revolution in 1948. Unlike the other Peoples’ Democracies, Czechoslovakia could drastically shorten the period of the NEP-style capitalist mode of production and bourgeois influence in statecraft, and transition almost directly to socialism. Hence, People’s Democratic Czechoslovakia, unlike the other Peoples’ Democracies, swiftly emerged as a socialist state instead of being for long a first-stage People’s Democracy, a communist-led progressive bourgeois-democracy. In spite of unmistakeable facts of the revolutionary nature of the overthrow, CIA-MI6 propagandists were quick to call it ‘The Czech Coup’.

 

 

Click here for Screenshots of Source Documents

 

 

Wenceslas square 25. February 1948

Wanceslas Square, Prague, February 25, 1948

https://m.smedata.sk/api-media/media/image/spectator/0/31/3116210/3116210_1200x.jpeg?rev=2

 

Image result for Czechoslovak protests February 1948

A group of people holding flagsDescription automatically generated with medium confidence 

Wanceslas Square, Prague, February 25, 1948

A careful look at the photos will reveal to the reader, the flag of the KSC, which had the hammer and sickle

http://www.moderni-dejiny.cz/PublicFiles/UserFiles/image/Metodika/08_CSR_1948-1968/800x800_unor1948.jpg

Related image

Old Town Square, Prague, February 21, 1948

 

 

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