U.S. Communist Press and the "August Revolution": A Look at Five Communist Newspapers around the U.S. and How Each Views the Events in the Soviet Union

By Alonso, Axel | Editor & Publisher, November 9, 1991 | Go to article overview

U.S. Communist Press and the "August Revolution": A Look at Five Communist Newspapers around the U.S. and How Each Views the Events in the Soviet Union


Alonso, Axel, Editor & Publisher


U.S. communist press and the "August Revolution"

A look at five communist newspapers around the U.S. and how each views the events in the Soviet Union

The almost unbelievable pace of recent events in the Soviet Union has prompted celebratory headlines across the United States announcing the death of communism.

The "August Revolution" has, however, evoked a strikingly different response from a sector of the press which operates on the margins of the mainstream--the communist press in the United States.

Communist newspapers, with their revolutionary political stance and adversarial relationship to the mainstream press, have existed in the U.S. since the 1920s. Since that time, they have put forth the basic tenet of Marxism--that capitalism is an economic system riddled with contradictions that will lead to its downfall--and held up a model of socialist society as an ideal.

Considering the Soviet Union's historical role as the center of world communism, one would expect the "August Revolution" to have tremendous repercussions for publications which espouse the virtues of socialism.

A survey of five prominent communist newspapers offers a glimpse into their radical politics and reveals that the responses of these newspapers to the events of Aug. 19-24 are as surprising as they are diverse. They range from harsh condemnation of the coup and the Soviet Union's Communist Party (CPSU) to calls for crackdowns against "capitalist counterrevolutionaries."

"The events in the Soviet Union do not represent the collapse or death of communism," says Carl Dicks, spokesman for the Revolutionary Communist Party, U.S.A., whose publication is the Revolutionary Worker. "The Soviet Union hasn't been communist for thirty years."

The Revolutionary Worker is a Chicago-based weekly founded in 1975. It claims a national circulation between 9,000-12,000. The paper's editors maintain their commitment to communist principles despite the events of August 19-24. While they praise the Soviet people, they have nothing but contempt for that country's Communist Party, which, they maintain, sold out the goals of the 1917 Revolution long ago.

"What died in the Soviet Union was phony communism," Dicks insists. "We were glad to see it down."

The editors of the Revolutionary Worker maintain that there was an extremely thin line between the coup leaders and the coalition that defeated them. According to Dicks, the coup was essentially "an internal fight between an imperialist ruling class, all factions of which represented a capitalist solution for the problems in the Soviet Union."

In the Sept. 1 issue, the editors of the Revolutionary Worker blasted mainstream media coverage of the crisis.

"The Western media portrayed the coup as a move by the |last of hard-line Communists' supported by guns and the defeat of the coup as a victory by progressive democrats backed by the people."

According to the Revolutionary Worker, however, "every part of this untrue . . . . [The coup] was a showdown by big-shot exploiters within the Soviet ruling class . . . . All the forces in this showdown--Gorbachev, Yeltsin and the coup makers--are representatives of the same Soviet state-monopoly capitalist ruling class."

The Revolutionary Worker's position on the current situation in the Soviet Union demonstrates contempt for the forces now shaping the country and reads like a call to arms.

"The ruling powers used to call themselves |communists,'" announced a Sept. 1 article. "Now they call themselves Russian nationalists and |democrats'. . . . The peoples of the Soviet Union still need to prepare themselves to make a revolution."

Also critical of the CPSU is The Militant, a New York City-based weekly founded in 1928 by anti-Stalinist Communists who later formed the Socialist Workers Party. The Militant sees the Communist Party in the Soviet Union as bogged down in bureaucracy and at odds with the interests of the Soviet people. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

U.S. Communist Press and the "August Revolution": A Look at Five Communist Newspapers around the U.S. and How Each Views the Events in the Soviet Union
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.