XIX
Popular Democracies

While in the West the Comintern, once the crisis of Liberation was over, could not do much more than mark time, in eastern Europe the process of establishing communist domination in the Russian-occupied territories went on. That process has become known as the emergence of the 'Popular Democracies'. The term was coined by Tito, who defined this 'new type of democracy', at the congress of the Yugoslav Fatherland Front in August 1945, as a democracy based upon the social equality of the masses; adding that it was incompatible with monarchy. During the subsequent years communist propaganda everywhere made a point of stressing the difference between Popular Democracy and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat; until, in 1949, Joseph Revai, the theoretician of the Hungarian communist party, stated officially that the two were one and the same thing.1 But even then this was treated as an official secret, and availing themselves of the secrecy of this view communists, crypto- communists and fellow-travellers are still spreading tales that, originally, Stalin did not want to establish complete communist rule in those countries. Actually, Stalin's whole policy since 1942 had had as its primary object the establishment of complete Russian control in that area. And in terms of a totalitarian dictatorship such as Stalin's complete control over an area means precisely these two things: control of the Russian secret police and control of the communist party, to the exclusion and extinction of every other force.

Looked at from the angle of the various victims, this operation was not even of a political character in the proper sense of the word. Yugoslavia excepted, not one of the satellite countries was conquered by its communists either during or after the war. They were all conquered by the Russian army, which brought with it

____________________
1
Revai's speech was reprinted in Foreign Affairs ( New York, 1949).

-484-

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European Communism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 7
  • Contents 11
  • Preface 13
  • Glossary of Political Organizations 19
  • Part I - The Foundations 23
  • I - Origins of the Communist International 25
  • II - United Front 50
  • III - Communists and Nazis 69
  • IV - French Communism Before 1934 81
  • Part II - Popular Front 113
  • V - The Great Turn 115
  • VI - Spain 163
  • VII - Decline and Fall 192
  • VIII - The Comintern and The Popular Front 221
  • Part III - The War 231
  • IX - The General Line: the Hitler- Stalin Pact 233
  • X - The General Line: the Grand Alliance 265
  • XI - France: the Worst of Traitors 296
  • XII - France: the Best of Patriots 315
  • XIII - Tito Emerges 337
  • XIV - Civil War in Yugoslavia 365
  • XV - Albania 396
  • XVI - Greece 409
  • Part IV - After the War 439
  • XVII - The Crisis of Liberation 441
  • XIX - Popular Democracies 484
  • XX - Cominform 517
  • Two Conclusions 549
  • Index 557
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