[unable to retrieve full-text content]Sam Marcy: The ABC of the crisis in the USSR,
Briefly, this is what happened in the most recent phase of the struggle in the USSR:
On Aug. 19, eight of the most important members of the Soviet government, military and security forces announced the formation of a State Committee for the State of Emergency. They effectively put Mikhail Gorbachev, who was on vacation in the Crimea, under house arrest. Who were the eight? They were not an obscure grouping. Rather, they represented the greater part of the government itself. This aspect the capitalist press leaves out.
Their idea was to get this Emergency Committee ratified by the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of Deputies. In that case, whatever may have been considered unconstitutional would be ratified by legal bodies.
The move by the Emergency Committee was completely bloodless. The imperialist media and the Yeltsin forces make much of the fact that three people died, and at first claimed they had been shot by soldiers. But it was later confirmed they had been crushed by accident during the movement of armored personnel carriers in Moscow (just as U.S. personnel are killed nearly every time the Pentagon deploys its forces).
During the entire course of Soviet history, when various government leaders were removed by the party, it scarcely caused a ripple in the imperialist countries. Were this attempt at a takeover merely a coup d’etat in the political sense of the term, it would have caused little concern among the Western imperialist countries.
A palace coup or revolution would not have aroused their indignation or the swift and feverish preparations to intervene. It was not the political changes or changes in personnel that were of significance to the imperialist bourgeoisie. In other words, it was not the political revolution that concerned the imperialists abroad and the bourgeois elements in the Soviet Union.
The fact of the matter is that the Emergency Committee was attempting to return to the course of socialist construction and to abolish, to the extent possible, the ruinous and chaotic consequences of Gorbachev’s introduction of capitalist relations. What was involved was a changeover from one social system to another. In other words, it was a social counterrevolution that was at stake, not just political changes.