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The Highest Stage of Historical Revisionism: The European Union and the Artificial Memory

Joint Statement of Antiimperialist and Communist Youth Organisations

Chills still run down one’s back looking at the photos of the 1938 Munich Conference, when France and the United Kingdom gave their explicit assent to the annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany. The two countries were kindly offered to Hitler, to nudge him into a war against the hated Bolshevism. The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact followed soon, not out of friendship between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, but out of desperation, as the Soviets realised that no help was coming from the liberal democracies against the Nazi beast. Maybe the members of the European Parliament (EU MEP) didn’t know this, or didn’t care, when they voted by a vast majority the equivalence of Nazism and Communism: it seems as if people are forgetting or, rather, edulcorating history.

The EU MEPs shouldn’t surprise anybody with their behaviour. This act of historical revisionism comes at a time of crisis for European capitalism and shows its liberal totalitarianism: the idea that a different society is possible and necessary must be repressed. In some EU member states communist parties and their symbols are already outlawed, including the monuments to the Red Army and to its victory on Nazism. We shouldn’t be surprised if such a resolution was followed by a thorough revision of history books for the period between 1933 and 1939.

Here, the wording of the resolution would make McCarthy pale and is a supreme act of historical revisionism. Nazism and Communism had been put on the same level other times, but nobody had ever come up with a new starting date for World War II. Instead, the resolution of the European Parliament moved the date from the 1st of September 1939, the invasion of Poland, to the 23rd of August 1939, the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Pompously, the European Parliament claims that the Pact was a natural alliance to apportion the world and subjugate the liberal democracies between two equally bloodthirsty countries and their look-alike leader.

Unfortunately, History tells us something else. France and the United Kingdom refused an alliance with the USSR. The USSR was so forced into a pact with the devil to buy time and prepare against a war of colonial subjugation, which many in the liberal democracies wanted the Soviets to fight alone and possibly lose. The resolution also conveniently forgets that in those years Poland and the Baltics had fascist governments and were allied with Nazi Germany. Evidently, History is just an inconvenient truth for the European Union and so the self-proclaimed liberal and democratic bulwark must write a new one. A careful observer should now see that Nazism was just a MacGuffin, while the real target was Communism itself. EU MEPs showed neither shame nor decency as they equalised those who built Auschwitz and those who opened its gates.

The EU needs to demonise and delegitimise communism, to deprive workers of the ideological tools to overturn the EU’s neoliberal and imperialistic project of capitalist integration. This is very important in the former Eastern Bloc and in the European periphery because EU policies there have been an immense success for capitalism. Profits skyrocketed, social and economic rights vanished, and the very same identity of those people crumbled: shock therapy tripled poverty, de-industrialised entire regions and led to mass emigration. The EU prefers to brew dangerous nationalist and anti-communist movements, rather than allowing a resurgence of communist ideals.

This is not just historical revisionism, but a precise political strategy which is increasing its hold on Europe. It aims at attacking democracy and political freedom, outlawing the communist ideal and Europe’s communist parties. Nazism and fascism are conveniently exhumed to scare people against all so-called totalitarian ideologies: the fascist dictatorship is announced as imminent, just in time to find some backroom agreement with those same reactionary forces and declare victory with no need of partisan Resistance in the mountains. However, crying wolf so many times will make people deaf once the wolf of fascism does come back.

The resolution conveniently forgets that Fascism and Nazism have always been bastard children of liberal capitalism at time of social crisis and low popular legitimacy: it was so in Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Greece and it is so today in Ukraine and the Baltics. Nazism was the arm of capitalism to protect its profits: a product and a tool of liberal capitalism shedding its liberal mask. On the contrary, Communism has always been the only alternative to and thus the only real enemy of capitalism: it may replace it and so it must be fought with any mean.

Today, European communists enter a new political phase marked by a qualitatively different strain of anticommunism: the future may see communist parties outlawed and underground in some European countries, as they are today in Ukraine. As the imperialist character of the European integration becomes more evident and repressive, unity among communist parties becomes thus crucial for our resistance to the dictatorship of capital. We must be aware that capital fears our communist ideal and wants to uproot even its weakest seedlings, before they grow.

We must be united because the other side is so too. Conservatives, liberal and social-democrats have all voted this shameful resolution. Some used to or still claim to represent workers, to be left-wing and progressive even. Maybe they’re confused or it was always a ruse, but we shall dispel this mistake: that conservatives, liberal and social-democrats are different. Only united, despite our differences, we can unmask that their division in conservatives, liberals and social democrats hides a real unity as capitalists. Divisions and sectarianism only make us weaker in this challenge and in creating broader popular coalitions through which we can amplify our voice and chance the power relations between classes.

Europe put us communists on the same level of Nazis, and some may believe so. However, History is a great, tireless teacher of the Truth: as youth organisations it is our task to educate the youth with History’s lessons. United, we shall unmask this resolution and present History’s check to its revisionists.

FGCI – Federazione Giovanile Comunista Italiana
Gioventù Comunista Svizzera
Komunistickým Svazem Mládeže (Rep. Ceca)
Kommunistinuoret (Finlandia)
JCPE – Juventud Comunista de los Pueblos de España (Spagna)
Giovanile del Tancsics radikalis Balpart (Ungheria)