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Susan Green

Stalin Recognizes the Fascist Badoglio!

(20 March 1944)

From Labor Action, Vol. 8 No. 12, 20 March 1944, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

There isn’t one section of Italian society – except the outright fascists – that favors Badoglio. When Churchill in his recent speech approved of Badoglio and the King, all of Allied-occupied Italy was stirred to protest, In fact, nearly everyone in the world has nothing but contempt and condemnation for the pal of Mussolini and his unstable government.

But Stalin, with the brazenness employed by dictators, has unceremoniously recognized Badoglio and his government, and the exchange of ambassadors is now in progress.

Liberals, “leftists” and the regular party-liners have, of course, been stunned, bewildered and chagrined. This is because they – or at least the well meaning ones among them – resent and resist all the horrid facts about Stalin and persist in imagining a socialistic halo around his head.

However, those who remember facts recall that Stalin, not too long ago, made an alliance with Hitler which gave the latter the green light for starting the war. Going back a bit further into recent history, this is not the first alliance between Stalin and Badoglio – or the latter’s then chief, Mussolini. For when General Badoglio was fighting in Africa, to acquire an empire for the Italian ruling class, it was Stalin’s oil that burned in the weapons used against the Ethiopians.

Earl Browder, of course, was not available to comment on this new evidence of the counter-revolutionary role Stalin plays in world history. He was not in, had not been in for several days, and could not be reached.

The Italian Communists have announced that the recognition of Badoglio by Stalin makes no difference to them and that they are still opposed to Badoglio and the King. What else can they say without losing all hold on the Italian masses?

But here, too, a little memory is a useful thing. For a week ago, when the anger against Churchill’s endorsement of Badoglio was at its height and a strike demonstration was planned, the Communists yielded to pressure from General Solodovnik, Stalin’s representative in Italy, to call off the strike. By the admission of the Communists themselves, they already knew at that time that Stalin was about to give official recognition to Badoglio.

Here is an illustration of typical Stalinist double-crossing. They will doubtless continue to put their false-face toward the masses while turning their real face toward the light from the Kremlin.

There are various speculations as to why Stalin leads the rest in recognizing the fascist outfit. Some commentators say it has something to do with the division of the Italian fleet. Others are of the opinion that Stalin wants to demonstrate again that there is no need to fear “Communist” revolutions nurtured by him. Still others point with alarm to Stalin’s worming his way into the Western part of Europe – supposedly the territory of British and American imperialism. Again there is talk of a deal between Churchill and Stalin.

The last is an interesting conjecture. Churchill, wanting to recognize Badoglio, as indicated in his speech, was fearful of the overwhelming popular resentment against him in England, in Italy and everywhere else; But, because of the victories of the Russian army and the lingering illusion in the masses that Russia still stands for socialism, Churchill conceived the usefulness to him if Stalin would lead the way in recognizing the fascist Badoglio.

This sounds like one lively explanation. What do you suppose Stalin gets as a reward for this favor to Churchill, who – with the United States – will now also confer official status upon the Badoglio mockery of a government! That may come out into the open when the working class of Europe can get at the secret archives of their present rulers.

Will Stalin’s endorsement of Badoglio give him more prestige in the eyes of the Italian masses? They know their fascists, with or without Stalin’s endorsement.

No doubt the move by Stalin has spread confusion among those who still misguidedly consider him the head of a socialist state which does not exist. But this confusion will subside and turn into knowledge. It will turn into the knowledge that in this revolutionary crisis in their land when they are struggling to free themselves from oppression from fascists within and from imperialists from without, Stalin sided against them.

In revolutionary times people learn fast. Disillusionment with Stalin and the Communist Party that follows his dictates, is absolutely necessary for the revolutionary progress of the Italian masses. Stalin’s recognition of Badoglio furthers that disillusionment.

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