The International Committee of the Fourth International held meetings in Berlin, on December 5, and London, on December 12, 1998, to commemorate the life of Vadim Z. Rogovin. David North addressed the meetings in London and Berlin. These are the remarks he delivered.
Vadim Zakharovich Rogovin (10 May 1937, Moscow – 18 September 1998, Moscow) was a Soviet Marxist sociologist and historian.
Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Rogovin had been working for many years, albeit under very difficult circumstances, on a sociological analysis of Stalinism. His research focused on inequalities in lifestyles and consumption, the social and political roots of the USSR’s problems with labor productivity, and the meaning of social justice. His open commitment to the defense of equality won him widespread popularity in the USSR.
However, due to the combined impact of Stalinism and Pabloism, he and other socialist intellectuals and workers in the Soviet Union remained isolated from the Trotskyist movement throughout the post-war period.
Rogovin’s greatest work was accomplished in the aftermath of the dissolution of the USSR, once he was finally able to establish contact with the Trotskyist movement. Working in close collaboration with the International Committee of the Fourth International, he helped lay the foundations for the Trotskyist movement’s fight against the post-Soviet school of historical falsifications.
In 1992, he began publishing what would become a six-volume history of the revolutionary Marxist opposition, led by Leon Trotsky, to the Stalinist degeneration of the USSR. Rogovin documented the immense popularity of Leon Trotsky, even after his exile from the Soviet Union in 1929, and established that the principal purpose of Stalin’s political genocide in the 1930s was the eradication of Trotsky’s political influence. Covering the years from 1923 to 1940, Rogovin’s Was There an Alternative? remains indispensable for an understanding of the Stalinist regime and the deep-rooted socialist opposition to its betrayal of the principles and program of the October Revolution.
In May 1997, David North, delivered the following greetings on behalf of the International Committee of the Fourth International to Vadim Rogovin in Moscow on the occasion of his 60th birthday.
These remarks were delivered at a meeting held in Moscow on May 15, 2002, on what would have been the 65th birthday of the Soviet Marxist historian Vadim Rogovin, who died on September 18, 1998. Among those attending the gathering were surviving children of Russian Left Oppositionists murdered by the Stalinist regime, scholars who worked with Vadim at the Institute of Sociology in Moscow, the representatives of several socialist tendencies in Russia and many friends.
Rogovin insisted that without understanding the Terror—its origins and its consequences—it was impossible to make sense of either the nature of Soviet society or the ultimate dissolution of the USSR at the hands of the Communist Party during the final decade of the 20th century. For him, 1936–1938 and 1989–1991 were indissolubly connected periods of Soviet history. The restoration of capitalism demanded new falsifications of Soviet history.
International tributes for Russian Marxist historian
More than three dozen people gathered at the Moscow Crematorium September 21 to mourn the passing of Vadim Zakharovich Rogovin, Russian Marxist historian and sociologist and author of a six-volume study of the Trotskyist opposition to the rise of the Stalinist regime within the Soviet Union. Rogovin died of cancer on September 18. He was 61 years old.
In contrast to all other political tendencies, the International Committee of the Fourth International insisted that the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 marked not the “end of socialism” but the end of Stalinism, and the beginning of a new period of imperialist wars and socialist revolutions. The twentieth century, the International Committee argued, was not over with the end of the USSR. Rather, it had remained “unfinished“.
A critical component of the ICFI’s response to the dissolution of the Soviet Union was the initiation of a campaign in defense of historical truth. Vadim Rogovin’s work on the struggle of the Left Opposition and the political genocide carried out by Stalinism of its socialism opponents were an indispensable part of the struggle to establish the historical record of the revolutionary movement. In 1995-1996, Rogovin gave lectures at universities in the US, Australia, Germany and Great Britain. Organized by the ICFI, the lectures drew audiences of hundreds of students.
Following Rogovin’s premature death in 1998, the ICFI continued this struggle, including through the publication of his works in English and German, and with major works by David North, most notably, “In Defense of Leon Trotsky”.
This lecture was delivered by Professor Vadim Rogovin at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, on June 3, 1996
This lecture was delivered by Professor Vadim Rogovin at the Ruhr University in Germany in December 1996.
This lecture was delivered by Professor Vadim Rogovin at the University of Melbourne in Australia on May 28, 1996.
Capitalist restoration demands continuous ideological nourishment in the form of a far-reaching reevaluation of the entire post-October history. The more deeply the country is plunged into a state of economic chaos and political confusion, the sharper the anticommunist hysteria becomes, and the louder become the cries about how the “communist experiment” has proved to be a complete disaster.
Mehring Books publishes first volume of Vadim Rogovin’s Was There an Alternative?
In this work, Soviet historian and sociologist Vadim Rogovin (1937–1998) explodes the myth, shared by both anti-communists and Stalinists alike, that Stalinism evolved naturally and seamlessly out of Bolshevism.
Vadim Rogovin’s Bolsheviks against Stalinism 1928–1933: Leon Trotsky and the Left Opposition
Stalin’s rise was neither foreordained nor a natural outgrowth of the October Revolution. The Great Russian chauvinist and bureaucrat secured power in ferocious conflict with the proletariat, peasantry and cadre of the revolutionary socialist movement.