The intervention of Russian tanks temporarily
halted the movement in Czechoslovakia. But, as Alan Woods pointed out at the
time, "The rule of the bureaucracy now represents an absolute fetter on the
development of the planned economies of Russia and Eastern Europe. The needs of
the people can no longer be met by a system whose every pore is choked by
bureaucracy, mismanagement and waste."
In Part One Alan Woods analysed the
meaning of Dubcek and the reform movement
within the Czechoslovak bureaucracy.
Part Two explains why the
intervened and how the Czechoslovak workers
were left leaderless in
the face of military
To mark the 40th anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia, we are here reprinting an article by Alan Woods, first written on September 4, 1968, and published in the Winter edition of the Spark, in which he clearly relates the momentous events that shook the Stalinist regimes and explains their significance.
'Lenin wake up, Brezhnev has gone mad.' This was one of the slogans
chanted on the street of Prague 30 years ago as Russian and Warsaw Pact troops invaded
Czechoslovakia. The upheavals in Czechoslovakia had began with a stormy session of the
Writers Union which passed a resolution supporting Soviet author Solzhenitsyn's protest
On Friday 3rd May a meeting was called in Paris's Sorbonne University to protest against the closure of Nanterre University the day before. This followed a week of clashes there between extreme right wing groups and students campaigning against the Vietnam War.
In 1968 the world turned upside down. The long years of the
post war economic upswing had led many to declare that class struggle was obsolete,
revolution outdated, the working class bourgeoisified, capitalism invincible. Within a few
short months, though, they were all proved wrong.