The left’s history of foolishness

They always make the mistake of thinking the enemy is within their own ranks

At the start of the 21st century, no one felt the need to reach for studies of ‘third-period’ communism to understand British and American politics. By 2016, I would say that they have become essential.

Admittedly, connoisseurs of the communist movement’s crimes have always thought that 1928 was a vintage year. The Soviet Union had decided that the first period after the glorious Russian revolution of 1917 had been succeeded by a second period, when the West fought back. But now, comrades, yes, now in the historic year of 1928, Stalin had ruled that we were entering a ‘third period’ when capitalism would die in its final crisis. As the Wall Street crash was only months away, this was not as fanciful as it seemed.