|Born||25 January 1874|
|Died||22 October 1966|
|Notable work||Socialist Sixth of the world, Marxism and the individual|
|Awards|| Order of the Red Banner of Labour |
Stalin Peace Prize
Hewlett Johnson (25 January 1874 – 22 October 1966) was an English priest of the Church of England and Christian communist. He was Dean of Manchester and later Dean of Canterbury, where he acquired his nickname "The Red Dean of Canterbury" for his unyielding support towards Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union and its allies. 
Johnson was born in Kersal as the third son of Charles Johnson, a wire manufacturer, and his wife Rosa, daughter of the Reverend Alfred Hewlett. He was educated at The King's School, Macclesfield and graduated from Owens College, Manchester, in 1894 with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in civil engineering and the geological prize. 
He worked from 1895 to 1898 at the railway carriage works in Openshaw, Manchester, where two workmates introduced him to socialism,  and he became an associate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.  After deciding to do mission work for the Church Mission Society, he entered Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, in 1900 and later attended Wadham College, Oxford, where he gained a second in theology in 1904. The society rejected him because of his increasingly radical theological views, so he concentrated on training for priesthood and was ordained that same year. 
He became curate in 1905 and in 1908 a vicar of St Margaret's Altrincham. He and his first wife organised holiday camps for poor children and a hospital for returning World War I wounded soldiers in the town. His unconventional views on the war caused him to be refused employment as an army chaplain on active service but he officiated at a prisoner-of-war camp in his parish.  He became an honorary canon of Chester Cathedral in 1919 and rural dean of Bowdon, Greater Manchester, in which area his parish lay, in 1923. 
An avowed Christian Marxist, Johnson was brought under surveillance by MI5 in 1917 when he spoke in Manchester in support of the October Revolution. Although he never joined the Communist Party of Great Britain, he became chairman of the board of its newspaper, The Daily Worker .  His political views were unpopular but his hard work and pastoral skills led to him being appointed Dean of Manchester by Labour Party founder and then-prime minister Ramsay MacDonald in 1924. He was appointed Dean of Canterbury in 1931. 
Johnson came to public prominence in the 1930s when he contrasted the economic development of the Soviet Union under the First Five Year Plan with Britain during the Great Depression. He toured the Soviet Union in 1934 and again in 1937, claiming on each occasion the health and wealth of the average Soviet citizen and that the Soviet system protected the citizens' liberties. He collected his articles in the book The Socialist Sixth of the World (Gollancz, 1939; published in the United States as Soviet Power in 1941), which included a preface by the renegade Brazilian Roman Catholic bishop Carlos Duarte Costa. 
Johnson defended his positive accounts of life in the Soviet Union, emphasising that he had visited "five Soviet Republics and several great Soviet towns", that he had wandered on foot "many long hours on many occasions and entirely alone" and that he saw "all parts of the various towns and villages and at all hours of day and night".  It later emerged that much of the book was copied word for word from pro-Soviet propaganda material produced by organisations, such as the Society of Cultural Relations with the Soviet Union of which Johnson was chairman. 
During World War II, Johnson strictly followed the Soviet line. After the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939, he opposed the war even though Britain was at war against Germany, and he was accused of spreading defeatist propaganda. After Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, he supported the war; his MI5 file reports that it was still judged "undesirable for the Dean of Canterbury to be allowed to lecture to troops". 
Johnson was arguably the most prominent of the Western church leaders who are said to have persuaded Joseph Stalin to restore the Moscow Patriarchate.[ citation needed ] Stalin was successfully convinced that such a move would improve his relations with the Western Allies. Dmitri Volkogonov argued: "It was not the vanity of a former seminary dropout that moved the Soviet leader, but rather pragmatic considerations in relation with the Allies." 
At the end of the war Johnson was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour, in recognition of his "outstanding work as chairman of the joint committee for Soviet Aid", and in 1951 received the Stalin International Peace Prize. After the war, Johnson continued to use his public position to propound his pro-Soviet views. From 1948, he was the leader of the British-Soviet Friendship Organisation. His influence began to wane, particularly after public sympathy for the Soviets in Britain declined dramatically after the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956. Johnson's pro-communist activities were especially troublesome for the British government since foreigners tended to confuse Johnson, the Dean of Canterbury, with the Archbishop of Canterbury.   According to Ferdinand Mount, "What infuriated his critics, from Gollancz on the left to Fisher on the right, was that there was no evidence that Johnson had made any but the most superficial study of the issues that he spouted on with such mellifluous certainty, from famines in the 1930s to germ warfare in Korea". 
The headmaster of the King's School, Canterbury, Fred Shirley, manoeuvred against him. One year, Johnson put up a huge blue and white banner across the front of the Deanery which read "Christians Ban Nuclear Weapons". By way of riposte, some of the boys put up a banner on one of the school's buildings which read "King's Ban Communists". Johnson's adversaries have called his endeavours to unite Christianity and Marxism–Leninism a "heretical teaching concerning a new religion".  Johnson denied those accusations and argued that he knew very well the difference between religion (Christianity) and politics (Marxism–Leninism). His religious views were in line with mainstream Anglicanism. His support for Marxist–Leninist politics was derived, in his own words, from the conviction that "[capitalism] lacks a moral basis" and that "it is the moral impulse [of communism] ... which constitutes the greatest attraction and presents the widest appeal." 
His biographer Natalie E. Watson, in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004), wrote: "Communism, for Johnson, was not an anti-Christian force, but rather a natural result and a practical outworking of the Christian gospel. ... His extensive writings on Soviet Russia reflected a naive and romantic perspective on the transformation [of Russian life] after the 1917 revolution. Until the end of his life he ignored the realities of mass persecution and the extermination of political opponents, as well as the anti-religious aspects of Marxism and Stalinism." 
Johnson was twice married. While still a student at Oxford in 1903, he married Mary, daughter of Frederick Taylor, a merchant of Broughton Park, Manchester.  The couple had no children and she died of cancer in 1931.  He remarried in 1938 to Nowell Mary (1906-1983), daughter of his cousin George Edwards (another Anglican priest), with whom he had two daughters. 
Johnson retired as Dean of Canterbury in 1963, the year of his 89th birthday, but settled in the town where he lived at the Red House in New Street.  While maintaining his interest in Communist world developments, he engaged in psychical research and completed before his death his autobiography, Searching for Light (posthumously published in 1968).  He died, at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital in 1966 aged 92. He was buried in the Cloister Garth at Canterbury Cathedral. 
Leninism is a political ideology developed by Russian Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin that proposes the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat led by a revolutionary vanguard party as the political prelude to the establishment of communism. The function of the Leninist vanguard party is to provide the working classes with the political consciousness and revolutionary leadership necessary to depose capitalism in the Russian Empire (1721–1917). Leninist revolutionary leadership is based upon The Communist Manifesto (1848), identifying the communist party as "the most advanced and resolute section of the working class parties of every country; that section which pushes forward all others." As the vanguard party, the Bolsheviks viewed history through the theoretical framework of dialectical materialism, which sanctioned political commitment to the successful overthrow of capitalism, and then to instituting socialism; and, as the revolutionary national government, to realise the socio-economic transition by all means.
Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology that was the main communist movement throughout the 20th century. Developed in Russia by the Bolsheviks, it was the state ideology of the Soviet Union, Soviet satellite states in the Eastern Bloc, and various countries in the Non-Aligned Movement and Third World during the Cold War, as well as the Communist International after Bolshevisation. Today, Marxism–Leninism is the ideology of the ruling parties of China, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam, as well as many other Communist parties. The the state ideology of North Korea is derived from Marxism–Leninism. Marxist–Leninist states are commonly referred to as "communist states" by Western academics. Marxist–Leninists reject anarchism and left communism, as well as reformist socialism and social democracy. They oppose fascism, imperialism, and liberal democracy. Marxism–Leninism holds that a two-stage communist revolution is needed to replace capitalism. A vanguard party, organized through democratic centralism, would seize power on behalf of the proletariat and establish a one-party socialist state, called the dictatorship of the proletariat. The state would control the means of production, suppress opposition, counter-revolution, and the bourgeoisie, and promote Soviet collectivism, to pave the way for an eventual communist society that would be classless and stateless.
Stalinism is the means of governing and Marxist–Leninist policies implemented in the Soviet Union from 1927 to 1953 by Joseph Stalin. It included the creation of a one-party totalitarian police state, rapid industrialization, the theory of that socialism in one country, collectivization of agriculture, intensification of class conflict, colonization of Eastern Europe, a cult of personality, and subordination of the interests of foreign communist parties to those of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, deemed by Stalinism to be the leading vanguard party of communist revolution at the time. After Stalin's death and the Khrushchev Thaw, de-Stalinization began in the 1950s and 1960s, which caused the influence of Stalin’s ideology begin to wane in the USSR. The second wave of de-Stalinization started during Mikhail Gorbachev’s Soviet Glasnost.
Isaac Deutscher was a Polish Marxist writer, journalist and political activist who moved to the United Kingdom before the outbreak of World War II. He is best known as a biographer of Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin and as a commentator on Soviet affairs. His three-volume biography of Trotsky was highly influential among the British New Left in the 1960s and 1970s.
The Communist International (Comintern), also known as the Third International, was a Soviet-controlled international organization founded in 1919 that advocated world communism. The Comintern resolved at its Second Congress to "struggle by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the state". The Comintern was preceded by the 1916 dissolution of the Second International.
The history of communism encompasses a wide variety of ideologies and political movements sharing the core theoretical values of common ownership of wealth, economic enterprise, and property. Most modern forms of communism are grounded at least nominally in Marxism, a theory and method conceived by Karl Marx during the 19th century. Marxism subsequently gained a widespread following across much of Europe and throughout the late 1800s its militant supporters were instrumental in a number of failed revolutions on that continent. During the same era, there was also a proliferation of communist parties which rejected armed revolution, but embraced the Marxist ideal of collective property and a classless society.
Marxism is a left-wing to far-left method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand class relations and social conflict and a dialectical perspective to view social transformation. It originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. As Marxism has developed over time into various branches and schools of thought, no single, definitive Marxist theory exists.
Communism is a left-wing sociopolitical, philosophical, and economic ideology and current within the socialist movement, whose goal is the establishment of a communist society, a socioeconomic order centered around common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange that allocates products to everyone in the society. Communist society also involves the absence of private property, social classes, money, and the state. Communists often seek a voluntary state of self-governance but disagree on the means to this end. This reflects a distinction between a more libertarian approach of communization, revolutionary spontaneity, and workers' self-management, and a more vanguardist or Communist party-driven approach through the development of a constitutional socialist state followed by the withering away of the state. As one of the main ideologies on the political spectrum, communism is placed on the left-wing alongside socialism, and communist parties and movements have been described as radical left or far left.
Tankie is a pejorative label for leftists, particularly Stalinists, who support the authoritarian tendencies of Marxism–Leninism or, more generally, authoritarian states associated with Marxism–Leninism in history. The term was originally used by dissident Marxist–Leninists to describe members of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) who followed the party line of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Specifically, it was used to distinguish party members who spoke out in defense of the Soviet use of tanks to crush the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and the 1968 Prague Spring uprising, or who more broadly adhered to pro-Soviet positions.
The ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) was Bolshevist Marxism–Leninism, an ideology of a centralised command economy with a vanguardist one-party state to realise the dictatorship of the proletariat. The Soviet Union's ideological commitment to achieving communism included the development of socialism in one country and peaceful coexistence with capitalist countries while engaging in anti-imperialism to defend the international proletariat, combat capitalism and promote the goals of communism. The state ideology of the Soviet Union—and thus Marxism–Leninism—derived and developed from the theories, policies and political praxis of Lenin and Stalin.
19th-century German philosopher Karl Marx, the founder and primary theorist of Marxism, viewed religion as "the soul of soulless conditions" or the "opium of the people". According to Karl Marx, religion in this world of exploitation is an expression of distress and at the same time it is also a protest against the real distress. In other words, religion continues to survive because of oppressive social conditions. When this oppressive and exploitative condition is destroyed, religion will become unnecessary. At the same time, Marx saw religion as a form of protest by the working classes against their poor economic conditions and their alienation. Denys Turner, a scholar of Marx and historical theology, classified Marx's views as adhering to Post-Theism, a philosophical position that regards worshipping deities as an eventually obsolete, but temporarily necessary, stage in humanity's historical spiritual development.
Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that originates in the works of 19th century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Marxism analyzes and critiques the development of class society and especially of capitalism as well as the role of class struggles in systemic, economic, social and political change. It frames capitalism through a paradigm of exploitation and analyzes class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development – materialist in the sense that the politics and ideas of an epoch are determined by the way in which material production is carried on.
John Lewis was a British Unitarian minister and Marxist philosopher and author of many works on philosophy, anthropology, and religion.
Types of socialism include a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production and organizational self-management of enterprises as well as the political theories and movements associated with socialism. Social ownership may refer to forms of public, collective or cooperative ownership, or to citizen ownership of equity in which surplus value goes to the working class and hence society as a whole. There are many varieties of socialism and no single definition encapsulates all of them, but social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms. Socialists disagree about the degree to which social control or regulation of the economy is necessary, how far society should intervene, and whether government, particularly existing government, is the correct vehicle for change.
The Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) was the largest communist organisation in Britain and was founded in 1920 through a merger of several smaller Marxist groups. Many miners joined the CPGB in the 1926 general strike. In 1930, the CPGB founded the Daily Worker. In 1936, members of the party were present at the Battle of Cable Street, helping organise resistance against the British Union of Fascists. In the Spanish Civil War the CPGB worked with the USSR to create the British Battalion of the International Brigades, which party activist Bill Alexander commanded.
Anti-revisionism is a position within Marxism–Leninism which emerged in the 1950s in opposition to the reforms of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Where Khrushchev pursued an interpretation that differed from his predecessor Joseph Stalin, the anti-revisionists within the international communist movement remained dedicated to Stalin's ideological legacy and criticized the Soviet Union under Khrushchev and his successors as state capitalist and social imperialist.
A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovereign state constitutionally dedicated to the establishment of socialism. The term communist state is often used synonymously in the West specifically when referring to one-party socialist states governed by Marxist–Leninist communist parties, despite these countries being officially socialist states in the process of building socialism and progressing toward a communist society. These countries never describe themselves as communist nor as having implemented a communist society. Additionally, a number of countries that are multi-party capitalist states make references to socialism in their constitutions, in most cases alluding to the building of a socialist society, naming socialism, claiming to be a socialist state, or including the term people's republic or socialist republic in their country's full name, although this does not necessarily reflect the structure and development paths of these countries' political and economic systems. Currently, these countries include Algeria, Bangladesh, Guyana, India, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.
The anti-Stalinist left is a term that refers to various kinds of Marxist political movements that opposed Joseph Stalin, Stalinism, and the system of governance that Stalin implemented as leader of the Soviet Union between 1924 and 1953. This term also refers to the high ranking political figures and governmental programs that opposed Joseph Stalin and his form of communism, such as Leon Trotsky and other traditional Marxists within the Left Opposition.
Far-left politics in the United Kingdom have existed since at least the 1840s, with the formation of various organisations following ideologies such as Marxism, revolutionary socialism, communism, anarchism and syndicalism.
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