Communism and successive Saturn/Neptune cycles.
We have pointed out that the correlation of the Saturn/Neptune cycle with events in Eastern Europe is striking. Looking further into this there appears to be a precise synchronicity between the Saturn/Neptune cycle and the birth, growth difficulties, peak of influence, terminal crisis and death of Communism as an ideology. We shall now examine this in detail, looking back at several historical Saturn/Neptune cycles, some not yet referred to, but to make the picture manageable examining only the events at conjunctions and oppositions and not at the In or Out squares.
We start with the 1846 Saturn/Neptune conjunction, which is exact in April, September and December of that year and therefore within just over a year of the date of publication of the Communist Manifesto – the first published Communist document. The authors Karl Marx and Friederich Engels had met in Paris in 1844, the year in which the modern cooperative movement was founded. In 1845 Friederich Engels‘s ‘The Conditions of the Working Class in England’ is published. In 1846 Britain bows to the industrialists’ lobby and moves towards Free Trade. In 1847 Karl Marx’s ‘The Poverty of Philosophy’ is published – in the year in which the British Factory Act restricts the working day for women and children to 10 hours ! In 1848 as revolutions break out in Paris, in Vienna and Prague, and in Berlin, Rome, Milan, Parma and Venice Marx and Engels publish their ‘Communist Manifesto’. Here in these years surrounding the 1846 Conjunction is the birth of communism against a background of revolution spreading across Europe. Is this match a coincidence ?
The Opposition in this 1846 cycle comes in 1862 – we should expect to see the new idealism show its greatest manifestation. It comes in terms of vivid actions to do with the issue of class or caste freedom. In 1860 the emancipation of Russian serfs occurs. In 1861 Civil War breaks out in the United States fought principally over the issue of the abolition of slavery. In 1862 against a background of ferment in Russia the radical Chernyshevsky issues his pamphlet ‘What to Do?’ an instruction manual on the overthrow of governments by revolution. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln proclaims the emancipation of all slaves, as in the background the industrialisation of America surges forward to create new classes.
In 1864 the first socialist party is established in Germany while in 1865 the Communist First International falls apart because of Marxist-Anarchist rivalry. So at this half way cycle stage we see emancipation take place in the two largest countries in the world, a pre-condition for either socialist or democratic advance. But while slaves go ‘free’ in the Southern US, the seeds of industrial worker oppression are born in the North. And while socialist support surges and mobilises especially in Eastern Europe, it is already possible to see how rivalry between different factions and contradiction between different brands of revolutionary ideology is going to prevent any further progress in this cycle.
The next Saturn/Neptune cycle starts in 1882. Here we should expect to see the same ideologies of liberation, democracy, socialism and communism advance but from a different standpoint and with newly defined goals. In 1880 the Industrial revolution starts in Russia while in the Western nations this year kicks off a thirty five year period commonly regarded as ‘the Zenith of High Capitalism’. In Russia against this background and under the new Czar Alexander III’s (1881-94) autocratic government widespread strikes develop and the Okhrana secret police ruthlessly suppress all radical organisations. In 1882 in Germany the world’s first legislation on social insurance is introduced. In 1884 in Britain the Fabian Society is established advocating state socialism, which is later adopted by the Labour Party. Here we see the beginning of two separate strands of socialism – one will lead to European Welfare democracies in countries like Britain and Sweden, the other will lead to the creation of Communist Russia and the Soviet Union.
The Opposition in this 1882 cycle comes in 1899. What had been seeded in 1882 gets maximised. In Russia in 1896-97 strikes and revolts multiply against the absolutist rule of Nicholas II (1894-1917), developments which will directly lead to the successful Communist uprising in 1917. In 1897 while socialists Sidney and Beatrice Webb’s ‘Industrial Democracy’ is published in Britain, in Russia the Social Democratic Workers Party is established. The world is rapidly becoming increasingly industrialised – in China for instance there is huge growth in the industrial working class. In 1902 in Russia the Social Revolutionary Party is founded while workers movements mushroom and the coal miners go on strike. However the differences between the electoral democratic approach of one set of radicals and the more extreme aims of the communists advocating armed struggle and workers’ rule have now become entrenched. This will lead to the split between the Menshiviks and the Bolsheviks where the latter will triumph by seizing power.
The next Saturn/Neptune conjunction occurs in August 1917. In precisely this year, in October 1917 the Russian Revolution takes place against the background of World War One. The world’s first socialist state is created promising peace, land reform and democracy. In 1918 the minority Bolsheviks take over while widespread civil war, famine and disease spread. In 1919 the (anti-revolution) White Russians are defeated and in 1920 with the end of the Civil War Joseph Stalin comes to power. This is a highly persuasive correlation.
The Opposition in the 1917 cycle comes in 1936. What had begun at the conjunction in Russia now reaches its full maximisation – in 1933 while the USSR joins the League of Nations and starts to become accepted by the international community, at home Stalin begins his terrible purges which will go on to wipe out tens of millions of people. Elsewhere other ideals and ideologies are getting implemented. In that very year Hitler comes to power in Germany and the Nazi revolution begins, while in the US President Roosevelt unveils his ‘New Deal’. In 1934 in China the Long March of Communists begins, under Mao Zedong, which will lead to a massive further spread of communist government on the world’s map.
In 1935 Stalin inaugurates a series of political ‘show trials’ while the US unveils its first Social Security Act. In 1936 Lenin’s colleague Trotsky is exiled from Russia. In 1937 the most notorious of Stalin’s show trials take place leading to the execution not only of political leaders like Radek but also of Marshal Tukhachevesky and the purge of most other USSR generals. The show trials continue in 1938 with Bukharin, Rykov and Jagoda condemned. Although we dwell on the appalling contradictions of communism or at least Stalinist communism, there is no question that the communist ideology had established itself firmly. Not even the terrible events of 1941 when Hitler invades Russia laying much of its infrastructure and population to waste prevents Russian communism from continuing with the same ideology and government.
However the contradictions evident in 1936 between the declared aims of Soviet Communism and its Stalinist reality would spell change at the next Saturn/Neptune cycle conjunction in 1953 when Stalin’s death after 29 ruthless and oppressive years leads to a new set of collective ideals beginning to emerge in Russia and Eastern Europe. These ideals would first activate in countries like Czechoslovakia and East Germany. The new Khrushchev led era is to inexorably lead (via the ‘détente’ relaxation of the cold war at the cycle opposition in 1971) to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Soviet Union in 1988/1989 at the following Saturn/Neptune conjunction.
The series of Saturn/Neptune conjunctions and oppositions is summarised below along with the matching key events and developments in the history of Communism.
1846 Conjunction Marx and Engels publish the Communist Manifesto & key books
1862 Opposition Serfs in Russia & Slaves in America emancipated. 1st International
1882 Conjunction In Russia industrial strikes start, in UK Fabian Democratic Socialism
1899 Opposition Russian Social Democratic and Revolutionary parties established
1917 Conjunction Russian Revolution overthrows Tsar. Lenin rules, Stalin rises in power
1936 Opposition Stalin’s purges and show trials. The Chinese Communists Long March
1953 Conjunction Stalin’s death after 29 ruthless years. Czech and East German revolts
1971 Opposition SALT nuclear arms agreements and ‘détente’ relaxes the Cold war
1988 Conjunction Fall of the Berlin Wall, Russian communism and the Soviet Union
The pattern of correlation with this cycle is extraordinarily persuasive. Historians are urged to examine this cycle in much greater detail to test whether the correlation will stand up to greater scrutiny. One way of taking a closer look at the successive Saturn/Neptune cycles is by looking not just at the four stages of the cycle but in addition at the minor aspect cycle stages 45, 120, 135, 225, 240 and 315 which are not covered on this site or in the book. Four of these are challenging and should coincide with difficulties or frustrations being faced by the ideology – whereas the 120 and 240 degree stages should correlate with a smooth surge forward or a consolidation of the ideology’s progress. Contradictions between easy aspect dates and a crisis in Communism and vice versa could serve to invalidate the theory. In the book there is an Appendix with dates of these minor aspects in all the Saturn/Neptune cycles referred to above.