Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Pro-Soviet View of Stalin

Lenin put it squarely: "there can be no 'impartial' social science in a society based on class struggle."

J.V. Stalin, a Marxist political figure of the Lenin type, saved the Revolution. Objective conditions in his era were complex. The Soviet Union was a "besieged fortress" facing a hostile capitalist encirclement. Economically backward, it's "advance towards socialism was attended by a sharpening of the class struggle in the country and within the Party." 1941 brought the Nazi "war of plunder and aggrandizement against the USSR." Stalin made grave errors but Marx would have proclaimed that the CPSU and the Soviet people in his epoch "stormed heaven!" J.V. Stalin industrialized the Land of Lenin and built socialism: "the first phase of Communist society." He guided the Great Patriotic War "which ended in the utter defeat of Hitler Germany." The world famous Marxist led the battle against "trends hostile to Leninism within the Party" and popularized ML theory. The memory of Stalin, proletarian fighter extraordinaire, will live through the ages. (Quoted: Lenin, Letter to American Workers, 1918; Stalin and the Central Committee of the CPSU, History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1939, International Publishers; Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute, Joseph Stalin, 1949, International Publishers; Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme, 1875; MELI, ibid; Malinin, Fundamentals of Marxist-Leninist Philosophy, 1974, Progress Publishers)

Nikita Khrushchev’s vicious denunciation of J.V. Stalin at a "secret" session of the 20th Congress of the CPSU was a shock to the world’s Communist and Workers’ Parties. It influenced their view for decades. Khrushchev’s "exaggerated, one-sided and incomplete" distortions "wrote Stalin out of Soviet history and discussion of his role more or less stopped." Friends of the socialist homeland "gave up the effort of an overall assessment" in "a critical but balanced way." The "enemies of the USSR readily filled this vacuum with shelves of books portraying Stalin as a monster or madman." (Roger Keeran and Thomas Kenny, Socialism Betrayed: Behind the Collapse of the Soviet Union, International Publishers, 2004)

Don Currie spoke out eloquently: "The anti-Soviet historical revisionists of our day really don’t care a nit about Stalin or his alleged victims. What they care about is the re-writing of the historical record." (Currie,'Open Letter to Heather Mallick on the Distortions of the Role of Stalin in the Defeat of Hitler Germany', Focus On Socialism)

(Workers raise high the banner of Stalin at a protest led by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation КПРФ)

Yesterday’s genuine Marxist-Leninist movement, partisan towards the USSR, had dual lines. B. Ponomarev’s Short History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, authored in Moscow’s Brezhnev era, was more rounded than Khrushchev’s ravings: "the CPSU sees two aspects in Stalin’s work: a positive one, which the Party values and a negative side, which it criticizes and denounces.

"During the years Stalin was General Secretary of the CC (he was elected to this post in 1922), the Soviet people, led by the Communist Party and its Central Committee, carried out a task that was colossal for its importance and the difficulties it involved: they built the world’s first socialist society and turned an economically backward country into a leading industrial power.

"During the Great Patriotic War, under the leadership of the Party, the Soviet masses accomplished an immortal feat: they defeated Nazi Germany and her allies, upheld the superb gains of socialism and saved mankind from the threat of enslavement by fascism. After the war, led by the Party, they quickly restored the country’s economy and started the building of communism.

"Along with other leaders of the Party and government, Stalin, as a prominent organizer and theoretician, worked to carry through socialist reforms in the USSR, headed the battle against enemies of Leninism (Trotskyites, Right opportunists and bourgeois nationalists), exposed the intrigues of the capitalist encirclement and did much to enhance the Soviet Union’s defense capability. Moreover, he promoted the world communist and entire liberation movement. All this earned him considerable prestige and popularity.

"But with time all the achievements of the Soviet people, led by the Party, began to be ascribed to him. The personality cult gradually took shape. Stalin overestimated his own contribution to the successes of the party and the whole populace, believed he was infallible and began to abuse the power placed in his hands.

"This was furthered by some negative features of his character. Stalin began to depart from the Leninist principles of collective leadership and the norms of Party life. He committed particularly grave errors in the last years of his life. There were unjustified limitations on democracy, flagrant violations of socialist legality and unfounded repressions."

But Stalin’s errors "neither changed nor could change the nature of socialist society, the genuinely people’s nature of the Soviet system, and they could not shake or weaken the theoretical, political and organizational foundations of the CPSU’s activity. The policy pursued by the Party expressed the basic interests of the Soviet citizens, always enjoyed their support and ensured the successful building of socialism and communism in the USSR." (B. Ponomarev, Short History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1970, Progress Publishers, Moscow)

(Henry Winston: 'Communists refuse to lend monopoly our assistance in its anti-Soviet perversions of history!')

Here’s the past Marxist stalwart and author of History of the Communist Party of the United States, William Z. Foster, assessing Stalin before the CPSU's 20th Congress:

"On March 5, 1953, in his 74th year, Joseph V. Stalin died as the result of a stroke suffered during his sleep a few days before. This ended over half a century of revolutionary struggle on the part of one of the greatest fighters ever produced by the world’s working class. His death was a tremendous loss to the Soviet people and to the international movement for peace and freedom.

"Stalin was a major theoretician. Perhaps his greatest theoretical work was on the national question, on which he was the world’s leading expert. His epic ideological battle with the Trotsky-Zinoviev-Bukharin wreckers also constitutes a Marxist classic. And just on the eve of his death he gave a last example of his profound capacity as an economist by working out the basic economic laws of capitalism and socialism, in his last work, ’Economic Problems of Socialism in the U.S.S.R.

"Stalin was a magnificent organizer. His building of the Communist Party, the Soviets, and other immense mass organizations of the Soviet people was a real masterwork. His leadership of the party in the mobilization of the people for the driving through of the successive five-year plans, with their building of industry and collectivization of farming, was organizational work beyond compare.

"Stalin, too, was a militant fighting leader of the masses. His whole life was one relentless battle against the enemies of socialism, both within and outside the party. He was a tower of strength as a military commander in the civil war of 1918-1920, and in leading the Soviet people to victory over the Hitler barbarians in 1941-1945, he displayed a peerless fighting spirit and outstanding military genius. During the Cold War, the arrogant capitalist imperialists also came to dread the indomitable spirit and brilliant diplomacy of Stalin. He was indeed a man of steel, as his name signified.

"At Stalin’s funeral, Malenkov said of this brilliant and courageous leader: ’Comrade Stalin, the great thinker of our epoch, creatively developed the teaching of Marxism-Leninism in the new historical conditions. The name of Stalin rightly stands alongside the names of the greatest men in human history--Marx, Engels, Lenin.’" (William Z. Foster, History of the Three Internationals, 1955, International Publishers)

Peruse the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute’s biography: Stalin.

Read J.V Stalin's Foundations of Leninism.

The book History of the CPSU (B) is an excellent source.

A. Harchikov's song Stalin - Our Flag! is stellar.

Enjoy You Tubes by Communist Party of the Russian Federation (КПРФ) cadre Vladlena1917.