MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE | Grover Furr

Deaths of Stalin and Beria . . . and Others?

     43. In addition to the mysterious circumstances of Beria's death there is considerable evidence that Stalin was either left to die on the floor of the office in his dacha after suffering a stroke or, perhaps, even poisoned. We don't have time or space to summarize this question here.

     44. However, for our present purposes it is not necessary. The wide circulation and credence given to these stories among Russians of all political camps show that many Russians believe Stalin's and Beria's deaths were all too convenient for the nomenklatura. The evidence that Beria, like Stalin, wanted a communist perestroika -- a "restructuring," albeit of political, not economic, power, instead of the capitalist super-exploitation and fleecing of the country that has gone under that name since the late 1980s -- is quite independent of any evidence that they may have been murdered.

     45. The immediate result of Stalin's and Beria's failures at democratization was to leave the USSR in the hands of the Party leadership. No workers' democracy came to pass in the Soviet Union. Top Party leaders continued to monopolize all important positions, including those in the state and the economy, and developed into a fully parasitical, exploitative stratum with strong similarities to their counterparts in frankly capitalist countries.

     46. In a real sense this stratum is still in power today. Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Putin, and the rest of the leaders of Russia and of the post-Soviet states are all former members of the Party leadership. They long milked the Soviet Union's citizens as super-privileged functionaries. Then, under Gorbachev's leadership, they presided over the privatization of all the collectively-produced property that belonged to the working class of the USSR, impoverishing not only the workers, but the large middle class in the process. This has been called the greatest expropriation in the history of the world.13 The Party nomenklatura destroyed the Soviet Union. (Bivens & Bernstein; O'Meara; Williamson)

     47. To cover up their own roles in the massive executions of the 1930s, their successes in frustrating Stalin's attempts at democratization, their refusals to implement Stalin's and Beria's reforms -- in short, to cover up their refusal to democratize the Soviet Union -- Khrushchev and the top party leaders blamed Stalin for everything, lying about the existence of serious conspiracies in the USSR in the 1930s, and covering up their own roles in the mass executions that ensued.

     48. Khrushchev's "secret speech" of 1956 was the single greatest blow to the world communist movement in history. It gave encouragement to anti-communists everywhere, who decided that for once here was a communist leader they could believe. Documents released since the end of the USSR make it clear that virtually every accusation Khrushchev leveled at Stalin in this speech was a lie. This realization, in turn, compels us to inquire into Khrushchev's real reasons for attacking Stalin the way he did.14 Russian researchers have already shown that the "official" charges against Beria cited by Khrushchev and his cohorts in the Soviet leadership are either false, or wholly lacking in evidence. Beria was judicially murdered for reasons that his murderers never revealed. The "bodyguard of lies" surrounding both of these events compel us to ask: What was really going on? The present essay suggests one answer.

Conclusions and Future Research