Up: Another view of Stalin
That a famous Soviet dissident, now living in `reunited' Germany, a
man who in his youth was so fanatically anti-Stalin that he
planned a terrorist attack against him, who filled entire books with
vehement denunciation of
Stalin's political line in every possible way, that
such a man would, in his old age, pay homage to Stalin is remarkable.
Many who consider themselves Communist have not shown
such courage. It is very difficult to raise one's feeble
voice against the torrents of anti-Stalin propaganda.
Unfortunately many Communists do not feel at ease on this battlefield.
Everything that sworn enemies of Communism had claimed for thirty-five years
was supposedly confirmed by
in 1956. Since then, angry, unanimous
condemnations of Stalin have come from the Nazis and the
and many others,
each adding to the `proof'. To defend the historic rôle of Stalin and the
Bolshevik Party becomes unthinkable, even monstrous. And most people who
firmly oppose the murderous anarchy of world capitalism have
Today, for a man such as
seeing the destructive folly that has
taken hold of the ex-Soviet Union, with its trail of famine, unemployment,
criminality, misery, corruption and inter-ethnic wars, has led to the
reassessment of prejudices firmly held since adolescence.
It is clear that, throughout the world, those who wish to defend the
ideals of Socialism and Communism must at least do the same. All
Communist and revolutionary organizations across the globe must
re-examine the opinions and judgments that they have formed since 1956
about Comrade Stalin's work. No one can deny the evidence: when
succeeded in eradicating all of Stalin's achievements,
crowning thirty-five years of virulent denunciations of `Stalinism',
himself became persona non grata in the Soviet Union.
With the burial of Stalinism,
disappeared as well.
Rediscovering the revolutionary truth about this pioneer period
is a collective task that must be borne by all Communists, around the world.
This revolutionary truth will arise by questioning sources, testimony
and analyses. Clearly, the aid that might be offered by
sometimes the only ones with direct access to
sources and to witnesses, will be vital. But today they work under very
Our analyses and reflections on this subject are published in this
work, Another view of Stalin. The view of Stalin that is
imposed on us daily is that of the class that wants to maintain the
existing system of exploitation and oppression. Adopting another view
of Stalin means looking at the historic Stalin through the eyes of
the oppressed class, through the eyes of the exploited and oppressed.
This book is not designed to be a biography of Stalin. It is intended
to directly confront the standard attacks made against Stalin:
Will', forced collectivization, overbearing bureaucracy,
extermination of the Old Bolshevik guard, the Great Purge, forced
industrialization, collusion between Stalin and
incompetency during World War II, etc. We have endeavored to
deconstruct many `well-known truths' about Stalin, those that are
summarized --- over and over --- in a few lines in newspapers, history
books and interviews, and which have more or less become part of our
`But how is it possible', asked a friend, `to defend a man like Stalin?'
There was astonishment and indignation in this question, which
reminded me of what an old Communist worker once told me. He spoke to
me of the year 1956, when
read his famous Secret Report.
Powerful debates took place within the Communist Party. During one of
these confrontations, an elderly Communist woman, from a Jewish
Communist family, who lost two children during the war and whose
family in Poland was exterminated, cried out:
`How can we not support Stalin, who built socialism, who defeated
fascism, who incarnated all our hopes?'
In the fiery ideological storm that was sweeping the world, where
others had capitulated, this woman remained true to the Revolution.
And for this reason, she had another view of Stalin. A new generation
of Communists will share her view.
Up: Another view of Stalin
Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995