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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 Khrushchev  in 1956. Since then, angry, unanimous condemnations of Stalin have come from the Nazis and the Trotskyists,  from Kissinger  and Brzezinski,  from Khrushchev  and Gorbachev,  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 become intimidated.

Today, for a man such as Zinoviev,  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 Gorbachev  succeeded in eradicating all of Stalin's achievements, crowning thirty-five years of virulent denunciations of `Stalinism', Lenin  himself became persona non grata in the Soviet Union. With the burial of Stalinism, Leninism  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 Soviet Marxist-Leninists,   sometimes the only ones with direct access to sources and to witnesses, will be vital. But today they work under very difficult conditions.

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: `Lenin's  Will', forced collectivization, overbearing bureaucracy, extermination of the Old Bolshevik guard, the Great Purge, forced industrialization, collusion between Stalin and Hitler,  his 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 unconscious.

`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 Khrushchev  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.


next up previous contents index
Next: Introduction: The importance Up: Another view of Stalin Previous: Contents

Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995