Stalin and Stalin's Leadership - Molotov

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  Biography of Stalin - Molotov


JOSEPH STALIN (DJUGASHVILI) was born on December 21, 1879, in the town of Gori, Province of Tiflis. His father, Vissarion Djugashvili, a Georgian of peasant stock from the village of Didi-Lilo in the same province, was a cobbler by trade, and later a worker at the Adelkhanov Shoe Factory in Tiflis. His mother, Ekaterina, was born of a peasant serf named Geladze, in the village of Gam- bareuli.

In the autumn of 1888 Stalin entered the church school in Gori, from which, in 1894, he passed to the Orthodox Theological Seminary in Tiflis.
This was a period when, with the development of industrial capitalism and the attendant growth of the working-class movement, Marxism had begun to spread widely through Russia. The St. Petersburg League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class, founded and led by Lenin, had given a powerful fillip to the Social-Democratic movement all over the country. The tide of the labour move- ment swept as far as Transcaucasia, where capitalism had already taken a foothold, and where, moreover, the burden of national and colonial oppression weighed heavily. An economically backward, agrar ian country, where survivals of feudalism were still strong, and where numerous nationalities lived inter- mingled in close confusion, Transcaucasia was a typi- cal tsarist colony.
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, capitalism had begun to develop rapidly in Transcaucasia, savagely exploiting the workers and peasants and aggravating the national and colonial yoke. Particularly rapid was the development of the mining and oil industries, the key positions in which had been seized by foreign capital. "Russian capitalism," wrote Lenin, "drew the Caucasus into the sphere of world commodity circulation, obliterated its local peculiari- ties the remnants of ancient patriarchal isolation and created for itself a market for its goods. A coun- try which was thinly populated at the beginning of the post-Reform epoch, or populated by mountain- eers who lived out of the course of world economy and even out of the course of history, was being transformed into a land of oil operators, wine merchants, wheat growers and tobacco growers. . . ."*
The appearance of railways and of the first industrial plants in the Caucasus was accompanied by the growth of a working class. Especially rapid was the development of the oil city of Baku, the chief in- dustrial and working-class centre in the Caucasus.

V. I. Lenin, Selected Works, Vol, J, p> $78, Moscow, 1934
As industrial capitalism developed, the working- class movement grew. In the 'nineties revolutionary activities in Transcaucasia were carried on by Rus- sian Marxists who had been exiled to that region.
Soon began the propaganda of Marxism. The Tiflis Orthodox Seminary at that time was a centre from 
which libertarian ideas of every brand spread among the youth from nationalist Narodism to internationalist Marxism. It was honeycombed with secret societies. The Jesuitical regime that reigned in the seminary aroused in Stalin a burning sense of protest and strengthened his revolutionary senti-ments. At the age of fifteen Stalin became a revolutionary.
"I joined the revolutionary movement," Stalin told the German writer Emil Ludwig in subsequentyears, "at the age of fifteen, when I became connect- ed with certain illegal groups of Russian Marxists in Transcaucasia. These groups exerted a great influence on me and instilled in me a taste for illegal Marxian literature."
In 1896 and 1897, Stalin conducted Marxist study circles in the seminary, and in August 1898 he formally enrolled as a member of the Tiflis branch of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. He joined the first Georgian Social-Democratic organiza- tion, known as the Messameh Dassy. This group, in the years 1893-98, performed useful work in the propagation of Marxist ideas. But it was. not a homogeneous organization politically. The majority of its members shared the views of the "Legal Marxists" and inclined towards bourgeois national-ism. Stalin, together with Ketskhoveli and Tsulukidze, formed the core of a revolutionary Marxist minority hi the Messameh Dassy, from which sprang the revolutionary Social-Democratic movement in Georgia.

Stalin worked hard to broaden his knowledge. He studied Capital, the Communist Manifesto and other works of Marx and Engels. He acquainted himself with Lenin's writings against Narodisin, "Legal Marxism" and "Economism." Even at this early date Lenin's writings made a deep mpression on him. "I must meet him at all costs," one of Stalin's friends reports him to have said after reading an article by Tulin (Lenin) . - : Stalin's theoretical interests were extremely broad. He studied philosophy, political economy, history and natural science. He read widely in the classics. He thus trained himself to be an educated Marxist.

At this period Stalin carried on intense propaganda in workingmen's study cL ^les, attended illegal
workers' meetings, wrote leaflets and organized strikes. It was among the militant proletarians of Ti-
flis that Stalin got his first schooling in practical rev- olutionary work.

* V. I. Lenin, A Brief Sketch of his Life and Activities,

p. 25, Moscow, 1942.

"I recall the year 1898," Stalin later wrote,* 
"when I was first put in charge of a study circle of workers from the railway shops It was here, among these comrades, that I received my first revolutionary baptism . . . my first teachers were the workers of Tiflis." 
The program of the workingmen's Marxist study circles in Tiflis was compiled by Stalin. 
The seminary authorities, who kept a strict watch on "suspects," began to get wind of Stalin's secret revolutionary activities, and on May 29, 1899, he was expelled from "the seminary for Marxist propaganda. For a time he lived by giving lessons; later (December 1899) he 'found employment at the Tiflis Observatory as a calculator and observer. But never for a moment did he cease his revolutionary activities.
Stalin had now ^become one of the most active and prominent members in the Tiflis Social-Democratic movement. "In 1898-1900 a leading, central Social-Democratic group arose and took shape in the Tiflis organization -This central Social-Democratic group did an enormUus amount of revolutionary propagandist and organizational work in forming a secret Social-Democratic Party organization."** This group was headed by Stalin. Lenin's League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class was the model on which the revolutionary Social- Democrats of Tiflis faithfully moulded their activities. At this period the labour movement in Tiflis, Ited by the revolutionary minority of the Messameh Das- sy (Stalin, Ketskhoveli and Tsulukidze), ceased to confine itself to propaganda work among a "few select" workers; political developments were ur- gently calling for mass agitation by means of leaflets on burning questions of the day, by lightning meetings and political demonstrations against tsardom.

* Pravda No. 136, June 16, 1926. 
** L. Beria, On the History of the Bolshevik Organizations in Transcaucasia, p. 20, Moscow, 1939.
These new tactics were strenuously opposed by the opportunist majority of the Messameh Dassy, who had strong leanings towards "Economism," shunned revolutionary methods, and disapproved of the political struggle against the autocracy being waged "on the streets." Led by Stalin, the revolution- ary minority of the Messameh Dassy put up a fierce and implacable fight against the opportunists on behalf of the new tactics, the tactics of mass polit- ical agitation. In this they had the hearty support of the militant workers of Tiflis. 
A prominent part in inducing the Social-Demo- crats of Tiflis to adopt the new methods was played by Victor Kurnatovsky, an accomplished Marxist and a staunch supporter and close colleague of Lenin's, who did much to spread the latter's ideas in Transcaucasia. He came to Tiflis in the summer of 1900, and at once formed close contact with the rev- olutionary minority of Mcssameh Dassy, and be- came an intimate friend and comrade of Stalin's. 

When Lenin's Iskra began to appear in December Thus, guided by the revolutionary minority of the Messameh Dassy headed by Stalin, the working- classi movejnent of Georgia passed from propaganda activities conf

1900, Stalin accorded its policy his wholehearted support. It was at once clear to him that Lenin was to be the creator of a real Marxist Party, a leader and a teacher.

"My knowledge of Lenin's revolutionary activities since the end of the 'nineties, and especially after 1901, after the appearance of Iskra" Stalin says, "had convinced me that in Lenin we had a man of extraordinary calibre. I did not regard him as a mere leader of the Party, but as its actual founder, for he alone understood the inner essence and urgent needs of our Party. When I compared him with the other leaders of our Party, it always seemed to me that he was head and shoulders above his colleagues Plekhanov, Martov, Axelrod and the others; that, compared with them, Lenin was not just one of the leaders, but a leader of the highest rank, a moun- tain eagle, who knew no fear in the struggle, and who boldly led the Pairty forward along the unex- plored paths of the Russian revolutionary movement."* 

Stalin conceived a boundless faith in Lenin's revolutionary genius. He took Lenin's path as his own.
From this path he has never swerved; and when Lenin died, he confidently and courageously carried on his work.
* Stalin on Lenin, p. 40, Moscow, 1946.
In 1900 and 1901, in the midst of a gathering economic crisis, under the influence of the working- class movement in Russia and as a result of the activities of the Social-Democrats, a series of strikes broke out in Tiflis, spreading from factory to fac- tory. August 1900 witnessed a big strike at the rail- way shops and locomotive yards, an active part in which was played by Mikhail Kalinin; who had been exiled to the Caucasus from St. Petersburg. In 1901 a May Day demonstration was held in the centre of Tiflis, organized and led by Stalin. This demonstra- tion was hailed by Lenin's Iskra as an event of his- toric importance for the whole of the Caucasus; it was to exercise an normous influence on the entire subsequent course of the working-clasis movement in he Caucasus ined to narrow circles to political agi tation among the masses; and in the Caucasus too there began that linking up of Socialism with the working-class movement which had been so bril- liantly effected several years earlier by the St. Peters- burg League of Struggle, under Lenin's leadership. 
The tsarist government was alarmed by the grow- ing revolutionary militancy of the Transcaucasian
proletariat and resorted to sterner measures of re- pression than ever, hoping in this way to halt the movement. On March 21, 1901, the police made a search of the observatory where Stalin worked and had his quarters. This search, and the warrant for his arrest which, as he learned, had been issued by the secret police, induced Stalin to go into hiding. From that moment and right up to the revolution of February 1917 he lived the life, full of heroism and unflagging effort, of a professional revolutionary of the Lenin school. 

The tsarist satraps were powerless to halt the growth of the revolutionary movement. In September 901, Brdzola (Struggle), the first illegal Social- Democratic newspaper in Georgia, started publica- tion. Founded on the initiative of Stalin and Ketskhoveli, it consistently advocated the principles of Lenin's Iskra. As a Marxist newspaper in Russia, Brdzola was second only to Iskra. 
The editorial in its first issue (September 1901) was written by Stalin. Entitled "From the Editors," it defined the aims and objects of the newspaper. Stalin wrote: "The Georgian Social-Democratic newspaper must provide plain answers to all ques- tions connected with the labour movement, explain questions of principle, explain theoretically the role the working class plays in the struggle, and throw the light of scientific Socialism upon every phenom- enon the workers encounter."* 
The paper, Stalin said, must lead the labour movement, it must keep in close contact with the working masses, be in a position to influence them and act as their intellectual and guiding centre. 
The following issue of Brdzola (November-De- cember) contained an important article by Stalin, "The Russian Social-Democratic Party and Its Imme- diate Tasks." In it Stalin stressed the necessity of linking up scientific Socialism with the spontaneous working-class movement and the role of the work- ing class as the leader of the movenient for demo- cratic emancipation; he called for the foundation of an independent political party of the proletariat. 
Leaflets in the languages of the various national- ities of Transcaucasia wore also published on a wide scale. "Every district in Tiflis has been inundated with splendidly written leaflets in Russian, Georgian and Armenian," wrote Lenin's Iskra on September 15, 1902, in reference to the activities of the Tiflis Social-Democrats.** Lado Ketskhoveli, Stalin's close colleague, organized a Committee of the Leninist Iskra trend in Baku and set up a secret printing plant there. On November II, 1901, at a conference of the Tiflis Social-Democratic organization, a Tiflis Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. was elected, one of  whose members was Stalin. But Stalin did not stay in Tiflis long. At the end of November, on the instruc- tions of the Tiflis Committee, he went to Batum, the third largest proletarian centre in the Caucasus (Baku was the first and Tiflis the second), to form a So- cial-Democratic organization there.
* J. Stalin, Collected Works, Russ. ed.. Vol. I, p. tt, MOB- COW, 1946. 
** Iskra No. 2f>. September 15. 1902.
In Datum, Stalin at once flung himself into revolutionary work: he established contact with politically-advanced workers, formed Social-Democratic study circles, some of which he conducted himself, set up a secret printing plant, wrote, printed and distributed stirring leaflets, directed the struggle of the workers at the Rothschild and Mantashev plants, and organized revolutionary propaganda in the countryside. He formed a Social-Democratic Party organization in Batum and a Batum Committee of the R.S.D.L.P., and led several strikes. He organized and directed the famous political demonstration of the Batum workers on March 9, 1902, himself marching at the head of the columns, thus giving a practical example of the combination of strikes with political demonstrations. 

Thus, in this period, a strong Leninist Iskra-isl organization grew up in Transcaucasia, carrying on a determined and implacable struggle against op- portunism. Its chief organizer and leader was Stalin, who was already known among the Batum workers as the ''workers' teacher." This organization was founded on the sound principles of proletarian inter- nationalism, uniting, as it did, proletarian militants of different nationalities Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanians and Russians. In later days, Lenin time and again cited the Transcaucasian Party or- ganization as a model of proletarian internationalism.
The rising militancy of the Batum workers was a cause of serious uneasiness to the government. Police sleuths scoured the city, looking for the "ring- leaders." On April 5, 1902, Stalin was arrested. But even while in prison (first in Batum, then in Kutais a jail notorious for the severity of its regime, to which he was transferred on April 19, 1903 and then hack again in Batum), Stalin's contacts with revolutionary activities were not interrupted.
In the early part of March 1903 the Caucasian Social-Democratic organizations held their first congress, at which a Caucasian Union of the R.S.D.L.P. was set up. Although in confinement, Stalin was elected to the Committee of the Caucasian Union. It was while in prison that Stalin learned from dele- gates returned from the Second Party Congress of the profound dissension between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. He took his stand without hesita- tion on the side of Lenin and the Bolsheviks.
In the autumn of 1903, Stalin was banished for three years to Novaya Uda, a village in the Balagan District, Province of Irkutsk, Eastern Siberia. He arrived there on November 27 9 1903. While in exile  he received a letter from Lenin.

"I first became acquainted with Lenin in 1903,"

Stalin subsequently related. "True, it was not a per- sonal acquaintance; it was maintained by correspond- ence. But it made an indelible impression upon me, one which has never left me throughout all my work in the Party. I was in exile in Siberia at the time. . . . Lenin's note was comparatively short, but it con- tained a bold and fearless criticism of the practical work of our Party, and a remarkably clear and con- cise account of the entire plan of work of the Party in the immediate future."* 

Stalin did not stay in exile long. He was impa-tient to be back at liberty, to set to work to carry out Lenin's plan for the building of a Bolshevik Party. On January 5, 1904, he escaped from exile, and in February 1904 he was back again in the Caucasus, first in Batum, and then in Tiflis.

* Stalin on Lenin, pp. 40-41, Moscow, 1946. 

STALIN HAD SPENT almost two years in ^ prison and exile. During this period the rev- olutionary movement had made steady progress in the country. The Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. had taken place, at which the victory of Marxism over "Economism" had been consolidated. But those old opportunists, the "Economists," smashed by the Party, were superseded by a new type of opportunists, the Mensheviks. After the Con- gress Lenin and the Bolsheviks launched a fierce struggle against the Mensheviks, against their oppor- tunist ideas and their attempts to split and disorgan- ize the Party. With the outbreak of the Russo-Jap- anese War and the gathering revolutionary storm, this struggle took on an even more acute form. Lenin considered that only a new congress (the third) could settle the crisis in the Party. To secure the convoca- tion of this congress was now the principal task of all the Bolsheviks.

In the Caucasus, Lenin's faithful lieutenant in this campaign was Stalin, the leader of the Trans- Caucasian Bolsheviks. During this period he con- centrated his energies on the fierce fight against Menshevism. A member of the Caucasian Committee of the R.S.D.L.P., he, together with Tskhakaya, was the virtual director of its activities. He was in- defatigable: he periodically toured Transcaucasia, visiting Batum, Chiaturi, Kutais, Tiflis, Baku and the rural districts of Western Georgia, strengthening the old Party organizations and forming new ones, tak- ing an active part in the heated controversies with the Mensheviks and other enemies of Marxism, stoutly upholding the principles of Bolshevism, and exposing the political chicanery and opportunism of the Mensheviks and of those who were prone to compromise with them.

"Under the leadership of Stalin and Djaparidze, in December 1904 there was a huge strike of the Baku workers, which lasted from December 13 to 31 and ended with the conclusion of a collective?
agreement with the oil owners, the first of its kind in the history of the Russian working-class movement. The Baku strike heralded a rise in the tide of revolution in Transcaucasia. It served as the 'signal for the glorious actions in January and February all over Russia' (Stalin) ."*
"This strike," says the History of theC.P.S.U.(B.), "was like a clap of thunder heralding a great revolu- tionary storm."
* L. Beria, On the History of the Bolshevik Organizations in Transcaucasia, p. 19, Moscow, 1939.
2* 19 Stalin persistently worked for the furtherance of Lenin's guiding principles. He advocated and ex- plained the Bolshevik ideas to the masses, and or- ganized a campaign for the convocation of a Third Party Congress. Close contact was maintained be- tween Lenin and the Caucasian Committee all through this period. It was Stalin who led the ideo- logical and political fight of the Caucasian Bolsheviks against the Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries, nationalists and anarchists in the period of the first Russian Revolution. A most effective weapon of the Bolsheviks in this fight was their Party literature; and practically every Bolshevik publication that came out in the Caucasus owed its origin to Stalin's initiative and efforts, thanks to which the production of illegal books, newspapers, pamphlets and leaflets attained dimensions unprecedented in- tsarist Russia.
One remarkably bold enterprise of the Caucasian Union of the R.S.D.L.P., and an outstanding example of the Bolshevik technique of nderground work, was the Avlabar secret printing press, hich functioned in Tiflis from November 1903 to April 1906. On this press were printed Lenin's The Revo- lutionary-Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and the Peasantry and To the Rural Poor, Stalin's Briefly About the Disagreements in the Party 9 Two Clashes and other pamphlets, the Party program and rules, and scores of leaflets, many of which were written by Stalin. On it, too, were printed the news- papers Proletarians Brdzola and Proletarians Brdzo*

Us Purtseli. Books, pamphlets, newspapers and leaf- lets were published in three languages and were printed in several thousands of copies, A most important weapon in the defence of the principles of Bolshevism in the Caucasus and in the propagation and development of Lenin's ideas was the newspaper Proletarians Brdzola, edited by Stalin, the organ of the Caucasian Union of the R.S.D.L.P, and a worthy successor of Brdzola. For its size and its quality as a Bolshevik newspaper, Proletarians Brdzola was second only to Proletary y the Central Organ of the Party, edited by Lenin. Practically every issue carried articles by Lenin, reprinted from the Proletary. Many highly important articles were written by Stalin. In them he stands forth as a talent- ed controversialist, one of the Party's ablest writers and theoreticians, a political leader of the proletar- iat, and a faithful follower of Lenin. In his articles and pamphlets, Stalin worked out a number of the- oretical and political problems. He disclosed the ideological fallacies of the anti-Bolshevik trends and factions, their opportunism and treachery. Every blow at the enemy struck with telling effect. Lenin paid glowing tribute to Proletarians Brdzola, to its Marxian consistency and high literary merit, Lenin's most appreciative disciple and the most consistent champion of his ideas, Stalin played a dominant part in the ideological discomfiture of Menshevism in the Caucasus, and in the defence of the ideological, organizational and tactical princi- les of the Marxist party. His writings of that period are a model of consistency in the advocacy of Lenin's views, and are distinguished for their theoretical penelration and uncompromising hostility to oppor- tunism. 
His pamphlet Briefly About the Disagreements in the Party, his two "Letters From Kutais" and his article "Reply to a 'Social-Democrat' " are a vigor- ous defence of the ideological principles of the Marxist party. 
The "Letters from Kutais" (September-October 1904) contain a trenchant criticism of Plekhanov's articles in the new Iskra taking issue with Lenin's What Is To Be Done? Stalin consistently defends Lenin's views on the question of spontaneity and consciousness in the labour movement. He writes: 
"The conclusion (practical deduction) to be drawn from this is as follows: we must raise the proletariat to the level of consciousness of its true class interests, of consciousness of the Socialist ideal, but not break this ideal up into small change, or adjust it to the spontaneous movement. Lenin has laid down the theoretical basis on which this prac- tical deduction is bunt. It is enough to accept this theoretical premise to prevent any opportunism from getting anywhere near you. Herein lies the signifi- cance of Lenin's idea. I call it Lenin's, because no- body in Russian literature has expressed it with such clarity as Lenin has done."* 
Briefly About the Disagreements in the Party (written at the beginning of 1905 and published il-legally in May of that year) was an outstanding contribution to Bolshevik thought. It had a close kinship with Lenin's historic work What Is To Be Done?, whose inspired ideas it vigorously upheld and elaborated. 
Dilating on Lenin's ideas, Stalin in this pamphlet argues the supreme importance of Socialist con-sciousness to the labour movement. At the same time he warns against one-sidedly exaggerating the impor- tance of ideas and forgetting the conditions of eco- nomic development and the role of the labour move- ment. Can it be said, Stalin asks, that Socialism is everything and the labour movement nothing? "Of course not! Only idealists say that. Some day, in the very distant future, economic development will inevi- tably lead the working class to the social revolu- tion, and, consequently, compel it to break off all connection with bourgeois ideology. The only point is tihat this path is a very long and painful one."** 
* J. Stalin, Collected Works, Russ. ed., Vol. I, p. 58, Moscow, 1946. 
** Ibid., p. 105. 


Having profoundly argued the question of the rela- tion between the spontaneous labour movement and Socialist consciousness from all aspects and angles, Stalin in his pamphlet sums up the views of the Lenin wing of the Social-Democracy on the question as follows: 
"What is scientific Socialism without the labour movement"? A compass which, if left unused, can only grow rusty and then has to be thrown overboard. 
"What is the labour movement without Social- ism? A ship without a compass which will reach the other shore in any case, but would reach it much sooner and with less danger if it had a compass, 
"Combine the two and you will get a splendid vessel, which will speed straight towards the other shore and reach its haven unharmed. 
. "Combine the labour movement with Socialism and you will get a Social-Democratic movement which will speed straight towards the 'promised laftd.' "* 
The whole history of the working-class struggle in Russia has strikingly confirmed this important theoretical conclusion- of Stalin's. In the pamphlet in question Stalin subjected the opportunist theory of spontaneity to withering criticism and gave a rea- soned explanation of the role and significance of a revolutionary party and of revolutionary theory for the working class. 
* J. Stalin, Collected Works, Russ, ed,, Vol. I, pp, 1Q?-103, Moscow, 1946. 

"The labour movement," wrote Stalin, "must be linked up with Socialism; practical activities and theoretical thought must merge into one and there- by lend the spontaneous labour movement a Social-Democratic character. . . . Our duty, the duty of Social-Democracy is to divert the spontaneous la- bour movement from the trade union path to the Social-Democratic path. Our duty is to introduce So- cialist consciousness* into this movement and unite the progressive forces of the working class in one centralized party. Our task is always to be at the head of the movement and tirelessly combat all those foes or 'friends' who hinder the accom- plishment of this task/ 1 ** 
Stalin's writings met with Lenin's wholehearted approval. Reviewing in the Proletary (No. 22), the Central Organ of the Party, Stalin's "Reply to a So- cial-Democrat," which appeared in the Proletarians Brdzola in August 1905, Lenin noted the "excellent formulation of the famous question of the 'introduc- tion of consciousness from without.' " 
Stalin wrote a number of articles in support of Lenin's line at the Second Congress and after. In an article entitled "The Proletarian Class and the Pro- letarian Party" (Proleiariatis Brdzola, No. *8, Janu- ary 1, 1905), dealing with the first paragraph of the Party Rules, he upheld the organizational principles of the Party as laid down in Lenin's doctrine of the party, explaining and enlarging upon Lenin's ideas. 
This article was a defence of the organizational principles of Bolshevism as propounded by Lenin in his famous book One Step Forward, Two Steps Back. 
* Which was worked out by Marx and Engels. < ** J. Stalin, Collected Works, Russ, ed,, Vol t I, pp. J05-106, Moscow, 1946, r 

"Up till now," Stalin wrote, "our Party has re- sembled a hospitable patriarchal family, ready to take in all who sympathize. But now that our Party has become a centralized organization, it has thrown bff its patriarchal aspect and has become in all re- spects like a fortress, the gates of which are opened only to those who are worthy. And this is of great importance to us. At a time when the autocracy is trying to corrupt the class consciousness of the pro- letariat with 'trade-unionism,' nationalism, clerical- ism and the like, and when, on the other hand, the liberal intelligentsia is persistently striving to kill the political independence of the proletariat and to impose its tutelage upon it at such a time we must be extremely vigilant and never forget that our Party is a fortress, the gates of which are opened only to those who have been tested."* 
* J. Slalin, Collected Works, Russ. ed., Vol. I, p. 67, Moscow 1046. 

The article "The Social-Democratic View of the National Question" (Proletariatis Brdzola, No. 7, September 1, 1904) is a brilliant commentary on the national program of the R.S.D.L.P. Stalin sets forth and explains the theory and program of the Party on the national question, subjects the opportunist principle of dividing the proletariat into national sections to devastating criticism, and consistently advocates the internationalist type of proletarian class organization. Stalin here reveals himself as" an out- standing authority on the national question, a the- oretician with a perfect mastery of the Marxist dia- lectical method. He foreshadows the ideas which he subsequently de^loped in his Marxism and the Na- tional Question. 
In the first Russian Revolution Stalin from the very outset resolutely advocated and practised Lenin's strategy and tactics, his idea of the hegem- ony of the proletariat in the revolution. 
Of the Liberals, who were out, not for revolution, but for reconciliation with the tsar, Stalin had written on the eve of January 9, 1905: "Yes, gentlemen, vain are your efforts ! The revolution is inev- itable. It is as inevitable as the rising of the sun! 
Can you prevent the sun from rising? The main force in this revolution is the urban and rural pro- letariat, its banner-bearer is the Social-Democratic Labour Party, and not you, Messieurs Liberals I"* 
Ibid., p. 78. 
With equal vigour, Stalin supported Lenin's idea of armed insurrection as the means of overthrowing the autocracy and establishing a republic. The ne- cessity for armed insurrection is exhaustively demonstrated in his writings of 1905-07. "The salva- tion of the people lies in ia victorious uprising of the people themselves," he says. Like Lenin, he attached the highest importance to proper technical training for insurrection, the formation of fighting squads, the procurement of arms, and so forth. "It is the technical guidance and organizational preparation of the all-Russian insurrection that constitute the new tasks with which life has confronted the proletariat," he wrote.* Stalin himself gave day-to-day guidance to the Bolshevik organizations in Transcaucasia in preparing for armed insurrection. 
Stalin explained and developed Lenin's idea of a provisional revolutionary government. The formation of such a government, he argued, should be the natural outcome of a victorious armed insurrection of the people. Since it is the proletariat and the peas- antry that will triumph in the insurrection, the pro- visional revolutionary government must be the spokesman of their aspirations and interests. Such a government must be a revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry. Only the dic- tatorship of these revolutionary classes can curb and suppress the sinister forces of reaction, arm the people, carry out the minimum program of the R.S.D.L.P., and consolidate and consummate the vic- tory of the revolution. 
* J. Stalin, Collected Works, Russ. cd.. Vol. I, p. 133. Moscow, 1946. 

"If the advanced proletariat is the leader of the revolution," Stalin wrote, "and if it must take an active part in- organizing the insurrection then it is self-evident that we cannot wash our hands of the provisional revolutionary government and remain outside, that we must achieve political power in con- junction with the peasantry and go into the provi- sional government:* the leader of the revolutionary street must also be the leader of the revolution's gov- ernment."** 
** J. Stalin, Collected Works, Buss, ed., Vol. I, p. 258- 259, Moscow, 1946.
In the fight against the numerous foes of the Bol- shevik Party and the working class, Stalin consist- ently advocated and elaborated Lenin's theory of the revolution and his tactical plan. It was the supreme merit of this plan that it was adapted in a most re- markable degree to the realities of the situation in Russia, that it rallied broad masses of the peo- ple to the fight iand inspired them with confidence in victory, that it advanced the revolution. 
The Caucasian Committee indefatigably propa- gated the decisions of the Third Party Congress and summoned the workers and peasants to armed in- * Here we are not dealing with the principles underlying the question. 
Stalin's leaflets of the year 1905 are a model of the propaganda of Bolshevik ideas among the masses. In his "Armed Insurrection and Our Tac- tics," "The Provisional Revolutionary Government and Social-Democracy," "Reaction Is Growing" and other articles, he castigated the Menshevik teadcrs and insistently urged the necessity for armed insur- rection. 
The general strike of October 1905 demonstrated the might and strength of the proletarian movement 
and impelled the mortally terrified tsar to issue his Manifesto of October 17. Unslinting .in its promises of popular liberties, this Manifesto was nothing but a fraud on the masses, a stratagem designed to secure a breathing space in which the tsar might fool the gullible, gain time and marshal his forces for a blow at the revolution. The Bolsheviks warned the masses that the Manifesto was a trap. The October Manifesto found Stalin in Tiflis, in the heat of the fight for Lenin's tactical plan and for the Bolshevik slogans in the revolution. That very same day, addressing a meeting of workers, Slalin said: 
"What do we need in order to really win? We need three things: first arms, second arms, third arms and arms again!"* 
* History of the C.P.S.U.(B.), p. 81, Moscow, 1945.
Insisting that the victory of the revolution de- manded a nation-wide armed insurrection, Stalin, in  a leaflet headed "Citizens!" issued by the Tiflis Com- mittee of the Caucasian Union of the R.S.D.L.P. which he wrote in October 1905, said: 
"The general political strike now raging which is of dimensions unprecedented and unexampled not only in the history of Russia but in the history of the whole world may, perhaps, end today without developing into a nation-wide uprising, but tomor- row it will shake the country again with even great- er force and develop into that great armed uprising which must settle the age-long contest between the Russian people and the tsarist autocracy and smash the head of this despicable monster. ... A nation-wide armed uprising such is the supreme task that to- day confronts the proletariat of Russia, and is im- peratively demanding execution!"* * J. Stalin, Collected Works, Russ. ed., Vol. I, p. 186, Moscow, 1946
Stalin's revolutionary activities in Transcaucasia at this period were immense. Under his guidance the Fourth Bolshevik Conference of the Caucasian Union of the R.S.D.L.P. (November 1905) passed a resolu- tion calling for more energetic preparation for armed insurrection; it appealed for a boycott of the tsarist Duma and for the extension and consolida- tion of the revolutionary organizations of the work- ers and peasants the Soviets of Workers' Deputies, the strike committee and the revolutionary peasant committees. Stalin exposed and denounced the Mensheviks as opponents of the revolution and of armed insurrection. He worked assiduously to pre- pare the workers for the decisive engagement with the autocracy. The flames of revolution swept all over Transcaucasia. Special mention of the activities of the Bolshevik organizations in Transcaucasia was made at the Third Congress of the Party, in the res- olution on "The Events in the Caucasus," moved by Lenin, which referred to these organizations as "the most militant in our Party" and called upon the whole Party to lend them the utmost support. 
In December 1905, Stalin attended the first All- Russian Bolshevik Conference in Tammerfors (Finland), as a delegate from the Transcaucasian Bol- sheviks. It was here that Lenin and Stalin first met. 
Stalin worked with Lenin on the political (drafting) committee of the Conference, to which he was elect- ed, as one of the prominent leaders of the Party. With the defeat of the December uprising, the tide of revolution gradually began to ebb. The con- flict between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks flared up afresh with the preparations for the Fourth Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. Anarcho-syndicalist elements came to the fore; they were particularly conspicuous in Tiflis. Stalin continued to lead the struggle against all anti-proletarian trends in Transcaucasia. Stalin took an active part in the Fourth Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. (Stockholm, April 1906), where, together with Lenin, he upheld the Bolshevik line in the revolution against the Mensheviks. Stalin put the question squarely: 
"Either the hegemony of the proletariat, or the hegemony of the democratic bourgeoisie that is how the question stands in the Party, that is where we differ."*
 * J. Stalin, Collected Works, Russ. ed., Vol. I, p. 240, Moscow, 1946. 
Shortly after the Congress, Stalin wrote a pam- phlet entitled The Present Situation and the Unity Congress of the Workers' Party, in which he analysed the lessons of the December armed uprising, justified the Bolshevik line in the revolution and summed up the results of the Fourth Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. 
After the Congress Stalin returned to Transcau- casia, where he continued his uncompromising fight against Menshevism and other anti-proletarian trends. He directed the Akhali Tskhovreba (New Life), 
Akhali Droyeba (New Age) 9 Chveni Tskhovreba (Our Life) and Dro (Time), Bolshevik newspapers pub- lished legally in the Georgian language. 
It was at this period that Stalin wrote the remarkable series of articles under the title "Anarch- ism or Socialism," in connection with the activities of anarchists of the Kropotkin school in Transcaucasia, With the ebb of the revolution and the rising tide of reaction, the Party was called upon to defend the theoretical foundations of Bolshevism. In 1909 Lenin published his masterly work, Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, in which he thoroughly exposed the backsliders from Marxian theory and vindicat- ed the theoretical foundations of the Bolshevik Party.
Stalin, too, rose up in defence of the theoretical foundations of Marxism. He wrote a series of arti- cles expounding the theoretical tenets of the Marxist party dialectical and historical materialism. They were published in 1906 and 1907 in Georgian Bol- shevik newspapers. They explained 'the meaning of materialism and dialectics and the principles of his- torical materialism in simple and popular style, at the same time formulating and answering with pro- found penetration the fundamental questions of Marxist-Leninist theory: the inevitability and ina- vertibility of the Socialist revolution and the dictator- ship of the proletariat, and the necessity for a mili- tant proletarian party, a party of a new type, differ- ing from the old, reformist parties of the Second In- ternational. They also expounded the basic strategy and tactics of the Party. These articles are an im- portant contribution to the theory of Marxism- Leninism and form part of the ideological treasury of our Party. In their profound treatment of the theory of Marxism-Leninism in the light of the ur- gent tasks of the revolutionary class struggle of the proletariat they are exemplary. 
Stalin took an active part in the work of the Fifth Congress of the R.S.D.L.P., held in London in April and May 1907, at which the victory of the Bolsheviks over the Mensheviks was sealed. On his return, he published an article, "The London Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party (Notes of a Delegate) ," in which he examined the decisions and results of the Congress, justified the ideological and tactical position of the Bolsheviks, denounced the bourgeois-liberal line of the Mensheviks in the rev- olution and their policy of liquidating the Party, and revealed the class nature of Menshevism, show- ing that it was a petty-bourgeois political trend.

THE FIRST Russian Revolution ended in de- feat. Between the first and the second revolu- tions there intervened a period of ten years, during which the Bolsheviks worked perseveringly and indefatigably, with heroism and self-sacrifice to organize the masses, to foster in them the revolution- ary spirit, to guide their struggles and to prepare the ground for the future victory of the revolution. 
For Lenin and Stalin these were years of relent- less struggle for the preservation amd consolidation of the underground revolutionary Party, for the ap- plication of the Bolshevik line in the new conditions; they were years of strenuous effort to organize and educate the masses of the working class, and of un- usually stubborn conflict with the tsarist police. The tsarist authorities: sensed in Stalin an outstanding rev- olutionary, and were at great pains to deprive him of all opportunities of carrying on revolutionary work. Arrest, imprisonment and exile followed each other in swift succession. Between 1902 and 1913, Stalin was arrested seven times and exiled six times. Five times he escaped from exile. Scarcely had the tsarist authorities convoyed him to a new place of fexile than he would again be "at large," to resume his work of mustering the revolutionary energies of the masses. His last term of exile was the only one that was not cut short in this way; from that he was released by the revolution of February 1917. 
In July 1907 began the Baku period of Stalin's revolutionary career. On his return from the Fifth (London) Congress of the R.S.D.L.P., he left Tiflis and on the instructions of the Party settled in Baku, the largest industrial area in Transcaucasia and one of the most important centres of the working-class movement in Russia. Here he threw himself into the work of winning the Baku organization for Lenin's slogans and of rallying the working masses under the banner of Bolshevism. He organized the fight to oust the Mensheviks from the working-class districts of Baku (Balakhani, Bibi-Eibat, Chorny Gorod and Byely Gorod). He directed the Bolshevik publica- tions, illegal and legal (Bakinsky Proletary, Gudok and Bakinsky Rabochy). He directed the campaign in the elections to the Third Duma. The "Mandate to the Social-Democratic Deputies of the Third State Duma," written by Stalin was adopted at a meeting of representatives of the workers' curiae in Baku on September 22. Stalin guided the struggle of the Baku workers. The big campaign he organized in connec- tion with the negotiations for a collective agreement between the oil workers and the operators was a brilliant application of Lenin's policy of flexibly combining illegal and legal activities in the period of reaction. He secured the victory of the Bolsheviks in this campaign by skilfully applying Lenin's tac- tics of rallying the workers for a political struggle against the tsarist monarchy. Baku, where the pro- letarian struggle seethed, and whence the voice of Stalin's fosterlings, the legal Bolshevik newspapers, reverberated throughout Russia, presented an un- usual spectacle amid the gloomy night of the Stoly- pin reaction. "The last of the Mohicans of the mass political strikel"* was Lenin's comment on the he- roic struggle of the Baku workers in 1908. 
Around Stalin rallied a sturdy band of tried Bolsheviks and Leninists Fioletov, Saratovets (Efi- mov), Vatsek, Bokov, Malygin, Orjonikidze, Djapa- ridze, Shaumyam, .Spandaryan, Khanlar, Memedov, Azizbekov, Kiazi-Mamed and others and finally he secured the complete triumph of Bolshevism in th6 Baku Party organization. Baku became a stronghold of Bolshevism. Under Stalin's leadership, the Baku proletariat waged a heroic struggle in the front ranks of the Russian revolutionary movement. 
The Baku period was of major importance in Stalin's life. This is what he himself says of it: 
"Two years of revolutionary activity among the workers in the oil industry steeled me as a practical fighter and as one of the practical leaders. Contact with advanced workers in Baku with men like Vatsek and Saratovets, on the one hand, and the storm of acute conflicts between the workers and oil owners, on the other, first taught me what leading large masses of workers meant. It was in Baku that I thus received my second revolutionary baptism of fire."* 
* V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 3rd Russ. ed. f Vol. XV, p. S3* 

On March 25, 1908, Stalin was arrested and, after spending nearly eight months in prison, was exiled 
to Solvychegodsk, in the Province of Vologda, for a term of two years. But on June 24, 1909, he es- caped and made his way back to Baku, to continue his illegal work. He vigorously and unreservedly supported Lenin in his stand against the Liquidators and Otzovists. His historic "Letters from the Cau- casus" appeared in the central Party press, and for the newspaper Bakinsky Proletary he wrote "The Party Crisis and Our Tasks," "From the Party" and other articles in which he boldly criticized the state of the Party organizations and outlined a plan to put an end to the crisis in the Party. In these writ* ings Stalin subjected the Liquidators to withering criticism, using the example of the Tiflis Mensheviks to illustrate the renegacy of the Liquidators on ques- tions of program and tactics. He severely con- demned the treacherous conduct of the accomplices of Trotskyism, and formulated the immediate tasks of the Party, to which the Prague Party Conference subsequently gave effect, namely, the convocation of a general Party conference, the publication of a legal Party newspaper and the formation of an illegal Party centre to conduct the practical work in Rus- sia. 
* Pravda No. 136, June 16, 1926. 39 
On March 23, 1910, Stalin was again arrested in Baku, and, after spending six months in prison, was convoyed ba<5k to Solvychegodsk. He established con- tact with Lenin from exile, and towards the end of 1910, wrote him a letter in which he expressed full solidarity with Lenin's tactic of forming a Party bloc of all who favoured the preservation and con- solidation of the illegal proletarian party. In this same letter he castigated the "rank unprincipledness" of Trotsky and outlined a plan for the organization of Party work in Russia. 
In the latter half of 1911 began the St. Peters- burg period of Stalin's revolutionary career. On September 6 he secretly left Vologda for St. Petersburg. He established contact with the Party organization there, organized and gave directions for the fight against the Liquidators Mensheviks and Trotsky- iies and took measures to rally and strengthen the Bolshevik organizations. He was arrested on Sep- tember 9, 1911, and sent back to the Vologda Prov- ince, whence he again managed to escape in February 1912. 

Meanwhile, in January 1912, a momentous event had taken place in the life of the Party. The Prague Conference, having expelled the Mensheviks from the Party, inaugurated a party of a new type, a Leninist Party the Bolshevik Party. 
For this new type of party the Bolsheviks had been working ever since the days of the old Iskra working persistently and perseveringly, regardless of all obstacles. The whole history of the fight against the "Economists," the Mensheviks, the Trots- kyites, the Otzovists and the idealists of all shades, down to the empirio-criticists, had been paving the way for the formation of such a party. Of exclusive and decisive importance in this preparatory work were Lenin's What Is To Be Done?, One Step For- ward, Two Steps Back, Two Tactics of Social-De- mocracy in the Democratic Revolution, and Mate- rialism and Empirio-Criticism. Stalin fought side by side with Lenin in the struggle against innumerable enemies, and was his staunch support in the fight for a revolutionary Marxist party, a Bolshevik Party. 
THE PRAGUE Conference had predicted a III revolutionary revival in the near future and  had taken all measures to prepare the Party for it. It elected a Bolshevik Central Commit- tee, set up a practical centre to direct the revolution- ary work in Russia (The Russian Bureau of the Central Committee), and decided to publish the Pravda newspaper. Stalin, who had been an agent of the Central Committee since 1910, was elected to the Central Committee in his absence. On Lenin's pro- posal, he was put in charge of the Russian Bureau of the Central Committee. But Stalin was hi exile, and arrangements for his flight had to be made. On Lenin's instructions, Sergo Orjonikidze went to Vo- logda to inform Stalin of the decisions of the Prague Conference. Then, on February 29, 1912, Stalin again escaped from exile. He had a brief spell of liberty, which he turned to good account. On the instructions of the Central Committee, he toured the most important districts of Russia, made prepa- rations for the coming May Day demonstration, wrote the well-known May Day leaflet of the Central Committee, and edited the Bolshevik weekly Zvezda in St. Petersburg during the strikes that followed the shooting down of the workers in the Lena gold fields. 

A powerful aid to the Bolshevik Party in strength- ening its organizations and spreading its influence among the masses was the Bolshevik daily news- paper Pravda, published in St. Petersburg. It was founded according to Lenin's instructions, on the initiative of Stalin. It was under Stalin's direction that the first issue was prepared and the character of the paper decided. 
Pravda was born simultaneously with the new rise of the revolutionary movement. Its first issue ap- peared on April 22 (May 5, New Style), 1912. This was a day of real celebration for the workers. It is in honour of Pravda's appearance that it was later decided to celebrate May 5 as Workers' Press Day. 
"The Pravda of 1912," Comrade Stalin wrote on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the paper, "was the laying of the cornerstone of the victory of Bolshevism in 1917."* 

On April 22, 1912, Stalin was arrested on the streets of St. Petersburg. After several months in prison, he was exiled again, for a term of three years, this time to the remote region of Narym. But on September 1 he once more escaped and returned to St. Petersburg. Here he edited the Bolshevik Pravda and directed the Bolshevik campaign in the elections to the Fourth Duma. At great risk, for the police were constantly on his track, he addressed a number of meetings at factories. But the workers and their organizations kept close guard on Stalin and protected him from the police* * Prqvda Np. 9& May 5, 192& 43 

A great part in this campaign, which culminated in a victory for the Party, was played by the "Man- date of the Workingmen of St. Petersburg to their Labour Deputy," written by Stalin. Lenin attached the highest importance to the Mandate; when send- ng the copy to the press, he wrote on the margin:
"Return without fail!! Keep clean. Highly important to preserve this document!" In a letter to the editors of Pravda, he wrote: "Publish this Mandate to the St. Petersburg Deputy without fail, in a prominent place in large type."* 
* V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, Sard Russ. ed., Vol. XXIX
Stalin's Mandate reminded the workers of the unaccomplished tasks of the 1905 Revolution and summoned them to a revolutionary struggle, a struggle on two fronts' against the tsar- ist government and against the liberal bourgeoisie, which was seeking to come to terms with tsardom. After the elections Stalin guided the activities of the Bolshevik group in the Duma. With Stalin in St. Petersburg worked Y. Sverdlov and V. Molotov, who took an active part in the editorship of the Prauda, in the election campaign and in the guidance of the Bolshevik group in the Duma. At this period contact between Lenin and Stalin became closer than ever. In his letters Lenin expressed his entire approval of Stalin's activities and of his speeches and articles. On two occasions Stalin went abroad to Cracow, where Lenin was then residing: once in November 1912, and again at the end of December 1912, to attend a conference of the Central Committee with leading Party members. 
It was while he was abroad that Stalin wrote Marxism and the National Question, on which Lenin set the highest value. "The principles of the Social-Democratic national program," Lenin wrote, "have already been dealt with recently in Marxian literature (in this connection Stalin's article stands in the forefront)."* This treatise was one of the major Bolshevik pronouncements on the national question in the international arena in the pre-war period. It was a formulation of the Bolshevik theory and program on the national problem. Two methods, two programs, two outlooks on the national! ques- tion were sharply contrasted in this work that of the Second International and that of Leninism. Stalin worked with Lenin to demolish the opportun- ist views and dogmas of the Second International on this question. It was Lenin and Stalin who worked out the Marxist program on the national problem. 
Stalin's treatise formulates the Marxist theory of na- tions, outlines the principles of the Bolshevik solu- tion of the national problem (which demands that it be treated as part of the general problem of the revolution and inseparably from the entire interna- tional situation in the era of imperialism), and lays down the Bolshevik principle of international work- ing-class solidarity. 
* V. I. l>nin, Collected Works, 3rd Russ. ed., Vol XVIJ, 116. 

On February 23, 1913, Stalin was arrested at an evening arranged by the St. Petersburg Bolshevik Committee in the Kalashnikov Hall. This time the tsarist government exiled Stalin to the remote re- gion of Turukhansk, for a term of four years. At first he lived in the village of Kostino; but, at the beginning of 1914, fearful lest he should escape again, the tsarist gendarmes transferred him still further north, to the village of Kureika, on the very fringe of the Arctic Circle, where he lived for three years right down to 1916. Severer conditions of po- litical exile could scarcely have been found in all the remote expanses of the Siberian wilderness. 
In the summer of 1914, the imperialist war broke out. The parties of the Second International shamefully betrayed the proletariat and joined the camp of the imperialist bourgeoisie. Only the Bolsheviks, headed by Lenin, remained true to the banner of in- ternationalism. Immediately and unhesitatingly, the Bolsheviks, alone of all parties, called for a resolute struggle against the imperialist war. And Stalin, cut off though he was from the outside world and iso- lated from Lenin and the Party centres, took up the same international stand as Lenin on the questions of war, peace, and revolution. He wrote letters to Lenin. He addressed meetings of exiled Bolsheviks in the village of Monastyrskoye (1915) where he stig- matized the cowardly and treacherous behaviour of Kamenev at the trial of the five Bolshevik members of the Fourth Duma. In 1916, he and other Bol- shevik exiles sent a message of greetings to the le- gally published Bolshevik magazine Voprosy Strakh- ovania (Insurance Questions), pointing out that it was the duty of this magazine "to devote all its ef- forts and energies to the ideological insurance of the working class of our country against the deeply cor- rupting, anti-proletarian preaching of gentry like Potressov, Levitsky and Plekhanov, preaching run- ning directly counter to the principles of interna- tionalism." 
In December 1916 Stalin, having been called up to the army, was sent under escort to Krasnoyarsk, and thence to Achinsk. There it was that he heard the first tidings of the revolution of February 1917. 
On March 8, 1917, he bade farewell to Achinsk on the way wiring a message of greetings to Lenin in Switzerland. 

On March 12, 1917, Stalin, not a whit the worse for the hardships of exile so bravely endured in Turukhansk, again set foot in Petrograd the rev- olutionary capital of Russia. The Central Commit- tee of the Party instructed him to take charge of the Pravda. 
The Bolshevik Party had just emerged from un- derground. Many of its most prominent and active members were still on their way back from remote prisons and places of exile. Lenin was abroad, and the bourgeois Provisional Government was putting every obstacle in the way of his return. The moment was critical, and Stalin set to work to rally the Party and fit it for the fight for the transition from the bourgeois-democratic revolution to the Socialist rev- olution. Together with Molotov, he directed the activities of the Central Committee and the Petrograd Committee of the Bolshevik Party. In his articles the Bolsheviks found the guiding principles they needed in, their work. The very first article he wrote on his return- from exile, "The Soviets of Workers)' and Soldiers' Deputies," spoke of the main task of the Party, which, Stalin said, was "to consolidate these Soviets, make them universal, and link them together under the aegis of a Central Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies as the organ of revolutionary power of the people."* 
* Lenin and Stalin, 1917, p. 12, Moscow, 1038. 
In an article "The War," Stalin showed that the character of the imperialist war had not changed with the assumption of power by the Provisional Government, and that under the bourgeois Provi- sional Government the war of 1914-17 remained a predatory and unjust war. 
Stalin and Molotov, supported by the majority of the Party members, advocated a policy of "no confidence" in the imperialist Provisional Government, and denounced both the defencism of the Menshe- viks and Socialist-Revolutionaries and the semi-Men- shevik position of conditional support for the Pro- visional Government advocated by Kamenev and other opportunists.
APRIL 3, 1917, after a long period of foreign exile, Lenin returned to Russia. The news of the arrival of the beloved leader of the revolution was hailed with enthusiasm by the advanced workers of Petrograd. Stalin, at the head of a delegation of workers, went to meet him at Byelo-Ostrov. The welcome accorded to Lenin upon his arrival at the Finland Railway Station in Petro- grad turned into a mighty revolutionary demonstra- tion. On the morrow of his arrival, Lenin announced his famous April Theses, which provided the Party with a brilliant plan of action for the transition from the bourgeois-democratic to the Socialist revolution. They gave the Party the new orientation it needed in the new conditions of the struggle that followed the overthrow of tsardom. On April 24, 1917, the Sev- enth (April) Conference of the Bolshevik Party assem- bled. Lenin's theses formed the basis of its delibera- tions. .The Conference directed the efforts of the Party to the struggle for the transition from the bourgeois- democratic revolution to the Socialist revolution. 
At this Conference Stalin vigorously supported Lenin's policy of working for the Socialist revolution and exposed the opportunist, anti-Leninist line of Kamenev, Rykov and their scanty supporters. Stalin also made a report on the national question. Devel- oping a consistent Marxist-Leninist line, he laid down a Bolshevik national policy, advocating the right of nations to self-determination, even to the point of secession and the formation of independent states*.
It was the national policy of Lenin and Stalin that was to secure for the Party the support of the op- pressed nationalities in the Great October Socialist Revolution.

After the Conference, in May 1917, a Political Bureau of the Central Committee was instituted, to which Stalin was elected and to which he has been successively re-elected ever since. 
On the basis of the decisions of the April Con- ference, the Party set energetically to work to win over the masses, and to train and organize them for militant action. 
In this complex period of the revolution, when events moved at breakneck speed, demanding skilful and flexible tactics of the Party, it was Lenin and Stalin who guided the struggle of the masses. 
"I recall the year 1917," says Stalin, "when, after my wanderings from one prison and place of exile to another, I was transferred by the will of the Party to Leningrad. There in the society of Russian work* ers, and in contact with Comrade Lenin, the great teacher of the proletarians of all countries, in the midst of the storm of mighty conflicts between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, in the midst of the imperialist war, I first learnt what it meant to be one of the leaders of the great Party of the working class. There, in the society of Russian workers the liber- ators of oppressed nationalities and the pioneers of the proletarian struggle in all countries and among all peoples I received my third revolutionary baptism of fire. There, in Russia, under Lenin's guidance, I became a master of the art of revolu- tion."* 
Stalin was at the centre of the practical activities of the Party. As a member of the Central Committee he took a direct and leading part in the work of the Petrograd Committee of the Party, edited the Pravda, wrote articles for it and for the Soldatskaya Pravda, and directed the Bolshevik campaign in the Petrograd municipal elections. Together with Lenin, he took part in the All-Russian Conference of the Party Organizations in the Army, where he delivered a report on "The National Movement in the National Regiments." Together with Lenin, he organized the historic demonstration of June 18, which marched under the slogans of the Bglshevik Party; and he drew up the Manifesto of the Central Committee to the workers and revolutionary soldiers of Petro- grad. On June 20 the First All-Russian Congress of Soviets elected Stalin to the Central Executive Com- mittee. 
* Pravda No. 136, June 16, 1926. 
After the events of July 1917, when Lenin, hounded and persecuted by the counter-revolutionary Provisional Government, was forced to go into hid- ing, Stalin directly guided the work of the Central Committee and the Central Party Organ, which at that time appeared under a succession of different names (Rabochy i Soldat, Proletary, Rabochy, Ra- bochy Put). It was Stalin who saved the previous life of Lenin for the Party, for the Soviet people and for humanity at large, by vigorously resisting the 
proposal of the traitors Kamenev, Rykov and Trotsky that Lenin should appear for trial before the courts of the counter-revolutionary Provisional Government. 
The brutal suppression of the July demonstration marked a turning point in the development of the revolution-. Lenin worked out new tactics for the Party in the new conditions of the struggle. Together with Sverdlov, Stalin steered the work of the Sixth Party Congress (July-August 1917), which had to meet secretly. At this Congress Stalin made the report on the work of the Central Committee and a report on the political situation, in which he gave a clear-cut formulation of the aims and tactics of the Party in the struggle for the Socialist revolution. He refuted the arguments of the Trolskyites, who considered that Socialism could not be victorious in Russia. 
Opposing the attempt of the Trotskyites to make the Party's course of steering for a Socialist revolution contingent on a proletarian revolution in the West, Stalin declared: "The possibility is not excluded that Russia will be the very country that will lay the road to Socialism. . . . We must abandon the antiquated idea that only Europe can show us the way. There is dogmatic Marxism and creative Marxism. I stand by the latter."* Stalin's words were prophetic. Russia was the first to show the way to Socialism. 
In insisting on Lenin's doctrine that the victory of Socialism was quite possible in Russia, Stalin had the full support of the Congress. Guided by Stalin and by Lenin's instructions, the Sixth Congress inaugurated the preparations for insurrection. The Con- gress headed the Party for armed insurrection and for the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. 
In August 1917, General Kornilov launched his revolt with the aim of restoring tsardom in Russia. The Bolsheviks roused the masses to resist the at- lettipted coup, and Kornilov's revolt was* crushed. This ushered in a new phase in the history of the revolution: the phase in which the forces were massed for the grand assault. 
While Lenin was in hiding Stalin maintained a correspondence with his teacher and friend and kept in close contact with him. He visited him twice in hisi place of concealment near Razliv. 
* Lenin and Stalin, 1917, p. 309, Moscow, 1938. 

Baldly and confidently, firmly yet circumspectly Lenin and Stalin led the Party and the working class towards the Socialist revolution, towards armed insurrection. It was they who inspired and organized the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
Stalin was Lenin's right-hand man. He had direct charge of all the preparations for the insurrection. His articlesi in the central press laying down the guiding policy were reprinted in the provincial Bolshevik newspapers. He summoned representatives from the regional organizations to Petrograd, gave them instructions and outlined plans of campaign for the various regions. On October 16, the Central Committee elected a Party Centre, headed by Com- rade Stalin, to direct the uprising. This Centre was the leading core of the Revolutionary Military Com- mittee of the Petrograd Soviet and had practical direction of the whole uprising. 
At the meeting of the Central Committee of the Party on October 16, Stalin rebuffed the capitulatory proposals of the traitors Zinoviev .and Kamenev* who opposed armed insurrection. "Objectively," he de- clared, "what Kamenev and Zinoviev propose would enable the counter-revolution io organize. We wduld continue to retreat without end and would lose tbe revolution. Why should we not insure for ourselves the possibility of choosing the day and the conditions, so as to deprive the counter-revolution of the possibility of organizing?"* 
Early in the morning of October 24, Kerensky ordered the suppression of the central organ of the Party, Rabochy Put, and sent a number of armoured cars to the editorial and printing offices of the news- paper to effect the order. But by 10 a.m. a for^e of Red Guards and revolutionary soldiers, acting on Stalin's instructions, had pressed back the armoured cars and placed a strong guard over the printing and editorial offices. At eleven o'clock the Rabochy Put came out, with a leading article by Stalin entitled "What Do We Need?" calling upon the masses to overthrow the bourgeois Provisional Government. At the same time, on instructions of the Party Centre, de- tachments of revolutionary soldiers and Red Guards were moved to the Smolny Institute. The insurrection began on October 24. On the evening of October 25 the Second Congress of Soviets met and turned over the government power to the Soviets. 
Stalin was elected to the first Council of People's Commissars, which, headed by Lenin, was set up by the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets after the victory of the October Revolution. 
The Great October Socialist Revolution ushered ra changes of epoch-making importance. It split the world into two systems capitalist and Socialist. The Bolshevik Party was now faced with new conditions, with new gigantic tasks. And the forms of struggle of the working class had likewise undergone a funda- mental change. 
* Lenin and Stalin, 1917, p. 598, Moscow, 1938. 
From the inception of the Soviet Government and down to 1923, Stalin was the People's Commissar for the Affairs of the Nationalities. He personally directed all the measures taken by the Party and the Soviet Government to solve the national problem in the Soviet Republic. Guided by Lenin and Stalin, the workers and peasants began to turn the tsarist colonies into Soviet republics. There is not a single Soviet republic in whose organization Stalin did not take an active and leading part. He directed the fight for the creation of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic, the Byelorussian Republic and the Soviet republics of Transcaucasia and Central Asia, and he helped the numerous nationalities of the Soviet Land to set up their autonomous republics and regions. Lenin and Stalin were the engineers and builders of the great Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. 
Lenin's closest assistants in the organization of the Soviet state were Stalin and Sverdlov. Stalin fought side by side with Lenin against Kamenev, Zinoviev, Rykov and the other scabs and deserters from the revolution. He took an active and leading part in all decisive measures and actions, such as the organization of the defeat of Kerensky and Krasnov, the suppression of the sabotage of the old government officials, the liquidation of the counter- revolutionary General Headquarters and the remov- al of the tsarist generate, the suppression of the bourgeois press, the action against the counter-revo- lutionary Ukrainian Rada, the dispersal of the Con- stitupnt Assembly, and the drafting of the first Soviet Constitution in 1918. 
In January 1918, on the instructions of the Central Committee, Stalin arranged a conference of  representatives of the revolutionary wings of the Socialist parties of Europe and America, which was 
an important step towards the formation of the Third, Communist International. 
In the trying days of the Brest-Litovsk negotia- tions, when the fate of the revolution hung in the balance, Stalin was at one with Lenin in upholding the Bolshevik strategy and tactics against the traitor Trotsky and hisi henchman Bukharin, who, in conjunction with the British and French imperialists, sought to expose the young and still weak Soviet Republic to the blows of German imperialism.