April 24, 2024


The 71st anniversary of the death of Joseph Stalin has been yet another occasion to renew anti-communist rhetoric from bourgeois propaganda. Stalin, a leader in the Bolshevik Revolution and head of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party, played a great role in the successes of socialism in the USSR and its spread to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Asia. Additionally, Stalin’s leadership was crucial in the Soviet Union’s crushing of fascism in World War II. 

Stalin began his involvement with Marxist organizations in Transcaucasia from a young age. He was an early member of the  Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) which was founded in 1898. Deeply committed to Marxist ideology, Stalin immersed himself in the writings of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Plekhanov. He actively participated in disseminating Marxist principles by engaging in the publication of Marxist newspapers in Transcaucasia and advocating for Marxism among the region’s workers.

Stalin’s dedication to the Marxist cause led to his involvement in various leadership roles within the RSDLP, including serving on committees in Tbilisi, the Caucasian Union, and Baku. He supported the Leninist ideas for the party, endorsing its tactics and strategies. Notably, Stalin played an active role in the Revolution of 1905-1907, contributing to the revolutionary fervor that swept across Russia.

In 1912, Stalin wrote “Marxism and the National Question,” which tackled the complex national question within the Marxist framework. His analysis garnered praise from Lenin, who hailed his work as a significant contribution to Marxist philosophy. Despite opposition from some quarters within the party, Stalin’s ideas on the national question gained recognition.

Stalin’s involvement in revolutionary activities led to his important role in the October Socialist Revolution. As a member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party and various revolutionary committees, Stalin played a crucial part in orchestrating the overthrow of the Provisional Government and the establishment of Soviet power.

Following the revolution, Stalin assumed key positions in the newly formed Soviet government. He became the People’s Commissar of Nationalities, overseeing ethnic relations within the workers’ state. During the tumultuous period of the Russian Civil War and foreign imperialist intervention, Stalin served on the Revolutionary War Council of the Soviet Republic, demonstrating his leadership and organizational skills in times of crisis.

Stalin’s ideological-political contributions were also key to the ideological defeat of Trotskyism and its henchmen Kamenev, Zinoviev, and Bukharin, Stalin substantiated Leninism and proved the effectiveness of Marxist-Leninist theory in the victory of socialist construction in the USSR. Under his leadership, the Bolsheviks went on the offensive against the kulaks in the resolutions of the Fifteenth Congress for the collectivization of agriculture. Further, the advancement of Socialism required its offensive against the capitalist elements which had arisen as a result of the New Economic Policy. In this, the economic planning that had taken root needed to be developed further through the First-Five Year Plan. In this, Stalin emphasized that the Bolsheviks themselves needed to face the question technique in the construction of socialism and that mastery could not be left to the bourgeois “experts”. For the success of socialism, it was necessary that the Bolsheviks master technique and do away with their disdain for it. Thus a new Soviet technical intelligentsia appeared, Red experts, made up of the working class and the peasantry who constituted the main force in the management of industries. Though the successes of the First-Five Year Plan were evident, Stalin placed the importance of the ideological-political leadership under socialism at the forefront. He warned that the Party must be vigilant against the lingering opportunism within the Party and its members as well as the need to confront the fact that popular consciousness did not keep pace with the economic position of society. The Party needed to combat the survival of bourgeois ideas that remained in the minds of the population and the consistent pressure that the capitalist world would apply on the socialist power.

The onslaught and hatred of the capitalists against the USSR, the Bolshevik Party and its leader, Joseph Stalin, resulted from the fact that the creation of the socialist power, the first workers’ state was a thorn in the side of the entire capitalist world. It was proof that the workers of the world could overthrow their exploiters and build their own society. For this reason, the USSR became a beacon of hope and struggle. The fact that the socialist economy was constructed in the 20s and 30s, during a time of imperialist encirclement and a negative correlation of forces at the global level, proves the superiority of socialism. While the workers and peasants saw unprecedented achievements in their standards of living, the people of the capitalist world were plagued by crises. The crises and the existence of the USSR led to the declared objective of Nazi Germany, but also that of the so-called “allies” of the USA and Great Britain, of the elimination of the workers’ power. In this, the “allies”’ supported Hitler’s accession to power, to lead the offensive against the Soviet Union.  The ensuing defeat of fascism by the Soviet Union under the leadership of Stalin and the Bolsheviks proved that only the working class stands to defeat this most rabid expression of capitalist depravity. 

Following WWII, Stalin, as the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party, was at the forefront of the intra-party debates, which intensified following the war, surrounding the laws of socialist economy. Stalin supported the anti-market path and contributed to the formulation of political directives in that direction. He confronted the current that pushed for the strengthening of commodity-money relations. Thus he recognized that socialist production is not commodity production and the law of value cannot be reconciled with the fundamental laws of socialism. 

His legacy lives on in the international communist movement.