[WSF-Discuss] Fwd: [GreenLeft_discussion] Stalin Archive now on the Revolutionary Democracy website

Sukla Sen sukla.sen at gmail.com
Sun Apr 18 22:30:31 CDT 2010

Stalin was a leading communist revolutionary of the twentieth century whose
seminal contribution is increasingly felt in the twenty first century. His
name is identified with the construction of socialism in the Soviet Union,
the victory over fascism in the Second World War and the transition to
communist society.

The (pretty much unsubstantiated) claim that Stalin's "seminal contribution
is increasingly felt in the twenty first century" is so very much out of
touch with actual reality and in fact utterly funny that it hardly merits
any comment.
The politics of 'Socialism in One Country' as initiated and championed by
Stalin, along with a few other related issues, has been discussed by this
commentator in some details under the same caption back in 1989 (available
at <http://www.jstor.org/pss/4394571> and <
for both subscriptions are required). One may also look up <
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism_in_One_Country> for a brief but
useful treatment.

The claim as regards the "the transition to communist society" is also
obviously as silly.

Here, we'd in brief, comment only on an aspect of "the victory over fascism
in the Second World War" supposedly engineered and spearheaded by Stalin.
In fact, after the pitiable implosion of the Soviet State preceded by public
repudiation of Stalin's legacy by the successor regime soon after the death
of the dictator without causing any waves of protest or whatever in its
immediate aftermath, despite "the transition to communist society" led by
Stalin and all that crap, his only claim to "greatness" lies in his presumed
role in the "the victory over fascism in the Second World War".

Soviet Russia under Stalin, it needs be emphasised here, had joined the WW
II virtually as a junior accomplice of the Hitlerite Nazi Germany via the
Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union signed on
23/24 August 1939. This is popularly known as Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
(Ref. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molotov–Ribbentrop_Pact>.)
The start of the war is generally held to be 1 September 1939 beginning with
the German invasion of Poland coming barely a week after the signing of the
Treaty. (Ref. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II>.) Evidently, it
was not a mere coincidence. The Treaty played a decisive role in triggering
off German attack on Poland.
The momentum had started visibly building up since 1933 with Hitler
occupying power in Germany.

"In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret
protocol dividing Northern and Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres
of influence, anticipating potential "territorial and political
rearrangements" of these countries. Thereafter, Germany and the Soviet Union
invaded their respective sides of Poland, dividing the country between them.
Part of eastern Finland was annexed by the Soviet Union after the Winter
War. This was followed by Soviet annexations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
and Bessarabia."
[Source: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molotov–Ribbentrop_Pact>.]

Also relevant:
On September 15, 1939, Stalin concluded a durable ceasefire with Japan, to
take effect the following day (it would be upgraded to a formal armistice in
April 1941).[20] The day after that, September 17, he belatedly joined
Germany in the joint invasion of Poland. Although some fighting continued
until October 5, the two invading armies held at least one joint victory
parade on September 25, and reinforced their partnership with aGerman–Soviet
Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Demarcation on September 28.
On November 30, the Soviet Union attacked Finland, for which it was expelled
from the League of Nations. The following year, the USSR annexed the Baltic
states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, together with parts of Romania.
[See: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allies_of_World_War_II#Soviet_Union>.]
That's about Stalin's opposition, nay fight, against fascism.
Even if we forget the disastrous impact of the "social fascism" line pursued
by the Comintern under Stalin, and thereby the German Communist Party, in
Germany itself.

Here is an interesting snippet going back to 1934 allowing a revealing
glimpse into Stalin's mind and his attitude towards fascism:
In this connection some German politicians say that the U.S.S.R. has now
taken an orientation towards France and Poland; that from an opponent of the
Versailles Treaty it has become a supporter of it, and that this change is
to be explained by the establishment of the fascist regime in Germany. That
is not true. Of course, we are far from being enthusiastic about the fascist
regime in Germany. But it is not a question of fascism here, if only for the
reason that fascism in Italy, for example, has not prevented the U.S.S.R.
from establishing the best relations with that country. .... We never had
any orientation towards Germany, nor have we any orientation towards Poland
and France. Our orientation in the past and our orientation at the present
time is towards the U.S.S.R., and towards the U.S.S.R. alone. (Stormy
applause.) And if the interests of the U.S.S.R. demand rapprochement with
one country or another which is not interested in disturbing peace, we adopt
this course without hesitation.
[See: p. 691/2 at <http://ciml.250x.com/archive/stalin/est1934_1.html>.]

It is Hitler, and NOT Stalin, who broke with the USSR. Stalin, at no stage,
took any initiative to break with the Nazi Germany and its ongoing war of
"On 22 June 1941, Germany, along with other European Axis members and
Finland, [in an apparently surprise, and which would turn out to be fatally
premature, move] invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa."
[Ref: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II>.]
In the initial phases, the USSR suffered enormous losses.
But eventually the success turned out to be Pyrrhic for the Germans.
Apart from the bravery of the Red Army the vast, virtually endless, frozen
stretches to be covered by the German ground forces, proved to be its
undoing. Almost reenacting Napoleon's devastating defeat in Tsarist Russia
about a century and three decades back.

 The Soviet Russia joined the "imperialist" Allies.
As a price the Comintern had to be dissolved.
At the start of World War II, the Comintern supported a policy of
non-intervention, arguing that the war was an imperialist war between
various national ruling classes, much like World War Ihad been (see
Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact). But when the Soviet Union itself was invaded on 22
June 1941, the Comintern changed its position to one of active support for
the Allies.
On May 15, 1943, a declaration of the Executive Committee was sent out to
all sections of the International, calling for the dissolution of Comintern.
The declaration read:
"The historical role of the Communist International, organised in 1919 as a
result of the political collapse of the overwhelming majority of the old
pre-war workers' parties, consisted in that it preserved the teachings of
Marxism from vulgarisation and distortion by opportunist elements of the
labor movement.... But long before the war it became increasingly clear
that, to the extent that the internal as well as the international situation
of individual countries became more complicated, the solution of the
problems of the labor movement of each individual country through the medium
of some international centre would meet with insuperable obstacles."

Concretely, the declaration asked the member sections to approve:
"To dissolve the Communist International as a guiding centre of the
international labor movement, releasing sections of the Communist
International from the obligations ensuing from the constitution and
decisions of the Congresses of the Communist International."

After endorsements of the declaration were received from the member
sections, the International was dissolved... (On June 1943, the Comintern
itself was dissolved).
Usually, it is asserted that the dissolution came about as Stalin wished to
calm his World War II Allies (particularly Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston
Churchill) and keep them from suspecting the Soviet Union of pursuing a
policy of trying to foment revolution in other countries
{See: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comintern>.]

That's about Stalin's anti-fascism and anti-imperialism.


On 19 April 2010 00:17, Marxist Front <marxistfront at yahoo.co.in> wrote:

> The Revolutionary Democracy website at: www.revolutionarydemocracy.org
> now includes a Stalin Archive.
> Just Scroll down the left side of the site.
> The archive includes so far Volumes 14 to 18 of the Works of Stalin
> which were published by Red Star Press, London, in the 1970s and 1980s;
> the Correspondence Between the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of
> the USSR and the Presidents of the USA and the Prime Ministers of Great
> Britain During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 and the Minutes of
> The Tehran Yalta& Potsdam Conferences.
> Here is the introductory note to the archive:
> Stalin was a leading communist revolutionary of the twentieth century
> whose seminal contribution is increasingly felt in the twenty first
> century. His name is identified with the construction of socialism in
> the Soviet Union, the victory over fascism in the Second World War and
> the transition to communist society. These colossal victories would not
> have been possible without the defeat of the oppositions led by Trotsky
> and Bukharin who opposed socialist industrialisation and
> collectivisation. By the time of the death of Stalin a large people’s
> democratic camp had been built up in central and eastern Europe and Asia
> alongside the USSR.
> Yet the writings of Stalin are not easy to locate despite the fact that
> a number of websites include some of his works. 13 Volumes of the Works
> were completed in English prior to the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU in
> 1956. The dummy of Volume 14 had been printed prior to this event and
> the publication of the volume was announced before the Closed Speech. It
> was not to be printed. The Soviet archives show that preparatory work
> had also begun for volumes 15-17 of the Works of Stalin. This archive
> represents an attempt to widen the availability of the writings of this
> classic of Marxism. We begin by reconstituting Volumes 14 to 18 of the
> Works of Stalin which were published by Red Star Press, London in the
> 1970s and 1980s. These volumes which are much in demand have been out of
> print for many years. The Red Star Press compilation drew upon the
> labours of communists who had gathered materials for the publication of
> the Works of Stalin in French and German. Separate from these endeavours
> communists in Albania and Spain independently compiled volumes 14 in
> their languages. In the United States, Volumes 14 to 16 were published
> in Russian from Stanford based upon the official Soviet publications.
> Under Khrushchev and Brezhnev some of the contributions of Stalin
> bearing upon diplomatic matters were published in the Soviet Union. We
> are placing a part of these on the web. After the fall of the USSR
> volumes 14 to 18 have been published in Russian and more are under
> preparation under the editorship of Prof. Richard Kosalapov. With the
> opening up of the Stalin Archive currently held in the former Central
> Party Archive of the CPSU a considerable part of the vast body of
> Stalin’s writings are now available in the public domain. In the near
> future we plan to put on the web in a chronological form some of
> Stalin’s writings which are not included in existing collections. This
> is an international task and we appeal for assistance on this in terms
> of the location of materials and the translation of Stalin’s writings
> from the Russian. Those who wish to help in this cause may contact us
> at: editor_revdem at rediffmail.com <editor_revdem%40rediffmail.com> <mailto:
> editor_revdem%40rediffmail.com <editor_revdem%2540rediffmail.com>>

Peace Is Doable
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