A Users' Guide to Marxism: Stalinism

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017

The Bolshevik Revolution saw itself as the opening act of an international revolution without which it could not survive. But the workers’ state was immediately undermined by civil war and blockade, and the Revolution’s failure to spread. Stalin, a minor figure during the Revolution, became, after Lenin’s death and Trotsky’s exile, the leading bureaucrat atop an increasingly powerful state bureaucracy that, under the slogan “socialism in one country,” embarked on a brutal process of industrialization, forced collectivization, and mass imprisonment. Stalinism, which claimed to be continuing the legacy of Marx and Lenin, was actually the negation of socialism. Stalinism not only buried the Russian Revolution; with tragic results, it became a model for socialists internationally. The rebuilding of a genuine socialist current worldwide has, and continues to be dependent on, reviving the real Marxist tradition out of the ruins of Stalinism.

| More