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Pro-Stalin anti-Xhruschev Elements Post 1953

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Soviet cogitations: 2407
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Nov 2003, 13:17
Ideology: Other
Forum Commissar
Post 05 Feb 2012, 17:39
Were there any pro-Stalin elements who sought to continue a pro-Stalin line as well as Stalin's aggressive foreign policies after his death in 1953? Did such people exist or were most of a generally anti-Stalin line and in acceptance of Xhrushev's De-Stalinisation?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 05 Feb 2012, 18:27
Firstly, Stalin's foreign policies weren't really aggressive. In fact he might be criticized from a communist perspective for doing less than he could to promote revolution abroad, especially in the postwar period, due to his desire to secure and rebuild a war-torn and exhausted USSR. As for pro-Stalin elements existing after his death, naturally this was the case. Party and state leaders had become who they were thanks to his control of the Central Committee, and rank and file members and ordinary citizens had gone through Stalinist industrialization, collectivization, and the war. The leadership and the people were simply inseparable from him due to his gigantic influence on policy and the tremendous association of his name with all the successes of the USSR. When Khrushchev's secret speech came out, many committed party members simply couldn't believe the extent to which the new leadership sought to distance itself from Stalin's name, nor the extent of the injustices that occurred. In many ways they were correct to note that attempting to somehow disassociate Stalin from the period of the 'building of communism' in the USSR from the 1930s to the 1950s was a mistake, since the step from criticizing the man to criticizing the system could be very small. After Khrushchev fell the original form of Stalinism did not and could not return -society had advanced in material and intellectual development, and primitive forms of repression and the command-administrative system could no longer control it. Still, many moderate Stalinists necessarily remained in the leadership, given that they had begun their climb up the ladder of politics as young people during the Stalin period. It's safe to say that they comprised the majority of the top leadership until the mid-1980s.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 07 Feb 2012, 01:56
After Stalin's death, one big major attempt to oppose Khrushchev came from Molotov and co., but they were denounced as an "anti-party group" and given such prestigious functions as ambassador to Mongolia. What I was wondering about that is that Molotov's group had a majority in the Presidium, but not within the Central Committee, and so they lost. Would it be accurate to say that this made it a power-political struggle that only occured in the top echelons, and neither side mobilised anyone or anything?

I also don't know if Stalin had an "aggressive" foreign policy. I'd say it was heavily mixed. Is it not true that Stalin wanted a unified, neutral and demilitarised Germany between the eastern and western spheres of influence? And also that he was extremely reluctant about the Korean War? It seems to me that Stalin was always a pretty cautious operator. Of course, after Stalin, we saw such amazing things as Soviet leaders who superficially supported peaceful coexistence, but who actually conducted a very adventurist foreign policy combined with extreme military spending, and even armed confrontation with China. But that's a different story.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 07 Feb 2012, 03:18
Matthijs wrote:
What I was wondering about that is that Molotov's group had a majority in the Presidium, but not within the Central Committee, and so they lost. Would it be accurate to say that this made it a power-political struggle that only occured in the top echelons, and neither side mobilised anyone or anything?


Throughout the history of the USSR the General Secretary had an enormous influence over the composition of the Central Committee. Khrushchev called for a vote in the CC because he was confident that by that point he had staffed it with people personally loyal to him. There wasn't any other major legitimizing force for Molotov and co. to call upon to to counter Khrushchev.

Matthijs wrote:
Of course, after Stalin, we saw such amazing things as Soviet leaders who superficially supported peaceful coexistence, but who actually conducted a very adventurist foreign policy combined with extreme military spending, and even armed confrontation with China. But that's a different story.


I see what you did there, having a dig at Brezhnev without naming him (or at least that's what I assume, given that you mentioned increased military spending and the border war with China). I'll answer briefly by noting that 'peaceful coexistence' and simultaneous intervention in the Third World is not a sign of duplicity, but a publicly acknowledged and well-calculated policy of avoiding war with the developed West while supporting ideological allies and fellow travelers in the Third World, where opportunities for anti-imperialist and socialist revolution were plentiful. As to arms buildup, if you read beyond the American textbook reasons explaining the Soviet collapse, you'll find that spending was in line with the needs of defending a massive country and simultaneously acting as the defender of pro-Soviet socialism and progressivism around the world. Finally, the Chinese attacked Soviet positions first, 'nuff said.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
JAM
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 Mar 2012, 02:37
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 15 Mar 2012, 01:52
The secret speech of 1956 was nothing more than a list of lies aimed to kill once and for all the influence that Stalin's closest associates had within the party (Molotov, Kaganovich and Malenkov) and, obviously, to spoil Stalin' popularity which at the time was at its peak. Khruschev needed to crush Stalin's legacy due to the simple facts that the legacy was too heavy and he wanted to firm his authority. He was not one of the favorites to win the race for the leadership of USSR and certainly not one of the most popular within soviet society so he needed to do the only thing that could bring to him the spotlights of the party and the soviet population: smashing the man who was almost worshiped as a god in the country. By doing so, Khrusvhev was making a name for himself and sending a signal of authority not only to the party and soviet people but also to the West. He also knew that if the Stalin's associates remained influential as they were at the time within the party his time ahead of the Communist Party would be short. I think there were reasons enough to forge facts and evidences which could sustained the mass murders claims. He just did not know that his name would also be associated with that trash he created years later.
"If I could control Hollywood, I could control the world." -Joseph Stalin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Nov 2003, 13:17
Ideology: Other
Forum Commissar
Post 17 Mar 2012, 03:47
Thank you for your responses. How did those such as Suslov survive? It appears that even he was critical of Stalin which leads me to distinguish between Stalinists (Kaganovich, Beria), moderate conservatives (Brezhnev, Suslov) and liberals (Xhruschev). Many Stalinists also criticise Brezhnev, so how could he considered a part of the Stalinist camp?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 May 2012, 05:16
Pioneer
Post 28 Aug 2012, 15:52
soviet78 wrote:
Firstly, Stalin's foreign policies weren't really aggressive. In fact he might be criticized from a communist perspective for doing less than he could to promote revolution abroad, especially in the postwar period, due to his desire to secure and rebuild a war-torn and exhausted USSR.


...but during the immediate post-war period the Soviet Union was in no shape to take on the - nuclear armed - United States, a nation that had (in sharp contrast to the Soviet Union) come through the Second World War with barely a scratch, and stronger than it had ever been before. With the West's overwhelming naval, air and nuclear superiority it would have been suicidal, and Stalin could not have not known this. The cities of Russia would have been reduced to rubble for a second time in less than ten years, with losses too high to estimate, and from which they would never have recovered.

You claim that his policies 'weren't really aggressive'. Well, I suppose if one discounts the Berlin Blockade, the Korean War, the support given to the Chinese in their Civil War, the support of Tito, the establishment of the buffer states of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and East Germany...
Is this not 'aggressive' enough for you?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 28 Aug 2012, 20:14
No, all of these things were purely defensive, and that is the problem I have with Leninist foreign policy (it started under Lenin, really, when communists in Turkey, Afghanistan or Persia were betrayed and good relations to Britain given a higher priority) in general - it was decidedly anti-revolutionary. Its first priority was never world revolution, but defense of the USSR.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 28 Aug 2012, 21:28
Well we must consider the specifics of the situation, the USSR in the 20s or the 40s couldn't have pursued any other but the "defensive" foreign policy. The Soviets couldn't push for a revolution in Iran for the same reasons that they couldn't push for a revolution in Greece: England.
Although i think that's it's wrong to call it anti-revolutionary in the general sense. Geopolitics has its laws. Defense of the USSR is the first guarantee for a world revolution. Without the USSR there wouldn't have been any historically "socialist" countries in the first place.
Adventurism could have had disasterous consequences for the only real bastion of socialism, the USSR, and that would have greatly hampered our final goal which is the world revolution.
For example in the early post-WW2 times Yugoslavia was on the brink of war with the West over Trieste area, and when Molotov warned one Yugoslav delegate to back down because Americans have the A-bomb he replied with "what does it matter, they have their A-bomb and we have our Partizan bomb!".
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 28 Aug 2012, 23:00
Quote:
The Soviets couldn't push for a revolution in Iran for the same reasons that they couldn't push for a revolution in Greece: England.


What about England? Who cares about England? Why should anyone respect England?
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 28 Aug 2012, 23:58
Well i mentioned England as the party which was the one most interested in Iran and later Greece, but of course behind England in both cases stood the war-machine of global imperialism, most importantly France, Japan and so on in the first case and then America in the second.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 29 Aug 2012, 02:18
Yes. So basically they respected the imperialist claim on an area that could have liberated itself, and that is exactly the policy I think is completely unforgivable. They defeated the allied intervention in their own country. It is inadmissible to be afraid of more allied interventions.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Loz
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Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 29 Aug 2012, 03:46
Quote:
So basically they respected the imperialist claim on an area that could have liberated itself, and that is exactly the policy I think is completely unforgivable. They defeated the allied intervention in their own country.

I'm not sure that Iran or Greece could have liberated themselves against the foreign intervention and domestic reaction. In the same way that a good part of Soviet Central Asia and Caucasus didn't liberate itself without the Red Army sent from Russia. Georgia, then led by Mensheviks, was even invaded.

Quote:
They defeated the allied intervention in their own country. It is inadmissible to be afraid of more allied interventions.

Well the Allied intervention was limited in the sense that Entente troops never marched on Moscow or Petrograd or something like that.
Besides the USSR was hungry and ravaged by years or war and the leadership ( including Trotsky the adventurist of Brest-Litovsk) obviously saw that the country simply couldn't afford to risk any major confrontations with the West. The USSR desperately needed peace and normalization.
That was probably a good decision.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 29 Aug 2012, 04:04
Peace and normalization are antithetical to revolution. But that's what you get when you participate in an imperialist war, on the side of imperialist powers who are supposed to be your enemies. Actually I'm not even sure whether Brest-Litovsk was a good idea.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Mar 2010, 01:20
Ideology: None
Forum Commissar
Post 29 Aug 2012, 04:29
Loz wrote:
( including Trotsky the adventurist of Brest-Litovsk)
Can't resist can you.


They were heady days. Trotsky gambled and lost at Brest-Litovsk, but I think they actually dared to imagine that the German workers might rise up. More fool them, I suppose, but that was the spirit of the time and you can't say that Lenin wasn't making some big gambles in October.

Wasn't that the basic reason that Zinoviev (and others) opposed his plans - he thought it was too big a risk to gamble everything on that one throw of the dice. If you're playing it safe you probably shouldn't get into any of that revolutionary activity in the first place.

Mabool wrote:
Actually I'm not even sure whether Brest-Litovsk was a good idea.
Well it worked I guess. They retained power and got their breathing space - it wasn't very revolutionary minded though.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 29 Aug 2012, 05:33
Considering that the German workers rose up pretty much instantly as soon as they got home after Germany surrendered, it would have been safe to bet that it would have been possible to get them to revolt at the front lines. That would have changed everything. The revolution would have spread to Germany in no time. Probably they'd have to fight it out with the imperialists right then, but who knows how the soldiers of the other armies would have reacted to such a thing?
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Loz
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Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 29 Aug 2012, 14:24
Quote:
Peace and normalization are antithetical to revolution.

But they were crucial to the survival of Soviet Russia, otherwise it would have starved to death.

Quote:
But that's what you get when you participate in an imperialist war, on the side of imperialist powers who are supposed to be your enemies.

I don't understand this, what exactly are you referring to?

Quote:
Actually I'm not even sure whether Brest-Litovsk was a good idea.

Well i don't think the Soviets had any other option save for being defeated. They used up the historical opportunity the contradictions between imperialist powers gave them.

Quote:
Considering that the German workers rose up pretty much instantly as soon as they got home after Germany surrendered, it would have been safe to bet that it would have been possible to get them to revolt at the front lines.

I don't know much about this, but my impression is that the German Army never was as revolutionary as the Russian one, which explains the Freikorps and other such formation that in the end defeated the German revolutionaries.
Of course there were revolts, especially in the Navy, but overall the revolution was weaker than its enemies in Germany itself.
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