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True or False : Did Stalin Edit History Books?

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Aug 2012, 01:06
Pioneer
Post 19 Sep 2012, 13:28
Here's a True or False question I need to know, and I'd appreciate it if someone can answer with really solid sources:

Did Stalin -- or better put, did it happen under Stalin's watch over the DOTP -- actually edit people out of pictures and out of history books?

Because if this is so, that represents crossing the Rubicon. Everything Lenin spoke about in terms of a Party having to cleave to the truth, and tell the truth -- ie., integrity -- sacrificed to expediency. It mean crossing over into "political truth", which is nothing but lies in the service of agenda and not truth at all, no matter how loudly one screams "proletarian" over it.

It's true that sometimes the objective situation, in terms of various state secrets and so forth and in diplomatic matters, sometimes might not allow the full, perfect, rigorous level of truth Lenin demanded of a party.

But to edit people out of pictures and history books -- if it happened, and from where I stand, it's just an empty bourgeois claim -- crosses the line, and actually asserts an incorrect line that it is ok to sacrifice truth to expediency. Maybe -- maybe -- in some emergency situations, like the very survival of the socialist state. But because some people earlier mentioned in history books who were in fact part of history have fallen out of favor? Absolutely 100% unacceptable.
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 19 Sep 2012, 14:13
I cannot think of any specific case of such practice but it probably happened. There's also the famous "Soviet photoshop" where people were removed from official photos and so on.
Certainly not a pretty thing.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Jun 2012, 09:46
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 19 Sep 2012, 15:26
the only examples i can think of is about Trosky and his role is revollution and some buharin's books
but generally not real changes...the major "edit" in soviet union started with Kruchev and it continued until Geltsin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Jun 2011, 08:37
Party Bureaucrat
Post 19 Sep 2012, 18:29
I think it's pretty well established that information was edited and "corrected".
Shitty things happen, and the ghost of war-time communism never was fully exorcised.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Aug 2012, 01:06
Pioneer
Post 22 Sep 2012, 01:48
There is no excuse for "shitty things happen". Not under a conscious party. Not under a state directed by that party.

It's policy. In other words, it's line.

So if shitty things happen, it's a policy fault. It is a political failure.

If this kind of "editing" occurred, it then happened under a faulty line of "political truth", which is bullshit.

This needs to be identified and corrected in the ICM without delay. The line has been shown to be politically false and was always logically false from the get-go.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jul 2012, 03:04
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Pioneer
Post 26 Sep 2012, 04:35
I believe he edited Pravda, but look at it like this.

Pravda was the party's newspaper.
Stalin was the general secretary of the party, and he himself was one of few behind the creation of the newspaper.


"Meanwhile at the end of January 1910 a further resolution of the Baku Committee, written by Stalin and distributed as a hand sheet... proposed urgently the transfer of the (leading) practical center to Russia, the publication of a national newspaper, produced in Russia with the proposed practical center providing its editorial board, and the organization of local papers in the most important party centers.... In mid-February 1912... Lenin had established a separate and independent Bolshevik party... Lenin had acted on Stalin's insistent demands that there should be an organizing center as well as a newspaper inside Russia. The Central Committee had set up a Russian bureau with the functions of supervising and revitalizing party groups throughout the country. Stalin had been appointed a member of the bureau."
(Grey, Ian. Stalin: Man of History. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1979., pp. 69-71.)


"On April 22, 1912, the first issue of Pravda (The Truth) appeared with the editorial written by Stalin. The secretary of the editorial board was a young man named Vyacheslav Skriabin, later to be known as Molotov. The name of the new paper was deliberately taken from Trotsky's Pravda, published abroad, which had remained by far the most popular of the newspapers smuggled into Russia. It was a shrewd theft, for the new paper claimed many of Trotsky's readers, while controverting the policies he had been advocating. Trotsky protested angrily, and could do nothing but cease publication of his own paper."
(Grey, Ian. Stalin: Man of History. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1979., pp. 72-73.)
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jul 2012, 03:04
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Pioneer
Post 26 Sep 2012, 04:51
As for "editing pictures," I doubt Stalin was that mischievous. It was likely done by Bureaucrats or others for purposes that Stalin illustrated in his interview with Lion Feuchtwanger.

They are also kind of redundant if you ask me. I've only seen a handful of 'altered' photos, which really means nothing when you get to the root of it. No one actually spent parts of their day looking a photos of the Soviet leadership. I would really like to know what relevance those pictures had to Soviet society though.
Last edited by Have at thee on 26 Sep 2012, 16:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Aug 2012, 01:06
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Post 26 Sep 2012, 14:32
I found this :

http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/archive/feucht.htm

But I could not find a transcript of the interview you refer to. Could you be more specific? What did Stalin say about the bureaucrats that would apply here?
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 26 Sep 2012, 15:37
I cannot find the complete transcript of the interview but in the linked article it says:

Quote:
He shrugs his shoulders at the vulgarity of the immoderate worship of his person. He excuses his peasants and workers on the grounds that they have had too much to do to be able to acquire good taste as well, and laughs a little at the hundreds of thousands of enormously enlarged portraits of a man with a moustache which dance before his eyes at demonstrations. I pointed out to him that in the end even men of unimpeachable taste have set up busts and portraits of him, of more than doubtful artistic merit, in places to which they do not belong, as for example the Rembrandt Exhibition. Here he became serious. He supposed that there lay behind such extravagances the zeal of men who had only lately espoused the regime and were now doing everything within their power to prove their loyalty. He thinks it is possible even that the "wreckers" may be behind it in an attempt to discredit him. "A servile fool," he said irritably, "does more harm than a hundred enemies." If he tolerates all the cheering, he explained, it is because he knows the naive joy the uproar of the festivities affords those who organize them, and is conscious that it is not intended for him personally, but for the representative of the principle that the establishment of socialist economy in the Soviet Union is more important than the permanent revolution.


Also Haveee posted in another thread that:

Quote:
This, however, is from an interview between author Feuchtwanger and Stalin, where Stalin directly denounces the cult that was created for him by Bureaucrats and spread by uneducated peoples.


"When Feuchtwanger told Stalin how he found some manifestations of the cult tasteless and excessive, Stalin agreed, but said that he only answered one or two of the hundreds of greetings he received and did not allow most to be printed, especially the most excessive. He claimed that he did not seek to justify the practice, but to explain it: evidently the workers and peasant masses were simply delighted to be freed from exploitation, and they attributed this to one individual: 'of course that's wrong, what can one person do -- they see in me a unifying concept, and create foolish raptures around me.'

Feuchtwanger then asked a very legitimate question: why could he not stop the most excessive forms of rapture? Stalin responded that he had tried several times but that it was pointless as people assumed he was just doing so out of false modesty. For example, he had been criticised for preventing celebrations of his 55th birthday. According to Stalin, the veneration of the leader was the result of cultural backwardness and would pass with time. It was difficult to prevent people expressing their joy, and to take strict measures against workers and peasants. Feuchtwanger responded that what concerned him was not so much the feelings of workers and peasants, but the erection of busts and so on. Echoing some of his comments (above) about the abuse of the cult, Stalin answered that bureaucrats were afraid that if they did not put up a bust of Stalin, they would be criticised by their superiors. Putting up a bust was a form of careerism 'a specific form of the 'self-defence' of bureaucrats: so that they are left alone, they put up a bust'....

His interventions often reveal a concern to tone down, or to be seen to be toning down, some of the excesses of the cult... There are many examples of this. While a draft report for Pravda described a reception of a delegation of kolkhozniki of Odessa province in November 1933 as a reception by Stalin, Stalin himself added the names of Kalinin, Molotov and Kaganovich. He also criticised the writer A. Afinogenov for highlighting the 'vozhd' [leader] rather than the collective leadership of the Central Committee in his play Lozh'. When the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute (IMEL) produced a history of 30 years of the party in 1933, he removed some references to himself....

Stalin continued to pay close attention to the editing of reports of Kremlin receptions for publication in Pravda. He would sometimes (but not always) cut out or tone down the references to the endless clapping which accompanied these quintessentially cultic occasions. He also tried to reduce the language of adulation, or to distribute it more equally with other colleagues....

While some members of the Politburo approved the renaming [of a electromechanical factory after Stalin in 1936], others proposed a discussion of the issue. However Stalin declared emphatically that he was not in favour, writing 'I am against. I advise that it should take the name of Kalinin, Molotov, Voroshilov, Kosior, Postyshev or another of the leading comrades.' Nevertheless, despite Stalin's objections, on 25 March the Politburo went on to approve the attaching of Stalin's name to the factory."

(Balázs Apor, Jan C. Behrends, Polly Jones & E.A. Rees (eds). The Leader Cult in Communist Dictatorships: Stalin and the Eastern Bloc. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 2004. pp. 37-39.)
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jul 2012, 03:04
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Pioneer
Post 26 Sep 2012, 16:34
Yeah, Loz got what I was talking about.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 30 Oct 2012, 20:23
It is a political failure, whoever committed it. Perhaps a bit of silver lining is that, modern information technology being the way it is, this kind of shit would not fly in this day and age. It's too obvious, and people are far too used to the present-day internet freedom. Anyone trying this would get crucified.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 May 2012, 00:32
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 13 Dec 2012, 08:03
Yes, of course.

Comrade Stalin used the vast majority of his time to edit books. Isn it obvious.

Like he had better things to do
The Paris Communards struggled and died in the defense of their ideas. The banners of the revolution and of socialism are not surrendered without a fight. Only cowards and the demoralized surrender — never Communists and other revolutionaries.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Dec 2012, 07:31
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 26 Dec 2012, 08:36
Before US entered the war, the Moscow defences had stopped Hitler. By D-Day, Stalin was inside Poland. So maybe he deserves what he gave himself:
[Editorial Reviews
"The Fall of Berlin:The Restored Soviet Epic", directed by Mikhail Chiaureli is now available on DVD. Long Notorious, Rarely seen: Soviet cinema's definitive Stalinist recreation of World War 2 also serves as the crowning moment in Stalin's postwar deification. Stalin himself worked on the screenplay for this blockbuster epic, fine-tuning its portrayal of the dictator as father-hero to his people. No expense was spared in production: 5 artillery and infantry divisions, 4 tank battalions, 193 planes, and 45 German trophy Panzers, as well as 1.5 million liters of fuel, were used in staging its panoramic battle scenes. The film's remarkable recreations of the battle for Berlin, climaxing in the bitter struggle over the Reichstag, impressed even the film's Western critics with their gritty realism and sheer spectacle. Equally memorable is the film's depiction of Hitler and his inner circle, whose folly and intrigues play out on sets that recreate the grandiosity of the Fueher's Chancellory and the claustrophobia of his bunker with surrealistic intensity.
Reflecting the emerging antagonisms of the Cold War, the film also serves up a caustic polemic against Stalin's British and American wartime allies, depicting FDR and (especially) Churchill as closeted Nazi sympathizers, capable of any treachery against the Soviet state. Wildly ambitious in its geopolitical sweep, The Fall of Berlin also manages to throw in a romantic subplot involving a leaden Stakhanovite, while settling any number of domestic political scores - General Georgy Zhukov, for example, appears as a gullible fool, saved from his errors only by Stalin's timely intervention.

Indeed, Stalin's timely interventions provide this film its organizing principle, and it is he who pulls together all the threads of its wildly spinning narrative. Whether directing the Red Army to brilliant victory or anticipating Churchill's treachery or providing sage advice to lovelorn Stakhanovites, he remains unflappable, avuncular, uncannily prescient and wise. Stalin is always with us, one character proclaims to his comrades on the battlefront; the propagandistic function of this film is to make us feel this god-like presence in every scene. Presented to Stalin as a gift on his seventieth birthday, viewed by some 38 million Soviet filmgoers upon its initial release, winner of every conceivable Soviet prize, The Fall of Berlin was abruptly pulled from circulation during the "de-Stalinization" campaigns that began after Stalin's death in 1953.]
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2007, 06:59
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Forum Commissar
Post 27 Dec 2012, 07:47
But you are talking about a film, which are nearly always idealized and ideologically manipulated to a point (conscious or not). Soviet cinema from the start was like this (like Hollywood is much different!).

Books are supposed to be more rigurous, even if ideology will always be a component.

To the OP: Didn't Stalin supposedly sign the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union? It obviously wasn't really written by him. so I suppose he was more of an overseer, which meant that he had to edit this history book.

So I would say that the answer is yes.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Dec 2012, 07:31
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 27 Dec 2012, 08:58
Well if Marx can re-write the industrial revolution, it's not Joseph's fault. Karl started it.
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