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40 Pages of Mao quotes on Stalin

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Post 08 Nov 2007, 00:20
I don't know if anyone has brought this site up yet. But singlepspark has a basically correct line on Stalin. That criticizes his errors but recognizes him as the man who basically singlehandedly saved the world from hitler.

In China portraits of Stalin still hang and there are still monuments honoring him! It is good to know that even in 2007 there are still some governments that give Stalin his due.

Stalin's Place in History
April 5, 1956

[Extracted from the People's Daily editorial of 5th April, 1956.]

After Lenin's death Stalin as the chief leader of the Party and the state creatively applied and developed Marxism-Leninism. In the struggle to defend the legacy of Leninism against its enemies - the Trotskyites, Zinovievities and other bourgeois agents - Stalin expressed the will and wishes of the people and proved himself to be an outstanding Marxist-Leninist fighter. The reason Stalin won the support of the Soviet people and played an important role in history was primarily that he, together with the other leaders of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, brought about the triumph of socialism in the Soviet Union and created the conditions for the victory of the Soviet Union in the war against Hitler; these victories of the Soviet people conformed to the interests of the working class of the world and all progressive mankind. It was therefore quite natural for the name of Stalin to be greatly honoured throughout the world. But having won such high honour among the people both at home and abroad by his correct application of the Leninist line, Stalin erroneously exaggerated his own role and counterposed his individual authority to the collective leadership, and as a result certain of his actions were opposed to certain fundamental Marxist-Leninist concepts he himself had propagated....
Marxist-Leninists hold that leaders play a big role in history. The people and their parties need forerunners who are able to represent the interests and will of the people, stand in the forefront of their historic struggles, and serve as their leaders. But when any leader of the Party or the state places himself over and above the Party and the masses, instead of in their midst, when he alienates himself from the masses, he ceases to have all-round, penetrating insight into the affairs of the state. As long as this was the case, even so outstanding a personality as Stalin could not avoid making unrealistic and erroneous decisions on certain important matters... During the later part of his life, Stalin took more and more pleasure in this cult of the individual and violated the Party's system of democratic centralism and the principle of combining collective leadership with individual responsibility. As a result, he made some serious mistakes: for example, he broadened the scope of the suppression of counter- revolution; he lacked the necessary vigilance on the eve of the anti- fascist war; he failed to pay proper attention to the further development of agriculture and the material welfare of peasantry; he gave certain wrong advice on the international communist movement, and, in particular, made a wrong decision on the question of Yugoslavia. On these issues, Stalin full victim to subjectivism and one-sidedness and divorced himself from objective reality and from the masses.

The cult of the individual is a rotten carry-over from the long history of mankind. The cult of the individual is rooted not only in the exploiting classes but also in the small producers. As is well known, patriarchism is a product of small-producer economy...

The struggle against the cult of the individual, which was launched by the Twentieth Congress, is a great and courageous fight by the communists and the people of the Soviet Union to clear away the ideological obstacles blocking their advance...

It must be pointed out that Stalin's works should, as before, still be seriously studied and that we should accept all that is of value in them, as an important historical legacy, especially those many works in which he defended Leninism and correctly summarized the experience of building up the Soviet Union. But there are two ways of studying them - the Marxist way and the doctrinaire way. Some people treat Stalin's writings in a doctrinaire manner and therefore cannot analyse and see what is correct and what is not and everything that is correct they consider a panacea and apply indiscriminately, and thus inevitably they make mistakes. For instance, Stalin put forward a formula that in different revolutionary periods the main blow should be so directed as to isolate the middle-of-the-road social and political forces of the time. This formula of Stalin's should be treated according to circumstances and from a critical, Marxist point of view. In certain circumstances it may be correct to isolate the middle forces, but it is not correct to isolate them under all circumstances. Our experience teaches us that the main blow of the revolution should be directed at the chief enemy and to isolate him, whereas with the middle forces, a policy of both uniting with them and struggling against them should be adopted, so that they are at least neutralized; and'as circumstances permit, efforts should be made to shift them from their position of neutrality to one of alliance with us in order to facilitate the development of the revolution. But there was a time - the ten years of civil war from 1927 to 1936 - when some of our comrades crudely applied this formula of Stalin's to China's revolution by turning their main attack on the middle forces, singling them out as the most dangerous enemy; the result was that, instead of isolating the real enemy, we isolated ourselves and suffered losses to the advantage of the real enemy. In the light of this doctrinaire error, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China during the period of the anti-Japanese war formulated a policy of developing the progressive forces, winning over the middle-of-the roaders, and isolating the diehards for the purpose of defeating the Japanese aggressors...

Some people consider that Stalin was wrong in everything. This is a grave misconception. Stalin was a great Marxist-Leninist, yet at the same time a Marxist-Leninist who committed several gross errors without realizing that they were errors. We should view Stalin from a historical standpoint, make a proper and all round analysis to see where he was right and where he was wrong and draw useful lessons therefrom. Both the things he did right and the things he did wrong were phenomena of the international communist movement and bore the imprint of the times. Taken as a whole the international communist movement is only a little over hundred years old and it is only thirty-nine years since the victory of the October Revolution; experience in many fields of revolutionary work is still inadequate. Great achievements have been made, but there are still shortcomings and mistakes....

Reactionary forces the world over are pouring ridicule on this event: they jeer at the fact that we are overcoming mistakes in our camp. But what will come of all this ridicule? There is not the slightest doubt that these scoffers will find themselves facing a still more powerful, forever invincible, great camp of peace and socialism, headed by the Soviet Union, while the murderous, bloodsucking enterprises of these scoffers will be in a pretty fix.
Last edited by jacobin1949 on 11 Nov 2007, 01:35, edited 3 times in total.
Post 08 Nov 2007, 00:22
Part II: A Summary of Mao’s Criticisms of Stalin by Topic

The task now is to sum up Mao’s criticisms of Stalin in all the above comments. It should first be recognized that there are clearly some important changes of viewpoint over time, and even some outright inconsistencies if the changes of views over time are not allowed for.

Moreover, a few early statements by Mao sound almost religious in their devotion, such as that “Stalin is the savior of all the oppressed” and “Comrade Stalin is the leader of the world revolution. This is an extremely important circumstance. Among the whole human race, this man, Stalin, has appeared, and this is a very great event. Because he is there, it is easer to get things done. As you know, Marx is dead, and Engels and Lenin too are dead. If there were no Stalin, who would give the orders?” [Both quotes are from Mao’s “Speech at a Meeting of All Circles in Yan’an to Commemorate Stalin’s Sixtieth Birthday” (Dec. 21, 1939)] Was this sort of grossly excessive praise and obeisance toward Stalin necessary in the international communist movement at that time? If so, this is in itself a very strong implicit criticism of Stalin. At any rate, by 1957 Mao was saying that Stalin’s “personality cult was metaphysics; no one was permitted to criticize him.” [“Speech at the Congress of Communist Parties and Workers’ Parties in Socialist Countries” (Nov. 18, 1957)] That’s quite a different point of view!

Nevertheless, despite some changes in views over the years—mostly, it seems, in a considerably more critical direction—there is still a more or less unified general critical evaluation of Stalin that Mao presents in most of these collected comments. These, we feel, are the main themes:

* While Stalin kept to a materialist stance in philosophy, his understanding and application of dialectics was much more uneven. He failed to recognize the centrality of the concept of contradiction in dialectics, and often failed to recognize the existence of important social and class contradictions.
* Specifically, Stalin failed to understand that even after the collectivization of agriculture class contradictions still existed in the countryside, and class struggle would continue there.
* And more generally, Stalin failed to recognize that even after the basic construction of socialism in the USSR, class struggle still continued, and the contradiction between the socialist and capitalist roads still continued—not only in society generally, but also within the Communist Party.
* Because of this lack of appreciation of the continuation of class struggle in socialist society, Stalin tended to reduce the threat of capitalist restoration within the USSR to just the possibility of armed attack by foreign imperialism (though that was indeed a legitimate and serious worry).
* Within the USSR, Stalin had a “paternalistic” approach toward the masses, and sought to change and run society for them, instead of using the mass line method of mobilizing the masses to change and run society for themselves. Stalin did not use the mass line either in politics or in economic work.
* Specific examples: Stalin failed to rely on the masses in suppressing counter-revolutionaries and enemy agents, instead relying almost entirely on the security agencies to do this. Similarly, Stalin failed to rely on the masses to ward off the danger of a general capitalist restoration. Even in economic work he tended in later years to rely more on cadres and technology than on the masses.
* Stalin confused contradictions among the people with the contradictions between the people and the enemy. Specifically, he unjustly imprisoned or executed a great many people.
* Within the Soviet Union, the CPSU and the International Communist Movement, Stalin insisted on complete obedience from everyone, and would brook no criticisms from anyone. He was suspicious and mistrustful of those whose complete obedience and total agreement he questioned.
* In his relations with other countries, including China, Stalin often acted as a “great nation chauvinist”, and even at times like an imperialist might act.
* Stalin promoted the construction of an inappropriate and metaphysical personality cult around himself as an individual. [This criticism is unfortunately somewhat ironic, given that Mao later did this as well!]
* In economics, Stalin seriously neglected agriculture and light industry, and put lopsided emphasis on heavy industry.
* Similarly, Stalin gave insufficient attention to raising the living standards of the masses (especially the peasants).
* Stalin seemed to be at a loss as to how to transform cooperative production in agriculture into state production, and how to transform the peasantry into agricultural workers.
* More generally, after the early transformations of industry and agriculture, Stalin seemed to resign himself to the continuation of the existing relations of production and did not try to further transform them in the direction of communism.
* Stalin did not show sufficient vigilance in the period before the German attack on the Soviet Union, and grossly miscalculated as to when that attack might occur. Nevertheless he did successfully lead the Soviet Union and the world in defeating Hitler.
* On the other hand, Stalin tended to be too frightened of the imperialist powers, way too cautious, and even attempted to prevent revolutions in other countries because he feared they might lead to the involvement of the USSR in a war. At several key points, he even tried to prevent the Chinese Revolution from proceeding.
* Stalin did not do a good job in training and preparing his successors. (This, alas, also turned out to be true of Mao.)

If Mao had all these (and more) serious criticisms of Stalin, then why did he regularly repeat his “70% good, 30% bad” overall evaluation of the man? There seems to be two reasons: First, Stalin really did have some important positive aspects and really had led the Soviet Union to a number of important advances and victories. Among these were the massive and extremely rapid industrialization of the country; the completion of the socialization of industry; the collectivization of agriculture (though this was done in a very brutal way); and the victory over the horrendous attack by Nazi Germany (despite his lack of vigilance ahead of the German attack).

Secondly, Mao felt that while Stalin should in fact be criticized for his errors, that it was wrong to “knock him off in one blow”. What exactly was he getting at here? Mao evidently felt that after such a long period of undiluted praise and glorification of Stalin and the Soviet Union while he was in charge, the sudden total denunciation of him and the exposure all at once of the many major problems, mistakes and even crimes during the Stalin period, would all lead to tremendous disorientation on the part of many communists and their supporters around the world. And this is in fact what happened. Many western parties, as Mao later noted, lost huge numbers of members and much of their influence in the aftermath of Khrushchev’s not-really-so-secret total denunciation of Stalin.

Mao tended to emphasize praise and support for Stalin in his public statements, though he did openly acknowledge that Stalin had made some serious errors. This may have been so that people would have time to reorient themselves about the Stalin era and not lose heart because of Khrushchev's revelations. It was probably also due in part to the growing need to reaffirm Marxist principles and traditions in opposition to Khrushchev's ever-more-evident revisionism. On the other hand, at meetings with leading Party cadres, Mao's remarks tended to focus more on a variety of specific criticisms of Stalin, in philosophy, in political economy, with regard to Stalin's political leadership and his leadership of the international communist movement, and with regard to his attitude and behavior toward the Chinese revolution. While Mao still often repeated that Stalin should be upheld in the main, in these more private meetings most of his comments about Stalin were quite critical, and seem to have become more critical as time went on, partly in light of the unfolding experience of the Chinese revolution.
Post 08 Nov 2007, 00:31
Has everyone here read "The Patriotic War" it ranks with Thucydides as one of the great works of wartime speeches. The rhetoric is in league with Demothones, Cicero, Pericles, Lincoln and Bryan. All socalists should study it both as military history and for oratory.
Post 08 Nov 2007, 02:07
Anyone know any books favorable to Stalin?
Post 03 Jan 2008, 20:30
Do you mean works by Mao or books in general? Ludo Martens is a belgian historian who has written a work called "Another view of Stalin". I have not read it myself, but those who have highly recommend it.
Post 03 Jan 2008, 22:33
There's that short interview with Castro... Not really a book but he makes some good points.

Blaming Stalin for everything would be historical simplism
Post 02 Jul 2008, 17:38
Chairman Mao 去死! People. Chairman Mao is not as good as you think. We have witnessed things in China that you in west have never seen. You have actually heard whole truth. Chairman Mao try to emulate Stalin(which made lots of the chinese people mad because a president of china is supposed to be independent) He ,like Stalin, killed million of his own people. 中国人!If you were to go China you would see the many mixed feeling toward Chairman Mao. He try and delete all of ancient Chinese history. But there was no need for this. Mao like many communist(which prove to be downfall of many comrades) got too power hunger. If chairman 毛 was still alive today China would be almost as backward as north korea with worshiping a leader.(kim jong il)While I respect and honor what he did in the revolution freeing us from Japan and Imperialists, I cannot honor what he did in his murdering and destroying of history!
Post 14 Nov 2008, 07:39
Broken link.
Post 14 Nov 2008, 19:01
Post 14 Nov 2008, 20:37

Do you believe your country is in a better state now that private property has been re-established?
Post 21 Dec 2010, 22:07
At first I have to say Hello, as I am new here. I found this forum, read some threads, noticed that there are many interesting threads - some of them answering questions that came up to me recently -, and so I decided to register.

There is another very interesting book about Stalin (or rather about the Soviet Union at that time). I don't know whether its name is the same in English, but in German, it is called "Moskau 1937". German writer Lion Feuchtwanger wrote down what he experienced when visiting Moscow in 1937, and his travelogue is quite positive in every way.
Post 24 Dec 2010, 06:53
Anyone know any books favorable to Stalin?

Joseph Stalin : A Short Biography, by G.F. Alexandrov (Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1952)
Post 21 Jan 2011, 11:13
Do you mean works by Mao or books in general? Ludo Martens is a belgian historian who has written a work called "Another view of Stalin". I have not read it myself, but those who have highly recommend it.

I have read the book, and I must say that it is indeed a magnificent work that I highly recommend.
Post 01 Dec 2011, 06:58
Stalin Era by Anna Louise Strong is good. Link is there in ... nna-louise
Post 01 Dec 2011, 07:20
Wakizashi the Bolshevik wrote:
I have read the book, and I must say that it is indeed a magnificent work that I highly recommend.

A google search for the title and "pdf" will find an online copy to read.
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