Joseph Stalin remains a controversial figure, even among socialists and communists. Don’t close your mind to the very real possibility that you have been bamboozled by the capitalist ruling class or by the propaganda of Stalin’s enemies, including other esteemed comrades of the international socialist movement. In the fog of war – whether it be an ideological or military battlefield – lies, misconceptions and distortions can spread like wildfire. At Prole Center, our research thus far reveals what seems to be a flawed, but worthy leader in the figure of Comrade Stalin. Read the quotes by Stalin, and those about him below, and go the Josef Stalin Internet Archive for more information.
Realize that any ruthlessness or paranoia present in Stalin’s character can be explained by the times in which he lived and struggled. He participated in the Russian Revolution, the subsequent “Civil” War which saw the invasion of the new Soviet Republic by 14 capitalist armies! The Nazi seizure of power in Germany in 1933 was perceived (correctly) as a great threat to the Soviet Union and to the aspirations of the international working class for communism. The much-maligned “purges” took place in this context. In 1941 the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, with the intent of destroying socialism utterly. The invasion caused the death of tens of millions and destroyed much of the infrastructure and productive capacity of the Soviet Union. No nation has suffered more in recorded history. Keep an open mind as you conduct your research on Joseph Stalin.
Quotes by Stalin
- Mankind is divided into rich and poor, into property owners and exploited; and to abstract oneself from this fundamental division, and from the antagonism between poor and rich, means abstracting oneself from fundamental facts.
- We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or they will crush us. (Ten years later, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union.)
- Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.
- If any foreign minister begins to defend to the death a “peace conference,” you can be sure his government has already placed its orders for new battleships and aeroplanes.
- Anti-Semitism is dangerous for the toilers, for it is a false track which diverts them from the proper road and leads them into the jungle. Hence, Communists, as consistent internationalists, cannot but be irreconcilable and bitter enemies of anti-Semitism.
- What would happen if capital succeeded in smashing the Republic of Soviets? There would set in an era of the blackest reaction in all the capitalist and colonial countries, the working class and the oppressed peoples would be seized by the throat, the positions of international communism would be lost.
Quotes about Stalin
- 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. - Mao Zedong
- Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. He was simple, calm and courageous. He seldom lost his poise; pondered his problems slowly, made his decisions clearly and firmly; never yielded to ostentation nor coyly refrained from holding his rightful place with dignity. He was the son of a serf but stood calmly before the great without hesitation or nerves. But also—and this was the highest proof of his greatness—he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate. - W. E .B. Du Bois
- I would not condemn Stalin and his associates merely for their barbaric and undemocratic methods. It is quite possible that, even with the best intentions, they could not have acted otherwise under the conditions prevailing there. But on the other hand it was of the utmost importance to me that people in western Europe should see the Soviet regime for what it really was. Since 1930 I had seen little evidence that the USSR was progressing towards anything that one could truly call Socialism. - George Orwell (Orwell never visited the Soviet Union.)