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Stalin as a student of Lenin and the successor of his work - On the opposition of Lenin to Stalin ...

Historian Yu.V. Emelyanov

Источник: https://leninism.su/books/4508-stalin-kak-uchenik-lenina-i-prodolzhatel-ego-dela-ili-o-protivopostavlenii-lenina-stalinu.html
The words that Stalin was a faithful disciple and worthy successor of Lenin's work were constantly heard in publications of the 30s - early 50s. This provision was revised in the report of NS Khrushchev at a closed meeting of the XX Congress of the CPSU ... Then, the first secretary of the CPSU Central Committee accused Stalin of violating Lenin's principles and norms of party life.

These accusations were continued at the end of Gorbachev's perestroika. Stalin was accused of exterminating the Leninist guard and betraying Leninism. Dmitry Volkogonov, in his two-volume work "Triumph and Tragedy. Political Portrait of IV Stalin", published in 1990, stated: "Stalin ... more and more moved away from the Leninist concept ... Having interpreted Leninism in his own way, the dictator committed a crime against thought ... The humanistic essence of Leninism in the Stalinist "transformations" was lost. "

It is true that, just 4 years later, the historian-general wrote a new two-volume work; "Lenin. A Political Portrait", in which this time he branded Lenin as "an absolute anti-humanist and anti-democratic." It turned out that since Stalin opposed Lenin and departed from the "Leninist concept",

Although the "general" himself did not formulate such a conclusion, others did it for him, praising Stalin for the "destruction of the Leninist guard" and extolling him as a "sovereign". At the same time, the "guardian of the interests of Russia" Stalin was opposed to the "internationalist" Lenin, who was ready, according to Volkogonov. "to the death of a huge part of the Russian people, if only those who remained on this ashes survived to the world fire."

So what is the truth? First of all, it should be pointed out that from the very first years of his tenure in the ranks of the RSDLP, Stalin became a loyal supporter of Lenin. This was acknowledged in his memoirs by the Georgian Menshevik R. Arsenidze, who wrote with irritation that even in the years of the underground, Stalin "lived on the arguments of Lenin and his thoughts."

Even during his first exile in 1903, Stalin received a letter from Lenin, and in December 1905 he personally met with him at the Tammerfors Conference of the Bolsheviks. This meeting left an indelible impression on Stalin, and he later recalled it as an important milestone in his life.

Although the very concept of "Leninist guard" is very conditional, Stalin, being a loyal supporter of Lenin, can rightfully be considered one of its representatives. He became a member of the first purely Bolshevik Central Committee of the party at the Prague Conference of 1912, when it had 10 members and 5 candidates. For this reason, Stalin, like Kalinin, Sverdlov, Stasova, Shaumyan, Spandaryan, Ordzhonikidze, Petrovsky, Belostotsky, who then became members and candidates for members of the Central Committee, was one of the veterans of the Leninist Guard. It is known that none of these persons was subjected to any repressions during the Soviet era. It should also be noted that those defendants of the Moscow trials who were later enlisted in the "Leninist guard" (L.B. Kamenev, N.I.Bukharin, Yu.L. Pyatakov, K.B. Radek, G. Ya. Sokolnikov, N. N. Krestinsky), were not part of the Central Committee of the party until 1917. Did not belong to the "Leninist guard" and L. D. Trotsky, who from the moment the party was divided into two wings, waged a stubborn struggle against Lenin and the Bolsheviks until the summer of 1917. Therefore, the statement about Stalin's hatred of the "Leninist guard" and the universal destruction of it by him representatives is at least imprecise.

At the same time, it cannot be said that Stalin blindly followed Lenin. Thus, at the Unity Party Congress in 1906, Stalin refused to support Lenin's position on the agrarian question. Later, when the first volume of his works was published, Stalin admitted the fallacy of these views.

Stalin did not support Lenin in his philosophical debates about Machism. In a number of letters from these years (to Vladimir Bobrinsky and Mikha Tskhakaia), Stalin called Lenin's discussions with Bogdanov and Lunacharsky "a storm in a glass of water." The fact that in Soviet times Lenin's work Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, which criticized Machism and Bogdanov, became the most important tool in the study of dialectical materialism, testified that Stalin revised his views here too.

Together with Shaumyan and other members of the Baku Committee of the Bolshevik Party, Stalin in 1909 criticized the separation of the party leadership from the real problems of the labor movement in Russia and even called the Central Committee of the RSDLP (headed by Lenin) "a fictitious center." Subsequent events showed that this criticism was largely taken into account by Lenin, and the members of the Baku Committee were included in the party Central Committee.

Disagreements between Lenin and Stalin arose in the first days after the February Revolution. Having headed Pravda after returning from exile, Stalin refused to publish a number of Lenin's articles from emigration, believing that he did not take into account the real situation in Russia. Speaking at the All-Russian Conference of the Bolsheviks, held on March 27 - April 2, 1917 in Petrograd, Stalin did not rule out partial support by the Bolsheviks of the Provisional Government in those cases when it "consolidates the steps of the revolution." This position of Stalin and the "Pravda" he led was criticized by Lenin after his return from emigration. Although at first Stalin did not fully support Lenin's "April Theses", he later completely switched to Leninist positions.

There was no complete agreement between Lenin and Stalin in the pre-October days. Stalin objected to Lenin when he insisted on speaking out already in September 1917, proposing, without waiting for the convocation of the Congress of Soviets, to "disperse and arrest" the members of the Democratic Assembly. Recalling these events at the celebration of Lenin's 50th anniversary, Stalin said: “Despite all Ilyich’s demands, we did not obey him, went further along the path of strengthening the Soviets and brought matters to the Congress of Soviets on October 25, to a successful uprising. Ilyich was already in Petrograd Smiling and looking at us slyly, he said: "Yes, you were probably right" ... Comrade Lenin was not afraid to admit his mistakes. "

Subsequently, sometimes disagreements arose between the two leaders of the Communist Party. However, in the course of many acute ideological and political clashes in the party, Stalin firmly supported Lenin's position, defending it from the attacks of representatives of various "oppositions!" which are now, without any reason, ranked among the "Leninist guard".

It is no coincidence that it was Stalin who was instructed by Lenin to hold the VI Congress of the Bolshevik Party underground in July - August 1917. Stalin became a member of the first Soviet government, headed by Lenin. On November 29, 1917, Stalin joined the Bureau of the Central Committee of four people, headed by Lenin "to resolve the most important issues that did not require delay."

From the very first days of Soviet power, Stalin decided on Lenin's instructions the most diverse complex issues of national importance. Apparently Stalin's capacity for work and his ability to quickly grasp the essence of various issues were taken into account by Lenin when, during his first short vacation, on December 23, 1917, Stalin was temporarily appointed Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars.

Remaining People's Commissar for Nationalities, Stalin on March 30, 1919 was approved as People's Commissar of the State Control. Stalin's activities in the People's Commissars' posts earned Lenin's high praise. Responding to the complaints of the Trotskyists about their inadmissibility to managerial positions, Lenin remarked: “Here Preobrazhensky easily abandoned that Stalin was in two commissariats ... What can we do to ensure the existing situation in the People other questions? ... We need to have a person to whom any of the representatives of the nation could go and tell in detail what the matter is. Where can I find him? I think that Preobrazhensky could not name another candidate except Comrade Stalin ... Also about the Rabkrin. It's a gigantic matter. But in order to be able to handle verification, you need a person with authority at the head, otherwise we will get bogged down, drowned in petty intrigues. "

In his letter to Joffe, who complained that he was being transferred from one post to another, Lenin referred to Stalin, who meekly carried out various assignments of the party, without complaining or capricious. Lenin's concern for Stalin's health when he needed an operation in May 1921 is evidence that Lenin considered Stalin irreplaceable. Lenin insisted that Stalin should have a good rest after the operation.

Stalin's successful work in the leadership of the two people's commissariats and the fulfillment of many important tasks convinced Lenin that he could successfully provide organizational work on the scale of the party. On April 2, 1922, after the XI Party Congress, Stalin was elected to the newly created post of General Secretary of the Central Committee of the RCP (b).

When in the spring of 1922 Lenin fell ill and was treated in Gorki, he most often turned to Stalin to discuss issues of current policy. Stalin visited Lenin in Gorki from May to October 1922, more often than all other members of the Politburo - 12 times. After an exacerbation of Lenin's illness, the Politburo instructed Stalin to monitor his treatment.

However, the latter circumstance caused a certain aggravation of relations between Stalin and Krupskaya, and then between him and Lenin. Upon learning that Krupskaya was conniving at violating Lenin's treatment regime, Stalin quite sharply reprimanded her, and she complained to her husband.

This circumstance, aggravated by Lenin's painful condition, contributed to the fact that in his "Letter to the Congress" he sharply criticized Stalin for his "rudeness." In addition, Lenin considered the real threat of a split in the party. He argued that "central to the issue of stability ... are such Central Committee members as Stalin and Trotsky. The relationship between them, in my opinion, constitutes more than half of the danger of a split that could have been avoided." Those negative qualities that, in Lenin's opinion, Stalin had were important only from the point of view of his relationship with Trotsky: “This circumstance may seem an insignificant trifle above about the relationship between Stalin and Trotsky, this is not a trifle, or is it such a trifle, which can acquire decisive importance. "It was for this reason that Lenin suggested" to consider the method of moving Stalin from this place and to appoint to this place another person who in all other respects differs from Comrade Stalin by only one advantage, namely, more tolerant, more loyal, more polite and more attentive to his comrades, less capriciousness, etc. "

It should be noted that Lenin did not at all intend to exclude Stalin from the country's leadership, but only to release him from the post of general secretary, which was then perceived as purely organizational and technical.

Although these remarks by Lenin about Stalin were repeatedly used to discredit the latter, it was often diligently ignored that they did not criticize the ideological, political or business qualities of the general secretary. But in relation to other prominent leaders of the party, Lenin expressed doubts about their political steadfastness (Zinoviev and Kamenev), about their understanding of the foundations of Marxism (Bukharin), and loyalty to Bolshevism (Trotsky).

After Lenin's death, Stalin not only remained faithful to him, but to his legacy. Stalin formulated the main directions of the party's policy to preserve and consolidate the Leninist legacy in his speech at the session of the Congress of Soviets of the USSR on January 26, 1924, which reminded of an oath. In a series of lectures "On the Foundations of Leninism," which were read by Stalin at Sverdlovsk University in early April 1924, he outlined the principles of Lenin's theory and practice.

As in his "Oath," in this work, Stalin singled out the Leninist principles that guided the RCP (b) and the Soviet state (the dictatorship of the proletariat, the union of workers and peasants, the union of the peoples of the USSR, the unity of the party), and devoted separate chapters to them. He also highlighted such aspects of Leninism as its "historical roots", "method", "theory", "strategy and tactics" and "style of work". This work helped party members, especially newcomers, to see a harmonious order in the many works written by Lenin, to gain a clear understanding of the Leninist party policy, its goals, and methods of its activity.

Referring to Lenin's statements, Stalin argued that the Soviet country was not accidental, but due to deep historical laws, became the first country to open a new era of human development.

Stalin argued that the revolutionary practice of the Russian proletariat allowed Russia to become the homeland of the most advanced revolutionary theory - Lenin's theory, suitable for the whole world. Moreover, Stalin called on communists and non-party people to become participants in the unprecedented construction of a new social system of social justice, without waiting for the victory of the revolution in other countries. Deeply understanding the psychology of working people striving for a happy, prosperous and just life, Stalin showed them the enormous internal possibilities they had and determined the ways to achieve these goals. Putting forward the goal of building socialism in the USSR, Stalin tried to comprehensively substantiate this idea as a continuation of Lenin's policy and show that he himself is the faithful heir and successor of Lenin's cause.

In the future, Stalin constantly turned to Lenin's writings, not only in order to find the most weighty arguments for the ideological substantiation of the party's policy. Stalin constantly studied the Leninist method of thinking. Even when he heard Lenin's oral speeches at the Tammerfors Conference for the first time, Stalin was delighted with them: "These were inspired speeches that enraged the entire conference." Stalin emphasized the simplicity of this form: “The extraordinary power of persuasion, the simplicity and clarity of argumentation, short and understandable phrases, the absence of flamboyance, the absence of dizzying gestures and spectacular phrases that hit the impression - all this favorably distinguished Lenin's speeches from ordinary “parliamentary ”speeches, speakers ".

It is significant that, analyzing Lenin's speeches, Trotsky, as a virtuoso of "parliamentary speeches" and a master of meeting speeches, drew the main attention to the features of his oratorical manner, since for him the main thing was not the logical construction of the content of speech, but the effect of the orator on the mood of the audience. Therefore, having meticulously described Lenin's gestures and body movements, his tone and timbre of voice, Trotsky considered it unnecessary to disassemble the logical structure of his speeches, concluding his analysis with the words: "But does speech exist for construction? Is any other logic valuable in speech besides logic, compelling to action? "

Stalin, on the other hand, was most impressed not by the way Lenin delivered his speech, how he moved and what gestures he made, but his logical construction. He recalled: "I was captivated by that irresistible force of logic in Lenin's speeches, which somewhat dryly, but thoroughly takes over the audience, gradually electrifies it and then takes it captive, as they say without a trace. I remember how many of the delegates said then:" The logic in Lenin's speeches is some kind of omnipotent tentacles that cover you from all sides with ticks and from whose embrace there is no urge to escape: either give up or decide to complete failure. I think that this feature in Lenin's speeches is the strongest aspect of his oratory. "

Having paid attention to Lenin's ability to convince with the logic of his arguments, Stalin, judging by his various works, studied Lenin's works in the most careful way, Lenin's presentation of theoretical postulates or political slogans. So, for example, in his work "Lenin and the question of an alliance with the middle peasant", written in 1928, Stalin examines in detail Lenin's political slogans on the peasant question: "What is the essence of Lenin's slogan? The salt of Lenin's slogan is that he remarkably aptly grasps the threefold task of party work in the countryside, expressed in one concise formula: a) lean on the poor, b) arrange an agreement with the middle peasant, c) never stop fighting the kulak for a moment. parts, as a base for work in the village at the moment, forgetting about the rest of its parts - and you will surely find yourself in a dead end. "

It is obvious that Stalin continued to carefully study the works of Lenin after his death. Until the end of his life, Stalin continued to call himself "Lenin's disciple." In a conversation with E. Ludwig, Stalin said: "I am only a student of Lenin and the goal of my life is to be a worthy student of his." When talking about Lenin in 1938, he called him "our teacher" and "our educator."

Stalin not only constantly referred to the works of Lenin, but also urged to be inspired by his deeds and his thoughts. From the podium of the Lenin Mausoleum in 1941, Stalin, addressing the defenders of the country, declared: "The spirit of the great Lenin inspired us ... to the war against the interventionists ... Let the victorious banner of the great Lenin overshadow you! ... Under the banner of Lenin, forward to victory ! ".

Stalin saw Lenin as a role model to be followed by the country's communists and all Soviet people. Lenin served as an example of the highest moral qualities for Stalin. In his speech to the voters on December 11, 1937, he said: “The voters, the people must demand from their deputies that they remain at the height of their tasks, that they do not descend to the level of political inhabitants in their work, that they remain in the post of political leaders Leninist type, so that they are as clear and definite leaders as Lenin, so that they are as fearless in battle and merciless towards the enemies of the people as Lenin was, so that they are free from all panic, from all semblance of panic when things begin to get complicated and some danger looms on the horizon so that they would be free from any semblance of panic, as Lenin was free, so that they would be wise and unhurried in solving complex issues where all-round orientation and all-round consideration of all the pros and cons, as Lenin was, is needed, so that they are as truthful and honest as Lenin was, that they also love their people as Lenin loved them. "

Accusing Stalin of Lenin's oblivion in his report at a closed session of the XX Congress of the CPSU, Khrushchev argued that "Stalin showed his disrespect for the memory of Lenin ... In many films and literary works, the figure of Lenin was shown incorrectly and inadmissibly belittled." In fact, it is difficult to imagine what else could have been done to perpetuate the memory of Lenin compared to what Stalin did for this. Every year, on the day of Lenin's death, January 21, solemn mourning meetings were held throughout the country. The day of January 22, declared non-working, was considered a day of memory of Lenin and on this day flags with a mourning border were hung out. Lenin's Mausoleum became a sacred place of constant worship of the body of the late leader and a platform from which Soviet leaders watched military parades and welcomed demonstrations on major Soviet holidays.

The second largest and most important city in the country, as well as many cities in the Russian Federation and other republics, were named after Lenin. Mountain peaks, factories, factories, state and collective farms, streets and squares of cities were named after Lenin. Monuments to Lenin were erected everywhere and Stalin sent greetings to those cities where the first monuments to Ilyich were erected. Lenin's portraits adorned the interiors of state institutions and appeared on the facades of houses during the holidays. With portraits of Lenin, Soviet people went to festive demonstrations in all cities of the Soviet country. The highest government award of the country was the Order of Lenin. The image of Lenin was on military banners, on Soviet bank notes and postage stamps, on the battle banners of units and formations of the Red Army. Lenin's life from childhood served as an example to follow. The October Revolution wore badges with the image of little Volodya Ulyanov. All-Union organizations of pioneers and youth were named after Lenin.

Lenin's life has been the subject of much research. Museum expositions in different cities of the country were devoted to Lenin. Many books have been written about Lenin, and numerous theatrical performances have been devoted to his life. Many films dedicated to Lenin have been released in the country.

Even in the days of Khrushchev, the words of Barbusse "Stalin is Lenin today" were ridiculed. Of course, Stalin remained Stalin and he could not completely turn into Lenin. However, it is obvious that Barbusse, convinced that Stalin continued to follow Lenin's course, tried to emphasize not only Stalin's loyalty to Lenin's ideas, but also the compliance of his activities with the tasks of our time.

There is no doubt that the changing life at the beginning of the twentieth century forced various parties to make changes in their policies with extraordinary speed. For this reason, even during 1917 and over several years of being in power, the Bolshevik Party, led by Lenin, repeatedly changed its tactics, its slogans, its political alliances within the country and abroad.

Accusing Stalin of betrayal of Lenin's ideas and deeds, the falsifiers of history, on the one hand, ignore Stalin's efforts to continue Lenin's foreign and domestic policies. Contrary to the assertions of the slanderers, there is no evidence that immediately after Lenin's death, Stalin began to advocate curtailing the New Economic Policy or abandoning Lenin's course of business cooperation with capitalist countries.

On the other hand, the falsifiers ignore the changes that have taken place in the world and in the Soviet country since the mid-20s. A consequence of the aggravation of the internal problems of the capitalist countries was the growing militarization, which led, in particular, to the growing threat of an attack on our country in 1927. Subsequently, the threat of war began to grow as the world economic crisis worsened, the rapid growth of fascism and the creation of a bloc of fascist and militarist powers.

The situation within the USSR also changed rapidly. This is clear to all objective observers, including foreign ones. After listing the sharp changes in the country's economic situation during the 1920s ("economic collapse in 1921, famine in the winter of 1921-22, uncontrolled inflation of 1922-1923, gradual price stabilization in 1923, strikes in the summer of 1923, rapid revival of industry in 1923-24, drought and poor harvest in 1924, rising prices for agricultural products in 1924-1925, excellent harvest in 1926, good harvest in 1927, but a sharp decrease in grain procurements, queues for bread in the spring of 1927 , the decline in grain production and new problems in the market in 1928 "), the American Sovietologist Jerry Hough rightly emphasized that"

Similarly, the political situation within the country and within the party changed rapidly. It is quite obvious that these changes required adequate changes in the political course. Meanwhile, since the time of Khrushchev, almost all changes in the political course of the party during Stalin's time were explained by his whims, mistakes, and manic suspicion. Contrary to common sense, such explanations served to substantiate the thesis about the need to fight the personality cult. At the same time, objective factors of social development were denied or their significance was belittled, and subjective factors were exaggerated.

Of course, the role of the personal factor cannot be denied. Lenin's departure from life to a large extent changed the balance of power in the top leadership of the Party and the country. Stalin was a strong personality with characteristic features of a leader. There is also no doubt that the construction of a new, previously unseen socialist society, grandiose social shifts were accompanied not only by achievements, but also by mistakes. These mistakes were made by the top leaders of the party and country, including Stalin. However, constantly checking his theoretical works and practical activities with the Leninist legacy, Stalin tried to follow the basic principles of Leninism, solved the tasks set by Lenin.

First of all, Stalin was constantly guided by the Leninist principle of creative assimilation of Marxist theory, rejecting "dogmatic Marxism." Constantly making adjustments to the day-to-day implementation of policies to match the real situation, Stalin at the same time followed the main Leninist guidelines. Putting forward the task of building a socialist society in one separate country, Stalin consistently continued Lenin's activities, which led to the victory of the world's first socialist revolution in Russia. Stalin's five-year plans logically followed from Lenin's GOELRO plan. The Stalinist program of collectivization and modernization of the countryside met the tasks of mechanizing agriculture set by Lenin. The Stalinist course of strengthening the country's defenses developed Lenin's efforts to create and develop the Red Army since the Civil War. Stalin's policy aimed at peaceful coexistence with states with different social systems continued the Leninist policy of business cooperation with capitalist countries. Stalin's actions to strengthen the party were based on organizational decisions taken at the initiative of Lenin in the course of the struggle against the opposition.

One could talk about Stalin's betrayal of Lenin if he wanted to liquidate the Communist Party, restore capitalist relations, capitulate our country to the militarily and technically-economically stronger imperialist powers. However, not Stalin, but those who at the end of the 80s. accused him of betrayal of Leninism, carried out, ultimately, a similar revolution in the country's policy, which had fatal consequences for it.

The road to disaster began with the denial of Stalin's role as a faithful disciple of Lenin and the successor of his cause. Khrushchev's attack on Stalin led to the fact that Stalin's works on Leninism, the works of Stalin, in which he deeply and meticulously analyzed Lenin's thoughts, assessed Lenin, his activities, cited examples of the strengths of Lenin's personality, were banned. Instead, publications were distributed filled with formal, empty praise about Lenin, "Leninist principles," "Leninist policy," and so on. Under the cover of these empty words, the erosion of Leninism took place. Having launched a campaign against Stalin under the slogan of a return to Lenin and Leninism,  at the end of the 1980s, the leaders of Gorbachev's perestroika were preparing for the destruction of Lenin's legacy.

The opposition of Lenin to Stalin turned out to be a dead-end path in the development of social thought. The revival of Leninism inevitably requires an appeal to the Stalinist interpretation of Lenin, Stalin's theoretical works on Leninism, a study of Stalin's activities in the implementation of Lenin's ideas. A deep and comprehensive study of the theoretical legacy of Lenin and Stalin, their practical activities is the most important condition for overcoming the ideological and political crisis in which our country is now.

Historian Yu.V. Emelyanov


Translation from Russian
Svitlana M
Edited by; E.A

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