Was Stalin a Marxist?

Charlie Post CXPBM at cunyvm.cuny.edu
Thu Mar 9 12:50:55 MST 1995


Although I am new to the list, let me put my two cents in:

IMHO, Stalin was not a Marxist.  He rejected, in theory and practice, the centr
al tenent of Marxism-- that the emancipation of the working class is the task o
f the workers' themselves.  He was the spokesperson of a bureaucratic layer in
Soviet society that brutally repressed and oppressed the working class in the U
SSR.  Hard to think of him as a Marxist (see Hal Draper's KARL MARX'S THEORY OF
 REVOLUTION for a careful restatement of Marx's politics).

Two, the whole idea that Marxism or some other set of ideas produced "totalitar
ian communism" (the rise of the bureaucracy in the USSR and similar post-capita
list societies) is idealist, to say the least.  It ignores the impact of such m
aterial factors as the economic backwardness of prerevolutionary russia, the ef
fects of war and the failure of revolutions in Germany in 1918-1923.  Gosh, I t
hought a discussion of the problems of so-called "socialism" on a "Marxist" e-m
ail list would be a bit more, can I say, materialist...

I hope this is not taken as too "impertenent"....

Charlie Post


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