Defending Stalin

Maoist Internationalist Movement mim3 at
Sat Sep 16 11:23:31 MDT 1995

On Sat, 16 Sep 1995, Jamal Hannah wrote:

[Here Jamal is continuing a criticism of MIM.]
> 3) "Stalin got the Job Done"
> (This does not neccesarily mean that other people could get the job
> done... differently.   But, to quote a fellow comerade from the IWW:
> "Talk is cheap, and work is hard, and organizing harder than that."
> .. if the leftists who dislike Stalin do not achieve realistic goals
> that produce real results, then MIM will feel justified in continuing
> to claim that "Stalin Got the Job Done".  It's interesting to talk
> to people from Eastern-Block countries.. perticularly the people who
> benefited from whatever the Communists did: they always say they couldnt
> stand the police watching them all the time.. but there is rarely a complete
> denouncement of every aspect of the society. (Except from those who
> went on to become capitalists.)  Perhaps MIM would insist
> that a huge, bureaucratic internal security force is neccesary
> in a socialist society. It's obviously up to those who disagree to
> put some energy into disproving this through real-world .)
> Thinking about it, I now see that the value of these symantec
> arguments is that since they can only be disproven by real-world
> results, they demand that those who disagree prove themselves
> through real-world action, not words.  Frusteration with MIM's
> arguments comes from personal laziness on the part of would-be
> revolutionaries, and not neccesarily knowing better.

MIM replies: You have answered your own question of why
defend Stalin. First of all, we know the majority of criticisms
of Stalin are from the bourgeoisie just opposing
socialism. What else is new: the bourgeoisie dominates the

Of the remainder of misguided criticisms of Stalin, the
majority are moralizing idealism. Our experience is that about
90% of the criticisms of Stalin are in this boat.
That's why when we do get something more concrete we are overjoyed
and take it seriously, such as Anna Larina's book on
Bukharian treated in MT#6 which is devoted to Stalin.

So far I have discussed two reasons to defend Stalin:
1) defending socialism, because if you can't recognize
it in practice, how are you going to defend it against
the bourgeois superstructure, never mind build socialism
some day? 2) Having a concrete example of the need
to use a materialist method even in a very emotional situation.
These two reasons suffice and your post shows awareness
of this.

Next in the realm of theory, who were the concrete
alternatives to Stalin and were they better? By
defending Stalin you take stands on such questions.
It's clear Trotskyism has been a dead-end this century
and never mobilizes the proletariat because it's not
a proletarian ideology. Bukharin is another alternative,
and you should read where he would have led in MT#6.

Pat for MIM

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