Charlotte Kates ckates at mosquito.com
Fri Apr 5 19:21:12 MST 1996

At 05:53 PM 4/5/96 -0400, you wrote:
>At 11:39 PM 4/5/96, hariette spierings wrote:
>>If you think Stalin was so bad, why don't you prove it leading a revolution
>>with your ideas and putting them into practice without need to get anyone's
>Did Stalin actually lead a revolution? I thought he only betrayed one.

Stalin did NOT betray the revolution. He was a leader of one revolution, and
a great comrade, ally and supporter of many others. In the words of Kenneth
Neill Cameron, "Stalin, more than any other single individual, built the
first socialist society and built it on the wreck left by imperialist
intervention and civil war... Stalin, more than any other single individual,
was responsible for ending Nazi imperialism; in doing so, he not only
preserved socialism but helped to extend its foundations in Eastern Europe
.These are immense accomplishments in the interests of humanity as a whole
and run counter to the plans of world reaction." Cameron's commentary on
Stalin, from _Stalin: Man of Contradiction_ , is eminently true. It is time
that the left breaks away from its excessive "anti-Stalinism" that has done
so much damage, and reassesses the great value of Stalin's theoretical and
practical work. Stalin's work has much value for the struggles of today. It
is nice to see that people like Jay, Gina, Tony, and others are celebrating
the importance of Stalin's life and work. He was a great revolutionary. It
is also good to see people like Chris F., who, while not acceptring all that
Stalin has to say and criticizing him vehemently on some issues, are
open-minded toward Stalin's works and legacy. Stalin was a great man who we
have much to learn from. And I think a lot of us can agree that his work on
the National Question was excellent and groundbreaking, and that as leader
of the Soviet people during World War II, was a great anti-fascist and
liberator. Of course, I believe that there is so much more in Stalin's
legacy for us to appreciate and share, and that he had many, many more great
achievements. And that legacy is a vast store of knowledge and innovation in
Marxist thought that the left has too often ignored or denounced. Ludo
Martens writes:
        "'But how is it possible,' asked a friend, 'to defend a man like
        "There was astonishment and indignation in this question, which
reminded me of what an old Communist worker once told me. He spoke of the
year 1956, when Khrushchev read his famous Secret Report. Powerful debates
took place within the Communist Party. During one of these confrontations,
an elderly Communist woman, from a Jewish Communist family, who lost two
children during the war and whose family in Poland was exterminated, cried out:
        "'How can we not support Stalin, who built socialism, who defeated
fascism, who incarnated all our hopes?'
        "In the fiery ideological storm that was sweeping the world, where
others had capitulated, this woman remained true to the Revolution...A new
generation of Communists will share her view."

        I, for one, firmly believe that Martens is correct.


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