[Marxism] Stalin and Soviet philosophy

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Apr 25 15:00:18 MDT 2016

There's some really good stuff in the Crisis and Critique special issue 
on Stalin (as well as some awful stuff, especially Roland Boer). This is 
among the more interesting articles.

> When the Soviet state finally won the Civil War against its multiple
> external and internal enemies, it found itself in a difficult (almost
> impossible) economic and political situation. Theoretically unified around
> Plekhanov’s interpretation of Marxism, Soviet leaders struggled to fit
> the new existing reality of the success of their revolution and the old
> philosophical debates about its ultimate theoretical justification. The
> role of Hegel (and his understanding of the philosophy of history and
> dialectics) and his connection to Marx and Lenin emerged as one of the
> most important theoretical aspects of the emerging Soviet school of
> philosophy. Initially engaged as part of the so-called “mechanists versus
> dialecticians” debate, Hegel’s dialectical heritage slowly but surely came
> to mean the inevitability of history’s movement away from capitalism
> toward socialism. By the time Stalin and his supporters succeeded in
> their struggle for power, this notion of history and its dialectics became
> prevalent and was finally codified in the peculiarly un-dialectical
> presentation in the infamous theoretical insertion in the Party’s official
> history published in 1938. This section – “On dialectical and historical
> materialism” – written by Stalin himself, represented the final word in the
> long and still considerably understudied history of Hegel’s adventures in
> the early Russian and Soviet Marxist tradition.


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