50 Years Ago – Stalin the God and Stalin the Gangster
So the Stalin legend is ended, struck down by the hands that built it up. Three years after his death Communist Party leaders of all nationalities who fawned on him and grovelled at his feet in his lifetime,and who slobbered hysterically at his funeral, vie with each other to speak ill of their dead hero. They now make charges that he was cowardly, conceited, ignorant and stupid, cunning and brutal, and his supposedly benevolent guidance of his admiring and loving people nothing but a betrayal of Communist ideals, a bestial reign of terror under which no voice of protest could be heard and no man of integrity was safe against arbitrary execution.
One thing we must, however,not forget. If the faction that wants to belittle Stalin carries the day we may expect the anti-Stalin campaign to be as richly ornamented with new lies as was the old campaign to build up the Stalin myth. History will be re-written again with no more regard for truth.
For the venal and sycophantic second-line leaders it is a cruel dilemma. While the dictator lived the drill was simple,. Since he was all-wise, when he turned they all turned; and fell over each other to praise his every tortuous twist of policy,. But, as has happened throughout history, the dictator’s death launches his immediate circle into a bloody struggle for power, and the minor leaders and their followers suddenly have to make up their own minds which faction to support. So the British Communists are now anxiously disputing about the line they ought to follow,. This is the eventual fate of all organizations built up on leader-worship and Socialists can view their agonies with equanimity. The Communist Party has never been a force for Socialism and its disruption could only be a gain to the working class.
(From editorial, Socialist Standard, April 1956)