How a Great Power Falls Apart
Decline Is Invisible From the Inside
Note: Where the period of republication of particular items for mass consumption is relevant to the discussion, this information is supplied in parentheses in the footnotes. Thus (1925-1939) means "originally published in 1925, republished until 1939," and (1925 to present) means "originally published in 1925, republished up to the present time."
THE stress laid by Stalin on the importance of theory is so foreign to American habits of mind that we are prone to underestimate the influence which theory plays in determining his action. Any such tendency would lead us into especially grave error when we come to estimating the importance of his theoretical conception of the nature of revolution; for on this he has been amazingly consistent.
In a preface to the first volume of his collected works, Stalin takes the trouble to point out deficiencies in certain views expressed in his youthful writings, years before the October Revolution.[i] Since then eight volumes of the collected works have appeared, but they contain no more prefaces by Stalin; the inference is that he considers the rest doctrinally correct. Stalin exhibits the same meticulous care about doctrine in a letter to members of the Politburo in which he opposes the republication of an obscure article of Engels' in Bol'shevik unless the errors in its conception of imperialism are pointed out. Publication of an article in "our fighting magazine," he holds, means that it is to be taken "as directive or at least deeply informative for our party workers." [ii] Back of such pains about detail on the part of so busy a man lies a conviction that correctness of theory is vitally important. Stalin denies that "Leninism is the primacy of practice over theory." On the contrary, "the tendency of practical workers to brush theory aside contradicts the whole spirit of Leninism and is pregnant with great dangers for the cause." And again: "None other than Lenin said and repeated tens of times the well-known thesis that: 'Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement.'"[iii]
The present study summarizes the body of ideas on revolution which has presumably played a part in Stalin's thought and action, as revealed in his published writings and statements. Except for two reports of interviews with Stalin published in the United States but apparently not in the Soviet Union, it makes use of Russian sources only. The author believes that he has discovered and examined for relevant material nearly everything by Stalin originally published between January 1, 1929, and March 28, 1948; and, in addition, he has read all of Stalin's writings likely to be of central importance as far back as February 1919. Much of the material was republished on a large scale during the periods investigated. The general character of Communist thought makes it extremely unlikely that this would have happened if the statements were considered out of date or in any way inconsistent with current ideology, and, above all, if the outmoded features were not at the same time pointed out clearly. The sacredness in which the faithful hold every word of Stalin's makes it doubly improbable that anything of his which was obsolete would be republished without proper correction. "Voprosy Leninizma" ("Problems of Leninism," the basic collection of Stalin's writings, hereafter referred to in this study as "Voprosy") has gone through 11 editions to date and has been reprinted in many millions of copies; the 1947 printing of the eleventh edition (first published in 1939) states, on the last page, that it amounts to 4,000,000 copies. Stalin's "Istoriia vsesoiuznoi kommunisticheskoi partii" ("History of the All-Union Communist Party," hereafter referred to in this study as "Istoriia"), first published in 1938, is still being reprinted; in 1946, Pravda stated that the total number of copies exceeded 31,000,000.[iv] The fundamental rôle played by these two volumes in the indoctrination of party workers and in the compulsory courses in Marxism-Leninism justifies us in attributing high value to their testimony on matters of current orthodoxy according to Stalin.
The few instances where passages in republished works are (or at first sight appear to be) inconsistent with passages in new publications will be discussed on their merits when occasion arises. In view of the acknowledged Communist practice of pursuing long-range strategy by means of highly variable tactical lines, the presumption is by no means necessarily in favor of the new statements. The burden of proof must rather fall on whoever maintains that the new statement represents a permanent change in doctrine and not a mere temporary shift in the "line."
The cornerstones of "Voprosy" are found in two works by Stalin published in 1924, "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" and "Oktiabr'skaia revoliutsiia i taktika russkikh kommunistov." They contain the essence of his revolutionary theory, which he attributes to Lenin. This theory has been clarified or supplemented from time to time with respect to particular points. Thus it received more explicit Marxist-Leninist philosophical setting in the "Istoriia." But it has never been abandoned or altered in fundamentals.
Americans, though of course admitting the rôle of science in engineering, industry and similar fields, will be surprised by Stalin's conviction that in Leninist-Marxism he has a science of human society and its development in history which makes possible the prediction -- and, within limits, the engineering -- of the course of history. Thus he writes in his history of the Party: "Marxist-Leninist theory is science of the development of society, science of the workers' movement, science of proletarian revolution, science of the construction of Communist society." And again: "The strength of Marxist-Leninist theory consists in the fact that it enables the Party to orient itself in a situation, to grasp the internal connection of surrounding events, to foresee the course of events and to discern not only how and when events are developing in the present but also how and when they must develop in the future." [v]
Only such a view could explain the strong language Stalin uses on the ideological training of party cadres:
One can say with confidence that if we could prepare our cadres in all branches of work ideologically and temper them politically to such a degree that they can easily orient themselves in the domestic and international situation, if we could make them fully mature Marxist-Leninists, able to solve the problems of running the country without serious errors -- then we would have reason to consider nine-tenths of all our problems already solved. And we are absolutely able to accomplish this task.[vi]
II. THE SCIENCE OF REVOLUTION
In outlining Stalin's revolutionary theory, we shall first consider his views on those determinants of revolution which he calls "objective," i.e. those historical forces which, though modified by the action of conscious human wills, determine the basic pattern of history regardless of human will.
Stalin calls the philosophical framework of his theory "dialectical and historical materialism." It is, in effect, revolution writ large into the cosmos; its basic postulates are so many reasons why "the bourgeoisie" are on the way down and "the proletariat" on the way up, why "capitalism" must inevitably give way to "Socialism" everywhere, and why this must occur by violent revolution. It is sufficient for our present purposes to state briefly those postulates which are most important for Stalin's theory of revolution.
Relativity. Nature is a "connected, single whole" in which "phenomena are organically related to each other, depend on each other and condition each other." Applied to human society, this means "that every social system and every social movement in history must be evaluated not from the point of view of 'eternal justice' . . . but from the point of view of the conditions which gave birth to that system and that social movement with which they are connected." Thus a slave-owning economy, which would be absurd for modern conditions, was once a "step forward" in comparison with the primitive communal system; and "a bourgeois-democratic republic," though it would have represented a "step forward" for Russia in 1905, would be a "step backward" for the U.S.S.R. today.
Change. Nature is constantly changing; "there is always something arising and evolving, something declining and living out its time." This means that "the dying off of what is old and the growth of something new is the law of evolution," hence that there are no "'stable' social orders" or "'eternal principles' of private property." It means further that "only that which is rising and developing is invincible," i.e. that a rising class, though yet relatively weak, is a better bet politically than one which has had its rise and, though still relatively powerful, is beginning to decline. Hence, according to Stalin, the Marxists were right in basing their policy on the proletariat even in Russia in the 1880's, because it was evolving as a class, while the peasantry, though in the enormous majority, was declining as a class.
Sudden Qualitative Change. The process of evolution is not simply one of quantitative growth; "insignificant and hidden quantitative changes" repeatedly accumulate to a point at which radical and "open" "qualitative changes" suddenly occur. For human society this means that "revolutionary overturns, produced by oppressed classes, are a perfectly natural and inevitable phenomenon." In contemporary terms, "it means that the transition from capitalism to Socialism . . . can be accomplished not by means of slow change, not by means of reform, but only by means of qualitative change of the capitalist system, by means of revolution."
Progress. The previous postulate, according to Stalin, implies that evolution is progress, i.e. that nature moves not in a circle but in an upward direction, from "the simple to the complex, from the lower to the higher." [vii] We state this here as a separate postulate, because on it depends the claim that revolution is not merely inevitable but right, since it leads to a "qualitative change for the better." Stalin does not go into this, preferring, as Marxists generally do, to stress the "scientific" rather than the ethical aspects of his theory. But that he has deep convictions on the matter is evident from the general tone of his writings. When in an interview with Stalin, Emil Ludwig compares him to Peter the Great, Stalin replies: "The task to which I am dedicating my life consists in elevating . . . the working class. That task is not the strengthening of any national state but the strengthening of a Socialist, and that means international, state . . . ." [viii]
Contradiction and Struggle. ". . . the process of evolution from the lower to the higher takes place not as a harmonious unfolding of phenomena but as a disclosure of the contradictions inherent in things and phenomena, as a 'struggle' of opposite tendencies which operate on the basis of these contradictions . . . in order to overcome these contradictions." This means that "the class struggle of the proletariat is a perfectly natural and inevitable phenomenon," that "we must not cover up the contradictions of the capitalist system but uncover and draw them out, not extinguish the class struggle but carry it to its conclusion." Here, and in the theory of sudden qualitative change, is Stalin's philosophical ground for his position that a basic policy (as distinguished from temporary tactics) of compromise and reform is a mistake.
Materialism. Objective reality is material; consciousness is a "reflection" of matter and a product of it. From this Stalin infers that "the material life of society . . . is primary, and its spiritual life secondary, derivative," i.e. that "one must look for the source of social ideas, social theories, political views and political institutions . . . in the conditions of the material life of society," of which the ideas and institutions are a "reflection."
The Means of Production. Of the various factors composing "the material life of society," the one which determines "the character of the social system and the evolution of society from one system to another" is "the means of production of material goods." This in turn consists of "productive forces" -- the instruments of production and the people who operate them -- and "productive relations," i.e. the relations between people in the productive process, such as master-slave, capitalist-laborer. "Changes in the means of production inevitably evoke change of the whole social system," including political institutions.
The Primary Contradiction of Capitalism. The prime mover of social progress is change in the productive forces, especially tools: as new types of tools develop they enter into "contradiction" or "nonconformity" with the increasingly outmoded productive relations, until the latter are demolished and new ones created to correspond with the requirements of the productive forces. With this "sudden, qualitative" change comes a change in the whole social system. Such is the inmost dynamic of revolution. Capitalism, for example, develops large-scale industrial plants as productive forces; but "by gathering millions of workers together in enormous factories and plants, capitalism gives a social character to the process of production and thereby undermines its own basis," namely, the productive relations that center around private ownership of industry. Thus the primary contradiction that develops inside capitalism as it evolves is that between actual private ownership and the new productive forces which require social ownership for their full expansion. This maladjustment expresses itself in the periodic crises of overproduction familiar to capitalism, and finally in revolution which resolves the contradiction by socializing the means of production.[ix]
The foregoing is not a complete summary of Stalin's dialectical and historical materialism, but it gives the basis of his claim to know with "scientific" certainty that Socialist revolution must come sooner or later in capitalist countries. It should be stressed that for Stalin the decisive issue is the substitution of Socialist ownership and operation for private ownership and operation of the means of production: all other differences in modern social systems are of subordinate importance. This is the basis of his insistence to H. G. Wells, in 1934, that the New Deal reforms in the United States cannot affect the ultimate necessity for revolution, and to Harold E. Stassen, in 1947, that the United States and Nazi Germany had the same kind of economic systems.[x]
The next step in our inquiry is to analyze in greater detail Stalin's conception of the social forces, apart from conscious leadership, which contribute to the build-up and final achievement of revolution. These forces are formed around four secondary contradictions, which are aggravated by the primary contradiction between productive forces and productive relations.
The Class Struggle. Antagonism between classes is not peculiar to capitalism, in Stalin's view. It is inherent in slave-owning and feudal social systems as well -- in short, wherever one class monopolizes ownership of the means of production and thereby "exploits" the rest. Under capitalism the chief protagonists of class struggle are the "capitalists" and those who must sell their labor to the capitalists in order to live -- the "proletariat." The rest of society -- petty bourgeois, peasants, intelligentsia -- form a comparatively amorphous and fluctuating mass, gravitating now to one side, now to the other.[xi]
Hence the proletariat is the inevitable vehicle for the Socialist revolution. In contrast to the peasantry, it is connected with the most advanced form of economy and therefore has "more future." Further, "the proletariat as a class is growing year by year, is developing politically, is easily accessible to organization by reason of its work in large-scale production, and is most revolutionary because of its proletarian position, as it has nothing to lose by revolution except its chains." [xii] In contrast to the intelligentsia, on the other hand, the proletariat has the mass necessary for revolutionary power: "for that, a large class is needed, which would replace the class of capitalists and become just as sovereign a master as it is . . . ."[xiii] Thus arises the central Leninist doctrine that Socialist revolution can occur only through substitution of the dictatorship of the proletariat for the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (which, in Stalin's view, is the essence of all capitalist states).[xiv]
It is ultimately from the growing contradiction between social productive forces and private property productive relations that the class struggle receives the dynamism, the increasing tension, which impels it toward revolution.[xv] Just how this occurs is not fully clear from Stalin's writings. The earlier Marxist doctrine of "increasing misery" of the proletariat was modified by Lenin and others in view of the observable fact that workers were not getting poorer. Stalin does not discuss this topic; but possibly he, too, as a disciple of Lenin, does not hold the earlier view. What certainly does increase, according to Stalin, is tension between the two classes -- the bourgeoisie put more and more "pressure" on the proletariat, which the proletariat meets with growing resistance and resentment. The "pressure" or "oppression" by the bourgeoisie takes various forms. One is the effort to reduce wages or hold them down, which becomes ever more powerful as capitalism enters its monopoly stage. Another is the actual misery caused by falling wages and unemployment in times of economic crisis -- the recurrent crises being due to the fact that the capitalists do not allow wages to rise in proportion to production, thus curtailing purchasing power and resulting in "overproduction." Another form of pressure by the bourgeoisie is Fascism, which deprives workers of important means of resistance --labor unions, parliaments, the freedom to form labor or Communist parties.[xvi]
As will be explained later, the tension between bourgeoisie and proletariat does not increase uniformly but in a wave-like ebb and flow. While tension mounts, the social system nears the flash-point of revolution: there is "aggravation of the revolutionary crisis inside the capitalist countries, accumulation of explosive elements on the internal, proletarian front." [xvii]
The Imperialist Stage of Capitalism. Stalin, following Lenin, holds that capitalism in its last stage, when it becomes ripe for revolution, turns monopolist and imperialist. The scene is dominated by giant trusts and combinations of international finance which rival each other for control of world markets, raw materials and opportunities for investment of surplus capital. This means that there is no longer an assortment of capitalist systems, one for each country, but one world capitalist system. Revolution accordingly occurs in particular countries as a result of the total interplay of forces within the world system and not, as earlier Marxists expected, simply as the result of local conditions. "Formerly it was usual to speak of the presence or absence of objective conditions for proletarian revolution . . . in one or another well developed country . . . . Now we must speak of the presence of objective conditions of revolution in the entire system of world imperialist economy as an integral whole; the existence within this system of some countries that are not sufficiently developed industrially cannot serve as an insurmountable obstacle to revolution . . . because the system as a whole is already ripe for revolution." [xviii]
From this it follows that revolution need not occur first in the countries that are most advanced industrially, as Marx's historical materialism seemed once to imply. Revolution occurs rather as a break in the world "front" of the capitalist system, and therefore at the point where the chain has its weakest link. So in 1917 it came first in Russia, an admittedly backward country, and in 1924 Stalin said it might occur next in Germany or in India -- in any case, again at the weakest point in the world system. In a later comment Stalin points out that the weakest point in the world system of capitalism is not the point where industry is least developed, else revolution would have begun somewhere in central Africa. A "certain minimum" of industrial development and of culture is prerequisite for revolution.[xix]
The direct effect of the rise of monopoly capitalism on the contradiction between bourgeoisie and proletariat has been mentioned. In addition, two further contradictions are now generated within the capitalist system.
One of these is the international counterpart of the class struggle: the great monopolies seek to exploit the foreign as well as the domestic field, which leads to a few powerful capitalist countries dividing up the world as colonial possessions and spheres of influence. Thus arises a contradiction within the capitalist world economy between the exploiting imperialists and the exploited colonies. As tension rises, a revolutionary crisis develops in the exploited countries, taking the form primarily of movements for national liberation from imperialism.[xx]
The other contradiction develops between rival capitalist countries. Since some evolve more rapidly than others, they come to demand a larger share of colonies and spheres of influence than the one allotted on the basis of their former power. Since no country will voluntarily hand over part of its present share, tension mounts until imperialist war -- for example, the First and Second World Wars -- inevitably breaks out as the sole means of redividing the world and restoring equilibrium.[xxi] In Stalin's thinking, the importance of war as a midwife of revolution can scarcely be exaggerated.
The Contradiction Between Capitalists and Socialist Systems. According to Stalin, the contradictions above described created the "objective" basis for the October Revolution of 1917, but in so doing they helped to generate yet another contradiction, that between the capitalist and Socialist systems. For henceforth the system of world capitalism has lost its monopoly of the world and its claim to be the latest work in progress. Beside it grows a Socialist system which "by the very fact of its existence demonstrates the rottenness of capitalism and shakes loose its foundations." [xxii] This predicament, together with the loss both of economic equilibrium and of authority in colonial areas occasioned by the war of 1914, constitutes what Stalin calls the "general crisis of capitalism," a condition of permanently impaired health. The capitalist system will never recover its pre-1914 stability and self-assurance.
Increasing tension grows from both sides of this contradiction between the social systems. It is an axiom with Stalin that capitalists are filled with envy and hatred, and that whenever they can and dare they will seek to intervene in the Socialist country and restore capitalism. This danger he dramatizes as "capitalist encirclement," declaring that Socialism cannot be considered finally achieved as long as this danger of intervention and restoration persists.[xxiii] From the other side of the contradiction, every triumph of the Soviet Socialist system is considered by Stalin to have a profoundly revolutionizing effect on capitalist countries. In 1933 he states: "The successes of the Five Year Plan are mobilizing the revolutionary forces of the working class of all countries against capitalism . . . . " [xxiv] In addition, there are various kinds of deliberate aid on the part of the Socialist system for revolutionary movements inside the capitalist system. These are, properly speaking, not part of the "objective" determinants of revolution.
The primary and secondary contradictions of capitalist society, which we have just described, interact upon one another to produce revolution. There are three chief types of interaction.
Productive Forces vs. Productive Relations: Economic Crises. The effects which the fundamental capitalist contradiction and economic crises have on the class struggle were briefly discussed above. The most striking feature of Stalin's treatment of the contradiction between productive forces and productive relations under capitalism is how little he has to say about it. He does not formulate it expressly until 1938, in his exposition of historical materialism. We have found only one brief earlier allusion to it, as the cause of economic crises.[xxv]
It would nevertheless be unsafe, as in other cases, to infer from Stalin's comparative silence on this subject that he considers it of minor importance or that he only half believes in it. On the contrary, this doctrine is an integral part of the bedrock of Marxist "scientific" certainty about the future course of history on which Stalin evidently bases his entire life work. It is his cardinal reason for holding that, no matter what happens, in the long run all the contradictions of capitalism will get worse and worse until revolution cures the source of trouble by substituting Socialism. Indeed, the chief function which this central contradiction of capitalism performs in Stalin's thinking may be to impart certainty to the doctrinal framework. If so, that would explain the brevity of its rôle in his published writings.
If, however, the idea also operates directly in Stalin's concrete estimates of the pattern of forces in the capitalist world system, this should find expression as some definite relationship between the increasing disparity between productive forces and productive relations -- the ultimate mainspring of the trend to revolution -- and resultant increases of tension in the derivative contradictions of capitalism. The sole clue of this kind discovered during the present investigation is Stalin's explanation of economic crises. Noting that they have occurred in capitalist countries every eight to twelve years for a century, he claims that they are "an example of the non-correspondence of productive relations to productive forces," in other words, of the contradiction between "the social character of production and the capitalist form of appropriating the results of production." As capitalism evolves, productive forces (i.e. productive capacity) are dynamically expanded but wages are kept as low as possible in order to make more profits. The result is a "relative curtailment of purchasing power;" goods accumulate for which there is no market and a crisis of overproduction is precipitated; finished goods and even productive forces are destroyed, factories are closed and millions suffer unemployment and hunger not because goods are scarce but because they are plentiful. Stalin stresses the destruction of productive forces as conspicuous evidence of the way in which their development is hampered by capitalist productive relations. His account in 1930 concludes: "If capitalism could adapt production not to getting maximum profit but to the systematic improvement of the material conditions of the masses of the people . . . then there would not be any crises. But then also capitalism would not be capitalism." [xxvi]
The rôle of economic crises in Stalin's writings must be stated carefully. He pays almost no attention to them until after 1929 and, as his writings show, probably did not expect the world depression. The emphasis given to economic crises after 1929 -- notably in the reports to the Party Congress in 1930, 1934 and 1939 -- suggests that the lesson of 1929 actually produced an important change in Stalin's thinking about the capitalist world. However, that change appears to have been a modification not in fundamental theory but on an intermediate level between it and concrete data. The doctrine of the contradictions of capitalism remains the basic framework. Within it, after 1929, economic crises play a very prominent rôle as symptoms of the progressive decay of capitalism at its roots -- namely, of the increasing contradiction between productive forces and relations -- and as added causes of greater tension in the four secondary contradictions. In 1930 Stalin sums up his first analysis of the world economic crisis by saying: "The most important results of the world economic crisis are to uncover and aggravate the contradictions inherent in world capitalism." [xxvii]
The fact that Stalin depicts the crisis of 1929 as the worst so far in capitalist history, and that of 1937 as worse still,[xxviii] together with his general picture of capitalism as now in its decadent phase, suggests that such crises do in fact play an important diagnostic rôle in Stalin's estimates of the degree of deterioration reached at a given time by the capitalist system, and also that he would expect each future crisis -- at the customary interval of eight to twelve years -- to be worse than the last. The principle indices used in his discussions of particular crises are statistics of production and of unemployment. These are further possible clues to his method of diagnosis.[xxix]
The "Objective" Conditions for Revolution: War. We have seen that, for Stalin, capitalism in its imperialist stage has become a single world system in which the total interplay of forces determines the ripeness of conditions for revolution in particular countries, revolutions actually occurring where the world front of capitalism is weakest in relation to the forces of revolution. The foregoing discussion of capitalist contradictions has provided a ground-plan of the lines along which the revolutionary forces are organized. The next step is to consider the criteria for judging the ripeness of the revolutionary situation. Stalin writes that "the proletarian revolution must be regarded primarily as the result of the development of the contradictions within the world system of imperialism, as the result of the snapping of the chain of the imperialist world front in one country or another." [xxx] How does Stalin estimate when and where the chain is ready to break?
Pointing out that there are "several absolutely necessary conditions, in the absence of which seizure of power by the proletariat is not to be thought of," Stalin quotes Lenin's formulation of them:
The fundamental law of revolution . . . consists in this: for revolution it is not enough that the exploited and oppressed masses should feel the impossibility of living in the old way and demand change; for revolution it is necessary that the exploiters should not be able to live and rule in the old way. Only when the "lower classes" do not want the old way and when the "upper classes" cannot carry on in the old way -- only then can revolution conquer. This truth may be expressed otherwise in the words: revolution is impossible without a nation-wide crisis (affecting both the exploited and the exploiters). [xxxi]
"Revolutionary crisis" is accordingly Stalin's usual name for the total complex of forces constituting the "objective" conditions necessary for revolution.[xxxii]
Two features stand out in the above quotation: the power of the bourgeoisie is shaken; the proletariat is aroused. More detail is supplied by a sketch written in 1921 but first published in 1947:
How define the arrival of the moment for revolutionary outbreaks? . . . When the revolutionary mood of the masses . . . brims over and our slogans for action and directives lag behind the movement of the masses . . . When uncertainty and confusion, disintegration and dissolution in the adversary's camp have reached the highest point . . . when the so-called neutral elements, all that mass of many millions of city and village petty bourgeoisie, begin definitely to turn away from the adversary . . . and seeks alliance with the proletariat.[xxxiii]
This introduces a third feature of the "objective" conditions for revolution: the masses (other than the proletariat) swing away from the bourgeoisie and toward the proletariat, thus isolating the former and becoming allies or "reserves," as Stalin's military phraseology often puts it, of the proletariat. The above quotation mentions petty bourgeoisie, but in other passages Stalin stresses even more the rôle of the peasantry as ally of the proletariat.[xxxiv] In the present context only the general point is important: the bourgeoisie proper must be bereft of mass popular support and the proletariat must have it.
Support is not confined to the boundaries of one country: the local bourgeoisie must to a considerable degree be isolated internationally, while the proletariat receives direct or indirect support from the proletariat of other capitalist countries and from the proletarian state already in existence -- the U.S.S.R. Hence a further condition for successful revolution is that the balance of potential outside aid for revolution as against potential outside aid for counterrevolution must be sufficiently favorable.[xxxv]
To sum up, Stalin's necessary "objective" conditions for revolution are: bourgeoisie isolated and disorganized, proletariat aroused to revolt and supported by the masses, and a favorable balance of proletarian as against bourgeois aid from outside the country. With these as a frame of reference, we are now able to indicate how, according to Stalin, the contradictions of capitalism interact to produce revolutionary crises. Only certain main lines of influence will be described; details vary endlessly with the concrete configuration of forces.
The primary contradiction, both chronically and in its acute manifestation as economic crisis, impels the bourgeoisie to increase pressure against the proletariat, against colonial peoples, against each other (in rivalry for spheres of influence) and against the Soviet Union. The culmination of these trends is war of one kind or another: the colonies fight for liberation, the capitalist nations who demand greater spheres of influence fight to get them or capitalist countries attack the Soviet Union as the major threat to their whole system and also as another big area to be exploited. Preparation for war on the part of the bourgeoisie further arouses the proletariat and the other masses who desire peace and resent having to die for their masters, and who also resent the added economic and political pressures -- including Fascism, in some cases -- which are imposed in order to prepare for war. When the war is to be directed against the Socialist Fatherland, this fact of course greatly adds to the resentment of the proletariat, whose deeper sympathies are on the side of the Soviet Union. Bourgeois preparation for war likewise leads to increased pressure on colonies, with a correspondingly greater tendency of colonies to rebel.[xxxvi]
Actual war, however, is the crux of the matter. Stalin writes of the relation of the First World War to the contradictions of capitalism that "the imperialist war . . . gathered all these contradictions into one bundle and threw them onto the scales, thereby accelerating and facilitating the revolutionary battles of the proletariat." [xxxvii] War between capitalist countries further intensifies the resentment of the masses and at the same time both exhausts the strength of the bourgeoisie at home and makes it difficult for them to intervene against revolution abroad. Again writing in 1924 of the First World War, Stalin speaks of "the enormous significance of the fact of mortal war between the chief groups of imperialists in the period of the October Revolution, when the imperialists, occupied with war among themselves, lacked the ability to concentrate forces against the young Soviet power, and the proletariat just for that reason was able to get down to the work of . . . consolidating its power. . . . It must be presumed that now, when the contradictions among the imperialist groups are becoming more and more profound, and when a new war among them is becoming inevitable, reserves of this description will assume even greater importance for the proletariat." [xxxviii]
Thus for the past quarter century, according to the overwhelming testimony of his writings, Stalin has expected the next crop of revolutions to come during, or in the immediate aftermath of, the Second World War. To the Seventeenth Party Congress in 1934 he stated that a new imperialist war "will surely turn loose revolution and place in jeopardy the very existence of capitalism in a number of countries, as happened in the course of the first imperialist war."[xxxix] His history of the Party makes explicit the connection between war and the development of a "weak link" in the chain of world imperialism: "Lenin showed that precisely in consequence of this unevenness in the development of capitalism imperialist wars occur, which weaken the forces of imperialism and make possible a break-through in the front of imperialism at the point where it proves to be weakest." [xl]
Imperialism, he maintains, is the fundamental antagonist of the Soviet Union, and Fascism only its worst reactionary form. "Hitler, Goebbels, Ribbentrop, Himmler and the other administrators of present-day Germany are the chained dogs of the German bankers."[xli] The capitalist, not the Nazi, is the ultimate enemy. The theoretical framework is made fully explicit in Stalin's election speech of February 1946: "It would be incorrect to think that the Second World War arose accidentally or as a result of the mistakes of some statesmen or other . . . . The war in fact arose as the inevitable result of the development of world economic and political forces on the basis of contemporary monopolistic capitalism."[xlii]
The case of a war against the Soviet Union, according to Stalin, presents an additional factor favorable to revolution. To the Seventeenth Party Congress in 1934 he declares: "It can hardly be doubted that this war will be the most dangerous for the bourgeoisie . . . . The numerous friends in Europe and Asia of the working class of the U.S.S.R. will endeavor to strike from the rear their oppressors who have started criminal war against the Fatherland of the working class of all countries."[xliii] Though Stalin hopes for proletarian revolutions in certain colonial areas, he values all local movements for national liberation, whether proletarian or not: in any case, each step they take toward emancipation is "a steam-hammer blow against imperialism" and thus has "objective" revolutionary significance, i.e. weakens the bourgeoisie of imperialist countries by depriving them of markets and raw materials.[xliv] Hence a colonial war would become an added factor promoting a revolutionary crisis in the metropolitan country.
The Law of Ebb and Flow. According to Stalin, the October Revolution of 1917 ushered in "a new era in the history of humanity -- the era of proletarian revolutions," in fact, "the epoch of world revolution."[xlv] This means, in terms of his theory, that the contradictions in the world system of capitalism have evolved to the point where revolutions are generally in order. Actual revolution, however, occurred first in only one country, and Stalin expects further revolutions usually to occur in one country at a time, as state after state breaks away from the capitalist system and joins the Socialist one.[xlvi]
But the course of the revolutionary movement is not expected to be uniform. Stalin notes that it has always moved in a wavelike rhythm of ebb and flow, rise and fall. For example, one wave reached its crest in the 1905 Revolution and subsided in the Stolypin reaction. Another rise occurred in the years 1912-1914. Under the stress of the First World War a major crest came with the two revolutions of 1917 -- though in the short interval between them there were also rapid changes of ebb and flow -- and the wave spread out to Europe in the years immediately following. In 1925 Stalin announces that another decline has set in, corresponding to a "partial and temporary stabilization of capitalism," but he now generalizes the alternation of ebb and flow in a prediction of the future: "The epoch of world revolution . . . is a whole strategic period, embracing a whole series of years and, I dare say, even a number of decades. In the course of this period there can and must be ebbings and flowings."
Though an ebb tide has set in, Stalin goes on to say, the contradictions of capitalism will inevitably bring on a new flood tide in due time. With the flood tide new victories may be won for the revolution; if they do not complete world revolution, there will follow another ebb, and so on until revolution has spanned the globe.[xlvii] In 1927 Stalin announces that the "stabilization of capitalism" is drawing to a close, a new "crisis of world capitalism" is gathering, and with it is beginning another revolutionary rise. In 1930 and 1934, successive reports to Party Congresses continue the same line of thought: the contradictions of capitalism, accentuated by the world economic crisis of 1929, are converging inevitably on another imperialist war. Therefore "a revolutionary crisis is ripening and will continue to ripen."[xlviii] In his report to the Party Congress in 1939 he announces that the imperialist war has already begun and is gradually becoming a world war.[xlix]
Up to March 1948, Stalin has published nothing to indicate that the revolutionary wave -- so long expected in connection with World War II -- has passed its crest, though his doctrine of ebb and flow suggests that he must expect another ebb within a few years unless capitalism collapses completely in the meantime. Thus the entire period from 1929 to March 1948 moves before Stalin's eyes on a rising tide of revolutionary opportunities.
III. THE ART OF REVOLUTION
Having outlined Stalin's conception of the "objective" determinants of revolution, our inquiry now turns to the "subjective" side: the rôle of conscious organization.
Communist Leadership. Notwithstanding the remorseless and unavoidable evolution of the contradictions of capitalism, making Socialist revolution sooner or later inevitable, Stalin holds that actual revolution can occur only through conscious human efforts. In this he is a disciple of Lenin, and his history of the Party records with sympathy Lenin's battles against "reformist" Marxists, compromisers, opportunists, gradualists -- any and all who held that the "objective" factors would automatically bring about the change to Socialism, or that anything short of the most resolute and uncompromising revolutionary policy should be adopted.[l]
Stalin's ultimate reason for this position lies in his dialectical and historical materialism. As has been noted, one postulate of this theory is that objective reality is material, and consciousness only a "reflection" of it. This view now requires further elaboration. Stalin does not mean that consciousness plays no causal rôle, but only that its rôle is secondary. The direction of history, its movement from one mode of production to another, with consequent changes in class structure, social institution and ideas, is indeed determined by the evolution of the means of production, and no conscious human effort can change this direction. But consciousness does have a positive and important function: it affects, not the pattern of history, but its pace. It can accelerate or retard the coming of the inevitable. Social theories which accelerate historical evolution do so because they "reflect the needs of the development of the material life of society" and by mobilizing the masses lead them in the direction of revolutionary change. Social theories arise "because they are necessary for society, because without their organizing, mobilizing and transforming work the solution of the problems which have come to a head in the evolution of society is impossible."
This is Stalin's ground for holding that conscious leadership is necessary for revolution. The primary contradiction in capitalism gets worse and worse, and increasing strain works out from it through the secondary contradictions, causing suffering, war and destruction: but conscious effort, following correct theory, is necessary to help these blind forces produce the readjustment which alone can bring relief. Hence arises the necessity for the Communist Party. Stalin writes that "Socialist ideology arises not from the spontaneous [working class] movement but from science." The Party is that vanguard of the working class which, because it is guided by "scientific" insight into the ills of capitalism and the sole means of cure, can and must organize the proletariat and lead it to revolutionary victory: "The Marxist Party is a part of the working class . . . . The Party differs from other detachments of the working class primarily in that it is . . . the leading detachment, the class-conscious detachment . . . armed with knowledge of social life, knowledge of the laws of the class struggle, and for this reason able to lead the working class and to direct its struggle."
Stalin's conception of Marxist theory is likewise his justification for the character and organization of the Bolshevik Party as opposed to Marxist parties of the western type. Because the Party is the embodiment of "scientific" truth, and because that truth is uncompromisingly revolutionary -- teaching that class war must be fought to a finish -- the Party must be "monolithic," a centrally controlled army under strict military discipline, tolerating no other parties except for temporary reasons of expediency, hunting down and destroying compromisers -- all who are disposed to take the edge off the revolutionary drive, to let things move more gradually -- both in society at large and within its own ranks. The same claim to infallible "science" lies at the base of Stalin's theory of the Party purge, so strange to western modes of thought: "The Party strengthens itself by purging itself of opportunist elements . . . . " A procedure that to western minds is a sign and a further cause of weakness is for Stalin a means to strength because strength derives ultimately, not from numbers, but from "knowledge" which harnesses revolution to the laws of history: the purge eliminates those whose allegiance to this "knowledge," and the program based on it, is dubious.[li]
From Stalin's point of view "democratic liberties" have always been compatible with strict Communist Party control. In his report on the Draft Constitution, he claims that the Soviet system is more democratic than any other. And in reply to foreign critics who object that the one-party system is undemocratic, he praises the constitution because it leaves in force the dictatorship of the working class and "the present directing position of the Communist Party." [lii] Further, Stalin is on record as holding that proletarian revolution may legitimately be carried out when the proletariat is only a minority of the population -- the Party, of course, being only a minority of the proletariat.
Stalin expresses the contrast between Bolshevism and western Socialism most vividly in his 1934 interview with H. G. Wells, already mentioned. Wells approaches Stalin from the point of view of a western Socialist; he states that conceptions of violent class war are obsolete; leading businessmen are not ruled wholly (or even primarily in many cases) by the profit motive and there is therefore no radical conflict of interest between capital and labor; modern technology makes Socialism inevitable through gradual extension of government controls; hence the need is for intelligent direction, not violent revolution; eastern and western Socialists should develop a common language and work together rather than emphasize their historic antagonisms. Stalin replies with denial on all points and puts the crux of the matter as he sees it thus: " . . . the replacement of one social system by another social system is a complicated and protracted revolutionary process. It is not a merely spontaneous process . . . . No -- revolution . . . has always been struggle, an excruciating and cruel struggle, struggle for life and death."
Communists, he continues, do not idealize force and violence: they would gladly dispense with them if the bourgeoisie would consent to turn things over peaceably to the proletariat. But abundant historical experience teaches (as he said to Wells) that "classes which have had their day do not leave the stage of history voluntarily." His history of the Party picks up this theme in describing (p. 125) how the revolutionary period comes after social forces have evolved spontaneously to a certain point:
After the new productive forces have matured, the existing productive relations and their bearers, the ruling classes, turn into that "insurmountable" obstacle which can be removed only by means of the conscious action of the new classes, by the forcible acts of these classes, by revolution . . . . The masses are welded into a new political army, create a new revolutionary authority and use it to abolish by force the old system of productive relations and establish the new system. The spontaneous process of development gives place to the conscious action of men, peaceful development to violent upheaval, evolution to revolution.
The "combat staff" of the new political army is the Communist Party.[liii] Effective Communist Party action is Stalin's "subjective" condition for revolution which, when timed with the "objective" conditions previously described, actually brings revolution to pass. As he puts it to the Seventeenth Party Congress: "Some comrades think that as soon as there is a revolutionary crisis the bourgeoisie must be in a situation from which there is no way out . . . . that the victory of revolution is thus secure . . . . This is a profound mistake. The victory of the revolution never comes of itself. It must be prepared for and won. And only a strong proletarian revolutionary party can prepare for and win it. Moments occur when the situation is revolutionary, the power of the bourgeoisie is shaken to its very foundations, and yet the victory of the revolution does not come, because there is no revolutionary party of the proletariat sufficiently strong and authoritative to lead the masses and take power in its own hands." [liv]
World Strategy: the Soviet Union as Base. Before we proceed to examine Stalin's views on how revolution is "prepared for and won" by the Communist Party, a word of caution is in order. As generals are not accustomed to publish their operational directives, so it is unreasonable to expect Stalin to publish his. From his writings it is possible to reconstruct certain main lines of strategy and tactics, but the writings also contain definite acknowledgment that "illegal" or underground activities play a major rôle in Communist operations. Speaking of the revolutionary uses of compromise and reform, he states: " . . . in revolutionary tactics under a bourgeois régime, reform naturally becomes an instrument for disintegrating this régime, an instrument for strengthening revolution . . . . The revolutionary accepts reform in order to use it as a means of meshing the legal work with the illegal work, in order to use it as a cover for the strengthening of the illegal work which aims at revolutionary preparation of the masses for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie." [lv] Therefore it must remain a question to what extent Stalin's published views on Communist strategy and tactics are supplemented or modified by doctrine reserved for the Communist high command.
In any case, Stalin's approach is characteristically military, and it is hardly by accident that his writings are strewn with military figures of speech -- tactics and strategy; staff, cadres, vanguards, reserves; strong points, forward positions; advances, assaults, retreats, manœuvres; encirclement, flanking movement, regrouping of forces, etc.[lvi] An early sketch not published until 1947 shows most succinctly the connection between theory and strategy: "The theory of Marxism, studying primarily the objective processes . . . defines the tendency of evolution, points out the class or classes which are inevitably rising to power or which are inevitably falling, must fall . . . . The program of Marxism, basing itself on the conclusions of the theory, defines the goal for the movement of the rising class, in this case of the proletariat. . . . Strategy, guiding itself by the directives of the program and resting on a calculation of the contending forces, internal . . . and international, defines that . . . general direction along which the revolutionary movement of the proletariat should be directed with a view to achieving the biggest results with the . . . developing correlation of forces . . . . "[lvii]
The program thus defines the objectives at which strategy aims. Stalin distinguishes the "maximum program" -- "Socialist revolution, overthrow of the capitalists' rule, establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat" -- from the "minimum program" formulated for a particular phase of the total process.[lviii] Stalin writes in "Voprosy" that "Strategy has to do with the main forces of revolution and their reserves. It changes with the passage of revolution from one stage to another, remaining essentially without change for the whole period of a given stage." The first stage was 1903 to February 1917, the second March to October 1917. The third stage began after the October Revolution: "The goal is to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat in one country, using it as a base for the overthrow of imperialism in all countries. Revolution spreads beyond the limits of one country; the epoch of world revolution has begun." [lix]
The fundamental, not merely incidental, intention to use the Soviet Union as the base for world revolution has thus been on the record in Stalin's most important doctrinal work, repeatedly republished for mass circulation from 1924 to the present time. In another passage which has had similar authoritative distribution from 1924 to the present Stalin elaborates his view:
. . . the very development of world revolution . . . will be more rapid and more thorough, the more thoroughly Socialism fortifies itself in the first victorious country, the faster this country is transformed into a base for the further unfolding of world revolution, into a lever for the further disintegration of imperialism.
While it is true that the final victory of Socialism in the first country to emancipate itself is impossible without the combined efforts of the proletarians of several countries, it is equally true that the development of world revolution will be the more rapid and thorough, the more effective the aid rendered by the first Socialist country to the workers . . . of all other countries.
In what should this aid be expressed?
It should be expressed, first, in the victorious country "carrying out the maximum realizable in one country for the development, support, awakening of revolution in all countries" . . .
It should be expressed, second, in that the "victorious proletariat" of the one country . . . "after organizing its own Socialist production, should stand up . . . against the remaining, capitalist world, attracting to itself the oppressed classes of other countries, raising revolts in those countries against the capitalists, in the event of necessity coming out even with armed force against the exploiting classes and their governments" . . .[lx]
This passage deserves detailed comment. The supreme aim of world revolution is the logical outcome of Stalin's entire theoretical position as outlined in the present study -- notably the thesis that capitalism is a single world-system fatally torn by contradictions which can be cured only by a consciously directed Socialist revolution. Granted these assumptions, the determination to use the foothold won in the Soviet Union as a base for world revolution is elementary common sense. This outlook is confirmed by many other passages in widely published statements by Stalin.[lxi] The sole contradictory passages -- unless cunningly interpreted -- are remarks made by Stalin to two foreigners, under circumstances where it is obviously to his advantage to convey another impression. For example, he tells Roy Howard in 1936 that the Soviet Union has never had plans for fostering revolution in other countries because exporting revolution is nonsense.[lxii] The other statement, made to Mr. King, of Reuters, in May 1943, will be described in a moment. These two statements are not republished in "Voprosy" or otherwise for wide and lasting distribution in the Soviet Union. When they are weighed against the mass of contrary evidence on Stalin's views presented above, the only conclusion is that they are misleading.
In 1938 the Party history appears with the revolutionary motto on its title page: "Workers of all countries, unite!" And the introduction declares: "Studying the history of the CPSU(b) strengthens confidence in the final victory of the great cause of the party of Lenin and Stalin, the victory of Communism in the whole world." The history also repeats the fundamental quotation from Lenin on the country of Socialism "rising against" the capitalist world after organizing its own production; states that "the victory of proletarian revolutions in capitalist countries is a vital interest of the toilers of the U.S.S.R.;" and quotes Stalin's "great vow" of "fidelity to the principles of the Communist International." All these points, it should be remembered, are made in a work used for mass indoctrination down to the present time.
In 1936, Howard asks Stalin if he has not to some extent abandoned his plans for world revolution. Stalin replies, "We never had such plans and intentions," thus excluding the interpretation that what he is saying to Howard represents in any way a change of mind.[lxiii] He then declares that "we Marxists hold that revolution will occur in other countries too. But it will occur only when the revolutionaries of these countries find it possible or necessary. The export of revolution -- that is nonsense." But this statement says nothing about ways in which local revolutionaries may be used, directed, and aided by outside agencies; the only "export" of revolution which it denies would be the very crudest kind, which dispensed with forming even a minimum of local Communist leadership. Carefully analyzed, then, Stalin's remarks turn out to be a sort of legalistic quibble used to convey a general impression which is in fact false.
It has at times been thought that some of Stalin's statements during the current period indicated a change of mind on his part with regard to long-term relations with the "capitalist" democracies. A careful search through all his published statements from July 1941 to March 1948 yields only one case which appears to warrant such a belief -- a letter in May 1943 to King, Reuters correspondent (mentioned above), about the dissolution of the Comintern. The interview with Stassen merely says that the important point is not whether coexistence is possible but whether both sides desire it. If "one side" does not want coöperation, "the result will be conflict, war." [lxiv] In other words, if "one side" does not like the terms of the Soviet Union, it is lacking in desire to coöperate. Also, when Stassen asks if wartime experience has changed things, Stalin denies that he ever said the two systems could not coöperate; he thus implies that his views remain unchanged and makes it impossible to attribute to his current statements on coöperation a more generous meaning than to his earlier ones. Stalin's remark that the postwar international security organization "will be effective if the Great Powers . . . continue to act in a spirit of unanimity" [lxv] is another expression of this same conception of "cooperation;" when queried by Hugh Baillie about the veto, Stalin denies that the Soviet Union has abused it in the United Nations or the Council of Foreign Ministers.[lxvi]
But the letter to the Reuters correspondent on the dissolution of the Comintern is an explicit contradiction of Stalin's earlier statements of revolutionary methods and aims. Here he says that the dissolution of the Comintern is right because, among other reasons: "(a) it exposes the lie of the Hitlerites that 'Moscow' intends to intervene in the life of other states and 'bolshevize' them. Henceforth an end is put to that lie. (b) It exposes the slander of the enemies of Communism in the workers' movement to the effect that the Communist Parties of the various countries act not in the interests of their own nation but according to orders from outside. Henceforth an end is put to that slander too." [lxvii]
These propositions, reminiscent of the 1936 Howard interview, can be reconciled with Stalin's established revolutionary doctrine only by very special pleading. Since they are made to a foreign correspondent and contain no express disavowal of pertinent basic writings currently republished in quantity in the Soviet Union, the balance of evidence is that they are merely part of the current tactical and propaganda line and do not reflect a fundamental change. The most decisive evidence to this effect is the republication of Stalin's vows of fidelity to Lenin and his cause originally made before the Second Congress of Soviets on January 26, 1924. Toward the close Stalin says that "Lenin was the leader not only of the Russian proletariat, not only of the workers of Europe, not only of the colonial East, but also of the earth's entire toiling world." Then he makes his last vow, set off in boldfaced capitals from the rest of the text: "In departing from us, Comrade Lenin bequeathed to us fidelity to the principles of the Communist International. We swear to thee, Comrade Lenin, that we will not spare our life in order to strengthen and expand the union of toilers of the whole world -- the Communist International." [lxviii] In the light of this vow, repeatedly republished, Stalin's real view evidently is that the Comintern was dissolved only in form, not in spirit. Stalin's charge that the United States and Great Britain are not interested in agreement and coöperation with the U.S.S.R., made in the interview by a Pravda correspondent, are also to be read against this background.[lxix] The passages in Stalin's various interviews in which he indicates the possibility or desirability of coexistence and coöperation between capitalist and Socialist systems do not really contradict the strategic aim of world revolution because they refer to a temporary tactic.
The second paragraph in the long passage quoted above places the problem of the "final" victory of Socialism in one country within the wider context of world revolution, thus excluding the hypothesis that the more limited objective -- involving merely enough additional revolutions to end "capitalist encirclement" and provide security for the Soviet Union -- marks the outer limit of Stalin's program for Communist expansion. Further, the passage quoted indicates that the Soviet Union will first be prepared as a base, and only then, "after organizing its own Socialist production," will be used more aggressively to aid revolution abroad. This tallies with the predominant absorption of the Soviets with internal affairs during the earlier five-year plans. Further, the phrase does not define the stage at which production is to be considered adequately organized. Hence the prospect of three or more additional five-year plans, as announced in 1938 and again in 1946, may indicate that the base is still not ready for contemplated operations.
Finally, the passage definitely states that armed force will be used against capitalist governments if necessary. There thus is nothing except expediency to limit the aid which Stalin contemplates giving to revolutions abroad. However, the phrase "if necessary" indicates that armed force is not to be used by preference; ahead of it come propaganda and Communist Party control, by which is meant that the Soviet Union should attract to itself "the oppressed classes of other countries, raising revolts in these countries against the capitalists."[lxx]
The ultimate resort to armed force is a logical development of the Leninist thesis that only consciously-led revolution can drive the capitalists from the stage of history, as explained in the preceding section. The assumption that the world has been fundamentally divided into two camps since the October Revolution runs through Stalin's writings from his early days and is grounded in his Marxist philosophy.[lxxi] Stalin pictures the longrange evolution of the two camps as follows:
Most probably, in the course of development of the world revolution, side by side with the centers of imperialism in individual capitalist countries and the system of these countries throughout the world, centers of Socialism will be created in individual Soviet countries and a system of these centers throughout the world, and the struggle between these two systems will fill up the history of the development of the world revolution.[lxxii]
The systems are expected to be organized around two centers:
Thus in the course of further development of international revolution two centers will form on a world scale: a Socialist center, binding to itself the countries that gravitate to Socialism, and a capitalist center, binding to itself the countries that gravitate to capitalism. The struggle between these two centers for the possession of the world economy will decide the fate of capitalism and Communism in the whole world.[lxxiii]
The plan to make the Soviet Union the base for world revolution implies that it will be one of the two centers. Evidence will be presented later that the United States is expected to be the other. The ultimate inevitability of war to the finish between the two camps is made clear in one of Stalin's favorite quotations from Lenin: "We live . . . not only in a state but in a system of states, and the existence of the Soviet Republic side by side with the imperialist states for a long time is unthinkable. In the end either one or the other will conquer. And until that end comes, a series of the most terrible collisions between the Soviet Republic and the bourgeois states is inevitable."[lxxiv] Stalin appended to this forecast of inexorable wars a succinct, "Clear, one would think." Thus Stalin expects not merely one but several world wars before the end of capitalism.
At the very close of the struggle the forces of Socialism will be so superior that Stalin foresees an exception to the general rule that revolutionary violence is necessary to overthrow capitalism: "Of course, in the distant future, if the proletariat wins in the most important capitalist countries and if the present capitalist encirclement is replaced by a Socialist encirclement, a 'peaceful' path of development is fully possible for some capitalist countries, whose capitalists, in view of the 'unfavorable' international situation, will consider it expedient to make serious concessions to the proletariat 'voluntarily.'" [lxxv] The technique of "cold revolution," as it has been called, illustrated recently in Eastern Europe, may be interpreted as a variety of "Socialist encirclement" in that it also dispenses with the need for overt violence. In any case, the passage quoted excepts "the most important capitalist countries," and so does not apply to the United States.
Flexibility of Strategy and Tactics. We are now in a position to link Stalin's strategy and tactics with his conception of the "objective" conditions making for revolution. It is the business of strategy and tactics, he holds, to prepare the "subjective" conditions of revolution -- i.e. the mobilization of the proletariat and its allies -- and bring them into action at the most favorable times and places as determined by the development of the "objective" conditions.[lxxvi] More than this, preparation of the "subjective" conditions really involves gaining leadership of social forces which often in the first place develop spontaneously. Describing the skill shown by the Communist Party in Russia in 1917 in uniting "in one common revolutionary stream such different revolutionary movements as the general democratic movement for peace, the peasant democratic movement for seizure of the landed estates, the movement of the oppressed nationalities for national liberation and national equality, and the Socialist movement of the proletariat for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat," Stalin declares that "undoubtedly, the merging of these diverse revolutionary streams in one common, powerful revolutionary stream decided the fate of capitalism in Russia."[lxxvii]
In general, despite his comparatively rigid doctrinal framework, Stalin's conception of Communist strategy and tactics is highly flexible. It rests on a continual assessment of the status of forces in both the capitalist and the Socialist systems. Thus he writes: "Tactics, guiding itself by the directives of strategy and by experience of the revolutionary movement . . . calculating at every given moment the state of forces inside the proletariat and its allies (greater or less cultivation, greater or less degree of organization and class-consciousness, presence of particular traditions, presence of particular forms of movement, forms of organization, basic and secondary), as well as in the camp of the adversary, profiting by discord and every kind of confusion in the camp of the adversary -- marks out those concrete courses for winning the wide masses to the proletarian side and leading them to battle stations on the social front . . . which most surely pave the way for strategic successes." [lxxviii]
In view of this flexibility, and of the way in which Stalin expects Communist leadership to win control of many movements which originate spontaneously, it must be concluded that the "objective" conditions of revolution are not fixed quantities in Stalin's thinking, but rather interdependent variables which are to be manipulated to satisfy just one equation: revolution occurs where the Communist command concentrates superiority of forces at a point on the Capitalist front where the bourgeoisie can be isolated and overwhelmed. In other words, "revolutionary crises" do not have to be waited for; they can to some extent be organized; and an extremely favorable balance of outside aid can compensate to a considerable degree for a deficiency in favorable internal conditions.
For the period of world revolution, Stalin's grand strategy is to use the Soviet Union as a base linking the proletariat of the west with the movements for national liberation from imperialism in the east into "a single world front against the world front of imperialism." In this way he harnesses two of the major contradictions of capitalism to his chariot -- contradictions between proletariat and bourgeoisie, and contradictions between capitalist and colonial countries. The front thus formed is to be used to exploit the third contradiction of capitalism -- that between capitalist countries, whose rivalry for spheres of influence must lead periodically to war, the event most propitious for revolution.[lxxix]
One of the chief conditions to which tactics must be adjusted, according to Stalin, is the ebb and flow of the forces favoring revolution. Aggressive tactics should be timed with a rising tide; tactics of defense, the assemblage of forces, and even retreat go with an ebbing tide.[lxxx] The importance of gauging the direction of the tide is illustrated by Stalin's remarks in 1929 concerning a controversy with Bukharin, who apparently held that the "stabilization of capitalism" was persisting unchanged: "This question, comrades, is of decisive importance for the sections of the Comintern. Is the capitalist stabilization going to pieces or is it becoming more secure? On this the whole line of the Communist Parties in their day-to-day political work depends. Are we in a period of decline of the revolutionary movement . . . or are we in a period when the conditions are maturing for a new revolutionary rise, a period of preparing the working class for coming class battles -- on this depends the tactical position of the Communist Parties." Stalin holds that it is a period of revolutionary upswing.[lxxxi]
Stalin's insistence on flexibility of tactics is ground for a very important maxim in the interpretation of his public statements; one must avoid, if possible, mistaking a change in tactics for a change in fundamental doctrine and strategic objectives. The example of a change in tactics often thus mistaken is Stalin's remarks about peaceful coexistence of and coöperation between the Socialist and capitalist systems. The whole body of mutually reinforcing propositions in Stalin's philosophy adds up to a veritable religion of conflict and contradiction. This is described as not only inevitable but desirable, until revolution is achieved. Here we find further strong evidence that Stalin's statements on coöperation represent nothing deeper than a tactic.
Stalin first announced a period of "peaceful coexistence" for proletarian and bourgeois worlds in 1925, saying that the revolutionary movement was ebbing and capitalism achieving a temporary stabilization. But the context of his statement makes plain that he expected peaceful coexistence to be as temporary as the stabilization.[lxxxii] In 1927 he stated that capitalist stabilization was coming to an end and that the period of "peaceful coexistence" was likewise giving way to one of imperialist attacks. But he added that the Soviet Union must continue to pursue a policy of maintaining peace for the following reason:
We cannot forget the saying of Lenin to the effect that a great deal in the matter of our construction depends on whether we succeed in delaying war with the capitalist countries, which is inevitable but which may be delayed either until proletarian revolution ripens in Europe, or until the colonial revolutions come fully to a head, or, finally, until the capitalists fight among themselves over division of the colonies. Therefore the maintenance of peaceful relations with capitalist countries is an obligatory task for us.
The basis of our relations with capitalist countries consists in admitting the coexistence of two opposed systems.[lxxxiii]
This concern for peaceful relations in order to build the Socialist economy at home should be read in the context of the previous discussion in this paper of the Soviet Union as a base for world revolution; in that light, a peace policy is an intelligible tactic. Stalin continues to advocate it in the years after 1927, while at the same time urging the Communist Parties to adopt aggressive tactics in keeping with the end of capitalist stabilization.[lxxxiv] Thus appears an important variation of tactics on different levels of activity: peaceful coexistence for the Soviet Government, preparation for attack by Communist Parties.
The peace policy has another tactical function in Stalin's strategy of revolution. He notes how successfully the Communists capitalized on the general popular craving for peace during the October Revolution; accordingly he manœuvres the Soviet Union and the Communist Parties into position as apostles of peace, unmasking the imperialist "warmongers" in order to profit by popular sentiments for peace in the future. Particularly interesting in this connection is the way Stalin combines his peace stand with verbal onslaughts on Social Democratic pacifism as a mere mask of the warmongers.[lxxxv]
Apart from their bearing on peace, the tasks of developing trade and obtaining technological assistance from capitalist countries have a direct relationship to building the industrial base of the Soviet Union, especially during the early stage of the five-year plans. Stalin makes several unsentimental and businesslike proposals for improved relations along these lines, particularly with the United States.[lxxxvi] His fullest and frankest statement on coöperation between Soviet and capitalist worlds is made in 1927, shortly before his announcement that the capitalist stabilization is coming to an end. To the American Workers' Delegation, who asked to what extent such coöperation is possible and whether it has definite limits, Stalin replies:
The matter concerns, obviously, temporary agreements with capitalist states in the field of industry, in the field of trade, and, perhaps, in the field of diplomatic relations. I think that the presence of two opposed systems . . . does not exclude the possibility of such agreements. I think that such agreements are possible and expedient under conditions of peaceful development . . . .
The limits of these agreements? The limits are set by the opposition of the two systems, between which rivalry and struggle go on. Within the limits permitted by these two systems, but only within these limits, agreements are fully possible . . . .
Are these agreements merely an experiment or can they have more or less lasting character? That depends not only on us; that depends also on those who contract with us. That depends on the general situation. War can upset any agreement whatever . . . . [lxxxvii]
A few pages later the same interview reads: "Thus in the course of further development of international revolution two centers will form on a world scale: a Socialist center . . . and a capitalist center . . . . The struggle between these two centers for the possession of the world economy will decide the fate of capitalism and Communism in the whole world." This passage places coöperation clearly as a temporary tactic on the way to world revolution. When read against the foregoing as background, Stalin's statements to Howard, Duranty, Lyons, Werth, Elliott Roosevelt and Stassen, to the effect that the two systems can coexist and compete peacefully, appear not so much inconsistent with his basic principles as merely elliptical: he neglects to specify how long and on what terms. To that extent the effect is misleading, as we have seen, and properly comes under the heading of propaganda.
IV. REVOLUTION IN THE UNITED STATES
In a speech in the Comintern in May 1929, Stalin rebukes representatives of the American Communist Party for exaggerating the "specific traits" of American capitalism. The basis for the activities of all Communist Parties, he states, is the "common traits" of capitalism, which are fundamentally the same for all countries -- the specific traits of capitalism in a particular country merely supplement the general traits. This implies that Stalin makes no major exceptions on behalf of the United States in regard to the application of his theory of capitalism and his objective of world revolution. In April 1947, Stalin presents an unchanged view in his talk with Stassen: he even says that the economic systems of the United States and of Nazi Germany are identical -- namely, monopoly capitalism. When Stassen argues that the American system is really very different, he is politely but firmly parried.
As we have noted, Stalin's portrait of the capitalists paints them as utterly unprincipled and ruthless men, dominated by the lust for profits, to which they are willing to sacrifice all else. In his interview with Lyons (intended for publication in America and appealing for better business relations) he remarks, apropos of the alleged sanctity of the old war debts, which were a stumbling block: "Since when has the bourgeoisie placed principle above money?" In his report to the Eighteenth Congress in 1939, he complains of the policies of the United States and other countries toward Germany and Japan, and declares: "Far be it from me to moralize on the policy of nonintervention, to talk of treason, of treachery, etc. It is naïve to read a moral to people who do not recognize human morality." [lxxxviii] To Wells in 1934, he says that American or other capitalists will never permit abolition of unemployment because they need a "reserve army of unemployed" to ensure cheap labor; capitalists are "riveted to profit" and "see nothing except their own interest." The government is merely their tool: if Roosevelt seriously threatens private property and the profit system, they will put in another president.
How does Stalin regard Americans in general? His admiration for American technological prowess and business efficiency are well known. To Ludwig in 1931 he also mentions the democratic simplicity of American manners; but he denies "worship of everything American." As far as Soviet sympathies with the majority of any other nation are concerned, those with the Germans are beyond comparision with "our feelings toward Americans." [lxxxix] On no occasion does Stalin appeal to lasting ties of sentiment or culture as a basis for coöperation with the United States. Even to Howard in 1936 he specifies that neither of the rival systems will evolve into the other. "The Soviet system will not grow into American democracy, and vice versa." The utterly unsentimental basis of Stalin's approach to coöperation despite ideological differences is made particularly clear by his statement to Stassen in 1947 that the Soviet Union would have coöperated with Germany as much as with any other capitalist country if Germany had desired. Stalin bids for coöperation on the basis of interest, such as maintaining peace and securing profitable trade.
Stalin has long evinced a belief that proletarian forces are backward in the United States. To the American Labor Delegation in 1927 he comments that American labor leaders are "reactionary" and "reformist," and points to the small fraction of workers who are unionized. He also observes that both political parties are bourgeois, and asks: "Don't you Comrades consider that the absence of your own mass workers' party, if only one like the English [Labor Party], weakens the strength of the working class in its political struggle with capitalism?" In 1947 he remarks to Stassen that he sees little difference between Democrats and Republicans. Likewise in speaking to American Communist Party representatives in 1929 he attacks them for "rightist factionalism," saying: "It cannot be denied that American life offers an environment which favors the Communist Party's falling into error and exaggerating the strength and stability of American capitalism."[xc] He has said nothing since to indicate a change of opinion. Thus such evidence as his writings afford points to an expectation that the United States will be one of the last countries to go Communist.
This conclusion is reinforced by Stalin's views on the American economy. He notes that the United States -- "the chief country of capitalism, its stronghold" -- is hardest hit by the economic crisis of 1929, and that the crisis of 1937 originates here. But he also observes that the country leads world recovery in 1925 and 1933, and in 1939 he implies that it will pull out of the later crisis.[xci] Thus the United States is the center of the capitalist world system, its "stronghold," and, though affected by the general decadence of capitalism, shows some remnants of health in its powers of recovery. As early as 1925 Stalin observes that the center of capitalist financial power is moving across the Atlantic, and he describes how the United States, with England as partner, is becoming the hub of the capitalist system. . . ."two chief, but opposed, centers of attraction are being formed," he writes, "and, in conformity with this, two directions of pull toward these centers throughout the world: Anglo-America . . . and the Soviet Union . . . "[xcii] In the years immediately following, Stalin sees the United States and England becoming rivals rather than partners, but at no time up to the present has he implied that the United States has ceased to be the center of world capitalism. To Stassen in 1947 he comments on the unique opportunities for rapid economic development enjoyed by this country from the beginning, and also points out that with the elimination of Germany and Japan as competitors it has access to world markets as never before, and thus has opportunity for further development.
Thus Stalin's conception of the United States as the "stronghold of capitalism" dovetails with his picture of the future course of world revolution. The United States is expected to be the center of the rival world system which finally must clash with the Soviet system until capitalism goes down and Socialism conquers the world. This means that Stalin expects revolution in the United States only near the end of the "epoch of world revolution." [xciii] As he declares to the American Commission of the Comintern in 1929, "when a revolutionary crisis has developed in America, that will be the beginning of the end of all world capitalism."
V. THE NEXT PHASE
Thus it is probable that Stalin hardly expected revolution to occur in the United States during World War II or its aftermath. But the evidence presented in the present article makes it likely that his perspective on this period was (and is) as follows:
(1) The time for the next harvest of revolution is at hand. The world war, predicted since 1927, has come to pass, and the upheaval it has created will bring to a climax the contradictions of capitalism in a way that will make revolution possible in "a number of countries in Europe and Asia." [xciv] Precisely such revolution is required to guarantee once and for all that the forces of capitalism will not obliterate Socialism (even in the U.S.S.R. itself) and compel the whole process to begin again from scratch. Therefore the minimum revolutionary objective for World War II and its aftermath is to bring enough countries into the Soviet camp to effect such a guarantee.
(2) The "law of ebb and flow" implies that unless the whole of capitalism collapses under the present revolutionary wave, the surviving remnant will temporarily stabilize itself a few years after the end of the war and an ebb in the tide of revolution will set in: the revolutionary objective for World War II must therefore be consolidated before the tide begins to ebb. This imparts a certain urgency to revolutionary tactics in the immediate postwar period.
(3) Though the Soviet Union has not yet equalled the United States in industrial production per capita, its industrial and military strength has increased greatly since 1928, and with the defeat of Germany and Japan its relative strength among the Powers of Europe and Asia will be enormous. Therefore the Soviet Union will be in position to serve as base for much more active fostering of revolutionary movements in other countries, though not ready to establish Communism throughout the world. This indicates a much more aggressive tactic toward other countries, but not so aggressive as deliberately to bring on war for world hegemony in the immediate future.
The success of this tactic would depend in part, according to Stalin's theory of revolution, on the extent to which the critical areas were isolated from foreign influences hostile to revolution. This gives a major clue to Stalin's war and postwar policies toward Britain and the United States. Many of them can be regarded as a delaying action: by retarding realization on the part of these countries of what is really going on, then minimizing efforts to intervene as realization gradually dawns, they, in effect, tend to isolate the "bourgeoisie" in the countries singled out for revolution until Communist control is established. Stalin's profession of nonaggressive war aims served to lull suspicion. So did the dissolution of the Comintern and his comments thereon. So did his statements on the possibility of coexistence and coöperation and the necessity for unanimity among the big Powers after the war. These and similar moves imposed a serious reluctance on the part of the Allies to do or say anything that could be construed as a breach in the spirit of wartime collaboration. When at last Allied public opinion began to denounce Soviet or Communist actions, the same statements served as a basis for propaganda counterattack. Stalin launched this attack with his comments on Churchill's speech at Fulton, declaring it a "dangerous act," sowing discord among the Allies, harming the cause of peace and security, in short, warmongering.[xcv] Thereafter those who like Churchill object to Soviet policies in Eastern Europe and elsewhere are denounced as "warmongers," and an attempt is made to mobilize against them the popular craving for peace.
Even the United Nations has to some extent been exploited by Stalin's tactics. The possibility of using the veto to cripple Allied action in revolutionary areas is obvious. But if, as some think, Stalin might prefer a deal based on spheres of influence to the United Nations pattern, such an arrangement could be depended on to further, not to limit, revolutionary operations. Within his sphere Stalin would have a free hand, and Communist action would also continue across the demarcation line into the other sphere.
When Stalin looks to the more distant future, the United States, which has emerged from the last war more truly than ever the "stronghold of capitalism," probably continues to figure in his thinking as it has done in his basic writings since the mid-1920's -- as the center around which the capitalist system will form for the final war to the death between the two systems. Meanwhile, Stalin (Pravda, February 10, 1946) projects further industrial expansion in the Soviet Union on a scale which suggests, other factors aside, that the climactic struggle will not be risked before 15 or 20 years have elapsed. Stalin's theory of "ebb and flow" would lead him to expect a new stabilization of capitalism within a few years, followed some years later by another wave of crisis and revolution generated by capitalism's inexorable contradictions. He apparently is timing completion of the Soviet base of operations for the crest of this next wave. Tactics of the moment may swing this way or that, but the Marxist doctrine to which he is committed is uncompromisingly revolutionary. In that doctrine, world Communism is the supreme aim, Soviet power the major instrument by which it will be achieved.
[i] "Sochineniia," Vol. I, 1946, p. xi. The author of the present study found only one other instance in which Stalin in his mature years modified an earlier statement. "K voprosam Leninizma" (1926) quotes the original version of one paragraph in "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924), relating to the victory of Socialism in one country, and points out its inadequacy; and subsequent versions of "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" contain a revised wording of the passage. ("Voprosy Leninizma," 11th ed., 1945, p. 25, 137.)
[ii] Bol'shevik, May 1941, p. 1.
[iii] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 14.
[iv] Pravda, Oct. 2, 1946, p. 2.
[v] "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 339; "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 598.
[vi] "Otchetnyi doklad t. Stalina na XVIII s"ezde partii o rabote TsK VKP (b)" (1939 to present), "XVIII s"ezd. Stenograficheskii otchet," Moscow, 1939, p. 31.
[vii] This quotation and the quotations used in the preceding three paragraphs are from "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 101, 102, 104, 105.
[viii] "I. Stalin, Beseda c nemetskim pisatelem Emilem Liudvigom," Bol'shevik, April 30, 1932, p. 33.
[ix] The quotations in this paragraph and the preceding three paragraphs are from "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 103, 105, 106, 110, 114, 117.
[x] "Beseda t. Stalina c angliiskim pisatelem G. D. Uellsom" (1934-1939), Bol'shevik, Sept. 15, 1934, p. 8; "Zapis' besedy tov. I. V. Stalina c deiatelem respublikanskoi partii SShA Garol'dom Stassenom," Pravda, May 8, 1947, p. 1.
[xi] "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 120, 15; "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 54, 60, 74.
[xii] Ibid., p. 14.
[xiii] To Wells, loc. cit. p. 13.
[xiv] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 26; "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 11.
[xv] "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 117, 121.
[xvi] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 3, 17; "XVI s"ezd" (1930-1939), Pravda, June 29, 1930, p. 1; "XVII s"ezd" (1934 to present), Pravda, Jan. 28, 1934, p. 1; "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 117, 121, 288.
[xvii] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 17, 55.
[xviii] Ibid., p. 18.
[xix] Pravda, Dec. 18, 1929, p. 3.
[xx] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 3, 17.
[xxi] Ibid., p. 3, 17; Pravda, Feb. 10, 1946, p. 1.
[xxii] "XVI s"ezd" (1930-1939), Pravda, June 29, 1930, p. 1.
[xxiii] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 25, 32; "K voprosam Leninizma" (1926 to present), ibid., p. 140; "O nedostatkakh partiinoi raboty i merakh likvidatsii trotskistskikh i inykh dvurushnikov," Pravda, March 29, 1938, p. 2; "Otvet t-shchu IVANOVU Ivanu Filippovichu," Pravda, Feb. 14, 1938, p. 3; "Otchetnyi doklad" (1939 to present), "XVIII s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 32; "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 261.
[xxiv] "Itogi prevoi piatiletki" (1933 to present), Pravda, Jan. 10, 1933, p. 1. The example of the Stalin Constitution is likewise expected to exert such a revolutionizing force. Pravda, Nov. 26, 1936, p. 3.
[xxv] "XVI s"ezd" (1930-1939), Pravda, June 29, 1930, p. 1.
[xxvi] Ibid., p. 1; "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 117, 121; to Wells (1934-1939), Bol'shevik, Sept. 15, 1934, P. 9.
[xxvii] "XVI s"ezd" (1930-1939), Pravda, June 29, 1930, p. 1. See also "XVII s"ezd" (1934 to present), Pravda, Jan. 28, 1934, p. 1; "Otchetnyi doklad" (1939 to present), "XVIII s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 11.
[xxviii] "XVI s"ezd" (1930-1939), Pravda, June 29, 1930, p. 1; "Otchetnyi doklad" (1939 to present), "XVIII s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 9.
[xxix] Stalin mentions, but does not give statistics on, bankruptcies, ruin of peasants, falling prices, maintenance of monopoly prices at the expense of restricting production, bank failures, trade wars, dumping, currency wars. In 1939 he gives statistics on gold reserves as evidence that the avoidance of economic crisis in Fascist countries is only temporary. See "XVI s"ezd" (1930-1939), Pravda, June 29, 1930, p. 1; "XVII s"ezd" (1934 to present), Pravda, Jan. 28, 1934, p. 1; "Otchetnyi doklad" (1939 to present), "XVIII s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 10.
[xxx] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 19.
[xxxi] Ibid., p. 25.
[xxxii] Stalin uses the term "crisis" in so many ways that we must not jump to conclusions from a particular statement. Besides "revolutionary crisis" he speaks of "economic crises," "general crisis of capitalism," "crisis of world capitalism," etc. So "crisis" does not necessarily mean "revolutionary crisis." Moreover, "revolutionary crisis" does not necessarily mean revolution, for leadership may fail to take advantage of the situation. Again, "revolutionary crisis" sometimes means the full ripeness of the objective conditions for revolution, sometimes the long period of rising tensions which in some cases culminates in ripeness, for which Stalin sometimes employs a special term, "the immediate revolutionary situation." On the latter see Pravda, Feb. 10, 1930, p. 2.
[xxxiii] "Sochineniia," Vol. V, p. 73.
[xxxiv] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 23, 56, 60; "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 65.
[xxxv] Stalin does not formulate this condition definitely, but it is a clear implication of: 1, his thesis that capitalism is now a world system and revolution the product of forces throughout the system; 2, his emphasis on the international ties of the bourgeoisie and the constant threat of intervention from that quarter (e.g. "Ob osnovakh Leninizma," "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 26); 3, his statement that the proletariats of capitalist states, and the state in which Socialism has already won, will assist the proletariats in other countries to achieve revolution. See "Oktiabr'skaia revoliutsiia i taktika russkikh kommunistov" (1924 to present), ibid., p. 104. The topic of outside aid for revolution includes conscious leadership and will be dealt with later in this study.
[xxxvi] "Politicheskii otchet TsK" (1927), "XV s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 44; "Ob itogakh iiul'skogo plenum TsK VKP (b)" (1928), "Voprosy," 9th ed., 1932, p. 336; "XVI s"ezd" (1930-1939), Pravda, June 29, 1930, p. 1; "XVII s"ezd" (1934 to present), Pravda, Jan. 28, 1934, p. 1.
[xxxvii] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 4.
[xxxviii] Ibid., p. 56. Stalin here used term "reserves" to include all favorable factors, not merely men.
[xxxix] "XVII s"ezd" (1934 to present), Pravda, Jan. 28, 1934, p. 1. The inevitability of war is the central theme of the foreign affairs section of each of Stalin's reports to the Party Congresses from 1925 to the last one in 1939; the direct connection with revolution is obvious in each case, and made explicit in most.
[xl] "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 162.
[xli] Pravda, May 1, 1942.
[xlii] Pravda, Feb. 10, 1946, p. 1.
[xliii] "XVII s"ezd" (1934 to present), Pravda, Jan. 28, 1934, p. 1.
[xliv] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 48, 3, 17, 54; "XIV s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 12; "XV s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 44; "Sochineniia," Vol. IV, p. 166, 238, 378.
[xlv] "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 214, 338; "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 54.
[xlvi] "Oktiabr'skaia revoliutsiia i taktika russkikh kommunistov" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 102.
[xlvii] "K itogam rabot XIV konferentsii RKP(b)" (1925-1934), "Voprosy," 9th ed., 1932, p. 109, 111; "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 55; "Beseda s inostrannymi rabochimi delegatsiiami," "Voprosy," 9th ed., 1932, p. 301; "XV s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 44; "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 27, 80, 84, 127, 138, 140, 221, 258.
[xlviii] "XVII s"ezd" (1934 to present), Pravda, Jan. 28, 1934, p. 1; "Politicheskii otchet TsK" (1927), "XV s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 38, 44; "XVI s"ezd" (1930-1939), Pravda, June 29, 1930, p. 1.
[xlix] "Otchetnyi doklad" (1939 to present), "XVIII s"ezd," p. 11.
[l] For references in this and the following two paragraphs, see "Istoriia" (1938 to present), especially p. 11, 36, 105, 337, 343, 110, 111, 16, 45, 339.
[li] "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 40, 45, 135, 337, 343; see also "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 64-75.
[lii] "O proekte konstitusii Soiuza S.S.R." (1936 to present), Pravda, Nov. 26, 1926. p. 3.
[liii] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 66.
[liv] "XVII s"ezd" (1934 to present), Pravda, Jan. 28, 1934, p. 1; see also "Beseda s pervoi amerikanskoi rabochei delegatsiei" (1927-1939), "Voprosy," 9th ed., 1932, p. 266; "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 337.
[lv] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 63. See also "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 127, 133, 136, 151.
[lvi] Stalin remarks that he and other younger members of the Central Committee were required by Lenin to study the fundamentals of warfare. ("Otvet tov. Stalina na pis'mo Razina," Bol'shevik, Feb. 1947, p. 6.)
[lvii] "Sochineniia," Vol. V, p. 62; see also p. 162.
[lviii] "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 40, 38; "Sochineniia," Vol. V (1947), p. 63, 162.
[lix] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 54 (italics added); see also "Sochineniia," Vol. V, p. 173-180; "K itogam rabot XIV konferentsii RKP (b)" (1925-1934), "Voprosy," 9th ed., 1932, p. 110.
[lx] "Oktiabr'skaia revoliutsiia i taktika russkikh kommunistov" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 104. The latter part of this passage, including the reference to using armed force, is a quotation from Lenin which Stalin employs also in "K voprosam Leninizma" (1926 to present), ibid., p. 142, and in "K itogam rabot XIV konferentsii RKP (b)" (1925-1934), "Voprosy," 9th ed., 1932, p. 122. This repetition in widely circulated works is added evidence that Stalin means every word.
[lxi] See the statement to Ludwig above, and the vow of fidelity to the principles of the Comintern quoted below; also "Mezhdunarodnyi kharakter oktiabr'skoi revoliutsii" (1927, 1934 to present), "Voprosy" 11th ed., 1945, p. 179; "Sochineniia, Vol. IV, p. 166, 238 and Vol. V, p. 85, 169, 179; "K itogam rabot XIV konferentsii RKP (b)" (1925-1934), "Voprosy," 9th ed., 1932, p. 132. This list of corroborating passages is by no means exhaustive.
[lxii] "Beseda tovarishcha Stalina c predsedatelem amerikanskogo gazetnogo ob"edineniia 'Skripps-Govard N'iuspeipers' g-nom Roi Govardom," Pravda, March 5, 1936, p. 2.
[lxiii] The denial that the U.S.S.R. ever had "such plans and intentions" amounts to denying that it had ever given aid to revolutions abroad, e.g. to China. The import of the statement for the future can be no greater than its application to the past.
[lxiv] Loc. cit., p. 1.
[lxv] "XVII godovshchina velikoi oktiabr'skoi sotsialisticheskoi revoliutsii," Pravda, Nov. 7, 1944, p. 2.
[lxvi] "Otvety tov. Stalina I. V. na voprosy prezidenta amerikanskogo agentstva Iunaited Press g-na Kh'iu Beili," Pravda, Oct. 3, 1946, p. 1.
[lxvii] "Otvet tov. I. V. Stalina na vopros glavnogo korrespondenta angliiskogo agentstva Reiter," Pravda, May 30, 1943, p. 1.
[lxviii] "Po povodu smerti Lenina," in V. I. Lenin, "Izbrannye proizvedeniia v dvukh tomakh," 4th ed., Moscow, printing of 1946, Vol. I, p. 8, which in turn refers to Stalin's "O Lenine," 1942, p. 17-22. The vow is also quoted in "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 257. Thus it has been widely circulating in at least three authoritative versions during the current period.
[lxix] Pravda, Oct. 29, 1948.
[lxx] Stalin's belief in the necessity for strict Party discipline on an international and not merely a national scale is illustrated in his speeches in the Comintern in May 1929, in which he castigates members of the American delegation for refusing to accept a decision of the Presidium disciplining American Party leaders: debate and criticism are permissible in advance of decision, he concludes, but once a decision is made all must accept it, else there can be no "collective direction." ("O pravykh fraktsionerakh v amerikanskoi kompartii," Bol'shevik, Jan. 15, 1930, p. 8-26.)
[lxxi] "Sochineniia", Vol. IV, p. 232, 380; "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 26, 54; "K voprosam Leninizma" (1926 to present), ibid., p. 113, 140; "Itogi pervoi piatiletki" (1933 to present), Pravda, Jan. 10, 1933, p. 1; "Privetstvie tov. I. V. Stalina," Pravda, Sept. 7, 1947, p. 1. These are only a few of the many passages which reflect a two-world conception.
[lxxii] "Oktiabr'skaia revoliutsiia i taktika russkikh kommunistov" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 105.
[lxxiii] "Beseda s pervoi amerikanskoi rabochei delegatsiei" (1927-1939), "Voprosy," 9th ed., 1932, p. 287; also reproduced in the introductory section of a popular edition of Lenin's works, "Izbrannye proizvedeniia v dvukh tomakh," 4th ed., Moscow, printing of 1946, Vol. I, p. 28. See also "K itogam rabot XIV konferentsii RKP (b)" (1925-1934), "Voprosy," 9th ed., 1932, p. 111; "Politicheskii otchet TsK" (1925), "XIV s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 19; "Ob itogakh iiul'skogo plenuma TsK VKP (b)" (1928-1934), "Voprosy," 9th ed., 1932, p. 338.
[lxxiv] "K voprosam Leninizma" (1926 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 140; see also p. 113. Quoted again in "Otvet t-shchu IVANOVU Ivanu Filippovichu," Pravda, Feb. 14, 1938, p. 3.
[lxxv] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 32. On Socialist encirclement see also "XVIII s"ezd Sten. otchet," (1939 to present), p. 33, 36.
[lxxvi] "Sochineniia," Vol. V, p. 62, 74, 161; "O pravykh fraktsionerakh v amerikanskoi kompartii," Bol'shevik, Jan. 15, 1930, p. 13, 23; "Voprosy sverdlovtsev i otvet t. Stalina," Pravda, Feb. 10, 1930, p. 2.
[lxxvii] "Istoriia" (1938 to present), p. 204.
[lxxviii] "O politicheskoi strategii i taktike russkikh kommunistov" (written 1921, first published 1947), "Sochineniia," Vol. V, p. 63.
[lxxix] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 17, 54; "Sochineniia," Vol. IV, p. 166, 238, 378.
[lxxx] "Ob osnovakh Leninizma" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 55; "Sochineniia," Vol. V, p. 64.
[lxxxi] "O pravom uklone v VKP (b)" (1929 to present), Bol'shevik, Dec. 1929, p. 20.
[lxxxii] "XIV s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 8, 10, 17; "K itogam rabot XIV Konferentsii," "Voprosy," 9th ed., 1932, p. 110.
[lxxxiii] "XV s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 47.
[lxxxiv] On aggressive tactics, see "O pravom uklone v VKP (b)" (1929 to present), Bol'shevik, Dec. 1929, p. 15-49 (including passage quoted immediately above in text); "O pravykh fraktsionerakh v amerikanskoi kompartii," Bol'shevik, Jan. 15, 1930, p. 8-26.
[lxxxv] "Ob itogakh iiul'skogo plenuma TsK VKP (b)," "Voprosy," 9th ed., 1932, p. 336; "Otchetnyi doklad" (1939 to present), "XVIII s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 15; "Oktiabr'skaia Revoliutsiia" (1924 to present), "Voprosy," 11th ed., 1945, p. 78.
[lxxxvi] "Gospodin Kempbell priviraet," Bol'shevik, Nov. 30, 1932, p. 12; interview reported by Eugene Lyons, New York Herald Tribune, Nov. 24, 1930, p. 1, 2.
[lxxxvii] "Beseda c pervoi amerikanskoi rabochei delegatsiei" (1927-1939), "Voprosy," 9th ed., 1932, p. 280, 287.
[lxxxviii] "Otchetnyi doklad (1939 to present), "XVIII s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 14.
[lxxxix] To Emil Ludwig, Bol'shevik, April 30, 1932, p. 38.
[xc] "O pravykh fraktsionerakh v amerikanskoi kompartii," Bol'shevik, Jan. 15, 1930, p. 8.
[xci] "XVI s"ezd" (1930-1939), Pravda, June 29, 1930, p. 1; "Politicheskii otchet" (1925), "XIV s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 11; "Politicheskii otchet" (1927), p. 38; "XVII-omu s"ezdu" (1934 to present), Pravda, Jan. 28, 1934, p. 1; "Otchetnyi doklad" (1939 to present), "XVIII s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 9.
[xcii] "XIV s"ezd. Sten. otchet," p. 10, 19.
[xciii] The factor of geographical position obviously supports such a view also. Stalin recognizes that proximity is an important factor in assisting revolution in another country from the Soviet base. Among the unfavorable circumstances of the October Revolution in Russia he mentions "the absence, next to it or in its neighborhood, of a Soviet country which it could lean upon. Undoubtedly, a future revolution, in Germany for example, would be in a more favorable situation in this respect, for it has nearby so powerful a Soviet country as our Soviet Union." "Voprosy" (1924 to present), 11th ed., 1945, p. 79.
[xciv] "XVII s"ezd" (1934 to present), p. 1.
[xcv] "Interv'iu tov. I.V. Stalina s korrespondentom 'Pravdy' otnositel'no rechi g. Cherchillia," Pravda, March 14, 1946, p. 1.