THE 'CULT OF THE
read by Bill Bland to the Stalin Society in May 1991.
Bland was the founder of the Stalin Society (UK), but was
expelled some years later for daring to challenge assumptions
("truths") about Mao and the Comintern, and only finally re-instated as
a member just before his death.
He detested all attempts at refusal to deal honestly with facts.
He put this to good example here, in this speech on the Cult of
Personality surrounding Stalin.
Members of the Stalin Society objected to its novel interpretations of
how and who had erected this cult.
This talk took many iterations in Bill's life, but started as a talk to
the Youth of the Communist League in 1976. It remains
On 14 February 1956 Nikita Khrushchev,
(Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet revisionist politician (1894-1971); First
Secretary of Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1953-64); Premier
(1958-64) then First Secretary of the Central
the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, publicly, but obliquely,
attacked Stalin at the 20th Congress of the Party:
"It is of paramount
re-establish and to strengthen in every way the Leninist principle of
collective leadership. . . .The Central Committee . . . vigorously
condemns the cult of the individual as being alien to the spirit of
Marxism-Leninism". (N. S. Khrushchev: Report to the Central Committee,
20th Congress of the CPSU, February 1056; London; 1956; p. 80-81).
In his 'secret speech' to the same Congress on 25 February (leaked to
the US State Department but not published within the Soviet Union)
attacked Stalin more directly, asserting that
the cult of the
individual acquired such monstrous size chiefly because Stalin himself,
using all conceivable methods, supported the glorification of his own
(Russian Institute, Columbia University (Ed.): 'The Anti-Stalin
Campaign and International Communism'; New York; 1956; p. 69).
Yet many witnesses testify to Stalin's simplicity and modesty.
The French writer Henri Barbusse (1873-1935)
describes the simplicity of Stalin's life-style:
"One goes up to the first
white curtains hang over three of the windows. These three windows are
Stalin's home. In the tiny hall a long military cloak hangs on a peg
beneath a cap. In addition to this hall there are three bedrooms and a
dining-room. The bedrooms are as simply furnished as those of a
respectable, second-class hotel. . . The eldest
Jasheka, sleeps at night in the dining room, on a divan which is
converted into a bed; the younger sleeps in a tiny recess, a sort of
alcove opening out of it. . Each month he earns the five hundred
roubles which constitute the meagre maximum salary of the officials of
the Communist Party (amounting to between £20 and
English money). . . . This frank and brilliant man is a simple
man. He does not employ thirty-two secretaries, like Mr. Lloyd George;
he has only one. . .
gives credit for all progress made to Lenin, whereas the credit has
been in very large measure his own."
(H. Barbusse: 'Stalin: A New World seen through One Man';
London; 1935; p. vii, viii, 291, 294).
True, Stalin had the use of a dacha,
or country cottage, but here too his life was equally simple, as his
"It was the same with the
dacha at Kuntsevo. . . .
My father lived on the ground floor. He lived in one room and made it
do for everything. He slept on the sofa, made up at night as a
(S. Alliluyeva: 'Letters to a Friend'; London; 1967; p. 28).
The Albanian leader Enver
Marxist-Leninist politician (1908-85); leader of the Communist Party of
Albania (later the Party of Labour of Albania)(1941- 85); Prime
Minister (1944-54); Minister of Foreign Affairs (1946-54) describes
Stalin as 'modest' and 'considerate':
"Stalin was no tyrant, no
was a man of principle; he was just, modest and very kindly and
considerate towards people, the cadres and his
(E. Hoxha: 'With Stalin: Memoirs'; Tirana; 1979; p. 14-15).
The British Fabians Sidney
Beatrice Webb (Sidney Webb, British economist (1859-1947);
Beatrice Webb, British economist and sociologist (1858-1943),
their monumental work 'Soviet Communism": A New Civilisation',
emphatically reject the notion that Stalin exercised dictatorial power:
the will of a single person, Josef Stalin.
"Sometimes it is asserted
whole state is governed by the will of a single person, Josef Stalin .
. First let it be
noted that, unlike
Mussolini, Hitler and other modern dictators, Stalin is not invested by
law with any authority over his fellow-citizens. He has not even the
extensive power . . . . .which the American Constitution entrusts for
four years to every successive president. . . . .Stalin is not, and
never has been, . . . . the President of the USSR. . . . .He is not
even a People's Commissar, or member of the
He is . . . the General
We do not think that the Party is governed by the will of a single
person, or that Stalin is the sort of person to claim or desire such a
position. He has himself very explicitly denied any such personal
dictatorship in terms which certainly accord with our own impression of
The Communist Party in the USSR has adopted for its own organisation
the pattern which we have described. . . . . . In this pattern
individual dictatorship has no place. Personal decisions are
distrusted, and elaborately guarded against. In order to avoid the
mistakes due to bias, anger, jealousy, vanity and other distempers . .
. . it is desirable that the individual will should always be
controlled by the necessity of gaining the assent of colleagues of
equal grade, who have candidly discussed the matter and who have to
make themselves jointly responsible for the decision. . . . .Stalin . .
. . has . . . . frequently pointed out that he does no more than carry
out the decisions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. . .
The plain truth is that, surveying the administration of the USSR
during the past decade under the alleged dictatorship of Stalin,
principal decisions have manifested neither the promptitude nor the
timeliness, nor yet the fearless obstinacy that have often been claimed
as the merits of a dictatorship. On the contrary, the action of the
Party has frequently been taken after consideration-so prolonged, and
as the outcome of discussion sometimes so heated and embittered, as to
bear upon their formulation the marks of hesitancy and lack of
assurance. . . .These policies have borne . . . . the stigmata of
(S. & B. Webb: 'Soviet Communism: A New Civilisation'; London;
p.. 4231, 432, 433, 435).
Perhaps Barbusse, Hoxha and the Webbs may be considered biased
witnesses. Yet observers who are highly critical of Stalin agree with
the testimony of the former.
The American diplomat Joseph Davies
(Joseph Davies, American lawyer and diplomat (1876-1958); Chairman
(1915-16) and Vice-Chairman (1916-18) of Federal Trade Commission;
Ambassador to Moscow (1936-38), to Belgium (1938-39)
remarks on Stalin's simple, kindly manner:
"I was startled to see the
door . . .
open and Mr. Stalin come into the room alone.. . . . His
demeanour is kindly, his manner almost depreciatingly simple. . . .He
greeted me cordially with a smile and with great simplicity, but also
with a real dignity. . . .
His brown eye is
exceedingly kindly and gentle. A child would like to sit in his lap and
a dog would sidle up to him".
(J. E. Davies: 'Mission to Moscow'; London; 1940; p. 222, 230).
Isacc Don Levine
(Issac Don Levine, Russian-born American newspaper correspondent
(1892-1981) writes in his hostile biography of
"Stalin does not seek
loathes pomp. He is averse to public displays. He could have all the
nominal regalia in the chest of a great state. But he prefers the
(I. D. Levine: 'Stalin: A Biography'; London; 1931; p. 248-49).
Another hostile critic, Louis Fischer
(Louis Fischer, American writer (1896-1970), testifies to
Stalin's 'capacity to listen':
"Stalin . . .
inspires the Party
with his will-power and calm. Individuals in contact with him admire
his capacity to listen and his skill in improving on the suggestions
and drafts of highly intelligent subordinates".
(L. Fischer: Article in: 'The Nation', Volume 137 (9 August 1933); p.
Eugene Lyons (Eugene
Lyons, Russian-born American writer (1898-1985), in his
biography entitled 'Stalin: Czar of All the Russias', describes
Stalin's simple way of life:
"Stalin lives in a modest
three rooms. . . . In his everyday life his tastes remained
simple almost to the point of crudeness. .. Even those who
him with a desperate hate and blamed him for sadistic cruelties never
accused him of excesses in his private
Those who measure 'success' by millions of dollars, yachts and
mistresses find it hard to understand power relished in
There was nothing remotely ogre-like in his looks or conduct, nothing
theatrical in his manner. A pleasant, earnest, ageing man -- evidently
willing to be friendly to the first foreigner whom, he had admitted to
his presence in years. 'He's a thoroughly likeable person', I remember
thinking as we sat there, and thinking it in
(E. Lyons: 'Stalin: Czar of All the Russias'; Philadelphia;
1940; p. 196, 200).
Lyons asked Stalin. "Are you a dictator?":
"Stalin smiled, implying
that the question was on the preposterous side.
'No', he said slowly, 'I am no dictator. Those who use the word do not
understand the Soviet system of government and the methods of the
Soviet system of government and the methods of the Communist Party. No
one man or group of men can dictate. Decisions are made by the Party
and acted upon by its organs, the Central Committee and the Politburo"'.
(E. Lyons: ibid.; p. 203).
The Finnish revisionist Arvo Tuominen
(Arvo Tuominen, Finnish revisionist politician (1894-1981)
-- strongly hostile to Stalin -- comments in his book 'The Bells of the
Kremlin' on Stalin's personal self -effacement:
"In his speeches and
always withdrew into the background, speaking only of communism, the
Soviet power and the Party, and stressing that he was really a
representative of the idea and the organisation, nothing more.. . . . I
never noticed any signs of vainglory in Stalin".
(A. Tuominen: 'The Bells of the Kremlin'; Hanover (New Hampshire, USA);
1983; p. 155, 163).
and expresses surprise at the contrast between the real Stalin and the
propaganda picture spread of him:
"During my many years in
Moscow I never
stopped marvelling at the contrast between the man and the colossal
likenesses that had been made of him. That medium-sized, slightly
pock-marked Causasian with a moustache was as far removed as could be
from that stereotype of a dictator. But at the same time the propaganda
was proclaiming his superhuman abilities".
(A. Tuominen: ibid.,; p. 155).
The Soviet marshal Georgy Zhukov (Georgy
Zhukov, Soviet military officer (1896-1974); Chief of Staff (1941);
Marshal (1943); Minister of Defence (1955-57) speaks of
Stalin's 'lack of affectation':
"Free of affectation and
(Stalin -- Ed.) won the heart of everyone he talked
(G. K. Zhukov: 'The
Memoirs of Marshal Zhukov'; London; 1971; p. 283).
Stalin's daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva
(Svetlana Alliluyeva, Stalin's daughter (1926- )
is gullible enough to accept almost every slander circulated about her
father, but even she dismisses the charge that he himself engineered
the 'cult' of his personality. She describes a train trip with Stalin
from the Crimea to Moscow in 1948:
"As we pulled in at the
stations we'd go for a stroll along the platform. My father walked as
far as the engine, giving greetings to the railway workers as he went.
You couldn't see a single passenger. It was a special train and no one
was allowed on the platform. Who ever thought such a thing up? . . . .
Who had contrived all these stratagems? Not he. It was the system of
which he himself was a prisoner and in which he suffered from
loneliness, emptiness and lack of human companionship. . . Nowadays
when I read or hear somewhere that my father used to consider himself
practically a god, it amazes me that people who knew him well can even
say such a thing.. . . He never thought of himself as a
(S. Alleluyeva: 'Letters to a Friend'; London; 1968; p. 202-03, 213).
She describes the grief of the servants at the dacha when Stalin died:
"These men and women who
of my father loved him. In little things he wasn't hard to please. On
the contrary, he was courteous, unassuming and direct with those who
waited on him. . .Men, women, everyone, started crying all over again.
. . .
No one was making a show of loyalty or grief. All of them had known one
another for years. . . . . .
No one in this room looked on him as a god or a superman, a genius or a
demon. They loved and respected him for the most ordinary human
qualities, those qualities of which servants are the best judges of
(S. Alliluyeva: ibid,; p. 20, 22).
Furthermore, the facts show that on numerous occasions denounced and
ridiculed the 'cult of the individual' as contrary to Marxism-Leninism.
"I must say in all conscience, comrades, that I do not deserve a good
half of the flattering things that have been said here about me. I am,
it appears, a hero of the October Revolution, the leader of the
Communist Party of the Soviet, the leader of the Communist
International, a legendary warrior-knight and all the rest of it. This
is absurd, comrades, and quite unnecessary exaggeration. It is the sort
of thing that is usually said at the graveside of a departed
revolutionary. But I have no intention of dying yet. . . . .
I really was, and still am, one of the pupils of the advanced workers
of the Tiflis railway workshops".
(J. V. Stalin: `Works', Volume 8; Moscow; 1954; p. 182)
"And what is Stalin? Stalin is only a minor figure".
(J. V. Stalin: `Works'. Volume 10; Moscow; Moscow; 1954; p. 177).
"Your congratulations and greetings I place to the credit of the great
Party of the working class which bore me and reared me in its own image
and likeness. And just because I place them to the credit of our
glorious Leninist Party, I make bold to tender you my Bolshevik
(J. V. Stalin: 'Works', Volume 12; Moscow; 1955; p. 146).
"There are some who think that the article 'Dizzy with Success' was the
result of Stalin's personal initiative. That, of course, is nonsense.
It is not in order that personal initiative is a matter like this be
taken by anyone, whoever he might be, that we have a Central Committee".
(J. V. Stalin: 'Works', ibid.; p. 218).
"You speak of your devotion' to me.. . . . I would advise you to
discard the 'principle' of devotion to persons. It is not the Bolshevik
way. Be devoted to the working class, its Party, its state. That is a
fine and useful thing. But do not confuse it with devotion to persons,
this vain and useless bauble of weak-minded intellectuals'
(J. V. Stalin: 'Works', Volume 13; Moscow; 1955; p. 20).
"As for myself, I am just a pupil of Lenin's, and the aim of my life is
to be a worthy pupil of his. . . .
Marxism does not deny at
all the role
played by outstanding individuals or that history is made by people.
But great people are worth anything at all only to the extent that they
are able correctly to understand these conditions, to understand how to
change them. If they fail to understand these conditions and want to
alter them according to the promptings of their imagination, they will
find themselves in the situation of Don Quixote. . . . .
Individual persons cannot decide. Decisions of individuals are ,always,
or nearly always, one-sided decisions. . . . . In every
collective body, there are people whose opinion must be reckoned with.
. . . . From the experience of three revolutions we know that out of
every 100 decisions taken by individual persons without being tested
and corrected collectively, approximately 90 are one-sided. . . .
. Never under any circumstances would our workers now
power in the hands of one person. With us personages of the greatest
authority are reduced to nonentities, become mere ciphers, as soon as
the masses of the workers lose confidence in them".
(J. V. Stalin: ibid.; p. 107-08, 109, 113).
"I have received your letter ceding me your second Order as a reward
for my work. I thank you very much for your warm words and comradely
present. I know what you are depriving yourself of in my favour and
appreciate your sentiments.
Nevertheless, I cannot accept your second Order. I cannot and must not
accept it, not only because it can only belong to you, as you alone
have earned it, but also because I have been amply rewarded as it is by
the attention and respect of comrades and, consequently, have no right
to rob you. Orders were instituted not for those who are well known as
it is, but mainly for heroic people who are little known and who need
to be made known to all. Besides, I must tell you that I already have
two Orders. That is more than one needs, I assure
(J. V. Stalin: ibid.; p. 241).
consider it a great honour to have an opportunity of paying you a visit.
There is nothing particular in that. You are exaggerating.
What is most
interesting to me is that throughout Russia I have found the names
Lenin-Stalin, Lenin-Stalin, Lenin-Stalin, linked together.
That, too, is an exaggeration. How can I be compared to Lenin?"
(J. V. Stalin: ibid.; p. 267)
"I am absolutely against the publication of 'Stories of the Childhood
The book abounds with a mass of inexactitudes of fact, of alterations,
of exaggerations and off unmerited praise. . But . . . . the
important thing resides it the fact that the book has a tendency to
engrave on the minds of Soviet children (and people in general) the
personality cult of leaders, of infallible heroes. This is dangerous
and detrimental. The theory of 'heroes' and the 'crowd' is not a
Bolshevik, but a Social-Revolutionary (Anarchist) theory.
suggest we burn this book".
(J. V. Stalin: ibid.; p. 327).
Thus, the 'cult of the individual' as built up around Stalin was
contrary to Marxism-Leninism and its practice was contrary to the
expressed wishes of Stalin".
This raises an important question.
When I expressed at a previous meeting of the Stalin Society the view
that the Marxist-Leninists were in a minority in the Soviet leadership
from the late 1920s, there were loud murmurs of dissent from some
But we have seen that, although Stalin expressed strong opposition to
the 'cult of personality', the 'cult of personality' continued.
It therefore follows irrefutably that
1) either Stalin was
unable to stop it,
2) or he did not want to stop it and so was a petty-minded,
lying, non-Marxist-Leninist, hypocrite.
The Initiators of the
But if the 'cult of personality' around Stalin was not built up by
Stalin, but against his wishes, by whom was it built up?
The facts show that the most fervent exponents of the 'cult of
personality' around Stalin were revisionists and concealed revisionists
(Soviet revisionist politician (1885-1939); pleaded guilty at his
trial to terrorism and treason (1937); murdered in prison by
fellow-prisoner (1939), Nikita
Khrushchev and Anastas
(Soviet revisionist politician (1895-1978); Politburo member (1935-78);
People's Commissar for Trade (1926-31), for Supply (1931-34), for Food
Industry (1934-38), for Foreign Trade (1938-49) Deputy Premier
(1946-64); President (1964-65).
Roy Medvedev (Soviet
revisionist historian (1925- ) points out that:
"The first issue of
'Pravda;' for 1934
carried a huge two-page article by Radek, heaping orgiastic praise on
Stalin. The former Trotskyite, who had led the opposition to Stalin for
many years, now called him 'Lenin's best pupil, the model of the
Leninist Party, bone of its bone, blood of its blood'. . . .
He 'is as far-sighted as Lenin', and so on and on. This seems
have been the first large article in the press specifically devoted to
the adulation of Stalin, and it was quickly reissued as a pamphlet in
225,000 copies, an enormous figure for the time."
(R. A. Medvedev: 'Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of
Stalinism'; London; 1972; p. 148).
At his public trial in January 1937 Radek admitted to terrorism and
Vyshinsky: What did
(Soviet Trotskyist politician (1883-1936); pleaded guilty to terrorism
and treason at his public trial in August 1936 and was sentenced to
definitely that the struggle had entered the terrorist phase. .
. In April 1933 Mrachovsky asked me whether I would mention
Trotskyite in Leningrad who would undertake the organisation of a
terrorist group there.
Kirov (Soviet Marxist-Leninist politician (1886-1934);
of CPSU in Azerbaijan (1921-36), in Leningrad (1926-34); Member of
Politburo (1930-34); assassinated by terrorist (1934) of
In 1934-35 your position was that of organised, systematic perpetration
of terrorist acts?
inevitably have to bring the social structure of the USSR into line
with the victorious fascist countries . . . a pseudonym for the
restoration of capitalism. It was clear to us that this meant fascism.
. . serving foreign finance capital. It was planned to
the Ukraine to Germany and . . the Maritime province and the
region to Japan".
(Report of Court Proceedings in the Case of the Anti-Soviet Trotskyite
Centre; Moscow; 1937; p. 88, 90, 103, 115).
It was Khrushchev who introduced the term 'vozhd' ('leader',
corresponding to the German word 'Fuhrer'). At the Moscow Party
Conference in January 1932, Khrushchev finished his speech by saying:
"The Moscow Bolsheviks,
the Leninist Central Committee as never before, and around the 'vozhd'
of our Party, Comrade Stalin, are cheerfully and confidently marching
toward new victories in the battles for socialism, for world
proletarian revolution". ('Rabochaya Moskva', 26 January
cited in: L. Pistrak: 'The Grand Tactician: Khrushchev's Rise to
Power'; London; 1961; p. 159).
At the 17th Party Conference in January 1934 it was Khrushchev, and
Khrushchev alone, who called Stalin "vozhd of genius".
(XVII s'ezd Vsesoiuznoi Kommunisticheskoi Partii (B.); p,
145, cited in: L. Pistrak: ibid.; p. 160).
In August 1936, during the treason trial of Lev
Kamenev (Soviet ; sentenced to death and executed
Grigory Zinoviev (Soviet Trotskyist politician (1883-1936); President
of Communist International (1919-26); admitted to treason at his public
trial (1936); sentenced to death and executed (1936), Khrushchev, in
his capacity as Moscow Party Secretary, said:
"Miserable pygmies! They
hands against the greatest of all men. . . . our wise
Comrade Stalin! Thou, Comrade Stalin, hast raised the great banner of
Marxism-Leninism high over the entire world and carried it forward. We
assure thee, Comrade Stalin, that the Moscow Bolshevik organisation --
the faithful supporter of the Stalinist Central Committee -- will
increase Stalinist vigilance still more, will extirpate the
Trotskyite-Zinovievite remnants, and close the ranks of the Party and
non-Party Bolsheviks even more around the Stalinist Central Committee
and the great Stalin". ('Pravda', 23 August 1936, cited in: L. Pistrak:
ibid,; p. 162).
At the Eighth All-Union Congress of Soviets in November 1936 it was
again Khrushchev who proposed that the new Soviet Constitution, which
was before the Congress for approval, should be called the 'Stalinist
Constitution' because "it was written from beginning to end
Comrade Stalin himself". ('Pravda', 30 November 1936, cited in: L.
Pistrak: ibid.; p. 161).
It has to be noted that Vyacheslav Molotov (Soviet Marxist-Leninist
politician (1890-1986); Member of Politburo
(1926-53); Prime Minister (1930-41); Deputy Prime Minister (1941-57);
Minister of Foreign Affairs (1939-49, 1953-56); Ambassador to Mongolia
(1957-60), then Prime Minister, and Andrey Zhdanov (Andrey Zhdanov.
Soviet Marxist-Leninist politician (1896-1948); Member of Politburo
(1935-48), then Party Secretary in Leningrad) did not mention any
special role by Stalin in the drafting of the Constitution.
In the same speech Khrushchev coined the term 'Stalinism':
"Our Constitution is the
Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism that has conquered one sixth of the globe".
Khrushchev's speech in Moscow to an audience of 200,000 at the time of
the treason trial of Grigori Pyatakov (Grigory Pyatakov, Soviet
Trotskyist politician (1890-1937); Assistant People's Commissar for
Heavy Industry (1931-37); admitted to treason at his public trial
(1937); sentenced to death and executed (1937) and Karl Radek in
January 1937 was in a similar vein:
"By lifting their hands
Stalin they lifted them against all the best that humanity possesses.
For Stalin is hope; he is expectation; he is the beacon that guides all
progressive mankind. Stalin is our banner! Stalin is our will! Stalin
is our victory!"
('Pravda', 31 January 1937), cited in: L. Pistrak: ibid,; p., 162).
Stalin was described by Khrushchev in March 1939 as:
“. . . . our
great genius, our beloved Stalin",
('Visti VTsVK', 3 March 1939, cited in: L. Pistrak: ibid,; p. 164)
...at the 18th Congress of the Party in March 1939 as:
“. the greatest
genius of humanity, teacher and 'vozhd', who leads us towards
Communism, our very own Stalin”.
(XVIII s'ezd Vsesoiueznoi Kommunisticheskoi Partii (B). in:
p. 174; cited in L. Pistrak: ibid,; p. 164).
and in May 1945 as
“. . .
. great Marshal of the Victory",
('Pravda Ukrainy', 13 May 1945, cited in: L. Pistrak: ibid.; p. 164).
On the occasion of the celebration of Stalin's fiftieth birthday in
December 1929, Anastas Mikoyan accompanied his congratulations with the
meeting the rightful
demand of the masses, begin finally to work on his biography and make
it available to the Party and to all working people in our country".
('Izvestia', 21 December 1929, cited in: L. Pistrak: ibid,;164).
Ten years later, on the occasion of Stalin's sixtieth birthday in
December 1939, Mikoyan was still urging the creation of a “.
scientific biography" ('Pravda', 21 December 1939, cited in:
Pistrak: ibid,.; p. 158) of Stalin.
The biography was eventually published in 1947, compiled by
F. Alexandrov, M. R. Galaktionov, V. S. Kruzhkov, M. B. Mitin, V. D.
Mochalov and P. N.
Stalin: A Short Biography'; Moscow; 1947).
However, in his 'secret speech' to the 20th Congress of the CPSU in
1956, basing himself on the 'cult of the individual' which he and his
colleagues had built up around Stalin, Khrushchev attributed the
authorship of the book to Stalin himself:
"One of the most
examples of Stalin's self -glorification and of his lack of even
elementary modesty is the edition of his 'Short Biography'. This book
is an example of the most dissolute flattery". (Russian
Institute, Columbia University (Ed.): op. cit.; p. 69).
Motives for Building up the 'Cult
of the Individual'
Of course, many Soviet citizens admired Stalin and expressed this
admiration. But clearly, the 'cult of the individual' around Stalin was
built up mainly by the concealed revisionists, against Stalin's wishes,
Firstly, to disguise the fact that the Party and the Communist
International were dominated by concealed revisionists and to present
the fiction that these were dominated personally by Stalin; thus blame
for breaches of socialist legality and for deviations from
Marxist-Leninist principles on their part could later be laid
Secondly, to provide a pretext for attacking Stalin at a later date
(under the guise of carrying out a programme of 'democratisation',
which was in fact a programme of dismantling socialism.
That Stalin himself was not unaware of the fact that concealed
revisionists were the main force behind the 'cult of persona lily' was
reported by the Finnish revisionist Tuominen in 1935, who describes
how, when he was informed that busts of him had been given prominent
places in the Moscow's leading art gallery, the Tretyakov, Stalin
sabotage!" (A. Touminen: op. cit.; p. 164).
The German writer Lion Feuchtwanger (Lion Feuchtwanger,
writer (1884-1958) in 1936 confirms that Stalin suspected that the
'cult of personality' was being fostered by 'wreckers' with the aim of
"It is manifestly irksome
to Stalin to
be worshipped as he is, and from time to time he makes fun of it. ...
Of all the men I know who have power, Stalin is the most unpretentious.
I spoke frankly to him about the vulgar and excessive cult made of him,
and he replied with equal candour. . . He thinks it is
even that 'wreckers' may be behind it in an attempt to discredit him".
(L. Feuchtwanger: 'Moscow 1937'; London; 1937; p., 93, 94-95).
To conclude, the attack made by the revisionists on the 'cult of
personality' in the Soviet Union was an attack not only upon Stalin
personally as a leading Marxist-Leninist, a leading, defender of
socialism, but as the first stage in an attack upon Marxism-Leninism
and the socialist system in the Soviet Union.
Perhaps the best comment on it is the sarcastic toast which the Finnish
revisionist Tuominen records as having been proposed by Stalin at a New
Year Party in 1935:
"Comrades! I want to
propose a toast to
our patriarch, life and sun, liberator of nations, architect of
socialism (he rattled off all the appelations applied to him in those
days), Josef Vissarionovich Stalin, and I hope this is the first and
last speech made to that genius this evening".
(A. Tuominen: op. cit.; p.