'CULT OF THE INDIVIDUAL' (1934-52)
A paper read by Bill Bland (of
the Communist League- UK) to the Staliln Society in May 1991.(Note:
An earlier version of this talk was given to the First Communist League
summer school in 1975).
On 14 February 1956 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 Committee of the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union, publicly, but obliquely, attacked
Stalin at the 20th Congress of the Party:
"It is of paramount importance
to 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) Khrushchev attacked Stalin more directly, asserting
"The cult of the individual
acquired such monstrous size chiefly because Stalin himself, using all
conceivable methods, supported the glorification of his own person".
(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 (French writer (1873-1935) describes
the simplicity of Stalin's life-style:
"One goes up to the first floor,
were 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 son, 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 £25 in
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. . . .
Stalin systematically 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 daughter Svetlana"
"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 bed".
(S. Alliluyeva: "Letters to
a Friend"; London; 1967; p. 28).
The Albanian leader Enver
Hoxha (Albanian Marxist-Leninist politician
(1908-85); leader of the Communist Party of Albania (Later the f)arty 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 despot.
He was a man of principle; he was just, modest and very kindly and considerate
towards people, the cadres and his colleagues."
(E. Hoxha: 'With Stalin: Memoirs';
Tirana; 1979; p. 14-15).
The British Fabians Sidney and Beatrice
Webb (Sidney Webb,
British economist (1859-1947; Beatrice
Webb, British economist and sociologist
(1858-1943), in their monumental work 'Soviet Communism": A New Civilisation',
emphatically reject the notion that Stalin exercised dictatorial power:
"Sometimes it is asserted that
. . . the whole state is governed by the will of a single person, Josef
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 Cabinet. . . . He is . . . the General Secretary
of the Party. .
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 facts.
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, the 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 committee control".
(S. & B. Webb: 'Soviet Communism:
A New Civilisation'; London; 19 ; 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 (American lawyer and diplomat (1876-1958);
Chairman (1915-16) and Vice-Chairman (19l6-18) of Federal Trade Commission;
Ambassador to Moscow (1936-38), to Belgium (1938-39).remarked on Stalin's
simple, kindly manner:
"I was startled to see the
door . . . open and Mr. Stalin come into the room alone. . . . His demeanor
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).
Don Levine- [Russian born American
newspaper correspondent (1892-1981)]
- writes in his hostile biography
"Stalin does not seek honours.
He 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 background."
(J. D. Levine: 'Stalin: A Biography';
London; 1931; p. 248-49).
Another hostile critic,
[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. 154).
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 apartment
of three rooms. . . . In his everyday life his tastes remained simple almost
to the point of crudeness. . . . Even those who hated him with a desperate
hate and blamed him for sadistic cruelties never accused him of excesses
in his -private life. .
Those who measure 'success'
by millions of dollars, yachts and mistresses
find it hard to understand power relished in austerity. .
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 astonishment".
(E. Lyons: 'Stalin: Czar of
All the Russias'; Philadelphia; 1940; p. 196, 200).
Lyons asked Stalin "Are you
"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 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- [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 writings
Stalin 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
Caucasian 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
(A. Tuominen: ibid., p. 155).
The Soviet marshal Georgy
Zhukov [Soviet military officer (1869-1974);
Chief of Staff (1941); Marshal (1943); Minister of Defence (1955-57)]:-
speaks of Stalin's 'lack of affectation':
"Free of affectation and mannerisms,
he (Stalin –Ed) won the heart of everyone he talked with".
(C. K. Zhukov: 'The Memoirs
of Marshal Zhukov'; London; 1971; p. 283).
Stalin's daughter 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 various
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 god".
(S. Alliluyeva: '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 were
servants 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 all".
(S. Alliluyeva: ibid,; p. 20,
Furthermore, the facts show that
on numerous occasions Stalin himself 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 thanks".
(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
in a matter like this be taken by anyone, whoever he might be, that we
have a Central Committee".
(J. V. Stalin: 'Works', ibid.;
"You speak of your devotion'
to me. . . Iwould 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
(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 tolerate 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,
"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
Besides, I must tell you that
I already have two Orders. 'That is more than one needs, I assure you."
(J. V. Stalin: ibid.; p. 241).
"Robins: I consider it a great
honour to have an opportunity of paying you a visit.
Stalin: There is nothing particular
in that. You are exaggerating.
Robins: What is most interesting
to me is that throughout Russia
I have found the names Lenin-Stalin,
Lenin-Stalin, Lenin-Stalin, linked together.
Stalin: 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 of Stalin'. The book abounds with
a mass of inexactitudes of fact, of alterations, of exaggerations and of
But . . the important thing
resides in 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 (i.e. Anarchist) theory.
I 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
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 members.
But we have seen that, although
Stalin expressed strong opposition to the 'cult of personality', the 'cult
of personality' continued.
It therefore follows
1) either Stalin was unable
to stop it,
2) he did not want to stop
it and so was a petty-minded, lying, non-Marxist-Leninist, hypocrite.
The Initiators of the 'Cult'
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 like Karl
revisionist politician (1885-1939); pleaded guilty at his public trial
to terrorism and treason (1937); murdered in prison by fellow-prisoner
(1939) ], Nikita Khrushchev and Anastas
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
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 to 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
(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 treason:
It was Khrushchev who introduced
the term 'vozhd'
('leader', corresponding to the German word 'F'uhrer'). At the Moscow Party
Conference in January 1932, Khrushchev finished his speech by saying:
"The Moscow Bolsheviks, rallied
around 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".
"Vyshinsky: What did
[Soviet Trotskyist politicIan (1883-1936);
He replied quite definitely that the struggle had entered
pleaded guilty to terrorism
aud treason at his public trial in August 1936 and was sentenced to death.]
the terrorist phase. . In April
1933 Mrachovsky asked me whether I would mention any Trotskyite in Leningrad
who would undertake the organisation of a terrorist group there.
[Sergei Kirov, Soviet Marxist-Leninist politician
In 1934-35 your position was that of organised, systematic
(1886-1934); Secretary of CPSU
in Azerbaijan (1921-36), in Leningrad (1926-34); Member of Politburo
(1930-34); assassinated by terrorist 1934)]:-, of course. .
perpetration of terrorist acts?
Yes. . We would 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 fasicsm . . . serving foreign finance
capital. It was planned to surrender the Ukraine to Germany and the Maritime
province and the Amur region to Japan'"
(Report of Court Proceedings
in the Case of the Anti-Soviet Trotskyite Centre; Moscow; 1937; p. 88,
90, 103, 115).
('Rabochaya Moskva', 26 January
1932, 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 Trotskyist politician (1883-1936); admitted to treason at his public
trial (1936); sentenced to death and executed (1936)] and 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 lifted
their hands against the greatest of all men, . . our wise 'vozhd', 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
"it was written from beginning
to end by 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 Minster (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 [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;[ Soviet Trotskyist politician
(1890-1937); Assistant People's Commissar for Heavy Industry (I931-37);
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 against
Comrade 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
(‘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
('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."
(XVIJI s'ezd Vsesoiueznoi Kommunisticheskoi
Partii (B.), 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 demand:
"That we, 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,; p. 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 of Stalin";
('Pravda', 21 December 1939,
cited in: L. Pistrak: ibid,.; p. 158).
The biography was eventually published
in 1947, compiled by:
" G. F. A1exandrov, M. R. Galaktionov,
V. S. Kruzhkov, M. B. Mitin, V. D. Mochalov and P. N. Pospelov". ('Joseph
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 characteristic
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).
The 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, in order :
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 on Stalin;
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 dismatling socialism".
That Stalin himself was not unaware
of the fact that the concealed revisionists were the main force behind
the ‘cult of personality’ 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 Moscow's leading art gallery, the Tretyakov,
"That's downright sabotage!".
(A. Touminen: op. cit.; p. 164).
The German writer Lion
Feuchtwanger [Lion Feuchtwanger, German
writer (1884-1958)] in 1936 confirms that Stalin suspected that the 'cult
of personality' was being fostered by 'wreckers' with the aim of discrediting
"It is manifestly irksome to
Stalin to be worshipped as he is, and from time to time he makes fun of
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 possible even
that 'wreckers' may be behind it in an attempt to discredit him".
(L. Feuchtwanger: 'Moscow 1937';
London; 1937; p. 93, 94-94).
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 was 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 is
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. 162).