An Evaluation of Stalin "In difficult Times" by Hans Heinz Holz
This article is the famous Marxist philosopher Hans Heinz Holz’s treatment of the life and work of Stalin, far from apologetic worship, but also the far from the caricatures which today are the commonplace on the left.
In difficult times
JV Stalin, who was born on December 21, 1879, died on March 5, 1953 belongs to the history of communism. For better or for worse: as the architect of the Soviet Union, whose incomparable rise and heroic struggle against the Nazis was won under his leadership, as a tyrant, who with indescribable hardness in political line, whose representative he was prevailed over and suppressed actual and allegedopposition deviation . In Stalin's contradictions young socialism is embodied. Only in recognition of these contradictions, we understand not deny the nature of Stalin, which his bitterest enemies recognise as his historical greatness.
When Stalin died, the people wept in the streets. Not only in Moscow, also in Paris. It was the generation for whom the Soviet Union, had been with Stalin at the head, hope and support in the fight against fascism. The stability of the Soviet Union had priority for them, this stability was Stalin. A later generation that was not exposed to this threat, could and should set different standards. That not only victims had to be taken on the way to stabilization, but also countless crimes were committed, could not simply be put to one side by reference to the inevitability of taking sides against fascism and for socialism. Past returns for wrong actions do not do so the question of political ethics; they reveal only conditions for their implementation. From the knowledge of historical circumstances, not for moral appeals, arises the political ability to avoid mistakes in the future.
The historical-critical approach to the construction phase of the Soviet Union, which is connected with the name of Stalin remains a necessary piece of our party history, that of our political self-understanding. Transfiguration as dam would both displacement and abandonment of the historical materialist method that we have to apply it to our own history. This is not to "error" that are made in any political process, but also fundamental strategic decisions and to reasons for degeneration of socialist democracy.
At the time of the October Revolution Russia was a peasant country with a poorly developed industrial production. The majority of the population was not literate. The property relations in the countryside were characterized by feudal and large rural estates. With the destruction of the feudal lords in the wake of the revolution countless small businesses that could not ensure a sufficient supply of the population originated.
Thus, three central problems posed for building a socialist economy: Technical development and accelerated development of industrial capacities, the rapid expansion of investment, raising living standards and defending the state against foreign intervention allowed; Collectivization of agriculture in order to create efficient farms; Construction of an educational system that prepared the masses to the requirements of modern production. The size of the Soviet Union, the very different regional development and aimed at the destruction of the Soviet power of the capitalist economic action abroad made a tight central planning of the economy is essential. If a reasonable and solidarity, ie socialist development of the whole are guaranteed egoism and special interests had to be combated effectively. In particular, changes in agriculture were also on two sides to enforce: The poor peasants who had just turned to owners of small property, it was to integrate into efficient units; and the rule of the rich peasants, who insisted on the prerogatives of ownership had to be broken. The victory of socialism was closely linked with the emergence of new class relations in the countryside. This had already been recognized Lenin, who attributed the peasant question the greatest importance.
These three main tasks - industrialization, changes in class relations in the countryside, construction of schools and education - have been overcome in the short time between 1925 and the invasion of Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union in 1941, in a surprising way. The basic decisions that were made during this period of Stalin and his colleagues in the party are, I think, had been correct and have the practical test, when the Soviet Union to resist the attack in WW2 and the brunt of the defeat of German fascism could carry, and even strengthened as the second world power in this struggle emerged on life and death. It is hard to imagine that the alternative concepts, it was Trotsky, Zinoviev and Bukharin, has been achieved the same result and the Soviet Union would have been able to survive.
This power of Stalin - and Stalin stands for the great mass of the Soviet people - determines the character of the first thirty years of the Soviet society. The theoretical and political consequence, has persevered with Stalin the basics of building socialism, contributed significantly to that, after 1945, albeit unstable and constantly disturbed by imperialist aggression, has received world order of peace in the balance between social systems and national and social liberation struggles could be successful.
The socialist transformation of society could not be pursued without hard class struggles. Stalin had correctly predicted that the class struggle after the victory of socialism in one country would worsen. The contrasts reached well into the party, especially since these had incorporated many new members after the revolution, who lacked political experience and ideological training. Given the growing threat came by the imperialist powers. The Soviet Union was as it were in a constant state of siege.
In this situation endangered factional fights in the party, in fact, the existence of the young socialist society. In continuing tense situation, it was not possible to build a democratic internal front in defense of socialism, even though the vast majority of the people of socialist society faced positive. The peculiarities of Russian history appeared after: the lack of an epoch of bourgeois democracy and education, the acquisition of the former Tsarist methods of administrative apparatus with its police state traditions, the memory of the terror of just having thrown back counter-revolutionary armies of intervention. So the authorities too become independent mechanisms of oppression who exercised their power in an atmosphere of mistrust, denunciation and arbitrariness.
Stalin was not this system, whose roots go back far before the socialist time of the author. He was, however, its leader and thereby took countless innocent victims and made unnecessary hardships in the acquiring of it. Revolutionary upheavals have always been connected in history with violation of the law and with the violence, but usually in relatively short periods of time. The extension of the repressive phase of the revolution for two decades seriously damaged the development of a socialist democracy in which citizens revert to an active, self-responsible role in shaping policy.
Stalin was undoubtedly aware of this problem. At the height of his power he gave the Soviet Union a constitution that designs the contours of a socialist democracy and to bring the country on the path to an association of free citizens. This Constitution is a program. It assumes the successes of the economic and education policies, which would now be further built politically.
The outbreak of World War 2 derailed the implementation of this program; and at the end of the war, which had caused immense destruction, the Soviet Union did not attain a post 1919 status again as in a rebuilding phase. Before the transition to normalization was completed, Stalin died.
His tenure coincided with the worst conceivable period which can live through a organization in building a new society. His name symbolizes the will of the Soviet people to persevere and move forward.