Joseph Stalin

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Josef Stalin

Иосиф Сталин
იოსებ სტალინი
Joseph-Stalin-1950.jpg
Portrait of comrade Stalin
Born
Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili

(1878-12-21)December 21, 1878
Gori, Tiflis Governorate, Russian Empire (present-day Georgia)
DiedMarch 5, 1953(1953-03-05) (aged 74)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Cause of deathCerebral hemorrhage
NationalityGeorgian
Political lineMarxism-Leninism

Iósif Vissariónovich Dzhugashvili (December 21st, 1878 — March 5th, 1953), more popularly known as Joseph Stalin was the democratically elected[1][2] leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, being the General Secretary of Central Committee of Communist Party of Soviet Union from 3 April 1922 to 16 October 1952.

Early life

Iósif Vissariónovich Dzhugashvili was born on 21 December, 1878[a] in Gori[b] a city of the Russian Empire. Like his parents, Stalin was an ethnic Georgian, and he grew up speaking the Georgian language. Both his father and his mother came from a family of serfs.[3]

Stalin's revolutionary activities can be traced to his time as a student after 1894, when he joined the Orthodox Theological Seminary in Tiflis.[4][5] In 1896 and 1897, Stalin was a part of Marxist study groups in the seminary, and in August 1898, he formally joined the Tiflis branch of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP). An avid reader, he read Capital and the Manifesto of the communist party, written by Karl Marx, subsequently taking a profound interest in Marxism. At that time, he became acquainted with some of Lenin's articles criticizing the Narodnik and the "Legal Marxists".[6]

Post-Revolution

Joseph Stalin became Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars in 1941, a position he would hold until his death.[7] Although he is often portrayed as a dictator in the West, the CIA admitted that there was collective leadership during his time in office.[8]

World War 2

During the course of World War 2, known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War, Stalin gave weekly addresses to the Soviet people while his Red Army, lead by Georgy Zhukov, freed Europe from the Nazis.

Debunking myths

Antisemitism

Despite right wingers and fascists spreading rumours of Judeo-Bolshevik conspiracy theories, some historians have made baseless claims that Stalin was an anti-semite. For refutation please see the below letter from Stalin.

In answer to your inquiry :

National and racial chauvinism is a vestige of the misanthropic customs characteristic of the period of cannibalism. Anti-semitism, as an extreme form of racial chauvinism, is the most dangerous vestige of cannibalism.

Anti-semitism is of advantage to the exploiters as a lightning conductor that deflects the blows aimed by the working people at capitalism. Anti-semitism is dangerous for the working people as being a false path that leads them off the right road and lands them in the jungle. Hence Communists, as consistent internationalists, cannot but be irreconcilable, sworn enemies of anti-semitism.

In the U.S.S.R. anti-semitism is punishable with the utmost severity of the law as a phenomenon deeply hostile to the Soviet system. Under U.S.S.R. law active anti-semites are liable to the death penalty.

— J. Stalin, Reply to an inquiry of the Jewish News Agency in the United States [9]


Personality cult

Stalin did not want to have a personality cult around himself. In 1938, he requested destroying a book that portrayed him too positively and stated that the theory of "heroes" was an SR and not a Bolshevik theory.[10]

Popular support

In 2019, 70% of Russians said they had a positive view of Stalin's role in history. This was a 12 percentage point increase from 58% in 2015.[11]

References

  1. “This article outlines Joseph Stalin's attempts, from the 1930s until his death, to democratize the government of the Soviet Union.”

    Glover Furr (2019). Stalin and the Struggle for Democratic Reform. [PDF]

  2. Pat Sloan (1937). Soviet Democracy (p. 9). [PDF] ISBN 9781092297394
  3. “Vissarion, his father, came from the village of Didi-Lilo, near Tiflis, where his parents, like their forebears, had been peasant­ serfs. For Vissarion emancipation meant that he was free to fol­ low his trade as a cobbler. Around 1870 he moved to Gori, where in 1874 he married Ekaterina Georgievna Geladze, daughter of a serf family from a nearby village. She was about eighteen years of age, some five years younger than her husband. They were humble working people, poor and illiterate.”

    Ian Grey (1979). Stalin, man of history (p. 9). [LG]

  4. “In the autumn of 1888 Stalin entered the church school in Gori, from which, in 1894, he passed to the Orthodox Theological Seminary in Tiflis.

    This was a period when, with the development of industrial capitalism and the attendant growth of the working-class movement, Marxism had begun to spread widely throughout Russia. The St. Petersburg League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class, founded and led by Lenin, had given a powerful stimulus to the Social-Democratic movement all over the country.”

    Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute (1949). Joseph Stalin: a political biography (p. 5). [LG]

  5. “I joined the revolutionary movement at the age of fifteen, when I became connected with certain illegal groups of Russian Marxists in Transcaucasia. These groups exerted a great influence on me and instilled in me a taste for illegal Marxian literature.”

    Stalin interview with Emil Ludwig (1931).

  6. “Jn 1896 and 1897, Stalin conduoled Marxist study circles in the seminary, and in August 1898 he formally enrolled as a member of the Tiflis Branch of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. [...]

    Stalin worked hard to broaden his knowledge. He studied Capital, the Communist Manifesto and other works of Marx and Engels. He acquainted himself with Lenin's polemical writings against Narodism, "Legal Marxism" and "Economism." His theoretical interests were extremely broad. He studied philosophy, political economy, history and natural science. He read widely in the classics. He thus trained himself to he an educated Marxist. Even at this early date Lenin's writings made a deep impression on him. "I must meet him al all costs," one of Stalin's friends. reports him to have said. after reading an article by Tulin (Lenin).”

    Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute (1945). Joseph Stalin: a short biography (p. 5). [LG]

  7. Samuel Totten, Paul Bartrop (2008). Dictionary of Genocide: A–L. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313346422
  8. "Comments on the Change in Soviet Leadership" (2008-02-26). Central Intelligence Agency.
  9. Stalin: Reply to an inquiry of the Jewish News Agency in the United States MIA link
  10. Joseph Stalin (1938). Letter on Publications for Children Directed to the Central Committee of the All Union Communist Youth. London: Red Star Press. [MIA]
  11. "Anticommunism Fails: 70% of Russians have a positive opinion on Joseph Stalin" (2019-04-17). In Defense of Communism. Archived from the original on 2021-06-29.

Notes

  1. Although some historians claim he was born in 18th December, his birthday was officially celebrated on 21st December.
  2. The city of Gori was part of the Tiflis Governorate, which was one of the administrative divisions of the Russian Empire.