First Published: The Vanguard September 26, 1968
Reprinted: World Revolution [journal of the U.S. Progressive Labor Party] Vol. 1, No. 4, October-December 1968
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In Khrushchev’s notorious “secret” speech to the 20th Congress of the C.P.S.U. he made a lying attack on Stalin. Really it was an attack on Marxism-Leninism.
Khrushchev was overthrown by his own followers in 1964. His followers have carried out Khrushchev’s line of betrayal more cunningly than Khrushchev himself.
But not once have they said a word about their own responsibility for Khrushchev’s line.
Now they have gone much further than Khrushchev. Khrushchev was under serious criticism by the Soviet people. Therefore he was ignominiously sacked. But now his successors, the Khrushchevites without Khrushchev, are under very serious criticism by the Soviet people and all the working people of the world.
They are making desperate attempts to head off the opposition. Their attempts take many forms–force, bribery, flattery, intimidation, deception. There is no limit to their weapons.
Let us take one. Amongst the filthy calumnies heaped on Stalin by Khrushchev (and remember Kosygin, Brezhnev, Suslov and Co. were all associated with it) was that Stalin was quite unprepared for war, that he knew nothing of military activities, that he and his General Staff worked out military moves by sitting in an office with a globe of the world upon which they placed pins. (Khrushchev and Brezhnev, Kosygin & Co. never bothered to explain how then the Soviet Army under Stalin’s leadership won some of the greatest military victories of all time.)
But now in 1968, 12 years after the 20th Congress’s infamous report and 4 years after the unexplained removal of Khrushchev, the Khrushchevites without Khrushchev begin to allow people to tell a little bit of the truth about Stalin’s greatness and his leadership in the war.
They do not do it from any honest motive.
They do it to try to head off the unrest of the Soviet people, to deceive and mislead the Soviet people.
Now they let a certain General Shtemenko (himself a revisionist) write a book called “The General Staff in the Time of War.” It refutes all of Khrushchev’s slanders though it never says so.
In reviewing it a Colonel Diev says: “Shtemenko’ s book refutes the inventions of those who allege that the country was unprepared for war, that the attack had taken us by surprise, and that our Supreme Command had underestimated the dangers of war against Hitler’s Reich. Such allegations may be explained either by incompetence of their authors or by a deliberate distortion of history, by a desire to smear the work of the Communist Party and the Soviet Government in preparing the country for defense.
The reader will find a clear and true to life description of the day to day routine of the General Staff, and will learn how the utmost important operations of the war were prepared and executed. There is much informative material in the chapters describing the style and methods of work of the General Headquarters of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, and about his role in organising the victory of the Soviet Armed Forces.
It can be seen that the Soviet revisionist clique cannot conceal the truth. Therefore it tries to use the truth for its own purposes. It tries to suggest it is different from Khrushchev; it tries to capitalise on Stalin’s prestige; it tries to allay the discontent of the Soviet people and the people of the world; it tries to present itself as Marxist-Leninist.
Just as it could not conceal the truth about Stalin’s greatness so it cannot conceal the truth about its own shameful role. The truth will out. No matter what this bunch of renegades and scoundrels does or says its defeat is assured. Such actions as we have commented on only go to expose it further. (See Moscow News Nos. 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 and 32.)