Dmitry Manuilsky

The Great Theoretician of Communism

Source: The Communist International, No. 1, January 1940
HTML Markup: Brian Reid
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MARXISM-LENINISM—the teachings of Marx, Engels and Lenin, developed and supplemented by Comrade Stalin—is the scientific world outlook of the international working class, the class that has won a historic victory on one-sixth of the globe, the class which, relying on this victory, is destined to overthrow capitalism and build a new, Communist, society. Marxism-Leninism is the most revolutionary doctrine that has ever existed in the history of mankind. It is the most advanced theory, tested in the crucible of the battles waged by the working people of the U.S.S.R. and the working people of the whole world. Genuine Marxism can be only creative Marxism, for it is itself a product of the operation of the laws of dialectical development, for not only does it explain the world but provides the key for changing the world.

All the new material that Comrade Stalin has contributed and is contributing to Marxism cannot be considered separately from its living, organic connection with all that Marx and Engels bequeathed to mankind and all that Lenin contributed to enrich Marxism. Dialectical and historical materialism, the science of the laws of development of capitalist society, the Marxian idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the strategy and tactics of the working class in the period of pre-monopolist capitalism—all that vast store of ideas which Marx and Engels bequeathed to the proletariat constitutes the granite foundation on which Lenin and Stalin, the brilliant continuators of the work of the founders of Scientific Socialism, have built their teachings. Lenin and Stalin developed and supplemented the teachings of Marx and Engels and gave the proletariat a new, comprehensive theory of socialist revolution which illumines the path of the struggle of the working class for communism and all the problems of the strategy and tactics of the proletariat in the period prior to the seizure of power by the proletariat, in the period of the establishment of the proletarian dictatorship and the suppression of the resistance of the exploiting classes, in the period of building socialism, and in the period of the completion of the building of classless society and the gradual transition from socialism to communism. The Lenin-Stalin theory of socialist revolution is a single and integral doctrine inseparable from the doctrine of Marx and Engels; it is the continuation and development of their views. Working hand in hand in elaborating this theory in the midst of the battles for socialism, Lenin and Stalin have each contributed to this theory their independent share of creative work.

Lenin’s contribution to this theory, that by which he enriched Marxism, is explained with great profundity of thought, with iron logic and extreme clarity in Comrade Stalin’s classical work, Foundations of Leninism, which has become a handbook for Communists in all countries. But this book represents not only an exposition of Lenin’s views; it is one of the greatest works of creative Marxism, a work that further advances the science of Marxism-Leninism.

In the course of more than two decades, while Lenin was still alive, Comrade Stalin developed the same propositions that Lenin worked on; he developed them not only as a true disciple, friend and comrade-in-arms of Lenin, but, traveling his own independent road, he arrived at the same conclusions as Lenin. His early articles against Anarchism and a number of other theoretical works written as far back as the first decade of the present century, helped to raise the struggle for the philosophy of Marxism to a high plane. Comrade Stalin’s remarkable articles on the national question, and his works dealing with the colonial question became the basis of the Lenin-Stalin teaching of the reserves of the revolution.

The entire road which our country has traversed in the process of becoming transformed from N.E.P.1 Russia into socialist Russia has been illumined by the powerful searchlight of Stalin’s theoretical thought. Thanks to Comrade Stalin’s theoretical and practical constructive work, Marxism-Leninism today is the Marxism not only of the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions but also of the era of the victory of socialism on one-sixth of the globe.

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As we know, Marx and Engels were the creators of the dialectical method, of philosophical and historical materialism. In his renowned work, Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, Lenin, while administering a resolute rebuff to the attempts at a revision of the philosophical views of Marx and Engels, generalized the latest discoveries of science, primarily in the sphere of the natural sciences, equipped the philosophy of Marxism with these discoveries and reinforced the theoretical foundation of Communism. Comrade Stalin’s inspired work on Dialectical and Historical Materialism, which he wrote for the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [International Publishers, New York], abounding as it does in vivid examples taken from social life and the class struggle, reveals new aspects of the philosophy of Marxism and serves as a stimulus to advance theoretical Marxist thought not only in our country but far beyond it as well. Millions of workers and working intellectuals throughout the world will receive their ideological training and theoretical tempering through this classical work of Comrade Stalin’s.

Comrade Stalin has shown himself an unsurpassed master of Marxian dialectics in all his diverse state activities in the sphere of economic and political life and in the sphere of the relationships of the socialist country with the capitalist world. Future generations will study Marxian dialectics not only in Comrade Stalin’s theoretical works, but also in the history of his entire revolutionary activity and his vast work as a statesman—a history which is bound to be written and Will be written by the sons of our gifted People.

Prior to the World War of 1914-18 Western European Social-Democracy professed its adherence to historical materialism in words; but it bowed its head fatalistically to capitalism, exaggerating its vitality, its power and its opportunities for resistance. In the laws of historical materialism it saw merely an external elemental force which breaks down the human will; it ignored the active role of the working class. Comrade Stalin’s conception of the laws of historical necessity, Which runs through his entire revolutionary activity and his work as a statesman, represents a striking example of creative Marxism, which recognizes the tremendous role of the conscious influence exerted by people on the course of events, on the course of their history.

In the present epoch it is Comrade Stalin who, more than anybody else, sagaciously takes into account the objective obstacles that stand in the way of the revolutionary will of the working class, of the will of the socialist state; but at the same time it is Comrade Stalin who, more than anybody else, boldly sets revolutionary tasks designed to change the face of the world and of directing historical development along the desired channel.

We know that Lenin gave a well-founded Marxist analysis of imperialism as the last stage of capitalism, and revealed its contradictions and the conditions of its inevitable doom. Comrade Stalin; taking Lenin’s teaching on imperialism as his basis, has elaborated the problems of Marxist theory relating to the period of the general crisis of capitalism, has revealed the increasingly destructive nature of the economic crises which deepen and intensify the crisis of the entire capitalist system, has smashed the theory of “eternal prosperity” and of “organized capitalism,” has proved scientifically the precariousness of capitalist stabilization, and has shown all its inherent contradictions which lead to the intensification of the struggle among the imperialists and to new imperialist wars.

Comrade Stalin has shown what changes are taking place in the political superstructure of capitalism; he has revealed the nature of the particular form of political reaction characteristic of capitalism in the era of its decline, that goes by the name of fascism. He has shown that this form of reaction is not separated by any wall from so-called bourgeois democracy; for it and “bourgeois democracy” have a common basis—the system of capitalist exploitation, for there is no difference in principle between fascism and “bourgeois democracy”—they are both merely forms of bourgeois dictatorship. He has taught the Marxists of all countries that the intensification of reaction is not only a result of the weakness of the working class, of the fact that its forces are scattered due to the demoralizing and treacherous activity of the top leadership of the Social-Democratic Parties, but that this reaction is at the same time a result of the weakness of the bourgeoisie, which is no longer able to rule by the old methods of parliamentarism which serve to mask from the masses of the people the true class nature of bourgeois dictatorship.

One of the services rendered by Lenin was that, from the analysis of imperialism as the monopoly stage of capitalism, he deduced the law of the intensification of the uneven development of capitalism in the imperialist era. Basing himself on the unevenness of the development of capitalism, Lenin discovered another truth which enriched Marxist science-namely, the impossibility of a simultaneous victory of socialism in all countries and the possibility of such a victory in several countries or even in one country taken singly.

From this thesis of Lenin’s it followed, in the first place, that the working class at the head of all the exploited can break the imperialist chain at one of its links—the weakest—and that such a weak link may be represented by a country which, although backward in its economic development, is subject to the most devastating effects of the internal and external upheavals of the capitalist system; secondly, that, despite the technical and economic backwardness of Russia, it was possible to build socialism in it by the efforts of the Soviet workers and peasants themselves, on condition that foreign intervention did not prevent the realization of this historic task of world importance.

Comrade Stalin defended this thesis of Lenin’s against the enemy agents who tried to frighten the Bolsheviks by the technical and economic backwardness of Russia, by the difficulties of building socialism in Russia, who predicted the inevitable disruption of the alliance between the working class and the peasantry, and asserted that the young Soviet state could not hold its own in face of the forces of the surrounding capitalist world. He showed that the Trotsky-Bukharin-Zinoviev gang was in fact working for the restoration of capitalism and striving to deliver the Soviet country to foreign imperialist robbers to be ravaged and plundered by them.

Using the experience of the building of socialism in the U.S.S.R., Comrade Stalin has proved the truth of Lenin’s thesis, and, at the head of the Party and of the Soviet people, he has translated it into reality, has made it the cornerstone of the strategy of the world proletariat, of the strategy of the proletarian revolution. He has elevated this thesis of Lenin’s to a lofty height and has made it the starting point of the entire policy of the socialist state, the basis for the victory of socialism in the historic rivalry between the two worlds.

He has developed this thesis of Lenin’s further and has arrived at the conclusion that it is possible to build communism in the U.S.S.R. while there exists a surrounding capitalist world. He has shown that this thesis of Lenin’s is a motor impelling the liberation movement of the working class in all countries, that it is a powerful means for strengthening proletarian internationalism; for the revolution in the victorious country is not a self-sufficient quantity, but a support that serves to accelerate the victory of the proletariat in other countries. He has shown that the position of those who deny the possibility of the victory of socialism in one country is one of treason to proletarian internationalism, for:

“. . . It fetters, rather than releases, the initiative of individual countries which, by reason of certain historical conditions, obtain the opportunity to break through the front of capital alone; for it does not stimulate an active onslaught on capital in individual countries, but encourages passive waiting for the moment of the universal climax; for it cultivates among the proletarians of the different countries not the spirit of revolutionary determination, but the mood of Hamlet-like doubt over the question as to ‘what if the others fail to back us up?’”

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Together with Lenin Comrade Stalin built the Party of a new type; together with Lenin he led this Party to storm capitalism and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. He has further developed Lenin’s teachings on the Party and applied them to the conditions of the triumphant construction of socialism. He has armed this Party of a new type with the experience of the victory of socialism in the U.S.S.R. and has helped it to become not only the vanguard of the working class but the vanguard of all the working people in their struggle for the consolidation and development of the socialist system. He has purged it of opportunist filth, of the agents of the class enemy, has enhanced its monolithic nature and the unity of its ranks.

As the building of the classless socialist society has progressed, he has created firm guarantees against this Party being split, he has extended its contacts with the working people by bringing forward new detachments of Party and non-Party Bolsheviks tempered in struggle, by promoting new forces selflessly devoted to the cause of communism, by raising the theoretical level of the Party, by educating its ranks in the spirit of Marxism-Leninism.

Lenin’s doctrine of the dictatorship of the proletariat is the backbone of the Lenin-Stalin theory of socialist revolution. Stalin elaborated this doctrine jointly with Lenin. After Lenin’s death he systematized and assembled into a single whole the vast theoretical wealth of Lenin’s ideas on this problem, at the same time accomplishing a tremendous amount of creative work of his own which advances Lenin’s teachings on the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Comrade Stalin did more: he developed this doctrine with a view to the period of the building of socialism which was marked by the determined offensive against the capitalist elements, the drawing of millions of individual peasant farms into the work of socialist construction, the elimination of the kulaks as a class, and the transformation of Soviet economy with its survivals of capitalism—an economy which was not yet fully socialist—into socialist economy.

Comrade Stalin elaborated the question of the ways and means of the further extension of the social base of the dictatorship of the working class and the further consolidation of the latter. He taught that socialist industrialization would enhance the relative importance of the working class in Soviet society and would fortify the state leadership exercised by the working class over the other sections of the working people in the struggle for socialism. He taught that by the collectivization of agriculture the Party was laying a new unshakable economic foundation for the alliance between the working class and the peasantry, and that it was rendering this alliance indestructible and firm as granite. He taught that by pursuing a correct national policy the Party would put an end to the national strife that was characteristic of the pre-revolutionary period, and that it would weld the nations inhabiting the U.S.S.R. into a united fraternal family. And the Party of Lenin and Stalin has carried into life the teachings of Stalin, has hammered out the unprecedented moral and political unity of the Soviet people, has raised a new wave of Soviet patriotism and thereby consolidated the dictatorship of the working class.

Taking as a basis the social changes that had taken place in our country as a result of the victory of socialism, Comrade Stalin elaborated the specific ways for the development of the dictatorship of the working class—which always represented the broadest democracy for the working people—into a nationwide socialist democracy, a democracy which the history of mankind had never known before. The greatest document of our epoch—the Stalin Constitution, embodying the socialist achievements of which the outstanding minds of humanity always dreamed, for which the finest sons of the working class fought and died, for which the Roman slave and the guild-apprentice and all oppressed mankind throughout the ages groped in their reveries—this document represents also a new page in the teachings on the dictatorship of the proletariat.

With amazing perspicacity Comrade Stalin discerned the savage forms of struggle to which the enemy classes that were being eliminated by the socialist offensive would resort in the epoch of the dictatorship of the working class. He has taught that the elimination of the exploiting classes is a dialectical process—a ruthless struggle of antagonisms, a struggle between the new that is being born and the old that is dying, in which the new emerges victorious and as a result society rises to a higher stage in its development.

He has taught that the road to socialism leads not through the “subsidence of the class struggle” but through its intensification, not through the proletarian dictatorship being relaxed, but through its being strengthened in every way. He has taught that the force of the enemy resistance is growing tenfold owing to the fact that the U.S.S.R. is surrounded by a capitalist world. He has taught that the more hopeless the resistance of the enemy elements becomes the more desperate are the methods of struggle they resort to; deprived of any support within the country, they enter the service of the exploiting classes of foreign states and turn into a gang of spies, diversionists and assassins sent by foreign espionage services into the Land of Socialism.

Marx and Engels gave in their works a general idea of the communist society of the future. The brilliant ideas of Marx and Engels, which testify to the great prophetic powers of the founders of Scientific Socialism, served as a guiding line for the theoretical works and practical activity of Lenin and Stalin in their struggle for the victory of the working class, for socialism. Lenin, that great thinker, pointed out by his clear economic policy the road towards building up the socialist economy; in his famous laconic formula—“Communism is the Soviet power plus electrification”—he gave the idea of socialist industrialization; in his G.O.E.L.R.O.2 plan he anticipated the future Stalin Five-Year Plans; in his cooperative plan he indicated the route which subsequently became the highway along which the peasant millions began to march towards socialism. By establishing a durable alliance between the working class, relying for support on the poor peasants, and the middle peasantry he prepared the conditions for victorious socialist construction.

With the rough drafts left by Marx and Engels and Lenin’s works as his basis, Comrade Stalin developed Lenin’s outlines on the building of socialist society in the U.S.S.R. He has given Lenin’s ideas concrete content, and has made the building of socialism the cherished cause of scores of millions of workers, peasants and intellectuals. He unfolded the grand plan of socialist reforms, the realization of which has changed the face of the Soviet Union. Today it is no longer the country with “five economic formations” of which Lenin spoke; it is no longer the country of “War Communism” with ruined mines and idle factories; nor the country of the NEP period when the working class, while holding the key positions, permitted, on certain conditions, the development of capitalist elements in its economic system; nor the country in which there existed, alongside of socialist industry, millions of small individual peasant farms. Today it is the country of Socialism Victorious, with a powerful industry, with collectivized agriculture run on the largest scale in the world, with socialized trade in the hands of the state, the cooperative societies and collective farms.

Stalin provided the key to the solution of the contradiction between Soviet power, the most advanced power in the history of mankind, and the low technical and economic level of the Soviet country inherited from the old tsarist landlord and capitalist system. He has solved this contradiction by means of the socialist industrialization of the country.

Comrade Stalin provided the key to the solution of another contradiction—the contradiction between socialist industry, which was destroying the capitalist elements, and small individual peasant farming, which was engendering these elements daily and hourly and constituted a real danger of a restoration of capitalism in the U.S.S.R. Under Comrade Stalin’s leadership one of the greatest socialist transformations was accomplished—“a profound revolution, a leap from an old qualitative state of society to a new qualitative state, equivalent in its consequences to the revolution of October, 1917.” (History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, p. 305.)

These most important contradictions were overcome by means of socialist industrialization and the realization of the collective farm system, and as a result internal guarantees have been created for the building of a classless socialist society and the gradual transition from socialism to communism.

Under Comrade Stalin’s leadership the conditions are now being created for the solution of the most. important contradiction of the present period—the contradiction between the Soviet Union and the capitalist world surrounding it. They are being created by the tireless work to strengthen the defenses: of our country, as a result of the fact that the U.S.S.R. has achieved its technical and economic independence of the capitalist world, by the independent foreign policy of the, Soviet state which takes advantage of the antagonisms in the camp of the imperialists, by the Soviet Union, becoming a mighty base of support for the liberation movement of the laboring people of all countries.

Stalin elaborated the theoretical problems relating to the building of socialism as the first phase of communism. At each stage of the construction of socialism he formulates,. on the basis of an analysis of the specific features of the given concrete situation, the slogans that mobilize the masses to overcome the internal dialectical contradictions and to advance the Soviet country further towards socialism. He has shown that these dialectical contradictions are not solved spontaneously, “of themselves,” but by the active influence exerted by the Party, by .the Soviet state, and by the trade unions, by means of a determined offensive on the part of the working class against the capitalist elements. He formulated the famous six conditions for the economic advancement of the Soviet Union, elaborated the question of the role of money, of business accounting, of Soviet trade under socialism, and exposed the pernicious character of the various fantastic projects for the abolition of money and for passing over to the direct exchange of commodities under the conditions prevailing during the first, lower, phase of communism. He exposed the counterrevolutionary essence of petty-bourgeois equalization and showed its grasping, kulak nature that was militating .against socialism.

In realizing Lenin’s cooperative plan he has directed the great collective farm movement of the peasant masses along the channel of forming agricultural artels, which rationally combine, the public and personal interests of the collective farmer. He rebuffed the Leftist distortions in collective farm development. He has shown that only through the agricultural artel form of collective farm development will the peasantry arrive at the higher form of collective farming—the agricultural commune. But the commune will acquire real vitality only when it will spring up on the basis of developed technique and an abundance of products.

Proceeding from the material basis of socialism which has in the main already been built up, Comrade Stalin has indicated the paths for the transition from socialism to communism, thereby further advancing the theory of socialist revolution. At the Eighteenth Congress of the Party he formulated the slogan: to overtake and outstrip the capitalist countries economically as well, i.e., as regards the volume of output per capita of the population.

He has set the Party the task of constantly fostering the new socialist intelligentsia, pointing out its role and importance in the further transformation of our country. He has revealed the shoots of communism in the Stakhanov movement, discerning in this movement a means of obliterating the dividing line between mental and manual labor. He is teaching us that in the U.S.S.R., where man is no longer the slave of social relationships that are beyond his control, but the conscious creator of social relationships, it is people who have mastered technique that decide everything.

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Marx and Engels revealed the class nature of the state; they showed that ever since classes had appeared in society the state had always been an organization of the ruling class, an organization of a handful of exploiters, of the minority, for the suppression of the exploited, who represent the majority of the population. Lenin, in his work, State and Revolution, defended the teachings of Marx and Engels on the state against their vulgarization and distortion on the part of the opportunists, and smashed to pieces the would-be theories of the Social-Democratic reformists regarding the nature of the state as an organization that “stands above classes,” would-be theories which have subsequently been appropriated by the ideologists of the so-called totalitarian state.

What is the new contribution that Comrade Stalin has made to the Marxist-Leninist doctrine of the state? In the course of many decades Marxists adhered to Engels’ view that in a classless society, in which there would be no one to suppress or restrain, the need for a state power would disappear, and that the conversion of the means of production into public property would be the last independent act of the state as such.

Comrade Stalin has shown that this view of the state in the period of transition from socialism to communism, which was based on the assumption that socialism would triumph simultaneously in all countries, does not conform to the historic experience of the U.S.S.R. Proceeding from the fact that socialism has triumphed in the U.S.S.R. and that the beginning has been made of the gradual transition from socialism to communism, and proceeding further from the fact that the rivalry between the two world systems—the world of socialism and the world of capitalism—is growing in intensity, Comrade Stalin has formulated a new thesis, to the effect that even in a classless society, in a country in which communism will triumph, the state cannot wither away as long as the country is surrounded by a capitalist world, even though the forms and functions of this state will undergo changes.

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The history of Comrade Stalin’s work for, and of his contribution to, the cause of the international working class, as its teacher and leader, has still to be written. Comrade Stalin’s teachings connect him by invisible threads with the millions of workers and other laboring people in the capitalist countries. In his speeches and reports the followers of Marxism-Leninism throughout the world find a profound analysis of world affairs, a correct appraisal of the alignment of the class forces, a clear perspective of further advance. In his speeches they find the answer to the question as to what is to be done and what policy is to be pursued in order to put an end to reaction, imperialist wars and capitalism.

All the new that Comrade Stalin has contributed to the theory of Marxism-Leninism is today the possession not only of the working people of our country—it is the possession of the whole international working class. The Leninist-Stalinist theory of socialist revolution, summarizing as it does the entire vast experience of the land of triumphant socialism, serves as a beacon to illumine the path of the proletariat in the capitalist countries struggling to overthrow capitalism.

The international significance of the teachings of Lenin and Stalin consists also in the fact that they are accompanied by the creation of the new, Communist society; that they influence vast masses of people, direct the course of the first socialist revolution in the world, are verified by its experience, and represent an ideal combination of a great theory with enormous revolutionary practice. That is why, in the words of Comrade Molotov, “the names of Lenin and Stalin inspire bright hopes in every corner of the world and resound like a call to fight for peace and the happiness of the nations, to fight for complete emancipation from capitalism.”

Years will pass. Not a stone will be left of the accursed capitalist system, with its wars, its reaction, its vileness, brutality and savagery. In the memory of people the times of capitalism will remain as a ghastly nightmare.

But Stalin’s teachings will live in the hearts and minds of emancipated humanity. In the teachings of the four great protagonists of Communism—Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin—the man of the future communist society will find ideas and a stimulus to inspired work. New titans, men of powerful creative, thought and unbending will, will appear, who will supplement the great teaching of Marxism-Leninism with the experience of the struggle of emancipated humanity to master the blind forces of nature. They will continue the cause to which Comrade Stalin is devoting his brain, his heart, his whole life.



1.  New Economic Policy

2.  Commission for Elaborating the Plan for the Governmental Electrification of Russia.