Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

In Defence of Stalin: Discussion Notes by a British Worker


The announcement of the fall of Khruschev is the clearest possible vindication of the correctness of the anti-revisionist position, from Stalin’s visible opposition to Khruschev and his associates in 1952, to the present principled stand of the Communist Party of China, the Albanian communists and all genuine Marxists throughout the world.

Khruschev’s redundancy notice as head of the Soviet party and state confirms and carries forward the analysis made in the notes published in this booklet. In particular, we draw the reader’s attention to the analysis of the basic reason for Khruschev1s personal downfall made by Stalin as long ago as 1938, and quoted at the end of the previous article.

Further, the analysis of the Soviet revisionists in general and Khruschev in particular matte in the main document on the 20th Congress, shows that the essence of Khruschev’s position is a right-wing nationalist deviation from Marxism that makes the only real determinant of policy the protection of Soviet interests. It is clear that Khruschev’s failure is a failure on those terms of reference. A failure internally in the Soviet Union in the disorganisation of Soviet economy, a failure externally to produce any decisive result from a policy of accommodation with imperialism, and in Soviet relations with Eastern Europe and above all with China. In that sense, the explosion of the first Chinese atom bomb simultaneously with Khruschev’s downfall was like a gigantic exclamation mark added to the notice of the Soviet leader’s dismissal.

Further, is not Khruschev’s resignation, after such a comparatively short period, the clearest possible exposure of the revisionist legends concerning his role? If he was based upon some deep popular source of authority in Soviet society, if he had strengthened the Soviet Communist Party instead of liquidating its proletarian character, had replaced the so-called “stagnation” in the Soviet Union by dynamic practical leadership, had replaced Stalin’s so-called “rigidity” by masterly use of diplomacy in the pursuit of peace, had in fact out-manoeuvred the imperialist politicians and reduced his opponents in the international communist movement to an insignificant minority clearly distorting Marxism; then his position and prestige would have been impregnable, unshakable, and the revisionists of all countries would not now be compelled to accept the fact of his removal.

Instead, Khruschev is clearly seen by the top Soviet leadership to have failed even from the narrow viewpoint of the direct protection of Soviet interests, which remains the dominant trend.

The opponents of revisionism in Britain will welcome the criticism of certain of Khruschev’s personal defects published in Pravda, for it is precisely the exposure of such defects that were resisted to the last by the right-wingers in the Communist movement in Britain.

They will also take the opportunity to ask certain questions concerning the leading British revisionists.

Why did they not merely tolerate but admire such an obviously opportunist and unprincipled politician? Why did they do everything in their power to support him, and to assist him in the deception of the working class?

Why did they not notice the obvious contradictions in his public statements, to say nothing of his policy? Why did they treat his every erratic word as the Fifth Gospel, the revisionist revelation? Why did they shut their eyes to his behaviour, which ranged from that of bully to buffoon?

Why did Khruschev’s praise of imperialist politicians and abuse of Stalin and Mao Tse-tung only increase their loyalty? Why did his fiasco over Cuba not shake their allegiance?

The only answer is that Khruschev’s opportunism was their opportunism, his lack of principle their lack of principle, his abandonment of Marxism their abandonment of Marxism.

They were revisionist all, loyal to the last, as Gomulka and Kadar tire to this day, even after Khruschev’s dismissal.

We must add, however, that in presenting the issue as if the failure of Khruschev’s policy was due to Khruschev’s personal failings, Pravda and the Soviet leadership are covering up the basic reasons for that failure.

The revisionist policy of Khruschev that has clearly failed was not merely or primarily an expression of his personality. On the contrary. It was the policy that was expressed by the personality.

An opportunist, unprincipled policy against the interests of the international working class, including the Soviet workers, brought to the fore an unprincipled opportunist politician. A politician who publicly and brutally repudiated the interests of the international working class as a determinant of policy. A politician who all too plainly represented the interests of the non-proletarian elements in Soviet society against these of the industrial working class.

In the words of Marx, the class struggle “created circumstances and relationships that enabled a grotesque mediocrity to strut about in a hero’s garb.”

The Soviet leadership has already stated that Soviet policy will continue to be based on the revisionist decisions of the 20th Congress and those following it, a statement greeted with heartfelt relief by all revisionists, not least those in Britain.

It may well be that there may be a superficial gesture in the direction of patching up the conflict with China, to modify polemics and so on. To the extent that this relieves pressure on our Chinese comrades, it may be welcomed, despite the fact that the motive on the Soviet side will remain the narrow one of the protection of Soviet interests, which remains the dominant trend.

To continue the basic struggle between Marxism and revisionism in the interests of the restoration of Marxism remains the task as before, in Britain above all. To a certain extent, this task is rendered more difficult for a time by the departure of Khruschev and the presentation of a “new” Soviet leadership. Yet who but Brezhnev seized the occasion of Togliatti’s funeral for yet another anti-Chinese speech? Who but Suslov presented a virulently anti-Chinese report to the Soviet General Committee in February last?

The occasion of Khruschev’s downfall was marked by an appeal from John Gollan for an end to “bitter and personalised polemic” (Daily Worker, October 24, 1964)

Why is this stand taken publicly by Gollan only in 1964? Where was Gollan eight years ago, when the international communist movement was disgraced by the most bitter and personalised polemic of all from Gollan’s revisionist champion Khruschev?

Is the difference that in 1956 the polemic was in the interests of revisionism, whereas now an actual majority of members of the international communist movement support the Marxist standpoint?

Is this also the reason why the London Daily Worker continues to print repeated attacks on Stalin to this day?

Why do you imagine the Soviet revisionists, the Trotskyites, the British ruling class and the British revisionists are as one on this question?

The leading British revisionists detect in the name of Stalin, a name they have done their best to destroy, a “terrible” prospect, as well they might: the coming restoration of Marxism in Britain. A restoration that will sweep them away and fully and finally expose their betrayal of the working class.

October, 1964.