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[John G. Wright]

Gangway fo’ de Lawd

(May 1935)

From New International, Vol.2 No.3, May 1935, pp.109-110.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

AT THE Seventh Congress of the Soviets, a writer, A. Avdeyenko, delivered an extraordinary speech entitled Why I Applauded Stalin. It was one of the highlights of the Congress. So profound an impression did Avdeyenko’s speech produce that Molotov himself paused in his summary to take note of it. Said Molotov,

“I do not intend to dwell upon the speeches of individual comrades ... I shall refer only to speech of writer Avdeyenko who ... brilliantly underscored the great significance of our struggle for socialism, as well as the devotion to Soviet power, and the love for our party and [!] for comrade Stalin which permeates the toilers in their millioned masses.” (Applause)

The issue of Pravda (February 1, 1935) that carries Molotov’s summary, also carries Avdeyenko’s photograph and his remarkable speech. Exigencies of space and time forbid us to reprint more than the most exalted passages.

Immediately upon taking the platform, Avdeyenko said:

“Centuries shall elapse and the communist generations of the future will deem us the happiest of all mortals that have inhabited this planet throughout the ages, because it is we who have seen Stalin the leader-genius, Stalin the sage, the smiling, the kindly, the supremely simple ...

“When I met Stalin, even at a distance, I throbbed with his forcefulness, his magnetism and his greatness. I wanted to sing, to shriek, to howl from happiness and exaltation.”

And so Avdeyenko sang, shrieked and howled. Said Avdeyenko in conclusion:

“Our love, our devotion, our strength, our heart, our heroism, our life – all these are thine, great Stalin! Here take them, all this is thine, chief of the great fatherland. Dispose of thy sons, capable of heroic feats in the air, under the earth, on the waters, and in the stratosphere ...

“Men of all time and of all nations shall call by thine name all that is beautiful, strong, wise, and pretty. Thine name is and shall remain on every factory, every machine, every bit of land, and in the hearts of every man ...

“When my beloved will bear me my child, the first word I shall teach him will be – STALIN!” (Frenzied applause)

The ecstasy and the feeling are unmistakable. So genuine, so deeply felt, so unlabored.

In Pravda of December 9, 1934 there is unfortunately printed a speech by the self-same A. Avdeyenko. In December, he spoke not in Moscow but in Sverdlovsk; not at the Congress, but at a meeting devoted to the forthcoming elections to the Soviets. He spoke on the subject of The Intellectual. The same Avdeyenko – the same passion! We reprint here passages from both speeches.


I am an intellectual, I write books, I study, I am happy, I love a girl in a new way, I am expecting a baby, I live in a mighty, famous, gigantic land, I do not worry about tomorrow, I go to theatres, I elect my own .government myself – all thanks to thee Soviet power!

Early in the morning I jump out of bed, wash under the cold faucet, perform calisthenics, and run up and down my rooms and sing and laugh from surcease of strength – all thanks to thee, Soviet power ...

I can be a real writer. I will live in Socialism, all men shall be my brothers, I will live in a world eternally radiant and happy – all thanks to thee Soviet power!

I dream of creating something immortal, of flying to the moon, of circumnavigating the earth, of seeing socialism in Europe and in America. I am able to think so boldly because my creative imagination is not degraded by anybody – all thanks to thee, Soviet power ...

I am happy, I am bold, I am full of the joy of living, I am audacious, strong, passionate, curious, I have fallen in love with all that is beautiful, good and true. I resemble my comrades, and my comrades resemble me – all thanks to thee, Soviet power.



I am not infected with any disease, I am strong, I cherish in my bosom the very finest human feelings: love, devotion, honesty, self-sacrifice, heroism, disinterestedness – all thanks to thee, great educator Stalin!

I write books, I am a writer, I dream of creating a work which will never be forgotten, I love a girl in a new way, I procreate my kind, and it shall be a happy one – all thanks to thee, great educator Stalin ...

I am happy, full of joy of living, I am unshakably bold, I go to sleep with greatest sorrow, I wake up happy, I will live to be 100 years old, my hair will turn white, but I will remain eternally happy and radiant – all thanks to thee, great educator Stalin ...

I can fly to the moon, travel to the Arctic, invent a new machine, for my creative energy is not trampled by anybody – all thanks to thee, great educator Stalin ...

We are many. We are – engineers, writers, aviators, journalists, lock-smiths, mounters, machinists, government officers, managers of cities, explorers of the Arctic scholars – all thanks to thee, Sage Educator ...






Inspired to become lyrical ourselves, we can only paraphrase a second-rate English poet, and a great wit:

So, Stalinists, observe, a flea
Has smaller fleas that to him pray;
And these have smaller still to cite ’em:
And so proceed ad infinitum.

N.B. A. Avdeyenko’s novel, I Love (thanks to you, O Stalin!) is the latest Soviet novel off the press of the International Publishers. The Daily Worker proudly quotes a reviewer in the English Spectator who insists that such a book “could hardly be dug out of the present-day Western society”.

If Avdeyenko is half as expert at digging as he is at crawling – his novel will be hard to beat.


Last updated: 19.6.2005