Vasiliy Yefanov, An Unforgettable Meeting, 1937

 

Never before has a man carried so high the aspiration for freedom, for the peace and self-determination of the oppressed peoples than Joseph Stalin. His unconditional devotion to the emancipation of the mankind, his ability to mobilise an entire nation to advance towards modernity and to stand up against the odious beast of fascism make him one of the greatest leaders in human history.

Anna Louise Strong perfectly describes this ability in her brilliant book The Stalin Era :

“He had a deep sense of what I can only call the will of the people, he had matchless technique in releasing that will in action. Finally, he had the conviction and was able to give it to others, that his action carried mankind forward to a better day.”

He was a great mobiliser, from his native Georgia to the freezing prisons of Siberia, he had always succeeded in organising the oppressed workers effectively. He was always among them in perfect symbiosis.

Stalin and the USSR hold a central place in the history of the working class, in the history of the oppressed peoples in general. While the Bourgeoisie celebrates its genocidal heroes, obsessed with personal profit, with great pomp and circumstance, it never hesitates to throw as much mud as possible over the name of Stalin. And they are right to do so, for he embodies their deepest fear: their end. He expresses this will very well in his work Anarchism and Socialism :

“The Socialist dictatorship of the proletariat is needed so that with its help the proletariat could expropriate the bourgeoisie, confiscate the land, forests, factories and works, machines, railways, etc. from all the bourgeoisie. The expropriation of the bourgeoisie – that is what the Socialist revolution must lead to.”

He proved with the tremendous achievements of the USSR that building socialism in one country was possible, that freeing oneself from the exploitation of the bourgeois class was possible, that without a boss the factory runs and it runs better, without two-party elections, democracy is even more representative, and that the workers in charge can build a more sustainable society.

Today, as we mark 142 years since his birth, we socialist soldiers celebrate and vow to carry on the historic mission of the proletariat, to which Stalin devoted himself and all his energies.