Why did Khrushchev come to power after Stalin's death?
It makes no sense that on the one hand Josef Stalin was an overarching dictator who controlled every aspect of life in the Soviet Union, he supposedly "purged" his political enemies, yet on the other hand, after Stalin's death he was replaced by Nikita Khrushchev. After all Khrushchev is the man who slandered the name of Stalin by making false claims against him at the 20th congress of the CPSU. If Stalin was so in control of Soviet politics and was as ruthless as we are told then he would have liquidated Khrushchev long before his rise to power. Not only did Khrushchev attack Stalin as a person, but he deviated ideologically. Thus a leading party member with a personal dislike of Stalin and a conflicting ideology managed to not only remain a free man but ended up being general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
It is rather odd that in a so called police state, enemies of the dictator remain free, members of the same party and end up leading the country.
Your going back a long way comrade. The Kremlin like any seat of government had kingmakers to and I cannot remember who it would have been that helped smooth the way for Krushchev.
Certainly his close links to Marshal Georgy Zhukov who held the Red Army even after Lavrentiy Beria's smear campaign got Stalin to remove him. On the poliitical wing Krushchev had Leonid Brezhnev who he had brought to the kremlin machine.
Krushchev's crittical speech at the CPSU did not happen until 1956 three years after Stalins death and Krushchev had brought Zhukov back to command the red army .
Perhaps it is like America or the UK where despite the Republicans and Democrats or Conservatives and Labour's grumblings about each other, neither one of them will affect national policy in the long run if they get elected. They are puppets to be used when suitable, and not worth destroying if they happen to suit your agenda. How different was Kruschchev to Stalin anyway?
Here we are in the west, and despite the apparent 'differences' between the candidates, we've been heading in a consistent direction towards tyranny and against liberty for hundreds of years.
The phrase "after Stalin's death" sounds like a clue to me.
Khrushchev was different to Stalin in so many ways. These include the fact that Khrushchev made many false accusations against Stalin, it was Khrushchev who came up with all this 'cult of personality' nonsense. It was also from Khrushchev's falsification of history where most westerns criticisms of Stalin spring from
Some of his political differences include that Stalin was committed to the Leninist doctrine of the inevitability of war which was based on Lenin's work on Imperialism. In contrast, Khrushchev's position was of peaceful co-existence with capitalism. Likewise Stalin held the orthodox position that proletarian revolution must be violent, again this carries on from Marx and Lenin, in the State and Revolution for instance, Lenin tells us that if the state is an instrument of class oppression then only the destruction of the bourgeois state can raise the proletariat to political power. In contrast, Khrushchev spoke of a parliamentary road to socialism, something which is an abomination of Marxism and often spoke as so by Stalin. Likewise, Stalin favoured socialist production, naturally as a Marxist, yet Khrushchev directed state enterprises to run by profit motive.
These are but some of the differences between Khrushchev and Stalin, which show that on almost every major issue Khrushchev was anti Marxist and opposed to Stalin, yet never was he 'purged'.
From your explanation, I guess you're trying to defend Stalin, but if he's for violence and war I'd rather pick Kruschchev if I had the choice.
It's not that Stalin was for violence and war, but that he recognized that under capitalism and the age of imperialism war was inevitable as the imperialist states squabble over resources and control of the globe. Stalin was saying what does happen as opposed to what ought to happen.
I would argue that Kruschchev had it right on one hand because socialist ideas is what we're getting in the west through democracy, no violence required.
What we get is welfarism. For Marxists the basic definition of socialism is the end of exploitation of man by man, as a transitory stage on the road to communism. This is evidently nothing like the social democratic welfarism existent in the west. Welfare represents reformism, reforming the bourgeois system in order to maintain it, for Marxists, nothing but revolution and the utter destruction of the bourgeois political state and it's replacement with the Dictatorship of the Proletariat is enough.
Do I advocate the Dictatorship of the Proletariat? Absolutely. As Stalin himself tells us
"Can such a radical transformation of the old bourgeois order be achieved without a violent revolution, without the dictatorship of the proletariat?
Obviously not. To think that such a revolution can be carried out peacefully, within the framework of bourgeois democracy, which is adapted to the rule of the bourgeoisie, means that one has either gone out of one's mind and lost normal human understanding, or has grossly and openly repudiated the proletarian revolution".
And what moral justification do you have for that?
The Dictatorship of the Proletariat is the rule of the formerly exploited majority against the exploiting minority. I don't believe any further moral justification is required.
Okay so it's just the proletariat's TURN to be tyrannical. I see. Why is the proletariat better than the bourgeoisie?
Well in the first instance, it is the rule of the majority against the minority, which if nothing is to be favoured to the alternative and prior system. But also, the rule of the Bourgeoisie depends on the bourgeoisie exploiting the labour of the Proletariat. The rule of the proletariat does not require any such exploitation.
The more important point is that The Dictatorship of the Proletariat removes the Bourgeoisie from their place as owners of the means of production. Once the Bourgeoisie cease to own the means of production they are absorbed into the Proletariat. Once this is achieved then we have a truly classless society = communism. Not tyranny, but mutual classless cooperation.
No freedom, no innovation, no upward mobility, and the gap between the rich and poor is solved by making everyone destitute.
Oh, except for the fat cats in the government who carry out the "will" of the proletariat. They're pretty rich.
The more fringe left you go, the more fringe right you start to look. It's a shame Hitler and Stalin never got along. As leaders they were practically identical.
And if communism is so awesome how come the people who live in communist countries have a history of trying to escape to capitalist countries? The Berlin Wall wasn't built to keep people OUT of East Germany, you know.
On the other side of the argument why since the end of Communist Party rule in Eastern Europe has there been a massive influx of Eastern Europeans into Western Europe? Seems odd.
But also, communist countries is an oxymoron. Communism has never occurred, only the transitory era of socialism has been achieved to date.
Stalin in Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, his final work, notes that class antagonisms in the Soviet Union remained, ergo no communism existed, but socialism. But it is also a basic tenet of Marxism that the proletarian revolution cannot be secured in a single country, therefore communism is not possible in a single country but only once the global balance of forces shift in the overwhelming favour of the socialist camp. Quite simply, communism is borderless.
Marx was--how shall I put this?--completely wrong.
Communism makes a basic assumption about human nature that is simply untrue: that people will en masse perform to the best of their abilities for no tangible personal gain.
Never gonna happen. People are lazy. You can't build a global society on the assumption that they're not.
This is the classic statement of one who has not read Marx/Engels or understood his writing, the tagline of many communist/socialist revolutions was: He who does not work neither shall he eat" communism in no way centers around the idea of people working for no reason out of their goodness of their hearts that is used simply as a further incentive in that their work also serves a noble purpose but people work for the same reasons they do now, to get a wage (or other method of payment) it's a shame that you would criticize without understanding.
When people produce something, they are more motivated to work hard if they can keep all or most of what they produce (or the money they earn from selling or producing it) to benefit themselves and their immediate families.
Communism assumes that making everyone contribute their entire earnings/production into an anonymous pool for "redistribution" has zero effect on people's motivation to work hard/efficiently.
Don't use communes/Kibbutzim as a counter-argument - these are voluntary organisations, where people are free to leave. Under a Communist regime, you aren't free to leave - not unless you want to risk being shot.
Firstly it is no good to go around stereotyping what a communist society is there have been literally hundreds of socialist/communist government types secondly and more importantly, communism offers the worker on average a greater share of his produce than capitalism does, the worker in a capitalist system may get a wage but ultimately he is given the lowest possible wage while the money is made by those higher up the chain of command centering on the business owner as a result workers get a tiny fraction of what they produce given back to them, under a communist system everything they produce comes back to them either through their wages or through the public works of the state. So the reverse is true, yes there is a distancing between the produce and the return but I think it is foolish to presume that people are not capable of understanding the above and that as a result the return is actually greater.
There might be less disparity in wages, sure, but the loss of freedom and the sheer dreariness* would kind of spoil it for me, I think.
It bothers me very much that we are headed down the same road.
*I visited the former DDR shortly after the reunification of Germany. It was quite an eye-opener. Let's just say that there were virtually no buildings (apart from the government ones right in the centre of East Berlin) that had seen a lick of paint in 40 years.
I lived in Cuba for several years and I understand what you are saying but equally it is not a good argument in the sense that just because buildings had not seen pain this mean things are going badly are there not more important things to spend money on? But anyway as for the dreariness I don't see why it should be any more or less dreary than it is here, you have a job you do it and you can quit if you want nor do I agree that freedom has to be lost (I agree it often has in the past but it is not a necessity of Marxist thought just an unfortunate imposition of self proclaimed Marxist leaders) this myth that has been perpetuated of communist states being dreary grey places is just a little incomprehensible I know that the US government (that supposedly loves freedom) makes it hard to visit Cuba but I advise you do and see for yourself the massive economic advances that have been made since the revolution and whether some of your ideas are on track.
I've not been to Cuba myself, but I would imagine that one thing which perhaps lifts it above the known, documented dreariness of other Communist states (past and present) is its hot climate, giving more opportunity for growing food and living an outdoor life.
Yes, I would like to know why the US has taken such steps to prevent its own people from trading with/visiting Cuba. It makes no sense to me.
And yet Cuba must have some sort of willing (or unwilling) co-operation going on with the US, otherwise we wouldn't have Guantanamo Bay.
Would love to visit, but I don't see my finances allowing that any time soon
Oh, I didn't say people wouldn't work. They'll just do the bare minimum. And since the productivity standard will have to be the lowest common denominator the majority of the populace will be working well below their potential.
Therefore less will be produced, therefore there will be less to go around, therefore everyone will get poorer ad infinitum. Ending the gap between rich and poor doesn't make everyone middle class, it makes everyone poor.
So explain to me how me working in a communist factory will make me less willing to work than working in a capitalist one? in a capitalist one I get paid a wage per hour, I do the minimum possible unless I want to advance in the company in which case I work harder, the exact same thing occurs in both places, the only difference is that if I work hard at work under a communist system everyone benefits, if I work hard at work in a capitalist system my boss gets richer, which is more encouraging?
Not to mention that incentives can be added and subtracted according to performance if so desired.
Exactly. You work harder under a capitalist system and you have the potential to advance. You work harder under a communist system and you receive, in theory, the value of the extra amount you produce divided by the entire population it's being distributed to. The benefit is so diffused that it's almost unnoticeable. Earn an extra thousand dollars in a town of one thousand and you and each of your neighbors get a dollar. I don't know about you, but that doesn't give me a warm feeling.
And if you're now talking about adding incentives for higher productivity then I don't think we're talking about communism anymore.
Firstly you can advance in a communist society as well, to a higher position of leadership and higher incentive. See this is another misconception, there is no necessary separation between communism and incentive, even under the initial Cuban system there was a bonus for exceeding a quota and a penalty for coming in under a reasonable quota there is nothing wrong with any of these things, the aim of communism is to minimize class and maximize public benefit within the reasonable.
Er... Western Europe is richer than Eastern Europe, and people tend to migrate to places where they think the streets are paved with gold. Or at least, jobs.
And yet, in a stunning piece of doublethink, the East Germans called the Wall the "Anti-Fascist Protective Rampart". Which for me, kind of sums Communism up.
Then he's the bloodiest pacifist the world has ever seen. I'd hate to see what would have happened if he had FAVORED violence.
You misunderstand the implications, that if Stalin was all controlling and intruding in Soviet life he would be aware of tall of the political beliefs of the leading cadres of the party such as Khrushchev. And if those leading cadres were so anti-Stalin, the dictator would have had him purged.
So you see the fact Stalin's character was attacked after his death is irrelevant. As it is inconceivable that in a an overarching intrusive and dictatorial police state, the dictator would not know the beliefs of those around him.
It is not at all irrelevant.Zhukov and Krushchev had both been marginalised at different times by Stalin.However,the power held by them and there compartriots staved off the ultimate sanction.
Working together they were able to replace or woo people in prominent postions to their side using their own fear of Stalin's retribution.
On Stalin's interpretation of Marxism you have to remember within the party many still held to Lenin and Trotsky's interpretation. Stalinism did what he needed it to do keep him a the top of the party.
My words were meant to be in response to "The phrase "after Stalin's death" sounds like a clue to me." by Eric Newland.
But on your point, I will never accept the bracketing of Lenin and Trotsky together. For Trotsky was no Leninists. It was under Stalin that the CPSU adhered to a Leninist line, after Stalin's death Leninism in he USSR ended..
"Zhukov and Krushchev had both been marginalised at different times by Stalin.However,the power held by them and there compartriots staved off the ultimate sanction." - Thank you this proves my point exactly. Stalin was not an uncontrolled dictator, as you recognize by saying Khrushchev and Zhukov held power of their own.
Khrushchev supported Stalin's purging of his political enemies and continued to do so when Stalin sent him to govern the Ukraine.
Khrushchev may have been a more liberal man than Stalin, it doesn't mean that he was less intelligent (hiding his real political views). After all he was also a communist, it's not as if he was part of the radicals that opposed Stalin!
Indeed it is correct that he wasn't involved in the Bukharinite murder plots. But I cannot accept that he was a communist when he repudiated the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (he declared the USSR a classless state for all - totally contradicting Marxist theory), advocated peaceful co-existence and a parliamentary road to socialism.
Marxist Professor V Singh has described Khrushchev's ideology in this way "the ideology of classless scientific-technical advance", and i think that is fairly accurate.
I am against any form of dictatorship from the bourgeoisie or from the proletariat. A classless society would be more equalitarian, a classless society would not have privileges... but it would be an utopia.
"the ideology of classless scientific-technical advance" is recognition that under Khrushchev, class was not a part of ideology, thus he was no Marxist. And you may well be against the dictatorship of the proletariat, that is fine as you (to my knowledge) unlike Khrushchev do not claim to be a communist.
Many places in America are like that too. Someone here once showed pictures of our dams as compared to a country in Europe....it was as if we in America were back in the 1950's, and Europe a sleek, futuristic vision of beauty.
Capitalism produces a ton of abuse and neglect, too.
Too much worry about profit at the top, not enough about basic needs at the bottom.
We have people in squalor, and people in absurd wealth. The experiment has failed, or needs a tune-up Big Time.
People keep picking on Stalin because they are mean and have no love in their hearts... it's as simple as that.
Same with Fidel Castro. Just ask the Wizard of Ozzie.
sometimes, people just want hugs.. be they house moms, sports stars, mass murdering dictators...
did anyone ever offer Stalin a hug??
If not, then the fault for his occasional missteps surely lies with a Russian society which had not yet fully embraced the value and benefits of personal contact
People have forgotten how to forgive. Conservative estimates say that Stalin might have murdered as little as three million, which in the grand scheme of things isn't so much, is it? Haven't we all made mistakes?
And we are talking big changes here. When you want to implement global peace and equality and unity you can't avoid having one or two or three or a million or ten million or so people get hurt. Change ain't easy.
Scratch that, you need to get rid of religion so we're ultimately talking about a six-billion-and-some-odd purge. But still, it's for the greater good!
"Stalin is too rude and this defect, although quite tolerable in our midst and in dealing among us Communists, becomes intolerable in a Secretary-General. That is why I suggest the comrades think about a way of removing Staling from that post and appointing another man in his stead who in all other respects differs from Comrade Stalin in having only one advantage, namely, that of being more tolerant, more loyal, more polite, and more considerate to the comrades, less capricious, etc."
Lenin, 25 December 1922
There are still some people who think that we have Stalin to thank for all our progress, who quake before Stalin's dirty underdrawers, who stand at attention and salute them.
Stalin acted not through persuasion, explanation and patient cooperation with people, but by imposing his concepts and demanding absolute submission to his opinion. Whoever opposed this concept or tried to prove his own viewpoint, and the correctness of his own position, was doomed to removal from the leading collective and to subsequent moral and physical annihilation.
Everyone can err, but Stalin considered that he never erred, that he was always right. He never acknowledged to anyone that he made any mistake, large or small, despite the fact that he made not a few mistakes in the matter of theory and in his practical activity
One of Ivan the Terrible's mistakes was to overlook the five great feudal families. If he had annihilated those five families, there would definitely have been no Time of Troubles. But Ivan the Terrible would execute someone and then spend a long time repenting and praying. God got in his way in this matter. He ought to have been still more decisive!
I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how.
The idea of a concentration camp is excellent.
I'm finished. I trust no one, not even myself.
Do you remember the tsar? Well, I‘m like a tsar
When my mother left us, he [Stalin] was left completely alone. And I think what came next, in the late 30s and after the war in the 40s - I think that was a result of his complete loneliness on top of the world. Nobody would argue with him anymore.
Every crime was possible to Stalin, for there was not one he had not committed. Whatever standards we use to take his measure, in any event — let us hope for all time to come — to him will fall the glory of being the greatest criminal in history. For in him were joined the senselessness of a Caligula with the refinement of a Borgia and the brutality of a Tsar Ivan the Terrible.
Yugoslavian Communist Milovan Đilas,
In response to EmpressFelicity. The US has Guantanamo not because Cuba is cooperating but because the US military is occupying it illegally.
The base was leased to the US by the Batista dictatorship. The lease gave the US permission to use the base for Naval + shipping purposes, but it also states that these are the only uses, and that no commercial entertprises may be hosted there. Obviously detention and torture is not naval and shipping, and the base also hosts things like fast food resturaunts. The US has thus broken the deal, and legally has no right to it, but like the bully it is, it continues to occupy the base.
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