Labor Action special May 1954: What is Stalinism?

What is Stalinism?

The Socialist Fight against Capitalism is the Positive Answer to Stalinism The Russian Stalinist Social System The Nature of the Communist Parties Stalinist Imperialism and the War Crisis From 1950 to 1957, each May Labor Action, the paper of the "Third Camp" Trotskyists, the Independent Socialist League, gave over a week's publication to a special "pamphlet issue" on a big political question. This is the May 1954 special.

The Russian Stalinist Social System

IT is impossible to discuss any important political problem of our time, let alone take a part in resolving it, without a clear understanding of what Stalinism really signifies. It is just as impossible to get such an understanding from the writings and speeches of capitalists, their statesmen, politicians, hangers-on, apologists, or any other beneficiaries of their rule. They are quite capable of describing the notorious vices of Stalinism. Its true social significance, however, escapes them, and so also therefore does the simple secret of combating it effectively. For the very first task to...

The Socialist Fight Against Capitalism is the Positive Answer to Stalinism

In the United States today, it takes very little intelligence and no courage at all to be "against Stalinism." Outside of the tiny American Stalinist movement and the narrow little circle of its non-party apologists, everyone is against it. Cynical ward-heelers, running for some petty local office, seek votes on the ground that they know how to "fight Communism." Tens of billions of dollars are appropriated for the armed forces in the name of "fighting Communism." Both major political parties seek to gain control of the machinery of the American government by claiming that each knows how to...

The Nature of the Communist Parties

What kind of organization and movement is the Communist Party? We know that in the countries where Stalinism is in power, it is the "state party," the ruling institution of the regime, the instrument through which the bureaucracy holds together the reins of totalitarian power. But what is the Communist Party in countries where capitalism still rules and it is in opposition? The CP, particularly in the latter countries, is widely looked on as a "working-class party," even by many anti-Stalinists, even though they may attack it as a workers' party with a wrong, or excessively "leftist," or...

Stalinist Imperialism and the War Crisis

There is a paradox - only an apparent one - in the development of Stalinist imperialism. Stalinism arose out of the counter-revolution in Russia under the slogan of building "socialism in one country" as against the perspective of "world revolution" represented by the Bolshevik left wing under Trotsky. An historic internal struggle took place within the party under these different banners, in which, as everybody knows, the Stalinist wing won out. To the Stalinists, the theory of "socialism in one country" which they put forward meant: Let's keep our eyes fixed on our problems at home; let's...

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