Stalinism

Soviet Union, China and other Stalinisms - reading guide

Further reading guide about "state socialist" countries. Unlike many books on Stalinist societies, these texts emphasise struggles from below:

From the Russian revolution of 1917 to Stalinist totalitarianism - Agustín Guillamón

A historical essay on the transition from Russian Revolution of the Soviets to bureaucratic dictatorship under Stalin, with special emphasis on the period extending from the February Revolution to the period of War Communism.

Joe building: The Stalin memorial lecture - Jonathan Meades

Sketch of the proposed Stalinist Skyscraper

A sequel of sorts to Jerry Building this time examining Stalin and the Soviet Union.

How the NKVD framed the POUM - Jesús Hernández

The following text is taken from the memoirs of Jesús Hernández, published in 1953 in Mexico as Yo fuí un ministro de Stalin (I Was a Minister of Stalin). The memoirs have never been translated in full to english. The sections reproduced below are about the stalinist persecution and suppression of the POUM. They were originally serialised during 1953 in Labor Action, the US socialist paper published by Max Shachtman’s Workers Party.

November 1989: The working class trapped under the Velvet Tricolour

Kolektivne Proti Kapitalu's analysis of the working-class and Stalinism's demise in the Czech Republic with the Velvet Revolution.

Stakhanovism and the British workers

Alexei Stakhanov

Marie Louise Berneri's article on Stakhanovism and other methods imposed on workers in order to squeeze more productivity and profit out of them for the Soviet and British war economies. Written in 1942 and reprinted in The Left and World War 2: Selections from the Anarchist Journal 'War Commentary' 1939-1943.

Review: Revolution and counterrevolution: Class struggle in a Moscow metal factory and worker resistance under Stalin: Class and revolution on the shop floor

A review of two books on the topic of working class responses to Stalinism in the USSR.

The strange story of Nikolai Starostin, football and Lavrentii Beria

An article by Jim Riordan in the journal Europe-Asia Studies describing the fate of Nikolai Starostin, a man who captained his country at soccer and ice hockey, founded the Spartak Sports Society, managed it and the Soviet national soccer team - and who spent ten years as a political prisoner in Stalin's labour camps.

Communism has not yet begun - Claude Bitot

First published in 1995 in France: Section One, “The Historical Balance Sheet” includes chapters on: communist movements throughout history; Marx and Engels and communism; “Real” vs. “Formal” domination of capital and the importance of this distinction for understanding the failure of the old workers movements (capitalism was not “obsolete” prior to 1945). Section Two, “Perspectives”, contains an extensive discussion of: the economic roots of capitalism’s current crisis (the “final stage of its cycle”); the communist revolution; and socialism.

HONGRIE 1956: «LE PROLETARIAT A L’ASSAUT DU CIEL» - Mouvement Communiste

Un orchestre de cuivres ouvrier, Budapest 1956

The original French version of the Mouvement Communiste pamphlet on Hungary 56.