By W.E.B. DuBois
Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th Century approach his stature. He was simple, calm and courageous. He seldom lost his poise; pondered his problems slowly, made his decisions clearly and firmly, never yielding to ostentation or coyly refrained from holding his rightful place with dignity. He was the son of a serf, but stood calmly before the great without hesitation or nerves. But also - and this was the highest proof of his greatness - he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate.
Stalin was not a man of conventional learning; he was much more than that: he was a man who thought deeply, read understandingly and listened to wisdom, no matter whence it came. He was attacked and slandered as few men of power have been; yet he seldom lost his courtesy and balance; nor did he let attacks drive him from his convictions nor induce him to surrender positions which he knew were correct. As one of the despised minorities of man, he first set Russia on the road to conquer race prejudice and make one nation out of its 140 groups without destroying its individuality.
His judgment of men was profound. He early saw through the flamboyance and exhibitionism of Trotsky, who fooled the world, and especially America. The whole ill-bred and insulting attitude of Liberals in the U.S. today began with our naive acceptance of Trotsky's lying propaganda, which he carried around the world. Against it, Stalin stood like a rock and moved neither to the right nor to the left, as he continued to advance towards real Socialism instead of the sham that Trotsky offered.
Three great decisions faced Stalin in power and he met them magnificently: First, the problem of the peasants; then the West European attack, and then the Second World War. The poor Russian peasant was the lowest victim of Tsarism, Capitalism and the Orthodox Church. But the Russian Kulaks (big 'landowners) clung tenaciously to capitalism and were near wrecking the Socialist Revolution when Stalin risked a second revolution and drove out these rural bloodsuckers of the Russian peasants.
Then came the Foreign Intervention; the continuing threat of attacks by the Western nations - only halted by the capitalist Great Depression – only to be re-opened by West-supported Hitlerism. It was Stalin who steered the Soviet Union between Scylla and Charybdis: Western Europe and the US were willing to betray and sacrifice the USSR to fascism, but then had to beg the Soviet Union for aid in the Second World War. A lesser man than Stalin would have demanded vengeance for the Munich accord, but he had the wisdom to ask only justice for his fatherland. This US President Roosevelt granted, but Winston Churchill of Britain held: back. The British Empire proposed first to save itself in Africa and Southern Europe, while Hitler smashed the Soviet Union.
The opening of the Second Front was being delayed by the West purposely, but Stalin pressed unfalteringly ahead. He risked the ruin of Socialism in the USSR in order to smash Hitler's and Mussolini's fascism. After Stalingrad and the rout of German Nazis, the Western World's leadership did not know whether to weep or applaud. The cost of victory of the Soviet Union was frightful. To this day the outside world has no idea of the tragedy, the devastation, the loss and sacrifices. For Stalin's calm, stern leadership in the USSR and over the world, arises a deep worship of Stalin by the people.
Then came the problem of Peace. Hard as this was to Europe, it was immensely harder to Stalin and the Soviets. The rulers of the world hated /feared the USSR and Stalin and would have been only too willing to see the utter defeat and failure of this attempt to build Socialism in the USSR. But they feared Japan's ambitions in the East where the East and Asia, where they were in control of the colonies. Diplomacy took hold and Stalin was picked as the victim. He was called to a Conference by Churchill and Roosevelt, with British Imperialism represented by its trained and well-fed aristocracy; and with the vast wealth and potential power of America, represented by its leader Roosevelt.
Here Stalin showed his real greatness! He never cringed nor strutted and he never surrendered. He gained the friendship of Roosevelt and the respect of Churchill. He asked neither adulation nor vengeance. He was reasonable and conciliatory. But on what he deemed essential, he was inflexible. He was willing to resurrect the League of Nations, which had insulted the USSR. He was willing to offer the might of the Red Army to fight Japan, even though Japan was no menace to the Soviet Union, but might be death to the British Empire and to American economic trade. But on two points Stalin was adamant. The territory that was stolen from the USSR must be returned to the Soviets, whence it had been stolen as a threat. The Balkans was not to be left helpless before Western exploitation for the benefit of land monopoly. The workers and peasants there must have their say as to their future.
Such was Stalin the man who now lies dead. But still the butt of noisy jackals and of the ill-bred men of some parts of the distempered West In his entire life J.V. Stalin suffered continual and studied insults: he was forced to make bitter decisions on his own responsibility.
His reward comes as the common man stands on solemn acclaim before a Great Teacher – J.V. Stalin.Close this page to return.