This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.

Maoist Internationalist Movement

Marking 50 years since death of Stalin:
What it means to defend Stalin today

On March 5th, we mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Stalin, the great Soviet leader (1924 to 1953) followed by bourgeois degenerates and incompetents who restored capitalism in the Soviet Union. Amongst all communist leaders, Stalin has received the greatest fascination in the imperialist countries with countless newspaper articles and 800 page books written about him.

Croatian Ivica Kostelic won a World Cup skiing race in January, 2003 and said Nazism was a "healthy system" and that Stalin was worse than Hitler, because Stalin supposedly killed people at random. People throughout eastern Europe are coming out with similar Nazi leanings.(1) Kostelic's Austrian bank sponsor was not pleased with the public relations fiasco,(2) but the fact remains that Kostelic's opinions are common in territory ranging from the Baltics to the Balkans, where local hatreds trumped everything else and made it fair game to side with Hitler or Mussolini to kill off whatever ethnic group was out of favor. Let's not forget that during World War II, with German help and the Pope's blessings, the Croats committed genocide. According to Vatican historian John Cornwell, there were only 2 million Orthodox Christian Serbs, and the Croats led by Catholic priests managed to kill 487,000 of them between 1941 and 1945 in addition to 27,000 Gypsies and 30,000 out of 45,000 Jews. Then the press wonders why Kostelic says he prepared for his skiing race as if he were a Nazi soldier in 1941.

We can already hear the Croats saying our message is one-sided, and that Serbs commit genocide too. While Amerikkkan politics have unimaginable depth in their parasitism, Eastern European politics fall into an endless trap of provincialism. Somehow, the small nations in that region always manage to blame their neighbors for all the world's evils, and through petty thinking, genocide always ends up being the solution in the eyes of people in Eastern Europe.

For the Eastern Europeans MIM has a message: Stalin and his line was the greatest factor bringing peace and harmony to your region. The proof is what happens when he is gone. All your minorities living without rights, all your ethnic cleansing and all your wars are fights amongst the proletariat. They can do nothing to advance anything. Yes, Stalin organized repressive violence, but when he did, the whole region was moving forward.

The United $tates and the phony communist movement does not want Eastern Europeans to know that the riches of the West come from super-exploitation. The imperialists say that ordinary proletarians can live the life Amerikkkans live without exploiting others under capitalism. That is a lie. Right now you Eastern Europeans think that your neighbors are exploiting you: think again. The reason you are not shopping at Bloomingdale's right now instead of reading this is that Amerikkkans and others from the West enjoy luxury at your expense. Unfortunately, we at MIM are amongst a minority of people willing to tell you what is really going on economically. Only by uniting the proletariat in Eastern Europe do the people have a way out of their degraded material conditions.

Eastern Europe requires repression for peace. Some day in the future under dictatorship of the proletariat, the youth will rebuke the ugly past and the small nations of Eastern Europe will integrate and get along. Right now, the fighting and oppression in Eastern Europe represents the worst "false consciousness" on the planet with proletarians killing proletarians and imagining that Hitler was only as bad or even better than Stalin. At all costs, the Eastern European people need to obtain a bigger perspective.

In the 1960s, the Western bourgeoisie blamed all evil on Stalin and continued that practice right up to the present decade, as an excuse for any failure in Russia and the neighboring republics. Today, if something good happens in the former Soviet Union, we can be sure to hear the propagandists credit capitalism, but if anything bad happens, the mention of Stalin's name is sure to follow; although, he has been dead 50 years. That is a product of the Cold War, as is the ethnic cleansing in ex-Yugoslavia-- an event that occurred thanks to a loss of Stalin's approach in the region, especially Yugoslavia where Tito abandoned Stalin after World War II and implemented "local control" economically which led to local chauvinism and genocide in one of the clearest examples of how the relations of production affect the culture and politics in society.

The Russian Maoist Party has recently pointed out that Stalin is still relevant today, not least of all because his last public speech said, "down with the warmongers." In his last years of life, Stalin opposed capitalist militarism and the decline of individual liberties in the West.

We would also like to explain why we seek to keep what many see as an albatross around our necks, because people ask so often. We could defend individual liberties and oppose militarism without invoking Stalin's name our critics would say and invoking his name only kills our cause against militarism and for individual liberties they say.


"Today defending Stalin does not reflect any obsession with any particular detail of history."


Today, defending Stalin does not reflect any obsession with any particular detail of history. We can say that none of MIM's founders had any experience living under Stalin, and MIM holds no nostalgia for him the way tens of millions do in the ex-Soviet Union today.

As with any other historical period or figure, there will be those who become involved as a matter of fetishism. There are countless Trotskyist and ultra-left Marxist groups saying History basically ended in defeat in the 1920s. That is what interests them, the 1920s and the first socialist revolution--and that's pretty much it.

While history is of life-and-death importance, we are not history buffs. We do not look into history merely to stimulate our brains or because we like one particular idea or leader.


"The real meaning of defending Stalin is that we are for socialism, not just when it drops from Heaven, not when the people simultaneously and spontaneously realize the virtues of socialism and not only when there is no repression or violence."


The real meaning of defending Stalin is that we are for socialism, not just when it drops from Heaven, not when the people simultaneously and spontaneously realize the virtues of socialism and not only when there is no repression or violence. The vilification of Stalin is very much akin to the vilification of Abe Lincoln during the U.S. Civil War, which was a most ugly but necessary thing.

There is a vast petty-bourgeois flirtation with socialism. Hardly anyone opposes communism "in theory" as the colloquial phrase goes. The trouble is that the half-hearted support of socialism is what kills it today and provides a camouflage for imperialism, which generates social-democratic reforms in the imperialist countries while imposing violent super-exploitation in the Third World.


"We defend Stalin, because we know Stalin did not invent the troubles of our species in getting to socialism."


We defend Stalin, because we know Stalin did not invent the troubles of our species in getting to socialism. It took a war to end slavery in the united $tates less than 150 years ago. How can any humyn then claim that what Stalin did was so extraordinarily repressive and unnecessary? The Russian slaves fought Napoleon less than 200 years ago for the right to remain slaves while Napoleon offered freedom for the slaves and an advance into capitalism. Obviously if 200 years ago Russian slaves fought a major war against Napoleon and did not gain their freedom by so doing, the humyn species is less than perfect, less than Divinely placed. The thousands of years of struggle against slavery is a tell-tale sign that anyone saying that advance is easy or a matter of spontaneous Enlightenment screwed up by occasional bad individuals like Stalin does not live much in this world.

Yes, of course it is possible to build socialism in such a way as to fail and go farther backward than capitalism. There is no factual basis for saying that is true in Stalin's case. Stalin's critics often talk about Stalin as if he were a relatively backward political leader of his time. Quite the contrary, Stalin stood alone against fascism as a leader of state until Hitler invaded Poland in 1939. We need only recall Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain and Quisling to know that political leaders were much worse than Stalin, who stood as a shining example of a leader of state.

Others talk about Stalin as if communist leaders were to blame for all humyn evils. There are many calling themselves communist in this boat. Most recently, there is a publication unrelated to us titled "Internationalist Notes" that just arose in the imperialist countries. It has a less than one and a half page platform which uses the words "not," "no" and "nor" 18 times in addition to "enemy" and "against" several times. Yet the platform has not much to say for the accomplishments of the movements it does defend.

"Internationalist Notes" upholds the Russian Revolution from 1917 to 1918, but otherwise it sees all revolutionary progress as crushed in the 20th century. In other words, there is nothing that "Internationalist Notes" upholds worth speaking of, only two years of revolution in one country. These ultra-leftists go on and on how a few individuals like Lenin and Stalin crushed all the good progress happening. They have accepted a bourgeois idealist view of history in which a few individuals have that kind of power to destroy progress instead of realizing that Lenin, Stalin and Mao are the best leaders of state the masses produced in the 20th century. These idealists criticize reality from the vantage point of an idea instead of showing realities created by humyns that were possible and better than what humyns did do.

The "Internationalist Notes" like many ultra- leftists and anarchists believe they are criticizing Lenin, Stalin and Mao in this fashion. Yet, Stalin and Mao doubled the life expectancies of their people despite all their repressions. That is the concrete reality and it compares favorably with other realities if not the pre-formed ideas in the idealists' religiously infected minds. The Bordigaists, council-communists and other ultra- leftists cannot point to anything that they support or that their political movement has accomplished in the last century other than criticizing the most advanced pole that actually exists. Their method is the same as that of the Protestant sects: invent an idea that sounds most attractive and then divide over it. In contrast, scientific communism says that we can only put forward that which has proved possible. We select that which was most advanced in humyn history--not from our imaginations or powers of fantasy.

Countless idealists misunderstand Stalin and science itself on this point saying that change requires something "new." Implicit in their view is that history is not full of change. That's why something "new," namely their ideas are necessary they say. In fact, the idea that new ideas will lead past a history of non-change is not new and has existed for thousands of years.

In, MIM addressed those who are tired of the historical issues and feel free to advocate for any chimera. We said, "Quite the contrary, the people successful in overthrowing governments the last 100 years have been usually good at history.

"As for persynality cults, they are a gross extension of individualism, but that is exactly what Redstar is promoting in this post. To believe stupidly that we are 'something new' and we can 'just try something different' is the height of individualist folly--floating above history. Hitler justified his rule by allowing Catholics and others believe he was literally a new gift from God, Germany's savior. Of course, if you believe such things as the possibility of 'new things' dropping out of the sky, you are going to be MORE LIKELY to go for stupid individualism.

"How do you KNOW if something is 'something new' if you don't know history? How do you know if something works to bring something new unless it has been TRIED?

"Maybe you think something is new, but actually it's been said and done a billion times before.

"In other sciences, you will notice that people do NOT tend to denigrate individual names--the way names like Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky and Mao are in the quote below. Quite the contrary, precision enters when you say 'Darwin's theory of evolution' or 'Einstein's theory of relativity.' And since Darwin, there are other biologists with their theories of evolution and yes, in scientific discussion, they get referred to BY NAME. People who do not refer to others BY NAME would be taken as uninformed or vacuous, or possibly plagiarists.

"You could refer to everything in someone's theory without mentioning their name, but it is usually considered useful to speed things up to use a shorthand.

"Finally, if you are so sure you do not need Lenin, Stalin, Mao etc., then show us the evidence. Where is the real-world evidence that progress is faster when it takes up YOUR principles (and I won't mention your name since it would offend you apparently!) It's easy to piss, a lot harder to improve."

"Redstar, you are here all over the bulletin board begging to be released from the restraints of History. Need I remind you that you said 'Sterile arguments about the past failures of the international communist movement ARE NOT PERMITTED! I am fucking thrilled!!! ' in the websites section?

"Of course when someone is putting something forward that is entirely unbacked by any analysis or examination of history, it becomes very onerous to talk about history! It's apt to remind you that you are religious."

Redstar says: "To examine 'what if' questions in history is not only not idealist, it's NECESSARY if you are to make a balanced judgment of events. Or do you favor the 'whatever happens is right...'"

MIM replied that this above quote is the whole shebang. It's the whole reason that Redstar is stuck in idealism as are countless other pre-scientific activists.

You will strive mightily anywhere to find MIM saying "whatever happens is right." You will find MIM again and again comparing realities and saying which of those are the best. By upholding Mao's China we denounce capitalist "democratic" India and 150 other semi-feudal and imperialist- dominated systems. That is not "whatever happens is right," but that's what it looks like to people accustomed to arguing morally and ideologically from pre-set dogmas. It's astonishing isn't it?

Redstar cannot distinguish between upholding Mao's China and "whatever happens is right." It does not occur to Redstar that arguing scientifically means arguing from reality, and that means only arguing within the range of what the humyn is proven capable of. Anything else is religion, but that is exactly what Redstar is throwing at us.

As for Spain, it is again an excellent example for us. Where is YOUR website proving how social change in Spain by your favorite activists surpassed what happened in Russia, China, Albania etc? Need I remind you that out of all the countries in the world, it was ONLY the Soviet Union under Stalin that gave military aid to the Spanish Republic?

Was there a Trotskyist government giving aid to your POUMists in Spain? Not.

Was there a left opposition government of any kind giving aid to your favorite non-Stalinists in Spain? No.

Was there a community of 150 million anarchists anywhere in the world giving aid to your beloved Spain? Not.

People can complain about Stalin all they want, but he was the best friend as a leader of state and 9 digit community available to the Spanish people at the time. That has to be judged relative to the other people existing at the time, not what anarchists or Trotskyists wish had happened. The fact that we are 50 years removed from Stalin's death should help us to be more objective about the wishes of the ultra-left Marxists, Trotskyists and anarchists back in Stalin's day.

Not even France gave military aid to the Spanish republic. The whole world was too chicken to take on the fascists except for Stalin. Thank you for reminding us how important it is to defend Stalin and how important it is to choose WITHIN reality and not make worthless religious criticisms.

You have just hit the nail on the head for why we use a materialist method. We choose the best within reality. Those who do not use a materialist method simply don't get anything done other than reinforcing the status quo like all previous religions.

In NO science do they invent things that sound good just because they sound good and then say they will happen. The theory of evolution arose from HISTORY, the study of the fossil record. Advances in plate tectonics theory were the same-- based on an examination of ancient sediments, history. Even when scientists do predict things, they base those predictions on what they have learned about reality and what is possible in it.

Redstar quotes us: "Arguing scientifically means arguing from reality and that means only arguing within the range of what the humyn [sic] is capable of." Then Redstar says, "Setting aside your efforts at spelling reform, I take it that if people have not yet DONE something, your presumption is that they CANNOT do it. You are not very coherent, M3, but that's what your sentence SAYS...and I hope you don't really mean that, because it's obviously wrong."

Maoist3 then replied: "No it's not wrong. Marx did not make up the 'Communist Manifesto' off the top of his head as something 'new' the way you imply. He SAW and participated in various class struggles especially those shaking Continental Europe. He SAW people on the barricades. He KNEW what was ALREADY possible. That's right: he knew what was possible based on the PAST. He was the one to say he did not invent socialism, communism or class struggle. All he said was that the victory would be 'dictatorship of the proletariat,' because authoritarian means would be necessary to bring down capitalism. That he OBSERVED from how people fought in the streets in his day. He did not know what was going to happen in the Paris Commune in advance, but he knew it was the best thing he had seen so far. He criticized it, but not in the manner of your religious style of criticism. He upheld it as the most advanced thing so far and then sought to go further. In contrast, you attack the most advanced class struggles so far and do so in the name of escaping history."

Redstar then said, "Or perhaps you claim your outfit has a special insight into 'the range of what people are capable of'--I believe that's called 'revelation' (NOT science)."

Maoist3 replied: "You are the one requiring use of 'revelation.' We only point you to what has ALREADY BEEN DONE. It's very concrete and the people from the Russian, Chinese, Albanian etc revolution are still around even, it's so concrete. Likewise, Marx pointed to the Paris Commune and called it 'the dictatorship of the proletariat,' the first one.

"It is religion that says that the humyn past is irrelevant because we only answer to God and because our 'flesh is weak' etc. It is religion saying to bag onerous study of the past, because the only thing that matters is our faithfulness to God."

Redstar then says: "would you get the NERVE to say X can be done but Y is impossible? Because Y has NEVER been done before? Because your group has determined in advance that Y is something that lies 'outside the range of human possibilities'? And what is the reason for that determination? Oh, because Y has NEVER been done before. Tell me, M3, do the words 'reasoning in a circle' ring a bell with you?"

Maoist3 replied: "You are such a preening reverend. Look, in SCIENCE, if you have a new idea, a truly new one, you prove it in the lab, or in the vehicle or other machine you are engineering FIRST. THEN you claim to have surpassed prior science--NOT BEFORE. You on the other hand, piss away the science of class struggle before you have accomplished anything. You should either prove your Spain was the best thing or take up Maoism and work WITHIN that." (Redstar did not accept the challenge to show the social gains of anarchist Spain in the 1930s relative to China under Mao which started under much more backward economic conditions than Spain's.)

Redstar then said, "(There were no more than a tiny handful of communists in the world when Marx and Engels published the Communist Manifesto, a document that bluntly asserted that something was going to be done in the world that had NEVER been done before --the end of class society. What a couple of 'idealists'! They didn't even have a 'website'!!)"

Maoist3 replied: "Wrong again. Marx and Engels told us we started in classless society, primitive communism. They observed that from HISTORY, as well as countless revolutionary street battles in Europe. (People should get in touch more with some still-existing First Nations to know the history of communism concretely.)

"Their ideas about how to advance the class struggle came from observation and study, not from the top of their heads, not from denigrating comparisons of various scientific propositions. Quite the contrary, their work is FULL of machine- gun fire aimed at one after another name with one after another bourgeois intellectual idea. Furthermore, Engels said he spent more time fighting 'socialists' than open bourgeois and that it was necessary for progress.

"It will be quite new to bring Maoism to most of the Third World, because most of the Third World has not overcome semi-feudalism yet. Mao himself built his theories from looking at the peasant rebellions already in progress. He did not piss on Marx, Lenin or Stalin FIRST and then come up with an analysis of the Chinese peasantry. In no science in the world do matters proceed that way. Challengers prove their shit first and brag afterwards."

Redstar replied: "Leninism has FAILED; all the countries that followed that path are now either capitalist or returning to capitalism."

Aftersorrowcomesjoy then rebutted Redstar: "As i have pointed out in another post which as of this writing you have not yet responded to, Leninism has not failed. As i pointed out, if a revolution was eventually defeated, that does not mean that people were wrong to take part in it to begin with does it? People were wrong to TRY to improve their life and end oppression because eventually they were defeated???

"There are two main ways to look at this--

"The first way: If we say that any revolution that ended eventually in defeat is to be rejected, then let's join hands and throw 'left communism' and anarchism out the window as well. This shows the bankruptcy of your ideology, because in order to throw away Leninism we must also throw away your ideology, since they were also let's just say 'defeated.' That is the first way to look at this. Obviously it is incorrect. It leads to ignoring history and looking for 'something new.' So why do you still hang on to Marx? If we look at it the way you are looking at Leninism we start at square one."

"The second way: The second way, the correct way, is to analyze history and build on what has worked BEST so far. And what has worked the best so far? Communist revolutions in the tradition of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao have worked best so far, as M3 and I have pointed out elsewhere using life expectancy and other data. We have not claimed that this means accepting everything without analysis and being dogmatists. What it means however is that we do not just throw away what has worked best. The world as it actually exists is not perfect. Marx pointed out that what we are dealing with is 'a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, as it emerges from capitalist society; which is... still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges.'"

"You claim to be a Marxist and yet you have thrown away Marx's materialist method and fallen into idealism. You claim that your ideas are better than those of the Stalin era USSR and Mao era PRC. Of course there is no disagreement here! Ideas are always better than reality because you can imagine whatever you want and compare it with reality. But just imagining 'a better world' does not make it appear--so the question becomes--how do we get there? We have to acknowledge that we have to use 'imperfect' means for getting where we want to go. Thus, we cannot just throw away what has taken us the farthest in that direction because they were imperfect or they were eventually defeated."

Anarchist Bard then let the anti-communist cat out of the bag and said, "That is because the Stalinists are worse than the Capitalists. I'd rather be a slave under capitalism than a dead man under Stalinism. At least, under capitalism, I can try to be a rich man. Under Stalinism, I'm just dead.

In neither situation would I be free."

We replied, if you would be dead under Stalin, it would be because you are atypical of the workers and peasants. Stalin doubled the life expectancy of his people--a first in history.

Sadly, many have bought into anti-communist propaganda that starving to death is less coercive than having a secret police and general political movement that prevents the restoration of capitalism. So a tiny minority of bards has the right to be free to promote capitalist freedoms, while the people who actually have to eat, live somewhere and have clothing are supposed to die. Tell us something Anarchist Bard, what "FREE" people CHOOSES to die from hunger? And so what should we do with people who defend property in land by force?

That is coercion--much more massive than anything Anarchist Bard is talking about --and that is why we communists following Stalin and Mao are the REAL anarchists.

Then Y said, "I sincerely doubt Stalin, and the others, would have stepped down from his absolute power. They could've but never did. Hasn't every communist attempt perverted into dictatorships?

"What about China? Yeah, and what about human rights in China?"

We at MIM replied, yes, every communist-led government has been a dictatorship and they never denied it. The question is what you conclude from that: do you conclude that the humyn species is perfect already and we just need to twiddle our thumbs until people realize how perfect they are and communism falls from the sky? Or will we have to use imperfect means to achieve progress for the species?

The difference between a communist scientist and a dogmatist is that we scientists work with reality while the non-Marxist anarchists, ultra-left communists, Trotskyists etc. simply ASSUME that a better reality is possible than what Mao, Stalin etc. brought. Such an assumption is no different than religion. To be a scientist, you need to show IN REALITY, where something was better. The medical researcher does not say s/he can imagine a vaccine that would cure a disease and win the Nobel prize. S/he invents the vaccine, proves it works and wins the Nobel Prize. The point is not saying I can imagine better drugs than we have now! Such imagination serves its purpose in poetry and songs, not political analysis.

If the humyn-being were a perfect animal, do you think it would have taken thousands of years to put slavery on the defensive like it is today? Do you think the United $tates would have required the bloodiest civil war that it had? The humyn- being is fucked up and had to have slavery beaten out of him/her. Such a war is ALWAYS an authoritarian act--by definition.


See also the FAQ on Stalin