I just had the pleasure of mentally devouring the pages of MT #6. I was very hapy to have received this issue as I had many questions concerning Stalin, in general, and the Stalin-Hitler pact, in particular. I really dig this issue of MT because it really got into Stalin and those opposing him. I understand the rift between him and the idealist Trotsky a lot more clearly now.
While many disagree with some of Stalin's actions, such as the Stalin-Hitler pact, I learned that this "pact" actually prolonged the Soviet Union 2 years from German invasion. Stalin knew it was not going to bring the Communists into alliance with fascism. Rather, Stalin used the 2 years to strengthen the Red Army and double it in numbers. Hitler even acknowledged that the pact for what it was in his last testament when he spoke of "our main problem became how to delay Russia from attacking us as long as possible. I had a never-ending nightmare that Stalin could take the initiative earlier than I." (1) So both sides understood its intention to prolong the inevitable in order to strengthen their forces.
So to sum it all up, Stalin's critics argue over Stalin's iron fist. However, at that time, Stalin was the best thing for the Soviet Union. His contributions to the international Communist movement were unprecedented with industrializing a socialist system in the Soviet Union and the revolutionary of the United Front. These great achievements must be affirmed, then the contention that Stalin was the most advanced revolutionary element of his time hsould be addressed.
The way MT #6 is put together, with opposing views from various critics, really helps to better understand MIM's stance. I think this is a great learning tool MIM uses by printing opposite views in its MTs. These journals have advanced my political views the furthest yet and I read various political periodicals. This style of teaching seems to enlighten the best. I really feel the MT journals are needed and should be resuscitated when possible as they are much needed tools in building public opinion. I have yet to find another organization which not only sends their newspaper into these plantation houses but also sends historical education literature pertaining to the international movement. Building up comrades' minds is essential to feed them the history of the key players and the forebearers of Socialism on this planet, as well as the rifts and obstacles that have arisen along the way. Through MIM's efforts of reaching out to the captives of Amerikkka, MIM is basically reaching out to the many who have only the chains enslaving them and nothing more. This will no doubt strengthen the movement as these grounds are ripe with potential. The captives in Amerikkka's prisons, unlike many in the public population, have been stripped of incentives and privileges that capitalism brings to the people of these shores. The people in U$ prisons are no longer bought off or enticed by the spoils of capitalism. They are stripped of the luxuries which blind many from seeing capitalism for the cancer it is. The inequality and fascism of capitalism are quickly experienced by the prison and though many have seen the same thing in their barrios and ghetto projects out on the streets, now it becomes more clear as no longer are we blinded by the temptations. Once we realize capitalism as the true culprit to a failing system and we are then fed MLM theory, we begin to learn more of the accomplishments of others like ourselves who struggled against oppressive systems just like ours.
As more and more prisoners begin to be exposed to MLM, these same people will go back to their communities and will take back their thought and ideas to their neighbors in oppressed nations. It may take awhile, but eventually the people in these economically depressed areas will become aware of the movement.
I can see gangs in these neighborhoods, entire gangs turned into cadres of the people. Wouldn't that be beautiful for the barrios and ghetto projects to be turned into Maoist strongholds? Prisons being the grounds for intense study? I think these things will become a reality before the transition to Socialism. I don't think any other organization will be as effective in building public opinion in these targeted areas. MIM is taking a "from the inside out" approach by setting up the statewide study group and the sending material to prisoners. Prisoners are an essential resource to the struggle and I think MIM grasps this concept the most as reflected in its actions. MIM is the most politically advanced on this issue of building public opinion to seize power.
(1) "Molotov Remembers: Inside Kremlin Politics," Molotov, V.M. Page 32-33
-- A California Prisoner, June 2004