“Stalin – The man who really believed in the working class and evoked from it all that creative genius and energy which has astounded the world for over 30 years and will do more so in the future.”
Today, countless millions of people in every country in the world are plunged into the deepest grief at the news that the heart of the most outstanding revolutionary leader of all times – Comrade Joseph Stalin – has ceased to beat.
The leader of all progressive mankind, of all who love peace, value democracy, treasure their national independence, and desire the establishment of Socialism so that poverty, unemployment and war shall be banished for ever, has died.
But he has left a heritage to world humanity that will act as its greatest inspiration in its forward march and inevitable victory over all the enemies of the common people.
A life of ceaseless, self-sacrificing and loving devotion to the noble cause of the working people, from 1895 – when Stalin established his first contact with the underground groups of Russian revolutionary Marxists in exile in Transcaucasia – to the day of his death in the Kremlin, has drawn to a close.
Golden pages of history
But what a life ! And what changes that life has brought in the imperishable deeds in his own beloved land, in inspiring great advances to Socialism in China and the new Peoples’ Democracies, in imbuing into the workers of all capitalist countries the sureness of their victory over capitalism, and showing the workers and peasants of oppressed colonial lands the certainty of their victory over imperialism.
Stalin – loved as no other man in world history has ever been loved by all working people.
Stalin – hated as no other man has ever been hated by the exploiters, parasites and warmongers. He embodied in his personality, his work and his love for the cause, everything that millions of the finest people in the world have desired to be able to do.
Stalin – who has written golden pages in world history whose lustre time can never efface; indeed with the advance of years their grandeur and nobility will increase.
Joseph Stalin, the Architect of Communism. The comrade who really established Socialism in our time. The man of steel and vision, who proved by mighty deeds that there are no obstacles which Bolsheviks cannot overcome.
The man who really believed in the working class and evoked from it all that creative genius and energy which has astounded the world for over 30 years and will do more so in the future.
Writing under difficult circumstances, the impression uppermost in my mind at this moment in considering Comrade Stalin’s life work was his abounding faith in the working class. How he scourged those who prate about the apathy of the working class.
I recall an article written in 1901, when even at that time he expressed his abounding confidence in the capacity of what were described as “curious onlookers” to wage their struggle against Tsarism; how in February 1905 he issued a Call to the Citizens “Long Live the October Flag”, and in that call he wrote:
“You cherish your own lives and the lives of your dear ones, do you not? … You want to abolish all national enmity, do you not? You are striving for the complete solidarity of peoples, are you not?
“Know then, citizens, that all national strife will be abolished only when inequality and capitalism are abolished.
“Down with Capitalism !
“Long live Socialism !
“Long live the Red Flag !”
This flag was hoisted to triumph on November 7,1917, never to be hauled down by any force in the world.
Again let me quote from an article by Stalin written in July1905 which underlines my point about his faith in the working class and its future triumphs:
“The flames of revolution are flaring up with ever-increasing intensity, now here and now there, calling forth local uprisings.
“The three-day barricade and street fighting in Lodz, the strike of many tens of thousands of workers in Ivanovo-Voznesensk, with the inevitable bloody collisions with the troops, the uprising in Odessa, the ‘mutiny’ in the Black Sea Fleet and in the Libau naval depot, and the ‘week’ in Tiflis – are all harbingers of the approaching storm.
“It is approaching, approaching irresistibly; it will break over Russia any day, and in a mighty cleansing flood sweep away all that is antiquated and rotten; it will wipe out the disgrace called the autocracy, under which the Russian people have suffered for ages.
“The last convulsive efforts of Tsarism – the intensification of repression of every kind, the proclamation of martial law over half the country and the multiplication of gallows, all accompanied by alluring speeches addressed to the liberals and by false promises of reform – these things will not save it from the fate history has in store for it.
“The days of the autocracy are numbered: the storm is inevitable. A new social order is already being born, welcomed by the entire people, who are expecting renovation and regeneration from it.”
Stalin’s language was always simple: he had the ability to interpret the deepest thoughts of his people and evoke their passionate indignation against all the horrors of the Tsarist regime.
Eager to listen
I recall the way in which he spoke about the sufferings of the Russian army during the Russo-Japanese war, but particularly the way he spoke of the feelings and sufferings of their wives and children.
How plainly he put what the capitalist class stand for when he wrote in 1905:
“The wealthy bourgeoisie are our uncompromising enemies. Their wealth is based upon our poverty. Their joy is based upon our sorrow”.
How we seem to have lost in these days the hatred of the oppressors that these simple words evoke !
I have met Comrade Stalin many times. Never since my first meeting with him in 1921, together with Comrade Lenin, have I met anyone so kindly and so considerate, so easy to talk to and exchange views, and one so obviously only actuated by the desire to help.
Never the dictator; never to lay the law down-always eager and willing to listen, to understand another’s point of view, and then to express in the most simple way his own thoughts, about the matter under discussion.
I remember in August 1929, after I had been appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party, going to Moscow. Before I left, Comrade Stalin asked me to meet him. I will never forget that occasion.
He expressed the opinion: “You have taken a difficult job on, but I believe you will tackle it all right.”
I can only say that if it has been possible to make any contribution in the fight for peace, democracy and Socialism in Britain, it has been due to those kindly words of Comrade Stalin.
At the end of the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Comrade Stalin came up to me and said: “There is a light in your eyes, Harry. Are you happy? ”
Of course I was happy. Happy to have been privileged to take part in a Congress that will constitute a landmark in the political history of the world.
And especially because I had listened to his unforgettable speech when he thanked the fraternal Communist Parties of the world for their interest in the Soviet Union and the 19th Congress.
On the eve of the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, there was published what I think will be looked upon as one of Comrade Stalin’s greatest contributions, not only to Marxist thought, but as an inspiration and guide to the working people of all lands. It was called “ECONOMIC PROBLEMS OF SOCIALISM IN THE USSR.” There are two quotations which I think it appropriate to make in this article. .
First, where Stalin defines the basic economic law of Socialism, and I quote it because it serves to remind us of the aims that Socialism has for us:
“Is there a basic economic law of Socialism? Yes, there is. What are the essential features and requirements of this law?
“The essential features and requirements of the basic law of Socialism might be formulated roughly in this way : the securing of the maximum satisfaction of the constantly rising material and cultural requirements of the whole of society through the continuous expansion and perfection of Socialist production on the basis of higher techniques.
“Consequently, instead of maximum profits – maximum satisfaction of the material and cultural requirements of society;
“Instead of development of production with breaks in continuity from boom to crisis and from crisis to boom-unbroken expansion of production; instead of periodic breaks in technical development, accompanied by destruction of the productive forces of society-an unbroken process of perfecting production on the basis of higher techniques.”
Second, where Stalin gives the grandiose perspective of what Communism will mean for the peoples of the Soviet Union:
“It is necessary, in the third place, to ensure such a cultural advancement of society as will secure for all members of society the all-round development of their physical and mental abilities, so that the members of society may be in a position to receive an education sufficient to enable them to be active agents of social development, and in a position freely to choose their occupations and not be tied all their lives, owing to the existing division of labour, to some one occupation.
“What is required for this?”
“It would be wrong to think that such a substantial advance in the cultural standard of the members of society can be brought about without substantial changes in the present status of labour.
“For this, it is necessary, first of all, to shorten the working day at least to six and subsequently to five hours. This is needed in order that the members of society might have the necessary free time to receive all-round education.
“It is necessary, further, to introduce universal, compulsory polytechnical education, which is required in order that the members of society might be able freely to choose their occupations and not be tied to some one occupation all their lives.
“It is likewise necessary that housing conditions should be radically improved, and that real wages of workers and employees should be at least doubled, if not more, both by means of direct increases of wages and salaries, and, more especially, by further systematic reductions of prices for consumer goods.
“These are the basic conditions required to pave the way for the transition to Communism.”
It will come
The point to remember in considering these words is, that if Comrade Stalin says this is the perspective, then it will be realised.
Few people on November 7, 1941, when Hitler was boasting he had occupied Moscow, thought what Comrade Stalin was saying in the Red Square on that very day would prove to come true. But it did.
What was the essence of what he said ?
That the Red Army would drive every fascist invader off Soviet soil, and then proceed to liberate every other European country invaded by the fascist aggressors, and so it turned out to be.
It has a significance which ought not to be lost on certain Governments at the present time. No words, no monuments, no tributes can ever do justice to the revolution in people’s minds and actions, in changing world history, in freeing millions from darkness, oppression, poverty and misery that have been brought about by the work of Comrade Stalin.
Make this pledge
We can only pledge ourselves that we will try to prove worthy of the glorious example Comrade Stalin has set us, that our fight for a lasting peace and a People’s Democracy will be intensified; that we will work might and main to strengthen the bonds of peace and friendship between the British and Soviet peoples, and develop this to the point where it is absolutely certain that under no circumstances will the British and Soviet peoples ever find themselves at war with each other.
Seventy years this month, the founder of scientific Socialism. Karl Marx died.
This month, too, has seen the death of his greatest disciple, closest comrade-in-arms of the great Lenin, one who translated Marxism into practice and built a new Soviet land, whose miracles in Communist construction are of a character that even Marx would never have dared to believe possible in so short a space of time.
We lower our Red Banners in honoured salute to the memory of Comrade Joseph Stalin.
ETERNAL GLORY TO THE MEMORY OF JOSEPH STALIN!