A Documentary History of Communism

By Robert V. Daniels | Go to book overview

Chapter Six: The Expansion of Communism,
1941-1953

In the critical years of World War II and its aftermath, Communist power moved beyond the boundaries of the USSR and became really international. In most instances, the essential characteristics of the movement remained as they had been fixed during the first decade of Stalinism in Russia, with unrelenting emphasis on industrialization and totalitarian controls. Soviet Russia went through this period with no structural change apart from further tightening of the control system, and Soviet norms were imposed on or accepted by foreign Communists as they came to power in Eastern Europe or the Far East.

In the expansion of Communism after World War II the nature of its appeal and the methods of acquiring power had become quite different from what the movement originally envisaged. Instead of leading a mass revolutionary upsurge the Communists won their new footholds either through wartime national resistance movements or in consequence of Soviet occupation and secret intrigue. Communists have come to power nowhere except in countries where the authority of the old government was actually dissolved in the course of the war. It was no longer the "proletarian revolution" but a military and police usurpation.

Russia in the Second World War After the German invasion of the USSR in June, 1941, the Communist view of the world was once again revised. Stalin

FROM: Stalin, Speech on the Twenty-Fourth Anniversary of the October Revolution, to the Moscow Soviet and Representatives of Moscow Party and Public Organizations, November 6, 1941 (English translation in Stalin, On the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, Moscow, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1954, pp. 35-37, 44-45).

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