Fifty Years of Communism: Theory and Practice, 1917-1967

By G. F. Hudson | Go to book overview

XV
RUSSIAN COMMUNISM AFTER STALIN

THE death of Stalin lifted from the Russian people a massive burden of fear which had weighed upon them for more than two decades. His had been a rule of terror, with the dreaded secret police watching and spying in every sector of Russian life. Set against the universal fear inspired by the purges and liquidations there was, however, an awed admiration for Stalin as the leader under whom Russia had acquired a powerful heavy industry and had emerged victorious from a desperately fought war. On the morrow of the entry of the Russian army into Berlin it is probable that feelings of admiration exceeded those of repulsion among the great majority of Russians. But by 1953 there was a general desire, both among the masses and in the Party itself, for a more relaxed way of living, and when the preliminary exposure of the "Doctors' Plot" indicated that a great new purge was about to begin, alarm and despondency spread through all the population. In the midst of a growing anxiety about what the future was about to bring, Stalin had a cerebral haemorrhage and died.

"Destalinization" began almost immediately. The Doctors' Plot was declared to have been fabricated by the secret police. Since it implicated leading members of the Party, Stalin's successors could not do otherwise than declare the evidence to be false. But by so doing they discredited the secret police to a degree which could not but greatly reduce their status and power. Since the instrument was thus damaged, it became harder for anyone, however much he might wish to do so, to carry on the government by the methods Stalin had used.

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Fifty Years of Communism: Theory and Practice, 1917-1967
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Fifty Years of Communism - Theory and Practice I9i7-1967 *
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • I - Jacobin and Communist i
  • II - Social Democracy and the Non-Revolution 14
  • III - Marxism and the Russian Narodniks 27
  • IV - Lenin 38
  • V - The Capture of Power in Russia 50
  • VI - Foreign Intervention and Civil War 63
  • VII - The Comintern 76
  • VIII - The Retreat from Socialism 87
  • IX - Stalin and the Revolution from Above 97
  • X - Stalin and the Great Purge 110
  • XI - The Rise of Communism in China 124
  • XII - The Idea of the Popular Front 135
  • XIII - Communism and the Second World War 146
  • XIV - Communism and the Cold War 157
  • XV - Russian Communism after Stalin 166
  • XVI - Peaceful Coexistence 175
  • XVII - Polycentrism 184
  • XVIII - Maoism 194
  • XIX - Communism and the Third World 206
  • XX - Fifty Years After 217
  • Select Bibliography 226
  • Index 231
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