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The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia$
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Robert V. Daniels

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780300106497

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300106497.001.0001

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Foundations of Stalinism

Foundations of Stalinism

Chapter:
(p.199) Chapter 17 Foundations of Stalinism
Source:
The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia
Author(s):

Robert Daniels

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300106497.003.0018

Joseph Stalin and his successors always insisted that the system he created was the realization of the socialist society predicted by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Most commentators on the right cited the horrors of Stalinism as evidence of the evils of Marxism or even of socialism in general. The ideological facade of Marxism was crucial to Stalin's efforts to win the support of foreign sympathizers in defending the interests of the Soviet Union. Stalinism was generated by actual historical events rather than ideology, and its political structure can be traced to the early era of revolutionary extremism. It is totalitarianism of the left, a direct and natural outcome of revolution, in contrast to totalitarianism of the right which is the consequence of a successful counterrevolutionary struggle against an actual or possible revolution. In terms of foreign policy, Stalinism was committed to maximizing the security and influence of the Soviet state. One of the most remarkable achievements of Stalinism was to give impetus to state-planned industrialization.

Keywords:   totalitarianism, Joseph Stalin, Stalinism, Marxism, Soviet Union, revolutionary extremism, revolution, foreign policy, industrialization, socialism

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