Quotes on Stalin

Following are the comments by well know historical personalities on Joseph Stalin.

Dr. Ernesto Che Guevara:

In the so called “mistakes” of Stalin lies the difference between a revolutionary attitude and a revisionist attitude. You have to look at Stalin in the historical context in which he moves, you don’t have to look at him as some kind of brute, but in that particular historical context. I have come to communism because of daddy Stalin and nobody must come and tell me that I mustn’t read Stalin. I read him when it was very bad to read him. That was another time. And because I’m not very bright, and a hard-headed person, I keep on reading him. Especially in this new period, now that it is worse to read him. Then, as well as now, I still find a series of things that are very good.”

Che Guevara

V. I. Lenin:

We have a marvelous Georgian who has sat down to write a big article for Prosveshcheniye, for which he has collected all the Austrian and other materials.”  Lenin’s Collected Works, Vol. 35, page 84.

It is terribly difficult to do this; we lack the men! But Preobrazhensky comes along and airily says that Stalin has jobs in two Commissariats. Who among us has not sinned in this way? who has not undertaking several duties at once? And how can we do otherwise? What can we do to preserve the Nationalities; to handle all the Turkestan, Caucasian, and other questions? These are all political questions! They have to be settled. These are questions that have engaged the attention of European states for hundreds of years, and only an infinitesimal number of them have been settled in democratic republics. We are settling them; and we need a man to whom the representatives of any of these nations can go and discuss their difficulties in all detail. Where can we find such a man? I don’t think Comrade Preobrazhensky could suggest any better candidate than Comrade Stalin.” Lenin’s Collected Works, Vol. 33, page 315


Paul Robeson:

“So here one witnessed in the field of the arts—a culture national in form, socialist in content. Here was a people quite comparable to some of the tribal folk of Asia—quite comparable to the proud Yoruba or Basuto of West and East Africa, but now their lives flowering anew within the socialist way of life twenty years matured under the guidance of Lenin and Stalin. And in this whole area of development of national minorities—of their relation to the Great Russians—Stalin had played and was playing a most decisive role.”

Paul Robeson

Mao Zedong:

“There are innumerable principles of Marxism, but in the final analysis they can be summed up in one sentence: ‘To rebel is justified.’ For thousands of years everyone said, ‘Oppression is justified, exploitation is justified, rebellion is not justified.’ From the time that Marxism appeared on the scene, this old judgment was turned upside down, and this is a great contribution. This principle was derived by the proletariat from its struggles, but Marx drew the conclusion. In accordance with this principle, there was then resistance, there was struggle, and socialism was realized. What is Comrade Stalin’s contribution? He developed this principle, developed Marxism-Leninism, and produced a very clear, concrete, and living doctrine for the oppressed people of the whole world. This is the complete doctrine for establishing a revolutionary front, overthrowing imperialism, overthrowing capitalism, and establishing a socialist society.”

“I believe we should do things honestly, for without an honest attitude it is absolutely impossible to accomplish anything in this world. Which are the honest people? Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin are honest, men of science are honest. Which are the dishonest people? Trotsky, Bukharin, Chen Tu-hsiu and Chang Kuo-tao are extremely dishonest…”

Mao Tse-Tung

Enver Hoxha:

“Stalin’s whole life was characterized by an unceasing fierce struggle against Russian capitalism, against world capitalism, against imperialism and against the anti-Marxist and anti-Leninist currents and trends which had placed themselves in the service of world reaction and capital. Beside Lenin and under his leadership, he was one of the inspirers and leaders of the Great October Socialist Revolution, an unflinching militant of the Bolshevik Party…

What slander did the external enemies not invent, especially against Joseph Stalin, the continuer of the work of Marx and Lenin, the talented leader of the Soviet Union, whom they accused of being a bloody tyrant, and murderer… All these slanders were remarkable for their cynicism. No, Stalin was no tyrant, no despot. He was a man of principle, he was just, modest and very kindly and considerate towards people, the cadres, and his colleagues. That is why his Party, the peoples of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the entire world proletariat loved him so much.”

Enver Hoxha

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto:

“Every government, every country, has the right to exercise force when necessary. For instance, in the name of unity. You can’t build without destroying. To build a country, Stalin was obliged to use force and kill. Mao Tse-tung was obliged to use force and kill. To mention only two recent cases, without raking over the whole history of the world. Yes, there are circumstances where a bloody suppression is justifiable and justified.” ( “Interview With History” by  Oriana Fallaci)

Pakistani PM

Joseph E. Davies:

“He gives the impression of a strong mind which is composed and wise. His brown eye is exceedingly kindly-and gentle. A child would like to sit in his lap and a dog would sidle -up to him. It is difficult to associate his personality and this impression of kindness and gentle simplicity with what has occurred here in connection with these purges and shootings of the Red Army generals, and so forth. His friends say, and Ambassador Troyanovsky assures me, that it had to be done to protect themselves against Germany-and that someday the outside world will know their side.

Throughout we joked and laughed at times. He has a sly humor. He has a very great mentality. It is sharp, shrewd and, above all else, wise, at least so it would appear to me. If you can picture a personality that is exactly opposite to what the most rabid anti-Stalinist anywhere would conceive, then you might picture this man”

Joseph Davies

Kaifi Azmi:

“Bravo! Comrade Stalin, bravo!

You cut down tyrants to size, you they could not match.

The tyrants are spewing out blood,
Which kind of poison did you dispatch?
Nazism has lost its guts.
Their vigour, from their jowl you could snatch,
You put a yoke around their neck, after you had made the catch.

Bravo! Comrade Stalin, bravo!
Your durability one can behold.”

Kaifi Azmi

Dr. Huey P. Newton:

“It is important to realize that there is not so much of a deterioration, for the continuity is not broken. If one recalls Lenin’s statement in 1917, when he had trouble mobilizing a basically peasant country, one can see why and how such a development occurred. In order to move the peasants against the feudal lords, he said something for which many scholars criticize him, because it created a problem for Stalin when he had to try to nationalize the farms. First Lenin said “Break thy shackles, want and dread. Bread is freedom; freedom bread.” However, even with this slogan the people could not be moved. Finally Lenin said, in essence, “The Land is Ours, Seize the Land.” When he said that, the peasants rose up like a mighty storm. Later, when it was necessary to actualize this, Stalin ended up slaughtering many peasants, because they demanded, “The Land is Ours!” Stalin attempted to make the people understand that it was necessary to collectivize the land in order to build the necessary industrial state. His methods may be criticized but are not the issue here. For it was after Stalin that the Russian state began to fall into its present state of decay.”

Huey P. Newton

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