Written shortly before his death, this work is regarded as Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s political testament. Far more than just a dry theoretical economic discussion, this book provides a fascinating and unique insight into the economic, social and political thinking of the man who led the Communist juggernaut from 1924 to 1953.
Directed to internal Communist Party comrades in response to discussions on the economy of the Soviet Union, this work details Stalin’s interpretation of the basic economic laws of modern capitalism and socialism, the character of economic laws under Soviet style socialism, commodity production, the “law of value” and the “elimination of the antithesis and distinctions between town and country and mental and physical labour.”
Finally, Stalin presents what he predicted would be the “deepening crisis of the world capitalist system” and the “inevitability of wars between capitalist countries.”
While much of Stalin’s predictions were wholly incorrect, parts of his critique of capitalism proved valid and were borne out by developments long after his time.
A fascinating historical document, first published in Red China in 1972.
About the author: Joseph Stalin (1878–1953) was the de facto leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. He took part in the 1917 Russian Revolution and was appointed General Secretary of the party’s Central Committee in 1922. He consolidated his power base after Lenin’s death in 1924, and became Premier of the Soviet Union in 1941. Under his rule, the concept of “socialism in one country” became a central tenet of Soviet society which replaced Lenin’s New Economic Policy. Stalin’s reforms, enacted brutally without regard to the human cost, resulted in a period of industrialization and collectivization which transformed his nation from an agrarian society into an industrial power. This upheaval cost the lives of millions, either as dissidents imprisoned and executed in the Gulags, and in the engineered social disruption and deliberately-crated Soviet famine of 1932–1933, known as the Holodomor in the Ukraine. In the late 1930s, Stalin expelled, executed or sidelined hundreds of thousands of internal opponents in what became known as the Great Purge. During this time, major figures in the Communist Party, such as Leon Trotsky, and several Red Army leaders were killed after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Stalin.
Despite aligning himself with Hitler and the Nazis in 1939, Stalin always planned to attack Germany and was only beaten to the punch by the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. With the substantial help of American aid and material, the Soviet Union defeated Germany and Stalin emerged from the Second World War as arguably one of the most powerful individuals on earth, with an empire spanning from the Far East to Central Europe. Stalin also fostered close relations with Mao Zedong in China, Kim Il-sung in North Korea, and was a significant part of the rise in hostilities with his former Allies which led to the Cold War. In the years following his death, Stalin and his regime were condemned by his successors, most notably in 1956 when Nikita Khrushchev accused him of being responsible for the death of over 30 million people.