Stalinism was the "theory and practice of communism" practiced by Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union from 1928–1953. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, "Stalinism is associated with a regime of terror and totalitarian rule."  Stalinism, when used in its common derogatory sense, refers to self-proclaimed socialist states that use secret police, propaganda, and bureaucratic centralplanning of the economy, to enforce their rule.
An OSCE parliamentary resolution blamed Stalinism, along with Fascism, for causing World War II and called for a day of remembrance for victims of both Stalinism and Nazism on August 23.
Stalinism usually defines the style of a government rather than an ideology. The ideology was "Marxism-Leninism theory", reflecting thatStalin himself was not a theoretician, in contrast to Marx and Lenin, and prided himself on maintaining the legacy of Lenin as a founding father for the Soviet Union and the future Communist world.
Stalinism is an interpretation of their ideas, and a certain political regime claiming to apply those ideas in ways fitting the changing needs of society, as with the transition from "socialism at asnail's pace" in the mid-twenties to the rapid industrialisation of the Five-Year Plans. Sometimes, although rarely, the compound terms "Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism" (used by the Brazilian MR-8), or teachings of Marx/Engels/Lenin/Stalin, are used to show the alleged heritage and succession.
Simultaneously, however, many people who profess Marxism or Leninism view Stalinism as a perversion of theirideas; Trotskyists, in particular, are virulently anti-Stalinist, considering Stalinism a counter-revolutionary policy using vague Marxist-sounding rhetoric to achieve power.
From 1917 to 1924, Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin often appeared united, but their ideological differences never disappeared. In his dispute with Trotsky, Stalin de-emphasised the role of workers in advanced capitalist countries(for example, he postulated these considering the U.S. working class as bourgeoisified labour aristocracy). Also, Stalin polemicised against Trotsky on the role of peasants, as in China, whereas Trotsky's position was in favor of urban insurrection and over peasant-based guerrilla warfare.
The main contributions of Stalin to communist theory were:
• The groundwork for the Soviet policyconcerning nationalities, laid in Stalin's 1913 work Marxism and the National Question, praised by Lenin.
• 'Socialism in One Country'
• The theory of aggravation of the class struggle along with the development of socialism, a theoretical base supporting the repression of political opponents as necessary.
Stalinism has been described as being synonymous with totalitarianism, or atyrannical regime. The term has been used to describe regimes that fight political dissent through violence, imprisonment, and killings. However given that fascist, theocratic, and otherwise anti-communist governments have used these methods to curb dissent just as much as pro-communist governments have, the term "Stalinism" may only really be accurate when describing a government that is pro-Stalin orthat proclaims itself to be a socialist state while taking the above measures. Personality cults are also common to all Stalinist regimes.
Stalinist economic policy
At the end of the 1920s Stalin launched a wave of radical economic policies, which completely overhauled the industrial and agricultural face of the Soviet Union. This came to be known as the 'Great Turn' as Russia turned awayfrom the near-capitalist New Economic Policy. The NEP had been implemented by Lenin in order to ensure the survival of the Communist state following seven years of war (1914–1921, World War I from 1914 to 1917, and the subsequent Civil War) and had rebuilt Soviet production to its 1913 levels. However, Russia still lagged far behind the West, and the NEP was felt by Stalin and the majority of the...
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