Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/428/5027

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 February 2006

50 years ago...

Khrushchev: The Stalinist who denounced Stalin

AT THE 20th conference of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in February 1956, first secretary Nikita Khrushchev denounced the crimes of Stalin (who had died in 1953). However, as the revolutionary events of that year showed, in denouncing Stalin Khrushchev hadn't rejected Stalinism.

Following the defeat of the Nazis in world war two the Red Army occupied eastern Europe. Gradually, through a series of 'popular front' governments and by an iron grip on the army, police and judiciary, Stalinist regimes - mirror images of the Soviet Union - were installed.

Living conditions were severe. War reparations saw factories stripped of machinery and removed to the Soviet Union. A harsh labour system involving piece-work and high production targets under a dictatorial management (known as 'Stakhanovism') was rigidly enforced. Thousands of worker-militants were expelled from Communist Parties as Stalin's police apparatus purged society of any potential political opponents.

The followers of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky (an implacable opponent of Stalinism) explained that although the occupation of eastern Europe had temporarily strengthened Stalin's regime, the dead hand of the bureaucracy would inevitably conflict with the functioning of the planned economy. This would provoke a clash between the working class and the bureaucracy. So, the demand for workers' democracy could only be realised through a 'political revolution'.

The clearest expression of the political revolution occurred in Hungary later in 1956 (although a brief strike wave in Poland had earlier that year taken on the character of a workers' uprising).

Starting with the stirrings of dissent amongst intellectuals (the 'Petofi circle') and students, splits in the ruling Communist Party opened up channels for working-class opposition to move along. By October a political revolution was in full swing. Quickly, the workers embraced Lenin's 1919 programme against bureaucratisation.

In the capital, Budapest, workers' councils ie soviets, were established with the election of officials with the right of recall. Maximums were placed on wages, the standing army was replaced by workers' militias and freedom of expression, except for capitalist counter-revolutionaries, was established. To implement this, two general strikes and two uprisings were conducted by the working class throughout Hungary.

The occupying Soviet troops became infected with this revolutionary mood and were hastily withdrawn, only for more reliable troops to return later.

Khrushchev, having earlier denounced Stalin, resorted to the same brutal methods to crush the revolution. This resulted in splits and defections from the mass Communist Parties in the West.

Khrushchev had survived and the repressive system staggered on for several more decades but the workers' revolution of 1956 showed that the writing was on the wall for Stalinism.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 22 February 2006:

Unite Save pensions, jobs and services

Fight for your future!

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference

Gas price rise the biggest in history !

Daggers at NHS's heart

Why rural workers need socialism

Bush and Blair's total failure

Car workers fight layoffs

Trade wars and protectionism

Khrushchev: The Stalinist who denounced Stalin

Music industry: Do we only hear his master's voice?

Good Night and Good Luck

Get your May Day greeting into the socialist!

University staff vote to strike over pay


 

Home   |   The Socialist 22 February 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Stalin:

triangleChinese revolution of 1944-49: 'The second greatest event in human history'

triangleLeon Trotsky's struggle against Stalinism

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: The struggle against Stalin

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: The local elections to be held in May

triangleWell-deserved ridicule of Stalinism is impressive, funny but flawed

Revolution:

triangleThe Spanish Flu of 1918 and how it "fanned the flames of revolt"

triangleLenin at 150: A revolutionary life - and the relevance of his ideas for today

triangleHow the catastrophe of WW1 sparked revolution

Soviet:

triangleTV Review: Chernobyl - Workers' heroism vs sclerotic Stalinism

triangleSupport for Putin's regime dips over major attacks on state pensions

Stalinism:

triangleYork Socialist Party: Tito and Stalinism in the former Yugoslavia

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

27/5/20

TUC

Covid crisis boosts union membership but TUC leaders want to cosy up to the bosses!

27/5/20

Coronavirus

Reckless, lying cheats

26/5/20

Coronavirus

Coronavirus pandemic news in brief

26/5/20

Coronavirus

More blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme

26/5/20

Coronavirus

United action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan

25/5/20

Coronavirus

Care home workers suffer PPE shortage and job loss fears

22/5/20

Coronavirus

Black and Asian Covid-19 deaths: an indictment of capitalist inequality

20/5/20

Coronavirus

Johnson's reckless 'back to school' plans threaten everyone's safety

20/5/20

Coronavirus

Confidence plummets in Tory strategy for Covid-19

20/5/20

Benefits

Universal Basic Income: not a solution to insecurity and poverty under capitalism

20/5/20

Covid

Furlough cut-off could force millions back to unsafe workplaces

20/5/20

Council

Crisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

20/5/20

Rich

Rich get handouts - workers get pay cuts

19/5/20

Coronavirus

Transport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

13/5/20

Coronavirus

Pandemic shortages caused by capitalist market - socialist planning is the alternative

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999