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C. Flower
25-02-2013, 09:27 AM
Via Cedar Lounge Revolution -

1956, Feb 25th - Khruschev's "Secret Speech"


Secret Speech Delivered by First Party Secretary at the Twentieth Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, February 25, 1956

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1956khrushchev-secret1.html


"On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences" (Russian: О культе личности и его последствиях) was a report by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev made to the Twentieth Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on 25 February 1956. Khrushchev's speech was sharply critical of the reign of General Secretary and Premier Joseph Stalin, particularly with respect to the brutal purges of the Soviet military and Communist Party cadres which had particularly marked the last years of the 1930s. Khrushchev charged Stalin with having fostered a leadership personality cult despite ostensibly maintaining support for the ideals of communism.


The speech was a milestone in the Khrushchev Thaw. Superficially, the speech was an attempt to draw the Soviet Communist Party closer to Leninism. Khrushchev's ulterior motivation, however, was to legitimize and help consolidate his control of the Communist party and government, power obtained in a political struggle with Stalin loyalists Vyacheslav Molotov and Georgy Malenkov.

The Khrushchev report was known as the "Secret Speech" because it was delivered at an unpublicized closed session of Communist Party delegates, with guests and members of the press excluded. Although the text of the Khrushchev report leaked almost immediately, the official Russian text was published only in 1989 during the glasnost campaign of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.


The issue of mass repressions was recognized before the speech. The speech itself was prepared based on the results of a special party commission (Pospelov (chairman), Komarov, Aristov, Shvernik), known as the Pospelov Commission, arranged at the session of the Presidium of the Party central committee on 31 January 1955. The direct goal of the commission was to investigate the repressions of the delegates of the 1934 XVII Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

The 17th Congress was selected for investigations because it was known as "the Congress of Victors" in the country of "victorious socialism", and therefore the enormous number of "enemies" among the participants demanded explanation.

This commission presented evidence that during 1937–38 (the peak of the period known as the Great Purge) over one and a half million individuals were arrested for "anti-Soviet activities", of whom over 680,000 were executed.

Khruschev's analysis is feeble. The idea that the conditions in the Soviet Union, and the problems experienced, came down to some kind of choice about cultism is the opposite of a Marxist analysis, that would have looked at the economic and class base from which the problems came about. Says something about the state of Soviet government that this could come from a leader of the State and have any credibility.

Ceannaire
25-02-2013, 12:06 PM
What analysis do you offer, out of interest? It's not immediately obvious how class was to blame for what happened in the USSR in the 1930s.

C. Flower
25-02-2013, 12:18 PM
What analysis do you offer, out of interest? It's not immediately obvious how class was to blame for what happened in the USSR in the 1930s.


I'm reading a book on the Soviet Union written in the late 1930s, that does make a serious attempt at looking at the economic and class issues and which is written from a pro Soviet stance aligned neither with Trotsky or Stalin.

The fact that the USSR was a very poor and very backward country, devastated by war, in 1917, and by protracted western backed civil war after, and that there were no revolutions in any advanced industrialised countries from which to get support and assistance in development, did not make for an easy job, but a more specific and concrete analysis is needed, I agree.

I'll post a bit about the Soviet Union's economy, and about the book, either this evening or tomorrow.

Slim Buddha
25-02-2013, 05:00 PM
I'm reading a book on the Soviet Union written in the late 1930s, that does make a serious attempt at looking at the economic and class issues and which is written from a pro Soviet stance aligned neither with Trotsky or Stalin.

The fact that the USSR was a very poor and very backward country, devastated by war, in 1917, and by protracted western backed civil war after, and that there were no revolutions in any advanced industrialised countries from which to get support and assistance in development, did not make for an easy job, but a more specific and concrete analysis is needed, I agree.

I'll post a bit about the Soviet Union's economy, and about the book, either this evening or tomorrow.

Regardless of what happened by way of purges, it cannot be denied that when Stalin took over the reins in the Soviet Union, it was a poor, backward, feudal, agrarian society.

When he left, it was the No. 2 military and industrial power in the world. The cost was enormous but as Frederick the Great said "You cannot make an omlette without breaking eggs".

Sam Lord
25-02-2013, 09:54 PM
Some background reading for those who are genuinely interested:



In his "Secret Speech" of February 1956 Nikita Khrushchev accused Joseph Stalin of immense crimes. Khrushchev's speech was a body blow from which the worldwide communist movement never recovered. It changed the course of history. Grover Furr has spent a decade studying the flood of documents from formerly secret Soviet archives published since the end of the USSR. In this detailed study of Khrushchev's speech he reveals the astonishing results of his research: Not a single one of Khrushchev's "revelations" is true! The most influential speech of the 20th century - if not of all time - a dishonest swindle? The very thought is monstrous; the implications for our understanding of Left history-immense. Basing their work on Khrushchev's lies, Soviet and Western historians, including Trotskyists and anticommunists, have effectively falsified Soviet history. Virtually everything we thought we knew about the Stalin years turns out to be wrong. The history of the USSR, and of the communist movement of the 20th century, must be completely rewritten. ---- "Khrushchev Lied is a marvelous piece of work, formidable in its research and reasoning, clear and precise in its writing, and breathtaking in its findings and implications. Revisiting old sources and using new material from the Soviet archives, Grover Furr's study demands a complete rethinking of Soviet history, socialist history, indeed world history of the 20th century." - Roger Keeran, Empire State College, co-author of Socialism Betrayed: Behind the Collapse of the Soviet Union.




Khrushchev Lied: The Evidence That Every "Revelation" of Stalin's (and Beria's) Crimes in Nikita Khrushchev's Infamous "Secret Speech" to the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on February 25, 1956, is Provably False: Grover Furr: 9780615441054: Amazon.com: Books

C. Flower
25-02-2013, 09:58 PM
Some background reading for those who are genuinely interested:

Khrushchev Lied: The Evidence That Every "Revelation" of Stalin's (and Beria's) Crimes in Nikita Khrushchev's Infamous "Secret Speech" to the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on February 25, 1956, is Provably False: Grover Furr: 9780615441054: Amazon.com: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Khrushchev-Lied-Revelation-Khrushchevs-Communist/dp/061544105X)

Genuinely interested - is there any one example you would like to give ?