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Stalinism refers to the policies and writings of Joseph Stalin, General Secretary of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1952. Stalin was responsible for ending the New Economic Policy, inaugurating the era of Five-Year Plans and a rush towards industrialization and collectivization, as well as the formalization of ideas such as socialism in one country.

Stalin himself maintained that his views were in line with those of Marx and Lenin and formulated an official version of their teachings called Marxism–Leninism. His opponents, however, such as Leon Trotsky, argued that his leadership of the communist movement represented a deviation and innovation which was harmful, conciliatory, or even reactionary, and labelled his policies "Stalinism". After his death, Nikita Khrushchev took power as head of the CPSU, prompting criticism from communist leaders like Mao Zedong and Enver Hoxha as well as from the wider pro-Soviet communist movement and triggering a divide which lasts to this day. Supporters of Stalin's policies over those of his successors almost always refer to themselves as Marxist–Leninists and hardly use the term "Stalinist", but some groups, including anti-revisionists such as Hoxhaists, may prefer the term "Stalinism" or something similar. The vast majority of its usage on the left comes from opponents of the Soviet Union's legacy, such as anarchists and libertarian socialists.

The Marxists Internet Archive Encyclopedia, whose authors tend to be Trotskyist, defines Stalinism as "the politics of the bureaucracy that hovers over a workers' state" and "the expression of [the] pressures of [foreign capitalist] imperialism within the workers' state".

See also


  • "Glossary of Terms: Stalinism". Marxists Internet Archive Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  • Trotsky, Leon (1937). Stalinism and Bolshevism at the Marxists Internet Archive
  • Draper, Hal (2020-05-27). "Hal Draper: The Neo-Stalinist Type (1948)". Marxists Internet Archive. Retrieved 2024-05-29.
  • "It is absolutely correct and acceptable to use the term 'Stalinism'". Anasintaxi. 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2024-05-29.