What follows is an excerpt from Maurice Cornforth’s 1952 Readers’ Guide to the Marxist Classics.
I. MARX, ENGELS, LENIN AND STALIN
(6) Stalin on Lenin
(a) J. V. Stalin. “On the Death of Lenin.” J. V. Stalin Collected Works, Vol. 6, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1953, 47-53.
(b) J. V. Stalin. “Lenin as the Organiser and Leader of the Russian Communist Party.” J. V. Stalin Collected Works, Vol. 4, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1953, 317-327.
(c) J. V. Stalin. “Lenin.” J. V. Stalin Collected Works, Vol. 6, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1953, 54-66.
There are a number of speeches and articles on Lenin by J. V. Stalin.
In his speech On the Death of Lenin, delivered at the 2nd Congress of Soviets, January 26, 1924, Stalin took his famous vow to remain faithful to Lenin’s behests. “There is nothing higher than the title of member of the Party whose founder and leader was Comrade Lenin,” he declared. Lenin’s behests were:
- To hold high and guard the purity of the great title of member of the Party.
- To guard the unity of the Party.
- To guard and strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat.
- To strengthen the alliance of workers and peasants.
- To consolidate and extend the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
- To strengthen and extend the union of the working people of the whole world.
In an article on Lenin as Organiser and Leader of the Russian Communist Party, written on the 50th anniversary of Lenin’s birth, Stalin explains that while there are some who convert Marxism into a set of “lifeless and meaningless formulas,” Lenin attached prime importance to the translation of Marxism into reality, “testing every step by experience, learning from mistakes and teaching others how to build a new life.”¹ He then shows how this was manifested in Lenin’s work as organiser and leader of the Party.
In a speech On Lenin delivered at the Kremlin Military School in 1924 Stalin speaks of Lenin as he knew him, “as a man and a statesman.” He describes how he first met Lenin, “the mountain eagle”; and then describes his modesty, his fidelity to principle, his faith in the masses, his revolutionary genius. He illustrates Lenin’s outstanding characteristics by examples from his work and political leadership.
¹ Cf. History of C.P.S.U.(B), conclusion.