Stalin and the Soviet state*
Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 2 August 1950
Mr. Stalin has emphasised the need to strengthen the Army of a Socialist State in conditions of "capitalist encirclement," in a review of Marxist principles in the magazine "The Bolshevik". Moscow radio made his review the subject of a special broadcast.
The Soviet Premier was answering queries by Communist party members on points which he made in a recent "Pravda" article on "Marxism in Linguistics," and on that subject itself he forecast that in the epoch of "worldwide Socialism" languages would be merged into a common international form of speech. He said he foresaw the merger of zonal languages, into a "common international language which naturally will not be either German or Russian or English, but a new language embodying in itself the best elements of national and zonal languages."
On the structure of the State, Mr. Stalin pointed out that although Marx and Engels had laid down that Socialist revolution "cannot be victorious in any one country, that it can win only through a general uprising in all civilised countries," it became clear during the first world war that capitalism was in decline, and Lenin then came to the conclusion that in the new circumstances thus created:
Socialism could be victorious in one country; the victory of Socialism in all countries at the same time was impossible, in view of the differences in the degree of development of the Revolutionary movement in various countries; and the Marx-Engels formula did not correspond to the newly created historical conditions. "Uncritical bookworms" might say that one of these views was false and should be rejected, Mr. Stalin went on. But Marxists knew that both statements were right.
Dealing with Engels's theory that "the State must wither away after the revolution," Mr Stalin said:
"After the victory of the Revolution in our country, the uncritical bookworms in our party began to urge the adoption of measures to this end. They demanded the abolition of certain organs of the State and, among other things, the abolition of the Army as a permanent institution.
But the Soviet Marxists, on the basis of an analysis of the world situation, came to the conclusion that with the existence of capitalist encirclement, when Socialism is victorious only in one country while capitalism is supreme in all other countries, the Socialist country must take care not to weaken but to strengthen its State, the organs of the State, the Intelligence Service, and the Army.
Marxism was the enemy of dogmatism, Stalin said. "Marxism as a science cannot stand still in one place. It develops and is perfected."