Stalin on fascism and racism

Earlier, I posted about Stalin’s strong stand against anti-semitism and the tough penalties for any form of racial abuse in the USSR. Here is another piece. In his report to the seventeenth congress of the CPSU(B), Stalin once again comments on fascism, in the context of Hitler’s recent seizure of power in Germany.

Still others think that war should be organised by a “superior race,” say, the German “race,” against an “inferior race,” primarily against the Slavs; that only such a war can provide a way out of the situation, for it is the mission of the “superior race” to render the “inferior race” fruitful and to rule over it. Let us assume that this queer theory, which is as far removed from science as the sky from the earth, let us assume that this queer theory is put into practice. What may be the result of that?

It is well known that ancient Rome looked upon the ancestors of the present-day Germans and French in the same way as the representatives of the “superior race” now look upon the Slav races. It is well known that ancient Rome treated them as an “inferior race,” as “barbarians,” destined to live in eternal subordination to the “superior race,” to “great Rome”, and, between ourselves be it said, ancient Rome had some grounds for this, which cannot be said of the representatives of the “superior race” of today. (Thunderous applause.) But what was the upshot of this? The upshot was that the non-Romans, i.e., all the “barbarians,” united against the common enemy and brought Rome down with a crash. The question arises: What guarantee is there that the claims of the representatives of the “superior race” of today will not lead to the same lamentable results? What guarantee is there that the fascist literary politicians in Berlin will be more fortunate than the old and experienced conquerors in Rome? Would it not be more correct to assume that the opposite will be the case? (Works, volume 13, p. 302).

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4 thoughts on “Stalin on fascism and racism

  1. Stalin was always better in words than in deeds. He was always so committed to internationalism and yet, during his rule in the late 1930s – 1940s there was a lot of repression against various nationalities in the USSR and even revert to tsarist Russification policy to a certain extent.

    1. This is a common approach, but somewhat one-sided. As a number of recent studies have shown, Stalin remained committed to the ‘affirmative action’ program of the Soviet Union right through, and often against pressure to drop it. At the same time, some ‘dangerous nationalities’ were relocated in the Soviet Union, and the purges were taking place. Instead of emphasising one side or the other, the two go hand in hand: the huge enthusiasm for the new socialist project, the affirmative action program and the fostering of anti-colonial struggles went hand in hand with the purges and relocating a few dangerous nationalities. To add to the complexity, the recovery of the Russian nationality in the late 1930s was predicated on a redefinition of nation as made up of workers, collective farm workers and intellectuals.

  2. “It is well known that ancient Rome treated them as an “inferior race,” as “barbarians,” destined to live in eternal subordination to the “superior race,” to “great Rome”, and, between ourselves be it said, ancient Rome had some grounds for this, which cannot be said of the representatives of the “superior race” of today.” Mic Drop.

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