The Common Man

In Stalin’s reply to Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946, he gives the common people agency by stating that they have opinions and the ability to stand up for themselves.  I find it interesting that in this speech he speaks of pride in the common man’s power in accordance to socialist ideology, but this type of person is not the one responsible for victory in WWII because Stalin is no longer the common man.  By elevating himself to the godlike figure of state religion and separating from the reality of labor, Stalin had no ties to the people from which he rose except to say that he is speaking in their interest.  His other 1946 speech shows his continual manipulation of the system, not blaming the inexperience of Soviet diplomacy for starting the war, the “statesmen’s blunders”, but instead placing the fault on the rise of capitalism.  I think that he realized that since he had risen from the common people, he could just as easily be overthrown by a figure like himself, so he has to continually deflect the blame for incidences in which he really played a large role.  This, however, also contradicts with the statement I mentioned earlier, in which he gives the people agency to decide what is best.

I also think it is interesting that Stalin mentions that one positive aspect of the war was that it allowed the Soviets to examine their system, but, of course, upon examination he find the Soviet Union to be perfectly structured, needing only to rebuild what had already existed.  He credited the success of the Soviets to its organization as a “people’s social system,” but in the same way as the capitalist countries sent men to fight, Stalin worked his people into the ground to prepare for war and then sent them to die.  His support for the common man seemed only nominal since his rise to power.