Stalin Against Capitalism and Churchill

Throughout Stalin’s speech, given at a meeting of voters of the Stalin electoral district, Stalin continually mentions the superiority of the Soviet system and its greatness. This is also evident in his response to Winston S. Churchill’s speech on the “Iron Curtain”, given in 1946. In both of these speeches Stalin makes frequent comments on the inefficiencies of capitalism. This further proves that Stalin was not a fan of capitalism and its capitalistic ideas. In his speech to the voters of the Stalin electoral district, Stalin blamed the Second World War on the development of world economic and political forces on the basis of present-day monopolistic capitalism, mentioned that the capitalistic system contains some aspects of a general crisis and military conflicts and almost never proceeds smoothly. He glorified the Soviet Union’s victories over their enemies and the war and determines the nation’s victory through the “victorious” Soviet social system, in which he says “passed the test of fire and war and prove to be fully viable”.
Stalin continues further to exaggerate the Soviet Union’s greatness by direct attacking Winston Churchill in his response to the “Iron Curtain” speech. Stalin directly states that Churchill only thought of English speaking nations as the only valuable nations that were actually worth something and should rule over the rest of the world. This is a very strong statement to be said especially to such large public, it proves that Stalin only had one intention in these two speeches, to increase his popularity within the people of his nation and to encourage his nomination as a supreme Supreme Soviet. I would say that these two speeches were mainly used as a way to increase his popularity within the public he appealed to.

Stalin’s Speech at a Meeting of Voters of The Stalin Electoral District

Three Points:

1. Stalin started his speech with the discussion of the nature of the two world wars, that the first world war was mainly a result of rising capitalism countries’ demand for redistribution of  “sphere of influence” and that the second world war was one of anti-fascism and liberation.

2. He then brought up the point that the second world war served as a test of the Soviet Union in many ways. Constructed as a multi-national union, Soviet Union succeeded in muting the sceptic who doubted if the multi-nation political institution could survive. Soviet Union’s winning of the war also solidified the power of communism.

3. The latter part of the speech focused on the future development of Soviet Union by the next five-year plan. With the heavy industry developing first than light industry and collective agriculture instead of capitalist one, the Soviet Communist party aimed to restore the productivity to pre-war level at a relatively short time and with high efficiency.

Two Questions:

1. If the pre-war five-year plans were focusing on heavy industry as a preparation for the war, why did Stalin and the communist party still focus on heavy industry after the war? It was a quicker route for the GDP to go up but not for the overall living standard of people.

2. It seems that collectivism works quite efficiently towards a collective goal, usually a expanding one (politically or economically). But it lacks the ability to recover once it crashed (Germany, Soviet Union, even Japan during the bubble burst in the 1990s). Do you agree that eventually it is individualism that propel the society forward? Meaning, should people eventually increase their own productivity solely based on personal goal instead of a collective one?

One Observation:

The planned economic policy works against the “natural” development of industrialization by developing heavy industry first. In a time when there is no war, heavy manufacture can result in excess capacity since no one will be using the products once they are made. Stalin described a prospective future in terms of national productivity, but how this prosperity turns into individual’s life is not clear. Nevertheless, Stalin succeeded in winning votes by his plan for the country.