The Cold War Perspective Without Stalin:
Why Soviet Expansion May Now Accelerate
STALIN’S disappearance from the scene he has so long dominated is the kind of event to which the term “end of an epoch” can be applied without overmuch exaggeration, and that for reasons which have nothing to do with his alleged status as Lenin’s successor in the realm of Communist theory and practice. The real reason why this event must be treated with extreme seriousness is that it comes at a time when the Soviet regime is both able and apparently willing to extend its bid for world domination.
Unlike other dictators of recent years, Stalin died in his bed. The fact may not seem very significant to those who think of Stalinism as merely the Russian version of modern totalitarian tyranny, forgetting that it has achieved the kind of stability and permanence-in-revolution which eluded its rivals. Hitler was a madman, and Mussolini a clown; that, too, is less important than the rapid crumbling of their respective systems of rule. Fascism has not stood the test of modern war. Stalinism has. The Third Reich was a bloody intermezzo in modern German history: horrible and destructive, but also grotesque and even (if one can permit oneself the thought) bordering on the farcical. It was never taken seriously by intelligent Germans, but intelligent Russians take the Soviet regime seriously. They have to; it has become part of the Russian heritage.
About the Author