Stalin on the “cult of Personality”

”Finally, a few words about the letter written by the collective farmers of Bezenchuk. This letter has been published, and you must have read it. It is unquestionably a good letter. It shows that among our collective farmers there are not a few experienced and intelligent organisers and agitators in the cause of collective farming, who are the pride of our country. But this letter contains one incorrect passage with which we cannot possibly agree. The point is that the Bezenchuk comrades describe their work in the collective farm as modest and all but insignificant work, whereas they describe the efforts of orators and leaders, who sometimes make speeches of inordinate length, as great and creative work. Can we agree with that? No, comrades, we cannot possibly agree with it. The Bezenchuk comrades have made a mistake here. Perhaps they made the mistake out of modesty. But the mistake does not cease to be a mistake for all that. The times have passed when leaders were regarded as the only makers of history, while the workers and peasants were not taken into account. The destinies of nations and of states are now determined, not only by leaders, but primarily and mainly by the vast masses of the working people. The workers and the peasants, who without fuss and noise are building factories and mills, constructing mines and railways, building collective farms and state farms, creating all the values of life, feeding and clothing the whole worldt hey are the real heroes and the creators of the new life. Apparently, our Bezenchuk comrades have forgotten this. It is not good when people overrate their strength and begin to be conceited about the services they have rendered. That leads to boasting, and boasting is not a good thing. But it is still worse when people begin to underrate their strength and fail to see that their “modest” and “insignificant” work is really great and creative work that decides the fate of history.

I would like the Bezenchuk comrades to approve this slight amendment of mine to their letter.” 
(J.V. Stalin – Speech Delivered at the First All-Union Congress of Collective Farm Shock Brigadiers)


“I am absolutely against the publication of “Stories of the childhood of Stalin.”

The book abounds with a mass of inexactitudes of fact, of alterations, of exaggerations and of unmerited praise. Some amateur writers, scribblers, (perhaps honest scribblers) and some adulators have led the author astray. It is a shame for the author, but a fact remains a fact.

But this is not the important thing. The important thing resides in the fact that the book has a tendency to engrave on the minds of Soviet children (and people in general) the personality cult of leaders, of infallible heroes. This is dangerous and detrimental.

The theory of “heroes” and the “crowd” is not a Bolshevik, but a Social-Revolutionary theory. The heroes make the people, transform them from a crowd into people, thus say the Social-Revolutionaries.

The people make the heroes, thus reply the Bolsheviks to the Social-Revolutionaries. The book carries water to the windmill of the Social-Revolutionaries. No matter which book it is that brings the water to the windmill of the Social-Revolutionaries, this book is going to drown in our common, Bolshevik cause.

I suggest we burn this book.” (J.V. Stalin – Letter on Publications for Children Directed to the Central Committee of the All Union Communist Youth)

there is too much talk about the services rendered by chiefs, by leaders. They are credited with all, or nearly all, of our achievements. That, of course, is wrong, it is incorrect. It is not merely a matter of leaders . . . we must first of all learn to value people, to value cadres, to value every worker capable of benefiting our common cause. It is time to realize that of all the valuable capital the world possesses, the most valuable and most decisive is people, cadres . . . cadres decide everything” (J.V. – Stalin Address Delivered in the Kremlin Palace to the Graduates From the Red Army Academies)


”MOLOTOV (. . . stated that he is and will always he a faithful disciple of Stalin.)
STALIN (interrupting Molotov): This is nonsense. I have no students at all. We are all students of the great Lenin.” 
Unpublished Speech by Stalin at the Plenum of the Central Committee, CPSU October 16, 1952)

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