February 21st, 2015
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Following publication of the Short Course, which gave the author as “A commission of the ACP(b) Central Committee,” Stalin explained: “We were presented with … a draft text and we fundamentally revised it.” The Soviet leader’s deployment of the “royal we” suggests that he suffered from what Koestler called the “shamefacedness about the first person singular which the Party had inculcated in its disciples.” (Once a young department head—and Stalin’s future son-in-law—dared to speak for the party “in his own name.” “Ha-ha-ha!” pronounced the greasy pencil. “Nonsense!” and “Get out!”)
Soviet Communism then, and corporations then, and still today, are both anti-provenance. Credit is given to anonymous committees, rather than specific individuals. To be pro-provenance is to be anti-Soviet and anti-corporate. And yet corporatism continues, though the public itself often rejects it:
But it didn’t work. Within little over a year, the old networks of study circles and ad hoc courses re-emerged, “complemented,” Brandenberger and Zelenov write in their forthcoming edition, “by dozens of improvised auxiliary texts and readers published in the provinces,” all for the purpose of illuminating the Short Course. This grass-roots revision of Stalin’s plan meant the return of heroes to the story of the party’s evolution, and a tenacious clinging to the Stalin personality cult.