Born Iosif Visarionovich Dzhugashvili in 1879. His birthplace was a town called Gori in Georgia. Born into crushing poverty, and beaten by his drunken father, he was steered with the help of his stern mother into education at a Seminary during his teens.
Here he disovered literature (then banned) by Karl Marx and became influenced by a small group who met secretly to discuss his concepts. From these experiences, being exposed to Marxist ideology, he rejected his religious education and became an atheist and professional revolutionary.
Firstly adopting the pseudonym Koba, a romantic fictional character of Georgian novels he read, he became obsessed with Lenin and the revolutionary movement occurring against the Tsars in Russia.
A bank robber, and ruthless agitator, he spent alot of time in Siberian exile, earning himself a reputation as a committed revolutionary.
Later he changed his pseudonym to Stalin, meaning Man Of Steel, and rose through the ranks of the Bolshevik faction of the Social Democratic Workers Party, although he was not able to fully penetrate the inner intellectual circles of the movement until the Bolsheviks took full power in 1917.
He was never considered a theorist or fellow intellectual by members of the top ranks in the movement, but his genius was demonstrated in the loyalty and influence he had garnered when orgainsing the rank and file of the revolutionary movement. His power base lay firmly in the grass roots. He used this to gain control of the Party and rid the revolution of his Nemesis, Leon Trotsky.
His second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva became his lover while he fought against Tsarist forces during the Russian civil war following the revolution. She shot herself dead in despair during the 1930's, during the time of the Ukrainian famine, a result of Stalin's polices of forced collectivisation. And, vindictive subjugation of those who opposed him.
When he took power, Stalin then ruled with ruthless disregard for human life for nearly quarter of a century until 1953. The revolution was turned into his own tool of revenge and narrowmindedness, the state reorganised into his own personality cult.
Killing millions with his polices of modernisation and collectivisation, he transformed the Soviet Union into a major world power, and at one time the second largest industrial giant (America being No 1). But the human cost leaves his achievments tainted permanently.
The Soviet Union's role in the Second World War was instrumental in defeating the Nazis, and this is sorely and disrespectfully not recognized.
A great man, no doubt, but great for too many wrong reasons. A Modernizer, and mass murderer.
He had the affectionate name Uncle Joe attached to him by American propagandists who wanted to create an image of the man in which the American people could trust, while the anti-communist USA was allied with the USSR during WWII.
"Lenin left the people a great legacy, and we his heirs have fucked it up"
Stalin upon hearing of the Nazi invasion of the USSR- 1941.
Marxist terminology for an individual who is a member of the industrial working class, a social phenomenon appearing during the transformation of societies through the industrial revolution of western Europe during the 19th century, Britain in particular.
Proletarians with minds and ideas of their own are people the middle class are afraid of. Even middle class leftists, who use social change movements to mobilise people to their own ends, who use empty slogans in order to attract frustrated workers.
The problem with this is that for proletarians to bring about change that will improve their lives, it has to be born from them. The leadership idea has to be overcome, as does the leadership itself existing in social change movements, who are mainly middle class people. The middle class in their various positions in society are antagonistic towards workers, and are integral to the control and pacification of workers through the various institutions they represent and control, even in areas of "social care". The relationships the middle class have with workers are bound up with rules of inequality, power and privilege, or rulers and ruled.
A workers movement for social change is not a genuine workers movement when the leadership are middle class. The power will not have gone away from the oppressors to the oppressed.
Karl Marx himself was middle class, and individuals within this class can help workers, and join them, but leadership, if it has to be used, must come from the workers and not the middle class, which does not occur with social change movements today.
To have exclusivity for one class is wrong people may suggest. But, in the main workers are exploited by a capitalist system, and middle class regulators- these watchmen, lackies of the system, have more power and postion in society, and this is of deteriment to workers, and relationships between them will carry negative qualities that couild ruin social change.
The SWP- this lot are complete wankers.