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Did Joseph Stalin ruin Communism?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/19/2017 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,104 times Debate No: 100055
Debate Rounds (3)
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Hello comrades,

My argument today is how Joseph Stalin, possibly the most famous Communist in world history, kept the Soviet Union from being the best country it could have been and effectively tainted communism with his reign, changing its ideology for the worse and negatively influencing the future of communism. Here are my reasons:

1. Lack of Equality

One of the very core beliefs of Marxism is the destruction of Social Classes and the rights and powers of the Individual. As well as complete equality in wealth and rights. These were all things that Marx, Engels, and even Lenin could not stress enough. To get rid of the oppressive Authority of the Clergy, and the Capitalists, and leave only that of the state. Also, when Marx said that to establish communism, the people must set up a temporary "Dictatorship of the Proletariat", he didn't actually mean create an Authoritarian state ruled by one individual with an extreme cult of personality and unlimited power to terrorize the general populace, (such as Stalin, Mao, Pol pot. etc.) He meant set up a temporary dictatorship to teach people the guidelines and doctrines of Communism and remove all capitalist sentiment, and once people have adjusted well to communism, the Dictatorship will be replaced with a much more moderate, less centralized government. In fact, Stalin's level of power and Authority was completely contrary to the doctrines of Lenin and Marx, instead of being equal, Stalin was basically a god among men, and there is NO way he was equal to the average Russian. The general populace of Russia was barely getting by while he and his cronies were taking WAY more than their fair share of the food and other resources. Any true Communist wouldn't have created that much of an Equality gap between the average Russian Citizen and the state.

2. Policies

Joseph Stalin seemed more interested in Building up the Russian Military and promoting Russian Nationalism than providing his people with a decent quality of life or helping spread communism throughout the world. He squandered enormous amounts of resources building up Russia's Military and starting the completely useless cold war, which would end up consuming much of Russia's resources and starting a pointless feud with the United states. Communism was originally intended to be anti-nationalism and anti Imperialism. Stalin reversed both of these things and squandered a lot of the countries resources on this. Also, Stalin was unnecessarily brutal. While even Marx agreed that some degree of force was needed to remove all Capitalist/ Bourgeoisie sentiment, Stalin took it way farther than it needed to go. I personally Agree with his policies of Economic Collectivization, but the way he went about it was so extreme it was ridiculous. Turning him into one of the worst mass killers in history, he mindlessly killed without hesitation to achieve his plans, when really there were much more efficient ways he could have gone about it and could have been much less brutal in his execution of his plans.

3. Personal Beliefs

Stalin banned all western culture and oppressed pretty much all forms of art and culture, whether it be Music, Cinema, Literature, theatre, and even sexual art, even though it was a huge disadvantage to the Soviet Union. The freedom to experience and enjoy art and culture could have kept the citizens of the Soviet Union somewhat pacified and given them a higher quality of life and higher life satisfaction. Therefore increasing their desire to work hard and collectively benefit everyone. Lastly, due to evidence and events in his past, Joseph Stalin was a certifiable Sociopath, devoid of Empathy or compassion. He did not truly care about the well being of the common man and reversed everything the Bolshevik revolution was intended to be about.

4. How he ruined communism

The way he effectively ruined the future of communism is that since the Soviet Union was the first Marxist country in the word, all future Communist countries looked to the Soviet Union for guidance on how they should make the transition from Capitalism to Communism and future communist leaders based their doctrines and tactics on that of Stalin, the first communist leader. What they saw was much different that what they would have seen if Lenin or Trotsky had been in charge of Russia. Lenin was completely unfit to to lead Russia and did not embody everything Karl Marx had envisioned. If a more sane, selfless, and Intelligent Individual had become the leader of the newly founded Communist state, it would have completely changed Communism for the better.


Hello, my name is Dr. Ivan Hopekins, and I am a family doctor originally from Alabama, currently residing in Louisiana, and I would just like to add that it is a pleasure to debate someone which such different views than my own.

I myself, am no communist, but that does not mean I can't argue about "commie matter" as the children call it nowadays. Joseph Stalin was the sole creation of a true communist; an agnostic, God hating, sinner that did nothing but kill, which is what true communism is - killing the worker. Joseph Stalin didn't ruin communism because communism was already ruined to begin with, he just took such a disaster and used it to his advantage. Communism is nasty.
Debate Round No. 1


Hello sir, I will enjoy this debate and it will be interesting to see how it will turn out facing someone with such different views than my own. Thank you for accepting my debate, but I disagree for the following reasons.

1. Brutality

Joseph Stalin killed over 40 Million people, and while Karl Marx definitely condoned using violence to get rid of capitalist sentiment, (such as religion, social classes, etc.) he NEVER would have approved of killing that many people, and the reasons he killed them were ridiculous, some of them being more about his own personal ego and paranoia than that these people were actual threats to the Soviet Union. Lenin could be pretty violent at times too, but he only did what he believed necessary to establish communism, not to invoke terror and fear into the populace. (The same goes for Trotsky) Also, Stalin even went so far as to Kill his own comrades in the communist party, he ended up exiling and later killing Leon trotsky, almost all of the original members of the bolshevik party, and some people believe he was responsible for Lenin's death as well. Stalin completely abused the idea of a "dictatorship of the proletariat" as a transitional phase between Capitalism and Communism.

2. Killing the Worker

Communism was Intended not to Kill the worker, they believed Capitalism did that. Which it did to a great extent during the industrial revolution, During the Height of the Industrial revolution in Britain and America between 1850 and 1920, typical working shift lasted 12 to 16 hours a day, if you complained, you were fired. If you got sick, you were fired. If you got hurt and were no longer able to work, you were fired. The average american worker made no more than 450 dollars a year, while tycoons such as as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller were worth over 300 Billion dollars by today's standards. That was the very thing that inspired Comrade Karl Marx to come up with the idea of Communism, in fact, the reason we have 8 hour work days, vacation days, and minimum wage is because of Communism. On top of that, despite all of the Killings, In Soviet Russia, all Jobs open to men were open to Women, at the time, it had the best healthcare in the world, and there were actually labor laws. Workers had a minimum standard of living, and because there was NO stock market and no businesses, the great depression never hit Russia. So during the 30's while America's economy had fallen apart, people in Russia had a minimum standard of living and didn't have to worry about finding a job. I'm not saying i approve of all of the brutality that
went on, but during the 30's and part of the 40's, the standard of living and stability in Russia was even greater than that of the Capitalist western world, it would have been a safer and even better place if Lenin was in charge. (Lenin was a much better leader in my opinion.) As long as you followed the rules and didn't threaten the state you were ok.

Even though there were some pros and cons, it could have been an even better place under Lenin or trotsky, Lenin had lead the people through the Revolution and really knew the struggles of the working man, Trotsky could have helped spread Communism across the world, and if Germany had become a communist country it could have prevented world war II. The main reason why Communism failed was because of the Egomaniacal, paranoid, sociopathic Joseph stalin.


If Marx believed in violence to remove the state to replace it with a communist one, and also believed in a big state to rule over everything, that is just a slippery slope. If you kill your capitalist enemies, then who's the say you can't kill people who disagree with you, or x, or y? A big state just takes one person to show the true colours of what this government can really do. If we give this much power to an individual, it is bound to end in corruption, violence, greed, and straight up narcissism. If it weren't Joseph Stalin, it would have been someone else that so called "ruined communism", like Mao Zedong or Fidel Castro. Look at the vast majority of communist leaders, they are all the same; greedy, pathological liars that trick the public into thinking equality for all is a possible outcome.
Debate Round No. 2


Marx's concept of a "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" was meant that basically one of the workers/common people would lead the country and help establish Communism. The big government was meant to provide for the people and give them basic necessities, such as clothing, food, and housing. Since the leader of the country was originally a member of the lower classes, he was supposed to do what was collectively best for everyone. Despite some other factors, most Communist leaders actually did this.

Mao Zedong turned China from a bloody, divided, impoverished, third world country still stuck in the feudal age, to a society with equal rights for men and women, an efficient economy, labor laws and minimum wage, and soup kitchens where people could receive free meals. Also, there is no way he killed as many people as others have claimed. If Mao really killed 40-60 million like the american media and the Anti-communists suggest, that means he would be about 6 times worse than hitler, who killed 12 million. If he had really killed any number of people remotely close to that, the United nations would have had him arrested and put before international court. World leaders with a much lower killing rate were sentenced to death by the UN. A lot of Chinese people actually like China better when it was completely communist, rather than now when China is exploited by the western world and the labor laws and wealth equality established by Mao were done away with. If you talk to many Chinese people who lived then, they say the wages and work hours were fair, they had enough food, and most didn't live in extreme fear.

On top of that, there are still Communist leaders with no Claims of murder against them, such as Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh, it is much more about the person who was in charge than about the theory. Also, Stalin probably still killed some people, but the number he killed was greatly exaggerated as well. Again, the western media's job was to portray Communism as negatively as possible. Capitalizing on when he executed his enemies and minimizing and even skipping when Russian people had decent housing, fair working conditions, and enough food. Even though he probably still killed many, there is no way that he could have killed as many as people claim he did and have been met with no resistance. Im guessing he killed a lot less than Adolf Hitler. It's just that since Communism was a threat to the American way of life, the government was willing to exaggerate and fabricate things to make people think communism was evil. At least in Communism people in Africa don't have to starve to death and people in Asian countries have to work 13 hours a day for 50 cents a day. That is the part of Capitalism people don't see.

(Im not saying that Joseph Stalin wasn't ruthless, but the number of people he killed were definitely exaggerated. As were the number that Mao killed.)
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Avelvetnightmare 1 year ago
cut the guy some slack, he's 74
Posted by canis 1 year ago
Everyone who has tryed to govern by communism has ruined "everything" ...
Posted by n7 1 year ago
Wasn't a real communist, are you kidding? He was always debating for Marxism in prison and was in the communist party for years. He wrote books defending Marxism and had parts of Das Kapital memorized.

"Karl Marx designed a system which had only one flaw: a single ruler in pre-communism."

Marx never advocated for this wtf. Show me where he said this.
Posted by Dr.Spinne101 1 year ago
I'm a communist, so keep that in mind as I might be biased. Joseph Stalin was not a communist. He was just anti-Tsar-ist. He back-stabbed people who had helped the revolution, and killed way too many for it to have been justified. High-Ranking military was just as overpaid and classed as America is now, with Donald Trump putting Wall Street pigs in office. Karl Marx designed a system which had only one flaw: a single ruler in pre-communism. Real communism has never been done, as it's true followers died before they could rule a country (i.e. Lenin, who loved his people and his people loved him, and who definitely would have frowned upon Stalin's decisions).
Posted by CosmoJarvis 1 year ago
Though I do believe communism is an inefficient economic system, I believe that Joseph Stalin blatantly abused and ruined the communist system. Communism, created by Karl Marx, was supposed to "liberate" the middle and lower classes, closing the wage gap so that the lower classes could not be taken advantage of. The hope was that people would be equal, and the exploitation of the lower classes would be abolished.
Posted by Wisecracker 1 year ago
This argument is great except communism is a utopian society. Which doesn't exist. Karl Marx was a genius but his dream isn't achievable. I believe that Marx didn't see his flaws before his death, and when the idea of communism spread it was misleading. That being said each side has very interesting points. I commend both sides and I mean no offense pro but I do wish con would win.
Good Luck both sides I will be watching
Posted by TheUnexaminedLife 1 year ago
Maybe I misread 'The Capital' but I thought it was about liberating the proletariat worker from the avarice of the (emerging) Taylorist system of capitalist/ of industrial exploitation through such mechanisms as weakening the drive of individual gain at the expense of others, more recreational time and working class Revolution (where I think Marx particularly goes wrong)
Posted by n7 1 year ago
Omg Con is even less informed than Pro.

"commie matter" as the children call it nowadays"

I've never heard anyone call it that ever.
Posted by n7 1 year ago
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