When Myths Fall Apart: Khrushchev’s Attack on Stalin

He was one of Stalin’s most faithful lieutenants. Obedient to an extreme, he pursued the khoziain’s orders unswervingly. He was a true believer. This makes his revolt against his former idol even more dramatic. Attacking Stalin’s myth in February 1956, Nikita Khrushchev broke with his own past.

As Italian philosopher Lucio Colletti once put it, “Khrushchev did represent a crucial point in post-war history. … he did symbolize an attempt–however inadequate and debatable–to unleash a process of transformation of Soviet society by a radical and violent indictment of Stalin.” The Stalinists (Molotov, Malenkov, Thorez, Mao, Enver Hoxha, Gheorghiu-Dej, Rakosi, etc) knew it. They resented him viscerally. The Secret Spech will endure as one of the most influential political documents of the twentieth century…

 

 

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