Stalinism

(redirected from Official communist)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to Official communist: Official communism

Stalinism

the theory and form of government associated with the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin (original name Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili; 1879--1953): a variant of Marxism-Leninism characterized by totalitarianism, rigid bureaucracy, and loyalty to the state

Stalinism

the economic and political policies and style of government and social and economic organization in the USSR (and in Eastern European socialist societies under the hegemony of the USSR) under the leadership of Joseph STALIN from the late 1920s until his death in 1953, and after. The term is a mainly pejorative one referring to many ‘unattractive’ features of these regimes such as:
  1. central control of most spheres of life, including the economy and intellectual life;
  2. bureaucratic controls using a ‘mass party’, itself centrally controlled;
  3. an official ideology;
  4. a CULT OF PERSONALITY around the leader of the party;
  5. the use of state-directed ‘terror’ and political purges.

While initially set up as People's Democracies with multiparty representation, from 1948 most Eastern European socialist states quickly became dominated by Communist Parties whose leadership owed their position to Stalin. In most countries, that leadership continued in power until the late 1980s, adopting the forms of dictatorial party organization and highly centralized state direction of the economy and society which Stalin had equated with communism. These regimes continued after the death of Stalin, despite the denunciation of the crimes of Stalin by Khrushchev in 1956. The extent to which de-Stalinization in the Soviet Union occurred before Gorbachev assumed the leadership in 1985 is debated. On the one hand, state central planning and control of the economy (see COMMAND ECONOMY) continued with only minor modifications. On the other hand, the arbitrary brutality of political control was considerably modified, although political prison camps remained, psychiatric wards rather than camps were used to control dissidents, and civil liberties and freedoms were few. Only with the emergence of GLASNOST and PERESTROIKA was the legacy of Stalin finally challenged fully.

The term Stalinism is also used to describe those political parties and organizations in the West which adopt highly centralized organization with rigid controls over members and who have often adopted an uncritical defence of the Soviet Union. See also TOTALITARIANISM, STATE SOCIALIST SOCIETIES.

References in periodicals archive ?
It was, after all, the Cominterm's Popular Front, proclaimed as official Communist policy in 1935, that determined not only the political content of "progressive" culture in this country from the mid-1930S right through the war and postwar years of the 1940S, but also its cultural level as well.
There were also a handful of official Communist Party members among the exile community, including writers F.C.
Herf describes dearly how the official Communist position on the fate of European Jewry, although never distinguished by explicit anti-Semitism, effectively introduced this sentiment through a thinly veiled assault against "cosmopolitanism" between 1949 and 1953.
Miami Mayor Joe Carollo called Los Van Van "the official communist band of Fidel Castro." City Commissioner Tomas Regalado said, "I don't like it because I think it's a political challenge.
Data gathering, says Moore, was further complicated by the admission of Cuban scholars that some research published since 1959 could be flawed, for "publications deviating in any way from official Communist Party history created the possibility of political complications for the author" (p.
Grosz remained politically active until 1924, illustrating the official Communist party organ Die Rote Fahne, and forming the `Red Group', the first union of Communist artists committed to producing `agitprop'.
Konwicki followed the official Communist Party line.
* Trvd, the official Communist Party's trade union newspaper.
The official Communist trade union, SZOT, lost at least 6 percent of its membership in January at dues-paying time, while the Young Communists, the KISZ, saw their numbers drop 12 percent in just one year.
Following the Bolshevik victory in the Russian civil war, the raised clenched fist, along with the red star and the hammer and sickle, quickly became the symbols of choice for the official communist parties and leftists throughout Western Europe and Asia.
The Diggerer, a satire news site aimed at West Virginia, (http://dggrr.com/component/k2/item/319-dr-chris-swindell-appointed-as-official-communist-for-marshall-university) announced that Swindell had been appointed as "Official Communist for Marshall University."
"Since 1978, the overall fertility rate, which represents the average number of children per woman, is less than needed to allow for population replacement and therein lies the main cause of aging in Cuban society--without a doubt one of the most significant challenges the nation must face," he told the official Communist Party newspaper Granma.