Questo articolo fu scritto come tributo al Comrade Stalin, dopo la sua morte,

di W.E.B Dubois, pubblicato sul National Guardian, 16 Marzo 1953


by W.E.B Dubois

Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century
approach his stature. He was simple, calm and courageous. He seldom
lost his poise; pondered his problems slowly, made his decisions
clearly and firmly; never yielded to ostentation nor coyly refrained
from holding his rightful place with dignity. He was the son of a
serf but stood calmly before the great without hesitation or nerves.
But also - and this was the highest proof of his greatness - he knew
the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate.

Stalin was not a man of conventional learning; he was much more than
that: he was a man who thought deeply, read understandingly and
listened to wisdom, no matter whence it came. He was attacked and
slandered as few men of power have been; yet he seldom lost his
courtesy and balance; nor did he let attack drive him from his
convictions nor induce him to surrender positions which he knew were
correct. As one of the despised minorities of man, he first set
Russia on the road to conquer race prejudice and make one nation out
of its 140 groups without destroying their individuality.

His judgment of men was profound. He early saw through the
flamboyance and exhibitionism of Trotsky, who fooled the world, and
especially America. The whole ill-bred and insulting attitude of
Liberals in the U.S. today began with our naive acceptance of
Trotsky's magnificent lying propaganda, which he carried around the
world. Against it, Stalin stood like a rock and moved neither right
nor left, as he continued to advance toward a real socialism instead
of the sham Trotsky offered.

Three great decisions faced Stalin in power and he met them
magnificently: first, the problem of the peasants, then the West
European attack, and last the Second World War. The poor Russian
peasant was the lowest victim of tsarism, capitalism and the
Orthodox Church. He surrendered the Little White Father easily; he
turned less readily but perceptibly from his ikons; but his kulaks
clung tenaciously to capitalism and were near wrecking the
revolution when Stalin risked a second revolution and drove out the
rural bloodsuckers.

Then came intervention, the continuing threat of attack by all
nations, halted by the Depression, only to be re-opened by
Hitlerism. It was Stalin who steered the Soviet Union between Scylla
and Charybdis: Western Europe and the U.S. were willing to betray
her to fascism, and then had to beg her aid in the Second World War.
A lesser man than Stalin would have demanded vengeance for Munich,
but he had the wisdom to ask only justice for his fatherland. This
Roosevelt granted but Churchill held back. The British Empire
proposed first to save itself in Africa and southern Europe, while
Hitler smashed the Soviets.

The Second Front dawdled, but Stalin pressed unfalteringly ahead. He
risked the utter ruin of socialism in order to smash the
dictatorship of Hitler and Mussolini. After Stalingrad the Western
World did not know whether to weep or applaud. The cost of victory
to the Soviet Union was frightful. To this day the outside world has
no dream of the hurt, the loss and the sacrifices. For his calm,
stern leadership here, if nowhere else, arises the deep worship of
Stalin by the people of all the Russias.

Then came the problem of Peace. Hard as this was to Europe and
America, it was far harder to Stalin and the Soviets. The
conventional rulers of the world hated and feared them and would
have been only too willing to see the utter failure of this attempt
at socialism. At the same time the fear of Japan and Asia was also
real. Diplomacy therefore took hold and Stalin was picked as the
victim. He was called in conference with British imperialism
represented by its trained and well-fed aristocracy; and with the
vast wealth and potential power of America represented by its most
liberal leader in half a century.

Here Stalin showed his real greatness. He neither cringed nor
strutted. He never presumed, he never surrendered. He gained the
friendship of Roosevelt and the respect of Churchill. He asked
neither adulation nor vengeance. He was reasonable and conciliatory.
But on what he deemed essential, he was inflexible. He was willing
to resurrect the League of Nations, which had insulted the Soviets.
He was willing to fight Japan, even though Japan was then no menace
to the Soviet Union, and might be death to the British Empire and to
American trade. But on two points Stalin was adamant:
Clemenceau's "Cordon Sanitaire" must be returned to the Soviets,
whence it had been stolen as a threat. The Balkans were not to be
left helpless before Western exploitation for the benefit of land
monopoly. The workers and peasants there must have their say.

Such was the man who lies dead, still the butt of noisy jackals and
of the ill-bred men of some parts of the distempered West. In life
he suffered under continuous and studied insult; he was forced to
make bitter decisions on his own lone responsibility. His reward
comes as the common man stands in solemn acclaim.