“Stalin? for real?”
Yes. Just to clarify, if someone says “Stalin did nothing wrong,” it’s a meme intended to counter the dominant narrative of Stalin as “the most ruthless dictator of all time (after Mao).” Of course he did things wrong; he was a human in the 1920s-50s. Setting aside the fact that Stalin wasn’t a dictator and actually was one of the biggest advocates in the Soviet government for increased democratization, most of what you’ve heard about Stalin is based on an understanding of history that is biased. All understandings of history are, but the danger is when you pretend that yours is not. Almost all history of the twentieth century is from an anti-communist perspective, written and spread to push a specific narrative, that of capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism. What this means is that almost everything you’ve heard about Stalin and the Soviet Union (as well as Cuba, the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, etc) was a lie designed to remove your historical awareness of how to resist and defeat capitalism. If you’re interested in a well-sourced, lengthy explanation of why we find it necessary to uphold the legacy of Stalin, our own Justin and Jeremy went onto Revolutionary Left Radio to give just that.
“YOUR POLITICS ARE AUTHORITARIAN!”
This doesn’t really mean anything. As Marxist-Leninists, we believe that the way to achieve socialism is through a workers’ state (the infamous “dictatorship of the proletariat”), and the entire purpose of a state is to protect one class’s interests and suppress the interests of another class. Right now we all live in a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, and in this state, working-class people have to submit to exploitation in order to not starve or not be on the streets. In this state, women and LGBTQ people are at the whims of a cruel, patriarchal society. In this state, land has been stolen and continues to be stolen from indigenous people, who are exploited, mock, and murdered. What is more authoritarian than this?
If being opposed to these things is authoritarian, then we’ll happily claim the label. History has shown that Lenin’s ideas of worker control of the state are the only way to make a lasting change that feeds people, teaches workers to read, vaccinates children, and gives colonized nations self-determination.