It is often alleged that Joseph Stalin purposefully fostered his own cult of personality to maintain control over the Soviet population. Let’s see what he makes of this claim from a letter he wrote to the Central Committee of the All Union Communist Youth of the Soviet Union.
I am absolutely against the publication of “Stories of the childhood of Stalin.”
The book abounds with a mass of inexactitudes of fact, of alterations, of exaggerations and of unmerited praise. Some amateur writers, scribblers, (perhaps honest scribblers) and some adulators have led the author astray. It is a shame for the author, but a fact remains a fact.
But this is not the important thing. The important thing resides in the fact that the book has a tendency to engrave on the minds of Soviet children (and people in general) the personality cult of leaders, of infallible heroes. This is dangerous and detrimental.
The theory of “heroes” and the “crowd” is not a Bolshevik, but a Social-Revolutionary theory. The heroes make the people, transform them from a crowd into people, thus say the Social-Revolutionaries.
The people make the heroes, thus reply the Bolsheviks to the Social-Revolutionaries. The book carries water to the windmill of the Social-Revolutionaries. No matter which book it is that brings the water to the windmill of the Social-Revolutionaries, this book is going to drown in our common, Bolshevik cause.
I suggest we burn this book.
(Questions of History)
No. 11, 1953