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Stalin and Marxist ideology

LAURENCE REES: But Marxist ideology talked not of this old fashioned 19th century foreign policy view, but of 'world revolution'.


LAURENCE REES: So Stalin didn't really believe in that aspect of Marxism?

SIMON SEBAG-MONTEFIORE: Well, he was a very practical character. He was not a born Marxist but he was a Marxist. He was a Marxist from an early age, from his teens, and he absolutely believed in it, he never ceased to believe in it, he never became a real politician in the sense that he just became interested in moving pieces around a chess board and gaining extra power. The power was always for a purpose and that was to create Marxist revolution. He wasn’t at all embarrassed about creating an empire and thinking in an imperial way. It was an empire that would be created in a traditional Russian sense for a Marxist revolution and to make the revolution safer. But, of course, he’d made his name by turning against European revolution - the struggle with Trotsky in 1924-25, socialism and one country and all that, and so he was never afraid to look at the world in a traditional way, despite all his Marxism.