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Stalinism is a totalitarian branch of socialism developed and implemented in the Soviet Union by Joseph Stalin. After his death, the worst forms of totalitarian rule were condemned by Nikita Khrushchev.

Trotskyist perspective[edit]

Leon Trotsky has developed a theory explaining Stalinism in Marxian terms. According to him, Stalinism was not a form of socialism because of lack of any democratic workers' control. Instead, the system was run by a parasitic bureaucracy which did not constitute a social class on it own. Trotsky also speculated on future of the Stalinist countries. The members of the bureaucracy would eventually initiate a transition (which indeed happened in 1989-91) to capitalism, to ensure their own individualistic domination in the economy.

Stalinist USSR was therefore described by Trotsky as a degenerated workers' state. States based on the Soviet model, such as North Korea or East Germany, are sometimes descibed as deformed workers' states because they have never been healthy workers' states.