The Russian Revolution is the highest point working-class struggle has ever reached, with workers establishing their own democratic state and taking political power. But within a few short years this revolution was defeated. Under the weight of a coordinated international assault on the new revolutionary society, and the failure of other revolutions across Europe to win, a path was laid for counter-revolution. How do Marxists understand the rise of Stalinism and was there an alternative? This session will look at how the Russian revolution was defeated and how that defeat gave birth to the counter-revolutionary ideology of Stalinism.