Stalin was dying, and summoned Khruschev to his bedside. Wheezing his last
words with difficulty, Stalin tells Khruschev, "The reins of the country are
now in your hands. But before I go, I want to give you some advice."
"Yes, yes, what is it?" says Khruschev, impatiently. Reaching under
his pillow, Stalin produced two envelopes labeled #1 and #2.
"Take these letters," he tells Khruschev. "Keep them safely -- don't
open them. Only if the country is in turmoil and things aren't going well,
open the first one. That'll give you some advice on what to do. And, if
after that, if things start getting REALLY bad, open the second one." And
with a gasp Stalin breathed his last.
Well, within a few years Khruschev started having problems --
unemployment increased, crops failed, people became restless. He decided it
was time to open the first letter. All it said was: "Blame everything on me!"
So Khruschev launched a massive deStalinization campaign, and blamed Stalin
for all the excesses and purges and ills of the present system.
But things continued on the downslide, and, finally, after much
deliberation, Khruschev opened the second letter.
All it said was: "Write two letters."