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Stalinism: the golden age
Posted by: mcq on Thursday, September 27, 2007

The impact of revisionist history seems to be evident in Russia these days:
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev warned Russians on Wednesday of the risk of a rebirth of Stalinism, saying their country was in danger of forgetting its tragic past.
Funny how that works, huh? In this case it seems there are a good portion of Russians who pine for the authoritarian days of the old USSR when everything was "peaceful" and ordered and, well, there were no surprises. This freedom thing is tough. And even tougher is being relegated to a 2nd tier power in the big scheme of things and watching your former super-power rival become the world's only hyper-power.

The answer, bring back the era of Stalin.

As Gorby reminds the Russian people:
During the Great Terror, 1.7 million Soviet citizens were arrested between August 1937 and November 1938, of whom 818,000 were executed, the human rights group Memorial said.

Historians estimate that up to 13 million people were killed or sent to labor camps in the former Soviet Union between 1921 and 1953, the year Stalin died.
But now that we have Pooty Poot messing with the text books in Russia, that is not the way Stalin is being portrayed. And, if you remember, "The Great Patriotic" war was the most important and cathartic event in the short history of the USSR. The nation was justly proud of its accomplishments in defeating fascism. That is how Stain is now presented to Russian youth:
"It was namely during his leadership that the country's area was expanded to the borders of the former Russian empire (and sometimes beyond them), victory was gained in the greatest war — the Great Patriotic War, industrialization was achieved and cultural revolution accomplished," the textbook says.
Consequently:
Despite Stalin's record, recent polls have shown many young Russians have a positive view of the former Soviet leader and there have been attempts this year to play down his excesses, which have found an echo among the country's youth.

Fifty-four percent of Russian youth believe that Stalin did more good than bad and half said he was a wise leader, according to a poll conducted in July by the Yuri Levada Centre.
Of course there's a difference between believing propaganda and having to live under someone like Stalin, but it seems as if the point is being made.

All I can says is, be careful what you yearn for and propaganda works.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Communists are the masters of propaganda.
 
Written By: jows
URL: http://
and this is why when Bush said ’he’s a good man. I’ve looked in his eyes.’ i nearly choked.

Never. Trust. KGB.

There is NO such thing as former KGB.
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
Did you see the piece on "60 Minutes" this past Sunday profiling Gary Kasparov, who is planning to run against Putin in the next election? He says that Russia under Putin is not a democracy at all. He says it’s a police state.

It was a very interesting broadcast. I have a lot of respect for Kasparov, because he certainly does not have to do this, and he’s risking a lot by putting himself out there like he is (like his life!).
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreetusa.blogspot.com/
The corrosive effect of Communism is such that it seems there isn’t a natural way to recover from long term exposure. Since the Soviet state just rotted from within, and wasn’t overtly taken down by an external threat or a violent revolution, the rotting mass was never really dealt with. Just a new layer was slathered on top of it.

I don’t know what it’s going to take for Russia to really change. I talked to a friend from St. Petersburg a couple of years ago who though that gradual change was starting to make a real difference, because the organized crime bosses were looking for a way to go legit. But that was before some of Putin’s recent actions. Why go legit when there’s a thug running the government?
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
The West is in trouble. But Russia is past trouble and walking down into its tomb. The reheating of the Stalinist souffle would just quicken the process. Russia cannot be saved by the West because Russia’s underlying Orthodox civilization is the West’s twin and can only relate to the West as it really is and cannot be stirred by the West’s lingering symbolic greatness (as cultures more distant might be). Russia has nowhere to look, nowhere to go, but the grave.

I would like to think that the West can rise up off its sick bed and rally to save itself, but that is a dubious proposition. There is certainly little hope for Europe, at this point.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Someone said "Police State" in reference to Russia. I read an interesting take on that, that Russia is a "Secret Police State." Not that it is an Orwellian Police State, but rather that it is a state run by former and current SECRET POLICEMEN! Russia is being run by and for the the nomenklatura of the KGB/Federal Security Bureau...In the Work Who Governs America a Political Scientist posited that members of a smallish number of Wall Street Banks and Law Firms, made up the senior governing class in the US. In Russia it’s not Law Firms and Bankers, it’s the Secret Police....

As to the accusations of "Stalinism"...IF you had to face the wrecking activities of the Imperialist Western Powers, allied with their collaborator dupes like Trotsky, all determined to defeat the proletarian revolution and seeking to re-impose Imperialist, structuralist violence on the First People’s State, YOU’D do the same things as Comrade Stalin did.

Much of this "history" is simply propaganda put out by the Neo-Fascist Running Dog Lackeys of Monopoly Finance Capital and their stooges within Russia. To the extent that People’s Justice was meted out to these wreckers and saboteurs, I say "Bravo." Comrades Yagoda, Yezhov, and Beria, all under the glorious leadership of the Great Stalin did yeoman’s service in defending the Masses from the evils of Western Imperialism and Capitalism! Until, each was compromised by Western intelligence agencies and had to be "replaced." But each strove, until he was compromised to defend the World’s Working Classes from the subjugation of the Bourgeois Oppressor. All Hail our glorious Checka, OGPU, NKVD, KGB Protectors, All Hail the Glorious ComIntern, All Hail the New Soviet Man, and All Hail our glorious, wise, vigorous, benevolent Leader, Comrade Iosif Stalin!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Paging Francis Fukuyama: please jump off your bridge, now.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Joe, you are obviously wrong, since you in no way implicate Jewish bankers. I think you are a fake, a plant by the Jews who actually run things.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Beck writes:
Paging Francis Fukuyama: please jump off your bridge, now.
Well, it’s probably close to the end of Russian history.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Paging Francis Fukuyama: please jump off your bridge, now.
I’m not sure if Fukuyama deserves the opprobrium he gets. I think his "End of History" was a thought piece, not a declaration. Certainly when it came out I laughed. I really can’t believe anyone would be naive enough to truly believe what he wrote. I certainly could be wrong, after all people believe lots of silly things, but I really found it hard to believe that Fukuyama truly believed what he wrote.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Take a look at Russian history, and this is not surprising. They have veered between reformist Czars and reactionary Czars, all of them using repression to try to either force Russia into embracing modern and often western ideals or, afraid that those efforts were threatening their power and traditions, to fight against modernism and western ideals.

Add the immense corruption of the former communist system, the allure of oil wealth, and the hold the old KGB (Putin’s people) on power suggest Russia is unlikely to move quickly to any kind of western style democracy. How dangerous that is can be debated; many Russians think Putin has brought some stability after the wild ride of the Yeltsin years (though credit probably should go to oil revenues for Russia’s economic improvements).

Many Russians have held the "Lenin was good, but Stalin bad" idea for a long time. Lenin was totalitarian and created the apparatus Stalin would use, but that was the myth. To see Stalin being "purged" of his crimes suggests clearly that the regime wants to maintain the idea of an authoritarian state as necessary. At least Putin isn’t a nationalist extremist. That would be far more dangerous.

BTW, for a photo essay about a trip to Russia, click here.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Joe, you are obviously wrong, since you in no way implicate Jewish bankers. I think you are a fake, a plant by the Jews who actually run things.

Which reveals the Fascist in you...JEWS are not the Class Enemy. Rootless Cosmopolitans are the Class Enemy! We did not round up JEWS in the 1953 "Doctors Plot" we rounded up Rootless Cosmopolitans in the 1953 Doctor’s Plot. The Rootless Cosmopolitans, those hook-nosed, murderous tools of Decadent Western Imperialism were the enemy. It just happens that all the Rootless Cosmopolitans were Jewish. Only in Fascist states do we see anti-Semitism being practiced...In the Glorious USSR, all faiths, creeds, and nationalities are welcome, EXCEPT Rootless Cosmopolitans, and those Dupes of The Western Imperialist Dagger State, those vicious Zionist thugs and their refusenik allies, such as the Hooligan Slug Scharanski’i, who seek to undermine the safety and security of the Rodina and oppress the Palestinian people.

You are obviously suffering from False Conssciousness and are a victim of the Propaganda of the West. A few years toiling for the Masses will correct that.....or kill you.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
At least Putin isn’t a nationalist extremist.
I think the Chechens, Georgians, and Ukrainians might quibble a bit about this statement. The rest is fairly unobjectionable. It’s a pity that Russia is sinking back into its habitual authoritarian slothful corruption, though.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
To be sure, Boris, who was bad or good in the Soviet Union would have kept you busy down in the basement of the Kremlin, airbrushing this photograph, re-writing that article from the Pravda archive. As a natural for that sort of work, you would have flourished, at least until the airbrush came for you.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Scott,

Enjoyed the photos.

One comment: the Russian jeep was no doubt an evolution of a real jeep. We sent the USSR jeeps during WW2, and even set up factories so they could make their own.

The Toyota Land Crusier and British Land Rover were based upon the jeep design. Mitsibishi even made a jeep copy (of the WW2 flatfender jeep) and at first copied the jeep logo until informed it was a copyright infringment.

One question: you indicate that beer is a new tradition to Russians? Really?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
One question: you indicate that beer is a new tradition to Russians? Really?
From what people told me, it almost always used to be vodka — "shots" of vodka over time (not from a shot glass but a small vodka glass), often with dried fish or some kind of veggie or cheese. It’s not that Russians didn’t have beer before, but it hasn’t been the drink of choice at social occasions. For a variety of reasons especially the youth seem to be moving from vodka to beer.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
From what people told me, it almost always used to be vodka — "shots" of vodka over time (not from a shot glass but a small vodka glass), often with dried fish or some kind of veggie or cheese.
At a shooting/drinking match in the California desert, I made the mistake of doing the vodka/dried fish thing that a bunch of Russians were doing. Ended up with some pictures of me sh*tfaced . . .

Watching drunk Russians target shoot is a hoot, however . . .

(as a side note, I should sue Q&O for making me put * in my words)
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"Rootless Cosmopolitans"

I had forgotten that one. Good job. Nice grasp of the soviet idiom. On the other hand, your grasp of Communist thought processes is disturbing.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
On the other hand, your grasp of Communist thought processes is disturbing.
Hmmm. His name is Joe . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"Rootless Cosmopolitans"
I had forgotten that one. Good job. Nice grasp of the soviet idiom. On the other hand, your grasp of Communist thought processes is disturbing.
I’m a displaced Cold Warrior. Most of my under-grad work was in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Want to know about labour relations in Romania and the Jiu Valley uprising, yeah me, Dr. Dan Nelson and about 20 other people can tell you about it...Plus, reading about the Purges AND perusing translations of Trud, Izvestia, and Pravda have all left their mark on me, and my idiom(s). Plus, I went to college were it was de rigeur for the Liberal Arts to be de facto Marxists, Old-Style Gus Hall, Euro-Communists and Democratic Socialists or Frankfurt Schule Marxists. I’ve had a bellyful of Marxist apologia....

Nowadays, I might as well have studied Ancient Egypt for all the relevance all those classes had. Still it pays off in the comments section, here. And I might add prior to my conversion my favourite era in history was the era 1923-53, the rise of the totalitarians, it’s a great time if you are a cynic and a lover of gallows humour, which at that time I was....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
At a shooting/drinking match in the California desert, I made the mistake of doing the vodka/dried fish thing that a bunch of Russians were doing. Ended up with some pictures of me sh*tfaced . . .

Watching drunk Russians target shoot is a hoot, however . . .

(as a side note, I should sue Q&O for making me put * in my words)
I learned the hard way not to try to keep up with Russians in vodka drinking. I did have a very interesting ’conversation’ with a Russian officer (I think he was the equivalent of a Lt. Col.) who, over Siberian schnapps told some horrific stories about battles he was involved in in Chechnya and Afghanistan. (It wasn’t a true conversation since I couldn’t speak Russian well enough to talk with him, my wife had to translate). Your story of drunk Russians target shooting reminds me of the part of Robert Baer’s "See No Evil" when he encounters post-cold war Russians in Central Asia.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Your story of drunk Russians target shooting reminds me of the part of Robert Baer’s "See No Evil" when he encounters post-cold war Russians in Central Asia.
Well, we were at a "boys only" shoot-n-drink. The anglos were civilized but the Russians made it interesting.

It got more interesting at night (the second night I was there), when two young women walked into our camp. They were looking for a rave, and their car got stuck in the sand. I actually stayed longer into the night than I wanted just to make sure nothing bad happened to the girls (I found out later others were watching as well).

One of the Russians was getting loud because some Mexican at a local ranch dissed him. To compensate, he said some rather brutal things to the girls (not sexual, just brutal).
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"Hmmm. His name is Joe . . "

*snork*
Fortunately I have learned from the carelessness of others here, and I no longer eat or drink at my computer.

" I’m a displaced Cold Warrior."

Yeah, I sort of know the feeling, in a much more modest way. All that reading and study, for what? It certainly wasn’t the great literary styles or humor. I do miss my "Soviet Life" occasionally, though (thus demonstrating the superficiality of my study). On the bright side, I have noticed you can get some good books on Communism, USSR, etc. at yard sales now. If anyone is still interested. And I had(for a while) more room on my bookshelves.

"the rise of the totalitarians, it’s a great time if you are a cynic and a lover of gallows humour"

Dittos. Fascinating, as someone once said.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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