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Thread: Trying to understand Stalin

  1. #1
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    Trying to understand Stalin

    How did Stalin manage to outmaneuver so many


    After reading an interesting, and rather unique, book about Stalin, I just posted a very short review of it, at the Amazon’s website. Here it is, for those who might be interested:

    I agree with those who wrote that Montefiore's voluminous "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar" is not always easy reading. But it is certainly worthwhile for the light it sheds on relations between Stalin and his close subordinates, those whom he liquidated and those who survived him. Stalin's methods of domination--both brutal and ideological--are skillfully described. The same applies to personal relations between communist leaders. The Soviet Union was the first country in which the idea of proletarian dictatorship, formulated by Marx, was implemented. That is why all aspects of Soviet history are worth studying. Be aware that the number of characters is unusually large. Fortunately, Stalin's family tree and the introductory section entitled "List of Characters" should help readers to deal with this problem.


    Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)
    .
    I am the author of “Diary of a Former Communist: Thoughts, Feelings, Reality,”

    http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html

    This FREE ON-LINE BOOK is based on a diary I kept between 1946 and 2004 (in the USSR, Poland, France and the USA). Please share this link with others who might be interested in this authentic testimony. Perhaps someone will publish a review.
    Ludwik Kowalski (Ph.D.)

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by kowalskil View Post
    How did Stalin manage to outmaneuver so many


    After reading an interesting, and rather unique, book about Stalin, I just posted a very short review of it, at the Amazon’s website. Here it is, for those who might be interested:

    I agree with those who wrote that Montefiore's voluminous "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar" is not always easy reading. But it is certainly worthwhile for the light it sheds on relations between Stalin and his close subordinates, those whom he liquidated and those who survived him. Stalin's methods of domination--both brutal and ideological--are skillfully described. The same applies to personal relations between communist leaders. The Soviet Union was the first country in which the idea of proletarian dictatorship, formulated by Marx, was implemented. That is why all aspects of Soviet history are worth studying. Be aware that the number of characters is unusually large. Fortunately, Stalin's family tree and the introductory section entitled "List of Characters" should help readers to deal with this problem.


    Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)
    .
    I have read this book. I think it is worth clarifying that, at least in my opinion, most of the reason that much of the book is not easy reading is the fact that the author is not a particularly gifted writer. He is apparently a wonderful researcher, but frankly he should have had the book ghost written.

    I also think that he assigns far too much weight to the suicide of Stalins wife. At several points throughout the book he assigns blame for certain policies and decisions to the suicide without one iota of evidence to back it up. I am not interested in the authors views as an amateur psychoanalyst. I want facts.

    Other than those 2 things, I thought it was a good book and it presented a lot of information that I had not seen before.
    If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. —Samuel Adams

  3. #3
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    Interesting posts. This then begs the question; has history misjudged Stalin? Was he the genocidle maniac that he is said to have been? Was he good for the Russian people?

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    Barbarossa
    by Bevin Alexander

    The purpose of military strategy is to diminish the possibility of resistance. It should be the aim of every leader to discover the weaknesses of the enemy, and to pierce his Achilles' Heel. This is how battles and wars are best won.

    This advice goes back at least to Sun Tzu in the fifth century B.C., but it is extraordinarily difficult for human beings to follow. The attack against the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, is the most powerful example in the twentieth century of how a leader and a nation -- in this case Adolf Hitler and Germany -- can ignore clear, eternal rules of successful warfare, and pursue a course that leads straight to destruction.

    Attacking Russia head-on was wrong to begin with, because it guaranteed the greatest resistance, not the least. A direct attack also forces an enemy back on his reserves and supplies, while it constantly lengthens the supply and reinforcement lines of the attacker. The better strategy is to separate the enemy from his supplies and reserves. That is why an attack on the flank is more likely to be successful.

    Nevertheless Hitler could still have won if he had struck at the Soviet Union's weakness, instead of its strength.

    His most disastrous error was to go into the Soviet Union as a conqueror instead of a liberator. The Soviet people had suffered enormously at the hands of the Communist autocracy for two decades. Millions had died when the Reds forced people off their land to create collective farms. Millions more were obliged to move great distances to work long hours, under terrible conditions, and little compensation in factories and construction projects. The secret police punished any resistance with death or transportation to horrible prison gulags in Siberia. In the gruesome purges of the 1930s, Joseph Stalin had systematically killed all leaders and all military officers who, in his paranoid mind, posed the slightest threat to his dictatorship. Life for the ordinary Russian was drab, full of exhausting work, and dangerous. At the same time, the Soviet Union was an empire ruling over a collection of subjugated peoples who were violently opposed to rule from the Kremlin.

    Vast numbers of these people would have risen in rebellion if Hitler's legions had entered with the promise of freedom and elimination of Soviet oppression. Had Hitler done this, the Soviet Union would have collapsed.

    With such a policy, Hitler would not have gained the Lebensraum , or living space for the German people, that he coveted, but once the Soviet Union had been shattered, he could have put into effect anything he wanted to in the pieces that remained.

    Hitler, however, followed precisely the opposite course of action. His "commissar order" called for the instant shooting down of Communist party agents in the army. He sent Einsatzgruppen or extermination detachments to come behind the army and rout out and murder Jews. He resolved to deport or allow millions of Slavs to starve in order to empty the land for future German settlers.

    Two days before the Germans struck, Alfred Rosenberg, Hitler's commissioner for the regions to be conquered, told his closest collaborators: "The job of feeding the German people stands at the top of the list of Germany's claims in the east....We see absolutely no reason for any obligation on our part to feed also the Russian people."

    The genuine welcome that German soldiers received as they entered Soviet towns and villages in the first days of the campaign was quickly replaced by fear, hatred, and a bitter guerrilla war behind the lines that slowed supplies to the front, killed thousands of Germans, and increasingly hobbled the German army.
    If Hitler had played it right, we might be speaking German or Russian. In fact what I was told growing up we were worried which way Russia would jump.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zsu2357 View Post
    If Hitler had played it right, we might be speaking German or Russian. In fact what I was told growing up we were worried which way Russia would jump.
    Yes we were, only Hitlers madness saved the world (from himself); the USSR would have been perfectly happy to stay their allies or at least keep out of it. Without an eastern front Britain may have been overrun before pearl harbor. Without Britain the Nazis could have taken the Atlantic and the U.S. would be facing two sea fronts as opposed to one sea front and one ground front (for the most part). Only bright side is that if that happened U.S. military would on much higher alert, perhaps enough to prevent the Japanese attack from being a total surprise; still considering the kinds of things they were researching in Germany it wouldn't have been pretty either way; maybe a couple of the first nukes used and then America overrun leaving the axis to turn on itself, Germany probably winning with veteran troops and state of the art military.
    Morals are a religious Myth.. - Xcaliber
    How is Evil Immoral? - Xcaliber
    I am right until you prove otherwise - Xcaliber

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    Quote Originally Posted by jet57 View Post
    This then begs the question; has history misjudged Stalin? Was he the genocidle maniac that he is said to have been? Was he good for the Russian people?
    And what if he was good for Russians?Does it means that Russians are maniac too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kowalskil View Post
    How did Stalin manage to outmaneuver so many


    After reading an interesting, and rather unique, book about Stalin, I just posted a very short review of it, at the Amazon’s website. Here it is, for those who might be interested:

    I agree with those who wrote that Montefiore's voluminous "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar" is not always easy reading. But it is certainly worthwhile for the light it sheds on relations between Stalin and his close subordinates, those whom he liquidated and those who survived him. Stalin's methods of domination--both brutal and ideological--are skillfully described. The same applies to personal relations between communist leaders. The Soviet Union was the first country in which the idea of proletarian dictatorship, formulated by Marx, was implemented. That is why all aspects of Soviet history are worth studying. Be aware that the number of characters is unusually large. Fortunately, Stalin's family tree and the introductory section entitled "List of Characters" should help readers to deal with this problem.


    Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)
    .
    I would like to suggest that you read Machiavelli's, The Prince, and then reflect on Stalin.

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    The Volokh Conspiracy Did Joseph Stalin Commit Genocide?

    Between Hitler and Stalin? A toss up,perhaps one went about it differently.

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    Some advices how to explain correctly Stalin and communism.

    1.Remember, any unnatural death that occurs under a ‘Communist’ regime is not only attributable to the leaders of the state, but also Marxism as an ideology. Ignore deaths that occur for the same reason in non-Communist states.

    2.If there was a conflict involving Communists, the conflict and all ensuing deaths can be laid at the feet of Communism. Be careful when applying this to WWII. Fascist movements who fought against the Soviets or Communist partisans are fine, but try not to openly praise Nazi Germany. Save that for private conversations if you must do so.

    3.Quote massive death tolls without regards to demographics or consistency. 3 million famine deaths? 7 million? 10 million? 100 million deaths total? You need not worry about anyone checking your work, which is good for you seeing that you probably haven’t done any.

    4.Everyone ever arrested under a Communist regime was most likely innocent of any crime. Communists only arrested harmless poets and political prophets who had a beautiful message to share with the world.

    5.Everything Stalin did or didn’t do had some sinister ulterior motive. Everything.

    6.Keeping with the spirit of #5, remember that Stalin was an omnipotent being, perhaps an incarnation of the Hindu deity Vishnu, who had full awareness of everything going on in the Soviet Union and total control over every occurrence which took place between 1924 and 1953. Everything that occurred during that time was the will of Stalin. Stalin knew the exact details of every criminal case that took place during that era and out of his boundless cruelty, had tons of innocent people shot for no reason regardless of where they were or their position in life. Being omnipotent, he was not dependent on information passed up from tens of thousands of subordinates.

    7.Constantly attack ‘Communist’ regimes for actions that occur in capitalist regimes up to this very day.

    8.Bolshevik revolutions were carried out with violence and bloodshed. Bourgeois revolutions were all carried out by democratic referendums, and there was no violence whatsoever.

    9.Constantly flog Stalin over the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement, while totally ignoring massive support and collaboration with Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan on the part of America, Britain, and France, long before the war and even after in some ways. As usual, do not allow your opponent to examine the context of the non-aggression pact.

    10.Communist leaders were ‘paranoid’ for devoting so much time to security against counter-revolution. Ignore the mountains of evidence, including the restoration of capitalism in the East Bloc, that this threat was indeed real.

    11.Atrocities and other bad things that happen under non-Communist regimes are the fault of individual ‘bad people’. Anything bad that happens under a ‘Communist’ regime is the fault of the ideology and system. And Stalin.

    12.Learn to use the magic word ‘totalitarian’. This word allows you to link two ideological opposites, Communism and Fascism

    13.When challenged about numbers or historical context, resort to labels like “ruthless tyrant”, “cruel murderer”, and such. Remember, people like Stalin were mass-murderers because of all the people they killed, and we know they killed all those people because they were mass-murderers. It totally tracks!
    Last edited by General Winter; 04-02-2012 at 07:17 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsu2357 View Post
    The Volokh Conspiracy Did Joseph Stalin Commit Genocide?

    Between Hitler and Stalin? A toss up,perhaps one went about it differently.
    Well I doubt its a toss up since our liberals elected to spy for Stalin not Hitler. Why do you think that is so?

  11. #11
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    nice post ..........

  12. #12
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    " In Russia, Stalin enjoying a revival on school notebooks: School notebooks depicting Josef Stalin have become instant bestsellers." In Russia, Stalin enjoying a revival on school notebooks - latimes.com

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