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Ear to the Ground

Meet Josef Stalin, ‘Competent Manager’

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Posted on Sep 16, 2009
Flickr / agitprop

Is Vladimir Putin’s dictator chic to blame for Josef Stalin’s makeover? The Soviet tyrant who presided over the suffering of millions and helped launch World War II has been rebranded as a “competent manager” and, if Moscow’s deserted Gulag Museum is any indication, Russians appear to be lapping it up.  —PS

Global Post:

Inside Russia, the story is more complicated. [Stalin] was, according to a school textbook adopted last year and endorsed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a “competent manager” who committed atrocities at home out of necessity.

Earlier this year, Stalin nearly won a nationwide call-in poll asking people to vote for the person who best represents Russia.

Stalin’s grandson, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, is fighting the claim that Stalin was directly involved in the Gulag deaths. He has launched a libel suit against Novaya Gazeta, Russia’s leading opposition newspaper, seeking more than $300,000 in damages for saying that Stalin had personally signed execution orders, according to declassified documents.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, September 22, 2009 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael—Liberty is now a goal of the Right—of some of the Right in the West, anyway—because the Right has been deeply influenced by liberalism and capitalism.  We don’t have many professing believers in monarchy and slavery around any more.  But I am using the primordial concepts.

In regard to people on the Right (any definition) taking themselves off the hook for “excesses”, I see plenty of that.  Very few these days take want to take responsibility for Hitler.  I’ve seen arguments that Hitler was a leftist, in fact.  (These usually depend on a theory of individualism-versus-collectivism which I find specious and inconsistent.)  However, I think I would be more discouraged if the Right, by and large, didn’t try to take themselves off the hook.

When you say I am only interested in methods, that is true: X is as X does, especially if we are talking about determined, habitual behavior.  I find moralistic denunciations of obviously bad people and things tedious; what I’m interested in is how we can avoid making the same mistakes (spiritual and practical) as the evildoers, and to do this we must understand how we are like the evildoers, not how we are different from them.

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By Folktruther, September 22, 2009 at 2:13 am Link to this comment

Earthpeople’s identification with power, Anarcissie is a biological tendency, hijacked by power strutures historically to serve their own power interests.  Freud discusses this elliptically in his discussion of religious delusions in FUTURE OF AN ILLUSION.

The human species has a longer childhood than most other species, when a child is utterly dependant on the power of their parents for survival.  The tendency is therefore to identify in adulthood with Devine and earthly power that will protect us as adults just as our parents did in childhood.  Our biological dependance on our parents at the mosr impressionable stage of our life conditions us to the need for authority to guide and protect us.

Earthly power takes advantage of this tendency by regressing people by making us afraid.  Tyupically this takes the form of Enemies attacking us and trying to kill us, since experiments have shown that fear of death is unique in manipulating behaviour.  Authority then steps forward to claim to Defend us, which will require more taxes, working harder, etc, and above all OBEDIENCE.  After all, we are at war.

It is a tried and true historical method.  Especially as people are not consciously aware of it to help them control their fear, and to communally unite againsst the power delusions that generate it.
But for political and social scientist or other public intellectuals to point this out in a simple way is career sucicide, since it thends to de-legitimate the standard techniques, rhetoric and ideology of the state.

In the US the fear generated is typically the fear of other Races. this is bound up with sexuality since the other Races often have bigger gentials to seduce our women, or engage in disgusting sex to subvert our decent and godfearing sex.  The American White ruling class therefore allies across class bounderies with the White population to defend us against Blacks, illegal Hispanic immigants, Asians, foreigners, and Muslims.  And since Americans are deluded, clueless and braindead, we fall for it.

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By OzarkMichael, September 21, 2009 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

Well, I’m a leftist—a Left Deviationist from Lenin’s point of view

exactly! spot on. And you would not find out the consequences of that deviation till after the revolution is won. Anarchists were small in number but huge effect in the revolution.

Although as I say to get into really horrendous evil you’re going to need the virtues of the Right just to keep things organized.

See, thats where we disagree. Liberty and freedom are the goals of the Right as well.

To claim ideals as a goal of the Left is fine, but to claim them exclusively for the Left, well, that is a bit much.

I allow Leftists their ideals but disagree with their method(which as an anarchist you seem to eschew any method, and most Leftists read history in such a way that they bail when the methods/results are obviously sour, but I say that they are still responsible for getting to those methods)

In return you do not allow me access to ideals(you have hoarded them for the Left), and what you really assign to the Right are only methods, especially the sour ones.

To me, that is meaningless. It almost has a religious quality. The argument is over before it begins.

The 4 quadrant political chart was also odd. i cant say useless because it is interesting. But the results were strangely weighted.

And as far as ... “Truthdig Leftists will never acknowledge the horrendous evil that dwells on their own side of the political spectrum.”...well…

i confess that is an exaggeration. You do not earn or deserve such from me. i am doing the same thing that ITW was talking about, exaggerating for the overall effect, which is unfortunately needed. So to you i apologize.

It is still my opinion that most Leftists have no idea that there are extremists on their side who have made and could make a great deal of trouble. You brought up the fact that the Right has taken that method and applied it to fascism. So now it seems the Right is trying to forget, trying to assign their historical extremists to the Left? Its a nice debate tactic(it worked for the Leftists), but these mistakes spell disaster.

By the way, i do know that if America falls to authoritarianism, it will not be communist, but it would certainly be fascist.  William F Buckley said that long ago.

Finally, it is of great historic importance to realize what Lenin did, although for some reason no one cares. You already know that without history we make the same mistakes over and over. Hitler we understand, although if you are correct we are trying to forget that too.

We can talk about whatever you like. Or we can close this down and look forward to meeting on other forums. We remain ‘friendly opponents’ either way.

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By Anarcissie, September 21, 2009 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther—I suppose I’m wondering if the desire to serve oppressive power is built-in—biological—or a cultural defect.  It’s certainly contrary to reason, but I know human beings are not very reasonable.

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By Folktruther, September 21, 2009 at 8:03 pm Link to this comment

No mystery, Anarcissie.  You regard all despotic power as evil no matter what policies are effected. Most people don’t.  Stalin’s regime:

1. industrializd the country

2. defeated Nazi Germany in a war that would have slaughtered the Soviet people if they had lost.  Peple don’t like to be slaughtered.  the Nazis conducted genocide; Stalin didn’t despite all the bourgeois garbage to the contrary.

In additon, people tend to identify wsith power, incdluing opprressive power.  there was a tradition of centralized despotic power in russia to hold the huge territory together.

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By Anarcissie, September 21, 2009 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael:
’... Truthdig Leftists will never acknowledge the horrendous evil that dwells on their own side of the political spectrum.’

Well, I’m a leftist—a Left Deviationist from Lenin’s point of view, I suppose—and I think I was the first person to disparage Lenin in this conversation.  Although as I say to get into really horrendous evil you’re going to need the virtues of the Right just to keep things organized.

I’m not really interested in a denunciation contest, though.  What interests me is why so many people followed Stalin, Hitler and so forth.  There are always psychopaths of various degrees around, and they do gravitate towards government and business management, but why do so many people want to serve them?  As the article pointed out, Stalin is still popular in Russia, and he put the Russians through hell.  And Hitler was quite popular until he started losing the war.  It’s a mystery.  Why didn’t someone sneak a little rat poison into their soup?

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By OzarkMichael, September 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

Ray: Has anyone noticed that this thread has become utterly and wretchedly boring?

Experiencing boredom as we discuss the Leftist terror which millions had to face does not speak well of you, Ray. Not as a human being and not as an intellectual. I am disappointed.

I percieve that my work on exploring Lenin and his codification of terror in the criminal code is a one man effort, with Ray sniping from the sidelines. I will continue reading about it, but Ray wont. He isnt very well read and apparently never will be.

No hard feelings, but unless someone here wants to continue, it is time to go back to making smart remarks about the contradictions made by the Leftists at Truthdig. Irony is more fun and less work than direct discussion anyway.

I have been proven right about my first comment on this thread, so I close with it:

“Truthdig Leftists will never acknowledge the horrendous evil that dwells on their own side of the political spectrum.”

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By Ray Duray, September 20, 2009 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment

Has anyone noticed that this thread has become utterly and wretchedly boring? Can we just kill this off?

Of course I’m opting out on notices.

So long, it’s been good to know you.

Once we were heroes. We learned a bit about Kronstadt.

But the last few posts have been among the most useless examples of navel gazing I’ve ever seen on the Internet. Bleech!

Bu Bye

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By Anarcissie, September 20, 2009 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael:
‘Anarcissie, I do not understand your view of Leftist thought. What you seem to have said is that once Leftists get in power, anything bad they do is because they suddenly become Rightists. Or that seizing power is what makes them Rightists. Is that correct?’

We’d better drop the “bad” and “good” because many people regard rightist principles and actions as good, at least under the circumstances of human life.

If the Right is the party or side of authority, power, status, wealth, order, and so on, then clearly if leftists get power and keep it by force, that is, govern, then they have at least in practice become rightists, even though they are supposed to be the party or side of peace, freedom and equality.  Much as I hate to put forward a hackneyed cliché, “power corrupts.”  Of course, the power is usually supposed to be temporary, but the moment when it can be relinquished never arrives.  It may be that corrupts is the wrong word; what happens is that people change themselves by their practices.  The more they do something, the more they become like what they do.  Those who rule become rulers.

So as I see it, proper anarchists, proper leftists, can never take power; they will have to win by losing.  This will not go over well with those who just want to win.  They should go in for sports or war instead.

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By Ray Duray, September 20, 2009 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael,

Re: “I invite you to read Lenin’s letter… For now, i invite you to do so yourself. Why not?”

I can think of about a million reasons. I’m working on smoking some salmon. I’m working on a really lovely claret. I’m about to dive into a wonderful DVD. I’m really having some fun with some smart-set musicians http://bit.ly/2Pxuw

I’m worried that my eyesight is going. I’m thinking it’s more fun to watch Jon Stewart http://bit.ly/k1qQY

Would that be enough or do you think I need more excuses?

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By OzarkMichael, September 20, 2009 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3, I was a little nervous and was ready to dig my heals in against you, but you made a great reply. Your fears are justified.

I would like to continue exploring the question of what Lenin did in 1922 with the Criminal code, namely, that Lenin is responsible for the atrocities that followed even after he died. Why? Because he set in stone the rules that Stalin could play by.

From the following link(thanks Ray Duray for the online works of Lenin), the italics are from Lenin’s own writing:


http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1922/may/17.htm

May 17, 1922

Comrade Kursky,

Further to our conversation, I herewith enclose the draft of an article supplementary to the Criminal Code.[1] It is a rough draft and, of course, needs altering and polishing up. The main idea will be clear, I hope, in spite of the faulty drafting-to put forward publicly a thesis that is correct in principle and politically (not only strictly juridical), which explains the substance of terror, its necessity and limits, and provides justification for it.

The courts must not ban terror—to promise that would be deception or self-deception—but must formulate the motives underlying it, legalise it as a principle, plainly, without any make-believe or embellishment. It must be formulated in the broadest possible manner, for only revolutionary law and revolutionary conscience can more or less widely determine the limits within which it should be applied.

With communist greetings,

Lenin


ITW, Ray, Anarcissie, and Folktruther, I appreciate your patience in dealing with me since I am an ‘unfriendly’ guest. But deep down I cherish some of the principles and beliefs that you hold dear. In a very real way i am the friend who has some light to shine from a different direction.

What i call into question is not your goals of equality and liberty, but the means to attain them. But what i really worry about is that many dont seem to be aware of any danger of totalitarianism from the Left. In my opinion, all other things being equal, the danger is the same as from the Right. 

Hopefully your patience with me is rewarded. Not that you would give in on your principles, because that would be a disaster. We all need to be much more wise than people were last century. Remain committed to your principiles, but be aware of the pitfalls.

I invite you to read Lenin’s letter. I chopped out the last part of it. Perhaps tomorrow I will write some commentary about the meanings and implications.

For now, i invite you to do so yourself. Why not?

It cannot be that i am the only one who sees the significance of Lenin’s letter. And surely as Leftists you should have insights that i do not have in the matter.

I will share my thoughts soon. 

Good night for now.

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By truedigger3, September 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael wrote:
“You put your faith in a few people determining how we should all think and feel. You have no idea where that would lead.”
_____________________________________________________

I was hoping it will lead to better peaceful human beings.
But you are absolutley right and the potenial for abuse is tremendous.
Let us hope that homosapiens evolve to a better species before they destroy themselves or mother nature unleach its wrath on them because of overcrowding and taxing the earth to its limits.

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By OzarkMichael, September 20, 2009 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

truedigger3 says: With enormous increase in knowledge of the human brain and its chemistry hopefully there will be discoveries that push evolution in the right direction to produce better peaceful human species devoid of greed and the desire to exploit others.

You put your faith in a few people determining how we should all think and feel. You have no idea where that would lead.

Anarcissie, I do not understand your view of Leftist thought. What you seem to have said is that once Leftists get in power, anything bad they do is because they suddenly become Rightists. Or that seizing power is what makes them Rightists. Is that correct?

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By Anarcissie, September 20, 2009 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

Folktruther:
‘You may be right, Anarcissie, we need an interelation between theory and practice, what marxiss call praxis.  but the question remains as to how this can be acheived.’

It’s being achieved every day.  The important things are doing something, exchanging information, and doing your best to avoid lies and delusions, especially the temptation to lie (to others or oneself) in order to gain domination.  Once the war machine is disabled the subtler stuff may become less problematic.

‘power is the ability to influence people to win decisions. It can be given a math form generated from game theory or statistical decision theory.  the general form of power need not involve oppression.’

There are problems with persuasion as well as coercion.  The radical feminists of a generation ago went into this quite a bit because so many women were persuaded into oppressive relationships.  When we look a little further, though, we can see similar processes at work between dominant and submissive class, racial, ethnic, religious and other categories—slaves in love with their masters.  Of course the first priority is to get rid of plain physical coercion and terror.

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By Folktruther, September 20, 2009 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

You may be right, Anarcissie, we need an interelation between theory and practice, what marxiss call praxis.  but the question remains as to how this can be acheived.

power is the ability to influence people to win decisions. It can be given a math form generated from game theory or statistical decision theory.  the general form of power need not involve oppression.

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By truedigger3, September 20, 2009 at 6:28 am Link to this comment

I think the root cause of the problems that facing the world and its inhabitants is the human nature in its current state. Often societies come up with good ideas and things improve for a while but gradually greed and the lust of power creep in and spoil things.
With enormous increase in knowledge of the human brain and its chemistry hopefully there will be discoveries that push evolution in the right direction to produce better peaceful human species devoid of greed and the desire to exploit others.
Another point, although greed and exploitation are the sources of many of the suffering afflicting the world now, another source is the sharp increase in the world population lately and its continuation.
Simply put, the earth doesn’t have enough resources to provide decent life for all those people.
Birth control is crucial at this stage, otherwise, sooner or later, nature will solve the problem either by mass starvation or deadly epidemics or murderous wars that leads to massive starvations and deadly epidemics.

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By Anarcissie, September 19, 2009 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther—not everyone in Mondragon is an anarchist (or so I am told).  In fact many, many cooperatives have rather cozy relationships with various liberal-capitalist states, which makes them highly suspect in the eyes of many leftists.  My impression is that cooperatives are often fobbed off on the lower orders as a substitute for participation in the serious stuff.  The form does not guarantee virtue.

My use of power is elliptical.  In long form, I mean something like one person having power over another.  The abolition of domination and coercion may well mean it would be difficult for humans to undertake large, difficult, long-term projects; the world might turn into a big shabby hippie commune.  But that’s better than murder and terror and fraud, the necessary tools of the state.  At least in my view—tastes differ. 

I suppose for those who were helplessly attracted to violence, either to participate or just to watch, we could have (strictly voluntary) gladiatorial combat.

The problem with working things out now is that we often don’t know what we’re doing, or how to do what we think we’re doing.  And we don’t agree on what we ought to be doing.  A constant dialog—or dialectic, if you prefer—between theory and practice, between one group or project or institution and others, is necessary.

For this, the Demiurge has jocularly provided us with the Internet.  Proceed with caution!

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By Ray Duray, September 19, 2009 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

folktruther,

Re: “Ray, what I don’t understand about that cooperative is that it was financed at least partially by the Spanish government.”

As were General Dynamics, General Atomic and Blackwater by the U.S. Government. And your point is?

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By Folktruther, September 19, 2009 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment

Ray, what I don’t understand about that cooperative is that it was financed at least partially by the Spanish government.  There is a strong anarchist tradition in Spain, but it is odd that the state funds it.

Anarcissie, the point is to eliminate OPPRESSIVE POWER not ALL power.  People have to do things, including economica nd political things, and need power to do it.  In which case in a world economy organization must occur worldwide, controlled by the people.  How this can be done without destroying the basic character of political and economic democracy must be worked out.  The time to think about it is now, if it is to be viable in the 21st century.

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By Ray Duray, September 19, 2009 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

Speaking of cooperatives, the most successful one I have ever come across is the Mongragon Coopertive in Basque Spain:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_cooperative

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By Anarcissie, September 19, 2009 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther:
’... Anarcissie, I forgot to address your previous objection.  The current US truth consensns historically is partially a result of a two pronged anti-communist historical attack.  The power system purged marxists and radicals from the US truth industries, while, simultanously,  the CIA and other organs funded anti-communist and anti-marxist progressives.  Including the purging and funding of anarchists of different stripes.’

I’m aware of what you’re talking about.  I have my doubts about whether it was very effective.  Also, I don’t think the CIA considered anarchists to be important enough to bother with, although they may have sometimes bagged them up with other lefties.

‘The most interesting anarchist approach was the development of cooperatives, largely ignored by marxiss and union based movements.  Apparently there are a hundred million workers around the world in cooperatives of various kind.  But what kind exactly in power terms?  I don’t know.  And how can they be intetrated into a world anarchist movment?

Because if they do not have some form of democratic integration, including ideological integration, they can’t be a viable world power force in the 21st century, as marxism was in the 2oth.’

It seems to me that proper anarchists would not want to win or take world power.  The point of anarchism, I would think, would be to destroy power, not take it.  I think we have been down the war-to-end-war route enough times to see where it leads.

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By OzarkMichael, September 19, 2009 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

Ray, you havent done anything wrong. i see some stuff that used to be in vol 45 that is in 39 now. Apparently the order and even the placement of Lenin’s documents changed with different editors.

Not only thst but I read at your website that some papers got shuffled out of Lenin’s Works altogether and got placed in another book.

Regardless, your link to an online source is best so I will use it in future.

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By OzarkMichael, September 19, 2009 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther quotes Chris Harman’s THE PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE WORLD,(recommended by Zinn, no less):

  “Yet dispite the impression created works such as Solzhenitisyn’s GULAG ARCHIPELAGO, the terror was very different than that employed by Stalin from 1929 onward,  It was a reaction to real, not imaginary, counter revolution and it ended in 1921 when the civil war was over.”

Without the time to research and write a whole book, but only the little sketch in my last post, i proved that Bolshevik terror was legally codified in 1922. Directed by Lenin himself, he of high Leftist ideals, and wonderful Leftist ends. Lenin in fact intentionally applied terror to what he knew was imaginary counter-revolution after the civil war was over. 

So we should not take Chris Harmen seriously, and Zinn’s recommendation is apparently worthless too. Unless the Party line matters more than the truth. In which case, I leave you to the mercies of Lenin, which you pine for and therefore richly deserve.

Folktruther concludes: Right wing assertions of millions of people killed by the bolsheviks at this time have as much substance as current right wing fantasies.

That makes me feel pretty good about the substance of my take on current events.

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By Folktruther, September 19, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

Truthdigger, Ray, Anarcissie

, truthdigger Your view that the original Bolsheviks, people like Bucharan, Zioniviev and Kamenev, didn’t understand the capitalist threat, and became lazy, does not appear plausable.  It appears that Stalen merely wanted to eliminate any resistence or threats to his rule.  You don’t have to be paranoid, Ray, to purge possible opposition; this being a standard political tactic historically.

Anarcissie, I forgot to address your previous objection.  The current US truth consensns historically is partially a result of a two pronged anti-communist historical attack.  The power system purged marxists and radicals from the US truth industries, while, s imultanously,  the CIA and other organs funded anti-communist and anti-marxist progressives.  Including the purging and funding of anarchists of different stripes.

The most interesting anarchist approach was the development of cooperatives, largely ignored by marxiss and union based movements.  Apparently there are a hundred million workers around the world in cooperatives of various kind.  But what kind exactly in power terms?  I don’t know.  And how can they be intetrated into a world anarchist movment?

Because if they do not have some form of democratic integration, including ideological integration, they can’t be a viable world power force in the 21st century, as marxism was in the 2oth.

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By Ray Duray, September 19, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael,

You wrote: We ought to find a formulation that would connect these activities with the international bourgeosie.

There you have it from Lenin, Collected Works, 5th edition. Volume 45 p 189.

I tried that citation here:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/cw/volume45.htm

And came to this:

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1921/may/00.htm

Which turns out to be an urgent call for construction equipment. What have I done wrong?

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By OzarkMichael, September 19, 2009 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind said: you cannot judge Lenin by the same scale as Stalin.  Right-wingers paint them as indistinguishable—that is clearly wrong. Left-wingers paint Lenin as a saint and Stalin as a devil—I plead mea culpa to that but mainly to fend off the right-wingers.

I understand the dynamic.

But Lenin developed and perfected terror, using it as a weapon because his flaw was he believed the ends justified ANY means.  Yet the end he envisioned was wildly different from Stalin’s.

It is a popular defense of Lenin to say that he did not envision the same end as Stalin. I would like to point out that Lenin had opportunities to set a course that would not lead to the things that Stalin did.

Let us in our imagination think of 1922. The Revolution is won, the Civil War over. The draconian communist revolutionary ‘justice’ and the hostage taking and arbitrary communist terror could now be ameliorated or better yet abandoned. At least that is what everyone hopes.
Without any laws to refer to the arbitrary nature of communist justice is evident. Now is the time to set the people’s will into a permanent code. This will be Lenin’s great gift to his country and the people of the world.

But as he considers the principles for the permanent Criminal Code, Lenin is also seeking to permanently secure his own power for the sake of the ends he desires. (You may admire the ends which he pursued, I do not. But that is not what i shall address today)

The first rough draft for the Criminal Code arrives at Lenin’s Gorki estate. Lenin reads them and makes some notes in the margins.

At this crucial moment, on May 15th, when the foundation stones for the Law are about to be put in place, we look over Lenin’s shoulder as he writes to the person in charge of drawing up the Criminal Code:

Comrade Kursky! In my opinion we ought to extend the use of execution by shooting to all the activities of the Mensheviks, the SR’s, etc…

Mensheviks and SR’s etc were all Leftist groups who played a big role in winning the Revolution. Lenin’s goal is to kill them.

But the question remained of HOW to make their activites illegal since peace had been won. Lenin leans back in his chair. Upon his shoulders is always the heavy burden of identifying the proper goals. But he also has to create the means that will achieve those goals. No one had ever done this sort of thing before, so Lenin has to be creative. He is a genius, no doubt about that. We watch him as he bends forward to write:

We ought to find a formulation that would connect these activities with the international bourgeosie.

There you have it from Lenin, Collected Works, 5th edition. Volume 45 p 189.

Only the genius of Lenin could come up with it, and codify it, and only the authority of Lenin could begin implementing it.

ITW said of Lenin: It is an oversimplification to say he would have had to do what Stalin did—I see no evidence of that.

Well, now you have a little evidence. Lenin conjured and implemented the formulation that Stalin would turn to again and again and again.

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By OzarkMichael, September 19, 2009 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind said: you cannot judge Lenin by the same scale as Stalin.  Right-wingers paint them as indistinguishable—that is clearly wrong. Left-wingers paint Lenin as a saint and Stalin as a devil—I plead mea culpa to that but mainly to fend off the right-wingers.

I understand the dynamic.

But Lenin developed and perfected terror, using it as a weapon because his flaw was he believed the ends justified ANY means.  Yet the end he envisioned was wildly different from Stalin’s.

It is a popular defense of Lenin to say that he did not envision the same end as Stalin. I would like to point out that Lenin had opportunities to set a course that would not lead to the things that Stalin did.

Let us in our imagination think of 1922. The Revolution is won, the Civil War over. The draconian communist revolutionary ‘justice’ and the hostage taking and arbitrary communist terror could now be ameliorated or better yet abandoned. At least that is what everyone hopes.

Without any laws to refer to the arbitrary nature of communist justice is evident. Now is the time to set the people’s will into a permanent code. This will be Lenin’s great gift to his country and the people of the world.

But as he considers the principles for the permanent Criminal Code, Lenin is also securing his own power for the sake of the ends he desires. (You may admire the ends which he pursued, I do not. But that is not what i shall address today)

The first rough draft for the Criminal Code arrives at Lenin’s Gorki estate. Lenin reads them and makes some notes in the margins.

At this crucial moment, on May 15th, when the foundation stones for the Law are about to be put in place, we look over Lenin’s shoulder as he writes to the person in charge of drawing up the Criminal Code:

Comrade Kursky! In my opinion we ought to extend the use of execution by shooting to all the activities of the Mensheviks, the SR’s, etc…

Mensheviks and SR’s etc were all Leftist groups who played a big role in winning the Revolution. Lenin’s goal is to kill them.

But the question remained of HOW to make their activites illegal since peace had been won. Lenin leans back in his chair. Upon his shoulders is always the heavy burden of identifying the proper goals. But he also has to create the means that will achieve those goals. No one had ever done this sort of thing before, so Lenin has to be creative. He is a genius, no doubt about that. We watch him as he bends forward to write:

We ought to find a formulation that would connect these activities with the international bourgeosie.

There you have it from Lenin, Collected Works, 5th edition. Volume 45 p 189.

Only the genius of Lenin could come up with it, and codify it, and only the authority of Lenin could begin implementing it.

ITW said of Lenin: It is an oversimplification to say he would have had to do what Stalin did—I see no evidence of that.

Well, now you have a little evidence. Lenin conjured and implemented the formulation that Stalin would turn to again and again and again.

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By OzarkMichael, September 19, 2009 at 9:29 am Link to this comment

Ray speaks of Kronstadt: The sort of intellectual rigor to their internal discussions is completely unmatched by any sort of political discussion inside the United States today that I can discover.

‘Internal discussions’ amongst extremist Leftists are always interesting. They discuss their one and only true dogma like a bunch of monks trying to ascertain the nature of Christ. Leftists then compete with each other in justifying their totalitarian theory and trying to put it into practice. And slogans. Lets not forget the powerful slogans that they had to come up with.

To call it “intellectual rigor” is a bit much. The ‘internal discussions’ were certainly idealized by the Party that needed to make it look good.  Since you have swallowed their revolutionary propaganda, would you like a little koolaid to wash it down?

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By Ray Duray, September 19, 2009 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

truedigger3,

Regarding Kronstadt, there is a marvelous narrative of their role in Russia’s radical history in this excellent documentary:

http://bit.ly/1ayAvu

“The Russian Revolution in Color” is something that is simply not ever going to be made available to the American public because it is far too informative about the causes for the rise of anti-czarist feeling in Russia and the rational responses of men like the Kronstadt sailors.

***
Regarding your description: “The rebellion in Kornstadt was a sailors mutiny in a navy base” I would say that my research leads me to view the Kronstadt uprising as far more than a mutiny. The sailors at Kronstadt were among the best educated Russians exclusive of the aristocracy. As such, they were serious men who had serious political discussions and came up with a coherent plan for self rule after dispatching their ruthless yet incompetent officer class. The sort of intellectual rigor to their internal discussions is completely unmatched by any sort of political discussion inside the United States today that I can discover. Our own military is cohesively brainwashed and “reality” to the sailors in our Navy at the rank of Chief Petty Officer and below is a pathetic combination of Glenn Beck style self-delusion, monstrous conflation of Christian mysticism with hper-nationalism and a severe xenophobia. In brief, we’re pathetically runted intellectual midgets at the lower ranks in our military. How convenient for the elites, eh?

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By truedigger3, September 19, 2009 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

Ray Duray wrote:
“You wrote: His purges of the army was the result of a trick by the German Intelligence who let fake documents and letters that gave the appearance that the the Soviet army command was planning a coup against Stalin.

That sounds intriguing. I’ve never heard of this before. Can you provide us with any background reading, books or URLs on this accusation? Thanks”
___________________________________________________


Hi Ray,

I think I read it in a book called STALIN that was written by the Russian writer Edvard Radzinsky. I am sorry I cannot locate the book to pin point exactly where it is.
But there were maybe couple of chapters about the purges.
The book was written after the collapse of the Soviet Union, so it is fairly recent.


The rebellion in Kornstadt was a sailors mutiny in a navy base. Those are the same sailors who in November 1917, helped the Bolshviks to topple the actual socialist and inclusive government of the spineless and incompetent Kirinsky, the leader of the Revolutionary Socialist Party who was instrumental in toppling the incompetent and spineless Tzar in March 1917.
The rebellion was put down brutally by the Red army troops under Trotsky command. Trotsky was the top commander of the Red Army and commissar of Defense at that time.

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By Ray Duray, September 19, 2009 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

Re: Otherwise its ‘business as usual’ in the concentration camps where people like me were stuck.”

This does not mean that I was stuck.

You been watching too much Glenn Beck recently? You make absolutely no sense. smile

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By OzarkMichael, September 19, 2009 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

my statement:  “Thats when the hand wringing begins. Otherwise its ‘business as usual’ in the concentration camps where people like me were stuck.”

This does not mean that I was stuck. It means that conservatives(I am one) were rounded up and put in camps. Christians too (I am one). ‘Rich’ people
(I earn good pay), professionals(I am a doctor), and ‘unreliable’ intellectuals (well i might not be an intellectual but I am unreliable) and most of all people who defied the Bolsheviks (which i would from start to finish).

Ray Duray says: I’m a bit nonplussed by your persecution complex. Of course we would take you seriously had you brought up Kronstadt.

But if i brought it up, there is usually some Leftist who dont know about it. Those people, to keep the facts at bay, will call me a fascist. Even people who do know about it can use ‘fascist’ as a debate trick. So my next post would have three goals to choose from:

1) proving I am not a fascist

2) establishing the historical facts of Kronstadt

3) clarifying my thesis about Kronstadt

But a good argumentative post has only one theme.

So i would fritter away posts and might never move forward to the real clarity. I woulod waste time just trying to get an equal place at the table.

In my experience it works much better if instead of ‘attacking’ the Left, I merely clarify what a Leftist has said. There is no resistance to the facts of history, and instead there is only resistance to my interpretation of those facts, which is how it should be.

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By Ray Duray, September 19, 2009 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

Hi truedigger3,

You wrote: His purges of the army was the result of a trick by the German Intelligence who let fake documents and letters that gave the appearance that the the Soviet army command was planning a coup against Stalin.

That sounds intriguing. I’ve never heard of this before. Can you provide us with any background reading, books or URLs on this accusation? Thanks.

What I have read, and it made sense to me, was that Stalin was a classic paranoid who used the purges of the late 1930s to consolidate power into his own hands and to preclude the possibility of any individual or faction from challenging his supreme authority. In this regard, Stalin acted not unlike autocrats since time immemorial. I recall that in Imperial Rome one of the first acts by several newly enthroned Emperors was to assassinate any family member who might threaten or challenge the Emperor. Similar stories come out of the Imperial history of China, Russia, etc. And let’s not leave out the Borgias. smile

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By truedigger3, September 19, 2009 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

In my humbel opinion, any talk of democracy and freedom of the press and freedom from oppression whether it is comming from the left or the right, or socialism or capitalism, is just a talk and when the rulers face strong threatening opposition or the threat of strong opposition, the ruling group reverts to police state tactics and oppression.!!!

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By truedigger3, September 19, 2009 at 5:28 am Link to this comment

In defense of Stalin and his purges in the thirties.
When Staliln succeeded in his collectivisation of the farm land and his first five years plan, many in the soviet leadership thougth it is time to relax and enjoy it!!
The Soviets have been in power for more than a decade now and many in the entrenched leadership grew soft and lazy and wanted just to enjoy it.
But with Hitler and the Nazi assuming power, Stalin knew what the future will bring and that Germany will attack the Soviet Union with a Green light from the West.
Stalin knew he had to push full speed ahead with rapid indusrialization of the Soviet Union no matter what are the sacrifices and hardships.
He decided to get rid of the complacent and lazy old guard and replace them with energetic new blood and rule with iron fist and terror to push ahead as fast possible.
Without that rapid industrialization, the Soviet Union would have definitely lost the war and Moscow and Leningrad would have been razed to the ground and who survived from the Russians would have become laborers and farm hands for the Germans.
His purges of the army was the result of a trick by the German Intelligence who let fake documents and letters that gave the appearance that the the Soviet army command was planning a coup against Stalin.
The German really shot themselves in the foot. All the new commanders after the army purges proved to be superb commanders in WW2, for example Zukov, Conniev, Vatutin etc ..etc.
And to those who romantisize Trorsky, please don’t.
Trotsky was very brutal and there is a lot of blood on his hand. His quarrel with Stalin was nothing but old fashion power struggle and he lost.

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By Ray Duray, September 19, 2009 at 5:10 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael,

You wrote: For example I did not bring up Kronstadt.  If i did, no one would take it seriously since I am not a Leftist. But I didnt even think of it, so kudos to Ray for bringing up an excellent point which helps clarify.

Thanks for the attaboy. smile

I concur with your observation that this has been a uniquely useful and erudite commentary segment. Perhaps it is because the topic is remote, so arcane and so ungermane to life today that we’re all just having a bit of fun in the absence of our own contemporary existence being called into question.

I’m so looking forward to Truthdig posting an article about Ghengis Khan so we can have another shot at this. smile [There’s a great Ghenghis Khan hook here in this Daily Show segment: http://bit.ly/k1qQY ]

[Aside: The rest of this is pretty impertinent and brash. Read at your own risk.]

I’m a bit nonplussed by your persecution complex. Of course we would take you seriously had you brought up Kronstadt. Why wouldn’t we? It was a historical fact, and germane to the arguments being put forward.

Have you checked on your level of paranoia lately? You seem to be exhibit at least one symptom mentioned here: http://bit.ly/3XvRob

You have me deeply curious. You state that you suffered from incarceration in a concentration camp. Would you care to elaborate on that at all? It might help me to better understand your worldview which with my brief introduction makes you appear more comfortable with the Michigan Militia than with the Weather Underground, if you catch my drift.

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe your seeming paranoia really is a justifiable terror of the gulag system. However, the good news is that as far as I know, Vlad Putin isn’t running an extroardinary rendition program in the Ozarks.

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By Anarcissie, September 18, 2009 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael:
‘I would like to point out a recurring emotion among Leftists, namely, their remorse over extremist Left brutality… but that remorse is only when a Leftist dictatorship begins to execute fellow Leftists. Thats when the hand wringing begins. Otherwise its ‘business as usual’ in the concentration camps where people like me were stuck. ...’

Depends on who you’re categorizing as “leftists”.  I am pretty sure the Catholic Workers deplore Stalin’s crimes against non-leftists as well as leftists, for example, but, like me, they might not count Stalin as a leftist.  And you might not consider the Catholic Workers to be leftists—it would mess up your theory.  I think you need to study up more on the multifarious variety of the Left.

A rightist I sometimes argue with in another venue claims that while rightists and leftists both kill their opponents, the leftists are peculiar in killing their own.  When I pointed out that Hitler had exterminated the leadership of the SA (one of the Nazis’ private armies), he said Hitler was a leftist….  Anyway I guess he would disagree with you about the remorse business.

In regard to Kronstadt, I was just pointing out that Lenin did order or oversee the killing of a number of non-Bolshevik leftists, especially anarchists, not just in putting down the rebellion, but after they had been captured and disarmed.  Of course he was not a patch on the seminarian Dzhugashvili, but this is not saying much in his favor.

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By OzarkMichael, September 18, 2009 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

I would like to point out a recurring emotion among Leftists, namely, their remorse over extremist Left brutality… but that remorse is only when a Leftist dictatorship begins to execute fellow Leftists. Thats when the hand wringing begins. Otherwise its ‘business as usual’ in the concentration camps where people like me were stuck.

Anyway, my thesis for this post is that the revolt would have made no difference even if it succeeded.

I would like to prove this by reviewing the demands of the Kronstadt sailors:

2. Freedom of speech and of the press for workers and peasants, for the Anarchists, and for the Left Socialist parties.

No freedom of speech for anyone else but themselves. No freedom of the press for those who dissent from the one and only true doctrine. A doctrine doomed to fail even if the revolt succeeded.

3. The right of assembly, and freedom for trade union and peasant organisations.

Notice that the right of assembly is only for the Leftists. Again, the extreme Left’s suppression and destruction of it’s opponents is a constant.

5. The liberation of all political prisoners of the Socialist parties, and of all imprisoned workers and peasants, soldiers and sailors belonging to working class and peasant organisations.

Notice that the “liberation of all political prisoners” was only for Socialist prisoners. The Kronstadt Leftists were proving how loyal they were to Leftist principles by letting everyone else rot in the camps. Kronstadt Leftists had no tears or regrets about political prisoners in the concentration camps, as long as they were conservatives and Christians.

What sort of society would have resulted if the Kronstadt revolt succeeded? What difference would it make? To people like me(if i had been alive back then) it would have made no difference at all. to people like you it might have made a little difference for a while. But only a short while.

The Leftist dream is nice. But the extreme Leftist method is tyranny. Eventually the tyranny enlarges and turns upon the Leftists themselves.  It doesnt matter if its Lenin, or Trotsky, or the Kronstadters, the method guarantees that the dream wont be realized. And let us not forget that a Stalin waits in the wings either way.

Leftists who deny or arent aware of these things are more likely to approve of policies that would lead to these tyrannies, and are silent when they should speak up, not just for their own rights, not just for their own dreams, but the rights and the dreams of others as well.

Some of what you folks are saying is new to me, and I sense that what i am saying might be new to you, as if mutual understanding is almost in reach.

This suddenly is the best thread on Truthdig in a long time. You never know when a conversation might get to what is real. 

Anarcissie, i did not address you directly but much of this post pertains to our discussion.

I grudgingly admit that Ray Duray brings something to the table. For example I did not bring up Kronstadt.  If i did, no one would take it seriously since I am not a Leftist. But I didnt even think of it, so kudos to Ray for bringing up an excellent point which helps clarify.

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By Folktruther, September 18, 2009 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

Essentially quite true, Inherit.  I sit amazed.

I don’t know what the truth was about the tragedy of Kronstat.  there is the trotskiest view vs the anarchist view.  I’ve read Ray’s and Amarcissie’s links and they confirm what I’ve read before.  Serge, an anarchisst who became a communist, a very sincere man, stated the Bolsheviks had no choice.  the situation is too complicated for me to come to any conclusion.  I specialize in simple truths.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 18, 2009 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, FT:
I tried to say this before: you cannot judge Lenin by the same scale as Stalin.  Right-wingers paint them as indistinguishable—that is clearly wrong. Left-wingers paint Lenin as a saint and Stalin as a devil—I plead mea culpa to that but mainly to fend off the right-wingers.

To me, Stalin was a psychopathic maniac with a genius, like Hitler, for rising to the top.

Lenin was true believer in Communism and saw himself as simply inadvertently in a particular place in history. He thought the international Union of Soviet Socialist Republics would have Berlin as its capital, not Moscow, that German and Russian Communists would really join together in an Internationale, like they were supposed to.

But Lenin developed and perfected terror, using it as a weapon because his flaw was he believed the ends justified ANY means.  Yet the end he envisioned was wildly different from Stalin’s.

Lenin has to be evaluated completely differently than Stalin.  It is an oversimplification to say he would have had to do what Stalin did—I see no evidence of that.

I give one paradigmatic example:
Under Lenin, the arts flourished—music, visual, performing, architecture. It was modern, edgy, experimental.

Under Stalin, the arts became “Socialist Realism”—identical to “German Realism” that Hitler pushed.  Buildings were monumental, imitative, and…ugly.  Art was boring.  Artists who could flee, fled.  Artists who couldn’t died, gave in, or went silent.  When it came to the arts, Stalin’s views were the same as Hitler’s.  Lenin’s were completely different.

It’s not that Lenin is necessarily a hero, but he certainly is of a more heroic nature than Stalin ever was.

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By Anarcissie, September 18, 2009 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther—In regard to Lenin killing or overseeing the killing of leftists, see Emma Goldman’s essay “Trotsky Protests Too Much” (http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/goldman/Writings/Essays/trotsky.html).  Hundreds or maybe thousands of anarchists were executed after the Kronstadt Rebellion was put down (1921).  Trotsky, who was Lenin’s right-hand man and certainly did nothing without the approval of his boss, speaks glowingly of dealing with the anarchists and other leftists across the whole Soviet territory with “an iron broom”; I don’t think we need to work our imaginations too hard to imagine what he’s talking about.

Machiavelli points out why most revolutionary regimes must practice “severity” (he means terror) when they get power, so the practice of terror by the Bolsheviks is not surprising.  However, executing your allies and your own people in large numbers seems a bit excessive.  And later, after the beatification of Lenin, it served to justify Stalin’s much larger purges: if Saint Lenin did it, it had to be correct.

As to the extrusion of leftists from the media and other bourgeois institutions, I don’t think you need a CIA operation.  The owners and managers of these enterprises are, as Marx xaid, “a class for itself”, that is, they know who they are and what they’re doing, to wit, owning and operating the media, etc.  It obviously behooves them to not to support opponents of the system on their own turf if they can help it.  I’m aware that various federal agencies were found to have secretly put some money into student organizations but I think by and large almost everything has been “hidden in plain view.”  (The name of a “post-punk post-hardcore” New Jersey band and the title of a book about Quilts and the Underground Railroad, by the way.)  You simply have to understand that the corporations are a part of the state and serve the state, and the reasons and methods of their behavior become clear.

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By Ray Duray, September 18, 2009 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther,

You wrote: “Lenin did not kill leftists.”

Actually, he did. Here’s one instance:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kronstadt_rebellion

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By Ray Duray, September 18, 2009 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

You wrote: “I wonder who the CIA is funding now?  Maybe I could apply…. ”

I believe it works the other way around. If you haven’t already been contacted by The Company you probably won’t be.

As to who is being funded, we know with certainty that the contractors involved in kidnapping effective Muslim opponents of U.S. meddling in their world are certainly still being paid. The Jeppeson Logistics subsidiary of Boeing comes to mind as a company that is currently being sued by some of the victims of extraordinary renditions.

A further hint would be that Carl Bernstein wrote a scurrilous exposé of the CIA and the American media back in 1977. http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

You can be perfectly assured that none of the ties between the CIA and the media were severed due to this exposure.

Other than that, the fine folks are Google are ready to assist. smile

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By Folktruther, September 18, 2009 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, the dual approach of purging marxists and racicals from the truth indusries and funding the the anti-marxist mushy liberals created the present condition where the leadership of the mainstream left is cowardly, courrpt and ineffective.  It resulted historically in a fragmentation and de-politicizing of the American population rather than the Weslfare Statism of European polities.

Lenin did not kill leftists.  In Chris Harman’s THE PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE WORLD, recommended by Zinn, he states that because of the invasion of the capitalist countries and the millions of deaths they caused in the Civil War, the Bolshevaks did resort to state terror.

  “Yet dispite the impression created works such as Solzhenitisyn’s GULAG ARCHIPELAAGO, the terror was very different than that employed by Stalin from 1929 onward,  It was a reactio to real, not imaginaary, counter revolution and it ended in 1921 when the civil war was over.”

Right wing assertions of millions of people killed by the bolsheviks at this time have as much substance as crurrent ritht wing fantasies.

Ray Duray, you are quite right, I AM a wonderful person.  But you would be astonished, Ray, at how few people think so.  Even after I go to all the trouble of demolishing the bourgeois drivel of liberal dingbats, surprisingly, the reactions are not uniformly favorable.  It dissappoimts me dreadfully, but I have to soldier on in a world I never made.

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By Anarcissie, September 18, 2009 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

Ray Duray:
‘Anarcissie,

You wrote: “I don’t follow that.  The CIA funded the anti-Communist and anti-Marxist Left, and as a result they were destroyed?  It was my impression that most of that sort of thing occurred in Europe, where you say the Left wasn’t destroyed.”

Someone is making a hash of the grammar here. Let’s try it this way: The CIA funded people like Gloria Steinem…. ‘

I was around for the early (1960s) stages of the feminist resurgence and I certainly didn’t see much evidence of CIA funding.  I think feminism followed a very familiar trajectory which we also observe with the Labor movement and Civil Rights / Black Power, to wit, the movement is started by radicals and gradually spreads to less radical types; when it spreads out enough it becomes possible for the established liberal-capitalist order to co-opt and absorb it.  In the case of feminism, this happened fairly rapidly—we go from anarchist lesbian communes to Hillary Clinton’s cracks in the glass ceiling in about 40 years.

Marxists seem to have been mostly absorbed into the academic world so one might say they also found a niche in the established order.  If they lost their self-appointed vanguard status during this period I think it had less to do with the CIA than with the Marxist failure to respond constructively to Civil Rights / Black Power, feminism, anarchism, hippies, homosexual activism, ecologism-environmentalism, and so forth.  But as these movements have not responded very constructively to each other I suppose the Marxists shouldn’t be especially criticized for that.

I wonder who the CIA is funding now?  Maybe I could apply….

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By Anarcissie, September 18, 2009 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

Ozark Michael—if you use the terms Right and Left as I do, with the authoritarians on the Right and the anti-authoritarians on the Left, then the dangerous people on the Left will probably not be well-organized enough to commit serious acts of mass violence.  That takes military organization, which leftist extremists (anarchists, nihilists, lunatics, individual criminals) will be averse to.  There are some borderline cases, like sudden eruptions of mob violence, but they are actually pretty rare in my experience and reading.  I suppose one could categorize the genocidally racist practices of European settlers in the Americas, which were mostly the highly decentralized work of individuals and small groups, as leftist, although this is seldom done inasmuch as the perpetrators brought in state organization as soon as they could, often of a very authoritarian kind.  I don’t think that Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, who were big fans of state power and military force, can be put in the Left category in spite of their rhetoric, style and professed intentions.  The early stages of the French revolution may have been leftish (storming the (empty) Bastille, for example), but by the time we get to Robespierre and his friends we have a state which pretty much fits the fascist model, that is, a small supposedly superior elite who seize power and rule by force and terror, usually in the name of some idealistic vision of society.  And the same is true of the Russian revolution—the leftish types were overcome and repressed by the organized, authoritarian state power of the Bolsheviks.  The authoritarian model wasn’t their invention; the idea that political progress toward leftist goals can be achieved only by a violent elite goes back to the 19th century and probably before.  I think it’s a false or deluded approach to the aims of the Left, and I think history supports my opinion.

In regard to these aims, while peace may be dreamy, because humans are physically, genetically imbued with too great a desire to fight to be peaceful, freedom and equality certainly aren’t.  Denial of either must be effected and perpetuated by violence, either the overt violence of war or the frozen violence of state power.  That is because it is contrary to reason to expect an intelligent, willful being to submit voluntarily to subjugation of any kind.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 18, 2009 at 3:31 am Link to this comment

ITW, you have always proven that you arent afraid of complexity. I also note that you try to avoid contradictions. You are brave to defend the unpopular truth. You are a gentleman, and have good command of the facts. I hope things go well for you irl as well as places like this.

Except when you disagree with me. Then you become a coward, a ruffian, and a total fool. The same goes for Anarcissie.

eheheh.

So dont say anything nice back to me or I really will get sick.
*****************************************

Excuse me while I barf!

(There! Feel better? )

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By truedigger3, September 18, 2009 at 1:40 am Link to this comment

There is no comparison between the way the Tzar and his secret police and the communist Cheka and NKVD.
There were very few executions during the Tzar time mostly for assassinations but most the punishment were few years in Siberia where most prisoners we left free in certain area even work and and associate with women.
Compare that with the brutality of the Cheka and NKVD and their mass executions and purges and life in the Gulags where people were worked to death.
But maybe that is why the Tzar fell and the communists survived.!!!
The communists were very worried about a counterrevolution and borrowed heavily from the French revolution and Rospierre and his Jackobins.

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By Ray Duray, September 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

Hi Michael from the land Oz Arks,

You wrote: “I hope things go well for you irl as well as places like this.”

Is there an American English translation of this available?

I kinda guess that maybe you were attempting to say good luck with your URL (Uniform Source Locator), and that would make the sentence make sense. But other than me editing your work, maybe you should tell us in your own words what it is you are attempting to say.

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By Ray Duray, September 17, 2009 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael,

You wrote: “Nothing in history matches the scientific organization and the mass production of death which the Leftists came up with.

If you were well read you would know that.”

Why I was just reading about your neighbor Don Tyson. He’s a huge briber of the Clinton clan. I guess that makes him a pseudo-Lutefisk if not an outright Leftist, but it seems to me that Don has slaughtering down to a science. Same with that Smithfield gang we hear so much about in on the influence, er, influenza threads.

Slaughter is in the mind of the beholder, eh?

“I only squeal when it’s coming out of my wallet”, said the Capitalist Pig.

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By OzarkMichael, September 17, 2009 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

ITW said to Anarcissie: Welcome back from the dark, nutty side.  I’ve been facing these absurd, crackpot conspiracy pipe dreams for years.

Although i am not on the same side, I enjoyed Anarcissie’s posts too.

But know that it is not my habit to applaud people very often. For the most part I let the individual stand alone. It is a mark of respect from me.

You both do just fine without me parroting, “yes that right!” and “My what a wonderful person you are!” and “I look forward to exchanging dirty truths!” and “We usually don’t get politically sophisticated people like you.”

Reciprocal applause to such excess makes me want to barf.

Besides, with my reputation, if I were to say “Yes i agree with ITW’s last 4 posts” then it would be the kiss of death for ITW. He would have the far Leftist loonies all over him even worse than he already does. MarthaA would suspect we are the same person. 

But I will jump in and generate some nausea by saying a nice thing.

ITW, you have always proven that you arent afraid of complexity. I also note that you try to avoid contradictions. You are brave to defend the unpopular truth. You are a gentleman, and have good command of the facts. I hope things go well for you irl as well as places like this.

Except when you disagree with me. Then you become a coward, a ruffian, and a total fool. The same goes for Anarcissie.

eheheh.

So dont say anything nice back to me or I really will get sick.

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By Ray Duray, September 17, 2009 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

I note in passing that this article about Stalin’s resurrection as Russian icon has now moved beyond the front page at Truthdig. We are well and truly on our own here in our very own and very special echo chamber.

This is perhaps the first time I’ve actually tried to participate in a Truthdig commentariat squabble and I have to say that the level of erudition here is extraordinarily high. Kudos to all who have elevated this discussion to something special.

For those with an interest in the machinations of Wall Street in countering the Bolshevik Revolution as a dangerous counter-ideology, I’ve put together a bit of a compendium of generalist articles, mostly Wikipedia, but a couple of other personal interest sites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Civil_War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_Intervention_in_the_Russian_Civil_War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberian_Intervention#United_States

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Expeditionary_Force_Siberia

http://secretwar.hhsweb.com/

http://polarbears.si.umich.edu/

To the person who suggest I read more books, I make note that NPR a couple of years ago reported that approximately 38% of the U.S.A. adult population read a total of zero books in 2007. I’m sure the statistic will be quite consistnt in 2009. In contrast I probably read 38 books in 2007 and will do about the same this year. So I’m sorry I’m a disappointment to you, but I do think I’m at least making something of an effort. smile

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By OzarkMichael, September 17, 2009 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

I said: “Solzhenitsyn credits Lenin with inventing the modern concentration camp,”

Ray Duray responds: And the American Indian Movement credits the creation of the concentration camp to the U.S. Federal Government…

Which is why the word “modern” was important.
“Modern” as in mass production, scientifically organized, and guided by the progressive dogma.

Nothing in history matches the scientific organization and the mass production of death which the Leftists came up with.

If you were well read you would know that.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 17, 2009 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, September 17 at 10:24 pm #

  Folktruther:
  ‘Ray Duray, the left was not only slaughtered, but the CIA and other organs funded the anti-communist and anti-marxist left as detailed in the British historian’s book WHO PAID THE PIPER? by Francis Conors Saunders.  That is why the Progressive ideology in the US is liberalism, a conservative ideology in other Western countries.’

I don’t follow that.  The CIA funded the anti-Communist and anti-Marxist Left, and as a result they were destroyed?  It was my impression that most of that sort of thing occurred in Europe, where you say the Left wasn’t destroyed.

As far as actually knocking off leftists goes—including Communists—I think you’d have to name Comrades Lenin and Stalin along with the CIA.  I’m thinking of Makhno and his followers, Trotsky, the Purges, P.O.U.M., and so on.  There is quite a list.
********************************************

Anarcissie:

Welcome back from the dark, nutty side.  I’ve been facing these absurd, crackpot conspiracy pipe dreams for years.

I LOVE it! The Women’s movement was created to divide the Left????  Try telling my mother that! She spent 56 years re-educating my father (successfully, I might add), a life-long progressive, that his views on women were positively antedeluvian!  Ask any woman active in the 60’s: Women in the movements were expected to serve coffee and be the secretaries, taking notes.  They were to be bodies, but not voices.  Even a Rosa Parks was supposed shut up, move over, and let the men take over.

The Women’s movement changed that.  If the CIA funded it to disrupt the Left, then it damn-sure backfired!  The fight for equal pay, for reproductive freedom, for EFFECTIVE anti-rape laws ALL happened because the women made it happen.

From under what rocks do these nuts come out?

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By OzarkMichael, September 17, 2009 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie said: I think if you make out Stalin to be a leftist, along with, say, the ACLU and Food Not Bombs—the usual suspects—then the terms Left and Right, politically speaking, no longer mean anything.

to Anarcissie who is a nice person, and reasonable, I must strive to be nice in return. However, to make my point i must be brief. If in this post there are rough edges, please know that it is because of brevity and not dislike or disrespect of you. I know you are both informed and thoughtful. Here goes:

It is obvious to you that the extreme Right drops off a cliff into fascism. There is even, in your opinion perhaps, a suspicion that the Right is in danger of fascism, if not complacent about it and therefore enabling it all the time.

Why then dont you see that the Left has the same danger, a similar drop off?  When you dont admit that the water at the extreme edge of the pool is deep you have a higher chance of drowning. (MarthaA is a prime example of someone who has gone to that extreme. Her extreme Leftist view would result in the deaths of many millions. She is remarkably clear eyed about it and embraces the bloodshed.)

And furthermore, when a Leftist is unaware of the danger on her own side, even if you dont go to the extreme yourself, you become complacent about the possible danger around you, and in a way enable it all the time.

I appreciate that by your definition the Left is for peace, freedom, equality and other good things, and so what i am saying seems absurd.

But what Leftists forget is that human nature twists the best principles. Human nature can find terrible means to achieve the dreamy ends of peace, freedom and equality. Without understanding human nature, without caution, and most of all without understanding their own human weakness, the Leftist is doomed to fail. And then unfortunately the dreamy ends do not materialize. Perhaps it ends in a real wreck, a dictator. The seeds for it were evident in the revolutionaries themselves. So the responsibilty for the wreck and the dictator lies with the Leftists. The responsibilty for the means used to bring about that state of affairs also lies at the feet of the Leftist.

Does this make the term “Left” meaningless, or does it belittle the values that you claim for it? I do not think so.

I hope you will correct what i say. I havent had a good enjoyable argument for a month or two and I know you are capable of it.

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By Ray Duray, September 17, 2009 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

You wrote: “I don’t follow that.  The CIA funded the anti-Communist and anti-Marxist Left, and as a result they were destroyed?  It was my impression that most of that sort of thing occurred in Europe, where you say the Left wasn’t destroyed.”

Someone is making a hash of the grammar here. Let’s try it this way: The CIA funded people like Gloria Steinem [ http://www.namebase.org/steinem.html ] to ‘steer’ the movement away from hard core Marxist opposition to capitalism. Marxists declared capitalism to be an immoral and elitist fraud being perpetrated on the masses. The CIA replaced the concern for economic justice for the working class with a bunch of frivolous pursuits. An essential element to all of these is the abiding Anglo-American imperial strategy to divide-and-conquer all enemies of the elites.

Examples would include things like:

1) the hippie and inner city drug cults (recall the Golden Triangle heroin, the Iran-Contra crack cocaine and now the Helmand-CIA heroin).
2) the ‘women’s liberation’ movement (a classic divide-and-conquer strategy creating tension between male and female leftists),
3) and major elements of the environmental movement co-opting social justice advocates into mere bird fanciers.

There are a number of other outrageous examples, including the fate of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) which in the days of Stokely Carmichael’s leadership was a radical left civil rights organization and today is a completely pathetic and asinine promoter of right wing propaganda.

As to Europe, one needs to be informed of Operation Gladio. This was a CIA/NATO sponsored right wing program that eventually became involved in a number of false flag operations with ultra-militant right wing terrorists attacking the general public in episodes such as the Bologna,  Italy train station bombing and blaming the attacks on the Communists. Do a Google Search on Operation Gladio, Aldo Moro, etc. Daniele Ganser [ http://tinyurl.com/r6npn7 ] has written an excellent history of this wicked and criminal operation.

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By Ray Duray, September 17, 2009 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael,

You wrote: “Solzhenitsyn credits Lenin with inventing the modern concentration camp,”

And the American Indian Movement credits the creation of the concentration camp to the U.S. Federal Government and its internment camps euphemistically called “reservations” since their inception in the earliest days of the noble experiment in democracy called, as I understand, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” by the preponderance of its most vociferous and delusional adherents.

Of course if one consults Eduardo Galeano’s “Open Veins of Latin America” we will learn that the concentration camp concept was initiated there shortly after Columbus took his first kidnapped slaves from among the Carib tribes and the Spanish perfected the “mission” system with concentration camp slaves bludgeoned into the acceptance of a bizarre “God” cult and forced into building the very institutions that incarcerated and indentured them in places like Mission Monterey, Mission San Luis Rey, Mission San Juan Capistrano, etc.

The notion that Lenin invented concentration camps is a strictly Russian pretension.

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By Ray Duray, September 17, 2009 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

Dear Folktruther,

You wrote: “We usually don’t get politically sophisticated people like you, Ray, as commenters.  I hope you can stay around a while.  I look forward to exchanging dirty truths.”

You do know how to flatter a guy. smile

I, too, look forward to more badinage. I’ve noted your erudition re Parenti and it exceeds mine greatly.

To arms, Ray

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By Anarcissie, September 17, 2009 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther:
‘Ray Duray, the left was not only slaughtered, but the CIA and other organs funded the anti-communist and anti-marxist left as detailed in the British historian’s book WHO PAID THE PIPER? by Francis Conors Saunders.  That is why the Progressive ideology in the US is liberalism, a conservative ideology in other Western countries.’

I don’t follow that.  The CIA funded the anti-Communist and anti-Marxist Left, and as a result they were destroyed?  It was my impression that most of that sort of thing occurred in Europe, where you say the Left wasn’t destroyed.

As far as actually knocking off leftists goes—including Communists—I think you’d have to name Comrades Lenin and Stalin along with the CIA.  I’m thinking of Makhno and his followers, Trotsky, the Purges, P.O.U.M., and so on.  There is quite a list.

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By Anarcissie, September 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

I think if you make out Stalin to be a leftist, along with, say, the ACLU and Food Not Bombs—the usual suspects—then the terms Left and Right, politically speaking, no longer mean anything.

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By OzarkMichael, September 17, 2009 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie said As for Lenin, I was very impressed to learn that he either continued or restarted the Tsar’s secret police and concentration camps, largely with the same personnel.  Business as usual.

I notice that while Ray Duray chided me for saying that the Left ignores its own extremists, Ray merely disagrees with the fact that some of the Cheka were the Tzar’s men. So he needs to read more, because Anarcissie is right about the Cheka. That information is available in books across the political spectrum.

Typical Leftist that he is, Ray didnt point out the important error, which is that Lenin did not continue “business as usual”. No, he took the imprisonment business to a whole new level in terms of volume as well as brutality. All for Leftist idealism.

Solzhenitsyn credits Lenin with inventing the modern concentration camp, and he also opined that Lenin is the most evil person who ever lived. Read the Gulag Archipelago.

Another standard Leftist tactic is to push the sins of Stalin upon the Right, as if Stalin’s work is not the natural and inevitable extension of Lenin’s own policies.

Folktruther is so sad that Lenin died. I do not shed tears for tyrants.

I dont care how many nice charts you link, trying to turn Stalin into a conservative, a Christian, etc, the whole thing is just a whitewash. Stalin is YOUR extremist, Truthdig. You never have learned from his errors because you think they dont apply to you. That is what takes your otherwise strong political philosophy and weakens it. 

A little honesty would do you a lot of good. (and a bit of reading wouldnt hurt, Ray. )

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By Inherit The Wind, September 17, 2009 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment

FT:

Please tell me what facts I made up. You who can’t even keep simple chronology straight.  You’d have Henry VIII chopping his wives’ heads off and then marrying them!

Of course you offer no facts in your attacks on me.  You have none.  Not that that’s anything new.

You ignore the really fine analysis I’ve pointed out (not by me but by others, some unexpected including even TD3), plus the new ones by CD Dillon. Russian policies are pretty clear when you strip away neo-con rhetoric bullshit and Marxist dialectic bullshit as well.  In other words, let’s ignore the fascists and so-called “progressives” like you if we want to approach the truth.

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By Anarcissie, September 17, 2009 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

The business about Lenin using past employees of the Tsarist police in the Cheka appears here and there; my most recent recollection of it was in an article about, I think, Kolyma.  However, a Google search didn’t turn it up.  It did turn up page 170 of Terror: From Tyrannicide to Terrorism edited by Brett Bowden and Michael T. Davis where one Anna Geifman, a historian at Boston University, asserts that “among the Cheka functionaries were many former Okhrana employees.”  Now, Professor Geifman is said (elsewhere) to be a sort of right-wing Zionist, so you may decide to doubt her word on ideological grounds.  I lean towards believing it because, as I say, I have seen the assertion made elsewhere, and it also makes sense in light of the explosive expansion of the Cheka in 1917-1918.  Secret policing is probably an occupation whose efficient performance depends on special skills, and where better to find them than veterans of secret police work?

There are probably books on the origins of the Cheka that would settle this question, but it is difficult to get any material about the Soviet Union that has not been passed through heavy-duty ideological filters.  However, Lenin’s formation of a special secret-police agency with extrajudicial powers including capital punishment, and the use of concentration camps, is not contested by anyone regardless of coloration as far as I know.

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By Folktruther, September 17, 2009 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Ray Duray, the left was not only slaughtered, but the CIA and other organs funded the anti-communist and anti-marxist left as detailed in the British historian’s book WHO PAID THE PIPER? by Francis Conors Saunders.  That is why the Progressive ideology in the US is liberalism, a conservative ideology in other Western countries.

Parenti was one of the theorists blacklisted by American universities, despite his Elite academic credentiasl, large body of scholarly work and innovative theory detailing the power implications of marxism.  And he lists many other noted theorists whose work was also restricted or repressed.  A not insignificant reason why the American people are so clueless, passive and braindead.

That reminds me, you shouldn’t take Inherit seriously.  He learned his marxism from Ayn Rand, the Wall Street Journal and the NYTimes.  Anyone who raises facts he hasn’t read in them is either a marxist dogmatist or an anti-semite, especially if they are for raising his taxes.  He lives in New Jersey, you know, and it has rubbed off.

I didn’t know that the American National Guard was used in the Russian civil war.  The US military considered the adventure a defeat and something to be concealed.  Many of the soldiers were kept in the military after fighting the Gemrans and were really pissed.  There were cases where whole units went over to the communists, waving red flags and all.

We usually don’t get politically sophisticated people like you, Ray, as commenters.  I hope you can stay around a while.  I look forward to exchanging dirty truths.

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By Ray Duray, September 17, 2009 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

Hi Anarcissie,

You wrote: “As for Lenin, I was very impressed to learn that he either continued or restarted the Tsar’s secret police and concentration camps, largely with the same personnel.  Business as usual.”

RGD: Sorry, I’m not buying what you’re selling here. Your history really needs some citations in order for me to digest what it is that you are positing. I reviewed this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheka

I see nothing to indicate that the czar’s men were in the ranks of the Cheka. Unlike in the aftermath of WW II when the Allies decided to rehire thousands of Nazi Party functionaries to help run the GDR in order to suppress the Left, as well as have some effective and capable people in the middle ranks of the bureaucracy.

***
You wrote: “I am sure the sad state of the Left today is in large part due to a century of admiration for authoritarian models like the Soviet state whose operative principles were diametrically opposed to everything the Left is supposed to stand for, and who of course sold out their people the end.”

To add to your comments, I would suggest that interested readers consult William Blum’s “Killing Hope” for listing of many nations where the CIA compiled lists of Left activists, trade unionists and Communists and provided these lists to local thugs who mercilessly slaughter hundreds of thousands of honest citizens from the late 1940s forward.

1953-1979 - Iran, tens of thousands slaughtered and tortured by the Shah’s SAVAK forces.

Early 1960s - Congo, after the CIA assassination of popular leftist Patrice Lumumba, the corrupt Mobuto regime slaughters thousands.

1965 - Indonesia, 500,000 slaughtered as Suharto consolidate power. The majority of the victims had been on CIA death lists.

1968 - Iraq - Thousands slaughtered as Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath Party consolidated power. Again the CIA provided the death lists.

1960s - U.S.A., prominent leaders of the Left are assassinated in to-this-day unresolved circumstances. John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Fred Hampton, etc. The progressive leftist movement never recovers in this country the momentum it had achieved during the Roosevelt Administration due to massive red-baiting, political witchhunts and the aforementioned assassination blitz.

1973 - Chile, the CIA leads an coup plot resulting in the suicide of the popular President Allende, imposing military dictatorship under the corrupt Pinochet who “disappears” thousands of leftists. Similar militarists eliminate left oppositions in this era in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

Killing Hope: http://killinghope.org/

To sum it up, one of the most profound reasons the Left was weakened globally was because it was slaughtered globally.

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By Anarcissie, September 17, 2009 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

I wouldn’t say Stalin caused World War 2, but his alliance with Hitler to carve up eastern Europe in 1939 was certainly a bad move.  It is true the Soviet Union had been frosted off by the British genius Chamberlain, who seems to have admired Hitler, and thought him a fine, honest fellow with whom business could be done, but what was keeping Germany from starting World War 2 was uncertainty about what the U.S.S.R. would do.  I don’t understand why Stalin and company didn’t perceive this, but I suppose everything is clearer in hindsight.  People forget, carefully choose to forget, that Hitler was a very popular fellow before World War 2, and not just with Germans.  Everybody wanted to be his friend.

None of this has anything to do with Stalin being a leftist.  If we go by the supposed origins of the terms “Right” and “Left”, the seating arrangements of the pre-revolutionary French parlement where the friends of the King of France sat on the right and the opposition sat on the left, then the principles of the Right are authority, hierarchy, order, private wealth, and the military virtues, and the principles of the Left are peace, freedom and equality.  In most political systems, the ruling class advertise the latter while doing their best to implement the former.  Using this terminology, which I think is the only coherent way to use it, Stalin seems to have about the same ideological coloration as Ivan the Terrible (a point made famously by the movie).

As for Lenin, I was very impressed to learn that he either continued or restarted the Tsar’s secret police and concentration camps, largely with the same personnel.  Business as usual.

I am sure the sad state of the Left today is in large part due to a century of admiration for authoritarian models like the Soviet state whose operative principles were diametrically opposed to everything the Left is supposed to stand for, and who of course sold out their people the end.

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By Ray Duray, September 17, 2009 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Hallelujah! We have great news today!

The Obama Administration has finally come to its senses regarding the proposed Czech-Polish Anti-Missile system.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8260406.stm

Cheney’s jackass imperialist aggressor scheme has finally been killed off.

This along with killing off the F-22 boondoggle and we have the starts of something to celebrate regarding the rationalization of our defense planning.

Now, if we can just get the fools to stop blowing up wedding parties with Predator drones, we might be on the way to winning back some of the respect the American military monstrosity has lost for our nation.

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By truedigger3, September 17, 2009 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

Curtis Dillon wrote:
“The Russian navy sits less than 50 miles from my flat so this is more than a little concern to me.  Understanding where Russia is going is important to Europe and much of the neighborhood.”
____________________________________________________

Mr. Dillon,
With all due respect, this statement is misleading.
You live in the Ukraine, which is Russia next door neighbour and not living in Miami or London or Hamburg.
I think the one who have reason to worry are the Russians who are being surrounded by military bases and their military is much weaker than the West and couple that with endemic chronic corruption with much weaker economy depending almost solely on exporting oil and gas.
And I think that Putin in reality is buddy buddy with the West.!!!!?

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By truedigger3, September 17, 2009 at 6:33 am Link to this comment

C Curtis Dillon wrote:
“As an indication of his insanity, he put General Zukov (the hero of Moscow and commander of the army that took Berlin) under house arrest because Stalin feared he could use his great popularity with the people to unseat him.”
____________________________________________________

Mr. Dillon,

That story is not true. Yes, Staling might had worried about Zukov and his popularity and influence so he sent him to a far away command probably in Caucusus .
Zukov had nothing but admiration and deep respect for Stalin. Stalin spotted him and recognised his abilities and talents and pushed him up the ranks.
In the ealy seventies when Stalin was out of favor and everyone competed to dump garbage on his legacy, Zukov said lamently: “they can say all what they want about Stalin, but Stalin was a person of extreme intelligence and nerves of steel” describing him during WW2.

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By truedigger3, September 17, 2009 at 6:12 am Link to this comment

Ray Duray wrote:
“It’s been said that the reason Woodrow Wilson betrayed his 1916 campaign promise to keep America out of Europe’s war was that the English were beginning to look like they might lose the war in early 1917 and the J.P. Morgan Bank was facing bankruptcy should the British government be defeated and default on its loans”
_________________________________________________

Ray Duray,

I beg to differ. The reason the US entered WW1 and WW2 is that had the Germans had won, then the US has to confront a united Europe with more people and more resources added to that of its colonies all under very efficient and ruthless central command. That would had been a very dangerous adversary to the security and the future of the US and its ambitious plans.

In my previous post when I said Poland and “then” independent Lithuania, what I meant by “then” is “at that time” and not after Poland.
Execuse my not too good English.

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By bogi666, September 17, 2009 at 4:33 am Link to this comment

RayDuray, I’m not sure the Family included Ho Chi Minh on its list of most admired. If not, its very telling and because he defeated the USG and the Pentagon and likely wouldn’t be in the “Family’s” favor.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, September 17, 2009 at 4:29 am Link to this comment

A PS to some comments:

I would certainly agree that almost every country in Europe plus the US had some part in the war’s start.  One can connect cause and effect dating back hundreds of years to show that an act in one place had a consequence somewhere else.  Hitler would not have found traction were it not for the miserable conditions in Germany after their surrender in WW 1.  So England and France certainly bear some responsibility for his rise to power.  The history of Europe (including czarist Russia) is one continuous stream of ambitions and greed run a muck.  And a certain amount of blatant stupidity and miscalculation by major leaders.  That’s why, I think, so many different opinions are evident here.

However, the article’s author is trying sound a warning about current events.  There is an effort to rebrand Stalin as a really wonderful and caring person who was deeply concerned about his people.  That is blatantly wrong.  However, given that Putin seems intent on becoming the next dictator of Russia and is using Stalin as an example of a “good leader”, we should be worried about his long-term intentions.  He controls much of Europe’s energy supply which gives him more than a bit of influence.  He is also striving to modernize the Russian military (including a new generation of ICBMs immune to ABM technology) and is flexing his considerable muscle around his neighbors.  The Russian navy sits less than 50 miles from my flat so this is more than a little concern to me.  Understanding where Russia is going is important to Europe and much of the neighborhood.

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By dojero, September 17, 2009 at 4:28 am Link to this comment

Ray,

Thanks for that site that tries to shade left-right distinctions.  As always with such tests, the questions are a bit rigged and some just are difficult to answer because they’re posed in either/or ways that don’t work.  But on the whole, I enjoyed it.

Like you, I found myself almost exactly in the spot they show Gandhi and the others.  I suspect many who frequent this site would end there.

As for the Russian responsibility for starting WWII, the respondents here seem generally to be in agreement (except for one very strident naysayer) that the allegation is simply untrue.  That, too, is not surprising.  What disappoints is that Truthdig found this claim worth publishing.

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By bogi666, September 17, 2009 at 4:25 am Link to this comment

The USSR is better described as being Sovietist, and its system of Sovietism. The Bolsheviks just continued the Czars system of feudalism which the proletariat had no stake in the means of production and it was just a continuation of that system by Stalin, for the government to own the means of production, a disastrous system that included the seeds of its own destruction. Ray, great comments about the bankers, then and now. I hadn’t made that connection and you hit the nail right on the head.thanks

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, September 17, 2009 at 4:10 am Link to this comment

I’m not a student of European history so will not step into all the wonderful arguments about who started what and when.  I live in the present Ukraine so must deal with what I have now which is a mess.  But the cult of Stalin is alive and well here and might even be growing.  I have many friends who bristle at even the vaguest hint that Stalin was anything other than a saint to be worshiped.  He did, without any argument from me, take the moribund Soviet “empire” and drive it to victory against Germany.  Without the Soviet military, the western alliance would have been hard pressed to defeat Germany.  It was to our benefit that Hitler chose to invade the USSR when he did instead of crushing the English to deny us a staging point for our invasion.  Thank God Hitler was such a military genius!

That said, Stalin was also anything but a true Communist.  He completed turned the government around from what Lenin originally envisioned.  In the Lenin view, the politburo and general secretary were subservient to the Party Congress.  That would make the general secretary more a figurehead administrator.  Stalin reversed the equation and assumed all power to himself with the politburo acting as an implementer of the secretary’s directives.  The congress became a rubber stamp for his decisions.  He purged anyone who might threaten his power including much of the military leadership.  This is one reason why the USSR was so ill prepared to repulse the German invasion.

The Germans advanced literally to the gates of Moscow before the Russians were able to stop them.  But the toll on the people was horrendous.  The military literally took people off the streets, put them on trains to the front, gave them a uniform, a rifle and a single clip of ammunition and sent them to fight.  They had no training.  Upon arrival, they saw the Germans on one side and Russian infantry on the other.  They were told to either die charging the Germans or be shot as cowards when they retreated.  7 million Soviet soldiers died in this war along with 13 million (or more) civilians.  Only the German army experienced more casualties (10 million).

It was Stalin’s ruthlessness and willingness to sacrifice everything to win that gave the Soviets an advantage.  Once the pushed the Germans into the defensive, it was all over except for the bloodshed.  Stalin wanted Germany to suffer as his country had so there were few prohibitions on the soldiers’ conduct.  Their proclivities became legendary.

So, the bottom line on Uncle Joe would have to be that he was ruthless and intent on keeping power no matter what it took.  He was probably the best leader for the Union during the war but once it was over he should have been eliminated as a dangerously psychotic sociopath.  As an indication of his insanity, he put General Zukov (the hero of Moscow and commander of the army that took Berlin) under house arrest because Stalin feared he could use his great popularity with the people to unseat him.

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By Ray Duray, September 17, 2009 at 4:09 am Link to this comment

Re: “The reason that the Europeans turned against the Bolshevik government was that Lenin defaulted on the loans that the Czar had borrowed from the Western banks to fund WW1, the bankers war.”

It’s been said that the reason Woodrow Wilson betrayed his 1916 campaign promise to keep America out of Europe’s war was that the English were beginning to look like they might lose the war in early 1917 and the J.P. Morgan Bank was facing bankruptcy should the British government be defeated and default on its loans.

America went to war to save the bankers.

Remind anyone of recent history?

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose…

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By Inherit The Wind, September 17, 2009 at 4:00 am Link to this comment

Interesting:
The last 3 posts by
Bogi666, Ray Duray and TD3 in order are all factually correct and accurately portray the reactions in the West to the rise of the Nazis, seen by many Western and latently anti-semitic fools (like the King who abdicated) as a “bulwark” against the Bolshies.

No, I do NOT blame the USSR for starting WWII.  But Stalin did opportunistically use the Non-Aggression Pact of Aug 23, 1939 as an excuse to chop up Poland and to invade Finland.  He was always a problematic ally especially since the Soviet post-war aims were quite different than the Americans’ and Brits’.

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By bogi666, September 17, 2009 at 3:38 am Link to this comment

The reason that the Europeans turned against the Bolshevik government was that Lenin defaulted on the loans that the Czar had borrowed from the Western banks to fund WW1, the bankers war. In fact not to long ago Russia repaid one of its WW1 debt, some $50 million. The western banks then isolated the Bolsheviks because of the loan defaults,forcing Lenin to create an independent banking system. The western countries then had to create the bogeyman theory about the USSR because the public wouldn’t likely support the real reason for opposing the USSR was because they defaulted on their loans to the western bankers. When the USSR invaded Poland and the Poles beat them badly, the world[except for Ronald Reagoon and J. Edgar Hoover]knew the USSR was not capable of taking over the world.The Bolsheviks were demonized to create imagined fears, especially in the USA, to control the population for the sake of creating militarism.

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By Ray Duray, September 17, 2009 at 3:08 am Link to this comment

truthdigger3,

You wrote: “When Hitler started re-armament, Stalin pleaded and begged the British and French to stop him which they could have done very easily and almost effortlessly due the initial very extreme weakness of the German Army.  Stalin couldn’t interfer because he has to crosss Poland and the then indpendent Luthwania who refused and with full agreement from the British and the French to prevent the Russians from crossing to Germany.”

While I’m in basic agreement with you that the major allies including the U.S. were happy to turn a blind eye and profit off of Hitler’s rearmament during the 1930s, I take exception to your sense of direction. Lithuania would not be on the route from the U.S.S.R. via Poland to Berlin.

We should note that Hitler was a favorite of much of the British aristocracy in the 1930s who delighted that Hitler was imposing law-and-order on German society and persecuting trade unionists, socialists and Communists. We should also note that American luminaries like Prescott Bush, Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh were also favorably inclined toward Nazi militarization and the first two of these were actively engaged in violating the strictures of the Versailles Treaty regarding the rearmament of the German state.

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By truedigger3, September 17, 2009 at 2:31 am Link to this comment

Accusing Stalin of starting WW2 is falsifying history.
England and France could have very easily almost effortlessly prevented WW2 from starting and here is why and how:
When Hitler assumed power in Jan. 1933, the German army was nothing but a small police force,  only allowed rifles and very limited number of machine guns as stipulated by Versai treaty signed by defeated Germany after WW1. The Germans had no air force or navy or armor or artillary of any kind.
When Hitler started re-armament, Stalin pleaded and begged the British and French to stop him which they could have done very easily and almost effortlessly due the initial very extreme weakness of the German Army.  Stalin couldn’t interfer because he has to crosss Poland and the then indpendent Luthwania who refused and with full agreement from the British and the French to prevent the Russians from crossing to Germany.
Stalin knew that the aim of the British and French is to let Germany destroy the Soviet union and when that is done and Germany was depleted and weak from its war with the Soviet Union then France and England would attack Germany. It is like striking two birds with a single stone.
Hitler understood this game plan too and that was the reason that he signed the pact with Stalin.

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By Ray Duray, September 16, 2009 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

My Dear Folktruther,

You are a wonderful person!

Re: “Ray, the figure of 16 countries is given by Michael Parenti in DIRTY TRUTHS or BLACKSHIRTS & REDS, I forget which.”

Ah, Michael Parenti. I know him. I helped host him at a public lecture at the Tower Theatre in Bend, OR five years ago. It was a spectacular success. We had a standing room only crowd of about 500 people in the theatre and we turned away many latecomers.

Thanks for reminding me of Blackshirts & Reds and Dirty Truths. There are useful segments of each on Google Books:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/l39o8e
http://preview.tinyurl.com/n9bujj

And thanks again for introducing me to Philip Knightley’s “The First Casualty” http://tinyurl.com/nubtwz

I’m reminded by this of my friend Christina Borjesson and “Into the Buzzsaw”    http://tinyurl.com/nwmgzx

It is truly stunning what most people especially in America do not know about the true and hidden history of their country.

Regarding America’s heinous treachery in Russia during the Civil War, I am aware that the Michigan National Guard were employed to set up a front at Murmansk using war materiels that had been shipped by the capitalists to the Czar’s military prior to the Revolution. I have read but cannot confirm that the California National Guard was involved with the Czechs in Eastern Siberia. Do you know anything about this or about any other army units and where the fought Trotsky’s Red Army? This is very hidden history and hardly accessible to us in America today.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 16, 2009 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther:

Do you know NOTHING?  On June 22, 1941, Britain had been at WAR with Germany for 2 years and was back to her island, being bombed. France had FALLEN!  There was nobody left to fight to the West and Hitler had this awesome war machine.  So he violated the treaty he had with the USSR and turned on them.

The Brits were fighting for their lives—they weren’t going to say “Pretty please, Mr. Hitler. Won’t you please attack Russia?”.  France wasn’t saying anything. The Vichy government was a puppet of the Germans.

History doesn’t happen the way you want it because you want it to and read how it SHOULD happen according to some 3rd rate Marxist “historian”.  You cannot ignore the dates of events to make it fit your “theories”.

Facts are facts but deliberate ignorance and fairy tales are what the “birthers” do.

Were you drinking before you posted tonight?

(BTW, Lenin not only DETESTED Stalin, his WHOLE style of management and decision making was 180 degrees opposite Stalin’s.  Lenin consulted, used and FOLLOWED the decisions of the PolitBuro—even if he didn’t agree with them.  Stalin was all ego—Lenin HATED ego and wouldn’t even go to a birthday party in his honor.  You cannot postulate that Lenin would have followed the same policies as Stalin.  There is NO evidence of that, but LOTS of evidence to the contrary.  Try actually LEARNING what the facts are before you go off half-cocked “analyzing”  what ain’t so.)

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By Folktruther, September 16, 2009 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

Ray, the figure of 16 countries is given by Michael Parenti in DIRTY TRUTHS or BLACKSHIRTS & REDS, I forget which.  In THE FIRST CASUALTY, how foreign correspondants have lied about the wars they covered, I count 15 invading countries.  The number of troops is given as three hundred thousands.  The number of casualties from the civil war is given as 14 million.

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By pgg804, September 16, 2009 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

British and French conspiring against Germany has never really stopped.

From Britain’s Financial Times - September 10, 2009 “A misreading of the past
holds a lesson for future”

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c230c7f8-9e3c-11de-b0aa-00144feabdc0.html

This article discusses newly released classified documents showing how Great
Britain’s Margaret Thatcher and France’s Mitterand opposed German re-
unification.  There comments display hatred and what appear to be envy or fear
of Germany.  Just as these countries felt there was nothing wrong with stealing
Austrian and German territory in 1919 and then created a world war to preserve
those new borders, Thatcher and Mitterand discuss re-creating the French-
British-Russian alliance of 1913 to start a war with Germany in the 1990’s to
prevent German re-unification.

Excerpt from the above article:

‘Picture Britain’s Margaret (now Baroness) Thatcher and France’s François
Mitterrand sitting down together in Strasbourg only weeks after the wall had
come down to ponder the re-emergence of the “German question”.

Mr Kohl, the British note of the meeting reports Mrs Thatcher as saying, had
forgotten that “the division of Germany was the result of a war which Germany
had started”. For Mr Mitterrand, the threat was of a Germany “pressing
forward” as it had done under Hitler in the 1930s, with others again hesitating
to contain it.

In this and subsequent conversations between the two leaders few options were
left unexplored. Downing Street officials speculated about renewing the
entente cordiale between Britain and France to contain the new Germany. A
new Anglo-American alliance was another possibility. Mr Mitterrand lamented
that Germany had never accepted its frontiers; Mrs Thatcher responded by
conjuring from her handbag a map showing Germany in its many, often
expansionary, configurations.

The French president fretted about the return of the “bad Germans” of history
and, disinterring the ghosts of 1913, pondered another Franco-British-Soviet
alliance against Berlin. West German “agents”, he thought, had been stirring up
the demands for reunification on the streets of the former German Democratic
Republic, East Germany.’

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By Ray Duray, September 16, 2009 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Should Stalin be considered a Leftist? Yes, however it is more informative to use the matrix created a few years ago called the Political Compass to score Stalin (and othera) on a grid that also considers Authoritarianism vs. Libertarianism as well as Left-Right orientation.

Thus: http://web.nickshanks.com/personal/compass

You can find out much more and even find out if you are a leftie at this website: http://www.politicalcompass.org/index

When I took the test I found out that I’m pretty much in the same quadrant as the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Dennis Kucinich, as a few examples of what would be labeled left-libertarians.

YMMV

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By Ray Duray, September 16, 2009 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

Hi Folktruther,

You wrote: “...the invasion of 16 capitalist countirres in 1918, causing the deaths of many millions in the civil war, enlightened all the Bolsheveks as to what they could expect from capitalism.”

I am aware that the US, UK and France were the major foreign participants in what eventually became 26 separate fronts fought upon by the Red Army during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. I was not aware that 16 antagonistic nations participated. Do you have a URL to share on that matter?

***
Wikipedia’s entry on “Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War”  http://bit.ly/Y37IR  has the following listed as an authoritative souce that 14 nations participated in opposing the Bolsheviks:

  1. ^ A History of Russia, 7th Edition, Nichlas V. Riasanovsky & Mark D. Steinberg, Oxford University Press, 2005

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By Folktruther, September 16, 2009 at 5:58 pm Link to this comment

Anaarcissie, you are talking American drivel.  It is a great tragedy that Lenin died in 1924, but if he lived, he would have done some of hte same things stalin did, only with less brutality.  the invasion of 16 capitalist countirres in 1918, causing the deaths of many millions in the civil war, enlightened all the Bolsheveks as to what they could expect from capitalism.  they therefore had to develop rapidly under a form of siege socialism.

In 1931 Stalin made a famous speech decrying the backwardness of Russia, stating that they must develop within a decade or they would be crushed.  In 1941, tacitly supported by Britain and France, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union.  Stalin is not my favoite historical figure, but he saved the Soviet Union.  he is decried in the US learned and mass media for the same reason that Gobichev is praised, since the latter helped to destroy it.

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By pgg804, September 16, 2009 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Most countries celebrate their leaders for their good deeds and downplay or
ignore their faults.  Stalin led the Soviet Union in defeating Germany in WW II. 
Great Britain and the USA helped, but the Soviet Union was the main power for
the allies and did most of the fighting.  For that the Russians celebrate him as
a hero and ignore the atrocities he committed.

Similarly the USA celebrates Thomas Jefferson as a great man and a “founding
father” of the USA.  They ignore that he had slaves and had sex with his female
slaves.  More than likely this was rape and this is completely ignored.  Just like
male bosses used to take advantage of their superior position over their
secretary’s, Jefferson took advantage of his female slaves.  Similarly other
American presidents faults (far worse than Jefferson’s) are ignored.

Stalin didn’t start WW II.  Germany attacked Poland in 1939 when Poland
refused to give the city of Danzig (Danzig’s population was 95% German at that
time) back to Germany.  Poland was created in 1919 and German land was
stolen from Germany to create Poland. 

Similarly, Czechoslovakia was created in 1919 by taking land from Austria. 
There had never been a country called Czechoslovakia in history, but the allies
stole Bohemia and Moravia from Austria (Hitler’s country) to create
Czechoslovakia.  Millions of Germans (Austrians) became citizens of the new
country the allies created and their power was stripped from them.

Its quite natural that Germany demanded back the land stolen from them in
1919 and the millions of Germans and Austrians be freed from foreign
occupation.

Israel attacks its neighbors about once a year.  It has attacked Lebanon
repeatedly over the years and killed 1,400 defenseless Palestinians at the
beginning of this year when it attacked Gaza.  When Israel attacks Lebanon or
Gaza, Great Britain and France don’t declare war on Israel.  When the USA
attacked Iraq a few years ago, Great Britain and France didn’t declare war on
the USA.

Germany started a war with Poland to take back land stolen from them and
Great Britain made what would have been a small war between Germany and
Poland into WW II.  France helped escalate the war when it declared war on
Germany shortly thereafter.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 16, 2009 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment

The lack of knowledge of historical fact here, and the absurd conclusions formed there from, are truly disgusting—like the Georgian psychopath who was raised in Christian schools was a Jew.  No, idiot—TROTSKY (Lev Bronstein) was the Jew in the leadership—and Stalin murdered him.

Next: The chronology of the start of the European War. It tells the truth.
1) It’s perfectly true that Britain and France were trying to get Hitler to look East at Russia rather than West….but that was in 1939.  Both the right-wing diplomat George F. Kennan and Soviet propagandistic historians agree completely on this point—Russia acting in self-defense in the international arena.
2) August 23, 1939, the USSR and Hitler sign a non-aggression pact. They agree to split up Poland and Germany promises hands-off in Finland.
3) Sept 1, 1939: Germany declares war on Poland and attacks.
4) Sept 3 or 4, 1939: Britain and France declare war on Germany.
5) 1940: The fiasco at Dunkirk where the UK and France get their asses kicked.  The US starts backing them via “Lend-Lease”
Now jump ahead:
6) Spring of 1941, (April, I think): US Ambassador (I think it was Laurence Steinhardt) informs Stalin the US has information that Germany is planning to attack by summer.
7) The Soviet Union, to guard its back, signs a non-aggression Pact with Japan.
8) June 22, 1941: Germany attacks Russia. The Red Army is stampeded and falls back because…there are few competent leader because….they were all SHOT in the 30’s.
9) The UK and France ally with the USSR.  The State Department IMMEDIATELY determines the USSR is eligible for Lend-Lease.  Shipments to Murmansk begin.
10) Dec 7, 1941—Pearl Harbor.  The US is OFFICIALLY in the War.  Aid flows openly to Russia.
11) Aug 6(?) 1945—Hiroshima.
12) Aug 9, 1945—Nagasaki
13) The USSR declares war on Japan and abrogates its treaty with them.
14) As Japan retreats from “Manchukuo” (Manchuria) the Russians move in and strip it.

Stalin was NOT a competent manager.  He starved over a million Ukrainians to break the back of “rich Mujhiks” (farmers) and create collective farms.

He gutted his military leadership out of his paranoia, allowing the Nazis to nearly win, only beating them back at a TERRIBLE cost.

His wife’s “suicide” was almost certainly murder—who would hang Stalin?

He was good at one thing: Keeping power.  His personal cruelty knew no bounds.

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By dojero, September 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

It’s disgusting that PS (whoever that is) is now bringing Truthdig to the revisionist history being spouted by the right wing Eastern Europeans.

The USSR did NOT start WWII.  To claim that the pact of 1939 was somehow more of an impact than the pact that Neville Chamberlain made in 1938 makes no sense. The fact is that Stalin had every right to assume that England would sit idly by while Hitler invaded Russia.  His pact with Germany was nothing more than self defense. 

If Stalin is to be condemned as complicit with Hitler in starting WWII, then we must also condemn:

The UK - For Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement and for their sitting idly by while Hitler took Czechoslovakia. 

France - Who literally accepted the German invasion and created the Vichy government to support the Nazi occupation of the country.

The US - Without their industrial support, Hitler wouldn’t have been able to build his war machine, much less get his supply of poison gas.  In spite of repeated begging from Churchill, the US sat by and watched while Hitler nearly conquered all of Europe, only joining the war after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December, 1941.

Without Stalin and the USSR, the Allied forces would have lost the war.  Russia sacrificed more than 20 million lives in defeating Hitler, far, far more than any other country. 

The Eastern European countries (most of which were complicit with Hitler for most of the war) want their own histories of atrocities to be forgotten in an orgy of attacks against the Soviets and Stalin. 

But that doesn’t mean that Truthdig should publish such sham history.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, September 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie says: I don’t think Stalin should be considered a leftist.

Ray Duray could explain it to you. Except he is the one who thinks that you already know Stalin is a Leftist.

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By anony, September 16, 2009 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“helped launch WWII” ?

trite idiot puffery like this only serve to undermine this site’s legitimacy.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, September 16, 2009 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael:
’... Truthdig Leftists will never acknowledge the horrendous evil that dwells on their own side of the political spectrum.’

I don’t think Stalin should be considered a leftist.  He started out as a seminarian who became a gang leader and bank robber; he seems to have hooked up with the Bolsheviks because, I guess, they were the biggest gang and bank-robbery specialists going in his time and place.  Nothing in his later career except some very abstract talk suggests any affection for leftist principles like equality and freedom.  In 1936 he did author, or cause to be authored, a rather liberal constitution for the U.S.S.R., but of course never put it into practice.  It is remarkable that Stalin suckered so many leftists into believing he was one of them, but we needn’t be misled at this late date.

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By bogi666, September 16, 2009 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

Ozarkmichael, FYI the word ignoramus is plural and it’s nice to confess your ignorance. Your ignorance is displayed by your lack of understanding of the definition of ignoramus. The word ends in us so instead of attributing your ignorance to others just speak for yourself.

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By johannes, September 16, 2009 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

In history the Poles attacked Russia more as visa versa, the last big one wash with Napoleon, the problem is that the Poles are to katholic for where they live.

But the Poles allways have a bether press as the Russians, maby while their live so many in the USA.

Its tru that they made apointments with the Khans of the Tartaars, to attack from both sides, the Tartaars toke every year 100thousends of people in slavery, most where sold to the Turks, for ther Harems and the boys for their Janitsaars army, so thats why the Russians don’t love the Poles and not the Tartaars.

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By Ray Duray, September 16, 2009 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

Hi OzarkMichael,

Re: “1) Only on Truthdig could the world’s most evil communist be turned into a American conservative Christian fundamentalist CEO.”

You are not very well read. There are muliple instances of Jeff Sharlet’s great book “The Family” being discussed at Democracy Now, Common Dreams, WHYY’s Fresh Air program and dozens of other media outlets where Sharlet is liberally quoted as saying that the Christian authoritarians in the Family are admirers of Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh and Hitler. The point being they love them some strong men and hate democracy with a passion.

You flunked on that observation.

***
Re: “2) Truthdig Leftists will never acknowledge the horrendous evil that dwells on their own side of the political spectrum.”

I note that the term “gulag” brought up 160 citations on this website. It seems that we do discuss leftie evil here.

You flunked on this second observation.

Maybe you should just wander back to Michelle Malkin’s blog where your lack of intelligence might be more appreciated?

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, September 16, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

Reading the article and posts by the local ignoramus bogi666, and echoed by Stephen Smoliar, I have but two things to say:

1) Only on Truthdig could the world’s most evil communist be turned into a American conservative Christian fundamentalist CEO.

2) Truthdig Leftists will never acknowledge the horrendous evil that dwells on their own side of the political spectrum.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, September 16, 2009 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

Stephen Smoliar:
’... As I see it, this reinforces the precept that you need authoritarianism to get through times of crisis;  when times are good, you can afford the “luxury” of such things as individual rights. ‘

A dubious precept, but certainly widely believed.  And its wide acceptance is no doubt connected with the propensity of capitalist owners, managers, politicians and bureaucrats to constantly create the crises which make them seem necessary and valuable.  No wonder the seminarian-thug Dzhugashvili turns out to be the ideal CEO.

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By Ray Duray, September 16, 2009 at 8:03 am Link to this comment

Hi C.Curtis.Dillon,

Re: “What is pissing the Poles off is Putin’s implication that Poland, not Russia, started the eastern front attack on Sept. 16th.”

I can just hear my Polski Mom from her grave now. smile

One thing that’s pretty clear in my mind is that there’s little love lost between the Western Slavs and Eastern Slavs.

As to Putin’s preposterous claim about Poland attacking the Russians, what else is he going to say? He’s the new grand imperial wizard now. [Oops, sorry, I’m confusing the Kremlin with the KKK.] Putin’s job is to be the rah-rah-rah boy for Russian imperiaiism. It just would not fit his macho man image to say “oh, sorry, yeah, Russia was an immoral thug and attacked the innocent Poles.”

Heck, even Barry Obama isn’t going to admit that the ‘USA-USA’ tried to Kill Castro 638 different ways.

***
Thanks for the clarification on Tartars vs. Kossacks. So, did the Tartars displace the Khazaris in that region? Or am I still hopelessly confused about the murky geopolitics of the Crimea? Of course, I am. smile

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By johannes, September 16, 2009 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

Stalin, wash not more evil as Churchil or Rosenveldt, its the big powerplay, the same as on the moment, with the media making or breaking people and ideé‘s, the biggest and best liars are the hero’s.

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