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Stalin reconsidered

2009-12-22 19:03:26.994418+00 by Dan Lyke 10 comments

I wish I could find this as a non-AP article so I'd be linking for posterity, but Russian Communist Party asks for a day when people can stop with the criticism of Stalin and focus on the good aspects of his reign. Deputy parliament speaker Ivan Melnikov is quoted as saying:

We would very much like for any discussion of the mistakes of the Stalin epoch to be silenced today, so that people could reflect on Stalin's personality as a creator, a thinker and a patriot

So, just for one day, let's not focus on genocide on scales that made Hitler jealous, let's not focus on the deliberate mismanagement of the Soviet economy, resulting in widespread famine, his destruction of institutions of learning or forward thinking, including killing off smart people wholesale, thereby retarding technological advancement and standards of living... Let's just focus on the good bits of Stalin.

And after that, maybe a moment of appreciation for Mao, and Pol Pot, and the Khmer Rouge, and Che Guevera and maybe even a little love for Fidel Castro.

Then we can go back to reality.

[ related topics: Quotes Sociology Dictators Economics ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-24 11:08:25.998064+00 by: Chris

Well, I think for a country supposedly founded with one of it's guiding principles being that "All men are created equal" that the fact that slavery took root and was only abolished after a major civil war...............NO, I don't believe that I am looking in the wrong place, injustice on ANY scale or level is wrong, hell, as recently as the 60's here in Jacksonville the rednecks were handing out axe handles downtown on Saturday and encouraging the recipients to " go get yourselves a n****r" So, to say "the violence against African Americans was pretty minor (once we got past the whole slavery thing) is perhaps trivializing a horrendous chapter of our history. Systematic violence against a specific targeted group, whether it be on a Kristalnacht or a early morning raid on a sleeping village or the outcome of a whiskey-fueled Klan rally, what's the difference? To paraphrase Rodney King " Can't we all get a longneck" Merry Christmas to ALL!

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-24 09:20:21.521058+00 by: ebradway

Chris: I think you are looking in the wrong place - the violence against African Americans was pretty minor (once we got past the whole slavery thing) compared to the deliberate genocide of indigenous Americans. Even when we stopped slaughtering their bison and giving them smallpox infected blankets, we continued to deprive them of their culture by discouraging them to learn their own languages as late as the 1970s. Of course, we never had any treaties with these people saying we'd do otherwise...

#Comment Re: End of Empire made: 2009-12-23 19:31:04.059162+00 by: jeff

One has to wonder when America gets to the point where it produces absolutely nothing for the world to consume, what will become of US? I blame Washington, Wall Street, and the elitist special interest organizations which have largely turned the screws to the "American Dream."

#Comment Re: Dictators Economics Sociology made: 2009-12-23 13:59:56.631788+00 by: karenlyke

mismanagement of, or is it insistence upon, the global economy -- resulting in widespread starvation and destruction of our fertile soil: imposing chemical agriculture and GMO (non)foodstuffs across the world or paved the fertile ground to build shopping centers and warehouses), converting practical application of understanding the subtleties and intricacies of nature into debt generating "driving and spraying", growing commodities so a few can profit, instead of food to nourish the local community, thus creating inexorable dependency on oil and massive military-industrial complexes to enforce access to that oil, killing how many innocent civilians and destroying irreplaceable historical artifacts in the process. The global economy has even removed all manufacturing and physically productive labor (with its concomitant skillsets) from our shores leading to massive unemployment. This is not only an economic disaster, numerous laws obstruct meaningful and soul-satisfying participation in our own local economies. Here in the democratic US the credit doesn't even go to one individual; it gets spread across several administrations. We even support media hosts (Fox TV, Limbaugh etc) who spew forth thoughtless hatefilled diatribes proving that thought and education in this country are irrelevant. There's more, but you get the idea. You don't have to be a furriner to wreak damage. The wealth of a nation is in the health of its soil.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-23 13:20:16.945527+00 by: Chris


#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-23 13:15:29.416261+00 by: Chris

Darfur........Rwanda.....and the Armenian genocide which is almost forgotten are more examples of the butchery that man is capable of. If you want to look closer to home, here in the US, the South has a long history and tradition of lynchings, floggings, slavery and still some of the old poisons linger just below the surface, and it would not take much to bring them to the surface. That to me is the irony, how can the same evolutionary track that produced Bach, DaVinci, Ghandi, and countless other examples of the pinacles that man is capable of attaining, and still spew for horrors such as Auschwitz, one of the gates of hell? Is that what is meant by the duality of our nature?

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-23 04:45:56.709327+00 by: Dan Lyke

And from Neil Innes to Gloria Estefan's "Let It Loose", where would we be without Mao?

More seriously: It's easy to leave this at the feet of the politicians who inspire the violence, but they wouldn't have been able to kill as many as they did without the inspired following their ideas. One of the reasons I think it's important to call out and mock stuff like this, because... well... it's still happening. It's been pointed out that the vast majority of the casualties in WWII were soldiers, that ratio is, at least in wars currently prosecuted by the U.S., arguably reversed to where civilians are now killed at a rate which far outnumbers enemy combatants.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-23 00:49:21.562351+00 by: m

From start to finish the 20th century saw some 120 million civilians slaughtered in a variety of genocides and holocausts. This horrific total is not the result of soldier killing soldier, nor is it collateral damage of civilians. But rather one group attempting to wipe out another. Mao and Stalin are the two largest contributors to these abhorrent practices that Homo sapiens sapiens seems to be so fond of repeating.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-22 21:17:32.993924+00 by: Chris

and while we are on the subject, Che certainly had a lot of tee shirts printed, and I seem to recall my ex-wife having some of that Khmer Rouge stuff on her makeup table, and we bought one of them Pol Pot things at a flea market, was going to make chili in it..... so, sometimes you just got to look past people's flaws, but the problem is that there's usually more flaws behind them. Shore can be a puzzle sometimes.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-22 21:10:54.527743+00 by: Chris

well, didn't one of Stalin's guys invent some sort of cocktail? Was a rather odd recipe, used gasoline, I believe.....