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Sunday, July 20, 2008

EDITORIAL: Russia and Stalin, the Love Affair Continues


Russia and Stalin: The Love Affair Continues

Police in Nizhny Novgorod have arrested a man who shot dead two pet parrots after his wife refused to buy him beer, news agencies reported.When his wife refused to go to the shop, the man became enraged, seized an air pistol and opened fire on the two birds, which were inside a cage, Interfax reported, citing a regional police official. No humans were harmed in the incident.

-- Moscow Times, July 18 2008
Russia is an insane country where, as in the mafia, people really believe they can simply demand respect rather than earning it, killing anyone who fails to deliver, and the above news item perfectly encapsulates that insanity. Both Tsarist Russia and Communist Russia collapsed, in the space of just one century, because of this crazy, self-destructive obliviousness to reality. There are others, too many others to count.

Last week for instance there were dozens of news stories about a contest now underway on state-sponsored Russian TV to identify Russia's greatest historical figure. In internet voting, Russians were having great difficulty deciding who their #1 choice was -- the dictator Nicholas II or the mass-murdering dictator Josef Stalin. When voting was suspended "for technical reasons" on Wednesday, Nicholas II had received 275,065 votes and Stalin had 273,877 votes. In the third place was Vladimir Lenin with a paltry 188,372 votes. As the Wall Street Journal reported: "Stalin took an early and large lead in the contest but was narrowly overtaken by Nicholas II on Monday as thousands of monarchists and anti-communists organized an anti-Stalin 'clickathon.' Nikolai Lukyanov, chairman of a large monarchist group, said a Stalin victory would shame Russia internationally. He said the 'clickathon' was organized to show that Russians 'are no lover of Stalin, disgrace and blood.'"

In effect, though, Lukhyanov was lying. The "clickathon" was organized to hide the fact that Russians love Stalin, disgrace and blood, not to alter that reality. Russia's leading opposition politician, the Communist Party's Gennady Zyuganov, stated proudly that if Stalin were back in charge of the country he could solve it's problems "in one day." Imagine Germany's main opposition leader saying that about Hitler.

We believe it's clear that the online voting dramatically understates Stalin's popularity in Russia, and not only because of Lukyanov's manipulation of the vote (a measure Stalin would have, ironically, heartily approved). Only about 10% of Russia's population has any access to the Internet, and those who can routinely utilize it are few and far between. Netherlands, a tiny country nearly 1/10 Russia's size, has almost as many Internet users. So in other words, no internet vote can accurately capture the true attitudes of the people of Russia.

As the Wall Street Journal reported, and as we have routinely done: "New textbooks hail Stalin as an effective manager, and TV documentaries stress his achievements and alleged selflessness." In the Russian people's defense, one might point out that they simply don't know that Stalin's "victory" in World War II, the main reason he receives such adulation, has a few dirty secrets:
  • Stalin caused the war in the first place
  • Though "defeated" the Nazi army obliterated huge swaths of Russia, hobbling it forever
  • As bad as the Nazi army was, Stalin was far worse, murdering more Russians in his "gulag archipelago" than Hitler ever dreamed of doing. The Wall Street Journal reported: "Sergey Kovalyov, a former dissident who spent seven years in Soviet labor camps and three years in internal exile in Siberia, said the popularity of Stalin was "very sad. How many people did he take away?" said Mr. Kovalyov, his voice trailing off.
But in the end, the Russian people's jaw-droppingly barbaric ignorance of their own history is their own fault. They chose to look the other way at Stalin's atrocities while they were happening. They either watched passively as their neighbors were taken away or they collaborated and informed on them, rather than rising up to strike down Stalin as they had done with Hitler. They willingly allowed Vladimir Putin, a proud KGB spy, to take and hold permanent dictatorial power even after watching that same organization break Russia's spine and drive it to its knees.

Indeed, given the Stalin vote it's not hard to understand why Putin himself remains so popular in Russia.


Anonymous said...

THOSE WHO wrote this article are typical uneducated ignorant from USA (were basic education is nintendo type propaganda war games and internet porn)or agent working for the NED(national endowment for democracy) as if USA was a democracy, AlGore had 530,000 more votes than Bush who was installed at the white house by a judge friend of the family. DickCheney"Halliburton" Rumsfeld who made torture mandatory (especially in Irak,s illegal war)and Bush legalizing it later as long as it was practiced in another sovereign country. USA where corruption is legal under the name of lobbeying and speculation. HOW can somebody from this evil country criticize anything from Russia.

Slavabez said...

As of the moment I am writing this, the “vote” totals ( for the top 5 show:

Nicholas II – 422,376
Stalin – 411,705
Lenin – 202,450
Vysotsky – 171,904
Peter I – 138,843

and total number of “votes” is 2,907,780.

Although this is obviously not a scientific survey, and although it is obvious that the communists have been stacking the “voting” in favor of Stalin, it is still interesting to observe the total numbers, as statistics can be deceiving. See for a simple explanation. From this premise, we have these results: of a total of 2,907,780 “votes” cast, the total for the communists (Stalin and Lenin) was 614,155, which is only 4.735% of the total “votes” cast! This is because the anti-communists tend to vote for a variety of different figures (there are 500 candidates listed, and the top 50 are counted as the most serious ones).
If the anti-communists were given a choice of only 2 figures, they would obviously trounce the communists otherwise also.

This is also interesting:
Notice how different generations tend to vote.

Anonymous said...

Well it seems most american idiots kepp buying the old fairy tale of Stalin beginning the WWII, as if there were no large money transfers from America and Europe corporations to Germany to help them grow their war industry. This has been done with the only purpose to chanellize Hitler's agression to Russia. We've got enough of lying to put the blame on those who were attacked by "democratic" nations since revolution. We know the game. We know how "helpful" you are.

Anonymous said...

Nicolas II was not a dictator, he was an anointed Emperor.

Anonymous said...

Winston here:

Looks like one part of this is being missed... Lenin

He was a very nasty piece of work too. Don't believe the people who try to say otherwise. Western Trots have been doing a whitewash on him for years, trying to pretend that even if Stalin was bad, Lenin was ok. Wrong. There were both horrible.

Add Lenin's votes to Stalin's and you get an overwhelming vote for totalitarian mass murderers.

..not nice

Michael said...

Alla Pugacheva? Where is she? I was sure she would win.

Slavabez said...

The candidates were limited to dead people. That's why Solzhenitsyn, Putin, and Pugacheva are not included.

Tower Bolshevik said...

For Winston:

The only crimes Lenin was guilty of is overthrowing and smashing Russian imperialism, and pulling Russia out of a sickening war. He stipped the landlords, clergy, and ruling class from power, and transfered it to workers, soldiers, peasants councils. Such a move would be a nightmare for racist imperialist scum like Churchill or Wilson. That's the only reason you think Lenin was bad.

Tower Bolshevik said...

Who was the author of this article? Waldo Geraldo Faldo from 'Family Matters'? No U.S patriot in their right mind could possibly call their tyrannical friend Czar Nikolai Romanov II a dictator. What idiocy to say that Stalin caused the war with the Nazis! Stalin's whole program was avioding wars, as well as compromising with imperialists through cynical treaties. What do you think the gross Nazi-Soviet Pact was about? What Stalin did cause is for the Red Army to be ruthlessly beaten back by the Nazi-led invasion after murdering 99% of his officers. Men like Tukhachevsky, Egorov, Yakir who kicked the snot out of the Whites and their American, British, French, Japanese, Turkish masters and the other puppets.

True there was no victory for Stalin, but for the Red Army. If Stalin murdered more Russians than Hitler could ever have dreamed, then it is a mystery why Stalin isn't a hero to russophobes. Not only that, but the fact that Stalin murdered countless of dedicated Communists, and betrayed revolutions for peaceful coexistence with imperialism.

It is ironic that Stalin should be idolized, but as far as "jaw-droppingly barbaric ignorance" the Americans are the champions in that when they think their system is a model to envy.

But really if the Nazis were so bad, then can someone explain to me the words and wisdom of Winston Churchill from the 1939 edition of Great Contemporaries?:

"The Story of that Struggle cannot be read without admiration for the courage, the perseverance, the vital force which enabled him to challenge, defy, conciliate, or overcome, all authorities or resistance which barred his path…I have always said that if Great Britain were defeated in war, I hoped we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among the nations."

elmer said...

From "The Whisperers," by Orlando Figes, a documented book about the Great Terror of 1937, instituted and engineered by Stalin.

Page 264:

In this atmosphere of mistrust, hatred and malice it did not take a lot for petty arguments and jealousies to turn into denunciations. In 1937, Boris Molotkov, a country doctor from the Gorkii region, was approached by the district NKVD office, an old friend of the family, who aked him to perform an abortion for his mistress. When Molotkov refused (abortions were illegal at that time), the NKVD officer arranged a series of informers to denounce teh doctor as a 'counter-revolutionary'. Boris was arrested and imprisoned in the district jail. His wife was also arrested on trumped-up charges for the murder of a worker in the local hospital.

Page 265:

Ivan Malygin was an engineer in Sestroretsk, north of Leningrad. He was highly skilled and respected by the workers in his factory, who called him a 'tsar-engineer' and even helped his family when he was arrested by the NKVD. Malygin was something of a local celebrity. He wrote textbooks, popular pamphlets, and articles for the Soviet press.

He lived with his wife and their two children on the outskirts of the town in a large wooden house, which he had built himself. But, as often happens, his wealth and fame attracted jealousy. Malygin was arrested on teh basis of a denunciation by a colleague at the factory, who was envious of his success. He claimed that Malygin used his house to maintain secret contacts with the Finns. It turned out that the denunciation had been organized by a small group of NKVD officers, who forced Malygin to sell thim his house for 7,000 roubles (it had recently been valued at nearly half a million). The officers threatened to arrest his wife if he refused to sell. Malygin was shot. His wife and children were evicted from the house, which was taken over by the NKVD officers and their families. Their descendants live there to this day.

elmer said...

More from "The Whisperers"

page 271

After her arrest in 1937, Yevgenia Ginzburg was betrayed by many of her friends. They were forced to denounce her to her face during her interrogation in the Kazan jail (such 'confrontations' were frequently arranged by the NKVD). One of them was Volodia Diakonov, a writer on the editorial staff at the newspaper where she had worked. 'We were old friends,' Ginzburg recalls.

Our fathers had been schoolmates, I had helped him to get his job, and had gladly, almost lovingly, taught him his trade as a journalist. He was five years my junior. He had often said he was as fond of me as of a sister.

During their confrontation the interrogating officer (who spoke Russian poorly) read out the statement that Diakonov had made, denouncing Ginzburg as a member of a 'counter-revolutionary terrorist group' at the newspaper. Diakonov attempted to deny this, claiming he had only said that she had held an important post on the editorial staff, but the officer insisted that he sign a statement confirming the existence of such a group.

'Volodya," I said mildly, 'you know it's a trick. You never said anything of the kind. By signing this you'll be causing the death of hundreds of your comrades, people who have always been decent to you.'

[The interrogator's] eyes nearly popped out of his head.

'How dare you exert pressure on witness! I send you straight away to the lowest punishment cell. And you, Dyakonov, you signed all this yesterday when you were alone here. Now you refuse! I have you arrested at once for giving false evidence.'

He made a show of reaching for the bell - and Volodya, looking like a rabbit in front of a boa constrictor, slowly wrote his name in a hand as shaky as though he had had a stroke and quite unlike the bold sweep of the pen with which he signed his articles on the moral code of the new age. Then he whispered almost inaudibly:

'Forgive me, Zhenya. We've just had a daughter. I have to stay alive.'

elmer said...


From page 272:

How did people respond to the sudden dissapearance of colleagues, friends and neighbours in the Great Terror? Did they believe that they were really 'spies' and 'enemies', as claimed by the Soviet press? Surely they could not think that of people they had known for many years?


Nadezhda Grankina encountered many Party members in the Kazan prison in 1938. They all continued to believe in the Party line. When she told them of the famine in 1932, they said 'it was lie, that I was exaggerating so that I could slander our Soviet way of life.' When she told them how she had been kicked out of her home for no reason, or how the passport system had destroyed families, they would say, 'True, but that ws the best way to deal with people like you.'

"They thought I had got what I deserved because I was critical of teh excesses. Yet when the same happened to them, they thought it was a mistake that would be fixed - because they had never had any doubts whatsoever, and whatever instructions had come down from the top, they had always cheered and carried them out... And when they were being expelled from the Party, none of them stood up for each other; they all kept quiet or raised their hands in support of the expulsion. It was some kind of universal psychosis."

elmer said...

More from the documented book about the Great Terror - "The Whisperers"

- because people learned to whisper, even in front of their own children, so as not to be denounced and sent to jail, or shot.

Page 295, bottom note:

At a meeting of Party workers and combine-operators in December 1935, one young combine-operator said that he would fight for the victory of socialism even though he was the son of a 'kulak', to which Stalin replied: 'A son does not answer for his father.' The press seized on this mendacious slogan and built it up into the 'directive' of Stalin.

elmer said...


page 293

... Klavdiia had known of Oleg's father in Riazan, and was certain that he was innocent of the crimes for which he had been shot. Having been part of the Cheka, and knowing how they worked, she would often say: 'We have laws but no legality." ...

elmer said...

more - the rooshans used an old technique against "enemies of the people," who were everywhere. It is called shunning.

page 287

Neighbours became strangers overnight. For nearly thirty years the Turkins had lived next door to the Nikitins. They shared the ground floor of a three-storeyed wooden house on the corner of Soviet and Sverdlov Streets in Perm - the seven Turkins (Aleksandr, Vera and their two daughters, Vera's mother and her brother and sister) occupying three rooms on the right side of the house, and the Nikitins, a family of four, occupying three rooms on the left. Aleksandr Turkin was a veteran Bolshevik, one of Sverdlov's comrades from the revolutionary underground in Perm. Like all his family, Aleksandr was employed at the Motovilikha steelworks. He was also a journalist for the local newspaper and a judge in the regional court. In 1936, he was arrested as a Trotskyist. His guilt was accepted as a 'proven fact' by his wife Vera, a factory worker who took no interest in politics. Vera's mother, a domineering woman who ran the Turkin household, also thought that Aleksandr was guilty. She cut his face out of the family portrait in the living room. 'If we have an enemy among us, we must clear him out,' she said. Vera was dismissed from her job at the Motovilikha plant after being injured in an accident (as teh wife of an 'enemy of the people' she did not qualify for sickness benefit.) The only job that she could find was selling newspapers in a street kiosk. Vera's brother and her sister Valia were also sacked from jobs at the plant. Valia, was was pregnant, was immediately renounced by her husband, who was granted a divorce on political grounds. The family struggled to make ends meet. There was never much to eat. But the hardest thing to bear, according to Vera's daughter, was their ostracism by friends and neighbours:

"Everybody was afraid of us. They were afraid to talk to us, or even come near us, as if we had the plague and would infect them... Our neighbours avoided us, they forbade their children to play with us... In 1936 [when Aleksandr was arrested], nobody said anything about 'enemies of the people' - they just remained silent. But by 1937 everbody called us 'enemies of the people.'"

The Nikitins, too, turned their backs on their neighbours. Anatoly Nikitin was a senior accountant at teh Motovilikha works. Perhaps it was his fear of being sacked that made him cut all links with teh Turkins. The two families used to eat together in a shared kitchen; their children used to play together in the yard outside. But now they kept apart and did not talk. The Nikitins even wrote to the Soviet to renounce their old neighbours and were rewarded with an extra room at the expense of the Turkins. Valia and her young baby were moved out of their room. They joined Valia's brother and mother in the room next door. Anatoly's sister then took over Valia's room, which was joined with the Nikitin side by reopening a connecting door.

Tower Bolshevik said...

Yes, the bloody purges were acts of terror. But fortunately for the United States, Great Britain, League of Nations, Stalin attacked the Soviet peoples instead of building a revolution in the imperialist countries. Stalin was truly the best thing the West could've hoped for.

elmer said...

Stalin did not act on his own. He had a vast number of psychotic thug rooshans supporting him and carrying out his commands. And it is plain sick to glorify Stalin today. And Stalin was not an invention of the West - Europe has its very own terrible history. The difference is that in roosha today the rooshans still pine for the psycho and want to repeat Stalin. The stupid rooshans can't seem to wake up out of their psychosis, out of their genetic culture of vodka and fear, and to reconcile themselves with a horrible past. Instead, they want to repeat it - hence, Vlad Dracul Putin and his little teddy bear, Medvedev.

Typical stupid rooskie response: "yeah, goddamn stalin was terrible, but he was an invention of the West."

More from "The Whisperers", at page 196

....Looking back on these events, Elena recalls that in their class of twenty-four there were eleven children whose parents had been arrested.