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Full Version: Russia: Cultural Masochism, or Just Intellectual Laziness?
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After watching the riots throughout Islamic countries, and reflecting on it's implications, I came upon this article, and realized that cultural myopia does not rest solely with Muslims. Clearly, Russians have a terible problem, both culturally AND spiritually.

And the elevation of a true monster, who was directly responsible for for the murder of millions of his fellow counrtymen, back to hero status bodes very ill for the Motherland.






EXCLUSIVE: WHY DOES RUSSIA LOVE STALIN NOW?
By Nick Webster

HIS appalling crimes are on a scale so vast as to defy comprehension. Even today no one knows how many people perished under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's regime.

He is blamed for the deaths of anywhere between 11 and 43 million of his own subjects, making him one of history's most terrifying despots alongside Hitler, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong.

Yet today - just 50 years since his successor Nikita Khrushchev denounced him as a bloodthirsty tyrant - many Russians look back at his iron-fisted rule with nostalgia.

The then Soviet Union was a superpower, and Uncle Joe was their great leader.

Today once-mighty Russia is in chaos - riven by crime, corruption, unemployment and desperate poverty and reduced to having to play second fiddle to the despised United States.

Suddenly the Red Tsar's cruel reign doesn't look so bad after all. But it is an unlikely rehabilitation. It was Stalin who said: "A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic."

There were many such statistics. Edward Acton, professor of modern European history at the University of East Anglia, says the sheer numbers of people destroyed by Stalin's atrocities put them in a league of their own.

He says: "His worst crime was authorising the execution of at least one million of his own citizens in peacetime for no justifiable reason - that was the Great Terror of 1937-38.

"He also failed to do all he could to halt the great famine of 1932 and 1933, in which five to seven million of his own citizens died at a time when the country was exporting grain. In an incredibly brutal and bloody way he deported peasants who refused to create collective farms.

"And from 1944 he very brutally deported national minorities accused of collusion with the Germans, such as the Cossacks and the Chechens."

Meanwhile, 18 million people languished in the USSR's notorious gulags - forced labour camps said by inmates to be a fate worse than death.

Both friends and political allies lived in constant terror of Stalin's tyrannical rage, which would condemn them to instant death. Even family were not safe from his paranoia.

Soviet prisoners-of-war were regarded as traitors, and when his own son Jacob was taken prisoner Stalin refused to exchange him for Field Marshal Von Paulus, a Nazi captured at Stalingrad - and Jacob died in a German PoW camp.

A re-examination of Stalin's supposedly glorious war record has revealed major blunders which cost the lives of millions of his own troops. Yet today many Russians look back on his rule with an growing sense of pride.

Pensioner Iskra Myachina remembers the public outpouring of grief when Uncle Joe died in 1953.

"It was a horrible feeling of the loss of the leader of the country, and personally it was as if we lost the father of the family, the person who took care of us," she says. "We felt like orphans."

TODAY, despite all she later learnt about the monster who began life as the son of a Georgian cobbler, her affection for Stalin remains.

Ex-Politburo member Alexander Yakovlev disagrees: "Stalin was an animal. A bandit. But people are forgetting that. Today 30 per cent of our population think Stalin was a good man who created order. When it comes to their own history our population is completely ignorant."

With stories of the great purges and millions in labour camps consigned to history, schoolchildren appreciate Stalin as a strong Russian leader.

"Stalin is a great personality," says Lyuba, a 16-year-old at school No 1208 in Moscow. "He's like Abraham Lincoln. He's like the captain of a great state, the captain of a ship." It is a bizarre reversal of fortune for the old tyrant. The reason lies in the country's dramatic fall from glory.

Under Stalin the USSR was a superpower, leader of the Communist world which reached almost across two continents from the Pacific to Berlin. Pensions and wages were paid in full and on time and crime was not a major problem.

But now in democratic Russia corruption is rife and the tentacles of the Mafia spread through every level of society. Welfare and healthcare systems have collapsed and alcoholism is endemic among the poor.

Two thirds of long-suffering Russians view the 90s as the worst decade they can remember.

The death rate has overtaken the birth rate, unemployment is sky-high and pensions are pitiful - when they are paid at all. Life expectancy for men fell from 64 in the mid-80s to 57 in the mid- 90s. Women live longer, but their life expectancy has dropped by four years.

While a few oligarchs have become rich beyond imagination, the masses suffer more than at any time since the war.

So it's perhaps no surprise that in a recent poll by the All- Russian Public Opinion Research Centre 20 per cent of respondents described Stalin's role in Russian history as "very positive" and 30 per cent as "somewhat positive". Writing in the latest issue of BBC History magazine, Simon Sebag Montefiore, award winning author of Stalin: The Court Of The Red Tsar, says: "Stalin took a Russia ruined by civil war and the First World War and turned her into an economic superpower that was so strong, it was able by 1943 to out-produce, indeed trounce, Hitler's German industrial powerhouse in tanks and planes.

"He extended the Russian empire further than any tsar.

"To many Russians, with their feeling of losing prestige in a web of westernised corruption, Stalin seems different and attractive.

"A common view is that he made 'mistakes' and committed 'excesses' but also delivered triumph and security. For many Russians today, Stalin represents victory, prestige, empire, stability and prosperity."

One Russian who has never lost faith in Stalin is Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, the dictator's 69-year-old grandson.

"He was a genius," says the former Red Army colonel. "My grandfather did everything he could to preserve the empire that was left from the Tsarist period.

"He industrialised it, strengthened it. And he left it owning a single shirt and two jackets.

"Compared to today's leaders, with their Swiss bank accounts, he was something like Jesus Christ."

He stands for stability and prosperity to many who live in chaos today

nick.webster@mirror.co.uk

UNCLE JOE'S ACID REIGN

STALIN'S determination to increase farm output led to the deaths of between five and 10 million peasants - left to starve for failing to meet targets.

A million of his political enemies were killed in the Great Terror of 1937-8.

An estimated 18 million people were exiled to gulag concentration camps for "counter-revolutionary activities". Inmates were subjected to brutality, and slave labour.

He made a pact with Hitler in 39 but joined allies after Yalta treaty. He invaded Eastern Europe massacring "counter-revolutionaries".

ON the night of February 24, 1956, Khrushchev called party officials to the Kremlin and read them a speech denouncing Stalin - an event which ended a reign of terror that had continued from beyond the grave since the dictator's death in 1953. The story, broken to the world by English journalist John Rettie, marked the slow process of bringing the Soviet Union into the modern world.
Sorry, John it's rather your problem. Don't take seriously the crap you are reading. We discussed similar article with Palladin 2-3 years ago... The main:
1. Stalin isn't hero for my generation and wasn't for most, who were born after 1960, except Georgians.
2. His victims were mostly commie who provided revolution in 1917. So I must repeat once again - tragedy was in 1917 when the best people of Russia were killed by red barbarians, in 1937 it was holiday - commie got what they deserved. Stalin killed all Lenin's Politburo, must I worry? Poor, poor Trotsky...
3. Khrushchev participated in most of Stalin's crimes and commited a lot own...

Quote:"And from 1944 he very brutally deported national minorities accused of collusion with the Germans, such as the Cossacks and the Chechens
Cossacks? In 1944? S2 S2 S2 Typical american ignorance...
I could see that... Russia was important under Stalin. People like winning more than anything else, usually.
IT'S DAMN SCARY Shock
bh Wrote:2. His victims were mostly commie who provided revolution in 1917. So I must repeat once again - tragedy was in 1917 when the best people of Russia were killed by red barbarians, in 1937 it was holiday - commie got what they deserved. Stalin killed all Lenin's Politburo, must I worry? Poor, poor Trotsky...

Smile when you say that!

Quote:And from 1944 he very brutally deported national minorities accused of collusion with the Germans, such as the Cossacks and the Chechens
In fact Chechens were not the only nationality suffered from Stalin's regime. The deportation concerned also Ingush, Crimean Tatars, Koreans, Estonians and others. He sent abroad all the Chinese.

But who suffered repressions the most? Russians! Just because they were the majority! Don't ever forget about that!
bh Wrote:Sorry, John it's rather your problem. Don't take seriously the crap you are reading. We discussed similar article with Palladin 2-3 years ago... The main:
1. Stalin isn't hero for my generation and wasn't for most, who were born after 1960, except Georgians.

that's an oversimplification, the Russians generally seem to be political fisting affecionados in the sense that quite a few people in Russia seem to be longing for a "strong hand". Sure not all of the strong hand lovers are Stalin devotees but the very notion of strong hand politics and leaders that force you to do things is rather sick in itself, with or without Stalin. Hell I recently watched a TV program where they interviewed the CEO of a provincial construction company in Russia, the interview was in the CEO's office, hanging on the wall behind him was a portrait of Putin. I was sitting there, wondering whether this CEO was a homosexual with a crush on Putin why else would anyone hang the schmuck's portrait on their office wall.

Quote:2. His victims were mostly commie who provided revolution in 1917. So I must repeat once again - tragedy was in 1917 when the best people of Russia were killed by red barbarians, in 1937 it was holiday - commie got what they deserved. Stalin killed all Lenin's Politburo, must I worry? Poor, poor Trotsky...
that's an oversimplification, during that time lots of people were killed that had nothing to do with the commies. If you just consider the numbers, there couldn't have been that many commies who participated in the 1917 coup, the whole affair in 1917 was essentially a quick special forces style op where they seized all the important locations in Saint Pete and then proceded to claim power while the people simply accepted their fate as they always do in Russia. Far as I know the total number of casualties in the coup itself did not exceed 10, possibly there were even less, it was later when the whites and the reds began wacking each other (along with bystanders) en masse that most of the blood was shed. Btw today it tends to be forgotten that during the russian civil war the whites wasted people left and right, just like the reds.

Quote:3. Khrushchev participated in most of Stalin's crimes and commited a lot own...
that one is certainly true. Once Stalin died they started pinning everything on him. But often times it is forgotten that uncle Joe probably did not kill a single person personally, the issue of corporate responsibility of the Russian people as a nation that ultimately coillaborated with the bloody dictator in all his crimes is hardly ever mentioned.
This reminds me of the old Soviet joke about free speech, to counter the American argument that it doesn't exist in Union of Soviet Socialists. It goes like this: "Russians can say anything they want to, as much as they wish,......................once". Wink1
Freedom and economic successfulness don't fill the bill.....without some sort of ethical imperative on the part of the majority.

The "ethical imperative" was ENFORCED UPON the Russian people for a long long time. Certainly the "ethics" sucked, but it was an ethical set-up regardless.
Seems to me they are having to learn/decide if they are going to impose ethical behavior upon themselves. If/when they can/do...a LOT of neat things can happen for Russians.
Bean
Quote:Certainly the "ethics" sucked, but it was an ethical set-up regardless.
Hence Russian literature is among the best in the world...

Quote:that's an oversimplification, the Russians generally seem to be political fisting affecionados in the sense that quite a few people in Russia seem to be longing for a "strong hand".
I am sorry but whenever we loose a strong hand we fall into chaos. Our history is full of such examples. Big country needs a strong political vertical. If you wish to stay an Empire you have to be docile to your regime. However if you ever want to destroy an Empire from inside get ready for a nationalistic bloodbath, economic crash and so on, just what happened in almost any country of the Commonwealth.
We are not British Empire or Spanish Empire. We have our "colonies" in the near abroad and we civilize them and cultivate them in our own, Russian way.
That is indeed a shame, because unless you are able to shake off these centuries of tyranny, actually almost two millineum, you will not be moving ahead with the rest of the civilized world.
Blah-blah-blah...
Russia has only existed for about one millenia... but that millenia was filled with tyranny. From the days of Ivan the Terrible, to the Muslims, to the czars, to the Soviets...

Of course, most countries existed in tyranny until the last two hundred years or so(longer for only Britain and America).
John L Wrote:you will not be moving ahead with the rest of the civilized world.
The world is moving to The Global War led by America this time!
Anonymous24 Wrote:Russia has only existed for about one millenia... but that millenia was filled with tyranny. From the days of Ivan the Terrible, to the Muslims, to the czars, to the Soviets...

Of course, most countries existed in tyranny until the last two hundred years or so(longer for only Britain and America).

Just to stem the tide of this verbal diahrrea 2 facts for your consideration:

In 1654 Ukraine asked Russia to join the Empire. In 1801 Georgia asked Russia to join the Empire.
Why did they do that if Russia was a tyrany etc.?
Because Russia was powerful?

Russia was an authoritarian government that did not give many rights to its common people during those times...
Because Russia gave protection to Georgia against Turkey and to Ukraine against Poland...

Actually, human rights declaration is invention of the XXth century.
*surprise-surprise*
Green Wrote:Because Russia gave protection to Georgia against Turkey and to Ukraine against Poland...
Polish-Lithuanian tyranny was so intolerable, that ukrainians preferred Russia. It's a fact. On the first stage Ukraine migrated in East direction closer to Russia, but later started uprising and asked help of Russia. The region, where Yushchenko was born, became ukrainian 300 years ago only.
Green Wrote:
Quote:Certainly the "ethics" sucked, but it was an ethical set-up regardless.
Hence Russian literature is among the best in the world...

Quote:that's an oversimplification, the Russians generally seem to be political fisting affecionados in the sense that quite a few people in Russia seem to be longing for a "strong hand".
I am sorry but whenever we loose a strong hand we fall into chaos. Our history is full of such examples. Big country needs a strong political vertical. If you wish to stay an Empire you have to be docile to your regime. However if you ever want to destroy an Empire from inside get ready for a nationalistic bloodbath, economic crash and so on, just what happened in almost any country of the Commonwealth.
We are not British Empire or Spanish Empire. We have our "colonies" in the near abroad and we civilize them and cultivate them in our own, Russian way.

I'm gonna share a secret with you: you don't have to fall into chaos. Are you all slaves or something? Do you need to always have a master watching over you and hitting you on the head whenver you get out of line?
Green Wrote:
Anonymous24 Wrote:Russia has only existed for about one millenia... but that millenia was filled with tyranny. From the days of Ivan the Terrible, to the Muslims, to the czars, to the Soviets...

Of course, most countries existed in tyranny until the last two hundred years or so(longer for only Britain and America).

Just to stem the tide of this verbal diahrrea 2 facts for your consideration:

In 1654 Ukraine asked Russia to join the Empire. In 1801 Georgia asked Russia to join the Empire.
Why did they do that if Russia was a tyrany etc.?

FYI, these are the official verions, in reality things were a bit more complicated. I won't say anything about Georgia here because I simply don't know much about the history of how it ended up in the Russian Empire but as for Ukraine at the time of Khmelnitski, Ukraine was in total disarray, in fact it didn't even exist as a country, Khmelnitski was the guy that pledged allegiance to the Russian empire but by no means did he represent all of the Ukrainians, he was head of just one faction of the Ukrainian cossaks, his pledge of allegiance was opportunistic in nature, he wanted help from Russia in his struggle with the Polish Commonwealth. There were other rebel leaders, notably Mazepa, who had totally different ideas about the future of Ukraine. So when you say Ukraine asked to be accepted into Russia it is simply not true. In reality the leader of one rebel faction asked for Russia's help and pledged allegiance to the Russian tsar in return.
henrylee100 Wrote:. There were other rebel leaders, notably Mazepa, who had totally different ideas about the future of Ukraine. So when you say Ukraine asked to be accepted into Russia it is simply not true.
Is it chinese-canadian version of history?
Mazepa wasn't leader of rebels and coudn't be. He was 15 years old boy, when Ukraine was accepted into Russia. Mazepa was courtier getman of Peter the Great and his personal friend ... to some known moment, when he decided that Swedes will win.
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