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Defending Stalin


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#1 Ludwik

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 01:55 PM

The message below has been posted at our university forum. The author once accused me of spreading cold war propaganda (referring to my two books).

Ludwik Kowalski, author of "Diary of a Former Communist"

http://csam.montclai...life/intro.html

=================================

” March 7 2013

To the Editor:

Istvan Deak’s review “Could Stalin Have Been Stopped?” (NYRB March 13 2013 - http://www.nybooks.c...…topped/?page=1) is filled with statements about Soviet history that are factually false. Here is a partial list:

* There was no “intentional killing by starvation of millions of Ukrainians” by Stalin. Every Western expert rejects the “Holodomor” myth, which originated with pro-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists in the 1950s.

* Stalin did not “shoot hundreds of thousands of imaginary political enemies in the later 1930s.” NKVD chief Nikolai Ezhov did so, as a part of his conspiracy against the Soviet government. In 1939-40 he and over a hundred of his top NKVD men were tried and executed for these horrific crimes.

* Stalin did not “attempt” to “eliminate much of the Polish leadership”. It was the Nazis who did so, in their “AB-Aktion.”

* There exists an important dispute over who shot the Poles in the murders known as the Katyn Massacre and good evidence that the Soviets shot some Polish POWs and the Germans later shot the rest.

* Stalin was not a “dictator.” He worked collaboratively with other Politburo members and was sometimes defeated. Stephen G. Wheatcroft has termed Stalin’s prewar method of rule “Team Stalin.”

* There were no “combined Nazi and Soviet invasions.” The Red Army did not “invade Poland” on September 17 1939. Abandoned by its government the Soviets had to prevent the German army from marching up to the existing Soviet border, something no country would have permitted. Winston Churchill said that the Soviets were right to do so.

* Though armed and equipped by the Soviet Union in 1941-42 the “anti-Nazi army formed by General Władysław Anders” refused to fight the Nazis until 1944.

* The Polish Home Army”, riddled with anti-Semitism, shot Jews escaping from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 and collaborated with the German army against the Red Army.

* American and British pilots were not “routinely denied landing rights” when “trying to help the Home Army.” They were denied such rights for a few weeks in August-September 1944 because, like General Władysław Anders, Stalin considered the Warsaw Uprising to be a crime against the Polish people.

* There is no evidence that the Soviets “massacred thousands of innocent” Poles.

A Hungarian, Deak fails to mention that Hungary invaded the Soviet Union side by side with Nazi Germany, and Hungarian forces murdered at least hundreds of thousands of innocent Soviet citizens, including many Jews.

Grover Furr, Montclair State University “

#2 Buffy

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 07:10 PM

Yah, it looks like Grover is to Stalin what David Irving is to Hitler.

Rather than leave this as yet another list making his claims look legitimate, you may want to post the evidence that refutes his silly claims.


It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion, :phones:
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#3 LaurieAG

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 07:16 AM

It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion, :phones:Buffy

Hi Buffy,

It's funny you say that. I have been reading Xenophon's 'Hellenica' and I wonderered about some of the names used. In the following example the Spartans were facing almost certain defeat.

It is said, too, that he went along the lines and encouraged the men in the following words: 'Fellow-citizens, we must now show what we can do and so be able to to look people in the face. Let us leave to those who come after us the Sparta which we received from our fathers. Let there now be an end to our feeling ashamed of ourselves before our wives and our children and the older men and the foreigners - we who were once the admiration of the whole of Greece!'
...
When the battle was over and he had put up a trophy, Archidamus at once sent Demoteles the herald to Sparta to report how great a victory had been won and how, though vast numbers of the enemy had fallen, not a single Spartan had been killed. They say, too, that when the people in Sparta heard the news they all burst into tears, beginning with Agesilaus and the members of the Council and the ephors. And it seems that tears can equally express both joy and sorrow.


It just gets me that the Spartans as a whole were a well trained warrior society where, unlike ancient Athenian society, the women often fought side by side with the men and this example is like the antithesis for Thermopylae from an Athenian social perspective (except the Celts helped the Spartans and no mention is made of how many Celts died in the battle). You wouldn't go up to an Australian or British SAS or US Special Forces (or even the Marines for that matter) male soldier and ask how their boyfriends were going without expecting, at the minimum, to lose teeth. It makes me wonder if older men mentored younger women and older women mentored younger men in Spartan society (I get the feeling that Archidamus was a female (genuine) redhead as I went to uni with a mate of Greek descent and you would think he was pure Irish by his pale skin and red hair).

So I just wonder if the absolute truth might actually be different from public opinions formed by the 'state' considering that it was recently International Women's day. What do you think Buffy?

Edited by LaurieAG, 10 March 2013 - 07:27 AM.


#4 Guest_MacPhee_*

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:03 AM

The message below has been posted at our university forum. The author once accused me of spreading cold war propaganda (referring to my two books).

Ludwik Kowalski, author of "Diary of a Former Communist"

http://csam.montclai...life/intro.html

=================================

” March 7 2013

To the Editor:

Istvan Deak’s review “Could Stalin Have Been Stopped?” (NYRB March 13 2013 - http://www.nybooks.c...…topped/?page=1) is filled with statements about Soviet history that are factually false. Here is a partial list:

* There was no “intentional killing by starvation of millions of Ukrainians” by Stalin. Every Western expert rejects the “Holodomor” myth, which originated with pro-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists in the 1950s.

* Stalin did not “shoot hundreds of thousands of imaginary political enemies in the later 1930s.” NKVD chief Nikolai Ezhov did so, as a part of his conspiracy against the Soviet government. In 1939-40 he and over a hundred of his top NKVD men were tried and executed for these horrific crimes.

* Stalin did not “attempt” to “eliminate much of the Polish leadership”. It was the Nazis who did so, in their “AB-Aktion.”

* There exists an important dispute over who shot the Poles in the murders known as the Katyn Massacre and good evidence that the Soviets shot some Polish POWs and the Germans later shot the rest.

* Stalin was not a “dictator.” He worked collaboratively with other Politburo members and was sometimes defeated. Stephen G. Wheatcroft has termed Stalin’s prewar method of rule “Team Stalin.”

* There were no “combined Nazi and Soviet invasions.” The Red Army did not “invade Poland” on September 17 1939. Abandoned by its government the Soviets had to prevent the German army from marching up to the existing Soviet border, something no country would have permitted. Winston Churchill said that the Soviets were right to do so.

* Though armed and equipped by the Soviet Union in 1941-42 the “anti-Nazi army formed by General Władysław Anders” refused to fight the Nazis until 1944.

* The Polish Home Army”, riddled with anti-Semitism, shot Jews escaping from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 and collaborated with the German army against the Red Army.

* American and British pilots were not “routinely denied landing rights” when “trying to help the Home Army.” They were denied such rights for a few weeks in August-September 1944 because, like General Władysław Anders, Stalin considered the Warsaw Uprising to be a crime against the Polish people.

* There is no evidence that the Soviets “massacred thousands of innocent” Poles.

A Hungarian, Deak fails to mention that Hungary invaded the Soviet Union side by side with Nazi Germany, and Hungarian forces murdered at least hundreds of thousands of innocent Soviet citizens, including many Jews.

Grover Furr, Montclair State University “


This is a good defense of Stalin. An equally good defense could be made for Hitler. They both tried to do their best, as they saw it, for the future of humanity.

They were true revolutionaries. They saw the need for radical change, if humanity is to progress.

I mean, do Obama and Cameron inspire anything?

#5 LaurieAG

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:48 AM

They were true revolutionaries. They saw the need for radical change, if humanity is to progress.

McPhee, are you alright?

hu·man·i·ty
noun, plural hu·man·i·ties.
1. all human beings collectively; the human race; humankind.
2. the quality or condition of being human; human nature.
3. the quality of being humane; kindness; benevolence.

humanity
— n , pl -ties
1. the human race
2. the quality of being human
3. kindness or mercy

Word Origin & History

humanity
late 14c., from O.Fr. humanité, from L. humanitatem (nom. humanitas) "human nature, humanity," from humanus (see human). Originally in English "kindness, graciousness;" sense of "human race" first recorded mid-15c.

Synonyms
sympathy, tenderness, goodwill.

Antonyms
inhumanity, unkindness.

#6 Guest_MacPhee_*

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 01:13 PM

Laurie, I'm alright, but are you? You just took a cheap shot at my use of the word "humanity".
By exploiting the word's obvious ambiguity. With quotations and dictionary definitions!

You obviously have a powerful mind. So I was distressed by your reply. It makes you sound like L Ron Hubbard.

#7 Buffy

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 04:57 AM

Hi Buffy,

It's funny you say that. I have been reading Xenophon's 'Hellenica' and I wonderered about some of the names used.

The quote is actually from Joseph Goebbels. ( :phones: is "Buffy's Asterisk")

Of course your question is still perfectly engaging....

It just gets me that the Spartans as a whole were a well trained warrior society where, unlike ancient Athenian society, the women often fought side by side with the men and this example is like the antithesis for Thermopylae from an Athenian social perspective (except the Celts helped the Spartans and no mention is made of how many Celts died in the battle). You wouldn't go up to an Australian or British SAS or US Special Forces (or even the Marines for that matter) male soldier and ask how their boyfriends were going without expecting, at the minimum, to lose teeth.

Well, not so much any more. The demise of Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell has come with none of the horrific consequences that the blue-nose conservatives claimed, and while I can't say there's been an "out" member of Seal Team 6, I assure you there are plenty of highly decorated Marines who are.

It makes me wonder if older men mentored younger women and older women mentored younger men in Spartan society.

That I don't know, but if you find out, I'd love to know too! :cheer:

So I just wonder if the absolute truth might actually be different from public opinions formed by the 'state' considering that it was recently International Women's day. What do you think Buffy?

Well, we just hit yet another milestone with the Department of Defense saying that they will no longer restrict women from so called "combat roles". This had nothing to do with trying to be politically correct or following the "truth dictated by the State" but was a result of the simple fact that there's no clear line between combat and non-combat roles. As just one example, plenty of women have been flying helicopters (a typical "non-combat role") into places that were not expected to be hostile that turned out to be what's known in military parlance as a "Hot LZ." Lots of female pilots with Purple Hearts in Iraq and Afghanistan has been the result.

So the DOD finally just said, "the hell with it, if you're in the military, you're potentially a target, period. No more discrimination."

It's just simply harder to discriminate than it is to treat everyone equally.

Just like in the south. Prolly put a lot of poor KKK members out of work when they didn't have any demand for "Whites Only" and "Colored Only" signs all over the place.


Anyone who says he can see through women is missing a lot, :phones:
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#8 LaurieAG

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 06:32 AM

Laurie, I'm alright, but are you? You just took a cheap shot at my use of the word "humanity".
By exploiting the word's obvious ambiguity. With quotations and dictionary definitions!

McPhee,

Stalin, Hitler and Anders Breivik all approved a definition of 'future of humanity' that involved killing many other humans as a means to their desired ends, just like any other group of murderous bigots do. They were not revolutionary they were sick.

Edited by LaurieAG, 23 March 2013 - 06:34 AM.


#9 LaurieAG

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 07:39 AM

Hi Buffy,

The quote is actually from Joseph Goebbels.

There should be a html tag for that.

That I don't know, but if you find out, I'd love to know too! :cheer:

"It is said, too" and "They say, too" makes me wonder if Xenophon would have used a similar tag in places, hmmm.

Robert Graves, the author of 'I Claudius' and 'The Greek Myths' etc orders and arranges all the different historic information, from ancient Greek, Mesopotamian, Syrian, Egyptian, Roman, Celtic and Norse sources for myths and legends to name a few, around an interesting core theory based on the many different 'Hercules' all having to do with the suppression of even more ancient matrilineal child sacrifice cults from 1500 bc to around 800 bc as the Hellenes, basic cattle herders, moved into Greece proper.

He discusses, with many examples, how the ancient gods were dominated by females, the queens consort or king came from outside the 'kingdom' and was sacrificed until one of the male royal children were sacrificed in his stead, or other nominal human sacrifices were used (i.e. strangers or some male expendable). He relates how Odysseus took Penelope from her father and took her to Ithica in contrast with the earlier traditions and also goes through how the patrilineal, male dominated, pantheon of the gods evolved. He also has some interesting comments with regards to an intermediate period where the male king wore the clothes of the Queen to rule in official ceremonies and also talked about the practices of the Amazons with regards to their treatment of male children.

The interesting thing is that the Spartans seemed more like a truly equal society, the helots aside (as any conquered people can become vassals, even now), with regards to men and women in the tradition of Hercules with respect to war. Their whole society operated on these principles, not just their military, and others wrote their history.

So, getting back to the main thread, anyone who sanctions the wholesale slaughter of innocents, after a battle has been won, usually got what was coming to them, let alone those who sanctioned killing their own for self serving reasons.

If you get some time read the pdf and make up your own mind as he throws out so much more than I can summarise here.

http://www.24grammat...ammata.com_.pdf

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 11:46 AM

Stalin deserves respect. Much more than Clinton or Bush. They were weak and derisory presidents. And the presidents got worse. Obama always speaks in short sentences, with a predictable Oz rising tone on the final word. He sounds like a puppet.

America needs a Stalin. He would sort the USA out. And make it how it was in the 1950's. A fabulous country, rich in science, technology, and promise for the future. Everyone loved America, it was the hope of the world.

And it could be again, with a strong new leader.

#11 Buffy

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 03:52 PM

Stalin deserves respect. Much more than Clinton or Bush. They were weak and derisory presidents. And the presidents got worse. Obama always speaks in short sentences, with a predictable Oz rising tone on the final word. He sounds like a puppet.

Well, ignoring the bipartisan ad hominems on recent US presidents, you've really given no reasons why Stalin "deserves respect."

Care to elaborate on that?

America needs a Stalin. He would sort the USA out. And make it how it was in the 1950's. A fabulous country, rich in science, technology, and promise for the future. Everyone loved America, it was the hope of the world.

And it could be again, with a strong new leader.


What exactly do you mean by a "strong...leader?"

Formally--according to its own definition--Communism is a "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" in which the one self-appointed Communist government represents the Proletariat for them during the transitional period before True Socialism because they're populated by bourgeois, self-interested Kulaks and Capitalist Running Dogs.

Stalin was a strong leader by definition under Communism because he held all the reins of power, and ruthlessly murdered all who even looked like potential threats. Wiped out most of the people who actually could have advanced Soviet society at a pace that could have matched America, but favored sycophants like Lysenko and brutally flawed policies like Collectivization.

While those of us on the more progressive end of the political spectrum point at the Cheney-Bush administration as being an example of a dangerous flirtation with Unitary Executive Theory What Cheney envisioned was a lot less than what Stalin had, because he had to work within the confines of the Constitution, which contains limits on power for the very reason that you *don't* want a dictator like Stalin (or King George III who actually had the Magna Carta to deal with too). That kinda gets in the way, so any discussion of "strong leader" is going to need to deal with not only the consequences of the limitations on "strength" imposed by the governmental system in place, as well as what powers are *needed* to have a positive result, and whether those powers can be sustained, even if you have a leader with the wisdom and compassion of Solomon (who by the way had many faults himself!).

Moreover of course, the results of Stalin's "strong leadership" are generally considered one of the biggest disasters in history, except for a few widely disrespected writers like the fellow mentioned in the OP. As a comparison, West Germany and France, and even Italy, with far more destruction to infrastructure than sustained by the Soviet Union, with fewer natural resources and similar populations outstripped the Soviet economy by multiple orders of magnitude, and did not end up with revolutions overthrowing the state.

So, please do describe what you mean by "strong leadership" and "success", because I'm sure I'm missing something here.


Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance, :phones:
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#12 Rade

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 07:04 PM

http://www.amazon.co...y/dp/0691152381Has anyone read this, is it factually correct ?

#13 Buffy

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 12:32 AM

Has anyone read this, is it factually correct ?

Haven't read that one, but the facts listed in the Amazon blurb are all matters of generally accepted fact. I have trouble with calling it a "theory" that endless documentation showing direct responsibility for the deaths of many millions of people is sufficient for accurately labeling what he did as "genocide."


So uh, what's a guy got to do around here to get a library card? :phones:
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#14 JMJones0424

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 02:39 AM

Stalin deserves respect. Much more than Clinton or Bush. They were weak and derisory presidents. And the presidents got worse. Obama always speaks in short sentences, with a predictable Oz rising tone on the final word. He sounds like a puppet.

America needs a Stalin. He would sort the USA out. And make it how it was in the 1950's. A fabulous country, rich in science, technology, and promise for the future. Everyone loved America, it was the hope of the world.

And it could be again, with a strong new leader.

Obvious troll is obvious. Why are we pretending? He hasn't defended his position because his position is indefensible, and he knows it.

#15 Buffy

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 04:40 AM

Obvious troll is obvious. Why are we pretending? He hasn't defended his position because his position is indefensible, and he knows it.

Oh I don't think anyone is pretending here. I for one am constantly amazed at the bizarre beliefs that people profess in public, and how hard it is for them to comprehend why those beliefs color other people's opinions of them.

The main point of the OP was in fact to bring to light the fact that some folks have remarkably uh, incorrect sets of "facts" upon which they operate, and with a small sample size, we already found one.

Useful scientific measurement of the hypothesis in the OP. :cheer:

Of course you're absolutely right that the position is indefensible, and hopefully getting hit over the head with the facts will not only edify the poster, but many others who passively read this thread as well.


Organize, agitate, educate, must be our war cry, :phones:
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Posted 04 April 2013 - 11:46 AM

But suppose us posters were North Koreans. Wouldn't we all be fervently acknowledging the desirability of a strong leader?

To do otherwise, would be indefensible. And we'd get hit over the head literally, to edify us in appreciating the "facts".

#17 Buffy

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 04:11 PM

But suppose us posters were North Koreans. Wouldn't we all be fervently acknowledging the desirability of a strong leader?

To do otherwise, would be indefensible. And we'd get hit over the head literally, to edify us in appreciating the "facts".


Only if you think we're all being "coerced" into believing these facts. No one here coercing me. On the other hand some folks just deny the facts because they don't like the conclusion.

Is the sky green over across the pond, Mr. MacPhee?


From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step, :phones:
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