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Sell me on Stalin

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jan 2012, 06:30
Ideology: Other Leftist
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Post 30 Jan 2012, 06:58
I am familiar with the fact that Stalin killed millions of his own people. For too long, I have dealt with my peers labelling me as a murderous lunatic. Because these people only think of Comrade Stalin and his genocidal regime when Communism is mentioned. Because of this, Stalin has become a bad word for me, so I have been closed-minded to both the man and Stalinism. So now I ask you, comrades, to teach me what good (if any) came from Stalin.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Aug 2011, 23:52
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Post 30 Jan 2012, 10:09
You came to the right Website to hear about Stalin


This is how Kuromiya concluded his study of industrialisation

Quote:
`The breakthrough wrought by the revolution of 1928--31 laid the foundations of the remarkable industrial expansion in the 1930s that would sustain the country in the Second World War. By the end of 1932 ..., the gross industrial output ... had more than doubled since 1928 .... as the capital projects of the First Five-Year Plan were brought into operation one after another in the mid-1930s, industrial production expanded enormously. During 1934--36 ..., ``the official index showed a rise of 88 per cent for total gross industrial production ....'' In the decade from 1927/28 to 1937 ..., gross industrial production leapt from 18,300 million rubles to 95,500 million; pig iron output rose from 3.3 million tons to 14.5; coal from 35.4 million metric tons to 128.0; electric power from 5.1 billion kilowatt hours to 36.2; machine tools from 2,098 units to 36,120. Even discounting the exaggeration, it may be safely said that the achievements were dazzling.'


Stalin industrialised and strengthened the USSR and without him it's unlikely that the USSR would have beaten back the Germans. When it comes to the whole Trotsky VS Stalin thing I don't have much of an opinion. Anyway this whole Stalin was a monster and killed millions is over exaggerated, yes he did kill innocent people but it wasn't even a drop in the ocean compared to losses from U.S wars and interventions and the amount of people they let die of poverty with sending no real amount of aid. Anyone who uses the word Genocidal to talk about Stalin has no idea 1. What went on under Stalin 2. What genocide is. It's quite insulting to throw that word around considering the 11 Million who were victims of genocide.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 23 Dec 2011, 01:28
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Post 30 Jan 2012, 23:51
double post
Last edited by Snowdon on 30 Jan 2012, 23:52, edited 1 time in total.
"The present is a time of struggle; the future is ours."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 23 Dec 2011, 01:28
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Post 30 Jan 2012, 23:52
Chairman McAmazing wrote:
I am familiar with the fact that Stalin killed millions of his own people. For too long, I have dealt with my peers labelling me as a murderous lunatic. Because these people only think of Comrade Stalin and his genocidal regime when Communism is mentioned. Because of this, Stalin has become a bad word for me, so I have been closed-minded to both the man and Stalinism. So now I ask you, comrades, to teach me what good (if any) came from Stalin.


Well, labels are what they are. I don't think I would go bringing up stalin with people who aren't socialists of some stripe though, there would not be much point. They either wouldn't care, or would be vehemently against it, but such is the effectiveness of the propaganda against stalin in N. America in particular. Regardless of what Stalin did or did not do, we can at least begin to assess the propensity of Western sources of propagandizing to ridiculous levels. Robert Conquest's high claims have been disputed by a fair number of academics over time and is not usually accepted outside of neo-con journals. I've read both marxists and non-marxists speak out against the propaganda against stalin. Its not really necessary to be a "ism" or loyal follower per se, which is why the label stalinist is troubling as it seeks out to label a large group of people who don't condemn stalin vociferously as being equatable to people who are followers of stalin to a point which can be seen as fascist. There are a few threads on this forum which discuss this more in-depth, a strange variety of people support stalin - but as a national hero or some religious icon, not as a theorist, which is the whole idea of such an -ism, so I really disagree with the use of the term stalinist as it is really just used to defame people not really applied academically in any way. The very label stalinist is a bit of a misnomer, primarily because no one actually calls themselves that, and the label is explicitly used derogatorily.

The problem with viewing Stalin negatively exists in two ways, one could see the negative aspects of the regime as isolated from history and of course one cannot really support things like the Katyn massacre, or the Great Purges, but on the other hand, again I would point to the capability of propaganda to distort truth. The other way, I find more connected to the ultra left viewpoint is that the excesses could have been avoided, as in what did occur effectively as many bourgeois historians contend "that bad outweighed the good," which I think has been argued far and wide. I mean, excesses are bad, and most on the left do have criticism of Stalin in some way. The key difference is how much, some like Hoxhaists is very little, but you will note they do criticize Stalin. You have other Marxist-Leninists like Fidel, who offers this take on Stalin here...http://www.marxists.org/history/cuba/archive/castro/1992/06/03.htm Finally you have Maoists, and I find this can range here, most Maoists I have met are usually closer to the Hoxhaists on this. Of course you have further left elements which condemn everything of the stalin era.

The best way to begin viewing Stalin is to read in particular non-Marxist and Marxist literature alike to ensure you get a balanced view. For starters there is Barry Zwicker, J. Arch Getty, Grover Furr, Ludo Martens, and Ian Grey. Red Phoenix has a good post on Totalitarianism, http://theredphoenixapl.org/2009/09/10/ ... tarianism/

I find Cockshott's Towards a New Socialism to be interesting as he relates Parenti's work on Julius Caesar to the role of Stalin in history as one who could accomplish mass change and act as a sort of populist. The popularity enjoyed by Stalin in the Soviet Union in his time is often underestimated or ignored in Western publications, but I have read a number of works which are pointing to this critical historical fact. In any event, Stalin achieved some impressive feats, the man deserves some respect, really. Outside of Canada, USA, and England I've found more admiration and respect for the man whether the person is socialist or not. When we consider the industrialization of the West and the massive human suffering, and the different constraints faced by the Soviet Union it is quite impressive how they achieved industrial success as well as defeating Nazi Germany. I think to a lot of people he represents that you can build an alternative model and not break under pressure as had happened in other revolutions, but for others it was his ability to transform Russia in such a short period of time. The fact that Hitler would have surely turned Slavic people into slaves, Stalin clearly read Mein Kampf and he knew what was coming, I think makes him an important man of history. So, against the bad, he did a great deal of good as well.

All that said, lets not read too into great man history. Stalin did not achieve everything he wanted to personally, there were many debates under his rule and disagreements. The whole soviet premise was based on a revolution ocurring where imperialism was weakest, the revolutions in Western europe never happened. So we are kind of left with a necessity to promote socialism in one country, I'm not sure if thats whats right for today though. Thats the problem with Stalin, he existed in an entirely different time period in an entirely different context, I'm not sure there are many parallels between the situation then and today. Ultimately, Stalin is relevant to many Marxist-Leninists, for his achievements more so, which is why no one calls themselves Stalinists. Stalin has a number of works which have achieved notoriety amongst many Communists, there is another thread here which has a good list of them I think.

Also, maybe you will find this satirical piece http://kasamaproject.org/2010/07/28/40-helpful-tips-for-anti-communists/ There is a lengthy debate on Stalin in the comments, as it were.
"The present is a time of struggle; the future is ours."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jan 2012, 06:30
Ideology: Other Leftist
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 31 Jan 2012, 04:32
Thank you so much comrade. I have a greater respect for the man, but I dont adore him. My peers like to label me so I'm very familiar with "Stalinism" being a misused term. Thanks again
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 01 Feb 2012, 17:45
You may want to check out L.Martens' "Another view of Stalin",available here:
http://anonym.to/?http://marxism.halkce ... 20Martens/
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Feb 2005, 02:51
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Post 02 Feb 2012, 05:14
As I always asked those who criticise Stalin: "Do you think that you could've done a better job?"

The truth is, he was responsible for the deaths of millions of his own people, but he had to stabilise the nation and rapidly industrialise it to repel the inevitable foreign aggress within a very short time span, or the Soviet Union would not survive and Nazi's slaves won't appreciate him too much, and most importantly, he had to do all of it without the benefit of hindsight that all his critics enjoy.

That said, I do think he has a serious fault - the inability to foresee and plan for worst case scenarios, evident during the Winter War, Barbarossa, and the Korean War.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
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Philosophized
Post 02 Feb 2012, 06:03
I'd second loz on Marten's Another View of Stalin. He was a hardcore Stalinist and remember that when reading the book; however, he does an excellent job at putting Stalin in historical context. The book is not so much a complete biography as a book dedicated to combating the anti-Stalin attacks against socialism.

It is also important to remember that bourgeois history has a huge tendency to put a lot of emphasis on the individual. i.e. anything that happened in the ~three decades of the Soviet Union was attributed to Stalin.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Jun 2011, 08:37
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Post 02 Feb 2012, 08:02
Red Rebel wrote:
It is also important to remember that bourgeois history has a huge tendency to put a lot of emphasis on the individual. i.e. anything that happened in the ~three decades of the Soviet Union was attributed to Stalin.


Honestly, everything that happened until 1991, gets attributed to Stalin. In the capitalist press, the USSR consisted entirely of Gorbachevs bread lines and Stalins repressions.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 17 Jan 2012, 17:25
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Post 03 Feb 2012, 02:45
Oh, look! It's a newly discovered quote of Comrade Stalin...


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It would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet. - Hugo Chavez
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jan 2012, 22:09
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Post 25 Feb 2012, 14:39
Quick summary

The revolution degenerated in the 1920s due to it's isolation in a backward country, in accordance with Marxist theory. Stalin was the personification of that, "the individual supply to meet the collective demand" as Trotsky put it when describing Hitler.

But history is dialectical and so Stalin did play a huge role in speeding up the degeneration of the revolution in the 1920s.

He got rid of Trotsky etc and then found that Trotsky had been right about everything. He was then forced to collectivise as Trotsky had urged, only he did it in a terrible way, and for the wrong reasons.

Later he became a conscious anti-socialist, wiping out all the genuine socialists in the party.

This was political genocide.

After that, Stalin's policy was to sabotage all revolutions around the world. Spain was the first in 1936-7 (Stalin's sabotage of the 1925-7 Chinese revolution was probably not deliberate). Those countries which went 'communist' did so against Stalin's wishes as far as I can tell. They were supposed to be capitalist, with bourgeois-communist coalitions, though I suppose it's possible that was just a trick. Put it this way, at the end of the war the actions of Soviet troops etc fits in with the statements of leading Communists, ie socialism was not on the agenda.

A clear example is China where Stalin supported the vicious communist-murdering KMT right up to 1948.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Nov 2011, 06:00
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Post 29 Feb 2012, 00:23
daft punk wrote:
Quick summary

The revolution degenerated in the 1920s due to it's isolation in a backward country, in accordance with Marxist theory. Stalin was the personification of that, "the individual supply to meet the collective demand" as Trotsky put it when describing Hitler.

But history is dialectical and so Stalin did play a huge role in speeding up the degeneration of the revolution in the 1920s.

He got rid of Trotsky etc and then found that Trotsky had been right about everything. He was then forced to collectivise as Trotsky had urged, only he did it in a terrible way, and for the wrong reasons.

Later he became a conscious anti-socialist, wiping out all the genuine socialists in the party.

This was political genocide.

After that, Stalin's policy was to sabotage all revolutions around the world. Spain was the first in 1936-7 (Stalin's sabotage of the 1925-7 Chinese revolution was probably not deliberate). Those countries which went 'communist' did so against Stalin's wishes as far as I can tell. They were supposed to be capitalist, with bourgeois-communist coalitions, though I suppose it's possible that was just a trick. Put it this way, at the end of the war the actions of Soviet troops etc fits in with the statements of leading Communists, ie socialism was not on the agenda.

A clear example is China where Stalin supported the vicious communist-murdering KMT right up to 1948.


He said sell em on Stalin, not make him hate em, typical trot. Why don't you sell him on trotsky without dissing Stalin, I dare yah.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jan 2012, 22:09
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Post 04 Mar 2012, 13:19
Ok, quick 'sale' on Trotsky:

1. In 1906 Trotsky came to the conclusion that the revolution in Russia would not be a normal bourgeois one, following the basic stages outlined by Marx. he said the revolution would have to be led by the workers, and go straight on with socialist tasks as soon as the basic bourgeois ones were done. In 1917 Lenin decided he agreed. The rest of the Bolsheviks took a lot of persuading. Lenin also went for Trotsky slogan of a workers government, in September, dropping the peasants from his slogan. This was basic Marxism to Trotsky. It was also a very cunning way to split the peasants along class lines in a largely peasant country, where the rich and poor peasants had been united in fighting landlordism.

2. Trotsky them organised and led the revolution. Lenin gave moral support but Trotsky did all the practical work, Lenin was in hiding and had to stay that way. Trotsky was chair of the Petrograd Soviet and organised the defection of the soldiers to the Bolshevik side.

3.Trotsky supported revolution in Germany in 1923 but Stalin was opposed to it. In the end it was cancelled because they couldnt get the support of the Social Democrats (SPD). Trotsky was blocked from going to Germany.

4. I just said Stalin found that Trotsky was right about everything in 1928. The Chinese revolution had been ruined, the economy was doing badly, and Stalin faced a challenge for power from the wealthier peasants. All stuff Trotsky had been warning about for years.

The best reading on this is here
http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky ... /index.htm
http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/china/index.htm

5. Then Stalin made a sharp turn to a pseudo-left position. The Third period.
From 1930 Trotsky was warning of the danger of the Nazis coming to power in Germany. The German Communist Party (KPD) under Stalin's influence did the opposite of what Trotsky had advised, refused to form a united front with the social democrat workers, even had a brief alliance with the Nazis! By the time they finally tried a united front with the SPD it was too late, the game was up.

6. In 1936 Trotsky supported the revolution in Spain. The leader of the anarchists admitted they could have taken power but refused to. Stalin had the revolution crushed.

7. Trotsky predicted that without a political revolution to gain genuine democratic workers government, the USSR would eventually collapse back to capitalism, of course he was proved right. In response, Stalin killed a million people, including all the old Bolsheviks, 10,000 Trotskyists, anyone who opposed him, and purged maybe a million from the Communist Party.

8. Trotsky predicted WW2 would bring world revolution. There were loads of revolutionary opportunities at the end of WW2, but Stalin's policy seems to have been to crush them and try to restore capitalism in all countries outside the USSR. he failed, and in the end these countries became Stalinist themsleves. The failure of capitalism to be established could be because the Stalinists didnt really want it, or it could be because capitalism was simply too weak. Trotsky described the underdevelopment of capitalism in backward countries in In Defence of October.
http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1932/11/oct.htm

It is still a useful document not just for historical reasons, explaining why the Russian revolution happened, but explaining how capitalism finds itself stunted in many countries. In Eastern Europe there were additional factors, ie the bourgeois had either collaborated with the Nazis, or had been largely wiped out by them (eg Poland). Plus the workers had led the resistance and so the CP's sort of almost had power.

In fact, socialist revolutions in Eastern Europe would have been child's play, had it been the agenda of the Russians.
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 04 Mar 2012, 13:21
God damn it DP,is Trotsky all you ever talk about? You've posted the same thing in 10 different threads.
There are other subjects you could post about you know...
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Nov 2011, 06:00
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Post 05 Mar 2012, 01:32
I think this is the same guy at RevLeft who does the samething with the same name.
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
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Post 05 Mar 2012, 01:40
You should better edit the name of that forum out,it's against site rules to mention other forums like that.
Just sayin'.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 11 Nov 2009, 07:13
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Politburo
Post 05 Mar 2012, 02:56
Seriously DP, you turned this into another Stalin vs Trotsky debate. It's off topic, since the title of the thread is "Sell Me on Stalin"
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JAM
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 Mar 2012, 02:37
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Post 09 Mar 2012, 04:02
There are plenty reasons why the western culture want to put on Stalin's shoulders the responsability for the killings of millions of people, but there's one more stronger than the others. Stalin proved that the communist system could work more efficiently than the capitalist one and produce better results in a faster manner. Let's just imagine the image of Stalin in the West without those mass murdering, it would be almost like the perfect leader, superior to any capitalist historical figure. No one has ever recovered a country the way Stalin did in Russia. In 1926-28 the USSR was still recovering from the ashes of the civil war and the society was mainly agrarian, poor and technological backward. In 1953 they had a heavily industrialized economy, the nuclear bomb and were on their way to put the man on space. Aren't this reasons enough to soiling the man's name?
"If I could control Hollywood, I could control the world." -Joseph Stalin
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Feb 2012, 23:00
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Post 13 Mar 2012, 21:33
Well Stalin killed millions of his own people but he did turn a backward peasant's nation into a industrial superpower, Stalin inspired the Russian people to victory in World War 2. So he did more than good but marginaly.
Also DP why start a flamewar on something not related to the original post?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 Mar 2012, 02:37
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Post 15 Mar 2012, 01:09
The Mighty O wrote:
Well Stalin killed millions of his own people?


Killed millions? How many? 50, 20, 10, 3? I'm asking you this because before the fall of the USSR the official western figure was around 50. After the fall and the subsequently opening of the USSR archives that figure lowered to 20 -10 million. Now, the new investigations say that the real number is around 3 million accordingly to Wikipedia. In 10 years time that number will be less than 1 million and maybe 20 years later the figure is already irrelevant. I just ask you, how this can be credible when the estimation ranges from 50 to 3 million? As far as Hitler goes we always had a precise estimation (around 6 million) but with Stalin that never happened. It's a case to wonder why.

Besides, if one believes that Stalin killed millions of people is because he believes in the western/capitalist propaganda and if he believes so he must also be believe that Lenin was a mass murder as equal since that very same propaganda also credit thousands of deaths to Lenin.
"If I could control Hollywood, I could control the world." -Joseph Stalin
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