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Apr. 9th, 2005 @ 09:59 am Joseph Stalin: The ruination of a legacy.

The Following is an excerpt from my (32 page!) paper I wrote in McMartin's HWW-hn class:

After his first stroke, Lenin published a number of papers indicating future directions for the government. Most famous of these is Lenin's Testament, which warned the people of the rise of Joseph Stalin, who had been the Communist Party's general secretary since April 1922, claiming that he had "unlimited authority concentrated in his hands" and suggesting that "comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that post".(29) Many of these papers were suppressed for decades as Stalin and his supporters gained control. This marked the end of the Bolshevik party, and the revert back to oppressive rule.(30)

Here's another one, from the analysis section:

Lenin actually kept divergent opinions in the Soviet Government, in order to give a sense of tolerance. Unfortunately, with Lenin’s Assassination (he was poisoned by a fringe member of the Stalin regime), the Russian people would lose their only true advocate, and in turn, would lose everything they had fought and died for. The Rise of Stalin meant a new kind of Autocracy: An "accepted leader through forceful coercion". Josef Stalin Mixed all of the worst traits of the Russian Czars (Ivan the Terrible, Alexander III) and used a new form of control: "Association Propaganda". After the death of Lenin, Stalin suppressed records that showed Lenin begging the people not to let Stalin come into power. "This", Lenin said, "would destroy everthing our people have died for". How right he was. In the shadow of Lenin, Stalin erased the rights of the Russian people, right underneath their noses. The lesson learned from this is simple: no one person can have control of a government. The rights of the people must be represented in order for that government to be legitimate. Finally, we must not disclose any sort of information of governmental activity from our people. If these are not followed, the governement will never survive, and will crumble, just like the Berlin Wall.

Yes, Stalin is a motherfucker. He was the basis for Big Brother in Orwell's 1984.

Although Lenin was nominally in charge, his failing health soon left his ministers to fight over the resulting power vacuum. By 1928, Stalin's ascendance was complete. He had assumed the reins and most of his enemies were either dead or in exile.

In 1929, Stalin expelled his chief rival and harshest critic, Leon Trotsky. Trotsky fled to Mexico City, where he wrote books and newspaper articles denouncing Stalin and his regime. In rebuttal, Stalin ordered his assassination. Trotsky was finally killed in 1940 after several unsuccessful attempts on his life. The assassin was the recipient of the Order of Lenin (Orden Lenina) upon his release from a Mexican prison.

Then Stalin deliberately engineered a famine in the Ukraine. In 1932 he ordered all of the granaries emptied and their contents hauled off for export. In the spring of 1933, seven million people died of starvation in the nation's breadbasket. It was genocide on an immense scale. (Of course, this figure was later dwarfed by China's Great Leap Forward.)

Which is right about the time that Stalin kicked the Gulag system into high gear. It was a constellation of forced labor camps, dispersed across the USSR. Criminals, dissidents, and anybody who pissed off the wrong person got shipped off to lay railroad tracks, dig canals, build dams, or extract ore from the mines. They toiled under inhuman conditions. Something like 50 million people died in the gulags; more than seven million between 1934 and 1938 alone.

When Stalin wasn't busy killing off large segments of his own population, he was dabbling in statecraft. In August 1939, he and Hitler inked a nonaggression pact. In retrospect, it seems that Hitler may not have been clear on the terms of their agreement. Buried way down in the fine print of Article I was some legal mumbo jumbo about the two countries not waging war on each other.

In June 1941, Hitler launched a sneak attack on Russia. Three million German troops crossed the border at 3:15am. The incursion paralyzed Stalin. Subordinates handled the Nazi onslaught while he sat on his thumb, stupefied.

There had been warnings. An agent in Tokyo reported in May that Hitler was preparing an imminent invasion of Russia. The information had been presented to Stalin, who chose to ignore it. For whatever reason, the man who had personally backstabbed countless friends and cohorts in his rise to power somehow believed that Hitler would never break their treaty. Go figure.

One of Stalin's spymasters put it this way:

The generalissimo preferred to trust his political instinct rather than the secret reports piled up on his desk. Convinced that he had signed an eternal pact of friendship with Germany, he sucked on the pipe of peace.

And he would have been sucking on more than just that pipe if only the Nazis had packed some cold-weather gear. As it happened, the Germans were counting on their blitzkreig strategy to effect sudden and decisive victory, leaving the Soviets no option but surrender. Consequently, they didn't bring their long underwear. Soon the Wehrmacht found themselves stuck in the Russian snow -- just as Napoleon had, more than a century earlier.

After Hitler's betrayal, Stalin was eager to join the capitalist nations fighting against Germany. For the remainder of the war, the USSR suspended their extreme loathing for the West and maintained an uneasy detente with the other Allies. This evaporated immediately after the Japanese surrender.

The Russians were driven to develop an atomic bomb of their own. President Truman had made an offhard reference to the weapon during the Potsdam Conference in July 1945. During which time, Stalin feigned ignorance. As Truman recalled in his memoirs:

On July 24 I casually mentioned to Stalin that we had a new weapon of unusual destructive force. The Russian Premier showed no special interest. All he said was he was glad to hear it and hoped we would make "good use of it against the Japanese."

Year later it was revealed that the Communists had actually been receiving periodic intelligence updates from Klaus Fuchs, a physicist working on the Manhattan Project. Stalin sent a telegram to Kurchatov after Potsdam, ordering him to rush their own atomic bomb program, which had been underway for years. The first Russian A-bomb was finally detonated in 1948.

When the tyrant finally croaked from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1953 -- some have theorized that it may not have been from entirely natural causes -- the country breathed a collective sigh of relief. A large number of gulag prisoners were granted amnesty and allowed to return home. Of the many thousands of citizens who waited hours in the snow to file past his body, it seems likely that nearly all of them just wanted to make certain he was truly dead.

The Yalta Conference

Winston Churchill:  who invited HIM?

FDR: He kind of invited himself, actually

Stalin: Comrades! Brewski! Kill Fascist Pig! He lie to me!

Churchill:  I really don't like that guy.

FDR: He gives me a bad feeling below my waist...oh, wait.

Stalin: (hic) *pokes FDR's legs* Can you feel dat, comrade? Dis is fun! HAHAHAHAHA

FDR: *whispers* After the end of the Reich, I'm totally fucking this guy up.

Churchill: *whispers* Not if I do it first.

FDR: *suprised* Why, you dog!

Stalin: HOW DARE YOU NOT MAKE ME PRIVY TO SCHEME! CAPITALIST PIGS!

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manicmantra:
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From:nick_nowgorod
Date:February 3rd, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
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Hi, .
I think Stalin was cheated by Hitler in 1939 http://wol-hov.livejournal.com/779.html