Stalin is viewed postively, why?


I think that people can get so caught up in left and right, politics, or ideological distinctions, that they miss crucial similarities. For example, maybe Stalin differed with Hitler on some esoteric political theory, but, both Hitler and Stalin could make anyone disappear in the middle of the night for no reason at all. That is one very important, overriding, similarity IMO.

Hitler and Stalin both invaded their neighbors. In one case, Poland, they divided the country between them. Hitler and Stalin both contributed to the deaths of millions of people, in concentration camps, in political prisons, on the battlefield, shot in secluded rooms, tortured to the end, or hung in public squares.

One difference is, of course, that some progressives in the United States defended Joseph Stalin. They claimed the purges were real trials, that there was no mass starvation in the Soviet Union. In 1956, when the information began to trickle out, it became difficult to deny what had really happened. Another difference is the continued viability of Marxist thought in the academy.

Do we have a propensity to scream “McCarthyism” when anyone analyzes Communism, in particular with respect to the history of espionage within the US? Now that we know there was far more spying than most people thought, how does that change things?

McCarthy was bad. But how do his excesses compare to Stalin? Given the bluster level you would think Joe (M) was worse than Joe (S) sometimes.

Check out the “Watch and Listen” video by the BBC. The young Russians seem to really fancy old Joe.

Another good article illustrating Stalin’s mastery at deceiving his own people and, indeed, canny senior politicians. His legacy is summed up well:

I’m not sure how the Nazis were important to giving Stalin a good image. I read in a history book once (can’t remember the title) that when the Nazis invaded the Ukraine that the citizens viewed them as liberators & tried to join the Nazi army. Of course, the Ukraine had a famine enforced on it so perhaps its inhabitants had a different view on Stalin than central Russia.

What about Christopher Columbus? he was almost as evil as Joseph Stalin but he is held in high regard.

I’m so tired of listening to people saying Columbus was so evil. Now there is a person who actually has the function to log onto the net and compare him to Stalin? Give some examples on how Stalin was a lesser evil. Hitler had nothing on Stalin when it came to indiscriminate killing, nor sheer numbers. Calculus, I respectfully invite you to study your history about these matters, lest you start comparing Jefferson to Attilla the Hun.

I did not say Stalin was a lesser evil. I said he was almost as evil and i quote.

the intensity of slavery, suffering & repression seems the same between Stalin & Columbus in regards to the people they conquered. Columbus just did it on a smaller scale.

“In two years, through murder, mutilation, or suicide, half of the 250,000 Indians on Haiti were dead.”

I’m not talking about numbers killed or tortured, i’m talking about the intensity & severity of the torture, slavery & murder visited on people. For example, the USSR under stalin might be a 9, and the USSR under Khrushchev might be a 5 (as a guess).

Columbus managed to introduce a self replicating society based on slavery. Stalin 's little dream fell apart fairly soon after his death. So Columbus was the more sucessful of the two, but should not be credited with sole responsibility.

In answer to the original post, my understanding is that many young Russians nowadays view Stalin in a positive light because he was able to elevate Russia, and the Soviet Union therein, from being an “also ran” to a “superpower”.

My perceptions on this? Well, firstly, that’s all about ego really, isn’t it? I mean, at what point does a successful model become a “supermodel”? It’s all names and public perception. The Soviet Union was inarguably a military superpower - for a while - but then it went broke, as it was destined to do so. End of Cold War.

After all… you can’t keep spending over 20% of your annual GDP on the military budget and not end up destitute.

So the Soviet Union might have been a “Superpower” for a while, but it was a very vacuous one, because ultimately, at an economic level, it remained an “also-ran”.

Unfortunately, revisionist historians within Russia are painting Stalins’ achievements to be greater than they were - but what can you do? It’s their right to do so… but all it takes is an english-speaking Russian university student to read this postboard and the truth will hit home.

Well, I think the answer is pretty simple:
It is generally believed in Russia that under Stalin’s command, Russia won WWII. (I said “believed” and “in Russia”).
That’s one positive role.

Beagle, if you were alluding to this fact, and arguing that if Russia were conquered by Hitler, it wouldn’t be worse off… Well, maybe, but you’d have a hard time convinving any Russians of this.

30 million dead is not a good record for a newly established state (in that I mean the USSR) and from what I hear, the infrastuctures terrible, nearly all cities are connected by rail and not by roads, lack of highways was and is a damaging factor.

In the interest of wiping out ignorance, I’d be very skeptical of an article that referred to “Indians on Haiti”. Haiti is one of two countries on the island of Hispaniola, Dominican Republic is the other, larger one. That’s not to say that the indians in Hispaniola were not wiped out by the coming of the spanish, but they way I learned my history only a small percentage of that was due to direct action by the spanish, the rest died as a result of diseases that came with the spanish.

I’d say it was because he was the leader during WWII and fought off the Nazis, and he played a major role in turning USSR from an agricultural country that wasn’t very important to a (relatively) modern industrial country that was one of the biggest powers in the world.

Of course, he did a lot of evil shit. This post isn’t trying to defend the guy, but rather to work out why he is admired in Russia.

Well I think this post is a good answer. People have a problem harshly criticizing their own history. It’s easy for us to see Stalin was easy, we’re not Russian. But mention the genocide caused by American expansion and we get all defensive.

He always struck me as a coquettish little minx.

Defensive perhaps, but that doesn’t mean you can justify gross distortions about what Columbus did and did not do. I suggest you read some history before making such assertions. Columbus was looking for new trade routes, and to be perfectly honest, someone else would have found the “New World” before long if he hadn’t. If you want to credit him with the institution of slavery or the “genocide caused by American expansion” then your oversimplification begs the question, “what do you know about it?” Apparently not enough to differentiate a brutal dictator who ruled with an iron fist and is credited with bringing his country into the twentieth century from a fifteenth century explorer who died deeply in debt and who maintained to his dying day that he had reached India.

Seriously, if you wanted to play the blame game with regard to the expansion of colonial power then place the blame where it is due. Disease, religion and the quest for power and wealth; Columbus created none of that.

Heck, even a lot of the US intellectual elite doesn’t seem to think Stalin such a bad guy. Dig up the NYT obituary for Stalin, sometime. It’s a pretty glowing review of the man’s life, and alludes to his evil in a passing, almost unimportant, fashion. I can understand why Russians might see Stalin in a favorable light, given the propganda they had foisted upon them for decades. The fawning of those in the US, though, confuses the hell out of me.


Since “doesn’t seem to think” is present tense…cite?

That’s a bit generous. Perhaps if Stalin’s purges didn’t kill so many Soviet military leaders they wouldn’t have sustained so many deaths.


No, conquered Soviets were in fact worse off under Hitler, we don’t even have to speculate. That is why those who greeted the Wehrmacht as liberators quickly became partisans once the Einsatzgruppen showed up. Hitler was notoriously bad to the Soviets. He threw out the rules of war at the beginning of Barbarossa.

I would say that for the conquered people living under the rule of Hitler or Stalin there would be more similarities than differences. Of course, both Hitler and Stalin were better to their own people than their imperial slaves.

No argument here. When I wrote “fact” I meant “speculation”.(which I nevertheless heard a couple of times)

The Onion has an interesting take on this topic.