Stalin's Supporters?

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FullMetalX
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I've read various sources implying Stalin did have supporters during his rule, and more came out when he died.

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What I want to know is why did he have anyones support? And where can I find more detailed information about his supporters?
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MagicNMedicine
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Well remember during the Soviet era there was a big propaganda campaign and other than those that were directly or had family members affected by the purges, there was not wide awareness of the human rights abuses being committed.

Stalin was seen as a strong national figure leading the struggle against the Nazis, and even in Britain during the war, "Uncle Joe" was seen as an ally with a smily face who was causing the Germans massive losses (the Germans lost around 3.2 million soldiers during the war, and 2.7 million of those were killed in campaigns against the Soviets).

As for supporters of Stalin after his death, he is a rallying point for old style command and control Communists, they will argue that Stalin was ruthless against the old imperialists and prevented the Soviet Union from being overthrown by an imperial counter revolution, they will also say that he industrialised the Soviet economy and Russia's economic development grew quickly in his period, they went from being a very backward agricultural society to being one of the world's two global superpowers, at the forefront of nuclear and space technology.

In the UK you get some of the Socialist Labour Party types who like to state their loyalty and admiration for Stalin and reckon that his reputation was blackened in the history books by US Cold War propaganda.
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FullMetalX
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
Well remember during the Soviet era there was a big propaganda campaign and other than those that were directly or had family members affected by the purges, there was not wide awareness of the human rights abuses being committed.

Stalin was seen as a strong national figure leading the struggle against the Nazis, and even in Britain during the war, "Uncle Joe" was seen as an ally with a smily face who was causing the Germans massive losses (the Germans lost around 3.2 million soldiers during the war, and 2.7 million of those were killed in campaigns against the Soviets).

As for supporters of Stalin after his death, he is a rallying point for old style command and control Communists, they will argue that Stalin was ruthless against the old imperialists and prevented the Soviet Union from being overthrown by an imperial counter revolution, they will also say that he industrialised the Soviet economy and Russia's economic development grew quickly in his period, they went from being a very backward agricultural society to being one of the world's two global superpowers, at the forefront of nuclear and space technology.

In the UK you get some of the Socialist Labour Party types who like to state their loyalty and admiration for Stalin and reckon that his reputation was blackened in the history books by US Cold War propaganda.
Thanks, that helped. I guess propaganda can really go a long way.

(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
there was not wide awareness of the human rights abuses being committed.
That's hard to believe, with the five year plan, collectivisation, dekulakisation and the purges, 20 million had been killed; 28 million deported, of whom 18 million had slaved in the Gulags in Stalin's regime. No one really had any rights, so most people would be aware of that? Were people so indoctrinated that they believed they weren't being oppressed?
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crocker710
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
Well remember during the Soviet era there was a big propaganda campaign and other than those that were directly or had family members affected by the purges, there was not wide awareness of the human rights abuses being committed.

Stalin was seen as a strong national figure leading the struggle against the Nazis, and even in Britain during the war, "Uncle Joe" was seen as an ally with a smily face who was causing the Germans massive losses (the Germans lost around 3.2 million soldiers during the war, and 2.7 million of those were killed in campaigns against the Soviets).

As for supporters of Stalin after his death, he is a rallying point for old style command and control Communists, they will argue that Stalin was ruthless against the old imperialists and prevented the Soviet Union from being overthrown by an imperial counter revolution, they will also say that he industrialised the Soviet economy and Russia's economic development grew quickly in his period, they went from being a very backward agricultural society to being one of the world's two global superpowers, at the forefront of nuclear and space technology.

In the UK you get some of the Socialist Labour Party types who like to state their loyalty and admiration for Stalin and reckon that his reputation was blackened in the history books by US Cold War propaganda.
Say what?
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Historophilia
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Well basically you might say that the Soviet state undertook a mass brainwashing campaign.

Most of what needs to be said has already been said but you should note that many people who were accused of bizarre crimes and taken to the Gulag were convinced that actually Stalin didn't know what was happening and that the purges were actually undertaken by rogue capitalist agents, enemies of the people etc.

If you wish to gain a greater understanding of Stalin as a person and a ruler can I recommend 'The Court of the Red Tsar' by Simon Sebag Montefiore and also 'Russia's War' by Richard Overy.
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FloydRix
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I supported his policy of rapid industrialisation
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geetar
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Cult of personality an' all that.

And also, any powerful leader will be idolised by some, to some extent. Case in point, in the west Robert Mugabe is seen as basically evil. But by many in southern Africa, he is seen as a bit of a hero because he was one of the first individuals to stand up to white minority rule in the region. And so, because he embodies a sort of spirit of resistance, he upheld to be something special, in spite of his later actions. I imagine it was a similar deal for Stalin. He was a strong leader who embodied a nationalistic spirit, and for that reason he had a great deal of supporters.
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Historophilia
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(Original post by FloydRix)
I supported his policy of rapid industrialisation
You supported mass-murder?
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FloydRix
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(Original post by Historophilia)
You supported mass-murder?
You are too naive. If you think about the bigger picture. Would the USSR be able to defend itself against the Nazis without rapid industrialisation? Stalin once said, "We are 50-100 years behind the advanced countries. We have to close that gap in 10 years. Either we do it or we will be wiped out." If you think about it logically, yes, around 20 million died as a result but the cost could have been far greater, not just for the USSR, but for the world. If the Germans had kept up the Battle Of Britain for just a few more months, they would of surely won.
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Historophilia
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(Original post by FloydRix)
You are too naive. If you think about the bigger picture. Would the USSR be able to defend itself against the Nazis without rapid industrialisation? Stalin once said, "We are 50-100 years behind the advanced countries. We have to close that gap in 10 years. Either we do it or we will be wiped out." If you think about it logically, yes, around 20 million died as a result but the cost could have been far greater, not just for the USSR, but for the world. If the Germans had kept up the Battle Of Britain for just a few more months, they would of surely won.
Collectivisation did not contribute to the industrialisation of Russia, the deliberate starvation of untold numbers of Ukrainian Peasants did not contribute to it's industrialisation.

Russia was not ready for war when Germany attacked as is demonstrated by it's multiple defeats and the huge amount of territory taken by the Nazi's in the early months/years of the invasion. The real improvements made to the Russian military happened after the war had started, and after the attempt at industrialisation that Stalin made in the pre-war years. These happened after the attempts to collectivize the peasants had been set aside and Stalin actually took a step back from his grip on power, delegating more to Generals like Zhukhov.

Collectivization and the attempts at rapid industrialisation were not linked to preparation for war, even a few days before Germany attacked Stalin was convinced they would not attack, despite utterly foolproof and reliable intelligence telling him that the Germans were massing for war on his borders. Stalin wouldn't accept reality until German planes were bombing Russian cities!

Show me some real evidence that Stalin's efforts revolutionised Russian industry in a way that in any tiny way justifies the incomprehensible suffering that he inflicted on the Russian nation, there is nothing, nothing, that can justify the deliberate mass-murder of so many innocents. How many more guns/tanks were produced do to it? How much more electricity/steel/coal?

The end justifying the means is the most dangerous idea ever to exist, so many horrors have been committed in it's name.
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Fusion
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Stalin was the figurehead during the 'great war' that saw the soviets defend the homeland and then conquer Berlin east and much of eastern europe....in this respect you can see how he's idolised from a nationalistic 'greater russia' point of view. Wasn't he named greatest russian of all time a few years ago....?
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AbuAK
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There were massive propaganda schemes in USSR so that would explain his supporters.
Also, in Social Studies our teacher told us that when people took photos of Stalin, they did it from an angle below him to make him look taller, not sure if its right, but that would show the propaganda as well.
But in the end, he did turn USSR into a superpower, questions is that weather the means justify the end, and I don't think massive purges and taking farm land is right.
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Sol1dShot
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(Original post by FullMetalX)
I've read various sources implying Stalin did have supporters during his rule, and more came out when he died.

Image

What I want to know is why did he have anyones support? And where can I find more detailed information about his supporters?
http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/...4BR17620081229

Start there.

then watch this! (a little off topic but still great!!!!!0



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWTFG3J1CP8
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crocker710
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(Original post by Historophilia)
Collectivisation did not contribute to the industrialisation of Russia, the deliberate starvation of untold numbers of Ukrainian Peasants did not contribute to it's industrialisation.

Russia was not ready for war when Germany attacked as is demonstrated by it's multiple defeats and the huge amount of territory taken by the Nazi's in the early months/years of the invasion. The real improvements made to the Russian military happened after the war had started, and after the attempt at industrialisation that Stalin made in the pre-war years. These happened after the attempts to collectivize the peasants had been set aside and Stalin actually took a step back from his grip on power, delegating more to Generals like Zhukhov.

Collectivization and the attempts at rapid industrialisation were not linked to preparation for war, even a few days before Germany attacked Stalin was convinced they would not attack, despite utterly foolproof and reliable intelligence telling him that the Germans were massing for war on his borders. Stalin wouldn't accept reality until German planes were bombing Russian cities!

Show me some real evidence that Stalin's efforts revolutionised Russian industry in a way that in any tiny way justifies the incomprehensible suffering that he inflicted on the Russian nation, there is nothing, nothing, that can justify the deliberate mass-murder of so many innocents. How many more guns/tanks were produced do to it? How much more electricity/steel/coal?

The end justifying the means is the most dangerous idea ever to exist, so many horrors have been committed in it's name.
You've firstly inferred from what FloydRix said
I supported his policy of rapid industrialisation
that he supported mass genocide. There's a difference between supporting an idea and supporting a side-affect of an idea.

Secondly, as FloydRix pointed out the Russia which Stalin inherited was no where near ready for an industrial war in 1941. He gave a relevant quote from Stalin
"We are 50-100 years behind the advanced countries. We have to close that gap in 10 years. Either we do it or we will be wiped out."
and explained that the deaths of industrialisation were less than if German had defeated Russia, which is a valid view.


You've said collectivisation did not contribute to industrialisation. It did. How can an rapidly industrialising country, with a population encouraged in a multitude of way to urbanise do so if they can not be fed?

Do you really believe that? You think if Stalin hadn't started any of his five year plans Russia would have managed to holt the advance of the Germans? Yeah; you're right Russia wasn't ready for the invasion in 1941; it had signed a pact of steel with Germany to carve up Poland and remain a cooperating partner of Germany for their mutual benefit. When Stalin was told on the invasion, he denied it and said that Hitler wouldn't have done such a thing, militarily they were unready. The manpower of Russia was the driving force; if they were so unready how; after much of their industrial powerhouses were captured, were they able to partake in the biggest tank battle in history; after fighting tooth and nail to defend a city which was only symbolically important?

LoLwut? collectivisation and industrialisation were not linked?

Show me some real evidence that Stalin's efforts revolutionised Russian industry in a way that in any tiny way justifies the incomprehensible suffering that he inflicted on the Russian nation, there is nothing, nothing, that can justify the deliberate mass-murder of so many innocents. How many more guns/tanks were produced do to it? How much more electricity/steel/coal?

The end justifying the means is the most dangerous idea ever to exist, so many horrors have been committed in it's name.
Have you heard of something called utilitarianism?
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pol pot noodles
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(Original post by FloydRix)
If the Germans had kept up the Battle Of Britain for just a few more months, they would of surely won.
No they wouldn't have.
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GooseNation
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(Original post by FullMetalX)
I've read various sources implying Stalin did have supporters during his rule, and more came out when he died.

Image

What I want to know is why did he have anyones support? And where can I find more detailed information about his supporters?
I once read that in 2006, 35% of people surveyed said that they would still vote for Stalin..i'll try find a source for you!

Edit: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...me-827654.html and http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articl...he-stalin-test

Not entirely relevant but certainly interesting.
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crocker710
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(Original post by pol pot noodles)
No they wouldn't have.
They won't have won the Battle of Britain, you're right. However; if they didn't have the failing war in the East the defenses in Northern France; when intelligence told the German's that we were going to invade, would have been strengthened throughout; including Normandy. The success the British/Americans had would have been dramatically reduced / not existed.
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EssexDan86
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(Original post by pol pot noodles)
No they wouldn't have.
If Russia had still been backward and unindustrialised, the Germans would have had no problem crushing the Red Army and reaching Moscow. The huge German armies on the Eastern Front could then be used to support those in the west with the next phase of the Battle of Britain, the planned 'Operation Sea Lion', in which Britain would have been invaded.

There's every possibility this could have succeeded, and we owe the Russians quite a lot for their opposition to Germany in the war. Not saying Stalin was a nice man in any sense, but he was a useful ally.
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graciegirl
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People also believed that the secret police had informants everywhere and therefore they were reluctant to speak out against Stalin or do things which implied they didn't support him. There are sources saying that after Stalin gave a speech people would sometimes applaud for hours because no one wanted to be seen to stop first.
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crocker710
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(Original post by foxo)
Those figures are vastly overinflated. I remember being told that in school but according to my communism lecturer the number of people killed is not more than 2,000,000 and trust me, he knows his stuff. Wikipedia seems to agree.
A lecturer who is sympathetic to the subject matter who undercuts the generally accepted number by 90% 'knows his stuff' ... hmm
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