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    (Original post by sarcastic pratchett fan)
    Yes Stalin established a highly inefficient bureacracy. Yes this bureacracy did hinder the USSR for years to come. Stalin's purges cripled the nation - the reason the USSR did so badly in WWII was they had no experienced commanders: Stalin had all the chiefs of staff, 90% of all Generals, 75% of those of rank above Captain and 50% of all commissioned officers killed or put in gulags. Similarly, the systems (ie, Communist) of production and the collectivisation of agriculture were not good for the USSR's long term econoic success. What he did do, however, was modernise russia. Up until the early 1900s, the whole of Russia survived almost entirely on subsistance farming. There was no industry whatsoever: whilst other nations had finished their industrial revolutions decades before, Russia had not started. This process did start before Stalin came to power, but it was very slow - particualrly in agriculture. Although Stalin put an inefficeint system in place (one which would not be able to compete with other modern economies in the late C20th) had effectively conducted Russia's industrial revolution in a decade whilst other nation's had taken place over 50 to a 100 years. Under Stalin, Russia effectively caught up with the rest of the world in its mechanisation, allowing it to compete for decades to come.

    I agree that the system he introduced was fundamentally flawed, but at least his implementation of Communism was infintely more efficient than that of leaders like Mao's.
    I'm aware. I don't see how that justifies Stalin's state though. At all. To any degree. Subsistence farming is preferable to famine (famine caused by Stalin's brutal and dumbass agricultural policy); slow, sustainable development is preferable to clumsy, all-over-the-place industrialisation built on slave labour camps.

    Modernisation isn't all that. And being "better than Mao" doesn't equate to being "good" really, does it?
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    Subsistnce farming led to terrible famine in the cities which were rapidly expanding - both the Tsars and Lenin could do little to combat this. I do not say that Stalin was necessarily 'good', but I don't think he was all bad either. I do not see any way that Russia would have become the power it did under the leadership of people not willing to employ the ruthless and brutal methods of Stalin.
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    (Original post by tis_me_lord)
    I'm going to ignore the people here trying to justify Stalin, they're obviously just looking for a reaction.

    But I will say that I think Stalin and soviet Russia in general is too unknown. Everyone does so much Nazi Germany, and knows how bad fascism is etc but Stalin was in my opinion considerably worse than Hitler and nobody seems to realise. It'd be an important lesson about how the left can also go horribly wrong.
    Well said, Hitler and Stalin are worth each other
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    Two main reasons for this I think

    1 - Stalin was on our side during the war (by default, he had signed a non aggression pact with Hitler which Hitler conned him on and invaded anyway)

    2 - Hitler victimised one section of society, the Jews. Whilst Stalin did have a thing for victimising certain groups as well he was more general in his approach. Also Stalin didn't write an iconic book full of race hate, Hitler did.

    In Western societies like ours there is a large Jewish community including people who had relative directly affected by teh Holocaust, whereas you don't find nearly as many people over here with direct family experiences of Stalins purges, so we are more aware of it here.

    I have a t shirt with the communist hammer and sickle on which I wear out and about sometimes and nobody bats an eyelid. I wonder how they would feel if I had a swastika t-shirt (especially given that I have a skinhead)
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    Two main reasons for this I think

    1 - Stalin was on our side during the war (by default, he had signed a non aggression pact with Hitler which Hitler conned him on and invaded anyway)

    2 - Hitler victimised one section of society, the Jews. Whilst Stalin did have a thing for victimising certain groups as well he was more general in his approach. Also Stalin didn't write an iconic book full of race hate, Hitler did.

    In Western societies like ours there is a large Jewish community including people who had relative directly affected by teh Holocaust, whereas you don't find nearly as many people over here with direct family experiences of Stalins purges, so we are more aware of it here.

    I have a t shirt with the communist hammer and sickle on which I wear out and about sometimes and nobody bats an eyelid. I wonder how they would feel if I had a swastika t-shirt (especially given that I have a skinhead)
    Communism is coming back into fashion due to the severity of the current financial crisis.

    Stalin was overzealous, ruthless and paranoid. All good traits for a CEO.

    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you. - kurt cobain
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    I imagine it was because Hitler was murdering to eradicate a race of people, while Stalin was killing indisciminately.
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    (Original post by DaveJ)
    I imagine it was because Hitler was murdering to eradicate a race of people, while Stalin was killing indisciminately.
    volga germans, tatars, kalmuks, ingush, karachays. he wanted to have a dig at the jews too, in the 1950s (Doctor's Plot etc.)

    the only reason stalin is more accepted is because we fought with him.
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    (Original post by Pocket Calculator)
    the only reason stalin is more accepted is because we fought with him.
    he also started the Cold War though
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    (Original post by sarcastic pratchett fan)
    Subsistnce farming led to terrible famine in the cities which were rapidly expanding - both the Tsars and Lenin could do little to combat this. I do not say that Stalin was necessarily 'good', but I don't think he was all bad either. I do not see any way that Russia would have become the power it did under the leadership of people not willing to employ the ruthless and brutal methods of Stalin.
    ... And requisitioning led to famine everywhere else.

    Yeah, Stalin was pretty much all bad. Why is being a superpower a good thing? If ruthless and brutal methods were necessary for Russia to become a global power, it was not worth it.
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    I am not saying that Stalin was good - he just has a few points in his favour. Similarly, although Hitler's own form of governemnt was highly inefficient - giving contradictory verbal orders to his juniors to spark rivalry and competition - and many of his policies were immoral, he too did manage to achieve many things.
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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    ... And requisitioning led to famine everywhere else.

    Yeah, Stalin was pretty much all bad. Why is being a superpower a good thing? If ruthless and brutal methods were necessary for Russia to become a global power, it was not worth it.
    ...which is precisely why dictators aren't female
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    (Original post by sarcastic pratchett fan)
    I am not saying that Stalin was good - he just has a few points in his favour. Similarly, although Hitler's own form of governemnt was highly inefficient - giving contradictory verbal orders to his juniors to spark rivalry and competition - and many of his policies were immoral, he too did manage to achieve many things.
    So?

    Saying "Stalin's Russia achieved xyz" does not entail saying "some of what Stalin did was justified" (referring to the morally abhorrent things, of course, which was... well, most things). And I knew we'd get on to Hitler eventually. Yes Hitler turned Germany into xyz, he rebuilt the army, ended unemployment, and now we have the Autobahn. Awesome. They were not the only consequences of his regime; and presumably are outweighed by all the ****** ones.
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    (Original post by JewWithNation)
    ...which is precisely why dictators aren't female
    What on earth are you talking about?
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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    So?

    Saying "Stalin's Russia achieved xyz" does not entail saying "some of what Stalin did was justified" (referring to the morally abhorrent things, of course, which was... well, most things). And I knew we'd get on to Hitler eventually. Yes Hitler turned Germany into xyz, he rebuilt the army, ended unemployment, and now we have the Autobahn. Awesome. They were not the only consequences of his regime; and presumably are outweighed by all the ****** ones.
    Costs>Benefit, simple cost-benefit analysis, factor in the cost of lives and you are golden.
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    (Original post by JewWithNation)
    Costs>Benefit, simple cost-benefit analysis, factor in the cost of lives and you are golden.
    Well... Yes.
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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    So?

    Saying "Stalin's Russia achieved xyz" does not entail saying "some of what Stalin did was justified" (referring to the morally abhorrent things, of course, which was... well, most things). And I knew we'd get on to Hitler eventually. Yes Hitler turned Germany into xyz, he rebuilt the army, ended unemployment, and now we have the Autobahn. Awesome. They were not the only consequences of his regime; and presumably are outweighed by all the ****** ones.

    When I say that something has a justification, I do not necessarily mean that it was therefore 'right'. I am just saying that there are some reasons - not necessarily good ones, and often out-weighed by all the bad things. However, before demonising both Hitler and Mao I think it is important to recognise their achievements. Contrast them, for example, with rulers like Mao who created equal horrors through incompetence rather than malice.
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    (Original post by sarcastic pratchett fan)
    Contrast them, for example, with rulers like Mao who created equal horrors through incompetence rather than malice.
    Sounds like Bush Jr.
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    (Original post by sarcastic pratchett fan)
    When I say that something has a justification, I do not necessarily mean that it was therefore 'right'. I am just saying that there are some reasons - not necessarily good ones, and often out-weighed by all the bad things. However, before demonising both Hitler and Mao I think it is important to recognise their achievements. Contrast them, for example, with rulers like Mao who created equal horrors through incompetence rather than malice.
    If we were on that basis going to contrast them, Mao would then not be as bad.
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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    If we were on that basis going to contrast them, Mao would then not be as bad.
    I always thought that malice was was a better reason to kill someone than incompetence.
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    I would say Stalin is more accepted in the UK due to
    a) Lack of education compared to Nazi Germany - less press coverge, not done in school etc (The first time I was officially taught about Stalin in state education when I was doing my A levels)
    b) Stalin essentially won the war for us. If Russia was not in WW2, we would have had a much greater chance of losing, even with America's support. Hitler's worst decision as dictator was to invade Russia thus opening himself up on two fronts. So I think theres an element of that, he was our ally in WW2.
    c) Kind of links up with A) - the Holodamur is no where near as well known as the Holocaust - again due to lack of education. A very interesting book/film to watch which kind of explores this possibility - Fatherland. In that book (i've only watched the drama adaptation however) Germany essentially wins the war, and the Holocaust is swept under the carpet, and Stalin's Holodamur is more famous and widely known. This kind of illustrates my point.
    d) The proximity of Germany to the UK. Germany is and was very similar to the UK and has strong links with the UK in history, Russia on the other hand is a lot more remote and is completely different to the UK. Germany is only an hour ahead for example. Thats why I personally find Nazi Germany far more interesting than Stalin's Russia, because it could have been us, our far right parties were on the increase at the time, and in fact only reduced in popularity during and in the aftermath of WW2. They also served a far bigger threat to us, I know the Cold War was in existence with Russia as well, however that was more of a theoretical threat, invasion of the UK by germany was a very real possibility.

    I'm not defending Stalin, he killed more people than Hitler in camps, but as I said I think these reasons go a long way to explain why Hitler is often seen as more "evil" than Stalin.

    Not quite sure why Russia would put Stalin in their greatest 10 people, again maybe because he won the War and prevented Russia from being ruled by the Germans, who would have been much worse on the Russians. Also the fall of communism is also a relatively recent event in Russia, and Russia has struggled a bit since the fall of communism.

    Interesting topic non-the-less.
 
 
 
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