Friday, March 6, 2009

RE: Stalinism in the 30s.

Michael Kuznetsov sent me the following comment in regard to "Stalinism in the 30s":

Lawrence,

The West's rabid russophobia is one of the major factors that redounds greatly to our positive attitude toward Marshal Stalin.

Be advised of the fact that every day millions (sic!) of Russians have been reading via the Internet dozens of dirty articles about our country published by the West's corporate media world wide.

Those Russians who are not fluent enough in English can use a special website http://inosmi.ru which provides the readers with dozens of translations of the articles about Russia in the West.

EVERY DAY WE READ DOZENS OF SLANDEROUS WESTERN ARTICLES ABOUT OUR MOTHER RUSSIA!

If we summarize the West "message" to the common Russian man it would sound approximately as the following:

"Your mother is a dirty harlot, your father is a drunken piece of scum, and you personally are a moronic bastard. Your dictator Stalin is a bloody maniac. Your "victory" over Nazis is worth nothing. It was in fact General Frost that defeated the brave Germans. Moreover, the Mongol hordes of the Red Army raped 2,000,000 German women."

Frequently, after reading such garbage articles, I have only one desire: to push the "red button."

This given, it is no wonder that the more the Western russophobic propaganda machine would be trying to convince us Russians that Marshal Stalin was allegedly a murderous tyrant and that the life in the USSR was allegedly like hell on earth, the more supporters of Stalin would appear in modern Russia.

But this is only one side of the question.
The other side is that we Russians have got ALMOST free access to the Russian archives. We can now see that all the heinous insinuations that were fabricated by Nikita Khruschev against Marshal Stalin in 1956 appeared to be all dirty lies, lies, and lies!
You can read Grover Furr on this subject in English.

Lawrence responds:

Michael:

Are you invoking Grover Furr as an antidote to Norman Davies? I can't follow you some times. Way back when you first arrived on this blog, we both recognized that you were interested in rehabilitating Stalin; which happened to coincide with American Revisionists who were also busy rehabilitating Stalin. I think that's interesting, but it only interests me to a point. I am not terribly interested in reading these Revisionists. I am interested in the truth, whether it means that Stalin is as bad as Robert Conquest said he was or whether someone else did the evil things that Stalin was blamed for. In the absence of evidence for the latter, I shall continue to consider the historians I am reading. I have mentioned on many occasions, that Communist ideology is flawed. Some Communists have done good work at pulling off a revolution, but after that they wing it. They experiment. I quoted Davies this morning as someone who agreed with what I had written. They all do it. They purge away the enemies and then they try one thing after another. As I mentioned, I am willing to believe that Stalin (or his evil twin) caused the deaths of such people as the Kulaks and those sent to Gulags as a result of his experimenting, rather than as a deliberate desire to kill those people. Davies seems to follow Conquest in seeing their destruction as one of Stalin's objects. While that is important, it has not been my focus. I will argue about whether Communism works but I won't argue about whether Stalin is the actual perpetrator.

Professor Ludwik Kowalski, on the other hand is very interested in Stalin's career as a murderer, and since he and Grover Furr teach (or "taught" in Ludwik's case) at the same University, it isn't surprising that they disagree with each other. Ludwik Kowalski, you may recall, is the author of Hell on Earth, Brutality and Violence Under the Stalinist Regime. Rather than disagreeing with Professor Kowalski and offering his counter evidence, he calls him a liar. I have had enough exposure to Professor Kowalski to know he wouldn't lie. He might make a mistake but he wouldn't lie. Grover Furr falls into a familiar anti-American category: Attack and insult (which you seem to deplore when it is aimed at Russians) are the order of his day. Anyone who disagrees with him is fair game. .

2 comments:

Ludwik Kowalski said...

Suppose a hypothetical western journalist, in 1940, asks Stalin about the source of his wisdom. On the basis of what I know, the answer would probably be as follows.

“I am not a genius; what I think and what I do is based on general ideas formulated by Marx and Engels. And I am a faithful follower of Lenin, who applied Marxism to specific Russian conditions. My wisdom, if you wish to use this term, is the collective wisdom of our ideology. A brief summary of that ideology can be found in my 1938 book entitled “Dialectical and Historical Materialism.”

Everything that Stalin did was justified by him in terms of Marxist-Leninist ideology. How is this ideology presented to Russian students today? Describing Stalin without the ideology he served would not be fair.

To understand Stalin one must understand ideas that motivated him. How can his historical significance be separated from the ideology imposed by Bolsheviks on generations of Russian people (to replace their earlier believes)?

P.S.
I have nothing but admiration for Russian people. I never encountered Americans who insult Russians in the way described by Michael. They are certainly not a majority.

Michael Kuznetsov said...

Mr Helm and Prof. Kowalski,
or rather:
Dear Lawrence and Ludwik,

I am strongly convinced that you both are wise and shrewd, highly educated, absolutely honest, profoundly sincere, and what is most essential -- you both are exceptionally polite two old gentlemen.

I value the lucky opportunity to exchange opinions with you both here.
And I respect your views, believe me, although I disagree with some of them.

While you, Lawrence, seem to have been standing always on the ideological platform that you stand upon now -- you, Ludwik, according to your own words elsewhere, have undergone a kind of transformation of your political views. Namely: from your juvenile adoration of Stalin to the hatred of him later on (correct me if I am wrong).

My own political views transformation went in the opposite direction.

In the 1980s I did rabidly hate the "bloody maniac" Stalin, I was fascinated with Gorbachev's reform, and I considered America to be the only shining beacon of Liberty and Democracy in the world.
I know it for sure that the overwhelming majority of the Russians used to think alike at the time.

So, I was and have been well aware of all the anti-Stalin literature, and I did fully agree with all of its contents at the time of Gorbachev's "Perestroika". Especially because there was published NO OTHER literature in those years, except anti-Stalinist.

The situation began to change dramatically when NATO had approached our borders, instead of the reciprocal dissolution of itself, as we naively expected.

The culmination came just ten years ago, in 1999, when NATO was bombing Serbia. In the famous words of Prince Talleyrand, it was worse than a crime, it was a mistake.

To spill our brotherly Serbian blood, to kill our brotherly Serbian children was a deadly blunder on the Clinton's side.

The TV live reportages that we watched at those hectic times, featuring Serbian babies' little heads torn away by NATO bombs, as well as pieces of Serbian children's mutilated bodies scattered around on the ground lying in the blood and dirt, or dangling from the trees, all those horrible pictures shown on our TV screens will remain as a never-healing wound in our Russian national memory.

Imagine that your sister were robbed and raped by a gang of 19 thugs, while you were unable anyhow to defend her, say, because of your being laid in hospital.
How many years do you think it might take for you to forget and to forgive the bloody crime?

You know who appointed Putin President?
Formally, yes, Yeltsin did.
But actually it was Clinton's deadly blunder in Serbia that compelled Yeltsin to choose a "strong man" as his successor.

Every time that we hear the word "NATO" we do immedialy recall the appaling TV scenes of the blooded little bodies of the killed Serbian children, interchanged with the pictures of the ever smiling Mr Solana who was reporting every day at press conferences about the NATO successful air strikes on Belgrade.

Really, it is unforgettable and unforgivable, too.

I regret to say this, but I do not think that the relations between Russia and America might have any prospects of the return to the previous phase of our adoration of America, any time in the future.
Especially after the terrible bombings of Serbia.

-----------------------------------

The main difference between us, Lawrence, lies in our different approach to the historical research.
As it seems to me, you do not seek for all the facts, because you have already found the truth, as you think.
No offence meant and none taken, I hope.

This conclusion of mine supervenes on your clear refusal to examine anything that does not coincide entirely with your long established views.
Am I not right?

While I prefer to examine the both sides arguments. All the "pro" and "contra".

-----------------------------------

My strong belief is that the ideology per se did not play any significant role in our daily life in the USSR.

We did not read Marx or Lenin before we start doing anything, believe me :-)

All I can remember about "Marxism-Leninism" is this:
"... Socialist system is the abolition of the power of money and the profit motive and of the possibility for any individual or group of individuals to gain surplus value from the work of others. This and this alone is the true foundation of Socialism".

And this postulate coincides very well with our Russian Orthodox Christian mindset.

Collectivism and Equity constitute the core of the Russian Soul without any reference to Communism as a doctrine.

So, in this regard, nothing has changed since the dissolution of the USSR.
We remain Russians as we have always been.

Unlike the Westerners, who have been individualistic personalities like separate grains of sand, we are one common solid piece.
We feel like this and we act accordingly.

You can pour the sand (a Western nation) into any bottle (ideology) and the sand will take the shape of the latter.

The Russian "stone" of a nation cannot be poured into a "bottle" of ideology. You can only try to put us into a "sack" of ideology, but our shape would remain nevertheless intact inside the "sack."

The Westerners seem to be rather docile and prone to changes imposed on them by various doctrines.
We Russians do not change, because mentally we are the same as we used to be hundreds years ago.

Lawrence, you read "War and Peace" by Tolstoy. Did you notice that the Russian soldiers' behaviour during the Napoleonic invasion in 1812 was absolutely the same as that of the Red Army soldiers during the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany in 1941-1945?

Be it "communism", "socialism", "capitalism", or whatever other "-ism", notwithstanding, we remain always the same Russians. This is the clue to the understanding of Holy Russia.

For example, some decades ago in the West, as far as I know, any public manifestation of sodomy was regarded unacceptable.
Now, the heinous "gay parades" have become a "norm" even in the ever puritanic London.

The real masters of Berlin have become also the dirty fags (homosexuals) who have been held their disgusting "parades" right in the center of the capital city of Berlin.

A nation which has sunk in such abomination has no right to teach anyone any longer.

In the summer of 2006 a group of heinous fags (by the way some of them arrived even from Berlin) made an abortive attempt to organize such a "parade" in the center of Moscow.

You know what? Their detestable homosexual "parade" managed to last for only 72 seconds!

Take notice: it lasted 72 seconds -- not minutes! -- and then the common Russian people in the street –- the common passersby -- instantly knocked all of the dirty fags down on the pavement and began the heavily kicking of the repulsive homosexuals, until the police arrived and arrested the dirty fags for the attempt to outrage the public morality in the sacred streets of our Moscow, the capital of Holy Russia.

The West may freely continue to be sinking in its sins, it is your full right.
But don't try to lecture us or to change our way of life.

Almost forgot:
What connection with Stalin has all that what I said above?
Direct connection!

1. Stalin could by no means rule so successfully for so many years without full people's support of his actions.

2. To understand Stalin's actions you should first understand the Russians.

3. The matter is that we, the Westerners and the Russians have been "playing different games". Suppose, you play poker, while we Russians play chess (or vice versa). You've been trying to regard us from the poker player's point of view. But this is a futile attempt.

4. You should try to look at us with our Russian eyes, and everything will be understood.

That is that!
So help us God!