Why so many Russians still love Stalin

“By Keith Wagstaff | The Week – Tue, Mar 5, 2013

To the bafflement of the world, Stalin is remembered quite fondly by millions upon millions of Russians

To most of the world, Joseph Stalin, who died 60 years ago today, is a monster — the architect of violent purges and labor camps that killed millions of Russians during his reign over the Soviet Union from 1924 to 1953. So why is Stalin actually more popular in Russia today than he was during the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991?

It’s complicated. Make no mistake; most Russians aren’t ignorant of Stalin’s crimes. In a recent poll conducted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 65 percent of Russians agreed that “Stalin was a cruel, inhuman tyrant, responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent people.” Yet in 2011, 45 percent of Russians also had a “generally positive” view of Stalin.

A lot of that discrepancy has to do with World War II, or as the Russians call it, the Great Patriotic War. At a recent conference held by the Russian Orthodox Church, which was persecuted by Stalin’s government, one speaker told an audience that “the nation must be grateful to Stalin for the ‘sacred victory’ over Nazi Germany,” according to Reuters.

. . . .

In Georgia, they have a more traditional reason for liking Stalin: He was born there. The Carnegie poll found that 68 percent of Georgians agreed that “Stalin was a wise leader who brought the Soviet Union to might and prosperity.” According to the BBC, his birthplace of Gori features a Stalin museum and has voted to erect a huge statue of the dictator. One tour guide summed up the country’s feelings towards the man.” (more)

My reaction:

1. “War is the health of the state.”

2. I wonder what a survey of the opinions of American academics would reveal.

4 Comments

  1. Ed K

    It was asked, “what a survey of the opinions of American
    academics would reveal” about Stalin.

    All one has to do is look to New York Times. Look at their
    opinion in the 1930’s. The New York Times said how great
    Stalin and Communism were.

    Nothing has changed there. They say how good an American
    neo-communists is. Specifically how great Obama is…

    Understand that Obama is trying to fulfill the dreams of his father.
    His father was a proponent of Communism. Look at who Obama
    associated with and who he believes to be correct.

    Understand the the main stream media and the New York Times
    in particular are neo Maxrist in ideology.

    Understand that those who believed in freedom in Ukraine in the
    reign of Stalin were killed or sent to Siberia if they were lucky.

    Why the high approval numbers in Russia of Joe Stalin? Because
    those that understood who he was were gonners. Non believers
    left few children capable of comprehending the truth.

    And in today’s world the few remaining non believers are having
    fewer children to carry on.

    Freedom and believers in freedom are dying off one way or another.

    What is being left behind is …

    Reply
  2. elmer

    On one of the latest political TV talk shows in Zookraine, Savik Shuster’s show, I believe, someone noted that Russia has always had 2 problems – bad roads and idiots.

    Victor Chernomyrdin famously noted, with regard to Russia’s attempt at democracy: “we tried out best, but it turned out as usual.”

    The Russians’ victory over the “fascists” preserved fascism of the Russian sort for Russia, and then the sovok union.

    The sovok union bred homo sovieticus – people who can play chess and play the piano, but can’t think.

    Russians learn nothing and forget nothing.

    That is why they still kiss Stalin’s ass.

    There are even some people in Zookraine who still kiss Stalin’s ass.

    The idea of a “strong leader” for a “strong country” is at the bottom of all this. One sees it over and over and over again.

    And what is the Russian version of a “strong leader” for a “strong country”? A brutal dictator, tsar or commissar, it doesn’t matter, who murders his own people – instead of others doing it.

    When Rasha invaded Georgia, in order to occupy Ossetia and Abkhazia, a territory of a little over 75,000 people – the blogs and newspapers lit up with how “noone would bring Rasha to its knees.” and what a “strong leader” Putler is.

    In the meantime, the Rashan military personnel were robbing toilets and bicycles and everything else they could carry on their tanks and trucks. They had bullets, but nothing else.

    In Rasha, and Zookraine, they do not understand that strength comes from freedom, from empowering people, from protecting the rights of people, from giving people a voice, from preventing dictatorship, from checks and balances.

    It comes from being a nation of laws, not men.

    A brutal dictator just died – Chavez in Venezuela. He is portrayed by some as a “friend of poor people.” But the people in Venezuela are worse off now than when Chavez first started.

    Same thing is happening in Zookraine, as yanusvoloch and his mafia seek to preserve and expand a sovok mafia state. Serge Vlasenko is the latest victim of a classic sovok stalinist technique – go after the lawyer/defender as well as the political opponent defendant.

    And finally, there are the academic liberals who keep whining that commienism is wonderful – ‘if only Lenin had chosen Trotsky, that would prove it.”

    If only Eleanor Roosevelt could fly.

    Ed K – you are right about what Obummer is trying to do. And he wants to dumb down the entire population in order to do it. Just like they did in the sovok union.

    Reply
    1. Roman

      Good comment. I would add to your list of Russia’s problems: history.

      1939-1941, the term “Muscovy”, the origin of the word “Russian.”

      Reply
  3. elmer

    Russia and Russians have a totally schizoid attitude about stalin. I can’t tell you how many times over the past 9 years I have run into this:

    “Don’t blame Russia – Stalin was Georgian!”, as if Stalin stole into Maskva one night, took over everything by himself, and started killing millions of people – all without anyone noticing or having any control over it.

    Orlando Figues has written several excellent books about the whole stalin mess, including “The Whisperers.”

    One of the things that best captures this schizoid attitude is a very good movie called “Archangel,” with Daniel Craig (the English actor who plays James Bond), among several other good actors.

    Daniel Craig plays an English professor who goes to Russia to dig up some history and historical documents, and discovers that there is a plot to install Stalin’s son as overlord and dictator of Russia.

    He winds up in an old babushka’s house in a village. The old babushka’s daughter had been forcibly taken by Stalin’s henchmen, raped by Stalin, and then killed. But the old babushka still has a picture of stalin on the wall, and worships him.

    In frustration, Daniel Craig, the history professor, yells at her “he raped and killed your daughter – how can you still admire and respect and love stalin?”

    To which the old babushka replies – “but he was such an important man.”

    The scene captures the schizoid attitude perfectly.

    Plus – it’s a good movie.

    Reply

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