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JOSEPH STALIN
JOSEPH STALIN

Just as Dwight Eisenhower is, in my opinion, the greatest man of all time (outside deities), Joseph Stalin may be the worst man of the century and of history. It is not that Eisenhower is simply "greater" than all great men who came before him. Rather it is because he is the product of a tumultuous century that very likely will be considered the "turning point" in human history, even 500 years from now. There are many men, some living today, and many that have lived throughout the ages, who were as evil as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. If Genghis Khan had trains, gas chambers, and enough Zyklon-B, he happily would have gassed his enemies as Hitler did the Jews. In judging Stalin to be "worse" than Hitler, this is not some attempt to compare the darkness of their hearts. Rather, it is a practical matter.

Communism is "worse" than Nazism for two main reasons. First, it has had a longer time to commit atrocities, but mostly because it hides itself from its true reality. The Nazis were very easy to judge and hate. Hitler's "Mein Kampf" spelled it out clearly. It was just that nobody really thought it would happen, or was even possible. But the Nazi game plan was straightforward. They waged aggressive war in an effort to conquer the world, rounded up enemies (most, but by no means not all, Jews), and killed them. It is estimated that 12 million died in the camps. Half of those were Jews of German, Polish and other European ancestry. The other six million were Russians, Slavs, homosexuals, thieves, retards, gypsies, Communists, Catholics, dwarfs, dissidents, political opponents, etc., etc.

Stalin killed millions, too. In the end, he killed more than Hitler did. He just did not do it in as short a period of time, or in as efficient a manner. He did not kill as many as Chairman Mao. But Mao was doing Stalin's work. Without Stalin, there is no Mao. One can make the argument that while Hitler killed people he hated and considered enemies, Stalin was worse because he killed Russian heroes and military officers who served their country faithfully. They died because he viewed them as threats and potential threats. He killed millions of Jews, but he did not have the same hatred for them that Hitler did. This does not make the Russian Jews any less dead than the German and Eastern European Jews.

Nazism eventually opposed religion in Germany, but Catholic and Lutheran churches continued to operate despite Hitler's pronouncement that he, not God, was the only valid symbol of worship in Germany. Despite this, German Christianity maintained a toehold in the country despite its terrors. In post-war West Germany it was this rock that gave the country the moorings it needed to re-build.

Communism hated religion, officially and without apology. It was expelled and disallowed. Atheism dominated all aspects of Communist ideology. It was said to be the "opiate of the masses," invented by man as a crutch.

Stalin and Communism also have a "benign" face. The Nazis, embodied by the mustachioed Hitler, with their hideous symbols and shrill propaganda, were obvious threats and easy to despise. But Communism and its utopian "hammer and sickle" promise had the vague sense of justice that drew so many of the Left into its clutches. They did the work of this ideology, yet many remained dumbly unwitting. Many liberals hate religion, too, because religion requires judgment. It has the temerity to identify right and wrong, which is anathema to many of them. Liberal assertions for the separation of church stem from the atheistic prescriptions of Communism. Stalin, with his furry moustache as opposed to Hitler's little pencil shavings, was called "Uncle Joe" by the duped, who thought he looked like a big, friendly bear. A grizzly bear.

   As ruler of the U.S.S.R. from 1924 to 1953, Stalin was in charge of Soviet policies during the early phase of the Cold War. Born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili on December 21, 1879, he adopted the name Stalin, which means "Man of Steel," while still a young revolutionary. What bullshit!

Stalin first rose to power in 1922 as Secretary General of the Communist Party. Using administrative skills and ruthless maneuvering, Stalin rid himself of all potential rivals in the party, first by having many of them condemned as "deviationists," and later by ordering them executed.

To ensure his position and to push forward "socialism in one country," he put the Soviet Union on a course of crash collectivization and industrialization. An estimated 25 million farmers were forced onto state farms. Collectivization alone killed as many as 14.5 million people. Soviet agricultural output was reduced by 25 percent, according to some estimates.

In the 1930s, Stalin launched his Great Purge, ridding the Communist Party of all the people who had brought him to power. Soviet nuclear physicist and academician Andrei Sakharov estimated that more than 1.2 million Party members - more than half the Party - were arrested between 1936 and 1939, of which 600,000 died by torture, execution or perished in the Gulag.

Stalin also purged the military leadership, executing a large percentage of the officer corps and leaving the U.S.S.R. unprepared when World War II broke out. In an effort to avoid war with Germany, Stalin agreed to a non-aggression pact with Hitler in August, 1939.

When Hitler invaded the U.S.S.R. on June 22, 1941, The "man of steel" became the "man of stealth." He was not seen or heard from for two weeks. After finally addressing the nation, Stalin took command of his troops.

With the Soviet Union initially carrying the burden of the fighting, Stalin met with British Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt at Tehran (1943) and Yalta (1945), and with Churchill and Roosevelt's successor, President Truman, in Potsdam (1945), dividing the post-war world into "spheres of influence."

The U.S.S.R. joined the war against Japan in August of 1945, but Stalin insisted on expanding Soviet influence into Asia, namely the Kurile Islands, the southern half of Sakhalin Island and the northern section of Korea. Stalin wanted to secure a territorial buffer zone that had ideologically friendly regimes along the U.S.S.R.'s western borders.

In the wake of the German defeat, the U.S.S.R. occupied most of the countries in Eastern Europe and eventually ensured the installation of Stalinist regimes.

"Whoever occupies a territory also imposes his own social system," Stalin told Milovan Djilas, a leading Yugoslav Communist. He believed the Americans and the British would clash and eventually "socialism" would fill the void.

After initially approving the participation by Eastern European countries in the U.S.-sponsored Marshall Plan (1947), Stalin dropped out of it. He tried to influence Germany, and without access to the western German occupation zones, he agreed to the establishment of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in October, 1949.

Encouraged by Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War and the establishment of the People's Republic of China in October, 1949, Stalin gave the green light to North Korean leader Kim Il Sung to attack South Korea in June, 1950.

His confrontational foreign policy and his domestic terror regime (the "Stalinist system") had an impact on Soviet society and politics well beyond the dictator's death of natural causes at age 73 on March 5, 1953.

 

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