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Dissent of the Day: The Many Sides of Stalinism

September 24, 2009

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From ElSe on my post about Bill Maher’s Sugar Stalinism:

I’m not sure that you’ve got right the idea of Stalinism, David. When one reads Solzhenitsyn’s memoires (or any memoires of the Stalin’s survivors, in that matter) one clearly sees that Stalin’s meat-grinder wasn’t meant to reshape the society or have had any particular targets , it meant to serve the psychotic monster with his appetite for power, servants and personal greatness. And the best way to do so was to manufacture killing, forced labor and fear among millions. No one had 100% chance to survive this “ideology” because ideology was just a screen for paranoid narcissist. Few people actually believed to the crap Stalin fed them (and some of those few sang a different tune after they found themselves in the concentration camps), most of the Stalin’s choir mumbled his propaganda out of fear for they life, plain and simple ( “clapping for our father Stalin” episode in the “GULAG archipelago, part 1” is a classic example of this mood).

People like Moher, with their moronic “ends justify the means” fit perfectly to the Lenin’s ideology rather than Stalinism, when they still honestly believed that they have the right prescription for changing society for better at any price.
My two cents…

There are many aspects of Stalinism. (Just as there are with all political philosophies.) I don’t think the angle of the term which I articulate in my post and in ElSe’s comment are mutually exclusive.

10 Comments
  1. September 25, 2009 8:02 am

    You know what’s so crazy? The only people who even thought of mentioning socialism, communism, Stalinism, to discribe people who might like to able to afford health care, are you sweet brothers to the right! You are the only ones whipping up your masses about an old, (Well, I guess you are conservatives!), used up diatribes about the ‘old world’. You’re the only ones in the world who believe in communism enough to mention it! It reminds me of my favorite president to hate, LBJ, when he put that, “Flower girl/Atomic bomb”, commercial on to frighten the people away from my man, Barry Goldwater. Now THERE was a real conservative! You guys had everything going for you. Johnson was a joke, a failed joke! You’d have Goldwater in ’68, Reagan is ’76, piece of cake! Now you’ve got those crazy Christians, who don’t follow Christ, and a bunch of Neandrethal corporate Cats! That’s no base, that’s a lobby!
    The ‘socialism’ crap doesn’t sell anymore!
    Joseph Coleman

  2. pbrauer permalink
    September 25, 2009 9:26 am

    Joseph: “Now you’ve got those crazy Christians, who don’t follow Christ, and a bunch of Neandrethal corporate Cats! That’s no base, that’s a lobby!
    The ’socialism’ crap doesn’t sell anymore!”

    Good comments Joseph, they used the socialism canard during the election and it didn’t work. Now they are doubling down on it.

    You can call Bill Maher an idiot, stupid or wrong and make some sense, but one you start calling him Stalinist are in lala land and you will tune most people out.

  3. Jack Hampton permalink
    September 25, 2009 11:21 am

    Outstanding article there David and accurate.

  4. ElSe permalink
    September 25, 2009 1:34 pm

    That’s me again.
    David, bear in mind that Maher made it clear that he is a progressive – exclusively American type of the lefty. Naïve ideologically and separated geographically, he cannot compete for any European type of the lefty (add to that the Hollywood bubble protection). But if you really want such comparison, here you go.
    I think Maher is a Leninist type useful idiot. Why do I relate him to Lenin-like useful idiots? Well, it’s a complicated issue, but I’ll try to be clear. Lenin has personal issues with then-existent regime. I bet you know that his older brother, Alexander , was a part of the socialist assassination plot against the Czar Alexander III, and got the death penalty for that. The whole Revolution was Lenin’s personal revenge against the government. “ Building of the new future for the new society” came later, as the way to move things forward. Lenin’s plan was to clean society from every possible type of people he personally hated (hence “red terror”, kangaroo trials etc were embraced ). He never was a part of the labor class or farmers, his position was patronizing elitist trying to “educate da stupid”.
    Maher has his personal issues with the US society (mostly religious) in the whole. His deep hatred to any religion connected to his personal experience (remember his baby cry about unhappy catholic years?), so he wants totally to change (punish) society that “caused” his trauma, period. He doesn’t think about the consequences of it. He dislikes people and he wants them out of his way. If he had it his way, he would eagerly promote green physical terror (just wait and watch).
    Even though my comparison is quiet stretched and my brush is pretty broad, I don’t see how Maher could be a Stalinist for only reason: he’s a spoiled, nourished, desperate reach freak. Those people almost did not exist at the Stalin era and if they did – they were quiet.
    OT: I like to read your posts. Even if I don’t completely agree with all of your opinions, I’m glad that young people like you start their life with the right foot ;). Some of us developed those positions after many years of intellectual traveling.
    Elana

  5. Joseph White permalink
    September 25, 2009 6:07 pm

    Mr. Coleman,
    When the government has a bill that seeks to undermine health insurance, and fine you 3,800 bucks a year if you don’t have acceptable government approved health insurance, that sure does seem a lot like socialism to me.

    Let’s look at what your health insurance bill would do:
    1) It would punish doctors by doubling their patient load, while reducing their payments.
    2) It would force health insurance providers out of business, because nobody can fairly compete with the government, or better put, the government doesn’t believe in competition.
    3) The government would force you to have insurance or else.
    4) Your doctor would have no say so in your treatment, that would be reserved for a federal panel of non-medical people in DC.
    5) The government would make it illegal for you to switch jobs, since everytime you switch a job, you almost always switch insurance companies.
    6) Your medical records would be controlled by the government, and since we can’t trust them with top secret information, there’s no way we could trust them with health information.
    7) and most important, They’d put you on a program that sucks, but wouldn’t use it themselves.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t want any part of this socialism experiment that would play around with 16% of our GDP.

    After all, they’ve already destroyed housing, and automotive. This would be a crowning achievement if they took the best medical system in the world and reshaped it into a third world system.

  6. ElSe permalink
    September 25, 2009 6:58 pm

    David.
    I reread what I wrote and think that I took a wrong direction with my explanation, putting emphasis on Maher’s personality rather than on his tone. That’s what I wanted to say at first place.
    Lenin based his ideology on his personal feelings. Stalin did it based on his personality.When people refer to Stalinism, most of the times they mean either oppressive dictatorship or his basic theory about building communism in the given isolated country. If you notice, many leftists can quote Marx, on rare occasion – Lenin. Nobody quotes Stalin. Because his ideology wasn’t so significant and today there are doubts that he actually wrote all those thick volumes related to communism (except the “isolated country” part).
    Lenin, on the other hand, believed what he wrote. That’s why he put his draconian steps of the Red Terror as a normative action, as an acceptable way for the government to treat its people. He despised “old order” society – that’s why he didn’t feel there is anything wrong with murdering people because they refuse to give up belongings, for example. Lenin said that terror is the matter of necessity, it’s the only effective way to change society. He bragged about it and promoted it openly: in papers, in his speeches, in his policy. Moher and alike use almost the same language as Lenin did – only the subject is (still) different. Stalin did everything behind the curtains.
    So, when Maher says “let’s tax those fat bastards for drinking sugar drinks and being sick” I think it’s logical to expect from him saying one day “let’s shoot those fat sloppy bastards for making our nation sick and sucking out our money”.
    Elana

  7. theblanque permalink
    September 25, 2009 7:14 pm

    Maraschino Maoism!

    You know what Joe–all those things that the Left says it wants would be wonderful, were that really what the Left wanted.

    But it isn’t.

    You can’t fool us anymore. We’re watching what you do, not not listening to what you say.

  8. Jack Hampton permalink
    September 26, 2009 4:59 am

    Elana
    Great post and David is rapidly becoming one of the favorite people I read. He needs to write a book.

    • September 26, 2009 6:44 am

      Thank you for your support Jack. I’m working on several books right now. Send me an email sometime and I’ll tell you about them.

  9. Jack Hampton permalink
    September 26, 2009 7:56 am

    Joseph White
    Way to go you are my new hero.

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