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12

Beria I think it would be extremely instructive to consider the anti-Beria coup. The conspirators discussed the plans in secret and Beria was arrested by Marshal Georgy Zhukov himself. This plan required an absolute devotion of participants since any leak to a Beria agent was deadly. This is why only high-level people were involved - a Marshal(!!) making an ...


9

Stalin took ideology seriously... He started the Soviet meme "на идеологии мы не экономим" ("we don't skimp on ideology"). He also believed that "Учение Маркса всесильно, потому что оно верно" ("The teachings of Marx is omnipotent because it is true"). He also understood the critical importance of science and technology. He also continued the age-old ...


9

What do you mean, 'legal mechanisms'? Putting "how tyrants hold power" and "legal or moral mechanism" in the same sentence is completely missing the point. Stalin didn't have power because being chairman of Politburo, but he was chairman of Politburo because he had power. I'm not completely sure, but I believe that legally the Politburo decisions actually ...


8

The problem is the definition. Great Purge as itself wasn't a single event under Stalin's rule but waves of executions and convictions. In fact after Lenin's death in 1922 Stalin came to power. With increasing intensity he started to deal with rivals, first politically, then he had enough power to order uncontrolled massacre. The most famous period is the ...


7

At the Yalta Conference in February 1945 the following declaration was included in the conference proceedings in regards to Poland's Eastern border: "The three heads of Government consider that the eastern frontier of Poland should follow the Curzon Line with digressions from it in some regions of five to eight kilometers in favor of Poland. They ...


4

With regards to Finland, it was the second country that the USSR invaded after signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, where Finland was one of the countries that had been assigned to the Soviet "Sphere of influence" together with Estonia, Latvia, Bessarabia and half of Poland. (The first country invaded was of course Poland). However, there is a dispute ...


4

In the opinion of Milovan Ðilas, the society level policy apparatus of soviet-style societies--the party elites, the elite state bureaucracy, the elite firm and industry managers--form a "new class" which has a greater interest in maintaining its class rule than it does for the lives of its individual members. Ðilas claims that this new class goes through ...


3

Stalin's first important position was being elected to the Politburo (the main policy-making and executive board) of the Central Committee (the highest body of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, directing all Party and government activities), in May 1917. He remained a member of the Politburo for the rest of his life. During the Russian Civil War ...


3

Some considerations you may consider. Stalin was extremely popular with the people, and after the war he was seen as the leader of the victorious side in WWII. There was a huge personality cult. Any move against him would be very much suspicious of treachery even if formally legal. Mafia-style rule. As you know many of the mafia leaders in Russia are of ...


3

I hesitate to call fear of death, beatings or imprisonment a moral mechanism. These are what kept Stalin's grip on power. The basic calculus of an omnipresent secret police force watching for transgressions and the fact that anyone you discussed overthrowing Stalin could turn you in meant that possible dissident elements were completely isolated from each ...


3

Turkey remained neutral through the Second World War, and so was not part of the Balkans discussion between Churchill and Stalin at the Fourth Moscow Conference (as discussed in my answer here). As I note in that answer: Although minority percentages were actually set in the all cases other than Yugoslavia, it is clear that Stalin regarded these ...


3

The state and Communist party TRIED to control ALL aspects of people's life. Another question is how successful they were.


2

It was a requirement for science to match ideology rather than just deriving objective conclusions. Ideologists assumed that accepting gene theory makes easier to justify large inequality between social classes and nations, something that Marxists are formally against. Or Honorary Aryan. Or act of creation as origin of life. While existence of genes does ...


1

{I'm curious, since you suggest that Hitler was somehow "legal", do you think a dictatorship might happen in the US as well? Do you think those odds are big? Hitler wasn't really "legal"} To address your question: Aside from this question being largely based on wrong assumptions, it also shows a somewhat superficial understanding of the workings of a ...



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