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25

1932 There are two chief interpretations of the 1932 Soviet famine, or especially the more infamous Ukrainian component, the Holodomor. That the famine was at least partially caused or exacerbated by Soviet policies is well established. The main difference between the schools of thought is the degree to which Soviet authorities perpetuated or even ...


13

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 ...


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 ...


10

Trotskyism, and by extension Trotsky himself (and vice versa) was definitely denounced in early Communist Chinese propaganda. Whether or not he was a "hate figure" depends on what criteria you use for that nebulous phrase. Since the question declined to define it, I'll focus on the government's general attitude instead - though personally, I would say it was ...


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 ...


9

There's not really a "specific reason" since he lost favour over some period of time, rather immediately in response to a single event. But some generally agreed factors were Stalin's paranoia and intolerance of dissent, as well as and Molotov's own personality. Vyacheslav Molotov is well known to be stubborn and independent minded. He argued with Stalin ...


9

Of course. It wasn't much of a secret. Some 85% of the Soviet military's top positions were removed; the scale alone makes it rather impossible to hide. In fact, knowledge that Stalin had decapitated his own army's backbone was one of the factors motivating Nazi Germany to invade. But not only did [the Great Purges] do incalculable damage to the future ...


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 ...


5

The show trials of the 1936 to 1938 period were widely denounced throughout western Europe and the United States. There was formed an international inquiry to exonerate Trotsky, sometimes called the "Dewey Commission." This board made highly publicized reports documenting the falsification of the evidence and unsubstantiated allegations made in the Vyshinsky ...


4

Unlike other East European states, the Russians did not free Yugoslavia from the Axis, so they never had forces deployed in the country. An attack would be an invasion. Also, Yugoslavia was easy for the West to send support to, from the Adriatic, Greece and Italy. They had their own army, and it was a fairly good one. So you have a good army to fight, ...


4

Stalin lacked adequate forces while maintaining other commitments during his life time to do so. While organisation for an offensive was desultory during the 1947-1950 period, from 1950 the Soviet Union decided to reorganise the surrounding state's militaries on a new basis. In the opinion of Tismaneanu, had the Soviet Union bordered Yugoslavia, ...


4

The decrypted "Ultra" evidence revealed in "Marching Orders" suggests just the opposite: that the Japanese were more likely to attack Soviet Siberia if the Germans were successful in the Soviet Union, e.g. at Moscow, Stalingrad and/or the Caucasus, than if they attacked the United States. Therefore, in theory, Hitler should have concentrated his arms ...


4

The answer of Tyler Durden is essentially correct but somewhat one-sided. So let me add that there was an influential part of population, which cannot be called "communist" in any sense, and which approved Stalin's policies in general and mock trials in particular. I mean some intellectuals, and there were many. And they were influential. Bernard Shaw. ...


4

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

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

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 ...


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 ...


2

The Western authorities on this are Robert Conquest (Harvest of Sorrow) and Timothy Snyder, already mentioned. Robert Conquest gives an estimate of 4 millions. Snyder is somewhat more conservative. But we will never know the exact number: the earliest census after this was forged, and those who did it exterminated.


2

Yes there were many trials. The extent was not nesscarily known but the removal of many senior officers was well known. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_Trials


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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