USSR and Russia

by way of Scott Marshall glevy at
Fri Jun 30 17:09:32 MDT 1995


>>All of the credible historical evidence that I have seen suggests that
the USSR survived WW2 and fascism was defeated not because of Stalin or
the CPSU but IN SPITE OF those forces.<<

incredible revisionist histroy - boggles the mind from one who should think
more critically - credible sources?!?!

>>For instance, the Stalin-Hitler
pact, the purging of the Red Army leadership prior to the War, and the
fact that Soviet intelligence (GPU) warned Stalin of the German attack
*years* before that attack are all factors that weakened the military
ability of the Soviets to fight fascism and led to *many* (perhaps
millions of) unnecessary deaths of Soviet citizens and fighting forces.<<


IMO this is typical rewrite of history a la Clinton, Kohl, Berlesconni,
Mitterand etc at the 50th Anniversary celebrations. The non-aggression pact
was absolutely nessessary. The SU tried repeatedly, offering all kinds of
options to establish an antifascist mutual defense pact with the US, England
and France etc. This was not only always rejected, but it's clear the other
'allies' did eveything possible, including a wink and a nod to Hitler to try
and encourage attack on the SU to "bleed both sides dry."

You're right that there were million of deaths especially when the
predominent slogan was "Communists to the fore" in every aspect of the war.
You are really wrong about the leadership of the Red Army - there were no
equals to Zhukov.


>>Had the CPSU, however, not been under the totalitarian (I know Scott isn't
going to like that word) control of Stalin *many thousands* of CPSU members
would not have had to die on the battlefield.<<

I don't mind the word, I just think it misses the point. No matter how
centralist the CPSU was during this period (and I do think war demands more
not less centralization), it is rediculous to speculate so abstractly on how
many would have died. The issue is did the CPSU (and Stalin) do an effective
job in mobilizing and turning back the Nazi invasion - and all honest
history says yes they did. And no matter how much Stalin violated norms of
party democracy, the CPSU, despite Stalin's mistakes, (also for my part
acknowledging fact - that Stalin was able to command much genuine and freely
given support for many of his positions) led the decisive blow in the defeat
of Hitler Germany.


>>Ultimately, the CPSU's and Stalin's ability to
mobilize the Soviet masses in the war against fascism was led more by a
appeal to Russian nationalism (save Mother Russia) than an appeal to
defend the "gains of October."<<


This is often asserted, but with little evidence except to cite popular
slogans. There was obviously a broad appeal to patriotism and Soviet
nationalism (and I do think it was distinct from Russian nationalism). But
the mobilization appeal was multifaceted and very political especially from
the CPSU and especially among the workers. Here is a quote from Zhukov's

" The Soviet people never forgot the revolutionary merits of the German
working class and German progressive intellectuals, or the great merits of
the Communist Party of Germany and its leader Ernst Thaelman who perished in
the Nazi dungeons at the close of the war.......

To be frank, when the war was still on I was fully deetermined to get even
with the Germans for all their crulty. But when our troops had routed the
enemy and entered the German territory, we checked our wrath. Our idological
convictions and internationalist feelings did not allow us to give vent to
blind vengence."

These are not exactly the sentiments of those motivated primarily by
nationalism. Remember that, outside the holocost itself, no country
experienced the butchery and slaughter that the Soviet people did at Nazi hands.

glevy further:

>>Certainly, the Soviet economy was able to grow significantly and
industrialize during the 30's thru 50's.  That was an accomplishment.
Was it "heroic"?  To answer that question, one has to look at the
*manner* in which that growth and industrialization was effected and the
*cost* (in human and economic terms) of that change.  Heroism had very
little to do with Stalin's collectivization drive or the nature of the
5-year plans.<<


I hate to say it but you just don't know what you're talking about here. The
mobilization to build up the economy and the five year plans were
accomplished with literally millions of heroic efforts on the part of
ordinary workers, motivated for the cause of building socialism explicitly.
What one considers heroic or not about this may have a lot to do with how
one views the kind of labor that was nessessary. These achievement would not
have been possible without motivated and get down in the ditch leadership.

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