USSR and Russia

glevy at acnet.pratt.edu glevy at acnet.pratt.edu
Fri Jun 30 19:21:58 MDT 1995


Scott and I seem to have very different understandings of Soviet
history.  Scott claims that  "credible historical evidence" (my words)
is "incredible revisionist history."  Scott is using the term
revisionism here in a very different sense than the way in which
"revisionist history" is understood today more broadly.  I guess that
"revisionist history" is any history that isn't authored by the Party and
doesn't emphasize the glorious and heroic contributions of Uncle Joe and
the Party faithful.

1) scott:
>
>"The non-agression pact was absolutely necessary...."

Jerry:
I'm not convinced that it was necessary.  Certainly, the USSR wasn't as
imperiled by the Germans at the time of the Stalin-Hitler pact as it was
at the time of the Brest-Litovsk treaty.  Soviet military and economic
power was much greater at the time of the "non-agression pact."  Also,
Stalin was an idiot to believe that Hitler and the Nazis would stick to
their end of the agreement.  Further, political concessions were made as
part of the Stalin-Hitler pact as was evidenced by a change in Soviet
foreign policy and international communist tactics and strategies.

2)Scott:
> You are really wrong about the leadership of the Red Army - there were no
> equals to Zhukov.
>
Jerry:

Earlier today Scott referred to the great work of Pavlov and now he sings
the praises of General Zhukov.  What can I say?  From the standpoint of
military tacticians, Zhukov was no Claushwitz or Trotsky.  The brightest
minds in the Red Army were purged before the War.  If "there were no
equals to Zhukov" it only shows how decimated the Red Army high command
was by Stalin's quite unnecessary purges.

3) Scott:
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.
>

Jerry:
Well, the Soviets won the war and Hitler was defeated.  That's undeniable.
It was not particularly "effective", though, and "all honest history"
will not say that it was.  Scott:  you *really* need to read some
histories of the USSR which were not published by Pioneer or
International Publishers.  Quotes from Zhukov are not the best
independent sources of information.>

4) Scott:>
> " 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.......
>
Jerry:

I'm going to become violently ill. "The great merits of the Communist
Party of Germany and its leader Ernst Thaelman...."  Excuse me while I
run for the bucket.
>
5) Scott:
> 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.

Jerry:
Of course, many CPSU cadres were motivated by the "cause of building
socialism."  Was that the primary factor which motivated the Soviet
masses?  I don't know.  Fear was a major motivational tool used by Stalin
and the CPSU.  There were also those nasty Party "Stakhanovites" who
helped increase the intensity of work in Soviet factories.  If all else
failed, there were the gulags and Siberia (assuming one wasn't shot first).
In the War, many were also motivated by *Russian* nationalism and Holy
Mother Church (the priests were let out of prison long enough to lead the
faithful into battle "for God and country").


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