Fwd: Stalin's Grandson Elected in Georgia

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at SPAMhotmail.com
Thu Aug 5 21:53:13 MDT 1999




I thought about this for a minute, and wanted to explain why this should be
celebrated by those of us on the left. Yevgeny will be elected or defeated
by whatever margins, obviously, in part due to his grandfather. The fact
that a party would be serious and run his name should leave little doubt as
to the general attitude toward Stalin among the Russian population in this
area. It is somewhat more flattering among those who knew or know of his
rule directly than it is in the West. That, more than much else, says a lot
to me.
      If the people in Russia are to be able to overthrow the misery heaped
upon them today, it will be in many respects, from the vault of Russian
history they turn to. After all, we often recommend to people who are not
connected to the Russian Revolution to emulate the Russian Revolution. It is
a matter of course that Russians will continue to revere Lenin. So goes the
history of Stalin, but I am not trying to draw a political continuity
argument; I'll leave that to Mark. My point is a consciousness link. The
memory of Stalin now has its national, historical roots in the same way, I
would argue, that Jefferson does in the United States. Jefferson was, in
fact, a slave owner, capitalist, etc... but the image and ideas transmuted
are positive in the historical consciousness. It is not a good idea for
leftists to attack people who profess an admiration for Jefferson, but
rather it is more important to make the connections. Paul Robeson put it
thus: Like Jefferson greeted the great heroes of the French revolution 1789,
I stretch out my hand to greet the brave Soviet People..(para'd from
memory)."etc. Like the FSLN and Sandino nationalism. Like Marti (x2) , Sun
Yat-Sen, ad infinitum.
Stalin is still quite popular among many (certainly not all, but he ranked
number 2 in a poll of Russian Statesmen) throughout the region. It was a
time far superior than anything projected or existing for the average
Russian worker today or tomorrow. It was the time of fast power, fast
industrialisation, and promises of the better day to come. In a word, for
modern day Russians, it looks a lot like the fifties do to modern Americans-
on the way up, ironing out the wrinkles. You can intervene with the true
addendum that it wasn't this way for everyone, no kidding. I ask you not to
please, for this has nothing to do with the nature of Stalins rule- but
rather the perception of where it was going. The accomplishments of the
State would be outweighed by only personal effects derived by the state, and
I can only say that this definitely did not affect every single last
Russian, Georgian , etc...

            If Stalins Grandkid were to even come close to being elected, I
would celebrate what that meant of the Russian workers consciousness. It
would be watershed event as far as implications. It will, if it happens,
bring a smile to the face of anyone who is not tainted with a personal spite
that is more important to them than the People of Georgia, et al. It would,
in many senses, be a return to roots.

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