Did I ever mention that Quora deleted my answer to the one time I put something up on The difference between Keynesian and classical economics? One day it was there and the next time I looked it was not. Obviously offended someone, but I thought the point was to have all perspectives there so that others could think things through.
This was a Quora answer that has just been forwarded to me that is unlikely ever to come down. How would anyone know any better if they didn’t actually already know any better? Is there another answer somewhere on Hitler of a similar calibre? The more information we have, the less it is we seem to know.
- Stalin was kicked out of seminary for passing out Marxist literature.
- Some people talk about socialism but don’t do anything. Not Stalin, he helped the Bolsheviks rob banks to get the necessary funds to continue their efforts.
- Stalin had the resolve to commit to the 5 Year Plan. Without this the USSR, which was 100 years behind the West in industrialization, would have certainly fallen to Hitler. And this would not have meant just being conquered. Hitler believed Slavs were inferior to Aryans, so he would have done more extermination. Jews, communists, gypsies, all sorts of people would have been exterminated.
- Armchair historians, knowing what happened after the fact, like to judge Stalin. But we must consider he lived during a time of great turmoil. There were many plots against the Soviet Union, both from within and from without. Lenin had been shot three times and ultimately died from his wounds. Stalin would eventually be poisoned. The purpose of the purges was to protect against these threats. Later historians that had access to documents not available until after the fall of the Soviet Union concluded that Stalin was as much reacting to events as causing them. His power was not quite as consolidated as imagined. Many officials below him were engaging in acts on their own, apart from Stalin’s command.
- There were also many lies perpetuated against Stalin for political purposes. The Holomodor was a result of drought, the peasants intentionally destroying their harvests, a population boom, and the increased urbanization (needed to fulfill the industrialization to be prepared against German attack). The Nazis perpetuated lies about the famine being intentional to increase Ukrainian nationalism because they were later to attack. This information was spread by the Nazi supporting newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. The major historians, such as Conquest and Pipes, were anti-communists. The Cold War also perpetuated anti-Stalin propaganda. Kruschev ruled after the death of Stalin. He hated Stalin because Stalin refused to intervene when his son was on trial for murder. Kruschev gave a devastating speech after Stalin’s death, accusing him of many lies. Subsequent fact checkers disproved those lies.
- The gulags were necessary. There were some who refused to live under communism. They were actively seeking to destroy the society all were attempting to build. The gulags served as a prison. But only 5% of those in the gulags were political prisoners. And these were not extermination camps. Most people came home. The death rate was 6%. Most were violent criminals.
- Revolutions are bloody. It was bloody for Lenin, too.
- There are some that say that leaders after Stalin could maintain order without engaging in purges, gulags, etc. But it is impossible to say this for certain because you cannot go back in time and test that hypothesis. We do know that Lenin also faced horrible resistance from imperialist nations and former Tsarists upset about their land being taken, as well as kulaks that refused to share their grain.
Seriously, is this a parody joke reply or is it meant to be taken as a genuine answer?