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Subject: Joe Stalin, not so bad! rss

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Wendell
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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-16/russian-s...

Bloomberg article wrote:
The rise in Stalin’s standing follows Kremlin efforts to play down his tyranny in school history books and recast him as a modernizer who transformed the Soviet Union into a superpower through rapid industrialization and victory in World War II. It comes amid deepening disenchantment among Russians with Putin, the longest-serving Kremlin ruler since Stalin, following the unpopular increase in the pension age last year. There’s also growing hardship after five straight years of declining consumer incomes.
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Rachel Simmons
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Quote:
A poll shows that respect among Russians for Josef Stalin has surged, with 70 percent saying his rule had been good for the country

Not quite as good, of course, for the millions he murdered. (Of course, a lot of them were Ukrainians and other national minorities, so should they even be counted? Experts disagree.) Still, good to know that Russians are past their survivors’ guilt.
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Should we trust Russians poll as much as we can trust Russians elections?
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It's worth noting that the 70% stat isn't for people who agree with Stalin, but who thinks his regime benefitted Russia. Much like not everyone who would say slavery benefitted the US would say slavery is a good thing or was justified or whatever. I would probably say Stalin's rule benefitted Russia as a nation-state. I just don't think that's inherently valuable, and that it came at the cost of millions of lives that had value. I would absolutely say slavery benefitted the US as a nation-state, with the same disclaimer.

The actual stats for viewing him favorably are still notably high though. According to the article:
A record 51 percent viewed Stalin positively in March, up from 40 percent a year earlier, the survey published Tuesday by the Moscow-based Levada Center showed. // Some 46 percent agreed that repressions were “definitely” or “in some way” justified by the results achieved under Stalin, up from 36 percent in 2017 and the highest level since the question was first posed in 2008.
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Odious Maximus
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I recall a similar poll done in Russia about 10 years ago that delivered the same result.
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Andre
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He has a more monstrous record than Hitler, for killing the opposition, including systematic destruction of various ethnic groups.

I have to believe that Russians just love strongmen, and their positive uptick on Stalin may be, in part, due to their distance from his cruelty. It's a bit easier to make that call, when you're not part of the cleansing.

Stalin was a pivotal leader in Russia's rise to superpower status. He bridged the gap between European hegemony, and U.S. domination. He was largely responsible for ushering in the Cold War. He was effective at pursuing his goals, so I can partly understand the Russians analysis of him. But his positives do not in any way make up for the fact that he was a cold blooded killer, and pursued his goals by trampling over the people that he killed.

I will say this; like all dictators, he is attractive to many, not because of who he was, but rather because of the power he yielded. Dictators make for fascinating reads, because with that power came the normal human flaws, that helped to shape their, and their country's destiny. For better or worse, but usually for the worse.
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Odiousmaximus wrote:
I recall a similar poll done in Russia about 10 years ago that delivered the same result.
Makes one wonder who benefited with the dissolution of the USSR. Certainly wasn't the life expectancy of Russian men.
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This has been a pretty consistent thread in Russian politics. It's their version of nostalgia for the British Empire - it's about harking back to a time when Russia was a superpower.
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Drew McClain
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I had a friend whose online tag was OneShotStalin, a nickname given to him by one of our less mature acquaintances. He kept using it until I told him how disturbing I found it to make light of a mass murderer and informed him of the estimated death count. "One shot" would not describe it.
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Vrooman wrote:
Odiousmaximus wrote:
I recall a similar poll done in Russia about 10 years ago that delivered the same result.
Makes one wonder who benefited with the dissolution of the USSR. Certainly wasn't the life expectancy of Russian men.
The way the transfer to capitalism was 'handled' was a pure catastrophe. That didn't help. I spent some time on a Russian-operated dashcam youtube channel, and they still speak fondly of the USSR; they don't have much hope in the present (theyd say it's all about survival and Putin's butt-kissers). And they have a strong sense of national unity and culture, so that may explain their fondness of the 'good old days' under Stalin.
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J.D. Hall
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abadolato01 wrote:

I have to believe that Russians just love strongmen, and their positive uptick on Stalin may be, in part, due to their distance from his cruelty.

This is an excellent point, and the root of it goes back more than 800 years. The Mongol expansion westward was stopped in the Balkans, not by military means but a requirement for all the sons of the ruling Khan to return to Khartoum to choose a new khan. While the retreating Mongols devastated what is now Romania and Poland, they installed a ruler in what is now western Russia. The Mongols were amazingly efficient in both military matters and running governments, just without any kind of democratic power sharing. Mongol rulers ruled with brutality, although it was far more fair than practiced in our "civilized" times.

In short, Russia and its immediate neighbors were the only European areas to be conquered and occupied by an Asian people. Therein lies one of the main friction points between the western Europeans and the Russians -- the experience of being ruled by an absolute autocrat with little to no regard for humans or the law.

Jenghiz would have been proud of Josef Stalin.
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Wendell
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remorseless1 wrote:

Jenghiz would have been proud of Josef Stalin.


Not sure that Chinggis would have been, to be honest. (But I don't want to get on my Mongol high horse!)
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J.D. Hall
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wifwendell wrote:
(But I don't want to get on my Mongol high horse!)

I see what you did there.
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remorseless1 wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:

I have to believe that Russians just love strongmen, and their positive uptick on Stalin may be, in part, due to their distance from his cruelty.

This is an excellent point, and the root of it goes back more than 800 years. The Mongol expansion westward was stopped in the Balkans, not by military means but a requirement for all the sons of the ruling Khan to return to Khartoum to choose a new khan. While the retreating Mongols devastated what is now Romania and Poland, they installed a ruler in what is now western Russia. The Mongols were amazingly efficient in both military matters and running governments, just without any kind of democratic power sharing. Mongol rulers ruled with brutality, although it was far more fair than practiced in our "civilized" times.

In short, Russia and its immediate neighbors were the only European areas to be conquered and occupied by an Asian people. Therein lies one of the main friction points between the western Europeans and the Russians -- the experience of being ruled by an absolute autocrat with little to no regard for humans or the law.

Jenghiz would have been proud of Josef Stalin.


Along with hearing the lamentation of the women, this is what's best in life.
.
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Uncle Joe made a lot of omelettes.
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abadolato01 wrote:
He has a more monstrous record than Hitler, for killing the opposition, including systematic destruction of various ethnic groups.


That one again. It's actually impossible - as well as distasteful - to decide who was responsible for more deaths because there are many deaths that are down to either or both. The "Stalin worst" camp contains quite a few people you don't want to be associated with.

Best to just say Hitler and Stalin were both about as evil as you can get, responsible for tens of millions of deaths and not try counting which one was more tens as a form of comparison. In monsters of the twentieth century they are two of the worst three - Mao being the third. Of course others like Pol Pot only killed fewer people as they had fewer to kill.
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remorseless1 wrote:
Russia and its immediate neighbors were the only European areas to be conquered and occupied by an Asian people.


The Turks reached (but did not take) Vienna and occupied the Balkans, most of which is not immediate neighbours to Russia.

Much of the Iberian peninsula was occupied by the Moors, who if not Asian were non-European.

And I'm not sure why the non-European matters. Desire to be strong to resist invasion applies whether it's Mongols or Vikings attacking you. And the latter were quite successful in various places. As we're many other groups.
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remorseless1 wrote:
In short, Russia and its immediate neighbors were the only European areas to be conquered and occupied by an Asian people. Therein lies one of the main friction points between the western Europeans and the Russians -- the experience of being ruled by an absolute autocrat with little to no regard for humans or the law.


Oh those rampant Asiatic despots! How they do like to clash with our Western Civilisation!
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Dearlove wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:
He has a more monstrous record than Hitler, for killing the opposition, including systematic destruction of various ethnic groups.


That one again. It's actually impossible - as well as distasteful - to decide who was responsible for more deaths because there are many deaths that are down to either or both. The "Stalin worst" camp contains quite a few people you don't want to be associated with.

Estimates vary but my impression has always been that more people died under Stalinism than under nazism. Just because right-wingers like to use the "Stalin was the first despot and Hitler was just an epigone" argument doesn't mean left-wingers should be unable to say that Stalinism was worse than fascism.

Actually it is just the other way around, precisely because right-wingers play this "Hitler was a national SOCIALIST and follower of Stalin" game to deflect from the crimes of the radical fringes of the right, left-winger should not do the same. Communism was not, as some folks like to pretend, some kind of aberration, "left fascism" or whatever. No, it absolutely was a left-wing phenomenom.
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askirmisher2 wrote:
Estimates vary but my impression has always been that more people died under Stalinism than under nazism.


If country A invades country B and civilians die, that's down to country A.

Except what if country B had an opportunity to evaluate them but didn't? Probably still country A gets the beam.

What if country B herded the civilians into the path of country A's armies? That's getting harder.

Wha if the civilians didn't die in the invasion but of starvation afterwards? Dice sit make a difference if country B burned all the food supplies before its arty retreated? But suppose hypothetically if they hadn't country A had plans (discovered decades later) to starve those civilians deliberately?

And so on. The eastern from in WWII was full of these sorts of hard cases. And how many Russians died in the German invasion. For years after the war Russian historians claimed 20 million, and western historians claimed they were falsifying the figures upwards. Turns out if they were falsifying the figures it was probably downwards.
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J.D. Hall
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Dearlove wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
Russia and its immediate neighbors were the only European areas to be conquered and occupied by an Asian people.


The Turks reached (but did not take) Vienna and occupied the Balkans, most of which is not immediate neighbours to Russia.

Much of the Iberian peninsula was occupied by the Moors, who if not Asian were non-European.

And I'm not sure why the non-European matters. Desire to be strong to resist invasion applies whether it's Mongols or Vikings attacking you. And the latter were quite successful in various places. As we're many other groups.

I love this discussion, and thanks for bringing this up.

While in general you have an excellent point, consider this:

When the Turks reached Vienna around 1550 or so (?) they had been interacting and trading with Europeans for between one and two centuries. The Moors were northwest Africans, located close to the Iberian peninsula and had been there for thousands of years, interacting with the folks across the strait. And the Vikings were definitely European, perhaps somewhat removed from Western Europe. But they fitted in well as the rulers of Normandy and then England and finally the British Empire.

This is really for another thread, but have you ever given any thought to what history would have been like if Harold had killed William instead of the other way around?

Thanks again. I LOVE HISTORY!
 
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In Russia, poll takes you.
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remorseless1 wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
Russia and its immediate neighbors were the only European areas to be conquered and occupied by an Asian people.


The Turks reached (but did not take) Vienna and occupied the Balkans, most of which is not immediate neighbours to Russia.

Much of the Iberian peninsula was occupied by the Moors, who if not Asian were non-European.

And I'm not sure why the non-European matters. Desire to be strong to resist invasion applies whether it's Mongols or Vikings attacking you. And the latter were quite successful in various places. As we're many other groups.


Thanks again. I LOVE HISTORY!


Then stop misrepresenting it into some kind of racewars modern fascist point of view!

This kind of incorrect reasoning using happenings of almost 1000 years ago to justify current political opinions is what modern fascists do to make their crap sound politically and scientifically sound. Don't fall for that. A mongol invasion has absolutely nothing to do with Josef Stalin coming to power countless generations later, nor with them not invading the rest of Europe, and, like Christopher points out, it did really not matter whether your tyrant was Spanish, British, German, Italian or Scandinavian - if you can even relate all of these back to modern terms, because really they were Roman, Holy Roman Germanic speaking tribes etc. etc.

Talk about facts and interesting points of view, but stop this mainstreaming of fascist race theories. We've been there before, and I should hope we learned from that.
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askirmisher2 wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
abadolato01 wrote:
He has a more monstrous record than Hitler, for killing the opposition, including systematic destruction of various ethnic groups.


That one again. It's actually impossible - as well as distasteful - to decide who was responsible for more deaths because there are many deaths that are down to either or both. The "Stalin worst" camp contains quite a few people you don't want to be associated with.

Estimates vary but my impression has always been that more people died under Stalinism than under nazism. Just because right-wingers like to use the "Stalin was the first despot and Hitler was just an epigone" argument doesn't mean left-wingers should be unable to say that Stalinism was worse than fascism.

Actually it is just the other way around, precisely because right-wingers play this "Hitler was a national SOCIALIST and follower of Stalin" game to deflect from the crimes of the radical fringes of the right, left-winger should not do the same. Communism was not, as some folks like to pretend, some kind of aberration, "left fascism" or whatever. No, it absolutely was a left-wing phenomenom.


Falling for even continuing this very debate is exactly what those right-wingers want you to do though. It is a useless debate and always a strawman meant to keep you from actually talking about the stuff you should be addressing.

Stalinism was not worse than fascism, because there is no scale to measure this. We can agree that both had very much a lack of respect for any form of human life and used extremely nationalistic ideals to justify wiping out entire populations. There is entirely no need to determine who is worse. That is like asking who's shit you'd rather eat. It is redundant, pointless and leads to absolutely no greater insights at all.

So stop taking the bait.
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remorseless1 wrote:
wifwendell wrote:
(But I don't want to get on my Mongol high horse!)

I see what you did there.

This is so stupid. It is well known that the Mongols preferred small horses.
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