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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > Russia, Central Asia, and The Caucasus

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Russia, Central Asia, and The Caucasus Post-Soviet Russia and some neglected smaller neighbors.

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  #1  
Old 28 Jan 16, 05:49
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Another Stalin=Putin article

Here's another example of the fine art of propaganda. It's not some backwater "Out in the Sticks Gazette", it's Foreign freaking Policy magazine, the leading US foreign policy magazine and online outlet. The headline and the sub-headline pull no punches and clearly state:

For Putin, For Stalin

Fearful of unrest, Russia’s president is using the memory of Stalin to exhort his people to sacrifice.

Well, that's quite an accusation. This means Putin is manipulating the people by promoting the positive image of Stalin and his system of government/his ways to justify his own policies. I suppose we're about to hear his endorsements of Stalin's repressions or at least how the state-owned media praises Stalin for this and that.

Let's have a look at the article then:

Quote:
The recently launched MSQRD lets users change their selfies to resemble, among other things, a bunny, a zombie, or a mass-murdering megalomaniacal dictator. Judging by the app’s popularity in Russia, it’s succeeded at capitalizing on the national mood. Stalin is back.
Darn. I confess, I visited "cool and trendy" coffee shops and bought peanut-almond-cappuccinos and barely held myself from posting them on Instagram. But I'm still not hipster enough to have ever used this app, which is only available on App Store - and I use Samsung anyway.

A new Iphone costs double the average wage in Russia now. You can try to count how many non-upper-middle-class Russians use them and how many of happy owners of I-squeeze-you-dry-of-money-Phone have downloaded this app, as the author suggests, to tell the world about their love of Stalin and not just for the lulz sake.

According to the article, this is representative of the "national mood" and "Stalin is back".

By the way, if you follow the author's logic, here's a fully operational Nazi party online: http://hipsterhitler.com/ - yes, with a bit of Stalin thrown in too.

Okay, what's next?

Quote:
In 2015, the Soviet dictator’s resurrected cult of personality reached new heights. In May, Communist Party officials in Lipetsk erected a new Stalin bust. In July, the tiny village of Khoroshevo opened a museum focused on his military exploits. And in December, Communist activists in the central Russian city of Penza opened a “Stalin Center,” the goal of which is to “popularize and implement the practices that were in use during Stalin times and are still relevant today.”
A whole freaking bust and two tiny museums located in Communist party offices. Now that's a damning indictment. However, none of the linked articles even insinuates (something extremely rare for the Western media) that Putin or the government have anything to do with this.

Quote:
Over the last few years, President Vladimir Putin has presided over the rehabilitation of one of the 20th century’s greatest monsters. Bedeviled by the country’s economic decay and fearful of dissent, he has turned to the ghost of Stalin help to rally the Russian people and to prepare them for the sacrifices that lie ahead.
Sounds very exciting! Now we'll probably hear about the exact moves Putin made to justify the murder and repressions of millions in Stalin's time. Let's see. Hmm, the next paragraphs say nothing about it, but here's an interesting line:

Quote:
the Kremlin found and vilified an ever-growing list of fifth columnists: homosexuals, foreigners, NGOs, and activists.
Neither homosexuals nor foreigners have ever been branded "fifth columnists", and only some of the NGOs and activists were called this way by some of the state media. But why let facts get in the way of a good story of a sweeping wave of Stalinist repressions engulfing the country under Putin's rule?

I'll miss out the standard BS about Ukraine et al, and get to the point where accusations of Stalinism are made:

Quote:
To better make his case, Putin turned to Stalin’s playbook, looking increasingly to the events of World War II, known in Russia as the “Great Patriotic War.”
That is so very interesting! Now commemorating the war means being Stalinist. I guess Yeltsin, the West's darling in the 1990s was a Stalinist as well when he spoke on memorial occasions and attended victory parades.

The next paragraph claims Stalin is ok for most Russians because he "won the war" which is a deliberately reductionist presentation of the Russians' attitude to him and his historical role. I'll skip it to avoid copyright violations.

Quote:
This is why the war is the perfect way for Putin to evoke the worldview he wants Russians to have — besieged on all sides, with only a great leader to save them...

And so re-Stalinization has sped ahead, with a focus on those wartime sacrifices.
Sounds just fine, but this is a suggestion, not an accusation based on facts. I guess they should follow with the proof to this statement right away.

Quote:
In November 2014 President Putin publically rehabilitated the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which cemented a brief alliance between Hitler and Stalin in which they split eastern Europe between them — never mind the millions of Jews, Poles and others that were killed as a result.
Which is again a reductionist view promoted by the West in order to overlook its own Munich Pact with Hitler and relieve themselves of any responsibility for Hitler's rise to power and the beginning of the war. The geopolitical inevitability of this pact for any Russian government, Communist or not, has already been discussed here at length and I won't get back to this.

Quote:
Under the Kremlin’s direction, school history books have been standardized to gloss over Stalin’s crimes.
Well, even the linked article says the textbook does not gloss over Stalin's crimes, but presents them in the context the author doesn't like. Of course, when you need to push the idea Putin is launching a full-scale Stalin promotional campaign, such little nuances can be left out. Another thing is that Ryzhkov's linked article was written in 2013, when the government still entertained the idea of printing one textbook for all schools. However, the next year this idea was scrapped and instead the government issued general methodological guidelines for publishing houses.

Quote:
In a 2014 meeting with the authors of the new textbook, Putin noted how unfortunate it is that some textbooks describe Soviet rule over eastern Europe after the Second World War as a Stalinist occupation.
Let's see what Putin actually said:

Quote:
Вот говорят о том, что в результате Второй мировой войны Восточная Европа погрузилась в оккупационный мрак сталинского режима. Отчасти надо признать, что там идеология совдеповская функционировала и оказывала негативные влияния на развитие этих государств. Но мы говорим о последствиях: а если бы победил фашизм, какие были бы последствия? Вообще некоторых народов не осталось бы как таковых, их просто истребили бы, вот и всё.
Quote:
Some say that the Eastern Europe was plunged into the occupational darkness of Stalin's regime in the aftermath of WWII. We have to admit in part, that the SovDep [derogatory for Soviet] ideology functioned there and negatively affected the development of these states. But we are speaking of the consequences: had Fascism won, what would the consequences have been then? Some peoples wouldn't have survived at all, they would've all been exterminated.
I wonder where he denies the fact there was an occupation and where he says the Soviet regime was just fine for these countries.

Quote:
the Memorial Historical Center of Political Repression in Perm, was forced to close after being labeled a “foreign agent.” It was reopened by the local government a few months later with a new focus on the “role of the camps in contributing to the Soviet victory over the Nazis in World War II.”
There's already been a long thread about it here, and in the end it was revealed the only claim the museum will not tell about political prisoners and glorify the GULAG system was only made by the former director of the museum. Naturally, no Western media even tried to investigate what the new museum exhibits. Any hysterical cry: "Stalin is coming!" is a proof in itself.

Quote:
The popular media has followed Putin’s lead. The popular TV show Leningrad 46 examines life in the city in the aftermath of World War II, while the 2013 movie Stalingrad glorifies the sacrifices made in that historic battle.
Umm, wait. Let's stop here. Where has Putin shown any lead, and what do films about postwar crime-infested Leningrad and about wartime Stalingrad have to do with the glorification of Stalin? Now that's really crazy - unless you know that one of the main features of any propaganda is to weave unrelated facts into a suggested narrative to present the visibility of a massive phenomenon out of several unrelated and singular facts.

Quote:
Likewise, he has defended the reappearance of statues of Stalin.
Now, here we've finally got at least one direct fact. Here's what Putin said (found the translation online)

Quote:
How is Cromwell so different from Stalin? Can you tell me? There is no difference. From the standpoint of our liberal representatives, from the liberal spectrum of our political establishment, he is a similarly bloody dictator. He was a treacherous guy, and he played an ambivalent role in the history of Great Britain. His memorial stands, and no one is tearing it down... You know, the point is not in these symbols. The point is that we should treat each period of our history with respect. Cromwell lived there some time back. For us, this is all very raw. So we have to treat each period of our history with care.
There's the defense in terms of praising the one in whose honour the statues were built, and there's the defense of the monument as part of the country's history.

Quote:
And the push has been working. By March 2015, fully 45 percent of Russians believed that the sacrifices made by the Soviet people during the Stalin years were in some way justified.
Which push? What was working? And look at the question - it encompasses all sacrifices made by the people in Stalin's time, including the war. If you understand it as wartime sacrifice, it's certainly justified. If you understand it as "sacrifice to build a Communist society", it's certainly not, but the question doesn't make this distinction.

I'll skip the last two paragraphs with the usual tripe.
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  #2  
Old 28 Jan 16, 06:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShAA View Post
Over the last few years, President Vladimir Putin has presided over the rehabilitation of one of the 20th century’s greatest monsters
Actually the articles practically doesn't mention "rehabilitation" effort from Mr. Putin personally. It's either about some communists or about praising sacrifices of common people in the war and so on.
Quote:
In November 2014 President Putin publically rehabilitated the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which cemented a brief alliance between Hitler and Stalin in which they split eastern Europe between them — never mind the millions of Jews, Poles and others that were killed as a result.
Correct me if I'm wrong but the real mass murder of Jews started with an outbreak of the Soviet-German War, so it was a result of the pact's end
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Old 28 Jan 16, 06:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyom_A View Post
Actually the articles practically doesn't mention "rehabilitation" effort from Mr. Putin personally. It's either about some communists or about praising sacrifices of common people in the war and so on.

Correct me if I'm wrong but the real mass murder of Jews started with an outbreak of the Soviet-German War, so it was a result of the pact's end
Exactly. But who cares when you have an agenda to push?
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Old 28 Jan 16, 06:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShAA View Post
http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/putins-distorted-history/489799.html
Why do they always write the word "GULag" in a plural form and beginning with a lowercase "g"? It's simply illiterate.
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Old 28 Jan 16, 22:53
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Hi ShAA, you always seem to give straight forward answers, so I'm interested on your point of view. One thing I found intriguing was Volgograd changing back to Stalingrad.
In your opinion why did that happen recently and what were the main factors in the decision to change the name?
Also, what do you think were the main factors in the name sometimes being Volgograd and Stalingrad?

thanks
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Old 29 Jan 16, 02:01
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Here's my pennyworth anyway:
Putin is unashamedly for Russia and that sort of nationalistic feeling is frowned upon by your more "enlightened" neighbours to the west.

We really don't like national leaders coming out and saying much less doing things that advance their own nations fortunes over others.

Perhaps Putin should start running down his own country the way we do,then he will be more palatable to western civilization?

The world needs more Putins,not less!
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Old 29 Jan 16, 02:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt. Rock View Post
Hi ShAA, you always seem to give straight forward answers, so I'm interested on your point of view. One thing I found intriguing was Volgograd changing back to Stalingrad.
In your opinion why did that happen recently and what were the main factors in the decision to change the name?
Also, what do you think were the main factors in the name sometimes being Volgograd and Stalingrad?

thanks
Sgt,
The city is still called Volgograd. It is only officially referred to as Stalingrad on certain commemorative dates.
Quote:
The Volgograd city council voted to use the name at city events on six commemorative days including February 2, the day Nazi forces fully surrendered to Soviet troops and May 9, Victory Day, news agencies reported.

The decision was made "based on the many requests of Second World War participants," said Sergei Zabednov, quoted by the city parliament's press service.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/w...city-name.html
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Old 29 Jan 16, 02:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt. Rock View Post
Hi ShAA, you always seem to give straight forward answers, so I'm interested on your point of view. One thing I found intriguing was Volgograd changing back to Stalingrad.
In your opinion why did that happen recently and what were the main factors in the decision to change the name?
Also, what do you think were the main factors in the name sometimes being Volgograd and Stalingrad?

thanks
The main reason why Stalingrad was renamed to Volgograd in 1962 was Khrustchev's de-Stalinisation, of course. I'm not sure I understood you correctly, but the city is still called Volgograd. A number of activists from the Communist party and several other organisations launched a campaign to change the name of the city back to Stalingrad, gathering signatures not only in this city but all across Russia. It's hard to say what the main push for it was. Maybe in part it was caused by the revision of Stalin's role - from positive in the Soviet times (albeit with certain provisions Khrustchev and other leaders made) to radically negative in the Perestroika times and later on and finally to a more balanced approach. Surely there are proponents of both abovementioned views today, but they no longer completely "own the discourse". From thesis to antithesis, we are finally arriving at synthesis, although there is still a lot to be discussed. Another reason for the renaming campaign were PR considerations of the guys who started it. And maybe the third reason is the renewed interest in the Great Patriotic War, which was partly heated up by the government, and partly happened to be part of the worldwide trend - I clearly remember reading somewhere on ACG a few years ago that there was a kind of renaissance in the public interest in WW2, and Russia isn't an exception here.

I had rather let the sleeping dogs lie and keep the current name, cause this renaming would spark way too much controversy in Russia: one reason being Stalin's name, another reason being chain reaction in other places with controversial name and calls for revoking post-Soviet renamings made by order of government or even by referendums. However, if the people of Volgograd vote for the renaming at a referendum, I would support them. Still, I don't know why wouldn't they treat their history like we do in St. Petersburg: on each "Welcome to St. Petersburg" sign at the entrance to the city there's a smaller writing "Leningrad the Hero City" with Soviet decorations awarded to the city. I don't think there's anybody left here who thinks that the name of Leningrad is compromised in anyway. By the way, when the government wanted to remove an old sign on one of the main squares opposite the Moscow train station which read "Leningrad the Hero City", there was a public outrcy and they backed off.
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Old 29 Jan 16, 06:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShAA View Post
Here's another example of the fine art of propaganda. It's not some backwater "Out in the Sticks Gazette", it's Foreign freaking Policy magazine, the leading US foreign policy magazine and online outlet.
He, can't refrain from sharing this:


Speaking of attitude to Stalin and so on there several things that are usually ignored.
First the popularity of Stalin reached the peak in early 00s (which can hardly be attributed to Mr.Putin) and didn't actually increase over time after that. For illustration, results of opinion polls conducted by Levada in the last 20 years (percentage of people who rated Stalin's role in history positively and negatively respectively):

The first Putin's terms were actually brought a somewhat more cooler attitude with the trends changing after 2008.
The second thing is that Russia is not the country where Stalin is popular the most. Again from the poll conducted in the former Soviet republics in 2012, the following numbers rated Stalin as a wise and successful leader
Russia - 47%
Azerbaijan - 41%
Armenia - 57%
Georgia - 69% ()
From
http://kprf.ru/party-live/opinion/118175.html
Surprisingly the last result was somehow accompanied by a Georgian official self-representation as victim of Soviet occupation and Russian imperialism. "For Stalin, for Saakashvili, for NATO" rephrasing the topic-starting article.
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Old 29 Jan 16, 17:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShAA View Post
Here's another example of the fine art of propaganda. It's not some backwater "Out in the Sticks Gazette", it's Foreign freaking Policy magazine, the leading US foreign policy magazine and online outlet. The headline and the sub-headline pull no punches and clearly state:

For Putin, For Stalin

Fearful of unrest, Russia’s president is using the memory of Stalin to exhort his people to sacrifice.

Well, that's quite an accusation. This means Putin is manipulating the people by promoting the positive image of Stalin and his system of government/his ways to justify his own policies. I suppose we're about to hear his endorsements of Stalin's repressions or at least how the state-owned media praises Stalin for this and that.

Let's have a look at the article then:



Darn. I confess, I visited "cool and trendy" coffee shops and bought peanut-almond-cappuccinos and barely held myself from posting them on Instagram. But I'm still not hipster enough to have ever used this app, which is only available on App Store - and I use Samsung anyway.

A new Iphone costs double the average wage in Russia now. You can try to count how many non-upper-middle-class Russians use them and how many of happy owners of I-squeeze-you-dry-of-money-Phone have downloaded this app, as the author suggests, to tell the world about their love of Stalin and not just for the lulz sake.

According to the article, this is representative of the "national mood" and "Stalin is back".

By the way, if you follow the author's logic, here's a fully operational Nazi party online: http://hipsterhitler.com/ - yes, with a bit of Stalin thrown in too.

Okay, what's next?



A whole freaking bust and two tiny museums located in Communist party offices. Now that's a damning indictment. However, none of the linked articles even insinuates (something extremely rare for the Western media) that Putin or the government have anything to do with this.



Sounds very exciting! Now we'll probably hear about the exact moves Putin made to justify the murder and repressions of millions in Stalin's time. Let's see. Hmm, the next paragraphs say nothing about it, but here's an interesting line:



Neither homosexuals nor foreigners have ever been branded "fifth columnists", and only some of the NGOs and activists were called this way by some of the state media. But why let facts get in the way of a good story of a sweeping wave of Stalinist repressions engulfing the country under Putin's rule?

I'll miss out the standard BS about Ukraine et al, and get to the point where accusations of Stalinism are made:



That is so very interesting! Now commemorating the war means being Stalinist. I guess Yeltsin, the West's darling in the 1990s was a Stalinist as well when he spoke on memorial occasions and attended victory parades.

The next paragraph claims Stalin is ok for most Russians because he "won the war" which is a deliberately reductionist presentation of the Russians' attitude to him and his historical role. I'll skip it to avoid copyright violations.



Sounds just fine, but this is a suggestion, not an accusation based on facts. I guess they should follow with the proof to this statement right away.



Which is again a reductionist view promoted by the West in order to overlook its own Munich Pact with Hitler and relieve themselves of any responsibility for Hitler's rise to power and the beginning of the war. The geopolitical inevitability of this pact for any Russian government, Communist or not, has already been discussed here at length and I won't get back to this.



Well, even the linked article says the textbook does not gloss over Stalin's crimes, but presents them in the context the author doesn't like. Of course, when you need to push the idea Putin is launching a full-scale Stalin promotional campaign, such little nuances can be left out. Another thing is that Ryzhkov's linked article was written in 2013, when the government still entertained the idea of printing one textbook for all schools. However, the next year this idea was scrapped and instead the government issued general methodological guidelines for publishing houses.



Let's see what Putin actually said:





I wonder where he denies the fact there was an occupation and where he says the Soviet regime was just fine for these countries.



There's already been a long thread about it here, and in the end it was revealed the only claim the museum will not tell about political prisoners and glorify the GULAG system was only made by the former director of the museum. Naturally, no Western media even tried to investigate what the new museum exhibits. Any hysterical cry: "Stalin is coming!" is a proof in itself.



Umm, wait. Let's stop here. Where has Putin shown any lead, and what do films about postwar crime-infested Leningrad and about wartime Stalingrad have to do with the glorification of Stalin? Now that's really crazy - unless you know that one of the main features of any propaganda is to weave unrelated facts into a suggested narrative to present the visibility of a massive phenomenon out of several unrelated and singular facts.



Now, here we've finally got at least one direct fact. Here's what Putin said (found the translation online)



There's the defense in terms of praising the one in whose honour the statues were built, and there's the defense of the monument as part of the country's history.



Which push? What was working? And look at the question - it encompasses all sacrifices made by the people in Stalin's time, including the war. If you understand it as wartime sacrifice, it's certainly justified. If you understand it as "sacrifice to build a Communist society", it's certainly not, but the question doesn't make this distinction.

I'll skip the last two paragraphs with the usual tripe.
Interesting. How did Oliver Cromwell get into the act, I wonder ?
Whatever else he may have been I wouldn't have described him as a "treacherous guy".
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  #11  
Old 30 Jan 16, 03:44
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Originally Posted by BELGRAVE View Post
Interesting. How did Oliver Cromwell get into the act, I wonder ?
Whatever else he may have been I wouldn't have described him as a "treacherous guy".
Well, he spoke of monuments to dictators and controversial historical characters.

Actually, it's a case of bad translation. What he said was more like "insidious", "wile".
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Old 01 Feb 16, 09:00
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Originally Posted by ShAA View Post
Darn. I confess, I visited "cool and trendy" coffee shops and bought peanut-almond-cappuccinos and barely held myself from posting them on Instagram. But I'm still not hipster enough to have ever used this app, which is only available on App Store - and I use Samsung anyway.
Good take-down of the article but just for accuracy sake:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....android&hl=en

So you too can post pictures of your Stalin smoothie.
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Old 01 Feb 16, 11:08
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My favourite quote from World War Two is attributed to a nameless Russian/Soviet man, (I bet someone knows who), but it speaks volumes...

Quote:
During the Great Patriotic War, we were faced with a choice between two dictators.
We preferred the one that spoke Russian
.
No-one on the face of this earth can deny the fact that under Hitlerite rule, Slavic society and the people as a whole would have disappeared into "A New Dark Age ", from which there would have been no way out.

History has a way of overturning its views, moderating its previous contemporary opinions with time, distance, and a wider perspective based on events since "The Day".

For instance, scholars from many countries, Italians included, are beginning to look at the 1st Century AD Julio-Claudian emperors from the point of view of "The People", rather than from the 'accepted' view of the Senate, and the aristocrat historians of the day writing for the benefit of the ruling body in power at the time.

The Reign of the Emperor TIBERIUS is one such that is finally getting a "wide perspective", from the view of the common man, rather than the privelaged minority writing the histories that would echo through the ages and determine what the popular view might be...

As early as 1960, an American historian called ERNST MASON, published a short bio of Tiberius Claudius Nero, whose conclusion read thus....

Quote:
The life of Tiberius Caesar spans Rome's transition period from tottering Republic to firmly based Empire. He was born into a world where parties of giants contended for power. When he died, the world had grown smaller by this much: it had room in it for only one giant.

Was he a good Emperor? Or a bad one?

On the basis of statistics he must be called good.

Whatever his perverse cruelties and wild extravagances at home, he was after all, the Emperor of a hundred million souls. His Empire was almost the known world- the boundaries were the Rhine, the Danube, and the Euphrates. Except for barbarians and the semi-legendary Far-East, all the world paid tribute to Tiberius.

A map of his empire shows the Mediterranean Sea surrounded, like a great mouth. Greece is the uvula, the Italian peninsula a fang, the lips are the Pillars of Hercules at Gibraltar. All the Mediterranean world is engorged, and the mouth reaches out for more. In this great teeming heartland only a few thousand suffered directly under Tiberius, and all the others had cause to bless him.

He fought no great wars.
He imposed no new taxes.
He exterminated no subject races.
He was viscious and perverted, but the fury that turned Rome into a stew and made Capri a shambles left tens of millions of human beings untouched.
But this was no altruism of Tiberius. It was only another form of stinginess. He would not waste gold except on personal pleasure.
And he would not waste suffering, except where he could enjoy it.
Similarly and more recently, Swiss Professor of Ancient History out of Basel University, ALOIS WINTERLING, openly debunked the contempoorary and modern view of Gaius Caesar Germanicus, simply by examining historical Roman viewpoints in light of Gaius's known propensity for making the Senate look ridiculous, and matching one account with another, or not as the case may be. The Senate, as a general rule, could never wrap their heads around the idea that Caligula was popular with the people, and so eternally cruel to the Honourable Men who flattered him with garlands and titles.
Nor could the Senate come to terms with the plain fact that the people of Rome desired a break, a long break, from the endless rounds of senatorially inspired and financed civil wars and other ruinous squabbles for power, based on who was loyal to whom in the factional politics of the day. Caligula tried to sieze the opportunity to establish a REAL monarchy, and doing away with the Senate power brokers altogether, an naturally his victims, mainly Senators, fought back with base accusations that remained just stories down the years, told an retold, until the emerged as truth...

Quote:
Alois Winterling

It remains an open question how much Suetonius added to the invention of the 'mad emperor' and how much he borrowed from earlier documents (containing expressions of fresh hatred that historians like Tacitus did not consider worth passing on). What we do know as that his biography of Caligula decisively influenced the way the Emperor was percieved from then on. Suetonius composed it at a time when, after more than a century of bloody conflicts between Emporers and aristocracy, peace and a spirt of accomodations defined their relations. Rulers from Nerva to Marcus Aurelius (AD 96-180) displayed aristocratic modesty, and the senatorial aristocracy seems to have learned to live with Imperial rule, which had taken on a form they could endure.

In these circumstances the memory of the Emperor who had tried to establish an undisguised monarchy, who had humiliated aristocrats and given them a true taste of what Imperial power really meant, must have been very annoying. It was much more pleasant to declare that if an Emperor strove to create a monarchy he was a mentally diseased tyrant, who rightly and necessarilly came to an end.
Suetonius's contemporaries in the 2nd Century saw precisely this intention in his biography of Caligula; this is demonstarted by the fate of a Roman of the time of the Emperor Commodus, which bears a certain resemblance to the experience of Ludwig Quidde, nearly 2000 years later. When the son of Marcus Aurelius came to the throne at the age of nineteen and was confronted at the start of his reign with a conspiracy among the leaders of the senatorial aristocracy, the existing accomodation came to an abrupt end. Force and undisguised autarcy once again shaped the age.

Commodus, it is told, had someone thrown to the wild beasts to be devoured because the man had read Suetonius's "Life of Caligula".
So, whats all this got to do with Josef Stalin?

If ordinary Russians are starting to awaken from the spell of the Cold War and the monumental shock of the Great Patrioitic War, it's with eyes open to a world that they are firmly and safely a part of. Looking around, they begin, slowly, to realise who and what the circumstances are, with hindsight, that put them there in this position of LIVING, rather than as walking corpses ruled by Barbarians and enslaved for God knows how long.

They are starting to take back their own impressions of "what happened", and graft them into the present structure to see if they have a "match".

And if the present view does not match, well, it has to be the fault of the viewer, of the people themselves, doesn't it?

No, it doesn't.

In the same way that the ruling aristocracies of Rome changed the way the people wished to view their rulers, the ruling 'cliques" of modern western governments are as uncomfortable as Roman Senators at being left out of the prevailing opinion for a change; seeing Stalin in the view of the people alive today, the ones that benefitted from his regime, not PURELY from a victim's point of view. And they don't like what they see, do they? Because, the Russian people are waking up to the very fact that THEIR view of the past is significantly different to the establishment view.

Let the Russian people decide for themselves how they view their own past for a change.

Give them a chance to put their own history back in their hands, the hands of the people that is, not thw West, and not the Secret Service sanitization either....

We might be surprised by the results. But we have to let them try.

Then, after this process has run its course, (it might take many years), THEN lets see if our views "mesh". But let the ordinary Russian have his say. And be happy if their views don't necessarily correspond with ours.

After all, its the Slavic People that won...they are ALIVE....and winners write history.
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Old 01 Feb 16, 15:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joea View Post
Good take-down of the article but just for accuracy sake:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....android&hl=en

So you too can post pictures of your Stalin smoothie.
Can you actually tweak the default Instagram app to apply Stalin's moustache to people's mugs or do you still need that AppStore app for that?

Actually, I drank smoothies in 2007 way before the word "hipster" was introduced in Russia and smoothies became cool
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Old 01 Feb 16, 18:26
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I'll be a little less longwinded.

Bottom line, if modern Russians and other people wish to see Josef stalin as a hero, or wish to view his many crimes in a more favourable light, who the hell are we to tell them otherwise?

After all, we in the West accepted his help during WW2. So we have a finger in the pie when it comes to the survival and prosperity of the stalin regime.

I don't think for a minute that the soviet war effort was well managed. But, knowing a bit about what was actually going on at the time in soviet society, I would say they finished the war streets ahead of where they started it from.

If Vladimir Putin is enacting the collective will of the Russian people by recasting Iosef Djugashvahli in a heroic part of the drama, then so be it.

At the very least they will also be coming to terms with their past.

In the same manner that Americans still argue about the relative evils of the American Civil War.
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