Monday, April 11, 2016

The controversy about Stalin – a “basket” of preliminary considerations

When introducing Jimmie Moglia’s video series about Stalin I promised to share with you my own take on this most controversial personality.  Let me immediately say that what I will write below is most definitely not some seminal analysis of the life and personality of Stalin, but rather few more or less disjointed thoughts on a topic which I still feel that I do not understand.

The figure of Stalin has always been a controversial one.  Some thought of him as the “leader of all times and all nations” (“вождь всех времен и народов”) while other saw him like the epitome of evil, a genocidal maniac who killed more people than any other individual in history.  In reality, that kind of polarization is probably a strong indication of the fact that this issue is a very complex one and that a simple black and white answer is unlikely to correctly evaluate the person of Stalin and his legacy.  The fact that there really was a “personality cult” during Stalin’s life and that it was followed by a emotional denunciation by Khrushchev only made things worse.  Stalin is most definitely a polarizing figure and I myself have been submitted to that polarization from my early childhood.


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