Monday, January 21, 2008

And the revolution works itself out ...

On this day, in 1793, the king of France, Louis XVI, the citizen Louis Capet met the guillotine. The Terror was on. Throughout France people were accused, tried and executed as enemies of the revolution. The terrorists were the government. Those who represented the old order, or not enthusiastic about the new, were targets.

Studying history
comparatively, there is much that can be paralleled between the French and Russian revolutions. On this day, in 1924, Vladimir Ilič Uljvanov, Lenin died. Immediately Stalin began in the successful, ruthless, machiavellian, machinations to gain all control of the state.

Now, Lenin and Stalin were noms de querre. Stalin before being a revolutionary, was a street criminal and used many, many aliases. People often do not realize how few of the bolsheviks were russians. Stalin spoke with a caucasian accent, russians knew this immediately by ear. There is an anecdote, that partly suggests this to us, though it is more to his cold alienation:

"Apparently, father was a Georgian when he was younger." ― Vasilij Josifovič to Svetlana Josifovna
Stalin was the murderer of finite, but incalculable millions. Easily the statement, "one death is a tragedy; a million deaths is just a statistic", or variants thereof, was attached to him. This was probably redirected from Erich Maria Remarque's novel, "Der schwarze Obelisk, (The black obelisk)", of 1956.
"Aber das ist wohl so, weil ein einzelner immer der Tod ist — und zwei Millionen immer nur eine Statistik." "Of course this is certainly so, since one death is always isolated — and two million are always only a statistic."
Stalin is russian for made of steel, his real name was Josif Vissarionnovič Džugašvili. This steel was the image he cultivated; he was a paranoid, brutal, vengeful, and cunning monster, showing no ruth, no compassion. He was an operator and had a cold understanding of how the world worked.
  • Gratitude is a sickness suffered by dogs. quoted in Vospominanija Bjvshego Sekretarja Stalina (1992), Memoirs of Boris Bažanov, Stalin's former secretary.
  • The Pope! How many divisions has he got?to Pierre Laval (13 May 1935) as quoted by Winston Churchill, in response of a request to tolerate catholicism.
  • Hitlers come and go, but Germany and the German people remain. "The Order #55 of the National Commissar for the Defense" (23 February 1942).
  • So the bastard's dead! Too bad we didn't capture him alive! quoted in The Memoirs of Georgij Konstantinovič Žukov referring to the death of Hitler.
  • In the Soviet Army, it takes more courage to retreat than Averrell Harriman, american ambassador.
  • Tsar Alexander reached Paris. to an american who remarked about Russian troops in Berlin, mentioned in Kissinger's, "Diplomacy".
Some of these observations are philosophical, some refer to specific historical events, others are directly applicable to the american political situation today, especially the last eight years. Comrade Stalin has eager appartchniks, some are busheviks.
  • Cadres decide everything! Address to the Graduates from the Red Army Academies. (4 May 1935).
  • Those who cast the votes, they decide nothing. Those who count the votes, they decide everything.quoted in The Memoirs of Boris Bažanov.
  • Beat, beat and beat again! Nikita Sergejevič Khruščjev's Secret Speech "On the Personality Cult and its Consequences" (25 February 1956), on how to get information from political prisoners.

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