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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

20th Century without Stalin

Moderators: Thanas, Stas Bush

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Sidewinder
PostPosted: 2010-08-20 03:25pm 

Sith Acolyte


Joined: 2005-05-18 10:23pm
Posts: 5127
Location: Feasting on those who fell in battle
It's 1924. Lenin is dead, the USSR and its Communist Party need a new leader. Joseph Stalin is unavailable- he died four years ago, during the Polish-Soviet War. The Soviets are asking themselves, "Who's worthy? Who's worthy?"

How does the 20th century develop from here? Will Leon Trotsky continue sending the military west to install Communist governments in Europe? Will Lenin's successor begin a Great Purge to secure his position?

How will other nations respond? Will the US be as anti-Communist as it is historically, with no Stalin? Assuming there's no purge of Red Army officers, will Germany be hesitant to invade the USSR? Will Hitler become Chancellor at all, without Stalin as a "boogeyman" to help justify a preemptive strike?
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Stas Bush
PostPosted: 2010-08-20 10:24pm 

Glamorous Commie


Joined: 2003-02-26 12:39pm
Posts: 17565
Location: 差不多先生
Sidewinder wrote:
It's 1924. Lenin is dead, the USSR and its Communist Party need a new leader. Joseph Stalin is unavailable- he died four years ago, during the Polish-Soviet War. The Soviets are asking themselves, "Who's worthy? Who's worthy?"

How does the 20th century develop from here? Will Leon Trotsky continue sending the military west to install Communist governments in Europe? Will Lenin's successor begin a Great Purge to secure his position?

How will other nations respond? Will the US be as anti-Communist as it is historically, with no Stalin? Assuming there's no purge of Red Army officers, will Germany be hesitant to invade the USSR? Will Hitler become Chancellor at all, without Stalin as a "boogeyman" to help justify a preemptive strike?

It is too complex a question. The early Soviet government was a mix of people, where technically each could take power (or none). The USSR might well be ruled by a collective, without a strong single leader, for a longer time. The presence or absence of Stalin par se doesn't change Hitler's stance on communists and Slavs - untermenschen. A union between communists and social democrats during the German election wouldn't prevent Hitler from taking over. SDPG and CPG got 30,6% together, whereas NSDAP got 43,9%, and with allies (small nationalist and bourgeois parties) - 51,9%, a direct majority.

The US wasn't that anti-Communist in the 1930s and even helped the USSR to industrialize. I doubt much would change if someone else would be at the helm. The US intervention in the Russian civil war, it's largest anti-communist act against the Soviet Union, happened before Lenin's death.

Purges are not a given - in a collective rule purges would be hard to pull off, and even a individual leader can avoid them - dependign on the political course he takes, which is too much an unknown.
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Simon_Jester
PostPosted: 2010-08-20 10:56pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm
Posts: 22424
I don't think Stalin was seen as such a great villain at the time as he is today. Remember, this was an era when Mussolini got good reviews for being a 'strong reformer;' even Hitler earned respect for the impression that German was recovering from World War One on his watch.

It wasn't until after the Second World War, when we started to get a better collective feeling for how much totalitarianism can cost, that we started viewing totalitarian leaders as monsters.
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Sidewinder
PostPosted: 2010-08-21 01:03am 

Sith Acolyte


Joined: 2005-05-18 10:23pm
Posts: 5127
Location: Feasting on those who fell in battle
Stas Bush wrote:
The US wasn't that anti-Communist in the 1930s and even helped the USSR to industrialize. I doubt much would change if someone else would be at the helm. The US intervention in the Russian civil war, it's largest anti-communist act against the Soviet Union, happened before Lenin's death.

Do you mean Lenin's potential successors will keep trying to forment a Communist revolution in what the US sees as its sphere of influence (Mexico, Central and South America, the Phillipines)- instead of discouraging such reckless behavior to avoid being drawn into a war with the US, as Stalin seemed to be- and thus guarantee a Soviet-American conflict?
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Stas Bush
PostPosted: 2010-08-21 01:15am 

Glamorous Commie


Joined: 2003-02-26 12:39pm
Posts: 17565
Location: 差不多先生
Sidewinder wrote:
Stas Bush wrote:
The US wasn't that anti-Communist in the 1930s and even helped the USSR to industrialize. I doubt much would change if someone else would be at the helm. The US intervention in the Russian civil war, it's largest anti-communist act against the Soviet Union, happened before Lenin's death.

Do you mean Lenin's potential successors will keep trying to forment a Communist revolution in what the US sees as its sphere of influence (Mexico, Central and South America, the Phillipines)- instead of discouraging such reckless behavior to avoid being drawn into a war with the US, as Stalin seemed to be- and thus guarantee a Soviet-American conflict?

The "Socialism in one country" policy is by no ways guaranteed under a different leader(s).
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Thanas
PostPosted: 2010-08-21 04:11pm 

Magister


Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm
Posts: 25782
Already asked and answered and we have a ton of such threads already. No need for another.

If you disagree, PM me.
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