Stalin: A hypothetical scenario

Helena

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Sep 2007
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#1
This is inspired by this post (or its first half, quoted below) by @Madeline here:

As it happens, I think the West made a grave error in thinking that Stalin was their enemy at the end of WWII. If we had embraced him and the Russian people as our allies, which they had unequivocally been, I think Stalin might have made war to acquire control of nations behind the Iron Curtain, but never would have gone further.

I doubt he would have been the sadist psychopath he was, either. The efforts we made to destroy his regime left few choices other than to repress his own people and starve them to conduct an arms' race.

What a colossal waste of humanity.
What Are The Odds On Impeachment?

While I may agree that the idea of the West embracing the USSR as an ally after WWII is intriguing, 1) I'm not sure it would have worked, and 2) more importantly, I absolutely disagree that Stalin might not have become such a monster under these circumstances. He was a sadist and a psychopath (I would probably say sociopath, but I'm no expert) long before the war. By the time the Iron Curtain fell, he had been torturing and starving the Russian (and other Soviet) people for more than twenty years. Terrifingly nasty stuff had happened to many of his close associates and family members too, long before the war. The horrible way Stalin and his reign over the USSR turned out had very little to do with the US and the arms' race, IMO.

Furthemore, I'm obviously not much of a fan of the idea that Stalin "might have made war to acquire control of nations behind the Iron Curtain," because if anything could have made the situation in my part of Europe worse at that time, it probably would have been this, and that is even if that was not a nuclear war, and I'm convinced it would have been. Which would kind of have made things worse for everyone.
 
Nov 2013
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NY
#2
Stalin was an ally to Hitler at the beginning of WWII, he cut a deal with Hitler to go into Poland from both sides, and to split it amongst them.

That's how "normal" and responsible he was as a leader of a nation.

he didn't care for Hitler's ambitions, what he would do with the polish people.. he only started to care once Hitler did NOT stop after Poland and continued to roll into Russia. That's when he turned against Hitler, fought him from the Eastern front, and due to that became an ally to the West.. by fighting the "same" enemy". As the only reason.
 

Tedminator

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Jun 2010
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#3
This is inspired by this post (or its first half, quoted below) by @Madeline here:

What Are The Odds On Impeachment?

While I may agree that the idea of the West embracing the USSR as an ally after WWII is intriguing, 1) I'm not sure it would have worked, and 2) more importantly, I absolutely disagree that Stalin might not have become such a monster under these circumstances. He was a sadist and a psychopath (I would probably say sociopath, but I'm no expert) long before the war. By the time the Iron Curtain fell, he had been torturing and starving the Russian (and other Soviet) people for more than twenty years. Terrifingly nasty stuff had happened to many of his close associates and family members too, long before the war. The horrible way Stalin and his reign over the USSR turned out had very little to do with the US and the arms' race, IMO.

Furthemore, I'm obviously not much of a fan of the idea that Stalin "might have made war to acquire control of nations behind the Iron Curtain," because if anything could have made the situation in my part of Europe worse at that time, it probably would have been this, and that is even if that was not a nuclear war, and I'm convinced it would have been. Which would kind of have made things worse for everyone.
Yup, agree that Stalin was already a psycho before the war.
 
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Helena

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Sep 2007
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#4
Stalin was an ally to Hitler at the beginning of WWII, he cut a deal with Hitler to go into Poland from both sides, and to split it amongst them.

That's how "normal" and responsible he was as a leader of a nation.

he didn't care for Hitler's ambitions, what he would do with the polish people.. he only started to care once Hitler did NOT stop after Poland and continued to roll into Russia. That's when he turned against Hitler, fought him from the Eastern front, and due to that became an ally to the West.. by fighting the "same" enemy". As the only reason.
YES. This in no way devalues the plight, the sacrifice and heroism of the millions of Soviet citizens who fought against Nazi Germany (I am speaking as someone whose country was almost entirely liberated by the Red Army), but Stalin not only arranged the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (whatever his "true motivation" might have been, as speculated here
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: A 'honeymoon' for two dictators | DW | 23.08.2014 ),
for quite a long while he was very interested in actually joining the Axis Powers, i.e. becoming an "official ally" of Hitler. This happened as late as in the fall of 1940:
German–Soviet Axis talks - Wikipedia

And speaking of 1940, there was the Katyn massacre (that until 1990 the USSR claimed to have been perpetrated by Nazi Germany):

The Katyn massacre (Polish: zbrodnia katyńska, "Katyń crime"; Russian: Катынская резня Katynskaya reznya, "Katyn massacre", or Russian: Катынский расстрел, "Katyn execution by shooting") was a series of mass executions of Polish officers and intelligentsia carried out by the Soviet Union, specifically the NKVD ("People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs", aka the Soviet secret police) in April and May 1940.
Katyn massacre - Wikipedia

So one thing was Stalin's highly disfunctional personality and the other was the entire scope of the role that the USSR played during WWII. Any sort of alliance between the West and the USSR in Stalin's post-WWII era would have been very difficult, to put it mildly.
 
Jun 2014
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#5
So one thing was Stalin's highly disfunctional personality and the other was the entire scope of the role that the USSR played during WWII. Any sort of alliance between the West and the USSR in Stalin's post-WWII era would have been very difficult, to put it mildly.
It would have been downright insane, to put it bluntly.
 
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Nov 2007
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#6
While I may agree that the idea of the West embracing the USSR as an ally after WWII is intriguing, 1) I'm not sure it would have worked, and 2) more importantly, I absolutely disagree that Stalin might not have become such a monster under these circumstances. He was a sadist and a psychopath (I would probably say sociopath, but I'm no expert) long before the war. By the time the Iron Curtain fell, he had been torturing and starving the Russian (and other Soviet) people for more than twenty years. Terrifingly nasty stuff had happened to many of his close associates and family members too, long before the war. The horrible way Stalin and his reign over the USSR turned out had very little to do with the US and the arms' race, IMO.
You are of course right, here. The Holodmor took place in the early 30s, the Great Purge in the mid-30s, the biggest purges after this during the war. Blaming Stalin's repression and sadism on anything that happened after the war is like blaming the Holocaust on the Nuremburg trials.
 

The Man

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Jul 2011
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Toronto
#7
You are of course right, here. The Holodmor took place in the early 30s, the Great Purge in the mid-30s, the biggest purges after this during the war. Blaming Stalin's repression and sadism on anything that happened after the war is like blaming the Holocaust on the Nuremburg trials.
I have wished, at times, that the Tsar Nikolai would have just had Lenin executed, while they had him in prison; just like his terrorist brother, who had thrown a bomb into the previous Tsar's carriage, and was hanged for it.

So much horror could have been avoided.

Of course, in that case, chances are, my parents would likely never have met, let alone married. In a Romanov Russia, they would remain in two totally different castes, he a Cossack officer; she - an Armenian peasant... It would be impossible for them to ever be together even had they actually met and fallen in love...

So, me and my siblings would never have been born either.

But, for all the other millions and millions of lives lost under the Commies, I suppose that would be an acceptable sacrifice...
 
Jun 2014
59,587
34,051
Cleveland, Ohio
#9
I
This is inspired by this post (or its first half, quoted below) by @Madeline here:



What Are The Odds On Impeachment?

While I may agree that the idea of the West embracing the USSR as an ally after WWII is intriguing, 1) I'm not sure it would have worked, and 2) more importantly, I absolutely disagree that Stalin might not have become such a monster under these circumstances. He was a sadist and a psychopath (I would probably say sociopath, but I'm no expert) long before the war. By the time the Iron Curtain fell, he had been torturing and starving the Russian (and other Soviet) people for more than twenty years. Terrifingly nasty stuff had happened to many of his close associates and family members too, long before the war. The horrible way Stalin and his reign over the USSR turned out had very little to do with the US and the arms' race, IMO.

Furthemore, I'm obviously not much of a fan of the idea that Stalin "might have made war to acquire control of nations behind the Iron Curtain," because if anything could have made the situation in my part of Europe worse at that time, it probably would have been this, and that is even if that was not a nuclear war, and I'm convinced it would have been. Which would kind of have made things worse for everyone.
I deeply apologise if I made you feel offended, miss. I was wrong to suggest that if only Eastern Europe suffered, that would have been better, as in, who cares about Eastern Euripens. Thayvwas not my meaning but I was careless in my word choice.

Yes, Stalin was the most prolific mass murderer in human history, if you only measure the number of bodies. Inthink nearly another 25 million people, all Russians, died as a consequence of Stalin's ruthless exercise of power. Starvation and other "natural" deaths, but the Gulags were horrific.

I am not sure nuclear war would have been less likely to occur. I never know if the Doomsday Clock is at 1 second or 2 minutes from midnight.

My question was, of the 25 million Russians who died fighting in WWII, about half of them women and children, why did the Russian people fight to the death to defend Stalin?

I can't understand a whole nation, millions and millions if people, fighting to the death for a leader they loved, nevermind Stalin.

It is not comprehensible to me. But if the Allies had not just rejected the Russian people and Stalin, could there have been more peace and security in Eastern Europe and the world?

Maybe it's still the wrong question, but at least this time, I did not suggest nobody cares if Eastern Europe suffered.
 
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Likes: The Man
Jun 2014
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#10
25 million died in WWII, and Stalin murdered another 15 million, is my data. Which is no doubt inaccurate, but the point is, it's not like the 1,000 who died at Jonestown, because of Jim Jones..

It wasn't mad hysteria. Russians are probably as willing to fight to the death today, because it wasn't a fugue state. That's not possible.

And since I Don't think there are genetically-based explanations, then why? What made/makes Russians so....violent?

Even Israelis are not willing to kill their own children because they are defending their country.

It matters because the reasons wars occur, IMO, may be varied but they always include a belief that the people we are fighting with are "not like us", "they don't mind dying like we do". And because the U.S. government, among others, used this bias to try to make Americans be okay with nuking Russia.

And, depending on who you believe, we nearly did about 5 times since WWII. "Nearly" as in seconds, minutes from pressing the button.
 
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