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  • Killing Baby Stalin or Hitler? May 16, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary , trackback

    A longtime reader (CS) has written in with this question: if you could get rid of Hitler or Stalin in their youth, who would you choose for the butcher’s block? It is a really easy question and the answer is, of course, Hitler. There is no question that the Nazi and Soviet governments were two abhorrent and evil regimes, which managed to drip evil into their respective host societies. The world and, above all, the neighbours of these two countries could have done without said regimes. However, there is a fundamental difference.

    The Soviet Union was created in 1917 and by 1924 Stalin was effectively in charge, certainly he was unstoppable by that time. The key point though about Stalin is that if it had not been Uncle Joe it would have been someone else. The problem was not with Stalin’s serial killing tendencies, the problem was with Soviet Communism, the system per se and that was already in place. Many, particularly on the radical left, have seen Stalin’s rise to power as the end of workers’ dream. This misses two points. First, the workers’ paradise had always been short on Turkish delight: there is evidence of mass murder from the get go. Second, Stalin’s rival Trotsky would have also run a system that would have killed millions. From what Beach can see the only significant difference between Trotsky and Stalin is that Trotsky would have run the system into the ground more quickly and would have killed more non-Soviets in his time on the red throne.

    Hitler was the Nazi system. Without Hitler we might doubt that Nazism would ever have come to power, then, even if it had it would not have been, well, perhaps, genocidal. By 1930 an aggressive and nationalist German government was on the cards: but that government would not necessarily have been anti-semitic and it would not necessarily have invaded every single one of its neighbours bar Switzerland. The long hangover from the Great War was going to be unpleasant on the Continent: the Rhineland and western Poland would have been lucky to stay outside German control as late as 1950. But this instability in central Europe had been the norm since before the crusades. This blog has previously criticized the naiveté of particularly the modern British right in claiming that appeasement would ever have worked with Hitler. The truth is with a normal (read non-messianic) nationalist German it would probably have come off with some painful but digestible territorial changes.

    Votes for Stalin: drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com