Archive for the ‘Stalin’ Category

Convenient History

 

Winners write history, and make sure to portray themselves as favourable . The evolution of civilisation looks almost like a linear progression from evil to good; only with momentary subnotes of regression and genocide. Winners must justify their power. He who controlls the past…
This article by Eric Margolis touches on exactly that topic. It was convenient to forget the crimes of Stalin, while advertising those of Hitler. “The war for Democracy against the terrible empire” – yeah, right!

I was shocked to receive a flood of mail from young Americans and Canadians of Ukrainian descent telling me that until they read my article, they knew nothing of the 1932–33 genocide in which Stalin’s regime murdered 7 million Ukrainians and sent 2 million to concentration camps.

So has the extermination of the Don Cossacks by the Soviets in the 1920’s, and Volga Germans, in 1941; and mass executions and deportations to concentration camps of Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, and Poles. At the end of World War II, Stalin’s gulag held 5.5 million prisoners, 23% Ukrainians and 6% Baltic peoples.

Almost unknown is the genocide of 2 million of the USSR’s Muslim peoples: Chechen, Ingush, Crimean Tatars, Tajiks, Bashkir, Kazaks. The Chechen independence fighters today branded “terrorists” by the US and Russia are the grandchildren of survivors of Soviet concentration camps.

Though Stalin murdered 3 times more people than Hitler, to the doting Roosevelt he remained “Uncle Joe.” At Yalta, Stalin even boasted to Churchill he had killed over 10 million peasants. The British-US alliance with Stalin made them his partners in crime. Roosevelt and Churchill helped preserve history’s most murderous regime, to which they handed over half of Europe.

More on the Ukrainian famine.

War does not change Morality

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It is often said that “all is fair in love and war.”

A first impression we might get would be that morality is an object of convenience, to be discarded whenever greater imperatives require it. These imperatives might include: state security, political, social or other particular interests. In other words, morality is seen as a rather flexible set of rules that are only as important as certain figures of authority deem them to be. Or alternatively, rules set aside by the rulers to be followed by the ruled.

Now we’re heading somewhare – morality can thus be condensed into one edict to be followed with necessity and sufficience: “Do as you’re told!”
That can’t sound right. Yet, it’s the logical consequence of the beginning statement. So if that is unacceptable, there must be some way to establish a general and universal set of moral principles. The avenue towards that is also called the moral razor .

In short, for a moral principle to be valid, it must be valid for all men, for all time, regardless of circumstance. If theft is wrong, it must be wrong for everyone, regardless of circumstance. Thus, murder is wrong, wether in peace time or during war, wether performed by the military, or by common criminals, be it for purpose of retaliation or “for the security of the nation.”

The real danger of treating morality like expendable baggage is to look at the consequences. If war excuses otherwise objectionable behaviour, then objectionable people will tend to join the military. And political leaders will see war as the perfect means to achieve objectives, as well as justifying themselves in the process.

Have a nice time.

P.S. By August 6 – tomorrow, there will have been 61 years since the Hiroshima bombings. LewRockwell also has a good piece on the story. “Teaching Stalin a lesson” for the small price of 200,000 lives. Indeed.