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"USSR is still suffering from the purges." Topic


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695 hits since 18 Oct 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Korvessa19 Oct 2018 10:55 a.m. PST

This was posted in another thread and I didn't want to hijack.

Am very curious about the comment.
Please explain why you think so.

Mark 119 Oct 2018 12:42 p.m. PST

I don't see how to parse any statement that the USSR is still suffering from anything.

Much like I would not know how to assess whether Beethoven's hearing problems have gotten worse, or better, and how his hearing has impacted his music compositions, in the 350-some years since his death.

-Mark

Grelber19 Oct 2018 2:03 p.m. PST

During a slow day at work back in the '80s, I looked into population and found Russia was having hollow casts then, two generations after WWII. I don't know if that's what you are driving at or how much of that can be attributed to the purges--presumably the Stalinist purges of the late '30s.

Grelber

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2018 2:43 p.m. PST

Well, Mark I is right. The USSR, like Austro-Hungary and the League of nations, no longer suffers, being dead.

Russia is certainly still suffering from the long reign of the Bolsheviks. Economic growth never returned to the 1900-1914 rates, the best you can say for Russian agriculture is that it was even worse during the collectivization purges, and Russia is further from Western political norms today than it was in the days of the Duma Republic.

How much of this is "just" 70 years to totalitarian rule, and how much specifically Stalin's Great Purges--as apart from Lenin's mass slaughters and exiles, say--is harder to judge. But keep in mind that finding mass graves of Stalin's victims is a normal hazard of construction, and that a middle-aged Russian has parents who remembered the mass arrests and executions, and grandparents who survived them, either by living through the camps or by seeing that someone else went to them instead. Would you expect this NOT to have an impact on how the next generation was raised?

saltflats192919 Oct 2018 5:56 p.m. PST

I know the Purge movies weren't that good, but "suffering" is a bit harsh.

StarCruiser19 Oct 2018 6:01 p.m. PST

I don't see how to parse any statement that the USSR is still suffering from anything.

Much like I would not know how to assess whether Beethoven's hearing problems have gotten worse, or better, and how his hearing has impacted his music compositions, in the 350-some years since his death.

-Mark

Beethoven died in 1827 – that's not quite 350 years. Closer to 200 but, I digress…

Blutarski19 Oct 2018 6:38 p.m. PST

The purges were not altogether indiscriminate. A good deal of attention was paid to identifying and liquidating those individuals seen as threats to the regime and its goals: business leaders, military leaders, political leaders, educated professionals and cultural intelligentsia. An argument can be made that such campaigns carried on for decades through multiple generations took its toll upon the gene pool of the population.

B

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Oct 2018 7:17 p.m. PST

In the same vein, was it not the Revolution that denied Napoleon all the admirals he so desperately needed?
Purges come with a steep price it would seem?

Regards
Russ Dunaway

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2018 7:22 p.m. PST

I agree with Robert to an extent. But I'd say that it's the entire Former Soviet Union that's suffering from the decisions made during the Soviet period.

The Aral Sea (which is now 3 small ponds with alarming salinity) and its feeding rivers used to try and turn steppe land into cotton country being the most obvious one to me.

And yes, the oldest citizens being stuck in Soviet survival mind sets… it's not good.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2018 2:51 a.m. PST

Hmm. And I might have mentioned bureaucratic continuity. Between the Allies and the Federal Republic, most of the top Nazis were killed, and many of the second tier arrested, tried, convicted and imprisoned. Nothing ever happened to Communist murderers. When the Central Committee at last came clean about Katyn, the lead killer was still alive--and never disturbed in his retirement. Same with ALL the KGB executioners. Those Stalin himself didn't have killed had full careers and raised the next generation of government officials. Think THAT hasn't made a difference?

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2018 5:02 a.m. PST

Isn't communism lovely?

Tom

Legion 420 Oct 2018 7:36 a.m. PST

The Russians of today may be suffering but not from those long distant purges of the past. Of course Putin and his cronies probably suffer from nothing.

Of course economically some in the former USSR are suffering if only somewhat to a point. Again Putin and his boys are still fat, not so dumb and happy. Trying to regain their lost Russian empire, etc.

"Pass the Caviar Comrade." … wink

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2018 11:01 a.m. PST

Tom, the Thought Police are going to come for you. You're supposed to explain what a noble idea communism is, and how it's never really been tried.

I love the 21st Century: medicine out of Star Trek, and thinking processes a medieval scholastic would have laughed at.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2018 2:02 p.m. PST

Do not understand how anyone with any knowledge of history can claim to like Communism and its cousin democratic socialism. Both lead to brutal totalitarianism. Only difference is the timeline.

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2018 5:30 a.m. PST

robert, I believe one of our presidents described Russian communism as "a noble experiment".

Tom

Blutarski21 Oct 2018 7:40 a.m. PST

+1 pzIVh43

B

Lee49421 Oct 2018 7:57 a.m. PST

The current derivative of every nation, more importantly of every PEOPLE regardless of the name on the globe which changes every few hundred years, is the sum total of that peoples past History. So YES the purges still weigh on the Ruusian People just like our past History of Slavery and Indian Genocide still weighs on us. CHEERS!

donlowry21 Oct 2018 8:02 a.m. PST

The statement about the purges came from another thread where the discussion was about WW2, and meant, I think, that the USSR was still suffering from the effects when Germany invaded and for some time thereafter -- not that it is still suffering from it today.

donlowry21 Oct 2018 8:04 a.m. PST

and its cousin democratic socialism

I believe several countries, such as Sweden, are currently both democratic and socialist, and seem to be doing OK.

Mark 121 Oct 2018 12:56 p.m. PST

I believe several countries, such as Sweden, are currently both democratic and socialist, and seem to be doing OK.

No no no. Don't let facts confuse you. Keep to the dogma! Democratic socialism leads to brutal totalitarianism. Just keep repeating it, and it will be true regardless of the facts.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Mobius21 Oct 2018 7:41 p.m. PST

USSR is still suffering from the purges.

That's why it will eventually fail. Mark my words.

As for 'democratic' Sweden. We'll see how democratic they are the minute the people elect someone who the bureaucracy doesn't approve of.

Blutarski21 Oct 2018 7:58 p.m. PST

Sweden does maintain certain prominent social welfare programs, but its economic system is (so far) very much oriented toward capitalist free enterprise.

B

Frontovik22 Oct 2018 1:10 a.m. PST

Capitalism does some things well (a fact Marx noted as it happens but let's not have that get in the way) and Socialism does other things well.

The trick is to get the two in balance.

Griefbringer22 Oct 2018 1:34 a.m. PST

The statement about the purges came from another thread where the discussion was about WW2, and meant, I think, that the USSR was still suffering from the effects when Germany invaded and for some time thereafter -- not that it is still suffering from it today.

More specifically, it was in the context of USSR military in 1939, as in:

"In 1939 the military of … USSR is still suffering from the purges".

And at the time, Stalin's purges of the military leadership had taken place rather recently.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2018 1:50 a.m. PST

How many of you have been to Russia, and more than 10 days?

Zinkala22 Oct 2018 6:43 a.m. PST

I spent a total of almost 2 years in Russia in the early 2000s(between 1 month and 3 months at a time from 2001 to 2008) and married a russian woman. Most of my time was in and around Vladivostok but I spent about 3 months in Volgograd and have been to Moscow, Sochi and Omsk as well as travelling through a few other cities. Almost everybody I met treated me well partly because I was canadian.

We've had these sort of discussions with the in-laws and they generally feel that the revolution (not just the purges) were still hurting Russia badly as of 10 years ago. So many of their most educated people killed, exiled or imprisoned and free thinking suppressed. Some people felt that the communists were better than the nobility but a lot didn't.

I actually quite liked the attitude in Russia 10 years ago. They were opening sealed archives and spreading more information about WW2 and the past and seemed to be coming to terms with it. The vibe I got was, "This is our history. We (the current generation) were not responsible for this but we feel that people should know about and understand it. Some of the films and series I like wouldn't have been allowed in the USSR IMO.

Sadly nowadays it seems to be going back into Cold War mentality. I haven't been back in years but my wife was treated badly a couple years ago because she'd left Russia when she married me. The propaganda is getting strong again.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2018 8:53 a.m. PST

Yes, possibly, they feel more attacked, and it is fueled by the government too, of course as a practical cement and excuse for many things.
Attacked by sanctions and blamed for many things, they do not understand.
Even Crimea for I guess 90% of them was Russian as always before Ukrainian Krutchov gave it to administrative Ukraine.

Beseiged and unduly blamed. Of course very get our propaganda, just theirs.
Only once was I verbally shout at in the street by half drunk for being a westerner.
And in 6 years I learned a lot about their history and deep impct of it and a lot of deconstruction of what I assumed from Uni and NaTo back then.

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