Most Evil Man – Joseph Stalin

His name meant The Man of Steel, making him
the original Superman- if Superman fought for the Legion of Doom instead of the Justice
League. He helped spur the revolution against Russia’s
Tsarist dictators, championing the cause of the common man. His dream was to create a state where everybody
had access to the means of production, and companies shared equitably with their employees
instead of exploiting their labor for themselves. Yet somewhere along the line, Stalin’s young
idealistic thoughts darkened, and he launched the Soviet Union into decades of tyranny,
in many ways worse than what the Tsars had ever brought to the Russian people. Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin needs little
introduction. He ruled the Soviet Union as dictator from
1922 until 1953, arising to the post of General Secretary shortly after the death of Vladimir
Lenin. Both men had initially championed the views
of Karl Marx, German communist philosopher who yearned for a system in which the common
man was treated fairly by the runaway capitalist powers of his day. Early in their revolution, both Lenin and
Stalin espoused these values, and sought to build an equitable Communist state- however
very quickly the political reality of their revolution saw both men begin to betray the
values of Marx, twisting Communism into a means for seizing, and holding on to power
for themselves. Stalin however would be the one to ultimately
destroy Russia’s chance at true communism, and pervert the ideals of Marx to the rest
of the world. Recognizing that he would be an unchecked
dictator if allowed to seize power, on his deathbed Lenin warned the Communist party
about Stalin’s ambitions, and did not endorse him for leadership after his death. Stalin, was a shrewd politician though, and
had worked to play his enemies against themselves, fading into the background of conflicts he
started only to materialize as the solution towards the end of the conflict. Upon Lenin’s death, he opposed Leon Trotsky’s
ideals of exporting the worker’s revolution abroad, and instead focusing on the Soviet
Union alone. Soon, all power in the Soviet Union centered
around him, and he established himself as dictator for life. To understand Stalin’s evil, you have to understand
the Soviet revolution itself. First though, it’s important to know the difference
between Stalinism and Communism. Often- and mostly because people don’t like
to read books- the world is viewed as communism versus democracy, as if the two were completely
opposite entities on either end of the political spectrum. Democracy means liberty for the individual
while Communism means mindless servitude- yet this comparison couldn’t possibly be more
wrong, and that’s chiefly because the entire idea of communism was developed by Marx as
a means of saving democracy. After the french revolution a growing socialist
movement grew concerned that runaway capitalism would completely undermine a democracy. It was feared that the concentration of wealth
amongst the rich elite would allow them to wield considerably more influence than the
common man in a democratic system, and in essence make their votes exponentially more
powerful. Fast forward to modern America where in the
21st century the concept of Super Pacs was approved of by the American congress, allowing
undisclosed individuals and even corporations to funnel money without revealing their identities
to any politician’s election campaign that they favored. The influx of hundreds of millions of dollars,
all of it completely undisclosed, is used to run political ads and events which then
directly influence voters nationally. Grass-roots nominees, relying on funding from
the voter base, can’t hope to match such massive amounts of money and are routinely run underfoot
by Super Pac campaigns. In essence, communism was meant to save democracy
from the concept of the Super Pac in 19th century Europe. To prevent the wealthy elite from running
democracy as they saw fit, Marx envisioned a system of worker’s rights- many of which
have since been implemented around the world and you enjoy today. That’s right, comrade, turns out you’re
already a communist. However, Marx also argued that individuals
needed to share in the success of the business that employed them through equitable profit-sharing. Empowering the worker, granting him access
to education, and preventing the rich elite from using their massive resources to influence
democracy, and being able to recall public officials when they failed at their jobs was
Marx’s idea of communism. For Russian citizens living under the brutality
of the Tsars, a fair and equitable democratic state brought about through communism seemed
like a dream, and Lenin and Stalin both seized on this desire. Unfortunately where Marx wanted to empower
the worker, Stalin used the worker to empower himself. He nationalized many elements of the economy
under the guise of making the entire system equitable for all. The truth however was that this allowed him
to seize absolute control over his nation, and completely unsurprisingly, this led to
him enriching himself and the political elite around him considerably while workers saw
no benefit, wonder if that sounds familiar to modern viewers. In the end, Stalin did not create a communist
state meant to lead directly to a restored and strong democracy- rather Stalin perverted
the communist revolution in order to create a Stalinist state, and millions of westerners
who never bothered to read a book on the subject would forevermore complain about communism
without realizing that its ultimate goal was always democracy. To seize power, Stalin brutalized the Soviet
state and its citizens, and his brutality persisted long after he was in power. Knowing how easily revolution could spread
throughout Russia- a people with very little love for dictators- and knowing that he had
corrupted the communist revolution and could be targeted for removal, Stalin worked very
hard to ensure that revolution never happened. Mostly he did this by killing people- a whole
lot of people. One of Stalin’s first targets were what he
deemed the ‘intelligentsia’, or intellectual elites in the new Soviet Union. Almost from the start of his reign, the Soviet
Union’s intellectuals immediately began to call BS on Stalin, and tried to warn the people
that their pro-democratic revolution had been totally co-opted, and there was nothing democratic
about the system Stalin was building. In a bid to defend his actions, Stalin gathered
the nation’s leading minds and artists together for a public debate that could be attended
by anyone, with the average person free to make up their mind about who was right. Ha, just kidding, Stalin had around 2,000
intellectuals summarily gathered up and sent straight to brutal prisons deep in the Soviet
arctic. These gulags originally housed political prisoners
from the Tsarist age, but very quickly filled up with just about anyone smart enough to
say, “Hey, maybe this Stalin dude isn’t really all that interested in a free democracy
after all.” Over 1500 of them would end up dying in the
camps, and much of the rest quickly fled from the Soviet Union. During World War II, the gulags were once
more filled to capacity with all manner of intellectuals who ‘failed’ the state somehow-
anyone who couldn’t maintain Stalin’s unrealistic schedules for production, or who made for
convenient scapegoats for Germany’s victories in its invasion, were all rounded up and sent
to the camps. Speaking of these camps, while they were touted
as political re-education camps- much like China’s current camps in the Uyghur region
of China- in reality they were nothing more than slave labor camps. The first people Stalin sent to these camps
were criminals and wealthy farmers known as kulaks. The kulaks had staged several armed rebellions
against Stalin’s policy of collectivization, where they lost all control of their farms
and forced to join massive collectives controlled by the government- something Marx definitely
wouldn’t have approved of. Soon though Stalin figured out that sending
political opponents to Siberia was a really convenient way of silencing them, especially
because the massive amount of murders he was committing threatened to raise public anger
against him. The camps would grow to a population of 5
million, and were used to produce many goods to be sold throughout the Soviet Union. In some camps men and women were housed in
different units, while in other camps they were housed together. Dozens of people would share a single large
housing unit which was poorly built and not heated, forced to huddle in thin blankets
against the bitter Russian cold. Rations were meager and most died from the
forced labor. Women were forced into ‘prison marriages’
with strong male prisoners in order to avoid being raped, though rape of women by other
prisoners and even guards was common place even with these prison marriages in place. Political opponents and the intellectuals
weren’t Stalin’s only threats though, and for two years Stalin initiated what would
be known as The Great Purge. Running from 1936 to 1938, Stalin looked at
the Red Army for enemies- and he had great reason for doing so. The Red Army was the creation of Leon Trotsky,
his chief political opponent after the death of Lenin, and most of its officers were loyal
to him and Trotsky’s views in establishing a truly democratic Soviet state. Stalin immediately took to imprisoning and
killing every military officer he deemed suspicious- even many who had no particular allegiance
to Trotsky. In the end, Stalin would kill or imprison
3 out of 5 of his marshalls, 8 out of 9 of his admirals, 13 out of 15 army commanders,
50 out of 57 corps commanders, all of his army commissars, and 25 out of 28 of his corps
commissars. Similar figures followed at every rank amongst
the rest of the Red Army’s officer corps, leading to thousands of murders and imprisonments. The Purge would ultimately be a giant disaster
for Stalin though. The men that Stalin had removed from their
posts were seasoned combat veterans and well-trained military officers. They were replaced by inexperienced officers
and complete toadies who’s only qualification to lead troops was their blind devotion to
Stalin. When the Soviet Union went to war against
Finland, a nation so small that the world assumed the massive Red Army would overrun
it in weeks, the war dragged on for months and the Soviets suffered massive casualties. In the end, this proved to the world that
the Red Army was a giant, lumbering behemoth with no real strength, and it emboldened Hitler
to attack the Soviet Union shortly after. In the end, it was sheer numbers, a complete
disregard for casualties, and billions of dollars worth of military aid by the United
States that saw the Soviet Union defeat Nazi Germany’s invasion. Trotsky himself would be a final victim of
Stalin’s Great Purge though, killed in his home in Mexico City in 1940. After fleeing the Soviet Union due to a gang
of machine gunners riddling his home with bullets, Trotsky settled in Mexico City, hoping
he was finally far enough away from Stalin. Stalin, however was famous for his relentless
brutality, and literally went to the ends of the earth to see his enemies crushed. A young Spanish man working for Stalin’s secret
police befriended Trotsky, and the latter invited him into his home for tea. While visitors were routinely searched by
the security given to Trotsky, the young man wasn’t searched as he had been personally
invited by Trotsky. The man immediately produced a small pickaxe
he had kept hidden in his pants and fractured Trotsky’s skull. Even with the help of surgeons flown in from
the United States, Trotsky died of his injuries, his last words to a bodyguard being, “I
think Stalin finished the job he started.” Stalin’s crimes against humanity were many. From artificial famines that killed millions
meant to quell rebellions in Ukraine, to the murder and imprisonment of millions of his
own people, Stalin would go to any length in order to ensure his grip on the Soviet
Union. In the end, his greatest crime however may
have been the coercion of the Communist revolution, meant to bring about a free democracy to the
Soviet people. This not only denied democracy to Russians
for decades, but directly led to the bitter enmity between the Soviet Union and the United
States, and the host of proxy wars that took place between the two. In essence, Stalin managed to export his brutality
and violence around the world, ensuring that tens of millions of innocents from China to
South America would be caught up in the struggle between Stalin’s version of communism and
democracy. A fact sadly made more ironic because communism
was always meant to bring about democracy. Now that you’ve sat through some of the brutality
of one of history’s most evil men, why not check out something a bit more fun instead
by clicking this video over here- or maybe you’d rather check this one instead? Either way, you can’t lose, so click now!

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