Talk:Joseph Stalin/Archive 6

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Recent intro changes

  • "...a period of severe repression which reached its peak in 1937, during which more than a million suspected political opponents were killed." The wording of this is sloppy on my part. Other than that, though, mentioning the specific impact of the Purge is indeed relevant. "Severe repression" is getting there but is too broad.
    • Well, if you insert "sloppy" wording in the intro in one of Wikipedia's most important articles, expect to get reverted. 172 05:11, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
      • aside from fixing the sentence structure of my addition, though, isn't the death toll of the purge relevant? if you object to this as too detailed for an intro then at least we could say something like "liquidated" (sorry can't think of a better word right now) about the opposition so the reader knows the nature of the repression. i recognize that the Great Purge article itself deals with this, but i don't think that's grounds for not having it in this intro, because it's relevant to Stalin's rule as well.
  • "...are often considered to represent a political and economic system called Stalinism, widely regarded as a prominent historical example of totalitarianism." Again, sloppy wording on my part, but the objection based on specific Sovietologists' views misses the point: Stalin is widely regarded, amongst historians as well as ordinary citizens, to be one of the primary architects of the totalitarian state. It is a crucial component in his legacy. The Soviet Union under Stalin has been cited countless times along with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy as a totalitarian model. Now, if this was also mentioned further down (and I'm a little disturbed that it isn't mentioned anywhere) we could go more in-depth and 172 could add that there is a school of thought amongst Soviet specialists that doesn't view Stalinism as totalitarian. I reiterate though that the objections of said specialists does not mean it should be just wiped from the intro. I am not making the case that support for Stalinism as totalitarianism is unanimous amongst Sovietologists, but as I said that is beside the point.
    • See the past 2-3 talk archives. Some Soviet specialists use the model. Others don't. There's a contention. However, debates on methods between social scientists are hardly important enought to go in the intro, let alone anywhere in the article. It's fine to let the historical summary speak for itself in the intro. 172 05:11, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
      • but that doesn't change the fact that there's a widespread perception regardless of specialists' opinions. the intro certainly makes it clear that his rule was repressive, but repression is something common to several dictatorships, totalitarian or no.
        • That's a good point. The Stalinist Soviet Union was peculiar in the extent to which it mobilized and controlled virtually all segments of society. Still, this is already clear in the intro without the link to "totalitarianism"; the Great Purge and the Gulag system were such extreme historical episodes that just mentioning them is sufficient to make it clear on just what kind of "repression" Stalin presided over. 172 07:01, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
          • i (reluctantly) won't object to its removal from the intro, but it just bugs me that it's not in the article somewhere, even if it's not a model used by everyone. the regime has been so widely characterized as totalitarian that it just seems odd not to mention it. certainly something so widely perceived should be noted even if some people think the perception is incorrect. of course if we mentioned it we'd need to find the proper context, so it doesn't stick out like it came out of nowhere.
          • Totalitarianism, and the fact that Stalin's regime exemplified the term, should be in the intro.
  • "However, collectivization was unpopular and triggered a bitter struggle of many peasants against the authorities, which resulted in millions of peasants being either killed or deported to remote areas. Famine during collectivization also had a harsh impact on Soviet life, particularly in the Ukraine, where death from starvation was extremely widespread (see Holodomor.)" I think this phrases it much better. The current version is inaccurate -- take this sentence: "However, collectivization triggered a bitter struggle of many peasants against the authorities, which resulted in famine and millions of casualties, particularly in Ukraine." The way this is worded, it sounds like "casualties" came solely from fighting and famine.
    • The intro makes it clear that the peak of the Gulag system and collectivization were roughly concurrent. Keep it short. We are introducing Stalin, not writing a survey on Soviet history. 172 05:11, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
      • i don't know. i think the problem is that "millions of casualties" comes after the mention of "peasant v. authority resistance" (which could make it seem as though it meant millions of casualties on both sides) combined with the famine (which is accurate.) the gulag in the previous para was referencing CPSU political opponents, not peasant resistance or kulak "class enemies."
        • Fair point. How about changing it to "millions of peasant casualties, especially in Ukraine?" I don't understand the point on the previous paragraph mentioning the Gulag. Many Ukrainian peasants found their way to the Gulags too. 172 07:19, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
          • the "peasant casualties" fixes the problem i had with the deaths from famine, but my point about the gulag is that as far as i know the Great Purge focused on everyone suspected of anti-Stalinist views, whereas dekulakization was a separate event, even if they occurred at roughly the same time. "peasant casualties" also gets close to but does not fix the problem I had with it coming after "peasant v. authority resistance." as far as i know, and correct me if i'm wrong, the resistance consisted primarily of sabotage, burning livestock and the like (this is mentioned further down the article) and refusing to give up property for collectivization. however, the current wording almost makes it seem as if there was active violence being exchanged between the peasants and authorities, where the peasants happened to be on the losing side, when in fact the violence was being perpetrated by the authorities seeking to force collectivization forward. --note: i checked and actually it does say that "collectivization met widespread and often violent resistance," though i'm not familiar with the scope of violence involved.

It also makes it almost sound like the famine is primarily the fault of uncompliant peasants, though that's probably just a problem of wording.

  • The article explicitly states that Stalin initiated the program. Reread the sentence. 172 05:11, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Back to the previous point though, what goes unmentioned is that after initial peasant resistance, Stalin began a policy of extermination or deportation of those labelled "kulaks," where several million were either executed or died in forced-labor camps. It also fails to mention the nature and scope of the deaths in the Ukraine, coming (directly) mostly from famine and not any peasant v. authority struggle, though that might just be another wording problem. The current paragraph is a distortion because it fails to attribute responsibility for the vast majority of "casualties" (outside of famine) to state-organized repression.

    • On the first point, I prefer the original wording since it does not take a stance on the origins of the Ukrainian famine, a subject on which there is still considerable debate. Since responding to Conquest, more and more Soviet specialists are coming to accept the view that gaining control of grain revenues was Stalin's leading objection, not liquidating much of Ukraine's population, although they see the nature and scope of the humanitarian toll in much the same way. Re: The current paragraph is a distortion because it fails to attribute responsibility for the vast majority of "casualties" (outside of famine) to state-organized repression. I'll clarify the composition of the casualties in the intro in order to clear this up. 172 07:19, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
      • i don't think i made a point about the origins of the Ukrainian famine, though maybe it was the reference to Holodomor i had added that you're responding to. i just said that most of the deaths were from famine, didn't say it was a "genocidal famine" organized by Stalin. J. Parker Stone 02:13, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Yes, and the intro doesn't say anything about the 27 million deaths in the war. This isn't a survey on Soviet history. The point is to "indroduce" all important topics, which is what is accomplished. 172 05:11, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
    • i agree that "millions" 'll get redundant if we use it too much in the intro, but i think the way i had it was pretty succinct. aside from that, my point was to correctly attribute the casualties, which seemed somewhat inaccurate previously as i mentioned above.
    • this's all i'll be posting for now, can probably continue discussion sometime tomorrow or the day after. J. Parker Stone 05:56, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
      • I'll be happy to continue later. 172 07:19, 11 July 2005 (UTC)


  • "Central and Eastern Europe would remain under the Soviet sphere of influence for the duration of the Cold War." This one, I don't care about too much, but I do think that the post-war extension of Soviet influence should be noted. J. Parker Stone 9 July 2005 01:46 (UTC)
    • As it always has been. 172 05:11, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

i've skimmed through the archives. Fred, Borzacek (sp?), and others were sympathetic to adding totalitarianism, perhaps not in the intro, but somewhere, while you and Mikkalai did not support it, so it does not look "unanimous." J. Parker Stone 04:15, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

    • Mikkalai and I worked out a compromise intro with him. In that sense the final product was indeed "unanimous." 172 05:11, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
      • a reading of the piecewise discussion shows support for totalitarianism from Borzacek, Ford, and Fred (though not necessarily in the intro) and Fred at one point suggested that the context of the Warsaw Pact be mentioned (Central/Eastern Europe.) other points were made regarding famine death toll et al. my points here are not coming out of the blue. J. Parker Stone 05:23, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
        • The difference is that we all commonly agreed on essentially the same version that I have been restoring in recent days after a give-and-take discussion of the historiography while you went on with the reverting. "Totalitarianism" was one of the points made by a few users at first, but toward the end they seemed to have been conceding it. 172 05:29, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
          • regardless, they made similar points as i am making now. Ford and Boraczek are not particularly active, so i don't know what they'd make of the current edits. J. Parker Stone 05:36, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
            • Okay. I'll assume that you making the same points now that they were then. I'm all for not having the same discussion repeatedly. After my response, they were apparently satisfied with the version that did not go into social science methodology. Since I had the last word, the burden is on you now to respond to my latest set of replies to these editors on this point, if we are going to get that discussion going again. 172 05:43, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
                • Let me know if I should direct you to key points in the archived discussions. 172 05:49, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
                  • i'd just like to say, re your comments on Ruy's talk, that even if i'm unable to edit this article due to the pending Arb block, i'd appreciate it if you didn't try to restore his version, which minimalizes all the potentially "damaging" (but completely accurate) info of the previous. J. Parker Stone 11:04, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
                    • See my email in response. 172 12:03, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

An unrelated point. Do we really need two pictures showing old Russians who're nostalgic for Stalin. I think one's plenty, and we don't really have any anti-Stalinist shots either -- relating to the famine, the purges, dekulakization, or airbrushing political rivals out of pictures... alright i lied (just skimmed,) we got 2, the NKVD one and the personality cult. though more variety would be good, or just general cutting down on the pictures, we've got like 52 different shots of just Stalin. J. Parker Stone 03:53, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

The photos are kind of cluttered. I'll go ahead and remove one. 172 | Talk 06:00, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

Stalin's Mass Genocide Can't Be Mentioned in Intro Paragraphs?

I just added the NPOV tag because of the extreme pro-Stalin bias in this article. I cannot believe that there can be no mention that Stalin murdered "8 to 20 million" people in the 4 paragraph introduction! How outrageous! You have to wait until section 4.6.3 to read that Stalin committed mass genocide! This article is the most egregious example of POV that I have found in wikipedia. Children use wikipedia as a learning resource for school. Shame on you all. --Agiantman 10:12, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

if this is a serious post, let me tell you, a) the only genocide Stalin committed was the Ukrainian terror-famine, and 172 brought it to my attention that there is a Sovietologist school of thought that does not view that as politically-designed. other than that, Stalin committed "party genocide" and "class genocide," all of which can't really be objectively called genocide and are elaborated on in detail anyway. J. Parker Stone 11:19, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
He's not joking about the "pro-stalin bias" he's just a pathetically transparent sockpuppet of user_talk:Noitall as you can see from his edit history, Agiantman-vandalism-history and noitall-edit-hstory, it is unlikely he is little more than an outlet for noitall's vandalism, I suggest you also see here, here, and here even though he started the last one himself in retaliation, I suggest you just ignore him, and hope he goes away --172.153.84.133 23:07, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Your response represents a bizarre revisionist view of history, reminiscent of Hitler apologists who deny the holocaust occurred. You refer to "the only genocide Stalin committed." The "only genocide?" As if committing genocide once was no big deal. And somehow party genocide or class genocide is a less serious form of genocide. How sick. And as for the number of Stalin's genocides, you forget the Great Terror of 1937 where he systematically exterminated his political enemies. And people here don't think it should appear prominently in the introduction. Bizarro. --Agiantman 12:37, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
The introduction already mentions the humanitarian toll of collectivization; but it does not-- and should not-- endorse one thesis on the origins of the terror-famine among Soviet specialists over another, given the NPOV policy. If you are unfamiliar with the literature to which Trey alluded, plan an outing to a university library and add Sheila Fitzpatrick, Arch Getty, Moshe Lewin, Roberta Manning, and Stephen Cohen to your reading list. 172 | Talk 19:17, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
The BBC is a legitimate and respected source of information. Here is the introductory paragraph of the BBC's article on Stalin: "One of the most powerful and murderous dictators in human history, Stalin was the supreme ruler of the Soviet Union for a quarter of a century. His regime of terror caused the death and suffering of tens of millions of his subjects, but he was also in charge of the war machine that played a significant role in the defeat of Hitler's armies during World War II." See if you notice any omission in the Wikipedia intro. (Hint: look for references to death and murder) --Agiantman 12:37, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
dude, ok, i'm sorry if my edit gave you the impression that i am a Stalin defender when i am ideologically anti-communist (if that's relevant in this day and age) but the fact is that nothing Stalin did is genocide. mass political purges, murders, tortures, and internal exiles is horrible, but it is not genocide by definition. and the BBC is a news source, it is not an encyclopedia. J. Parker Stone 13:26, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Agiantman, please think about this: attempts to tie all horrors in Soviet Union to Stalin is nothing but attempts to whitewash the communist ideology: "communism is good; it was real bad Stalin who was a villain". mikka (t) 18:15, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Agiantman, also take into mind the function of the Wikilinks. The intro links to collectivisation in the USSR, Gulag, and Great Purges, which are terms already associated with terror and murder with those broadly familar with Soviet history; if one is unfamiliar, s/he can click on the hyperlinks. 172 | Talk 19:10, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Stalin was responsible for the murder of millions of people by all accounts. I am unaware of a respected Sovietologist who contends Stalin did not murder millions of individuals. If Stalin is a murderer, especially a mass murderer, why is that not the most prominent feature of this article? In the Hitler article, Hitler's genocide is mentioned within the first 4 sentences. In Pol_Pot's article, his genocide is mentioned within the second sentence. It takes nearly 200 sentences before Stalin's death toll is discussed. Why? Shame on you people. P.S. I won't be bullied by 172 who has already removed the NPOV tag once.--Agiantman 21:43, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Stalin's crimes are given more attention in the intro than any other subject; click on the hyperlinks of Gulag, Great Purge, collectivisation in the USSR, and cult of personality for further details. These terms are already readily associated with mass murder without adding loaded POV terms, a problem which Mikka brought to our attention in one of his posts earlier. 172 | Talk 23:42, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Your dispute is without merit. The intro already mentions millions of casualties, mass repressions, great purge. How many more death you want? Your favorite buzzword "genocide" is not applicable. We started to talk with you expecting a serious attitude and discussion. You don't seem to listen to reason, so please expect to be treated with the same amount of respect as you show towards the rest of us. mikka (t) 21:45, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
I should also add that I don't view the Khmer Rouge as having committed deliberate genocide either, though I do view them as deranged psychopaths. But we can have that discussion on Talk:KR and Talk:Pol Pot -- beware that i might get a little tired of your arguments though and stop responding J. Parker Stone 21:54, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

If a generalization is included it would be mass murder rather than genocide. Ukrainians maintain that the famines associated with collectivization were manipulated to cause casualties in the Ukraine, that seems to be the only case were genocide might be properly used. I know a lot about the German situation, another targeted ethnic group; that group was targeted due to political and economic resistance and looming German invasion, not out of motives of race hatred, although Great Russians are chauvinistic; but remember Stalin was a Georgian. Fred Bauder 22:06, July 26, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, well, looked at the edits of the article, I note 172's edit [1] removing a reference to mass murder. Really no excuse for removal of that well documented information, see the second example in Mass_murder#Mass_murder_by_the_state. Fred Bauder 22:13, July 26, 2005 (UTC)
I would strongly suggest to avoid usage of vague and loaded terms in the article intro. We don't put into the article about Roosevelt the statement that he was the most efficient mass murderer in the history of the whole humankind, do we? I am repeating again: the intro says about millions of deaths, severe repressions, etc. A bloodthirsty word is not appropriate, not to say redundant. Not to say that the term it imprecise: it was not mass murder; it was "systematical killing (of real or perceived opponents)" if you want. mikka (t) 23:15, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Fred Bauder, that was my reasoning. You could be a civil editor and ask for my explantion behind the removal, as opposed to stating that I had "no excuse" to make a particular edit. 172 | Talk 23:32, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

I wish a week could go by without someone inserting POV into this intro. Earlier, I had to revert someone's attempt to make this intro into an apologia for Stalin. [2]. POV-pushers on both sides are not satisfied with the intro, which is a sign that we're doing something right. 172 | Talk 23:32, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

The correct term for political mass murder as I understand, is democide.

Guy Montag 23:24, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

That's a term associated with one particular POV, Rummel's. It has not gained too much currency within academic Soviet studies. It should be kept out of the intro, given Wikipedia's NPOV policy, which means that Wikipedia will refrain from adopting just one of many perspectives on a subject as its own. 172 | Talk 23:32, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

You seem to have a very perverted view of the npov policy. I did not equate his actions with the political terms, I just mentioned that it is a similiar action that a readers would see because they are related actions.

Guy Montag 23:37, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Your addition could be appropriate in the Great Purge article, with explanation why this term is applicable (and I will gladly join the discussion there (not as opponent)), but not in an intro of a related topic. Not to say that calling the elimination of political opponents "democide" is just a game of loaded words, which explains nothing. One may argue that Stalin used medieval way of dealing with enemies, but there is no need to slap dubious neologisms here. mikka (t) 23:40, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Not to say that you are probably looking for "Politicide" wordo.mikka (t) 23:43, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Guy Montag, I will not hesitate to report you for personal attacks (e.g., very perverted view of the npov policy) if you continue to engage in them. Address the objections that Mikka and I laid out above in a civil manner, or just refrain from discussing this matter. 172 | Talk 23:46, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

One may argue anything they want. I am not arguing anything. I am simply adding a related term to the the act of the Great Purge. If readers want to read what democide means, they can. I am not defining his actions as one way or another, I am simply letting people read about a related political term.

Guy Montag 00:00, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

This is the biographical article on Stalin. The merits of Rummel's democide thesis can be discussed in the article on the Great Purge, which is linked to the intro. 172 | Talk 00:05, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

In addition to restoring the NPOV tag, I also restored the original header to this section (more vandalism by 172). It is pretty clear who is the resident bully here. I will certainly report 172 for his "very perverted view of the npov policy" and repeated vandalism (e.g., NPOV tag removal and header name change).--Agiantman 23:57, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

I was not the only one to conclude that the dispute is without merit, so could you please start calmly discussing the edits with us without finger pointing? What is the dispute even? We have already explained the problems with the insertions of the terms "genocide" and "democide" into the intro, and you have not responded. Please explain what your specific objections are so that we can address them. 172 | Talk 00:03, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

The dispute is without merit, but adding one related term, which is general and not specific about any killings by a government is not pov. It is directly related to the Great Purge, removing it is egregious pov on your part.

Guy Montag 00:08, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

To start from the clear slate:

  • genocide word is inappropriate by its definition
  • democide word is inappropriate, because its introduction is wrong logic: new notions must be explained in terms of standard terminology. "Democide" is not standard yet. As such, it is reasonable to introduce the word in the place of nearest relevance (Great Purge, in our case), but not to use as a cornerstone.
  • Politicide, trivial in this context and useless in terms of understanding of the subject.

mikka (t) 00:12, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Guy Montag, "democide" is a term associated with Rummel-- just one out of many authors. Why should he get a reference to his work in the article while the others do not. By your reasoning, we could also follow "see democide" associated with the works and ideas of (say) Sheila Fitzpatrick, Arch Getty, Moshe Lewin, Roberta Manning, and Stephen Cohen-- authors who are even more influential among scholars of the period than Rummel. 172 | Talk 00:13, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Democide is a term which happens to accurately describe political mass murder, and politicide a particular mass murder, much like genocide describes a specific mass murder. I have nothing against any of these historians you mention. If they have a better term to describe the Great Purge, then I will use that term. What matters is that it is a academic term in its infancy, but it is nontheless an academic term that happens to describe the Great Purge. That is the only reason I am inserting it.

Guy Montag 00:33, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Your explanation of why "genocide" or "mass murder" should not be included in the introduction of an article about Joseph Stalin is unacceptable. in fact, Stalin committed genocide and mass murder. It is the most serious crime that exists -- a crime against humanity-- and it should be the most prominent element in his biography. It certainly should be a key part of any introduction. (Note: I notice that others have made the same point before, but they were harrassed here and chased off.) BTW- the definition of genocide is "the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group."[3] It describes Stalin's actions accurately. --Agiantman 00:24, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
The word "political" is arbitrarily inserted into the dictionary. See internationally accepted legal definition in the genocide article. While the word can be used in a broader sense, eg in the phrase "slavery was a genocide", it cannot be used as a dictionary definition of something. mikka (t) 00:51, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
We don't write that Genghis Khan committed "crime against humanity"; it is a modern invention, applicable to modern definition of humanism. Again, it is admissible to write somewhere in the relevant section "by modern notions, Stalin's is crime against humanity," but putting this into the condensed intro is skewing the presentation. Killing is killing. You cannot make it worse by putting more emotional terms. Any replacement of the word "deaths" by "murder," "slaughter," etc. only adds a POV, not a better fact. mikka (t) 00:51, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
I question the neutrality of this article and I have inserted (and reinserted) the NPOV tag. 172, you have no right to remove that tag as long as the neutrality is disputed. Your repeated vandalism and bullying shall be reported. --Agiantman 00:24, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
That tells us about you, not the article. The burden is on you to explain your objections to the article. 172 | Talk 00:26, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
I have explained and re-explained my objections. If you don't understand my objections by this stage, I strongly encourage you to ask a friend or a parent to help explain them to you. --Agiantman 00:41, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
You did not explain them: you only stated them. What small was there of explanations (a definitoin from somewhere else) is refuted: intro already mentions both repressions and millions of victims, and your suggested language is both wrong and redundant in the intro. mikka (t) 00:51, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

mikka, you indicate on your user page that you are only able to contribute with an "intermediate level" of English, so I will cut you some slack. The "somewhere else" definition source, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, is about as solid as you can get. If you can provide a better source for a definition of "genocide," please provide it.--Agiantman 01:17, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

It is not as solid as you may think: it reflects an opinion of the authors of this dictionary, which does not always coinside with opinions of other dictionaries. The better source is already provided in the genocide article, which I understand you continue to ignore: it is an internationally recognized Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This is a formal definition, the one which is allowable in other formal cases.
I think I understand one possible reason of our controversy here. Encyclopedia Britannica Online writes: One of the most ruthless dictators of modern times was Stalin, the despot who transformed the Soviet Union into a major world power. (my highlighting). Wikipedia has chosen a different style, without strong words. Indeed, it may look like whitewhashing to some. But wikipedia has chosen a neutral style for the very reason (actually, for exactly opposite reason): strong words and various cliches aim at swaying an opinion, not at delivering of information. Therefore in wikipedia it is customary to write "ruler" instead of "despot" and "killing" rather than "murder" in most cases. Please try to think about this. mikka (t) 01:54, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

It remains a violation of Wikipedia policy to remove well referenced information from an article. A link in the introductory paragraphs to mass murder is appropriate because a number of reference works contain this information. It is useful to the reader as then they can go to that article and read about it. Fred Bauder 02:29, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

Mass murder is a vague, loaded term. Period. Some maintain that any war is mass murder and Roosevelt is the most prominent mass murderer. It is against wikipedia style to use strongwords as part of definition (which is usually an intro). The current intro contnains enough info on the subject in question: millions of deaths, severe repression, and Great Purge mentioned. There is so many useful things relevant to Stalin. One cannot put all of them into intro. Look at my example just above: EB would call him despot and dictator. And there are many other unpleasant epithets, like tyrant used elsewhere, which basically serve the sole purpose to say that Stalin was "bad guy". Which is already said, among other things. mikka (t) 02:41, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Mikki, you are welcome to try to sell that stuff over at Franklin Roosevelt but this is the article about Stalin and the viewpoint which summarizes the activities of Stalin and the totalitarian state he controlled as mass murder is widespread, even dominant. Wikipedia:Neutral point of view contemplates inclusion of all significant points of view regarding a topic. The inclusion of specific links to other articles is an aid to the reader, necessary in a hyperlinked document. If the links to mass murder or totalitarianism aren't in the article, the reader does not have the advantage of the linking used in a hypertext document. So the article remains less than it could be. Fred Bauder 13:20, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

lol, i have never heard of "politicide" before. sounds kinda lame. "democide" sounds ok but isn't appropriate for reasons cited by 172 -- Rummel's interesting and i agree with him on a lot but i don't think his studies are very prominent. J. Parker Stone 02:54, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

mikka, I visited the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide article and that definition of genocide is pretty close to the MW defintion. The Convention (in article 2) defines genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

So even using your definition, "genocide" clearly applies to Stalin because he killed with intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. So I assume you will have no problem adding it to the intro? I will watch for it. Thanks. P.S. You can also stick your preferred word "killing" in there as well. As soon as you add references to Stalin's killing and genocide in the intro, I think we will be pretty close to NPOV. --Agiantman 02:55, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

I am gonna make one more comment on this way-too-long discussion. Genocide refers to a deliberate attempt to exterminate a group based on national, ethnic, or religious background as you said. Stalin murdered all the political opponents he could find, but that was political. He destroyed the kulaks, but that was class-based. He deported Soviet minorities, but that was based on paranoia (some founded, some not) of Nazi collaboration. So we come to the Ukrainian famine, where there are two views. One, that millions of Ukrainians died in the famine because of a Stalinist plan to exterminate Ukrainian nationalism (genocide;) or two, the famine resulted from Stalin trying to gain control of the Ukrainian grain supply through forced collectivization (the other Sovietologists 172 has referenced; not genocide.) i don't know any other factual way to put it -- i think i laid out all the Stalinist crimes that have been termed "genocide." J. Parker Stone 03:43, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Sigh. There are references: Gulag, Great Purge. Or you think that the horrible meaning of the word "gulag" is unknown? And there is the whole category:Soviet political repressions. And again you demonstrate a very selective reading habit: the "Convention" article specifically explains (correctly or not; I asked the question at its talk page) that political killings are excluded from the definition. mikka (t) 03:20, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Oh yes! The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide article states: "Because the convention required the support of the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc, it excluded actions undertaken by those nations. As a result, the convention excludes from the definition of genocide the killing of members of a social class, members of a political or ideological group, and that of cultural killings." So you want a political Pro-Stalin(read:POV) definition of genocide that doesn't apply to Stalin's genocide? No wonder you didn't want the neutral Merriam-Webster definition! LOL! mikka, you are clearly too much of a Stalin fan to be editing this article.--Agiantman 03:27, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Sure, I even have Stalin's portrait tottoed on my ass. mikka (t) 03:33, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Agiantman, Mikkalai is one of Wikipedia's most respected editors, if not the most respected on Russia-related topics. Calling him a "Stalin fan" crosses the line, and warrants a ban for disruption and personal attacks by an administrator. You have given us clear evidence that it is not worth continuing a conversation with you. 172 | Talk 04:19, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Agiantman, you also appear to be unfamiliar with Wikipedia's no original research policy. Under this rule, Wikipedia editors are forbidden to apply dictionary definitions to support their own arguments; instead, they must cite a prominent scholar in the field to support a claim. I am a historian, and even my published work is inappropriate to cite here, as I am hardly close to being sufficiently notable for a citation in an encyclopedia-- even in my area of specialization, which is not Stalin. Among the authors who are relevant-- as Trey has alluded to-- Cohen, Manning, Fitzpatrick, Lewin, and Getty do not employ the concept of genocide in their research to add to our understanding of the terror-famine. Their opinions are too weighty to disregard, given the neutral point of view policy... The facts on Stalin's rule are graphic and horrifying enough, so it's an insult to the intelligence of the readers to fail to let them make up their own minds. 172 | Talk 04:55, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Regarding the neutral point of view tag - this article has been argued about forever, and has come to a consensus. I have no idea what you're talking about about this saying nothing bad about Stalin in the beginning, what about "However, collectivization triggered a bitter struggle of many peasants against the authorities, which resulted in famine and millions of peasant casualties, particularly in Ukraine." I have a lot of problems with this as I think it is way too hard on Stalin, but if this is "balance" and "compromise" and "neutrality" for now, fine. Anyhow, this article has been hashed out for months to achieve neutrality, then you pop in here on day one and smack a NPOV tag on it. You've been editing this for one day, while people have been trying to hash out a consensus for months here, you are being very disruptive to the very hard process of making consensus. I don't even edit this article much in the hopes that the process will work - I just stay away so I won't disrupt things in the hope a NPOV article will result. You are disrupting Wikipedia to make a point, and we all know we don't disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point Ruy Lopez 05:54, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

I second Ruy's comments. I added the line "collectivization triggered a bitter struggle of many peasants against the authorities, which resulted in famine and millions of peasant casualties, particularly in Ukraine" myself, given the consensus in Western academic literature, and was supported by a number of other editors. Ruy should be commended for accepting a compromise version, and continuing to work in a civil and friendly manner with many editors who have disagreed with him on some points. Agiantguy, like Ruy and every other editor, is expected to make similar compromises in order to work out an NPOV consensus. 172 | Talk 06:03, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Is it a personal attack to refer to someone as a "Stalin fan?" LOL! (Plus, Mikka has since admitted that he has a Stalin tattoo on his posterior).--Agiantman 12:11, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

The comment was clearly sarcastic. 172 | Talk 18:42, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

172, your belief that editors here have worked out NPOV after several months is nonsense. The archived record here shows that you, Mikka, and others (sockpuppets?) only bullied and outlasted other editors until you got your POV way. There is no consensus here. This article is disgraceful and fails to acknowledge one of history's most notorious mass murderers. Of course, I am restoring the NPOV tag. It's repeated removal is vandalism.--Agiantman 12:11, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

And contrary to your assertion, I see no documentation within the article to "prominent scholars" Cohen, Manning, Fitzpatrick, Lewin, Getty, and Sokolov. In fact, I see little citation within the entire article except to wikipedia itself (not very scholarly). Sadly, there also appears to be a concerted effort here to remove references to mainstream historians who document Stalin's genocide. Just yesterday, Ultramarine added the following mainstream books to the reference section: "Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia's Secret Archives," "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tzar," and "Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him." Your fellow traveler, mikka, deleted those references within 5 minutes [4]. Hopefully this is not part of your criteria to become "one of Wikipedia's most respected editors." --Agiantman 12:11, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

If an administator sees your personal attacks above, he will have the authority and responsibility to block you. I suggest that you stay civil... Regarding Cohen, et al., they were cited in response to some of your claims that their work would serve to contradict, which has nothing to do with the lack of inline citations in this article... I agree in principle that this article should include footnotes. I wrote a very small share of the content in this article, which explains in part the lack of inline citations. My own work on Soviet and Cold War topics is much better referenced, such as the Kennan article and Russian history survey... Attacking editors is not the way to address the problems in this article. Please calmly address your concrete concerns with the information included in this article, or explain where there are problematic omissions. 172 | Talk 18:38, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

- It Doesnt Matter wether or not murders were "Geonicides" or not, They were simply murders, and what is applicalbe is simply the numbers, methods, and suffering of the people. Geonicide, or Deomicide, it Doesnt Matter, except for getting insight into the Applier's thoughts, but the methods of geonicide or deomicide are the same or even more worse for deomicide.

- Someone keeps inserting the imaginary country "Trizonia" in Stalin's biography. It is no longer funny, if it ever somewhat was.

=

I agree that most of Stalin's and most communist mass-exterminations cannot be properly labeled "genocide." In my own writings, I've taken to refer to such savagery as "straticide." It may be my own coinage. A Google search produces only misspellings of a pesticide brand name. Anyway, for posterity, I would like the term "straticide" to refer to "wholesale efforts to rid a society of particular social, political, academic, or professional strata through mass extermination."

Either way, I think that the article needs some revision to indicate more prominently the incredibly numbers of human beings for which the reign of Joseph Stalin meant a death sentence. I don't think that would be terribly unfair to his legacy (assuming that one believes that his legacy deserves fairness).

DrZin

NPOV tag

I am not a fan of the NPOV tag as it is often used for POV purposes, but in the case of an article which over a period of years has violated Wikipedia's neutral point of view it needs to be on the article until the situation is straightened out. This can be done the easy way, by discussing this matter until consensus is reached, or the hard way by forcing others to enforce Wikipedia's policies which prohibit removal of well referenced material and mandate neutral point of view. Fred Bauder 13:26, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

Please list well referenced facts related to the topic that are removed from wikipedia. Note: that Stalin was tyrant, despot, murderer, genocidal maniac, father to all Soviet people are opinions, expressed in terms of loaded words, not facts. mikka (t) 16:12, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

To quote 172 (talk · contribs) this article is "one of Wikipedia's most important articles." I don't happen to agree. Our controversial articles are often poor quality and dominated by struggle between camps of POV editors, thus failing, in a stable form, to contain complete and accurate information, certainly not authentic renditions of the diverse points of view contemplated by Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Nevertheless a sort of spotlight does shine on this article and unlike the dark and seldom visited corners of Wikipedia it is our face to the world. As it now stands it represents a distorted reality and an illustration of what some of our critics rightly say about Wikipedia, that its articles are not scholarly or dependable. Domination of this article by a small group of POV warriors needs to be brought out into the light and carefully examined in the light of our policies. Fred Bauder 13:38, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

From the discussion above, I assume that the missing information is mising of the words "mass murder" or "genocide" from the intro. Please be advised, this is not an information about facts, but an emotional evaluation of these facts expressed in terms of loaded words. I am aware that this evaluation is widespread, but there is no reason to put opinions into intro, which already contain references to solid facts that can easily lead to this opinion: millions of victims, severe repression, Great Purge, Gulag.
Wikipedia's policy is to avoid pushing opinions down someone's throats. Opinions may be discussed, but the primary goal is facts. And the core part of an article: intro/summary is not a place for presenting opinions. Opinions are discussed in sections, since this is where they can be presented in reasonable detail: who expressed them, how these opiniuons are criticized, etc. mikka (t) 16:12, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Fred Bauder, you are correct to point out that our controversial articles are often dominated by struggle between camps of POV editors and thus poor quality. If you want a more scholarly and dependable article, I can rewrite it entirely myself, as I have several other articles related to Soviet history, which were later featured on the main page. In the meantime, however, I am not interested in a rewrite; so, we ought to address your specific concerns with the article as it sands right now. At one point, you stated our view that the term "mass murder" should be added to the intro. Later, Mikka explained why your proposal was problematic. Were you unsatisfied with his reasoning, or do you have a new specific complaint that you have not yet articulated? If the answer is affirmative to the former, you have yet to give a counter-response. If the answer is affirmative to the latter, you have so far failed to explain your new concern. Please be more clear so that you can get more concrete feedback. 172 | Talk 18:19, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

It is mikka's point of view that using the terms mass murderer and/or genocide "is not an information about facts, but an emotional evaluation of these facts expressed in terms of loaded words." That is nonsense and I strongly disagree. The term "genocide" is used in the Wikipedia introductions for Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot because they, like Stalin, committed genocide. If it is not too "loaded" or "emotional" for them, it is appropriate for Stalin as well. Let's be consistent. And mass murder is used to describe a long list of individuals in Wikipedia. A Neutral Point of View does mean an article must reflect positively on the subject. If historical figures performed horrific acts such as mass murder and genocide, Wikipedia should provide that information. As they say in the USA, "if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck."--Agiantman 19:56, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

The information is provided. mikka (t) 20:19, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Agiantman, it is Mikka's point of view that being specific is better than being vague. The intro should include terms that link to specific articles that describe Stalin's crimes in great detail, such as Gulag, Great Purge, and collectivisation in the USSR, as opposed to terms that are general concepts. Clicking on the Wikilinks to any of the terms included in the intro is much more informative than any editorial descriptions that we could add to the intro ourselves. 172 | Talk 20:54, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

BTW - I stumbled across the Stalin article and I was shocked at the outrageously positive article for a dictator who directed the murder of millions of people. My minor edits were immediately reverted. If we can't have an honest assessment of Stalin's life because of POV bullies, then it is necessary to have the NPOV tag displayed to notify unsuspecting school children that are learning about Stalin for the first time. --Agiantman 19:56, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Positive? Something is wrong in your judgements. mikka (t) 20:19, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Agiantman, perhaps you did not read the entire introduction. Note the following:

  • collectivization... contributed to famine and millions of peasant casualties, particularly in Ukraine.
  • The concentration of power and ways of its execution by Stalin has led to a common characterization of him as dictator and to an opinion that he was personally responsible, directly or indirectly, via his policies, for millions of deaths and injust impisonments in the Soviet Union.

172 | Talk 20:50, 27 July 2005 (UTC)


The first section uses the term "casualties," a term that does not connote the liquidation of a people. "Casualties" result from a car accident or an earthquake. The kulaks were systematically exterminated. The second section is fine.--Agiantman 21:08, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Re: The term "genocide" is used in the Wikipedia introductions for Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot because they, like Stalin, committed genocide. If it is not too "loaded" or "emotional" for them, it is appropriate for Stalin as well. Agiantman, the term genocide was not the one removed because it was loaded and emotion. It was removed because it was an unsourced and POV claim. I have already directed your attention to Soviet specialists who do no regard the famine in Ukraine as genocide. If you go to a university library you will be able to get free access to Jstor, an online database of academic journal articles, where you will also be able to read a number of relevant articles online. Mark Tauger's "The 1932 Harvest and the Famine of 1933," published in the Slavic Review, for example, is just one of many articles providing a survey of the literature arguing that the genocide interpetation of the 1933 famine is not unambiguously supported. In other words, while scholars such as Fitzpartick and Manning view Stalin as responsible for millions of casualties in the Ukraine, they question the thesis that the kulaks were systematically exterminated. 172 | Talk 21:11, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

The kulaks were divided into 3 groups, the real troublemakers were shot, milder troublemakers were exiled, and just being a kulak resulted in confiscation of your land and relocation to the swamp (or some other marginal parcel). With respect to the first group, they were deliberately exterminated. Fred Bauder 21:53, July 27, 2005 (UTC)
The question is whether or not Stalin deliberately launched the famine in order to coax the "real troublemakers" into resisting Soviet domination, so that he could deliberately exterminate the Ukrainian people-- the theory Conquest endorses. Or is the famine an unanticipated consequence of Stalin's campaign for collectivization in order to fund his program of industrialization? Using the term "genocide" endorses the first theory over the second, and thus is not NPOV. So is applying the term "systematically exterminate" in a very general sense to all segments of the peasant population, and even all segments of the "kulak" population. 172 | Talk 22:22, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Would all of you friend and foe who keep adding and removing the NPOV tag please quit. This is much better dealt with through dispute resolution rather than trying to control the article through revert wars. Fred Bauder 21:53, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

It is being removed to press one editor to be more specific. When his stated concerns have been addressed on talk, along with changes to the intro designed to better represent his POV, its raison d'etre expires. It ought to be restored if and only until another specific dispute is cited. 172 | Talk 22:22, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Starting from scratch

While rewriting the article yourself 172 is not something that I think would be productive, I think working a new article with all information in it referenced might be productive. It might take a few months to rewrite the article (I don't have much time and might to check out some books), but only referenced information would be used. Fred Bauder 21:53, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

Only referenced information would be used if I rewrote the article, which is always the case with my rewrites. However, while I could do it in a week, I do not anticipating having the time to spare for a long time. We should concentrate on working on the current version of the article for now. 172 | Talk 22:02, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Let's start from basics:
  • is sectioning OK?
  • Which sections are in bad format?
  • Which sections are of poor content?

mikka (t) 22:42, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Leadership: beginning

Normally an intro of a state/party leader states the begin/end dates. In the case of Stalin it is a bit murky: the periods 1922-1924 (Lenin's death) and 1924-? are foggy in terms of power. There was a period of collegiate Party leadership. It is a common understanding that positions of state government were purely technical and, e.g., Kalinin cannot be seriously considered leader of the state. I wrote a weasely phrase, but it needs work. mikka (t) 22:41, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Death toll summaries

The following was removed from the intro "He, Mao, and Hitler are the three dictators whose regimes have caused the largest human death tolls this century (See this website which gives summaries of many different scholarly estimates [5])."

Why? The summaries show that the statement is true by a wide margin. Please explain why it was removed. Ultramarine 23:15, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

My edit summary explained exactly why - the intro paragraph is not the place to push a website, no matter what it is. We have a reference section for that. Furthermore, the lead section is several paragraphs, offering you more than enough space to make this case otherwise. I refer you to Adolf Hitler, which manages to be succinct in its first few paragraphs. --Golbez 23:17, July 27, 2005 (UTC)
Please read the prior talk history here. I have given sources supporting those who wish a different intro. And given inline sources which has been requested. Ultramarine 23:27, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Someone's personal website, which may go down forever at any moment and there is no guarantee how he collected information and how he is going to maintain it is not a source. mikka (t) 23:31, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Inline citations are useful - in the article body. The intro is supposed to introduce, not explain. That's what the article proper is for. --Golbez 23:31, July 27, 2005 (UTC)
So then you support that Wikipedia should mention that Stalin was one of the greatest killers this century? If we exclude the inline references? Ultramarine 23:35, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
I think the intro as it is is FUBAR, but that doesn't mean your additions - comparing him to Mao and Hitler in the second sentence - were useful. He can stand alone, you don't need to compare. --Golbez 23:38, July 27, 2005 (UTC)
But you do support mentioning mass murder? The deletion of which is one of the reasons for the discussion about the NPOV tag. Ultramarine 23:45, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
As a primary architect of the Adolf Hitler intro, yes, I support mentioning it, but you went about it the wrong way. This has nothing to do with the NPOV tag, this is only about what I saw as your poorly formatted and managed addition. The entire intro is screwed up. --Golbez 23:52, July 27, 2005 (UTC)
Ok. How do you suggest we mention it? Ultramarine 23:56, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
If I had a viable replacement, I'd have put it in myself. --Golbez 23:59, July 27, 2005 (UTC)
Hopefully you then support having a NPOV template? Ultramarine 00:02, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Millions of deaths are already mentioned in the intro. Converting it into a death toll pageant is childish. By this logic, Pope is the greatest killer of all times and epochs, since catholics, whom he leads, killed most of Europe. mikka (t) 23:25, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Keep material from personal webpages out. Further, the intro to a biography is not he place for a literature review of the secondary sources on Soviet history. 172 | Talk 00:11, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

I have to laugh at 172's offer to write a neutral article. As anyone who reads the discussion history here can see, he is the ringleader in the effort to maintain a revisionist Stalin article and bully anyone who introduces mainstream material. Tauger et al are a tiny minority of Stalin revisionists and negationists but strangely they are the only sources ever mentioned by 172. When the work of R.J. Rummel (a leading scholar on genocide who puts Stalin's murder total at nearly 52 million) is invoked, 172 dismisses him as "just one out of many authors." Robert Conquest and Richard Pipes are the leading scholar-historians on the Soviet Union and yet 172 ignores their works, as well as the numerous other mainstream Sovietologists.--Agiantman 00:17, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Ad hominem aside, the citation by Rummel was removed in compliance with the NPOV policy. Getty, Conquest, Cohen, Medvedev, et al. all have their own estimates with their own methods for calculating their numbers; and to chose cite one while ignoring the others is gross POV. To deal with this issue properly, the intro would need to provide a neutral survey of all the secondary sources on Soviet hisotry, which is a problem that one does not even need to address in an intro to a biographical article. 172 | Talk 00:23, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

mikka says that "Pope is the greatest killer of all times and epochs, since catholics, whom he leads, killed most of Europe." Is this the reason that I should trust him on maintaining a neutral POV here? Maybe its the reason 172 refers to mikka "as one of Wikipedia's most respected editors." If this is not testament of the bizarre viewpoint of the POV bullies on this page, I don't know what is.--Agiantman 00:30, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

That is not his view point; again, it was sarcasm stated as an example of the problem of applying sweeping generalizations to other areas of history. Now can you please address the substantive points stated above and stop engaging in personal attacks (which would eventually get you banned or blocked)? 172 | Talk 00:35, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

What a distortion! mikka attacks my religion with an outrageous offensive remark, and I am to blame? If any one is cruising for a Wikipedia block, it's you and mikka. (You have officially been warned.) I am unsure of what substantive points you think need to be addressed. You appear hellbent against placing responsibility on Stalin for the murder of millions of innocent people, especially in the introductory paragraph, even when it is linked to source material. Your latest reason is because authors disagree on how many millions were killed by Stalin. Am I correct? That's the substantive point I would like addressed. Waiting . . . --Agiantman 00:54, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

I have been avoiding this page so as to not upset consensus, but there are disagreements about such things as "However, collectivization triggered a bitter struggle of many peasants against the authorities, resulting in millions of casualties amid famine and mass repression against peasants deemed "kulaks" by the regime." Millions of casualties, huh? Well Goebbels reported the same thing in the 1930s - and the New York Times went to where these millions of deaths were supposedly happening and said it was not happening. If the summaries show this, it is because some of us have been letting people hash things out on this page already. If I wasn't working for consensus on this page, I would have very rightly pulled this nonsense out a long time ago. Ruy Lopez 01:01, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

The New York Times today would not defend their reporting on the famine, but you bring up their failure as evidence that there was no famine. There is ample evidence of a major famine. There is some but not much evidence of a drought, but lots of evidence of the authorities forcing people to remain in the famine area. Fred Bauder 01:25, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Just as with the Nazi holocaust, the lack of reporting on the famine and the liquidation of kulaks is a shameful chapter in US journalistic history. The NYT reporter, Walter Duranty, was another Stalin lover who lied to protect his hero. The episode is well documented in the Conquest book, The Harvest of Sorrow. I hope there is a cite to that book in the article. It is the definitive account of the famine years. You should read it.--Agiantman 01:40, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Wait, Ruy Lopez is going off on users over antiquated McCarthyism and here he's alluding to 1930s Walter Duranty reports? --TJive 01:43, July 28, 2005 (UTC)


"His regime is estimated to have caused the deaths of between 8 and 60 million people." should not be taken out of the introduction, Even though some of the deaths associated with Stalin were mentioned later in the introduction, the sheer magnitude was not. This is one of the most important things to mention in the article, because second to the fact he was leader of the Soviet Union, this is what Stalin is most known for in the world: the numerical estimate of deaths Stalin causes is very illustrative and most pertinent for the first paragraph of an introduction for Stalin in an encyclopedia article. --Mysidia 02:28, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Plain as day Fred Bauder 03:17, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
8 to 60 million? You're defeating yourself by saying something like that - you can't narrow it down to less than a factor of 7? It's either 8 million or seven times that number? That's like me saying "8 to 60 percent of Americans think so-and-so". Well, if I'm going to be that broad, one would say I don't know what I'm talking about. And it wouldn't belong. Which isn't even going into how one decides whether a "regime" (how come Saudi Arabia is a "government" but the USSR is a "regime"?) is reponsible or not for this and that death. Ruy Lopez 04:42, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Wow! Even Ruy Lopez believes the millions should be in there! I am shocked. I think Fred Bauder used the 8 to 60 million range because it is factually accurate. If you want to narrow it, I tend to think it is on the high end of the range. I assume you will have no problem with a 50 to 60 million range. Right?--Agiantman 05:11, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

While the number 8-60 million looked strange in the very first sentence, I afree to TJive's compromise to put this number together with its proper context, at the end of the intro. This is an exaple how consensus reaching works. And you may believe we went thro much more similar pains with this article. From time to time here comes a new person and stiks his favorite hate speech right at the top, without care to the overall flow of the article and not listening to anyone else and calling everyone else names. Until by a chance someone else makes a good fit. While being far from ideal, the intro dated by 09:16, 28 July 2005 says it all without usage of strong language, kind of despot, murderer, genocide, mass murder, suggested at the beginning of the recent discussion. mikka (t) 05:28, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

I don't see why you removed the reference to cult of personality, though. That is a big part of the reason Stalin is referenced to as a dictator -- he welcomed a personification of the regime through his own identity. --TJive 05:41, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
Dictator means concentration of power. Cult is coincidental and secondary. My goal was to make the intro shorter: why to repeat the same term twice? mikka (t) 06:17, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
The cult is not coincidental but it is secondary; however, we are talking about perceptions, and the cult is a large part of that perception, which I'm sure you don't disagree with. --TJive 06:21, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
If you think your version is important, I may agree to trade the term usage into your place, but I am very reluctant to use it twice in the already very large intro. mikka (t) 06:32, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
I myself have never particularly liked how the personality cult was only mentioned in the context of Khrushchev's 1956 speech. J. Parker Stone 06:03, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
There is a whole section in the article, not only in the context of speech; it explains that the term was applied to Stalin well before Khrushchev. But you really cannot pull the whole article into the intro. mikka (t) 06:17, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Good point in the edit, Mikkalai. I had in mind immediate successors and did not take into account points of Brezhnev (or Chernenko). --TJive 06:56, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

lol, i never knew about andropov or chernenko before wik. died too quick to be in World or AP U.S. History i suppose J. Parker Stone 07:09, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

The research is not as simplistic as some editors seem to believe. Conquest, Getty, Cohen, Rummel, Pipes, et al. not only have different estimates, but different methods for including and excluding data. So one number from one scholar is not necessarily counting the same thing as another number estimated by another scholar. The research is simply way too complicated to describe a "range" in a single sentence in an intro of a biographical article; if I were writing a literature review for publication, I'd even have a hard time fitting it into an entire paragraph for an abstract... It is fine, however, to simply state that is widely held as responsible for "millions of deaths"; this comment is true regardless of the source (assuming that we are limiting ourselves to Western scholarship), regardless of the research design chosen by the source. 172 | Talk 22:21, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

No matter how each calculates the deaths, they all agree that there were millions of deaths, right? And since they can't agree on an exact number, you suggest we just leave out the fact that millions of people died? That position is absurd, a dishonor to the millions who died, and shows a lack of academic ethics. The views expressed on this page by 172, mikka, and Ruy Lopez are the most extreme I have seen on Wikipedia.--Agiantman 22:36, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

I think a lot of this is putting the cart before the horse...AGiantman stumbles one day on the Joseph Stalin page, a page where many people have been working hard to achieve consensus, and on the first day he shows up he decides he wants to upset the apple cart and just shove a lot of things in at the very top of the article, with no sources. This after months of people citing sources, coming to a consensus and whatnot, Agiantman is intent on wrecking that back and forth, and several other edit warriors of his ideological bent have piled on. There has been work done previously on executions during the purge, but Agiantman gives us very little in way of references, sources and so forth in terms of material.

I see some of the edit warriors from the Venona articles are here as well. Nobs01 may have some theories which I might think are "crank" theories, but at least he does not go around Wikipedia looking for fights, sources his material, and whatnot. On the other hand we have Agiantman, who has had a Wikipedia account for all of 18 days now, deciding day one he wants to put very controversial material at the very top of this page where for months a number of people have worked hard to achieve neutrality on. I myself have avoided this page for a while so as to let this process work its way through. Agiantman is disrupting Wikipedia to make a point, and nothing is done about this. This makes people like me say, well, why am I avoiding this page since Agiantman seems to not care about consensus-building, I might as well stick what I wanted in to begin with. So now I am removing the temporary "consensus" stuff about the supposed famine, and Agiantman is trying to paint the John Birch Society portrait of Stalin on this page. Ruy Lopez 22:50, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Conquest, Mace, and their ilk were confirmed liars who wrote slanderous rubbish towards the SU. They spitefully inflated the death toll under the SU to somewhere near "100 million people" when the population of the SU had only been twice that number during Stalin's premiership.

This is a credible death toll under the premiership of Vyachslev Molotov from 1930-1941 and then Joseph Stalin from 1941-1953:

-When the population was approximately 170 million, a confirmed 700,000 suspected spies and counter-revolutionaries were executed by the NKVD under Nikolai Yezhov between 1936-1938.

-Mostly during World War II, one million more would perish in the Gulag camps.

-Another 500,000 people would lose their lives in the Soviet campaigns during World War II in Poland, Finland, and the Baltic countries.

-After World War II, one million Fascist POWs would perish in Soviet custody.

The contrived fable of the Ukraine Famine should be taken into stark disregard. To suggest that the destruction of the Ukrainian people was an intent of the Soviet leadership is utterly preposterous. Reports indicate that numbers of those in the northern Caucuses and Central Asia perished as well during the period 1932-1933. The bulk of the deaths that took place during the process resulted from a class struggle between the 6 million bedniaks, the impoverished peasants; the 18 seredniaks, the middle peasants; and the 800,000 kulaks, the prosperous peasants who had strived to sabotage the collectivization campaign. It is erroneous to state that 7-10 millions of kulaks were deported to labour camps when the peak number of the Gulag system reached 2.7 million in 1950. Of this figure, 1.5 million had been arrested during the Purge and another one million Germans, Chechans, and Ingush were deported to the Gulag during World War II due to cases of treason in the Caucuses.

Therefore, Joseph Stalin was responsible for the deaths of approxmiately 1.7 million of his own people. In addition, he was responsible for the one million deaths of Fascist POWs, and another 500,000 Poles, Finns, Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians during World War II. In the "Slavic Review" in the mid 1980s, Barbarar Anderson and Brian Silver presented a realistic death toll in the SU from 1926-1939. Their estimate was 3.2 million to 5.5 million "excess deaths".

Please spare us of this Fascist mythology in regard to "Stalin butchered thirty million people LOL!#$!. Quit using outdated partisan "sources" concocted from the zealous American perspective of the Cold War and refer to facts.

we do refer to facts, which unfortunately don't conform to your trained Stalinist apologetics. J. Parker Stone 08:38, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
Saying that all "unintentional" deaths must be taken in "stark disregard" hurts people!
I have an idea – get all numbers attributed - that would not be an original research and must be neutral. Separate the numbers. Controversy will be not between our editors but between the contradicting historians - not anyones problem. Reader must know that all this exists - Wikipedia must cite those "liars" too. –Gnomz007(?) 15:06, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

Citing a credible death toll under Joseph Stalin in the SU does not suddenly qualify me for becoming a "Stalin apologist". True Stalin apologists provide alternative viewpoints for even the Purge. In contrast, I merely offered the truthful death toll during that campaign.

Well, I see the problem here, I do not have the sources, except anti-Stalinists "liars" and "traitors", but those figures do resemble those cited by avid Stalin apologists, I feel like the responses were flames, but these figures do look agreeing with Stalin apologists.
I'm not sure if there are enough non-partisan sources disregarding the famine as Stalin's crime as a part of collectivization. The article does not cite /yet/ 7-10M kulaks deported. And it is true that Nazi exploited Stalin's crimes to justify theirs, and Khrushev is likely denounced him to reinforce himself.
Basically you cite Anderson, Barbara, and Brian D Silver. "Tautologies in the Study of Excess Mortality in the USSR in the 1930's." Slavic Review, 45 (2): 307-13. 1986.. Right?
Let me poison my well, I agree that many folks were paid to write that, but I still read them.
But I will spill some poison in yours too by linking to this [6], I see that many some try to link most Stalin critics to Nazi [7]. I for one see that as a reductio ad Hitlerum, I can not substantially argue they don't have valid points, but alas there are OTHER - REAL Stalin apologists out there who set the bar on lies so high, so high, that you want to kick dead Stalin for their deeds. –Gnomz007(?) 18:55, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
Whoops, I've actually read what I've found, that was exactly the guy you mentioned - with alternative versions of Purges, collectivization and such, but also with Conquest's debunking. –Gnomz007(?) 00:13, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
I guess the "Facist myth" refers to Fraud, Famine and Fascism. My POV is that the collectivization was serfdom of the worst kind, alas it appeals to nationalists, but almost all communicts' arguments about Stalin include Nazi, that site I found attempts to connect it even to genetics - like Lysenko was good, and his critics were promoting the same genetics used by Nazi to justify nationalism (what?!), next they go on to "refine" the figures by judging the victims ("would you blame him for that?"). All right, cited by them, Zemskov looks like presenting factual numbers from Soviet records but it runs to about 4 Million anyway, without anything - only executions and death of incarcerated - this one is usually accepted as a fact and what else can be looked up for such a "statistic", he was unfortunate enough not to make it into [8], is this the problem? –Gnomz007(?) 07:04, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
I've read some Zemskov's disputes with Maksudov, Zemskov insists on clean math using Soviet archives, but acknowleges that they are obfuscated, like documenting escaping prisoners shot as "died of cardiovascular diseases" (found that on the net only in Russian, sorry - no link)–Gnomz007(?) 18:12, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Headline text

Earlier dispute

Getting back to the dispute me and 172 were having earlier...

I actually have an unrelated point. Do we really need "are often considered" before Stalinism. The way he molded the state CPSU structure and centralized power has been followed by most Communist states (though many obviously without the mass purges,) and regardless of whether Stalin himself saw it as an "-ism" that's what it's essentially known as. J. Parker Stone 05:44, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

I have to agree that the phrase:

"Stalin molded the features that characterized the new Soviet regime; his policies, based on Marxist–Leninist ideology, are often considered to represent a political and economic system called Stalinism"

is both redundant and with upside-down logic. I would suggest something like

"Basing on Marxist-Leninist ideology, Stalin shaped the new political and economic system, which has become known as Stalinism".

mikka (t) 05:58, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Another beef: "Future generations of Soviet leadership repudiated Stalinism." In what way? Khrushchev denounced the mass purges and the personality cult, yes, but there was no return to Leninist "democratic centralism" and the power remained with the ruling CPSU, albeit not as tightly controlled by one person. J. Parker Stone 06:30, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

k Mikkalai is now officially cool regardless of his politics since he made these edits when I couldn't (injunction'd) J. Parker Stone 07:12, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Ukrainian famine

The article is not factually correct regarding the famine. It was not only rich peasants who were killed. The The Black Book of Communism, is the work of no less than 6 scholars, including several who where Communists prior to their research. It documents that all grains were taken from areas that did not met required targets, including the next year's seed grain. It also documents that peasants were forced to remain in the starving areas, sales of train tickets were stopped and the State Political Directorate set up barriers to prevent people from leaving the starving areas (p. 164). The Soviet Union exported grain while millions were starving to death (p. 167). Similar detailed references can be found here [9]. Ultramarine 17:56, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

I believe this sentence must be in error: During this transportation, it is believed that nearly 20% of the kulaks (mostly women and children), 6 million in all, died from conditions of the journey or conditions at the labor camp[10]. If 6 million died during transportation and that was 20% of the total number transported, the total number transported would have been 30 million. Too many. Fred Bauder 20:04, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

I think we should remove the text completely since the claimed supporting link is dead and for the above reason. Unless someone gives a working supporting reference. Ultramarine 20:36, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Ultramarine, I suggest you to follow a common practice and move your contribution into the Holodomor article, leaving only a summary here. mikka (t) 20:20, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

This is the summary. I will rewrite the Holdomor article more or less completely in the future, using what modern historical research has found. Ultramarine 20:27, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
So you're using Goebbels as a source and disregarding the New York Times's reporting that what Goebbels said was propaganda? Why does this not surprise me? You wouldn't happen to be editing this from Argentina? Ruy Lopez 20:31, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Goebbels? Please explain why I should not report this as a personal attack. Read my supporting academic references. Ultramarine 20:36, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
A low blow Ruy Lopez, not at all fair, that Goebbels for his own ugly purposes reported accurately on events does not mean the event did not occur nor negate the mountain of eyewitness evidence, to say nothing of the graves of the dead. Fred Bauder 21:16, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Reports of the genocide famine in the Ukraine came primarily from Ukrainian refugees.[11] The Goebbels nonsense is just another lame negationist attempt to exonorate Stalin. Even 172's list of revisionist historians admit that millions died. Ruy Lopez is really out on an extremist limb with this one. He needs to read Conquest's Harvest of Sorrow book. I am looking for my copy. --Agiantman 21:52, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

It's not a low blow for Ruy Lopez, it's par for the course. If you check the Collectivisation in the USSR page, you will see that he is already familiar with the subject--or at least the pro-Stalin side of the argument. --TJive 21:58, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
The better references on the 1933 famines are the more current ones. Conquest's work is a classic, but these days women are taking over the university departments in history and political science, including Russian and Soviet studies. Lynne Viola, Roberta Manning, Sheila Fitzpatrick are the most current sources in the literature on the famine. 172 | Talk 22:32, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Give title, author, and date of publication for works that you claim support your position. Ultramarine 22:34, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
I'm not stating a position here. Someone mentioned Conquest, and I mentioned more recent authors who have written on the famine. 172 | Talk 22:41, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Like the Black Book of Communism which I have referenced. Ultramarine 22:48, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Yes reports came from Ukrainian refugees. And some of the Ukrainian refugees who Conquest explictly cites fought alongside the Nazis during World War II. So he is giving accounts from Ukrainian refugees who fought with Hitler. I should also note that Conquest left the British Foreign Office to write this book. At the British Foreign Office, his work was anti-communist propaganda, he left that job and wrote his account. If someone whose job was anti-Western propaganda left the KGB and wrote a book detailing British and American crimes, and the sources cited were members of the CPUSA or CPGB, would this be regarded as a scholarly and neutral source? I think not. Ruy Lopez 22:59, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
172, it looks like your list of revisionist historians keeps growing. You have already repeatedly mentioned Kirkpatrick. Manning and Viola are fringe negationists. Viola is referred as a "Stalin apologist" with "bizarre claims" even in Socialist circles [12].--Agiantman 23:14, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
I can honestly say I have learned something here. I had no idea that the pro-Stalin movement is still alive and kicking. I have learned there are more than 5 fringe negationist scholars publishing today. That may be tiny compared to the 100's on the mainstream side, but I am still surprised at the number. I never seriously considered that there would be active Stalin genocide deniers in the same way there are Nazi holocaust deniers. I have also learned here that there are 3 or 4 hardcore negationist Wikipedia editors here that are unrelenting in their efforts to paint Stalin in a positive light. I would never have believed it if I hadn't stumbled on this article.--Agiantman 23:14, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Viola holds the 25,000ers in high esteem, considering them as `the cadres of the Stalin revolution who, as advanced workers, served in the vanguard of the revolution' (p169).
Hahahahaha. --TJive 23:19, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
While the language is funny, Twenty-five-thousanders deserve respect. Whatever policy/ideology was, their goal was to increase agricultural productivity by available means: mechanization and resource concentration. Cooperative farming is a very solid idea, currently widespread in the whole world, but the tragedy of the country was pushing it to the limits of tolerable, and quickly. mikka (t) 23:45, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Agiantman, you are going on nothing but ad hominems. If you were taking a history course and the professor assigned Manning, Viola, and Kirkpatrick, you would not even muster a D- if all you had to offer in an exam or a paper was just a litany of ad hominems. 172 | Talk 00:04, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

As noted earlier, there has been many other books after Conquest that also documents the atrocities. After the fall of Communism, the archives are open to scholars. Like the scholars writing the Black Book of Communism. Or this [13] very recent book, the author of which has had access to all Soviet archives. He documents at least 30-35 million deaths in the Soviet Union alone under Communist rule. Or 60 million if you also count the victims of WWII, since Stalin had eliminated most of the officers and ignored the massive amount of information warning of the German attack, leaving the nation essentially defenseless. Ultramarine 00:09, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

We're all familiar with The Black Book. There's no need to summarize its arguments for us over and over again. 172 | Talk 00:16, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Please read more carefully. I noted another very recent book documenting the horrors of Communist rule. Ultramarine 00:20, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Welcome back 172! I was sorry to hear that you were blocked again.[14] --Agiantman 01:57, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Agiantman, I see you are a relatively new at WP and started to participated in this article only 3 days ago. Reading through many of your contributions to this page, I can't help but suggest you read Wikipedia:No personal attacks policy page. Additionally, please read the "...but don't be reckless!" chapter of the "Be bold!" guideline. Actually, this conserns a couple of other editors. This is not to imply that I do not welcome when new contributors join WP's most controversial topics! Thanks, --Irpen 02:25, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the great welcome to Wikipedia and the unsolicited advice. I will read those articles, but as the admins acknowledged, I have not made a personal attack as 172 alleged.[15] Thanks again! --Agiantman 02:36, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

I'd really appreciate it if users like Ultramarine and Ruy could cut the BS and stop posting if they have no new factual input. This is a long discussion and yet a lot of its just crap over how the Black Book of Communism = the Bible or Ukrainian emigres can be naturally assumed as Nazi collaborators. J. Parker Stone 03:04, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Please, no personal attacks. I have given very detailed academic references from respected scholars who have done extensive research. Ultramarine 10:14, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

A bad edit

This edit by Ruy Lopez [16] is not good. The evidence is that despite good faith efforts to enlist peasants as supporters of collectivization by the cadre sent to the countryside, the effort failed, although some of the poorer and socially marginal were enlisted. It is just part of rural life that everyone looks up to those who know what they are doing. They are the ones who hire others and have a surplus to share or sell in hard times and that you can go to with problems about how to grow or fix something. So the effort was going against the grain of rural life. The result was that most peasants resisted, with kulaks taking the lead. Viewed from outside, perhaps they shouldn't have resisted, after all, socialism, if it has the support of the people, is a better system. Anyway, to say that only the kulaks resisted is not in conformity with the historical record. Fred Bauder 13:01, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

I think the evidence is clear that while editors like 172 and Mikkalai (not entirely sure about their politics but they certainly don't seem especially anti-communist) have added reasonable material to articles like this Ruy is intent on adding communist-sympathetic and anti-Western POV to every political article he can get his hands on. I wouldn't bother trying to argue with his edits. J. Parker Stone 22:01, 29 July 2005 (UTC)
Trying to work it out on the talk page is always worth while. Fred Bauder 00:51, July 30, 2005 (UTC)

172's reading list

I think this one would be quite useful [17] and sells used for a reasonable price. This one [18] seems a bit more dicey, see [19] and it costs quite a bit more). This one [20] seems extra good, but is quite expensive. Fred Bauder 13:24, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

Extra good but pricey is right. If possible, there's always the possibility of reading them at a university library. 172 | Talk 13:57, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Citations needed

While I agree with your edit commented "Citations needed" in Joseph Stalin, a proper way would be to move dubious pieces into talk page. Both deleted pieces have certain circulation and deserve to be disussed at least in the talk page. mikka (t) 21:41, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

It isn't that I don't think the information is incorrect; I am constantly surprised at what I learn here. I think (actually based on Arbitration Committee principles) that any material which has no citation attached to it can be removed from any article. Applied liberally, that would include most of the article, not a viable solution. However, I think applying it to new additions is a good idea. This might be a bit of a surprise to anonymous editors as these two were, but is something regular editors can become adapted to. Even if a citation is made, the question remains of whether the information fits in the article and whether the reference is adequate. Rather than assigning the responsibility of quoting removed material on the talk page I think the responsibility to justify an addition, even a sourced addition, lies with its proponent. Fred Bauder 23:52, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
Repeating, I am not questioning removal of unsupported information. But with the exception of obviously stupid additions, the "burden of action" is on the side that expresses doubts. The issue may be important and eventually turn out to be correct, but it could take long time to find the quotation, so that the issue may be forgotten. Alternatively, the original contributor may not have access to valid sources, but someone of regular editors may lend his hand. Therefore I would kindly ask to think about better using of the talk page for its purpose: to resolve conflicts, especially on items which were not discussed previously. 00:03, 2 August 2005 (UTC)
Well, if you think they are good additions, find some authority for them. I think the burden is on those who wish to add information, and the threshold which must be passed is citation of some source. Fred Bauder 00:10, August 2, 2005 (UTC)
If I thought so, I would have already done this. I am not going to twist your arms here. I merely think that this is a matter of courtesy to other editors. Not all of them are idiots. I even don't know who made this addition. I fully accept your position in the case if the addition is made by one of regular contributors who are supposed to know the rules of the game. mikka (t) 03:02, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Fred Bauder is correct to insist on citations to avoid even more Pro-Stalinist inaccuracies from slipping into this article. I just picked up Walter Laqueur's "Stalin: The Glasnost Revelations." In discussing the effort by Pro-Stalinites beginning in the 1960's to blame Trotsky for collectivization, Laqueur wrote, Little did it matter that Trotsky had, in fact been opposed to collectivization. He had written that without modern machinery it was just as impossible to turn private small holdings into a viable collective farm as it was to merge small boats into an ocean liner. He [Trotsky] predicted the impending catastrophe, the slaughter of cattle, the destruction of Russian agriculture, and even after much of the damage had already been done, he called for the Kremlin, on many occasions from his exile, to desist from its savage enterprise.--Agiantman 21:15, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

That doesn't sound like he was opposed to collectivization, it just sounds like he was opposed to the Stalinist method of collectivization. Collectivization was advocated by Trotsky, co-opted by Stalin. Note the "without modern machinery" qualifier. J. Parker Stone 04:50, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
While Trotzky was waving his tongue and spilling spit, Stalin was bying and building Fordson tractors with the help of best capitalists - Americans. mikka (t) 07:57, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
The unsourced statement that Ruy Lopez tried to introduce, and supported here by mikka, was that Stalin was originally against collectivatization. Ruy wrote that Trotsky was the true architect and Stalin was reluctant, as if to mitigate Stalin's responsibility and attribute blame to Trotsky for the famine and executions. Bizarre as it seems, there are three editors here who are unrelenting in their effort to paint a rosy picture of Stalin.--Agiantman 10:49, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
The fact is that the Left Opposition, led by Trotsky, was for collectivization. This of course does not mean the famines and dekulakization program resulting from the policy should not be attributed to Stalin, but as I said, if you read carefully what Trotsky said, he is not speaking against collectivization, he is saying that Stalin did it badly. Collectivization has always been a general Marxist-Leninist policy, not specifically Stalinist, though Communist states like China have de-collectivized their farms after it's proven not to work. J. Parker Stone 22:06, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
there are three editors here who are unrelenting in their effort to paint a rosy picture of Stalin Again, read Wikipedia:No personal attacks. 172 | Talk 16:18, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

And one could argue that there are editors here who are unrelenting in their effort to paint a dark picture of Stalin as well.LtDoc 21:42, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

Personal attack, 172? It sounds like someone may have a guilty conscience because I did not mention any specific editor. BTW - I hadn't seen any recent posts from you so I figured you may have been blocked again.[21] Welcome back!--Agiantman 01:56, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
I don't care who you were referring to. The point of the comment was to respect civility policies. Browbeating other editors and giving transparently sarcastic welcomes constitutes incivility. 172 | Talk 20:42, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Differences

Would somebody please explain to me why is Stalin considered a mass murderer whereas Henry Truman is not?LtDoc 21:57, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

It is a matter of degree. "Mass" means lots. Fred Bauder 00:38, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

It's also a matter of intention. Who did Truman murder? Did he kill any political rivals? SqueakBox 00:46, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

Who is Henry Truman? siafu 22:13, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
The angry Brazilian strikes again. It's only a matter of time before the U.S. unseats Chavez, Lula will be next and then our plans for full hemispheric control will be complete *sinister laugh* J. Parker Stone 23:51, 3 August 2005 (UTC)
Comparing Stalin and Truman is stretching it a bit. Let's hope for the sake of regional stability that Bush doesn't take Chavez out, SqueakBox 00:05, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
i was keeeding. and it's stretching it more than "a bit," it's a completely broken "analogy" J. Parker Stone 00:18, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Oh, so 120,000 direct and 240,000 indirect deaths are "few"?LtDoc 00:51, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Compared to several million. This discussion is all well and good, but not very encyclopedic as our opinions fall under original research (at BEST). Moreover, the question of whether Harry S Truman is or is not a mass murder by any definition is not relevant to the article on Joseph Stalin. siafu 00:57, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

You can't murder someone indirectly. Are the 120,000 war deaths? as Stalin is not considered a mass murderer for his invasion of Germany, SqueakBox 01:04, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

Many historians would probably argue that Truman saved the life of millions that would have died it the war continued and if the Japanese homeland was invaded. Ultramarine 01:13, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Siafu - Im sorry, in the first comment I meant Harry and not Henry. And youre right, this discussion would be better placed in Harry Truman rather than here, but it is a valid discussion nevertheless. And 120,000 cant be hardly counted as few in any way. We are talking about people here, not bugs. SqueakBox - He killed japanese people, and a lot of civilians, by the way. And yes, he killed them for political reasons alright. Why do you think the japanese sureendered? Showing the biggest baddest gun ever wielded in action was a nice way of saying "dont mess with me or youll get screwed". Perhaps the term "murder" doesnt fit with "indirect", but one can surely be responsible for indirect kills. So what youre saying is that war casualities doesnt add up to the "mass murderer thermomether"? Gee, good thing then that there wasnt mass murder and genocides in Vietnam then. (sorry Trey, used the first example that came to mind) Ultramarine - And many others would argue that there were other ways to go around it without detonating atomic bombs on civilians. How many were the troops of the US and Japan at the time? The massive, surprise attack on Pearl Harbor killed how many, 2500 perhaps? If the armies had clashed, wouldnt there be a lot less deaths? Also, less civilian deaths? Mind you im not talking about the residual radiation and its effects.LtDoc 01:38, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Please read more on Operation Downfall and Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ultramarine 01:43, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Well then Winston Churchill was also a mass murderer, as are Bush, Blair etc. The problem with this is how it trivialises Stalin's crimes. I believe that Truman, for instance, far from massacring half a million opponents actually stood in an electionj that he had a fair chance of losing. Indeed Stalin apparently couldn't understand how Churchill lost the 45 election. I am not happy with comparing Truman and Stalin because it makes the latter appear more benign than he actually was, SqueakBox 01:49, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

If we should count war deaths, then we can add to Stalin's count many million of dead German civilians and soldiers, and many of the 30 million dead Soviet civilians and soldiers, because he was in large part responsible for the enormous initial military defeats. Ultramarine 01:58, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

It was Hitler who started WWII not Stalin. And he is thus generally considered responsible for all the non Japanese war deaths, SqueakBox 02:02, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

And Im not happy with the idea that Truman (or Churchill, or Bush or Blair, as you named them) are "more bening" than Stalin, or Hitler, or Mussolini because they killed less people. You paint Truman with colours of bravery, justice and greater good, and yet he is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands! And yes, Stalins offensive against the Germans was a genocide as well, i never claimed otherwise. By the way, what comes to my attention is that since were talking about "big bad guy" Stalin, his offensive was against the Germans, but when its convenient, one of us could argue that he "was trying valiantly to hold off the threat of the nazis, to which great sacrificies had to be made", or that "he had to sacrifice that many Soviets in order to spare the world of a larger death toll". And squeakbox, youre missing the point entirely.LtDoc 02:36, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

But see Polish_September_Campaign#Phase_2:_Soviet_aggression Fred Bauder 02:42, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

I don't agree about missing the point. You can't seriously compare Stalin with Truman, which is why people don't. If we were to do so it would fall under original research, SqueakBox 02:50, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

There is no "point." Truman's "murders" came from the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki meant to force Japanese surrender. Stalin's came from him liquidating his entire political opposition. There is no serious analogy to be made. J. Parker Stone 07:42, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

Deaths are deaths. And those (Stalins, and Trumans, and Bush´s and Osamas) were completely unncessary. Its typical for people to criticize others while not watching their own tail. And yes, I can compare them both, for they were both responsible for the deaths of many. Just beacuse Truman killed less people it doenst make him the nice guy. By this logic, Osama would be an okeydokey guy, after all he barely reached 3000 in the WTC attack! And how come you dont see the analogy?? Truman did what he did to stop the war? Well, isnt stopping the war and showing all other nations around the world that they could be nuked if they entered war with the USA political? One could argue that Stalin did what he did to make a stronger URSS, perhaps if he hadnt done so the Soviet Union would have never had been able to counter US influence in the cold war.LtDoc 10:00, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm not interested in arguing with someone who doesn't understand basic logic. J. Parker Stone 17:54, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

But perhaps it could have if it were not stagnate and demoralized. Mass murder is not only wrong; it doesn't even work. Fred Bauder 12:43, August 4, 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps youre not interested in arguing with someone who doesnt agree to your logic. And no, I dont think Stalins methods where good or right or anything like that. He is a mass murderer allright; however there are others who did things just as morally despicable as he did and are not frownd upon, being actually reminded or reverenced as heroes and embodiements of justice and goodness. And I dont think that Stalin did what he did to make a stonger USSR, I was merely stating an example, a possibility of reason for someone who actually thinks he is a great guy. Thats to show that not all opinions are the same, and there are different opinions on how Stalins and Trumans actions differ, as opposed to setting on stone "Stalin bad, Truman good".


If we are talking morally despicabl;e I don't think it is fair to compare Truman with Stalin. I think it would be hard to prove that Truman was morally despicable, SqueakBox 18:30, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

Truman did not "murder" anyone, please stop posting if all you're gonna spout is nonsense. J. Parker Stone 19:43, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Well, to me someone who orders the death of 120,000 makes a morally despicable action, but thats just me, you dont have to agree with me or vice-versa. And Mr. Stone, you have been warned quite a few times before to abide by the Wikipedia ettiquete. Count me up as another who reminds you of that. And in a strict sense, no, we cannot say Truman was a murderer, in the same way that Stalin wasnt, for neither of them grabbed a gun and shot anyone on the head. I meant it in the broad sense, in case you failed to notice.LtDoc 21:23, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

He was a commander in chief fighting a war that he did not begin. Such responsibility is very complex, and I think it is easy to argue that he was trying to minimise suffering. Stalin ordered the execution of hundreds of thousands of communist party members in order to gain control of said party, replacing those officials with yes men, and creating a climate of terror, and thus gaining a further grip on power and allowing the lunacy to continue. That is morally reprehensible mass murder. nothing Truman did is remotel;y similar, SqueakBox 21:51, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

lol Doc, you'd know if i wanted to violate "wikiquette." "for neither of them grabbed a gun and shot anyone on the head." most dictators don't, you really think this is an "argument"? you need to stop dumping your anti-U.S. screeds on talk pages. Stalin ordered the deaths of all in the CPSU seen as a threat and the deportation or killing of all peasants labelled kulaks. this is really not that hard to understand. J. Parker Stone 22:05, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

anyway, can we archive this fine debate or something, because i really don't know its relevance to anything being disputed in the article. J. Parker Stone 22:09, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

There is a point. It is reasonable to expect links to mass murder, totalitarianism and dictator to be present in an article on Stalin in a context which points out their relevance to him. That there might also be links to humanitarianism, democracy and hero of the Soviet Union is also possible. Fred Bauder 22:31, August 5, 2005 (UTC)

On Fred's point, and speaking of comparitive entries, I notice that this site takes no pain in describing e.g. Francisco Franco, Jean-Claude Duvalier, Fulgencio Batista, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, and Benito Mussolini flat out as "dictators" and having "dictatorships" and meanwhile the pages on Stalin, Lenin, Fidel Castro, etc. have difficulty in even getting references to repression initiated under their watch as a revert war continues at Kim Jong Il over whether the term "ruler" is even appropriate. --TJive 23:02, August 5, 2005 (UTC)
this comes down to the whole personalist dictatorship v. Party dictatorship thing again. though i think that Stalin can objectively be called a dictator, other Soviet leaders not so much, because the CPSU was not heavily subordinated to the chairman's personal ideology the same way it was during Stalin.
i think the difference just lies in the structure of Communist states in general, the people you mentioned, i know Franco and Mussolini had loyal parties but Duvalier, Batista, and Trujillo didn't really have any ideology structured around themselves.
i think "totalitarianism" is also appropriate and i have argued this point for a while, but i agree with Mikkalai that "mass murder" is somewhat vague and i don't recall it being used in articles on dictatorships of the Right or the Left. J. Parker Stone 23:15, 5 August 2005 (UTC)


Stalin was Half-Jewish

where the hell did this come from? J. Parker Stone 06:59, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

Removed copyvio, equally relevant in the talk as in the article space. So what if he was?SqueakBox 22:40, August 19, 2005 (UTC)


Perhaops you could put in external links, though if it is anti Jewish perhaps not. It sounds unlikely to me but I don't know much about Georgian demographics, SqueakBox 22:57, August 19, 2005 (UTC)

FWIW, this was started by User:FDR. I suggest that you may want to look at this user's contribution list. -- Jmabel | Talk 15:46, August 20, 2005 (UTC)



This touches on something larger - do we really need to air unconfirmed stories about Stalin's ancestry? In particular the word "rumour" has no place on Wikipedia without a reference. If we don't have sources these should be removed. GreatGodOm 08:56, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

This BS floats up from time to time, search in the archives of this Talk page. FDR, this is the first time I spot your "contribution" and your credibility is already below 0. Yekaterina Svanidze & Nadezda Alliluyeva were not Jewish and Rosa Kaganovich was not his wife. And even if they were, that would not make him any Jewish. And of course Dzhugashvili doesn't mean "Jewish son" and the word for "Jew" in Russian or Georgian languages is not "Jew" (a typical English-centric mistake). Should I continue? Humus sapiens←ну? 10:22, 22 August 2005 (UTC)



  • It's nonsense. For the "Jew" = "Dzhu" cant, I'll repeat an old post:

A Russian word for "Jew" is not "Dzhu". It is "Еврей" (Yevrey). The closest is Yiddish "Yid", German "Jude", Polish "Zhid" (for historical reasons turned into an ethnic slur in Russian language, but that's another story). The root of his surname is Osetinian "Джуга" (Dzhuga) and his father's Osetinian ancestors' surname was Dzhugashev. -shvili is a Georgian suffix. Humus sapiensTalk 09:51, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The rest of it is similarly hogwash, and (though User:FDR may not realize it) comes if not completely, then almost completely, from anti-semitic sources. Please don't waste our time with this. --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 05:49, 23 August 2005 (UTC)


  • I didn't say you were anti-Jewish. I said your sources are. You didn't show us Kaganovitch was married to Stalin; you said her brother or sister's grandson asserted she was; at any rate, that has little bearing on whether Stalin was part Jewish. The only supporting evidence I've seen for any of the claims regarding Stalin are from openly anti-Semitic sources -- and I've researched this one a fair amount. We don't really need to bother with this, do we? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 06:12, 23 August 2005 (UTC)
Jpgordon, thanks for digging out that old post.
FDR, in the future please make sure to check and double-check your facts. The word for Jew in Georgian language is not "Djuga", it is "Ebreli". Koba was a Georgian folk hero, and you should have read this in the article. Lazar Kaganovich really was a butcher and a liar, therefore a book based "upon a lengthy conversation with the subject" who was approaching 90 at the time should be put under intense scrutiny. Stalin's true attitude towards Jews can be found in articles Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, Rootless cosmopolitan, Doctors' plot, etc. Cheers. Humus sapiens←ну? 09:47, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

I have decided that I do not have enough proof to back up my claim and of course it really does not matter what Stalin's ethnicity was so I have deleted all of my comments on the topic. FDR | Talk 7:18 AM, August 23, 2003

Expulsion Facts?

The article claims Stalin was expelled from the Georgian Orthodox Seminary for not being able to pay his tuition fees, but this article claims that later on the school admitted to expelling him for trying to convert students to Marxism. Is this correct? If so, it should be edited.http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/RUSstalin.htm —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cid246 (talkcontribs) 02:05, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Actually, that site says that "Stalin was later to claim that the real reason was that he had been trying to convert his fellow students to Marxism." Stalin did later claim this in 1931 in response to a questionaire, which had changed the prior state story that he was expelled for being "unreliable" after engaging in revolutionary activity. In actuality, he basically became despondent, stopped attending and owed tuition (and non-returned books). The letters from the school to him about it have since been produced.Mosedschurte (talk) 07:07, 3 April 2009 (UTC)