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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities

Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
(03-25-2020, 08:48 PM)Szuchow Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 08:31 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 08:10 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Marxist Russia was born in an era of war.  The Russian - Polish war and then the White Russian  war.  In an era of war, this allows civilized norms to easily go by the wayside.  Once on a war footing, the Marxists easily had excuses for any excesses that occurred in their early days.  Once Stalin won control of Marxist Russia, he was able to use an assassination of a high ranking Bolshevik to institute a paranoid government of purges, gulags and dictatorship based on paranoia, on top of the lingering war hysteria.  As Trotsky opposed Stalin, Trotsky's standing with the Red Army he had formed meant Trotsky and others allied with him were seen as dangerous rivals.  To be rooted out of government and executed or imprisoned.  The dynamics of revolutionary Russia had an underlying hysteria that had nothing much to do with religion per se except that opposition of the Orthodox Russian church to Bolshevikism made the church a target no less than the Red Army leadership which was decimated to end any possible opposition to Stalin's rule.  Oppression of the churches had started with Lenin precisely because they supported the White Russian counter revolutionaries during the early war against the Bolsheviks.  The underlying complexities of Russian anti-clericism are more complex than the simple minded cold war rhetoric us Americans have been fed for decades.

The solidification of the Party as the focal point of worship is the point @Szuchow is making, I think. Stalin even appealed actively to the OC during Barbarossa. That doesn't mean that Stalin did not appeal to the authority of Lenin's writings to justify his measures. And that also doesn't mean that millions of Soviet citizens didn't focus religious fervor upon Stalin and his secular church, the Party. They too persecuted non-believers with ferocity, and much like traditional religions reserved their deepest hatreds for breakaway sects rather than entirely different "theologies". (Many Bolsheviks hated Mensheviks more than capitalists for a long while because the Mensheviks were not just opposed, they were apostates).

You're right that it is a very complex era to study, but Soviet socialism carried a lot of religious symbolism in its secular mythos, and filled much of religion's social space in a nation, I think.

I would say that marxism-leninism was simply substitute religion, both gnostic (as marxists claimed to know the objective laws governing history) and millenarian (as communism was supposed to materialize soon, at least before Brezhnev decreed that what exists now [then] is sufficient]. Obviously it is minority position but apart from aforementioned article one can also check Raymond Aron The Opium of the Intellectuals  which is calling it political religion.

Lenin authority was bedrock of Stalin own, one could say that Stalin showed himself as faithful disciple of late prophet.

I do remember reading some quotes from Lenin about the Orthodox Church in the earliest days of the revolution.  He was going to round up the leaders of the church and execute a lot of them. because they supported the anti-Bolshevik White Russians during that era of war.  Not because of religion, but because they were seen as a danger to the Bolsheviks and the revolution.  The program was to eliminate the Church leaders, and cow the followers, and destroy any ability to effectively oppose the revolution and Communism.  It was all about realpolitik.  Stalin simply followed the established program and enlarged it.  War on the Kulaks, Trotskyites, other unreliable elements.  Minority ethnics that might support Germany over the Communists as WW2 began.  And later on, the Jews.
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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
(03-25-2020, 11:44 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 08:48 PM)Szuchow Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 08:31 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: The solidification of the Party as the focal point of worship is the point @Szuchow is making, I think. Stalin even appealed actively to the OC during Barbarossa. That doesn't mean that Stalin did not appeal to the authority of Lenin's writings to justify his measures. And that also doesn't mean that millions of Soviet citizens didn't focus religious fervor upon Stalin and his secular church, the Party. They too persecuted non-believers with ferocity, and much like traditional religions reserved their deepest hatreds for breakaway sects rather than entirely different "theologies". (Many Bolsheviks hated Mensheviks more than capitalists for a long while because the Mensheviks were not just opposed, they were apostates).

You're right that it is a very complex era to study, but Soviet socialism carried a lot of religious symbolism in its secular mythos, and filled much of religion's social space in a nation, I think.

I would say that marxism-leninism was simply substitute religion, both gnostic (as marxists claimed to know the objective laws governing history) and millenarian (as communism was supposed to materialize soon, at least before Brezhnev decreed that what exists now [then] is sufficient]. Obviously it is minority position but apart from aforementioned article one can also check Raymond Aron The Opium of the Intellectuals  which is calling it political religion.

Lenin authority was bedrock of Stalin own, one could say that Stalin showed himself as faithful disciple of late prophet.

I do remember reading some quotes from Lenin about the Orthodox Church in the earliest days of the revolution.  He was going to round up the leaders of the church and execute a lot of them. because they supported the anti-Bolshevik White Russians during that era of war.  Not because of religion, but because they were seen as a danger to the Bolsheviks and the revolution.  The program was to eliminate the Church leaders, and cow the followers, and destroy any ability to effectively oppose the revolution and Communism.  It was all about realpolitik.  Stalin simply followed the established program and enlarged it.  War on the Kulaks, Trotskyites, other unreliable elements.  Minority ethnics that might support Germany over the Communists as WW2 began.  And later on, the Jews.

Any dictatorship is going to hunt out rival power-bases, but I think in this instance the Soviets decided that permitting a vestigial Church to survive would provide them one more tool of manipulation. Hence Stalin was happy to doom millions of kulaks to death but unwilling to remove their faith.

I don't think it's as simple as you seem to portray here. My apologies if I'm missing something of yours.
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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
(03-25-2020, 09:02 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 08:19 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 07:41 PM)SteveII Wrote: The logic of calling them such things leads to all kinds of silly conclusions. You imply a connection that does not exist. Why not call them white men atrocities, or 20th century atrocities?  Adding a modifier to atrocities that in only incidental conveys no meaning--and certainly not the meaning you intend.

Atrocities never happen in a vacuum. Understanding why they happened is useful. If Christians did things like kill Native Americans who would not convert (which is what happened) that pretty much speaks to the role of their faith in their deeds. That your interpretation of your faith is different from theirs in no way diminishes the danger that blind faith presents, especially to those who don't share it. Religions the world over have taken up violence as a tool of expansion and yours is no different.

If the ideology does not have as a feature the thing that caused the atrocity, you cannot logically call it by that name. It is a meaningless connection of two words. Even if the person perpetrating the atrocity cites the ideology as reason, if the ideology does not contain those characteristics, the perpetrator is either mistaken or lying. Either way, we have the knowledge not to make the same mistake. To continue to make it requires an intentional perpetuation of a fact that is not true.

Your argument fails when large numbers of people have the same or similar misunderstanding.
When the group belief justifies the atrocity, it does not matter whether or not the belief is canonical.
If it persists, this non-canonical belief is likely to become the new canonical.
Philosophy is about asking questions.
Science is about answering questions.
Theology is about avoiding questions.
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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
(03-25-2020, 11:44 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 08:48 PM)Szuchow Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 08:31 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: The solidification of the Party as the focal point of worship is the point @Szuchow is making, I think. Stalin even appealed actively to the OC during Barbarossa. That doesn't mean that Stalin did not appeal to the authority of Lenin's writings to justify his measures. And that also doesn't mean that millions of Soviet citizens didn't focus religious fervor upon Stalin and his secular church, the Party. They too persecuted non-believers with ferocity, and much like traditional religions reserved their deepest hatreds for breakaway sects rather than entirely different "theologies". (Many Bolsheviks hated Mensheviks more than capitalists for a long while because the Mensheviks were not just opposed, they were apostates).

You're right that it is a very complex era to study, but Soviet socialism carried a lot of religious symbolism in its secular mythos, and filled much of religion's social space in a nation, I think.

I would say that marxism-leninism was simply substitute religion, both gnostic (as marxists claimed to know the objective laws governing history) and millenarian (as communism was supposed to materialize soon, at least before Brezhnev decreed that what exists now [then] is sufficient]. Obviously it is minority position but apart from aforementioned article one can also check Raymond Aron The Opium of the Intellectuals  which is calling it political religion.

Lenin authority was bedrock of Stalin own, one could say that Stalin showed himself as faithful disciple of late prophet.

I do remember reading some quotes from Lenin about the Orthodox Church in the earliest days of the revolution.  He was going to round up the leaders of the church and execute a lot of them. because they supported the anti-Bolshevik White Russians during that era of war.  Not because of religion, but because they were seen as a danger to the Bolsheviks and the revolution.  The program was to eliminate the Church leaders, and cow the followers, and destroy any ability to effectively oppose the revolution and Communism.  It was all about realpolitik.  Stalin simply followed the established program and enlarged it.  War on the Kulaks, Trotskyites, other unreliable elements.  Minority ethnics that might support Germany over the Communists as WW2 began.  And later on, the Jews.

Fact that you remember some quotes from Lenin does not mean that reasons provided in said quotes were only one. Also it is not like Lenin would admit that he sees his own party as a church and it's ideology as religion when he thought about marxism in scientific terms. Following that he would hardly admit that he is destroying opponent to ruling souls of the masses. 

Blaming the need to make country ready for German invasion for purges is nothing more than post hoc rationalization. Depending on what book you read you find among reasons paranoia, wanting to create climate of fear, weakness of Soviet dictature and thus need for excessive violence to prop it up and simple purge of elements that were thought to be disloyal.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
(03-25-2020, 04:36 PM)SteveII Wrote: Your point seems to include the assumption that original meaning cannot be known. As I said in my answer just above, I don't think the intended meaning is hard to find. There are plenty of illustrations, parables, analogies, and treatments in multiple passages to safeguard against a misunderstanding.

And I seriously doubt it would be hard to find a much more radical believer who wouldn't say much the same.  It isn't just that the fundamentalists think their interpretation is more faithful.  Many of them also think that it's obviously so, in the same way that you think your interpretation is obvious (i.e. "not hard to find").  

(03-25-2020, 04:36 PM)SteveII Wrote: You actually don't need a list of permitted actions, because entire categories of actions are excluded. You cannot in good faith think violence and bigotry are included

Oh, but I can, especially when you yourself advocate bigotry against homosexuals in the italicized quote below.  And that's in addition to all the more general stuff, like the classic condemnation of non-believers in Romans.  "Their foolish hearts were darkened."  Seriously?  Sure, it doesn't explicitly call for violence or discrimination, but it basically rolls out the red carpet for anyone looking to justify such action.  Much the same can be said of the homophobic verses in scripture.

(03-25-2020, 04:36 PM)SteveII Wrote: So, regarding the bar, I don't actually have to show (although I think I can) that my version is right, I only need to show that other is not.

Granting this, you've done neither the former nor the latter.

You brought up slavery as an example of interpretations that were used to justify both sides. Those who used the Bible to support it needed to do two things: 1) equivocate on the various types of slavery and 2) ignore vast stretches of the Bible. Taken together, using the Bible as a defense is illegitimate. Such an assessment is not limited to our time or culture because neither of those two things change over time or culture.

(03-25-2020, 04:36 PM)SteveII Wrote: Chattel slavery based on race is contrary to Christianity for all times because it violates core principles of Christianity.

As I pointed out once in a YouTube comment that I've also shared elsewhere on this forum, "[w]hile Hebrews could own foreign slaves for life as property and even beat them non-fatally, the reverse scenario was much kinder to God's chosen people. If a poor Hebrew sold himself into servitude to a rich foreigner, he retained the right to a temporary indenture and eventual freedom. A relative could buy his freedom, or he could do so himself if he managed to save enough money. Plus, in any case, the Hebrew slave of a foreign owner was to be treated as a hired worker and not ruled over ruthlessly. (Leviticus 25:47-55) In short, Hebrew servants got much better terms whether they were owned by a fellow Israelite or by a foreigner, but foreign servants with Hebrew owners could be bought, sold, inherited, and abused in perpetuity. So it's not even as if foreign masters had the same cruel prerogatives over Hebrew slaves that Hebrew masters had over foreign slaves. This just makes the racism of Biblical slavery (and thus its resemblance to 19th-century chattel slavery) even clearer."

Now, before you insist that Old Testament scripture no longer applies due to the new covenant or whatever, allow me to cite Ephesians 6:5-8.  The following verse (Ephesians 6:9) doesn't do much to redeem the preceding ones.  At best, it tells slaveholders to treat their slaves kindly, which is nice and all but stops far short of prohibiting the institution of slavery as a whole, and at worst, it tells slaveholders to treat their slaves no worse than God treats them, which isn't setting a particularly high bar, if you think about it (without bias, anyway).  Luke 17:7-10 is also a good example.  Once again, there's also Matthew 5:17, which I don't think you've really addressed yet and which renders much of the problematic Old Testament passages relevant despite your protest.  I know you have ways of interpreting away the inconvenient implications of such verses but the problem is that a 19th-century slaveholder could (and likely did) just as easily do the same with the more benign stuff that you would cite in support of abolition.  If your interpretation is indeed correct, then it's not nearly as obvious and unambiguous as you seem to think it is, and it's not hard to see how a slaveholder could plausibly come away from the same text with a different conclusion.  It's just not apparent that his reading is, on average, any more contrived and/or selective than yours.
 
(03-25-2020, 04:36 PM)SteveII Wrote: It is impossible to read that homosexual behavior is okay.

It's not impossible by any means.  Just ask any non-homophobic Christian.  Were you to listen with an unbiased ear, I'd bet you'll discover that the hermeneutics they use are not all that dissimilar from what you use to distance yourself from the pro-slavery passages.  Leviticus says it's an abomination? Well, that's the Old Testament, and we're under the new covenant now!  Paul 1:26-28 includes homosexuals in an enumeration of people "worthy of death" (Paul 1:32)?  Well, it only says they're "worthy" of being killed (or, by extension, oppressed), not that we should take it upon ourselves to do the killing (or, by extension, the oppressing), 'cause after all, that would conflict with the central tenet of loving one's neighbor as oneself.  Do you see how easily this game can be played by both sides?

(03-25-2020, 04:36 PM)SteveII Wrote: So this reversal is better characterized as ignoring the Bible where it conflicts with current trends in culture.

Again, where are you getting the confidence with which you make these proclamations?  Arguably, that's the whole point here.

(03-25-2020, 04:36 PM)SteveII Wrote: You want to connect slavery and homosexual behavior to illustrate a trend to support your point. You have two problems. 1) they are not analogous so the Bible application applies differently to them.  One is subjugation of rights of others based on circumstance and race and the other is not a a subjugation of rights--rather a designation that a behavior is morally wrong. 2) if you drag in the "rights" issues of homosexuals, you have left the realm of the NT and any justification from the NT (and labeling it Christian) for some sort of oppression is illegitimate: 'love you neighbor as yourself' governs (the second greatest commandment).

First of all, that behavior is driven by something which is just as intrinsic and involuntary as skin color, so by commanding that they never act on their urges (urges analogous to those that others could act on much more freely), God is in fact punishing them for their very nature just as American slaves were essentially punished for being black.  Second, the distinction you make is a very fragile one, since once you're convinced that a given behavior is wrong, it's very easy to justify the disenfranchisement of those who engage in that behavior.  Otherwise, an argument could be made that we shouldn't punish murderers.  After all, a condemnation of murder itself apparently doesn't entail revoking the freedom of murderers, since that would violate the principle of loving one's neighbor as oneself.  Now, I happen to believe that murderers should indeed be penalized in some way or other, but in order to agree with me, as I'm sure you would want to, you must either acknowledge the porousness of the boundary you've just tried to establish or descend into logical inconsistency.

(03-25-2020, 04:36 PM)SteveII Wrote: My confidence comes from the plain meaning of almost all of the NT as it relates to how we should approach such issues.  It correctly identifies man's true nature (as basically selfish) and provides a prescription. It identifies the correct level where these things reside: the heart, and it teaches universal principles aimed at that level. It not only provides those things, it provides an objective basis for them: that if God can condescend to love you across a massive gulf and find ultimate value in you, there is no possible reason we should not value our fellow human beings. There are several passages that flesh that out (Philippians 2 is one of them).

Oh, I have no doubt that you can get that from reading scripture.  What I'm skeptical of is the notion that this particular reading is any less contrived or selective than that of radicals.
The only sacred truth in science is that there are no sacred truths. - Carl Sagan
Ἡ μόνη ἱερᾱ̀ ἀληθείᾱ ἐν τῇ φυσικῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ ἐστὶν ἡ ἱερῶν ἀληθειῶν σπάνις. - Κᾱ́ρολος Σήγανος


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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
(03-26-2020, 04:16 AM)Szuchow Wrote: Depending on what book you read you find among reasons paranoia, wanting to create climate of fear, weakness of Soviet dictature and thus need for excessive violence to prop it up and simple purge of elements that were thought to be disloyal.

It's clear that long before the NaZis took power in Germany Stalin was putting in place the terrorist state. He was doing that for (paranoid, personal) reasons of his own, unattached to international power politics, I think.
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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
Quote:"[w]hile Hebrews could own foreign slaves for life as property and even beat them non-fatally, the reverse scenario was much kinder to God's chosen people. If a poor Hebrew sold himself into servitude to a rich foreigner, he retained the right to a temporary indenture and eventual freedom.


This actual history of the first millennium BCE actually explains this rather well.  If there was one thing that the jews did not have to worry much about it was owning "foreign slaves."  That same history tells us that the political status of Judah and later Yehud was such that there were plenty of jews carried off into slavery.

No wonder they were more concerned about how they were treated as slaves!
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
(03-26-2020, 04:16 AM)Szuchow Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 11:44 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 08:48 PM)Szuchow Wrote: I would say that marxism-leninism was simply substitute religion, both gnostic (as marxists claimed to know the objective laws governing history) and millenarian (as communism was supposed to materialize soon, at least before Brezhnev decreed that what exists now [then] is sufficient]. Obviously it is minority position but apart from aforementioned article one can also check Raymond Aron The Opium of the Intellectuals  which is calling it political religion.

Lenin authority was bedrock of Stalin own, one could say that Stalin showed himself as faithful disciple of late prophet.

I do remember reading some quotes from Lenin about the Orthodox Church in the earliest days of the revolution.  He was going to round up the leaders of the church and execute a lot of them. because they supported the anti-Bolshevik White Russians during that era of war.  Not because of religion, but because they were seen as a danger to the Bolsheviks and the revolution.  The program was to eliminate the Church leaders, and cow the followers, and destroy any ability to effectively oppose the revolution and Communism.  It was all about realpolitik.  Stalin simply followed the established program and enlarged it.  War on the Kulaks, Trotskyites, other unreliable elements.  Minority ethnics that might support Germany over the Communists as WW2 began.  And later on, the Jews.

Fact that you remember some quotes from Lenin does not mean that reasons provided in said quotes were only one. Also it is not like Lenin would admit that he sees his own party as a church and it's ideology as religion when he thought about marxism in scientific terms. Following that he would hardly admit that he is destroying opponent to ruling souls of the masses. 

Blaming the need to make country ready for German invasion for purges is nothing more than post hoc rationalization. Depending on what book you read you find among reasons paranoia, wanting to create climate of fear, weakness of Soviet dictature and thus need for excessive violence to prop it up and simple purge of elements that were thought to be disloyal.

Stalin did indeed move large numbers of minority ethnics away from where they might support German invaders.  It was brutal, ugly and very well known why Stalin did it, it was hardly a secret.  Not a rationalization, history.  And when Lenin openly wrote his reasons for attacking the Orthodox leaders for supporting the counter-revolutionaries, I have no reason to doubt his words, which were rather coarse and to the point.  Lenin had no reason to hide it or soft peddle his program.

Both Lenin and Stalin perceived themselves to be surrounded by enemies, and that brutal suppression of such enemies was absolutely necessary.  And anybody who did not agree were labeled as enemies themselves, lacking in Communist zeal, and likely to end up in the gulags for their seeming lack of willingness to pursue phantom enemies lurking everywhere.  Under Stalin, this devolved into sheer madness.
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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
(03-26-2020, 05:17 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 04:16 AM)Szuchow Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 11:44 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: I do remember reading some quotes from Lenin about the Orthodox Church in the earliest days of the revolution.  He was going to round up the leaders of the church and execute a lot of them. because they supported the anti-Bolshevik White Russians during that era of war.  Not because of religion, but because they were seen as a danger to the Bolsheviks and the revolution.  The program was to eliminate the Church leaders, and cow the followers, and destroy any ability to effectively oppose the revolution and Communism.  It was all about realpolitik.  Stalin simply followed the established program and enlarged it.  War on the Kulaks, Trotskyites, other unreliable elements.  Minority ethnics that might support Germany over the Communists as WW2 began.  And later on, the Jews.

Fact that you remember some quotes from Lenin does not mean that reasons provided in said quotes were only one. Also it is not like Lenin would admit that he sees his own party as a church and it's ideology as religion when he thought about marxism in scientific terms. Following that he would hardly admit that he is destroying opponent to ruling souls of the masses. 

Blaming the need to make country ready for German invasion for purges is nothing more than post hoc rationalization. Depending on what book you read you find among reasons paranoia, wanting to create climate of fear, weakness of Soviet dictature and thus need for excessive violence to prop it up and simple purge of elements that were thought to be disloyal.

Stalin did indeed move large numbers of minority ethnics away from where they might support German invaders.  It was brutal, ugly and very well known why Stalin did it, it was hardly a secret.  Not a rationalization, history.  And when Lenin openly wrote his reasons for attacking the Orthodox leaders for supporting the counter-revolutionaries, I have no reason to doubt his words, which were rather coarse and to the point.  Lenin had no reason to hide it or soft peddle his program.

Both Lenin and Stalin perceived themselves to be surrounded by enemies, and that brutal suppression of such enemies was absolutely necessary.  And anybody who did not agree were labeled as enemies themselves, lacking in Communist zeal, and likely to end up in the gulags for their seeming lack of willingness to pursue phantom enemies lurking everywhere.  Under Stalin, this devolved into sheer madness.

Notice that I wrote purges nothing about minorities specificialy. Then look into subject literature and find out that claim about rationalization isn't my fantasy - Oleg Khlevniuk biography of Stalin will be a good starting point I think. 

It may be hard to grasp for you but people may have many reasons for taking particular action, Lenin included. Fact that he acknowledged one reason in writing does not mean that he didn't have others. 

Both Lenin and Stalin were in fact surrounded by enemies (many caused by their actions) even if they had many allies.

 I wonder what scholarly sources allow you to claim that brutal suppression of enemies was "absolutely necessary"? Jorg Baberowski in his book about Stalin Russia* deems purges to be sign of weakness and I find it to be reasonable. 

*I will add title when in home.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
(03-26-2020, 08:57 AM)Szuchow Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 05:17 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 04:16 AM)Szuchow Wrote: Fact that you remember some quotes from Lenin does not mean that reasons provided in said quotes were only one. Also it is not like Lenin would admit that he sees his own party as a church and it's ideology as religion when he thought about marxism in scientific terms. Following that he would hardly admit that he is destroying opponent to ruling souls of the masses. 

Blaming the need to make country ready for German invasion for purges is nothing more than post hoc rationalization. Depending on what book you read you find among reasons paranoia, wanting to create climate of fear, weakness of Soviet dictature and thus need for excessive violence to prop it up and simple purge of elements that were thought to be disloyal.

Stalin did indeed move large numbers of minority ethnics away from where they might support German invaders.  It was brutal, ugly and very well known why Stalin did it, it was hardly a secret.  Not a rationalization, history.  And when Lenin openly wrote his reasons for attacking the Orthodox leaders for supporting the counter-revolutionaries, I have no reason to doubt his words, which were rather coarse and to the point.  Lenin had no reason to hide it or soft peddle his program.

Both Lenin and Stalin perceived themselves to be surrounded by enemies, and that brutal suppression of such enemies was absolutely necessary.  And anybody who did not agree were labeled as enemies themselves, lacking in Communist zeal, and likely to end up in the gulags for their seeming lack of willingness to pursue phantom enemies lurking everywhere.  Under Stalin, this devolved into sheer madness.

Notice that I wrote purges nothing about minorities specificialy. Then look into subject literature and find out that claim about rationalization isn't my fantasy - Oleg Khlevniuk biography of Stalin will be a good starting point I think. 

It may be hard to grasp for you but people may have many reasons for taking particular action, Lenin included. Fact that he acknowledged one reason in writing does not mean that he didn't have others. 

Both Lenin and Stalin were in fact surrounded by enemies (many caused by their actions) even if they had many allies.

 I wonder what scholarly sources allow you to claim that brutal suppression of enemies was "absolutely necessary"? Jorg Baberowski in his book about Stalin Russia* deems purges to be sign of weakness and I find it to be reasonable. 

*I will add title when in home.

It was not a matter of opinions of academics, but readings of materials Lenin wrote himself.  It was a brutal era and Lenin had no compunction against being brutal to achieve his ends in a world filled with powerful enemies.  It is notable that before he died, he warned his fellow Bolsheviks against Stalin, knowing full well Stalin was going to be a rather brutal man who should not be allowed to take power.  While some may deem purges a sign of weakness, Stalin obviously did not agree.  By the late 20's the show trials began.  Paranoia and madness ruled Russia.  Of course it was not Stalin alone.  But Stalin had appointed many people to the government, many poorly educated who shared his paranoia and brutality.  And this went on until the ill fated Khrushchev started de-Stalinization in the 50's  It was a mad system that grew because nobody had the power to stop it.
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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
(03-26-2020, 09:25 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 08:57 AM)Szuchow Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 05:17 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: Stalin did indeed move large numbers of minority ethnics away from where they might support German invaders.  It was brutal, ugly and very well known why Stalin did it, it was hardly a secret.  Not a rationalization, history.  And when Lenin openly wrote his reasons for attacking the Orthodox leaders for supporting the counter-revolutionaries, I have no reason to doubt his words, which were rather coarse and to the point.  Lenin had no reason to hide it or soft peddle his program.

Both Lenin and Stalin perceived themselves to be surrounded by enemies, and that brutal suppression of such enemies was absolutely necessary.  And anybody who did not agree were labeled as enemies themselves, lacking in Communist zeal, and likely to end up in the gulags for their seeming lack of willingness to pursue phantom enemies lurking everywhere.  Under Stalin, this devolved into sheer madness.

Notice that I wrote purges nothing about minorities specificialy. Then look into subject literature and find out that claim about rationalization isn't my fantasy - Oleg Khlevniuk biography of Stalin will be a good starting point I think. 

It may be hard to grasp for you but people may have many reasons for taking particular action, Lenin included. Fact that he acknowledged one reason in writing does not mean that he didn't have others. 

Both Lenin and Stalin were in fact surrounded by enemies (many caused by their actions) even if they had many allies.

 I wonder what scholarly sources allow you to claim that brutal suppression of enemies was "absolutely necessary"? Jorg Baberowski in his book about Stalin Russia* deems purges to be sign of weakness and I find it to be reasonable. 

*I will add title when in home.

It was not a matter of opinions of academics, but readings of materials Lenin wrote himself.

So Lenin wrote that he persecuted church thanks to it's support of Whites? So what? While it obviously isn't irrelevant it also does not mean that there were no other motives and considerations and that requires assuming that he was honest in the first place. There is also matter of Lenin views on religion - to quote his words from "Socialism and religion": Religion is opium of the people [опиум народа, opium naroda]. Religion is a sort of spiritual booze, in which the slaves of capital drown their human image [образ obraz], their demand for a life more or less worthy of man. I think that man with such views on religion and adherent of marxism with authoritarian personality would find a reason to persecute church regardless of it's stance on Whites.

Quote:It was a brutal era and Lenin had no compunction against being brutal to achieve his ends in a world filled with powerful enemies.  It is notable that before he died, he warned his fellow Bolsheviks against Stalin, knowing full well Stalin was going to be a rather brutal man who should not be allowed to take power.

It is also notable that in the same document in which he criticized Stalin he also took issue with Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin and Pyatakov.

Quote:While some may deem purges a sign of weakness, Stalin obviously did not agree.

Stalin agreement or lack of it to assessment made by modern historian is beyond irrelevant, or would be if corpses were capable of giving opinions. But this is only one of many theories. (It appears in Verbrannte Erde: Stalins Herrschaft der Gewalt by Jorg Baberowski).

Quote:By the late 20's the show trials began.  Paranoia and madness ruled Russia.  Of course it was not Stalin alone.  But Stalin had appointed many people to the government, many poorly educated who shared his paranoia and brutality.  And this went on until the ill fated Khrushchev started de-Stalinization in the 50's  It was a mad system that grew because nobody had the power to stop it.

Paranoia and madness. What a depth of research such words show. And don't we forget their phenomenal explanatory power. Surely it was madness, not cold pragmatism that sent people to GULag, certainly it was paranoia and not wanting to make populace afraid of even thinking disloyally  that caused Great Terror. In no way Holodomor could be caused by needing cash for industrialization and not caring about human loss it would entail, it must have been madness...
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
(03-26-2020, 04:44 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 04:16 AM)Szuchow Wrote: Depending on what book you read you find among reasons paranoia, wanting to create climate of fear, weakness of Soviet dictature and thus need for excessive violence to prop it up and simple purge of elements that were thought to be disloyal.

It's clear that long before the NaZis took power in Germany Stalin was putting in place the terrorist state. He was doing that for (paranoid, personal) reasons of his own, unattached to international power politics, I think.

Reasons for Stalin crimes are as varied as historians who try to decipher actions of his and his comrades. On one end of the spectrum we have Martin Malia* in whose view Soviet system faults were results of ideology primacy over reality. On the second end of the spectrum we have book redacted by Timothy Snyder** which contains article likening Stalin to cold and pragmatic politician and entirely disregarding role of ideology. There is also Simon Sebag Montefiore*** in whose assessment Stalinism was result of Stalin character and upbringing superimposed on Russian political landscape. Still I think that it is safe to assume that Holodomor or Great Terror weren't done with attack of Germans in mind, especially in light of Stalin being surprised by it/not believing that it was happening. 

How we see Stalin and Stalinism is function on how we see role of ideology in ruling the country. I favor these explanations that do not abhor ideological fervor as causative factor and don't ascribe secret genius to every criminal and inane act. To say it shortly - if Stalin would be so masterful politician as some writers think then Hitler would have no chance of catching him unaware. If he would be just dumb Georgian yokel then he wouldn't become one of world most powerful man.

*Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia
**Stalin and Europe: Imitation And Domination, 1928-1953
***Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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(03-25-2020, 11:44 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 08:48 PM)Szuchow Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 08:31 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: The solidification of the Party as the focal point of worship is the point @Szuchow is making, I think. Stalin even appealed actively to the OC during Barbarossa. That doesn't mean that Stalin did not appeal to the authority of Lenin's writings to justify his measures. And that also doesn't mean that millions of Soviet citizens didn't focus religious fervor upon Stalin and his secular church, the Party. They too persecuted non-believers with ferocity, and much like traditional religions reserved their deepest hatreds for breakaway sects rather than entirely different "theologies". (Many Bolsheviks hated Mensheviks more than capitalists for a long while because the Mensheviks were not just opposed, they were apostates).

You're right that it is a very complex era to study, but Soviet socialism carried a lot of religious symbolism in its secular mythos, and filled much of religion's social space in a nation, I think.

I would say that marxism-leninism was simply substitute religion, both gnostic (as marxists claimed to know the objective laws governing history) and millenarian (as communism was supposed to materialize soon, at least before Brezhnev decreed that what exists now [then] is sufficient]. Obviously it is minority position but apart from aforementioned article one can also check Raymond Aron The Opium of the Intellectuals  which is calling it political religion.

Lenin authority was bedrock of Stalin own, one could say that Stalin showed himself as faithful disciple of late prophet.

I do remember reading some quotes from Lenin about the Orthodox Church in the earliest days of the revolution.  He was going to round up the leaders of the church and execute a lot of them. because they supported the anti-Bolshevik White Russians during that era of war.  Not because of religion, but because they were seen as a danger to the Bolsheviks and the revolution.  The program was to eliminate the Church leaders, and cow the followers, and destroy any ability to effectively oppose the revolution and Communism.  It was all about realpolitik.  Stalin simply followed the established program and enlarged it.  War on the Kulaks, Trotskyites, other unreliable elements.  Minority ethnics that might support Germany over the Communists as WW2 began.  And later on, the Jews.

The difference between the atrocities of Stalin and Yahweh are negligible and the difference between their personalities are minor. Just sayin.
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(03-26-2020, 03:50 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 11:44 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 08:48 PM)Szuchow Wrote: I would say that marxism-leninism was simply substitute religion, both gnostic (as marxists claimed to know the objective laws governing history) and millenarian (as communism was supposed to materialize soon, at least before Brezhnev decreed that what exists now [then] is sufficient]. Obviously it is minority position but apart from aforementioned article one can also check Raymond Aron The Opium of the Intellectuals  which is calling it political religion.

Lenin authority was bedrock of Stalin own, one could say that Stalin showed himself as faithful disciple of late prophet.

I do remember reading some quotes from Lenin about the Orthodox Church in the earliest days of the revolution.  He was going to round up the leaders of the church and execute a lot of them. because they supported the anti-Bolshevik White Russians during that era of war.  Not because of religion, but because they were seen as a danger to the Bolsheviks and the revolution.  The program was to eliminate the Church leaders, and cow the followers, and destroy any ability to effectively oppose the revolution and Communism.  It was all about realpolitik.  Stalin simply followed the established program and enlarged it.  War on the Kulaks, Trotskyites, other unreliable elements.  Minority ethnics that might support Germany over the Communists as WW2 began.  And later on, the Jews.

The difference between the atrocities of Stalin and Yahweh are negligible and the difference between their personalities are minor. Just sayin.

Not really. Yahu-Wahu killed nearly everything in temper tantrum, whereas Stalin rule resulted in approximately 9 million of victims*. There is also issue of Stalin being loving father to his daughter (far less to son**) and not sending her to be crucified so he can forgive mankind for some made up crime.

*Modern data for the whole of Stalin's rule was summarized by Timothy Snyder, who concluded that Stalinism caused six million direct deaths and nine million in total, including the deaths from deportation, hunger and Gulag deaths. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_killi...viet_Union]
**Stalin famous quip about lieutenant not being worth general is only one side of the coin. Allegedly he felt that he should save his son when so many children of far less famous parents died. [Anecdote from Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore].
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
(03-26-2020, 12:08 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 11:44 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 08:48 PM)Szuchow Wrote: I would say that marxism-leninism was simply substitute religion, both gnostic (as marxists claimed to know the objective laws governing history) and millenarian (as communism was supposed to materialize soon, at least before Brezhnev decreed that what exists now [then] is sufficient]. Obviously it is minority position but apart from aforementioned article one can also check Raymond Aron The Opium of the Intellectuals  which is calling it political religion.

Lenin authority was bedrock of Stalin own, one could say that Stalin showed himself as faithful disciple of late prophet.

I do remember reading some quotes from Lenin about the Orthodox Church in the earliest days of the revolution.  He was going to round up the leaders of the church and execute a lot of them. because they supported the anti-Bolshevik White Russians during that era of war.  Not because of religion, but because they were seen as a danger to the Bolsheviks and the revolution.  The program was to eliminate the Church leaders, and cow the followers, and destroy any ability to effectively oppose the revolution and Communism.  It was all about realpolitik.  Stalin simply followed the established program and enlarged it.  War on the Kulaks, Trotskyites, other unreliable elements.  Minority ethnics that might support Germany over the Communists as WW2 began.  And later on, the Jews.

Any dictatorship is going to hunt out rival power-bases, but I think in this instance the Soviets decided that permitting a vestigial Church to survive would provide them one more tool of manipulation. Hence Stalin was happy to doom millions of kulaks to death but unwilling to remove their faith.

I don't think it's as simple as you seem to portray here. My apologies if I'm missing something of yours.

It isn't simple.  This all had roots, and most people know little about the war with Poland and White Russians that gave Lenin "War Communism" that allowed a dictatorship to flourish without much opposition until it was too late.  Political assassinations, murders and peasant revolts were a Russian problem long before Lenin and the Bolsheviks.  This helped to create a policy of political suppression that became the hallmark of Bolshevism.  The Russian Orthodox church leadership aligned itself widely with the governments local and national, and were well hated by many for the same reason French revolutionaries hated the Catholic Church leading the the French Revolution in great part.  The Bolsheviks anti-clericalism had deep roots as did their heavy handed political policies.  I haven't read much about this since I last looked into all of this some 15 years ago.  It isn't quite as simple as a short post in a forum can really deal with.
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Three Centuries Of Christian Atrocities
(03-26-2020, 03:59 PM)Szuchow Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 03:50 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote:
(03-25-2020, 11:44 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: I do remember reading some quotes from Lenin about the Orthodox Church in the earliest days of the revolution.  He was going to round up the leaders of the church and execute a lot of them. because they supported the anti-Bolshevik White Russians during that era of war.  Not because of religion, but because they were seen as a danger to the Bolsheviks and the revolution.  The program was to eliminate the Church leaders, and cow the followers, and destroy any ability to effectively oppose the revolution and Communism.  It was all about realpolitik.  Stalin simply followed the established program and enlarged it.  War on the Kulaks, Trotskyites, other unreliable elements.  Minority ethnics that might support Germany over the Communists as WW2 began.  And later on, the Jews.

The difference between the atrocities of Stalin and Yahweh are negligible and the difference between their personalities are minor. Just sayin.

Not really. Yahu-Wahu killed nearly everything in temper tantrum, whereas Stalin rule resulted in approximately 9 million of victims*. There is also issue of Stalin being loving father to his daughter (far less to son**) and not sending her to be crucified so he can forgive mankind for some made up crime.

*Modern data for the whole of Stalin's rule was summarized by Timothy Snyder, who concluded that Stalinism caused six million direct deaths and nine million in total, including the deaths from deportation, hunger and Gulag deaths. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_killi...viet_Union]
**Stalin famous quip about lieutenant not being worth general is only one side of the coin. Allegedly he felt that he should save his son when so many children of far less famous parents died. [Anecdote from Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore].

Well, that's true.  Stalin didn't kill an entire planet of people (except for 7) plus all the animals.  I always laugh at Christians who throw Stalin at atheists as an example of how religious disbelief is immoral but forget all the genocide, child killing and mass murder that Yahweh does.  Somehow Christians justify this.  It's amazing.
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(03-26-2020, 04:18 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 03:59 PM)Szuchow Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 03:50 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: The difference between the atrocities of Stalin and Yahweh are negligible and the difference between their personalities are minor. Just sayin.

Not really. Yahu-Wahu killed nearly everything in temper tantrum, whereas Stalin rule resulted in approximately 9 million of victims*. There is also issue of Stalin being loving father to his daughter (far less to son**) and not sending her to be crucified so he can forgive mankind for some made up crime.

*Modern data for the whole of Stalin's rule was summarized by Timothy Snyder, who concluded that Stalinism caused six million direct deaths and nine million in total, including the deaths from deportation, hunger and Gulag deaths. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_killi...viet_Union]
**Stalin famous quip about lieutenant not being worth general is only one side of the coin. Allegedly he felt that he should save his son when so many children of far less famous parents died. [Anecdote from Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore].

Well, that's true.  Stalin didn't kill an entire planet of people (except for 7) plus all the animals.  I always laugh at Christians who throw Stalin at atheists as an example of how religious disbelief is immoral but forget all the genocide, child killing and mass murder that Yahweh does.  Somehow Christians justify this.  It's amazing.

Compared to Yahu-Wahu even Mao was nothing more than cuddly bear.

Just like you I can't help but laugh when one of followers of celestial tyrant screams about immorality of someone else. As if worshipers of Space Hitler would have anything approaching morality.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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(03-26-2020, 04:09 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: It isn't simple.  This all had roots, and most people know little about the war with Poland and White Russians that gave Lenin "War Communism" that allowed a dictatorship to flourish without much opposition until it was too late.  Political assassinations, murders and peasant revolts were a Russian problem long before Lenin and the Bolsheviks.  This helped to create a policy of political suppression that became the hallmark of Bolshevism.  The Russian Orthodox church leadership aligned itself widely with the governments local and national, and were well hated by many for the same reason French revolutionaries hated the Catholic Church leading the the French Revolution in great part.  The Bolsheviks anti-clericalism had deep roots as did their heavy handed political policies.  I haven't read much about this since I last looked into all of this some 15 years ago.  It isn't quite as simple as a short post in a forum can really deal with.

Lenin embraced the use of state force to seize and maintain power prior to the Polish war. I'm pretty sure a dictatorship was his aim all along. And Lenin was enthusiastic about the state's use of terror in order to exert control.

The point here is that Stalin used Lenin's writings to justify his own excesses in a manner similar to how religious believers use holy writings to justify the most evil acts. Nothing you've written above really addresses that.
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(03-26-2020, 04:26 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 04:09 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: It isn't simple.  This all had roots, and most people know little about the war with Poland and White Russians that gave Lenin "War Communism" that allowed a dictatorship to flourish without much opposition until it was too late.  Political assassinations, murders and peasant revolts were a Russian problem long before Lenin and the Bolsheviks.  This helped to create a policy of political suppression that became the hallmark of Bolshevism.  The Russian Orthodox church leadership aligned itself widely with the governments local and national, and were well hated by many for the same reason French revolutionaries hated the Catholic Church leading the the French Revolution in great part.  The Bolsheviks anti-clericalism had deep roots as did their heavy handed political policies.  I haven't read much about this since I last looked into all of this some 15 years ago.  It isn't quite as simple as a short post in a forum can really deal with.

Lenin embraced the use of state force to seize and maintain power prior to the Polish war. I'm pretty sure a dictatorship was his aim all along. And Lenin was enthusiastic about the state's use of terror in order to exert control.

The point here is that Stalin used Lenin's writings to justify his own excesses in a manner similar to how religious believers use holy writings to justify the most evil acts. Nothing you've written above really addresses that.

As adherent to Marxist thought Lenin hardly could do something else I guess. Marx may have had something entirely different in mind when he wrote about dictatorship of proletariat but as he was dead it was Lenin interpretation that mattered.

I would modify point a little - Stalin sure did used Lenin writing to prop his own position but it was Lenin who adopted Marx writings as catechism for his religion of a new type, with certainty in place of faith and with paradise on Earth instead of heaven.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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(03-26-2020, 04:22 PM)Szuchow Wrote: Just like you I can't help but laugh when one of followers of celestial tyrant screams about immorality of someone else. As if worshipers of Space Hitler would have anything approaching morality.

"Celestial Tyrant"   "Space Hitler"   I'm sooooo going to use that.  Thanks.  Nod
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(03-26-2020, 04:57 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote:
(03-26-2020, 04:22 PM)Szuchow Wrote: Just like you I can't help but laugh when one of followers of celestial tyrant screams about immorality of someone else. As if worshipers of Space Hitler would have anything approaching morality.

"Celestial Tyrant"   "Space Hitler"   I'm sooooo going to use that.  Thanks.  Nod

Creativity is my second name*. 


*In reality it is John. It's kinda funny that I'm named after 2 apostles.
The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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