Monday, August 07, 2006

Trotsky, Hitler and Stalin

Steve Sailer:

It's important to realize that just because Trotsky lost out to Stalin, that doesn't mean Trotsky wasn't a comparably bloodthirsty creature. Indeed, Stalin's Ukrainian Holocaust was in pursuit of Trotsky's policy of collectivization of the farms. During the 1920s, Stalin had posed as a "moderate" in his struggles with the blatantly extremist Trotsky. Once he'd driven out Trotsky, though, lacking his own ideas, he quickly adopted Trotsky's economic policy of forced collectivization, with all the genocidal horrors that entailed.

Stalin and Trotsky did, however, genuinely differ on foreign policy, with Trotsky advocating global revolution, while the relatively less fanatical Stalin backed "socialism in one country" with only opportunistic expansion of Soviet power, such as after WWII or when, in early 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson stupidly left South Korea out of the list of Asian countries America would fight to defend. This degree of prudence on Stalin's part is why the many well-meaning people who claim that Stalin was just as bad as, or worse than, Hitler, are wrong. Hitler tried to conquer the world, and thus he unleashed the biggest slaughter of all time. Stalin's paranoia -- with all the bloodshed it inflicted on his own subjects -- made him less dangerous to the rest of the world. If Trotsky had outmaneuvered Stalin, however, he might well have rivaled or even surpassed Hitler as a cause of carnage.

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