Browsing the Internet I found a website with a one-year-old thread entitled “Ethical Stalinism.” The person who started the thread wrote:
Marx predicted a future revolution in which the working class would own the means of production. Lenin realized it would take too long and advocated a militant vanguard that would expedite the revolution and operate the means of production owned by the workers.
Stalin promoted a rapid and pugnacious transfer to a communist economy regardless of the collateral damage. Setting aside Stalin's paranoia, personal failings, unconscious motives and ruthless behavior, I want to focus on the ethics of his program of rapid rural collectivization and urban industrialization. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leninism
Is it ever ethical to harm a few in order to benefit a majority in the future? For example, is it ever ethical to allow a few to starve to death in order to divert food so a larger number will remain alive even at a subsistent level? Is it ever ethical to sacrifice the living in order to benefit a larger unborn future generation? Is it ever ethical to abolish resisters in the road to achieving your goal of a œUtopian? society in the future? Is it ever ethical to usurp the slow progress of democracy if it results in a better society in a shorter timespan?
One person responded: “I would say violence is most necessary for a revolution, and insofar as it for this cause, its ok.”
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Responding to the above I wrote: “You asked if it is ethical to sacrifice the living in order to benefit a larger unborn future generation? Please answer the following four questions:
a) Who benefitted from killing Bukharin, Trotsky and a large number of other old bolsheviks?
How did killing of Tukchachevsky, and a large number of generals (in late 1930s) help the country to defend itself in 1941?
c) How did forced collectivization (and liquidation of New Economic Policy established by Lenin) help the country to feed itself?
d) How did the deportation of all Chechens (and other national minorities from Georgia, after WWII) to Kazakhstan helped the USSR to consolidate its brotherhood of nations? “
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My questions were not unanswered. Any comments? BY THE WAY,
The book "Hell on Earth: Brutality and Violence Under the Stalinist Regime," at
describes horrors with which most of you are probably familiar. But Section 3.7, entitled "Communist Morality," is probably worth reading and discussing on this forum (and possible on History forum). Two more things worth reading are Chapter 7 and Section 4.5
Chapter 7 is a discussion of Stalinism (by professors at Montclair State University). Section 4.5 provides numerical data on how little American students (also at Montclair State University) know about Stalin. This short and easy-to-read book was written for students like them. Please share the link with history teachers you know; perhaps some of them will assign this FREE ON-LINE book to students. It can also be a base for discussing idea of proletarian dictatorship, which unites all Marxists.