Loving Stalin

in History/Politics by
   

Next month, many in the former Soviet Union will follow a recent tradition of lauding Josef Stalin on his birthday–Dec. 18, 1878.

Three years ago, the statue of the dictator was dismantled by the Russian government, an action supported by the current Georgian government. Now the Russian government has rebuilt the statue.

Past celebrators of Stalin have indicated their lingering love of the dictator.. Georgian resident Phatima Patishvili said, ‘I came here because I love Stalin and I love my people. I remember when I was 12 how my grandmother was weeping when Stalin died.'” Stalin was also celebrated in Moscow by hundreds of Russian communists who laid flowers at Stalin’s grave in Red Square.

Despite all the recorded murders, Stalin’s popularity has been climbing in Russia of late. Supporters, usually of the aged sort, remember the good old days as ones of comforting security. It is hard not to read in this a case of “Stockholm syndrome,” in which the hostage falls in love with their guard. Given the family unit of Moscow, in which the father is the unquestioned leader, it is not surprising that the iron parent that was Stalin is celebrated.

To get at this kind of mindset, one has to view how the generation of those who pine for him, feel about post-Cold War Russia. Many have gone on record stating that “freedom is an infection,” and that “traitors” such as Mikhail Gorbachev, have turned the “motherland” over to the Russian “mafia” and heartless capitalists. No doubt, there is hatred for Russia “losing” the Cold War, but there is the possibility that there is an economic component to this longing. A market economy can be unstable, subject to inflation and recessions; and despite being unable to provide quality consumer goods to their people, a collectivist one in their eyes, provides “stability.” And another man on horseback can bring back pride in foreign policy that they feel is lacking today. They may have found such a figure in Vladmir Putin.

But this admiration for a ruler that has killed, at the current estimate, 20 million people (and killed more communists than Hitler) has crossed to our shores. A recent documentary put out by leftist Oliver Stone, celebrates Stalin as stopping the German war machine, and portraying the dictator as the innocent in how the Cold War started.

Less overtly, but eeirly similiar to Stalinism is the manner in which the American left deifies Obama. Jamie Foxx, that towering intellect and star of Quentin Tarrantino’s new film, called Obama “our lord and savior.” Other celebrities pine for a sense of security after the Newtown massacre. Sharon Stone says she is willing to give up “some of her freedoms” for gun confiscation. Micheal Moore wants a type of “government police” to get every gun out of every American home.

While Stalin is regarded overall as a ruthless killer, the same kind of idol worship is present with the followers of Obama. And worse, the president’s followers are not pining for the past; they are getting their satisfaction from the present.

Ron Capshaw is a Senior Contributor to The Liberty Conservative from Midlothian, Va. His work has appeared in National Review, The Weekly Standard, and the American Spectator.