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Stalin: Man or Monster

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Introduction

Stalin: Man or Monster Whilst answering the question it is important to have a clear definition as to what a monster is, in order to make it apparent as to what each side is arguing for and against. My personal definition of a monster is an inhumanly cruel or wicked person. So the essay will discuss whether or not Stalin was a monster under my personal definition. I am going to discuss both sides of the argument and then draw a conclusion. When deciding whether or not Stalin was a monster, it is easy to get carried away with minor details. After all Stalin united a continent stretching from the Baltic to the Bearing Straits. One could argue that the situation In Russia was so desperate that only the pressures of brute force could have produced such a rapid industrialization, together with the necessary food. All his aims had a purpose and indeed lives were lost, that is not debatable, but it was necessary it order to achieve his aims. Most of his polices were successful. Stalin, enforcing the Collectivisation Policy, solved the food shortage. More food was grown, modern agricultural methods were put into place ending the famine. ...read more.

Middle

Source I shows Stalin 'show trials', which were another example of the monstrous actions undertaken by Stalin. In the great 'show trials' loyal Bolsheviks like Kamenev, Bukharin and Zinovieiv confessed to being traitors of the state. Around 500,000 Party members were arrested on charges of anti-soviet activities and either executed or sent to labour camps. This was yet another example of Stalin's outrageous behaviour. The human cost was enormous; this was a colossal example of genocide on one's own race. Collectivisation bought yet more deaths, 5 million starved to death during the Famine in1932-33 and after the war of the Kulaks, millions died. Also food production fell which led to economic problems due to the millions of deaths. Industrialisation led to enormous human cost. 100,000 workers died in the construction of the Belomor Canal, and this was not unique millions died each year on major projects. The conditions were appalling and there were many deaths and accidents. There was a great deal of inefficiency and duplication of effort and waste. Stalin was quite prepared to destroy the way of life of the Soviet people to help industrialisation. Sources A, B and C also reinforce the idea that Stalin was a monster. ...read more.

Conclusion

All the sources mentioned reinforce this argument that Stalin was a monster. In conclusion, I feel that Stalin was a great leader however I do believe that he did incorporate into his personality some monstrous qualities. By this I mean that I do not truly believe that any normal human being could kill millions and millions of innocent people, and argue that what he did was not the action of a wicked or inhuman person. One must not forget that Stalin was voted into power under the ideal that he would follow the idealism of Marx and Lenin. However, instead of creating a new classless society in which everybody was free and equal, ordinary workers and peasants were just as exploited as they were under the Tsars. Instead of Marxism, socialism and the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' Stalin created his own political ideology, Stalinism and the dictatorship of Stalin. I would personally follow the view, that Stalin was a talented politician with great drive and ambition. However, he was taken over by power, which turned him into a monstrous oppressor. I feel that had Stalin not been so monstrous his rule would have gone by without acknowledgement. Finally, I feel that Stalin was character with a very evil monstrous nature which was brought to light through the power that he gained. ...read more.

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