Friday, April 10, 2015

Russian History, Stalin, and Totalitarian figures

From what you’ve learned of Russian history, is it surprising that a man like Stalin came to power and committed such atrocities? Put another way, did Russian culture and history somehow gravitate toward such a totalitarian figure?

No, I do not find it surprising at all. Russia had always been ruled by a type of Absolute Monarch. The Tsars often oppressed the people, but their cruelty paled in comparison to Stalin’s grotesque accomplishments. He was not just in ultimate control but he was willing to do whatever atrocities he thought necessary to keep that control.

Having Tsars as leaders, the Russian people were quite accustomed to having their daily lives rules by some high ranking leader; this was simply what the Russian culture and history lent itself to. Plainly put, Stalin took advantage of the already established culture.