There is No Justification for the Terror in the U.S.S.R. in the 1930's

There is No Justification for the Terror in the U.S.S.R. in the 1930's
I agree more with the statement ?There can be no justification
for the ?terror? in the ussr in the 1930?s. It was motivated
purely by Stalin?s lust for power.? However, I can understand why
one could say that terror was essential for the survival of the
new communist state or Soviet Union. Stalin used terror to force
the ussr to industrialise quickly, which enabled them to ward off
the threat from fascism and develop into a world power.Source I, written by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 a few years before communism fell in Russia, appears to be relatively balanced. It does not accuse Stalin of using ?terror? methods, however is does not overly praise him either. ?Yes industrialisation? was indispensable..? saying that Stalin needed to industrialise in the 1930?s to combat the increasing threat of fascism. However, I believe that although industrialisation was indispensable it could have occurred without the use of ?terror.? Gorbachev seems to make the point, though, that with the benefit of hindsight, we can be critical of the way Stalin went about the rapid industrialisation but, I think at the time, the threat of fascism, being left behind industrially and preserving the new communist state was a major concern to Stalin. Gorbachev also mentioned that the tactics were contradictory to the principles of socialism, which was a negative. Source I is a reasonably reliable source because Gorbachev is the leader of Russia, at the time of the writing, and therefore would have access to confidential files. However, he could not speak freely to an extent because, as the leader of the ussr, speaking to harshly about Stalin could be seen as criticising the communist regime. Source K partly agrees with Statement B because it states ?without terror, who would have failed to notice the clear absurdity of Stalin?s rule?? This shows that terror was necessary for Stalin to remain in power, and I think that Stalin was crucial to the survival of the ussr in these early days because without Stalin as a strong leader there might have been a power struggle, which may have made the ussr more vulnerable when Hitler invaded. Source K states that Stalin needed to use terror to keep the people ?obedient? and more importantly to make them ?believe in him?. It seems that in the end the Source believes he was a ?ruthless politician? who was corrupted by power. Source K is reliable because, Adam Ulam, a historian in Britain writes it. It is written in 1974 and, therefore, Ulam has hindsight and large amounts of sources available for him to use. Source J generally agrees with Statement A because it states ?Stalin was convinced that this (the use of terror and executions) was necessary for the defence of.. the interests of the victory of socialism and communism?In this lies the whole tragedy?. This quote shows how Khrushchev believes that the use of terror and executions was a tragedy and not necessarily needed for the survival of the ussr but that Stalin believed it was the only way. However, this source disagrees with Statement A when it says ?it was motivated purely by Stalin?s lust for power? because Khrushchev believes that Stalin really thought that he was doing it to promote socialism and communism. Khrushchev appears to believe that Stalin believed his actions were justifiable, but Stalin beliefs were incorrect and morally wrong. In 1956, Khrushchev was the first Russian leader to openly criticise Stalin?s ruling technique, and this was three years after his death. This means that this Source may be unreliable because Khrushchev would have to be careful because he was addressing a congress that was still filled with Stalin?s loyal followers and if he criticises Stalin too harshly than he risks losing his job. This also shows how effective Stalin?s ?terror? was because there were still loyal followers to him and his methods in the Politburo three years after his death. Source H supports Statement B with comments like ?The nation which Stalin took power might, apart from small groups of educated people and advanced workers, rightly be called a nation of savages? this quote shows that Stalin took control of a nation when it was extremely backward and Stalin had to use methods such as ?terror? to make the country move forwards rapidly not only industrially but also in education. ?The nation has, nevertheless, advanced far in most fields of its existence?? This shows that the use of terror did help the ussr quickly industrialise. This source is probably reliable because Deutscher was a member of the Polish Communist Party where he was expelled for anti-Stalinism. This would make one think that he would be harsher on Stalin and in this source he is reasonably moderate and balanced. This source also conforms to my knowledge and, therefore, is likely to be reliable. Source H agrees with Source I in its last statement when it says that ?Stalin has been both the leader and the exploiter of a tragic, self-contradictory but creative revolution.? This implies that the ?terror? invoked by Stalin did help advance the communist ?revolution?, which was necessary for the survival of the ussr. Deutscher said that he didn?t think that Stalin should be compared to a worthless tyrant like Hitler but a ?leader? of a flawed but creative revolution. The revolution was a new social system, which did survive in the Soviet Union for many years. Communism was a new and radical political system and required, in the mind of Stalin, to change the mentality of the uneducated Russian people. Deutscher, though not a supporter of Stalin, states that ?Stalin undertook, to quote a famous saying, to drive barbarism out of Russia by barbarous means.? This policy, although controversial, was the most efficient way to remedy the backwardness of Russian society. This was essential because Stalin needed educated scientists and mechanics to help in time of war and needed the people to accept the communist way. Source G portrays Stalin as a dictator and compares Russian workers to the slaves of ?Ancient Egypt?. Stalin is instituting ?terror? and threatening the workers of Russia with a whip and a gun. Source G seems to be making an analogy between the pyramids of ?Ancient Egypt,? one of the wonders of the world, and industrialising Russia. The poster may be also making the point that in order to create something of great significance sometimes the people are subjugated even though the cartoon is not sympathetic to that view. Source A justifies the ?terror? by relating the victims of the ?show trials? to the ?German Gestapo.? It justifies the ?terror,? which Stalin instituted by describing ?Trotskyite conspirators? and had these ?conspirators? not been apprehended the implications could have meant the downfall of the ussr. Source A, however, is not reliable because a British Communist who would try to make England more sympathetic to the ussr writes it. Source B vehemently agrees with Statement B because although it does not mention terror it uses strong adjectives to describe the crimes like ?monstrous? and ?despicable.? This shows that members in the Communist Party would have thought that this ?terror? was indispensable to the ussr because they were strongly attached to Stalin. Source B, is not reliable because it is written by the Communist Party and therefore is likely to be biased. This Source does show us how many members of the party believed in the Stalin approach and how essential they thought terror was for the survival of the ussr. Source C believes statement A because it describes that the victims of the purges were not ?enemies? but honest communists that were worn down by the persecution that they ?charged themselves with all kinds of grave and unlikely crimes?. This source is somewhat reliable because it is Khruschev, the Russian leader in 1971 who has the benefit of hindsight and is more powerful than he was in Source J and probably feels more able to criticise Stalin openly. This view is confirmed by Source D where you see people in court, facing Stalin as the judge, happily confessing to crimes when they know they face death with the executioner in the background. It is hard to justify the horrible terror tactics that Stalin used in the early days of the communist ?revolution? in Russia. As Gorbachev mentions, the end result or industrialisation was critical not only to enable the Russians to ward off the Nazis but to quickly bring the country into the 20th century but the terror tactics were contrary to the socialist principles and the hindsight even the Russian leaders believed they were not necessary.

There is No Justification for the Terror in the U.S.S.R. in the 1930's 8.7 of 10 on the basis of 2776 Review.