ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » History, Literature, and the Arts
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags adolf hitler , Josef Stalin , Robert Conquest , Soviet Union history , Tim Snyder , World War II history

Reply
Old 20th March 2018, 10:42 PM   #41
Venom
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 1,698
On my "scale of Evil" I place both men at the very top. Doesn't matter much the exact numbers.
Venom is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th March 2018, 11:39 PM   #42
TubbaBlubba
Knave of the Dudes
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,870
Originally Posted by Venom View Post
On my "scale of Evil" I place both men at the very top. Doesn't matter much the exact numbers.
I agree that the ranking of two particularly odious politicians is kind of irrelevant, but do the power structures involved matter to you? Does the fact that things awfully similar to the Great Famine of the 1930's happened in British possessions due to an overall indifference to the plight of colonial subjects matter? Does it matter that the last such famine, killing millions in Bengal, happened under Winston Churchill in 1943?

Does this affect your assessment of Churchill? Does it put him on the same level as Stalin and Hitler? If not, why not? Sure, we can quibble about the exact responsibilities and colonial dynamics that cause such catastrophes, but no doubt Churchill had a horrible attitude toward Indians, and millions of preventable deaths occurred under his watch.

I'm not saying you should come to a particular conclusion, but it's useful to think about. It's all-too easy to make evil foreign.

(Now, watch as the Churchill apologists flow in.)
TubbaBlubba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 01:34 AM   #43
Venom
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 1,698
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Does this affect your assessment of Churchill? Does it put him on the same level as Stalin and Hitler? If not, why not? Sure, we can quibble about the exact responsibilities and colonial dynamics that cause such catastrophes, but no doubt Churchill had a horrible attitude toward Indians, and millions of preventable deaths occurred under his watch.

I'm not saying you should come to a particular conclusion, but it's useful to think about. It's all-too easy to make evil foreign.

(Now, watch as the Churchill apologists flow in.)
I rank Churchill lower, as a self centered warmonger, about 3 notches below Hitler and Stalin and guys like Lenin, who use absolutely extreme violence and mass deporation, mass murder, premeditated and well planned.

If we talk Western powers I cant think of anyone off.top I'd rate at the top, not that I know too much of modern European history, maybe if we go back to the middle ages.
Certainly there are stuff committed by the allies during WW2 I consider war crimes that a lot of posters here don't think are.
Venom is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 02:16 AM   #44
Vixen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Vixen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Moomin Valley
Posts: 14,006
I can't claim to be an expert in this topic, but I cannot help being sceptical about Stalin's rehabilitation, as it were. A country that unashamedly has troll farming to sway US elections and the UK Brexit referendum, as well as sending agents to foreign soils to assassinate perceived traitors, is not averse to 'fiddling the figures' on how many Stalin killed, especially given Vladimir Putin's open admiration of Stalin and nostalgia for 'the old days'.


How do you count it, anyway? In place like West Prussia, Estonia and even Poland, you had both German occupation and then retalitory occupation by Soviet soldiers bent on retribution, millions of civilians were displaced and made to flee, with hundreds of thousands perishing. Who is responsible for this, Hitler or Stalin?

As for the tactic of mass famine, in the Ukraine Stalin did make it a capital offence for anyone to 'steal food from the state' (i.e., grain and farm produce grown on the very soil of the local people from whom the land was confiscated in the first place!).

ISTM that post WWII, USSR being the victors, together with the allied forces, really made a meal of their martyrdom, making all sorts of demands and conditions on their perceived old enemies. If look at British Library archives, there is a whole plethora of literature accusing other countries of crimes against the Soviets by propagandising Stalinists determined to make political capital out of the situation.
__________________
If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty. ~ Japanese Proverb
Vixen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 02:17 AM   #45
TubbaBlubba
Knave of the Dudes
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,870
Originally Posted by Venom View Post
I rank Churchill lower, as a self centered warmonger, about 3 notches below Hitler and Stalin and guys like Lenin, who use absolutely extreme violence and mass deporation, mass murder, premeditated and well planned.

If we talk Western powers I cant think of anyone off.top I'd rate at the top, not that I know too much of modern European history, maybe if we go back to the middle ages.
Certainly there are stuff committed by the allies during WW2 I consider war crimes that a lot of posters here don't think are.
I'm not a subscriber to overly cartoonish caricatures of Churchill either (and he existed within an important broader context), but broadly, I see the violence and disregard for entire peoples inherent to the establishment and continued existence of the Birtish Empire as comparable in many regards to the atrocities Soviet Union (which was culturally, if not administratively, a continuation of the Russian Empire).

Personally I find the nihilistic campaigns of extermination that were integral to Nazi Germany enough to put that state and its "luminaries" in a category entirely of its own.

I am not immediately sure what premedetated and "well planned" "mass murders" you refer to w.r.t. Stalin and Lenin. The Katyn massacre perhaps? I'll agree that Churchill was never personally responsible as PM or commanding officer of anything like that.

I mean, the goal isn't ultimately to draw up a scoreboard. But IMO there is a great deal of cultural bias in the fact that Churchill, a proud supremacist and defender of an empire that killed innumerable millions throughout its existence, having even participated in some of its excesses and being significantly responsible for one of its worst famines, is a celebrated hero while most Westerners reserve no end of vitriol for Russian attempts to rehabilitate Stalin.

In my view, that the moral equation of Hitler and Stalin is so ubiquitous is largely a product of Cold War propaganda and the "Totalitarianism" model that prevailed in the immediate decades following World War II. One of the worst aspects of it as far as I'm concerned is that it masks the distinctive experiences of victims of Soviet atrocities.
__________________
"The presidentís voracious sexual appetite is the elephant that the president rides around on each and every day while pretending that it doesnít exist." - Bill O'Reilly et al., Killing Kennedy
TubbaBlubba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 02:25 AM   #46
Vixen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Vixen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Moomin Valley
Posts: 14,006
Totalitarianism is a reasonable model IMV. The National Socialist Workers of Hitler being only different from the Soviet protalitariat in that one is nationalist, and the other internationalist.

Both share envy and hatred of the owners of capital and hereditary wealth, believing the working classes are oppressed by bourgeoisie or the minor aristocatric Weimar junckers in Hitler's case.

The model in both cases is for 'the workers' to seize power and become the new ruling class.
__________________
If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty. ~ Japanese Proverb

Last edited by Vixen; 21st March 2018 at 02:27 AM.
Vixen is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 02:25 AM   #47
TubbaBlubba
Knave of the Dudes
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,870
Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I can't claim to be an expert in this topic, but I cannot help being sceptical about Stalin's rehabilitation, as it were.
What rehabilitation? Among certain segments of Russian society? Surely you don't mean within Western academia?

Quote:
A country that unashamedly has troll farming to sway US elections and the UK Brexit referendum, as well as sending agents to foreign soils to assassinate perceived traitors, is not averse to 'fiddling the figures' on how many Stalin killed, especially given Vladimir Putin's open admiration of Stalin and nostalgia for 'the old days'.
This is a problem with virtually any human atrocity, and one historians are aware of. Poland claims as many ethnic Poles as Polish Jews were killed (which is far from true, although well over a million ethnic Poles were killed). Ukraine inflates the numbers for crimes committed by the Russians. Turkey still refues to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. Etc. In the case of the U.S.S.R., it was an extremely bueraucratic state and enormous archives remain (unfortunately, they are not easy to get access to). Attempts by the Russian state to forge a mitigation of Stalin into these documents would be a comically enormous conspiracy with a huge risk of discovery for an insignificant gain.


Quote:
How do you count it, anyway?
That's a huge topic. Broadly, you spend an awful lot of time in archives and crunching numbers.

Quote:
In place like West Prussia, Estonia and even Poland, you had both German occupation and then retalitory occupation by Soviet soldiers bent on retribution, millions of civilians were displaced and made to flee, with hundreds of thousands perishing. Who is responsible for this, Hitler or Stalin?
__________________
"The presidentís voracious sexual appetite is the elephant that the president rides around on each and every day while pretending that it doesnít exist." - Bill O'Reilly et al., Killing Kennedy
TubbaBlubba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 02:31 AM   #48
TubbaBlubba
Knave of the Dudes
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,870
Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Totalitarianism is a reasonable model IMV. The National Socialist Workers of Hitler being only different from the Soviet protalitariat int hat one is nationalist, and the other internationalist.

Both share envy and hatred of the owners of capital and hereditary wealth, believing the working classses are oppressed by bourgeoisie or the minor aristocatric Weimar junckers in Hitler's case.

The model in both cases is for 'the workers' to seize power and become the new ruling class.
No, this is wrong on an immense number of levels and totalitarianism has been largely abandoned for good reason. The similarities you list is broadly what fascists rejected. The Nazis like the Italian fascists were corporatists. They favoured cooperation with industry operating as private entities for the benefit of the state. This is hugely different from seizing the means of production. In the case of Nazi Germany, it was ultimately all a sham in order to prepare for war.

While fascists coopted much socialist rhetoric, one of the fundamental substitutions was to replace class hierarchy with racial hierarchy. It's also a fact that fascism in practice was very different from the rhetoric sometimes used to rile up working-classes.

I strongly suggest you read modern treatments of fascist ideology, like "Anatomy of Fascism".
__________________
"The presidentís voracious sexual appetite is the elephant that the president rides around on each and every day while pretending that it doesnít exist." - Bill O'Reilly et al., Killing Kennedy
TubbaBlubba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 02:51 AM   #49
kayle
Thinker
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 195
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
[...] and the Gulag did not consist of anything like death camps.
tell this to the relatives of those who were killed there. Oh yes, Stalin did not use gas but cold - that's much different... And the percentage of survival was much higher, so it makes the Gulag quite a nice place with well-furnished camps with happy prisoners, nothing like death camps
kayle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 03:06 AM   #50
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 22,476
Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
I love these attempts to, basically, show that somehow Stalin was "less evil" then Hitler.
That is however not the question here, which is how many people were killed by these despots. That is an interesting question historically because although both these men were monstrous criminals, their methods and motives were very different. The cause of death of their victims was different, and their personal fates and that of their regimes were different. So while the degree of their personal evil was, as you imply, so great as to render comparisons pointless, the nature of their criminality is a much more useful, interesting and relevant question.
Craig B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 03:17 AM   #51
TubbaBlubba
Knave of the Dudes
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,870
Originally Posted by kayle View Post
tell this to the relatives of those who were killed there. Oh yes, Stalin did not use gas but cold - that's much different... And the percentage of survival was much higher, so it makes the Gulag quite a nice place with well-furnished camps with happy prisoners, nothing like death camps
If you say so. Personally I wouldn't engage in that kind of apologetics and I don't see the point in such a positive portrayal of what was an extremely brutal prison system, but if that's how you want to portray the Gulag system, I guess I'm not going to stop you.
__________________
"The presidentís voracious sexual appetite is the elephant that the president rides around on each and every day while pretending that it doesnít exist." - Bill O'Reilly et al., Killing Kennedy
TubbaBlubba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 03:24 AM   #52
Craig B
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 22,476
Originally Posted by kayle View Post
tell this to the relatives of those who were killed there. Oh yes, Stalin did not use gas but cold - that's much different... And the percentage of survival was much higher, so it makes the Gulag quite a nice place with well-furnished camps with happy prisoners, nothing like death camps
The main difference - I take the part I've highlighted as a joke by you - is that Nazi camps were intended primarily as extermination centres. The vast majority of people sent there did not even spend a day in confinement before they were murdered. Stalin's camps were primarily intended to exploit the labour of inmates, many of whom died in consequence of ill treatment and neglect, or punishment for infringement of rules.

That is a significant difference. It has nothing whatever to do with the Gulag being nice or Stalin being Santa Claus.
Craig B is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 04:57 AM   #53
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 74,614
Stalin had a better mustache.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 09:36 AM   #54
SpitfireIX
Illuminator
 
SpitfireIX's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Posts: 4,478
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Stalin had a better mustache.

Last summer, I was watching my cousin's four-year-old-daughter, and she said, "I want you shave your mustache so it only under your nose," while using her fingers to cover the ends of my mustache.

"No, I'm not going to do that."

"Why not?"

"I'll explain it to you when you're older, Sweetheart."

"'Splain it to me now."

"All right. A long time ago, when Aunt Nancy* was your age, Germany was ruled by a very evil man named Adolf Hitler. He started a war that killed millions of people, and he murdered millions more just because they were different. He had a mustache like that, and if I shave mine that way, people will think I support him."

____________________

*My mother, who was born on Kristallnacht.
__________________
Handy responses to conspiracy theorists' claims:
1) "I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." --Charles Babbage
2) "This isn't right. This isn't even wrong." --Wolfgang Pauli
3) "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." --Inigo Montoya
SpitfireIX is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 09:38 AM   #55
Porpoise of Life
Illuminator
 
Porpoise of Life's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,444
Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
Last summer, I was watching my cousin's four-year-old-daughter, and she said, "I want you shave your mustache so it only under your nose," while using her fingers to cover the ends of my mustache.

"No, I'm not going to do that."

"Why not?"

"I'll explain it to you when you're older, Sweetheart."

"'Splain it to me now."

"All right. A long time ago, when Aunt Nancy* was your age, Germany was ruled by a very evil man named Adolf Hitler. He started a war that killed millions of people, and he murdered millions more just because they were different. He had a mustache like that, and if I shave mine that way, people will think I support him."

____________________

*My mother, who was born on Kristallnacht.
What was her response?
Porpoise of Life is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 09:40 AM   #56
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 74,614
Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
What was her response?
"Wow, Chaplin killed that many people? I didn't think his movies were that bad."
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 09:55 AM   #57
SpitfireIX
Illuminator
 
SpitfireIX's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Posts: 4,478
Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
What was her response?

Silence. I'm not sure how well she followed what I was saying, but she asked me to explain, so I did. I will have a longer talk with her about it when she's older. Interestingly, her oldest sister, who's 13, likes reading about the Holocaust (we're not Jewish*). Mostly Diary of Anne Frank-type books, but not exclusively. So maybe the four year old will someday, too.
__________

*I had a great uncle by marriage on the other side of the family (my mother's side) who was born Jewish, but converted to Christianity before he married my great aunt. He was a bombardier on a B-17, but he was in the Pacific. It just occurred to me to wonder whether that was by design, to keep him from potentially falling into the hands of the Nazis.
__________________
Handy responses to conspiracy theorists' claims:
1) "I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." --Charles Babbage
2) "This isn't right. This isn't even wrong." --Wolfgang Pauli
3) "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." --Inigo Montoya
SpitfireIX is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 09:57 AM   #58
SpitfireIX
Illuminator
 
SpitfireIX's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Posts: 4,478
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
"Wow, Chaplin killed that many people? I didn't think his movies were that bad."

__________________
Handy responses to conspiracy theorists' claims:
1) "I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." --Charles Babbage
2) "This isn't right. This isn't even wrong." --Wolfgang Pauli
3) "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." --Inigo Montoya
SpitfireIX is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 11:38 AM   #59
dudalb
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,025
Originally Posted by Venom View Post
I rank Churchill lower, as a self centered warmonger, about 3 notches below Hitler and Stalin and guys like Lenin, who use absolutely extreme violence and mass deporation, mass murder, premeditated and well planned.

If we talk Western powers I cant think of anyone off.top I'd rate at the top, not that I know too much of modern European history, maybe if we go back to the middle ages.
Certainly there are stuff committed by the allies during WW2 I consider war crimes that a lot of posters here don't think are.
Because most poster here don't buy into this "Moral Equivilency" nonsense so popular among a certain class of "intellectuals".
dudalb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 11:44 AM   #60
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 74,614
Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
If only he knew...
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 12:09 PM   #61
Senex
Philosopher
 
Senex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,554
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Could you be more specific and actually formulate relevant criticism of what has been said? I'm basing my view on what I read in actual academic works and discussions and perspectives of historians. Frankly, I think your ridiculing of contextualization is incredibly contemptuous toward the victims of Soviet atrocities.

Do you mock people who contextualize British atrocities on the same scale as Soviet ones as "trying to show Churchill was less evil than Hitler"? Do you think there's a point to understanding the suffering of victims of Soviet atrocities in their own right? Or are they only pawns in a game of political pie-throwing for you?
hehehe... in the old days you might have been called a commie apologist.
Senex is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st March 2018, 12:38 PM   #62
TubbaBlubba
Knave of the Dudes
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,870
Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Because most poster here don't buy into this "Moral Equivilency" nonsense so popular among a certain class of "intellectuals".
Where's that specific and directed criticism grounded in scholarship I asked for?
__________________
"The presidentís voracious sexual appetite is the elephant that the president rides around on each and every day while pretending that it doesnít exist." - Bill O'Reilly et al., Killing Kennedy
TubbaBlubba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2018, 05:58 AM   #63
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 23,756
Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
What was her response?
"Well, at least you will stop looking like Joseph Stalin!"
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2018, 06:36 AM   #64
SpitfireIX
Illuminator
 
SpitfireIX's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Posts: 4,478
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
"Well, at least you will stop looking like Joseph Stalin!"

Sadly, my lip hair is nowhere near as impressive as his; here's a picture I posted in the weight loss thread in FC. I'm standing on the train platform at Saskatoon, during my trip to Canada in late summer 2015.

__________________
Handy responses to conspiracy theorists' claims:
1) "I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." --Charles Babbage
2) "This isn't right. This isn't even wrong." --Wolfgang Pauli
3) "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." --Inigo Montoya
SpitfireIX is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2018, 06:39 AM   #65
SpitfireIX
Illuminator
 
SpitfireIX's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Posts: 4,478
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
If only he knew...

I recall a documentary about Chaplin that stated that The Great Dictator was a box-office disappointment, because by the time it was released, no one thought Hitler was funny anymore.
__________________
Handy responses to conspiracy theorists' claims:
1) "I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." --Charles Babbage
2) "This isn't right. This isn't even wrong." --Wolfgang Pauli
3) "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." --Inigo Montoya
SpitfireIX is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2018, 07:02 AM   #66
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 74,614
He also said that if he had known the horrors that were going on in Europe he wouldn't have made the movie.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2018, 07:57 AM   #67
MaGZ
Philosopher
 
MaGZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 6,914
There were only two purges under Hitler, the Night of the Long Knives and those executed after the July 20 Plot. Stalin routinely went after entre classes of people giving his NKVD thugs quotas to meet for execution.
MaGZ is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2018, 07:59 AM   #68
Porpoise of Life
Illuminator
 
Porpoise of Life's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,444
Originally Posted by MaGZ View Post
There were only two purges under Hitler, the Night of the Long Knives and those executed after the July 20 Plot. Stalin routinely went after entre classes of people giving his NKVD thugs quotas to meet for execution.
What about the holocaust? Oh wait, it's you...
Porpoise of Life is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2018, 08:32 AM   #69
Border Reiver
Philosopher
 
Border Reiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 6,422
Originally Posted by MaGZ View Post
There were only two purges under Hitler, the Night of the Long Knives and those executed after the July 20 Plot. Stalin routinely went after entre classes of people giving his NKVD thugs quotas to meet for execution.
Kristallnacht.
__________________
Questions, comments, queries, bitches, complaints, rude gestures and/or remarks?
Border Reiver is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2018, 11:07 AM   #70
JesseCuster
Muse
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 829
Originally Posted by MaGZ View Post
There were only two purges under Hitler, the Night of the Long Knives and those executed after the July 20 Plot. Stalin routinely went after entre classes of people giving his NKVD thugs quotas to meet for execution.
Because if there's one thing you can say about the Nazis, it's that they didn't go after entire classes of people....

Wait, what?
JesseCuster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2018, 11:21 AM   #71
dudalb
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,025
Originally Posted by SpitfireIX View Post
I recall a documentary about Chaplin that stated that The Great Dictator was a box-office disappointment, because by the time it was released, no one thought Hitler was funny anymore.
Great Dictator has some brilliant moments, but is far from being one of Chaplin's best.
IMHO the funniest bit I the meeting between Chaplin and Jack Oakie as the Mussolini figure.
One piece of mythlogy is about how brave Chaplin was in attacking Hitler. In fact taking potshots at the Nazis had become common place by 1940. Even MGM, the most cautious of the Hollywood studios when it came to avoiding controversy, made in 1940 "The Mortal Storm" a strongly anti Nazi film.
And as early as 1938, Warners brough out "COnfessions Of A Nazi Spy" an expose of Nazi Espionage in America.
And even a film as wholesome as 1939's "Babes In Arms" (MGM) that first of the "Let's put on Show, kids!" Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney "Backyard Musicals" had a musical number which ridiculed Hitler.
dudalb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2018, 11:23 AM   #72
dudalb
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,025
Originally Posted by MaGZ View Post
There were only two purges under Hitler, the Night of the Long Knives and those executed after the July 20 Plot. Stalin routinely went after entre classes of people giving his NKVD thugs quotas to meet for execution.
Just when you think our local Neo Nazi cannot make himself look more ridiculous , he manages to surprise you.
dudalb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2018, 11:47 AM   #73
Major Major
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 289
Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Great Dictator has some brilliant moments, but is far from being one of Chaplin's best.
IMHO the funniest bit I the meeting between Chaplin and Jack Oakie as the Mussolini figure.
One piece of mythlogy is about how brave Chaplin was in attacking Hitler. In fact taking potshots at the Nazis had become common place by 1940. Even MGM, the most cautious of the Hollywood studios when it came to avoiding controversy, made in 1940 "The Mortal Storm" a strongly anti Nazi film.
And as early as 1938, Warners brough out "COnfessions Of A Nazi Spy" an expose of Nazi Espionage in America.
And even a film as wholesome as 1939's "Babes In Arms" (MGM) that first of the "Let's put on Show, kids!" Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney "Backyard Musicals" had a musical number which ridiculed Hitler.
And the Three Stooges did You Nazty Spy! in 1940. When the Three Stooges get on your case, you've lost any credibility.
Major Major is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2018, 01:07 PM   #74
dudalb
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 41,025
Goof one,Major.
And after the war started the Stooges really went after Hitler. I remember one short where, masquerading as Nazis,subsituted "Hang" for "Heil" in "Heil Hitler".
dudalb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2018, 01:15 PM   #75
Cleon
King of the Pod People
 
Cleon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 25,659
Originally Posted by Major Major View Post
And the Three Stooges did You Nazty Spy! in 1940. When the Three Stooges get on your case, you've lost any credibility.
Somehow I don't think it a lot of convincing to get a bunch of Jews to do an anti-Hitler act.
__________________
"People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz." - Newt Gingrich
Cleon is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th March 2018, 02:59 PM   #76
quadraginta
Becoming Beth
 
quadraginta's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Central Vale of Humility
Posts: 22,359
Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
Somehow I don't think it a lot of convincing to get a bunch of Jews to do an anti-Hitler act.

It still has to appeal to the audiences, no matter what the ethnicity of the performers. Or it won't sell tickets.
__________________
"It never does just what I want, but only what I tell it."
"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep."
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."
quadraginta is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th March 2018, 07:08 PM   #77
caveman1917
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 5,908
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
So I can give a bit of background on the historiography of Soviet crimes and atrocities - the tl;dr is that Snyder's number is about correct, but Snyder is not a very good historian and I would not use him as a main source for this.

The grand old man in this context is Robert Conquest, who wrote the definitive works of his day in the -60's and -70's, The Great Terror and The Harvest of Sorrow. Both are eminently readable to this day and I highly recommend them to anyone interested in Soviet history.
I would, on the other hand, highly recommend just throwing Conquest's works straight into the dustbin. While there is some stuff of interest in his works, it is so entwined with Cold War anti-communist propaganda (which he was, after all, employed to produce) that it makes his works useless as historical reference. It's probably more work to check all his claims and sources to separate fact from fiction than to just collect the necessary primary sources to build your own view of what happened. His works are a net negative, and the stuff that actually is factual and accurately represented is outdated by the opening of the Soviet archives anyway, just like most other works written before the Soviet archives were opened.

Quote:
The more vicious aspect of this, in my view, is the construct of the "Holodomor" ("Death by Famine"), widely promoted by Ukranian nationalists.
It even appears that the term "Holodomor" was deliberately coined to be similar to "Holocaust".

Quote:
I definitely think that deaths as a result of Stalinist-style collectivization are a category worthy of study
Which deaths would that be? Ascribing the famine to the collectivization and mechanization of agriculture (CMA) is a cum hoc ergo propter hoc. For all you know the famine would've been even worse without the CMA, and the CMA might have saved lives instead. It seems even the more likely case. The theory that the CMA caused the famine fails on several levels:

1. Since the 1933 growing season continued the CMA along the same lines as the 1932 one, but with even less "experienced peasants" (since many starved in the famine) and even more unexperienced people brought in to do the farming work, the theory would predict the 1933 harvest to be even worse. Yet the 1933 harvest was the largest of the period.

2. Statistically, pre-CMA harvest failures occurred every 3-4 years and full-blown famines every 10 years, post-CMA there were none of either anymore. The CMA is strongly associated with the end of food insecurity and famines in the region.

The theory that best explains the famine (or at least the harvest failure leading up to it) is environmental causes, and since by point 2 above the CMA is statistically associated with security against such events (rather than the opposite) it seems more likely that the famine would've been even worse without the CMA. So maybe it's not the deaths as a result of Stalinist-style collectivization that are a category worthy of study, but the lives saved as a result of it.
__________________
"Ideas are also weapons." - Subcomandante Marcos
"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live." - Lucy Parsons
"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th March 2018, 07:15 PM   #78
caveman1917
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 5,908
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
Personally I find the nihilistic campaigns of extermination that were integral to Nazi Germany enough to put that state and its "luminaries" in a category entirely of its own.
I realize you probably just threw that out there without much thought, but as someone fond of nihilism I'd object to describing Nazism (or its campaigns) as "nihilistic". They were nothing of the sort, it's just Nazis appropriating a philosophical doctrine for their own purposes while turning it upside-down to the point it becomes completely unrecognizable - somewhat the same thing they did with "socialism". A nihilist who's driven by concepts like nation, race, traditional family roles, authoritarianism, etc is not a nihilist at all by even a long shot.
__________________
"Ideas are also weapons." - Subcomandante Marcos
"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live." - Lucy Parsons
"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th March 2018, 07:45 PM   #79
caveman1917
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 5,908
Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
50 million is probably too high by a factor ~2. Not that it matters that much.

As I noted above, one remarkable fact in assessing the context of these atrocities is the steady decline in mortality during Mao's rule (even during the Great Leap Forward), especially when compared with India. It's... complicated, and one of the big reasons why dictatorships of huge countries can be so disastrous.
It's not that complicated. If you die due to socio-economic circumstances under capitalism then it doesn't count as a kill by the regime, but if you do under socialism then it does. As you mention, people were dying at even greater rates before Mao's rule, but you only get counted as a "victim of X" when the X is socialism or communism. That's basically all there is to it. If you apply the same standards of counting deaths to capitalism as to socialism you arrive at a figure in the billions of victims of capitalism.
__________________
"Ideas are also weapons." - Subcomandante Marcos
"We must devastate the avenues where the wealthy live." - Lucy Parsons
"Let us therefore trust the eternal Spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion, too!" - Mikhail Bakunin

Last edited by caveman1917; 28th March 2018 at 07:48 PM.
caveman1917 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th March 2018, 08:20 PM   #80
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 23,756
Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
The theory that best explains the famine (or at least the harvest failure leading up to it) is environmental causes, and since by point 2 above the CMA is statistically associated with security against such events (rather than the opposite) it seems more likely that the famine would've been even worse without the CMA. So maybe it's not the deaths as a result of Stalinist-style collectivization that are a category worthy of study, but the lives saved as a result of it.
Could we at least see some sources that might back up this claim?
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » History, Literature, and the Arts

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:28 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.