Gulag Archipeligo - truth or propaganda?
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07-05-2017, 09:11 AM
RE: Gulag Archipeligo - truth or propaganda?
(06-05-2017 09:44 PM)Vera Wrote:  
(06-05-2017 09:33 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  Try reading "How the Steel Was Tempered"
[Image: giggle.gif]

Oh god, that was a big thing in Bulgaria as well (never read it, needless to say), but quote the name quite a bit in conversation.

I too never read it. Just needed some propaganda title.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

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08-05-2017, 08:06 AM
RE: Gulag Archipeligo - truth or propaganda?
(06-05-2017 02:40 PM)Vera Wrote:  You are a special kind of stupid, aren't you?

Facepalm

Nah, he's a special kind of asshole. Drinking Beverage



N.B. This belongs in the nutcase conspiracy section along with the other absurdités provocantes.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-05-2017, 02:35 PM (This post was last modified: 08-05-2017 02:41 PM by Szuchow.)
RE: Gulag Archipeligo - truth or propaganda?
@Vera

It's not - only - about being uneducated. "Communism" was worthy undertaking with noble goal, an universal paradise whereas Nazism was paricularism envisioned to exalt one people and made rest into lower tier or slaves. Therefore "communism" was (and is) defended, while nazism is reviled*.

Also majority (pretty, but not absolutely sure) of "communism" victims were locals, nazism was more murderous to foreigners than Germans. So we have another reason for leniency.

When we add victory in WWII then it became clear why one totalitarian and then authoritarian system is deemed better.

*The Passing of an Illusion: The Idea of Communism in the Twentieth Century by François Furet partly deals with this subject. There could be also something in Judt "Postwar" but I'm not sure.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

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08-05-2017, 11:30 PM
RE: Gulag Archipeligo - truth or propaganda?
(06-05-2017 02:34 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I don't doubt Al was locked up in a Gulag but I just couldn't finish the book because it just seemed like a work of a propagandist, not that I am a fan of the Soviets or Russia.

Gulag was perceived as a very real threat to my family living in the SU under Uncle Joe. My dad turned 78 two days ago. You might want to go and tell him it all was propaganda before he passes away.

I vividly remember him saying that you are going to go and "comb polar bears" if you did anything wrong back then, or anybody said you did anything wrong. I wonder where he got this from, because he isnt and wasnt a book reader.

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09-05-2017, 01:29 AM
RE: Gulag Archipeligo - truth or propaganda?
(08-05-2017 02:35 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  It's not - only - about being uneducated. "Communism" was worthy undertaking with noble goal, an universal paradise whereas Nazism was paricularism envisioned to exalt one people and made rest into lower tier or slaves. Therefore "communism" was (and is) defended, while nazism is reviled*.

Both created inhumane regimes. But the nazis are still a singularity. For the simple reason that the coincidence of being born into certain groups carried a death sentence. Not only that. They were the only regime using all technical and logistical resources of a highly industrialised country to create and operate factories of death.

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09-05-2017, 11:28 AM
RE: Gulag Archipeligo - truth or propaganda?
(09-05-2017 01:29 AM)abaris Wrote:  Both created inhumane regimes. But the nazis are still a singularity. For the simple reason that the coincidence of being born into certain groups carried a death sentence.


Wasn't Hutu and Tutsi case similar?

Also Jews survived even in Reich so it wasn't death sentence but rather high probability of one. One also should especially take into account fact that Germans couldn't make all their allies and occupied countries to kill all Jews. Percentage of murdered varied - Timothy Snyder wrote good piece about it "Black Earth".

As for singularity of Nazis and Shoah one wonder if it isn't our cultural background speaking. There are interesting articles on the subject in Alan Rosenbaum "Is Holocaust Unique", like "Religion and the Uniqueness of the Holocaust" by Richard Rubenstein.

Quote: Not only that. They were the only regime using all technical and logistical resources of a highly industrialised country to create and operate factories of death.

Yet many victims fel to bullets, hunger and disease.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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09-05-2017, 11:44 AM
RE: Gulag Archipeligo - truth or propaganda?
(09-05-2017 11:28 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  Wasn't Hutu and Tutsi case similar?



Yet many victims fel to bullets, hunger and disease.

No. And yes, but no to your conclusion. There was a concerted effort to plan and create death factories. Neither Hutu and Tutsi nor Pol Pot, nor the mass shootings in the first years of the war fit that bill.

There has been no other regime, virtually using all industrial and logistical tools at their disposal to commit mass murder. It was industrialised and planned at every stage of the way. The deportation, the robbery, the killings and the ensuing exploitation of the victims. From their cloths, their posessions, their hair to the gold in their teeth.

That's what makes Hitler's regime a singularity. Nobody attempted that before and hopefully never will attempt in the future.

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09-05-2017, 11:51 AM
RE: Gulag Archipeligo - truth or propaganda?
(09-05-2017 11:44 AM)abaris Wrote:  
(09-05-2017 11:28 AM)Szuchow Wrote:  Wasn't Hutu and Tutsi case similar?



Yet many victims fel to bullets, hunger and disease.

No. And yes, but no to your conclusion. There was a concerted effort to plan and create death factories. Neither Hutu and Tutsi nor Pol Pot, nor the mass shootings in the first years of the war fit that bill.

There has been no other regime, virtually using all industrial and logistical tools at their disposal to commit mass murder. It was industrialised and planned at every stage of the way. The deportation, the robbery, the killings and the ensuing exploitation of the victims. From their cloths, their posessions, their hair to the gold in their teeth.

That's what makes Hitler's regime a singularity. Nobody attempted that before and hopefully never will attempt in the future.

When speaking of similarity I was refering to being born as reason for death, not death camps.

Vernichtungslager makes Shoah unique but there was more to it - things that were common in other mass killings. All in all I'm not convinced of Holocaust singularity but that's hardly relevant - singular or no it was horrible crime.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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09-05-2017, 12:36 PM
RE: Gulag Archipeligo - truth or propaganda?
(06-05-2017 02:40 PM)Vera Wrote:  You are a special kind of stupid, aren't you?

I know people who have been to labour camps in Bulgaria which were not nearly as bad as those in Russia, and the stories are horrible.

I guess Primo Levi's books are also the work of a "propagandist""?

Facepalm

No, Vera, I just didn't feel it rang true. Since moving to a place where there are a lot of Russians and getting to know them, I have realized that a lot of them were never Communists and were very Christian, so maybe there were anti-Soviet strains in the country. Why does that require you to engage in pointless rudeness.

You know a lot of Russians? Our next door neighbours are Russian as is our son's best friend. They are all Russian Orthodox. The whole country seems to be Russian Orthodox, as though none of them were ever Communists.

I've not read Primo Levi's books so I can't comment.

I have read Viktor Frankl's book "Man's Search for Meaning" and I don't consider it to be propagandist.
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09-05-2017, 12:41 PM
RE: Gulag Archipeligo - truth or propaganda?
(08-05-2017 11:30 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  
(06-05-2017 02:34 PM)Deltabravo Wrote:  I don't doubt Al was locked up in a Gulag but I just couldn't finish the book because it just seemed like a work of a propagandist, not that I am a fan of the Soviets or Russia.

Gulag was perceived as a very real threat to my family living in the SU under Uncle Joe. My dad turned 78 two days ago. You might want to go and tell him it all was propaganda before he passes away.

I vividly remember him saying that you are going to go and "comb polar bears" if you did anything wrong back then, or anybody said you did anything wrong. I wonder where he got this from, because he isnt and wasnt a book reader.

I was only referring to the tales of people A.S. recounted which got them in trouble and how they were tortured before being sent to the Gulags. I wasn't referring to their experiences in the Gulags. The stories just seemed exaggerated in comparison to what they didn't do to A.S. That's all.

Anyway, the answer to my question would be a "no", although I don't get the impression anyone posting in response has read the book.
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