Was Stalin A Good War Chief? – Part III

Корейки не было. Вместо него на великого комбинатора смотрела потрясающая харя со стеклянными водолазными очами и резиновым хоботом, в конце которого болтался жестяной цилиндр цвета хаки. Остап так удивился, что даже подпрыгнул. [….]

— Товарищ! Вы отравлены!

— Кто отравлен? — закричал Остап, вырываясь. — Пустите!

— Товарищ, вы отравлены газом, — радостно повторил санитар. — Вы попали в отравленную зону! Видите, газовая бомба.


— Кроме того, товарищ, вы ранены осколком в руку. Не сердитесь, товарищ! Будьте сознательны. Вы же знаете, что идут маневры. Сейчас мы вас перевяжем и отнесем в газоубежище. [….]

К Остапу подбежала комсомолка с красным крестом на перед­нике. Она вытащила из брезентовой сумки бинты и вату и, хмуря брови, чтобы не рассмеяться, обмотала руку великого комбинатора поверх рукава. Закончив акт милосердия, девушка все-таки засмеялась и убежала к следующему раненому, ­который покорно отдал ей свою ногу. Остапа потащили к ­носилкам.

(Koreiko was gone. In his place there stood, gazing upon the Great Combinator, a terrifying visage with scuba goggle eyes and a rubber elephant’s trunk, at the end of which dangled a tin cylinder the color of khaki. Ostap was so asotnished that he even gave a little leap into the air. “Comrade! You have been poisoned!” “Who has been poisoned?” Ostap screamed. “Let me go!” “Comrade, you have been poisoned with gas,” the MedTech repeated joyfully. “You have entered into the poison zone. See, over there, that gas bomb.” […] “Besides which, Comrade, you have also been wounded in the hand by shrapnel. Don’t be angry, Comrade! Be conscientioius. You should have knowon that we were conducting drills. Now we have to bind your wounds and takes you off to Poison Gas Shelter #34.” A Komsomol girl wearing a red cross on her apron, ran up to Ostap. She pulled out of her tarpaulin bag bandages and gauze and, screwing up her face so as not to laugh, she bandaged the hand of the Great Combinator just above his sleeves. Completing this act of mercy, the young girl giggled all the same and ran off to help the next wounded man, who obediently offered her his foot. Ostap was carried away on a stretcher.)

[Humorous scene from Ilf/Petrov, The Little Golden Calf, in which Ostap Bender finds himself swept up in a poison-gas drill while on the hunt for his nemesis, Koreiko. The scene is funny, but also demonstrates how Communist Party and Soviet people were conscientious about conducting appropriate safety drills, as the war approached.]

Dear Readers:

We just finished discussing the pre-war Soviet military doctrine of “Offensive War”, also called “Waging war deep into the enemy’s rear”. Worked out over the course of years and refined by elaborate war games, this was the official doctrine of the Red Army. According to this doctrine, the Red Army would quickly repulse any intrusion across Soviet borders, and then swiftly proceed into enemy territory to finish the war, employing a kaleidoscope of coordinated components: Infantry, cavalry, tanks and air support.

Returning to Diunov’s analysis: This strategy was codified in the field manual of 1939: “The Workers and Peasants Red Army will itself become the most offensive of all the offensive armies. We will conduct the war in an offensive manner, having as our most decisive goal the complete crushing of the enemy on his own territory.”

Along with this, as we saw illustrated in that awesome Soviet propaganda movie, If War Comes Tomorrow, the Red Army threatened to completely overturn the societies of any nation bold enough to attack the Soviet Union: “The Red Army will enter the territory of the attacking enemy as a liberating force for the oppressed and humiliated masses. An important goal of the Red Army is to attract to the side of the proletarian revolution the broad masses of the army of the enemy and the population dwelling in the theater of military actions.” In other words, Red Army men, from the highest command to the lowly soldier, were indoctrinated with the completely absurd notion, that the moment the Red Army crossed the border [into enemy territory], the oppressed masses will rise up against capitalism.

This photo shows Polish partisan units working alongside Red Army, providing assistance to Warsaw Uprising.

[yalensis: Well, it wasn’t as completely absurd as Diunov seems to think. I mean, the way it panned out in reality, there were some communist elements of the population, particularly in Poland and Czeschoslovakia, who greeted the Red Army as liberators. But Diunov, blinded by his own anti-communist dogma, cannot fathom that an ordinary working person might welcome some perks of a socialist life, even when delivered by such a cynical beast as Stalin.]

Where this notion came from, is unknown. The only possible thing which could explain the appearance of such a doctrine — is the fanatical dogmatism of the Soviet leadership, which was unwilling to depart from Marxist ideological dogmas, however absurd they might be.

[yalensis: I have a different theory. The Stalin faction, with its doctrine of “Socialism in One Country”, had long ago departed from Marxist dogmas principles. The very last thing in the world that Stalin ever wanted to see was a bona fide proletarian revolution in a neighboring country. For the same reason he did everything in his power to squelch a possible communist revolution in Spain, instead sheep-herding the Spanish proletariat into the Republican party: Stalin feared that a real revolution, possibly led by a charistmatic national leader, might come to undermine his own status as Great and Fantastical Leader of the World Proletariat.

No. My theory is this: Stalin and his clique did not believe for one second that the populations stuck in the theater of war, would uprise against capitalism. But they did believe they could use this bogeyman to scare their potential enemies. In other words: “If you attack us, you will be overthrown by your own enslaved masses.” And this is actually an effective deterrence, given the slave owners perennial fear of a slave revolt from within.]

Stalin’s Nervous Breakdown

Diunov: In the first days of the war, it was very confusing trying to learn what was happening at the front, and hard to know what to expect from the Germans. But when Minsk fell, on June 28, it became clear that the situation at the front was catastrophic. Stalin was in such a state of shock that he simply fell apart. For two full days he recused himself from leading a nation which had gotten used to letting the First Secretary of the Communist Party decide literally all issues. Logs (journals) of Stalin’s appointment schedule, which had scrupulously fixated every hour of his day for many years, show that: On June 29 and June 30 the leader did not speak with anyone, had no visitors, and did not make any decisions. On June 30 Soviet officials of a lesser calibre gathered at Molotov’s office to try to figure out what to do. Molotov, who was the Number #2 man in the government, after Stalin, informed them that the leader of the nation was in a state of complete prostration and incapable of making any decisions.

[yalensis: Military men say that all the carefully-laid plans for a war go up in smoke on the very first day the actual shooting starts. Note how much reality differed from what we saw in that movie. In which a decisive Stalin and Voroshilov get their butts out there on the Kremlin Wall and speak forcefully and manfully to the nation on the very first day of the invasion.

On the other hand: Speaking as devil’s advocate, maybe Stalin had a logical reason for not receiving visitors those two days. Maybe he and Voroshilov were hunkered down in his office pouring over maps and coming up with a clever plan?]

Diunov: This crisis of leadership was overcome only after a delegation consisting of the highest governmental and Party leadership, on the evening of that same day, went to see Stalin. They demanded that he return to his office, assume leadership, and form a State Committee of Defense. This would be a new organ of government, combining all the powers that existed in the USSR.

One should also note that it took Stalin quite a long time before he addressed the Soviet people. He even delegated the first war speech to Molotov, and it was Molotov who informed the people that they were at war. [yalensis: Stalin reminds me of one of the I.T. managers at my workplace. He is such a coward he always sends his second-in-command lackey to deliver bad news to upper management. Good news he delivers himself, it goes without saying…] It was only on July 3, after the creation of the State Committee of Defense, which he headed, that Stalin decided to address the people. Resorting to blatant lies, he declared [in his speech]: “The best divisions of the enemy, and the best units of their aviation, have already been smashed and found for themselves graves on the field of battle.”

I Get The Praise, Somebody Else Takes The Blame

Stalin was determined to not assume for himself any responsibility for the defeats at the front. The retreat of the Soviet troops during the first days of the war were blamed on General Dmitry Grigorievich Pavlov, who commanded the Western Front. Pavlov was arrested and shot. Other generals were similarly punished, accused of “defeatism”. The decree blaming Pavlov for the castrophe of the summer of 1941, was signed by Stalin.

General Pavlov: Blamed for the defeats.

Soviet commanders were accused, by Stalin and his circle, of “not taking any initiative”, a trait that was also commented upon by the German foe. Which is highly ironic, given the repressions and purges of the army just prior to the war. Seeing so many of their comrades arrested and shot, taught officers and generals the lesson that showing any kind of free thought or initiative, would land them in jail or the firing squad.

Stalin’s basic instinct was to solve any problem using force and fear. [yalensis: This is true. Stalin was a hammer, and every problem was a nail!] This propensity showed itself again on August 16, 1941, when he signed Order #270. This order contradicted every known rule for the conduct of war. Soldiers who surrendered to become POWs were declared to be traitors of the Motherland and were subjected to execution by firing squad. Troops were told to keep on fighting to their last drop of blood, never withdrawing from any held position. [yalensis: Marshal Kutuzov would have been shocked by that rule!] This gesture of desperation led to the formation of Terror politics: Those soldiers who surrendered were threatened with death, and their completely innocent families — with imprisonment. Moreover, Order #270 led to a dire situation at the front: The weakest units surrendered all the same, in the face of the enemy onslaught; whereas the strongest units did indeed fight to the bitter end, obeying the Order and never withdrawing; and hence finding themselves surrounded. This led to excessive and completely unjustified losses.

Stalin’s cruelty continued to negatively affect the course of the military actions…

[to be continued]

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17 Responses to Was Stalin A Good War Chief? – Part III

  1. FatMax says:

    “particularly in Poland and Czeschoslovakia”

    “Speaking as devil’s advocate”
    Isn’t this one of Conquest’s lies? That Stalin was incommunicado for X days during the initial German attack?

    “Order #270 led to a dire situation at the front”
    Sure, #270 was particularly bad (just like Hitler’s own version of it, three years later), but one would think that the German willingness to starve and kill POWs had also something to do with that. Many Soviet soldiers were aware of it. They also heard rumors about what the Nazis did during the occupation of Poland.

    TL;DR this dude is a “homo antisovieticus vulgaris” and these “arguments” of his are old hat, really. I especially like the fact that these pukes keep harping about “totalitarianism” and “groupthink” and “obedience” and then write texts like these, which looks like any other anti-Soviet puddle of disgusting goo, vomited from some BBC/CNN thinktank.

    It only makes me like Uncle Joe more.


    • yalensis says:

      Well, Yugoslavia was a special case, because the Yugoslavs actually had their own charistmatic leader, Tito. I think Poland and Czechoslovakia were a little bit different, because they didn’t have a mass resistance to the Nazis, but they did have somewhat healthy Communist Parties with some support among the proletariat.

      I haven’t read Conquest, so I don’t know what he said about this. But Diunov presumably had access to to Stalin’s official diary. If Stalin didn’t have any meetings during those 2 days, that is presumably a factual fact. Do you think Diunov is lying about that, and Stalin’s diary was actually full of meetings?

      As for “groupthink”, I think we have to distinguish between unfactual vs factual groupthink. Just because a lot of unpleasant people think something, doesn’t necessarily make it a lie, if it’s actually factual.

      Also, the bit about Germans starving Soviet POW’s — well, here we are talking about the very first days and weeks of the war. It was too early to know that the Germans were starving the POW’s. I mean, Max, don’t you think it’s bad policy to tell your soldiers that they are traitors if they become POW’s? Most armies tell them, if they are captured, it’s their duty to try to escape. But what a disincentive to escape and rejoin your unit, if you know you’ve already been declared a traitor.

      Sorry, I have to agree with Diunov on some of these simple points. He’s wrong about Marxism and Communism, but he’s not wrong about these simple issues of how to conduct a war. He’s also not wrong that Stalin did not understand the difference between tactics and strategy. I mean, if your troops occupy a small hill, say, but then have to withdraw a bit further back, to a different hill, because of artillery barrage. I mean, that’s tactics, right? To say that they have to hold any point regardless and never pull back under any circumstances…. I know nothing of military theory, but even I know that’s stupid. Armies pull back all the time, regroup, salvage their troops, and then attack again on a different day….

      Such basic things…


      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        The danger to an army, especially one suffering a sudden and unexpected shock, is that it will be destroyed by mass demoralisation and panic, especially if it has been contaminated by discontent from the homefront. German forces in the early stages of the war made all sorts of wild promises of peace and safety to Soviet troops willing to surrender and it took some time for the Soviet government to effectively communicate to its troops that surrender to the Germans meant torment and death, not survival. States and armies that don’t take serious, decisive action in these circumstances wither and blow away in the wind, as the empires of the Romanovs and the Hohenzollerns allowed themselves to.

        Nor is the matter of retreat clear cut – withdrawing means abandoning territory to occupation, leaving citizens at the mercy of the enemy, and not only losing both untapped manpower and natural resources but letting them become enemy assets. For the Soviet government, there was also a desperate need to delay the enemy’s progress until industrial assets could be relocated further east. Industrial warfare requires a continuous stream of human bodies and materials to sustain it, and all territory lost diminishes future fighting power relative to the enemy.

        Trading space for time at the tactical level is one thing, at the strategic level it is a path to defeat. It’s why the Soviet government said ‘there is nothing behind the Volga’, and it’s why Hitler strove to hold on the occupied territories for as long as possible regardless of losses.


      • FatMax says:

        “mass resistance to the Nazis”
        Well, Poland kinda did have that (Armia Krajowa) but they were anti-communist. Also anti-semitic, to boot. Not a good material to work with, LOL.
        “Diunov is lying about that”
        I am certain that he is, because that’s exactly Conquest’s claim about Stalin’s “dissapearance” and it is bullshit, like most other stuff that cunt wrote. But Pavlo has a relevant quote so it spares me digging through my docs.
        “Germans starving Soviet POW’s”
        That, and many other worse things they did to Poles almost two years earlier. Soviet officers knew about Hitler’s orders how Polish citizens should be treated if they offer resistance. Not pretty.
        “don’t you think it’s bad policy”
        In case of a “gentleman’s war” like the Westies wage on themselves, yes. After all, that’s why France folded with very little fighting. And Belgium. And Netherlands. And so on and so forth.
        But this was not a “gentleman’s war” and it was never supposed to be. Soviet honchos have read “My Kampf” and knew what hitlerites thought of them. This was a war of extermination and extreme measures were necessary.
        Is it Stalin’s fault that the Red Army was in such a sorry state? Yes. Was it his achievement that it was actually a fighting force to be reckoned with? Again, yes. Was it a mistake to sow chaos in the Armed Forces before the greatest challenge they would face and face soon? Yes. Was it needed to exchange lives for time and space? Yes.
        I think that No.227 and No.270 were needed at that time.


    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      The evidence now shows Stalin urgently at work. For the first week of the German attack he cursed and bullied his colleagues and the army generals, but he was very much in charge, if not quite in command of the situation. His office log shows a ceaseless round of visitors and consulations: twenty-nine entries on 22 June from 5:45 in the morning, when news of the German attack broke, to 4:45 in the afternoon; the following day meetings began at 3:00 in the morning until almost 2:00 the following morning; meetings and interviews until 11:30 or 12:00 at night for the next three days.43. Stalin’s haggard and tense appearance was not the result of nervous collapse but of desperate frantic overwork. On Sunday 29 June he went to his dacha on the outskirts of Moscow, and stayed there until Monday writing speech to the Soviet people, and drafting two important directives on the Soviet war effort. By July 1 he was back in the Kremlin as chairman of a new State Defence Committee, set up by law the day before, and two days later he broadcast to the population that the Soviet state had ‘come to death grips with its most vicious and perfidious enemy’; it was not ‘an ordinary war’ but a war to be waged to the death.

      43. V.P. Yampolsky(ed.) Organs of State Security of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War, (Moscow, 2000), vol ii, pp 98-104

      An extract from The Dictators by Richard Overy, with the supporting reference.


      • yalensis says:

        Thanks for this reference, Pavlo.
        But how to reconcile this with what Diunov writes?
        If the journals show lots of meetings, why does Diunov write there were no meetings?
        Do you happen to know if the actual journals are archived somewhere and perhaps available online?


      • yalensis says:

        Following up on Pavlo’s lead, I actually found (woohoo!) the primary reference online, here is the link. This is a PDF containing Volume II, Book 1 of the “Organs of State Security” resource, a massive work consisting of 6 volumes.
        Here is also Volume II, Book 2. Although they are downloaded as PDF files, they unfortunately do not have a “search word” capability, so, for example, I am not able to do a global search on the word “Stalin”. Nor am I able to copy/paste text, which is a bear, because it’s too much work to rewrite all the Russian words that I see there.

        Also, I was not able to find the exact quote Pavlo cites above, which appears to be a citation/translation from Richard Overy’s book. Of course, I haven’t had time to really skim through all this material. The closest thing I could find so far is this paragraph on page 6 of Volume 2, Book 1, which does indeed rebut Diunov’s allegation that Stalin held no meetings in his office during the first couple of days of the war. Keep in mind that these documents are a compilation of NKVD documents and focus on NKVD issues. My translation of those couple of sentences:

        From the point of view of the nation’s leadership, a constant attention was paid to the Oragans of State Security. As was noted in the journals kept by Stalin’s regular secretaries from June 21 – 28 of 1941, L.P. Beria was invited to meet with Stalin 15 times; and Merkulov 5 times. The total time which Stalin allocated, in the first week (of the war) to leadership of the NKVD and KGB, constituted 32.5 hours.

        But does this actually refute Diunov? To my knowledge Diunov doesn’t claim that Stalin had no meetings at all during that whole week, just the first couple of days. So maybe he was AWOL for a couple of days, then pulled himself together and started meeting with Beria. (I can’t help but ask, though, should he not have been meeting more with Voroshilov and his other generals, and spent somewhat less quality time with Beria?)


  2. FatMax says:

    “squelch a possible communist revolution in Spain”
    Only people who squelched any kind of revolution in Spain were braindead anarchist idiots, who thought that it was a good idea to shit themselves all over any idea of a broad antifascist coalition.
    I guess that creating dysfunctional “anarchist communes” and “land reform” is far more important in a situation when Franco is supported by every Tom, Dick and Harry in the Western world and Spain needs help from anyone who is not a fascist.
    And yes, that might include Catholic clergy and conservatives and so on.
    That’s the lesson that Yugoslav communists learned well – broad coalition, one goal: defeat fascism.
    Everything else can wait.


    • yalensis says:

      Max, so, you support the Spanish Republican government and the Popular Front?
      I’m disappointed, I never had you pegged as a Tankie.

      Me, as soon as I hear those words, “broad anti-fascist front”, I quickly reach to my pocket to make sure my wallet is still there….



      • FatMax says:

        “you support the Spanish Republican government and the Popular Front?”
        Um, yes? Because they are anti-fascist, of course. Fighting fascism is of utmost importance, everything else can wait.
        “a Tankie.”
        Well, a broad anti-fascist coalition is exactly what allowed Yugoslav Partisans to fight, survive and win. A coalition of communists, liberals, syndicalists, (very few) anarchists, urban intelligentsia, very conservative peasantry, factory workers and even die-hard nationalists (Tito even offered alliance to Draža Mihajlović, but that shithead decided that the Nazis were less of a threat than Yugoslav communists).
        If approving of this winning strategy makes me a “tankie”, so be it, ROFL. 😀


        • yalensis says:

          One reason I can’t quite sign onto this philosophy is because of recent events in the U.S.
          Whereby the Trumpite “Capitol demonstration” of last January was declared a “fascist uprising” and everybody was supposed to rally behind the Democratic Party to defeat this.

          For me, the American Democratic Party is barely one step removed from the Spanish Republican government! No, seriously….


          Anyhow, I admire Tito, but I think he was almost saved from himself when characters like Mihajlović rebuffed his overtures.
          You do know, of course (we have have discussions about this!) that Stalin sent many assassins to try to put Tito down. Proving, once again, what a violent megalomaniac Stalin was. Tito was a normal guy, Stalin was just a maniac (in my opinion).
          I just don’t think one can be a Titoite and Stalinist simultaneously.
          Well, maybe. But it would require flexibility worthy of a yoga instructor!


          • FatMax says:

            “For me, the American Democratic Party is barely one step removed from the Spanish Republican government! No, seriously….”
            Uh, okay. I really cannot add anything to this. I vehemently, strongly disagree, but to each his own and so forth.
            ” rebuffed his overtures”
            One of the biggest problems is that traitor Mihajlović also took his rank-and-file away with him when he didn’t want to play ball with Tito and thus hurt Yugoslavia and its people. Četnik movement was not some pipsqueak salon-like gathering. It was big and well-armed. And fighting that movement took time and blood that would be better spent fighting fascist occupiers. After the war, wounds never healed and kept festering until they poisoned the country and destroyed it. Consequences were terrible and we are still living with them today.
            Wide antifascist coalition was necessary and needed.
            “Titoite and Stalinist simultaneously.”
            Again – this is a winning strategy. That’s LITERALLY Tito’s strategy. Nothing “Stalinist” about it.


            • yalensis says:

              But was it ever a realistic idea for the Titoites to desire to form a Popular Front with the Četniks? I mean, the Četniks didn’t have any democratic political principles at all, let alone socialist. It was the same kind of scenario in China in 1927, when Communists formed an alliance with the Kuomindang. These are completely incompatible elements. I wouldn’t even say that the Četniks “betrayed” the national cause, since their core political beliefs lined up more with the Nazis anyhow, being sort of conservative capitalists. No?

              The point I am trying to make, is that you can no more mate communist parties with capitalist parties, than you can try to mate dogs with cats. Just incompatible species.

              And no, I’m not kidding when I compare the Spanish Republicans (Loyalists) with the American Democratic Party. They both claim to be for women’s rights, workers rights, the common man, yada yada… Granted, the Spanish Republicans were slightly more “liberal” (in the then-meaning of that term) and democratic, but you still can’t trust them further than you can punt them. And besides, they were doomed to lose, the moment Franco declared war on them. The Soviet Union had no business tying its national prestige to such a bunch of losers. Soviets should have either pulled out, or supported a different faction that was actually ready to assume governmental powers, instead of supporting the losers.


              • FatMax says:

                >realistic idea
                YES. Interwar communists were sympathetic to both Macedonian VMRO and Croatian Ustaše (which were still considered “revolutionary” at that time) but that stopped in the late 30-ties. Royal police tried to hunt communists down, since Kingdom Of Yugoslavia was also a hardcore capitalist shithole, like Austria-Hungary was.
                If they could try to work with these people, why not work with Četniks, which were not quislings (not yet, anyway) like Ustaše were from 1941 onwards?
                Also, the biggest Četnik organisation was called “JVuO” or “Jugoslovenska vojska u otadžbini” (“Yugoslav Army in the Homeland”) and it was under the command of King Petar (in theory, at least). These people were what was left of the old Royal Yugoslav Army and (again, in theory) a legitimate Yugoslav resistance force, which Tito’s Partisans were not (at least, not YET).
                ” democratic political principles ”
                Democratic political principles…in the Balkans?
                Dude, wtf lol. If they waited for a movement with “democratic political principles” they would all end up in Jasenovac. You work with what you’ve got
                “an alliance with the Kuomintern”
                Kuomintang, you mean? I don’t think they were that incompatible. If they both considered themselves to be “Chinese patriots”, there’s something the CPC could work with.
                “Just incompatible species.”
                I’m not talking about mating communist parties with their opposition, but temporary working with them for the greater good. Not to mention that communists can work within those parties and get new members that way.
                Communist discipline and capability for cooperation was always greater than that of their opponents. That was a battle communists could win. I guess Draža kinda expected that to happen and that was one the reasons for his refusal.
                “supported a different faction”
                Why? Soviets were very big on “national sovereignty” question. After all, they technically supported Kingdom Of Yugoslavia’s sovereignty until it was obvious it was pointless, since Tito was too strong to be forced to hand over power to King Petar.
                Also, which faction?
                Spanish Republican Govt was the only legitimate goverment in Spain. Franco was a rebel, others were pipsqueaks. Who could the SSSR possibly support?
                Spanish Reps were weak because every Western shithead supported Franco, overtly or covertly. Italy sent everything under the sun, ffs, Germany used Spain as a training ground for the Luftwaffe!
                SSSR supported only viable alternative. Others supported Franco and that’s why he won.

                Anyway – TL;DR, you work with what you’ve got.


              • yalensis says:

                “an alliance with the Kuomintern”
                Kuomintang, you mean?

                oops, of course I meant Kuomindang. Went back into my comment and fixed that typo. One of the nice things about being blog admin, I can fix my own typos after the fact!


              • yalensis says:

                Hey, Max, thanks for your comment, a couple of points, and I apologize in advance for the length of this retortatory comment, but you provide so much food for thought!

                1.) “Kuomintang, you mean? I don’t think they were that incompatible. If they both considered themselves to be “Chinese patriots”, there’s something the CPC could work with.
                To me, being a patriot doesn’t grant one any laurels. Was Lenin a patriot? No, he was not. Actually, this whole notion of supporting “national patriots” regardless of class alignment demonstrates in stark black and white the difference between Leninism and Stalinism; the early Comintern of Lenin and the Old Bolsheviks vs the later Comintern of the victorious Stalin faction. It’s the logical outcome of the “Socialism in one country” doctrine: if you support socialism only in the Soviet Union; the logical conclusion is that other countries have to go through the “bourgeois-patriotic” stage of development and not skip directly to socialism. Max, it’s okay to hold those ideas, and I actually respect you for just coming out and saying it like that, clear as day, but one should not confuse such political ideas with Leninism. I repeat again, that in the American context, the logical conclusion would be for Communists (aka Stalinists) to urge their supporters to vote for Joe Biden, because he is more of a “democrat” and “national patriot” than the fascist Donald Trump – LOL! (And, by the way, American Communist Party usually do support Democratic candidates.)

                2. Not to mention that communists can work within those parties and get new members that way. That’s a fair point, if that was what they were, tactically, doing. In America, in the 1930’s when the Trotskyists had a mass party, they actually carried out such a cunning maneuver within the Socialist Party, remaining a secret faction with secret faction loyalty and discpline; they raided the SP of members and then departed. Sadly, I don’t think the Stalin Communists were very good at this, I mean, they were good at factional discipline and loyalty, but they were lousy at keeping a separate (secret) platform, since their “secret” platform was the same as their “public” platform: namely, supporting the bourgeois nationalist “revolution” instead of leapfrogging directly to proletarian revolution. So, in essence, it didn’t really matter how many new members they were able to obtain, since those new members were just mouthing the same B.S. as the bourgeois party they were allegedly raiding.

                3. Soviets were very big on “national sovereignty” question. After all, they technically supported Kingdom Of Yugoslavia’s sovereignty until it was obvious it was pointless, since Tito was too strong to be forced to hand over power to King Petar.
                Same deal. Tito was too smart to fall for that old Stalinist gag and hand his hard-earned wins over to King Petar. Stalin was very upset about Tito’s disobedience: Here, the guy’s job was to shed the blood of his fighters in order to score a win for the bourgeoisie and “patriotic” monarchists. Instead, Tito took power into his own hands (representing the proletariat) and set about to build a really neat socialist federation. Stalin was so upset (he didn’t want any other socialist leader in the world to share his glorious glory) that he kept sending assasins, one after the other, to try to kill Tito. Eventually, according to legend, Tito sent an assassin back to Moscow with a warning to Stalin: “You try this one more time, and you’ll be choking on poison before the sun rises again.” After that, Stalin stopped trying to kill him. Yeah, bullies are always cowards at heart.

                4. Anyway – TL;DR, you work with what you’ve got. This is a very minor point, but I really hate it when people use that TLDR meme. It stands for “Too long, didn’t read.”
                Personally, I think it is disrespectful. I know you aren’t intending that against little ole me, frankly I don’t understand why you inserted that in your sentence at all. But for goodness sake, if I respect somebody, like I respect you and my other commenters, then I am certainly going to read all their comments, however long. If somebody has something to say, then you need to listen, even if you don’t agree. Or, if one truly does skip over somebody else’s comment, or think that a blogpost is too long to read, that’s fair, but it’s rude and snotty all the same to say, “Oh, that was too long, I didn’t read it.” Just ignore it, but you don’t need to tell the writer you are ignoring him. Lyttenburgh used to do that a lot to other writers, and it drove me crazy. Especially since he himself is a word machine. LOL


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