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Monday, February 12, 2018

Stalin as a unifier: positive evaluation of Generalissimo bring people together


Joseph Stalin was once again the Russians recognized the most outstanding statesman of all times and peoples. Recognise 38% of respondents surveyed by the Levada center. The second and the third places were shared between Vladimir Putin and Alexander Pushkin — for 34%.


photo: Alex geldings

In the first ten no foreigner. Except that Catherine II, born a German, but the Russian Empress, who wrote in Russian, not quite foldable, but many plays. The most outstanding, according to the Russians, the alien is Napoleon, located on 14-m a place. But the result of a lot of Russian patriotism — the pride of victory over such a great commander. Russia for the respondents the center of the world, and foreign history interests them very little. As well as, incidentally, the real life of modern States: their characteristics, the Russians use a cliché, borrowed from TV shows.

The survey is interesting, in particular, the fact that the participants themselves call the names of prominent — from their point of view — people. Thus, the sociologist is not “tells” them the answers. It is not surprising that faced with the need to converse in unusual the topic, the Russians are mobilizing their knowledge left after school courses of history and literature. So many responses adjacent to Pushkin and Lermontov, Suvorov and Kutuzov (although interest in the latter — and to Napoleon, and to Leo Tolstoy as the author of “War and peace” — has declined since 2012, when we celebrated the bicentennial anniversary of the first world war). However, there is another classic pair — Tolstoy—Dostoevsky. If epic Leo Tolstoy the Russians included in the “top ten” (“War and peace” with Tikhonov and Bondarchuk included in the Soviet cinematic Canon), restless Fyodor Mikhailovich, they remember much less. From the most complicated emotions on the brink (or beyond) of madness people try to stay away.

Interestingly, in blissful 2008 — before the drop in oil prices — in the same poll peacefully minded Russians put in the first place is Pushkin, and by a wide margin (47% vs. 36% Stalin). Then rose sharply, “the historical rating of” Putin to 32%. In 2012, when the country experienced economic turbulence and mass protests, the situation has changed dramatically. Increased the number of supporters of the “strong hand” as a support for an unreliable world, and Stalin became the leader with 42%. Putin also among the outstanding called just 22% — the effect of load disappointment that once again failed to achieve crisis-free development. Pushkin, too, has become irrelevant — from 29% in the period of turmoil on the Muz remember less.

Five years have passed, and the situation has changed again. Stalin remained the leader, although with a somewhat smaller result. After the annexation of Crimea to record levels rose Putin’s rating to which the returned elements of the image of “war leader”. Became more popular, and Pushkin, although not by much: the time of music yet to come in the near future is unlikely to occur.

But, of course, the greatest attention of observers attracted by the high support of Stalin.

The simplest — and completely true — the explanation of this phenomenon lies in the authoritarian culture, characteristic of Russian society. It is not too respects the institutions (the more so were not able to verify themselves in their effectiveness), but relies on a strong and fair leader able to restore order. The rise of the democratic movement of the early 90s was no exception — with all its e. anti-totalitarianism and anti-Stalinism. Only then hopes were pinned on Boris Yeltsin, whom public opinion was endowed with traits of almost fabulous hero. The disappointment in Yeltsin has led to a growing sympathy for Stalin: in a survey by the Levada center, 1999, it belongs among outstanding figures of 35% of the respondents. Since then, the situation has not fundamentally changed. Except that the Russians were more likely to justify the actions of “great leader”. According to other polls by the Levada center, in 2009 the main cause of large losses of the USSR in the war with Germany 21% recognized the role of the Stalinist leadership, in effect, ignoring the victims. Now — just 12%.

At the same time draws attention to the absence in Russia of any powerful Stalinist movement. Stalin is a hero to the Communist party — but the party is weakening. The fact that positive assessments of the Generalissimo bring together people who on other issues have very different views. To the parties of the Stalinist myth that was acceptable to ideological opponents.

So, a fan of Stalin could be Russian, loyal to the existing Russian political regime — if he sees Putin as a follower of Soviet leader. The annexation of Crimea is him on a par with Stalin’s expansion to the West in 1939-1940, which he clearly perceives as a fair return of ancestral lands. And perhaps a critic of Putin with the Imperial or the Soviet position. He also appreciates Stalin for his conquest, but very disappointed that the Russian troops in 2014 took Kiev and Lviv. For him, Stalin is an alternative to the current leaders of Russia, whom he considers too weak and indecisive.

Stalinist may be a person for whom the 90-ies became the strongest injury: Stalin, he sees the ascetic hero in the overcoat, sternly Kara elites. For these people their own drama (the loss of a job, loss of a sense of greatness of the country) overshadows the tragedy of people executed, tortured, sent to labour camps and exile under Stalin — hence the extremely emotionally negative attitude to any mention of the bloody crimes of the “great leader”, and the desire to find any excuse. But fans of Stalin can be found among those who succeeded in the 90’s and considers it as an “effective Manager” successfully to solve large tasks. The war was won, the country has expanded, factories were built, and died in his own bed — what more do you want? On the last days of the dictator, which, long feared to approach even his servants, they are unlikely to reflect.

Thus, Stalinism penetrate into various social groups. A common reason seems to be lack of empathy, the atomization of society, which can unite for a time, and only against the enemy, whom he told on television. Other people’s suffering, cause, little sympathy, which is justified by the cynical formula of “what other people regret it when I’m not going to regret it.” In these circumstances self-confident social Darwinism, based on the principle of “the strongest wins”, is not so incompatible with social envy, with the desire to “take and divide”. Proponents of both approaches can see Stalin as a kindred spirit.

However, neither they nor others in the majority would not want to live under Stalin. Nobody wants to be pushed out of the warm bed and to be in the black “funnel”. Nobody wants to lose their property (even privatized apartment), not to mention life. So the dream about Stalin mostly confined to the family kitchen conversations, expressions on the Internet but the answers pollsters. That, however, should not reassure, since the very justification of Stalinism huge part of Russians testifies to the moral health of society.

source

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