“COMMUNISM BEGINS AT THE OUTSET WITH ATHEISM”….Karl Marx

My intention in this series is to debunk the notion that religion causes most or all war, and instead to show that war comes from the inner nature of man. One of the out-workings of that nature comes via atheistic philosophy.

220px-Stalin's_Mug_Shot

I’ve shown that Marx and Engels were atheists who happily found Darwin’s theory to compliment their own view of historical, social evolution. This marriage of ideas helped to shape their entire view of history and their prescription for humanity’s “happiness” for the future, which necessitated “the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions” 1.

I discussed in Part 2  how Lenin, Trotsky and the other Bolshevik Party leaders in Russia held evolution and atheism to be a central plank in their ideology, and how they wished to rid their nation and ultimately their world of religion. Religion, to the Marxist, was nothing more than a “drug” being used by the ruling classes to dope the masses while they used and abused them.

The Bolsheviks’ tools and methods agoinst the ruling classes (which in practice affected all levels of society) were mass violence and terror: a war against their own people, which may well have extended to the rest of us, had the West not stood up to communism…

STALIN AND MARXISM

Stalin, nick-named “Soso”  by his mother, was sent to seminary. Edvard Radzinsky, whose book covers many of the incredible atrocities of Stalin’s reign, records that when Stalin was at school the seminaries were a hotbed of revolutionaries who had adopted Marxist teachings. They saw it as their duty to enthrone a new Messiah, that is, the World Proleteriat” 2. Radzinsky writes that before long Stalin was often absent from seminary to run Marxist discussion groups 3. Stalin himself said that he was a supporter of Marxism from the age of fifteen 4. His official biography records that he was expelled because of his interest in Marxism, and his efforts at spreading Marxist propaganda. Soon out of school, he was involved in revolutionary activities 5. By 1905 he was participating in and oranizing many major terrorist acts 6.

As I noted in part 2, Stalin did make what he wanted of Marxism, but his beliefs were essentially the same as those of Marx, and he certainly regarded himself as a Marxist, as did the other Party members. Roy Medvedev writes that by 1932, Stalin “aspired to the leading position in the sphere of Marxist theory” 7.

THE RISE OF STALIN

Stalin was attracted to Lenin’s ideas by 1901, long before meeting him, and he favored Lenin’s tactic of a tightly knit group of highly committed individuals who were prepared to use whatever methods were necessary to bring about the kind of world they wanted. This tactic had in turn been taught by a man admired among revolutionaries – publicist Peter Tchachev. Another, Mikhai Bukunin, who wrote one of the books handed to young Soso, called “The Revolutionary’s Catechism”, said that revolutionaries “must aggravate the miseries of the common people”, so as to exhaust their patience and incite them to rebel. 8.

As a young  man, Soso renamed himself Koba, after a revolutionary character he read about who became his hero. The book echoed a Bukaninist maxim; “Let us unite with the savage world of the violent criminal – the only revolutionary in Russia” 9.

For years Stalin was constantly on the run from the police. His activities included bank robberies and many murders in order to raise funds for the Party 10.

9150353-stalin--russian-dictator

 

TAKING OVER FROM LENIN

In April 1922, five years after the October Revolution, Lenin appointed Stalin as the general secretary of the secretariat. Stalin was already on two committees, the Politburo and the Orgburo. The ailing Lenin was nervous about allowing Stalin to take over the party leadership, but saw no better candidate. Upon Lenin’s death, Stalin did not automatically take over, but already enjoyed considerable popularity in the Party. Stalin associated himself with the cult of Leninism which had been growing, as a way of increasing his own stature. He was a smooth talker and politician. By this time there was already a mutual distrust among the leadership, particularly between Stalin and Trotsky. After a final show down in October of 1927, several prominent members were expelled, including Trotsky and Kamenev, who were sent to distant parts of the country. By the Fifteenth Party Congress in December of 1927, Stalin was seen as the Party’s unchallenged leader 11. It was also at this congress that Stalin spoke about abandoning the New Economic Policy for a far more communistic Five Year Plan.

Stalin’s image continued to grow during his reign of terror, so that he became a cult figure in his time: in the 1930s he began to encouraged his own deification. He got to the point of considering himself as the god of a socialist religion 12.

STALIN, EVOLUTION AND ATHEISM – (STALIN THE APE-MAN)

Stalin’s daughter Svetlana, said “My father never had any feeling for religion….who had never for one moment believed in the spirit of God…” She also said that unbelief and hypocrisy among the clergy had a lasting effect on her father 13.

A book published in Moscow entitled, Landmarks in the Life of Stalin , originally designed to set him in a positive light, relates several personal testimonies which are very revealing:

“At a very early age, while still a pupil in the ecclesiastical school, Comrade Stalin developed a critical mind and revolutionary sentiments. He began to read Darwin and became an atheist. G. Glurdjidze, a boyhood friend of Stalin’s, relates:
“I began to speak of God, Joseph heard me out, and after a moment’s silence, said:
“‘You know, they are fooling us, there is no God. . . .’
“I was astonished at these words, I had never heard anything like it before.
“‘How can you say such things, Soso?’ I exclaimed.
“‘I’ll lend you a book to read; it will show you that the world and all living things are quite different from what you imagine, and all this talk about God is sheer nonsense,’ Joseph said.
“‘What book is that?’ I enquired.
“‘Darwin. You must read it,’ Joseph impressed on me”

A few pages later, another individual–also reflecting on Stalin’s youthful pursuits, added the following:

“. . .in order to disabuse the minds of our seminary students of the myth that the world was created in six days, we had to acquaint ourselves with the geological origin and age of the earth, and be able to prove them in argument; we had to familiarize ourselves with Darwin’s teachings.” 14

Notice that the last phrase was not “we had to prepare the evidence to show them”

Sahelanthropus may have inhabited the gallery forest

Some atheists are claiming that Stalin was not a believer in Darwinism. However, Stalin was an evolutionist, and only favored certain aspects of one theory of evolution over Darwin’s. As David Klinghoffer writes,

“Stalin’s version of evolution derived from the thread in that philosophical and scientific tradition that in turn came down from the earlier French evolutionist, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829). Larmarck argued that characteristics acquired by an organism in its lifetime could be passed down to offspring, making environment of equal importance to heredity. (Modern evolutionary theory excludes this idea.) Hitler’s more strictly Darwinian methods, obsessed with heredity, accordingly emphasized eugenics and murder to rid society of genetic undesirables, while Stalin’s approach emphasized manipulation of the social environment, isolating deviants, sending adults and children possessing minds “diseased” as judged by anti-Soviet thinking off to the Gulag so as not to corrupt healthy minds. The subtle difference hardly mattered to the millions who were murdered in pursuit of an evolutionary nightmare…”

“This (regard for Lamarck) was not a rejection of Darwinism per se but simply of the evolutionary mechanism that Darwin personally made famous, natural selection.”

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/01/darwinism_communism_part_ii_1015931.html

STALIN: EVOLUTION AND REVOLUTION GO HAND IN HAND

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Stalin was in agreement with Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky (see parts 2 and 3) when he made the link between biological evolution and their view of historical evolution:

“Evolution prepares for revolution and creates the ground for it; revolution consummates the process of evolution and facilitates its further activity” 15.

Further, Stalin says:

Marxism is not only the theory of socialism, it is an integral world outlook, a philosophical system, from which Marx ‘s proletarian socialism logically follows. This philosophical system is called dialectical materialism. Hence, to expound Marxism means to expound also dialectical materialism. Why is this system called dialectical materialism? Because its method is dialectical, and its theory is materialistic 16.

Stalin expounds on the dialectical method, then in Part II “The Materialist Theory” he introduces our old friend, the ape-man into the equation:

“What is the materialist theory?”

“Everything in the world changes, everything in life develops, but how do these changes take place and in what form does this development proceed? We know, for example, that the earth was once an incandescent, fiery mass; then it gradually cooled, plants and animals appeared, the development of the animal kingdom was followed by the appearance of a certain species of ape, and all this was followed by the appearance of man. This, broadly speaking, is the way nature developed”.

Stalin then waxes eloquent, and imagines the poor ape-man having to stare at the ground for many thousands of years (as we know all apes do, of course), until he had the good sense to start straightening up. This, according to Stalin, is what led to conscious thought:

“If the ape had always walked on all fours, if it had never stood upright, its descendant — man — would not have been able freely to use his lungs and vocal chords and, therefore, would not have been able to speak…” (or blow up balloons)…” and that would have fundamentally retarded the development of his consciousness. If, furthermore, the ape had not risen up on its hind legs, its descendant — man — would have been compelled always to walk on all fours, to look downwards and obtain his impressions only from there; he would have been unable to look up and around himself and, consequently, his brain would have obtained no more impressions than the brain of a quadruped. All this would have fundamentally retarded the development of human consciousness.”

I have to wonder how many times this poor creature bumped his head on the branches, not being able to look up. Wouldn’t this make him lose consciousness?

STALIN’S WAR ON HIS PEOPLE

As a boy “Soso” had asked his grandmother why Jesus did not draw his saber when he was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane 17. In the Bible we find that Peter did draw a sword in order to defend Jesus, but Jesus told him very sternly to put it away (Matthew 26: 47-54). Stalin’s answer to injustice or things or people he didn’t like,, in total opposition to that of Jesus Christ, was violence, and his outlook never changed.

Gellately writes that in order to “help” the peasants in the country, Stalin, like Lenin before him, “resorted to terror, but this time on a greater scale than ever” 18.

One of his first targets was the Kulak. Kulaks were former peasants in Russia who owned medium-sized farms as a result of the reforms introduced by Peter Stolypin in 1906. Stalin explained to Marxist students on December 27th, 1929, that it was time to begin “eliminating the Kulaks as a class”, and that a “new Soviet offensive” was necessary. Gellately says that this was a “declaration of war on the countryside” 19.

Stalin said:

“To launch an offensive against the Kulaks, we must make preparations, and then strike, strike so hard as to prevent them from ever rising to their feet…” 20.

Dekulakization brigades were sent into the countriside and in collaboration with the locals, engaged in excesses every bit as dreadful as anything seen since the civil war 21.

It was not just the “rich” who were being murdered or sent away, it was also the peasants who worked for them. They were sent away into the burgreoning labor camp system, or used as free labour to help the Party fulfill their quotas. As part of the operation “local priests, resented for their religion… were attacked and driven from their  homes in the dead of winter” 22.

In some districts there were too few kulaks for the brigades to fulfill the quotas, so their wrath fell on “middle income” peasants , who were barely removed from dire poverty. Medvedev writes that in many areas the authorities blows fell on low-middle income peasants, poor peasants and even farm laborers, who for various reasons refused to join the collective farms and who for the convenience of repression were given the label of “Kulak supporter” 23.

The resultant chaos played a large part in severe food shortages, but those trying to flee the famine to the cities were shot or turned back, including the peasants. One eyewitness said that the open spaces “looked like a battle field after a great war” 24.

The “Great Terror” of the 1930’s saw mass operations in several directions, as Stalin and the Bolshseviks in a state of paranoia attempted to solidify their grip, and to extinguish “counterrevolutionary” elements. Stalin and others perpetuated the idea that there was a viscious enemy within the country which had to be ruthlessly eradicated. One of those elements was national minorities living in the USSR, particularly Germans,  including those who had become Soviet citizens.  As one example, Gellately covers operation 00439, mainly aimed at Germans, carried out in 1937 and 1938. This one of many mass operations resulted in 55, 005 people being condemned by the “extrajudicial” troikas. Of those, 41, 898 were shot 25.

In 1938 there were close to 2 million peopole in the Gulags, the labor camps, and the labor colonies 26.

The Party itself was not immune to the “cleansing” operations, and was “purged” during the 30’s. Many thousands were expelled and arrested. Major show trials followed.  Even in the central committee, 94 were executed, one assasinated, four commmitted suicide, and five died naturally 27.

Roy Medvedev writes about the persecution of the Church. He says that antireligious propoganda began to gain strength at the beginning of 1928, and by the fall of that year it had developed into outright terror against the church. He writes that all religious organizations and church groups suffered, but the focus of this “struggle” was the Orthodox church 28.

ONE OF THE MANY CHURCHES DESTROYED UNDER STALIN’S LEADERSHIP

In mid-1929 the Central Committee held a conference on antireligious work, followed shortly by the Second All-Union Congress of Militant Atheists. “After this congress”, writes Medvedev, “antireligious terrror increased universally”.

Dimitri Pospielovsky writes at length on the Party’s various methods of operation against the church, and against “religious superstition”. These operations relied heavily on atheistic propaganda, and continued for decades 29.

R. J. Rummel in his book “Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1917” has estimated the numbers of victims of several revolutions, wars and various troubles in recent history. During the Collectivization period, between 1928- 1935, there were 11, 440, 000 victims in atheistic Soviet Russia. During the Great Terror period, 1935-1938, there were 4, 345, 000 victims. This is not including the victims of Stalin’s route to Utopia over the remainder of his life.  The total number of estimated victims in the Soviet Union between the October revolution of 1917 and 1987 is 61, 911, 000. For the slightly dyslexic that’s almost sixty-two million human beings 30.

Milovan Djilas, in his book “Conversations with Stalin”, wrote:

“Every crime was possible for Stalin, for there was not one he had not committed”.

Djilas expressed his hope for mankind, that for all time to come there would never again be the likes of Stalin, “For in him was joined the criminal senselessness of a Caligula with the refinement of a Borgia and the brutality of Ivan the Terrible” 31.

STALIN MEETS HIS MAKER

Radzinsky, relaying the writings of Stalin’s daughter in her book, “Only One Year” 32 describes Stalin’s death, which was on 5th March 1953. She and others described it as “slow and difficult”, and that:

“At the last minute he opened his eyes. It was a terrible look – either mad or angry and full of fear of death…Suddenly he raised his left hand and seemed either to be pointing upward somewhere or threatening us all…the next moment, his spirit after one last effort tore itself from his body” 33.

WHAT YOU THINK IS WHAT YOU ARE

When someone’s background is anything but Christian, we’re expected to believe that whatever that person does or believes in his or her private life has nothing to do with how he performs in his public life. Such is the case with the communists. Atheists want us all to think that just because they believed that we all evolved from a rock and then an ape man, and that all of history reflects this evolution, and that they wanted to get this evolutionary process moving faster by “the overthrow of all existing social conditions” –  it really has nothing to do with the fact that they had no regard for the value of human life. I’ll admit that the atheist and the humanist can be every bit as good a citizen as the Christian can be. But, once that rock-to-man belief is coupled with some political ideology which goes off on a tangent, away from the mainstream of common thought and ethics, anything can happen. It’s no coincidence that Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao and many other mass murderers were atheists or had very low regard for religion.

NEXT WEEK:

Perhaps part 5: Hitler. He believed in evolution and the dream of a master race of highly evolved people. Or perhaps something much lighter…in which case, Adolph wil appear in two weeks.

NOTES

1 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, with an introduction by Vladimir Pozner, The Communist Manifesto (Bantam Dell, New York, p 1992) p. 48.

2  Edvard Radzinskii Stalin: The First In-Depth Biography (Doubleday, New York NY 1996, First Edition) p. 36.

3 Edvard Radzinskii Stalin: The First In-Depth Biography (Doubleday, New York NY 1996, First Edition) p. 38.

4 Stalin Sochineniia 13: 113.

5 Edvard Radzinskii Stalin: The First In-Depth Biography (Doubleday, New York NY 1996, First Edition) p. 36.

6 Roy Medvedev Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism (Columbia University Press, New York, NY., Reviedand Expanded Edition c 1989) p. 31.

7 Roy Medvedev Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism (Columbia University Press, New York NY., Revised and Expaneded edition) p. 304.

8 Edvard Radzinskii Stalin: The First In-Depth Biography (Doubleday, New York NY 1996, First Edition)  p. 35.

9  Edvard Radzinskii Stalin: The First In-Depth Biography (Doubleday, New York NY 1996, First Edition) p. 38.

10  Robert Gellately Lenin, Stalin and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe (Vintage Books,New York, NY, First Ed., Aug. 2008) p. 156 – 159.

11  Robert Gellately Lenin, Stalin and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe (Vintage Books,New York,NY, First Ed., Aug. 2008) p. 159.

12 Roy Medvedev Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism (Columbia University Press, New York NY., Revised and Expaneded edition) p. 313 – 319.

13 Svetlana Alliluyeva Only One Year (New York, 1969) pp. 361, 362, 377).

14 E. Yaroslavsky, Landmarks in the Life of Stalin (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing house, 1940), pp. 8-12.

15 J. V. Stalin Works (Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954) Vol. 1, Part 1: Anarchism or Socialism?

http://www.marx2mao.com/Stalin/AS07.html

16  J. V. Stalin Works (Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954) Vol. 1, Part 1: Anarchism or Socialism? p. 301.

17 Edvard Radzinskii Stalin: The First In-Depth Biography (Doubleday, New York NY 1996, First Edition) p. 36.

18  Robert Gellately Lenin, Stalin and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe (Vintage Books,New York, NY, First Ed., Aug. 2008) p. 169.

19 Robert Gellately Lenin, Stalin and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe (Vintage Books,New York, NY, First Ed., Aug. 2008) p. 169.

20 Stalin Sochineniia Vol. 12, 166 – 167.

21 Robert Gellately Lenin, Stalin and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe (Vintage Books,New York, NY, First Ed., Aug. 2008) p. 172.

22 Robert Gellately Lenin, Stalin and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe (Vintage Books,New York, NY, First Ed., Aug. 2008) p. 172.

23 Roy Medvedev Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism (Columbia University Press, New York NY., Revised and Expaneded edition) p. 234

24 Miron Dolot Execution By Hunger: The Hidden Holocaust (New York, 1985) p. 180.

25 Robert Gellately Lenin, Stalin and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe (Vintage Books,New York, NY, First Ed., Aug. 2008) p. 254.

26 Doc. 30, in Bezborodov and Khrustalev, Istoria Stalinskogo Gulaga Vol. 4, 109

27 Robert Gellately Lenin, Stalin and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe (Vintage Books,New York, NY, First Ed., Aug. 2008) p. 267

28 Roy Medvedev Let History Judge: The Origins and Consequences of Stalinism (Columbia University Press, New York NY., Revised and Expanded edition) p. 228.

29 Dimitri V. Pospielovsky A History of Marxist-Leninist Atheism and Soviet Anti-Religious Policies (St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY) Vol. 1.

30 R. J. Rummel Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1917 (Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, N.J. 1990) chapters 4 and 5.

 http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE4.HTM

31 Milovan Djilas Conversations With Stalin (Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., First Edition, c 1962) p.187.

32 Svetlana Alliluyeva, Only One Year, translated by Paul Chavchavadze, NY, Harper & Row, 1969

33 Edvard Radzinskii Stalin: The First In-Depth Biography (Doubleday, New York NY 1996, First Edition) p. 576.

 

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