Tuesday, November 26, 2002

My mom surprised me by being concerned about me today. Apparently I said something sort of depressing last night that ended up keeping her awake and she’s worried. I think I’m just tired of school.

School is a lot of crap, anyway. Putting aside my hatred for what passed as being my early education, I’m still disgusted with formal education in college. That’s not to say I hate it exactly. I’m excited about school starting every year. But it’s still all junk, and I think it’s important to realize that.

This quarter I’m in this ridiculous German History course. The class should have been called “Liberal Indoctrination 511.” The Professor is the his huge opponent of the war on Iraq. So every single example he can use from German History to discourage the war on Iraq, he ends up using. However, he ignores the obvious ties between the genocidal dictator Hitler and the genocidal dictator Hussein. He ignores that attempts at appeasement in both camps have failed.

The other night a dope in my class said something to the effect of: “I don’t think a totalitarian dictatorship could exist in today’s world.” I said: “What about Hussein’s government?” And my Professor quickly busted in: “Oh, I don’t think we know enough about Hussein to say whether or not he’s a totalitarian.” I didn’t say anything because I have no desire to fail. But actually we know quite a lot about Hussein’s government. We know Iraq has a command economy, massive propaganda, a cult around the leader, a secret police force, a comprehensive binding ideology, etc. It’s quite a bit safer to say that Hussein’s government is totalitarian than it is to say that the East German government was. But he didn’t want to portray Hussein negatively because that might give some credibility to the war on Iraq. How liberal of him. How many times do guys like that sit around screaming “human rights, human rights, we have to do something!” And then as soon as we start to do something, “human rights, human rights, we can’t do anything! You’re rotten for wanting to!”

That class is awful for so many reasons. Occasionally good subjects are introduced, but you can’t talk about them. So I’m going to introduce one here that I’ve been thinking about for a while. After the end of WWII the Allied governments knew how evil Joseph Stalin was getting. Many people were urging war on the Soviet Union. We didn’t end up engaging in that war, but suppose for a minute we had.

The plans we had drawn up at the time revolved around nuclear weapons, which we had, and Stalin didn’t have. The Soviet Army vastly outnumbered our military force, but the Soviets had fewer supplies and less support. While I won’t say that the Soviet fighters weren’t courageous or dedicated or disciplined or any of that, their armed forces were extremely poorly organized and every time they went to fight, they’d get tripped up by the fact that Stalin had recently purged the officer corp.

So say that we started a war with Stalin immediately following WWII. As a part of this war, we make extensive use of nuclear weapons. Let’s say that we won the war relatively quickly. What would historians make of it?

Knowing what we know now, we can see that Stalin was a blood thirsty, evil dictator who killed well over 20 million of his own people. But at the end of WWII, while it was plain that he was evil and that he’d killed a lot of folks, he had not yet killed in the massive numbers that would eventually mark him even among other mass murderers. So historians could probably see that he wasn’t a very nice guy. But they probably couldn’t imagine him killing well over 20 million of his own people.

So they’d look at what we did as primarily an act of capitalist aggression. They’d ask, as the ignorant boy in my class did when we talked about dropping nukes on Russia: “What about all those innocent civilians! Think how many would die!” It’s not ignorant to think about civilian life. But my point is, Stalin killed well over 20 million perfectly innocent people. It’s hard to believe that our nuclear attack would end up killing more people than Stalin did on his own, without nukes. Add into that figure the total number of estimated deaths for the Soviet Union, around 40 million, and it becomes ridiculous to think that more people would have died had we knocked the SU out immediately following WWII.

Oh hell, I need to get ready for school.

But before I go, I want to remind that we look on Lenin as a pretty good guy. We blame Stalin for the Soviet Union’s bloodletting. But Lenin’s 1921-1922 purges caused the death of well over four million people. He wasn't such a nice guy after all. But we remember him that way because he died before things really went to hell. Would we remember Stalin the same way had we knocked him out early?

Lousy liberal thought.