Friday, September 26, 2014

Cutting Out the Middle Man

For all that Moscow goes on about fictional "Fascists" rising up in Ukraine to threaten the Motherland, don't forget that the Soviet Union joined the Nazis in World War II by dismembering Poland (and taking the Baltic states and land from Romania and Finland--after a brave defense by the latter).

Remember ,Stalin voted for Hitler before he voted against him (tip to Instapundit):

The full extent of their conspiracy is exposed in The Devils’ Alliance, a brilliant new history by Roger Moorhouse. Moorhouse is a sober and serious historian, writing with no obvious political agenda. Calmly, he tells the story of the Pact: its genesis, its operation and the reasons for its violent end. When recounting such a monstrous tale, it is proper to be calm: great events need no embroidery. What he reveals is a diabolical compact which, if it stopped just short of being an alliance, can in no way be thought of as a hiccup or anomaly.

The two totalitarian systems traded in all the necessary commodities of war: not just oil and vital chemicals, but arms and ships. They exhibited each other’s cultural achievements, performed each other’s music and films, stressed their joint hostility to Western capitalism.

The idea that there was an unbridgeable gap between Soviet Communism and National Socialism, which is nowadays so widespread, would have seemed curious at the time.

The two have always seemed like two sides of the same coin. For Hitler's state capitalism, the worker was nothing unless yoked to the goals of the state. In Soviet Russia, the worker was everything--as long as he is yoked to the goals of the state. Way different, eh?

Russia is no longer communist. It sometimes feels as if Putin has cut out the middle man in reaching out to fascism.

Of course, Putin may have the supporting role in this version of history.