If you think the Holodomor is the only reason people have for not liking Stalin, I got some real bad news for you Anon. Have an entire list of reasons:
1. Even if Holodomor was an accident, you are defending somebody by saying “They weren’t genocidal, just incompetent at basic measures of running a country and feeding their population!!!” I also do not care if more people died under Tsarist Russia or Capitalism then Stalin, or if they were counterrevolutionary. It’s not just that people died, it’s how they died. In country striving towards total economic equality, nobody should be starving. Especially not in Ukraine, the breadbasket of Europe. When your choices are either incompetence or genocide, maybe the man wasn’t as good as the personality cult said he was. "Fewer people died then under capitalism!1!!" isn’t actually that high of a standard either. We can do much better then that.
2. Homophobia. This is another thing people make excuses for. “Well, if the Orthodox church wasn’t so annoying and in the way, Stalin would have never criminalized gays or abortion!11!” What a load of horse shit. Both of these things were 100% legal under Lenin in an earlier, even more conservative time period. There were even a small number of same sex marriages performed which nobody tried to stop because there was no law against it. Had this been allowed to continue I highly suspect that the USSR would’ve been a bastion of LGBT rights in the future. It just doesn’t hold water that Lenin could fight off the church and give people their rights in the teens and twenties, but Stalin can’t keep it up in the thirties, forties, and fifties. Stalin also conflated homosexuality in men with racism/Fascism. There was a massive propaganda campaign and hullabaloo about it as a reason why queer men are the worst. Sound familiar?
3. Women’s rights too! After the revolution, women could do things! Real jobs outside the home! Maternity leave! Divorce rights! Lesbians were just as free as gay men! Abortion for everybody. But then, Stalinism. No more abortion rights. Some of these other things weren’t specifically criminalized but still discouraged. Women had to make babies and raise the revolutionaries of the future. She could have a degree, but should still stay home. If she worked anyway, she would have been expected and encouraged to still do “typical woman stuff”. Stress and overload was a big problem for women, and domestic violence was often ignored. Under Stalin, other things associated with women were ignored in favour of more masculine pursuits. You could build a skyscraper under him, but good luck finding a bra that fits a human body. The man’s attitude towards women was basically “Class is most important, why should we divide ourselves up by gender?” Doesn’t that sound like something a God damn brocialist would say? I hate brocialists.
4. Torture political enemies. I don’t think I need to explain this as much as the others. I am against torture as it pertains to capitalism, and so I do not think there is any room for it under socialism. If you’ve got somebody scummy enough, just shoot them. No need to draw it out longer then necessary. Plus, it makes people afraid to pitch new ideas to their leaders. This is really important especially if you’re a one party state, leftist economic policies should never be paired with an inability to accept new ideas. I don’t think it was unique to Stalin, however.
Here’s the thing though. It’s possible to think Stalins idea like five year plans can still useful. All you have to say is, “They fucked up when they did X terrible thing, and here’s the idea we have to make sure it never ever happens again”. The amount of mental gymnastics, sexism, homophobia and blood thirst aren’t even needed. That’s why I will never understand people who ask questions like yours.
Oh wait. How did I reblog this without asking OP how they left out the rampant antisemitism under Stalin?
Honestly it was because I, in fact forgot. If anyone wants to add in that through reblogs in more detail they can. This is in no way a complete list and now that we’re talking about this I also realize I also forgot that fact that Stalin also banned various sciences like the study of genetics and sociology, and there are stories from people close to him(NOT Trotsky) that he was a child abuser especially to his first son. There are also many other mass murders that he ordered outside of both his treatment of Ukranians and Jews. It’s very hard to narrow down a list into four sections when some has done as much bad as Stalin. So, if any distress or offense was caused I am deeply sorry.
I also can’t believe there are people doing the thing where they are saying “WELL just because he killed a bunch of people doesn’t mean we can’t like some other things he did!” You most certainly can, but bringing it up now on a thread when we are talking about tortures and deaths is a bit suspect.
We have “problematic fave” lists for everyone from Macklemore to US Presidents, and these same people are able to understand that you can enjoy a song or an idea while acknowledging that the person did wrong, and you are still “allowed” to like certain things they’ve done. But, you can’t ever be allowed to forget that these same ideas came from a killer. If you like someone’s ideas that have done this, you have the responsibility to plan so that you have an answer when people ask “What will you do to make sure this never happens again?”
If you have no answer, defend it, or sweep it under the rug you are not simply an admirer of ideas but an apologist and complacent in any death caused by any future implementation without careful consideration to how it will affect vulnerable sections of the population.
Here’s a good post that talks about Stalin’s antisemitism: (http://fuckyeajews.tumblr.com/post/55483072154/made-rebloggable-by-request-stalin-has-always)