Report By Richard Geno
Our August meeting was a unique presentation from a Hoover Institution scholar, Dr. Paul Gregory. With the backdrop of a political power struggle, Dr. Gregory showed an amazing storytelling ability to intertwine the brutality of Joseph Stalin, political infighting and a Soviet romance. He started with a quote attributed to Joseph Stalin who said, "The death of one person is tragic. The death of a million people is a statistic." He indicated that quote had also been attributed to Mao Zedong
With the introduction of Marxist Socialism, one substitutes political power for the market. It takes force to have a planned economy. Stalin exported his brand of socialism to China. Saddam Hussein was a student of Stalin; he went to the Soviet Union to learn firsthand how to use the political power to control his economy.
During the early years of Joseph Stalin's reign, his primary competitor for power was Nikolai Bukharin, who was also a socialist. Stalin eventually won the battle with Bukharin. Stalin's supporters said, "We fear Bukharin; he is too soft." Dr. Gregory told us that in a battle between two potential dictators that the more brutal of the two will always win. Because of that, Bukharin was destined to lose out to Stalin. If, however, somehow Bukharin would have prevailed, Russia today would look a lot more like the socialist states of Europe.
Dr. Gregory indicated that all dictators have rules, and Stalin had the following one dozen rules:
1. A dictator must have a secret police that reports to him directly.
2. The dictator speaks for the party and for the people.
3. Friendship is friendship; duty is duty.
4. Do not hesitate to deny the obvious.
5. Economics doesn't matter. What matters is political control.
6. Use class warfare.
7. Always appear reasonable. Let others do the dirty work.
8. The defeat of political enemies is not enough; they must be publicly humiliated
9. Giving in does not help.
10. Rewrite history as you want it to be.
11. All of your political enemies are agents of foreign enemies.
12. The true believers are the most dangerous.
Dr. Gregory concluded by pointing out that it was critical that the United States remain an exceptional nation. America is the anchor for the world.
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