Iosif Stalin (aka Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili), dictator of the Soviet Union from 1928 until 1953. He was born in Gori, Georgia, on December 6, 1878, and he died on March 5, 1953 in Moscow. He became one of the leading mass murderers of history when he slaughted at least 20 million people during the Great Purges of the 1930's and 40's. Most of these people were entirely innocent; their "confessions" to their "crimes" were usually forced from them by means of torture, blackmail, deceit, manipulation, false hope, bribery, and so on. Stalin began to make attacks on Bukharin early in 1929. He started at a meeting of the Central Committee in January, saying that Bukharin, Rykov, and Tomsky had kept their opposition group a secret from the party. The truth however was that Stalin had been lying. He was the one who had kept it a secret, not Bukharin. Next Stalin tried to encourage fallen Bolsheviks to follow him by letting them back into the Party and giving them ranks. These included Kamenev, Zinoviev, Karl Radek, and Evgeni Preobrazhensky. Bukharin though was not well skilled at party fighting, and when he tried to talk to Kamenev he was accused of trying to split the party in two. Stalin also tried to destroy Bukharin's reputation by bringing up the arguments between him and Lenin during and before WWI, and more arguments between them about the Brest Litovsk treaty. ("See! He was against the party from the start!") Stalin even twisted Bukharin's words about peasants enriching themselves all around to suit himself. He also dragged up various parts, paragraphs and sentences, of books and articles written by Bukharin and Co., including his book "The Road To Socialism and the Union of Workers and Peasants", a book outlining his theories and beliefs about NEP which was published in 1925, and twisted them all into knots. When Stalin did this he tried to make Bukharin out to be an enemy of Lenin and collectivization, out to restore capitalism to Russia and destroy the USSR, one of these ways was to do so by allying himself with the hated kulaks. Of course none of this was true, and Bukharin naturally tried to defend himself, but it was all in vain. In November 1929 he was forced to give up the fight and give in. It was Rykov actually who talked on behalf of his friends. Now the Rights said that they were all in favor of all of the policies that Stalin put forward. Their giving in wasn't good enough for Stalin though. Bukharin, Rykov and Tomsky were always looking for holes to crawl in until the day they died. At the same time this happened Stalin dumped Bukharin from the Politburo and early in 1930 he also dumped him from the Comintern and fired him from his job as the editor in chief of Pravda. In 1932 Bukharin was given a position as the editor of Izvestia. For him, this job gave him new possibilities, as a journalist, to meet lots of new, different, exciting people, and it also gave him the opportunity to make Izvestia into a more interesting newspaper. He succeeded in this very well, as evidenced by the fact that in that year Izvestia became the newspaper that the people read more often than any other. When Bukharin became the editor of Izvestia, he tried to help the party members who had fallen out of Stalin's favor by offering them jobs working for Izvestia under himself. One of these was Karl Radek, a German socialist who had favored international cooperation between countries in order to put an end to World War One. Radek had joined the Bolshevik Party after the war. Now years later, working for Izvestia under Bukharin, Radek wrote and published many articles on the development and the rise of fascism in the countries of Europe. Another fallen Bolshevik to whom Bukharin offered a job was Kamenev, but Kamenev refused the offer, saying that he did not want to be involved in politics anymore. "I want to lead a quiet, untroubled life," said he. "I want people to forget me, and I hope Stalin won't even remember my name." (Some hope. Poor Kamenev would later find himself propped up right next to his friend Zinoviev as one of the leading defendants at the Trial of the Sixteen in August 1936. Kamenev was then shot with Zinoviev after the trial. Later Stalin also had all the members of Kamenev's family arrested and shot.) Later Kamenev, after refusing Bukharin's offer, took a job working in the Institute of World Literature.
Many jokes were told about Stalin and the Soviet era. One of the Stalin jokes was this one.
Thought for the Day: Stalin was a very lazy man. Why? Well, how many Stalinists did it take to build the Baltic White Sea Canal project? ANSWER: None. Why? Because as for actually building it, some of Stalin's followers would talk about it, some would think about it, and some would go and get an