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A little more on Stolypin

Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 14:50:39 +0400
Subject: A little more on Stolypin
From: Paul Backer <pauljbacker@gmail.com>

The widespread acceptance of the "Stolypin necktie" or Stolypin for state terror is, as a historical falsehood of Russia foisted by the Communists and cheerfully parroted by foreign journalists roughly on a level with the one about the Red Army troops going into combat shouting "For Stalin!".

As a matter of fact, they weren't and they didn't.

My direct relatives were both in the blockade of Leningrad and several served as frontline combat officers in the war (one received his Red Star in August of 1941), I would claim some knowledge.

A comparison of the attempts of the pre-1917 society with considerable rule of law (in several cases Red terrorists were released by sympathetic juries) with Communist state sanctioned mass terror beggars the imagination.

For academic opinion, if one has time and inclination read up on what one covers as a journalist, there is always Orlando Figes, "A People's Tragedy".

Stolypin's work to enable peasants (despite opposition by the nobility and the murderous terrorism of the Reds and their fellow travelers) to own land is one of the great "what if" moments of Russian, if not world history. A couple of more years, someone less bigoted and worthless in charge than "Cousin Nicky", and who knows?

I would argue that Stolypin is one of the figures of Russian history on whom there is virtual unanimity among those who do some of their due diligence.

Stolypin knowingly risked his life and died to provide a decent existence for millions of Russians. He was repeatedly warned and by some testimony I regard as credible, Okhranka had a hand in his assassination. There were millions of people whose lives became objectively better, and that's why Stolypin is Stolypin.

Therefore, the desire to embrace his imagery is understandable.

More confusing is the apparent mistaking of today's "taking for the cause" as currently practiced with Stolypin's "giving for the cause", his sense of noblesse oblige where he quite literally risked and lost his life for a Civil society.

Demonizing Stolypin to get a cheap shot at the current leadership is unworthy and parroting the Communist party line is lazy and within the small circle of people who care about and read about Russian history, must be incredibly humiliating and embarrassing. My sympathies.


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