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Messages - Lyss

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News Links / Re: Orlando Figes Scandal
« on: July 30, 2010, 01:50:35 PM »
This makes me really sad because I value Figes' books a lot. It's always painfull when the person you look up to turns out to be a man with (quite big) faults. It isn't bad enough that he posted these reviews but blaming it on his wife and later on depression is even worse.
I don't believe for a minute he's suffering from depression, he's just being malignant.

The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: July 21, 2009, 11:05:36 AM »
Stolypin was killed in 1911, 3 years before WWI. So maybe if he wouldn't have been killed... But you know, we can go on forever with the "what and ifs".
I haven't studied Stolypin thoroughly, but I don't think that Stolypin's reforms would have worked. He was not a democrat, he wanted to strengthen the tsarist state by undermining the autocracy (shifting power from the court to the national institutions) which created enemies from above (the court). Second, he ordered lots of deportations, executions and abolishments of any critics which created enemies amongst the educated classes. Third, he was so occupied by changing the system and wanting to transform the lower classes into the new system which he had in mind, that to my opinion, if he had lived, he would have gotten the same problem as communism: forcing a system from above without talking to the people and considering what they want or need or even how they live is not gonna work. Except for one point: communism had more adherents, Stolypin was alone. When he died, all his reforms died with him.
I think he started well but after a while just got buried in his own ideas that he forgot to communicate, look for compromise. You can not force something from above without first connecting with the people you want to reform.

This way you can compare Stolypin and even communism with today's failing development aid. I'll give a short recent example from Liberia: western developmentworkers were trying to introduce a new, more resistant rice variety to better the farmer's situation. So they gathered the men together, held a long speech about why this ricevariety was better and should be planted, afterwards they send the men home. After the harvesting season was over, they came back and realized that none of the rice they introduced had been sown.
What was the problem. Well, the growing of rice is a women's business in Liberia. Men have nothing to do with it.The women can recognise 30 different kinds of rice by eye. Since the developmentworkers assumed the men were in charge, the women never heard the explanation and when the men came home with the new rice, the women cooked it.

What I'm trying to explain with this little anecdote is that if you try to force something on people (even when you have good intentions) it doesn't work unless you first connect with them (the importance of anthropology). First you have to understand, then teach and the suggest

I think that even if Stalin wouldn't' have existed, there were plenty others (Trotsky?) to take his place and act "from above", maybe not so many would have been killed, who knowes. I don't.

If you mean to say that WWI could have been avoided if FF and his wife wouldn't have been killed, I don't think so. Wilhelm was preparing for to long for this war, he just had a good excuse with the assasination. But you're right, the 20th century has been terrible. Hopefully my children will be born in a free world. I'm lucky to grow up most of my life in peace, but looking at my family: war, camps, prison,...
But what do you mean with "class" has died that day? If you mean western culture, I don't think it has. Even through everything the world has been through during the last century, it managed to produce people as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Solznjetsin, Marcel Pagnol, Isabel Allende, Orlando Figes, Victoria Holt...(I'm just looking around me at my bookcases ;) ), the Beatles,  Steven Spielberg, ... and so on , and not to mention this amazing website we're posting on.
I think we tend to romantize the past too much. We look at pictures from hose beautiful days forgetting that only a select few were actually enjoying it, we forget the immense poverty, the colonization, women and children dying (I'm talking about the west in those days, because most of this sh** is still reality in the third world and in smaller amounts in the west)


These are general facts and do not need citing
By the way, I don't see a lot of sources cited in your remonstrations.

So, let me understand this clearly: when you post 'general facts" that are of topic to the subject being discussed, you don't have to cite them, but when I ask for sources  (like where do al those numbers of dead people come from) I have to source my question?

I am terribly sorry that you regard opinions as fiction. Life may be dull for you on occasion.

I love fiction, I realy do. Maybe I mispresented myself: what is seem to have noticed on this particular tread, is that lot of opinions are being presented as facts, without sources, so I just put a general reply to start using sources. Because if you start using opinions as facts, you start writing fiction. Now, in this last comment I'm particularly sighting Zvezda. So, if you start to comment those posts without sources, you're doing the same as her/him. In that case, the discussion can go on forever. I'm not saying you should make this into an academic forum, just tell us where you get your information from, not only in sake of the discussion, but sometimes I like to look things up (maybe other members do the same, I don't know), or buy the books there are being mentioned. (Thanks to this forum I've already bought Romanov Autumn, Gulag Archipelago and The camera and the tsars)

As a scholar of international politics, I do believe this post is very interesting to discuss. But since I see no documents or footnotes supporting the comments mentioned, I don't see myself participating in it. No offence, but as far as I can tell, everything posted without the mention of sources for these so called "facts", I consider opinions, fiction.
I'm writing this because I would realy enjoy a good source-based discussion. Only, reading this discussion, I see it going on forever. If you use valid sources for your comments, you can actualy come to a conclusion, which would benefit all.

Q&A and Interviews / Re: Travel to Russia - Exeter International
« on: February 16, 2008, 11:07:37 AM »
Friends of mine, a couple, did the transsiberian route (transmongolian actualy, from Russia, through Mongolia to Beijing) for a month, on around 4000 euro (2000 each). I have a budget of 5000 euro (hoping to depart towards the end of april 2009). You can do some parts cheaper than others. But I think most money will be spend on Petersbourg. Reading this post, it seems it's worth it to spend more money there. What else do some of you recommend that's worth to spend more money on?

The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: November 23, 2007, 12:43:19 PM »
As you point out this thread is about Stalin and Hitler, and not about Polish history, so I won't discuss it further.
I would like though, as I pointed out in an earlier post in this thread, you would use sources for your assumptions. As you clearly avoid doing this, I assume your statements are your own opinion and I will consider them as being so.

The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: November 23, 2007, 09:42:38 AM »
I'm not talking about the attemps of the war, but those of the ideologies. I guess you didn't understand my question.
And where do you get this information about Britain wanting to colonise Poland? I'm Polish and my stepmom is a Polish historyteacher and none of us have ever heard or read anything like this. The British wanted to re-establish the Polish throne, but because of Hitler's invasion, that never happened.

The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: November 23, 2007, 06:38:31 AM »
Hitler wanted to colonize eastern europe (because of the lack of German colonies, Germany became a country when the other western european countries already had colonies) but so did Stalin (in his case the excuse was "communism" but more a Russian sovjet leninism with Moscou as it's centre).
What I'm trying to find out is if we can see Hitler and Stalin's actions in a process of colonisation?
Were national-socialism and leninism theories of colonisation or were they something else?

The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: November 22, 2007, 01:34:00 PM »
I wonder in what effect the lack of colonies had anything to do with the rise of Hitler and Stalin?

The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: November 21, 2007, 07:35:14 AM »
I must say I'm quiet shocked by the ignorance by some of the posters here. I know that through dialogue and discussing we all try to learn, but I believed this to be an intelligent, scientific forum. Most of the posters here are scholars and people who read a lot but after reading some post of other posters I came to this conclusion:
Those who read less and are the more ignorant tend to be the onces the most sure of their right, and even arrogant some times when proven wrong (and proven it is, scientifical and by using references). I also noticed they never refere to any scientific source, they just aclaim what they say to be the truth. Whilest the scholars and the intellectual onces are less eager to provoke or even answer o such an ignorance and tend to refer much more to the sources of their claims.
So I present a solution; when trying to prove you'r position or opinion, use references, sources. That way, pointless discussion will be prevented. There is a big difference in what you believe and what is. And yes, history is written by the winners. And you don't have to agree ith it, but is your right. But that is also your opinion, and not an acclaimed fact. So don't try to present it as one.
Thank you

Having Fun! / Re: Art by Romanov fans III
« on: November 19, 2007, 06:12:10 AM »
You drew Olga so beautyfully!

The Russian Revolution / Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« on: November 17, 2007, 11:02:36 AM »
I also heard he preferred protestantism over catholisism, because the former was more open to reinterpretation and Hitler advocated positive christianity (a sort of christianity consisted with nazism) As wikipedia points out:
Adherents of Positive Christianity argued that traditional Christianity emphasized the passive rather than the active aspects of Christ's life, stressing his sacrifice on the cross and other-worldly redemption. They wanted to replace this with a "positive" emphasis on Christ as an active preacher, organizer and fighter who opposed the institutionalized Judaism of his day. At various points in the Nazi regime, attempts were made to replace orthodox Christianity with its "positive" alternative.
But at the Nurember trials, it became known that at the end of WWII Hitler intended to destroy christianity.
So I don't know if the whole idea of "posiive christianity" was just an act to get the church on his side, what would make one opponent less. I remember from my universityclasses (history of international politics) that Hitler wanted to get back to the old, pure and strong Germanic traditions.
What his real personal feelings were, I don't know. Stalin presecuted the orthodox church on one hand, but during WWII he prayed every single day in church. So what does this mean?

Having Fun! / Re: Art by Romanov fans III
« on: November 13, 2007, 07:46:21 AM »
Thank you very much Laura!

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