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Stalin and Our Times

By Mark Harrison

Abstract

The paper considers how a number of features of Stalin’s rule that appear most pointless or counter–productive from a present day standpoint, summed up as “futile repression”, can be understood as the rational choices of a dictator optimising his regime. The same reasoning may be applied to those aspects of Stalin’s legacy that are most commonly seen as positive, such as the industrial and military policies that saved his country in World War II. Were these outcomes ends in themselves or did they also optimise his regime in the given time and place? I speculate that if Stalin had ruled a much smaller country half a century later he would have left it looking not unlike North Korea or Iraq

Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.195.3111
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