Friday, February 25, 2005

Other Blogs

I have been looking at some other blogs recently. They don't seem to look like this one. This blog is really just a diary which has the advantage of being in cyberspace so I do not lose it like I have all the paper ones. Even though other people could read it I am quite sure that no one has. Its content is in essence written for me alone. A lot of other blogs on the other hand are like seminars with multiple participants commenting upon issues in a very civil matter compared to say usenet. They also cross reference each other. I doubt anybody else will ever read my blog, yet alone comment on it, link to it or make reference to it elsewhere. But, then again most people don't do that with paper diary entries of people still alive either.

1 comment:

kurt_b said...

I, like you, flipped through the "next blog" buttons, just looking to see what other people wrote.

I enjoyed reading over what you wrote. I think there is probably something to your thoughts on soviet history, though I don't know too much about the subject.

Let me offer you some thoughts on the Hitler vs. Stalin post. I think one of the reasons that Hitler is thought of on a different level than other dictators who have committed various types of mass murder is that he set out to commit genocide as an end in itself and in an organized "scientific" way. Most other dictators committed mass murder as a way to gain power, put down opposing groups or establish a particular governing system. Mass murder was a byproduct of a political process. For the Nazis, the "final solution" was more closely tied to the "volksgeist" ideology, and was carried out in a methodical, dispassionate way. It was a clear, frightening extension of a pure intellectual exercise gone awry.

I'm sure it's mostly my ignorance of history that allowed me to make that statement. But I think that a lot of people think that way.

The other part of the reason that Stalin comes in for different treatment than Hitler has to do with the discovery of their respective genocides. At the close of World War II, all the world was united in despising anything that Hitler stood for, whatever it might be. The shock of discovering the concentration camps and the scale of the genocide came at an opportune moment. By contrast, the exposure of Stalin's crimes in the 1950s was accompanied by McCarthyism, etc., that made it hard for the left to confront this reality in a constructive way.

In any case, who is to say one mass murderer is any better or worse than another?