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RedEmmaSpeaks wrote

Anyone who fanboys Stalin, is sketchy. There's no way around it. The guy was a monster. Even Lenin basically said, regarding Stalin, "Eff that guy! No matter what, don't let that guy come into power." When Lenin, who was no prize pig himself, says that, you should pay attention.

For the record, I am able to sympathize with Lenin a bit more in that he seemed to genuinely believe in the ideals of Communism. He claimed that this whole "strongman imposing on everyone" was a transitory state as the structures of the State were broken down, until the State became truly Communist with the common people running the show. I don't know if he truly intended that or if Soviet Russia would have ever transitioned into his depiction of the ideal communist state. I do know that the forces he was up against, a brutal Civil War, the fighting that comes when you're a rebel trying to overthrow someone, and Capitalist nations doing everything they can to sabotage your fledgling government, which makes me sympathize with Lenin a bit more. The toll all of that would have taken on a newfound country is profound.

Though I've often used the metaphor that Lenin is a rabid badger, but Stalin was a rabid Kodiak bear. Both are bad, but there's a difference in scale. Lenin may have actually agreed in the words he propagated, but Stalin, I honestly think that he was just a sick bastard, who probably would have been a nightmare of a person regardless of ideology. Put a germ in the right culture or the right conditions and it will spread and unfortunately, the Soviet Russia of the time made a perfect culture for Stalin to come into power.