Regrets of a Dictator

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The final thoughts and words of one of the most controversial men in history: Joseph Stalin.

Submitted: November 06, 2011

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Submitted: November 06, 2011

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Regrets of a Dictator

 

The West has never known the scale of desperation that my country has. Even all the horrors you endured during the 20th century cannot even begin compare to the suffering of Russia. And of course there is America… which has never known true anguish at all, protected from war and pillage by the oceans. You have not fought for your homeland for centuries, never known the possibility of true defeat. You know nothing of pain.

What is that expression you westerners have? “Desperate times call for desperate measures?” Ironic, considering you have yet to experience either. You are safe to condemn and criticize the methods of others, while you sit on your pedestal, safe and secure. Do you think that we commit shameful, dishonorable acts by choice? That we would not rather tread the path you are walking, the path of safety and prosperity? That was, and remains to be, impossible for us. We have done what was needed to survive, carving a place for our people in this world, nothing more.  

To understand Russia is to understand her history. We have been fighting throughout our entire history, against invaders, against the elements, against ourselves. Far too often, Russia has fallen to these enemies. But from these defeats, we have come to understand what it is to be strong, and realize what we must do to continue our existence. Deposing the corrupt system imposed by the Tsar was the first step towards our greatness. The people demanded the right to own the land they worked, and we would not have given them anything less. Everything would belong to everyone; all would work for the benefit of the motherland. After centuries of instability and elitism, Russia was finally united in pursuit of a common goal. Many died, perhaps needlessly, although none can really judge such a thing, not from the present. And was the progress gained by their deaths not magnificent? In several short decades, we rivaled the United States, the most powerful nation on earth. What were a few million more bodies among the countless Russian corpses lying in the freezing snow? Russia had suffered enough; and I ensured that the sacrifice of those millions was not in vain.

There are many who question and condemn me for my methods in leading the motherland to glory, those who see me as dictator. I make no move to defend myself from these claims. However, to those who question me, I ask this: what good is a democracy to a people who have want of food, clothes, order? Certainly, my people could be free, but you would find freedom rather less compelling on an empty stomach. The rule of one man, of an autocrat, of my rule, will always be stronger than your supposed democracies. Throughout history, it has always been the will of single men, of great men, who have changed the world. Certainly, I cannot claim completely altruistic motives for propelling the motherland to greatness. But if my selfish desire to see myself ruling over a powerful nation helps those below me, then none can judge my actions, or my motivations.

I will confess; the story of true equality between all in the Soviet Union is a myth. But such a fact is irrelevant, for what does it matter if my people are not? They believe themselves to be, and more importantly, they know greatness now. Who would have suspected that it would be Russia who broke the power of the Axis with her determination and manpower? The safety of Russia was secured even as the Red Army marched into Berlin. To go from being the object of ridicule, to becoming both respected and feared… the world recognizes us as the instrument of Germany’s defeat. The Americans make mighty claims, but were they the ones who broke the tide of Nazism with flesh and blood? I think not.

Leading my country to glory and greatness has brought me much pride, in both myself and in Russia. As I approach the end years of my life, I do so contented and at peace, save for one final regret. Just as power and greatness came upon us almost by surprise, so too can utter ruin. Russia’s days of power are new, her experience limited. As I am now, an old man, I can hardly expect to lead much longer. I have no successor, not since the rest of the party was eliminated. I suppose that too is another regret of mine. Those men truly did not deserve what was done to them… but since belief in the party was the glue which was holding Russia together, there was really no other choice. There can be only one God, and he must be all powerful. He can have no rivals. Still, as I near the end, I cannot help but wish that there was one on whom I could thoroughly rely, to carry out my duty to the motherland past my death. My one, final regret is that while I brought Russia greatness, I fear that greatness may not long outlast me. To understand the past is to understand the present. Many an empire knew brief glory under an inspired leader, which faded after his death. I pray this will not be with Russia, although I would be foolish to believe it impossible.

 

-Joseph Stalin 


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