Last night I was listening to two lengthy interviews of author Stephen Kotkin on his two volume biography of Joseph Stalin. Although the interviews were long I was intrigued by the authors views on Stalin and it was very informative. After the 2nd Russian revolution in October 1917, in which the Bolsheviks, or Communists, under Lenin came to power a civil war broke out in 1918. This was between the communist and anti-communist forces in Russia. This war would last from 1918 until 1920 and the communist Red Army would win. Once the civil war was ended a compromise was reached with Russia's farmers. Lenin would end capitalism in the cities. In the cities the state would take ownership of the factories and control the means of production in true communist fashion. The farmers, however; would be allowed to continue the free market system on their farms. They would be allowed to keep them and sell their crops for profit. This system worked and soon restored Russia's agricultural system to pre WW1 levels of production.
Lenin died of a stroke in January 1924 and Stalin became his successor. Stalin made the argument to his communist subordinates that he wanted to collectivize Russian farms. His subordinates argued that he shouldn't tamper with something that was working. In other words if it ain't broke don't fix it. Stalin countered with, yes you are right, but it isn't communism. If the Soviet Union was truly going to be communist they must end all capitalism. Since his subordinates were all true believers, in the communist system, they could not counter his argument. Stalin's first Five Year Plan lasted from 1928 until 1933. At first Stalin initiated class warfare by pitting the poorer peasants against the wealthier class of peasants called the Kulaks. Sound Familiar? Five million Kulaks were eventually rounded up and sent to the gulags never to be heard from again. By 1933 three million more peasants were dead from starvation. Ultimately by 1937 it was believed that Stalin was responsible for the deaths of 14.5 million Russian peasants.
In no way am I comparing the modern day socialists in the Democrat Party to the brutality of Joseph Stalin. A light bulb came on in my head, however; when I heard Stephen Kotkin talk about how Stalin was so determined to replace a system that was successful with a system that was largely untried. Because he was a true believer in communism he was willing to risk everything, even the lives of his countrymen. The only explanation I can give for the socialists in the modern Democrat Party is that like Stalin they are true believers. At a time when our economy is on fire they are preaching the failed gospel of socialism, because like Stalin, they truly believe that capitalism is evil and must be replaced with socialism. True socialism always leads to communism.